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June 30, 2011


I'm late. Story of my life. I got completely wrapped up in sewing yesterday, and I'm pleased to say that, despite the little setback, I have gotten quite a bit done this past week.

Newbie Bee Blocks
In true late fashion, I finished my June bee blocks for the first-timer bee on June 27th. This month, Carol wanted some black and white blocks with solid color accents.

june newbie bee blocks

Memorial Quilts
Three finished. Three basted. Pretty darn good. I know I said these would be done by tomorrow, but seriously, I'm proud of myself for getting this far.

memorial quilts progress
from left to right
pink quilt - finished
green quilt - finished
purple quilt (ochre back) - basted
b&w quilt (red back. yep we're huskers) - basted
everything quilt (blue/green/brown back) - basted
np - blue quilt - finished


Kaleidoscope QA
AH! I'm already behind. I am printing the template as I type. The good news [and bad...I guess] is that I don't plan to budget for batting or backing until after Christmas, so I am concentrating on piecing tops for the rest of the year. So I've already taken myself out of the running for the end-of-QA giveaway.

That's all I've done. *brow wipe*

Have a safe and FUN 4th of July y'all!


June 24, 2011

some people!

Remember how I was going to be really productive and get all those quilts done by next week?

Well, I got sidetracked. Some jerk-face stole my husband's bicycle. His is on the left in this photo (side note: mine is the pretty red one :) ).  We had just bought him new tires on Saturday, in a smurf blue color. And we have no updated photo. And of course I found out about all of this just as I was arriving at the U2 concert on Wednesday night. Huge bummer.

So instead of sewing yesterday, I spent most of the day driving around looking for it and hunting the person down on craigslist. And then being upset about the fact that some people in this world are just that awful. I did, however, find a cute coffee shop in our neighborhood with really nice and helpful people (silver lining?)

The joke's on the thief though. Sean has been eyeing a time trial bike (think: triathlons) forever. Like, since he bought the one that was stolen. This gave him the perfect opportunity to get it.  And boy does he deserve it.

I'm starting to think he hired someone to steal his bike so that he had an excuse for the tt.

PS, it was locked. They took that too. Apparently U locks are not that great.  Neither are cable locks. So that leaves us with the last, most-expensive and heaviest option. LAME. Seriously, I think the thing weighs 15+ pounds.

In conclusion, boo stolen bike. Yay new bike, still getting to enjoy cycling with Sean, and getting back to sewing.

Have a great weekend everyone :)

June 22, 2011

work in progress 6.22

It's Wednesday again!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

This past week, I've been working hard on...you guessed it, the memorial quilts! I love them. Really I do. But I am so tired of them. Light is at the end of the tunnel, I am hoping to have them sent off by the end of next week. Fingers crossed!

I finished this quilt with my sister's clothes for my other sister.


And here is the stack of the grandmother memorial quilts.

memorial quilts process

From bottom to top...
Blue quilt - finished!
Blue/Green quilt - awaiting quilting
Black & White quilt - pieced, awaiting a border
Purple quilt - pieced, awaiting a border
Everything quilt - currently piecing
Pink quilt (not pictured) - all HSTs made, awaiting piecing

Phew! Since I am going with a basic quilting style, I think my goal of next week will be accomplished. I did a mental count of the HSTs yesterday as I was finishing them up, and I realized that I have made about 640 of them (the b&w quilt is just squares).  Maybe that explains why I am so tired of them...?

Other projects
Kaleidoscope QA
I am SO looking forward to the Kaleidoscope QA starting tomorrow over at Elizabeth's blog, Don't Call Me Betsy. This will be my third QA, second with Miss Elizabeth. It is so much fun to work on the same project as other folks and to be able to share tips and tricks!

Habitat Diamonds
I have a FQ set of Habitat by Jay McCarroll that has been calling my name since Atlanta. I also have a diamond shape cutter thinger that I got for Christmas. Put the two together, and BAM!

Other than those two, I will probably mix in a couple of smaller projects. Will inform as they happen :)

Happy sewing, y'all!

June 16, 2011

a tribute to Alecia

It is both difficult and rewarding to finally say that this quilt is finished. Fair warning, there is a lot of emotional text ahead, both sad and awesomely funny :)


Alecia was the oldest sibling of the four of us. She passed away almost a year and a half ago, on December 23rd, 2009. It was a huge shock, unexpected, without warning.  I was back in Minneapolis from Atlanta for Christmas. Al and I had drifted apart to say the least, and when she called my parents' house on the 20th, I was the only one home, and I didn't think I had the energy to pick up the phone and talk to her. So I didn't. And that was it.

The process of collecting clothes was too quick. Every item was a memory, but there was no time to sit and remember. My other sister and I had jobs and school to get back to a thousand miles away. I packed up what I could and brought as much back to Atlanta as would fit [including a couple of space bags, which, by the way, are NOT reusable].

Then it all sat while I tried to heal. I would pick it up every now and then, but every piece smelled like her, and every shirt was a reminder that she wasn't coming back to wear it. My therapist [yes, therapist. if you can go through a sudden death without assistance from a non-family member, I commend you] recommended that I document the quilting process on a blog as a sort of homage to Alecia's memory. I kind of am doing that now.

My sister had her issues, but don't we all? She did care a lot about other people. She was always trying to make you smile, and she would give you all she had if it meant your happiness. Her acts of kindness were what kept her going so long. And her lasting gift to me is helping me realize that I need to make the most of every second that I have.

name from a sports shirt, orange shirt stolen from my closet years ago, yellow hip strap to some fancy undies, doll blanket from her childhood

blueberry muffin? (from Strawberry Shortcake) charm still in her jewelry box after all these years, blue linen (also found in a multitude of other colors), flannel pj pants, green shirt also taken from my closet (probably looked better on her anyway)

all the rest of the pieces. I am well aware that it kind of has a high-school-craft-project-modge-podge flare to it, but I think that's what I love, and I hope my sister Nicole loves too :) the more memories, the merrier!

