What’s In A Name?

This is a bit later in the week than I normally post, but last week was a bit hectic and fraught with some turbulence, so instead of using this as my platform to complain, I took some time to refocus and figure out what’s really important.

For the last couple of days, I have been mulling over the name I chose for my sewing “business”.  M3 Quilts and Design.  I realized that I chose this name years ago for a personal blog, and I just like it, so I kept it.  During said mulling over, I then considered – does it still fit?  And there is no question, it absolutely still fits!  But most people that know me through IG or the bloggisphere haven’t the faintest idea what it stands for.

M3 isn’t because my first, middle and last names start with an M, because they don’t.  Though it would have been cool if my name were, like, Mary Marie McDonald…or something…and I could pass it off that way.  No, not ever that easy in my world. LOL!  M3 stands for Modern Mosaic Mom, and I wanted to write this up to introduce myself a bit more  (all definitions below provided by Dictionary.com)

Modern: of or relating to present and recent time:

This is definitely fitting.  I’m a single mom.  There seem to be a lot of single parents out there, so this battle is definitely not one I own a patent on, and for that I am thankful.  That means that I have the opportunity to work through the difficult stuff in life with other who have been or are going through it.  It also means that I have the opportunity to build up and encourage those with younger kids (mostly assuring them that their precious kiddo(s) will indeed make it past that current day, as well as that current year in life).

I also encourage non-single-parents, because raising kids is hard, and in the last 9 years, I have learned that it doesn’t get any easier, but it is so worth it. (Plus I really like babies and if someone else can get relief from me holding their little ones to catch a hot meal – it’s totally a win win!)

Mosaic: something resembling such a picture or decoration in composition,especially in being made up of diverse elements

Who we are is made up of so many different titles and activities and hats: I’m a Christ follower, I’m a mom, a sister, an aunt, a best friend; daughter, coworker, manager, employee, chauffeur, short order cook, nurse, maid, friend, teacher, volunteer, an amateur runner (lol…and this is why I love my friend Jennifer at  Running for My Life!, because she has been such an amazing encourager to me on this journey)….  The list does go on, but all of those define me.  Some of those are harder (the first two are probably the hardest), but they all shape who I am and why I do what I do.

I am not perfect at any of them, but I hope to become better and more able to handle each of them each day.

Mom: mother

LOL!  Okay, I’m sorry, but Dictionary.com made me giggle.  Seriously, if you go over there and look up “Mom”, the only definition that they give is “Mother”.  That really does wrap it all up in one amazing little package though, doesn’t it?  Defining who we are and what we do is just overwhelming that only one word is required.

Quilts and Design:

This is because (a) quilting is my passion and (b) I love designing different layouts to quilts.  Whether it is me doing a donation quilt or a t-shirt quilt…etc.. I love sewing and quilting.  It gives me a tangible way to express myself and to wrap someone in beautiful memories.  One day I would like to design more, but that will come with time.

So this is my reason for my name.  I’ll be posting another blog – hopefully Saturday, but more likely on Sunday.  On Saturday I have my first 5k of the year and I’m nervous and excited at the same time.  I’m working my way up to doing a 10k by the end of the year.  This is kinda big for me because I have had major knee issues for the last 5 years, and finances have never worked out to where I can go to the doctor to really figure out what’s going on, so I rest when I need to, and go when I am able.  It works out.  🙂  One day I will do a marathon, and I’ll probably be crazy enough to do a triathlon.  Stay tuned on that one.  😉

Until next time, friends.  Happy Crafting!

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Quilting and Sewing Goals for 2015

The incredibly sweet and sassy Angie over at Gnome Angel has prompted some of us quilty bloggers with different questions to blog about, and while I may be a bit late in posting, this one struck my fancy today.

What ARE my goals for 2015?

First I want to start stretching myself and my skills.  People comment that they love what I make/create, and I look at it like – eh.  It’s what I do.  It’s easy.  I am finding that as I join mini quilt swaps (I’m in…three?…I think?), I am more comfortable with trying new ideas/skills out.  For instance, if you go check out my Instagram (in particular, this picture), you will see a pieced block with hexies in between.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I have made hexies for a while.  It’s the actual USE of said hexies that is the big deal!  Very excited about that, but I’ll be blogging more on that next month!!

Second goal – to make more donation quilts.  Last year I didn’t do many, and it weighed on my heart.  I went through some depression where I didn’t even want to look at my sewing machine, so there was lost time there.  I definitely needed that time to work things out in other areas, though, so I count it as gain.  This year there is a new community opening up for women and children in bad situations that need to be out of whatever it is that is not good.  I am already working on kids quilts!  I have one top done, just need to quilt and bind and I’ll be good to go!

Third goal – to finish off my WIP’s (works in progress).  I have a few that are hanging out for a couple of sweet friends that have no clue they even exist – and one that does know hers exists and yet is still patient with me 🙂 .

Fourth goal – HANDMADE CHRISTMAS – like, for reals.  Starting way early and stashing things away and having nothing but custom orders for October/November/December with out having to worry about pushing my stuff off.  I have done that for the last three years, and I think it’s high time I change that.  I LOVE that people want me to make them or their loved ones items for Christmas – even if it is a last minute request.  It’s really about preparation, so this year, that is my goal!  (Maybe those WIP’s will be Christmas gifts for REAL this year!)

