Despite the tag line from this blog (I’m not a geek, I just play one in real life) and a previous post to the contrary, I am actually a geek. Well, in some ways anyway. Apparently even friends from middle and high school know this all too well…
A week before Sewing Summit an old friend contacted me and wanted me to make a Tardis quilt for her to give as a gift. The catch? She wanted it before Halloween (the recipient’s birthday — no it wasn’t me — obviously, hehe.) I knew I was going to be gone for 4 days for Sewing Summit, and that even if I took it with me I wouldn’t get anything done on it in SLC, so I basically had 2 weekends to knock a whole quilt out.
I sketched it up in my notebook pretty quickly and estimated the fabric. Then we started hunting for the perfect background and backing fabrics. (The rest of the quilt is in Kona solids.) The backing was pretty easy, there is this teeny tossed Tardis fabric on Spoonflower. (I’m really starting to think there are an awful lot of
closet geek sewers and quilters.) So my friend ordered that and had it sent to me.
The background was a different story. We searched and searched for something “starry”. Finally I went into my LQS, and found this print by Robert Kauffman. It’s “Mixmasters Luminescence.” (On a side note, I can’t believe I spelled luminescence right on the first try!) I took a photo with my phone and texted it to her to get her approval. Don’t you just love technology? How in the heck did people survive before they could take pictures of fabric with their phones?!
The signs were my biggest problem. I knew I could print the black on white text on with a printer using the freezer paper method. We actually went and bought a new printer during this process because the inkjet we had only had pigment (which is more permanent than dye-based) ink for black. The new printer does color with pigment inks, too. I’m excited to try that out soon.
The white text on black had me stumped for far too long. I finally realized I could use silk screen ink with a freezer paper stencil (yeah, I love freezer paper) and print my own sign. I love how it came out.
I was also asked to embroider a little message on the back, and this is what I came up with. I actually did the “I” and the “YOU” on my machine, and hand stitched the red hearts.
You can also see that the spoonflower fabric wasn’t quite wide enough, so I added a strip of the background fabric to finish it out.
I actually ran out of the background fabric in the middle of this project. I bought 2 yards originally and thought that woud be about 1/2 yard too much, but boy was I wrong! And not because I wasted any of it either. I had to send Chris back to the LQS during his lunch one day to get some more. (Yes, he’s definitely a keeper!)
The quilting doesn’t show up well in these pictures at. all. But I quilted in the ditch around the Tardis, and then in radiating lines from the “light” at the top over the rest of the quilt. It’s not a ton of quilting, so the whole thing is still rather soft and snuggly.
Even though I was worried that I wouldn’t have time to get this quilt done by Halloween, I actually finished and bound it (in a solid Kona blue) a few days early. It was really quite a simple quilt to put together once I solved the issues with the text fabrics. Of course, I could have had those printed at Spoonflower, but they take FOREVER and if the sign was the wrong size it would be a major disaster.
I’m surprised that I seem to have come to a point where a single quilt doesn’t take me months (or years) to complete! OTOH, I have a few quilts that I’ve been struggling with (or rather, designing on the fly, thus taking more thought than planning the dumb thing out in advance) for quite some time. But I’ll show you those in a future post…
On that note, I started a new geek job, so I’m kind of stretched for time these days. I’ll try to keep the blog updated, but don’t worry, I haven’t disappeared off the face of the Earth… yet.
What else is new right? Somehow, once again I’ve managed to completely over-commit. I suppose it’s good that it’s been nearly a year since this has happened, but for now, it doesn’t seem like I’ll be able to come up for air any time soon.
I’m obviously not blogging much, so what am I doing? Mostly a whole lot of nothing. Well, that’s not true. I’m procrastinating. A lot. Avoiding my long list of to dos. Last week, I managed to do no sewing at all in the evenings. I just sat on my butt and watched, House, Alcatraz, Fringe, Merlin and several other nerdy shows that I love so much, but sewing… or even thinking about sewing? No.
I did make these cute little bags for my sweet Hazie’s little odds and ends. I do love Jeni’s bag pattern as a quick gratification project. And I love that it’s using up fabric from my stash. I’m trying to pare down my fabric some because now that I’ve not got a whole room to myself, three huge boxes of yardage + a large bin of scraps and another bin of fat quarters is a bit much for the tiny loft/tv room. Ok, not really, I just want to use it up so I won’t feel so guilty when I buy more fabric.
