Thursday, January 29, 2015

January Book Report


Here's what I have been reading this past month:

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (The Heroes of Olympus #5)
Love how Riordan wraps up this series. All I have to say is that if you have not read any Rick Riordan, then you really should. I am enjoyed reading tales about Greek, Roman, and Egyptian gods. And this fall he will be releasing his first book about the Norse gods, can't wait!

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
In the kingdom of Slyvania offers a wonderful reward to anyone who can break the curse on the princessess that cause them to dance each night to exhaustion. Reveka, the herbalist apprentice is determined to break the curse despite the danger surrounding the princesses and the curse. In doing so she uncovers a mystery that will lead her to the Underworld.

I will admit the first part of the book drags a bit, but once the introduction of characters and background is out of the way this book picks up. The story really starts moving and you will not want to put this one down.

I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora
Lucy, Elena, and Michael receive their summer reading list, they are excited (mostly Lucy) that To Kill a Mockingbird is on the list. But most of their classmates are less then thrilled about the list. So in an effort to get the whole town talking about To Kill a Mockingbird, the three of them devise a plan. Well the thing about the Internet is that it can take an idea that they thought was just going to occur in their little community, becomes quite the revolution.

I had been hearing quite the buzz about this one, so I had to pick it up when at the library. And I'm so glad I did. This was a nice quick little book. If you enjoy reading books that are about other books this is one for you. I promise it will be a fun read.

The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith
So I've read the Nesting Place blog for awhile now. But something about all the information in one place as really triggered my need to redesign some space in my home. (This could be part of the nesting phase of this pregnancy as well, I want all the things CLEAN and cleaned right NOW) I didn't really learn anything I didn't already know. I already decorate for my family and the life we are living right now. I don't care if it is not on trend or the colors I have chosen to paint our walls are bold and not safe colors if we were to ever sell our home. But I don't care, we bought our home to work for us and this book just is helping me reaffirm that I'm on the right track.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

WiP Wednesday : UFO to WIP

So just about a year ago I started cutting out a queen size quilt for our bed. I cut 5 inch squares and the sashing during a couple of naptimes. Then started a layout and even got all of the rows sewn together. Then I started working on other projects, then Christmas quilts and gifts. So needless to say this was just left in an unfinished state.

Well a couple of weeks ago, the hubby mentioned something about needing to sew up the top, so the crib would be available for our new addition. (I had all of the strips draped across the crib) Well last week I had finished sewing for my current swap and didn't really need to start working on the next one, so I decided it was time to finally start piecing our quilt together!


After about a hour of sewing I manged to get about halfway through the quilt top! Bonus points because Nora was still up and actually let me sew, she just pretended to iron some fabric (with an unplugged iron, of course!). Well I used the next couple of naptimes to piece the last half of the rows together and then piece them into another large half section. Then after an evening of pressing my two sections, I finally sewed them together for a completed quilt top!


I was so happy that this quilt will actually fit on our queen size bed. I started making this quilt when I first started quilting big time last January. I have learned so much in the last year about quilt making, so it was a little frustrating to finish up this quilt now more than a year later. Some of my seam allowances are not correct and therefore some of my rows are a little short, but as my hubby would say this quilt is just for us and who cares if it's not perfect! I have decided I will just cut an equal amount from either side to even it out.

For now the top will remain like this. I have decided that I'm not going to try basting and quilting this beast while I'm 8 months pregnant. So for now I will just enjoy the fact that this quilt went from being a UFO to a WIP and will be completed in the next few months as I will need something to do combat my anxiety from dealing with two kiddos.

---------------------
Linking up with WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pixel Heart Mini Quilt

I love decorating with mini quilts. Perfect excuse for me to create something for my home and bonus, I've been using up my stash and scraps for most of them. So after I made that cute baby girl quilt, I had cut up a bunch of 2.5 inch squares from the leftover fabric and thought it would make a cute pixel heart quilt for Valentine's Day.

