A Crymson Life

oh my funky stars

Have I told you R is completely obsessed with the moon?  Over the moon obsessed.  If it’s out during the day he’ll stand in the yard pointing and yelling moon as loud as he can.  Every night he stands by the door begging to go out and see it.  He hasn’t quite grasped that it may not always be out.  That and it’s cold outside.  Anyway we find ourselves reading his books with moons in them more and watching night time kids shows so he can see the moon.  Chris thought I should make him another mobile like his owl mobile only with a moon and stars. 
I still like his owl mobile and R will look at it and hoot.  So we’re keeping that…but I agree that we need something for him to be moon and stars in his room.  So I started making some scrappy wonky stars.  Here’s what I have so far.  I made them real quick since we’re packing to head to Chicago today.  I have no idea how to quilt a moon…I don’t want to tackle curves.  A circle moon sounds boring.  So I guess I’m going to applique a crescent moon.  I have the fabric for that picked out I just need to draw a template.  And then figure out how to applique. 
The background fabric is actually an outer space fabric you can see here.

yellow and grey bundle plus adventures in quilting

1. Curious Nature by Parson Grey-Dimitri Vine in Royalty          
2. A Stitch in Color by Malka Dubrawsky-Swirl in Gray and Yellow  
3. Backyard Baby by Patty Sloniger-Samaras in White              
4. A Stitch in Color by Malka Dubrawsky-Veggie Dots in Yellow      
5. Impressions 2011 by Ty Pennington-Dahlia in Green
6. Curious Nature by Parson Grey-Starcomb in Stones
7.Curious Nature by Parson Grey- Cocoons in Bone
8. Taali Organic Cotton by Jennifer Moore- Bah Bah Black Sheep
9. A Stitch in Color by Malka Dubrawsky-Crackle Solid in Grey

I got very excited about this quilt bundle.  I’ve been very drawn to quilts with shades of grey plus a bright color.  Usually a warm bright color, although I’ve seen some amazing grey and blue/green combos out there.  After putting this bundle together it seemed very dark and although I liked it a lot it took me a few days to figure out what I’d do with it.  I did come up with a few ideas.  It’s a quite manly bundle, minus the sheep print.  A patchwork throw for the guy in the house would work nicely.  Or the idea I’m more excited about are wonky stars in the prints with yellow with grey backgrounds.  Or stars in the lighter prints and and darker prints in the background, or vice versa.  I think any of them would be excited to see come to life.  I found all the fabrics at MoonaFabrics.  I have no affiliation with them nor have I purchased from them.  I just happen to be surfing their site and the fabrics just came together.

In other news I started quilting for the first time ever this weekend.  It was quite eventful.  Here are my lessons learned…  I took my machine in to the dealer because I was skipping stitches again even after having cleaned/dusted the machine.  They told me to change the needle and gave me a lesson on how sensitive the needle can be.  And even if the first needle change doesn’t help change it again since apparently it’s common enough to get “bad” needles.  I also learned how to attach my walking foot since I decided that I should go that route.
I came home with my machine ready to go.  Did a few test runs on my walking foot and new needle.  Then grabbed my bargello.  The first two lines when smoothly.  I’m a bit impatient and feel the need to help my machine push the fabric through even with the walking foot.  I think this is just a lesson for me in patience, and learning to relax.  Drinking a beer while quilting helped until the third row.  About halfway through right when I was feeling good I hit something and got stuck.  Literally.  Took me quite a while to figure it out but I had somehow gotten a pin sandwiched in my quilt and was hitting the head of the pin.  Not good.  I did get it out, thankfully, b/c that would have ruined the whole blanket idea.  I finished the row without anymore difficulties.  Started row four and a quarter of the way through realized I was skipping stitches again…big ones.  So I packed it up.  Next time I sit down I’ll change the needle and start fresh.  Ugh, what a day that was.

embracing the pink

This weekend I got some sewing in.  I worked on the play mat and finished the fifth panel as well as sewed most of the panels together.  I’m taking a small break from this because mountains are the final panel.  And turns out that mountains are harder to sew than originally thought.  I got frustrated fast and decided to go work on something pink.

