Thursday, March 28, 2013

2 Years

Tuesday was our second anniversary! Thought I'd share a few thoughts today about it.

Two years ago , I stook at the front alter of a little white church, and promised to love this man. It's been two years full of many many changes in our lives and through it all, I have grown to love and rely on him more and more every day. He has shown me time and again that he is my partner, my best friend, and my rock.

I am blessed beyond belief to go through this crazy ride call life together - frantically hold onto to each as we take each curve that comes our way - knowing that he will always be by my side.
We went wild with our anniversary - celebrated by picking up a yummy dinner from a local restaurant, watched tv, and had frozen  yogurt! Yup! It was a crazy night on the town... BUT - it's that quietness, that steadiness, that I have grown to cherish. It's the simple moments that make our lives what they are. I love that my sweet husband understands and values our time together.

p.s. my wonderful husband completely surprised me by sending me these GORGEOUS flowers at work! I've have been sitting at the office enjoying them! And pink - my favorite!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Farmers Wife Inspiration

Earlier this week, I posted about my mom and my's adventure into the Farmers Wife Quilt Sampler. Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite quilts and blocks that I've seen out there in the online world! 

FWQAL: January 2013

Kona Solid FWQA mini quilt

FWQ

Farmers Wife Sampler Mini

Vanessa's Farmer's Wife

farmers wife 1

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by yesterday for my stop on the Sewing Machine Blog Hop! I was so overwhelmed to see how many of you stopped by!! Happy Friday yall!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Meet My Machine

Sew at Home Mummy
Hey yall! Welcome to Sew Happily Ever After! For those of you coming by from Erin and Stacey's fabulous blog hop, grab a cup of coffee and sit down a while. Today, I'm sharing about my beloved sewing machine, and I have A LOT to say about it! So go grab a cup of coffee and join me for a little while! :)

First of all, meet Lizzie. She just turned one this past Christmas, and we couldn't be happier!
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Lizzie is a Babylock A Line Series "Elizabeth" model. The Elizabeth model (BL200A) is considered a "sewing" machine by Babylock (they also have embroidery, quilting, long arms, and sergers). This is how Babylock describes the Elizabeth:

"Elizabeth is multi-talented and great at everything she does, and she's ready to share all her secrets with you. With 178 stitches, automatic needle threader and drop in bobbin, this feature-packed machine sure has a lot to say! Elizabeth can help you make a statement with every project, from home d├ęcor to accessories and garments. But don't be intimidated - with push button features, knee lift and extension table, count on Elizabeth to help make any project easy and successful."

There are a TON of features on my Lizzie, and to be honest, I probably don't know or utilize all of the features as much as I should. One of the things that I love about this machine is that it will do a little bit of everything: sewing, piecing, quilting, garment sewing, embroidery, etc. It's a great all purpose machine. One thing that I LOVE about it is the button holes and button sewing. It takes just a couple of minutes, and they look gorgeous - and let's face it, I loathe hand sewing. I use a lot of the fun stitches for some of my quilting, especially this wavy line. It's one of my favorites. Babylock loaded this machine up with 178 stitches, and they can almost all be slightly altered, whether it's the height or width of the stitch. I do some quilting on Lizzie, but it's a little bit of work because she's not really designed to do heavy quilting. If a quilt is larger than a twin, I won't do it on Lizzie. It's just too much of a struggle. I've used the walking foot several times but honestly, I prefer to use a regular foot to quilt. I have more control with Lizzie if I do it that way. And that's totally okay! There's not a whole lot that I'd add to Lizzie, mostly because she does so much already. Lizzie came with lots of fun accesssories - 13 different feet. There are 28 other feet that you can purchase to go with it. Slowly, I've been collecting some (thanks to my family for supporting my addiction hobby at the holidays). Here are the extra feet that I have. 
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I'm currently eyeing this foot, the Pearl & Piping Foot.
Pearl & Piping Foot
I can see all sorts of fun projects to use, but I love the idea of a foot to help make binding. You can do it in other ways, but, this'd make it easier.

Two of my favorite things about Lizzie are this little compact drawer on the front part of her - it stores the feet that came with her, and the tray is removable, so I've got my walking foot, screwdrivers, etc. in it. It's very practical to have those right at hand. I also love this clip on chart that came with Lizzie. It's a cheat sheet with all of the stitches and programming that come on her. How fabulous is that?
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Lizzie's a fairly compact sewing machine. She's easy to cart around (if I wanted to), and fits beautifully on my desk (former vanity). I love the bright kelly green accents on her!
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How did Lizzie and I get together? Well, Lizzie was a gift to me from my mother and father in law two Christmases ago - just before Reagan was born. When I found out I was pregnant, I turned a little hormonal nostalgic, and wanted to learn to sew. My mom had made clothes for my brother and I growing up, and I wanted to do the same for my child. My mother in law is an amazing seamstress, and when she found out I wanted to sew, she did tons and tons of research on machines, and selected Lizzie for me. We spent a few days over Christmas at their house, and my mother in law and I played together learning how to make Lizzie go. It was so overwhelming and exciting! Two weeks later, I was put in the hospital.... well, you can check out Reagan's birth story here... but to make it short, Reagan was born early! We spent the next six weeks in the NICU with her, but during that time, I made myself sit down and sew. Mostly, I did this to keep my mind busy. Learning something so completely foreign is hard work, and it did the trick. One of my very first projects was to make a boppy cover for our boppy pillow, and to make Reagan a bed skirt. I bought fabric from Joanns, and found some online tutorials, and I was off and running. I became hooked on sewing, and over the next few months, it became my outlet for everything. Truly, sewing became my go to stress reliever, my therapy, and my hobby.

