Favorite Things This Week

We were able to sneak away for the weekend and enjoy some family time.  We had lots of fun, maybe too much fun.  P is in his second week of school and is asking for homework.  The older kids in after school care are required to spend some time on homework.  It’s been an adjustment for our family, but overall it’s been a positive experience.

This week my favorites are based on our family.

Indiana University

I teased a couple of these photos on Instagram earlier this week.  IU has a special place in my heart.  Rob and I met here 12 years ago in grad school.  The campus is stunning and one of my favorite places to visit.  I think we need a weekend away there soon.  Hmm, I will get on that.  These are some pictures from stopping by on Sunday afternoon.

sample gates, indiana university, IU landmarks, campus landmarks

Rosewell House Indiana University

P wasn’t really into the idea of going to college.  He cries every time we bring it up.  Maybe in 14 years we can drop him off here and he can experience the wonderful campus himself.

 

Sewing and Quilting

I am all for actually using your quilts.  We take quilts to the park, vacations, and use them daily on our couch and beds.  I hate thinking about a quilt not being loved and just laying around all folded up.  USE THE QUILTS.  This gem went to soccer practice this week.  It now has grass and snot on it.  Yes snot because sometimes your kid needs to blow his nose.

 

It’s now in the laundry basket awaiting a good wash.  Earlier this week I opened up Bloglovin and saw this post from Suzy Quilts.  She’s offering tips and suggestions to wash your quilts.  For stains like grass on this quilt I will dab a bit of Dawn on the stain.  Just the blue kind.

How to Wash and Care for a Quilt…The Right Way!

Last week I commented that about the Improv Stripe QAL happening.  I felt like crap one night and didn’t really want to do anything.  I decided to sort through my solid scraps and strings.  There should be enough for a baby girl quilt.  My scraps have been divided by warms, cools, and neutrals.

Pincushions have become a fad over on Instagram.  Search the hashtag #pinnieparade to find your favorite.  Do you make pincushions?  I have not before, but considering giving it a go.

Upcoming Weekend

We will be kid free this weekend.  Part of me just wants to stay home and sew all weekend.  What are you weekend plans?

Halloween: Spooky Ghost Pumpkin Quilt

It is time to start planning my Halloween decorations.  Halloween may trump Christmas in my house as a favorite holiday.  Seriously, the kid is wearing a Halloween shirt and pirate pants in July.

Since P is still little, we prefer spooky over scary.  As we acquire new decorations, I let him set the boundaries on what he’s comfortable with.  He has created an idea of a Spooky Ghost Pumpkin.  We have no idea what that is, but try to run with that.  If you have any ideas, please share.

With decor in mind, I turn to Pinterest.  Maybe I should add more ideas to my Halloween board?  Do you have any family fun activities you like for Halloween?

This year I will be adding a quilt to the decorations.  My wonderful bee mates of the Blossom Heart Bees made blocks for this quilt last year, using the Tic Tac Toe block.  My theme was Halloween in orange, lime green, purple, and teal for the X’s.  Also black with white prints for the corners.  The blocks turned out great and better than I would have imagined.  My bee mates had some good prints in their stashes.  P loved getting them in the mail.

A few more are needed to finish the top.  From my stash I pulled more green, purple, and teal to balance out the top.  Even a fun zombie print.

 

There are a couple more blocks in the works then I can layout the top as I want.  It’s going to need some balance from all the orange.

 

P was excited each time a new block arrived.  He realized they were for him and gasped with excitement.  Hopefully he’s still as excited about the quilt as I finish it.  Maybe we can watch scary movies and snuggle on the couch under it?


Links

The rocket above is from Amazon, best money we have spent on a toy.  He loves it and exploring how to make the rocket go faster, higher and aiming at things.  Great gift for a four year old.

Check out #tictactoeblock on Instagram for other versions.

Confessions Of A Fabric Addict

 

Meet Thistle Storm

You have seen this quilt before called April Showers.

 

The quilt came out of the dryer and demanded a new, more fierce name.  Thistle Storm was born and so did our adventures together.

