Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Must Ask . . . How Many Siblings Do You Have?

We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another's desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together. –Erma Bombeck

I think last week's poll was really fun! I love that so many people voted this week. I've been watching all week and 2 and 4 kids were neck-and-neck, but at the very last second, 2 pulled ahead by a vote! It looks to me like more people have an even number of kids. Possibly because even numbers are more easily accommodated at amusement parks? Or maybe because then nobody is left out? I also noted that the higher the number, the fewer the votes there were. Only 1 person with seven children stopped by to vote {thanks, by the way!} and after that, zilch. It is probably because anyone with that number of children doesn't have any spare time to read blogs and vote in polls.

This week is a spin-off of last week. As a parent, you have somewhat of a say in how many children are in your family. As one of those children, you don't really have a say at all. And in both cases, you pretty much have to take it as is comes. I grew up in a family of six, the oldest of four girls and two boys. I loved having so many siblings. With the exception of my sister, who is 2½ years younger than I am, I remember waiting anxiously for the arrival of the next baby. It was always so exciting to find out if it was a boy or a girl and I loved going to the hospital to see mom and hold the new baby. I changed diapers for all but that same sister, who is just younger than me. In my early diaper-changing days, I nicked my brother, who is five years younger than me, with a safety pin trying to fasten his cloth diaper. And as the oldest, I babysat a lot. All six of us had to share bedrooms at one time or another. Sometimes there were three kids squished in a bedroom. I shared with my sister for a lot of years. She was messy and I was neat, which got on my nerves. I got on her nerves when I had hiccups that shook the bunkbeds while we were trying to go to sleep. We fought and we made up. We giggled and shared secrets and hated each other and were best friends.

I have two other sisters. One who is my twin-ten-years-younger, and another who is 13 years younger than I am. I mentioned the older of my two brothers already, and my youngest brother is 18½ years younger than I am, or in other words half my age. As adults, I have great relationships with all of them, and as crazy and hectic as it was {I escaped to the quiet of Grandma's house quite often} I loved growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters. And how about you? I must ask . . . how many siblings do you have?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Daisy Cottage

It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home. –Unknown

I Lori Holt. Her appliqué quilt patterns are absolutely amazing. I'm {slowly} working on her Woman's Work quilt. Early this year, she designed the most adorable fabric line called Sew Cherry and nine patterns to go with it! I made these cute Hexie art journals with a bit of Sew Cherry.

Lori's at it again. She's got a new line of fabric called Daisy Cottage coming out in just a few weeks and she's been designing like crazy. I think she's come up with 10 patterns to compliment this line. Have a peek. You'll be absolutely amazed. Home Sweet Home, Ring Around the Rosy, and Daisychain are my top three picks.

To celebrate, she's giving away three fat-quarter bundles and three of her new patterns {details}. I'm crossing my fingers, because just look at this deliciousness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Love & Hate Tuesday

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
–Attr. John Watson

Love: blogging and reading blogs
Hate: that I don’t have more time to blog, read blogs, comment and reply to comments

Love: the beautiful the fall colors and the lovely weather
Hate: the shorter days and the fact that winter is right around the corner

Love: rainy days
Hate: days that just pretend they are going to rain

In reverse order:
Hate: migraines and the frequency with which I have been having them lately
Love: a little Ben & Jerry’s to help quell the pain

Love: keeping lists in little notebooks
Hate: losing a notebook

Love: weekends
Hate: the short duration

Love: the quiet after the kids have gone to bed
Hate: the 30 minutes immediately preceding bed-time

Love: staying up late
Hate: mornings

Love: sewing and quilting
Hate: frog stitching

Love & Hate format heisted from Heidi who 'jacked it from Janet.

