September 28, 2015

Where's Frosty? | Quilt #3

In Utah, just a few minutes from my parents's house, is my favorite fabric store, Pine Needles. If you are ever there, stop by! You won't regret it. Their decor is sample projects, everything from pillows and wall hangings to quilts and pincushions. 

On one trip there, I saw this quilt and just couldn't resist it. My mom kind of collects snowmen, so I have a special place in my heart for them. Plus, anyone who knows me, knows I heart winter and snow. The pattern is available for purchase in their online store.

The circles and snowman pieces I adhered using Heat-n-Bond. Then I used my zig-zag stitch to machine applique each piece on. I went around each piece twice for a tight look. I originally did each piece in white. On the colored pieces it looked terrible. So I spent a couple hours one night with my seam ripper and took it all apart. I re-did it using colored thread and it looks 10x better.

I backed the quilt in some soft, snowflake flannel and used an aqua and red diagonal stripe for the binding. All the fabrics for this quilt were from Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

The original quilt had all sort of beautiful machine quilting on it, however, after re-appliqueing all those pieces, I just wasn't up for that task. I decided just to tie this quilt. I used the same method as my Briar Rose quilt.

Even though it's still in the 90's here, I am looking forward to snuggling up with this quilt during the holidays with hot cocoa and a roaring fireplace. Last year we were blessed with snow, so I can only hope for a repeat this holiday season!

This project is part of my creative goals for the year. You can read more about those here. You can also follow my sewing Pinterest board, where I keep my dream projects and patterns.

September 1, 2015

Goodbye, Summer | A Love Letter

Being September 1st, it's time to say good-bye to summer. It went both slowly and at the speed of light. Our days were full and yet lazy at the same time.

This summer, I might have hit my record number of bug bites and trips to the pool. We made new friends, and drank our body weight and then some in Slurpees. But it was awesome. Zoe learned to really swim, we celebrated 2 birthdays and an anniversary, and we got to have a family vacation!

Today as we say good-bye to summer and all the fun that comes with it, we give a BIG, warm welcome, to my favorite time of year - Autumn! While it is still over 90°, we are expecting a respite of slightly cooler weather soon.

::cue pumpkin everything::

Holly & Co.

August 29, 2015

Briar Rose Quilt | Quilt #2

Briar Rose Heather Ross

Today I've got another quilt to share!

This one has been years in the making. I got my first pieces of this fabric 2 years ago for Christmas. I held onto it for a long time because I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with it. (This problem happens more often than you would think, and leads to a storage issue after awhile)

Last fall, Zoe inherited our old queen size bed, but her current quilt was made for a twin bed. A new bed means a new quilt. I started cutting the pieces in January and finished it in July.

First pieces cut back in January

The pattern I used was from Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew. I've said this before and I will say it again, if you are new to quilting and want a beginner friendly pattern, Cluck Cluck Sew patterns are the best place to start. From personal experience, I have found her patterns to be pre-cut friendly (saving lots of time) and extremely well written. I have no affiliation with Cluck Cluck Sew, I just really, really love her patterns. She has free patterns available on her blog or you can purchase patterns in her shop.

I used her free pattern, Summer Slice, but I added a row to make it bigger. It is an almost queen size quilt. It fits over the mattress nicely but it doesn't hang down very far.

Briar Rose Heather Ross

You might notice there is no quilting on this quilt. Because of it's size, I wasn't able to quilt it on my small sewing machine. I was left with two options, 1. pay to have someone quilt it with a long arm quilting machine or 2. use the old school method of tying a quilt. I chose option two because of the cost and also, the quilt is really busy. I thought the method of tying would keep it from looking more busy.

It took a few hours to tie it. I laid it out on my kitchen table and starting from the inside and worked my way out. I used this Pinterest tutorial for instructions.

For the back, I actually used a flat sheet. I bought this cute lavender polka dot sheet set, and used the flat sheet for the backing. I used this gold polka dot fabric for the binding. I was worried about polka dot on polka dot but I think it looks okay. 

This fabric is a few years old so it isn't widely available anymore. However, the designer, Heather Ross, just came out with a brand new line, that I couldn't resist scooping up. The new line is called Tiger Lily and is a beautiful blend of bold colors and low volume prints. I bought my bundle here.

Isn't it adorable? 

This project is part of my creative goals for the year. You can read more about those here. You can also follow my sewing Pinterest board, where I keep my dream projects and patterns.

August 20, 2015

California | Our Summer Vacation

We just got back from our summer vacation to northern California. It had been over a year since we were all back in California. The last time we were there it was about a 48 hour trip to attend my brother-in-law's wedding reception. We had time to take family pictures and attend the reception, that was about it.

We knew we wanted to be able to stay longer next time, so we scheduled an 8 day trip for the beginning of August. Little did I know, it was supposed to be the hottest week of the year here in Texas, and we escaped it! I traded 100+ temps, for a coastal breeze and jackets. It was heaven.

Days 1-5:

We spent the first portion of our trip back in our stomping grounds. It's crazy to drive past your first apartment as a married couple and see how far you have come. (Or how far you haven't....) I drove Zoe past and reminisced about bringing her home from the hospital and all the "firsts" she experienced in that place.

We got to see Ryan's immediate family and lots of extended family. We also caught up with old friends. This trip was good for my soul. Moving to a new place without anyone you really know is hard work. You spend a lot of effort making new friendships, creating new traditions and routines, just getting settled has taken us about a year. But when we went back to our first "home", it was like putting on an old comfy sweatshirt, it felt great.

Zoe clocked some serious cousin time. The cousins all run around together like a pack of wild dogs. There are alphas, leaders and followers. Lots of conflict combined with lots of love and friendship.

Days 6-8:

After spending a few days in Sacramento, we headed down to the Bay. 

Our first stop was to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was just amazing as the last time we went - but better, because Zoe didn't have a meltdown. Pictures really don't do the exhibits justice. The jellyfish are by far my favorite, they are so beautiful, they almost look fake.

On our last full day, we started the morning out on the pier and enjoyed fresh homemade crepes for breakfast. We headed over to the Dennis the Menace park for a little while, but as soon as the sun came out, we headed over to Carmel Beach. 

Zoe has been to the ocean before, but didn't remember it. So for her, it was like being in the ocean for the first time. You could her the shrieks and giggles all the way down the beach. It was pure joy. We left with salty hair and sandy feet (and let's be honest, there was sand everywhere!) We headed back to San Jose for one last night with cousins before heading home.

It was a successful vacation. We came back refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to go back to school next week. I feel so blessed that we were able to make this trip.  Our flights home were rough, it was a long day of travelling, but so worth it!

Holly & Co.