Chiagu Blog

Almost done unpacking

Posted on September 18, 2013 | 0 Comments


The movers came to move me in on September 1st, leaving way more boxes than I remember actually packing (how does that happen?!?). Slowly but surely, I'm getting everything unpacked and put away.

What you see above is my bookshelf/desk unit (from Ikea of course, where else!), which is freshly refilled with all the fabric I own. They're not put away perfectly yet because I just wanted to get them out of the boxes, so they're pretty messy.

When I look at this thing the first thing I think is: how the hell did I amass so much fabric in such a short time? This volume of fabric is kind of ridiculous! I need to finish up some quilts ASAP.

Of course the next thought after "I need to finish up some quilts" is always "because there are new fabric collections out that I want to buy" . . . which succinctly explains how the "ridiculous quantity of fabric" problem comes from. Ahem.

As of yesterday, there are only 3 boxes left to unpack! And those are all winter clothing, which is why I purposely left them for last. Considering the sudden turn to Fall we've had this week though, I'd better get to those sooner rather than later. I had to wear a light jacket yesterday already . . . it's sweater weather for sure. My favorite!


PS - I see is starting to put ads in non-paid blogs, so I guess it's about time to move my blog. Again. Maybe that'll be a project for this coming weekend. Shouldn't affect anything from the reader's perspective though, don't worry!

Posted in My life, Sewing

No internet = falling even further behind.

Posted on July 05, 2012 | 0 Comments

So my internet was supposed to be installed in the new place this past Monday, but a Verizon + Ivete screwup meant it didn't happen, and now I have to wait until Tuesday next week for internet. It's driving me nutty! It's amazing how much stuff requires an internet connection nowadays.

The one thing that does NOT require internet is knitting and sewing, so I've been doing a lot of that in my at-home time the last week. I can't show you the knitting as it's for a magazine (I got a pattern accepted into a big magazine! Woohoo!!), but I can tell you it's colorwork and it's in Koigu. In other words: it's awesome! It'll be out this winter and you can be sure I'll tell you all about it when it comes out!

In sewing news, I've been busy busy busy! I'm working on curtains for my new room, and this is the first one, almost finished except for the lining (excuse the awful iPhone photos):

And this past Saturday I took a class with Linda Hahn at the City Quilter, where we worked on her Junk to Jems quilt. These are the blocks I made in class:

They definitely aren't perfect and some of them are even ugly (in my opinion), but I learned a lot! The best part was learning about a new gadget, the Angler 2, which totally blew my mind. I'll definitely be doing a tutorial on how to use it in the near future, it's just amazing!

One of the above blocks has already been turned into a crate mat for Arnold! If you're interested in keeping up with my sewing/quilting, I'm blogging about it over on the Rose Smoke site, as that's the brand I'll be using for my sewn stuff once I start publishing those patterns. Add it to your RSS reader for all my sewing deets!

And in other news, Dave sent me flowers at work for absolutely no reason at all:

They put a huge smile on my face! And made all my coworkers super jealous!

Hehhehe, maybe that was the reason huh?


PS -- I will definitely be doing the knitalong for the Loida shawl, but not until I'm caught up on some other things. Stay tuned here or sign up for my mailing list to be the first to know when it starts!

Posted in quilting, Sewing

How the heck is it the middle of June already??

Posted on June 13, 2012 | 0 Comments

Time flies, as usual.

Before I forget, I did finish the crochet mini-pouch pattern and it's available as a free download to all my email subscribers. If you'd like to download it, go here and put your email in the form. You'll be emailed a confirmation email that you need to click on, then you'll be emailed the link to download the pattern.

In life news, I've got a new 3-day-a-week gig doing WordPress work and that's eating up tons of my time . . . as is commuting into the city from NJ 5 days a week. Why am I in NJ? Been staying with my parents for the last few weeks. Much-too-long-and-boring-story short, I'm moving back into the city on Friday this week, and I can't wait! This will be move #3 in just under 2 months and you know what? I'VE HAD IT with moving. I'm staying put in the new place for a least a year.

Speaking of the new place, it's pretty awesome. I'll be living with a roommate for the first time in literally years, so that'll be interesting and probably take a bit of getting used to, but the apartment itself is amazing: brand new everything (we're the first tenants to live there), in a great neighborhood right by the river, and there's an elevator! After spending the last year in a rundown 5th-floor walk-up studio, the new place sounds like a palace. I'm psyched!

And in sewing/quilting news, I've been sewing a bunch and even knitting a bit! I finished a bunch of stuff lately, including my first-ever garment, a Wiksten tank:

Also finished two quilts which are samples for my first-ever quilt pattern (you SO knew that was coming), which I'm naming Basketful. Here's a peek at the top of the throw-sized quilt:

I'm pretty damn proud of this thing, let me tell you!

