All’s well

Posted on 28 September 2011 | No responses

Actually, it’s better than that. I’m 23 weeks pregnant, due third week in January 2012.

I was so diligent about tracking my pregnancy on this blog with Gabe, which has been wonderful for me to go back and refer to. It’s been neat to see how similar this pregnancy has been tracking. Extreme exhaustion beginning at week 5 – check. Morning sickness well into the second trimester – check. I’ve even had the same food aversions (no grilled chicken, please). It makes sense, because this little one is a boy too.

This time around I’m not working a full time job. I’m not working very much at all, in fact. I sleep when I’m tired. I take days to do nothing, and some days I do too much. But mostly I’m listening to my body. I’ve got nothing to prove – I don’t need to be a super woman working 60 hours a week and climbing scaffolding (why did I do that last time?). Maybe being 5 years older has made me wiser (or lazier). I think I’m more cautious this time around and I feel more reserved. I love this baby so much, but there is definitely a mental block going on. When I was pregnant with Gabe I never once thought anything would go wrong. Of course, I knew things could go wrong, but I didn’t think anything would. In between the first pregnancy and this one, I had four miscarriages. My heart was broken for such a long time and I thought I would never recover. I still ache about those losses, but when I let go and found peace – and declared myself to finally be well – this pregnancy happened. I feel healed. I feel positive and upbeat. But there is some denial going on. Here I sit with a well-rounded nearly 6 month pregnant belly, feeling movement multiple times per day, and I’m still not believing that I will have another child here, in my arms, in a few short months.

modQstudio is on facebook

Posted on 22 May 2010 | No responses

Join modQstudio on facebook!

I’ve got my quilts on display — and have occasional notes and updates on what I’ve got in the works. This facebook group is my temporary web presence until I get modQstudio -dot- com up and running.

Quilt Festival Entry

Posted on 22 May 2010 | 20 responses

Check out the 2010 Spring Quilt festival over at Amy’s Creative Side blog. There are tons of beautiful, creative quilts by very talented artists.

This is my entry to the festival: a quilt start to finish on my new machine. It is a very simple design, but one of my current favorites.
I began this quilt right after I purchased my new Janome (fancy!) quilting machine, shortly after my old machine died on my birthday at the beginning of this year. I had put off the purchase of a new machine because, after all, I did have a machine that worked well enough, even though it left me extremely frustrated whenever I tried to do anything other than piece on it. After reading many blogs, I realized — I need a walking foot! As I was searching for a foot that would fit my 20 year old inexpensive Brother, it died on me while I was attaching binding to my last hand quilted quilt (a very special quilt that I’ll have to photograph finished to share at the next quilt festival). After nearly a month of researching, and desperately missing sewing, I bought my new machine. Within a week, I had three quilts underway. The quilt I’m showing today is the first one I finished on the new machine.

It is my first (successful) attempt at machine quilting. It’s just simple straight lines, but it turned out fabulously. I love the fabrics — some of them were from my stash, some of them I purchased out of the sale bin at the store where I bought my new machine. I love how cheerful it is, and how simple and randomly composed the front of the quilt is. The back of the quilt is also pieced and is inspired by many quilts I’ve seen around the web.

The walking foot really changed the way I quilt. All of my previous quilts had been machine pieced and hand quilted. While I love the relaxing quilt-by-hand process, I’m becoming impatient to get more quilts out of my head and onto beds/walls/sofas. This is a small quilt, measuring about 40″ x 40″.

Front of the quilt:
front of the line quilt

Back of the quilt:
back of the line quilt

Quilt with a model:
gabe and quilt

The model in this photograph is my three year old son, Gabe. He loves to help me photograph my quilts.

Thank you for letting me share my work, Amy!

A new business idea in the works

Posted on 24 April 2010 | 3 responses

and as soon as I get all the ideas together, this will once again revert back to a personal, family blog.

My new business will have its own domain and will (I hope) turn my hobby into a profitable business. How many businesses and business ideas can one person have and remain sane? We shall see!

This week Eric and I have a photography gig ( – yet another site that often is neglected) plus I have architecture work to do ( I do enjoy paying work!) and now this new quilt/sewing venture.