So, Lizzie is, of course, my very first (sewing machine). Currently, she is the only one that I own, although, I do have my sights set on a serger. They really intimidate me, but I think I'd love to have one to make my garment sewing much easier and more professional looking. I've heard good things about the Babylock serger from friends, so maybe someday. In the meantime, I'm hoping to save up for a Brother serger (to learn and practice on before I invest in a Babylock).

Want to see where I sew? Here's my space.... It's a patio room that I share with the dog. Yup. She's great company, and it's right off of our family room, so I'm still right there with the hubby and Reagan. Lately, though, we've had to baricade my space off from Reagan because, well, she likes to play with the pedal and fabric and be just like mommy. I recently re arranged my furniture, and it's completely inspired me to get moving with some projects that have just been sitting around. I use the storage room for some of my extra fabrics, so it's still shoved in a few spaces, but that's alright.
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On the wall above my desk, I have some prints and a  mini quilt from Jan. I also have a small cork board (covered in fabric - what else?) with notes, etc. on it! I've got fat quarters and fabrics under a yard on this shelf, and on top of it are bolts of fabric greater than 1 yard. I have books and patterns on the top shelf with some apparel fabrics, and more patterns down below. I have all my solid scraps in this cardboard box, and my charms and quilting bees work on the very bottom. On the small shelving stand, I have more apparel fabrics (as well as in the closet). Scraps that haven't been sorted go in the huggie box under the desk. Next to my sewing machine, I have a doll from Hawaii that my parents gave me years and years ago, my name plate from Girls Night Out: Charlotte (which conveniently holds my tiny scissors and my seam ripper), and my pretty pin cushion from Jan! It's a crazy space, and I have a lot going on - but it's my little room.
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Today, I consider myself a confident beginner! I'm not afraid to try anything when it comes to sewing and quilting. I conquered the Amy Butler Weekender Bag (go here and here) after only sewing for 7 months and quilting for 2. I have no fear (besides birds - but that's a story for another day). Currently, I just started to work on my farmers wife quilt ( you can go here to read more about it), and I've got some clothing planned for the spring for myself and Reagan.
The Tilted Quilt
Hope yall had fun visiting and learning a little bit about my machine, my sewing space, and me! Be sure to follow my blog because I'll be doing a little giveaway next week! :) 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Farmers Wife WIP

So a while back, I saw a ton of quilters online participating in the Farmers Wife Quilt ALong. Well, I loved the idea and concept of it, but didn't really want to do it by myself (since the quilt along was kind of already over). My mom and I have been kicking around the idea of doing a quilt together but making our own--- a mini quilt along, if you will. I had the idea of us making the Farmers Wife Quilt Samplers. We both really  love history and this was a neat concept. Mom loved the idea, and I talked her into using Jeni Baker's fabric line, In Color Order, for our samplers.
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They are teeny tiny blocks, finishing off at around 6 to 6 and half inches - with lots of little pieces. There are two blocks per letter, so it's really fun to read the letters that these women wrote.
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The whole premise of the book is these letters that farmer's wives wrote in response to a newspaper editor, asking them if they would want their daughter's to marry a farmer and have the lives that they do. The letters were written in the 1920s. It's such a neat way to read their thoughts and views - and how many of their points, are still valid in today's world.

Since the fabric didn't come out and hit stores until February, we've just now started. Mom is much further along than me, but I"m doing my best to catch up! We ambitiously decided that our goal is 10 blocks a month, so it'll take us roughly a year or so to make all of the blocks.Mom and I decided to make the blocks in the order of the letters (which means they are out of order numerically).

I've decided to incorporate a little bit of selvage into my quilt. I love the fact that we are using a fabric line inspired by vintage pyrex (from a different era than the Farmers Wives letters) produced in an entirely different era. I guess there's just too much of an English major in me not to see the beauty in that kind of linkage.... which is why I'm keep bits and pieces of selvage. Plus, it looks kind of cool.

First Letter: "Living in God's Open Air" written by Mrs. J.E.F from Valley County, Montana
"I would have my daughter bring of the very best to that farmy home - the best o fmusic, books, pretty clothes, dainty things for her house. I am speaking of the little things of life which really make up the most of it; big events only happen once in a while."

