Briar Rose baby quilt made by Cara Brooke @ thatcraftycara.com

Briar Rose Baby Quilt

Briar Rose quilt made by Cara Brooke @ thatcraftycara.com

Another baby quilt completed during this Year of ALL THE BABIES™!  This was for another friend from college, and I decided to bust out the coveted Briar Rose charm packs that I had been saving for “something special.”  She had mentioned in Facebook comments that she hoped to not “drown in a sea of pink,” and Briar Rose is the perfect amount of girly without a lot of pink, in my opinion.

Briar Rose baby quilt made by Cara Brooke @ thatcraftycara.com

My oldest daughter, Emily, helped me out with piecing the top as part of her summer chores (I’ve assigned one hour of sewing to her everyday in the hopes that she’ll start making  a dent in some of her WIPs).  I then took over from there with the quilting and finishing.

Vine and clover quilting on Briar Rose baby quilt made by Cara Brooke @ thatcraftycara.com

 

I was stressing pretty bad about the baby quilts when I started quilting this one, and I just decided to let go of all of the expectations of getting gifts done before the babies were born so I could actually enjoy the process of making the gifts.  I was going to burn through the quilting on this with a simple stipple design, but the quilt spoke to me and it wanted some sort of floral quilting.  Floral stipple?  Nope.  Chrysanthemum all-over design?  Nope.  And then the idea of vines and clover popped into my head, and the quilt clapped its hands in excitement, and off we went.  It took longer to do, but I’m so glad I went that route.  It was a good exercise in doing something new.

Back of Briar Rose baby quilt made by Cara Brooke @ thatcraftycara.com

I tracked down some Briar Rose yardage* for the back, which made my matchy-matchy heart so happy, and I dipped into my preciously-hoarded stash of my own Briar Rose yardage for the binding.

Briar Rose baby quilt made by Cara Brooke @ thatcraftycara.com

I decided to take some time and also have fun with the label, and I love how it turned out…little, teeny pinwheels!  Oh, be still my heart.  Love, love, love.

Quilt label on Briar Rose baby quilt made by Cara Brooke @ thatcraftycara.com

It’s simple patchwork, yes, but I’m super proud of it–beautiful fabric, new quilting design, and adorable little label.  It makes me smile to look at the pictures every time I see them.  AND it was a joint project with my girl…win-win all around.

Briar Rose baby quilt made by Cara Brooke @ thatcraftycara.com

*I found the Briar Rose yardage at Lark Cottons, and they still have yardage of various prints!

Dr. Seuss Baby Quilt

Yes, it is indeed a post from me, and it’s even about a finished project.  Whew, end-of-school kinda kicked my butt this year, and I haven’t been sewing, blogging, or doing anything beyond mommy duty for months.  Life gets that way sometimes.

Anyway, you’re here for the finished quilt, not my life story.  Here we go…I give you the FINISHED Dr. Seuss Baby Quilt:

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SONY DSCSo, many years ago, I don’t how many precisely (five? eight?), the Dr. Seuss fabric came out and people went absolutely bonkers for it, myself included.  I bought up a couple yards without any plan for them, and, because I was in the midst of homeschooling and really young kids, it went into my stash to hibernate.

This May or June I found out that a friend from college was pregnant…and due to give birth in about three weeks or so.  Now, I’d always liked this friend, but I was in the midst of my “young children” years when she had her other kids and I hadn’t been able to make anything back then, but here I was, all primed for baby quilt-making, just a little short on time…and after a couple of days of stewing over it, I just decided to go for it.  Operation Sew-It-Like-You-Mean-It was a go.

Stash diving brought out the Dr. Seuss goods, which I matched up with some other coordinating fabrics, and I found a fun pattern that looked like it could come together quickly in Amy Smart’s Fabulously Fast Quilts.  Woo hoo!

