It's been a long year...

It hasn't even felt like a year, it's just felt like my life has been on pause and I've been searching for the remote this whole time. I haven't sat at my sewing machine since February of 2014, except to finish edges of cross-stitch fabric... and it felt strange and unnatural.

Nothing to do with the last time I posted on my blog, just life things. No energy, no motivation, no appetite. Lots of pain, lots of frustration, lots of setbacks. We moved during the summer, somehow it felt like that sapped my energy for three+ months. We move again this May. We still live in the desert, though. I feel so stagnant out here, yet there's a never-ending feeling of transience, like I can't let my breath out and be settled no matter what I do. My sewing space went untouched for months in our new home. Even now, with it prepared and ready to go, it sits like it waits for someone else. Sometimes I would sit and look at my obligations and my fabrics and the possibilities and guilts and then just quietly get up and close the door.

The weight of having obligations gone unmet for over a year is slowly killing me. Every day, I wake up and I think of someone, somewhere, disappointed because of me and my inabilities. Every quilt block haunts me, somehow. And yet, no matter how pure my intentions or motivations, I physically could not sit up and focus or concentrate or muscle past pain for the amount of time that sewing requires. No matter how bad I feel, feelings cannot force physical results from me that are impossible to meet. I do not know in what other words to describe disability.

Please, I ask for respect and understanding. I have record of and know of almost every single person I owe something to - there are a few things that I remember the item but not the name attached to them. Mostly it's my bee groups and handmade birthday group, but there were a couple of private, impromptu swaps that fell off my radar. I just need to know what I can do to make it up. If you'd rather a personal favor than a sewing one, I can do that. I have many talents and skills that I would love to use to help others out.

My goal for this next year is to be more transparent. To share more. I hold lots of things very close, and don't even realize it. But I want to share, even if it means a less perfectly presented blog post, a less edited and harder to understand series of paragraphs. Not everything has to be perfect.

Of course, I meant to write something like this around the new year, like every one else did (new year, new start; always feels so fresh and clean). So I guess my more obvious imperfection starts now.

I'm planning on posting about the things I've been doing in the interim, maybe taking pictures of the small steps I've taken in the last year will be a good visual reminder (to me, if no one else) that small amounts of progress still means progress, and is something to be proud of. I also have a fabric/quilt related post that will be coming up soon as well ♥ I'm feeling excited to sew and create for the first time in forever, I'm even starting to write a little bit again, and branching out into making art and sharing it (very new to me, this whole sharing-personal-things thing).

I hope I have pretty things to show here again ♥ 

Donut Block Tutorial

Well, hello! I meant to post this back when I first made it, for my month as Stash Bee Queen in the beginning of February, but late is better than never, right? We finally managed to invest in a laptop over here, so I can now blog from the comfort of my bed instead of having to sit up at the computer! I'm hoping to start catching up on the numerous, numerous things that I've shared bits of on Instagram but haven't gotten around to featuring here on my blog.

Scrappy Donut!

Anyway, I've edited the original Stash Bee post, since half of it was an interview and me talking about what I'd like my bee quilt to be like, so here is my little donut block tutorial! Hope you find it edifying or interesting :)

Happy Holidays

Wow, it has been a while, hasn't it? Honestly, I've been struggling a lot with health and things over here. And  it's a busy time of year for all of us! I've had a few more responses to my previous post, I'm so sorry I haven't responded to you yet - honestly, that whole ordeal was very exhausting, and it's hard to want to re-visit all those feelings again. I'll probably get to it eventually...speaking of, if I've promised anyone anything, an email, a response, an item, a swap; and I haven't followed through yet, please go ahead and send me an email to remind me. I'm hideously forgetful and I'm trying to make a definitive list of all the things I've not done. I get the feeling this applies to a few people out there, so please, please just remind me! Things can get overwhelming pretty easily over here, so new priorities tend to crowd out the old ones before I remember to write everything down. So sorry if anyone's been left hanging!

