Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I've decided to start a new blog with all my sewing projects and such, so you can hop on over in the future if you choose. There's nothing too exciting there yet, nor may there ever be (especially if you're not interested in sewing!). But for those of you who are, or wish to take a peak at what I'm working on; come on over! ~lisa

The kids with aunt Lindsey on Thanksgiving.

The newest little monkey at our house, is quite snuggly!

Monday, September 28, 2009

There is such a thing as too much fabric...

I've come to the conclusion that there's too much........ at least for me. With low funds it's a great opportunity to do lots without spending, but I'll need a lot more freetime to use it all up! =)

And this isn't all of it... there's a rubbermaid full of denims for a quilt (anyone interested can have it!), another full of 1/2 finished projects, and still another 2 trash bags full of misc. Anyone interested in the non-quilt fabric can come take some too, I'd prefer to spend my pecious free-time making a quilt than working on a garment that may or may not work out or fit.

Tyler made me these wonderful shelves that hold some of it, and I've folded it all around the same rotary ruler and then folded in 1/2 to give nice stacks that are easy to see. By the way, most of the folding was done before we moved, it packed quite nicely this way into boxes!

I also found these fun totes on clearance at Lowe's for sorting scraps by color. Before I had them in one huge rubbermaid and a garbage bag, so it was impossible to see what was there and how much of each. Seeing them sorted makes me want to get creative!

I mentioned in the last post that my goal was to not buy anything more till I'd used up a bunch..... and about an hour later Tyler told me about a fabric sale in Anchorage (he saw it on Craigslist.com) that was too good to pass up.... here's what I got. There were about 5 quilting ladies selling their stash of fabric to finance a trip to Italy, and the prices were incredible! And since Tyler knows of the mass amounts of fabric I already have.... and still told me about this wonderful sale.... he wanted me to get some, right? While in Anchorage, we also stopped by Costco, and picked up 2 small quilts to be quilted for someone, so it wasn't all a fabric-shopping trip. =)

I already had the 5 pinks on the left, but got this large piece with "Quilt for a cure" to use as backing.

And this one was too good to pass up, thinking maybe for a backing also? There are at least 2 yrds.
After lots of organizing today, I decided it really is rediculous; and I need to get working on projects instead of finding more things to buy. And seriously, if you need fabric I could definately share! =)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Third Place Ribbon!

I finished my first spiderweb quilt just in time to enter in the Alaska State Fair, the day before our new baby was born! I love the way it turned out, but due to the amount of time put it, it will probably be a long time before I attempt one quite like this again.

A closer look shows some of the texture from the quilting...

By the time I got to this part I was exhausted from being pregnant, and didn't spend much time on the quilting, as I just wanted to get it finished.

The newest adition to our family, Andy, was born on uncle Jared's 20th birthday!

I got a 3rd place ribbon (though didn't find out till I went to bring it home), and it was exhibited in the small quilt-show every hour of the fair!

This was intended to reduce my scraps, which it did to some extent...... but I still have lots of blues and yellows left! My goal is to use up what I have (both scraps and larger pieces) before buying more fabric. Obviously I may have to purchase small pieces to complete something correctly, but I am going to try and limit that as much as possible. A tidy sewing room is the ultimate goal, as I share it with my children's toys. =)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My First Fair Quilt

I have made quite a few quilts over the past few years, but have never actually entered any in the fair. So this year when it started getting close to fair-time, I decided that since I seem to do my sewing projects best "last-minute", why not this year? "Normal" people work all year on a nice quilt to enter, but I started sorting through my large stash of scraps on sunday evening, July 26th. And the final day to turn in quilts for the fair, is Saturday August 15th. And I am due with baby #3 (and also have 2 small children), on Sunday August 16th. Therefore, any sane person in this situation would probably choose a nice small quilt from a simple pattern for the new baby, or something like that. But this is my first fair quilt! I decided to do a Queen-size (we need it for our bed anyway), out of scraps (which takes much longer because you can't just cut up a nice big piece of fabric), and am trying a complicated pattern I've never done before. It is called a spiderweb quilt, and done by the paper-piecing method (which of course takes a lot more time also), and uses strips of various widths. Mom started teasing me that I was going to go into labor starting such grandios projects, but so far it hasn't worked. =)