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SONY DSCIt was fast, and I had a lot of fun making it!  And, to top it off, I bought some of the most perfect binding fabric from a member of my quilt guild.  I love, love, love the black and white stripe!

I used up all of my yellow Dr. Seuss print on the back, bordered with strips of the Dr. Seuss prints from the front.

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I think it’s rather happy, no matter which side you’re looking at.  I hope it’s well-loved, and used until it’s worn out to rags.  That’s Valhalla for a baby quilt.

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And many thanks to my little quilt models…

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…they’re so fabulous.

One Year

Do any of you have those “a year ago today” apps?  I love them so much.  And mine’s been working overtime this week, recounting all the frenzied messages and posts leading up to my back surgery, which took place one year ago today.

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My first Facebook post after waking up from my back surgery.

I feel like I need to write about it, in order to sift through all the feelings and thoughts, but then when I sit down to really think through it all I realize that I only have a hazy grasp on what happened during that time.  I remember pain, I remember anxiety, I remember euphoria (thank you, Vicodin!), I remember being tired, and, oh geez, I remember people helping me go to the bathroom.  Great memories; thank goodness they’re vague.

Mostly I remember feeling like a very small, very insignificant, and very disappointing version of myself.  And then I feel gratitude because lots of people stepped in to make up for my serious lack…and then they kept stepping along, while I just stayed in the background.

I’ve always been a bit of a show-off, which probably comes as no surprise given that I blog about the things I make:  “Hey!  You!  Look over here at the thing I made!  Look!  Look!  Right here!”  I’m a vocalist, which means I’m pretty comfortable standing in the spotlight, and I was a cheerleader, which means I’m also comfortable yelling at people and telling them what to do.  Need someone to take charge?  I’m your girl.

And then, with this back surgery, I wasn’t the girl to ask anymore.  People still asked, and I said yes a couple of times before I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to grit my teeth and fight back tears while wearing my Show Smile just so I could keep standing in front of the crowd.  So I said no a few times, and that’s all it takes to go from being a go-to girl to becoming a ghost.

Which is OK.  Sad, and frustrating, but honestly needed at this time.

I really dislike this version of me, the sideline version.  Watching other people do the things that I used to be asked to do…it’s frustrating, depressing, and makes me angry to be trapped in a body that just will not behave in accordance with the mental image I have of myself.  And then the broken foot which will. not. heal.  Seriously?

BUT…I am getting stronger.  I’ve had my eye on this anniversary for a few weeks now, and was feeling pretty bummed about it all, but then, last week, I realized that I went a full twenty-four hours without once feeling pain in my back.  That’s the first time that’s happened in fifteen months or so.

I just got rid of my walking cast (for the second time), and I’m going even slower this time with my recovery, and I went grocery shopping and my foot didn’t swell up afterwards.  There’s improvement everywhere–it’s just very slow and very small, and very easily destroyed if I try my usual routine of “pushing through.”

Patience.  So much patience.  Life is mercilessly teaching me patience.

I honestly do not know what to expect from this next year.  Will I be leaps and bounds better then than I am now?  Or am I going to kind of just stay at this level, no matter what I do?  It’s a sobering thought.  For now, though, I’m going to believe that there’s lots more improvement to be had, and I’m going to (patiently, and oh-so-slowly) work for it.

I mean, I’ve got the time now, what with being a ghost and all, right?

And it’s good that I was able to snag some ghost time–most days my physical therapy takes everything out of me and it’s a serious exercise in self-discipline to talk myself out of napping on the carpet in my workout clothes until the kids get home from school.  So, yay.  Life is benevolent, at the very least.

I think this next year will be rather ghostly as well.  Sigh.  Perhaps it’s time to…no.  Don’t push it, Cara.  Slow and steady.  I’ll be stronger next year.  We can think about increasing the opacity of my life then.

So, more “no,” more delegation, and more watching from the sidelines.  It’s not the worst thing in the world.  I can walk, I managed to get through it all without becoming addicted to narcotics, and I was mercifully blessed with some sweet crafting opportunities.  Life is fine.

