Monday, July 29, 2013

Vacation in Paradise

Our family vacation came to an end this weekend.  

We decided to pack all of the boys and head to Maui again like we did two years ago.  This time we stayed on a different end of the island. It gave us a different view, different experience, and it was certainly different with a toddler in tow.

We took it easy this time.  
Lots of beach bumming instead of touring the island like last time.  

We did hop on a sail boat for a trip to the island of Lanai to snorkel.

Then we hopped islands to Oahu to meet up with some very special friends from college.  I'd share their photos, but I don't have permission.  But picture my four boys with seven more kids! 

I am not lying when I say it was fun corralling eleven children 
on Waikiki beach, the Luau, and various other beaches and tourist spots!

On the quilt front? 

I only stepped into a quilt shop in Oahu that seemed to have only finished quilts.
  However, I was a bit suspicious of the manufacturing.  A little too reminiscent of quilts that I have encountered that claim "hand quilted" to be honest. 

But NO worries.

Both hotels on Maui and Oahu had VERY fine specimens for me to drool over.
I have an itch to do a large one next!

But first I need to finish a few other projects.  

 I organized my files into different categories.

If you would like a copy, I have a free .pdf download HERE.  You can either print it on a full sticker sheet or just print it out on regular paper and just use some packing tape over it. 
(shhh...that's how I did it).

Yup.  Back to the grind. 
Vacation is OVER.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I Run 4

Recently, I was introduced to the organization called I Run 4.  My friend, the mother of Charlie, remember him?

She posted a link to the Facebook group.  She knows that a few of her friends are marathon runners or trying to run again, like me.  If you recall a while ago, I was trying to #sweatnsew on Instagram.  I used to run regularly when I was in the Army, a million moons ago, and tried right before Jamie Lynn was born, but between two c-sections, lumpectomy, and hernia repair?  I have been a bit of a wreck. #sweatnsew was a great motivational start, but easy to slip out of my game and just "run" to the sewing machine. 

This group?  They bring motivation that you just cannot ignore.  They match up a runner with a child that has special needs.  The idea is that you run FOR the child that can run.  You can run, jog, workout, whatever.  The idea is that you are doing something that that child may or may not ever do.

I was recently matched up with Reagan! 

Isn't she adorable!!!

Her mother wrote me instantly when we were matched.
Um, get your tissues ready.

 "Reagan is a girl that faces everything that has been handed to her, and still manages to be that bright spot in the room. She has a myopic spot on the left side of her brain and, two forms of epilepsy (silent seizures) that happen on the right side. She also has poor vision, and does not produce enough CO2 when she breaths out, causing not only sleep apnea, but also she tires easily from all of the above. It can also cause irregular rhythm in her heart. The Epilepsy causes comprehension and learning issues. Reagan's day is either what we call a "plugged in or unplugged day." Epilepsy defines her right now, something we are working on overcoming with medication and therapy! Don't count Reagan out though! She is a phenomenal artist, and has a natural talent for all things musical. She is 6 years old, and going into the first grade. Thank you for running for Reagan.."

If that doesn't motivate me to run?  I don't know what else will!

If you are a runner and looking for motivation. I cannot recommend it more.
Another note. If you have a special needs child/adult you know who would love to have someone run for them.  Please contact Tim Boyle, through the IR4 blog or facebook page.  There has been an onslaught of runners with no matches!!!

Now I must go.
Actually?  I have to run.....

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hugs for Rebecca {Group Quilt}

A dear quilting friend of mine lost her husband this Spring.  She is young.  She has three small children.  It seems unthinkable.

So a plan was hatched.  A secret one. 
You see, we all met online.  It seems what quilters do nowadays because there isn't a whole ton of quilters living on our own blocks.   We met in a crafty/sewing group and basically started bonding over quilts.  It led to a small Facebook group.  It is wonderful.  We bounce ideas, we help each other when we reach difficult parts of our projects. We post those silly e-cards with jokes about stashes and our poor family and friends who have to deal with our obsession.

When we found out about Rebecca's loss?
  We, of course, did what only quilters would do. 
We planned a quilt!

The block was chosen.  Color Pallettes "oohh and ahhhh"-ed over. 
Volunteers spoke up for parts.  Binding. Piecing.  Quilting.

The Friendship Hexagon Block by Don't Call Me Betsy was chosen.   Not too complicated for the beginners, not too boring for the veterans.

Blocks were sent to  Lindsey at Happier than a Bird to be pieced.

I adored how I saw different fabrics I recognized from my fellow quilters' stashes!

Binding was chosen and prepped by Sandra.

I love how it just blended at the edge of the quilt.  All focus on the blocks!!!!

The pieced top was sent to me for quilting.

 Pantograph before washing. Quirky is the pattern!

Backing was also chosen and pieced by Lindsey at Happier than a Bird

Secret Garden by Micheal Miller

Signature Blocks were sent in and I love how the two extra blocks were placed!

One of the quilters linked me to Amy at Badskirt's card for her group quilt.

I just tweaked it to fit our group and wanted the double hearts as if they were hugging!
24 Quilters!!  Amazing group of ladies!!!!

Quilt Stats:
Dimensions: 72" x 84"
Fabrics:  Scraps and stash from the BBC quilting ladies
Pieced by: Lindsey at Happier than a Bird
Quilted by: Me on a longarm with Quirky Pantograph

I truly hope this quilt brings her comfort.  We are all aware that quilts can't fix the hurt, but maybe they can bring a little warmth to her when she is feeling blue.

