modern maples quilt

last year, since i was super pregnant, when the modern maples craze swept the quilt world, i opted to just make a few small placemats for our family.

this year, i started seeing them pop up in instagramland and i knew that i just had to make a quilt this time around. with no projects on my plate, i assembled a stack of low volume fabrics and pretty much all of my oranges, yellows, reds and browns. i would throw in purple later.

then i got to work. it came together quickly. the blocks are big and fast.

and here’s the finished quilt.

i don’t LOVE the backing. but it was extra wide (108″) and i didn’t have to do any piecing. i walked out of the store with it at 10:45 and had my quilt basted at 11:45. plus it worked out to be way cheaper. i do like the binding, though. :)

since i like the light in the corner by my front door, a pick of the folded up quilt on a chair. :)

so. that’s all for now.
thanks for reading. :)

making things with my bare hands ,

halloween twentyfourteen.

our first halloween with three kiddos. well, three kiddos in the outside world. last year, i got to drag my fat, pregnant butt around the neighborhood. this year, i was just fat. ha.

we had dinner at five. got dressed and ready. and then acted like crazy people until it was socially acceptable to begin asking people for candy.

isaac chose the red power ranger. (actually, he deferred to my judgement, when i went to costco to search for costumes for him and hazel. i was between captain america and the power ranger. anna assured me that he would like power rangers better, and she was right.) anna made a last minute switch from princess elsa to princess anna, “because my hair isn’t the right color for elsa”… i was actually glad, because there were approximately 30 elsas roaming our neighborhood. we never saw another anna.

hazel was a monkey. it suits her personality. the tail was the best.

my pretty princess.

demonstrating the twirl.

isaac is the world’s best big brother to hazel. anna would likely disagree.

all the lid kids. ready to go.

the instagram version.

goofy princess anna.

the world’s cutest monkey. seriously. but i’m biased.

some of the houses in our neighborhood went all out. i wish i took more pics. but, i took this.

trick or treat action shot. hazel tried to steal a pumpkin.

initially, i took anna and hazel out. isaac wanted to hand out candy. that got boring so derek brought him to us. we walked and walked and walked and then called him to pick us up. i don’t know why it took me so many years to figure out this plan and avoid the horrible, end-of-night, whining, tired-of-walking kiddos.

they came home. we watched great pumpkin. ate massive amounts of candy. and crashed. all sticky and gross.

now. onto christmas!!! (just kidding).

lid kid everyday life , , ,

lazy five ranch.

a few days (weeks) ago, our friend stephanie invited us to go to lazy 5 ranch with her family. they had won some tickets and couldn’t use them all and anna and kaylin are super good friends and we’ve never been, so we gladly took them up on their offer. poor isaac missed out, because he was in school, but he’s not really into these sorts of activities anyways. lest you question my parenting.

i have a million pics. i picked about 30 for this post.
hope you can make it through.

first up, some autumn themed decor posing.



then, on to the ginormous stack of hay. complete with tunnels. (that’s stephanie’s husband, tony, crawling through a tunnel).


the kiddos on top.

cute friends hiding in a tunnel.

hazel raced through a tunnel. :)

hazel was enamored with the huge display of pumpkins and squashes and gourds.

cute girls.

the corn pit.

we were cutting it a bit tight for getting to our wagon ride in time, so we took a quick stroll through the dying pumpkin patch.


and then. the wagon ride. it was hard for good pics. had to act fast. and the angles were tough.
here’s a bison, up close and personal.

anna was super good at feeding the animals. the llamas would run alongside the wagon, hoping for handouts.

these were anna’s favorite animals. i can’t remember what they are.

the ostriches were aggressive.


the giraffes were the highlight.






we had to shoo these guys away. apparently they get spooked and then like to get their horns (antlers?) stuck in the wagon rails. not good. they wanted in on some of the feeding action.

so. these big giant holstein cows. they were massive.

and had tongues as big as my arm. later, anna was sitting in her seat, with her back to the animals, and one of the cows began to lick the side of her head. it was both disgusting and hilarious. she had so much cow saliva in her hair. but she was giggling about it.

hazel didn’t make it through the wagon ride, and slept peacefully while we had lunch and then walked around to some of the other animals.

