Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Michael's Office Quilt

Way back in the day when Michael was attending Concordia Seminary, I took a little class called Ecclesiastical Embroidery.  The idea was that you would learn how to do these fancy, hand-embroidered church symbols and then make a stole for your husband to wear when he was leading church services.  I showed up every week and enjoyed meeting with the other ladies. I also remember that I had no desire to actually make a stole.  That seemed like a lot of complicated sewing to me.   I remember asking the teacher, "What are we going to do with these squares when they're finished?" She said, "Nothing, they're just practice samples."  What!?  They were way too nice (in my opinion) to do nothing with them, not to mention the amount of work that it took to make them.

I remember one of the previous students came in with a simple banner that she had made with her samples squares.  It was to hang in her husband's office.  I was in awe.  I asked her how she knew how to make the banner and she said, "I just made it up."  What?!  I was blown away.  I had no idea that you could "just make up" a little banner, which was actually a miniature quilt.  I wanted to be her.  I wanted to have that skill.  I don't have a picture of her banner, but it looked something like this:

Dear lady who made the banner, I'm sorry I don't know your name, and I'm sorry that this little drawing does not give your little quilt the justice and credit it deserves.  It has been inspiring me for years.

Oh, how I longed to be quilter who just makes stuff up.

Fast forward 10 years later.  I was organizing my craft room and I unpacked those almost-finished squares.  Michael had just started his current job at our church and I knew that the time had come.  It was time to fulfill the quilty longing I felt when I was a newly married wife with zero sewing skills.

 Ta-da! I know how to quilt now.  Yay!

Here are my hand-embroidered "practice squares."

This phoenix is machine embroidered.  Michael has always loved the phoenix since its a symbol for resurrection. He always wanted a white stole with a phoenix on it to wear on Easter, but since he doesn't wear stoles for his current job, I thought I'd work it into the quilt instead.  (I'm still really happy that I never had to sew a stole.)

I also included some left over fabric from when Michael and I made some Advent paraments for our church in Saratoga.  (Now, before you guys are all like, "What!? Karen has the best husband ever! He does sewing projects with her."  This was our only joint sewing project, ever, and it was fun, but we don't sit around sewing together all the time.  However, I do have an awesome husband, just not a sewing one, which is okay.  I digress.)  Here are the paraments we made:

Here are the leftovers:

I also love this little leafy piece that I pilfered from my best friend Meghan's scrap bin.  It looks good with the little tree.

So that is the little quilt I made for Michael.  I think it really brightened up his office wall.

P.S.  For a baby who hasn't officially started crawling yet, she sure moved lickety-split across the floor to steal my drawing and photo-bomb my picture.  It was quite impressive, actually.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Coordinated Babies

When Emily and I were kids, our mom dressed us in coordinating outfits on many occasions.  We decided to do the same to the babies while she and my niece were here for the week.  The fun part about this (for us) was that we didn't plan any of this ahead of time (except for the pink polka dots).  We just found what we could in my daughter's stash of mostly hand-me-down clothes.  Because that is the thrifty thing to do.

Monday: Fun t-shirts with jeggings.

Tuesday: Pink polka dot rompers with bunny pockets. These were actually a gift from my mom and Grandma for Christmas. It is super fun when the girlies receive matching outfits.

Wednesday: It was Ash Wednesday so we had to dress them in purple.

Thursday: We had their portraits taken at JC Penny with these little dresses.  This is their post-portrait, turn-the-dresses-into-play-clothes and hit the thrift store outfits.

Friday: Hanging around the house in pastel shirt and pants sets.

Saturday: Brown and pink.

Other notable outfit fun: Jammies and snowsuits.

Baby Bloopers: Just in case you thought life with two coordinated babies was always perfect ;-)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sister Fun Time

My sister Emily came for a visit this past week.  We had so much fun.  She brought her baby and it was so great to have a girls week. On Tuesday, we spent the day in Old Town. We kicked off our day of fun by going to Peek-a-boo time at the library.  I don't know about you, but I love libraries.  Not only do they let you borrow all their stuff for free, but there are always fun activities happening.  Tuesday morning is baby story time, so that's what we did.

The babies loved hearing the stories.  

And eating the books. 

They liked meeting other babies.

And spending time with their mamas.

And playing with the library toys. 

After that we walked over to Snooze for a tasty breakfasty lunch.  Before she came to visit, I told Emily to pick one place from my Fort Collins Pinterest board for us to visit while she was here.  She picked Snooze, which made me happy because it is one of my favorite restaurants.

Here is Emily enjoying the goodness.  

Note the fun twinkles.
It happened to be Pancake Day while we were there. Fun! I love obscure holidays.  We decided to split a Blueberry Lemon Bar pancake and it was awesome.

My little lady and me enjoying the happy atmosphere. 

Sister Fun Time!  

Emily's baby was the only one who truly understood the concept of "Snooze" and slept the whole time we were there.

After that we wandered around Old Town, visiting our favorite stores, until it started to sprinkle.  We made a mad dash for the car and headed home in the rain.  All in all, it was a super fun day.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mama Said Sew is Moving

Mama Said Sew has long been one of my favorite places.  It is a sweet little fabric shop in Old Town in Fort Collins.  After nearly four years at 121 E. Mountain, they have closed up shop.  Not to worry, it's only for a week.  They're scheduled to open again on March 4, just a little ways up the road.

It is a really exciting change for them.  They'll have a bigger space and even a parking lot. Yay!  Me being the super sentimental type, though, I can't help feeling a little sad that the old place will be no longer.  Anyone who knows me knows that I hate saying goodbye to spaces that I've loved.  Anyone remember how distraught I was during the last episode of Friends when they scanned over the (Spoiler Alert!) empty apartment?  Seriously, so sad, and that place wasn't even real.  I went to the store on Saturday so I could soak in the goodness one last time.  Angela, the owner, was gracious to let me wander around with my new camera and take all kinds of pictures so I can always retain the memories of that happy place.

Let me tell you about the first time I walked into Mama Said Sew.  My husband and I had recently moved to Fort Collins. I had just left a home and a life that I loved.  I was feeling uprooted and adrift and trying to figure out what my new role in life was to be. Someone recommended to me that I visit the store, so I decided to check it out.  I walked in and I was instantly struck by the feel of the place.  I think I actually stood there with my mouth hanging open and said to one of the employees, "I think I'm in heaven." (That's a super cheesy thing to say, but that's what I said and I meant it.)  It was so colorful and fun!  So new and so vintage-ey! This sounds weird, but I felt like I was home.  I felt like, "These are my people, they think like I do, I think I'm going to like living in Fort Collins."

And guess what folks, I do. It's been so fun to pop into Mama Said Sew through the years and be inspired and encouraged, to meet new people and find fresh ideas.  I will miss the old spot, but change often brings good things with it.  I'm excited to see what their new space has to offer.  So mark your calendars for March 4 and check out the new location at 406 N. College.  Until then, here are some pictures to tide you over; I hope they make you happy, too.