#the100dayproject

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Today is the day, ladies and gentlemen, the day that creativity gets a big kick in the booty! All around the world people are pulling out dull pencils and dry paint brushes. They are dusting off their sewing machines, charging their camera batteries and cleaning their workspace for the project of the year. And I’m so excited!!!

This year I’ve got two projects to work on. Sewing and Writing.

Sewing. For me this is sewing of all kinds, but what I’m going to focus on over these next 100 days is sewing clothing and quilts. I’ve been a quilter for a long time but I’m the kind of girl who likes to sew in large chunks of time or not at all. Why do I do this to myself? Invariably I end up with neck and back injuries, dark circles under my eyes and 5 pounds heavier from all the instant food because I’m too busy quilting to take the time to make dinner. I’m definitely easier on myself when sewing clothes, but they are usually costumes or gown alterations. I want to make my own clothes! I want to create a wardrobe that fits me like a glove, and makes me look good too. I want to want to get out of my sweats and look like I spent all morning getting ready. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Writing. As you can see by my blog post history I’m not a very consistent writer, lol. A few months ago I woke up with the most amazing dream and I thought it would make a great story to tell. So I told the story to my family and thought, maybe I should write this all down. And not just in my journal, but in a book I’ll publish and it will be on every shelf in every library. Well, I’m not that grandiose, but I did think it would be fun to publish a book – or at least to see if I am a good enough writer to get one published. The funny thing is that the story was way better in my dream and in the telling of my dream than it actually is on paper. So I’m working on it… very, very, slowly. Actually, I only write when something brilliant pops into my head and it takes me on an awesome ride.

I seem to see a pattern happening here.

So this project, the give your creativity a shot of adrenaline by doing it in 100 days project is also, for me at least, a let’s get better by working consistently rather than expecting some miraculous burst of inspiration to fall into my lap by doing nothing project.

This is my hope, at least, that by small daily works I’ll be better at what I’m working on. And if nothing else I’ll get stuff done. And small chunks of time will probably work so much better for me in the long run because my house won’t be overrun with dust, laundry and a starving family that I’ll have to stop everything I’m doing just to feed and clean until it’s all shiny and happy, just to do it all over again in a few weeks when I’m finished with the next project that consumes me.

Because that’s what happens. My workroom tends to open it’s jaws and swallow me whole, only to regurgitate me- often with something pretty to show for it- looking like I haven’t seen the sun in weeks and survived only on dark chocolate and Coke Zero. It’s my bad habit. One I’ve been trying to break for years but never knew how. Maybe, just maybe, this is the answer to my prayers.

So I’m crossing my fingers, saying a heartfelt prayer, and hoping that my next 100 days will be inspiring and create new habits for me, ones that I won’t easily allow to dissipate.

Summer Fun!

This summer has been crazy busy and so much fun! My kiddos have the shortest summer ever- 8 weeks! What ever happened to the three month summer? It about kills me to send them back, but they love it. This is our second summer in school (I’ve always homeschooled them before we made the leap to ‘real’ school) and the schools calendar is not my fav. So, instead of being a downer I decided to make this the funnest summer ever, and since I’m not a scrapbooker (except that one summer I tried and failed miserably) I’m making a chat book about it! Easy Peasy!

In the past I’ve posted on Instagram here and there, usually feeling less than perfect next to everyone else’s beautifully styled and posed photos. I know it’s me- I can’t blame anyone else for feeling less than perfect- but it really got me down. But then one day about 3 months ago I decided that the second I began to judge myself against the gorgeous, skinny mom on my feed I’d shut it off. And what do you know? I love Instagram again! I get on a bit but the pull just isn’t there anymore, instead I just post all day long of all my photos of cute & goofy kids.

Here’s a little peak at what my summer has looked like…

Let’s start with the good stuff! By raise of hands, who loves Quilt Barns???

Me! Me! Me!

My mom and I took my kiddos to Mount Rushmore just last week and on our way there we drove through this tiny town called Lusk. It is chalk full of them! I was in Quilt Barn heaven! They are beautiful and colorful, and I am re-motivated and inspired to make at least one for my house. It’s high on my to do list next month.

I absolutely love the history of the Quilt Barn. All of the historical, traditional stories that belong to quilting just draw me in. My mom had never heard the story before so as we drove out of town I was able to tell her how the pioneers built barns but didn’t have the money to paint them red, the traditional barn color. Instead they painted large quilt blocks on the side to add a pop of color.

South Dakota has the most beautiful storms I have ever seen. The photos don’t do it justice, although they never do, do they? We also toured a cave, drove to Sturgis and went to the Harley Davidson store for my mom and step-dad, toured the Black Hills and the Badlands. It was all amazing. I want to do it again next summer and bring the guys!

Although I’m sharing this last, this was our first stop this summer… San Diego! We have a house there, which we go to as often as possible. I have two kiddos with summer birthdays so we got them surfing lessons- a long awaited for experience. They took immediately to it so we popped on over to Costco any picked up a surfboard for each of them. The boys have a naturally stronger upper body so my girl and I really need to work on the pushups to get up on them! That’s the goal before Labor Day, big muscles!!! LOL

San Diego is my other home, it’s where half of my heart is. Most of the year I live in the desert. It’s kind of ugly, with too many houses and tumbleweeds. There is a lot of beauty to the desert, but I’m not a desert rat. I love watching the sunset and sitting on the beach or cliffs is my favorite way to see it. We all connect with nature and God differently, and this is my way. I can’t wait to get back, on my paddle board and BBQ’ing with friends. Only 5 more weeks! (Yes, I am counting down the days.)

