Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sweetpod #3

Sometimes inspiration comes when we least expect it, and not always when we think we have time.  Time has been of the essence lately as we are trying to get settled and using every extra spare minute doing "house stuff,"  as I research the best doors, appliances, or a building permit form.

I got my Visiting Teaching route just after we moved in the ward and I was able to see our new sisters soon after that.  While we were visiting one of them, she told us how her car had just gotten broken into and the thieves stole her baby carrier. 

The thought came..."you could totally make her a SweetPod!"  My thoughts came next... "I can't, I don't have time."  But that same thought came into my head over and over for a whole week.  Along with it were other thoughts:  "Never suppress a generous thought."  "You have everything to make one."  "You just need to do it." 

Finally, I got smart, and did as the spirit directed and made her a SweetPod.  I went through the stash and found some dec fabric and canvas left over from this pod.  I also found some awesome Moda Cross Weave I had in my stash.  At first I wasn't sure about the color, but I think the blue really pops out and looks great! 

I had all the buckles, webbing, and foam, and even a SweetPod tag from Jessica, so it was all ready to go.  I think sewing it up was kind of therapeutic for me as I thought about all of my Denver friends that I miss so much.  And it felt great to MAKE something...I needed that.  So, as always, service always benefits us more than those we serve.

We tried it on for size (Hazel had to make sure it tasted OK).

And three weeks after my first impressions, I gave away the SweetPod to a very excited and thankful mother.  It felt so good.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Yes, I  know it's December...kind of.  This Southern California weather has me all confused.  I guess people go by the calendar more than the weather here.  Having lived in places where the weather significantly changes with the calendar (except for a dozen or so crazy days in Colorado), I'm not quite used to it, but here's our Halloween update (which we did celebrate the end of October).

I've been kind of divided on Halloween the last bit.  I found this post awhile back, and I think it summarizes my feelings.  I'm glad someone with the same ideas was able to say it better than me.

So, being new to the ward, we planned to go to the ward party.  Now just to figure out kids' costumes....  Hazel and David were easy.  Bring out the pumpkin sweats that fit and the dino costume I made 2 years ago.

 I tried to get the girls to wear their same costumes they had 2 years ago, but the funny thing about kids is that they grow.  So I told them they had to choose something simple...preferably with their own clothes.  They thought and thought, and they came up with a good plan. 

Samuel wanted to be a cowboy...jeans (check), denim shirt (check), cowby hat smashed in the dress-up box (check), all he needs is a vest.  I had left-over fabric from Eliza's indian costume, so I cut out 3 pieces, sewed 4 seams--done (gotta love non-fraying faux suede!), 

The girls wanted to be pioneers, They had shirts and Eliza had a skirt, we even had a bonnet--with a big purple marker stain in the back.  So, just 1 skirt for Sarah, 2 aprons, and 1 bonnet ("could you make a new one for me please?") 2 bonnets.  I just happened to have a bonnet and apron cut out from Sarah's pioneer costume 3 (or was it 4?) years ago, so half the job was done on that.  I had some white muslin that I cut out another set, and I sent Sarah into my stash to find fabric for a skirt.  I used this awesome ruffle skirt pattern and sewed up the skirt, bonnets and apron pretty quickly. 

Hooray!  5 costumes done and ready for the big trunk or treat! 

The candy made it all worth it, I'm sure.


Though, I'm trying to decide, is it a good thing, or a bad thing that I was able to come up with 3 costumes entirely from my fabric stash.  I'll say it's good, and try not to buy more stuff.  After all, it's a pain to move it!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The craziest 2 months of my life!

So, I've been a bit under the radar this last bit...Here's my recap of our crazy end of summer.

