Monday, January 30, 2012

Sewing

I spent the morning tackling my laundry which seems to be a lot each week considering there are only 4 of us, but I'm spending some time this afternoon in my sewing room.

Sewing some wonky stars with my Kona Ash that finally came in and I finally found time to cut out the remaining 24 squares I needed...
Ironing all of those pesky seams that go along with making a quilt.
Designing all of these bits and pieces into a cohesive quilt top.


I've actually got 6 done and 3 more almost done now!  Yay, almost done!

Loving both the design and the sweet baby girl this quilt is destined for.  Man, that Atlantic Ocean is mighty big.  Otherwise, I might just have to deliver this one in person so I could get some sugar from my UK family.  ;)

I'm also baking.  When the kids and I get home from visiting the library after school, we're gonna make these:

                                  Source: bakerella.com via Carrie on Pinterest

Heath Bar Cookies from Bakerella.  YUM!!

Hope you're having a great Monday!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Finished it Friday!!

Yay!!!  Who doesn't love finishes?  I know I do.  It makes all of those WIP's seem less daunting!

Today I have 3 finishes, and crazy enough, they're all clothing.  Well, clothing is that much quicker and all 3 of the projects had a deadline, so...  But still, a finish is a finish and I'm happy to share them!

This week was Literacy Week at school and the kids came home Monday with a paper saying Wednesday was Character Dress Up Day.  Emma was very worried about what to be.  Her favorite books right now are Nancy Drew (I know, she's 7!), but Nancy's kinda hard to dress up as and be recognizable, you know?  So Tuesday afternoon she decided to be a Rainbow Fairy from the popular series by Scholastic.  She went to ballet with Daddy and I looked at all of her fairy books and what I had to work with and found a red linen skirt of mine that I'd put in the refashion pile.  So, Ruby the Red Fairy it was.  Here's what Ruby looks like:

Ruby the Red Fairy [Book]


 And here's our version:



I fitted the skirt to Em and then sewed a new side seam.  Then I took the discarded edge and used the bottom ruffle to make ruffled straps for her shoulders and the ties from her shoes.  She already had the red sparkly shoes (thank Goodness!!) and we used scrapbook flowers stuck to a headband for her hair.  Since her hair is to short to braid, we just pulled it into a side pony and stuck a flower clip in.  These pics are after school and a trip to the big city, so imagine it looking a little more pulled together in the morning!  ;)

And Oren was a cowboy.  It was the best I could do with little notice.  He was happy as long as he got to wear the bandana.  And he outgrew his cowboy hat, so...

Yes, that is a container with sand in it for a gun...it was closest when I asked him to pose!

Then, I got one of the 4 baby gifts I'm working on done!  My friend had her 3rd right before Christmas while I was on vacation, so I whipped up this little dress for her today.  It's from the free tutorial at Sew Much Ado for an Infant Peasant Dress.  I have a pattern for peasant dresses already, but the smallest it goes is 6 months, so this was perfect!  The pattern was easy to follow and so cute!


I used an old denim dress for fabric and embroidered this little design to the front.  I love how it came out and can't wait to see sweet Kennedy in it!  Honestly, I immediately wanted to make one for Emma too.  Maybe I should make a matching one for Kennedy's big sister.  She's Emma's age...  Hmmmmm.....

Finally, I whipped up this cute and simple shrug from my friend Jenny's new pattern.  I went for a very simple gray knit this time around since it's already warming up here and I didn't want anything too heavy, but I think this pattern would be great in a pretty sweater knit, cordoroy, or even a faux fur!  The directions couldn't be simpler and I was done in less than an hour from start to finish.  I did choose to bunch up the "neckline" to give it a collared effect.  That's the only change I made to it.  I plan to add a big flower to one shoulder, but I didn't get it made just yet...  That can be a finish for next week, I guess!




So, I've still got quilts in progress, but at least I can cross one baby gift off of the list and I made my sweet girl happy with a fairy costume this week.  Isn't sewing great?  Have a great weekend, everybody!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What happened to Wednesday?


