August 2012 Project #2

I got my hands on the second project I made in August.  I wanted to make sure that DH had something he could take with him that was useful and still fit with the cotton theme of our second anniversary, so I made him a case for his Kindle Fire.  I picked up the pattern, fabric and accessories from my LQS (local quilting store).  The lining is flannel, so it’s nice and soft against the Kindle’s screen.  It has two different interfacings – including a stiff one to lend some structure to the case.  And of course, a carrying handle so you can wrap the case around your wrist if there isn’t enough room in your bag for it.

This is the front of the case. The black band is an elastic band to help hold the cover closed. There’s also velcro underneath to make sure the flap is secure.

This is the back of the case. I’m not thrilled with the quilting, but I wasn’t willing to tear it out – I hate redoing work!

DH says that it’s holding up pretty well, but he’s only had it for a couple of weeks now. Altogether, the project took about 3 hours to do. It was pretty quick and because it’s flat it was easy to hide until our anniversary.

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August 2012 Project #1

August 2012 is quickly coming to a close and that means it’s time to post pictures of my completed projects. I actually completed two, but the second one is in use in DH’s backpack and I don’t want to digging around in there just so I can take a picture. I’ll have to bug him when he gets out of the shower.

This quilt was completed for our second anniversary. Traditionally, people give each other cotton gifts on this occasion, and this quilt is 100% cotton so I think it fits the bill.  I call it the “Us Quilt” because each of the squares represent something that’s important to us now, or something that was important/fun from our courtship. I actually finished the top a couple months after we were married, but I waited on the quilting until I had a few quilts under my belt – I didn’t want to wreck OUR quilt.

Each block is repeated once, and since some photos turned out better than others (you can see 3 blocks, but not the 4th), you get to see 6 sets of blocks.

In all it’s glory on my unmade bed.

1st set of 4 squares (ice cream, coffee with chocolate, pez dispensers, books)

2nd set of 4 blocks (sewing, bbq, coffee with chocolate, pin-up girls and eating out)

3rd set of 4 squares (cocktails, Pez dispensers, conversation hearts, important values)

4th set of 4 blocks (books, storm clouds, bbq, sewing)

5th set of 4 blocks (important values, conversation hearts, computers and games, ice cream)

6th set of 4 blocks (pin-up girls and eating out, computers and video games, storm clouds, shopping)

As I said earlier, each square represents something so it’s more than just the photo on the fabric. For instance, one of our earliest dates happened when we cut class to get ice cream at a nearby fast food restaurant. We used to walk in the rain all the time and we still hang out in the car to listen to the rain on the roof. DH makes his money with computers, and I make mine with books. You get the idea.

Choosing the quilting was the hard part. I didn’t want anything too girly or too masculine because this quilt is about US. I ended up quilting wonky squares across the bulk of the top. I also wanted to find a way to make words of love a part of the quilt, so I quilted words from our vows, our names and the wedding date into the border of the quilt.

Wonky squares make up the bulk of the quilting.

The outside border was quilted with words of love. The binding is leftover Superman fabric

And since we both are Superman fans, I wanted to include some of the leftover fabric from the Superman quilt I completed earlier this year (or was it last year?). I used extra backing fabric to make up the binding, and I fussy cut a piece from a different fabric to decorate the label. The backing is the softest flannel so it’s nice and cozy.

Quilts aren’t complete without a label – this one has Superman. We’re both fans of Kal-el.

The quilt wasn’t completely finished by our anniversary – there were still threads to be buried and a label to attach, but I presented it on August 22nd anyway. Although it’s just a throw, we’ve been sleeping under it ever since.

Photos from Project #2 will be up soon!

June 2012 Project

I actually finished the quilt top last month. Then I stalled out on my sewing. I’m so used to sewing at the dining room table that when I moved my stuff upstairs it felt a bit foreign. One thing’s for sure though – when we buy a house, I’m getting a better table. The one upstairs is a folding plastic table from Costco. It vibrates way too much to work on consistently. Plus it’s at a weird height. Oh well. Enough about that. You’re here to see a quilt!

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I bought the fabric for the squares from a store that went out of business a couple months ago. The border was leftover fabric from the black/white/blue quilt I made for my friend B. This picture doesn’t do the colors justice. The green is a yellowy green but it’s definitely not dark.

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Again with the bad lighting – I apologize. I followed the same pattern as last month for the quilt I made for my boss’ new grandson but I used different fabrics this time. It ended up the same size too so I’ll keep it in my stash for the next person who has a new baby boy. And because I made it with babies in mind, the backing is flannel.

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There! This is much closer to the actual colors!

I did try fusible batting this time around. I don’t think I’ll use it again. It took twice as long to “baste” the quilt together as compared to my normal pin basting method. It also resulted in a very stiff quilt, which was challenging to quilt. Let’s hope the fusible stuff washes out all the way!

Either way, I’m pleased with the way this turned out.

