Thursday, March 31, 2011

On enablers

I am an enabler when it comes to crafting, so I consider the following statement to be a compliment: Elizabeth made me do it. We were emailing back and forth the other day about spinning, and before I know it, I'm researching spindles and buying one.

Oh, snap.

There are probably other knitting friends to blame as well, but Elizabeth is definitely front and center for this one! She convinced me that even though I can't spring for the wheel right now, it's no reason not to try my hand at a spindle. So, here goes! I purchased this kit from the Woolery (fastest shipping ever!), and it came with three lovely shades of wool to try (slate blue/gray, burgundy and navy).

Some recent fabric stashings

This, however, is nobody's fault, but my own.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

More groups!

So, I joined two more groups recently. Yep, and I'm not sorry.

I joined the embroider-bee. This is a 3x4 bee, where I have three months to make four blocks, one for each member of my group. There is a focus on incorporating embroidery, which I've been wanting to spend more time doing, so it works out pretty well. Here is the mosaic I created as inspiration for the blocks made for me:

Embroider-Bee Inspiration

Please click the photo to see photo sources!

I also joined the Wonky Bee, started by knottygnome. This bee has six members, and we each take a month to plan a quilt with a wonky theme. We send out fabric to the other members and blocks are mailed back to the quilter at the end of each month. I'm first up to plan a quilt and send out fabric, and I chose a spiraled log cabin. It's built just as a square log cabin, except that you begin with a pentagon piece instead of a square. A very cool spiral effect is created. Here are some examples found in flickr land: my very favorite bunny version, by Julie Frick

The Beehive - Spiral Cabin for Karlyn

by Badskirt Amy

Andi's block for Karlyn

by Patchandi

Here are the fabrics I'll be sending to the bee members:

Wonky Bee Stack

I love this pink/purple and orange combo. I started with a FQ set of the Sugar Pop fabric by Liz Scott for Moda. I found some stashed coordinating fabrics, like the Monaluna Mingle dots in orange, Heather Ross Mendocino (leftover from my skirt!), a piece of Innocent Crush fabric by AMH (from my Single Girl fabrics), herringbone print by Joel Dewberry, hexagons from Jay McCarroll, Kona Eggplant and Kona Tangerine.

I'm looking forward to seeing the finished blocks over the next month!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Just because

Because it's Friday, and I love him, here are some gratuitous Olias pictures for your enjoyment:




Happy Friday!
I'll be back soon with one (or maybe two!) FOs.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

FO: Sea Skirt

Orange Octopi

I took this photo in August, and I'm pretty sure I cut the fabric for this skirt shortly thereafter.

Then, I forgot about it. It sat in pieces for seven months or so, and then Monday, I sewed it together.

I installed my first invisible zipper (which isn't quite invisible, but close!), and chopped six inches off the pattern to make what I think is a very fun skirt.

FO: Sea skirt

I have a fairly big stash of the Mendocino line by Heather Ross, and I'm glad I used some of it on this project (and on my quilt, which you can see on the bed). I tried on the skirt with a few different shirts, and this purple is a favorite with the orange.

I used Amy Butler's Barcelona Skirts pattern, and made the A-line version. I love this layered version, and of course, Kara's version is made of awesome. I'm sure I'll use the pattern again. I'm in the mood for skirts at the moment.

FO: Sea skirt

It was super easy to put together, once I got around to doing it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yes, it's true.

It's probably not shocking, but I started another project. I know, I know. Not necessary. A little frivolous.
I don't feel guilty, though. Not one bit.
I'm loving every minute I get to craft.

So, whats' the new project? It's Rachel's Bottled Rainbows.

The beginning of another

Saturday afternoon, I had my first block constructed, and partially filled in with eggplant, jewel-toned gorgeous scraps.

Sunday, I spent more time on the block.

Lovey little cat

Olias was feeling snuggly, though, which definitely delayed my progress a bit.

Progress: Bottled Rainbows

I was able to finish the first block yesterday afternoon, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. I definitely encourage you to join this quilt-along. It's leisurely (which helped encourage me to join!), and I really enjoyed the soothing process of going through scraps to make the first block.

It was sort of similar to making a mosaic, or a collage, which has an air of nostalgia to it.

