Friday, January 16, 2015

One Block Wonder

I love fabric.
I love creating beauty. 

This quilt is hands down my favorite quilt I've ever done. 

The One Block Wonder is made of tiny triangles of fabric. It looks so intimidating, but Maxine Rosenthal, who designed this quilt, makes the process so enjoyable. 

Cutting was fun, (link to blog post with more pics) but I love eating my breakfast and looking up at this quilt hanging over our dining and just feel so satisfied and thrilled that it came out the way it did. 



I saw a sample one block wonder quilt hanging on the wall in a quilt store and was so intrigued by the pattern and the visual effect that I called in sick to work in order to take the 6 hour workshop to make this. Yes, I'll admit it, I played hooky. 

It took just one day to cut out all of the fabric and start making it. One day, but hours and hours afterwards to sew the little hexagons and arrange them to make this pattern. I still think that the time was worth it. 

Ok, here is where I ask for some interaction. 

What was your favorite quilt/project you've ever done? 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

dreaming big

As many of you know, I’m a Dave Ramsey fan, and our family has been in the process of working through his steps to financial freedom. Given the amount of student loans still looming over our heads, I listen to his radio show to maintain some sense of hope that we will eventually get these bills paid off.

As I joined millions all over the world, in hoping that the new year could be the launching or renewal of resolutions and goals, I found myself clumping my dreams and goals into different areas of my life: physical, spiritual, intellectual, career, social, financial and family.

In the clip below, Dave talks about these seven areas of life for goal setting-- he calls it the wheel of life. 




As I was making my goals, many mirroring the 101 in 1001 I posted earlier this week, I find myself discouraged already. Its January 15, the first month is half over. I had a goal of writing on this blog, but the longer it takes for me to write, the more intimidated by the process I find it. I feel like I should be brilliant, eloquent, and my prose beautiful. So I upload a picture of my son from Instagram instead.

The cuteness of the kid is nice, but it doesn’t satisfy my need, my craving to create, to write, to share the beauty of the world around me.

A photo posted by Amy (@thecowgirlinthecity) on

I originally planned to write 12 blog posts a month. I’ve changed that goal, and hope to just blog more regularly. 

My goal of going to the gym four times a week is great, but so far, since January 1, I’ve been once.

While I can feel discouraged-- discouraged not only by lofty goals and my inability to fulfill them-- I have to remember that is who I am. I dream big, and I often shoot for the stars. But if I don't try, I'll never succeed. If I don't try to write 12 blogs a month, I'll not write any. If I don't try to lose 25 pounds in 90 days, then I'll never reach even half of that. So I dream. I set big goals. And I'll keep writing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Update on 101 in 2015


Its been a few years, 2 to be exact, but I wanted to revisit my 101 in 1001. I wrote the following 101 goals back in January 2013, so far I've completed 14 of the 101 goals. Whoops, I only have 9 months to finish, so I better get cracking. 

I did this before, back in 2009-2011, completing only 52 of the 101 things on my list. But looking back on it, I was able to get a lot accomplished—especially since that list spanned my first year of law school and pregnancy. This time, on 101 in 1001 Round Two, I think I can do better. Those goals I've completed I've used strikethrough to mark. 
the mission: Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days.
the criteria: Tasks must be specific (i.e., no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (i.e., represent some amount of work on my part).
why 1001 days?: Many people have created lists in the past – frequently simple goals such as new year’s resolutions. The key to beating procrastination is to set a deadline that is realistic. 1001 Days (about 2.75 years) is a better period of time than a year, because it allows you several seasons to complete the tasks, which is better for organizing and timing some tasks such as overseas trips or outdoor activities.
start date: January 1, 2013
end date: September 27, 2015

                 {Health}
1.       Don’t eat fast food for six months
2.      Lose 20 pounds
3.      Do Cardio 4 times a week for 4 months
4.      Lift weights 2 times a week for 3 months
5.      Get below 22 BMI
6.      Complete the Couch to 5K plan
7.      Write down everything I eat for 2 months
8.      Run a 5K
9.      Run a 10K
10.   Complete a Half Marathon
11.    Take two Pilates classes
12.   Attend 20 yoga classes
13.   Attend 24 spinning classes
14.   Buy Mountain Bike

                 {Writing and Reading}
15.   Finish High Desert Novel
16.   Send out to Agents
17.   Read 50 books and blog about them
18.   Read 12 classic books
19.   Read 20 Devotional Books
20.  Read the Bible in One Year
21.   Blog at least 150 times in One Year
22.  Join Writing Group
23.  Join Book Club
24.  Revise Nonfiction Essay Collection
25.  Write 5 additional essays
26.  Submit individual essays for publication
27.  Pitch memoir to agent
28.  Start Novel 3
29.  Complete Writer in Residence at Ms. JD
30.  Organize books
31.   Sell unwanted books
32.  Attend at least 2 Writer's Conferences

