Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Busy 2013

Let's just say it; I'm a horrible blogger! I have been sporadic in my posts for 2013 and 2012 wasn't much better. I'm not the type of person to make new year's resolutions, and when I do I don't keep them (like most other people!). For instance last year my resolution was to be able to do real pull ups by the end of the year. Well that didn't happen, but I did become a runner!

2013 may not have been the year for pull ups, but it was the year for exciting changes for my family.

  • 2 half marathons and many personal bests in shorter races
  • Both Lee and I became the healthiest we've been in a long time (for me in my life)
  • I started a job that I LOVE
  • Our basement is finished!
  • We went to Hawaii (first time in an ocean, and taking a BIG trip!)
  • I finished many quilts (just didn't get to blogging about them) 
  • Lee turned 30
  • I completed my first commissioned quilt!

I'm excited to see what 2014 has in store for us, including my 30th birthday and starting an Etsy shop for my quilts and crafts. And although it isn't a resolution, I do plan to blog more. ;)

Here's to 2013, the downs, the ups, and the greats.
Let's hope 2014 has even more exciting things in store!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Vroom, Vroom

Beep, beep...heading to the kitchen floor to be basted. Nearly ready for quilting!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Running Circles

That's how I feel lately, like I'm running circles all over the place! I haven't had much time for quilting, which involves many circles as I pebble quilt my quilting bee quilt, however I am excited to announce a new quilt in the works! 

My coworker is expecting a new baby at the end of the year (which means an upcoming baby quilt) and she has asked me to make her son the quilt for his new twin sized bed! We've had many brainstorming sessions and I've spent many evenings sketching plans for the fabric she wanted to use. Finally a quilt layout was chosen, calculations were made and she ordered the fabric, which arrived today! Tomorrow I get to go pick out some coordinating prints to go with it for a special paper pieced train panel, there is a transportation theme because this 21 month old loves "Cho-CHOOOOs!" I am so excited, this is my first BIG TIME quilt project. :)

I promised to get it done before Lee and I head to Hawaii next month, which is when they plan to re-decorate his bedroom/the baby's room. All this will be done while we work on mudding and painting our new basement bathroom, plus I am organizing Lincoln's second annual Bark For Life which is next weekend. All these things on my to-do list are making me want to go for a run to handle the stress of it all. At least my half marathon I've been training for all summer is over, I did not do so well! Needless to say blogging may not get done for a while, sorry friends.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Quilt Food

I've been busy in the kitchen today; the quilt "kitchen" that is. 
Cooked and ready to serve I have on the menu:

a quilt wrap...

and a quilt sandwich....

Who's hungry? :)

Monday, July 15, 2013


At my new job we rent our classroom space from one of our local churches. Just like most churches this one holds a week of vacation bible school every summer. Since our school has no religious affiliation the teachers that teach during the summer get a week off  so the church can use our classrooms. :) So I must ask, what better way is there to start a week of work off than to visit local fabric stores!?
Can you tell what the theme of this future quilt is going to be?
I also visited Joann's to get a few staples and use my coupons. While I was there I couldn't pass up these yummy Denise Schmidt prints:
I'm going to use them for a scrap quilt I have in mind. You see as I was going through my scraps I came across A LOT of tiny strips and scraps of fabric that I don't have the heart to throw away. My grandma was a big hoarder and I clearly inherited some of that trait when it comes to craft materials (crafting was also passed on to me via my grandma Lil).

Unlike my grandma I have organized my hoarding. Here we have usable strips for a future scrappy spiderweb quilt, or colorful strip block quilt, or BOTH. :)
And here we have the teeny tiny, pretty much useless scraps that I don't have the heart to throw away. This is where those Denise Schmidt prints come into play, these will be made into a quilt, a ticker tape quilt, inspired my Amanda Jean's and Penny's.
I cut some 12 1/2" squares of white Kona cotton and I plan to sew these little bitty strips and scraps to the white blocks. As I work on planned and normally pieced quilts throughout the year I will toss the crumbs into this box then work on adding them to these squares in my free time, or as I need a break from working on other quilts. As I slowly move away from a beginning quilter and into a more seasoned one I am developing quilter's ADD...I have 4 quilts going at once right now, not including this new project.
It is going to take awhile but when I have enough of these ticker tape blocks the result is going to be a pretty and scrappy quilt full of my favorite prints, the pieces that I can't stand to put into the trash.

