Maybe Bigger is Okay, Too.

Maybe Bigger is Okay, Too via cottagemagpie.com

Maybe Bigger is Okay, Too via cottagemagpie.com

So the other day when I shared my scrappy Irish Chain quilt, I mentioned in passing that there’s no longer going to be a mudroom. I know. I kind of just slipped that in there without much of an explanation. Terrible. So today I’m going to explain.

For those of you who may not remember, my family room has been a long, ongoing process. I haven’t done any real decorating in there yet, despite living here for 6 1/2 years, because I can’t seem to get the layout right! I keep fussing with it and fussing with it and still I’m never happy. Last time I made a big change, I had decided that it was just that the room was too darn big, and [Read more...]


Scrappy Pink & Green Irish Chain Finished!!

Scrappy Pink & Green Irish Chain Finished via cottagemagpie.com

Scrappy Pink & Green Irish Chain Finished via cottagemagpie.com

Guess what? I finished the irish chain quilt!!! A few weeks back I showed you that I had gotten it pinned and said that I was determined to get it quilted before I moved on to another project.

Well, it was a fairly long process, but I finished! Because of the way I quilted it I had a LOT of threads to tie off and bury, and that takes such a long time. But I got it done Monday and decided to go ahead and put it through the washer and dryer so I could have that old-fashioned crinkly effect right away.

Of course, the second I pulled it out of the dryer I had to take pictures. The grass was still wet, and Mr. Magpie tires oh-so-quickly of being a human quilt rack (I can’t really blame him), so I pretty quickly brought it inside and took some pictures of it on the (cough) new daybed in the family room that (cough) no longer has a mudroom. [Read more...]


Tulips, Daffodils and Tigers

Tulips, Daffodils and Tigers via cottagemagpie.com

Tulips, Daffodils and Tigers via cottagemagpie.com

Last year when the tulips bloomed, Baby Girl picked them all for me. All at once, happy as can be, she picked them and gave them to me and I decided to be thankful for them. We had a chat, though, about how next year, when the tulips came back, we would pick some of the tulips. Some.

So, a few days ago, after being outside for a few minutes, Baby Girl came storming back into the house, jumping up and down and screaming, “Mommy!!!!! The tulips are blooming, the tulips are blooming!!! I can pick some of them for you! Just some.” [Read more...]


Happy Happy Quilt in the Hoop

Happy Happy Quilt in the Hoop via cottagemagpie.com

Happy Happy Quilt in the Hoop via cottagemagpie.com

Since the Scrappy Pink & Green Irish Chain is still being quilted, I thought you might like to see one of the other quilts that I have been slowly working on. I made the top last year during the Very Hard Summer, and finally got it pinned a few weeks ago. I did some basic straight line machine quilting and now I am putting one sunny yellow tie in the middle of each square.

Surprisingly, tying is pretty time consuming. You would think it would be so much faster than quilting… you know, “Oh, I’ll just throw a few ties on there and it’ll be done,” but in fact it’s a pretty slow and laborious process and something you have to enjoy for it’s meditative qualities. I definitely enjoy tying quilts, although I only do it if (a) I think the quilt would just be less without it, or (b) I am okay with the quilt taking a very long time to get done. [Read more...]


The End of an Era–the Pear Tree is No More

The End of an Era.... The Pear Tree is No More via cottagemagpie.com

The End of an Era.... The Pear Tree is No More via cottagemagpie.com

I can’t remember if I’ve ever told you the story of how Mr. Magpie and I got married under a pear tree. I will have to tell you that story some time. But it was part of why we bought the house we live in now, which we call Pear Tree Cottage. When we moved here, there was a big ‘ol pear tree in the backyard. It was about the only thing in the yard that was worth saving.

For all these years, almost seven, that we’ve lived here, we have tried to make the pear tree work. We have pruned it, not pruned it, sprayed it, not sprayed it, watered it, not watered it, fed it, not fed it, ignored it, hacked it, climbed it…. Everything. But what did we get in return? A mess. [Read more...]