Monday, October 24, 2011


If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.
–John Louis von Neumann

Over the past five months, I've been teaching a quilting class for a few ladies who attend the same church as I do. Once a month, we get together and work on our Sudoku quilts. We're approaching the finish line, and I'm really excited about it. It has been so fun to see each of the quilts emerge. The fabric combinations these ladies picked are really amazing. I took my camera to class on Saturday, but my batteries were dead. The time before that, I forgot the memory card :rolleyes:. I took pictures of my finished quilt top when I got home, and besides mine, there are four finished quilt tops and four quilt tops minus the borders. Next month, I'm going to make sure the memory card is in the camera and the batteries are charged the night before so I can show you all the fun we've been having.

I really like how this quilt came out. I pulled the fabrics for the nine patches and sashing from my stash and then bought the stripe for the borders, back and binding. It was a lot of fun to be able to put a quilt top together mostly from fabrics I have on hand.

I even got a bit of quilting time in. I'm a little rusty, but it was fun!

Here's my tag. I forgot to take a picture of it before I started quilting and there's not much left of it after I blanked out the confidential information. But you get the idea.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sabbath Songs: Teach Me To Walk In the Light

And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.

But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
Mosiah 4: 14-15

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My Twilight Quilt: Bella's Broken Heart

How many ways can one heart be mangled and still be expected to keep beating? I’d lived through a lot that should have finished me in the last few days, but it didn’t make me feel strong. Instead, I felt horribly fragile, like one word could shatter me.
–Bella Swan, New Moon, page 495

It had not been Edward and Jacob that I'd been trying to force together, it was the two parts of myself, Edward's Bella and Jacob's Bella. But they could not exist together, and I never should have tried. –Bella Swan, Eclipse, page 608

This block is symbolic several different ways. In New Moon, Edward leaves Bella because he hopes that she will be better off without him and she completely falls apart. Jacob becomes her best friend and helps put back the pieces. In Eclipse, Bella has to choose between Jacob and Edward because she loves them both. The pattern is by Jennifer Ofenstein, a very talented and prolific pattern designer.

And, my quilt to date.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Twilight Quilt: Earthbound Sun

Jacob was simply a perpetually happy person, and he carried that happiness with him like an aura, sharing it with whoever was near him. Like an earthbound sun, whenever someone was within his gravitational pull, Jacob warmed them. It was natural, a part of who he was. –Bella Swan, New Moon, page 145

When I decided to expand my layout for this quilt, I knew I wanted to include this block. I used the design I did for the New Moon charity quilt with the Twi-Quilters, but since I only had a 6" space to fill, I left off the soda cans.

I really like doing crazy-quilt patchwork. It is a lot of fun. I was very conservative with the thread colors I used in the first block. But this time, I went with a golden yellow for the stitching between the patchwork pieces. I really like how is emphasizes the crazy quilt aspect, but it made things difficult when it came to embroidering the little phrase from the book, like an earthbound sun. I had to go with a really deep golden floss for it to show, and even then the words kind of collide with the stitching.

I've mentioned before that I'm making two identical Twilight quilts. Up until now, I've never bothered to photograph the twin blocks, because they are identical. You've seen one, you've seen them both. But Jacob's suns turned out differently because I didn't use a pattern to do the patchwork. So, I thought I'd show you a few sets of my twin blocks, just so you know that really am making two quilts.

LadyBug saw both clock tower blocks on my table and asked, why are you making two clock towers? I told her it is because I am making two quilts. Her reply? Well, that's just crazy. She might be right. It took two weeks to finish these and I'd estimate that each block took about 20 hours.

Two of the little diamond heart Edward gave to Bella.

Two La Push First Beach blocks.

OK. I can see some of you are going to sleep. I won't bore you with photos of the sets of all blocks for both quilts. But trust me when I say there are two of every. single. one.

Now, for my favorite part, the layout with one less empty space.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I Must Ask . . . How Many Children Do You Have?

A characteristic of the normal child is he doesn't act that way very often. –Unknown

Thanks for satisfying my curiosity about how many e-mails you all have. 35% had 800 or more and 23% had 10 or less. Combining the totals, the majority of you have 50 or fewer e-mails. And, although I can't be 100% positive, it looks to me like you're either a keeper or not.

