Sunday, 30 March 2014

Quilt for Ryan Finished

Seaside stars quilt3

After a year-and-a-half I have finally finished this quilt for my youngest child, Ryan. It would have been finished long ago, but the problem was he didn't like it. Not at all. (you can read a little more about that here.)

Ryan came into my world 4-and-half-years ago, and I have spent the last 4-and-half-years trying to figure him out. With Ryan, it's all or nothing. He's a 100% boy, a man's man, and doesn't like lovey-dovey stuff. I remember that even before he could crawl, he would demand I carry him everywhere--but I wasn't allowed to kiss him or cuddle him. Nope, I was his minion, and in his baby way he would tell me, "I'm only allowing you to hold me woman because I need to see the world; otherwise I would never allow such close contact." He is very stubborn and demanding--but not in a spoiled bratty way. He's very matter-of-fact, will never scream or throw tantrums, but just give you a serious look that says "I win. You lose". And if his persistence doesn't get him what he wants, he'll flash you an award winning smile that will melt your heart.

The funniest thing about Ryan is that he never sugar coats anything. He will bluntly tell you that your hair looks ugly after a trip to the beauty salon, and asks you why your stomach looks bigger if you've gained a few pounds. And he's not saying it out of spite, he is just painfully honest. It's actually very funny and cute right now (and just a warning--don't ever call Ryan "cute"), and I love him more than I can describe, but I have a feeling that he is going to make some woman very unhappy one day! Lol.

Seaside stars quilt2

So, getting back to the quilt story, after he expressed his opinion about the quilt I made for him, I put it away and started looking for some fabric he liked better--but he couldn't find anything he really liked. I even tried to persuade him into Rocket Age by October Afternoon, but he wouldn't have it. Then a couple of weeks ago, Ryan got pneumonia. Although it's very, very sad when your child is sick, it is also a great time to snuggle with them...they become so sweet and cuddly--and for me to be able to cuddle with him is an rare treasured opportunity. He was feeling so bad that I thought he might like to use his quilt (it was longarm basted, so other than the raw edges, it perfectly usable). When I showed him he said, "Oh, I like it." He happily used it and nicely asked if I could "fix" it (he didn't like the batting showing). And I was so thankful he was finally excited about it.

Ryan got all better, and then I spent the next two weeks quilting it. I quilted it with wavy stitch on my sewing machine that I discovered on instagram from Amy of Diary of a Quilter, who ironically designed the quilt pattern. It turned out to be such a blessing, because it's SO easy, looks great, and it's still really soft. I still had to bind it, and I got off work early a few days ago and flew home so I quickly finish it up before I picked him up from daycare.

When I went to get Ryan I excitedly told him "I have a surprise for you when we get home!". When we walked into the house I said, "Look, I finished your quilt!".

Seaside stars quilt

He said, "But where is my surprise?".

"Well, this is your surprise. Aren't you happy?"

"But I wanted Robo-fish."

(Parenting fail: telling a 4-year old a quilt is their surprise.)

He didn't look at the quilt for the rest of the night, and spent the remainder of the evening sitting on the couch complaining he was cold. I think he just said that to drive me crazy.

Finally, on Friday night, when it was time to go to bed he said, "I can't sleep without my quilt". I was so relieved and happy.

So, this morning I grabbed it off the bed to take some pics of it, and he said, "What are you doing?". I told him I needed to take some pictures for the blog.

He said in his matter-of-fact tone, "Take the pictures and then put the quilt back on the bed. Sound good?".

So, if you're thinking these pics look a little washed out, well you're right. I had to take the pics fast, because I didn't want Ryan to think I was taking advantage of his generosity. :)

seaside stars quilt4

Have a great week everyone!!!!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Cath Kidston Rainbow

Cath Kidston.

Two words that make my heart sing. That name can instantly make me forget that there is anything in the world but perfect happiness and beauty, and makes me grateful for the little things--like overdraft protection. If you've checked out the prices you know it will sink your bank account. But who can resist those bright, vintage-y florals and cute, kitschy items?

