Wednesday, March 25, 2015

seriously slow stitching

I love this quilt.
I think it's really going to be somethin'!

But I gotta tell you - I am done with it.
I am so ready to move on to bigger and better different things.

I really thought it was going to be plenty of time.
And it is.
I mean - I'm pretty sure I'll get it finished in time for their May 1st wedding.
But what I didn't account for,
was that I might need a break from it every now and then....

a peek at the back

Tonight - I'll spend another 42 minutes sweating under it hand-quilting
while we watch an episode of Bones,
and tomorrow,
I'll wrestle with it at the machine for a few hours.

Linking up with paper-piecing Lee and other creative gals slogging through their projects
sharing their progressing works.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

mia, and Lily laughs

Master thinks that 2 weeks without a post 
is entirely too long.

I haven't purposely stayed away,
it's just that life is full right now,
and until I get that darn amazing quilt finished,
I feel pressure to work on it 
every spare moment I have.
(or avoid working on it, by doing some other necessary and long-neglected task)


Lily has a sense of humor similar to TJ's,
and when she finds something funny, she laughs long and hard.
She also is a bit on the blonde side,
so jokes with her are a little iffy.
If she gets them right off, she laughs, 
but if she doesn't,
she has to analyze
and then explain to everyone why they are funny.
Of course, sometimes, she doesn't ever get why they should be funny.

The kids have been on a 'tell us a story from  ____________' kick lately.
So the other night, 
we told them about the time we accidentally annoyed the baby sitter:

We'd hurriedly changed 6 or 7 month old TJ, using a diaper from the diaper bag
right before walking out the door to drop him off with 'Gramma'.
(our friend Jodi's mom was living with them in Germany)

When we went back to pick him up,
Gramma mentioned, obviously a little miffed, "I found the nickel."


"In his diaper..." she added.

It seems that the coin had fallen into the diaper while in the diaper bag
and got trapped by the leg elastic,
and we hadn't seen it when we put the diaper on him in a rush.
When she found it stuck to his little cheek a few hours later,
she'd thought we put the nickel in the diaper as a test - to see if she changed him.

We assured her it was purely accidental
and we all had a good laugh about it.

When we finished telling the story to the kids,
Tyler added, "It just goes to show you that everyone needs a little change sometimes."

Lily threw back her head
and roared.

How I love that girl!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Nella goes to college

Talk about being a sucker for the story;
this story is beyond awesome.
I just smiled with tears in my eyes as I read.

I'd have a difficult time letting a young adult with DS go off to college
(of course, I also had a difficult time letting my completely able-bodied married son
go off to the Marines...)
but I am so thrilled that people are asking questions
and seeking solutions
that will allow people who have DS live to their full potential.

if you read nothing else today,

(I trust you all understand I am not using 'sucker' in a negative way at all....)

Monday, March 9, 2015

sucker for the story

Back when we all decided to 'Run for God',
multiple trips were made to Academy to furnish the family with proper running shoes.
You know, so we didn't hurt ourselves.(ha!)
(For me, who has never aspired to be a runner,
and isn't entirely convinced that women actually ought to run,
it was more of a 'Run to God", than run for Him.
I was finally coming out of my long, horrible season of depression
and was truly desperate for God.
If I had to run to be with Him, so be it.)
(Sadly, the Bible study part of the program sucked)
(so did the running part ;-) and my heel has never healed completely)

After trying on every. single, pair. of running shoes at Academy,
I settled on a pair of Brooks.
Brooks shoes happen to come in a box
printed with one of those 'you made a good choice' stories on it.
Tyler and I love those.
I mean, 
you've already made the purchase - they could have given you a plain old box,
but instead, they try to up your satisfaction by telling you how smart you are
and why.
Great marketing.
So, as I was driving home, I thought how tickled Tyler would be
with my selection of shoes
and my 'bonus box'.

Turns out, he'd bought Brooks, too!


Love her fabric.
(At least, I love the feel of her fabrics, and the saturated colors,
and the way her fabrics work together.
I don't always love her fabrics individually....)
I also just really like her.
At  least the her I know through her blog...

When Pretty Potent came out,
I liked the collection as a whole,
and there were a few fabrics that I really liked,
but I didn't order any.
and I was all, 
"I want all the Anna Maria fabrics in the whole world"
(I did order some Pretty Potent when I found some on sale, but only my very favorites.)


While I love an explosion of color and the kaleidoscope style of Jenean Morrison,
I also am really drawn to many of the simple, low volume fabrics of Carolyn Friedlander,
especially the Architextures line.

And then I discovered 
that before she became a fabric designer,
Carolyn was an architect.
And that just makes me love and appreciate her fabrics more.


When I clicked on a Finish it up Friday link over at Amanda's,
I found this quilt
 and a lovely post to go along with it.


Then I went back a few weeks later and found another great quilt
with an equally great story
and I decided I simply must add pieladyquilts to my blog list.

If you, too, are a sucker for the story,
I highly recommend you do the same!
(who doesn't know me from Eve)
 intertwines memories and life and making
in a beautiful and down to earth way.

(On the subject of 'new blogs',
I should also mention my friend's new blog.
You may remember me mentioning Sarah B recently,
she's the one who got married in February :-)
She's also the only daughter of the one I made this quilt for,
my dear, dear amazing friend, Eva.)


Tim used to tell me, when I'd recount some happening or another,
way back in the days of 'lunch bunch',
"Just give me the Reader's Digest version"
but I never could.
I think all the little details are important,
at heart,
I'm a sucker for the story.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

one week in

for the past week,
as I've found the time,
I've been working on getting Ties That Bind quilted.

Slow and tedious best describes my progress.
You can see I have a ton left to do...

I begin by marking all points and valleys and both the inside and outside of the blades.
so I know when I need to stop and turn 
as I machine quilt around the outer blade.
I may or may not mark the full inside of the plate.
Depends if I've decided exactly what to do with it or not ;-)

After I've gone around the plate with the walking foot, 
I mark my hand quilting row 3/8 of an inch away from the machine quilting.
After that's quilted,
a row 3/4" away for another round of machine
then a row an inch away for more hand-quilting.
and so on
and so forth.

so. much. marking. and turning.

I try to always stay a few plates ahead of myself with the marking, 
so I can work on whichever type of quilting I feel like at the moment.

I still need to figure out what I need to do with the blades themselves.
For the smaller dresdens, it's enough to stitch in the ditch,
but the larger blades need more quilting
or they'll puff instead of crinkle once it's washed.

I'm really hoping I can come up with a suitable FMQ design that I am capable of pulling off decently,
(and doesn't mess up the look of the dresdens!)
have I mentioned?

The turning...

It's good that I allowed myself 2 months for the quilting;
I think I'm going to need it!

I missed linking up with Lee yesterday. Too gloomy for photos.
today, for the first time, I'm joining the gals linking up with Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation :-)

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 :-)