10 years to make one quilt!

I had grown up with a sewing machine in the house although it was never used.  I wasn’t really interested in them until I learned how to make a quilo.  That is a blanket that has a pocket on it so you can fold it up into a pillow.  I loved it.  I kept making them for family and friends for birthdays and Christmases.  Then I went on my mission.  When I came back I bought a basic sewing machine.  When I was in college I decided to take a sewing class.  We made shirts, pillows (I opted to reupholster my brother’s jeep seats), skirts and blankets. When we got to the blanket part we discussed different ways to finish quilts.  I already knew how to tie a quilt.  Every quilo was tied.  Another way to was to free motion stitch them.  So I pieced together a twin size quilt for my daughter and then started free motion quilting it.  It took me two weeks because I was doing the design so small and was still learning.  I fell in love with it.  I haven’t tired a quilt since.


Then I decided to make quilts for our family members.  I started with my husband’s grandfather, then his parents and then my dad and step mom and then my mom and step dad and so on and so forth.  If someone wasn’t married yet then they got a quilt for their wedding present.  If they were already married they got it on rotation for Christmas.

Quilts are not cheap and they are not easy and they are very, very time consuming.  But I love them.  Well over the years I have finally made one quilt for every parent and sibling and my two oldest have one as well.  I started working on my husband’s and my quilt probably a year ago.  It was taking forever because I didn’t have a pattern and I kept changing my mind as I went.  I started out paper piecing it and then decided I didn’t want the whole quilt that way.  The other thing is that our quilt is made entirely (except for the batting and thread) out of our old worn out levi’s and button up shirts.

Well I’ve finally finished it.  It went on our bed last night around 11:30. Saturday my husband helped me get this set up so I could pin it in order to keep the layers from shifting while I sewed.quilt-on-the-frameThis is how I work on it.  I do not have a long arm machine.  Just my sewing machine and it has to fit in order to sew it.  I have a system that works for me.  I roll it and sew straight down the middle on my first run.  Only 6 inches wide roughly.  Then  turn it and roll it the other way to quarter it and start doing quarters of it at a time.  It works for me.  The bigger the quilt the more of a work out it is to sew.  It is a whole upper body workout.rolled-up-quiltAs I sew this is what my station usually looks like.  Usually I take over the kitchen table but it was General Conference weekend for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and this way I could sew while I watched/listened.  The gloves help me get a better grip on the quilt.  I bunch it up like that to help keep it moving freely and so they edges don’t start pulling.  That is when I start to have problems.on-the-machineBy the time I get to the edge it moves much more freely.quilt-in-the-living-room-2Here it is on our bed this morning.  It looks great with the log. 🙂on-the-bed-3My sewing machine has some small embroidery options.  I can do the alphabet on a small scale.  I do not hand sew the bindings or I’d never actually finish a quilt.  I also do not so a normal line because I can’t sew in a straight line.  So I like to sew the binding with fun stitches.  This time I put our names and when we were married and then went to the fun stitch.namecornerI love to sew.  It is one of my stress relievers.  I quilt and sew clothing and alter things and well just whatever I want to do.  I’m so glad that my quilt is finally finished.  My husband commented that it took me 10 years to make us our quilt….but it is also 10 years of our lives in that quilt.

Now to make My third daughters quilt in time for Christmas…..


What is the shelf life of a promise….

Okay, before you start to think that I’m a promise breaker, let me explain.

I’m talking about promises made to oneself.  Not promises made to others.

A couple of weeks ago I was riding my bike outside and I thought I had picked a road with fewer hills.  Not that I don’t like hills but I’ve been running and biking with only one rest day and my legs were tired.  I figured I’d use that bike ride to just spin my legs and enjoy time outdoors instead of on the trainer.

After about a mile on this road I ended up riding a roller coaster.  At this point I was tired.  I’m overweight and out of shape and trying to just work my way back one mile at a time.  I was starting to think about a promise I made to myself when I started biking.

