Where has the summer gone?

Well, that was a brief hiatus and I apologize. It all started with getting a new iPhone and having no idea whatsoever on how to get WordPress to authenticate on it. We also took several short trips, I’ve had an amazing amount of stress at work, and now I think I’m ready to get back in the swing of things!

Random musings:

*I moved my sewing space and it has put me in a mental block the past two or three weeks. I have been working, slowly but surely, on the second round of our modern round robin. I am not at liberty to show pictures this time around to respect the wishes of the owner of this particular quilt. I envy being able to wait 12 months and be completely surprised, however I am too much anxious and impatient to be able to pull that off. I will say that the color pallete consists of blacks, grays, white, and lime green.

*I’ve also been busy on a quilty gift for my mom. Pictures to come! (I don’t think she’s discovered my blog yet)

*I discovered last night the beauty of a brand new rotary cutter.  It cuts like butter and made me giddy.

Back to work, but I’ll post more later.

Dress making for the munchkin

I was wandering aimlessly in a local big box fabric store in March and thought to myself, “Hey, if I can cut a straight line and sew two pieces of fabric together, shouldn’t I be able to make a dress for Mo? Of Course! How hard can it be?!?!” (Insert eyeroll here).  Taking my time to look through the pattern books, I picked out what I thought was the easiest pattern I could find. Seriously, it was one of those Sewing for Dummies patterns.

Excitedly, Mo begged me to start and make her something pretty. Who could turn down that request? So I began…

Rookie mistake number 1: I didn’t measure the munchkin before I purchased the fabric: a yard of Tula Pink blueberry raccoon. It was 4 inches too short in length. Ugh!

A quick trip to Walmart for fabric (don’t judge – Sunday, small town, cheap fabric to practice on) and Mo was a happy camper and excited for a new dress.

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And the adventure begins!

Rookie mistake 2: starting a project of this magnitude when my go to seamstress is spending the week in Hawaii and is unreachable. Great timing! My mom owned her own custom bridal business when I was younger and could have answered all my questions if I only had the patience to wait a few days.

Oh well! A few YouTube tutorials later and I figured out how to decipher the pattern, sew gathering stitches, and correctly use bias tape. I fiddled around with the embroidery features on my machine and made a pretty decorative leaf design with variegated pastel thread around the ruffles and bib.

For a first attempt, I don’t think it’s horrible, but I think I’ll stick to quilting for now. Miss Mo loves it, however, and that’s all that counts.

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How the journey started

Last year I lost my job. Don’t worry…I hated it. I’m on a temporary hiatus from finishing my education degree so I went back to work in customer service and loathed every minute of it. It’s hard to get behind something that sucks the joy out of existence, and being yelled at 100+ times a day about hospital bills did just that. But I digress …

I started thinking about quilting last summer and started pinning modern quilts on Pinterest. I told my mom I had an inkling to learn and she gave me my first real sewing machine for Christmas. (I tried quilting once before with my step-grandmother-in-law’s old machine, but didn’t have the drive to follow through).

M, my precocious 7 year old, has a stuffed animal obsession which includes raccoons in particular. I went online and searched purple raccoon for the hell of it and what do you think I discovered? “Accacia” by Tula Pink, which immediately peaked my curiosity. I started googling Tula Pink and found this

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So, armed with my new book in my purse I started swinging my LQS on my way to pick up the girls from school, snatching 1/8 yd cuts as I worked my way through the first several blocks.

My first block:

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Block #1

Thus far I have 60 blocks made and another 25 cut, waiting to be sewn. I’m currently taking a little break while I work on several other projects: a baby quilt for my new niece/nephew, a medallion for a round robin group I joined on Facebook, some improv pieces to practice my actual quilting stitches, and the border for my first round robin partner’s medallion.

Here is my progress so far on my City Sampler:

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The first 55!

I can’t wait until this is finished. I have been able to score some OOP Tula fat quarters and splurged on her new Fox Field line to complete the remainder of the blocks. Now to just find the time…

Welcome to the madness

A welcome post seems lame but necessary, so here it goes!

My name is Jessica. (Howdy!) I’m 35, have been married for 14 years to my hubby Matt. We have two beautiful daughters, L and M. I am a lifelong Iowa girl and I’ll say I’m proud of that. We have three cats: an old curmudgeonly black cat – Hawkeye, a neurotic and persistent Siamese – Powder, and another little black cat who has her own agenda – none of which includes being cuddled – Tiana.

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The tubby jerk know as Powder

I have always been an artsy and imaginative person. I have a background in music, in fact my husband and I met in college singing in the same Madrigal choir. He was such a pain in the ass back then, lol! I still have my beautiful baby grand piano that sits untuned and is more of a cat perch and My Little Pony play area than functional instrument, but I’m still proud of it.

I grew up with sewing in my blood, but couldn’t be bothered with it myself when I was younger. My mom is an accomplished seamstress and quilter and my aunt is well known for her beautiful cross stitch skills.

I took up cross stitch in college to keep my hands busy and my mind busy (when my OCD and anxiety were sky high). I picked out a beautiful angel holding a lyre, the symbol of my sorority Alpha Chi Omega.

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Angel of Hope – Lavender & Lace 13

She took me a year to complete and remained unframed until the fall of 2012. I donated her to a benefit auction for a family friend, where my mom proceeded to start a bidding war with a pastor’s wife and gifted her back to me for Christmas. One of the best gifts to date!

This past year I decided to start quilting. I’ll get into that journey in another post though. This blog is mainly to document my journey as a quilter, sewer, and stitcher, as well as other random musings as they strike me. So, if you’ve stuck through all of that… Welcome!