Monday, April 30, 2012

Napping on a roller coaster

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an ICU room with a view... I see a quilt

So reading my post from Friday is laughable now.

I was well on my way towards relaxing... we went to dinner at a Mexican food restaurant on Friday night after the softball game just like we always do.  I had the same food and same everything but my body decided that it was allergic to something.

My lips started feeling a little funny on the way home.  Five minutes later we got home and I went into the bathroom to see that my upper lip was really puffy.  Huh.

I ran into Steve in the hallway and he promptly pulled me into the light and his eyes got huge.  He was a paramedic for 8 years so you know it's not good when he calls 911.

He told me to sit down on the couch and that the paramedics were coming to give me some medicine.  Notice the distinct absence of a ride in the ambulance mentioned?

Why are firemen and paramedics always cute?  And remember I'm married to a former one so I feel I have a little more latitude to talk about looks here. ;)

So in walk the firemen and paramedics.  I wish I could say that I had that nice bee-sting quality to my lips that lots of women pay for.  I did not though.  I know this because I could see, out of my puffy eyes, my own lips protruding from my face.  I also couldn't talk by this point because my tongue was so swollen and my throat was closing so I couldn't even greet the men in my living room.

They start working on me and I hear Steve ask when they were going to "roll".  Roll what?  I'm thinking.  Turns out that's code for leaving in the ambulance. 

The next several hours were a blur of needles, IV's, injections, breathing treatments, meds, doctors, nurses... and Steve asking if he could take a picture.  He was totally kidding of course!

Nothing was really working so that's when the doctor decided to admit me "upstairs".  I eventually got settled in a room with glass walls.  That should have been my first clue that I was in ICU but I didn't figure that out until the nurse kept coming in every 30 minutes and I complimented her on her attentiveness.  She said something about that's what they do in the ICU.  Oh.  But she really was awesome too. 

Throughout the night she kept coming in along with someone else giving breathing treatments.  She gave me Benadryl and other stuff while the other person was giving me epinephrine.  That combo of medications makes you feel like you are trying to take a nap on a roller coaster.  I pretty much sat straight up in bed all night.  Had I not been tethered by IVs in each arm, I would have put my hands in the air.  It was that fun

I got to go home on Saturday and I am the proud owner of two Epipens.  I have an appointment with an allergist to figure out what I'm allergic to.  My face is pretty much back to normal and I can almost sleep normally.  Needless to say, this episode scared me and pretty much everyone around me.  And in all seriousness, I'm really thankful for a husband who is calm and knows that to do in an emergency and of course all the people who helped me along the way.  I knew I was in good hands and that made a huge difference for me.

hospital curtain inspiration

While waiting on Saturday to be released I was still a bundle of jittery energy so I took note of my surroundings.  You really can find quilt inspiration anywhere. ;)

So.  How was your weekend??

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday {Photos}

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I have done zero sewing this week.  It's been one of those weeks.  I did stumble on a very cool quilt yesterday at our local courthouse.  Look, it's a granny square quilt... from the 1900's. 

And look at the rounded corners... it's true, they really aren't that modern!

Have you discovered Instagram? I kept seeing all of Cindy's cool photos pop up on Facebook and decided to jump on board.  It's the coolest thing!  I've been using the app all week.

Chaney's first violin concert was last night and she did a wonderful job.  We could not have been prouder.  We have had some ups and downs in regards to practicing throughout this year but once she figured out that there was a concert which of course needs a new dress; she was all about the violin! 

She is asking to take private lessons this summer so I am pretty sure we are off to a good long term appreciation of the violin and music in general. 

One last thing pending for the week is facing our arch rival in softball tonight... after that I'm definitely relaxing!

Have a wonderful weekend. :)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sew {Along}

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My friend Randi is hosting monthly sew alongs all year long.  She has had some really fun projects so far! 

In May her sew along is making a quilt.  I was so flattered when she emailed me about using my Whimsy Time pattern. 

As a part of the sew along, Randi and I will both be accessible via chat sessions for questions and help along the way.  This really is a beginner friendly pattern so if you have never made a quilt and want to sew with friends and even make some new friends, I hope you will join in on the fun!

On the Road to Spring quilt

Randi is a fabulous teacher and always does a wonderful job with her sew alongs.  I learned a ton about quilting when I participated in her On the Road to Spring quilt along.  It was the first quilt along I ever did and I still credit Randi as the one who taught me and gave me the confidence to free motion quilt.  To this day, it's still one of my very favorite quilts!

