Wednesday, January 30, 2013

New Link

I've created a new page on the header for my studio's blog!

A little background: I am studying architecture at Virginia Tech, in one of the best undergraduate programs in the country. It's been a wonderful experience and I'm enjoying it thoroughly. Each year of school (5 years total), all of the architecture students have a studio. It meets 3-5 times a week for 2-4 hours a day, depending on your year. Studio is where our professors talk to us, where we build models, where we do our work, where we present our work, and where we live. Basically.

This year, I am in Virginia Tech's design/build studio. Over the course of the year, we have been working with real world clients and designing for their needs (the Autistic School), and this spring we will design and build a pedestrian footbridge in Clifton Forge, VA.

Our professors (a married couple) believe that it is very important for the 18 of us in the studio to be independent and create our project ourselves. So, we were broken into 3 committees- Scheduling and Logistics, Communications and PR, and.... something else that I've forgotten. But I'm on the Communications team, and I and one other guy in my studio are in charge of the studio blog.

We are the fifth design/build studio that Virginia Tech has had. The first did a study on mobile homes, the second did an urban planning survey and study for the town of Clifton Forge, the third created a farmer's market pavillion for Covington, VA, and the fourth designed and built the Masonic Amphitheater in Clifton Forge, VA. Our group will be building the footbridge on the amphitheater site, as well as a concession stand/entry pavilion (if we can get the funds!)

So, that is what I do in real life when I'm not sewing. Go check it out!

Monday, January 28, 2013

I want to make a Swoon Quilt

I really do. I don't have any fabric in mind, but I want to make a swoon quilt this year.

Flash is going on a grand adventure to Europe and the West Coast and Coachella Music Festival with his best friend, Brad, and I'm going to be here in Blacksburg by myself. So, I think I'll pick up a big ol' project to keep myself busy through the long distance thing. Not that I won't be busy enough with school, but having a project to work on will keep me sane.


1. A swoon quilt
2. A grey and purple log cabin quilt
3. Something with my Salt Water Fat Quarters
4. Something with my Architextures Fat Quarters

Thursday, January 24, 2013


It's been a very rough and crazy week back at school.

The first day was chaos. I found out that my first class ended at 10:45, and not 10:20 like my schedule said, so that made me late for work, where my shift is 11-3. And when I got back for studio at 3:30, I find out it began at 2. And also our third year design competition was given out at 2.


So I calmed down and started the project, and it's progressing nicely. It's due on Monday at 9pm, so we're busting our butts to get it all done in time. We can work in groups, too, which is amazing. The prompt is to design a visitor's center on a ridge and nature preserve in Bath County, VA, right next to an airport. I'm enjoying it so far, which is always a good sign.

Flash and I went rock climbing Tuesday night to de-stress. There were a ton of new routes set up, and I climbed pretty well. I took a scary fall once, but was able to collect myself and get back on the wall. WOO.

Wednesday sucked because we found out Flash's car is totalled. So I'll be his driver until he goes away to Europe/the West coast in February. Oh by the way, he's going on a semi-spur of the moment European and West Coast-ean adventure in March and April. YAY LONG DISTANCE.

You can tell I'm thrilled.

And today topped off my poopy week sundae with the news that I can't make my work schedule fit with my academic schedule, so I had to leave my job. Now I get to go hunt for a new one that will hopefully accomodate my ridiculous hours.

I'm tired and upset and not thrilled to be back, and I haven't had time to sew anything and I probably won't for a while. Guh. Thankfully, Flash will play Mario Party 4 with me.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Photoshoot: The Baby Quilts

I was just trying to think of a name for the baby quilts three, and "Bright and Wild" just came to mind.

Anyway, winter storm Iago blew through Virginia the other day, leaving lots of snow and ice in its path and Flash and I stranded in Farmville on our way home from the beach. Once we finally made it home (with a stop in Roanoke to visit his dad and slide the car through some gnarly ice, resulting in us taking a mini van home instead of his mazda), we decompressed for a bit and headed out to the park with his dog and his roommate, Tuck.

We make our own fun.

I'm going to give the quilts away tomorrow, and I'm very excited for Flash's sister to finally see them in real life :)


A baby snowman stopped by to admire the baby quilts

Close up of the big baby quilt


I've been down at the beach with Flash since Tuesday and we just returned yesterday, so I'll be posting son, I swear! I'm just busy and tired and there's snow everywhere and I'm just content to stay curled up in bed.

Everyone in blogland is posting about their local quilt shops, but I haven't found one near Blacksburg yet :( It's probably a good thing, or all of my grocery money would become quilt money. I would be very warm, but very hungry.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sisters Ten: January Block

So, all of the quilts I've made have been relatively linear and not terribly complicated. I like it, but I wanted to start doing more piecing in my work. So, I found out about the Block of the Month run by Generation X, and thought it would be a great chance for me to test out my skills.

