Thursday, October 29, 2009

Give-away news

Go see Jackie at her blog! All sorts of sexy market shwag is being shared over there! Think...sampler boxes, charm packs, etc.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A working "vacation"

It's the second full day of my week off, and BOY have I been getting a lot accomplished! (Even if I do sleep in til almost 9am. *ahem*) Yesterday I finished off the top for one of the 2 mini quilt swaps I'm involved in--this one for 4SQS. When my plans for last night fell through, I opened up (SneakerPimps radio!) and got to work. I basted and quilted the whole thing in just a couple of hours. Currently, I'm auditioning binding fabrics both for it and for the table runner I made a week or so ago. With a bit of luck I'll spend part of Wednesday watching monster movies and hand-stitching the bindings for those.

Today, the madman and I went out to the PO to ship off the last of my fabrics for my Beehive girls, as November will be my month "off". Then we drove down the valley to have brunch at the local diner (mmmm, French toast!!), and then down to the orchard for apples, pie, a Xmas gift or two, and some homemade Tahitian vanilla ice cream. YUM! A quick trip home to put away the ice cream and then we were off to Home Depot. I finally picked up more painters tape for laying quilts out for basting, as well as setting quilting lines, and finally found some shellac and finishing paste wax for a couple of decoupage projects lying around (gogo Xmas gifts!).

We originally went to HD to look at replacements for the vanity cabinet in our hall bathroom, which is original to the house and SAD as all hell. They wanted a nauseating amount of $ for a cabinet, minus the sink and counter top, and we just couldn't do it. Then yours truly had the brilliant idea of going to IKEA (we did our whole kitchen out of IKEA last summer for less than a third what had been quoted us if we had anyone else do it) for a couple of white kitchen cabinets, one for the vanity and one for over the toilet for storage. The madman agreed it was a good idea, so now we have another chore for tomorrow afternoon, once we're done at the dentist's. (Yay?)

Finally, I have a few hours this afternoon (BTW, most gorgeous day of the month so far today. STUNNING!) before I go to watch scary movies and eat pie with the madman, so I'm finally ready to cut into some of this:

for a quilt for a wedding gift--I've got about 2 months. I actually started a different quilt for this gift over the summer, and then came to the conclusion that it doesn't suit the recipients at all. So that will likely be finished in the future for a donation to Project Linus or Margaret's Hope Chest.

I'm going with coins. The couple's favorite colors are blue and green. Being up north, normally I'd shift and do more dark colors, but they'll be moving down to North Carolina just after the wedding into off-base housing (he's in Afghanistan at the moment), and wanted something a bit more fresh. They're also only 20, so it needed to be a bit more hip and mod. Now, to sit down and weed out some of the flower prints from this stack! The trouble with boys--not so big on the flowers, as a general rule. *sigh* Go figure. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fabric Co-op?

I heard about Fabfanatic through Jacquie over at her blog, and of course, I had to go and check it out. It is a fabric co-op that allows quilters and other fabric lovers to purchase fabric at a reduced price. They have some great stuff, Amy Butler & Denyse Schmidt just to name a couple, available for what amounts to wholesale. I went ahead and signed up, and omg, how excited am I?

It's pretty simple. You apply for membership, then once approved, you gaze adoringly at fabric. You reserve your yardage in advance, so that the wonderful ladies running the show (sisters Stacey and Tracey) know how much they will be ordering to fill the reserves. When the order goes out, they send out invoices, you pay, and then you get fabric. Brilliant!

(ps--Lotus by Amy Butler is being discontinued, except the 10 most popular prints, and there's a high demand for those. Fabfanatic is taking reserves, however, to be filled early next year.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Right this way...

I suppose you could say I'm a bit of a fabric junkie. I peruse a number of blogs by other quilters and crafters, as well as fabric designers. One blog that I cannot remember how I did without is True Up. Sale alerts, news about up and coming designers and new lines of fabric, as well as the occasional awesome giveaway. If you haven't been there before, I can't recommend it highly enough!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The good, the bad, and the owie.

First, the good. I was one of the winners of a new Moda Sampler Box (due in shops next month) from's Jolly Jabber blog! SO excited. For those who haven't seen it yet, it's like 12 mini charm packs--2.5" squares of the full ranges of 12 different collections coming out in the spring. I got word yesterday, and there was much squealing and flailing.

The good and the bad-ish. Got a good start on my 4SQS mini quilt for the holiday swap. 3 of 4 little blocks are done, and I love them. Only, by the time I started the 4th block, which is bigger than the others, it was after 11 and I wasn't at my best anymore. I miscut the middle strip twice before I chucked it in for the night and went to bed. Frustrating!

