Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category


Sabik quilt photo

In just under a month I’ll be headed to Austin to partake in the Modern Quilt Guild’s first ever conference! I am really excited for a few reasons– I’ll get to catch up with some friends I haven’t seen in a while, there are some amazing speakers lined up, and I get to take a class with one of my all time favorite fabric designers!

To get to know others who will be at the conference, the Modern Quilt Guild has organized a link-up so that people’s faces will seem a little more familiar. I think this is a great idea, and so although I don’t love posting pictures of myself, I thought I’d join in. For fun, they’re also asking us to share 5 things about ourselves that people may not know! So– here are some bits of information about me you may or may not know…

1. I have sloooowly been converting to be vegetarian, and my husband and I try to eat vegan meals at least a few times a week. My whole family has shifted to this way of thinking and eating over time, and films like Forks over Knives have been very influential! My husband has been a vegetarian for years, and although I still reserve the right to eat meat on occasion, I would say I am 99% meat free.

2. I would rather sew than blog. I know it might be sacrilege to admit that on my blog, but I have made MANY more things than I share here. I’m the worst about photographing gifts– I tend to make them and then give them away without taking photos!

3. I spend most of my day in front of my computer working on research, and I really love it. I finished my Ph.D in psychology and women’s studies this past year, and now work as a postdoctoral research fellow. I’m hoping to someday be a professor at a college, where I can continue to teach and work on my research!

4. Quilting (and my quilting friends) kept me sane while I was in grad school. I think without feeding the creative part of my brain I’d have gone crazy!

5. I think all the time about why I quilt and craft, and what sort of value it adds to my life. At times, I feel compelled to create, as if making something tangible is a sign that I was here and spent my time well. If I don’t have time to sew for a while, I don’t feel quite right, like something is missing. If I have a new idea for a project, I often want to try it out RIGHT NOW, because I so want to see if it will work! And I always, always feel happy when I finish a quilt and can show everyone else what I saw in my head before I even cut into the first piece of fabric.

Are any of you heading to QuiltCon?? If so, let me know– I would love to meet up!!

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Hope valley on the fence

Hello everyone! It’s been wayyyyy longer than I had planned since my last post! I have quite a few projects to share, and I can’t wait to reveal some of the Christmas gifts I made this year! (spoiler alert: I made more quilts!).
However, I’ve been slow to return to my normal routine, because I’d been fighting off a cold that turned into pneumonia. And, to top it off, I coughed so hard I broke one of my ribs (hence the title of my post). I have heard this was possible, but I had no idea it could really just happen! It is so, so painful, and I’m hoping it doesn’t take too long to mend, as it’s quite uncomfortable to do anything at the moment, much less sit at my sewing machine. While I’m couch-bound for the next few days, I can finally spend a little time with my blog! There’s nothing like fabric and quilt photos to take my mind off the pain.

Hope valley quilt

I’m really happy to be able to share this quilt, because I had so much fun making it. This was the Christmas gift for my mom, and it was made using one of my all time favorite lines of fabric, Hope Valley. I’ve used this line in a number of projects before, and I love how well it plays with other fabrics.

I went through a few different designs and layouts before deciding on this one. In fact, my friend Brenda suggested using the gray sashing when we were sewing together, and I’m so glad she did– I love the way the gray offsets the bright fabrics. (She does have a good eye for fabric! I’ve also been drooling over some of the new prints in her shop!)
I backed the quilt with a super soft organic sheet, and I love how it has a little sheen to it.

hope valley quilt detail

After my mom opened her gift, I wanted to take some photos, and I was in luck because we stopped by my sister’s in-laws house just after Christmas for a visit, and they have such a great spot for photos– right by their barn where they house their goats! They just got these two little cuties this past summer, and the goats were a little timid but curious enough to come check out the quilt!

Chloe and Izzy, the new goats

Chloe checking out the quilt

Chloe approves of the quilt

Izzy keeping an eye on things

I’m pretty sure my mom loved the quilt, and I’m so glad that she said she can always use more quilts. I told her to let me know when she has enough, and until that day I’ll keep making them for her!

I’ll be back soon with more quilts and projects to share!

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sewing summit inspiration!

Now that I’m back from the Sewing Summit, I’ve been thinking about how to capture all of the excitement and fun from the weekend so I can share it with you all! First of all, I want to thank Erin and Amy for all of their hard work– this was a HUGE undertaking, and they pulled it off beautifully. All of us that were able to attend are so grateful that they had such a good idea and the dedication to pull it off!

check out all those fabric lanyards

When I arrived Friday and checked into the conference, I was immediately impressed by the level of detail– everything was so well planned and so thoughtful, down to the handmade fabric lanyards for our nametags! I went with a Joel Dewberry print for mine, one of my faves! I shouldn’t have been surprised when I met up with my roomate, Kate, and she had picked out the exact same one– one of the things we bonded over was our similar taste in fabric!