I was inspired by the pixel heart t-shirt from Patchwork Threads. I decided on 2.5 inch squares, since that's what I had cut my scraps down to, then added some low volume squares to surround the heart. I love how it turned out. This was my first time actually doing a low volume background and I must say I am now addicted. I NEED more low volume fabric!


To enhance the heart shape, I quilted in diagonal straight lines. I also quilted a couple of lines in the heart itself. I quilted this mini with my favorite thread, Aurifil. And instead of my usual white that I have been doing for my mini's, I used a beautiful yellow (#1135).

With the exception of two new low volume prints, all fabric came from my stash. This project was a wonderful way to use up left over fabric and some smaller batting pieces as well. Looking forward to my next #SewMyStash2015 project.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Lately : Wk. 4


Updating
Trying to work on updating my nursing appeal, that I will need in about a month. Thankfully I have found some awesome patterns, that would work well for nursing a little one, but without flashing the whole world
.
Reminding
Myself to not let my anxiety get the better of me. After I had Nora I suffered from postpartum anxiety. And after talking with my doctor, I think we have a plan to help me lessen the anxiety and allow me to enjoy the first few weeks at home with a newborn (which I didn't get with Nora).

Needing
To finish one more book for this month.

Amusing
Nora is quite amusing when she is in a happy go lucky mood, which is most days. And she tolerates momma when I just need to lie down mid-morning.

Being
Present to Nora has been a challenge the last few weeks, since I'm in the homestretch of this pregnancy, I'm pretty worn most mornings after doing a few minor chores around the house. But I know this is just a small window of time and Nora seems to be doing pretty well, she just has learned that momma can play, but it's most likely going to happen while I'm stretched out on the couch and she is driving cars over my belly.

---------------------------------
Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup with KatyNicole and Meghan.  Use their themes or use your own. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap Round 3 : Mini Come What May

Wanted to share the quilt I made for my partner for Round 3 of the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap. This is the second time that I have participated in this swap and it was just as fun as it was over the summer. It did get a little crazy with the holidays, but with a little planning on my part, I had my mini pieced together and ready for quilting before I had to finish my Christmas sewing. 

I decided that this time around I wanted to try a new quilt pattern, so I landed on the Mini Come What May pattern by Jaybird Quilts. There is only one block to this pattern, making a fairly easy pattern to make, the tricky part is keeping your fabrics in the right order, so you will end up with the woven look. What helped me was using low volume fabrics for the weaving underneath and brighter fabrics for the weaving on top. I love how it turned out. This is one pattern I will be making again, so I can have one to hang up in my home.

Mini Come What May
Dimensions: 16 in x 20 in

I of course added some extras, including a zipped pouch, fabric scraps, mini charm pack, and this little initial mini quilt. I love the Spell it With Fabric patterns by Moda Fabrics. I have used them for a few different mini quilts and love them. So for this one I decided I would make a scrappy version (now I need to make a few for my family)!

Mini "J" Block
Spell it With Fabric by Moda Fabrics, dimensions 10 in x 12 in

Now it's time to work on my other swaps and try and finish them up before baby girl joins us in early March.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WiP Wednesday : Valentine's Day Sewing

So glad the first challenge for #SewMyStash2015 was a Valentine's related challenge. Since I was already working on a few projects!

Monday the kiddo was allowing me to sewing during the morning, which is pretty rare and rare that I actually have energy in the morning. Only 6 weeks left until our new bundle of joy joins our family and I'm trying my darnest finish some of my WIP's. So anyway, I was able to sew together my pixel heart, inspired by the Patchwork Threads pixel heart.


I used the leftover fabric from the baby quilts I made earlier this month and used a mix of low volume fabrics for the background. A perfect way to use up those scraps! Now my goal is to have this one finished by the weekend and hanging up for Valentine's Day. Plus since it's not super Valentine's themed I can leave it up, which will be a bonus and I'm not seeing much sewing for a few weeks after our next little one shows up.

