Saturday, June 30, 2012

July 2012 Crafty Goals

I feel that I haven't spent a lot of time crafting lately, so I'm going to set out some goals for July. I should have ample time to get lots of things done, but I think I should start slow and only go for a few finishes this month. So, here's the list:

1) Finish that darn Super Mario quilt! I've got all of the character blocks sewn and bordered out. Now they just need to be squared up, sashed, sewn together, quilted and bound. If that takes me more than a month then I'm not working on it enough! (Plus it would be nice for my husband to finally get his Christmas present from last year!)

2) Finish the jelly roll strip quilt I started in June. I've got that top pretty much sewn together. It just needs borders, squaring up, quilting and binding. I posted a little pic of what I have done so far.

3) Make a tie wreath for my dad. He gave me a great collection of old ties (or rather, I went to his house and said "you really shouldn't be wearing these any more, how about I take them and make something out of them?") and I'm super excited to delve in. I think that project will only take me a couple of hours to do, so why not do it already! Check out the brown tie with the sharks on it! Also - that red and white checkered tie belonged to my grandfather - my dad's dad, so I really want to highlight that tie on the wreath. I might make it into the "bow" accent.

4) Make a new kindle case. My current case is in poor shape and was very, very hastily made. It looks like a bad oven mitt and I used pre-quilted fabric and it just isn't me. It's functional and protects my kindle but I mean look at how boring it is! I found a great tutorial that I want to try out, but I've got to find some fusible fleece. I've never looked for it before, but I'm assuming they sell it at JoAnn's... I guess I'll find out!

I have done some other crafty things in June, but they are for special projects. I'm posting on July 4th for the Red, White and Blue Blog Hop, which I think will be fun. I made two 12.5 inch blocks - one that was pretty basic and one that was more creative - and made them both into different things. But, I can't really post about those until July 4th - so come back then and check them out!

I also put together a package for C.R.A.F.T.'s June package pals. I'll post about that after the holiday. I'd like to do one post where I share what I put together and what I receive. I'm a little nervous that maybe I didn't do enough, but we'll see how it goes. :)

The last thing I did, which I guess doesn't need a post all to itself, is put together a pre-quilted block for a comfort quilt. A very nice woman who was at the quilt retreat I went to in May lost her sister and went through surgery shortly thereafter, so all of us retreaters put together some blocks to make into a larger quilt. Here's what mine looks like. I just had to use a yellow fabric for the front of the square and then I could make the back whatever I wanted in the yellow/aqua shades. Not a very complicated project, but the emphasis is supposed to be on the quilting. I took a close up of the back of the block where you can see the stitches better. I used my hearts FMQ on it and I really like the way the yellow thread stood out against the darker aqua print. I figured she needed some more hearts after all she's been through, so I hope she really enjoys the finished quilt.

Anyway, I think 4 projects are enough to finish up in July. Maybe I'll surprise myself and do more, but chances are good there's probably something on this list that won't get done. C'est la vie! Anyway, I hope you all have lots of time to be crafty and finish the things that make you happy. :) Happy crafting!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mario Characters Finished!

So, this is just going to be a picture heavy post. I've got all of the characters done for my Super Mario quilt, so now I'm just going to show them off! Hopefully I'll figure out how I'm doing the sashing this week. They aren't quite all the same size, so it will be interesting. :) Anyway, happy crafting!!

 Cheep Cheep
Buster Beetle

Bullet Bill

Angry Sun
 Buster Beetle



Fire Flower

Ghost Boo

 Goomba's Shoe



Shy Guy

Lakitu Bro

Question Mark Block

 Koopa Troopa




Piranha Plant

Spiny Shell



Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there! :)

My husband and I went out today to get a Father's Day gift basket put together for our dads. He told me that his father (my father-in-law) used to put together a little gift basket for his father all the time, so that's what my husband wanted to do this year. I thought it was a great idea!

We started the process looking for garage sales. I wanted to buy some cheap baskets and figured they would have something we could use. Well, we ended up stumbling up on an estate sale instead! Neither of us has ever been to one of those, but it was amazing all of the things that were inside the house we went to. Original works of art, personal recipes, handmade pottery items, and yes, baskets! So, we bought 2 and I bought a couple heart-shaped ceramic charms. 

From there we made our way to World Market - where we found a plethora of little goodies for our dads and some packing straw for the bottom of the baskets.

My father is very much a chocoholic (and I've definitely inherited that trait as well!!). So, I got him some chocolate Euro coins, some spiral chocolate cookies and 2 packages of RitterSport chocolate (my favorite!). I finished off the basket with a bottle of beer, a bottle of blood orange Italian soda, a tin of mints and some little bottles of honey, raspberry-chipotle dipping sauce and maple syrup. We also got a bottle opener in the shape of an old fashioned key to include. I'd be happy to get that basket any day! (See basket on the right side of the picture.)

For my father-in-law, we got him some different things. He's not very into dessert, so we got him a couple different things. His basket includes a light pilsner beer, a small bottle of Merlot, some salmon pate and crackers, roasted almonds, a bar of Italian soap (smells soooo good, but not too girly of course), a bottle opener just like the other one, a little bottle of maple syrup, a mini package of Italian roast coffee, some chocolate Euro coins and some ceramic coasters with an old world style map printed on them. I'd also be happy to get this package! :) (See the basket on the left side of the picture.)

So, I hope our dads like the little baskets we made for them. Thanks for the great idea honey! Have a happy Father's Day everyone!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Super Mario Quilt Update

Wow, it has been much too long since my last post! We've been super busy here with work, regular life in general, and vacation. We just got back from a weekend trip to Tennessee where we went to the Bonnaroo music festival. We had a fantastic time, but it means that I haven't had any time to really sew since Memorial Day weekend.

I know my goal was to get all of my characters finished, but of course I was sidetracked. We spent some time on the UW-Madison campus that weekend just enjoying life. And, I've gotta say, it was really nice to just relax and not be focused on a deadline. So - my sewing took a break.

But - I'm back at it now! I was able to get 4 characters about 1/2 way done over Memorial Day weekend. I had the squares sewn together into strips - which is the most time consuming part. So, last night I spent time getting all of the strips all nice and pretty so they're easier to sew together into the block.

Want to know what makes this step soooooo tedious? Ironing! It takes probably about 30 minutes if I'm really focused to iron all of the strips together and then I still have to clip off the thread strings. In order to sew them all together nicely and have the corners match up, I have to iron the seams in opposite directions for each strip.

While I'm ironing, I take the little bit of extra time to lay out the whole block in ironed out strip so I can double check that everything is sewn together correctly. I have had a couple of strips that have had one too many squares just from things getting stuck together. All-in-all I haven't had too many mistakes like that so my seam ripper has stayed tucked into the drawer on my sewing machine! Yay! :) Laying out the strips also gets me to check that the character is facing the right way. If it's not, then I just flip all of the strips over and voila! - it's a mirror image of itself.

The next step is to get all of these strips sewn into the completed blocks. Once these 4 are done then I only have 3 left to do! Hopefully this weekend I'll make some more progress, but with Father's Day and my father-in-law's birthday I probably won't get everything done... We'll see! Happy crafting!
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