Saturday, December 29, 2012

#scrappytripalong......and a present

First, the present. I have known my boyfriend since we were in preschool together. We have been in and out of each others lives for around 22 years. You would expect after that amount of time that someone would and/or could know you well. I think he does. Well on Christmas, I found out how wrong I was. He doesn't just know me well, he can possibly (I haven't disproved it yet) read my mind. I was gifted this.

Now, not many 25 year old girls would let out a high pitched squeal when unwrapping a Rowenta box, but I did. And on that same note, not many 24 year old boys would ever expect or think to gift said girl an iron. :heart flutter:

I never in my wildest dreams thought that an iron could be meaningful, but this one was. Because it came from a boy that spent days and days researching irons to find the perfect gift to make his bizarre girlfriend the happiest sewist on Christmas morning.

This Rowenta is legit too. If anyone needs an iron, buy it. The precision tip is no joke. Ironing seams open is as smooth as butter. And it has 300 little steam dispersion holes. This iron really knows whats up.

More about the iron later. #scrappytripalong. If you have instagram, check out this hash tag. Over the last few days, an impromptu quilt along has sprung up via instagram thanks to Megan from Lucy and Norman and is spreading like wildfire. It is incredibly addictive. The blocks are GREAT stash busters.

Here is the tute from Quiltville. Verrrrrry easy to follow and the fastest patchwork piecing I have ever done. Brenda from Pink Castle Fabrics jumped in right after Megan and has also created a flickr group for everyone to share in their Scrappy Trip Along fun. You can also check out the progress of me (citystitches) and others on instagram! Search my user name, the hash tag mentioned above, or just click the instagram button on my social networking tool bar above. There are so many wonderful other people participating over instagram and flickr, I can't possibly name them all here! Come join the fun!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Fabric Christmas!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! The insanity around here is finally beginning to die down and I will soon have enough brain space to actually do something creative. My travel kit is in progress and some parts and pieces will be ready to show off tonight! I hope.

While you are considering what to do with any Christmas money or Christmas fabric IOU's that you might have received, you should pop over to Marmalade Fabrics and check out the sale that Tammy has going on! Today and tomorrow only though, so go get your 20% off!

Hurry Hurry!

Monday, December 17, 2012

what am I doing?

I am living in a hotel, 10 days at a time. 4 days off, and then 10 days back in my lovely Staybridge Suites. This leaves little time for sewing....or so I thought.

This trip, I gave in and brought my machine with me. It has been FANTASTIC. I have nothing else to do when I get done with work at the end of the day except eat, sew, and sleep. The only downside is that I work like 12 sleep comes pretty quickly.

What am I working on? Why the Retro Flowers Quilt that I started and still. haven't. finished. At this pace though, it will move into 2013 on my completed list. O yea.

Here are some quick pics of what progress looks like.

Ready to share in the insanity of the situation? I thought I could come with just my stack of petals and a sewing machine and be good to go for the full 10 days. Noooo. 

I quickly found out that not all of the petals had been trimmed yet. O yea, I remember not finishing that now. As fate would have it, there is a JoAnn's right next to my site. One teeny tiny cutting mat and rotarty cutter later, I'm ready to go. Time to piece. ...... I have no pins. Sneak back to JoAnn's the next day for pins. Ok, must be ready now. O, I didn't bring enough Kona Snow? Awesome. Those pieces will have to wait I guess. Ok, finally piecing. Iron seams open. I think I'm doing pretty good since I only have to take a couple apart from batch one due to mis-matched seams. Now for a stitch ripper........hmmm. Yea, forgot that too. Must be bedtime. 

Wow, do I need to make a travel sewing kit or what? That will be my project over the 2 weeks I have off before I have to mobilize back to Columbia on January 6th. Get ready for some awesome how to's on making sewing portable!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Swap Mail and Celebrate do. Good Stitches!

Attention swappers! Packages are in the mail as of yesterday! You should be receiving your fabric in the near future. Hopefully everyone will enjoy what they got! Thank you to everyone who sent in fabric for the swap. I enjoyed hosting and will definitely be doing another one!!

Because my work schedule is so intense, my mom had the immense pleasure of taking these to the post office. She said that she received many mean glares walking in with the two laundry baskets full. Haha.  Fortunately for everyone, they were already addressed and had postage!

In other news, do. Good Stitches is having a year end bash. If you don't already know, do. Good Stitches is a charity bee comprised of 21 circles of women sewing for a cause. Rachel from Stitched in Color is the founder and Queen Bee. 

On her blog, voting has begun for the 'Best of 2012' quilt. Hop over and vote! The quilt chosen to represent the Believe circle (our circle) is super gorgeous and definitely worth seeing! And, if you completed a quilt for do. Good Stitches this year, you can enter to win a roll of batting!

