Sunday, November 24, 2013

Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light

Forgiveness is freeing up and putting to better use the energy once consumed by holding grudges, harboring resentments, and nursing unhealed wounds. It is rediscovering the strengths we always had and relocating our limitless capacity to understand and accept other people and ourselves. –Dr. Sidney Simon, Forgiveness: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Get On with Your Life

From the Deseret News, August 1, 2012
Chris Williams made a decision as he stared out his shattered windshield at the overturned car, fully and painfully aware that his wife, their unborn son, 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter were dead.

He decided to forgive the driver who caused the accident.

I hope you will take a minute to watch this inspiring story.

More about Chris Williams:
Chris Williams on
A Year of Forgiveness, Deseret News, originally published December 28, 2007
Father Relies on Faith, Deseret News, August 1, 2012
Let It Go, LDS Living, December 4, 2012

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. –Buddha

I am excited to share the finished Drunkard's Path quilt, which I finally decided to simply call Ripples. I love how it turned out.

This quilt has always been for my friend, Kim. From the moment I cut it out, I knew it was for her. In it's raw form, I knew it was for her. Sitting in a drawer for three years, it was always for her. When the timing was finally right, and especially in this layout, it is for her. When she opened it out, she said that these were the colors in her bedroom and that it was going on her bed.

But to be honest, if this quilt hadn't had someone else's name stitched into the back, I would have kept it for myself. While we're being honest, I'm still not sold on the name, Ripples. I almost called it Reaping {Galatians 6:7 — for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap}, but the layout and the colors and the theme all pointed me towards ripples on the water. And because I wasn't sure if the layout and name of the quilt quite conveyed the sentiment behind the quilt {because I know this wonderful woman sacrifices a lot to serve her family and so that her husband can serve others both in his work and his volunteer church assignment and I wanted to show my love and appreciation} I embroidered the Edward Markham poem around the edge of the label.

There is a destiny which makes us brothers;
None goes his way alone.
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own.

I knew it would be a big job, so I debated about leaving the poem off. I filled in the details first, and then showed Mr. Bug my template, with the poem around the outer edge. He said it looked cool and that I should do it. I used my tiniest embroidery needle, a size 12, and a single strand of floss. When I was finished, Mr. Bug was able to read it {although the lighting here makes it kind of hard; I did tweak the contrast a bit to hopefully make it easier to see} and I'm really glad I put it on.

I hadn't originally planned to put a border on this quilt. It should have finished at 56" x 56", but due to a little bit of shifting when I ran the fabrics through the Go! Cutter, I needed to square up all of my blocks. I only lost 2" total, but the quilt seemed a bit small so I improvised {not really my strong suit}. I didn't have enough left of either the tan or the off-white to make a complete stop border {and didn't really have the time to make a fabric store run}, so I used them both and threw in some of the chocolate brown at the corners for good measure. Mr. Bug, who I often use as a sounding board, wasn't sure about them. He said I should just do the dark brown border. I was almost convinced, but decided to leave the stop border in and am glad I did. I love to get Mr. Bug's opinion. I don't always go with his suggestions, but he helps me to figure out what I really want to do.

Sometimes, it takes a village to make a quilt. I want to thank everyone who left comments with opinions and encouragement as I worked through the assembly process {I'm so happy with the formerly-diagonal-vertically-striped-bias-binding!}. I appreciated the help and it meant a lot that you would take the time to leave a note for me! I'd also like to thank Melissa at Sew Shabby Quilting for her quick needle. The quilting is amazing! And thanks to her, I was able to deliver the quilt to the birthday girl on her actual birthday.

Today's post brought to you by:
My 2013 Finishes

More about this quilt:
First layout and a call out for name suggestions
Backing selected
Allusion to working on the assembly
Ready to assemble and request for name suggestions
The complexities of stripey binding
Binding decided, lessons in quilting and a sneak peek of the finished quilting

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Galloping Horse Method

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. –Abraham Lincoln

I am slightly OCD. Obsessive Creative. Obsessive Compulsive. Potato, potahto, right? I tend to get wrapped up in the details and rather than seeing the big picture, I focus on all the tiny imperfections. I guess you could say I'm an imperfectionist. And I let myself be limited by all the things I can't to. I've been thinking about this on and off for a while now. Yesterday, as I was pondering the complexities of stripey binding, my sister reminded me that shifting your perspective opens up a lot of previously unexplored possibilities. She said, I don't know much about binding, but I think I'd take the longer lasting way even if it doesn't lay perfectly straight. Use the galloping horse method to determine how picky you're going to be.

