Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday WIP and a Backache

Looking at fabric, fun
Dreaming up what to do with fabric, fun
Cutting up fabric, also fun
Backache from cutting up fabric, not so fun!

But I muddle on determined to ignore the pain and continue on with my busy life.  
First on my WIP list: 
I am participating in the Sliced Coins Quilt Along hosted by Elizabeth D. of  Don't Call Me Betsy.  I decided to go outside of my creative and rather comfortable box and use solids  in order make a decorative quilt for the end of my bed.  I am using Kona Champagne, Basil, Curry, Honey and Butterscotch.  Having a Kona card has been such a big help as I was able to sit on my bed and match Kona colors to the colors around my room.  I look forward to the outcome.  

Various Kona Solids for Sliced Coins Quilt Along
Second on my WIP List:
I also started cutting into the Sunkissed by Sweetwater fabric that I received last week to make the first block in the Block-a-pallooza.  I wish the directions could be a little more clear on what fabrics we should or could use.  I ordered the entire Fat Eighth as recommended and don't know if I want to use exactly the same combinations that the block host designers illustrate in the directions.  I guess I'll just have to wait and see.  
Sunkissed fabric for Block #1
Third on my WIP list:
Last week my quilt using the That Girl Quilt Along came back from the long arm quilter.  I am still blown away with what a great job she did with the quilting.  I shared with you all before that I had such a tough time myself when I tried to quilt it so sending it out seemed the right choice, and boy was I right.  

I was right, don't you think?  I just love how Maria from Nena's Quilt Shack did her magic on my quilt.  I'm working on the binding at night and should have that done within the next few days.  

My remaining WIP:  school!

I'm back in school this week working on my Teaching Credential.  TB test, Fingerprint Scan, sign up for the CBEST test are just a few of the tasks I need to complete this week.  I was warned that the first class of the teaching credential was the paper-pushing class and they weren't kidding.  My other class is ECON 300 - Econ for non-majors and as usual I was the oldest person in the classroom of 100.  In the introduction class yesterday the teacher kept talking about some kind of disgusting frozen pizza (sorry - admitted food snob here) to illustrate the labor supply, so I substituted that example with a quilt. Made me smile and worked very well.  

Go check out Lee from Freshly Pieced to see what other creative people are working on this week! 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

History Quilter Podcast #1

History Quilter Podcast #1

Experiment time people! My first podcast!  Click on the link above to go to  Working on an iTunes feed right now.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Have you seen, Have you heard?

My computer sits in the laundry/computer room which faces south and up until yesterday about 3pm, this room was fairly dark.  Well yesterday the husband and the man/boy decided to pull off the useless corrugated plastic off the top of the patio cover that sits just outside the south side of our home and is so bright!  They are only about 40% done but it has made such a difference already.  How cool is FREE remodeling?

Felt like sharing some current favorites with you right now.

I'm a sucker for period pieces and Downton Abbey currently on PBS is very good.  Episode Two aired last night and you can catch it on  if your local PBS station is not offering it.

Check out Amanda Murphy's website for the coolest place mat pattern I have ever come across. She posted a tutorial for the place mats and napkins here today.   

Amanda Murphy place mat design

Do you listen to podcasts?  I sure do, many of them in fact.  Someday I will list them all but for now if you love food, here is a great podcast called Good Food that is produced here in the Los Angeles area by Evan Kleiman a lovely gal who owns a owns Angeli Cafe in Los Angeles.  You can listen to the show directly from the above link or you can get it on iTunes.  My favorite part each week is when Jonathan Gold (the guy has won a Pulitzer for his food writing!) comes on the show and although he talks about restaurants that I will never get to as they are just too far away, I just love his voice.

Last thing for today:  Harold McGee. Basically the coolest food scientist around who not only can write about it but sounds great on the radio too. Too bad he doesn't have a podcast.  He does have an occasional column in the New York Times.  He wrote On Food and Cooking back in the 80's and came out with a revised edition in 2004.  Not a recipe book but a book about how we as humans digest, cook and use food.  He has a new book out called Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide for Making the Best of Foods and Recipes.  Just put this in my cart.  

Time to get back to the16th century Roman painter/gentleman costume.


Friday, January 14, 2011

A Friday Mish-Mash

Happy Friday to you all. Thought I might start off with some food on this gorgeous Friday morning here in Southern California. I made Paella last night for dinner and it was so good.

Paella - after

Paella - before

I also completed Block Five of the Designer Mystery BOM for 2010.

Here are the rest:

Can you tell that I have not squared any of these up yet?  LOL - I just noticed all of the strings hanging off the edges!
One last bit of fabric goodness; my Sunkissed fabric order for the Blockapalloza came yesterday.  My boys thought I was nuts when I tried to show it off to them.  I know YOU will like it.
My favorites - I just love the circles
Sunkissed - for the Blockapalozza
Fun day ahead for me; my best girlfriends are taking me to lunch to help me celebrate my b-day.  I turned 42 a couple of days ago and actually had a wonderful day. The family and I went to have Indian Food for dinner at a restaurant in the Little India section of Artesia, CA and inside the restaurant there were (I swear!) three sari quilts hanging on the walls!  Boy did I wish I had a camera so I could show you all.  They were gorgeous.  Someday when I am shopping there for spices, I will have to pop in a sari shop to check out the sari fabrics.

