Friday, 30 November 2012

A catch up...or a fresh start?

I think I prefer the fresh start. I thought about my blog many times over the last several months, but I decided it was fine to take a break during the busyness of life, and just go back to it when I could.

So much has happened. During the course of the summer I purchased a second hand quilting setup and a brand new Janome to put on it. I have had lots of fun learning how to use it. My husband built a handy dandy  light bar/shelf for over top. Love it.

I started ordering in some   fabric, as well as a large roll of batting and several notions, intending to just sell out of my basement, but a few doors opened up very suddenly, and before I knew it, I was renting a space from the local country gift shop. My space is 11 feet by 12 feet, so nothing huge, but it's a start. People start realizing there's a quilt shop in town, and eventually I hope to realize my own building with lots of space. I'm so happy with what I have right now, though. We have a young girl that works for us, which is great because I get to be home with my little girlies, and not so great because I don't get to meet and interact with my potential customers.  I'm hoping to get to the point soon where I can spend a day there now and then.

Last but not least I have been taking a crash course in how to set up an online store. I'm set up through They have lots of clear easy instructions, but I'm still finding it hard to slog through it all.  My store address is Be sure to stop by and check us out. Very limited stock so far but I'm getting there.

I have been sewing quilt tops as well and will be featuring a few of my latest projects here soon. Thanks for taking time to get through this, and I wish you a joyful day!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Current WIPs

I decided to quick do another twister for the charity auction at our upcoming family campout. Very quick to do if you have charm squares, although I did have to cut the background squares. So we went from this:

to this:

I think the pinwheels make it extra charming. I used Recipe For Friendship by Mary Engelbreit for Moda.
Tomorrow morning I'll sew it together, add borders and attach it to my new Grace quilting frame. Yes, I got a machine quilting frame. I am excited out of my mind but that's a story for a different day.

Here's a little, confusing sneak peek of another quilt I am actively working on:

Shhhhh, don't tell.

The deadline for this one is the end of next week, quilted, bound, everything. I foresee some sleepless nights.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

I Have Not Fallen Off the Edge of the Earth

I don't know if anyone follows this blog faithfully, but here is a list of excuses why I have not posted since, oh dear, the seventh of April.

1. On the 24th of April my two year old succumbed to a second bout of intussusception, requiring an emergency flight by air ambulance to the University of Alberta in Edmonton for a reversal procedure.

2. Followed closely by staying in the area for the weekend and being joined by the rest of our family because of a planned tonsillectomy the following week for our 7 year old son, in the same city. When you live 600 miles away you don't just run back and forth.

3. Playing catch-up with laundry and housework after a week in the city and children scattered here and there.

4. Spending two days and nights in a hotel 40 minutes from home on day nine after tonsillectomy. Our son woke up around midnight and started throwing up what seemed like gallons of fresh red blood. Determined not to be a hemmorhage but a slow bleed but we had to stay in the same town as the hospital for two days in case of reoccurence. Didn't happen again thankfully. Grateful for all the prayers on our behalf during this difficult period of life.  I actually took my sewing machine to the hotel and finished cutting and started sewing on a quilt.

5. Laptop went to repair man and desktop PC has a silly filter that won't let me access blogs. Go figure.

6. Planted a huge garden and tons of flowers. Why do I do this to myself?

7. You know what, that's enough. The list could go on, but you get the picture. I am sewing on a quilt and will try to get a post up tomorrow about it with some progress pics. I'm also sewing a bunch of dresses for myself and my girls.

Time to call the children in and get everyone to bed. Thanks for reading. God Bless.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

A Project with Pre-teens

Gack. This one was quite something. Remember that woven rug I made a few weeks ago?  From my mouth came an offer to a school teacher to teach her six students how to make woven rugs for an art project. My daughter is in a class with five other girls ranging from 10 to 12 years old. (Small private school)  I thought 2 or 3 periods should do it, but it ended up being, like, five periods, and then I still took them home to sew down the binding. I think all in all, a lot of fun was had. Much jabbering, pinning, ripping stitches, learning how to thread machines, and stick-to-itivesness. Of course Moms don't send their best machines to school, they send the "old" one, the clunker. I learned how to thread and trouble shoot Pfaff, Janome, Kenmore, Shark, and Bernina. Very hands on for me! Here are a few pictures of the finished products:
11 yr old

10 yr old (my daughter)

11 yr old

11 yr old

12 yr old

10 yr old

I had them bring scraps and pieces from home which I then took home and cut the strips. Some are truly scrappy while a few have a bit more of a pattern or color scheme. I can't say I have a favorite. They are all wonderful. Although the process was a bit tedious and there were times I wasn't sure how it would all turn out, the end results are lovely! I tried not to fix to much, to let their own skills grow as they went. Yes, there are wonky seams, and strips that went over the side and had to be cut, but it all adds to the charm, and oh, the satisfaction they feel from having something to show for all the hard work!

