Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Like a lot of other bloggers, I'll share my WIPs (works in progress) on Wednesdays.  It's a good way to remind myself to keep working on some things and for you to see what I'm working on, too.

Oh, boy.  There's a list for sure!

Update: I just checked the mail.  My friend Karen's husband wrote a book and it just arrived!  I'm really looking forward to reading it.  Somehow I need to figure out how to read this book and get all my WIPs done!

Aww. :)
This stuff:

1) My Medallion quilt from the Handstitched Class I took this past summer from Rachel at Stitched in Color.  The class involved learning lots of handstitching skills and this quilt was the big project.  I'm slowly working on hand quilting the whole thing, which is kind of fun to do sitting in front of a movie.  She'll be offering the class again I think the beginning of the year as well as a class on sewing curved pieces that I'm really considering because I loved the Handstiched class and I have yet to tackle sewing a curve.

2)  A baby quilt that I plan to try to sell at the craft fair.  This is just the top, but it's actually all quilted and just needs binding.

 3)  My Romans quilt.  I did a year long study on the book of Romans in the Bible and at some point thought "Hey, Romans has 16 chapters and you can make a quilt with 16 blocks!"  So I have one block all done and the rest are partway done.  Here's the one that's done.

So in the middle of the block is the word "grace".  Each block has different shades of yellow for the x and a different word, but the design is the same.  I chose what I considered to be kind of a theme word of each chapter of the book and will embroider it in the middle.  I'm excited about this quilt, although the piecing around the block is kind of tedious.

4)  Heather Ross stargazing quilt.  I love Heather Ross fabrics, so one time I bought kind of a scrap pack of various pieces.  It was enough to make something.  I have Modern Blocks: 99 Quilt Blocks and I loved the stargazing block.  Yay, wonky stars!  So I have one block of this done.

5)  Wasp bag.  I made one of these for my sister last year I think and have all the pieces cut out to make another.  I just haven't yet.
6)  I have these squares that I embroidered and I think are really cute, but I'm not sure exactly what I'll do with them.  I was considering putting a scrappy patchwork border on each one and framing them, but I don't have frames the right size and I don't want to go buy some.  My friend Crystal suggested pillow or little wall quilts and that's probably what I'll do.  Any other suggestions?

7) Stuff made from flannel.  JoAnn's was having a sale on flannel at $3/yd and there were some pretty cute prints, so I got some thinking of making hand warmers and cold/warm packs.  I made some last winter and it was so nice to pop those hand warmers in the microwave before taking my son to school.  Both of us had toasty warm hands during our four block walk.  Anyway, my son saw some of the prints and really liked them, so now I'll at least be making a new pair of pajama pants for him.  He picked the dinosaurs.
Hmm...It might be hard to see those.  The top left one has cute walruses with scarves and hats, then going clockwise, snowmen, roaring dinosaurs attacking a city in a really cute way, cameras (I really like this one.), some circle-y design, and one that looks like city skyscrapers.

8) Maybe some button hair clips?  Like this.
9 and onward...more journal covers, some drawstring bags, a holiday exchange item for the next Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild meeting, some other stuff for the craft fair that may also be Christmas presents, and whatever else I start doing.  I shouldn't start anything else.  Sometimes you feel like doing something that's not on your to do list though.  Oh, one other thing I'm wanting to do for some nephews and nieces and probably my son for Christmas is this scavenger hunt set.  Scavenger hunts are fun.

I also have some books to read.
The one on the left is almost done.  It is an autobiography of a woman who became a Christian.  I've read enough of it to be able to recommend reading it.  It is interesting and the cover of the book is really soft. :)  The middle book is for my neighborhood book club and I only just started it last night.  I think our meeting will be maybe next week.  The one on the right was recommended by my friend Amy and I've heard others say good things about it, too so I'll check it out.

Okay, I have a lot to do!  I'd better get to it!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Technique and Tools Tuesday

Hi!  I'm so glad you're here!  If you are new, there's still a giveaway here.  And if you are returning, thanks!

My plan for Tuesdays is to highlight some sewing technique I have learned or want to learn or to tell you about one of my favorite tools.  I think I'll keep it simple with this first one, but maybe next week I'll share a little bit about my newly acquired quilting software, EQ7.  I'm still poking around and trying to figure things out, but I'm excited about it.  Angela from Cut to Pieces made this super amazing pillow that she designed in EQ7.  You can click through to see more detail pictures and hear more from her about it.

Anyway, I'll share about two items that I have recently splurged a little bit on and am glad I did.  The first is Aurifil thread.  

I'd read so many bloggers raving about Aurifil and how it doesn't create lint and how it is awesome.  I started out using Coats and Clark from JoAnn's and thought that having a ton of lint in your machine was normal.  Then I bought some Guttermann thread and it was better, but I went to the AQS (American Quilters Society) show in Des Moines a couple weeks ago and Aurifil had a booth, so I just had to get a spool to try.  I really like it.  It's true.  I haven't noticed lint.  What I have noticed that I don't remember other people saying is that it lasts longer.  A full bobbin with Aurifil has lasted me much longer than any spool of thread I've purchased.  It's too bad I tried, because now I won't be able to go back.  Sometimes fabrics go on sale for really great prices, but I have a feeling that I'm probably not going to find any super bargain sales on Aurifil.  But I'll rave about them some more on my blog if they want to send me some!  :)

The second thing that I had read about people loving and using is Best Press.