Speaking of quilt patterns, I've set up a separate site to talk about quilting/sewing and to sell the quilting patterns. I'll be publishing those patterns under the name Rose Smoke and if you want to check out the (still mostly empty) new site, you can do so at

Phew! How was that for a catch-up update?

I'm hoping to get back on a maintainable schedule after this weekend. Fingers crossed!

Posted in quilting, Sewing

Even more practical sewing!

Posted on April 23, 2012 | 0 Comments

First off, thank you to everyone who signed up for the Koigu Mini-Skeins Club! There are still a few spots left if you still want in!

I've definitely been bitten by the fabric bug! Every shift at the store seems to yield yet another project I just can't wait to work on . . . here's what I made over the last few days:

First up, a laptop case for my Air, which was getting all scratched from being dragged around everywhere (which is totally the point of getting such a thin and light laptop!). I didn't use a pattern, just sort of thought about what I wanted and planned it out, and went from there. It turned out pretty much how I wanted!

And isn't this fabric just perfect for a laptop case!?!? It was in the sale section and I bought all that was left, about 2 yards. For the inside, I went with this crazy bright yellow and black stripy stuff, which I think goes really well with the outside print. Here's a better shot of the inside fabric:

Isn't that fabric cool too? I'm totally into it. The case still needs velcro for a closure but other than that it's totally finished. I have tons of these fabrics left and am thinking of making a few more of these cases and throwing them up on Etsy . . . what do you guys think?

Next up, I made a bigger version of that last purse:

I kept the basic concept but changed a LOT in this one. This purse is my "Pantone Spring 2012" purse, as all the solids were picked from the Pantone spring colors, which I totally love. This finished purse is much more usable for me in my everyday life because it's a bunch bigger and because I added a bunch of pockets: there's an outside zipper pocket on the back and a zipper pocket on the inside, along with the same 2 regular pockets from the original (although I made in them in a totally different way than the patter). And just look at the lining fabric!

It's a Kaffe print that had all the right colors in it and just drives me out of my mind with its beauty. I am psyched to be looking at this print everyday now!

The finished purse is really not perfect, in fact I think the first one was technically better than this second one, which is not the direction you want your crafting to go . . . but oh well, I will still use it even though it's a bit crooked and wonky. I've definitely learned that I need to be more patient when sewing than I am with knitting!

And speaking of knitting, all my sewing hasn't made me forget about knitting. Look at what else I made:

A Chiagu project bag!

Here it is with stuff inside:

I got this fabric from Spoonflower, of course, and designed it with the idea of having the Chiagu logo on the front and my "slogan" on the back, here's the back:

It's pretty great isn't it?? I had examined a few drawstring bags and sort of got the basic concept, but I've gotten a bit obsessed with not having visible seams so I wanted to do a completely reversible drawstring bag instead of the usual . . . and I figured it out, look!

That's the inside shot, and here it is turned inside out:

I'm so psyched about it! This one also isn't perfect, and if/when I make more I am definitely doing two drawstrings instead of one, but I'm excited that my idea panned out. It makes me want to try a bunch of other ideas I have too!

What about you, what have you been working on lately?

Posted in Sewing

Practical sewing

Posted on April 11, 2012 | 0 Comments

Last week I got the idea into my head to sew a purse (I love and hoard purses!) and started hunting for patterns. I ended up finding the perfect bag in Modern Patchwork, which is a new magazine from Interweave Knits that has quilting and sewing designs in it. I picked up all the fabrics at work last Thursday and whipped the bag out on Friday!

I'm kind of surprised at how easy it was and how well it came out, to be honest with you. It's far from perfect (I cut the lining too small and had to squish the outside to fit) but I don't think a person can tell that it wasn't bought at a store, and that's always my guideline for if something came out well or not.

Here's the bag not-folded:

And here's the lining fabric, which I'm totally in love with:

The finished bag is a bit small for everyday use (because I carry way too much crap around with me) but it's a good size to add to my collection. I'm planning to make this again in a bigger size for daytime use, that's how much I like it!

The other practical thing I sewed was just this morning, while trying to neaten up my supplies. I have been keeping the special basting safety pins in a ziplock bag and today decided they should have a nicer home, so whipped out this little drawstring pouch:

I used a scrap of green fabric and then crocheted a chain to use as a drawstring, and was done in literally 5 minutes. It fits the pins perfectly!

Definitely the most awesome part of sewing in comparison to knitting: it's so speedy!

Posted in Sewing

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