the older girls loved feeding the sheeps and goats.

then, we happened upon a couple of super tiny baby goats. they could stick their heads all the way through the fence. so, the girls spent the rest of their food and time pampering them.

and then, we were worn out. and piled back in the minivan and headed out. adventure completed.

lid kid adventures , , , , ,

october happenings.

another very random post of very unexciting happenings…

chick fil a visit.

this goon.

we are in the “get into boxes and baskets” stage.

isaac had his school fundraiser. the boosterthon fun run.

some halloween themed sugary cereals. throwback to my childhood.

school picture day. handsome ike agreed to don a tie.

this baby. barely needs us anymore.

derek and isaac went on a camping trip. so we made pumpkin pancakes. my little helpers.

we also made bacon.

hazel and isaac were soooo excited to be reunited after the camping weekend.

grocery shopping helpers.

isaac is in love. with a little girl in his class. so sweet. he responded to her invitation to her birthday party in this letter.

this kid. always wrecking.

and then we made pumpkin muffins.

no eggs in pumpkin muffins. so, some salmonella free batter licking by hazel. she approved.

last year, i made some modern maple mug rugs. i regretted not making an entire quilt. so, this year, after just finishing up a pile of quilts, i decided to turn this pile of fabric into a modern maple quilt.

tattoos for the girls. matchy rainbows. hazel seems proud. but can you be proud of a temporary tattoo at 10 months old?

anna used a whole sheet.

ugh. a jury summons. for the day after my birthday. also, the day after i get back from a weekend retreat at the beach. also, annoying because i have small children. also, annoying on so many other levels.

we haven’t watched this as often this year as we have in years past. (we’ve watched a lot of curious george halloween boo fest. and chipmunks halloween.)

the grump. in timeout.

scored a boatload of good fabric at a sale at sewingly yours. had to take a pic. obviously.

derek left for a work trip and anna gave endless hugs.

and then watched sadly as he pulled out for the four days away.

hazel the almost somersaulter.

sixteen modern maples.

and now. for some tragedy. we were outside playing. the kids were chasing and catching chickens. i was feeding and watering them and playing with hazel. then, the kids loaded the most favorite remaining chicken (sarahpowers) into the wagon and pulled her around the yard. i snapped this pic of them all. just before things took a terrible turn for the worst…
…the chicken jumped out and ran off. anna gave chase. caught her tail. she began squawking and flailing. which sent lucy into a murderous chicken killing rampage. she bolted across the yard and ripped it open and ravaged it. all right before anna’s innocent little eyes. it was horrible. anna was inconsolable. when i pulled lucy off, she went after me (a bit, mostly because she just wanted back at the chicken). hazel was teetering at the top of the deck stairs. isaac was screaming and crying.

anyhow. needless to say. my kids are still sad. and they HATE lucy right now. and i’m not super happy with her. i’m keeping a close watch on her, making sure her newfound love of killing doesn’t translate into being more aggressive with kiddos. she ran away yesterday and rolled in something terrible, so she’s been outside and in the basement, mostly. but, once i can bathe her and she’s allowed around us, she’d better be on her best behavior.

ok. that’s all about that.

derek and i had a saturday lunch before he went out of town. and we stopped at a greek grocery store on the way home. and i got some baklava. sadly, no one in my family wanted any, so i had to eat it all…

and. then. here’s just a boring picture. of everyday life. breakfast. after ike was off to school.

matchy sisters. anna picked the outfits. she LOVES matching with hazel.

while derek was gone, i let the kids sleep in the bed with me. they were super cute and piled on top of each other. to start the night. by the end, i had barely slept. they had argued all night. and anna kicked me in the back a zillion times. she likes to sleep perpendicular to everyone else. the slept in their rooms for the last night.

orange day. this kid has school spirit.

and. that’s all for now.

lid kid everyday life , , , , , , , ,


fall is in full swing and leaves are filling up our backyard.
so, obviously, we made a pile for the kids to jump in.
and by we, i mean derek.

contemplating their strategy.

as always, anna preferred to just sit in the leaves with her stuffed animals and bury herself and play pretend.

isaac stomped around and disrupted the state of things, and jumped off the swing.

