I'm trying to finish it in the next two weeks. We'll see...
Monday, June 04, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
57/99 squares quilted.
The index and middle fingers on both my hands are starting to look like raw hamburger. Such is the plight of an awkward ambedextrious quilter who can't use thimbles.
I just keep telling myself that I'm making progress. I'm over half done quilting the blocks, so I'm on the downswing, right?? I spent a good chunk of today marking the remainder of the squares, so I don't have to keep stopping to find my magic fabric pen.
I have a little distraction from Quilt Island, which is proving handy. I'm surprising my younger sister with a cute clutch purse for her senior prom. My mom's making her dress (go Mom!), so I stole the leftover fabric for my little secret project. So far, it's turning out really nice! I'm using a pattern from Amy Butler's book 'In Stitches.' I've gotta say, it's REALLY nice to sew a curved line! I feel like it's been years since I worked on anything but straight-line quilting stuff.
I'll post some pics of the finished product. Her prom is next weekend...wish me luck in getting it done!
Posted by Amanda at 11:24 PM
Friday, May 18, 2007
I can't stand keeping my quilt a secret for too much longer. Here's a few teaser shots...
Forgive the crappy pictures. Turns out, it's extremely difficult to take pictures of a ginormous king sized quilt. Who knew?
Slowly making progress... I've got 43/99 squares quilted, and I haven't even figured out how I'm going to quilt the border yet. My fingers are a mess from all the hand-quilting. But every finished square is a huge accomplishment, and I am absolutely loving how it's coming out.
Posted by Amanda at 5:32 PM
Sunday, May 13, 2007
I've been up to a lot of life, and only a little bit of crafting. For now, I'll present you with some of the former.
If you want to see more, check out my flickr sets for the Hershey Gardens and my recent San Francisco trip.
Hopefully I'll get back into posting regularly! Trying to find the time to craft...
On an unrelated note, I just realized that I've graduated college almost exactly a year ago. That in and of itself isn't all that scary, but that means it's been 5 years since I graduated from high school! That's frightening. Does that mean I have a reunion to go to?
It's been a really good year. I...
...became gainfully employed.
...bought a car.
...came to terms with my natural hair color.
...managed to get up to State College for a few football games.
...built a computer (with just a *smidge* of help from Ben...right).
Hopefully, by the end of the summer I'll be able to add 'moved in with Ben' to that list! :)
Posted by Amanda at 12:20 AM
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
It's been a busy few weeks! I apologize for the lack of posts recently.
Here is what I've been up to:
- A promotion at work!
- Celebrating our two year anniversary with the future Mr. Staarlight :-D
- Attending my first ever baby shower
- Doing my first ever 'big girl' taxes... i.e. I wasn't a college student last year, and I actually made money. Taxes = ick, but I'll soon be getting a very nice refund!
- Preparing for a short trip to San Francisco at the end of this week. I can't wait!
- Buying, and subsequently returning, a Kodak Easyshare V610. I was sucked in by the awesomeness of dual lenses, but the image quality was truly piss poor. Things like this make me wary of reviews on the internets. And now I'm camera-less for my trip, to boot! If anyone has any digital camera recommendations (small, around $300, at least 5 megapixels), do share.
As you can see, there was NO crafting in there. This is worrisome. I plan to work on the quilt some more this week, but my sore fingers are losing steam.
Hope all is well with you, dear reader. :)
Posted by Amanda at 6:33 AM
Monday, March 19, 2007
I found this on Craftster this morning, and it seemed rather apropos.
Now, I love my machine dearly, and while it's not quite posessed, we're not exactly on speaking terms right now. Read on...
The Large Surprise that I've been mentioning here and there is a quilt. King sized. Yesterday, I got the back pieced together, made my quilt top - batting - backing sandwich, pinned and basted the hell out of it, and then tried to start quilting on my trusty little Kenmore.
I pushed and shoved and folded and squished and twisted and contorted and managed to quilt the center square in the rather simple pattern I've chosen. I figured if I could quilt the center block, I could quilt the whole thing, right? I gleefully extricated the quilt from my machine and brought it over to a table to inspect it.
First, the stitch length was WAY wrong...short here, long there...I figure that's a result of all the manipulating I had to do to quilt it. That alone I might have been able to live with. But...my wonderful machine got GREASE on my beautiful quilt!!
Long story short, it looks like it will come out. But, I have decided that machine quilting it is too much of a hassle and thusly I will be hand quilting the entire thing. I'm nuts, I know. But I've gotten a handful of squares done (out of 99 :-/), and while my fingers are majorly sore, it looks really nice. Vintage without that primitive/country look that I dislike so.
I am itching to post pics!! Alas, it's not up to me...but I hope it's soon. I am getting impatient. ;)
Posted by Amanda at 11:49 AM
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
...just busy as heck.
I haven't had much time to craft at all, and the things I have been crafting are top-secret. For now. :)
Here's a life update, so you don't think I'm sitting around twiddling my thumbs.
