Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thursday Mash Up

I haven't found the time this week to get on the computer so here is a week's worth of posts in one day :)

Tuesday Tidy

 Or not!  I took this picture last Wednesday with full intentions to pick away at it a little at a time over the week.  That obviously didn't happen.  It looks a little better than this but I will hold off posting photos until it's done.   I have big plans for that scrap pile though!

WIP Wednesday

Most of my time has been spent working on this custom memory lap quilt.  I had hoped to ship it tomorrow but the quilting is taking significantly longer to complete than I estimated.

I am outlining all of the squares in each block and then doing organic lines in the sashing.  This means lots of turning and lots of pushing the quilt through the throat of my machine.   Thankfully the more pins I remove the easier it is getting but still...

Friday Finish

My sister requested a purple butterfly bib for her baby as a Christmas gift.  And my mother requested a minky blanket bound in satin for Rayanna to keep at Grandma's house.  I don't often use the word never (I've been proved wrong too many times LOL) but I feel I can confidently say that I will never use sating binding again.  There was a LOT of cursing, screaming and pouting in the binding of this.  Worst part:  I'm not even happy with the end result.  The spot where the ends overlap is U.G.L.Y.  But I'm hopeful that to a 6 month old it will just feel soft and warm and made from love.

What have you been up to this week?  If you are in the US do you have a long weekend?  Will you spend it sewing?

Monday, 25 November 2013

Move It Monday

One week in.  Overall it was a good week.  There were some struggles and some slip ups but I got in every workout but one and stuck to the meal plan around 90% .  And it paid off.  Down 3.8 pounds!!

My overall thoughts for the week are really positive.  Monday through Wednesday we were unbelievably sore.  But then it practically disappeared!  During our previous attempts at this workout my least favorite were Plyometrics and Legs.  Surprisingly, this time around, those are my favorite.  It helps that I'm kicking my husbands butt during those workouts LOL.  Guess all that running is paying off :)

The one major downfall to P90X is definitely how time consuming it is.  Over an hour a day for workouts plus food prep time.  My running suffered this week.  I only managed to get in one run on Sunday.  Thank goodness for my running buddies!  If they weren't waiting for me, there was no way I would have made it out the door.  It was cooooold!  But I went and we did 9.5kms without any loss of digits to frostbite :)

If you blog about fitness I would love to read about it.  Leave your address in the comments and I will stop by!

Friday, 22 November 2013

Friday Finishes

I spent a good chunk of this week working on stock for my second and last Christmas Craft Fair this weekend.  Also, if you are in a shopping mode I am offering 20% off all my fabrics.  Just enter HOLIDAY20 at checkout!!

Linking up with Amanda Jean!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Tuesday Tidy

The shelving unit is done!  Well, as done as I am going right now :)  I am sure things will change and adjust as I get used to it.  It didn't take nearly as long as I expected.  I did a little bit each day.  Lots was tossed/donated and I fell like everything currently living in it will be used and in the near future.  I kept nothing for "someday" or "maybe".  It feels really freeing to look at it now.

Here is the before, completely unedited. (I am really resisting posting this LOL)

And the after


Details for those interested going from top left clockwise: 1) Books  2)Half of my thread and drawers where I keep home decor magazine clippings 3) medium cuts of minky 4) "girly blues" on top, reds on bottom 5) purples on top, greens on bottom 6) yellows on top, oranges on bottom

1) Medium cuts of minky (same as prev pic) 2) Large and small cuts of minky 3) Ribbon! 4) Neutral scraps on top (for my Tula City Sampler), Neutrals on bottom and my missing pincushion :) 5) Special fabric on top, blues on bottom 6) as in prev pic

1) Magazines and books (I plan to scatter these throughout my fabric cubes as I get more holders) 2)Baby quilt backings on top, holiday on bottom 3) crayons in the basket, solid scraps below 4) vintage scarves to make pillows form 5) WIPs 6) Supplies and patterns for American Girl clothes

1) As in prev pic 2) Multicolor on top, pink on bottom 3) Kindle covers and zipper pouches waiting to be assembled 4) a bit of a mess but this is templates and rulers 5) finished quilt tops with their bindings in the basket 6) as in prev pic

And this one shows the bottom row.  I have empty shelves!!!  The far left holds archived tax years and photo albums, the striped box is empty and the far right holds my paint deck and some office supplies.  I have a few more things in mind to deal with the WIPs and the templates but that may have to wait for a bit as my scrap situation is a little out of control!

Anyone else tidy this week?

Monday, 18 November 2013

Move it Monday

Disclaimer: This post will be wordy, pictureless and completely unrelated to quilting.  Please feel free to ignore this post if it doesn't interest you :)

I think, as bloggers, our goal is to create a blog that we, ourselves, would follow.  When I sit and think about the blogs I refuse to cut from my reader, the main common denominator is that I feel a connection to the authors.  And that connection generally comes from the post where they share something about their lives beyond the topic of their blog.

