Too Much Deliberation.

I’m finishing up another baby quilt (post coming soon) and starting yet another baby quilt. (I already mentioned that all of my friends are having babies right?) Well, I bought some fabric awhile ago from the urban hullaboo collection and when I got it, I didn’t love it. It just doesn’t seem to look that great together. I had already bought a pattern to use the fabrics, but the more I stared at it, the less I liked that as well (see below):

So, I went hunting again and found a simpler design that I liked. I could have probably figured out how to do this myself without downloading a pattern, but I decided to be lazy.

I am changing the dimensions of the pattern, so it will be baby size and will use the 6 prints above with white as the background. I have really been wanting to try to finish a quilt with “pebbling” but I’m not sure this quilt will look good that way. Shoot, will have to find another design to do with “pebbling”.

So, finally, off to cut up the material!

-erica

Lettuce Eat.


We were away for the weekend and our earthboxes EXPLODED.  When I saw them I couldn’t stop laughing. I’ve never seen plants grow so big, so quickly. It seems like it must be a joke. They definitely look like they are on steroids (but they’re not).

So those of you who aren’t familiar with earthboxes let me explain: they are magical boxes that allow your plants to grow super fast and super big.  They are set up so that the dirt is elevated about 2 inches from the bottom of the container which holds water. The dirt then wicks the water up from the bottom. You never water from the top, instead you put the water in a pipe that goes to the bottom of the container. This allows the dirt to never dry up (every time the dirt dries up the plant’s growth is stunted) and also prevents all the nutrients from being washed away (if the water were to drain out).

We made a considerable investment in buying 8 earthboxes this year, but hoping that if we use them year after year we will get our money back 🙂  If not, we’ve had a ton of fun….

Squash.

Zucchini (it’s hard to convey how big they really are).

Cucumbers.

-erica

Color! Color! Color!

When I went to the Boston Modern Quilt Guild meeting I learned all kinds of great stuff, but one of my favorite tidbits was how to match colors from the comfort of your house and internet. The local fabric shop is only open during the day (when I’m working) so I was trying to figure out how to buy coordinating fabric without actually going to the store.

Rebecca showed me her kona fabric card she had gotten at Pink Chalk Fabrics. I loved it, and immediately had to have my own.

But then I thought, why stop with fabric colors? I don’t want to drive to the store to buy thread either! So I bought this Gutermann thread card which shows over 700 different colors.

So, now I can match my fabric to my thread and go to Atlanta Thread & Supply Co. to buy a spool of thread online (And it’s a pretty good deal – 1100 yards for only $2.95).

YAY! I’m able to do everything from home!

-erica

Urban Gardening with Earthboxes.

It’s gardening time! And they’re growing so fast this year I can literally watch them grow!

Last spring we planted a “container garden” with 13 different pots. We got 4 zucchini and maybe 10 roma tomatoes. The rabbits got our beans. We were pretty proud of our garden until we saw Jake’s sister’s garden of EARTHBOXES. Her jalapeno plants were as tall as I am (and that’s pretty tall). Earthboxes are special because they water plants from the bottom up, so the nutrients don’t get washed away. The plants also don’t get stunted growth from drying out because they are always hydrated.

So, we made a nice large financial investment and someday hope we will break even (we have a lot of pots from last year, if anyone needs pots). This year, we decided to skip the beans, since the rabbits ate them, and grow: zucchini, squash, roma tomatoes, jellybean tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos, green and red peppers and lettuce.

We started our seeds (too early) with the jiffy peat pots and a heating mat.

After outgrowing the jiffy pots they graduated to burpee pots under the grow light in our upstairs bathroom. The burpee pots are stinky, so we kept the door closed. There is a skylight in this bathroom and the grow light shone out the window (our neighbors might be wondering what we were up to).

On a warm weekend in April we thought we could move our plants outside so we transferred the squash, zucchini and cucumbers to their earthboxes. But then it got TOO COLD, so we had to build a giant PCV structure with shop lights in our hallway so they could come back inside…

This week it finally got warm in Boston and now we have 8 HAPPY earthboxes lining our driveway. They are growing super fast. We just ordered some calcium nitrate which they recommend putting in the water to prevent bloom end rot (BER).

