Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Scrappy Rambler

I recently joined the Fort Collins Modern Quilt Guild. It is so fun to get together once a month with inspiring gals who love to quilt as much as I do.  One of the things we're about to start is a roaming quilt bee. Everyone begins with a starter block that is passed around to all the participating members.  Each person adds to the quilt and then it is passed on again. It is similar to a "round robin" except that the additions to each quilt are not limited to borders.

I was so excited, I couldn't wait to sew my block.

The center piece is a label from a pair of pajama pants I acquired in either high school or college.  I still have the pants, and the little bag (I use it as a tiny pillowcase).  I saved the label because I loved the fun, retro look of it.  Sometimes (often) I will save things for years until I find the perfect use for them (my husband loves this, no he does not).

I framed it in a churn dash because I like to mix in old quilt block patterns that have been around for ages with fun, modern fabric.

Now, I figured my starter block was finished so I just let it be until it could begin its travels.

However, I kept thinking about how much I liked the little label because it reminded me of how women of yesteryear would sew with old flour sacks.  How thrifty! How fun!  Flour generally does not come in flour sacks anymore, but there is a Colorado brand that I saw on the shelves whenever I was grocery shopping with Michael. (He does the grocery shopping because he is full of awesomeness.)  I would always hint that we should buy that flour because I was coveting the bag.  He likes to bake with whole wheat flour so we never really needed that much white flour.  When my friend, Anna, had a cookie party last Christmas, imagine my happiness when Michael suggested we buy the Blue Bird flour to bake the cookies.  Yay!

I've been hanging on to that blue bird of happiness, waiting for the ideal project.  It seemed like the perfect fit to match with my old pants label.

I also included a block that I'd picked up at a fabric swap a long time ago that was made by Tara, another member of the Modern Quilt Guild.  Now my starter block is ready to begin its journey.  I've named the quilt "The Scrappy Rambler" and I'm very excited to see how it will grow.  I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Mr. Paws says, "Are you finished? You sure have a lot to say."

Monday, May 26, 2014

Angelman Walk

I've worked an eclectic collection of jobs before I became a full-time mama.  One of my favorite jobs was taking care of Patrick, a happy, smiley, kid who has Angelman Syndrome.

Every year Patrick's family and friends participate in the Angelman Walk, to raise awareness and funds to help kids with Angelman Syndrome.  Patrick's team was made up of his parents, another of his caregivers and her family, and me and the baby.

The Ham Family

Team pHAMily

I was preggers at last year's walk. So it was really fun to have the little lady join us this year.

Before the walk begins, each of the kids with Angelman's is introduced to the crowd and given a balloon.  I think this is by far Patrick's favorite part of the event.  He loves pomp and circumstance, and balloons.

The walk began and we wound our way around a beautiful little lake.

As we neared the finish line, the two little girls were holding hands as we pushed their strollers.  It was the cutest thing ever!

It was a fun walk for a great cause.

If you'd like more information about Angelman Syndrome please check out their website at

Saturday, May 17, 2014


Sometimes I feel the need to make something impractical simply because the materials exist and I think it is fun to do.  An example of this is a paper chain made of Starburst wrappers.  Michael bought a bag of Starburst in the fall and I've been slowly working on this chain.  People keep asking me, "What are you going to do with that chain?"  Who knows?  Who cares?  It is just fun to make so I am making it. 
Along these same lines, I've had a dream for a long time of making confetti.  Whenever I make something with paper, there's always a pile of scraps that seem too pretty to just throw away (and by throw away I obviously mean put in the recycle bin).  But who really needs a bunch of confetti?  I finally decided that I don't care.  It would be fun to make, right?  So I'm making some. I dug out my cool paper punches and went to town on a pile of paper scraps.

And guess what, it is fun! It is so SUPER fun to make confetti.  I love it.  I even dug around in my craft room and found some old foil confetti that I had collected somewhere and added that to the mix.  Then I subbed for the church secretary one morning and I went around to all the hole punchers in the office and collected the dots.  That was fun, too.  It makes me so happy to look in my pail of confetti and see all the pretty colors.  I can't wait to add more to it.
Maybe someday someone will say to me, "Karen, I'm starting a pinata business, and I'd like you to be my confetti supplier."  That would be awesome, but highly unlikely.  Maybe I'll finally open an Esty shop and make loads of money (like a dollar or two) selling confetti. That would be awesome, too.  Although if neither of those things happen, I will still be giddy with happiness punching paper and sprinkling rainbow fun.

P.S. Who invited these two to this party?  This is not a plate of tuna. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

I've waited years for this day.  YEARS! It is finally here.  I am a mother on Mother's Day. I walked in to the nursery this morning and saw this little smiling face looking at me.

Life is good.  Thank you God for this baby.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Scrappy Table Topper

I made this little project just for fun.  A few people have said to me, "How do you have time to sew with a baby?"  The answer is, "I don't really."  I think about sewing all day long, and I constantly wish I was downstairs in my craft room but there are many, many days when it just doesn't happen.  However, my husband has been taking the baby with him every time he goes to the store and I have a little free time.  Glorious free time!  I literally ignore everything else in the house and run downstairs to sew.   I really do feel like it's a mental health break and I always feel refreshed after I've had a little time to sew and be creative.
This project was really fun because I just used scraps from my overflowing scrap bin.  The original pink piece that you see on the back was some fabric that my friend Katie had been using to practice free motion quilting.  I literally just sewed pieces of fabric on to her quilted piece.  It was so fun.  I like that my scrappy little table topper has a little Katie love tucked inside of it. 
And it is just plain cheery and makes me happy.

P.S. Mr. Paws is a photo bomber.  And he loves quilts as much as I do.