Travelin’ PicStitch Blog Hop: Remembering to Look Up

Welcome to With Arms Open Wide for my stop on the Travelin’ PicStitch Blog Hop

My name is Caryn and I’m new to both sewing and blogging. So new in fact, that I haven’t even had a chance to properly introduce myself here. I’m mom to six great kiddos ages 17, 8, 7, 6, 4 & 4 and am constantly running behind. Everyone assumes my younger two are twins, but they’re actually four months a part. We were a foster family specializing in medically fragile children for several years and had the blessing of adopting four of our daughters. We grew from a one child family to six child family in a mere 3 1/2 years and three of them had complicated medical issues. Sometimes I look at the chaos surrounding me in a home of eight people, two cats, two guinea pigs and a puppy and wonder whose life this is and how did I get here?! In fact, it’s only been recently that I’ve had a chance to catch my breath and take a look around. While I will continue to be in the season of my life where “mom” is my most important role, I also realize that to be my best I need to nurture my creativity. I stumbled upon the modern quilting blogging community late last winter and haven’t looked back.

So here we are on the Travelin’ (um, not so much, since I’m terrified of being alone with my kids in a car for more than thirty mins) Pic (not a lot of that either, good thing my phone has a camera), Stitch (yup, pretty green in this category too) Blog Hop (there’s a first time for everything, right?) where I’m supposed to share a picture from my travels, create a palette from its colors and use that palette to inspire a block using EPPing. The only part of that I know anything about is EPPing. Sitting on a park bench last month thinking about what I would do, I really was stumped. I turned to capture some pictures of my kids on the swings when I noticed how blue the sky was in one of them. It’s amazing what happens when you remember to look up. I’ve lived my whole life in the Midwestern United States, first Kansas and now Nebraska. As a child I always wanted to live near something with geographical interest, water, mountains, woods… And yet, my surroundings of fields and wide open spaces also have their own subtle beauty. On this particular day, the leaves had turned on the trees and while the ground below was blanketed, they were not yet bare.

I love quirks, moments that catch you by surprise with an unexpected turn, contrasts that give you a glimpse into a completeness you didn’t know exists. Naturally, this picture of vibrant golds and oranges against a clear deep blue sky, caught my fancy. It’s as if I never saw the warm glow of orange for what it really is until it was set against that backdrop of a perfect blue sky.

I decided to interpret this with a star flower with blue diamonds as a backdrop. I pulled oranges from my scraps that had the deepness of the red oranges and touches of the lighter gold. Knowing that my LQS had just gotten in V & Co’s Simply Color in stock, I decided the blue ombre would make a great background. When I cut my diamonds from the blue, I tried to select a spot where you can see the color gradation change. Unfortunately the color change was too gradual to capture with such a small piece. I also unintentionally chose the color change that was the same tone as my oranges and the whole piece looked flat. I decided to forge ahead though and added borders of deepening blue to try to create the effect of a changing sky. This is what I ended up with.

Did I mention I was a sewing novice? This isn’t quite what I envisioned and I still haven’t figured out how to keep my bias cuts from waving, but every project is a learning experience. I think I”m going to use this piece to practice some free motion quilting. I’m definitely not done with this color palette either. I have a couple of new ideas of ways to explore that beautiful contrast further. Plus I captured my munchkins playing in the leaves. Not too bad for my first blog hop!

In this space I have spent several hours trying to insert html code into my post so it does what it’s supposed to and not just copying the words. I can’t figure it out. If anyone reading this has a WordPress blog and could point me in the right direction, I’d appreciate it.

5 thoughts on “Travelin’ PicStitch Blog Hop: Remembering to Look Up

  1. Rebecca

    Congratulations on your blog! Thanks for your story, you are truly inspirational! You seem to get so much sewing done with such a large family! I love your photos, what a gorgeous tree! Love your kids in the leaves, too cute!looking forward to visiting here Caryn!

  2. Laura

    I’m so jealous of those leaves!!!! Gorgeous colours. And your family sounds incredible. 🙂 Love the block. Thanks for all your hard work in putting this post together – really appreaciated. 🙂 Good luck in the linky party on 30 Nov

  3. Teje

    Hi and nice to meet you! Your block is beautiful and those photos are fantastic! I’m thinking if you can sew even one seam with 6 children, you are amazing! I hope you have time to enjoy your sewing! x Teje

  4. Steph

    Such a nice post–heartfelt words, beautiful pictures (of your surroundings and your kiddos) and quilting. Your block is very pretty and I can totally see the subtle color change in the blues–great job. How did you create the color palette? That looks like a lot of fun for finding new color combinations.


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