Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lexi loses a tooth

I found it Friday, Dec 4th, 2009,
when she was about 6 weeks shy of one year old.
Her first tooth!

And just a few minutes ago,
I pulled it out.

I'll never pull a first tooth for my kids again.


She's not sure you can see that good enough, so she took a selfie:

Yes ~ there is a tooth coming in right behind it, so it really needed to come out...

Momma loves you, Big Girl!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sunday sewing, but on a Tuesday

Saturday night, my friend tagged me in a FB post, 
with a picture linking to this.

I commented "sweet!"
and suggested she google Natalie and Alabama Chanin.

Now, I realize I haven't mentioned AC in quite some time,
but that doesn't mean that my love for all things Alabama Chanin has diminished in the least.
I'm just waiting to get to my proper size
so I can make a proper AC garment
and wear it forever.
(which is just about how long it will take me to make said garment)

Mentioning Natalie Chanin
reminded me that I still hadn't had a chance to look at my most recent book!
I'd preordered it the second I heard about another AC being published
without giving it a second thought.
That is how much I love Natalie/Alabama Chanin
(for the un-initiated - Natalie Chanin is the founder of the company Alabama Chanin, 
and one really doesn't think of either, 
without the other)

I've been super busy since it arrived April 7th
and didn't dare open the package,
knowing I wouldn't be able to put it down.

I kept giving myself little challenges
 - once you do 'x', you can look at your book -
but once I'd complete the task,
another pesky task would jump to the top of my to-do list.
I was really going to look at it after I filed the taxes Tuesday
(why did I wait til the 13th?!?)
but then I was just on a get-er-done roll
and decided instead to 
a) finish the quilting on Ties that bind!!
b) make and attach the binding!!!
(actually - I did that before I finished the quilting....)

Lily was sick, so I stayed home from church with her,
which meant - I had a bonus 3 hours!!


So I finally unwrapped my book
and read it - just like I did the others - cover to cover.
(it's my least favorite of the four, but we'll save that for another time)
And then, with Judi's FB post in my head,
quickly whipped up (and machine sewed) a skirt.

(took less than an hour from unearthing a fabric* remnant
to a skirt with a fold-over elastic waistband (albeit slightly wonky there at the CB)
and a pressed (but not sewn) hem! :-)
I cleaned up my (minimal) mess, 
dug through my floss,
and started embellishing by hand.

I picked up my needle and thread every chance I got
and by the time I went to bed,
I was finished with all three (not very straight) rows of handstitching
and all I've got left is the flower.

If all goes according to plan
(which is a big 'if', you know...)
come Friday,
I'll have a completely finished skirt to share.
And the shoes
that inspired my color choices :-)

and on Sunday,
at 9:20 pm, central time,
I finished my quilt!!!!
(proper photos and post will come in a few weeks, after it's gifted)

Linking up with Lee
*while I don't pre-wash my quilting fabric unless necessary (meaning it's red. or black....)
I do prewash my garment fabrics before I ever even put them away,
that way, when inspiration strikes,

Thursday, April 16, 2015

5 monkeys (and milk. but mostly monkeys.)


We made a dairy run last week :-)

picture swiped from a post in 2008! Where does the time go??

Fresh raw milk
from cows who eat real grass, in wide open pastures?
Yes, please!!

Eggs, with orange yolks,
not yellow
- from chickens free to roam -
are about the only other food
I feel as good about feeding my family.

I am so grateful to have access to both!
We stopped at the rest stop that has the tee-pee like structures around the picnic tables
and got a little exercise.

Josiah climbed right up.
Then everyone decided his pole was better,
so they wanted to try that one.

Turns out,
was just better.

But everyone gave it their best shot.

Even me. 

I love you, my little monkeys.
(and thanks, Love, for letting us have yummy milk all these years :-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

behold, the end draweth nigh

You know?
I'm thinking I might actually finish this thing.

I wasn't so sure....
(And Tyler was considering grounding me from quilting, due to my negativity.
I was just deep in the throes of What  The Heck Was I Thinking?!
Incidentally, a freak-out stage I apparently go through on all major undertakings,
so should not be a surprise to any of us...)

a daughter-in-law and grandkids aren't the only recent additions to the fam :-)

All 'white-space' hand quilting is finished,
and all of the marking for 'white space' machine quilting is done!

