Butterfly and Caterpillar Quilts!

After 2 years of working on them, I am delighted to say that Mia’s Butterfly Quilt and Xander’s Caterpillar Quilt are done! Well, the tops are done. lol. They still need to be quilted, but this still feels like amazing progress.

I came up with the design for Mia’s first. She loves butterflies so it seemed like a natural choice. And for years whenever she saw me working on anything else she would sign “butterfly” in a disapproving way. lol. I showed her the finished quilt top and she just stared at it delightedly.

Since Mia and Xander share a room, I wanted to come up with a coordinating design for Xander. Thus the caterpillar quilt was born! Of course, then I needed additional blocks to make the pattern work, so I decided to add fruit blocks. I don’t know if you can tell, but the number of pieces of fruit matches the number of the row it’s on so there’s 1 apple, 2 cherries, 3 oranges, etc. all the way down to 11 navy blueberries. My friends were endlessly patient as I agonized over blue fruit. lol.

Now I just need to figure out how I want to quilt them and then get that done!

It’s September!

You guys! It’s September! And August has been great! I’ve actually gotten a lot done and I am super excited to set goals for the month. First let’s check in on last month.

  1. Hexie Blocks. Done! In fact, I’m pretty close to finishing a second one. πŸ™‚
  2. Ice Cream Soda Blocks. Nope. I actually need to cut some more papers on the laser so that’s been put on the back burner for now.
  3. Organize. Partial credit. I only got one bag out of the art room, but I started going through the twin’s clothes and got rid of a bunch of stuff!
  4. Pinwheels. Done!!! And I even started sewing the pinwheels together!
  5. Bee Yourself. Another partial credit. I did get the 4th row done and assembled, but I didn’t get any additional blocks done. That’s ok though. I think I’m going to let myself ruminate on it for a while while I try to finish up the butterfly and caterpillar quilts for the twins.
  6. Project Life. Amazingly, done!
  7. Scrapping. In another surprise victory, also done! And I discovered that I still love scrapbooking. πŸ™‚
  8. Back to School Interviews. Done! I didn’t get the pics printed, but I did get them edited and that’s honestly half the battle. lol.
  9. Windchime Quilt. Another partial credit. I finished the EPP, but I haven’t gotten it appliqued yet.
  10. Monthly Kid Adventure. Only did one state park visit, but we did get to go swimming several times. πŸ™‚

So… Monthly goals for September!

  1. Hexie Blocks. I need to get 2 done this month. And I think I can totally make that happen.
  2. Butterfly/ Caterpillar Quilt. I want to finish sewing the pinwheels together and then get the tops done!
  3. Project Life. I’d like to keep current with September and also get April 2021 done. That’s 7 layouts.
  4. Scrapping. I’d like to keep current with September, and also finish March 2019. Time to start catching up!
  5. Windchime Quilt. I’d love to get that 12th block appliquΓ©d.
  6. Staff Development. ::sob:: I’ve put this off as long as I dare. I think I’m going to try to get 6 hours a week so 24 hours by the end of September? I also need to come up with an actual plan to make sure that I get all of this hours done.
  7. Advent Calendar. Time to get serious if I have any hopes of finishing this by December 1st. lol.
  8. Ice Cream Soda Blocks. I really want to prep the next round.
  9. Mixed Media. I need to make another batch of backgrounds if I’m going to keep up with the scrappy goals.
  10. Retreat Plan. I’m actually going to a quilting retreat in October with my grandmother! I want to come up with a plan for what to work on. πŸ™‚

August Goals

July was both more productive and less productive than I expected. lol.

  1. Hexie Blocks. I didn’t get 2 done, but I did get 1 done! And I’m figuring that when school pick up starts again I’ll be able to get loads done on my English Paper Piecing. Fingers crossed!
  2. Pinwheels. I didn’t even look at these this month. Whoops.
  3. Scrapping. Nada.
  4. Project Life. Also nada.
  5. Bee Yourself. I actually got a lot done this month! I got 3 more blocks done, plus I made some real progress on the flags! I actually have the entire bottom (5th) row assembled now and I’m hoping to get the 4th row assembled this week. Just need to finish 2 more flags. πŸ™‚
  6. Stickers. Designing them has been put on hold for a bit, but I have some ideas!
  7. Art Room. I got the corner cleaned! Still loads to go, but it feels great to be making progress.
  8. Adventure Time. We didn’t get any day trips done, but we did discover some public pools that are both not crowded and open in the morning! So lots of swimming going on. πŸ™‚
  9. School prep. I think we’re good? I mean, I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown daily, but I think I have all of the “stuff” together.
  10. Master Bathroom Closet. Nothing on this front, but we did a total clean out of our master bedroom and closet! We literally pulled everything out so we could paint and it feels amazing!
My current favorite block!

