Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 wrap-up

My apologies for disappearing for the last month of the year. There were many gifts to finish, a house to clean in order to entertain (twice!), and general holiday madness in these parts. But overall, this feels like it was a fairly productive year, and the new year will be one of a number of changes for me...

First, the wrap up. I made a rather ridiculous number of bee blocks this year, doing multiple rounds of several quarterly bees, in addition to rocking out with my ladies over at The Beehive and the Peace circle of Do.Good Stitches.

The Beehive

2011 blocks, The Beehive  (looks like i forgot to upload Amy's and Karlyn's--woops!)

Peace at Do. Good Stitches

Peace at Do.Good Stitches 2011


3x6 bee blocks, 2011


Round 1

4x5 Modern Bee blocks, hive #10

(Round 2 is still in progress on my design wall....)

One of the significant changes coming is that I'm stepping back from a number of my bees. The Beehive has gone for two years, and we've come to the unanimous conclusion that we've had a lot of fun, learned a lot, made new friends, and challenged ourselves, but life has changed for a number of us and we're ready to move on. I love that group, and I was really torn about the decision, but it ultimately is what's right for all of us, and I look forward to swapping around Flickr with them all in the future.

I also stepped back from the 3x6 after the third quarter, and am debating whether I'll stick with the 4x5 after this round. I will absolutely stick with the Peace circle of do.Good Stitches--wild horses couldn't drag me out of that group!

I'm hoping that changing my focus this year will let me finish more of my own projects, including making quilts with the stacks of bee blocks in my sewing room!

Finally, speaking of finishes, there were a few this year.

A little pillow that I whipped up just before the holidays...

Quick Christmas pillow

A quilt for my mom and dad

Wiscasset Windmills--finished

I finished the scrappy Epic Adventure quilt for little Leah

Leah's Epic Adventure Quilt

And I completed the baby quilt for Leah's new little sister, Cadie

Cadie's quilt

I also made a set of placemats back in March for the Urban Home Goods Swap, round 3.

UHG 3, Sent!

And made a special little block for a secret project

Improv block in Green

That became part of a very special gift for a talented woman (Heather Ross) and her new addition

Project Special Delivery
(picture c/o Mama Spark)

And waaaay back in January, I finished this little baby quilt for my friend Tori's new little boy, Ryan

First finish of 2011

My resolutions this year, with regard to sewing, are:

1) Finish more projects than I start. Seriously, I have so many UFOs, it's a little embarassing.

2) Use up some of my stash, especially some of the things I've been hoarding. Wonderland layer cake, I'm lookin at you.

3) Finish more projects, full stop. It tends to be my least favorite part of the process, the basting and actual quilting, so I need to push through that and complete more. I'm setting myself a lofty goal of finishing 10 quilts in 2012. Let's see if I can manage that, eh?

4) Make a few scrap quilts. I'm actually tackling this one early on, as I have two scrappy UFOs already in progress, and just need to get moving on the sashing and putting together of tops for these.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year, full of more good than bad, more happy than sad, and many warm quilts. Thank you for spending 2011 with me, and I look forward to seeing you all in 2012.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Left hanging

Didn't mean to leave y'all hanging over here. I've got a camera full of photos and it happens to be in a different county at the moment. *sigh* Needless to say, I've been in a finishing frenzy. Which, if you've been a reader here for awhile, is highly unusual for this mad quilter. A baby quilt and two throws have been finished (pictures pending, obviously...), three pillow tops and another throw quilt top have been finished in just the last week. Saturday night, I have a basting date with the madman and the MadMan Cave floor, and Sunday will be a marathon quilting session. At a quick estimate, I've made roughly 900 inches of binding in the last 3 weeks, and sewn about 2/3 of that already. In fact, I was up until 11 last night sewing and pressing binding.

Needless to say, 6:30 came VERY early this morning! *mmmm, cooooffffeeee*

Once the mad sewing, and wrapping and gifting and feasting is over, it'll be back to business. Deal?


