Diamonds for Piña: a quilting adventure

Looking over my pictures from the last year, I realized that I have a rather large backlog of projects that have never shown up here! And even a few more than I never actually took pictures of... So, it's time to start sharing! Today I want to show off the quilt I made for my daughter, who we (sometimes) affectionately call Piña (since her name, if you slur a little bit, translates into the word for pineapple :)

When I was pregnant with my son, I decided to make him a baby quilt. Something small and easy, and something that wouldn't be too incredibly difficult to also make for future children. As the youngest of 8 children, I am always telling myself not to do something special for one kid if I wouldn't want to do it for 8... even though I have no intention of having 8 children. ;)

I decided to make this Sweet Divinity Diamond Quilt by the Quilted Fish for my daughter. The tutorial is great, and, even though I am an impatient when I sew, the quilt top still turned out great!

And then... my anxiety overwhelmed my impatience with just wanting the quilt finished. So, the quilt top sat neatly folded until my daughter was almost 3 months old. I loved the 3-month photos that Debra did of my son with his quilt, and I wanted similar photos of my daughter with her quilt. But I was terrified of machine quilting!

I had hand-quilted my son's quilt, but I didn't have the time or the patience or the free hands for that now. Thankfully, I have a friend who makes fantastic quilts and she agreed to give me a crash course on machine quilting (thanks, Heidi!). In 45 minutes, she gave me the courage that I needed to dive in to machine quilting... even if I wasn't good at it, I was confident enough that I wouldn't totally ruin the quilt, at least. :)

And you know what? It turned out great. Far from perfect, since my stitching that is supposed to be "in the ditch" actually moseys from one side of the ditch to the other and then back... but a labor of love that I'm happy with. 

I followed these steps from the Aesthetic Nest for making the bias tape (the tube construction makes it so easy!) and then I followed this tutorial for ZigZag Binding from Stitched in Color -- it was fast and easy, even if it's still not perfect since I'm too impatient. :)

It's hard to see, but I love that light blue paisley fabric (like the diamond that I embroidered with her name), and the backing fabric makes me smile every time I see it...

especially when it's accompanied by these sweet cheeks :)

Do you have traditions that you do for each of your children? Or am I the only one with the youngest-child complex? :)

Friday Confessional: Dejunking

I confess that, as I was dejunking this week, I found SEVEN tubes of chapstick in the same drawer. And later added another one so that I always know where to find my chapstick. :)

I confess that dejunking was rather profitable for me. In addition to the several dollars of loose change I found floating around, I also re-found a couple of checks I had forgotten about and my son's birthday money for his last two birthdays.

I confess that my son is a bit addicted to technology. His first words when waking up are either "Play Mario when Daddy comes home" or "Daddy take iPad to work?" Apparently my husband is a little addicted to technology too. :)

I confess that dejunking with my toddler was... interesting. At least as he was pulling things back out of donation boxes, he was entertaining: he pulled out the jumbo calculator and said, "Wow, Mom, cool iPod!" Kids these days... ;)

I confess that one day this week ended in a load of laundry with a pair of poopy pants for every member of my family except me. In my husband's defense, his pants suffered at the hands of my daughter's diaper blowout, not of his own issues. :)

I confess that I know the regular schedule of the UPS delivery truck and I get excited every time it stops in front of my house.

I confess that the UPS truck has stopped by every day this week.

I confess that most days this week I had to think reeeeally hard about what I had ordered for the UPS man to deliver. It's like a surprise every day! :) And probably also the reason that I had so much junk to get rid of. :)


Anxiously Engaged: The List

I've decided to borrow an idea from Amy at Increasingly Domestic and use Wednesdays as my "word" day, to update how I'm doing with my one(ish) little word for the year. Hopefully this will keep me going strong all year!

And I'm also still doing Wednesdays on (and off) the Web over at Housewife Eclectic. This year I'm adding in more fun and good things on and off the web, so it's not just online tips anymore. :) Come on over! Today we're exfoliating digitally...

When I introduced my word(s) for 2012, I told you that I set a LOT of goals. That is true. Most of my goals this year are residual from my before-25 list that I made on my last birthday, but I've added a few more and divided them up into 5 categories: to be anxiously engaged in...

living a healthy(er) life
growing spiritually
using my brain more
developing relationships
doing new and fun things

So, if you really want to know the nitty gritty of what my goals are... read on. :)

I confess... it's good to be back!

I confess that it's good to be back to blogging, even in small doses like I have been. :)
I confess that, last week, I curled my eyelashes for the first time in my life. I'm still partly convinced that the eyelash curler was first created as a form of medieval torture, but I do like the improvement in my lashes.

image source

I confess that I've gotten my kids to nap at the same time THREE days this week and that makes me feel like Wonder Woman. Of course, I spend most of that hour of both kids being asleep on Pinterest, but, hey, Wonder Woman's gotta do what WonderWoman's gotta do. And Wonder Woman's gotta pin.

I confess that I am having a lot of fun getting rid of 50 things, but that I refuse to touch my craft supplies as part of the dejunking process.

I confess that the universe is working against me -- as I get rid of things, new things keep showing up. First my recently retired dad handed down a bunch of neckties to my husband, and then this showed up:

It's a corner shelf (the bottom part of this piece by Ana White) that the young men from our church built for us as part of their scouting program. Now I just have to decide how to finish it. What do you think -- wood stain or paint?

I confess that all of these things showing up would bother me more if I didn't love getting new things... :)

Have a great weekend!


An exfoliation of stuff

Hi friends! I'm over at Housewife Eclectic today issuing a challenge: get rid of 50 things. Come on over to get the details about why and how.

Thanks for reading!

Anxiously Engaged

I'm back! It's been far too long, and I have missed you all so much. Thanks for sticking with me, friends!

Are you familiar with Ali Edwards' one little word idea?

(You can read more about it here. I'm not familiar with the class that she offers there, so I'm not endorsing that, or her, or anything. I just like the concept. :)

The idea is to select one word to guide your life for the year, to "focus on, meditate on, and reflect upon" as you go about whatever else is going on in your life.

I prefer to think of it as my rallying cry, the energy behind all of the other goals that I make for myself in a year.

Because I set a LOT of goals.

But we'll get to those in a minute. First, my word. Actually, it's two words. I'm a rule-bender that way. :)

For 2012, I am striving to be
anxiously engaged.

Nope, it's not a sob coming from a desperate-to-be-married single girl (or guy). :) It's a scripture:
27 Verily I say, men should be aanxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness (Doctrine and Covenants 58:27)
image source

I look over the things that I do in a day and I think, Wow. I am seriously unproductive. And I'm not setting the productivity bar very high, trust me.

So, for 2012, I'm working on being anxiously engaged in a good cause. Emphasis on the engagement, not on the anxiety. :)

I want to be 
engaged in loving my kids
engaged in cherishing my husband
engaged in living a healthy life
engaged in enjoying the day-to-day awesomeness
engaged in doing the things I need to do and not just the things I want to do

As I mentioned, this one word (ish) is my rallying point for my other goals this year. I'm sharing one goal over at Housewife Eclectic today as part of the new year of Wednesdays on (and off) the Web. The rest of my list will have to wait because, hallelujah, both of my sick and cranky kids are asleep at the same time, and I have better causes to be engaged in than boring all of you with my list of ways to become the perfect Lu...

Instead, tell me... what are your goals? or your one word?
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