Friday, January 21, 2011

A Snow Gnome Pillow Gift

One week and my eyes feel great!  Just a little dry in the evening, but that seems to improve each day.  I'm glad I did the Lasik!

And the doctor gave my healing the thumbs up today, so now I can actually get back to my semi-dusty sewing and quilting.

But first I need to share this pillow from early December - made for a friend's birthday gift.
I saw the fabulous pillow by FlossyBlossy last year and pretty much went beyond inspiration to copied.  Both her design and colors were perfect, and my favorite color combo no less. 

You can see that I added a little paper pieced gnome on the bottom left.

Both of us love little gnomes, so he was a perfect fit.  I've used this paper pieced pattern a few times, he's so cute.  I always like to use some linen for his face.

I decided he was a snow gnome, and felt he needed a nice, snowy home.  A little pebble quilting was just right!

I wasn't so sure how well it was going to work, in and out of all those points.  I did a little mocked up test run and found I could control the circle size well enough to manuver around those stars.  It turned out great!

One last blogging picture.  
Mark caught me trying to get a good close up.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I can See!

I did it without freaking out - no fainting, no hypovetilating.

It's about 9 hours post-procedure and I can see at least as well as with my glasses.  Appointment tomorrow 9:20am to get checked out officially.

I'm so happy!

{I went to that appointment this morning, and I'm officially 20/20 at this point and eyes looking healthy!  Hopefully my prescription doesn't slip over the new few weeks and I continue to heal well.  

Thank you so much for all your well wishes and encouragement!}  

Here's a cathedral window finished a couple of days ago - testing out methods.  I think it will become a pin cushion once a week has passed and I can be around dusty things again.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Under Construction

Not just cathedral window blocks and tutorials....

but me, actually.

Pretty much a total surprise decision - I'm scheduled for Lasik Thursday morning.  I've said for years that I was too creeped out by it to do it.  I went to a consultation on Thursday, just considering it, and left having picked THE DAY for the 13th.  These cathedral window instructions are going to have to wait a bit.

I can think about it without feeling like I'm going to throw up or faint, so I guess I'll go through with the procedure.  So many people I know have already done it - recently and 10+ years ago, all very happy.  I'm still pretty freaked out, but ready.

To get ready, I've cleaned most of the house.  You're not supposed to be in dusty environments for a week or so for the cut to get a good start on healing.  Thought cleaning would be better than booking a hotel for a week.  Besides, if I go blind or die, and people have to come to my house to help, they can't see it dirty, right?!   I'm thinking quilting is going to be in the category of 'dusty'.  With all the trimming and stitching, there's always fuzz around my machine area, so I'll try to avoid my projects for 7 days, if I can.

I'm also making a spreadsheet to keep track of the million eye drops.  I'll have four different solutions, with something going into my eyes every half hour while awake for a full week, then every hour for a month.  Spreadsheets are a good stress reducer.

The need for order is obviously genetic.  The pin fairy (Becket) visited my area, arranging my owl just-so.  He amazingly found a way to make it all very symmetric!

See you all next week.  Hopefully! (yep,a bit nervous)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Stash 2011 : the damage edition

Thirty-one yards - my birthday and Christmas combined.   And a serious start to the stash year.

In case you don't want to be tempted by all my fabric photos, I'll put the week's stash report here at the top (and I'm including this shopping trip in my first week report)  
Cathedral window blocks EAT fabric, so that's good for the stash report!

Busted: 1.919
Purchased: 31 yards
Net YTD: (28.081)

All I wanted for Christmas was a trip to the Fabric Shack - by myself.  It's only about 25 minutes from my in-laws.  I got my wish, and it was fabulous!

First stop in the store were two carts that they pile high with bolt ends and small strips.  They do a high volume of internet sales, which are cut each evening and morning before the store opens.  Lucky me - they had just added a whole bunch that morning.  A true treasure hunt when all that fabric is only $2.98 a yard!

I found some fun Kona solids.

These two were favorite treasures.  I think it was a little over 9 yards total in 'scraps', between a quarter and full yards, most of the pieces are in my color piles below.  But there were a few true scraps that I snatched up for making QAYG blocks.

I think I spent a full hour just going through those piles.  It was heaven.  

Next stop were the FQ bins.  They will cut a FQ for you in the shop if you ask, and the other half goes into their bins.  Instead of the original yardage price, FQs from the bin are only $1.98 each!
That's 28 FQs of treasure I found.

Including this adorable holiday version of 2D zoo.  LOVE the anteater and rhino!

