Aunt Pitty Pat’s Halloween apron swap

I haven’t participated in an apron swap since St Patrick’s Day, when I received a lovely apron that I use on a regular basis (my partner correctly assessed from my blog that I’m “not a cutesy kind of woman” and made me a great, simple green apron that doesn’t scream Saint Patrick’s Day Check Out These Adorable Leprechauns and Clovers OMG Adorable With the Green Lace!).  I think it’s time for another swap, and I just came across Aunt Pitty Pat’s Halloween apron swap.  I’ll receive my partner assignment in a week, and aprons are due by mid-October.  For anybody who has considered signing up for a swap and hasn’t done so yet, I highly recommend it.  Now is the time!

Spooks & Rattles Apron Swap

August 29, 2009. Tags: , , . Links, Words. Leave a comment.

19 Pull-ups!

I did 19 pull-ups in a row at the gym tonight!  As I was driving over I said to myself, “Hey, maybe I’ll do 20, wouldn’t that be cool!”  As I was warming up they felt pretty good, so I kept going.  I started slowing down as I hit the teens, and after 18 when my chin barely cleared the bar I had to hang for a moment to gear up for another one.  As I was pulling myself up for 19 I was thinking “Oh my god maybe I can get 20!!” and then after I made it up I dropped to the ground.  Everything gave out — my grip, my arms, my back, I was breathing heavily.

My PR jumped by two this time.  Previous record set on August 1, 2009: 17.

August 28, 2009. Tags: , . Words. Leave a comment.

The sincerest flattery

I’m working on Tetris Quilt 2.0 for a silent auction at work and I did a quick google image search to see how many images on the first few pages are mine — most of them, it turns out.  Then I saw one that looked familiar.  The quilt I made a few years ago is on the left, the one on the right is from Sew-therapy.  Bloggers with large followings, like AmandaJean of Crazy Mom Quilts or Amy Karol of Angry Chicken, must feel like this all the time as their readers are inspired by their ideas or recreate something they saw on their sites.

Tetris Quilt Feb 2007 Tetris Quilt from Sew-therapy

August 25, 2009. Tags: , . Links, Pictures, Projects, Words. 4 comments.

Sometimes, when you have a dog…

Sometimes, when you have a dog, your mother commissions a portrait of the dog for your birthday.  She asks your brother to take a picture to use as reference, and he makes the dog sit while taking the photo and the dog looks unhappy in the reference picture.  Sometimes, when you have a dog, and you receive a large painting in the mail, you don’t know what to do with it when you move into the new house.  The previous owners of the house left nails in the wall, so you use one of the nails to “temporarily” hang the painting in the hallway that leads from the kitchen to the rest of house.  A year later, your mom visits and finally takes a picture of the dog with her portrait, which still hangs from the same temporary nail.

Sometimes, when you have a dog, you decide that early October is the time you will take her to the vet to let her go, a few weeks after her 16th birthday.  You wonder if the eye-catching portrait, painted a few years earlier, will be more or less weird when the dog is gone.

Portrait 8-14-09

August 23, 2009. Tags: , , . Dog, Pictures, Words. 4 comments.

A Race Against Time: Three Quilts by September

I’ve committed myself to finishing (um, and starting) three quilts before the end of the month.  One is a baby quilt for Maggie’s Place, a Catholic nonprofit providing “houses of hospitality” for pregnant homeless women.  I can’t get behind the part of their core values about “protecting the life of the born and unborn child”, although I do want to support the next part about “providing options for women who choose to give life”, even if I wouldn’t use that terminology.  I told them the first baby quilt would be done before September.  I have most of the pieces cut and the white-on-white floral fabric I just bought for sashing is in the washing machine now.  It will come together fairly quickly when I sit down for a block of time next weekend.

The other two quilts are for a company-wide silent auction at my employer’s annual Community Support Campaign, held during September this year.  I’m making another Tetris quilt for it, and I expect the 280,000+ employees to bid highly enough to make me feel validated.  The last one is a very simple quilt to use as a picnic blanket in a wine & cheese picnic basket my department is putting together for the auction.  It will probably be one big nine-patch using material from my stash, and will hopefully take only a couple hours.

