Friday, July 31, 2009

Today's goals!

I joined a new Christmas Challenge found here Di's Christmas Challenge. The challenge is to finish 3 projects in time for Christmas. Think I can do it? I've got a bunch of stuff to do for Christmas, I'd really like this one to be mostly a handmade one, so I'm going to really try my best to get 3 projects done in August, especially since I go back to work in September.

Currently I'm running a load of laundry - actually pre-washing the fabric I'm going to be using for the Scrappy Christmas Block Swap. Especially since I've got a lot of reds, I don't want them to bleed when the recipients of my blocks receive them.


I'll edit this post later tonight with some pictures of my progress. Till later!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Photos, Freebies, Idea and a Swap

Phew - the title of the post says it all huh? First things first - I finished 1 more block on JellyBean's quilt - I'll take pictures of that later. I need to charge the camera battery. It's coming together nicely, if I do say so myself.

I also made a block. I used up some scraps to make it, and now that the one block is made, I've no idea what to do with it.
orphan block

Freebies: While surfing the web I found this site: <- all these goodies will only be available until August 15 - grab them while you can! It's got great ideas for all you crafty people. I'm sure some of you know about the site already, but I figured I'd share anyway.

Idea: Fall Quilt Contest <- I'm entering this one, I've never done a contest before (I've always been afraid of it!) I'll let you all know when I've completed my quilt. I've got a good idea for what I'm going to do for this, and I'll share some sneak-peaks as I make it. My goal is to start it this weekend - and since it can be a wall-hanging, I've got the time to do it. And if I can transfer my idea onto paper and then onto fabric, it just might look good.

My second Idea is coming together for the Block of the Month that I'll be offering here for free. I'm working on a sketch that can be used for Applique or Embroidery for a quilt block, or a mini quilt. I'm going to start the Block of the Month in September, I think that'll be the easiest thing for me to do, and put it up at the 1st of each month. I'm planning on having each of the unfinished blocks be 12.5 inches, so finished they'll be 12". And here's a hint - it'll have a teddy bear in it.

And the Swap: I've signed up for ModernJax's Scrappy Christmas Block Swap (see link to the right). It's closed for sign ups now, but I figured out some of the fabrics I'm going to use for my blocks. This will be my first swap in a long time - so I really hope what I make is up to par with those of you who do swapping regularly. But of course, I just *had* to buy more Christmas fabric, because you can never have enough.. or enough fabric in general. I don't need more fabric, but that's ok.. it's for all those "future" projects. Since I participated in the FabShopHop I found some amazing stores that had Christmas fabric for pretty cheap - so naturally I had to get some. But here is a sampling of the fabrics I'll be using for the Scrappy Christmas Block Swap:

Close up of what will be the center of the blocks:
This one is a little glittery. I love this fabric, and I've been saving it for the right project:
Beary Glittery

And I love this fabric too -it's SnowPeople!
SnowPeople Blocks

All the Fabrics I've got so far:
Santa Faces

To use for Scrappy Quilt Block Swap

To use for Scrappy Quilt Block Swap

To use for Scrappy Quilt Block Swap

To use for Scrappy Quilt Block Swap

To use for Scrappy Quilt Block Swap

A Few Close Ups of Bordering Fabrics:
Isn't Christmas Fun





And just for fun - my stash:
My stash
I do have more in a Rubbermaid tote, but this is the majority of the fabric I have.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fantastic Deals! And an Idea...

JellyBean and I went shopping today. We actually went out to get something for dinner - strawberries, mandarin oranges, lettuce, chicken and croutons. It was absolutely delicious, but I digress. So on our way, we stopped into a store that I've seen tons of times, but never actually been in. Today we went in, and wow, there were some awesome deals. The basic set up of the store is kind of like a Big Lots, but smaller - it's got brand name stuff at close-out prices. Of course, I had to walk up and down every single aisle, even if I wasn't buying anything. But then, I saw the aisle "Home Goods" I never ever expected to find crafty stuff in it - but I did. They had brand name quilting supplies for dirt cheap. I got all of this for under $15! In the kit to the left, there is a book with 17 different patterns in it, as well as containing 3 triangle templates for $6.99, the 3 templates at the top of the photo (two purple triangles and one orange diamond) were only $3.99! And the other two rectangular rulers were only $3.99 for both!

