Friday, January 23, 2015

...aftermath.. and a pin cushion or three...

Belated Happy New Year!!

I feel like I've been MIA for forever!!  It's been a crazy few months.

(I used the gelatin recipe found here)

My MIL's celebration of life party finally took place a couple of weekends ago.  It was beautiful and just as she wanted it. The only hiccup was that my FIL was in the HOSPITAL with a bleeding ulcer.  He is fine now.. I think it was just all of the stress. He was sorry to miss it but wanted it to go on as planned. It has been three months since she passed now. We have had the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas and New Year, and her first birthday without her.  Although we still miss her, she is always with us.  A memory or a wink (more on that in a minute) away.  

We remembered her leading up to her celebration by making bird seed cookies as favors for her "party". (She didn't want a traditional funeral.)  Her first initial was D. So each cookie had a tag with a "d" on one side and one of these other stamps on the other side. 

A. helped with the stamping of the cards. 

It was a fun, crafty, therapeutic project for us, and we ended up being buried in birdseed for about a week and a half, as we needed to make over 120 and each batch only made about 12-14 (and needed to dry overnight). They turned out really cute though. I think we'll make some more just for fun to hang out in the spring. We made them on the red 1950's table that her parents bought new in 1951.. next to a special piece of yoyo patchwork that she had told us about for years.. how she used to make the circles with her mom and wanted us to have it. She had given it to us on one of the last occasions we saw her before she passed. So we felt her presence all around us. 

But, as life has gone on, as often seems to happen after a death in the family, esp. with a large extended family, the passing of my MIL has been followed by a certain amount of drama re: outside opinions on various things. As a result of one such instance, we no longer have the yoyo patchwork pictured above as an extended family member felt they deserved it more than we did. :( But we move on.. 

And for 2015 I've decided to resurrect this button from my archives to place in the sidebar over there on the left.. it's a good motto..

.. and to remind myself this year to do my best to steer clear of being sucked into the dramas of others, although sometimes we have no warning ahead of time and don't see it coming until we're right in the middle of it. 

However, the blinders are off in some respects and we will avoid it with all we have in 2015! (feel free to grab it and enjoy a drama free rest of the year with me!) :) 

I know my MIL wouldn't want us to be upset for too long over the actions of others. The advice she gave, somewhat prophetically when she first found out she had cancer was that should/when hurtful moments/remarks occur in the future, just picture her smiling and winking.. so that's what we do as we move on. 

We're all human after all, and I think that a certain amount of drama is probably common in most families when faced with grief. Esp. large families. Esp. when emotions are stressed and running high. Everyone handles grief differently. So we forgive, pick ourselves up, and carry on. However, I do think that we are all responsible for our own mental health, and if we need to, must establish boundaries.

Finally.. about the *winking*...

the other day, when I was feeling particularly blue and sad, I looked up and saw a little bird hovering up and down and in a circle against the glass of our sliding glass door, as though it was trying to look in or get inside. Just for a few moments, then it flitted off. It felt like a little *wink* from my MIL for sure.. We rarely see birds that small in our yard. And have NEVER seen one trying to look inside! ;) It was the strangest, sweetest thing with just the most perfect timing!! :)

This might seem like kind of a bummer post but really, it's not. Just processing what's been going on for the last couple of weeks, and the last few months.  Life is hard sometimes.  Just keepin' it real. I want every post to ooze happiness but I don't want to be "fake" happy. :) Life doesn't always ooze happiness.  I pinned this on pinterest a long time ago, and just saw it again earlier. It's so fitting! Balance, for sure!

The last few months of 2014 exploded in our face,(the month after my MIL passed away, my FIL's only living brother passed away, and the weekend of his memorial, MY uncle-my dad's youngest brother passed away) and we are now just scraping it off and finding the new normal. There has hardly been a stitch sewn on my poor sewing machine since September! But the dark cloud is dissipating and I feel my mojo coming back! I did make these pin cushions this week.. plus a couple of four inch blocks for the tiny block quilt I had started in the summer.

More on those next time! :) And some other happy sewing/newsy things ahead in 2015!

Thanks for reading and hanging in there with me for the last few months! It's been a wild ride. Happy 2015! I can't wait to get sewing again..

I love this (I think I posted it before!).. it puts it all in perspective.

Look for the winks!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


A few months ago, I made a quilt out of this fabric line called On Our Way from RBD. Perfect for little boys, or the engine loving little girl. ;)  Or a VW bus/transportation/peace-love-sunshine fan of any age. It was a big hit with my son and his friends (and their moms).  

 I just hadn't had a chance to blog about it. We've had so much death in the family lately.  Blah! A few weeks after my MIL passed, my FIL's last living brother passed as well. And then a couple of weeks ago, my uncle, my dad's youngest brother passed away. :(

Anyway..trying to press on and get my mojo back.

Here it is all done.  I finally uploaded the pattern into my Craftsy shop. And someone is making it already! I can't wait to see! And she is making it for her daughter so I can't wait to see her fabric choices and how it turns out. :)

I used the large print for the cornerstones and had just enough fabric left to piece a scrappy backing. I used the leftover stripes for the binding.

RBD took this one to hang in their booth in the fall so Pat quilted it for me, and look what she did.. I feel like such a loser quilter when I see the stuff she does!  

And it always fits the theme of the quilt, too!  Little peace signs and hippie flowers, my favorite flower design!

And I don't know if you can see it, but she quilted "peace and love" into the license plate!!

 Here's a photo of my mom friends holding it up at one of their houses so I could take a pic of it. (every mom needs a mom posse-ha!) :) It was a hit with the little boys, but my son has already staked a claim on this one. He will never let me give it away!  But it is super easy to make and I will get these ladies hooked on sewing one of these days!

