Undercover Crafter's Blog

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Diving In Head First February 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Undercover Crafter @ 6:25 am

I’ve always been one to throw myself into a new project with passion and drive so why should my new-found love of quilting be any different? So, as I’ve been scouring the internet, gathering inspiration both for my quilts and my wedding, I’ve recently discovered virtual quilting bees. Of course, all the bees I found were full but I was lucky enough to stumble upon two other women in my same predicament and we’ve decided to start our own bee. I was a little apprehensive about jumping in and actually hosting a bee (of course the Producer in me couldn’t resist) but the other two ladies I’m hosting with are in the same boat so we’re all learning together. Our bee, Sewn Together, already has seven members, so we’re a mere five people short of filling up our bee. Our goal is to kick off the bee in March, so hopefully we can fill out the ranks in the next few days so we can get things started.

Along with this inspiration and burst of confidence, I also joined a Red & Aqua bee that was close to capacity. So it looks like I’ll be involved in two bees this year. I’m really excited to see how both bees turn out and soon I’ll have two new quilts of my own thanks to the avid quilters in my bees.

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Yasmine’s Quilt Top is Finished February 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Undercover Crafter @ 9:51 pm

My dear friend, Yasmine, is having her second baby in March and it’s another boy! I usually make my pregnant friends crocheted baby afghans but now that I’ve learned a brand new skill I’ve decided to start making quilts instead. I’m not going to give up crocheting. I just find it’s easier and quicker for me to complete a quilt than an afghan right now. Yasmine’s theme for this little one is “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” so I’ve been searching for some cute fabrics that reflect this theme. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. At first I wasn’t thrilled with the fabric choices I made (do you sense a theme here?) but now that I’ve finished the quilt top I’ve feeling a lot better. I think it’s really coming together. My goal was to have it finished for her baby shower on Saturday, but the night I had set aside to finish the quilt top turned into a late night at the office so that didn’t happen. The baby’s not due until March 15th so I still have time, thankfully. Here’s the finished quilt top. I got inspiration for the design from I’m Just a Guy Who Quilts. I just adore his DQS7 quilt.

My quilt keeps with the “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” theme and I used a lightweight denim to tie in the blues and give the quilt a more masculine feel. I must admit I did start out cutting 6” squares and then realized that I messed up on several stacks cutting them only 4” so I had to cut all my squares down to 4” to match. We all learn from our mistakes, right? I spent Sunday afternoon making my quilt sandwich but ran out of safety pins when I reached the final corner, ugh! I don’t think I’m going to have time to start quilting it until the weekend after next so this project is on hold for a moment. Although maybe I can get an hour or two in on Valentine’s Day (if my wonderful and amazing fiancé doesn’t mind).

Detail on the center of the diamonds.

 

Just Another Day in TV Land January 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Undercover Crafter @ 8:16 pm

This is just one of those days when I just want to say screw it all, quit my job and just open up a little craft store and bakery and make projects all day and bake cakes all night. I’m being torn in a thousand directions; the network is challenging our schedule is insane my Fearless Leader is on the ledge and about to jump and I’m the one trying to keep things together and sane, all with a smile on my face. Today that smile is fading thanks to my migraine. Don’t get me wrong, most of the time I love my job, but it’s a highly stressful job a majority of the time. Sometimes I get off on the stress and other times, like this week, I reach the burn out point. And I have a networking event to attend tonight when all I really want to do is go home, run a hot bath, grab a cup of tea and my book and relax. Then I can crawl into bed, all warm and cozy and snuggle with my dog, Jack, while I try and put the finishing touches on the cross stitch tree skirt that I’ve been working on for the past ten (yes, ten) years before my wonderful and amazing fiancé comes home from hockey.

Sigh.

These days happen… on some shows more frequently than others. I must say that while production on this show was a bitch, post hasn’t been as bad as expected so I shouldn’t be complaining. But I am. Like I said, it’s just one of those days. Fearless Leader feels a little beaten up by the network. I think he’s being a little sensitive but I understand where he’s coming from. We have a good show on our hands and we have the network excited about it our schedule is just scary and we’re quickly approaching our air dates. Thankfully we’re about to lock our first show and our second should be locked tomorrow. The others will work themselves out, they just take precious time that we don’t have. And I will continue to try and be Superwoman and be in eighteen different places at the same time. I’ve done it before and it’s not going to be the last time. I’ll just have to save my daydreaming about the quilts I’m going to make and the duck curry I’m going to perfect for later because right now I need to find an interview bite.

