Thursday, August 6, 2015

Summer Swap

After a massive overdose of swapping in late 2013, I decided to cut swapping waaaay back. I have kind of missed it, so when my friend told me that there was a handmade gift swap on Elfster, I decided to give it a go.  Elfster is not my preferred swapping forum.  It is much more geared to store bought gifts,is very difficult to use and very difficult to find messages directed to you personally.  But it was the first swap I'd seen in awhile, so I signed up.  This is the fun package I received.  I'm so tuned in to quilting lately, I seldom think that there are other crafts.  I love these awesome book marks made just for me.  And the tote is very cool.

I've been really bad lately about not taking pictures of my finished items, but here's a pretty good representation of the apron I made my partner.... 

Along with a set of pot holders and a fabric basket. 

I'll just have to do better at remembering to take pictures.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Riley Blake Challenge

I have to admit that I had a hard time deciding what to do with this year's Riley Blake challenge  using The Cottage Garden by The Quilted Fish.  I wasn't able to get in on the fabric giveaway (it was GONE by the time I got home from work) and my LQS only had the green/pink colorway, which just didn't inspire me very much.  To top it off, I had forgotten when I bought the fabric that I had split the half  yards with a friend and ended up with fat quarters - which is fine, except that with so little fabric (and the requirement being for all Riley Blake fabrics) - I had trouble deciding what to do.  I've seen some really cute things made from this fabric, but honestly, I was stumped.

In the end, I fell back on this tote I designed at Sewing Summit in 2011 - the One Hour Fat Quarter Tote.  I used headliner foam instead of fleece to line the bag, and made it just a bit larger than the original design.  I used a tab of color at the top of the pocket that wasn't in the original design, and I used a Riley Blake gingham from another line for the lining.

Overall, it turned out pretty well.

One of the requirements was that you do something you've never done before.  I had some quilted pieces left over from the tote, so since I've done so much traveling this summer, I decided to make luggage tags.  Having just returned from the last trip of the summer, I can testify that they worked pretty well.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Wedding Quilt

I haven't had a chance to do much quilting this summer, but I did manage to get a quilt made for Sean and Jessica as a wedding gift.  Sean suggested I use their wedding colors.  Even though it looks blue in the photo, the colors are really seafoam and gold, with some beige and champagne as the background.

Originally, I was going to use a pattern from an MSQ tutorial, but I cut the blocks wrong and decided that I wasn't going to waste them, so I decided to do something else.

So I got out the computer and spent a couple of hours playing on EQ7.  Good thing I did, too, because without a guide, I'm not sure I would have had any of these HSTs (there are 320 of them!) where I wanted them. 

As it was, I checked them off as I finished each row, so keeping it straight wasn't too bad.

I showed just a couple of sneak peeks on Instagram to keep it as much of a surprise as possible.  It was hard not to share it as I went.

Since I was in such a time crunch, my dear friend Marcy let me use her long arm.  This Greek Key design seemed perfect for the HST design since the square corners contrasted so nicely with the triangles of the HSTs.

I used pretty much all the scraps I had to bind the quilt.  It was the middle of the night on July 3 and there was no chance to run back to the store.

As it turned out, I finished it a good 2 hours before they pulled in the driveway.

And I think they liked it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Yet Another Wedding Celebration!

I was home just about a week before it was time to celebrate again - this time was Sean and Jessica's open house here in Pensacola.  We decided to have it in the park nearby.

Sean and Jessica arrived about 2 pm after driving from Jessica's parents' home in Chattanooga where they held an open house for the newlyweds on Friday evening.  Because Sean took a new job this spring, we had to plan around the 3-day weekend for the 4th of July holiday.

I had exercised my floral skills for the event, and then realized with the wind blowing, the arrangements weren't heavy enough not to blow away.

For a non-skilled flower arranger, I thought they turned out OK.

Unfortunately, it seems that my social skills and my photography skills aren't compatible.  No photos of the folks who came at all.  But we had a great barbeque meal (not cooked by me) and the company of many friends who came out on this holiday to join with us in wishing the couple well.

