Thursday, April 12, 2018

Hello Again...

Long time- I know! It's been over a year and a half since I posted, so I thought that now that the dust has settled a little, it was time to come back and say hi and let you know where I've been. (I don't even know if "blogging" is still a thing anymore?? It seems as though most people just enjoy snippets posted on IG.)

Four days after my last post, our third baby, and first boy was born. Y'all know I'm pretty private when it comes to my kids and the information I share about them, and I never post pictures of them- so you'll have to take my word for it- He's a handsome little guy and has my heart. There was an un-planned 6 year gap between our 2nd and 3rd child, so in a lot of ways it felt like I was having my first all over again. With both of my older girls in school, I've been able to enjoy a lot of one on one time with him. It's been so much fun. 

As expected, when a new baby comes, life gets turned upside down and there really isn't much time for hobbies, so sewing took a back burner and I focused my attention to my family and new baby. Life was perfect, I felt happier than ever before, and almost pinched myself at times to make sure it was real. ;)

When my baby was about 4 months old, we found out that my husband would be deploying for 10 months but that he wouldn't be leaving for another 6 months (he is a dentist for the Army). Those 6 months leading up to him leaving were torture for me. It was all I could think about. Every time a cute, sweet, or happy moment happened between my kids and husband, it brought tears to my eyes, just realizing the sacrifice my kids were going to make not having their daddy with them. The milestones that every parent looks forward to with their new baby- first words, first steps, etc- my hubby would miss out on being there for most of those.

I can remember that while I tried to process things in my mind, I'd sit down to sew- which has always been such a great creative outlet, stress reliever and fun time for me- and I would stare at the fabric for an hour, my mind felt blank. It was just so all consuming and I had no desire to create.

By the time he finally did deploy, I felt like it had plagued me for so long already that 10 months of having to be apart was just unfathomable. He left in June of 2016 and I spent most of that summer in Utah with family- just passing the time and getting that extra support. About a week before my kids started school, I came back to KC. In September and then again in December, my hubby and I were so blessed to be able to meet each other in Germany for 4 days each time (so quick, but so worth it). Those trips were the cherry on top of the curveball pie we were eating. I will forever be thankful for them!

I can tell you that this experience was one of the hardest things I've had to go through to date, but there were also priceless moments that we would have never had if we hadn't gone through it. I can also say that it's been very character building. We grew so much as a family, as a couple, and individually. It's one of those experiences that I hope I never have to go through again, but also am deeply grateful that I was forced to go through because of what it taught me and the ways that it opened my heart and eyes. Funny how trials do that for you, huh?

Before he left, I had always had such a great appreciation for the for the men and women of the military and their families and friends that sacrifice on a daily basis so that we can have the freedoms that we have. But it wasn't until I was in the position, to make the sacrifice myself, that I realized just how huge the sacrifice is and what those families got through. I'm thankful that so many are willing to serve and let their loved ones serve. I know there are so many that deploy over and over again, and many others that go through so much more than anything than we went through with having my husband deployed and it's just hard to wrap my mind around it. Again- I just feel so thankful for every sacrifice that is made for our country and freedom.

 My husband just returned home 3 weeks ago. He was gone 289 days, but weirdly enough it already feels like a distant memory. Life is so good, and we are so thankful to be together again!

I could write so many posts about the things that I learned and the ways that I grew, but I'll spare you. ;) I just wanted to let y'all know I was still here, and that I am easing back into projects and sewing. Just putting out feelers to see if Y'ALL are still here and if its worth posting every now and then? So let me know!

xoxo, Ashley

P.S. We are in the middle of a really fun makeover on a new cedar playground we got at Costco that I plan to share here. (we are painting it and making some easy upgrades to it to make it a little more "us".) I have also been doing some decorating in my house to pass the time while he was gone, so that could be fun to share too. Let me know if you're interested in that side of things or if you're just here for the sewing. ;)

P.P.S. While I didn't do a ton of sewing these past 10 months, I did share anything that I did do while he was gone over on my Instagram @crafterbynight

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Vintage Inspired Baby Quilt

This week is an exciting week for our family... It's finally time for our baby to arrive!! I am due this Friday and scheduled to be induced that morning I haven't already gone into labor. Hallelujah! I am beyond ready to have this little guy. My pregnancy has been fairly easy, but I've definitely reached the "get this baby outta me" stage!! If you've ever been pregnant, I am sure you know the feeling well! We pretty much have the house in order and everything set for him to arrive, so it's just time to hurry up and wait for Friday to get here. 