Today, we're talking numbers again. I want to know about your families. I am the oldest of six kids. Growing up with that many brothers and sisters was pretty awesome. It was sometimes a little crazy and sometimes we had to make do. But mostly it was great. Mr. Bug is the oldest of eight brothers and sisters. We're kind of big on families in Utah. I have a neighbor who has ten kids. Ten clean-cut, well-mannered, helpful, kind and cheerful children. I'm wondering if I can get adopted into their family. I always thought I would have lots of kids too. But we just have two, LadyBug and Grasshopper. And I love our family. I think we're just the right size for who we are.

This week, Grasshopper turned twelve. LadyBug will be ten on her next birthday. I'm going to have to quit calling them the Little Bugs, because they're not so little anymore. But the Medium-Size Bugs just doesn't have the same ring to it. Twelve is kind of a big deal. We've been partying all week long and we're going to keep partying for a while longer. We're taking a few of Grasshopper's friends for laser tag and pizza on Saturday and then next weekend, we've invited the Grandparents and a few cousins over for lunch on Sunday. It is fun to celebrate special milestones with my children as they grow. And I would love to hear about your families. Today, I must ask . . . how many kids do you have?

Monday, October 17, 2011

My Twilight Quilt: The Clock Tower at Volterra

The throng jostled around me, spinning me the wrong direction. I was glad the clock was so visible, or I'd never keep my course straight. But both hands on the clock pointed up towards the pitiless sun, and, though I shoved viciously against the crowd, I knew I was too late. I wasn't halfway across. I wasn't going to make it.

. . . But there was a break in the crowd—I could see a bubble of space ahead. I pushed urgently toward it, not realizing till I bruised my shins against the bricks that there was a wide, square fountain set into the center of the plaza.

I was nearly crying with relief as I flung my leg over the edge and ran through the knee-deep water. . . . The fountain was very wide; it let me cross the center of the square and then some in mere seconds. I didn't pause when I hit the far edge—I used the low wall as a springboard, throwing myself into the crowd.

They moved more readily for me now, avoiding the icy water that splattered from my dripping clothes as I ran. I glanced up at the clock again.

A deep, booming chime echoed through the square. It throbbed in the stones under my feet. . . . I started screaming as I ran.

“Edward!” I screamed, knowing it was useless. The crowd was too loud, and my voice was breathless with exertion. But I couldn't stop screaming.

The clock tolled again.

. . . “Edward, no!” I screamed, but my voice was lost in the roar of the chime.

. . . The clock tolled, and he took a large stride toward the light.

“No!” I screamed. “Edward, look at me!”

He wasn't listening. He smiled very slightly. He raised his foot to take the step that would put him directly in the path of the sun.
–Bella Swan, New Moon, page 449-451

This block was a lot of fun to do. I used the design that Iris came up with for the Stephenie Meyer quilt. She used a photo from the New Moon movie set in Italy as the inspiration for her block and did an amazing job. I was completely blown away by her design. She was kind enough to send me a couple of the fabrics she used in her block; the stone fabric for the plaza, as well as the bottom floor of the building. I used a photo copy of her original block as a guide. Iris pieced the majority of hers, only appliquéing the clock, the rounded windows and the door. But with all those tiny, tiny little pieces, I decided to piece the main foundation of the block, the buildings, and then appliqué the other elements. It was a lot of work and I'm not sure if I saved time doing it that way, but I love to do needle-turn and am really happy with how it turned out.

And, yay! One more block filled in. There are about twice as many spaces filled in as there are empty, which is really encouraging.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Sermons: Opportunities to Do Good

Wherefore, be faithful; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.Doctrine and Covenants 81:5

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. Mosiah 2:17

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Most travel is best of all in the anticipation or the remembering; the reality has more to do with losing your luggage. –Regina Nadelson

A few days ago, I did a little write-up about a quick trip I took last weekend. I intended to pick it up again the next day, but life got in the way. I'm finally filling in the details because it really was a wonderful weekend and I want to share it with you. Fortunately for us, no luggage was lost in the making of our adventure, but we flew stand-by, which definitely added . . . something . . . to the trip.

