Sunday, December 16, 2012

Joy to the World

My heart is so heavy.  For families, children, and teachers.  Every where we turn we are reminded of how precious and fragile life is. 

We've had three porceline, fine china items break this weekend.  One of them my beloved Christmas dish.  One minute I was holding it and the next it slipped out of my hands and shattered on the floor.  There were countless tiny shards remaining.  It was impossible to fix.

It seemed poetic that so many unforeseen and un-fixable accidents occurred just after the news of precious babies and teachers losing their lives in an unthinkable manner.  Life is fragile. Life is precious. 

At church this morning, other mothers with young sobbed with me during the readings and prayers.  Our closing song was Joy to the World.  I thought it out of place and almost insulting that we could be expected to sing of JOY and the thrill of Christmas upon us.  We're hurting and frankly I want to be done with all the lofty expectations of a perfectly happy and blissful season.  There is so much pain in the world. 

But then we got to the third verse:

No more let sin and sorrow grow
Nor thorns infest the ground

He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found

Far as the curse is found

Verse 4:

He rules the world with truth and grace
And makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness
And wonders of His love

And wonders of His love

Sin and evil seem to be winning the war right now.  My prayer is that others and myself will cling to what is good.  Know that the Lord is good.  He may seem distant and far away but He does indeed rule the world with truth and grace.  No more let sin and sorrow grow.

Blessings on you all, my friends
And incase you need some sewing-related things to look at for a break from all the sadness and sorrow, here are a few orders I've been working on: 

A is for Adam pillow for sale and ready to ship

A lovely rag quilt made for a dear friend who is expecting baby #2.  It is also boy #1 so he will be sure to have lots of time cuddled up in his new soft quilt this winter.  Red, navy, plaid, stripes... it's a very cool quilt.  The mama picked the fabrics and did a fabulous job of mixing the unexpectated in such a modern way.  Love how it turned out.

Pillow shams, patchwork, and cathedral window pillows to match a shabby chic quilt previously made for a client.  Ruffles, pom poms, and then super over-sized ruffles give the grouping a very romantic and shabby look.  These fabrics were mostly from Robyn Pandolph's lines. 

Finally I completed another baby bedding set which was a real joy.  The baby is expected in February.  I love the bright colors, vivid contrast, and overall happy theme my clients chose for this set.  I think it's so fun to get to know my clients through the fabric choices... the people who choose these types of color-saturated fabrics are generally super happy and become lifelong friends.   I'm completely addicted to custom orders because you really get to dig in and know your client. 

I pray for the babies that I sew for and their parents as I assemble the items.  My prayers are lifted up to the Lord that He will watch over them, bless them, and draw them to Himself as they grow.  That they will have compassionate hearts and want to serve their families and communities for the Lord. 

Keep praying for your children and those families who are missing their children this weekend.  They need a healing balm on their hearts.  Surround them with love.  Care deeply for those around you.  I know I have certainly slowed down my pace to play a little more and hug a little tighter.

Joy to the world indeed.

Monday, November 12, 2012

East Coast Swing

Did you know that the East Coast Swing is a really fun dance? I actually took a dance history class in college and loved it so much.  Now I can barely put one foot infront of the other without falling on my face.  Those were the days....

My grandpa with the girls.  He earned a Purple Heart in Iwo Jima.  It really was an emotional day.

Anyhoo, we took an amazing trip to the East Coast to watch my hero of a brother retire from the Army after 22 years of service.  He has been to Afghanistan and a whole host of other countries.  He's had quite a career as a soldier and the ceremony was befitting of that.

After that we thought it'd be a great idea to wake everyone up at 4am and hop on a train to NYC to visit Tracy.  After 18 months of emails and sharing experiences about our two girls and baby boys, we finally FINALLY got to hug and have a glass of wine on the quilt I made for baby Brody.

It was a great day.  There was wall-to-wall sunshine, not a cloud in the sky, the kids got along perfectly, the husbands did their job of hanging out and allowing the mamas to laugh, cry, and drink a little extra wine.  (Thanks, S and J.)   Everyone was so friendly - NYC felt like a dream come true.   We only had a few hours there before we took the train back to DC but every moment was savored and stored up in our hearts until next time.

Picnic, coloring, playing ... Love.
Thank you so much, Tracy for the warm NYC welcome.  It could not have been better.  It left us excited for the next trip and more time together.

Back at home I finished up a hip rag quilt for Amanda:

The back of the quilt:

Big girl admires her ring from the Tooth Fairy.  I wasn't really sure if we were going to do the whole Tooth Fairy thing but she had heard about it from another little girl and seemed so excited.  I guess that makes me a sucker!

