Friday, January 31, 2014

ALYOF: January Finish

Ahhhh it's January 31st already! That means a few things...

1) January is over
2) January finish must be completed (originally blogged here and here)
3) It's mine and Derrick's anniversary! Yay!

My anniversary gift with my January finish!
Five years today, to be exact... and what an incredible five years it has been! I can't imagine my life without Derrick, which I suppose is a good thing since we are getting married in May!

January was such a wonderful month for a handful of reasons. I have been hitting professional goals like its my job. [see what I did there?] I'm feeling healthier, most likely because I'm now heading into my third month of personal training, and I'm so addicted to the gym. I'm learning to manage my energy levels... chronic fatigue is no fun, and no joke. My health is steadily improving (more on that issue to come), and wedding planning is going so smoothly I almost feel as if I could plan a new wedding every month (more on that to come as well)!

I'm almost sad to see January go, but I am so thrilled to see what February has to offer me!

As for my January finish; Pinwheels and Elephants table runner! I started this back in July. I'm not sure what kept me from finishing it, but here it is, finally done!  Whoop Whoop!

I used a 50w beige Aurifil thread to quilt, and Coats and Clark for piecing. 

I did the binding by machine. I just can't bring myself to hand bind anything. However, maybe I should start... these corners are terrible. Does anyone have any good tips or tutorials for machine binding corners?

Overall I'm really happy with this finish. Derrick put it right on the coffee table after I showed it to him, and that is right where it will stay!

Today I'm linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes, Can I get a Whoop Whoop, and TGIFF!

I am SO excited about next month's finish... but more on that tomorrow!
For now...

Quilt on,

Monday, January 27, 2014

I'm a Nerd, and I'm okay with it.

More than okay with it, I love who I am.

I recently came across this. Why the F Guys Play Video Games over at Witty + Pretty. I love Ashely's blog, she's so raw and fowl mouthed and real. She's also a girly girl and anti anything that is not girly girl. That's OK. It's also OK to be a girly girl and be a hardcore gamer...

Exhibit A:
That's me. I'm wearing nail polish, wearing make up, lots of jewelry, drinking a very girly drink with rum and I'm sure grenadine, my hair is ombre, and I LOVE VIDEO GAMES.

Not only do I love video games but I love to watch TED talks on neuroscience. I love to geocache. In college I wrote a 70+ page bill about outlawing GMO's... for fun.

Recently I've been playing Ni no Kuni like my life depends on it. I also play Guild Wars 2 an MMO,
on which my handle is Hoppipolla, and I belong to one of the largest guilds on my server. Have no idea what I'm talking about? That's FINE! Gaming is sort of a release for me, in the same way quilting is a release. It calms me down after a stressful day at work, or it really gets me riled up and angry, cursing like a sailor. They stimulate my brain, and get me thinking; unlike sitting on the couch watching chick flicks and painting my nails.

Don't get me wrong. I LOVE watching chick flicks, painting my nails, eating ice cream, drinking champagne, and crying my eyes out (yes, simultaneously). I am a girl, but being a girl, being fit, loving make up, nail polish, dresses and tights, does not mean that I can't enjoy gaming.

I guess the moral of the story here is you can be girly and you can love gaming, and you should not be ashamed.

Let your nerd flag fly,

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow Day!

Unfortunately (as an adult), snow days are a thing of the past anymore. Today, I have food poisoning or some kind of stomach bug that is keeping me home from work, yuck!

While I'd love to use this time to quilt and work on some of my EYL panels, I just don't have the strength.

Instead I'll share some fabric with you!

I was at Joann's a couple of weeks ago picking out a binding fabric for my Pinwheels and Elephants table runner and fat quarters were on sale for 99 cents... SCORE!

I decided to go a little out of my comfort level and pick patterns/colors I could never see myself working with. I think I'll make these into wine totes.

I'm SUPER happy with the fabric I chose for the binding.

I purchased it thinking how beautiful it was, and I know I had seen it before... of course when I got home and looked in my stash I already had about a yard of it in there, oops!

Hey, you can never have too much fabric, right?

Well it looks like another cup of hot tea and back to the couch with me. I'm going to marathon out some Futurama episodes... Susan over at The Bored Zombie has totally got me hooked on Futurama!

What do you like to do on snow days?

Quilt on,

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The importance of quality thread

I want to start out this post by saying that this is based solely on my opinion and I am never paid to write any blog posts.

I finished up my Pinwheels and Elephants table runner last week and quilted it with Aurifil 50w thread. I got the thread as a Christmas gift and it quilts like magic. Up until now I've been using Coats and Clark which is not quality thread, I purchased it from Joann's because I thought it was cheap.

At Joann's I pay $2.79-$3.79 for C&C 250 yards depending on color. On Red Rock Threads I can get 1422 yd of Aurifil for $9.50. So the prices are very competitive, but here's the thing, Aurifil has never once broken or frayed in my machine. I just took my EYL quilt off the wall to finish up a few sections and almost immediately the C&C thread I was using began to fray in the machine.

