September 25, 2016

I knew the end was drawing near - but with cancer, "The Big C" as she called it, you never know how long it will take. I just knew eventually it would take her. When she went to the hospice for the first time I was preparing for Christmas. I wanted to get my sewing done early that year. I bought bright, pretty Tula Pink Moon Shine and Riley Blake Swiss Dots fabric to make my Mom a quilt for her room in her hospice. It was already a beautiful room and she was in the best of care but I wanted to make her something beautiful one last time to comfort her and bring her joy.

I remember choosing the Moon Shine fabric line because the green in the fabrics went well with her room. I chose a pattern and planned to work little notes from the grand kids into each block as well as quotes from her favorite hymn. Then things changed rapidly. I spent several weeks traveling up to help my Dad with my Mom in the hospice. I had no time to sew. I came home from her funeral early December, my heart shattered and unable to accomplish much at all. It took me a long time to want to sew. Every time I saw that stack of fabric in my sewing room I got really emotional. She taught me to sew. Both my grandmothers had helped me learn to quilt. That was supposed to be for her. It was the gift I would never give and it broke my heart.

The fabric sat there then I moved it into the closet - but it tugged at my heart strings any time I remembered it. Finally, as I started working through the emotions of her loss, I read that completing things could be healing. I pulled out the fabric and pattern. But it just didn't seem right. That pattern was meant for her and I just couldn't make it. I sat there thinking about it and realized it had to become a gift for someone else. It just felt right. As I considered what to do I felt like it would be good to use it in a quilt for my sister. She spent countless hours of her time helping Mom and Dad and caring for them whatever way she could. It would be my "Thank-you"gift to her. As I thought about it I realized it would be a gift from Mom for her. That felt even more right.

Once I decided it was for her I searched for a new pattern. I found the Twizzle Quilt pattern for free on Craftsy.com. Heidi over at Buttons and Butterflies made the gorgeous pattern and has some helpful information for making this just right! It was so pretty and I felt like my sister would like it too. Soon I started sewing the top. It went together slowly but I fell in love again with the colors of the fabric and enjoyed being back doing what I love. Yes, there were some emotional days... but the heartache was slowly healing and the emotions became easier to control.

Twizzle Quilt Half-Rectangle Blocks

Twizzle Quilt Block Close-Up

Twizzle Quilt Block

Twizzle Quilt First Two Rows

Twizzle Quilt Top Unquilted

Once I finished the quilt top I took my time finding a pattern for quilting. I wanted this to be personal for her. When I stumbled across the Studio In C pantograph pattern I was so excited. My sister is a piano teacher and I knew she'd love it! I loved how the angle of the Treble Clef complimented the angles of the rows. I also love the how all the circles and swirls balanced out the straight lines and points. I quilted this on a Crown Jewel.

Twizzle Quilt Treble Clef Design

Twizzle Quilt Treble Clef Design

I used a Simplicity Bias Tape Maker to speed up the binding process as well as The Binding Tool to get the binding to fit just right. The first quilt I ever bound - the only one my Mom saw - and said "Cute, you need to work on your binding though!" I was determined it would be perfect this time and it turned out great. Even if it took a long time to hand stitch. So worth it!

Twizzle Quilt Making Binding

Twizzle Quilt Binding On

Twizzle Quilt The Binding Tool

Twizzle Quilt Binding

Finally, after months of working on it I was able to give the quilt to my sister. It was supposed to be a sort of surprise. I showed her the finished top - then didn't tell her more until I took it to her. Of course - my sister that rarely goes on social media never told me that she opened up my Instagram feed every once in a while to see what I was up to - so no surprise there! Ha! But she still loved it.

