Last Thursday, on my mother Freda's birthday, my daughter Whitney delivered a sweet baby girl 5 weeks early. It had been a very difficulty pregnancy for Whitney and she and Allison had spent a lot of time at our home so we could help her.Allison is going to have to grow up very fast and be a very big help to her parents now. And she will have to have be a big sister with extra responsibilities for the rest of her life. I think Allison is perfect for this new role she has to play.
Eliza weighed 5 lb. 2 oz. She has premature lungs, a hole in her heart and Down's Syndrome. She's a very strong and feisty baby for having so many problems. She is making fantastic progress and is tolerating feedings, has reduced her need for supplemental oxygen and reduced her heart medication. She's doing so well. Right now she is at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City in the NBICU. We hope she can come home in 3 weeks or so. At 6 months she will have heart surgery to close the little hole in her heart. There are so many things about Eliza that are uncertain but those things we do know.

We were shocked at first since we had no idea Eliza would be born early or that she would have physical problems. Our family and my son-in-law's family have rallied around Whitney for support, of course. And we will continue to do so. I'm so incredibly proud of how she is handling this sweet baby and her medical issues. We are doing well with the news and our family bond can only grow stronger as we take care of Eliza and take on whatever care she requires. Of course this isn't something we would ask for, but now that we have Eliza, we are happy to be with her and love her and care for her.

My computer still isn't fixed and I have a new one on order but that and other silly life issues seem like such a trivial problems when compared with Eliza and what we can do for her.

Read More computer has a virus, or something, it is being repaired...see you next week

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In the last couple weeks I've mentioned blogs and projects that inspire me. There are so many ways to be inspired and one of those ways is from a book. But just like blogs being so numerous, there are so many books to choose from so it is nice to know when a book meets my expectations and style.
I found this book featured on Donna Flower's website. I really like the book and the vintage ideas. It is full of lovely ideas for vintage fabric. The front cover really caught my eye. I decided to recreate the cover project using handmade soap.
I used vintage and reproduction wrapping paper. No tape here. The twine and ribbon keep the soap wrapped in the pretty paper. Some of the ribbon is vintage. I have to say I like the simple twine, too.
So this page in the book talks about the wrapped soaps. The writer keeps her soaps wrapped in old maps, vintage wallpaper and wrapping paper with pretty ribbon and twine accents. I like the one with the vintage button on top. The author keeps soaps wrapped and handy for guests and friends. Everyone needs soap! It is a perfect gift.
I have a very small collection of vintage wrapping paper. I liked using the paper that said "shower" on it because it may not be for a wedding shower but the soap will be used for a real shower.
I thought of lots of ways to display the pretty soaps. A basket would work, of course. This tray was a perfect fit for the soap. It was a gift from my mother-in-law. I think it would be sweet to display the soap in a guest room on a tray like this.
I didn't have quite the same collection of paper to use for the soap as the book, but now I'll be on the look out for old maps and old wallpaper pieces.
Easter is coming and I do have eggs. I was interested to see the Easter egg ideas. I just might pick some ideas from this section.
This book is a good fit for me. The photography and repurposing ideas are great. If you live by me I'd love let you read it.

