Sunday, May 22, 2011

What to do next?

Well the weather hasn't gotten the memo that tis the season for warm weather and sunshine. We are still getting a lot of cloudy days and rain. Boo! :0( So I need a new project that I can work on to keep me happily occupied and not thinking about the gloomy weather. The thing is, I don't know if I can. I look at my quilt all rolled up nice and neat, tied with a little bow and think " I made that?? How?" I question whether or not I've got what it takes to do it again.
The first time you do something remarkable you can blame sheer luck, but if you manage to pull it off again, that is a whole other story. I've also been really busy with substituting all over Bellevue School District too. It's actually the ideal, coolest job, but it keeps me pretty busy and sometimes I just get plain tuckered out when I come home. But that's no excuse! I need to keep creating and learning and developing this new skill.

But the questions still remains...what next big project do I try and tackle?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Little Side Project

So while I was taking a hiatus from my quilting I perused Moda Bake Shop and found this really cute hand purse. It had a zipper on it and I thought, " why not try something new and wild and sew something with a zipper on it!" So I did. It turned out pretty well. So here are some pictures to prove that just because I wasn't quilting, it doesn't mean I was happily sewing! By the way, I gave this to my friend Allison for her birthday and she showed me how it works perfectly as a diaper holder. :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Makings of My First Quilt! ( Finale!)

YAY!!! I finished my quilt this week! I tried putting pictures up sooner but blogger was down. :(


So here they are. I tried catching some of the details, even though there is not much to see. Can I just say that I am SO GLAD I didn't hand sew the binding. I quickly learned that I stink at hand sewing! So instead I tried a technique that Crystal told me about. I sewed in the seam on the front so it's slightly hidden and the stitching only shows up on the back. I don't mind if you can see the stitching on the back; I just wanted a quick, lazy way to sew it without it really showing up on the front as well.

Here is a closer view of how I did the binding.

Some more pics...


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Makings of My First Quilt! ( Part V)

I have completed the quilting part! I took out the stitches for the first column and redid that one and it looks much much better!

And I went ahead and stitched a border all the way around the columns

And I cut, sewed and ironed in half the part for the binding!

So now I am ready to complete my quilt with the binding!

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Amazing Walking Foot!

So I have begun the quilting process and my oh my it proved to be much harder than I thought! All that fabric shifting around and don't even get me started on trying to sew a straight line! But I have discovered something that has eased the pain--the incredible walking foot. Don't ask me why I didn't know about this before I started quilting. Apparently this is one of those "must-haves" for quilting and I somehow missed that in the bazillion quilting blogs and tutorials I have read in the last 24 hours.
                         But after doing a pretty botched up job on my first coin column I decided I needed to contact the experts: namely my friend Allison who has turned out some great quilts and the all-wise, all-knowing quilting diva, Crystal Stanworth. ( lucky for me this diva also happens to be my sister-in-law so by law she has to help me! hah!) They both flat out said I needed a walking foot. This special foot helps to feed the fabric not only on the bottom but on the top of the quilt as well, making for even, not stretched material.

Here are the results. See if you can spot the difference:

The bottom column I did without the walking foot; the next one I used the walking foot.

You can really see the difference here. Column closer to the top is the first one again. the one on the bottom is walking foot column.

The real question is now, do I care enough to go back, rip out the stitches and redo the first one. The husband is saying "definitely yes!" We'll see how much desire I have by the end...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Makings of My First Quilt! ( Part IV)

I've delayed this long enough! I got to play and have fun in the sun but now it's back to work! Haha, actually I quite enjoy the whole quilting thing. And I think I'll like it even more when I actually know what I am doing! I've watched a few tutorials and read some stuff about basting so I went ahead and basted my quilt today! Of course, to my dismay, after I had to all laid out everything on the floor, I discovered we had a small sugar ant infestation! EEK!! I quickly took care of that problem and put some ant bait in the corner. But still, c'mon. Can't they see I'm QUILTING??

So first, just like in the tutorials, I taped the backing down so it won't slide around when I  pin it.

Then I layered the batting and front on top! ( Like a cake! I must be hungry)

Finally, I pinned little curved safety pins ( those work the best) every 5-8 inches or so. I probably got lazy at points, so they aren't all that close :)

I cut the excess batting off and voila! I begin my quilting tomorrow!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cruisin' Through the Caribbean!

Our favorite spot on the ship
All I can say is WOW! Cruises ROCK! I'm already secretly planning our next one--shh! don't tell Jason. ;-) Where do I begin? The relaxation? The sunshine? The food?? It was all so amazing! Even if I never left the cruise ship, I still would have had lots of fun! 24 hour pizza bar and soft serve ice cream? heck yeah! That makes for a bad combination when you're in the mood for food at 3 in the morning. We even got room service! We took off at 4 pm out of Miami on Monday, made a stop in Key West on Tuesday, stopped in Cozumel Mexico on Wednesday and then sailed back, getting back to Miami Friday morning. I would definitely recommend this to anyone. I beached myself out in the sun like a lizard on a rock while Jason carefully avoided the sun at all costs...hehe, he's so cute! Good times!

We saw beautiful sunsets...and I saw the sun set into the water!

We got to dress up!

Ok, well maybe Jason didn't always dress up...

We got to swing in hammocks...

Getting into one can be really hard!

I bartered for the first time--in Spanish!
All in a day's work of hard bartering and shopping in Cozumel

Key West was really fun too!

Here we are, like good fat Americans, waiting lazily for our chocolate cake and cheesecake to arrive!

And of course, this cruise was all around good because it had what I needed most: SUNSHINE!!
My Happy Place

Goodbye, cruise! We'll miss you!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Our Trip to Florida and Our Cruise!!

 This vacation was really a vacation within a vacation, so I am going to split these entries up into two parts: Visiting the folks in Florida and Cruising the Caribbean. So the first part--visiting the folks--was a big factor in deciding when we would go on the cruise and where. We had toyed with the idea of doing a west coast cruise, but when flights to Orlando dropped drastically we seized the opportunity! We flew into Orlando Saturday night and had a wonderful Easter with my parents, Jonny and Rachel.

The day was beautiful and sunny. We had a delicious dinner with the missionaries, prepared by mom . And we even did the Romanian tradition of knocking eggs together! Jason, who didn't want to play at first, was really enjoying himself by the end when he won. I also had some quiet moments to reflect on my Savior and His Atonement. I love Him and I love that His Atonement enables me to repent and become a better person every day (because I make A LOT of mistakes!)

When we got back Friday evening to Orlando, dad took us out to Disney's Boardwalk. We enjoyed a  little boat ride, yummy funnel cakes and sitting on the Yacht Club's manmade little beach.

Something that we did that evening that was really cool was prying open an oyster to find a pearl! Mom bought a oyster at a stand and when we got home we pried it open. It was actually really hard to open it and the oyster was so yucky! But the pearl was beautiful and I put it in a necklace. :)

Saturday morning Mom, Rachel and I went blueberry picking! It was so fun! This was a first for me and afterwards we made a delicious blueberry pie! I'm so domestic! 

Even if the cruise had bombed, this still would have been an awesome vacation because Jason and I had so much fun with the folks! I love my parents and siblings so much, I am so grateful for such a wonderful, loving family!

Taking a Break from Quilting

No progress has been made on my quilt. I took a break to make another purse-- this one was for my mama for Easter/Mother's Day. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it before I gave it too her, but I think it's my favorite one so far. But I plan on jumping back into the quilting scene this week! We'll see what happens...
This past week Jason and I soaked up some sun on our super fun cruise! More info about that with pictures are soon to follow...