Thursday, January 30, 2014

Back Home from Home.

Oh, Friends. It's so bittersweet to be back home from home. Sure, I have my husband, and my house, and my normal daily routine, and that is 100% awesomeness. But I've also left behind a ton of people that I absolutely adore and gained some freakishly cold temperatures. It's what it is, I suppose, and I'm thankful for the two weeks I had.

This was the morning view from the house at which we stayed. And yes, I saw this view *every* morning as my boys were always up at the crack of dawn.

There was a lot of delicious food, but this was probably my favorite meal. My daddy is an amazing cook--owned restaurants for 10+ years and was in the restaurant business for over 30--and we made a deal. I would come over and do his bookkeeping if he fed me well. He did. And nine hours later, his bookkeeping was done too.

And since I couldn't exactly bring Agatha with me, I started a Woodland Sampler. I wanted to try linen, but I couldn't find any in the right size and color. Actually, I couldn't even find aida in the right size and color, so I went with an off-white. It's not dark enough, certainly, but it will do. The moral of the story is that it is hard to find proper cross stitch supplies, even the right embroidery thread. I had planned to go in order of month, but I couldn't find the thread I needed for February, so I sewed up March first. It's been years since I've cross stitched, and I had been ogling the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's shop for what seemed like ages, so I'm glad I started up again.

Since I've been home, I've done some cutting for K's project, but I've mostly been unpacking and grocery shopping. I've been home less than 24 hours, so I think that's okay, right?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

SS: Pink and Sunny Edition.

Hello Lovelies! I'm still visiting my familia, and the kidlets and I have been having a great time. Lots of delicious food, lots of family time, and I've seen a couple of old friends, which is always amazing. I also had a conversation with my daddy about my recent medallion quilt start.

Daddy: "So, this quilt thing."
Me: "Yes?"
Daddy: "Did you just add the borders or what?"
Me: "No, Daddy. I made the entire thing."
Daddy: "What???? How did you make that?"
Me: "I sewed it, Daddy. On my sewing machine. With thread."

Then he continued to question me regarding its construction for several minutes. I think I've finally convinced him that I did, in fact, sew it, but I'm wondering if I should be offended by his lack of faith? Or I'll just laugh at him because he's silly, which is really the better choice.

I should be back at my home sometime this week, and then I'll post some pics from my trip. (Mostly of the food and sunrise/sunset variety.) I'll also be arriving home to bee blocks from Stash Bee and my first Fierce Quilters Bee package, and I'm excited to see what those hold!

But today! Oh, today, I have fabric.

I visited Hip Stitch, a modern quilting store in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They had a huge pink fabric display in the front window, and of course I had to snag those strawberries. I bought enough to make me a skirt--my mama called me "Strawberry Baby" as a kid because of my serious fondness for strawberries--but now I'm reconsidering because another project idea has come to mind. We'll see.

I also picked up some Sunnyside, which I think was my first Kate Spain purchase where I knew I was buying Kate Spain. (I may have purchased some Central Park forever ago because it was yellow, and I needed yellow, but there was no selvage info, and I didn't realize the designer until much much later.) Yay for purposeful Kate Spain purchases!

And this batik! *Sigh.* It had me at hello. I know some of y'all aren't on good terms with batiks, so some of you may automatically hate this, but I couldn't say no. It was pink! PINK! And this is by far the coolest batik pattern I've ever seen. I have a thing about clouds and rain (see above Kate Spain purchases) and when I saw this, I knew it was coming home with me. The only info I have on it is "Sun-Drenched Batiks" but I do know it was in several other colorways, and it's lucky I didn't see those bolts until I was already checking out.

I'm linking up today with Sunday Stash, which is visiting Sarah Quilts. Sarah is super nice and awesome, so be sure to get your post written up and link up on her page because there is a giveaway, and we know how awesome those are!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Q1 2014 FAL List.

