A Tetris Quilt for Scotch

Some people really love quilting, and that’s good for them. Me? I kind of like planning them, and then the rest ranges from “meh” to torture. For example, I had been planning a Tetris quilt in my head for years; it was going to be varying shades of blue, twin sized, and it was going to be an heirloom that my son would someday give to my grandkids…Why yes, I do have quite an imagination. πŸ˜‰

When I finally decided to bite the bullet, I thought I should plan it out. The major snag in my plan was that the varying shades of blue I had envisioned were nixed in favor of rainbow colors by my opinionated toddler. Since it’s for him, I supposed I had to do what he wanted. So, rainbow colors it is. It was also supposed to be his 3rd birthday present, so I had Stacy from StacySews embroider a little “tag” for the back with his name and the month/year. Except that I suck, and so his quilt wasn’t even close to finished in time for his birthday, so he just got to see a quilt top on his birthday. So now, about 2 months later he finally gets to “nuggle” his quilt. I’m just glad I got it done, because it’s about to get super busy with all the weddings and showers we have going on over the next couple of months, and like every sewist, I feel like I should try to make something to wear for them. *Cue eye rolling* πŸ˜›

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It’s certainly bright, but it’s pretty much exactly what I envisioned, except for the color scheme.

Anyway, it’s a very basic quilt, just a lot of blocks sewn together. Each finished block is 3″ square, and I used this chart to calculate how big the quilt needed to be for a twin sized bed. Ultimately it’s a smidge smaller than the intended finished dimensions because of a snafu with my border. I bought every last bit of the grey the store had, intending to use it for the blocks, border, backing, and binding. So when I goofed up the width of the border I had to make it work. And even then I didn’t have quite enough fabric, so I came up with what I thought was a genius idea to make a “cast of characters” on the back using some leftover scraps.

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If I would have been thinking, I’d have taken a closeup of my nearly perfect quilting through both front AND back; I’m very proud of myself for my patience–not so much for my piss poor planning. πŸ˜‰

The only problem with that was that I then had to quilt it to match the front perfectly. It mostly worked, but it was a nightmare getting it pinned up and there was a lot of swearing involved. I also had to use even more of the color scraps to make a strip rainbow in the back to have enough fabric to get it to work. In the end, I just managed to eek everything out of the fabric I had, and there isn’t enough left to do anything with, so I’m calling it a win. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out overall, but I won’t be rushing to do another quilt any time soon, even though Irish has made puppy dog eyes at me about making him a quilt too. Eventually I’ll probably give in, but I need to forget the trauma of this one first. πŸ˜‰ I’m leaning toward a Super Mario themed quilt for him based on either this one or this one, but then there is this really cool R2D2 quilt too…

 

New wedding outfit…or not…

I’m terrible. I was so excited about that jumpsuit. But, life (and a bit of bad luck) seems to have gotten in the way.

Last week, I started to feel like crap, and since we had a big event coming up, I went to the doctor. I got a flu test and had my chest x-rayed, and…I have pneumonia*. I took the antibiotics, frantically lysol-ed everything I ever touched for a week, and sent my children and husband away with stockpiles of vitamin C. I didn’t want anyone to get sick–especially not with the wedding coming up this weekend.

* I feel a bit silly saying I have this. Aside from a cough that hits at random (unless it’s bedtime, then it’s fairly constant–grrrr) and some exhaustion mid day, I feel pretty normal. I did feel crappy the first couple of days, but after that, it’s mostly just the cough.

The other thing that held me back was that I bought an exceptionally beautiful dip dyed rayon (double-crepe? is that a thing?) that they didn’t happen to have quite enough of. The pattern called for 3 yards, but I’m a pattern tetris whiz, so I felt fairly confident that I could fit it on my 2-3/4 yards without too much issue. Turns out I was wrong. If I hadn’t chosen that type of “print”, I’d have had fabric to make a whole nother project, but because of it I needed at least another yard. Which was sold out everywhere, even though the website said that they had a one yard remnant that I tried to order twice over a two week period and which was canceled both times…grr! And by then, I was stuck on this kind of fabric because it seemed perfect–thick enough to not be see-through, lovely drape, that tiny amount of mechanical stretch that rayon is known for and I just couldn’t find anything else that seemed right. And in true Joann style, they only buy a limited quantity of anything that a person might want and oodles of rubbish that hangs out on the shelves forever. Which is the opposite of what I’d do if it were my store, but then, what do I know?