About 4-5 years ago my friend in Oklahoma wanted to ride the Oklahoma Freewheel.  It is a cross state bike ride.  It was on her bucket list but she didn’t have anyone to ride with her.  I was a runner.  I enjoyed riding bikes.  We had my husband’s bike that he bought when he was 13.  It was too big when he bought it but now it was too small for him and me but it was still a nice bike.  He had taken care of it.  Since I like adventure I told her I would talk to my husband and see if we could make it work so I could go with her.  I started riding more and more and running less and less.  I realized how much I enjoyed riding a bike and how much more enjoyable it was than running….at least for me.

I talked my husband into getting himself a new bike that would fit his height so both of us would enjoy riding more.  He bought a nice bike.  Since he is only 2 inches taller than me we set it up so that it would work for both of us.  I loved it.  It is a Giant Roam.  I rode it on the freewheel.  My friend had a road bike and I could draft off of her a little but she was in much better shape than me so I never did make it in front for her to draft. Anyway, as I started riding my husband’s bike with the umpteen gears I realized that hills weren’t as hard as they used to me.

As a kid I walked m mountain bike up a lot of hills.  I hated that I couldn’t pedal up them.  So I promised myself that I wouldn’t walk up another hill.  I’d granny gear it but I’d ride up every hill.  So far so good.  After the freewheel my husband bought me a road bike for my birthday and although I don’t have the same low gears as my husband’s bike I still haven’t had to walk my bike up any hills.  I’m not fast but I make it to the top.  I actually quite enjoy hills.  They are a good workout and I love coming back down.

So back to my tired brain question.  What is the shelf life of a promise made to oneself?  Now before you answer please know that I have no intention of breaking that promise.  I made it up every hill that day.  I was just slower and slower and more and more tired.  I just kept telling myself I could do it.  But that question has been rattling around in my brain.

So what do you think?  What is the shelf life of a promise made to oneself?

Back in the saddle again….

wpid-app_gp_tmp_dir3062_.jpgI have a lot of songs running through my head lately.  3 weeks ago I decided that I felt good enough to ride my bike.  However, my bike wasn’t ready to ride.  I hadn’t replaced the front tire yet or cleaned it.  My husbands bike was aired up and ready to go so I set it up on the trainer in the rec room while my kids were at school.  When my son was content I decided that I would aim for 10 minutes.  It’s been a few month since I’ve ridden and I did just have a child so I figured 10 minutes was a good place to start.

I barely made the 10 minutes.  Partly because the bike wasn’t set up for me….or my husband.  The seat was too low but I wasn’t sure how much time I had before my son would need attention so I endured it.  Not the greatest idea.  My knees ached for 2 days.  Because the seat was too low my knees hurt and I couldn’t get comfortable on the seat.  I persevered though and was happy I did.

Then a few days later I had cleaned my bike and my husband’s bike and replaced my front tube.  No more of this bike not fitting right nonsense.  I had the opportunity after that on a Saturday to ride outside.  I told my husband that I was aiming for about 30 minutes but knew I might not make it.

It was tough but I made 28 minutes.  My motto: Shut up legs, I can do this.  Strangely enough my rear end didn’t hurt as much as my legs did.

I’ve been riding since.  Tuesdays, Thursdays and some Saturdays.  I’m now up to 35 minutes and hope to make it 45 by Saturday.  After November I’ll start riding more I think.  Why November?  My daughter signed up for the running club at school and they will be running a 5k in November.  She had to have a running buddy for the 5k in order to sign up.  I used to run so I chose to join her.  It can only help get me back in shape.  So for now I run 3 days a week and ride 3 days a week.  Things are looking up and I’m feeling more and more like me again.

World, my son: Son, the world

On August 1st my son was born.  He came faster than the doctors anticipated despite me warning them.   Funny how doctors don’t always listen to the mothers.  Anyway, he is healthy and strong and was six weeks old yesterday.  He is a good sleeper.  In fact he sleeps most of the day and night still.  I wake up only once or twice a night.  I’m understanding more and more why my Father in Heaven saved him for last.

His sisters love him so much that at times I have to tell them to tone it down.  They are helpful so much that at times they are unhelpful in their helpfulness but it is cute so I let them….most of the time.

