Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goals for a New Year

I'm a big "goal" person. I like to plan out what I'm going to do and then go for it. If I succeed, that's great: if I don't I can try again. Every year, though, I kind of eschew the "new year's" goals - but not this year!

This year, I've got a few. But I think they're reasonable.

1. Take time to exercise - at least thirty minutes a day, a few times a week. I can't promise myself I'll get up at five every morning to run, but I can take thirty minutes to speed walk or jog on the beach.

2. Eat healthier - less sweets, more fruits & vegetables! I'm not a big vegetable fan, but this year I've found my tastes changing, and I think I can learn to love them. I want to be the healthiest Katie I can be.

3. Finish up the quilts in the closet! I've got five or six quilt tops just waiting to be finished - but I like making the tops too much to do the quilting! Hehe. Someone asked me what I would do with all those quilts around the house, and I told them I usually give away clothing to make room - I only really wear my work uniforms and pyjamas anyway!

4. Stick to my list when it comes to buying fabric! I've made myself a (tenative) list of what kind of fabrics I want to buy this year, and I have decided to stick with it. Mostly things from my favorite designers or stash builders I've seen and would like to have, all with saving money in mind!

5. Save money. I'm a big loser when it comes to saving, and this year - with my brother's surgery, my best friend's wedding, and other things pressing on my wallet - I'm ending 2011 with $14 in the savings department (and that's in coins). So this year, I'm determined to save up! I'm cutting out: eating out every week, buying movies all the time, and just generally wasting money on things I don't need. I think I'll feel better for it.

6. Declutter! The organization continues. In 2011 I began to feel like I had too much - and I think I was right. I've made efforts this year, moreso than any other, to simply give away things I haven't touched in six months. But there are more things I need to let go of, and I'm going to see it done!

7. Try new things. I think I've improved as a quilter this year: I've tried new things, and I want to keep trying new things. I'd like to try paper pierced blocks, a farmer's wife quilt out of scraps, mod mosaic blocks, a crazy quilt, and a few other things I've had in mind! In trying new things, I hope to grow and become an AWESOME quilter!

8. Buy a new camera! And post pictures! I've been borrowing my dad's camera, using instagram, all of that jazz ... but I think I need my own camera, hopefully sometime soon!

9. Avoid zombies. That one is just in case the apocalypse really DOES happen.

Those are my goals for 2012. What are yours?...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Singer Stylist 7258

I wanted to do this meme not because I have any intention of it being posted anywhere, but because there's hardly any reviews on the internet about it, and I wanted someone looking for information to be able to find said information. So here we go:

What brand and model do you have?
Singer 7258.

How long have you had it?
A couple weeks.

How much does that machine cost (approximately)?
Anywhere from $200-$300, although I have seen it sold on Amazon for less.

What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)?
I mainly quilt and a lot of my work on the machine are quilt tops in particular, but I also do home dec projects.

How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get?
I sew nearly every day for at least an hour, sometimes more.

Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name?

I love my machine. It's a delight to work with after having two machines previously which, while they were little workhorses, were not nearly as smooth. It doesn't have a name yet; I'm thinking on it. :)

What features does your machine have that work well for you?
It offers free-motion quilting, a see through bobbin plate, and speed and stitch width controls, and is generally very easy to get started.

Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine?
Nothing that drives me nuts, but sometimes there is a pause in between the backstitch and forward stitching. As far as problems go, it's very minor.

Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
I got it from my older brothers for Christmas! It's definitely needed and loved, and I feel very loved to have two brothers who picked out a gift so perfect.

Would you recommend the machine to others? Why?
I would. I think that if you're looking for a machine that sews well, is in a good price range, and has a variety of appealing features, this machine would do very well for you. It's really been lovely to work with.

What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine?
Personally, I wanted a machine that free-motion quilted, was sturdy, and was simple to use and set up, all of which were conditions that were met with this machine. I believe that, under normal circumstances, you should definitely try the machine out and see if you like the way it sews.

Do you have a dream machine?
One day I'd love to own a Janome Horizon, but I'm very, very pleased to have my Singer 7258 and I think we'll be great friends :)

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone had a great holiday! I certainly did!

Christmas Eve was spent eating dinner with my brothers and dad. I cooked the meal and no one got food poisoning! (J/K, but in all seriousness I am NO cook). I had the time to give my brother his present ... a Marvel Comics Encyclopedia! I think he's officially in love with it.

We spent that night with my older brother and his wife's family, eating dinner and enjoying their company! It was awesome and fun. :) Christmas Day was spent wishing folks well, calling my grandmother and oldest brother, cutting out fabric and watching Star Trek. And as of this morning, I've sewn TEN of my Modern Meadow Sawtooth Stars and they. are. awesome.

I'm a very happy girl today, and I'll tell you why: I got a new sewing machine for Christmas! A Singer Stylist 7258. So far - and I haven't played with it much except for basic stitching and making blocks - it's run like a dream. I'm in love. It's computerized, which take some getting used to, but I'm okay with that!

I also received some cashola for Christmas, so you know, of course, what I did with it! (Here's a hint: it involves Etsy...and Sew Mama Sew...)

- The fat quarter collection of the Scissors Prints in Half Moon Modern!
- 1/4 Yard pieces of all the jewel prints in Outfoxed. I LOVE Lizzy House's basics!
- Charm Packs of Reunion, Half Moon Modern, California Girl, Salt Air, and a Walk in the Woods.
- A Summersault Print I didn't have.
- All the Chevron prints from the Boho Collection by Annette Tatum in 1/2 yards!
- Four yards of white fabric for stocking up! I used up every piece of it for the Sawtooth Stars

I debated on buying the fat quarter bundle of LouLouthi Velveteen, but I think I'll wait on it! I'm also itching for Ruby Star Spring to come out - I've got it bad for that collection!