I still have several plates to add a bit of quilting to
(both machine and hand)
and a few more to mark,
but I'd say I'm probably 50% done with blade quilting.
And probably 80 - 85% done with the quilting the white space.

I think I want to add circles of my favorite fabrics to those empty 16 pt stars / invisible dresdens
I added to help fill the white spaces.

I've decided on architextures cross hatch print in black for the binding 
and need to get that ordered right away.

I'm trying to get the backing for my next quilt figured out so I can order both together and get free shipping.
I'd really like to use lawn  - I think it'd be lovely for the handquilting I've got planned,
but I have 2 concerns:
what I want will cost $63.
which is a lot of cash for a back....
I'll be doing a QAYG for the first time, 
and I'm wondering if my seams allowances will be too obvious through that thin (solid) cotton lawn....
(experienced thoughts greatly appreciated!!)

I may need to just order the binding by itself and pay the darn shipping...

look ~ they're playing the telephone game ;-) heehee

We have a super busy week,
with lots of extra stuff going on so I'm not sure how much I'll be able to get accomplished quilt-wise.
(kids have testing tomorrow - which means, in addition to everything else,
 my annual calculator shopping trip.
Why, oh why
can't I set the darn things aside every year so I can find them when we need them?!)

Linking up with purple paper-piecing  Lee.
And just maybe,
the next time I post about Ties That Bind,
I'll be able to share it at Finish it Fridays, too :-) to the next thing on the list....

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

big exciting changes

Our family is growing by leaps and bounds!

TJ married Keri this past weekend!!
(and became a step-dad to a whole passel of kids)
(making Tyler and I grandparents to a whole passel of kids!)


Tony and Kacy are expecting a Christmas baby!!

Leaps and bounds, Baby
(said in the voice of Hodgins from Bones)
Leaps and bounds.
Congratulations to my boys!!
And my girls!!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

seriously slow stitching

I love this quilt.
I think it's really going to be somethin'!

But I gotta tell you - I am done with it.
I am so ready to move on to bigger and better different things.

I really thought it was going to be plenty of time.
And it is.
I mean - I'm pretty sure I'll get it finished in time for their May 1st wedding.
But what I didn't account for,
was that I might need a break from it every now and then....

a peek at the back

Tonight - I'll spend another 42 minutes sweating under it hand-quilting
while we watch an episode of Bones,
and tomorrow,
I'll wrestle with it at the machine for a few hours.

Linking up with paper-piecing Lee and other creative gals slogging through their projects
sharing their progressing works.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

mia, and Lily laughs

Master thinks that 2 weeks without a post 
is entirely too long.

I haven't purposely stayed away,
it's just that life is full right now,
and until I get that darn amazing quilt finished,
I feel pressure to work on it 
every spare moment I have.
(or avoid working on it, by doing some other necessary and long-neglected task)


Lily has a sense of humor similar to TJ's,
and when she finds something funny, she laughs long and hard.
She also is a bit on the blonde side,
so jokes with her are a little iffy.
If she gets them right off, she laughs, 
but if she doesn't,
she has to analyze
and then explain to everyone why they are funny.
Of course, sometimes, she doesn't ever get why they should be funny.

The kids have been on a 'tell us a story from  ____________' kick lately.
So the other night, 
we told them about the time we accidentally annoyed the baby sitter:

We'd hurriedly changed 6 or 7 month old TJ, using a diaper from the diaper bag
right before walking out the door to drop him off with 'Gramma'.
(our friend Jodi's mom was living with them in Germany)

When we went back to pick him up,
Gramma mentioned, obviously a little miffed, "I found the nickel."


"In his diaper..." she added.

It seems that the coin had fallen into the diaper while in the diaper bag
and got trapped by the leg elastic,
and we hadn't seen it when we put the diaper on him in a rush.
When she found it stuck to his little cheek a few hours later,
she'd thought we put the nickel in the diaper as a test - to see if she changed him.

We assured her it was purely accidental
and we all had a good laugh about it.

When we finished telling the story to the kids,
Tyler added, "It just goes to show you that everyone needs a little change sometimes."

Lily threw back her head
and roared.

How I love that girl!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Nella goes to college

Talk about being a sucker for the story;
this story is beyond awesome.
I just smiled with tears in my eyes as I read.

