Monday, May 30, 2011

Guest posting...

Pin It


I'm over here today sharing my Kitchen Sink tutorial.  Hop over and take a look... it's a fun and easy project!  Stay awhile and browse too because Stash Manicure is a great blog full of wonderful ideas.

I hope ya'll are having a wonderful Memorial day.  Please pause for just a moment to remember what this day is all about.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I just might be...

Pin It

... easing back into things.

Again, thank you all for your kind words, prayers, emails and encouragement!  Knowing that I am not alone has been so important because depression seems to be quite good at convincing you that you are absolutely and desperately alone.  But I'm not.

I did see my Dr. and I also had a good visit with a therapist to work on stress management.  My stress level is still high but I'm doing what I can to manage that.  I've taken some things off my plate and focused on ways to de-stress.  The other thing that has helped me relax... embroidery. 

Embroidery is very forgiving.  There isn't any math.  No precise seams.  No racing a quilt under your machine while working to avoid quilting yourself to the quilt or sewing through a finger... all while making sure your stitches are perfect and without thread globs on the back of the quilt.  But embroidery... just trace the pattern or draw it and choose your colors and your stitches as you go.  Amazing.

Yesterday was our 5th wedding anniversary.  Can I just tell you what an amazing guy Steve is?  I am so blessed to have him.  Chaney and I both are.  And it was so cute; Chaney was up at 6 am yesterday morning making anniversary cards and presents for us.  I love how she, in her own way, recognizes what we have and celebrates it with us. 

The traditional gift for the 5th anniversary is wood so I got creative.  I guess you could count the wood hoop as the gift but what I was really after were the tree rings.  At first Steve thought it was a maze.  So if you don't see it at first, don't feel bad. ;)


I started out with plans of just embroidery but I couldn't resist adding some fabric too.  I blanket stitched around the raw edges and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

I can't promise that I'm back completely but I'm working on it.  Thanks again for all your support.  It means the world to me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Guest Posting...

Pin It

Just a brief interruption from my break... I wanted to share with ya'll a tutorial post of mine that is up on Fat Quarterly today.  Go have a look and maybe make a cute pillow for yourself this weekend!

Friends, I have simply been overwhelmed and blessed by the comments, emails, etc in response to my last post.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you to all of you!

See you soon!



Monday, May 16, 2011

A Break...

Pin It

Ok, so I'm having to do it.  I need a break.  I'm sorry for the double post today but I just don't feel like I can put it off any longer.

I've been fairly open about my struggles with depression lately but I'll just lay it out there... I feel awful.  Steve and I have some tremendously stressful things going on in our life {we are fine!} that have brought my underlying depression to the forefront.  What used to be manageable has become a crushing burden.

I have a family, I have a job, I have clients, I have friends, I coach a softball team and I find myself forcing a happy face so much of the time these days.  I also find myself feeling like I have to put on a happy blogging face here as well and something has gotta give.

I get so frustrated with myself because I can't just feel better.  But as I sat in church this past weekend {in tears} it became quite ironic to me that I wouldn't keep going and doing if I was physically sick but there I sat feeling awful.  If I had the flu, I wouldn't be sitting there in church.  If I had a stomach bug I wouldn't be sitting there at dinner pretending that I'm fine while my stomach churns and lurches. 

So why is this different?  I suppose because depression isn't understood like a stomach bug is... I suppose because everyone has had the flu but maybe not depression... I suppose because there are some that think it's something that I just need to get over... and then I suppose there are those who worry that it's catching.  I don't really know but I do wish, like I said in my earlier post, that it wasn't such a hush-hush subject.

With all that being said, I need a break.  Some time to sew or not sew.  Some time to not worry about blog traffic, posting, photographing, etc.  Some time to find myself and ways to better manage my stress.  Some time to breathe and heal.

I realize that putting this out there might make me more vulnerable because I can't be silly and believe that everyone reads here with the purest of intentions.  I know that this might make me a target for the smile-and-suck-it-up crowd to tell me to do just that, suck it up.  But I know that my quilting and my feelings are tightly intertwined and I can't pretend anymore.  I also know that I'm not the only one so if anything, I hope that being open about where I'm at might help even one reader feel a little less alone.

So if you don't mind, give me a week or so and I promise that I'll be back.  Ya'll are the best!

WTF!

Pin It

I've decided that WTF must mean What The Fun!  Blogger decided to delete the original post in it's meltdown last week but here's the recap:

Steve:  Since when are you into embroidery?

Me:  Oh, I'm into embroidery.

Steve:  Oh, really?

Me:  Yep, big time.

Steve:  laughing and shaking his head... WTF, honey?

Of course he just said the letters but I'm pretty sure that WTF means What The Fun!  Which makes total sense because Steve is just ecstatic about me adding another craft skill to my repertoire. ;)

So anyways, I'm hooked on embroidery.  Big time.  If you saw me on Facebook this weekend, you saw me posting about my first try at embroidery.  BTW, someone commented saying "WTF" and I got a good laugh out of that!  It's so addicting... it's like drawing with needle and thread.  The flowers are just free-form in my attempt to learn some different stitches.  I did stitch another piece from a pattern that maybe I'll show later this week.


In other news, Steve and I went to the Ranger game yesterday.  It was a blast and they won.  The weather was perfect... almost too perfect because the tops of my knees got fried in the sun as it was covered up by the nice breeze.

And lastly, a housekeeping note regarding the PIF... if you are participating and haven't emailed me your mailing address please click the "email me" button on the right side of the blog and get me your address so I can forward it on to your partner.  Thanks!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Quilt Festival Time!

Pin It

If you are a new visitor, welcome!   And if you are a loyal reader, thanks for playing along with an "old" quilt.  I can't believe this is my third time to enter the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I've come to look forward to it each time and Amy always does a fabulous job of organizing this event.

Today I found it fitting to share my favorite quilt, Serendipity.  When I made this quilt, simply put, I was having a bad day.  I started with a stack of fabric and started cutting with no real plan.  A weekend later I had my favorite quilt and my first quilt pattern available to purchase.

Why is it fitting to share this quilt?  Well, I've been struggling a lot lately and sometimes I think we all need the reminder that even in the midst of struggles we can find still unexpected surprises and provisions... bits of serendipity if we will just stop and look.  That is what this quilt means to me.


I used Essex linen for the solid and a mix of blue, green and yellow prints from some of my favorite lines.


I quilted it with simple straight lines that came together to form a unique secondary pattern. 


I backed it with the softest vintage sheet and bound it with one of my all time favorite prints from Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley line.

Thanks for reading along and may you find your own bit of serendipity today! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wednesday {Sneak Peek}

Pin It


Monday, May 9, 2011

Oh dear...

Pin It

...when I posted on Friday about paying-it-forward, I thought I might get a handful of responses wanting to play that I would pick from.  I was even prepared to accept up to 5 entries to receive something handmade and to then turn around and do a PIF of your own.

Instead I got 27 responses which I think is completely awesome because it shows how generous and kind ya'll are.  But do you see what I got myself into?  I just couldn't pick three!

So here's what I'm thinking... I'm going to still pick 3 that I will be personally paying-it-forward to but then I'm also going to organize some sort of mass pay-it-forward effort.  Think of this as the first Quilting Without Obligation Community event. :)

At the bottom of this post you can add your link.  From the link list, you will make something for the person right after you and the last person will make something for the first person on the list.  Make sense?  In addition, you will still choose 2 others{could be other bloggers or even someone you know in real life} that you want to pay-it-forward to on your own.

If you are in, click the "add your link" button at the end of this post. Then please leave a comment letting me know you are in and make sure there is a way for me to contact you!   I'll leave the link list open through Friday and then I will email out your partner's address to you over the coming weekend.  You will have 365 days to complete the PIF and make three people's days unexpectedly brighter!

Anyone can sign up... no matter what your skill level is.  You can make and send whatever you would like. We're not going to be snobby about it, just make sure that what you send is something that you would personally like to receive yourself... you know, it's the Golden Rule thing. ;)

And now for my 3 PIF recipients... Elisa, Jen, & Miss 376.  I'll be emailing you to get your addresses!

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or email me.  So hurry... add your link... blog about it... tell your mamma all about it... Facebook about it... Tweet it... and have a great time Paying-it-Forward!







Friday, May 6, 2011

Wanna PIF?

Pin It

Pay-it-forward... that is what this beautiful mug rug is!

Awhile back the lovely Marit hosted a PIF opportunity on her blog and I was one of the ones selected.  It's not everyday that I get a package from Norway so I was super excited when it arrived yesterday. 

Isn't it beautiful?!?



All my favorite colors...


And the quilting is just wonderful...

So now it's my turn!  I have 365 days to make 3 PIF's for three of ya'll who are willing to receive something handmade and then turn around and PIF in a handmade way again. 

I'll leave the comments open through the weekend so please comment to at least tell Marit what a great job she did and if you are interested in participating leave me a note telling me why.  I'll pick three and announce them on Monday!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What I {love} about them...

Pin It

... her freckles


... his hands


... her first lost tooth


... she's fearless


... that he's not afraid to help even if it means getting dirty


... her sense of style


... and that he always keeps us headed in the right direction

Monday, May 2, 2011

Outtakes

Pin It
A Pips preview
You know the outtakes at the end of movies where we get to see that even the most polished actors make mistakes?   I was busy working on a new quilt this weekend and as I quilted along I got to know every square inch of the quilt and it's bloopers.

I can't share the entire quilt yet but I thought it would be fun to share some of the funnier moments. 

But can a quilt really be funny?  My quilts can.  Let's just say that fussy cutting isn't a strength of mine.

Sherbet Pips outtakes... 

That poor Pip's head!

If only her scooter had been a little faster...

That poor little dog is running for his life to avoid the seam allowance!

I promise that it's OK to laugh!  I think that everyone needs a good laugh at themselves every once in awhile.  My saving grace is that there are lots of fussy cut squares that turned out perfectly and I am absolutely loving this quilt. 

Now, there's been a lot of... ummm... whatever you want to call it... over Sherbet Pips lately but as I worked on this quilt I really developed an appreciation for the fabric design.  The characters are so endearing and detailed and the supporting fabrics of the line are great.  Sometimes I look at a line and I don't really "get" how each of the fabric designs fit into the overall line but that's not the case here.  And it's one thing to put  computer-aided fabric designs out there but to be brave enough to put your hand drawn illustrations into a debut fabric line takes a lot of guts so well done, Aneela!

And lastly, thank you to each one of you who commented, emailed me, or sent kind thoughts my way after reading my last post.  I had no intention of making that post about depression but that's what seemed to stand out... well, that and how I wear a bicycle helmet during tornado warnings.  

Last week was one of the darkest weeks I have had in quite some time and as Steve was reading the comments yesterday he so nicely put it, "see, honey... you really are not alone...".  And he's right; unfortunately I'm not the only one but fortunately for those of us who do struggle, we are certainly not in it alone. 

I love blogging, sharing what I'm working on, and connecting with other quilters but sometimes it's the unexpected connections that mean the most.  Thank you!




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...