The Great Purge of 2019

the great purge of 2019, fall, indianapolis, ft ben state park

Hello sunshines. I have missed connecting with you on here. Let me fill you in on what I’ve been up to.

So much stuff

Every feel overwhelmed by all the stuff you have in your house? I was definitely feeling that way. I looked around and realized there is stuff that just isn’t being used or is unnecessary. For October, I set a goal to get rid of the number of items that coordinated to the date. October 1st, 1 item. October 31st, 31 items. The grand total would be 496.

My goal

A total of 496 items sounded great, but I was striving for more. My goal for October was 1,000 items total. Yes, 1,000. Some questions I received were:

  • How do you have that much stuff?
  • Seriously? Where is all this stuff in your house?

How I organized

I created a spreadsheet with each day, an entry for the total, a checkmark for the items actually getting out of the house, and finally a summary of what I cleaned out. The checkmark for getting it out of the house was key. It had to go! That is the goal of this exercise. A donate bag lived by the front door.

I started with just 10 minutes per day or so. First, I tackled my t-shirt drawer, tank tops, socks, and bras. Not sure where to donate your gently used bras, then check out I Support The Girls and find an affiliate near you. My sweatpants and leggings drawer was its own task. Since I work from home, this is my to-go attire while at home.

You would be amazed by what you can accumulate over the years when you aren’t paying attention. I then tore through my closet and got rid of the clothes that fit my old body. The momentum grew quickly.

The grand total

As of this morning, the total is 1,251 items. How did I get to that number? I got honest with myself about what was sitting around the house. That stack of pavers I had a grand idea about…they can go. The file folders full of old bills, those can go. I had over 375 items just in this. Granted, they were neatly tucked away in file folders, but that’s still a lot of space.

Digging into toys, papers, and beauty products is what ultimately help me get to this number. Have you looked in your beauty products? The samples? There were so many that I had and never touched. Now my bathroom closet is less cluttered and I have an open shelf.

Looking ahead

The purge has started. I am not done yet. There are a couple more rooms and spaces I want to tackle. Starting with this gives me the motivation to keep going and see just how much I can let go.

Honestly, this was great timing. We are heading into the holidays. I don’t want to fill my house with more stuff. Instead, this has changed my mindset on what is coming into the house. I want to have more strategy on gifts and how much I consume this season.

I don’t ever envision myself as a minimalist, but I can put some things into place. Some friends joined me in this challenge and it was encouraging to watch them purge some items as well. We all struggled with those pizza cups. Either we have a pizza issue or just like those cups.

pizza cups

Fall is the perfect time to let go and prepare for the winter months. I’m going to be home more and it will be nice to enjoy the space rather than feel overwhelmed in it.

I’m going to keep track until December 31st on how much more I can get out.

Let’s Chat – Body Image

body image, quiltytherapy

After writing about my struggle with confidence I want to explore other areas that some of us may have challenges with. Raise your hand if you’ve found body image to be an area you’ve struggled with. I’m sure that was a number of you.

I want to clear that I’m not talking about Body Dysmorphic Disorder, rather how you actually see yourself. The person you see in the mirror. Until recently I still saw someone who was bigger. While I saw myself as stronger, happier, and overall healthier, the weight I had carried lingered in my personal perception.

It wasn’t until one of my friends said I had saggy butt in my workout gear. This was not the first time someone had commented, but other comments were too early in my journey.

Saggy butt debacle

That moment was eye opening. I had noticed that I was swimming in a couple of clothes that I still wear, but my resistance to buy clothes to fit my new body has lingered. What if I gain a good portion back? What if? What if?

Well, another saggy butt debacle happened that catapulted me to really think about how my body has changed. I went for a run with my dog last week. I had her leash in one hand and my cell phone in another. Unfortunately, my tights kept creeping down causing some havoc on my run.

While I didn’t lose my tights, it did prompt me to actually look in the mirror. The woman I am seeing has changed. She is not who I had been. As a health coach I used to tell my calls that YOU are the last person to notice the changes. You need an Oprah moment to see how far you’ve come. I guess almost losing my tights on a midday run was my Oprah moment.

So I took myself to Marshall’s to shop their workout gear. For Christmas, I had gotten a gift card, that only took me almost three months to use. It was not a disappointment. I picked up two new tights and three new tanks. In a local swap group I scored another pair of tights.

Guess what happened?

On Saturday I wore clothes that actually fit my body to boxing. I wasn’t fighting clothes that were too big. There were even a couple of compliments. Holy camoly!

Then I took it another step further and wore the adorable striped dress I picked up at Draper James while in Nashville last month. I was so hesitant because I haven’t fit into this size for a WHILE.

I felt amazing! Seriously, I felt confident in myself wearing clothes that actually fit me. I have watched a million shows that do style makeovers and encourage people to wear clothes that fit. It’s a game changer.