Happy Tuesday! :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Giveaway & Blog Tour

Happy Friday!

Today's my day on the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks blog tour celebrating the 10th edition of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks. If you've never been here before, hello and welcome! Nice to *meet* you. :) I hope you'll come back and visit anytime! If you're one of the faithful that have stuck around, thanks for being my blog friend all this time! (esp. Sunny, my very first blog follower ever!)

This is my block (#972) called "and so on" located on page 54:

I had no idea it even made it into the issue for the longest time b/c it turns out my email was malfunctioning and I wasn't getting their notices.  I was so excited to finally find out that it was being included, and then to eventually see it on the cover!  I still need to be pinched to believe it!!

I made it with a scrap of a Kaffe/Brandon Mably fabric called Dancing Paisley. 

I love how happy that fabric is. It's a really easy block to make, and I used my favorite Triangles on a Roll HST papers to make the HSTs b/c they're my fave. They don't even pay me to say that! :) They really are!

I am honored to be included in Quiltmaker's 10th issue of 100 blocks, and to be part of the 100 that push them up to 1000 blocks. To celebrate, there are all kinds of giveaways going on throughout the blog tour. My silly blurb even made it into their short promotional video.  I was channeling my inner Bruno from Dancing with the Stars, and why did no one tell me I looked so ridiculous?! ha!

So for my celebration here, I've created a 20% off coupon code for my Etsy shop (QM100 is the code) which will be good between now and Thanksgiving, and also an easy rafflecopter giveaway below.

You don't have to have a blog to enter, just enter your email address or sign in with FB (that way I'll be able to contact you if you win) and click away.  There are THREE prizes up for grabs between now and the day after Thanksgiving, when THREE winners will be chosen at random. You can do one or all of the entries for up to eight chances to win one of the following:

Prize #1: A copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol. 10 from Quiltmaker.

Prize #2: A copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol. 10 + a $25 gift certificate from Winter Creek Cloth.

Prize #3: A copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks vol. 10 + a $30 gift certificate from Mad About Patchwork.

When you're done entering here, head over to the Quiltmaker blog for more chances to win even bigger prizes and visit many more blogs along the tour.  Thanks for stopping in!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Touring and Happy Weekend!

linking up: can i get a whoop whoop, LAFF, anything goes, showoff friday, flaunt it friday, freedom friday, fabric frenzy friday, show off saturday, show and tell saturday, strut your stuff saturday, sew darn crafty, round tuit

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pine Valley Quilt

I can finally show you the quilt that I worked on using braids that I instagrammed a few vague photos of when I was sewing it up several months ago.  It's a quilt called Pine Valley. 

Did you guess what it was? :) Remember this vague Instagram photo?

I used various FQs of greens/blues, solids and prints. And it's on page 84 of the Nov/Dec issue of GenQ Magazine! Eep! 

Earlier in the year, I was so excited to get an email from Scott Hansen from GenQ Magazine inviting me to submit something.  It was one of those moments where I died, fell in the floor, got back up, read it again, and passed out again.  I couldn't believe it!

I had been toying with this idea using braids, b/c I had never tried them before, and wanted to make a tree quilt. 

Because trees are the only thing I see when I look at braids.  (Is it just me? Am I weird?)  

So I drew it up using blues and greens, colors that I hardly ever use, b/c they just looked bright and fun.  And he emailed me back and said that they had it tentatively scheduled for the Nov/Dec issue.  WHAT??!! But that I couldn't talk about it until the issue came out.

And now it's out! And I can't believe it!  All of the instructions to make it are inside. Except when I did my braids, I used Triangles on a Roll braid/flying geese paper, the 6 inch roll, I think.  Which made the braids super easy to do, and kept them from stretching and going all wonky.  (And the same roll also doubles as flying geese paper.)  Bonus. :) 

There was a mishap along the way though.  After I had gotten it back from Pat all quilted, I was sewing the binding on one day and discovered a black greasy appearing stain on the backing that had bled a little onto the white front. I kind of freaked out a little.. Hazards of having a little boy and big dog in the house maybe?  I can't figure out how it got there but went into full blown panic mode trying to get it out.  This pic is when it was nice and crisp, fresh from the quilter.

But when I used a stain wipe and some water to try to get the stain out, the greens and blues started bleeding all over the white. Triple panic mode ensued.  BUT.. with some good detergent and many many color catchers, it all came out in the wash. I was so relieved.  So that's why it has that crinkly freshly laundered look in this photo. :)

I like how the greens and blues make it look more lake-house-ish than log cabin-ish.  But I think it'd be fun made in darker colors. Or in reds/oranges/yellows for fall.

Thanks GenQ for including my quilt!! xx

linking up with: think tank thursday, show and tell, your great idea thursday, needle and thread thursday, wake up wednesday, whip it up wednesday, wow me wednesday, from dream to reality, what's it wednesday, lou lou girls' fabulous party, tgiff, show-off friday, freedom friday, I quilt Thursdays, can i get a whoop whoop, finish it up friday, anything goes,  LAFF, flaunt it friday, fabric frenzy friday, creative exchange, linky party palooza, creative collection, DIY inspired, show-off saturday, show & tell saturday, strut your stuff saturdayclever chicks, nifty thrifty sunday, sew darn crafty, sunday showcase, a round tuit, anything goes, craftastic monday, make it pretty monday, masterpiece monday, create link inspire, too cute tuesday, linky tuesday, fabric tuesday, sew cute tuesday