A championship, a quilt, a tote, and some dice bags

So, something pretty cool happened since the last time I posted…my roller derby team won our championship bout!  My first year with Texas Rollergirls, and my team The Hell Marys comes out on top. What an exciting first season!



Another very exciting thing happened in the last few weeks…my great friends Karen and James welcomed their new daughter, Elena.  She is unbelievably cute, and I can’t wait to meet her.  Until then, I made her something to snuggle up with.


I used fabric from Zen Chic called “Comma” because Karen and I were in the same graduate program in English together.  We both have a love of language and reading, and I thought it best to introduce Elena to these building blocks of language early on.




My next quilting project is a pair of baby quilts for my best friends’ twins that will be arriving on November, so stay tuned!

I’ve been sewing a lot lately, and playing with a few textile, oilcloth.  I recently made a tote bag for a fundraiser for my derby team.  It was really easy to make, and super sturdy.  I have a feeling there will be more where this came from.



One last project…I love sewing gifts so much, but alas, it can be difficult to find homemade gifts that my husband will enjoy.  When he approached me and asked me if I could make some dice bags for him, I was elated!  Casey works for an amazing local comic book store that also has a board game store, art gallery, and secondhand comic store in its growing empire.  He has become the local expert on board games, and needed a snazzy set of bags to hold dice for the various games.


Look no further!  I grabbed some superhero fabric and went to work.  Casey has gotten quite a few compliments on them and suggested that maybe his store would be interested in selling some.  I made a few last weekend, and the store manager seemed interested!




Keep your fingers crossed for me!  Casey and I are saving for a trip to Nashville at the end of October for our fifth wedding anniversary, so it would be a nice little addition to our trip fund!





Life in Texas

That’s right.  Apparently I only blog around milestones…last time about graduating, and now about getting a job and moving half a country away!  I had settled into the idea of living another year in Michigan, teaching a few classes for not much pay and going on the job market again.  And then it happened.  A job call for an amazing position popped up on a listserv, I sent in my materials, 5 days later I was offered the job as a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Texas, and about 3 weeks after that my husband, 3 cats, and I arrived at our new home in Austin, TX!

One of the most wonderful parts about living here is that I am so very close to my cousin Tommy, his wife Melissa, and their 4 incredible children.  My mom and niece came down for Thanksgiving and we drove over to Tommy and Melissa’s beautiful home and stayed for a few days for the holiday.  We got to meet these guys!



The goat’s name is Foxy, and her tiniest of muzzles feels like velvet when she eats grain out of your hands.  I got to take part in egg harvesting and making sure all of the chickens were in the coop the first night I was there.  Conclusion: I need more chickens and goats in my life.

I was in a rush before I left to finish a quilt for the newest member of Tommy and Melissa’s family, the lovely miss Cora, who is a mere few months old!  I had all but the binding hand-stitched, and that turned out to be a perfect activity to do around the fire after our bellies were full of delicious eats on Thanksgiving.  I had so much fun with this quilt!  I used a sawtooth star pattern and fabric from Heather Ross’ Playing Horses line as the center squares.



Here are a couple shots of the quilt with my cousins’ beautiful property in the background:




One of the most fun parts of this trip was getting to sew with Melissa.  She has been wanting to sew for a while, so I brought one of my machines with me for us to play.  Not only did she learn how to work it like a pro, but we were able to finish an entire project in just an hour or so!  Melissa had been wanting to turn some of her feedbags into tote bags for Christmas gifts.  Look how great it turned out!



Foxy approves.


Melissa generously sent me home with some feedbags of my own so that I could transform them, and I left my machine for her to continue playing.  She made 2 more super-cute bags in no time!  So proud of her, and so happy to be closer to my crafty cousin.  I look forward to many future sewing adventures.

Another wonderful sewing experience from the weekend was quilting with my niece Amelia.  As I was finishing up Cora’s quilt, Amelia grabbed some leftover batting and my scrap basket and began to create a work of her own.  Made her auntie so proud!  Love that girl so much.  I haven’t uploaded the photos yet, so I will save them for next time.

Okay, I know this post is long, but one more thing…tonight is my first night skating with my new derby team, The Hell Marys of the Texas Rollergirls.  So excited!!!  More soon!



The Pirate’s Daughter quilt

My mom bought this beautiful print to hang in the room of her house that my 7-yr-old niece, Amelia, and I share when we visit.


It’s called “The Pirate’s Daughter”, by Maia Larkin.  Mom shared the image with me and asked me if I would be interested in making a quilt for our room inspired by the painting.  This is a quilter’s dream!  I’m so excited to get started.

