Monthly Archives: January 2015

Sisters are Warm

It’s cold and snowy in Boston, where my sister lives, today. I could say neener-neener from my warm Southern California climate but I wish I could be there to give her a big hug instead. See, it’s her birthday today. So this post is for you, little sister! I love you.

beach estey

I don’t feel too badly that she’s stuck in the snow because she, always the adventurer, just got back from a family vacation to Mexico.

mary in the snow

Plus her daughter Mary sees the snow as a grand adventure! Look at that cutie’s smile!

estey trying to escapeSis has always been eager to explore. This photo with my Dad is actually one of the most flattering ones. I have a LOT of pictures where she’s trying to escape and making scrunchy grumpy faces. It’s not that she didn’t want the loves, she just had things to do!

preggo estey

This mama, pictured when she was pregnant with Mary, is always up for some silliness. Princess preggo! Professional photo by Jasmine Holzworth.estey witch costumeDressing up has always been appealing. Look at her as a witchy toddler!estey and kate sharing fries

Super-social, she prefers company over solitude. Above she and our cousin share french fries. A few years back she was shocked that I was going to get a facial alone. What’s the fun in that?! I’m a firm introvert and loved it. We’ve learned to appreciate our differences and see more and more similarities as the years pass. Happy birthday chickie.

If you’re needing to warm up your cold fingers, or need an awesome winter gift check these out. I’m up-cycling wool clothing into arm-warmers. The socks, scarves, vests and sweaters I use have stains and holes in them so these are truly giving them new life. They’re pre-felted so they won’t shrink on you and are stretchy to fit most adults. I have one child-sized one for sale in the shop as well. That one has smaller thumb holes. Only $15-$20 each! These two pairs and more are up for sale and I’ll be adding more as I sew them.

warmers lblue tan outside
arm warmers long dark inside

 

Linking up to Handmade Tuesdays and Thankful Thursdays.

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A Brutiful Quilt for Project Quilting

This week’s project quilting challenge is sunrise/sunset. My quilt is called “Brutiful,” a term I heard this morning in a TED talk by Glennon Doyle Melton. It’s a mash-up of the words brutal and beautiful. Isn’t life both most of the time? This term is perfect for what I’ve been thinking about while designing and making the quilt this week. (Yes, only 7 days to make quilts in this challenge!) It’s thinking about a sunrise in autumn while in a deep dark pit. It’s the hope that in the brutal beautiful still exists and is accessible. With that in mind here’s my process story in photographs.

leavessunrise setting crumb blockssunrise big yellowsunrise small yellowsunrise start leaf
sunrise bold leafsunrise lines drawnHere’s the finished quilt. It’s 30×40 inches and has machine piecing, hand embroidery, hand quilting, and machine quilting. I did them in that order too. It’s bound in black so as not to distract from the dream. The sunrise is yellow, orange, and pink crumb-pieced blocks.Brutiful Quilt PQ Sunrise Challenge
Brutiful Quilt Close-UpClick here and check out the other sunrise/sunset projects. Vote for your favorites and be inspired by the art! 


I’m linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching and Main Crush Monday and Show and Tell Tuesday.

 

You Are Not a Yellow Starburst

dont let them treat you like a yellow starburstThis week has given me a lot of practice in standing up for myself. Hopefully some of that will pay off soon. I am not a yellow Starburst! You don’t get to put me on the bottom of the list or stash me away for later in the junk drawer. Oy.

new wee purseAnyhoo… I did finish this bag for myself a few days ago. I’d been meaning to make a replacement for the one I made while testing the pattern for Sam Hunter over three years ago. Here’s the new one! Isn’t it cute? I used a fabric I bought just because I liked it for the flap and a warm brown for the rest of it. There’s a button and loop closure because I couldn’t find my velcro…. until after the purse was done.

audreys january bee blockI also completed the January block for the 2015 Stash Bee I’m a part of. This month’s blocks are navys and white and will go to Audrey of Hot Pink Quilts. Click on the block above to go to her tutorial. 
dealing with wood rotHubby and I are still working on the house. Here’s a before pic of the wood above the garage door. It was soft and squishy from rot; not so great structurally. We replaced the wood and flashing (the metal stuff on the top corner) and the silicone sealant is drying.

Painting is another large project we’re in the middle of. We’re repainting all of the trim its original brown and painting the house a little yellow-er of an off-white. So far the front off-white and the trim around the front windows and doors is completed. There’s lots more to do. project quilting

 

This week’s Project Quilting challenge is sunrise and sunset. I’ll keep you posted on what I decide to make. There’s 6 days left. Ready, set, go!

 

I’m linking this post to Show off Saturday and Handmade Tuesdays.

Not Goodbye, See You Later Tama.

Cancer won over my friend Tama a few days ago. She was sick for a while before the doctors discovered it was stage four cancer… and then was gone so very quickly. She was a quilter, an artist, a writer and someone I never got to meet in person but knew through Facebook. It’s hard to say goodbye. But it’s not goodbye. See you later Tama.
Tama

I’m also saying, “See You Later,” to hosting a link-up party. I’ve discovered that I’m not quite ready to host one yet. I have more to learn first. So I’ll be participating in others’ parties for now and retiring Favorites Fridays.
no fav fridaysHere’s my completed table runner for the Project Quilting trees challenge. This piece started out happy and fun: Easter, Springtime, new growth. It still is those things but with another layer. It’s also something I worked on while thinking of Tama. I believe life doesn’t end here. I don’t what that might look like but it gives me some peace. Maybe Tama’s in the springtime of her life somewhere else. Maybe she’s a sprout growing and learning with many years ahead of her to continue her journey. green runner finishedMaybe she’ll have some things to show me when I get there. Maybe.green trees runner close

I’m linking this post up to Show and Tell Tuesday and Scraptastic Tuesday and Needle and Thread.

Favorites Friday: Project Quilting Trees Challenge

favorites friday logoHere’s where you’ll find the link-up party for Favorites Friday. Share your photos and posts there! What are your favorites this week? http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=484077

I love my friend Kim’s community contest, Project Quilting. It’s one of my most favorite challenges. We’re now on season six and it’s my second year participating. We’re given a week to complete a brand new quilted item on a given theme. This time it’s trees.

project quilting

I spent most of my time on this project brainstorming. I had lots of ideas and points of inspiration. A triangle quilt mimics pine trees. Ripples look like rings inside a tree trunk. Wood-burning, staining, furniture making, tree houses, weeping willows, deforestation, the closing of a cut your own Christmas tree farm, my fireplace, climbing trees, tree swings, changing seasons and the colors of leaves, and a family tree were just some of the options.

I decided to go with the colors of leaves in the spring: the light and medium greens. I was given a bunch of batiks from a friend who got some scraps from Hoffman so I got that bin out and started playing. I sewed these strips together until I was out of greens and then asked the piece what it wanted to be when it grew up. Well, I expected something fancy but this one wanted to be a table-runner. The image that came to mind was of this on a white tablecloth with tulips and a bunny figurine for Easter. Okay. I can do that!

green runner selfie

Here’s the top which has been squared up and is ready for sandwiching and quilting. It’s kind-of cute, right? It could be seen as grassy or leafy and definitively looks like springtime. I look a little concerned in the picture but that’s because this was the 10th selfie I’d tried to take… and none of ’em were coming out the way I wanted them to. After this I called it good enough.

Quilters have until Sunday to finish and submit their projects. After that the voting begins! The winner gets a prize. There are also prizes drawn at random for everyone who participates. I won a pattern last season!

There’s a lot of activity over at the Challenge Quilts group on Facebook. One of my favorite things about it is we get to see artist’s work in progress. Another thing that’s awesome is that I’m seeing children get involved in making quilts this time around. Here’s Capri’s quilt top.

capri's tree quilt top

 

 

Favorites Friday – Holiday Mantle and Lovey Memories

favorites friday logoYes, this is my second blog post today. It’s the first Favorites Friday and I was admiring my cluttered mantle so I thought I’d share some of my favorite things from it with you guys.

Feel free to join the fun and add your posts and photos to the link up party at http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=481499.

Here’s the mantle today. Notice the socks? Haha they’re one of my favorite things. They make me laugh and were my husband’s idea. I threw out the ratty stockings we had before the move to this house and haven’t yet made new ones. I was stressing about it (out loud) when hubby disappeared into the bedroom and came back with these socks. Good enough!mantle 2014 christmas The wooden flowers are from our second wedding anniversary when I was surprised with a trip to the beach for a weekend. I guess I’m feeling grateful for my husband and the memories we’ve made tonight.Wooden flowers from 2nd anniversaryThe stone kitty is also a treasured keepsake. I got her at Chichen Itza on a tour of its pyramids in Mexico during our honeymoon. It started raining in the middle of things but was so warm that we just let ourselves get soaked while everyone else was buying ponchos. What’s a little rain when you’re warm and in love?

 

Honeymoon kitty Chichen ItzaThat’s all for now folks! Here’s the link again to the party: http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=481499 come share your favorites and read about others’.

 

Favorites Friday: Katie, Fish, and Crumbs

favorites friday logoWelcome to my first Favorites Friday post. I’m hosting a link up party and invite you to write about some of your favorite things, people, memories, and projects. Share your blog’s URL in the party here:

http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=481499

One of my favorite things about writing regularly, like in this blog, is when it’s easy it’s good. Sometimes the story just leaps out of me onto the screen and before I know it I have a full post just waiting for photographs. Other times it’s the photographs that tell the story and need little explanation. I usually have at least a little bit to reword, remove, or rearrange in my first drafts before publishing. The best posts, however, rarely need it. They just come together in almost a magical way. I say exactly what needs to be said in exactly the way you need to hear it. Here are two of those posts from 2014.

Bad Quilt – It’s Not a Fish. This post tells of my grief journey and the art piece I made after having a miscarriage. not a fish whole

Home Grown Friends. This post is about time, friendship and a stubborn girl named Katie who wouldn’t take no for an answer.

katie wedding

 

Apparently, this just letting things out method works for video, too! This clip was shot in just one take. Ami Simms edited some images in but for the most part it was just five minutes at my sewing table.

Happy Favorites Friday! What are some of your favorite things? Share in the link-up below!

http://new.inlinkz.com/luprev.php?id=481499