Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2015 Reading Goals

Every year since 2009 I have set a reading goal for myself. My goals in the past have ranged from roughly 100 to 200 books a year. And I'm pretty good at hitting those goals. But as for this year I have decided to give myself some leeway as I will have two little girls to care for come March. For my overall reading goal I want to read at least 50 books. And of those 50 books 26 books will be part of a challenge I'm taking part in on Instagram #26BOOKSwithBringingUpBurns.

There are 26 different categories and I will be picking books throughout the year, since I can never pick a list of books at the beginning of the year and stick to it. I am going to try and read them in order, but reserve the right to go out of order.

  1. A book you own but haven't read
  2. A book that was made into a movie
  3. A book you pick solely because of the cover
  4. A book your friend loves
  5. A book published this year
  6. A book by an author you've never read before
  7. A book by an author you love
  8. A book at the bottom of your "to be read" pile
  9. A book with a color in the title
  10. A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit
  11. A book you started but never finished
  12. A book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe
  13. A book with a female herorine
  14. A book set in summer
  15. A book of poems
  16. A book you learned about because of this challenge
  17. A book that will make you smarter
  18. A book with a blue cover
  19. A book you were supposed to read in school, but didn't
  20. A book "everyone" but you has read
  21. A book with a great first line
  22. A book with pictures
  23. A book from the library
  24. A book you loved...read it again
  25. A book that is more than 10 years old
  26. A book based on a true story
For more information check out Bringing Up Burns. I will try and post regular updates throughout the year of my progress and post about my favorite books of 2015.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Handmade Christmas

So this year, I decided I was going to make a lap sized quilt for each of my nieces and nephews. So that gave me 6 quilts to make right off the bat. Then I found the perfect fabric to make a quilt for my father-in-law and my mom had requested I make a quilt. That's 8 quilts for anyone who's counting. It is a good thing I started in May! Plus sewing during my first trimester was really tough since I usually sew during Nora's naptime and that became my naptime as well. I was so thankful to hit that second trimester and get a burst of energy and start creating this quilts.

Without further ado here are the quilts that I created for Christmas 2014.


Pattern: Jelly Roll Jam by Fat Quarter Shop, with modifications to make it bigger. 
Finished: 60"x 60", May 2014


Pattern: Lazy Daisy by In Color Order (Jeni Baker)
Finished: 58" x 72", August 2014


Pattern: Lazy Daisy
Finished: 58" x 72", September 2014


Pattern: Lazy Daisy
Finished 58"x 72", October 2014


Pattern: Arithmetic by In Color Order, created with 8" squares
Finished: 68"x 75", October 2014


Pattern: Layer Cake Lemonade by Fat Quarter Shop
Finished: 48"x 61", November 2014


Pattern: Lazy Daisy
Finished: 58"x 72", December 2014


Pattern: Arithmetic by In Color Order, created with 8" squares.
Finished: 68" x 75", December 2014

About the time I made half of the quilts for Christmas, I decided I would create handmade gifts for everyone else on my list!


Pot holders from leftover triangles from a previous project. Created October 2014.



Pattern: Grocery Tote by Michelle Patterns, medium size, created November/December 2014.


Pattern: Poolside Tote by Noodlehead, created November 2014.


Sailboat mini, created with a block from Moda. Created December 2014.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles inspired mini, created with Spell it with Fabric patterns from Moda. Created December 2014. (Forgot to take a picture of the finished quilt.)


MSU "Block S" mini. Pattern designed by me, created December 2014.

So there you have it, my handmade Christmas. This sure kept me busy this year. 2015 is going to be a little more relaxed in the sewing department, with a new little one joining us in March. So I see a bit more selfish sewing for my household in the new year and using my stash for those projects!

Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 One Little Word: Embrace


So last year I started doing a word of the year instead of the traditional New Year's Resolutions and it went pretty well. I few times I stumbled along the way, but I think I did a much better job of living for today and I am learning see each day as a fresh start. This has really helped with me being a stay at home momma.