Today I bought a new domain name and I designed my new business cards. Isn’t that really where you start with a new idea? In the coming weeks I’ll be aiming to be creative and build my inventory, with the ultimate goal to have items for sale on the web and to have my first craft show this fall.

Here’s a preview of (the back) of the new business card
the back of the business card modq

I’m not quite ready to put the front – which includes name, address, phone etc… out there yet. The back is a sneak preview, though, of what’s going through my head.
Gorgeous, eh?

New machine, new projects and new ideas

Posted on 26 February 2010 | No responses

I’ve been meaning to update the blog, but I have been knocked down by a prolonged sinus illness/infection. I’m still not 100% back to normal (sinus headaches, I can’t hear out of one ear, I can’t smell…..).

The quilting has slowed way down (I start to feel better, get back to sewing instead of resting… and end up feeling even worse), but I have managed to get a couple projects underway.

I’m loving the new machine.

mod quilt
This is a small quilt that I made blocks for, but didn’t really care for how it was going, so I took out the rotary cutter and cut the blocks into random shapes. I then pieced them back together to create a truly crazy quilt. I still have to put the back together and machine quilt it.

greenblue quilt
After a discouraging attempt to make a zigzag quilt (not pictured), I decided to fold it up and start something different. This quilt top came together pretty quickly. I’ve started the machine quilting, with straight horizontal lines, but it’s on hold until I’m over my illness.

And the back:
back of quilt

{I apologize for the side-ways pictures. My head hurts (dang sinuses) and I can’t figure out how to get them to do right. I wanted to get a post up, so bear with me — I’ll rotate them later when I can concentrate. Thanks for the patience.}

I am in the process of getting a huge desk/work table to be a permanent fixture in my sewing studio area. We pick it up on Sunday! Hooray for Craigslist!

Back to life.

Posted on 2 February 2010 | 2 responses

I totally skipped blogging through the whole month of January. Here’s why: on my birthday at the beginning of January, my old sewing machine gave out. I didn’t do any sewing, and I didn’t get Gabe’s quilt finished. I was mostly okay through the first two weeks, because I had a deadline at work that I was getting out, and then the third week, I was still working some; but that last week of January was tough. I didn’t have any paying work to do, and I sorely missed sewing. I fell into a light depression. I tried painting, but that wasn’t the creative outlet I wanted. I tried to throw myself into cleaning the house, and failed miserably.

Today I am better — I bought a new sewing machine! It’s a Janome MC 6600P (the P is for Professional!). I haven’t gotten it out of the box yet, but I spent about an hour sewing on the same machine at the sewing machine shop. Automatic thread cutter. Press a button for needle up-down. Press a button for a lock stitch. It holds big spools of thread. It was expensive (for me), but it is a fast, sturdy machine, and I have a feeling that I can make money with this thing. I am ready to let my creative juices flow and machine quilt some projects. (I’ve hand-quilted everything so far — my old machine could piece and that was about it.) I think I’ll be starting a side business once I get comfortable with the machine. I’m so excited. I hope to be posting pictures of finished projects soon! In the meantime, I need to practice, practice, practice and then buy more fabric.

Merry Christmas!

Posted on 24 December 2009 | No responses

I am so happy and prepared for this Season. I don’t know that this has ever really happened for me. Past Christmases I played along, had some good family time, but I never really got truly excited about the holidays until this year. Maybe something finally clicked.

There are several things that are different for me this year. Gabriel is three years old, and he suddenly and completely grasps presents and stockings with m & m’s in them. Victoria will have her first time of waking up to a stuffed stocking. My children (Victoria is not my own, but I’ve taken on this role with little reservation and lots of joy) are bringing most of my pleasure this year. My anticipation of their excitement is proving to be a good mood-maker.

stockings hung by the chimney with care

Another thing that is different is that I followed through on my good intentions (which I usually make in January and totally forget about until December 15) to make homemade gifts for lots of people. I started knitting scarves in February or March, and within a month had four simple and somewhat messy scarves that I am hoping my (& Eric’s) grandmothers will appreciate. At the end of October I started putting together throw pillows, and in November I made stockings (our first stockings ever, unless you count the dollar store red mass I bought for Gabe when he was 8 weeks old — I don’t). I also made aprons for nieces, supplementing with cookbooks that are age appropriate. I made a couple of other things, place mats and coasters; a recycled and painted wood puzzle box. Even with all of my own productive gift-making, I was still short. Eric took up the slack (oh, who am I kidding? He stole the show!) by learning how to use the lathe he inherited from his father. He has turned the most beautiful pens and bottle stoppers. I love them, and hope all of the recipients appreciate his creativity and new-found joyous hobby.

