Turning the Page

Okay, so not many know this, but I have always dreamed of designing my own clothes. I was an avid sketcher as early as I can remember, but I never pursued garment making outside of making a few maxi skirts when I was in high school. 

I had a very sweet friend ask me to teach her to sew. Well, I thought to myself, I can totally do that! Then I asked her what she wanted to learn. She responded that she wanted to learn to make simple clothes for her little girl and eventually for herself as well. 

Well that’s a different story. 

Her answer reignited my desire to make clothes, so I went to Etsy and found a very cute but simple looking dress for little girls. It’s called the Little Ellie Dress by Peach Patterns

Given that I have never made a garment for anyone else ever in my life (sorry Barbi, your tissue and tape dresses don’t count!), I asked my bff what size her daughter wears. Size 8, and that’s the largest this pattern goes up to, so we are in business! I chose a bright quilting cotton batik….because what else does a quilter have readily on hand?…that another sweet friend had given me. This was either going to turn out beautifully, or turn into a beautiful disaster. 

So I started cutting, realizing that my poor pins were in serious need of replacement after years of use. I sewed the first two seams…straight seams, easy enough, and I got a 3-dimensional tube of fabric! (Okay, I am not THAT unsure of my sewing skills.) Then I got to bind my first arm hole! It’s kinda like binding a tiny round quilt. 

  
Obviously I am pretty proud of this since I took a picture. 

So I learned that reading a pattern 100 times is necessary. Some of the verbiage made me have to stop and think things through. I learned that ruffles and I aren’t friends as of yet. I learned that pleating is just as acceptable in place of ruffles (garment makers/designers, please note that I know they function and serve different purposes, I am just more capable of doing one than the other).

After just a few hours work over a couple of evenings, I had a dress that fit all requirements for human apparel! 

  
This is awesome and amazing to me! There are imperfections, but none of them too glaringly obvious. I sent it off to my bff who lives in California yesterday, so I may update this post with pictures of her little girl in it when it arrives, but now I am looking forward to making a few more of these for other friend’s kiddos, as well as looking forward to starting to make my own clothes! 

The next garment that I will make is going to be the Wilksten Tank for me! I have been drooling over this tank for a while, so I might as well just make it already! 

Quilting will always be my first love, and I will have more quilts to share with you in the near future, but you will be seeing posts about garments all the same, whether they are outrageous successes or brilliant failures. 

God bless you friend

California – Part 3: 3,772 Miles

That, my friends, is a lot of miles, but that is the number of miles we traveled between July 1st and July 7th.

So this post took longer to write/post because, well, 9 years is an awful long time to have to squish down into one blog post that doesn’t read like War and Peace (you will still need to carve some time out because it’s only about a chapter shy of War and Peace).  I will sum the messy parts up a bit just so you get the gest of those 9 years – and it’s probably not going to be my best writing:

After my son was born, I went through the (not short) process of filing for child support against one of the potential fathers.  The DNA test, which I requested, came back negative.

I went through the process on three separate occasions in the past against the second potential father, and, in consecutive order, I was told that (1) I didn’t respond to paperwork in a timely manner, so they closed the case, (2) they misplaced the paperwork, and (3) the computer ate it.

To say that I was disheartened after each negative response is an understatement.

In October, 2014, after not making any attempts to fill out the paperwork again for the fourth time in a few years, I started the process again, but this time was different.  Paperwork never got lost or digitally eaten!  Seriously, it was a miracle.

From the very early stages of my son’s life, I was able to forgive my son’s father for the response I received.  I realized just how messed up I was at that point in my life, and, really, either of the potential fathers weren’t in any better shape at the time.  But while I could forgive, that doesn’t mean that the hurt and disappointment weren’t there.  They still very much were, I just chose to move on.  I also decided to never say negative things against my son’s father to my son because I have had too many friends that were products of divorce, and seeing them go through that kind of pain was just not what I wanted for him.

After the DNA test results came back positive, I then told my son his father’s name.  I never wanted to give him a name that wasn’t absolutely true.  That would be unfair to him, and unfair to someone if I would have given him their name when it wasn’t the truth.