First I cut out the centers of the blocks, which end up being stars, out of a couple different yellows.
Then I made piles of the different shades of blue strips that seemed to be of similar tone. Of the fabrics that I had a bit larger pieces, I cut 5inch squares for the border of prairie points. This is supposed to be a "scrappy" quilt, and the strips aren't supposed to be the same width- which is a wonderful scrap-reducer!

I saved some of the bigger pieces for later if necessary, as I didn't know quite how many scraps I needed to make the finished quilt size.

In order to keep the scrappy look, I organized the strips in piles around my sewing machine to make sure each block (consisting of 4 triangles) didn't have repeating fabrics. Towards the end I was getting low and had to have a few "strings" similar in one block. Most people do this sort of quilt with their entire scrap stash, so don't need to worry about keeping things different- but I wanted to keep just the similar blues and yellows in this one.

The 5inch squares I folded in half diagonally, then again; and pressed. These will be used along the edge of the quilt instead of the normal binding. I have only done this on a couple of quilts, and it is more difficult, but adds a unique touch.

Four of the blocks coming together. Once you lay them out together, they make a spider-web shape in the middle.

15 of the blocks together now, Breanna loved counting how many spiderwebs I had as I added blocks. =)

Once I had 15 blocks together (they took roughly 30-45 mins. each), I lost some motivation and took a few days off. Then one day I did 15 more blocks.... Mom was sure I was going to go into labor now! =) If you are wondering how I came up with this much time; I did most of the work while the rest of my family was sleeping and I was dealing with the "I can't get comfortable or sleep" pregnancy fun. I also worked some while the kids played.

Once I sewed the 35 blocks together to make the center of the quilt, it really started looking nice and making me get more excited.

Then I added the borders to make it the finished size, all of which I had to go and buy. I got very lucky and found a coordinating floral print for the wide border, though, that matches as if I started with it and chose the scraps to match it! I was also planning on using the wide-backing fabric for quilts but found nothing to match, so went back and got more of the floral print for that. I am hoping to be able to piece it together on Monday so that I can quilt it and be ready for prairie points. Then hand-stitching the back closed and I will be finished! Only 6 days till I have to be completely done....... I took a class on saturday about machine quilting, and learned a lot of new things that should make this quilt more interesting.

"Just a note to say I'm living"

While filing I found this poem my friend, Elissa Edge, sent me many years ago; thought it was quite appropriate for my posting record recently!

(Author Unknown)

Just a note to say I'm living

that I'm not among the dead.

Though I'm getting more forgetful

and mixed up in the head.

I got used to my arthritis,

to my dentures I'm resigned.

I can manage my bifocals

but gosh I miss my mind!

For sometimes I can't remember,

when I stand at the foot of the stairs,

If I must go up for something

or have I just come down from there?

And before the fridge so often,

my poor mind is filled with doubt.

Have I just put food away

or have I come to take some out?

So if it's my turn to write you

there's no need for getting sore;

I may think that I have written

and don't want to be a bore.

Just remember that I love you

and wish that you were near.

Now it's nearly mail time

so I must say goodbye, my dear.

Here I stand beside the mailbox

with a face so very red!

Instead of mailing you my letter,

I have opened it instead!

~author unknown

After reading this again, I realize this actually sounds like how well my mind works (or doesn't) when I'm pregnant! =)
I'm thinking once again that I will start posting things about sewing and quilting, and use picasa for family photos and such. Baby is due in a week now, so don't know how regular that will be either!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Catching up!