The Coats and Clark thread definitely does not look bad on fabric, however, Aurifil looks great on fabric as well. Though I do plan on using up my (very small) collection of C&C that I have stashed in my studi- bedroom, once it is all gone I will be using Aurifil and playing around with some other brands as well.

I'm eager and excited to show you my finished Pinwheels and Elephants table runner and will be doing so January 31st. For now, however, I will be working on finishing up a section of EYL each day and will have it done by the end of February for my February finish!

What kind of thread do you use and can't live without?

Today I'm linking up with Can I get a Whoop Whoop.

Quilt on,

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Facing my (feather) Fears

2014 is a year of finishes on the blog. I thought; what a better way to start the year than to end one of my quilting fears.

I'm not sure why I was so afraid of feathers. They're so pretty (and really easy, too), and I suppose intimidating. Yesterday I spent a ton of time sketching feathers and they were looking more and more horrible. Eventually I just figured I should try it on fabric and...

 Not too shabby for my first time!
I watched a ton of videos. Maddie K's Drag Queen Feathers just aren't for me, I don't think I'm fabulous enough for them. I adore Karen McTavish's Victorian Feathers, but I just can't whip it like she can. While you're on a youtube roll, you may as well watch this for good measure. So I just kind of went with the flow and did my own style of feather.

 Next time I'll be focusing more on the spine of the feather. I don't think that the spines are distinct enough. I could have gone over and thread painted them a bit but I think it would look even better if I created a gap in the center of the spine.

I also came up with a genius idea to move my sewing table out into the living room so I can marathon out Don't Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 and quilt simultaneously. I watched almost two whole seasons and finished up my table runner.

I won't be posting the finish until the end of the month, as I'll be doing with all my finished projects this year. I will certainly be starting a few more projects this month though!!

What have you been working on this weekend?

Quilt on,

Friday, January 3, 2014

Pinwheels and Elephants; my January finish

For the month of January I am going to finish my Pinwheels and Elephants quilted table runner.

Today I finally finished the border, basted, and began quilting.

For Christmas Derrick's Grandmother got me 3 spools of aurifil 50wt cotton thread. I have never used Aurifil before so I was really eager and excited to try it...


So smooth, so amazing. I never want to quilt with anything else. I did run into a few problems while quilting...

 I broke three, yes three, needles. Now it could be because my machine is dirty. So I will be cleaning it out and trying again tomorrow.

I'm just really hoping it's not the thread.

I am really happy with what I have done thus far though. I'm basically just stitching in the ditch along the pinwheels and outlining the elephants.

I chose a beige thread to match the background of the elephants on the front as well as the beige elements in the green fabric.

I'll be using the same color thread around the border, but I'm just not too sure what I will quilt there yet.

I was originally thinking feathers, but I can't even sketch them out. I guess I will continue to practice, but if anyone has any other ideas of what to do for the border I welcome them with open arms!

I'm going to start a few more projects this month and finish them through out the year, I'm really excited about this Lovely Year of Finishes!

Today I'm linking up with FMQ Friday and Can I get a Whoop Whoop.

Quilt on,

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014... Best year ever

I have so many goals for 2014, as I'm sure many of us do. I have quilting goals, crafting goals, work goals, and personal life goals.

I'll start with a few of my personal goals.

1) Get married in 2014!
      Hey, I need to reach one of my goals, right!?!?!

2) Lose some weight and put on muscle by the end of the year.
       I'd like to be around 18% body fat, currently I'm 31%. I've hired a personal trainer and am doing  it the right way! 

3)Organize my home and quilt space.
       This year I am doing the 52 Weeks to an Organized Home Challenge I will update you on my progress monthly.

4) Focus on family.
      This comes pretty easily to me, because I love the family that I have, and the family that I'm marrying in to! 

Quilting/Crafting Goals

Start and finish my guest quilt for our wedding.

Finish up my EYL quilt! I'd love to have this done by February, that would be exactly one year that I started it!

Practice wood burning daily. Pyrography is one of my favorite crafts to do. I want to keep practicing so I can get much better at this, and possibly one day begin selling custom signs. That is obviously far into the future.

Start and Finish one of the quilts in this book!

A Lovely Year of FinishesFinish up the oldest UFO ever, I began this in mid November 2012. I also want to finish a few other UFO's I have lying around.

6) Attend a quilt guild meeting (or 12).

In order to finish up these goals I'm joining in on A Lovely Year of Finishes, where I will attempt to finish something quilt related each month throughout the year.

Work Goals

1) Work my butt off from 8-5 Monday through Friday, and leave the rest of the time I have for my personal life.
      This is going to be a bit tricky. Of course I will have mixers that I need to attend and early morning breakfast meetings every once in a while, but for the majority of the time I want to focus on my personal life outside of business hours.

I have so much to accomplish this year, and I am really looking forward to it. I truly believe that with the New Year comes new opportunity, and new beginnings.

I also look forward to sharing this year with all of you! The more projects I get done, the more I will blog about it!

I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and A Lovely Year of Finishes head on over and check out everyone's goals!

Quilt on,