A few months ago my friend Emily Herrick of Crazy Old Ladies released a book called Geared for Guys which is full of quilt patterns specifically for men. She has some great patterns in there, and nothing too frilly or foofy. Manly colors, geometric shapes and clean modern lines. And today I am kicking off her G.f.G. Remix tour, where twelve of us have used her manly man patterns and made a not so manly man version.
I used green and pinks and blues to make a small cuddle quilt for Creamie. She loves it because it has four colors of blue and I love it because it was so quick and easy to put together. Win-win all around! It wasn’t until I had uploaded the pics and was writing this post that I thought I should have put another stripe of dark pink on the very bottom instead of the blue… ah well, I’m not changing it now. And Creamie probably prefers the blue anyway. You know, blue is kind of her thing.
The original quilt, called High Voltage, is 60″x80″ but I adjusted the measurements and only made this quilt a quarter of the size of the original pattern. Then I added the two borders to the edges, and my quilt finishes at 42″x49″. It would be a good baby size quilt, but I’m going to give it to Creamie so she has her own snuggle blanket. Not long ago I realized that of the dozens and dozens of quilts I’ve made, she doesn’t have one of her own to snuggle and cuddle and drag around the house. That is about to change.
I am going to use this sweet chevron print for the back and bind it in a solid pink to help pull everything together. I am really hoping I can get this one done soon. I think I am going to try and quilt it myself… we’ll see if that actually happens, I’m in full swing Christmas sewing mode already, and I’ve got to throw some Halloween costumes in there somewhere as well. I hope I can manage my time well enough in the next two weeks to have this one completely finished and on it’s third or fourth trip through the washing machine due to excessive loving.
Thanks Emily for such a great and versatile pattern! You can buy her Geared for Guys quilt book with this pattern, plus 7 others from her etsy shop, and she has a digital version as well, which means no shipping! Yay! In the next two-ish weeks eleven other talented quilters will be showcasing their versions of Emily’s patterns in the Geared for Guys Remix tour.
Sept 4: Me, right here!
Sept 5: Lisa from Love to Color My World
Sept 6: April from Making Ends Meet
Sept 7: Vickie from Spun Sugar Quilts
Sept 8: Sinta from Pink Pincushion
Sept 9: Marion from My Quilt Diet
Sept 10: Sherri from A Quilting Life
Sept 11: April from Prairie Grass Patterns
Sept 12: Tricia from Notes of Sincerity
Sept 13: Shannon from It’s Sew Shannon
Sept 14: Shari from Doohikey Design Studio
Sept 15: Michael from Patchwork and Paper
Sept 16: Author and designer Emily Herrick to wrap things up and a giveaway.
Summer is almost over. It has rained a few times in the last little while, I really hope that means the crazy town heat wave has moved on. Creamie is back in school and we are both loving it. And last Sunday I made my first pumpkin pie of the season.
Now if fall could hurry up and be over so my fall allergies were gone that would be great. I’m already working on Christmas projects. Yay!
One of my goals for this year was to do a 30 day project. I didn’t really have anything particular in mind, but last weekend I hit upon my idea. And then randomly started it in the middle of a month. I recently read this post and this post and decided I would like to practice my handwriting. When I was a little girl it was terrible. And one summer I practiced for an hour and a half everyday to go from chicken scratch (inherited from my father, haha!) to legible. My mother has beautiful handwriting. And one day I’d love for my handwriting to be beautiful too. So I need to practice.
This was a bit of advice I sent to a friend in an email last week, and it has just stuck with me. It’s some advice I should give myself a lot more often. I just bought a new notebook, and I don’t know exactly what each page is going to look like yet, but I hope that by the end of September it doesn’t take me nearly so long to write 14 words. HA! Like most people, if I take my time, my handwriting is much nicer…. and what I really want to improve is my regular old everyday handwriting. The faster I go the sloppier it gets. And it bugs me. I was one of those people who rewrote their notes all through college, just so they looked pretty. I’m not going to post writing pictures everyday, probably a weekly roundup for the next little while or something. If you want to join me feel free. There aren’t really any rules, just practice writing something each day, try out new fonts, improve your signature, dot the i’s with hearts. Whatever.
