Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Bridge, some Blocks, and a Buy

This week (and the weeks to come) was busy. Our professors were gone all last week, so we had to design our bridge without any guidance. It was a good learning experience for sure, but it was really difficult at some points. It's hard to get 17 people to agree on design choices.

We presented our final bridge design to some members of the Clifton Forge Community on Thursday. We had drawings, a model, and lots to say. Our ideas were well received, and now we're going to get the ball rolling with construction! On Monday, we're meeting with a structural engineer, and then we can really hammer out the construction details and start making construction documents (CD's). THEN WE CAN BUILD OUR BRIDGE.

A watercolor rendering of our pedestrian bridge

Sadly, as school picks up, sewing drops off. I think I sewed maybe four Scrappy Trip Along blocks this week, and I still have at least 14 more to do. Plus, I have my uncle's tshirt quilt to piece together, AND the Cheery Squares quilt to quilt. I've decided on squiggles, instead of loops. Hopefully that'll be easier to manage, haha. Once I find time to practice, I'll make a final decision.

Scrappy Strips cut and ready for sewing

Tshirts cut and ready to be laid out!

When my roommate Tuna moved out to go backpacking in India (yeah, I know, it's awesome and I'm jealous), she left all of her furniture in her room. Bed, dressers, desk, chair, etc. So, when I made her room my quilt studio, I started storing all my projects in different drawers. It's been a great way to keep everything organized.

So, in the fall, I'll be studying abroad in Europe with 19 other architecture students. We'll be visiting Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and other places to study architecture. It's going to be rad, and I BOUGHT MY PLANE TICKET OVER LAST NIGHT. I'm so excited. The trip begins in Berlin on August 29, but as I was looking at flights from Dulles, I saw that Iceland was a popular place for a layover. So, I thought, "Couch, why not spend a few days in Iceland before the trip begins?" So, I will be leaving America for Iceland on August 23, spending 5 days in puffin-land, and then meeting up with the rest of my group on Berlin. A couple other friends are going to Iceland too, so I won't be alone. BUT SO EXCITED.

So! If any of you dear readers have been to Iceland and know of some killer places to see that a 21-year-old student without a car can get to, let me know! I'm especially interested in cool buildings.

Friday, March 22, 2013

A Cheery Finish

I finished my Marmalade Squares quilt top today! My 9am class was cancelled, so I spent my morning sewing the sashing and piecing everything together. It really helped put me in a good mood after the crap week I had. School has been stressful (it is hard to design a bridge with 17 people with very strong opinions) and Flash and I haven't been able to talk much this week. He's been in Prague and Budapest while I'm in rainy icky Blacksburg... I've been a negative Nancy for too long, and today helped turn things around! I got to sew, I wore a new dress to class (and received lots of compliments!), and the bridge is coming together nicely.

The top is done! The quilt is a lot larger than I had anticipated, but that just means it'll be perfect for a little girl to grow up with. I think I may sew together a lovey to go with it, to cover her in her baby carrier or something. 

And the applique "N" turned out pretty nicely, for my first time applique-ing!

My plan for quilting the blankie is to do a free motion loopy kind of thing, with little flowers. But I tried free motion quilting tonight on a test piece.... and I am absolute crap at it.

I have no idea what I'm doing.

It's so hard to keep a steady hand on the fabric and pull it and guide it and EVERYTHING. I'm just starting out, so I'm not too surprised, but now I'm afraid because I don't want to make this adorable quilt look ugly because I can't quilt like a decent human.

I at least got one flower to look nice.

I'm going to need to do a lot more research before I'm ready to quilt this thing. Any tips?
Linking up to Sew, Love, Live and Crazy Mom Quilts!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Cheery Squares

Once again, I apologize for my lack of blogging. I've been lacking in energy, and last week was spring break. I went to Nashville to visit with my mom, which was nice. I got a lot of sewing done!

