27 November 2013

I'm an artist! Okay...not really.

As is Army Wife tradition, your friends move and a party happens. Well, not in a "don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out" kind of party, but a "see you later." One last hurrah. Anywho, Nancy just left, and so we all gathered and had a stoneware panting party at what used to be called At The Clayground, but is now Stonepainters. Basically, you walk into this store, and you are faced with a billion choices. There are five or six shelves full of all sorts of stoneware, just waiting for you to personalize and paint. From dishes to decorative items, it's a bit overwhelming.
Once you've decided what you're going to paint on, you stare at your item for a bit, and try to figure out how you'll personalize it. It took me a good 15 minutes of hemming and hawing to figure out what the crap I wanted. Flipping through stencils, I finally figured it out. I selected my stencil, and then I stared at the paints for another 15 minutes. Finally decided, grabbed a brush, and walked to the table and began to paint. About thirty minutes later, I came up with this.

Aw, yiss. A giant mug perfect for spiked cocoa and hot toddies. Uh, I mean warm beverages. So, the neat thing about this is, you slather on either one, two, or three coats of paint, depending on what shade you want. You can't tell, but I put on three coats. Then added my snowflakes. About 15 minutes later, after it dried, I decided to add the date and my initial on the bottom. So, I sat around and watched everyone else paint their things. Another mug, a cookie plate, a menorah, a platter, an owl bank, a sushi plate, and a spoon rest. Very fascinating. I've seen all but the menorah and owl bank after they've been finished. But, anywho, you pay the nice man, leave your item, and wait for a call. Not too long of a wait. He glazes it for you, and the fires it in the kiln. Then, he calls you and you come pick it up, all wrapped up and pretty. This is what happned after it was glazed and fired.

Not too shabby for someone who can't paint, right? I'm super pleased. I'd totally go do it again. The nice thing is, all the stoneware has a price by it, which is the ENTIRE price for paint, glaze and firing. I can't wait to use it!

26 November 2013

Stitch Fix No. 5

Last week, my fifth Stitch Fix came in. Yes, that's right fifth. They still are awesome. I got a giant box this time, and I was intrigued. What was in it that made it so big?

41Hawthorn Jace Dot Print Fit & Flare Dress ($68)

FINALLY. A polka dotted dress that fits! AND IS CUTE. Remember my conundrum from last time? All the dresses too small? Well, I moved them up to a medium and BAM. Perfect.

41Hawthorn Coloma Wool Belted Drape Coat ($98)

I've included two views here. This jacket had a lot of potential, but I wasn't pleased with the fabric, and in jackets, I like to get a size up, so back it went.

Moon Collection Alexander Aztec Knit Drape Front Cardigan ($68)

Holy crap, y'all. This hipstery looking thing is one of the most awesome things I've put on my body. It's simple enough to where my eyes don't explode while looking at it, and not to mention super comfy. I kept it, and have had several people try to steal it from me.

Tart Ryker French Terry Open Cardigan ($108)

I almost cried when I saw the price of this cardigan. It felt as if I was being clothed in angel's wings, clouds, and other heavenly things. I seriously would never get out of this cardigan if I kept it. (I want some pants made out of this fabric.) I just couldn't justify the $108 price. Seriously hurt to return it. 

Lily Kye Geo Print Jersey Swing Skirt ($78)

I still don't know how I feel about this skirt. I want to like it, but I can't. If my friend, Charla, was wearing it, I'd like it. But it's really not me. Super comfy though. I liked how it swished about. But, no, not for me. 

So, for keeping only two items, that's not too bad. One day, I will keep all of them. Perhaps, it'll be my January box. For it is my birthday box! 

Once again, if you are considering signing up, please consider using my referral link. My wallet and I will thank you.

25 November 2013

Last of the 100 quilty things.