*Disclaimer, this is not all of my unusable scraps. I have a separate bag of really tiny strips that I am going to use for greeting cards. :) I may have a problem!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Scrap Sorting

Going through my scrap bin. I've got Netflix in the background and high hopes for enough scraps to get a small quilt done. :)

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Place to Relax

Independence day in America...loud and busy. I'm not sure what most people's neighborhoods are like but in ours you can easily imagine what it's like to be in a war torn country. It makes me thankful for all the soldiers and vets that protect our country! Lee works with a guy that served 4 tours in Iraq and he has a hard time listening to the fireworks this time of year, they sure are beautiful at night though. To all those that have or are serving in military service, no matter the country, thank you for all you do!
We had a quiet holiday at our house, filled with some house work and then relaxing. We were more looking forward to our weekend camping trip with friends. It was a blast to have great company while relaxing this weekend. The weather was perfect, the company was better, and the toasted marshmallows were excellent! We joined my good friends Cristy and Drew and their wonderful kiddos.

Penny had a blast but did not enjoy her post-camping bath today.
While snapping this photo I thought I would take a few shots of our recent bathroom makeover to share with you. This was one of my many crafts I worked on during my break from blogging: a new shower curtain and decor for our bathroom.
I made this shower curtain using a flat sheet I got on sale at Target a long time ago, some rectangle cuts from my Flea Market Fancy stash, and some large eyelets. I recommend browsing clearance sections for flat sheets, they come in handy for these kind of projects! I didn't have to worry about large seams here, just one large cut of the sheet then hem the sides. I stitched the pieced stripes of focal fabric over the white sheet so that when I wash it I won't have to worry about any fraying. 
It came together in a matter of hours, then I worked on new shelves, artwork and decor for the much needed bathroom makeover. I'm working on a shaggy rag rug for next to the sink, all other decor was simple and cheap. Like the owl, yellow pitcher, and jars, all under $10! I used a mason jar to make a soap dispenser too. :)
For the artwork I framed a few scraps of Flea Market Fancy to go with photography prints I got at our local craft store: hot/cold tub handles. One of my favorite features are the photos of Lee and I as kids in the tub. A "Bath Time" theme. :)
We will be printing and framing the one I took of Penny today, then when we have a future child he/she will be added to the wall too. I really want to add bath toys to a wire basket by the tub, but we don't really have a need for them yet. I also want to get more decorative frames for the bath time photos. Oh, I almost forgot; for some light reading I placed one of my favorite picture books out, The Tub People. If you have kids, check out this cute story, it was one of my childhood favorites. Now this bathroom is a place to relax....or play. :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I Spy

I spy a witch's broom, monkey, owl, and train,
6 snowmen, 2 rebel scum, a saxophone, and rain.
I made these two quilts back in 2012, one for a good friend that I never see anymore and her little boy, the other for an old co-worker and her little man. I love making baby quilts, and had wanted to do an I spy quilt forever, when I finally got to it I made two!
The thing about I spy quilts for babies is that they tend to be so busy, and in my opinion (the early childhood educator in me is coming out) overstimulating! I knew I did not want to do that for any I spy quilts I made, so for these I went with small 2.5" squares on solid background, that way there was some calm space to wrap in the busy area. On one quilt I added ribbons around the binding, I think I like the ribbons best, a feature I've been adding to a lot of baby quilts lately.
For both quilts I used a Kona khaki solid fabric for the quilt top, then a khaki flannel on the back. I quilted using straight lines of different colored thread; orange, blue, green, red, and yellow.
For my good friend I added small pieces of me into the quilt, such as Princess Leia, Han Solo, coffee cups, owls, and bicycle wheels. For the other quilt I did a 4 by 4 block of green squares then branched out to more colorful blocks, I love this and may do something similar again.
I used the same Kona khaki cotton for the binding, which I love because it makes the quilt feel so organic, almost unfinished. I will definitely be making more of these, perhaps when I start up an Etsy shop these will be for sale. :)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pinwheels in Central Park