You can find all the details here...  I hope you will join us!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wednesday Words {lest you think}

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that my sewing studio...

...always looks... this.

It does not.

Steve is flying today so I figured it was a good day to post these pictures. :)  He won't see the post until tonight and then by that point, there will be comments telling me that your rooms look the same way sometimes.  Right??

No more projects for me until I get re-organized.  It's driving me nuts!  This is a stressful and super busy week so it's probably a good thing that I am just able to clean and organize.  My sewing mishaps always seem to occur when I'm stressed out... ;)

PS... for those who commented, emailed, and called me about last Wednesday's post, thank you.  Your encouragement meant so much to me and was actually why I took the post down.  I don't like negativity and having such positive friends around me reminded me that I am always better off directing my energy towards creating.  There will always be meanies out there and I can't help that.  What I can help though, is to be the bigger person, move on, and focus on trying to make something awesome. 

After cleaning my room.

Monday, April 23, 2012


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Today over at Sew Lux Fabric & Gifts, I'm taking part in their Blogger Challenge.  Six fat quarters of California Girl was what I had to work with and they were beautiful prints and colors to create with!

Head on over to see the tutorial for my Bookmarks runner.  It's the perfect project for teacher appreciation week or an end of the year thank you...

You can also purchase the fat quarter bundle I selected on sale here!

Linking up for Fabric Tuesday &  Finish it up Friday...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday {Fabric}

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I'm going to my happy place this weekend to finish up a project with this pretty stack of fabric from Sew Lux Fabric & Gifts. 

I typically enjoy my weekdays but this is one week where I am really glad that it's Friday!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Blog {Hop}

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I've never done a blog hop so I'm super excited to be a part of this Table Topper Blog hop put together by the fabulous Madame Samm.  She has a full schedule of bloggers so this will be a lot of fun!

I always end up with little orphan quilt blocks... maybe they didn't turn out just right... didn't fit in with the rest of the quilt...etc.  This particular block was a larger one with very wavy edges.  So I squared it up to a 6" block...

quilted it...

...and bound it.

The table topper comes from Ackfeldwire where they have an abundance of stands, screens and hangers to display your big quilts and little quilts.

My kitchen has lots of black in it {note: black granite is not a good idea; it shows everything!}.  I also have a lot of bright colors in there so I had fun choosing this block and then going out of my comfort zone with the chartreuse binding.

This will definitely not be my last topper and I love that this stand lets me change out my mini quilts for holidays or even just for fun!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Please make sure to stop by my fellow hoppers:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New Pattern + Kits

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I got a lot of requests for a pattern of my Whimsy Time quilt.  So here is the instant PDF download on Craftsy!

This is a beginner friendly quilt with lots of hints and details that will help you to improve your overall quilting skills.  All materials and fabric requirements are included in the pattern link to view prior to purchase. :)

Short on time to pick your fabric, cut your fabric, and piece your blocks? 

whimkit.egg  on Aviary

I have 5 kits available in my shop to make your life easier!  I'm offering free shipping as well...

Included in the kit:
  • die cut triangles ready for piecing your hourglass blocks
  • die cut squares for the rest of your quilt
  • custom binding made and ready to go! {your choice of color}
  • complete pattern with amended instructions for piecing your pre-cut triangles {since we are skipping two whole steps!}
I did a trial run and using this kit will reduce your time, start to finish, by at least 30%.  Not bad!

The triangles have notches on them which makes lining them up and piecing a breeze.  These notches also eliminate those pesky dog ears you have to trim when working with triangles.

All you have to supply is fabric for the backing, batting, & the other typical notions.   And of course, I am always available by email if you have any questions while making your quilt.

Happy Sewing!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Reunion {quilt}

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I made a quilt this weekend for someone I've never met.  My shortest commission turnaround ever!  I was asked and gladly volunteered on Friday night, I started it Saturday afternoon, took a break to go to church Saturday evening, and then I finally went to bed Sunday morning around 5:30am.

I set my alarm for 8am to get up and finish the last little bit of the binding that I couldn't see straight enough to finish without at least a few hours of sleep.  I finished the binding and managed to get a few pictures right before it was picked it up from me at 9am, Sunday morning.  Phew!!

It's not my story to tell but from the name of the quilt and the importance for me to finish it overnight, you can probably guess that Sunday was a meeting a long time in the making.  I'm not one to think that quilts fix everything but I still like to believe that they can convey feelings of love, warmth, comfort, security and assurance.  I cherished every moment of making this quilt.

