Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Creed

I was given the travel mug below as a late Christmas gift.  With life being busy it was awhile before I stopped and read the words printed on the side of it.

Shout out to Dutch Bros. Coffee I love this place.  It doesn't matter which city I am in each location of Dutch Bros. Coffee delivers the same high quality customer service and great coffee.  And, no they did not pay me to say that.

The 'Creed' as Dutch Bros refers to it is what is on the side of my travel mug and it reads as follows....

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness & prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only the best.  
Work only for the best.  
And expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past & press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry.
To be too noble for anger.
To be too strong for fear 
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

I have kept this creed in mind for the past 7 days as our family has dealt with a great loss.  Several people have said that God doesn't give you more than you can handle and I am a believer of that.  As the past week unfolded I wasn't sure where the strength was going to come from but it did.  I made it through the long days and I was able to help where needed and support my family just as they have supported me in the past. 

I don't have a mantra that I say everyday but I have been reading the side of my travel mug daily and every time the creed has struck a cord with me.  It reminds me to be the best me that I can be and to live the best life that I can live. 

Life is short and we never know how long we have.  Hug your friends and family a little tighter.  Let those that you love know that they are loved.  Look for inspiration in every thing.  Even something as simple as a travel mug.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

16 Patches & Hands2Help Challenge

My friend Sarah who blogs at Confessions Of A Fabric Addict does an amazing charity quilt challenge each year.  Its the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge and this year prior to the start of the challenge she is hosting a quilt along.  For the quilt along Sarah is having us make 16 patch blocks and then over the next several weeks she is showing us different ways to set those blocks in a quilt top.  I (think) that I have always participated in the H2H Charity Quilt Challenge and I have always enjoyed the process and paying it forward with quilts.  So when Sarah announced the quilt along I had to jump on board.

For the 16 patches I went digging through my stash.  Like many quilters out there I am trying to sew from my stash as much as possible this year.  For my first set of blocks I decided to use up some of my pinkish fabrics.  They range from the notorious paper doll fabric to some floral fabric.  LOL

Sarah's instructions for the various methods of constructing the blocks has you using 2 1/2" squares or strips.  The same instructions can be used for any size of squares or strips and so based on my fabric I decided to cut my strips at 4".

These 16 patch blocks go together quickly especially when using the strips of fabric method to construct them.  I made a couple of strip sets cut them up and made some blocks to see what they looked like.

I sort of flew by the seat of my pants putting this one together.  No real plan.  I sewed up some strip sets.  Made some blocks and put them up on the design wall. 

I love my design wall.  I played around with the layout of the blocks.  I don't have the greatest light in my sewing area but it works for an overall layout.

I decided on this for the final layout.  Just putting the blocks together side by side.  Sarah has a layout on her blog using pinwheels.  I love how the 16 patches look with the pinwheels and I think that is what I will do with the fabric below.

I got most of this fabric from a friend who was cleaning out her fabric so its fitting that it ends up in an H2H quilt.  I think that I will cut 2 1/2" strips for this quilt.

I encourage you to hop over to Sarah's blog and check it out.  The 16 patch blocks are fun to make and its for a great cause.  Its also a good way to sew your stash.

Happy Sewing

Friday, January 9, 2015

Where I Sew

I sew in a corner in the basement of my mom's house.  After my dad passed away I started staying with my mom and then I sold my house and so for now I live with her.  My sewing area in my old house was the basement family room which gave me a lot of space to spread out.  At my mom's I have a tight compact area but it still gets the job done.

Like I said this is my mom's house.  There is wallpaper on every wall in the house except for a handful.  My mom had wallpaper put up so she didn't have to paint because she doesn't like to paint.  To each their own.  I can live with it.  It just makes for an interesting background in pictures.  As shown below.

So here is my corner.  I brought the main tables from my house and set them up here.  The drafting table I use for cutting and I love it because its higher up and my back doesn't get as tired when I am cutting.  Then I have two 6 foot tables that complete the U shape.  Like I said its tight but it works.

In the far corner of my cutting table I have a couple pin cushions.  One that I use and one that a friend made for me that is too pretty to use but I smile every time I look at it.  The stitches on it are amazing.  