Her tooth was so wiggly all summer and I kept wanting to do a blog post about Summerteeth.  But it didn't happen until we got to NYC.  Yep, she lost her very first tooth on a crisp autumn day in Central Park.  I don't know any correlating songs about that but it's a pretty cool memory.

Happy Autumn to you!  Hope you're keeping warm with your loved ones and handmade quilts.  :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Maggie's Quilt

 My sweet Maggie Moo has her very own quilt!  My goal was to get it to her before she turned 4 and I am more than a month early.  Go Mom!

I used the entire Nicey Jane line by the lovely and talented Heather Bailey.  This is probably my mostest favorite fabric line EVER.  That's really hard for me to say because gosh, there are oodles of gorgeous fabric lines out there.  But Nicey really does it for me in the bright colors, traditional yet modern design, and overall sweet and chic.

I think she likes it! 

She has asked me everyday for about a year and half if her quilt was done yet.  I'm not gonna lie... I kinda had this slated as a throw for our family room.  But I think the boldness of it really matches her personality so I decided to dedicate to my baby #2. 

I made the square-in-a-square blocks loooong ago.  Like when it first came out.  I bought a jelly roll and a bunch of yardage.  I didn't even want to take the time to think about a layout or I would ultimately decide nothing was worthy of such beautiful fabric.  SO I just plunged on in and made this very simple design as quick as my fingers would work.   It was exhilarating to work with these colors and florals yet after making the blocks, they sat on my shelf for months... years....

I've been so blessed with a lot of custom orders so I didn't get back to work on it for a really long time.  Lately I've had a few days here and there where the orders were light and I decided it was time to knock it out.  With my squeaky wheel (ahem) always asking about it, that gave me the accountability to finish it up in every spare moment I had.

I got it done this afternoon on a long car trip home.  As soon as we pulled in the driveway I literally tied the last knot on the binding.  We flew in the house, up the stairs, and tried it out.  She was all smiles and I was loving every moment.  As I was taking pictures of her, Maggie said "I want to take a picture of the beautiful quilt maker".  Well... ok.  So here is a rare appearance of me. 

Maybe you've seen the article floating around facebook lately:  The Mom Stays in the Picture.  I can totally relate.  Usually it's me behind the lens so it's not necessarily that I dodge pictures but no one else grabs the camera like I do!  And then when my husband does decide to click away, it's usually when I have 19 pimples, two days after my last shower, and in the middle of a discipline situation with a kid.  NOT how I want to be remembered. 

So after reading this essay, I decided that I do want to be remembered for being alive and if I don't start getting in the picture, this may not happen.  So here I am.  Maggie says "say cheese, mommy".

Cheese, sweetie!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Last Wednesday of the Summer

It rained all day yesterday.  It was glorious.  I sipped tea, made beef stew, and welcomed the slight chill in the air.  Today the sun is shining high and that is just fine.  Autumn and I had a little flirty day together yesterday and I was comforted with the fact that the calendar says she'll be here for a long spell in just a few days. 

Looking at these pictures from our time at a recent late-summer "festible" recall to mind how we were all dripping with sweat and rather uncomfortable walking around the dirt grounds.  Drinking water and perspiring baby in the backpack, trying to distract everyone from the heat of the day...

This certain festible is on our calendar every year.  Horse riding and buffalo burgers don't happen everyday!

I'd go as a little girl and love the nostalgia of it to see my young ladies enjoying the very same things I did many moons ago.  Cloggers, fiddle players, and teepees....  It's really quite an experience.

I so want to do this. 

Anyway, on with the show! 

A custom quilt for Jodi in SoCal.  Her baby girl is growing up and we collaborated on a quilt to keep those special clothing items near and dear.  Memory quilts are so much better than Rubbermaid bins! 

I have also been sewing lots of non-quilty things as well.  It's nice to change it up once in a while.  Some ivory rosette pillows.  Ooooh!  With an invisible zipper closure, these are so soft and delicate.  They really do have a great texture and my little one actually gets very calm petting it.   Weird.

Last post I gave a little preview of the bedding in the works for Florida baby.  Well here it is!  We beat the baby and the bedding has arrived in time to fill her room before she does.  Yay! 

Bumper, quilt, fitted sheet, and crib skirt all from Sarah Jane's Out to Sea line in the Deep Sea Jewel colorway.  Looooove the navy and hot pink together.  Little splashes of red and minty green make for a very interesting nursery.  It's so modern and so chic - what a lucky baby!