Hey everyone!  Sorry I missed posting yesterday for WIP Wednesday.  I volunteered in the morning and then since it was another early release from school (they got out at 11:45), we took an impromptu trip to the big city to go to JoAnn.  I needed some knit fabric for a project I'm doing later today and I bribed them with a trip to TCBY if they'd go with me.  ;)

I went for 2 yards of knit and came out with about 12 yards of knits, jerseys, quilting cottons and some new knitting needles.  AAAAHHH!  Oh well, if everything I bought works out, I've just outfitted Emma and I with quite the new spring/summer dress wardrobe!

Then when we got home, I threw it all in the wash and went out to spend some time in our 80 degree weather playing teeball in the back yard.  Don't hate me if you're covered in snow right now!  Just think, if it's already 80 here...what will it be like in June?  Of course, we'll have a few more cold snaps and probably another freeze or two, but winter here is a short affair.  As is spring and fall.  But we get a LOT of summer!  ;)

So...all of the projects I was going to blog about and take pictures of yesterday are still where they were then...in holding!

But, I'm just about to get busy (after spending 3 hours this morning cleaning Emma's room!!!  Man, that girl holds on to some stuff!).  I've got quite a few things I'd like to get going on, and hopefully a couple of things will get done.  And then, instead of WIP Wednesday, I could actually do a Finished Friday post!!  Imagine that.

Here's to some finishes.  Hope you're having a great Thursday!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gift given

Have you ever noticed how giving a gift can sometimes make you just as happy as the person getting it?  Now, I'm not talking about those "Oh, shoot.  We've got to run to Walmart before the party to pick up a gift because I completely forgot.  Does she like Barbie or Littlest Pet Shop?" kind of gifts.  I'm talking about the gifts that take time.  Those gifts that you make for someone special knowing with each stitch, knit, or stir of the spoon that someone you care about is going to receive something from your heart.

I just gave one of those this weekend.  I mentioned on Wednesday that I'd finally finished up my one-row lace scarf for a friend.  She's a very dear friend to me and our children are good friends as well.  Her Daddy's been in the hospital for this entire month fighting a lung infection and she's been splitting time between the hospital (which is in the big city 45 minutes away) and home taking care of her 3 kids.  She has a tender heart and has been very stressed trying to be strong for everyone around her.  I can't imagine.



So, I decided to give one of those special gifts.  I'd had this yarn out at the Santa Shop in December and she'd commented that she LOVED these colors.  So I dropped the project I'd started to make with it (another scarf for me that was a little confusing) and found this pattern instead.  I used Turvid's One-Row Lace Scarf pattern and would recommend to any skill-level.  If you can knit and knit 2 together, you can make this scarf.  It's that simple.


But simple doesn't make it less special.  As I spent hours knitting while watching TV in the evenings, riding in the car on trips, or waiting at an appointment or the dance studio, I thought of my friend and her Dad and her family.  I prayed for each one of them.  I prayed for comfort, for health, for encouragement.  My scarf became a prayer shawl.  My hope was that the warmth of this scarf along with the prayers knitted into it will comfort my sweet friend.  And years from now when she sees it hanging in her closet she will know that she is loved, not only by us here on Earth, but by her Father in Heaven who listened to every prayer prayed for her.



I am new on Ravelry, but love how how friendly the community is with so many free patterns offered and so many groups to join for support or for knit/crochet-a-longs.  I would encourage anyone who enjoys knitting or crochet or would like to learn to join over there.  It's free and easy to use.

Here's to gifts that feel as much a gift to the giver as it does to the recipient. What is your favorite gift you've ever given?

Friday, January 20, 2012

A little bling makes it all better

If you have a young daughter/niece/granddaughter/etc. you may have heard of a clothing store called Justice.  It used to be The Limited Too, but they've changed the name.  Well, all of Emma's little friends (and Emma) are obsessed with the clothes (and tables and table of junk) in there.  Most of us Moms are obsessed with avoiding the price tags in there.  Ouch!  But, we do get their catalogs and I usually ask Emma to go through and circle what she likes.

