Wednesday, May 27, 2015

One Lovely Blog Award

I have been nominated by dear sweet, sweet Julie from Pink Doxies and I have been sitting on this nomination for about a week mulling over this post. I love this idea: as part of my nomination I need to write 7 things that people might not know about me, then nominate another bunch of people. Well I love talking about myself, so this should be a piece of cake, right? Now finding people who haven't already played to nominate? Not so easy...
It seems I'm late to the game and all the blogs I follow have already been nominated :( so like a spoil sport I'll just do the fun part and if anyone reading has not been nominated, let me know and I will edit this post. So without further ado, 7 bits of awesomeness about me

1. I spent the majority of my life in theatre and now consider myself "retired". Through acting I got to experience things I never would have before and there will always be a fondness, but I was just too burnt out. Something I had loved turned into resentment. I was never good enough to make a living solely by acting, but I did get to do some amazing things! I toured Eastern Europe with one show, toured China with another. Also with some friends we started our own theatre company and we performed at the Los Angeles Theatre Center...then 13 years ago I needed to get out. I moved to rural Virginia and have been hiding away in a forest and I couldn't be happier! Do I miss it? Not much. I do miss standing on stage commanding the attention of a crowd, but I find other ways to scratch that itch. Which leads me to my next point

2. To escape theatre, I ran as far as I could right into the arms of science. After moving east, I went back to college and got a degree in biology from Longwood University in Farmville VA. I spent 2 summers working for the state parks doing programs for the visitors. I still got to command a crowd, just in a more intimate way. I miss that job greatly, but it didn't pay the bills so I have a "grown-up job" but keep my eyes peeled for a full time parks career.

3. I met my husband in 1995 while I was attending college and we dated for a year and a half before I went back to California. We lost touch. Then 5 years later, through the magic of the internet we reconnected. He told me how he had never gotten over me and I came out to visit and rekindled an old flame.  We decided we couldn't be apart so we got quickly married and I moved with him to the middle of nowhere, Virginia. And I never looked back.

4. We have a special needs daughter who has a condition called Misophonia. It is an extreme hatred of certain sounds that trigger a "fight or flight" response. Her triggers are the sound of chewing or anything eating related. She has very robust hearing, so even if you don't think anyone can hear you, she can from across a room. It causes her to lose control and attack which makes school difficult and meals impossible. We have to eat in a separate room. She has other health issues, but the Misophonia is by far the most disruptive.

5. Where I grew up in CA is on holy land of a Buddhist temple and I am Buddhist (though not a very devout one). I did manage to find a Satsang group nearby that meets once a month, even out here in the middle of nowhere!

6. I haven't been able to work much since January. Between chronic fatigue syndrome and carpal tunnel work has been impossible. So how do I cope? I sew to keep myself sane.

7. I lost my phone yesterday somewhere during my kid's birthday party. It might be at the bottom of a lake. I'm not as panicked as I should be but we will see what the Verizon people say about a deductible.

Thank you for listening :)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Finish for the Pixel Quilt and Mystery Paper Piecing!

My husband had just mowed the grass so I thought our lovely shorn lawn would make a pretty backdrop.
I quilted diagonally across the pixels then in the ditch around the inner border. I used my new Aurifil thread I got as a gift from Fabric N Quilts and I think that made all the difference in the world! I didn't have any tension issues for the 1st time of trying to quilt! I also used another of the gifts they gave me, a paper pieced quilt tag
I have no idea who this quilt will go to, so until then it will stay blank. Also I put a little applique heart off center in the back. I wanted it to look almost like a thought bubble, yet inconspicuous and small. At the same time, it breaks up the blankness of the back? Dunno, but it felt right :P Also a single heart on each side matches with the Le Challenge for this month!
You can see the quilting (I'm not embarrassed to show it!) and the binding (cute little deer!)

Also Janeen over at Quilt Art Designs released a new MYSTERY BLOCK!!! Of course I had to drop everything and piece it up to see what it was. She gives the pattern and the colors, but we didn't know what the picture was supposed to be of. All I knew was it had a lot of browns...and I have some browns but they aren't solids...Well, you see how this poor guy came out!

A plaid lion! Oh the indignity! LOL Now that I know what he is supposed to look like I can go back and make him more stately in less printy fabrics, but that takes all the fun out of it :P

 Linking up with:

Stretch Your Skills @
Le Challenge

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pixel Flimsy

Alida is asking us to Stretch Our Skills!