This little quilt has been in the works for a long time....much like the recipient.
A friend from high school was diagnosed with breast cancer when we were 23 years old. We were all shocked! There we were in our early 20s: young, healthy, celebrating marriages, loving life, invincible...and one of us was struck down with the C-word! She was one of the lucky ones though. She underwent treatment, opted for a double mastectomy and met her 5 year cancer free mark this past December.
Out of all my good friends from high school, this friend and her husband shared a seat in our kid free boat, but not by choice like Lee and I. They were told by doctors to wait, finish medications, make sure the cancer was really gone, so sadly they waited. This couple is tough, they stayed strong throughout cancer treatment and during the long waiting process of being able to try and have kids. They knew there was a chance it wouldn't happen for them, and they prepared for it.
In December when Lee and I read their Christmas card we were so happy to hear that the cancer was officially gone, 5 years free of cancer! We also learned they were expecting! :)
I wanted to make sure this quilt would be perfect for them, and their little girl so I was very selective and specific with this quilt. I wanted the prints I used to be full of life, because these future parents had lived a lot of life so far, and this little girl was their miracle of life. I wanted the prints I used to be girly, and gender neutral at the same time; I settled with the rest of my charm pack of Central Park from Kate Spain. The trees, flowers and small animals in this line were perfect, plus there were shades of purple, mom-to-be LOVES purple!
Once I settled on this charm pack it didn't take long to decide I would be using pinwheels: whimsical, full of life, and energy. What I didn't want was the old fashioned all in a row grandma style pinwheel quilt though. I wanted my pinwheels to be random, floating on a solid background.
I used this tutorial from Moda Bake Shop to whip up my pinwheels quickly, then I had them up on my design wall forever, constantly in a new arrangement. It took me a while to get the right layout and size for my pinwheels but I finally did. Of course not in time for the baby shower (go figure!) so the new momma was given a soft taggie block I made with a few prints from my charm pack, and a husker taggie blanket (Dad-to-be loved it!) to open with a promise that the quilt would be done before little 'Wolverina' arrived.
I hesitantly used a white background for this quilt, I'm always afraid to use white in baby quilts because of stains. I found somewhere on a blog, or Pinterest, that you can use Scotchgaurd to stainproof white quilts, but I didn't try it. Has anyone done this?

The back of the quilt is a purple/pink flannel, with a strip of white, a pinwheel and my quilt label. I used the same shade of purple/pink for the thread and stipple quilted it throughout. I love how the thread color contrasts with the white background and then blends in on the back.
For the binding I cut and stitched together 3 yellow prints of fat quarters I had lying around that belong in the Central Park line, I love the yellow cheery border, like a frame of sunshine around these spinning pinwheels.

I delivered on my promise, finishing the quilting and binding as miss Peyton Nola came into the world. Then I quickly washed, photographed and drove it to the new little lady. She is precious! I am so happy for my friends!
What I learned from this quilt: careful planning pays off! I love everything about this quilt and unlike other quilts I didn't come out wishing I had taken my time because something wasn't perfect. I guess slow and steady planning is the key. :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Traveling Quilt

This freshly finished quilt is on the road to Omaha for a one-day-old, precious baby girl. :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Cue the David Bowie tune...

Many changes have occurred in the last month for myself. I started a new job, which I LOVE! I chopped ALL my hair off, well like 13 inches, which I LOVE. I donated to Pantene Beautiful Lenghts, this was my second time donating hair.
I have re-decorated our office/quilting room (much needed!), and bathroom, a change my husband cringed at. "What was wrong with the old shower curtain?" he asked when he got home from his second job. That's right, he has 2 jobs right now and I never see him, another big change for us! He's working to help pay for our trip to Hawaii, we are so excited for this trip! Another change is that we have 2 new computer monitors on our desktop in our office/quilting room. They take up a bunch of space, but allow for Lee to work from home a few days a week, AND I can watch Netflix/movies easier when quilting. :) I plan to start making some baby quilts and small lap quilts to sell on Etsy.

For a friend and old co-worker she has gone through a big change as well, she's a Mommy! I have yet to meet her little man, Gabe. I want to let her settle in at home with her week old kiddo, but his pictures are adorable. Here's his quilt that I had promised to share last month and not gotten around too. Sorry. :)
I call this quilt "Gabe's Tune." Gabe's dad is in a band, so I planned to use some of the Groovy Guitars fabric by Michael Miller that I had in my stash when I first found out they were expecting. Then I got word from the new Mommy that the nursery was going to be a rock-star theme, so it worked out perfectly!
I used some scraps from my stash to go along with the color scheme in the Groovy Guitars I had, then I bought a few fat quarters to add to it: musical notation and some dots/stripes/solids in grey, blues, whites and blacks. 
 The process for making this quilt involved marking off the quilt top with painter's tape on my design wall.
Sorry, this was taken on my cell phone.
Then I laid out strips of fabric in varying lengths and widths at a diagonal within the 36" square space. I added strips of Kona Cotton Medium Grey to the ends and overlapped over the painter's tape quite a bit to account for seams and trimming.
Another cell phone pic :(
To trim and square up the top I used the painter's tape again on the kitchen floor where I baste my quilts, sorry I don't have a picture of this process. Laying the tape on the floor as I cut helped me visualize the quilt top before cutting so I didn't make any mistakes. Usually I make mistakes cutting so this process helped a lot! I guess what I learned from this quilt was how important taking your time is, and double checking before your cuts really does pay off!
For the back I used a light blue Kona Cotton, not sure of the color, which I also used for the binding. I love pieced together backs, but with baby quilts it is so much easier to use one piece of fabric, and saves so much time.For the quilting a stippled it. This quilt was really fast to put together, probably because I used so my strips from my stash.
I love the way it turned out with it's scrappy strips and off center diagonal lines. Gabe's parents loved to too which made my day since they're not the quilt type. I look forward to stopping by sometime soon and meeting the little guy. Also, to meeting another set of friends' new baby set to arrive this month. Her quilt top is being pieced together right now.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Finish Line

