Friday, June 30, 2017

2017 Classroom Quilt: Finished!

I spent a good part of the morning on our deck stitching the binding on my classroom quilt...
...which led me to a Friday Finish!! Yipppeeee!!!! 

I found this fun crayon fabric in my stash and thought it was the perfect accent to the kids' colored panels. I even splurged and if you zoom in, you'll see I used a crayon pantograph!

As I later busied myself with getting ready to run some errands, 
I came around the corner only to find somebody fast asleep: 

One of my errands was to the local library to pick up some summer reading...where what better place to take a final picture of this Classroom Quilt that illustrates all the various story "themes" we read throughout our past year in 2nd grade.
Summer is a great time to quilt with kids and this method is an easy way for them to do just that.
Click HERE for my detailed tutorial on how to make the colored panels.
Washing Note: I used two color catchers in the first wash. No color run. 

WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.

I specialize in edge to edge pantographs with over 100 designs to choose from.
Check out my Long-Arm Quilting page for details.
I offer FREE Return Shipping on all quilts in the U.S.A.
WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Creativity: Different Chapters of our Life

Like you, I am a girl who is always growing. A woman who's soul is filled with curiosity and find inspiration in the ordinary. A creative spirit that is expressive and aware. But I noticed after my weekend retreat that my day to day life hasn't been balanced with my need for personal creative outlet. Curiosity getting the better of me, I asked fellow quilters, what they planned to do with the quilt they were making. Though all their answers were respectable, it was the one who exclaimed: "I have absolutely no idea. I just love making it." that struck a chord with me. I too enjoy making things. Could it be as simple as that? That sometimes a quilts only purpose can be as simple as giving our creative spirit wings? 
As I reviewed my library of creative books, I've noticed that creativity is defined differently in various chapters of our lives, evident in my stack of books below:
On top, my childhood journal (a hilarious read btw: June 28, 1977 "Dear Diary, Today I wrote to Barry Manilow, got my hair feathered and then had to get x-rays of my teeth. Braces soon!"  The next three books in the stack are journaling guides that helped nurture my soul-searching college self. Simple Abundance a wonderful daybook of comfort and joy that I devoured during my parenting stage of life and truthfully wouldn't mind reading again. Finally, at the bottom of the stack, four creative "workbooks" that launched me into my current empty nest phase of life. 

Our creativity often evolves as we do.

 Overtime my leisure college days of journaling creekside transformed into scrapbooking at the kitchen table while toddlers napped and on planned weekends with my sister.We had so much fun!
I have a library of memories created during this chapter of my life.  A library that has encapsulated our family's beginning. Our daughters' childhood. My husband and I as newlyweds and parents. Our first 25 years, creatively preserved. I remember treasuring every moment of this chapter for as the girls grew, with every milestone, my own role was constantly changing too. And then suddenly, (well not really, but it feels like that) they had begun lives away from home.

Soon creating scrapbook pages of Jackson playing in the water, though cute, only reminded me of my diminishing joy.  I began to realize that I had turned the page to a new chapter of life without even realizing it. It was time to challenge myself with something new.  I needed a new creative outlet that brought me joy once again. Thankfully, I knew immediately what I would do! It was something I had wanted to try for a long time...one that I had dabbled in but had previously no time to pursue. 
And thus, my life-long desire to quilt, began.
In the Fall of 2009 that I was able to sink my teeth into the hobby 
and take my first quilting class.  Now, many quilt tops later, 
I'm teaching myself the art of Long-Arm Quilting. I blog.
I volunteer as a quilter for Project Linus and 
absolutely enjoy quilting and consider it a true "work of "heart"!  
So what have I learned along the way? How do we find time, to nourish our creative spirit?

1. Acknowledge the chapter of life you are in. Perhaps you are a parent to small children, or taking care of elderly parents. Perhaps you are working full time, or you are retired. Whichever stage we are in, I've learned it's important to be gentle with ourselves. Life is lived in chapters and before you know it, you've turned the page and a new chapter has begun. So choose your creative outlet judiciously, but don't forego it. Do what gives you JOY. I loved scrapbooking. I cherish the albums my sister and I made side by side. The conventions that helped us escape mommyhood for one entire weekend as we happily adventured along the highway listening to Huey Lewis instead of children. Choose to do things that you truly love and that will motivate you. But be honest with what you have the time to do in your given chapter of life. Don't pack your schedule too tightly. 