Alright, Year Two…

AGF Stitched with Kimberly: “Blithe” quilt pattern

Hello again!  It’s time for another round of AGF Stitched with Kimberly, featuring a new pattern and some lovely Art Gallery Fabrics!

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The new pattern this time is called “Blithe,” and the Fat Quarter Shop version used a new fabric collection called Chalk & Paint, which, when I first saw it during those gray, cold days of late January, just filled me with so much excitement over the eventual arrival of spring that I decided to make a spring-colored version myself.

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I went with a bunch of fabrics from the Paperie collection and the Playing Pop collection, with a few selections from the Millie Fleur collection as well, paired with the solid “Icy Mint” from the Pure Elements line.

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I really liked the look of this pattern, but I had the idea to scale it down and decided to go with it.  Instead of six-inch blocks, I scaled it down by 50% to make three-inch blocks, and made some cheerful throw pillows.  The pillows measure 18.5 inches square.

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Love it.  The pattern used Triangles on a Roll, which I’d always wanted to give a try, so there was some extra fun in doing that–I think if I need to mass-produce HSTs in the future that I’ll go this route again.

I’ve been obsessed with pebbling quilting for a few months now, so I decided to take the plunge and give it try as well.  I used Aurifil 50 in “Medium Mint” for pebbling on the mint sections, and Aurifil 50 in “Natural White” to outline quilt the prints.  Using the darker mint thread really brought out the green tones of the Icy Mint fabric, which was neat.

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To help you out with making your own Blithe quilt, the Fat Quarter Shop has assembled two kits using that fabulous Chalk & Paint fabric collection:

Blithe Quilt Kit

Backing Set for Blithe Quilt Kit

And, the pattern is free, and you can get your own copy by clicking here.

There’s also a video explaining the pattern more in-depth.  Enjoy!

In exchange for creating this project, Art Gallery Fabrics provided me with the fabric.  Thank you to both Art Gallery Fabrics, and to the Fat Quarter Shop for allowing me the opportunity to sew up another beautiful pattern with such great fabrics!

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Dear Children: Our Family’s Rules Regarding Communication & Your Social Lives

I’m at, hopefully, the tail end of a few weeks of horrendous communication experiences.  I find it so ironic, in an age of so many communication options, that communication is so badly practiced.  So, mostly to inform my children, one of whom just got a cell phone of her very own, and all of whom read my blog, I am going to write down my thoughts and practices in regards to communication:

#1:  The more urgent the message, the more personal the method of communication needs to be.  Your options are as follows, listed from most urgent to least urgent:

  1. Most urgent:  Face-to-face conversation
  2. Telephone call that results in an actual conversation
  3. Telephone call that results in leaving a voicemail (Voicemail has the bonus of inflection, which makes it better than a text message.)
  4. Text message or passing a note
  5. Email
  6. Facebook message
  7. Snail mail
  8. Least urgent: Not communicating at all

There is another lesson here:  If someone is talking to you, your attention belongs to the most urgent form of communication.  If you’re on the phone, and the doorbell rings, you tell the person on the phone that you’ll call them back because there’s someone at the door.  DO NOT ANSWER THE DOOR WHILE TALKING ON THE PHONE.  Do not answer a text while talking to someone face-to-face.  Do not read your email while talking to someone on the phone.  Etcetera, etcetera.

#2: A text message/email/Facebook message is pretty much the same thing as taping a note to my front door, knocking, and then walking away. I don’t check my front door very often, I may not hear the doorbell, or I might notice the note on my way into the house while juggling seven bags of groceries and place it on the counter to deal with later. There is nothing about digital communication that says “urgent” to me–if you wanted an immediate response, you would have phoned me and talked to me.