I haven't been sewing a lot, or even cross stitching too much. I'm kind of taking it easy, winter vacation. Considered making a "finished things of 2013" mosaic but it would be tiny! This does bring me to my point though - I started quilting last January, so this will be wrapping up my first full year of quilting. I've learned so much, met so many people, and expanded my horizons in ways I never would've expected. In some ways, I feel terrible that I only have one finished quilt to show for my year (...I haven't even shared any pics of it anywhere!), but I've been going through a lot and my health is really so variable that it makes it hard for me to set firm goals or expectations - sometimes I'm just not capable of following through. I'm incredibly proud of what I've accomplished though, especially as I am a beginner to quilting - not to sewing, maybe, but quilting is definitely a whole other animal :) Anyway, I went through my Flickr and just pulled a few favorites into a mosaic ♥

1. Simple & Sweet Scrappy Swap ♥ Back, 2. Halloween Spooky Sampler ♥ Finished, 3. Penny Sampler ♥ Little Houses, 4. Sweet Pouch Swap ♥ Sent, 5. Marcelle Medallion Progress!, 6. Happy Hexagon Trivet, 7. Thank You Block, 8. Dresden Mug Rug, 9. Skill Builder BOM ♥ Woven Star, 10. Posy Quilt Top, 11. Ciao Italia ♥ Finished, 12. Scrappy Trip Along ♥ Block 4
I think I've learned that this past year was very pink for me...

So what's up for  next year? First, I'm turning 24 on Jan 13! Nothing big planned, just some craft book splurges and maybe some new yarn. Let's see...oh, and I'm putting together a little sew along type thing for this coming year! Hopefully starting next week (give everyone some time to recover for the new year!), I'll post some more details later. I'm  hoping to get much more knitting done, as well as finishing some of these quilt tops hanging around here... I would post a WIP list, but it might make some of you faint. To hint at it, it's over 25 items deep, not including patterns I've purchased but not used and quilts that I am dying to make but haven't started yet, oh, or upcoming bees/swaps. :( One step at a time over here...hopefully I'll be getting much more medical care this year, too, that would help my productivity/functionality sooo much! It kills me to be stuck at home, staring at the things I can't finish. Whew, it is freezing at the computer! No wonder I haven't been on much lately. I better go get some cocoa and cuddle up ♥

I hope everyone else's holidays were filled with family and good food, and here's to a happy new year as well! ♥

A Lot of Thoughts About Quilting

This post does what it says on the tin: a lot of thoughts, about quilting. I recently read a post by a blogger that really had me feeling a lot of feelings; and I decided to comment as such. I won't link to the blog post in question or anything, but I will post my comment here because a lot of the topics that I talk about are things that I'd like to see talked about more in the quilty space of the internet. Women's history and quilting are very intertwined, and both are things I'm very passionate about, so I do apologize if I come off as brash throughout this! Like I said, I'm just feeling a lot of things. I really want to talk about these things more, so if you agree or disagree and would like to pursue a discussion, please do! The original post was in reference to crafters charging too little for what they create (another subject I'm very passionate about!).

"There are a lot of gender issues at play here, and as a male voice in a predominantly female world, I don't know that it's fair that you say these things with an air of confidence, as if we are in your position.

A lot of quilters who sell their quilts do it to support their family, as an additional income; they're not looking to build a standalone business and can't afford sit on a high horse of advanced art education because what they created was "three dimensional art" (there are so many reasons that statement is completely false but I can't even go into that here); they need a seller so they can help out their family. Or maybe they're doing a commission, but it's for a friend, and they want to charge a price their friend can afford, and so they'll recoup some of their cash, but it's not important to them to keep all of it. Or maybe people say things like "to all of the scrap-vomit, (and let's just be perfectly honest, fugly) versions of the Trip Around the World quilts that hit the Interwebs last year. Whoa! [...] I'm just saying, some of them kind of hurt my eyes"; and then some quilters out there feel that what they're creating is no longer worth your $30/hour idealistic fee.

Or, like someone correctly comments below: you can label yourself an artist. A woman doing the same job, I will tell you 90%+ part of the time, will be called a seamstress no matter how she chooses to label herself. I feel so uncomfortable with you making a massive profit off of a lifetime of work done by these seamstresses. Why do you look down on that word as a label? You say that sewing is a skill, but then look down on someone saying "just" sewing. Yes, you are just sewing. You are solely doing the action of sewing. That commenter wasn't saying that the act of sewing wasn't skillful (as a person who sews themselves, why would they?) but rather than you are only utilizing a single skill when you are sitting a sewing machine, and sewing a seam. Yes, in that instance, you are "just" sewing. You're not an artist when you're at your machine, you're a seamstress. Deal with it.