Anyway, a while back they had these jeans for $49!!!!!  They're now on sale for $44.  WHAT?


Found here


I looked at them and thought to myself "Oh, I can do rhinestones!"  So, one day a few weeks back when I was home alone, I got to work.  I found a pair of Emma's skinny jeans (not so skinny on little Miss Skinny Minnie) and busted out my iron-on rhinestone collection.  I am a sucker for supplies like these at Walmart and then they just sit and look sad at me from the shelf.  No longer I say!

I just started laying out the rhinestones in a somewhat symmetrical design so that I wouldn't end up with a big group on one leg and none on the other and when I got them all laid out like I liked, I waited till Emma got home to make sure she did too.  I have learned my lesson the hard way about making things for that child that she does not have approval on.  They hang in the closet until they're too small for her...



Once I had the go-ahead, I got my iron piping hot and ironed those babies down.  Let me just mention that cheap rhinestones don't always stick even when you follow the directions.  So, I ironed, re-ironed, let it all cool and the ironed those bad boys again!  You're supposed to turn the garment inside-out and then iron from the inside, but I mean these are size 7 skinny jeans...so I just turned them over and ironed them down from the back.


I chose to only put rhinestones on the front of the jeans.  I figured they'd just be popping off of the back when she was sitting or leaning against things.  And I didn't do quite the same design as the original because I couldn't find the catalog and figured it didn't matter enough to take the time to find it in Em's room!

She's worn them quite a few times now and they've been through the wash with minimal loss of rhinestones.  Plus, the rhinestones are so cheap, it's no big deal to just iron a few new ones on if necessary.

I love this usually serious, but sometimes very silly girl!   Please excuse that it's slightly out of focus, I had to use it!
Sometimes those simple projects are all it takes to put a smile on someone's face.  Here's to more simple smiles and quick successes!  I hope you all have a great weekend!!

And p.s.  I'm linking this up with Brandy's Get Your Brag On linky party.  I haven't linked up a project in a long, long time (other than WIP Wednesday) and thought it might be fun!


                                                     



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday (first of the year)

It is a quiet and very rainy day here at my house.  Too bad the kids had an early-release school-day today or I could have spent most of the day sewing.  Oh well, here's to getting done in the time you have to get it done in!

I'm back to join in on WIP Wednesday again with Lee at Freshly Pieced.  Between Lee taking a break from hosting it and me having some serious sewing block, it's my first time joining in what seems like a LONG time.  So with no further ado, let's jump in!


Completed Projects
  Well, this is my first WIP post of the year, so as for completed projects, I'm just going to go with what I've finished this year and not since the last WIP post (can't even remember when that was...)

Knitted Scarf--I FINALLY finished it!  I made this bad boy extra long even when I wanted to bind off and start something new.  It's for a very good friend going through a rough time right now and I am hoping to give it to her one day this week.  After it's delivered to it's new home I'll show it to you in more detail.




do. Good Stitches blocks--I finished up my blocks for December this past weekend and am playing around with quilt layouts today.  I also spent some time this morning working on my January blocks.  Heather asked for what she's calling "Blossom Blocks" in a color story of purples, pinks, grays and golds.  Here's her example block:



And here's mine:


I obviously still need to trim some threads and square up the blocks. 


In progress
do. good quilt--As I said, I'm working on laying this quilt out and deciding on a sashing color.  If you remember, I've got two choices:  black or purple.  I was thinking black, Chris suggested purple.  Hey, I'm open to suggestions, so I gave it a try...and the purple I had in stash was all wrong.  So, black it is.  Chris thought black would be a safer choice.  I said how many quilts have you ever seen that had black sashing?  Black is not a safe choice for me, but rather bold.  I'm thinking I love it though.  I didn't have enough black for the way I want to set the quilt, though (story of my life lately), so I'm off to find some more Kona Black.  I ran by my LQS today (I never go there) and they don't carry ANY Kona Solids.  Yep, you heard me right.  LOTS and LOTS of blender fabrics and batiks, but no Kona, Moda or Free Spirit Solids....

