Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Three Baby Molehills

I think baby quilts are some of my favorite to make.  They are low pressure due to their size, they are typically quick finishes (for me), they are an opportunity to try new things, and they are made to welcome a wee one!  Recently, I finished three baby blankets which I've finally gifted and can now share!
I'm really not one to use a pattern to make a quilt.  Except for these.  I'm IN LOVE with this pattern.  I want to make a million more of these quilts!  Let me backtrack.  You may remember that in July, I scurried away to SewOK again.  It was there that I met the wonderful Latifah Saafir and had the opportunity to learn from her.  I didn't know much about her before the retreat other than she was one of the founding members of the Modern Quilt Guild.  By the end of the retreat, I was enamored with her and her works! 

These are SUCH a fun sew and really go together quickly.  You can make the fans with multiple fabrics (which I did a few of) but I really loved the effect of the full fans.  It's such a great way to showcase cool fabrics.  And the full fans help it go together quite quickly.  I promise, sewing curves is not as difficult as it looks!

And now, a closer look at these little quilts. 

The first goes to the son of my favorite librarian and clayworker, Hollyrocks.  I have had that rainbow fabric for many, many years and it's always reminded me of Holly.  I once told her that if she ever had a wee one, I knew what fabric her baby quilt would be made out of and I never forgot that!
The next quilt was actually my first of the trio; it's the one I made at SewOK!  You can see the pieced fans in this one.  In it, one of the fabrics I used was one that I've had since high school and have always looooved.  This quilt now resides with my favorite fiber artist, Tasha, and her perfect recent addition!  I can already tell that kid has great taste in textiles. 
The last one was my most recent finish but the one I've had in my head the longest!  Thom and Christine, the ma and pa of the arts and crafts scene and dear longtime friends of mine, welcomed the sweetest little gal into their world earlier this year.  It was such a special and unique time that I felt their quilt needed to be just right.  A molehill seemed to be the perfect fit for the fabrics I had chosen and I'm so happy with how it turned out.  Belated but worth the wait, I think!
I am honored that these three quilts will be living with such remarkable humans.  They will change the world, mark my words!  I'm so excited to see these three tiny babies grow up and shake up the world.  Kids, I hope someday you see how amazing your folks are and how lucky you are to have them guiding your way.  We are just as lucky to have you within our world. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

The TMQG Retreat and My Birthday!

Just a few weeks ago, I celebrated my 37th birthday!  This year, I did things just a little bit differently though.  My quilt guild ended up holding their annual retreat at a camp I grew up at the same weekend as my birthday.  It took me about five minutes to decide I'd be going and I'm so glad that I did!
I awoke that first morning of being 37 to beautiful weather, a pep in my step, and well-wishes from my fellow sewing friends.  My dear Mary and I started the day off with a short hike up to the top of the 'mountain' at Camp Egan.  It was such a delightful way to kick things off!  I went to this camp no less than twice a year for at least six years.  I had not been to the top of that hill in NINETEEN YEARS.  I felt like I was eighteen again.  My knees did not, but my spirit did!
After going up, we came down and traipsed all over that camp.  Sweet Mary politely listened while I relived camp memories galore and noted what had changed and what had stayed the same.  I could have probably reflected those same points in regards to myself, as well.  I had a few moments of calm clarity thanks to a few falling leaves and some grasshoppers that were more than what they seemed.
After our perfect walk and hike, it was a day filled with sewing, laughs (SO many laughs), homemade cupcakes (divine!), and just a good time all around.  Later that evening, my parents FINALLY landed back in Tulsa after a few weeks traveling around Italy.  Knowing they were home and secure was a great present in itself. 

So what did I make?  I selfishly sewed allllll weekend long which isn't something I get to do that often!  I completed two dresses, an Esme Maxi Cardigan (a loaned pattern that I'm IN LOVE with!), a little tank, and a new wallet! I also got pieces cut for a little quilt that I finished up yesterday.  I'll share that with you soon.  :)
It was SUCH a wonderful weekend.  I loved getting to know everyone better and seeing what everyone created.  These retreats are nonstop inspiration!  And it's such a positive, encouraging environment. 
Another attendee referred to our table as The Garment District which I thought was hilarious!  In hindsight, I guess we did churn out quite a few articles of clothing over there! 
Rain had been forecast for the entire weekend but I only encountered it on the last twenty minutes of my meandering drive home.
Once home, I was welcomed with a clean house, homemade cards, my father-in-law, a little cake (decorated by the mister!  Look at those skills!), and the sweetest little smile from my sidekick. 
 Not too shabby, 37!  Let's keep this momentum going, mmkay?

Monday, October 3, 2016

FOUR!!!

Four.  The kid turned four on Saturday.  I know, I can hardly believe it either!  Of course we had to celebrate, Shepley style!  The morning of her birthday didn't quite start out like we had expected.  Poor little birthday girl woke up in the wee hours of the morning with a stomach that wasn't agreeing with her.  In the midst of her ill nature, she asked if we'd still be celebrating her birthday that day.  I honestly wasn't sure what was going to happen.  After the sun had risen and she seemed to be feeling a bit better, we decided that we'd let our guests know what was going on and let them choose if they wanted to come or not.  Amazingly, everyone still came!  Rio was elated.  It was a great day.
Her Uncle Kyle had just returned from the Olympics so he brought her back allllll sorts of Rio souvenirs!  She opted to wear her new Rio shirt for her big day.  So cute.  :)
We continued the tradition of her birthday banner.  I got a little choked up making this year's number!  It's going so fast!!  One, Two, Three!

I'm not much for planning themed parties but we kinda had a themed one for her this year.  Basically, I've been so busy lately that I hadn't thought about her celebration until just a few days before the party.  I thought it may be fun for her to pop up a tent in the backyard and it just went from there.  We bought a few hay bales, made a fake fire, and surrounded it all with every tiny chair we had in the house.  We bought mini pumpkins (yay, October 1st birthday!) to share with her friends and I made mini s'more kits for everyone to take home.  I made vegan chili, recipe courtesy of my loud and proud vegan sister, which was devoured by the masses and we finished up the grub with a rainbow cake. 
It was a beautiful day to be outside with good friends and family!
Rio has some really amazing people that love her.  She's a lucky kid!  Miss Jinni from her school made her a Mudd Pony stick horse!  My dad promptly showed her how to ride it.  
She also scored her first pair of aviator shades.  She's cooler than I'll ever be.
Her BIG gift this year was this fancy ride from her gracious Papa and Rita!  I have a good feeling this thing will rack up the miles over the years.  It's already loaded down with rocks!
The day after her birthday, she asked me if she was still four.  Today, she's been referring to everything as 'a long time ago, when she was three.'  Slow your growing roll, little Rio.  We need a moment to soak it all in.
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