End of August:
Landlord is crazy.  He's threatening us.  We don't feel safe.  We have to move.  Tomorrow.  Stay up and pack until 2 a.m., maybe get 1 or 2 hours of sleep...living off adrenaline.
In the morning:  Load 2 26-foot Penske trucks in 2 1/2 hours (thank you awesome ward!)
Leave that afternoon for Utah.  Arrive 1:30 a.m. (thanks Jared!)
Sleep well for the first time in weeks.
Next day:  Unload stuff into Brother-in-law's garage (thanks Joe!).
Day after that:  Take Jeff to the airport for him to continue working in Denver (so hard!).

2 weeks later:
San Diego job is coming through (whew!)
Meet Jeff (who is driving a Penske for his brother) in Cove Fort, UT to drive to San Diego.
Next day:  Arrive in San Diego, help unload 2 26-foot Penske trucks for Brother and Sister-in law
Next 3 days:  Look at rental houses in San Diego.  On 3rd day, find the perfect one--it's still available, Hooray!  I fly back to Utah, Jeff flies to Denver.

1.5 weeks later:
Got the Job in San Diego.
Load stuff from Brother-in-law's garage into 2 26-foot Penske trucks (do we see a theme here?).  (Thank you family!)
Next day:  Drive to San Diego!  (thanks Mom and Dad!)  Arrive just in time to unload a few mattresses and find some sheets.  Sleep well
Day after that:  Unload the trucks and get moved in!

The next week:  Unpack and get organized.  Unpack so there are no boxes in sight.  We're sick of living out of boxes!

Since then:  Family is back together, loving San Diego weather (currently 85 degrees!), using cloth diapers again, school in full-swing, visited the beach twice, started sewing a little bit again, finding my way around, terribly missing Colorado friends, emotionally recovering from the drama.

Next step:  Build a house.  After these last few months, it shouldn't be too hard, right?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Nursery

This post seems a bit anti-climactic as we have already moved and most of the nursery stuff is in boxes.  There were a few more items I was going to add to the room:  a throw pillow for the rocking chair and a female Jack Rabbit for fun.  But the house sold really fast, and these items are on the "to do when I finally settle down and get out my sewing machine again list."

I think most of my decor (except for the quilts) came from this post on the sew 4 home blog.  I have most of the links for the tutorials on my nesting list page. 

I had a lot of fun making all these and the fabric was awesome.  I can honestly say that after sewing all these things with it, I never tired of it. 

So, here it is:

The crib is really the focal part.  It was fun to do all aspects of the crib. from the bumpers to the skirt to the sheet.  I just love how it all looks!

Above the crib, I took scrap fabric and stretched it in wood embroidery hoops I got at Jo-Ann's.   Cheapest wall hangings I've ever done and they add so much to the room!  The quilt hanging over the crib, I took pictures and blogged about it at the end of this post.  I love it more and more every day.

The changing table area turned out great.  I would sit and stare at it while I was nursing in my chair.  The boxes are really stuffed with cardboard (and are so functional!!).  The quilt was so fun to make--and surprisingly easy.  I followed a quilt-a-long and the top came together in no time.  I quilted it with my walking foot and after it was bound, I sewed little rings in the back for hanging.  Perfect!

So there it is.  I couldn't be more happy with the way it all came together.  It really was amazing.

I also have to share one more thing...I made curtains for the boys' room and they were so hard to leave behind.  They were perfect with the animals on the wall.  I'll be making some more just like this in the future, I'm sure of it!

Blessing Day

 We took a break from stressing over our housing (which in fact may end up to be a blessing in disguise) to celebrate our sweet Miss Hazel.

She wore the blessing dress both Sarah and Eliza wore.  And even though it was a very warm day, I had to put on her bonnet that I made her!

Grandma and Grandpa came (as well as my brother who seemed to evade the pictures, I think he was the photographer in most cases!)
 We took pictures with the family.  (Wow, there's getting to be a lot of us!)

And pictures with "the girls."

It was definitely a wonderful day for our Hazel Ann.  She's already getting so big!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A New Twist

The last few weeks have been busy.  Packing up, moving into the rental, closing on the house, etc.  We got it all done just over a week ago and we were just starting to breathe a sigh of relief.  We still didn't have an absolute plan (or a job) for San Diego, but we felt like things were OK and that we would live in this Colorado rental house, eat up our food storage and try to relax a little.

