I’ve moved!

I decided to migrate my blog over to Blogger – long story behind that, but so it goes.  If you’re still interested in following along, please update your bookmarks to 

http://thefluffyflamingo.blogspot.com/

See you soon!  Happy crafting!

 

Love Charms quilt

Another UFO bites the dust! I pieced this little quilt top at LEAST three years ago. I opted to keep it small just to get it done, especially since I’m not particularly attached to it and didn’t want to spend a ton of time on it. I also have the panel from the same Moda line, which has been pieced but not yet quilted.

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It’s been awhile…but I got my groove back!

I finally broke out of my crafting funk!  Anyone still here to read about it?

I decided to make Kiarda her first big quilt (I made her a small floor quilt before she was born for tummy time and the like).  The focus fabric is the paisley that I used to make her room decor stuff.  I’ve had this pattern and fabrics hanging around since before she was born, and I figured now was a good time to make it for her.  It took about 20 hours total.  I’m particularly pleased with how my binding came out (save the one off miter on the back by the label, the only one that got photographed, go figure!).  I used Sharon Schamber’s gluing method, and MAN, that binding is damn near perfect.  I’ll be using it every time – it’s so worth the results!

Kiarda loves her new quilt!  She got all excited this morning when I gave it to her.  She proceeded to dance on it, roll all over it, pretend to go to sleep on it, and just be silly on it.  While she likes to get tucked in on the couch, she still doesn’t want blankets in her crib, so she’s not currently using the quilt for covers at sleep times.  Ah well…in due time.

Here are a few pictures of the silliness:

She’s got a pretty good downward dog, dontcha think?

The label. I decided at the last minute to use some of the leftover binding around the label, and I like how it turned out!  “Futterflies” is how Kiarda says “butterflies” right now, and it seemed appropriate given the backing fabric.

I also found a mini quilt – likely a round robin quilt in progress, from the looks of the piecing – in my UFO pile tonight.  I think I inherited this from somehwere, because I can’t for the life of me place where it came from.  It did have the coordinating fabrics with it to continue adding onto the center.  I opted to just square it up as is, quilt it, and bind it.  I’m pleased with my binding, but I’m still figuring out what the “magic” strip length is so that I can machine stitch down the back of it and not have too much extra overhang.  I went with 2.25″ on this one, and I think 2 1/8″ woudl be perfect.  Ah well.

Again, I didn’t piece it.  It did lay flat, though, so that’s good.  It came out ok overall though!
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Christmas stockings in progress

I have been wanting to make Christmas stockings for my husband and myself since we got married. I decided to wait until after we had children to do it, though, so we could have a family set. I did not get to make them in time for Kiarda’s first Christmas, given that at that time I was averaging about three hours of sleep a night spread across the entire night.

Anyways, I finally made a decision about how best to create the images in my head about how I wanted them to look: wool felt! I’m about halfway done with them so far, so here’s a picture.

Each will have a white cuff with the person’s name on it. There will be a few embroidered details, as well as a few snowflake sequins added to the background of each one. I think I will opt for a “less is more” with these – I want them to be whimsical and too much detail can detract from that. The stockings will be lined. I may use fun prints for the insides…will have to dig through my stash and see what I can find!

Pillow for Kiarda

I finished my embroidered pillow case for Kiarda! The zipper is a bit wonky, but it was truly an afterthought so whatever. (She won’t notice, I think!) I’m pleased overall with how the embroidery came out. I have never done “fill” embroidery, and I clearly got better as I went along. I only have one picture right now, and it was taken with my phone’s camera as I lent my regular camera to a friend for the weekend. I’ll post close-ups when I get it back. The letters came out much better than the lady bugs, but I did the bugs first and well, there was a learning curve. You get the idea, though!

I’m alive!

So the kiddo has eaten up my crafty time…but I’m still here and have a few things in the works. If you would be so kind, please comment to this post to let me know there’s still someone reading out there? Please?

A few nursery items

I realized I hadn’t updated since I finished the things for Kiarda’s nursery! I made a valance, crib skirt, pillow for the rocking chair (my first zipper!), and painted some letters for the wall. I don’t have much to say, so I’ll just post lots of pictures!

I found this shelf at Goodwill a few years ago. The colors were HIDEOUS but the shelf itself was solid wood and in good condition. Here are the before and after shots:

Turning 20 top completed!

I’m calling it “Turning 20 30″ as I celebrated my 30th this February. (The pattern is called “Turning 20” for the non-quilters out there.) I thought it fitting. Edit: I goofed. This is a Yellow Brick Road. I’ll have to come up with another name, DOH!

There’s a little bit of yellow in two of the fabrics that I wanted to bring out, so I added the thin inner border. I’m really pleased with how this came out! The black dot fabric was the perfect finish, IMHO, as all of the colors of the dots are in the center. I thought a plain black border would be too plain for the fabrics I used.

