New Running Goal – A Sub 2 Half

Can’t believe I actually wrote that title and putting this out there publicly.  I am so proud of my husband for achieving one of his fitness goals (more on that later this week) this year that it’s motivated me to aim for a big stretch goal.  Over the years I have ran a number of half marathons.  Truthfully, I haven’t really put the effort in for training.  I’ve come close with a 2:14.

This is the time I need to focus on my training and reach this goal.  I have used the above quote many times during trainings for races.  However, I did sacrifice and not give my best.  Slept in on Saturday mornings, half asses a speed workout, skipped a mid week run, and generally didn’t prepare myself.  Sure I can run a half this weekend if I wanted to, but it would be an ugly performance.  Why not set myself up for success and reach my goal.

I want to be at or below the two hour mark.  Aiming for this goal will force me into more speed work, yoga, and long runs.  Hubby and I have worked out a plan to help make this happen.  We discussed the pros and cons of moving my runs to the early morning to avoid Indiana heat.  We decided that isn’t a realistic step for a couple of reasons.  First, I would have to go to bed basically after P in order to make a 5:30 am run part of my morning.  Second, I decided I enjoy the down time in the evening with hubby and I don’t want to give that up.  Third, well it’s easy to oversleep and just say I will do it later!

In an effort to plan to get myself into the mindset of running a sub 2 half I put a couple of things in motion this week:

  • Downloaded a training plan designed to help achieve the goal.
  • Scheduling in yoga on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to help with core strength and stretching.
  • Researching new shoes.  My current shoes won’t last into the training.

I start today and plan to run the Monumental Half Marathon on November 4th.  Not sure how this will impact my sewing time at this point.  However, many of my ideas come while running.  Maybe I will create an amazing idea while I run.  It is my other form of stress/life management.

Any tips or support is greatly appreciated.

 

Scrappy Unicorn Rainbow Sprinkles Finished

Scrappy unicorn rainbow sprinkles by quiltytherapy #scrapquilt #paperpiecing #modernquilt

Scrappy Unicorn Rainbow Sprinkles is finished and ready for her next adventure.  It would be great if this quilt left a trail of rainbow sprinkles everywhere it went.  Instead it just brings lots of color and brightness to a room.

Scrappy unicorn rainbow sprinkles by quiltytherapy #scrapquilt #paperpiecing #modernquilt

It was fun to watch scraps from friends become something cohesive and lovely.  Thank you again Lisa, Erika, and Lindsay for sharing your scraps.  I would love to hear your thoughts below on the quilt and any of your scraps you recognize.

When it came time to pick the backing on this quilt, I was sure I was going to make a scrappy one to flow with the front.  I wondered if I would have a vintage sheet that would work and began digging into that stash.  I did find a sheet that could have worked if the blue was a little more aqua.  While the vintage sheet would have worked, it didn’t feel right.  I would have wanted to change it after quilting it.  Instead I found this solid green sheet that coordinated with the greens on the front.

Remember the purple polka dot binding from Thistle Storm?  I had so much of it left that it ended up being enough to bind this quilt.  Everything on this quilt is either a scrap or stash item I had not used in awhile.  Feels good to finally give some of these fabrics a new purpose and use.

Scrappy unicorn rainbow sprinkles by quiltytherapy #scrapquilt #paperpiecing #modernquilt

As I finished the quilt top, I realized there were a few errors that I hoped to work out in the quilting.  One or two were too big to ultimately just quilt closed.  I had to go back and zig zag stitch over them.  While it’s disappointing that this quilt isn’t perfect, it now has it’s own flare and design elements.  After my IMQG meeting they couldn’t really see the issue.  If a group of quilters can’t see it, then there is no use in stressing over it.

For the quilting, I went with wavy lines again.  It’s a simple method that I want to keep building my skills on.  The waves add a softness to the overall look.

Look at all the crinkles post wash.  I want to take it on a picnic or snuggle under it on the couch.  If you’re looking for a quilt to add color to a room, you can find this quilt here on Etsy.

Scrappy unicorn rainbow sprinkles by quiltytherapy #scrapquilt #paperpiecing #modernquilt

 

You can read about the process of the quilt below.

Scrappy Unicorn Rainbow Sprinkles 


Linking up with

Needle and Thread Thursday

 

Scrappy Unicorn Rainbow Sprinkles

Prepare yourself for some color.  My inner 90’s child just wanted to bust out my Lisa Frank stickers and Trapper Keeper when I started these blocks.  In all transparency, I do have a Lisa Frank calendar on my desk at work to look at and enjoy.  You’re not here about obnoxious desk decor, you’re here for the fabric and blocks.

I hit the mother load of scraps during our Indy Modern Quilt Guild Winter Retreat.  Lisa and Erika were gracious enough to just let us go through their scraps.  Take whatever you want.  Lindsay Conner was working on blocks and was just tossing the left over half square triangles away.  I knew they would could be reused in a scrappy project.

I like big blocks and I cannot lie… #imqgretreat

A post shared by Lindsay Conner (@lindsaysews) on

There were so many from her 12 blocks, plus all the other scraps that an idea came to life.  I had 7″ squares left over from finishing the solids string quilt.  Let’s make a scrappy quilt that looks like rainbow sprinkles.  YES!!!

fabric sorted and ready

Sorting through the scraps again was more fun.  I had an idea in mind and could start seeing the palette emerge.  Orange, green, teal, aqua, purple, pink, white and of course gray.  The mix plays so well together.  I made a couple of test blocks to get started.

