Monday, December 31, 2018

My 2019 Quilty Inventory

Okay like many of you, with the New Year ahead, I have found myself taking "inventory" of my stash. As I keep calm and carry on, I decided to make a list of my inventory along with "why" I bought or started each, in hopes to inspire myself to tackle a few them in 2019.

KITS

So here we go:
1. Hollyhock Flowers bought as I was inspired by some new techniques included in this kit.
2. It's Good To Be Square bought to make a summer quilt for hubby.
3. Brown Bear  Brown Bear bought as a great story quilt for the grands.
4. Kinder layer cake bought just because I like the fabric! LOL!
5. Material for two receiving blankets because my gift inventory is low.
6. A Bloomin Dozen Wall Quilt by Kim Schaefer.
7. Home is Best Wallhanging by Timeless Treasures
8. Buggy Barn Winter Blooms (Potted Hearts)
7. My Lori Holt Picture block quilt. I joined as a block of the week to create a quilt for our master bed. But! The store got wayyyy behind on their kits...thus, I got way thrown off. These blocks are always fun to make, I'm thinking of doing them as a block of the week again, I mean I have the kits!

W.I.P

These three are top priority. They are all ALMOST done! I'm going to be intentional about finishing each one as I love them. I plan to hang the Bee Happy in my laundry room, the houses and birdies in my living room and My Scrap Dance Tango from Carole's 2017 Mystery QAL I'll continue into a Queen size so I can use it on our Master Bed as our Winter Quilt.
Also, but not pictured: My Metro Rings Polka Dot Quilt


HAND SEWING

I am probably "two movies" away from finishing my Anni Downs quilt and though this has  providing some wonderful winter stitching, I'm ready for something new! Some cotton applique and not wool, as I miss my needle turned applique. These are kits I have on hand that I could rejuvenate:
1. Two Kim Schaefer Calendar Quilts: February, March and April
2. All Around Town by Susan Garman (2000)
3. My Hexi Flowers! (This one is almost embarrassing to admit!)

QUILTING

Looks like I have about a half a dozen quilts to get on the long arm. Not bad really.
Annnnnd I think my BIGGEST area of exploration is in having the confidence to do some custom quilting! Seriously, I'm my worst enemy in this area and literally have unquilted quilts hanging in my house! LOL!!! I'm afraid I'll ruin my quilts.So this week, I will BEGIN with our grands guys cow quilt. Not going to over think it...just going to dive in!!  

EXPERIMENTING

In our process of downsizing, I'm also experimenting with a different "sewing station". I'm 5'10" and have long legs. I'm using a pub size level table for my sewing right now and so far it is proving to be much more comfortable. My back doesn't hurt and my legs can extend. I'm kinda liking it. As we  continue to downsize, I'm also hoping to donate a few quilts and fulfill my foster care quilt mission for kids at our elementary school andddd play with my scraps more! (More on this Sunday)
Notice I'm not really committing to anything...but have to admit, taking inventory inspires me.
I'm looking forward to the New Year and close wishing you the very best as we all welcome 2019!!!! 

Sharing and linking with everyone else at:
2019 Planning Party

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Best of 2018 Linky

I like participating in Cheryl's "Best of" Linky Party as it creates the opportunity and motivation for me to look back and see how my year of blogging and quilting has been. 
 My "word" for 2018 was CREATE. But....in reflection, well, THAT didn't really happen now did it. I find myself wondering, how can so much happen in a year, and yet, so much not. In review, I did finish seven quilts, but if I were to be honest, it was more a year of self growth than creative expression. It's not the details that matter so much, but truly the lessons learned. My lesson being that of acceptance and choosing to move forward and authentically begin to creatively define myself not as a teacher, or even as a mother, but a creative women who's esteem is independent of these outgrown roles. So today, I reflect upon 2018, grateful for my lessons learned but planning to be more authentic in 2019.

#1: My little buddy asking to teach him how to sew.
I cherish my relationship with this little guy and am so grateful for his presence in my life.
As I move forward, I will continue to cherish the fact I am a grandmother and value that I have grown to understand my role as such. I offer my daughter and grands comfort and wisdom. They need that kind of grounding in their busy, busy lives. I offer that. Lucky me.

#2: Hubby and I discovered a new hobby we  really enjoy together. As I move forward, I'm so grateful we found Golf as it challenges us and finds us laughing a lot. But most of all, I've grown to appreciate that the one childhood wish I had, that came true, was that I married my best friend. This man truly completes me. He is so patient, so kind, so wise. He makes me a better me. 2019 will find us selling our home and downsizing and really just having fun within that process. We're excited!

#3: Our Annual Piggy Bank Challenge continues for it's 6th year!
As I move forward, I'm grateful there are still a few others of you that like to save spare change as much as me. I'm grateful that even though I haven't been really "quilty" this year, that you continue to follow and join in on the challenges and linkys I offer. Thank you!
 Val's Quilting Studio

#4: Our Eye Spy Swap was a huge success.
Receiving 1,758 views, this was just so much fun! I move forward, valuing the community we have in our blogging world and commit to continuing to be an active part of it.
 This swap lead to...my favorite finishes of the year. They all make me smile as I think about the five energetic boys they were each created and gifted to over the past year.



#5: Career Transition. Retired Quilts and yes, Jackson.
As I move forward, I'm so grateful I had the confidence and opportunity to move into a mentor role at work and thus, start to value the time this has created for me to perhaps expand myself creatively outside of work. Time has been presented as an opportunity to embrace new found freedoms as for the first time in thirty years, I'm truly living without the obligations of children. I'm liking it. And, of course, there's always comfort found in having a loyal companion like my Jackson by my side.
So there you have it: The 5 Best Lessons learned here at Val's Quilting Studio. I want to thank all of you who have become my blogging friends over the past years.  I also want to welcome you if you are new to my ol' spot here in blogland. Please take a look around, and if ya are even a little bit inspired by what ya see, I hope you'll follow too. In the meantime, happy holidays to you all and thank you Cheryl for hosting this party. Click on the picture below to check out everyone participating and celebrating:
Meadow Mist Designs


Monday, December 24, 2018

Simple JOY: Through the eyes of children...