It’s hard to look in the mirror and appreciate the changes that have happened. This isn’t something that happened overnight and will continue to be an issue. Google Photos loves to remind me to look back at photos. When I do, that’s the woman I still feel like I look like. Heavier and not happy with herself. This is who I keep seeing.

However, that is not the case. I’ve worked really hard to change my body and my mindset. I think it’s only fair that I give my new self a chance to shine.

Do you struggle with you see in the mirror? Have you undergone a change and still yet to see it? Let’s see how we can support each other.

My Reflections on Quiltcon 2019

Wow! I can’t just stop the post here, but that’s what I woke up feeling this morning. To be honest, I haven’t sewn much this year. My creativity has been in a slump. Getting away for the weekend was just what I needed personally and creatively.

Nashville was such an easy drive from Indy. A quick five hours, but next time I’m making sure the Bluetooth in the rental car will connect with my phone. There are some areas lacking anything but church and country music. Which isn’t bad if that’s your jam.

My friend Rachael and I had no real agenda for our Saturday at Quiltcon but both reflected last night it was the right amount of time for us. Did you see us from 10-12 helping out the amazing Heather Givans at CrimsonTate’s booth? Jen from @jenmadecrafts popped over to say hi to me after following me on Instagram. She loved the liver and onions story. Ha.

After working the booth it was time to get some food. We hit up a taco spot around the corner from the convention center. Rachael picked out a table and as I found her, I noticed someone sitting in the corner by us. No big deal it’s just Tula Pink having a little lunch chat with someone. I don’t want to say who since their conversation was more work/collab related. I totally kept my cool. As they went to leave I did thank her for creating Neptune since that is the fabric that got me started with modern quilting.

We had roughly five hours left to explore the show. We started on row 1 and worked our way through. Let’s dig through my bag and photos to reflect on my favorites from the show.

New Designers and Companies

Some of these companies are not necessarily new, but they are new to me. A couple I just really liked the direction they are going and see the need in our quilting community.

Figo Fabrics –

Let’s chat Figo Fabrics. We saw guild members posting pictures at this booth and were intrigued. This is a new modern offshoot of Northcott fabric. The hand on the fabrics is soft and their colors are on trend. I’m excited to make something with my Lucky Charms 2.5″ squares and my fat quarter. Be on the lookout for shops to start carrying their line. I like where this company is going.

figo fabrics, quiltcon 2019, quiltytherapy

Brooklyn Mojo –

There is a secret spot in my heart for hand printed designs. I mean hello I love Lotta Jansdotter. Brooklyn Mojo shared some of their designs but also some handmade items on hand. We had a wonderful conversation about products. Pantera noted that she had witnessed someone at a show that really wanted an item, but didn’t have the funds. From there she wanted to have something on the table that everyone could afford. I appreciate that.

As a maker that can be hard to have something at lower price points and still pay yourself. Because I love supporting small businesses I picked up one of her pouches.

brooklyn mojo, quiltcon 2019, quiltytherapy

Pineapple Fabrics –

Their bag sucked me in. I wanted a bag with a pineapple on it. Not many companies were giving out branded bags.

This booth was an experience. We started roaming around and noticed a number of precuts. The precuts were arranged in kits and I haven’t seen this. The idea is simple and I think genius for those getting started with quilting. Or someone like me that needs a quick project to get her sew-jo back.

Plus they are currently carrying the Paintbrush Studio solids that were recently released. They are soft and offer a huge range of colors. Bonus that Pineapple offers them at an affordable price point, or at least at the show.

Sara Parker Textiles –

Eco friendly fabrics and inks are used to create her lovely line of work. Sara Parker offers a variety of prints and I’m going to ponder some of her fabric for upcoming projects.

Quilty Decor

I came across companies making some cute signs/prints for your home or office. These make a great gift for a guild member or friends when you aren’t sure what fabric to get them. Also, nice for those that aren’t into fabric to get something for you that you may actually like or use.

Kati Cupcake –

While this designer has been around, she is branching out into prints. Kati Cupcake has cute patterns for dresses and bags. Seriously, I wanted to purchase the Hard Core Quilter sign she had. Right now I don’t have anywhere for it. However, it’s on my list once I get some artwork back up on my walls.

Crafted Moon –

Whimsical designs and saturated colors created a line I’m now adoring. I can’t show you what I bought because it’s a gift for a friend’s upcoming birthday. Loads of cute art prints, cards, and temporary tattoos are available on Crafted Moon’s website.

Everything Else

You guys, I need this quilt. Red Thread Studio is hosting an EPP Stitch-Along. This quilt is stunning and I want it. No seriously, I want to purchase it since I won’t recreate this one. It has drawn me in.

Red Thread, decadence

Paducah here we come. Rachael and I are adding a trip to the National Quilt Museum this year. Did you know they are hosting a 2020 School Block Challenge. If you have K-12 kids you should check out what they are doing.

We were able to score free tickets to Paducah as well.

Overall I was excited to see the quilts in the show. I was surprised by the trends that I saw. It’s a great show and so happy that we went. While I didn’t do any classes or workshops I think I found some inspiration again.

