Nervous Nelly

OOHH, I still get a little nervous thinking about it.

I've been eyeing this machine for awhile now, but couldn't get over the price. Mom and I visited a quilt store last weekend and they still had two left at the sale price from NQA so I got it (with a little bit of help from mom for my Christmas present). I had a nervous stomach the whole time -- this is the most money I've spent on myself (excepting a house or car).

Here it is in all of its (dim) glory. I was finishing up some curtains I promised to make Jaxon's daycare. Four layers of heavy weight home dec fabric?? No problem!!

Needless to say I love it. It is SO much quieter than my old machine, I don't have to worry about waking Jaxon up. I've spent the last couple of evenings playing with the different stitches and finishing up a few projects I was having trouble with on my old machine.

Here are a few of the specialty stitches...I love the Christmas ones! Charlie wants to know if I will make a blanket with bad words stitched all the way around the edges.

And these three blankets have been in my Etsy WIP pile for awhile because my machine wasn't handling the satin bias (tension issues). I whipped through all three in one evening! This will be up at my Etsy shop as soon as I have a nice day to take pictures.

Switching gears, I'm sure many of you in the blog world have heard about Nie Nie. For those of you who haven't, Stephanie (of the great blog The Nie Nie Dialogues) and her husband were in a horrible plane crash a couple of weeks ago. The flight instructor was killed, both Stephanie and her husband Christian survived but have a long road to recovery (read more here). Thankfully their four children are able to be cared for by family, and the support from all their friends (both "virtual" and "live-action") has been wonderful.

This has really hit close to home for me (as Charlie is a flight instructor) and I'd love it if you could all contribute in some way to Stephanie and Christian's recovery. You can do this by taking part in Nie Nie day (today!!) -- simply bid on one of the numerous auctions found here (there are also others if you search):

• DesignMom
• A Room Somewhere

I am currently bidding on:
Lemon Yellow Jade Drop Earrings edited: Drat! Outbid!
Pantograph Pattern Quilting Service

ed.-- Now also bidding on:
Dress #1
Dress #2

So don't outbid me!

If you don't have time to babysit an auction, you can make a donation:

Thank you!


Back from the Left Coast

I've been back a few days and have unpacked and done laundry...after a trip my baggage always sits on the bedroom floor for a couple of days until I'm ready to forget about my trip. The suitcase went to his home today.

I don't usually enjoy my trips to LA, because the conference is always downtown and there isn't a whole lot to do. This time was better -- more people from school went this year, we saw two movies, and I got to go to the fabric district. I didn't have much cash on me, but I managed to get a yard of giant rick rack, 10 zippers (for $1!!) and 4 yards of fabric:

1 yard of red and white stripe silk, and 1 yard each of orange, yellow, and pink cotton sateen (60" width)...the salesman called the sateen double-sided cotton. Anyone ever heard of that?

I already used two of the zippers for wristlets.

The red one is for my sister-in-law, the other two are a bit smaller to accommodate the sale zippers. Only one problem. One of the zippers is upside down (the pull tab is mounted to the wrong side!!). It doesn't open easily.

I always bring home a lot of swag from this conference, usually notebooks, pins, posters, and keychains. I always look forward to Pixar's giveaway of a full size poster from the movie they produced that year. This year I have a new favorite. I always come home with an assortment of bags that I use at the grocery store. These are actually MEANT to be used at the grocery.

I had been looking at Baggu Bags online. Obviously I went back to the booth too many times as they ran out after the second day!

And since I've been home I've picked up too fun web addictions. This one to go along with my Olympics TV obsession: Medal Count. And this one that creates images from the words on you blog: Wordle.

Here's mine:

And finally my little man is learning to drive!


Another travel bag

Every year I attend the SIGGRAPH conference, and it seems every year I get ants in my pants to sew a bag to take. You'd think by now I'd have the perfect bag!

I wanted something that could also be used as a purse, and since I won't be lugging my laptop to the conference center every day (yeah, iPhone!!) the bag needed to hold conference necessities but not be too heavy or bulky. That Exhibition floor gets tiring!

So here is the 2008 Travel Bag:

The fabric is Botanical Pop by Windham. It's really nice to work with, maybe only second to this.

The back has a pocket for my boarding pass and other paperwork I need quickly, with a some large ric rac trim. I really like how that turned out. Maybe it should be the front!

I used the new tutorial at U-handbag Blog for a concealed zipper in casing. This was a challenge, but worth it I think. It looks nice -- but mine is a bit long. I should have better heeded the tutorial!

I also used the U-handbag Blog tutorial for an insider zipper pocket. Why haven't I done this before? It was so easy! I also included pockets for my iPhone and sunglasses.

I'm thinking this is the perfect bag for the mom of a toddler. I could fit his diapers and wipes case in it plus all my stuff but it is not as big and bulky as a diaper bag.

I leave for LA tomorrow and return at the end of the week. Anybody have a "must go" fabric or vintage store? Unfortunately we are staying downtown, so I can't travel too far...


Things I am currently lovin'...

include...sale dress and shoes...

...with a little handmade touch...

...homemade peach pie made with North Carolina peaches...

...my solar garden Tiki and my Elephant Ear plant...

...my first snowball quilt top and our summer view...

...and what are you lovin' right now?


Thank You gifts

I have a super cool aunt named Beth (of course) who always comes through for me. I called her this week and said, "What am I going to with Jaxon during the funeral?" My parents are in NC on vacation and all of Charlie's family will be with us in Columbus, an hour-and-a-half from our usual daycare.

She immediately responded "I'll call Claire!" Claire is her sister (Beth is married to my uncle Van) and she has done in-home daycare for 25 years. Claire said to bring him on over. What a relief!

So I whipped up two more wristlets like before, only this time I quilted them (layering the outer layer of the wristlet with batting and muslin). I like how they turned out, only I think the pattern needs a longer strap (note to self for next time).

Claire's in the brown (quilted in bright pink with a bright pink lining) and Beth's is the black and yellow (quilted in black with a yellow lining).

I thought this was a good opportunity to practice my machine quilting so I attempted a little echo quilting around one of the flowers. I need more practice. I kept the black one simple since it is pieced.

Beth has no idea it's coming so I'm hoping she doesn't check the blog before she gets it. If she does -- sorry I ruined the surprise!

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