This month, the square is the Grandmother's Frame. I got a chance to sit down and sew today while the Old Man and company were across the street at a party, and I managed to complete the blocks. I did all the cutting yesterday, which sped things along.

Grandmother's Frame

I'm incredibly pleased with how they turned out. I was afraid that the one on the left, with the fish, would look too white (since the fish are on a white background), but I don't think it's going to be too much of an issue. I like the contrast between them too- one bright and dark, one light and muted. 

Block number 1

Every month, a new block will be released. You make two of each block, and you make blocks up until November. So by then, you have 20 blocks and you're ready to sew them all together! I elected to make the 12" square quilt, instead of the 9". I've never made half square triangles or anything before, so I wanted to make sure I was making something big enough that I wouldn't mess up too terribly.

Block number 2

I had trouble lining up the corners of the solid colored triangles, but oh well. You win some, you lose some. And it's not terribly noticeable, so I'm just not going to worry about it.

But anyway! That's my accomplishment! Tomorrow, Boo goes back to Mary Washington and I have to pack to go back to Virginia Tech on Monday. Then Flash and I are headed to the beach for a little bit of relaxation before school starts back up, then I'm hitting the ground running. I've got two architecture competitions and a  FINAL final presentation for the Autism School when I get back. Hopefully I'll find time in there to keep working on my sewing!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Baby Quilts- Finished!

I have finally completed the baby quilts for Flash's sister! Two loveys for two future babies (one is her friend's) and one quilt for big brother!

Big Brother's quilt, and the two loveys.

I'm very pleased with how everything turned out. The backs of the quilts are a very soft fuzzy material called Minky. It was interesting to work with, but all of the little struggles got worked out and now I have lots of fuzzy comfy blankies to show for it :) And I have lots of Minky left over, so I can maybe piece something together to use it all.

I struggled with labels for these quilts for a long time. You should always label your quilts (something I didn't do with my last one- shame on me), for posterity's sake at least. But my name is long, and not very catchy. And if, one day, I start making quilts to sell, I wanted a "brand name", if you will. I went with Couch Creations. I'm not wild about it, but it works for now.

Orange! My favorite color.

I really like what I did with it, with the little couch and how the words are my own handwriting. I think it makes it more personal, and really shows that I made the quilt.

I tried two versions of stitching for the binding. I bound one lovey by hand, like my grandmother taught me. But after spending all of Sherlock Holmes 2 sewing one small quilt (and I wasn't confident that I was catching the minky layer, and not just minky fuzz), I looked around the blog world for an alternative. Cluck Cluck Sew posted a tutorial the other day about machine stitching the binding, so I gave that a try. It was tricky, but it worked out for the most part.

Machine stitched on the right, hand sewn on the left. Hidden seams vs visible seams!

Now that the baby blankets are finished, I've started working on the Block of the Month I'm doing. For those who don't know, a Block of the Month quilt (or BOM) is a yearlong project. Every month, a single block is released. So, you complete a block a month, and end the year with a full quilt! I'll be doing Gen X Quilters' BOM, called the Sisters' Ten. I finally chose all of my fabric yesterday, and cut out the pieces today. I have work this afternoon, and the cleaning people are here, so I haven't been able to sew the blocks yet. But the hard part is down! 

I bought some of Heather Ross' Mendocino prints for my birthday, and I thought they would make a beautiful quilt. So, I went out and bought some coordinating solids to flesh out my fabric requirements!

I'm really excited for this BOM- It'll be something nice and relaxing for me to do during school!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ski Weekend

I haven't gotten much time with my dad since he got married this summer, so this weekend we went away to Snowshoe for some ski time awesomeness. Boo and his girlfriend came too, but they mostly skied on their own.

Dad and I ROCKED the slopes. Conditions were great, there was lots of snow, and all of the slopes were awesome. We started skiing about five or so years ago, and we're both at the point in our skills where we can hop on any slope and make our way down. It's a really great place to be.

There was one slope we found that we hadn't skied before that we LOVED. Turns out it was a black diamond, which is the hardest grade of slope. That made me feel really awesome, that I was skiing black diamonds and really enjoying myself.

Bonus present on the trip: Monday morning, there was lots of snow and frost and ice in the air. Hoarfrost had settled in the mountains, and there were sparkling ice crystals falling through the air- very beautiful, the entire world was sparkling. And there was a DOUBLE CIRCLE RAINBOW around the sun. The light from the sun was reflecting off all of the ice in the air, which created a complete circle around the sun. Then, at the cardinal corners were opposite reflections, (like this: )(, where the ) is the rainbow and the ( is the reflected bit), which were really awesome.

Overall, great weekend. Now I need to get to the fabric store and get some fabric for GenX's BOM and actually USE my new machine!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Toy!


I heard the dog barking around 3, which usually means someone's at the door. RUN downstairs, THROW open the front door, WAVE goodbye to the UPS guy, and hop up and down. Not only did the machine come in, but so did a pair of shoes and the extra bobbins I ordered.

I also got a sweet new pair of boots that were on sale today. Found my size and snatched them up.