Now we can all quit procrastinating and go finish our projects!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Works in progress...

Do you remember these blocks I started over the summer? I made 100 of them, total, and have finally started to sew them together.

This is 1/4 of the finished quilt. I'm crazy--the finished quilt will be something like 100" square. See? Crazy. (Speaking of crazy, let's not point out the heaps of blocks and unfinished tops littering the top of the bookcase on the right side of the photo, shall we? Thanks.)

Of course, I got this far and then put it aside so I could work on Xmas gifts! That said, I work much better with a deadline.

Other blocks (partly pictured above) that I also started over the summer using some charm packs of Wiscasset and Clermont Farms along with Bella Cream Solid, finally made it back to the design wall.

And even got borders...

It's now basted and set aside with a couple of other tops for this weekend--Thanksgiving is over and I'm giving thanks to have my dining room table back! It's my favorite place to quilt and sew on bindings!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Angel blocks...

As you know, I'm kind of a sucker for sewing bees over on flickr. At one point, I was part of 5, though I'm down to 3 at the moment. I was a caretaker over at the 3x6 bee last quarter, and one of my bees unfortunately had to withdraw at the last minute due to health issues. (Hope you're feeling much better, Cleo!!) So I decided that, once I got my power back, I'd make the group a round of angel blocks. They were quick, but fun, and I'm thinking maybe someday I'll get around to making a churn dash quilt of my own... >.>

In any case, here are the finished blocks, which should be arriving in their new homes any day now.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What the snow was actually like...

It's funny. I had a lot of friends (many in warmer climes) comment to me during and after the virtual blackout here in CT at the beginning of the month, "But Meg, you guys got like 7 or 8 feet of snow last winter. Why was this storm so bad?"

True, this past January was snowy as a mofo--one of the snowiest I remember, and I've lived in CT for most of my 34 years.

But we've never (to my recollection) gotten 8" of very heavy, wet snow while all the trees still had their leaves. Think of it this way--hold your hand up, fingers splayed, and pour sand into your hand. Your palm will hold some, but most will trickle between your fingers, right? Now close your fingers and pour the same amount of sand, only have that sand be wet.

Different story, yes?

Three weeks after the storm, we're still clearing branches. Everyone finally has power back. But there are few things more miserable than going to bed fully clothed (leggings, socks (i hate sleeping in socks--hate it!), long sleeved shirt, hoodie with the hood pulled up) with every blanket in the house on the bed, and still shivering yourself to sleep. A few mornings, we could see our breath when we got up, and it hovered right around the freezing mark INSIDE. I have never been so thankful as the moment we got power back--the madman and I were actually rather damp-eyed with relief. Eight days was a long and very frustrating stretch--it's no surprise to anyone in the area that the CEO of the power company resigned/was forced out this past week.

So thank you for your patience! I've been 8 days behind in my general life here, and am slowly gaining on it. All of the last giveaway prizes were mailed a week ago, so they should be showing up in their new homes shortly. And I've been working like a fool with every spare second to get caught up on my to-do list (not to mention I'm feeding 13 people for Thanksgiving this week, and um, let's just say I'm much more laid-back this time around.).

Photos and posts of all my sewing shenanigans will be forthcoming!

And so I leave you with some pictures of what life looked like the day of/morning after the storm.


And after (please note that the flattened bush to the left of the driveway is normally a 10" tall tree...):

Stay warm!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Grand Finale giveaway winners!

Many thanks to everyone who has been participating in my month-long run of giveaways! I know it's been a bit quiet outside of giveaway posts lately. Here in CT, we got socked with an early freak Nor'easter last Saturday, and I've been without power at home since Saturday afternoon. It's been very cold and frustrating! Thankfully, my folks live right near the library and have been generous with their showers and coffee in the mornings! Hoping to get power back soon (maybe tonight??), but in the meantime, obviously there hasn't been any sewing going on and it's making me crazy! So bear with me--there will be actual content soon, with a little luck (and power!).

And without further ado... Here are your winners for the final giveaways!