I had been using regular spray starch, which took the wrinkle out, but left flakes and stickiness.  Then I saw this article on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog and saw that both Jacquie Gering and Elizabeth Hartman use Best Press.  These ladies make some amazing quilts and know what they are doing.  So while browsing my local quilt shop, I spotted some and thought I'd try.  Again, I was not disappointed and probably cannot go back to something else.  And again, this product will probably never be found for super cheap.  Best Press, I'll rave about you, too!  :)

Okay, that was probably boring information for some people.  Hopefully somebody who read this found it helpful!  Anyway, wanna see something I finished today?!

It's a journal cover!  I love that little elephant.  And the balloon dog.  I plan to make several more with different styles and fabrics to hopefully sell at a craft fair coming up on December 1st with my awesome quilting/sewing friend Crystal.  More news on that another time.  Some might be Christmas presents, too.  So if you are a friend or family member, oops.  You might now know one of your gifts. But you can probably expect more than a journal cover. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

But God...

(First, if you are visiting here for the first time today, I have a little giveaway from Saturday's post, so check that out if you are interested.  Also, I'll be back to sewing/quilting/crafty stuff tomorrow, but I'm setting aside Mondays to share a little from the Bible.  If you want to read it, great!  If you are just wanting to check out another sewing blog, come back tomorrow and I'll be talking about something new I'm learning.  Anyway, Welcome!)

 I think one of my favorite phrases to read in the Bible is "But God..."

And I think one of my favorite "But God" verses is Romans 5:8

"But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Ok, here's the part of the blog where I admit that I read and saw "The Hunger Games".  While there are a number of things that are not okay about the book/movie, there was a scene that caused me to stop and consider a different scenario.  If you haven't read or seen, don't worry, I'm not spoiling anything.  So the scene is that Katniss has a sister she loves and there is to be a kind of lottery drawing in her district for a young girl and a young boy to be chosen to basically go get killed by their peers.  Statistically, the odds are low for Katniss's sister to be chosen, but she is.  Her name is called and Katniss is in shock, but responds quickly, volunteering to take her sister's place.  It is an act of self sacrifice and love because she knows that she is most likely going to her death.

That's the scenario in the book.  I made up a new scenario in my mind.  It goes like this:  Katniss knows a girl in her neighborhood.  This girl has mocked, teased, mistreated, and spread lies about Katniss on a regular basis.  She is her enemy.  Now it's time for the lottery.  All are gathered.  The name of Katniss's enemy is called.  How does she respond?  I wonder how I would respond.  How would you respond?  If I'm keeping with the character of Katniss in the book, she probably would breathe a sigh of relief and sadly, I probably would too.  This is the way people love.  We love those who love us.  We love good people.  We love people who say nice things.

But God...

This is not how God loves.  His love is so different from ours.  He volunteered to die for his enemies even as they hated Him. I'm going to give you the rest of this section of Scripture.

"For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation."

I'm so thankful that God doesn't love like I do.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My First Blog Post!

I’ve caved.  I kept saying “Maybe I’ll start a blog.”  I learned how to make a quilt from my mother-in-law about two and a half years ago (Thanks, Jo Ellen!)

my first quilt
My first quilt!
Then I discovered the modern quilt movement through various wonderful blogs.  (I'll be adding a list of my favorites to the right side of my blog, but I want to ask their permission first.)  I started thinking it might be fun to have one of my own, but I was a newbie who knew nothing.  No blog.  Then about a year later, I found the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild (Hi guys!) where I met several wonderful ladies with like interests and some of them had blogs.  (If you click through to the DSMQG, you can see some of the things we're doing and learn more about modern quilting if you are unfamiliar with it.  And if you want to join, we'd love to have you!)
I considered blogging again, but still felt like I was new to this whole thing.  Then I found the amazing things being posted on Flickr and saw even more of the modern quilting community and met even more great people.  Still, no blog.  So what made me finally cave?  Well, for one, a couple weeks ago I was elected as the president of the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild.   It seems that the president of a modern quilt guild should have a blog, right?  And the other thing is that in February I’m going to Quiltcon in Austin. Yay! And I figured if I have a blog, maybe some other people going to Quiltcon can get to know me a bit and we could meet up!  And then my husband said “Start a blog!” So I did.

So…this blog will mostly be about sewing/quilting/crafting.

some things I've made
Some things I've made

1. Mug rug I made for Crystal, 2. Mug rug backup, 3. Mouthy Stitches 2 Tote - side A, 4. Alot of stitches, 5. Little Stitches journal cover, 6. So very British:), 7. Nursery Versery skirt and onesie, 8. Meadow Pillow, 9. Medallion quilt, 10. Stargazing block, 11. Star Blossom English paper piecing, 12. Hexagon tree tote, 13. Walk in the Woods pinwheel quilt, 14. QuiltCon Block Submission #3, 15. QuiltCon block submission, 16. Quilt for Finneas Foxe

But I don’t like putting out something that’s important to me without saying anything about what is really most important to me.  So I won’t be blogging on Sundays because that’s time for God.  And on Mondays I plan to be sharing a little bit from the Bible.

The rest of the week I have plans for showing you my works in progress, sewing techniques I’ve learned or am learning or want to learn.  Sometimes maybe I’ll post a funny video or picture or something because I enjoy a good laugh.  I’m also thinking of sharing some of my favorite fabrics, flickr pics, maybe some sales I’ve found, and perhaps the occasional giveaway!

Like maybe now!  If you made it this far reading my first post, congratulations!  I’m going to give away a fat quarter of Echino Decoro Buck to one of you.

Tell me what thing I mentioned I’ll be doing on my blog that you would like to read about the most and I'll enter you in a drawing to win.  I'll announce the winner on Friday!

Okay, first blog post written!