Sunday, February 27, 2011

David Huckaby-Feb 25, 1937-May 31, 2010

 
Friday would have been my Dad's 74th birthday and I have really been struggling with how to honor it.  I thought about sending flowers to his grave, but Dad wasn't really into that sort of thing.  Besides, that really doesn't speak to what is in my heart.  In the end, I decided to commemorate him here, because this is my place and I can say what is in my heart.
However, this has not been an easy task. I meant to have this posted on the day of his birthday but it just didn't happen.  I have written and re-written, almost posted and then decided at the last minute I needed to revise.  It has been hard for me to find my voice.
In the end, all I came up with is to go from my gut, even if it doesn't make sense to anyone but me.


I miss you, Dad.  Life has not been the same without you in it.  Without you, there isn't anyone to tell those same, old family jokes and stories. We try, but it just isn't the same.  They were your jokes and stories, and only you could tell them with the right kind of flair.



I miss that rare, goofy side of you; that you aren't around to do your funny worm face or stage laugh on command.


I will forever mourn that you aren't here to share with all that I am learning and how I am growing in my new experience as a temple worker.  You were one of the few that I felt safe sharing my spiritual side with. 


I am deeply sad that you won't be around to see our new little peanut come into the world.  You never even got to hear the news.  
Your legacy is growing, Dad.  I know you would have been so proud and happy.


I just plain miss you.  We have gone through the inevitable "firsts" without you. Christmas was still a celebration, but your absence was sorely felt.  
I regret that I don't have more photos of you.  I never realized how camera shy you were.  But here are a few of my favorites:









There are some days when I suddenly realize that I feel a certain heaviness.  I don't automatically recognize what has caused it until I remember, "oh yeah, Dad's not here anymore."  It still breaks my heart that I never really got to say good-bye.
But, I am doing my best.  We all are.


We go on; we three girls that you left behind.  Sometimes, it has been a weird and messy process as we try to define our family relationships without you.  But, we do all we can to care for each other and all of our family.

But, we are a man down and we feel it.  I guess we always will.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Productivity

It is amazing how much you can get done in four days. That's how long my husband had to stay down after last Friday's shoulder surgery. So with him confined to the house and my needing stay around to help him (which I loved, by the way), I made the most of it. 
Remember me telling you that my quilting buddy, Kathy and her husband were coming over for a "scrapfest"?
Well, here is the result of that marathon session.
A wonky, little baby quilt for the next person I know who has a girl.
Once I started going through my scraps, I couldn't believe how many I had that seemed to naturally go together.  I love this soft, muted color palette.  This is my favorite square out of the twelve I ended up making.
And, look at this wonderful piece I found for the back!  Thanks to my new found organization, I am easily able to find something I can use from the fabric I already own.
Speaking of which....
I also finished the major re-org of my sewing room.  Isn't it amazing?!  Every piece of fabric I own is now neatly wrapped around a "mini-bolt", (otherwise known as the common comic book board) and catagorized by color or theme.  The larger shelf unit hold those sorted by color.
One smaller shelf holds all those the fabric stored by theme.  Somehow, I seemed to have emassed a bit of Christmas and Halloween fabric.  (Not much of a shocker, there.)
Another smaller unit holds fabric pieces 3 yards and longer which I purchased for backs and such.  I went down to my local JoAnne's and they were nice enough to load me up with a bunch of empty bolts.

These bins, and a plastic storage unit in my closet (not pictured), are filled with fabrics that were too small or awkward to go around a bolt.  I also purchased jumbo size hefty bags to store scraps that are cut, sorted into color palettes and ready to be used when I am ready to put together more scrap quilts.
I found some fun containers for my pins, tape, ribbon, charms packs and such. 
I even busted out my little collection of thimbles.
All in all, I love my new space so much I almost never want to leave it!  I find myself drawn into it, even when I know I need to spend my time elsewhere.  And while this might not be the best thing for my own personal time management, Kade will indeed be very pleased with some of the results.

TA-DA!  All your quilt blocks are finished and ready to be sashed and sewn together.  I should be able to finish that part this weekend. Then all that is left isto make the quilt sandwich and quilt it all together. 
Kade, your Momma is smokin' on this little baby!  If I can keep up this pace, I will definitely have it done by the time you visit for Spring Break.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coming right along