Everyone have a great day!

Friday, December 16, 2011

time off and the icky sick.

I took about four days off earlier in the week, and I'm pretty happy with what I did with them.

Sew. Watch Star Trek. Sit on Couch. Make Pizza. Sew.

Unfortunately - though I was actually excited to get back to work - I seem to have come down with a 24-48 hour stomach bug. Or something. I haven't felt this icky in a long time - I never get sick like this! So far, I've managed to keep down some soup broth, water, and sips of sprite. And some Excedrin for this damn headache that accompanied the nausea ... we had three big parties at work yesterday, and we've got a huge one tonight - and then our company party tomorrow! I'm hoping/praying that I'll feel up to some baking tonight, because I promised I'd bring the sweets (as well as the FUNK and the NOISE).

In the time I've had off, I got quite a bit of quilty stuff done, which was my goal in the first place.

- Cut out the fabric I needed for my Greek Cross Quilt.
- Cut out fabric for the "Kaleidoscopic Kites" Quilt for my boss.
- Finished all the fabrics for my "Little Miss Alice" quilt! I really love the look of this one. I'm going to buy a jelly roll to finish all the sashing and then it's done!
- LouLouthi Flannels Chevron top COMPLETED! Like. A. Boss.
- I even worked on my hexagon charm quilt! I think I've decided to turn it into two quilts ... I have a lot of hexagons. I mean, really. SO MANY.

I finally decided on a real pattern for my Modern Meadow Fat Quarter bundle. Ultimately, I wanted a traditional pattern to reflect the vintagey-feel of the fabrics, and after toying with the idea of a Farmer's Wife quilt, I decided to go with a Sawtooth Star quilt that would both a.) showcase some of the larger-scale prints and b.) be really AWESOME looking. I've already started cutting out the fabric for it, which basically cements the project for me...

I'm also debating buying a bolt of Kona White. I pretty much use it all the time, and I'm kind of getting tired of having to constantly go to Joann's or Hobby Lobby, which is forty-five minutes away for me ...

Also, there's a LOT of fabric out there right now I'm coveting. LouLouthi Velveteens, Boho by Annette Tatum, and a lot of the charm packs for Moda that were just released ... oh, tax return, why are you not here yet?...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sunshine and Puppies

Sunshine and puppies, sunshine and puppies. That mantra worked when I was having minor surgery and when I lived through a hurricane and damn it all, it's going to work today.

I've been working on paperwork since Sunday. For eight hours Sunday, this insane, repetitive paperwork, and I am now currently still working on said paperwork (after having worked on it since nine this morning). At the present, I'm taking a break.

With all quilt tops I've had cut out completed (with the exception of the LouLouthi Flannels quilt), I decided I needed the panic of having untouched fabric cut out. So I finally cut into my "Little Miss Alice" quilt bundle (courtesty of Fabricworm nearly a year ago) and decided on a pattern.

I've had the idea to do this for months, but each time I'd get ready to some wonderful fabric would come out and I'd be all, "I need to work with that RIGHTTHISMINUTE." Finally, it's Alice's turn. I've decided to use a red Christmas fabric I've owned forever for the binding, and hand-quilt it with some like-colored pearl cotton I've owned (also for forever). The sashing will be from scraps of white fabric I've had lying around the house.

My four days of vacation are coming up, so I'm getting ready to quilt. quilt. quilt. Now all I need is a bunch of stuff to watch (I'm looking at you, episodes of Star Trek I haven't seen and some films from Netflix). Possibly looking into borrowing some DVD's from my buddy for my four day quilting madness.

If at that time, I don't emerge from my apartment, I assure you I'm quite happy. Please leave the pizza and juice at the door.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

it's not "playing hookie" if you're actually sick.

I took the day off of work Wednesday. In actuality, I was planning on taking at least the night off from the ol' job - I'd worked extra hours the week previous and one of the other managers wanted to make up a shift, so I was more than okay with letting him do so.

The night before, I felt just awful - not only did I have a dog headbutt me and shove my glasses into the corner of my eye (and later bite my lip like a jerk!), but I had a headache and icky feelings before that. So as soon as I closed everything down and got home (around 10:30), I conked out and called it a night.

The next day, I still felt awful - and let me tell you that, if you're going to buy the Target Up! version of Theraflu, please do not buy the honey lemon flavor, because it tasted like a little like lemon and a lot like all the things you never wanted to taste.

I spent most of the day alternating sleeping, playing video games on the couch (and, when my brother came by, he watched me majorly WIN at Zelda), and sewing. My LouLouthi Flannels Chevron has gone from 20% complete to 85% complete, and having that day to recover and calm down definitely helped! (As well as two Star Trek movies and the newly arrived Star Trek Season 2 DVD). (And also Mint Oreo Cookies which are the BEST. THING. EVER.)

Next week is going to be a crazy week for work - we've got a lot going on, and the time I'm taking off to work on Christmas stuff is that next weekend. I'm hoping to have the Chevron quilt finished by then, and have all of my fabric cut, so that when I really do "get down to business" I can work on the things I'm supposed to! I'm very proud to say that, aside from the Christmas quilts, I've actually -finished- all of the top WIP's that I had lying around!

No excess fabric cut out for projects I'm not going to finish at the moment? ... this can't be my apartment.