Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Off-topic post.

I am putting this out because I need to do it for me; if you want to read along, I welcome that.

My mother was killed this week.  She was a pedestrian, hit by an automobile.  She did not suffer.  Those of us left behind took up the suffering; but we are also remembering and honoring her, and laughing at some of those memories.

First ever quilt blocks, 2010
My mother taught me to sew.  And to knit.  And to crochet.  (Somewhat tricky for a right-handed parent to teach to a left-handed child.)  These hobbies have become my comfort, my introverted way of recharging my batteries and expressing my creativity.  I am blessed to have a hobby that brings me such joy, but I am doubly blessed that now I can remember Mom whenever I am stitching.

I taught my mother how to quilt.  I dragged her to a quilting retreat a few years ago, just as a way for the two of us to spend time together.  She was tentative, slightly allergic to strangers, and definitely out of her comfort zone, but by the end of the weekend, she was talking about returning the following year.

Chicken pincushion, 2010 retreat

Card trick block, w/quilting buddy Dwynn, 2011
Mom was a brainy woman, a scientist; she had an insatiable curiosity about geology and other workings of the earth, the planets, the weather, local plant life.

Mom was also a free-spirited thinker, which I always marvel at, given the time period (1950's) in which she grew to adulthood.  * I grew up without believing in Santa, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy--all because my mom didn't believe in lying to children.  (Don't worry, grandma still spoiled us kids.) 
9-patch blocks, 2011
* She taught me to leave out "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance: it had been inserted without her permission during the rabid anti-communism era.  * She gave me a broad religious viewpoint: although we had strong faith in our church, we were not so full of knowledge of the inner workings of the Divine to assume that there were no other passages to Enlightenment.  * She exposed our family to wheat germ and brewer's yeast and eating for health--way back in the early 1970's.

Mom was always my biggest cheerleader.  So proud of me (of all her children, and grandchildren), and not at all bashful about bragging on us.

with Skipper: Columbia Gorge (Oregon side), 2013

So much more I could say... But I close with a phrase that both makes me think of Mom, and makes me smile.

Etsy shop: itswritteninvinyl

What have you learned from your mother?  What gifts did she bestow on your life?

Memorial website: forever missed

Sunday, January 25, 2015

ADD = What's next?

Clicked on a Facebook link...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2014 in Pictures

Ahhh, January.  The month of my birth.  The month of looking ahead and looking behind.

What did I finish in 2014?  Seemed like a bustling year--there was a wedding in there somewhere!

Large Sewing


T-shirt quilt; blue baby quilt
(Ok, a baby quilt is not technically large, but lots of involved piecing; and quilted by me, so that adds to the level-of-difficulty, in my world)

Small Sewing

Oakie bowtie, cummerbund & tuxedo pants; yoga mat cover; baby's book of computers; table runner; rainbow bathrobe; teapot cozy
(Anybody besides me feel like there was a rainbow theme going last year?) 


Bridal bouquet; Russian wedding band cowl; bobble cowl; wedding programs


Columbia jacket velcro; pants hemming (too, too many pair to even estimate); hemmed curtains

Thanks for helping me celebrate.  Finishes feel good!

(If you get married over 4th of July, see what an amazing photography team can do?  Nothing but awesome results from New Morning Photography)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

15 for 2015

Everyone is doing it this time of year: scanning the past, looking to the future, and setting some goals.  I was inspired by the format of Cynthia's blog post at Quilting is More Fun than Housework; she pointed me to Yvonne's link-up over at Quilting Jetgirl.  I almost feel like I have stolen some other peoples' lists--maybe us creative-types have just tapped into the Universe's stream of consciousness here:

1.  Use up, donate or dispose of 100 yards of fabric. 
I mentioned this idea last January, with the horrified realization that this means about 2 yards of fabric a week.  Production sewing in quantity is definitely not me, but I know all the fabric I haul around (some of it easily 25+ years old) keeps me bound to the past in an unhealthy way.  Time to "bless the world" with my excess! 

2.  Get my UFO pile down to single digits. 
This item was suggested by Sweetie, and it sounds reasonable, so I am including it here.  This means finishing up some long-dormant projects that are really deeply buried in the sewing storage vault.  But it also probably means sending some partially-completed lovelies out on the winds of Fate, to be finished by others.

Vintage: UFO from 2011

3.  Track my progress.  Items 1 and 2 on my list require some record-keeping; being public about these major sewing-related goals is one way to keep myself on track.

4.  Be a friend.  I have a tendency to neglect my friendships, as I retire to my own cave.  This goal is about reaching out more often--attend open sew nights regularly, join a guild or sewing group, reply to comments on my blog, comment on the inspiring blog posts of others, and meet up with my crafty friends in person.

5.  Get back to journaling.  Looking inward is a companion goal to reaching out: helps to keep me centered and more emotionally healthy.  I have heard some people rave about The Artist's Way method of writing daily pages, so maybe I'll give that practice a look-see.

6.  Learn a new technique.  Easy-peasy!  I'm always on the lookout for sewing projects that challenge me to try new things.  Let's see how this plays out in 2015.

7.  Enter something in the county fair.  I missed last year's fair (ok, I missed it because of my honeymoon; a valid excuse if ever there was one), so I have a backlog of completed-but-not-exhibited projects.  But I tend to use the county fair deadline to spur me on in finishing something challenging, too.  So my hope is to enter something previously completed AND something yet-to-be-finished.

8.  Enter a sew-along or online contest.  A companion to real-life showing off of my work is to share and show off in the virtual world.  I have entered blog hops hosted by Sew We Quilt in the past; I also visit the garment sew-along round-up every month or so and dream of stitching up some new duds; where will my inspiration come from in 2015?

9. Host a sew-along.  Ok, this is WAY out of my comfort zone, but something I've always wanted to try.  I may not have the blog followers to pull this off, but I'm hoping I can convince some others to join me.  Someone gave me the idea to pull out one of those hoarded Amy Bradley patterns and get-to-gettin'... 

10.  Practice anti-procrastination.  I admit it.  Putting things off is an art form in my world.  Well, my fave online organizing guru FlyLady marks every Wednesday as Anti-Procrastination day.  Why not?

11. Be gentle with myself.  I am such a perfectionist, and a very harsh critic of myself.  I set
impossibly high standards and clear my own path toward disappointment.  There, I said it.  But I don't always have to live it.

12.  Let go.  Every now and then, just go with the flow. 

Coffee cup pattern?
13. Work the routines. 
Both FlyLady and the ADD-related book I have been reading make the point that Routines Are Your Friends

14. Write a pattern. 
I have one in mind.  Just need to write up instructions and have someone test it out.

15. Celebrate! 
Every time the sun comes up, there's a whole new day ahead.  I love the possibility of a fresh start.

2015, here I come!

Let me know where to find your list, and I'll come over and look.  I promise to leave comments! (see goal #4, above)