Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Circa Survive

Picture by:

This is another one of my PowerSongs on Nike+
Do any of you peeps out there have any really good songs to use as PowerSongs? I'm always on the look-out for something new-to-me. :) Thanks!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Inner Party System

This is one of my PowerSongs on for my NIKE+ ** pure awesomeness **

I've got nothing on the quilting front today. Still slow-going with the hexie quilt.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Back To Work

I start back to the old grindstone today. Kind of looking forward to seeing my old friends again, however nervous about the balance as there are a bunch of new people on board that I haven't really worked with before. It is a really tiny department, so this all matters of course!! :)

I had a wonderful Grown UP Spring Break though! Spent the majority of it sewing, sitting outside, picking up running again, listening to our little mocking birds, drinking coffee, and enjoying the beautiful Phoenix Spring air. Love this time of year in Phoenix, so I am very thankful for my week of 'rest'.

I am still working on the machine-pieced hexagon baby quilt. It really is a good challenge for me right now. I am successful with the Y seams (for the most part). Sure, one will get the best of me every now and then, but I am beginning to understand how to fix the problems when I see them, which is a nice little change as usually I just end up staring at the boo-boo and then quietly fold the project up and stuff it in a drawer somewhere never to be worked on again.

I have 5 rows happily sewn together. I am sewing rows in pairs and then sewing pairs to the larger piece. I find that the smaller the top piece, the easier the entire project is to manipulate underneath the machine. I also took a picture of where I wanted each hexagon to live while up on my design wall. I think that this (along with numbering each vertical row) has been incredibly helpful and time-saving for me.

I really do love how this quilt is turning out. I think that I will likely quilt echoing the hexie shapes. Any other ideas? Recommendations? Experiences? Tips or pointers in quilting hexagons?

Thank-you in advance! oxoxo

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Break Day #5

One of my husband's friends was running around this morning checking out some yard sales (I didn't know that there were Friday morning yard sales...) and found this pretty cool old Singer sewing machine for $20.

I have been fiddling around with it. The bobbins are really neat. They look like long, skinny spools of thread. I have seen this type of bobbin before, but never really played around with them. I am also attempting to figure out how in tarnation to wind a bobbin, it looks as though there should be a belt or something to wind the bobbins with (oh dear lord, I am such a lazy sewer, I don't even know the name of the silly little rubber band that makes my machine go. I really do not need to get started about the whole "Lazy Quilting/Sewing" thing).

I will go on a tangent for a minute though. There are a bunch of people out there in blog land who are irritated about the whole modern quilting movement and are nasty to this new generation of quilting and quite frankly, I think it is disappointing to see some of the better quilters out there act mean and nasty to others who are attempting to challenge themselves in this super awesome world of quilting. I used to think that my skills were maybe mediocre at best mid-level. After reading all of these complaining blogs, I feel that after 15 years of quilting and sewing, I must be a beginner because my 1/4 seam is never perfect, I like squares, while triangles and bindings sometimes kick my butt, and I actually like to be able to have something tangible and complete after 2-3 days worth of sewing. Call me a beginner. Call me crazy. Whatever. I think that I just have a job where I work incredibly hard, but at the end of the day I have nothing to show for it and so I need an outlet that allows me to unwind and gives me something tangible as an end product. Lazy or Easy Quilting is perfect for me! I EMBRACE IT! :0) I am however incredibly interested in challenging myself and becoming a better quilter. AND now that I am thinking about it, I don't think that my mom ever taught me how to sew anything other than squares... We tried to do a pineapple quilt, but it frustrated me and was way too advanced for me at 15, so I have been scared ever since. (long story short, I am looking forward to the next series of posts from Piece Meal Quilts because I think that I will be learning alot about beginning and intermediate techniques that I either missed the first time around with Mom or somehow didn't ever learn. I'm actually really excited!!!

Tangent over. Thanks for listening xoxoxo

So here are more pictures of my newest sewing machine:
I guess it was made in Elizabeth, NJ May 20, 1909. Go America!! Model #15 (??)

Check out this bobbin! AWESOME and dirty. Ick.

Everything seems to be in working order!

Sweet, check out this bobbin case! It's so aerodynamic.

Pretty. What a fun little distraction.
Aside from this new machine, I have been continuing to work on the hexagon quilt... Yikes. Y-seams are a challenge, lots of stop-and-go, trimming threads, ironing, but incredibly rewarding when things look awesome. :)  I have been using Liz's Hexagon Tutorial it truly is the best tutorial I have found online. I am a watcher/see-er. I need to see how things are done, patterns confuse the bajebus out of me and only complicate the process for me.

Here it is up on my design wall. There will be a few changes in one of the turquoise fabrics (stood out too much, looked funny to me). I only have 3 rows sewn together so far. SLOW. GOING. UGH.

Spring Break Day #4

This is my brother and his fiance Janet. Can't wait for their wedding in May!!