and anna continued to play delightfully.

then there was swinging. and we threw lucy’s toys deep into the pile and then laughed hysterically as she flopped around sniffing them out. this was before she went on a murderous chicken killing spree. when we still liked her.

some high swing action. (anna has learned to swing on her own in the last week. she’s very proud of this new skill.)

and ike. trying to go as high as he could.


the obvious next course of action was to dismount from the swing at it’s highest point and learn that leaf piles are way less cushiony than one might be lead to believe.

but it made for some good pics.

and he doesn’t mind plummeting to the hard ground.

leaf throwing by anna.

and. of course derek had to blow the leaves from behind her. what good is a leaf blower if you can’t annoy your kids with it?

that’s all. super fun leafy day with the older kiddos. (hazel napped through this entire adventure).
and i’m sure there will be more next weekend.
stay tuned.

lid kid everyday life , , , ,

isaac and derek’s very first ever cub scout camping trip.

i wasn’t there. so i don’t know much. but here are the pics that derek took and shared.

the excited camper.

bidding farewell. (i was there for this).

setting up. in the rain.


i’m told isaac spent most of his spare time in the creek. and since it rained most of the weekend, it didn’t really affect the amount of wet clothes.

muddy butt.


camping neighborhood.

isaac’s and derek’s home. complete with cover, this time.


breakfast setup.


cub scout selfies.




the lego “station”.

lego selfie.

painting lego men.

the finished product.

and more lego-ing.

walking stick “decorating”. $$.

big jenga.

muddy camper.

soap carving. with a plastic butter knife.

of course, isaac made minecraft guys.

um. there was a slush puppie machine. had i known that, i would have offered to go instead.


they had a great time. good father son bonding time. and they brought me back a TON of muddy laundry to keep me busy after my nice, peaceful, quiet weekend with the girls.

lid kid adventures , , ,

four quilts for four sisters.

i’ve been on a finishing up quilts rampage this month. mostly because hazel sleeps.
and because they’ve all come together at the same time. but mostly the sleeping.

i started making these quilts for my friend brie’s THREE daughters. she had just found out she was pregnant with her fourth, so i cut and planned (under the color guidance of brie) for four quilts. i figured if she had a boy, i would just hang on to the fourth and give as a gift or something. but, she obviously had another girl, so i just chugged along.

i finished the first (just) in time for her baby shower.

the backs are all the same aside from being personalized with a monogram. i pressure brie into giving up the baby’s initial, and she finally did with about a week to spare. (m is for martha).

after i got the first one done, i took a break to finish the clothes quilts for joy and the two hexie quilts for my girls and then i got back at it.

finally, last week, i wrapped up production and delivered the rest of the set of four (and visited baby martha) (and ate delicious greek lunch with brie).

i love this pic:

since they are mostly the same (patchwork in all the same fabrics), i just took pics of the monograms on the backs.




oh. and i did take one more pic. a crooked one. on the floor in the kitchen. if you want to see the other two, just scramble the squares around in your mind, and you’ll get a good idea.

and lastly, a crinkly shot. because that’s the best.

brie has reported back that the girls love them.
and i’ve resolved to never make four matching patchwork quilts at one time for the rest of my life.

the end.

making things with my bare hands ,

matchy matchy quilts for my girlzzz

awhile back, when i first laid eyes on it, i bought a fat quarter bundle of wee wander fabric (by sarah jane studios) to make quilts for anna and hazel. i didn’t really have a plan, but i knew i wanted to make matching quilts in each of the colorways. i decided on a free pattern/tutorial for a giant hexie quilt by pieces by polly.

so, without further ado:


the pink is anna’s (she chose) and the aqua is hazel’s (she doesn’t care).

the full view.


while i was working on them, i wasn’t in love with the pink. but anna LOVES it. so, i’m good with it. i found the coordinating solids on a site that matched them up for wee wander for me (after coming up short on a day long search in my local shops).

i super love the backs. i ordered extra yardage of the border print and used it along the bottoms. i had hoped for some ikea number fabric for the top, but it’s all sold out everywhere, so i used this circle flat sheet i scored in the as-is section of ikea awhile back. for $6. i got both backs from it, with some to spare!