From that point, my son asked me a question that I will never, ever forget, because it showed his desire to want to KNOW his father.  He has always wanted to know, and has prayed for his father since he was 2 years old, but now that he had a name, everything changed.

“Mommy, what do you think of him?”

He was looking for answers in big ways, and I couldn’t give those answers to him, so I answered him honestly.

“My love, I don’t know what to think of him.  I haven’t been in contact with him for 9 years, and I know from just looking at my life, I’m a totally different person than I was back then, so I know he is a completely different person than he was back then, too.  I do know that we need to make sure we are praying for him and his family, because this is kind of a big deal.”

My son gave me a thoughtful look, kissed me, and went on about his way.

California

After all the dust settled, my son’s father and I started talking.  It was awkward, but as we communicated and got to know each other as we are now, it became less awkward.  We got to know each other a bit, and as the conversation went, we started planning the meeting.  All things considered, it was much easier for my son and I to go to California because that is where the majority of his father’s family is, and I found that his family wanted to meet my son…and even me.

After much love and support and prayer from friends, we flew out to California on July 1st.

It did my heart a lot of good to have my best friend and her kiddos meet us at the airport.  While I was getting the rental car, another unexpected, but totally appreciated, visitor appeared:  my son’s grandmother!  My son and I had emailed back and forth with her prior to the trip, and both of us wanted to meet her.  When I turned around and realized who she was, I just couldn’t help myself – I had to give her a hug.

The initial meeting with my son’s father and fiancée was a bit awkward, but I was determined to just be me.  A quieter version of me, no doubt, but this was about my son and his father.  They got a few minutes of one on one time to talk, and for that I am thankful.

The second day we were there, we went to the beach.  I hadn’t been to the California coast in about twelve years; so to say that I was missing it was an understatement.  My son and I ended up getting there a couple of hours before everyone else, but it was amazing to sit on the beach and take in the sights and sounds and smells and allow myself time to pray and be quiet.  It definitely spoke to my soul.  With this being my son’s first time to step food on a beach or in an ocean, I wanted to give him as much time to experience it as I could.

The third day we were there, as hard as it was for me, I let my son go to the zoo with his father and his older half brother…without me.  Having been the one and only parent for so long, it was no easy task to drop him off and tell him that I would see him later, but I also realized that they needed time to be around each other and figure things out, and things went very well.

On July 4th, my son’s father’s family all gathered at his grandparent’s house and my son was asked to bless the food.  My son loves to pray, but that was definitely outside of his comfort zone, so I was very proud of him for fighting through the anxiety and praying over the food and our time together.  Time with his father’s family went well.  I know there was plenty of high emotions still working themselves out, and, truly, I know there still are, but the time we got to spend with them was wonderful.

Until then, I hadn’t realized that some of the things that my son does, is very much something that other members of his father’s side of the family does.  If anything, this was an enthralling social experiment: nature vs. nature.

On the final full day that we were there, we ended up in the mountains at a lake.  The day was nice, and the water felt awesome and things started to feel a bit more relaxed.  My son got more time to spend swimming and talking with his half-brother and father, and that made my heart glad.  While the scenery and view were amazing, I had started missing Texas.  Truthfully, I missed Texas from the second the wheels on the plane left the ground, but I was missing my home in a very deep way, so it was nice to see the mountains again, but I was looking forward to seeing home even more.

But on that last day in the mountains, as we were packing up and drying off, my son and his father were standing while the rest of us were sitting.  Given that my son loves physical touch, I had actually wondered if he would initiate “unnecessary” physical contact with his father while we were there.  Well, that question was answered that afternoon.  My heart melted into a puddle as my son wondered over to his father and leaned against him, and his father responded by rubbing his back.

Where we are now

Well, we are now back in Texas, and happy to be home and back to a normal schedule.  Summer is kind of boring around these parts, so my son spends his days reading and doing some basic continuing study so he doesn’t lose a lot of what he knows.  But the communication between us and his father’s family continues.

I know for us, we are trying to find balance on keeping in touch, and I’m sure that’s very close to what is happening on the other end.  It’s definitely a balancing act, but one that I am quite certain is worth it.  While I know some hard questions will still be asked, I have no doubt that with lots of prayer and working things through, the bond of family will grow, and for that I couldn’t be more thankful.