Until last night...it's funny how plans can change in an instant.

At about 7:30 last night, two Realtors came to the door offering "assistance" to those whose homes were about to be foreclosed.  Through the conversation, we soon found out that this rental we are living in has been in foreclosure proceedings for almost a year and a half and is scheduled to be sold at auction on August 17th.  Great.

We talked to our landlord asking him what was going on.  Of course, he is trying to "work it out."  Whatever that means.

Meanwhile, we feel like we need to move and be gone before August 17th.  This last week, Jeff has had some good job contacts for San Diego.  After praying and thinking much last night, we have determined to move straight to San Diego just as soon as we can.  Jeff booked a flight to find us a good (non-foreclosure) home to rent and I begin packing today.

Our big hope is that Jeff is able to get a job quickly.  Splitting up our family has never been something we have ever wanted to do, but we feel like circumstances may dictate a few weeks of him flying back to Denver to work until a job comes through.

We feel pretty confident that all will work out.  Maybe this is just the big "leap of faith" we need to take.

Wish us luck (and keep us in your prayers too!)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Better this week

This last week has been an emotional roller-coaster.  With our house going on contract,  my biggest worry:  Where are we going to live!?  Since we are hoping to relocate down to San Diego sooner rather than later, we wanted to find a rental that wouldn't lock us in.  Hmm...easier said than done.  I probably called or e-mailed at least 50 people asking i f they were willing to do a short-term lease.  Almost everyone said, "no way" and some people were downright mean about it.  I was just asking.

We did find a 4 bedroom apartment.  Seriously though, 5 kids in an apartment for who knows how long?  And it wasn't exactly inexpensive either.  We would have to sign a year's contract, then pay $2,000 to break the lease, but it was the best we could find!  Then add on storage for all our stuff, and if I wasn't able to sell my piano, that was a big worry too.

Enter Craigslist.  I put an add on Craigslist asking for a 3-4 bedroom home with a short-term lease.  I got 1 or 2 replies offering a sublet room (thanks, but that won't exactly work), then a guy e-mailed me with an offer of a 3 bedroom 2200 square-foot house, basically agreeing to month-to-month rent only $100 more than the apartment.  It wasn't exactly in the area we were looking at.  It's farther in Aurora, and I was a little worried.  Aurora can be really spotty, there are great areas, and really scary areas.  But I figured it was worth a look.

The house is about 40 years old and has 3 enormous bedrooms with a big family room and living room.  The kitchen is an OK size and was updated about 1 1/2 years ago.  The tub is the lovely 60s orange color and I think there is still some original wallpaper on the walls.  But, it's on a full acre and the homes around it are amazing with the yards immaculately kept and big, mature trees!  This house could be pretty amazing too with some TLC and a big bucket of $, I have a feeling that it's the bucket of $ that's lacking.  A friend of ours told us that Mike Coffman, our US Representative used to live right in that area.  As I walked through the house, I kept asking myself, "Can I live here?"  I'm not buying it, I'm not even decorating it (as my brain has been in the decorating mode lately).  The answer was yes, I can live there.  The flexibility is worth a lot. 

So, as fun as an apartment might be, this situation is better.  We can take my piano and other furniture (if they don't sell), the kids will have tons of room to play, I will have room to baste quilts (providing there's time for sewing....I sure hope so, I'm going through withdrawls!), and we can shove all our stuff in the garage and basement.

So, life is better.  I haven't broken into tears for about 2 days now.  Feeling homeless is not a happy thing.   I just hope we can move before winter as the house faces North (ugh, a pain for shoveling the driveway!) and we probably won't have a garage to park in, as it's full of "stuff."

So, as long as the house really sells, we're in good shape.  Here's hoping for a job.

(Oh, and this week I was linked on a fun "quilty blog," Pleasant Home.  It was like a small moment of "fame!")

