Finishing My First Quilt From 1994

I started this quilt in 1994.  It was the summer of my 7th grade year….Alanis Morissette was singing Ironic on my boom box cassette player.  My cut offs were totally grunge and my mom was sponge painting the hunter green walls in our guest/sewing room.  She taught me to quilt and I was hooked. For some reason though, life got busy when school started up again.  The quilt top was left pieced but unquilted in the sewing room closet.  I enrolled in 8th grade, got my Jennifer Anniston layered look and headed off to school with plaid flannel and dr. martens.

Several years later, I got married and my mom packed that quilt into my moving truck with me as we set off to rural Illinois.  I was pregnant with our first child and the nesting of our home was in full swing.  I got the quilt out and started working on it again.  Slowly hand quilting here and there.  I just never really stuck with it.  I think part of it was because I didn’t like the style of the quilt.  I never would have picked it out for my home now that I was a sophisticated newly wed hoping to decorate my farmhouse in trendy style.  I put it away and purchased a Shabby Chic Quilt from Target!

After Illinois we had a long string of frequent moves and the quilt got moved about and lost in storage for several years.  Fast forward to the most recent summer of 2016.  22 years after starting the quilt, I was mercilessly getting rid of everything I could because we were moving across the country for medical school and I did not want to haul anymore junk around for the rest of my life.  I’m not a minimalist, but I decided we would sell everything and keep our moving expenses down.

Despite my ability to get rid of tons of fabric and unfinished projects, I could not let that quilt go.  I told my mom, I would finish it.  She offered to take it home with her and keep it safe while we moved across the country.  She set about quilting it for me this past year and in May she brought it out and we finished quilting it together.  I bound it with some Ralph Lauren plaid sheeting I had been hoarding for about 8 years.  It was finally done!

I love it because it is finished and it represents the beginning of my love of quilting.  Do I love the colors and composition?  Probably not as mush as I did in 7th grade! But I still love yellow and it’s a cheerful addition to our slowly growing collection of family quilts.  It only took 23 years to finish!

This is the year I finish all the quilts I’ve started over the years!  I am excited to get to work on the next one!

first quilt, Ohio star quilt
quilt binding
ohio star quilt block

QUILTING MUST HAVES:

I tried out a new set of refill blades for my Olfa rotary cutter while I finished this quilt up and I have to tell you about these puppies!   They were super sharp and came in a great little case.  And the price made my jaw drop to the floor.  You get 10 for less than the price of an Olfa 2-pack!  Try them!

Also my 2 1/2″ strip die for my accuquilt cutter.  I love it. It makes the binding go superfast.

This rubber thimble is my new favorite for hand quilting! Super comfy.  It’s the best.

Why I Am Not Fulfilled By Motherhood (and you shouldn’t be either.)

I saw a mother sharing her heart on Facebook about how much she loved her new baby and how she really had expected to be fulfilled by his daily care.  After his first 7 weeks of life outside the womb, she realized she was not “one of those moms”.  She had now arrived at this conclusion; that surely she must pursue her career to be fulfilled.  But how can she balance this?  How does she care well for her new precious baby, and be a successful business owner? I paused to read her plea for advice, empathy and justification from other moms.  I have good news for all of us.

We don’t need to pursue fulfillment in a career or in motherhood because it is not there.
Let’s not discuss the mommy wars, shall we?  There is however a thread of most important truth I wish to pull out from this dear womans struggle.  A plight so very near to my own heart.  How can I be fulfilled? How can you be fulfilled?  Isn’t it the question of every man, woman, and child every day? If we are serving ourselves, fulfillment is an endless pursuit.
I must first say that fulfillment is far more than being happy.  As I paused to reflect on whether or not I was fulfilled by motherhood, I decided I was indeed NOT.  I am not fulfilled by dealing with the emotional rollercoaster of a teen, the constantly sticky floor demanding a mop, the stinky task of changing a diaper, nor even the noble pursuit of teaching my 5 year old to read.  All of those things are the mundane activities that require my soul, mind, and physical body to act in a selfless, draining vortex towards despondent craziness.  In the words of a good friend, this is a judgement free zone, right here people.  Perhaps you feel that way too?
And being emptied out everyday is not limited to motherhood.  My husband is in med school, my dad is in chronic pain daily though he continues to work, my friends are missionaries in a desert of hostile people whom they continue to love.  Fulfillment is not found in any career, calling, or activity. It cannot be found in the end results of those paths. Children, friends, money, prestige, and physical intimacy are never, ultimately, the treasure stores of our deepest desire.
I am thankful I ran across this woman’s cry of help for it opened the eyes of my heart.  The pursuit of fulfillment is born with our souls by our Creator.  We are born in need.  And a need must be filled.  Please stick with me.
Fulfillment is a verb.  In Luke 3:5, John is repeating the words of Isaiah the prophet from the Old Testament:
xEvery valley shall be filled,

yand every mountain and hill shall be made low,

zand the crooked shall become straight,

and the rough places shall become level ways,

aand all flesh shall see bthe salvation of God.’”

