Tuesday, December 29, 2015

a year in review

I thought it'd be fun to do a little end of the year recap.

I wrote fewer blog posts this year
I wrote in any of my previous 7 years of blogging.
Sometimes I had words, 
but couldn't find the time to write them.
Other times,
I just didn't have the words.

It wasn't posted this year, but seeing as it's wildly popular,
I figured it's worth noting
my all time most read post,
with well over 22 thousand views

I made 7 quilts this year!
(click on the photo to go to the post)

2 baby quilts that were sold for sewing machines:

2 throws,
one for me, and one for my mom and her man

a very large (two-sided) twin for Brandon

and 2 queen sized quilts,
both gifts.

One that hasn't been posted,
Matt and Marin's

this quilt was my second most viewed post, received the most comments, both on the blog and on FB
and is my most pinned quilt.

I machine quilted another queen sized quilt, Claire's,
(which was my 2015 post with the most views - 2,746 of 'em at the moment)

I was able to purchase a sewing machine with the money I earned for the quilting of that one, too :-)

There were also 3 mini mini quilts
that were sent off to new homes

I pattern tested for the first time
and made a table topper

I shared a couple of pretty popular recipes


I made quite a few shirts, skirts, and dresses 
but more than half of them didn't get blogged.
Here are a some of the makes that did:

 I also made quite a few zip pouches

and this one, when the girls got to use the sewing machine for the first time.

And of course,
there were the costumes and accessories...

We had three very special weddings this year;
two of them, Lily and Lexi were flower girls in.

Okay, so only Brandon did that one...

and of course,

and 2 weeks before Christmas,

All in all,
a pretty good (and busy!) year, I think.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday miscellany

I've been rather melonchony* lately.
(You may have noticed from my way-less-enthusiastic-than-normal birthday post...)

I think all of the busyness (which still isn't over)
has caught up with me.
Or maybe all the (delicious) junk I've been eating.
Or both...

*have you seen MegaMind?
I no longer feel melancholy, I feel meLONkunee.
Which is a much better way of feeling, I think.


I am so far behind on e-mail,
responding to blog comments,
and visiting my favorite blogs
that I fear I will never catch up.
I think,
I just need to start over with a clean slate.
(If you've e-mailed or commented,
and I haven't gotten back with you;
please forgive me,
and know I've written you back about a dozen or so times in my head...)

I'm not quite sure what to do with the 4,716 messages in my mailbox, though...


It was so nice to have Tyler home last week.
It was hard to let him go back to work today,
we need his job...


We left early for the Christmas Eve service on Thursday
so we could photograph my final finish of 2015,
but it ended up being too dark to take pictures
since it was so overcast.

Last night,
when plugging in my Kindle
(I've been reading Uncle Tom's Cabin)
I discovered that my camera charger was still plugged in.
And the battery was still in the charger!

It's a good thing the light was bad;
I would've spent the evening being so upset with myself and my stupidity.
I had even left my camera on the bed,
so that it'd remind me to grab the battery.


I'm considering
(only considering, mind you)
joining Instagram,
mostly because Tony and Kacy are on Instagram
and I don't want to miss a single Hadley picture...

I'm afraid it'll turn into a big time suck though.


Have you seen all the options out there
for adult coloring books?
(not 'adult', just advanced...)
I kinda want one,
but then
I think I'd rather spend my time making pictures out of fabric,
than coloring them.

Stephanie nailed it - the 'why I make things for people'.

Just substitute 'sewing' 
(or whatever form of crafting and creating you do)
for 'knitting':
Knitting is, I have often said, a container for love. 
We work hard to make something for someone, 
pouring our time and energy and love into a tangible thing. 
When we hand knitting to someone,
 we’re hoping they’ll hear what we’re really saying, 
which is
 “I love you. 
I think you’re wonderful. 
I value your happiness, 
so much so
 that I’ve spent this time on you.
 My love is in this.”

She always says things so nicely, that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee.

photos were all taken about a month ago. when it was still pretty outside.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

orange explosion

I've been at this quilting thing for almost 7 years now,
so I figured it was high time I made my mom a quilt!

I started this One Block Wonder 
using Joel Dewberry's Heirloom Roses in Citron.
I choose this particular fabric 
because I thought the colors would go well in Bill's TV room,
which is decorated sorta aztec-y.
I figured, even though the design didn't match,
the colors, would...

I choose the OBW design,
because I thought my mom would love all of the different flowers that were created.
And it just seems fitting;
when you start a OBW,
you have no clue exactly what your quilt will end up looking like.
And so it is as a mom.
You really have no clue
what all that love and hard work you pour into your children
will turn into.

and still I had some points that weren't perfect.

Ah well.
Nobody knows I'm not perfect
better than my mom!

Once I had the triangles all sewn together,
(my first mitered border)
then made the backing.

I spray basted the top to the batting (bamboo - it's quickly becoming a favorite)
and then proceeded to quilt,
(without the back)
in the ditch,
every. stinking. diagonal seam.
(I'd read that this was very important for OBW quilts, especially)

Then I added the quilt backing
and stitched in the ditch every-other vertical seam,
before proceeding with my real quilting,
a huge spiral
that began in the very orangest block
and moved outward.

I sprinkled in sections of hand quilting where it seemed right.

Like a good girl,
I knotted and buried the threads at all of my starts and stops..
I had a lot of starts and stops...

Then I added the binding
and alternated between stitching it on the back,
and hand-quilting the 1 inch ivory border.

I'd hoped to have it finished, except for the orange border,
(which I hadn't yet determined how I was quilting)

I considered bringing it with me,
but I didn't want to feel pressured to work on it
instead of snuggling Hadley,
and even though it's just a throw size,
it's kinda big to be working on
on a plane.

After getting back home,
I only had 3 days to get it finished,
because my family's Christmas celebration with my mom
was the Sunday before Christmas.

We watched a little more Netflix than normal ;-)
and I finished the hand stitching late Saturday morning.
Then I pulled the machine back out and
did two rows of machine stitching in the orange border.

It needed something more,
but I didn't think just another row down the center would cut it.
I kinda wanted something triangular
in the border,
so after much debate and testing of stitches,
I used the triple zig zag.
I'm normally not a fan of the zig zag,
but I think it worked well here
to help frame the quilt
and pull it all together.

I tossed it in the wash Saturday afternoon,
a full 13 hours before we'd be giving it to Mom and Bill :-)

I love you Mom (and Bill)

I hope you love your quilt,
and even though you likely won't actually use it,
maybe somebody will snuggle up with it now and then...

linking up with Amanda Jean and Lee :-)