All The Way Up – Kona HSTs Gender Neutral Quilt

This quilt is a good example of what happens when you just play and create.  You can evaluate the design and make changes more easily.  It all started with two charm packs and some ideas.

Originally, I had planned a disappearing nine patch pattern.  It wasn’t right.  Half square triangles seemed to fit the quilt better.  The change was a better move, but the overall layout wasn’t working.  I put the squares away for another day.

While stuck at home on a Saturday, I busted out the squares to try again.  The idea to try arrows struck and well, I liked it.

Adding the light gray borders created an offset look.  Yeah, this will do.

Upon basting the quilt it was apparent I had no clue where I was going with the quilting.  An offset triangle seemed like a good starting point.  I repeated the triangle a few times before I realized it sucked.  You can read about my decision here.

My quilting specialty is straight lines.  I should have stuck to that in the first place as straight lines were my first idea.  After recently playing around with free motion quilting, I wanted to do something different.  I didn’t need to do something different, I needed to listen to my gut and just create.

I named the quilt All The Way Up.  Maybe it should be named All The Way Fed Up.  In all seriousness this quilt reminded me creating isn’t easy.  Going through the process to create an original design allows for growth.  Growth is what you want when you’ve been stuck in a creative rut.

Kona solids baby quilt by quiltytherapy. #Half square triangle quilt #solids quilt #kona solids #HST quilt #modernbabyquilt

Here is the finished quilt.  I love the arrows created with half square triangles.  Below you get a detailed look at the straight line quilting.

Kona solids baby quilt by quiltytherapy. #Half square triangle quilt #solids quilt #kona solids #HST quilt #modernbabyquilt

I found this Dear Stella stripe at a local quilt shop a while back and had it in my stash.  When I started looking for backing I dawned on me that I had it.  The colors coordinate perfectly and the stripe is vertical.

striped backing

The quilt is listed on Etsy and ready to ship.


Linking up with Needle & Thread Thursday

Needle and Thread Thursday

 

Workout Essentials

If you have been following my workout journey on Instagram, I appreciate the support.  It feels great to prioritize my health goals.  The number on the scale isn’t dropping as much but that wasn’t my primary focus.  I am seeing changes in how my clothes fit, my strength, and gaining endurance.  The gear I use also contributes to my success.  I don’t want to spend an entire workout fighting with clothes, it’s distracting and will have an impact on your workout.

Having the right gear can make your workouts much more enjoyable.  There are many options to choose from, but these are my tried and tested favorites.  When I started running 20 years ago, I thought nothing about shoes or clothes.  I bought whatever shoe I thought looked cool and wore some old cheer stuff to log the miles.

Cotton + Indiana humidity were not a good combination.  This was before all the glorious performance fabrics we have available now.

I encourage you to find the right combination of things for your workouts.  Trial and error is okay and may lead you to find something amazing.  My top places to find gear at reasonable prices:  TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and thrift stores.  Many races are now giving out performance fabric shirts and people donate them after a couple of years.  I have also found some great running tanks on a Facebook swap group in my area.  TJ Maxx and Marshalls are also my go to spot for workout socks.  They can get expensive pretty quickly.

While I save money on socks and shirts, I do not scrimp on shoes and sport bras.  These two areas will halt your workout goals pretty quickly.  This is where I would start my trial and error then build out.  Always check a stores return policy as well.

Sport Bras

For those with a cup size bigger than a C, be ready for a price shock to get a quality high impact sport bra that can support activities.  Many manufacturers offer sport bras by cup size, but not all high impact bras are the same.

via Target.com

These are a great option for the price point.  I was very wary at first, knowing that I could return it if it sucked.  Well, it didn’t suck and exceeded my expectations.  So much so, I have emailed Target to keep these stocked.  Bonus:  sometimes there is a 20% coupon with the Cartwheel App.

via Jackrabbit.com

Moving Comfort has some good options as well.  My personal preference is a sports bra without the Velcro adjustable straps, it bothers me while I run.  The Maia has a bra closure and no Velcro.  Do you notice the higher neckline on this one?  It’s a detail that is hard to find and I appreciate.

Wearing the Maia in this picture from a workout.

Tights

Lots of options for tights.  Almost too many options.  I like Old Navy’s Go-Dry High or Mid Rise Compression Crops.  They don’t wiggle down as I run or fight me while doing yoga.  They stay put.  I have enough issues while running, I don’t want to be that person fighting her tights the entire time.  Lots of colors and patterns to choose from.

Shoes

Finally, do not scrimp on your shoes.  Sorry they won’t last years either.  If you’re wearing them regularly they should be replaced every 300 – 500 miles.  Make the effort to find a shoe store near you that specializes in running or walking shoes.  Get fitted from knowledgeable staff that can recommend a shoe based on your gait and usage.  You may pay more, but it’s worth it.  Typically, they offer a 30 day return even if you’ve worn the shoe outside for miles.  Brands change their style every “season”, so the shoe you have been in may not work with tweaks they make in the new model.

