27 March 2016

a good egg

Easter eggs and fabric scraps, orchid blossoms and woolly hats, this weekend has been crammed full of crafting and cleaning. We had a friend over on Saturday night for chili and a movie. I'm hosting my book club on Tuesday night, so I tried to get caught up on the cleaning, but I also had to take a quick trip to the fabric shop to pick out a few fat quarters for the quilt I'm working on. 

I think I'm going to make a scrappy trip around the world quit. I've seen some pretty inspiring projects on pinterest and it just looks like a fun thing to do with all of the 3" x 3" squares that I have laying around from all of the quilts I've made before.  I really like the black diagonals and how the quilt appears to spiral if you lay out the blocks a certain way. I still need to get more fabric - a few more whites and blacks, maybe a pop of orange and warm purple. 

I'm not sure, but I know when I'll get there, right?

Here's my inspiration: buttentreelane, Iamagingermonkey and trudys_person on flickr.

Logan's wearing that cute hat I knit for him this fall. So much fun! Lots of colorful scraps of wool. His eyes are going to be blue, I think. What a character! Looking back on that post in October . . . if only I could have imagined those eyes and that face. That precious little head that would be wearing this cap. I had no idea the depth and the breath of the love that I could feel for him. Now he wears that little cap with the goofy tassel and just gurgles and grins at me. 

What. A. Blessing.

Ug, is it Monday tomorrow? So much left to do!

Hope you are all on top of everything, I'll cheer you on if you're not - I'm right there with you!

xo Jill
P.S. Joining Nicole at Frontier Dreams!

22 March 2016

knits in progress

I went digging through my basket of unfinished projects last week and documented some things that have been sitting unfinished for way too long.

1.    Flashy striped socks
2.    Geometric mittens
3.    Swiss cheese scarf

Now I have to find the discipline to finish these projects before my attention wanders and I dive into something else.

What projects have been lingering in your knitting basket for way too long?

:) Jill

18 March 2016

star quilt

"We began as wanderers
and we are wanderers still
we have lingered long enough
on the shores of the cosmic ocean.
We are ready at last
to set sail for the stars." 

Carl Sagan

I'm so happy to tie off all of the loose strings on this quilt and wrap it up. Finishing this quilt was one of the major goals for my maternity leave (that and to keep baby happy!)

I accomplished both. (Baby is currently napping in his crib, a major accomplishment.)

I've only made a handful of quilts in my life, but after completing this one I can say that I'm officially addicted. I especially like the machine quilting part, that was a lot of fun.

I wish I had some stats that I could give you on this quilt, but I've had the fabric forever and I got it from multiple sources, even garage sales. I forgot what type of batting I used, but I know I want to choose a better quality next time, because it was very thin.

I really love the back of this too! I can't wait to start my next one.

Linking up with crazymom.

xo Jill

14 March 2016

up at the farm

Up at the farm this weekend.

We crammed a lot into a twenty-four hour period of time.

We dyed enough yarn for me to make a sweater.

We went for a long walk through the spring fields.

We snapped photos of my finished star quilt. (Stay tuned for my next blog.)

I put on some mud boots and explored the farm for some pretty pictures. The cats followed me everywhere. The sheep stood and stared at me.

We had a nice dinner with family.

We watched "Spy" with Melissa McCarthy.

Baby and I snuggled in a strange bed for the night. (Spooky and fun.)

Woke up to coffee and cookies, packed up our bags and headed back to the city.


Hope the weekend was good to you.

xo Jill

P.S. Back to work for me tomorrow. Gah!

11 March 2016

sweet little hat

All done and already given away! 

This sweet little hat is still a little too big for my (almost) four month old's head. I love this pattern and the stripes keep the knitting interesting. I'm going to make another one, because I want one for my son to wear. Pattern available here.

Nancy Tillman is one of my favorite children's book authors. The messages in her books are so sweet and moving, the illustrations are beautiful. "I'd Know You Anywhere, My Love" brings tears to my eyes as I ready it to Logan. (I am such a sappy mama.) I gave a copy of this book away as a shower gift to the same girlfriend I gave the hat to. Now that I understand how special the book is it's a lot of fun to give it away. I hope she has a similar experience with it. 