So anyway, all of that to say that I’m giving up. I’m just going to wear my fancy maxi dress instead. I did make all the adjustments to that jumpsuit pattern though, so I’m still planning to make it. One does not simply tape together a PDF pattern, make all the adjustments for it, and then just walk away…though finding an occasion to wear it might be tricky. πŸ˜‰

Last minute stockings

I realized this year that we only have 3 stockings, and there are 4 of us. Considering that our stockings were old, came from Dollar General, and falling apart, I knew there was no way to find another one that matched the ones we had. Which left me with two options: a) make some out of cute Christmas fabric, or b) buy some of those ugly fuzzy ones from Walmart. I think you can guess which option I chose. πŸ˜‰

I used the pattern from FabricWorm, and the assembly tutorial from Megan Neilsen’s blog. Well, kinda. I used some fleece from my stash to line only one side of my stocking (two layers seemed too bulky), and used the same fleece (it’s white) to make the cuff. I had some off white satin ribbon from who-knows-what laying on the floor of my sewing room, so I sewed it in half and used it for the hanging loop.

I think they turned out pretty stinkin’ cute. πŸ˜‰

Settling in

So I thought I would post a quick update on the progress. Yes, we’re moved in to the new house…mostly. We still haven’t emptied the garden shed at the old house, and there’s still some boxes laying around with odds and ends in them, but we’ve got the essentials (except the sewing room and toy room *sob*) unpacked. It’s starting to look like we live here, so that’s a good start, right?

I did take the scribe and mark what I need to trim off of the fabric shelf so that it fits against the floor moulding and can be screwed to the wall, I just haven’t trimmed it yet. Partly because I need some help getting it to the garage, and partly because I’ve been busy working. Yep, you heard me. I apparently have a part-time job. It’s of the work at home variety, so I’m still taking care of the kiddos and such, but now I also get to key in information for my hubby. One of the big deadlines was Friday, so we were pushing to get done by then, and there’s another one looming for Wednesday that I need to be prepared for–especially since the website for this particular company is seriously shit-tastic and prone to going down. For such a major corporation, you’d think they’d have it together, but no.

So yeah, a lot of changes all at once. It makes it kind of hard to settle into a routine, but hopefully, we’ll get there soon. And can I ask where summer went?! It seemed like a strange combination of flying by and dragging on forever–often at the same time. Know what I mean? Irish goes back to school next week, and he’s nervous about it…hell, I’m nervous about it. He’ll be fine though, kids are resilient, and Irish is one of those people that has no trouble making new friends. πŸ™‚

I hope to have my sewing room up and running this week, but in the meantime I’m living vicariously through you all, so stitch up something cute for me! πŸ˜‰

Stressed!

So we’re moving. It’s hard to believe after 5 and a half years of living in this house that we’re just going to leave it. I’ve/we’ve put so much blood, sweat, and tears into this thing that to leave it is pretty hard. I know that some of you can relate because you have trouble parting with your handmade clothes. This is similar, except 5x harder because we have so many memories here and it’s the first home we’d ever bought. It’s the only home my eldest can remember, and believe me, Irish isn’t excited about our new home. I’m not usually one to get so attached to a material thing, but this process of trying to sell it and buy a replacement has been hard on me…on all of us, but I can really only speak for myself. The thought of new neighbors, new schools, everything just has me overwhelmed right now.

We close next week on the new house, even though this one hasn’t sold yet. It will be nice for being able to move slowly and determine whether or not we need everything we had here and what can be loaded up for donation, but sometimes a clean break is easier too. And I can’t say enough how grateful I am to family for making it possible to go ahead on buying the new house while this one sells, because without them it wouldn’t be possible. I have a hard time letting others help, so it was an internal battle, but ultimately I know that it’s the right thing to do, even though my stubborn pride fought against it.

