Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mug Rug or Table Topper?

I finished this last week and don't know what to call it.
It's 14" square...which makes it a bit too narrow to be a place mat, a bit too big to be a mug rug (which is really just an over-sized coaster, but I'll stick to popular terminology), and too small to properly be a mini-quilt.
I'm promoting it to my sister as "a table centerpiece mat." Something to put underneath the flower vase.

At any rate, it's my entry for the Modern Mini Quilt Challenge, hosted by Jennifer at Ellison Lane Quilts. (Yes, it's that new button in my sidebar that took me forever to figure out how to add!)

This is the first time I've actually joined a quilting challenge, quilt-along, or anything like that.
Oh, yes, the fabric...I received the "Blogger's Choice" Fat Quarter bundle for February, and these were the fabrics that jumped at me and said Use me! Use me! Make us into something pretty!
From the center, I used:
Daisy Cottage Gray Leaf Stripe
Pam Kitty Morning Yellow Powder Puffs
Mimosa Orange Pop Ditsy
Nursery Basics Earth Gingham
Fly a Kite Red Dot (binding)

Overall I'm happy with how it turned out, and hopefully my sister will like it too. (It's going in the box to her as a surprise gift, along with the scarf, beret & coasters. And maybe some Japanese sweets.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekend Wind-Up (photo-heavy)

Three day weekends are awesome.
Especially when your birthday falls on one...even better when your husband manages to throw you a surprise party. Which is exactly what happened on Saturday, when I thought we were just going over to a friend's house for dinner. Instead, the house was decked out in Hello Kitty birthday decorations (yeah, the Exchange is kind of limited on party supplies, and this is Japan, after all!)
Here are two of the sweetest things from the party:
There are two mini-bouquets in there, from a co-worker's two adorable daughters. I love flowers, and these are now brightening the LDK.

The other great thing about three-day weekends is the amount of work you can get done! I don't mean catching up on paperwork at the office (although I did get called in for an hour to fix a problem), I am of course referring to all things craft.

I managed to crochet another panel for Tim's Babette blanket:
And here is the entire project thus far:
I got started on the sweater I'm making for Tim:

Another thing I made was a mug rug.
Ok, I feel the need to explain something here. I'm not really a "mug rug" type of person. I am a coaster person. I have several gorgeous sets of coasters that I am quite fond of using. Not a single one of them is made from fabric. I prefer stone or wood.
However, I like to practice free motion quilting, and I like to play around with different ways to cuts fabric to little bits and sew them back together. Hence this little guy.
He did, in fact, provide a place for my coffee mug this morning:
But I'm pretty sure he's going to go in the stack of mug rugs that are, in fact, a chronicle of how my skills improve with practice.
(This one is much, much better than the first oversized coaster I made.)

Finally, there is the super-awesome finished object that I am oh-so-happy to announce completed.
My nephew Link's quilt:
Now I've completed both quilts (there was also Liz's quilt that I completed a couple weeks ago), I can throw them in the washer, then dryer, then box them up & ship 'em across the sea.
And then, I can start planning exactly what I'm going to do with this newly-arrived fabric.
Yes, that's Kate Spain's Good Fortune line. I am totally in love with it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Yay for Weekends!

I finally had some time completely to myself today! And I got a little crafty...
Ok, to be honest I made this on Monday, and just now got around to posting it. It's just red felt, I think I bought it at Nishizawa, and I traced the hearts, cut them out, and ran them through the sewing machine without stopping or cutting the thread. I wanted something a little Valentine-y in the house.

And today, I was struck with the urge to make something for my sister. Why? Because she's my sister, and I love her, and I very, very rarely get to see her. (Christmas, 2010, was the last time we were in the same room at the same time.)
So here's what I came up with:
Some cheerful, flowery coasters. These are 4" square.
Not sure what else I'm going to work on tonight...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekend Wind-Up

This weekend, I came very close to finishing my to-do list.
The goals were as follows:
1) Finish the quilt for my niece.     I got this one:
Have I mentioned how much I detest hand-sewing the binding? I really, really need to find another way.

2) Make another panel for Tim's Babette blanket.
Again, accomplished:
This is going to be pretty big. Right now, it's about 26"x17", and it will be more than four times larger when it's complete. If it makes a decent bedspread, that will be awesome...but it will likely end up adorning the couch.

3) Organize the tatami room - Still in progress. Tim decided the tatami room off the LDK should be my sewing/craft room. He even cleared away all the stuff that had been sitting there since we moved into the house. This weekend, I added a shelving unit to the closet, and tried to organize my fabrics and yarn...I think I need more containers, though. The challenge is trying to keep things stored with some sort of logic, instead of just stuffed into drawers or cardboard boxes.

4) Make an apron. -Fail...but this is not a make-or-die situation. I was actually starting to lay out fabric for this project, when I noticed that one of my elephant figurines was a little dusty. So I stopped to dust it. And then I realized that the entire shelf needed dusting, which then led to a full-on assault on dust throughout the house, followed by four loads of laundry. No apron, but the house is clean!
I did, however, sew a crochet hook case, which just needs binding added before I photograph it. And as I mentioned before, I detest sewing binding.

Goals for this week:
1) Finish a knit object. We'll see what I come up with.
2) Order fabric for a quilt that Tim wants me to sew.
3) Order extra fabric so I can finish my nephew's quilt.
4) Figure out what I need to finish getting the tatami room usable.

Am I missing anything?