Friday, June 15, 2012

TGIFF Party and a Finish

Welcome everyone to my blog and to the TGIFF linking party!

I'm so happy you stopped by and I hope you're ready to link up and show off your finish this week!

I've been so excited for my turn to host TGIFF and I've been planning to show off a finish that I have been really excited about.

But alas, things don't always work out the way that we planned.  While I was working on the last sections of quilting on this quilt, my sewing machine freaked out, and the tension just went crazy.  I spent about 45 minutes trying to fix it, but I couldn't do anything to make it right again.  There's something wrong with the bottom tension I think.  *sigh*  It looks like I'm going to have to take it in to the shop.  Again.  Grrr.

So instead, I have a smaller finish to show you.  A bonnet.

A bonnet??   Yes.  A bonnet.  My sewing plans for this summer have taken a 180 degree turn.  A bonnet is for sure something that is not usually on my list of 'I want to sew.'

We found out recently that our family is going on a Mormon Trek this summer, to honor the pioneer heritage of our church.   The requirements of the Trek are that each participant dress in clothing of the period.  Men and boys wear non-denim type slacks, long-sleeved button-up shirts and suspenders, with some sort of wide-brimmed hat.  All the women and girls have to wear dresses or long skirts and shirts, bonnets, and aprons.

I'll talk more about our Trek next week, with more details about what it's all about.

It's easy enough to get the boys ready, just finding shirts (and altering them slightly) and pants and hats.  It's not as easy to get the girls ready, as long dresses and skirts and bonnets aren't very easy to find.  So, I decided to make my girls and myself our outfits.  That means a lot of sewing!

This is my first project of many this summer that will have to do with our Trek.  It looks like my normal sewing projects will have to be put on hold until we go, which is at the end of July.  I have six weeks to sew bonnets, dresses, and aprons for five girls.  And we all need two changes of clothes for our three day adventure!

She is going to look so adorable in her little pioneer clothes.  How I'll look is a whole different story. :) 

So, not the most glamorous finish out there today, but I'm just keeping it real, ladies (and gentlemen!). This is what my life's going to be like for the next month and a half.  I just hope my sewing machine will cooperate!

Okay, so enough about me...I want to see what everyone else has been up to!  So link up all of your glamorous and fabulous finishes (and not so glam and fab finishes--we know we all have them from time to time!)

Be sure to link back to the TGIFF! website, either on your post or with a button on your sidebar, so your visitors can come and see as well!  

For a button code, go here:

And don't forget to visit everyone else's links and comment, comment, comment!  We ALL love comments!

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Father's Day weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I'm hosting TGIFF this week!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I'm hosting TGIFF! this week!

Pop on over on Friday to link up your finishes and to peek at what everyone else has been up to!

I can't wait to see everyone's projects, and I have an exciting finish to share with you as well, so I can't wait for Friday!

See you then!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Running With Scissors...

I have been trying to find an open quilting bee to get into for a while now...but as soon as one opens up all the spots get taken right away.  I'm just not quick enough!

Until now!

I joined the Running With Scissors Quilting Bee yesterday...I'm so excited!  It's a new quilting bee that's just starting up.

If anyone is interested in getting involved in an online quilting bee, there are still a few spots left:

Here is a running list of Quilting Bees on Flickr, and there is also a thread that posts up new bees and opened spots in existing bees:

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm Being Featured!

My little handprint quilt is being featured over at Quilt Story today!

hand print quilt, wonky blocks

Head over and read the post!

Fresh Poppy Design

If you haven't visited these sweet ladies before, you're in for a treat!  They are a two-sister blogging team and their blog is so adorable.  Full of beautiful quilts, great tutorials, and fun linky parties!

Thanks, Heather and Megan!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pushing Through

I hope that everyone had a great weekend!

My weekend's been pretty quiet with three of my kids out of town visiting family.  So since I only had my two youngest at home, I decided to go ahead and do the one thing I've been dreading doing for months now.