This afternoon I’m making a few more floral cloth napkins to use for a small dinner party tonight with my mom and her live-in gentleman friend who are visiting from Minneosta.  Then I’ll be cleaning, baking an angel food cake, prepping dinner, and generally being busy about the house as a happy homemaker.  With the Josh Groban Pandora station providing music, I feel like a 30something  housewife indeed, or what I imagine they’re like — if you’re a 30something homemaker, please feel free to correct me!

August 15, 2009. Tags: , , . Links, Words. 1 comment.

Productive sewing weekend

I lost the first half of the weekend to a migraine, and then perked up for the rest of it.  I made a pair of pajama pants as a birthday gift using a soft flannel in a boyish hockey print.  Halfway through I was afraid I’d end up posting them on CraftFail because they were huge and weirdly proportioned, and then I made them work by making some changes.  I only halfheartedly followed the pattern and didn’t have any actual measurements to work with, which might have caused some of the initial problems.  I got them done before he returned from a wedding in Cabo and he seems to like them, so I’m calling them a success.  When the camera batteries recharge I’ll post pictures.  I look forward to making another pair of pajama pants, this time for me.

I also made a quick apron using an old red skirt I haven’t worn in years.  I just need to hand sew down the waistband and it’s finished, and then I can make another apron with the other half of the skirt too.

Finally, I pulled out about 10 fabrics from my stash to choose from tomorrow for a baby quilt in light blue, light green, and yellow.  Everytime I’m in my sewing room listening to the adult contemporary lite radio station, I wonder why I don’t sew all the time.  I really like it, I feel relaxed, energized, and focused all at the same time.

August 9, 2009. Projects, Words. 1 comment.

Blue & green zigzag baby quilt

blue and green zigzag baby quilt

I haven’t been naming my quilts beyond descriptive terms (Tetris Quilt, Mother’s Day Quilt, Chickens, etc), maybe it’s time I start giving them names like actual pieces of art.  I finished the baby quilt for a coworker and I love it.  I know everybody always says they love whichever quilt they just completed, and it’s true.  I actually quilted this one, too, rather than tying it, doing stitch-in-the-ditch along the edges of the zigzag stripes.  It went really well.  The backing is a soft dinosaur print flannel.  Maybe next time I’ll even add a real binding!blue and green zigzag baby quilt - fabrics

If I could do something differently I wouldn’t add the darkest blue stripe.  My original plan was about 6 stripes longer and had another dark blue one, and when I realized the proportions would be all skewed unless I made it a lot wider also, I ended up with just the one dark stripe.  The colors in the picture aren’t exactly true-to-life, I couldn’t take a picture in natural lighting because I finished it at 10 p.m.  I considered waiting to wrap it until tomorrow morning so that I could take some photos in the morning  before work — then I realized that mornings are hard enough on me as is and I shouldn’t add anything extra.  I also forgot to add a label before wrapping it up all pretty.  Next time…

August 4, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. 1 comment.

Most recent completed quilt: blue & yellow baby quilt

The last quilt that I completed was done in March, and I didn’t even do it all myself so I don’t consider it really “my” quilt.  I helped a friend make it for her sister, who was having the first baby of the three siblings in her family.  My friend chose the fabric and did a lot of the cutting and initial sewing, and as it became apparent that the baby might be finished before the quilt would be (he was), I took over to speed things up.  She’d come over to my place and hang out with me while I worked, so she still put in the time.  We forgot to take pictures before sending it off, so this is the one picture I have that the recipient took for us.  The polka-dots are actually adorable turtles; the backing was made of the same turtle-y flannel.

Rebecca's Baby Quilt -- March 2009

August 2, 2009. Tags: , , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. Leave a comment.

17 Pull-ups!

I did 17 pull-ups in a row at the beginning of today’s CrossFit session, a new personal record.  My previous max was 16 two months ago.

August 1, 2009. Words. 3 comments.