Oh, happy day!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

I haven't had this blog very long yet, so most of the people reading it probably don't know what 2012 was like for me. But by far, it was the most dramatic, changing, awesome, and best year of my life.

I'll set the scene for you.
December, 2011. Flash and I have been dating for hardly more than a month when school ends and I go back home, which is 3 hours from where he lives. So begins a long distance relationship for about a month, no big deal. Immediately come home from break, and my dear mom announces she is engaged. Tell dad the next day, he announces that he's planning on proposing to his now wife. Both weddings are planned for July.

Well, this should be fun.

January: I've been planning a cross country road trip with Flash and our good friend Bonecrusher from the Quidditch team. Flash and I ring in the new year together in Richmond. School begins again. I have a new professor for studio and we immediately begin the second year design competition- Design a bookstore in the middle of the Architecture building.

February: Flash and I are still not "officially" boyfriend and girlfriend. Finally on Valentine's day, we realize and establish that we are, indeed, official. We wait a few days to put it on facebook, so we don't look like a Valentine's Couple. Flash turns 22. Flash finally starts cooking for himself and exploring his culinary abilities (I taught him to cook in December). The Phoenixes (my Quidditch team) host their first tournament on campus, the Sirius Blacksburg Brawl.

March: Officially get diagnosed with Jumper's Knee, from my high school days of playing volleyball. I spend my spring break watching Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix. In studio, I design a gallery in Blacksburg for 16 people. The Quidditch team goes to Richmond for the River City Invitational, where I sprain my left knee. Exit Kitty the Quidditch player for the rest of the season.

April: The team travels to Ohio for a tournament, I go as team mom. My studio travels to New York City, I end up having to toddle around the city with my crutches and knee brace. I go full swing into organizing and planning the road trip: A cross country adventure from Richmond to Seattle. I get into the design/build studio for 3rd year (the studio I am in currently). Stress eats me alive.

May: End of the school year. In studio, I design an artists' residency compound in rural Virginia. I hand drew all 30+ drawings for my final presentation. As soon as school ends, Flash, Bonecrusher, and I pack into the car and head out to Seattle. Stops along the way included Nashville, Little Rock, Amarillo, Albuquerque (in the first two days of driving), the Petrified Forest National Park, the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Yosemite, Sacramento, Redwoods National Park, Portland, Olympic National Park, and finally Seattle. The most amazing trip of my life, honestly. Flash and I fly home, not knowing when we'll see each other next. I go home to see my brother graduate from High School.

June: I start my summer job as a nanny and as an employee at the Rock Climbing Gym in Richmond. Flash and I manage to see each other roughly every other week during the summer, making the long distance quite manageable. In the meantime, I watch Lost on Netflix and make a string quilt! My first quilt that I made all by myself.

July: Weddings. Lots of weddings. Dad gets married, I get two new young step sisters. We move out of our home and into her house. Lots of feelings. Mom gets married, I get a new step brother. She packs up her house and plans to move to Nashville, where her husband lives. Lots of upheaval. Thankfully, I had Flash to talk to and vent to and to keep me sane during this crazy time.

August: Everyone's moving and it's one giant mess. To make everything more complicated, I'm diagnosed with mono. Great. I move to Blacksburg, into my first apartment! Flash and Tuck help me move in, and we hang out and stuff. I like my apartment a lot. School starts back up, and the first few weeks are incredibly stressful. Third year architecture was NOT what I had imagined. Flash does a very good job of helping me calm down and figure stuff out. Also, I start Structures again (the terrible class that weeds out architecture students, that I did not pass last year).

September: I'm back in a normal schedule where things are working out nicely. I can't play quidditch because of the mono- apparently it enlarges your spleen, which can rupture if you play contact sports. Go figure. So I organize the Sirius Blacksburg Brawl (again!), which turns out to be an awesome tournament and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Studio is frustrating because we're making a book, not designing anything.

October: FINALLY we begin designing a building in studio. I come back to Quidditch, but in the time I was gone it became incredibly physical and I just get beat up on, which I don't really enjoy. I focus more on studio and architecture. Oh, I also turned 21. AWESOMESAUCE.

November: Regionals for the Mid Atlantic Region in Quidditch! Everyone's competing for a spot in the World Cup (in April). Sadly, we do not get a bid. I start winding down as president, because we are holding elections for new officers for 2013. I'm planning on studying abroad in the fall of 2013, and I can't exactly be president anymore if I'm in Europe. Flash and I celebrate our first anniversary, and it is wonderful. I start planning my next few quilts.

December: I pass Structures. I rock studio and make a sweet model. I get lots and lots of fabric for Christmas. And I ring in the new year with Flash again, at a Moon Taxi show in Nashville. A good party to close out a crazy tumultuous year.

But you know what? I wouldn't change anything about it.

When life gives you troubles, go to your happy place. Find what makes you happy, and strive to achieve it. You can't control the world, but you can control how it makes you feel.