#3: DO NOT USE DIGITAL COMMUNICATION TO CANCEL ANYTHING THAT IS HAPPENING IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS.  Better yet, don’t use digital communication to cancel anything that’s supposed to happen in the next week (or at all, really).  If I’m in the throes of last-minute event preparation, I’ve probably actively disabled my ability to distract myself with email and Facebook and will not get your message.  Cancellations deserve a phone call.  It’s not hard, I promise.  (This works slightly differently for large groups…it’s more feasible to send out a group text in those kinds of situations, because it’s more of a professional communication.)

 
#4: Facebook is a bulletin board in a public place. I rarely check it, and by the time I do check it, your announcement has been covered up by other people’s flyers about things I do not care about. Checking the bulletin board regularly is pretty much a waste of my time.  Communicating important information to me via FB actually says to me that you were hoping I wouldn’t see said information for a while.
 
#5: The bigger the event, the more time you spent planning it, which means you sent out your invitations accordingly. This is how I’m able to prioritize-schedule the things we attend. High priority life events, such as weddings, milestone anniversaries and birthdays, and religious ordinances, are to be communicated as soon as possible (3, 6, even 12 months in advance) so I can clear my schedule and save money to attend them.

That way, when one of you dear children receive a (low priority) kiddie birthday party invitation with two weeks’ notice, I can check my calendar and let the other mom know that we’re unable to attend because our cousin is getting married that weekend. If we receive a big event invitation with very little lead time, chances are that we’re already booked. Weddings trump kiddie birthday parties unless I’ve already committed to being at the kiddie birthday party, because honesty and follow-through on commitments trump last-minute invitations.

(And, honestly–sending me an invitation to a wedding only two weeks before it happens?  I actually think we weren’t invited to begin with, which makes me think I’m not that high on the invitee’s list…especially since I’ve been seeing all the “jst got my invite can’t wait 2 c u” chatter on the wedding’s FB page for at least six weeks before my invitation arrived.  I saved the date, but didn’t receive an invitation when everyone else did.  I deduced that I wasn’t invited, and now have other plans.  To send me a last-minute invite just looks like a present grab.)

 
#6: Texted photos of a physical invitation, in lieu of spending money on postage, are NOT OK.  If you can’t afford the postage, you can’t afford to throw the party.
 
#7: RSVPs are mandatory, regardless of whether you’re going or not. I realize that this is not the community rule (RSVPs aren’t mandatory if you’re not going), but, as a child of mine, I am telling you that this is how you should operate.

When I’m hosting an event, I really, really want to know how many people are (and are NOT) attending. I hate making up twenty favor bags when I haven’t heard from seven of those people–you’d think that the non-communication would mean that they’re not coming, but experience has shown that that is definitely not the case. It’s not hard to make a quick phone call or send a text saying that you will or will not be attending.  Be that person.  Make Mother proud.  (Remember that one birthday party for your sister where not one of the twelve invited people RSVP’d?  We had no idea what to do, and it was very awkward.  Just let the poor people know whether or not they should expect you.  Geez.)

#8:  Upon receipt of an invitation, you have 72 hours to RSVP.  And if, at the end of 72 hours, you just have no idea if you can attend, you should decline.  If your life is so crazy that you cannot, after three days of thinking about it, concretely decide if you want to or should go to something, do yourself and the host the favor of declining.  The host can move on with their preparations, and you will save yourself the stress of adding another thing to your already chaotic life.

#9:  You are not a mean person for declining an invitation.  You do not owe the host an explanation for cancelling.  “I’m sorry that I won’t be able to attend” is the best way to decline an invitation.  If a host gets huffy about your decline, THEY are being rude.  End the conversation quickly, and walk away guilt-free.

#10:  Once you’ve RSVP’d “YES,” the only reasons to not attend are violent illness, serious injury, impossible weather, or death.  You never cancel on someone because something else “more interesting” came up–remember all that talk about priority scheduling?  If someone’s event had been important to them, they would have given you adequate time to schedule your attendance.