Potty Training.


He's my last one.  But I just haven't been able to bear the thought of doing it for the sixth time--even if it's the last time I ever have to do it.

Just look at that little guy.   He is always happy!  He was our surprise baby.  Our blessed baby.  He brings joy to our family that we didn't know we were missing.  They all do, but there's something about the baby.  Sweetness that just never stops.  He'll always be my baby. 

But it's time to get my baby out of diapers.  He's two months shy of 3 years old.

So I brushed up on my favorite potty training book, and plunged in on Friday.

I told him no more diapers for him anymore.

The first day went really well.  We had one accident, but by the afternoon, he was telling me he had to go to the potty.

The next day, he did even better.  He even pooped in the potty!

Today, the third day, we've had no accidents, and he's going into the bathroom on his own to go potty.

I think we did it!!!

It's just a matter of pushing through!  
Knowing you don't want to do it, but sucking it up doing it anyway.  I really should apply this principle to more aspects of my life!

And just a note:  
For anyone that's preparing to potty train:  this is an amazing method for potty training.  I used this method with my last three kids, and they were all potty trained this fast.  You need to take a few days and set everything aside...other kids to G-ma's, no errands, just staying home and potty training.  I tell you, it works!!

Does anyone have any secrets to this process?  Favorite methods?  Leave a comment and tell us! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012


How has everyone's summer been so far?

My summer so far?...Well, it's not quite turning out the way that I had so happily planned it a few weeks ago.

I had planned on getting a TON of sewing done.  After all, we'd all be two youngest would be a little more occupied with the older kids home each day, and I'd take advantage of that fact for a couple of hours each day to get some sewing in.

I don't know what I was thinking!!!  I was kidding myself, that's for sure.

School has been out for two weeks and I haven't even hardly looked into my sewing room.  Or gotten anything else done, for that matter.  I did spend some time down there last week, hurriedly cutting my fabric for a swap I'm in.  That got sent two days later than the deadline, I'm ashamed to admit.  I didn't even get any laundry done the first week of summer break.

For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, or if you've looked at my About page, you know that I have six children.  My oldest is away at college, so I have 5 at home now.

My kids at home are aged 15, 13, 7, 5, and 2 1/2.  That age range makes it very hard to keep everyone entertained and happy all at the same time and with the same activities.  And very hard for everyone to look normal in a photo!

I do need to stop for a minute and let everyone know that I love being a mom, and I adore my kids!  I'm blessed in many ways in my life.  And I love having the privilege of staying home with them.  But, having such a large family does have its being that I don't get to spend the amount of time that I'd like to on activities of my choice.  Like sewing.  And blogging.  And showering, for that matter.  (yes, there are days that I don't get a shower in...I've admitted it.  Don't judge me.  *sigh*)

Anyway...I had big plans this getting going on my Swoon quilt (which I've planned a monstrous 4X4 setting for our king-sized bed, and I've only finished 1 block of), and making a Granny Square quilt for my 5-year old daughter, and making a pink and orange string quilt for my 15-year old daughter.  And quilting up my four quilt tops that have been sitting around for longer than I'm willing to admit, and a dozen other projects that I've had swimming around in my head.

Most of those plans aren't going to happen this summer.  Between my older girls wanting to go go go and spend time with their friends, and my three little ones wanting to have play dates and obviously needing my attention, and some of the home projects that I have planned (like the garden I haven't planted yet),  I'm not going to have time for most of my grand plans to happen this summer.

But, that's okay...I've learned this year with my oldest leaving for college, that time goes by quickly, and before you know it, little ones are all grown up and going away.

Hopefully as we settle in to our summer routine I'll at least be able to find a few minutes here and there to sew.

My 3 older kids are away for a few days visiting family, so I thought I'd take a few minutes and get started on this quilt.

Sorry for the bad pics, they were taken on my phone, whose lens has been clouded up by sticky little hands.

