Friday, February 24, 2012

… pretty things

so many pretty things in life, so little time!

Retro flowers block

i finally (finally) tackled the retro flowers block for the february do. good stitches love circle quilt. did i mention that i'm the one who picked this block? and i hadn't even tried making it yet? ha! good thing for me it came together without too many problems. a couple of my seams are off by a tiny bit, but i'm not too bothered by that. and the best news? i am no longer intimidated by curves, thanks to this incredibly well-written pattern. here's something else nice about this: christina from the sometimes crafter donated her lovely pattern for us to use this month. not only is she an amazing designer, but she a sweetheart, too!

My design wall is so pretty right now it's killing me!

the blocks have started coming in from my circle members, and they are looking fabulous. i asked for flowers in bright, saturated warm colors: fuchsias, oranges, reds, yellows, oh my! here they are co-mingling with my collection of arkansas traveler blocks.

i was initially making mixed color blocks for the arkansas travelers, but i decided i liked them better when they were just aqua or just yellow/orange/gold. i may use the multi-colored ones for the back. or see how they might come into play on the front. i still have quite a few left to sew, though. slowly but surely, right?

The most gorgeous fabric from Lauren!

i've also received some lovely fabric in the mail lately, most notably this stack of screenprinted fabric depicting the visual english alphabet designed by the ever-fabulous lauren. is this seriously not the most awesome fabric ever?

Ingrid fabric!

but it gets better! she also sent along this ingrid fabric as a bonus for me (pardon the terrible instagram photo). if i wasn't already smitten with lauren i'm totally in love with her now.

and, of course, the loveliest of them all, my sweet snowdrop.

32 weeks

fabric: rashida coleman-hale washi tape in beige (from the washi collection)

33 weeks

fabric: ikea by lotta kuhlhorn

she's a real champ at sitting up lately. i swear she said "mama" the other day. i'm sure it wasn't directed at me, and yet it totally melted my heart. totally.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

… a tidy pantry

pantry before

i know, i know, this is so unglamorous, but i just have to share. as you can see, my pantry needed a serious makeover. and by makeover, i really just mean that it needed to be cleaned the eff out.

pantry before

looking at these photos, i actually can't believe how terrible it was before. i am truly ashamed. meaning i am filled with actual shame that i let it get this bad. that pile of bags alone is giving me palpitations. and what you can't see in these pictures is the layer of dust and grime that covered the floor. i couldn't even look at what i unearthed underneath those cartons of almond milk and stacks of napkins. [shudder]

so armed with some elbow grease and a bunch of extra storage jars that i picked up at ikea, i went to town on this sucker and ruthlessly chucked expired icky food, consolidated items, moved much of the bulk foods to jars and scrubbed scrubbed scrubbed. i even took all of those aprons down and threw them all in the wash (i have a terrible habit of not washing my aprons very frequently).

pantry after

and, let me tell you, i am tickled with the result. so much so that whenever i walk by the pantry now i open it up and just stare at it. and grab a few celebratory chocolate chips from the chocolate chip jar*.

pantry after

i can't decide what my favorite part is. it's between all the pleasingly filled jars and the baking shelf. i do love all my baking supplies to be organized with much-used ingredients close at hand.

pantry after

there are still a few items still in bags, but they are mostly just backups to the bulk items that we eat frequently and are already in jars, and a few oddball items that i can't bring to give their own storage containers yet. but i've already become better about using what's in the pantry, which, take my word for it, is much easier to do when you can actually see that you have on hand.

this is all part of a bigger scheme of mine to work on household projects with some regularity. there are so many things i've neglected or just not gotten around to, so i'm trying to commit to doing at least one big project every week. and i will reward myself with chocolate chips and self pats on the back. yay, me!

*it is my humble opinion that everyone needs a chocolate chip jar.

Monday, February 6, 2012

… going forward

mistake

i am not a fan of backtracking. i so dislike making mistakes and i get frustrated when i have to undo work. i mean, seriously frustrated.

so here's the good news: i was able to make it to a seattle modern quilt guild meeting recently and it was actually thrilling (thrilling, i tell you!) to catch up with friends and spend several uninterrupted hours sewing. the bad news: the iron that i packed with my sewing supplies somehow leaked onto one of my arkansas traveler blocks and stained the fabric from the ink on the paper. blargh. i am already not a fan of ripping out seams, but let me tell you, ripping out paper-pieced seams is a real nightmare. i did finally get it together enough to fix this little setback, which was almost easier than it should have been and now i'm right back on track. whew!

diamonds

and, i can't believe it, but i have now finished nine of these blocks and have many sets of diamonds at the ready for more paper piecing. yay!

witch hazel

i also can't believe that it was only a couple of short weeks ago that we had all that snow in seattle. in true seattle february fashion, today it was over 60 degrees and it honestly felt like spring. even a die-hard, rain-loving northwesterner like me was pretty happy to be outside enjoying the bright fresh blueness of it all. and last weekend we took a little family stroll around the arboretum to see their lovely collection of witch hazel. i adore witch hazel both for its lovely scent and for its amazing winter color.

witch hazel

i know, right?!

ingrid + witch hazel

ingrid seems unimpressed, though.

and speaking of ingrid, here's an onslaught of weekly photos. she's killing me with sweetness lately. current interests: grabbing her toes, rolling across the room, babbling and cooing nonstop, splashing in the bath, and chewing on her thumb. i adore this little lady, i really do.

28 weeks

fabric: alexander henry kenyan tea leaf in red

29 weeks

fabric: julia rothman candy trees in black (from the miscellany collection)

30 weeks

fabric: alexander henry fiesta firecracker in natural (from the folklorico collection)

31 weeks

fabric: alice kennedy wavy optical stripe in punch (from the orange crush collection)