At the welcome reception Friday night, I kept feeling like I was seeing people I “knew”– it was kind of surreal to be in a room full of people, many of whom I recognized, but hadn’t actually met! Friday evening I went to dinner with a group organized by my friend Rachel, and I was really excited to get a chance to talk to Mary Catharine, as I’ve been following her blog and her work in the Do. Good Stitches bee for a while now! After dinner we had a Do. Good Stitches meetup, and Rachel taught me how to crochet. It was something I never tried before, and given that my crochet looked a little more like a parallelogram than a rectangle when I was done with it, I think there might be a reason why I haven’t given it a try! I think I’ll stick with quilts for now!

fat quarters ready to be swapped!

I also accompanied Kate to drop off her fat quarters for the swap, and it was a sight to behold! A group was organizing them by color, and it was amazing to think about all of this fabric coming from all over the country to be swapped.

free motion quilting class

Saturday morning classes started, and this was something I was really, really looking forward to– I wanted to expand my skills, and I love learning new techniques and sewing tricks! My first 2 classes were held in the sewing room, and I took improv piecing with Jess and free motion quilting with Allison.

Me and Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew

working on my FMQ skills

Allison showing us how she quilts

I loved trying out new free motion quilting designs, and I loved hearing Allison’s techniques for quilting!

Jeni's class at the sewing summit

In the afternoon, I took Jeni’s class on fabric selection, and Amanda’s class on mini quilts. Both were so thoughtful and provided so much inspiration– I jotted down a bunch of notes that I’m hoping I can decipher now that I’m home!

check out all those kona color cards!

Also, after talking to us about creative fabric selection, Jeni surprised us all with Kona color cards! Yay for solid color fabric!

shopping for fabric in SLC

fat quarters at the quilt shop

at the quilt shop in SLC

When classes were finished, I was lucky enough to hang out with Kate, Kristie, and Sam! We did some very successful fabric shopping, and it was so fun to be shopping in person (not online) with my online friends! It was hard to narrow down my choices, but I knew I would have trouble fitting much extra in my suitcase, so that helped keep me in check!

sewing night at the summit

Saturday night it seemed like just about everyone was in the sewing room!

Kristie and her innocent crush quilt progress

Kristie was working on a gorgeous Innocent Crush quilt– it made me want to make another one of my own!

creative photo taking at the summit

And there was some creative photo taking going on. This made for a great shot!

Kate and her baby quilt top

I assisted Kate, who was working on a stacked coins quilt top for a quilt she’s donating to 100 quilts for kids. It is so much fun working on a project with a friend!

Sunday I took a photography class with Vanessa, and then a home decor class with Erin. I’ve never had a lack of ideas for new projects, but after these classes I have about a million more things I want to make. It was hard to say goodbye to everyone, but luckily before we headed out of town there was time for a quick brunch with Kate, Lee, Faith, and Faith’s sister Rachel.

the mormon temple

the tabernacle

Kate and I even managed to squeeze in a quick trip to the Mormon temple– it was definitely worth stopping by, I’m glad I got to see it while we were there.

Erin and her sewing summit quilt

I’m still reflecting on it all, and I’m so glad I took the risk and decided to go! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is sewing and/or blogging– it was amazing to meet some of the people in this supportive community, and I hope to make it to another summit in the future!

our mountain view

One last thing– I’d hate to have all the fun and not share some with you all, so check back tomorrow– I just might have a little sewing summit giveaway for you!

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disappearing 9 patch baby quilt

A little while ago my sister asked me to make a baby quilt for a friend of hers who is having a baby boy. In the nursery they have an undersea theme, so we decided to go with water inspired fabric. I got a few prints from cosmo cricket’s “snorkel” line of fabric, including the backing fabric for this quilt.

disappearing 9 patch baby quilt

quilt on the fence

When deciding on a pattern, my sister suggested the disappearing 9-patch. I previously made her a quilt using this technique, and I’m glad she suggested it for this project– it worked well with the fabric! Good choice, Linds!

quilt on the fence

(My mom was holding the quilt up for me, and was keeping things interesting for me here!)
Mom being silly

We met up with our family earlier this summer, and before I handed over the quilt to my sister I was able to take these photos. Rudy the goat generously let us use his fence to stage some photos, and then thought about taking a bite of the quilt. Luckily we kept it out of goat range!

on the fence

Rudy the goat

Rudy and the baby quilt

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O + G entrance

While in Montreal, we stopped in a little cafe that had been highly recommended by multiple sources. It was one of the highlights of the trip for me!

LOVE the fabric letters at O + G
(Look at those fabric letters! I want some for my house!)

O + G veggie wall

We had a seat near the open windows, which were filled with gorgeous pots and planters filled with herbs and veggies.

Window boxes at Olive and Gourmando

O + G Window

The food was really amazing, and the decor… well, lets just say I was ready to move in!

Deli counter in Olive and Gourmando

Lunch at Olive and Gourmando

Olive and Gourmando water

Olive and Gourmando pasteries

Food Prep at Olive and Gourmando

If anyone visits Montreal, you *have* to check this place out!

