Posts tagged ‘children’

A quarter of a century flown by

Today I turned 25, and for some reason this feels like a monumental birthday to me. Growing up, I always saw 25 as being the official marker of adulthood. (Who considers a 21-year-old an adult, really?) It’s the age your car insurance goes down, it’s a quarter of a century, it’s the age my parents were when I was born. There’s no denying it now, I’m really an adult.

Years from now, looking back on this birthday, I want to remember how completely content I am. Madly in love with my husband. Gainfully employed in a job that is fulfilling on most days, working with people I genuinely love. Working in an entirely different field that I imagined 3 years ago. Gaining rich, rewarding volunteer experiences. Still close to the people who have been my friends for 12+ years now. Earning enough to not struggle much from month to month, and close enough to recent history when that wasn’t the case to really appreciate what that means. Living day to day life in our cute, tiny, cozy little house filled with my favorite man, my favorite furry friends. A still relatively new homeowner that marvels at the ability to paint walls, tear up flooring, and create a home. Proud caretaker of a fledgling perennial garden that isn’t weeded as much as it should be. Increasing confidence in the direction of my life, of my redefined career goals, of my growth as a woman, wife, future mother, friend, employee.

I can’t help but wonder what the next quarter century has in store.  In another 25 years, I hope to be the proud mother of one or two college graduates. To have established a slightly larger, but still just as cozy home on an acre or so where our children come back to visit us, to stay in a home that’s filled with memories for them.


To have a huge king sized bed with a worn, lumpy mattress from Saturday morning cartoons in bed with our kids and our dogs piled under the covers.

To still be madly in love with my handsome husband, getting ready for a new section of our life as the parents of grown children. To be established in my career, and have my husband in a career he loves, too. To have the time to really give back. To have a huge garden that feeds us in the summer but also fills the house with beautiful perennial flowers.


To have traveled to a country on a different continent (preferably multiple countries and multiple continents). To know how to finish a quilt from beginning to end. To be looking forward to watching my husband’s eyes light up at holding our first grandchild. (Woah.)

Life is a beautiful, surprising, joyful journey. I am so thankful for these first 25 years and all of the simple pleasures they have held. To the next quarter century.


June 3, 2010 at 6:27 pm 4 comments

Whoo-too: How to owl softie

I would make some changes to this softie the second time around, but this is a really simple, quick, simple softie project that requires only a few items that you probably already have.

1 fat quarter

random scraps of felt


sewing machine or handsewn

Ignore the top - yours won't have the same mistake 🙂

Take your fat quarter and fold in half. This should create fabric that’s 18 X 10.5 inches. Cut a shape similar to a gummy drop with the folded part uncut at the bottom. Pick one side of the folded piece of fabric to be the front of your owl. Cut two wings out of felt and sew onto the edge of the body. Then cut a giant  triangle to serve as a beak, sew on. Then, cut two large white  circles for eyes, and sew so they slightly overlap onto the beak. Sew on two smaller black circles to create the pupils for the eyes. Then, sew two little feather-shaped felt cutouts to the top of the face.

Now that your face and wings are done, fold fabric the other way so that right sides are facing in. Sew around the open edges of your shape (be careful to keep the top feathers sticking out), leaving about 1.5 inches to turn the fabric right side out, then fill with polyfill, sew the remaining hole closed, and you’re done!

The mistake I made in this that I would not make again is choosing to have the hole to flip the owl inside out at the top of his head. This made for an awkward seam. It would have been much better to the hole along the bottom edge. Next time I will do it this way.

For variations, add glasses or even little felt feet.

February 12, 2010 at 6:58 am 7 comments

Quilting for lazy people

A recurring theme throughout all of my creative endeavors is ease and projects that can be completed in a weekend or less. For hobbies, I have a short attention span. I love to start something on a Saturday and have something to show for it by the end of a weekend. Naturally, this makes quilting a strange fit.

Enter strip quilting. Strip quilting is ideal for beginning quilters and people like me, who enjoy fabric collecting more than the actual sewing. It’s a great way to show off beautiful fabrics, and to have a beautiful blanket finished by Sunday night.

My first strip quilting project was a sweet blanket for my cousin’s 2nd birthday. It was so much fun wandering the aisles of JoAnn’s, picking out adorable pink, green, yellow and brown fabrics for an equally adorable little girl.

Finished quilt

The quilt was a hit

For this quilt, I used 1/2 yards of 12 different fabrics, and 1.5 yards of a large floral fabric for the backing. I first chose the apple and pear Alexander Henry fabric, and chose coordinating colors from it. The 1/2 yards of 12 fabrics were cut into 4 inch by 8 inch strips, sewn with a quarter inch seam allowance. The quilt is 7 lengths of fabric long (about 5o inches long after seam allowances) by 15 strips wide (about 54 inches after seam allowances). The backing is made up of the solid fabric flanked by two extra strips.

If, like me, you are not the world’s most precise cutter, you can stagger your seams. I did this by cutting the first piece of my finished strips (7 4X8 pieces of fabric sewn together) in half, on half of the strips I made. Then, I sewed the cut half onto the last piece in these strips. This way, all strips were still the same length but the seams are staggered throughout.

The great part about strip quilting is you can improvise based on how much you have of each fabric. It is fat quarter friendly, and you can make it any size.

I hand-tied this quilt with thin satin ribbon. All in all, it took about 1 hour of fabric cutting, 3 hours of sewing the front, 1 hour of sewing the back, and 2 hours to back, tie and finish.

More examples of strip quilting to come soon.

January 30, 2010 at 6:13 pm Leave a comment

About me

My name is Mallory Murray and I have a love of all things oldfashioned. I'm a modern day feminist who also adores Martha Stewart. Read on for my sewing, crochet, cooking, gardening, quilting and crafting projects. I am the chief officer of marketing and design at Northwest Missouri State University, so expect the occasional random post about marketing/universities/design. I dream of a hobby farm with baby doll sheep, a sheep dog, a small flock of chickens, and other animals to be announced. I'm also a Pitt State grad, football lover, HGTV addict and obsessed with the color aqua.

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