I was surprised today to find out that I had been chosen randomly from our Believe circle as the winner of a gift certificate from Pink Chalk Fabrics! I was so excited! I have never won anything before! Again, hop on over to Rachel's blog or do. Good Stitches and see what it is all about!

Monday, December 10, 2012

good folks

I have always loved Anna Maria Horner, but Good Folks captivated me like no other fabric ever has. There is just something about this line that is so majestic.

I don't know if it is the color, scale, print, balance, or some other fabric attribute, but it is just amazing.

I chose to do a Japanese x and + block after seeing the one made by the women of do. Good Stitches for their leader, Rachel. It was a great mash up of color but still accentuated the individual fabrics. Which is exactly what I hoped to do with my Good Folks fat quarters.

I think this quilt really is a testament to the beauty of the line itself.

I am thinking of putting 6 inch linen borders around it in a cream color to make it larger. For the back, I found an amazing deal on 3 yards of the Filigree print in green which will make up the center of the back, flanked by two strips of linen. My quilt model was very patient while I took way more pictures than necessary. :)

Now how to quilt it?!?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

back to....

Back to Columbia and back to embroidery. I got on another embroidery kick because it is super awesome aaaaand I can do it while sitting in the car. I didn't really come all that prepared though. I only have a couple spools of pearl and some little scraps of neutral fabric to play on. It is really interesting however, to just doodle with a needle and thread. I am practicing new stitches, sewing sheep that make me laugh, and just attempting to relax. Sew without pressure for the time being. Here are some great links and links to stitch dictionaries. So fun!

Here are my sheep. I love them. I want to put them on everything. I saw them go by on this website (original sheep author being Incywincystitches) and just HAD to try them. They are tiny and too cute. To be continued....

Monday, November 19, 2012

More Blocks

The holidays don't have the brightest sewing outlook for me. I will spend most of this month and next and possibly January in a hotel...ssooooo sewing is becoming a challenge. It will happen, but it will be intermittent. Luckily for me, my bees are either finishing, or taking a break for December. I am so excited for the ability to catch up. Here are a few more blocks that I finished and mailed off, but haven't had time to post about.

The deadline for submitting your fabric for the ColorWheel Swap has come and gone. Hopefully everyone's fabric is in the mail. If not, I will be sending out emails to my alternates over the Thanksgiving holiday. Hopefully they will have a fantastic turn around time and I will be able to send everyone's fabric to them during the first week of December.

This swap has been so fun and I absolutely will be doing another one! I am so thankful to everyone who participated and hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. Thanks again!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

so Much mail!

When I arrived at my parent's house this past weekend, there were 27 packages piled in my room from those participating in the ColorWheel Swap. Thaaaaats a lot of mail. It was SO FUN opening them all. It was like a beautiful christmas rainbow of fabric. And amazingly, that is only half of them! For all those participating, make sure you get them in the mail by Friday. After that, I will call on my alternates to fill in what I am missing. And after that!, I will be sending all of you packages of gorgeous fabric. I promise, the submissions are so good. I am JEALOUS!

The green and gray piles are on the other side of the room. I got distracted before I could take a picture of them. That happens to me a lot. 

Thank you so much to everyone for being a part of the swap! I have loved reading your awesome notes and finding treats among those submissions. This will definitely not be my last swap!

Also, my instagram is up and running! Find it under my connect toolbar at the top right. Now, if I am not blogging, you can just check there and see what I am doing or where I am. Also, I will post pictures of projects that I am working on as well as awesome things that inspire me. I can't wait!

Monday, November 12, 2012

what a Weekend!

This will be short and sweet, but I am moving a mile a minute. I am in columbia, again, meaning no sewing until friday. But! I finished all my bee blocks for October and November already. For all those who are expecting these blocks, they will be in the mail on Friday. I promise. That will be the first time I am not up to my elbows in dirt. Here are a couple of said blocks. These are for do. Good Stitches October. 

On another note, I had the most amazing weekend ever. I am not the most technologically up to date person, but this weekend, my boyfriend surprised me with an iPhone!!!! This is super exciting for me....mostly because I have an iPhone. Haha. I am setting up an Instagram account so that people can follow me and see what I am doing when I am pulled away from my blog and sewing. I can't wait to get started! Hopefully tomorrow the link will be up on my social media tool bar. Keep a lookout!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Let's do this!

Wednesday: Still working on the wedding quilt as you might imagine. I got it quilted, and the binding is on and ready to be stitched down. I mulled over trying to do it by machine, but I never have, and I really don't want my first try to be on my best friend's wedding quilt, so it is time to whip my heart out. Whip stitch my heart out that is.

Thursday: Done!

Friday-Sunday: Wedding time!

Phew, that was a lot in such a short period of time. Amanda loved her quilt and it made all the hard work worth it. If you missed my first post about it, I followed Alyssa's posts about her Black and White Memories Quilt in order to create this one. The wedding was SO FUN. I was very sad to say goodbye to all of my college friends. Alas, back to real life and back to sewing.