I have attempted numerous times to maintain a separate blog for my weight loss.  And failed to be consistent. Which, I guess, falls right in line with all of the times in my life I have tried and failed to be consistent in my weight loss efforts.  However, over the last few years, I have found some progress.  I have lost 30 pounds and although there have been long periods of maintenance and a few short periods of regaining, overall the trend has been one of loss.

Last year, over the holiday season, I regained 10 pounds.  Not good.  I was (and still am) determined to not have that happen again this year.  My husband has also decided it's time to regain some of the fitness he's lost since our baby was born (three years ago).  Together we are doing P90X.  We have done it (in part) before so we know the challenges ahead but we are both strongly motivated right now.  Yesterday was our first workout and I can feel it today.  But in that "I did something awesome" kind of way :)

I have no intentions of turning this into a weight loss/fitness blog but I am hoping to hijack Monday's post to keep track of how my workouts went, obstacles I've overcome and progress that was made.  I know that there are probably a few others out there working at this same goal (HI oneenglishteacher!) and I would love to have the comments be a place of discussions about it.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Clementine Cross Top: A Friday Finish

I've been working on this quilt for a while!  When October finally skidded to a finish, I knew it needed to get moved to the top of the pile.  It's getting cold!!  I spent a little extra time yesterday working on it to have ready for a Friday Finish post.

When I started this quilt, the plan was to make it 100" square.  As I stitched, the size started to freak me out.  I mostly do baby quilts, maybe a lap quilt!  So I measured my bed and decided that 80" square would be fine.  On Monday I arrived at 80" and brought it up to try out.

It wasn't good.  It only overlapped one block on each side.  Once it was quilted and washed I knew there would be problems for two blanket hogs like us :)  Back down to the studio it went.  I added two columns and one row to bring it to 100" x 90"

I'm excited to get this quilted up and in use.  But I'm also terrified.  This is a lot bigger than my previous largest quilt.  And I've decided to double the batting to make it super heavy and warm.  Thank goodness I've decided on straight line quilting!!

The best part?  This quilt kicks off a plan to redo our bedroom.  We have been married for 7 years, lived together for 2 years before that and never had a proper bed.   Our Christmas gift to each other is a solid maple bed!!  And just wait until you see the throw for the foot of the bed ;)

Linking up with Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WIP Wednesday

There are three projects dominating my time this week.

Love from Margaritaville
I am very close to being able to put this top together.  I'm both excited and nervous for the quilting.  There is interfacing on every piece in every block and some of the fabrics are a much heavier weight than quilting cotton.

Clementine Cross
 I thought I was finished with this quilt top and then I thought I should toss it on the bed to make sure.  It really needed two more columns and one more row to work well.  So I am finishing up those blocks.

Christmas Cross Stitch
This is last years winter sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  It's been many many years since I've done cross stitch but I am really enjoying this.  Definitely want to get it finished before Christmas and I would love to have time to do one of this years holiday designs as well.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Tuesday Tidy

My "studio" has fallen apart.  Not literally, as I still have walls and a ceiling :)  But my crazy October means nothing was put away properly and there are piles everywhere, things shoved wherever there was room.  It's time for a good tidy.  But I still have work to do and I want to do it right.  I want to put thought into where I store things.  I want to make decisions about what supplies will get used and what supplies need to be passed along to someone who will use them.  So it won't happen overnight.  And for me, that means it could easily fall into the tomorrow category and never get done.  That's where you come in!

I'm planning on documenting the process along the way.  Sometimes it will just be before and afters, but other weeks I may talk about how I decided what to keep and where to keep it.  If there is enough interest, maybe a linkup?  Anyway here is what I accomplished over the last week.

 OMG, I'm a little embarrassed to even post this but I figure others might have something similar? 

I was brutal when sorting through my fabric this week.  Anything I bought that was cheap and poor quality in the beginning of my sewing days went.  Most of the non quilting fabrics went (I kept a small bin suitable for doll clothes).  Where did it go, you ask?  I certainly didn't throw it out!!  My daycare was the very happy recipient of 8 busting grocery bags of fabric.  And the very next day they were building forts with some of the larger pieces :)

These shelves will probably feature again next week as I have three more rows of shelves to sort and organize.  But I could just look at those pretty shelves all day long.  If anyone would like to know what is in all of the bins, just leave a comment and I will do some labeling for next week's post.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Friday Finish: Modern Trees

I actually finished this quilt last week, with just a few hours to spare before I left town for the craft fair.

