Design a Quilt in Excel

I’m finally (almost) finished with my first quilt.  Before I go into the actual quilt, I felt it might be helpful to go over the process I used to design the quilt.  I looked at several different quilt blocks and after a lot of looking I found one similar to what I wanted to use.  For this specific quilt I wanted to have 6 larger blocks with images on them as the focal point, so something simple to complement the images.

Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, reach for (1) graph paper or (2) Excel.  I’m used to using Excel and I knew if I used graph paper I would go through a LOT of paper. The other thing I like about using Excel is I can easily copy and paste to make slight modifications to see how it will affect the overall look of the quilt.  For this overview I’m going to use the Excel method, if you prefer graph paper the same basic concepts should apply.  I’ll make another post later about how I am using Excel to design my T-Shirt quilt. More

Hand Warmers

The turkey is eaten, the weather is getting cooler, and soon (hopefully) the snow will start falling. This year I made a few hand warmers to give out for Christmas. My sister was asking for some hand warmers that would fit in a pair of mittens. Before diving in too much, I did a little research on the different types of grains/seeds to fill warmers. Because I planed on making small warmers, I wanted something smaller. A few different blogs I looked at did a comparison of things like rice, corn, and flax seed. I decided Flax seed would be good filler, one of the sites quoted that the oils in the flax seed help the warmers last longer as the oils don’t eventually dry out. Some sites even mentioned that the warmers stayed warm for an hour or more when enclosed under blankets or other insulated methods.

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Tree Skirt

I have never had anything quilted before, and decided it was time to give it a try. After looking at what felt like thousands of different tree skirt ideas I finally found the perfect one. It didn’t have a pattern, but that’s what made it so fun!  The top image is what my inspiration, the bottom is the tree skirt I made.

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It has been several months since I completed the tree skirt, so I’m not 100% sure how I made everything. To start with I used paper to cut some examples of the stat, so I had a better idea before I cut the fabric. I started with the green center and sewed all pieces together except the one edge.

I learned an important lesson. I should not have left a center and the opening edge, that made it difficult for the Quilter (she had to sew the edge together before quilting).

After the green center star I cut and sewed on the yellow.  before sewing the yellow to the green I sewed two pieces together at the right edge. Then I sewed that piece to the green. Once all the yellow pieces were sewn on I matched the edge of the yellow tips of the star together, then sewed them together.  Make sure to iron often! More

Jellyfish – April 21st 2014

Part two of my ocean series is a jellyfish. I painted the top and white part when I finished the octopus, and finished it off today.

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Adult and Doll Apron

Now that those sub zero temps are over (hopefully!), it’s time to get back to sewing. Todays craft is something my sister asked for, an apron based on a pattern.
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I decided to add a little on the top to make it slightly wider. I also added a stripe along both sides at the top.
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Here are a few close-ups of my modifications.
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After finishing the adult version I decided to give the Doll pattern a try.
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Another Semester Over

I’m excited, but sad, to see the semester end.  I had a lot of fun understanding how to develop and implement strategy.  I even told my husband I wished that Glo-Bus was a game everyone could play on Facebook.  When each year ended I was so excited to take a look and dive into the numbers.  I guess that’s why I’m really starting to look forward to the next semester.  We will have the opportunity to dive a little deeper into the numbers.

As the homework won’t even be posted for another few weeks, it’s time to dive into a few other things.  The past 6-12 months I’ve been looking into what it takes to be a CEO or in general a successful businesswoman.  During break I think it’s time to look deeper into what I can do to organize my personal life to better align with a busy lifestyle of constant learning and busy work/school schedule.  I’m also going to look into setting my professional tone; I just started using twitter more.  Well I’m going to try to at least; I’ve downloaded the app on my phone.

I posted in Jun about starting a family breakfast; it worked great until fall when the time changed.  I really enjoy seeing the family before heading to work, often times it does set the stage for a great day.  Children need a structured day, we’ve made a few adjustments over the past year that has helped, but it’s time to take it to the next step.  I don’t want to be the mom that plans out every second of the day, but I think we could work towards finding a better balance. 

We moved the treadmill about a month ago in hopes that we could start using it more.  We have now decided that it’s time to move it yet again…into our bedroom.  It has been taken over by little children, and if we move it into the bedroom hopefully we’ll be able to set up a schedule and start using it.  With winter knocking on the door neither of us will want to go outside much.  I plan on trying to get outside more than the last few years to take the kids sledding, I even brought home the sled I used when I was little.

My husband and I aren’t exactly the most creative when it comes to finding activities to do with toddlers.  A co-worker recently introduced me to pinterest.com, a site where people can share and categorize different things.  I’ve found a few ideas of things to do with the kids, like make play dough, weave a rug with a hula-hoop, or other crafts.  Our son helped us make play dough, and boy did he have fun! 

We all must start somewhere

I’ve lost count of how many blogs I’ve started.  I love writing and when I get passionate about something I’ve got a lot to say.   My problem in the past is I’ve always picked my latest and greatest phase; I create the blog and maybe write one or two posts.  I’m going to wright about life and passion for education, family, friends, and a yearning for a social life.

When going down the path of life, often times we get side tracked with what needs to be done and why it isn’t ever good enough.  Every day, thinking “If I only did this…”, “If I only had more time…” maybe taking the time to think about what’s important will make this craziness of a life work.  I recently went back to school for my MBA right after having a baby, it took me buying a car shortly before final exams to realize what I was missing, life!

I know, I’m working full time, going to school full time and have a family.  But why can’t I sit back and smell the roses too?  I know it’s not going to be easy, but I’m hoping this will be my outlet.  Who knows maybe someone will actually read it!