Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Happenings...and time off work! Yippee!

HI Everyone!!! First of all, please let me say how fun it was to be the hostess for the giveaways of last week! Thank you to Mary Etherington and Connie Tesene of Country threads, who generously gave their book "Back to Charm School" to review and giveaway. Congratulations to Janet O. of the Rogue Quilter blog! She won this book, and it is winging it's way to her as we speak.

Further congratulations to Lois A, who won the Sonoma Rose book! Thank you so much to the publishers who so graciously sent it to me for review!!

OK, see above! See what a few strings will get you? I absolutely had a blast making this top, and I estimate that there are over 500 different fabrics in this top. I love it!! It was such great fun to make...and see below!

I used a whole bunch of my strings!! This is all that is left now...poor lonely strings, I know they will not stay that lonely in the bin for long! I took this time and sorted out some blues, some pinks, some green strings, and put them separately...for someday!!

The Just Take Two quilt!! I am throwing in the towel...I am just not a good paper piecer, so I try to draft the patterns my way, and my blocks turn out an inch big, or 1/2 an inch small...grrr!! So I am going to border this piece, and call it good. I think I have captured some of the spirit of that lovely red quilt exibition. I think flying geese would look so fun on the outside of this! I still have a ton of red left...so I think I will make some more basket blocks, all in red...I am in love with that block!!

I hope each one of you is having a good day!!


Friday, February 24, 2012

For a good time!!!

Hi Y'all! First of all, why are my pictures on the right side of the screen? Oh well, it is all just fine and dandy!! I finished the Patient strings quilt top!! It was such great fun...and my string bin will still not close. So, I started another string quilt! Want to join me???

First of all, the night or day before, cut some muslin foundations. I cut the foundations about an inch bigger than the block size I want. Smaller blocks are easier to work with for me, using strings, so I am making 6 inch finished blocks, so they will trim to 6 1/2 inches prior to sewing them together...clear as mud? Hee!!! You can use paper foundatons, but then you have to remove the paper and may scream and kick your feet in frustration at this...or you may like this part! who knows! Just have fun whatever you do!

Then I cut some muslin pieces, about two inches wide...don't measure! This is not science, this is fun!! Art! or something....


1. Wake up!

2. Smile a big ear splitting grin! Thnk about how life is so good, you are not in the hospital or in the grave, so life is just peachy!!Hug your spouse, kiss him or her and tell him how much you love him!

3. Launch yourself up out of bed! Brush your teeth, comb your hair (or vice versa), grab the sheets and towels and run to the laundry and start a load! Don't take time for your shower yet...that will come a little later!! Do take a few minutes and make your bed neatly....it feels good later to come in and have your bed neat and tidy...

4. Get your strings!! You know, those pieces you have saved forever...OK, dump them all out. Get down and roll around in them...with your dog. (my dog just had her bath..she smells delicious). It is fun, don't worry, it is OK, and no one is here to judge you or see you...have fun! You may want to wear your oldest and most favorite sweat pants, because you are going to have strings all over you! Savor those pieces you have used in other quilts...pick out some favorites and remember where you used those fabrics! Whack off a piece about 7 inches long and place it in the middle of your muslin squares...

Then choose another piece at random and sew it right sides together and finger press it out like this. Don't run to the ironing board! Finger pressing is enough...let go of perfection and have a blast instead!!

Keep on going, adding pieces to the block...on one edge, add the muslin strip! Just trust me...don't measure, just when you get about 1 1/2 inches from one edge, sew on the muslin strip. Raggedy huh!!!

Ok, don't run to the ironing board...make about ten or so blocks first! Tap your feet, make sure your favortie movie is playing, or some great music... blue grass is great fun! Sing along...LOUD!!!

Ok, now you can press your blocks, using a bit of water or starch or Best Press...I have a spray bottle of water that works just dandy. Trim! Now, this part...I trim from the front (works better for me to judge how much to trim that muslin strip side). 6 1/2 inches square! Carefully!! I try to leave about 1 1/2 inches of the muslin...

Dance through the living room and dining room with your feather duster and dust a little...fast and fun, and singing all the while! Just do it!!

Step back and admire the amazing mess you have just made...and don't worry, you can clean it all up in a trice later!!

6. (Oh, I forgot number 5...that's OK! We are not about perfection here...Hee)! Plan dinner...take out meat to defrost and see what you have in the way of vegies.. Do it now and dinner willl be easy later! Hee!

7. Go to the washer and put the sheets and towels in the dryer...add dryer sheets and sniff in the good fresh smell!!!

Ok, go lay out your blocks! Aren't these fun? A cacophony of colors! I have a lot of dull brown strings, so I try to mix it up with some pretty brights too...

8. Run around the living room and dance with your dog! Kiss her on the nose...don't worry about germs, it is all OK!!!

Run in and admire the pretty Valentines flowers...try to take a picture and fail...

So try again!!!

Grab all the joy you can out of life...it is fleeting and short, and we need to have fun and be joyful each day! Sing loud, sew hard and fast, and dance!!

Now some of you may think I have lost my mind, or have ADDHD or something...but it is all OK, and I have achieved something already today, and it is Only 10AM!!!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Country Threads!! Book Giveaway!!

I am supposed to be posting this tomorrow...but I am at the hospital all day working, so I am posting this late tonight, in anticipation of tomorrow...

I just loved this newsy fun newsletter that Mary including with her book...please see below! The newsletter is chock full of country wisdom and fun, and quilts, and animals...what could possibly be better? Again! SEE BELOW!!! Hee!

I was honored to get to review this book for Mary and Connie of Country Threads!! Country Threads is a very cool quilt shop...located on a real working farm in Iowa!! I wanna go! Here is a link to their shop. They have goats and all kinds of farm animals, and the quilt shop is in a restored chicken coop! How much fun is that!