Friday, 6 April 2012

A Snowy Good Friday

Good morning to all. Yes it is a good morning even when it seems that we had about a a week of spring, skipped summer and went straight back to winter!

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Today is a day to remember our Saviour, dying on the cross for my sins. Easter always seems a deeply personal time for me as I think of the way Jesus extends his grace to me. He holds out his hand again and says, "Come closer. I died for you." I wish anyone who reads this a wonderful Easter season with family and friends. Please take time to dwell on the real reason for this blessed season.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Catching Up.

I believe three weeks have slipped by since last I posted! Where have I been, what have I been up to? Two weekends in a row I traveled to the city. I hadn't been "out" for several months and now I went to GP one weekend and EDM the next. Quite a shopping shock! On the second weekend I got to see all my sisters which hadn't happened since last summer. Good times. I'd like to blame my loss of daily exercise on my trips but somehow I know that's not entirely true. I've lost my zeal and I need to recommit.

I have been doing some sewing. I followed along with the SewHappyGeek QAL but didn't quite finish by the deadline. Not because the schedule was to tight but because I procrastinated. Here it is on my design wall, in progress.

I'm working on the last block

and then I have to sash it and sew all the blocks together. Not sure what I'll do with this one. I used only fabrics I had in my stash.

I have some garment sewing to do before I do to much other quilt sewing, but I do have a quilt I want to sew for a wedding gift in July so I better boogie.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday and hopefully I keep up a little better with updating my blog.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Sliced Moda Bakeshop Entry

I decided to take the challenge put forth by Moda Bakeshop. We were all given a list of items that had to be used in some kind of  accessory for an office or studio. Well, I scratched my head and figured and looked around and decided what I needed was a hard side box to keep my rotary cutters and small templates and rulers in by my cutting mat.

Here are a few progress shots:

I used a candy bar by Modern Workshop for Moda. On the inside I used Dots by Sandy Gervais. I put a buckle on the front to hold it closed and I used a length of Moda ribbon from around a jelly roll to thread through the buckle. And this is the finished product: (drumroll please)

I had fun doing some free motion quilting on it. I did a different design on every side. My husband bent up a piece of aluminum for me in the welding shop, which I then inserted into my fabric. This design includes a bit of hand sewing, but I wasn't sure how else to close it all with the rigid aluminum inside.  This is kind of last minute but I just squeaked under the wire! Go to the flickr page to see all the other awesome entries. Good luck everybody!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

February Free Motion Challenge

This month for the Free Motion Quilting Challenge over at SewCalGal, we learned how to do free motion feathers, the easy way. Diane Gaudynski was our instructor, and I think her tutorial is being taken down when February is over, so if you want some good tutoring from one of free motion's finest, now would be a good time to click on over there, and see for yourself!

Here are some of my first sketches:

And here's what I came up with:
This one is quite hard to make out. Sorry.

I really, really enjoy doing these. I realize I have a long way to go, but I find these so freeing! Just go with the movement!

 I also utilized this motif on one small part of the item I am making for the sliced moda bake shop contest. Here's a sneak peek!

I know I don't stand a chance with my primitive sewing skills but it was fun to design something I needed anyway! (more on that later when it's finished!)

Monday, 13 February 2012

Happy Birthday Mom

A very special thing happened on February 13 in the year 1957. A small baby girl was born who grew up to be none other than my mother. Without her, I would not be here, neither would my six siblings or our many offspring.  Because of choices she made in her life, I have a personal relationship with Jesus, a wonderful husband and a stable Christian home in which to raise our four children.

It is my mother that has been there for me not only every time I came out of yet another c-section with a healthy baby, but also when I had to labor for hours to deliver our tiny little stillborn angel. She never left my side.

My mom has weathered hard times along with the good. She taught us, often by example, to laugh when it seemed the only recourse was to cry.  My dad worked away all week, leaving mom to figure out how to train, discipline, love and give each of her seven children the attention every child needs.

On top of all that she actively participated in the car pool to get
many of us to the private school we attended.

She loved to play games with us and one of my favorite memories is frying eggs at two o'clock in the morning while playing Oilman!
Source: via Lisa on Pinterest

This post could go on and on. Let's not forget to "give them the roses while they live"  So many times you hear someone say, 'I wish I had told them while they were still with me.'  Take a moment today to let someone know how much they really do mean to you.  Oh I know life gets in the way and we don't always see eye to eye. But don't lose sight of the big picture.

So today I want to honor my mother for being who she is
and to wish her another 55 years!

I love you Mom!

(Tomorrow I'll post a pic of what I made for her)

Thursday, 9 February 2012

TGIFF! My first time participating!