i quilted an all over meander, because it’s my go to. and i bound in some of the feather fabric from the line. i bought the binding long before i knew what pattern i would be using and before i chose the background fabrics. in the end, i wished i had chosen a color that would pop more, but i didn’t want to wait for more fabric. or spend more money. so, the binding is a close match to the background. i’ll live, i suppose.

anyhoooo. i’m super excited to have these quilts for the sisters. hopefully someday they will appreciate them too. (anna does, a little. :))

now, i am have three completed tops and backs to get together for a friend, and i’ll be through my pile of works in progress. (except for my feathers quilt, which is on the way farthest back backburner that ever existed).

the end.

making things with my bare hands , ,

ten months.

yesterday, hazel reached the ripe old age of ten months. i attempted photoshoots in various locations, but she is a kid on the go, so we struggled.

she’s picked up a lot of tricks in the last month. she just started responding to the age old question, “how big is hazel??” (answer: “sooooo big” with arms raised).


she can wave goodbye. and has started saying “what’s that?” and “uh oh”. so fun. and she’s fully mobile, having made the transition from an occasional walker but mostly crawler to full time walker. she’s getting faster and faster and more stable by the day. so, i suppose she’s a toddler, but i will still be calling her a baby. probably for the rest of her life. she is always on the go. she does not like to be held. at all. she’s super busy getting into and wrecking all the things. and she really is the happiest baby of the three so far.

the other SUPER AMAZING thing that has happened in the last month is…

almost overnight, she’s started taking two solid naps a day, for at least an hour and thirty minutes. we can sort of even plan around them. it’s glorious, i tell you. glorious.

and nighttime. so much better. it used to take hours to get her down. now, she has a bottle. we lie her down. and for the most part she goes to sleep. sometimes she cries a bit and we have to calm her a few times, but mostly, she’s a champ.

i think it’s a combination of things. one. our school schedule has settled in a bit. two. we moved her to our closet. it’s dark. and quiet. and i don’t hear minor noises. and she doesn’t hear or see us as we pass through. three. i had that hospitalization thing. and i think derek was more able to let her cry for a few minutes than i could ever be.

anyhow. it’s been so awesome. it was nine very long months of wondering what we were doing wrong. how long it would be like this. if we would ever get a good nights sleep or get a routine to our days. we are quite happy. i didn’t realize how stressed out i actually was about it until it was gone.

we tried for an outdoor pic…

and then with derek’s help, we took an above shot on a quilt, like the good old newborn days. it lasted about 3 seconds, before she rolled over, stood up and toddled away.

finally. a pic with the proud older sister. :)

i can’t believe it’s been 10 months already. time is flying on this third time around.

lid kid everyday life , ,

gramma schiavone. (aka: peter gramma)

the night before last, my dad called to tell me that my gramma (kay) schiavone was not doing well. and that she may not make it through the night. she had even called her kids all in and said goodbye. i knew she wasn’t doing great. that she had gone in for a knee replacement a month or so ago, and she was having trouble breathing, so they postponed it, sent her to rehab and that instead of going home she was staying with my uncle and his girlfriend as she recovered. but she always bounces back from these things. so the call was worrisome.

then. in the morning. my dad called to say that she had, in fact, passed away in the night. she was tired. and she knew.

like it always goes, floods of memories come rushing back. and i wanted to record some of them. just like i did four-ish years ago when her husband, my grampa schiavone died. that post is here.

growing up, both sets of grandparents (and some cousins and my dad after my parents separated) all lived about a quarter of a mile down the road from my house, all in a little row of houses. we spent a lot of time racing between houses and in the woods behind the houses. my gramma’s house was filled with owls. and so much seventies macrame. and velvety wall hangings. to distinguish between my two geographically close grandparents, i began to call my grampa schiavone “peter grampa” as peter was his first name. and so, naturally, i called my gramma schiavone “peter gramma”. makes total sense. don’t worry, i eventually dropped that moniker, for the more efficient “grams”.

she had the best handwriting. i remember her doing calligraphy. and attempting to teach me. all of our christmas cards and birthday cards had the most perfect inscriptions. i was often saddened in more recent years, when the kids would receive cards, with the familiar handwriting, but more and more shaky and wiggly each time.

