Wednesday, March 4, 2015

today is a DEAR day

We've been wanting to go for weeks
but I've been waiting for the perfect weather (and time. and hair day...) to go the library.

Yesterday was misty, and there was a chance of rain all day,
but today's forecast, yesterday, called for sunny skies all morning,
then snow at noon
for the remainder of the day.

We'd go in the morning.

the weatherpeople got it wrong.
Today's rain was far worse than yesterday's!
But I really didn't want another snow (or ice)
without a library trip.
(although, at this point, I'm not so sure the snow is really coming, as it's past 2, and still no snow...)
So we went.
In the pouring rain.
(I didn't even bother to fix my hair!)

Usually we put Josiah, Lily and Lexi's books on one card,
And Jeremiah, mine and Brandon's on another.
It's just easier to keep up with - even if I don't remember exactly what's on who's card,
at least everyone remembers how many books they checked out,
and we can round up any strays 
if need be.
(Usually we are pretty good about keeping them in the library basket,
but every once in a while we have a book go rouge)

It got tricky this time, since Jeremiah and Josiah are sharing lots of their books, 
so I think in the future, we'll just put girls on one card, and boys on the other.
That'd be good.

taking the whole DEAR thing seriously....
I have 200 books on my library reading list.
All of them I heard (or read) about somewhere, but there is no way to make notes,
so, most of them, I can't remember who recommended the book, and why.
That 200 doesn't count the books I've pinned, or have on my wishlist at Amazon - which, as it relates to books,
isn't always a 'wish to own' list, but a 'wish to read' list. so I really should transfer those to pinterest.
I love that everyone took a turn reading to Lexi. I know that's hard to do when you have a stack of fresh books calling!

Brandon was resting in Jeremiah's bed, so he snuggled up in the girls' to read (Warriors series, book 2. Josiah is reading bk 1)
Bran's books. TJ got him started on Clive Cussler books, but he didn't get any of those today. Perhaps he's read them all??)
today is a good day to DEAR.

I think I'll do that myself.
(which one do I choose??)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

balm for my soul

Lexi climbed into my lap while I was folding laundry
and slipped one arm around my neck.
(weird that I was sitting and folding; I usually stand....)
"Momma," she said, "I can't wait to have kids."

"Why is that?" 
I asked.

"Because, I know how much you love me," 
she replied,
"and how much you do for me,
and how much I've learned from you,
and I just think it will be really nice to get to do that for kids of my own."

Ah, Baby Girl.
I do love you!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I was thinking this morning about Kathy, and all the women who went to QuiltCon,
and wondered if they settled back into life yet.
I still don't feel like I've fully recovered from all of the wedding hoopla.
(I mentioned we'd decorated, but I failed to tell you that we spent two entire days
to do it.
(not counting prep work and my guys making an 8ft pillar)
I was so proud of my gang!
And when I was starting to fall apart
because nothing was looking like I envisioned,
(and it was taking twice as long as I'd anticipated. ahem)
Brandon said, "You can't judge until it's finished.
And when it's finished, if you don't like it,
we'll just add more - because it wasn't really finished yet."

Which, really, is great wisdom for life in general, don't you think?
We left off with Ties That Bind in one of those 'not really finished yet' states
(even though I'd make it according to my plan)
and instead of making the additional dresden plates and
finishing it (for real)
But once I got that out of the way,
I dove right back into my fiddly dresden making.
(the smaller the plate, the more trouble it gave me.
And the fewer blades it took (?!) One only used 13! What. The. Heck?!)

forgive the crappy phone pictures. again....

I got the top finished on Monday of last week,
two days ahead of my projected date :-)
and Tuesday,
I got started on the back.
I really didn't want to piece a back
and almost ordered widescreen in black for it,
But then I thought, 
I already have all these fabrics left over,
I really should use them up.
I don't know why I have such a hard time using all of the fabric I bought for a project.
I just want to keep all the fabrics.

Most of my leftovers were roughly fat quarter-sized
and I just pieced 18"-27" rows about 87 inches long
until I had enough to equal about 100 inches,
then sewed my rows together
and finished the back on Monday.