---------------------
Linking up with WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Lately : Wk. 3


Dwelling
Over the fact that Nora is growing up. She is going to be a big sister in a couple of months and I just can't believe it. But with that she can help mom, at least a little bit once her baby sister arrives.

Helping
This past week I went to my first quilt guild meeting and felt so inspired, that I'm going through my stash and scraps to find the perfect fabric to start creating baby quilts and quilts for those newly diagnosed with breast cancer. It feels so good that I can help contribute to someone in a time of need with my crafting ability. 

Forgetting
I have pregnancy brain so I feel like I'm always forgetting something! This week it just so happened that I forgot about a haircut appointment, luckily I was able to reschedule and hopefully I won't forget the second time around.

Switching
Gears to get ready for baby. This mostly includes finishing up projects around the house and sewing up a few new things for baby girl.

Relying
On God and my hubby to get me through the next few weeks until baby girl makes her debut.

---------------------------------
Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup with KatyNicole and Meghan.  Use their themes or use your own. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WiP Wednesday : Working through my To-Do List

In ways it feels like I haven't been behind my machine in ages, but in reality I have been. I have just been finishing up little projects here and there and haven't really started any 'newer' projects.

I did manage to layout my next baby quilt. I really want to finish this one by the weekend, so I can ship it out to my friend who had her baby a couple of weeks early. I still have the fabric for my own baby quilt sitting on my cutting table waiting for me to get around to it.


This week I've been quilting up a storm on my mini quilt for the Schnitzel & Boo mini quilt swap! I finished up the quilting on Monday and currently working on the binding.


Now to just work on a few goodies and I can ship out my mini before the final deadline!

One final project that I'm trying to work on right now, is creating a pixelated heart mini to hang up for Valentine's Day. Pixel hearts are everywhere right now, I am using some scraps leftover from one of the many baby quilts I have been stitching up lately. I cut 2.5 inch squares, now I just need to cut up some low volume background squares and I can get to work on this one!


That's all for this week, hopefully I will have a few more finishes next week!

Linking up with WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, January 12, 2015

First Quilty Finishes of 2015

Yay, I'm so happy to have a couple of quilts finished already in 2015. I had a baby shower over the weekend and since I've been on a kick of giving handmade gifts, I knew I would be making baby quilts.

And for baby quilts and really just a fun quilt, my go to pattern has become a plus quilt. I love creating this fun patchwork quilt and it is a fun way to combine fabrics.

I love the colors in this quilt. So perfect for a little girl's nursery. I used a selection of fabric from Heather Bailey's Up Parasol line, with a few blenders. The picture just can't show how vibrant the colors really are.

And this is the second baby quilt for the shower over the weekend. Just perfect for a little boy. I used a few fabrics from Fox and Houndstooth by Andie Hanna and a mixture of blenders to make a perfect little quilt.

For the quilting I just did some wavy lines to keep it simple, plus I do love the texture that it creates. I created this quilts with 4.5 inch squares in 10 rows of 9 for a finished size of 36 inches by 40 inches. I like to make my baby quilts just a little on the smaller size so they fit better in the crib (once baby is old enough to sleep with a blanket) and they are the perfect size for a tummy time mat.

These quilts helped jump start my #SewMyStash2015, since it help clear out some fabrics that were just sitting around waiting for the perfect use. The only additional fabric I needed to purchase for these quilts was the backing and binding fabric, since I don't tend to keep large cuts of fabric in my stash for storage purposes.

A great way to start off 2015!

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Lately : Wk. 2

Okay, I'm loving the prompts so far. It is nice to stop and think about what is going on in life. All too often we just get caught up in the daily grind and don't stop and think about all of the amazing things that are going on right around us! 