For the assorted red and green scraps, the winner is:

erin, who said...

With Christmas quickly approaching, I'd choose the holidays fabric- thanks for the chance :)

For the Quilting Line + Color book, the winner is:

Holly, who said...

Great give away Meg! I would pick the book Quilting Line + Color. I love the look of the cover and I have never managed to get my hands on a copy to look through. Hope life is returning to normal for you!

The two winners of the copies of Block Party are:

robin, who said...

Nice giveaway! I'd choose Block Party. :)


Megan, who said...

If you made me pick, I'd have to choose the Modern Block Party book - I looked through it at the bookstore awhile back, and I mentally flagged a good number of those blocks.

And finally, the Heather Ross fat quarters, which were the most popular of the prizes, go to:

Jo, who said...

Oh boy, decisions, decisions, Ok then, all are wonderful prizes but I would really like to win the Heather Ross fabric as I have never actually owned any of it. I have drooled over it often but I have yet to have the extra cash to spend on it. Thank you for holding the giveaways for all of us.

Many thanks to everyone who has participated over the weeks, and congratulations to all of the winners!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October Giveaways--Grand Finale!

You've all been so patient as I get my act together here for the final giveaway of the month! As a thank you, I've got FOUR prizes, so put your thinking caps on, and choose wisely!

You get one entry on this post, but if you've been playing along all month, I'll add all of your entries from all of the giveaways this month into the drawing of your choice, so you potentially have up to five chances at the prize of your choice.

The catch is, you can only choose one.

To enter, just leave me a comment telling me which prize you'd like to win most, and why. Simple enough, right?

So... Will you choose...

Three fat quarters of soft Heather Ross fabric to add to your stash? Or maybe...

A copy of Quilting Line + Color by Yoshiko Jinzenji?

Or a copy of Block Party Quilts by modern quilting gurus Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks? (I've actually wound up with two extra copies of this one, so I'm picking TWO winners from this drawing!)

Or does your stash need a little holiday cheer? This little bundle of five solids and three prints would make great placemats, or pillow covers, or a tablerunner, or maybe some scrappy stockings... So many possibilities!

I'm leaving comments open until noon eastern on Friday, so you have a little time to consider. Happy choosing!

ETA: The giveaway is now closed--winners will be announced shortly!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Week 4 Giveaway Winner!

Wow! 62 entries? That's crazy-talk! It might be a drop in the bucket for bigger bloggers, but for little old me? That's huge! There is some serious Hunky-Dory love out there.

And your lists! Some of them make me feel like I've dug myself a hole I can never work out of, and some of you made me feel like we'll all be pulling some late nights together between now and the holidays.

Before I get to the winner, I'd like to take a second and say thanks for your patience this week. It's been one of "those" weeks, you know, the ones where you can't even win for losing? But I've finally gotten a decent night's sleep, and am hoping to get back in gear shortly. Which means (fingers crossed!) that the grand prize giveaway post should go up this weekend, and then I'll leave it up until next Friday so everyone can decide what they'd like their entries to be drawn for! (Is that grammar terrible or what? Perhaps a bit more sleep is in order...)

Ok, enough suspense. The Random Number Generator has done its little dance, and the winner is...

Anonymous said...

Making blankies for the local shelter from fleece scraps. The puppies and kitties are crying, so I'm working as fast as I can lol.

Anonymous, I am emailing you for your address now! Congratulations!

Remember to stop back this weekend to see what I have in store for the grand prizes--there are some serious goodies to be had!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Week 4, October Giveaway!

Here we are, folks--the last week of October giveaways! This week's prize is:

Two charm packs of Hunky Dory by Chez Moi for Moda! (I told you I had a charm pack problem!)

To win? Leave me a comment telling us what you're hoping to finish before the holidays. No crying allowed!

And come back later this week when I reveal the grand prizes for this month in giveaways!

ETA: The entries for this giveaway are CLOSED! I'll announce a winner shortly!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Week 3 winners!!

Here we go! Our winners this week are...

