Life in General, Quilting Projects

The Ugly Quilt: Update 1

I’m not sure how other people move along when making a quilt, but for me after I have chosen and bought my fabrics, next comes all the cutting. I had quite the mishap while cutting recently. First, I want to say that the fabrics I’ve chosen for this particular quilt came from a garage sale. Once I found the pattern I wanted, I started looking in stores for the perfect fabrics, but much to my dismay, I never found what I wanted. When I heard fabric was at a garage sale nearby I went to look it over and it was just what I was looking for so I bought a lot, about 20 yards of various patterns/colors for $42. Any quilter knows, actually anyone who sews, knows that you can’t buy 20 yards of fabric for $42! What a deal!

Anywhooo……

The¬†mishap. Rather than iron one of the fabrics as I normally do, I decided to just cut the strips I needed from said fabric in the size that I needed and put the remainder of the fabric (it started as a 5 yard piece) back into my fabric bin. When I went to iron the pieces I’d cut, the pieces were wavy….seriously wavy such as this image:¬†wavy-line-1024x256

Well there’s no way that was going to work! What a lesson for me, why we iron before we cut!

Anyway, I saved those pieces because at some point I will be able to use them for something, and I proceeded to iron then cut my new pieces.

And now: Cutting complete!

Next, I will start sewing the cut pieces together to form my blocks. Pictures of my progress including two smaller blocks that become part of bigger blocks found below:

Make sure to check back for more updates. In the links below you will find all updates and/or changes to this project.

https://blessedmomentsnmemories.com/2016/07/28/the-ugly-quilt-post-1/

Life in General, Quilting Projects

The Ugly Quilt Project

I have an upcoming event through our church, Ocktoberfest. It’s an annual gathering of patrons of the church plus any other guests that may attend (it’s open to all) that offers a smorgasboard of German foods for lunch, a raffle drawing, silent auction, etc in order to raise funds for the church.

This year I have committed myself to donating a quilt for the silent auction. I am naming it the Ugly Quilt. It’s not going to be ugly by any means. The fabrics will go together very well. I found a pattern in a quilting magazine that I like, but rather than using newer fabrics that the pattern suggests, I am using some older fabrics that remind me of the 70’s. The quilt will be beautiful when it’s complete, but the colors consists of reds and browns, blues and creams, which are not the lively colors that I normally quilt with.

I like A LOT of color!

Please join me as I walk through the Ugly Quilt project, from start to finish. It’s a long process, but one I enjoy! I will post periodic updates so stay tuned for recent changes throughout the next couple of months. My¬†choice of machine is the Bernina Activa 135 which is the one I started with a few years ago and haven’t changed. It works perfect for the quilting that I do.

To start, here’s a few pictures to¬†start this quilting journey.

As always, comments welcome, but please be nice ūüôā

Life in General, Motherhood

Carefree Lifestyle or Not?

I recently made a post about a trip that my husband and I took with my father-in-law….it was business, but we made time for play ūüôā

Anywhoo….

My kiddos were divided between my parents’ house and my mother-in-law’s house because she declined to go on the trip because…well I don’t really know why but she did want¬†to keep my girls.

Yay! Some time for me…some time with my husband….some time away from the kids. Every parents dream, right? It’s not unheard of to have some time away from the responsibilities of parenthood. I mean, it happens quite a bit. There’s business, there’s pleasure, and there’s nurturing the relationship with a spouse….or whatever. As is¬†said “if a reason/excuse is needed then any reason/excuse will do” (unknown). When parents want time away from their children, they find a reason/excuse and a way for it to work out.

Anyway, so…..

Here I am….on a business trip, meeting my responsibilities of being on this business trip. As mentioned in the¬†Exciting News!¬†post, my in-laws own a sewing shop and as strictly a Bernina dealer, the store offers Bernina machines which¬†include sewing machines, embroidery machines, long arm quilting machines, and sergers. The shop also carries a large selection of choice fabric, needles, thread, and other sewing supplies. My husband and I are taking an interest in the store as his parents are closing the gap on retirement. Working alongside them, they are teaching my husband the ins and outs of the business. Anyway, the reason for the trip was to learn of new products, changes in product, and attend training on Bernina machines as Bernina does require certification of anyone who sells their brand. A bunch of technical stuff and information for store owners to increase sales. That’s the gist of it, maybe more, maybe less. We attended three days of training classes, creativity classes, informational classes to help the store grow. With that portion of the trip taking much of our time plus the exploring we did over the course of the week, we stayed pretty busy.

