Having a ball

This week with visitors coming and going I haven't had a whole lot of time to devote to Quilting.  I have managed to squeeze in a little something.

I made this cute little ball for my newest nephew who will be arriving at the end of September.  I used the leftover "Hoopla" fabrics I had on hand.  I found this tutorial here.  This is a nice pattern for taking with you.  Once the machine stitching is finished, the rest of the project is stitched up by hand.  It would make a wonderful project for car trips.


Bye MarK!

The good thing about having a 14 year old is well... I am sure there is something, just give me a second.  Hmm.  Oh!  The good thing about having a 14 year old is you get to remember what high school was like without actually having to go back and do it again.  I may change my tune as the year progresses but for now, we're good.

Yesterday, on our return trip from the lake, I needed to stop off at the Supermarket to return a movie and pick up a few things.  Mark decided he wanted to go with me.  On the way to the store we devised our plan of attack.  I have found with the smaller males of the species you must, MUST have a plan.  This is especially important when going to places that are as repelling as the grocery, the pharmacy or the mall.  Our plan was this: Mark return the movie to the kiosk and I would pick up what I needed. Simple enough.

We took off to accomplish our respective tasks and met up in the produce isle.  A man stepped out in front of my cart as we rounded the corner from produce.   After I steered the cart around the man, Mark and I continued on our journey to dairy.  Only we didn't get far.  I walked no more than 3 steps before I heard, "MARK"S HERE!'  This is a common occurrence when we travel to places where there are girls attending.  A rather tall blond ran out from behind the shopping cart to give Mark a big hug.  Her dad and I watched and waggled our eyebrows at the situation.  The two teens exchanged pleasantries, talked about who they had seen and not seen over the summer and said their goodbyes.

 Only it wasn't goodbye.  The tall girl and her sister preceded to follow us around the grocery.  As girls do, they giggled and whispered and waved, "Hi Mark." from across the store.  Mark was more than mortified but I am sure also thrilled to be drawing attention from the soon to be Sophomore.  He turned many shades of red and tried desperately to escape the attention by acting as if he wasn't bothered.

We made our way to the checkout, not nearly soon enough for Mark.  We loaded up our goods on the checkout belt and the Girls yelled, "Bye Mark."  At which point the Manager on duty looked at him and said, "Oh! Are you Mark?"  As humbly as one can in this situation, Mark nodded.   The Manager went on to introduce herself to Mark and throw out some lame comment about how he will have to come back more often now that they are on a first name basis.  Mark, I am sure could not get out of their fast enough.  It is one thing to have 2 cute girls calling your name and embarrassing you and quite another to have the over the hill, grandma of a store manager talking to you in front of your friends, who happen to be girls.

I finished up the transaction.  The groceries were loaded into the cart. And we speedily made our way for the exit.  Just as we reached the double sliding doors, all of the cashiers, baggers and the manager yelled, "Bye Mark!"

I am most certain he will not enter that particular grocery for sometime.


The End of Time

Well, it is finished.  The Time quilt or what I am calling, "A Moment of Time" was completed this weekend.  I added the red second hand which is hand appliqued onto the quilted background.  I decided to make the second hand long enough to fall into the "seconds" on the clock. Brilliant, I know.

  I added a small 1 inch circle with an satin stitched "brad" in the center.  All in all I am very pleased.  And by the way I did end up entering this quilt into the Transformation quilting Challenge over at DayStyleDesigns.  Thanks to all of you who emailed me your support.    Now on to some baby gifts!


Time Well Spent

I have been working steadily on my clock quilt.  I spent the last week doodling different quilting designs, trying to figure out just what I wanted to quilt.  I have to say there were times I just wanted to quilt the entire quilt with one design and get it over with.  Yet, the entire process is a reminder to me to slow down and enjoy the process.  This moment this time, is what it is about.  Remembering that is easy!  Putting it into practice is a much larger task. 

Yesterday, after dispersing my children to various friends' houses, I had several hours to enjoy the process.  It was quite wonderful to not have to worry about fighting children or requests for food.  

Here is what I came up with...

I used 5 different quilting designs on this tiny little quilt.  The quilt only measures 9"x12"  I have toyed with the idea of making this quilt on a larger scale, perhaps as a whole cloth quilt.  But that is for another post. 

I used all 5 designs from the Free Motion Quilting Project by Leah Day.  I have used her designs multiple times and posted about them here.  She is currently having a Quilt Challenge.  Initially I was going to enter this quilt, but I am having second thoughts.  Not only because I love how it turned out, but also because I have an underlying fear of not being  good enough.  

Competition has always been a scary thing for me.  Putting myself out there to be "judged" is VERY intimidating.  Remembering to be happy with who I am regardless of what others may think is Extremely Difficult.  After years, and years of doubting my abilities, putting faith and trust within myself and my work is Frightening. 

Sure it is an easy thing sitting in my studio, admiring how far I have come and knowing how hard I have worked.  Putting myself out for others to scrutinize is an entirely different thing.  

Now that the quilting is finished, I have to decide if I should bind it with dark brown binding or the neutral muslin. I have the muslin cut out.  After taking these pictures, I am thinking the brown would frame it nicely.

The second decision I need to make is whether I should put a second hand on, and how long should I make it.  My initial design called for all of the hands of the clock to be represented.  Now after looking at the design I think perhaps only a second hand would make the statement, "This Moment."  Which was my true intention. So here are the choices..