Maybe you find a new favorite.  Don’t hesitate to share your favorites as well in the comments.  I love hearing about products.

 

 

 

“This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a portion of sales if you make a purchase using links in the post.  All products are things I have, use regularly, and would recommend to you if we talked face to face.

 

It’s Okay To Grab The Seam Ripper

If you don’t like where a project is going, it’s okay to grab the seam ripper and start over.  It’s a lesson I had to remind myself of yesterday.  Sunday afternoon I started quilting on the Kona HST quilt in my WIP pile.

I had been contemplating the quilting design and decided to just move forward with it.   Starting with an offset triangle and following that design around.  All was well until I had to change the bobbin.  Something wasn’t right after I changed it.  New thread?  The tension is off?  Fingers crossed it isn’t something more, like the timing.

Working on the quilted triangles I started to question my original idea.  After taking a few hours away from the machine, I couldn’t shake that feeling that it wasn’t right.

Yesterday some frantic texts were shared with Rachael to get a second opinion.  She agreed with my assessment.  It’s okay, but not exactly right.  Notice those evenly spaced horizontal lines?  That’s where I want this design to go.

Last night I grabbed my trusty seam ripper and started busting up the stitches.  The first row was painful.  As I went on taking out the quilting became satisfying.  Taking out what I didn’t feel was the right design is time consuming.  Ultimately, I will be happier with the finished product.  For now, this sits in my sewing space waiting for me to get home from work.

Do you have any projects that you’ve taken the seam ripper to?  If so, how did you feel after?

Mother’s Day

Mother daughter photo ideas, family photos, heirloom quilts, family quilts

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.  I want to introduce you to my mom and the women that influenced me over the years.

To honor Mother’s Day in a unique way, I wanted to do something special with my mom.  A few months ago, I reached out to Amy with Indy Family Photo to incorporate four generations into one quilting/photographic project.  She nailed it.

Pictured: Lora my great grandmother and Mary my grandma. Wedding photos are from my Uncle Buck & Aunt Polly’s wedding.

 

Lora Waggoner, my great grandmother, was quite the quilter.  She hand pieced and hand quilted a Trip Around the World Quilt.  It covered the bed I slept on as a child at my grandma’s house.  I would sit, follow the patterns, and find hidden gems in the blocks.  One of her quilts is pictured below.  It’s in amazing condition for the age of the fabric.  There is another quilt at my house that I’m currently restoring.

 

Mary Roberts (my grandma), held on to my great grandmother’s blocks and fabrics, which instilled a love of sewing from a young age.   She encouraged me to sew with the fabrics and create.  There was no pattern or instructions, it was more improv.  We would paint, do tie dye, arrange floral wreaths with fake flowers, however, sewing is what ignited my creativity.

In college, I wanted to make my first quilt.  This would be a handmade gift for my parents.  My grandma helped me pick out the blue and cream fabrics.  Over Christmas break she let me sew away at her apartment.  The finished quilt is sub par, but it was made out of love.  My mom kept that quilt on her bed for years and now it’s rightfully stuffed away in a closet.  I’m so thankful I got to spend that time with my grandma and create something for my parents.  We had lots of sleepovers that break where we watched old Julia Roberts movies and ate popcorn.   Watching movies with P and eating popcorn is a tradition I have brought into my own little family.

Indy Family Photo, Mother Daughter Photo Shoot Ideas, Family Photo ideasIndy Family Photo, Mother Daughter Photo shoot ideas, family photosIndy Family Photo, Mother's Day photo shoot ideas, Mother Daughter photo shoot, family photos

Porter has developed a similar bond with my mom.  He has been staying with my parents on weekends since he was five weeks old.  She has truly embraced the role of grandma.  She had some great mentors.

She used to sew my Barbie’s some sweet dresses.  While she hasn’t sewn in years but she had no problem working on the blocks.  That ease is what I adore about her.  My mom is laid back and supportive.  She has supported all of my wild ideas even if she doesn’t fully understand why.  I remember a conversation we had as Rob and I started dating.  She was baffled at how we could date when he lived states away.  Pretty sure she’s thankful now Rob and I had that time to build our relationship and love.  She’s been by my side to celebrate the highs and be my rock during the lows.  Thanks mom for everything.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.

Heirloom quilt, makers with quilts, family quilts, family photos

In my great grandma’s passing, sometime in the 70’s, she left behind some unfinished quilt blocks.  Years ago I wanted to do something with these blocks from my great grandmother.  I wanted my grandma to sew two blocks and my mom to sew another two.  I would put the four blocks together.  My grandma’s hands were not able to do as much and her health deteriorated before the project could come to life.  So I decided this was the year to get those blocks out of a plastic bag and whip them into something amazing.  You can read about the finished quilt here.

