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.






Friday, March 31, 2017

on swaps and minis and diamonds and squares

Hi friends! After a week or so of no sewing, I finally got my groove back.

And it all started with the mini I created for the #geeseswap.

Here she is, in all her bold-binded glory.


I wasn't sure about that bottom row of geese, but the instagram consensus was to leave it on. So I did.

And then I made a pillow front for my #makersbirthdaybash girl. Not a style I typically make, so I hope my girl likes it. 


I made this pillow front using the Treehouse Chimney Sweep free pillow pattern found here. I looked at my girl's inspiration mosaic and was so tempted to make the exact design she shared in her mosaic, but I have something about surprises.... I am the same way with my kids and gifts. They tell me what they want, and then I give them a couple of those things and then make the rest surprises, things I think they'd like but had not considered. So hopefully I got this right. I am sort of tempted to make another pillow cover just in case....

 And all of that smaller-sized making pushed me to make something big-- a quilt.

I wasn't sure what pattern to make, so I turned to one of my new favorite quilt books, By The Bundle.


There are quite a few patterns I want to make from this book, but there is pattern I want to make 50 times over!! 


I think it is the Liberty that drew me in, but I love the reverse negative space. It gives me the white space I need, while still filling the quilt with color and pattern.

I altered the sizes a bit-- I made the blocks bigger, and did less blocks. I had just received a Quilters Mystery Box from massdrop, and in it was a cute little mermaid/sea-themed bundle! So I whipped this up from 20 fat quarters and VOILA!


If you are curious about the measurements of the blocks I made and you already have the book, just shoot me a message and I would be happy to share. :)

What's even better-- there are still some fat quarters left for me to piece a backing! That is my plan for tomorrow!!

Happy Friday friends!! Linking up here:


Finished or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts







here we go again

Without sounding like a whiner, I've been dealing with some things that have kind of sucked the wind right out of my sails. (Wait. That still makes me a whiner, doesn't it? Darn it.)

If you know me at all or we are friends on social media, you might know that a few years ago I was diagnosed with PVNS while I was pregnant with my 5th baby, Declan. I had a golf-ball sized tumor removed from my leg shortly after he was born. And then had some complications, so I had to have another surgery. In that 2nd surgery, something happened to my femoral nerve, and severed it. Which basically means I don't have proper nerve function in my right leg, walk with a limp, and my leg often goes out. 

Basically, my leg is super awesome. But, I have had 3 years of getting back to a new normal and was doing really well. I could walk a few miles, I could run in short spurts (but not on cement because I am afraid of face planting when my leg goes out). Mostly, I was doing very well.

Until about a month ago, when I wasn't doing so well. It started with just pain occasionally. And then a lot of swelling and locking up. And then the pain got worse and worse. My chance of recurrence was very very small. But because I am an overachiever, it appears my body likes small chances. 

I am back talking with my orthopedic oncologist, have an MRI coming up, and am in good hands. 

I have spent the last week getting ahead of myself in upset. When these things recur, they are more aggressive, and I don't have much joint tissue left for doctors to remove. So that sucks. But- it is what it is, and getting frustrated doesn't change a darn thing. 

It took me a week or so, but I have finally realized it will all be okay. Even if it isn't. 

While all this was going on, my Dad came to visit (which was so good for all of us because we have not seen him in 4 years), we have battled strep throat and ear infections, my tooth broke, and my pets heads are falling off.  JK. My pets heads are doing alright. 

I am sharing here because this is my deep breath space. So. If any of my friends read this, please just know I love you all bunches and I am sorry that I checked out of life a few weeks ago. I am back in it, now, just with a bigger limp and shooting motrin every 4 hours! haha! 

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