A whirlwind May

Three t-shirts from jersey scraps

Where did the entire month of May go?  I remember it being April, then I blinked, and now it’s June.  I purposely didn’t participate in Me-Made-May this year because I knew my schedule was going to be insane, but I really enjoyed following along with all your posts and pictures.  So what was I up to?  Lots of work, lots of travel, and yes, even some sewing.  🙂

Just this weekend I sewed up three quick t-shirts, the colorful array you see above.  These tops may be “boring as hell” (one of my new favorite phrases), but they’re perfect for wearing to work in the summer.  These tops were a total stash bust.  I used random scraps of cotton jersey leftover from other projects and managed to patch together 3 functioning garments.  The colorblocking was more of a necessity than a design decision given the size of my scraps, but I think they came out ok.  The pattern is my hacked Renfrew (I made 3 identical tops last summer), and the fabric is all Laguna jersey.  Each top uses <1 yard of fabric.

This was the best photo I could get on a very gloomy and rainy Sunday afternoon.  My motivation for taking photos of myself for the blog has evaporated lately, so you’ll just have to imagine them on me.

I’ve also been quilting…
Raspberry kiss blocksI’m still participating in the Cambridge Modern Quilt Guild, which has been an absolute delight.  I look forward to the meetings every month!  The group is really welcoming, friendly, and enthusiastic, and I’m learning a lot about various aspects of quilting.  I made some Raspberry Kiss blocks (above) for an upcoming guild lottery event.  One person from the guild will get to take home everyone’s blocks.  I love this idea – what a special quilt that will be.

A few weeks ago I finally bound my Aqueduct Quilt using this fun feather fabric:
Aqueduct Quilt binding strips Aqueduct Quilt binding corner

The finished quilt is now waiting for a sunny weekend for some good outdoor photos.  In the meantime, it’s been accumulating cat hair, which is the sign of a well-used and well-loved quilt.  🙂

Outside of sewing, the main reason my May was so hectic was a trip to Wisconsin.  Yes, Wisconsin!  I never really gave the state of Wisconsin much thought, but it turned out to be AWESOME.  The primary reason for my trip was some work at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, but then John and I stayed for a long weekend and turned it into a mini vacation.  We had such a great time!

We discovered many Wisconsin traditions, such as fried cheese curds, beer with every meal, and barn quilts.

Barn quilt in New Glarus Wisconsin

Apparently barn quilts are a big deal in Green County, WI.  Basically, people who own barns sign up to have a quilt block painted on big wooden boards and hung on their barns, and tourists can drive around the county with a map and check off each barn quilt that they encounter.  I cannot tell you how much fun I had doing this.  Most barn quilts are on agricultural barns, but if you look closely in the photo above, this quilt was hung on the Waste Treatment Facility of a beer brewery!

Another fun Wisconsin landmark: the National Mustard Museum.

Carolyn at National Mustard Museum in Middleton Wisconsin

This place was hilarious.  If you love mustard, this is a must-see.

Throughout the month, we also had various friends and family visiting on a few different occasions.  Combined with the Wisconsin trip and a big deadline at work (that thankfully just passed on Friday, phew!!), it feels like it’s been AGES since I’ve been able to just RELAX.  But, despite the crazy schedule and work stress, it was actually quite a wonderful few weeks.

Most notably of all, this happened:

Carolyn at PhD commencement

A whopping nine months after my thesis defense, I finally got to walk in commencement.  What a fun day!  I had a wonderful group of family, friends, and colleagues to celebrate with, and getting my degree finally feels official.  I laughed, I cried, and I felt very, very proud.  Congrats to everyone who graduated this season!  🙂

Now that things are calming down a bit, I’m ready to dive into a more meaty sewing project.  I still have my floral Robson trench to sew, and I splurged and bought a piece of gorgeous painted silk chiffon on my travels.  Any ideas what I should sew with it??

I hope you all had a wonderful May!

15 thoughts on “A whirlwind May

  1. Gosh, you have been busy, well done on managing to squeeze some sewing in and amongst everything. May has been a whirlwind for me too, tho not so much sewing been fitted in and hardly any blogging. I’ve not heard of the walking in commencement term before (forgive my ignorance) but you look amazing, congratulations 😀😀😀

    • Thanks Ali! I hope your schedule gets back to normal soon so that you can find some more sewing time. 🙂 It’s amazing how our beloved hobby can sometimes take last priority when life gets a little hectic!

  2. Congratulations on graduating! That must feel so good after all your hard work. Also, I think we need some barn quilts in New England! I like the idea that you can make a game out of seeing them. I like your shirts and I don’t think they are boring at all. Glad you are still able to sew with your busy schedule.

    • Thanks Lisa! New England barn quilts would be so awesome! I kind of laughed at this idea when I first heard of it, but it wound up being way more fun than I had expected, kind of like a sewing-related treasure hunt. I think it would be fun for kids, too. Thanks for your comments about my t-shirts too. I wore one to work yesterday, it was perfect for commuting and working in the lab. Done and done!

  3. Always enjoy your posts – the tops are lovely. Congrats on the PHD – why a mortar board? All PhD’s here have a bonnet – the floppy oversized beret thing.

    • Thank you! The PhD tam is actually slightly more floppy than a typical mortar board. It’s made out of a velvet-like fabric. It’s not nearly as floppy as a beret though. Interestingly, I noticed that academics who got their PhD in the UK wore much floppier hats during the ceremony! They also had much more colorful gowns.

  4. Sounds like a busy and exciting month! Wisconsin is lovely–we used to live in IL and we went up to Madison once to spend the day. Great city! Love the barn quilts, and a big YES to fried cheese curds. Yuuummm… Oh, and congrats on officially graduating!

  5. Congratulations on your graduation! I was just wondering what you had been up to, since I hadn’t seen a blog post in a while. Glad to hear you’ve been having fun.

    • Thanks Meigan! Yeah, the entire month was so busy. It was amazing that I squeezed in a little time to sew, but sadly blogging didn’t make the cut!

  6. I like the contrast binding on your tshirts, it makes the color blocking look on purpose. Also, barn quilts are all over the Midwest. Normally they’re more random and home made, but it’s cool they have so many all in one area!

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