Our Reception Guestbook Quilt- Sashing Cut

Now, if my math is right (it was way more than triple checked so I certainly hope so) and the cutting accurate (Ryan did the difficult parts because he’s more precise than I am), we are one step closer to finishing the Reception Guestbook Quilt.  I still love this idea and think it was perfect for our situation but I guess I didn’t quite think through the whole, I don’t own a sewing machine or any quilting paraphernalia situation.  Oh and the fact that I’ve never quilted on my own before.  However, thanks (many many thanks) to friends who have let me borrow things and multiple friends who have listened and helped with math and my husband who has patiently helped with the process as much as he can, we’re seeing visible progress.


Currently, we have all the sashing cut with some extra fabric, just in case.  The next step is finding a sewing machine to start putting the squares together.  All but 12 squares get exactly the same treatment so I only have one row to set aside and figure out placement before I get started.  Placement of everything else will come later.  I’m excited to see this taking shape.  It’s fun to have the squares out and remember all the people who celebrated with us.  It will be even better once it is all together and finished!

Quilt Progress

Thanks to a couple of friends and internet research, I’ve made some more progress on our wedding guestbook quilt.  It’s amazing to me how much math is involved.  Of course there would be less math if I was using all scraps and didn’t really care about the fabric choices but even in that situation there would still be math involved.  I’m currently figuring out how much fabric I need to buy for the dark blue sashing between the squares.  So I went over to a friends house and we diagramed it out.  We figured out how long and wide the vertical strips needed to be and how long and wide the horizontal steps needed to be.  Then I just multiply that with how many strips I need and I can figure out how much fabric to buy.


I had already made a picture of what the quilt should look like but my friend suggested that I work on making it a bit more to scale and even color it in so I get a better idea of the finished product.  This turned out to be a great idea for figuring out where to place the different colored blocks.  We don’t have enough floor space to lay them all out so I was able to play with patterns in a different format.

Quilt Random

Based on the amount of blue, white and yellow squares, I came up with these two basic options.  The first has a patterned border with yellow, blue, yellow, blue and a couple white corners.  But the other is more random with the yellow sprinkled throughout.  I’m not sure yet which I prefer and I’ll need to get Ryan’s input too before making the final decision.

The next step is to buy the sashing fabric and start cutting the strips.  I’ll need over 300 all together so this will be a process in and of itself.  But I’m happy to see things moving forward.  Maybe I’ll have it done by our second wedding anniversary:-)

Quilting Our Wedding Guestbook

Our last reception was in August and I am finally getting myself together enough to start work on our guestbook quilt.  I’ve helped my mother with many quilt projects, some of which I have called my own.  However, I think this is going to prove to be my biggest project yet.  It’s larger than anything i’ve ever tackled before and although I’ve loved many of my quilting projects, this one is very special.

IMG_0668We have about 150 squares that represent individuals and families who celebrated with us at each of our wedding receptions.  The blue squares are from the Camarillo reception, the white squares are from the Sacramento reception and the yellow squares are from the Pardeeville reception.  Some people wrote advice, some simply signed their names, others drew pictures or wrote down memories.  Each is a sweet reminder of the many wonderful relationships we have.  My only regret is that there wasn’t a way to include those who weren’t able to make any of the receptions but maybe that is a mercy because otherwise I might have to be making two quilts instead of just one.

Ryan and I will eventually choose a dark blue to go in between the squares and back the quilt, although at this point I think there might be enough squares for the front and the back.  I’m currently working out the measurements to see how big we actually wish to make it and also playing with the pattern.  But as you can see from the picture, our space is limited so laying out all the squares at once isn’t really possible.

It’s fun to see the idea begin coming together.  We loved the thought of combining the memories from all of our receptions into one useful, tangible memory.  Now all I have to do is take the idea and execute it.  It won’t happen over night and i’d be happy to listen to any advice and recommended resources as I move forward with this special project.  And of course, I’ll be sure to show off my work once it is done and maybe (if it isn’t too tragic) the work along the way as well.

A New Hobby: Beer Making

I’ve had lots of hobbies over the years but hopefully this one will stick.  Last year I received a beer making kit for Christmas and it’s now September but I finally gave it a try.  Here’s the process:


Step 1:  Follow the directions for heating the ingredients.  Since this was a kit, it was pretty easy to get the measurements right.


Step 2: Clean and sanitize all the equipment.  This is very important.  And then fill the jug.


Step 3: Let the yeast work.  This was a two week process where this hid in the pantry and I would check on it until the yeast had worked it’s magic.


Step 4:  Bottling day. Thanks to everyone who helped me collect bottle.  Everything gets sanitized again.


Step 5: From the jug to the bottle.  It was helpful to have an extra pair of hands for this step.


Step 6: Drop in the fizz and seal the bottles.


Step 7:  Let it sit.  Back in the pantry this beer did it’s thing and went from flat to fizzy.  And then into the fridge.


Step 8: Taste.  This beer was delicious.  I’ve had some other friends weigh in and I’m excited for a successful first batch. Cheers!

He’s got me hooked or Knitting our lives together

This post is for all my knitting and crocheting friends.  I am happy to announce that Ryan and I have now combined our yarn collection.