And this morning, the owie. Went to the dermatologist this morning to have a lump on my shoulder looked at. I hadn't expected to come out with stitches!! Ouch! A little cranky and sorer by the minute as the local wears off. :( May not be any sewing for a day or two til my shoulder feels a bit more like itself. Hopefully then I'll be able to cut straight again!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Giveaway winner!

I bet you thought I'd forgotten all about this, right? Not so! I took a couple days off away from the computer to baby my back before a long week at work.

Congrats to Tooznie of Wishflower Studios! I've sent you an email, go check your inbox!

I'd like to thank everyone who took part, and a special thanks to those who are planning to help out over at Margaret's Hope Chest.

I got NO quilting done this weekend, no sewing, nothing. I read, watched a bunch of horror films with the madman (who was also home most of Saturday with a bad back episode), and was generally a lazy girl. I was practicing for my upcoming stay-cation!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A rare flash of brilliance

I've mentioned it in an entry or two that I've been sweating the design for my 4SQS mini quilt swap--this one has a holiday theme. Tomorrow starts the beginning of the 1 month window to get our quilts and their accompanying package-y bits finished and sent out. So I've been KILLING myself on this, stalking my poor swapee's flickr and blog, getting a feel for her style, and also thinking constantly about design elements for the approximate dimensions we were given in the guidelines.

What about stars? How Christmassy should I go with the fabrics? Most of my Christmas fabrics are a bit...muddy?--deep reds and greens, dark golds--but my recipient favors bright colors. How crazy do I go with this? Can I just go with Christmassy colors and not worry too much if there isn't holly or snowflakes or trees on every print? What about simple 9-patches? She does like improv-piecing and wonky blocks, I can do that, should I go with that? Can I come up with fabric that screams holiday enough to make that work?? *clutches head and cries*

On my lunch hour, I was perusing a flickr group on quilts, of course, and it suddenly came to me like I'd been struck. I knew EXACTLY what I was going to do. I knew dimensions, layout, colors, block styles, absolutely everything in a sudden flash. I dropped everything, grabbed my pencil and a ruler and some scrap paper and got it all down before it was gone. I can't wait to get home and pull fabrics for it. I wish I could share, but a) I'm at work and my camera isn't, and b) I think I'd like to keep this something of a surprise, just in case she reads my blog. I doubt it, but better safe than sorry. :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

A busy, bloggy Monday

I love Columbus Day--who doesn't love a Monday off?? This one is particularly special. This time last year, I ruptured a disc in my back so badly, I couldn't work (for 4 months), lost most of the feeling and use of my left leg, and wound up needing surgery. A year later, here I am. I still have some bad days. I still have some loss of feeling in my foot. But I am otherwise ok, and so very thankful for it.

That aside, I got quite a bit accomplished! I woke this morning to find out that the thermostat for our main floor has crapped out and won't call for heat. The madman of the house is currently on the case--I'm lucky he's so handy. I was quite tempted to spend the day snuggled up in bed with my book and a cup of hot tea, surrounded by kitties. But I had THINGS to accomplish!

Firstly, a 9.5" log cabin-y block from the scraps of the courthouse steps block I made yesterday, for Belinda since it's her month in the Beehive. The middle looks a bit wonky in this light--it's cloudy here today, and consequently all of my photos are a bit...meh. :P

I also had my runner to be quilted.

I went with a random series of loosely wavy lines, done in variegated thread that runs amber to cream and back. The pattern is reminiscent of leaves in the wind, keeping with the season.

This was really a test, both for me and my little Janome. It has been...a very long time since I've machine quilted anything. Most of my work in the past has been hand quilted, which I enjoy, but is time consuming and hard on my hands. I have done a few things which were quilted on my old Singer (which, by the way, will be home at the end of this week--after over 4 months out for repair... >.<), but this was my first time trying anything with the Janome. I had a heck of a time getting the walking foot ON in the first place, but ultimately it worked out ok. It was a small enough project that I wound up with no puckering on the back (HURRAY!) and a couple of small puckers in front, which I attribute to using a slightly crumpled old scrap of batting. Note to self--roll batting scraps instead of folding! The whole process took some getting used to, and I know that I've learned quite a bit, so the next one will go more smoothly. Here's to hoping, anyway. The best news is that my little Janome tackled it like a champ!

I haven't decided what I'm going to bind this in yet. I'm thinking perhaps I'll piece the binding with more of the scraps that made up the blocks. We'll see. I may find something appropriate when I go to the quilt shop to pick up my machine on Friday.