California – Part 2: This is Getting Personal

To continue with the saga of California, this part of the story is going to get very, very personal, and it may even be uncomfortable, but it’s no less part of this story. Please know that I am in no way shaming anyone when I tell this story, that is not my intention at all.  Life is messy, and it doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to, and that’s okay, because there is still beauty in the brokenness.

The main question I get asked since we returned from California is: How did it go?  And honesty always seems like the best option:

How did it go?

Just as awkwardly as you could probably imagine.

I say that triumphantly and with an honest smile because I have learned to laugh at myself and my awkwardness.  How should it have gone?  Well, of course I had a perfect scenario in my head on how it SHOULD have gone, but it really came down to a bunch of flawed human beings trying to figure things out.  And by the grace of God we stumbled through it.

Was our presence well received by everyone?  No, it wasn’t, but I also didn’t expect it to be, so I was right on track.  But I did my best to not make it more awkward.  I had to not be the funny, sarcastic, silly, far-too-talkative me that I love being most of the time, and that’s okay. Ultimately I realized that this trip wasn’t about me (shocking), but it was about a 9 year old boy who had been praying for his father since he was 2, wrestling with just wanting to know who he was, and struggling to understand.

Where it all began…

When I got pregnant with my son, I was as far away from being a saint as one could possibly be, and maybe even 10 feet further than that for good measure.  There were two guys who were possibilities for being the father of my son.  When I told both of them that I was pregnant, even going as far as being honest and saying that there was the possibility of another man being the father, both of them reacted the same: they had been hurt in the past by the mother of their other children, and they didn’t want to have anything to do with me or my child because they didn’t want the drama.

That would be hard to hear once.

It was devastating to hear it twice.

Realizing that life wasn’t turning out the way I thought it would, and that I was going to be a single mom at the age of 25, I made a hard choice.  If I was going to be responsible for a kiddo’s life, I wanted to raise him somewhere other than California.  I was raised in California, but many of my memories were not positive for any number of reasons, and I didn’t want my child to grow up feeling the same way (projection much? I did say I wasn’t perfect, right?).

My sister and her family lived in Texas, and I had the opportunity to move in with them, so I took the chance and came to Texas with only what I could fit in my 1998 Ford Escort.  I wasn’t feeling particularly brave, but looking back at the 6 month pregnant 25 year old,  driving a tiny car that had no cruise control, which was stuffed to the brim with whatever could fit, with my sister and my cat…I would definitely call that brave.

When we finally got to Texas, I got a temporary job working the night shift doing data entry for a bank.  It was easy work, which was perfect for where I was in life; a new chapter had begun in where I was living, and another new chapter – Single Motherhood – was about to start.  I was also going to church with my sister and her family, though I was only doing so out of obligation rather than desire.  At that church, I was befriended by several women, and one in particular who invited me into her home where we would talk through life and faith.  I didn’t realize then that she was planting seeds, but I liked spending time with her because she was kind and sweet.

One late night in November, 2005 at work, while listening to my discman (seriously, those were a thing then…), and being bored of every other CD that I had almost burned holes in while listening to them over and over again, I ran across a CD that my best friend had made for me almost a year before.

At that time, we weren’t on speaking terms.  We had lived together for about six months during a time when both of us were trying to figure out life and how this adult thing was supposed to work.  While it was amazing at first, and we have some of the best memories of our apartment, it wasn’t so amazing in the long run, but in the year we were not speaking, I couldn’t bring myself to throw that CD away.

While listening to the (non-Christian) CD, I was thinking about life, and my best friend, and how much I missed her, but how much I was mad at her… Then it hit me:  I was ANGRY.  I was angry at everyone and everything I could possibly be angry at, and I realized just how much that little life that had taken to kicking me in the lungs never asked to be brought into the world to an angry mom.  (To be clear, I wasn’t angry at the kiddo growing inside of me.  I actually loved feeling his kicks…pregnancy was amazing! Maybe not the being kicked in the lungs part…)

I realized right then that I was the most angry at myself.  The mistakes I had made, bad life choices, addictions, and how life just isn’t fair… it made me realize that I needed a God that loved me despite myself, despite my past…and despite my future choices.  It was right then that I went into the bathroom at work, in the middle of the night, got down on my knees, and asked God to invade my heart and help me learn to forgive, because I couldn’t do this on my own.  My son didn’t deserve to come into this world, already not having a father figure, but saddled with a mom who was angry at everything.

