Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Importance of Being Earnest

Guess what Ian and I saw last night:



I'd never seen an Oscar Wilde play before (not even a movie version) and I have to say, it was very entertaining! Sometimes I wish I were a gentleman so I could be a dandy. Like Algernon...or Chuck Bass.

I knew nothing about the play before it started which was actually quite nice...the surprise ending really was a surprise (although not hard to figure out). I found the plot and characters to be delightfully silly and the dialogue snappy and witty. The whole thing was such a wonderful satirical look at the Victorian upper class. And, you know, there were pretty dresses, although the late Victorian leg-o-mutton sleeve generally isn't my favorite.

I wonder what sort of man my Bunbury would be...and it's true, one should always eat muffins quite calmly. Read on for my favorite scene...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mail day!

Look what I found in my mailbox yesterday:

s1

Delicious half yards of Kona solids from Pink Chalk Fabrics. I have no idea which color is which because I forgot to buy a color card but that's fine with me. I sort of like the freedom of not knowing. Maybe I won't feel that way in the future when I'm trying to match a color but for now, I'm just enjoying the view.

s2

I'm using a few in my secret project but the rest are just for fun. I'm mostly a prints sort of girl so introducing some solids into my quilting will be a challenge. But probably not much of a challenge with beautiful colors like these.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hard at Work

I know it's been quiet around here but that's because I've been busy. Busy in the life sort of way but, most importantly, busy in the sewing sort of way!

I've been working on things to sell at the craft fair and I've also been working on a super secret project. And the good news is that you only have to wait a week and a half to find out what it is. I hope you'll like it...but you might not and that's ok. I won't be mad or anything (but I will secretly hope you'll change your mind after a while).

Just about the only thing I can show you right now is this half completed log cabin block:

green log cabin

Have I told you before how much I love log cabins? I just can't wait to add the next strip! And speaking of, check out the strip on the bottom...that fabric is new to my collection and part of my super secret project. It sort of feels like a stranger in my studio. I bought a lot of new fabrics lately and they all feel like strangers. Mixing this new friend with my old friends helped a little.

Do you feel this way too? That your new fabrics are strangers? You're not quite comfortable just calling them up to chat so you sort of leave them alone until you have a really good reason to pick up the phone? And what about the ones that are just too beautiful to approach? They sit on the shelves for a long time while I sneak glances at them from across the room, hoping that they don't notice me looking at them all the time.

So, yeah, that's about all I have for you and I'm sad about it but there will be more soon. Promise.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Before and After

As you probably know by now, most of the things I make are gifts for friends and family. I never seem to have time to sew anything for myself. And because I've never taken the time to make something for myself, I'm not even sure the stuff I make will look good once it's been washed a few times (with the exception of quilts...all mine have been fine so far).

Since Laura and I are planning to sell things at the craft fair in just over a month, I figured it was time to do some quality testing.

First up, a cloth napkin fresh out of the dryer:

fabric napkin

The cotton thread on the inside and outside shrank and pulled up the corners. I knew this would happen but I wasn't sure if it would recover after a good ironing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mystery mail

One time I knitted a dishcloth and it took me eight hours. So, you can imagine my delight when I opened a mystery package the other day and found these inside:

knitted dishcloths from jane

Six knitted dishcloths from my friend J!

knitted dishcloths from jane

In one of my most favorite color combinations!

knitted dishcloths from jane

And all of them different!

knitted dishcloths from jane

I was shocked then and I'm still shocked now. But wait, that's not all! She also made me some gorgeous stationery:

bubble cards from jane

And at the bottom of the box I found a huge bag of her OMG delicious vegan oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. She posted the recipe here so check it out and make some for yourself. You won't regret it.

I think the best part about giving gifts to fellow crafters is knowing your gift is truly appreciated. Not everyone can understand just how much work goes into making something. And even if J can make a dishcloth in less than eight hours, I understand how much practice it took to get to that point. J makes it look easy but I know the road to perfection is hard indeed. Thanks J, your gifts are truly appreciated and well loved already.

Also, have you seen these gift labels yet? I just bought a box and I can't wait to stick them to my handmade holiday gifts. I think I'll get a lot of use out of the one that says: I made this, just so you know. So don't say anything mean about it. Awesome, right?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Snow again!

Care to take a walk with me?

Snow MN 10/12/09

Snow MN 10/12/09

Through the parking lot.

Snow MN 10/12/09

Past the park.

Snow MN 10/12/09

And into work.

Snow MN 10/12/09

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Snow!

Oh my gosh, you guys, it snowed last night:

snow in MN 10/10/09

The first snow of the year! How wonderful! But all the trees are still green!

snow in MN 10/10/09

Still, I think it's kind of nice.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival, Fall 2009

I can't believe it's quilt market time again! I can't wait to see pictures of everyone's booths and all of the online "quilt booths".





My entry for the festival is a quilt I made for a giveaway on my blog. Well, actually, that's what happened in the end, but it didn't start out that way.

July 2009 quilt

This quilt started because I was avoiding working on another quilt. While sitting at my machine not working on the quilt, I looked over at my scrap bin of tiny triangles (most of them from when I make bindings for quilts) and thought "something has to be done with those triangles. I simply cannot stand looking at them any longer." You know how it is.

July 2009 quilt

So I pieced them into squares and then I couldn't just leave them like that. I sashed them in white and then used pieces of leftover binding strips to sash them all again. And then I found this great flannel to use for the backing and then had a quilting and binding marathon and then decided to give it away on my blog. I finished the whole thing in less than a week which is an all time record for me (by about two months, yikes!)

July 2009 quilt

But I really wanted to keep it for myself since it was so much fun to make! This was my first foray into truly improvisational piecing. I had no idea what this quilt would be when I started piecing those triangles. And each step came to me in a flash and I just went with it. I trusted my intuitions without over thinking things.

And, surprisingly, not having a plan was fun instead of frustrating. I couldn't make a mistake, you know? And usually the planning (the best part, imo) is over before the quilt is even started...but not with improv piecing! I was still planning up until the very end.

So, that's why I picked this quilt for my entry. It represents yet another step in my quilting education. I didn't use pins, I trusted my 1/4" seams, I chose colors that I probably wouldn't have and I had fun just letting it all happen.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed your visit!