June 27, 2011

a sigh of relief

My car is becoming VERY unreliable.  It took me 6 hrs to get it started yesterday and 1 hr to get it started today.  It *HATES* starting in the hot weather, winter it LOVES.  Once I get it started I can't turn it off because it might not start again for a long time.  Errands have to be short and I have to park the car close to the bldg so I can peek on it.  Not cool (said in my best Gru voice). 

I knew I'd have a hard time getting financed because my ex didn't like to pay bills and of course ALL the bills were in my name.  His drinking habit started about the time he took over the finances, he took them over because I was paying them.  Imagine that!

So I knew I'd have a hard time getting financed.  I thought he'd screwed me for life.  I went to my bank first and got declined.  Went to a buy here pay here place, declined.  Frustrated I called my mom to vent.  She suggested I go to a local Chevy dealer that boasts no one turned down.  What did I have to lose?  I got APPROVED!!!!!!  Holy hell I thought I'd jump up and kiss the finance guy and the salesman.  The salesman explained that I need to have a $1500 down payment and my max loan is $5000.  BUT I got approved!!!!!  Turns out I keep getting declined because I have insufficient history, not because of bad trade lines.  You have NO idea what a relief that was to hear.  It's not as good as having established credit, but definitely better than bad credit.  They're even giving me $500 for my hunk of junk!!!  And I do have the rest for the down payment.  Oh, I'm so excited!!!!  Now I'll no longer have to deal with this:
  • No working windows beside drivers side and sunroof
  • No working a/c
  • No working speedometer or odometer
  • Using a small hole my dad drilled to spray starter fluid in to get it to start
  • Only drivers side wiper working
  • No working washer fluid sprayers
  • No more tiny (1 bottle/yr) power steering fluid leak
Such a sigh of relief.  Also don't have to replace the tail light that got busted because someone smashed into me in front of my apartment building while I was getting my mail the other day.  How's that for a run on sentence???  Yea that's a post for another day.  I'm still seething from that. 

Life is starting to look up.  I'll gladly sacrifice fabric for some wheels.  I just gotta get me a bolt of Kona white and I'll be set!  ;)

June 19, 2011

Farmers Wife Quilt Along Week #1

I'm a little behind due to my book just getting here on Friday but last nite I whipped up the first two blocks:

#1 Attic Windows
#2 Autumn Tints

I'm going to wait to square these up til all the blocks are done.  These go SO quickly it'll be easy to play catch up while working on other projects too!

June 18, 2011

the "dumbing down of quilting"

I saw this post about the "dumbing down of quilting".  First off, I don't particularly agree with everything that was said but in fueled enough fire within me to say something.

Please read the above linked post before reading my response.  This was posted in March so I'm sure a few of you have seen it.  Also I'm not really addressing anything in order.

I like simple quilts because I love the thrill of a completed project.  Trust me I have PLENTY of my own UFOs that are considered simple.  Traditional blocks made with traditional fabrics don't strike my fancy very much, but once put with modern fabrics it opens my eyes.  Hence my desire to do a dresden plate or a snail trail.  NOT patterns I'd typically choose because they're generally traditional but with the right fabrics they appeal to me.  I love trendy fabrics, I love decorating trends.  I'm not going to put quilts with Holly Hobby style fabrics in my home because it's not my style. 

She also states that a quilter is a beginner because she "can't perfect a 1/4" seam" or because "she can't work with triangles" or because "she only makes wonky blocks because that's all she can do".  I have to HIGHLY disagree with everything above.  I'm not a stickler about the 1/4" seam for my own projects.  I usually end up a threads width shy of it, so scant, which is ok because it gives me room to square up my blocks.  As long as my blocks align and the project works out in the general size I'm happy.  I don't much like triangles because I don't care for bias edges.  I end up using starch to keep the stretching down to a minimum which gunks up my ironing board (and usually my cat b/c she likes to 'help' me press & she doesn't like it :p).  Plus, I haven't really found a pattern that I've wanted to try that involves triangles.  Julie @ Jaybird Quilts did a GREAT tutorial using jelly rolls to make hexagon blocks out of 60* triangles without Y seams and the results are very awesome, however, I'm not a triangle kinda gal!  I'll probably end up making a small doll quilt sized one with scraps just to try it but it's not a project I'd love to take on, just because triangles aren't my thing.  To each her/his own.  As for the wonky thing.  Yea I'm in the camp that that ship has sailed but some people like it and THAT'S OK!!!  My brain doesn't do the whole wonky quilting thing, tried it, failed. 