It’s not really a secret that I love winter and snow and everything cold and frozen. In that same vein I really don’t love summer. Scorching heat, swimming pools, and still light at 9 pm are not really good friends of mine. I much prefer sweaters and blankets and hot soup and warm bread and dark by 6pm so bedtime is easy and at a normal time. That being said, as I was looking through some of my instagram (@pinksuedeshoe) pics today I realized that at least August so far hasn’t LOOKED all that bad. Here is some of what I’ve been up to. In no particular order.
1: I taught a class at my church on repurposing clothing and fabrics. It was fun! 2: I thrifted a cutie little vintage Japanese ceramic mouse. And a lot of other stuff, too. HA! 3: Creamie likes to pretend she is a cat/dog sometimes. She has taken to drinking her milk out of a bowl. 4: I’m really into green smoothies lately. Like, a lot. 5: My little girl is growing up, she gets more beautiful and hilarious everyday. And her babydoll is her best friend. 6: Some of my favorite thrifted sheets, in rainbow order, I used these for the class i taught 7: I made the best pizza I’ve ever made a few days ago. I hope I can recreate it next time. 8: She is currently loving when her daddy throws her up in the air. She calls it the “flying kid game”. 9: Last week I met up with some old friends for lunch and shopping and cupcakes. I should do that more often. 10: So, Creamie has really curly hair. Like, seriously. It’s so cute and I have NO idea what to do with it.
11/12: Last weekend Scott had a work conference a few hours from home. And since his hotel* and his transportation was already paid for I decided to tag along. And we left Creamie at home for the first time since she was born, uh, 3.5 years ago. (Thanks family for helping out with her!) Since the city we were in is not full of beautiful interesting things to do when you are without a car (We were in Scott’s gov’t car and I can’t drive it, so he drove himself over to his meetings ) I brought my sewing machine and a few projects and I stayed in the hotel with Netflix and the minifridge and sewed all day. It was wonderful, and weird all at the same time. I made a huge dent in a quilt for Creamie’s bed. I hope I can get it finished this month. Scott snagged tickets to Les Miserable one night and it was absolutely wonderful. And for the second half we even got to sit by each other! He got the last two tickets for the only night we could go. And we started out 4 rows apart. But there was still one empty seat on my row at intermission and thanks to a few neighbors who shuffled around he came and sat by me for the last half. I haven’t seen Les Mis since the summer of 2001 when I saw it on broadway, and I sobbed through the whole thing. I had to really try hard to not slip into the ugly cry. Awesome. No really. It was.*Dear Everyone who has ever thought that the government was spending too much on it’s employee travel expenses: The state has a set budget for hotel rooms for it’s employees who travel to conferences and meetings and what not. Which I get. People get angry when govt employees are spending tax dollars at super nice hotels. I get it. But do you want to know what that state budget for hotel rooms got us? Free continental breakfast. We had a nice TV and free wifi. And a mini fridge (that was cold and clean, thankfully) with a microwave. The bathroom looked clean. But. There were stains and even crusty spots on the bedding. The couch was gray, I wouldn’t have set my luggage down on it. The floor looked clean, but after spending all day in the hotel walking between my sewing machine and the iron my feet were black. BLACK. And I was wearing my sandals. The tops of my toenails were stained black from walking on the floor. The bottoms of my jeans had a black gray smudge where they had brushed the floor all day. The soles of my feet were BLACK. It didn’t wash off in the shower. I had to use a palm sander on my feet when I got home to get rid of all the dirt that I accumulated in 8 hours of walking on carpet. On day two I wore socks which I threw away at the end of the day. They were as black as my husbands black suit. Seriously. Every hotel room in the city was full and we couldn’t pay to go to a nicer hotel even if we wanted to. So, next time you see some breaking news article about government officials who are staying in posh/nicer-than-you-think-they-should-be hotels on the public dime… think twice before you criticize. I’ll never travel with Scott again if we have to stay in the govt budget hotel. Never. Ok, Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow with something pretty and delicious and… well, I don’t know. I’ll think of something.