Right now, I'm working on three quilts: A tshirt quilt for my uncle, a baby quilt for a friend of a friend, and a scrappy trip along. I started cutting out squares for my uncle's quilt, but I ran out of interfacing and had to order more, so that got put to the side. I've got all of my strips cut for the STA, now I just need to sew them into squares and then a quilt top! In my last post, I finished my quilt barf top. Really, I just need to get something for the back and some batting and I can finish that up too.

But over break, I finished all of the squares for the baby quilt I'm working on. It's LeAnne Ballard's Marmalade Squares quilt from the Moda Bakeshop. It is the cutest quilt, and I thought it would be perfect for the little girl that's coming in July. I got to try my hand at machine applique for the first time, and I'll be free motion quilting this. Big first times here!

The photo is sideways, but the effect is the same.

The color pallet we decided on was "garden in spring at sunset", if that makes sense. Lots of soft colors, lots of green, and just the right amount of femininity without screaming "LOOK AT ME I'M A BABY GIRL". 

Those patchwork squares, man. They look so easy, but it's really hard for me to keep everything straight. Oh well. I think it all looks awesome, and I'm really excited to finish it up!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Quilt Barf

La dee da, just claiming my blog...
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I have no idea what I'm doing.

I do apologize for my absence. There are no excuses- I've just been lazy.

I've been working slowly on my STA quilt, and I started cutting the shirts for my uncle's t-shirt quilt. I headed to my mom's house in Nashville on Wednesday, and I was going to spend today working on my sewing. However, I soon realized that her machine's quarter inch seam allowance is WAY bigger than my machine's quarter inch seam allowance, and it completely threw off the four blocks I made on my STA. I'm trying to decide if I should just pull out the seams and try again, or let those blocks go...

Anyhoo, there was a monster sitting in my sewing bin. It's been growling at me since August, forged in the fires of Mount Doom and feeding off of abandonment. I was going to just piece together the back of my string quilt with all the leftover fabric strips, but realized that it was butt ugly. So, I stashed all the pieces I had made and hid them away until I had a stronger fortitude.

Well, today I decided to finally finish the menagerie that was that quilt. I present to you: Quilt Barf.

It's crazy. I'm wondering if I should use it as the back of my scrappy trip along quilt, or just make it it's own quilt. Either way, I'm going to practice my free motion quilting on it.

I'm liking up with Really Random Thursday, because that's exactly what this quilt is: really freaking random.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Little Happy Things

I haven't written anything in a while because I haven't felt any motivation to do anything... With Flash being gone and unable to talk, I've been feeling lonely and down lately.

"Wouldn't that be the perfect time to sew, then, Couch?" you ask. Well yes, dear reader, yes it would, except I haven't felt like sewing and cutting and sewing on my Scrappy Trip Along, or starting my uncle's tshirt quilt. I did buy fabric for a baby quilt I was commissioned for, that was fun.

The color scheme is "Spring Garden at Sunset"

I'm very excited!

Anyway, today I got some of my mojo back and I finished sewing strips together for my STA. That's all done, now for the cutting and picking and sewing and pressing and sewing.... oh my. I was feeling overwhelmed, so I went into my (tiny) stash and pulled some fabrics to make Fresh Lemons' Farmer's Market Tote. And guess what I made.


I love it. It's the perfect size for carrying fabric or rulers or legos or tiny dogs or three cats or six bunches of bananas. It's my first finish for the year, so I ROCK.

Also, Gen X released March's block for the Sisters' Ten Block of the month: the School Girl's Puzzle. I sat down on Friday and made the two blocks I needed. I couldn't take photos of them though because my camera died and I misplaced the charger... whoops.

I love the different vibes you get from each color combination.

I read Traceyjay's blog, and every month she sets three goals for herself. I think that is a great idea- it'll keep me on track with my commissioned works and keep me busy while Flash is in Awesometown, Europe.

1. I will finish my scrappy trip along quilt top. Maybe even quilt it. Who knows?

2. I will learn how to free motion quilt (so that I can quilt the scrappy trip along)

3. I will get all of the 30 tshirts my uncle gave me cut up and arranged and assembled into a quilt top.

Linking up to Plum and June and Traceyjay!