Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #11, Abstract Stitches

Hello Friends! We survived Irma with very little drama here. We lost power about an hour and a half after my last post. We were ready and thankfully our power was restored just about 30 minutes before the 48 hour mark. We only lost a few leftovers in the fridge and didn't sustain any damages to our home. We're very grateful as many others are still suffering from the aftermath, our prayers remain with them each day.

After the storm passed we spent the week de-storming, not sure if that's even a thing but there were supplies that needed to be relocated and schedules to get back in order. I was very grateful that I was able to keep my travel plans for the 16th of September to Virginia to visit our twins at the monastery. They are both doing well and it was so nice to see their beautiful faces!

After my quick trip to visit our twins then life was busy and we were off to visit family in Colorado. Since we've been back I've been busy purging, decluttering and organizing and today we set to the task of painting the interior living spaces of our home. I haven't had much time for creative endeavors but I did finish a project before our trip to Colorado. You may remember an abstract painting project that I started months ago. My daughter Sofia really liked the idea of my turning it into a bag so she asked if it could be hers when I finished it. I finished just before our trip to Colorado and gave it to her as an early birthday gift, she had her sweet sixteenth this year while we were in Colorado so it was an extra special gift. With all the busy-ness we finally had the chance of having a little photo fun with it last Saturday so here's a few photos of the finish...

The painting party has begun!

This is a fairly large project and honestly I've been procrastinating quite a lot with the decluttering in an attempt to avoid the prep work that's involved with painting! But my dear husband was at my side helping me and we got quite a lot finished today, only about a dozen or so more surfaces to go! 
Until next time, have a very
Happy Halloween!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #10, Hurricanes and Happy Birthday!

Just a quick post...It's been a week of hurricane prepping around here and yesterday we celebrated my husband's 46th birthday. We are still awaiting Irma's arrival to our area, although today we started feeling the effects of the weather in the outer bands. As I type this the lights have flickered a few times and the storm has been downgraded to a category 2 and is tracking north from Naples. The photo below is from earlier this morning just around the time when it started raining. We have all the potted plants inside and the raised beds have wheels so we rolled them under the patio and strapped them together.

Continued prayers for everyone affected by the storm...

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #9, Insignificant Scraps

Not a whole lot to report for this past week. I've done a little more stitching with the scraps and rearranged some blocks on the wall and managed to fill several bags with scraps that I'm happy to let go of. All this scrap sorting, which I realize is so insignificant when you think of the tremendous amount of devastation in Texas--so many people are displaced and some have lost their lives, really prompted me to take time to reflect on what is really important in life, scraps being way down at the bottom of the "ladder of importance". My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by Hurricane Harvey.

And now there is a possibility Florida may wind up in the path of Hurricane Irma as it continues to build strength and is currently tracking toward the Caribbean Islands. This week I may spend more time storm prepping than scrap stitching.

Thoughts and prayers for protection going out for everyone who may be affected by Irma...

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #8, Scrap Vortex

Caught in the scrap vortex, 
but first some inspiring moments captured...

This was the sunset from last Sunday evening...

We were't able to view the eclipse on Monday as it was too cloudy. Swim practice started back up Monday evening but it was cut short right about halfway through due to weather. We made it home in time to capture a few gorgeous shots of the surrounding storm cells.

On Tuesday I pulled this back out to work on...

I added a few more stitch lines to it and then washed off all the Solvy...

Once the Solvy was removed it went into the dryer.
I'm really digging the texture! 

After working on the Solvy project for a bit I took a break to scroll through Pinterest. Pinterest is wonderful for inspiration or for just mindlessly passing the time. Sometimes I'll see things that I'll pin for future ideas to develop or if I like an article and don't want to clog up my email with it then I use Pinterest as a virtual filing cabinet. Every now and again though I'll come across something that I have to try right away which is what happened during my little break when I came across a pin that was posted from the Patchwork Pie Blog. You see, I started a scrappy improv project over three years ago in an attempt to use up every last scrap, you know, waste not, want not, yada yada. I've worked on it a few times here and there but life and other projects seem to be major distractions and so it gets folded and filed away for another day. In the meantime scraps accumulate from other projects and my ziploc bag system of organizing the scraps falls to the wayside because I don't take the time to use the system the way it was intended, instead I just open the drawer and shove the scraps in, and I wind up with a big ol scrappy mess! And who wants to sew when everything is in chaotic disarray? Not this girl I tell you. Just looking at the drawers where the scraps are hiding out can be overwhelming enough! Anyway, besides the mess of it all and the distractions that lead to the mess another reason why it gets folded and filed away is the method that I had been using to sew the scraps together in the first place--tediously sorting and pairing like sized scraps. My whole scrap sewing world changed when I came across the pin from the Patchwork Pie blog. I started cranking out scrappy pieces to add in no time!