Clear back in January my sister sent me this link of a project from Rubyellen Bratcher at Cakies. And I wanted to make one immediately! But you know, a lot of times in my world immediately equals “in the next year or two”. Unless chocolate or ice cream is involved. Then it is immediately, like right now. Like 5 minutes ago. Moving on.
I love how they turned out. Like, a lot. And Creamie loves them too, which I suppose is more important. I suppose. I’ve got a few Matryoshka dolls on display in our home. I lived in Moscow for a year 10 years ago and I came home with a lot of different kinds. Some painted and some blank. I used one of my unfinished sets for this project, but a quick etsy search turned up a lot of sellers who have blank dolls.
I sanded my dolls first and then wiped them down with a damp cloth. Then I sanded again after the first coat of paint was dry. I think I even sanded a few rough spots after the second coat of paint too. I did four coats of paint, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It took a whole day between drying times and sanding and whatnot. My paints instructions said to let it set for 24 hours before drawing on it, so I did that too. Rubyellen didn’t mention this in her post, but I also cured the chalkboard paint by rubbing each doll all over with chalk and then wiping it off with a dry cloth. (This picture above was taken before I did that though. I think the shiny black is really pretty.)
And then because I’m kind of awesome and my daughters favorite color is blue I painted the insides of the dolls in a blue ombre rainbow. I had originally planned to use rainbow colors, but decided she’d probably like them all blue instead. And as soon as she saw what I had done she asked me “Why didn’t you paint a rainbow Mom?” I can’t win.
But, it’s safe to say that she loves them. She had so much fun decorating each one. Her chalk drawing on curves skills need, uh, improvement. But I love her version of little people. She could point out the eyes and the dresses and the person holding a cupcake for you if you’d like.
Maybe next time she colors them I’ll take notes and post an annotated picture. It’s pretty hilarious to listen to her talk through her chalkboard ideas.
I need help drawing on curves with chalk too. I think these look pretty, um, rustic? Especially compared to the beautiful handpainted dolls I brought home from the MotherLand. But, it was really fun and we’ll be doing this again. It was fun to sit with her and listen to her chatter on about it. It’s going to be a great little art project to do over and over.
And I really love the insides! I’m sure they will quickly fill up with all sorts of her treasures. Looking forward to that actually. She is hilarious in the things she tucks away. Rocks and sticks are among her favorites. Also, pennies. She LOVES pennies.
Here is my daily photo from July via my Instagram feed. Followed by a recap of the whole year. Which wasn’t exactly on purpose… but you know, whatever.
I’ve had a few people ask me how I make my mosiac’s for these. It’s really pretty easy, well for me. I use flickr as a storage spot for nearly all my blog photos and instagram photos. When I post a picture on instagram it automatically uploads to flickr as well. It makes me feel better having them stored somewhere else that isn’t my own computer or my own blog. I’m all about backup.
So, since all my photos are already on flickr, at the end of the month I’ll go through and pick one photo from each day and put them in their own set. Some days I only have one, some have like 10 to choose from. So each photo isn’t exactly a true representation of the day, but whatever.
Then it’s as easy as using Big Huge Labs mosaic maker to organize them all into a grid. Big Huge Labs is a free website that has a LOT of different options for making stuff with photos. I mean, you can personalize and order standard stuff like mugs and calendars and then totally not standard stuff like motivational posters, jigsaw puzzles, pocket photo books and bead art. Whatever that is. I’ve never used it for anything but mosaics. I seriously had to go look and see what else you can use it for. So I’m not an expert or anything, and I can’t give you advice or tips on quality or shipping speed or stuff like that. But I sure do love the free mosaic maker!
So, when making a mosaic you can upload photos individually, from an entire facebook album, a whole flickr set or they have a few other options. You can choose the number of columns and rows and customize the width/colors of the white space between photos. So my monthly roundups are 7 columns and 5 rows, the same as a calendar. I have a few blank white “photos” on flickr that I’ll add at the beginning of the month as place holders so I can start my first picture on what would be the first day of that month. (For example in March the 1st was a Thursday, so my weeks start on Sunday on the far left and end with Saturday on the right.) Bet you hadn’t realized that the photos are arranged like that. Cool huh.