- Went on my first business trip this week... to scenic Bloomington, Illinois. I'm not a huge fan of flying, but it was overall a great trip, and it shows that very good things are in the works at my job.
- Ben is helping me build a new computer! Like, from parts! I am in awe of how cool it is to know how to build a custom PC. We spent a few weeks picking out the individual components, then ordered them en masse and spent a weekend putting it together. Unfortunately, the first motherboard we ordered was DOA, so it and the RAM needed to be exchanged for new ones. Everything is put together now, and he's coming down soon to bring it here. My new PC is going to be blazing! And I'm going to have Vista! Expect a lot more cool pictures, because Photoshop will run a thousand times better on Ben's amazing creation.
- I've lost 7 pounds so far on my exercise and diet regimen. :-D
- I'm signing up to do the Danskin triathalon in September. This is a little scary for me, because I'm not exactly 'athletic', but I think it's a great goal. And if I get in rockin' shape along the way, all the better! Bathing suit season is closing in...
Posted by Amanda at 12:24 PM
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Here is what I sent to Craftster user raina.storms for the January Jamboree. The purse is my own design, made of cordoroy and wool. The book was really fun, 'cause I haven't made a book in a while. And the ATC is my first! What do you think?
After some inspiration on Craftster, I broke down today and bought three Stitch Diva patterns that I've been eyeing for a while. Behold: Simple Knitted Bodice, Slinky Fitted Shrug and Sahara. I think I'll tackle the Sahara first, in the shortsleeve version, with some kind of a cotton blend for the summer.
Posted by Amanda at 9:39 PM
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
...because nothing says love like a sassy pinup.
EDIT: I stand corrected. Nothing says love like a Horny Devil bear delivered to your office! I will never live this down at work. ;)
I consider myself to be a relatively mature twenty-two year old, but a teddy bear will reduce me to the mental age of six every time. :-D Yeeeayy! Thanks, boy. :-*
Posted by Amanda at 8:39 PM
Sunday, February 11, 2007
At long last, I have completed every last bit of work on my Starsky. It is my new favorite sweater, as all newly finished sweaters tend to be.
I have nothing but praise for the pattern and the yarn. The pattern was written very clearly, and I don't think it really deserves an 'extraspicy' rating from Knitty. If you're thinking about doing a Starsky, I say go for it! I found it very straightforward and fun. I used the yarn called for in the pattern, Knitpicks Sierra, in colorway 'Cinnamon.' It is soft and warm, and I was able to join skeins by felting the ends together. Less ends to weave in is always good!
The only modification I made was to increase the length by about 2.5". That little extra made it come out just perfect for my taller-than-average frame.
As with all FO's, I am eagerly looking forward to my next knitting project. I have to finish a few swap packages first, but then I have my eye on an adorable cotton cardigan for a friend's baby.
That's the news for now...stay tuned for some swap packages coming soon!
So I know I wasn't supposed to get any more fabric. Until 2010, at least. Well...
...I got these with an IKEA gift card, so they don't count, right?
Both are heavy cotton, 18" wide, and came hemmed down both sides. I'm thinking throw pillows, or purses. Seeing as how I have about a thousand purses, and no couch, I suppose I really didn't *need* these, but they were too pretty to pass up.
Sheer. 5 yards. I bought this because the pattern is awesome, and it matched a green bikini I have perfectly. This will be a beach coverup/sarong.
Slightly sheer. 5 yards. Unfortunately, this picture does the fabric no justice. It is a beautiful dull gold, with black velvet flocked cherry blossoms. I'll use this as an overlay on a simple black evening dress.
Lightweight silky print. 6 yards. I've actually already made a (90% complete) dress out of this fabric. It's a pain to work with, but I love the pattern. not sure yet what this will be.
Denim with copper print. 3 yards. Yes, I know it'a kind of tacky. My shopping partner pointed this out to me. However. I think that used in serious moderation as an accent on purses and wallets, this could be really cool. Stay tuned to see if it ends up looking like a hot mess.
Heavyweight green denim. 2 2/3 yards. Love the color. This will be a fitted blazer.
Cotton. 3 yards. I have no idea what I'll do with this. But aren't the colors great?
Lightweight silky print. 4 yards. The wild child in me screams "Make a dress!" But I know in my heart of hearts that I am not capable of wearing such a bold fabric head to toe. A fluttery tank/shirt, maybe? Lining for a blazer?
Poly blend. 2 yards. Skirt for work.
Poly blend. 3 yards. Another skirt for work.
Cotton. 3 yards. Yet another skirt for work. The white flowers are printed on, and the gray ones are flocked over top. Looks better in person.
All in all, a *very* fruitful trip to the fabric store. :) Now, someone please put a zap collar on me so I don't go back for a good long time!
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I went back to JoAnn's tonight...the $1 sale was still going on...and I bought 40 yards of fabric. I should be good for the year now, right?
I'll try to post pics tomorrow.