So August… Unless I have a massive freak out in the next week (totally possible) the kids start school on Tuesday.

  1. Hexie Blocks. I’d like to get one done.
  2. Ice Cream Soda Blocks. I’ve gotten some fun new fabric so I’d love to prep another round of blocks!
  3. Organize. In a bit of a “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” moment, painting the master bedroom has turned into a massive project which will eventually include new floors in the 3 small bedrooms (the only rooms in the house that still have nasty carpet), repainting the 3 small bedrooms, a massive clean out of Kate’s room, switching the art room and the twin’s room with a massive clean out of both, and new big kids furniture for the twins. Why yes, we are insane. Most of the big things will be happening in March or April, but I want to start the purging now so that we have less items to deal with when it comes time to empty all 3 small bedrooms into our living room so that we can paint/ do floors. As for a quantifiable goal, I think maybe 2 big trashbags and/ or donation boxes out of the art room.
  4. Pinwheels. Did I mention that the twins are getting a new room makeover this spring? lol. The pressure is on to finish their quilts! Pinwheels must be finished this month.
  5. Bee Yourself. I want to finish the flags and get the 4th row assembled. Then maybe 2 other blocks?
  6. Project Life. I fell behind (again), but once school starts I want to prioritize getting the previous week’s layout done each Monday. And then maybe 1 other spread each week? So that would look like 6 layouts? We’ll see. lol.
  7. Scrapping. Oh boy. I’m giving myself August to see if I actually want to get back to scrapping and then I’m going to give serious consideration to ditching scrapping all together and just focusing on Project Life and quilting. I’m not *quite* ready yet though. So lets see… Maybe I should focus on some layouts from this summer… Let’s say 10 layouts just to get myself going again. Then if that goes well, I’ll come up with some kind of catch up plan in September. At any rate, I’m thinking that I’m switching to a single album for each year instead of 2. I’m also considering doing away with the calendar layouts… Not sure if I can bring myself to do that or not. lol.
  8. Back to School Interviews. I want to do our annual back to school interviews and pictures. πŸ™‚ Bonus points if I actually get the last few rounds of pictures printed and put in the interview books!
  9. Windchime Quilt. It’s been a while since I’ve worked on this, but I want to finish the 12th block.
  10. Monthly Kid Adventure. Admitidly, I’m cheating a bit here because we actually went to a McKenny Falls State Park yesterday, but I’d love to do 2 adventures this month. πŸ™‚
McKenny Falls! Gorgeous!

July Goals!

It’s July!!! And I’m feeling much recharged after my littles have been in day camp for the past 3 1/2 weeks. lol. I’ll be honest, I’m a much better mother when I have a bit of a break from my kids! And today is Kate’s birthday! She’s officially 12!!! I can’t believe I have a 12 year old. And I’m so excited because she’s getting her first vaccine today! I cannot wait for the twins to be able to get vaccinated as well and then I can stop worrying so much. So June goals…

  1. Hexie Blocks. Done! I actually got 2 blocks done. πŸ™‚
  2. Pinwheels. Well, I didn’t finish them, but I did finish a big batch. I think I only need to do 20 more.
  3. Scrapping. Honestly, not much done here.
  4. Project Life. I was more successful here. πŸ™‚ I got 3 weeks of June done and I finished March!
  5. Bee Yourself. Yes! I got the sushi block done and I’m really pleased with it. πŸ™‚ I also redid the avocado seeds and I’m much happier with them now.
  6. Habit Tracker. Not so much. :/ But it was fun to play with for a week. πŸ™‚
  7. Windchime Quilt. Nada.
  8. Clean Art Room. ::sigh:: I had such high hopes for this goal and then I didn’t do a darn thing.
  9. Field Trip Time! I didn’t really plan field trips, but I did schedule approximately 4 million appointments for July. lol. RaptorDad and I discussed taking a little road trip, but I think we’re going to wait until next summer when the kids are all vaccinated. I do think we’re going to do a little day trip or two though.
  10. Advent Calendar. Whoops. lol.