After Big Huge labs has processed my flickr set into a mosaic, which takes about 10 seconds, I save it to my computer and then open it in photoshop to add the date. I used to do this in Picnic before it closed it’s doors. Bummer. The font I use is Budmo Jiggler which I downloaded for free from dafont.com .
And then, after I’ve added my text in photoshop and saved it again I upload it to flickr. And THEN I use it on my blog. (And then I usually open my flickr photostream on my phone and save my finished image to my phones camera album as well… and then repost it on instagram. HA!) This might sound like a lot of steps. But really, the whole process only takes me about 8 minutes. And that’s if I have to go through and pick which photos to use for each day. If not, its under 3 minutes.
I also use BHL Mosaic Maker for all my other gridlike photo arrangements. Like, this one, this one, this one and this one. And that’s why I love Big Huge Labs so very much. And they don’t even know I’m talking about them.
Last summer I got to meet Amy from amylouwhosews. She has hosted Sew-n-Tell for a few years now, an online linky party to share what you make each week, and it was one of the motivating forces that got me to start sewing more often. Without it the sewing machine might still be in the closet in the spare room instead of living on the dining room table and getting used almost everyday. We met for real last summer, back when I had pink hair. Anyway, a few months ago her husband deployed and she’s been home with their three children by herself. I can’t imagine losing my husband for the better part of a year, and my heart goes out to her. So, to celebrate the halfway home mark I made her a little present. And amazingly, got myself to the post office before 6 more months had passed. That’s the true miracle here…
I made this little pouch using Anna’s tutorial for the big mouth zippered pouch. I am in love with this little bag, I think I made 5 of them in a week. And then I got so excited about making zippered pouches in general that I maybe spent my entire allowance (a made up thing I give myself) on zippers… like, I bought 163 zippers at a great online sale. (This is where the crazy zipper lady comments will start I’m sure.)
I just pieced each side together willy nilly and then added the lightweight denim contrast bottom. The lining for this little bag is also meaningful. Last October when I met up with Amy for breakfast while she was in town we ducked inside a little quilt store in the middle of a wonderful snow storm and stumbled across Garden Henna in green. This print is among our favorite fabrics ever, for both of us. And since we bought it together I kind of decided that it needed to be involved in this project as well. I’m emotional and sentimental that way I guess.
In April I made a lone Double Aster Block as a test block for my quilting bee. I had just recently finished making this quilt for myself and I used some of the scraps to make my test block. It turned out awesomely, but you know, was the wrong colors and fabrics for the actual bee block. And so since April this lone turquoise and green block has been waiting for me to do something awesome with it. I finally decided to add a border and make it a mini quilt for Amy. A few weeks ago the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild hosted a Sewing Day and I took the opportunity to finish up this project. And I LOVE how it turned out.
So I’m not really a quilter, you know, the type that sews all three layers of a quilt together. I’m great at sewing, seamstressing, piecing quilt tops, but actual quilting of three layers to make a snuggly blanket? I always hire that out. I have made a few, but it’s not really my thing. I did the quilting on this enormous quilt, and this tiny one, and then swore I would never do it again. But, you know, I changed my mind. Whatever. I want to learn to quilt my own stuff because I’m a cheapskate. So I put it on my list of things to do before I hit 30. And in the past few weeks I’ve made three quilts start to finish myself. Two small one’s, and a baby size quilt. I still don’t love it, but, I am working on it.
I used the last little scraps of this pretty Heather Bailey paisley for the back (from the reprint of her Freshcut line), and after I took pictures but before I mailed this off I even got myself together enough to put a label on it. I’ve only done one other label, I’m usually in too big of a hurry to have the thing done to label my work, but I’m going to work on that too. It’s important I think.
Amy got her care package over the weekend, and amazingly it arrived on the exact halfway mark. Which is pure luck. Love you Amy! I hope these next months go quickly!