Oh, the excitement of the carefree life…you know, that life before children. That life between, on average, the ages of 18 to 30, give or take. Responsibilities, ehh, yeah. Jobs, car payments, insurance all the way around, the ‘adulting’ part of life. But, with no kids, still pretty much able to do as one pleases. Turns out, I never had that. I had my first kid when I was 18 so parenting came pretty early which means I bypassed the carefree lifestyle. Wouldn’t change it though. Not even a little bit. So, when my husband and I get the chance to be a little carefree….well, we take it ūüôā

And there lies the problem….Oh, I enjoy every minute of that time devoted to growing, evolving our relationship, but -as has happened on each trip we’ve taken without the kids — within a day or two, that carefree life begins to not mesh with me. I start thinking about the kids, wishing the kids were with us, wondering how the kids are…..Missing the kids. They don’t¬†become the focus of the trip because, as with this latest trip, there’s some responsibility, but I also whole-heartily believe in keeping the marital relationship strong and thriving through focused time together, devotion to one another, encouraging and maintaining the foundation on which our marriage is built while deepening our friendship, loyalty, trust, commitment, and love. As with any relationship, marriages need to be nurtured in order to grow so even though the carefree life isn’t suitable for me, I still make it a point to focus on our marriage when we are able to get time away from the kids, business trip or otherwise.

As I get older and my kids get older, all the sudden carefree doesn’t seem so important. In fact, it’s probably the least important thing to me. I enjoyed our trip, but I realized, I’d rather be a mother and with my children all the time than to live that carefree¬†life on a daily basis. Kids grow up so fast, so many changes take place from one year to the next in who they are and who they will become. And that is what I want to be present for so carefree…uh-uh, not so much. I’m perfectly suited to being a wife and mothering the children that God so generously blessed me with.

My heart belongs to God, my husband and my kids where it shall remain.

Life in General

Exciting News!

I know! I haven’t posted in forever! With good reason, though. My father-in-law, my husband and I were¬†at the annual Bernina University conference. It’s quite exciting! The theme for the conference was Unmask Amazing which is tell-tale of the location.

New Orleans!

Mardi Gras!

Masquerades!

Overall, I learned quite a bit about Bernina¬†products, the history of the company, and the different products offered through partner companies that include¬†fabrics and other notions. You can’t very well create and complete¬†a sewing project without fabric or thread with as much ease as you can with quality products such as¬†scissors, cutting mats, or rulers of all shapes/sizes and tons of other gadgets.

bernina

The registration booths at the conference. Each dealer for Bernina who attended the conference received a welcome package from Bernina headquarters in Switzerland and Bernina of America at these registration booths. As you can tell, the booths are arranged by dealer last name alphabetical order. And, of course, the main event, Bernina Masquerade Ball (pictures provided at the end of the post).

During the conference, Bernina¬†revealed¬†new product and/or changes to current product that¬†will be available to consumers within the next few months. As required by Bernina, when a store owner chooses to become a Bernina dealer, he/she must be certified on Bernina machines for installation, repairs, and teaching how to use the machine to customers. At the conference, classes were offered to dealers and/or employees of dealers to educate on the machine (about, how to use, how to repair if needed, etc.) If you are a sewist, seamstress, or quilter, then you probably know of Bernina. If not, I’d like to briefly introduce Bernina to you. Bernina is “the¬†world’s premier manufacturer with a proven reputation for offering state-of-the-art sewing and embroidery systems, sergers, and embroidery software” (Bernina website) with familial roots¬†and manufacturing¬†in Switzerland. The company itself has been in business for almost 125 years and has remained within the same family since the beginning. It is a company that promotes family values while providing the most up-to-date products such as the 3, 5, 7, and 8 series sewing and embroidery machines, the long arm quilters such as Bernina Q 20 and Q 24 (which, by the way, provide a fun experience with quilting), as well as Bernina L 220 and L 450 Overlock and Cover/Chainstitch¬†machines plus sewing notions such as needles, foot controls, and suitcases or bags for the machines.

Go ahead, keep reading as even more interesting information can be found further down.

As promised, more Bernina. I have to mention that my father-in-law, a Bernina dealer in the densely populated state of North Dakota (located in Mandan), owns and operates the store Sewing Machines Plus! (not to be confused with a separate sewing machines plus website). The store offers a variety of fabrics, threads, sewing/embroidery systems, and serger machines as well as the long-arm quilting machines with friendly service and an inviting atmosphere. They also offer sewing classes to anyone who is interested and even rent the use of their long arm quilting machines located in their sewing studio, connected to the store. Their website is found here so stop by and check it out (again, the Mandan store is not to be confused with another SewingMachinesPlus.com website as the two stores are completely separate and do not tie into one another). If you have questions on product or services offered, shoot Jim or Angie an email or call the store. For a memorable conversation, if at all possible, swing on into the store as face to face communication is always so much more friendly and encouraging for all involved. Speaking with the owners and/or the employees offers a wider range of conversation and is surely to answer more of your questions plus actually seeing, touching, or even hands-on practice of the machines will definitely grab the interest of experienced quilters as well as those who are not so experienced but have a willingness to learn.

