Friday, September 28, 2012

… giving

do. good stitches love circle swap

remember that swap where i received the most fabulous of pillows? well, i totally forgot to write about what i made and sent to my swap partner. or maybe i mind-blogged about it. oh yes, i'm sure i must have mind-blogged about it at least a dozen time.

but at least now it's safe to say that the package has been received so i can post about it here. anyhow… my swap partner turned out to be the fabulous miss jacey, who was my roommate when i went on the fabulous sewing retreat to atlanta in june (don't worry, i'll stop talking about it someday). i was so excited to make something for her that it almost paralyzed me with fear. i mean, how do you make something for someone so talented and cool without disappointing them? gah!

do. good stitches love circle swap

i settled on making a pillow, since she mentioned that might be something she'd like to get. her inspiration board has quite a bit of triangles and flying geese, so that's the direction i decided to go in. i used colors that seemed jacey-like in some of my favorite fabrics (from chicopee, field study, cameo, some lizzy house pearl bracelet, and few others from my stash) and made some happy and quick flying geese blocks using this terrific tutorial.what i'm saying is that once i stopped worrying and fretting so much it all came together.

you can also see that i did a little bit of hand quilting in coordinating colors amongst the grey geese. i wanted it to have a random feel, but looking at these pictures again i'm kind of wishing i quilted in all of the grey geese. and since i didn't plan the pillow terribly well, i had to put a little border on it in black kei honeycomb to bring it up to a standard size. i backed the pillow in my very favorite essex yarn-dyed linen in black and inserted an invisible zipper using katie's terrific tutorial (and remembering, vaguely, what she taught in the invisible zipper class i took from her a while back).

treat yo self!

but that's not all! because i think jacey is so darn cool, i made her a little embroidery to round out the package. i know she likes parks and rec (like any intelligent, cool, funny person should!) so i embroidered one of my favorite quotes from the show. that's right, treat yo self!

and, as you can see from the top photo, i threw in a few extra treats so jacey really could treat her self! there's some homemade granola and several bars of the tastiest chocolate from a seattle chocolate maker. oh, okay, and a skein of yummy manos del uruguay yarn since i know jacey is also a knitter.

i was so relieved to hear that jacey liked her package. i mean, i'm sure she would probably lie to me if she didn't like it, since she's pretty much one of the nicest people you will ever have the chance to meet. but, overall, i am happy to have been part of such a successful swap!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

… late summer

it seems like everyone out there in blogland is totally on the autumn bandwagon. people are drinking pumpkin spice lattes and making wreaths with dried leaves and roasting squash and putting up halloween decorations. but seattle hasn't fully embraced fall yet. we usually have a nice indian summer here, with september being one of our loveliest months, and this year september went all out. many days in the 80s, nonstop sun, and one of our longest dry spells ever (something like 40-50 days with no rain… crazy!).

don't get me wrong, fall really is one of my favorite seasons and summer is, well, not my favorite. but i find myself holding onto these last few days of the season. the sun is bright, but the air has a bite in the mornings these days. everything smells burnt and sweet and delicious. in chinese medicine we talk about the five seasons of the year: fall, winter, spring, summer, and late summer. late summer is exemplified by sweetness, worry, earth, the color yellow, dampness, and fragrant smells. even though this is probably more specific to asia, i think it sounds just about right for the pacific northwest, too.

iced chai

to embrace this fleeting time between summer and fall, i've been brewing up endless bottles of this delicious chai concentrate. i'm looking forward to drinking it hot when the weather turns cooler, but for now i'm enjoying it over ice. (and, in a nod to autumn, i somehow bought a bag of pumpkin spice hershey kisses, which are absolutely disgusting but i just can't seem to stop eating them.)

wonky pinwheel blocks

i also whipped up some bee blocks for natalie. she made this great tutorial for wonky pinwheel blocks and the color palette she chose was absolutely gorgeous (warm and rich plums, fuchsias, reds, oranges, golds, yellows and brown… yum). kind of perfect for late summer, no?

finished x&+ quilt top

and, okay, this is not seasonally related, but here's a glimpse of the do. good stitches august quilt top i put together. i asked everyone to make x & + blocks using this tutorial in whatever scrappy fabrics they wanted. isn't this just amazing? i'm so excited to quilt this it's actually already basted and ready to hit the machine for some quilting.

i'm sure in a week or so you will find me bundled up in a big scarf and cradling a hot pumpkin-spiced something in my hands, admiring the changing leaves and picking out an array of gourds for the porch, but for now i'm pretty happy to be right here, enjoying this last bit of late, late summer.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

… duh, winning

wow, someone must be looking out for me, because i just got incredibly lucky. a few weeks ago i donated to the very worthy action kivu cause via alissa haight carlton. there were some terrific prizes for donating, and though i honestly donated because i wanted to give to a wonderful program, the prizes were at the back of my mind. so i was terrifically surprised when i won. and not once, but twice!

winnings

first i won this amazing bundle of goodies from elizabeth hartman. wow, right?! not only did she include a signed copy of her new book plus all the templates used for the patterns, but there was also an insane amount of solid fabric "scraps" in every color imaginable and it all came bundled in this adorable bag featuring one of the quilts from her book.

winnings

from her photo it looked like there was a modest handful of fabrics, but when the package came i couldn't believe just how much there was! i'm pretty sure i won't need to buy solids for a long, long time.

winnings

and these templates are just so cool. i can't wait to try them out.

so yeah, i feel super lucky.

but then i got luckier still. i got an email from heather of olive and ollie that i won pdfs of all four of her beautiful patterns. they are all so pretty, but the ohio supernova has really caught me eye. i love the simple, bold design, which is right up my alley these days.

so thanks to elizabeth and heather! they are both such generous ladies for contributing their work to a very worthy cause.