Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The painted flag on the barn

The girls and I were out of town for a few weeks back in June.  We arrived home to this surprise from Razor.  Isn't he cool?  

And isn't this flag cool too?

The dogs?  Underfoot while I tried to take photos?  Not so cool.


Friday, August 29, 2014

American Made Brand Fabric Review

Back in July, my family traveled to Missouri to visit family.  From there I traveled solo to Oklahoma City for Sew-OK and in the process I just so happened to make my way to a quilt shop or two.  ::cough:: ::cough::  In route back home, we stopped in Paducha, Kentucky and we were near the infamous Hancock's fabric of Paducha so I went in just for a second.  While I was there, I stumbled across the new fabric from American Made Brand.  I had heard of this new company but had never seen the fabric in person before.  I liked what I saw.  In fact, I liked what I saw so much that once back home I looked up the company and read more about them and realized that it's an all American product.  The cotton is grown here in USA and the fabric is manufactured here too.  Their tag line, "Celebrating a Farm to Fabric Movement" had me hook, line and sinker.

I spent some time on their website and was just so impressed with the "farm to fabric" movement that I clicked on their contact button and sent an email telling them just that.  Then I went on with my day. But within a few hours I had heard back from them and they offered to send me some fabric to test out and see what I thought.  How cool is that?

After making this mini quilt with AMB solid fabric, here are my thoughts:

  • Intense and consistent saturation of color
  • Quality base cloth for sure - the weave is consistent and solid and maybe a little tighter than what I'm used to working with which made for crisp pressing and seams
  • No color bleeding or fading after washing (which I have done three times to adequately test)
  • Minimal shrinking - not noticeably more or less than other quilt shop quality fabric from other manufacturers

I read on their website that there are currently 50 different colors available which means that I should be able to find a color that matches whatever I'm working on often.  Since the company was established in 2013 I am hopeful that they will continue to add to their color range as time goes on and they carve their way into the fabric market.  I know that I will find satisfaction in choosing a fabric completely made and manufactured in America and look forward to seeing these fabrics show up in more online and brick-and-mortar shops every day.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Craziest things happen

Over the years lots of exciting things have happened at or around our house.  We will never forget the time when the helicopter was filling a huge bucket in the river across the street to fight a small forest fire.  Or the time when it took three law enforcement officers to wrangle a stray cow.  I count the time when the Associated Press visited me and then invited me to Washington, DC pretty high on this list of exciting things too.  The other night something happened right behind our house that has now been added to that list as well. 

We heard some noise out on the train tracks behind our house.  That is pretty unusual because the tracks aren't used by trains and there are rarely hikers passing through.  We went outside to investigate.

As I peeked around the trees I clearly saw a man with a camera.  A video camera.

We walked up to the neighbors house because there were additional vehicles up that way.

That is our property there on the right of the tracks above.  Those guys are manually turning their little gas engine rail car around.

Once the motorized rail car was turned around, they hooked it up to tow a cart that looked like a homemade attempt to be an old fashioned hand pumped rail car.  

They towed it and even waved at us and said hello until it jumped the tracks and the crew had to lift it back into place.

It was killing Razor not to get down there and help them but it gave us an opportunity to talk with them and find out what in the world they were up to.

It turns out, this crew was from Discovery Channel and they were filming an episode of Hillbilly Blood (which I had never heard of and had to Google. But we totally acted like we knew all about. We didn't want to hurt any feelings after all.)

Anyway.  That was exciting.


Monday, August 25, 2014


I'm like that runner you see at the end of a race that is bent over and standing with her hands on her knees. Neck cricked up, looking around with furrowed brow and clenched teeth. One look at her and you know she ran a race and gave it all she had.

This summer took it out of me. Halfway through I had a side stitch and no amount of proper breathing was going to allow me to catch my breath.

But I remember all the good this summer offered.  Time unplugged.  Out in nature.  With family and friends.  Exploring new places.

Perspective.  It's all how I look at it I suppose.


P.S.  Razor put a window in where one wasn't before.  Whoot!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

She's 15

Fifteen today.  This one.  My first. So many firsts.  And she eases along.  Finding her way. Figuring out.Testing her wings. But hanging close.

This mother and daughter thing.  I question every single day.  Every. Single. Day. Am I preparing her? Am I giving her wings? Am I doing this right?  Am I teaching her everything she needs to know? Will she be ready?

You're 15 today.  In my mind we should still be singing our guts out to Disney songs.  Instead it's on an ever rotating pop radio station where every song sounds the same (to me) but still manages to make us break out in spontaneous dance every now and then.  In my mind I should still be able to lick my thumb and clean a smudge off your face.  Instead, you pull down the mirror from the visor and inspect it yourself.  In my mind we should still be questioning if you have four apples and take away one, how many apples do you have.  Instead you have complicated equations and formulas and variables and my mind can't wrap around it by listening alone.  I have to sit next to you, read it, get my bearings, read it again and take a deep breath.

A deep breath indeed.  You've made it to 15 in a blink of an eye.  It seems impossible and yet completely right at the same time.  I don't want to travel back or keep you a little girl.  For then I would miss all that you are right now.  All the stories we've shared along the way.  All the funny things. Wondrous things.  Scary things.  Quiet things.  Loud things.  Remarkable things.  And seeing you grow up has been exactly that.  Remarkable.  Something to be remarked upon.  That is why I reminisce every year on the day you were born.

Each step with you is a joy.  Each day a gift.  I'm so lucky to be your mom.

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

I love you.  More than words can say.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Imagine Quilts Blog Tour With LOTS of Giveaways

Over the next two weeks several quilting bloggers will be reviewing my book and offering lots of giveaways.  Hope you'll check them all out.

Amy Smart


Monday, August 18, 2014

Arkansas Crossroads Quilt

Well lookie there, I made a quilt this summer.  Granted it's not bound yet but when I got it back from The Back Porch Quilters I trimmed it up and ran it outside to photograph before even thinking about binding it.  This is made with a traditional Arkansas Crossroads block pattern.  Usually the X's are all one solid color but I made those scrappy too.  Both to use what I had on hand and because that seems to be my style this year.

I've got a stack of voile waiting to be turned into pillowcases.  And a few quilts in the works too.  I just need to find my sewing groove again.  If you see it, will you send it my way? Thanks.