For the Hoopla charm pack:

Kellye Quilts said...

I'd go with Hoopla and make a few tote bags. Yum!

For the Just Wing It charm pack:

Heather A said...

I would love to make a child's quilt with "Just Wing It". I've seen some others done with this fabric line and they all really stick with me the way the fabrics works together.

For the Origins charm pack (which was the clear favorite among y'all!):

Solstitches said...

I like Origins and it would have to be a bag. I love to make bags.

And finally, for the Snippets charm pack, our winner is:

Barb said...

Oh, great give-away. I'd love to win the snippets charm pack!

(Who says the first entry never wins?!)

Congrats to all of this week's winners--I'll be emailing you all shortly.

Monday will bring a new week's giveaway (our last!) AND the unveiling of all of the goodies I've got lined up for the grand prize giveaway. See you then!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sneak peek

Just running through to give y'all a sneak peek at one of the prizes that will be part of the giant end-of-October giveaway blitz. If you've been putting your name in the proverbial hat for prizes all along, then those are all counting as entries toward the goodies I've got in store at the end of the month.

Three FQs of out-of-print Heather Ross lovelies. Sooo soft--I am a fool for these fabrics!

Oh, and if you're looking for this week's giveaway (you still have one day left!), click on over here.

I'll be back tomorrow to pick this week's winner!

(ps--Feel free to comment on this post, but those comments (or any comment on non-giveaway posts this month) will NOT count toward the final giveaway entries. Sorry!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

do. Good Stitches

I love working on scrappy projects, and in particular, digging through buckets and bags of scraps for just the right pieces. And that's one of the reasons I enjoy sewing for the do.Good Stitches beeevery month (I'm in the Peace Circle). For October, Paula asked us to make word blocks using the methods from Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci. It was so much fun! Paula started us off with "Today, I will..." and then we each had to pick a word or phrase. I chose...

"Celebrate" as my word. I love the palette she gave us--vibrant yellows, reds and aquas with touches of linen--it all makes the white letters stand out beautifully. And now, off it goes to be put with the other great blocks from my fellow bees, and I get to look forward to what we're doing next month!

Monday, October 17, 2011

October Giveaways--Week 3!

We have FOUR prizes this week, folks! It's no secret I love charm packs. You might say I have a bit of a problem... But you'd be wrong! I can stop anytime I want--honest!

Sorry, what was I saying?

Oh, right! Charm packs!

I've dug through my stash, and come up with some great ones, including several of lines that have been out of print for a bit! There are four prizes, and there will be four winners, but you can only enter once. So leave me a single comment, telling me which one you'd like to win, and what you'd like to make with it! I'll pick the winners this coming Friday.

Good luck!

ETA: This giveaway is now closed!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Week 2 Giveaway Winner!

And the RNG picked comment #6!

Congrats to Mimi, winner of 2 Fairy Tale Friends charm packs, who said:

I'm working on a really cute dog applique quilt for my niece. Thanks for the chance!!

You are most welcome, Mimi--now go and check your inbox for an email from me!

I have some sweet things to share with everyone next week, including a sneak peak at the final giveaway prizes, so see you all on Monday! Happy weekend!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Week 2, October Giveaway!

Happy Columbus Day! And welcome to week 2 of my October giveaways! I'm doing a giveaway each week for the month, and then at the end of October, there will be a giant final giveaway for everyone who has entered during the month. More about that next week!

In the meantime...

This week's prize is two charm packs of Sandy Klop's (American Jane) awesome new line, Fairy Tale Friends. It has a remix of her wildly popular multi-color pez prints, which I believe is being called Magic Beans in this incarnation. You can see details of all of the prints over here.

To enter? Just leave a comment telling me what you're working on. Have you started working on holiday gifts yet? Finishing up works in progress? Doing a quilt-along? I want to know!

Good luck, and see you this Friday for the winner announcement!

EDIT: This Giveaway is now closed. Please come back on Monday for a chance at a new October giveaway prize!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Week 1 October Giveaway Winner!