Well, it's the weekend. I'm heading up to the family farm. I'm almost halfway through sewing the binding on the quilt in the previous entries. If I finish in time I want to get some help snapping pictures of it up North. (I better get sewing!)



P.S. Joining Crazy Mom Quilts Linkup!

09 March 2016

my favorite part

"Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, 
and creates a vision for tomorrow. "

Melody Beattie

I'm so grateful for the time that I've had home with baby - sixteen weeks! With the birth of my first child my life has been completely transformed. I was joking with my husband the other day that this change in my heart and head has been so drastic that I hope I still remember how to do my job when I get back to the office. I know most parents understand this feeling of transformation. All of my priorities have shifted toward a new focus of keeping my family safe and secure and raising a healthy child. 

And somehow squeezing my creative projects in . . . 

I'm almost finished with my star quilt. I've got the binding on and I would be sewing it to the back of the quilt, but I only have polyester thread that matches it and I don't want to use that. I read somewhere that polyester thread lasts longer than the cotton material and ultimately it will end up "cutting through" the weaker fabric. We can't have that happening after I put so much effort into this project.

Baby and I will be making a trip to the store either today or tomorrow, so it will have to wait until then.

I've already decided on my next project after I wrap up this quilt. It's going to be a pretty pink baby sweater. The yarn is wound and waiting. I think this soft pastel color looks so pretty on babies. Their skin is so fine, it just seems to glow in soft colors. So I can't wait to get started on this project.

My husband found an orchid sale and brought me home two plants. I have one in the kitchen and one upstairs in my studio. I love their friendly and exotic blossoms.

xo Jill

P.S. I can't decide what my favorite part of a project is - finishing it or starting it. What's yours?

07 March 2016

turning circles

All I can say is that I'm so glad I made a practice swatch and practiced! This turned out a lot better than I could have imagined. There's some puckering here and there, but what really saved me was taking the time to baste it together with close attention to detail.

I learned so much making this, it was a lot of fun. Now I have to make the binding and sew that on. It's going to be magenta and it's going to align with the tips of the star. I still need to trim this top down about an inch, but I wanted to give myself some wiggle room. Lots and lots of wiggle room.

I will never forget sewing this quilt together on my maternity leave and listening to the baby's music toy playing classical music with "bubble sounds" in the background as I worked. I'm going to gift this quilt to someone who's having a baby girl. I think it will make a good rolling around on the floor quilt or a good laying out on the grass quilt. I always imagine my quilts being used at picnics. Strange, but true.

Hope you are all having a good start to your week.

xo Jill

P.S. Joining Nicole at Frontier Dreams.

04 March 2016

my boy and my girl

Awww. I snapped these photos yesterday when I turned and saw this situation unfolding on the floor in front of me. 

My two babies. Bree came into my life during a real low point as we were struggling to build our family and meeting hurdle after hurdle. She was just this warm furry - joyful - creature to come home to at the end of the day. At first, when we got her, I would cry at her happy greeting at the door because she was so positive and I was not.

Slowly, she drew me out of my shell and we started to explore the neighborhood. We went on so many walks I can't even count. I can remember one night when we got really bad news that I was so sad that I couldn't even sleep, she crawled into bed and laid on top of me. Her head on my chest. (My husband beside me.) Her warm, gentle, furry weight and the rise and fall of her breathing finally pulled me under into sleep. I felt so protected and loved by this creature.

She knew my sadness and just laid with me.

Fast forward a year and a half and our two people one dog (one cat) household has been transformed by this cooing, jabbering, laughing baby.

Poor Bree! She's been a little depressed, I can tell, but now as I get more of a handle on motherhood and we start to get our rhythms down there has been more time for our sweet girl. She got a bath last week and I've been grooming her soft, soft fur. (Otherwise it's every where in our house.)

The weather is warming up, so soon Bree, baby and I will be out and about on our long, long walks. Hang in there, girl.  Summer is coming. My heart is so full of gratitude for the gifts that I've been given. Baby cries at three am and a warm furry nose and four paws always beside us.

I finally cast off on my tweed baby blanket. Just in time for my girlfriend's shower this weekend. The blanket is soft, pliable and - most importantly - machine washable. Logan got a crocheted blanket as a gift that is about this same size and we love it. It fits perfectly around him in his carrier and bassinet. Project stats here.

Happy Friday everyone. Joining Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday.

xo Jill
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