Psalm 136

All the days ordained for us were written in his book before one of them came to be.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Inspiration from 2011 to guide 2012

Yep, I know... shocking... Holly is finally posting another blog. You may notice that the dates of my blogs often correspond to significant time off from school. Well, I hope to change that a bit in 2012. Anyway, as I have contemplated the start of 2012 and the end of 2011, I have decided not to make the typical New Year's Resolutions because when I have done that in the past, it tends to be the things I will NOT accomplish that year. :)

However, I do really like making lists. There is something satisfying about making a list and checking things off that list. So I have decided to make some Top 10 Lists for 2012. I do not make any promises that absolutely everything on each list will be conquered or the order will remain the same, but it will at least be a starting point. So here goes...

Top 10 Books I want to Read:
1. Bloodlines by John Piper
2. Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
3. Soup by Jon Gordon
4. The Help
5. 1,000 Gifts by Ann Vonscamp
6. Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado
7. The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoffer
8. What's So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey
9. Death by Love by Mark Driscoll
10. Unbroken by Laura Hildenbrand

Top 10 Sewing Projects:
1. Make myself a Southeast T-Shirt Quilt
2. Make Riley Blake baby quilt kit
3. Make Terrain by Moda quilt
4. Help Mom finish my king sized quilt
5. Complete one project from Amy Butler's Style Stitches book
6. Make Bazaar Style by Art Gallery Quilt
7.Complete one project from One-Yard Wonders book
8. Make Summer House by Moda Quilt
9. Complete one project from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones book
10. Quilt one of my finished quilts on my mom's long arm quilting machine! :)

Top 10 Things to do Each Month:
1. Breakfast once a month with a good friend
2. Lunch once a month with a good friend
3. Post a Blog
4. Start a list of 1,000 gifts and add to it monthly
5. Random Act of Kindness to a stranger
6. Play Board Games with friends/family
7. Call a friend that lives far away
8. Try one new recipe
9. Memorize one new verse and review one
10. Visit one place in Wichita I haven't been to before (by car, by foot or by bike)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Project Complete... well mostly!

The summer of 2011 has flown by. School is just around the corner. It is so close I almost feel like my summer is already over or sometimes I feel like it never started. I have been at Southeast working on various planning projects and teaching summer school more days than I have not been at Southeast.

However, in the midst of actually working really hard this summer, much harder and longer hours than I probably should have, I have spent a good amount of time diving into many sewing projects this summer and have enjoyed each of them.

So with school just around the corner, I wanted to get the rest of the quilt top finished up that I posted in the last blog. I knew once the school year got started that finding a chunk of time to get it finished up would not be easy.

Yesterday, I cut out all the borders, swayed from the pattern just a bit for the corners and got the quilt top finished. I have a huge sense of accomplishment with this as it is the first true quilt I have ever completed (well mostly completed, it still needs to be quilted and then put the binding on).

The Mostly Finished Quilt
My Favorite Two Blocks
The corners of the quilt were supposed to be one solid square, but I decided to do a four-patch square to use some of the fabric I liked from this line that wasn't included in the jelly roll so it didn't make it into any of the actual quilt blocks.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Just Wing It

Recently I joined a club through A Joyful Soul Fabrics. Joining this club was a big step for me because with the club membership I would be getting a jelly roll of a different fabric line each month as well as a book of patterns that use strips from jelly rolls to complete the patterns. I had never sewn with fabric from a jelly roll and had never really figured out any patterns on my own with the exception of the throw pillows I made last week.

The club actually started in May so I was a few months behind but decided to go ahead and purchase the fabric from the months I had missed.

The package arrived on Thursday! There is just something special about getting mail.

I instantly loved each line of fabric. You can go to A Joyful Soul Fabrics site to see each line if you'd like.

I perused the pattern book, Let the Good Times Roll and decided on the Fresh Linens pattern which also called for a charm pack to use with the jelly roll. I called my favorite quilt shop in Wichita, Material Girls Quilt Shoppe, to see if they had the Just Wing It line of fabric which they did.

Yesterday I went down to Material Girls. Unfortunately they did not have a charm pack for Just Wing it, but they did have a layer cake that can be cut into the squares that I needed for the pattern. I also picked out some of the fabrics from the line for the borders.

Last night I dove in and got all the small blocks cut out (cutting out was easy using the jelly roll and layer cake) and sewn together. Today I tried a couple of different layouts for the larger blocks and got the entire quilt top, minus the borders, sewn together!
I am hoping to get the borders on tomorrow, but we'll see! My mom even suggested maybe I could quilt it on her longarm machine sometime... not sure if I'm ready to jump into that endeavor, but it might be fun!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Quick and Easy Afternoon Project

Last summer after deciding on the quilt pattern and quilt design for our bed quilt, I came across a book of patterns for pillows and throw pillows called Shams with Style from Anka's Treasures (picture below).
I had bought fabric to make some of these pillow shams when we bought the fabric for our quilt so today I decided to try one of these out for the 20" x  20" square pillow form that I had from another whim along time ago. I was pleasantly surprised how quick this pillow sham went together, how easy it was to make and how cute it turned out! I even got to stitch in the ditch for the first time!

