Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Something That Caught my Eye...

Sitting here quilting, popping on and off social media, and watching a documentary on indie games. Just another night in the Kopf house.

As I'm poking around (guess where? Pinterest...) I see this link: From Knitting Daily, it's the Palma Sweater.

It makes so much sense, doesn't it? The collar lays flat, of course, so it looks less like a kimono and more like a v-neck sweater of coziness. It is a knitted pattern from Essentially Feminine Knits: 25 Must-Have Chic Designs and I don't really knit. I don't actually have any experience knitting whatsoever. I can crochet, but that's about it for yarn works with this girl.

I can't help but stare at this pattern and wonder how this would work in a knit fabric. Maybe as a dress. I feel like having some Project Runway crazy party in my house right now and just seeing what I could invent in an apparel context within a limited amount of time. Wouldn't that be fun? Who wants to do a Project Runway contest with me? Some third party should give us a challenge, we run out to Hancock Fabrics (which has just a slightly shorter selection than Mood fabrics...) and can only shop for whatever ridiculous amount of time they get with a limited budget and boom--you have until 11 in the workroom. And there's models. And we have lots of food for them to eat and I guess they wear the clothes.

This sounds a lot like the recently closed Kids Clothes Week Challenge on Elsie Marley. So maybe I should just have a baby and make baby clothes. Less time, less money, and baby... or maybe I should just pop back onto Pinterest and check out some other ideas :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012


As you may have seen, I'm almost finished with quilting my precious little chevrons... which means I'm already scouting out my next endeavor. I'm conflicted about whether I should go on a binding binge and finish out some vintage sheet baby quilt tops I'd already started this summer (that have plans to be in the Spring Craft Fair booth that I will share with my mom and my nana) or put those off for Christmas break and start on something new and exciting.

I've been poking around pinterest and my fabric stash. I want to start a new project that will utilize as much of my scraps as possible--so I can keep a limit on the new fabric I'm purchasing for each new project. I have a ton of fabric that's practically ready to explode out of that kitchen island in my craft room and I need to use it somewhere so I can get it out! I also try to look in thrift stores and in the curtain (sale) aisles at Walmart before I buy a lot of yardage. 

First world problem: I have so much fabric I don't know what to do with most of it...

But I'm not going to lie, I just got a bunch of coupons for Hancock Fabrics AND Joann's... and I want to go and buy absolutely everything. Planning is key, and will help me from spending too much. So here's what I'm thinking about:


Maybe it's the cooler weather that has gotten  me hooked on quilting. It has been nice to have something to stitch every night this week, and if you follow my tweets (@kopfdrop), you know that I am very prone to crafting during the school week in order to destress!

Here's a tutorial I tried earlier this year with limited success. I recently bought some lighter weight interfacing that I think will help my problems with bulk from earlier. This is from Sew Mama Sew, and instructs mini quilts to be laid out on top of interfacing, fused together, and then stitched when everything is already stuck! I love this idea, and it makes piecing so much faster and approachable. I'm thinking of applying this technique to this kind of quilt: 

This beautiful quilt comes from a blog I've recently discovered: Jeni's In Color Order. I'm telling you, this girl gets me. Her work is beautiful and her sense of color is fantastic. I love this simple nine patch quilt and I'd love to make one on a large scale someday. For now, I see these squares as an easy intro into, well, squares. My experience thus far has been limited to lines and triangles. 

You can check out my pinterest sewing board for all my many sewing options. I have lately been obsessing over appliqued letters and typography in the fabric medium... maybe I could make some Mr. and Mrs. pillows?


I want to find some cute printed flannel to finally make a legitimate Wiksten Tova top! My muslin turned out beautifully, but my first attempt at a flannel dress/top was a circus tent of a disaster (my bad.) I want to find a plaid lumberjack kind of flannel, but I haven't been able to find one in a large-scale pattern. The small stuff looks too much like pajamas.

Though something aztec-y or southwestern could be hip and relevant.

I just wish this were in some different, less fall-type colors.

Confession: I have wanted a dinosaur tshirt for myself ever since I saw Michelle Pfieffer pull off her son's look in "One Fine Day." 

As a mom someday, I hope I am small enough to still wear youth larges.

And what girl doesn't need a flannel shirt with ponies on it?

I want to force myself to complete the Tova before I get started on any other new apparel project... but I just got some Denyse Schmidt fabric which is screaming "elastic waist skirt" at me every time I walk past it...

