My Quilt Website Is Up!

14 11 2013

It’s been in the works for a while, but I finally published my website!  I’ve made some t-shirt quilts for my family, and have  had such a positive response that I decided to make them for others, and have a job I love in the process 🙂

Go check it out!  And there’s still time to have one made for Christmas!  And it’s never to early to think about graduation gifts for May, so let me help you give a truly meaningful gift!

www.quiltedtees.com

Now I’m off to work on a new quilt from Pieces by Polly.  Her Nativity in the Trees quilt along has just begun, so join us for the fun!  

 

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Quilting Heaven

17 10 2013

Wow! I didn’t realize that I haven’t posted since my last QBSA squishy was mailed! I have been busy, busy in quilt heaven 🙂 In other words, I’ve been very productive, and enjoyed my work!

I have finished three quilt tops, almost got my t-shirt quilt website ready to publish, have made two blocks to swap, and finally got the rest of the supplies I need to make a sample for pics to write my first pattern, which will be for a bag that I designed as my EPP bag, shown at the bottom of this post!  I’ll also be selling the bag I use to write the pattern, so keep an eye open for that.  If you don’t do EPP, it would also make a great cosmetic bag!

So here’s a look at the quilt tops finished this month:

From Amy Gibson's Secret Garden workshop on Craftsy

From Amy Gibson’s Secret Garden workshop on Craftsy

This is my daughter’s Girl Scout t-shirt quilt, which she is anxious for me to finish. I’ll quilt it this month, hopefully, and provide some colorful pictures for my website 😉

I love how couching her name in the center square turned out!
I’m also donating a t-shirt quilt to a high school senior trip fund for a cousin, which will help the senior class raise money for the trip with a raffle for the quilt, which is made of the school’s shirts.  That should be a successful fundraiser for them and provide some advertising for me!   And, of course, it will also provide some more colorful pictures for my website!  This is just a sneak preview:

Today, I set all this aside to make the blocks for my swap partners, which I will post about separately to make it easy for them to find.

I’ve got just a bit of time to work on a creative backing for that school quilt before it’s time to cook dinner!





Busy Busy

27 09 2013

I’ve been so busy I haven’t blogged about lots o’ stuff!

My grandma’s 80th birthday celebration was a blast!  I got to see all the Aunts and Uncles on my mama’s side, Grandma and Grandpa, and some cousins that I rarely get to see – along with their adorable kids, which is special, since mine are about grown!  My daughter got to travel to the party with me, but hubby and son both had to work, so it was a girls’ trip with my Aunt.  We snapped this photo of four generations:  my daughter, myself, mom, and grandma.  Absolutely priceless.

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In other news…

I managed to finish two charity quilts in my mess of a studio by clearing a path to the machine and putting blinders on so I could enjoy a bit of quilting!

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And my quilt studio almost has a cleared floor now, as all but a few things have yet to find a place. I don’t have near enough storage, so until I can get some more furniture or plastic organizers, a bit of stack and pile will have to do.

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I’ve had such a response to my EPP bag, that I’m working on a pattern to sell, and of course, that means I am making another, so that I can put lots of pics in the pattern. I’ll sell the bag, too, I hope! That possibility is exciting!

And it’s time to start on two t-shirt quilts, which will provide one for my daughter, one to raise money for my niece’s senior trip, as it will be raffled off, and the pics of these quilts will allow me to get my website for t-shirt quilts published – finally!

Lots in the works! Busy, busy…and loving it!





Quilt Studio

18 09 2013

When we bought our house ten years ago, we needed a room to dedicate to homeschooling. Not that homeschooling didn’t occur all over the house, yard, and everywhere we went, but we wanted a space for all those books (we used a literature approach), a computer, somewhere that ongoing projects could be accessed easily, and a quiet, comfy place to read. We choose to turn the bedroom at the top of the stairs into a loft by simply not having a doorframe and having only half a wall that overlooked the stairwell

It was perfect.

When I reached the end of my homeschool days, the room was still a quiet place to read, a guest room ( the comfy couch and/or an air mattress), and a sewing space, since I moved in a folding table for my sewing machine to live on.

And then it occurred to me that I could turn this room into a quilt studio!

So I’ve moved the wall of bookshelves downstairs, packed away the books for young children, gave away a ton of stuff, and painted.

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Lots of stitchy excitement!