What should I be doing? Well, the long list consists of things like:
1) Finish the Firebird Quilt – This one is due at the beginning of April for a fundraising auction for Alexis’ school. I actually started it last spring, but then got sidetracked — by oh a thousand other things — and it sat in the corner until recently when I picked it up again and realized that the quilting I’d started on it had caused the applique to pucker horribly. So what did I do? Yeah. You guessed it. Picked all of the (hand) stitching out. Boo. Then, I decided to stich in the ditch on the the applique (as if applique even really has ditches…) and we know how good I am at that… not good at all, but apparently getting better, because if you squint your eyes and turn your head 90 degrees you can’t see the stitching that climbs out of the ditch at all… mostly because you’ll be looking somewhere else entirely.
2) Finish this quilt for a dear friend – Another quilt that’s been in the works for a while. Admittedly, I’ve made progress since these photos were taken (I actually quilted the whole thing last night), but I need to get this one bound and photoed and sent off to it’s new home soon!
3) For the Love of Solids swap — I decided this year I was going to try swapping again. My last few attempts haven’t turned out so good. I either got zero feedback on the items I sent (which I thought were really awesome!) or have not received my items. I have high hopes for this swap though. It’s very active. So active that I’m having trouble keeping up! I hope my partner loves her items, though, I’ve only finished one so far and have only an inkling on the second item. Here is the sneak preview I posted ont he flickr group, it seems to be well received so far!
4) do. Good Stitches — This bee is not a chore at all. Two blocks per month is pretty simple to whip out. However, I am up to be the quilter/leader in March, and I still have no idea what quilt block I will choose for our group! I still need to make my February blocks as well.
5) Curves Class with Rachel @ Stitched in Color! – I think I might be some sort of Rachel Hauser groupy. do. Good Stitches is her brainchild, and now she’s come up with this (what looks to be awesome!) class for a bunch of us to improve our curvy piecing. I’m really looking forward to it (today is the first “real” day of class!) for the camaraderie, but also to hopefully get past my fear of drunkard’s path blocks (and other wonderfully curvy quilty blocks). I just hope I can make myself find the time to get some of the projects done.
6) Pattern Writing — I’m working on a pattern for one of my past projects. And that’s about all I can say right now. But it’s a big one, and taking a lot more time than I anticipated. I hope it’s worth it!
And those are just the items highest on my list. My goals for February as it were. I also want to actually blog about this stuff as it happens. I hope I don’t get too overwhelmed and just shut down completely. Last week was a good break, but I still worry that I’ll not be able to keep up, and instead of only leaving a couple of things out, I will just give up on everything… So, wish me luck!
See that fabric? It’s the first one I’ve designed myself. I’d been thinking about doing some designs up just for fun, but then I saw that Spoonflower was hosting a contest for fabrics with an “Outdated Technology” theme. First thing that pops into this (not a) geek’s head is old floppy disks.
I think it still needs some tweaking. The print itself is really quite small, and I think it needs more of a background color to make it look a bit less stark, but overall I’m pleased. And I should be, I did a LOT of fighting with Illustrator to get the darn thing cropped correctly.
So if you get a chance and are so inclined, head over to the contest page and vote for me!
Look what I got nearly a week early:
This isn’t the first time I’ve ordered these cute little calling/business cards. I used to include a couple in every Etsy order I shipped. But since I haven’t sold anything on Etsy in — well — forever, I decided to get some cards that don’t have my etsy shop URL on them. Besides, the old ones only have my banner on the non-text side. (I’m not sure whether to call that the back or the front.)
This time around, I wanted to feature some of the stuff I’ve made over the years. You’ll probably recognize some of the photos I’ve used if you have been a long time reader. Some of you might even have the item in the picture in your possession. When I opened up the box and started to pull one of each card out I was shocked at just how many photos I had chosen. Ah, well, variety is good, yes?
As always, the quality of these little cards is just stunning. Heavy paper, crisp clear photos and text, and packaging to die for. I heart tiny boxes. What can I say? It seems to run in the family… you should see my grandmother’s collection of boxes, it’s taking over her living room… and Alexis immediately wanted to know when she could get her hands on this new box… hehehe. (As another side note, she thought that the little blue droplet on the edge of the box meant that the cards were waterproof.)