Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Coffee Date

It's Friday again and time to link up with the Rags to Stitches Blog for a Coffee Date. Thankfully it has been pretty boring week here at the Gustafson house! We did get news on the house and we have finally found a buyer. We will be closing on our starter home and moving into the home of our dreams on May 30. So this week has been busy with trying to finish projects that are already in progress, and starting the packing process. I am going to have garage sale a couple of weeks before we move so I can get rid of lots! I cannot believe how much we have accumulated over the past 10 years.
Like everything in life, when it rains it pours! Suddenly, I have tons of clients asking for quilts. And they want them before I move! So needless to say, I will be one busy mamma for a while. I cannot turn away quilting projects when I am trying to make a successful business, not to mention the money would be nice to have for my new house. And I know that no matter what happens, we will get through it. I do know for fact that I will have many late nights in the next two months, as I quilt away and pack my life up all during the busiest planting season for my husband!
This first client quilt will hopefully be done this afternoon, a fun rag quilt that I have pieced and am now clipping the edges for the frayed edge. My afternoon will be watching some HGTV and clipping away! (Thank goodness for nap-time)
That's all for now, hope you all have a wonderful week.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Winter Adventures

This past weekend my husband and I ventured out across our family farm on snowshoes. A first for both of us! It is something that I have wanted to try for a lot of my life, and finally I got a chance. We live and grew up right here in the northland of Wisconsin where there is A LOT of snow, why we haven't tried snowshoeing before I don't know. My six year-old daughter has even tried snowshoeing before I got the chance.

We love to do other outdoor activities such as snowmobiling. The winter actually provides us time to do things like this because my husband isn't as busy with work and the farm, and being so cooped up in the house all winter gets old really fast! Snowshoeing was a great way for my husband and I to connect and have a chance for some great conversation. I truly haven't had that much fun and relaxation with my husband in a while.
We ventured out into the woods on the farm where all of the rusty old machinery has been laid to rest over the years. We got to step back in time for a while, enjoy the peace and quiet of God's creation, and imagine what life was like trying to use these old pieces of machinery that seem so rudimentary in comparison to what we now have.

One thing that I really love about snowmobiling or snowshoeing is that you get to see things and places that you typically see from the road, in a different viewpoint. The trails around here usually wind across farm fields and through the back side of most farmsteads.
Most people hide their 'junk', as it tends to be called, behind the shed or in the woods along the back forty. I tend to be quite nosy or curious and like to see the old, junky stuff. The trails allow you to see a little more of that. The trails lead you to places you never knew existed. Past 100 year-old broken down farmsteads that you can't see from the road, even occasional cemeteries from Civil War times I have discovered this way. And I find this fascinating!
Snowmobiling, snowshoeing or just adventuring out just gives me a different point of view to the place that I call home.

What do your adventures look like?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Celebrating National Ag Day!

Today is National Ag Day!
Farmers work very hard to provide a healthy and sustainable food source for all of America and beyond.
Take some time out of your day to thank a farmer and celebrate agriculture!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Coffee Date

Happy Spring to you all! This has been once again a busy and challenging week in the Gustafson home. It may be spring, but we are still buried in snow here in northern Wisconsin, the temps have been warmer thankfully.
Once again it is time to link up to Rags to Stitches blog for the weekly Friday Coffee Date. 
I spent much of last week and the weekend at a quilt retreat just outside of Paynesville, MN, about 2 1/2 hours from home. I had a wonderful time, enjoyed some wonderful fellowship and caught up with some great friends. I finished only two of the three projects that I had prepared to do because I just ran out of time. My little baby bug wasn't feeling well, so I ended up coming home a day early.

The above quilt is one quilt that I did complete last weekend. It is a Mini Swoon quilt designed by Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms. It was a fun project, and I can't wait to get it quilted and hanging in my dining room. It is just perfect for spring.

I also made this quilt, and I used Scrumptious fabric also from Camille Roskelley of Thimble Blossoms. The fabric is beautiful and again perfect for spring. I wrote my own pattern for this quilt and hope to get the finishing touches on that soon. I might just make some changes to this and add some cornerstones to break up all of the white. I just haven't decided for sure. The other thing that I can't decide on for this quilt is the name. Any suggestions out there?

And finally, this is what is next: a rag quilt for a client. I have never made a rag quilt so it is fun to try something new for someone else. It is going to bright and fun!

Well, that's all for now. I am hoping for a quiet week around here along with more quilting progress. I have so many quilts that I want to make, and not enough time to make them all. Once I get the few projects completed that I have going right now, I will have to get busy cleaning and packing as we have finally sold our house and plan on moving around Memorial Weekend. I also would like to have a garage sale in the end of April to get rid of lots of stuff!
I pray that you all have a wonderful week.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Coffee Date

Once again it is Friday, and once again I am writing this post from a few hours away from home. Its time for my weekly link up with Rags to Stitches. I am quilting away at a retreat this weekend in Paynesville, MN at a resort called Bug Bee. This resort is so nice, I have even been able to relax in the pool and hot tub and sooth the back ache from bending over my machine. It has been several REALLY late nights, but I am almost done with a challenging quilt pattern. I can't wait until it is all done so I can show pictures of it. I am with the great friends, eating way too much delicious food, really relaxing and enjoying this getaway.
 It will sure be nice to get home on Sunday though, as I really miss all of my sweet loves at home, but this is a really nice break from life (not that I needed another break, as I have been gone a lot) and it feels really great to get something done. Well, that's it for now and I need to get back to sewing away, so you all have a wonderful week!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Quilts, Quilts...and more Quilts!

