Friday, December 31, 2010

A Time To Reflect

New Year’s Eve – a time to reflect back on the year, to celebrate its passing, and all you’ve accomplished [or not].  A time to resolve to do better, to make the new year a better one, to do things differently.  That’s what this post is about.

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So, in that spirit, how did your gift giving go this year?  Were your gifts from the heart, finished on time, without stress?  Were they stitched up and wrapped up with plenty of time for relaxing in front of the tree with your loved ones?  Or were you like me......stitching up to the very last minute, frantically trying to remember who you forgot, and surfing for ideas at the 11th hour.  If so, you might be interested in joining me in 2011!

Let's think about Christmas all year long.  Starting January 5th, I’ll be doing a post every month.  Except for January, it will be on the first of the month.  I figure you need time to recuperate in January – I know I do.  I’ll do a blog post every month, with links to gift idea tutorials, and a Christmas movie suggestion [to get you in the mood, you know].  I’ll add Mr. Linky to the post [and if anyone can help here, it would be appreciated] so you can add your blog name if you’d like to play along.  We’ll be making ONE gift per month – if you make more, that’s excellent!  Then, at the end of the year, if you play along every month, you’ll have at least 12 gifts completed.

There will be small give-aways each month.  I can’t afford to buy for my give-aways, so it will be something I’ve made – and this is an open invitation to anyone who’d like to play along, if you’d like to do the give-away in any month that would be wonderful!  But I will never pressure you to do that.  Like I said, it will be small – maybe a fat quarter or a mug rug.

At the end of the month, you’ll have to post a picture of your gift you’ve made on your blog.  So be careful who you make them for!  By posting your finished gift, and letting me know, you’ll be entered into the give-away.


This bloggy club will remain open all year – if you want to do it that month, you’re in.  If you skip a month, no problem.  I’m doing this to help myself stay on track – so I have gifts on hand – instead of waiting until October or November or even December to start making gifts.  In January, the year stretches out ahead of me, with plenty of time until next Christmas – but somehow, it shrinks and speeds by until I find myself at the last minute, giving up because I waited too long.  By posting, perhaps we can help each other get more accomplished, and stay in the giving spirit all year long.

So come on back January 5th, and let’s see if we can’t get some things done in 2011 – and have some good fun along the way!

*If you'd like to add the button to your blog, just right-click the picture, save, and use the "add a gadget" on your dashboard.  Choose "picture", then add the link to my blog.  I don't know how to make a "real" button! *

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cue Heavenly Chorus

Well, I hope you all had a good Christmas, from the looks around blogland it surely would seem that way!  I did too - and I'm finally getting onto my computer to join the show and tell.

On Thursday, a very special package arrived from a very special person.  Midge from Soggibottom sent me a bag that she made, and I'm the only one in Michigan [or the country?] to have one.  I love it so much, and she even put a tag on it that says "Soggibottom".  Thank you Midge, my new bag brightens up my room and my heart - I shall carry it with pride!

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Gorgeous, isn't it?  I want to carry it everywhere!

And two days later it was Christmas.  I knew there was a box under the tree, a couple of them, and you know what I was hoping for......a new camera.....

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And not just any camera, but the exact one I wanted.  They're no longer available, but hubby found the perfect one on ebay, and now it's MINE.  I love it so much, I can't even tell you - it fits perfectly in my hand, the pictures are crystal clear, it has a million different settings and manual settings as well - I can get a few different lenses for it - it has ZOOM - it takes movies - oh my.  The only problem?  The camera has to be turned on to download the pics to the computer.  And right now, my old re-chargeable batteries and worthless charger aren't doing the job.  So the pictures on the blog today are using my old camera.  I can take about 5 pics, but then the batteries have to be charged overnight again in order to download the pics.
So there is a new charger in my future - it better be soon, I want to play!

There was also a smaller box from Amazon.com. 

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I'm so happy to own this book!  Can't wait to play with it, too.

Other than playing with my new toys, it's been slow here in Allie-land, eating leftovers and having cousins stay over.  No sewing, but some planning....I'm going to start something next week, and I hope you'll join me!  I'll be posting about it in a day or two.  Stay tuned!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas


From my family to yours - I wish you a safe, blessed, and joy-filled Christmas, and hearts filled with wonder at the miracle He has given us.
Love, Jeff, Allie, John and Sam

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

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Happy Birthday Mum!

