Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Got lucky

I was lucky enough to win two giveaways from blogland recently.

The first was a set of Schnibbles patterns that Carol from Carol's Crafty Creations was passing on.
State Fair is a pattern that I've been wanting to make for awhile.   I immediately cut open 2 Fandango charm packs that had been stored away in my stash.  This one comes together quite quickly.

I did goof a bit on the block trimming but caught the error after about 5 blocks.  I trimmed too much so will likely have to remake those blocks.  There are enough charms leftover to do this so no worries.

Thanks, Carol.  I really appreciate it!

The second win was a set of cute fabric from Corrie at Quilt Taffy.  (no photo today, sorry).  She has giveaways every Thursday.  Her blog is fun and on my read list.   Ironically, I had just ordered this beauty from her store last week!
Haven't cut into it yet.  Just enjoying looking at it.

Found some giveaways during my blog tour today wanted to pass on:
  • Pink Please is offering a chance to win a jelly roll
  • A book title More 90 Minute Quilts at Piece N Quilt
  • Madame Samm has two giveaways going on at Sew we Quilt.  Check them out!
  • Happy Quilting is offering a chance to win a new magazine on pre-cuts
  • Quilt Dad has some new fabric - Nesting Chairs - for his giveaway winner.
Happy Stitching!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Spring in the Park

The weather in North Carolina this weekend feels like someone flipped the calendar back to January.  Today is in the mid-30s with a lovely cold rain.

Certain to bring sunshine into any day is Kate Spain's Central Park fabric.
Using disappearing 9-patch block (such a fun and easy block), I made a table runner from a charm pack.  To break up the color a bit, I also included 4 white charms.

These white squares also gave me an opportunity to advance my FMQ skills.
I did these 'feathers' freehand - in other words I did not draw them on the fabric first.  This photo is before washing so I am expecting some of the crinkle to improve things a bit!

For the back and binding, my favorite of all the prints:
It was very satisfying to whip this together in just a few hours. 
This is a birthday gift for one of my sisters.

Next Sunday is the big day for the 1/2 marathon in Central Park in NYC.  (See why this fabric was calling to me?)  The current long range weather outlook is exactly the kind of weather we are having here today in NC.  Weather where quilters are happier inside cuddling some fabric.   I will go on a 6 mile walk today later this afternoon - in the rain if I have to - to stay on my training schedule and see what walking in this weather would actually be like.  I'll have a large cup of tea and a warm quilt waiting for when I return.
Have a great weekend.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bags complete and a 'little' shopping

I finished 2 bags this week.

This is for sister #3.  Her birthday in April.  She just got a new puppy so a couple of leftover charms from my Max & Whiskers charm pack made a nice bag.  (Post on table runner made with the rest of the charm squares is here.)  (I've no idea why this is turned sideways.)

This is for me!   I've gradually move up to larger and larger handbags and needed something to corral a bunch of little items.  This was made from a left over layer cake square from my Sunkissed star quilt (post here).  The sunkissed quilt still needs a final outer border and will go to my long arm quilter on Apr 25.  Until then, I plan to enjoy the bag .  (Again, no idea why this photo turned sideways.)

On the shopping front, I tripped across some early releases of the Sweetwater Countdown to Christmas fabric and bought myself a layer cake.  I just couldn't resist.

Oh, and I ordered an ipad.  I've been wanting one for a year and made myself wait until the model year 2.  It won't be here for 4-5 weeks.

Sorry for the weird photos.  Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I finished up Cottontail!!

This is a mini-quilt 24 inches square made from my scraps.  I put him together Friday night and found time on Saturday to quilt and bind.   I stitched in the ditch around the bunny and opted not to quilt him.  The flowers were applied with a piece of batting behind them so they are raised.

He is now proudly displayed in my kitchen.  (Just looking at him gives me a craving for jelly beans and chocolate eggs!)

My training for the 1/2 marathon - 2 weeks from now - went well today.  I walked 12 miles and felt great.

Have a great week

Happy Stitching!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy Quilting Day!

Happy Quilting Day to all!

I hope you are able to spend some time enjoying your fabric stash today!  I know I intend to carve out some time back at my machine later in the day.  I may also enjoy the beautiful day and cut out some fabric while sitting on my back porch.  I've a few blocks in my BOM to catch up on.

Friday Night Sew In was a lot of fun last night.  My daughter had a DVD of Celtic Woman playing as I created this little guy.  He took me about 2 hrs to piece together.

This was made with scraps from Bliss that I used for my Spring Bliss quilt (see this post.)  I had 4 charms left and used 3 of them for the flowers.  Right now, a piece of batting is being used for the tail.

Some close ups of the bunny:

The body itself is a 3 1/2 by 6 1/2 rectangle before sewing.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting.  More photos of Easter Bunny once I FMQ.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Max & Whiskers Table runner complete

This Friday is Friday Night Sew In (FNSI) - make sure you go and register at Heidi's blog.  She and Bobbi sponsor the fun and then there are plenty of new blogs to explore the next day.

This past Friday night I got in some FNSI practice (smile) and did some free motion quilting on the table runner I've made as a gift.  Got it binded as well.

I went with off white thread.  I think it worked ok on the dark fabrics.

The Max & whiskers fabric is so cute with the dog, cat, bunny & fish.   (This table runner is a gift to someone who has multiple of these creatures filling her house - and 3 kids too!)

