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November 2015

September 2015

Fabric Bunting

Fabric Bunting | Ironing the fabricFabric Bunting | Using the rotary cutter Fabric Bunting | cut triangles Fabric Bunting | pinning the triangles Fabric Bunting | bunting hanging up
I have always liked the idea of decorating with a fabric bunting but could never quite figure out how I could use it to fit my style.  I kinda feel like it’s one of those things you just have to go for, but I didn’t really have a spot to hang one up so I just never did.  So when I found out I was pregnant, one of my first thoughts for decorating the baby’s room was a fabric bunting.  I didn’t have anything planned out already, but I did know that I wanted one.

At that time, I had not touched my sewing machine in like, four years so I had no idea if I would even have one or make one myself or what.  Like many other things that I come up with, I expected it to be just a design wish that I never followed through with.  But when I started sewing again, I knew that this was a project I would do.  I still didn’t have a clear plan for the colors or fabric or anything until I got to looking around and saw this painting:

Fabric Bunting | it's a boy watercolor

Those colors were perfect!  I had even intended to hang this in the baby’s room and to follow this color scheme.  I don’t plan to have a specific theme for his room, I just want it to be “little boy.”

When my mother and I went to the fabric store, I remember feeling frustrated to begin with because I couldn’t find what I was looking for.  Everything was too floral or girly or just the wrong colors.  Walking into the store, I was against using solids.  I wanted patterns, like stripes or anchors, or something.  After a while and from looking but not finding anything, I began sticking solid colored fabrics into the buggy.  It took like 5 minutes and everything matched perfectly!

I could not wait to get home and begin cutting the fabric, but I knew I needed to wash, dry, and iron it first.  That seemed to take forever when all I wanted to do was attack it with my rotary cutter, but I wanted to start out doing everything the right way.  I knew if I was going to continue doing these sorts of projects, then I needed to have good techniques and habits from the start.  I was really excited to begin cutting with my rotary cutter.  I had read a tutorial with some really good steps and tips on how to cut fabric.  I didn’t know these things when I did quilt no. 2 and cutting those squares was such a nightmare! But I think that was something I needed to go through in order to learn what the best is for me.

Fabric Bunting | Finished triangles

I finally finished ironing the fabric and was ready to start cutting.  At first I was a little timid, unsure of myself but the more I cut, the more confident I grew.  Cutting the fabric is totally one of my favorite parts of sewing!  Once I had everything cut, it was time to sew the triangles together.  I feel like I did pretty well with keeping my lines straight and didn’t even need to pin anything for the triangles.  My intension was to sew the triangles and then flip them inside out to make the seams on the inside.  But then, Kevin remarked how he liked the seam on the outside.  At first I didn’t really want to leave it unfinished like that, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it that way.  With the fabric being solid, it added another touch to it to make it stand out more.  Plus, not having to flip them all inside out really cut down a lot of work so I was all for it.

Fabric Bunting | sewn triangles

I sat down to sew the triangles to the ribbon that would be what I used to hang them up.  I turned on the iron to heat up in case I needed it, but I was able to just fold the ribbon in half and make a crease using my fingernail.  I was pinning the ribbon and the triangles together so this worked just fine.  In the tutorial I was following, she placed the pins parallel to the way the ribbon ran so that’s what I did too.  I have always just pinned them perpendicular to the way I would be sewing so this was different for me.  I tried pinning both ways and discovered that the way in the tutorial was a lot easier than the way I have been doing it.

I pinned and sewed the triangles until I ran out of ribbon and just decided to finish it there:

Fabric Bunting | Finished Bunting

I feel like it turned out great.  I only used half the triangles so I will probably make another one.  I don’t know for sure where I will hang it, maybe on the wall above the baby’s bed.  For right now, I have it just hanging on the mantel.

Bump Report: 25 Weeks!

25 weeks!
How far along:
 25 weeks

How big is the baby: the size of a rutabaga, 1.7 lb; heartbeat is 146 this week.

Changes: My fingernails are growing like crazy!

Feeling: I can tell that my core is not as strong as it was.  It's hard to stand up straight for long periods of time.

Eating: Pimento and cheese sandwiches every day! Drinking lots of water



Three weeks without a TV.

