Friday, February 18, 2022

Having More Fun

vintage retro patchwork Aneela Hoey Booklet Pouch pattern sewn by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

It's another 5 A.M. morning at my house. Having a puppy has put me back on newborn baby hours, and I'm feeling ever so grateful that I finished having children in my early 30's because I am definitely too old for this now. Still, despite the exhaustion that starts hitting me around 8:00 every night, there's something I'm coming to love about these quiet mornings with my Bible, journal, laptop, and coffee. There's a peace here before the whirlwind of the day begins, and getting to watch the sun rise outside my dining room window every morning is a nice bonus. My oldest daughter turns 15 tomorrow -- how is that even possible?? -- so today's to-do list is a bit longer than usual. I have dozens of balloons to blow up for her That Thing You Do! 1960's themed party, chocolate chip Heath bar cookies to bake for her ice cream sundae bar, and a whole lot of decorating to do. But this is the sort of thing I enjoy. Our family loves to celebrate everything, every chance we get, and we've made a lot of great memories over the years doing it. 

My sewing output has gone way down in the last 2 years, but I can honestly say that I'm having more fun with what I make. One of my favorite finished projects was actually for a sewing swap I did with my friend Angela almost a year ago. We each made a large version of the Booklet Pouch by Aneela Hoey for each other after we exchanged information about favorite fabric, colors, styles, etc. I decided to go with a retro theme in a rainbow of colors.

vintage retro patchwork Aneela Hoey Booklet Pouch pattern sewn by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

The outer panels are made with linen and canvas for more stability. Instead of using just one fabric, I used rows of squares in a fun mix of prints. It would be embarrassing to tell you how long I spent rearranging these squares until I got them exactly the way I wanted them. There's something in me that just can't leave well enough alone until I'm satisfied that I love it. 

vintage retro patchwork Aneela Hoey Booklet Pouch pattern sewn by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

I added a thin strip of fabric along either side of the zipper, and it wound up looking just like piping. Such a happy accident! I need to do this kind of thing more often. That zipper pull might just be my favorite thing about this project, aside from the patchwork exterior. 

vintage retro patchwork Aneela Hoey Booklet Pouch pattern sewn by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

A vintage text print for the inside cover was a great contrast with the bright, candy colored prints I used for almost everything else. The small pocket on the front inside cover holds a needle book and pair of snips, and I tucked some goodies inside the zipper pockets too.

vintage retro patchwork Aneela Hoey Booklet Pouch pattern sewn by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

It was unbelievably hard to send this one off in the mail, but I knew it was going to a good home where it would be well used and loved. And that's what we want for our creations, right? 

vintage retro patchwork Aneela Hoey Booklet Pouch pattern sewn by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Happy weekend, friends!

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Old Fashioned

Hello, dear friends! I can't tell you how happy it makes me to be back in this space again after such a long time. I almost don't know where to begin, so I'm going to just list a few things on my mind this afternoon... 

1. I'm going to start blogging again. I've been missing the creative side of things for a while now -- writing, sewing, etc. -- but I wasn't exactly sure what to do about it. I have zero desire to jump back into marketing and social media which brought so much stress to my former life, but I've been feeling a real yearning for the old days over a decade ago when everyone was sewing and blogging for the fun of it. Spending a little time each day with my favorite blogs was like dropping in on a few friends for coffee and a long, friendly chat. Things have never been quite the same since everyone moved over to social media. So I've decided to be old fashioned and return to my blogging roots because that's what I really love. I'm looking forward to being on here more often in the days ahead.

2. I have a new puppy. Last fall we lost our two precious dogs, Fritz and Emma, to cancer over the space of only a few months. It was absolutely devastating, and I can't tell you what an empty hole it left in our hearts. Thankfully, we were able to bring a new puppy into our home at the start of the Christmas season to help all of us start to heal again. Sam's official name is actually Samwise Gamgee (my husband just finished reading all of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books to us in the evenings), and the name is a perfect fit for this guy. He's a 5 1/2 month old bundle of energy and a ton of work -- like having a baby in the house again, honestly -- but we just couldn't love him more. 

3. Little Joe is all grown up. My rescue kitten is a cat full of attitude nowadays. He especially loves the girls who stop by his room to play with him at all hours of the day. I don't know that he'll ever forgive me for all those baths I gave him when he was little and we were trying to keep the dander allergies at bay, but I love him just the same. He's perfectly content to spend his days perched on the ledge where he can survey the world outside the second floor windows. 

4. The girls are all teenagers now. Still trying to wrap my brain around this one. For all the challenges that come with helping your kids grow up, there's nothing so wonderful as raising kids that are a delight to be with each day. These girls and their daddy can make me laugh like no one else, and our family time in the evenings -- eating dinner, reading books aloud, watching old movies or shows, and ending with prayer -- is absolutely the best part of my day.

5. My sister's family moved to Texas. I can't even begin to tell you what a total game changer this has been for us. Having my sister, her husband, and her two girls living only 20 minutes away is AMAZING, and my parents are over the moon to have all of their children and grandchildren together again. Sunday dinners after church, the girls' new "cousin clubhouse" in my sister's backyard, using every holiday on the calendar as an excuse to throw another party at one of our houses -- it's been a year of joy having them close by, and I couldn't be more grateful.

6. Sewing is slow these days, but it still makes me so happy. I've been working on a stack of Greek Cross quilt blocks for the last few months from this book by Suzuko Koseki, hoping to finally make the king size quilt that's been on my bucket list all these years. I don't have nearly so much time in my sewing room as I used to, but I still enjoy every chance I get to play in there. Though I still love my small projects, I've been trying to spend more time on quilts this year, and I have a list of projects I hope to start in the months ahead.

Thanks for listening, friends. It's so good to be back.
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