The word “filled” in verse 5 is the greek verb “fulfilled” and is used in this way: will be fulfilled.  So John is saying, remember the promise?! Here is it is! Watch! The thing is about to happen!

Later in Luke, Jesus is baptized by the Holy Spirit, tempted by Satan in the wilderness, performs the ministry of His father, and is ultimately led to the cross to be the fulfillment of this promise.  The promise to end our need. 

THE PROMISE TO END OUR NEED

See where I am going with this, friend?  Our flesh needs a living, active constant filling. We have a valley of soul, and Christ has and is filling it.  How does this produce the joy of fulfillment in the every day lives of people?  If we are in Christ, our eternity is now a good one.  We live for Him!  No more sorrow, we get to sit in heaven at the right hand of God our father with eternal pleasure, even after our bodies die.  Remember that debt we owed for sin?  It is already paid.  We get eternal life instead of eternal death.  We get the filling of the Holy Spirit.  Do you know the fruits of the Spirit? Look them up in Galatians 5:22-23

In the light of eternity, mundane tasks become worship because you are ALREADY fulfilled.   To change a diaper, to study hard for a neurology test, to muster the fortitude to speak in love toward your whiny child, only reminds you that this is not what fulfills you.

JOY IS POURED IN

Joy is poured into the mothering, the fathering, the suffering of illness, the training for a career, the providing for others.  Not the other way around.  You realize as your child is screaming at you for what she wants, that you were once the screaming, insolent God – hater, demanding fulfillment.  Now you share the way to fulfillment with them.

So, are you fulfilled?  My earnest prayer for you and myself is that the people around me, namely my children, can see through my sinful shortcomings to little glimpses of The Fulfillment that is Christ.  I hope that I serve them to Christ as I diaper them, dispel arguments over legos, and teach them to live Godly, humble, fruitful lives.

When we sacrifice our lives to serve others and glorify God, we are supernaturally fulfilled by God himself. When we open the Word of God and remember what we have, we can walk in our salvation.  We can suffer well because we are reminded that this is not what fills us. Of course it doesn’t.  It’s not supposed to.

I encourage you from 2 Corinthians 10:5 to take captive your thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.

The filling has happened, is happening and will be full when we meet in Glory, friend.

John 7:38 – Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

Makers Cottage – DIY Felt Ball Garland

makers cottage

It’s time for my third Makers Cottage Night! Each Modern Makers Night has been so fun and filled with making not only great projects but new friends as well.  For the April project I’ve chosen Felt Ball Garlands.  I’m not able to source the wool felt balls locally from a herd, but that sure would be amazing!  I’ve ordered some in bulk though and they are on the way!  Check out the image above for a sample and details. Simply Click On The Image to Sign Up!  I have a few spots left and I’d love for you to join me!  I think this would be an easy kid project as well, so I’m sure my girls will be making some for their rooms too!

If you can’t join us here are a few links to buy the supplies yourself.

How To Magically Make More Time (for sewing) Part 3

sewing

Here it is friends. This is the LAST post in my Magical series.  The people who need this post, won’t want too hear it… Honestly everyone is able to do this, at least for a season. You will have lots of excuses why you can’t, but if you love something, you will make the space and time for it.

To make more time for sewing you MUST LEAVE YOUR SEWING MACHINE OUT AND SET UP. You must find a space. You must make your kids share a room or have them eat outside on the deck or sew in your bedroom or even train your baby to go to sleep with the sound of the sewing machine whirring near her crib….all of these things I have done at one point or another. We have lived in a slew of tiny houses and apartments off and on over the years and the key to getting stuff sewn was and always is leaving my machine out.

I want to encourage you to “Just Do It” Nike doesn’t consider sewing a sport, but if they did I would totally be sponsored. HAHA.

Right now I am very fortunate to have a nice finished room to sew in. I share it with the girls so that if there are moments during school that I can sew, then I can! Here are a few creative ways to leave your machine out if you don’t have a sewing room.

THE PLASTIC STORAGE BIN
Just get a bin with a lid and shove it in there and slide it under the kitchen table. If it’s already there then you will be more likely to use it. Here is good one.