I loved this little cake topper with the kilted groom.

And this time, I even got pictures of Jess and Sean cutting the cake...

And sharing with each other...

And it would have been a perfect night if - not long after this shot was taken - the sky hadn't opened up and drenched us all as only a Southern rainstorm can.  I headed for the car with the cake while everyone else tried to preserve the food and the gifts.  As it turned out, all of us were soaked to the skin, but we saved the important stuff. 

Overall, it was a pretty good evening.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Blessing Ella

Just a couple of weeks had passed since Sean and Jessica's wedding when it was time to bless our new little sweetheart, Elliott Estelle Woodruff, so grandma and grandpa boarded yet another airplane (the third so far this summer) and flew back to Utah.  Thank goodness grandpa retired from an airline!

For some reason the participants were not very cooperative and we didn't get many pictures of the event.  Ella wore the slip that I made to go under Abby's smocked and beaded blessing gown.  Nope, I don't seem to have a photo, but it was well, beautiful.  This was the slip for heaven's sake.  And apparently I didn't get a photo of Ella in this either.  =(

But it was a perfect opportunity for Grandma to get some more sweet baby cuddles...

And to see how much the big kids love their baby sister - and how sweet they are with her...

And to play with the other two - or rather to watch them play.  This little guy is so danged smart!

And we enjoyed some quiet time with Weston's parents around the fire in the evenings...

Then put the kids to bed and the real fun began.  (Do notice that I am NOT monopolizing that baby.)

It was exhausting, but we managed. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Wedding the Second

It's hard to believe the whole summer is gone already.  Only one more week until I go back to work.  I have to admit that it's fun to have summers off, but the transition is going to be hard, I think.  In any event, a couple of weeks after Ella arrived, and after my niece married her sweetheart, and in the middle of exams and grades, my son Sean married his sweetheart Jessica in the Bountiful, Utah LDS temple.  I think he looks pretty happy here, don't you??

We started the festivities with the rehearsal dinner on Friday evening.  I'm not sure why we call it that, because there's really nothing to rehearse, but it is a great time for the two families to meet each other and for the wedding party to get together.  I had gotten to meet Jessica's parents when they came to Orlando for a medical conference in September, but my husband had not met them yet.  Oddly enough, both dads are named Doug.

It was a lovely gathering, informal, and while very warm (apparently the restaurant doesn't have air conditioning, and it was a very warm May day) still very pleasant.

There were too many of us to fit at one table, but we managed to have a great time.

Naturally I exercised my grandma prerogative and got some baby cuddles.

Even the siblings got to hold their sweet new niece.

 The next morning it was up early for the wedding.

The sealing room was crowded - it is the only standing room only temple wedding I have ever attended. And then there was a bit of waiting...

They looked pretty happy when they emerged in their wedding finery.

Naturally there were photos.

And visiting with relatives and friends.

And of course, hugs and well-wishes.

Two of my favorite boys!

And my sweet girl!

All the little girls crowded around Jess as though she was a Disney princess.

Her flowers were gorgeous.  Everyone in our family likes peonies too.  (I remember as a little girl, my grandmother had them planted in her garden.)

A moment for a kiss and then off for more photos.

The wedding party

The Liening family

The Mihalik family

A rare photo of Sean, Amanda and Arielle - these don't happen very often any more!

The bride and her bridesmaids

In the evening, Sean and Jessica exchanged rings in a beautiful ring ceremony outside the chapel on the old Fort Douglas property (seems fitting since both the bride's dad and the groom's dad are named Douglas, doesn't it?)  The ring Sean gave Jessica was the ring my grandfather gave my grandmother when they were married on June 29, 1915 - within a few weeks of being 100 years ago.

Cutting the cake
After the ring ceremony, there was a wonderful reception at the old Fort Douglas Commander's house.

Sean's friend Patrick giving the toast.

Sean cutting the groom's cake.

And when it was all over, we all felt pretty much like this.

Best wishes to Sean and Jessica for a wonderful life together.