And, to keep going on your profiting off of the years of woman's work, I find it so insulting your comments on the "scrap vomit" trip alongs (and, honestly, I'd feel this way regardless of whether or not I just started one that is quickly becoming my favorite thing I've ever created); because if you appreciated anything about the tradition of quilting and the seamstresses that handed this tradition down and made it into the trade that you are able to enjoy today, you would be able to at least appreciate a scrap quilt for what it is, if not what it looks like. Traditional quilts were so scrappy because of the amount of money fabric cost - they'd use clothing scraps, or save up for fabric and use it as sparingly as possible because it was precious. Vintage quilts that you see using only one or two colors are first off, more rare the older they are, and secondly, a sign that it was a prized possession. Being able to buy and use that much fabric for a single item was a luxury! By saying that only perfectly coordinated quilts suit your delicate sensibility, you're basically eschewing the traditions of quilting, and flaunting your privilege like that is really embarrassing. I feel such a connection and passion for this topic because I was unemployed when I started quilting, and couldn't afford more than a few scraps at a time. When I started, I wasn't sure on the aesthetic of scrappyness, I wasn't into it, but when I learned about the origins of quilting and realizing that I was in the position that my own ancestors were in a few hundred years ago, I learned how important it is to keep traditions like that alive.

Thanks, Scrapbeelicious members! You're the best! ♥
And, I mean, not only just talking about how insensitive to scrappy quilting that remark was, but how insulting to the people making these quilts. I've always felt that this community is so supportive, and I saw someone whose blog I follow mention that when they first started, they thought that everything was sugar-coated, that they didn't know why people didn't point out when there were flaws in what someone made. Here's the answer: who cares. You didn't make it, and if you did, would you want to read someone out there off-handedly call it "fugly"? Really? I mean, insulting in such a childish way, too.

I'm also saddened to see that you didn't make this quilt for someone purely out of financial reasons. Quilting to me, as I have seen it over the internet, and the way that I'm experiencing it, is such a giving and generous craft. I want to make things for people. I love it, even at a financial burden. Even if I didn't "make" as much as I thought I should. It's worth it to share, to love, to give."

I'd also like to add here that I definitely think women as a whole undervalue their work and sell it for far too little for what it's worth; but my point was that there was a tone of judgement coming from this blogger towards people who sold their work for less, and I felt that when that judgement is coming from a someone (in this case, a guy) who has so many different societal expectations and reasons why they might price things a certain way than a woman would (and of course, women making up the majority of this online space), it becomes somewhat obnoxious and I feel it oversteps a few boundaries. They were also drawing a lot of false comparisons for wage calculations, but that wasn't really relevant to discuss here. Overall, we should all strive to charge what we feel we are worth, and to further strive to increase our self-worth; in the meantime, why judge each other for the personal choices we make?

How do you feel about these topics? Are these things that you'd like to see talked about more? I'd love to see more blogs out there bringing up how important women's history is to modern day crafting; for instance how much ownership women were/are expected to give up over their pieces of art (historical tapestries, embroideries for example, not to mention how quilts went unlabeled for too long!) vs how well recognized and celebrated male artists were. There's a woman in my quilt guild who always talks up labeling quilts, and how important it is to document them as valuable art - I love hearing how passionate she is about it! It's so important not to let your voice get lost in the crowd.

Anyway, like I said, I'd love to hear any response you have! Thank you for putting up with a slightly off-topic post with only one blurry instagram picture, haha!


I was a little, I was very disappointed to wake up this morning to find that my comment was published on the author's blog with my full name and blog link attached, along with a lot of arguments, instead of thoughtful discussion. It is the opposite of the reaction I was hoping for, in seeking a meaningful (if heated!) dialogue. There are a lot of other issues that I feel have come up since, but I'm still trying to process things and make sure that I'm not too reactionary. I might update this later with some New Thoughts About Quilting, I guess is the point here, ha.

