Life is Simple T-shirt

April 6, 2008 by

Well… back in November I designed a new t-shirt.  I started with the idea that I wanted color and I wanted a shirt that both men and women could wear.  Also, I love the name of our blog and wanted to work it into the design idea… Wala!  The Life is Simple t-shirt design was born! It even has a Quilty Pleasures top 10 list on the back.  (Go to to view and purchase the shirt.)

Shirt front:

Shirt Back:

Every Quilty Pleasure listed on the t-shirt has a story. I’ll share the one about Life’s Quilty Pleasure #3 – Getting “permission” from a friend to abandon a UFO.

Well, I won’t name names, but the person who inspired this is my business partner (and fellow designer).  We will just call her “D” for short…  “D” was working on a project and kept saying that it wasn’t fun and she couldn’t wait to get finished with it so she could work on something else.  After hearing her say this three or four times, I asked “D” if she liked the project?  Did she think it was something she would love when she finished it.  Guess what.  Her answer was NO!  I said, “Good grief woman, then get rid of it and don’t worry about finishing it!”  The look she gave me was priceless.  It was like she had a light bulb moment.  She never thought abandoning the UFO was an option.

Needless to say, she “gifted” her project to a beginning quilter who was thrilled to have a project to work on and I think “D” even gave her a little lesson to get her going.  Talk about a win-win situation!

I’m sharing this story because I think we forget that our sewing time is precious and must not be wasted on a project that we really dislike.  I’m not talking about a difficult project that requires you to struggle through a tough part, I’m talking about the one that fills us with dread each time we take it out. 

So… get rid of the UFO you don’t want to finish.  It’s OK.  I give you permission.  Oh, yea – go ahead and post a comment and tell us about your UFOs.  We can’t wait to hear about what you are working on. 


Heartland Gathering Picture – Procrastinating as Usual

October 15, 2007 by

Sorry it took me so long to get these pictures posted!  Here is a picture of the quilt Diane and I designed to be used for the Quilt the Quilt 2 Exhibit.  This quilt is the cover quilt for our pattern and shows our suggested quilting design included in the pattern (except for the curly-q McTavishing… that isn’t included in the suggested quilting design – didn’t want to freak out any new quilters).  This quilt is also my entry in the QTQ2 exhibit.  We have a few more of the blue fabric kits that are pre-cut and well labeled.  They will be offered for sale with the pattern on our website as soon as I get my fanny into gear and get some M&D website work done.  The image is a thumbnail, so click on it to see a larger image.


Here is a picture of my entry in the original QTQ exhibit.  The actual quilt is a pretty green, but my photo isn’t a good one.  This is also a thumbnail image.


Heartland Gathering Pattern Release

October 10, 2007 by

After photography and cover finishing, our  Heartland Gathering pattern will be ready for release!  Yippee!!!  This pattern came about after my longarm quilting group, the Heartland Longarm Quilting Association, decided to produce a new Quilt the Quilt exhibit. 

We did this about 4 years ago and we have 11 (I think) quilts with that exhibit that have travelled around to shows that have requested the display.  The exhibit is free, but we do ask the requesting group to pay for the shipping.  Every quilt is the same pattern, and the same colors, measuring less than 40″ square.  The only difference is the quilting design.  Each participant interprets and quilts whatever they want on the quilt.  This exhibit is still available to book for your event.

The Quilt the Quilt 2 project needed a design that would give the quilters plenty of quilting space and have permission from the copyright holder (designer) to be used for the project.  Diane and I offered to design a quilt just for the project and we do have a limited number of pre-cut kits in the same fabrics as the cover quilt.  These kits include the binding.  Later today I’ll post pictures of my entry into the project, which is the same quilt we will be using for the pattern cover.

Heading off to Waterloo

October 9, 2007 by

Just a quick post this morning.  My MIL and I are headed off to Waterloo, Iowa for a day of sewing with some friends.  I’m so glad she is able to come!  This is the same group (more or less) that did the retreat at Rosies, so it will be fun to see everyone again. 

Do you get a chance to have sewing days with your friends?  What kind of projects do you work on when you do?

Have a great day!