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Our quick getaway

old montreal B & W

First of all, thanks so much for all the lovely comments on my post about our anniversary! I really can’t believe our wedding was over a year ago. I’ve been a little slow to catch up on blog stuff this week, because J and I took a trip to Montreal to celebrate! Since we’ve been back I’ve been enjoying a little bit of a break from regular life activities.
It was our first time in Montreal, and the city was amazing. We stayed in old Montreal, and I’d heard that this part of this city feels very European. It’s true!

downtown montreal

The streets of old montreal

old montreal

Notre Dame

We saw ALL sorts of things while we were there! Pirates and weddings and street performers and even trapeze artists!



street performers


We were lucky to catch a performance of Cirque du Soleil’s show, Totem, while we were there. We were both totally enthralled with the show, and J found this blog, which details life on the road with Cirque du Soleil.

cirque du soliel

We spent our time walking through the city and the parks along the waterfront, stopping in shops and galleries, and taking in the flavor of the city. It was so different from all of the US cities we’ve been to!

Montreal Park

Montreal Garden

street artists

marche bonsecours


Montreal Window Box

We were only there for a few days, so there is plenty left to explore next time we go back!

old montreal street

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Simon's fang
(Simon, being silly. He’s been napping in the sun and making funny faces pretty much all the time)

Wow, the last month has flown by! I’m glad it’s June, because although May was fun, it was a whirlwind! J and I were out of town every single weekend, which severely cut into my sewing time! When we were home, we were often headed to our community garden plot to try to get the beds ready and plants in. The garden is coming along nicely, and we’re both very excited to have a weekend coming up that we’ll spend at home– we have big plans to relax and indulge in pleasures like a visit to the farmers market, planting more in the garden, and getting some quilts done!

My problem for the last month has been than I’ve been so busy during the week with work that I haven’t had time to keep up with all of our adventures on my blog! So, I thought I’d take some time to give a recap of where we’ve been and what we’ve been doing! And, now that life will be returning to a more normal schedule, I plan to have more sewing projects finished and will be sharing them as I get them done.

So– here’s what we’ve been up to! (warning– this may be my longest post ever! But, it includes lots of pictures, so it’s really not so bad).

Justin running

First, in early May, J ran the Cleveland marathon. It was his 4th marathon! I am so impressed by his dedication and fortitude when it comes to running.

ohio baseball showdown!
(Please excuse our racist mascot. I really wish they would change that!)

The following weekend, we were back in Cleveland to catch the Indians-Reds matchup. I grew up in Cleveland, and J is from the Cincinnati area, so we like to give each other a hard time when our teams meet up. Well, mosly J likes to give me a hard time. I relied on my sister Olivia to help me with the smack-talk comebacks.

baseball fireworks

indians day game

We saw some great fireworks after the night game, and went back the next day for the day game. The Indians were on a tear, and beat the Reds in both games!

The next weekend, I we drove down to Washington, DC so I could attend a conference. After that, we continued on to Richmond, Virginia where my sister and brother-in-law live. We went to a crawfish boil hosted by friends of the family for memorial day. It was HOT out, but we had a great time sitting in the yard by the river and eating lots of yummy food!

Relaxing at the crawfish cookout

memorial day cookout

the dock at the river house

The crawfish boil was really quite impressive!

Crawfish boil

Our family friend, Jim, is originally from Louisana. He taught us that you can’t have too much spicy seasoning in your crawfish boil! (also, check out how big that pot is! It held a lot of food!)

Jim at the cookout

crawfish on the table

When the crawfish was ready, it was dumped right on the table, and everyone dug in with their hands (well, almost everyone– J is vegetarian, so he stayed clear of the crawfish table).

me and bucky!

We also had fun playing with Bucky, our friends dog. Bucky loved hunting for dropped crawfish, and by late afternoon she was a bit tired (or, possibly drunk on crawfish).

After leaving the cookout, we drove down to Colonial Williamsburg. J and I had never been there, and it was such a cool little town.

We saw horses and old building and lots of plants!

williamsburg horse

williamsburg street

brick building in williamsburg

williamsburg gate

I took the following photo for my friend Karen– Shields was her maiden name, and is now her middle name! (Karen, here’s your tavern– I imagine you’d eat here if you were in Williamsburg!)

shields tavern in williamsburg

brick fort in williamsburg

One of the highlights of Williamsburg were the gardens.

Williamsburg gardens sign

There were gorgeous plants, like this arichoke.

Williamsburg gardens artichoke

And this light and airy asparagus plant.

Williamsburg gardens asparagus

We also saw these amazing beds, that had old windows that could fit over the bed to create a built-in greenhouse. I took a few pictures of these, because this is something I’d love to build someday! I even have some old windows tucked away for this sort of project…

Williamsburg gardens window greenhouse

Williamsburg gardens window frames

Can you spot my sister in the following photo?

Williamsburg gardens

She loved the flowers on this tree– she was busy taking photos like this:

Williamsburg gardens flower

J and I loved the gardens– they gave us lots of ideas for building our own someday!

Williamsburg gardens

We spent a few more days in Richmond before heading home that weekend. And this past weekend we were out of town for a wedding. Phew– I am glad we’re done with the travel for a while! And I managed to do a *little* bit of sewing during this time and started some new things I’m planning to share soon!

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