Tag Archives: seattle

A word about Mother’s Day

6 May

I sure do love The Quilting Gallery!  It’s a wonderful site for quilters that links to blogs from all around the world! (Including ours!)  They often host swaps and host a weekly themed Quilt Contest.  I have entered before (I have made a few quilts, occasionally the meet theme criteria) and have entered again this week!  I’d love to give you a little back story on my quilt this week:

Every June for the past 13 years, Western Washington is taken over by traveling quilters!  For four days, quilters caravan around to participating independent quilt shops for the Western Washington Quilt Shop Hop!  If you plan to visit all the stores, you really need all four days!  They range from near the Canadian border to near the Oregon border, from the eastside all the way to the ocean and the peninsula!  It’s a good time and you get a block kit from each store, designed by that store, all in that years themed fabric.

Selina and me doing last years Shop Hop

It’s a good excuse for friends to get together and have a great time shopping for fabric!

Sometimes you can make projects!

Last year Quiltworks Northwest in Bellevue had a set up to make little bags for free!  (And demo Berninas…so tempting!) I use my bag to keep my shop hop blocks and fabric in!  It’s such a great time!

When I was new to quilting, I had never heard of shop hop.  I happened to be shopping and saw the store’s block for the year.  It was rainbow triangles with an umbrella charm with this as the focus fabric:

Shop Hop fabric 2006

If you knew my mom, you would know that that just speaks of her! I decided then and there to participate.  I was seven months pregnant and had a two year old, I knew I had better do it now before the kids got to be too big and wouldn’t allow me to go in the future!  I shopped and I hopped (more like waddled), dragging the little one and a husband around.  It was an exciting road trip, and I was able to get quite a few blocks!  Over the next few months I worked on the blocks with no particular finishing project in mind.  I decided to finish the project for mother’s day (I already missed her birthday in October, but I had just had the baby in August!  DON’T JUDGE!) but I would need to add elements to make it bigger. I remembered seeing a pattern while on shop hop at Undercover Quilts in the Pike Place Market of a stained glass (quilt) Orca mom and baby.  I chose the Orca mom and baby because I had babies on the brain, but also because my mom lives on Puget Sound.  It just felt right.  I free cut Mt Rainier and fused it to the sky background, and fused some free cut trees to hide my seam!  I ended up with this:

Northwest Family Quilt for mom

Yes, it’s busy, but that’s the nature  of shop hop quilts!  And she loves it enough to hang above her bed, so what more could I have asked for?  When I held it up to give to her, she gasped and said “My God.”  Which is kind of a big reaction from my mom.  I knew she liked it and that means a lot to me.  I bordered and backed it in tulips for the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (another favorite of hers)  and free motion quilted appropriately for each block, as well as waves in the water.

Should you wish to vote for my quilt this weekend, You can find the contest HERE!  Thanks again, and happy Mother’s Day, mom!

Lizze

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What Do We Value?

27 Feb

Yakima River Valley

I was standing in my kitchen tonight baking brownies for my kids and I found myself wondering how many more times I would bake brownies here. Usually that would be an odd thing to think, but we are at a defining moment in our lives, and suddenly I’m feeling nostalgic about my blue laminate counter tops and stark white appliances.

Lizze recently wrote about making changes in her life, starting over with a “New Beginning”. I am making some big changes as well, but rather than a new beginning, it is more like a flashback.

I grew up in Yakima, a small-ish town in eastern Washington state. For the last 13 years I have lived in the Seattle area where we have one season – overcast. Yakima has super hot summers where the cool breeze at night is just right. The winters are bitter cold with lots of snow. Spring is green and smells of flowers and fall is orange and red with a refreshing crispness in the air. I miss living in a town that has all 4 seasons, a place where you don’t need a calendar to know what month it is.

Decision time has come for us and we were given a difficult choice. The choice was, essentially, to pick what is most important to us. We could stay here in this cloudy and overcrowded place. The place where our kids have grown up, a long way from our families. If we stayed my husband was looking at a dramatic increase in pay, but also much less time with the children. Or, we pack up a moving truck and head back over the mountains and go home. Home to sunshine, family, and friends, but no increase in pay.

So what do we value most? Is it money? Having nice things? Yes. We need money to live and I do want nice things for us. But ultimately we chose experiences and family over the extra income. I want these kids to grow up having family around. When I was a kid we all  had dinner at my grandma’s house every Sunday. I haven’t had dinner at my grandma’s table in many years and I miss it dearly. I want family to come to my kid’s school performances, sporting events, and birthday parties. I want to get together and have picnics in the summer. I want to spend Christmas with them again.

We are scared of changing. Selling our home in this economy is a daunting task. Saying goodbye to our neighbors and friends will be hard. But it will all be worth it. I have dreams of big old farmhouses and 4th of July BBQ’s dancing in my head.

For Lizze and I, 2011 is shaping up to be quite a year full of new and exciting things. We are both afraid of some sort of disaster; of making a wrong choice. However, we have both made choices that are putting our families and our children before anything else. How can that ever be wrong?

“The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want at the moment” – Robert G. Allen

Selina

Urban Log Cabin

9 Jan

Lizze and I went to the sewing expo at the Puyallup fair a couple of months ago. My husband told me that I could purchase ONE quilt kit. Only one! I really had to shop around to decide which kit I wanted more than any other. The kit I finally chose was from the Quilting Loft booth. The Quilting Loft is an adorable quilt shop in Ballard, WA that we had the pleasure of visiting during our shop hop last summer. The owner is a young lady, like us, and incredibly friendly. If you are ever in Seattle, drive the extra 5 minutes to Ballard and visit this shop. You won’t be disappointed!