 

P enjoys the quilt

In typical quilt blog fashion, I put Thistle Storm on the fence out back.  She, yes it’s a girl quilt, started laughing.  It was more of a mocking.  “Really?” she said, “Just the fence.  Come on. I deserve way better photos than this.”  “Fine,” I replied and began scouting locations.

My husband works at a beautiful old estate turned event venue here in Indy.  Maybe their grounds would have some good photo opportunities.  We ventured over on a Friday afternoon and started with a normal quilt photo.  Thanks hubby for holding it up.  We walked along a pathway, but Thistle Storm became tired and wanted to rest on the bench.

After a brief rest she noticed the brook ahead and wanted to climb on the rocks.  “Does this bush make me look fabulous?,” she asked.  “It’s not your best pose, but we can make it work,” I replied.

We finished our photoshoot on these lovely brick stairs.  She stretched out and enjoyed the sun for a few minutes.  “I could just lay here all day and watch the clouds,” she noted.  This is my favorite pose from the session.  Once we were done she bunched herself up and rode home in the front seat.  She was excited to see her photos.

Photo editing would have to wait until after my run.  Thistle Storm is the laziest quilt around.  She laid on the couch binge watching The Great British Bake Off on Netflix as I was sweating my ass off.  She shrieked in horror when we pulled up to daycare to pick up P.  “Please don’t let sticky fingers get on me,” she pleaded.  P was unimpressed with her antics.

Since this quilt is so lazy, she needs to find a new home.  Below is a bit more about the specifics on the Thistle Storm and how she can come stay at your house.

Quilt Layout

Kona Thistle is the light purple feature.  Notice the detail in the purple floral print?  It also has thistles which is no coincidence.  In an ah-ha moment at the quilt shop I knew it felt right.  I adore the purple to gray transition, a different version of Icy Waters from what I have seen.

Backing

I used leftover yardage for the backing to create something pieced and scrappy.

Quilting

Why did I wait so long to quilt this?  I was scared of making waves and that it would look terrible.  After trying one, it wasn’t horrible.  The rest turned out well.  There are a couple of hiccups in the quilting, but I’m okay with that.  Wavy lines may become a new go to for me.

Binding

White and lavender polka dots had been in stash for years, YEARS!  As I was piecing the top, I remembered this print buried in my fabric cart.  Rather than the 1.5 inch strips I normally use, I cut this at 2.5 inches.  It was therapeutic to press yards of binding.  There is some left over and now I need something to bind in this great print.

Of course I went with machine binding.

You find the quilt on Etsy and is ready to head to a new home.

Uninspired and I’m Okay with That

Ruts happen.  That creative spark has slowly fizzled to just some burning embers.  As I mentioned a few months ago, I don’t feel like I have to sew all the time now for stress management.  The fun and joy is back when I am sewing, rather than stress inducing.

It’s freeing since I can focus on what I want to create instead of what I feel I have to create.  My passion and creativity can be the drivers in the sewing room, not an arbitrary deadline.  Yes, there are still times that I procrastinate on a project or it takes more time than I estimated.  These are now way less frequent than they used to be.

 

There are benefits and downsides to this new freedom.

Downsides:

  • I can work well under pressure
  • Deadlines keep me focused on getting something done
  • Not spending as much time creating
  • Nothing to really share

Benefits:

  • More focus on other areas of my life
  • Hello #healthysewist
  • I’ve been playing around in the kitchen more  and doing some other DIY projects
  • Less stress
  • More family time and truly enjoying it
  • Thinking of doing a destash to clear out some stuff

Anyone with a creative pursuit has gone through this.  In the past, it has lead to some amazing next projects for me.  What will be next?

There are currently three projects that I’m just working on here and there.  There is no sense of urgency to complete them, just enjoying the process.  It’s new and different for me.  However, this new experience has left me a little uninspired.  I’m getting back to basics and just making some easier projects.  Focusing on some scraps and realizing some fabric in my stash isn’t inspiring anymore.  Maybe time for another destash?

