Overwhelming myself

7 09 2013

I am overwhelmed.  And it’s my own darn fault!  Why do I start a thousand things at once?  Because I come to a temporary impasse with one thing, and in my desire to stay productive, I go ahead and start something else in the meantime.

Ha.  

Not wise.

So now I have several quilts for charity and fundraising whispering in my ear to be done, a quilt top almost finished, a BOM quilt waiting for August and September blocks to be made, a table runner top half finished, several gallons of paint waiting for my quilt studio and half bath, furniture moving/rearranging involving three rooms that is half done, and boxes of stuff waiting to be transported for donation.

After doing a ton of cleaning, moving furniture, sorting through closets and other spaces, making paint color decisions and all the regular mom/wife stuff this past week, I am absolutely pooped and had a much less productive Saturday than I’d hoped!

I wish myself good sleep this weekend, because I am really going to need it this week!

But I can’t wait to get the work parts behind me so I can enjoy a dedicated quilting space and get back to quilting!  I haven’t quilted in a week!

So….look for some pics soon as the loft room that once served as a homeschool becomes a quilt studio!

 





August QBSA

5 09 2013

Here is the first block for my Starry World quilt, inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night:

20130905-120027.jpg

Thanks to my partner, Cathy for this beautiful star! I love the bright yellow moons that pop out with the star!





Starts and Finishes

31 08 2013

It’s been a week of starts and finishes in my little quilting loft. That’s always a good week! And I learned something new, which adds more points to the mix 😉
I participated in the Hexies by Halves Quilt Along over at Pieces by Polly (link on the sidebar) and finished my Christmas Quilt, complete with candy cane stripe binding to match the table toppers I finished earlier:

front

front

back

back

We love it! I haven’t washed it yet, so I can’t wait to see it all wrinkly and cuddly!

I got a better picture putting it on the dining table ;)

I got a better picture putting it on the dining table 😉

End table topper

I also finished a bag for my EPP. It was a challenge, to put it lightly, but I did learn a lot. I’m one of those who just dives into the unknown. It’s stitching. What’s the worse that can happen? Anyhoo, after three weeks of struggling with fabric I don’t know the name of (but it doesn’t ravel and doesn’t slide under the machine nicely) and fighting with that clear plastic stuff – ’cause I want to see what pieces I’m reaching for, and stitching and unstitching a zipper for the back pocket (had never done one of those), and racking my brain and looking at lots of blogs and pictures for design elements, since I was designing as I worked….it is all done! And I do LOVE it!

The front. See my little needle book attached?

The front. See my little needle book attached?

And the best part is how it organizes my EPP…

And my needle book flips conveniently to the inside for easy access.  I know - I'm brilliant ;)

And my needle book flips conveniently to the inside for easy access. I know – I’m brilliant 😉

So that’s two finishes this week! And today, I started my Secret Garden quilt from Amy Gibson‘s workshop on Craftsy.

What did I learn? The local quilt guild meeting was this week, and I learned how to make a fabric bowl/basket with cotton clothesline, strips of fabric, and my machine. I can’t wait to make one. Or ten. I think I’ll start with a Christmas one from the scraps of Christmas fabric left from all those recent Christmas projects 🙂 Maybe I’ll put my first tutorial here for that…anyone interested?





Quilting Block Swap Australia

19 08 2013

This block, for Cathy, will be on it’s way to Australia soon:

20130819-175251.jpg





All Things New

19 08 2013

As I sit in my loft today, working on the last two lessons of the Pieces by Polly quilt along, it is quiet in the house, save for the gentle noises of the dryer with a fresh load of towels, my little Viking humming away and the radio, reminding me with song after song that Jesus makes all things new. It’s been a difficult few years for me, starting with my daughter being enrolled in public school, after which I went into a tailspin trying to find my place in my new world. College seemed the answer, but turned out just to be an experiment in proving to myself (and everyone else) that I could’ve gone that route any time I chose. I excelled academically and was offered a full scholarship upon completion of the first two years, but I realized that I’d been quite unhappy pursuing an education, despite the high marks. It just wasn’t satisfying. It doesn’t even compare to homeschooling my children all day. As a matter of fact, nothing compares to that, as I have discovered. For me, that was truly my calling. And that job is done. I have been so lost.

Before I found my feet, my mom had a stroke, my dad’s abusive tendencies came roaring back from my childhood into my already rocking world, and my husband took a big pay cut with a job change when the company he’s worked for the last decade closed doors. To top it all off, my son doesn’t like college and my daughter isn’t happy in public school.

I have been asking myself how my perfect world became such a mess, and I have truly wanted to just give up. What does that look like? For the first time in my life, I lost my optimism.

Sometime in the wee hours of the night, all this became smothered in God’s grace, as I prayed and just lay in his presence. Today, I know that He has got all of this in His hands, and that I need to just be still. He makes all things new.

And so I will go on about my days, trusting God with all those things….and that, I have decided, is how you go about giving up, when you just can’t take any more.





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!





Claiming my blog for Bloglovin

25 07 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin





A Week of Sunshine!

25 07 2013

My daughter and I took a road trip to visit my sister on the coast. What a wonderful time we had! I had never driven a 10 hour distance before, so I was pretty anxious about it.
We spent our first full day there on the beach, of course, with my sister, her daughter, and our mom, who was also there for a visit. Girl time!
I get some kind of spiritual healing from the coast, and did I ever need it.
Ahhh…

I did a bit of quilt piecing, a bit of reading, and a lot of basking. Yes, some humans do that….I think I may be part reptile 😉 Dragon, I suspect. Haha!

Back home this week, I have been updating my Flickr album of quilts, to use for my online quilting presence for swaps and such, since I don’t have much space here (using the free version for now).
So, here it is…

My first sampler

and I will try to put it in the sidebar as well.
It doesn’t include everything I’ve done, but I plan to try to be better about getting photos of things 🙂





Lost Blog

9 07 2013

Well, it looks like my blog got lost from my life for a couple of years. That’s ok. In that time, lots has happened! Here’s the skinny:

Earned my Associates’ Degree in Science and decided that I didn’t want to go to school any more.

My son did not leave home for college…he is going locally for now 🙂

My hubby got a new job. Jury’s still out on that one. We’re thankful he has one at all 🙂

My postcard trading and letterbox hobbies have fallen by the wayside, and quilting has taken the place of both 🙂

I still love to garden, cook, read, hike, camp and sit in the sun! (Not that we’ve had enough sunshine this summer in KY for me to feel satisfied.) “Rain, rain, go away….”

I think that’s about it! I took a quilting class midway through my AS and got hooked! I haven’t put an album of my creations anywhere but FB so far (so family can keep up with my projects), but I guess I need to do that, since I’m going to give quilt swaps a whirl and feed my obsession while meeting others who “get it” with the whole quilting thing!

Lots of quilt pics to come, and maybe I’ll move this whole blog somewhere else. First, I’m going to search the net to see if there are any places with tools that I’d love. I’m sure lots has changed since I’ve blogged regularly.

Off to start dinner! Today, it’s Mediterranean Pizza, with homemade thin crust, basil pesto (No it’s not fresh, even though there’s LOTS of basil in the herb garden right now.), feta cheese, red onion, sliced roma tomatoes, and black olives. Yum! And I’ll make a cheese pizza for my daughter, who doesn’t like the Med style pizza! And we’ll enjoy that fresh banana nut bread I made this morning 🙂

And of course, since the sun is shining today, we may eat on the patio!





Settled in for Fall

13 11 2011

The leaves have changed the picture of my world in more ways than visually. I have always loved autumn for it’s colors, it’s cozy clothing, the anticipation for the holidays and family-time that it brings with it, and it’s relaxed feeling. The change in the air we breathe feels like a deep breath of perspective for me. It’s a time of year that I feel like it’s ok to sit down and rest (metaphorically). Fall is my time-out, used to sort of re-group and enjoy where I am. I can allow myself not to feel pressured to make big strides as I focus on family, God’s love, and rest. I look forward to bowls of hot comfort foods with the ones I love and snuggling with a quilt on the couch for laughter and the feeling of slowing down, even though the holiday season is so busy.

The wind is howling outside and the only dread I feel is for the grocery shopping that simply must be done! I had a wonderful visit with my mom, aunts, grandma and other family for the last few days, and it really just felt like the holidays are already here. I can’t wait to share a feast of Thanksgiving with those I am so thankful for!

This will likely be the last Thanksgiving and Christmas with our son still living at home, and I will treasure every second. God is good. Even when life is far from perfect – especially then, I think. Right now, with the changes at my husband’s job, we are not assured of an income for more than a few months, but I feel strangely at peace. I know that it is my assurance in my savior that allows me to feel so secure – nothing matters more than eternity – and I know what eternity I have in store.

It’s funny how I allow fear to consume me at times, and how I feel fearless at others. We go through mountains and valleys regardless of our actions and reactions, I suppose. I guess I’m just now mature enough to see that. I know that I am blessed and I feel that I can hardly stand how much I’m blessed considering how little I deserve it, sometimes.

Life is beautiful – and sometimes it’s ugliness makes it all the more lovely when you know that God is in control.