I had bought a yard of the crazy pink kona (pomegranate) back home and I think it really helps as the border in front.  At first I wasn’t real sure what I wanted for the back but after seeing the border work so well in front I wanted that for the back as well.  I wanted a splash of green on the back and that I wanted to do that using the extra green strips from my bali pop.  I thought that extra fabric would make it big enough for the back.  I ended up having to patch in some extra pink as well.  I really love the back.  I actually like the back as much if not slightly more (though in a different way) than the front.  I’m torn b/c they are two very different styles for one quilt.  But I’m going to set that feeling aside and just go with it.

I started basting.  It’s harder than I expected, which makes me more nervous about quilting.  I think it’s more difficult because the sizes are so close.  It the back had been bigger it wouldn’t be such a big deal to line everything up just so.  I’ll get it eventually.  Then I’ll try quilting.  Thoughts on that?  color thread? should I use a walking foot?  or try with my normal foot?  I’ll have to figure out how to install my walking foot. 

too much?

I’ve read a couple of blogs this week talking about having too much inspiration and too many ideas and too little time.  Funny, I have this problem most of the time.  In fact I work better when I have at least 3 projects going.  I went to my Mom’s this weekend with two quilt projects and came home with four.  This this week I’ve come up with at least three smaller projects in the works.  The great thing about stocking up on projects is that I can pick up whatever I’m in the mood to work on.  Usually they are all in different stages so that works out well.  The bad thing is that sometimes like now…they all end up in the same stage and then I get bogged down on which to work on.  Here’s my list.

1. The Play Mat. Progress slowed down lately, I was stuck on the fifth panel.  I worked on it Wednesday and I think I’ve gotten past my stuck part.  I’m mostly done with the fifth panel and have a bunch of mountains made for the final sixth panel.  I’m currently debating on a border, if it should be a road or just navy.  I think navy would look sharp but I’d have to go buy some.  The back will be a solid green cotton.  I need to finish up the piecing and sew the panels together.  Add the border, baste, quilt, and finish.
2. Bargello.  I have the fabric for the border but I want to add my extra strips to the bargello before I put on the border.  I need to finish sewing strips, add the border, quilt, and finish.
3. Random Block quilt. This is a project Mom and I started a year ago.  I was just learning to sew.  We had the same fabrics and made blocks 10 inches square of whatever design we wanted.  I used this to learn how to do different techniques.  We finished the blocks and then we both got busy.  I took the project home with me to finish.  A few blocks are a bit small so I need to fix those.  Then they need to be sewn together, basted, quilted, and finished.  I haven’t decided on a border or backing yet. 
4. Rocky and Bullwinkle.  Is going to be a simple patchwork quilt.  I have a pattern of the rectangles that I plan to use.  I haven’t started this at all.  I’m trying very hard not to.  I’d love to start cutting for something new but I need to get past the part I’m stuck on with the other three quilts.
5. I would really like to do a flying geese blanket for a friend using Liberty fabrics.  But this is so far in the future it really shouldn’t be on the list.  I couldn’t help but add it in though.

Smaller projects.
1. I want to make a small wall hanging for a friend.  I’ll just use scraps I have and I think I have a pattern picked out.  Just have to do.
2. I found this pattern for a small draw string bag.  I’d like to try it for my first try at a bag.  I have some fabrics in my stash that should be the right size.
3. And farther in the future when I’ve completed at least one bag, I’d like to combine sewing a bag with some crochet.  I have a visual in my head of what I’d do but I need to do some practicing to figure out if it’s realistic.

