Tuesday, October 10, 2017

40 Halloween Decorations


Forty Halloween decorating ideas and their links are posted on Shutterfly this morning -- including my "Countdown to Candy!" {If you want to request the "Countdown to Candy" document, do so before October 12th, or you'll have to wait till October 23rd for the document to be sent to you.}


Go here to check out these fun ideas at Shutterfly! 

Monday, October 02, 2017

Reed's Quilt...


One of the challenging things about making a quilt for everyone in our family is the fact that a bunch of them are older boys and men. There are so many fabrics that are appropriate for girls or women, and so few for teenage boys or men. This quilt is for our almost-twelve-year-old grandson Reed.


One thing is for certain, however, and that is most teenage boys like cars. When I saw this Jeep fabric I considered it a shoe-in for Reed. The coordinating fabrics put the icing on the cake!


Reed is our oldest grandson and when the grandkids are all together they all look up to Reed. Our younger grandsons particularly adore him. He's fun-loving and patient with them all. Since there are seventeen grandkids under nine, that's says a lot about Reed's personality.


I've decided I love this particular pattern for a quilt. It's an easy quilt pattern that works up in hours, rather than days, which is important since I have so many quilts to finish. It also highlights the fabric -- rather than the pattern on the quilt -- which I love!


I chose a quilt pattern that reminds me of puzzle pieces for the quilting...


And the back is a mix of the fabrics found on the front of the quilt...


I hope to put a few more quilt tops together this week. Right now I have five quilts at the longarm quilters that will need binding when I pick them up and six more quilts to make. {I can do this!}


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Blake's Quilt...


It's been awhile since I've published a post, but I've been very busy with a complete kitchen remodel and completing quilts. Mind you, we're not doing the kitchen remodel ourselves, but it still takes a lot of time to pick out fixtures, cabinets, countertops, etc.

A couple of weeks ago I had nine quilts that I'd gotten back from my longarm quilter and each one was in need of binding. I'm happy to say I have finished all those quilts in the last two weeks! Two of them were for grandkids and seven for sons or daughters of ours. This one is for our eight-year-old grandson Blake...


When I asked Blake for his favorite colors and themes for a quilt, he gave me -- green, teal, and orange; tigers, cats, and owls. Unfortunately, he didn't get one of those in this quilt. When I saw this fox fabric I immediately thought of Blake, and that was the end of my search! It wasn't hard to find two contrasting fabrics...


I love this foxy fabric from a Robert Kaufman line called Minis Fox Natural.


Blake is such a fun kid. He always has a smile on his face, and he has no fear. He came for a visit this summer with his brother and sister. One day we drove up to a swimming pool for an afternoon of fun, and he immediately stated he was going to jump off the high dive {operative word being "high".} The mother/grandmother in me got a little scared. I didn't want to be accused of my cutie patootie getting hurt on my watch from a colossal belly flop. He, however, was undeterred.


Without a thought he marched right up to the end of that diving board and hurtled himself off. I held my breath till he broke the surface of the pool multiple seconds later. I love his enthusiasm for life.


I chose a cute swirly pattern for the quilting. It's playful and fun like Blake...


I've decided I'm not going to post photos of my kid's and kids-in-law's quilts. I was going to post pictures but not tell whose quilt it is, but some of them look so much "like" the person that I'm pretty sure they will know it's theirs. I want their quilts to be a surprise, so I've decided not to show a picture of those quilts till after they open them for Christmas.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Miles' Quilt...


This week I hope to work on binding the nine quilts in my closet that need binding. Me = deer in the headlights look. It's a little overwhelming. The other day I counted and I only have eight more quilts to make. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that they are all adult sized quilts, so they take more time, but I'm on the downward slope so I've got to keep a positive attitude.

Little Miles turned six-years-old this summer. He and his cousin Hudson are pals, so I used the same inspiration fabric on both quilts, but the accompanying fabrics are different. Here are the fabrics I chose for Miles...


Miles and Hudson have several things in common. They are only a few weeks apart in age, and they are the only boys among the children in their families. This, they deem as a mighty weight upon their slim little shoulders.


Miles is the oldest child in his family. He has three younger sisters who he adores and watches over with love. He's a charming little southern guy, who opens the doors for the women/girls in his life, and says "thank you" at all the appropriate times. I love him so much.