Alright, alright, alright. I'm just going to brag for a minute and I think I can as I only have 4 followers (and one is my mom) :) Which means I get to post about whatever tickles my fancy!! I have got to say that I really am super excited about my little brother getting hitched. He has finally found the most amazing woman who is the perfect fit and compliment to him. She challenges him, motivates him, keeps him on his toes, and is strong enough to call him out when he is bluffing. I look forward to spending some quality time with her, too. She has a wonderful heart and is just lovely to talk with.

Here I go with my brag sess:
All of these photos were taken at Lake Tahoe

Her engagement ring stone is his birth month stone. September. Love. It.

I am so excited for you both!!!

On a quilting note, I spent the entire day outside in the sun listening to the birds and working on a hexagon baby quilt for a very dear friend.

I sewed these packets:
I packed up each vertical row in order and then put a number (sequential from left to right) so that I would not mess up the order that I had initially approved of. Finger's crossed that I am orderly enough to follow my own directions.

Into these strips (yes, I know... not very much sewing today):

I still have not even started to select fabric for the Single Girl Quilt yet (as you can see from my un-smiley face).... Oh the projects that are a piling up. I guess as long as there is still work to be done, I will not be leaving this planet, right? At least that is what my mom always says. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Break Day #3

Day # 3 was incredibly productive :) Started off with a 3.5 mile run that felt absolutely AMAZING! I started the run not even caring what my finish time would be, but instead I chose to focus on my form: more importantly, my knee lift. I think this will help me to become less of a 'lazy' runner. THEN, I finished up quilting on the HST (Strawberry Shortcake) Quilt and sewed on one side of the binding for for both HST and Prism Quilts. I waited until this morning to take pictures as it was too dark and the pictures would have been incredibly crummy.

So this morning I had coffee and a little binding project. Love those types of mornings. I was also serenaded by the most adorable of mocking birds. I am desperately trying to teach my neighborhood Mocking Bird population to learn the Mountain Chickadee call. It is the best call in the entire world, in my opinion. These little guys basically sing 'Cheeeeese-Burger' all the live long day. Sure there is speculation out there that these little cuties are singing 'Storrrrrm-Trooper' but those people are no right. These little guys are on the never-ending adventure to find the ultimate cheeseburger. All kidding aside, these birdies are adorable and I have only seen/heard them in Northern Nevada/Tahoe. It makes me sad that they do not fly down to Arizona during the winter months :(

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Break Day #2

In an effort to clean up my sewing room and move projects forward, I quilted. All. Day. Long.

I started on the Socken Quilt, but ran out of black thread. As you can see, I have already started to hand quilt, but the flowers that will be hand quilted (this is my first and likely last hand quilted project) are spaced out too much and I think the quilt will not hold up well to wear and wash, so I have decided to machine quilt the black background portion. I think it will look really, really neat when it is done! Ahhh, another labor of love...

I ended up moving on to the Prism Quilt, and pounded that puppy out. I think that it looks really cute, I like the look of stippling. For some reason, the entire time I am  quilting, I feel productive. Moreso than I do when I am straight-line quilting, where I feel bogged down and slow. I guess you could say that I am impatient in nature. :( I really need to work on that one.

When I am quilting, I get bored so I like to write words or make cute shapes. In the Prism Quilt, since I already know who would be on the receiving end, I wrote her name and a few other girlie words. I hope that my friends loves the quilt. I just need to bind it now!! Going back and forth with the dark/light pink stars or the red/pink stripe for the binding. What to do, what to do?

This baby was born on Valentine's Day and is her Mommy's little Angel.

Her name is Kyla. K's are hard!!
Off to walk the dogs and make the hubs some dinner :)
This is the dog that is currently whining in my ear because he really feels that he will die if he does not get his daily walk. He has a sock taped to his foot because he has a nice little wound in between his toes from scratching (it's a masculinity thing I hear) after he has marked (peed) on something. Oh the things we do to our dogs.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break Day #1

Photo by Lyrics by Jamie's Elsewhere (Burn Away) <3 <3
Are we ever really be too old to have Spring Break?!? I remember loving this time of year in college. I would think, 'Oh man, good thing we have this break because school is really killing me!' HA! Spin the clock forward to right now living in the real world where the relentless 40+ hours/week work-life is awesome and you don't get to have Spring Break :( Boo. I think I might vote for a politician that would lobby for Spring Break for big kids. (kidding)

In other incredibly important news, today marks the first day (not including the lovely weekend) that I am in-between jobs! You better believe that I am working to enjoy every minute of my week-long freedom. I got up this morning and started off with an 8am 3 mile run in the wind and Phoenix rain. Yes, we actually do have wind sometimes. It is usually a welcomed event as it so kindly pushes the smog out of the valley, but for some reason today the smog is not budging. Total bummer.