I started sewing about 5 1/2 years ago, which was means that I've never sewn anything for any of my babies since my current youngest is 6. I thought when I found out that I was pregnant that I would want to be sewing up a storm and making all kinds of things for this little guy... but.... are y'all ready for a shocker? I haven't made a single thing for my baby yet. Can you believe that?? I don't know if it's just that he's a boy and I've never made boy things, or if it's because I just haven't had the desire to sew as much since I've been pregnant, but my time before baby comes is officially running out and there is not a single handmade item (from me) in the nursery yet. It seriously shocks me when I think about it, but to be honest, my "nesting phase" seems to be lost and I'm simply in survival mode and have been for the entire summer. I've done a bit of hand stitching here and there since coming home from Quilt Market, but most of my time has just been spent enjoying my family and simply in "survival mode". ha ha Maybe with these last couple of days, I will have a burst of energy and make him a quilt... or I might just lay on the couch and watch Netflix. ;)

I did manage to sew a little baby quilt for my best friend Rach (of Family Ever After), who is due exactly a week after me. She's having a girl and I think I've decided that we should probably begin the proceedings for our babies arranged marriage since they are going to be so close in age. Then we can really be family! ;)
She and her family recently moved back "home" to South Dakota and bought the coolest property in the Black Hills with a darling log cabin home. She calls it their "little house on the prairie". I always love seeing pictures of the fun adventures that their family has in on their land and their new slower more relaxed way of life seems so appealing. It totally suits their family so well. 

I knew that I wanted to make something for her sweet baby, and I decided to go a little out of my normal design esthetic and make something with a vintage/old fashioned feel to go along with their new home and way of living. 

I started digging through my stash and found a Chloe's Closet 30's Playtime mini charm pack. It was exactly the feel I was going for, but since it was a mini charm pack, it definitely wasn't enough fabric to make a quilt with. I decided to make little four square patches and alternate with solid white blocks in a checker pattern. Once I got that put together, I realized that the quilt was still feeling a bit small- even for a baby quilt, so I added the yellow and white square border. The yellow and white remind me of a vintage quilt I used to snuggle up with as a young girl at my grandma's house. 

I did really simple quilting but added a bit of detail by quilting a sweet scallop on the yellow and white border. I really love how it came out. I feel like it is definitely a quilt that could be found on a "little house on the prairie"- which is what I was going for. 

Well friends, wish me luck!! The next time I blog, I will have a little bundle of blue in my home! 

I hope that you all have a wonderful week!
Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

P.S.- Today is the last day of the Christmas in July sale going on over at Lady Belle Fabrics... RUN, do not walk, and snatch up some of the amazing deals going on over there!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Pixie Noel Blog Hop

Happy Monday y'all! Hope that you had a wonderful weekend! 

I am so happy to be a part of the Pixie Noel Blog Tour today! Since I am 2 1/2 weeks away from my due date, I haven't been doing a whole lot of anything- including sewing... Just bits of hand sewing here and there between nesting and trying to finish up the nursery and a few other house projects before baby comes. So my La Passacaglia was the perfect place for Pixie Noel to make an appearance. 

If you have been following me on IG, you know that I did some sewing for Tasha Noel for quilt market for her debut of her darling new fabric line Pixie Noel as well. It is seriously the cutest line! I made a few stockings and a quilt for her booth. They turned out darling and her booth was seriously the cutest booth at market (in my opinion). 

