I've had a streak of luck recently in the quilting world and I am thrilled! I recently entered a giveaway on Diary of a Quilter and won a $30 gift certificate to Bloomerie Fabrics. I would normally drool over fabrics on a site like this for hours, but I decided I would try something new ;)
Hooray for winnings!
Please excuse the terrible photo as it was nighttime and I was just so excited to get my new toys! I chose a package of small Clover Wonder Clips, my first spool of Aurifil in Dove Grey, and the Night Sky pattern by JayBird Quilts. I broke open the wonder clips right away and used them when binding my Penny Patch quilt for my mom. They were amazing! Because I only had the 10, I used them in conjunction with pins, but I will be purchasing more of these little guys. The were so simple to use and held the binding without distorting the fabric, which has been my experience with pins in the past. They were especially helpful for getting the crisp mitered corners. I definitely recommend these clips. Have you used these clips before? Do you have experience with the other sizes of Clover Wonder Clips? What size would you recommend?
I haven't used the other two items yet, but I will let you know how it goes when I do!
Success! Completed just in time to deliver to my mom during our visit with her in the hospital, my Penny Patch Quilt was a thrilling finish for me.
It is a lap-sized quilt with simple cross-hatch quilting based on the QAL at Stiched in Color. I really enjoyed using so many neutrals so those pops of purple and teal really come out of the quilt. I back the quilt in a fun flannel combo of purple chevrons and that fun little bird print.
Thankfully my mom's stay at the hospital was mostly successful as well. Her cardiologist is hopeful that this new medication will work for her and she will be able to avoid surgery. Thank you all for your support.
My husband doesn't get it (do any of them?) but the best thing about coming home from work, after the hugs from my kids, is getting squishy mail out of the mailbox! I recently received a package with this batch of fabric.
From Windham Fabrics, these are all selections from a line called Harmony. After the cool jewel tones of my Penny Patch Quilt, I think these warm colors will make an excellent project for use in my home in the fall.
What would you make with this little fabric bundle?
My husband is out of town this week for a business conference and man, is it putting a damper on my goal to have my Penny Patch Quilt finished for my mom's stay in the hospital next weekend. Most days I can get about 30 minutes of uninterrupted time after dinner is done and the baby is asleep. But this week that 30 minutes is spent more like this -
Yes, it seems that my son thinks the best way to baste a quilt is with a John Deere... perhaps he is right!
Thankfully, hubby comes home tomorrow and I should be able to make more progress.
My mom is amazing. I won't get into all the reasons she is the perfect mom for me here, but just trust me ;) I have been working on the Penny Patch Quilt with Rachel at Stitched in Color since she began her blog series last fall (yes I am slow! I have 3 tiny humans!). But recently, I have found the motivation to pick up the pace on this fun project. My mom is going to be spending three days in our local hospital for monitoring as her doctors adjust her heart-related medications.
Penny Patch Quilt
Now this is all standard and totally precautionary, but three days in a hospital, regardless of the reason, is no day at the beach (something my family much prefers)! I want my mom to have something special with her so this quilt is for her! I have two weeks to finish it up. I have one final row to piece and then it is on to basting, quilting and binding!
This week I am participating in a program designed to help you create new habits in your life one tiny step at a time! The Tiny Habits program, developed by Stanford professor Dr. BJ Fogg, helps you begin that new habit with the smallest first step.
The program lasts only 5 days which is great for a busy, working mom like me. Once you determine the 3 habits you would like to cultivate, you then determine what the very first step to take in that habit. For instance, if you want to develop the habit of running everyday, the first step is to put on your running shoes. It is much easier to accomplish this simple task than to actually go out running! Each day for 5 days, a personal coach sends you an email and all you have to do is respond - and hopefully follow through on the 3 tiny habits you have decided on.
So here are my tiny habits for the week and my intentions behind them:
1. After I get up from my desk, I will pour a glass of water. (I want to drink more water but the first step is to put it in a glass!)
2. After I put the kids to bed, I will go downstairs. (Instead of going to straight to bed, I am trying to accomplish more in the evenings.)
3. After I put on my pajamas, I will fold any clothes that I wore that day. (Instead of leaving them on the window seat to gather in a pile that I never put away. Perhaps they won't actually get put away, but at least they will look nicer than a huge pile.)