Then I met the hubs for lunch and then picked up some pain meds for my neighbor who just had an out-patient surgery today. I was also nearly molested at the neighborhood Walgreen's by while picking up the neighbor's meds. I thought this older gentleman was going to be just that: a gentleman while we were having a normal, everyday conversation. BUT then he touched my chest and wanted to talk about the NIKE insignia that I was wearing. My first instinct was to punch him in the face, but instead I started backpedaling, I had to get away from him without causing a scene. To make a long story short, it was akward but I made it out alive and scarred and I can't get the smell of Preparation H out of my head. Ugh.

Moving on.

I am now able to quilt! I am just starting on a hexagon quilt for one of my girlfriends who is having a little boy at the end of May. One of our mutual friend's son thinks the baby's name will be Optimus Prime! I love kids and their imaginations. I wish we could name our children such names! ;)
The theme is green and blue (she loves owls so I figured out a way to sneak some in).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tune Out The Frequency

Lyrics to a song called Tune Out by The Format

This is another wedding photo that I thought would look pretty cool with text over the top.

3 more days of work!! Pretty excited to have 10 days off and then on to my new jobby-job! Woot.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Never-ending Race

This is not my picture, but I love the song Save Your Scissors by City and Colour so I decided to try to make my own pictures with quotes on them. Try numero uno: here we are.

I would love to have a vintage Airstream Bambi camper trailer. Swoon. Love. <3 <3 <3

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Pinning : Quilt-Sandwich-Sunday

This is one of my go-to bands. When I am completely unmotivated to run, when I am down in the dumps mentally, or generally when I am doing something that I just do not want to be doing. There was a point in time when I lived in Reno and was completing my residency that I remember Save Yourself following me around. It would be on my running playlist, on randomly in the house, the car, or at the Albertson's that I would grocery shop. It always gave me a little smile :) Still does.
My beautiful old bungalow (sold now!)

Jeff's beautiful Craftsman

Mike and I's (when the grass was dead and honeysuckle plants still lived by the bottle brush tree)
Pretty green grass and NO honeysuckle. We traded them in for baby rose bushes (climbers).
This was right across the street (kitty korner I guess) from my old bungalow. We affectionately referred to this house as Moulin Rouge. Not kidding. It truly was a circus.

My Sunday was full of historic homes (Coronado Home Tour), Classic Cars (Coronado Home Tour Classic Car Show), sewing quilt backs, making quilt sandwiches, and pinning, and pinning, and pinning.... Yikes! Pinning usually tends to be my stalling point. Sore fingers, the up-down, up-down, and my intolerance of imperfection can be paralyzingly frustrating.

I now have two pink baby quilts and a pink and blue quilt ready to go. I haven't touched the New Wave quilt because quite frankly, I don't think that my fingers have enough skin to make it through half a row of pinning without making the entire area a soggy, bloody mess. That would be bad. Very bad.

So here are the three waiting to be quilted:

1. My Patchwork Prism in Peach and Pink (100% stash!!!!) Yay :)

Close up
(crummy, sorry) Picture of my Patchwork Prism Quilt 

2.) Strawberry Shortcake (half square triangles) quilt (ALSO 100% stash!!!) Double Yay!
Close up

And the crummy full-length (I need a new camera :(  )
3.) Pink and Blue Lawn Chair Quilt (Kind of disappointed in the background fabric, but whateves). Learning experience AND yet again ---- 100% stash! YA!
Close up - colors are most accurate here
Ha! This picture is terrible. I definately need a new camera, huh? ;)
4.) And here's the unpinned New Wave Quilt Top: (Also stash)
Lots of polka dots! Love it!

Having all of these distractions are absolutely what I need right now. There are a bunch of things on my plate. I am leaving my current job with my last day being on the 18th of this month. I am then starting back at my previous hospital on the 28th. {stressful} I am also planning on running a marathon in October [Nike Women's Marathon - if I win the lotto], a second in November [Tucson], and then the Tough Mudder in September [Tahoe with my brother].  I think that I need to find some sort of distraction April-September.

September: Lake Tahoe Tough Mudder

October: San Francisco Nike Women's FULL Marathon

December: Tucson FULL Marathon

I guess I could explain a tiny bit about my need for multiples distraction. I want children really badly. The husband is not ready. My clock is ticking so loudly that I am shocked that I have not gotten a ticket from the City of Phoenix for being the loud-music/ticking-biological-clock-neighbor. I have tons of friends who are having babies right now and this only makes the waiting process a little bit tougher in a small and selfish way. But we have decided as a team to continue to wait on children. SO in a nutshell, I need to find lots of distractions so that 1.) I don't pester my husband and 2.) I can continue to be a strong team member in our decision. Anyone have any good ideas for distraction besides running and quilting? Quilting gets a bit spendy and running is impossible outside in Phoenix during the summer months!  Ideas?

This should make me feel better right?