What do you think?


A Moment of my Time

I have been steadily chugging away on my clock quilt.  I have to say bringing this design into fruition is much more difficult than I would have ever imagined.  I worked on and off pretty consistently over 3 or 4 days.  I was excited by my progression.  I used the piec-lique technique by Sharon Schamber that I used for the space ship quilt.   This technique is simply unbeatable for appliqueing circles.

I love it! For the Roman Numerals I used a basic satin stitch to cover the lines I had drawn.  When I got to the Arabic Numbers I ran into some problems.  I had planed on Free Motion Quilting around the numbers. Yet, when I practiced the quilting around the numbers, I was disappointed with the result.  I thought about using fabric paints to help them stand out but ultimately passed on that idea.  I tried using fusible webbing to attach the numbers but the pieces were so small I couldn't get them to remain fused while I quilted over them.    Thinking that I needed more stabilization, I fused interfacing on the back of the quilt.  I am not sure if it was the late hour or the fact that I was having difficulty fusing the interfacing but  I left the iron on the fabric a tad to long.  I did however end up with a lovely burned piece of muslin.

 It was at this point that I realized I was not listening to my own advice.  I had become wrapped up in the end result, so much so that I was not enjoying the process, the Moment.  I put the quilt away for several days and we are now on speaking terms once again.  Now I just have to decide how to quilt it.


A little Knitting Love

Over the course of our trip last week I knitted up this cute little hat.  The yarn and pattern were sent to me (Thanks Mary!)  along with several other patterns and lots more yarn as a pre-vacation care package.  What a wonderful idea!

This pattern I love you hearts knit hat pattern by SmoothFox was a cinch to knit up.  Conveniently I had just the right amount of knitting time to finish it up in the car.  The other 2 patterns are going to take considerably more time, and a longer car ride. :)  The are the Daisy Wrap Cardigan and Skirt, but what a cute set they will all make together!



There are lots of ways in which people perceive time..."time flies when you are having fun,"  "time passes you by,"  some can "Never find the time." and still for others there is, "time enough"
Some say, "time is money,"  Still others say, "don't waste your time"  
I have come to understand a new truth, time is now.  This moment is truly all we have.  In the spirit of this revelation I have once again revisited my clock quilt. 

This was my initial sketch drawn hastily on the back of Emma's spelling list.  The idea came to me while sitting in the student pick-up line at the Elementary School.  

After the first drawing I began to see the quilts as parts.  I imagined all of the hours as done in a different style, some applique, perhaps a trapunto or a patched number.  I envisioned each hour quilted in a different quilting motif.  I also began to see more of a clock face rather than just numbers.

As the idea grew in my mind, I just was not happy.  I didn't feel as though any of my drawings depicted what was going on inside me.  I wanted time to represent something for me, but what I wasn't quite sure.

Then I started taking Mindfulness Classes.  The quilt has grown and changed as my perception of time has also changed.  Then one day it just appeared.  I realized I did not want the entire clock.  I only needed part of the clock to represent this moment.  To remind me that I needed to focus on the Now, This moment.

I drew out 1/4 of a clock face.  Using the numbers 10,11, and 12.  Somehow the "Eleventh Hour" kept circling around in my head.  

I put the design a way once again and let it grown and change.  I realized when I took it out that I did not want the End of the Day but the Beginning, a New Beginning.  I flipped the clock face over to include not only 11and 12 but also to include 1, 2, 3 and part of 4.  1/4 of the clock face no longer seemed enough. I also added the minute and hour hands.  

As I drew out the last design I excluded the hands entirely.  I am not sure I want the hour or minute hand.  Ultimately, what I believe I will include is the the single second hand.  Pointing, only to this second, this moment, the here and now.


Happy 10th Birthday Emma

Emma 6 months

This past weekend my BABY turned 10!  I cannot believe how fast she has grown.  Nowhere was this more evident that during our vacation this past week.  We spent the week in Florida hopping from one theme park to another.  It was completely exhausting and lots of fun.  The kids enjoyed every minute of it.
Emma riding Woody Woodpecker Coaster

What I learned about my youngest was wondrous.  I watched in amazement as my youngest begged and pleaded to ride the biggest, fast roller coaster in the park. She was always the first to take Dad's hand and drag him off to one thrill ride or another.  Surprisingly, she came off each laughing, smiling and talking a mile a minute.  However, when she wasn't tall enough to ride some of the bigger coasters she was crushed by disappointment.
Emma riding Rip-it Coaster

 Until this vacation I never thought much of being the youngest.  I am the oldest in my family.  I am aware of the pressures, responsibilities and demands of being the oldest.  As the oldest, the youngest always seemed to get everything.  What could possibly be wrong with getting your way all the time! Why would you not want to be coddled and cared for by your older siblings?  It never occurred to me that being the youngest could have negative as well as positive aspects.

Emma in the hula-hoop contest

Watching Emma brave the rides with the bigger kids I began to see just how much she wants to be excepted.  How she wants to be one of them.  When I look at my daughter now I see that she is becoming one of them.  Everyday she is trying something new, acting a bit older and taking on more responsibility.  She IS becoming a big kid.  I couldn't be prouder.
Emma Age 10
Happy Birthday Emma!