IMG_0116Each time I head down to Camarillo, I bring a few more things so that the move in a couple weeks won’t be so challenging.  My yarn came with me this weekend and got added to Ryan’s pile.  And now I will have to find the perfect crafting corner for us.  Ryan and I have been working hard, sorting and organizing.  The progress may be slow but it is very enjoyable to be settling into what will be our first home.  Our first home where I am sure Ryan is looking forward to spending many lovely evenings just knitting and crocheting together:-)

Thank you Amazing Helpers!


Guess what i’ve been doing since Saturday?  It includes 1500 pictures.  1000+ envelopes.  A football field or two of tape and other miscellaneous and sundry items.  Yup.  Those are my invitations.  The bags of them ready and loaded to be taken to the post office.  Maybe with our help they won’t have to raise the price of stamps just yet.  Ok probably not but I should get some sort of bulk stamp buying discount.

IMG_5920A big thank you to my mother and lots of other family and friends who made this possible.  Without their help I would still be sticking, cutting, embossing, stamping, stuffing, folding and sorting.  I’m thrilled with the finished product and I can’t wait until people start seeing them in their mailboxes.  And it was lovely to have different people involved with all the steps from prepping everything to compiling and finally stuffing and sorting.  My mom and I have great friends!

IMG_5948A special thank you to my amazing Dad.  So here’s the deal.  Normally Dad’s just write the check but not my Dad.  He helped us with pop dots, attaching the invitations to the pockets and even helped address some of the envelopes in very impressive cursive.  There has to be some sort of great father award.  Thank you Dad!

Prayer and Pumpkin Carving

Last night I was prayed for by a pirate and a ballerina.  After a long week of computer work and introversion, I debated even leaving my house.  I knew that I needed and wanted the people time but I was grumpy.  After all it was Halloween (or as celebrated in my circles Reformation Day) and everyone was dressing up, getting together and enjoying themselves.  But I didn’t have any inspiration for a costume and frankly I was tired.  Tired from a few restless nights and tired from being alone most of the week.  Introverts recharge by themselves but as an extrovert I need people in order to properly recharge.  And so I set out through the streets of Santa Barbara, careful not to hit any little costume clad pedestrians along the way.  I finally arrived at my destination and was all set to put on my happy face and just enjoy being with people again.

But I don’t hide my emotions very well and it was obvious that I wasn’t ok.  So I found myself crying in the kitchen, clutching a warm cup of mulled wine and spilling my weeks frustrations to the nearest friends who happened to be a pirate and a ballerina.  There is something really beautiful about friends who listen well.  They don’t just give you a hug, say it will be ok and move on.  They listen and encourage and share with you in your frustrations.  And these friends prayed.  Prayer is powerful and soothing.  So then a monster came in and she blessed me with a little more encouragement which gave me an excuse to spend little more time away from the group before stepping out into the party.

photoThe rest of the evening was relaxed and enjoyable.  We played stick the bow tie on the mummy, ate copious amounts of chips and pie, carved pumpkins, toasted (and ate!) yummy pumpkin seeds and generally had a great time just enjoying each others company.

I am thankful for friends that welcome me in even when I just show up sporadically.  I am thankful for pumpkins that provide us with fun activities and delicious things like pie.  And I am thankful that I left the house last night, if only because I got to be prayed for by a pirate and a ballerina.

Envelopes full of Joy!


Stamp, print, cut, punch, format, address, staple, fold and stuff.  This is the process that I am going through to bring you an envelope full of Australian information and Joy Candee support raising goodness.  Each one will include my new prayer card with information on how to support my ministry, a little seed packet, seed instructions and a brochure about my ministry in Australia.  Everything is loveingly put together and like most things, one doesn’t take much time but I will be sending out over 300.  The hands-on work gives me an opportunity to pray for Australia and pray for you, who I hope will be receiving one!  Do I have your mailing address?


Art, Music and Aboriginals

Australia is a very cool place.  It’s easy to share stories about the people and culture but it is sometimes challenging to get people really engaging and interacting with what they are hearing and learning.  So yesterday when I spoke to a group of kids, I made sure that what we did was as interactive as possible.  We listened to didgeridoo music and even tried to imitate it.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?  Our imitations were fairly unsuccessful but giving it a try is part of the fun.


We then tried our hand at imitating aboriginal art.  This art is both beautiful and fascinating.  Here is a link to google images of real aboriginal art.  You can compare it to our versions.  The kids definitely had fun.  Not only did they get to take home some art but they got to take home stories as well.










Making Mice at Hello XOXO

Let me introduce you to Hello XOXO which is described on their website as “an all-inclusive nest where ladies of all ages come together to enrich themselves and their community through philanthropy, mentoring, book and supper clubs, deep conversations, all while exploring their inner artisan.”  It is located in downtown Sacramento and will hopefully become a common meeting place for crafty women.


Today, a small group of ladies gathered to make fabric mice for Happy Tails, a local pet sanctuary.  We sewed, talked and enjoyed the afternoon.  Each little mouse was given eyes, ears and maybe whiskers and a nose if we decided to be ambitious.  Then they were stitched together and stuffed with cotton and catnip.   The sweet kitties at Happy Tails deserve nice toys too.  It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  I hope to attend more events here in the future.  If you’re in the Sacramento area, maybe you will join me?