Stops and starts

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen that I was able to get a little sewing done this summer!

Gypsy Wife I

Gypsy Wife I

Gypsy Wife II

Gypsy Wife II

Gypsy Wife III

Gypsy Wife III

Berry Basket (Noodle-head's free tutorial)

Berry Basket (Noodle-head’s free tutorial)

Diaper Pouches (another free Noodle-head tutorial)

Diaper Pouches (another free Noodle-head tutorial)

Noodle-head poolside tote

Noodle-head poolside tote

Unfortunately, I’ve stalled out again due to heartburn and general 3rd trimester soreness and fatigue. It’s so frustrating! My heart is happy and my mind is engaged but my body just can’t do it right now. It is encouraging to feel like myself again in my own head though. I feel confident that I will get back to daily sewing and more frequent blogging next year. That confidence is a comfort to me because I really lost it during the worst of the early pregnancy woes.

Here I am a week or 2 ago when I treated myself to a blow-dry and a pretty dress.

photo-20

I’m 29 weeks now and hoping to give birth in early December around 38 weeks so I will have time to recover before the Christmas holiday. Follow me on Instagram for nursery setup updates and eventually pictures of a sweet little babe!

My 3 sons

Last week we received the wonderful news that our surprise baby is (not surprisingly) another boy! A lot of people have asked if I had a feeling one way or the other, or if we wanted a girl. Out of loyalty to the child I really didn’t have an opinion. I just want (him) to be who (he) is!

Now that we know he’s a boy, for the first time in months I have quilt ideas whirling in my head. I’d love to make this baby a quilt or a wall hanging for his nursery, but something is holding me back. I’m 20 weeks now (half way!) and only just finally getting over the nausea. My poor husband is exhausted from taking care of me, the kids, and our home during my illness. The kids are a little wilder than usual because I’ve mostly scolded from the couch instead of properly punishing them for the last 3 months. And there is a lot of work ahead of me converting my sewing room back into a nursery.

So even though I’ve started reading blogs a little and browsing instagram, I am going to have to let that restless energy build while I put my house in order. Something about having a new baby makes you want to organize everything, amIright? I have a year’s worth of bills and paperwork to file, and the insides of my cabinet drawers in the kitchen and bathrooms haven’t been cleaned… ever. All of that comes first, along with the nursery setup.

But do you want to know what quilt ideas I’ve been thinking about, even though I’m not actually sewing yet? I thought so!

If the baby had been a girl, my idea was to make a snowflake quilt with 6, 9, and 12 inch versions of this block from the penny sampler. The “snowflake” design is a subtle nod to the baby’s Christmasy due date, although I wasn’t going to use Christmas colors or fabrics.

DSC06462

My idea for a boy is a machine paper piecing sampler using various boy-friendly blocks like these:

DSC07109

IMG_3895

1112-shirts-cover_front_413px

I even sketched a little!

photo-19

Maybe I’ll find the time later in my pregnancy to make this sampler happen, or maybe I’ll turn it into a bigger quilt idea for his eventual big-boy bed. Either way, you can be sure you’ll be the first to know when I start sewing again!

Huge secret project reveal

I have been working on a secret project that has taken every bit of my time and energy the last few months.

Untitled design

But it has absolutely nothing to do with sewing or quilting!

photo-19

This sweet surprise has taken my world by storm. I have been terribly ill and completely unable to sew for 7 or 8 weeks now; a pretty drastic lifestyle change for someone who sewed daily for the last couple of years.

My husband and I were pretty certain that 2 kids was enough. So certain, in fact, that we canceled the maternity coverage rider on our health insurance plan. BIG OOPS. Lesson learned: don’t cancel the maternity coverage until you’re ready to schedule the vasectomy!

Despite the sickness and the insurance woes, my household is buzzing with excitement. This child is such a gift, precisely because it wasn’t something we would have chosen on our own. Even before I took the pregnancy test I somehow wanted it to be positive. My head could give you a list a mile long of the reasons we thought 2 was enough, but my heart knew better.

One of the hardest parts has been accepting the change this will mean for my sewing and blogging. I had to mourn a little over the loss of my sewing room (which will be turned back into a nursery) and the impossibility of attending Quilt Con with a 2 month old. (I’m sure some super-moms will be there with babies but I’ll be at home taking a nap.)