They felt right so I kept going, unsure how many I would make.

Around 15 blocks I started to get a little bored.  The blocks seemed to be repeating themselves, though each one is different.  I made a few more and decided to test a layout.  Maybe that would be the catalyst forward or the stopping point.

A couple of design options started to flow.  Keep going until there are 42-56 blocks completed for a totally scrappy quilt.  Egh, I wasn’t really feeling the work involved.  The blocks didn’t take long to make.  I was running out the yellow and orange scraps.  Second idea was to add six more blocks and get to 25.  Maybe put them on point and surround with a solid.  White?  Gray?  I remembered a bolt of Kona Robin’s Egg Blue I had in the back room.

The color coordinated well with the blocks and I had lots of it on hand.  New plan was to finish the next six blocks and then finalize a layout.  The last six blocks took forever, I couldn’t seem to get them finished.  Final block count of 25 was all I had in me for this project.  It was enough scrapiness and it left options for negative space.

During an open sew day for an IMQG meeting, I was able to get the blocks sewn together and start ripping off the papers.  Ripping off the paper when paper piecing is annoying, but soothing at the same time.  I even found a few errors that was too late to really fix.  Did you see this gem on Instagram?

Some inappropriate words were said, but I knew I could fix it later.  I added big borders to the top and called it a day.

As the top was being pieced I just kept thinking about rainbow sprinkles.  That’s what the blocks looked like to me.  With the half square triangle in the center, I was thinking unicorns.  So the name, Scrappy Unicorn Rainbow Sprinkles, was given to this quilt.  I think it’s perfect and I’m crushing on this quilt pretty hard.  Not quite New Kids on the Block level, but close. Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite 90’s song I can jam to while quilting this over the weekend?  Leave your suggestion in the comments.


Linking up with Oh Scrap! & I May Have a Scrap Problem

Quilting is more fun than Housework

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.

Mom Guilt is Real

Not only is mom guilt real, it can hit you hard some days.  I’ve adjusted to the guilt of not being a stay at home mom with my son.  It’s probably best for the whole family that it didn’t work out and he has had wonderful experiences in daycare.  This is about the guilt as you make decisions for your kids that they can not do.  I’m sure many of you have had to do the same.  It sucks!

The after photo

About six weeks ago P was playing in his room.  We had friends over and a couple of parents were in there.  He loves to jump and he jumped over a quilt on his floor.  He had built a fort/lounge area earlier in the day.  Sobs were ringing from his room.  This wasn’t his normal, I’ve fallen cry, it was a deep I’m hurt cry.  After a few minutes of snuggles and lots of tears, he let me look him over.  His front tooth was displaced.  Crap!

I called the dentist first thing in the morning and he referred me to a pediatric dentist.  Luckily, this new dentist could fit us in that day and help us assess the damage.  This was just an ordinary fall, everything will be okay was the thought my husband and I had.  Nope, X-Rays revealed P had broken the tooth.  We scheduled a procedure to pop the tooth back in place.  Yeah, I know, gross.

He had to have some sedatives and laughing gas, but the procedure went okay.  We went back to normal and would have a follow up visit in a month.  Over that month, his teeth became more gray and we knew that meant the teeth were dying.  At the follow up it became apparent we had to make some decisions.  Root canal or extract the teeth.  Everything was pointing towards root canal for a bit.

Tuesday night before his procedure

Monday night we meant with the dentist and after more conversations we went with extraction.  There are a number of reasons we chose extraction, but I didn’t want something similar to happen in six months and we have to pull them anyway.  The financial side of a root canal with my kid didn’t make sense either.  He loves to jump and I would be that over cautious helicopter mom when he wanted to try the simplest thing.  He wouldn’t realize, I was trying to protect the investment in his teeth.  Plus, why should that hold him back?

The last few days have been rough.  I was really conflicted on if we were making the right decision for him.  Then yesterday’s procedure happened.  We gave him the sedatives as recommended and went to our appointment.  P was okay with the laughing gas for a bit, then it changed.  He was over it, went all rage against the gas mask.  Sobbed and thrashed for 10-15 minutes.  He was inconsolable.  It was the worst to sit there and know he was scared.  We tried everything we knew how to do to calm him down.  I started singing a made up song with just his name and that seemed to soothe him.  The poor dentist and the hygienist, they had to listen to me sing.  That had to be torture for them.

We got him calmed down, well he cried himself to sleep, and the procedure was over pretty quick.  Teeth removed.  It was the right decision as we examined his teeth later, they were gray and looked terrible.  I scooped him up and the snuggles began.  I still felt wrong about putting him through that.  It took me a bit yesterday to get used to his new gum line and his new smile.  Then the real stuff set in.

He began asking questions about, “What if other kids make fun of me or don’t want to play with me because I look different?”  Ahhh, buddy.  I wanted to say those kids just suck, but that’s not how you handle it.  My advice was to say, “Yes, I do look different.”  If they persist, “Everyone loses their teeth.” He thought he looked like a zombie and that made him sad.

The guilt will fade in a few days as we all adjust.  He’s at daycare right now and I’m nervous for how his day will go.  As a parent, we have to make decisions for our kids and we don’t always know the lasting impact.  We will do something as a family tonight that will be fun.

Exhausted momma and P

I received lots of positive thoughts and comments from other parents yesterday.  It was really helpful.  If you know a parent that is struggling listen to them and offer support.  They don’t need or want judgement for their actions.  Parenting is scary, but with support from others it’s easier.

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.