I just so happen to own the first Charm School book, and really love it. I have made several projects from that book, and found the directions concise with good pictures/illustrations...I liked that part a lot!

Back to Charm School has lots of projects, from simple to those a little more challenging...including good old country/motherly wisdom. I know you all have some charm packs hanging around in your quilting space...this book is the answer to using them up.

Isn't this a cute quilt? One of my favorites in the book for sure...

So here is the deal! Leave a comment to be included in the random drawing for the book...but be quick! I have to work on Saturday, so on Friday Night, I will randomly choose a winner!!

Have a great day, all!!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Sonoma Rose...a giveaway!!

HI Y'all!! I was privileged to have a chance to review the latest Elm Creek Quilt novel by Jennifer Chiaverini!! As many of you know, Jennifer has written many books...wonderful books...including quilting how-to books as well!! I wish you all would have nudged me before about her...I love her writing, based on this book! Now I am going to have to go to the library and check out all her books there...but I checked Amazon, and all of them are there too. So, I can see some book shopping in my future!

This book is about prohibition...which caught my eye, as I have some (ahem) distant relatives that were bootleggers in prohibition times. It is about strength of character, courage, and making it in tough times, running a vineyard in the 1920's. The 1920's are an interesting period...kind of after World War 1, and before the great depression. Lots of income...lots of pianos, and big ticket items for homes were purchased in these years...that is why you see so many old upright pianos from this time period. But I digress...this book can be yours! Just leave me a comment, and I will choose a winner by random drawing on Thursday and send the book to you! It is a hard cover book, not even published yet...very cool!

OK then!! The Patient Strings top is together! Oh how I loved making this, it was super easy and super fun! NO matchy-matchy, just sew and go and have a blast...that is how I roll!! Too bad it did not even make a dent in my string stash...sigh...

So, this was going to be the border...and it just does not work at all. The diagonal lines are just lost...so I am doing string blocks, smaller, as the border, keeping with the diagonal lines. I like it much better!! And I have so many more ideas for string quilts...seems like I just love working with my scraps, and those collections and matching fabrics? (I really don't have too much of this type of stash) Not used at all! I guess they are aging...

So the discarded string border of the above quilt? Became this table runner! Really, I have learned something about strings and scraps working with these blocks...if you pair the string blocks with a grey-tone or dull print, the whole piece becomes grayed...if you put something quite bright with the strings, all the colors are accentuated and brought out...I love that!

OK, so I have started something new...what is this, you might ask? You know the Civil War Bride's quilt? I have lusted after it for years...and decided enough is enough, I am making one! Karen Mowery, of Sew Primitive quilts, wrote a pattern book with the patterns for this quilt!! I just so admire her work, and when I found out she had written this book, I snatched it up. It has become my Jubilee quilt...a celebration of turning 50 years old, very soon. Lori of Humble Quilts started a blog featuring ladies who are making Jubilee quilts...please click here.

Here is Karen's book...it is so cool!

Fifi! Of Romania! You won the cross stitch kits from last post...just e-mail me your address and I will send them off. I have never sent anything to Romania...how fun!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Are you a cross stitcher? giveaway!!

I used to be an avid cross stitcher, and still love it. However, in the spirit of down sizing and minimizing the stash, I found these cross stitch kits I have not and probably will not ever make due to the quilting bug...would you like them? Please just leave a comment if you would like these...I will select a winner on Sunday by random drawing and send them to you!

Thanks for helping me clean out and organize!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

It's a string thing!!!

Well, you might ask why in the world is she doing a string quilt, with so many projects on the go...and I have an answer! Please see below...

I cannot close this bin anymore, it is so full of strings!! so, I decided to join so many other quilters and make a string quilt. This quilt will be given to one of my patients at the hospital. I love, love, love using these little bits of fabric up, it is great fun to see pieces of old projects and clothing we have worn.

I finished the crazy cat hand quilting! I put the binding on, and will stitch it down some quiet evening. I need to erase the blue quilting lines still too.

Before baking! Our Valentine's pie!! Hope he likes it...

Have a great day, all!!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sheer delight!

More progress is being made on the Snail's trail! These are really fun, easy blocks to make...and I am really loving making them! About half done here.

Just Take Two. I did! Red and white...and these are not so much fun, so I have changed them up a bit so I can be a little more accurate. I wish I were a perfect piecer! I made so many mistakes in the house block that I designed this one, instead, and the heart on the roof can be my signature square. If at first you can't succeed...redesign it!!

I got all the borders done on the plaid giant fun quilt! It is ready to be quilted now...wheww!!!

This is the corner...and the last remnants of husband's pajamas, used in the red corner square. Maybe you already know this, but I was looking for the perfect fabric for another quilt...and spied my husband old worn out plaid PJ's on the ironing board. I proceeded to cut holes in them all over, using the good parts!! Long story short, dear husband (who has lots of other PJ's and I thought he would never miss these) went and found his PJ's and put them on...and found holes all over them!! It was truly hilarious...he had a good sense of humor and took it all in stride. The things our husbands put up with in a quilter's home!

These...these strings blocks are just delighting me!! I do love them so much...just me and the strings and a glorious mess in the kitchen, all around the table...just delightful!!!

***************Other Commandments they did not list but maybe should have**********************

1. Though shalt not dig through the trash at retreats and pull out little pieces of fabric to hoard!

2. Though shalt not idly look around at all the plaid shirts in church and think "maybe they would all leave me their shirts as they leave and wear home choir robes"

3. Though shalt not get caught cutting up dear hubby pajamas for quilts.

4. Though shalt not quilt and forget to cook supper!

Now, you add to this list!!! Hee!!!

Have a great day,