 

Prepping for My First Class January 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Undercover Crafter @ 12:06 am

It looked for a moment, like this was going to turn into yet another case of “I’ll just learn to quilt another time.” I saw the class was being offered at the end of January for two Sundays but I had plans with the Cast B ladies for brunch on the date of the first class. I tried to get them to move the date of our brunch but some couldn’t so I was resigned to take the class another time. Sigh. I looked at the calendar of upcoming classes and sadly the quilting class wasn’t on the books for the months of February, March or April. Double Sigh. I’ll just have to wait until the summer. But miraculously, something came up and we changed our brunch to dinner and there was still space in the class so I signed up!

I picked out my fabrics after much debate over the color scheme. I settled on purple and orange patterns for the coins, a purple tree pattern for the back, sold purple cotton for the sashing and framing and solid orange for the binding. I am still nervous about how everything is going to come together. Seriously, I am doubting that it will look good together. But it’s my first project so we can forgive the ugly, right?

 

Quilting Woes January 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Undercover Crafter @ 8:12 pm

When I was 12 years-old I was turned onto our local chapter of 4-H. I was inspired to join 4-H when I learned about their quilting class so I signed up, only to be turned away from the Quilting Project because the demand was so high and the class was already full with renewing members. Instead I joined the Sewing Project. Here I honed m sewing skills and learned new ones. I created clothing and other projects that I showed at the county fair and at 4-H fashion shows and my skills improved and my sewing flourished. Despite all this, every year I tried to gain access to the Quilting Project and every year I was denied so I never got to learn how to quilt.

To this day I have always maintained the desire to learn this skill. I looked into quilting classes here and there, sometimes finding ones that looked promising but I could never quite find the time in my busy work schedule to fit a series of classes in. Then I discovered the Urban Craft Center. (Actually my wonderful and amazing fiancé found it tucked away in the back of a shopping center near our house.) And for months I kept watch over their class listings for their quilting class offerings and the timings just never seemed to work out. Then for Chanukah said wonderful and amazing fiancé got me a gift certificate to the Urban Craft Center and I looked at their January schedule and saw that they happened to be offering their Coin Stacked Quilt class at the end of the month so I signed up! Woo Hoo! I’m finally going to learn how to quilt. It’s about time!

 

My Passion for Sewing Begins January 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Undercover Crafter @ 8:11 pm

I started my serious crafting fetish with crocheting and sewing. The crocheting was a talent passed down from my father’s mother but I learned to sew thanks to my mother’s mother. In the summer I often came down to visit my grandparents after we had moved away and I would be shuttled between grandparents for the weeks I was visiting. I was probably around 7 or 8 when my Grandma Mary taught me how to sew. (She also taught me how to knit but sadly that never seemed to stick and I still want to relearn that skill.) My very first project was a pair of jams. Come on, admit it, you remember them – those knee length board shorts in outrageous patterns we all wore. It was the early Eighties after all. (Oops, I just date myself didn’t I?) Grandma Mary and I made a trip to the local fabric store and picked out a pattern and fabric. I can’t even remember the fabric, but I am sure it was dated and ugly and probably involved a fluorescent color scheme. We picked jams in particular because it was an easy pattern and my Grandmother and I pulled out her sewing machine and she taught me the steps from pre-washing the fabric to laying out and cutting the pattern and in a matter of hours I had a brand new pair of shorts that I could wear that I made all by myself (with a little help from Grandma, of course)! I was hooked. Who knew that one little pair of shorts would lead to a lifetime of unfinished projects packed away in my sewing closet. That’s not to say I don’t finish anything. I do indeed. But trying to balance a busy life with a passion for crafting is often difficult, as many of you well know, and sadly, life wins out a majority of the time. Hey! A girl’s got to pay her bills! But there are those key pieces I put on from time to time that make me smile when my friends ooh and aah and ask where I got them and I get to say, “I made it.” And to think it all started with a pair of jams made in my grandmother’s spare bedroom on my great-grandmother’s sewing machine. My Great-Grandmother Agnes was a seamstress and would be so proud.

 

Thanks Grandma Patsy! January 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Undercover Crafter @ 7:56 pm

A little bit about me as I start off my new blog. I’ve been crafting pretty much my entire life. My Grandma Patsy was a master when it came to crochet. As children we were fascinated as her fingers nimbly manipulated yarn and needle to create her masterpieces. Her afghans were cherished by all, in fact I still use them in my home today. All the granddaughters would plead with my grandmother to teach us how to crochet and her response was always, “You’re not old enough.” We would wait with bated breath for the day she would anoint us with her gift. In later years I discovered that her excuse was merely one to discourage us because she didn’t have the patience to teach but I was persistent and one day she finally tired of my constant pestering and she passed along her knowledge to me. This began a passion for crafting that has stayed with me through well into my adult life. My stitches will never be as tight or uniform as my Grandmother’s were, but I’m proud of the creations I’ve made thanks to her. This blog is dedicated to my Grandmother. She was my mentor, my inspiration and my best friend. I miss her every day.