Monthly Archives: October 2013

Goodbye; I Want to Make Another.

Thanks to my aunt’s custom tree skirt, I’ve been tracking the costs of making one. I’ve noticed that it’s actually an affordable piece of art! Aaaand it’s something that I’d make again. So I made an etsy listing saying exactly that. You could have your very own for only $150. Plus you get to choose the fabrics! How awesome is that?! Here’s the listing.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/167519437/custom-modern-christmas-tree-skirt-your?

Goodbye pretty tree skirt. Hopefully I get to make s’more like you soon. Have a great first Christmas back east.

byeskirt
Isn’t it pretty?!

skirtfull

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Even Tree Skirts are Creative Opportunities

Every project has its own unique story. For example, I just finished this custom ordered tree skirt for my Aunt. I chose some modern fabrics and ran them by her to make sure she didn’t want something more traditional…. and then, as I sometimes do… I stole them. More accurately, I used a LOT of the rusty red fabric in another project. I had it right there in my stash just waiting to be used… but it was waiting to be used for this project. Oops.

Well, that’s where creativity comes in. I had planned to make this tree skirt out of alternating print and red in 8 equal sections. Instead, I cut up the red that remained into four 1/16th wedges. I still wanted the main print to have 4 large sections. So that left room for two more 8ths which I pulled from another beautiful print. Putting them together, I inserted the red where I thought the patterns needed some rest. Guess what? That means it’s not symmetrical. And, I think it’s more modern and beautiful in its imperfection that it would have been if everything went according to plan.

I constructed and quilted this tree skirt and then put binding around the raw edges. Of course, the plan was to use the red print as the binding too… which would bring it all together nicely. Yeah, I don’t have nearly enough red print left to make binding. Another design opportunity. I’m creative; I can figure this out! Time to audition fabrics.

skirtauditions

I saw that the yellow would work nicely… and decided to go bold with the blue circles. Bold is good. It’s scary and could make the whole project wonderful. Once it was sewn on, I decided it was waaaay cooler than the yellow ever could have been. Adds some sass and whimsy.

skirtbinding

 

The backing? Yeah. That was going to be the red, too. (But that other project really needed it, honest! When I can I’ll show you the quilt I’m talking about. No other fabric would have done the job as well.) I often piece backings for my quilts, but I wanted this tree skirt to have the option of being double-sided… which called for a one-fabric back. So I pawed through my stash, hoping to find something large enough that would compliment the front. Turns out that the Asian fabric that I bought over a year ago because it was just so beautiful that I had to have it was just waiting to be used in this particular project. It’s the deep blue print in the photo below.
skirtbackopening

So here she is in all of her glory. It’s been a great ride. I’ve stretched myself and made something I’m proud of. I hope my aunt loves this skirt as much as I do. Now to throw her in the wash and send her off to New England. Safe travels, my friend. I really do love you.skirtfull

 

 

* It’s not too late to get your custom tree skirt order in for this year.

Disapproving Owl Judges You

I saw a meme on Pinterest last night that said, “I used to be a people person until people ruined it for me.” It’s snarky but a bit of a downer. As a born introvert I actually feel the opposite way. I can totally be a people person… depending on which people you’re talking about.

Take these owls, for example. The first is dubbed “Disapproving Owl.” Surely, you can see why. This ceramic ornament was in the window next to our front door when we moved in to the new place. It felt like he was saying, “do what you want, but you’ll never be welcome here.” As soon as we could, he was removed from the house.

Disapproving Owl

Actually, my husband finds it hilarious that I think this owl is so creepy… so he’s hidden Disapproving Owl somewhere in the garage. That way he can make random reappearances and wig me out. Thanks honey.

The second owl is one we bought while running errands yesterday. He was on display in hardware store. “Mo” thinks you’re curious. You may be strange but if wide-eyed Mo watches long enough you’ll no doubt do something interesting. Maybe even something spectacular! Mo is mo’ like the people who I choose to be around… who’ve helped me become a mo’ of a people person. (See what I did there?! Mo thinks it was clever.)

Whowhooo

I don’t think I’ll ever really grow out of being an introvert. I value my alone time and feel overwhelmed when there’s lots of activity around me. So I’ll sit quietly in my room and Mo will look at me with encouragement and I’ll remember that I’ve chosen the right people to be around… and they’re nothing like that @#(* Disapproving Owl.

I Have Helpers, Don’t You?

Doesn’t it feel good to finish something? This time, I had a lot of help. Here are my helpers, in chronological order.