I just snapped a couple photos on my phone so they aren't the greatest, but when I have my projects back from market, I will be sure to take some better photos and share more details with y'all here on the blog.

The great news is that Pixie Noel is finally available in shops so y'all can get a head start on your Christmas sewing too! I am the first stop on the Pixie Noel Blog Tour, but there are so many other fun projects that will be shared this week as well, so be sure to follow along on IG (#pixienoelfabric and @tashanoel1) to get the creative juices flowing! 

Thanks for stopping by! Hope that you have a wonderful week! 
Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Anna Maria Horner QAYG Herringbone Quilt

Do y'all follow Maureen Cracknell on IG or read her blog? She is a "Herringbone Quilt As You Go" PRO!! When I saw her tutorial for this amazing quilt a couple years ago, I had it "pinned" before you can say Anna Maria Horner and knew I had to make one too! Her tutorial is great, y'all should definitely check it out.

When my little sis got married last year, I knew that this would be the perfect time to try my hand at making a huge QAYG (quilt as you go) quilt and I am sold on this type of quilting! The thing I hate about making a large quilt, is that it is a beast to quilt once you've pieced it. (and I usually don't have extra $ floating around to send it to a longarm quilter) So this technique was perfect for solving that problem! 
(If this isn't making sense, head over and check out Maureen's tutorial and it will explain what I am talking about.)

I used a bunch of fabrics from my stash, mostly AMH, and went for a Boho feel and love the way it turned out. I used AMH Spotted in a Crowd leopard print for the binding (one of my favorite prints) and Tula Pink Free Fall in Navy Wideback for the backing. It was my first time using 108" fabric for quilt backing and I am a fan! I loved not having to piece the back. I was also super impressed with the hand of the Tula Pink wide backing... It was ultra soft and buttery, I would definitely use it again.

I am in the process of making a voile version of this quilt for my bed... It's king size, so I don't know if I will finish it before baby comes, but that is the plan. Here is a sneak peak... You can follow my progress on IG.

Well, I hope you are all having a wonderful summer! Our family just got back from our summer trip to visit family out in Utah, which was so fun and relaxing! I'm just about 35 weeks pregnant now, so I am sticking close to home now for the duration of my pregnancy and officially entering the uncomfortable stages of the pregnancy. The humidity in the Midwest is torturing me! ;) Definitely missing that dry summer heat in Utah! 

I've been so busy with other projects that I haven't sewn a single thing for my baby! Can you believe that?! I have got to get moving... these last few weeks are going to fly by. 

Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

P.S. I't s the Fat Quarter Shop's 13th Birthday and they are celebrating by offering 13% off of your order! Yay! They are also giving away 13 amazing prizes, so head over to their blog and enter the giveaway

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Foxglove Fabric Showcase

I have been an Aneela Hoey fan ever since I started sewing. I remember seeing "Sew Stitchy" at my local quilt shop back in 2012 and thinking that it was the cutest fabric ever!! I have just a teeny tiny bit left, plus some of my other favorites by her in my stash and I ration them like crazy! So when Aneela asked me to be part of the fabric showcase for her newest line, Foxglove, I knew I couldn't resist!

Foxglove is a group of 12 prints on cotton, designed by Aneela for Cloud 9 fabrics. She was kind enough to send me a little bundle of each of the prints to use in my La Passacaglia quilt. They are just perfect for fussy cutting... Those foxes are just too cute aren't they!? I love that they look like they are chasing each other around my cog. 

The Foxglove Showcase just started yesterday, so there will be many more amazing projects to come featuring Foxglove, so be sure to check out Aneela's blog or IG to keep up with them all. You can also search the hashtags on IG #foxglovefabric and #aneelahoey for more yummy inspiration!

Hope you are having a wonderful start to your week! It's always hard to get back into the groove after a long holiday weekend, isn't it!?!

Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Handmade Teacher Thanks You Gifts

With all of the sewing I was working on for Quilt Market, the last week of school really crept up on me this year and I was scrambling for what to give my kids teachers. Both of my kids teachers were phenomenal and I wish I would have had the foresight to make quilts ahead of time for them, but as a perpetual procrastinator, that wasn't really realistic, right?!

I knew that I want to do something with apples. I love apples and rarely get the chance to sew with an apple theme, so you better believe that my kids teachers get something "apple" every year. (I have heard teachers get sick of apples, but how could you not love a fabric apple?!)

I loved this pillow that Heather of Vintage Grey Handmade made a few years ago, so I used her pillow as my inspiration. I got searching and realized that the pattern she used to make her pillow was a free pattern offered by Bustle and Sew- perfect!! It's called the Appley Dappley Cushion Cover.

I used the apple templates that were available in the pattern from Bustle and Sew and raw edge appliqu├ęd them onto a 16x16 inch background fabric for the pillow front. I tacked the apples down with just a bit of elmers glue (yep- the white washable kind) and then stitched them with black thread to give it a bit of a pop. Super easy.

I just kinda winged the rest of the pillow and added jumbo rick rack to the edges and created an envelope closure on the back side. I ran to Joann and used a coupon that they have going this week for 60% off of a pack of two- 16x16 inch pillow forms, so with the coupon, they only ended up being a couple dollars a piece for the inserts. Score!
 I made two pillows, one for each of their main teachers and then wanted to make something smaller for their "specials" teachers- gym, librarian, music, technology, art, etc. I saw @mommy2lu on IG made some darling little patchwork apples for Lunden's teachers so I knew that would be the perfect thing. I used the Scrappy Apple Pincushion & Ornament pattern by Retro Mama and I was so impressed with the pattern. The apples turned out darling and the pattern was very clear and easy to follow. Which is always a a plus when I fork out $ for a pattern. :)

I wrapped the pillows up with a thank you for their  teachers and then for the teachers that they rotate to throughout the week, I wrapped up the little patchwork apples with a cute soap from Bath and Body Works and added a tag that said "We could not have 'PICKED' a better (gym, art, library, etc) teacher this year!" to the ribbon. They looked really cute all wrapped up and the teachers loved them when we ran them around the school. 

Whew! Glad that I finished everything up in time! I fly out for Quilt Market in a few hours so I better run and pack! (Procrastinator as always- remember?!?) 
If you are at market, I would love to meet you!!

Have a great week!!
Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Backyard Roses Blog Tour // Maker's Tote

I am so happy to be a part of the Backyard Roses Blog Tour! The minute saw the Backyard Roses fabric by Nadra of Ellis and Higgs for Riley Blake, I fell in love. Y'all know I am a sucker for a good floral and these florals are perfect! 

I have been wanting to make a Maker's Tote for a while so I figured this was the perfect time. 

The Maker's Tote is a great pattern. Anna of Noodlehead is a genius when it comes to pattern writing so I expected no less. 

I made the smaller version of the bag and plan to send it to my mother-in-law for Mother's Day. It's a darling little bag that is perfect for keeping sewing notions or whatever you want in it. It totally reminds me of the old school doctor bags- which I think was the inspiration for Anna when she came up with the pattern. So cute!

I love the gusseted pockets on the inside and the gusset on the side of the bag. Little details like that are what I love seeing in a pattern and make the pattern exciting to me.

I didn't make any modifications to the bag- it was perfect as is in my opinion. :)

Be sure to check out the other projects that have been made as part of the tour- they are amazing!
4/25 - Why Not Sew
4/27 - Allie & Me
5/6 - Oh How Sweet
5/10 - Greenfietsen
5/12 - Ellis & Higgs

Hope you have a wonderful week! Thanks for stopping by!
xoxo, Ashley

P.S.- These last few week have been so busy! I am getting ready to go to Quilt Market for the first time ever and I am beyond excited! (Let me know if you'll be there too- I'd love to meet you!)

I'm making several things for some of the fabric designers to display in their booths, which is super fun, but has kept me busy! I'll share those projects soon! :)