One Down....

Another great thing that came from our trip to Texas -- a kick in the pants from Courtney. When I started listing my WIPS and mentioned one that only needed the binding hand sewn she looked at me with disbelief. "But that's one night of work!"

This quilt has been in the making for almost a year. I sewed the binding on and took it to the beach last July with the intention of doing the hand sewing while I basked in the sand. Didn't happen.

And then we got home and summer ended, school started, and more exciting projects reared their heads. And a boy needed to be played with.

Apparently Courtney is faster at binding than I am. This took me more like three nights.

But it's done and crossed off my WIPs list. And it's spring!


Too much work, too little craft

Today was our first day of spring quarter, and tomorrow is my first day teaching for the quarter. I needed a break from prepping my classes and realized I hadn't shared these with you.

March is my month in my quilting bee, and I selected this paper pieced circular geese block. I really enjoyed making it (more paper piecing coming soon), but I realized after I took the picture that the bottom arm of the star is a bit off. I'll rip it apart one more time!

And I took part in the Feeling Stitchy embroidered button swap. This was too fun! My partner mentioned liking science, so I stitched up these science-themed buttons.

After spending Friday night at a double feature of Back to the Future and Hot Tub Time Machine, everything in my life is 80s themed.

In return, I got this super sweet package (*ahem* the chocolate is nearly gone!!) with these adorable buttons.

Thanks, Charity!

I'm teaching my usual two classes this quarter -- one I love (although I've had to change it drastically to accommodate a doubling of enrollment) and one I dread. Guess which one I still have to prep this evening?



Do most people bring home fabric as souvenirs of a vacation??

I do!

Courtney and I hit up a few Austin quilt shops, with some excellent clearance sections...

Clockwise from top left: Blooms, some Halloween prints, a print each from Pop Garden and Katie Jump Rope, and some Eric Carle prints.

....and we came up with an AWESOME idea for a simultaneous challenge using these fabrics as a jumping off point.

Two rainbow prints from Timeless Treasures and, for my challenge quilt, orange Katie Jump Rope and red something with no selvage.

And when one fabric-aholic visits another, the stash infects them both. Courtney sent me home with some of hers.

A funky skirt I'll be wearing as a capelet, a retro vintage sheet, and my infatuation with Christmas prints continues.

I did come home with some "finished" souvenirs. My favorites:

Three Mexican glass bracelets from El Mercado, and THE BEST fabric bag made by Benjamin. I'm hoping it will fit my new iPad.


Warning: Loads of photos ahead

We had a great time on our trip to Texas!

We hit all the tourist haunts in San Antonio, including the Riverwalk, the Alamo...

The Crockett Hotel is actually *behind* the Alamo.

....the Witte Museum...

A Mexican textiles exhibit included beautiful embroidery and my Fiestaware dishes.

...and Hemisfair Park...

San Antonio has some amazing public art.

...which includes the Tower of the Americas.

The Novak Family finally feels short!

Then on to Austin where we had the best time hanging with Jay, Courtney, Maya, and Benjamin!

Dork alert! We are comparing our favorite upcoming fabric lines in our jammies.

And we left the house to get Cupcakes....

Hey, Cupcake!, where they actually give you FREE WHIPPED CREAM!

...and then walked the cupcakes off at Zilker Botanical Gardens....

Jaxon really wanted to be one of the big kids. We keep having to role play -- I'm Maya and he is Benjamin.

...where we had a beautiful view of the skyline.

And next I'll share a couple of things that came home with me! More photos at Flickr.


New San Antonio Rose

We've made it to Texas, and the weather is pretty awesome! We headed down to the Riverwalk for dinner. I'm sure it's beautiful -- but what a mess of people! Our hotel is on the North Riverwalk and it is much quieter and less populated.

Here's Jaxon at the entrance to our hotel....

The rental car place was short on cars (San Antonio?? Spring Break?? Really??) so we are now toolin' around Texas in a Grand Marquis. Big state? Check! Big car? Check! Alamo, here we come!


