July 31, 2012

What a long wonderful weekend!

I'm racking up the airline points!  I just got back from a quick weekend trip to Colorado and oh my goodness, what a wonderful trip it was!  It's been a whirlwind since last Thursday, I worked a 14 hour shift, got off at 11pm parked my car at our city location and hopped on the L to Midway for a 625am flight to Denver.   Flight there was great, got in about 20 minutes early and was greeted by my wonderful boyfriend who drove ahead of me a couple days earlier.  We headed up to Fort Carson so he could show me a 'real' Army base, seeing as the local Navy base appears to be inferior in his eyes ;)  I guess when it's not your own branch it's not as impressive lol!

Saturday we went to Garden of the Gods and holy moly it was gorgeous!  All that red rock in seemingly impossible configurations.  

Sunday we went shooting in Pike National Forest.  That's something I wish we could do in Illinois, shoot outdoors.  Shooting indoors at a pistol range is SOOOO much different than outdoors.  Loved it!

Monday we went up to the summit of Pike's Peak.  Such a breath taking drive, in more ways than one, if you've driven it then you'll understand.  When we got to the top it was probably 40 degrees up there.  As we were up there clouds started rolling in, then it started hailing!  Yep, little pea sized hail.  So awesome.  

We had to leave yesterday for the airport by 5 because it takes almost 2 hrs from where we were staying, ran into some awful Chicago-style traffic in Colorado Springs so that ate up some HUGE amounts of time.  Then as we got about a mile away from our exit to the airport traffic came to a screaching halt.  We saw a bunch of flashing lights and about 10 minutes after we stopped a helicopter took off from the scene.  Once they let traffic through there was a very serious roll over crash.  There were no skid marks so there's no telling what happened.  At this point there was serious question as to whether or not I was going to miss my flight as I only had an hour left before it was supposed to take off.  As we finally got past the crash scene I get a text from Southwest saying my flight was delayed by TWO hours!  I breathed a little sigh of relief, I could now pee in the airport and not on the plane (I hate airplane bathrooms).  

I finally got back into Chicago this morning at 2am.  And went straight to work at 5am.  Yea, I'm pretty tired, a few naps got me through but I'm exhausted.  I'll share photos sometime this week.  

July 20, 2012

Super Mario Bros QAL

So I've decided to do this QAL, I'm undecided if I'm going to make every block and I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't stay on track.  These blocks will happen if they happen!  Angela recommends Michael Miller Couture Cottons but, they don't really exist around my parts but I can get Kona so that's what I'm going with!

Here is the list of colors I've chosen so far with the MM colors in parenthesis:
White (bright white)
Aqua  (aqua)
Corn Yellow (canary or sun)
Navy (denim)*
Eggshell (cream or tan)
Black (black)
Chocolate (cappuccino)

*Kona also has a denim color as well, I might nix the navy and go for a brighter blue, the navy is too close to the black for my liking at the moment.  

Also, Robin at Crafty Musings said she's going to use a Sulky stabilizer rather than the recommended Pellon.  I can't find the 542 around me to save my soul and certainly don't want to order a whole bolt of it at close to $90 for something I might not do every block for.

I spent this afternoon cutting a bunch of 1.5" squares.  I'm going to guess I cut close to 1000 of the buggers today!

July 15, 2012

July 14, 2012

Anna Maria Horner Art Student Tote

I came across this bag during the Purse-a-palooza blog hop and I knew I had to make it.  I searched flickr for some inspiration and came across some really great bags.  Earlier today I ran to Joann Fabrics to see if I could find anything, after all, I had a 50% off one item coupon, those suckers rock.  Took me some time but I bought these fabrics:


The website doesn't have the one I used for the lining but it was in the calico section and was 40% off.  It's very similar to the Denyse Schmidt lines that Joann now carries.  The one on the left is a Legacy fabric, the one on the right is Denyse Schmidt's Meadowlark collection for Joann.  

This is the front of the bag, there are two pockets down the center.