Many thanks to everyone who entered this week--if possible, I have an even broader appreciation of the season now! (Even if I have also managed to catch a freaking cold in time for both my birthday and a three-day weekend. *sigh* Murphy and his laws.)

In any case! I compiled the list of everyone who was NOT a no-reply blogger and let the RNG do its dance. The winner of the Tula Pink fat quarters is:

quilary! Who said...

We're heading into Spring in Australia, but what I like about autumn is that it's getting cool enough to have hot chocolate and cinnamon toast in the afternoon when I come in from work!

Congrats! I've sent you an email to get your mailing details!

C'mon back on Monday, when I'll have a whole new prize up for grabs. And it is so good, even if I do say so myself! See you then!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Baby quilt blocks in progress...

Slowly working my way through my "to-do" stack as I have time this week, including sweet little pink and gray star blocks for a baby quilt. I even went so far as to cut into some of my Flea Market Fancy--they're reprinting some of the line, which will be available early next year (so I hear), so why be stingy, right?

I love stars. What are you loving this week?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Week 1, October Giveaway!

If you were a reader around these parts this time last year, you'll remember last October. For those who weren't, or those who have forgotten, here's how October goes.

See, October is my favorite month. It's when New England really puts on a glorious show of color, the nights get crisp and quilt-worthy, the days are full of crystal-blue skies and the smell of leaves. It's also my birthday month! So I like to spread the joy, and the fabric, with some giveaways!

Every full week in October, I'll start a giveaway post on Monday, and announce a winner on the Friday at the end of the week. Everyone who enters throughout the month will also be entered for a big blow-out fifth prize, which will be announced later this month.

Up this week?

Five Tula Pink fat quarters, the two on the left being from Plume, and the three on the right being from the long out of print collection, Flutterby.

Want a shot? Leave me a comment telling me your favorite thing about fall. Is it baking? The return of the pumpkin latte? The end of the summer humidity? Tell me!

And that's it. One comment per person. If you'd like to Facebook, Tweet or blog about it, that's awesome, but I'm not asking anyone to jump through hoops--I've learned my lesson, because hoops bug my bum leg. :) The only hoop I'll ask you to jump through is to make sure that you leave me a way to contact you--if your blogger profile doesn't have an email available for me to use, please leave your email address in the comment. Nothing makes me sadder than being unable to contact a winner!

Good luck!

EDIT: This giveaway is now closed!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What a week!!

The good:

I finished a top! A quilt top, that is! Sadly, I only have progress photos, but you'll get the idea.

This is Leah's Epic Adventure quilt. Between now and February, I have 2 baby and 2 older sibling quilts to make. Leah's 4 and looking forward to having a little sister for Christmas. I know older siblings often get a little jealous when there's a new baby getting lots of presents, so I thought maybe Leah would like a quilt of her own. I dug through my scraps (which always makes me happy) and used Heather Ross prints for the centers. From what her folks (we've been friends for 5 years) say, Leah's a bit of a princess, but loves art and detail, and will look at storybooks for hours. I immediately thought of Aneela Hoey's tutorial from the first issue of Fat Quarterly, which I've made before for bees and for a baby quilt and just love every time. I used these blocks as a break between rounds of bee blocks, and they were a great break. Now it's in the stack waiting for the marathon basting day next month, and then onto the finishing!

Also good. I went to the grocery store this morning. My one morning off this week. As a reward, I now have iced coffee. It's the small things around here that keep me going. Which leads me to...

The bad:

I left work Tuesday night to a flat tire. My phenomenal husband drove over to put the spare on in the dark. (Smart man brought the lantern. Thank you, Irene, for making sure we had fresh batteries in it.)

I had the tire patched and put back on after work on Wednesday. Went to dinner at the diner next door (bought dinner for said phenomenal husband). Drove home. All good.

