Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Flurry is here!

It feels like it's been a million years since I started this quilt!

In reality, it's only been about five months.  Still, that's a really long time!

I'm so very, very excited to share that Flurry is finally finished!  Without further ado ... here she is:

If you'd like to make your own snuggly winter quilt, the pattern is available in both our etsy and craftsy shops.  Instructions are included for three different finished sizes and the pattern includes a blank "coloring quilt" to play around with fabric choices.  The fabric used in the sample is Indigo Patchwork by Connecting Threads - as of this afternoon, most of the prints were still available!

I normally photograph my quilts in our backyard, or at the local park, but it just so happened that a few days after I got the finished quilt top back from my wonderful Long-Arm Quilter, Fran, we were heading up to Tahoe with our bestie cousins so that our {combined} four little munchkins could play in the snow.  As I was furious working on the binding in the car while driving up HWY 80, I was so excited about getting to photograph the quilt in an actual wintery setting!  But ... as we drove higher and higher ... the scenery wasn't changing at all.  In fact, when we hit Donner Summit, there was not a single patch of snow to be found!

Just to look at the hill top in the background of the photo below!  It looks more like August than January!!

I was sooooo disappointed!  I knew we were having a record dry year, but deep down, I think I expected at least a powdered sugar dusting and some snow patches in the shade!  I settled for taking some photos from our townhouse balcony and figured that would be as close as it would get.

Luckily, the following morning, after two hours of driving around, we finally found some snow near the Mt. Rose summit! 

After much goofing around with the kiddos, I was able to sneak in a quick couple of pictures before we headed back to our cabin for lunch!

Satisfied ... I packed the quilt away in the car for the trip home.  But, as we were bundling the kids upstairs for naps, we happened to glance outside and see that we had actual snow flurries!!!

It was so great!  After snapping a couple more pictures from our deck ...

I took the quilt back upstairs and snuggled down under it with my not-so-little man.  Let me tell you, it was the best way to spend an afternoon - cuddled up with a dozing toddler under a warm, cozy quilt, watching the snow softly fall outside.

When we woke up, I had my snow dusted vista ... 

... and the kiddies had their very own snow park in our cul-de-sac.

I loved this quilt before we left, but now it's all wrapped up in snuggly, happy, wintery memories too!

A giant thank you goes out to Heidi at DIY and Live to Tell for testing our pattern in a week flat.  You rock, lady! And your quilt is gorgeous!!!
Photo courtesy of Heidi @ http://diyandlivetotell.blogspot.com/
Photo courtesy of Heidi @ http://diyandlivetotell.blogspot.com/
I love, love, love seeing your photos of our patterns!  You can share them in our Flickr group or on Instagram, using #CorasQuilts.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Celebrate Quilt Pattern

We've updated our Celebrate quilt pattern to include instructions for three different quilt sizes!

Now, in addition to the 41" x 41" wall-hanging size ...

... we've included instructions for a lap size (65" x 65" ...

... and a queen size (89" x 89").

If you've purchased the pattern from our Craftsy store, the new version is ready to be downloaded.  If you've purchased the pattern from our Etsy store, you'll be receiving the updated .pdf file by email through your etsy verified address.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Design Wall Monday

After {slowly} recovering from the holiday season ... and then the nasty cold bug making its way around town ... I managed to sit down at the sewing machine for a few minutes over the weekend.

It's so rare to find myself between projects!  I have huge fabric orders landing any day now for some spring projects, so I really didn't want to get invested in a new project that will have to be set aside in a few days.

I originally hadn't planned on sewing at all, but while attempting to clean out my closet, I came across this quilt that was just missing a few borders.  Perfect way to complete a project without investing a lot of time!

As I was scanning through my closet, I discovered quite a few quilt tops that are finished but haven't been quilted.  With my two little ones, I just don't have the time right now, but I'm needing to make room for new projects.  Over the next few days,  I'll be listing some of them for sale in our shop in the hopes that they'll find a good home.  If you're interested, email me at CorasQuilts{at}gmail{dot}com.  Most quilts tops will come with coordinating binding, and some even with backing.

For even more quilty love, stop by Patchwork Times to see more design walls from blogland.  Happy sewing!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Help Wanted!

Greetings Fair Readers!

I'm hoping to solicit some help with my upcoming pattern releases!

I have a number of projects in various stages of completion and am in need of some lovely friends to help out with pattern testing!  You could either test a few blocks or make an entire project!  I'd love to give you credit and feature your project here on our blog, or respect your anonymity, if so desired.

