1. It’s actually kind of hard to lay out blocks in a random way. Brains are wired to make patterns, I think… I want these to be random but also for like fabrics to be spread out, not touching, so I do have to orchestrate that somewhat. Hopefully it will come off as random and fun and effortless. I worry that I’m trying too hard and it’s going to be obvious! 😁

  2. Portrait taking shape.


  3. Robyn to start the new year right

    Boys are back in school!  This time of year gives me as much a feeling of starting over and renewal and new goals and all that as January 1.  I still do New Year’s Resolutions.  But I also think about how I want to change and improve every time a new school year rolls around.  I’m convinced this school year is going to be extra awesome because Robyn is my inspiration.

    (I’m going to include videos for all my favorite Robyn songs, because I have some friends who don’t know her!  Listen and enjoy, mis amigas!)

    Nate and I went to see Robyn and Royksopp on Sunday.  They played at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.  I do love that pavilion and the way the lights interact with all that crazy curved metal.  It felt like a pretty nice night, for August —- warm and slightly humid, though not miserable.  But by the end of the show, after dancing for two hours, I was a hot, sweaty mess and ready for air conditioning.  Totally worth it.

    When I was a kid I didn’t really get into the whole pop star worship.  I didn’t have posters on my wall of singers or bands (except for one vintage David Bowie poster).  But I think I thought I was too cool for groups that were popular in the 90’s.  I didn’t have any boy band crushes; I actively fought forming them.  I wasn’t obsessed with any diva superstar type singers.  I was pretty preoccupied with whether what I liked was edgy enough or different enough from what most of my peers were into.  Which meant not a lot of pop / dance stuff in my cd player.  Also I always had to play it cool and not like anybody too TOO much.  Now, in my 30’s I think I am making up for it.  I am completely obsessed and in love with Robyn.  I mean, I really strongly love her, and that feels weird, but I no longer care to fight it.  I’m good with it.  I embrace it.  I’m old enough to like what I like now and not worry where it rates on some invisible cool meter.  I have similarly strong feelings for Beyonce and Sia.  Although music-wise, Robyn is probably my favorite.  The first time I saw Robyn was when she was promoting Body Talk.  She performed Dancing on my Own on a late show, maybe Letterman.  And I was immediately like WHO. IS. THIS. I. LOVE. HER.

    Things I love about Robyn: she is cute, but also fit and powerful. She loves her fans. She wasn’t happy with her label so she started her own. She dances sort of awkwardly but awesomely. Live, she dances a LOT. (She also did a lot of dancey squats and crunches on stage.  If she had a workout video I would be all over that.  But I digress.)  Her songs are the very best belt-it-out anthems.  Hair.  (platinum pixie or mullet, equally awesome).  Insane outfits. She exudes complete body confidence. I guess that’s it. I just love her.  I was freaking out at this concert because she was so awesome.

    I have to say, too, that Nate is the best for going  with me.  He knows and likes a couple Robyn songs but isn’t a crazy fan like me.  Still, he was happy to go with me and stand and dance along.  That is a good husband, right there.  Reminds me of the time he went to see the Veronica Mars movie with me, even though he was not obsessed with that show like I was.  I love him. He earned a billion best-husband points for taking me to that concert.  I owe you one, babe.  Dawn of Midi?

    So the show was great.  She played most of my favorite songs.  The only one I really wish she would have played was Dream On.  The concert was the night before the first day of school, and while I was watching Robyn be amazing, I was getting motivated to be awesome this school year.  Robyn live helped me get pumped to:

    -find a little job

    -continue to work hard creatively

    -love myself

    -love my family

    I’m so lucky to spend as much time at home as I do.  I want to make the most of it, so this year I am determined to act like I have a job: get myself exercised, showered, and dressed by 8:00 am and get to “work” on quilts and other projects.  If I get a part time job, I will have to work harder to find time to reach my creative goals.  But I can do it.