Been busy!

I haven’t posted in what seems like forever. Just as the weather was turning nice enough to open the windows (and therefore not die of heat exhaustion in my sewing room), we found out we were pregnant! Needless to say, the fatigue of the first trimester put an abrupt halt on any potential crafting. I’m hoping there’s still someone here to read! 😀

Now I’m almost to the third trimester (Kiarda Nicole is due July 11!), and I’ve been busy making stuff for the nursery as well as stash-busting. My sister is pregnant as well, and due about 5 weeks before me. I made a few things for my soon-to-be-here niece, Eva.

Brace yourself, lots of pictures!

First, the nursery fabric I picked out for Kiarda.
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I’m glad I bought extra, because it doesn’t exist anymore. This was the Makower challenge fabric, and they told me that it has been discontinued. I can’t find it ANYwhere now. I love it! The walls will be the light aqua color, with an accent wall of the medium blue.

Here is the wallhanging for Kiarda’s nursery, which matches the one I made for my sister’s baby in design. The paisley looks odd from a distance, and the colors didn’t turn out quite right in the picture. The lighting in my sewing room isn’t the best for picture-taking!
Kiarda wallhanging top

Close-up:
Kiarda wallhanging close-up

Backing fabric and binding – it’s hard to tell but the design on the binding coordinates perfectly with the blue cupcake wrapper!
Kiarda wallhanging backing

This is the one I made for my sister. The print fabric is what she’s using in her nursery.
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Close-up:
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I have been trying to do some stash-busting. As I started pulling out coordinating fabrics, I ended with enough for two tops of similar colors. I didn’t realize I had so much pink, turquoise, and lime green LOL.

A Snapshots by Atkinson Designs top. This will probably end up being a floor quilt/tummy time quilt for Kiarda. The dark pink border actually coordinates with one of the fabrics, but you can’t tell from a distance, or really, the close-up I took, oops! It will also be used for the binding. I couldn’t get the color to come out quite right – there is a pretty dark, royal purple and a chocolate brown with skinny black swirls on it. This entire quilt, backing included, is 100% stash!
Flamingo Snapshots top

Fabric close-up (see the flamingos?). The colors of the dots are pink, blue, brown, and green – so perfect for this top!
Flamingo Snapshots close-up

Backing for this top:
Flamingo Snapshots backing

A Turning 20 top in progress (blocks), also by Atkinson Designs. I just finished piecing the top (sans border – need to get some black fabric) but took this picture once I got the blocks up on the design wall. The binding will be turquoise, which I have also already made.
Turning 20 blocks

Fabric close-up:
Turning 20 close-up

Backing fabric – LOVE these cute frogs!
Turning 20 backing

Crochet baby car seat blanket

It’s been awhile since I last posted, but since summer nationals, I’ve a) been in a car wreck and getting over whiplash, b) had my sister’s wedding and all the craziness therein, and c) moved. Needless to say, I haven’t done much crafting! I did get this done, though.

I made two crochet baby car seat blankets, using a pattern by my friend Jennifer. One was blue and for my nephew-on-the-way and was given to his mom at a shower two weeks ago. I also did a purple one for a good friend, whose baby is due on Halloween that I’ll get to meet when I go to my conference in New Orleans in November. There is a hole in the bottom center so the car seat straps can hook through it. I took pictures of it on our friends’ baby, Mira. She makes a great model, don’t you think?

2009 Summer Nationals, Day 4

Div2 Women’s Epee went well for me, overall! I was seeded 40th (out of 113) initially, the last of the “C” rated fencers in the event, as I had the oldest C (a C05). My C will expire at the end of July, and turn into a D09. *sniff* I earned it right before I started my grad program at Texas State, so I didn’t compete for 2+ years. Ah well.

I went 4-and-2/+6 in pools, which put me seeded at 34th. Top 80% after pools went up to the DE round, so 39 people got byes into the round of 64. It took FOREVER for DEs to start; I think it was over two hours between my pool ending and when I got to fence my first DE bout. I won my bout in the round of 64 easily, and then lost 15-11 in the round of 32 to the #2 seed. I didn’t think her fencing was all that special – she was a “one-trick pony” her her circle-6-fleche-to-the-body – but I couldn’t move my feet fast enough to deal with it. Did I mention she’s half my age? Yeah… oh well. She lost in the next round to a fellow Texas fencer who had been in my pool.