Now I need to get ready for the drive home and see my nugget. But first some true Southern breakfast. Later y’all!

5 Trends From Quiltcon 2019

Hey Y’all! Greetings from Nashville and Quiltcon 2019. This is my first Quiltcon and it was amazing. So much inspiration. Stunning quilts. You can view all the winners from the show here.

However, my feet are killing me. So much walking around to make sure we saw everything in one day. I’m going to do a separate post with my favorite finds.

5 Trends from Quiltcon 2019

Faced Binding –

Many of the quilts displayed had faced binding instead of traditional binding. I’m impressed with this detail. The quilts don’t feel framed, rather they just end.

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, faced binding, quiltytherapy

Matchstick Quilting –

I honestly lost count how many quilts featured matchstick quilting. It created a stunning detail on the quilts. Is this a trend from show quilts? Also, how tired are you arms after doing this?

Some quilts featured matchstick quilting that was tight and in tiny spaces. Bravo!

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, matchstick quilting, quiltytherapy
Finite Struggle…Infinite Hope by Sarah Maxwell @sjmax105

Curves –

Bust out of just squares and rectangles, so many curves were showcased on quilts this year. They provided a movement and motion I didn’t expect. Some were appliqued and some were pieced. Are you exploring curves in your quilting? The photo below was in the small quilts. I appreciated the subtlety of the curve there.

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, curves, quiltytherapy
Self Portrait by Melanie Tuazon @melintheattic

Colored or Contrast Thread –

White thread it out you guys. Dig into your thread stash and get those colors out. Don’t be afraid to play with contrast in your thread collection, it creates an interesting dynamic.

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, colored thread, contrast thread, quiltytherapy
Complementary Convergence by Cassandra Beaver @cassandra.beaver

From Instagram it was hard to see that the faint lines are crated from thread instead of fabric. This quilt is something you truly need to see in person to appreciate.

Look at that detail

Tiny Piecing –

Upon arrival at the convention center you were greeted by the charity quilts many guilds had created. While tiny piecing was the theme for the charity quilts, this continued on throughout the show. By tiny, I mean teeny tiny. In my studio those would have gone into the trash.

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, quiltytherapy, tiny piecing
Brisbane River Dreaming by Brisbane Modern Quilt Guild

You guys I can’t even begin to describe how teeny these are. Slivers might be a better way to describe the size. Holy camoly. Can you imagine all the pressing necessary with these seams?

tiny piecing, 5 trends from quiltcon 2019, quiltytherapy
Sprinkles by Debra Jalbert @madeofhonorquilts

Finally, if you were at Quiltcon did you notice any of the same trends? Did I miss something that you saw? Just seeing these quilts online do not do them justice, you need to see these in person.

5 trends from quiltcon 2019, quiltytherapy

Read My Guest Post

love yourself, confidence, quiltytherapy

I set a word for 2018…confidence. As I started to focus on this area of my life, I was sure the answers would come from books. When that didn’t give me what I craved, I kept searching.

Boxing provided me the confidence I desired. A few months ago a blogger put a call out for guest bloggers on her new site. There was some hesitation on my behalf, but decided it was worth telling my story.

You can read my post here.

While it is scary to put yourself out there and share your vulnerabilities, it can be very empowering. My hope is that it inspires someone else who is struggling and is unsure. This Valentine’s Day love yourself first and good things will come.

love yourself, confidence, quiltytherapy

An Odd Family Tradition

Are you surviving these winter months? It’s cold in Indianapolis and I’ve been spending time indoors. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed I’ve spent some time at my parents. We have been prepping for a family birthday party next month. My twin uncles are turning 80. Yes, 80.

There is just a small age gap between my mom and her brothers. It makes for an interesting family dynamic. My closest cousin in his 50’s. But my second cousins are closer to my age.

My uncles for decades had dinner with my grandma every Tuesday night. As a kid they would come and do yard work, etc. Then February would roll around. The boy’s birthday approached. There was no question what the dish would be. They always got liver and onions for their birthday.

Yeah, liver and onions. No clue how this tradition got started, but it stayed until my grandma went into a nursing home at 96.

I got the idea to add a small touch of my grandma for the boy’s birthday. Let’s get the boys a smash cake that looks like liver and onions. In my local swap group, a number of cake recommendations are made regularly. I reached out one with my odd request.

The Cake

She delivered. Look at this gem.

liver and onions cake, quiltytherapy

It looks disgusting, which is what I ultimately wanted. While it looks disgusting, it tasted AMAZING!!! The baker made a moist chocolate cake, it was just the right amount of chocolate. The onions are made with cooked apple slices.

At first, I wasn’t sure how the apple slices would work. They look gross but were perfection. There was a cinnamon strudel light icing mixed in. We got to taste test the cake on Monday. Hey, someone had to make sure it would be right for the party.

Check back in February to see how the boys reacted to their surprise. It’s a wonderful personal touch to incorporate my grandma into their birthday.