I'm not sure that I'll use all of the colors Rachel recommends, but I've been digging through the solids I already have and matching them to scraps. I think an orange or a green block will be my next task!

In other crafting news, I finished the second front piece of my Gray Skies cardigan, and have started the final sleeve!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I couldn't resist

I wanted to share a few new cute things I've acquired.

Vintage find

First, I found this vintage pie plate when I went antiquing with Jill, Rhonda and Jenny recently. it's a lovely shade of aqua, and looks lovely with the placemats Becky made me for Spicing Up the Kitchen.

Springtime cupcake stand

I also found this adorable cupcake stand today when I was having sister time with Jill. It was only $10 and just felt like a fun springtime piece. Plus, I'm always looking for an excuse to make cupcakes!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pips Winner and some progress

I've already cut into my charm pack of Pips. I'm making some half square triangles, a first for me.

Auditioning fabrics

I found some stashed fabric that I think might work well, to extend the charm squares into a bigger project. From left, there's Amy Butler Full Moon Dots in Gray/Blue, AB Pink Honeycomb, Jay McCarroll Birch, Lizzy House Peeps in blue and a Art Gallery fabric I found at the quilt show.

I'm going to make all of my Pips (I keep wanting to say Peeps) squares first, and then decide which of these fabrics to use, if any.

HSTs? Yes, please.

I made several squares the other night, and I hope to devote a few hours to this over the weekend. I don't have much medium gray solid left, but I thought I might do some areas of the quilt with a different solid. Only time will tell!

Progress: Pips Project

The beauty of HSTs is that you can really change the look of the quilt by rotating the squares. I had fun playing with the layout of my first few squares.

Without further ado, the winner of the Pips charm pack is... Junebug, commenter #1.

Pips Winner

Yay, Junebug! I just sent you an email.

Thanks to all who entered.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

I hate you, DST

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of daylight savings time. Despite the hour lost today, I managed to do some fun things this weekend. Dinner with Elliott and his parents Friday, followed by drinks with friends and an impromptu slumber party, and plenty of crafting yesterday and today.

March Comfort Blocks

I finished my March blocks for do.Good Stitches. Jennifer asked for these stacked blocks using aqua, blue yellow and gold. I really enjoyed making them. I could see myself making a larger project like this.

I've also done some knitting!

Progress: Gray Skies Cardigan

I'm working on the second front piece for my Gray Skies Cardigan. it's been two months since I've worked on this project, and it feels good to come back to it.

Chain Piecing Quarter Two

This afternoon, my Single Girl quilt is also getting some attention.

I hope your weekend has treated you well.

My heart and thoughts have been (and will continue to be) with the people of Japan.

xo, Jacey

P.S. The giveaway is almost closed. Thanks to those who have entered!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Overcoming the curves

I haven't blogged much about the Single Girl Support Group, but I joined as a way to challenge myself with my second quilt project. The Single Girl quilt, by Denyse Schmidt, definitely fulfills the challenge I was craving. I've never sewn curves before, and I was pretty intimidated when I started.

I chose to work with my fat quarter stack of Innocent Crush by AMH.

SGSG Fabrics

Solid Option #4

For my background color, I chose Kona Peridot.

I'm planning to make a QUEEN-sized quilt, because I am crazy.
I realized as I was sewing my first curve that I may have bitten off more than I could chew.
I pinned the curve to death, started sewing, had to rip.
Second time, same thing.
Finally, I decided to check my seam sizes. It turns out that almost every seam was shorter than 1/4 inch.

Precision matters here, folks.
Apparently, I'm not a very precise sewer.

Luckily, I had only sewn a few ring sections together at this point, so I didn't have to completely start over.
Trust me: there was enough cussing without any additional ripping.

Not perfect, but I did it!

Here's my first completed square.
Would you believe me if I told you I sewed this with no pins?? I don't believe it myself, but it's true. It's not perfect, but I felt so thrilled when I finished. I watched nova's video for pinless curves and just went with it.

So, only fifteen more squares to go. Um, yeah.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

How about a fabric giveaway??

I'm sure if you're into fabric, you've already seen the Sherbet Pips line that's been popping up all over blogland. The line has not been fully issued, but some shops now have charm packags and jelly rolls.

I happened to see some charm packs in an etsy shop last week, so I bought one for myself, and one for YOU!

How about some free Pips??