I thought that some large pebbling would look good on this quilt.  I thought that mimicking the pebble-y fabric and the circle fabric above would be fun.  I almost stopped after I quilted the orange center section and picked it all out to do something different, but then I laid it out on the floor and took a step back to look at it, and decided I liked it.

Sometimes being right up in your work isn't the best way to judge if you're going to like it or not, you know?  It's better to take a step or two back and evaluate from a distance, or even walk away from it for a few minutes and then come back for a second look.

I have a long way to go on this little quilt, but I'm making some progress, at least.  Hopefully I'll be able to call it a finish by this Friday, June 15th.

Because I'm hosting TGIFF!, and I need to have a finish to post for it.  If not, I'll find something small to finish and show that.

So, how is your summer going?  The way you planned and envisioned?  Or not?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Modern She Made Swap

The first round of the modern she made swap is winding down.

Modern She Made Swap

This was my first make-something swap, and I had SO much fun with it!

This is the mini I made for my partner, Rachel.  
(I blogged about this mini here.)

and some little extras that I sent along with it.  A little cathedral window pincushion, some fat quarters of Birch Fabrics Mod Basics, notecards, and some goodies from my neck of the woods.  

About the goodies I sent:
  • The Idaho Spud, which is actually a candy bar made with  milk chocolate marshmallow in the middle, and covered with dark chocolate and rolled in coconut.  They're local and pretty popular here.  Some people like them, some don't.  I'm not a fan of marshmallow or coconut, so they're not my favorite.  My mother-in-law actually buys gift boxes of them and sends them to family members who aren't local for Christmas.  I thought my partner might like to try one!
  • Huckleberry pretzels, and huckleberry chocolates.   If you've never tried huckleberries, you are missing out!  They're kind of like a blueberry, but smaller and much more delicious.  They grow in the mountains above 5000 feet in several western states. 

My sister-in-law has a secret spot up in the mountains that we go pick every year around the end of August.  We drive four-wheelers in and everyone picks all day.  We bring them home, wash them up, and put them in freezer bags and hoard them in the freezer carefully use them all year so they'll last until we go pick again.  

We're careful with them because sometimes they do well, and sometimes they don't, depending on the weather that year. They're especially delicious in apple pie, in cheesecake, muffins, and milkshakes.  Since I couldn't send fresh huckleberries to my partner, I thought I'd go for some local packaged creations.

But the best part of the swap....?

My package sent to me by Dawn!

She made me a lovely sewing machine cover in red and aqua, my favorite colors.  I LOVE everything about it!  Especially the tape measure fabric on the ties!  She also send some adorable notecards, some sewing machine needles, and five fat quarters of Tufted Tweets!  I am blown away by her sweet and generous package.

I can't wait until the next round, which is hopefully starting soon!  

I just want to say thank you to Julie and Lori for organizing this swap and doing such a great job keeping us all on task and organized!

What have you been involved in lately?  Any swaps?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

When Plans Get Changed For You

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, perhaps you know that I've been participating in the Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt Challenge that Sarah has organized.

There are people in need throughout the world.  The quilts that she receives in behalf of this challenge will be donated to one of two charities:

  • Children in New Orleans that have been affected by Hurricane Katrina, and
  • Patients that have been affected by cancer and chemotherapy.
Both are very worthy charities.  These are great causes to donate time, talents, and quilts to.

When saw back in March that Sarah was holding sign-ups for this challenge, I quickly and eagerly signed up.  

I knew, almost immediately, that I was going to make an I-Spy quilt for a child for one of these amazing charities.

I started thinking right away about what setting or design I was going to create for this quilt, but I couldn't decide on anything.  Nothing seemed right.  Nothing felt good.  I put it on the back burner as I continued to ponder how I was going to make this quilt.

A few weeks later I was shopping when inspiration finally struck, and I got right to work buying materials and starting my blocks.  The funny thing is, the quilt that I finally knew I was going to make was not the I-Spy quilt that I had planned on.  

In fact, its nothing like I had originally planned.