I will be so glad to close this chapter of our lives, mostly because the stress has had us all sniping at each other. I’m tired of being a “commuter widow”. I’m tired of worrying about the amount of money going out vs coming in. I’m tired of not seeing my husband nearly as often as I used to, and hate that it’s too far for me to drop in and see him or catch lunch with him. I’m tired of fighting with Irish, when he’s not the problem (or at least not all of it). I’m tired of constantly worrying that someone will want to see the house and having to rush to get it presentable. I’m tired of telling Irish that he has to keep all of his toys put away, even though he worked very hard on setting up his farm/legos/etc. and seeing how that upsets him.

I will be sad to see this house go, but at the same time, thankful. It’ll mean getting our lives back. And while it’s going to be bittersweet, I’m ready.

Impatience: It really *is* a family trait

So if you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably already heard the news that the new baby is here. And he is! He’s about 20 days early, but all the critical systems that they worry about in “preemies” are go with our little guy. We have to make sure to wash our hands often, just in case, but lungs/heart/etc. are all in fine working order. (Especially the lungs–he can really scream when he’s upset!) πŸ˜‰ Our only issue is jaundice, but yesterday we went from the 95th percentile to the 75th percentile in about 6 hours, so they deemed us ready to head home. And he’s eating good, so hopefully, he’ll be over it soon.

Since it’s kind of a thing, πŸ˜‰ here’s the stats:

  • ~5:30 AM
  • 6 lbs 11 oz
  • 19 inches
  • Boy (you probably got that by now, LOL!)

It’s rather interesting how it came about, since I was on bedrest from a trip to L&D a day or two before. I had a doctor’s appt. in the morning, came home and spent all day in bed (and on Twitter) alternating between sleeping and goofing on the computer. By dinnertime my back, hips, and butt were so sore and achy from sitting/laying in bed for two days that I decided to grab a bite and take a shower. I thought maybe a shower would make my muscles relax a bit and I’d go back to the bed. But apparently my body had other ideas. Immediately after my shower, I got out and my water broke–which is a very interesting sensation, and one that I missed the first time around–so we hurried and got loaded up and headed in. Everything went pretty well–no horror stories here, but I’ll spare you the recount just the same–aside from being sore and tired, I’m doing pretty good.

So anyway, I’m ready get back to staring at my newest creation…babies are just pretty darn amazing. And so, so hungry….all the time… πŸ™‚

Things that tick me off Thursday: Thanksgiving Edition

To my fellow US sewists, I want to wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving. May you have many blessings to be thankful for. πŸ™‚

So my (well, actually my hubby gave me the idea) peeve today is the Thanksgiving day parade. It would really be nice if we could actually see more of the parade and less of the yahoos behind the table. So CBS, if you are listening, cut down on the camera time for the goofballs and give us more of the actual parade. Does this annoy anyone else?

Anyway, keeping it short and sweet today so that I don’t miss out on getting stuff in the oven on time! Hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, start of Hanukkah, or just a fantastic Thursday!! πŸ˜‰

Weekend Camping

My son turned 7 the other day–it’s still a bit surreal that he’s not a chubby cheeked toddler anymore–so for his birthday in lieu of a party we took him on a camping trip. A good time was had by all, but I think the kiddo had a better time than the rest of us. πŸ™‚ He took to hiking like a duck to water, and seemed to be nearly tireless–which when it’s hot outside is quite a feat!

Anyway, in honor of my post last week about stereotypes, I thought I’d help dispel another one. You know how there’s the saying about Kansas being flat as a pancake? It’s not really true. See?

Image from Kanopolis Lake State Park website. Click the picture to for more information.

Yes, we visited Kanopolis Lake last weekend. The hiking was beautiful, and there’s also horse trails and mountain biking trails (I’d never be able to bike in the sandy paths, but it would definitely be a fun and beautiful challenge for someone tougher than me). The tent campsite we stayed at was maybe a bit primitive for my taste, but then, I was only a girl scout for a couple of years, so I’m maybe a bit of a whiner on that sort of thing. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, here’s a couple of pictures that I actually took of the landscape, I thought it looked rather awesome considering this is the first year they’ve had much for rain in several years (portions of the plains have been in a severe drought for around 4 years I think). It feels like an eternity, so it’s easy to lose track of the time.