And what is the galloping horse method, you ask? The story goes like this. I took a beginning machine quilting class in February of 2010. The teacher talked about how to determine if you're going to unpick. She said that if you were to pass by the quilt on a galloping horse and you could see the mistake, then unpick.

Several thoughts sprouted from this reminder.
  1. Just do your best and let the stitches fall where they may.
  2. Not every quilt has to be a show quilt.
  3. Focus on what you can do and not on what you can't.
Do your best and let the stitches fall where they may.
I can do bias binding. I know it. I love it. So that's what I did. And I'm pretty darn excited about those formerly diagonal vertical stripeys. It's not perfect. Some of my seams matched up better than others. It might turn out a tiny bit ripply, as my bindings always do. But then again, it might not. In order to get enough binding out of the piece of fabric I had, I made it 2⅛" wide instead of 2¼". Perhaps being a fraction of an inch narrower will give it more fill once it is turned and might, just might, solve the pucker problem.

Not every quilt has to be a show quilt.
As a matter of personal preference, I like quilts that are "custom." I always have. When I piece a quilt, I pick the design because I like it and I want all that work to be shown off to its best advantage by the quilting. I think edge-to-edge tends to mask the piecing. But with no small amount of internal debate, I took this quilt and the one before it to the quilt fairy to be done edge-to-edge. Having them done in time to give as birthday gifts outweighs spending weeks on quilting the perfect design in them. These quilts are meant to be snuggled under and dragged around and picnicked on at washed and used and loved. Masterpiece quilting doesn't quite fit the bill, here.

Focus on what you can do and not on what you can't.
I kind of like having a quilt fairy. It means there are a lot of things I can do instead of making myself crazy trying to cram 40 hours of quilting into an already packed week. While my quilt is being professionally quilted {with a stitch regulator!}, I can spend time helping the Not-So-Little Bugs with homework and projects. I can catch up on the laundry. And the dusting. And the bathrooms. I can cook actual dinners instead of sentencing the family to cold cereal and ramen for a week straight. I can go to bed at a decent time. And I can be completely wowed by an edge-to-edge quilting design. Here's a peek.

You'll be even more wowed when I show you the whole quilt. With stripey binding. And a completely awesome embroidered quilt label. It's one of my best, if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Aye, the compass doesn't point north, but we're not trying to find north, are we? –Mr. Gibbs, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

I finished my Drunkard's Path quilt top. I didn't take pictures because I was in a rush to drop it off for quilting. It pretty much looks like this. Only all sewn together. With a couple of borders. Which may or may not work.

The top is made from Kona Solids {don't ask which colors} and coordinates from Marcus Brother's Metro Blue fabric line. It is an old print {2006, reprinted in 2009} but I really love the colors and I think it still looks pretty modern. Ish. I saved the best print for the binding.

Stripey fabrics are meant to be used as bindings. I always do bias-binding {bias is so fancy}, which means that the stripeys come out diagonally. Unless the stripeys are already printed on the diagonal. Which these are. The question is, then, do I do a regular old cut-on-the-grain binding so that the stripeys stay diagonal? Or do I do a bias binding, which would make the stripes come out vertically along on the edge of the quilt? I've seen a lot of cute vertically striped bindings lately.

The cons are these:
On-grain binding:
• Since the binding is cut along the grain, the fold creates more stress in the fabric and after only a few washings the binding starts to turn white along the folded edge. After years of use, the fabric can split open at the fold because the stress is put on a narrow, continuous area of the fabric's weave.
• Piecing seven separate diagonal seams to make a piece of binding long enough to go around the quilt.

Bias Binding:
• I can never get a bias binding to lay perfectly flat and smooth, no matter how carefully I watch my 45° degree angle or how much pressing and pinning I do. It always lies a little puckered.

The pros are these:
On-grain binding:
• Super cute diagonal stripes around the border.

Bias Binding:
• Fast and easy continuous piecing.
• The stress of the fold is distributed diagonally across the weave of the fabric, prolonging the wear of the binding.
• Super cute horizontal stripes around the border.