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Be careful what you wish for...

So as if a new baby didn't keep me busy enough, over the last several months we have been getting our house ready to sell.  With the help of a friend, my fabulous husband, and wonderful kids...it looks gorgeous!!

We put it on the market on Friday the 17th and had our first walk-through the next Wednesday.

So, the old adage, "be careful what you wish for, it might come true."  Yah, that's us.  We had an offer in our hand... in the amount of high sales in our neighborhood, Sunday night.  Of course we accepted it.  They want to close July 18.  Wow.

We are trying to relocate to San Diego and thought the house would be the slow part.  No, it's the job.  We "had" a job in February whenever we wanted it, but thanks to Congress, the current administration, and the welfare state, defense spending was cut and the job is "on hold."

We feel so blessed, it is almost surreal, but life just turned into a total whirlwind.  My biggest question right now is, where do we live?  We're not ready to abandon Colorado as we do HAVE a job here, but do we rent for 1 month, 6 months, 3 years?  I have no idea.

We felt so strongly to put our house on the market when we did that I know the Lord has a plan for us...I just wish I had the outline.

Anyone want to buy a piano, it's a good one, and it's for sale!

(why it posted sideways, I really don't know and I don't have time to figure it out.  It stands right-side-up in real life)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Little Miss Hazel

We are happy to announce the arrival of:

Hazel Ann Stoddard
Born April 16, 2011
1:13 p.m.
7 lbs 16 oz
21 inches

She is now almost 10 days old (where did it go!) and we can hardly imagine life without her. She is a very sweet baby and now that we are working through our feeding issues, she is even better!

The kids love having her around. Sarah and Eliza hold her every chance they get. Samuel likes to look at her, and David is pretty oblivious to her other when he points to her and says "baby!" I think he likes having her around. No jealousy issues (yet!).

She still sleeps most of the time, but wakes up a bit to show us that she still needs us.

I may be biased, but I think she's awfully cute...and so part of our family. It is always amazing to me how familiar they are when these little ones get here.

For those interested in all the "details" of her birth (it is a little long), read on... For those who would rather not read it all, there's no more pictures, but thanks for stopping by!

Having 3 of my 4 kids come 10 days early, I figured this baby would come anywhere between April 5th and 9th. Though my bet was either on the 8th or 10th. All of these dates passed without any sign of baby coming. I went to my weekly Dr. visit on the 15th so ready to not be pregnant anymore. I was barely dilated to a 2, but asked my Dr. to strip my membranes hoping that would spur something along.

I was planning on a VBAC delivery, praying that I would not have to have another Cesarean. I didn't think my family could handle the recovery (or me either for that matter!)

The rest of the day went pretty normal, I was just super tired, but that was normal too. That night at about 7:00, we were just getting dinner ready when David was being a bit grumpy. I picked him up and was holding him, talking to Jeff, when all of the sudden...my water broke. Not just a trickle, but a big gush. I grabbed the phone and called the Dr office, only to find out that they had another doctor covering for them that night...urgh!

We headed over to the hospital. I was so nervous. Last time my water broke, I ended up with a C-section. I was praying all would go well. I didn't have any contractions until I got up to the Labor and Delivery room. I hoped it would progress quickly. I was happy though that labor was starting on its own.

All night long, we worked through contractions, nothing really getting any regularity. I felt like I was having transition contractions fairly early on, but I think their intensity was heightened because my water had broken and there was no cushioning.

Somewhere in the middle of the night, baby's heart rate dropped to 90. They came in, put me on oxygen, and moved me around and her tones went back up (phew!). The anesthesiologist came in and talked to us about the possibility of a cesarean...had us sign the form, etc. He said he was superstitious though and if we signed it, chances were we wouldn't end up in the OR again. I prayed that he was right.

After more hours of labor, walking around, bouncing on the ball, working through still-irregular contractions, I had finally progressed to a 7. I was so happy to hear it, as previously
I had gone from a 7 to delivery in less than an hour. But, the cervix was behind baby's head and she still had to descend further.

