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Halfway and counting down…

I’m calling this the halfway point.  I emptied the shelves and put lots of stuff into bins.  We’ll be moving these shelves into the next room and then putting in some way deeper shelves.
Gotta find a sunny spot for my table.  It all looks so spare and tidy now 
But this is only some of what I have to put back in an orderly fashion.  
Actually, I’m going to cal it the thirdway point.
There’s more here.  The quarterway point is starting to feel right.  I’d better get up and get moving.  
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Keep It Cool

We have a couch in our kitchen in the place of a kitchen table.  It’s the most popular seat in the house. I usually just buy the cheapest and cleanest love seat I can thrift because they are fairly disposable.  We do eat on them after all.
 This one is pretty comfy but the throw pillows were very poorly sewn together and have been falling apart, so I decided to recover them.  
  I thought it would be so smart to re-use the baby quilt backing that I had unsewn and some nice, soft, red stretch velvet that I had on hand. Thinking myself clever should have been my first warning. 
I don’t know what I did wrong.  I measured really carefully but they ended up being way too small.  Getting those pillow forms in there was quite an impressive but ultimately pointless feat. 
Just compare the pillow size here with the picture above.  …sigh…
So, I took them apart again and used some of the denim squares that were sitting and waiting for me to think about them again. True to form, I overcompensated in the other direction and now they are really loose.  I think I’ll need to unseam them on one side and wrap the pillow forms with quilt batting and sew them up again.  How clever!  They’ll be perfect!  WARNING WARNING!!  
I had better keep it cool.
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The Wash Turned The Birds Upside Down

Before the wash
After the wash
After ironing after the wash.
I wish I had measured it before washing it for a comparison.   It looks smaller in the picture but I probably had the camera at a slightly different angle so there’s no telling.
Check out those monster bumps on the jeans side:
 I could have sewn the lines of stitching closer together but I wanted to sew around the pockets so they could still be usable.
 So…bumps it is.

Besides slightly fading the colors in a pleasing, vintage-y way, all the wash did was turn the birds upside down (just kidding).   Well, not really, obviously bird fabric shrank.  I’ve sewn jean quilts with lots of space between stitches before and they didn’t bump like this.  I’m considering this quilt a lesson quilt rather than a failure quilt because that’s just the way I think.  I’m still gonna gift it.  I think having a quilt with usable pockets is more important than having a quilt that is perfectly smooth…right?
Getting gifts with a bunch of apology statements is kind of uncomfortable so the real trick will be handing it over without any qualifying statements.  Like it just is what it is and it’s all on purpose and doesn’t need any explanation.  So, that’s my next challenge.  Wish me luck.
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The Queen of Finishing

 I was the Queen of finishing yesterday.
I will admit to tossing and turning in bed a couple of times because I was worried about the colors being so un baby like.  I also worried about the weight of the quilt.  But I’m all in now.    
I did add a couple of lines of purple stitching.
 In my “so into this project I’m going a little nuts” brain, I imagined them as two friends who’s lives intersect and then separate over and over, but they still care for each other.  
Does anyone else do that or am I just a little goofy?
Probably both.  
Here’s a spot that looked a little weak.
The edge of the denim was  little frayed where I sewed them together so I reinforced it a bit.  It was also just fun to stitch. 
 Here’s a patch I added where I didn’t like the way the intersection of blocks looked so I just covered it up.  I could have kept adding and changing details into the wee hours.  As it is, I was up till midnight.
And here’s the ultimate test.  The quilt is in the wash, regular cycle, as I type!  Even though the colors aren’t typically babyish, it is a baby quilt and will need to be able to withstand a lot!  I may have to do some repairs after the wash but I prefer to be the one to do them, along with whatever reinforcing it will need.  
I’ll post pictures of the aftermath. 
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Randomly Diagonal

Almost done stitching.  I picked off white thread to quilt the layers together.  I know, kinda boring.  I did stop by Ben Franklin today to pick up some purples that match the purples in the quilt.  I plan on just stitching a line or two in purple.
I didn’t want to stitch it horizontally and vertically because I thought it would look stupid with the strong verticals on the backing so I went -surprise! surprise!- randomly diagonal.
Sorry these pictures kinda stink.  It’s the lighting in the basement, I think.  
 I’ve made some pretty good progress.  After a couple more lines of stitching across the quilt, I’ll have just the edging to go.
I hope to deliver it on Thursday.  I will post pictures of it when it’s completed. 
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One Quilt, Three Scandals