Building
Photo courtesy of Mandan, ND Sewing Machines Plus! website.

But, we didn’t make the trip all about business ūüôā

We can’t possibly go to New Orleans without seeing and experiencing the city, known for its crawfish served in a variety of ways, music of the city: Jazz, and the infamous Bourbon street. The culture in the great state of Louisiana is quite simply amazing. The three of us (my father-in-law, my husband and I) were easily entertained during our stay. I’m sure you’ve heard of the most popular district in New Orleans – the French Quarter (Mardi Gras!). The atmosphere in the French Quarter was relaxing, expressive, and enjoyable. We even rode in a Pedi-Cab!

french quarter

Other areas may not be as entertaining, but most certainly are just as fun to see, such as the Garden District which is like walking back in time. The “antebellum mansions” (http://www.neworleanscvb.com/visit/neighborhoods/garden-district/) are rich with history of Louisiana and are beautiful to look at. Sadly, these two districts are the only ones we were able to visit due to time constraints, but it’s a trip not soon to be forgotten. Our mode of transportation throughout our stay consisted of the trolley ride. I’ve never been on a trolley to get from one place to another so¬†it was quite exciting for me. I boasted the unforgettable smile of the ever-popular kid in the candy store the whole time I was in New Orleans.

trolley

And the buildings, skyscrapers! Beauty. Creativity. Artistic abilities. All tied into one unforgettable city.

buildings

Another big bonus to me was the warmth. You see, I am from the south and currently (and for the better part of the last 20 years) live in the north. Being back in the south, among the trees, southern plant life, the people and yes, the heat was quite refreshing for me. ¬†I told my husband I could stay there forever, but ahh, here I am, back home with God’s greatest blessings, my children who we missed terribly throughout the trip. North Dakota is simply unbearable to me, but I love my kids and my husband which is reason enough for me to stay. It’s unfathomable to even think about leaving here since their (my husband and children) family ties are here, this is where I shall remain. It’s not to bad, but most definitely not my cup of tea.

OMGoodness, I can’t sign off¬†without mentioning the fine Louisiana cuisine. My husband and I didn’t eat one single food¬†that we normally eat at home (either home or out dining).¬†For every meal, we tried¬†a new dish. The foods are absolutely to die for. Some of the foods that we tried are right out of my childhood (a southerner by birth) that¬†I haven’t eaten in years. Such foods include red beans and rice, grits (the hubby likes his with shrimp but I’m not a shrimp person so butter, milk and sugar is my choice for grits which is the way that mama made it when I was a kid), and boiled crawfish (I never ate these in my childhood so completely new to me but delicious!). And spicy! Louisianans definitely like their spice! They don’t call it Cajun food without reason ūüôā Much to my dismay, most places didn’t offer my drink of choice: Dr. Pepper! Since most southerners (at least all the ones I know) prefer Dr. Pepper when not enjoying a cold glass of sweet tea, I was quite perplexed and disappointed that DP was not a popular drink choice in many places we dined. Honestly, I was sad about this ūüė¶

Oh, but I managed to enjoy the trip regardless.

food

As with any major city and/or tourist attraction, you can’t enjoy such a visit without engaging in a least one guided tour ūüôā

Ours just so happened to be a paddle boat cruise on the third longest river in North America and the¬†major river that flows through that part of the country, the mighty Mississippi aka “Big Muddy”. Riverboat Natchez carried us along the river and provided fine dining for those who paid the extra, a New Orleans history lesson, and entertainment¬†with what else other than music that was created in N’Awlins: Jazz. I fell in LOVE with the music and who am I kidding, the city itself!

paddle boat

So, as promised, a few extra pictures from our visit:

opening and ball

As enjoyable as the trip was and as memorable as the experience of New Orleans will always be, my without-a-doubt, hands-down most favorite part of the trip was getting home to our little people. We were gone for almost a week that felt like months, years even. We were undoubtably happy to see our youngins and bring them their treasures we got while in N’Awlins.

lil people

The trip was fun and captivating, but home is where my heart is and will always be ♥♥♥