I also did some FMQ of some other things I had pieced that I will make a couple of small bags with.  Gotta get more zippers first!

Finally, check out the giveaway at JayBird Quilts!

Have a great week.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mug Rug Dilemma

I'm down to just scraps from my Sunkissed layer cake but did manage to make some mug rugs.  

Here it is auditioning to be a flower rug.
Or sneaking into a Easter basket.  (This cute chocolate bunny bank is from Target.)
A closeup of my second mug rug.  In this one I am 3/4 through the binding before I discovered a problem.

Looks good from that side, right?  Well,  look at the reverse side:

Exactly how I managed not to notice that I hadn't trimmed it correctly through machine sewing the binding on the front and then sewing 3/4 of it by hand I do not know.

Can't decide how to recover.  Pull the binding off?  Or perhaps make a very big label for a small mug rug.


Happy Stitching!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Living in NC means winters are generally mild.  When it gets frigid cold, it doesn't last long.  That doesn't mean I am not thrilled to see Spring - I am!! I adore more hours of daylight and not having to commute to work in the dark.

This was one of the first quilts I quilted last year once I upgraded to my Janome machine.  I am still learning much about FMQ but having fun!

Found fun stuff in my blog trolling I wanted to share:

  • Go watch this video on YouTube and help raise money for Australian flood release.  Very fun and inspiring.  The kids are raising money through google ad clicks so spread the word.
  • JayBird quilts is having a wonderful giveaway.  (However, if you don't enter, perhaps it raises my chances of winning!)
  • Major giveaway going on at Sew we Quilt at Stash Manicure.  You have to check this one out
  • Luck of the Irish to you - check out this chance to win a gift certificate at Spun Sugar Quilts
  • Bright colorful giveaway at Pink Fig Designs
  • Visit SewCalGirl to nominate and then vote for best of quilting awards.
And finally, I won a Quilting is Murder pin for successfully following the trail of clues through various quilt shops (it is a tough job, but someone has to do it.)  Look for a new mystery in May.

Happy Stitching!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

No time for quilting today.

No time for quilting today.

My daughter and I are going to see Celtic Women in concert this afternoon.  If you don't know their music, make some time check it out at this YouTube link   (Unfortunately, our concert venue won't be quite as glamorous as the castle as shown in the video.)

On training front, I walked 10 miles yesterday as part of my 1/2 marathon training and felt great afterwards.  Weather was in the mid-60s and low humidity.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Border is Secure

In a previous post, I was looking for some advice on what to do for a border for my current work in progress quilt.   I considered a piano key border but realized I really didn't have enough scraps from the layer cake to make this work without dipping into the light colors that I hadn't used in the quilt.

So I went with a new look.  Instead of piano keys, I call it a jewel border.  I framed the quilt in 2 1/2 inch squares made up of scraps from the blocks.  I've incorporated stars into the border - trying to suggest they are falling into the center (or out of the center).  Need a bit better lighting to show this in the picture.

I am going to then frame this in 2 1/2 inch white strip and then (probably) add a 2 -3 inch solid border on the edge and do the binding in this same color - the green dots.  (The real reason for the final border is to make this a large enough size - right now it is 56 x 44.)

Putting this quilt together and essentially designing as I went has been a blast.  I hope to post final pictures by the end of the weekend.

I will need to name this quilt - just got my monthly dose of Sweetwater label club and thinking maybe one of these names would fit. 

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

News from the Quilting Blog-o-sphere!

Wanted to share some fun things I found while reading through blogs:  

  • SewCalGirl is hosting the 2011 Golden Quilters Awards with the opportunity to nominate and then vote for categories such as Best Designer or Best Quilt Store.   Nominations open on March 1.   There are prize possibilities for blog PR and for nominating!
  • Fat Quarterly is hosting a fabric based March Madness.  Download your brackets and enjoy the fun!
and a couple of important blogging tips:

I follow or subscribe to every blog I am interested in.  (I used to bookmark things but then spent far too much time navigating to blogs without updates - or missing a blog announcement of a giveaway.)  Google Reader is a great way to see what is new but you don't get to see the blog posts actually on the blog page (and catch the fun buttons, headers etc.)  There is a way you can easily navigate to all those blog updates:
  1. While in Google Reader, in the upper right corner, choose SETTINGS and from the dropdown, choose READER SETTINGS.
  2. Choose GOODIES
  3. Find the section titled PUT READER IN A BOOKMARK and then drag that NEXT button up to your bookmark bar
  4. Click on NEXT in your bookmark bar and navigate to each new blog post!
Turn off comment validation so people don't have to enter that code.  I've chosen to have my comments moderated so they come to my email for approval but there is many a blog out there that is recommended you only need to do that for older comments.  Google spam filters have apparently improved quite a bit.  (I made this change recently and hope that it makes it easier for people leaving comments.)

I use POST OPTIONS in Google blogger to set (some of) my posts up to be automatically posted at a date in the future.  This particular one was set for March 1.  Since I have quite the busy work week, it helps me actually make time for blogging by sitting down on the weekend and doing a live weekend post and a scheduled mid-week post.

Some quilting eye candy (just because)

Some yardage for Central Park, Sunkissed, and Lollipop to go with my sweet stash and, oh yes, a Pure layer cake. 

Happy Stitching!