Friday, February 27, 2009

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Swapping

I just joined my first swap online! I'm very excited about it. I received Amy Karol's "Bend the Rules Sewing" book for Christmas over a year ago and used it to make some baby bibs. I've had some fabric set aside to make the Charming Handbag out of the book, but hadn't gotten around to it. So, I was thrilled to find a "Bend the Rules Sewing" Swap blog. They just happen to be swapping the Charming Handbag, so I figure this is a great way for me to try out the world of swapping. I just sent my e-mail in today and the deadline to sign up is tomorrow.

We'll see how this goes. Wish me luck!

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Love Mail :)

When I was younger, I always had a pen pal. I used to love writing messages to a girl about my age in some "exotic" place like Indiana (hey, when you're 8 and live in NY, Indiana is pretty exotic). Perhaps more exciting was always getting a letter from her. It didn't matter so much what she wrote about - it was probably our mutual love for some teen movie star of those days - but more that someone had taken the time to put something together for me and pop it in the mail. Then it travelled all the way to NY just waiting to be opened.

Now, I've outgrown the idea of a penpal - I have plenty of friends from my travels in college, grad school and my time living in Boston whom I communicate with via e-mail, Facebook, etc. But, the idea of getting mail is still fun. My current living situation is such that I don't get mail delivered directly to my home, but rather have to pick it up at a postal box. Oftentimes, my mailbox is full of flyers, magazines and of course, bills, but other times, it's such a joy to open up my little box in the world to find a card, or better yet a pink slip!

Now, a pink slip doesn't usually elicit a response of joy, but in my case - it means only one thing...a package! So this morning, after waiting the requisite amount of time from handing over my credit card number, I found a pink slip waiting there just for me.

I had ordered a bunch of fabric from The Quilter's Paradise last week and it arrived today (well, technically it arrived on Saturday, but I have to wait until Monday to pick up mail). So, to add to my already large stash that I picked up at the Shop Hop, I added these four beautiful holiday prints...

The tan one has holly sprigs on it and will hopefully serve as a good background for some pillows my mother has requested for next Christmas. Given my success/completion rate with last Christmas' gifts/projects - I figured I should get a jump start on it now.

I also found the panel below - which made me very excited. I purchased two of Nancy Halvorsen's "Art to Heart" books earlier this year and was super thrilled to find a panel that went along with some of the projects. I'm hoping I can whip these up for my quilt guilds bi-annual Holiday Silent Auction/sale.

And with that, I should probably head to bed for the evening. I've got a bright and early day ahead of me in the office.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Think I Have a Problem...

As I said in my earlier blog the local quilt guild in the next county over held their Shop Hop yesterday. I drove there with my boyfriend, who had to work in town, and he dropped me off for some fun shopping. Now, I don't get to quilt shops all that often, as there aren't a ton close by to my home - it'd be at least a 30 minute drive, and I don't usually have that amount of time. So, the idea of having 20+ stores in one place meant I'd been saving my pennies to do some serious damage :) I consider it making up for 6 months of no real shopping.

I had a lovely time - ran into some ladies from my quilt guild, and took a long time browsing. I took the first half of my excursion to walk through all the vendors and browse. I wanted to compare selections and prices before committing to anything. All in all, that worked well for me, except in the case of one pattern that I loved, but didn't get back to before it was all bought up - I guess I have popular taste. Luckily the shop said I could call and they'd send me one.

Below is a picture of my spoils. I showed my boyfriend after we got back home and felt a bit embarrassed, but all in all, I think everything I bought (with the exception of a few fat quarters) already have a destiny to become a specific project - mainly gifts!
After shopping, I headed across the street for a tasty lunch of Chick-Fil-A. It had to be guilt free, since I didn't have a car (BF was still working) and it was that or Pizza Hut! Then, I headed over to the Walmart - once again, in walking distance - and got some errands done until BF was able to pick me up.

We then headed to his work - I'd never seen it, got a tour of the town, and had dinner with his co-workers. All in all, a very fun, but exhausting day. I was happy to get home, put on my PJs, and review my goodies!

Now, it's a quiet day at home utnil it's time to go to the gym this evening and then dinner. Not much planned, except some laundry and maybe even some sewing!

Friday, February 20, 2009


As I spent time cleaning my apartment tonight, I began to realize how many works in progress (I prefer that term to UFOs) I have floating around. Having read so many other quilters' posts, I've been inspired to make it a challenge to get through as many as possible this year!

I'm picking something that might actually happen - as opposed to jumping on the bandwagon of trying to clear out my stash...I just love it too much! Plus, I'm headed to a Shop Hop tomorrow in the next county over, and with the promise of 23 shops, I know I'll just increase my stash, as opposed to reducing it. And on top of it, the FabShopHop site was hosting a Blowout Sale this week and I found some lovely items for Christmas presents from the Quilter's Paradise. Those goodies should be arriving in the post and hopefully I'll pick them up on Monday from my post office box!

And so, in hopes of guilting myself into actually getting these done, I'll share some of what I'm currently working on....

My "Flower Power" pillows. I've been working on these since 2005 - sad how far I haven't gotten. They were originally meant to soften up a really ugly black hard leather sofa I had in an apartment, which luckily stayed behind in Boston when I moved. Now, I think they'll still make a nice addition to the apartment, if I can ever get them done.

I found this top as a kit in a cute little shop nearby. I thought it was a fun pattern and some interesting fabrics - unlike anything else I've ever made, so I picked it up. I also happened to be taking a Machine Quilting class right around the same time and figured it'd be the perfect thing to practice on - it's busy enough, I'd never see the hundreds of mistakes I was bound to make. Unfortunately, the top took me so long, I still haven't gotten around to quilting it yet!

I made this quilt for my Mom's birthday last year. Unfortunately, I hadn't gotten it finished in time for her surprise party, and as you can probably tell, I haven't made much progress since. But I will get this done!!!
There are definitely more than just these, but for some reason, my internet is being difficult and not letting me import anymore. Perhaps that's a sign I should stop typing and start sewing!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Football and Domesticity...

...not two items you ever really expect to put together, but this weeknd allowed me to combine two of my favorites. I guess to make that accurate, I would have to say Steelers football and domesticity, but you get the picture.

I hosted my first ever party in my apartment this past weekend. We had a wonderful time with lots of good food, crazy commercial and a fantastic game that had me on the edge of my seat. I was able to channel my inner mother and put together a bunch of fun game-time snacks including spinach dip, mini-hot dogs, turkey chili, spinach artichoke dip, onion dip and cupcakes to look like footballs. I think my friends had some fun and it was nice to connect with everyone here in a social setting.

And perhaps best of all - the Steelers won! Woo hoo!

Other than that, it's just been busy at work. Not a ton of time for crafting, but the baby blanket is coming along, as well as a couple of other projects I'm going to keep secret for the time being, as they're presents to be shared with the ones I love and I like to keep a little bit of mystery when I can.