Went out to leave for work on Thursday morning. Patch did not hold. Tire dead. Bad. My brother, who lives 10 minutes away, came and got me and brought me to work. There's been a week's worth of drama attached to that particular relationship, so a half hour commute trapped in a car with him wasn't quite what I had in mind. But I am grateful that he helped me out in a pinch.

Phenomenal husband picked me up after work and went home to put the spare back on. In the rain. He also took the tire to be patched again the next day.

That patch held until Saturday afternoon--thankfully, I got to work in one piece. But it was deflated by the time I got out of work yesterday...

(By this point I wasn't even upset. I was just...done.) Called the tire place to make an appointment to buy new tires on Monday. Not an expense I'm delighted about, but it means I won't have to count on the Madman as a personal pit-crew anymore, either. Tire place dude was extremely nice and is giving me a deal. (I should also say I've been doing business with this shop for 7 years and their tires and previous patch jobs have been nothing short of amazing, so I can't fault them for this. Sometimes, this just happens.)

Bought bbq dinner for phenomenal madman. Here's where it gets to...

The ugly:

A mile from home, I heard this terrible rattle coming from under my hood. I turned off the radio and the air and listened, then pulled over because it sounded like I was dragging something. Looked under the car. Nothing. Continued to make the noise all the way home. At which point I parked, grabbed the bbq and ran for the house like I was being chased. (Don't worry, Meg. That little black cloud will come, too! /sigh) The Madman drove it around the block twice, and it made no noise.

This morning, it made no noise, except to purr like a kitten. (Also, the bbq last night was amazing. If you ever happen to be near Seymour, CT, you have to stop into Uncle Willie's. It is the most shocking thing to have real southern bbq this far north of the Mason/Dixon line, let alone in the sticks of CT, right down the road from my house. Their pulled pork is like velvet. Unreal.)

(The car IS 12 years old and has 160k miles on it, so someday, it will go to the giant parking lot in the sky. I'm just not prepared to let it go just yet.)

So thank you, my fearless readers, for putting up with my pity-party-post. I believe I'm going to spend the rest of the day cutting and sewing blocks for a quilt for Leah's little-sister-to-be.

Right after I finish this delicious iced coffee. (Thank you, Bobby at Starbucks. You're my favorite. Don't tell the others.)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Still yet more bee blocks!

I know, right? I don't blog all summer and all of a sudden I'm burying you in posts. What can I say, it feels good to be back! I actually did work on these and get them knocked out in August, at which point they promptly became buried in the pigstye I call my sewing room. Seriously, I'm worried someone's going to see the stacks of stuff around here and nominate me for Hoarders.

Anyway, I finally unearthed the blocks! More bee blocks, this time for my absolutely fabulous group of ladies in the 4x5 Modern Quilt bee over on flickr. I used the Summer Sampler Series hosted by Faith, Katie and Lee over the summer. This is the Mosaic block from the series, and it has great visual impact without being particularly difficult. That said, I'm rather in love with the secondary pattern created by having the blocks together, and I'm thinking perhaps a scrap quilt done in this block would be awesome. Yes?

In any case, the blocks are off to the four corners of the map, and I'm feeling relieved to be caught up with ALL of my bees right now! Being in 3 hives for 2 quarterly mini-bees was a LOT, and I'm feeling it. In the process of taking a mighty step back. I have Christmas presents to sew, people! (Sorry, I did it. I'm sorry!)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More bee blocks!

For a multitude of reasons, I'll be cutting back on my bee participation over the next few months. But the Beehive won't be one of them, and this is why:

This is Tanya's block. She's making a big quilt for her son, and sent us red solid, some great Prince Charming fabrics in aquas and royals, and each of us got an awesome block print to fussy cut into our blocks. I don't think any of us were prepared for how much fabric is used in these big, improv-pieced blocks (we used Elizabeth's tutorial, and I loved every second of it), so this was as far as I got before I ran out of fabric. Can I just say that this is going to be the coolest quilt ever, and that Tanya's got one very lucky son? My husband saw this hanging on my design wall and has been hinting that he wants one of his own... All in good time! I'd like to finish one for myself one of these days, so I can stop stealing the madman's Man Cave quilt!

