My Quiltin’ Experience

I’m such a terrible blogger. That’s all I can say really. No other excuse.

The last time I posted I was going kayaking for the first time! It was really fun. I got a sunburn. And I found out that one of my hidden talents is finding rocks and getting stuck on them. Rocks and I have a magnetic connection. It’s a fact. No pictures unfortunately, but I didn’t want to get my camera wet and ruin it.

I also promised to write about my first quilting experience. So here it goes.

First I looked through all of my mom’s quilting magazines to find patterns I liked and would meet my beginner level of experience . . . not to mention my limited budget. Once I found it (I can’t remember which magazine, but if I can find it I will be sure to let you know), a scrappy quilt that just required strips and triangles, I went through my mom’s stash and picked out fabric, cutting them to size.

quilt choiceOnce I had my pieces cut out, I randomly paired them up, keeping to the scrappy look. Then I cut my squares into triangles and chain stitched the blocks.

making the blocksThen I squared them up and laid the blocks out. I did this because I’m a control freak and couldn’t handle it if a block was next to one that shared fabric. I made one strip and one square out of each fabric you see.

layout of first quiltI played with the arrangement and eventually (with some help) came up with the idea to arrange it so that there was a heart in the bottom right corner.

heartOnce I was satisfied I stacked the rows together and put them in baggies with labels to indicate the row number. Then I sewed them together.

organized sewingThen I just sewed the top together. Easy-peasy.

completed quilt top

Choosing a back was next.

quilt backing

Finally I sent it off to the long-arm quilter. It was a big quilt and I was running out of time! Binding it and putting on a label was the last step.

label

I thought I was going to have a lot more trouble than I did. I tend to get easily frustrated with these kind of projects, but surprisingly I found quilting very enjoyable. I think that the quilting bug bit me during this experience.

Which led to more projects.

Like a new laptop case. All last year my poor MacBook didn’t have a home…and suffered becasue of it. Being a college student I carried it everywhere, in my backpack mostly. Just bouncing around on my back through sun, rain, and snow. So I thought that it would probably do some good to protect the computer that holds a majority of my life within. I made the case by making a long rectangle of some cool fabric, batting (badding? I’ve never had to spell this before…), and then adding some velcro. Simple and effective. My Mac is styling.

laptop caseI am also working on a original wall hanging that looks like a set of double doors. Once I finish I will post more about that experience. I am also working on another quilt. This time I am making it for myself, but we’ll see if I end up giving it away as a gift. I’m generous like that.

In other news I am going on a beach trip at the end of July. I am soooo excited. I really need to get away.

Summer is flying by. Time speeds up as you get older, based on my experience at least. I will also try to post more often . . . but you’ve heard that one before . . . 😉

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Bitter Sweet

One of my best friends got married today. She was beautiful! The couple is very traditional and saved their first kiss for their wedding day. Let me tell you…it was a good looooonnnngg kiss!

She is the traditional one of our little group, our rock, our “Mom”, and the only one that we can never really get mad at. That being said, the day was very bitter sweet. She is moving up north at the end of July. She will be missed greatly!

Wedding gift

the coolest wedding gift ever.

For my wedding present to this very important couple I made my very first quilt. I placed it in a picnic basket I found at a yard sale. It was a very good gift…not to brag or anything 😉 but I am proud of myself. And speaking of yard sales, my other friend and I saw a sign that read “Yard Sell” on our way to the wedding. It made us laugh.

I will post my step by step process of making the quilt later.

Anyway, I now feel old since I have a married friend. All these changes are a part of growing up though. Growing up is bitter sweet. Sometimes I want to be a kid again, even for a day. Or to just pause time so I can figure out how life could have flown by so fast. It’s one of those questions that I will never have an answer to.

Tomorrow I go kayaking. My first time. I’m excited.

