Tag Archives: Family

Success! I Knit a Hat.

I’m super excited to have learned a new skill. One of my new year’s resolutions was to try something new creatively every month. My husband suggested learning to crochet hats. Well, I enjoy knitting a lot more than crochet so I decided to learn how to knit in the round.

As with most things, creating something new comes with lots of… I’ll call them learning opportunities. The hat I’m wearing is the successful end result of four scrapped projects. I chose to unravel them to keep the yarn since the things themselves were not save-worthy.

  1. I got the hang of knitting a tube on circular needles. A small lumpy tube, lol!
  2. Then I began what I thought was a hat pattern in the library book I’m learning from. Flip the page and it’s actually a bag. I have no need for a knitted bag.
  3. Next I learned the importance of making sure the cast-on yarn isn’t twisted before joining it into a circle. Got a good 20 rows in before I realized the hat was going to flip around itself.
  4. The hat’s diameter in this picture was too big. I got quite a ways in before realizing the size was off. So I figured I’d learn how to close up the top before unraveling this iteration.

knittingintheround#5: Ta-da! It’s a cute and functional simple hat. I can learn more complex patterns as I go along. This one’s for me. Hubby’s requested a green one so I’ll take him yarn shopping soon for the exact green that makes him happy. Me, I’m happy to have learned so much and not given up!

Day 29: Art Journal Page On Gratitude

Yesterday I blogged my thoughts on resolutions for 2016. I’ve got a general sense that I want to focus on being social, creative, and healthy. But why wait? There’s no rule that I have to have it all figured out or begin on January 1st.

So today I started a page in my art journal. It’s going to take a while to fill in all of the things I’m thankful for because it’s list-style. That leaves room for a LOT of things. It’s great to have focused on something positive and visually interesting.

I also started working out. My sister and I have a goal to work out at least five days every week through January. I watched the last half hour of the Lego Movie (which is hilarious) while strolling on the treadmill. Day 1, check!

Day 28: Thinking about 2016 Goals

Do you have a new year’s resolution yet? I’ve been thinking about what mine could be for the past few days.

Some of my family members have a Facebook group devoted to physical challenges, mostly related to food and exercise. It’s a great way to check-in and support each other. We’ve done several 30 day challenges. One was to cut out sweets for a month, another was to walk 10,000 steps a day, and we had veggies daily. Last month I tried to drink 80oz a day. I didn’t make goal most days but definitely was more hydrated.

Monthly goals are great for me because they help me stay consistent without getting completely overwhelmed by the thought of doing this for an entire year. 365 days is a big number!

The creative introvert who wants to be physically stronger in me is thinking of categorizing goals.

  • Creative goal: try something new every month. This can be learning to knit hats, designing a quilt, making a new page in my art journal, trying a new recipe, or a myriad of other things.
  • Social goal: something. I don’t know what I want this to look like yet. Touch base with each member of my immediate family? Make new friends? Invite people over? Initiate conversations? Join a quilt guild when I move? Teach classes?
  • Health goal: continue with monthly challenges. Get stronger. Stronger than what? How strong? Concrete numbers are good with goals because you’ll know when they’re attained. With my water challenge, drink more water is vague but drink 80oz is trackable.

So that’s where I am so far. How about you?

Day 26: My Secret Santa gave me…

Each year at Christmas my dad’s side of the family does a Secret Santa gift exchange. The idea is to do something creative and hand make a thoughtful gift for one person. Another person gets you and this counts as your gift from the whole family.

The gift I made this year didn’t make it there on time before my person went away for the holidays. It should be waiting when he returns so I’ll blog about it then. No need to ruin the surprise!

Kacee was my Santa. She made me cupcakes! Sorta. They’re pieces of fabric folded and set in cupcake wrappers to look like sweets. How cool is that! The colors she chose are from the state flag of Colorado, which we’re moving to soon. Creative, thoughtful, fun, and useful. It’s the start of my next quilt! Thank you Kacee I love it.

cupcakesitsfilledwithfabrics

Day 9: Repurposing Mom’s Tree Skirt

 

A #31dayblogchallenge post.

It’s a little embarrassing that I’ve got a blanket wrapped around my Christmas tree stand, Linus style.

linusblanketaroundtree

Thing is, the tree skirt my mom made didn’t survive the wash. It was smelly when I took it out of the ornament box so I tossed it in the wash.

momstreeskirt

I knew it might fall apart because of the materials she chose to use at that stage of her quilting journey. Plus the ties weren’t close enough together. Mom’s later quilts were better but this skirt is beloved and has been used under my tree for years. Well, it got all lumpy in the wash.

momstreeskirtlumpybit

All is not lost. I’m redoing my childhood reading quilt and I can do something similar with the fabrics from this tree skirt. So I cut it apart and set the fabrics aside to repurpose into a couch throw later. They’re a little threadbare but with the right interfacing it won’t be a problem. For now they’re in a UFO box next to the reading blocks.

cuttinguptreeskirt    christmasskirtprints

Will you please help? The turtles quilt still needs more pieced tree blocks for the final border. Click here for more information and here for the tutorial.