The photo shoot idea was born.  My wonderful mom obliged to go along with this shoot.  Like me, she doesn’t enjoy having her picture taken.  This is a project that I wanted captured, not just some selfies and terrible lighting as it deserved more. These photos are adorable and she caught a genuine smile from my mom.

After the shoot I went home and made the quilt.  I was trying to wait and share the finished project until now but I’m terrible at secrets and hiding stuff.

Celebrate your mom and the women in your life today.  If you can’t be with them, call them to tell them Thank You.


Shirts from Target, available here and here.  This has become a new favorite especially for the weekends.

Rockstar Challenge Quilt

Has a concert ever left you energized and full of creative ideas?  When we saw The Head and The Heart in February, it gave me the inspiration for my Creative Rockstar Challenge quilt.  Prior to the concert I had received these fabrics from Riley Blake to use to create a quilt.  I had been mulling over ideas since I received the fabric, but nothing was really sticking.

via BrewStitched on etsy.com

The fabrics in this line were more my style than previous challenges.  There are some great basics in there.

Okay, let me get back to night of the concert and walk you through my design process.  We got to the venue early and realized we had amazing seats.  The whole back drop was appealing and when the lights were illuminated it was stunning.  It reminded me of 80’s Miami Vice almost.  During one song the quilt idea just started coming to me.  I grabbed my phone and took a video so I could remember the moment.

La-la-la-la was the perfect inspiration to bring these fabrics together.   As they sang I started to see the quilt come together.

 

Rather than the glowing orbs on stage, I was seeing stars and the word la all over.  It was exhilarating and my energy was high post inspiration.  After leaving the concert I was inspired and drew the idea out, then sat on it for a couple of days.  After a couple of days I was still very drawn to this idea and needed to see it come together.  BrewStitched had most of the Riley Blake Creative Rockstar fabric in stock.

I picked these up to round out my quilt’s idea.  The black for the background and gray for the binding.  Oh yeah, those leaves for something else I’m working on.

Without further ado, here is the finished quilt.

Creative Rockstar Challenge Quilt #babyquilt #rockstarchallenge #rileyblakefabricchallenge2017 #creativerockstarfabric

 

It reminds me of the backdrop and it’s pretty close to my original idea.  I always wash and dry my quilts before pictures, especially if I plan to sell it later.  It’s the best way to check for errors.  Well, I had a few errors crop up.  The heat bond didn’t stick as well on the back of the letters and stars.  Rather than zig zag stitch them down, I just ironed and quilted.  For longevity it needs to be more secure.  Luckily, I had some embroidery floss sitting around and went back in to hand quilt the stars and la(s).  It feels softer by adding the hand quilting and pretty successful for my first go round with the method.  There may have been some frantic texts to a friend about how in the world to hand quilt.  I got over my fear of screwing it up and just went for it.

The backing fabric really pulls all the colors together from the quilt.  As I was shopping for fabric, this fabric really caught my eye, it blends all the colors I wanted to use and helped me pick gray for the binding.  Guys, that is hand stitched binding too.

This is going to make a wonderful shower gift or new baby gift for someone.  You can see the listing on Etsy here.

If you’ve never heard All We Ever Knew in it’s entirety, it is below.  Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

May Action Items

April’s action items of 20 days of activity over 30 minutes was a success.  It could have been better, but Mother Nature decided Indiana needed buckets of water dumped on us.  It has been raining for about a week.  Yes, I have a treadmill downstairs and at home workout options.  There is something about getting outside to enjoy your workout.

Hubby and I were chatting yesterday about how I could realistically expand on my workouts.  He bought me a gift certificate to my favorite pilates studio for my birthday…in December.  With job change and schedule changes, I had not tried to work it in.  That changes today.  My first class in years is tonight.  It really fits into my May action items.

  • Continue with 20 days of 30 + minutes of exercise.
  • Focus on core work at least 2 days per week.
  • Log 60 miles for the month.  That means more running and less walking.
  • Cut out sweets unless I make them.
  • Cut out alcohol until Memorial Day weekend.
**Not all drinks in this picture were consumed. Just a collection after a trip.**

The last two action items were added because I stepped on the scale in April.  While I’m usually not focused on the number, it was not what I thought it would be.  Looking back on my dietary habits over the last couple of months, I should not be surprised.  Sweets and wine late at night have been creeping in.  Cookies and brownies at work in the afternoon have been high.  Seriously, warm cookies on a shitty rainy day makes the day a bit brighter.  Also, the cafeteria is filled with everything I could want for lunch.  Yes, I ate a plate of nachos for lunch last week.

Honestly, I shouldn’t be surprised.  Maybe it was more disappointment that I wasn’t see a change with everything I was doing.

As I have said before, I don’t follow one dietary plan.  Everything can be in your diet, just keep it in moderation.  By limiting the sweets to just things I make, that should help.  Cutting out alcohol should help as well.  As for lunches, let’s see how that goes.  I have better results with small changes.

What is your goal or action items for the month?  Follow and/or me on Instagram with #healthysewist.