Wednesday, September 17, 2014

They Said, "I do"...

The marriage and wedding celebration of our son, Evan, and his beautiful bride, Lauren has come and gone in a flash. We have these beautiful photos to help us remember each and every moment. It's sad that you plan for a whole year in advance for one day, thinking it can't get here fast enough, and then it is gone in an instant. I am looking forward to seeing the professional photos. I am sure he captured some amazing images. Meanwhile, I hope you will indulge me and enjoy these photos taken by my daughter in law, my sister and me. 

The bridal party was stunning; the men in tuxedos and the women in their blush gowns. Lauren's smile as she walked down the aisle was stunning. She made the most beautiful bride.

I have to admit, our little granddaughters stole the show in their beautiful feather dresses made by my daughter in law. Makenzie, as a junior bridesmaid, was so sweet in her lovely grown up dress. All our grand kids were very entertaining and so well behaved. It was a proud moment for Paul and me.

The true joy came when I saw the tears roll down Evan's cheeks as he watched his bride walk down the aisle. To see the love in their eyes warmed my heart. I've heard it said, "When children find true love, parents find true joy". The joy this day would not be overshadowed by the near 100"F temperatures nor the fact that the party bus transporting the bride and her bridesmaids broke down on the way to the ceremony. The day was pure magic and I wanted it to go on all night long.

Lauren and her mom worked meticulously with the florists and the venue to make sure ever detail was perfect. I wish I would have taken more photos of the table setting, but I am sure the photographer got plenty. Lauren's mom sewed all the table runners and overlays. The florist kept everything indoors until the last minute because of the heat.

The Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam we made as the table favors looked perfect with the flowers and silver and gold table settings.

It was a blessing to have all of our children and grandchildren with us to share this day. There were a few days there where we wondered if Michael would be able to make it with his injury.

We will be welcoming Briana as our 4th daughter in law in November.

I have to admit that this photo of my 10 year old grandson holding his 3 year old cousin during the blessing made me tear up.

Although grainy, this shot of my mom with my grand kids is special too.
This shot of my mom is a tearjerker, too. I'm so glad she was healthy enough to join us. She was a real trooper with the terrain and the heat, maneuvering her walker everywhere. A special thanks to my sister for taking over "mom duty" so I could enjoy the day without worrying about her.
The bride and groom had a sparkler send off. They are postponing their honeymoon until the spring, when Evan can get more time off work. 

Thanks for making it to the end of this photo heavy post.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Weekend Wrap Up

Evan and Lauren were married on the hottest day of the year. 
It was pure magic and I'll do a full blog post in a few days. 
photo credit Joel Eckman Maus

Son #2 was able to attend and participate in the wedding celebrations. 
He was able to smile between grimaces of pain. 
We are so grateful he was with all of us to celebrate this special occasion in our family.
Today, Michael had a successful surgery to put his elbow back together. 
It took a skilled surgeon 5 hours and 4 screws to get his elbow all patched up. 
He did NOT have to have joint replacement. 
They also used a screw to repair his broken wrist. 
He has a long road of physical therapy ahead of him but we are so grateful the surgery was a success and it is over.
I need a few days to process all that has happened in the last 7-10 days and then I might even have time to get back to sewing. Meanwhile, I'm going to try to help Michael and his family as much as I can. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When Life Happens

I think this is the longest I have ever gone without blogging. Even when on vacation I blog. I am not one to pre-write blog posts unless it is for a blog hop, so that is why it has been a little silent around my part of blogland. Life has been crazy.
This has been a week filled with extreme highs and extreme lows.
First the highs...because I am an optimist.
Our #3 son is getting married this Saturday. I have waited for this day for a long time. To see him this happy gives me great joy. This week we have been working together on a gift for his bride and I am so excited for Saturday, I could burst. And, no, we've not been working on a quilt. Just sitting with him for three days working and talking is the best a mom could ask for. I have said it before, but I love one on one time with my kids and grandkids. And to top it off, I received the loveliest letter of commitment and appreciation from Evan's bride to be.
I cannot wait to see these two journey through marriage and parenthood. To see him evolve into a strong, caring and loving man that takes responsibility very seriously...well let's just say my heart is full right now.

The next photo you see of these two will be when they are Mr. & Mrs. Stanley.
Now let's pray I make it through the ceremony without turning into a blubbering idiot or melting. We are expecting a heatwave. Either way I will be wearing this dress and shoes. I hope I can walk down the aisle without tripping. But as soon as the reception starts I will be changing into my slippers for dancing, which is sure to go on all night long.                                                          

This is the funny video the brother's made for Michael when he married Jenny in 2001. It will always be priceless to us. I hope they do one for Evan. 

This week has also been filled with worry and scary concern for our #2 son who was hurt on the job as a paramedic/firefighter. He fell off the top of a fire truck and seriously broke his arm and wrist. I have never seen him in as much pain as he has been in this week. As of today, things are looking up. He is getting great care and has gotten in to see one of the top hand surgeons for this kind of injury. He has a long road to recovery so if you have a moment and can say a prayer for Michael, it sure will be appreciated. He is looking a lot better since this photo was taken and his pain is becoming more manageable. Hopefully, each day will be an improvement and he will be back on the job soon.  They had to cancel their 10 year anniversary trip (4 years in the making). They were going to Portugal and Paris and it was to be the first time they were going to leave their 4 kids for more than a few nights. Our hope is as soon as he is able, they can still make this trip that they have been looking forward to for so long.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Double Date

From the moment I saw a Single Girl quilt, I knew I wanted to make one. Early this summer I finally started making one out of my mega-stash of Denyse Schmidt fabrics. After seeing Chase's beautiful version using low volume prints, a match was made in heaven as far as I was concerned.

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

Mr Romance

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

single girl quilt

The quilt has been finished for a few weeks, but I needed a good place to take photos. I should have learned my lesson from shooting the Clam Shell quilt at the beach, but we decided to incorporate a week night date and a trip to the beach to see the big surf going on in Orange County this week. It was an added bonus that there was a gorgeous sunset, too. So Mr. Romance had a double date with me and a Single Girl. Trying to take photos of a quilt at the beach is like trying to fly by holding a sail; it's not easy and you can't really get a proper shot. But I still love all the photos that we took, so this post is photo heavy.
I used pieces from all of my Denyse Schmidt collection including Hope Valley, Flea Market Fancy, Katie Jump Rope, Chicopee, Shelburne Falls, Ansonia and DS for Joann's. I also have a good stash of low volume prints from my Inside Voices Club, so this combination just was screaming to be made into a quilt.
I will admit these curves gave me a few headaches. I used glue basting sometimes and really did not notice a difference on this quilt. I love glue basting, but this time not so much. I took my time paper piecing the 4 inch squares I had cut out of each fabric onto the arcs and then sewed the inside low volume print and finally the outside arc with a different low volume print. I used vellum paper for the paper piecing. It is easy to see through for placing the fabric and it tears easily after you're finished sewing the arcs. I removed the papers from the arcs before sewing the inside and outside low volume prints to the arcs. This is a super scrappy quilt and I love the way it came together.
I quilted it with "crazy 8's" in horizontal rows across the quilt. They are very wonky but created a lovely texture on this quilt. The backing is a print from Flea Market Fancy that I had been hoarding in anticipation of another Denyse Schmidt quilt. The final bit of DS fabric used was an aqua print from Joann's for the binding. 
You'll notice the label is not personalized. I was originally making this quilt for my granddaughter's 12th birthday last week, but then decided the irony of a Single Girl quilt might be lost on her. I was going to say, "This is the last quilt I am making you until I make you a double wedding ring quilt when you get married" But seriously, 12 year olds don't need to think about getting married and she wouldn't know a Single Girl quilt from a Double Wedding Ring quilt, anyway. Instead she got clothes and cash. I might save it for her and give it to her in a few years, or maybe I'll keep it for myself. I do love the way it turned out. Either way, it will be loved.

Quilt Stats:

Name: Double Date
Pattern: Denyse Schmidt's Single Girl pattern, altered to make a paper pieced version
Fabrics: All Denyse Schmidt fabric including Flea Market Fancy, Katie Jump, Hope Valley, Ansonia, Shelburne Falls, Chicopee, and DS for Joann's. Low volume prints from stash.
Batting: Warm and White
Backing: Flea Market Fancy print
Binding: Aqua print DS for Joann's
Thread: pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50 wt. #2310 
Finished size: 56" x 78"

This is my second completion for my 3rd quarter Finish Along List. 2 down/2 to go!

Finish Along 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WiP Wednesday Selvage Quilt

Back in February I started making selvage blocks.
I started a selvage block along on Instagram and Flickr.
I got bored and moved on to something else.
I made more blocks.
I ran out of good selvage strips.
A friend donated selvages to me.
I made more blocks.
I got busy making other projects.
And then this week I decided to finish this quilt.
I arranged 100 8-1/2" unfinished blocks in a random pattern.
Now these 100 blocks are sewn into 25 blocks.
I think I'll have a little play with the arrangement and finish getting this quilt top pieced.

The next photo you will see of this project is the massive pile of vellum paper, as I will need to rip off all the foundation paper I pieced these with and then baste the quilt.
I might need lots of encouragement and tips on pin basting. I am usually a spray baster but with all the diagonal piecing I think it's going to require more stability before quilting. 
All your helpful hints will be gladly accepted.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced