How Embarrassing, 3 Months? Really?

Photo by George Hodan

Photo by George Hodan

It is embarrassing to think that its been about 3 months since I’ve been on the blog.  Good intentions lead my goal making for this year, trying to write something at least once a month, but some how LIFE had other plans for me.  You know the saying, “Life happens when you make other plans.”  Nothing bad, mind you, but life, busyness, too much of everything got in the way.

Thankfully, I don’t think I’ve had a school year like this since, oh, I first started teaching – that very first year about 10 years ago.  This year once Christmas break finished it was a steady roller coaster.  It felt just like a roller coaster too.  One minute I was climbing that slow, jerky climb to the top, knowing full well that there was going to be one heck of a drop on the other side.  Slowly, painfully it climbed, it was torture.  The top couldn’t come fast enough because on the other side was an easy descent – just incredibly quick – often I would blink and it would be over A couple of twists and turns and loop d loops thrown at me and then another monstrous climb.  And once March hit, hold on to your socks, Jen, it is going to be quite a ride until June.  Often I felt like the dandelion in the picture above, just holding on as the rain was pummelling me.

There was little time for anything, and I mean anything.  From March to June I was busy, almost every evening with one thing or another as well as on the weekends.  On evenings or weekends I was at home, I was prepping or working on something for upcoming events/classes/meetings OR I was passed out on the sofa from exhaustion.  I missed out on time with Nate and Ella and Molly and that was too much for me.  God bless Nate for picking up the slack at home, and not once complaining about it.  (Though, between you and me, I think it means i’m going to have to keep pretty tight lipped come hunting season this year.) Anyways, I wasn’t very fun either and I looked a little worse for wear – lets just say I tried a lot of anti puffy, dark circle removing eye cream, still trying to find one that works.

When June came, I felt better.  I was sleeping, really sleeping, not just a couple of hours here or there, but for 6-8 hours. That is practically unheard of for me.  Probably because I was trying to catch up on months of sleep depravation.

This upcoming school year, there are some changes coming.  I am reclaiming my time, my family time, my priorities and putting somethings on hold or aside.  It will be healthier.

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Shiny and Brite

I’ve really enjoyed stitching this pattern by Crabapple Hill Studios.  The color tinting was a lot of fun to do and I loved using the sparkle floss by Cosmo.

However, I’m not sure if I love the fabric I picked to do the outside borders.  I was also surprised about how big it ended up being.

I’m trying to get this finished for the Out of Hand challenges – so May 15 is my date to finish this, though I now have to find a wall to hang it on, once it is finished.

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34 Things to do…..Another Birthday List

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday dear me, Happy Birthday to ME!

happy-birthday-girl-by-D-Sharon-Pruitt-thumb-280x186-10087

Today is my 34th birthday. Its hard to believe actually.  I don’t know if I’m quite ready to be 34, that means I am almost in the mid thirties.  YIKES!

Anyways, three years ago I started a “TO DO list” for myself, a bucket list of sorts for the year, 31 things that I wanted to do before I hit 32.  This year I had 33 things to accomplish and you know something I think I did really well completing the majority of them.

Because I enjoyed the list so much, I decided to make another list, my 34 things to do before I hit 35.  So here we go.  Each year there is one more thing….should have started with a count down instead.

  1. Have some gelato in Italy
  2. Step foot in St. Mark’s Cathedral, Venice, Italy
  3. Have authentic Italian Pizza
  4. Print the Year Book for Ella
  5. Complete level 2 of swimming with Ella
  6. Make a bean bag chair for Ella
  7. Make a cute little girl dress for Ella
  8. Get Ella’s basement play room set up
  9. Take Ella to Barrier Lake for a picnic
  10. Finish my Swoon Quilt top
  11. Finish the Shiny and Brite Quilt
  12. Do a small applique project to get over my fear
  13. Walk at least 10 000 steps on week days and 7000 on weekends (minimum)
  14. Lose 15 lbs
  15. Get a Cruiser bike to bike to work
  16. Ride my bike around the Reservoir
  17. Bike to work at least 3 times a week during the Spring/Summer/Fall at least
  18. Bike to Fish Creek for a picnic
  19. Learn at least 5 chords on the Ukulele
  20. Practice my Ukulele at least once per week
  21. Not blow my FUN money budget
  22. Go Bowling with Nate at least once
  23. Go to a movie in the theatre with Nate
  24. Go to the CPO
  25. Eat at a new restaurant
  26. Go out for Ice Cream and sit in the park to eat it
  27. Purge the stuff under the stairs
  28. Take a family vacation
  29. Blog at least once a month
  30. Read Lord of the Rings book 1
  31. Make Peanut Butter Ice Cream
  32. Make cupcakes that actually turn out
  33. Try one new menu item each month
  34. Purge my Closet

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Sleep Sack for Ella

Ella was in need of a new sleep sack as the winter months approached.  She has a thin cotton one, that we knew would’t be warm in the cool temperatures.  I headed out to a couple of stores to find the next size and something a little heavier than cotton.  But I had a lot of trouble finding the next size up.  Ones I found in the 18-24 month, were a shocking amount of money. Who knew a sleep sack could be $80 plus?

In the end I decided to try my hand at making one for her. I used some fabric I had left over from a quilt to make the quilted front.  I picked up some flannel to make the inside.

This was a bit more challenging than I first thought and I made some mistakes along the way, but in the end I am thrilled with the result.  Ella loves it too.  In fact, every quilt she sees she now calls a sack.  I would love to have one myself.

Since the piece had a quilted front and a flannel inside, I had to figure out, along the way, how to join those pieces together with a finished seam, AND join the pieces to make the sack again with a finished seam.  Perhaps the arm holes are a touch tight because of this mishap.  My seam ripper became a VERY GOOD friend through this project.

Now that I know how to do this, I will be able to make the next one without so many tribulations.

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FNQG: Zipper Challenge

Zippers seem to be one sewing basic that strikes the fear in the heart of almost all sewists or quilters that I know.  Back in June we began planning this year’s guild program. We came up with a little zippered pouch to do for one of our challenges.   It was going to be great.  Then I started to get emails about it.  Perhaps people hadn’t quite gotten over their fear of the zipper.

So I revamped things a bit.  We moved the zipper challenge to December for those BRAVE ENOUGH to take the plunge.  Nine people did.  Which is great, I thought it was only going to be me and one other lady.

I used Elizabeth Hartman’s “Quilt as you Go” tutorial and a package of 2.5″x5″ rectangles that I had.  I also followed the tutorial I found on Lori Hartman Designs to make the actual pouch.

I’m really happy with the way the pouch turned out.  I used a puffy batting that I had a little piece of and it really made the pouch seem like it had some substance – nothing flimsy here.  Love it.  I laugh in the face of zippers!

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Merry Christmas

molly christmas card

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December 25, 2014 · 5:11 am

Picnic Quilt

Back in the summer time a friend of mine contacted me asking if I did commissions and if I would make her a picnic quilt.  I hadn’t done any commissions at all, as most of my quilts are gifts for people, but I thought it would be wonderful to work with her on a project.  She has such great taste with a modern twist that I was excited to see what possibilities/ideas she would have for me.

After spending time on pinterest, a lot of time on pinterest, I found a couple of great ideas that we could use.  She also scoured pinterest and found a great isosceles triangle quilt and a color scheme that she loved.  I then went to work on finding the right fabric that matched the color scheme.

We went with Kona Cotton in Solids for the main body of the quilt and a black and white chevron for the binding. For those curious, from top to bottom the colors are: Black and white chevron; White; Daffodil; Butter; Pond; Khaki; Punch; Black; Pistachio; and Medium Grey.

Once the fabric arrived I went to work cutting out all the triangles for the quilt.  The quilt had a ton of them.

At first I was having a lot of trouble piecing the quilt as the triangle template I had didn’t have a point at the top and had a blunt end so matching them together was a real scene.

It took me a couple of tries to figure out if I lined up the blunt tips, or lined up the bottom when putting it together.  A light bulb finally went on and I realized that the tip was in fact missing and I had to adjust how I lined them up.  If I ever make a triangle quilt again using this template, I am extending the top to include a point, I think it will help in the end.

When it was all said and done it looked like this.

I love how it turned out.  LOVE IT!

This is the back of the quilt.  I had a couple of the triangles left so I did a strip of them to break up the grey backing.  I straight lined quilted it outlining the triangle using the edge of my walking foot.

I used a medium grey thread to do the quilting.  As I said, I loved how this turned out.  I was happy I could send it away to my friend, but I was secretly sad to see it go.  I worked on this over July and August.  During nap time in the afternoon and some times in the evening.  It was a great summer project.

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