the weekend


IMG_7515IMG_7510FullSizeRenderWhile I was away in Idaho for my dad’s surprise party, life went on full-speed ahead at home. The Girl (the one with the curly hair above) went to her senior Homecoming dance. She and her friend had a wonderful time getting ready together, and I’m glad that the Husband got some photos of them. I was able to FaceTime her before she went and all manner of cousins, aunts, and great-aunts got the opportunity to weigh in on how to do her hair and supply generous compliments. She was wonderfully good natured about it and we all had a ton of fun.

Boy 1 had a parade and marching band exhibition. He is the one playing the bass drum in the photo above. And Boy 2 had an out of town soccer game. Hubby took care of it all like a champ. I can’t even explain what a relief it was to know that it would all be taken care of while I was away. I hear it was quite the exhausting day!

Meanwhile, I was having a great time reconnecting with extended family and hoping not to give my dad a heart attack when we all yelled “surprise!”.The party came off without a hitch, though I spent a two days diving into a bedroom every time the doorbell rang at my brother’s house, trying not to be spotted by my dad, It was a shame to be in the same town as my dad for two days and not get a chance to visit, but how often do you get the opportunity to give your dad a surprise like that? People came from all over to help celebrate and though I don’t have a picture, I think he appreciated the quilt I made him.

I made it home, but my suitcase didn’t. I’m hoping it will show up soon, because until then I can’t do my hair or makeup. Not to mention there is a necklace in there that I’d really like to see again.

I’m so glad to be home, but full of wonderful memories from the weekend.



farmer’s wife quilt-along

IMG_7426IMG_7428I’ve been working through the various corners of my home that have been niggling at me lately. And by that I mean irritating me because they are cluttered and unorganized. I tackled my sewing area over the weekend and ended up rather enjoying the process. I sorted through my more recent fabrics and was finally brave enough to break the fabrics out of their bundles and sort them by color. This was actually very hard for me to do, but I know that I need to that to be a bit braver and more creative in my fabric choices.IMG_7411IMG_7468

Are you involved in the epic 1930’s Farmer’s Wife Quilt-Along? I’m actually sort of involved in two of them. The first on is organized by Very Kerry Berry and she seems to be working through the book in order. I hand pieced the first block (above), which was actually really fun–but it came out the wrong size. I have a feeling the template printed out at the wrong size (it couldn’t be me, right?!).

The second, more epic QAL (with over 3500 people participating worldwide) is being run by Gnome Angel. She is skipping around the book, starting easy and showing different ways to make the blocks. It’s the first week and I’m already behind, but I do think I have my fabric choices worked out for the first block. It’s actually quite time consuming to cut fabric for just one block at a time. These blocks have some especially tiny pieces. I’ve been practicing my 1/4″ seam, to make sure that I’m as accurate as possible. I’m not planning on making the full 99 blocks, but just enough for a lap-size quilt.

The book is really charming and fun to read, with actual letters that were printed in Farmer’s  Wife magazine during the depression. I love to see how the struggles of raising a family are truly universal. The strength and fortitude of these women is very inspiring. I hope that I can actually continue with this project throughout the year and not let it drop, like so many of these types of projects do. Progress, not perfection is what I’m going for here. I want to enjoy the journey and take my time with it.

route 66 quilt


My dad’s Route 66 quilt is finally in the books, after its humble beginnings in a trash bag in the back of the closet. I’m happy with the red and white front and actually really pleased with the pieced back. I was able to work in the fish fabric in a more subtle way on the back. I ran a little bit short on fabric, so I to even added in one strip of the camper fabric, but it seems more fun than horrendous now. The awesome part is I used up just about every scrap of fabric I had bought for this quilt.

I think the back was almost as much work as the front, as I just pieced it as I went and kept rearranging fabrics until I was happy. I spent quite the happy morning putting it together. It almost feels like it’s a reversible quilt and I can picture it living in my dad’s trailer, keeping him warm for the many days that he is on the road.

The quilting of it was another story. I just did an all over meander but it was a struggle the entire time. First of all, I don’t have a great set up for quilting a larger quilt. My machine is on the dining room table and has an extension table on it, but it just kept getting hung up on it. And even though I did warm up quilting before starting, checking my tension on the front and back–there are tension issues on the back of the quilt. This disappoints me so much, but I keep telling myself that no one but me would ever notice. It’s all washed and crinkly now, which hides these imperfections even more. But still, I know they are there. An exercise in letting go, I guess. Still, I know that he will love it.

I’m headed out to Idaho tomorrow for his surprise birthday party and I cannot wait to spend time with some extended family members that I haven’t seen in almost 20 years. It is a crazy busy weekend back home and I am so sad that I am going to miss the Girl’s senior Homecoming dance. Of course, we didn’t know that when we scheduled this party. The silver lining to that situation is that she is going to Facetime me when she is ready and lots of aunts and cousins will be able to see her all dressed up in her Homecoming finery. I’ll have photos of that next week.


just had to share

I worked with my friend Minki on this blog post for Erin’s blog hop for her new book and her projects were so adorable, I just had to share. This post appears on Minki’s blog today.

