January 18, 2017

Family Challenge: 2016


Well, hello.  It's been a while since I visited this space. The little vacation was everything I needed. 

Over the holiday my Grandmother and I revealed last year's Family Challenge quilt. We both look forward to this event all year. 2016 marked our 4th year of the challenge.  It's fun to look back over the years and see how far we have grown as quilters. Both of us try to stretch our current skills each time.

Here are our latest quilts, mine is on the left and Gram's is on the right. Her quilt is Twin sized! We split a fat quarter pack of Atrium by Joel Dewberry for this years challenge. Last year we randomly pulled for a color way, warm or cool. Each of us got 13 fat quarters. 

(Sorry about the poor photo quality, the sun and snow didn't want to cooperate.)




My Gram has been experimenting with FMQ, and this is her first go at wavy lines.  She did a great job keeping them consistent! I also LOVE the bike print she put on the back of this quilt!


At Thanksgiving we talked about a rules change for 2017  Many of our quilts sit around after they are completed. We decided to pull other family members names and make a quilt for a specific person.  These two quilts went to a couple of the cousins. Then we pulled names for next year. My Gram got my cousin Mitchell, and I got my sister. Instead of having a specific fabric to work with, we are making the quilt to fit the person's colors/style. 

The moment I pulled my sister's name I started scheming up ideas. She loves animals and flowers. Now I just need to finesse my ideas into a cohesive quilt. 

LIFE UPDATES:
So, what else has been happening during my blogging hiatus?  

First, we are in the process of buying a house! The whole process is exciting and scary all at the same time. The closing date isn't until mid February and it cannot come soon enough. One more month to go. I have been picking up decorations and furniture here and there for the house. All I want to do is decorate! Now I will have my very own sewing room.

Second, I have taken up running again, it feels good. This past weekend was my first 5k in almost a year and a half! The time was embarrassing, but I finished. During the race a man collapsed and was taken away by ambulance. As we watched the whole thing unfold it was a reminder to live and enjoy every moment. Life and time work in funny ways. We did find out later that he is ok and resting up at the hospital. 

Third, slow sewing. Over the past month I have planned and started two slow sewing projects. The whole switch in mindset about not finishing projects quickly has been great for me.  I purchased some EPP papers and started glue basting (so much faster). I have 100 pieces ready to start hand sewing any day now. My other project is hand quilting a scrap quilt I whipped up over the holiday break. It's been so relaxing to sit and sew. In the last month I have finished watching The Crown, Rebellion (both Netflix originals) and started Call the Midwife. All three are so good. 

December 31, 2016

Moving Toward 2017

2017 theme: REFOCUS

Lately I have felt things are spinning out of control. I have too much going on, too many commitments, and too many things to do.  I cannot give all my commitments the care and attention they deserve, not to mention myself!

On the blog I have been rushing from project to project like it's a job.  Spending all my free time sewing to meet an unrealistic deadline I created for myself. The desire to maintain a constant flow of new material has me feeling a little burnt out. My parents always said I burn the candle at both ends. As much as I enjoy being busy, there also needs to be a balance. (Pretty sure I talk about finding balance every year around this time). This year I tend to refocus. Finding what matters most to me and putting those priorities first. 

As much as I love the sewing and the blogging community, this is one of the areas I plan on scaling WAY back. Instead of stressing to put out 9 mediocre posts a month, for 2017 I am planning on sharing to 2 or 3 posts a month. Thus giving more content and focus to my posts. All the work that goes into a blog post has been weighing me down. Hopefully, by sharing only the best of what is happening around here I can relieve some of the stress I put on myself. 

Almost every aspect of my life has been under scrutiny these last few weeks, do I want to keep doing this activity? do I need to move on? is this something that brings me joy? will this inspire me? So many things didn't make the cut and it feels good to walk away.  All the noise in my head is quieting. 

Here is to a focused year in 2017. What are some changes you all are making for the 2017 year? 

December 21, 2016

The Soap Trials

Short quilting interruption ... for SOAP!

One weekend in November my sister and I got some 10 pounds of melt and pour soap and got creative. Conveniently, Mom had expanded her herb garden this summer and we had a variety of dried herbs to add to our soap. We got goat, oatmeal, and shea butter for the bases.  The oatmeal is my favorite!



Favorite Recipe:

  • 1 pound oatmeal melt & pour soap
  • 15 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1/8 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • Pinch of dried lavender



To explain the 10 pounds of soap madness, we are planning on giving them away for Christmas gifts. In equal insanity, I have knit up too many wash cloths to complete the gift. (The string ends still need to be woven in, it's my least favorite part) Pictured is only a small portion of what has actually been completed!




Tomorrow is our last day of school before the holiday break, please pray for my survival!

December 16, 2016

Herringbone Quilt

Rachel @ Stitched in Color has been a long time inspiration. She was one of the first quilt blogs I followed, and is still blogging. Last year she updated her Herringbone Block Tutorial to use 2.5 inch strips and I have been dying to make one myself. Plus her color use of pinks, browns, and blues made my heart patter. Truth be told, all her color combinations make my heart patter! 

The tutorial is super easy to follow even though the block looks complicated! I did a few test runs before cutting and was impressed with the ease.


I have been working this pile of fabric for a while and finally settled. Les Fleurs was the final addition before the cutting began.  The darker colors provided a nice contrast to some of the pale fabrics. Some metallics also snuck in at the last minute! 



Here are my testers, this quilt has me quite excited.