Happy Thanksgiving

These are some of the little things I am thankful for. (And they appear little here, so click on the picture if you want to see them up close.)

But my gratitude seems kind of trivial compared to that of others. For anyone familiar with the story of Christian and Stephanie Nielsen – an Arizona couple seriously injured in a plane crash last summer – go here to see a moving video of gratitude from Stephanie’s husband. It will make you weepy. (And it’s set to one of my favorite pieces of music ever.)

And for those who haven’t heard of them go here for a background. Or to her sister’s blog for updates. I have to admit that I didn’t know about the Nielsens until after their crash, but have since grown to really admire them and their faith and love for each other and for the Lord.

I am always especially motivated by Stephanie’s love of and capacity to find joy in the role of every-day motherhood. She captures it so beautifully.

I am sad that she has to go through such a trial and have her opportunity to just enjoy motherhood taken-away so abruptly (though hopefully for not for long). But in doing so she has reminded thousands (no, tens of thousands) of other women of the gift that it is to just enjoy the simple aspects of raising our children every day. Her sacrifice and example have blessed my life very much over the past months. And I am very Thankful.

Doll Quilt by my little amateur photographers

A few weeks ago I found these pictures on the camera. I think my girls were inspired by my own attempts to take pictures of quilts outside and decided to try their own. I thought their finished products were pretty charming.
This is a little doll quilt I made with some left-over blocks after making my second daughter’s baby quilt 7 years ago. It’s one of the last quilts I hand quilted so, sadly, I don’t really let her play with it. My grandchildren are going to see that quilt in it’s glory! :) But the doll quilt gets dragged around a lot and is holding up nicely.
My favorite aspect of these pictures is that the girls took the quilt to our neighbors bridge – a place they think is very exotic and my kids’ favorite place to play. (Fortunately our neighbors are very accommodating.) My second favorite aspect of these pictures is the nice foot model. lol.
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Forever Plaid

This week I have been cutting squares of plaid like crazy. I think I cut over 3000 plaid 6″ squares. Whoa.
Last night I finished assembling 27 kits for throw quilts made-up entirely of plaid squares. Each quilt has over 100 different fabrics. Needless to say, I was excited to finish this project. Not that my own plaid projects are done. I’m doing something fun with the scraps from all that cutting. I’ll post soon. And I’m making my own “Boyfriend” quilt, so I need to actually sew something. My machine will be so happy to have the dust blown off and gears running again.

Fallish

It has been such a beautiful fall here. (Or autumn as they say in the UK. My British friends think it’s so funny/weird that we Americans call it “fall.” I had no idea that other english-speaking people thought that was strange.) I love this time of year. We’ve had gorgeous color this year thanks to a cold snap in the middle of September (that sadly killed my tomatoes.) But then we’ve had some really nice temperatures and time to enjoy being outside again.I’m having mixed emotions about winter coming. Last winter was a REALLY long one here in Utah with lots more snow than we’ve had for years. It felt to me like it would never end. I’m not looking forward to that again.
But I love when it’s cold outside and I feel like I can finally just catch-up on all of my inside stuff. Organizing. Projects. Sewing. Not worrying about yard work. [Or at least not feeling guilty about not doing yard work. :)] But then there’s the kids. Not being able to send them outside to just PLAY. Keeping them from going stir-crazy or watching too much TV. Trying not to drive each other crazy. This is the tricky part. Esp those long months between January and March. Ugh.
Isn’t this a great picture? My 9-year-old took it in a canyon about 20 minutes from our house. She took the leaves one too! Maybe I should get her to take more of the pictures for this blog.

And finally, here is a cute little piece of recent thriftiness that feels ‘fallish.’ A fun Pyrex baker in my current favorite color. Can’t you just picture bringing baked beans to a pot-luck in this cutie?

So helpful

One of my favorite quilts. And probably the quilt I invested the most time in. And money – I scrimped and saved so I could take it to get professionally quilted. I made it 8 years ago while I was pregnant with my second baby. (Hence the reason I haven’t made anything like it since!) The colors are starting to look at little 1999-ish, but I still love it for fall. Maybe I’ll make a new one in a few year with updated colors.
So we have this weird landing in our house that isn’t really good for anything – except hanging something really big on the wall. Perfect for quilts!

This afternoon while I was in the middle of settling our 2-year-old for his nap, his brother, who is four, came in the room. I quickly shoo-ed him out and promised to read books with him next. When I walked out I found him tracing the quilting with a BLACK CRAYON! ??!!!?!?!?!? I was totally baffled when I saw him – he’s never done anything like this before! (I guess I should count myself lucky I’ve never had this problem before instead of wondering why he suddenly picked now to start.) At least he picked one of the darker fabrics to embellish.
Anyone know how to get crayon out of a quilt?

And in news that actually is helpful, the talented Camile Roskelly has an incredible give-away going on at her blog right now. She and her mom recently designed their first fabric line for Moda: Cotton Blossom. It is beautiful. I already bought some. :)
And look at this new pattern she designed. I think it looks so fun! Go read her blog. It’s lovely too.

One of those weeks.

You know those kind. The ones where it’s your turn to watch other people’s kids (because they’ve kindly watched yours previously), where it’s your turn to volunteer in your kids’ classes at schools, where you need the finish the assignment for the PTA committee you signed up to help with [and they change your assignment at the last minute and the new assignment is not at all what you had already planned around and now you’ve got to figure out how you’re going to get this stuff done with two little side-kicks in tow] and where you are helping with a Friday night Moonlight Madness event at the quilt store [okay this part is fun] and you need to make samples and patterns and get the supplies . . . Yep. That’s the kind of week I’ve had. Not much time for blogging.
But in the midst of the crazy additions to life (which pile right on top of the normal craziness of life with small kids) I did have fun sewing my little wool flower clips to demo for our Moonlight Madness sale at the quilt store. I love working with wool. (It’s very different from the felt you buy a Joann’s. A little pricier, yes, but worth it.) It’s such a rich, soft texture to play with and work with – plus it’s very forgiving of flaws. (I need that.)

These clippies were a piece of cake. And I had so many fun colors to work with – I could have gone on for a long time trying different combinations. Maybe I’ll make my first tutorial!

And in other fun news I got to meet more famous bloggers in person!

Nannette from Freda’s Hive came with two of her daughters to do a mini-trunk show and to demo a REALLY cool bag. I seriously can’t wait to make one. (I have been dying to make bags, but been a little bag-phobic/intimidated.) Their demo was great and I felt like even *I* could do this. Plus her fabric choices are amazing. It was really fun to see her quilts and bags in person because the fabrics are SO awesome. Freda was great and it was really fun to meet her in real life.Also there was Lila Tueller, a local gal who recently became a fabric designer for MODA. Can you imagine? Her current collection is Woodland Bloom.Her blog is cool- a neat slideshow of pictures from Quilt Market with people like Amy Butler, etc. And guess what? She was another really lovely person. Aren’t quilters nice? And Orem, Utah is a happening-quilty place to be folks.

So, even though it’s been “one of those weeks” – I haven’t sat at my sewing machine for so long! – you could also say it’s been “one of those weeks!” where I got to meet more famous bloggers and nice people. Yay.