Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Small Steps

Today is my first day back at school.  Summer Break is officially over for me.  My girls have a week left.  We've been busy, as we were all summer, doing what we do.  Karate and dance, orthodontist and doctor, haircuts, family games and school supply shopping.  The days have been flying.  There are a few new and different things in the mix, too, which have some of us exploring the outer edges of our comfort zone!

I am following along with Amanda's Facet+Plus Quilt-Along at This Mom Quilts.  I am not caught up, and I most likely won't ever manage to be, within the dates she has set for us.  I'm OK with that.  I just do what I can do.  I have to resign myself to that attitude about most things this time of year, and if I accept that, I find I'm much happier!  I will be sad to see the finished quilts at the end and know that mine is not among them, but, I know I'll get there eventually.  These fabrics are too pretty to leave sitting around for too long!

Despite not keeping the deadlines, I am finding that I really like the QAL format.  I've never done one before, but I will again!   Focusing on just the cutting, or just the first step helps me to keep from getting overwhelmed.  But I suppose that's why QAL's are so popular!

I am only able to devote an hour at a time, maybe three or four days a week to sewing these days, so progress is slow, but it's steady!

It's been fun to watch these blocks grow.

The coloring page has been an absolute necessity, particularly since I am using three different color groupings! Thanks, Amanda, for providing it!   I have had to put sections up on my make-shift design wall in small groups in order to make sure I have everything in the right place

Luckily, when I put the last part up there, I had exactly the right combination of colors and block orientations!  Whew!

I've sewn a double line on the diagonal so I have lots of bonus HST's!!
I am hoping to start step two, which is the same as step one, but with the lighter colors where the darker colors are now, for some Friday night sewing.  But, there's still school clothes shopping to do, and I fear that might win!  Amanda's schedule has us piecing the quilt top on Monday.  I look forward to checking out the #fandpQAL posts on Instagram to see what everyone else did.

I will keep plugging away, making small steps toward what I think is going to be a real beauty of a quilt top!

                                                  I'll be linking up to :
                                      Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts
                                   The WIP Link Up at Silly Mama Quilts
                           Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
                   Can I Get A Whoop-Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

One last thing.  Both of my girls and I are doing a community theater production of The Music Man.  I'll share details as we go along,  but for now, Oh Boy!  What have I gotten myself into?!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Five Things To Be Happy About Friday

I almost skipped posting this week.  It's been a week of heat, humidity, crazy busy schedules, back to school preperations and an ant infestation in my house.  I just wasn't feeling the happy.

But, as Melva said in her Five Things post, "Even in the worst of weeks, there is always something to be thankful for."   She is right, of course. There's so much to be grateful for, and happy about.  Even if it's just the fact that the ant thing only seems to happen once every few years!!

Here are some things that did bring me joy this week!

Our first ever batch of pickles!  What a process that was!  But it was fun, my girls got to see how it's done (and me too, for that matter!) And they are pretty tasty!

These pretty sunflowers!  A coworker gave me the seeds in a little basket at Easter.  I almost tossed them out, but my husband planted them in an old coffee container.  We've had such fun watching them bloom on the deck.  And there's been a beautiful butterfly hovering near them the last few days.  So pretty!

This weirdo.  She makes me smile...always. (She got a henna tattoo on her arm this week, at the library.  Just for fun!)

After a long day of running around and doing things for others, I was not looking forward to making dinner for my husband and youngest daughter.  When I asked what they wanted, my daughter (the weirdo above) said, "Let's just have a night where everybody makes what they want."  Best. Answer. Ever.  Cereal and berries for me!  Why not?

And now, if you need me,  I'll be in the sewing room for the rest of the night, working myself the rest of the way out of my funk!

I hope your week was wonderful, and your weekend even better!  Check out Amanda's post at Gypsy Moon Quilt Co. to see what's making her happy, and check out the comments for even more reasons to smile!  And, thanks, Melva, for the reminder!!