I look forward to working on my goals this week, but only a tiny bit!
That is my reality. I am struggling. I don't care for my job. It frustrates me, depletes me, it does not fulfill me. My house is chaos. I don't mean the life in my house - although 3 very small children are in fact their own chaos - but I mean my actual house. I feel that the walls are caving in on me. The STUFF we own is too much. There are repairs that need to be done and changes I want as well. My marriage could use some work as well, as I'm sure all marriages and particularly those with small children do. Our nanny quit yesterday too. There are moments when it is devastating and moments when it is okay. It is a lot to process. I am thankful that we have time to process.
Perhaps many people would read that paragraph and say "Welcome to Adulthood" or "Well, that's life" and I don't blame them. I read it and agree for that matter. But I am wandering through anxiety and depression and so these things seem overwhelming.
So what's the point of writing all of this down and putting it out there? I believe that I am on a journey, a really important one. The journey where I find the woman I am supposed to be - the thriving woman with a beautiful life. Not the perfect one, not the pristine one, but the beautiful, thriving life.
I think that is why I started quilting. Quilting is a place to be creative. It is a place to take something whole, cut it up into tiny pieces and put it back together into something still whole, but more complex and beautiful. In many ways that is what I am trying to accomplish. And just like quilting, this is a complicated process, and it may require a seam ripper. But I will know in the end that whatever the result is, it is beautiful in its own right.
I should be able to do that, right? I mean, 30 minutes is really not much....except when you have three children 4 and under. I might get 30 minutes to myself in a day, but they usually come one at a time ;)
I have been struggling with some anxiety and a touch of depression recently. Sewing has become an outlet for me to release some of this mental struggle and just be calm. It is a type of meditation for me and I find myself craving it often. So my goal for this month will be to treat myself to that 30 minutes of sewing only for myself each day.
So, what to sew...?
1. I have been working on my Penny Patch quilt inspired by the tutorial on Stitched in Color pretty faithfully since December. I have all of the blocks pieced now and I just need to piece them together. I decided I wanted to make a throw size quilt that I could snuggle with while I read or sew in the basement. Part of my sewing time yesterday included trying to layout the blocks but I really struggled to find a place to lay everything out. I'll have to figure out what to do about that....Goal #1!
Fabric Pull for Penny Patch Quilt
2. I would really like to try making a bag for myself. I'm not sure if that means a purse or a tote or what I really will use so I'll have to spend some time looking for an excellent pattern. Suggestions are welcome!
3. I don't anticipate actually being able to accomplish both of those things, but if I do, I will also be looking for patterns or tutorials for a rainbow quilt. I am participating in a color wheel brick swap and I am excited to put them to use once they arrive! Oh! Or a great sewing machine cover! I really need one of those too!
I am participating in Amy at Stitchery Dickory Dock's Sugar Block Club this year as part of my new quilting adventure. As part of her monthly club, she sends a dessert recipe (Sugar), a quilt block pattern for a sampler quilt (Block), and a personal message. This month's message is about Intention. January is a wonderful time of year to resolve to do new things, but Amy's message this month is not just simply make resolutions, but to do it with intention. One of Amy's key suggestions is to make lists. So here is my quilting list for January as well as some for the year!
1. Buy fabric for Vice Versa BOM with GenX Quilters
2. Select fabric for Sugar Block Club
3. Complete blocks for each of 2 BOM Clubs
4. My Dad's 60th birthday is coming in early February and I would really like to gift him a quilt that is part my grandmother's work and part mine. My grandmother (my Dad's mom) passed away a year and a half ago and I think that a quilt from both of us would be something that he treasured. At least that is my hope.
5. Finish cutting the fabric for my Penny Patch quilt
Quilty Goals for the future -
Trivets for my mom's newly painted kitchen (have fabric)
Placemats and pillows for Krista's kitchen/living room (have fabric)
Penny Patch Quilt (have fabric)
Celtic Solstice Quilt for my Irish parents :) (need fabric)
Purple Quilt for Ashlyn (have fabric)
Craftsy Mystery Chain of Stars quilt (have fabric)
I think these are pretty lofty ambitions, but hopefully writing them down will help me find some focus and initiative to make some time for myself to sew.