Wednesday, March 1, 2017

On The Design Wall

If you're a quilter or fabric lover, you'll totally get what I'm about to write.  If not, sorry.

Have you ever seen a line of fabric that just stops you in your tracks?  You have no earthly reason to buy it, no project in the works that it will even work for.  You try to walk away.  In fact, you kind of pace around the fabric store as that scolding voice in your head tries to talk you out of it.
"Now, you KNOW you don't need any more fabric, gurrl." (Apparently, when I scold myself I channel Minny Jackson from The Help.)"What you goin' do with that??" That sewin' room of yours' startin' to look like a level five hoarder lives there!"
This can actually go on for quite a while as I pick up the fabric, put down the fabric, walk away from the fabric and then come back to said fabric over and over again.

Sometimes Minny wins...and sometimes she doesn't. Bwah ha ha.

In fact, I was so possessed by this fabric that immediately after I got home with it, I started cutting and sewing.  I had this quilt finished in two days flat.  I think that's a new land-speed record for me.

Sorry about the bad photos.  My basement sewing room doesn't have great lighting at the best of times and I took these at night, so it's even worse. Hopefully, you can get the gist of just how darling this fabric is.  I mean sheep, bears with honey pots, bunnies and carrots, now I ask you however was I to resist?

And, check out the pea pods, too heavenly.  You know the really crazy part? There is no one I know who currently needs a baby quilt.  Actually, that's probably a good thing because I don't think I can ever part with it.  Take that, Minny!

This one stays with me.  I think I'll even enter it in this years fair.  Now, I just have to figure out the perfect way to quilt it.  

But wait, now that I'm studying the photos, I see I made a huge mistake. Did you catch it? The lower pink HST is sewn wrong.  It should be flipped the other direction. I can't believe I didn't see it before now! (Enter appropriate curse word here.)  There's definitely a seam ripper in my near future.  I guess Minny has ways of getting her revenge. Sigh.

I haven't done much quilting since before the holidays but working on that project really got my creative juices flowing again.  Here's what I'm working on now.  Another fabric I am totally in love with.  Another quilt that will most definitely stay with me.  

Once that's done, here's the next one in the queue.  

It feels good to get back in the sewing room and as you can see, it looks like I've got my work cut out for me.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Back from the brink

It's been a while since I last checked in.  First it was the holidays, then I was sick for three weeks and by the time I was well again, I was out of the habit.  Plus, there was so much to catch up on, I just didn't know where to start.
I guess I've got to jump back on the horse and at least get something down before I look up and another 2 1/2 months have gone by.

Here's a quick run down of the highlights:

A family trip to see the bell choir concert on temple square.  This is my new go-to holiday event.  I've been to the Mo-Tab Christmas concert several times but honestly since they brought in the Muppets nothing is ever going to top that for me, so I've stopped going.
This concert was SO much fun and the tickets are first come, first serve so it's much easier to get tickets for than the Christmas concert which is by lottery.  If you live in the area, I highly recommend you check it out.

Christmas was as amazing as ever.

Someone was extremely happy about the Jedi gear that Santa left him. 

Of course, the best thing about holidays is all the snuggle time.

And then there's this...even if you have no experience whatsoever, when your three year old grand-daughter asks you to fix her hair, you give it the old college try. 

I feel immensely blessed to have my children and grandchildren close enough that we can be together so often.  It's the best gift I'll ever receive.  

So. Much. Snow!  It started snowing on Christmas Eve and it just kept coming...for the entire month of January.  We've had a warm snap in February and much of it is gone now, but at one point the snow in our front yard was waist high.

It's been great for snowshoeing, though.  The foothills are literally a five minute walk from our house.

Not much quilting gets done during the holidays but I did manage to finish this one for my cousin. I love it so much I think I'm going to make another one to enter in this years county fair.

Here is the newest home improvement in my quest for the Farmhouse look.  I love it!  I think it gives the room just the right touch.  And, I know it's a good choice because I saw that Joanna Gaines used the exact same one in the last episode of Fixer Upper.  

With the new year came some new goals.  More reading and creative scripture journaling are on the top of this years list.  

And last of all, Joe Boxer Burnham passed away shortly after Christmas. These are the last pictures we have of him.  
He woke up in the early morning hours of December 30th coughing up blood.  We rushed him to the vet hoping it was just pneumonia but found out it was a massive tumor in his lung.  He peacefully passed surrounded by his family, his pack.  We still ache for him.  He was a true gift to us.    

So much happens day to day, but that was a whirlwind tour of the last few months.  Another resolution I've made is to be a more disciplined blogger.  I've promised myself to post at least twice a month.  We'll see how it goes.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Election Therapy

If you're like me then this election has been excruciating for you.  In fact, the last two weeks were so bad for me that there where days I simply turned off all media, shut off the outside world and spent the day in the sewing room.  Needless to say, I've gotten a lot done.  

This stack of fabric was gathered for a baby quilt I have been commissioned to make.  My cousin, Cyndi, asked me to make it for her daughter (my 2nd cousin, Heidi) who is due in January.  That gives me plenty of time to get it done, but all the time in the sewing room has made me very productive.

The theme for the nursery is elephants so I scoured the internet until I found the most darling pattern. The blocks turned out even better than I hoped.  

Birds and a turtle...

Some poppies to be scattered throughout...

And a frog.  I did a bit of appliqué and machine embroidery for eyes and legs.  Drum roll, please... 

It came together so well.  

It seems that every time I make a quilt it becomes my new favorite but I think this might be my all time most beloved.  I'm thrilled to know it will be kept in the family.  Maybe it might even become an heirloom.  