I also keep my cutting tools, small rulers, lint roller and note pads in a basket with tin cups.  I use the striped mini round bin for tiny scraps and such.  I got it from Thirty-One and I love it.  Its portable and it saves me from cleaning up because when I attempt to put tiny scraps into the trash can on the floor they never end up in the trash can.  I am always cleaning up the mess and usually hitting my head on the cutting table.  This little bin has eliminated that.  So yeah!!!

Just a different view point.  I keep my sewing notions, a small cutting mat and usually a small pressing mat to my left.  On the right side of my sewing machine is another cutting mat that just hangs out there.  It travels to quilt retreats with me.  I use the space mainly for projects and fabric sorting/selection.  Under the table is a tote full of scraps sorted by color and another storage container of larger scraps.

I kinda have a thing for owls and these work great to hold a few sewing notions and such.  The one with the Clover clips on it is a chalk board but I am tempted to cover it with a magnet and have it hold pins.  Good idea or no?

My wall decorations in my sewing area.  A mini quilt that I made using Jaybird's Mini Hex N More ruler and one of her patterns.  The 'Simplify' sign I picked up at a quilt retreat last fall and the other sign was a gift from a friend.  I love the quote on it.  Its a great reminder.  

Its not much but it adds a little of me to my sewing area and makes it a little easier to tolerate the wallpaper.  LOL

You might wonder where my 'stash' is.  I store my fabric in a couple bedroom closets.  I am one of those that believes fabric should be kept out of direct light so it doesn't fade or deteriorate.  I have seen this happen and its sad.  I would love to have my fabric out where I could see it.  Sort of display it like I see many people do but I don't use fabric quickly enough for that.  My fabric is treated like really good wine.  It has to age and it has to be the 'right' project for me to cut into it.  Therefore its kept in a dark spot until the time is right.  Just like wine.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my little sewing area.  Where do you sew?  Do you have a room or a corner like me or maybe the dining room table?  I would love to know.

Happy Sewing

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hello 2015

Where in the world did 2014 go?  I feel like I have asked that question for the past couple of years now.  Might be a sign to take and breath and slow down.

some blocks from my Tula Pink City Sampler quilt
A lot of my time the first part of 2014 was spent getting caught up at work and working on estates and learning way too much about the crap that goes along with all of that.  I also focused on getting my legs back underneath myself. Finding my new place in this new chapter of my life.  A word of advice with regards to estates people. Get your crap together, tell the people that need to know about your crap after your gone and put a willing and knowledgeable person in-charge of your crap when your gone.  Life will be hard enough when your gone you don't need to make it any harder.  Seriously it's not fun when the one you have questions for is no longer here or the one in-charge has no idea what to do.  

quilting on my Swoon quilt not done by me
however I am in love with this quilt

It wasn't until the last half of 2014 that I did get back into sewing on a regular basis. That is probably why I only had 8 blog posts last year.  Pathetic. I know.  I do have some finishes that I want to go back and blog about. I need to get pictures and such but that is going on my 'to blog about' list. 

a commission quilt I did 

2014 was a roller-coaster of a ride with some great times scattered in with the challenges.  I got to attend 3 quilt retreats, visit the city of New Orleans to catch a couple of Dave shows, a trip with a friend to Bend to see Dave and hit the quilt shops and I also saw Philip Phillips with my brother and SIL in Boise.  Looking back I have some pretty great memories that make me smile.  I will take the good with the not so good.

Last year I picked the word 'possible' for my word of the year. Last year was a challenging year for me but I did things and worked through things that in all honesty I thought were impossible. With those challenges I learned and I became stronger so I am grateful for that. 

I have a word for 2015 and that is ACTION. Not much can be accomplished without action. So I am looking forward to this year getting things done through taking action. Not sitting watching the world pass me by but instead making things happen by TAKING ACTION.

a coffee bean sack and belt

a Christmas gift made using 

2015 is going to be another year of changes for me but those changes will be (should be) by my own choice. I am looking forward to see where my changes take me and what actions I need to take to make those changes happen. I hope to continue to sew and create things and I also hope to blog more frequently.  Maybe I can beat my 8 times from 2014.  Fingers crossed.

snip snip
Miss Kate rag quilt
 I hope that 2015 is whatever you want it to be.  I hope it brings you happiness and joy along with great success.

Happy Sewing