AND hero-of-my-life Rae has been posting photos of all the people who have made her Washi dress so far and they're all turning out beautiful. Must. Have. Pattern.

AND I know I don't have babies yet, but I have nieces, and I want to make them a million versions of her Pierrot dress.

In addition to all this business, I'm feeling fairly good about my pattern for the knot-top, and have been sketching out embroidery patterns from the designs I made. I hope to have an etsy shop with more than just pincushions at the end of Thanksgiving Break! Oh if only the money would just magically appear and I could just play all day! But I'm not going to lie, teaching is a pretty fantastic gig for me. No complaints :)

...And I know my students are also thinking this... 21 more days until Thanksgiving Break!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Getting it Together

So here we are... it's finally pieced. I have pieced a quilt. A baby, teeny, tiny, little quilt, but a quilt nonetheless. In my book, this is an achievement! I'm going to wait until I'm actually finished to say it definitively, but I think quilting is a hobby I can definitely get behind. My big problem, of course, is actually finishing it.

So I gave myself a deadline. This weekend. I want to have the whole thing quilted and ready to be bound this weekend... then I can check "finish quilt" off the master To-Do List. 

Some corners seemed too perfect to be true.

Others are a little wonky... but that just adds to the charm, right?

Here it is! Seam allowance is an amazing thing. Those pieces didn't fit on our coffee table when I was first laying them out, and now the table top seems to dwarf the finished quilt top!

Kitty seal of approval.

One warm zig, and one cool zag, perfectly married and all from my scrap box!

I tried to quilt it on the machine first. You can see those stitches at the top right corner of this photo. Even though I had the stitches on the longest setting, the result didn't seem like it was enough for the big personality of this teeny little quilt top. I switched to embroidery thread and I'm not looking back.

The warm zig will get pink stitches to tie in that mustard color that I just couldn't leave out. I am not sure about the other half... blue or green?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

War Eagle Weekend

This weekend was one that I look forward to all year: The annual Fall Craft Fair at War Eagle Mills and Farm! Crafters and enthusiasts travel from all over the South to congregate in the tents, barn, and convention centers that make up a pretty big take over of little old Northwest Arkansas. 

It's pretty much always a family affair.

We've got food vendors and tents of crafts. Only a few allowed me to take photos within the booths themselves, and I always asked first! Stop number one was these amazing Hawaiian deck chairs, complete with foot rest and cup holder! Maybe later in life we'll own a pair of these for camping.

Then I got to see the booth where my little ceramic tile came from. Maybe you've seen it before in this post.

Here's her info. 

The weather was perfect and the scenery was absolutely stunning.

Baby sister couldn't resist the urge to frolick.

Across the river is the mill itself, and a ton of other booths!


Cars everywhere... and we were here pretty early on Friday. Usually on Saturday there are two or three more lots this size that are full.

We finally ended the afternoon with some family time.


The weekend was fun, productive, and exhausting, as illustrated here. I walked away with a pretty rag rug for my kitchen, a cute little Christmas tin, and a ceramic spoon rest. That's about all I had a good budget for. We'll be back for the Spring craft fair... and if all goes according to plan, it will be on the other side of the booth!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Quilting Progress

Well here we go. I don't know what happened, but I have almost completed the quilt top. It definitely has more pieces than any of those strip quilts that I've completed but somehow I was completely mesmerized by these little triangles and I powered through 6 of the 8 strips.

Why did I stop? Oh me oh my, but I am missing fabric for not one or two, but nine triangles that will complete the bottom row. 

So at the moment it is unfinished until I can pop back to Walmart tomorrow afternoon. I was a little sad when I realized it, but still very thrilled at my progress!

And isn't that last row menacing me? Like a weird fringe, or some pointy teeth.

Kitty enjoyed testing it, and was an excellent model for scale on this. After putting everything together it is... slightly smaller than I thought it was. I will advertise this as an infant rolly-mat. Or it will end up as a wall-hanging. 

The Purl Bee had a year of mini quilts that I really loved, and I think that's my spot right now. I'm not ready for a big scale project. I'm not going to make a quilt for my queen sized bed any time soon--but the mini quilt is cute enough and small enough for me to handle while having a full time job. And, as my husband and I have discussed, a project that has a timeline short enough for me to remain interested.... because I have a problem with that. :)