April Action Items

I’m excited for April to finally arrive.  The chance of snow in Indianapolis goes down exponentially and spring comes into bloom.  My allergies aren’t as excited, but they make medications for that.

April is very project oriented right now.  I can’t share them all with you right now, but some good stuff is coming.  DIY, upcycling, and some vintage quilts.

Vintage Quilts

As we transition into spring I’m focusing a bit more on vintage quilts.  I have a stash of them just wadded up in my WIP cabinet.  In an effort to keep busting through WIPs, this is a natural progression.  Plus, it’s fun to give new life to these old quilts.

DIY

I have some fun projects lined up that I have been meaning to make forever.  Spring is just the right motivator to get them done.

Wedding Anniversary Trip

Our seventh wedding anniversary is April 24th.  I have planned a getaway to a secret location.  Everything is planned and I haven’t told my hubby where we are going.  You guys, I have kept a secret, this is HUGE!

Healthy Actions

For March I met the goal of at least 15-20 #healthysewist entries.  Hubby had the stomach flu in March and the house was in chaos for a few days.  The weather got cold here again too and we had a contractor at the house a couple of days.  Not everything is an excuse, but definitely some hiccups.  Running has helped me have more energy and yoga is letting me focus on strength.

For April I want to push myself to 20 #healthysewist entries on Instagram.  I’m working on some new photo ideas for these too since I’m terrible at selfies.  Maybe some new trails or locations for runs?  How many times can you see this mug?

3 Places for Quilty Inspiration…The Last One May Surprise You

3 Places for Quilt Inspiration by quiltytherapy

3 Places for Quilt Inspiration by quiltytherapy

Inspiration for your next quilting project can come from anywhere.  Since my phone is with me almost everywhere I can document things as they catch my attention.  I have quite the collection from the last couple of years and I want to share with you some of my favorites.  Please feel free to share yours in the comments.

Murals

Whether indoors or outdoors, a mural really brightens an area.  I have stopped in my tracks on a run to grab a photo, like the one below.  A community center in San Mateo, CA has this lovely on their wall.

This mural is at Big Lug Canteen, a newish brewery in Indianapolis.  It’s bold and fresh.  It could be a quilt design.

Watercolor murals are sprinkled around the Indianapolis Airport.  The colors melting into each is my favorite part.  Interestingly, I think this looks like a slide under a microscope.  Thoughts?

If you have traveled to iconic spots in San Francisco you may have seen this mural.  It sits on the corner of Haight and Ashbury.  Stunning, yet I wonder what other murals may be painted underneath it?

A concert backdrop is another form of a mural.  The Decemberists caused quite a stir with this album cover.  It’s an interesting read on an often talked about issue with quilters.  It’s still an inspirational piece.  

Building Architecture

The Brooklyn Bridge may not look like much inspiration to most people.  I see stunning straight line quilting and creating that small swoop with the supporting cables.

Back on the west coast visit Alcatraz to find this rusty gem.  Again, I see some quilting details to work into a project, a wonky crosshatch.

In Key West this wall could be a quilt pattern.  I had almost forgotten about this picture until I was digging into some photos from my honeymoon.

Restaurants – especially the bathroom tile

Restaurants house some of my favorite inspiration.  Nada, here in Indy, is filled with color and stunning tile work.  This is a floor and I feel bad for walking across this beauty.

I was giddy when I saw this in the bathroom over the weekend.  Stunning.  It could be a quilt back that I would put together.  Yes, I took my phone to the bathroom.  I have missed out on some interesting tile work in breweries and restaurants without my phone.  It’s an overlooked area for inspiration and someone carefully put together the look of that room.

Speaking of brewery bathrooms, this is from one in Pittsburgh.  I would love to remember the name, but we visited five to seven breweries that day.  No way could I keep them all straight.  So much color goodness.

I had to stop in traffic in Cooperstown, NY to get this picture.  It’s greasy spoon diner we have been to a few times.  Everytime I’m drawn to the stained glass window.  Last trip out, I yelled from the back seat for my husband to stop and jumped out to grab the photo.  Worth it.

Where do you find your quilt inspiration?  Anywhere unusual?  Share below in the comments.

I Want to Stay in A Castle

This post contains sponsored content, but all opinions are my own.  

Traveling to Europe has been high on the list of things my husband and I want to do.  We discussed going there for our honeymoon in 2010, but it didn’t work out.  You can see about our honeymoon here.  Maybe for our 10 year anniversary.

With Europe’s size we have narrowed down our spots to two locations:

  • Great Britain, Scotland, and Ireland
  • Germany or Austria

As we started researching and planning, I decided I really wanted to stay at least one night in a castle.  There are many to choose from.

 

Lucky for me and you, HomeAway is giving away a stay at Dun’s Castle in Scotland to celebrate the release of Beauty & The Beast in theaters March 17th.

I call dibs on this room.

Take a video tour below.

 

The giveaway is for you and 20 guests.  If you win, you’ll take me right?  Just kidding.  If you don’t win the grand prize, runners up are eligible for a week vacation at any HomeAway location.

Take a minute and sign up below.

Dun’s Castle Giveaway

 

March 2017 Action Items

The word goal sounds rigid.  Now I understand why people would cringe and lock up when setting goals when I was health coaching.  My goal for January wasn’t realistic.  I was still adjusting to a new job, new location and new routine.  February was about feeling the groove and making tweaks.  Now I can focus on adding more in and having action items.

Action items sound better instead of goals.  I want to turn my focus towards my health and fitness as spring begins to make it’s arrival.  Being healthy helps me be a better wife and mom.  Healthy also doesn’t have to mean weighing a certain amount.  Rather, it means being comfortable in my skin, having the ability to go run 4 miles no problem, and not feeling exhausted after a work day.  That is my definition and would love to hear yours in the comments.