I got a little revenge, too – remember when I lost at sectionals 15-14 to a beginner, and therefore didn’t qualify for Div1-A? She was in my pool. She lost 5-1. /snark off

One of my online quilting friends came up to see me and DH fence on Saturday! I was really surprised that she wanted to drive that far (about an hour) to come watch. It was really nice of her. My HS French teacher and her husband also came, and stayed for the entire tournament. I can only think of a handful of tournaments that I had a personal cheering squad. 😀

DH fenced Div3 Men’s Epee. He did AWESOME in pools – won all six bouts and was seeded 3rd after pools. He won his first DE but lost the second one in the round of 32. He was a little annoyed, as both fencers he fenced were weird and erratic, which is hard to fence against.

2009 Summer Nationals, Day3

I’ve been taking pictures, but I don’t have my cable to hook the camera up to the computer. So, those will have to wait until we get home.

Yesterday was Div III Women’s Sabre and Div II Men’s Foil, so DH and I both fenced. We got to see a little of each other’s bouts, but not all as the events were scheduled for roughly the same time. My goals were pretty simple: not to get blanked in pools (i.e., not to lose any bouts 5-0) and to make the cut to get into the DE round. I went 2-and-4 in pools, with a -4 indicator, which wasn’t too shabby considering I’m not a sabre fencer and the competition was tough! The two bouts I won went 5-1 and 5-2, and I got at least a touch on each other person in the pool.

I came out seeded 55th (of 75), and had to fence the #10 seed. I basically didn’t move my feet at all in the first period, and was down 8-1 at the break. I finally woke up for the second period to make a comeback, but still lost 15-8. If I had fenced like that in the first period, the score would have been much closer! The girl I lost to ultimately ended up 8th place, so at least I didn’t lose to a scrub fencer. 😀

DH did okay in pools. He won his first DE handily, and then lost in the round of 64. The referee seemed to have it out for him because he asked for clarification on two calls – not arguing them, just asking what the referee saw – and the ref carded him, saying he didn’t have the right to argue. Uh…that’s not a card… Later in the bout, the other fencer elbowed DH across the mask really hard, causing DH to land on his rear end. The ref SHOULD have carded the other fencer for corps-a-corps (body contact), if not a red card for jostling, but instead he said that because DH was “rushing forward” it was his fault. He then said that he should card both of them, but because it would be a red card for DH he’d let it go – as if he were doing DH a favor for not carding the opponent! There were also a couple of right-of-way calls that were uh…questionable.

I got to watch some of the women’s epee teams, which was some great fencing! Two Texas teams made top 8, one of which was in the round of 4 when we left.

Tomorrow is Div II Women’s Epee (my main event) and DH has Div III Men’s Epee (his secondary weapon). We both stand a good chance of doing well, so keep your fingers crossed for us!

2009 Summer Nationals, Day 2

It was an exciting day today! We left bright and early to give DH enough time to warm up before his event (I didn’t fence today). Long story short, he placed 8th in a field of 150+! The top 8 are considered finalists, so he got to go up on stage, get a medal, a bag of goodies, and have all sorts of pictures taken. Finalist in any national event is a huge deal – he did an awesome job!

Stay tuned. I have pictures, but I forgot to bring the cable to hook the camera up to the computer. DOH! Maybe our host has one to spare…

2009 Summer Nationals, Day 1

We headed to the venue after we dropped the dogs off at James’s house.
DH got his gear checked, as he fences tomorrow and didn’t want to deal with long lines early in the morning. It also allowed for time to fix stuff if it didn’t pass! Fortunately, he stuff passed and we didn’t have to buy a new lame or anything.

I found an AWESOME deal on some new blades. The blades I use are Uhlmann FIE BF (high-end, international standard; read: quality, but not cheap), and they usually cost about $150 each, withOUT being wired for electric scoring. Wiring with the better German points adds about $20-$25 each, depending on who you buy from. I found some, WIRED, for only $120! I got two, which replaces the two that snapped in May. Fortunately, the way that I fence isn’t hard on my weapons, so they last for years. DH got a new blade as well. I also bought my new knickers and had my name stenciled on them. I also got the tournament t-shirt, a hoodie, and some socks that DH has been drooling over for years. They put the fencers’ names on the back of the t-shirt as usual, but you had to choose first or second half of the alphabet – because of the way they did the names on the back (full names, in columns, in teeny-tiny print), they could only fit half of the 6,000 entrant names per shirt. They used to do the names in a big block, using only the first initial and last name. Yes, it was hard to find your name, but everyone’s name was on the same shirt!

We’ve already seen several folks we know, across all areas of the fencing world – competitors, bout committee, armourers, vendors, etc. I realized that we’re pretty well networked across the country, which is neat. We watched some of the men’s team epee, including a great match between one of the Texas teams and one from…Pennsylvania? Tomorrow, a good family friend is going to come out to watch DH fence and catch up visiting with me (and let me explain fencing stuff to him!), and then he and his wife (my HS French teacher) will come on Saturday to watch me fence. I’m really looking forward to seeing them.