April 2012 Project

Here’s my April project. It’s a quilt, done in batiks (and batik imposters). One of my coworkers saw a pile of the fabric on my desk and asked if she could have the quilt when it was done. I said yes, and the rest is history.

The back is far from perfect, but C was thrilled anyway. She said that nobody had made a quilt for her before – not even her mom who has made quilts for other family members. So, I hope you enjoy your quilt, C!

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This is the front. Pretty colors! It’s on a full sized bed so it’s pretty big. It’s supposed to be a twin sized quilt.

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A closeup of the borders and quilting. The bulk of the quilt was done in a hearts and flowers pattern. The borders alternates between hearts, flowers and curlicues.

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The back. This fabric was originally going to be living room curtains. I think it works better as a backing.

February 2012 Project

I actually pieced this one in November (I think). I remembered last week that I had the stuff I needed to quilt it up! So, here’s my February quilt.

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January Project

As some of you may know, one of my goals for 2012 is to finish a quilting or sewing project each month.  I had a few different options for projects, but I decided to finish one that I started in November.  I had most of the fabric (including the backing!) in my stash at that time.  There were a few yards purchased in the November Shop Hop so that I would have enough to complete the quilt.  I quickly pieced the top in those bright inks and greens I currently love so much.  I sandwiched the top, batting and back together and got to quilting.  I got the whole thing quilted and THEN turned it over to survey the back… and was horrified.  Soooo many mistakes.  Mistakes I would have caught had I checked the back WHILE I was quilting.

I decided to leave the bulk of the terrible quilting and pull out the most offensive portions.  It took 3 days to pull out the quilting in the border (the worst spot).  And then I was so disgusted I didn’t want to look at the stupid thing.  So it sat on the sofa, reminding me of my mistake.  By the time I finally got the gumption to re-quilt the border I’d fallen while jogging and everything hurt.  The blanket sat there some more until I decided to finish it for my January project.

So here it is, in all its error filled glory:

Springy pink and green quilt

 

A closeup of the problematic border

2012 Goals Check-in

Time to check in with my 2012 goals:

Cook 1 new recipe each week
So far, so good.  I didn’t think I’d get a new recipe in this week because we weren’t planning on eating dinner at home this week.  Staying home on Sunday instead of going out to San Francisco worked to my advantage.  I made split pea soup with yellow peas that I found at the Indian market by my house.  Pretty yummy.  I didn’t follow the directions 100% though…  I dumped everything in the pot and let it cook instead of adding the carrots and celery in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Eat real food
This one I’m falling down a bit on.  Most bread in the supermarket has some kind of weird preservative in it.  I’m also trying to use up my peanut butter and salad dressings before I buy more (budgets, ya know).  And of course the cookies and candy at work don’t really work so well for this.  I just need to focus more and be more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth and what I’m buying.  I can do that.  It might be difficult at Disneyland next week, but I’ll do my best.

No white grains
Do onion bagels count as white grain?  Or the rice at lunch yesterday?  Or the flour that’s used to make those delicious cookies in the lunch room?  I’m pretty sure they do.  *sigh*  FOCUS Danie!  I’ve been doing good except for those three slip-ups.  And my sister was super sweet to buy pizza with whole wheat crust for my nephew’s birthday.  Thanks Sis! Yay me – I’m almost succeeding with this one!

Finish one quilt or sewing project each month
All I have to do is attach a border to this hot pink quilted throw I made and the project for month #1 is done!  I also have the stuff I need to complete at least on project for month #2!  This goal is going well.

Buy a house, not a condo
I showed DH some McMansions around our neighborhood that we almost have 10% down on.  I think we’ll probably end up buying something a little more manageable payment and upkeep wise (read: smaller and cheaper).  We have 20% down on bank-owned prices for smaller homes, but we need to save more for closing costs and any repairs/upgrades the houses might need.

Learn basic web development technologies
I haven’t even started on this one.  DH showed me a series of videos I can watch to get the basics down and then take tests to get certified on this stuff.  I’m just not super motivated on this, though.  Got any tips to get me motivated?

Get Project+ certified
This is a direct response to some project management training work sent me to awhile back.  I have all of the training materials I need sitting in the 2nd bedroom upstairs.  Have I watched one refresher video?  No.  Read one chapter of one book?  No.  Maybe I need some prizes to motivate me, what do you think?

Run a 5k without stopping; complete three 5k races; complete two 10k races; complete at least one half marathon; wear a bikini comfortably in public
I decided to lump all of these goals together because they each build on one another.  I signed up for a 5k, I joined a gym, and my rib is healed so I can focus on these goals more.  My weight went up in response to the gym-going though.  Just a pound, but I know that is water retention from the upper body workout I did yesterday.  Seriously, my arm muscles are so sore that it’s a miracle I could turn on the shower this morning.  I also jogged on the treadmill twice this week, which felt really good.  I’ll keep doing that until I’m jogging for the whole 30 minutes the gym allows.

 

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