Yep I probably have too many ideas, too much inspiration.  My mantra right now is to finish something…and that something has to be one of the first three things on my list.  =) 

must finish something, must finish something, must get past quilting stage, must finish something. 
R is headbutting the computer now.  I guess he must want to play.  Off we go to find an adventure in the back yard.

random loves

* snow mowing after school
* a project list a mile long with lots of inspiration
* setting the goal of finishing projects
* several attempts at some new fabric bundles in the works
* slopppy R kisses
* making late night rice krispie treats for friends day at school
* hot coffee
* plans to see friends this week
* long weekends
* spending Valentine’s day evening watching Buffy with the hubby

are you bargelloing?

I kinda love bargello as a verb.  Not sure why…maybe it was the long day sewing at the class…maybe it was my wish to be drinking wine while I bargelloed…or maybe I’m just weird.  Probably the latter.  Anyway two weeks after the class I finished the “piecing part” of my bargello quilt.  At least as the pattern states.  I found bargello to be a love-hate process.  Sewing strips gets boring, but watching the pattern emerge was great fun.  Watching the colors play on and with each other was also great fun.

I’m not in love with my colors, or my bargello.  The pattern is great but the colors just aren’t me.  That’s ok, I keep telling myself it’s ok, that was the point of ordering the watermelon bali pop.  It was out of my color comfort zone.  And to continue out of my comfort zone I’m going to use Kona’s Pomegranate as the border.  It’s a glorious pink…bright bright pink.  Reminds me of tacky lipstick or an 80’s style fingernail polish.  But it works with this bargello quilt.  In fact it makes me like the pinks that is totally not me.  It’s weird.  I had plans to finish it in red or green or lavender to bring out those colors.  I’m embracing the pink and going all out.  Before I put the border on I have a few inches of extra strip fabric that I’ll add on to the bargello.  It’s approximately 24 inches by 48 inches so I’d like it to be wider.  This should help that a bit.

Then it’s diving off the deep end and quilting it.  I’m going to do it.  And it’ll probably be my first attempt at machine quilting.  I’m super nervous.

Mom couldn’t make it to the class due to several inches of snow and crappy road conditions.  So while R and I were up visiting this weekend she bargelloed her key lime bali pop.  I like how hers turned out, very ocean like colors.  Not sure what her’s will turn into.  I had an idea that since it makes such a nice piece of fabric to maybe turn one into a handbag/purse.  One of my friends who went to the class has finished her and made her’s into a large table runner. 

*for any non-quilty readers bargello is a style of needlepoint and quilting.  It refers to the watercolor like designs made by the bargello piecing technique….I think!

single girl weekend

What would you do if you were single for a weekend…single and kid free?  C took R to his parents for the weekend for some quality grandparent time.  And also to give me a break.  These weekends are pretty rare and wonderful.  I normally choose to do things around the house that need getting done.  The last weekend I had off I stripped old varnish off an antique cedar trunk, and washed our carpets, the time before that I painted and rearranged our bedroom.  I wasn’t real sure what to do this weekend, I really didn’t have any big house projects that absolutely needed to get done.  So here’s my plan….

~ I rented 6 movies for this weekend.  I am so far behind on movies it’s a bit crazy, which is pretty normal.  What’s different is that now there are actually movies I want to see.  So I went to the video store and pulled 6 movies and there’s probably another 6 I’d like to rent after this.  My selection includes, the Help, Friends with Benefits, Super 8, Midnight in Paris, 50/50, and Jane Eyre.  I hope to get through at two movies tonight.
~ I did find a home project…I put polyurethane on that antique trunk I stripped a few months ago.  Now I won’t have to worry about R leaving water drips on it.
~ Tomorrow morning plans to meet up with a girlfriend for coffee, fabric shopping, and sewing.  Real excited.
~ I’m going to put another layer of poly on the trunk and dining room table.
~ In the evening I’m having another girlfriend over for movies and take out Chinese food.  YUM We’ll probably work on some crochet or knitting while watching movies too.
~ Sunday I plan to finish any movies I haven’t gotten to and doing some general house pick up. 