I recently made a quilt for my bed, and couldn't decide on what fabric to use for the pillows, so I ordered some Cath Kidston pillowcases. Well now the pillowcases don't match the quilt, and I didn't want to pay $125 for a matching duvet, so in my infinite wisdom I decided to make a quilt in Cath Kidston colors, that in the end (as we all know) will end up being far more expensive than if I would've just paid for the duvet. Why does quilting cost so much?!!

But anyway, to make sure my colors matched exactly, I used my Moda Bella swatch book to match everything up, placed an order, and then this week this beautiful rainbow arrived!! Isn't it so pretty?

Bella solids in Raspberry, Popsicle, 30's Pink, Parfait, Sunshine, Baby Yellow, Dusty Jade, Breeze, Summer Sky, Glacier, Tranquil Aqua, and Etchings Stone

Now the question is

If Cath Kidston were a quilter, what kind of quilt would she make?

Molli Sparkles

Linking up with Mollie Sparkles' Sunday Stash which is being hosted this week by the hilariously realistic Work-in-Progress Girl.  I just love her candor and sarcastic sense of humor:)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Union Jack Quilt

Living in England has been a dream come true for me--it was the number one thing on my bucket list. For as long as I can remember I've been obsessed with it. When I was a teenager I would sit around reading Jane Austen,  listening to the Beatles (in the 90's), and daydreaming about what it would be like when I finally got to visit the UK. I would even get depressed on Christmas when I didn't get tickets to travel to to my #1 destination.


When I graduated from high school I knew there was no way I could stay in a tiny Texas town for the rest of my life, and started searching for a way to get out. I went to college for a year, and made plans to do a study abroad art class in London--but I couldn't save up enough. I only made minimum wage (we've all been there, right?) and after paying for rent there was almost nothing left. So I decided to do something more drastic. I marched over to the recruiter's office, and within 5 weeks I was in the Air Force--wearing combat boots, and getting yelled at--but it didn't even bother me because I knew that within a couple of months I would be seeing the castles and countryside of England--I naively thought the Air Force was going to send me where I actually wanted to go. Hahaha. I laugh at that now. I waited 14 years and finally, the Air Force sent me here.

union jack quilt 2

You know how you build your expectations up about something, but you are fully aware that the "something" probably won't meet your expectations? Well, England wasn't like that--it was one of those places that was exactly like I imagined. Stone cottages, beautiful gardens, rich history and amazing architecture around every corner. This quilt (once it's finished) will be my tribute to England quilt, and my tribute to making dreams come true.

union Jack quilt

And speaking of dreams coming true, have you seen the movie "Tangled"--it's one of my favorites. I watched it at the theater with my daughter right after I was notified I was going to England, and I cried during the entire film, because my "floating lantern" dream was finally coming true. So I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes from the film...

Rapunzel:  I've been looking out of a window for eighteen years, dreaming about what I might feel like when those lights rise in the sky. What if it's not everything I dreamed it would be?

Flynn Rider: It will be. 

Rapunzel: And what if it is? What do I do then? 

Flynn Rider: Well, that's the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.


I guess now I need to find a new dream...I'm pretty sure whatever it is, it's going to involve lots and lots of fabric.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Mommy-Daughter Quilt Blocks #2

First I would like to thank everyone for their amazing support last week. Your comments kept me smiling, and in case you're wondering, my finger is fine:) 

This week has been so busy that I can't believe I finished that quilt only a week ago--it feels like it's been a month already. I wasn't able to get a lot of sewing done, but I wanted to show you the progress my daughter and I have made on our blocks. Her block is the one above. She decided to do the diamond shape, and we just rearranged the blocks until we found something we liked. Here's my block:

I am loving how these are turning out. They are both so colorful and it's really a lot of fun to have an enthusiastic little sidekick. I told her when her quilt was done she could do anything she wanted with it--keep it for herself or give it away to whoever she wants. She hasn't decided yet, but secretly I'm hoping she gives it to me;)

I have something I want to show you next week that I'm really excited about!! So until next time...

Have a great week everyone!