Kicking Off 2015 With QuiltCon

After a slam packed Christmas season filled with customer quilts and homemade sewn gifts I was ready to take a breather… What better way to do that than go to Austin and fill my days with more quilting? This was my first quilt show and I loved every minute! I was able to take some awesome classes and lectures, buy gorgeous fabric for my stash, make new friends and eat delicious local cuisine.

I absolutely loved the quilt show. I didn’t submit a quilt to be judged (I heard several friends awesome quilts were denied so I didn’t bother) but I did participate in a charity quilt. Because of a scheduling conflict I haven’t joined my local guild, so a few ladies like me got together and made one. We all participated in the creating and making of this quilt, and I got to longarm quilt it. I love it!

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Robyn and Patty standing with me in front of our Charity Quilt.

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Here are just a few of my favorite quilts, both for the piecing and creativity and for the quilting.

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If you can’t tell I’m really into the muted colors. I actually love lots of color but felt drawn to the whites. Maybe it’s because of the lack of snow in Utah, lol. And of course, Sherlock! I’m not sure I’d want to sleep with him (and I’m sure my husband doesn’t) but he and his quilt sure are gorgeous!

QuiltCon was a great way to start out my year. I feel so inspired by such creative women!!! I loved what Angela Walters had to say at her lecture: :Don’t compare yourself with others!” It’s so easy to do, and to feel intimidated by their skill and accomplishments- let’s face it, many of these women are AMAZING! But guess what, I’m pretty amazing too. I love what I do, I love seeing my skill improve over time, and I love the pure joy others feel when receiving the fruits of my hard work. If you missed Angela’s lecture you can see her talk a bit in this video.

Brown Paper Packages

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Over the weekend I received my Little Quilts Swap little quilt. Like all great packages it was wrapped in brown paper.

My doorbell rang on Saturday afternoon and my kids ran to the door… why do kids love answering the door when adults usually say “can someone get the door?” I thought it would be the group of kids from the neighborhood, whom my husband call the entourage, but I was wrong. Disappointed again because the package was not for them they dropped it at the foot of my staircase (my studio is in a loft) and went back to playing.

When I managed to come downstairs and saw the hashtag I squeeled! I had barely begun my little quilt to give away and here was a package just for me. Instead of immediately opening and devouring everything inside I exercised patience and vowed to complete mine first. With this box sitting in eye view it didn’t take long to get it done.

Disclaimer: I did open the box before I was finished, but only because I didn’t have the right color thread to finish the binding and would have to wait until Monday to get to the store for more.

Are you dying to see what was inside? I know I was!!!

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Three of these cute baggies filled with these treats,

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How did she know I love dark chocolate? I’ve already tried a few and they are heavenly!!!

And this gorgeous quilt!

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As I watched my Instagram feed coming through I remember seeing this quilt and thinking “I wish this was for me!!!” with great envy for whomever would be receiving it, and there it was! Right before my eyes! The Lord surely loves me.

All made with love and packaged with care by Stacey Ann.

Thank you Stacey Ann, I love it!!!

Little Quilts

If you love quilts like I do than you’e seen little quilts everywhere lately. They are tiny and cute, and perfect for hanging on your studio wall for decoration. Some favorites are Camille Roskelley’s Mini Quilts

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the Spiral Geese by Better Off Thread

and I especially love Sarah Fielke & Amy Lobsiger’s new book Little Quilts.

So when Sarah decided to host a Little Quilts Swap I was all over it! There were only 200 spots so luckily I was able to get in.

If you’ve never participated in a swap there is a moderator, or team leader, who pairs up participants. In this swap you are giving to someone different than you are receiving from. And it’s top secret. You can blog and post elsewhere about you’re work but you can’t say who it’s for and everyone has to ship by Dec 1 so you get it before Christmas. It’s fun and exciting!

I’m making for someone super cute and crafty, and luckily we have very similar taste so it was easy to plan. I picked out some of my favorite fabrics and whipped it up in just a few hours.

Some of my favorite fabrics

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I just love the tigers pieced into this star!

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It didn’t take long until I knew how I wanted to quilt it. I doubled the batting so it would have a nice poof to it.

All that’s left is the binding but that will have to wait until tomorrow- I don’t have the right color thread, darn it. Next week I’ll mail it off with a whole package of goodies. I love swaps!!!

The Sweet Smell of Babies

The baby making ship has sailed for me, but I absolutely love it when friends have them. They smell so sweet and give you the sweetest looks… it almost makes me want to have more.

Between snuggles from those lovely babies I’m always working on a quilt for them. One baby quilt I made recently was with Camille Roskelley’s pattern Coming Home. It was smaller than I wanted so I added another border and it was perfect.

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I absolutely love this pattern, and with Miss Kate, Camille’s newest fabric line, it turned out gorgeous!

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A friend recently pieced this chevron quilt for her grandbaby and asked me to quilt it. Chevron is one of my favorite patterns to quilt. I love how detailed you can get with it.

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