Sweet Pouch Swap ♥ Sent and Received

So, back in June or July, I signed up for my first two swaps, hosted through Flickr - the Sweet Pouch Swap and the Sewing Room Swap. They were such great experiences - although very intimidating! Besides attending modern quilt guild meetings, I feel like signing up for these swaps was one of the things that I've done that's really heavily pushed me outside of my comfort zone, and I feel it has improved my sewing and design skills, as well as giving me a bit more confidence! There's nothing like seeing a project come together correctly, especially when you know it's for someone else. I always fill the things I make with lots of love (why are you making it if you don't have love for it?? For the person you're making it for, for the fabric you're using, for the pattern, for the purpose that the finished product will serve...make it full of love ♥♥), and ooooh the feeling of receiving something in return that was filled with just as much heart-warming goodness! 

Anyway anyway, lots of!! Here's the pouch I sent to my wonderful partner, Emma

Front View

I used a pattern from NapkittenPattern; honestly, I love her patterns!! Almost all of them I've either bought or have on my wishlist - I feel like they have really great design. For instance, I love the shape of this pouch, and the piping - little details that make a big difference! It is also incredibly spacious inside. For the patchwork, I used mostly fabrics that I found on her pinterest boards, or by designers she liked (yeahhhh, I hardcore stalked on this one). Why use one fabric when you can use twelve??

Front Detail

The top panel is Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi Velveteen - I was totally stuck on what to use for that top panel until my eyes landed on this ♥ Love the colors and the pattern, and how the texture adds something different to the finished piece!

Back View

Used a print from Washi for the back, a little low volume rest. I decided I didn't want any seam lines on my piping, so instead of cutting the fabric on the bias, I just cut it straight. Honestly, there weren't really any problems with sewing it on, either! It was less forgiving, but not impossible or even very frustrating.

Wristlet Detail
Oooh this thing gave me some heartache along the way, though. On my first time making this bag (which you can see here!!) I really didn't care about accuracy, so putting in the zipper was no problem. I think I re-did it four, five times on this one? I still wasn't happy with it in the end, but I felt like if I kept going it would just ruin it in the end. And trying to put in the square reinforcement on the wristlet?? The ring was very small, so I had to trim the width of the original wristlet size, so when I was trying to sew it all together...well, everything was much smaller than it should've been and therefore MUCH more difficult. I finally went with a few passes of stitching and called it "sketchy" and "organic" haha! It was a creative decision. Really.


Used one of my favorite prints from Out to Sea for the inside, the purple watery chevron. I used it on the bottom, too! And the zipper is a gorgeous deep pink, perfectly coordinates with the Loulouthi print!

Sweet Treats!!

The best part about this swap was that you didn't just get a beautifully made pouch from your partner, but that the pouches would be filled with sweet treats ♥ And it was an international swap - international sweet treats?? You see why I had to sign up :D I didn't realize how much I ended up getting until I saw it all together...whoops! She requested pretzel & almond m&m's, but the rest was up to me! I'm big on local flavors and trying unique things, so I gave her a good variety - some chocolate covered pretzels and dark chocolate covered almonds from a local chocolate shop, candy buttons (my husband made me, they're his favorite), a root beer and cherry cola hard candy, salt water taffy, caramel, some Lucas chamoy for some very southwest specific candy, and southwestern flavored popcorn from a local popcorn company (oh man it was so good too, we keep having to resist going back and buying a tub of their caramel corn...). Oh, and a bunch of postcards! I couldn't pick one. And, yes, everything (except the postcards and the popcorn) fit into the pouch! How's that for roomy?

Honestly, I love being able to gift people with things - I don't get the opportunity to very often, so it's good to have an excuse to spoil someone a little bit. I love thinking of things to do and get and find the perfect thing that I think is unexpected but will be loved. I had so much fun putting this package together for my partner!!

And, the best part of this swap? It was an open swap, so we got to email each other back and forth over the past couple months and now I have a new friend!! I love how making things like we do can bring strangers together so quickly. 

