Friday, November 16, 2007


AmandaJean from Crazy Mom Quilts decided to start a Quilt-A-Long, so I've decided to join. I've never done anything like this before, so I figured, why not? She's posting instructions to a different quilt block for 12 weeks. By the end I'm thinking that I should have enough to make a somewhat random lap sized quilt. Last night I went to JoAnn's to pick up some cheap additional fabric for the quilt. I want this quilt to be bright colors accenting a white background. Here's my rainbow selection. Maybe I went a little overboard...

Rainbow of colors

This morning I made my first block. It was relatively simple. So that's always nice.
Block #1

Monday, November 5, 2007

Under 200...

It's finally less than 200 days until my wedding! It seems like it is still forever away, but at least 199 sounds better than 200. :) I'm finding that I don't really enjoy wedding planning as much as I thought I would. I guess I didn't realize that it is a whole lot more than the big, white dress that I've been looking forward to wearings for... well, forever. I mean, you have to think about things like DJs and whether I want flowers between the layers of my cake or not. And let's be honest here, the amount of money that I'm paying for that cake is ridiculous, so of course I'm not exited about thinking of ways to make it even more expensive! Another thing that makes it difficult is that Shawn and I are equally unexcited about the wedding itself- we really just want to be married. We've decided to start praying for better attitudes towards the wedding. I mean, if you think about it, it's hard to be excited about something when all you think about is how much you have to do, how far away it is, and how ridiculous the price tag will be. So that's the new thing. We're going to be exited about this thing! :)

This past Friday I went bridesmaid dress shopping with my cousin who is my Matron of Honor. We had a good time. We found these great dresses.

Oh, the lampshade effect is so wonderful.

Looks like split pea soup in dress form.

Ok. So just kidding. After Thanksgiving we should have a real decision made. Maybe then I'll finally be able to answer the question "What are you colors?" after the 100th person asks!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Quilt DONE!

It is finished.

I've finally finished the "Earth Tones" quilt. Last weekend Shawn and I went to Chicago to visit his sister. My intention was to finish the binding in the 8 hours of driving we'd be doing that weekend. Too bad I didn't take into account the fact that it would get dark during our drive and I'd actually only had at most 3 hours to work on it. Oh well. Last night I finally finished it up and I'm happy to be done and ready to move onto my next project.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Oh yeah!

Also, Shawn and I had engagement pictures taken last weekend. Our proofs are online here. Enjoy! :)

And I also made a wedding countdown:
DaisypathWedding Ticker

It seems so far...

Pumpkin Picking

This Saturday Shawn and I went to the pumpkin patch and picked some pumpkins. This was the first time that I'd ever picked my own pumpkins, so I was pretty excited and took some pictures. Shawn informed me that he felt silly taking pictures of pumpkin picking. Not all of us were lucky enough to have parents who grew pumpkins in their backyard growing up. Here's my first pumpkin. Isn't it cute?

The pumpkin patch we went to has so many cool pumpkins. There were the traditional orange ones, but they also had some "specialty types". We were both quite impressed by the all white pumpkin and the "bloodshot" pumpkin. The all white one was just that- all pure white. It was pretty amazing. I didn't know pumpkins came like that! The bloodshot pumpkins were mostly white, but they had what looked like orange veins on the surface. It made it look like a bloodshot eye! It was really neat! I wish I would have taken a picture of one of those ones, but check out the white ones in this one!
We took our pumpkins to my parents house that evening where we all carved them. That was pretty fun. However, as you can tell from the picture below, none of us are especially artistically inclined. And yes, my pumpkin is that crappy one on the left.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Quilting done!

I have successfully finished my first attempt at machine quilting. It was so quick and easy. Wonderful. Doing the zig zag pattern was kind of a lot of work, but I like the way it paid off.

I was successful at making no noticeable puckers either! So that's nice! However, I don't know if my sewing machine is really cut out to do machine quilting. Honestly, there are time that I wonder if it is cut out to do any sewing in general. Instead of puckers, it decided to "bird nest" (as the Singer site likes to call it) on the underside. It drives me nuts when it does this. It doesn't only happen while I'm quilting either. I think my machine is just really finicky and likes to decide when it is going to work properly and when it's not.

