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Saturday, April 4, 2015

New traditions

This weekend being Easter, I have been reflecting on tradition, religion, family and celebration.  Even though I was raised as a Catholic, I haven't been a practicing Catholic for a long time---and neither was my mother, for that matter.  Even still, we would always celebrate together.  This was our celebration last year at her house.  As this holiday rolls around again, without my mom, I feel even less cultural connection to it and yet...I yearn to mark it in some way.  

It occurred to me today as we finished up these hand-mades for my soon-to-be niece, that my mom is with us.  She---generous, festive, maker, lover of babies, do-er for others---would be happy and proud that we are marking our holiday by making for Dazzle.  I just wish she was here to see the results.

I recently brought home some scraps of this fabric line, "Rumble" by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics from the office.  The samples were just kicking around and I thought I could make a quilt "Charm Box" quilt for an upcoming school auction.


My seven year old quickly jumped in and decided he wanted to sew a quilt for his new cousin, arriving at the end of this month.  Once this boy gets something in his head there is no stopping him, so off he went.


By the end of the weekend we were pinning.


Quilting.


Binding and labeling.  


Since I can't pick up the phone and tell my mom...I will tell you.  My favorite part of this experience was when he got a big smile on his face and looked up at me and said, "Mom! Now we have something in common---because I love sewing too!!"


All this one-on-one mom time (and a MACHINE) made his siblings want to join in the fun.  This Ahoy Matey fabric (also Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics) was perfect for my ten year old to stitch up into baby washcloths backed with terrycloth.


Any my five year old had just enough patience to make a pillow top (with some help from mom of course---basically he just wanted to step on the foot pedal of the machine).

 



Doing their grandmother proud, by the end of two weekends they ended up with a sweet pile of hand-mades for their new cousin.



Wishing you and yours a Happy Easter filled with love, traditions---old and new---and the hope for new beginnings.

xoxo Nell



Monday, March 23, 2015

Is spring here yet?

There was a snow day on Friday.  Yep, the first day of Spring.  *sigh*  After the long and arduous winter of missed school days, colds, and boots everywhere, I for one could use a little uplifting.  So for National Quilting Day, I did some bright and cheery sewing:




These are all Anna Maria Horner prints that I am sewing together for a mini-quilt swap on Instagram and it is making my day...just going to go stare at it for a little longer.  Hope I can stand to give this one up!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Quilt Con 2015

Two years ago, I attended the first Quilt Con as a volunteer---I met amazing people, got to know the quilting community better and found great inspiration.  This year, I was in attendance as an employee of Windham Fabrics.  We had a fabulous time and enjoyed meeting so many passionate quilters in our booth. I am especially grateful to the modern quilt guild members that made so many beautiful blocks for our booth!


I can't say enough positive things about my Quilt Con experience---the staff really went above and beyond to create a thoughtful, inspiring and seamless experience.  Since I was literally pushing a skirt project through my machine as my husband was loading my bags in the car and telling me it was time to go,  of course I forgot the list of lectures I had signed up for.  Well, lo and behold, when I arrived and got my badge listed on the back were all the lectures I had signed up for! 




I didn't take any classes, but was able to sneak away a little bit for a lecture here and there.  One that really resonated with me was Alexia Abegg's lecture on cultivating your creativity.  She gave some great tips and pointers on shaking up your process and getting into a habit of DOING, instead of thinking about doing.

I, for one, often find myself in the self-defeating habit of thinking I have to have the project perfectly planned before I begin.  But, just messing around and making a small item has its own benefits to your creative process.

We all have piles of scraps from a project that we insist we will go back to someday, right?  But, then we move on to shiny new fabric and those scraps just sit.  So, I decided to use some of Alexia's suggestions to use up these scraps from a recent quilt project and make a quick small quilt.











Boom. Done.  Now I have a small project on which to practice my FMQ skills!!  ;)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A winter finish


For Amanda and Kelley


"In the midst of winter I discovered that there was in me an invincible summer."  - Albert Camus




"We are real friends now because we have been able to share some painful experiences in our private lives." -May Sarton


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Emmett Liam Thunderstorm




Emmett Liam Thunderstorm,
8 lbs 9 oz 
born July 17th, 2009, 6 p.m.
























Emmett is 1












Emmett is 2







Emmett is 3



Emmett is 4



Emmett is 5