Thursday, August 28, 2014

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Beach Baby Bag

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Today's project is perfect for a long weekend at the beach. If only!


This bag is one my BQF Pam taught me on one of our many quilt retreats. She called it a Fat Quarter Bag, but I can't find a link to the pattern or designer. If you know any more details, please let me know and I will update this post.

Pam made one for my birthday in my favorite blues and yellows. She showed up carrying it one day and, when I admired it, said "I'm so glad you like it because it's your birthday present." The other part of my present was for her to show me how to make it!


I made this one for the pool/beach out of the cutest Beach Baby fabric by Kari Pearson (again, I can't find a link). I love these bags because they hold a stack of beach towels OR a full sized quilt easily. Gracie likes to use this one for sleepovers.


I have a third one of these bags that a guild member made me at the end of my term as guild president as a thank you. The bag and her sweet note really touched me.

Let's take a walk down memory lane and see what you made a long, long time ago.






Monday, August 25, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - Can You Survive Without It?


It's Menu Plan Monday and boy did I miss it last week! We had a crazy schedule with lacrosse starting, a senior parent meeting, back to school night at middle school, and the first football game of the season. I never made a plan or even went to the store because we were gone so much, and I thought we'd just "wing it." Basically, I gave up.

Spoiler alert: no menu plan leads to domestic chaos.

Since I didn't go to the store, we ran out of milk, bread, eggs, cereal, lunch meat, and anything else that could be made into a quick and easy meal. This resulted in eating out too much, eating junk too much, and general malaise. The dishwasher wasn't run regularly, so by Thursday we were out of coffee cups and out of energy (also: dog food). Add that to the 95+ degree heat this week, and you have a recipe for a stressed out, sweaty lunch hour and grouchy kids.

I'm not telling you all this to complain; I'm telling you this because this is how our life used to be A LOT and making a menu plan for even a few months makes you forget how chaotic it was. Just make the dang menu plan! (I'm talking to myself here. You can do what you want.)

This week is another jam packed week, but I'm trying to temper it by making a plan and having dinner together on the nights we are able. How do you cope with those weeks when it seems like everyone is running in a different direction?

What's on your menu?



Sunday, August 24, 2014

A New Plan?

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Loyal readers know that I am one of those annoying people who start talking about the holidays waaaayyy too early. In my defense, I don't celebrate early. I don't play Christmas music while I'm getting out the Halloween decorations. But I like to start <i>thinking</i> about it early, and that means I write about it here.<br />
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Loyal readers know I've done the Holiday Grand Plan for about eighteen years now, but I'm thinking seriously about switching after reading this article by Cynthia Ewer over at OrganizedChristmas.Com. I've considered it before, but always went back to the comfort of the plan I knew. This year, with our lives in such a different place - working full time, one kid in college and another with one foot out the door - it might be time. 

If this is going to drive you crazy, just skip my blog posts on Sundays until right around New Year's Day; if you find yourself both horrified and curious, stick around.

Don't get hung up on doing every single task or overthink things if your living arrangements don't dovetail perfectly with the plan. I will promise you that doing even a few things early - or just thinking about your plans ahead of time - will make December less stressful.

I'm going to try to blog more this year about my process and what steps have been the most helpful. I would love to know what you do to prepare. Will you join me?






Thursday, August 21, 2014

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - It's Been a Slice of Heaven, Y'all

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.


I love working with photos in quilts.  I love the combination of this old art with new technology, the memories in pictures and fabrics, and the gentle way it says, "I love you."


I made my very first quilt using photo transfer fifteen years ago for my father-in-law's sixtieth birthday.  The book Creating Scrapbook Quilts by Ami Simms grabbed hold of me at the quilt shop, and has never let me go.  It is still my inspiration and my first resource.


I took Ami's advice and put everything I could find on this quilt. There are patches and pins, as well as his fraternity lavalier and the promise ring he gave my mother-in-law. This is one of those times when pack rat tendencies come in handy - my MiL had an old army shirt, his letter jacket from high school, and enough other random stuff to make me worry about the weight of it all. We even drove down to Georgia Tech to buy a musical bear, which we disemboweled for the button that plays "Ramblin' Wreck" when you press it.



One of my favorite parts of this quilt is the wide muslin border where party guests were able to write messages, well wishes, and congratulations. Longer lasting and more precious than any old birthday card, right?


The name of the quilt comes from an old family joke about the time some dinner guests overstayed their welcome. My FiL finally got up from his chair and said, "It's been a slice of heaven, y'all, but I'm going to bed." And he did.

Happy 75th birthday, Big D! We love you!

Now I want to see your blast from the past.  Link up and let us all see!





Thursday, August 14, 2014

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - The Old Fashioned Way

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Today's quilt is one I made back in 2001 for a new baby. This baby was extra special because her parents had suffered three miscarriages before her safe arrival. Their doctors were having some trouble pinpointing the exact problem and, just as they were about to start with some fairly invasive treatment, they found out that her mama was expecting her.

We rejoiced, and I set to work making a quilt. I decided to use all 1930s reproduction prints and plain muslin. The whole thing was just six simple pinwheel blocks, sashed in muslin and bordered with half square triangles. I did crosshatch quilting on my machine, and loved the simplicity of it.  I named it The Old Fashioned Way.


In honor and memory of the baby's three siblings, I also made three miniature versions of the quilts to donate to SHARE Atlanta's 5Bs Project. These blankets, bonnets, booties, buntings, and bracelets are donated to local hospitals with a "Survival Kit" for newly bereaved parents. 

I never realized how many of my quilts were made for these subsequent babies after a loss until I started keeping track of them this way. I suppose that they were at least as therapeutic for me to make as they were for their families to receive. Once again, quilting heals us.


Now I want to see your blast from the past.  Link up and let us all see!  P.S. Did you know that you can use pictures from your Instagram feed with InLinkz now?
























Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Heading for the Finish Line

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

My progress stalled last weekend when we drove to Tuscaloosa to help Deuce move into his first apartment, but I worked up the nerve to enter this quilt into the guild show. Now I really have to finish it!

I completed the feathering around the points of the star, and moved on to the small square and triangle spaces. I've been browsing for FMQ motifs over at The Inbox Jaunt, and decided to try Lori's Easiest Flower Ever.



Now I've moved on to the more tricky, irregular spaces outside the surround fabric. I couldn't find what I really wanted, so I cut a piece of freezer paper into the shape of the space, folded it in half, and cut out my heart/swirl doodle. I'm going to press it onto the quilt and try quilting around it. I'll let you know how that goes!

My next big decision will be whether or not/how much to quilt in the other areas of the quilt and what color thread to use. I'm sure I'll be back to ask your opinion soon!






Monday, August 11, 2014

Menu Plan Monday - For Real This Time!



It's Menu Plan Monday and we are clawing our way back to "routine." Deuce heads back to Tuscaloosa tomorrow morning shortly after Gracie leaves for her first day of 8th grade. My Middle Child (MMC) has a week under his belt, and is settling into the long days of school/cross country practice/dinner/homework/sleep.

We're experiencing a lot of lasts this week; tonight is our last night before Deuce leaves for awhile, and today will be my last open house at Gracie's school - our fifteenth straight one there! I'm nostalgic and excited and anticipating the very busy months ahead of filling out applications and making big decisions about high school for her and college for MMC.
What's on your menu?



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