While I was binding like a crazy person, I wondered if machine binding would have been easier. I know a lot of people out there do machine binding....are there tricks and tips to know? Rachel, I know, has a good tutorial as I have read it several times. I just haven't taken the plunge. Any other good ones you have seen go by? I have enough semi finished quilts that I really need to learn successful machine binding or I will never see them all finished. That is way too much hand binding for sure. Time for cleaning and continued recovery from my weekend!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

i think i can

Here's where we are so far.

Quilt top. Done. Spray basting in my living room. Done

Ready to start quilting. The early effects of the hurricane are arriving, and a big spider made camp on my porch, so I was not about to try basting out there. Too windy, possible flying spider. Nope. No way. I have never spray basted inside, but it was definitely the better option. I opened all the windows and rather than using a continuous spray, I just sprayed little glue polka dots all over the quilt sandwich to avoid ruining everything I own. It pretty much worked.

O, and the backing. I went to Target at 8 30 this morning after realizing upon waking up just minutes before that I never got a backing. Mind you, the wedding is a week from today, and since I am in it, I have to leave Thursday or Friday. I got a black queen size sheet (10.99) and it is perfect. Can you say most affordable backing ever?

My fine motor skills are now compromised by coffee, but nevertheless, it is back to work for me.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Everything on Hold

Somehow, it just occurred to me this week, that this wedding I am in is like 10 days away. O, and I hadn't made any more progress on the quilt past cutting my strips. Needless to say, this week, everything has been put on hold in an attempt to finish the wedding quilt. The HST tutorial will come, it just got moved to the back burner. Here are some late night pictures of my piecing mess.

I am a little delirious, but I have 45 blocks pieced, 4 to go, then I can piece the top and quilt the whole thing.....this weekend. What did I get myself into. Unfortunately, this is the first weekend in what feels like forever that I don't get to see my boyfriend. Silver lining, I'll have time to finish the quilt, presumably. 

Still not a ton of luck with my pictures. Couldn't get my hands on Bubble Jet Set in time. I guess she can just never wash this! Haha, ugh. I was able to heat set them so that they don't dust away, but I am terrified of what water will do to them. More to come!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lets get Acquainted blog Hop

Ah, I completely forgot about this! I am so excited that it is finally my week to post in the Lets get Acquainted Blog Hop.

Plum and June

For anyone who has never visited me, my name is Megan and I live and work in Raleigh, North Carolina. I grew up living at the beach in South Carolina, so I spend quite a bit of time back there with my family and friends. I have been sewing all my life, but I started seriously quilting when my mom gifted me a sewing machine during my senior year of college.

I am in that stage of the game where I have more WIPs than I know what to do with! I have challenged myself to finish them all or really make a dent by the end of the year. Here are some fast facts about me!

- Favorite quilting tip(s) - your machine does not necessarily default at 1/4", took me too long to learn

- Favorite blogging tip(s) - People don't like when you over apologize for being MIA or whatever the case may be. I never realized that until I read it on someone's pet peeves list.
- Favorite fabric (or wish list fabric) - Good Folks by AMH, and I have a love affair with almost anything Denyse Schmidt makes
- Favorite craft book - 1000 Great Quilt Blocks
- Favorite book (or book you are currently reading) - I could read Harry Potter endlessly
- Favorite children's book - Goodnight Moon
- Favorite quilting tool - my stitch ripper, so necessary
- Favorite music to listen to while quilting - I have a pretty wide variety of music, I just hit shuffle
- Favorite TV show while hand stitching - Big bang theory or football (yes, I love NFL)
- Binding - by hand or by machine? - by hand, it just looks so much better
- If I'd only known: what you wish you knew about blogging before you started your blog - the time commitment! I probably would have never taken the plunge had I known, but I am so happy I did. Although sometimes stressful, it is also so fun to make friends who share my passion.

Feel free to check out my tutorials in the tab at the top of the page and the Quilt Along I co-hosted this past spring! 

Here is a quick photo recap of my first year blogging! I hope you will stick around, follow along, and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

time to retire my Iron

I need a new iron. I have been putting it off forever, but it really is time. If you can't tell from my pictures, it is essentially useless in doing its job.

I have had this shark since I went to college (6 years!). It has been used by many a roommate and in many a situation. Truthfully, I am impressed that it lives. Its heat plate is also pretty stained even though I have cleaned it, and the steam has a propensity to leave brown marks on my fabric. All in all, not a winner.

So what do I buy? There are so many irons out there. What do you all use? I am not trying to break the bank here, but at the same time, I would rather plunk down a little bit of money to get a good iron that will last me than be asking this question again in the near future. Any suggestions? Advice is welcome!