Skirt No More

Thanks so much for your nice words about the skirt. I thought the length was barely okay with tights, but I was hoping for a year-round skirt -- and in humid Ohio weather leggings are not a year-round garment!

I wore the skirt to work on Thursday and I had a couple of problems. It would ride up slightly, making it more than a little too short, and I chose to use home dec weight fabric for the contrast so the pleats would NOT stay closed. By the end of the day I looked like a crazy cheerleader.

So before I could change my mind I ripped apart the skirt and reassembled the main parts into a bag (Thanks to Michelle for the idea!!). I wanted to grab a couple of pictures before I carried it to work tomorrow, I'll try to get a shot later while wearing it for scale.

I kept the invisible zipper on the back so I could open the narrow top of the bag, slide in my laptop, and close it back up.

Just in time to take on the airplane this week! We leave Wednesday for a spring break trip to San Antonio and Austin. That is, of course, if I have my students' final projects graded by Tuesday. It's hard to concentrate around here, Jaxon desires constant attention. In fact, he is lounging in my lap as I type this.

And just to prove my point, as I was trying to plan our trip to Texas on the phone with Courtney, I let Jaxon "decorate" me.

My student turn in their projects tomorrow morning. Wish me luck!



I spent the last two days sewing a skirt. A skirt meant to be a birthday gift to myself.

Today is my birthday. And the skirt is too short. *sigh*

I put it on long enough to have a photo shoot (with some very funny outtakes)...

Pattern: Study Hall Skirt by Anna Maria Horner; Fabric: Love by Amy Butler

...and then took it off to put on something less dressy for a low-key dinner, and so I could wear one of my gifts.

Embroidered necklace by Corinne


The Myth of Fingerprints

If someone asks you to oversee the quarters to semesters transition for a school, just say no. Better yet, kick that someone in the shins, and then just say no.

Equally frustrating has been my attempt at a new camera bag.

I selected some fabric (Meadowsweet by Sandi Henderson).

I found a pattern I thought I could adapt into what I want (The Miranda Mailbag by Serendipity Studio).

HilarityProfanity ensued.

From the picture, I thought I would be making a patchwork bag. Not so. You sew strips and then weave them, making a change in the dimensions of the bag a little more difficult. I couldn't quite wrap my head around the instructions so I thought I would make a trial version before cutting into my precious half yards of Meadowsweet.

So from my stash, I came up with this...

I decided to use handles rather than make straps -- the straps are topstitched to the bag which I thought concealed the most interesting thing about it -- the weaving.

My bag is supposed to be the large handbag (pattern also includes small handbag, small tote and large tote), but I could not get my sides to be the correct size after weaving. The pattern calls for a separating zipper which I thought meant the top would open like a doctor's bag. Not so -- in fact you are supposed to glue the end of the zipper together so it no longer separates (instead buy a regular zipper, and follow this tutorial for separating).

As for the title of the post -- well, my fingerprints are no longer. To assemble the bag, you bind the ends like a quilt, stitching one side of the binding to the small, circular ends of the bag and then handstitching to the other side. Imagine me JAMMING this heavily-interfaced, stiff bag through my machine, pricking my fingers every three seconds. OUCH!

Thus, I won't be making this pattern again for a Meadowsweet camera bag. I'll be trying something different. But I do think this one is cute, and I'll carry it...

So, I offer up the pattern to one of you, dear friends! The first to comment and promise to make the bag within three months and report back her/his experience gets this pattern!

Also, Jaxon's preschool is participating in the Flat Stanley project. Jaxon and his classmates decorated paper "Stanleys" that we've been asked to send to friends we know in different locations, asking that they send back a photo of Stanley during his visit or a postcard so the kids can plot Stanley's trip on a map.

I volunteered to take a few Stanleys and see if my blog friends are interested in participating. I will send you a Stanley, and you just need to send a photo of Stanley (or a postcard) that the preschoolers will enjoy (you can even email me a digital photo and I will print it for you!!) and then send Stanley on to someone you know who lives somewhere else. Any takers? Look how cute he is. How can you say no?

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