The first letter's blocks are:
#26 Cut Glass Dish
Farmers Wife
#54 Kitchen Woodbox
Farmers Wife


Second Letter: "No Safer Road to Travel" written by Mrs. E.M.L in Furnas County, Nebraska
"To wake up in the early morning to the bird calls, the animal greetings, i better than the best symphony concert every played. To see the sun climb out of bed and reach rosy fingers to pick up the dew drops from field and meadow, and to watch the joyous greeting of all nature, in the summer time, is worth more than silver and gold can buy."

The second letter's blocks are:
#24 Country Path
Farmers Wife
#79 Silver Lane
 Block #79 Silver Lane

Here are my first four completed blocks, all together! 
First Four Blocks

I really love how they look together, and I'm so excited about this project! :) 

I'm linking up my new long term WIP to this week's WIP parties! :)
WIPWednesday
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Covert Robin Swap: Received

Girl with gift color and hair button-1

Hey yall! I told you before that I'm participating in the Cover Robin Swap! Well, I received my gift this week from the incredibly sweet Jan of Jan's ART FRIENDZY She knocked my socks off - seriously!

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Look at what she sent to me!! It's beautiful. Okay, time to drool so you can all be jealous.. :)

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This sweet little mini cushion - she fussy cut the selvage to show "Great Joy" which I just love!
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This mini quilt which she titled "Quilters Village".

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Her absoultey beautiful free motion quilting - so intricate and lovely!
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The back - in polka dots with a pink house!! :) SO fun!

Jan, I can't thank you enough for this grogeous gift! It will be such beautiful inspiration to hang in my sewing room! Thank you, sweet friend!  Yall - be sure to go check out Jan's blog!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Emerald Quilt Challenge

2013 Emerald Quilt Challenge
Ali at A.squared.W is hosting the Pantone's 2013 Color of the Year Quilt Challenge! I've been excited about this for a while but honestly, didn't really get busy on it until this past week. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute! Ali has a few rules for the competition. There are three different categories to enter: minis, quilts, and tops. To make your quilt, you can use greens (based off of emerald), a neutral, and one other color. 

Mine is (obviously) a topper! 
Emerald City
When I first heard of this challenge, my mind immediately went to The Wizard of Oz, and the emerald city! I knew I wanted to head down that road for my quilt. I knew I wanted my quilt to be scrappy with squares (my latest interest in quilting) and to mimic the skyline of the emerald city - and have a nod to the yellow brick road!
I'm planning on using Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets ( I think) for the backing, and probably yellow or white for the binding (any preferences?). 
Emerald City Close Up

Emerald City
This topper measures  40 x 40 inches. I used only 2.5 x 2.5 inch squares for the entire quilt. I love how scrappy it is! Some of the fabrics are: Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets, Amy Butler Kabash in Emerald (home dec), Ovals Remixed, and a couple random fat quarters from my local quilt shop. Here are the fabrics I pulled all lined up (well, most of them - some were scraps that I added in). 
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Be sure to check out some of the other entries - everyone has done a spectacular job! 
Emerald City
I had so much fun making this! It was so neat to work within a few parameters but to just have free rein to go at it without a pattern. I'm learning more and more about what defines my style as a quilter - and doing this really made me think more clearly about what I like in quilts!

Take care yall and enjoy this gorgeous weather! We definitely will be! :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Favorites

I'm taking a little page from the lovely and talented Jenni of In Color Order, and sharing some of my favorites on Flickr! I don't know that I'll make it a weekly thing but I might try - we'll have to see! Here's a few of my favorites that I've tagged this week. There are some gorgeous pieces!

Enjoy! Friday Favorites 1. Blocks for Natalie, 2. Rainbow Basket Weave Pillow, 3. The top is pieced!!, 4. IMG_1669, 5. dresden center circle, 6. Now that's Pink! Quilt, 7. Mmmm linen-ey... :) with @artgalleryfabrics, 8. Cross blocks, 9. Mo stash march 13 ready for the post, 10. Punch Drunk Quilt, 11. IMG_4930, 12. Star Crossed Lovers Pillow

Am I Crazy?

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A while back, yall may remember, I tackled the infamous Amy Butler Weekender Bag (go here to see my original post). I used lots of advice from all sorts of bloggers out there to make it, and actually really enjoyed the process and the end result. I'm sick, I know. Initially, when I started putting it together, I had in mind that it would be for me (yup, I'm a selfish sewist). Reagan, however, needed a big bag to take to daycare so, well, like many things, momma gets moved to the back. :)

I do have to say, that after four months of day in and day out use, this bag has held up really well! It's really been a great "diaper bag" for us to use for Reagan - and works great for an overnight bag, too. Her bottles and sippy cups fit really well in the end pockets, and the bottom insert of the bag has really been strong enough for all of her stuff. 

Now, Reagan knows that it's her bag. One hundred percent.
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She pulled it off the chair where it lives when we are at home, and began to tackle her bag. It was the cutest thing and I just had to share it with yall!
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She knows it's hers, and I love that! :)
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Of course, this means that I'll have to make at least one for me (and probably one for my sweet momma who strongly hinted that she wants one). Now to decide about fabric - any suggestions?

Take care yall and have a great day! :) DSCN7289
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