Scrappy Pink & Green Irish Chain Pinned

Scrappy Pink & Green Irish Chain Pinned via cottagemagpie.com

Scrappy Pink & Green Irish Chain Pinned via cottagemagpie.com

I hope you’re not too tired of seeing the progress on my Irish Chain quilt. Quilting is kind of a slow process, so it’s incremental steps forward, but for each one it’s so exciting I just want to share! When I said I was motivated to just go ahead and finish it, I wasn’t kidding around. I actually got down on the floor and pinned that baby. I know there’s lots of different ways to pin a quilt, but the way I learned was to sweep & mop the floor, tape the backing down with painter’s tape, and then lay the batting and freshly pressed top down and then get to pinning. I use a Kwik Klip to help me with my pinning, but a friend recently told me that you can also use a spoon! Who knew!?

Anyway, this is the job that I avoid most often. It’s not that I mind pinning, particularly, it’s just that I have to do it all in one go. [Read more...]


Progress in the Shed Garden

Progress in the Shed Garden via cottagemagpie.com

Progress in the Shed Garden via cottagemagpie.com

I feel like it’s not exactly fair that I keep leading with pictures from later in the season. Of course that’s not at all what the garden looks like right now. Right now, instead of warm grass, lush trees and bursting perennials, it’s all soggy dirt, bare branches and rampant weeds. This one is a little better. This one is only cheating a teeny tiny bit. It’s a picture of The Gazebo Thing from mid April. So, in theory, my actual garden will look something like that in a few short weeks. Oh, I can’t wait. :-)

Meanwhile, I did actually get a little bit of work done in the Shed Garden this last week. Not a ton, but every little bit counts! I used to not think that way. I thought that if you couldn’t get a huge chunk of work done that it wasn’t worth working. I didn’t believe, in my gut, that the little snips and snatches of time would add up. But I’ve learned since then. They do, they really do! [Read more...]


Scrappy Pink & Green Irish Chain Top is Done

Scrappy Pink & Green Irish Chain Top is Done via cottagemagpie.com

Scrappy Pink & Green Irish Chain Top is Done via cottagemagpie.com

So I finished the top to my Irish Chain quilt. Can you believe it? I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it and I’m the one who did it! Wild, huh? I decided to make an Irish Chain quilt. I worked on the Irish Chain quilt. And now the top of the Irish Chain quilt is finished.

I know this is probably really obvious to those of you who are organized and good at finishing things, but for me it’s a revelation. I want to go stand on the rooftops and yell, “Hey! I did it! I started and finished something, like, within the same season!! Hooray!”

So I still have to pin it and quilt it, and here’s the even crazier part. I am going to do that right now. I know! Who am I?!? [Read more...]


The Garden Shed. Inside. Before. Yikes.

The Garden Shed. Inside. Before. Yikes. via cottagemagpie.com

The Garden Shed. Inside. Before. Yikes. via cottagemagpie.com

So, I don’t know about you, but when I posted about how I was going to do my One and Only Project outside in The Shed Garden this summer, didn’t you immediately really, really want to know what was inside the shed?

Okay, well, I already know, but if it had been someone else’s life I would have been dying to know. So I thought I’d show you.

But here’s the thing.

It’s scary.

I mean really, really scary. [Read more...]


The Ways We Say, “I Love You.”

The Ways We Say I Love You via cottagemagpie.com

The Ways We Say I Love You via cottagemagpie.com

When you have close friends or family with Asperger’s Syndrome, you spend a lot of time building your own personal Rosetta stone, learning how to translate between what you think you heard and what was really meant. It’s like being in a close relationship with someone who speaks a different language, except that since you both speak what appears to be the same language, you trip all the time over mistranslations. Doesn’t “egg” always mean “egg”? Turns out, not so much.

This can be a challenge when it comes to talking about love.

For the record, I believe that everyone needs to be loved. Romantically, platonically, familially, spiritually. It’s a necessary part of our well-being. [Read more...]