We were blessed to have my in-laws come the before he was born.  They stayed with our girls at the house so my husband could stay with me.  I am always so thankful when they come and help me with my house and my kids.

It has been a good six weeks.

Can you feel it?

My excitement that is?  It is almost time to get back on the bike.  The due date for the pregnancy is August 1st.  That is coming up on Monday.  I’m not naïve enough to believe that he will come on that day but I do know that I have set an induction date for the 31st.  I’m excited to meet this little one.  I’m excited to not be pregnant anymore.  I’m excited to wear normal clothes again soon.  I’m excited to get back in shape.  I’m excited to be able to sit up and clean my bike.  I’m excited to clean my husband’s bike.  I’m excited that in about 3-4 weeks (hopefully) I’ll be able to start riding again providing that everything goes well with the birth of our child.  I’m excited to order new cycling clothes.  My cycling shorts were bought 4 or 5 years ago and are due for replacement.

I have a list of things to do for my bike.  It has been sitting or rather hanging on the wall in the garage for several months.  The front tire looks like it needs replaced.  Luckily when my back tire went kaput I bought two matching tires but only put one on the back since I was riding a lot on my trainer.  So now I’ll rotate my back tire to the front and put the new one on the back and then air both tires back up.

I’ll start out taking it in small measures and build from there.  I tend to get impatience and want to ride and ride and ride so I’ll have to be careful.  I need to do some looking for supported rides to set as mile markers to help my on my way.

I’m SOOOOO excited!


I talk to inanimate objects

I’ve been trying to be patient and not think about it but it is getting harder and harder to live that way.  What am I trying to ignore?  Well, that I’m pregnant, of course.  If I don’t think about it then time goes by a lot faster.  I mean I found out I was pregnant Thanksgiving day last year and I’m due somewhere between July 19th and August 1st (another story for another time).  I’m very close and it has flown by.  So I’m trying to be patient.

The problem right now….is that several things are making it harder to ignore.  First, is that I’m at that very uncomfortable stage.  The one where sleeping is getting harder to do because no matter what side I sleep on my hips are killing me within an hour or two and I can’t roll over with out waking first.  I promise I’m not complaining.  I’m just stating a fact.  Anyone who has been pregnant knows about this stage and I’m guessing most husbands witnessed this stage when their wives were pregnant.

Second, and maybe the hardest thing is that my bike is still hanging in the garage on the wall.  Yes, you read that right.  I’m talking about my bike.  It is summer now and I live on a road that is very popular to cyclists because it leads to farm roads and less traffic.  It’s an odd day when I don’t see at least one cyclist ride past my house at some point in the day.  Every time I go into the garage I walk past my bike as well as my husbands.

Those of you who know me know that I talk to inanimate objects.  Daily actually.  So you can see where I’m going right?  Yes, I talk to my bike.  Every time I walk past it I pause and talk to it.  Yes I’m weird.  Yes I know I’m weird.  No I’m not going to change.  Yes I have embraced my weirdness.  It’s who I am.  And I miss my bike.

I know I posted a few months ago how I missed my bike and was afraid to ride it.  That isn’t the case right now.  Right now I physically can’t ride it.  It hurts.  Imagine if you will that you have a bowling ball low in your stomach that doesn’t move and hurts you when you bend so far over.  Well this boy is carrying really low and that is what it feels like.  I can’t sit straight up for long because said bowling ball just does not feel good.

So I put both bikes away a couple months ago when I gave in to the fact that I couldn’t lean forward like I needed to and have missed them since.  Those of you who know me well and know how much I love my bike know I miss it simply because all I can seem to look up on Pinterest or read about in books is cycling information.  I made the mistake of watching a story about the TransAmerican bike race from a couple years back.  Ya that was not helpful in the slightest.  I keep counting weeks from when our boy is born to when I can start riding and then I look at the calendar to see what rides come before the end of the year trying to decide if I can be ready for any of them.

It’s like that time at the end of one’s mission when they get “trunky”.  It’s hard to concentrate on other things.

*I served a mission in Russia for 18 months for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  “Trunky” is that feeling we tend to get when it is almost time to go home and it is hard to think about anything else but going home.