#11:  If you want me to disrupt SIX PEOPLE’S schedules for your event, you had better give me accurate, timely information about your event.

Our day-to-day life is pretty routine, and by routine, I mean scheduled AND AWESOME–I spend a significant amount of time working out an efficient schedule for myself and our family for the school year.

I am the Master Calendar Keeper for SIX PEOPLE (and a cat, which only seems to have vet appointments at inconvenient times), and I might need to schedule babysitters, I may need to move lesson times, move our weekly visit to the library, or move my own date night with my husband, there may be clothing to purchase, I may have to schedule a crock pot dinner or a pizza to be delivered to our house at a specific time so we can have dinner…I need at least two weeks’ notice in order to do all those things well.  I refuse to disrupt SIX PEOPLE’S lives to accommodate someone else’s fleeting whims–it’s much better for everyone in the long run for ME to say “no” than to take on that stress.  (Summer is a whole different story, but as much advance notice as possible is still appreciated even then.)

#12:  I am not afraid of saying no to teachers, principals, and PTA members.  Dear children, if the authority figures in your academic lives fail to communicate with me, I will say no to them about you staying after school or participating in whatever discretionary “celebration” the school has decided is more important to acknowledge than consistently sticking to the academic calendar I received (and painstakingly wrote onto the refrigerator calendar, my desk blotter calendar, typed into my own Google calendar, set up reminder emails and texts, shared with both your father’s calendar and our family group calendar, and then planned the remaining hours of our lives around) at the beginning of the school year.

If I do not receive a paper, email, or text (oh. my. goodness. SO MANY WAYS to have told me about it) about your teacher’s latest whim, you are not participating, and it’s not my fault.  Your life will not be ruined if you don’t have crazy hair on one of the seventeen announced-at-the-last-minute-yet-again “Crazy Hair” days.  (Why is it always crazy hair?  Why all the focus on teaching our kids to be comfortable with walking around looking unkempt?)

#13:  Other people’s accusations that I am “too Type-A,” “anal,” or “inflexible,” are my own “self-respect,” “organized,” and “consistent,” and our lifestyle is working pretty darn well for us–we have clean, mended clothes, balanced meals, you never miss the bus, you have adequate time to complete your homework, and we participate in wholesome recreational activities.  This all happens because *I* consistently organize our priorities.  Seriously.  Your dad just comes home from work some nights and I tell him what he is doing that evening…and he simply says, “OK,” and does it, because he trusts that it must be important if I’ve cancelled homework time in order for us all to attend something.  I AM THAT GOOD.

If you do wear crazy hair to school, it’s because I decided that you could participate in Crazy Hair Day, scheduled a shorter prep time breakfast that morning in order to give us more time to work on said crazy hair, and not because I shoved you out of bed to run to the bus stop with a Pop-Tart in your hand.

#EVERYTHING:  I LOVE YOU.  Your father and I decided that I would stay at home and take on the majority of the responsibilities of child-rearing, and that he would take on the majority of the responsibilities of employment and finances.  My brain is freed from worrying about money and going to work, his brain is freed from worrying about whether your homework is in your backpacks, if dinner is ready, if your immunizations are up-to-date, if he has clean underwear, which hotel we’re staying in during our vacation, if someone can pick you up from school if you get sick, and all those other million little things that make focusing on a career incredibly difficult.  (I actually think I got the better end of the bargain.)  Yes, this does mean that I get to do lots of fun, crafty things while you are at school.  No, it does not mean that I only do fun, crafty things while you are at school.

I spend a lot of time researching activities for you and our family, planning our food, taking care of our clothes, and way too much time cleaning and organizing our belongings.  My back pain means that I’m super slow at the cleaning and organizing parts now…so yeah, my time is spoken for each and every day.  Your health and safety are my biggest priorities, and that’s that.  The food, clothing, and cleaning have to happen, and they all take up my time, which is why I get very, very upset when other people expect me to drop everything for their half-baked ideas that weren’t even important enough to THEMSELVES to adequately prepare for.