Enough sobs. Here are some fun facts :).

Alecia was the person that taught me to use tampons. And by "taught," I mean I was visiting her at college, got my little package from mother nature, and Alecia would not buy me anything but tampons. I liken it to throwing a puppy into a pool and expecting it to swim.

She also had a slight obsession with finding deals at Old Navy. We would have more gifts from Alecia than from Santa some years. But, to Santa's credit, she would put just one piece in every box. And then she would leave the price tag on it so that she could show us just how great of a deal it was.

She was also obsessed with g-strings. Yep. Take a close look at the quilt and you will see some (the hip straps of course!) sewn into nondescript shapes like flowers and bows. And there were sometimes some of these under the Christmas tree from her too.

Alecia taught me the gloriousness that is a taco salad using a Doritos shell. Mmm...dinner tonight? Don't mind if I do.

She was a killer swimmer, particularly at the 200 fly [I think it was the 200 anyway]. If you know swimming, you know how B.A. the 200 fly is. One night she decided to go "north of the river," which was out of bounds for us, and she got rear-ended. She was still awesome after that, but it really threw her body for a loop.

Speaking of car wrecks, she also once ran into the pole that guards the drive-thru window at Burger King (where she worked). When she got home, I was outside playing, and she tried to shush me as I was yelling "What happened?!" Like you can hide a huge indentation and missing light on the driver side from mom and dad. Coincidentally, I worked at the same BK Lounge years later, and I am pretty sure the navy blue scuff marks were still there.

My mom threw a spade at her one time. Hahahaha. This makes me laugh out loud. We were reconstructing our back yard and basement, and during a huge storm, we had a lot of water pouring in. So my mom and Alecia went out to dig trenches away from the house (while my dad was out of town, because he was always out of town during these gems), and upon a very close lightning strike, the spade miraculously flew out of my mom's hands (aka was thrown) and landed inches from Alecia as mom ran around to the front of the house repeatedly screaming one particular cuss word that rhymes with 'fit.' All while I watched from my window.

She once let me take her car on a road trip if I repaid her by cleaning it. Another time, she convinced me to clean it by letting me keep any change I found. WIN. Seriously, if you had seen her car, you would know just what a jackpot that was for me.

I got her drop-handle bike as a hand-me-down. At least I think it was hers. That's what lead me to love bicycling. Okay, it's more of a love-hate, but I plain old love drop-handle bikes.

So, if you made it this far, thanks for trucking through my homage. I miss her, but I know that she is much happier now, and that can't do anything but make me smile :)

best to you all.

June 15, 2011

works in progress 6.15

It's that time of the week again. You know, when I look around my sewing area and tell myself that I am in fact getting things done. Bahaha, gotchya! That's why I am thankful that this linky is about progress.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'll admit, my primary focus has not been sewing. I spent some time in DC this past weekend with some friends. It was a nice distraction from the extreme heat that kept me from leaving our basement last week. [I  tripped the breaker trying to sew in our basement. Not happening]. We have been doing more bicycling than usual because the off-road paths here are so much better than those in Atlanta, and me and my clip-in pedals like the off-road business. All in all, finding a nice balance I suppose.

Enough rambling. I have managed to keep on trucking with the grandma memorial quilts. I finished most of the piecing on the purple one (yep, pretty much going to refer to them by their color now). I actually completely finished the blue one. I'm waiting until they are all done for a big "yay they're finally done!" reveal, but here's a little peak.


I finished piecing my sister's memorial quilt (the last of them) and I decided that, with its total randomness in pattern and texture, it would be best to finish it by tying instead of machine quilting. Insert: sore fingers and hands, broken needles, and lots of cuss words. Can't wait for this to be over.


Sometimes when I look at this quilt, I see certain patterns and wonder "what was she thinking?! please tell me she did not wear that in public." Like that lime green / blue / pink flower number....? Really? Then I remember there are other shirts that she straight-up stole out of my closet. Shirts that I was positive my mom had lost in the laundry. And then there are the shirts that I so desperately wanted to steal out of her closet, but I knew the consequences, and I wasn't going to go there with her. Oh the perils of older sisters. ;)

That's all for now. Wishing y'all a great week :) Stop on by Lee's place to see what everyone else is up to!


June 9, 2011

throwing my hat in the ring

I've been looking for something to do with my Hideaway fabric. After all, it's been on my WIP list for...ever.

I am excited to join the fun over at Don't Call Me Betsy!


In the mean time, you will have to excuse me while I embrace the 100 degrees with no AC in the main living area.

June 1, 2011

twisted shoulders are all the rage


twisted shoulder

because if so, this dress was well on its way to the runway. Let me tell you a story. From the beginning of using this pattern (Simplicity 2886), I was convinced the zipper was up the back. Convinced. So you could understand how, after finishing the bodice, I was wondering where the seam down the back of the skirt was. It was up the side, that's where.

I grabbed my seam ripper, took out the side seam, and removed the back basting that I had invented. In the process of sewing the back seam according to the pattern, I somehow managed to twist the front of the bodice a full 360. Result: a fancy twisted shoulder strap. One more round with the seam ripper and I was all squared away.

simplicity 2886

fancy nancy! now I just need a place to where it.

and my favorite part?



I got this fabric while shopping the Memorial Day sale at Joann's with a friend (hi you!). in total, it was $8, plus a $1 zipper, and $1 to get the correct size of pattern. That's a $10 dress. Okay maybe a little more to pay for the lining fabric, but still.

Hope y'all are having a great week :)