29 07 2013

It’s been an exciting week in my quilting world 🙂 My quilt guild has open stitching sessions on Fridays, and that’s when it started. I have not been able to go regularly since I joined in late February, and so I’m just now learning names to go with faces, and getting a sense of what types of projects some of the other ladies are likely to be working on. Usually, I take my little hexie bag along, and work on those, unless I have a quilt to bind, because I don’t really want to pack my sewing machine up and miss out on most of the conversation while I whir along! So I made a flower for my garden, and chatted with others who share my passion. It was fun.

I brought home some fabric the guild provides for making charity projects, and have a pillowcase, two neonatal incubator sheets, and two simple quilts now in the queue for August! I just have to find backing for the quilts, get batting, make sure I have thread in the right colors, and get to stitching! I am so glad the guild does monthly charity drops and gets fabric donations!

Other projects in the works are a Christmas coffee table runner to match a small table topper already completed,

a fall dining table hot mat (we like to dine family style, with all the dishes on the table to pass around),

and a Christmas quilt for our couch, which I’m making through the Pieces by Polly Quilt-Along.

I have also received the August block request from my partner for the Block Swap Adventure, and I’m very excited to choose the fabrics, make the block and send it around the globe to Australia to be included in a quilt someone will cherish. How cool is that? I’m anxious to see the results of my own block request, too: any star pattern in colors from Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”. I plan to request this block every month until I have enough for a quilt (haven’t decided on a size, yet) and I want to embroider each block with a notation of where it came from. I hope I have submissions from all over the world!

So much stitching to indulge myself in!





Still Searching

19 05 2011

With the semester ended and both my precious children on the public school treadmill, I have found myself at  home alone most days.  I’m not really sure what to think of it, yet, because it is truly a new experience.  I grew up the oldest of four – in that situation, you are never alone.  I left my parents’ home entering into marriage, and so have never lived alone.  Before we had children, I worked or went to school most of the day, so I was not alone then, either, as my husband also returned home at the end of the day.  When my children grew to be school-aged, I educated them myself.  But now, for the first time in my life, I am spending considerable amounts of time alone.

I guess I’ve made it sound like a bad thing, but that’s not my intention or my feeling about it.  The quiet is nice, and the freedom to choose what I do with my daily hours is nice, but I have not yet taken advantage of that.  For now, I tend to the housework at a slower pace than before, and sprinkle in some reading, Facebook and silent reflection over too many cups of coffee in the morning.  It’s good to think.

I nay have changed my mind about college.  Over the last year of classes, I have realized that I don’t think I’d like working in a clinical setting with patients who have been referred to a dietician.  So I looked into nutrition…thinking that I’d have a bigger impact there.  If I don’t enjoy teaching students who do not love to learn, why would I want to teach adults how to eat if they don’t really want to change?  But my work options with that degree aren’t that exciting, either.  What the heck do I want?  I really need to know in order to choose a path, but the truth is that I just don’t know.

Some days, I dream of running a little shop that offers some food…I love to cook, and offers nutritional counseling…I’d love to make it easier to decipher the whole nutritional realm for clueless Americans who’ve been confused by fads and commercials for too long, and offers some classes…in maybe cooking, nutrition, belly dancing, different kinds of art….  Isn’t that funny?  I’ve never heard of such a place, but all the things I love to do under one roof for others to discover, enjoy, and pay me to do them just sounds great!  Hahaha.  We all have a dream, right?

I’m looking also at a degree in Alternative Medicine.  It’s new, and so I’m not really grasping the work possibilities with such a degree, but the course list is the most interesting one I have ever seen.  Herbology, Nutrition and Aging, Chinese Medicine, Feng Shui, Acupuncture, Reflexology, Chiropractic, Stress Reduction, Dietary Influences on Disease, Naturopathy, Antioxidants, Detoxification…the list goes on.  What I am not sure about is what exactly I could do with it.  I am told that I’d have many options – that I could work at wellness centers, alternative medicine practices, spas and health centers, or continue my education to specialize in any of the disciplines and work for myself.  But I guess I’m afraid that those places are limited in number, and certainly not sure I want to obligate myself to continue beyond a Bachelor’s Degree.  Besides, I don’t know how much interest I really have in these things, and there’s really no way to know until you get to a point with it where you are either engrossed and desiring to know more, or getting glazed over with the feeling that you know enough to feel sure that you don’t want to know more.  What to do?

There are those days when I wonder why I am going to school at all.  I believe we should always try to better ourselves.  I am not convinced that formal education is the best way to do that – but what are my alternatives?  I guess I don’t know.