If you're interested, please email me at: CorasQuilts{at}gmail{dot}com with a little bit of information about yourself (what type of projects you like to work on, your favorite color schemes, your availability, etc).

Thanks so much in advance!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cora's Stash

I just realized that it's been forever since I did a Cora's Stash feature!  Here are some of the goodies currently available in our shop!  And, in celebration of finishing our yearly inventory ahead of schedule, US residents can use the coupon code: 112233 for free shipping from now until 1/12/14!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, from our family to yours!

Photo by Leann Marie Photography
With two little ones running around ... ok, more like one running and one inching along like a worm at alarming speeds ... our Holiday season was chaotic, but joyful!

Photo by Leann Marie Photography
I am happy, though, to be putting away the holiday decorations and looking towards the year ahead.  I've really been enjoying reading through all of the year-in-review posts {at like 3 in the morning, while my littlest man is feeling like chattering, rather than sleeping} from all my favorite blogs.  It was my intention to share a similar post, but in reality that's just not going to happen with life as it is right now... it would take me until March to get one together.  Instead, I'd like to share a few thoughts and hopes for 2014.

I've always loved yoga, but it wasn't until recently that I started practicing regularly.  I knew after my first drenching week of Bikram classes that not only was I hooked, but that the peace and harmony my practice was bringing to my soul and my family was going to be life changing!

I had already been toying with the idea of using Balance as my word for 2014, but then I came across this amazing post by Sarah Jane, likening the family-work-self balancing act to Tree pose.  If you haven't read it ... please take a moment ... I'll wait! :)

When you're in Tree pose, the only way to achieve balance and stillness is to constantly keep your foot moving.  Sarah Jane says,
The way you achieve balance [in life], is by constantly moving from one thing to the next, but always rotating around your center core of beliefs.
When you have your priorities in line, when you are focused on what are THE most important things in your life, you are free to shift from this thing to that, because you ALWAYS rotating around your center.
Picture by Sarah Jane Studios

Such a powerful idea - thank you so much to Sarah Jane for saying it so eloquently!  Like so many other Moms/Business Owners, I often struggle to find a way to juggle kids, husband, self, and work. Peace and harmony, however chaotic, can be found by keeping my family at the center and letting whatever is important enough fall into place around them, while letting those not so important things drift off to the sidelines (or even just fall away).

The Bikram yoga practice consists of 26 different yoga poses, done twice each in a 105 degree room with 30%-60% humidity.  The first half of the poses are standing poses, and one of the last poses before moving to the floor routine is Tree pose.  While I'm not great at it {yet} it's one of my favorite poses for several reasons.  After working through the ten rigorous previous poses, it's a signal that the hardest part (at least to me) of class is almost over, and that corpse pose - a much needed half-way resting point - is just ahead!  It always reminds me a bit of bedtime struggles, knowing that a possibility of a few minutes of peace is almost within reach.

It's also the point in class, while we're all balancing, dripping in sweat, that our teacher always says the same three words:

It's a reminder of what we should have foremost in our minds throughout practice, and I think throughout daily life as well ... so I'm choosing them as my words for 2014!

I'm learning that it's important to focus as much as possible on the task at hand, whether it's dishes, tea parties, or just changing diapers.  Too often, I find myself running around trying to do seven chores or write three patterns, while loading the dishwasher and having a Sesame Street dance party.  In the end, everything takes twice as long to do and I don't to a very great job at any of it.  I think I've been trying to learn this lesson for years!

At the same time, I often forget to stop and catch my breath ... and simply enjoy the moment at hand.  Deep down, I know my kiddies won't be little forever and I need to remember to enjoy every second of it that I can.  Spending time goofing around with hubby and the boys is never, ever time wasted.  I also need to remember to stop and breathe when life gets chaotic and stressful.  Sometimes that single action can make all the difference!

Lastly, it's important to take opportunities for stillness and self-care in our whirlwind life.  This is, perhaps, the single hardest lesson of motherhood for me.  Taking time to sit and read a book, or leaving for two hours to attend a yoga class, used to seem like a cop-out or selfish indulgence.  I'm learning, though, that I take much, much better care of my family if I spend a little time taking care of myself.  It's not indulgence - it's healthy and sane. :)

So those are my thoughts and goals for the upcoming year.  With that, I'd like to thank you for making our first year as Cora's Quilts such a success and pleasure!  I look forward to continuing to make great friends and sharing our many adventures in the year{s} to come!