There is a song written and performed by Calee Reed called "She Put the Music In Me" that is absolutely perfect at describing our Mom. We heard it at Calee's first Time Out For Women and we heard her story of losing her Mom to cancer. That was around the time we had been told Mom had 6 months left. Needless to say we BAWLED like babies. Then, for the first time in our lives we actually went up and met and thanked Calee. We felt like she wrote our song. We decided that night to learn it. My sister accompanied me while I sang it at Mom's funeral. After I finished the top my husband mentioned that it looked like DNA strands. When I finished quilting the notes and treble clefs into it I felt like the perfect name for the quilt would be "She Put The Music In Me."

Twizzle Quilt at Piano

Twizzle Quilt Front

Twizzle Quilt Back

Finally giving the gift felt so healing. It was different than I expected. Instead of feeling like I had finished what I had wanted to make for Mom it felt more like I was doing something for her. Something that she would have liked to have done. The gift I never gave somehow became one of the most beautiful gifts I've ever been able to give. It felt amazing!

Twizzle Quilt Back

I still have scraps of that fabric lying around. They don't hurt to see. They remind me of the things Mom taught me to love, of the things she made for me and the things I made for her. Most importantly they remind me of the gift I never gave and how it became the gift she gave to me.

February 28, 2016

You might go into shock when you see that I've published a new post. Yes I'm really here - I'm still alive and I actually have some really amazing things to share with the world wide internet. I've just been so very very busy. Let me explain... Last year my kids all went off to school in September and I looked around and decided - it's high time for a renovation. And not just any renovation. Let's put in the basement we've always talked about. So late September we started on our basement. It was "supposed" to take 2-3 weeks. Look - I'm not a fool and I know things go wrong. So I planned on it taking 4-5 weeks in my mind. Oh man. 4 months later I was nearly kicking and screaming to get contractors out of my house. I have had the most horrible of experiences when it comes to renovations and I don't  know where to start telling the story. I'd like to say I'm glad it's done. But I actually had someone outside doing yard work today who noticed one more thing that wasn't finished! I don't even have it in me to sit down and cry anymore. It's not worth it.


Oh yeah, I almost forgot why I got on here to write a post. I got an Instagram Account for the blog! Because I'm not that great at posting about all of the things I'm doing - I figured this might be a more simple way to post about some things. Although I will still blog and I will still share posts overloaded with photos. But on the off-chance that I don't - now you know where to find me.

August 31, 2015

A few years ago I was admiring a bunch of Cathedral Window Quilts. I think they are gorgeous. I thought it was such a shame they were so much work - because I just don't have the time for all that work right now. Maybe someday. Then I realized it wouldn't be too hard to make a rag version of it and searched online for tutorials. There were a few out there, most using denim. While I love the look of denim, it is heavy and not as soft for a baby blanket. So I decided to make one using Minky on the back. I love how it turned out.
(Moda Sweetwater Charm Pack)

After I had the second one all together I felt that a Satin binding would finish it off nicely. It's not required, and I don't do it on every one of them but I think it looks so good that way.


(Charm Pack from Joann Fabrics)

I've made a few of these now using several colors of Minky. I have loved each one. I did try making one with Cuddle Soft - which is very different from Minky. Instead of stretching it tends to shrink so you have to adjust the tension differently. Lesson learned the hard way!

I decided to make a pattern for the blanket available free to anyone interested in making it. Hope you all enjoy! There are lots of tips in this pattern for making the sewing easier. Please read through it well. (And if you see any typos or have any problems, please let me know.)


DOWNLOAD PDF FILE HERE


FREE FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY - By downloading this file you agree to the following terms: This pattern is for use in your own projects; not for commercial use. Please do not distribute these files to others, but refer others here to download for themselves instead -- these files are given freely for download from my site only. Thanks for your understanding! Your own designs created with these files may be submitted to magazines, contests and Internet galleries, with proper credit given to Maggie Muggins Designs. If you have questions about the use of a file please contact me through email.

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August 18, 2015

On occasion I doodle at church while my kids color. It began as doodles for the kids to color, It helps them to keep quiet and I actually think they listen more to talks when their hands are busy. At least I like to think that.

I've also recently started learning a little bit more in the way of doodling using ZenTangle and other fun methods. It's really fun to draw something like this and then color it in. Of course, my children like to do that as well.