I could just be rambling or on the cusp of a breakthrough.  When I’m on a run or walk, I feel that I’m looking at things differently.  It’s allowing me to take in a new perspective of the same route and roads I’ve been on for years.  I stopped to smell some flowers one day during a run, they were stunning.

Trying something new helps me at times too.  With my Icy Waters quilt, I wanted to quilt wavy lines in it.  The thought of quilting wavy lines has been paralyzing me from completing the quilt.  When did I become such a chicken to try something new.  Over the weekend I just went for it.  Guess what?  I liked it and my response was the same as trying free motion quilting.  Now I want to wavy line quilt everything once I get some bobbin issues figured out.  My machine and I were not on the same page.  Since I’m not in a rush, I gave it a two gun salute, and walked away.  Yes, I flipped my machine off and it felt great.  Last night I was going to try again, but decided sitting outside with wine watching my kid pretend to be Maui was much better.

Maybe more inspiration will strike this week, maybe it won’t.  Either way I’m going to continue to feel uninspired for any one project and enjoy just creating.

Creative Weekend Retreat at Home

That’s right, at my house.  Over Memorial Day weekend I was given the chance to just have some time at home.  My wonderful parents took P on Thursday night to the lake and I had taken Friday off work.  Earlier  in the week I had written down my to do list to help keep me focused with all my free time.  I was planning 3-4 days with no kid and hubby had some plans too.

What you don’t see on the list are some errands that I wanted to accomplish as well.  I knocked most of those out on Friday morning and needed those errands to complete some home projects.  Spray paint was necessary to make these happen.  Saturday my yard was colored robin’s egg blue and gold/bronze.

We are hitting a few big salvage sales in the area this upcoming weekend to complete some updates to our bedroom.  My husband painted the room two years ago, yep, that’s our speed for home projects.  I’m happy with how these pieces turned out.  They are going to stand out against the navy walls in my bedroom.

Saturday morning I made candles with soy wax and essential oils.  I didn’t follow a tutorial, I just started creating.  Next time I need more oils to make a stronger scent.  They are easy to make once you have the supplies.

I worked on the spray painting as a break from sewing.  My items for the Urban Home Goods Swap on Instagram (#uhgswap) needed to be finalized.  Based on my partner’s request I wanted to make an apron and a pillow cover.  Guess what I had never made before?  An apron.  Pinterest is full of tutorials and ideas and this one is awesome, click here.  My version is below.

I hope my partner doesn’t hate the butterfly print as I used it as the base fabric for most items I made her.  We shall see.  Once the adult version was complete, I whipped up a smaller version for her daughter.  Rather than a fabric waistband, I dug into my vintage lace and found the perfect piece.

After these, I needed a creative break.  I began working on the clouds for the Rainbows and Clouds quilt.

 

Thank you for your kind words on the project.  It took a lot emotionally to create it, but the overall finish was perfect.  The rainbow strips and piecing curves were a nice challenge to keep working on when I didn’t want to keep going.

Saturday night I was able to get the quilt based and ready for quilting on Sunday morning.  As I wrapped up Saturday night I turned to a collection of fabrics I pulled to create the pillow for the swap.  The first pull I made was great, but wasn’t quite right.  The next pull was just right.

I went back to my favorite flying geese tutorial and knocked out the geese in no time.  In the background I was watching new episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and dying.  If you haven’t watched the series, start because it’s hilarious.  In making this pillow, I decided I want to see this as a whole quilt.  Monday I was able to order more of the background fabric and some fabrics to coordinate from Stitch Stash Diva.  The fabrics have already arrived and I will probably start on the quilt this weekend.

Finally over the weekend I wrapped up a few projects that I had sitting around and just wanted to get done.  You will see those soon.  What I didn’t accomplish was the video tutorial just yet for a postage stamp quilt, but it’s coming.  That’s going to take an afternoon and I want to give it the proper time it will require.

Overall it was a great weekend and thankful I was able to make so much with the time I had.  I had been feeling a creative rut and not very motivated.  Having a weekend to focus on creating was what I truly needed.  Look for new quilts and items coming up.

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 has SOLD on Etsy.


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