Thursday, January 27, 2011

More for 2011

As we can all observe from my numbers, 2010 was a pretty sad year for my blog. [And for those that followed blog #2, this sadness is clearly evident. My lesson learned: keeping up with two blogs is hard and time consuming. So I'm letting that one go.] I have already decided that part of 2011 will be to blog more and to take more pictures. But I'm not getting into 2011 goals just yet. First, let's revisit 2010.

For the most part, I think 2010 was a great year. I accomplished some big things in addition to most everything on my written list of goals for 2010. [As can be seen here]. Last year was the year of the house, the cruise, the sealing, the haircut, the weightloss. The weightloss was epic. Even if that was the only significant thing I did last year, I'd still chalk it up as one of the most successful years of my life.

As it goes thus far, 2011 is looking to be a monumental year, maybe even more than last. My goal list reflects some of the potential greatness 2011 will contain. So let's see...

[in no particular order of importance]

~ Deliver my child on July 31 [Harry Potter's birthday]
~ Make separate to-do list for all things baby and keep it under 100 items
~ Make separate to-do list for everything that needs to happen before Jericho gets deployed
~ Buy a bike
~ Visit Utah [Check! Tickets already purchased.]
~ Read more books
~ Paint and decorate more of the house
~ Take more pictures
~ Play the piano more
~ Blog more
~ Do not turn my blog into a mom-blog. All of my readers have the authority to call me out at any point if this starts to resemble a mom-blog.
~ Sign up for a CSA
~ Eat more organic, whole foods
~ Cook more
~ Exercise more

I have a lot of things to do more of this year. It'll be tough. I already know that 2011 will be the year of the first baby and the year of the deployment [the first part of the deployment anyway]. I can't really put those on a to-do list since Jericho's deployment falls under Obama's to-do list [more on the deployment later]. And this baby will come per his/her own agenda. Most of my year will be to prepare my life for those two pretty huge events. Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Quilting 101

So I started this quilt.

I'm not what one would consider a "quilter". I made a t-shirt quilt in college but that hardly counts. This new quilt, small as it may be, is a legitimate step towards being an actual quilter. A few months ago, a lady in my most recent old ward (Chapel Hill 1st) decided to teach a basic hand-quilting class. And who doesn't love a good craft day?

I needed a basic pattern to start my quilt. I wanted something simple and attainable. In my "free quilt pattern" Googling (because I'm cheap and didn't want a buy a whole book of ugly quilt patterns), I found an abundance of baby and kid quilts. Bingo! I'll make a baby quilt! It's small and not some overwhelmingly huge Amish quilt. Most people choose to make quilts for something useful like, ya know, a bed. I chose to make the most miniature quilt possible and have it still be considered a quilt. For two reasons: 1) small means attainable in a reasonable time period and I won't get bored when it's only half-done, and 2) I know that I'll have a baby someday and since most of my projects end up with a someday deadline, the timing will be perfect. 

In the class, I learned how to do this. It's called piecing. Each one of the pieces is hand-cut and hand-stitched with this cute little "quilter's stitch". It was recommended that I take the small pieces around with me and work on them in church or the bus stop or the beauty parlor with my friends Maude and Harriet. Alas, I chose to do mine solely at home while watching football. It took forever. And it was only half done at this stage.

This is the side you'll actually be seeing. Much better. My most jubilant part about this quilt? My corners lined up in the center square. I danced around the room with it trailing me like a cape. It was glorious. 
After the above section was done, it was time to get some batting. I did some research and decided on cotton because it's thinner and apparently easier to work with and it was on sale. Lesson learned: if your batting/fabric is bigger than your kitchen table, don't cut it on the table and expect the measurements to come out accurate.

With all three sections cut (roughly) and pinned together, it was time to start quilting. Since I'm super novice at quilting, I chose a design that would hide and not accentuate the flaws. It's a bunch of squiggly lines. When it's done, it should look like this. Look at my hoop. Don't I look pro? 

When I started this project, like many of my other projects, I was all jazzed about my new venture and that I was succeeding. And the fact that I only had a someday deadline was even more reason to do it just for the fun of it. No deadline equals no stress! Right?

But, a couple of months ago, my someday deadline was gone. My non-existent completion date turned into August 5, 2011. My baby quilt-in-progress now has a real, live, prospective owner. A teeny, tiny, yet growing owner. We've got a ways to go before he/she is big enough for my awesome hand-made quilt, which is fine, since I'm not done yet. While not having a project deadline is nice, knowing I'm making it for my current, growing baby is fantastically fun. 

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