I can't stop myself. I tried really hard not to make a FAL list. I really did. But something in me still needs a list! So a list I shall make. (K, if you're reading this, your gift is the third picture down. Don't look. You've been warned.)

Sisters' 10 BOM Quilt - This was supposed to be a Christmas present for my husband. And now it shall be a Valentine's Day gift? Needs to be quilted and bound. DONE!

Noteworthy Quilt - It's a bit shameful that this quilt isn't done. It just needs binding. Which I have prepared. And I'm machine stitching it. We're talking 1-2 hours of work, and I can't muster up the energy to get 'er done. DONE.

K's Gift--And this is for my quilting sensei, K. I wish I could say that this fabric pull is a recent memory, and that stack is now lovingly cut into the perfect shapes to start assembly. (In fact, I really wish I could just say this lovely was done and sent and received!) But this is numero uno on my completion list, and I really enjoyed sewing up my medallion center, so I imagine I'll really enjoy sewing this up as well. DONE!

Three of three DONE! 

I'm linking up with the Q1 2014 FAL linky party at The Littlest Thistle.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


This 28" square represents ten hours of my life. Actually, more, if you count the time it took me to pull fabric and cut out templates and make design choices. Maybe ten point five? Eleven? Twelve?

Normally, that many hours spent on such a small square might make me a little grumpy, but to be honest, it didn't feel that long. Those hours were with it. Every seam rip was worth it. (And there was a lot of seam ripping.)

I'm going to be in and out for the next couple of weeks because my mama is getting married, and I'll get to see both of my sisters, which means I'll also get to meet my cute baby niece! You all know how much I adore you, but you just can't compete with a new squishy cuddly baby.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

SS: The Aurifil Edition.

I shared my lovely FQ winnings last week, but my lucky duck streak was hardly over! I got another email saying I had won a twelve pack of Aurifil thread, and I about died. I. Love. Aurifil.

Specifically, I won the Simplify collection coordinate by Camille Roskelley. Agatha has a serious thing for Aurifil. I mean, she'll use other thread, but she always lets me know that she's unhappy about it. And some thread she outright refuses. You'd think I'd get grumpy with my persnickety sewing machine, but I love her enough to want to spoil her and buy her the good stuff. However, I've never splurged on any color other than white. My LQS doesn't carry a huge selection of colors--Aurifil is actually a recent thing they sell, and I was ecstatic when they started carrying it--and I don't have a color card or anything like that to order online.

So of course I freaked out when I saw these colors. There are THREE shades of pink! I'm also really excited about that spool of navy since I'm making navy the primary color in my quilt for the Fierce Quilter's Bee. (Don't get me started on my current navy love. OMG. It's a serious obsession.) Honestly, I can see myself using all of these colors in my quilting. Which is pretty dang awesome.

Molli Sparkles

That's my story. Twelve delicious spools of Aurifil thread. Be still my beating heart! I'm linking up with Sunday Stash at Molli Sparkles.

Friday, January 10, 2014

FF: Patchwork Pillows.

These pillows were holiday gifts for my kidlets, which I finished before the holiday, stowed away in a closet, and forgot until three days after Christmas. (Mom of the Year!) They stand 20" square, and I made one for each kidlet so they'd have something squishy to lay on/sit on/lounge on while watching a show or listening to a story. My oldest especially is very particular. He likes a Mama blanket and a pillow, and I think he'll really enjoy having his own special pillow.

I made the blue one first, and boy, was it evil. See that brown thread? Well, I inherited it from my mother, and it was absolutely horrible evil awfulness, probably because it was manufactured before I was born. (Okay, I'm not entirely sure on the age of the thread, but it was a bit old.) It snapped about every three seconds, and I kept quilting. Why would I do that to myself? Because I didn't have time to go out and buy more chocolate brown thread. That's why.

I switched to a different, newer type of thread for the second pillow, and everything was smooth sailing. However, I'm still not totally pleased with this one because the brown solid is very dark, and I feel like it steals from the yellow print.