Kirsten's quilt--This quilt brought me back from the sewing doldrums where I was stuck with no real desire to turn on the machine even though I've got about 10 projects needing me right now.  I'm waiting on a delivery of some more Kona Ash to finish up, but I really love this one.

Carrie's Gift--I promised my sister a special gift for her living room for Christmas and ran out of the solid I needed and JoAnn's was out.  I got some last week and have a little cutting and sewing to do before I wrap this one up and can show it off.  Better late than never, right?

Free Motion Quilting Project--I'm participating in SewCalGal's FMQ project.  She's got January's post up and running and a whole bunch of people have already completed it and linked up, but I'm getting there.  So far, I've read the post...Well, it gives me something to do this weekend.  ;)

On Hold (for now...)
Summer Sampler Quilt (I will have this finished before summer starts again)
Postage Stamp Quilt (I thought about this one over the Christmas break and have some ideas to mix it up a little, just waiting on time to get to it...)
Mosaic Swap Quilt (The top is halfway pieced)


WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

As always, go over and visit Lee and see what amazing things she's been up to as well as all of the great bloggers that link up each week.  I promise you won't be sorry!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2 of Hearts

I finished up both of my heart blocks this weekend.  Well, I finished up the second one Monday afternoon, but since it was a 3-day weekend, I'm counting it.  ;-)

For my first block, I chose an applique design based on this beautiful doll quilt I found on pinterest.

DQS 10
source:  Cathy Gaubert for DQS 10
Here's mine.  I left out the embroidery, of course.  I chose to just lay the hearts down and do a quick zig-zag over them.  I think they'll stay just fine and if they ruffle up a little around the edges, I don't mind.  I just printed out a couple of hearts in different sizes from Microsoft Word and free-handed the others. I drew them on the back of the fabric and just pinned them down.  No fusible web (and I couldn't find my glue stick).

heart block 1


For my second block, I'd wanted to use paper-piecing, but so many of the girls did, and they did such a good job, I decided to go with patchwork instead.  I pulled up my pinterest quilts board and saw this beauty that I pinned a long while back.

4 of Hearts Block- Pieced Together VQBee Block for Samantha
source:  Twin Fibers--4 of Hearts Block Tutorial
So, I followed Jessica's tutorial, except, I used all of the same fabric for each heart.  I felt like it made the design read a little easier.

heart block 2


And that's my two blocks.  I'm happy with them.  Actually, I'm inspired to whip something up for Valentine's Day for our house now.  Both of these designs were quick, although the applique was SOOOOO much quicker, that I might just do that.

heart blocks


Now that all of the blocks for this quilt are ready, I am going to spend some time this week laying them out, playing and deciding on a sashing fabric.  I asked Chris what he thought and he suggested purple because "Red and purple go together, you know like the old ladies wear in that hat society."  But I was thinking black.  We'll see.  I'll lay it all out and audition both colors just to be fair.  ;-)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Do. Good Hearts

As some of you know, December was my month to coordinate our Empower Group for Do. Good Stitches.  I requested that each lovely lady make blocks that involved hearts.  They could choose whatever style and design they wanted.  The colors were to be red, white, pink and one color of their choice.  I really wanted this quilt to have a scrappy, happy feeling that came from our hearts.  That's the point, right?

And let me tell you, I'm thrilled with what I got from 9 of the best girls around.  It was so exciting to check the mail because each package contained such beautiful blocks.  I'd love to keep this one, but once I get it quilted and bound it's headed to it's new home.

I left my blocks till last, at first because of time being an issue (imagine that), but then because I decided to wait and see what I felt the block was missing and then add that in.  I knew I wanted to paper piece mine, or at least one of them, and I see that I wasn't alone.  But there are pieced blocks, applique and even mini hexis!

I am so glad to see that the girls took my vague directions and really created.  That's what I wanted.  I wanted this quilt to be an honest reflection of us and I think it will be.

Normally, I'd just lay them all out in rows, sash them and sew it all up.  Done.  But, with asking the girls to stretch they creativity, I'm feeling the need to stretch mine too.  I'm thinking of grouping 4 together and sashing them with a thin strip and then using a much larger sashing to tie the groups of 4 together.  That would leave me with 4 left and I'm going to put them on the back.