I had mentioned to the nurses when I arrived, that Dr. Lennon (my awesome and amazing OB) might come in if they called him. They couldn't get a hold of him the night before, but by the morning, they did call again and he said he would come in...hooray! After being in labor all night, I felt revived with new energy, knowing that Dr. Lennon can work miracles.

That morning change of shift, brought more than one miracle. My labor and delivery nurse changed and the one that came in was absolutely amazing. She helped me into positions to get the baby to come down, and suggested so many different laboring techniques and positions.

Dr. Lennon came and assessed everything, determined that the baby was semi-posterior (hence all the horrible pressure and pain in my back during contractions) and figured that I needed a small drip of pitocin to help my exhausted uterus be more effective with contractions. After he checked me though, and tried to turn baby a bit, she rolled onto her cord and her heart rate dropped...dramatically.

Back on oxygen, changing positions, and having medicine pumped into my IV, I was almost sure that I was headed for another C-section. Dr. Lennon and my nurse, however stayed pretty calm. After what seemed like forever, her heart rate regained its normal rhythm and we all breathed a sigh of relief. I think with a different doctor and a different nurse though, they would not have been so patient.

We had to wait for baby to regain a normal rhythm for 30 minutes before we could start pitocin. The nurse told us that babies are really resilient and can handle holding their breath for about 5 minutes at least a couple times. Her heart rate kept taking dips over the next little bit, but my fabulous nurse kept changing my position to keep her heart rate up. She also gave me an amnio transfer to give baby a little more cushioning, which seemed to help.

I had Jeff give me a blessing as every contraction hurt so bad and we were worried about baby's heart rate. After that blessing, her heart rate stayed stable and we were ready to get things really going. I never asked for an epidural, as one of the side effects is lowering blood pressure, which can lead to fetal distress. I think that the epidural was a huge contributing factor to my Cesarean last time, so I was determined to have the baby as naturally as possible to avoid complications.

They administered small amounts of pitocin and within a few minutes I think I might have asked for a less painful way of doing things if I would have had time to think about it. But every ounce of my energy was focused on getting through each contraction. Jeff was an awesome coach and I think I must have at least bruised his hands (though he won't admit it) from squeezing them so hard. My nurse had me up on my hands and knees, sitting on the ball, leaning against the bed, and all kinds of positions to try to alleviate the back labor. I think that hour and a half was the most painful and physically exhausting thing I have ever been through.

I began to feel pressure in the right place and I got back on the bed, ready for delivery, I was finally stretched to a 10 and the baby had dropped into position, at last.

Pushing is always harder than I think it will be, I was already so exhausted, it took all of us...Jeff, my nurse, Dr. Lennon, and part of me (I almost remember it as kind of an 'out of body' experience) to deliver, but 4 pushes later and she was born.

I was so happy to hear that first cry. All the nurses in the room oohed and aahed about how cute she was. I just looked at Jeff and he said, "She's OK." The next thing everyone noticed was that there was a knot, a true knot in her umbilical cord. One of the nurses commented that she was truly a miracle baby. I agree.

Soon, I got to hold her and I just remember how beautiful she is and thinking that every bit of that 18-hour labor was worth it.

The next day I got up and I could walk, I wasn't in much pain, and I was almost normal! So different from my last delivery where it was weeks and weeks before I felt like I would be normal again.

I'm so glad I had my great doctor, my wonderful nurse, and my amazing husband to help me through that labor and to keep me out of the OR. Jeff commented that I probably needed to be in labor all night so that we could get the right team for the hard part and the delivery. I agree.

The horrible labor is starting to fade into somewhat of a bad dream. I'm convinced that the Lord helps us forget how hard it is, so that we will have more kids. That's good though, as I don't think we're done.