From far away this quilt looks like it has off-white blocks and the dino blocks, but there are actually three major players in this quilt. There is a natural cream colored fabric, the dino and the circles fabric...


For the boarder and back of the quilt I chose a light and dark chocolate brown diamond checked print that is really cute with the other fabrics...


For the next few weeks we are having our kitchen renovated. Today they are completing the tear-out that they started yesterday. Thursday and Friday new cabinets will be installed. We're very excited.


In the meantime I will be plucking away at binding the quilts in my closets!

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Homemade Cakes...


My daughter-in-law Stephanie has become the resident baker in our family and she is starting to influence others. Here are some photos of cakes that Stephanie has made...







Stephanie could open a bakery and make a million bucks. Instead, she blesses family and friends with her talents, and as I said she is also starting to inspire others. My daughter Jillian is beginning to try her hand at baking too. I'd say Jillian is pretty talented too...



Well, tonight I hosted a baby shower and a few days ago I decided it was time to try my luck at decorating a cake like my girls do. Mind you, I am not on the level of my daughters, but it was fun trying my hand at cake decorating and I can see where it wouldn't take too long to feel more confident. Maybe. I do love to learn new skills. Here's my attempt for the shower. This one is a white cake with buttercream frosting. This is the best white cake I've ever had. Go here for the cake recipe (it's a cupcake recipe, but one can make three 8" cakes with it) and here's the buttercream frosting recipe. Is it necessary to say how good buttercream frosting is? I think not.



I also made this cake. This one was easy because it was supposed to look "rustic" -- which I define as "messy." That I can handle, but next time I think I'll make it a little less rustic -- if you get my drift.


I also made my Chocoflan cake, which I love...


It was a fun night celebrating the upcoming births of two sweet little ones.


For the next few days we get to enjoy some fun time with my son and his family, then in a couple of weeks we are starting a complete kitchen renovation. I say "we" loosely. I'm really excited to see the changes that we are going to make. 

Friday, September 01, 2017

Harvey Help through donated quilts...


My husband and I followed with sadness and empathy as the results of Hurricane Harvey unfolded. Our prayers are with those affected by this disaster and the rescuers who have put themselves in harms way for others. It's both heartbreaking and inspiring.

Four years ago this month our hometown experienced what they later dubbed "Colorado's 100 Year Flood," which is basically a storm that has a one percent chance of occurring in any given year. It was devastating for those whose homes or businesses were flooded along the front range in Colorado, but we were all touched by it. We worked for weeks and months cleaning up after that flood. Here are a few of my words from that time:

Neighborhood in Longmont, September 2013
Photo Credit: Peyton Peterson

"It's interesting how memorable experiences in life are sometimes painful, sweet, and inspiring all at the same time. This week has been like that for me. A week ago much of northeastern Colorado experienced a devastating flood. It has affected all who live here and will continue to impact many lives for years to come. Unless you've seen a flood of this magnitude first hand, there's really no way one can comprehend the destruction. The amazing photos don't even do it justice because pictures are so one dimensional. It's hard to explain, but when you are in the middle of the devastation all your senses are painfully aware of the damage around you. You see it. You hear it. You smell it. You feel it. So terribly sad, yet...

 I have seen amazing acts of selflessness, compassion, and kindness this last week. So many have helped flood victims in one way or another. It has been gratifying to see how the communities, churches, organizations and individuals have rallied around those most affected by the chaos. Helping in one way or another has been the norm, not the exception."

It is because of those experiences that we felt such sorrow as we watched the situation in Texas unfold. Plus, the situation in Texas is so much more widespread and devastating than it was in Colorado.

That's why, when I came upon a post on Facebook, I was happy to find this creative way to help a few affected by the flood. I know my teeny contribution is a drop in the bucket, but with lots of drops the bucket gets filled. A quilting shop in Texas, called Quilt Haus, and the charity quilting group, HUGS, have come together to supply donated quilts to victims of Hurricane Harvey. Fortunately, I just happen to have a bunch of already-made quilts in my closets. Today I mailed off three children's quilts that I had originally made for three of my grandchildren for Christmas. I figured they could be easily replaced, and I was so grateful to have a way to donate on such a personal level.


