Thursday, January 23, 2014

Binding.... It is so.....

The binding is sewn on the front - now to do the hand stitching to finish the binding on the Disappearing Nine Patch.....  

I love this last little part of a quilt... the handwork.  

It is so therapeutic....  quiet work.   

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Most used room in the house.....

Is it the kitchen?  The living room?  The den? 

Nope.  Lately it has been the sewing room.  

One of my goals of 2014 was to spend at least 30 minutes each day creating.....  I think I have been doing just that and probably making up for 2013 too. 

The first ever quilt top has now been quilted.....  (this also whittles away at another one of my 2014 goals - getting the quilt tops finished) 


Now time for binding and that is a story all in itself.  I made this quilt top over two years ago and wanted to use the brown fabric to do the inner border and bind....  however when I pulled the fabric out two years later it certainly did not look like enough to me....  so on to the hunt for the elusive brown fabric... quilt shop after quilt shop.  No luck....

After exhaustively looking and touching all the fabric.... I settled on a greenish fairy frost...  I had not washed the new fabric yet, so I decided to go ahead and use the "little bit of" brown fabric I had to bind the Disappearing Nine-Patch. 



But after second glance and actually folding the brown fabric selvage to selvage - it appears I have enough to bind the Beast.  (Yes, the first ever quilt top has been re-named the Beast).  

So as any good little sewist would do.... I measured once, twice and three times and then cut.... I have plenty.  I have decided that I will go against all my teachings and will machine bind the Beast.  I just do not have it in me to hand sew him....  

While measuring, re-measuring and doing the happy dance.... I was also sewing together the first block for the 2014 Block of the Month.  I met with my quilty friend on Monday for lunch, the aforementioned fabric hunt, and some sewing time in her darling (and much used) sewing room.  We sewed and learned "squaring up" together.... of course, we laughed and laughed....  

I finished up the block tonight.... 


I just love these fabrics... This will be my first quilt all done exclusively with batiks... very very very happy....  

I think the most used room in the house is the best room in the house.  

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Prodigal Son....

This is not one of my normal posts.... 

(The Prodigal Son, John August Swanson) 

Lately, I have been struggling.  How it all started or what was the straw that broke the camel's back... I have no clue. But struggling...  lots of self doubts.  Lots of regrets..... lots.

I even started to view myself as a victim.  What?  I do not like this AT ALL!  

To say I have been cranky is really an understatement.  I have been downright rude, hard on others - but even harder on myself, moody, irritable, impatient...oh the list goes on and on.... and yes, you may give my hubby and youngest a round of applause ;)  [they have been putting up with for quite a long time - at least 9-10 months!] 

But even being able to recognize this - I had no idea where it was coming from.  At first, I thought, "Oh it is just your hormones.  You are almost 50. Get over it."  I will blame all of my troubles on menopause.  And for awhile I did just that.  "Here comes a hot flash.... so it is alright if I chew your head off.....because I am hot."  

Then when I realized that "50" was right around the corner....Well, I kind of freaked out.  More self-loathing, more regrets... more longing for a different outcome....  

So I have been praying.... and I mean a continual conversation with God.  In those conversations, all of my regrets have come forward....  full in my face.... so of course, that just seemed to sink me lower.  I was crying a lot, feeling even more sorry for myself.  Sleeping more... or actually napping more....[I think that was a result of trying to be Miss Happy to everyone in the outside world - so exhausting].  I started to believe I was depressed....  

I think when I finally got to that point, God had to slap me upside the head and say, "Start listening and stop whining!" 

Last Sunday, our Pastor talked about sin.... he redefined it for me.  He said sin was not the small stuff... it was letting other things come between you and God - to not have God be your focus.  He said that it was not a sin to fall asleep during his sermon, or saying the wrong thing to someone, or having unkind thoughts.... He said if we are worrying about those then we are letting the Devil get the better of us and we are not focusing on living with God in our lives.  That was the slap upside the head I needed!  