Little Miss Hazel is here, she is healthy and happy and so perfect in every way.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Show Off

The last few months around here have been a bit crazy to say the least. In addition to getting ready for baby (whom we are still waiting for), in the last 2 1/2 months we have:
  • Finished a Master's Degree. Ok, Jeff did most of the work (his degree, not mine), but still...after 8 years, it's nice to be done!
  • Put Granite in our kitchen and 2 bathrooms.
  • Did a tile backsplash in the kitchen.
  • Refinished the banister...a beastly job that took way longer than it should have.
  • Put in New Carpet (which felt an awful lot like moving).
  • Researched and put an offer on a lot in San Diego (and still researching it!).
  • Continued daily homeschooling, piano lessons, and life in general.
But, I'm writing this post to SHOW OFF some of my nesting list items!!

I was very excited to make the Chenille Blanket. At a rare trip to Fancy Tiger in Denver, I fell in love with the Amy Butler Soule Blossoms Home Dec Fabric and chose this piece. I know, I know, it's for a baby girl, but my favorite color is blue!

The hardest part was sewing the endless lines....ugh. But soon it was done. The Olfa Chenille Cutter is a MUST for this project though.

I'm not sure I absolutely love how the colors I chose for the back flannel look. If I had to do it over again, I think I would have done a more monochromatic scheme, or at least colors next to each other on the color wheel rather than the contrasting pink/green/blue. But, I'm sure it will be loved and I will love it more and more with each wash!

The Diaper pail liners are probably the most boring of the projects, but for those of us who love cloth diapering know that this can be fun too. I made some before out of flannel, but decided to make two more with some PUL fabric. Awesome fabric, but kind of a pain to sew with. I got the fabric at the super-great Denver Fabrics (JoAnn started selling PUL, but it's all thin and weird-feeling, ew).

My newborn cloth diapers just arrived the other day (yippee!) so after I go through those 2 packages of disposables, I should be up on my feet enough to go back to cloth.

The Flannel Tie Blanket is one of those baby basics for me. My awesome aunt taught me how to make them when I was pregnant with Sarah, and I've made one for each of my babies (though some didn't get theirs until after they arrived). I saw this flannel at Denver Fabrics and I thought it was so cute...pink and brown, how could it go wrong!

This blanket is SO easy...For a crib-size, it takes 1 2/3 yards of fabric for the front, back and batting (I used 6 oz polyester batting to make it a little more fluffy). Pre-wash the flannel and then lay the fabrics right sides together, smooth and trim fabric so both pieces are exactly the same size. Lay batting on top of fabrics, trim to fabric size, and pin. Sew all 3 layers together (with batting on the bottom) leaving a 10" opening on one of the ends. Turn inside out and slip-stitch opening closed (sorry, a little hand sewing). Tie blanket with yarn making sure edges are straight...ta da! Soft and cozy for baby.

The blessing day bonnet was really fun to make. It came together really quickly and was a very fun project. I can't wait to try it on the little one, though it may be a little big for awhile, since I made it in 3-6 month size.

And...if you've made it this far hopefully you will be rewarded with this last project...my favorite. I saw this pattern awhile back and bought it (which is something I rarely do since there are so many awesome "freebies" out there). I like it because it is both classic and modern all in one quilt! The pattern has been sitting, but I decided it was the one to use for the baby quilt. I've done the nursery in Amy Butler's Midwest Modern pink and orange fabrics as well as her Okra quilter's solid (the exact match) and had a bit left over. (Nursery post will come soon, when it gets put together).

The front just looks so neat and I added a bit of a "scrappy" back using the 6 fabrics I used in her nursery decor.

I just love this quilt. It has it's mistakes--like a big pucker in the back and a few tension problems--but I kept telling myself that it will look OK when washed, trying to put my perfectionist self to rest (which it does look better). I bound it in this fun fabric, which makes it look almost stripey in places (I love stripey binding!). It was unintended but I love the result.

So, that's what is done of the Nesting List thus far. I'm hoping this baby isn't waiting for me to get all the items done before she gets here, though it has been fun to take afternoons off for projects the last few weeks thinking that she will come "any day."