As a challenge to myself last week I decided to try to turn my rushed doodle into a digital coloring page. It was really fun challenging my Illustrator abilities and learning a few new things. I think I'll be making more of these.

(Part of the original doodle - colored by my son.)

This coloring page has a phrase from a very popular LDS Primary Song - "Families Can Be Together Forever". It can be colored as is, but I left white space for you to add your own flair to it. Have fun! Feel free to share your finished work with me. 
The printable is designed in 8x10" for you to print, color and frame if desired.

DOWNLOAD HERE

FREE FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY- By downloading or printing this file you agree to the following terms: This file is for use in your own creative projects; not for commercial use. Please do not sell or offer these downloads as your own creations. Please do not distribute these files to others, but refer others here to download for themselves instead - these files are given freely for download from my site only. Thanks for your understanding! Your own designs created with these files may be submitted to magazines, contests and Internet galleries, with proper credit given to Maggie Muggins Designs. If you have questions about the use of a file please contact me through email.



March 30, 2015

These Spritz Jumbo Easter Eggs caught my eye at Target a few weeks ago. (They have Black and White as well as Pink and Blue - all sold individually.) At $3 each I just couldn't say no! Target also has chalkboard paint, decorating kits and more to go with these eggs but I had different plans the minute I saw them. I picked up these two:

Jumbo Easter Eggs

I quickly got to work on my Silhouette Cameo and cut out simple shapes in Silhouette Gold Vinyl.

Vinyl Jumbo Easter Eggs

These were just so easy to make and I love how they look!

Flower Jumbo Easter Egg Decor

Chick Easter Egg Decor

The only other Eggs I've seen this size are carvable ones at Hobby Lobby but they weren't on sale and cost $13 each. Looks like they are $5.99 each on sale this week.

Silhouette Shapes:
Chick Silhouette #17101
Flower Medallion #12628

March 23, 2015

I was at Hobby Lobby a while ago and this really cute chalkboard there tempted me. I loved it - but in between putting it in my cart and the checkout I for some reason briefly forgot my disdain for chalk. I REALLY dislike it. I don't even want to touch it. So imagine my surprise that a chalkboard made its way to my house.

You all know what happened right? It sat blank for weeks until finally I bought a liquid chalk marker and attempted to write a nice little quote on it in chalk. That was messy and funny looking. So I searched for a printable but it's a weird size frame. I actually found a few prints with this quote from Corrie Ten Boom: "Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings... It's something we make inside ourselves." I wound up just making a printable because of the odd size.

Happiness Chalkboard Printable

Happiness Chalkboard Printable

How Do I Make My Own Happiness?

Last week as I was preparing for my lesson in Relief Society (this is the lesson here) I was reminded of this printable I made. The lesson was on Living Joyfully in Troubled Times. Am I living my own troubled times? Yes. Am I living joyfully? I like to think I am or that I'm at least trying to. But I still needed this message.

Heavenly Father has blessed me with so much peace and happiness even though my Mom only recently passed away. I loved this quote from the lesson:

"Happiness here and now consists in freely, lovingly, joyfully acknowledging God’s will for us—and doing it in all ways and all affairs big and small."

For me accepting His will does not mean that I understand it - it means I trust in Him to make all things work out for my good - even when that seems impossible. I trust His promises. I believe in Him. That can be difficult for many people. Faith can take effort to grow. I don't understand why my Mom had cancer, why she had to leave this mortal existence so soon. I do believe that Heavenly Father has a plan for her and a plan for me (and all of us), I believe that I will someday be reunited with her. I also believe that as I obey His commands and try to do His work that He will bless me with happiness, peace, and perhaps understanding. I have to make that happiness for myself though. No one can make it for me.

I didn't have time to play this video during my lesson - but Elder Nelson shares this message so beautifully that I hope you take the time to watch it...


Want to print this for yourself? Think of anyone who could use this reminder? You can download the printable below.