Hello, yes we are still here; all alive and doing well- and actually trying to get caught up on blogging! We are living in a different house now, it was a fixer-upper and we are still fixing it up. It had been smoked in for 25 years so had to be somewhat gutted before we could get started. We didn't have the option of moving in and slowly working on one project at a time, as the smell was aweful (from pets, too), and it was just disgusting. Our stuff would have been all very "smokey-smelling", and it is much easier to work on a place when there isn't lots of "stuff" to work around.
I took a trip with the kids to Medford, Oregon for 2 1/2 weeks while Tyler worked on the yucky stuff. We'd intended all the painting to be done when we came back, (and Tyler worked his tail off while we were gone!), but our other house selling had some paperwork things that took much longer than expected. This house also took much longer than expected, as we wanted to do it all right while we were at it; and there were lots of little things that came up. Our good friend, Jeanne, who lives in Palmer; graciously offered for us to stay with her while we finished- so that was greatly appreciated! I have added a few albums in the Picasa sight (link is at top right corner of page), as that is by far the fastest and most convenient way to add photos.
Our next "adventure" will be flying south again and driving our new trailer up the Alaska-Canada Highway! We haven't even finished the house and it seems like a silly thing to do right now, but Tyler is already getting swamped with business at work, so his boss said if we intended to go it should be as soon as possible. We'd also like the trailer for convention and camping this summer, and since we are expecting in August I'd like to get all that sitting done with sooner than later. We're all very excited about the trip, and the kids' daily playing consists of pretending to pack for the trip to Oregon and such. This is also why I was so determined to get caught up on photos, I'm sure we'll have many more when we come back!
Many have asked if we have a truck down there or how we are going to drive the trailer up. Tyler has always been very interested in 68-72 chevy's, and he found a suburban in Sacramento, CA that is affordable yet in good condition for the age. It's a 1972, and he says they are "dead simple" and easy to fix; there's not much to go wrong with them. Personally I am not the type to actually set out on this type of "adventure" with such a vehicle, but he assures me all will go just fine..... =) We also have an old mail Jeep that has been collecting leaves and such in our yard, another suburban (this is actually a '90), and a '97 4-door F350; all of which will be leaving our yard since he's getting is "cool" truck!!! So, I am VERY interested in that, and actually looking forward to him having a "hobby" truck that doesn't need tons of work. He's a good Chevy mechanic and has the number of another good Chevy Mechanic (Grandpa Lee Vaughan!), so hopefully we'll make it up without too many mishaps. We're flying into CA tomorrow and driving it up to G&G Murphys in Medford as a test-trip and to get it all "tuned up and ready". My brother, Jared, is quite the mechanic also, so between them maybe we can avoid future problems. We're actually buying it from an 75YO man who has owned it for the past 15 years and taken good care of it, so hopefully that is a tad bit of insurance.
We've been having absolutley gorgeous weather here and I really hate to leave it, but things may actually be greened up when we get back, so that is exciting! And it's definately something to make one feel like going camping, so that will be enjoyed- we've never done it with the luxury of a trailer! I have already traveled the Highway 5 or 6 times and really enjoy it (although the times with dependable vehicles sure were more relaxing => ), so am excited and ready to go. A couple years ago we drove up from Oregon when we bought a new car down there, and Breanna was exactly the same age Levi is now, and thoroughly enjoyed it. We were quite worried about her being stuffed in the backseat for such a long time, but she did incredible! At one point we even stopped at a fast-food joint and there was a nice lawn so I asked her if she wanted to get out and play in the grass. She quickly stated "no, get in the Vibe and go to Alaska!" So.... we are hoping for that kind of enthusiasm again! =)
Both kids are so excited about it all that I'm not too worried about that part, and we'll definately stock up on stickers/color books/crayons and such before leaving Oregon. We also plan to stop and camp every night (something I've never done on the trip before), which will also help us since we should be able to get some "real sleep" rather than switching drivers and sleeping upright. The entire trip is roughly 3,000 miles; which has usually taken about 3 1/2 days of the crazy method, but this time we have a whole week!
Now that I've probably thoroughly bored some of you, I'll let this be all and get on with packing. Hope you all are doing wonderful and enjoying the new spring!