In the original plans for the weekend, my super cute mom was going to travel with us. But when you fly stand-by you just have to roll with the punches and there wasn't a flight that would get us there in time for the wedding and work with my mom's work schedule. We felt bad to leave her, but my sister and I both really wanted to be at the wedding. We left the Salt Lake airport at oh-dark-thirty and got to Long Beach at 7:00 am on Friday. Our connection to Sacramento wasn't until 11:15, so I did a little hand stitching and my sister played with her new phone, trying to figure out all the whistles and bells, while we tried to make ourselves comfortable in airport chairs.

As time ticked closer, we kept waiting to hear our names called to come up to the podium to get our new boarding passes with seat assignments. We waited. And waited. And waited. At exactly 11:15 a group of people who had paid seats on the later flight sent the attendant scrambling to find them seats on the earlier flight, which bumped us right off and left us with another 5 hours to kill in an airport. I'm afraid this is turning a bit travelogue-ish, because I really, doubt that anyone could make waiting in an airport sound interesting. Well, maybe they could if drug sniffing dogs found a package someone had stashed in their carry-on while they weren't looking. But that's not what happened. I stitched and my sister downloaded some media onto her phone so she could keep herself entertained until we boarded the afternoon flight, which got us into Sacramento at 6:00 pm.

When we arrived in Sacramento, my dear friend and fellow Twi-Quilter, Wanda, and her adorable, er, I mean manly and handsome husband picked us up and drove us to the family dinner. We had a really wonderful time catching up with my cousin and getting to know her extended family. When we finished, Wanda and her husband picked us up and took us back to our house, where they got us all settled in their spare bedrooms.

Saturday, Wanda fixed a lovely breakfast and then took us to the Sacramento LDS temple for the wedding. It was such a beautiful ceremony; I do not have words to express the joy I felt as I attended this sweet couple's wedding. My heart was very full and it may have overflowed a little via my tear ducts. Both of them have been married before and so between them, they have five children and make up a very beautiful family.

The invention of the digital camera is a wonderful thing. You can take hundreds of pictures and share them with the click of a mouse. I had a hard time narrowing it down, so there is some gratuitous wedding photo posting going on here.

My cousin just glowed.

I think this is one of my favorite shots from the whole day.

After the wedding, Wanda came to get us and we went out for a bite to eat and then headed for the reception. It was a huge blessing to have Wanda host us; she was located very near all of our wedding destinations, not to mention a very gracious hostess. On Sunday, we went to church with her and then we met Iris for lunch. I have to insert here that it is a little contradictory to go to church then go out to lunch because Latter-Day Saints take that commandment about keeping the Sabbath Day holy pretty seriously. But it was the only way we could fit it in and I was so glad to get to visit with Iris as well. Both Iris and Wanda have been here to visit. They both came to see the Stephenie Meyer quilt and Wanda visited this summer.

We had a great time talking Twilight and quilting and kids and lives. There was a little gift exchange and I came away with an Alice doll {thank you, Iris!}. After that, we headed back to the airport where we hopped a flight to Las Vegas and then up to Salt Lake. It was a really late arrival, but we were so glad we could make the trip. We packed a lot into those days and had a really lovely time meeting new people and visiting with old friends.

All the same, it's nice to be home.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Must Ask . . . How Many e-mails?

Diamonds are forever. E-mail comes close. –June Kronholz

Last week's poll was a lot of fun! I loved seeing all the things that you all like to do. Reading was the most common hobby, with 78% of the votes. Quilting came next, at 71%, followed by sewing at 57%. I was really surprised by the number of people who listed cooking as a hobby—50%. I promised to share some of the comments. I really like this part, but I also hate it, because I don't want anyone to feel left out. But here goes, anyway.

Shay said, I have 9 hobbies and hadn't realised I was so well rounded! I believe it, sister! You totally rock!

