Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pouch Project

Pouch Project

As soon as I returned from TN, I was anxious to sew something. The summer has slipped by quickly I feel like I haven't accomplished much with all we've had going on. I was eager to start and finish something.

I helped some friends from the KC Modern Quilt Guild cut and package some kits at Jacquie's studio a few months ago and I finally felt like my heart could take opening them up and begin sewing.

These kits contained everything I needed to make a little pouch that will hold a tiny baby born too early to survive. They are called fetal demise pouches. Such a cold clinical term. But our guild is hoping to provide something soft and delicate so that parents can hold their little one and say goodbye.

Making the kits with friends was a little easier than sewing them on my own. There was camaraderie through the difficulty in what we were doing. We shared some stories and eventually found some rhythm to cutting fabric and ribbon. It's amazing how being with friends and touching fabric can soothe the soul.

Sewing at home, alone while my family was out of the house, made it so very hard to think about the babies that might be growing right now. How their parents are filled with joy at the anticipation of their arrival. It made me think of the two babies I lost so very early. And it made me think of friends who have lost babies and how I wish there was something I could do to comfort them. I'm so glad to be able to do this project to offer some small comfort for someone grieving.

I started with one pouch and followed Alex's very detailed tutorial for her pouch design. It went together smoothly and for the next three I was able sew in assembly line fashion. I'll admit that I had to turn on the television for some distraction.

If you'd like to read more about this project, the KC Modern Quilt Guild blog has a post here and Quilter's Home magazine just published an article about several projects for lost babies, including ours.
Quilter's Home

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Finally a Finish!

Faded Glory
I think this may have been the first quilt I cut out on my own. I used a Turning Twenty pattern. It spent a lot of time on a shelf in between stages of cutting, piecing, quilting, and binding and spanned a bunch of different life stages when I just didn't make a lot of time for sewing. I'm so excited that it's finished because I think it will get lots of use during the summer time. I picture using it on the table for celebrations, for a picnic with friends or an evening concert in the park. The fabric on the back seems particularly sturdy. It has a finish on it that is a bit stiffer than your typical quilting cotton. I'm curious to see what it feels like after I wash it.
Faded Glory on the Porch

A little bit of a blue rectangle faded a bit before I knew to be careful about closing the blinds in my sewing room so I gave it the name Faded Glory. It's not very easy to see and will get lot's of love in spite of it's imperfections.
Faded Glory Close

My mom quilted it with red thread on her long arm. It's nice to have connections! Thanks Mom!
Girls Day Out

We are home now from Tennessee, and I'm missing everybody so much. If only I could be in two places at one time. My sister Viv, her friend Samantha, Jenna and I went to Knoxville to the AQS Quilt Show and had lunch at a Creperie near the big Farmer's Market.

I've dreamed of these gigantic blackberries since last year. Viv is an amazing cook and made an incredible blackberry crisp that night.

{If you are curious about those tobacco baskets in my last post, I've updated it with some more information.}

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Basket Hunting

{I'm back to add some text to this photo as I haven't completely figured out how to blog from my phone. Nikki asked a question in the comments about this tobacco basket so I thought I'd share what I know.}

My sister has a tobacco basket hanging on her back porch that I just love and I also saw one hanging outside of an antique store. I love the structure and thought one would look beautiful (or at least interesting) over my mantel. When I asked Viv about it, she said they've been all over blogland for awhile. Kansas wasn't a tobacco growing state so I just haven't seen them here at all.

My mom, sister, Jenna and I had a girls day out and went on the hunt. My sister knew just where to go. Later my dad told me that when his family grew tobacco, he remembers these baskets being part of the process.

You can read this article for some history of tobacco baskets.

This is just one link I found that shows how people are using them in their homes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Checking in from Tennessee

The Tin Roof

Hi everyone! I'm still here in Tennessee having a great time with my family. We just can't seem to squeeze in all we want to do together and my sister talked me into staying a while longer.

She took me to the Tin Roof in Pigeon Forge for lunch with our girls yesterday. It was such a darling cafe in an old house. I wanted to move in the moment I stepped on the front porch and opened the door! And of course, the food was terrific. My sister Viv knows all the wonderfully unique places to eat and shop.

Jenna and Sophie

Here's our girls at one of the parks in Gatlinburg. It's so hot and humid we have to hit the playgrounds pretty early. They are having such a good time playing together and I'm loving every moment I get to spend with my niece.

Ashley & Daniel

My brother got engaged right before I came to visit and the night I arrived the whole family had dinner with him and his fiance. Ashley is very sweet and funny and I think she'll be a wonderful wife for Daniel. I'm so happy for them!

My hexagon class went well. It was fun to share some techniques and have a chance to laugh and visit. In the afternoon I tried my hand at a Dresden Plate and I love how it turned out. Maybe I'll get it turned into a table topper before I leave and I can share it.

I did finish binding a quilt this afternoon. So I'll have to share it too.
Tennessee Barn Corner

I'll leave you with a couple pictures of a barn I just love. It's so different from a Kansas barn. The sides are cantilevered (at least that's what I think it's called). My guess is that different crops call for different types of barns.

Tennessee Barn

Hope you're all doing well and keeping cool (or warm if it's winter where you are). I'll try to post again while I'm here, and maybe even something sewing related!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Late night reading here in Tennessee.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Dreaming of Hexies...

Hexagon Inspiration
Spent time on Flickr tonight instead of packing. I think I see a rainbow inspired Hexie project in my future....

(Click on the image and it'll take you to Flickr where you can see all of the links.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hexie Inspiration

Hexagon Class

Red and Aqua hexie
If you are in the Gatlinburg, TN area and are interested in learning how to hand piece hexagons I'll be teaching at Mountain Stitches by Susan. The class is July 11 from 10 until noon. The cost is $20 (kit included). You can call 865.436.0077 to reserve your spot. I'm looking forward to it!!

Saying Goodbye

Jenna and Grandma at Christmas
My little blog has been very quiet for a while. It's been a summer full of fun activity with Jenna. And then just a few weeks ago, after a very complicated surgery, my mother-in-law passed away.

We are all so very sad and a little lost without her. Jenna in particular has lots of questions. Some are easy and some are a bit more difficult. We are spending a lot of time sharing wonderful memories we've made together through the years and are so grateful Grandma had moved closer to us before Jenna was born. They were so close and Jenna enjoys hearing stories about her Grandma, especially at night before she goes to bed.

Grandma reading to Jenna
We are so grateful for the kind words and gestures of friends and family during this time. So many have sent food, cards, phone calls, helped with Jenna and shared such great stories.
Junction City
So even in great sadness, there has been laughter and joy and celebration for a strong woman, caring mother, doting grandmother, and incredible friend who will be missed more than I can say.

More than anything, I know how important it is to spend time with those you love. Now. So we are heading to Tennessee to spend time with my sister and sweet niece Sophie...
Sophie and Jenna
...Jenna's Papa...
...and her GiGi...
...and if I'm lucky, I will get to celebrate my brother's engagement to a wonderful young woman I'm looking forward to getting to know a little better.

Hope you all are doing well and enjoying time spent with those you love!


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