Happy week, kids. Remember, you have until midnight EST on Wednesday, 10/14 to enter for my giveaway over here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

As promised, photos. Also, a busy day!

Ok, first things first. As promised, some photos! DH was nice enough to hook the cord for my camera back up when he got home from work this afternoon.

This is the illustrious Tiny Tidings jelly roll for my giveaway--go here now and leave a comment to be entered once. For a second chance, go blog about it!

I came home yesterday to oodles of sexy fabric after hitting Sew Mama Sew's sale last week with some of my birthday cash. Some bits of Denyse Schmidt and Amy Butler, as well as some American Retro, a bit of Mingle and Joel Dewberry. Such fun, and so inspiring--I can hardly stand it. Also, Kristen rocks my socks--she ships at the speed of light!!

So, this morning, I got my butt moving on my Beehive block for Belinda, and had all sorts of fun!

I played with her request for courthouse steps. Hopefully I didn't go too far!

And then, since I was on a roll, I took the 4 wonky square-in-a-square blocks I'd made for John's quilt-along for Old Red Barn Co., sucked it up and sashed them. Threw on a couple of borders. Then, my friends, the unthinkable happened.

I actually decided to push off having dinner so that I could sit down and baste the runner I'd made!

I know, my batting is messy. Sue me. It's an old scrap that JUST fit, so I ran with it rather than chopping into my new bits. This will, with a bit of luck, be quilted tomorrow--bless the day off!! Then it should get, someday? :P Sooner rather than later, I hope--I'm hoping to use this runner when I host my first Thanksgiving this year.

So there you are, kids. My promised photos. Glad to have my camera ready to go again!

Frustration, and giveaway update

So, my husband borrowed my camera and computer cord. And very nicely returned them to me. Except with the way my computer is situated and hooked up, I cannot (thanks to my back) maneuver to hook the cord back up without hurting myself. Badly.

So I do have photos of my birthday splurge from Sew Mama Sew. And I do have photos of the world's saddest giveaway--why is it sad? Because no one's shown any interest. Why is that? I'm guessing the lack of photo isn't helping. The giveaway was supposed to end today, but I'm extending it to give more folks a shot at it. You'll get one entry for commenting on that post. Then go blog about it for a second chance at it.

What is it? Ok, fine. To be updated with a picture, but it's a Tiny Tidings Jelly Roll, from Sentimental Studios. Check the link to get a look at the fabrics. I can see this being a gorgeous, cozy quilt, combined with maybe a Moda Basic Jelly roll like this to really set off the deep colors of the prints. What can I say? It was hovering around 40 this morning, and we have our first frost warning already posted for tonight. It puts me in a Christmassy, giving mood.

Now, go enter!! Photo post later, I promise.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A worthy cause, and a giveaway

Since I began blogging this year, I have often said that quilters are among the most generous people in the world. Between give-aways, charity projects and programs, and just the simple act of putting time and effort into making something beautiful to bring joy to another person--the quilting community is full of random acts of kindness.

This is why I'm sharing this with you.

Hope built on tragedy. I donate quilts to several organizations in my neck of the woods, but this is a wonderful opportunity to help in another community. It doesn't even require you make anything. Donate fabric, thread, batting.

In the spirit of giving (for quilters, Christmas never ends, but lasts all year), once you've stopped over there, leave me a comment--blog about it for a second chance to enter. I might just have a little something to share with my readers--I'll pick a winner this weekend. (PS--please make sure you have your email contact available--I hate to have to pass up someone simply because I can't get in touch with them).

ETA: I'm extending this to give all the bloggers currently in Houston some time to catch up. I'll take entries til midnight EST Wednesday, 10/14.

And the little something? It's a Tiny Tidings jelly roll--I know I'm starting to think Xmas--thought you might be, too... :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Birthday goodies!

So, technically tomorrow is my birthday. However, since I will be spending the evening working, getting home close to 9pm, I am celebrating early. Last night was dinner and cake with my parents, brother, husband and grandmother. Tonight is sushi and JoAnn's with my husband, to put the gift card from my parents to good use! Not one to let grass grow beneath my feet, don't you know?

I knew as soon as I got it, what I wanted to use it toward.


I have enough fabric to sink a small ship (perhaps a large ship. I'm not sure I want to dwell on that. :D ), and have blocks finished for two large lap quilts right now. I have plenty of fabric set aside for bindings and backs, but I realized this weekend--oops. Out of batting.

I look forward to remedying that this evening!