Monday, February 28, 2011

My First Sew In

Last Saturday I went to my very first 'sew in'.   I was invited to go through a fellow Potholder Pass participant, Heather,  who started the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild.   I was excited and nervous too.  I hadn't made a quilt or did anything 'quilty' in a very long time.  Prior to the sew in I decided that I was going to make runners for my kitchen table for either a season, or for specific holidays.  So I packed up all my 'Irish' fabric, and machine, and some snacks and went! 

I met some really nice women who are incredibly talented.   AND totally forgot to bring my camera..... UGH.  They women have serious stamina too.  I arrived at 9:00 left around 3:00 and was exhausted and they were still going strong.  

I had many questions and they were very gracious answering all of them.  Here are a few of the things I learned.  

Number 1.  You don't have to wash all your fabric before you cut out your pieces.  Wish I knew that before!

I told them that the last time I was quilting I only hand quilted the tops.  That's when I learned 
Number 2.   HAND is a four letter word!   :)  

Number 3.  When free motion quilting make your pattern on paper.  Run it through your machine without thread, then pin it on your quilt and stitch right on the paper.  GENIUS!

Number 4.  Experiment, try new things. 

I went with Wonky for my St. Patrick's Day runner which is a bit out of my comfort zone.  My runner's almost finished.  I just need to put the binding on.  I will post pictures soon!

Happy Quilting!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

This is The Stuff You Use

I had a really rough time of it in 2010.   Lots of situations and circumstances that sort of set me up for the perfect storm.   I found out 2 days before Christmas 2009 that the school where I had spent the last 15 years teaching kindergarten was closing.   To say this was hard for me personally, is an understatement.   I mean I understood the economy is bad etc, it was just that I had to continue to teach the rest of the school year and  it was just so sad.  I was grieving the death of something I loved deeply.  My husband was good to remind me again and again that this was minor in comparison to what some people have to walk through.   Still it was hard.    

In January 2010, I emailed my older brother John who lives in Ireland about how I was struggling.  Here is his response to me. 

"I understand at least in part, your feelings about the school's closing.  You've invested a significant part of your adult life into the kids and school.  Yet there is a time to move on, even as the Book of Ecclesiastes suggests "There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven."  Change, however difficult, is a key to growth and for some odd reason we seem to resist it with every fiber in our being.  What I have gleaned from my journey is that I can trust God to lead me through and to new things/changes in my life that I would not have thought possible.  We see in part and know in part--however, He holds all of the parts.  When I retired from the Air Force, I knew it was time although I was not at all enthused about working in a Christian school and church.  In fact, I enjoyed the military and sometimes working with Christians is more difficult than fighting Communism.  I needed the changes, notwithstanding my deep affection for Newton's First Law of Motion, a body at rest tends to remain at rest. Movement meant much change--and in  my mind, pain.  Interestingly enough, recently Joseph (my nephew) sent me an e-mail in which he stated, "It is amazing how the things in my past have prepared me for the future."  Pretty powerful stuff there!  Anyway, I believe the Lord has something better, more challenging and rewarding for you.  But the underlying principle in the Kingdom is that the just should live by faith--trusting God in the dark as well as light and believing that He who began a good work in us will complete it.  This could be a very good time to ratchet up the prayer life several notches and begin to cry out for something bigger and better."

Good stuff, right?  So now a year has passed.  A year filled with let's see...   Kidney stones and lithotripsies.  A surprise Golden Retriever puppy for my 50th birthday.  My very first car accident when I rear-ended a Lexus.  And losing my job.  
BUT.....   I can say now, even though I knew it in my heart all along,  that God is good.  And I do see His hand on my life and His faithfulness to me every day.  And I am now working part-time at a small Montessori school and loving it.  

This song by Francesca Battistelli keeps playing in my head.  Give it a listen.  And be encouraged because 
"This is the stuff that gets under my skin 

But I've got to trust You know exactly what You're doing 
It might not be what I might choose but this is the stuff You use"
Francesca Battistelli


Monday, February 21, 2011

A New Look!

Isn't it great?!  

It's not my birthday but I feel like celebrating!!

A while back I entered a giveaway Somewhat Simple was having and I WON!  I was so excited.  I won a free blog makeover from Jessica over at So Stylilized.  Jessica did an awesome job for me!   I LOVE it!  She was great to work with, and especially patient with me when I would ask her to tweek this or that.  Please go check out her site out and leave a comment if you like my new look.  Thanks so much!


Friday, February 18, 2011

A Fashion Night Out

This past weekend my husband and I went to Indiana University of PA to attend our daughters second annual fashion show. Here is a picture from last year's event.

