Friday, September 12, 2014

Cupcakes and Birthday Gifts

Birthday week is almost over, and I'll be sad to see it go. It's been a lovely week. It also had stressful moments, like yesterday afternoon, when I'm confident all three of my children conspired to drive me out of my brain. Thankfully, I had already planned to have a Thai food dinner with my write group, and they brought me awesome presents (see below) and chocolate cupcakes, and when the evening was over, my stress had dissolved.

I think this was the best chocolate cupcake I've EVER had. Since I'm kinda obsessed with cupcakes, this is a very serious statement. The chocolate mousse on top was chocolate-cinnamon, and the cupcake itself was moist and was the perfect level of chocolately, and best of all, it was birthday dessert from the lovely Sarah. Don't be too jealous. Also, don't lick your computer screen because that's kind of gross.

Photo used courtesy of W. John MacMullen
This is the awesome pillow that my friend John made for me using Tula Pink's Nightshade line. (I was recently perusing ebay and saw this fabric selling for $100/yd. Eep!) It has a metal zipper of awesome, and it has already found a home on my bed with my Marie quilt. Because he's a true pal (and a way better photographer than I am) John also took a picture of my pillow so I don't have to. (Seriously, it's much appreciated.)

My friend Kim got me a Kona color card since I've wanted one for forever, and my mama got me the Hex N More ruler. Next time I make a Northern Lights quilt, I'll be all prepared. I was seriously spoiled this birthday, and I'm feeling all kinds of loved.

I have been doing a bit of quilting. I managed to get my ikat quilt basted this week. I seriously hate basting, but I love the look of a basted quilt. So smooth and delicious.

And I'm working on my September Stash Bee block. Amanda requested an improv block in a color of the rainbow, and of course we all know what color I chose.

I realized last night that September is the last month to get my Q3 FAL goals completed, so I need to get a move on. I KNOW I can finished at least three of them. I just need to sit down and actually, you know, finish them. Someone tell me I'm not alone in this!

Hope y'all have a lovely Friday, and an even better weekend!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Last week, I had two lovely ladies honor me by tagging me in the Around the World Blog Hop. Thank you Alison and Michelle for thinking of me! :)

Now, you might be asking yourself, what is the Around the World Blog Hop? (You probably aren't since this is undoubtedly the fiftieth post you've seen on the subject, but perhaps a few of you don't know.) I answer a set of four questions, nominate a couple of lovely peeps, and then, next Monday, they'll have the honor of answering the same questions and nominating some more lovely peeps. Awesome, right? 

What am I working on? 

Oh, boy. My list is a little out of hand, mostly because I've started thinking about holiday gifts for family and friends, and that always makes the list about a gazillion miles long.

This baby-sized ikat quilt is intended for my friend's bun-in-the-oven. I pieced together a backing with scraps and an awesome animal print, but apparently I deleted the photo after I posted it to instagram. (Gonna have to be careful about not doing that in the future.) I need to get this bad boy quilted and bound, but I have a Turkey Day deadline, so I've got some time.

I've also got a Tula Pink City Sampler quilt in the making (I've made 75 blocks) and a Gypsy Wife quilt too. Everything else on my list is smaller: placemats, which my four-year-old son is helping me piece and quilt, kidlet aprons for birthday gifts, cloth napkins for my sister, and if I can, I have big plans to sneak in another dress for me, this time made with linen. Woo.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

Because my quilts are made by a hot pink girl? 

Friends, I dunno. I make what I want to make. I tend to go overboard with bold colors, and I adore large scale patterns, and that's the way I like it. (My more demure quilts are my least favorite.) I embrace a "good enough" philosophy because I quilt as a hobby and don't want to stress out about achieving perfection. That doesn't mean I neglect my seam ripper--we are good friends--but at some point, it needs to be done, right? I don't spend a lot of time comparing/contrasting my work with others, just because if I start going in that direction, I wallow in thoughts like "why am I not as awesome as XYZ person?" So I don't think about it, and that keeps me in the positive. However, it also makes answering this question near impossible.

Why do I write/create what I do?

I write because I have to.