First of all, I hope you like all the new look to the blog, I was really ready for a change. It was in need of a new look, something bright, springy, and fun. The old barn wood just wasn't doing it for me anymore.

Speaking of spring, it is on its way, or at least I hope so. It is 50 degrees out right now, and I am sitting here writing with my windows open. It has been a really long winter here in northern Wisconsin. Although I am sure we will get one more big dump of a snow storm here, we always seem to get one in March, after we had a little glimmer of spring. Last year May seemed like our typical March. We got dumped with 17" of snow in May 17 and still had snow on Memorial weekend.
But enough about winter, I have two major things on my mind this week, and that is the amazingly warm temps, and quilts! I am leaving in less than two days for a quilt retreat, and am really excited. I have some really fun projects ready to work on. So since I have quilting on my brain, I thought I would post some more pictures of a few of the quilts that I have made over the years.

I love to venture out once or twice a year and use our farm as a fun background for my pictures. I love the old buildings, fences, rust and chippy paint. It makes for some beautiful scenery. So I load up the trusty old John Deere Gator with my quilts, and usually my husband too, and trek out across the farm to get pictures like these.

  Did you notice that not one picture has snow in it?
I don't know that last time that happened...

And they remind me that spring is almost here...
And the grass will be green...
And there won't be a cloud in the sky...

The corn will be knee high by the 4th of July...

And soon this grain bin will be filled to the brim from the fall harvest... or so we hope.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Coffee Date


It's Friday once again. Time for my weekly Coffee Date link up with the Rags to Stitches blog. I don't have a whole lot of anything new to share. It has been pretty quiet week in the Gustafson house. Last weekend we were down in Madison playing at a waterpark while Neil was at meetings. Sadly Olivia came home with the stomach flu, which is not the way we wanted to end a vacation, but we all enjoyed the waterpark and catching up with friends.

This is just one of my favorite pictures of Caroline from last weekend. She looks like a big girl here, despite the fact that she is kind of shrimpy!
This week I did a post and linked up with the Dove #BeautyIs campaign. I took a no make-up selfie and gave my definition of what true beauty is to me. That was a lot fun. I am really starting to get in to these link-up blogs.
I have been busy cutting away at fabric, getting a some projects ready for the quilting retreat I am going on next week. I am excited to have 5 days of pure quilting bliss! I hope to get 2 full sized quilts pieced, 1 mini quilt, and also dabble in a few other projects. It is amazing when you have 5 days with no interruptions how much you can get done.

This coming weekend we have absolutely nothing planned, which is really nice for a change. I have a couple of errands to run tomorrow morning, a last minute trip to the quilt shop, pick up some groceries, and I know Neil wants to do some work on his new truck, other than that, we will be spending our weekend hanging out with the girls.

Pretty boring week around here, so that's all for now. I do hope to get a post or two up next week while I am gone, but I am not positive what the internet is going to be like, so there is no guarantees.

I pray that you all have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Dove's #BeautyIs Campaign

Well, here is! I have bared myself for the Dove #BeautyIs campaign. I am just getting into taking 'selfies', let alone taking ones without make-up on, so this is WAY out of my comfort zone. But I have learned a lot about true beauty lately, and more about judging others. 
As a society we are great at point out flaws in everything. Like the acne broken out all over my face, or the crazy hair that I didn't do anything with for the day. However that is not at all what most people see, and certainly not what they will remember you by.
I was recently in a situation where I judged someone just based on first impression, from what they looked like from across a room. I thought that this person didn't fit who I wanted to include in my life just purely based off of what she looked like. Well, God had a different plan, and He used my own judgment to show me His grace.
The person I was judging showed me nothing but grace despite the judgment I showed her. She prayed for me and truly loves me because I am a child of God, not because of how I look or dress. And now I can't imagine my life without this amazing person, and has truly been a blessing in my life. She showed my just how powerful God's grace is. I certainly did not deserve grace from this person, I deserved judgment, just as I showed to her, but that is not at all what I received from her. She showed me that God does that same thing for everyone.  I do not deserve His grace and love, I deserve His judgment. But yet He still loves me, and sent His only Son to die for my sins, and judgments, just as he does for everyone.
What people will remember about you is certainly not the acne, hair or any other physical ailment. But they will remember the grace and love that you showed to them in whatever situation they meet you through.  Whether it is a clerk at the grocery store, a classmate or co-worker, they will remember your attitude and your actions, and through that you have the power to touch someone with God's underserved Grace.
The way in which you show God's Grace to others is what True Beauty is to me.