The quilt is finished and ready for pick-up. I'm excited to see how the quilting came out. I'll either go get it tonight, if Melissa has time, or tomorrow morning. This means it is time to decide how to cut my binding. Suggestions welcome and appreciated!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Stitch In Time: October Finishes Giveaway Winner

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. –Ernest Hemingway

I'm late for my own linky giveaway. Again. Life has been crazy. I've been meeting myself coming and going for a week now. I sewed in every spare minute all last week to get Halloween costumes finished {I'm only counting Grasshoppers on my own personal list of finishes; LadyBug's was raw-edge appliqué and some cornstarch clay} and then work started in full-swing with the start of a new month. I am happy to say that in addition to the Halloween costume, I finished a quilt in October, too! It was really great to get a few things done, so I'm pushing for at least two more finishes in November. Anyway, a huge thank you to everyone who linked up in October with your fabulous finishes. LadyBug drew out the winner this month and she picked #10.

$15 Fat Quarter Shop Gift Certificate

Congratulations to
:partytime: Colleen :partytime:

Colleen will receive a $20 gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop! Make sure you click over and see her adorable I Spy Quilt. And check out few of the other fun finishes in October! {I highly recommend checking out the completely awesome Star Trek costumes my sister made for Halloween.}

The November Finishes Linky Party is open, so you can link up as you go throughout the month. Remember to include the November Finishes button {code found in the November post} somewhere in any post you link up. Code for a button for your sidebar can also be found at the bottom of the November post. This month, The Fat Quarter shop is giving away a $10 Gift Certificate!

Today's post brought to you by:

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Stitch In Time: November Finishes Linky Party

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. –Jim Ryun

I say this a lot, but I can't believe it is the beginning of another month! November already. Wow. So far this year, we've had 300 finishes linked. Thank you everyone for coming back each month to make this linky party so much fun and for taking the time to click on the links and comment on posts! It really wouldn't work without you! With a fresh month ahead, I'm looking forward to a few good finishes. The holiday sewing season is upon us, so let the linking begin.

To participate in this month's linky party:
• Your project must be completed sometime in November, 2013.
• Once you've got your project finished {as in done, finito, nothing more to add, ready to use/display/give away} with some sort of stitching in it, blog about it or post a photo of it on Flickr.
• Scroll down to see what other bloggers are up to and link to your own finishes.
• Please include the November button in your blog post. Copy the code in the text box below and paste it somewhere in the post you link for this month's finishes. The button is a link to this specific post, so that other bloggers can find their way over and link up too. If you'd like a button for your sidebar, the code is at the bottom of this post.

• Each time you link up a finished project, you're entered to win the November giveaway, a $10 gift certificate from The Fat Quarter Shop!

• Thank you to The Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring our giveaway!

The Fine Print {which might be boring but you really should read}:
• Your project must be completed during the month you are linking to.
• Projects must include stitching of some sort. For example: appliqué, crochet, cross-stitch, embroidery, knitting, practical sewing {garment construction, bags, curtains, etc.}, quilting.
• Projects must be completely finished. As in done, finito, nothing more to add, ready to use/display/give away.
• You can pick something new to do, but projects do not have to be started during the month. If you pick up a UFO, Ph.D, WIP and finish it during the month, it counts.
• Finishes must be completed during this month, but you have until noon MST on the 1st of the next month to link your post.
• Post about your finish and then link your specific post {instructions here} above. Links to your blog and not the individual post about your finished project will be deleted.
• Have more than one finish this month? Great! Post about each finish individually and then link the specific posts up separately. Each finish, and therefore each link you add, counts as one entry for this month's giveaway.
• If you've already posted about a finish for this month, there's no need to do a separate post. Just add the button to that post and link up.
• Please copy and paste the code below to include this month's button somewhere in the post {not your sidebar} you link up for this month.
November Finishes

• Don't have a blog? You can link from your flickr account. Just post a picture, include a little note about your finish and a link back here {code included below} in the description. Then join the linky party.

• Want a button for your sidebar? Copy and paste the code below into an HTML gadget for your sidebar. This button is a link to the main A Stitch In Time Linky Party page, which always has the current month's finishes and links to all previous linky parties.
A Stitch In Time Linky Party

• Make sure to visit a few of the other links and leave them some love {ie, a comment}. A good rule of thumb is to visit two links for every one you include.
• Winner of the sponsored giveaway will be drawn randomly from among the links and announced by 8:00 pm MST on the 3rd of the following month.
• Instructions for making an index page to your finishes can be found here.
• Kindly consider changing your comment settings to the pop-up window option for faster and easier commenting for visitors to your blog. Instructions can be found here.