Quilting Supplies

And now as I write this, I've got my hoop next to me, and I'm about to work on some more of JellyBean's quilt.

Question for anyone who's reading this - The border of the quilt is just a solid white - should I quilt her name on each side of the border? That's what I'm planning on, but I'm not sure if it'll look "right" having her name 4 times on the quilt.. What do ya'll think? If I take your idea, I'll make a little gift for whoever's idea I do take.

Now, for my idea.. I'd really like to put together a freebie block of the month for anyone to download. I'm not sure if I should do applique patterns for a quilt or wall hanging. What would you all like to do? Is there any interest in this? Just leave me a note and let me know what you think and if you're interested in it or not.

Till tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sewing, Company and Free Furnature

Yesterday was super busy. I cleaned up the house because I was having company come over and even though we moved in about a month ago, I still have tons of boxes left to unpack. And that's kind of difficult especially when we don't have the furniture for three rooms. So I keep trying to put stuff away but I keep on moving things around.

So A & M came over yesterday to see the house (and my lack of progress in putting things away) but more importantly to spend time with me and the JellyBean. They got here around 3, so I cooked up some lemon pepper chicken with a side of pasta shells, a little salad, fresh carrots and fresh fruit. I really thought that it was good - I love to cook. One of my favorite channels on the television is Food Network. There's just something awesome about cooking up a good meal.

Then, A & M left around 5:30 ish, and I fed the baby, and the phone rang, it was Deb, one of my friends from way back in grade school - I've known her since we were about 6 years old. Terry (DH) and I moved about 2 blocks away from where her parents live! Deb wanted to know if Terry and I wanted to take her parent's extra twin size bed and frame and a lounge chair. Since free is certainly in our budget, I said of course. :) Then Terry got home from work around 6, he brought his co-worker over who's also moving, so she's taking all the boxes that we've unpacked so far. Danielle (his co-worker) brought her sister over and they packed up about 12 boxes!! Deb and her dad came over and set up the bed in the spare room and Terry and I took the baby and we went and picked up the lounge chair. It's got a little scratch in the bottom of it where their cat was, but other than that it's absolutely perfect and it matches our living room so well.

Then we ate dinner and I finally got to do a little more quilting. I got one more block done - not much, but still, it was a bit of progress. I'll post pictures of the progress later today. :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

More Progress

Today was pretty busy. One of my friends from work invited DH, JellyBean and me over to her house for dinner and some video gaming on the Wii. We played Wii Sports at the Resort and it was a ton of fun. I won the Frisbee game on it, and nothing else. But I had fun with it - and it was so much fun! DH won a few of the games, one of them was Canoeing and the other was Archery. JellyBean fell asleep about four hours into being there, so we drove back home. It's not a long way, but it was about 30 minutes of a sleeping baby in the car. She hadn't napped at all since getting up at 6 AM, so it was a nice little break for Mommy and Daddy.

Tomorrow I have 3 more of my co-workers coming over to have a mini house-warming party. There are still a bunch of boxes in one room, but overall I think that I have gotten the house to a relatively neat and orderly state. It always seems like there is just "one more thing to do" before I go to bed at night. But, since having JellyBean, I've really learned to relax and let things go - or at least make reasonable priorities.

Here's the progress on the quilt. Since these photos were taken I've gotten 4 more blocks quilted, and it really feels to me like I'm making progress. I just hope to keep up this good progress and have it totally done before I go back to work in September.

More blocks

And here's a few close-ups of the center squares. I fell in love with the fabric and wanted to make something beautiful for my beautiful little JellyBean.

Peter Rabbit


Peter Rabbit

3 Bunnies

I've got a handful of these blocks left over, but they're only about 7 inches or so(I forgot the exact measurements of the blocks) and I have no idea what to do with them. Any ideas? Feel free to comment!

And after I finish this quilt, I'll be making miniature quilts for Alzheimer's research. I've been following Ami Simms and her work for a while, and I decided that I was going to make the $1000 promise. Goodness knows I've enough orphaned blocks laying around and ideas to make some miniature quilts. If you don't know about this project check it out here:
The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Till tomorrow night! Have fun

Friday, July 24, 2009

3 hours later..

With six phone calls, the doorbell ringing twice, a very hungry baby and lunchtime for me, I finally got one block totally done! Yay! I'm on my way to finally getting JellyBean's quilt done.