  Because it is ONE GIANT hug from us all!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Triple Lattice Quilts

"A baby brings a little bit of heaven down to earth"
-Author Unknown

Can you imagine what three bits of heaven must be like?

These quilts are for the the sweetest little angels.  Their due date was this month, but they arrived early last month, like triplets seem to like to do.

Boys' Quilts
 (just picture this times two, okay)

The boys came home a few weeks ago from the NICU.
The blue and "gray" fabric make me think how soft and sweet little boys are.
I am so happy with the softness of this quilt!  

 Girl Quilt

Baby girl came home from the NICU this past weekend!
  Oh how I wish I had permission to share their photos!  
My heart melted when I saw them!


The pinks from the same line have always seemed bolder than the blues.  
I imagine she is going to keep her brothers on their toes, don't you?

I am really happy that I braved the Arabesque pattern on my longarm machine.

It looks soooo scrumptious on the minky back.

I decided on an off white backing to mimic the white background of some of the blocks.  
The binding had to be the beige the lattice print. 

I have to tell you.  I finished them and dropped them off yesterday.   Unfortunately, it was raining all day, so my photos are definitely not spot on.  My camera battery kept dying and I didn't realize the angles of the full on photos were goofy.

 So I had to share one of my two helpers....... 

I ALMOST had a shot of my JJ all crouched down so you couldn't see his head behind there.  He a;sp tried to hide his feet. It was quite the comical position.
  Lucky for him, the battery died before I could catch it!

Quilt Stats:
Dimensions: 36" x 48"
Pattern: Baby Lattice Quilt
Fabric:  Top: Windsor Lane by Bunny Hill Designs Backing: Off White Minky
Quilting:  Arabesque pantograph

I sure hope the quilts makes their momma happy!!!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I have finishes.

But only Instagram photo glimpses of the finishes because sometimes something has to be sacrificed if you actually want to finish things right? 

Hugs quilt

A group quilt that was my job to quilt and bind. 

I just mailed it off yesterday. As soon as the recipient receives it, I will reveal all of the photos!!

Triplet Windsor Quilts

Finished them 10 minutes before the stroke of midnight.

It actually feels like a fairy tale.

Too bad midnight isn't the best time to take pictures. 
Photos to come!

I feel like a major tease!
Edited to add:  I forgot! I did post my nephew's Cat in the Hat quilt Friday!

That doesn't make me look TOO bad, right?

In Progress:

The Argyle Quilt

Hexi stacks have begun.

Blue and green are finished and red is well underway. 
But I'm not going to get ahead of myself.

The 256 gray Hexies will take a bit!!!

Card Trick Block Quilt

The summer bee blocks inspired me to piece the blocks that were sent in to me.  

I have to decide what backing and binding I want to use. Not to mention the quilting...and the pattern I have to write up since I promised it when I wrote up the Card Trick block tutorial.

Linking up with Lee

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Now I feel like I left you empty and hungry for more.  Which means you will come back and see what is happening, right?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Bee Blocks

I am still stitchin' up bee blocks for our group Imagine @ do.good stitches.  Every time I think I might "opt out" when I feel that overwhelming sense of "not ANOTHER due date already!"  But ever single time I take a few minutes to read about the inspiration, scan the block pattern, and rummage through my scraps? The creative juices start flowing and I feel inspired.

June's was the Fractured Star.  

Black, gray, white and a pop of aqua.  Our group REALLY likes aqua!  I was a bit late when I made it last week, but better late than never, I always say.

July blocks begged me to start them a little earlier this month.

Love this pallette soooo much. 
It just says sunshine, grass, flowers, and picnics to me!

Oh...and all of May's Card Trick blocks arrived!
I couldn't resist and had to piece them!

 More pictures to come.  I am in a debate over bright green plaid fabric or a cotton orange for the backing and binding. 
I am going to let it marinate as I work on the MANY other tops that are waiting their turn!

I also just realized that my blog logo matches the quilt today!
 I swear, total coincidence!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Cat in the Hat Quilt

Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have
to know how."
~Dr. Seuss


I cannot express enough how happy I am that I finally finished this for my nephew!

I really love this pattern.  I saw it in a Charlie Brown print and knew it was perfect for my nephew.

  It is called Marbles from the Simply Fat Quarters book. 
 It is one of two quilts I have in the works, so the investment was worth it! 

I went safe with the quilting.  Meandering and stippling.  
It actually has never been my strong suit when FMQing, but I am liking my pattern more and more. 
 I just pretended I was wandering in circles and taking right and left turns, just like Dr. Seuss does in all of his fun and wacky books!

I was really happy with the cuddly fabric from Shannons Fabric.  It was one of the suggested selections when I ordered the Fat Quarter bundle.  I have to admit, I was worried, but I was really happy with the texture of the quilting and how soft it is.  However, I was burning up when I was binding it, so warning: heavy and warm!

I have to show off the border.  Isn't he cute! 
 I was glad I chose a red fabric, the fish in the bowl, that wasn't in the bundle to contrast for the binding.

The quilt label might be my favorite.  
I digitized a Hat from a coloring book and used a funky font.  

I sure hope my Gabe loves it!

Quilt Stats:
Measures: 58x66
Pattern: Marbles
Fabric: Robert Kaufmann-Cat in the Hat
Quilting: Meander/Stipple

Now to tackle more quilts. I am swimming in finished quilt tops!
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Friday


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