FREE FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY - By downloading this file you agree to the following terms: This file is for use in your own creative projects; not for commercial use. Please do not sell or offer this download as your own. Please do not distribute this file to others, but refer others here to download it for themselves instead -- my files are given freely for download from my site only. Thanks for your understanding! If you have questions about the use of a file please contact me through email.


DOWNLOAD HERE: 8.5x11" OR 8x10" OR 11x14"


Enjoy the file. If you use it please send me a photo or share the photo in my Flickr Group here.

March 12, 2015

Before we bought our new house I said something that my husband recorded. I promised that I would not buy furniture for the new house until 6 months after we moved in. Just to clarify, it was my own idea, but my husband held me to it. I realized after we finally purchased the house and moved in that moving from a 1400 sq/ft home to a 2500 sq/ft home might mean I have empty spaces for a while. The first week we moved in I was already ready to go buy different furniture. I really wanted a few things for different rooms that I *thought* couldn't live without.

As the months passed and I searched for free solutions I realized that a piece of furniture that had worked in one room in our old house would be better in different room in our new house. An end table we didn't need any more in the living room became a night stand in the guest bedroom. A bookcase from the old toy room became storage space in the office and so on.

As I slowly started rearranging and organizing I also started to purge. The previous owners had left behind a huge old sectional I was more than happy to use in the toy room until I could buy a new couch. I soon came to realize we barely used it and it just took up play space. I was so glad I when we got rid of the old sectional that I hadn't bought new couches for that room. I would have regretted that. In fact it reminded me of the time we bought a new leather couch for a small room in our townhouse and then sold it just months later. It took up so much space and really overwhelmed the space.

I also quickly got rid of (or sold) three desks the previous owners left behind, an old treadmill I tried using that just took up space for months until we moved it to the garage, several kitchen appliances I never used, and a few other things. It kept surprising me to realize I was getting rid of more things than I ever thought possible. When we put a closet organizer in the boys closet we moved the storage drawers we had in there to the garage for tool storage so we didn't even need to build shelves for that.

By the time I reached the 6 month mark I didn't really want to buy new furniture! The first purchase I made about 8 months after we moved in was shelf from IKEA for the toy room. I needed something after I moved the larger shelf to the office. The boys had that same shelf in their bedroom and I later moved it down to the toy room as well so I have two of these for storage in there. It's a large space and these shelves work great.

(Kallax Shelving Unit $64.99)

Another purchase that I made around the same time was some very shallow shelves for my craft room. They were to hold my fabric (which I have on mini bolts) and were the perfect depth at just under 8" deep. The fabric looked really good on it too. These were also from IKEA. After getting a closet organizer in my craft room I'm only going to use one of these now. The other one I'm going to re-purpose soon - either that or sell.


About a year after the move, we decided that our computer desk was just too small (my husband and I both have a PC and it only fit one). Eventually we plan to have a built-in office space. We decided to buy cabinets and table top from IKEA to make do until we knew exactly what we wanted. We brought a set of Alex Drawers from the Craft Room added on the 2 Alex storage units and 3 more Linnmon Table Tops spending about $150 total. It looks a little something like this:

  
Looking at everything I purchased. I'm almost laughing. All from IKEA. All white. Trust me - my house is plenty colorful. These all just worked.

It's now been 2.5 years since we moved in and I've only spent $320 on furniture! I do have plans to build and/or purchase one or two items in the coming years but even that is more plans to upgrade not plans for more!

I'm SO glad I made that 6 month promise. It made me squirm in the beginning (especially when I saw amazing Craigslist deals) but it saved us money and made me focus a lot more on storage space and organization than I would have otherwise. We have put closet organizers in two closets and minimized furniture purchases even more by doing that! I actually have another shelf that I'm about to get rid of and have plans in the works to steal furniture from one room for another. Yes that's the way I roll now!

Have you made any large purchases after moving and then regretted them within months? What furniture could you not live without?