My super cute sister, Jill, left an awesome comment. She's a busy girl. I'll just share the last part, though, because I loved it. She said: The hobby that I always claim, when asked, though is not listed. I am a Puzzle Girl. I love jig-saw puzzles (even the photo-mosaics) up in the 1000's. I love word puzzles, and some number puzzles. I do the Sudoku and CryptoQuote in our newspaper every day. That is my most regular hobby! I'll remember puzzles next time I draw your name for Christmas!

And finally, P. said, I clicked a bunch of choices, so I guess I have a lot of hobbies. No wonder I never seem to get anything done! :biggrin: A woman after my own heart!

Today, we're talking e-mails. Are you a neat and tidy e-mailer, deleting junk e-mails upon arrival, sorting e-mails into folders for safe keeping, and replying to every e-mail promptly? Or do you have every e-mail you've received since the dawn of time e-mail? I fit into both categories. At work, e-mails mean work. So, I try to keep my inbox fairly empty because that means I have completed tasks that need to be done. When I reply to an e-mail, I almost always put it in a folder for safe keeping. When I left work last night, I had 14 e-mails in my inbox. 3 of those were part of a chain of e-mails that I needed to be aware of, but a decision hadn't been reached yet. 1 of those was an e-mail that I'd already taken care of but had forgotten to reply to, letting the sender know I'd gotten the message. Another is something I'm waiting on someone else to do before I can get to what I need to do. And nine of them are e-mails that I need to decide if they are important enough to keep and make folders for them or delete them. I am definitely a neat and tidy e-mailer at work. Otherwise, work gets buried.

Home is a different story. I have 449 e-mails in my inbox :faint:. I'm totally dying. A while back, I went through and unsubscribed to every single junk e-mail I was getting. Huggies seemed to think I need diapers and several car dealerships had my e-mail. I was even getting an e-mail from a Yachting magazine, which is hilarious because I am completely landlocked. I live in the middle of the continent. I get several e-mails every day from Groupon and Deal Dragon, most of which I ignore and delete. It might be time to unsubscribe. I get e-mails with coupons from JoAnn's, Hancock's and several local quilt shops. With the exception of JoAnn's, whose coupons I use all the time, I mostly ignore those too, but I can't unsubscribe because I don't want to miss anything good. All of the comments on my blog are e-mailed to me so that I can reply to them. I haven't replied to comments since June, I think. And for that I apologize. But still, I save those e-mails, just in case I get a spare day that I can reply. I do have folders for all of my bank statements and notifications and those get moved there quickly so that I have room in my inbox for everything else.

449± e-mails is a bit excessive, don't you think? The oldest e-mail I have is from 2005. It is something I've been saving for exactly the right time to share with exactly the right people. Maybe I'll post it? A lot of the other older e-mails are things that I may or may not need, but I'm keeping just in case. And the rest, I just need to go through and delete or move to folders. Because that is just way too much e-mail to be carrying around.

How about you? Today, I must ask . . . how many e-mails are in your inbox? Multiple votes are allowed, so choose a category for each inbox you have. I have three personal e-mail addresses, but those are all forwarded to one Microsoft Outlook inbox, so I'm only counting that as one and my work e-mail is two. I'm looking forward to hearing how you handle your e-mail!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Did You Miss Me?

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. –Lin Yutang

I'll bet you didn't even know I was gone. Late Thursday night I took the Little Bugs and went to my sister's in-law's house. Then very, very early Friday morning, we left the Little Bugs and all their Bug Cousins to the care of my sister's husband and his parents. We hopped on a flight to Long Beach, California. And when we finally caught the connection to Sacramento, we spent a whirlwind 48 hours with family and friends. You see, our cousin was getting married.

This wasn't just any old wedding, though. This was a special wedding and kind of a big deal. This was a temple wedding. Thomas S. Monson said this about temples, Temples are places where relationships are sealed together to last through the eternities. This was the most beautiful wedding I have ever attended. I was so glad I got to go.

