I spent much of the last part of 2015 working on two quilts that were Christmas gifts (photos to come). I managed to finish them in time but I must have been crazy to put myself under such a deadline. There were several interruptions, including emergency surgery on one of my kids (she’s OK now, thank God), the purchase of a car and a broken part on my sewing machine.
The Christmas season was full of surprises, the best of them being the announcement by our daughter and son-in-law that they’re expecting their first child this summer. We are very excited about this wonderful news! This will be our third grandchild; we were blessed to spend some time over the holidays with our first two bright and gorgeous grandchildren, and they are a delight 🙂 We Skype with them every week and love it, but there’s nothing like being there in person.
The holidays gave me an opportunity to reconnect with some old friends, which is always nice. Some were also homeschooling parents, so we have much to talk about. I continue to find it interesting that some of their kids are doing very well as adults while others continue to find their way. I mean this in terms of their faith lives, not their work or personal lives, as all seem gainfully employed and/or busy raising their own children. These things are also true of my own children. It appears to me that homeschooling creates wonderful family lives and good educational experiences, but cannot create an adult who handles everything perfectly, no matter what the speakers at homeschool conventions may tell you! That said, it’s a privilege to watch our adult children navigate the world with all of its joys and challenges.
In 2016, I hope to updateLife Prep for Homeschooled Teenagers with additional projects and information. We also have a couple of eBooks in the pipeline at Cardamomthat will hopefully be published this year. And of course, there will be more quilts….and a new baby to love!
Our neighbors were recently blessed with a gorgeous baby boy, and the good news sent me to my sewing machine. I used fabric from my stash along with some blue Kona cottonto make this quilt for baby Bentley.
I decided to just do cross-hatch quilting (evenly spaced diagonal lines in two directions) on this quilt ,and it only took me about an hour using my supermachine. It actually took longer to bind it, which I did by hand while watching Downton Abbey.
Recently my eldest daughter celebrated her birthday. I thought the day should be marked with a quilt, specifically one using fabric by her favorite designer, Lotta Jansdotter.
I bought a jelly roll of Jansdotter’s fabric line, Follie, with the intention of making a Jelly Roll Race quilt (they’re so much fun). But then I found another pattern online that I liked better. The quilt top went together quickly because jelly rolls are so easy to work with.
Free-motion quilting the quilt was a little daunting. I couldn’t think of how to quilt it, and I didn’t want it to look like my usual quilts with lots of curves and flowers. After taking some time to think about it, I realized that merely echoing the designs in the fabric would make the back echo the front. I enjoyed just following the lines instead of having to think about the designs I was quilting.
I’m happy that my daughter seemed pleased with her quilt. I really enjoyed making it for her!
I finally finished this table runner, which was a kit I bought from Connecting Threads. It includes small triangles and rectangles cut from fabric that raveled easily, so it was somewhat frustrating to assemble. I wasn’t sure it was going to turn out very well, either. But once I quilted it on my supermachine, it came to life and I’m very happy with it. Flowers sent to me by a dear friend really set it off.
This is the first time I came up with my own design for each block. I don’t enjoy marking quilts, so the designs have to be something I can repeat using only the blocks as a guide. Once I knew what I wanted to do, it was easy.
I was at the Quilt Expo last year when I saw a charm pack that I just had to have. The fabric collection is called “Weeds,” which doesn’t sound very attractive but it caught my eye, so I bought three charm packs and decided it would make a great quilt.
But I couldn’t bring myself to cut up those cute little squares, so I decided to let each square be a block. It was easily pieced; the hard part was deciding how to quilt it.
I chose to quilt each of the 120 blocks in whatever way I wanted to quilt it. I tried not to think too hard and just let myself do it. This sounds easy but it took some getting used to as I prefer to have a plan. Now that the quilt is finished, I realize just how much fun it is to let yourself quilt in whatever way you want without too much thinking or planning.