In the end, I remind myself that my children (boys prone to sticky hands and muddy clothing) will be using them, and they're not very particular about that sort of thing.

I'm linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF at Quilt Matters. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WIP: NY Beauty Edition.

Remember this stack of fabric? It's now this:


Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Stacking Blocks Mini Quilt.

Recently, I received a package all the way from Kauai, and this was inside! My quilting sensei K sent me a mini quilt for Christmas, and of course I absolutely adore it. I'm incredibly glad I have a bit of dowel rod on hand so that I can get this hung, and pronto!

A few months ago, K made an entire baby quilt of stacking blocks, and it was super epic and super fantastic and altogether amazing. Did I mention this mini quilt is backed in a hot pink and white polka dot? Complete perfection. *Sigh.*

And a close up. Eep! I'm in love. If only I could figure out where to hang this lovely!

Thank you, K! I love my gift!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

SS: The Winning Edition.

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Carrie at Gotcha Covered Quilting telling me that I had won her giveaway from the big SMS giveaway day. This was all kinds of exciting because it's not too often that I get to stalk someone's etsy store, pick out my five fave FQs, and get them sent to me for free. It. Was. Glorious. Except, I stumbled onto a problem. I wanted ten FQs instead of five, and how was I supposed to eliminate five from my list? Carrie, being a peach, let me purchase an additional five because she's cool like that. (Thank you, Carrie!)

I picked five FQs from Bluebird Park by Kate and Birdie. (How could I say no to those hedgehogs?)

And then some Little Figs from Little Things Organic. (I have a serious thing for raindrop fabric, and I love love love the blue in those two FQs. The gray is because I use up my grays almost as quickly as I purchase them.

And last but not least, a couple of FQs from Sweet Serenade by Basic Grey. I somehow missed this collection entirely, and I'm glad Carrie had some because I love these two prints.

The moral of the story is that you should go and visit Carrie's etsy store, Gotcha Covered Quilting. She is super super nice, and my new additions practically zipped to my house, that's how quick it was.

Molli Sparkles

You know what else is super awesome? Sunday Stash, which I'm totally linking up to because it's just the right thing to do, you know? Fiona at Finding Fifth has passed the torch, and now Molli Sparkles is hosting, complete with a sparkly pink button. (You all know I totally heart the sparkly pink button, right? Because I so so do.)

Friday, January 3, 2014

FF: Supermassive Black Hole.

Hello Friends! I think most of my January 2014 finishes are technically December 2013 finishes, but I couldn't show them off until after the holidays, or in today's case, after a birthday.

Photo used courtesy of W. John MacMullen.

Some moons ago, my friend John gifted me the most amazing mini quilt for my birthday. I don't remember when I first started scheming John's birthday gift, but it was probably before my birthday because I knew his gift had to be fabulous. (He's a quilter-enough said.) I had the idea to use a ton of different solid black fabrics in differing textures and weights to create a pillow of awesome. I knew I wanted it to be improv-y and randomness. I knew it had to be awesome. So when I was flipping through my bookmarks and stumbled across the Bloomin' QAYG panel tutorial at Let's Eat Grandpa, I knew I had found the one.

To be honest, when I went fabric shopping, I didn't even note the type of fabric I was grabbing. I knew I wanted linen, corduroy, and lace, but everything else was up for debate. The only quilting cotton I used was to back the panel. I grabbed fabrics based on appearance and feel, and when I took them to the cutting counter and asked for a miniscule amount of all six, the girl looked at me like I was a nutcase. When I explained my plan, she was totally on board and looked like she might get grabby with the pillow if I brought it back for show and tell, so needless to say, I didn't.

While I admired the finished product, I knew that if John didn't like it, then I had no idea what he liked after all. And when I delivered it, I think John liked it okay. Just kidding! He loved it! The pillow's title is a nod to Muse's Supermassive Black Hole, but I'm sure y'all know I didn't name this pillow. John did! I would have titled it Black Pillow of Awesome or some other nonsense.