Urban Log Cabin is the name of the pattern that came with my kit. These gorgeous fabrics are what made me fall in love:

Fabrics by Joel Dewberry

After cutting out all of the pieces for this quilt, I had several scraps left over. I am a tad bit obsessive when it comes to scraps. I hoard them. I always feel like I can use them to make something else although I rarely ever do. They just sit in my scrap bin and mock me. This time I made something with the scraps before I made the quilt.

I think this little bag turned out pretty nice, but I really should have made it a little bit bigger.

I finished piecing all of the blocks for the quilt tonight in the middle of screaming, hollering, and jumping around my sewing studio like a maniac. Did you see that Seahawks game?!?! I still can’t get over how amazing it was. It made it really hard to sew. Talk about distracting! Maybe I should take the tv out of there…

Here are the blocks all laid out and ready to be sewn. The picture quality isn’t that great. I took the photo with my cell phone. My good camera has been acting up lately and I can’t get it to connect with my computer. I think you get the gist of the pattern I’m going for though. I think it’s turning out quite well. After the blocks are sewn together, I have a beautiful border to add to it as well. And wait until you see the fabulous print I have for the binding! It’s my favorite.

I hope everyone is having as wonderful a start to their New Year as we are. 2011 is gearing up to be great for us. We have had 4 sales in the shop since the new year. It may not sound like much, but to us that’s a big deal. If the year continues like this, I may actually be able to make a real job out of this!

Selina

Birthdays!

30 Jun

Lizze had her birthday on Monday. I won’t tell how old she is because a lady never reveals her age. We spent the day on the waterfront in Seattle. We had a wonderful seafood lunch at Anthony’s. The sun was shining and we sat outside on the deck. They serve a key lime martini so you know we had to try one. It was very tasty, but super sweet.
After our wonderful lunch, we stopped at an Irish pub to have another drink before heading down to the market to get tickets for the Toadies concert at the end of July.
My daughter is also having a birthday soon. She’s going to be 9 next week. Her name is Alice, and Alice complains very frequently that I never make her anything. She has spent the last few days in Yakima with her grandparents so while she has been gone, I’ve been working on a birthday quilt. It’s nearly done. I only have about half of the binding left to hand stitch down. I hope she loves it. After I started working on it, she said that she hates pink. Either she will be very happy with it, or you will see it listed for sale in our shop next week.

Shop Hop Update

27 Jun

As promised, I have a few photos for you from our shop hop adventure. We had a fabulous time. Our favorite shop BY FAR was the quilt shop in Bellevue. If you haven’t been there, GO!!! Visiting that shop was the best part of our day. They had a station set up to make little drawstring bags. The lady who helped us? Now that was our kind of lady! Lizze really wants a serger now. I have one, but it certainly isn’t a Bernina. It does the job, but boy, those Berninas are nice. However, they have the price tag to go with it.

My daughter, Sara ended up tagging along for the trip. She is 10 years old and has taken a sewing class. She has made bags, pillows, and a couple of very simple quilts. She participated in the hop and got the quilt blocks too. Her and I will be working on our blocks together. Many of them use applique this year, which I hate. We will learn to do it together. It will either be a wonderful bonding experience, or an abysmal failure… We shall see.

Happenings for Today

18 Jun

Today is a busy day for me. I have a quilt in the works that is almost complete and ready to list for sale. It’s the cutest camping themed fabric. It’s a small quilt, perfect for a crib or toddler bed, or even just that special blankie for your little one. I can’t wait to have it finished!

I am running low on quilt batting so I need to go get some more of that today as well. When I say low, I mean, I have about 5 yards left. If that. Talk about waiting until the last minute!

And, of course summer break is here. Does it feel like summer out there? Anyone? My kids are home all day and it’s too cold to send their little bums outside! I may go insane before month’s end. Grocery shopping is on my agenda for the day. Have you ever taken four children to a grocery store? I’d almost rather starve to death.

Lizze has a birthday coming up. I worked on her gift yesterday and got it all done. Now I just have to wait until June 28th to give it to her. I hate waiting to give people their gifts. I’m always very impatient about that sort of thing. Especially if I know it is something they will love, and I know she will love this! We also plan to go to the Seattle Waterfront that day and have lunch at one of the many wonderful seafood restaurants they have. We are still undecided as to which one we’d like to go to. Then we’ll come home, drink booze, and eat cake!

Speaking of things I am impatient about, I might be moving soon. My husband has been offered a chance (as well as a couple other managers) at running a new restaurant. He has said yes, but now we are waiting for the “big bosses” to talk amongst themselves to decide who will go. I can’t stand the waiting. Moving involves many details. First and foremost, selling my home. Which in this market, I can’t say that I’m looking forward to that. If we get the new store we will be packing our bags and moving back to Yakima. Our hometown. My beloved. I’m trying not to get my hopes up just in case it doesn’t work out, but I am failing miserably! If anyone is looking for a 1700 square foot home with a 2-car garage, 3 bedrooms, 2.25 bathrooms, with a huge yard on South Hill in Puyallup, I may have one available soon 😉 A new sewing room would be nice. And a swimming pool. They have sunshine in Yakima!

Selina