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Ode to Mod Podge

Best purchase so far this summer is this:

Mod Podge

Best Purchase of Summer

 

 

 

 

Mod Podge is an amazing product. I love it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first project was an attempt to create magazine holders out of cereal boxes and sprucing them up with fabric. I used left over paint from my bedroom to cover the majority of the box designs. They turned out great…except they aren’t wide enough to hold 8″x11″ paper…whoopsie daisy on my part.

cereal box

Step 1. Cut box to create magazine holder shape

painted boxes

Step 2: Paint boxes desired color and pick fabric

measure for fabric

Step 3. Measure for fabric placement

mod podge at work

Step 4. Mod Podge fabric on box

cereal box magazine holders

Step 5. Sit back and enjoy

 

On another note, my brother graduated high school recently and I’m in the process of binding a quilt I made as a wedding present for one of my best friends. It was my first quilt that I made all by myself…okay I had a tiny bit of help from my mom, but not enough to make a huge difference. The quilt is a surprise…shhh. My friend doesn’t know this blog exists so I’m not worried about having her find out. I can’t wait to see her reaction. Here is a picture of part of it.

Surprise Wedding quilt

My first quilt and surprise for my best friend's wedding

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Cooking Report Card

Here is my cooking report card so far for Operation Learn to Cook:

Taste – A

Presentation – A

Time management – C

Remembering to take pictures to prove my success – F

Getting my picky family to eat new food (especially new veggies) – A+++

While I have only cooked twice for my family so far, both times have been complete successes . . . except for the fact that I am like a snail in the kitchen, but better time management comes with experience.

My first meal came from the great PIONEER WOMAN herself (her website at least). The recipe is called Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple, but I decided it needed a cooler name so I dubbed it “Sassy Meatballs”. I picked this recipe because a) it looked absolutely delicious, b) it sounded absolutely delicious, and c) it looked like my limited kitchen ability could handle it. Luckily I was right on all counts. It was a hit. Everyone ate it. I was super stoked to see that my dad ate every bite and then ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. Here’s the thing: he really doesn’t like peppers or pineapples. Boo-ya! The recipe can be found here.

My second meal had a main dish that I completely made up myself, a recipe that I clipped from a magazine back in the Fall, and a fruit salad recipe I found online.

The meal evolved from my desire to use my magazine recipe for butter-nut squash fries. They were super easy to make: just peel the squash (make sure all the peel is off), cut it in half, scoop the seeds out and toss them, rinse off, dry thouroughly with paper towel, then cut into thin strips, place on cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and put in oven at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. I have never used/tasted butter-nut squash before so it was an adventure. It reminded me of a pumpkin, squash, carrot combo. It was also incredibly tough to cut. In the end they tasted okay, but I think that if I do these again I will let them crisp up more.

The fruit salad was tasty. Just some apple, pear, and oranges (I used mandarin oranges instead), chopped peacans, and a vinegrette. I don’t have the link bookmarked on this computer so I will post it later.

The main course was what I decided to name “Brisk Italian Sandwich”. I like cool adjectives if you couldn’t tell. Sassy, brisk, and who knows what else I’ll come up with! To make this sandwich I used some chicken tenderloin and marinated it overnight in Zesty Italian Dressing. Then when time to cook I used our small George Foreman Grill to cook them. Once done I placed them on some yummy lightly toasted Italian bread (any bread could do I guess, especially if on a tight budget just look in the Opps bin in the bakery area of the grocery store) with a thin layer of mayo. On top I sprinkled some feta cheese and topped with some spinach leaves. And again it was a success.

Now I need to figure out what I’m doing next week. Now that I have a good cooking reputation with my family I’m going to have to fight to keep it. They’re a vicious bunch.

~Erica with a C~

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The Summer Projects Begin

So much for posting everyday. Not like anyone is reading this yet, but still. It’s more for a personal challenge.

