Saturday, 28 February 2015

Going to Grandma's Quilt Block Free Pattern

vintage luggage suitcase quilt

I've had this quilt finished for a few weeks and have been waiting for some good weather to take pictures. Monday through Friday the weather is gorgeous but the clouds roll in just in time for the weekends. I finally just decided it was time to give up and just take a picture because you can't put your life on hold for a few clouds, sometimes you just have to hope there's a rainbow, or silver lining, or something like that.

There's been another cloud that's been hanging over me lately that I had to get over. Early in January my family and I were waiting to find out where my next assignment would be. In July we will have to move back to the States, and we worried and excited to find out where the military would send us. While I was daydreaming about possible places we might go, I also started planning out our summer vacation travelling around the States visiting all the family we haven't seen in a few years. And that's when the idea of this quilt came to me.

As I designed it I was daydreaming about sunshine and going hiking with my sister in Arizona. And as I was cutting fabric I imagined taking my kids to Disney World, and then driving up to Ohio to visit my husband's family and eating Handel's ice cream. When I pieced it together I hoped we would be able to settle in Texas, wear flip-flops year round and eat tacos every night for dinner. And I started dwelling on that dream specifically. And it came as a big disappointment when I found out we would not be settling in Texas or wearing flip-flops year round. When the assignment notification dropped it was to Maryland--just outside of Washington D.C.

And then all I could imagine was traffic jams, sketchy neighbourhoods and metal detectors and drug dogs at the kids' schools. But I know it's not going to be that bad, and I just had to find that silver lining.

My kids have never seen the Capitol and it's just a short trip to Philadelphia, New York city, or Colonial Williamsburg. And even if I won't get to eat authentic Tex-Mex, the second best food I've eaten in my life was in D.C.  But the best thing about this relocation is we will that we will be closer to my husband's family. I'm not very good with geography, but apparently, all the eastern states are so small, that nothing is too far away. We will still be a few hours away from them, but it will be the closest we've ever lived to family in the last 16 years. They are amazing, and his grandmother is one of the most wonderful, selfless, and beautiful people I have ever met. She is an absolute saint. Before I met her, I had never known a person to be so happy and at peace, and I have never been so at peace as when I'm around her. She taught me what it means to be a truly good-hearted person. She doesn't worry, complain, or gripe. And instead of getting stressed out when her house is full of her kids, grand-kids, and great-grand-kids, that's when she is her happiest.

My 5-year-old has only met her a couple of times (most recently 3 years ago--the last time we were all in the States) but he proudly carries a picture of her around and tells everyone how much he likes "his grandma". And my oldest son is completely indifferent to everything I cook, but we'll wolf down everything she makes and begs me to get the recipe. And now we'll be able to see her all the time, she'll be able to watch the kids grow up and we'll finally have family close by to spend the holidays with. So, in her honor, I am naming this quilt Going to Grandma's. Because really, even if moving to D.C. is not what I wanted at all, it will be wonderful to live near someone who means so much to me, and who I want my children to grow up with.

Many times in life you don't always get what you wish for, but sometimes what you get turns out to be better than what you wanted in the first place. I'm hoping and thinking that now is probably one of those times.

If you want to make a quilt block, you can download the PDF pattern here.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Sweet Surrender: A Free Valentine's Day Quilt Pattern

Sweet Surrender Valentine's Day Quilt Pattern

I love Valentine's Day. It's not the idea of romance that keeps me interested because, believe me, when you've been married for 15 years the most romance you can hope for getting control of the TV long enough to watch The Notebook before the family begins to riot. No, what I love about Valentine's Day little heart stickers, white paper doilies, and those cheap little cards with cheesy sayings that kids exchange at school. Valentine's Day still retains the same magic today as it did when I was a kid, whereas some other holidays--cough--(Christmas!!!) becomes overshadowed with frenzied stress.

Sweet Surrender Valentine's Day Quilt Pattern

Lately I have been so much in the V-Day spirit that a couple of nights ago I shot out of bed at 3am with the idea for this banner quilt. And I wanted to share the pattern with you, so hopefully, if you want to make it, you'll have enough time before the 14th. The quilt is only about 36in x 48in, so it makes a cute wall-hanging. I made the quilt with all solids, but I think it would be so cute made-up with some prints, or maybe colorful banners instead of all white ones.

To download the free PDF version of Sweet Surrender, click here.

I hope this Valentine's Day you get lots of candied hearts, flowers, and Ryan Gosling!!