I completed my first 1/2 marathon! Who knew 13.1 miles could be so fun?! There I am just after 'the hill' (which in my opinion was not hard at all). It was the perfect weather for running, mid 40s, overcast and a very light breeze. The weather, the amazing crowd in Lincoln that comes out to cheer for 10,000 runners at 7 am, and my many supporters (preschool students, parents, friends, wonderful husband) helped me to run my best long run pace yet!

I completed the marathon in 2 hours, 14 minutes and 20 seconds. That's an average pace of 10:16 min/mile, about 30 seconds better than my 13 mile long run during training. I was super nervous that my IT band pain was going to cause me to have to walk due to horrible knee pain, but alas I ran the whole thing and beat my 2 1/2 hour goal! Can you tell I am super pumped about it! :)
Here I am after the race, with my finisher medal. :) I was very cold once I crossed the finish line in Memorial Stadium to receive this lovely medal. And walking was a major challenge! If it weren't for the blisters on my feet I would have kept running, it hurt that bad! I must say, I have MAJOR RESPECT for those individuals that do full marathons! 26.2 miles, wow!!! I am hooked though. I think I might do a half marathon this September and I plan to run the half marathon again next year. :)
And here is a snap shot of a wrapped up, finished quilt for a shower that was at the end of April. This quilt was finished in time for baby Gabe's shower, unlike the quilt I am working on right now. I had to make a few small gifts for mom-to-be Jess and her baby girl to present at her baby shower yesterday. I promise my next blog post will be photos of a quilt. Perhaps the one wrapped up above. :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Collaborating a Special Gift

Sometime back in 2012 my wonderful friend Cristy, over at diaries of domestic bliss, asked me to make a doll quilt for her daughter Berkeley. Berkeley, like many other young toddlers, had become obsessed with dolls and caring for her babies. To support her interest in dolls, and love of nurturing things, they wanted to give her a doll bed, and of course a quilt must go with it! Well this Christmas gift became a very collaborative effort, lots of love, many talents and special people worked together to get this gift finished for little miss Berkeley.
Our friend Sean, Berkeley's uncle, made the bed. Here it is with cousin Patrick standing by, and his Cabbage Patch Doll.
After Sean got to work on the bed and I found out the dimensions (did I mention it was made in Loveland, CO) I got to work on the quilt. I had fallen in love with Kate Spain's fabric line Central Park, and happened to have a few fat quarters and a charm pack on hand so this was the color scheme I went with.
Once I had fabric selected I sent a text to Aunt Mandy so she could have an idea for painting the bed. Then I got to work on the quilt. I love Granny Squares quilts! So I quickly joined the many other quilters in cyberspace and created mini granny squares blocks for the quilt.
I cut my charm squares down to mini size and pieced the 6 tiny blocks together with a light grey Kona solid. Then I used a fat quarter to frame the granny squares and as the backing. I loved the emphasis of purple in the fabric color scheme so I choose another purple fat quarter to cut into for the binding. As for the quilting, I used my walking foot to outline the colored squares with pink thread. I really hate to use pinks and pastels for girls. There is far too much of that in our society, but I felt the bright orange, green, yellow and blue off balanced the girly shades in this fabric line.
I love how these blocks turned out! I have on my to do list a granny squares quilt with my Flea Market Fancy fat quarter set I purchased last spring. :) Of course I had to add a small pillow to go with it, no doll bed is complete without a pillow for baby's head. I used the fat quarter from the binding and strips of my charm squares I cut into for detail.
After the quilt and pillow were finished I took a few pictures with my American Girls Doll, Felicity, before Cristy picked it up in Lincoln and took it home to Omaha. 
So here is the finished Christmas gift, waiting under the tree Christmas morning. Berkeley got a new Cabbage Patch doll to go with the bed and doll quilt. I am sure she loves it too. She is a great little Mommy to her dolls because she has a wonderful Mommy to roll model for her.
*Sorry for the quality of photos in this post. Many of these pictures were via txt messages since all the people involved were in different cities.