Our cucumbers.

Our zucchini.

Our squash.

– erica

NYC Subway Quilt.

We’re sitting on the Megabus coming back from NYC to Boston. I just got wordpress on my iphone which should allow me to publish posts on the go from my phone. So, I’m trying it out.

I noticed this tiling in the subway at Penn station that I thought would make a great quilt.
-erica

Happy Birthday Kaitlin!

It’s my sister-in-law’s birthday today! Happy Birthday Kaitlin!

She recently moved to San Francisco and is working in design (way cool!). I am in love with little pouches and so I thought I’d try making her one with this cool fabric  found. It just says “Kaitlin” to me.

Last weekend I bought the fabric and supplies so I could make it during my sewing class on monday night. On Monday, over lunch, I was at home studying the directions (getting ready to be the star student in class) and I realized I had the wrong zipper (only had a 7 inch zipper instead of a 12 inch zipper) and had forgotten to buy the interfacing. There were only 5 items on the list and I’d managed to mess up 2 of them!

We only have one car now and Jake had it with him at work, so I was going to try and rent a Zipcar to go to the fabric store before class. But the fabric store closes at 5:30PM and I had a full afternoon of patients. Luckily for me, I called Laura (at Laura’s Sewing School) and she went to the fabric corner and bought what I needed. THANKS!

So last Monday night I was able to finish the box pouch. I love how it turned out!

It’s even lined on the inside! I found the box pouch tutorial on The Plaid Scottie.

Love you Kaitlin! Happy Birthday!

-erica

 

Double the Fun.

My first two baby quilts are finished! I had such a blast making them.

My friends, Joe and Marina, had twins (a boy and a girl) so I decided to make coordinating baby quilts. This was my first quilting project and I found the pattern on “eHow”.

I’ve been taking classes at Laura’s Sewing School and she helped me do the “quilt sandwich” for the first time. I decided to quilt it using diagonal lines. I love how the pattern extended into the border.

For the “boy” quilt, I quilted diagonal lines through the pinwheels but then quilted parallel lines in the border. I bought the book The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman which opened my eyes to different ways to finish a quilt.

I machine quilted the binding on the girls quilt.

And hand sewed the binding on the boys quilt. I think the hand sewing looks better.

I love how they turned out, but if I did them over I would put a mitered corner in the border instead of a straight border.

All packaged up and ready to go… ENJOY, Joe and Marina!!!

-erica

Circa 50’s.

I came home for lunch today and found this most amazing fabric at the fabric worm. I think it would make a cute clutch or coin purse.

Since I was saving money by eating lunch at home I decided to buy 1/2 yard (ummm… I forgot about shipping, I guess I’ll be having lunch at home again tomorrow).

I love it…

– erica

Sew Much To Do!

I am finally joining the world of blogging. This is a little secret wish I have had for some time. However, I didn’t know what I really wanted to blog about or how to do it. Thanks to my wonderful husband and a new passion (quilting) I have a blog!

After returning from our honeymoon, with all the craziness and planning over, I needed something to do. Luckily, I had bought a sewing machine many years ago while in medical school and I recently had a lot of friends whom just had babies– so the obvious combination was: BABY QUILTS!

Over the past few weeks I have:

  • Finished my first baby quilt (post coming) and will hopefully finish the second one tonight
  • Joined a sewing class with 4 other fabulous women which I can only liken to really good therapy
  • Found the most amazing blogs by women which have inspired me
  • Shopped at websites with fantastic modern prints
  • Attended my first Modern Quilting Guild meeting (awesome!)

Did I mention I’m also working full time? It’s all I think about right now: from the first thing in the morning to the last thing when i go to bed at night (and I’m even waking up thinking about sewing in the middle of the night). I’ve got the sewing bug, and I think I will soon be an addict. Needing a budget.

I’m hoping that this blog will be a record of my new journey and someday be an inspiration to others.

-erica