I didn't think much of it and continued working on my quilt--so excited that I'd finally decided on something and it was underway.  The deadline of May 27th was getting closer and I wanted to be done in plenty of time!

As I was getting my blocks finished up and started sewing them together last week, I learned some devastating news about a very dear friend of mine.  News that just breaks my heart for her and her family.  I brought her dinner because that's what we do around here, but felt like I just needed to do more for her, but not knowing what I can do.

As I continued to work on this quilt, a thought kept creeping into my head.  I would brush it aside each time, but it continued to invade my thoughts and wouldn't go away!  And suddenly, I knew what I needed to do.

I realized then, without a doubt, that I have not been making this quilt for the charity that I had planned on.

I've been making this quilt for my friend and neighbor who needs the warmth and comfort of a quilt through this trial in her life.

I realized that was the reason that I just couldn't figure out a way to make that I-Spy quilt that I'd been so excited about.  If I had been making that I-Spy quilt, I wouldn't have had a quilt ready to give to my friend right now when she needs it most.

There are lots of people in need, feeling discouragement, loss or pain throughout the world, but the most important good I can do right now is right here in my own neighborhood.

And this quilt is perfect for her.

I felt sick though, because I knew that if I did what I knew I was supposed to do with this quilt, I wouldn't have a quilt to send for Sarah's Quilt Challenge, like I committed to doing.

I finally emailed Sarah and explained my predicament.  She was so gracious and sweet and told me that she completely understood the situation and invited me to link up to her final Charity Quilt Challenge post anyway, because she understood that this quilt is going to a good cause.

I just appreciate her so much for being so understanding why I won't be sending a quilt her way for the Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt Challenge this year.  

She made me feel like a quilt for good is a quilt for good, no matter where in the world it is given.

It's funny how sometimes our plans get changed for us. 

This experience has taught me again that our talents and our life are really not in our own hands...and if we listen, we'll be guided to do the things that are most important.

Quilt Facts:
Marigold Trellis (more on this quilt here.)
Measures 60" X 60"
Each block is 4.5" (finished) with the addition of a 1.5" (finished) border on two sides of each block.
Made with Charm Squares from Joann's and other fabrics from my stash.
The sashing and binding is Kona Coal.
Backing fabric from my LQS (Paparazzi by Red Rooster Studio)
Quilting is free-motion on my Janome.

Thanks again to Sarah for all her work on the Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt Challenge.   She is an amazing person and I admire all the good she does!

Thanks for letting me link up with you this week!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winner!

The week of Giveaway Day is over, and I hope that everyone had a really fun week browsing blogs and entering all the generous giveaways that linked up!   

I for one had a great week visiting everyone and finding some new amazing blogs.

 I especially loved reading all the comments that everyone left over here.  I was amazed that there were over 700!!

I want everyone to know that I appreciate all who stopped by, and let you know that each comment was read and appreciated, although I wasn't able to respond to would have taken me all week!

And thank you to all my followers, old and new!  I really, really appreciate each of you and continue to look forward to getting to know more and more of you as you comment and participate in other giveaways and fun stuff here in the future!

Okay, on to our winner!  

My second daughter, Megan, asked if she could pick the number that chose the winner, and I told her that she could.  She chose comment number 124, which is

                                             mrsc1345 of Nerdy Birdies!

Congratulations, you're the lucky winner of this amazing bundle of Joel Dewberry's Heirloom!

I've sent you an email to let you know you're the winner, and as soon as you get me your info, I'll be sending this right out!

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by and commented.  If you didn't win, don't despair, because I'm planning another amazing giveaway when I reach 200 followers, and we're pretty close!

Hope everyone's having a great Memorial weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Circles of Geese

I finished my little mini quilt for the Modern She Made Swap!

This little baby will be sent out on Tuesday first thing, along with some little extras that I'm gathering up right now for my partner.  

I used this paper-piecing pattern for the inner flying geese, and appliqued the outer geese.