And I love my Beehive ladies. Amy is prepping our packages for October, and I am absolutely giddy to work on this one!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I'm a sewing machine!

Or something like that.

I've been a bit of a sew-a-holic the last couple of weekends, and I've finally got a bit to show for it!

I've gotten my blocks all done for one of my (two) hives in the current round of the 3x6 bee over on flickr. It's my hive with the other caretakers, and I really hope they don't mind that I had a bit of a play in my scraps for their blocks, because I had such fun.

I decided to revisit the tutorial from Elizabeth's blog, which I've done for a couple of bees in the past. Truth is, I love improv sewing and messing with my scraps, so this block never fails to make me happy when sewing. Hoping to get out of my own way long enough to get them shipped this week!

I was on a roll Saturday, and had a bit of time before I was due to meet my dad for dinner (Mom's out of town visiting college pals, so it was time for some father-daughter quality time!), so I cranked out my September blocks for do. Good Stitches, the Peace Circle, too.

Star blocks using Allison's tutorial over at her blog, Cluck Cluck Sew. I love Allison's work, and I love the color combination that Lisa gave us for these blocks--red, gray, white, and the occasional little pop of additional color. In my case, that pop was the orange chairs on that Tufted Tweets fabric--I wasn't sure about that line when it was released, but honestly, that chair print has seriously grown on me.

Working to finish getting caught up on ALL of my blocks, because I have baby quilts to make! Two of my friends are due in just a few months, and I need to get cracking!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Me, myself, and Irene

Somehow August turned into the biggest social whirlwind my husband and I have experienced since being married (lo, these 6 years). Trips to the beach, a plethora of sushi dinners with several different friends, a couple of date nights to ourselves...

And then a hurricane. New England usually gets good and clocked in some fashion or another by a hurricane roughly every 10-12 years. Connecticut, as it happens, is usually pretty exempt, maybe a little storm surge along the shore, but nothing we can't handle. As a result, our trees can be a rather wimpy lot. Blizzards aren't enough for these suckers. Oh no. But 8 inches of rain followed by 80mph wind gusts for 24 hours? And they come down like houses of cards.

A lot.

My husband and I were without power for just shy of 3 days. Just long enough to lose the contents of our fridge and most of what was in our freezer (we were lucky enough that the madman's folks kept power the whole time and let us use some space in their spare freezer). My library is still without power nearly a week later. I'd like to say it's been like being on vacation, but that would be a lie. I've been getting up at 6:30 every morning and getting half-ready for work, only to wait around for an hour to see if it's worth completing the process. Thus far, it hasn't. As I'm sort of unofficially "on call", I've been a bit of a homebody. While we had no power, I spent most of the days reading, and finished the 4th book in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series (so, so good), and read Penny Vincenzi's "The Best of Times" for this month's book club--here's to hoping the library's open in time for our meeting next week!

However, once power was restored, there was finally a bit of sewing done.

What the... Ah, proof that my husband made the bed--kittens strewn over it, in the name of quality control. That would be Zoe to the left, and Ellie (also known as Beans) above. Zoe is not a monster, and Ellie is not a baby. Zoe is 11 years old, and weighs a sturdy 10 lbs. Ellie is 3, and is a perma-kitten--she was the runt of her mother's first litter, and is a whopping 5 lbs...

Ellie sez, I eat ur soul, kthx?

5 lbs of pure evil, that is...

Ok, but really, I did some sewing--honest!

Scrambled through the August blocks for the Peace Circle of do. Good Stitches--late blocks went out on September 1. Sorry! We used the Starflower tutorial from Jennifer over at her blog, Ellison Lane Quilts.

And after a loooong trip from Australia, Sheridan's fabric for The Beehive finally made it to my door (just before the hurricane). Took an unusually long time to get to me, nearly a month--normally, it's about 2 weeks or so, first class. At any rate, I whipped up Sheridan's blocks and sent them out, so I'm caught up with bee blocks again!