Now it's off to figuring out how to do a binding. On Evan's quilt I used the satin edging and just kind of "winged it" because I was in a hurry (I finished it the morning of the baby shower). Now it's time to sit down and actually figure out how to do it properly.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Irritating pattern

The current pattern I'm using = most irritating pattern ever

I don't know what I was thinking. I think the end result will look fine, but in this case, the end will certainly not justify the means. It was just way too much blind work.

Problem 1: There are so many random steps that there is no way to find any "work in progress" gratification. I'm the type of person who likes to see SOME sort of results along the way. This quilt had none of that. It's also a good way to make sure I'm not screwing everything up! When I got to the last step I had to take a deep breath and hope for the best!

Problem 2:
When you're not a pro at using the rotary cutter it could turn out tragic. Notice the very small amount of tan left on the top piece compared to the bottom piece. Dang it for somehow starting to cut my piece on a slight curve...

Problem 3:
Since that one pieced ended up narrow, it also ended up shorter. And now since I had placed all of my eggs in one basket I have no extra fabric left to fix it. :( If only I had been able to see my errors BEFORE I got to the last step.

The moral of the story: if you want a zig zag quilt pattern, use something like this.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We have a date!

That is some sparkling wine Shawn and I had to celebrate this big night in the wedding planning process. We signed a contract and officially have a date! Yay! May 23, 2008 is the big day! We'll be getting married and having the reception at Glen Oaks in Farmington Hills, MI.

P.S. Isn't that the cutest little bottle of sparkling wine ever?!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Long time, no sewing

It has been a long time since I've done much sewing at all. Back in July I went to visit some friends in Colorado. Then the following weekend I moved. Life since the move has been quite busy between unpacking, wedding planning, and just doing things in general. It has made it difficult to sit down and doing any sewing. However, a week or two ago I started working on my next quilt. I was going to wait until I was done hand quilting my orange quilt, but hand quilting in the 90 degree and super humid Michigan weather was making that take far too long. I've made some headway on the new quilt though. The pattern I am using has quite a few steps- cut some strips, sew them together, cut some more, sew those together, trim, sew some more. I'm interested in seeing how it turns out. This quilt requires so much more cutting than the ones I've done before. Here's a picture of step 3: "Cut some more". If only I had more time to sit down and do some more sewing. I kind of miss it.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Exciting Life Developments

Yesterday was probably the best birthday I've ever had. When I arrived at work late after a dentist appointment, I found a dozen red roses and a box with a gift certificate for a massage and a manicure on my desk. Upon further inspection, I found my massage and manicure had been scheduled for THAT AFTERNOON! AND that Shawn had arranged with my boss for me to leave early. So I left work early and had a wonderful massage and manicure and hurried home for our dinner. Shawn took me out to The Chop House for my birthday dinner and it was SO GOOD. Then we went to a park near his condo to watch the sunset. It was there that he PROPOSED and we got engaged! It was so wonderful!

We actually didn't stay to watch the actual sunset because it was so hot. Then we went back to his condo for what I thought was some raspberry sorbet. Instead, I was surprised to find a whole group of our friends waiting there for a surprise birthday/engagement party!What a wonderful birthday! :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New Fabric!

Last night I went to this quilt shop in Saline called The Quilting Season. It was pretty cute and I liked their fabrics there a lot. One of the ladies helped me pick out these for my next quilt!

Another thing that I liked about the quilt shop was that on Monday nights they have this free, open work time for beginners. I can bring whatever project I want in and work on it there. Then if I need help, the women who work there are available to answer questions! It's like this free for all question and answer time. I'd like to go sometime. I think it would be a good place to get actual instruction on making a quilt rather than just winging things and figuring them out on my own.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Things I've learned between my first and second quilts...