I used to hate making HSTs because I didn't have a good way to make them.  It's MUCH easier to make them from 2 squares than to make them from 2 triangles.  Beginners might not know that which is why they may have trouble with it.  We were all beginners at one point, we all learn new techniques.  There is NOTHING wrong with screwing it up royally then learning a much easier way.  It's a  LEARNING process as is everything that is new to us.  For some it may click quicker than others but that's ok too, we're individuals, no two people do the same thing at the same pace. 

The writer also dogs a bit on modern fabrics.  I'm not one for Civil War repros.  I can get on board with the 30s sugar sack prints that are bright and vibrant but I love the 'modern' prints that are out today.  It's what appeals to ME.  I use what makes ME happy.  If something is not your style that's ok too.  I absolutely love how classic patterns look with modern fabrics, makes it look like a whole new pattern. I for one never would've considered doing the Farmer's Wife Quilt Along until I started seeing it in modern fabrics.  The quilt just ain't my cup of tea as the book shows it, but I'm excited to see it finished with fabrics that *I* like.  Cutesy florals aren't for everyone, modern fabrics aren't for everyone.   

Sure there are patterns being sold out there that are remakes of classic patterns.  Parasols by Fig Tree comes to mind but the pattern uses no triangles and is layer cake friendly, every snail trail pattern I've come across boasts neither one of those.  So yes, while it may be a remake of a classic, it show us how to make something using new techniques.  How many times has Hollywood remade a classic?  Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse, but either way, classic or remake will appeal to different people.  Quilts are no different.

She also kinda dogs on precuts too.  Sure they have cute names and I'm sure that's a reason they're huge sellers, but they also take a LOT of prep work out of a project, which for me, I don't mind one bit.  The quicker I get through the boring cutting part and onto sewing, the happier I am.  Again, they appeal to some and not others and that too is ok! 

The writer does try 'soften' the blow by saying that you should get out of your element and try new things, and I completely agree.  Just because people don't post about it doesn't mean they don't try.  I don't have an unlimited quilting budget, I'm not going to take on an entire project and waste fabric for something that I may not like.  I buy mostly Moda fabrics and we all know that it's not cheap.  

No one is reinventing the wheel, I like to think of it as making improvements to the wheel, or adding more spokes. 

So, moral of the story, do what makes YOU happy.  If the quilt is a gift, do what will make the recipient happy.  As the saying goes, you can only please one person per day and today isn't your day, well that's EVERYDAY in the internet.  Personally, I don't think quilting is being "dumbed down" at all.  This whole modern quilting craze has inspired many people to quilt that may not have before.  Isn't that what this is all about?  People coming together to enjoy a hobby?  If you don't like the modern quilting craze, turn your head the other way, it really is just that simple.  No need to knock others just because it's not your cup of tea.  You do have the choice to not read the blog, buy the pattern, look at the pictures, join the flickr group, etc.  Exercise that option.

June 13, 2011

Update on my weekend of sewing!

So, I managed to get a LOT done in the past few days.  I'm really missing the boyfriend, didn't think I'd miss him as much as I do.  I didn't do a lick on Friday b/c his company was dismissed for a few hours in the evening and we went to dinner then went for a walk in the park.


Friday 6/10
-Cut pieces for 2 tops, should go quickly as I'm cutting both from jelly rolls  DONE!
-Finish piecing my bee top, only 3 rows left to piece!  DONE!
-Get caught up on bee blocks DONE!
-Start piecing my H2H quilt DONE! (still have to finish piecing it, but I'm 75 % done)

Saturday 6/11 (after work)
-Work on piecing my 12 days of Christmas quilt from last year.  Using KarrieLyne's charm pack quilt along. DIDN'T HAPPEN :(

Sunday 6/12
-Finish piecing at least 2 UFOs DIDN'T HAPPEN :(

Monday 6/13
-Start cutting my DS fat quarters for a snail trail quilt DIDN'T HAPPEN :(  but I realized that I don't have any solid to pair with it so it was pointless cutting the FQs

And I lied about not buying any fabric.  I went to a LQS while waiting for the boyfriend to meet me in the area for dinner and got a 1/2 yard of Monaluna blenders on red (have a few other pieces from this line to make potholders) and a 1/4 yard of a fabric to match a little kit I bought for the binding.