I can’t say that I’ve conquered the demon of anger completely, but I’m loads better than I use to be.  When life doesn’t go the way I hope or plan, which is rather often, and I take my eyes off Christ, I do get angry and I have to remind myself that, even if what I want won’t ever come to fruition, God is still on His throne, and He still loves me…despite myself.

I’m going to end this rather lengthy blog post here.  I have already started a thought for the next post, and it will be how this all came together.  I imagine there will be a total of 5 posts to this story.  Thank youfor sticking with me.
  

California – Part 1: Thankfulness

I know I have kept this blog about sewing/quilting – except for lately I have dropped off the face of the blogosphere because I have been dealing with a lot of personal stuff.  Well, this blog is mine and my life is all about personal stuff.  Quilting is personal to me.  It’s something I pour prayers into for people, hash out the hard things in life with God, and what I escape to when the world is just too overwhelming for me to take any more.

I haven’t been quilting a whole lot lately.  For those of you who don’t know, I am a single mom, and have been for all of my son’s 9 years of life.  Lately his father and I have gotten back into contact with each other.  On July 1st, 2015, we flew to California so that my son could meet his father for the first time.  It was an experience I will never forget, for SO many reasons – and some of them I’ll even tell you about.

((My son and I at the airport before leaving Texas. Yes, I really am just as tired as I look, but still smiling!))

I was having a hard time with figuring out how to write about this because, with 7 days in California, there is a LOT to say, but I want to start with my list of what I am thankful for out of all of this.  Keep in mind, this is an abbreviated list.  There are tons more things I’m thankful for, but these are the most important that I am willing to post:

I am thankful that, through all the people that made the first 12 days of July possible, God was at work.  God ultimately was the one that made it all possible.

I am thankful for bosses and co-workers who appreciate me and understand how important this time was for my son, so they pitched in and allowed me to take the time I needed, even though summer is the busiest time of year for us.

I am thankful for those that made it financially possible for us to go and not worry about being evicted upon our return.  Truly, finances was one of the most difficult things for me to work through, but the provision that was given to us was just beyond what I could have ever hoped or expected.  If you are one of those that made it possible, please know that I could never repay you in the way that it impacted my heart.

I am thankful for a very sweet friend who kept our pup for 12 days.  Truly, I know how much of a sacrifice this is, and “thank you” just doesn’t seem like it could be enough, but she and her gorgeous family kept him and loved on him for us and I am forever grateful.

I am thankful for the hospitality and love we were shown at my best friend’s house.  We were able to call her home, our home for a week.  I don’t know that I could have gotten through all the emotions that I went through without having someone that loves me and knows me – and has known me for 21 years – to emote to.  It was also quiet cool that I was FINALLY able to give her kiddo’s the quilts that I made for the neigh on two years ago.  Seriously, sometimes it just takes me a minute.   And I totally wish I had a pic, but I’m kinda lame like that sometimes.

I am thankful to have met most of my son’s father’s family.  Life is messy, and I won’t go into details, but before July 1st, 2015, I had never met them.  Part of me was hoping for hard questions, and there were a few, but the past is the past, and one I cannot change.  I was thankful for feeling accepted, regardless of the stressful situation.  I also expect hard questions to be asked later, and I totally welcome them.  I can only be honest and hope for understanding in return.

I am thankful for the healing that I experienced in California.  I grew up there, and I never really felt accepted or “home”.  I didn’t actually feel like I was HOME until I moved to Texas and my son and I got our own place when he was 6 months old.  To be honest – every time I leave Texas on a plane to California, I cry because I already miss my home.  Never fails.  When the wheels leave the ground, I’m crying.  Like a baby.  I also cry when I get on the plane to come back because I’m coming home.  Texas is truly where my heart feels most loved and most at home, and for that, I’m thankful to have found my place.  Having had the experiences we did in California, and not that I ever want to go back and make it my home again, there healing from a painful past has begun.

I’ll end my list there for the time being.  I didn’t take as many pictures as I was thinking I would.  I forced myself to stay off my phone as much as possible so I could just enjoy and appreciate the experience and be mindful of my son and what he was going through.  I will say that I didn’t expect to have as many emotions as I did while I was there, both high and low, but that’s why I wanted to start the saga of California off with thankfulness, because, ultimately, it all worked out, and I couldn’t have been more thankful than that.

Reprieve

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you just need to run away from everything?  I’m kinda there.

No, I won’t lie.  I’m REALLY there.

I love that God has been gracious to me this year in providing a lot of business, and I will never look His gift horses in the mouth, but with other things going on in my life (I’ll spill a little – child support.  I think that’s all that needs to be said), I’m overwhelmed.  I need to gain a perspective that I can’t from the foxholes.  Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but I’m overwhelmed, and when I get to this point, I’m EXTRA funny and a tad bit more dramatic.  Or a lot.  Whatever.  lol

Right now I have a few small projects that I’m working on (3 wallets and some earbud keychain holders), and one big project (Natalie’s t-shirt quilt), and I’m REALLY excited about them!  But sometimes this momma’s heart just needs space, and I don’t have the opportunity to really create it in the day to day with other things I have going on, so I’m looking forward to the women’s retreat this weekend with my church.

I’m working on quilting a quilt for a giveaway at the retreat and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited this makes me!  I have been praying for whomever it is will win it.  On Saturday night, as I was quilting the red part, I put a fresh bobbin in (after using a bobbin and a half already), and this bobbin wasn’t wound right or something.  The top thread is red.  The bottom thread is white – both to match the respective fabrics that are being quilted.

Well, every quilter knows that eyelashes on the bottom of your quilt is the sign of death.  It usually means that 20 minutes of quilting brings about 2 hours of ripping said quilting out.  It was heart breaking, but with the love and cheering on of my IG friends, some wine, and a good, sharp seam ripper, I managed to rip it out.

I seriously can’t wait to show you guys the finished results, though!  It’s going to be GORGEOUS!!  I am going to do a photo shoot of the quilt at the retreat center, so I should have something awesome to show you next week.  For now, here’s what I can show you:

Sorry for the wondering about in my brain.  It’s kinda how things are all the time for me, so it really makes sense that I take you on a trip right along with me.  🙂

Happy Crafting!

Inspiration – A Fickle Thing

Okay, so I’ve been quiet this month.  I wish I could go into all the details as to why, but unfortunately, for the time being anyway, I cannot.

I HAVE been creating, though!  I’m working on a quilt for my church’s women’s retreat that is coming up next weekend, and BOY am I looking forward to it!!  I have a few very close friends, and two incredible best friends that love me.  One is in California and we have known each other for…get this…TWENTY YEARS this year!  I can’t even begin to believe she’s that old.  🙂

My other best friend is here in Texas.  We have been doing life together for almost 8 years now!  She and her husband also happen to be my son’s godparents.  Well, the BFF here in Texas is keeping my kiddo next weekend and another friend’s husband is keeping the dog, so it’s going to work out that I have 2.5 days of kid-free, dog-free time!  Oh this makes me incredibly happy!!  I love both of them very much (the kid and the dog), but sometimes a mom just needs space to not be mom.

So in my creating lately, I have made a quilt – which I will not be showing in it’s entirety until after next weekend.  It’s no secret what it says, it’s the “Be Brave” quilt.  The design is the biggest secret.  I also will not be posting complete pictures of it in finished form until next weekend.  Gotta keep some kind of mystery about it, right?  I’m very excited about it, and you have NO idea how much it makes me happy to be able to stretch my skills for this project.

So other than that, I have started making (and selling) keychain earbud holders!  I actually have mine on my wristlet because I have enough junk on my keychain, but I also added one to my gym bag so that I could make sure I always had some earbuds!  Nothing cute about having to use public use earbuds (I’m glad my gym provides them for times I do forget them).

I’ll get back to posting regularly, I promise.  I love this form of creative outlet, and I have been thinking about you.  Just haven’t had it in me to really write, because I can’t really write what I want to.  Suffice it to say, that God has a funny way of turning your comfortable into uncomfortable, and I’m trying to find my balance again.  As long as I have beautiful fabric, an awesome machine, and a kid that loves me beyond reason, life is good, and so is He. 🙂

Happy crafting friends. ❤

A Lovely Year of Finishes – March Goal

Hello! Hello!  Okay, confession time, it has literally taken me until this very second to know what I want to do for March’s ALYOF that Shanna over at Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa at Sew BitterSweet Designs are hosting this year.  I have been going back and forth and just not feeling very…excited, maybe?  No, I am excited, but it’s one of those secret sewing things, and I don’t want to blow my cover, so I’ll act outwardly aloof until I can actually publish what I’m up to.

So, because I do have a few things I am secretly sewing that would be PERFECT for this, but I can’t really say what those are, I’m going to go with something that I need to work on but haven’t yet, and CAN talk about on here!

Over on IG, we sewists and quilters are insanely excited about swaps.  We love making things for people and surprising them.  In return, someone gets to be excited secretly about making something for us, and we get to wait with excitement.  It totally works out for everyone. I am part of a couple of swaps – one in particular I am a “mama” to – which is the Spring Fling Mini Swap – and you would think that I would totally have something awesome up my sleeve for this….

But I don’t.

I do have this information (putting it here for multiple reasons – one of those being I tend to lose things in my email and I want a quick way to reference it).

Size Requirements:

No smaller than 16″ x 16″
No larger than 36″ x 36″

Ship Dates:

International: April 17th
Domestic: April 24th

I know this leaves me LOTS of time to work on the mini, but I love making other things for my partners, so my goal for this month is going to be to design and execute the mini.  Probably not all the way to quilting – I have other things that I need to do by the end of the month that require my time a bit more – but I want to have a solid start on it and have it ready for quilting.

Happy Crafting friends!

A Lovely Year Of Finishes – February Goal = DONE!!!

I feel a little like I cheated for February, but I know I didn’t.  My goal was to complete a quilt that was due February 20th (commission piece that was going into a raffle for a fundraiser), and I got it done!  Literally, like, on February 18th.  Whatever.  It got done and it has been coo’d over and loved on since. 🙂

Being part of A Lovely Year Of Finishes has increased my awareness of how much I accomplish, and it keeps me going!

So this was where I was at the beginning of February with this quilt:

And here it is all finished!

I love the way it turned out!  I pushed myself a bit on this because I went for a more 3D look to the “puzzle piece”.  That was a bit of a challenge, but it was awesome to have to think that through!  Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to wash it before giving it over, but from what I’m told, the person that won the quilt was over the moon!

That totally makes my heart happy. ❤

Wanna know what else makes my heart happy?  These four:

My nieces had a roller derby bout on Saturday and I couldn’t not go!  It was their season opener – and they totally kicked ass!  Their team is Rolling Rebellion, so to say that they did well is an understatement!  And their dad is a ref (zebra), and they are my son’s favorite derby people. 🙂

Oooh!  Speaking of, I’m going to be putting together a quilt for them to raffle or auction off.  They are going to be traveling for some bouts and are raising money to go!  I love that I get to do fun things like this for a good cause that supports those I love!

Happy Crafting Friends!

Hazel Hedgehog QAL!

So this is…about 5 days late and I feel HORRIBLE for not being able to get this up sooner!  The lovely (and exceptionally patient) Angie over at Gnome Angel is hosting a Hazel Hedgehog QAL, and I was supposed to post on the 16th.  Well, life has happened – which means my laptop caught malware (fixed thanks to my amazing best friend’s husband) and I lost my iPod that had alllll of my Hazel Hedgehog photos on it.  Seriously, for a while there I was thinking I should give up everything, dig a hole, and live off the grid because technology was totally against me.