Sorry for the quick pic, I'll take close-ups of these beauties when I get mine made and decide on a layout.

I'm off to make mine now.  Since there are so many paper-pieced ones, I'm going to do one with applique, kinda like this beauty minus the embroidery...

DQS 10


And for number 2...well, I haven't decided yet, but I'm working on it.  We've got another birthday party to attend this afternoon and the Broncos play tonight (yes, I did become a Broncos fan when Tim Tebow got drafted and I'm totally okay with that), so I'm hoping to get one done today and the second done tomorrow.

I hope you're having a great Saturday!

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm (happily) Seeing Stars


I had some time yesterday to both clean my sewing room and get started on the baby quilt for my friend's new little one.  I cleaned out all of my threads, sewing stuff drawers (like elastic, pins, scissors, etc) and all of the fabric that's on the shelf where it's supposed to be (oh, if only that were at least half of my fabric....) before I couldn't wait any longer and dug into those reds, whites and blues.

I did go with the wonky star block  and decided to use Kona Ash as my background.  Only problem...I didn't have enough!  So, I've got 6 blocks cut and the triangles pieced before I ran out.  I ran to the big city this morning and went to JoAnn to get more, but wouldn't you know, they were out of it.  They did, however, FINALLY have the solid color I need to finish my sister's Christmas quilt back in, so I guess I'll be working on that till the Ash I ordered online this afternoon comes in.

Here's how far I am.  What do you think?  I'm kinda in love with it and might very well make a larger one for me with my leftovers.


I thought about piecing half-square triangles (or even wonky triangles to match the stars) into that open section between each star to make little diamonds, but I'm not sure.  What do you think?  I'm adding one more row to this to make it roughly 3 foot square when finished.  And then I'm considering adding a scrappy border around it to frame it up.  Thoughts...??

I am glad to be coming out of my sewing rut and my machine is glad for it too.  :-)  Have a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A VERY delayed Thanks

Over a month ago, my new friend Shannon (we're in the do. Good Stitches Empower Group together) sent me a sweet email saying she liked my blog and was nominating me for a "Versatile Blogger" award.  I was surprised and happy and then promptly forgot about posting it here and passing it on!  Duh...



So I'm getting to that finally.  I'm going to tell you 7 random facts about me and then I'll share the bloggy love by mentioning some bloggers I think deserve this award too.  Ready, here goes:

1.  I am right handed, but only because they made me be in kindergarten.  I'm actually ambidextrous and can do almost everything almost as well left-handed.  Except brushing my teeth.  I cannot brush my teeth left handed.

2.  I hate to cut out fabric.  Sometimes I delay on starting a new project just because I hate laying out all the fabric and cutting it.  Clothing is even worse because you also have to lay out pattern pieces and cut more curves.  At least for quilts I'm usually cutting straight lines.  It's the accuracy part that I hate, that and not wanting to waste, so I try to cut things out as close to each other as possible.

3.  My first "car" was a 1996 Ford Ranger that I bought (with the help of my parents) during my freshman year of college.  I drove it until Oren was born (7 years!!).  It was manual everything and Chris barely fit in there since his legs are so long.  Needless to say...we always took his truck!  Now I have a Tahoe and we always take mine.

4.  I have a degree in Agricultural Communication from the University of Florida.  I wanted to write for an ag-based magazine.  But instead, I fell in love with a Small Town Boy and became a kindergarten teacher.  And I loved every day of it.

5.  I'm known for making desserts.  All of my friends know to ask me to bring dessert to a potluck or dinner because it's what I'd rather make and what I'm best at.  I have a HUGE sweet tooth.  ;)

6.  I LOVE to read.  I mean, like could read every day, already read most of the books I got for Christmas, will stay up half the night reading when I know I'll be exhausted tomorrow, love to read.  BUT...I won't start a new book if I know I'm busy because of what I just mentioned.  If I've got stuff I have to get done, I cannot pick up a new book.