Here's a view of the back of the quilt, which I like as much as I like the front!

I used Kona coal for the grey, and a variety of prints from my stash and my LQS for the geese, the back, and the binding.  It measures 24" X 24."

I hope she likes it!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Giveaway Day with Sew, Mama, Sew!

The Giveaway is closed.  Thanks to all who entered!  I'll be announcing the winner on Saturday 5/26.


For those of you who are here for the first time, welcome!

I'm diane, and I appreciate each of you stopping by.  I hope you'll take a moment to look around!

I have been so looking forward to this fun linky party.  I love looking through all the blogs that link up and finding new inspiration and friendships.  And of course, entering all the giveaways!

I wanted to offer something really special for this big giveaway.  Being a fabric addict myself, of course it was going to be fabric.  I finally decided to choose something that maybe some of you haven't have a chance to get your hands on, or maybe want some more of!

If some of you don't recognize these beauties, they are part of the Heirloom collection by Joel Dewberry for Free Spirit Fabrics.  This is the Citrine colorway.  I LOVE these fabrics!  They are so beautiful.  Even more so in person.  There are nine fat quarters here.

I never did get my hands on this fabric when it was released last year.

I luckily found a lovely online shop that has this beautiful fabric in stock!  Lilly Bella Fabrics has lots of Joel Dewberry goodness among many others!  I was so happy with the service that Christy provided, and I got my shipment in TWO days.  Wow!  Go see her here.

Anyway, to enter for a chance to win these babies, just leave me a comment and tell me which past fabric line you didn't grab up but wish you would have.  That's all you have to do--you don't have to be a follower to enter.  Although, if you like my blog, I would love it if you decided to follow me!

This giveaway will close on the evening of May 25th, and I'll announce the random winner on Saturday morning.  Good luck!

I'll give you one last peek at these beauties:

Thank you again for stopping by...I hope to see you again soon!

And Thank You so much to Sew, Mama, Sew for hosting this amazing event!

To join in on Giveaway Day and see all the other giveaways, go here.  This link will take you to the main page; you can choose between FIVE different giveaway categories:  Handmade Baby + Kid Items, Handmade Accessories, Sewing + Craft Supplies {I'm in here}, Handmade for the Home, and Handmade Bags.

Have fun!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Marigold Trellis

I am terrible about naming quilts!  Sometimes I think that I would be better naming quilts just from their pattern.  This one I'd feel more comfortable naming 'Yellow Grid Pattern,' or 'Yellow Squares,' but that doesn't sound very pretty or interesting!

A lot of the flowers in the yellow fabrics remind me of sunny yellow marigolds, and the grey setting like a garden trellis, so I thought that 'Marigold Trellis' would be an interesting name (or not so interesting--after all, it's me naming it!)

Anyway, I do LOVE this quilt, no matter the name!

This quilt was made for a very special that I didn't even know about until yesterday!
When I get it totally finished, I'll post pictures and tell the story.

The fabrics for this quilt are a combination of fabrics from my stash and some from Joann's.  I found a couple of charm packs of the florals on clearance over there and I just fell in love with them.

I've been wanting to make a yellow and grey quilt forever, so I knew exactly what I was going to do with them when I found them. 

I actually had to square up the charm squares though...can you believe it??  

Aren't those floral squares pretty?  I do love these fabrics together.

It's fun to talk about my husband's opinions of my quilts, because they're so different from mine...ALWAYS.  He said that he could appreciate the 'squareness' of this quilt, but thought the fabrics were 'putrid.'

Hopefully he's the only one who thinks that!!  My three older daughters like it, so at least I'm not the only one that does!

The quilt measures 60 X 60 inches.

The perfect size to wrap up in!

I'm off to find a back and get to work quilting this beautiful quilt.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

And don't forget, it's Giveaway Day with SewMamaSew on Monday, and I'm really excited about my giveaway!  So be sure to stop by on Monday!

I'm linking here today:

There and Back