This is Christa's latest Quilt Along and the second one I've done.  But it definitely won't be the last :)  Once again, Christa has put together a QAL that is well planned out, clearly written with a generous timeframe.

The trees are made from fat quarters purchased at my local quilt shop.  Some are Riley Blake but I don't know which line.  The background is metallic trees on a white background from my local big box fabric store.  It's backed in a deep teal tone on tone reindeer print.

The binding is a scrappy collection of all the tree prints.  I used Ashley's no pin binding method for attaching and am sold!  No more pinning for this girl :)

I had a plan for quilting this before the top was finished.  I traced a tree outline once, followed it and then loosely followed that guideline, quilting lines about an inch apart.  Within the tree I quilted meandering loops to mimic Christmas lights.  Finished measurement: 40" x 50"

Linking up with Amanda for Friday Finishes

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Christmas At the Forum

Last weekend I participated in Christmas at the Forum.  This is one of the largest craft fairs in our region.  There are close to 700 vendors and they estimate 20000 people come through over the weekend.  Up until now, my largest show was a tenth of that.  They warn you in the pamphlet to ensure you have enough stock for 3 days.  All of these facts meant that I was quite stressed out about having enough stock.  I neglected everything that wasn't an urgent event to make sure I was happy with my stock levels before I left on Thursday.

Friday morning I eagerly awaited "shoppers" I was told would be through on that day, hoping to beat the crowd.  They never came.  There was a good amount of people and I made some sales.  Thanks to 3 quilt sales, by the end of the day I was still on track to hit my minimum goal for the weekend.

On Saturday, the crowd was shoulder to shoulder.  You really had little control over how fast you moved through the show, which I think was a downfall.  If people didn't see something at first glance, they weren't inclined to fight the crowd to really stop and look.

So many people loved the moustaches :)
 On Sunday, there was very little traffic and near to no "shoppers".  Which I fully expected. Sunday tends to be filled with browsers at all of the shows I have participated in (and in the retail shop where I work part time as well!). 

There were definitely some highlights to the show.  On Friday evening, Adrienne from Chezzetcook Modern Quilts came to visit!  It was so awesome to meet a quilty friend in real life.  She is just as sweet and friendly as she comes across in her blog.  And she leaked the news that she was registering a Maritime Modern Quilt Guild!!  I am so excited to be a part of this :)  And the people who stopped and chatted were amazing.  I gave out oodles of business cards and answered questions about custom orders. 

Definitely my biggest sellers!
But at the end of the weekend, this was really about sales and business.  I put a lot of time and money into attending and preparing this show.  I did not hit my minimum goals.  And I heard from many vendors around me that it was a slow year compared to last.  I am still on the fence about next year.  A few custom quilt orders would increase the odds.  But I know that if I do attend, my expectations will be lower.  Which will have the benefit of reducing the stress/workload that goes into it. 

If anyone has specific questions, I am more than happy to answer :)

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Love from Margaritaville: WIP Wednesday

This is by far my most anxiety filled WIP.  I am not really a fabric hoarder.  I don't stress cutting up fabric because at the end of the day, it's just fabric and there is always more coming.  Except.

Those blocks up there are for a custom memory quilt.  And they are made from her Dad's clothing.  I've never met Jenny in person, but got to know her very well through an online community.  So I know just how important her Dad was to her and how heartbreaking it was to lose him far too early.  And so it was with a fair amount of anxiety I began the cutting.

Thankfully she is pleased with the progress so far.  I am as well.  I think Crooked Cabins by Kati at From the Blue Chair is a fantastic pattern for these pieces and I am excited to see it come together over the coming weeks.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced

ETA: Also linking up with SewBitterSweetDesigns for my November ALYOF

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

October: MIA

Good grief!  It has been over a month since I last blogged.  And I have really missed it.  So many times, I found myself thinking "I really need to blog this!"  But my life has been one big ball of crazy.  In case you doubt me, here is a quick pictorial account of what I did in October :)

Spent a week in California with my husband.  This was our first proper vacation in 6 years and boy, did we need it :)

Less than three days after returning from California, I ran a half marathon.  That's me in the purple and my awesome friend Charlotte who definitely got me to the finish line.

Is there anything better than a baby bump!

Two days before I left for California, one of my best friends told me she was moving to California in November.  Originally the plan was to have her baby shower the end of November so another friend and I planned and executed a shower (in my home!)  with a week's work time.

Throughout this time, I was sewing in every spare minute I could find. Because on November 1st-3rd, I was taking part in the biggest Christmas Craft Fair in my Region.  I plan on doing a review post about that in the next week or so.

I spent yesterday sleeping on the sofa and feel recovered today.  Which is good, because the to do list is still long :)  But I think the holiday season will feel positively lazy after October!!