Fabric Pull-out Boxes

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I love fabric.  I love quilting.  I haven’t ventured much into sewing other items, but last year for Christmas I decided to undertake the making of a bunch of fabric pull-out boxes.  They were fun gifts to make and I’ve made some here and there for the past 8 months.

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It’s fun to use different color and fabric combinations and see how they turn out.  I tried to make a variety of styles and it kept the project interesting.

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This project is a great use for fat quarters.  The pattern is from Aneela Hoey’s shop, and comes in two different sizes.  I only made the smaller of the two, and found it’s a great size for all kinds of things, including sewing supplies, or goodies if you’re giving a gift.  They are sturdy and roomy.

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I will admit that the boxes took longer to make than I hoped they would.  There are a lot of steps and the final assembly of the boxes requires hand sewing as well, which I didn’t realize when I bought the pattern.  (I kind of committed myself without really knowing what I was doing.)  The finished product, however, was a great reward for my time and effort, so I’m happy with the outcome.

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I gave all of these away, and looking at the photos makes me want one of my own.  Perhaps one of these days I’ll make some more…

Coastal Half Square Triangles

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Surely yesterday’s post makes it no surprise that I have a weakness for coastal and beachy themed fabric.  My Anchor quilt, as well as the Anchor’s Aweigh quilt are coastal in design and color scheme, and my Seaside quilt is another older favorite.  As I prepared for our annual week at the beach, I had the sudden urge to cut into all my coastal fabric.

This project comes mostly from two designers:  Lewis & Irene, who designed the Coastal bundle I had, and Sharon Holland, whose Coastline fabric I also had a nearly complete bundle of.  There are a few other designers whose work is in the mix, but the bulk comes from those two collections.  A quick sketch for a design and the cutting began.

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I had high hopes for a completed quilt top to take with me for photos, but instead I managed a bunch of large half square triangles (HST) and hundreds of smaller ones that still need trimming.  My design wall is currently in my bedroom instead of my sewing room because we’ve got guests coming and going every week or two for much of the summer and I’ve taken over a small table for my sewing machine.  These happy colors greet me every time I walk in the room and I’m hopeful I’ll find a few minutes to sew again soon.

Summer Check-in

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July is on it’s way out, and the first emails for the new school year have begun trickling in.  I can’t believe how fast life has flown this summer.  We’ve embarked and returned from our trips, been a revolving door some weeks for children headed to and from various camps, had friends and family visit us.  We’ve had jam packed days and a few slow ones.  Lots of doctors appointments, mishaps, an important surgery, and plenty of unplanned repairs around the house.  Life is oh, so full.

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Today my heart yearns for the beach.  We returned from my favorite place about 10 days ago.  I love the ocean.  Watching it, listening to it, walking at it’s edge.  I love watching my children play and discover and explore.  I love learning from it, being calmed by it, feasting my eyes on the color.  I feel like it’s the only place where I successfully slow down, which is perhaps why it’s such a sacred place to me.

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This year my girls and I had so much fun walking the beach in the mornings at low tide.  We found amazing things, like a tiny octopus and these little rays all over the place (above).  We found sand dollars and seashells we’ve not seen before in that spot.  We marveled at the landscape of the sand during a very low tide.  We watched birds and crabs and discovered and talked.  It was perfect.

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I love sunset at the beach.  My grandpa never missed one.  He always made time to walk out and watch the sun disappear below the horizon.  I love the way the water and sky so often seem to mirror each other.  On our drive home the sky was spectacular in Utah, reminding me that if I can’t feast on the beauty of the sea every day, I can at least look up and marvel at the sky.

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It went too fast.  Now I’m home and so immersed in the craziness of daily life that our vacation feels like it was months ago.  It’s been a week of remembering that I’m not strong enough for all that needs doing and that I have to rely on the Lord for courage and strength.  So many good things are happening, but at a pace I can hardly keep up with, especially peppered with the random (and sometimes intense) disappointments and struggles that are part of mortality.

There is a verse in Ezra chapter 3 that I keep coming back to…

“And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the Lord; because he is good, for his mercy endureth forever toward Israel.  And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.” (verse 11, emphasis added)

And from Alma 58:10:

“Therefore we did pour out out souls in prayer to God, that he would strengthen us and deliver us …”

That’s me!  I’m reaching out wholeheartedly for all of it: mercy, strength, deliverance.  It’s so awesome what He offers us.  Totally worth the effort.

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