Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Spring snippets (including a finished 2 x 4 quilt!)


A week before my oldest left for college last year I pulled a hamstring. It was a doozie and in addition to taking forever to heal, it caused me to compensate and use muscles in different ways.  It caused a ripple affect and made my back all wacky and hurt most days. Why am I sharing this?  Hang in there a second.


This spring my youngest daughter played (again) two varsity sports. Most weeks had two soccer games and a track meet. I spent many days wrapped in warm clothes and quilts on metal bleachers cheering her on. This is where I would normally share photos of her on the field or track. However, several months ago I made the decision that both girls should tell their stories instead of me. Which means I instead share photos of the elk on the side of the road as we left a soccer game. And of the cinnamon rolls I baked because she asked.




Sending our oldest off to college was hard in an emotional sense. I've written about it before. And though she has been many miles away from us, we have seen each other often, talked daily, texted multiple times a day and, really, remained very much part of each other's daily life. I've missed her but I've really handled it quite well.  Better than I would have predicted had you asked me beforehand.





It's no secret that I make a lot of quilts but so far 2018 is a banner year for quilt making around here.  My most recent finish is this 2 x 4 quilt.  It's king sized and made especially for our bed. 


The colors and prints in this quilt are my favorites. It feels vintage and truly makes me smile each and every time I look at it. One print in particular reminds me of my grandmother. I remember running errands with her when I would visit in the summertime. She was always so prepared for any occasion. She had this bag with a hard plastic handle that snapped at the top. This bag was always in the back of her white station wagon ... or was it yellow? I think she must have had both a white car and a yellow car at different times because I remember them both.  Anyway, this bag. It was always in the back of the car and was always there if we needed a way to carry something. The lining of the bag must be a close match to one of the prints in this quilt. It must be because it's acutely familiar and every time I see the print I think instantly of grandma's bag.  Did I mention that the bag also contained an umbrella with the matching print? 


I used Yours Truly and Welsummer fabrics from Cotton & Steel for a majority of this quilt. I used this tutorial from Film in the Fridge to make the 2x4 blocks. 



So, my oldest has been home from college for summer for a few weeks now.

Guess who's back is no longer hurting?

Like an overnight miracle.

I guess I wasn't handling her absence as well as I had convinced myself I was.

-dana

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Giant star block quilt







Several years back I bought an entire kit to make a gorgeous multi-block quilt.  By "kit", I mean it included the pattern and all the fabric. And that sucker sat on my shelf for years.  Years it sat there staring at me.  Mocking me. It had the potential to make a gorgeous quilt. (Duh. I wouldn't have bought it otherwise.) But, any time I took it out of the box and thought about making it, I just didn't want to. I always packed it all away and put it back on the shelf.  Well, enough of that madness. I made the very first block and then made three more of that same first block but in different fabric combinations. Over on instagram I referred to it as my #ilikebigblocksandicannotlie quilt (thanks @trudi_wood for that hashtag!) 

I learned not to buy kits. And I absolutely love this quilt.

-dana

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The spring break thing





As luck would have it, both girls had the same week for spring break. With one in college, and missing her so, Razor and I spent many hours planning trips in our head. Out west to hike in the Grand Canyon. Moab. NYC. Or Florida. But as the week drew near, we piled into cars and drove the familiar roads to my parent's house. The weather in March is perfect there. My brother and family live there too. It's far enough to feel like we get away, but close enough to make it only a day's drive. Plus, the situation is such where having the four of us on hand was helpful to them both.

I never made it out to the beach but looking at the photos that Razor took, perhaps I should have. Truth be told, I'm just not a beach person. The salty surf and air blown sand certainly have their place but given a list of options, the beach will always be last in line for me I think. Weird. I know.

Anyway. Being together as a larger family unit felt good. And though Razor and I have been married for almost 22 years, I always notice how seamlessly he fits in with my extended family. Every time we are all together I pause and am grateful that they all accept him and love him as their own. And our kids of course...but you know what I mean. My brother and husband spent many hours tending a burn pile. They joked and laughed and carried on in the dirt, smoke and manual labor of it all. I love that they are friends.

Now I'm feeling the constant push and pull of getting my hands into the dirt, creating new fabric combinations in quilt form and running here and there for high school sporting events. I've got lots of seeds started in the greenhouse. I'm making a new king sized quilt for our bed. And I've been to three soccer games and two track meets in the last two weeks.

Reading back these words. I really, truly, deeply love my life.

-dana

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

And yet another new quilt







You know that I like to scour thrift shops for unique finds and vintage treasures. One thing I always keep my eye out for is vintage sheets with bright colors and fun prints. I often use vintage sheets for the backing fabric for my quilts. In my years of thrifting, I've found lots of great sheets and have been hording saving bits of my favorites. I finally used all those bits and made a quilt. I love how the stars are hidden and yet pop out and become visible depending on how you look at it. I love how soft to the touch and drapey this quilt it.  I love the colors. I just flat out love it.  Hard.

-dana

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Another new quilt - Rob Pete or Orange Peel Quilt





If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I started this one in December. I used a mix of tiny floral prints on a mixed background of gray and white. I've given it to my parents because I love them and hadn't given them a quilt in awhile. Quilts are love.  And I really love them.  They are the best.

-dana

Monday, February 26, 2018

X Plus Quilt










I started this quilt last June. I made all the blocks and even assembled the quilt top but it wasn't until December that I finally basted it up and got 'er done!  One thing that this quilt taught me . . . well, just reinforced yet again . . . is that I love scrappy quilts. I love a billion different fabrics and colors together in one quilt. I love making the riot of color come together. This quilt has me fired up and committed to making ALL THE SCRAPPY QUILTS!  All scrappy, all the time!   (all caps, jazz hands and bug eyes too!!)

-dana

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Proper thanks and new things





A thank you is in order.  Last post I waxed poetic about the state of my blog and whether my time here was done or not.  The outpouring of support and love I felt from you caused my heart to leap into my throat and my eyes to get all misty. I've never been a journal keeper but one day in 2007, I started one here. I can type faster than I can write with a pen. And I can include photos with the click of a mouse. So, for over ten years I've been writing of my days, thoughts, makes, travels and motherhood. And the knowledge that you're here with me makes me feel all sorts of feels.... encouraged, supported, accountable, understood, safe to share opposing opinions and just warm and fuzzy.

Thank you.

Last summer my neighbor and I spotted a leucistic cardinal at our feeders.  (We immediately thought it was albino but are pretty sure it's more accurately leucistic. You can click here to learn more.) We saw him a few times and then he was gone. However, last week I spotted this guy at my house. I wonder if it's the same one or maybe an offspring.

I also recently found these old, metal, two sided signs. There are 24 of them in total and they are currently leaning against a wall in my mudroom while I decide what to do with them. Suggestions welcome.

-dana