  • My own desire to make a quilt for my first biological niece. (I married into a family with babies, so technically this isn’t the first time I’ll be Aunt Megan.)
  • My Aunt suggesting that we paint the letters of my sister’s baby’s name during her shower weekend… which didn’t work out because the parents were keeping that a secret until she was born.
  • The flash of creativity that gave me the idea to make a signature quilt. We would write our guesses for the baby girl’s name on fabric and I’d make it into a quilt.
  • All of the family members who came together to celebrate my sister in January of this year… and also happened to sign blocks for the baby’s quilt.
  • A deadline. Yup, I’ve had this quilt in the works since January… and by “in the works” I mostly mean sitting in a drawer being ignored. I get to spend this Thanksgiving with my family and deliver the finished quilt in person. That is, if I finish it in time.
  • My online quilting group. We call ourselves Snowflakes. I posted photographs of the quilt and said that I was basting it… which gave me accountability and made me actually do it.
  • A dear friend who invited me over to sew with her on Saturday. I borrowed her marking pen and quilted the whole thing in one sitting. Straight-line quilting is much less boring to do when you’re across from a chatty friend.
  • My Hulu shows. I enjoy hand-stitching the binding on quilts late at night with the TV on. Unfortunately, late night TV isn’t something I enjoy watching but there’s always “Bones” and “Once Upon a Time” in my queue.

So here I am putting the last few stitches on the binding. I’ll add a label tomorrow and toss it in the wash to minimize the amount of cat hair I’m giving away. And TA-DA! Done.

Binding Mary

Binding Doesn’t Have to be Boring

Creativity is allowed when you bind your quilt, too. Baby Mary’s quilt is getting a pretty pink binding around the light green border… but it isn’t a solid pink. There are monkeys involved here. And yes, lots of them will have their heads or butts cut off once it’s double-folded and sewn down to the edges of the quilt. But that’s okay. I think it’ll still be cute, and add some interest.

Monkey Binding

In the past I’ve also pillowcase-turned quilts instead of binding them and even fringe-cut one. So really, it’s up to you to decide on the look you’re going for. Don’t be afraid to audition new fabrics and techniques. If you don’t like it, there’s always your handy-dandy seam ripper.

 

 

Did you know I do custom orders? This baby quilt is an example of a custom quilt that will be given as a gift. Actually, most of my work is custom…. whether it’s for myself, as a gift, or for paying customers. Interested? Contact me and we’ll talk about it.

Somebunny Hid the Cottons!

I’m working my way through Tula Pink’s newest book City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks with some quilty friends of mine. One of the cool things about this book is that the author encourages you to name your own blocks, providing numbers to reference them by.

Here’s my version of #87. I call it “Hide the Cottons!” It reminds me of a map of a fabric store. Not a quilt shop, mind you, but a JoAnns-ish fabric store. Where are buttons? All over the store. Where’s the fabric? Easily accessible and plain to see. How about the quilting cottons? Well… those are hidden in the dark recesses of this itty-bitty corner where the dust bunnies breed. Ugh!

#87 Hide the Cottons!

 

Speaking of bunnies, I had the chance to meet one that wasn’t made of dust (or cat hair) this weekend! Our neighbor’s cat chased him into the garage, where we had to move a bunch of boxes and poke him with a 2×4 before he was caught. We decided to put him in a cat-carrier cage until the neighbor’s cat had been let in for the night, hoping to save little cotton tail from becoming dinner. I even offered him some carrots but he was busy being scared out of his mind. Here’s the little guy in the carrier.

caged bunny

When it was time to let him go, my husband picked him up with welding gloves on. Wild animals are known to bite, right? Safety first!

he has ears

I gave him some pets before he hopped home. He calmed right down and squinted his eyes when I stroked the top of his head and the base of his ears. Hubby said his heart-rate slowed way down, too, from what he could tell through the gloves. Somebunny likes pets

So cute.

Note to Self: Make New Friends

Does anybody else write notes to themselves? My sewing machine has making the ker-thunk noise that indicates the needle is bent or dull for (embarrassingly) a few days now. So after my sewing session last night, I wrote myself a nice little note. See, it’s hard to make myself get up and go find the container in the closet where I stashed the needles until I find a more permanent place for them after I’ve sat down to sew. So I just don’t, and deal with the ker-thunk. But this note reminded me before I was ready to begin, so check! Needle has been changed and the machine is purrring along nicely.

Dude.

My friend Melissa has become local, since I moved to her area. Last night she invited me to check out her guild and generously even offered me a ride there and back. Yeah, she’s awesome like that.

So, new experiences are scary. I’m a member of what used-to-be my local guild still, and make the trek back there every few months to participate and catch up with my friends. So the guild thing wasn’t scary, but the room full of people that I don’t know and want to is. So I put on my big-girl panties and introduced myself around. After I was emotionally exhausted from putting myself out there (with mostly positive results) I saddled up next to Melissa at her table in the back and pulled out some handwork.

Then, the most amazing thing happened. People started coming up to me. They wanted to see what I was doing and it was a great conversation starter. Plus, this particular handwork project, my crazy hexagons, is uniquely mine. It showcases my skills and preferences, and is something I’m passionate about. It’s easier to talk about something I’m passionate about than attempt small-talk with strangers.

Hexies in Progress

 

The results of the evening speak for themselves. I joined the guild. Also, I have multiple invitations from potential new-friends to sit with them next month. And I’ve been asked to bring some quilts for show-and-share… which I’m sure will just lead to more conversations and companionship. Love it.