Tyler met me at the church yesterday while the kids were at TKD
and we got it basted.
Took the entire can of spray.
I was praying that God would make it last, and it did.
(There's not much spray on the last half of the top section.
Tyler said, "You'll just have to quilt it gingerly.
I was like, "Baby. 
There is no quilting a queen size quilt on a small domestic machine

I am so pleased with it so far,
but I'm always a bit nervous at this stage.
Right now, I've got a perfectly lovely (though not yet held together..) quilt,
what if I ruin it with my quilting???
I was much more confident quilting on my Janome.
She was such a good friend machine!

I won't get to start on it today - today, I am helping out my friend Hannah,
she's got a prom dress (with sequins) that needs to be taken in a bit.
But tomorrow?
I quilt.

these colors are much more accurate!

Linking up with the inspired, (and inspiring) exhilarated, exhausted QuiltCon attendee (and teacher) Lee.

p.s - all the wedding decor ended up looking exactly as I'd pictured in my head.
Maybe even better :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

flower girls

I'm sorry.
I just can't help myself.

SarahB texted me when the pictures
were available
and I have just looked and smiled.

She was such a lovely, beautiful, happy bride,
and my girls were just so lovely too.

No more words,
just pretty pictures.

Monday, February 16, 2015

looky here

is a beautiful video of SarahBeth's wedding day.
Take a look ~ pretty sure it'll make you smile :-)

(If you happen to notice any reception decor (or lights) - that was our contribution to the festivities :-)
And if you look closely, you'll see Josiah, Brandon, and the girls.

speaking of the girls,
here's a picture that the photographer posted on FB

Awfully precious, I think!!

And hey - aren't those skirts something?!

I'm just sayin'... ;-)

Friday, February 13, 2015

pink parade, a finished (and SOLD :-) quilt

 I gotta tell you - I am just so tickled!

and threw it in the washer this morning at 10:25.
Brandon and Jeremiah snapped a few photos when it came out of the dryer
(thanks, guys!!)
and we delivered it at 1:00 this afternoon.

I am 
so excited to be able to give Rahab's Rope a sewing machine for Valentine's Day!!
(ok, so technically, I didn't earn enough to buy one,
but I have another small sewing job coming up 
where I'll earn the rest of the money, so I'm calling it a win
and giving one anyways :-)

I free motion quilted a loop de loop
in white Aurifil with light grey Bottom Line in the bobbin.
I really wanted to use pink thread,
but my machine was not liking it.
I'd sew for 3 minutes, and seam rip for 10.
After and hour of that, I said forget it,
switched threads,
and everything went swimmingly from then on.

I added 'Jesus loves you' as requested,

I had planned on using pink thread when I determined where I was going to put it
(I always like to have these things in my head when I get started)
and I didn't think to change plans after I changed threads.
I thought it might not show up well enough,
so I added a second 'Jesus loves you' on the California Dreamin' fabric
for good measure.

I'd planned to sew the binding to the back by machine,
but once again,
I misjudged my seam allowance when I sewed the binding on,
and had to sew it down by hand.

Which, of course is my preferred method

plus - it gives me more time to enjoy my fantastic corners ;-)

but, of course, adds quite a few hours (that I didn't charge for) to the making of the quilt...

Even still ~ I made a quilt in less than 3 days!! :-)

we did (some) school
and nobody went hungry.
We exercised,
and I even showered twice....

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

a pretty pink party

I was all set to get the Ties That Bind top finished today.
I'd gotten 3 of the 4 remaining dresdens made,
and the center circle appliqued on 
to the one that wasn't double bladed.

Right on track, I tell ya.

Then, I got a text from somebody wanting to know if I had a baby boy and a baby girl quilt ready to sell.
but no quilt for a baby girl.

I responded with a photo of the pigeon quilt and a link to my post,
and said that,
while I didn't have a girl one just yet,
I had one in my head
had fabrics for it already,
so it was practically as good as done.

these colors are more accurate

I dug through my fabrics,
made a stack,
replaced a few fabrics
and started cutting.
(I didn't even starch and press first. gasp.)

love it when things match up like that :-)

Not counting the gathering of fabrics,
I've invested 365 minutes
and I've got a quilt top :-)

the little footprints - ahhh - so cute!