The lady behind the counter was kind enough to pass over the bin of the previous day's cuts that had not yet made it to their color-grouped FQ bins.  Since they were stacked as cut, it was fun to picture the women who had been in that day.  One bought herself a FQ set of MoMo's Hoot, probably spending Christmas money.  And another bought a full set of Soul Blossoms.   These were my favorite from that line.

All the remaining stacks here are grouped by color, as I store them in my cabinets.
Julie and Audrie would be proud of my purple piece!

Reds, Yellows, Oranges


Greens - my favorite.
I really liked that mostly white print!

A bit of grey.  
This was the most dissapointing.  I was really loooking for some fun grey prints, but didn't find much.

What was funny, I had pre-ordered that top left spot before leaving Illinois.  It was in their online only clearance section, then I just asked that they hold it until I arrived.  (They'll do that all the time, for those who live close and want to shop at night in their jammies!)  When I arrived, the end of bolt piece was on the pile - so I grabbed the last yard at only 2.98.

Besides the grey, I was also specifically looking for some good neutrals.  I want to use them for QAYG and have also been interested to try them out a bit.  I just kept pulling bolts and had half or quarter yards cut.

My birthday isn't until February, but my mom gave me birthday cash early - knowing I was going to the fabric shack soon.  So there wasn't much restraint shown in my fabric gathering!

A closer look at the creams, with a touch of blue.

And finally, a few fun black and whites.

I ended my outing about 3 1/2 hours later with a quiet lunch out. 

By myself.

With my book.

I loved every second of it.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Process Optimization : cathedral windows

I'm working away at getting the perfect process for making my white cathedral window bases.  Test squares like this one will probably end up as a pincushion, I'm using my favorite fabric bits.

My starting how-to point has been this fabulous tutorial.  Bookmarked at least a year ago, as I'm sure SO many have, the only think I've eliminated all together is her batting step - and the hand sewing of course.

I prefer my points to meet square and non-lumpy.  Much work is going into that end.  I'll be sure to share my optimized process once I reach it.  Tacking down those center tips, before turning the edges, seems to help.

The physical making of those fabric origami squares isn't my favorite thing.  I timed it - a sure sign of my hate for it - at 8 minutes per square.  Included in that 8 minutes is quite a bit of steam-burning myself.  So I've changed the corners at the first step and added the Sewline glue pen to my process, things are going better.  It's like an extra set of fingers, that don't hurt if they get steam blasted.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011


I get some of the most enjoyment out of learning something new.

I'm teaching myself this.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Last Bee Blocks of 2010

I still have my Vintage Bee and a new Bee starting up this month, but two of my bees ended in December.

These are the last of those blocks.

Stephanie asked for squares, filled with other squares - however we wanted to do that.  I LOVE this block.  Wasn't too sure what it was going to become as I started it, and got more excited about it as it grew.  Kind of cool - she's going to piece our signature block on the back with a variety of fabric strips that were sent out.  I had fun signing my name to this one, can you see the letters in the bubbles at the right?

 Amy was looking for a couple different sizes of Drunk Love inspired blocks.

In Bee Beautiful, we had decided to do signature blocks for each other every month.   Stephanie sent that extra piece of fabric, and Amy asked that we sign one of our blocks wherever we wanted.  I liked adding my name around a leaf at the top left.

Finally, Nettie sent some of the most fabulous scraps you could ever find, and asked for bright, log cabin houses.  Lots of visitors have stopped by the cat's house - bears, birds, and a friend in a VW.  It looked like the cat was pulling on his riding boots, so I filled the house with more horse riding gear.

That really was two fabulous groups of quilters!  I enjoyed all the blocks both to and from my bees last year.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Use my stash year : 2010

Use my stash year was a great success.

I certainly bought a good amount of fabric.....I was surprised to look back over my spreadsheet and find that I bought 117 yards this past year.

It started with 38 yards at the Fabric Shack last January.  Two big 13-17yd months of impulse and hawaii souviner fabric.  Then the rest in dribs and drabs.

But, just like any fast, you crave things less when you haven't had any in a while.  So even though I filled MANY a virtual shopping cart, I learned not to push the BUY button.  

Since week 32 I have only bought fabric twice, for a total of four yards.  
I really want to USE my fabric before I no longer love it.

Made all from stash fabric
With the 5.75yds used in the last couple weeks to make four tree pillows (one more for Caleb's religious Ed teacher) the grand total used this year was a tad over 120 yards.  

I used 3 more yards than I bought in 2010

My fabric cabinet is in no way empty, so I have lots more to use in 2011.  I'm going to continue logging for the new year.  I started the year out with another trip to the Fabric Shack one again.   I'll share the results of that fun once I get it all organized.

Here's to using all our fun fabric in 2011!