Saturday, March 9, 2013

iPad Case

I've been wanting to make a case for my iPad for the past year or two. I've gone through a few cases. First, I was using the Kensington Keyboard case because I really did feel like I needed a keyboard when I first got my iPad. After about 6 months I grew weary of the weight of a keyboard case. I started using a slip case for my iPad, but I did like the structure of the keyboard case. So I was on a hunt for a new case, and I really did want to make mine. I started a Pinterest board to help me gather the tutorials, but most of them were basic slip cases. I had made a Kindle case based on the Chica & Jo Pattern and although I liked that - it wasn't exactly what I wanted for an iPad Case.

I found a great iPad case tutorial at Instructables, but I wasn't too keen on the separate "harness" aspect. The best thing about the Instructable case was the concept of a "rollable" cover. This would give me the right angle for typing on the iPad. I decided to incorporate some of the things I had seen in other cases such as bottom corner holders and elastic at the top. The elastic is a bit too low, I end up having to move it to use the corners of the screen. I also added a cardboard backing (from a notepad) which I wished was a bit more sturdy.
Make sure that you sew in the velcro before you add the corner pockets, otherwise you will sew them closed (did that the first time). The tutorial also recommended that you sew parallel lines to make pockets for the acrylic rods. I wish I had continued with those parallel lines instead of switching to perpendicular lines. It doesn't curve as well to close.

However, even with those mistakes I really do enjoy my case and I have received a good many compliments on it. I recently went to a work conference and everybody asked me about it!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Knitted Cowl

I really started getting into knitting the past year. I found it to be so transportable and easy to do while watching TV. (I love projects that let me watch TV because then I don't feel bad about watching TV :) I've done a few projects and hope to blog about them soon, but the simplest and easiest is this "Knit Cowl of the Chunky Variety."

I discovered this pattern through Pinterest (see my knitting Pinterest Board) and found it to be very a great knitting in the round project. I decided to also join Ravelry to not only help keep up with projects, but find new projects based on the yarn I have. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky in Eggplant. I takes about 70% of a skein.  I made one cowl and gave it to my friend and made this one with about 30% of what was left and then purchased another skein. I did experiment with what it looked like with just the yarn I had left - bound it off and everything and it really does need that extra yarn. Unfortunately, if you look at it too closely you can see the line where I bound it and then unbound it. The stitches got a bit warped. But when it is on, you can't really tell and that is all that really matters.
My favorite thing about this pattern is that I can stop at anytime and know exactly where I left up, there is no real pattern to keep up with, so I could knit in the carpool line, at lunch, at book club and never really have to concentrate. I highly recommend this for beginner knitters as well.

I started to make matching boot cuffs to match, but my circular needles broke. After attempting to fix with electrical tape (which so did not work) I am now contemplating purchasing circular needles. It is a pretty hefty investment, but I think I'm ready. Have any brands you recommend?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Fat Quarter Idol

So I have to say I have gone head first into the social media sphere of quilting again and I came across Sew Mama Sew's Fat Quarter Idol. I was inspired by the Serendipity White ~ Gabbie  and those Emerald greens and teals, with just a bit of pink had me at hello! Who am I to pass up the opportunity to pick out fabric and pin something on Pinterest. You can too - just let me win first :)

Quiltcon 2013: The Quilts & Lectures

As you have seen, I had a great time at Quiltcon, but besides the workshops I did some other amazing things! First and foremost Quiltcon is a Quilt Show, which means there were fantastic quilts to view! I really do wish now that I had submitted something to the show, but I'm just not ready to be "judged" on my quilting ability just quite yet. Some of my favorite quilts can be found in the following slideshow and can also be seen on my flickr page.

David Butler
I was also really inspired by the demonstrations and lectures. In particular I found Jacquie Gering and Katie Pederson's demo (from their book Quilting Modern) on their quilt making process with example quilts to be fascinating. I also couldn't get enough of Amy Butler discussing her process of Fabric design. I felt so inspired by her talk and have a renewed interest in her fabrics. Her husband David also gave a very interesting talk about photography and the role an image plays in their various products. Sometimes it is not about the technical brilliance of a photograph, but the way it makes you feel that is important. Denyse Schmidt's keynote was just as fascinating. It was compelling to hear her story, to understand why she creates the way she does and how her process works. I already respected these "giants of industry," but I really came to value their creative process and idolize them just a bit more.

If you didn't get a chance to come to Quiltcon, several of the lectures are available FOR FREE to watch at

Overall, I felt Quiltcon 2013 was fantastic! I still can't believe what the team was able to accomplish for their first time. Everything seemed to work without a hitch, I'm sure their were some, but to the casual observer it looked like smooth sailing :)

I can't wait to go again!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Quiltcon 2013: The Workshops

Can I just tell you that last week at Quitcon was such an amazing experience! I don't think I have ever really traveled by myself or gone to a conference that wasn't work related. It felt so selfish, but I now realize how important that can be. I get so overwhelmed with the day to day things that I forget to just enjoy life. Quiltcon was a time for me to be selfish on purpose, to focus on things I wanted to do and not be distracted by the little things. By far the biggest influence on me at Quiltcon was the opportunity to take workshops!

I have never been a take workshops person (from an educator this is hysterical I know). I just have never been interested in any of the classes at my local quilt shop. One of the main reasons I actually wanted to attend Quiltcon was because of the amazing Workshops.

I took an all day class on Thursday with Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Franson on Free Motion Quilting on your home machine. I love every aspect of the quilting process, but I had never taken a class. Elizabeth showed us some great techniques for quilting on a home machine, including quilting in quadrants and pulling not pushing your quilt. It was also great to just spend some time perfecting my techniques and trying some new patterns out. I don't often get time to just practice! And look at the fabulous free motion quilting swatches I made!

On Friday I took a morning class with Lotta Jansdotter on Textile printing. This was an incredibly creative and inspiring class. I really had the opportunity to create something new and fell in love with carving my own stamps and designing my own stencils. Lotta's design aesthetic (I feel so Project Runway saying that) is so clean and simple and translates well to block and stencil printing. I can't wait to carve some more stamps and get my son involved in the process.
Overall, these workshops alone were worth the trip to Quiltcon. I hope to continue blogging more about the experience and blogging in general about my crafts. I forget how important it is!