I’m making dinner now…a frozen turkey pot pie which is actually a fave of mine.  I’ve stolen my hubby’s sweat pants and am curled up on the couch watching the news and putting together some new fabric bundles.  There’s some new fun kids fabrics out there I can’t help but dream about and play with.  I’m thinking the first movie to go in will be Super 8. 

crappy pic update

Not a good photo but you get the gist of the progress on the play mat.  I worked on it a little bit today but not as much as I’d like.  I have 3 panels complete and the 4th about half done.  The plan is to make 6 panels total.  We already a hill with the sun, a forest, a town, and I’m thinking the last two will be a hilly panel and a mountain panel.  Now to draw out those last two panels.

piles of noro in limbo

While we wait for me to lay out my progress on quilting and take photos here are some lovely pics of my Noro pile.  I figure you can’t go wrong with pics of Noro yarn.  So pretty.  This is enough to finish my afghan.  I’ve completed two more blocks since my last post on the afghan.  So I’m officially done with 9 blocks.  That 8th block took forever to finish, mostly b/c I’d counted wrong and thought I was working on block 9 but really it was block 8.  So if felt like I was doing block 8 twice.

Last weeks quilting class went well and was lots of fun.  It was a really long day of quilting, and by the end of it we were tired and yet still enjoying our quilts.  I learned that sewing 3/4inch strips is difficult and frustrating.  I also learned that when I try to sew straight I don’t.  But it’s hard not to try to sew straight when I need to sew straight.  We completed about half of the bargello quilt in class and I worked on it a bit last week.  I have about 5 more strips to sew before the bargello part is done and I have to figure out borders etc.  I’ll take pics when I get that far.

Overall I liked the bargello effect.  Enough so that I’m thinking about making another bigger version in the future.  This is kinda a big deal since I don’t normally enoy working from a pattern.  But bargello is not something that I feel that I can just “wing it” although making it bigger will be a big tweak to the pattern.
In other news, it’s been a week since I worked on the playmat.  I did a bunch of work on it though so I’m making slow progress.  Would have gotten something done this weekend but I’ve had a cold.  It’s been a spring like winter.  It’s weird.  That’s about it.

Fashionista 2 ways

1. Petunia Kona Cotton
2. Loulouthi Juliana Framed in Shadow by Anna Maria Horner
3. La Strada in black and white, Fashionista by Alexander Henry
4. Tweedy fabric in Grey by P&B Textiles
5. Muslin in Pond from the Curio Collection by Basic Grey

1. Berry Kona Cotton
2. Loulouthi Juliana Framed in Shadow by Anna Maria Horner
3. La Strada in black and white, Fashionista by Alexander Henry
4. Tweedy fabric in Grey by P&B Textiles
5. Muslin in Pond from the Curio Collection by Basic Grey

Two almost identical groupings of fabric and yet one solid can change the entire look.  I was surfing fabric shops again and landed in Fresh Modern Fabrics and was instantly drawn to the black and white fashionista print.  I thought it was fun edgy and sort of has a vintage feel.  In the first grouping I think the petunia lets the fabrics keep the vintage feel and really makes the fashionista fabric be the star.  The second grouping was what I initially came up with, and I was back and forth on how much I love it.  In the end I had to show both because I really love the berry kona cotton with the rest of the prints.  It makes it pop.  It still has a vintage flare but modernizes it with modern colors.  I love the light blue in the Curio fabric next to the berry.  The star is no longer just the fashionista fabric but all the fabrics together.  And to me that makes an interesting combination.

Right now I’m not real sure what I’d make with these groupings.  Any thoughts?  I would love to see a group of people get these fabrics and post their creations.

I found these fabrics at two different fabric shops.  Neither of which I sponsor or have shopped at before.  The Petunia Kona and the Loulouthi were found at Marmalade Fabrics.  The Berry Kona, Fashionista, Tweedy Grey, and Curio fabrics were all found at Fresh Modern Fabric

About Me

Holga lover, advanced crocheter, new to quilting and knitting, and a veteran wine drinker.

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