Just leave a comment here before Sunday 8:00 PM CST, and you'll be entered to win. You'll get this charm pack (that's 42 5" squares) of Sherbet Pips, and I'm sure I'll find something extra to send your way. That's how I roll.

If you need inspiration for using this fabric, just take a look at these flickr results.

P.S. Please make sure your profile has your email address or that I can get ahold of you. I'll announce a winner early next week.

xo, Jacey

ETA: Comments are now closed.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weekend FOs

Due to a sewing frenzy, I have two little FOs to share with you.

FO: Echino Coasters

For my sister's birthday (today!-Happy birthday, my sweet sister!), I made these quilted coasters using some favorite Echino fabric.

Stitchy Closeup

I love the multi-colored quilting. Each one is a little different, and I know Jill will appreciate the vibrancy! I quilted them pretty heavily, so I left the edges unfinished. I'm working on a second project for her birthday, but it's not finished yet.

FO: Huck Frog Pants

I also made these pants for baby Oliver, who turns ONE this week. He is such a cutie, and I felt this stashed frog fabric would be much loved by him and his parents.

I used the Huck Finn pattern from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing. I made the 18 month size, so that he can wear them for awhile (hopefully!). The pattern was really easy, and I honestly made them in just a few hours. I used 1/2" elastic because it's what I had on hand.

How cute is this fabric?

I just love the little waistband. It's so tiny!

I also made progress on some other WIPs, but I'll share those with you later.

Also coming up, a fabric giveaway!

xo, Jacey

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Spicing up the Kitchen: Sent

Now that my partner has received her swap items, I can share the full details. My partner for Spicing up the Kitchen was Natalie. Natalie asked for black and white items with touches of yellow and red. She seemed excited about her package, so I feel really good about my swap items.

Spicing up the Kitchen swap

Besides the apron I showed you, I also made her a teatowel with embroidery and patchwork. The embroidery is from Sublime Stitching, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out.

A little embroidery

I will definitely be embroidering more in the future. In fact, I've already started a new project. It's a cat; she's wearing a fur coat. Awesome.

Potholder for SUtK swap

I also made Natalie this potholder, using some scraps and a piece of Ruby Star Rising teacups for the front.

Sent: Spicing up the Kitchen swap

I really enjoyed my first swap experience.

Thanks to Erin and Darci for putting this group together on flickr. It was so much fun!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blogging Platform Thoughts?

I've been considering switching my blogging platform to Wordpress. I'd like to ask you about the pros and cons that you have experienced with Blogger and Wordpress, to help me make a decision.

So, thoughts?

And I'd also like to share that I'm actually knitting! Here is some proof:

CPH Progress

My Central Park Hoodie now has one button band and is pinned together. I hope to finish this up in the next few weeks!

Happy Friday, and thanks in advance for your feedback.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

A spruce

First, thanks for all of your kind comments on my pillow! I really appreciate it.

So, my living/dining room just got tile, after having uneven concrete for two years. I cannot tell you how awesome it is to finally have a finished floor in this room.

Sunday, I got a little surge of spontaneity, and bought some paint. I then proceeded to paint this accent wall.

A little paint

The color is Valspar Painted Glass, and is a bit more green-blue than this photos shows. It's a lovely hue, and it makes such a difference in the room. My next task in sprucing this space will involve making a wall quilt, and I'm leaning towards using this lovely stack:

New fabric: Magnolia Lane by Laura Gunn
Magnolia Lane, by Laura Gunn

I think the colors will work nicely in this large room, but I don't quite have a vision of the wall quilt. I'm going to press the fabrics and see what comes to mind. I picked up these half-yards at Hawthorne Threads.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February quilt blocks

For my second installation of do.Good. Stitches quilt blocks, Jill asked for orange and gray "Map of the States" blocks. The tutorial that Elizabeth Hartman posted was very easy to follow, although the process is a bit time-consuming.

1st February block

The result is worth it, though, and I found the freezer-paper method of piecing to be very satisfying!

February Comfort Blocks: done

As you can see from this second photo, my sewing table is often covered in WIPs.
I'm betting most of you can relate to a little organized chaos, right?

Scrap pile

I just loved the little pile of scraps from making these blocks. Gorgeous!

We just got our assignment for the March blocks, so I'm off to sort through the stash.

xo, Jacey

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