July Goals!

  1. Hexie Blocks. I’d love to get another 2 blocks done this month.
  2. Pinwheels. Dare I say it? I’d really love to finish these this month.
  3. Scrapping. Is there even a point in setting a goal here? I’m sure my inspiration will return at some point. Maybe I’ll set a super simple goal of doing 4 pages: 1 a week.
  4. Project Life. I’m trying to do Project Life in real time again. So maybe my goal will me to keep current with June and July?
  5. Bee Yourself. I’m so happy that I’m making progress on this quilt! I’d love to get another few blocks done, maybe the AEK block? And then keep working on the flags?
  6. Stickers. I’ve gotten obsessed with stickers! And I’d like to try my hand at designing a few.
  7. Art Room. Oh boy. It’s a huge mess in here. I think I want to pick a small section and work on cleaning out/ reorganizing it. Maybe the corner with the closet…
  8. Adventure Time! I’d love to plan 2 fun day trips with the kids in July? We have a ton of appointments, but I think we can do 2. πŸ™‚
  9. School Prep. I need to order all the things! Uniforms, backpacks, shoes, locker decorations…
  10. Master Bathroom Closet. Oh boy. I’d really love to get my house all organized, but I need to take some baby steps. I think I’ll try to work on the master bathroom closet this month. Wish me luck!

Welcome to Summer!

We made it y’all! There were points this spring when I wasn’t sure I would survive my time as a learning coach, but I am pleased to report that all 3 of my children made it through. With good grades even! It’s been less than a week and I’m already starting to forget the hards parts in favor of remembering the sweet moments. Stockholm syndrome? Perhaps. But I’ll take it. lol.

That said, I did get into a bit of a funk last month and ended up reading a bunch of junky romance novels instead of doing anything crafty. I love reading, but I have noticed that my overall mood is better when I spend at least some time being creative each day. I’m experimenting with a habit tracker this month and one of the things I’m tracking is if I do anything creative. I think it will be interesting to look at at the end of the month.

We also made the huge decision to let the twins go to a 3 week *in person* camp at their school. The school is offering it to help get the kids catch up on their academics since so many of them were distance learning this year. I’m nervous about letting them go, but the covid levels in our part of Texas are actually super low right now and I’m fairly certain that most, if not all, of the adults involved will be vaccinated. Also, their school did a great job with their covid protocols this past year. There were very few cases at the school and there did not appear to be any community spread within the school. That said, we will be watching the numbers closely!

Since the kids will be spending 3 weeks at camp, and then another week at Mobile Loaves and Fishes camp (more on that later I’m sure) I’m going to set some more ambitious goals for this month. Honestly, I’m giddy at the thought of having so much free time! I think RaptorDad and I might even go on a lunch date! But first, let’s look at my pitiful progress last month.

  1. Hexie Block. I worked on this, but did not finish.
  2. Butterfly Effect Quilt. I got all of the papers cut and organized and even made the first butterfly. But y’all, this pattern is so teeny tiny and the pieces are super fiddly. I put it away for a bit because I was unhappy with how the first butterfly ended up. I’ve since learned a new method for EPP, the flat backstitch, and I’m cautiously optimistic that it will work better.
  3. Pinwheels. I made some progress on this one, but not as much as I would have liked. I’m up to a grand total of 74 pinwheels out of 120. And I’ve got the next batch of 26 to the 1/2 square triangle stage.
  4. Low Volume Log Cabin. No progress, but I’ve been thinking about how I want to piece the back. Need to decide on that.
  5. Bee Yourself Quilt. This was my one win. I designed a new hexie flower petal block and made 4 of them. I love it so much that I’m considering making a whole quilt out of them. lol.
  6. Ice Cream Soda. Well, I did manage to get round 4 finished, but very little else got done.
  7. Windchime Quilt. Same here. Part of the problem is that we’ve had a ridiculously rainy May. Usually I work on my EPP while the kids are playing at various parks, but we’ve been stuck at home lately.
  8. Scrapping. I got a single layout done.
  9. Project Life. Nada.
  10. Summer Homeschool Schedule. Not so much a schedule since we’ve got a single week before camp, but I did order our workbooks and we’re doing a page or 2 a day. Mia does more because she loves workbooks so much. Xander begrudgingly does a page a day, but once he sits down he has fun. Kate’s working on some math, which she doesn’t love, but which I think will help her a lot when it comes time for Algebra next year.