So with two coordinating fabrics and some fusible fleece you get style and comfort! Pictured below is the 20" square Flange Pillow Sham.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Newest and Cutest Project YET!

I really wanted to make something for my mom since she always is sewing and making stuff for other people and hardly ever takes the time to make something for herself. Last weekend, I came across a cute pattern for a pin cushion and an attached scrapbag so I bought the pattern for The Abbey Bag.

Yesterday, I went to Hen Feathers Quilt Shop to take advantage of their First Friday Fenzy sale which they have all their pre-cut fat quarters on sale. I picked out fabric from Riley Blake Designs that coordinated, but would also allow me to make two pin cushions and scrap bags. I also had to make a trip to Jo-Ann Fabrics to get fusible fleece, fabric glue and heavy duty button thread. I was hoping to also find emery sand which is what most pin cushions are filled with because it sharpens the pins and also keeps them from rusting, but I had no luck.

When I got home, I spent some time on Google to see where I could buy emery sand and quickly realized it was not something that a lot of people shop for and was not easily available anywhere in Wichita or online. I did further research and read a few blogs to discover that you can use crushed walnut shells (Walnut Litter for Bird cages) to fill a pin cushion. Philip checked at a pet store close to us and Wal-Mart yesterday and neither had the walnut litter so back to google I went to find that PetSmart carried the walnut littler in stores.

So guess where the closest PetSmart store is... right next to the Jo-Ann Fabrics store! So back up Rock Road I went this morning to get the walnut litter. Unfortunately, the smallest amount I could buy was seven pounds, but even buying way more than I would ever need to fill all the pin cushions I could ever want was still cheaper than ordering the four cups of emery sand online.

The funniest part about this whole trip to the pet store was when the cashier asked me what kind of bird I had. I paused, not quite knowing how to respond and said, "Well actually I don't have a bird." She gave me a puzzled look so I went on, "I am making a sewing pin cushion and they recommend using this to fill it." She replied, "Oh, well, I guess that would work." I think I caught her a bit off guard and she was just trying to have good customer service.

So with all the necessary supplies...

I spent the afternoon and early evening conquering this project!
The Flower Pin Cushions are my favorite part! Making these required the most time but I probably learned the most while putting these together. I took some "creative liberties" on the buttons, but I can't reveal my secret!

The addition of the scrap bag really does bring the whole project together! I haven't decided which one I want to keep for myself and which one to give to mom! The fabrics on both are so cute!

I also tried out this really simple burp rag pattern and am excited to have these as another option for baby gifts for friends and family!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Package on the Porch!

In this day and age of technology, information is right at our finger tips all the time through whatever medium our finger tips are moving over, be it our smart phone, laptop, etc.

However, there is one thing that all this technology will never quite reach.... creating the excitement of an anticipated package in the mail or the joy of pulling the mail out of the mailbox and receiving an unexpected letter or card from a dear friend. Some may argue with me, but my opinion won't change.

This afternoon when I got home I experienced just this excitement! A package waiting on my porch. Yes, I knew what was inside. Yes, with all the technology, I knew it would probably arrive today, but none of that took away my excitement to open it up and see what was inside!

Below is a picture of the cover of what was inside!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A First Today

I am going to attempt a first this afternoon... try to help someone else learn to sew! A student of mine asked me if I could and I bravely told her I would... good thing my mom is just a quick cell phone call away if I get stuck at some point. Mom did help me brainstorm some simple projects to start with... place mats, hot pads, a simple purse... we shall see how this turns out!

Every time I sew my mom always comments, "Grammy Carter would be glad to see you sewing." Grammy was the first one to teach me anything homey/crafty and so many of the traditions I hope to pass on to my children were passed down from her. Sewing, making quilts and making Christmas Candy are just a few of those!

Today is a test run of me trying to teach someone else to sew. Someday maybe I will also have the opportunity to teach one of my own children, grandchildren or great grandchildren.

For those few of you that do happen to be reading this... that last line was not a hint that I am pregnant so please don't assume that! :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

a sewing project blog?

I don't post blogs very often. I aspire to do it more frequently. I aspire to do a lot of things more consistently, but let's not get into that. Here are some pictures of this summer's sewing projects that were inspired last summer (see previous blog).
The pieces of a new purse!
The finished product...
(this was started and finished in a Saturday, with my mom's help)
The pieces to build the blocks for our king-sized quilt!


One block
Four blocks
All 16 blocks laid out on our bed....
 a glimpse of what the whole quilt will look like minus the borders.
The Next Inspiration... The Spice Market Tote by Amy Butler
with Amy Butler Fabric