More to come!

Summer Nationals

DH and I are leaving in the morning, headed for Grapevine, TX, for Summer Nationals. We’re going to the venue Monday afternoon to shop, get equipment checked, and I’ll have to drop off my (newly-bought-at-that-time) knickers to have my name put on them overnight. I bought my sabre lame and had my name put on it at a NAC less than a month before DH propposed, so it has my maiden name on it. USFA rules require that you have your name on your jacket (epee), lame, or rear knickers leg – my jacket has my married name, but that would be covered by the sabre lame. My old knickers have a USA “splash” on the rear leg, so I can’t even use those for my name. I could buy a lame patch and have the name put on that, but I think the patches look kind of tacky. 😦 Besides, my knickers are snug as they’re almost ten years old at this point, and well, your body changes…

Wish us luck! I’ll try to remember to post here after our events. DH is fencing Div III Men’s Foil on Tuesday. Thursday he is fencing Div II Men’s Foil, and I’ll be doing Div III Women’s Sabre. Saturday, he’s fencing Div III Men’s Epee, and I’ll be doing Div II Women’s Epee (my main weapon), to give you an idea of what is when…

Looking for a fabric

I need two five-inch squares of the blue and white batik shown in this picture – if you have this particular fabric on hand, I’d gladly send you a FQ or other payment/trade in return. The FQs I had weren’t cut properly, so I barely don’t have enough to finish this!

Toni hooked me up with a FQ of the other fabric that was short (thank you again!!). I have pictures I need to post of my package from her, but need to locate the camera…

Christmas swap top completed!

I finally made a decision about the borders after much deliberation and several inputs – thanks everyone! I opted for a narrow inner border in cream, with the green holly fabric as a larger outer border. I’m pleased with how it turned out. I’ll probably bind it in either cream or red – or maybe mix it up like a candy cane? That might be too much. We’ll see. I’m glad I finally got this done – I’ve had the borders cut and sitting on my ironing board for a month. It’s about time!

It turned out much larger than I had thought it would be in my head, oh well! I’m holding it up as high as I can, and I’m 5’8″ – DH couldn’t even get it all in the picture. Sorry the color is a bit off, but you can get the idea.
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Divisionals

Success!

I came in second today, so I qualified for Div II! Whee! I went 3-1 in pools with a +7 indicator (I should have won the last bout, *sigh*, AND not have given up so many touches!), and was seeded third after pools. I fenced a good friend in the first round and won 15-8, then fenced a girl from San Antonio who was solid but youg and beat her 15-10 (I was ahead 13-8 at the second break and just doubled out) and then lost in the finals 15-8 to a 16 year old who was tougher than expected. I barely missed SO many touches, by like half an inch! Aaargh! It was a fun bout anyways.

DH also qualified for both Divs II/III in both foil and epee. (I’m not eligible for DivI III because I have a “C” rating, even though it’ll drop to a “D” at the end of this season, as Div III is only “D” and under at the time of qualification.) He took second in the foil and third in epee, so yay for him too. Good weekend of fencing at the Ray household…

Miniature Booty Swap Quiltlet

I got my quiltlet done tonight for the Miniature Booty Swap. I’m running a bit behind (today was the mail date), but it’ll go out tomorrow so it should be A-OK. This swap was a kitchen quilt swap – and in addition to the quiltlet, we had to come up with a dishtowel to coordinate. I made a little crocheted one with variegated red/white yarn, to be used as a dishcloth for washing dishes rather than drying them. The yarn started out making kind of a cool pattern, but then it changed. I tried to square it up when done, but alas, no luck. It also has bits of pink where the colors transition…I hope it’s okay!
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My partner said she has retro red, white, and yellow in her kitchen, so when I saw the little bee fabric (a 30’s repro I actually LIKE) I knew it was perfect! I like vertical layouts on quilts, but don’t usually make them, so I decided to do it here. I left the inner columns (note: I *hate* that quilting instructions call them “vertical rows”!) shorter on purpose, to draw attention to the vertical aspect. It is just quilted in the ditch, and backing fabric is the WoW of the front, which has little line hearts on it.
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Yorick Open

I fenced today in two events of a small tournament. I did okay in the mixed (men and women) epee, but I had to fence my DH in the first round of DE’s! AAARGH. Not cool.

The women’s event was after that. I won all but one bout in pools (there were 7 of us, total), and the last bout I hit the girl but my light didn’t go off. I asked to have my weapon tested, and it was found to not be working so her last (and final) touch was annulled. We go again, and I just missed. DOH! That was the only bout I lost all day in that event, though, as I ended up winning the tournament. I fenced well, but not the best ever; I also didn’t have to work that hard to do well at this particular tournament, which was also a nice feeling.

How was your Sunday?