So this is my goal list for this year.  There are probably other littler ones along the way, but so that you aren’t reading a blog post that rivals War and Peace, I’ll leave it here. 🙂

Happy Crafting!

Of Lists and Losses

I’ve been needing to be a bit low key on the blog lately.  My lists are rather easy, and borderline not even existent.  After the mad rush of the last couple of months, having down time is not a bad thing.  It keeps me from burning out, and it allows me creative space to really explore other things in my craft – new patterns, designs, color theories, etc…

I can say that of the two things I had on my list last week, one of them is actually done!  Well, mostly done.  The tshirt quilt that I have had on my list?  Well, I had broken down all the shirts and interfaced them all and then cut them into squares over the last few weeks, but had been at a standstill because my apartment is not very big, and laying things out on the floor here just doesn’t make sense.  I like having a lot of light to make sure colors are evenly distributed, and I am not rich in windows at the second.

So this last weekend Hannah over at The Craft Laboratory and I rented out a retreat room at our local quilt shop.  We each had a list of what we wanted to accomplish – hers was getting the #IGToteSwap tote done for her partner – which, I am happy to report, she did an amazing job at! – and mine….well, as per usual, my list was long.  Two of those things on that list was to get my #IGToteSwap tote completed (done!!!) and to get the tshirt quilt top at least laid out and a picture taken.

Well, not only did I manage to get the tote done (rather early in the day, to boot!), but I also managed to lay out the tshirt quilt top, have a long arm quilter who was visiting the shop help me move things around a bit, and get it sewn together properly!! (Picture can be found here)

The person that this belongs to also gave her input on the border (bright pink!!  SO excited!  That is definitely going to pop in this top!), so this will (fingers crossed) be done by month’s end!  Very exciting indeed!!

As the title states, there is a couple of losses in my life as well.  One more trivial than the other.  On Friday night, my son and I went and celebrated my youngest niece’s 13th birthday (seriously, where did the time go???), and while doing so, I lost my iPod.  I was terribly upset because the business in which I lost it at was very unorganized, completely unprofessional, and I don’t feel like I would get it back even if they did happen to find it.  That made me sad, but on the way home, as we were stopped at a light, a homeless man approached our car.

I know, I know, everyone has an opinion on this, but, really, can you out-give God?  Yeah, I don’t think so.  I gave him the change I had in my car tray – a few dollars.  As bad as it is for me to lose my iPod (something that I used to help me conduct business, something to listen to while I’m working out, and irreplaceable pictures), things could be worse, and I realized it at that time.  Still kind of bummed, but I’m blessed beyond measure still, so onward we go.

This morning, while I was at work, I received a call from my parents.  This is highly unusual, so of course I answered the phone.  My last remaining grandmother, my dad’s mom, passed away.  We weren’t very close, and it had been a few years since we had seen her, but this is the woman who first introduced me to quilting and to God.  She didn’t directly teach me how to quilt, but I would watch her piece for hours, sometimes falling asleep on the couch listening to the buzz of her machine.  This was also the woman that took her grand kids to church every Sunday if they were around and their parents willing.

I have the distinct honor of receiving a quilt from her, with a hand-written tag dedicating it to me.  It was extra hard tonight to pull that quilt out and just hold it.  Until I started quilting, I never knew the amount of heart and soul that went into that quilt.  The hours and precision. The binding is even hand sewn, so you know that is nothing but love right there.  She spent a lot of time with that quilt, and now it is on my bed, wrapping me in her memory.

There are so many things I wish I could have asked her, as there usually are when someone passes, but I know she will be quilting away in heaven, fully restored, where sickness and dementia have no place or power.

Sending each of you an extra big hug and lots of quilty love. ❤

Weekly Check In!

Hey all!  So I didn’t get as much done last week as I wanted.  I still got stuff done, but in true Brandy form, I decided to work on other things that aren’t on my list of to do.  Because it’s me.

So here’s my goals from last week:

I want to take the tshirt quilt to my church and start arranging the layout.  Maybe even start sewing!

Do something for that other person (gift…so, can’t really say what that thing or who that person is…)

Yup.  None of that done, so I’m going to roll those over to this week.  I have about an hour on Tuesday night when my son is at his Bible study where I have nothing solidly planned, so I’ll use that time to get the t-shirt quilt laid out, pictures taken, notes and all that jazz.

Next month I am going to be part of a blog hop!  This is my first, so please be gentle!  Angie from GnomeAngel announced it in her newsletter over the weekend.  What’s it all about?  Hazel Hedgehog!  Seriously, if you haven’t seen the wicked awesome talented people on Instagram posting their Hazel’s, please go over and check out the hashtag #hazelhedgehog.  I made 4, each of her quills are different colors of the rainbow!!!  There are a few people that are hoping to be my person for the #rainbowminiaswap right about now. 🙂  Oh the fun!

So that’s enough rambling from me.  Come check me out on Instagram if you haven’t already.  I post a bit too much about sewing, my kid and my dog.

What are your goals this week, personal or otherwise?

Happy Crafting!

Running Late! Goals for the week!

So I’m late posting this.  Not that I have a real reason for being late.  Or maybe I do?  I’ll just go with I do. 🙂

I was on vacation from my day job from December 20th until January 4th.  I was technically supposed to be off until the 6th, but I went back to work for a few hours on the 5th just to make sure things were under control.  I must say that I am extra thankful for my co-workers who have stepped up and helped me while I was out!  I haven’t ever really had that team in place – there was never really a need, but with the company that I work for growing, well, it was definitely time, and my co-workers and bosses have been amazing and patient and awesome.  (This means I won’t wait a year until I go on vacation this year!!!)

I got a lot of rest during vacation. Stayed up too late, drank wine every night, sewed for HOURS every day, took NAPS!  I could totally do life like that if finances weren’t an issue!  But, they are, so onward I go with sewing at night and on the weekends when time permits.

January 6th, my son turned 9!!!  Oh where did the time go?!?  It has been an incredible blessing to be able to watch him grow.  If you head over to my Instagram, you will see a picture of us, as well as a short clip of him thanking everyone for the birthday wishes.  He was very excited about all the birthday wishes he got!  And I still can’t believe that this is his last single digit year of life!  Talk about insane.

January 7th (which is the day I’m posing this) – is my youngest niece’s birthday!  It’s even more unbelievable that she is 13!!!!!  And she’s freakin awesome sauce!  Black belt in taekwon do, roller derby girl….like, seriously, she could kick MY butt!  I’m glad she loves me enough not to. 🙂 ❤

Let me get on with this:

Goals For This Week

I want to take the tshirt quilt to my church and start arranging the layout.  Maybe even start sewing!

Do something for that other person (gift…so, can’t really say what that thing or who that person is…)

So that’s it. Short list this week, which is nice.  I’m still sewing every day at least a little bit, even if it is just 10 minutes a day.  I am going to start sewing small things to put back for a craft fair I’m considering doing in November.  If I don’t end up doing the craft fair, well, I’ll call that Christmas!

That leads me to ask – When do YOU start sewing/crafting for Christmas?  My goal every year is to start early, and I am not always the most accomplished at hitting that goal.

Happy Crafting!

Happy New Year!!!

Hi there!

So it is so weird to me to see that I started blogging consistently just three months ago, and I find that I am regularly thinking about what I can add, change, improve, etc… already.  I know this is a journey, and that each journey beings with 1 step, but I am totally thinking 10000 steps ahead.  Seriously!

Have you started on your New Year’s Resolutions yet?  Or are you thinking, “Isn’t today to eat bad food and be lazy and get over the hangover?!?”  Well, I don’t have a hang over (one glass of wine doesn’t a hangover make), but I still think, “Give yourself a break!  It’s the FIRST day of the year!  Ease into it, chickadee!”

Well, I haven’t eased into it.  This morning at the stroke of 12:15 am, I decided I wanted to make a sew together bag (STB).  You may find the pattern here, and there is an awesome tutorial by Quilt Barn.  I will totally admit that I am a bit on the crazy side, but I have made 3 of these in the previous 3 days for various gifts that are belated Christmas gifts that I am calling New Year’s Gifts.  🙂  I wanted to see just how long it would take for me to make a STB if I had limited interruption (read: kid isn’t hungry, dog doesn’t need to go out, and ignore the washing that needs to be done).

Other than a call to a friend in California who had the unfortunate requirement of work, I was able to get this bag done in 3.5 hours!!!  This put me going to bed at 4:15 a.m., but my son gets up and reads and is patient with me on the rare occasion I sleep in.

SewTogetherBag by SewDemented on Craftsy

SewTogetherBag by SewDemented on Craftsy

So the other really big thing that I do every year for the last few years is picking a word for the year.  Last year was “ABIDE”.  Let me tell you how much of a failure I felt like with that one.  Last year was also one of the hardest years I have faced overall.  It was worth it, though.  Lots of lessons learned. 🙂

This year is HOPE.  I will say that I was getting nervous yesterday because I didn’t have my word just yet and I was thinking, maybe tabula rasa (blank slate) was going to be my word.  That’s almost equally as scary as abide.  But after some prayer time, HOPE came to me, and I started bawling my eyes out.  Totally my word.  So as I was contemplating 2014 last night with a GLASS of wine (not three bottles! This just happens to be my favorite wine), I sat in front of a fire and prayed and thought and journaled.  It was a very good end to an otherwise not good year.

2015 Word of the Year - HOPE

The last thing:  I’m throwing my hat into the ring for the A Year Of Lovely Finishes!  I think this is an excellent way for me to keep myself accountable in what I accomplish every month, and there are some pretty awesome people linking up as well!

My January goal is to get the commission tshirt quilt TOP completely together and ready to quilt!  Ultimately I would like to have it completely done, but with working full time during the day, well, I have to set goals that will stretch me, not break me. 🙂

So here is my start!

AYOLF - January - Beginning

What are your goals for the year?

Happy Crafting!