Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Wednesday is almost over, and I was just able to sit down at my machine and get some work done.

I don't know if I'm the only college quilt blogger out there or if no one else has jobs, but everyone whose blog I read seems to have boatloads of time on their hands. I'm really jealous, you all make beautiful works of art, while I sit in a lecture hall learning about how buildings are put together.

But I was able to make a HUGE dent in my scrappy trip along quilt! I set aside groups of 6 strips the other day, and today I sewed together all but five sets. I would've pressed on, but I had a beer while I was sewing and it made me tired.

Speaking of beer, I got my latest Craft Brew of the Month club box today! 12 bottles of 4 new beers are waiting for me- I just need to finish off last month's box first... I'm a slow drinker. It doesn't help that I'd rather have a glass of milk than a beer, either.

But I digress. I sewed most of the strips into tubes! I'm going to cut them all up here soon, and then stitch them into squares. I tend to work in phases, instead of knocking out 4 blocks at a time. I'd much rather do steps one and two a million times over and be done with them.

Pile of strips!

Pile of finished blocks!

All of my blocks have a strip of blue fabric down the center (mostly because I had too many blue strips), which I thought would give a nice composition to the finished quilt. I'm going to end up with 40 blocks, so I'm thinking I'll do a 5x8 arrangement. And if each block is about 6.5" square, then that will give me.... a 30x48 inch quilt! Smaller than I had hoped for, but at least the fabric is used up and done. Then maybe I can tackle the monster I have hidden away in my closet...

Back when I was finishing up my string quilt, I decided to just crazy piece the backing out of all my leftover fabric. I was excited at first, but as I kept sewing pieces together, I realized it looked god awful. Worst thing ever. So, I hid it away and named it "Quilt Barf", and haven't looked at it since July. But maybe it's time to dig it out and try to make something nice.

This is the last time I buy a boatload of fabric and cut it up into strips for one quilt. I had enough left over to make Quilt Barf and a STA quilt- obviously, I had too much.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced!

Monday, February 25, 2013


This week was crazy busy. I worked like a crazy person to prepare all of my drawings and models for my presentation on Sunday.

My studio was going to leave Blacksburg for Clifton Forge on Thursday, but we all needed to load up the cars with our models and drawings before we could go. So, everyone had to be completely done with their work by Thursday (which was crazy busy). Then, as we're trying to load up our stuff, one of the mean parking attendants of VT kicked us out of the loading area. We had our flashers on and were with the car, but Mr. Stick Up His Butt still forced us to leave. So, we drivers just drove around campus for a while, waiting for him to leave. Then we quickly went back to the loading area, packed everything up like ninjas, and hit the road.

The weekend was an awesome adventure, full of hot springs and site visits and some clean up work at our future build site. We adventured around Bath County, VA, getting to know the place. After all, we'll be building something in Clifton Forge, and it's nice to get to know the place you're building in.

Sunday was our presentation day, but it was also the day Flash left for his 2 month adventure in Europe and the West Coast. So, I drove home to Blacksburg Saturday night so I could take him to the airport Sunday morning, then drove BACK to Clifton Forge before the presentation. It was a whirlwind of a day, and saying goodbye to Flash was tough. But I made it back with plenty of time to set up. As I was carrying my drawings and models to the presentation space though, some excitement happened. Remember my beautiful model of the Autism School?

Yeah. I dropped it. Great.

Lucky for me, I build things incredibly well, and it broke apart in very manageable pieces. So, I was able to glue everything back together quickly.

My presentation! 

I got tripped up on my words during the actual presenting part, which was awkward. But I talked to some of the audience after the whole ordeal was over, and they had some very nice things to say about my work.

So, not only did my boyfriend leave, but my roommate Tuna moved out of the apartment today. She's going to be spending the next 3 months backpacking through India. So, I turned her room into my new quilting studio! Yay!

Lots of fabric! And by lots I mean really not that much, my stash is small.

Closet! It stores fat quarters and stuff.

Aaaaaand my table! With Community on the laptop.

And for quilty news!
1. My uncle is commissioning me to make him a tshirt quilt with all of his old running tshirts. There's over 30 of them, so this will be a big project.

2. I bought Camille Roskelley's Swoon pattern today! GAHHH SO EXCITED I WILL SWOON EVERYTHING.

3. I figured out why my Scrappy Trip Along blocks were all weird sizes. I was cutting the pieced strips at 1.75", instead of 1.5". Way to go, me. So, now I'm trying to decide if I want to trim all of my blocks, or just not include the first four in the quilt. I'm leaning towards not including the first four.

And yeah! I'm linking up to Better Off Thread, so everyone can read about my adventures and my new sewing room!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WIP- Ideas

I have not sewed a darn thing since this weekend. I've been really busy with studio and schoolwork. This weekend, my studio is going to Clifton Forge, VA to present our designs for the Shenandoah Autism School to the town. So, we've been busy fixing up our drawings, making stands for our models, and generally making our work presentable.