Update on Sunday Activities

October 8, 2007 by

Yes, I managed to make some big progress on the Dorothy dress yesterday.  It really was fun to work on a wearable for the first time in awhile.  I still need to sew the zipper in with the machine, add the buttons, and add a couple of hooks at the neckline in the back.  I altered the pattern for the hem treatment and used a bit of eyelet lace to look like a slip under her dress.  The pattern is Simplicity 4139.  Alexandra thinks I’m magic because I was able to make the fabric look like the “real Dorothy” dress!  I know from my older two children that I should enjoy this short time when Alex thinks I can do “magic”. LOL

Dorothy Dress Front Dorothy Dress - Back

She received her first (preschool) bible at church and proudly stood in front of the congregation at church.  She can be shy sometimes, so I wasn’t sure how she would handle looking out at the crowd.  Alexandra was excited to see her name in “print” in the bulletin and inside the bookcover.  She carried it around all afternoon and we had to read the story of The Good Samaritan at bedtime. 

Alexandra with First Bible

Today I need to get some business done on the computer and figure out which quilt to load next.  The Iowa City Quilt Guild meeting is tonight, so I’m also going to try and finish my jacket from the Jill Abeloe-Mead workshop.  I’ll post a picture when it is finished.

A Busy Sunday

October 7, 2007 by

Alexandra will receive her first bible during the church service today.  They are giving them to all the children who are starting Sunday School for the first time.  She has really been enjoying Sunday School and gave us an interesting version of the story of The Good Samaratan a couple of weeks ago.  The details may not have all been right, but at least we know she has been listening.

After we get home, I want to work on her Dorothy dress for Halloween and see if I can’t get it nearly completed.  I forgot how easy garment sewing was and have really enjoyed making her dress.  The seam allowances seem HUGE, though.

I aso need Craig to check a few of my measurements so I can release the hold on my Unique Patterns order.  This is a place that drafts patterns exactly to your measurements so I won’t have as many fitting issues when I make my garments.  My goal is to do a storyboard for fall and winter clothes and use the SWAP technique to start building a wardrobe that fits and makes sense and get rid of all the clothes that I hate, but wear anyway.  Here is an example of a SWAP wardrobe plan.

Have a great Sunday and enjoy whatever is keeping you busy today.

Pumped some $ into the Grinnell economy…

October 6, 2007 by

Miki and DianeWell, Diane and I had a great road trip yesterday.  If you have never been to Grinnell FiberWorks, I highly recommend it as a destination shop!  There are so many inspiring fabrics, tools, beads, shiny things, etc. that it takes me about 20 minutes just to get over the initial sensory overload.  Betsy Shannon (one of the shop owners) took this picture of us so I could post it on the blog.  I told Diane that I never think of myself as short until I see myself in a picture with anyone other than a kid.  She informed me that she wasn’t that tall either… so I gather that means I’m really a runt!

Diane and I left a little ($) love behind and brought home some beautiful fabric.  I had to have some Aubergine silk, Olive Green Batik Rayon, and some other goodies for some clothing sewing I’m going to be doing this fall and winter because I’m sick of clothes not fitting my (short) curvy figure.

Currently on display in the shop’s classroom/meeting space/gallery there is a display of Art Bras that are part of a fundraiser/challenge they are holding at the shop.  The funds will be donated for breast cancer research.  You can read more about the challenge on their website.  I asked permission and took some pictures of all the great bras.  I didn’t get all the information written down about the Artists, so if you have questions about any of these creative works, please give the gals in Grinnell a call.

On the road to Grinnell, Iowa

October 5, 2007 by

Diane and I are hitting the road this morning for a drive to Grinnell, Iowa to visit one of my favorite quilt shops, Grinnell FiberWorks.  I can’t take too much time to tell you about it this morning because I need to get Alexandra ready for preschool and I’m still in my jammies – can’t go out like this!  Diane will be here in 45 minutes, so bye for now…

I’ve been Tagged…

October 3, 2007 by

Christine Olson has tagged me to post a “4 things you don’t know about me” list.  I’ve had alot of fun reading hers, but didn’t know how difficult it would be!  I’ve been working on this post for about a month… I just can’t stand that much introspection, I guess.  Enjoy!

4 favorite Crayon colors

Cornflower Blue, Orchid, Hot Magenta, and Outrageous Orange

4 Favorite Sewing/Quilting Tools

  • Rotary cutter
  • Seam ripper
  • Calculator (I’ve been accused of Miki Math so it is really important for me to check my figures all the time!)
  • 1/4″ foot

4 things you may not know about me:

  • It took me 10 years to get a 4 year degree in Marketing (kids and life kept happening)
  • I like to sketch portraits
  • When I’m quilting, I always listen to my favorite music or NPR
  • I love office supply stores almost as much as a quilt shop

4 jobs I’ve had:

  • Worked for my childhood friend’s parents in their print shop.
  • Sales Assistant for a pet store located in a Richway store (kind of like a Target) and absolutely HATED the tarantulas we sold.
  • Office Manager in a field office for a hand-held computer company (where I met my DH!)
  • Market Research Analyst for an appliance manufacturer.

4 television shows I watch:

  • Grey’s Anatamy
  • Project Runway
  • Desperate Housewives
  • Brothers & Sisters

4 musicians/groups I love to listen to:

4 hobbies:

  • Sewing and Quilting
  • Stained Glass
  • Graphic Design
  • Researching things on the Internet

4 places I’ve lived:

  • Titusvulle, Florida (My Mom and Dad worked at the Space Center)
  • West Palm Beach, Florida
  • Monterey, California
  • Charlotte, North Carolina

4 favorite foods:

  • Beef – Steak in particular
  • Homemade Tacos
  • Swiss Cake Rolls
  • Potatoes of any kind

4 websites I visit:

4 favorite family memories 

  • Trying to get the springhorse assembled for my 23-year-old daughter, Amber, for her second Christmas.  I was seperated from my first husband and trying to find the Christmas spirit during a very tough time in my life.  I had moved back in with my Mom and she helped make sure Amber had a good Christmas by buying her a springhorse.  We were trying to be quiet so she wouldn’t come out and see her Santa gift, but we were fighting so hard with the springs to get the thing assembled correctly.  I’m not sure exactly how we managed to get that thing together, but Mom and I ended up rolling on the floor laughing at our efforts until we cried!
  • Our first family vacation when we visited the Wisconsin Dells and Noah’s Ark waterpark.
  • Visiting my Grandparents and playing with my Grandfather in his backyard when I was a kid.  I miss you, Grandpa.
  • Visiting the North Carolina mountains with my son, Ryan.  Any of our trips there together is a favorite memory, but most recently we went and visited Linville Caverns.  Craig, Ryan, Alexandra and I were on that trip.  After going through the caverns, Craig, Alex, and I were exploring the gift shop and Ryan went out to explore the mountain stream.  I went out to find him and let him know we were ready to hit the road and there he was… my strong manly, man son…  hanging out with some butterflies at the edge of the stream.  Gosh, I love that kid!

Ryan with Butterfly

MQResource Artist Postcard Swap

October 2, 2007 by

Oh, boy… I am so lucky!  I have received the coolest postcards in an Artist Postcard Swap on!  Our theme was “New Beginnings” and we had eight people in our group.  The mailing deadline was 9/30/07 and mine went out late on 10/1/07 (I know… big surprise <grin>).  I’ve received 4 and know my own is coming in the mail, so 3 more are due to come any day.  Yippee!

Here are pictures of the postcards I have received so far – THANK YOU TO ALL MY SWAP BUDDIES!

 From Margie Kraft  From Suzanne Earley  From Ann Marie Cowley  From Gretchen Adams

I can’t tell you how liberating it has been to participate in this swap.  If you ever get a chance to do something like this, then DO IT!  I had to work through the creative process including loosing confidence in my piece and forcing myself to finish anyway.  Now I’m glad I did.

I suffer from a sometimes debilitating case of perfectionism and have a hard time finishing a project if I don’t feel it is “perfect”.  With this project I was able to show myself that the process was the important part, not the final result.  Now I am happy with my own piece, but it was an acceptance of myself that made that possible… not perfection.  I’ll hold off posting a picture of my own postcard until I know my swap buddies have received theirs.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise!