WiP Wednesday

April Showers bring May Flowers March Quilt Blocks?

In an effort to catch up before May 1st and the next block, I broke out my Lark fabrics for the Sister’s Ten BOM from… March.  Yes, I have January, February, and April done.  Going against the grain here…

After Monday’s quilt class I was more inspired to cut and get work done:

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Maybe tonight I’ll be motivated to sew them together…

Happy WiP Wednesday, friends!

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WiP Wednesday

Days after a tragedy, I’m thinking to myself, should you really be writing about… quilting?    Will my post seem crass, flippant, or worse, annoying?  I’ve felt weird posting anything to social media after the tragedy of the Boston Marathon.  I felt even more uncomfortable with just posting an entry without acknowledging that, yet again, another unspeakable event has occurred.  So while this isn’t the WiP Wednesday I planned to post today, I knew I couldn’t move forward without acknowledging Boston.

Ultimately, my words are not eloquent or important, but I do know that after an event like this, there are opportunities for change within oneself.  On Monday, I watched in horror, paralyzed with fear, compulsively reading updates, aimlessly shifting through emotions.  As a teacher, I was like this after the Sandy Hook shootings.  My mind was on repeat:  What would I do in that situation?  Why?  What is wrong with people?  As a runner, Monday shook me to my core again.  Races have been a place of personal healing for me over the past few years (another topic for another post), and they remain some of the most inspirational events that I have been able to participate in.  I could talk for hours about the love I have for the running community.  And, yet, I know from all of the tragedies before that have brought on these emotions of “What if, why, etc.” that life will continue.  Life does goes on, but with each Columbine, 9/11, Aurora, Newtown, or Boston, shouldn’t life get altered just a bit for those of us lucky enough to escape unscathed and removed?  Shouldn’t we take from the beautiful examples of courage, compassion, bravery, and love that is seen in response to these terrible events?

And then I read my friend’s blog post about her response to the Boston Marathon.  She wrote about how we overcome evil with good, and detailed how she responded to the tragedy by being mindful and present in her life.  For it is in our response that we can honor those that were affected.  Our response can say I will not choose to think that evil can overcome all the good I know to be in this world.

And, so, this is how I responded.

1. I called the people I love.  Instead of thinking about them or stalking their Facebook page, I called them.  (Ok, some of you I texted, but I was at work!)

2.  I stayed up a little later to read a book beside my husband.

3. I set my alarm to go off later to snuggle with my husband.  I decided I could forgo stopping for coffee, and I could.

4.  I played a game of checkers with one of my students, gave extra hugs today, and tried to be extra conscious of being present with my students.

5.  I prayed for the survivors and the victims.

6.  I looked through my pictures from various visits to Boston and gave thanks that I have so many beautiful memories there; from weddings, visits with family members, dinners with friends, and some of my first dates with my husband.  Boston will remain Boston.

7.  I eagerly read as many stories as I could about the heroes from the Boston Marathon.  So. many. reminders. of. the. good. in. people.

8.  I looked up future races to run.

9.  I didn’t get mad at the cars who cut me off, the pedestrians who walked out in front of me, or the man who cut me off in Chipotle.

10.  I had a conversation with the lady who took my toll money and looked her in the eyes and smiled as I said, “Thank you” instead of driving off.

11.  I Said prayers for the men and women who are serving overseas and in our military.  God bless you.

 And I quilted. 

So, yes, I will post what I have created in my little corner of the world, because Boston reminded me why I started quilting in the first place.

Our gut reaction to these tragedies is to love on our people.

To be thankful they are OK.

To tell them we love them.

To think, thank God I get to say “I love you” one more time.

I started quilting because every time I sit under the quilt my grandmother made me I know she loves me, and I wanted to give the same gift to others.  I want them to sit under a quilt I have made for them, so my people will know, “Ashley loves me.”

So, yes, life will go on.  But in light of another tragedy, I want to continue to extend grace and compassion to others, emulating the good that always shows itself in the midst of tragedy.  And for God’s sakes, let me remember to keep telling my people that I love them.

So happy WiP Wednesday, my favorite day of the week.

I cannot wait to see what you are up to, for you inspire me!

Here is my newest Sister’s Ten BOM

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Yes, I’ve made January, February, and April.  I know I skipped March 🙂  Whoops.

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And I’m still sewing away at this one, which is now going to a beautiful friend to say “I love you and I think about you all the time even though we’re countries apart!”

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Happy Wednesday and Happy Quilting to ya!

WiP Wednesday

Finally, Spring has sprung! 

With the return of warmer weather I could not stop smiling yesterday.  There is simply nothing better than the warmth of the sun on your skin.  Yesterday screamed ice cream and walk.  So, I listened.

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No onto some more good stuff.  It’s Work in Progress Wednesday!

Four months into my Sister’s Ten BOMs and I’m behind.

I just straight up skipped March.

So of course I started April’s block first.  That makes sense… not.

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I kind of tweaked this block a little (rule breaker, I know!).

I’m not really sure how I’m feeling about my fabric choice for this quilt.  I’m wondering if I chose a line I loved without thinking about how it’d look in this quilt?  Maybe it’s just because I can’t see the whole quilt yet… maybe it would help if I finished the April blocks …and the March ones…  Here are the blocks I have so far.

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Finally, I’ve laid out the first half of my Charming Chevron quilt.

I am loving this colorful burst of crazy.

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The other half is ironed, ready to be cut (stab me in the eyes), and then it’s onto piecing this bad boy together.  I can’t wait!  It’s funny, as I’m making quilts they become someone’s.  They take on a life of their own, even if I intended them for someone else.  This one said me.  Thank you.

Happy Wednesday and Happy quilting, y’all!

Just Keep Quilting…

In honor of Snowstorm Nemo,  today I just kept quilting.  Well, and I caught up on some shows…

Once we finally ventured outside today, (hey, we’re teachers so we sleep indefinitely on Saturdays and Sundays) we saw that Nemo had dumped quite a lot of snow for our Southern blood, but luckily not as much as our friends and family in Boston! 

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Fortunately NJ knows how to clean off the roads.  Unfortunately NJ knows how to clean off the roads.  Do these people not want snow days?!  In NC this would have been good for at least a delayed start on Monday.

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But, clean roads mean we get to go out to dinner tonight so I’m not complaining!

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And here we have the Hubs first appearance on the blog.

(I promise he isn’t my brother.)

So, onto the quilting part.  While the goal today was to get started on baby quilts with a friend, the snow kept us apart.  Instead I decided to knock out the Ten Sisters BOM for February, the Susannah Block.  

Cutting Stage:

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Final Products:

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It feels great to be done with the February blocks on February 9th, especially since I finished the January blocks on February 2nd.  I’m enjoying the BOM concept because I’m getting to learn different piecing techniques, and it gives me something to look forward to each month.  Of course, there’s that part of me that just wants to knock the whole thing out!

Here are the January and February blocks together:

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While this isn’t the final layout, you can tell it’s going to be one bright quilt.

Which I love.

What’s next?  Cutting the last pieces to the Love Lives Here quilt.  Which I wanted to finish by Sunday, but I just don’t see that happening.

Unless, like Nemo said, I “Just keep quilting”….

Work in Progress Wednesday!

It’s finally Wednesday.  Which means we’re halfway to Friday!  I have quite a few quilty goals for this weekend, including, most importantly, teaching a friend to piece a baby quilt.  I am beyond excited.

But, until then, it’s still Wednesday, and I do have some works in progress.

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Even though these are the January block for the Sister’s Ten BOM, I finished them on February 2nd.  Honestly, this is still impressive for this Queen of Procrastination.  AND, I plan on doing the February blocks this weekend – say, What?  Ahead of schedule?  Me?

Here are the two Grandmother Frame  blocks I’ve made:

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I am loving the way Amy Butler’s Lark fabric collection in Dreamer (below) is playing out in these blocks.  I think I might be obsessed with Amy Butler.  I am.

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Other than that, the only progress I’ve made on the Love Lives Here quilt is cutting the last 9 blocks.  Which is work, but it still looks like this:

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I. must. finish. this. soon.

Like, by Sunday.  (Lofty goal there, go-getter.)

And, onto some exciting news.  I’m getting fabric.  FREE FABRIC.  Thanks to Caroline over at Sew Can She I have a $50.00 gift card to Fat Quarter Shop.  Now the problem is choosing.  How does one choose?  I’ll end up choosing way more – but still saving money, right?

Right now I’m sitting on buying the new line from Ty Pennington (because I love him) and this line is insanely gorgeous.  Check out his Fall Impressions line:

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And, while we’re at it – here’s a Work in Progress – in my brain!  I want to make a giant chevron quilt with this fabric:

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That way I can see the fabrics in huge chunks – because I’m obsessed.

So, not a lot of progress this week, but a lot of ideas going on.  Including researching even more to make…  Go. buy. this. book. now.

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Happy Quilting and go check out the other gorgeous projects over at Freshly Pieced!