I think it will be quite some time before I return to daily sewing. Right now it’s hard to imagine wanting to sew at all, but I know that’s the nausea talking.

I want to thank you guys for being a part of my sewing life for the last year since I started blogging! As soon as I’m ready to start sewing again I am sure I will want to continue sharing my projects with you.

But in the meantime, please know that I am happily resting & waiting for our Christmas baby.

photo-19

Not manic, don’t panic

A little progress on my kilim quilt

A little progress on my kilim quilt

I’ve been sick the last couple of weeks and it’s given me a chance to regain some much-needed perspective on my sewing life.

Sewing organizes and motivates my days, my weeks, my months & years. When the kids come running into our bedroom at 5:30 am (not an uncommon wakeup time for my energetic 3 & 4 year old boys) I can usually muster a good mood when I think about the sewing I’ll be able to get done once they’re fed and contentedly playing with legos.

When I lay in bed at night and assess my day, I get tremendous satisfaction from listing the projects I made progress on.

I feel so blessed to have something in my life that I enjoy so much, but it also has a dark side. While checking things off my to do list buoys my spirit, being unable to accomplish things weighs me down. It’s hard for me to agree to activities that keep me away from my sewing room for a full day or more.

Sometimes the pace I set for myself feels downright manic.

So spending a lot of time resting, cuddling with my boys & watching them play has been strangely good. It makes me want to be much more careful about letting my sewing to do list rule my life and determine my mood. I don’t know if I really want to spend less time sewing, I just want to approach it with less intensity.

Pretty fabric shot, just because

Pretty fabric shot, just because

I want to slow down. There is no race to see who can make the most quilts this year.

For a short while I’ll probably be talking more about things like fabric purchases (that’s Leah Duncan’s Meadow, by the way), bee blocks and project ideas that I won’t necessarily pursue.  I hope you’ll stick around and enjoy a slightly less panicky Sarah Quilts. :)

Fabric Spark blogger bundle giveaway!

I was so excited to be contacted by Daryl of Fabric Spark to create a blogger bundle for her site. She was so fun to work with because she’s just as passionate about fabric as I am. And I love her taste, so choosing this bundle was almost too easy.

DSC08075

I hope you love it too because you have a chance to win it!

DSC08093

To enter, simply click over to Fabric Spark and take a look around. Come back and leave a comment telling me what you like in Daryl’s shop.

The giveaway is open internationally and will close next Wednesday, April 23, at 12 pm EST.

DSC08088

Oh, and be sure to look us up on Instagram (@sarahschraw and @fabricspark) because there’s an identical giveaway going on there!

WIP: kilim quilt

I haven’t technically started cutting or sewing yet, but I feel like I’ve already come a long way on this project (previously blogged here) just by figuring out the design and choosing fabrics.

DSC08049

I spent a lot of time coloring in this rather large color & piecing guide. But I think it will be time well spent because now the design and color placement are all but finalized. And bonus: I can see it across the room.

I used double stick tape to attach the individual pieces to the wall so I can take the one I’m working on to my cutting station. The design has 8 whole blocks, 6 half blocks, and 4 quarter blocks. To create the half and quarter blocks, I’ll actually be able to piece a whole block and then cut it.

DSC08098

That would have been far too confusing if I didn’t have this handy color chart.

For the fabric, I chose Art Gallery Pure Elements, which I am delighted to tell you were provided by Fat Quarter Shop because they have agreed to sponsor this project!

DSC08055

I chose Pure Elements for 2 main reasons. The first is because I had a strong suspicion that these solids would be really soft and shimmery just because they’re Art Gallery. I was not disappointed. They’re gorgeous. But, even more importantly, I was drawn to this line because it’s a cohesive, limited collection. There are only 54 colors and they all seem to look great together. Ordering solids online can be tricky, so a line like this helps.

DSC08067

I have ordered just a couple more shades to give myself some additional options. I love this stack but it doesn’t quite capture the contrast of the colors from the rug. This stack is almost too coordinated.

DSC08069

I ordered a truer red, a less-blue purple, and a less-green yellow. That should give me an effect closer to that of the rug.

Kilim rug photo

After the holiday weekend I’m going to hit this project hard! I can’t wait.

Be sure to check in with me tomorrow because I’ll be giving away my very first blogger bundle, from the really cool Canadian site Fabric Spark!