Oh nothing fills my heart more than seeing Christmas through the eyes of children!
And boy! Don't grands seem to grow even faster than our own did? Our grand guys are now one and five and as many of you can relate to,  continue to fill our hearts with enormous JOY!
 
Hubby and I are having one of those "weird" holidays where we actually won't being seeing these two cuties until after the New Year. (But what a great way to ring in the new year!) My Christmas actually being spent sewing (LOL!) while hubby works.  Having always brought our girls up with Christmas's filled with traditions and family, it's taken me awhile to process the idea of being alone on such a big holiday. But as the idea grew on me, I began to find myself embracing it's simplicity as I realized: 
Image result for what is joy
MY FOCUS:
I've enjoyed sharing my simple celebrations of holiday JOY with you here on the blog this month. Thank you for visiting and for your kind comments.  As you know, the JOY of being a grandmother continuously fills my heart. The LOVE of my husband and family nourishes my soul. But! My FOCUS for 2019 will find me embracing new found freedoms at home and work. For the first time in thirty years, I'm living without the obligations of children. Acknowledging this has been a HUGE part of my esteem, I find myself wanting to be intentional about making 2019 a mid-life creative journey of self discovery and expression.  I'll share more on this as I write my post Yvonne's Planning Party later this week. Until then, I'd like to wish you all a holiday filled with love and...


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Simple JOY: Holiday Music!

In the car....

...on my desktop...
...Christmas Music happily fills my day with JOY this time of year!
I just LOVE it!! How about you???


Monday, December 10, 2018

Simple Joy: SNOW!

Nothing brings me more JOY this time of year than 
watching kids react to the first snow of the season!
They exclaim!

 They persevere. 

 They begin to roll....
...and roll....
  ...and roll!
 Nooooottt the amount you my friends are receiving back East here in the United States...but if ya ever drive by a snow filled school yard, whose fields are scattered with snowballs of a variety of sizes, you can now  smile knowing the JOY of those happy little people behind all that rolling!



Sunday, December 9, 2018

I Heart BABY Quilts

Sometimes some easy-peasy sewing quickly rejuvenates the ol' soul on whats been a cold, foggy morning. This little cuddle quilt will now be moved to my Winter Break quilting pile as...
...I look forward to using the rest of the weekend to finish up my Anni Downs project 
as I relax and enjoy some holiday movies. Grateful for a quiet end of the week spent at home.



Friday, December 7, 2018

Simple JOY: Christmas Lights!

We had the perfect date night as we strolled along...
,,,hand in hand, enjoying the JOY of Christmas lights aglow.
We enjoyed a nice dinner out and...
...even sent a picture of Santa was out for a sail to the grand guys!
Just one of my very favorite things about the holiday season.



Thursday, December 6, 2018

Simple JOY: "Vintage" Sweaters

Okay....so this has been my very favorite sweater forever!
My mom made it for me when I was in college and when our Winter temperatures begin to greet us with frosty, 18 degree days, it not only gives me comfort and warmth, it fills my heart with JOY knowing it was handmade just for me by my mom. (Thanks mom!)
With that said, I never think twice about wearing it nor the cardigans she makes me until one of the younger teachers at school commented this week: "Val, I love all the vintage sweaters you wear." Bahhhh....my mom and I got such a kick out of that! I'm vintage!

Speaking of "vintage"...these sweaters below are from my youth and in in my efforts to downsize and simplify in my life, I'm "moving many things on" that I now longer use. 
These sixth grade girls were literally filled with JOY to inheritate sweaters that "Mrs. Reynolds" herself wore when she was their age! They called them their new favorite sweaters!
 Curious if you too have a cozy, "vintage" sweater you can't wait to wear once Winter arrives?
Sending warm Winter hugs your way!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Simple JOY: Our Little Tree

 Aughhhhh the dark days of Winter are upon us and this little ceramic tree just seems to be the perfect way to add a bit of JOY as it's colorful little lights brighten our dining table.  I rescued it from a church rummage sale a few year back. Ordered replacement bulbs and since it's become our annual Christmas tree. Yep.That's it. That's our tree. Admittably, it was kinda wierd to "break" our traditions of tree decorating. Yet, in our transition as empty nesters, replacing our BIG family Christmas Tree with this new little guy has been wonderful! The holiday itself often finds us traveling to spend it with our daughter and grands....so I purchase a pine scented candle to add to the whole holiday ambiance and embrace the simplicity!
 Every morning...

...and every night...this little tree just brings me JOY.
Plus, just imagine how quick my holiday clean-up is! 
Sometimes, "breaking" tradition is good.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Simple JOY: Holiday Mugs!

I awoke early this morning and found myself continuing to find JOY in my little holiday mug tradition. I mean now  I even look forward to receiving  my inevitable gifts mugs at school each year  knowing the'll be a special addition to this fun holiday collection.
My most soothing teas this season include peppermint. ginger with lemon along with my daily dose of green tea. Buttttt the absolute Best treat that brings me that JOY of feeling like a kid at Christmas again is when we mix up a little bit of this:
Stephen's Gourmet Hot Cocoa, Candycane Cocoa, 16-Ounce Can ( Pack- 1 )
I add one of those soft peppermint candy sticks to it and THAT is YUM! YUM !YUM!
 Curious if you too have a seasonal sippy drink that brings you JOY?


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