Anyway!  So I’ll tell you of my experience with Hazel.  I first started out by just reading directions.  It seemed very complex at first, I won’t lie, however I was determined because…seriously?!?  Have you SEEN Hazel??  So cute and totally worth it!  My first attempt – which I do not have a picture of (probably for the better) was a flop.  I got half way through it, realized just how angle deficient I was, and scrapped it.  It probably didn’t help that I was incredibly tired and I was trying to work through the fog of tired.  Lesson learned (for now).

My second attempt came on the heels of throwing my hat in the ring for the #rainbowminiswap over on IG.  I have started becoming more brave with stepping outside of my comfort zone with the mini swaps I am part of, which helps me build my confidence with what I do, so, well, since the first one (with one color “hair”) was such a bust, I decided…well, let’s make it more complex!  So I decided that each strip of “hair” would be a different color!

With a little help from my IG people (read: lots of cheering and quilty love), I was able to accomplish making 4 of her – and they all MATCHED!! So then I had to think about how I was going to do the mini for my partner.  Here’s a secret.  I have about 500 hexies – and I have never used one in any finished project.  So this most definitely meant that I had to incorporate them in this project as well!

Then there was the question of how to lay it out.  I have to give it to my IG friends that follow me – they put up with my overgramming!  Holy cow!  I feel almost sorry for them, to be honest, but they stuck with me.  Here are all the different ways I posted (I tried a couple of others, but pictures of those fails weren’t taken…lol)

And all of those were great in their own way, and the last one in particular was actually my favorite, however I went with something a bit different from all of those.  I also went with super simple quilting because I wanted Hazel to shine through:

While this is supposed to be a mini (and in all likelihood my partner will probably use it as such), it is also big enough as a table runner!  I like versatility.

Overall, I ADORE this pattern!  There are so many different ways you may dress her up, make her funky, or add nerd glasses!  The glasses are definitely on my list for future Hazels!

Have I enticed you to buy the pattern?!?  Well, you are in luck!  The amazing Elizabeth Hartman has provided us a 25% off code to purchase any of the Hazel Hedgehog patterns! All you have to do is use the coupon code HazelQAL25 at the checkout and you’ll save 25% off either (or both) Hazel Hedgehog patterns. Coupon code is valid until the end of February!  Seriously, how stinkin’ awesome is she??

So, I have to ask (because I can’t resist getting your opinion just once more!) – which layout would you have chosen?

Happy Crafting friends!

A Lovely Year of Finishes – January Wrap Up – February Goal!

Isn’t it funny how life just seems to beat you down if you let it?  I’ve kind of let it this week.  Lots going on in my personal life, but I have been steadily making progress with my sewing.

My January goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes (which, by the way, I have successfully managed to add the button on my sidebar!), was to get the top of the t-shirt quilt for Michelle together…and I was successful!!!  Holy cow!  I actually got the top done when Hannah (The Craft Laboratory) and I had our sewing day last month, which, the layout is typically the most challenging and fun aspect (balance color, balance shapes, where do things fit in?, what to fill it with? HOW do I make THAT work?? lol).

I was very thankful for a long-arm quilter to have been visiting the quilt shop when I was laying it out.  He was a doll (yes, HE!) and lent his vision and assistance.  Truly a gem!  I even managed to get it on my machine and start quilting it before the end of January!  Now that’s progress!

Here it is about 1/3 of the way finished with the quilting.  I have made progress on it since – doing a little bit every night after whatever it is we are up to (Tuesday night is Bible study for my son, Wednesday night is choir, and Thursday night is small group).  I am VERY hopeful that I will get the rest finished this evening, bound and washed tomorrow so I can deliver it to it’s new home!  I will say that I hadn’t planned on quilting it as dense as it has ended up, however with her having 2 boys and (a super incredibly adorable baby) girl, it’s going to get loved on, so it felt right to go dense.

So that’s January!  Now onto February!

February goal is to have a quilt that is destined for a silent auction for a silent auction fund raiser for Narcotics Anonymous.  I am incredibly blessed to have been asked to make this, and it is, very truly, helping me gain more knowledge of other techniques that, frankly, I’ve been TERRIFIED to even try.  Turns out, I’m not half bad at paper piecing!  Who knew??

I have the letters done, but I need the whole quilt done by February 20th, so this is my goal this month!

Thanks y’all for stopping by!  Happy Crafting!