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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lora Waggoner, my great grandmother, was quite the quilter. I have admired her Trip Around the World quilt since I was a child. My grandma, Mary Roberts, held on to these treasures and shared them with me from a young age. She had me reciting my ABCs and 123s at a sewing machine. It’s a fond early memory I have.
I am unsure how old the blocks are, but I’m excited to share with all of you these four generation blocks. The finished product has my touch on it. If it is going to hang in my house, I needed to enjoy the process.
For the quilting I wanted it to be simple straight lines. White was the color that won. Someone suggested something bold like yellow or blue. I promise something is coming with bold quilting.
Years ago I wanted to do something with these blocks from my great grandmother. I wanted my grandma to sew two blocks together, my mom sew two, and then I would sew the four together. My grandma’s hands were not able to do as much and her health deteriorated before I could organize what I wanted. Plus, her memory was slipping and it was harder for me to visit.
In doing some research, I may have found the block pattern Lora used. Still not 100% positive and need to do further research.
The backing being from my mother in law is a nice touch. Going to add a label with all the women involved and the completed year.
Running on the trails near my house has recently reminded me of a quilt I made years ago. While it didn’t get much love on the blog, it gets used all the time at my house.
Inspiration came one spring day while biking. Shades of purple, green, and brown are sprinkled along the Monon Trail. The trees bend just so to create a lovely archway.
Friday night during a run, I looked up and noticed a very similar picture. It was breathtaking. This isn’t from the trail, but it’s nearby.
To create the quilt I took shades of Kona purples, greens, and browns. It was pieced organically and out of paper bags. The method is fun and keeps the piecing random.
It’s a family favorite. This is our go to picnic quilt and has traveled all over the US.
On these long runs I have been listening to a variety of podcasts. I listen to ones on health and wellness encouraging me to think a little differently about what my family is exposed to. DIYing things with safer ingredients and reducing our carbon footprint has been weighing on me. Changes needed to be small things that I could implement and sustain. There are MANY ways to make changes but these are some that are working for us.
We started composting with our neighbor. They had a bin and used it sparingly. We wanted a bin but had not fully committed. It has surprised us how many food scraps we go through in a day or two. We are going to have some rich soil for our garden beds which we started planting over the weekend. If we continue to compost we will need to consider our own bin in the future. It’s been a good way to test our commitment to this change.
In my spring cleaning I found some cloth napkins I had made a while back. NYC fabric from City Quilter. Look for an upcoming tutorial on a cute linen napkin. I prefer these over paper towels or paper napkins any time, they hold up better against the preschooler.
With our laundry I started using wool dryer balls and cut my drying time down. Playing around on Pinterest I have been researching making our laundry detergent. So far I am loving the one below. Two gallons for next to nothing and took like 15 minutes to make.
We recycle everything we can, our 96 gallon bin could be emptied every week. We buy our meats from a local butcher and shop the farmer’s market in the warmer months. P was cloth diapered for 2.5 years. Most of our personal care items have been switched out to better options. I started using a local companies lotion and it’s amazing, that was the real catalyst to make some changes in these products. The Shea Butter Softening Cream is simply amazing. My skin has never felt better since I switched over 2-3 years ago. Best part, it’s a small woman owned local business, the owner is pretty great too.
I need to start doing some research on more natural makeup companies and make that switch next. I see lots of trial and error going to happen with it. I am open to suggestions of your favorite companies as well.
When it comes to quilting I try to apply recycling to my products as much as possible. I incorporate scraps into most projects, vintage sheets as backings, and left over batting bit to stuff pillows. They are small actions, but with the amount of quilts I create, that would be too much waste.
By no means am I perfect at this and have lots of areas we could improve upon. However, I really have to consider how sustainable an action is if it’s going to be implemented in my home. Grandiose ideas are just ideas without some real thought into how to make them actionable. I want to leave the Earth in a bit better health for my son’s generation.
Happy Earth Day! What are you doing to celebrate it?
Funny that I had in mind EXACTLY what I wanted to do with these Kona charm packs I picked up a while back. The vision was clear and the finished project looked amazing in my mind. As I started to lay out the charm squares for a Disappearing Nine Patch quilt I hated it. This design was not coming together like my vision.
I walked away from it and went to work on Spring Granny Squares. An idea struck to create half square triangles. Hmmm, that could work. I grabbed my Hera Marker and started marking. If you don’t have a Hera Marker, get one. Add it to your quilty items wishlist or it’s a great stocking stuffer. Every quilter should have one and it’s a time saving when marking half square triangles.
After marking everything it’s pretty easy to just sit down and chain piece. I find it therapeutic to just piece and have the machine humming along. While working on this I binged on Frankie and Grace on Netflix. Great laughs to get through pressing and trimming too.
Once the blocks were trimmed I started on layout number two. Randomly laid out half square triangles and it just wasn’t right either. During the quilt retreat one version of the V&Co HST quilt was similar to a flying geese layout. Hmm, would that work?
This layout took some shuffling around to balance it out and make it work. Each row has a couple of blocks that form more of an arrow. At this size it’s a small baby quilt, so I grabbed some solid gray from stash. It matched one of the lighter grays perfectly. The finished look is more offset which I really like.
The quilting on this has me stumped. I have had some wonderful suggestions so far. Hopefully there is time this week to just sit down and quilt. Much like the design aspect of this quilt, I’m sure there will be a couple of versions tried before I decide to keep it.
Do you have any quilting ideas for this one? Leave them in the comments.