Considering that the aftermath of the election is even more hateful than the actual event, I have a feeling I'll be spending considerable more time in the sewing room.  I've sworn off media for the foreseeable future so I'll probably have it quilted by the end of the week.  

If you are interested in purchasing it, the pattern is called Elephants on Parade and I found it here.  

I don't have much else to say.  Nationally, it's been an exhausting few months and it doesn't look like that's going to change anytime soon.  I have no power to change that.  Personally, I'm just going to gather those I love close and love them.  And more than that, I'm going to be kind to everyone I can.  It's all I can think to do.  

Sunday, October 23, 2016


It's been a hard year for Matt and me. Between our respective injuries and his crazy travel schedule, we haven't been able to have much fun.
So, in September we decided to remedy that situation by taking a trip to California with a stop in Vegas on the way home.

For us, no trip to California would be complete without a trip to the "happiest place on earth." It was a perfect day! We went on the Wednesday after Labor Day so the crowd was small and we didn't have to wait in line for anything. We had a blast! What can I say, we're just a couple of big kids.

On another day, our friends Jeff & Kathy Ludlow treated us to a ride in their Cessna.  Matt loves to fly. You can tell by that big ol' smile on his face.  

I, however, was less enthusiastic. To say I'm a nervous flyer is a bit of an understatement.

But, once I white-knuckled it through the take off, the views made it all worthwhile.  

We flew along the coast from Camarillo to San Luis Obispo. We had an ocean view off one side and a  view of the mountains off the other.  

 From the air, the farm fields looked like a giant quilt.

We ate a delicious dinner at The Apple Farm, then headed back. The sun set while we were in the air.  There was something magical about flying over the city at night. I thought I would be really nervous about flying at night but it was actually very relaxing.

The true reason for our trip was to attend the USU/USC game. USU is his alma mater, so Matt is a faithful fan. I'm more of a fair weather fan and since California has some pretty fair weather, I was happy to tag along.

Sadly, the Trojans cleaned our clock. But,  being in the Coliseum was still an amazing experience.  Between their famous band performing and their mascot racing around the field on a huge, white Arabian horse, USC has cornered the market on spectacle.

Our last stop before heading to Las Vegas was a lunch with extended family. It was wonderful to hang with this girl again. When we were young, my cousin Debbie and I had some pretty fun, crazy adventures. And based on all the giggling we did that afternoon, I'm pretty sure that if we lived closer to each other, we'd still be getting into a fair amount of trouble.

This cutie-pie is my namesake. My 2nd cousin, Brian, named his daughter after me. We had never had the chance to meet each other before and neither one of us had ever met anyone with our name.  It was fun to finally remedy both of those situations.
We had quite a time talking about the difficulties of having the name Tacey; like always being called Stacy, Tracey or even Lacey. Not to mention the horrors of the first day of school when we both have had to squirm through the teacher butchering our name, much to the amusement of the rest of the class.

We left the party late that afternoon and drove straight through to Vegas. Even though we got there late, we took a quick walk on the strip just to look around.
The strip at night is a pretty wild place. The fountain at the Bellagio was the tamest thing I could take a photo of.

We've never really stopped in Vegas before.  Oh sure, we've driven by dozens of times, but never actually stayed there.  However, on this vacation we wanted to do some really touristy stuff. Taking in a couple of shows fit that bill.  Here we are waiting to see the Blue Man Group.  It is an amazing show...indescribable and amazing.
We had to sit through four agonizing hours of a time share sales pitch to get the free tickets, but the show was so good it was worth it.

The second day we were in the city, we were kind of at a loss for what to do.  I mean, even during the day there isn't that much "G" rated stuff to do.  We decided to check out this store for souvenirs for the kiddos.
First of all, let me warn you that they pump the scent of chocolate through the entire 4 story building.  It made me want to buy (and eat) everything in sight.  Which is, I'm pretty sure, why they do it.
The coolest thing they have is a huge machine that let's you personalize and print your own M&M's.  You choose the colors you want, input what you want them to say, push a big button and voila!, the coolest M&Ms ever!
We bought a bag for each grandchild along with a personalized mug for each.  Here they are enjoying some hot chocolate in them.

Speaking of grandkids, they LOVE getting snail mail.  We made sure to send them one or two postcards from every place we stopped.  It's a fun tradition we've started.  I hope it let's them know that we love and think of them no matter where we are.

For me, the pinnacle of our time in Vegas was this.  Yes, I admit it.  I was a huge Donny fan when I was young.  In fact, I had our wedding all planned.  Too bad, he didn't get that memo.
The show was great.  I highly recommend it.  I actually had no idea how talented they both are, especially Marie!  She sang everything from Aerosmith to opera and did it all fantastically.

We had a great time.

Of course, I have to gather fabric no matter where I go.  Here is what I gathered throughout the trip.  It's for a baby quilt I have been commissioned to make.  The pattern is in the background.
The mommy-to-be wants elephants for her theme so I found a pattern online that fits perfectly. I'm excited to get started.

And just for the heck of it, here is my latest finish.  It comes on a fabric panel complete with everything you see here.  I saw it and just had to make it for Maddie.  I mean, check out the mermaid tail...and the mini quilt!!  How could I possibly pass it up? 
I gave it to her last week for her 3rd birthday.  

Vacation's are great but it's always good to be home.  Summer is officially over now.  The weather turning cool, the leaves are turning and we've definitely had frost on the pumpkin.  I love this time of year.