Saturday, August 28, 2010

Love is in the Air

Hi Blogworld! If I sound a bit breathless, it's because I've been running around town (and the house!) like a new father on Christmas Eve, scurrying through Wal-Mart and frantically trying to pack everything for our upcoming Burning Man trip. We officially leave Monday, but will be leaving early Sunday morning for a night at my awesome Mother's house. She lives out in the sticks and doesn't have internet or cell phone service, so this will be my last post for a long while!

Well, I got my hair did. We are camping for a week in a dry, dusty lakebed, with no showers provided (you build your own), so I like to get my hair braided for low-maintenance and also for beautiful decoration! The colors in this picture are off, that orange color is really a dark neon pink.

I got all my amazing costumes packed. Even managed to slip in one last project, some red and black furry leg warmers. No time for a picture (I'm exhausted!). Today my best friend and I put together my bouquet (fake flowers, the only way my bouquet will survive in the desert) and decided how to wear my veil. I have all my somethings (old, blue, new, and borrowed) in a row. The car is packed except for our toothbrushes. Still have to spend some quality time with my sweet kitties, though!

They look sad that I'm leaving them, right? That's what I tell myself anyway!

I did manage to finish my quilt. I'm pretty happy with it! I still need to practice my freehand quilting, but with every project I get better and better! When I get back from vacation, I'll start on our matching version. I quilted Love sayings in the borders: Love, Kiss, Forever and Ever, Crazy in love, etc. Also some Burning Man tidbits like Burn Baby Burn, Thank you Revered Lala, and so forth.

Then I quilted a heart stencil in the blocks.

I had a lot of fun doing this quilt. My favorite part was when I measured for the borders. I usually take three measurements, both ends, and across the middle, then average those numbers. Well, surprise, surprise, all three measurements were the same! *Gasp* Yup, my piecing is getting better.

So...I'm leaving for a week. I'm getting married (I can't wait to marry this wonderful man!). And I'm gifting a quilt. I'm going to Burning Man. I will be spinning fire and hula hooping and sitting around campfires and howling at the moon! And, oh yeah, I'm getting married! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Burning Man Costumes

Okay, so I've finally got to the point where I'm just hand-sewing the binding down on my Love Quilt. This is the first time I've hand-stitched binding (remember, this is only the second project I've ever finished). I had to google "Ladder Stitch" and watch the videos about twenty times, but now I'm an old pro.

But don't think my sewing machine has been sitting idle! I am now frantically trying to complete all my Burning Man costumes. Which, granted, should have been completed a few months ago, like right after I started them. But hey, sometimes you need a deadline to get stuff done! I bought a ton of this awesome fake fur to make a hundred and one costumes with, and finally finished a vest for my handsome man. I guess those other hundred costumes will just come next year!

Disclaimer: I make quilts, not clothes! I have never made a piece of clothing before (except for my 4H vest in elementary school, but that was a Mom-made piece, if you know what I mean ;) ). I sewed an armhole shut. I literally put the vest on my fiance and cut off pieces that were dangling for no apparent reason. One front side was longer than the other sides. The fur in front is headed north while the fur in back is headed south. It's three sizes too big for him. I love it!

Next up I hemmed my white furry knee-highs. I will be wearing these when we get married on September 2nd. I bought these at a store in Las Vegas, but didn't like the fact that they were so long I walked on them and got the bottoms dirty. I really hate that. So I shortened and hemmed them. I did a horrible job, so don't look too close!

Lastly, I fixed my other pair of knee-highs. A few months ago I took an old pancho of mine that I loved but had never worn and turned it into these sweet leg-warmers. I tested them at a Burning Man Art Show in Las Vegas and one would just not stay up. Just a small fix! I really liked the way these turned out, though.

So that's what I've been up to. How about you?!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Check out this GO! Giveaway!

Karen at Sew Many Ways is giving away an Accuquilt GO! Fabric Cutter. She also shows a ton of different ideas on how to use hexagons in fun and useful ways. If you're like me, cutting fabric is the most tedious part of making a quilt. I sure could make a lot more quilts with a GO! So check it out, enter the contest, and become one of Karen's followers, it's a fantastic blog!

Love Quilt Progress

Although I haven't been busting out the quilts double time like I thought, I have been making some good progress on my Love Quilt. This is a very special quilt which I am giving as a very special gift. This as a gift to the woman who will be performing our wedding ceremony. That's right, the official announcement: We are getting married on September 2, 2010 (in just a few weeks!) at Burning Man. Burning Man is a week-long festival that happens annually in the desert about 100 miles north of Reno, NV. Our officiant, Reverend LaLa, will perform our ceremony for free as our gift and our gift to her will be this Love Quilt. I'm also making one to keep for ourselves, although at a much slower pace.

Me and a friend keeping warm at Burning Man, a few years ago.

Since moving to Sacramento almost two months ago I've also gotten in touch with some local quilters through (try it, I love meeting people this way!). Nancy invited the group to her house for some Saturday morning quilting. She has an amazing house, with tons of room to baste a quilt on her tile floor! That's what I spent half the time doing (pin basting, which I'm starting to rethink since everyone was looking at me like I was nuts).

I spent the other half of the time using a stencil Nancy lent me (my first time using a stencil) to make chalk marks on my quilt and then quickly quilting it on my Bernina. I really didn't like using the chalk, since it came off almost as fast as I put it on. There are a few places where I had to free-hand the design because the chalk had already rubbed off. Since I was borrowing the stencil, I tried to quilt as fast as possible. It was Super Speedy Quilting.

I'm using King Tut thread in Red, so it's a bit hard to photograph the quilting. The stencil I used has a circle of six hearts. Most of the stencil fits on the block, though it does extend a bit into the sashing. I looked for more stencils to use on the border, but couldn't find the perfect one, so I played around with a few ideas until I found the perfect idea! My cursive is very pretty, so I wrote in cursive around the border. I wrote words like Love, Thank You, Kiss, Burning Man, Burn Baby Burn, Two Hearts One Love, Forever and Ever, and of course, Thank You Reverend LaLa. In between the phrases, I free-handed a heart. The heart acts as a separator between the phrases and also a great connector to keep it continuous line quilting. It turned out beautiful!

Oops, except for one thing. I accidentally quilted a bit of the backing into the quilt.

I cut it away a bit, but I'm kinda stuck now. I'm pretty sure the only way to fix this is to pick out the quilting stitches and then redo that part. If there are any other ideas, I'd love to hear them. Just another silly mistake in my quilting adventure. Did you check out my backing fabric? It's so perfect! It's pink and red so it matches the front. And the red lines of the fabric totally hide my beginning quilting. I love it! That was definitely dumb luck! Sometimes dumb luck works against you, sometimes it works for you!