I've had very little time to craft. But, I've finally made some progress on Starsky! It appears lunch breaks at work are good for more than surfing the internet! All the main pieces are sewn together and it looks great. Now all I have to do is finish the belt (56/65 in. completed thus far), knit the collar, and make belt loops. Piece of cake! :-P
By the way, the more I knit with Knitpicks Sierra, the more I want to dive headfirst into a swimming pool full of it. It's not the nicest yarn I've ever used, but it has grown on me big time over the course of this sweater.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Apologies in advance for the phone camera shots. Not only did my nice camera's battery die, but it also started to snow as soon as I went outside for some nice picture-taking light. But I perservered. Read on...
The gods were truly smiling upon me yesterday. I went with my mother for our once-or-twice-weekly trip to Joann Fabric yesterday, and they were having an un-advertised special on their clearance fabric. EVERYTHING was $1/yd. Needless to say, I went a little crazy.
6 yds: skirt / blazer set for work. It's blue and brown, in case you can't tell.
5 panels: skirt? dress? wall hanging? It's a nice bottomweight type fabric with a hint of stretch. The fact that it's in panels will be a challenge. Each panel consists of the flower that you see, on a gray background. Each flower is about two feet by three feet.
Almost 3 yds: summer shirt
3 yds: overlay for a formal black dress. Organza + beading = love.
I started blocking my Starsky, at long last. I'm just taking the two front pieces off of my highly technical bloacking board (*ahem*foam core board*ahem*), and pinning the back on. I'm hoping to have a FO for you guys soon!
Here's a sneak peak at one of the items in my swap package for raina.storms. I hope to send out tomorrow!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
I have been somewhat remiss in posting recently, and for that I apologize. I'm trying to be a better blogger...
However, the reason why I haven't had any posts recently is twofold. First, I'm working on three swap packages that I want to keep semi-secret until my partners recieve their goodies. There's the January Jamboree IYP 5 Swap with the lovely raina.storms, a personal swap with Karin (!!), and a personal swap with Craftster user chloeiscrazy.
Chloeiscrazy sent me an awesome stenciled t-shirt and fabric headbands. I sent her package out aeons ago, and it still hasn't arrived. I am beginning to suspect that it disappeared somewhere between here and Canada. Thusly, I'm working on a replacement package for her. I can reveal that she's getting a purse and some Blythe dresses from me. Pictures soon, I hope!
The second reason why I've been a bad blogger is this cryptic image:
I am working on a Large Surprise. Only, I don't get to decide when I am giving it to the recipient. They do. But they don't know it. I am actually very nervous about giving this gift, and I'm sort of on the verge of not giving it at all. It is a large undertaking, and I will finish it regardless, and I know I will have a home for it if I do opt not to gift it. Confused yet? Pictures coming...well...whenever my recipient dictates that the time is right for me to gift this gift, if in fact I do gift it at all.
In other news, I have some terrific linkage for you today. As a former photography junkie, I am pleased as punch to point you in the direction of my cousin Elizabeth's photography gallery. Just more proof that arty runs in the family.
Oh, I did finally cut my hair..about three weeks ago now.
I do sort of miss my long hair, exclusively for ponytail-related reasons, and I am unfortunately once again a slave to my blowdryer, but overall I like it a lot! Even the boy, who professes to have a preference for long hair, admitted that it's pretty cute. :-D
In closing, I just wanted to say how nice it is to have garnered a small following for my silly little blog. I find writing here very fulfilling, and I'm so glad to share it with you all. Ciao, bellas!
Posted by Amanda at 12:03 PM
Friday, January 05, 2007
My New Year's resolution: discipline. Basically, there are several areas of my life that I feel I could improve with a little willpower, self-control, and some general stick-to-it-iveness. I.e. reigning in spending, exercising more, eating better, finishing the things I start... And in that vein, my first project of 2007 is FINISHING STARSKY. I've started on the (never-ending) belt, and I'm hoping to block all the finished sweater pieces tonight.
I received a few Amazon.com gift certificates for Christmas, and I had a happy little crafty shopping spree. I ended up with a subscription to Craft, a subscription to Interweave Knits, Crafty Chica's Art de la Soul: Glittery Ideas to Liven Up Your Life by Kathy Cano Murillo, and the 2007 Stuff on My Cat page-a-day calendar. Nothing chases away the Monday office blues like a cat covered in Post-Its.
I had picked up the first issue of Craft at Joann's a while back, and I'm absolutely hooked. The projects inside are just so *different* from what you'd get from an ordinary craft magazine. There's an excellent screenprinting tutorial in the first issue. I've had the equipment for it for a while now, but no decent instructions. I sense some awesome shirts in my future...
Speaking of shirt-y goodness, any suggestions on a good fabric paint to use for stenciling shirts? I've had some great luck with freezer paper stencils, but I am severly limited by crappy paint. Share the wisdom, if you've got it!
Btw, I am loving my new blog layout. It just looks so much...cleaner! One thing I'm having trouble with, though, is the header. I'd love to remove the text and put a picture up there, but I'm having a terrible time with it. Any Bloggers wanna help me out?