Not gonna lie, I'm getting a little bored with this, but for documentation purposes, I WILL CARRY ON.
46.Visit Paducah during the AQS Show.
 47. Take a class with a nationally known teacher.
48. Use some fabric you dislike. 
Using some right now. I don't know what I was thinking when I bought it.
 49. Participate in Show & Tell.
Almost every Friday!
 50. Volunteer for a job in a quilt group.
Does making food or having it at my house count?
 51. Use a color you detest. 
Orange. Done and done.
52. Make a quilt inspired by nature.
I actually saw a really beautiful one the other day. I'm really mad I didn't pin it now. 
53. Get up early to quilt or stay up late to quilt. Done both!
54. Make a scrap quilt.
 55. Make a tote bag.
I'm assuming being that it doesn't include the word "quilted" I'm safe.
56. Make a postcard quilt.
57. Make a baby quilt and gift it to a newborn.
58. Understand the basics of caring for quilts.
59. Borrow a quilting book from the public library. I think this may be the easiest one on here.
60. Teach someone else to quilt.
 61. Creatively piece a backing for one of your quilts. 
 62. Apply a piped binding, or some variation of it.
 63. Post quilt pics to Facebook. I won't lie. I like the likes.
64. Install quilty wallpaper on your computer.
65. Put a quilty bumper sticker on your car.
lol. No.
66. Cuss mildly when you realize you’ve been sewing air. (because you ran out of bobbin thread)Mildly? You're funny.
 67. Read your sewing machine manual cover to cover.I actually did this when I couldn't figure out why my machine wasn't sewing right.
 68. Learn to thread baste.
 69. Learn to pin baste. Not too fond of this, but it works.
70. Use basting spray.More expensive, but I love it.
 71. Help a friend make a quilt. 
72. Make a quilt for a special child. Currently in progress.
73. Make a quilt for a spouse or partner.
 74. Make a quilt for a friend.
75. Include your quilts in your will (i.e. who gets them).
76. Determine your favorite thread for piecing.
I'm actually a fan of Connecting Thread's thread.
77. Understand the concept of value.I learned this early on.
 78. Understand the mathematics of quilt blocks.
 79. Apply a bias binding.
80. Take a guild speaker to dinner.
81. Comment on a quilt-related blog post.
 82. Make a mystery quilt.
 83. Take part in a block exchange.
 84. Write how-to instructions for making a quilt block.
 85. Watch a quilting video.
 86. Know the difference between lengthwise and crosswise grain. 
87. Know the parts of a sewing machine needle and why they matter.
88. Organize your stash.
 89. Know the names of hand sewing needles used for different tasks.
90. Finish a UFO. 
91. Purchase fabric on impulse.
 92. Try sewing with precuts. 
93. Trade fabrics with quilt friends.
94. Identify your ancestors who quilted.95. Visit a quilt shop while on vacation.
96. Sew on a treadle for old time’s sake.
 97. Subscribe to a quilting magazine.
 98. Become a regular reader of a quilting blog.
 99. Go on a Shop Hop.

...there's supposed to be 100. What did I do?! 

Okay, so I'm really bored with this now. Sorry for the interested parties. 31 for today.  But, the grand total is? 49/99. Not bad for a beginner quilter!

21 November 2013

Quilt along!

Canoe Ridge Creations is having a Giant Starburst quilt along, and I've decided to join in. 1. I love quilt blocks that have been turned into giant quilts 2. I think it'd make a nice Christmas gift for a certain unspecified recipient.

Monday, she posted the fabric requirements, along with two different choices. I chose Version One, but love the idea of Version Two. So, a friend, Beth, and I went out the very next day in search of fabrics for this quilt. Well, I did, Beth just came along to keep me mostly out of trouble, and a bit of shopping herself.

We went to the local Bernina Store in Las Cruces, NM (awesome store) to drop off my poor serger, and to see what trouble we could get into. I wandered around the store for possibly an hour, hmming at all the fabric. I kept coming back to one particular pattern, and then would wander off into the batiks again. Then, being that it was talking to me, I finally decided it was a good idea. I picked out three fabrics from Sandy Gervais' Soho Chic line from Moda.

That's right. I'm going to be rather boring and use only three colors. The blue will be the star part, the green plaid is the background, and the purple will be the binding. I'm still not sold on the purple, but I think it will do well. If not, I have something else it will match well with.

After that, we wandered into the local fabric store, Owensville, in El Paso. Fabulous store for primitaves. I picked up some fabric for a pineapple wreath I'm going to learn to make.

The berries and vines will be the background, the red polka dot will be the bow, the green will be the wreath, and the awesome dot circles the background. I know you won't see it, but it's so awesome, I felt it needed to be a part of this. Everyone wish me luck!

Two more quilts as Christmas presents. Two more I need to finish. One small project, and a dozen more for friends.

I suppose I better get off my ass and start working.

I'll finish the 100 Quilty Things here soon.

17 November 2013

200th Post!

For my 200th post, I thought I'd take a break from the 100 Quilty Things, and actually present you something finished. That's right. My second finished quilt, but my first I can show off!

BAM. FINISHED. Started it in July, finished just moments ago. It even has a label! It's created with 260 2.5" squares using Old Glory Gatherings by Primitive Gatherings for Moda. Fabulous line for primitive fabrics. I would like to say I bought a fat quarter bundle and cut, 260 2.5" squares. Let me tell you, next time, I'll buy mini charm packs. But, the experience was worth it. It's not perfect, but let me tell you, I love it.

