In Agony, But In A Good Way

June 18, 2010


I’ve been bitten by the quilting bug these days.  I’m not a very experienced quilter; I can count the number of quilts I’ve sewn, in my life, on one hand.  I do enjoy the process of seeing bits of fabric turn into beautiful works of art and family heirlooms.  I’ve also started reading the blog, Red Pepper Quilts, and am inspired!

A good friend adopted a baby girl almost two years ago.  I’m so happy for my friend as this was a long process, filled with ups and downs.  It’s so wonderful to see this family together and happy.   The baby, who’s not really a baby anymore, is going to get a big girl bed soon and I wanted to do something special for both my friend and the baby, so I’m going to sew a quilt for the new bed.  I am VERY excited about making this quilt.  But I am also agonizing over it.  I want it to be near perfect and loved and cheerful…

I started to second guess myself.  I’ve been doing that a lot lately. Like yesterday, when I called my mom in a dither about using white fabric when I think the walls in the room are cream.   (Mom says you can’t go wrong with white.)  Today, I sent my friend a near frantic email:  You have two choices for fabric. funky/whimsical (as shown above) or girly/floral.  My original instinct, knowing my friend, was funky and that’s what she chose.   I can incorporate some of the florals in with the funky/whimsical, but it wouldn’t really have worked the other way around.  In addition to the fabric, I’ve been obsessing about what kind of pattern to use.  Last week, I decided to do something based on this beautiful quilt.   Two nights ago, I browsed quilt photos on flickr and started reconsidering my pattern.  I’m loving the triangles.  And then there’s this tutorial.

After some calming breaths (and a discussion with Mom), I’ve decided to stick with the squares.  I think it will work best with the fabrics I’ve chosen and is more suited to my experience level. I’ve been prewashing my fabrics and am ready to start cutting fabric!!  The fun begins.

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My London Haul

February 16, 2010

Last week I went to London with Bill. He was going for work and I went for pleasure!! It’s the first time I’ve been able to tag along on a work trip and I was super excited about it! Of course the first research I did on London related to yarn and fabric.

I had a couple of splurges. The first being at Liberty of London. Their cotton fabric is beautiful and I was surprised to see they had silk too. I bought a meter of silk to make myself a scarf. Then I bought some cotton for myself and for my mom. The fabric was pricey thanks to the crappy exchange rate, but I was told that if I wanted to buy a dress of their fabric, it would cost me more than 500 GBP which is WAY more than I spent. Interestingly enough, I did see a blouse made of the fabric of the red rose fabric, and it cost 95 GBP, again, much more than I spent for 3 meters. That made me feel better about my splurge.

My second purchase was at the Swarovski Crystallized store where they sold…yes, Swarovski crystal beads. They also had necklaces and bracelets that you could buy (for $$$). I fell in love with two pieces (this necklace and this bracelet) and bought some of the components to make the jewelry myself. It won’t be exact, but close enough. This did lead to buyer’s remorse but I felt better when I got home and found that I could not get the components in the US, even on the internet.

My third purchase was at iKnit. Cute store with great yarn. A lot of it available in the US, but I was able to find some great organic wool from Cornwall. It’s from Blacker Designs and not widely carried in the US. My goal for my yarn purchase was to get something I couldn’t find at home and I’m very happy with the Blacker Designs yarn. It’s a DK weight which I think is more practical for me living in Northern California. I also fell in love with some Hand Maiden Fine Yarn (dyed in Canada). But the color reminded me of London with the blues and greys, and I don’t have anything like it.

That was the bulk of my shopping. Bill bought me a silk scarf as a Valentine’s Day gift. (Actually, he told me he would get me one as a gift but I picked it out and bought it while he was at work.) I was enthralled with all the British women and their scarves. Silk scarves, pashminas, winter scarves… they wore them all so stylishly. I bought my scarf at Liberty of London, and they showed me how to wear it and I love it.

Let me tell you a little about Liberty of London. It’s a high end department store in this distinctive building in a big shopping district. They sell all brands of clothing, including pieces made from their fabric, and they sell their fabric as well as yarn and other haberdashery. I love that some of the department stores have haberdashery departments. I also went into John Lewis, another department store, and they had decorator weight fabrics available! They also had every type of Rowan Yarn in every color, as well as a few other brands. I showed amazing self restraint and didn’t buy any yarn, but I did buy some fabric for bedroom curtains. They had beautiful fabrics. I’ve been looking for bedroom curtains but I have a very specific color scheme in mind and I was very excited to find the perfect material. It’s decorator weight but it’s machine washable which is hard to find.

While I did spend a bit of money, I also did quite a bit of window shopping. New spring clothing was out and I really enjoyed looking at the styles and construction. It gave me some ideas.

So that’s my London trip for the crafty perspective. I did a ton of sight-seeing, but that will be a second post.

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An Experiment

August 20, 2007

I left work irritated after having to stay late, annoyed by a meeting and slightly stressed by two projects. Thankfully, traffic cooperated and I beat a rainstorm so I pulled into the garage in a slightly better mood than when I left work. I was excited by some burlap I found at Joanne fabric. I bought it not knowing exactly how I was going to use it (I do this more than I should). My drive home gave me a few minutes to think and I came up with an idea. The pups and I went straight upstairs to experiment.

I’m about 90% complete. I used my seam ripper a LOT. But in the end, I think I will be happy with the result. Of course, I already have an idea for how to improve it. Pictures to come tomorrow when the experiment is complete.

On a separate note, I made my first purchase from Sew Mama Sew. It was such a wonderful package to receive. The fabrics are beautifully presented. I highly recommend the site!


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About Me

Welcome to my spot on the web where I talk about needlework, crafts, and [many] other random things.

A few tidbits about me: I met my husband in college, flirting over tuba letters in the Penn Band. Our dog, CJ, and our cat, Sabrina, round out our family. I'm a sewist, knitter and needlepointer, and an occasional scrapbooker. I love organizing, reading, making jewelry, and hiking. A Chicago girl at heart, I am an avid follower the Cubs, Bears, and Blackhawks.

You can email me at mlynapier [at] pobox [dot] com. Thank you for stopping by!

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