Three weeks ago on Sunday, our house was broken into and burglarized.  The thieves got many of our fairly expensive possessions including our televisions and all of my jewelry that I was not wearing. The first thing that Kevin said to me when I told him about the burglary was the verse from Matthew that says our treasures are in Heaven.  Although it was upsetting to lose my stuff, I was able to take comfort in God’s word and that’s what He wants us to do!

Matthew 6.19
Before we didn’t have any televisions, Kevin and I had already been discussing cancelling our programs and just watch our DVDs the same way we did when we first got married.  We hadn’t made the final commitment partly because new seasons of our shows we like to watch were coming back on.  But we wanted to save more money for when the baby got here.  We have also been seriously rethinking some of our habits we have in regards to how it would affect the baby.  I want our child to play outside as much as possible, I want him to be a maker and a dreamer and a learner.  I doubt I’m any different from other parents and expecting parents by thinking these things but I believe that going without a television will be a good step for us. :)

I feel like quitting television the way we did was a little easier on me.  I have been actively trying to watch less tv but when you live by yourself half the time, it’s nice to have something to add noise to the solitude.  But you know what else does that?  Music!  Which we also enjoy.  It was a little hard the first couple of nights without a television so I ended up watching a few movies on my laptop, but that didn’t last very long.  Watching tv is a habit.  It is habit to get up in the morning and turn it on even if you aren’t paying attention to it.  It is habit to sit down on the couch when it gets dark outside and turn the tv on.  But it is a mindless activity and not a good habit in my opinion.

Living without a tv takes practice.  I hadn’t thought about it until last Saturday night, Kendall was over and although there was no tv on, I was reading a book and the boys were looking at stuff on their phones.  He pointed that even without the distraction of the tv, we were still distracted from each other.  I kept thinking on this and at first I wondered if it was bad that we were still so distracted but then I realized that living this way will take practice.  I don’t know that we will always be without televisions, but for this time of our lives I really like the idea and possibilities!

Since I have had more time on my hands, I have gotten a lot of things done. I have more time to focus on reading the Bible more and spending time with God.  I completely fell in love with using water colors and have painted a few pieces.  I completed two rag quilts, and even made it to the library and checked out a few books.  I know I had a bad habit of mindlessly watching tv while playing on my phone and I am seriously looking forward to life without that distraction.

Rag Quilting!

A few years ago when I was still in college, I took one of those fun little classes at a local fabric store where you basically buy a package class and it comes with fabric and instructions and everything.  I had recently inherited my grandmother’s sewing machine and I had grown up with family who always sewed things and did other forms of needlework.

Well….for some reason I never finished that quilt.  And once I got married, I carried all the pieces with me to my new house and then when I lost my job four months later, for some reason I didn’t pick it back up again. Until now.  I am five and a half months pregnant, working almost full time, with a lot of projects going on and I decide to finish that quilt.  I have a few reasons for my choice to pick it up, mainly a new outlook on doing things that I’ve always wanted to do: just start doing it.  It is easy to get caught up in the idea of waiting for the ideal time to bake some cheese things for somebody or to learn the organ, or start a knitting project, or finish a blanket that has been waiting for almost five years. 

Another important reason is that I have had this idea of when I am grown and have children, I would make things like my grandmother and aunts and mother.  Some perceptions and ideas that you have of your future self can get thrown out the window once you get to that stage because a lot of it you can’t control.  To me, this is something that I can control and I need to take control of. 

Finally, I just really like to make things with my hands.  I love needlework and knitting and I really really like sewing.  The problem is that I’m waiting.  Waiting for what, I have no idea.  I guess waiting for me to be ready.  I kind of feel like this almost ties into finishing circles but maybe in a less obvious way.

So anyways.  I began this quilt like five years ago and just now picked it up.  Going into this project, I had already accepted that it wouldn’t be perfect.  It can be easy to compare myself to other people but they have different experiences and in my case, most people have more experience when it comes to just sewing a straight line.  But we all have to start somewhere and I decided that the only way to get to my perfect line is to start practicing them.  There’s a reason we begin musical practices or playing sports at a young age and we are classified as “beginners.”  My goal for this quilt is to just get it done and work my best at it.