Stands, all packed up and ready for travel!

But I always have quilting on my brain nowadays, and I came up with a brilliant project for my Architextures fabric. It will involve purchasing a LOT more fabric, and will take three or so years to complete.

I'm going to make a quilt that follows my five years through architecture school.

It'll basically be my portfolio- I'm planning on turning my projects into patterns that I can put together to show what I've done in the five years I spent at college. Granted, I've only been here for 2 and a half years, so half of this quilt will remain undesigned until I finish school.

I wanted to use those fabrics for something special, that would showcase them well and really speak to what I have been doing with my life as of late. And I think that a portfolio quilt would be the greatest way to do that.

Anyway, I've been sketching for an hour or so, and I'm kind of getting in over my head, so I need to put it away for now and get back to the work I need to do. But this is it- the greatest WIP I have ever embarked on. Not just the quilt, but my schooling and my life beyond campus.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Keeping Busy

This week has been full of new things! First off, I started a new job with the school newspaper as a layout designer! Flash has been a photographer for the Collegiate Times for a while now, and since I had to leave my last job due to my ridiculously busy school schedule, I had to find a new one- and the Collegiate Times was looking! Through Flash, I already knew some of the people there, so when I started last Monday I wasn't all alone.

Second, my architecture studio started doing work for our bridge project! We all drew some designs on Wednesday (and technically should still be working on them... oops...) and we've been working down at the shop Monday and Friday. We've been taking inventory of our tools and materials, and seeing what all we have to work with. Our project budget is very very small, only around $7500, so we're trying to stretch our dollar as much as we can. It's hard enough to build a bridge out of steel, but doing it cheaply will require some crafty use of materials.

Just me, removing nails and helping to trim up some timbers!

Flash will be leaving in a week (SAD FACE) for his grand European/West Coast adventure, so I decided I need a new project. I'm still looking for something to use my Salt Water fat quarters for (I'm thinking a swoon quilt!) and my Architextures fat quarters, but after going through my stash this weekend, I realized just how many strips of fabric are left over from the quilt I made this summer:

I have a literal boatload of strips of fabric left. So, I decided to start a Scrappy Trip Along quilt! I already have 4 blocks made.

There is one huge mega downside to this quilt. All of the strips I have are between 1.5" and 2" wide- while the scrappy trip along method calls for strips that are 2.5" wide. I thought, I'll use 1.5" strips! That way I can use ALL my scraps! What could go wrong?!

Oh, dear Couch. How naive. How silly. How painfully unaware you were that working with strips of fabric that skinny is a pain in the butt. Literally, these blocks are terrible to piece. I don't know if it's the size of the strips or the fact that I'm still unfamiliar with my machine, but the are a BUTT to work with! They are so tiny and skinny and the tension on my machine was off all weekend so everything was bunching together (hopefully fixed it!), and my blocks didn't come out square, or really perfectly straight, for that matter. They're 6.25" by 6.5"- weird, I know. I thought, well, I can just trim them to that size and they'll be rectangles, but then I realized I wouldn't be able to flip them around to find a good pattern. So, I'm trimming everything to 6.25" square.

Despite being a royal pain, I think it'll work out. It'll at least give me something to do while Flash is off adventuring and being cool and stuff.

Linking up to Let's Get Acquainted Monday with Weekend Doings and Anything Goes with Stitch by Stitch!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I need an idea.

I'm terrible at this whole blogging consistently thing. I check my list of blogs every day, and I get bummed when they haven't posted anything new, but I haven't updated mine for almost a week. FOR SHAME, MEOW, FOR SHAME.

Anyway, my week has been spent mending things of Flash's with my sewing machine. Just small projects while I figure things out. Also, I still don't know where the "stop" button is on my machine, or even if machines have "stop" buttons anymore. My mom's Husqvarna does, but that's an old machine. Oh well.

I've been thinking about all of the different bundles of fabric I have, and I want to make some quilts. Does anyone out there in sewing blog-land have any suggestions?

I have 12 fat quarters from Tula Pink's Salt Water line,

A yard each of orange and green flannel, two yards of bear and moose flannel,

And 14 or so fat quarters from the Architextures lines.

Mostly I want to find something to do with the flannels I have. The others, I'm not in too much of a rush to get those pieced together. But anyway! If you have a suggestion for a design/pattern you love, or one you think would work for the bold flannel print, or even just a comment, please let me know! Studio is zapping me of my creative juices right now and I need help getting a new sewing project!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Weekend is OVER. YES.

