Sunday, February 19, 2012

Making my first quilt - The Plan (sort of)

I have a new love.  It combines my simple, clean style and the satisfaction I get from creating things.  Modern quilting.  

I hear there's a movement underfoot, but I'm sure some of you stepped outside the traditional quilting box long ago.  The rest of the world is just taking notice.  I'm sure it helps that fabric designers are starting to put out fabric that is conducive to quilting in a fresh, new way.  On the other hand, the best modern quilts out there are made entirely of solids.  I used to pass over the solids thinking they were too quiet, plain, understated.  Silly me.

After months of admiring the quilts of others, I committed to creating a modern quilt of my own.  In fact, I made it my 2012 resolution.  So for the last 6 weeks, I worked to introduce solids to my hoard collection of fabrics.  Welcome, Bella and Kona!

I know I need to start simple.  A basic, easy pattern.  For me, that translates to:
  • a single shape to cut (squares, it is!)
  • a shape that is easy to cut (four straight edges, 90 degree angles - I have the rulers for that!)
  • a forgiving pattern (the plus sign seems basic, no?)
Thank goodness for free tutorials!  In Color Order gives a nice step-by-step.  

layout - via In Color Order blog

Feeling like I could handle it, I started cutting.  Four-and-a-half inch squares, because I had half yard cuts and wanted to get the most out of them.  I mixed in a couple simple geographic prints in the same color scheme.  Stacked them in pretty uniform piles, then didn't touch them for a week.  Ugh. 
[fast-forward about a week]

I decided on a white background, so I pulled out a white table cloth, laid it on the floor and started arranging - then rearranged - then rearranged - then rearranged. 

This is just a few of the iterations worth photographing that I came up with. Sorry for the 'great' lighting (where is that sarcasm font when you need it?).  This is the best my basement has to offer.  :)

At this point, I'd like to say I slept on it, pondered it, gave it a lot of thought.  But the truth?  I queued up a DVR'd episode of Toddlers and Tiaras and 'distracted' myself for close to an hour.  [imagine how much fabric and uber cool sewing machines they could buy with the money they spend on pagents...I digress]. 

With a newly refreshed brain (ha!), I went with option 2 for it's gradient nature.  Laid out two more rows and went to hang out with my husband for a while (after snapping a few pics with my iPhone - which I also love, almost more than I love a Starbucks Americano - which is a lot).  

And that's where I am.  I think I like it ah-laht (said in the voice of Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber).  

Here's where I could use your help.  Should I: 
  1. fill the rest with white blocks (keeping just these three rows of color) OR 
  2. fill in the rest with the repeating rows (so it's an overall pattern)
Help?  Thoughts?  

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! a quick and cheap classroom valentine

Happy Valentine's Day! 

I saw this valentine on, you guessed it, Pinterest.  (Click here to see what else I'm pinning).  The file is available in her Etsy shop, so you can simply print it. 

The concept of this valentine was perfect for us b/c it's unisex so it worked for both my son and my daughter!

For the over-achievers out there [insert fist pound here], you can make your own simple (translation: looks like a 3 year old drew it) version in Photoshop or Picnik (or another free photo editing site) and add your child's name.  Just don't fall in love with the ease of use of Picnik.  It's closing on April 19th. Boo.  

Use your printer settings to print 4 per page.  I stapled several sheets together (outside of my cutting area, of course)  so the sheets would stay straight while I cut them out.
Other variations include:
"Our 'school' is cool because of YOU!"
"You make our 'school' cool."

The bags (bought a pack of 100 for $2.99 minus 40%) stuffed with the card stock inserts.  Doesn't this pic look a little trippy?
The kids chose Goldfish crackers instead of Swedish Fish (which I was a *bit* disappointed by, btw). 

We made about 50 valentines and used about 2/3 of the giant milk carton-shaped Goldfish package.
Print.  Trim.  Fill.  Give.  Eat.  

It doesn't get any easier than that, right?  
(well, maybe it would be easier to buy a huge bag of boxed nerds and just hand those out...but they aren't nearly as cute!)  
(don't worry, we bought said bag of boxed nerds...they are slowly disappearing into my belly) 
(just doin' my share to keep Wonka in business)

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Photo-a-Day Feb 6, 7, and 8: dinner, button, sun

My Photo-a-Day

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Photo-a-Day Feb 5: 10am

My Photo-a-Day
10am team photo after 9am game (we won!).  These kids improved *so* much since the start of the season.  Yep, that's 'assistant' coach Josh over there!

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Photo-a-Day Feb 4: a stranger

My Photo-a-Day
This guy has been a stranger to us all winter.  Today was the first significant snow...enough for the kids to make a snowman.  

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Photo-A-Day Feb 3: hands

My Photo-a-Day photo
My hands at work after everyone went to bed.  (got a bit too close to the zipper - love my seam ripper!)

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Friday, February 3, 2012

Photo-A-Day Feb 2: Words

My Photo of the Day

I *love* this skit from SNL.

It makes me laugh when they break character and struggle to keep it together.  Keep an eye on Jimmy Fallon in the background....come on...does it get any funnier? My photo is a tribute:
Day 2:  [Words]  This is on the side of the fridge in the break room at work.

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

February Photo-A-Day...Feb 1 pic, a day late

I found this Photo A Day Challenge over at fat mum slim.  And in spirit of the new year and all things organization (and b/c I already take at least one pic a day with my iPhone) why not put some structure and purpose to my photo snapping!

Day/February 1: your view today

I kick off my birthday month being sick.  Here's my view at work during an all-day meeting, complete with my morning bev of choice, an Americano, tissues, hand sanitizer, and Vaseline for my poor chafed nose. [insert tiny violin here]

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