Some days are just hard. Nora and I can butt heads some days, we can both be just so stubborn. But luckily I have an amazing Hubby who will let me leave, take a break, and come back a refreshed momma. And learning that just because yesterday was bad, doesn't mean today has to be bad as well.

As I've been trying to find a word that I want to be my focus for 2015, life has been a little bumpy. This pregnancy is really starting to wear on me, I'm always achy, I've been sick, and have been trying to figure out what the next step is for our family. Well needless to say I have been feeling like God is telling me to EMBRACE my life RIGHT NOW.

Embrace my faith.
Embrace my hubby.
Embrace my role as a momma.
Embrace chances to go outside my comfort zone (And is is a BIG one for me!)
Embrace a simple life.
Embrace the mess that comes from life.
In short embrace life and all that goes with it.

2015 is a year I need to work on embracing life and start taking some chances. Joining new groups, meeting new people, and remember that even though some day it feels like I'm just a momma, to remember that I am also a wife, daughter, sister, quilter, runner, friend, and so much more!

#SewMyStash2015 and other Sewing Related Goals for 2015

After a year of sewing mostly for gifts to give to others. I have resolved that 2015 will be devoted to mostly selfish sewing. Of course I will still be making a few quilty gifts here and there, but not to the magnitude I did this year for Christmas. I mean I have to give myself my slack, I will be a momma of 2 little girls come March. And my sewing time is going to greatly be reduced, but it will be well worth it in the end.

While scrolling through Instagram a few days ago I came upon the #SewMyStash2015 hashtag and was immediately intrigued. After looking at Leasa's idea, I decided to join along. The basic idea is to pull fabrics from our stash when starting a new project and have our stash fabric cover over 50% of the project. Now I don't have to biggest stash, since I did use a good bit this year for my handmade Christmas gifts. I still have quite a few projects that I've been planning out and know I can pull from my current stash!




In addition to my participation in #SewMyStash2015, I also have my 2015 Finish It Sewing page posted. These are mostly selfish sewing projects since they were the projects that were placed on the back burner during the last few months. But this is the absolute bare minimum number of projects I want to complete during 2015.

  • Queen size quilt for Derek and I
  • Twin quilt for Nora
  • Crib quilt for Baby #2
  • Throw quilt for myself
  • Poolside tote for myself
  • Lizzy House quilt
  • Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt
  • Mini quilt for my sewing space

As for skills, I would like to learn a few applique techniques in the coming year. Plus try my hand at free motion quilting.

This should be another great year of sewing!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Someone is Turning 2!


It is hard and well not so hard to believe that Nora is turning 2 today! The last two years have been a blessing and a challenge. But even those challenging days, I still can't imagine life without Nora. She is full of spunk, personality, fearlessness, stubbornness, giggles, hugs, and kisses. And I just know that in a few short months she will be a wonderful big sister.

Happy Birthday to our awesome little girl!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tula Pink Moonshine Poolside Tote


I love Noodlehead bag patterns! So far I've made a few Super Totes and Divided Baskets. So I knew I wanted to make the Poolside tote. It just took me awhile to get around to making it. I already have plans to make another one, once I have finished all of my Christmas sewing. I think this would be a great sized bag for my hospital bag when baby #2 arrives.

I think the cutting and interfacing took more time than the actual sewing. So once the cutting and interfacing is done this bag comes together so quickly. I managed to cut out and interface during Nora's naptime and sewed the bag up once she was down for the night.

This is such a nice sized bag for a weekend getaway. Plenty of room for all of the necessities, with room to spare. The exterior I used some Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Denim and all of the accent and lining fabric is from Tula Pink's Moonshine collection. (Which I must say is one of my favorites!). This time I made the pocket a slip pocket, since I didn't have a zipper big enough on hand, but I think the next time I make this bag I want to add a zipper pocket in addition to the slip pocket. I mean you can never haven too many pockets!