Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Bright Side

To steal line from one of my favorite childrens books, last week was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.  This week isn't shaping up to be much better.  With various family problems, Matt suffering an extremely painful injury and my beloved Aunt in the hospital, I'm stressed.
But, I believe that no matter what problems are surrounding me at the moment there is also plenty of good, if only I will choose to focus on it.
I have not always felt this way.  My dear friend, Cassie, taught me how.  Cassie has not had an easy life.  She has had to deal with monumental family and health issues and yet, she is still happy, open and adventurous.
Her example has taught me to compartmentalize just as she does. Now, when one part of my life isn't going so well,  I can acknowledge it but not let it overwhelm and over-shadow all the good that surrounds me. 

When I started this blog, I decided that regardless of the negative things that might be going on in my life, here in this place, I would choose to focus on what is happy and positive.  So here is me, trying to look on the bright side.
When I'm stressed, I don't sleep very well.  I'm not one to lie awake in my bed.  When I can't sleep, I get up and do something. Since quilting is such a stress reliever for me, I usually head for the quilting room.  All the extra quilting time has allowed me to finish this little cutie.
I used zigzag and straight stitches to raw edge applique the blocks. 
I also did a raw edge binding again.  I love the vintage, frayed look washing it created.
Once that was done, I started on Joe's car quilt.
You can't see it well from the front, but I decided to do pebble quilting on it.
You can see it much better on the plain chambray backing.

Since this was a quilt for my dog, I felt like I could relax and experiment a bit, so I decided to play around with the Stitch Regulator that came with my Bernina 440.  When I first got the machine, I was a bit intimidated by it and haven't really used it.  Wow!  Have I ever been doing it the hard way!  I love it!  My stitches are smooth and uniform and the quilting time is seriously reduced.  I'm never going back to the old way again. 

So those are just a couple of the positive parts of my week.  Silly maybe, but they helped me cope.
Of course, there are much deeper things that I always have to be positive about.  I have a husband who adores me and literally thinks I can to no wrong. I have two sons who aren't just my children, they ( along with my husband) are my best friends. I have a wonderful, supportive network of friends.  I am healthy and strong.  I have an abiding knowledge that God is my Father and Jesus Christ is my Redeemer.  They love me and have a plan.  Nothing is too great for them.  All I have to do is remember Phillipians 4:13.
Now really, what was I ever stressed about??

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without...

I don't know when or where I first heard this saying but, ever since I reorganized my stash,  it seems to be my new quilting motto. I am really trying to use up what I already have rather than always buying new.
To that end, last week, I channeled my inner Dr. Frankenstein and sewed this monster together out of all my left over batting pieces.

I don't know about you, but I have tons odd sized batting pieces left over from previous projects going to waste in a huge bin.  Well, no more! For the next while, I will be toiling in my lab until I have stitched it all together.  Can I just admit that all this thriftiness has me feeling ridiculously pleased with myself?  Okay, I'm a nerd.  Don't judge.

My Frankenbatting really didn't take all that long to sew together and I got enough to use in my next two projects.  Here they are waiting their turn to be quilted.  You might recognized the blue, brown and white quilt.  I'm furiously trying to get it done before I head to Utah next week for the baby shower.  I love the way it is turning out so far.  I think it will look great with the straight-line grid quilting I have planned for it.
The other quilt behind it is a car quilt I am making for The Joe.  We love to take him on car trips but, that boy can shed!  I know they say that Boxers don't but, don't you believe it!  Previously, we have put beach towels for him all over the back seat but then I found the cutest doggie print in my stash and know the rest.  Quilts do find their owners.  Even if they are of the four legged variety.

Here is my latest finish.  I started the blocks a couple of months ago and finally got around to putting them together. It turned out even cuter than I had hoped.
I sewed a raw edged binding on it. 
I love way it frayed out after I washed it.
Here is the back.

I think the blast of color against all the white on the front makes the quilt very dynamic.
I have a lot of left over squares.  I see several more of these in my future.