Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My book in a magazine? Say what?


It's not everyday . . . er, uh . . . It's not ever that I can say my book is in McCall's Quilting on newsstands now. Except today.  I can totally say that today.


I plan to talk about each quilt in the book and the story behind them soon.  Just as soon as I can get outside without tromping through snow, rain or mud to photograph them.  Until then I'm inside sewing up Pony Club blocks.

-dana

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mothering teens


The thoughts roll around my head like tumbleweeds.  Some days are windier than others.  Trying to attach words to those thoughts is harder than nailing jelly to a wall.  As soon as I have them, they slip away.  Seem irrelevant even. Sentences were forming as I walked the dogs this morning.  About how my role as a mother seemed easier when they were little.  Not easier, just more clearly defined. About how the daily drama of a teenage life is huge and all encompassing to a fifteen or thirteen year old mind. And exhausting to me.  Maybe parenting a teen is really just adjusting to a new interpersonal relationship and maybe I suck at those. I lose my patience and play the "because I'm your mother" card more than I care to admit.  Writing that makes me cringe and want to hit backspace.  Deep breath. I'd hope writing about it would be cathartic and transformative but know that I haven't figured anything out.  I don't seek a pep talk or pat on the back.  I'm trying and loving and thinking and analyzing and vowing to do my best.  I'll keep at it for I love them fiercely.

-dana

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pony club


My parents were in town over the weekend and during that time we Skyped with an aunt and uncle. My aunt politely reminded me that I don't blog very consistently any more.  Yep.  I know.  Life with two teenagers is busy. The time that I used to be able to sit down regularly at a computer and type a few words is often filled with additional chores or errands. And once you fall out of a habit it's hard to get back into it.  My free time is precious and I've been using it to sew, mostly.  


I've wanted to make all 90 blocks from The Farmer's Wife Pony Club book for several years now and decided 2015 was the year.  Several of us on Instagram agreed to each make ten blocks a month for nine months.  That would mean that after September I would have all 90 blocks complete and would have the rest of the year to make those blocks into a completed quilt.  Over Christmas break I planned to make three blocks in advance of 2015 -- a foundation paper pieced block, a blocks with lots of Y-seams, and a block with a gallion pieces and piece it traditionally.  I did that.  And then kept on going. To date I have 61 blocks done.  I haven't lost steam yet so I'm just going to keep on truckin'.  More pictures to come I'm sure but for now you can follow along on Instagram.  And join me too!  Use hashtag #ridethatponyclub so all the participants can see what you're making and cheer you along too!

-dana

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Birthday Flash Sale

Today is my birthday.  Because of that, and because I sold out in early December and so many of you missed the opportunity to buy what you wanted, I'm having a flash sale in the shop now through Sunday.  You get seven bars of soap for the price of six!  The bars retail for $4 per bar . . . the sale makes them $2.85 per bar!  Purchase six bars (or as many multiples of six that you want) as you normally would.  Then leave me a note in the comment section during checkout of what you want your seventh bar to be and I'll be sure to include it.

-dana

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Color Dive Quilt


I finished binding this quilt and set it down to put on my shoes, grab my camera and wrangle some volunteers.


  Jezebel seized the opportunity to make herself comfortable.



Once outside, Inky immediately wanted to lay on it too.



Color Dive pattern from Anna Maria Horner.  Quilting by The Backporch Quilters.


I can't blame the cats. I purr like a kitten every time I spot it on my bed.

-dana

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ringing in the new


A small road trip with nine teenagers to see a concert.


Being cast in the play in the part she really wanted.


Friends trying to send a paper lantern off into the night but being foiled by little boys swinging sticks like swords. Sending wishes, hopes and plans up anyway.


Sitting on the frozen, grassy hill across from the "Corner" waiting for the ball to drop.


Making bread bowls.


Bread bowls for our annual New Year's Day tradition.  That happened on January 2nd instead.


Our break was full of baking, crafting, staying in our pajamas all day, watching movies and lazing around.


Remembering it all had me a little sad it was over as I drove them to school this morning.

-dana

Monday, December 22, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

My friend Lee of May Chappell invited me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop.  It's a blog hop where each blogger shares what they are working on, why they create what they do and how their creative process works.  The super cool thing is that you can back track from here to see Lee and all those participants before her as well as click over and look at the new ones I pass the torch to.


First I want to talk a bit about what I'm working on.  If you've been here awhile you know that I wrote a book, Imagine Quilts, that was released in July 2014.  Writing a quilting book has lots of other things that go along with it.  Going to Quilt Market to help promote it.  Teaching and traveling across my region.  Submitting new designs or writing features for magazines as a direct result of the book.  And so on.  Since my book was released five months ago, I've been busy doing the promotional and fun things associated with it's release which hasn't left much time for personal sewing or creating.

That being said, however, my mind has been stretched and pulled in new ways that are exciting.  I may not have made a new quilt to my ever growing pile in the last several months, but I have been challenged and put to the test in new ways that have filled me up creatively.


I've been a reader, or perhaps more appropriately a devourer, of creative blogs for years.  I like seeing what people are making, what inspires them and how they grow, change and evolve.  And as frustrating as it is for a reader of these blogs to find less frequent content on them, I get it.  Writing a book, or publishing patterns, or opening a shop, or whatever it may be requires time and energy. Any of those things make you part of "the industry" and so much of the flash, drama and magic of the industry is done behind-the-scenes.  I can't share photos of quilts in progress that will eventually be published. It's not so much that it's secret because if you were to come to my house you'd see it in it's many pieces and parts and I'd ask your opinion on fabric choices, placement and scale.  Rather, publishers don't want patterns/designs/processes made available before they are officially published in their print media.  I totally get it.  Don't you?



Whether I'm creating behind-the-scenes or sharing each detail of a project via social media (Hello Instagram! I'm talking to you.  Oh, how I love you!) the act of creating soothes me. It calms my mind and allows me to focus. When I create I get a feeling inside that is a giant combination of excitement, pride, contentment and accomplishment.  It just feel so darn good.


I've been lucky over the past several years to grow friendships with other like minded creatives.   Three of which I'm tagging here and asking them to share what they are working on or why they create or how their process works or, actually, anything they feel like sharing.  I hope you go check them out.

Go visit Jennifer at Ellison Lane

Melissa at Janky Quilt Co.

Carlie at Janky Quilt Co.


They are each so unique, smart, crazy talented and funny as heck.  I'm lucky to call each of them a friend and know that you'll soon find yourself under their spell too.

-dana