I used a mix of charms from Sweetwater's Reunion line {how appropriate is that?!}, some of my favorite Pez prints, a tiny grey houndstooth print and some random hourglass blocks.  I haven't made that many quilts from just squares and I think part of that reason is because it starts to feel so busy to me. 

I set out to make this one with just 5" squares but ran into that same "busy" feeling.  My solution was to add some hourglass blocks made from Kona Coal and Kona Snow.  I randomly added them to the rows and I like how those blocks give the eye a place to rest.  Also, this quilt was for a man so adding those blocks made it a bit more masculine... according to Steve. :)

I quilted it with straight vertical lines running on each side of the seams.  After that, I still wanted more quilting so I did some organic diagonal lines.   I didn't mark the quilt at all and I like the randomness.

I did rounded corners... I guess because I like the balance of all the squares and straight lines against the curves.  I cut the binding strips at 4am and had to refer back to my own tutorial for folding the fabric to cut the bias strips... and you only thought my tutorials were for everyone else! ;)

It was a busy weekend but losing a few hours of sleep was well worth it.  And the best part... I get to meet the recipient of this quilt very soon!

Linking for Fabric Tuesday on Quiltstory

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Odds & Ends

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I love finding new blogs and Quilting Mumma is a new-to-me blog.  Ally is an Aussie quilter and not only is she talented; she often signs her emails with "have a brilliant day!".  How can you not love getting emails like that??

Anyways... Ally is hosting a mug rug swap and the sign-ups have opened up and will close on Monday, April 16th.  You can find all the details here.  I'm definitely joining in on the fun!

What's that you say?  Who won the fat quarter set of the Pezzy Prints from The Quilt Asylum??

The Random Number Generator said that Toni, #70 wins!!  Congrats, Toni.  And BTW, if you haven't seen her work, go check her out.  She has a fun blog with lots of great projects.

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!  It was a lot of fun to read everyone's all-time favorite fabric lines.  I didn't keep an official tally but there were lots of Anna Maria Horner, Sweetwater, and Kate Spain picks... lots of others as well.  It's nice to know that I keep company with all kinds of quilting friends, all with excellent taste in fabric!

Have a brilliant day! Just imagine me saying that in my Texas accent and try not to laugh too hard... ;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Words {history}

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In a continuation of last week's Wednesday Words, I thought I would write a bit more about the history part of quilting.  Several of the comments on that post really caused me to pause and think about how we, as today's quilters, present ourselves and our work.

Barbara Brackman is a well known quilt historian, designer, etc and has a blog that I have read off and on since I began quilting almost 5 years ago.  The other day she posted about quilt bindings and how that was one way to determine what era the quilt was made in.  I had no idea!

I love rounded quilt corners but it turns out that there's nothing modern about them.  Rounded corners date back to the late 1800's. 

The quilt-as-you-go method that was really popular in the past few years or so... it also dates back to the late 1800's.

Now I'm certainly not saying that quilters from our generation are intentionally ripping off old ideas because I don't believe that at all.  I just find it interesting that what we sometimes see as new is actually nothing new at all.

In the past, I know that I've thought that I've designed a thoroughly modern and original block and/or quilt only to see it pop up in a historical quilt book or website.  I still love the quilts I have made but I am beginning to wish that I had done a little more research to see how my quilt fits in with history.  It's certainly not too late to do that and I plan on adding the historical element to my posts whenever I can.

Is it always possible to know that a design is actually and old one?  Not always.  But sometimes I think that we get so caught up in the must-have creativity of quilting that we forget that we probably weren't the first to come up with an idea.  I think it would be interesting, instead of sweeping history under the rug in the name of originality, to do some research and share a little more about a quilt's historical design roots.

I also think it would be refreshing to read after all the copyright madness that has been swirling around as of late... it's kind of hard to bicker about the copyright of a design that is a hundred years old. ;)

There was a big push towards sharing the quilting process a few years ago and I think this history piece could also fit in well.  I know it's awfully big picture but I think it would be sad to lose some of the history of our craft in the name of trying to be innovative and "first".  Serious painters, musicians, authors, and even athletes are generally pretty well versed in their field's history so I don't see why quilting should be much different.

propeller block
It still takes skill to refine a technique and then fit modern colors and fabrics into the traditional mold to make something aesthetically pleasing for today's modern eye.  So why not be proud of that adaptation while helping to pass the history on? 

It makes sense to me and it is something I'm going to focus on more as I continue making quilts and blogging about them.