She may not end up wanting to buy this quilt,
but I'm enjoying the challenge of putting it together quickly,
And if she doesn't - hey, I've got one ready for next time somebody asks :-)

Linking up with Lee.
Now I'm off to make the back...

(this is not my own original design - I saw a similar quilt (most likely through WiPW ;-)
I didn't pin it, so I don't remember where I saw it, but I did leave a comment.
If it was yours, let me know, so I can link to your post :-)

(here are some photos of the finished quilt :-)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Monday musings

That's how I felt when I really and truly had finished those skirts.


Lime essential oil takes away the brown scuff marks
from white dancing shoes

It also gets all the sticky label residue off of jars.

Plus - it smells good.


dancing shoes,
a black fedora with a white satin band,
and an 'icecream suit'
might just garner you the title of "best dressed"
It did Brandon....


My family drives me bonkers with
'would you rather?'
(like - would you rather cut off your own pinky toe with a pocketknife
have diarrhea every 30 minutes for the rest of your life?)

 How do they come up with these things?!

They've been playing for weeks...


My favorite hand soap is

Mandarin Vetiver Glass Hand Soap

It's a splurge, for sure, but it is so yummy!
And the bottle is nice :-)
Of course, I dilute it slightly to stretch it further.

It's fair to note that Brandon doesn't like it.

Actually - he likes it okay,
but he feels that when you've washed your hands, they should simply smell clean

Silly boy.

I did not sit down Saturday afternoon/evening
from 2:30 - 10:00
except for 40 minutes, give or take, during the actual wedding ceremony,
and about 10 minutes when I sat on the floor
to visit with a friend who was nursing her baby.

I can not even tell you how many times I ran from one side of the building to the other.
It was a lot.


The wedding was sweet,
and, with Tim performing it,
of course had some humor, too.
He's a nut!

It goes without saying that the reception was wonderfully decorated ;-)


Lana and Luke were there,
and I got to hug her neck.
That made me happy


I found fabric that was perfect for the backing for Matt & Marin's quilt.
But it was from Ikea,
and they don't sell fabric online.

I sent out an S.O.S.
because I really wanted that fabric,
and Scott and Jackie offered to go pick it up for me.
Only their Ikea didn't have any.

Another friend offered to try her store.
They had it, so she bought some and sent it to me!
I got it today :-)

But it's not so perfect after all.
It's more of a decor weight than a quilting cotton
and the quilt is already going to be heavy,
since it is double layered where all of the dresdens are.
the white is really creamy,
and the black
is more grey.

But still, I am so thankful to have friends who will go out of their way to help me out :-)
I have 3 yds of sturdy fabric I can use for something.....


This weather!
I am sooo grateful we've had so much sunshine this winter!


I finally used my favorite needles, milliners, for their intended purpose.

Well, sort of....

If you like Lay's salt & vinegar chips,
you should try these.
but consider yourself warned.

They're at Walmart for $1 a bag.


Our family did the decorating for the reception, so I might be just a little bit biased.
Plus, I have no pictures to prove it....


I promise.
I'll stop it with the tulle skirts.

eventually.... ;-)

the secret to an adorable, as opposed to an ugly, tulle skirt

Buy one already made!

I crack myself up :-)
In all seriousness
 I went through four
 -you read that right, four! -
before I got a tulle skirt I was happy with.
I know, I said I was finished after my second attempt,
but I lied.

In an effort to save you four tries,
and lots of tears,
tortured texts to your sewing buddy and your husband,
and maybe even some sobbing
(Not that I'd ever sob and slobber over something so trivial as a *%$@#& tulle skirt...)
I'm going to let you in on a little secret.
Okay, two secrets.
Maybe three four.