Here are my progress photos:
The one full block done:
first block done!

Close up of the quilting:
Close up of quilting

Started Hand Quilting The Baby's Quilt

Today I embark on a new challenge. So far, all but one of the quilts I've made have been machine quilted. The one quilt I did hand quilt was only an 8x8 and it wasn't really a proper "quilt". It was made when I was really young and I needed a doll house rug - so I can't count that. And besides, I didn't have a sewing machine back then.

Now, I've started the journey to hand quilting my daughters Peter Rabbit quilt. I started making the top before she was born and completed the top in November 2008, right around Thanksgiving. Because I was due in the beginning of December 08, I couldn't sit in the sewing chair for too long (I was *huge*!!) so the top went unfinished until now. I wanted this quilt to be something super special for my daughter - she's our first child. I poured hours of love into making the top, and I wanted to do something equally as nice for the quilting. But, as I got bigger and bigger, the less and less I could sit in the chair. Even finishing the top before she was born was a true labor of love (pardon that pun). Then after she was born, I was too enthralled with a new baby and I wanted to be with her all the time, so sewing and quilting definitely took a back seat. I packed up all my fabric and other sewing treasures and concentrated on being a good mom. In April, DH and I started looking for our own house. We found a house that we fell in love with and closed on it in the last week in June after I finished work for the school year. We planned it this way so that I have the summer off to unpack and relax before the school year starts again. So again, all my sewing stuff stayed packed up for the move. I've got a lot of the unpacking done now, there's still about twelve boxes left to unpack, but now I can devote some more time to sewing - and now I've got my own sewing space - not just on the dining room table anymore! When I get my sewing space up I'll post some photos.

So now, the hand quilting has begun. I think what I'm going to do is to quilt in the ditch around the blocks, and quilt her name into the border. I've got this awesome variegated thread that is purple, light blue yellow and light green that matches perfectly with the quilt top.

I hope that when JellyBean grows up she realizes how much love went into the quilt, and still loves it - faults and all.

Here's the quilt in the hoop:
In the hoop

Close up of one of the blocks:
one block

15 minutes into the hand-quilting: (Apologies for the lightness. I hope you can see the stitches)
Starting the hand quilting - 15 minutes in

Thursday, July 23, 2009

First Post in my New Blog

Well, this is my first post in this new blog. A few years ago, I had a blog, but in the course of my husband moving from the UK to the USA, having our immigration interview (and DH getting his Green Card!!) having a baby, finishing graduate school, computer crashes and moving house (all while working full time) I lost the URL and password. So here's the new blog. I'm calling it JellyBean Stitches because I love to stitch and JellyBean is the nickname of my 7 month old daughter. My husband and I called the baby JellyBean when I first found out that I was pregnant and we didn't know the baby's gender. JellyBean just stuck.

We just moved into our new house at the very end of June, and it is difficult unpacking with a curious 7 month old who is crawling into everything. My goal is to finish unpacking the one room where all the boxes are before I go back to work in September.

I'd like to say that I'm a craft addict. I love crafting - I'm not really good at it, but practice makes perfect right? I cross stitch, embroider (still learning some stitches), do general sewing, and quilting. Probably like most crafters, I learned from a family member - my Grandmother. My grandmother is now 86 and doesn't really do stitching anymore, she's the one who taught me how to cross stitch, embroider and
quilt. I love the look of crochet and knitting, but for the life of me I can't figure them out (and I've tried the lefthanded books and instructions)

So I guess now I'll do a little show and tell on a few of my quilts. I'm by no means an expert, nor am I as good as a lot of the quilters I've seen online, but it's something I love to do - and that's what matters right?

Celtic Knot Quilt
This one was made for my god-mother who is Irish. It was one of my first quilts, and I created the pattern on graph paper. It's tied with little shamrock buttons.

Hawaii 5-0 Quilt
I just adore this quilt. I don't know why really - the background is really kind of ugly, and it's super bright, but I love it. I call it my Hawaii 5-0. :)

Civil War Repro
Not really sure what I was thinking when I made this one. The brown is still one of my favorite fabrics, and I have just enough left for another project, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it since I don't have many reproduction fabrics left.

And here is a close up of a crazy quilted fabric postcard I made for a swap a couple years ago. Sorry the quality isn't better, but it was the only photo I could find.
Crazy Quilted Fabric Postcard