Sunday, February 28, 2010

Quilting Class

Fortified by a bowl of mac'n cheese that I had gulped down before running out the door, I met SLD for our class at the quilt shop in Annapolis.  Both of us had decided to make our quilts twice as big as what the teacher suggested, only because we wanted to be able to actually use it! The rest of the students were only making a baby-sized quilt. Lemme be frank: neither S nor I have babies to make quilts for.  So, we cut our fabric strips ahead of time in an effort to try to get ahead so that we could keep up with our classmates.

That's where the first problem happened. I had trimmed TOO much of my fabric and no longer had a 'selvage edge'. Yeah, when the teacher found out, she didn't say it but I know she was thinking, "That's why you shouldn't get ahead of the teacher," so I went ahead and said it out loud just to clear the air.

After four hours of grueling work our backs were killing us, and we had had nothing but salt-free pretzels to sustain us. We had cut, sewed, and ironed block after block of fabric. This--by the way--was all of our own doing. Our teacher didn't actually teach anything. She just sat on a stool for four hours.  If we had a question, she was happy to answer it, but really, I paid a lot of money to read and follow directions by myself.  Lesson #1 - don't pay for classes at this place ever again!

Fortunately, all of our hard work was paying off and things were starting to shape up (literally) although we still hadn't connected any of the blocks. It was kind of a bummer to leave feeling like so little had been accomplished.  Still -- I have to say I'm proud of what I did achieve because I'm starting to get a feel for what the finished top will look like.  Too bad I won't have a freakin' clue of what to do with it after that point! That's where the second problem comes into play. I mean, as a quilt teacher, if you had 50% of your class showing a clear interest in attending a second class that would teach us how to sew the front to the back as well as how to do the actual "quilting," wouldn't you at least pretend that you would look into setting up that follow-up class?  Well, not my teacher. But I mean, what do I know about being a good teacher?

So as we were all packing up to leave, I overheard one of my classmates relating a conversation to our teacher. It turns out that this other classmate never got the supplies list mailed to her, and so she showed up for this class completely empty-handed. As she was out front in the shop making up for lost time by buying what she needed, one of the saleswomen snippily said, "Didn't it occur to you that you might need supplies?" This was apparently the same woman who acted like I must be an idiot for mentioning that it would have been a good idea for the quilt pattern to mention in the supply list that you needed to purchase batting (you know, the fluffy filler stuff).  When I said this out loud, she cut me short by saying that it didn't seem to be a problem to her--she had always known that quilts needed a filler.  Apparently, we're not all born with the same knowledge base!  SLD rationalized it all for me, explaining that quilting ladies are just old bitties who don't have the patience to actually teach their craft. So what was Lesson #2? You're either born with it or you're not!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Eu me chamo 'Beeps'

and today I met with Elisa to select and purchase our new 'textbook.'  We met through the online site Meet-Up and we've decided to get together every other week to learn Portuguese together.  It seems that we both have a common interest being that both my husband and her boyfriend are Brazilian. Wish us luck (por favor)!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My First Quilt

I used the scraps from my 'actual' quilt to make a mini-quilt... just the right size for Barbie! If only I knew someone who still played with them... Damn, I rock!

Extra, Extra! Read all about it!

...and that's all I've got time to say. It's time for me to start sewing

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quilting Update

After an hour and a half, I finally finished cutting out all of my strips of fabric for my quilt. I used a rotary cutter to do all this work, and yet it still took me that long to cut up only 12 blocks of fabric. It got me to thinking about how tedious it must have been to quilt back in the day -- you know, back when they didn't have rotary cutters OR sewing machines.  It makes me really appreciate those handmade pieces of art.

So mine is literally starting to take shape, and I'm super excited. I've added some additional fabric patterns from my previous blog entry because I decided to make the quilt a bit larger than I had originally planned. (Notice the stripes! Thank goodness I found some coordinating stripes... How could I have made a quilt without stripes?) I've done everything I can at this point to prepare for my up-coming class on Saturday.  I can't wait!  When it's finished, it should be big enough for me to snuggle up underneath on the couch.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Home for the Weekend

Well, B had his certification class all morning/afternoon today, so I decided to head home to my parents' house. Things were going so well that I ended up spending the night! I got them both signed up for FB and even got my mom and dad to start with blogs of his and her own (*gasp!). Let's see how all of that goes ;)

In the meantime, I should let you in on all my festivities. I pre-washed and dried all of my quilting fabrics in preparation for my class next weekend.  I was impressed that the tip I found online for pre-washing fabrics actually worked (ie: snip the corners off of the fabric to reduce the amount of fraying). Yay!  I seriously cannot wait.  I ended up buying four more coordinating fabrics (four more than what I had originally posted a picture of). Buying those last four was an excuse for me to go back to my new favorite fabric store--S met me there to lend support. While we were there, she saw the subtitle to one of the quilting pattern books and I think maybe I'll adopt it as my own motto for sewing: "Learn how to make the things you didn't inherit." Yep, that's about right!

The big excitement, however, was going shopping at The Christmas Tree Shops, which actually has nothing to do with Christmas and everything to do with MUST HAVES! Yes, despite the fact that my allowance has already been completely diminished by my new quilting hobby, I bought. And I'm excited. The best thing? Two different mirrors for my house. I can't wait to hang them. Pictures to follow.