You too can donate. Just follow Quilt Haus on Facebook. There you will be able to get all the pertinent information on how to donate your blankets, quilts, fabric, or time (if you live near New Braunfels, Texas). They will be receiving and distributing donations throughout September.

There are so many ways to help those affected by Harvey, but since I have a number of followers who sew, I thought I'd pass this information along, because there might be some of you that would like to donate to this cause as well.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Reese's Quilt...


I finished binding the last of the quilts I have here at my house, just in time to pick up more ready-to-be-bound at the longarm quilter's home on Monday. Things are progressing. Yesterday I posted about Charlee and her "twin" cousin born just a few weeks before her. Well, this quilt is for Reese (Charlee's "twin" cousin). Reese is as sweet as they come. Seriously. Chocolate brown hair, like her momma, with beautiful blue eyes like both her parents. Here's her version of the quilts I made for the two grandbabies...


I used the same fabrics I used for Charlee's quilt, except I used a pink background for the bunnies, instead of the white. Otherwise, they are alike. Again, these darling fabrics come from the "Wonderland 2" collection from Riley Blake. The back of the quilt is gold polka-dots on cream with a strip of fabrics from the front of the quilt...


These bunnies melt my heart...


I'm excited to get this next round of finished quilts back from the quilter, and I'm ready to start piecing quilts again. I only have about 10 more quilts to put together and some of those are all cut out ready to sew. I think I'll be done by November. That's my goal. Of course, we do have a complete kitchen renovation scheduled in mid September, but I'll just be managing that project not doing the work. {Excited!}


Friday, August 18, 2017

Charlee's Quilt...


Baby Charlee's quilt is finished! Charlee is one of two granddaughter's born last spring. She's a beautiful little angel, and we're so grateful for her. Her "twin" cousin -- born just a few weeks before Charlee -- is getting a similar quilt, but I chose the white background for the bunnies for Charlee's.


Here's a sweet story about Charlee's name. My grandfather, Charles James Reed, was born in Wales in the late 1800's. He served in WWI for the Welsh Fusiliers, and after the war immediately immigrated to the United States. He married and had only one child, my mother, before he passed away (from conditions experienced in the war) when my mother was just a little girl. With only one child, you wouldn't think his legacy would continue much through the generations, but last count he had twelve grandchildren, great-grandchildren, or great-great grandchildren named after him. I think that's amazing. Of course by now, the g-g-grandchildren are also being named after their fathers or uncles, etc. Charlee, however, is only the second girl named after him. My mother was the first -- with the middle name of Charlene. I'm so proud that Charlee carries her father's and my grandfather's name.


I am absolutely in love with these fabrics. They are from a Riley Blake collection by Melissa Mortensen, called "Wonderland 2." I bought them on Etsy, and they are currently 20% off. They are such adorable fabrics. You can buy them here.


Again, I used a half-triangle pattern for the quilt, leaving big squares of the bunnies. Love those bunnies...


When my thirteen-year-old granddaughter was visiting a month ago, she suggested on Christmas morning my husband and I Facetiming our children's families so we could watch them open their quilts. Good suggestion. After all this work, it would be wonderful to see each one open their gift. 


The back of this quilt is simple...



Today I'll finish up Charlee's "twin" cousin's quilt who was born a few weeks before her.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Berkley's Quilt...


Our little granddaughter Berkley is a force to be reckoned with. She lives with determination and gusto, and we love her for it. She'll be turning nine next month. Her favorite colors are navy blue and coral, and the animal she's loved for as long as I can remember is the owl. I'm hoping I hit a home-run with this one...


I love the woodsy theme on this quilt -- mostly owls, with squirrels, bunnies, raccoons, and foxes and a colorful banner added for charm. Berkley lives in a beautiful rural, woodsy setting -- most of these animals probably reside in her backyard!


This quilt is a smidgen on the dark side for a little girl, but I fell in love with the owl fabrics. I just hope she falls in love with it too...


I use the same fabrics on the back -- lots of polka-dots and owls...


One more down! Quilting took a backseat in the month of July and it will for August too. I'm trying to finish some quilts before I spend more time with family next week. I'm hoping in September I'll be able to finish a bunch more quilts, because Christmas is only four months away. {YIKES!}