Saturday, May 30, 2009

Update #2 On the FridayNight Quilt

Had a chance to spend a little bit of time quilting on the new quilt. I am so pleased with the progress so far. This one will be a hard one to give up!

OK- I just had to add this next picture because I am simply amazed at how Bell can sleep! Yes, she is actually sleeping! She conked out on the couch after dinner and ended up like this somehow! Don't worry, after I snapped the picture I picked her up and put her to bed(flat on a bed!)

Update On The Friday Night Quilt

Well, I forgot to look at the clock last night and ended up working on the quilt until 1am, thankfully it was a slow morning! But here are the pics of where it is at. I am hoping to pick out the backing and get it pinned to quilt later tonight.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Day Out in Nature-I wish I lived In the Woods!

One of the hardest things when we moved here from Minnesota almost 7 years ago was leaving behind the incredible beauty up there! There is a peace that comes from being in God's creation and not man's! So, scouting out places for us to get out in nature was one of the first on the list. We love to hike out at one of the forest preserves near us and it has started to feel like home. Tuesday we spent the afternoon out there and finished our hiking just as the gorgeous storms rolled in! Beautiful day outside and a cozy night inside-perfect!

Friday Night Quilting-What to Do withVintage Bed Linens

It was a girl's night around here, tutus, mama's old make up, dancing music, and lots of laughter. It is known as the " pink party" around here. But now, with all the little lovelies tucked in bed, it was playtime for mama! I had been working on a few custom orders today for my sweet customers for their quilting projects so it completely gave me the itch to sit at the machine tonight and put together some quilts I have been anxious to do. I love selling fabric, but sometimes it is such a tease that I wish I had more time to work with myself! So...this is the fun quilting I have been playing with tonight.

Here are the yummy bubblegum fabrics I began with.

What a fun jelly roll of fabric strips to begin playing with! I cut the strips into 3 inches wide by 12 inches long.

I cut and sewed approx 100 strips together in sections of 4 each. This giving me plenty to make several projects.

I am just loving the eyepopping colors and the randomness of them.

Once they were ironed, I cut them into 6 inches in length.

I am planning on bordering them all with a solid color, most likely white so that they really pop. Updates to follow....

Monday, May 25, 2009

Magic Garden Surprise

After a wonderful day of getting in some of the gardens, swimming in the pool(my kiddos braved the frigid water that was just put in yesterday!), and just some good old family game time, I had a chance to sneak away to the backyard and put up some magical lights just in time to have our family devotions outside under the apple tree just after dark. I had asked Matt earlier, to do me a favor, but not to ask why. "Please get me the Christmas lights up in the attic." He did ever so nicely even though going up in the attic is on the top ten list of "Things he hates to do". What a sweetie! Our devotions were appropriately titled "Limb climber or Branch sitter." It was a reflection on the limb God asked Joseph to climb out on in order to take Mary as his wife and raise Jesus. Trusting the Lord to do what he asks of us sometimes can be like climbing out on a shaky limb instead of sitting on a sturdy branch in which we have grown comfortable on. But it was mentioned in our devotions that no one knows that better than Jesus, who hung from a tree! It was pretty cool to sit out under the apple tree as we read. We actually managed to squeeze six of us on the swing(Noah is already of in dreamland). But I do not think that faithful old swing would have held up much longer than our devotions:)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I Am Renaming Myself

For years my husband and I had the name "Tucker" picked out for a middle name in case we had another boy. But, when we found out that we were having another boy, I thought I should actually find out what the name meant before we settled on it. No matter how much I researched, I kept coming up with the same answer, "Folder of Cloth" , well-I tried to be creative in why we would pick that name, tried to come up with some reason, but I just couldn't do it, and our little guy ended up with the name Noah Oliver. But today as I was working to cut up all the new fat quarters for the shop, it dawned on me that maybe my name should be Tucker-haha. Folder of cloth seems a bit more appropriate for me than for my son, considering I fold around 200 pieces of cloth a week! Just a funny little blurb to share, from your friend, Mandy "Tucker" Drietz.

All cut and ready to be folded.

Oh, the possibilities. All folded and ready to be put into bundles. Remember to take a peek at the new bundles in the shop, there are new ones almost every day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Painting and Planting

Awhile back I had shared about the redo of our bedroom. We went from a cave of darkness to the bright lights of summertime. I have gradually been moving out of the dark colors into the lighter sides. I think a lot of that began in my last pregnancy when I was in bed for the first 5 months staring at the same walls day in and day out. As soon as I was on my feet again, the deep reds, golds, and greens began to disappear and be replaced with light yellows, blues, and cottage greens. I think I needed to feel I was outside amongst life. Just a theory, who knows, maybe it was just time for change:)-but our bedroom finally got painted a few months ago and I have been slowly redoing the furniture in it as well. How strange it was to actually wake up to walls of sunlight instead of opening my eyes and not knowing if it was day or night!

So, it is the holiday weekend-yeah!! And after getting through some of the kiddos activities we have some TIME! I have been "patiently" waiting-not really, to plant our gardens. And this is the weekend!! But-I still have to be patient as my husband gets up the new fencing for them. Our first year here I planted the garden with no fence and the next day, my lovely veggies were gone! So, being ever so intelligent, I ran out to the store and bought some more and planted them-yes, you guessed it-they grew into beautiful yummy veggies-NOT! They got eaten again-so I was not the smartest cookie-but I finally learned my lesson. We put of a fence BEFORE planting again. So, while my husband is getting that fence put up, I have another fun project for my room! I know you were wondering how I could go from painting to gardening in the same paragraph, that is how. See, don't they totally go together?! Painting and planting-humh-who would have thought. So , have I confused you yet?

Well, here are some pictures of my painting project this weekend. It is a dresser for my husband. It is about time, considering half of his drawers have no pulls on them, the drawers are falling apart and, let's just be honest is a great way to get him to finally clean out his stuff! The dresser was picked up for 23.00. It has the retro gold thing going, but what I love is the details and curves and the FEET! ahhh, such pretty feet. So after spending the last 4 years cleaning out my garage(haha) I finally have some room to work in the fresh air while the kids play outside and Matt -YES-puts up the gardens fences. I will post updates as long as my plans actually play through!

God's Own Fool

It seemed I've imagined Him all of my life
As the wisest of all mankind
But if God's holy wisdom is foolish to men
He must have seemed out of his mind
For even His family said He was mad(Mark 3:21)
And the priests said the demon's to blame(Mark 3:22)
But God in the form of this angry young man
Could not have seemed perfectly sane

When we in our foolishness thought we were wise
He played the fool and He opened our eyes
When we in our weakness believed we were strong
He became helpless to show we were wrong
And so we follow God's own fool
For only the foolish can tell Believe the unbelievable
Come and be a fool as well

So come lose your life for a carpenter's son(Matthew 13:55)
For the madman who died for a dream(Jn 10:19)
And you have the faith His first followers had
And you'll feel the weight of the beam
So surrender the hunger to say you must know
Have the courage to say "I believe"
For the power of paradox opens your eyes
And blinds those who say they can see

-Michael Card

As a child, Michael Card was one of my Dad's favorite singers. Now as kids we tend to not always like our parents music tastes, especially in our teens years, but fortunately, I caught a love for Michael card at a very young age and understood why my Dad enjoyed him so much. I remember going to a concert of his with my Dad and getting the chance to listen to Michael card and my Dad speak briefly afterwards. I think I wore my dad's cassette tapes out listening to them. I am like any other person with music taste, I like an eclectic range of music, but no matter how old Michael Card's music is in relationship to the current styles or my age, it will remain timeless to me, and I think that is because it comes straight from scripture and speaks so strongly of the relationship we can have with the creator.

A year or two ago Matt ordered many of of his older Cds for me from when I was a child. What a gift to listen to all of those songs again. Even when Matt and I were just married we used to lay on the living room floor and just listen to the words., and I have missed that. So, it is good to have these fimiliar friends back for my ears. I thought I would share some of the songs that helped shape my faith.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Blooms of the Day

I love walking outside every morning to find new beauty in bloom! Our yard has a long way to go as far as landscaping, but I am really enjoying some of the simple pleasures new and old. So, I have made it a priority to capture this years beauty with my camera.

Clemitis has got to be one of my very favorite! I planted this the year we moved in and it is one of the very few markers I have of the years we have been here. It is one of the very first to bloom. I have since then, planted two more of these in our garden, and will probably continue to plant more each year until I have a yard of purple! It is such a pretty back drop to everything else.

We planted some new rose bushes behind our garage this year and laid to rest some of our kids little critters that have been in deep freeze waiting to be buried(don't ask:) But these roses should be extra lovely.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Today's Favorite Song...

Every once in awhile a song comes out that absolutely captivates me! When the movie August Rush came out, I listened to Bari Improv by Kaki King and Dueling Guitars by Hector Pereira and Doug Smith-amazing! But my newest dreamy music is the song The Call-by Regina Spektor. It is a song from the Chronicles of Narnia, Prince Caspian. Just thought I would share some of my faves.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Littlest Man is TWO!!!

Our littlest guy is two today! Noah arrived to us a perfect gift from God. A gift that was worth infinately more than any struggle or pain that came with bringing him into the world. He was the little man I always knew I had yet to meet, the little man who has shaped his brother and three sisters into amazing helps and blessings to their Dad and I. He is the fifth in a mighty little nation who I know God has plans for. He is the sweet boy who was so rolly polly that he didn't roll over till he was 11 months! And now he is the solid wild man who runs too fast for me to catch! He has a humor that causes most of the laughter in this house, and a curiousity that I know keeps the Lord's angels very busy! He is the brother Cole prayed for through three arrivals of sisters, each being God's perfect plan and perfect timing. He and Cole are the bookends, the protectors of our three little princesses, one to go before, and one to go after. He was the first surprise to Matt and I, and will remain the best surprise of our lives. He was protected safe in my womb during three surgeries to place new pic lines to my heart which kept me hydrated during my pregnancy, he was protected while I could keep no food in my body for almost 5 months, he was protected while I had to be medicated 24 hours a day for extreme nausea. He was protected from my depression which came from being so ill and loosing my ability to care for my family as I had grown accustomed to. He was planned by the creator and I was so privaleged to carry him. He brought new relationships to our families life, new friends, and closer old ones. He gave my kiddos a chance to fall in love with thier grandma, my mom, as she cared for us many days each week. He brought the joy of life to us just as we almost lost my Dad, and was a soothing balm and comfort during that time. He brought a calm and peace to the home that Matt and I have come to see as one of God's most amazing gifts to us. He keeps us young, hopeful, and excited about God's plans for our family. He has brought us to trust the Lord even deeper and see that His will is so much better than ours! WE LOVE OUR NOAH!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Spring fever has most certainly set in! I remember having to sit still in a sterile classroom when the weather was gorgeous and every living thing had come back to life after sleeping hidden from the winter's chill. When those ugly old school windows were propped open just to tease us. Every sound of the outside world seemed ampliphied to my ears and why did they always seem so happy!? All I wanted to do was get out there and breathe the air. But even more than getting outside was the craving for summer break! Simple freedom, a change of schedule, fun! Well, I have been out of school for, hum, oh yes, I haven't been out of school, I went from student to teacher. And let me tell you, those spring fever attacks are no different! And I must admit, I fall into surrender of that spring fever monster every time!

Being a homeschool mom is awesome, and hard. One thing that I realized early on was that any of the kids being crabby or tired could interupt an entire day of school, not just for themselves but for everyone else! I found out just how important a good bedtime was! It was key to getting through our school day! No, it doesn't cure bad attitudes, bad days, or bad weeks:)-but it does help maintain some sort of sanity for mama! Not only does it give my kids all the rest they need, but it gives me the time to get done all those things that a mom would do while her kids are at school during the day. So, the hour of peace in our house is 7pm! Even for my older two, who read for a few hours in their bed.

BUT! Back to the spring fever monster! I am caving already, I am enjoying the sun staying around to give us extra hours of play outside, bedtime is starting to come and go with little notice being taken. I am losing my battle, and almost with a sense of joy as though I were a kid again! Last night after clearing the dinner table we told the kids to jump in the van instead of jumping into their PJs. After a long day, I just had a craving for some fun family time away from the house. So we went for some really good ice cream! And everyone was all giggles, and it turned out to be a great time!




Cole being a bugger, won't allow me to take any pictures, this is the best I could do- he was a blast though, despite what the picture may speak!

My love!

Noah took the cake in making us laugh! He was covered head to toe by the time we were done! There was a chocolate ice cream lake below him, we had to strip him down to put him in the car, and it took about a hundred napkins to clean up the table- but oh the giggles watching him eat his ice cream!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Making Headbands From Scraps

There is nothing more satisfying to a quilter or sewer than being able to take those little pieces of fabric that were left behind or discarded and make them into something beautiful and useful. To think that something as tiny as a 2 inch square could be married to another 2 inch square and so on and become a beautiful piece of art or clothing or quilt, well, I LOVE IT! So dig into those scrap bins of yours, you know, those little lovelies that you just could not throw out and sew them up into a pretty headband. I love strip quilting, but I always tend to cut way too many strips(maybe I do it on purpose now-you think?) So I have begun taking those strips and putting them together to make a whole new piece of fabric to work with. I sew a piece a fabric long enough for a headband. The longer the strips, the more headbands you will get out of it.

After sewing the strips together, I iron on interfacing to give it a stiffness and it does help in making them last longer(yes, i Love interfacing too-I buy it buy the bolt now) After fusing the interfacing on, I top stitch the strips-just because I like the look. It isn't nessesary.
As far as a pattern for headbands, there are hundreds out there, but I make my own. If you have a favorite headband, just trace it, that way you can't go wrong in getting the look you like. I trace out the pattern in mass.

Find a fun fabric to back it with, the great thing is that they are reversible. So, make the front and back in similar colors or make it completely opposite for two completely different looks, it is up to you.

Put right sides together and pin. I sew along all my traced lines before cutting them into individual headbands.

After sewing them up,cut, turn, iron, and top stitch along the edge, also sewing in the elastic strip. The elastic strip needs to be measured for your comfort.

Now you can wear a quilt on your head!:) And all those little scraps have a new life. You, of course do not need to make them in mass. The same idea applies to making a one of a kind headband with unique pieces.

My sweet little model always ready for a new headband!