                 {Finances}
33.  Open Etsy Store
34.  Follow monthly budget
35.  Live on less than we earn
36.  Pay off Credit Cards
37.  Pay off Husband's Dept. of Ed loan
38.  Pay off Culinary School private loan #1
39.  Pay off my Undergrad Loan #1
40. Pay off my Undergrad Loan #2
41.   Pay off the Silver Escape
42.  Pay off Culinary School private loan #2
43.  Follow Dave Ramsey's Debt Snowball Plan
44. Open Mutual Fund

{Career}
45.  Graduate Law School  (December 2013)
46. Pass the Bar Exam  (May 2014)
47.  Complete 3 additional internships before graduation
48. Set up the Water Law Review blog for success
49. Submit law papers for publication
50.  Attend 3 professional conferences
51.   Write law articles
52.  Submit for publication

{Nesting}
53.  Research Family Genealogy
54.  Scan and Upload old photos
55.  Make Doughnuts from Scratch
56.  Perfect the Chocolate Soufflé
57.  Make Grandma Margie's Biscuits
58.  Make Gingerbread House with Son
59.  Do 25 random romantic things for hubby
60. Learn how to Knit
61.   Knit Christmas stockings
62.  Finish One Block Wonder Quilt
63.  Finish Bargello Quilt
64. Make matching bunk bed quilts
65.  Teach Sonny how to rope and ride
66. Create Emergency Kit
67.  Plant Vegetable Garden
68. Mow lawn weekly all summer
69. Paint downstairs bathroom
70.  Paint office furniture
71.   Paint Office
72.  Paint guest bathroom
73.  Hang Shelves in laundry room
74.  Paint laundry room
75.  Get gas installed in house
76.  Buy Chef gas range for kitchen
77.  Paint Nursery Closet
78.  Paint master bedroom closet
79.  Paint Master Bathroom
80. Install hardwood floors on first floor
81.   Install new kitchen cabinets
82.  Replace Dishwasher
83.  Host Neighborhood party
84. Meet all neighbors

{Travel}
85.  Visit family in Illinois
86. Visit family in New York
87.  Visit friends in Oregon
88. Visit family in Idaho
89. Visit friends in California
90. Visit friends in Boise (May 2014)
91.   Go whitewater rafting in Colorado
92.  Road trip to the Teton Mountains
93.  Road trip to Yellowstone Park
94. Go to Europe
95.  Visit Ireland
96. Kiss Blarney Stone
97.  Eat dinner in Paris
98. Watch Tour de France live
99. Take family camping
100. Go to Disney World
101. Visit the Caribbean again (October 2014)

So what do you think? Have you ever done the 101 in 1001? Why not? 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Announcing: My Etsy Store is Now Open


I have a big announcement today. My Etsy Shop is now open!


I started quilting when I was 16. My Grandma Marge and mom had been invited to join an introduction to quilting class taught by one of the ladies in the community. I don't remember if I asked if I could come with them, or just announced that I was going too, but on the first day of quilt class I showed up with a bag full of jewel toned fabrics and a thirst to create beauty.

Although college and graduate school slowed my quilting down a bit, now I piece together new quilts whenever I have a spare hour. I make quilts to relieve stress, as a therapy of sorts that lets me express my artistic creativity while battling the tensions of my professional career. 

I will donate 10% of all net income to HOPE worldwide, an international charity with a vision to bring hope and change the lives of the world’s most poor, sick, and suffering. Any additional income, after expenses, will go towards paying off my mountain of student debt.

If you have a baby shower coming up, consider picking out one of these unique and handmade quilts to give. Or a perfect Christmas present, if you want to spoil the favorite girl or woman in your life, these quilts also are perfect lap quilts, perfect to cuddle under while reading a good book. 

Check out my shop!  And let me know what you think. Thanks!



Monday, October 27, 2014

Breakfast in Paris Lap Quilt

Last month I finished another quilt, a log cabin quilt I made from some of my favorite fabric ever-- Etchings by 3 Sisters. The fabric, full of architectural elements, maps of Paris, and sweet flowers spoke to that place in my heart that has always longed to see Paris.


In addition to the wonderful designs on the fabric, the colors of grey, aqua, and red are glorious.

As this was such a joy to make, I had to give it to one of my favorite women on her birthday. Sue, a world traveler herself, loves Paris as much as I do (but she actually has been there multiple times). I can easily picture Sue cuddled up in this lap quilt, sipping coffee and reading her Bible in French as she works towards fluency. 

As wonderful it is to make quilts, I think my favorite part is seeing the new owner's face when they unwrap the box and see their new quilt inside.


The colors...

A bit more about the fabric: the Etchings line from 3 Sisters for Moda. This classic French elegance is captured beautifully in this collection of lush botanical designs, some featuring delicate, sinuous line work to coordinate with the engraved architectural print derived from an antique book the Sisters acquired on one of their man flea market jaunts. Damasks and tapestry prints, a range of woven cotton in warm shades of grey stone, aqua, rich red and ivory parchment paper are reminiscent of stepping of the bustling Paris streets into a grand foyer of a historic theater with dramatic draperies and ornate moldings. 

As I was piecing and quilting, I just wanted to fall into the fabric and find myself along the streets of Paris. 


"Breakfast in Paris" - September, 2014


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