Modern Quilts, Home Decor, and Handcrafted Clothing

Category — Life

Year in Review – 2012!

Happy New Year everyone! At the end of every year I like to reflect on what I accomplished during the last 12 months, and think about what I want to do over the next. I had a very busy 2012. And this isn’t even all of it. I seemed to enjoy making pillows and bags this year too.

I will be honest, as the year comes to a close, I am really, really exhausted. Last year I wrote out some goals for 2012 and looking at them, I think I had a lot more energy then!. I thought it’d be fun to see how I did.

Goals from Last Year
· Spend an entire month only using solid fabrics – Well, no I didn’t consciously do this, but I did make several solid quilts, some you’ve seen and some you haven’t seen yet! Here’s a couple of my favorites.

· Spend an entire month focused only on improvisational quilting – No, but I did do a bit of improv sewing

· Read at least one classic novel a month – No…wow, I’m on a roll. LOL I did read a lot of fluff and trash though, that counts, right?

· Finally make that zigzag quilt – No zigzag!

· Develop at least 3 new quilt patterns – Yes! I spent a lot of time creating new patterns and tutorials for my blog, my shop, the Art Gallery Fat Quarter Gang and various publications. I am really proud of all of these.

· Host another quilt along – Yes! This year I hosted the Solstice Stars Series and made this beautiful quilt.

· Keep up better with my Google Reader – No, major fail here.

· Participate in at least one handmade swap – Yes! I participated in the For the Love of Solids swap.

· Attend the Sewing Summit again – Yes! And I even got to teach. And it was amazing. Recap here.

· Check out the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild – No, but I have been attending the Naperville Modern Quilt Guild since it started up this year, and have met some great people including Svetlana!

Looking ahead to 2013, I think the one goal that really comes to mind is to try to take on less. I have a hard time saying no to people and opportunities (and I’m so grateful for all of them!), but I will be honest when I say I’m a bit burnt out. I would really like to take the first 6 months of 2013 and just be creative, do some selfish sewing and just relax – and of course blog about those things. What do you think? I hope that doesn’t sound boring, I promise I have some pretty exciting stuff coming up for this year as well and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

Here’s to a great new {relaxing} year!

January 1, 2013   34 Comments

Quilt Camp

Whew! I’m back from a busy weekend away at Quilt Camp! I actually got back Sunday evening, but I still feel like I’m recovering from all the late nights and fun. We had such a good time. Thursday afternoon, Jeni drove to my house from Wisconsin so we could car pool to Michigan together. It was really nice to have someone to chat with during the drive and it seemed to go by rather quickly, rather than the 3+ hours. We stayed at the Hankerd Inn in Pleasant Lake, Michigan. It was so cute! Lots of old barns and cottages set up specifically for quilting/sewing retreats. The owner was just the sweetest and took such good care of us while we were there.

There was lots of open sewing time and also four classes. I taught my Poinsettia Mini Quilt Pattern.

There were quite a few people paper piecing for the first time – and we had a lot of success! These are only a few of the finishes.

Since I’ve already made one mini quilt from the pattern layout, I’m thinking of an alternative design with my blocks.

Heather taught Improv and everyone made really great blocks.

Jeni taught her famous drawstring bags and Brenda taught English Paper Piecing. There were bags and hexies popping up all over the place!

So much holiday sewing was accomplished – this is only part of the projects everyone finished.

These were my table mates for the weekend – my great friend Kara (we met just after college in 2000), Cristin, Angela, and Amanda.

And my fellow “camp counselors” – Heather, Brenda and Jeni.

I’m so grateful for everyone that came to hang out and sew. This was the first time for Brenda’s Quilt Camp and I know she plans many more! Hopefully many of you will get a chance to attend one of the future camp weekends.

December 11, 2012   26 Comments

Sewing Summit 2012

Ready or not, I’m going to post about my Sewing Summit experience! You’ve probably read a few recaps over the last several days. I think I was hesitant to write anything because I guess that would be accepting that it’s over. I just had so much fun. Last year when I went I was a bit nervous. I was meeting everyone in person for the first time. I wasn’t sure what to expect. This year wasn’t just about meeting more new people, but solidifying those friendships that had grown over the last year.

Open sewing with @swimbikequilt and @dmcstudios #sewingsummit
My awesome roommates Katie and Mary

I arrived late Wednesday night and was lucky enough to stay with Katie and Lee at the home of Katie’s sister-in-law Mary, who I had met a bit last year. Mary is just the nicest, funniest, most genuine person and was one of my roomies for the weekend. Katie isn’t half bad either. ;) Ha, hi Katie – love ya!! :) Seriously though, I count myself very lucky to have become great friends with both Katie and Lee over the last year and a half.

Pine Needles!
Lee, Brooke, Terri, Amy, Kelly and Elena

Thursday a few of us went on an informal shop hop to Pine Needles and Material Girls. Both were great shops! And the bonus was the waffles before the shopping and the ice cream at the end of the shopping.

Photo by Amy (Sukie)

Basically, we ate, bought fabric, ate.

