Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Block 9 & a Shopping List

Yesterday (in spite of my plague) I completed block #9 of the Block-a-palooza quilt along.  It's hard to believe that we're over halfway done!

I also spent some quality time with my seam ripper and some of my first blocks.  They just weren't doing it for me, and I've been wanting to make adjustments for some time.  I will post pics when I am done with all of them.
I'm not finished because, well, honestly, sickness got the best of me in the end yesterday, but also because I ran out of thread!  So I'll be heading out to Joann's later today to buy copious amounts of this:
As well as batting, more machine needles, and more bobbins.  I'll be the first to say, I really don't like Joann's, but they do give out massive coupons AND I have a 15% teacher discount all the time on everything (which stacks with my coupons!), so I will go there for basics.  With that said, I better get up and get moving!  We had a freak snowstorm last night, and while it's mostly gone, I've heard it's snowing in random patches around the area.  My big Swedish baby can handle it, but not everyone can tackle our hills when it's snowy/icy and I don't want to get stuck!  I have sewing to do!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

This and That

I have the plague.  Not really, but I am pretty sure that my body has succumbed to the sickness that the kids have been passing around for weeks at school.  Just in time for Mid-Winter Break.  Awesome.  I was not to be deterred by my 100.04 fever today though!  I finished my first ever 100% complete quilting project!  I can't tell you what it is though, or show the whole thing, since it's a gift.  Here's a sneak peek though:

I also realized that I never posted my Block-a-palooza blocks from this week!  It was kind of a crazy week around here, so I was super thankful that block 7 was a simple one.

Block #7

Block #8

Block 8 required applique... which... terrified me.  It turns out, it's no big deal!  In spite of the extreme traditionalness of this block (which had me thinking I didn't like it), this might be my favorite one so far.  I've already got another applique idea in mind for another project now too.

I've got the whole week ahead of me (as long as I get healthy).  I anticipate a LOT of sewing going on (and maybe even a little crochet, you never know!).

Friday, February 18, 2011

Well, that screwy saga is over...

My sewing machine is basic.  We're talking bottom of the barrel here.  So, of course, when I decided I wanted to make a quilt, one of the first things I realized was that I needed to buy a walking foot for my machine (a walking foot feeds the fabric from the top and the bottom, which makes it really great for sewing things with a lot of layers - like quilts).
So I googled.  My machine was so dinky though, I wasn't even sure I could find a walking foot that was compatible with it.  But I did!  Yay!  Ebay to the rescue!
The day it came in the mailbox, I ran inside, installed it, and started sewing a test scrap.  That was when disaster struck.  The needle fell right out of the machine as soon as I started sewing.  I tried again.  Same thing, only this time I bent the needle & had to get a new one...  um, uh-oh.  Turns out, my foot doesn't really work with my machine after all.  But why?
See that little screw sticking out on the right?  Well, pretend your walking foot has a claw that needs to grab onto it.  Now pretend that screw doesn't stick out at all, but sits right against the black part.  Yeah.  That's what I had going on.  
I went to three sewing machine repair places.  One told me to bring in my machine another day.  One told me to go to the hardware store and tell them I need a screw like mine, only longer.  And one told me I was screwed (pun intended) and had to buy a new sewing machine.
Well...  I wasn't really taking any of those things for an answer.  I went to the hardware store.  Actually, I went to a store that was just for screws.  Really, it was called "Tacoma Screw".  And the good people there screwed me for free gave me the screws for free!  But that didn't work either.  The needle still fell out.  However, with the powers of the Nest and Ebay combined, I found that brassy beauty you see above!  A "spring loaded" needle clamp screw.  It cost $8.  Seriously.  The other screws were free, but this one cost EIGHT dollars.  
It was worth it.  I can quilt things now.  Things with many layers.  Things that need a walking foot.  I am no longer screwed, woohoo.

On another note, see what I have going on in that picture up there?  Applique!  I just learned how!  I thought it was really scary, but it turns out it's actually easy.  Although, I just realized while looking at that picture that I have a straight-stitch foot on still, even though I was using a zigzag stitch... big no no...  um, oops.  I think I got lucky that I didn't break any needles...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Weekend Sewing

Whew!  My sewing machine has gotten a lot of use already this weekend!  And it got a good de-linting under the needle plate... whoops, there was an embarrassing amount...
Anyway, I present to you Block-a-palooza blocks five & six:

Block #5

Block #6

These blocks were a little more challenging, with a lot of piecing & points to match up.  They aren't perfect, but I like them (especially six!).  Starting block six was hugely difficult - I could not make a decision on fabric.  I knew I wanted a red-heavy block, but I could not make my fabric play nice.  So... I may have paid a visit to my local quilt shop...  Whatever, I really like it now!

In non-quilty news, my friend Sara has been asking me to teach her to crochet.  This weekend we were finally able to meet up for it, and it was a blast!  I have never taught anyone before, but she's home now practicing her single crochet.  She'll be a pro in no time.  I thought that Sara would need a pretty new roll-up case to hold her new hooks, so I whipped one up for her.

Here it is all rolled up:

The inside:

It was fun to make, super practical (I love the needle pocket), and Sara liked it!  I made it mostly following the pattern here, with a few changes, like omitting interfacing (I didn't have enough, and it was fine without).  I kind of want to make one for me now, even though I have a crocheted one as a WIP right now.  Hmm...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stash Building

Look at the pretties that greeted me on my doorstep when I got home today!
These lovlies came from Hawthorne Threads & Etsy
Now, I pretty much adhere to the "I will only buy the fabric I need for a particular project" school of thought.  But...  I also discovered that I love fabrics that are either out of print, or almost, and becoming increasingly unavailable.  I love love love the Sandi Henderson Henna Garden fabric.  I had a fat quarter stack of every color sitting in my Etsy cart, but I decided to sleep on it before purchasing.  When I went back to buy it in the morning, it was gone!  I was so sad!  So into my cart went that half-yard stack of yellow/green/brown/blue/gray, and a yard of persimmon.  I'm still missing the pinks, but I feel better.
The rest of the fabric I already have specific projects in mind.  So it's not too bad, right?  Right??

Oh.  I'm also way too belatedly obsessed with the Flea Market Fancy fabric.  I seriously missed the boat on this one.  However, I am excited to say, that I won an ebay auction for one of my favorite prints, and it was only about $5!  These fat quarters are going for insane amounts of money, so I am pretty excited.  This was the culprit of my online auctioning:

Now if only I could get my hands on some of the "seeds" prints...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Block-a-palooza 3 & 4

I've got a lot of WIPs going right now.  Unfortunately, right after I took pictures of the new blocks, my camera battery died.  So the rest of them will have to be in another post.
Anyway, Block-a-palooza quilt.  I'm not sure if I am really liking this quilt so far, or really not.  At all.  I may end up re-doing some blocks (cough cough block 3 cough).  Or, maybe not.

Block #3
I am super, super annoyed that even though I followed the directions explicitly, all of my geese have their noses chopped off!

Block #4

All four so far (sorry for the horrible lighting, it's a really gray day here in WA):