The lining (this is more a muted blue than bright)

That's my 15" laptop in this bag, that's how massive it is

The back of the bag

What I *LOVE* about this bag:
- It's MASSIVE!  This would make a great overnight bag or beach bag.  It's seriously huge.
- You can add as many pockets as you want.
- It totally rocks my socks.

There's nothing I don't like about this bag that's for sure!

As for the pattern, I have some suggestions:
- Measure and rotary cut all the pieces, they're all nice easy numbers either on the whole, quarter, half, or three-quarter marks, no funky eighths or sixteenths.  You won't need to cut apart the pattern sheet if you do this, wish I would've had that light bulb moment before I cut mine up.
- The pattern piece layout is horrible.  She has you open up the fabric and make new folds.  No need for that, you can use the fabrics original fold without a problem.  For the contrast fabric (straps), it calls for 3/4 yard, I had 8 inches x WOF left over, so a generous 1/2 yard will do, especially if you rotary cut all these pieces.  There is also NO cutting guide for the interfacing.  
- This bag calls for lightweight fusible interfacing, get at least a medium fusible.  I, thankfully, had read that tip before I bought it.  Since it calls for essentially denim zippers and 8 metal D rings there's going to be some weight on the front.  You'll be happy you got a heavier stabilizer.  I also had a LOT of leftover stabilizer, close to a yard.  No biggie, I'll use it eventually so it's all good!
- When you construct the lining, you will be sewing through 6 layers of fabric and 2 layers of interfacing, I went slowly with my machine and didn't have a problem with a standard 90/14 needle, you may want to use a sturdier needle.
- You could absolutely get away with regular zippers rather than the metal/denim ones it says to buy.  It also calls for a magnetic snap but I left it off, one snap on a bag that's almost 24 inches wide is not enough.
- I would interface the front pockets if I made this bag again.  
- Steam will be your friend with this due to the interfacing.  It will help it adhere better, especially when it comes to the stiff bottom.  
- Heavier duty pins, your ultra fine quilters pins will cry and collapse when constructing this bag.  

Most Pellon interfacing is 20" wide.  When you cut it do so in this order to make the most of your interfacing:
- Cut the pieces for the strap first.
- Then take the edge and fold over to get pieces for the front of the bag.  You will do this twice.
- Finally, cut the pieces for the lining, cutting the length you need then cutting the pieces you need from that.  

The directions are kinda wordy and you sometimes have to read them a few times to make sense of them.  If you like wordy this is your pattern!  

I would recommend this for a fairly confident beginner at the earliest, this is definitely not the first bag you want to make if you're new to sewing.  There aren't any fancy seams or funky techniques so you're good in that department.  

Go get the pattern and get going!  This is the massive bag you're looking for!

July 11, 2012

Lucy's Crab Shack

How adorable is this line of fabric?!  I like Sweetwater and all their adorableness but I find myself having a harder time falling in love with an entire collection from them, I normally find that I only like a few prints, and since I live for precuts, I really want to love the entire line.  Well, Lucy's Crab Shack was the exception, I adored everything about that collection!  So I bought a layer cake from Leah over at Burgundy Buttons when she had her 4th of July sale.  Seriously, $26 for a layer cake?!  How is that not awesome?

Anyways, I picked it up at the post office on Monday (wouldn't fit in my mail box), and the darn thing taunted me.  I searched high and low for patterns to use but ultimately ended up doing something of a rail fence.  I'm probably going to add a border or two to make it a little bigger but as of now it's about 47x57, so a decent sized lap quilt.  

ignore the two colored walls, a rack fell off the wall and it has to be fixed before I can paint it

All I did was cut the layer cake up into 2.5" strips, sew into blocks of 5, and squared them up to 9 3/4 inches.  I didn't care that some strips on ended up being skinnier than the others, in fact I kinda like it like that.  

It took me all of 4 hours from start to finish on this one, it went quick!  Certainly nice to have a top done this year :D 

Now to work on my other UFOs!

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