Just something to ponder... :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Whimsy Time

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I love this quilt!  And that says a lot coming from someone who doesn't really care for pink.  I have a few pink-ish shirts that I wear to work sometimes and I always get asked if I'm feeling alright when I wear pink instead of my typical and more conservative darker colors.

This quilt just screams spring to me... the ducks... the sheep

The bunnies...

l carefully cut to avoid any unfortunate fussy-cut beheading incidents. ;)
Each print comes from Laurie Wisbrun's Modern Whimsy line.  She graciously sent me each print in the line to play with.  And my goodness... sewing with organic cotton is amazing!  It also quilts beautifully and crinkles up and is super soft.

I quilted it with a simple stipple with my new sewing machine.  It quilts wonderfully... it was so much fun and I usually don't say that about stippling!  Now that I've got a good handle on how the machine quilts, I'm excited to branch out and start trying some other free motion techniques.

I backed it with a vintage sheet that I've been holding on to for a long time.  I think it's perfect and so soft.
I think I'm returning to pin basting.  I love how easy it is to quilt without removing pins but I don't like how basting gums up my needle {even though it says that it doesn't}.  If it does that to my needle then I'm worried about what it could do to the rest of my machine.  Surprisingly enough, it didn't take that long to pin and I didn't end up with any wrinkles in the backing either.

It's bound with the green circles from Whimsy and I'm really pleased with the green against the pink.  I think it's a nice contrast and keeps the quilt from going over-the-top-pink.  I hand stitched the binding to the back which is still one of my favorite parts of making a quilt.

The blocks are traditional hourglass blocks which have roots in "quilt code".  Basically, a quilt with hourglass blocks would be hung in the window indicating that it was safe to travel and the color of the block told which time of day was the safest.  I know there's some controversy over whether this code actually existed but it's still a fascinating story.  Edited to add: in keeping with wanting to learn more about the history of quilting, I'll be including more snippets of info as I research the quilt designs I'm using.

Things I learned:
- I hate to pin when I piece but I made myself do it and was reminded that it's well worth it
- I despise basting with pins but I'm going to go back to this method. Pinning didn't take that long...
- I love my new Juki sewing machine.  It makes quilting so much easier!
- I still prefer hand stitching my binding.
- I learned a little bit about the history of the quilt code.
- I love working with organic fabric!  It can be pricey but it's worth it!

Quilt stats:
- Measures 44"x 52"
- Prints are from Laurie Wisbrun's Modern Whimsy line
- The batting is bamboo
- Solid is Kona Medium Pink

This adorable quilt is for sale here and would make the perfect spring baby quilt.  I'd hold on to it myself but all the babies due around us are boys...

Linking up for Fabric Tuesday & Finish it up Friday!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pezzy Print {giveaway}

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For those of us who missed the original Pezzy Prints line... aren't you glad we are getting a second chance to get our hands on such a versatile print?

Today I'd like to introduce my own local quilt shop and my first local quilt store sponsor, The Quilt Asylum!  Isn't their name the best? I also love the intro on their site:

I opened The Quilt Asylum with a vision of having the "Cheers" of quilt shops. We want to get to know you, assist you with your quilting and sewing projects, and provide a community where you can just come, hang out, and sniff some lint! The word “asylum” can have two different meanings: a) a place for crazy people or b) a place of refuge or sanctuary. As a long-time quilter, I certainly can appreciate both definitions! We hope that you, too, can see that we are eager to represent both definitions to our friends and customers. We do our best to bring you the most up-to-date fabrics, books, notions, Blocks of the Month, quilt kits, and sewing and quilting classes. We hope to inspire your creativity through numerous samples located throughout our store.

Sometimes it seems hard to find a good brick & mortar shop that caters to a wide range of quilters.  So I am thrilled to have found The Quilt Asylum because they do a wonderful job of embracing all kinds of quilters.  And even if you aren't local, their online shop is fabulous!

As a brand new sponsor, The Quilt Asylum has graciously offered a fat quarter pack of all 12 of the Pezzy Prints to a lucky reader!

How do you win? 

It's simple... leave a comment telling me what your all-time favorite fabric line is.  I can't wait to hear your answers!

For a second entry... be or become a new follower of my blog and leave a separate comment letting me know.

This giveaway will close Wednesday, April 11 @ 10pm CST.  Please make sure that I am able to contact you if you win!

*The Quilt Asylum is a sponsor of That Girl... That Quilt and is sponsoring this giveaway*
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