March 31, 2010

An easy project - Portfolio

Inspiration was in short supply for my blog this week. School is getting harder, and life is getting busier. However, because I like a diversion, I will leave you with one of my old, old projects.
It's a little art portfolio, made for a friend's birthday out of some of my favorite fabric.
It was made from Amy Butler's free pattern here. Very simple to sew up, and I used two pieces of cardboard for the cover. Back when I first made it I planned on making one for myself eventually, but that has obviously not happened yet.
The contrasting fabric was actually much more purple in person and matched some of the pansies. For some reason it photographed strangely.

March 24, 2010

Rising Sun

With the satisfaction of finishing my last quilt, I pulled out these quilt squares from my hope chest and finished this quilt up as well. They are all scraps from other projects, and I just love the memories it brings back. This pattern was designed my some good friends of mine and they call it the Rising Sun. I did Civil War reenacting with them for a season, and we all worked on our squares together on a blanket in the shade. Each square has 53 pieces, and is entirely hand sewn.
This is a small quilt, but it is a good size for picnicking. It would also make a very cute little baby quilt. Right now it is just basted together, but eventually I will hand quilt it.

March 22, 2010

A Wagonmaster's Shirt

Yesterday I finished this shirt, using Period Impressions 754, Bib Front Shirt. It is for a client who builds period wagons.
The pattern went together easily, despite the instructions being very vague. However, it is all rectangles, and can be assembled almost entirely by looking at the pattern illustration.
I love sewing men's clothing because it is so simple. There are no frills, and everything is so straightforward. Of course, this can get very tedious, but sometimes I welcome the break from female clothing. I have a few more men's shirts on the horizon, and then I get to try my hand at designing a Robin Hood inspired garment for a friend!

A Lesson I've Learned...

If you are anything like me, and have the habit of putting pins in your mouth as you sew, I would caution you against also trying to eat while sewing.

Sometimes, when under intense concentration, it is easy to forget what is currently in your mouth and start chewing reflexively. Now, of course you would not do something as odd as eat pins would you? No, of course not... that would be silly!

March 21, 2010

Sunday Thoughts

But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

~ Jude 1:20-21 ~

Saint Patrick's Day

St Patrick's Day also happened to be my roommate's 21st birthday (she's amazing by the way). A large group of us jammed into 2 cars and headed into downtown Portland to have dinner at the famous Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub. It was jam packed, but we all had our fill of their fabulous corned beef and cabbage! My mouth waters just looking at this picture and remembering how good it was.

March 18, 2010

Happy Pi Day!

Did you celebrate? It was March 14th! If you didn't, I'm telling you early so you can celebrate next year!

We made a lot of pie! 10 in 5 hours to be exact.

Berry, apple, apple-cranberry, cherry, chocolate, peach...

and pi squared, and pumpkin!
There was a lot of pie.
But there was also a lot of people to eat the pie!

So a happy belated pi day to you!

March 15, 2010

An Impatient Quilter

I really don't like to quilt. Every time I finish a quilt I remind myself that I never want to make another. But then my scraps build up, and somehow, I find myself quilting. It's a curse, I'm sure of it...
But I've realized that the main reason I don't like quilting is because I'm an impatient quilter. I want to cut out the pieces, and have a finished quilt by the next day. In reality, quilting doesn't work like that. It is a long process, and one that (when rushed) brings about undesirable results. So I have to slow down sometimes, and realize that it is okay for a project to take weeks (months even, when school gets in the way), and enjoy the creative process to its fullest.
This quilt has been in progress since last summer. I hand sewed the top in a two day frenzy, and then it sat waiting in my trunk. I pulled it out over Christmas break, and with leftover batting pieced together, and a bleached muslin back, began to quilt it. I machine quilted, and after additional time during my weekends home, it is finally finished.

The fabrics are some of my favorites. They all remind me of 1940s flour sacks. The yellow was from a cute dress my Mom made, the binding was from an adorable apron (which I really should show you pictures of) and the green was from this dress. The blue has cute little girls in Dutch caps herding ducks :)
I have no idea where the quilt will go, but I do know that I never want to quilt again!

March 12, 2010

Twelfth Night Feast

This post is long overdue, but it was too much fun to be forgotten. During Christmas break I had the chance to attend a twelfth night feast hosted by the Oregon Regency Society. I traveled there with my good friends Lieutenant Armstrong and Lady Simpson, and we had a wonderful evening of food, dancing, and whist.
The feast was held in the lovely McLean house in West Lynn Oregon. Its immaculate grounds were beautifully decorated for the season.
I was very pleased to meet the honorable Lord and Lady of Portland house, and they patiently taught our party the intricacies of whist. Despite it being three months ago (!) I still have very fond memories of our evening celebrations on the twelfth night.

March 09, 2010

Finished Dirndl

My Dirndl is done! It's been in the making for over a year, but with this inspiration, and several sewing days with a good friend, it finally came together. And yes... it does make me look 12 :)
I started with the Burda 4884, and only modified the front pieces. Someday I will probably rework the white blouse because I do not really like the look of huge puffed sleeves. The fabric I used was actually not denim, although I know it looks like that in the pictures. It was a very lightweight cotton, with a loose, very slubby weave. It is almost see through, but I'm wearing a white petticoat underneath. I am sorry that I don't know the exact name of the fabric, but I got it from my Grandmother. I still need to make the apron, and then who knows where I'll wear it... maybe an Oktoberfest dance?

March 07, 2010

My Mystery Trip

A few people guessed Seattle, and while that was close, we went further North...

Morgandy was excited!
We were going to the Olympics!!!
Welcome to Canada!
Here is Emi and I on the subway, which we used frequently to get around town (and only managed to get lost in a few times).
Downtown Vancouver was bustling, and on Friday evening everyone went crazy when Canada won gold in the Skeleton.
The Olympic Cauldron was gorgeous. Too beautiful to capture on camera.
It was so fun to see it in person!
We got red mittens!
Yep, we're ballet dancers, and proud of it.
We had tickets to see Ice Dancing.
Ready to cheer for the Americans!
Inside the Pacific Colosseum
The Zamboni drivers worked hard for four hours.
Afterwards we met the skaters Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland from Great Britain.
And then our long weekend was over and we headed back to the good old United States!

Sunday Thoughts

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
~ Psalm 100 ~

March 01, 2010

Valentina Lisitsa

Last week I attended a performance at our school. The music department brought in special guest pianist, Valentina Lisitsa. I went, unsure of what to expect, and I was blown away by her amazing performance.

Valentina is originally from Ukraine, and she is a world class pianist. Just in the week following her performance here, she was scheduled to go on to Paris and London. I am continually surprised by the opportunities offered to me here at school. Sometimes they are easily overlooked, but they always are so enriching.

Here is a video I found. It isn't the exact piece she played for us, but it showcases her amazing talent well. A friend likened her playing to a ballerina dancing over the keys!