Having an idea isn’t the same thing as making something happen–it is the planning and execution (the actual WORK) of those plans that makes ideas happen, and there’s a finite limit on money, time, and energy.  I have an overstuffed file folder of quilt IDEAS–just little pieces of paper with IDEAS for quilts to make.  I have to decide which quilts and other creative projects I’m going to work on, or say “no” or “maybe later” to all the time.  There is no possible way that I could work on every idea that pops into my brain each day–there’s not enough time to MAKE ALL THE QUILTS and still make dinner, fold the laundry, clean the toilets, and help your brother learn to read.  The same is true of ideas about everything else–some ideas are worth making happen, some are worth filing away for another day, and some are just meant to be discarded.

It’s part of an adult’s job to decide what to say yes to, and what to say no to…and the first clue about how seriously I should be taking something is how it’s communicated to me.  How I find out about something is all the information I have to work with sometimes, and our time is precious, so I heavily depend upon that information to begin deciding whether or not that event is worth saying “no” to something else in order to say “yes” to that event.  It’s a tough choice most of the time, and I don’t like that part of my job.  So, please, communicate the heck out of things to me so I can make decisions that will make us all happiest in the long run.  I want to make all the happy things happen, but I cannot do that if I am not aware of the happy things ahead of time to an extent that I can feasibly move around the other happy stuff that’s already scheduled.

Remember: #EVERYTHING: I LOVE YOU.  You are my happy things.

Love,

Mom

Gingham Block pattern

We have a sewing group in my neighborhood, and we’re running another quilt block swap this year.  The pattern that February’s queen bee wants cannot be found online, so I’ve written one up for us.  It’s going to be pretty cute!

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Just right click on the images, save, and print.

Or, you can click here and view the file in PDF format.

And, to answer the oft-asked question:  The “medium” and “dark” color should be shades of the SAME color.  (ie. “medium PINK” and “dark PINK”)

 

I do not deserve this reputation

As mentioned before, my husband was unemployed for three months at the end of last year before getting a new job right before Christmas.  As you can imagine, my discretionary spending plummeted during that time, and I’ve been playing a little bit of catch-up with needed items ever since he started receiving a paycheck again.

Grocery store, Wal-Mart, gas station, repeat…that’s about all the spending I’ve been doing in recent months.

However, that’s not all the shopping I’ve been doing…as I noticed I needed various items for the home and for my crafting endeavors, I’ve added them to my various online shopping carts and then left them there until such a time when I could pay for them.  Nothing much; just a couple spools of thread, some birthday gifts for an upcoming crafter’s birthday, and a fat quarter bundle that came out months ago that I had promised myself I’d buy “later” when paychecks became a regular occurrence once again.  And then the Amazon.com shopping cart…there was an item in there that I’ve been eyeing for about three years, and finally it was the right time to purchase that.

I also injured my foot last week, so I decided to sign up for my grocery store’s “deliver to your car” service, which meant that I submitted my weekly grocery shopping online…and that’s a big spend, no matter the week.

I patted myself on the back after submitting all my orders, pleased with my organizational skills, and my extreme self-discipline with waiting three months to order that coveted fat quarter bundle, and waiting three years to order the thing from Amazon.  Because, really, that was some insane self-discipline.  Hearty pats on the back.

But now, due to my amazing self-discipline, my debit card has been repeatedly flagged for fraud prevention.  The phone has not stopped ringing, and I have had to speak with the automated fraud prevention service over and over again.

Moreover, I’m now beyond the help of the automated system and I’m just automatically transferred to a customer service representative whenever a new charge pops up on my account…and they run through my recent purchases every time, and remark about what a good day I must have had yesterday, and I feel like an idiot explaining that it was three months’ worth of purchases all at once from places called the Fat Quarter Shop and Missouri Star Quilting Company, and I don’t actually spend money like that on a regular basis, and the Amazon thing was a three years’ wait (seriously, it was a $75 item, we’re not talking embarrassing amounts of money here), in some fruitless attempt to convince the faceless customer service representative and myself that I’m not a reckless spender.