That sounds melodramatic, but the urge to write has been with me since I learned my letters. When I was a kid, this need manifested in the form of mystery plays. (My mom took me to see a mystery murder play when I was young, and it severely colored my writing.) In high school, I wrote a really bad fantasy novel about a martial arts-loving princess with lavender hair. In college, I studied creative writing and wrote a bunch of bad short stories with thinly veiled symbolism and emo-sounding titles. At the end of my four years, I had published a short story and a poem that weren't bad. And when I started my first big girl job and supervised the gifts and stationary department for three bookstores, I would spend my weekends hunched over my keyboard because writing was the only way I could unwind. I started writing a five book YA series, which I'm still working on.

So when I started quilting, it was inevitable that I would document my experience in the written form. I'm glad to have a record of what I've accomplished since I've started sewing, and it has enabled so many fun relationships. I'm thrilled to have met so many lovelies since I started.

How does my writing/creating process work?

I don't have a particular way of doing things. Sometimes I write in huge chunks where I feel like I'm vomiting words on the page. Sometimes I write in an orderly, scheduled manner. The same thing with creating. Sometimes it's planned and happens in perfectly sectioned off blocks of time. Other times, I absolutely have to work on something and finish it, so I keep working frantically until I get it done. Case in point, I just finished a 241 tote for me--woo!--and I was trying so desperately to get it done before the baby woke up. Of course, he woke up demanding food when I had only the last bit of topstitching left. If he had waited another TWO minutes, I would've been done, but that's a different story, right? And it all got done anyway.


I get the pleasure of tagging two additional people, woo! I'm tagging Aoife of thREDhead. Besides being super lovely and awesome, Aoife is Irish, but she currently lives in Texas. I can always expect to see a variety of awesome projects from her: sometimes apparel, sometimes EPP, sometimes fun pillows, sometimes yummy rainbow quilt tops.


Anna from The Crooked Banana. Anna is fabulous, and not just because she started the Fierce Quilters Bee. She also hails from the southwest, and since I'm a desert girl, I feel that's a pretty awesome deal. Anna rocks yarn, fabric, pretty much all the things.

Friday, September 5, 2014

FF: Another 241 Tote.

Friends, I take birthdays very seriously, especially my own! I celebrate a birthday week, and mine just so happens to start on Sunday. I wanted to make a new dress, but a new purse will have to do. It's not a bad consolation prize, considering the fabrics I used are my long-hoarded mirror balls and Melody Miller! (With a splash of Julianna Horner and Tula Pink for the lining.)

This is my second 241 tote. I made another 241 for my younger sister's birthday, and while at the time I was wishing I had mine first, I was able to take my former experience and make this one perfect.

This is my first time using Melody Miller fabric. It's also the only piece I own, and I had been hoarding it for some time. Once again, the construction was lovely, but the interfacing--my word. This time, I used a midweight interfacing. By the time I finished fusing all of that horrible stuff, I think I finally had a system. I still wouldn't call it a success though.

And hot pink topstitching for the win. This purse is metallic, ostentatious, and won't match much, but I love love love it, and I'm excited to have something shiny to start off my week! The problem is, it's so pretty...I don't want to use it!

I'm linking up with TGIFF, this week hosted by Laura at Quokka Quilts.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

SS: If I was a piece of fabric...

If I were a cut of fabric, THIS is what I would be.

Hot pink with gold polka dots=YUM.

From the Spot On collection by Robert Kaufman.

Now, what to do with this bit of awesome? (Oh, I already have plans.)

I'm linking up with Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles!

Molli Sparkles

Saturday, August 30, 2014


First, let's talk business. I've joined that cult phenomenon, instagram. (I needed to see what's going on with the #fiercequiltersbee2014, and OMG, my quilt-in-the-making looks so flippin' yummy.) If you have the inkling, you can follow me. Apparently I need to start hashtagging everything? Oh, instagram. I have so much to learn.


Okay, now let's talk placemats. 

Once upon a time, I made some placemats. (You'll never ever ever guess which one is mine.) Four of them in all. With my family's first initials raw edge appliqued on them, conveniently located right where a napkin will lay, they were fun, and I enjoyed making them.

Fast forward two years. My boys are older, they are messier, and another one has been added to the pack. I need a ton of placemats since they only last about three seconds before they are dirty. I decided to make a bunch as one of my Q3 2014 FAL goals.

I finished this one a couple of weeks ago. The goal is to use only scraps for the fronts, and I use unloved fabric to make them. (Unloved fabric=truly uggo stuff that sullies the name of the beautiful fabrics I have lined up in my closet. I have more of it than I'd like to admit and because most of it is putrid, I'm refraining from showing you the backs.)

I started officially homeschooling Banzo a couple of weeks ago, and of course Lito wants in on the action. He points out colors and shapes or does art projects with us. Our color last week was red, and Banzo helped me sort red scraps and design this placemat. (It's my favorite.)

I haven't quilted and finished this one yet, but in true rainbow fashion, our color this week was orange. The owls are leftovers from the orange owl quilt I made last year, and I'm glad I finally found a way to use them.

That red poppy fabric is some of the first fabric I purchased, before I ever started quilting. Let's see, I started quilting in the fall of 2011? And I bought that fabric in the summer of 2007. I can't remember what I planned to use it for--it's not like I had a sewing machine at the time--but I found it in the remnant bin and couldn't say no. The HSTs are leftovers from the red and black X & + quilt I made last year. I'm pretty pleased with the corners on them. This is another one that needs to be quilted and finished.

And I've got a good start on the quilting for this one. I'd like to get at least one more placemat done, but if I can swing it, another three. I'm using them to practice FMQ and different quilting ideas, and while they look a little crazy, I figure that's okay since they're going to be stained and well-loved by my kidlets.

I'm looking forward to getting these done and scratching another item off my list! What are your weekend plans? I'm looking forward to a ton of college football, and maybe if I'm lucky, I'll get some sewing in too!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Blocks.

Even with Fava's arrival, I've somehow managed to get some sewing in this month. It feels a bit odd that I'm not sewing every (or almost every) day, but then again, I'm usually so busy that I don't even notice.

First, my August Stash Bee block for Tiffany. I think this is the latest I've ever taken a photo of a bee block before. See that blue countertop? That would be the counter at the post office. (But I got the photo done, folks.)

And my August Gypsy Wife blocks. Eight square in square blocks down, eight kajillion to go. As much as I love this quilt pattern, and I'm sure I'll love the finished quilt, I am soooooo ready to be done with it.

Linking up with the August GW link up at Farm Gal Designs.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

FF: Ikat Quilt Top.

I finished my Ikat quilt top. (Woo!) I modified the pattern from the May/June 2014 issue of Love of Quilting, meaning that instead of a throw size I only used a fraction of the blocks the pattern recommended to make a baby quilt.

This bad boy is a little wild. When I saw the original picture in the magazine, I fell head over heels in love with this quilt, and I knew I wanted to make it in the exact color scheme and spirit of the original. (Yep, blatantly copying. But how could I possibly improve on the original? I couldn't. Unless maybe I made it in pink. But since this is a Team Green quilt, probably not the best option.) But when I finished piecing all of the blocks together, it just seemed a bit too much. Then, I remembered a post from Quilting Jetgirl in which she took a super fun crazy wild orange quilt and reigned it in a bit by adding a thin border of Kona solid around the edge.

So, I did the same. (Thanks Yvonne for your awesome inspiration!) I added a two inch border of Kona black, and yeppers. I love that a whole lot more. I had originally planned to bind the quilt in black, but my backing choice vetoed that option for me, but this enables me to still frame the quilt in black while using another color for binding. It's almost like I plan this stuff, folks. (And do I have a picture of the backing fabric? Of course not. Because that would be too much awesome for one post. Let's just say, there are unicorns on the fabric.)

I have two plans for quilting, and we'll see which one wins out. The safe straight line quilting option or the slightly crazy (for me) FMQ option. It could go either way at this point. I'm glad to have the top done even if I don't have to have this bad boy done until Thanksgiving-ish. And can I just say, it took me 1.5 hours to rip the paper off the back of the blocks? Not awesome. But I'll forgive this quilt since it looks awesome. And really, when you look at the whole, you can barely see the row where my points don't line up, which just makes my little heart happy.

I'm linking up today with TGIFF hosted by Leanne at The Devoted Quilter. Woo for a finish!


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