June 21, 2013

Completed Postage Stamp

Remember my postage stamp quilt from PS I Quilt's Postage Stamp Quilt Along? I've finally got this one all wrapped up!
postage stamps!
I put the borders on the quilt top ages ago, got it all prepped for quilting, and then I must have gotten busy. I remember doing the straight-line quilting in the center and then intending to free-motion quilt the blue border. Of course, I would have needed to free-motion quilt something else to figure out how to do it properly, since the last time I tried I ended up with a knotty mess. So the quilt sat and sat. So sad!
postage stamps!
I finally just did my usual fat meanders. It's not free-motion exactly, since I don't drop the feed dogs for this but do loose swoopies while I wrestle the quilt (this is a big one!) through my regular machine. I can't do this for very long since it gets a bit painful; quilting a whole quilt with swoopies takes weeks.
postage stamps!
I still think I'll make another postage stamp quilt someday. I'm still really liking this one with it's on-point setting. I'll just add it to my list of quilts I'll make someday.
postage stamps!
I had extra blocks that wouldn't fit in my layout, so I took them apart and made a couple of long strips to add into the back. This may be the first time I've done anything besides a plain, single fabric for the backing. I know there are lots of people that piece backings out of the leftovers from the more organized front, but while I like the little something of these extra strips, I think I generally prefer the plainer backs. I like knowing that the back of the quilt, is, well, the back. I can hang it or fold it or have a side that is ok for grass stains on picnics without worrying that I'm obscuring or damaging something I put as much work into as I did on the front. I suppose this makes me less of a historically accurate quilter, since plain, single fabric backs are perhaps not as resource-wise as piecing something out of leftovers.
postage stamps!
I really enjoyed making this one, but I'm also glad to have it done. Next!

June 18, 2013

Assorted Finished Objects

While I may not have been here much, don't think I've not been busy in the making department. Here's a mini parade of things I've finished (mostly) recently. I could drag this out with a post for each item, but at the rate I'm going, it'd be October and I'd still be writing posts for things I did in May.
blue mesh shawl/scarf
I had some leftover yarn ("waterfall" Homespun from Lion) from a previous project. I found this mesh scarf pattern via Ravelry and thought, well there's a way to use up some leftovers and get something reasonably sized out of it.
blue mesh shawl/scarf
Of course, what I had made something too small so I had to go get more. The result is a scarf that's more like a shawl. I also let myself crochet this on automatic pilot, so one end is two squares wider than the other due to random increases somewhere in the middle. While I'm at it, I could wonder how I plan to wear this and with what. It's the wrong color for fall; it certainly won't go with this shirt:
burgundy cross-over top
This is Not A Spring Top. It's McCall's 6513 and it's another failed attempt at stashbusting. That is, I bought fabric for it in the fall but apparently was looking at the wrong view at cutting time. Rather than make the view I had enough fabric for, naturally I went out and got more (and a different pattern to use with the fabric I have). So this wasn't stashbusting so much as stash-increasing.
burgundy cross-over top
But it came out well, and I look forward to wearing it when it's not toasty outside. And my Wardrobe Improvement Project now has added one more Truly Long Sleeved Shirt to my closet.

This next project isn't for my closet at all:
Journal Cover
This journal cover was a (rather late) birthday present for Lianna. I almost never give birthday presents on birthdays, since birthdays have a way of sneaking up on me. I didn't even figure out what I wanted to do about my own birthday this year until it was about a week away.
Journal Cover
Wait, we were talking about journal covers, right? This one is based on Stitched in Color's tutorial with an added lining. And the fabric all came from Stash. I really like the subtle gold in these fabrics. If I were to make a journal cover with this pieced design again, I think I'd make my nine-patches smaller. When I was thinking it through, having my squares finish at 1 inch seemed pretty small, and I think it looks fine, but it doesn't quite match up what I had in my head. I suppose this is why one should sketch out a design first, huh?

See, self, I am finishing things!

June 13, 2013

Summer Journal: Strawberries

Strawberries from our garden. We eat them with breakfast, sometimes for dessert, sometimes when no one is looking. Caitlyn thinks our plants will make enough for jam. She's probably right, if the ripe berries from today could be held in perfection for a couple of weeks. Since they can't, we'll eat them instead.

Oh, darn.

June 05, 2013

Gathering Moss

When I was a kid, my family moved houses exactly once. I was 4, and I only remember the important bits: wrapping my plastic doll dishes in newspaper just like my grandmother wrapped the dishes in the kitchen and dancing like a crazy 4-year old around the For Sale sign in the front yard. I "moved" again, for the first time, when I went off to college.

From then on, I moved a lot, assuming you count every time in and out of a dorm room a "move". Once a year, sometimes twice. Halfway out of student housing post graduation, then all the way out a few months later into a First Apartment, shared with a friend until she left to get married. This is where Ian enters the story.

Less than a year later, we moved our stuff into a joint storage unit (co-habitating stuff!) and moved ourselves to Germany. When we returned to the States nine months later, we continued with this somewhat indecisive lifestyle, moving on average every 18 months. Sometimes only across town, sometimes much farther.

Maybe other people do "moving" differently, but we've always packed and schlepped our own boxes. Up and down stairs, on and off of trucks, in and out of storage units. It never consciously made me reflect on the wisdom of a purchase, but it did mean that most of the stuff we owned was gone through and handled reasonably (or unreasonably, depending on your perspective and how sore your back feels) frequently. Some things never got unboxed, just labeled "nostalgia" and pushed into a closet. We weren't as rolling as some stones, but it was possible to put all our stuff in a 10x15 storage unit.

We've been in the same house now going on 7 years. Some of those "nostalgia" boxes are still stuffed in a closet. We've added all sorts of things that we might not have during our more mobile period: a dehydrator, a sun oven, grow lights, more bookcases, an actual couch, a bread maker, a weed whacker, bicycles, a chest freezer, a ladder, more books, more toys, more games. Moving now is a frightening prospect. Fortunately it's not really on the horizon. Why do I think about it? Because moving was the general method of going through things, letting go of the things we were done with and making sure everything got dusted or washed as appropriate. Turns out I'm not a regular duster.

I went on a Spring Cleaning binge this year. Curtains were washed. Tops of doorways were vacuumed. Closets were gone through. I shredded boxes of ancient paperwork. I took a full car load (including a vacuum cleaner I've not used since 1999) to Goodwill and a box of dead electronics to RePC. We got the carpets cleaned. Caitlyn passed several armloads of stuff to her cousin down the street.

There's a lot I didn't do. I meant to wash the windows and the couch covers and the front of the kitchen cabinetry. I meant to find someone who would help us out with some home maintenance (replace some moldings, fill some cracked grout, etc). I meant to actually make progress on repainting our walls. The kitchen and dining room need paint rather desperately and the stairways look like a small child has dragged her hands along the walls for years. Thinking of painting makes my brain short out, though. How do you pick a good color? And everything has to be moved away from the walls or out of the room for days. It smells funny. Painting has always been the one home maintenance thing I figured I could reasonably DIY, but these days whenever I think about it, I have to sit down until I think of something else.

Looks like we've gathered some moss in our stationary, more rooted years. I'm trying to keep it regularly trimmed so at least we are tidy in our mossiness. And maybe next year I'll make it a bit further on my list. Maybe the moss will get painted. Someday.