I kind of really want a pillow like this for my couch. But in hot pink. Or in Tula. OR BOTH.

I'm linking up today with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF hosted this week by Quokka Quilts.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Fabric Stack.

I have big plans for this stack, and eep! They include curves! And paper piecing! And scrappy goodness! Fierce Quilters Bee for the win!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Q4 FAL Finishes!

Hi Friends! Q4 wasn't a perfect quarter, but I'll take 5 out of 6 finishes. You can find my original list here.

I didn't finish my Sisters' 10 BOM quilt, which is a big ol' bummer, but the top and backing are pieced. I just need to baste, quilt, and bind. Easy peasy, right? Right. This will be moving to my Q1 2014 FAL list.

I finished my niece's quilt, and I'm happy to say my younger sister loved it!

I did a bit of baby sewing, not as much as I'd hoped for, but I got a bunch done anyway.

Lito's quilt has already been in heavy rotation, is great for car rides, and has already been the subject of quilt surgery.

I finished a dress for myself, which I've been calling the raccoon dress, mostly to freak people out because they don't know how to picture a raccoon dress, and then they see mine and chillax because hello! These raccoons are awesome!

Baby Kenna's quilt was delivered, and while the baby hasn't arrived just yet, his mama and dad both love his quilt. 

I'm linking up with the 2013 FAL Q4 Finish List. Hooray for finishes and checking things off goal lists!

Bye Bye 2013.

I finished 17 quilts in 2013. On top of that, I finished a ton of small projects that I can't possibly list or count. On top of all that, I have a quilt top ready for basting and another quilt that just needs binding. To say that my 2013 life was consumed by quilting would be a bit of an understatement. It's just, quilting made me happy. Cutting, pressing, piecing, even basting of all things--was relaxing.

But Friends, I'm tired. There were so many things that I felt I "had" to do, and I did them. I did them all. And I'm happy I did, but now I'm tired.

I'm going to take a step back. And while I won't be backing away from Agatha completely--OMG, how could I ever do that?--I am planning to pare down my expectations and my "must-do" requirements for 2014. A list this small looks so weird to me, but I think it's healthy.
  • Finish Mr. Audrey's Quilt. Needs to be basted, quilted, bound.
  • Make a quilt for my mama. I had hoped to make her one in 2013, but I promised her earlier in the fall that I would definitely get to her in 2014.
  • Complete my bee blocks on time for Stash Bee. (I freak out at the thought of late bee blocks. I totally understand when other people are late because life happens, but I can't seem to allow myself that.) 
  • Totally rock my time with the Fierce Quilters Bee. (Which includes finishing the prep work for my own quilt, but at least I have an idea, templates printed, and fabric pulled, so that's a start, right?) 
  • Finish my quilting sensei K's Christmas gift. SOON. But she loves me, so she'll totally let me slide if I'm a bit late. (You will, won't you K sensei?)
  • Finish a Project Linus Quilt. I like to donate at least one quilt a year, and I've already got one nearly finished. It just needs binding.
  • Not mandatory, but I'd like to make a tree skirt for next year's Christmas. 
  • Also not mandatory, but I'd really like to make myself a pillowcase to go with my Tula bed quilt. I have a lovely bit of fabric that is just yearning to be transformed, but I haven't scraped together the energy/enthusiasm.  
And that's it. This seems so small to me, like a quarterly list or even something I could get done in a month or two if I was really ambitious. And y'all know how much I adore a good long ambitious list. But for now, this is all I want to commit to for 2014, and I think that's a really smart and healthy idea.

I do want to say thank you for being a pal and cheering me on this year. Y'all make blogging so much fun! I love the relationships I've built and the lovelies I've chatted with and feeling like I belong in such a generous and amazing community. I wish you the bestest of 2014, whether you have a long or short list!

Mucho love, Audrey


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