Well here is what I’ve been up to:

Friday I moved out of my dorm room on campus and back home. You never realize how much stuff you have until you try to cram it into the trunk of a car. Then cram it into an already unorganized room. So my first summer project presented itself: Operation Organization. I will be exploring organization diy projects once I clear out the unneeded junk.

Saturday was spent garage saling (with nothing to show for it), laundry, library, the local fruit and vegetable market (Market Fresh), a impromptu trip to a thrift store that benefits a no-kill dog shelter, and a family movie night. Very good start to summer.

Mother’s Day Sunday was spent cleaning my room and then a trip to my Grandma’s. I am so lucky to have such amazing women role models in my life! Is it weird that I can already say that I’m turning into my mom?

Today was a mix of good and bad. I went to work, then met my friends for lunch at this amazing burger joint downtown, then went to the Botanical Gardens to take pictures (two of my good friends are photojournalism majors), and then came home and cooked a delicious dinner for my family. Dinner turned out awesome but it took me way too long. Now for Operation Learn to Cook. But the bad part of my day was getting a parking ticket for $50. DUMB. There is nowhere on campus to park for free except for this one street. I was told to park there last summer, and I looked on Friday to make sure it still was. It was. But over the weekend someone snuck no parking signs everywhere without warning. So I risked it because everyone else was parked along the street too. Not an excuse I know. But still. $50? RIDICULOUS!

So tomorrow I’m headed over to the Parking Services office to get a permit all the way across campus. Joy.

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I should have been a red head

I’ve been reflecting on the people that I admire lately and noticed that a lot of them are red heads. Lucille Ball, Ms. Frizzle (I’m aware that she is fictional), and just recently, Pioneer Woman. I’m telling you. I should have been born a red head. I’ve been told that there is some essence of red in my hair so maybe the universe will see that I belong with the marvelousness of the red head goddesses and bless me with amazing accomplishments. One can only hope.

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Bright Yellow Beach Towel

I am currently lounging on North Campus listening to the hustle and bustle of Downtown Athens and a large group of elementary students on a fieldtrip. Oh, did I mention I’m supposed to be studying for finals? I didn’t? Go figure. Ha!

I woke up today thinking it was going to be a miserable rainy Tuesday, at

Good Hair Day

Good Hair Day

least that was what all the weather websites said. I was severely disappointed as I read and believed the lies of weathermen/women. Today was/is my free day. No classes and no work. I wanted sun and blue skies. Miraculously (or not since my mother has always told me to never trust weather predictions . . . I should listen to her more often!) the weather gods smiled down on me and granted my weather wish. I love it when it seems like the world is working for you.

I should probably formally introduce myself, but that’s kind of boring. Besides, if I gain a readership then my posts will speak for themselves. But I will give you a top ten list about myself anyways. Here it goes.

1. I am an Early Childhood Education major at the University of Georgia.

2. I fear failure and rejection.

3. I also have a fear of spiders. It has to do with the way they move and all those legs and their sneaky hideouts and . . . well lets just say that I don’t care if it’s not bothering anyone, if it has the nerve to make it’s presence known to me I will either a) Kill it with no remorse b) Freak out and fake gag until someone kills it or c) Run from the premises while doing a little freak out dance

4. I own a cat named Cleo. She’s a diva.

5. I attract mosquitos like nobody’s business.

6. I can’t burp. No really, I’ve tried. Sometimes a tiny one will just happen, but other than that there is no burps coming out of this mouth. Which is probably why I think it is completely disgusting when other people do it . . . either I really think it’s gross or I’m just jealous. The jury is still out on this one.

7. I am the oldest of four.

8. I have no sisters. It’s so sad. I want one so bad.

9. I can quilt . . . kinda.

10. I am the only person lounging in the grass on North Campus on this marvelous day! What is wrong with everybody?

So here I am, lounging on a bright yellow beach towel, not studying, writing my first blog post of what I hope becomes just one of many, and sending my words out into the void of the internet.

Peace and Love and all that other good stuff.

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