now that i think about it, she was the original pinterest mom. she could bake and decorate cakes. crochet. cook ridiculous feasts. embroider. quilt. probably a lot more that was lost on me and my youth. she did attempt to teach me to crochet. i was super good at making one long continuous first row. i never quite managed to make a second row. (and that hold true to this day.)

when i was still pretty small, i don’t exactly know when, she and my gramps became snowbirds. they moved to florida in the winter months and parked a camper at a local campground in the summer. me and my cousins spent so much time at that campground. my gramma could take care of like 20 people without showing a single sign of being stressed. she had five kids. (within like 10 years, i think). and then each of those kids had two kids, giving her 10 grandchildren. and growing up, it seemed like there were always at least 2/3 of all of those people at her house.

as the years went on, they stopped coming up to the campground. my dad moved to florida. and i would see them once a year when we went to florida on our summer vacation. but then, even that faded. sadly, i have very few memories of her from my high school and college years. except for one year. in 1997. she pulled off an amazing feat. and got every last one of her kids and grandkids together for what would end up being the last time. on christmas, no less. it was crazy. and chaotic.

since college, i have been to florida only a handful of times. gramma definitely appeared to get older and older, but she didn’t act it. i’m pretty sure all of her joints from the hips down were made of metal. she was bionic. she survived breast cancer. but, she just kept going strong. i think that’s why this all comes as a bit of a surprise.

[side note about the breast cancer. she survived. and then went on to purchase any and all items with a pink ribbon on them. i remember she had pink handled scissors, notepads and pens. and once while i was shopping with her, she selected a (giant) bottle of wine because it came with a breast cancer key chain.]

finally, i’m not sure where this part fits into the chronological account… but i feel like it needs mentioning. it was a well known fact that my gramma loved her pink wine. there was always a box or two of franzia wine and plastic cocktail cups available for anyone to join in. it was the perfect pairing to my gramps love of cheap beer.

it’s weird. because now that i’m typing this out, i don’t have a ton of super specific memories about her, like i did my grampa. but, i think that’s because she was more likely the one always around, running the show, and he got to be the fun character who did wacky things. she was “the rock” of the schiavone family, for sure.

it’s a sad time.
and i hope she’s chillin’ with gramps, with a box of pink wine and a can of miller high life.
love you grams.

(and now. some pics.)

my gramma and gramps and their five kiddos. the little guy is my dad.

a few years later. (this was before my gramps decided that he wasn’t on board with being bald.)

gramma and grampa, chillin’ with baby me in the 70s.  note the sweet velvet wall hanging.
and the cool instagram filter inspiration.

gramps.  and his beer.  and me and grams.  :)

grams. au natural.

this pic summarizes so much of how i remember her.  she was always wrangling all of her grandchildren.  i’m not sure what this cousin of mine got into, but i can just hear gramma barking at him and telling him “i wouldn’t have to do this if you hadn’t gotten all muddy” as he complained about the cold hose water.

i forgot this part of the story.  most christmasses, leslie and i received matching gifts.  one year, we got quilted cat pillows (mine was blue and leslies was brown).  and on this particular year, it was matching sweaters, leg warmers and moon boots.  (the next picture shows the full ensemble, but please take a moment to note another velvet wall hanging and a complementary macrame, um, circle thing).

seriously.  i wish i still had this outfit.  you know.  in my size.scan0012b

(one year ALL of the grandkids got the same powder blue sweat suit. somewhere, there’s a super awesome picture floating around, of all of us on a couch, in our matchy suits and fingers and faces smeared with bright orange cheeseball residue).

grams portrait.

me and the grams.  early nineties.  velour track suit.  glass of wine.  scan0010a

derek’s first meeting. early 2004. gramps. grams. my dad. me. derek.

gramma and anna. i love this pic. this is when we went to florida in 2011 for my grampa’s memorial service.

then, we went back a year later. we were going to disney with derek’s parents, and we made a little side trip to visit family again.

she took anna on many trips around the trailer park on the walker-scooter-cart thing.

sadly, that was our last visit. sigh.

(i’m posting this without proofreading. i’m sure it will make no sense.)

we are (extended) family ,