The bee quilt flimsy done!  It's not the best photo but you get the general idea.  This was a beast to finish!  Blocks are 15 1/2" unfinished and there are 36 blocks, so yea, HUGE!  Now to just have enough money for the backing.  (Ignore the mess on my bedside tables, apparently I use a lot of cups for water)

This was what I had to buy binding for.  My daughter and I worked on this together and she wanted the binding to match the backing so I really lucked out when I found some randomly sitting on the shelf at a different LQS than I originally purchased the kit at. It's only about 12" finished, my daughter is thrilled with it! 

And I bought these two patterns.  The one on the left is Swoon from Thimble Blossoms and I had to buy it after seeing all the awesome blocks made with this!  Best part is it's all made from HSTs and Flying Geese, blocks are 24" too so super huge quilt (I apparently didn't learn my lesson :p ).  The one on the left is Saltwater Taffy from Fig Tree Quilts.  I've been loving it ever since twin fibers had been posting about it.  What I really loved about it was it said no templates or specialty rulers.  It kinda lies, there *IS* a template you have to trace and cut from the pattern to trim the corners, but no expensive ruler to buy. 

I also decided I wanted to make the boyfriend a quilt.  He has been VERY indulgent in going to the LQS lately and the shop has a sample of the Moda Quilt of Valor hanging and he loved the pattern, the fabrics not so much so we came up with a plan to alter it.  There will be no rows of pieced stars, instead one of the rows is going to be replaced with an Army print from Robert Kaufman, one will be replaced with a Marine (he was active duty Marines for 4 years) print from Robert Kaufman, and one will be replaced with a strip of all the ribbons he's earned in his military career.  I'm going to see if I can get his Class A from his dad while he's gone so I can match all the solids to the colors in the ribbons.  Even though he knows about it I want to make it as much of a surprise as I can.  Hoping to make it a Christmas gift.  Also, we're going to do a red star print where the red floral stripes are in the quilt.  I drew up the ribbons on graph paper and showed them to him and he was in love with how great they looked.  

Enough babbling, I gotta get up at 330am for work and it's 1035pm right now. 

June 9, 2011

time to use up the stash!

I'm putting myself on a self imposed stash use only restriction.  The boyfriend is leaving for his 2 week commitment to the National Guard this weekend so I have all that time to sew!  Good thing because I *REALLY* need to use up my stash!  I can't wait to get started on all the projects I have in mind. 

So, who's with me?! 

My Goals:
Friday 6/10
-Cut pieces for 2 tops, should go quickly as I'm cutting both from jelly rolls
-Finish piecing my bee top, only 3 rows left to piece!
-Get caught up on bee blocks
-Start piecing my H2H quilt

Saturday 6/11 (after work)
-Work on piecing my 12 days of Christmas quilt from last year.  Using KarrieLyne's charm pack quilt along. 

Sunday 6/12
-Finish piecing at least 2 UFOs

Monday 6/13
-Start cutting my DS fat quarters for a snail trail quilt

I'll update my progress Monday night.

June 3, 2011

happy birthday to me!

I decided to spoil myself this year for my birthday.  It's my first birthday free from the wrath of my ex-husband so I thought I deserved some goodies :)

So this is what I bought for myself:
2 charm packs of jovial and 2 charm packs of moda bella solid in snow.  Even though I'm still working on last years Christmas quilt I bought stuff to make this years.  I'm going to do HSTs with these, SO much that you can do with these blocks.

I also added to my central park collection.  I don't want to reveal exactly what I'm planning on doing with this one but it is something you have seen before.  I had the charm pack for a while and added a jelly roll, half yard of the flowers, and 3 yards of the zoo print on white.

I also got a jelly roll of modern workshop.  I need to get a jelly roll of moda bella solid in white for my project in mind on this one.  Revamping a project I've already showed y'all once before. 
The prints in this one are definitely something I'm going to have to get used to.  The colors aren't something I'd typically put together so this will be fun to work with.  Also ordered a yard of one of the prints for a binding, going to attempt a bias binding on this project, who knows, maybe I'll like it!

Overall it was a good day!  The boyfriend treated me to not only lunch, but dinner and ice cream too!  Very sweet of him since money is tight for him.  Tomorrow my daughter and I are going to work on a cute little rainbow 12" quilt.  I'll show finished pics when it's done, I'm so excited to do this with her!
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