As I have a list of other quilts I want to make for friends who are having babies, I won’t be working on this one right away, but I have (of course) already started daydreaming about patterns and fabrics.  I’m thinking about using the washed out grey tone as the dominant color, and incorporating an array of vivid shades from the rainbow to reflect the pop of color in the painting.  Here are some of the colorful fabrics I’ve been thinking about.




And perhaps I will finally tackle Denyse Schmidt’s Single Girl quilt pattern for this quilt?


Here it is in a grey with bright, bold colors and beautiful hand stitching (by see lori sew).


I also like this quit with a simple triangle design of grey and bright colors by Red Pepper Quilts.


Also, what about this cute fabric for the backing?


And I don’t want to get too literal, maybe black and white striped binding to match the little lady’s socks?


Let me know if you have any thoughts/ideas!


P.S.  Can you tell I’m not very focused on my dissertation writing today?  Got back late last night from an awesome roller derby tournament with my league’s B-level travel team, The Motor City Disassembly Line.  Feeling pretty tired and beat up…will be more diligent tomorrow!!!

Congratulations, Sam!

Last week, my good pal Sam successfully passed the first round of skills testing for my roller derby league, the Detroit Derby Girls!  She’s been working so hard to get to this point and I’m so proud of her.  So I made a little gift to congratulate her.


I used the roller derby transfers from Sublime Stitching and made a few alterations to personalize it.

I don’t do a ton of embroidery, but Sublime Stitching puts out such awesome patterns that I’ve been wanting to try my hand at it for a while.  It’s super fun and I think you’ll be seeing a few more embroidery projects in the near future.  I’m tackling one of Ryan Berkely’s designs next.

And I’m so excited for Sam!  It was so much fun seeing her at practice tonight.  What am I gonna make for her when she passes the next and final round of skills testing?!

Broken Face

I was so excited to help lead Detroit Derby Girls’ B-level travel team, the Motor City Dissassembly Line, to victory at Spring Roll on May 14.  It was my first time captaining and my first time ever playing a tournament out of town.  I was quite saddened when an illegal hit to the face in the very first jam of the day left me with a broken nose and no chance of playing for the rest of the tournament.  Here is the medic investigating the injury:

And here is me after almost passing out:

I keep singing the Pixies Song “I’ve got a Broken Face” in my head!  The good news is that I get to play in the DDG home season championship bout on June 4 when my team the DFunk Allstars takes on the Detroit Pistoffs for the title.  The bad news is, I have to wear one of these in order to play:

Yeah.  Pretty sexy, eh?  It’s earned me the new nickname “Hannibal Hatcher.”  MCDL won both games at Spring Roll, and thus won our division of the tournament..so, who knows?  Maybe the broken nose brings good luck?  But DFunk won’t need good luck on June 4 to take the championship title…we’ve already got the talent, the dedication, and the heart…and don’t forget the glitter.  All guts, all glitter.  That’s the DFunk way.  Come and cheer us on.  I’ll be the weirdo in the mask, knocking down everyone who even thinks about talking about how silly this thing looks.

Metro Times Best of Detroit

Eeeeek!  I’m so excited.  Today was the release of one of the Metro Times “Best of Detroit” issues, and I was one of five Detroit Derby Girls featured on the cover and throughout the issue.  The Metro Times is a Detroit weekly publication that gives information and reviews on cool things to do in the city.  They asked our marketing committee a couple of months ago if DDG would be interested in being featured in the issue.  Um…yes.  That’s a no-brainer!  I was flattered that the head of our marketing committee chose me to be one of the models.  The day of the shoot was literally one of the most fun days I’ve had for a long time.  And here are the photos they used in the issue:

Roller Derby Quilt!

March can just go ahead and be over now.  The weather has been yucky, academic life has been hectic, and I’ve been so busy that all of my sewing projects have just been sitting in bags untouched.  I did manage to finish a baby quilt for my dear friends Danny and Sarah last night.  I will post photos as soon as I’ve been able to wash it and get it in the mail to them (little Samuel is due in a matter of weeks!).

Until then, I leave you with a link to a fellow crafty roller derby gal’s blog, Roller Derby Quilt.  If you recall, I posted a few pics of a block that I made for the roller derby quilt back in January.  Today it is featured on Dreadnought’s blog!  I’m so happy to represent my amazing derby league.

In other derby news, my team, The DFunk Allstars, won our bout this weekend and we will be advancing to the championships for the third year in a row!!!  We won last year…can we do it again?  No team has ever won the championship two years in a row in Detroit Derby Girls history, and we’re prepared to change that.  Here is a photo of my team (photo credit to the wonderful Paul Maljak, with editing by Michele Whitlow).