Friday, January 9, 2009

New Twist

We are now in the "paperwork" process of selling our house, so more waiting time. We had a full-price offer within a few days of listing on craigslist, so that was exciting! We had picked out the house with a barn that we really liked, and after looking at other houses to make comparisons and be sure it was the right one.... we changed our minds a bit. None of the other houses compared at all, but after considering all sides for a while we decided even though this is a great house in a great area with a great price; we would be strapped to the payments for the next 30 years, and that doesn't sound fun! It's no wonder our country is in the real estate trouble it is, the bank gladly approved us for the house even though it would have been very tough to make ends meet after paying for property taxes and insurance on top of payments every month! So while that house had everything we thought we wanted, we've decided that we can wait a few years to be in the "never moving again" mode. =) It is very important to all of us that I stay home with the kids instead of going to work, so this is worth it.

We actually made an offer today on a house that has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, a large living/dining room area, and also a large family room. It's a split-level and very well laid out. You come in on the main floor (living room/dining/kitchen) and then go down a few steps to the family room and bedroom and bath; or up a few stairs to the other bedrooms and bath. We actually had a house very similar in Aloha while I was growing up, and Dad & Mom said it worked well. I didn't like the idea of a split-level where you go up stairs to get into the house, then come in on a landing, but this layout seems quite nice. It's an incredible deal simply because as we call it, it's a "smoke house". =) For quite a few years it has been smoked in, and also has the original 25-year old avocado green carpet, etc. Since the layout is so nice and it is so reasonable, we talked to our friend Zane who works for a home-restoration company about what it would take to make it nice. Sounds like it would require scrubbing down EVERYTHING with a strong citrus cleaner, painting walls/ceiling/floor with Kilz paint, replacing all outlets/fixtures/switches, and of course ripping out & replacing the flooring. If they accept our offer and all goes well, we should be able to move in with a "brand-new inside" in less than a months time!

The only down-side to this house that we couldn't move right into, is that we'll have to move twice. Tyler's sister, Clover, is going to come help me pack and move everything around closing time, so that will be greatly appreciated! In the end we'll have the same payments we have now, but with a very nice place that's more useful and bigger! Tyler hopes to add on a garage and possibly another bedroom in the next couple of years, but in the meantime we can just relax and enjoy our family..... and actually have some money to take trips to visit family and such! I'm am so much more comfortable with this situation, and we may just decide this is the place that will work for us too, at a much lower price! And if we decide to move again, we should have a tremendous amount of equity. Their asking price is $70,000 less than the other house!

Levi has taken to singing now, and it leaves us all in stitches! He often says "tell me tory..... Jesus" over and over, and he can almost sing the whole alphabet. It's hilarious to listen to him practicing while he's playing with blocks or cars, he's very serious about the whole thing. Once he gets to "W" he often repeats it over and over "dub-you" and can't remember what's next, so just keeps repeating W. Breanna can sing the old-testament books of the bible, and it's quite fun to watch her sing them on the phone to Grandma Maryn as she taps her toes to the rhythm. Such fun little bugs, I can't imagine not spending this time with them growing up! Clover had a hilarious blog posting recently, as to how her mornings go and why she doesn't go to work. I laughed the whole time while reading it, even though I only have 2 so far- it was all so familiar!! Check it out at: http://www.evanandclover.blogspot.com/ A couple of days ago when I was trying to get all the paperwork copied and scanned and emailed and figured out, Levi was climbing all over everything (and pulling things down), and suddenly the computer shut off because Breanna had crawled under the table and bumped the surge-protector. I just about exploded, and then thought "what was I thinking, and what am I going to do with another one?!?!?!?!"

This will be all for now, the kids are being way too quiet so I must go and inspect.... that is a dangerous sound! =)