Do you ever forget by the end of a swap that you're receiving something, too? Because I did. For both swaps!! Haha, I love being surprised by something I was expecting. And I love the moment you open a package and see it all wrapped up tight and waiting for you to see what's inside ♥


Gosh, where to start?? I loved everything she sent! The candies were so, so delicious - me and my husband split them, since I can't have too much chocolate or sugar these days (ARGH what terrible timing that is, right??); he took the koala caramelo, half the wine gums (sadly unpictured!) and the aero bubbles, I had the rest c: Tim Tams and that crazy Cadbury bar that I think I'm obsessed with appeared to have jelly beans, pop rocks, and m&ms inside?? Australian candy names confuse me, I can't trust the label :| Oh oh, and she sent along a tiny pincushion (the size of the rectangles on this thing, omg, very impressed!!) that coordinates with the pouch, along with a few charms from a low volume charm swap she was in! I've already used a few of them, she has excellent taste in fabric :o 

Pouch Detail
 And the star pouch, omg! The cutest patchwork in my favorite color! And I loved the touch of the leather (fake, I assume?) at the bottom, it gives such a different texture and adds something to the overall look. Love how she used this on the bottom of my pouch, and I used the velveteen at the top of hers - clearly we're both into using texture! The hand embroidery was such a sweet touch, too; originally my plan for her pouch included a bit of embroidery too, but I ended up shifting ideas. I didn't even notice the cherry blossoms when I was first taking the pouch out and looking at it, it was a little discovery later on! The tiny lace pull is just the cutest thing ever, too, clearly I'm going to have to hunt down some lace ribbon to use on every future project ever haha :) The best part of this pouch is that it already has a use, so I get to actually use it and see it all the time!

Seen carrying my traveling cross stitch kit ♥ Perfect size!

The moral of this story? Sign up for swaps! I find it infinitely fun to get both the satisfaction of making the perfect gift and seeing it be loved, but also of receiving something, and feeling loved. It's everything that's perfect about gift-giving, organized amongst friends who know exactly what a quilter or crafter wants to receive ♥

Empty Space

The past few months have felt really odd, with periods of nonstop work and focus interspersed through nothing. I can't believe it's already October, even! Where's the past two months gone? I feel like they've left me behind a little bit. I think I needed some time to tune out a little bit, but things are slowly coming back to me - if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen a little more work coming from me in the past couple weeks haha. I feel a little overwhelmed, and find it shocking how some of you keep up with BOMs and QALs and a bunch of Bees and swaps and you actually have families and jobs and responsibilities?? I just need to get organized, apparently, I'm at home all day and can't even keep up. Anyway, I have a bunch of posts in the works covering all of the BOMs and Bees and swaps that I've really neglected to mention here, so you might actually see regular posts from me!! At least for a little bit, let's not get crazy ♥

Marcelle Medallion & Border One
I know I posted a quick pic of this before, but it was very dark, so here's a slightly better one! Still haven't made any progress on that second border...I'm beginning to suspect I don't like small triangles :c Daunting.

Briar Rose Flying Geese
...And I've got a little wip going on from a Briar Rose charm pack I grabbed from one of the first Missouri Quilt Co deals of the day...I think it was like $2? How could I turn that down?? (On a side note, omg those daily deals. I can't keep waking up to those, when my mind is weak!) I only have a little bit more piecing to do before I can quilt this thing and put it together! Any guesses as to what it will be?

Okay, I'm going to go draft some posts to catch up; in the meantime, if you're on Instagram and we haven't added each other yet, why not?? I think I've got a link in my sidebar ♥ I tend to keep up really well with IG, in a way that I haven't been able to keep up with my blog reading, so I'd love to follow you over there to see more of what you're doing!!

Terrible Tummies & A Request

Hello, hello out there. This is a post that I've really not wanted to make, but I think it's at the point that I have to now. My health for the past year has been, quite honestly, horrific. I can barely leave the house due to pain and energy levels, I can barely eat and when I do it's painful - it's been really difficult and effected pretty much every area of my life. There had never been a time in my life before where I resigned myself to not be able to do something, and these days, my whole life is surrounded by things I cannot do. We don't have, and can't afford, insurance right now, although hopefully that'll change in the next few months. Until then, we've actually found a doctor in the area that could help! My husband wrote a really sweet note on Facebook summarizing everything, and giving a great overview about our steps going forward, I'll let him tell it best:
Gwen has been dealing with a severe, undiagnosed gastrointestinal disorder for the past year.  It causes immense pain and distress, and has led to her being unable to eat most foods, and completely unable to work.  We've come to adapt to it but it's a struggle on a daily basis to make sure that she gets the nutrients she needs, and to manage the pain whatever way we can to make it so she can be productive and actually enjoy her days.