The wedding was on Saturday and we stayed in California through Sunday night. My dear friend, Wanda put us up for the weekend and we were able to get together with Iris for lunch. It was a really lovely weekend, about which I will tell you more soon. The first order of business upon arriving home late Sunday night/early Monday morning, was to get some sleep. The second order of business was to catch up on work and laundry and family and rest. The suitcases are all put away and the laundry is, well, at a manageable level now. But I think I'm going to bed a bit early tonight so the retelling of my adventure will have to wait.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sunday Sermons: Why We Build Temples

In the Holy Temple, the precious plan of God is taught. It is here that eternal covenants are made. The temple lifts us. It exalts us. It stands as a beacon for all to see and points us towards celestial glory. It is the house of God. All that occurs within the walls of the temple is uplifting and ennobling. The temple is a place of tranquility. It is a place of kindness and love and light. –Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Sneak Peek

As the clock began to toll out the hour, vibrating under the soles of my sluggish feet, I knew I was too late — and I was glad something bloodthirsty waited in the wings. For in failing at this, I forfeited any desire to live.

The clock tolled again, and the sun beat down from the exact center point of the sky.
-Bella Swan, New Moon, pages 1-2

Here's a sneak peek of what I've been up to lately. A little bit of piecing. A little bit of Fairy Frost. A little bit of needle-turn appliqué. A little bit of embroidery.

It's taking longer than I expected. It always does. But I'm having lots of fun.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Favourite Things Friday: Scissors

It's all fun and games until someone runs with scissors.

I love scissors. Sharp scissors for cutting fabric. Small scissors for snipping thread. Big, mean, scary kitchen shears for cutting meat. Nicely honed scissors for trimming hair. Dull paper-cutting scissors. Any kind of scissors. Whenever I see a pair of scissors for sale at a store, I drool over them for a minute and then remind myself that I already have too many pairs that I have lost count. I'm going to share a few of my favorites with you.

I bought this tiny pair perhaps four months ago and it is the newest in my collection. The pink won me over. I use them solely for snipping threads and keep them with my embroidery projects. I ♥ these little cuties.

This is my oldest pair. These Ginghers were a gift for Christmas in 1993. They are fabric only scissors. They have never been used on paper and have never been sharpened. They are still the sharpest scissors I own and will remain so.

And these are my pinking shears. There is nothing particularly special or exciting about them, except that I got them at 50% off and up until a year ago when I bought them, I'd never owned pinking shears. They really come in handy.

I have probably 16 other pair, which does seem a bit excessive. But if I weren't so practical, I would probably own a hundred pair of scissors.

Today's post brought to you by:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I Must Ask . . . What Is Your Hobby?

Imagination and fiction make up more than three-quarters of our real life. –Simone Weil

The “aye's” have it. Thank you to everyone who voted to continue with I Must Ask. And to the one, lone nay-sayer, may I suggest a new hobby? Because that's what we're talking about today. Hobbies. How do you like to spend your leisure time? There are so many amazing and fun things to do when the work is done {or if you're naughty like me, instead of the chores :mischief:}. There are so many things I love to do. Reading. Gardening. Paper crafting {mostly rubber stamping/card making}. Writing. I even don't mind cooking, especially when Mr. Bug does the dishes :wink:.

I'm an “all-or-nothing” kind of girl. Hence, my motto, Go Big or Go Home! So, whatever I'm doing, I'm usually all in. The trouble with that is that I have fairly time-consuming hobbies so whichever holds my interest tends to overshadow all the others. When I'm reading a good book, I can't just read a few chapters and put it down until the next day. I kind of like to devour it. When I get tired of one hobby I rotate it out and pick up something else {which is kind of bad for the gardens, since those are perennial commitments :lol:}. I did some serious rubber stamping for about 6 years, selling hundreds of dollars of stamps and accessories and teaching several large classes each month. During that time, I cranked out hundreds and hundreds of cards as well.

Right now, and for the last 3+ years, sewing has been my pursuit. I've always loved to sew. According to the bible, if you train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it {Proverbs 22:6}. It must be true, because I learned to sew when I was about eight. I sewed all the way into my very early twenties and then took a little break from it. There were about 12 years that I didn't do much sewing, but I feel like I've come back to my creative roots. There is something so satisfying about working with fabrics.

