Thursday, August 3, 2017

Summering hard over here

Hello friends. Summer is in full swing, and despite having had quite a few relaxing days, I don't know that we have really stopped or slowed down much since school got out.

I went through a pretty lengthy sewing break. I am realizing this is just who I am. Go go go go, and then I stop completely. No slow fizzle out, just a complete, dead in my track, stand still. I used feel guilty about this, like the sudden stop in productivity was bad and I would try to fight it. Now I recognize it as the break that I need. I think I am so all in that I tend to kill the fun or the creativity or the drive behind whatever propelled me forward in the first place.

Every time I take a break, I come back renewed and ready to create. And it's not like the break itself was unproductive. It was filled with dozens of beach days, lots of books read (which is something I could fill an entire post with, so I will save that for another time), time with friends, games, exploring. Just no sewing.

We camped at the beach down the road from us and it was perfect. 

I did get to do a little sewing, actually. 

Look how close the dolphins were to us!

Our first time grilling pizza and it will not be a regular thing because OH MY GOSH it was delicious. This was a BBQ chicken pizza with BBQ sauce instead of pizza sauce, bbq chicken, red onions, bacon, monterey jack cheese, and a drizzle of ranch on top. Seriously, so good!!!

When we got home from the beach, I felt the push to make again. I was waiting for it to arrive, and arrive it did! I made things for swaps, things for the kids, things for fun, and things for my shop.

 This was something I made for my original #UHGswap partner hosted by Kelly of @Kelbysews and Michelle of @mishamakes My partner said she liked modern and eclectic and vibrant color (these colors were part of her photo mosaic she posted), and she had a thing for collecting birds nests. So I thought it would be to make some modern, pieced birds nests out of fabric. Three birds nests, in purple, blue, and green, and they were fun to make and challenge myself with because they were pieced improv style.

The plan changed however, and I created an entire separate package for another sweet girl who just said she liked color and stars! Which, if you don't know, happen to be my quilty love language. I whipped up the mini below for her!

And because I am no stranger to joining fun swaps, I also had to create a mini for my #allthecolorsminiswap  Any swap based on using many colors is my jam! I started making a mini for my partner, but when I lost the pieces in a room moving shuffle. (Towards the end of the school year, I started noticing that my 2 girls sharing was kind of rough on my oldest daughter, who is an angel and always so selfless and helpful to me. So I decided to make her year and gave up my sewing room so she could have her own room.) Anyways, I lost the pieces of the mini I made, so I was forced to start over. Although, I ended up being pretty happy with my plan B.


....and all ready to go!

Those little swaps got me fired up to start making quilts and things that felt fun again!

When we got home from the beach I whipped up a few adorable Glitter It All pouches. The pattern was created by Laura Zuckeruss and was shared in LP&Q magazine! I have to tell you, if you are looking for a super fun thing to make, this little pouch is it!!! I made so many I ran out of vinyl right away.

The best part was choosing which fun sparkles and trinkets to stick inside the plastic!!

There is a pink unicorn in there, we just overloaded it with glitter that it is hard to see!

I also made some whole cloth quilts to add to my shop.

Bonnie Christine fabrics are AMAZING!! Plus they have that silky softness that only Art Gallery Fabrics has!

This one is available here!

And one for the boys!

This one is available here! 

In other quilting news, I have joined an online quilting bee !!!!!), started a quilt JUST for me, and joined a fun little improv sew along, that I will share more about later. I feel like I have overloaded this spot enough for one day!

Happy Thursday friends!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Finished : Liberty and Linen Wonky Star

A while back I started a quilt with the whole focus being a way to showcase a beautiful Liberty of London print. I made the quilt top, and then it just sat, languishing in a bin.

I have realized, since I do this a lot, that tends to happen with me on quilts I begin with an idea, not sure if it will work out. And then I work quickly, making the top, and once I complete the idea in my head, I sigh and feel content to have gotten it out, and then fold the quilt top up.

It's kind of funny, really, because despite my not seeing these quilt tops through to fruition, I am ridiculously proud of myself for having at least finished the top.

Well, I promised myself I would complete this one, so I whipped up a backing and then got to quilting, and voila!

The quilting on this near killed my back, but it was worth the hunch in the end.

I like how you can see the stars outlined on the back. 

So there you have it. One top left the basket, while about 8 others still sit. I guess this Liberty quilt was a lucky one. :)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

what I'm wanting & what I'm reading

This year, I have shown some SERIOUS restraint in purchasing fabric. Serious restraint.

We are trying to save what we can for retirement, and also, I have more fabric than I know what to do with. I tell my husband all the time that I want-- no, I NEED is more like it- to be more minimalist and not have sooooo. much. stuff. Because with 5 kids, we sure accumulate stuff. We have been trying to weed stuff out and over the past few months have filled over a dozen bags and boxes with things we do not need. And I am all about continuing with that....except in my sewing room, it is so hard. I did go through it once, and pulled out a few pounds of fabric that I bought several years ago that I no longer want (chevron, mostly.)

The problem is, I clear out space and then feel like I should be *allowed* to fill it. haha!

So, instead, I just send my husband links to bundles of fabric I want and put "A great mother's day present idea" or "Earth day gift idea" in the subject line. Sometimes I just email him with a link to fabric and say only, I should get a reward for keeping the kids alive this week.

So on the latest rounds of emails, this is what I have pointed my husband towards.

The bundle is available at Purl Soho, and it was designed to make the Color Wheel quilt in the book Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts.  I already have the book and have made one quilt from it so far. I bought the book solely with the purpose of making the Color Wheel quilt, so the fact that there is a bundle filled with beautiful Liberty florals designed solely for this purpose-- YES, PLEASE!

And then there is this bundle. Where the Liberty rainbow is soft and soothing, this Heather Bailey bundle is bright and energetic.

This bundle is one of several bundles I have been eyeing (and emailing link to) from Stash Modern Fabrics.

Okay, so now that it's clear I am in need of a fabric rainbow in my life, I wanted to share about some wonderful books I have read in the past couple weeks.

First, was Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It was unlike anything I have read as an adult. There were so many bits of beautiful wisdom speckled throughout, that I think I will read it again because I am sure I missed some things. I am terrible at book reviews, so I will spare you my mediocre attempt to summarize a wonderfully written story. But- it is a fast read, one I could not put down, and despite being something I would not have ordinarily gravitated towards, I am so glad I did.  It's been a week since I finished the book, and it keeps creeping its way into my thoughts. I love a book that stays with you and keeps making you think of deep things in a relatable way.

I really love Goodreads. If you are on there, please let's be friends. Because so many of the books I have LOVED, I only came upon because I saw a friend rate it/review it well. I have a handful of friends that have similar reading tastes, and I love browsing their book lists. 

Another one I just finished was Lilac Girls. A tale of 3 women whose stories were independent and heartbreakingly intertwined during World War II and the years that came after. It was, at times, almost impossible to read. It was hard and beautiful material and  it was a story of the both the very worst and the very best things humans are capable of. And the way it detailed these women's stories, the way they persevered, connected to one another, were brave and strong, it just got right to my core. As the tears gathered on my cheeks, I wanted to put it down, but could not. This book is one everyone should read.

And these are the books next up.

Sarah's Key and The Pearl That Broke It's Shell are going to be hard reads, so I have heard, so I am going to need something rather light in between those two. Back to the library I will go. High fives to my local library, who is constantly supplying me with wonderful things to keep up late into the night!

Do y'all have any books you think I'd like to read? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


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