For the Love of Solids Round truly inspiring

The international shipping has begun in the second round of the For the Love of Solids swap, and I am just bowled over by some of the seriously awesome pieces that folks are finishing up and sending out.  See what I mean???

1. New York Beauty Mini - For the Love of Solids Swap, 2. Whirling Star Variation, 3. wonky star thread catcher, 4. Quilting Done, 5. FTLOS, 6. FTLOS Swap mini, 7. FTLOSSWAP, 8. FTLOS - in progress, 9. Messenger bag finished , 10. Placemats FTLOS, 11. FTLOS - Mini Quilt, 12. A Sneaky Peek, 13. FTLOS beginnings , 14. pillows for my partner, 15. Last chance partner, 16. FTLOS 2 thinking...

I love how enthusiastic this group is.  You should seriously come visit the Flickr group to check out all the solid eye candy!

WiP Wednesday: The one with the sniffles

So, you might remember that the cold that keeps on giving is at my house, but I am happy to report that I am the only one who is still suffering from this darned thing.  I'm starting to feel better, but the mornings are still  definitely filled with sniffles and body aches.  I'm just glad the munchkin is well enough to go back to school this morning so I can maybe encourage myself to get up and moving this morning.  I think a trip to Starbucks is officially on my To Do list for the morning.

Niece/nephew birthday gifts
Thanks for all of your suggestions last week for what to make for my nephew - I wound up making a fun car-themed drawstring pouch for him with some cars inside for him, and I think he'll really dig that.  But, in my Sudafed-induced haze, I completely forgot to take a single picture of the darned thing before I shipped it off yesterday, so you'll just have to take my word on its cuteness.

Still going:
For the Love of Solids swap
The swap is alive and kicking, with all the partners sent out and lots of folks posting sketches and fabric selections already.  I fooled around with a simple design that I might try out in this swap, adding in some kind of neutral somewhere, but I'm still debating between whether I make a bag for my partner or a miniquilt.

What do you think, partner?

Secret project
I managed to baste this last night, so I'm hoping to get to some quilting today, if I'm up to it.  I'm hoping that with the right music and the right cup of coffee, I'll be able to plug away at this today.  Speaking of basting, I'd love to hear from you guys - are you spray basters or pin basters?  I've spray basted my last 20 quilts or so, but I have to wonder if perhaps I'd be faster at pin basting than I used to be.  Speed is really the main reason I spray baste...

New this week:
New pillows
I've decided it's time for some new pillows for my house.  I feel the need for something fresh and new in my living room.  I haven't decided what kind of pillow covers I want to make just yet, but I'm hoping to pull some fabrics this weekend and have some fun with them.  Maybe a cathedral windows pillow?  I don't know, we'll see.

I worked with my new iron a little bit last night, which was awfully fun.  If you haven't read about Oliso irons or seen one in action, you would be in for a major surprise when you plugged one in.  These irons have a Smart Lift mechanism where basically the iron is intended to lay on the soleplate, all the time, rather than get stood up on its side.  It has a smart sensor on the handle that lifts the iron off your ironing board when you let go of the handle.  At first, this was kind of awkward, because I'm usually a multi-tasking presser, letting the iron do its pressing for me while I finger press the next block or while I sew another seam, but I actually grew to like this feature as I used the iron more last night.  I've scorched quite a few spots on my ironing board, thanks to my old method of ironing.  More on the iron as I use it some more this week, hopefully.

I hope you've had a better sewing week than I have!  What are you sewing this week?  Write it up and share it over at Lee's WiP Wednesday linky!

I'm definitely traveling handmade

I really, really love pouches.  I get so many compliments on this gorgeous one that I use every day - Michelle made it for me in the first round of the Pretty Little Pouch swap earlier this summer.

Thank you, Michelle, you rock!!!

I've been kicking myself over not joining the second round of the Pretty Little Pouch swap, which is in the midst of wrapping up, so I decided to make myself a pouch for my hand-sewing tools.  I totally intend to use this pouch to tote my embroidery things around the house and to the Sewing Summit in less than two months (eek!).  Have you seen the awesome Travel Handmade series that they're hosting?  Jeni reviewed a great Simplicity duffel bag pattern and Megan reviewed a great tote bag pattern.  Megan and I are toying with the idea of an AB Weekender Bag sew-along for the two of us, because we both really want to make one for our big trip, and figure we can use all of the moral support we can get!

So, after drooling over all of the gorgeous pouches in this round of the Pretty Little Pouch swap, I decided to make one for myself, to tote all of my hand-sewing and embroidery do-dads around.  I picked out a fabulous stack of aquas (Riley Blake Wishing Flowers, Joel Dewberry Herringbone, It's a Hoot Aqua Check and Michael Miller Aqua Ta Dot, respectively), grays (both Ty Pennington), and a fun orange Katie Jump Rope print and got to work.

My huge embroidery pouch!

I made my current favorite quilt block for the front side, and then for the back side, I stitched up a simple 9-patch and bordered it with some Kona Coal and Kona Medium Grey.  I am loving this not-so-little pouch!  It finished up at 12" square, so it will be plenty big for my embroidery hoop and various other hand-sewing goodies.


I also stitched up a pouch for my For the Love of Solids swap partner, using the same color scheme that I used for the miniquilt I'm also finishing, and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  I've stuffed it chock full of solids scraps, and I'm hoping this lovely package I'm putting together is going to really make my partner's day, when shipping opens up next month.

A little pouch for my partner

For the weekend, I'm working on laying out the rest of my warm/cool quilt, which I've been working on in fits and starts all summer.  I'm hoping that perhaps over the next week, I might actually finish this quilt top up once and for all.  Fingers crossed!  What are you working on this weekend?


I see solids...

It's a quiet Saturday morning at my house, and my iron's heating up, the washer is humming away, and I've already finished vacuuming for the day.  The boys are out having a "boy adventure" on a local war victory ship, and I've got the house to myself for some heavy-duty cleaning and some sewing time.

Ready to be ironed

I see solids...

Did you whisper that to yourself, like Haley Joel Osment in "The Sixth Sense"?  I did, when I started typing...but I digress...These lovelies are sitting on my ironing board, just waiting to become something wonderful for my partner in the For the Love of Solids swap.  I'm looking forward to some quality time with my sewing machine this weekend!  What about you?  What are your weekend plans?