The Virginia Society Competition is finally over. The blitzkrieg of the weekend wasn't actually too bad- I wrapped up my project and pinned it up on the wall around 9PM on Sunday. I had to pass on watching the last half of the Superbowl to get it done, but I think it's worth it.

The prompt this year was to design a fire station in Alexandria, VA. There were TONS of programmatic elements that were required, like truck bays and dormitories and a community center and even residential housing. I was pissed when I first read the prompt- I was angry and tired and hungry and it was so much to do. So I went home, ate an entire box of macaroni and cheese, and sewed my blocks for Gen X's BOM. I am SO HAPPY with how they turned out. Literally, ecstatic. And taking that evening to do something not architecture related let me start the competition on Saturday with high spirits.

As far as my design for the prompt is concerned, I'm really proud of it. It's not going to win and I'm terrible at computer rendering (and therefore making my drawings look awesome), but I love what I designed.

I reflected on the role that fire fighters play in my life, and sadly it's a very small one. I've never met a fire fighter, I've never been to a fire station, and I don't even know where the station in Blacksburg is. So I wanted to design a facility that could bring the community together and really show off what fire fighters do for a community. The buildings are all arranged around the community center, which is the white and black building in the middle of the lot. The white cube is 13x13x13 feet, a perfect cube, which is striking against the other buildings on the site. 

The fire fighters' dorms are in the black skinny building on top of the brown fire station. There's a school near the site, and the dorms are angled in line with the school. The edge of the building is where the kitchen and lounge are, and there's a huge window back there overlooking a nature preserve. I wanted to create a nice place for the fire fighters to relax. Also, the way that the dorm cantilevers off of the station is reminiscent of smoke billowing from a fire.

The apartments were the half-baked idea of the complex, I didn't really worry about those too much. When you've got about 64 hours to design a building, some things just get dropped. But parking for the apartments and for the firefighters is designed beneath the overhanging buildings. 

Color wise, I used fire inspired colors in the compound. The browns and reds remind you of logs and flames, while the smoky grey of the dorm reminds you of, well, smoke. The white hot center of the fire is the white community center, and the buildings connected to the center are black, like coals. 

I'm not being very eloquent right now, but that's basically my idea. I like it a lot. I need to work on my presentation for sure, but I am so proud of what I was able to accomplish in one weekend.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The VBA's

So, I woke up this morning with no motivation to get out of bed and walk to class, so I internet-ed for a little bit. I checked reddit today and found some inspiration for ways to make a presentation board for the architecture competition this weekend (The Virginia Society Competition- the prompt will be revealed at 5 today), and I checked Gen X Quilters for the next block of the month.

I already started designing my blocks and cutting fabric! I'm stepping away from the given pattern a bit, and I hope it pays off. I'm starting to worry that I won't have enough fabric for all of the blocks in the quilt- I'd hate to get to August and realize I only have scraps to work with.

Anyway, I went on with my day and received an email from Anna over at The Crooked Banana that she had nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! Thanks, Anna! You're like the one consistent reader I have that isn't my grandmother (love you Grandma!) and I really appreciate the nomination :)

Now, I must do two things: Nominate up to 15 people for the award, and share 7 things about myself. I don't really know many other blogs that I would nominate, so I'm going to not do that step. But I love talking about myself, so I'm going to do that instead.

1. I originally went to Virginia Tech to study Interior Design. In the first year, all of the design students have studio together- architects, interior designers, industrial designers, and landscape architects. I became good friends with Hanna and Brian, and through class and an internship, I realized that I wanted to be an architect.

2. I'm getting tired of making fake names for everyone in my blog. I think I may end that.

3. I love exploring the world through food. I like to cook and I love Food TV and I want to travel around the world and taste everything. People reveal themselves and their culture and even their way of life by what they eat and cook, and I think that's beautiful. If I had my way, I would explore the world, looking at architecture and eating. Maybe I should just become a writer and do that.

4. I visited Seattle once in middle school and again the summer before my Sophomore Year. I was going through a rough patch in my life, and that trip was a journey of rebirth for me. I became a new person in the Pacific Northwest, and I am much, much, happier now. I want to move there after I graduate.

5. My spirit animal is the otter, which is a little awkward because that's my ex's favorite animal. But you can't change fate, and fate told me that I am an otter. My favorite animal currently is the octopus.


6. If I wasn't studying architecture, I would want to be a marine biologist.

7. Seafood is my favorite thing on the face of the planet. I love the way it smells, I love the way it tastes, I love to cook it, and I love to think about it. I love the smell of fish markets and I love the variety of things that live in the ocean that I can eat.

I hope those were some interesting facts! I'm developing my drive as an architect and as a person right now (as in, at this point in my life), and I'm really enjoying looking at the world and developing my own opinions and views. And I love to share them, so if anyone out there in internet land wants someone to talk to, hit me up!

I'm going to studio now, to present a site model and await the prompt at 5.