Shop Small This Weekend

Hello everybody. If you’re in the USA I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. My husband and I got to host this year. We worked together to clean the house and cook turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, carrots, corn, potato casserole, and pumpkin pies. His mom brought some homemade bread which rounded out our nice spread. Yum! Here’s a picture of my brother-in-law loading his plate.

joethanks15

Now that everybody’s onto eating pie for breakfast and looking up recipes for leftover turkey it’s time to turn our attention to holiday shopping. I’d like to encourage you to shop small businesses this year. I’ll be featuring some of my favorite small businesses today through Cyber Monday on the quiltartbymegan Facebook Page. “Like” and follow me over there to learn about great entrepreneurs and to shop their deals.

Of course, there are some great deals in my etsy shop too. Everything in there is now 30% off. You don’t need a coupon code as I’ve adjusted each price individually to reflect the sale. Easy peasy!

shopsmall

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.

15 Quilting-ish Goals for 2015

It’s almost New Year Resolutions Time. I quilt for myself, for pay, and for charity. In order to get more organized I’m joining Jetgirl and a few others in making 15 quilting-related resolutions for 2015.

  1. Get organized. Keep detailed financial records for my business. Rearrange my fabric stash so I can tell quickly what I have and don’t.
  2. Market my business. Do what I know and learn what I don’t. Make it a priority to really learn some new tricks. Try them out and see what works for me. learn-all-the-marketing
  3. Work on one charity project at a time. I have at least 3 charity unfinished projects and find great causes that need quilts or blocks all the time. Thing is, if my emotions are in charge none of these things will get done. One at a time and they’ll get finished and to the people that need them. First up is the turtles quilt for Crystal Lake Camps
    turtles blocks
  4. Teach some classes! I already have one class ready to go, teaching crumb piecing. I’ll work on getting that one booked at guilds and shops as well as having more classes to offer.
  5. pink crumb placematsTry new things. You know, stuff I haven’t done before.
  6. Finish a quilt for my own bed. We have store-bought blankets on there now, along with a gorgeous hand-quilted Amish quilt. Still, it needs one of mine. My husband has been bugging me about this for a while and this year I’ll turn one of the bed-sized tops into our snuggle covers.
  7. Give myself a raise! As a skilled worker, I will charge for my services like, well, a skilled worker. This year it goes up from $16.50 to $18 an hour. sew worth it
  8. Learn how to better communicate with my customers. For example, I recently discovered that a good question to ask with custom work is if there’s a preference for the backing fabric.
  9. Make another large crumbs quilt. I love my crumbs piecing! I have a LOT of 6″ squares and they’re ready to go into a large quilt. Maybe it’ll end up being a show quilt like this other one I made a few years ago. BAQS exhibit large
  10. Go to at least three quilt shows. Meet the vendors, be inspired by the quilts, refill my creative cup.
  11. Meet some of my online friends. I have some that I know only through blogging and Facebook. I’d love to give them in-person hugs in 2015!
  12. Be silly. Laugh. Allow myself to make things just because it’s fun. Inject beauty into my artistic life. 230126_7118653765_8586_n
  13. Say no. No to writer’s block. No to continuing with a project that needs to go into the donation bin. No to going to a guild meeting that’s designed to be exclusive. Trust my intuition and highest sense of self and say no when that’s the right answer for me.
  14. Quilt with friends! I’ve joined the Stash Bee and am looking forward to meeting some new online friends through that monthly activity. I’m also going to make an effort to sew in-person with mini-groups, sew-ins, at retreats, or just when my local friends have a minute to spare. stash bee
  15. Stop quilting. Know when to put the needle down. Watch a movie on the couch with my husband without my handwork. Stop the sewing machine when on the phone with a family member who’s letting me hear their secret thoughts. “One more block,” won’t do when I could be running errands before rush hour.

 

How about you? Do you have any resolutions for 2015?

Jasmine’s Wedding Quilt – In Her Words

My cousin Jasmine is today’s guest blogger. I got to sew simple log-cabin quilt blocks for her wedding guests to sign. Now it’s a treasured quilt. Here’s what she has to say about it:

 

 

 

Getting married to the guy you love is such an awesome thing.

jas time professional photo

But you know what was almost equally as awesome about our wedding day? That ALL the people we love came from all over the country to be there with us.

wedding party jas

Seriously – when else in your life does that happen? Everyone in ONE place??

fire jas wedding

So one of our favorite gifts we got was the signature quilt that Megan made for us. She put fabric blocks out for everyone to write notes to us on, and then quilted them together into this exquisite quilt. The colors match our wedding day – a beautiful red-orange-yellow fall day in Massachusetts. It’s super fun to read and re-read the messages all our loved ones left for us.

close-up photo of jas quilt

And the quilt itself is such good quality that I’m not worried about ruining it in the wash, or leaving it out as decoration on the couch. Thank you Megan, for such a thoughtful gift that keeps on reminding us of all the love in our life!

jas&timquilt