First, it's going to take more tulle than you think,
and even for little girls, with little bellies,
72 inches around is not enough.
Nope, you need 108.
I used every bit of 9 yards  (of 54 inch tulle) for Lily's skirt,
and all but about 300 sq inches  of 9 yards (which, if you care, is 17,496 sq inches) for Lexi's.

borrow your friend's huge cutting mat if at all possible;
the fewer times you have to fold that *&%^$@ slippery invisible fabric, the better.

The third,
and perhaps most important secret trick is this:
you can not
- I repeat
not -
gather all of your layers together.
In order for the skirt to fluff properly,
you must have multiple layers - gathered, and sewn on -  separately.
I found 3 layers 
of 3 layers of tulle worked perfectly.

Claire - I am so soo sorry! Darn wind!  I will replace this picture as soon as I have one to replace it with, K? XO

There you have it!
All the best-kept trade secrets.
I mean,
I assume they are the best kept trade secrets,
because I sure didn't find that info in any of my searches....

Oh, wait - there's another one:
mark 'quarter points' on the tulle before you begin gathering it,
so that your (3 stinkin' yard long) piece of tulle will be somewhat evenly distributed throughout the width of your skirt. 
(I used safety pins to do this, as I figured it was the most visible, least permanent option)

you have all of the best kept secrets.

You'll thank me.
Your sewing buddy will thank me,
your husband will thank me.....

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


An alterations tip:
When you are shortening sleeves
on a long sleeve dress shirt,
you might want to have your client
button said shirt,
before determining just how much length you want to hack off
before sewing the cuff
back on.

Today's Public Service Announcement comes from Tracy,
long time seamstress,
but still a maker of rookie mistakes.

At least it looks good, right?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

testing and then some

The kids had TKD testing today.
All 5 passed.
And the boys all broke all of their boards in the first try :-)
our good buddy, Pete,
earned his black belt today!!
(he also broke all of his boards on the first try, which was really nice for his momma and me!)
Brandon got to be the one who tied his belt.
it was a good TaeKwonDo day!
(except that another good buddy didn't break all of his board, so that part was sad)

Lily is a green belt now,
and Lexi is yellow,
and, as she said, her "big friend,
is a purple belt."
(I love that my kids considers people of all ages their friends
and I love that Bayley is so sweet to Lexi, that she really is her friend)

After testing,
we were going to go The Yellow Papaya for lunch.
We've been watching it being built,
and have been waiting for several months for them to open
(it looked like they were ready, we couldn't figure out what the hold-up was!)
A week or so ago, Tyler told me they were open,
so we decided we'd try it out today.

We went,
but we didn't end up staying.
After 5 minutes
(and getting up to grab menus for ourselves) 
we still hadn't had anyone come to our table,
or even make eye contact,
it was pretty pricey, with no kid's menu.
We figured Lin's Garden would be considerably less expensive
and its most of the kids' favorite place to eat,
so we left
(as discreetly as seven people can get up and leave a restaurant)
and went there instead.

I confess - I eat wheat when we go there.
It's just too hard for me to say no
to the crab wontons.
(okay, and the lemon chicken...)

After lunch,
Tyler and the gang went home
and I went shopping
and was a brainless idiot
and forgot quite a bit of what I needed to buy.

While I was at Walmart,
I saw two 20-something gals, shopping together, in the produce department.
After I passed them, I heard, "She's one of those."
It's the only thing I heard them say, so I assume it was said looking in my direction.
Now, I don't know for certain they were talking about me,
but it seems likely.
I can't for the life of me figure out what 'those' they pegged me as.
But whatever it was,
I seriously doubt they were correct.

After Walmart,
I came home, unloaded and put away,
and we all hopped in the van to go to A-Z
Tyler and Brandon found a wedding decor solution
to a need that has nagged me for months!
Tyler also figured out a solution to a dilemma that arose just today.
so, yay for both of those!
And he almost stayed home....

After A-Z,
we came home and Tyler Superman fixed dinner
so I wouldn't have to.

And now,
he and Brandon are waiting for me in the living room, 
so we can watch an episode of White Collar
while I sew a diamond or two onto a star,
to make it a hexagon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

what a lot of works

I have been busy.
Not necessarily overly productive, mind you,
but that's not for lack of trying.