2.Let go of perfectionism! One of my favorite people were at the retreat this past weekend. We are only acquaintances, but from afar I admire her as a mentor. She's a retired teacher. A happy, creative soul with multiple projects in the works. I loved watching as she transitioned between them. I'd ask her what she was working on and she'd respond: "Right now I'm enjoying this, but later I think I'll go back to that." I internally thought: What?! My projects don't always have to a purpose? I realized the perfectionist in me has been holding me back. Just enjoy the creative process Val. I'll end with the words of my secret mentor: "Oh posh, better done than perfect!"

3. Make the Ordinary, EXTRAordinary! While watching my "secret Mentor" I realized that more often than not lately, I've let myself get caught up in "getting a project done" and admittedly
 have forgetten to enjoy the creative process. I've realized I need to be less product and more creative orientated. Creativity comes in many forms. Give ourselves permission to just play sometimes.
My retreat gave opportunity for me to reflect. I was able to examine my own thoughts and heart. I discovered I've let perfectionism block some original creative ideas I have. I've let sad situations take up too much of my heart causing me to diddle my free time away. I can resolve this.

This week I encourage you to "pause" and acknowledge and embrace your chapter of life. Be evaluative of yourself as well. Choose your creative outlet judiciously, but please don't forego it. 
I hope you'll return next week for part two of my upcoming summer series of  "Creativity" posts: Next week: Be Prepared. Followed sequentially by Making Time and Remembering Your Why!

WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.
I specialize in edge to edge pantographs with over 100 designs to choose from.
Check out my Long-Arm Quilting page for details.
I offer FREE Return Shipping on all quilts in the U.S.A.
WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tuesday Archives #165: Stitch in the Ditch/Retreat Reflections

Welcome to the linky party that rejuvenates your old quilting/sewing posts! 
Please click here to read more about this linky party.  
Val's Quilting Studio
Happy Tuesday everyone!
I dove into summer head first this year. This past month has found our life filled with all the joys of family visits, graduations, and Grammy Camp, all that I'm so grateful to have had. Yet, admittably, as I sit here on our patio this morning, I find myself filled with a sense of contentment as I finally greet the day slowly, with a cup of coffee at hand, my day not controlled by school bells. I can go to the bathroom, eat and do whatever I want when I want.
 With that said, as I went on my sewing retreat this past weekend it struck boldly that in the mist of teaching and adjusting to my husband's different work schedules, that I lost my time to be creative somewhere along the way. How does that happen? I'll be researching and reading about the answer to that very question and will be sure to share my "wisdom" gained here on the ol' blog. But, I can say, this weekend of sewing rejuvenated my creative spirit and I want that to continue.
I FINISHED my classroom quilt top:

I caught up on my May and June Scrap Dance sewing: 
I'm Stash Busting!!
I can't wait to see these come together next month.

And finally, I finished this QUEEN size lovely that I started at last year's retreat:
Need less to say I have quite a bit of quilting ahead of me as I set out to make these summer finishes.
I also came home with many new, crafty project ideas that were discovered through given demos. This makes me excited as they will add a fun variety to my daily creative habits. Stay tuned!
With that all said and done, I best get to to this week's linky huh.
      This week's theme is: STITCH in the DITCH
Image result for stitch in the ditch quilting tips


WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.

I specialize in edge to edge pantographs with over 100 designs to choose from.
Check out my Long-Arm Quilting page for details.
I offer FREE Return Shipping on all quilts in the U.S.A.
WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Grammy Camp: Spiderman Pillowcase!

Summer got on it's way with Grammy Camp right off the bat!
I spent an hour one morning this week sewing this Spiderman Pillowcase for my favorite little buy:

He and I play Spiderman all the time (with silly string of course) and when we came across this fabric in the attic among his Mother's old things, we knew right away what we were going to do with it. 

Well after he spent ten minutes walking around being a "ghost".

As you can imagine getting these two together for a picture was...well...full of silly moments with Jackson being much more cooperative than my goofy grand-guy. 