 I’ve made some progress on the baby quilt.  Finally…
 Quilt sandwich pre-pinning
And post pinning.  Compared to my last quilt, which was king sized, 
this was  piece o’ cake.
 Here’s the fabric for the other side.  It’s not soft.  Isn’t that somewhat scandalous for a baby blanket?  I really tried to talk myself into other fabrics but the second I saw this in the store, I knew this fabric had to be the backing of this quilt.  It can always end up as a “throw it on the yard or floor” quilt.  With all that denim, it’s not really destined to be a baby covering quilt anyway. 
 Look at those cute birdies.
I hope it’ll soften up when I wash it.  That’s right.  Scandal number two is that I didn’t wash it first.  I’m hoping that when I wash it the first time, once it’s all sewn up, it will take on a nice, vintage look and feel.
Scandal number three:  It’s dry clean only.  Obviously, that ain’t gonna happen.  My only worry is that frequent washing will wear it out faster than I would hope. 
Knock wood that it ends up being sturdy.
Next step is to pick the quilting thread color, which is always so much fun!
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I made this for a friend/co-worker.
Gotta have at least one pocket for keys and phone.
  I based it on a pattern from “Linen Wool Cotton” by Akiko Mano, which I love.  I’ve made variations on this bag two or three times now.  It’s a beautiful book full of simple projects but it’s also full of pattern mistakes and there’s no official errata page, so if you sew something from it, google around for peoples’ notes first.
 I couldn’t stop myself from embellishing a tiny bit.  It wasn’t fabric that I would have chosen and it just needed some contrast.
 Every little bit helps.  I did all my finishing by hand which takes longer but just looks cleaner – at least when do it.  When I finish by machine it’s always super messy.
There it sits on the baby quilt that I’m neglecting.  I’d work on the quilt right now but I really think I need another cup of coffee first….
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Still here Update

I know.  No posts for a month and then two in a day.  What could I be thinking?  
Look at all that floor.  And, look! A table top that hasn’t been seen for months and months. 
I’m just so proud of myself.  It’s not done by a long shot but it’s so much better.  Now I know that I have way too much linen and have to make something out of it really soon.  Also I have lots of awesome IKEA print fabrics that I completely forget about.
We got the giant cork board up and hubs is busy hanging art still; check out what he did with my denim quilt back there is the guest/game/workout/storage room.
I got rid of lots of wool and some pretty linen clothing that I was going to cut up but then I decided against it.  So…whaddaya all say to a crap craft swap? 
The going away pile.
I think I’ll ask if Sector67 is willing to host one. Would you (local folks) come?
I might even give away some of my baskets – I haven’t used them in forever.  I do love me some baskets.
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Still here

I have had very limited access to the computer and a really bad time getting my pictures on to the web since my laptop’s unfortunate demise.  I haven’t bought a new one because I’m just sure we’ll be able to repair ours someday, somehow when we acquire knowledge that we just don’t begin to have right now.  but I’m sure we will one day.  🙂 
So, here is a picture of my project for today taken with the camera on my phone.
Check out that giant cork board that I scored at the ReStore for $5!  I think it’s like, eight feet long.  Awesome.
I’m tackling the fabric stash and trying to get rid of at least two bins of fabric.  Can it be done?  We shall see.
In the meantime, please enjoy this talk on creativity by John Cleese:
It’s a little over 30 minutes long so if you want the shorter version check out Brain Pickings, which you really check out anyway because I’m sure you would love it.  Thanks to my friend Jen for telling me about it.
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Attention Span Issues


We got another hole in the denim couch.  
 Again, a reminder:  
Denim wears out whether the ass is inside or outside of the pants.  
I patched the last hole with a denim square that I embroidered for the meandering stitched quilt:
But now I’ve used all those in the quilt plus I’m not very good at doing things twice – attention span issues – so this time I just darned the hole with embroidery thread.
I had a great time with it and may add some more stitches.  
I was inspired by this person, though her patching is much tidier than mine. 
I had to re-learn AGAIN, that just because I come up with an idea, doesn’t make it automatically happen.  I have to actually DO something. So inconvenient.  
So, I finally started stitching together the latest quilt.  It’s become my original Upstairs, Downstairs series quilt.  Do you ever do that?  Associate a project with whatever you’re listening to or watching while you work on it?  I do it every time.  
Long term projects can be confusing because I’ll listen to or watch so many things that this quilt might end up as the:
It’s that spice of life thing again.  A reoccurring theme in my life for sure.
I won’t be updating the blog as much as I’d like because my laptop died.  I have to go to work, upload my pictures, email them to myself, wait my turn for the desktop computer (I have two kids so it’s a long wait) and then I can get every computer related thing done that’s waiting for me to do.  
I’ll aim for once a week but no promises.