But then there’s the “computer software” charge…and it’s large…because it’s my grocery order.  And since the charge went through my account under the shopping app’s name, I’m flagged for literally spending a week’s worth of grocery money on *apps*.  And, you know, there’s six people in our family, so a week’s worth of grocery money at an app store does indeed scream, “Stolen credit card!”

I’m cringing every time the phone rings, but I have to answer so they won’t deny payment to the pretty fabric stores, and, you know, for my groceries.

Such are the trials of a fabric junkie.

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It Begins: Journal Covers for my Activity Days Girls

I serve as a leader for my church’s Activity Days program, which is basically our version of Girl Scouts for girls ages 8-11 years old.  When they turn twelve years old, they advance into the Young Women’s program, and we say good-bye.

I started serving in this position last spring, and we haven’t had any of the girls turn twelve in that time until now…and it just so happens that it is my very own daughter who is advancing.

SONY DSCServing as Activity Days leader when my girl is moving up is interesting because I have firsthand observations as to what would actually be valuable to her at this point in her life, and then I can apply that knowledge to the other girls as they reach this age.  And since you really do fall in love with these girls as you teach them and spend time with them, you want to give something to them when they leave, and the Young Women’s organization seems to be pretty big on keeping a journal, so I decided to go with making journal covers for my advancing twelve year olds.

This week was my daughter’s last Activity Days meeting, as she turns twelve in February, so we said our good-byes and presented her with her journal cover that will hopefully see her through to adulthood and beyond.

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I used Lori Holt’s journal cover pattern that can be found over at AllPeopleQuilt.com.  I’m planning on making a lot of these over the next few years (seven alone this year), so I think in the future I’m going to size it down to fit a composition book–this particular pattern fits your  basic full page journal ($15 +/-), which my Activity Days budget cannot handle purchasing for each advancing girl.  But a $2 composition book for each girl?  You betcha, and it will be so easy to replace those journals as the girls fill them up during their angst-filled teenage years of seeking solitude in writing their emotions.

I used a lot of fabric from a fat quarter bundle of Wee Wander fabrics that I bought specifically for my daughter a year or two ago.  She’s big into blues and greens and absolutely loved the collection, but then I gifted her the “Locket” quilt for Christmas, so I probably won’t be making a Wee Wander quilt for her anymore.  Which means I can start using it in other projects, and what better project than one meant for her?

The gingham is from Tasha Noel’s “The Simple Life” collection, and the other three non-Wee Wander prints inside the journal cover are from the years when I wasn’t paying attention to the names of fabric collections, and were conveniently missing their selvages, so I don’t know their names.  (That hexagon one, though…it’s on the tip of my tongue…Riley Blake?)  And the coral tile-looking print…I think it had something to do with Ty Pennington.)

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Front inside pocket

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Back inside pocket

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Back outside cover

SONY DSCThe navy strip on the top of the cover is from Pat Bravo’s “Dare” collection, leftover from binding the “Locket” quilt, and used when I cut my cover fabric the wrong size…good thing we quilters aren’t scared by that sort of mistake, eh?

The “e” on the front cover was cut with my Silhouette Cameo (font = Garamond), and then I just slowly machine straight-stitched it onto the pocket.  We’ll see how it stands up to wear-and-tear; it is backed with some fusible webbing to try to avoid fraying.

It’s a cute little thing, and I hope it gets a lot of use!

I’m going to be the mother of a twelve year old in a matter of weeks.  Goodness me.  Hopefully she’ll have journals filled with happy memories and wise lessons…

Linking up:
Made by You Mondays @ skiptomylou.org
Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts
Linky Tuesday @ Free Motion by the River
Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle & Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation

 

 

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Fat Quarter Shop’s Top 10 Videos: Star Cakes Quilt

Top-10-VIdeosHello Lovelies!