Lunch time with @sukie80 @kelbysews @freshlypieced @sewfantastic ! #sewingsummit

Thursday evening was the Welcome Reception and then we went to the new City Creek mall in downtown SLC – I’m not a huge mall person but it was really amazing. Plus I had some really great Mexican food at Red Iguana – I can never say no to Mexican food!

Setting up for class! #sewingsummit

Friday I taught my first class with Kati.

Another great teacher @sewingsummit Sweetest really! @freshlemonsquilts
Nerdy photo of me by Amy (Sukie)

We had a lot of information to get through in an hour and 15 minutes, but we just made it!

Kati and Me
Kati and I

Everyone in the class was super nice and I heard a lot of people have those “aha” moments, or say “this isn’t as hard as I thought!” I think that is the sign of a successful class.

Cafe Molise! #sewingsummit  @freshlypieced @provhandmade @fussycut @oneshabbychickhawaii @mybricole @jenib320 @swimbikequilt @dmcstudios @lucyandnorman
Me, Lee, Stephanie, Angela, Megan, Amber, Deedee, Jeni, Katie, Mary

Friday night a little group of us went to Caffe Molise, a local Italian restaurant. If you live in SLC, you must go there! Great service, awesome food, live music. I think everyone loved what they ordered.

SLCMQG mixer #sewingsummit

After dinner we ran through the rain to a party organized by Amy (Sukie!) and the Salt Lake City Modern Quilt Guild. Check out all that bunting! That’s what happens when quilters invade a bar.

Waffle time! #sewingsummit

Saturday I had ANOTHER waffle from Bruges and then taught again first thing in the morning. Lunch time had a special speaker – Joel Dewberry! Wow, what a humble, nice guy. Makes me want to go buy all his fabric. He had samples of his upcoming line Notting Hill. I’ve already picked out the fabric I want to use on my Weekender!

Joel Dewberry! #sewingsummit

We also had a banquet dinner with speaker Nancy Soriano, former Editor-in-Chief of Country Living Magazine. She spoke on her Creative Journey, it was really interesting and also inspiring to hear the story of a successful career woman and mom.

Sunday was the day everyone started leaving. I will be honest, when I woke up I was so sad! Of course I missed my family but I didn’t want to say goodbye to everyone. I was lucky enough to find some people in the lobby and have a nice group breakfast.

Last breakfast at @sewingsummit
Photo by Amber

Then I decided to play tourist for awhile and walk around the city.

I walked up a big hill but this was my reward #statecapitol #sewingsummit

I visited the Temple and the State Capital building. (My legs were still sore 2 days later from walking up that hill!) Then I headed to the airport for my trip home.

That's right, I'm obsessed with the mountains. #latergram

I said this last year and I’ll say it again. I really recommend trying to go the Sewing Summit at least once. Hopefully it’s an annual thing! It’s allowed me to make friends that enjoy doing what I do, friends that now I get to meet up with during the rest of the year (here and here). The classes are great, but really the social experience is why I go. When else will I stay up until 1am sewing and laughing with friends?

Thank you SO much to the amazing Erin and the rest of the Sewing Summit staff for all their hard work. Also huge thanks to Ali who coordinated everything with the teaching staff. They were all wonderful – keep in mind this is no ones full time job. Really amazing.

So I guess that’s it! I have lots more photos on my Flickr photostream that you can check out. It was a great long weekend!

October 18, 2012   19 Comments

A Weekend with Friends and Some Housekeeping

One of these things is not like the other....

Last weekend I was lucky enough to spend the weekend in Michigan’s upper peninsula, sewing and hanging out with Holly, Jeni and Lee (Holly lives up there). I was joking that I was happy they invited me to their Janome Horizon club meeting because they all had matching sewing machines except me!

Wisconsin is pretty.

The drive up from Chicago was about 5-1/2 hours, but having the car to myself, perfect weather, and beautiful scenery made it not so bad.

Sarah Jane Children at Play - Twin for Avery's bed

Jeni and Holly did some fabric dying and everything turned out great. Lee and I did mostly sewing and I was VERY excited to finish the twin quilt top for my daughter’s bed, which focuses on Sarah Jane’s Children at Play fabrics.

The White House, Michigan's UP

Holly’s parents own an awesome BBQ restaurant in town called The White House.

The White House, Michigan's UP

I seriously cannot resist pulled pork and baked beans.

Hanging out with some old Presidents at @whitehousegrill

Here I am hanging out in the front with some of the presidents that were carved out of a giant log.

I am so thankful to have such great sewing and blogging friends in the midwest. These get togethers are always so fun and really refresh me.

The UP

Now that I’m back home, tonight is the first Naperville Modern Quilt Guild meeting. For those in the Chicago western suburbs, I hope you will come! I don’t really know anything about it yet, but I will be there.

Onto the housekeeping. I know many of you have signed up to be notified by email when there is a new post on my blog. I’m running into a technical issue where I have more subscribers than I’m allowed to send out emails. I’m working on tweaking various settings to try to fix the problem, but really I can’t test it except for when I make a blog post. Sooooo, hopefully I will get it resolved soon but I just can’t say when. In the meantime, if you aren’t getting emails, you can still keep up with my latest posts on Facebook and Google Reader by adding the RSS feed.

July 26, 2012   17 Comments