I love that I was able to stitch up something quick and fun for him. The best thing is he gets to bring it home and the little I Love You tag reminds him that his Meme is always thinking of him.
Love that about our hobby.
Lucky me he wanted to use it to "watch a movie" ...which meant a nap was soon to follow!
I'm off on a sewing retreat this weekend and am really looking forward to this as my kick off to a summer of sewing, blogging, reading, walking and well, resting. Oh and more good news, not only is our little guy going to become a Big Brother but it's another Boy!!
Like my wine bottle tree in the background? LOL!!
Of course, we're all so very excited.
As always, thank you for stopping by and for being awesome blogging friends.
I'm looking forward to catching up with everyone real soon.

WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.

I specialize in edge to edge pantographs with over 100 designs to choose from.
Check out my Long-Arm Quilting page for details.
I offer FREE Return Shipping on all quilts in the U.S.A.
WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Busy Start to Summer.

The day after I got out of school for summer break, we hit the road to our daughter and son-in-laws to attend his graduation as a Radiology Technologist. Two years of intensive work done. We are so proud of them both and wish him the best on his boards this coming weekend.

We celebrated Father's Day:
 

And for the last four day's I've had this little Ninja Turtle in the house as we enjoyed our first Grammy Camp of the summer: (Don't ya love how silly 3 1/2 years olds are!)

He and Jackson continue to enjoy running and playing together in the backyard as I garden:

We also spent afternoons across the street at my neighbors swimming with his "summer friend". The boys are four days apart...so it's become a tradition for us Grandmas to get them together each summer. And did ya know that the "Hulk Man" loves Dutch Bro? Who would have guessed! 

 If I look tired....I AM! LOL!! But oh how much we cherish these Grammy Camps.
I love your buddy!
(Meme, why do you call me Buddy? Because I love you. Oh, Okay. thank you Meme) THE BEST!
 I'm off to pack him up as we get ready to meet his parents. (We drive and meet at a half way point as they live three hours away) and then I'm packing for my Sewing Retreat!!!!! YES!!! A weekend of sewing!! I'm so pysched! I have all my WIP to pack and may be up to midnight doing so...but with three uninterrupted days of sewing ahead...I can't wait!! I've missed my sewing and need to find a new routine of getting more sewing in. This is the perfect way to kick of my summer! Stay tuned.

WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.

I specialize in edge to edge pantographs with over 100 designs to choose from.
Check out my Long-Arm Quilting page for details.
I offer FREE Return Shipping on all quilts in the U.S.A.
WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday Archives #164: Shop Hops

Welcome to the linky party that rejuvenates your old quilting/sewing posts! 
Please click here to read more about this linky party.  
Val's Quilting Studio

This week's theme is: SHOP HOPS

Admittedly, I've never done a shop hop!
Image result for shop hop cartoon


WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.

I specialize in edge to edge pantographs with over 100 designs to choose from.
Check out my Long-Arm Quilting page for details.
I offer FREE Return Shipping on all quilts in the U.S.A.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Eye Spy Inspiration!

Fresh off the quilting frame this morning is this twin size Eye-Spy quilt 
created by Nancy who blogs at PugMom Quilts:
Those of you who participated in last year's Eye-Spy Swap here at Val's Quilting Studio, will notice many of our four inch blocks in Nancy's finish. I like how she alternated four patches of eye-spies with a single large eye-spy block. Good idea!

 I had fun quilting this one with this truck, plane, train and helicopter pantograph. 
Just perfect for the four year old little guy Nancy made this quilt for. 
Don't forget my summer quilting deal:

WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.

I specialize in edge to edge pantographs with over 100 designs to choose from.
Check out my Long-Arm Quilting page for details.
I offer FREE Return Shipping on all quilts in the U.S.A.
As always thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tuesday Archives #163: Scrap Storage

Welcome to the linky party that rejuvenates your old quilting/sewing posts! 
Please click here to read more about this linky party.  
Val's Quilting Studio

This week's theme is: SCRAP STORAGE

How is it we've been doing Tuesday Archives for so long and we haven't featured scrap storage!
Many of you are familiar with my "buckets" of strips:

I like to cut my scraps into 2-3 strips and sort them by color into these cute buckets. Once they are full a scrappy project is always sure to follow. But my scrappy habit doesn't stop there! I have two other scrappy habits. Click right HERE to check out my 2013 post: Fabric Scrap Storage. 

 WIN quilt batting this summer. Click HERE to read how.


Click HERE to contact me about quilting for you.
I specialize in edge to edge pantographs with over 100 designs to choose from.
Check out my Long-Arm Quilting page for details.
I offer FREE Return Shipping on all quilts in the USA.


Val's Quilting Studio
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