PS: In case you were worried about my hubby... don't! He found some guys to keep him company with target shooting, lunch at Five Guys, poker, and general debauchery. Yeah, he was just fine.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Great Success!

I woke up early this morning to meet a bunch of my thrift-store-compatriots at our favorite place in White Oak. On holidays, everything is half-priced... you can't beat it! I went wild and spent a whopping $18. I'm always shocked at how much I get for so little money. My favorites? A brand-new robe (for which I've been searching and searching), a desk chair (I haven't had one ever since we bought new office furniture like a year ago), and a book of crock-pot recipes which I had borrowed from the library once, but now own!

After lunch with the ladies, I headed out to Annapolis to buy my first fat quarters. S took me to her favorite little shop, and now I know why! Cottonseed Glory is tucked neatly away from the main drag, but this place is not to be missed. It's full of beautiful, trendy, and covet-worthy fabrics. After spending some time in there, I had to force myself not to buy fabrics just because they were pretty. My very first quilt will consist of these contrasting teal and pink hues.

I wrapped the day up with some more girl time at S's house along with the rest of the gang. We FINALLY made our snow-mum pillows, and they turned out awesome. They were definitely "easy" to make, but this craft was tedious! Thanks, S for cheering us on and keeping us going :)

I had a wonderful day, but I have to admit that I'm SO glad school is still cancelled for tomorrow. I need a day to recoup.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Let's Welcome a New Addition to the...

...collection! Thanks L and M for calling me about this great deal :) I love Fiestaware, and I've been collecting it since I was like 13 years old. It started way back then because my mom used to take us to antique stores when we were little, and I always loved the colorful dishes that Fiesta is famous for. When she told me that they were still making those dishes, new, I was sold! I used to ask for place-settings for Christmas! Me! A geeky little teenager getting dishes for gifts. Oh well, like I said, I love the stuff. At this point I have plenty of plates and bowls, but I enjoy adding novelty pieces to my collection. You can expect to see this one serving something yummy at my next party!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Lemme just say, I was inspired today! I found my new favorite site for recipes and made my own Chipotle rice, beans, guac, and chicken. When B came back from his class, I surprised him with a DE-LI-CIOUS lunch.

Friday, February 12, 2010

"I boast incredible willpower"

Not when it comes to dessert!

Oh well :)  According to this quiz, my personality color is RED. Not so sure that I have "energetic bursts of energy"... but the beginning is really pretty true!

You boast incredible willpower and are capable of overcoming 
obstacles that would normally leave others shaking in their 
boots. You have a penchant for colorful environments and 
often impress others with your energetic bursts of energy. 
Your interests in many areas of life often leave you scattered, 
but when you focus you can accomplish anything you put 
your mind to.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sewing-Machine Angst

This little white thread (the one looped underneath the sewing plate) has been the bane of my existence for the past 24 hours. Still no answer as to why the upper thread gets pulled down into the bobbin-case area. I've called my mom, my dad's mom, and L's mom, too. I've scoured the internet for answers to no avail. Any experts out there? All help/suggestions are welcome. If there weren't so much dad-gummed snow out there (I just saw someone else use that on their blog and loved it), I'd have taken it into a repair shop by now... *sigh*

 - - All sewing projects are currently on hold. - - 

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wedding Photo Collage

As some of you know, I keep a binder full of DIY projects/crafts that I've come across over the years.  Things that I hope to do one day.  This particular photo collage is something I've been waiting to do ever since B and I got married back in July 2007.  You know what got me up off of my lazy laurels to do this?  3M's invention of picture frame "velcro."  While sitting around bored yesterday (and trying to stave off cabin fever) I saw a commercial for this fancy new product.  It's just as magical as they'd have you believe!  There are no holes to punch in the walls, and if your collage comes out a bit crooked, you can just pull the little bugger off the wall and reposition it!  We love it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It took 2 hours...

and we're still not done!  One car down... two to go! (yikes!)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 2 has been less productive...

At least we got outside a bit.  B started digging out one of our cars, and I ran around taking a bunch of photos.  Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen this much snow all at once in my whole life!

Friday, February 5, 2010

I told you I was a woman on a mission!

Task #1 of the weekend COMPLETED (and it's not even 5pm yet)!  Too bad I didn't think to take a "before" shot for you... and NO I'm not going to recreate that mess just for the sake of a picture.  Needless to say, I cleared some crap out and even found a way to fit that 3-drawer dresser in the closet.  Now I have a craft center!  I'm psyched :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Come on and snow already! I've got plans...

-organize the extra closet
-sort through all my old files and get things shaped up
-FINALLY brave my sewing machine (thread it, fill a bobbin, and start practicing)
-movies with hubby
-appetizer party!
-Super Bowl? (eh... don't really care one way or the other)
-get back to reading Revolutionary Road
-catch up on LOST
-make a Powerpoint or two?

Lots to do! Just gimme the go-ahead Mr. Jack Frost.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ten for Tuesday

1. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
2. I've decided to make my mum pillow in cream.
3. Yay, for hubby being a teacher now :)
4. Starting a new hobby is expensive... I think I'll peruse Craigslist and
5. There are bullet holes in the windows at B's school.  Yikes.
6. A new friend commented on my blog!
7. Where is the snow?!
8. I miss my mornings with S... feel better soon!
9. Fishsticks for dinner?
10. I have pictures from our weekend in DC... I really need to post some of them.
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