THE NOOK
There is always a place for a sewing nook. Get a nice wooden or sewing specific folding table, that way if you have company or need the space temporarily{ for something less fun than sewing }you can move it and put it back up easily. When my husband was in seminary we lived in the campus apartments. SO FREAKING TINY. Someone had left a wooden folding table in our apartment so we used it for that.

THE PLACE YOU DONT LIKE
Is the basement your sewing lair? Do you hate it so much? Is it watery and smelly and dark? Just set up your supplies and organize in such a way that you can have your project out and ready to grab easily so you can bring it up to the kitchen table for the afternoon or evening.

Give up on the ideal places you see on blogs and pinterest and give yourself the freedom to enjoy your sewing time.  Sewing has been such a great way for me to lose myself and relax.  I listen to a book on Audible, pop my headphones in my ears, and start making!  Just do it!

Here is a picture of my non pinterest worthy sewing space. I sure am thankful for it and I get so much more sewing in.  My plans for it include painting the cabinet a bright happy color, but then I wouldn’t have as much time to sew….the struggle. 🙂

sewing room

Happy Sewing Friends! JUST DO IT!

-Andrea

Not Your Grandmas Cheater Quilt!

 

Welcome to the blog today! Several months ago I designed a fresh take on the old cheater quilt.  After testing it out, I’m finally ready to share the whole process with you.  Ever heard of Spoonflower?  The company offers an amazing service that I’ve been wanting to take advantage of for years.  So this is my year!  I’m doing lots of things I’ve never done before.  I’m seizing the day – Carpe Diem! Or perhaps I’m seizing the year?  Carpe Anno!  Spoonflower Fabric allows customers to upload a design to their website and have it printed on fabric.  {They also offer wallpaper and wrapping paper.}  If you aren’t a designer but want a custom piece of fabric you can shop the Spoonflower fabric site with thousands of designers from all over the world to find your perfect piece! They operate a bit like Etsy in that, you can look at each designers shop, not just the designs themselves. So I invite you to look at my Spoonflower shop and buy a modern cheater quilt to start with!

I love the idea of cheater quilts, they are fast and fun! Sadly, though, most cheater quilts are very ugly and outdated.  In fact, I haven’t really seen a good cheater quilt until Spoonflower hosted a contest last year on them.  It got me thinking about it.  I wanted to incorporate some of the tried and true quilt blocks from the past and yet I wanted a modern airy feel to the cheater quilt.  I chose a squash blossom pattern, enlarged it on a grid big enough for one yard of fabric, used half square triangles to construct the pattern and quilting lines.  The panel is available in two color ways of cheerful, calm solids.

My Peachy version contains a few shades of grey, pale peachy pink, and a light smoky blue on navajo white.  This design is great for a modern baby quilt, but also finds it’s home amongst cozy couches, and master bedrooms.  You can make a large quilt out of several yards/panels. I included a border on two sides to help you implement this concept.

I hope you catch the cheater quilt bug…. You can buy it in my Spoonflower shop and whip it up in an afternoon….

 

Here’s a shot of the Teal Colorway panel.  I’ll be sewing it up soon.  It has dark and light teal, mustard, and navajo white.

Makers Cottage – A Modern Maker Night Of Fun

Maker’s Cottage is not a new idea for me but it is a major exciting one! I’d love to have new and future Lynchburg friends join me for an evening of creating once a month.  If you really like DIY projects but your afraid to tackle one on your own or you don’t know where to start….or maybe you don’t know what you need…..You can now just enjoy the creative process, make friends, have fun and take home a really great on trend DIY project to use or give.  Maker’s Cottage is also available in party form if you’d like to have a party tailored just for you in your home for birthdays and girls nights.

Here are the details:

Modern Makers Night!
Make It, Take It, and leave the planning, prepping, and mess to me!
Each Makers night I’ll prepare a short and easy on trend project suitable for keeping or gift giving. Learn new skills, have fun with your friends, make really cool stuff!
-all projects are low cost, pre pay, on trend, and EASY
-for ladies 18 and up!
-childcare available for a small fee

——February 9, 2017 7-9:30 pm ——————-
Boho Fringe Wall Hangings
8 Spots Available
Make Up to 3!
Andrea Loy’s Home
Braxton Park Townhomes
134 Mallard Lane
Lynchburg, VA 24502

 

Makers Cottage -February 9, 2017

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About Me

Hi! I'm Andrea. I'm 35, I love to sew and I work at home parenting our 5 girls and freelance designing. My blog is about my sewing, design projects, and my walk with Christ. Our family just moved to Lynchburg, VA for the husband to attend LUCOM. I'm glad your here!

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Accuquilt Sale Aug 2016
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