Friday, June 27, 2014

Sew On and Sew Forth

This post is not so much about a family adventure, as an adventure in learning something new. A couple of years ago I took a quilting class and loved it! It is a great creative outlet for me and I have enjoyed developing a new hobby little by little. I use my sewing machine to piece the top of the quilt together and then I actually quilt the pieces together by hand. Hand quilting is a very slow and labor-intensive process, but I enjoy it so much and love the traditional element to it.
The first quilt I made was for my James, of course. 

Not the best picture but you get the point.
So happy he was sleeping under it, I snuck in and took a picture
He still loves it and it always travels with us.
The next quilt I made was for my cousin, Tracy, when I found out she was having a little girl. I designed the quilt myself and incorporated the little girl's name, Lyla, into the quilt.

The adorable Lyla showing off her quilt. So cute!
Babies, babies, everywhere! Next was my long-time friend, Ty, who had an adorable little munchkin named Ari. Once we knew it was a boy, I found a really cute fabric with whales on it and knew I had to use that for his quilt.

Ari's whale quilt
Holding Ari all wrapped up in his quilt. Love!
I also decided to try my hand at quilting some smaller projects and put together a patriotic table runner for my lovely friend, Heather. It went pretty well so I made myself a holiday table runner. 

Hello, Americana!
Not sure if you can see them, but I quilted stars into this fabric.
Hard to see, but they are cute holiday fabrics.
In the midst of all of these other projects, I was working on a large throw quilt for my dear friend, Jen. Her favorite color is purple and butterflies hold a special meaning for her so I was attempting to tie those things together in a quilt that was just right for her. It took me a very long time but I finally finished it and gave it to her for her birthday this year. Every one of the flowers was hand appliqu├ęd (look how many petals that is!!!) and the quilting is all hand-stitched. It was definitely a labor of love and as far as I know, she loves it. Even if she doesn't, I have told her to lie to me and tell me she does.

Chris makes a great quilt holder for pictures.
There is a butterfly border around it and butterflies
stitched in the corners.
Getting more comfortable with my sewing machine has also enabled me to tackle projects other than quilting. 

I made a little stuffed elephant for sweet Amelia. 
This tote bag went to my sweet niece, Hope, for her birthday. 
My friend, Melanie, and I had girls' sewing nights and made aprons.
Hers came out much better so you only get to see the picture of mine. 
Recently, an expectant friend of mine hired me to make the decorative elements of her nursery. It was such an honor to be asked and to know that she trusted me to do a good job with very little experience. 

These are the curtains I made. They are brown but
the color is all off in the picture.
Here you can see the crib skirt and the teething bumpers, just in case her little
one is part beaver, like James was.
The changing pad covers were the thing I was most nervous
about and they ended up being super easy!
This is my very first pillow cover and I actually machine quilted it.
Straight lines, for the win! 
It has an envelope back so you can take the cover off and wash it.
Babies are messy.
Here is the quilt for the nursery, tying all the fabrics together.
Kelli and I in her finished nursery. Thanks again for thinking I could do it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Last of the Mighty Five!

Utah is home to five national parks, that's right, five! They are all amazing and beautiful and everyone should make it a point to come see at least one of them in your life. After living here for eight years, we have finally been to all of them. Zion National Park was the last one on our list and we spent a great weekend there in April. 

It really is this beautiful!

Our little hiker

Scoping out the best picnic spot
Fresh green leaves of spring
My two favorite people-so cute!

James found this neat heart-shaped cactus
Exploring a bit before the rain comes
Photographic evidence that I was there!
Does this make you want to come see Utah for yourself?!
Sunset through the trees at our campground
Looking adorable in Dad's hat

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Tulip Festival 2014

Thanksgiving Point Gardens is one of my favorite places to visit and every year they have an amazing Tulip Festival. My idea of enjoying the flowers involves stopping to take hundreds of pictures, however, this is not James' idea of a great time. We compromise. I take only about a hundred and he gets to run around a lot and smell the ones he thinks look the most interesting.
The sweetest of faces
 This year, we were joined by my friend, Kerri C. and her adorable girls, Gracie, Maddie, and Millie. While there, James and Gracie decided to get married, chose a date (June 3), and posed for an engagement picture. They grow up so fast!
How cute are they?!
Gracie, James, and Maddie taking it all in
The rest of the post will mostly be pictures of flowers, with one more picture of James thrown in to keep you scrolling through them. Enjoy!

How many more pictures of flowers do we have to have?