7.  I love to run.  This fact is random only because for the first 30 years of my life, I hated running.  Like my motto could have been "I only run if someone is chasing me!" and now I love to run and do so 2-5 days a week depending on my schedule.  I'm slower than Christmas and probably look like a big goof doing it, but it makes me happy and it's good me-time with just me, my running shoes and my music blaring.

So there are 7 facts you could have probably lived the rest of your life without knowing and been okay, but since we've suffered through it, let me show you some friends of mine with awesome blogs I think you should check out.  Here are 5 of my blogging friends in no particular order:

Toni @ Hoosier Toni
Debbie @ A Quilter's Table
Mindy @ Rindy Mae
Jenny @ Seamingly Smitten
Lucy @ Charm About You

So, there you go...Thanks again to Shannon for making my day by including me in her list.  There are so many great bloggers out there and I love being a small part of this community.  Thanks for stopping by here today.  :)

p.s.  I've got the whole day to myself and there is going to be some cutting, sewing and progress made today!  I think I may be coming out of my sewing block!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Inspiration


It's slow-going with the sewing room cleanup, both because I'm doing it in my spare time while also purging the rest of the house and because I've had a major sewing block and haven't been motivated to get it done.  I think one reason for the block is the state of my sewing room, but  I need a project to encourage me to get past that so I can get the room cleaned and get to making it messy again with new projects!

I found my inspiration to do so...A sweet friend of mine had a baby right before Christmas and I decided on my color palette for little Miss Daisy's quilt.   Let me give you some back story.  In my late teens and early twenties, I worked as a staff member at a 4-H summer camp.  I life-guarded, taught archery, arts and crafts, canoeing, etc.  Each year there would be 6 or 7 of us on staff that worked together at this camp, and there were always a couple of Brits that would come over to work with us through a camp exchange program.  For two summers, I worked with a lovely girl named Kirsten who has become like a member of our family.  Her parents would come over for a few weeks each summer and we got to know her family so well.  In fact, Kirsten was at my wedding and she and her sister flew over for my sister's wedding.  Chris and I have already discussed with them that when we (one day) visit England we will be visiting them and Kirsten's husband is going to take Chris to a football (that's soccer for us) match.  :)

So, when Emma was born, Kirsten and her family sent over the cutest little Union Jack top and pajamas for Em.  So naturally, when I'm making something to return, it's got to have a USA lean to it, right?

I can't hardly remember Emma being this small!  This is Em at almost 3 months old.  She'll be 8 this June.

So, I went through my stash and chose some reds, whites, and blues to make little Miss Daisy a baby quilt.  I haven't yet decided on a pattern, but I'm leaning toward wonky stars like I did for the Christmas Scraps Block Swap.  I think they're fun to make, look awesome, and give a little more of that US oomph to it.


Alright, I'm off to do some more straightening before I start cutting.  We'll see how long that lasts...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In progress?

I saw this morning that Lee over at Freshly Pieced has started WIP Wednesday back up after a December hiatus.  I thought about joining up, but I'm going to be really honest with you here...I don't have any new work in Progress to show you other than a scarf I'm working on.  It's probably just me, but the Christmas break makes me want to take a break from sewing too.  I have projects I could be working on...my sister's Christmas gift that got put on hold, those 4 baby gifts, my SUMMER sampler quilt, etc... but lately there's been no progress to speak of.

I think it's because of December's bustle and indulgence and go-go-go mentality, this time of year always makes me want to slow down, take a look around and declutter my life.  That's what I was thinking when making me goals this year.  I don't want to bog myself down with big projects that throw guilt on me when I see them laying around waiting on me to finish them.  And I'm going to be honest, my sewing room is such a mess right now, it'd bring anyone down.  Yes, I admitted it.  My sewing room is in bad need of a day spent cleaning. So that's what I'm working on right now.  I hope to have progress to show soon.