June Goals!

  1. Hexie Block. I would like to finish 2 blocks this month.
  2. Pinwheels. I’d love to finish these this month! And I think it’s possible.
  3. Scrapping. This is going to be one of my big goals for the month. Honestly, I’d love to edit, print, and scrap all of 2021 so far. It’s a big goal, but I think with my new plan of doing fewer layouts it’s possible.
  4. Project Life. I’d also love to get March 2021 and April 2021 done.
  5. Bee Yourself. I’d like to design and prep another block. Maybe the clamshell block? Or the bookshelf block? Sushi block? Not sure yet, but I think getting one more done is doable.
  6. Habit Tracker. I’m interested to track my habits and see how it correlates to my mood. I suspect that spending more time being creative will lead to a boost in mood, but we’ll see?
  7. Windchime Quilt. I’d like to finish block number 12 and get that row added to the quilt.
  8. Clean Art Room. I would like to do a big clean out of the art room. I feel like it’s time to clear out the ghosts of projects past. lol. There are some old projects that I’m just never going to finish and I think it’s time to let them go. It would also be super nice to have the stuff that I actually do use more organized!
  9. Field Trip Time! We didn’t manage to make it to a state park in May. We did discover some cool new play grounds though! Still, I’d like to plan a few day trips for the summer. These will likely be happening in July just because of camp, but I want to get them on the books so to speak.
  10. Advent Calendar. I’d love to spend some time on this this month!

It’s May!

Hopefully this marks the start of my final month as a virtual learning coach! Yay!!! So let’s see how we did in April.

  1. Hexies. Done!
  2. Caterpillar Quilt. Done! Oh my gosh, this has been on my list for months, but I finally finished the center. Now I jut have to do 4 bazillion pinwheels for the border.
  3. Project Life. I didn’t do anything for this.
  4. Scrapbook. This either. ::sigh:: Like I didn’t scrap a single layout.
  5. Monthly Kid Adventure. We went on several adventures this month! We went out to Muleshoe Recreational Area and took bluebonnet pics. We went to the zoo. And we got our state park for the month: Buscher State Park. πŸ™‚
  6. Seasonal Celebration. We played an epic April Fool’s prank on Kate. We dyed Easter eggs. So much fun!
  7. Bluebonnet Pictures. Done! Not the best we’ve ever gotten, which is a bummer because we drove all the way out to Muleshoe, but we had fun. Should have gone a week or two earlier.
  8. 60 Degree Diamond Quilt. Done! I can’t believe I actually finished this one. It should come as no surprise that I was finally motivated to finish it so that I could start a new quilt. lol. More on that later.
  9. GoPro Video. I didn’t get anything edited, but we had a ton of fun playing with the camera and taking videos. πŸ™‚
  10. Twins Turn 6! We got them a trampoline! So needless to say, they were thrilled.

May Goals

  1. Hexie Block. I really want to keep this momentum going.
  2. Butterfly Effect Quilt. I’m starting a new EPP quilt! It’s gorgeous and it’s got a gazillion teeny tiny pieces. I’d love to get the paper pieces all cut, labeled, and organized. I’d also love to get the first ring of butterflies done.
  3. Pinwheels. I would also love to get all of the pinwheels done. I think I have 50 done? I need 120 total.
  4. Low Volume Log Cabin. This is another surprise finish from last month. I’d like to piece the back and get it all basted so I can stick it in a drawer and put off quilting it for a year. lol.
  5. Bee Yourself Quilt. This was nowhere on my list for last month, but I pulled it out and started working on the flag blocks. I’d love to keep making progress on this!
  6. Ice Cream Soda. I am almost done with the last block for round 4! I’d love to get the grey joining pieces on rounds 2-4 and prep round 5.
  7. Windchime Quilt. lol. I guess I’m aiming to make progress on all of the quilts. I have everything prepped for block number 12. I’d love to get that block finished.
  8. Scrapping. Sigh. I’d like to get anything done. Maybe I should set aside a day to work on printing editing photos.
  9. Project Life. If I could finish March 2021 that would be great.
  10. Summer Homeschool Schedule. I’m thinking of a lose daily/ weekly schedule?

