Monday, March 31, 2014

The Weekly Photo

My mom and brother, Erik, came and visited this week. It was Erik's spring break, and he came to check out Southern Utah University, where he is planning on attending after his mission. They were here for four full days and we had a fun time! The weather has been so weird (though it is apparently normal for Utah). It was over 70 degrees when we went on this hike, the next day it rained, and by the end of the week we had a 1/2 inch of snow!

It was lovely to have them visit and we miss them already!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Few from Oregon

We had really lovely springtime weather while we were in Oregon. Daffodils, snow drops and crocus' were in bloom. Leaf buds and blossoms were just peeping out and it did not rain all that much! 

Here are a few pictures from some sunny spring days:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Union Jack Quilt

I must say I am rather proud of myself. I rarely say that, but on this occasion making this Union Jack quilt was quite a feat for me, plus it turned out really well. If you know me well or have known me since I was little, then you would know how much sewing and cutting do not come naturally! I made Elanor a quilt over the summer, if anyone remembers, but did not quilt it (I had a friend do it). It was just squares, but it was also quite large (twin sized). The Union Jack quilt is only lap sized (50"x 60"), which did make it a bit easier. However, it was more complex than Elanor's quilt and I quilted it myself.

My mom loves Great Britain and also many bands, shows, books, plays, food and general culture from there (as does everyone in my family). I decided to make a Union Jack quilt for my mom before Christmas, but did not have the time or money to start it until the end of January. However, I did not want it to be just a Union Jack, I wanted the fabric to be of different things from the U.K. So, I went to Spoonflower --a very cool website where anyone can put on their fabric designs--you can find almost anything on there! I only wanted fabrics that were red or blue and they had to be well designed, not tacky. I fortunately found many fabrics I loved, but I had to limit it to only six, since the fabric is rather expensive at this site. I got a fat quarter for every print I choose on Spoonflower, and then also I had some spare blue and white and then the tartan flannel, red plaid and batting I got on super sale at JoAnne's for only $7!
The blue fabrics from Spoonflower (Tardis-Doctor Who, The Beatles, London scenes).
The red fabrics from Spoonflower (Hobbit holes toile, British telephone and mail boxes, everything Harry Potter).

I designed the quilt myself. I decided to make nine blocks and then sew those nine blocks together.
This is my horrible drawing trying to figure it out.
This is my drawing of the blocks and sizes I would need to cut out. 
 I first cut out the blue fabric into strips and then sewed them together. Then, I cut each rectangle in half diagonally.
  I then sewed on a white strip to each triangle and ironed it. Since, I had not bought my red plaid yet, I moved onto my red fabric. I cut it out and then laid it out. Then I sewed two pieces of the red fabric together for each of the four arms of the cross and then sewed the middle bit with the white squares and telephone boxes together. After, I sewed the white strip onto each section, but did not sew the cross together. Does that make sense?

You can sort of see what I mean in this picture:
None of the blocks are sewn together, just sections.
Once I had the red plaid, I sewed it between each blue triangle, and then I could start sewing each of the nine blocks together. I started with the upper left blue block and sewed it to the small red arm to the right of it, then the other blue block, then next row was the left arm of the cross, the middle of the cross, and the right side and finally the last row was the bottom left blue, middle red, right blue. Make sense? I am horrible at all this, so I need every little thing described in detail to me, so I suspect there is someone out there like me!
Red plaid added.
After my top was all sewn together and ironed, with the help of my friend Becky, we basted the quilt top, batting and backing together. To baste a quilt, you spray this glue-like stuff onto each layer and it sticks together. It makes it so you can quilt it easily without all the pins!

I decided to quilt straight, horizontal lines across my quilt. I had never done this before and wanted to do something fairly easy. I used chalk and ruler to mark out the line and then just sewed along the lines. I used my regular sewing machine, which you can do as long as the batting is not too thick (I think 1/4" batting is ideal).
All quilted!
Next, I cut out my quilt evenly, and then binded it. To bind a quilt, you cut out several long 2 1/2 " pieces. You then sew all those pieces together for however much you need to go around your quilt (there are many binding tutorials out there), and iron it in half. Then, you sew the binding onto the quilt, with your machine. Then fold it over and hand stitch the other side down--at least you are supposed to! I zigzag stitch it on the other side because it is easy, looks nice enough and is strong.
Nice and cozy flannel backing!

I was so excited to give this quilt to my mom! She loved it so much she cried.

My mom on her birthday with her quilt!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Weekly Photo(s)

I have been out of town in Oregon for the past two weeks! I went back to do the choreography for my mom's play, The Sound of Music. It was a lot of fun and I went to rehearsals almost everyday I was there. I love doing choreography and I miss being involved in theatre, so I loved being at rehearsals! It was a very busy trip and I got some photos, but not many.

So for the week before Monday, March 10th, here is that Weekly Photo:
 This is the big reveal! I made this Union Jack quilt for my mom's birthday. I spent a lot of February sewing and choreographing. It was a busy month. I could not show a picture on here, however, until after my mom opened it. She loved it, since she (and our whole family) loves all things British. There will be more pictures of this quilt later in the week!

The week before Monday, March 17th:
 I rarely get pictures of Elanor and I (that are not taken at an arm's length by me), so it was nice to get one! We went on a hike up to these beautiful falls one day after rehearsal. 

More Oregon pictures coming!

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Weekly Photo/My Birthday!

This is really a rather accurate description of the last few days. We have had a lot of cake. Two birthday parties, free cupcake from the  Sweet Tooth Fairy cupcake shop on Saturday, my aunt made me a delicious birthday cake yesterday and we had even more cake today. I am not complaining. I love good, delicious, homemade cake.

Oh, and it happens to be my birthday today. I am 25. My youngest brother had his birthday yesterday and turned 18. I feel like we both turned important numbers. Twenty-five feels like a proper adult. I am not in my early twenties anymore, which is weird. I have been thinking about being twenty-five and looking back on my quarter century and thinking about what I have learned. So, here are a few things:

1. Life never goes how you expect it to. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just different and sometimes hard. I fully expected to have another baby by now and I have always hoped to have four or five kids. This idea and plan of mine might not ever happen and I have learned so much from this trial. I am grateful, which leads me to number two.

2. I am so blessed (I understand that I really am, and no matter what someone has a much more difficult life than my relatively easy one). I have the best, kindest, hardest working husband. I have a miraculous little girl, who is smart, funny, and beautiful. I have the best parents and siblings. I have wonderful in-laws. Plus, I have so many temporal blessings as well.

3. Just chill. There is no point getting offended. You can always choose how to react and getting offended is always the worst choice.

4. I am needy and I can stand on my own two feet. Does that make sense? I need my Heavenly Father. I need Tyler. I need my Mom and my Dad. I need people to talk to and to understand. But--I am also rather self reliant spiritually and emotionally. This is makes it possible for someone to need me.

5. Being an adult is great. I was often sort of scared sometimes to grow up as a kid, but at the same time really wanted to as well. Everyone feels that way, right? However, let me rephrase, being an adult and a parent is great. Yeah, it was fun being single (wait, have I ever been single in my adulthood?), and it was fun being young and married, but being young, married and a parent is the best thing ever. You get to have the adult stuff and the kid stuff. Magic comes back into your life and home with kids. I just started reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to Elanor and she loves it! She keeps bringing me the book to read more. We read it for an hour and a half this morning!

So, maybe I am still super young and not all that wise (though I have taken those character tests and have gotten Dumbledore, Yoda,  Gandalf and Uncle Iroh--from Avatar--so I am presumably a wise old man), but I have learned things in my twenty-five years and I am grateful for that.