Have a few progress pictures:

This was it in progress. Square by square. Row by row.

This was just freshly finished. It was such a relief to finish this top.

 And here it is, fresh off the long arm. No, sadly, I don't own a long arm. I don't have the room, nor do I want to move it around the US. This is at my wonderful friend's house. She trusts me to use her longarm. I think that's saying a lot.

I'm pleased. Hopefully, I'll finish two more this month.

12 November 2013


I'm running out of creative titles here.

31. Sell raffle tickets on a quilt.Oh, it doesn't have to be MY quilt? Yes, okay. I can do this. I don't think I'll ever be good enough to raffle off a quilt.
32. Take a road trip with quilt friends.This could be very dangerous. Very, very dangerous. Though, I have a feeling it might happen next year.
33. Create a Pinterest board with quilts.
What? I'd never do such a thing. I don't horde pictures of other people's quilts. 
34. Make a 3-D quilt block.
These are pretty cool. I think I'm brave enough to try it. 
35. Donate a quilt to a good cause.This is apart of my "resolutions" for next year.
36. Make a sampler quilt.
I can't strike this off just yet, because I'm not done with it. BUT, it is in process!
37. Make an art quilt.
You know, I don't know. I'm not a big fan of them. Maybe, for a table runner, but not a whole quilt.
38. Try bobbin work.Had to google this. Looks cool. I think it would be fun to try, but not necessarily my type of quilting.
39. Learn to maintain your sewing machine.
I only know the basics, I don't think that counts.
40. Add rickrack to a quilt.I want to! I saw it for the first time on Pinterest as a border, underneath the binding, and it looked really awesome. I'm hoping to try it in the near future.
41. Design a quilt. (Remember, you don’t necessarily have to make the quilt!)
I have designed AND made my own quilt! I just haven't finished it...
42. Change/tweak/alter a pattern to make it your own.
There's no other way to live. 
43. Make a color wheel with fabric swatches.
I do want to do this. I actually want to do it with Kona Cotton.
44. Chat about quilting with a stranger.
I step out of my hermit hole every now and then, and I actually talk to people. I have done this, often. 
45. Go on a blog tour.
Do I have to participate? If I can just go from blog to blog, that would be fine. Otherwise, I'm good on not participating. I'm not trying to be famous.

3/15? Not so good here. Could have been 4 if I'd just finish a quilt or two. And today's total? 18/100. Hopefully, I can prove myself a bit more, later.

09 November 2013

15 more of 100 Quilty Things to Do

So, here's 15 more things I should do try in quilting! I mean, come on. It's good to challenge yourself!

16. Bind a quiltYes! Done with one, working on a second and third!
17. Miter the corners of quilt binding.I do it when I make my bed, so I suppose I should do it with quilting. I mean, who knows. The way I'm doing it might suck compared to others!
18. Join the ends of quilt binding. 
Done and done. I actually like it. Makes the quilt look clean.
19. Sew diagonal seams. Also have done this. It's not as hard as one would think. There will be pictures, soon.
20. Use a walking foot. I <3 my walking foot. It is a savior among feet. I recommend it.
21. Attend a guild meeting.
While it's not a REAL guild meeting, I'll probably not join one anytime soon, but I do go to a stitch 'n bitch every week. So, I'm going to count it.
22. Visit Houston for International Quilt Festival.IT'S MY DREAM. But first, I'll have to take out a loan. Or sell a kidney.
23. Have a quilt appraised.The thought of this is scary. What if all your hard work isn't worth but $15? But, then again, what if it's worth $1000? Maybe, I'll take in one of my grandmothers quilts instead.
24. Visit a quilt museum.WHAT. I need to go here. I have been to the Smithsonian in DC and they once had a bunch of quilts from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War on display. *drool*
25. Go on a quilt retreat.I've thought about this. But, I'm scared that I'd be the weirdest one there and everyone would shun me. Maybe if I could convince some of my friends to go...
26. Try curved piecing.
Definitely a must. 
27. Miter the borders.I'll try it, but I really like the way I do it now.
28. Learn to do blanket stitch by hand.Learned that back in middle school.
29. See a local quilt show.
Did that within my first year here. It was really awe-inspiring. Made me want to learn how to quilt for real. I should go find another one.
30. Put your quilt in a local quilt show.
I had the opportunity to do that this weekend. But...of course. I didn't finish on time. *sigh* One day, I'll be brave enough, again.

7/15, this time, so, 8+7= 15. So... 15/100. Not too bad.

05 November 2013

A Quilt-A-Long and 100 Quilty Things To Do

In honor of Canoe Ridge Creation's Quilt Along, I'm going to kind of do a countdown before it happens. What is her Quilt Along? Well, take a look!

This beautiful image belongs to Megan over at Canoe Ridge Creations.
We'll be making the above pictured quilt. Starting 18 November, every Monday for a month. I'm pretty sure I can make that quilt in a month, don't you? It's for beginners and advanced quilters in the like. Though, I just love quilts that look like giant quilt blocks, so this quilt-a-long was meant for me! And the best part? IT'S FREE! Or, it could be someone's Christmas Present! Either way, I'm excited.

So, leading up to it, I'm going to "show off" my own personal accomplishments. Over at QuiltMaker Blog today, Diane Harris posted 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do. As a beginning quilter, I thought this would be fun to see what I've accomplished so far, and see where I need to improve. I'll be posting a few at a time, so if you want to ignore me, just go to the link above. So, let's begin, shall we?

  1. Visit a quilt shop.
    Check. I've been to at least five different ones in the past three months.
  2. Make a Nine Patch.
    This is for sure on my to do list. I have the perfect "fabric" for it, too. But, there's no rush for this particular quilt...yet.
  3. Make a Log Cabin.
    This, too is on my to do list. I won't lie. I'm a little intimidated by the thought of doing one of them. All those straight lines?!
  4. Label a quilt.
    Working on it. I'm trying to finish three and then I'm going to label them. (Excuses)
  5. Figure yardage for a quilt. DONE IT. I'm very proud of myself. I still was over by a lot, but better safe than sorry, right?
  6. Learn about warp and weft. I actually learned about this when I first started cross stitching all those years ago.
  7. Use a rotary cutter.
    When I first started being interested in quilting, my grandmother pulled out her pinking shears and started whipping out triangles and squares and it completely blew my tiny middle school mind. I won't lie, it scared me off from quilting for a while. Until I learned the power of the rotary cutter. It is my savior.
  8. Use templates.
    Not yet. But, it's coming, soon.
  9. Paper piece a quilt block.
    Done and done. I made the spool block. It was scary. That project is sitting in the naughty corner at the moment.
  10. Hand applique a quilt block.
    This is definitely on my to-do list. Applique is scary and amazing all at once.
  11. Make a yo-yo.
    I've seen my mother make 4389374953 of them, so I feel like I should be able to do them. But, then again, who knows? I think they'd be fun.
  12. Embellish a quilt.
    I HAVE. Though, sadly, I can't show you yet until after Christmas.
  13. Try free motion quilting. Longarm AND just regular sewing machine. I'll show you both those, soon.
  14. Stitch in the ditch.  Just did this last week. It's on the sampler I was working on all summer. I'll be posting about it, soon, too. I'm not so good at this.
  15. Try hand quilting.
    I plan on doing this soon. It's just not in the "rush" category yet. I'm thinking this might be my project to take with me so I'll have something to do at Christmas.

8/15. Not too shabby.  Guess you'll just have to wait until the end to see how I really shape up. I might even accomplish some more between now and the 18th, huh?

04 November 2013

Craft Hope Project 23

Craft Hope, if you haven't heard of it, is a pretty cool organization. From their Facebook about section, "Craft Hope is a love inspired project designed to share handmade crafts with those less fortunate. It is our hope to combine our love for crafting and desire to help others into a project to make a difference around the world." I didn't know how to put it any better, so I just pasted it for you to see.

Well, this last project, Project 23, was about creating pillow case dresses for little girls around the world. Kristy, who introduced me to Craft Hope, put out a message on Facebook, asking who'd like to participate. I volunteered, because I now have the time (and a stash to bust), along with quite a few others in our little Blissful Stitchers group. And it was so. Turns out, I didn't have that much fabric I was willing to part with yet, but Charla's mom was sending us some vintage pillow cases to make dresses out of. So, I waited on those.

They arrived and last week, Charla and I got together and created these:

They're seriously vintage. The first four all say "Hers" on them, with fancy scalloped edges. And the last two? Well, they respectively say "me" and "you". They were my favorites. Charla had brought over some of her scrap fabrics. So, after she left, with her scrap fabrics and my scrap fabrics combined, I created these:
The whole time I was making them, I was thinking "Please forgive the tackyness, little girls! I hope you aren't too embarrassed to wear them."

Then, the whole group combined our dresses:
Between the eight (I think) of us, we created 37 dresses! I'm very impressed and pleased to be apart of such a thoughtful, crafty group.

Inspired me a bit, dare I say.

02 November 2013

Happy November!

I've noticed a lot of my posts start with "Happy [insert month name here]!" That's okay. I just like it when it becomes a new month. It's exciting. Like a fresh start each month or something poetic like that.

Anywho, November is a good month. It's one of my favorites. Mostly because of Thanksgiving, and the fact that I might actually get cooler weather, but there's other good bits. Like NaNoWrMo, and watching men everywhere grow Mustaches, or whatever facial hair they want for the month. I do have to say, I prefer it to seeing pink on everything. Not that I don't support the meaning behind the pink, facial hair is funnier to me.

With that, this November, is going to be my "Thankful" month. Meaning, being thankful for what I have. (And what I don't.) I love to shop, (no, really. LOVE TO SHOP.) so with the exception of this weekend, and buying Christmas presents for others (or making them) I'm going to try my very best not to buy things I don't need. I'm going to be thankful for all the stuff I have, and try to use it. And if I find things I'm not using/haven't used/will never use, I'm going to donate them or get rid of them. It'll be interesting. Let's see how well I can do this. Or just plain remember to do it. Cause...the lure...the sales...brace yourselves. Christmas is coming.

I want this sign. Anyone know where I can find it?

01 November 2013

A Rent the Runway Opportunity!

I don't know how I got it, but a couple of weeks ago, I got an offer in my email from Rent The Runway. If you don't know what Rent the Runway is, it's pretty cool. You can rent designer dresses and accessories for a quarter of the original price! As a military wife, this is a phenomenal idea. Don't have to store a bunch of dresses and jewelry.

But, back to the offer. It said I could test run any five dresses for $50. Wait, what? Cause, we all know the problems with ordering online. What if it doesn't fit? What if it looks terrible on me? What if the color is wrong? This is perfect. I have ordered a dress for a hot date on here before and it ended up just looking terrible. $120 down the drain. Though, now, you can try these dresses on before the date, and see how they look! I, personally, think this is a great deal. Though, the only issue is, you have about 12 hours to try them on. Well, depends on when you get your package. I got mine around 7pm. You HAVE to return them by noon the next day, or else you get penalized. Which, is fair. Unless you don't have a UPS store around you, which could be a bit of a problem. ANYWHO.

Here's what I tried on:

David Meister: Blue Niles Falls Gown Retail: $695 Rental: $125

I really liked this dress! It fit wonderfully, except for a little tightness in the armhole. Nothing that would ruin my night, though. It's my favorite color blue, with a lace overlay, and was quite classy. Though, it clashed a little with the Army Dress Blues pants, but unless you were OCD about something like that, I wouldn't worry. Looked great with the jacket, though.

Bibhu Mohapatra: Zemu Glacier Gown Retail: $2975 Rental:  $375

This gown was just GORGEOUS. It reminded me of Indian Saris, which is why I picked it. Also, the blue. Though, sadly, this dress fit weird. It was too big in the bust, and too tight on the waist. Made me look like I had some curves, though. My husband was not impressed with this dress. He said "there is too much going on." He's also a minimalist. It's the same color blue as above, and I have the exact same comment about the Dress Blues with it, too.

Nicole Miller: Tempted By You Gown Retail: $995 Rental: $160

I would rent this dress in a heartbeat. It looked like it was made for me. It's even husband approved. He was a little concerned at the lace overlay/nude part. "Is this see-through?" Ah ha, husband. you have figured out the mystery of this dress!

Narciso Rodriguez: Clean Cut Dress Retail: $1595 Rental: $225

Holy crap, y'all. If I had the money, I'd buy this dress. I'd do everything in this dress. We'd be BFFs. I don't even know how to describe the flawlessness of this dress. GET. IN. MY. CLOSET.

Alberta Ferretti: Red Rimini Dress Retail: $995 Rental: $150

I was just "meh" about this dress. It looked great on the model, but not on me. It's a fabulous jersey-type of fabric, so it's very forgiving. I wouldn't rent this one.

I'm sad I didn't get any pictures of me in the dresses. I just didn't have the time. Or a tripod. But, if I get this option again, you bet I will!

If this opportunity comes to your inbox, jump on it. It's a brilliant idea, really. I hope it opens up to everyone, soon, because I have some other dresses I'd like to try on!

Please consider using my referral link. It'll give you $20 off your rental!

Note: Rent the Runway did not pay me or bribe me to do this. I did this post on my on free will in a way of saying "thanks" and in hopes to get some referrals!