This is one cool mama who coordinated all these different prints and colors.  It is so eclectic and colorful!  Can you tell I'm really excited about how this turned out?  Way to go, Florida mama!

The back of the quilt has a little chenille.  I love a chenille backing but baby is in Florida so that might be a tough sell.  So ship wheels, patchwork, and some soft chenille combine to create a cohesive and soft backing.

I had a lot of squares leftover and made up a little quilt kit for sale in the shop

I'm dusting off the slow cooker and digging out the sweaters.  So excited for the upcoming season of bonfires, QUILTS, and apple-picking.  Join me back here for more adventures in the wonderful season God has created for us!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

10 Busy Fingers

Hello there, dear friends.  We have been enjoying summer and getting outdoors as much as possible.  It's been wonderful.  The days have been hot and sunny and we've tried our best to get out for an hour or more each day.  Would it not be for Charlotte Mason I would not be as intentional as I am today.

 However, this picture-heavy post is mostly about quilts.  Big surprise there, right?  I have had a little time to create a patchwork quilt from oooold Amy Butler charm packs.  It's been on my to-do list for years.  Simple patchwork is always my favorite design.  I love to let the colors and fabrics stand alone and do their thing without getting involved too much.

The back is a little crazy but that's ok.  The front is rather boisterous as well.  I feel it is hip and modern and mixes all those great patterns and colors in a lovely random way.

I did randomly spaced straight line quilting and bound it in Kona Ash.  It's in the shop and feels good to take off my mental list too. 

Miss Amanda got married!  She had an incredible wedding with all things rustic and vintage and straight out of  my wildest dreams.  My wedding (almost 10 years ago!) was similar to this feel but she took it to a whole new level.  I really love the organic, easiness of this quilt.  Burlap, muslin, earth tones... just lovely.

For two years now I've been making my own bread.  Don't get excited.  It was in a breadmaker.  It took literally 5 minutes to assemble and BOOM.  Three hours later we smelled fresh bread.  Nice.  Until it died. The breadmaker, that is.

I have always wanted to make my own bread for the family...  really make it.  But for goodness sake, somebody always needs something.  Well this time I've just decided to go for it.  I do 4 loaves on the weekend and hope it gets us through the week.  So far so good. 

I play a little of this, knead a little dough, and life is good!  The rest of the world can wait while I indulge in some Caroline Ingalls livin'. 

Another quilt... my dear sweet friend wanted to make her boyfriend a tshirt quilt for Christmas.  Yes!  I love that quilts are acceptable gifts among youngins these days.  He must be quite a man to be ok with a quilt.  For Christmas.  There just seems to be so much stress and hoopla over electronics and stuff.  There's an aweful lot of hype out there around the holidays, ya know?  So, I'm extremely touched to have had a hand in this really great gift.

If I do say so myself.

My baby boy.  He's so cute. 

And bedding!  A baby girl is coming in October (not here!) and she is going to have a very wonderful nautical nursery.  I made a fitted crib sheet from Sarah Jane's new line Out to Sea. 

As well as a crib skirt from the same line.  A bumper and quilt will complete the look, but these two are so sweet.  I'm not really a nautical person, but these colors are just adorable and Sarah Jane's artwork is adorable as always.

That's it.  My 10 busy fingers have to make some dinner now.  Thanks for hanging out with me!  I hope you are well and enjoying the last summer days as well. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Memorable Summer

Another memory is made!  This truly has been the summer of memory quilts which includes t-shirt quilts and (formerly) bedding quilts.  I really like this idea.  My client used some very pretty bedding from Pottery Barn Kids when her kiddo was born.  Now that she's all grown up, she sent me the bumpers, crib skirt, and matching sheet to make into a quilt. 

I like incorporating little details like the piping and bows from the bumper.

It's soft and sweet and will be headed out to the big girl very soon!

This memory quilt I showed you a peek of last time.  It contains the large bear claw patch that I disassembled and tried to include without hurting the hand stitching.  A couple of Sunbonnet Sues, great-grandpa's baby clothes, and various items from both sides of baby's family make one awesome memory. 

I used high loft batting to make it extra "heirloomy" and soft after quilting 1/2' on each side of every seam.

A hand-embroidered label with a great Bible verse really touched me.

What an honor to be a part of family heirlooms!  I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to meet so many nice people and hear their stories.  God has brought so many new friends into my life and it's fascinating to watch Him show up in the most unusual places. 

Make some memories of your own this summer!  The little things are so important.