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I’m so thrilled to be a part of Erin’s blog hop for her charming new book Sweet Tweets. It was hard to choose which project to make, but I finally settled on the Rainy Day Bird Coaster. I love Erin’s style because it is so similiar to my own Sewing Illustration technique. Her simple, large motifs really make it easy for anyone to make these projects.

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Because you always want two coasters when you are having a friend over for coffee, of course I couldn’t make just one. The first one I made I followed her design almost exactly (except I substituted lace trim for the crochet edging) and I love how it turned out. For the second one, I took some liberties and created my own design.

sweet tweet tea mat
These little coasters (or tea mats, as I like to call them) were so quick to make and I think that they make a perfect gift. In fact, these two are on their way to a birthday party tomorrow and I’m sure that the birthday girl will adore them.

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Make sure you check out all the other stops on the blog hop and don’t miss tomorrow on Erin’s blog Why Not Sew for the final stop.

Sweet Tweets Blog Hop
Tuesday, Sept.8 – Erin (intro post) Why Not Sew? 
Wednesday, Sept.9 – Heidi Fabric Mutt
Thursday, Sept.10 – Debbie A Quilter’s Table
Friday, Sept.11 – No Post
Saturday, Sept.12 – Jacque Brown Dog Prims
Monday, Sept.14 – Amy nanaCompany
Tuesday, Sept.15 – Svetlana s.o.t.a.k handmade
Wednesday, Sept.16 – Renee Sewn With Grace
Thursday, Sept.17 – Martingale Stitch This! The Martingale Blog
Friday, Sept.18 – Heather Vintage Grey Handmade
Saturday, Sept.19 – Clara and Jennie Clover & Violet
Monday, Sept.21 – Amanda Jean Crazy Mom Quilts
Tuesday, Sept.22 – Cindy Live a Colorful Life
Wednesday, Sept.23 – Carla Grace and Favour
Thursday, Sept.24 – Mary Molly Flanders
Friday, Sept.25 – Minki Minki’s Work Table
Saturday, Sept.26 – Erin, Big Giveaway Post!!! Why Not Sew?

back to the sewing room

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I’ve gotten inspired to sew lately, after too long of a hiatus. And I have to say–I love it! It is so easy to let the creative pursuits slip when life gets busy (and when isn’t it?). But I’ve made it a point to carve out a bit of time nearly everyday to sew and boy it really adds up fast!

I got busy on my dad’s quilt, as his 75th birthday is fast approaching. I don’t know if I’ve talked about this quilt before, but five years ago, as a new quilter, I bought a bunch of novelty fabrics that I thought represented him and started to make him a horrendous quilt. Once I realized that it was going to be horrendous, I shoved it all in a bag and started over. That quilt came out well–here’s a mini version of it.

Well, that fabric has been haunting me all these years and so I took it out a while back and made a new plan. It’s basically a red and white star quilt with Route 66 novelty fabric centers. The pieced back features a few more of the novelty fabrics (not all) and it all came together in a  much more attractive way. There will be more pics when it’s all done. I’m currently sewing the binding on–so the end is in sight!

I also fell down the rabbit hole of English Paper Piecing (EPP) hexies. Oh my, this feeds my hand sewing, addictive personality! The project that got me going was in the book Sweetly Stitched Handmades. It was such a pleasure to make. I pretty much adore everything that Amy makes.

And lastly, but actually probably my favorite, is the Deluxe Pincushion from the book Sew Organized for the Busy Girl. It was so fun to make (I whipped it up in a single evening) and I have used it almost everyday since. You need to give this pattern a try. Seriously, you won’t regret it.



mondays with the girl

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I’ve written before about how when my son started playing club soccer out of town, I thought that it was going to be a huge inconvenience, but it has actually turned out to be a blessing of Time. Two whole hours to write, read, sew–whatever I want to do. That blessing has multiplied now that the Girl has started coming with me on these practice days.

It started out in the summer, when she her schedule was a bit more clear and she tagged along to practice with the promise of a Frappacino. That coffeehouse visit proved to be very productive and she started coming along to each practice and working on her college essays and some creative writing. It is wondrous how productive it can be to get out of the house and into a new environment. Now that school has started she is tackling homework along with all the overwhelming college admission work.

We are both painfully aware that a year from now she will be off on her college adventure–so this time is precious. We don’t actually talk much during our afternoons together, rather just enjoy each other’s presence across our laptops. But we are together and that’s enough.



yarn along


I’ve been doing more sewing than knitting lately, but I did knit up a whole pile of dishcloths that will replace the ones that are falling apart in my kitchen drawer. I find dishcloths to be the perfect summer knit. Small, quick, portable, and they don’t sit in your lap and make you hot.

My book club is reading Longbourn by Jo Baker, this month, and truthfully I just got it out of the library and will dive in this evening. It is described as a “downstairs” version of Pride and Prejudice. So, it basically sounds perfect to me.

Joining in with Ginny over at Small Things.