Several months ago, a friend invited me to try a belly dancing class.  I reluctantly agreed, and I have to say that it has been one of the most profound experiences I have ever had.  It is the new-found acceptance of myself and a renewed unapologetic declaration of  my views within myself that is making me spend so much time thinking.  I know what I think; I just don’t know what to do with it, yet.  It seems to me that I have always been unconventional – whether I was comfortable being so or not.  I am more in tune to that now than I have ever been, and for now, at least, I feel that I am completely over being uncomfortable with it.

I am very interested in natural approaches to wellness and healing, and a better way of living than the state of hurried, frazzled, stressed, non-stop lifestyle that most Americans find themselves in.  I have lived and experienced enough to know that we should slow down, foster relationships with those around us, as well as with our Creator, listen to our bodies, pace ourselves and prioritize.  But do I feel passionately about helping others learn to do that?  I’m just at the edge of discovering how to do so for myself.  Is the fact that it’s all new what makes it so interesting?  I just don’t know.

I took an extensive spiritual gifts survey through our church, and it indicated that my natural God-given gifts were for teaching and serving.  No big surprise to me or to those closest to me – but what I can do with those encompasses the world, it seems.  I can certainly narrow that down into the things that God would want people to learn, though – and a lot fits into that as well.  I believe that if we pray for our desires to become His, which I have done for years, that He will give us passions that line up with His plans for us.  And so, I shouldn’t feel so mixed up, I guess.  Then why do I?

Fear.  I am afraid of the debt I will acquire to educate myself.  I am afraid of being in a position in which I have to work to pay the debt, when as of now, work is a choice (that most people around me tell me they wish they had).  I am afraid I will not find work in the field, that I will not enjoy the work once I find it, or that I will get partially through the education and lose interest.  I don’t know exactly how many times in the Bible that God tells us not to fear, but it is many.  I just don’t trust myself.  And so I waver constantly.





A New Phase of Life

18 04 2011

I suppose I must consider it growth that I started a blog and did not allow myself to feel burdened by obligation to post regularly.  Although these things are always self-imposed, it is strangely difficult to release myself from them once I start something.  Hobbies become chores, because I apply some sort of weird notion of responsibility toward them rendering them less enjoyable.  I don’t wish to delve into why I have developed in such a way – I just want to change.

And so I am.  Gradually, and not in all areas, but I am beginning to enjoy things just for the enjoyment of them, without attaching strings.  Progress.  I think it all started when I took on more than I could juggle, mentally, and balls began to drop.  When the initial fear and disappointment dissipated, I felt tremendous relief, and then I began to simply throw them.  It was hard, in moments of calm, as guilt about letting someone down tried to creep in, but the truth is that I was so overwhelmed that for the first time, the need to simplify my life was greater than any reasoning that supported continued juggling.  But what to put on the now nearly empty proverbial plate?  That was the question – and it remains not fully answered.

Homeschooling one child was the only thing I was still doing.  And homeschooling a middle-school aged child is not exactly time-absorbing.  She worked independently for the most part, which is the goal by that age.  I was able to keep the house clean and the laundry done, read for pleasure, and piddle with other interests.  And I began to feel restless.  I thought volunteer interests could be the answer, but when my daughter became less interested in Girl Scouts than I, we had a problem.  Another problem was that what I really wanted was to be a girl scout myself, not do all the planning and paperwork.  I taught a small group at children’s church – but that was not the answer, either.  Studying the lesson took longer than the short time I got with the kids – and my nature just put me in the position to take other leaders’ kids into my fold whenever one didn’t show up…which, unfortunately was often.  It’s not that I minded the extra kids, but the idea of these small groups was to foster close relationships -which was near impossible when the group so often changed.

Extra time on my hands allowed me to take better care of myself physically, spiritually and mentally.  It was a good time, really, beneath the surface stress of not knowing what I would commit myself to.  I lost weight, I enjoyed the pleasure of cooking healthy, consistent meals for my family, I had time to read (the only hobby I have ever not turned into a chore).  I got interested in what it means to be healthy – no doubt because I felt better physically than I had in years.  This found me trying to figure out what exactly I needed to do to control my blood pressure without the meds that make me tired.  And when my potassium plummeted a few times, what other than a potassium supplement could be done.  And so nutrition naturally became a real interest.

What did I do with the revelation that I was really interested in something beyond the interest that others around me had?  I enrolled in school full-time to become a Registered Dietician.  I had found my post-mommy calling.  <smiling at myself and shaking head>   Once again, I made an interest into work.  Will I ever learn?