The quilt consists of squares of fabric sandwiched together to make blocks, then sewn together in a row, then all these rows sewn together.  When I picked this quilt back up, all of the squares had been sewn together in their blocks and two rows had been sewn then sewn together.  With the help of my dogs, I got the sewing machine set up on my dining table (that we hardly ever eat on) and then the machine figured back out, I’m a beginner remember? After this was done, I set about the task of sewing the rest of the blocks together to form the rows. 

September 15, 2015 304
After about an hour, I completed all the rows and I took a break for supper and went outside for a walk with the dogs.  When I returned to my project, I realized that I wasn’t sure of my next step so I made a quick phone call to my aunt who I knew could help me! I ended up pinning the rows together to guide my lines and set about to sewing all my rows together to complete sewing the quilt together.  Or so I thought, because at one point I was stretching and I looked to my right and saw that I had forgotten the last stack of blocks to be sewn into a row! Devastating, right?  I decided to finish the remaining rows and then take care of that last row the next morning.

I finally got it all sewn together and then set about to snipping the inseams that would be the part that frays.  This was quite possibly the most time-consuming part of the whole project.  After two days of snipping (only part days, not two whole days!) I was done and it was in the wash then the dryer to get it frayed.

Rag Quilting! | Elizabeth's Quilt
I am so happy with how it turned out!  I can’t decide if I want to leave it at church as a blanket there or keep it here for me to use all the time.  I really, really like it.  But maybe I also just want some new fabrics around here.  So far I have made two quilts, one for me and another is for a dear friend.  Hers is really special and very pretty to me.

Rag Quilting! | Elizabeth's Quilt

Rag Quilting! | Elizabeth's Quilt Rag Quilting! | Mandy's Quilt Rag Quilting! | Mandy's Quilt Rag Quilting! | Mandy's Quilt Rag Quilting! | Mandy's Quilt Rag Quilting! | Elizabeth's Quilt

Bump Report: 24 weeks!

How far along: 24 Weeks

How big is the baby: The size of an ear of corn

Changes: It's getting harder to sit up from laying down, I have to kind of roll and push up!

Feeling: Tired. Just a simple walk wears me out!

Eating: Rice Crispie treats. Still. Loving pimento cheese sandwiches!!

Wearing: Maxi skirts and maternity shirts. Also some really lovely makeup I got last weekend and I love it!

Bump Report: 23 weeks!


How far along: 23 Weeks

How big is the baby: 1.2 LB

Changes: Not that much different from last week.  Still feeling those precious baby kicks.

Feeling: Lots of heartburn :(  Ready for some relief!

Eating: Rice crispie treats. All. the. time.  Loving orange juice.

Wearing: Maternity jeans! I love the ones from Target with the boot cut.  T-shirts from Target that are super comfy!  I hope I can find some more sometime.


An Unofficial Uniform

Lately I've been thinking about the idea of an unofficial uniform that I can wear mostly on a daily basis.  Kevin does it!  haha.  He always wears blue jeans and just a ratty t shirt that he has unless he is actually going somewhere.  Last week I went to Target to buy some more maternity clothes and ended up with two more pairs of jeans and also a couple of shirts.  These were just some plain shirts but I thought that they could be used in more ways and could be either dressed up or dressed down depending on what I'm doing or where I'm going.

Then it hit me the other day, that maybe I could just wear those types of things every day and it would keep me from having to truly think about it since I don't really care about my clothes, I just want to look nice and presentable.  So I kind of had the ball rolling in my head already when I listened to a podcast where they were talking about having an "unofficial uniform" for their daily work and that made it all click for me.  As a girl, I have plenty of accessories that I can use to change the look and feel of my outfit while at the same time, keeping it easy and low-key.

I also have noticed a trend of mine is that I lean towards grays and navys.  I went to Dirt Cheap and found some great deals on some shirts and a dress!  I was so elated and when I  laid them out on my bed this is what I saw:

shirts from dirt cheap
Yep, navy and gray. This was kind of funny to me but it was also kind of a relief because once I realized this, I know what to look for now! It's kind of fun when you take another step in finding out your personal style and I'm very excited about moving forward with my "uniform" and seeing how I can adjust it to how I'm feeling that day or what I will be doing.  I don't know, I feel like I've discovered a secret to easier daily living or something, ha!

I can't wait to see how this turns out for the rest of my pregnancy and this year.  I hope to post some updates and stuff like that!