Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Scavenger Hunt

My photography class is finally over. I'm a little sad, but excited to move on to Digital 2 in the fall! Our final assignment was a scavenger hunt--I drove all over Tulsa frantically searching for birds and statues and signs to complete the assignment. I put together an album of the photos I chose to show to the class--check it out!


Last Thursday morning I woke before the sun had fully risen, dragged myself painfully out of bed, and threw my bags in the car. Then I picked up my two oldest friends and set off on a ROAD TRIP! I love road trips. I love propping my feet on the dash, I love road snacks, I love mix tapes and rolling hills and taking naps against the window.

This particular trip took us to Texas, where we spent one day lazing on the beach and one day exploring San Antonio, including witnessing a cactus auction! We stumbled across a cactus sale at the garden center in San Antonio, and before we knew it an auctioneer was selling large, mysteriously shaped cacti to a group of eager cactus lovers.

It was wonderful to take a step outside my normal life and have a little bit on an adventure. I always feel rejuvenated and eager to try new things when I get home from a trip. I'm planning lots of travel this summer, so hopefully I'll be incredibly motivated all the time. Hm.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

pretty pretty pictures

I've been taking a lot more photos lately, mostly due to the fact that I'm taking a photography class at the local community college. I conned my parents into buying me a fancy camera, so I figured I should probably actually learn how to use it. (I don't think they minded too much... my dad is a huge photography buff and when I was taking pictures today he was hovering over my shoulder, giving me instructions about which shutter speeds to use).

These were taken at a nursery and the hardscaping retailer next door. In case you can't tell, I've just learned all about depth of field, so I'm kind of obsessed with dialing my aperture way down to get that blurry background effect. I'm pretty pleased with how these turned out, and I may even use a couple of them for the photographic scavenger hunt which is my final project for photo class!

Time to go--I just went to the grocery store, and there's some cookies & cream ice cream with my name on it in the freezer.

Let's play dress-up!

I recently inherited some great '70s and '80s patterns from my mother (by "inherited" I mean, "she was going to throw them away and I saved them from the trash"), and I was looking through them today when it struck me that, with a few variations, these patterns could yield a super cute summer wardrobe! Through the magic of genetics, I'm about the same size now my mother was back in the day, so I could definitely make these patterns work for me.

I love the white shirt dress with the belt! Shirt-dresses are usually a bit awkward on me because I'm somewhat short-waisted, but the great thing about sewing for yourself is that you can adjust the fit of a garment to your heart's content. I can totally see this in a floral print with a contrast belt and collar, or maybe in navy with red top-stitching. What do you think?

Love the turquoise blouse with the huge bow at the neck. I would make it sleeveless or give it cap sleeves, and make the bow a contrast color. Maybe a light pink floral with a seafoam green bow? I would wear this tucked into a high-waisted denim skirt, or maybe layered over some denim cut-offs.
That red gingham dress just screams "summer" to me. I would make it a touch shorter, but I love the loose, blousy cut of the bodice. The lines are simple enough to support a really vibrant print, maybe something with birds or a graphic floral. I would probably not make a matching belt, but instead belt it with a scarf or one of my many classy faux-leather belts from Target or Forever 21.
Um, can anyone say ROMPER? This culotte dress could so easily be shortened, and it would be a perfect loose, forgiving cut for a summer playsuit. My only worry is the width of the legs--I might need to adjust that a bit to ease my mind (I would constantly be worrying about, ahem, exposing myself).
This nightgown pattern is a little cheesy, but I really like the babydoll nightgown in the center. I have a hard time finding pajamas that are comfortable because I can't stand any kind of lace or embroidery that might chafe against my skin. This could be mitigated by sewing my own nightgown in a super-soft swiss dot or knit material. Maybe one little teensy ribbon bow wouldn't hurt....

The Big Quilt Post

Hmmm... I haven't updated for quite a while, largely because I've been utterly consumed by the most massive sewing project of my young life. I've made plenty of things before--skirts, formal dresses, shirts, doll clothes, stuffed animals, throw quilts--the list goes on. But never before had I attempted the holy grail of the sewing world (at least to my mind): the Queen Sized Quilt.

It's done!!! I've blogged about this quilt before, and then got off-track because I naively neglected to purchase a walking foot for the quilting portion of this project. I thought to myself, "How different can a walking foot be from a regular sewing foot?" So I blithely sewed onward with my usual garment foot... and then halfway through the first side of quilting realized that, um, EVERYTHING HAD SHIFTED. Duh. Because a sewing foot only has feed dogs on the bottom, and therefore pulls the backing through more quickly than the quilt top. Whereas a walking foot has feed dogs on the top as well, and hoists all those layers of fabric through there quite neatly and efficiently.

If you're ever going to make a quilt BUY A WALKING FOOT. Learn from my mistakes! Mine cost less than $20 and was a miracle. After I finally got the walking foot in the mail, I finished the rest of the quilting within a week, due to that perfect little gadget.

So, learning curve aside, I'm very pleased with how this project turned out. I love the sunny quality of the fabrics together, and the mixture of 30s/40s reproduction fabrics with more modern, graphic prints. Also, sleeping under a handmade quilt just feels entirely different. My grandmother made a pink quilt for me when I was thirteen or so, but it was a little too small for my queen sized bed. This fits just right and is the perfect light blanket for spring, summer, and fall. In the winter I'll be able to layer it over a down comforter.

The quilt back is an aqua colored king size sheet. Not too much more expensive than fabric by the yard, plus no worrying about piecing narrower widths of cotton together. I accidentally didn't buy enough of the binding fabric I intended to use, but I had this floral print in my stash (I think I was going to make a retro sundress out of it once upon a time) and I think it works quite nicely.

I gave my bed a little makeover to celebrate finishing this epic project. My new sheets are the "Shabby Chic" line from Target and weren't too pricy. Um, the sheep came from the Easter Bunny. I'm an adult, I promise! (I'm totally not).