And if you remember last year about this time, I was doing the exact same thing...and that cleaning resulted in a giveaway.  So...stick around and I'll see what I can't find to share.  It's always more fun to share than put it all away anyway, right?  Besides, any fabric and supplies given away makes for room to buy more, isn't that how it goes?  ;)

I'll be back tomorrow with that scarf I mentioned earlier.  I love it!  But do go over and check out what everyone else has been working on if you're so inclined.  The inspiration is always wonderful!!


Monday, January 2, 2012

Goals

A lot of people this year are doing a Word of the Year" instead of resolutions.  The word you choose is the basis of all of your goals for the year and what you'd like to see yourself accomlish.  I've seen the words love, us, dare, dream, believe, etc. chosen as people's words.  If I had one word I was choosing for this year, it would be BALANCE.  I want to try and work harder on balancing my life.  I want to find a balance between my wife and mom duties and sewing and doing what I enjoy.  I want to find a balance with projects that are easy and quick finishes and projects that challenge me both mentally and developmentally.  I want to find a balance between making others happy and making myself happy.  I want to balance all that I have on my plate and make it look easy.  Hmmm...



I've made some personal goals about being a better wife and mother, a better friend, daughter, sister...  And those are about what you would expect.  I really want the people I come into contact with to feel better for being around me.  Being more Christ-like is the answer to this.  Easier said than done, but I'm a work in progress that will keep progressing.

As far as quilting and blogging goals, those are a little more concrete and easy to measure.  I'm working to find a balance between challenging myself and making a workable list that I can actually do.  I don't imagine life will get less busy as my children grow...  But that doesn't mean I should never choose projects that are a stretch for me.  I want to grow and become better all of the time.

So, as far as concrete goals for my sewing for 2012:
1.  Finish all WIPs (works in progress) that I have going right now or get rid of them.  My goal for the year is to finish what I start and keep that WIP basket empty (or at least not overflowing...)

2.  Make Oren's bed quilt and make adequate progress on Emma's.  I promised both kids a quilt for their beds (both full-sized) at least a year ago and have even bought fabric and chose a pattern, but got no further than that.  So...Oren's is first and I'm ready to get those 2 covered each night with the love I've sewn into a quilt for them.

3.  Make all of the 4 baby gifts I've got to give this month.  This is a very short-term goal, but I've had 3 friends have babies right around Christmas and one in October that I haven't given anything to yet.  I want to get their gifts made (some will get a quilt, some will get outfits) and given.

4.  Join a more "traditional" virtual bee where fabric is sent out and blocks are made based on what the person asks for.  I love the bees I'm in now where we make blocks from our own scraps and swap them, but I'd love to join one where I could choose the fabrics and design for my blocks coming back to me.  If you know of any good ones coming up or want to start one with me, let me know!

5.  Stock my etsy shop.  I opened my shop months ago and then got bogged down with doubts and life and never put anything into it.  I've got fabric galore, so no more excuses.  I'm going to spend some time making some plans, sewing some stuff and stocking that shop.  I don't expect to get rich, but a little income to pay for my own etsy purchases wouldn't be a bad thing, right?

6.  Have at least 2 finishes a month.  This goes along with my WIP goal (#1).  I want to be making things I'm finishing so that I can share them with others or at least enjoy them myself.  As I said the other day, I want to  do more of grab and go sewing this year.  Everything doesn't have to be a full-sized-bed quilt.  I can make whatever I want from simple skirts to mug rugs, from knitted hats to scrapbook pages, from new pillows for the couch to framed embroidery for the walls.  I want to find what makes me happy this year and do it.  And by do it, I mean get it done!  ;)

7.  Improve my free motion skills by participating in this:


Yep, I pledged to participate and learn.  This will be a stretch for me, as I'm not exactly scared of free motion quilting, but I'm nowhere near good at it, or confident enough to step away from stippling or loops.  This is a year-long challenge with tutorials each month and prizes for participation.  I saw the first tutorial is up, but I haven't even got my supplies ready yet.  I can't wait to see where this takes me.

Okay, that's my very long post on my simple goals for 2012.  I'd love to hear yours.  Let me know what you're working toward in 2012.  Let's encourage each other and work together this year to become better versions of us.  :)