Tuesday, February 24, 2009

State of the Union

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of the blessed day TK and I got married...and one year later, we remain hopeful and excited about the future. It's been a year of discovery, teamwork, and joy. I don't underestimate the blessing of loving and being loved by your best friend and I know that with grace and determination, we will continue to embrace our life together.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


When I was first introduced to quilting, I had my doubts. The fabrics I saw lining shop walls didn't thrill me. Tradition and history hold a special spot in my heart, but many of the quilting patterns and styles I encountered seemed a bit...I don't know...blah. Isolated, I tried my best to find styles and material that I felt drawn to, dabbling in creativity until I would occasionally come across something that inspired me.

Over the last year, however, I've been exposed to so many different styles of quilting through new friends and acquaintances online. I am convinced that I have entered a new world of quilting possibilities of which I never even dreamed.

Here's my first attempt at "improvisational quilting." You pretty much just make it up as you go, not following a pattern or any rules. Talk about liberating! I can't imagine going completely crazy on the improv though, so I tried to maintain some sort of uniformity or organization for the whole thing.

This quilt is crib/wall hanging size and I love every inch of it! The greens make me certain Spring is on its glorious way.

**QUICK NOTE I almost forgot. My hero at Quiltology, Colette, found some extra Michael Miller Damask fabric in her scrap pile that I needed to complete the quilt, since I hadn't bought enough originally. The dear woman parted with it so that I could finish my quilt. Have I mentioned before that this woman deserves a crown in Heaven? Cause she does. A shiny one. With lots of pearls.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quilting Bee 2.0

In the days of old, women gathered together for quilting bees, helping each other to share a common experience through work and community. While there are many quilters that still gather in person for bees today, many of us, who otherwise would be kindred spirits, are separated by great distances.

Necessity is the mother of invention, hence the establishment and thriving of virtual quilting bees. Quilters from all over the country (or world for that matter) can connect with each other to work on the same quilt. It's just lovely.

Here's the deal: 12 (or so) people decide to form a group, and each person is assigned one month out of the year. When it's your month, you buy the fabric for your quilt, divide it by 12 and send it out to the other 11 members. You let them know how you want your quilt to look and what you have in mind for the finished product, and then they send the completed block(s) back to you so that you can put the quilt top together. In the end, you have an original quilt with blocks made by each person in the group. You also get to work on new techniques and with new fabrics every month to send back to your fellow quilters. Ingenious!

This year, I was invited to be a part of two virtual quilting bees, one called Block Party with these lovely ladies, and the other called A Notion or Two. Here's some catch up on my blocks so far with the fabric I've been sent.

January - made for Alissa

January - made for Amy

February - made for Amy

February - made for Ashley

Don't you love that linen in Ashley's blocks above? I've got to start thinking about the fabric I want to get for my months coming up in the summer. Can't we all just quit our jobs and sew all the live long day?!

Monday, February 9, 2009

January 2009 Martha | The Root of the Matter

I've killed more plants than I'd like to admit. By no means do I know the first thing about keeping life flowing through green veins. Despite the fact that my mom is one of the most dedicated gardeners I know, somehow I think her green thumb skipped a generation.

As a killer of plants, the Gardening section of January's Martha Stewart Living appealed to me, presenting several cures for what ails our houseplants with simple illustrated diagnoses. One plant I've managed to keep alive is an ivy I've had for about a year now. I know: HUGE deal. Absolutely amazing. Since bringing it inside this winter after a summer of wonderful growth, however, I literally fear for its life. I expected a slowing of growth, but it's starting to discolor a bit and has some tiny springs shooting up from its based, something I've determined to be a last ditch effort on my ivy's part to not kick the bucket. My diagnosis: pot/root bound.

It's hardly rocket science, but the article encouraged me to actually do something about my dear plant, rather than walking by it every day, casting a bitter, confused look in its direction, and wondering if the problem would magically correct itself without my help.

The article reads, "Pot Bound Symptoms Growth slows, and flowering may stop (although some plants, such as cacti, flower best when slightly pot bound). Roots protrude from drainage hole. Plant or plantlets fill entire pot. Solutions Remove from pot; separate any offshoots if necessary. Place into one larger pot, or, if divided, several smaller pots."

What do you think? Like I said, not rocket science. I had a larger pot that matched the small one, so now I think there is plenty of room for it to grow and hopefully flourish. Tomorrow's temperature is supposed to be a whopping 60 degrees, so I think I'll let my little ivy out for some fresh air. Stay with me, you sweet thing, and I'll try my hardest not to kill you. It will mean the world to me if you can survive.