I can tell you that Jocelyn really put a lot of effort into this show.  All Christmas vacation there was a constant roar of sewing machine coming from her room. :)  

The name of her line was 'Back to Our Roots'.   Here is the description from the program.  "Inspired by the song, "Home," by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, this collection is about going back to our roots.  The earth tones and skulls are meant to help put things into perspective: "All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. (Ecclesiastes 3:20)."  With many pieces made from recycled clothing, this collection is semi eco-friendly.  So strap on your boots, it's going to be a wild show."

These are a few of the pieces she made.  She had 13 models and made everything they wore!  She did an outstanding job and we were/are so proud of her!  If you care to see the show to can see it here.  I should tell you that it is just a mom and her sony camera so it's not the best quality.

Thanks for letting me brag on my daughter!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentines Ideas for the Hubby

A few years ago I decided to do a "10 Things I Love About You" for my husband.  While I know he knows I love him, I think putting it into words like this meant a lot to him.  It was also a good exercise for me because it seems that we live our lives on auto pilot and sitting down and actually listing some of the things I love about him was good for me too.  Now, some things might seem silly like number 10 on my list but it's the little things like him letting me shower first so I don't have to wipe the shower down that really blesses me!  

I did mine in Publisher.  I added a background and then added a text box and typed out the title and then numbers 1 to 10 and filled them in. Once printed out, I rolled it up and tied it with a red ribbon and had it on the table for dinner.  

Here are a few pdf files I found on the internet that you could use.
1. Notebook 
2. Hearts   
3. Pink and Red

I would love to know if you do this for your special someone!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm guest posting today!

I am guest posting over at Twelve Crafts till Christmas today.  Hop on over and show some love!  


Valentines Table Runner

I saw this tutorial for a table runner over at Diary of a Quilter and went right out to buy fabric to make one.  I am not going to go into detail because Amy's tutorial is awesome.  I will tell you that I bought a 1/4 yard of 16 different pieces of fabric.  Originally I was going to go with a red, pink, and white theme but the reds weren't thrilling me so I stuck with shades of pinks and white.  Here's my fabric!

This was very easy to make. I used my rotary cutter and mat and cut 2 or 3 pieces out of each piece of fabric, varying the sizes.  I would up with 36 strips total and at the end I had one strip left over.  I have no idea how I managed that!  I made my runner 16" wide and 48" long.  

I used a temporary basting spray to keep the backing and the batting together while I sewed the strips on.  After all the strips were sewed on I used a silver quilt marking pencil to free hand hearts on the back and then free motion quilted hearts all over it.  I used  purchased double fold bias tape to bind it.   Then I threw it in the washer to get all the marks off the back.

I just LOVE it!    I am going to make one for March with greens and free motion shamrocks on it!  I think I will round the edges since my table is an oval.  Oh the possibilities.  


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another reason to Celebrate!

I am so happy to be celebrating along with some fantastic ladies today who are celebrating their blogging anniversaries!  

Please go check out Night Owl Crafting and take a look at her awesome blog.  She is having a giveaway every hour for the next couple of days.   Be sure to enter the giveaway to win one of my Cupcake pincushions!


It's a Celebration!

Today I am guest posting over at Momma's Kinda Crafty for her 1 year blogging anniversary.  Please hop on over and check out Joy's awesome blog  and show her some love! 

PS.  There is a giveaway too!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I have a Serious Problem...

Well, I have more than one but today I will post about this one....


  ALL THE TIME..... 


I am not kidding.  On the line in the Post Office, at the food store.  It really doesn't matter.  I do have limits.  I mean, I don't just walk up to random people in a parking lot and start conversations.  That would just be weird.  But, really, why do I do that?  Better question is, do any of you do that too? 

I went to JoAnn's today for bias tape for a project I got myself into from  a conversation with a very nice lady on Monday.   More to follow... 

Today's visit to JoAnn's found me chatting it up with Norma who needed a zipper replaced on her son? grandson? 's sweatshirt.  Apparently he has Autism and chewed some of the teeth off his brand new sweatshirt.  So what do I do?  I offer to put the zipper in for her.  For say, $10.00.  We exchange telephone numbers, and I take the sweatshirt and zipper home.  Best part, I am also delivering it TO her.  Yeah :)

I either have to learn to keep my mouth shut OR just possibly God might use this mouth of mine to bless others.   Hmm...   I'll have to think about that till my next JoAnn's trip!

Blessings friends!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

She meant well

My mom, that is.  I love her to death.  She gave me this piece of Irish lace for Christmas.  I thought it would be pretty in my newly renovated bathroom but it needed a little something...

I went to Michaels (with my coupon, since I always forget them at home, grrrr) and bought a frame.  It was $10.00 but it was on sale so I couldn't even use the coupon I finally remembered to bring!  The frame came in only black or a light wood color so I spray painted it a Oiled rubbed Bronze color.
Then I bought a piece of scrap book paper with browns and blues, used a temporary Spray Adhesive, put it all together and wala!  

So pretty, I just love it!