Wednesday, September 15, 2010

To the Max, Now and Always

First of all, thank you for all for the nice comments on my newest quilt. I really do appreciate having you all here. I also wanted to thank everyone who noticed I've been absent from my blog lately. Between Ian moving in and working on the baby quilt, I've had a couple of other big projects taking up my time.

First, I've been refinishing the bedroom floor. I mean it guys...actual hard labor was going on at my house! This is the floor before:

floor refinishing project

It was covered with stripey carpet, then double sided tape (that stuck to the floor), then paint from when my brother painted this room years ago, then miscellaneous stains and burns (my brother again), then old varnish and (finally) pretty wood.

floor refinishing project

I sanded and sanded and sanded. I used a tiny electric sander but next time I would do it all by hand. I really don't like machines and the delightful swoosh of the sandpaper was lost in all that noise!

I decided the room needed an accent wall to give it some character. The best part was going to the store and just picking whichever color I liked the best. Impulse paint buying sounds like a bad idea but to me it's really not.

floor refinishing project

Then I sanded some more and finally came the varnishing. Four coats later and the room is finished!

floor refinishing project

I can honestly tell you that this was the biggest project I've ever finished. I sanded or painted or varnished nearly every day for a month and now that it's finished, it feels wonderful! I'm adding "floor refinishing" to the long list of things I'm awesome at.

The final thing that has kept me too busy for sewing is my discovery of minimalism. It hit me like a punch in the gut and I've been so excited ever since. I first discovered that people were living with only 100 things via Lydia's blog and I'm so happy I did!

I probably haven't talked about it much here but I desperately crave simplicity and clarity in my life. I've wanted to live like Ma Ingalls for as long as I can remember. Just me and my wits and my two hands and my little log cabin. The sweet simplicity is intoxicating! Plus, Ma quilted so it's a match made in heaven.

I've decided that it's time to live without distractions, to create without pressure and to focus on the important. I'm ecstatic to get rid of the weight of debt, of stuff, of waste (both money and time), of busy-work and of a life I wasn't really living TO THE MAX!

I started a new blog so if you're interested in minimalism or my adventures therein, please stop by. If not, I'll still be blogging my creative endeavors here with as much awesomeness as you've come to expect. And humor...you guys do know that I say everything with extreme truthfulness but also with lighthearted humor meant to make you think I'm not as full of myself as I really am...right? You guys?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Couchant on a Field Vert

Alright, here it is...my most favoritest quilt I've ever made:

Castle Peeps Quilt

It measures approximately 4'x5' and is reversible:

Castle Peeps Quilt

I love it so much that I can't find the words to describe how I feel. I can tell you that I had the most fun working on this quilt. Usually I hate piecing quilts (an unfortunate thing for a quilter to hate, I know) but I truly enjoyed every second of every step.

Castle Peeps Quilt

I'm really happy with how the front turned out. You all know how much I love improvisational log cabins! Expect more blocks like this soon.

The back was a very last minute design and could have gone horribly wrong. I'd planned to keep it simple so as to actually finish the quilt in time for the baby shower. But I wanted to use more Castle Peeps in the quilt so I just started making squares. It took me an entire day to piece and I nearly ran out of green fabric.

Castle Peeps Quilt

But I was watching Lord of the Rings and if a hobbit can walk all the way to Mordor, there was no way I was NOT finishing that back!

One of the reasons I had such a fun time making this quilt is because of the fabric. My most favorite greens and browns paired with these castles...

Castle Peeps Quilt

...and these peeps!

Castle Peeps Quilt

I die of cuteness! Also, aside from running out of thread at 8:45 pm and having to run to the store first thing in the morning to get more, the quilting was pretty much the best ever. I think I'm finally getting a handle on this free motion thing. My stitches are hardly ever too long but they are still often too short. Too sort is better than too long, though. I've also stopped getting weird fingers and can now sew a very curvy meander. The quilting is white on the front and light green on the back.

Castle Peeps Quilt

Here's my favorite block. I love those peasants!

Castle Peeps Quilt

And check out how crinkly it got after a trip through the washer and dryer.

Castle Peeps Quilt

Ian was concerned that no amount of appreciation from the recipient would be enough to make me happy, given that this is my favorite quilt of all time. But as much as I wanted to keep it for myself, it was made especially for Stacy and her baby, made with as much love as I could pour into it...I know that giving it away was the right thing to do.

Castle Peeps Quilt

Plus, stealing quilts from babies is a jerky thing to do, I'm sure.

*Update* I just remembered that I named this quilt while I was making the back. It's called "Couchant on a Field Vert". Do you remember when Springfield Elementary had a "Medieval Faiyieyre"? Millhouse's coat of arms is a Spider-Man couchant on a field vert. Couchant means lying down and Field Vert is a green background. I'm pretty sure a baby couchant on this quilt will be pretty sweet!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Castle Peeps!

Three months ago (at the very first second I saw it for sale on Etsy) I bought a full yard set of Castle Peeps by Lizzy House:

castle peeps fabric

I was so excited and couldn't wait to tell you guys all about it! But then I found out that one of my good friends was having a baby...a friend I first met at the Renaissance Festival years ago. A friend who said that the nursery would be green and brown. A friend who reads my blog and who would totally know that I was planning to make her a castle baby quilt if she saw this fabric on my blog.

So, I waited to tell you how much I adore this fabric. And while I was waiting, I made a baby quilt. And this weekend was the shower and tomorrow I can show you the quilt!

For now, you'll just have to settle for some Castle Peeps fabric pictures...but with fabrics as awesome as these, it's just not right to call it settling. How about: it's your privilege to check out these Castle Peeps fabrics:

castle peeps fabric