All of my adult life, I have been trying to "make up" for all the things I did in my teens and early 20's....  all the small stuff that I thought was sin.... I have been so focused on trying to undo my sins - that I lost sight of the bigger picture.  I had let the Devil control me for nearly 30 years!  

Over the course of this week, with this new attitude... I started to view my life very differently.  

While I have certainly broken the Ten Commandments countless times - nearly all of them every day..... God has always been a part of my life.  He is most certainly the center of it. 

So this morning when I got up - I let go of the son who felt slighted, the son who felt like the victim......

and let God embrace me as his prodigal son.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Quilty Beginnings.....


Got my pattern and kit for BOM 2014!   My little fabric pieces are already rinsed and drying out on my ironing board

This year it is Mulberry Stars by Wing and a Prayer Design. Love love love love love love the colors!   

New challenge and quilty beginnings.....  

(now back to quilting the beast)




Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Label Placement....

Have been buying fabric like a crazy lady...... have the receipts to prove it.  However, under no circumstance, not one, will I show them to anybody!  

I am in the Disappearing Nine Patch phase of my quilt journey and I love this spot.  

And..... 

that is why I have been purchasing fabric.... (that's my story and I am sticking to it). 

I have finished one quilt already...



I really felt very good about the quilting on this one too.... Did not cut the thread and not one little blob is on the back.   It is just meandering... but I am comfortable with that right now.....  So it time now to make the binding for this guy and should ready to bind him tomorrow night (after BOM meeting 2014!)  

Of course, once it is bound, labeling will be a must.  I always stress a little about what label to make for a quilt and of course... placement.  

But I think on this one.....  


That question has already been answered.  :) 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday......

Sundays are always a day for reflection and renewal for the upcoming week.  

It seems that the more time I have been spending in my sewing room, more contemplation has been taking place.  

I am happy with this. 

It prompts me to spend more time with God.  I pray more.  I listen more.  I create more.

It must mean that my sewing room is my Sunday room..... so the more time I am here..... the more Sunday time I get. 

I am happy with this.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mail Call

Love love love mail!  

And my 2014 "To Do" List is getting longer and longer.  

My youngest daughter received a really cool tote for Christmas from some lovely ladies at her school.  She brought it home and told me she thought I should make one.  We happened to see the pattern at my favorite quilt shop - but they were out..... so I found it on ebay and YAY it arrived today.  



So along with this fun pattern, the quilt tops to be quilted, the Disappearing Nine Patch and a thread catcher.....(and all the Christmas presents I want to make.....) 

It seems that I will be spending A LOT of time in my favorite room in the house!  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Wish it was the weekend.......

Don't you just wish that everyday was Saturday morning?  

I do.....  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sew Me Time

Had some charm packs from Shop Hop 2012....  Decided finally to jump in, take them out of their pretty little paper sleeves and make something fun out of them.  

Disappearing Nine Patch
(A wonderfully fun and easy technique!) 

Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company has this tutorial on her YouTube Channel....  and that is where I got the inspiration and encouragement to try one for myself.  If you have not seen any of her tutorials - go and check her out! She is awesome! 

She suggests that you use two charm packs.  I only had one, so I went to the fabric shelf and pulled out some more fabric and cut up 5 inch squares to go with the charm pack.  (Wish I could tell you the name of this charm pack - but I threw away the name yesterday and the trash already picked up!)  They are pretty fall colors! 



Take some time and lay out your blocks into nine patches.  I took Jenny's advice and picked one fabric to be the center patch.... See that pretty orange fabric in the center...


Now sew your Nine Patch Blocks.


With one charm pack and some of my own fabric, I made six Nine Patch Blocks.....  There is one (the top left) that I did not pay attention to when I was sewing and got too many dark fabrics together.... but the good thing is that in this design - that is not really a mistake!  


Now after all that sewing.... guess what???  You cut the Nine Patch Blocks!  Yes, that is right.  You cut it right down the middle and then you turn it 45 degrees and cut it right down the middle again!  