Okay, I don't think I've ever been more thankful for a finish. This is a quilt I started at the beginning of 2009. I was expecting our third baby. My sister knew I was planning a Beatrix Potter nursery so she picked up this quilt kit for me. I did all the cutting, piecing, hand quilting and I hand bound it. Let's just say that 'baby' is now 2-1/2 years old and she has a younger sister. Oh well, better late than never, or so they say. (By the way, who is 'they'?)

So because this quilt has taken so long and been dragged so many places while it was being quilted and bound, it took on a few unsightly spots. I washed it and this is how she looks now:

What can I finish next?

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday and TGIFF at Quilt Matters.


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Weigh in Wednesday

So I missed a week. Just couldn't find the time to post! My toddler has had a head cold for a whole week and talk about crabby! Hopefully on the mend now. Then too, at the risk of oversharing, my monthly cycle is back after an eighteen month hiatus (what with pregnancy and breastfeeding and all). So yeah, I managed to not gain any weight but neither did I lose any. I took a three day break from exercise but I'm back on the bandwagon. This is what it looks like today:

Weight Loss Goal: 70 lbs
Week's Loss: 1 lbs 
Total Loss:  6 lbs
Distance to Goal:  64 lbs
Week's Workouts:  Walked 19 miles
Total Time Exercising:  5 hours
 Highlight of the Week: Did a five mile walk on Friday, and I tell you that was exhilarating. Another thing it did for me was make my normal three and four mile walks seem a lot shorter!

I'm really enjoying this journey. I need to check my food intake again. I'd like to up my loss to at least  2 lbs per week. My sisters wedding in July is 23 weeks away. That would bring me 46 lbs down. Okay. If that's not an incentive, what is? That reminds me, I saw some serious inspiration on her pinboard. Let me go get it. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

January FMQ challenge

This is my first blog post participating in the FMQ challenge over at SewCalGal. If you've always wanted to learn 'someday', maybe your someday has arrived! Be sure to click on the link on my sidebar and go see what the buzz is all about.

Well, I really didn't practice this to much. I honestly can't say that I see myself ever really using this motif, but it still helped me practice curves and deciding where to go next with this particular design. My first attempt looks pretty childish, but I'm not so sure my final is so much better!
This is my first try at it

And here's my final go.
Definitely different sizes of leaves, and maybe to close together? This just doesn't speak to me, but I feel it turned out all right. I'm excited to see what next month holds for us.

(If I'm not careful my seven year old son and ten year old daughter will get better at FMQ than I am! I really will have to show you some of their works sometime!)

Monday, 30 January 2012

A Quick Finish

I say quick meaning start to finish in one stretch. This 'small' project still took a fair bit of time. I recently bought a little twister so I was itching to try it. Here's what I made:

I didn't get a picture after I bound it, but I used the same blue as the border. I thought it looked quite sharp!  I sewed the binding on by machine. Not as nice as by hand but I am getting better at it.

This is how I quilted it:

Very time consuming but I enjoyed every minute of it! It was a little nerve wracking because this was a wedding gift so I knew everyone would be looking at, and then using black thread with a cream backing, hmmm. Overall I think it looked okay.

On that note, what are your thoughts about using different colors in the top and bobbin? I've read some concern about the threads pulling through because of less than perfect tension, or moving your fabric  to fast, etc. I'm still very much on a learning curve and open to any advice on this.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Weighing in!

Wow, another week has flown by! I have to say even though my results are maybe a bit small I feel so much better about my self over all. Now instead of the negative thought "I'm fat anyway, who cares" I'm thinking "I may be rotund but I'm actively doing something about it!" I've put up a weight tracker ticker  on the sidebar which I'll keep updating as events warrant! So here are this weeks stats:

Weight Loss Goal: 70 lbs
Week's Loss: 3 lbs 
Total Loss:  5 lbs
Distance to Goal:  65 lbs
Week's Workouts:  Walked 16 miles
Total Time Exercising:  4 hours
 Highlight of the Week: I walked every day this week. Really starting to enjoy my workouts and I find myself looking forward to them. I feel very empowered and encouraged to keep on.

Hexy Bag in Progress

So this is a little bag I've been working on using another moda bakeshop tutorial. It's my first time working with hexagons and I think smaller ones would have been easier. Also I used a fairly stiff cardboard for my templates, so it made maneuvering a little harder. Live and learn I guess.
I decided to go with a simple white for the liner. Now I need to find 
time to sit and hand sew it in, and then add the handles.
excuse the hand:(

 This was also made using Summer House by Lily Ashbury. 
What have you been keeping busy with?

Monday, 23 January 2012

Manic Monday!

Seems like there are more days around here that are manic! Here's a project I finished a week or two ago. It's a woven rug I made using a moda bakeshop tutorial by Jera from Quilting in the Rain. It is very well written and easy to follow. I did end up with one extra strip? Not sure why as it's woven very tight, but oh well. Here it is.