Solids and Amy Butler--love these quick blocks.

Readers, if you stuck with me during the summer doldrums here, I appreciate it more than you'll know. With a little luck, the cooler weather as we hit fall in New England will mean more time sewing, and more things to share in this space! And if you were with me last year, you also know that there's some fun to be had here in October (more so than usual, that is!), so thank you, and I promise to make it worth your while!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Summer is marching on at a rather alarming, if sweaty, rate. I mean, it's August already? How did that happen?

In the few moments it has been cool enough to sew in my un-air-conditioned sewing room, I've gotten a few bits and pieces done.

I finished and sent out my July blocks for The Beehive to Belinda just in time. Linen, French newsprint center strips, red, blue, and pops of kelly green in string blocks. I think Belinda is a color-combining genius--these blocks were extremely quick and fun, and I just love the colors.

I've also been noodling around with blocks for both hives of the 3x6 bee that I'm in this quarter, as well as for the first round of the modern sister-bee, 4x5. Trimming...

And sewing up some test blocks in my own colors, aqua, orange, white and gray. Like this Mosaic block, most recently from the Summer Sampler Series going around blogland, care of Faith, Lee and Katie.

It's been too humid to be comfortable working with the iron at all, or sewing much past noon on my days off, but I've gotten a few bits and pieces done. Heck, it's too humid for blocks to stick to my design wall for very long. Hopefully I'll have more to share soon. I don't know about anyone else without AC, but I'm looking forward to some cooler evenings to help me get some sewing done!

Saturday, July 23, 2011


My apologies that this space has been so silent lately. It's just too darn hot to sew in the evenings. An un-air-conditioned house plus triple-digit heat here in CT means I've got nothing to show you, and not much to blog about.

However, my boss has asked me to blog about books for the library, and since it's never too hot to read, there's been some writing done over there! Looking for suggestions on what to read? Go take a look!

The heat should break in the next day or two, which will hopefully mean more posts for you guys in the near future. Stay cool, and thanks for bearing with me!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bee Block roundup

Of course, you know if you haven't heard from me in awhile, there's a glut of things for me to share with you. In this case, bee blocks!

I was lucky enough to be involved in the Sew Fresh Fabrics charity bee this round, and got my packet of fabrics last week. Look! Pips! Rainy Days! It was such a nice little parcel to open and pet while I figured out what I was going to do with them.

I added a few bits from my stash and just did a little improv log cabin frame around each fussy-cut print. The finished block is 12.5" and is already headed back to Sew Fresh Fabrics HQ to meet up with the rest of the blocks.

Then there were this month's blocks for do.Good Stitches, based on a tutorial by Ashley over at Film in the Fridge. LOVE these blocks.

Sorry they look a little wonky here--I think it's part camera angle and part the ripple in the design wall--I really need to tack down the bottom edge. They were super fast to put together, and easy to chain piece--thinking perhaps I may have to do a limited-palette scrap quilt in this pattern sometime in the future. Heh, like I need another project, right?

Finally, I sucked it up and dug into Annabel's parcel of fabrics for her month of The Beehive. I'll be honest, Annabel's month was actually June--I was a bad bee and slacked like nobody's business on this one. I do that when it's something I'm not so comfortable with. :(

Some little sailing ships for her month (none of these are bigger than 4" finished). I made these up as I went along, and will let Annabel choose which she uses--she'll be sashing them out to appropriate size with more of the dark blue solid, Kona Nightfall (the photo doesn't do it justice, it's really a gorgeous deep blue). You should check out the Beehive photostream to see some of the amazing blocks being made by my bee-mates for this one. The theme is "The Busy Sea at Night" and I am in awe at some of the talented paper-piecing going on. I don't know how to paper-piece beyond a string block, something I suppose I ought to learn someday.

Now, to prep some sample blocks for the new round of 3x6 and its new offshoot bee, the 4x5. Would you believe I'm caretaking for both bees now? Heh. Yup, the mad librarian quilter, that would be me...