Here's what it looked like when I started...

...and here's a view with some of the new pieced sections not actually sewn to it yet.

After my bit of fun I still had to deal with the mess and disorganization of my scraps so I decided to deal with it once and for all and I got busy sorting. I finally got to a point where every scrap had been gone through and put in it's proper place. Then I arranged some piles on my sewing table and got back to work. Sewing along I started feeling overwhelmed at the amount of scraps that I have and that I'll probably never use, which is a disconcerting idea for me because my thought is if it's not being used then what purpose is it serving to just sit idle? Feeling a great sense of obligation to use all these scraps I needed some advice and so texted my quilty kndred spirit friend Julie about it. Her counsel was perfect--It was okay to just use the ones I wanted and let the others go! Yes!! I was headed in a similar direction with larger fabric pieces that I had been pulling and setting aside to either donate or list in my Etsy shop so why not do the same with some of these scraps? That's what I'm going to work on this coming week, detachment from the scraps in this scrap vortex! So, if you're in need of some scraps I'll be listing some very soon in my Etsy shop, direct link in sidebar.

As always, 
Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #7, Productive Moments

I had some fairly productive moments this past week, most of the energy undoubtedly attributed to all the nervous energy I had as my daughter Sofie returned to public school as a freshman. We've homeschooled for the last five years, which I must confess wasn't what I wanted to do but at the time found it necessary to do so, and let me tell you it wasn't a decision that was made without some serious thought and lots of prayers because we had attempted it once before and the experience wasn't pretty, at all! We've done things much differently this time though and as confident as I am in her abilities to make decisions, her returning being one of them, I think the transition has been harder for me than for her! She was the one calming me down as we waited for the bus on the first day. I had to promise her that I wouldn't be accompanying her to the bus stop ever again. As hard as it is to let go I often have to remind myself of some wisdom that was shared with me from a friend during the year we made the decision to homeschool this time. It has been especially helpful this year not just with the schooling decision but also with the twins' decision to return to the monastery. It's a reminder to put into perspective the bigger picture of the journey that is ever unfolding as a mother and trusting her children to make the decisions only they can make.

On Children
 Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

So, with all that nervous energy, I whipped together a couple of quilt tops that will eventually be donated to Project Linus. Right now they're both waiting to be sandwiched, quilted and bound.
That may take a week or a month, or who knows how long...

This one was started over a year ago by my daughter Gianna when I showed her how to chain piece with the sewing machine. She sorta lost interest in finishing it and I just couldn't stand looking at it unfinished in the basket any longer and took action with all that nervous energy I've been going on about...

...and then, again with the nervous energy, I got to the business of trimming up the HSTs 
and started playing around with other possible arrangements.

I mentioned in the birthday post that I had helped my husband collect rainwater...
We've been experimenting with gardening using raised beds and we're learning a lot!
Main thing we've learned--PATIENCE!

We had to make a trip to Lowe's this morning because we decided to pull two of the three tomato plants that are in pots and replace them with healthier plants. We don't think the ones we bought were very healthy from the beginning but then again we could've made a depth mistake when putting them in the soil. Regardless, they weren't looking good! Where am I going with all of that anyway you ask? Well, while we were outside looking at the plants we walked by these coneflowers and I noticed this monarch butterfly flittering about and had to try to capture it, with my phone camera, as I do love to take photos y'all...
Butterflies are a favorite creature of mine for so many reasons and seeing this little guy today after this past week was what I refer to as a providential God moment... it was a reminder of the transformative power of God within each of us.

On the 15th of August, this past Tuesday, marked one year since Cheyenne returned to the monastery.
The photo below was taken on our last visit the day before her twin sister Phoenix would rejoin her there. Although, not without struggle, she is doing well and is on her own transformation journey. She always shares a passage of scripture when she writes and this was the one she included in my birthday card...

"Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; 
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." 
~Isaiah 41:10

Thanks for stopping by,
Until next time,
Have a beautiful and blessed week!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #6, Reflections Quilt

I'm happy to report that yesterday I finished hand sewing the binding on the batik quilt! After thinking about several different possible "artsy fartsy" ways to name the quilt my sweet, and a little bit sassy, daughter Sofia persuaded me to name it Reflections--just reflections and leave it at that. I gotta say I do like the simplicity of just "Reflections". I mentioned in a previous post what inspired the design and I'm really pleased with how it all came together in the end. And, it's the first of my quilts to get one of the new fancy quilt labels I had made by Dutch Label Shop. Originally I thought I would hand sew the labels, I avoid hand sewing at all costs which is why I never met my previous goal of sewing them on the other six finished quilts, so I thought I'd use the machine instead. It's soooo much faster and looks nice too! So, YAY for that!!

Like I've said before a quilt isn't really finished until it's been photographed, so early this morning I woke up my sweet, and a little bit sassy, quilt model and we headed out to take a gagillion photos. Well, maybe not a gagillion but for her it felt that way! Not to worry, while there are a bunch of photos in this post I promise there isn't anywhere near a gagillion. ;-) It rained just before we made it to the location so it was extra humid as you can tell by the test photo below that I took just after we arrived. My glasses always fog up the same way so it's no surprise the camera lens would do the same. A quick little wipe with the bottom of my shirt and we were good to go!

And so began our picture taking party and visual story of the colors, 
curves and calm that inspired the quilt design along the Cotee River.

A little more humidity...

I just love the early morning light after a cleansing rain, everything looks so crisp and vivid.

That "looking away" model gaze...

Cute little feet that are usually flippering while mine are flopping...

Just as we were about to get back into the truck to ride over to my favorite street 
of beachy houses we looked up and were treated to this rainbow...

One of the cutest little blocks in town...

You can't really see it in this picture but the weathervane 
atop the house below is of a mermaid!
How cute is that?

And take a look at this one with the bicycle mounted on the siding!

This little house has all kinds of fun stuff going on!

Just around the corner from the beachy houses is beautiful Simm's Park...
Some cloud gazing.

Hey look, chickenturkeyvultureducks!

The tail end of the rain cell that passed through earlier.

Nearing the end of the visual story now...  
I managed to get a bit of reflection of the quilt in a small puddle near the bottom stems of the plants in the foreground. Had I noticed that earlier I might have taken a gagillion more photos but it's a good thing I didn't because my sweet, and a little bit sassy, quilt model was pretty much done by then!

She's such a trooper! 
Many, many thanks Sofia!

Thanks sew much for stopping by and following along on this little visual story!
"Reflections" is available for purchase in my Etsy shop DolceQuilts.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Sunday Stitch Report #5, Birthday Edition

So, I had another birthday last week! Woohoooo!! I gotta say, I'm so happy and grateful to be alive, wrinkles and all! When I was a high schooler I doubted I'd see my 21st birthday, let alone make it to 46! My life has certainly had some strange twists and turns, I'm certainly not unique in having those types of experiences, but every twist and turn has led me here to this place in my life and I can honestly say that I'm the happiest and most content than I've ever been before. I am married to the love of my life, over 23 years now, and we have four precious daughters who light up our lives. How much more could a girl want, besides more fabric? And truth be told, I really do have more fabric than I'll probably ever use but had to throw that in there for the sake of humor ;-) Seriously though, I'm a woman who has it all! #loveisallthatmatters

Birthday pic with my #1 Fanboy in my sewing space...
HST's still on the wall, untrimmed.

The morning of my birthday I read a blog post from Becky over at Patchwork Posse about how to sew an easy, and oh sew fast, microwave potato bag. When I read it I knew I had the perfect fabric in my stash and as soon as I was done helping my dear husband with collecting rain water, you read that right, I got right to it and sewed one up lickety split. I'll elaborate more on the rain water later :-)

As for the quilt binding, I started hand finishing it yesterday...

...but got sidetracked with another side project that 
I started a few days ago with the trims from the quilt.

As per usual, to be continued!
Until next time,
Have a great week!