This month the skill is pixelated quilting. I couldn't do last month's crochet project because with my injured hand there is no way I could wield a crochet hook LOL. So I made sure that this month I jumped in and gave it a go.

I still can't use my rotary cutter with my right hand and the left still isn't strong enough. But I totally lucked out earlier this month and won some awesome swag from Fabrics N Quilts. One of my prizes was a half jelly roll of Robert Kaufman Sorbet Colorstory and it was easy enough to cut 2.5 inch squares that way. The problem, was that my pixel picture was much bigger than I wanted. Originally I was going to do the design in 1.5 inch blocks to make a bag, but with the larger squares I ended up with 26 inch picture. Oh well, put 2 borders on it and call it a baby quilt!

I didn't know that the strips were an ombre shaded lot until I opened them up. It took a little more doing but I'm happy with the over all effect.

I'm not sure if I will ever try this technique again, it was a struggle wrestling with a large piece of paper. Maybe if I do this again I will try a smaller piece first then it wont be so difficult? Also my pieces weren't lined up neat enough so when I sewed the lines together my rows were all puckered or missing the fabric totally (this was stitched on the back of foundation paper)...that might be remedied by better gluing or more attention to detail. Now that I know how it works, those would be a few things I would do different, but all in all I like it!

Linking up with:

Pet Project Show
Stretch Your Skills @
BOM @ QADesigns

Monday, May 11, 2015

My winnings and my wubby hand

I had surgery last week for carpal tunnel on my right hand so I have been spending most of my time in bed doped up on pain pills :( This lovely picture shows how happy I am about it too!
I can't cut my fabric, but I can feed it through the machine. Luckily I cut some in anticipation of being out of commission. Good thing too, because I have a farmer's market that I will be selling some wares on Wednesday and I need more stock. I'm miserable!
My little girl calls it my "wubby hand". "Wubby" is her little kiddo word for injured or hurt and it really does feel wubby!

But! I got something amazing in the mail today!
I won a $35 gift certificate to Fabric N Quilts on Mary Mack's Blog.
Their site was so much fun to look around on that I thought I would never decide on what to pick up.
But since I'm obsessed with paper piecing, I was thrilled to find they have some paper piecing quilt labels!

As if that wasn't exciting enough they sent me some extras :)

I have a jelly roll of Robert Kaufman fabric and some Aurifil thread. I have never used such luxury!
They did their best to make a sick girl happy :) I'm going to recover as quick as I can so I can jump right in and make some quilts!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

My goals for May

I will be off work for most of May if not all, so that should mean a very productive month. But! I'm having hand surgery on my right hand on the 7th so we will see how productive it will actually be.

For my Lovely Year of Finishes, I will finish the baby quilt for my coworker.
I have 1/2 of a flimsy done, I just need to make it bigger then sandwich it and finish!
I will be using the 3 fabrics above, they are doing a jungle/safari theme.

My Button
For the rest of the month, I want to make a shirt for my darling husband. This will be for him to wear to Renaissance Faires and the Celtic Festival. I will be using the the green shirt pattern to the right also out of green fabric to match his Fraser plaid kilt.
This year it will be our 13th wedding anniversary (on May 15th) and the traditional gift for the 13th year is fabric! I am *SO* keeping my fingers crossed that I will get some fabric this year. Usually I just get some sort of knife
He did pick out the pattern and said this is what he wanted...I'll post which knife I end up getting. Last year I got a machete and a drill, sadly I haven't used either :( ...YET! I haven't used either yet, I will when the need arises, I swear!

I also need to make some stock for the farmer's market. I went to a festival yesterday where they had a lot of booths with hand sewn items. I talked to the women running the booths and asked what have been selling well. Mostly it was very simple pillows with novelty print fabrics on them. I have to remember that I will not be selling to other sewists, and to people who don't sew what is printed on the fabric matters so much more than the item as a whole. One booth had children's purses with disney characters on them with simple trim on top and she was almost sold out. So instead of making a few really cooll thing,, I should just go to Walmart, get some cheap Disney princess fabrics and make a ton of 12 inch pillows or something similar. I have made a bunch of chapstick holders for keyrings, and my darling hubby suggested the same thing for lighters in manly fabrics.

Well, I'm gunna get started! Look at me go!