It’s been roughly two months since I started my new job.  As a family we have adjusted schedules and routines to make it work.  Most mornings I’m at work by 7:30-7:45.  It’s early, but gives me time in the afternoon to exercise and still get P.  The time is there to meet my goal as well as the motivation.  Now here comes the accountability.

My goal for March is to exercise 3-4 days per week for at least 30 minutes.

Look for #healthysewist tags on Instagram to keep up with my accountability.  There should be a minimum of 15 on there this month.  March has 5 weeks and I will start from today.  Hopefully there will be some long runs to hit this bridge on the Monon Trail.

The job change has done wonders for my stress level.  Sorry old coworkers if you’re reading this, but it’s true.  I don’t feel that I have to sew everyday as a way to cope with the pressure or to get a mental break.  My evenings and weekends are spent with the family.  Sewing has become this bonus activity to enrich my life, not balance it.  It’s a shift I didn’t anticipate.

During March I want to continue to work through some older projects and ideas that have been sitting around.  Starting in April I hope to turn my focus towards some other projects. I think you guys will like that series.

 

Winter 2017 Sewing Retreat

It was an amazing weekend full of laughs and of course some sewing thrown in.  These are my people, they get me. Many of us had been commenting how much we were looking forward to the weekend.  It did not disappoint.
In addition to our own projects, we played games and shared laughs.  So many laughs.  We played two tense rounds of Left, Right, Center for fat quarters.  Quilters are ruthless despite what some may think.  Game one was intense and Lisa walked away the winner.  Game two things got serious.  Fat quarters were quickly getting throw into center.  One of my rolls included a C going directly into my wine glass on the floor.  Of course it did.
I was out of fat quarters but some were still floating around me.   Within a couple of rolls I was back in and suddenly I won.  I won!  So many lovely fat quarters for me to enjoy.  I almost cried I was so happy and surprised.
This weekend was really a chance for me to get through some WIPs that have been lingering.  I wanted to cross some stuff off my self-inflicted to do list.
Solids String Quilt
Good thing no one took video or recorded our conversations this weekend.  Lots of cursing and general dislike for the process with this quilt.  I will dig more into it later this week.  It was the first project I tackled and felt good to get this scrappy quilt done and bound on the first night.  Scrappy string quilts are on trend right now.
Botanica Bee Quilt
Talk about an old WIP.  Back in 2011 the guild held a bee.  I picked large log cabins using this lovely Botanica fabric.  Most of the fabric I had left was destashed last year, but I kept a couple of pieces in case I ever finished this.
My big goal for the weekend was to try free motion quilting for the first time.  Without Darcie and Rachael pushing me out of comfort zone, I wouldn’t have tried it.  Being true to my word from our goals meeting in January, I decided this was the quilt.  It’s smaller and not on the bias like the string quilt.  I wanted to tackle this first thing Saturday morning.
Holy camoly.  I was a sweaty nervous mess to take my first few stitches.  After a few hiccups I got the hang of moving the quilt around and the speed of my machine that worked the best.   More practice is necessary but the overall process went well.  I have another WIP almost ready to keep up my practice.
Note:  my arms, shoulders and back were SORE from it.  Something I didn’t expect.
V&Co HST Quilt
Quilt by committee is a wonderful benefit of retreat weekend.  I had all of these HSTs but really unsure the layout I wanted.  As I started to lay it out, others jumped in with suggestions.  This wonderful layout was the winning choice.
Blush Charm Quilt
Let’s go back in time again to another overnight sewing adventure from 2011.  IMQG traveled to one a member’s house for a night of sewing and games.  I started a charm quilt with lots of white from the Moda Blush line.  It’s been a bag ever since in my WIP cabinet.  No more.  The top and back are both done.  It’s ready to be basted and quilted.
A couple of people brought their scrap bins for everyone to dig around in.  We were like vultures if I’m being honest.  It was fun to pull out scraps from their projects and envision them in your stash.  Lisa even ironed and color sorted her scraps.  Too much work for me but her scraps were to enticing like that.  I snagged a few to help round out upcoming projects.
There are about 3-4 more projects I wanted to tackle this weekend.  They are newer ideas and I chose instead to focus on older items.  Look for upcoming series…Busting through old WIPs.
So many wonderful projects were worked on by everyone.  It’s invigorating to be around other like minded people for a weekend and accomplishing so much.  We sprawled our projects across the banister to get a better look at what we had done.  I am lucky to know many wonderful and talented sewists.
Does your guild host a retreat?  Have you ever gone away to just sew and hang out with friends?  I definitely recommend it.

2017…Year Of Growth

2017 is going to be very different for my family.  Over the last few months I have been quietly looking for a new job.  Before Christmas break I accepted an offer for a new role within a new company.  No longer will be I be working from home in the comfort of my yoga pants.

With that change I’m not sure how much time I will have to sew and create.  My goal is to stay within the leftover 2016 fabric budget.

As I mentioned in my prior post, I’m hoping it encourages me to focus on using what I have.  I was aghast at my collection of fabrics, unfinished projects, and scraps.  In the post Christmas sales, there were many temptations and shopping carts filled.  However, pushing place order made me nervous, adding more fabric isn’t necessary.

When it comes to creating there have been many ideas thrown around.  My phone is full of inspirational places and random things that sparked some creative ideas.  Hopefully, I’m able to create my own version of them in 2017.  Maybe some minis or or wall art options.

Rather than setting a yearly fitness goal, I want to focus on something monthly.  For January I want to get 25 days with 10,000+ steps.  Not sure what each month will look like yet, but with each month I will update a fitness goal and fabric budget.

I’m elated to focus on a fresh start, growth, and moving forward.