Come soon little one, mama is ready.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Nesting List

I'm a list-maker...I don't always get it all done, but I always have high hopes.

There's a bunch of things I want to make for the baby that have been swimming around in my head. I guess it's time to get them "written" down.

1. Nursery Decor
Bumper Pads and Crib Sheet finished Feb. 5, 2011
Dust Ruffle finished Feb. 23, 2011
Storage Boxes finished March 28, 2011
2. Quilt from leftover Nursery fabric (though I might decide to do this pattern)
Crib-Size Quilt finished April 13, 2011
3. Chenille Blanket
finished April 5, 2011
4. Diaper Pail Liners
finished March 31, 2011
5. Flannel tie blanket
finished April 6, 2011
6. Crochet-edge receiving blanket
7. Every-day crochet hat
8. Birth Announcements
9. Thank-You Cards
10. Blessing day bonnet and booties (though I can't decide between these or these--thoughts?)
Bonnet finished Feb. 23, 2011
11. New SweetPod and Saddle Bag

I may add or subtract over time...It doesn't seem SO daunting! I'll try to post photos as I finish and will add links on this master list.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Two Quilts, One Week

Two weeks before Christmas was busy. I had just about everything ready, except for the quilts.

The first one was for Jeff's sister and her new husband. They got married 4 days before Christmas and I so wanted to make them a quilt. I had the idea in my head for months, but just needed the push to get started. I ordered a jelly roll and some yardage of Momo's Freebird (I LOVE precuts...some of every fabric!) and used Kona Bone. I had in my mind a rail fence type pattern, but I was so nervous. I kept going back and forth trying to decide whether I should do what was in my head, or find a pattern online somewhere. The pattern in my head won out, and I LOVE IT!

After the top was done, I spent many pregnancy insomnia hours stressing over how scrappy to make the back (as no one seemed to have enough of ONE fabric for backing) and worrying about my free-motion quilting skills. Oh, and what fabric to do the binding, that was a worry too.

The back ended up pretty scrappy, but again, I LOVE how it turned out and couldn't imagine it any other way.

I did the machine quilting in a swirly pattern (way easier than I thought) that turned out wonderful, got it bound (in the light blue Balls in Sky) and washed (my favorite part...it always looks better all crinkly!) hours before we left for Utah.

I also made some throw pillows, I found this great tutorial for no-hand sewing pillows...totally up my alley. I did that in the red ones and wished I had done it for the brown ones too. Oh well. I was glad they turned out so well, as for some reason pillows have frightened me for a long time!

A 72"x72" cuddle quilt and some throw pillows, what could be better for a newlywed apartment!

So, now looking at this quilt, my only wish is that I would have taken better photos. I totally forgot about taking photos until we were at the wedding luncheon. We were trying to get all the food ready, and everyone was running here and there. I grabbed Sarah and hurriedly took these photos as I set up the quilt on a chair. So Judy and Chris, I hope you love it. Take some better photos and send them my way :)

The Second Quilt was for my mom. She has been requesting a denim patch quilt for YEARS now (and strongly hinting--no telling--that she wants one every time she gave me an old pair of jeans). We made it Queen-size, and it turned out so cozy!

Jeff and I have made several of them over the past 7-8 years. We cut up old jeans into 6-inch (or sometimes 4-inch) squares, sew them up all patch-work-y, usually in a 9-patch pattern, and use a flannel flat sheet to back it. We always use the 10oz polyester batting so it's thick and heavy. We tie it with crochet thread and give the fitted sheet and pillowcase away too.

This was a whole-family effort. Jeff cut the squares, I sewed them together, and Jeff, Sarah, Eliza, and I tied it one night while we watched White Christmas. I bound it the next day (just with fold-over from the back), and done!

Mom loved the quilt, she even cried.

I should have taken better pictures of this one too. I think I was so enthralled with just getting these quilts DONE that I didn't document them very well. That's OK though. Learning for the future :)

Now if I can just get to those other quilts on my list...