 As you can see, all of my orange center blocks of the Nine Patch are cut into four little blocks.....  how cute!  


There are many, many, many ways you can lay out the little blocks - but I took Jenny's suggestion and made sure no seams were touching....  isn't this a fun design?  
Now all I need to do is stop "auditioning" borders and get this cute little darling sewn together....  

Hopefully tomorrow I will have the top finished.  

Using pre-cuts and only cutting a few squares... I was able to get to this point in about 3-4 hours...

(Wish I remembered how many "extra squares" I cut.  I will count next time....)

This is a great quilt top for beginners like me, to keep working on piecing skills (and cutting if you do not use pre-cuts).  Also, since they go together so fast, we can make quite a few of these to practice quilting and binding!!!  

I love my little Sew Me Time.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Ahhhhh Saturdays.....

My morning started here....  

It really is one of my favorite spots in the whole house.  It is where I relax, ponder, create..... the list goes on and on. It is not my desk at work.  It is not the kitchen.  It is not even the comfy easy chair in the den..... 

No.... it is my wonderfully messy sewing room desk.  

And if I am in the room, sitting at the desk... then it means it is a Saturday morning!  

Ahhhhh Saturdays.  

Yes, they are busy.  Yes, they can be chaotic... but they are mine.  All mine.    

So today was a relaxing Saturday.  Had my coffee at the sewing room desk.  

Visited a friend....then lunch time was a small hike with the hubby.... 


We have some really nice trails all around our city... it is the desert... so this time of year is the best time to get out and hike.  I have been keeping my walking everyday goal - but today I got to walk in the sunshine, on a hill, during the day!  Pretty awesome!   

After the hike, we went and had Greek salads and did a little shopping.  We got home and I put a pot of beans on the stove.... we are having them curried this week... mmmmmm...  

and now...  


Relaxing with a cup of Earl Grey.... looking through my quilting books for the next project....  

Ahhhhh.... Saturdays....  

Friday, January 3, 2014

Peppers....

I live in the southwest desert.... so gardening is not an easy task unless cacti are something you love....  

But peppers.... yes, I can grow a mean pepper.... a hot pepper.....  

Even my friends cannot believe how hot....... 

Funny thing is I do not like peppers....  I do not like hot spicy food.....  

But I can really grow mean, hot, spicy, flaming.... peppers.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Lucky girl I am.....


Four 18 Gallon Tubs of Fabric

Oh my goodness.....  I am one lucky girl! 

An old friend gave me these four 18 gallon tubs of fabric... and what a treat. 

My quilty girlfriend (we started our quilty journey together) and I have been dreaming/talking/working on..... making charity quilts for either donation or sale.... more about that another time.  So as you can imagine four 18 gallon tubs of fabric are certainly a wonderful jump start to our dream.  Not to mention the four huge boxes of fabric, patterns and notations that my quilty girlfriend's aunt has donated to the cause.

Blessings do not stop there.....  my old friend, who donated these four 18 gallon tubs of fabric.... well, we had not seen each other in nearly eighteen years..... 

Fabric for charity quilts.... reconnecting with an old and dear friend..... and spending time with my quilty friend.... 

Makes for one lucky girl!  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy 2014


New Fabric to start off 2014!!!  

So excited to start off a new year....  love new beginnings. So many ideas and goals running through my head today.  

Instead of resolutions - maybe I will call them goals.  Does not seem so overwhelming when referred to as a goal.... what do you think?

2014 Goals:  

1.  Walk everyday. 

2.  Blog everyday - even if it is just a picture.

3. Spend at least 30 minutes in the sewing room everyday...  and this does not include blogging, checking e-mails, etc. (yes my sewing room doubles as my little office).  
Must create for 30 minutes everyday.  

4.  Finish all my quilts.... no more quilt tops being stored in a closet - get them out and in use!  

5.  Spend time with friends at least once a week.  

6.  Put down the club and stop beating myself up. 

7.  Learn to say no. 

8.  .......

Happy 2014!