Monday, August 08, 2016

Quick and Easy Sweatshirt Blanket

I spent a few hours last week making a surprise for the recipient of the t-shirt quilt I shared recently.  When she gave me her t-shirts, she included several items I couldn't use due to their weight or the type of fabric.  I knew I wanted to do something with them, though.  I decided I'd use the  sweatpants, hoodie and flannel pajama bottoms to make a lap sized blanket.

Shhh!  My assistant wanted me to crop her out.  But she's just too cute! 

It came together really easily!  I just cut the largest sized rectangle that I could get out of each item of clothing, centering the logos.  I cut rectangles from spots with no logo, too .  Then, I laid them out, trimming and rearranging until I had something that worked.

When the blocks were together, I spray basted the top to a yard of snuggle fleece.  A little bit of stitching in the ditch holds the front and back together, permanently.   I finished it off by bringing the edge of the fleece around to the front, turning it under once, then stitching with a running stitch.

Binding clips = no pins in the carpet!!

  I am so pleased with the way the binding looks!

My favorite feature, though, is the pocket from the front of a Hoodie that I included at the top.  It's placed in exactly the right spot for the user of the blanket to tuck her hands into in chilly weather.

This is NOT the recipient of the quilt.  Just my cute assistant, again.

If Hailey  decides not to take this blanket to school with her this fall, I know her mom will put it to good use.  It's perfect for snuggling under by the fire, watching football games on chilly Friday nights, or just to cuddle with while reading  (and, I'm sure, missing her oldest child).  

I'm going to link this post up, but I'm not sure where.  What are your favorite link up parties?

So far, I'm linked at Monday Making at Love, Laugh, Quilt, and Let's Bee Social at Sew Fesh Quilts

Have a fantastic week, quilty friends!

Friday, August 05, 2016

Five Things To Be Happy About (#8)

Oh, August.  Such mixed feelings I have about you!  Am I saddened by the rush of days that will soon bring an end to our summer routine, or sweetly anticipating the shift in the weather and the promise of new adventures?  August is, I think, the embodiment of the word bittersweet.  And I can never decide how I feel about it.

Maybe it was just that August melancholy that kept me from getting this post up earlier in the day.  I tried, this morning, to write it, but the words wouldn't come.  I typed, deleted, tried again, stopped, started...and eventually gave up.  I wasn't feeling the happy, and couldn't force it.

The whole day has been a bit like that.  One step forward, two steps back.  But, I have been able to remind myself that the good things remain, even when they are hard to see.

Here are some things that have soothed my anxious soul this week...

Listening to "maker" podcasts as I've worked in the sewing room. Hearing these conversations have made me feel connected to the work I'm doing and to the community we share.  I have smiled and laughed and nodded in agreement more times than I can count.

Observing my daughters together.  The younger one got up early this morning (6am!) to go running with the older one.  It was a quick run, but they came back laughing and high fiving.  This week they've worked on their 4-H record books together, played games and shared late night snacks. They have seldom been grumpy with each other.  There is so. much. love.  I am blessed.

Using and enjoying what we've grown in the garden.  We haven't always been good about this, but this year we are  making an effort. Lots of fresh stUff in our meals this week, and, tomorrow I will attempt to make pickles!!!  Yikes!

And, a few pictures (because, fabric & doughnuts!):

Getting ready to start piecing on the Facet Plus QAL.  Aren't they sooooo pretty?  I realized I was a bit short on one of the fabrics, plus, I just really wanted more, so during karate class on Tuesday, I ordered more!  Love technology!

And my happy mail came today!  Sheryl at BrewStitched is so quick and my fabric was packaged so nicely.  Happy, happy for sure!! 

And who can resist a doughnut and coffee.  It makes you happy - the cup says so!!!
I hope your happy was easy to find this week.  Pop over to Gypsy Moon Quilt Co.  and see what everyone else is smiling about!  It's contagious,  it really is!