There are as many hobbies as there are people under the sun. This is the largest poll ever, in terms of choices. I tried to include a broad number of categories, but I barely scratched the surface. Vote for as many as you like and then comment and tell me what you love about your hobbies. I'll pick a few comments to share with you next week. Go on then. Today I must ask . . . what is your hobby?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Twilight Quilt: Alice's Porsche, Take Two

“How far is it from Florence to Volterra?”

“That depends on how fast you drive. . . . Bella?”


She eyed me speculatively. “How strongly are you opposed to grand theft auto?”

A bright yellow Porsche screamed to a stop a few feet in front of where I paced, the word TURBO scrawled in silver cursive across its back. Everyone beside me on the crowded airport sidewalk stared.

“Hurry, Bella!” Alice shouted impatiently through the open passenger window.

I ran to the door and threw myself in, feeling as though I might as well be wearing a black stocking over my head.

“Sheesh, Alice,” I complained. “Could you pick a more conspicuous car to steal?”

“The important question,” she corrected, “is whether I could have stolen a faster car, and I don't think so. I got lucky.”

“I'm sure that will be very comforting at the roadblock.”

She trilled a laugh. “Trust me, Bella. If anyone sets up a roadblock, it will be behind us.” She hit the gas then, as if to prove her point. –Bella Swan and Alice Cullen, New Moon, page 439–440

My first Porsche block wasn't quite right. I'm pretty sure I didn't check the scaling before I printed the pattern, so the car came out pretty small in the completed block. And the tiny little flowers on the fabric I picked weren't so small on the tiny little Porsche. So, I did a re-make. This is the last time I'm going to re-make any blocks for this quilt, I promise. Maybe.

First, a shout-out to Iris, my enabler, who sent me the rock fabric. Twice. And a special thanks to Cat for her amazing pattern. Thanks to both of you! I wanted the car to be really spectacular, so I used Fairy Frost in Canary this time. I mean, what was I thinking before? Fairy Frost is the obvious fabric choice for a shiny yellow Porsche. I also made sure I had the scaling right before I printed, and I even enlarged it a tiny bit so that the car would fill the block a little more. The button wheels fit this car much better. And to complete the look, I did a little satin stitch embroidery for the emblem on the hood. I think this one's a keeper.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cat's Twilight Block of the Month: Block 12

No longer just a nightmare, the line of black advanced on us through the icy mist stirred up by their feet.

We're going to die, I thought in panic. I was desperate for the precious one I guarded, but even to think of that was a lapse in attention I could not afford.

They ghosted closer, their dark robes billowing slightly with the movement. I saw their hands curl into bone-colored claws. They drifted apart, angling to come at us from all sides. We were outnumbered. It was over.

And then, like a burst of light from a flash, the whole scene was different. Yet nothing changed—the Volturi still stalked toward us, poised to kill. All that really changed was how the picture looked to me. Suddenly, I was hungry for it. I wanted them to charge. The panic changed to bloodlust as I crouched forward, a smile on my face, and the growl ripped through my bared teeth.
–Bella Cullen, Breaking Dawn, pages 367-368

This is it! The very last of the beginner's blocks in Cat's Mystery Block of the Month. These were so fun to work up. In this block, I used Fairy Frost in Natural for the white squares on the chess board and the red square is Holly Berry. This was fun and fast to put together. I would only make one tiny recommendation if you try this pattern, sew rows 2 and 4 from the opposite end {start at 4 and work backwards} so that the seams are opposite when you sew the rows together. It helps with getting everything lined up.

I've been thinking about how I'd like to put these blocks together. I can't decide if I want to do solid black sashing, or black sashing with red setting squares. And I can't decide which fabric to use. But I definitely want to get it put together soon.