We had been pursuing medical help in Phoenix through the Maricopa Integrated Health Service, but were met with over-worked, skeptical doctors and increasing healthcare costs.  At the end of the process, we were met with a $2,600.00 price tag for a diagnostic procedure, with no insurance and no options for financing.  Facing this exorbitant price, we resolved to let treatment wait until we found insurance or some way to make it happen.

We moved to Tucson in January, and while here have been searching long for a gastroenterologist who would be compassionate, capable, and flexible enough to work with our financial needs.  Coming off a tip from a local community of sufferers of various gastrointestinal disorders, we were referred to Mesquite Gastroenterology.  Specifically to a Dr. Charles J. Sanner, a gastroenterologist who has been in the industry for decades, and has developed a reputation for his understanding of his patients. This is exactly who Gwen needs.

I've contacted their office and found that we can get a diagnosis for $900.00, of which only $475.00 is due up front (initial consultation fees and doctors fees for the procedure itself).
This is where this post reaches its point.  We could reach that $475.00 within a few months, if everything else around here stays fine.  However, Gwen's pain is immediate, and very real.  A few months is more achievable than "the distant future", but it remains an agonizing wait. 

We're looking for help in meeting those initial costs.  Nobody is obliged to help or donate, and I don't expect anybody to.  If you read this post, and move on without even considering a donation - that's fine!  We're still friends, I have no question that you care.  Until recently, I was completely unemployed and I know that money can be tight and even when you have a bit extra, it's hard to spend it in the abstract.

As I said, there is no pressure. We'll get Gwen treated in the end, no matter what. What any donation from you is doing, is helping her reach a resolution faster. 

Once Gwen has a diagnosis, we can:
a) Start applying for disability status, allowing her to receive benefits as she is unable to work.  We have been living on one income between the two of us, and we make it work but it's a stretch and there's many things that we need that we've been unable to get because of it.  Disability helps both of us, and frees Gwen from financial stresses so that we can both pursue school, and she can continue developing her (rather awesome) crafts;

b) Use that disability status to get Gwen medicaid coverage, which will completely alleviate the need to ask for money like this in the first place, and means that we can get medicine and ongoing care; and the most importantly

c) Get Gwen medicine and ongoing care.  Right now, we don't know what's wrong with her.  There's a few things her symptoms resemble, but it's presumptive to assume what they are for purposes of treatment without having a valid medical opinion backing us up.  What she does have now is intense pain that I don't want her living with any longer than she has to.

If you want to donate, on either Gwen's or my own behalf, to help her get treatment, you can do so to her paypal account,  This is ongoing, and I'll be posting updates as we begin or conclude treatment, so if you can't donate now but want to, you can donate later.  It's okay.  Donations now are cool too though, don't forget about us guys! 

Please share this post if there's anybody else who you think may want to help a stranger, the wife of a friend of a friend, or if you just plain feel like it. Either way, I appreciate you reading through this post and at the very least, thinking of us and Gwen's well-being.

Let's get that tummy fixed!

So, there you have it. We're trying to help offset the costs of my initial procedure, $475.00, and really, any help you could give would be amazing. A couple dollars really helps! I set up a Donate button that'll remain here, so if you'd like to help but need some time, you have it ♥

Thank you for reading this, everyone. I feel terrible interrupting your gorgeous feeds of quilts with news of an unruly tummy! And asking for donations besides. But honestly, it's come to this point. When all of this started last July, I thought it'd be over within a few months, and instead it's consumed my life. On the other hand, if I hadn't been too sick to work, I might never have re-discovered how much I love sewing, or never have found this wonderful community ♥ By the way, I'll be destashing a lot of craft supplies I no longer use on Etsy, and possibly some clothes and etc on eBay to help raise some funds too, so keep an eye out for that as well! I'd also love to make custom items or do some graphic design or digital coloring work in exchange - just get in touch with me! Please, have a great weekend, and I'll be sure to update you on the happier, prettier things I've been making really soon c:

Scrap-Bee-Licious ♥ September Queen

What? Me? In my first bee? Say it isn't so! Now, most of you might be thinking this is coming out of nowhere - it is! Our bee started last month, but I just haven't been blogging anything that's been going on :( I'll be catching up this month though, from old blog hop comments I haven't left to responding to comments here - it is still going to happen! Just super late! (Honestly, my heath has been a real barrier for me this past month, but that's a post for another day) If, instead, however, you're wondering why I was first on the bee list, it's because I got an email notification, read the words "blog hop" and "scrap bee" and ran to the computer to send my email confirmation. :| Um, needless to say, I'm excited!! Bees seem like so much fun, and I've been slightly hesitant to join one since it's all new to me. I don't really want to risk disappointing anyone, you know? Well, a bee of mostly newer bee members and a lot of people with a forgiving nature seem to be in this one, so I think it'll all be ok ♥

So, now, then. The block! I did think about this, but honestly not very hard. I could've gone with a new block for a totally new quilt, but I have to be that person that knows you've all made this before and so it's a safe bet...for a quilt I already have in progress and don't know when I would have the stash to finish...

Yes, the Scrappy Trip Along!! No additions, changes, or adulterations, just the original thing ♥

Hey, I know everyone'll know how to make it, and it's the type of quilt so suited for multiple people's stashes! No rules on fabrics really, but I did want to share how I sort of compose my fabric choices for each block so you can sort of see how my creative process has been working on this quilt so far. That might help guide your choices a little bit!

I have a sort of silly habit of wanting "themes" for all my blocks. I do this fairly often, actually, although usually I think that it's subtle enough that no one notices but me, ha :) So far, I've done one of all one fabric line (Posy), one cool-colored florals with a pop of orange, I have eclectic, modern brights, a sort of picnicy thing, old fashioned florals and...uhh...well the last one doesn't really have a theme I guess haha. European holiday? Anyway, for me it sort of adds a layer of fun to selecting fabrics; not only should they coordinate but also if they fit the theme that's like bonus points!

I think this mosaic gives a good sample of the fabrics I've used so far, the feel I'm getting from it, and a good overall sense of my fabric taste! I tend not to use too many super dark fabrics, or too many solids. I don't usually go for traditional types of fabrics, either. Besides that, just have fun and if you want, include some sort of theme. I'm planning on doing an all-pink block soon, and probably another nature/woodsy one. I wanted this quilt to be sort of commemorative of my stash, and now a little bit of yours, too! I'll probably end up adding a few more blocks to it from my stash after the end of the month, since it's grown a bit since the last time I made some of these, and have a really giant, awesome, scrap-bee quilt ♥♥

Since I know I've been a bit vague about fabric choices & whatnot, if you have any questions or concerns or anything, please feel free to let me know! I'm usually around, even though I haven't been posting recently (again, I will be posting an August-Recap at some point. I can't believe it's been a full month, my goodness). I can't wait to see what you guys put together, oh my gosh!! ♥

WiP Wednesday and Some Context

I tend not to share too too much of my personal life; here or on Instagram (I'm seriously so active over there, and I love having more people to follow!!), but things here aren't so rosy. I feel like it's important to mention, because crafting has a huge amount of artistry to it, and I've learned through various art classes about how important the artist's point of view is to the finished product. Looking at something with no context can be alienating, or confusing, but when you know who the artist was, and what their vision was, it becomes clear and has more resonance (Duchamp's Fountain is always cited as a big example of this, if you're curious). Anyway, all this just means that I feel knowing my situation right now will put my current work into context.

Thank you block made in my "blog colors" ♥
Basically, it's been a much different summer than I thought it would be - my husband lost his job right at the beginning of June, and he's starting his first day at a new job today. We had planned to visit his family in Nebraska, at least, as well as a trip to San Diego & Disneyland, maybe even visiting my family up in northern CA...well, instead we've been staying at home, going to the library, lots of Netflix, and I've been crafting, crafting, crafting.