    I love this song Monument, which is one of the collaborative songs she did with Royksopp.  The melody and lyrics are so beautiful and I love the saxophone solo in the middle.  It was inspired by sculpture artist Juliana Cerqueira Leite, and concerns itself with artistic intent and legacy, as Robyn sings lines like “Make a space for my body… this will be my monument / This will be my beacon when I’m gone.” I think all makers are concerned with legacy and I am no different.   “I will let this monument / represent a moment of my life.” This is how I feel about every project I tackle and finish.  Mindfully living in the moment is a challenge for all humans.  I feel it keenly when I have so many ideas and so little time.  I find myself dreaming about what I’m going to do next instead of staying in the moment and loving what I am doing.  It’s equally hard to drop my dreaming, scheming, planning when the time for making is over and the time for mothering begins.  Staying in the moment is the only thing that helps those transitions, so I am working hard on developing that habit.  This is the last lyric from Monument I will share, because it resonates so strongly with me. “So that when the moment comes / I can say I did it all with love / love / love”.  All the creativity and talent in the world are no good to me if my boys don’t know that I love them unreservedly, unconditionally.  I have to do good work, stay in the moment, and love hard.  Those are my goals.  It’s going to be a great school year.  Thank you, Robyn.  xoxoxoxo

  4. Making good progress on this embroidered table runner.

  5. Royksopp and R O B Y N at Pritzker Pavilion tonight. 10/10 would pay to see again. I love her about as much as I can possibly love a person I’ve never met. <3 <3 <3


  6. memoirsofachurro replied to your post “this summer* i…”

    Can I be your kid too? I want to be surrounded by great experiences and quilts and such a wonderful mom!!

    Aww, thanks!  That’s a sweet thing to say.  Believe me, I’m far from a perfect mom but I’m doing my best, and I’m grateful that I get to spend the summer with my boys. 


  7. this summer* i…

    -finished Theo’s Calvin and Hobbes embroidery in the nick of time

    -threw an awesome cat-themed party for Theo’s 8th birthday

    -had fun watching the C&H piece go viral for about a week


     -went tent camping for the first time as an adult

    - took trips to Michigan, Colorado, and Arizona

    -saw the Grand Canyon


    -read Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work by Austin Kleon, felt super inspired to start trying some of his suggestions

    -started this website for myself


    -had a quilt hanging in the International Quilt Festival show

    -finished a mini quilt and a baby quilt

    -started a massive quilt for our bed

    -contacted 3 publishers about possibly getting said massive quilt in their magazine (still hoping to find the right fit)

    -caught up on stitching signatures onto my tablecloth


    -socialized with my guild ladies in and out of meetings

    -successfully registered for QuiltCon

    -met Rossie, whose quilts and writing I love and respect the hell out of

    -spent as much time as possible with neighborhood friends

    -took kids to the planetarium, the Mexican art museum, a Janelle Monae concert, and more


    *summer here is defined as my kids’ summer break from school

    Overall this summer has been pretty good.  I wish I had lost weight.  I wish I had engaged more with the boys some days, instead of focusing on my own projects and letting them watch so much tv.  It’s been hard not to compare it to last summer, which was over the top awesome.  But as I look at this list I feel like we did a lot, and I did a lot to further my own goals, which feels good.  I think the boys had fun.  Now I can’t wait for school to start so I can really dig in to some quilts.  I hope the boys have a great school year with great teachers and classmates and experiences.  But, yeah.  Let’s get this school year started.  I’m ready.

  8. I am dying DYING to dig in to this quilt but I feel like I need to wait til school starts so I can devote a few hours’ concentration to my next steps. In the meantime I will settle for cutting fabric. When I finally get the time I will be able to fly. Can not wait.

  9. Exciting mail from @artifactuprising today. Caught up on making books from all my Instagram photos of the last two years. I used to print photos the traditional way, label them all by hand, and put them in albums. Then I realized all my favorite pictures are in my IG feed anyway, so it made more sense just to print this way. The process is super easy via Artifact Uprising. They lift the photos right from your IG feed, like magic. The printing quality is great, though I have noticed I like the non filtered look better, so I am trying to use filters only when necessary for that reason. No, they aren’t paying me for this post. On the contrary, I paid them quite a bit for these 15 books. 😉

  10. I made a new website! laurahartrich.com! Still needs some work but all the major pieces are in place. 👏🎉😊