60 Degree Diamonds

I finished my Corona Craft!

Last April, I decided to try a new English Paper Piecing shape: 60 degree diamonds! They are trickier than hexies, but still so much fun. πŸ™‚ I got the idea for the overall layout from The New Hexagon, but other than that I pretty much made it up as I went along. It’s 100% stitched by hand aside from the binding. I even hand quilted it. It’s far from perfect, but it’s finished. πŸ™‚

And what prompted me to finally finish it? I’m starting a new quilt! <3

Buescher State Park

State Park visit number 4 is in the books! We had the day off for Good Friday, and when we got up the kids were bored and we were all driving each other crazy. I thought I’d look up close by state parks and we’d just go for it. Buscher State Park is about an hour away from us so I loaded the kids up and we drove out there to check it out.

buscher park

Having done zero research other than mapping how long it would take to get there, I was counting on getting a park map once we got there to give us some ideas of what to do. Naturally, the park headquarters was closed for lunch when we got there. lol. But we’re not ones to let a little thing like lack of information stop us from exploring! We followed some signs to a parking area, saw a trail head, and we were off!

It was a cute little park and we had a nice hike, but honestly I should have taken some time to look things up before we got there. On the way out of the park, we found an actual lake that would have been fun to explore. Oh well! There’s always next time. πŸ™‚

Sponge Cake!

Oh man, Kate loves the idea of April Fool’s Day, but I never have my stuff together enough to actually set up a prank. But this year I got her good! RaptorDad and I were watching YouTube the other day and we saw a video for a sponge cake that looked like a sponge. I knew I had to make it happen.

Mia and I sneakily made this cake while Kate was in class in her bedroom and I honestly can’t believe how well it turned out! The colors weren’t quite perfect, but if you’re not looking at it next to a sponge it was pretty convincing. The trick is to cut the top with a serrated knife so you get that “rough sponge” look. I put the cake on the counter, sprinkled a few crumbs around, and waited. Very impatiently. lol. Finally Kate came out and I asked her if she could wipe off the counter for me. Her face when she tried to pick up the “sponge” was priceless! I wish I had a video but I didn’t want her to get suspicious.

And amazingly, the cake tasted good! It was a very moist lemon cake and we gobbled it down. Time to start planning for next year!

Bee Yourself Quilt

You know which quilt was nowhere on my goals list for this month? My Bee Yourself Quilt. You know which quilt I’ve been working on? My Bee Yourself Quilt. lol.

I decided I wanted to try to make a Zelda block. First I tried applique, then I tried EPP plus applique. Both looked like garbage. I finally decided that if I was going to have strong points, I was going to have to suck it up and try to machine piece it.

It turned out way better than I had ever hoped! Especially since I was making up the pattern as I went along.

Then I decided to go nuts and sew together the whole bottom corner! I was resisting sewing any blocks together in case I wanted to rearrange any of them, but this little corner gave the boost I needed to tackle the next big obstacle. The flags.

I decided it would be fun to have a little 2×3 inch flag from each country I’ve been to. Then I sketched out all of the flags, looked at Greece, and panicked. lol. I’ve been kicking it around in my mind for a few months now and it finally came to me yesterday: bias tape! So I made some teeny tiny bias tape and appliqued it down. Success!

Then I did a bunch more! No lie, I was feeling pretty cocky after Peru. Ireland, and Italy. Then I looked at Mexico. Now that is a complicated flag. lol. I almost threw in the towel at that point, but then I figured I could try to simplify it and use embroidery.

It’s not perfect, but I’m really pleased with the way it turned out! I’ve got a bunch more to do, but I’m feeling good about these first 5. πŸ™‚ Next up: Scotland!