Currently binding this!! I love carrying it around the house with me.
It's by no means a bad thing; in fact, it's exactly how we spent last summer, so at this point it's old hat. The stress never really goes away with financial difficulty hanging over you, though, and that wears on me. It's been a year of bad luck! I'm so grateful that I was inspired to pick up sewing again, I don't know how I would've gotten by for the past few months without it to distract me.

Some of my fabric choices/buys recently
I like looking somewhat critically at my creative process, because I like seeing my usual tendencies and then being surprised by some of the choices that I make. It's nice to surprise yourself sometimes! Anyway, I've thought often over the past few months that I love pink, but I don't use it as much as I would've expected myself to. I partially blamed my fabric stash for not being diverse enough, but that's definitely not an excuse anymore!! I've bought a lot of pink recently, which seems natural considering how stressed and worried and unstable things have been here; it's a color that gives me so much peace. Do you have a color that does that? I think how cute the color pink is to me makes it feel like everything's going to be okay. There's still cute things! It's all right! Haha ♥

Pink Lone Star!
I've recently started acting pretty impulsively off of inspirations (which feels great, btw!) and this is the project that started it - a lone star!! It's been, quite honestly, hellish to put together so far; I've hated every part of the process, but I love all the fabrics and I love how pink and cheery it is. I haven't decided on a bg fabric for it yet, but once I do, this thing is going straight up on my wall! I used this Better Off Thread tutorial to make it, and Aneela Hoey's lone star was my direct (and unignorable!) inspiration for putting it together. Once it's done, I'll make a post about it...I had to change so many measurements from the tutorial to make it work!

Marcelle Medallion!!
I've been wanting to start this Marcelle Medallion business ever since I first saw a glimpse of can you not?? I haven't seen any other border quilts I've been quite as taken by ♥ I paper pieced the center medallion, and am currently having a battle with cornerstone borders. Does anyone have any tricks for getting them super precise?? I was considering sewing them almost like binding, so I can make the second corner align perfectly (does that make sense?). I'm currently putting off cutting out 70+ 2.5" triangles...haha...ha... Tedious work aside, I adore how this looks so far. It's just what I wanted it to look like, when I didn't even know which fabrics I'd be using. I just knew I wanted to feature pink in the center heavily; I've noticed on the finished quilts that the center dictates the tone of the rest of the quilt. I definitely want a pink theme throughout!!

Just realized how many WIP's I have in this post...better link up to WiP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thanks for sticking around for my rambling - I know it's a bit self-indulgent, but I think having a blog in the first place is a bit self-indulgent, so it's all okay in the end ♥ I hope providing some context helped you to view my current projects in a slightly different way c: Have a great Wednesday!!

2013 New Blogger Blog Hop ♥ Week 8

Week 8?? The end of July?? How quickly time flies! I feel like I've done so much since the beginning of June, but it also seems like just a couple weeks ago that I first signed up for the hop. I hope everyone's had the same great experience that I have! I'm so glad for everyone that's stopped by from the hop, it's really overwhelming how supportive everyone's been ♥ Just the encouragement a beginner needs to gain a bit of confidence!

Vicki @ A Quilter's Mission
RobinSue @ RobinSue Quilts
Elizabeth @ In The Boondocks
Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Sonia @ Fabric & Flowers
Em @ Sewing by Moonlight 
Elise @ Lovelea Designs
Jenny @ A Note To Follow Sew
Emily @ Sew E.T.

I'm impressed at how patient this group is - I don't know if I could've waited the full two months for my post :) There's some really lovely work in this group, I'm so impressed!! Definitely worth the wait ♥♥

Thank you to everyone who participated!! I loved getting to know everyone and found some really amazing blogs that I never would've found otherwise - I love those unexpected treasures. I'm definitely a bit sad that it's over, but thank goodness the lovely bloggers at Little and Lots and Wasn't Quilt in a Day put together a Scrappy Bee for us! I'm soo happy to be participating in quilting "events"...doing swaps, going to guild meetings, now a bee?! I've been really lucky to get involved with such a great group of people so early on! I can't wait until that Flickr pool starts filling ♥

Hey, have a good rest of the week out there! Our a/c was broken overnight, give us should be back to 100% tomorrow morning, but whew let me tell you, midday in Tucson is not when you want your a/c to go out!!