Christmas Preview

It was a long, busy weekend! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and didn’t get trampled too badly on Friday. I stayed in myself.

I can’t share everything I was working on this weekend, as it was mostly gifts for people who may or may not check in here. What I CAN share is the start of a Christmas table runner I’m working on for myself.

I love the fabrics, most of which come from Riley Blake’s Holly Jolly collection. As far as I can tell, the collection has been discontinued, but I was able to snatch some up locally. I’m determined to finish this and have it on the table before December rolls around. I also have some stockings to finish up with Laurie Wisbrun’s Brrr collection for Robert Kaufman. I picked some up on sale over at The Little Fabric Shop.

Is anyone else choosing to make their holiday gifts this year? What about decorations? Leave me a comment and let me know what you’re working on!

 

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My first finished quilt

I’ve had the span of a few weeks now to get some work done. Sewing work, that is. I finished the table runner I was working on during my last post. The binding came out a bit wonky in places, but for my first time, I think it went pretty well! Luckily for me, the recipient (my grandmother) can’t see well enough to find my mistakes.

In other news, I found out last week that a friend of mine was in the hospital. The doctor’s had discovered a mass in her brain and she was going to need surgery to remove it. I had a strong urge to whip her up something comforting, but I had to do it fast! Enter this lovely gem:

It’s based on this pattern by Cheryl Malkowski (it’s a free pattern from Batiks.com). I modified the color scheme from the original Christmas version and voila! I started this project several months ago after finding these three fabrics that I thought were well-coordinated. Since then, it’s been sitting in my stash, unfinished, but in large strips of the blocks. Finally I had a perfect excuse to finish it!

I didn’t have enough time to machine quilt it, so I opted for hand-tying. If you look close in the picture above, you can find the knots. It was a long night, but I got it done. (I forgot to get finished photos. Grr.) My first finished quilt (the table runner doesn’t count)!

The holiday mood has finally struck, so now I’m off to finish some more holiday gifts.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Finish Line

I’m not a finisher. I typically get bored with whatever crafty mayhem I’m working on long before it’s finished. Ask my boyfriend’s mother. She’ll be happy to tell you about the half-finished queen-sized afghan she got for Christmas last year. I made the mistake of too much planning with too intricate a design that couldn’t be pared down to a smaller size. It currently resides on her bed. Half an afghan. And she never misses an opportunity to remind me.

That’s why I like the instant gratification of small projects. Quilting has that benefit. In less than an hour I can cut up some fabric, sew it back together and have a piece of something beautiful (to me, anyway). But I have yet to finish an actual quilt. The excuses abound. Mostly, why would I want to risk ruining the gorgeous quilt tops that I’ve just finished? It’s also quite difficult to maneuver a large quilt on a domestic sewing machine.

But I’m determined to finish something. Enter this gem:

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I wanted to make my grandmother something for Christmas. The University of Alabama is her favorite football team, and crimson and gray are their school colors. So, with that in mind, I opted for a fairly simple pattern (it starts out with 2.5″ strips of fabric sewn together, believe it or not). Five of these babies sewn together, add a 2″ gray border and wham-o, I’ve got a table runner. 

Back to the main purpose of this post though: I’ve actually started quilting it!

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It’s just some simple straight line quilting, and it’s taking FOREVER, but I’m excited to finally be finishing something. Maybe it’ll get done tomorrow…

FYI, for all you non-quilty folk, the quilt bloggers refer to unfinished projects that they are currently working on as WIPs (works-in-progress). Also, they typically blog about them on Wednesdays. Go figure. I’m not that fancy yet. Speaking of fancy, check me out on Twitter: @KraftyChemist.

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Welcome to the Krafty Chemist!

Whew! That was an ordeal-and-a-half. It’s a blog eat blog world here on the interwebs, so coming up with a unique blog name that summarizes me and my intent for this blog was no easy feat.

 

 

Nevertheless, here you are. Welcome! That’s me up there, about 30 lbs lighter and in a much warmer climate, but still me. You should know that I don’t really have time for a blog. I’m a full time graduate student (studying chemistry, as the title of this blog implies), but I try to balance out my life with things that I enjoy. To wit, I am also a crafter. My primary craft at the moment is quilting, but I use the word roughly. I haven’t done any actual “quilting” up to now, but I have pieced many a quilt top.

 

An angry amigurumi pear

 

My various other crafting enjoyments include scrapbooking, crocheting and knitting. I’ve dabbled in blogging before, but never in the realm of crafters’ blogs. My previous failed attempts at blogs focused either on my crazy life (don’t worry, you’ll get a healthy dose of that if you stick around), my crazy cat (what was I thinking?!) or my penchant for all things green (not the color). Crafters, on the other hand, are serious about their blogs. 

 

 

My first finished top

I picked up quilting this year just as spring was entering its state of full glory. I maintain that yarn crafts are strictly winter hobbies, and so I needed something to fill the void during the warmer months. I spent a lot of time just reading up on techniques, patterns, fabrics, etc. I watched videos (Missouri Star Quilt Co.‘s Jenny Doan is a favorite of mine) and read blogs. Turns out these people are serious about what they do. And their passion became my passion. It was another couple of months before I gathered the nerve to give it a shot.

I have at least five projects going at the moment, maybe more (I have a hard time keeping track…I’m a bit schizophrenic when it comes to these things). You’ll be hearing more about them later.

 

So, what is this blog all about then? Sure, there’s the crafting thing. Maybe some tutorials. Hopefully some finished projects. I hope that some of what I share will inspire you to join in the fun! I also want to share news articles in the world of science (don’t hit that snooze button just yet!), chemistry, education, and anything else I find of interest. 

 

Stick around! I’m usually good for a quick laugh if nothing else.