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The hills, they be sneaky…

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They hide this…

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So well that people think the whole state is flat farmland or prairie grass. Guess the secret is out now, huh? πŸ˜‰

It’s so hard…

To make yourself sew when the weather is absolutely gorgeous!! We’ve been having beautiful days–sunny, 70-75*F, minimal wind, perfect. It’s so nice to leave the windows open and get fresh air in, play t-ball/frisbee/catch/etc. with my son, and go for nice walks around the neighborhood. So I’ve been doing that. And, I must confess, sitting a fair amount of time in my chair (next to the open window) following Twitter/Pinterest. I honestly don’t know how some people are so prolific on there every single day, do they ever get to go outside? Are they eating? I guess, to each their own, but as for me, I’m going to do better about spending less time on there. I always feel a bit down on myself afterwards like “you wasted 2 hours looking at pictures and pithy comments instead of playing with your rapidly-outgrowing-the-playing-stage son?! What kind of crap SAHM are you, anyway?!”

I do have a quick sewing update. I have finished the bodice for McCall’ 6503, though I think when they said it was “easy” it was a terrible lie*. I think I made it 4 times in my attempt to make it once! And then, when I started to make the skirt, I happily chopped into my fabric before realizing that I cut the wrong size, so now I have to find a different fabric to make the skirt part with. *Note:* This may have actually been a blessing in disguise, because I’m not sure that this would have been a good pairing of fabric to pattern to other fabric(s). I think it might have been too heavy for the delicate fabrics on the top (which are basically some cotton lawn and an interlining of batiste or lawn.)

*Or I just always make things harder than theyΒ  need to be. You pick. πŸ˜‰

So anyway, I think that today I’m going to head off to the lumber yard to buy a couple of boards to make up some nightstands. I found some from Ana’s website that I think will be perfect for our bedroom. πŸ™‚ I might grab a couple of the supplies needed for the closet reorganizer that she has too. πŸ˜‰

To my fellow Americans, enjoy your holiday weekend, but don’t forget *why* we’re celebrating, and to non-Americans, have a fantastic weekend!! πŸ™‚

A winner! And other updates

Sorry for kind of falling off of the face of the Earth there for a while, it’s just been kind of crazy around here lately (totally in a good way though!) and I haven’t been all that productive in a “seamly” way. πŸ˜‰

So, anyway, there is a winner in the Pattern Pyramid, and it’s Seraphinalina!! πŸ™‚ So Sera, just drop me an email with your addy in it and I’ll get it on it’s way! I think you’ve got my email, but let me know in the comments if you can’t find it and I’ll send it to you. πŸ™‚ Congratulations!

In other news, since I’ve been mostly offline I’ve managed to celebrate yet another year of my marriage to the most amazing man, turned another year older (and it snowed!! On my birthday!?!), had a mini vacation, won a blog award* from the adorable Ms. Thimble and Cork (check her out! She’s a darling!), messed up an exposed zip insertion**, played some golf, did some garage sale-ing, and also just had normal life thrown in for good measure. πŸ™‚ It doesn’t sound like much typed out, but it felt like a busy time. πŸ™‚

*I’ll refer you to this post, since I haven’t had the time to brainstorm up new answers. 😳 I am, however, grateful that ya’ll appreciate my blog. πŸ™‚

** Yes, there was some crying, scream cussing, and frantic requests for assistance on the exposed zipper. It was quite dramatic…or maybe I should say traumatic? I’m hoping to find some more of that aqua Lisette twill to recut the pieces so that I can fix it, since I (of course) put in the pockets before messing with the zipper. (No, I don’t know why I’m going to so much trouble on a “wearable muslin”…I guess it’s because I really liked that twill?) Fortunately, it was just cool enough that wearing a skort would have been cold on the golf course, so it worked out that I didn’t have it finished.

So while I’m searching for some of that twill (it seems to be available, I’m just not sure why Joann’s won’t let me put it in my cart???) I started on Burda 02/2013/113, a draped shirt made for those who have a ginormously tall torso. I’ve taken about 4″ out of mine and I think it might still be more tunic length than anything, we’ll have to see. I’m using a very….ah…unique fabric for it, so it’ll either be amazing and awesome or terrible and terrifying. πŸ˜‰ And I’m planning to leave off the sleeves, due to fabric restrictions, (it was a cheap remnant) hopefully that works out OK for me.

Anyway, I’d better get to checking out my blogroll, or I’ll be on here all day! Until next time, ciao! πŸ™‚