Star Cakes is another fun quilt in the parade of the Fat Quarter Shop’s Top 10 Videos of 2015.  I chose to make a baby-friendly-sized version, because WOW, you can get FIVE baby quilts out of TWO layer cakes with this pattern, and WOW, I know FOUR women who are pregnant with girls at the moment.

Plus, the Star Cakes quilt pattern is free.  Oh, yes, I’m a very happy quilter indeed.

So, consider this as Cara’s Star Cakes Quilt #1, of many to follow:

 

 

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I used the lovely Gooseberry collection, and Bella Solids in Admiral Blue.  It will make a nice little playmat for my friend’s wee girl.

There are lots of other bloggers who are participating in today’s Top 10 quilt hop, and their work is lovely:

Shruti of 13 Woodhouse Road

Rachel of PS I Quilt

Melissa of Happy Quilting

Tina of Emily Ann’s Kloset

Cara of That Crafty Cara (you’re here!)

Kim of Persimmon Dreams

Pat Sloan

And there’s more fun:  Fat Quarter Shop wants to see YOUR versions of their Top 10’s, and they’re offering a $100 gift certificate to one lucky quilter who posts their photos on Instagram with the hashtag #starcakesquilt and #FQStop10.

Thanks for the opportunity to sew up this great pattern, Fat Quarter Shop!

Star Cakes quilt, a free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop, made with Gooseberry Fabrics and Bella Solids in Admiral Blue.

Linking up:
Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts
Linky Tuesday @ Free Motion by the River
Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts
WOW Wednesday @ Esther A. Liu
Needles & Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation
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Layers of Charm “Flower Sugar” Quilt

Top-10-VIdeosHappy New Year everyone!  In celebration of the new year, Fat Quarter Shop decided to showcase their top ten YouTube videos from 2015, and the Layers of Charm pattern was one of them.  It is a very easy pattern to stitch!

 

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I chose to make my Layers of Charm quilt using the very pretty Flower Sugar 10″ Origami Square pack, and paired it with a White Bella Solids Charm Pack I had on hand.

Every time I’ve seen a Layers of Charm quilt, I’ve always noticed those middle diamonds, and I’ve always thought that they made perfect little blank canvases for some embellishment, so I went with it and added a redwork rose to my center diamond:

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I simply traced a vintage roses pattern (found all over the internet) onto the fabric, and then used some DMC cotton perle #8 in color #321 to stem stitch the design.  I think it goes perfectly with the Flower Sugar “look.”

I then did some double diagonal lines of quilting with 40 weight Aurifil thread in color #2250, and I love how they cross each other!

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I loved making this quilt, and it turned out so beautiful!

If you’d like to watch the Layers of Charm video, here it is:

And, the pattern is FREE and you can download it here: http://static.fatquartershop.com/media/wysiwyg/pdf/LayersofCharm.pdf

One layer cake + one charm pack.  Simple.

Also, if you head on over to the Fat Quarter Shop’s Jolly Jabber blog, they’re offering a $100 gift certificate giveaway in connection with this #FQSTop10 event.  Go find out how to enter!

Thank you, Fat Quarter Shop, for this great pattern and the opportunity to share it with others!

But, wait!  Others are making the Layers of Charm quilt and showing it off today!  Go check ’em out:

Tina of Emily Ann’s Kloset
Tricia of Notes of Sincerity
Anorina of Samelia’s Mum
Erica of Kitchen Table Quilting
Kelly of My Quilt Infatuation
Cara of That Crafty Cara
Connie of Free Motion by the River
Gerri of Planted Seed Designs
Shruti of 13 Woodhouse Road

Linking up:
Sew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart Quilts
Linky Tuesday @ Free Motion by the River
Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Needles & Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation