Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

I'm busily running around today trying to finish up the last odds and ends for the big day tomorrow. I have birthday cake baking (today is the husband's birthday), lasagna for tomorrow's dinner in prep stages, 8 presents left to wrap (and I'm thankful that the last of them arrived in yesterday's post!), and at some point I need to clean up a bit around here.

I was up at 7 this morning to get to the grocery store as it opened. I pulled into the parking lot and laughed out loud! Apparently I'm not as smart as I think I am--everyone in town had the same idea! It took me a half hour to grab a dozen items and get through the check-out.

This evening, I'm off-duty. The madman and I are going to see my folks and brother for supper and presents, and all I have to do is show up with a bag of presents. My mother, bless her, is feeding us tonight, then doing it all over again tomorrow for my grandmother, dad, and cousins. I'm having 8 people for lasagna and cake tomorrow afternoon, so this is MUCH more relaxed than feeding 14 people on Thanksgiving, at least less stressful in the sense of fewer people to cram into my house and feed a huge meal.

I'm delighted to have the weekend after the big day off, too. That means I should finally be able to finish the blue and green coins quilt for my friend's daughter, which is awesome, since her wedding is a week from Saturday--being able to cross one last giant UFO off my list will make the New Year that much sweeter to ring in.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, and I'm sure to post pictures of the finished quilt next week--see you then!

Friday, December 18, 2009

My own early Xmas present

Some may know about Moda's Fabricmatcher site. It's a really cool site that lets you look at and design with different patterns and pretty much any Moda fabric in recent memory. Some folks in the blogosphere happened to mention it, and a contest that they run most months (December is an off month) where you pick a pattern by a particular designer, and using virtual swatches of Moda fabrics, design a quilt. And the pattern designer looks through all the entries for the month and chooses a winner.

I went ahead and messed with it last month, and in the end wound up with several entries. And promptly forgot about it.

Until I got an email late Wednesday saying that I had won November's contest.



No lie. I won a fabric bundle and autographed patterns from Cozy Quilt Designs. How epically cool is that?? Little old me. *shakes head* I'm still in shock, to be perfectly honest. Many thanks to Daniela Stout of Cozy Quilt Designs for choosing me, and to Moda Fabricmatcher for hosting the constest!

At last check, it's not updated with the other winners from previous months, but you can see the project I submitted here. Click the projects tab, and the winner was Cozy Quilt 5. :D

Hope everyone else is having a happy holiday season!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good little quilter this year. I have made many gifts, bee blocks, mini swap quilts and have tried to use up some stash (to make room for new fabrics, of course!). If there was one thing from the Fat Quarter Shop that I would really, REALLY love to have under the tree this year, it would be a fat quarter bundle of Wiscasset by Minick & Simpson. I fell in love with the line when I saw previews of it this past summer, and would love the opportunity to work with it.

Thank you, Santa!!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

A productive day!

I finally stopped dragging my feet (about time, with 3 weeks left til their wedding) and put together the top for my friend's daughter's wedding. I'd had the coin strips pieced for over a month, and they just sat on the table. Why? Because I HATE cutting sashing strips. I've learned that I am not good at cutting straight lines, so I have to cut bigger strips and trim them smaller to make sure everything's square and even. The natural fabric was straight off the bolt (yup, finally gave in and bought an entire bolt of fabric), and my cutting was cockeyed. I've also figured out that part of my cutting problem has to do with my lack of space to spread out. Santa, this year, I'd like some help redoing my office/sewing room so that I can actually WORK in it!!

In any case, here's the finished top, held by my lovely assistant, the madman of the house.

You name it, it's in there. Denyse Schmidt, Lizzy House, Amy Butler, Joel Dewberry, I think even some Heather Ross and Kaffe Fassett. The madman and I will be on the floor tomorrow night, basting it--really. He is the best helper--and at 6 foot 6, he has much better wingspan than I do! :) He sweeps, helps me tape and fold and press (I'm spray basting) and smooth and fold and clean up. Yup, I do know how lucky I am. Hell, he held my purse when I went sewing machine shopping last year.

Just, um, don't tell him I told you, ok?

Next weekend, among all of the wrapping and such, I'm hoping to get this bad boy quilted, so that I can bind it the weekend after Xmas and have it ready to wrap and hand over just after the first of the year. Think I can do it??

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Quilters love giveaways!

And Judi, from Green Fairy Quilts, is no exception. Pop on over to see the awesome package she's got under her tree for one lucky quilter!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Snow Day!

Once again, the weatherpeople were way off-base. Instead of the sleet and rain we were supposed to get overnight, I woke up to this:

Which is about 5 inches of snow. Which then turned over to freezing rain late this morning. Being the brain-trust that I am, I decided that perhaps my 30 minute commute in this wouldn't be such a good idea. My husband proved me right by calling me just after I woke up to tell me that he, in his 4-wheel drive, had almost slid off the road three times in the three miles between us and the nearest highway on-ramp, but that there was a spin-out two exits down that was slowing things down even more.

The hell with it. So I'm home being productive instead. I baked brownies this morning for the annual book club Xmas party being held tomorrow morning. I also caught up with my blocks for December for my bees--technically, my new bee, the Coast 2 Coast bee, doesn't start until next month, but Katie was a bit busy and figured she'd go ahead and give us some extra time to get our January blocks started. Thank you, Katie!

Katie sent out pink and purple fabrics, and asked for 6.5" stars:

A little glare-y, given the cloudy conditions today. I hope she doesn't mind the Maverick star to go with the Friendship star!

And I went ahead and made some speed-pieced Flying Geese for Jo, for my Beehive bee this month.

Jo also wanted Circle of Geese blocks, but I don't paper piece well, so I made one set with fabric she sent (the blue) and made a second set with some brown Katie Jump Rope stripes I had--her colors are awesome, blue and brown and white. I had a great time making them, learned a lot and love the tutorial for the quick geese blocks, which you can find here.

I also thought I'd share some of my swaps since my last post.

From my 4 Seasons Quilt Swap, I got this great little applique quilt from Leah. I can't applique, and I have a profound respect for those who can. Isn't this adorable?

And rounding out my end of a swap for Swap til you Drop (STUD) on Flickr, I sent Julie this little mini, made with some of the Frolic by Sandy Gervais I got in the Moda Sampler Box from FQS's giveaway this fall.

It was my second attempt--my first had too many points, and they didn't match up terribly well, so I scrapped it and started over.

From Julie, I received a sweet little quilt made of Joel Dewberry fabrics. The picture she posted on Flickr, here, is better than any I've managed to take so far.

Now, off to work on this month's STUD swap quilt. I was going to take December off, but this month's theme, Minis Go Green, was too good to pass up. We're recycling, using scraps, and have to use something that is not "standard" quilt fabric. We're not allowed to use anything new, and since I have hella scraps to use, I figured this would be a great little opportunity.

Hope everyone else is enjoying their Wednesday!