I did the advanced block quite a while ago. I was Cat's pattern tester. Her pattern designs always amazed me. Here is the block that will go in my Twilight quilt. You can see another version I did of it here.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

My Twilight Quilt: La Push First Beach

I’d been to the beaches around La Push many times during my Forks summers with Charlie, so the mile-long crescent of First Beach was familiar to me. It was still breathtaking. The water was dark gray, even in the sunlight, white-capped and heaving to the gray, rocky shore. Islands rose out of the steel harbor waters with sheer cliff sides, reaching to uneven summits, and crowned with austere, soaring firs. The beach had only a thin border of actual sand at the water’s edge, after which it grew into millions of large, smooth stones that looked uniformly gray from a distance, but close up were every shade a stone could be: terra-cotta, sea green, lavender, blue gray, dull gold. The tide line was strewn with huge driftwood trees, bleached bone white in the salt waves, some piled together against the edge of the forest fringe, some lying solitary, just out of reach of the waves. –Bella Swan, Twilight, page 114-115

This is First Beach, along the Olympic coast in La Push, Washington.

First Beach plays a big part in the Twilight series. Bella spends a lot of time with Jacob there. Cat, one of my favorite pattern designers and fellow Twi-Quilter did a paper-pieced First Beach several years ago and I've been dying to do it ever since. I finally got to it!

This block went together so quickly and finished really nicely. I love how it came out! I found the same “water” fabric as Cat used in her block {although I might not have done the best job with the fussy cut} and the beach fabric has a little bit of sparkle to it {though you can't see it in this picture}. I used a mix of green fabrics for the trees, the same green fabrics I'm using throughout my quilt. My only reservation about the block is that the grays I picked for the mountains might not be quite dark enough. Still, it's one more block finished!

Cat's Twilight Block of the Month: Block 11

. . . The Sitka spruces and the hemlocks, the yews and the maples. I only vaguely knew the names of the trees around me, and all I knew was due to Charlie pointing them out to me from the cruiser window in earlier days. –Bella Swan Twilight, page 136

This is the beginner's block for month 11 and I really loved putting this one together. I raided my stash of Fairy Frost for the trees. I used a different color for each one, because in nature, no two trees are exactly the same shade of green. I love how it came out.

The advanced block is La Push: First Beach, which is a block I've been dying to do since I became aware of Cat's awesome patterns. I'm including that block in my Twilight quilt, so I'm going to post it separately, later today.

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday Sermons: Forget Not

{Image Source}
There is a German legend that just as God had finished naming all the plants, one was left unnamed. A tiny voice spoke out, “Forget me not, O Lord!” And God replied that this would be its name.

I would like to use this little flower as a metaphor. The five petals of the little forget-me-not flower prompt me to consider five things we would be wise never to forget.

First, forget not to be patient with yourself.
We spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others—usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.

Second, forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice.
An acceptable sacrifice is when we give up something good for something of far greater worth.

Third, forget not to be happy now.
If we spend our days waiting for fabulous roses, we could miss the beauty and wonder of the tiny forget-me-nots that are all around us.

Fourth, forget not the “why” of the gospel.
The “what” and “how” of obedience mark the way and keep us on the right path. The “why” of obedience sanctifies our actions, transforming the mundane into the majestic. It magnifies our small acts of obedience into holy acts of consecration.

Fifth, forget not that the Lord loves you.
Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love.
–Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Forget Me Not

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cat's Twilight Block of the Month: Block 10

The clouds I can handle. But I can't fight with an eclipse. –Jacob Black, Eclipse, page 600

Month 10 of Cat's Mystery Block of the Month is the Eclipse book cover. The beginner's block is a stylized version of it. The block goes together very quickly. I used Fairy Frost in Holly Berry for the ribbon, using the color variations in the fabric to add a little bit of dimension to the block.

I did not do the advanced block for this month, although I would have liked to. The detailed pattern for the Eclipse book cover has been available for a year, but when I started on my Twilight quilt, it was not available. I used a pretty satin ribbon for the Stephenie Meyer quilt, Piece, Love, Twilight, and did the same for my quilt. You can see the block here. In an effort not to orphan any more blocks for that quilt, I decided to stick with what I'd already done. But I am hoping to get the chance to do Cat's block sometime, because I really love the talent she has for paper piecing designs.

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