Monday, March 24, 2014

Monday Momentum

Oof, my momentum has been a little slow to get going today - sick kid, long to-do list, typical Monday ;-) I came across this sentiment that seems very Zen to me and I love it. What if instead of feeling like we needed to fix or change ourselves or our life, we just accepted it? Instead of "trying to be more creative (or successful or thin or whatever)", what if I just accept (believe, have faith that) I'm already creative and enough. Right here and now, today, just as I am. Isn't that an empowering thought? It making me feel all peaceful and calm so I'm going with this for the week. I am already there.

Where are you trying to go? How does it make you feel when you tell yourself you're already there?

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Momentum

Today I have faith that I can be a beginner again and learn something new. Being not-so-good at something is hard and if you're like me you forget that it's ok to start where you are and grow. I'm giving myself permission to sew like a beginner again and do a terrible job if I need to, in order to make progress. Why all this newness?
Insert squeal here! On Friday I bought my dream machine, a Juki TL2010Q. I'm equal parts ecstatic and nervous (think paralyzed and staring at the machine nervous). I'm not the most technological and unlike my husband I would never take anything apart and (*gasp* void the warranty) because I thought I could fix it or figure it out. NO. That is not me. I love comfort and routine, yes I do!

So I'd been sewing along on my trusty Singer, which I love and will keep but (you knew there was a but didn't you?) I was starting to feel really frustrated by the limitations of the machine. The needle had a ton of play in it making a consistent 1/4" seam allowance almost impossible. It balks at sewing through the thick layers of a sturdy bag. I felt like I had done as well as I could on that machine and I was ready to grow. I'd been feeling it for a while but this was a HUGE purchase for me so it took me a while to save for it and feel comfortable with it.

I'm thrilled to report that with the help/advice of all the wonderful Juki owners on Instagram I actually conquered my fears and got it threaded and running yesterday! So exciting! So I'm starting a couple small projects as I get the feel of it and I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sewing Snacks :: World's Easiest Cookie Recipe

You guys! You know how sometimes you need a little pick-me-up while you're working on a project? I found the perfect quick-and-easy cookie recipe! I saw a reference for it on Amy Karol's blog Angry Chicken and had to try it immediately. 10 minutes later I had cookies baking in the oven - no joke. Want the magical recipe?
Here goes: 1 cake mix (any flavor), 2 eggs, 1/3 C. oil OR melted butter (I went for the butter, 6T = 1/3 C) and whatever you want to add in. Mix and bake for 12 - 14 minutes at 350 degrees - it really was that simple. Yesterday I used a spice cake mix, 1/2 C chopped walnuts and 1/2 C chocolate chips and even my picky eater liked them! I used a scoop and got 2 dozen cookies. So now I have a couple more ideas above as well as using a white cake mix and the leftover green Christmas m&m's for some St. Patrick's day goodies :-)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Arrow Churn Throw pattern

I posted a little snippet of this as I was working on it, and now I'm happy to be able to share the whole thing - this is the Arrow Churn Throw quilt pattern from Caroline at Nightingale Quilts. It's new and about to be released and I'm so happy to share my version with you today. I was lucky enough to get to test it for her and I can tell you that I'm so in love with this pattern that I've already got another one sewn and ready to be quilted! I love "big block"quilts that use one (or a few) giant blocks as the whole design. When you have limited time to sew these kind of quilts can be a great choice, they sew up quickly and look great.
Caroline is one of those people who really knows how to break down the steps of the block construction to make them easily understandable, even for beginners. Her patterns are full of helpful diagrams and would be perfect for someone new to quilting.  It's tremendously confidence building to feel like you've been successful at something new and Caroline's patterns can do that.
This quilt finishes as about 60" square, the perfect size for snuggling under on the couch with a good book or laying on your bed as beautiful design addition to your room. I used fabrics from Anna Maria Horner's Dowry and True colors collections, both can be found at Hawthorne Threads. I used a hot pink binding and a light pink backing and I loved the springy little pop of color they added.

If you haven't seen Caroline's patterns yet I'd encourage you to check out her craftsy shop and keep an eye on her blog for new patterns - I think she's going to be a designer that we're all going to be seeing a lot of in the near future :-) As for my near future I can tell you that I'm putting her Swift Wreath mini quilt pattern at the top of my "to sew" list.

Monday Momentum

                                            Image reposted from littlebitfunky on Instagram

Hi everyone - hope you're surviving this first monday of Daylight Savings Time - UGH. I have to admit it makes me feel completely off for a week or two while my body re-adjusts. I won't even get into how much it throws off my kiddo.

So I'm sharing this post that I saw on IG this morning as it fits completely with the momentum I'm trying to get going today and this week. Last week I didn't post a Monday Momentum post because I was in a complete funk. Someone posted some harsh criticism on IG that was directly as me and felt completely unfair, untrue and just hurtful. It took me a few days to process it and let it go. It was one of those instances when I was REALLY happy that I chose to make my IG my real name as it keeps me completely honest and doesn't let me say mean things anonymously.

This week I'm trying to remember that kindness, understanding and support are what I want to give (and hopefully get) no matter where the place. I'm also working hard on being understanding of those who feel the need to share their opinions without any first-hand knowledge or thought of consequences. I'm not saying it's easy but I'm trying.

How do you get out of funk or let go of hurt feelings, especially those that come from virtual settings?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday :: Quilt Pattern Testing

This morning while one child was at school and one child was yet to arrive, my house was calm and quiet and I worked on a new quilt pattern that I'm testing for Caroline of Nightingale Quilts - if you don't know her yet, you will soon. She's a quilt maker and designer from Australia and I've fallen in love with her designs. You can visit her blog or Craftsy store to learn more.

This pattern is a lap quilt from one giant block and I love it so much I've already made up two because I keep imagining it in more and more colorways and fun combinations. It's coming together fairly quickly, even for me, the world's slowest quilter ;-) I'm learning to stop worrying about how fast or slow I'm going and just embrace my pace.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.
Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Momentum

I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.

Today I took a moment to stop and savor the first sign of spring. The past couple of weeks have been filled with messes and discomforts as we had another week of snow and ice followed by our winter break...a week of working from home for my dear husband and two weeks off school for my kiddo. I love my family but I also love our routines and when we've been away from them too long I think we all start to suffer. I know "time off" for everyone else feels like double duty for me and I was thrilled this morning to be able to get back to our normal (for now) schedule. Because the seasons are always changing aren't they? What's normal now will always be evolving and there will always be challenges to manage. But when I stop to savor the individual moments there are so many sweet ones, I want to take them all in and appreciate each one.

Trying hard to get back into a rhythm of my own this week with some creative time for mama. I try to sew in the mornings usually because I'm the freshest and the light in my sewing room is the best but I find that time can easily disappear to housework and errands if I'm not careful. When do you find is your best time to fit in some creative time of your town? Do you feel like you're letting other things go in order to make time for yourself?

Thanks, as always,  for stopping by!