pillows one

pillows two

pens and stoppers

Other joyous accomplishments — I finished the quilting on Gabe’s quilt — the quilt that I started when I was in my final year of architecture school (some, ahem, 9 years ago). I still have binding, but that will be a short amount of time (my estimate is one week) compared to the nightly quilting that I’ve been doing for a couple months.

gabe on his finished quilt!!!

I’m also filled with joyful thankfulness that Eric and I are closer than ever. This has not been an easy year for us. We have faced so many challenges, so many losses, so many sad days and nights. I am feeling like I’m emerging on the other side, a stronger person for having faced the hardships of this year. I am looking forward to a much better 2010!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my dear friends and blog readers! May you all have a blessed season and a prosperous new year.

In progress…

Posted on 6 November 2009 | 5 responses

My goal is to finish the hand-quilting on this one before the end of the year.
As promised, here’s a shot of the progress, the hand-stitched stippling:

gabe's quilt in progress

more of gabe's quilt in progress

50 blocks done… 160 remaining. I can do this.


Posted on 30 October 2009 | No responses

I don’t even know how to adequately describe life here the past few weeks. Gabe had a sweet birthday – family night on the actual day. I made him a cake, from scratch. I’ve been called an over-achiever before. I think I had a case of being super mom on his birthday. Would a three year-old really know the difference between a from-scratch dark chocolate cake and a box mix? Probably not. I made a very simple cream cheese icing, which he repeatedly requested be green. So we ended up with a mint-green cake, that really should have tasted like mint, but did not. Icing cakes is not one of my gifts and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I also did not make enough icing to completely coat the cake but my three year-old did not seem to mind. At the point I realized I didn’t make enough icing, I was OVER being super mom.

blowing out candles

eating the cake
Would you look at those lashes, that perfect skin?

The weekend following Gabriel’s birthday, we had a very small artsy gathering. I had these grand visions of three or four small children independently painting canvases and pumpkins. They did a great job of painting, but we moms ended up hovering. Alas, the independent activities may still be a few years off. I was very pleased with my table settings. Isn’t it cute?

table setting

painting pumpkins

The weekend following the art-event, we had grand plans to go lumber shopping so we could feed my husband’s new hobby of turning pens. We stopped to eat lunch ($30 to feed four people sandwiches — no wonder we eat at home all the time). While finishing up lunch we got word that Eric’s grandfather was gravely ill. We dropped our plans and headed home to pack. The rest of the weekend was spent waiting, trying to decide when/how we could get down to be with family. Eric ended up going by himself at the beginning of the week. His grandfather recognized him and talked to him and for that I am grateful.

So here it is, another weekend. The day before Halloween, in fact. I don’t even have a costume for my little boy. I’m supposed to be this creative mama, and I have neglected to make anything for my son to wear. We’re still expecting to have to leave town at the spur of the moment, and that has taken the fun out of planning for Halloween. Gabe was originally scheduled to be baptized on All Saint’s day, November 1, but I postponed it until the first of the year. Too many of my special people couldn’t be in town this weekend. It’s just as well, because I would not have been ready, with all of the recent upheavals.

In the evenings I’ve been quilting on Gabe’s queen-sized quilt. I am loving it. I’ll love it even more this week when our house will be chilly! I tried to quilt on it last night, but having a huge quilt covering me is not fun when it’s 80 degrees. Our cold front came through today and it’s supposed to be sunny and cold here for at least the next week! (By cold I mean highs in the mid-to-upper 60’s and lows in the 40’s.) I have about 47 out of 210 blocks quilted – progress! I’ll have to post a detail shot soon.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Gabe at THREE!

Posted on 14 October 2009 | No responses

An integral part of celebrating one’s birthday:
Licking the beaters!

gabe and chocolate cake batter

What a mess, but a happy mess:

happy but covered with chocolate

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