On this one you can see the camo pattern under the drawer liner.
I used a heavy cotton denim for the base of this rug

It's made from a Summer House Jelly Roll I had in my stash. I think the colors are so fresh. I used black drawer liner on the back because that's what I had. It happened to be exactly the right width so all I had to do was cut the length. How handy is that? So now to get the nerve to actually step on it! This is going to be a birthday gift for a friend.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Week 2. How did I do?

This post is a day late. I've tried hard this week. I have to say that I have courage for the days ahead. I tried to cut out all sweets this week and really watched my portion sizes. I also need to drink more water.
Here's how I did.

Weight Loss Goal: 70 lbs
Week's Loss: 2 lbs 
Total Loss:  2 lbs
Distance to Goal:  68 lbs
Week's Workouts:  Walked 12 miles
Total Time Exercising:  3 hours
 Highlight of the Week:   I managed to work out every day except Saturday with a bad head cold, and Tuesday my husband's birthday. Very very exhilarating. I need to keep on.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Weigh In Wednesday

All my adult life I have struggled with my weight. I won't bore you with the details. Suffice it say that I have probably lost my self a few times. (I think the credit for that bit of humor belongs to Erma Bombeck)

I was pleased to find Weigh In Wednesday hosted by Erin at MissyMacCreations. I'm anyway doing this so I'm happy to find some way to keep myself accountable. No before pictures, sorry. We'll see about after. So to borrow Erin's format, here are my beginning numbers:

Weight Loss Goal: 70 lbs
Week's Loss:  
Total Loss: 
Distance to Goal:  70 lbs
Week's Workouts: 
Total Time Exercising: 
 Highlight of the Week:  

I know I know, start small, so my first goal is 10 pounds in 21 days. I'm doing the Walk-Eat-Lose challenge with Leslie Sansone from Walk At Home, starting on Monday, the 16th. I've walked with Leslie lots. I actually started a walking group which meets every Tuesday in my husband's welding shop! (Yay for available floor space!)

I turned 30 in November. I say if I don't do this now when will I?

Monday, 9 January 2012

Sewing Space Update

I just want to share with you all what my husband busied himself with during his holidays. I recently moved downstairs with my sewing so that my little girl would play down there with her toys. Seems she (naturally) wants to be where Mom is. So here is a before and after picture of one wall in my space:



He built the crates seperately and installed them to my request. He has a bunch more slats ready to go when he gets time again. I'm absolutely loving it. I just wanna sit in there and bask in the serenity!

Now, to keep up with keeping the toys out, and cleaning up after myself!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

I'm Addicted!

I'm probably a bit slow on the uptake, but I have only just discovered the Twister tool.
 Look what it can do.

I took my Hoopla layer cake and did this:

Then I took this

and did this:

It takes a bit of nerve to "destroy" a quilt top, but the end result  work in progress is worth it,
don't ya think?

Gotta sew this together and add another border. You lose about one third of your size when
you use this technique. I'd like to try the little twister next. Have you made any quilts using this tool?

Monday, 2 January 2012

Lisa's Blogger's Choice Bundle

I'm really quite pleased with my end result. I just love purple and I think these colors blend quite nicely. Isn't it fascinating that our opinions on colors can be worlds apart? And who even knows if you're seeing the same color I'm seeing but we both call it blue, or green.  Okay I'll stop. I can go on and on this topic.

I'm just glad I'm not judging this contest. I think seeing a few bundles would be fun, but it would be pretty tough to stay enthused, involved, and interested by the hundredth entry. A big shout out of thanks to all the judges, to Laura for dreaming up this great giveaway, and the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring. I'm linking up here.

Here are the SKU#'s for my bundle:

Amelia Cotton Tempting Turquoise Kaleidoscope Flowers Yardage
SKU# 22161-13

Modernology Bright Posh Florets Yardage
SKU# MO-4808

Terrain Mist Forest Floor Yardage
SKU# 27090-15

Ooh La La Lime Coeur De Fleurs Yardage

Girls World Vibe Coco Paula Yardage

Cocoa Berry Cocoa Tiny Flowers Yardage

Amelia Cotton Tempting Turquoise Paisley Party Yardage
SKU# 22163-13

Impressions Purple Dahlia Yardage

Essential Dots Turquoise Yardage
SKU# 8654-35

Family Forever Light Green Stars 'n Sentiment Yardage
SKU# 4557-44

Happy Mochi Yum Yum Blueberry Confetti Yardage
SKU# 30307-70

Power Pop Peridot Thirteen Yardage

Bella Solids Lime Yardage
SKU# 9900-75

Michael Miller Ocean Krystal Yardage

Bella Solids Dusk Yardage
SKU# 9900-116