I've been amazed how much I've learned about quilting since completing my first quilt. It is especially evident now that I am adding more quilting to Evan's quilt because I didn't realize how much I needed to quilt the first time around. Here's a list of things I came up with that would have been helpful to learn earlier:
  1. Buying a quilting book is a great investment.
    • I realize now that I should have bought my quilting books before making my FIRST quilt, not the second. It's amazing how much information is in them! I guess that is why they're written. Most of the things I realize that I did wrong were because of looking through those books. I bought these ones and they are pretty good: The Quilters Ultimate Visual Guide and The Quilter's Recipe Book.
  2. Buying the cheapest batting JoAnn's has to offer is generally only a good idea for my wallet.
    • Upon a recommendation from a friend, I've used "Warm and White" batting for my new quilt. It seemed like regular old batting to me and I didn't think anything of it until Evan's quilt was returned to me. It seems paper thin compared to the quilt I am working on now! I've also decided that I love "Warm and White". It is still low loft, but it is 100% cotton and a little thicker so it makes my quilting look wonderful. I will be using this for all of my quilting projects from now on. It makes it more difficult to hand quilt, but the result is worth it.
  3. Your batting should tell you how much quilting you have to do.
    • I didn't realize this until reading "You only need to quilt every 10 inches!" on the label for my new quilt's batting. At that point I started thinking, "Is that supposed to be good or something? How much did the last package of batting say I needed to quilt? I don't think I did it even every 10 inches. This could be bad." Upon inspecting a similar type of batting, I realized Evan's quilt needed to be quilted every 4-6 inches. Darn it! So I've asked my cousin for the quilt back and I'm now working on making it have a respectable amount of quilting.
  4. There is a proper way to hand quilt.
    • When doing the random and small amount if quilting I did for Evan's quilt, I just improvised and made some stitches. Now that I've learned the proper technique, my stitches are so much straighter and it is much easier. It has been more difficult to get used to and figure out, but it is getting easier.
  5. You should pre-wash you fabric.
    • Seems like common sense, but apparently it's not for me. I'm somewhat scared to see how my quilts are going to shrink when I put them through the wash. Maybe I'll end up liking it. One woman at JoAnn's said that some people don't pre-wash because they like how it looks afterwards. We'll see.
  6. Basting your quilt useful and makes everything stay smooth.
    • Once again, something that I would have figured out if I had bought a quilting book sooner.
  7. And lastly, my boyfriend is an unsuspecting wealth of quilting information thanks to his mom. I am truly grateful. Who knew that there are different sized thimbles and mine needed to fit snugly to my finger?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hand quilting it is.

So I've decided to attempt hand quilting this quilt. I find I enjoy doing it but it's a lot of work! I'm getting better, which is encouraging. Although, according to my quilting book, I am still "below average" at 5 stitches per inch. Some day I'll make it to average. Some day. I still think it looks pretty good. Below average quilting and all. It takes a really long time too. I've finished quilting 3 of my 20 blocks and it has probably taken me a couple hours each block. The more I do, the quicker it seems to be though. I must be catching onto this. Good good.

Pictures are always fun:

Saturday, July 7, 2007


I've finished the top of my new quilt! I am surprised how quick it was to make this one. I guess that's what happens when you choose a simpler design and it's not your first quilt. Now the decision is how I want to quilt this one. I'm not sure what design I'd like to do or if I'd like to do hand quilting or machine quilting. Machine quilting would be much quicker- especially with all of the straight seams that are in the top. However, I like the idea of being able to actually sit and have a conversation with someone while I'm doing the quilting. Decisions, decisions. But either way, I am quite pleased how this quilt turned out.

Now that this quilt top is finished, I don't plan to start anymore quilts until the end of summer. When it is so beautiful outside, I really shouldn't be sitting inside with my sewing machine! Although, to make myself feel a little less ridiculous for sitting inside on gorgeous days, I DID set up my sewing machine right by a big window. :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

And so it begins!

On Saturday a couple friends and I decided to have a sewing party. I took the opportunity to really make some headway on my new quilt. I completed 6 blocks. Not too shabby I suppose. After cutting the material I was somewhat skeptical of my fabric choices, but after putting some of the blocks together I am feeling much better about them. I REALLY like how it's turning out and I am amazed how much easier this quilt is than my last one! Maybe that is why I like it so much! Here's a couple pictures- a close up of the block and a preview of the blocks together.

Monday, June 18, 2007

First Post!

So here it is. My first post. I started this blog because assorted people like to be kept up to date on my random sewing projects. I received a sewing machine for Christmas 6 months ago and now I've been tackling projects ever since. So far I've made two purses/bags and a quilt. Here is a picture of my first quilt. I am quite proud of it. It was a baby quilt for my cousin. It took me so much time and I liked it so much that I didn't want to give it away! Someday I'll have to make a replica for myself.

Right now I'm about to embark on quilt number 2. I bought the fabric today! I'm going to make another baby quilt (smaller=less time!) using a log cabin block. I was inspired by this beautiful quilt. I've decided oranges and yellows would be my color scheme with a little red thrown in there. I can't wait to start it! Here's the fabric! :)