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Never a dull moment at the Hive. We've acquired an exchange student. And my daughter (Allison's mommy) is quite ill with her 2nd pregnancy so Allison and Whitney are spending a good deal of time with us. It is fun to still have a full house.
Shelbie and Whitney took Allison on a short shopping trip and Allison got to have a little ride. I'm not sure if she is excited or terrified in this photo. You can see she's wearing her Harajuku jacket Shelbie bought her. Little girl clothes are so cute. It is a good thing Allison is getting a sister so she can pass down all her darling outfits.
I finished my quilted heart table topper. It really was such an incredibly fun project. I would love to make more. It is a perfect little holiday pop of color for February. I didn't have red size 12 perle cotton. so I quilted it with regular thread.
I wanted to try my perle cotton technique borrowed from Braveheart Des at Quilt Taffy. It worked really well. I used it on my proof of concept extra block from the Row By Row quilt.
I am sure I'll use this thread and technique again and again. Not sure what I'll do with this little quilted gem. I didn't use insulated batting so I can't use it as a potholder. I will think of something.
I need to find some other colors of perle cotton since I can't imagine why I wouldn't want to do most of my machine quilting like this.
I hope you all have a nice Valentine's Day. I like to celebrate Red and February is a great month.
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I know it probably seems like I have so many projects and none of them are getting finished. But I am working on my list and getting things closer to being done (somewhat). I just work a little bit everyday and hopefully I will have a new pattern and some finishes very soon.
I wanted to do something just a little different with my row by row idea and make a small sampler for the wall. This is what I came up with. It is a bit dotty. I hope when I get it on the wall it doesn't make me dizzy!
I really enjoyed making the blocks from my row by row and putting them in a smaller format. This is such a fun pattern. I love all the blocks.
Now I need to get it quilted. So it will be another week or so before that is finished. I have a 6 month plan for projects and I'm going to stay on top of it. I hope!

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I must admit I get my best ideas from other people's blogs. Maybe you do, too. So many great ideas are out there that I would make my own but I have a job and a family and unfortunately I have to sleep as well. Once in a while I come across ideas that I simply must incorporate into my sewing life.
I saw this darling and fabulous little heart placemat on Jen's blog. Jen graciously said I could post her photo. I haven't really sewn a small fun project for a while now. And I've been really wanting to make something for Valentine's Day. Jen bought this place mat for a song but I want to make one like it but a bit bigger, sort of mini table top size.
So I drew up my heart outline and cut 2 1/2" squares and 2 7/8" squares. I cut the 2 7/8" squares cross wise to make the half square triangles and moved forward from there.
Of course I love red, I love scraps and mixes of patterns. This heart is a bit like my Valentine's Day flag from years ago. Look at the blend of print and dot together. Super cute I think.
I got this far with it. I'm supposed to be working on my Row by Row quilt pattern. And I am making progress with my pattern. But this heart project is kind of like playing hooky. So as a reward for working on my pattern for several hours last Saturday, I whipped up this heart Sat. evening. Now I need to quilt it and bind it.
Des from Quilt Taffy had this super fantastic post about using perle cotton to machine quilt. Read about it here. I thought this would be a good time to try out Des' technique. I know the spool above probably isn't the right gauge but I don't have anything else right now to show. If you look closely at the price tag you can see "Fillmore's 5 and 10 cent". It is old stock and might be too thick but I might still try it.

Thanks Des and Jen. Blog ideas are just wonderful

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I am seeing gray fabric everywhere. Maybe gray is the new black or brown because it goes with so many colors just like they do.
Kitchen print in gray works for me. The gray hounds tooth gray will make a perfect binding.
Retro gray, yellow and white kitchen print matches great with the yellow dancing china print.
The dancing china in red (love it) pairs perfectly with the rick rack bias plaid. All the fabrics are from Michael Miller in several lines. I think they are all great.

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It is just so astonishing to me that we are already in February. Has time sped up or what?
Right after Christmas decorations come down I always place valentine goodies in my entryway. This year is the first time (since making the valentine quilt) that I haven't hung my valentine quilt in my entry. Instead, I placed it on an ottoman next to a tea set given to me by my daughter Tracey. I love my valentine quilt but I wanted to celebrate February with a different quilt this year.I placed the quilt I made with Lori's Sew Cherry fabric and her pattern in my entry for February. I thought with cherries being a theme for George Washington's birthday, it would be fun to use this quilt for the first time.
I am so happy that one of my quilts has come home again. I was so glad to open a package and discover my "All Dressed Up" quilt, made for fall quilt market 2010, had finally come back to me.
This is still my very favorite pattern and I love making this quilt with different fabrics. I am overjoyed to have it home to stay.

Happy Feb. 1, everyone.

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