This past week, we finally got some snow and I just couldn't resist snapping a few photos. This one is my favorite!

created with the Brushstroke app on my iPhone

Doing
Sewing. Cleaning. Organizing. Decluttering. And man I felt wonderful once I took done my Christmas decorations down, they were really starting to feel like clutter. Nice to have clean, open spaces again! Not to say they stay clean all the time with a 2 year old, but at least she will clean up her toys when prompted.

Appreciating
My awesome hubby! On Monday we will be celebrating out 7th wedding anniversary! He is my rock, he has seen me at my highs, and my lows. Carried me through a difficult miscarriage and the birth of our first daughter and will do it again in March! It is difficult to convey in words just how much he means to me.

Designing
Right now I'm working on my #rainbowminiswap quilt. It has been fun digging through my scraps and rediscovering fun fabrics that I kinda forgot about. I'm also working on a pixelated heart mini for my home to hang for Valentine's Day.


Humming
Immortals by Fall Out Boy.

Expecting
Our second little girl in another 8 weeks. I'm excited and nervous about the changes and challenges, but know that with time we will figure it out.

---------------------------------
Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup with KatyNicole and Meghan.  Use their themes or use your own. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

WiP Wednesday: Baby Quilt Edition

After a couple of intense months of sewing and quilting lap size quilts, I now am spending these first few weeks of 2015 busily sewing and quilting baby quilts. I finished up all of my Christmas sewing the week of Christmas so that hasn't left me with much time to sew up a couple of baby quilts that I need to have completed by this weekend. Needless to say after a few days away from my sewing machine to spend time with family, I was right back at it so I could get a start on my gifts.

Luckily my hubby as been home a few extra days over the holidays so that has allowed me a little more sewing time than during a "normal" week.

The first two baby quilts are from the shower I'm attending this weekend. I love how fast and easy Jeni Baker's Arithmetic pattern is for baby quilts. I was able to cut and piece these in about 2 days each!



I have been working on quilting them this week. I'm keeping the quilting nice and simple with wavy lines.

Once I started making these two baby quilts I just decided I would keep the trend and work on two others that I wanted to make. One for a friend's second baby and one for my second baby.

On Sunday I started cutting out the baby quilt for my friend, seeing as she is due in just about a week or so. Nothing like the last minute! And hopefully I can start working on my own baby quilt soon, but my new addition isn't set to arrive until early March so I have a little bit.

That's what I'm currently working on, next up finishing up my mini quilts for a few swaps I'm participating in.

Linking up with WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sunday Lately: Wk. 1

One of my unofficial goals of 2015 is to use this space to just plain write more. There is something therapeutic about typing out my thoughts. Much in the same way that sewing is therapeutic for me as well. So I when I saw Katy and Nicole post about this idea, I figured this would be a good way for me to start writing here more often.

Planning
Trying to figure out how I'm going to quilt two baby quilts this week, while entertaining a 2 year old and finally getting over this cold. Plus I'm working on two more baby quilts, one for a friend and one for my second little girl making her arrival in March. So in some ways it feels like this week is like the weeks leading up to Christmas, lots of sewing for gift giving. But after this I can work on all of the selfish sewing I want!



Loving
The snow outside! After a warmer than normal Christmas (in the 40's in Michigan), I love that winter seems to be making a comeback this week. Now I just have to get use to the cold weather again.



Reading
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell. This is my first book for the #26BOOKSWithBringUpBurns Challenge on Instagram and so far I'm quite enjoying it. This book has sat on my bookshelf for far too long, now is the time to just read it.

Wishing
For some level of normalcy to return to this house after a few weeks of fun. It has been nice having the hubby home for a few extra days the past two weeks, but this pregnant momma is tired and ready for a routine that will get blown out of the water in another few months.

Feeling
Excited about the new year! I love my Word of the Year: Embrace and I'm just ready embrace what comes my way this year.

---------------------------------
Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup with KatyNicole and Meghan.  Use our themes or use your own.