Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Finished Product

It turns out that that my new house is not well suited to taking photos of quilts. I love my place, but it's a little short on wide open places. It took quite a bit of wrangling to find a place where the whole quilt would fit in the photo. It's still working on a good set up.

For a long time I thought to do the binding for Broadway Boogie Woogie in white, but I'm glad I went with the yellow. It's like a nice exclamation point at the end of a sentence. Now, when I was in design school, the first thing they said about presenting was not to point out errors in our work, because maybe people wouldn't notice them. In that vein I won't point out some assembly errors, but oh boy, I notice them. I'm not sure how I feel about the finished product yet, but it's done, unlike some other projects I've attempted.

Like this one! This was my monkey wrench quilt. I finished it in a period of non-blogging, but never did the binding. So far, it's my most dreaded part of the quilting process. The actual binding for Broadway Boogie Woogie Pt. 2 wasn't that bad, but I did it by machine, rather than by hand, which I suck at. I'm pretty sure that my hand sewing skills are bad because I never actually do it, and I never do it because I suck at it. Bad cycle. I'm hoping my applique project can help with that.

In any case, I have no intention to bind the Monkey quilt. I just don't care enough about it, and it's going to good use as a cat bed for Fritz, and it saved my comforter from being a cat hair depository.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Finished, finished finished!

Broadway Boogie Woogie Pt. 2 is done! It even has a sleeve! The binding is sort of crap, but the front looks alright. It's not for show, so I decided not to torture myself by trying to make the binding perfect. I'll take photos tomorrow.

For someone who doesn't have much of a stash, I did get a decent amount of fabric for my applique project from the leftovers from the back of my block of the month class quilt. I love a good rainbow.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Price Log

I saw Avatar with my dad and his girlfriend last night. It was pretty good, and the visuals were amazing. The story was so-so, but it was better than a lot of things I've seen. I'm not sure if it's because since September 11th it's been all "rah, rah Go Army!", but it was weird to see the American Army as the bad guys, getting killed, and losing. It was, however, nice to see all the ladies in the movie get equal bad ass opportunities.

On to quilting things, I found my receipts and I better write down how much things cost before I lose them. All of these prices are for the Aunt Mille's Garden quilt.

1. Pattern: 10.77 (original price, 17.95, used 40% coupon)
2. Clover Mini Iron: 19.99 (on sale, not coupon eligible)
3. Thimble: 1.37 (original price, 2.29, used 40% coupon)
4. Applique needles: 1.49 (original price, 2.49, used 40% coupon)
5. Freezer paper: 3.59
6. Sizing: ?? (I'll check at FM) est. 2.50

Supplies I already had: Scissors, pens, scraps

Total spent so far: 33.62 (est. costs 2.50)

Now, I don't have that many scraps. Fortunately, I bought 25 fat quarters to use as the backing for the quilt I'm making for my block of the month class, and when I cut those down to size I had a rainbow assortment of fabric to start with, as well as a lot of brown left over from the setting blocks. Little did I know that it would take so long to get the fabric part! I've finished all the tracing on to freezer paper, and am now cutting things out. It's going to take awhile before I even get to touch any fabric.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I'm down in Salem for the Christmas holidays to hang out with my dad and his girlfriend. Her daughters are both married, so they have a lot of family to get around to for Christmas time. They all came over early, so we celebrated Christmas yesterday. It's a bit odd to have all the presents be done already! So for today, actual Christmas, I've just slept in. We're all going to see Avatar later today, and then it's off to Eugene tomorrow for a meal with my aunt and uncle, and then back to Portland and my sewing machine!

I knew I wouldn't be able to take it with me when I came, so I've been preparing a project I can do by hand. I bought the Aunt Millie's Garden pattern from Piece O' Cake designs. Here's a photo from their website.

Looks easy right? We'll see how it goes. I guess I like jumping in feet first to quilting sort of projects. I'm such a sucker for red.

I've decided to track a two things with this project, time and money spent. I really enjoy quilting. I've done a lot of art type things over the years, (painting, drawing, piano, illustration) and this is the first one that I've actually done on my own time, and not for a grade. I'd like to get to the point someday where I can make my own patterns and sell them, or enter shows. Keeping track of time and money should give me an idea of how I should value these projects. I'm not saying I'll ever make oodles of money off this, or that anytime soon I'll have anything worth selling, but I think it might be a good habit to get into.

I've also decided I'm not going to buy fabric unless it's for a specific project. I decided this a while ago, but I got an email from Cool Cottons talking about an after Christmas sale and my first thought was, "Oh, I should go in a check it out, what a deal!", before I reminded myself that I'm a) on a budget, and b) it's not a deal if you weren't already going to buy it.

I'm quite wary of sales and coupons (not that I think the very nice women at Cool Cottons would have a scam sale) ever since I worked at a large department store for the holidays last year. They had "sales" and "coupons" that weren't really deals. Things that were "on sale" were in-house brands made by the company, and they always were on sale. People were so pleased that they got such a good deal because the sign said 40% off, but they were always 40% off. The coupons they had were misleading, and half the things in the store weren't eligible. You had to spend a certain amount to get the discount from the coupon, and people would get to the register, find out they didn't have enough eligible stuff, and go back to find more just so their coupon would work.

I think this is all fine, only as long as it was something they were going to buy anyway, which is a philosophy I'm trying hard to adopt. All that being said, I did join the Joann's preferred customer program, and they send me lots of coupons that seem to be legit. There are exclusions, but they don't seem to be to restrictive. I wouldn't really buy fabric from Joann's, but I do get a lot of notions there, so the coupons seem to save me money. The only thing I can think is that the stuff at Joann's might already be overpriced, but I did get the Aunt Millie's Garden pattern there for 40% off, and the retail price at Joann's was the same as the Piece O' Cake website.

I have all the money spend so far listed at home, so I'm going to post that info when I get back.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Broadway Boogie Woogie Pt. 2

So, I'm sort of restarting this blog. It's not surprising to me that my major quilting efforts have coincided with periods of unemployment/underemployment. I've been doing a lot of fun stuff quilting wise. First off, I made these little coasters as homemade Christmas presents.

It was pretty fun to pick the fabric for these, as I chose stuff I wouldn't normally pick. I have trouble picking fabric that has a lot of colors. I can't really deal with that just yet, but maybe someday. Problem is that I got to this Block of the Month club every month at Cool Cottons and they have the most beautiful fabrics that I lust after, but am to scared to use them. I'm working on it.

I don't know if people will like these coasters, I mean, how coasters does a person need? And for what is cost me to buy the supplies, I might as well have just gotten store bought gifts. I also made homemade vanilla, and am going to try glass etching.

My original attempt at a Broadway Boogie Woogie quilt was a bit of a disaster. I really didn't know what I was doing, which is fine, but it would have been impossible to quilt, and it really wasn't fun anymore. So, now it's in a bag at my old house. I'll probably never finish it. I don't regret trying, and I feel, hmmm, passionate enough about that image that I tried again! My new place makes it hard to get a good photo of the whole thing, but here's a photo of the quilting so far. I've been reading this blog and it's been really helpful.

As far as quilting goes, and the project in general, I go back and forth. I'd like to think that my experience with graphic design classes totally removed my fear of failure, creatively speaking, but those fears linger. I almost didn't want to do the project until I could do it really well, but how will I ever get better if I don't go for it? I've realized that I do try a lot harder when I really care about the project. Besides Broadway Boogie Woogie pt. 2, I'm also working on the quilt for the Block of the Month club and I realize I'm not putting half as much effort into it. Well, I am putting effort into it, but I don't really care if it looks good or not. I mean, I'm trying, but I'm not devastated when it doesn't work out perfectly. I take a lot more care with BBW pt. 2.

The quilting is taking really long, and this guy doesn't help. Why does he always want to lay on the quilt and be near me! It's the worst! Heh. Not really. It's nice when he wants to hang out, which is always. Turns out compressed air is good for more than cleaning out the machine!