Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Warrior Dash 2012 - More Fun Than People Should be Allowed to Have

So if you follow my blog, you know that I started running last December. I've been slowly progressing, and have run a number of 5ks. I try to sign up for races that will motivate me and be fun, not just grueling. I don't know who suggested it originally, but I signed up for the Warrior Dash early this summer.

For those of you who may not know, the Warrior Dash is a 5k, with an obstacle course built into the middle of it. It is known for mud, and racers getting completely covered and filthy. It is a huge national race that is held in many cities, all over the country, with the proceeds benefitting the St. Jude foundation. Good cause to get dirty for, right??

The race was this Saturday, and my cousin Amy drove from New York to join us. Here we are at the beginning of the race...clean. (I'm on the far right).

The waves of runners started every 1/2 hour. The race started out easy enough...3/4 mile of normal running...but then...the first obstacle.

It was a sea of old tires on the ground, leading up to a row of junked cars. You had to maneuver through the tires, and up over the cars. Tricky, but fun.

Then came the climbing. The walls were high...some as high as 20 feet. With just a rope, a few foot holds and your friends cheering behind you. We army crawled under barbed wire. We clambered up sand hills, and through mucky, smelly water in the woods. We jumped over rows of fire. And then...came the mud.

The last obstacle was a 15 yard crawl through soupy, thick mud. But there was that darn barbed wire again above you, so you had to get on your hands and knees, and wade through it.

Here we are at the end. Not looking quite the same are we??

It really was a lot of fun. Fantastic ego boost. Wonderful way to support and encourage friends to push through things they think they can't do. I loved it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Designer BOM #4 - LOVE

I don't know what it is about these...but I cannot WAIT to put them together when they arrive in the mail. I got mine on Thursday, so this is probably the longest I've taken to finish my block.

This month's Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Designer BOM is designed by the wonderfully talented Aneela Hoey.

This is my favorite block so far. I know it's a little thing, but I love that the red pattern is cut both ways so that it's always facing the same way when the block is finished.

Besides doing this block this weekend, I ran in the Warrior Dash. I can't wait to share about that next!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Pony Saddle Pad For My Little Equestrian

Ever since my daughter started taking riding lessons a year ago, I've been wanting to make her a pony saddle pad. I clarify "pony" because she is so little (maybe 45 lbs soaking wet) that she rides ponies only so far. But lots of the girls at the barn bring their own saddle pads with them, and I thought "I can MAKE that". Of course, I've been hoarding Heather Ross' West Hill fabric for just such an occasion.

I will admit, I did use a pattern. The pattern overall, I was NOT happy with, so I will be making my own pattern for the next version. The shape is too boxy and the directions were awful. And once my daughter sees this, I'm sure I'll be making MANY more. For the back I used Sis Boom (Jennifer Paganelli) Poodle.

It's a simple shape, with simple quilting. The most challenging part is using webbed binding. It's a tiny bit slippery, and I was using vintage stuff I had on hand. You really need to use webbed because of the crazy wear and tear it takes. Overall, though, really, it looks fantastic I think.

Here she is last winter winning her first ever blue ribbon. Now wouldn't this picture be cuter with her Heather Ross Saddle Pad?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Amazing Square Dance Baby Quilt using Seven Seas Fabric

This is my favorite quilt to date. Seriously. I made it for a friend who is having a baby, and was SO happy to have an excuse to buy and use Seven Seas fabric designed by Michele Brummer Everett for Cloud 9 Fabrics. The whimsy is just perfect and the characters just make me smile. I bought the fabric at Hawthorne Threads online.

I did the back with one continuous piece because I didn't get to use this fabric in the front. The pattern I got at Fat Quarter Shop and is called Square Dance by Bits 'n Pieces. It uses 8 fat quarters and it's a great, quick pattern and is the perfect size for a baby quilt.

Look how cute these guys are peeking out of the binding!!

My favorite print in the line is Laddies and Poppets. The use of white with all of the primary colors is just perfect.

I quilted this myself, which I am very proud of. I LOVE LOVE LOVE how it came out. It took me 10-12 hours total to make. What do you think?

Monday, September 3, 2012

1, 2, 3 Quilt Pattern Test - Fun Two-Sided Game Mat

I realize it's been a long time since I last posted. I've been working on not one but TWO super double top secret projects. But I have been told that I can give a sneaky little peek at one of them.

I am a huge Twitter lover, and saw a call for pattern testers by author Ellen Baker, (of 1, 2, 3 Sew fame). She is working on a new book and needed testers, so up flew my hand, wating around like that annoying kid in the front row of grammar school.

The pattern I got to test is an adorable reversible (better said, two-sided) game mat. The pattern was pretty straightforward, but it definitely would give a newer sewer or quilter a chance to work on a number of basic skills in a less stressful, smaller format.

The directions were nice and clear, and the finished product is just adorable. I am glad I didn't have to send it in because my kids will for sure be using it. I used some hoarded Castle Peeps by Lizzy House. It has just the perfect amount of whimsy and the blue colorway is perfect to use for younger boys.

I'm sure the book will be full of wonderful projects if this one is any indication.

I've had a super busy summer, and a glorious Labor Day weekend. I hope you did too!