Oh one more thing:  The gal who is quilting my That Girl Quilt called me last night and told me that I did a great job on the top! That was a thrill to hear from someone who not only quilts her own work but does others for a living.  Brought a big smile to my face.  :) 

Hope you all have a great Friday.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Guess I have to throw consistency out the window

My last post was a week ago.  I guess I have to shelve my great idea of consistency for this year.  Oh, who cares anyway - I've seen people all over crafting blogs talking about how they have already broken their fabric resolutions, etc.  I need to realize that this blog is not being graded so posting about anything is ok.  I so enjoy all of the seemingly hundreds of blogs I read and do not mind when the blogger posts about something that seems irrelevant to their overall blog.

Alright, so what have I been doing?  Garment Sewing.  Challenging but very rewarding especially when the garment actually looks like the pattern picture.  I am working on turning my younger son into Michelangelo.  Yea, Michelangelo.  Fascinating fellow by the way - lived to be 89. No small feat now, but this was the sixteenth century! There is your history tip of the day.

Seriously now, the boy has to be Michelangelo, in costume/speech and manner by the 21st of this month.  I'm the seamstress and the historian and the husband is the speech pro, so the boy should be well prepared.  BTW, my older son was a Swiss Guard (guardians of the Pope at The Vatican) two years ago and yes, I also made that costume.
Puffy 16th century Roman Style Shirt
I can't help but call this a puffy shirt as in the Seinfeld episode from the 90's.  The pants are almost finished and then I have to tackle the doublet.  

In a few days I have one of those things that comes around once a year (birthday) and I wanted to finish this quilt in time as a present for myself, but darn did this quilt give me trouble.  ( To clarify - I could care less how old I am but unfortunately important people in my life have passed away the day before and the day of my birthday and some years I get a bit sad around this time. )  Back to the quilt.  I tried THREE times to quilt this baby and it just does not want to be straight line quilted.  I was not about to teach myself how to FMQ in a short amount of time, especially with this quilt so I decided to have someone quilt it for me.  It is now all packed away and I was told to expect it back next week.  Can't wait to bind it.  
All packed up and ready for travel
Binding all ready 

Before I jump into anything new, I am working on catching up on the Designer Mystery BOM from the Fat Quarter Shop.  I have the fabric from months five and six all cut out and just began sewing together pieces from block five yesterday.
Designer Mystery BOM Month Five
Month seven is still in the envelope and month eight will be arriving any day now!  Doing a BOM is a great way to learn how to piece as I have improved so much since I began month one.  That first block is pretty awful and I just may use all of the extra fabric they send to do the first block over again.  

I'm off to bring the older boy his trumpet that he forgot at home.  What are teenage boys for anyway?  HA!


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Finish for 2011

I have wanted to make the Multi-Tasker Tote from Anna Maria Horner for almost a year now.  With Holiday gifts done, I was able to make some great headway just after Christmas and then finally finished the bag today.  

First thing I learned - this bag is BIG!  I have to learn to look at finished measurements to get an idea of how big what I am intending to make really is.  This sounds dumb but I have no idea if I will actually use this bag as I hardly carry anything around.  Cell phone, sunglasses, wallet and a pen - that is all I carry in my purse.  Cutting this pattern in half would have worked better for me, but I do love the bag.  I used Anna Maria Horner's new Innocent Crush fabric for both the exterior and interior fabrics and they were (of course) lovely to work with.  I enjoyed working with the pattern (first time use of a AMH pattern) and found it relatively easy to understand - I stopped a few times and had to read and read again to truly understand what was instructed.  

Anna Maria Horner Multi-Tasker Tote
I am linking to Fabric Tuesday  at QuiltStory for the first time to show off my first finish of 2011!  

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ideas for 2011

Resolutions?  Nah.  Goals?  Maybe.  Ideas?  Ah, that sounds good.

Staci over at The Confused Quilter had a great post about trying new things in 2011 and I would like to piggyback on her idea.  According to Merriam-Webster at, two definitions for the word idea are:
  1. An entity (as a thought, concept, sensation, or image) actually or potentially present to consciousness.
  2. A plan for action.
So here is my idea list for 2011.  My list has taken me approximately five minutes to think up so excuse me if I come across as crazy or out of my mind.  
  • Finish the That girl... quilt along for my birthday later this month.  
  • Participate in the Blogger's Block-A-Palloza hosted by Quilt Dad.  
  • Participate in Kona Your World at Gen X Quilters.
  • Work on my picture taking skills to enhance this blog.
  • Talk about gardening more!  I grow a lot of food and barely mention it on here.
  • Join a quilt guild.
  • Make a quilt or two for someone I do not know - a pay it forward kind of thing.
In a few weeks I will be starting the Teaching Credential program for the Social Sciences (history, economics & government) and I am sure that this new world will bring new ideas to me.  

Photo of the day:  We went to the Rose Parade yesterday.  What a marvel it is to see the different floats move by us.  This one was not my favorite, but was pretty creative.  The creators of this float were celebrating the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man.  Are they trying to make us feel old?  

Pac-Man Float 2011 Rose Parade