So that he could follow along, I made a promise to Kade to blog the process of his quilt construction. 
But first...
Here are the last blocks for my online quilting bee.  Can I just admit how glad I am to be done with this?  In all honesty, I don't think I will ever do anything like this again.  Here is why:
1. A year is a darn long time.
When I decided to do this, it really didn't sound like a big deal to have to sew two quilt blocks a month for twelve months.  However, over the course of the year my father suffered a terminal illness and passed away, we had to move suddenly, my son graduated from college, I began taking classes, I accepted a call to work every Saturday in the temple, and my Aunt (who has no children of her own) began to suffer health problems.
All of that doesn't even count the myriad of smaller issues that came up and needed to be resolved.  through all of that, was the constant nagging that I was getting behind in sewing my blocks.  This turned what should have been something fun into just one more thing I had to get done. 
2. It wasn't all that it was cracked up to be.
I became interested in signing up for an online bee because I ws having trouble connecting with other quilters. Then,  I kept seeing other bloggers posting about the bees they were in and how much fun it was to meet new people.  Many of them reported meeting some of their closest friends through their bees.  It seemed like just what I was looking for. 
Well, I don't know why, but that just didn't happen in my group.  I tried my best.  I followed proper blogging etiquette and made sure to comment on everyone's postings and on comments that others made on my postings.  I sent praises on jobs well done, etc.  But honestly, my group wasn't all that dynamic. With the exception of a few, it just didn't seem that the other members were all that interested in getting to know anyone.  In fact, there were some that never posted or commented at all..ever.  I mean, even the woman who put the bee together didn't really didn't contribute to our blog.  She had another bee that she was much more involved in.
So eventually I just gave up.  I did my duty and sewed my blocks like a good little bee member but that is all it ended up being.  Just another duty to be fulfilled. 
A lesson learned; online quilting bees just aren't for me.  It's not a total loss, though.
During this last year, a group of quilters at the campus I work for have found each other. Every couple of weeks we get together during our lunch hour to share our current projects, cut out new projects and help each other.  This is definitely more up my alley, real connections with live people.  As a matter of fact, my friend Kathy, her husband (who is also a quilter) and I are getting together this Friday for a "scrap fest".  Stay tuned to see the blocks we make. 
Okay, Kade.  Here we go.
I have been anxious to make a quilt from this new book and I found a pattern in it that I think will work great with your fabric selections.
I think this quilt has a very masculine, modern feel to it.

Here are the fabrics all cut up and sorted, ready to be sewn into blocks.  The author of the book recommends using index cards to sort your fabrics onto.  They will keep your fabrics organized and act as dividers to keep your blocks from getting mixed up.
Here they are all lined up and ready to be stacked.
Here they are stacked and ready to be sewn.
This method worked like a charm.
Ta Dah!  Looks great, no?
One block down, eleven more to go.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

First Finish of 2011

I finished binding it while I was in Maui. I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

I decided to fill in the white spaces with a small stipple stitch. It really makes the floral print pop.
This one is going in my sitting room. Perhaps that will help me to actually sit in there now.

Lately, I have been reading about "mini bolts" as the latest rage for organizing your stash. I have read about them here, here, and here just to cite a few. So, I decided to give it a try.

Doesn't it look amazing! I am completely sold on the idea. Using the comic book inserts works great. They are inexpensive and easy to find. I went down to the local comic shop and bought two packages of 100 for $7.99 each. And, not only does this take up much less space than the bins I previously used, having the fabric displayed in this way makes it much easier for me to "shop" my own stash. My quilting room has become my own personal fabric store and I am finding that I use fabric I already have rather than running out to buy more.
Don't get me wrong, though. I still add to my stash. Here are two fabrics I picked up from The Maui Quilt Shop while I was on-island last week. I saw them and just had to have them. I could have bought much more, but had to restrain myself because I knew I would be purchasing these...
Remember this post where I promised to make Kade a quilt as soon as Circa 60 came out? Well, it's out and it came in the yesterday's mail! YAY!
Isn't it gorgeous (she asked with breathless awe)??
I was so excited to get it, I practically ripped the package open with my teeth! Once I got it open, I spent the next 15 minutes fondling each separate piece, even rubbing them against my cheek.
Ooooo, lil' seagulls!
Since his newest hobby is learning to play the ukulele, I think Kade will be most excited about this  fabric. Of course, there is one thing I'm not sure I like. Can you see it? The selvage is HUGE!
It is a full two inches! While I am not one of them, I know there are many quilters out there who like to collect and sew with selvages, which might be why they did it. That would be fine, if they compensated by making their fabric a bit wider, but they didn't. Once the selvage is cut off, there is only 43 inches of usable fabric left. Normally, I wouldn't make an issue of it. However, this fabric is from a manufacturer that makes "organic cotton" quilting fabric for which they charge twice as much. This fabric costs a full $16.50 yard.  (Yes Kade, your mother loves you enough to blow her entire monthly quilting budget on fabric for you.)  For $16.50, I expect the entire 44-45 " of fabric. I mean really, is that asking too much?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sand in my toes


So this week, my gal-pals and I are enjoying a bit of a vay-kay and I wanted to share the bliss...


A morning shell hunt on Sugar Beach...



Nothing comes close to a Maui skyline...



or sunset...


Sending you all some island love :)