First - the flower girl skirts.
The bride wanted tulle skirts to match the bridesmaid's dresses.
The bridesmaids dresses are dark navy.
Not navy, mind you - super dark navy.
The problem with that, 
was that I could not find any dark navy tulle in Fort Smith.
So then, I scoured Hancocks for anything that might work.
I touched every single darkish blue fabric in the store,
excepting denim and quilting cottons.

I didn't feel good about it
(that should have been a clue to me!)
but I ended up going home with 2 yds (all that they had) of a dark navy nylon mesh chiffon, 
and 1 7/8 yds of a slippery dark navy something or other
(again, all that they had).
Because that wasn't going to be flouffy at all,
I stopped by Hobby Lobby and got 4 yds (not nearly enough!) of what they called navy tulle.
I figured between the layers, the off color would be okay...

I'll spare you my horror stories of cutting and handling the mash-up of fabrics. 
We'll leave it at
there were multiple texts sent regarding my supreme distaste for tulle.

My heart just sank, the more I worked on the skirts.
They were just horrible.
School uniform was not the look I was going for,
and yet somehow, 
that's what I had.

After some tears, 
and texts with the bride,
we decided white would be just lovely.
And I was so relieved!!
Never mind that I was going to have to work with damn tulle all over again.
I felt sooo much better about the choice,
and instead of trying for a more elegant circle skirt silhouette
I went all out pouffy.
(used 10 yds per knee-length skirt!)
Pinning the tulle to my cardboard cutting board made it much less annoying to work with
and each skirt only took about an hour.
I still need to add snaps to the waist, but that will only take a few minutes.

While wasting time and money buying the dark navy fabrics,
I also grabbed some fabric for a dress for me.
All that fabulous fabric from LA, and I had nothing that would work.
That's not entirely true.
I have a few fabrics that would work splendidly,
but what I have in mind for them 
wouldn't necessarily work for a dress for the wedding.

I cut out a trusty Lady Skater dress on Monday,
(love that pattern! 
I can't believe the only thing I've posted that used it was this shirt.
Oh, and this top, too.)
and sewed it up yesterday evening 
after the gang left for TKD.
I lined it
(using black swimsuit fabric I bought in LA :-)
 and made the skirt a little more twirly by measuring out 2 inches from the hem
and drawing a line from the waist to my mark.
Without my mentioning it,
when I tried it on for him, Tyler said it swirled nicely,
so I guess it worked.

I'm hand-sewing rayon seam binding to the hem.
The fabric is a 2 layer stretch 
and the outer layer is kind of netting-ish and is therefore a little 'grabby'.
I'm hoping that by enclosing all of the raw edges in the seam binding
I'll eliminate the the velcro-like grabbiness 
and not end up flashing anybody.

see what I mean? velcro like grabbiness!

(I have a way with sewing terminology, huh? ;-)

Let's see what else?
Ties That Bind.
(previously known as the black and white quilt).

please excuse the horrible photo - it was only taken to confirm my suspicions.
This thing is huge and heavy!
I thought I had a finished quilt top.
According to my design, when I finished sewing all of my background pieces together,
I should have had a finished quilt top.
What looks fine on paper
doesn't always work out so great queen-sized....

I think I need to add about 4 smaller dresden plates.
So - maybe 10 more hours.
Then I'll have a finished quilt top.


It's been awhile since I've mentioned my EPP project.
I still quietly work away at it when we watch a Netflix show
when I have no other hand-sewing
and I've got 7 more hexagons completed.

I've not improved my time any.
I actually think I may even take a little longer per side
than I used to.

Bill said, "You think you should improve in both speed and quality?!"
I had hoped to.
I guess I will have to settle for improved quality (for now).

The next thing I have to work on is finding shoes.
Shoes (that aren't sandals, it's winter after all) that will make my legs look good,
- okay, decent, at least -
but also be comfortable enough to run around in most of the day,
and dance in.
With my twirly dress. 

Linking up with Lee
and Amanda Jean, although, what I have are a bunch of almost finishes....