Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Happiness Project

This has been the week changing it up for the summer. No more routine, no more winter blahs. No more spring frenzy to get things in order.
I have had a chance to get perspective by all the changes in the routine for the week. It was the kick off to the Highland games season for my husband. I got to travel. We saw bear (nearly hit it) , fox and deer on the way to the games. In addition, we saw eagles and cranes. It was really quite cool that we can see all of this wildlife in my neck of the woods.

I started a really fun project. It is the twister quilt pictured. It is bright, loud and like nothing I have ever worked on. It was also really small- 1 3/4 block. The quilt is 20x24. I had a blast making it.

I have had a chance to work in my garden and realize it looks OK. Not great but not as horrible as I had thought. The storms have really greened it up and the perennials are looking pretty as you can see by the photos.
All of that to say, I have so much to be thankful for. It is easy to get caught up in the every day stuff and take it all for granted. That's what the happiness project is all about-gaining perspective.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tiny Tuesday

the lil twister starts out like this, a bunch of 3 1/2 inch squares sewn together, then you cut it with a 1 3/4" square and

This is what the first few rows look like! It is a fun little quilt.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I started this on my birthday, Friday. I had four hours of solid sewing time. I did so much. I started this Lil twister, after some other finishing projects. I wanted to use some brights to really see how this pattern and tool (on the patter in pic) works. The pinwheel units are 1 3/4". More to be updated on Tiny Tuesday, where I hope to have the units cut and re sewn, after the 3 1/2" blocks are sewn as pictured. My husband thinks this is a bit mad, you know. First you cut the fabric up. Then you sew it together as shown. Then you cut it up only to resew it in pinwheels. I am not sure but maybe he is on to something here......:)

I quilted my improvisational quilt with a pattern I call double bubble. I think this will be on my DNA/Oxygen quilt that is in the to be quilted stack. I was inspired by Day style designs free motion quilting project, here.  Good stuff to keep the long arm moving....

Group shot of the athletes at the first Highland Games of the season. I will be at about 8 or over the next several months. I will post more on this later this week when I get the photos sorted out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Happiness Project

Sometimes you just have to change it up. I skipped the gym tonight due to lack of transportation and finished this quilt.

It is a new stitch for me. It is quilted, off the frame, ready to bind and that makes me happy.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Design Wall Monday

Civil War Diary Quilt, set as pictured in the Farmers Wife book.
I never follow a pattern precisely :)

I have a completed Civil War Diary Quilt top to show. Well, I thought so. It needs to be squared up. After multiple pictures and show and tells, one of my friends pointed out something. "Is this your Amish mistake in your quilt?", she asked. (you know that purposeful mistake to keep you humble, not prideful.)

"ummm, nope, why?" I asked. (because believe me, there are plenty of unintentional mistake in this thing, like blocks not lining up, squares with misplaced colors, etc.)

"Weeeeellll, you missed a sashing bar," she states.


See that lower left corner? NO sashing bar , easy fix
So I need to add a sashing bar AND square it up. But it is photo worthy. :) I am thrilled.
Civil War Diary Quilt

What am I working on currently? I am in the process of quilting my tops that are stacking up. I have a lil twister tool to use for a quilt. I have several patterns I am working on. Plenty to do. But that day job still gets in the way of my quilting life, :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What could you do in an hour?

What could be accomplished in an hour a week? Fifteen minutes a day?

I find tasks that I mentally categorize as a chore feel like they take twice as long as tasks Ienjoy doing. Nothing new there, I discovered this as a child. But, there are times my child inside gets frustrated and overwhelmed with all the "have to do" things on the list made by the adult me. See above picture for a visual.

I get the chores done on a consistent basis by carving specific blocks of time. Dedicated time with minimal distractions. I try to not have the phone with me. I try to pick times that are quiet in my world. Like weekend mornings. Or before work, or when people aren't home.

This list is to remind myself that it can be done. One step at a time. One small increment of time to invest and a positive attitude. Yep, then they are done, those rotten chores. Then I can focus on pleasant tasks.

What have I accomplished in a hour this week?

cleaning house in several one hour increments
weeding the flower beds
exercise in several one hour increments
pinned a quilt on the frame with my Mom helping me
quilt on said quilt
sewed a quilt top together in several one hour increments
grocery shop

Oh, I almost forgot, I rest in one hour increments too.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happiness Project and Simple Living updates, a two for one!!

I am grateful for so much and that makes me happy in this quest for a simple life that is really full of joy, peace, love and happiness.

I am grateful for the yard I have, the flowers that will bloom, the running water and other creature comforts I take for granted, the fabric I have in my stash,  nd the food I have to eat. Just to name a few things.

I am blessed with so much. I have many rich relationships. Resources that are, really, more than enough for a very comfortable life compared to so many in this world.

Simply stated, in my quest for excellence, I lose sight of the simple, small stuff. I lose sight of having a "attitude of gratitude. "

In my quest for a well manicured yard and landscape, I forget to be thankful that I have a yard to maintain, a lawn to mow, dandelions to  eradicate and weeds to pull. My flower bed never reaches perfection of the BHG picture I have in my head. I am learning to be OK with that. Same with the closets and filing....

In my quest for perfection, I sometimes lose sight of all aspects of creating a quilt. The joy that I can make one. I have the resources at my fingertips and the physical ability to do some of the more strenuous part of quilting both physically and mentally. I have a family that tolerates my obsession with cutting up fabric only to sew it back together again.

The Civil War Diary quilt is together. It took me a couple of years. It isn't perfect but it is a good thing to have done.

I am truly thankful for everything, even when I find myself whining a bit along the way.

Any ideas on the dandelions, by the way? I think I am surrendering....

Monday, May 14, 2012

It has taken all week to add the rows that I have on the quilt. It is so much fabric to wrangle! I always say I am never making another queen sized quilt....until the next time.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hey Hey It's Thursday!

And one day closer to the weekend. We are going to travel to a birthday party for a cousin in my husbands family. We can get to a Trader Joes and Whole foods market. We are looking for chickpea flour and granola. I love to grocery shop there. It is a time to see what is new in the world when we go to the D city.

I am really trying to get some new clothes. I need some new makeup and a hair cut. I feel a update in my style coming up! I usually stick with neutral clothes and makeup but maybe I need to get more color. This is the time of year to change it up. I feel a mini makeover coming on. I haven't worn a skirt in years. Maybe I should get some shoes and try it. Saw the following on interest and I think I could wear this.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tiny Tuesday

I am joining up the rows of my Civil War Diary Quilt. These little blocks are set  in chocolate brown and I like the look of the blocks floating in the blue. Besides, I had the blue in my stash.

I am having a feeling of accomplishment in seeing this project coming together.

Jay's genius

Jay's genius by vhollowayus
Jay's genius, a photo by vhollowayus on Flickr.

Chicken, red peppers, onions, cherry tomatos. Grilled, too.

My husbands culinary skills at their finest, yummy!

I am trying to stay focused on being healthy. I am exercising regularly but I am trying to eat better. And lose weight. And lower my cholesterol. And feel better. And... well the list goes on!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Design Wall Monday

The trees quilt top for the Wedding is finished, in white. I think the borders give it some snap. The wedding colors are green/purple.

Here is the original quilt in black. I am a big fan of the black but then I made the white background one.....

Now to focus on binding. I have three quilts to whip stitch. I better get them done before it gets warm around here!

I counted my unfinished quilt tops. I have 10 to quilt. 4 have backing and one has batting. I gotta get going!