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Toes in the Sand

I’m not able to make my yearly pilgrimage to Sweden with the husband, so instead I took the son and his girlfriend on a mini vacation to Galveston. We visited Schlitterbahn where I spent most of my time in the not so lazy river. It’s my favorite lazy river in all of the waterparks I’ve visited. We hung out on the beach the second day but I spent most of my time under the shade of the pier after getting a sunburn the day before. IMG_5793

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One of the best parts of my trip was finally being able to dig into this awesome book! Review to come when I’m done!

T-Shirt Quilt

I’ve been saving my son’s T-Shirt’s for years with the intention of making a tshirt quilt. I read tons of tutorials, gathered all of my supplies and a few months ago finally decided to dive in!

IMG_2994I started by placing my template over each t-shirt to see which ones would be too big (the design would get cut off) and which were too small (would include the seams) and eliminated both. Once I found which designs fit perfectly for the size I wanted, I began cutting them out with a rotary cutter, using the whole tshirt so that the back of the tshirt could be the back of my quilt.

IMG_3041I also cut out white flannel pieces with the same template and sandwiched them in between each front and back. Once I had all of my shirts cut and “sandwiches” made, I sewed an X on each one to stabilize the fabric.

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Once all of my Xs were sewn, I set out all of my squares to decide how I wanted them placed. Then I began sewing them into rows. Since this is a rag quilt I sewed “wrong” sides together, so that the seam stuck up on the right side. That’s the part that will be clipped later to achieve the “rag” look.

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My seams aren’t prefectly straight here but this kind of quilt is very forgiving, so it’s ok!

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And this is how it looks when all the rows are sewn together. One last sewing part is shown in the next photo, sewing a seam all around the edges of the whole quilt.
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After all of the sewing is done, you clip the seams each half inch or so. I didn’t get a photo of that, but below is a photo from a flannel rag quilt I did a few months ago. I’ll post that full tutorial soon!IMG_2810

#1 tip on this part is get sharp, quality scissors. Also, be careful you don’t cut all the way to the thread. I had to go back and sew up parts I accidentally cut on this one. Once that step is done, just throw in the washer and then the dryer. This helps fray the edges. T-Shirt Quilts will just kind of ruffle and won’t fray and create the puffy edges cotton or flannel rag quilts make.

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This is the finished product. The kid is very happy with it. It contains years of memories and keeps him warm at night! Now I want to make myself one!

One final bit of advice. A walking foot makes this project a bit easier so that the fabric doesn’t pull and stretch while you are sewing.

 

One Chapter Ends…

IMG_5342Where did time go? Didn’t he just leave for his first day of Kindergarten?

Where are his Bionicles and Legos? Where did this handsome young man come from?

I am so very proud of my kid! He graduated Magna Cum Laude and was accepted into his first choice University – UT Austin.

IMG_5538The day after graduation we left to go down to Austin for his orientation.

He stayed in the dorms for the three day orientation, and I went and explored the area after my day of parent orientation.

I have such mixed feelings about this new chapter in his life. I am so excited for him to go on this new adventure, but sad too because I will miss having him around every day.

But as a famous southern belle once said, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Or better yet, in August!

I didn’t give up!

My sister gave me this years ago when I first decided I wanted to write a novel. With many false starFullSizeRender (1)ts over the years, I finally got serious this past January and set a goal to finish my first draft by the end of May. I did it! I have a completed first draft!

One thing that’s made a difference this time is joining a writing challenge called #writechain. The idea is to set a manageable daily goal. It doesn’t matter if it’s 10 words or 1000, just as long as you can do it daily. I set a goal of 100 words. In the beginning it was difficult to get just those 100 out. Other days I wrote thousands.

Now that the first draft is done I will change my goal to edit one page daily. My plan is to have my manuscript ready to go out to my critique partners by the beginning of August.

Cupcakes!

My step-dad turned 70 a few days ago and I volunteered to make cupcakes for his birthday party. I’m a fan of buttercream and have a tried and true recipe, but I was feeling adventurous, so I set out to find something different. I found this buttercream recipe from Butter With a Side of Bread. The difference is the addition of Marshmallow IMG_5911Creme. It adds such depth to the flavor. Plus the texture is more airy.

I used the same recipe for the chocolate frosting but added a couple of Tablespoons of cocoa powder and used coconut flavoring in place of the vanilla. So yummy! Then I made my step-dad’s favorite, German Chocolate.

While I need to improve my piping skills, I had so much fun making these cupcakes that I plan to make a few dozen more for the son’s graduation party coming up later this month. Ack! My baby is graduating! I am going to need more than a few cupcakes to get through that!