I'd have a difficult time letting a young adult with DS go off to college
(of course, I also had a difficult time letting my completely able-bodied married son
go off to the Marines...)
but I am so thrilled that people are asking questions
and seeking solutions
that will allow people who have DS live to their full potential.

if you read nothing else today,

(I trust you all understand I am not using 'sucker' in a negative way at all....)

Monday, March 9, 2015

sucker for the story

Back when we all decided to 'Run for God',
multiple trips were made to Academy to furnish the family with proper running shoes.
You know, so we didn't hurt ourselves.(ha!)
(For me, who has never aspired to be a runner,
and isn't entirely convinced that women actually ought to run,
it was more of a 'Run to God", than run for Him.
I was finally coming out of my long, horrible season of depression
and was truly desperate for God.
If I had to run to be with Him, so be it.)
(Sadly, the Bible study part of the program sucked)
(so did the running part ;-) and my heel has never healed completely)

After trying on every. single, pair. of running shoes at Academy,
I settled on a pair of Brooks.
Brooks shoes happen to come in a box
printed with one of those 'you made a good choice' stories on it.
Tyler and I love those.
I mean, 
you've already made the purchase - they could have given you a plain old box,
but instead, they try to up your satisfaction by telling you how smart you are
and why.
Great marketing.
So, as I was driving home, I thought how tickled Tyler would be
with my selection of shoes
and my 'bonus box'.

Turns out, he'd bought Brooks, too!


Love her fabric.
(At least, I love the feel of her fabrics, and the saturated colors,
and the way her fabrics work together.
I don't always love her fabrics individually....)
I also just really like her.
At  least the her I know through her blog...

When Pretty Potent came out,
I liked the collection as a whole,
and there were a few fabrics that I really liked,
but I didn't order any.
and I was all, 
"I want all the Anna Maria fabrics in the whole world"
(I did order some Pretty Potent when I found some on sale, but only my very favorites.)


While I love an explosion of color and the kaleidoscope style of Jenean Morrison,
I also am really drawn to many of the simple, low volume fabrics of Carolyn Friedlander,
especially the Architextures line.

And then I discovered 
that before she became a fabric designer,
Carolyn was an architect.
And that just makes me love and appreciate her fabrics more.


When I clicked on a Finish it up Friday link over at Amanda's,
I found this quilt
 and a lovely post to go along with it.


Then I went back a few weeks later and found another great quilt
with an equally great story
and I decided I simply must add pieladyquilts to my blog list.

If you, too, are a sucker for the story,
I highly recommend you do the same!
(who doesn't know me from Eve)
 intertwines memories and life and making
in a beautiful and down to earth way.

(On the subject of 'new blogs',
I should also mention my friend's new blog.
You may remember me mentioning Sarah B recently,
she's the one who got married in February :-)
She's also the only daughter of the one I made this quilt for,
my dear, dear amazing friend, Eva.)


Tim used to tell me, when I'd recount some happening or another,
way back in the days of 'lunch bunch',
"Just give me the Reader's Digest version"
but I never could.
I think all the little details are important,
at heart,
I'm a sucker for the story.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

one week in

for the past week,
as I've found the time,
I've been working on getting Ties That Bind quilted.

Slow and tedious best describes my progress.
You can see I have a ton left to do...

I begin by marking all points and valleys and both the inside and outside of the blades.
so I know when I need to stop and turn 
as I machine quilt around the outer blade.
I may or may not mark the full inside of the plate.
Depends if I've decided exactly what to do with it or not ;-)

After I've gone around the plate with the walking foot, 
I mark my hand quilting row 3/8 of an inch away from the machine quilting.
After that's quilted,
a row 3/4" away for another round of machine
then a row an inch away for more hand-quilting.
and so on
and so forth.

so. much. marking. and turning.

I try to always stay a few plates ahead of myself with the marking, 
so I can work on whichever type of quilting I feel like at the moment.

I still need to figure out what I need to do with the blades themselves.
For the smaller dresdens, it's enough to stitch in the ditch,
but the larger blades need more quilting
or they'll puff instead of crinkle once it's washed.

I'm really hoping I can come up with a suitable FMQ design that I am capable of pulling off decently,
(and doesn't mess up the look of the dresdens!)
have I mentioned?

The turning...

It's good that I allowed myself 2 months for the quilting;
I think I'm going to need it!

I missed linking up with Lee yesterday. Too gloomy for photos.
today, for the first time, I'm joining the gals linking up with Kelly at My Quilt Infatuation :-)