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We love you!

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Unfortunately, mum couldn't wear her party pants today - she flew to Florida over the weekend with my aunt, to attend a birthday party.  Some inconsiderate soul brought laryngitis onto the airplane and mum found it.  So she spent the day in her cozy  slippers and comfy clothes.  Rock on, mum, you're lovely no matter how you roll!

Friday, December 17, 2010

An Abundance of Blessing

I have a bit to share with you tonight, my friends!  First, I want to tell you about a website my bff shared - Missing Money .Com.  You can go there, type in your name, and find out if your state or ANY state is holding money for you.  I tried my maiden name, my first married name, and my name now - guess what - my state has some money for me!  They didn't disclose the amount, so it will be a surprise.  I'm sure it won't be much - it's from an auto club I belonged to several years ago.  You can believe I tried the name of everyone I know, lol.  And found out my aunt was there twice!  You have to fill out a form, including with your social security number, which made me nervous - but it is a secured site - and then you print the claim form.  My friend Shirley, who lost her hubby last year, has money coming to her from her hubby.   She'll have to provide a copy of her marriage certificate and the death certificate to make her claim.  Sadly, the state doesn't pay interest on your money....*snicker*  Did I mention it's free?  You don't have to sign up to this site or anything.  Give it a try - I sure got a pleasant surprise!

And now to blessings by mail.  I'm getting that old Christmas spirit this week, I tell ya.  I got a package this week from Michelle at The Raspberry Rabbits, if you're not familiar with her site go check it out - such beautiful creations!  And one of them is now mine!

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This beautiful sachet [oh the smell is HEAVENLY], a gorgeous handmade card, some white and green tea, and a Bliss chocolate that sadly did not make it to the photo shoot.  YUM.  Thank you Shell, you are a doll! Go check out her BOM, A Sentimental Journey Through The Months - if you haven't seen it, the patterns will be up until January 11th - her new BOM will start on the 12th!

Today, the mailman woke me up to hand me this.

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An envelope from Paula at Quilt Happy, Quilt Often - her pattern company is Pacific Patchwork.  Inside was one of her darling patterns!

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Isn't that sweet???  And I love the name of it - I love 'happy'!  Thank you Paula!  This is on my list for the week after Christmas!~

And then the box...I had won a give-away over at Lyn's blog, Blue Bird Quilts Patterns.  It was for a charm pack of Lilac Hill by Brannon and Patek, and a mystery gift for reaching 50 followers.  OH MY.  This is what it looked like when I took it out of the box.

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My Christmas spirit came back with a ~whooosh~.  I felt like a little kid again!

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The charm pack was there, a darling cross-stitched card, a felt Christmas tree pen that jingles [kitty LOVES this], a beautiful notepad, Santa tissues, sweet little sewing-themed buttons, bon bon soap that smells delish, and a gorgeous tote pattern complete with grommets to make it - I've never tried grommets, I can't wait!  Oh my gosh Lyn you blessed my socks off and made my Christmas.  Oh and the market tote that folds up and snaps for easy carrying - I should have gotten a better pic of it, very stylish - and of course that darling stocking!  Lyn, you are too sweet, thank you so much - and thank you for helping me fight the grinchies!

Are you all ready for Christmas?  We are going to put the tree up this weekend, and probably start shopping next week.  Yeah.  A wee bit behind.  Neither of the boys can think of a thing they want.  Trying to find something for teen boys that won't break the bank is hard!  Hubby says "socks and underwear, that's what they need".  Of course he says that every year.  He's a lot of fun to get a gift from [not] - I still remember the year he wrapped a huge box for me, and it was speakers for his garage stereo.  I think I might have to bring that up in the next couple of days *evil grin*

I hope you all are enjoying the build-up to Christmas.  My prayer for you all is for cozy nights by the light of the tree, peace in your homes, and loved ones surrounding you.  I pray that the wonder and joy of the birth of our Savior fill your heart to overflowing.  Merry, Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Still Autumn???

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Like most of the rest of the country, we're having some January cold here in Michigan.  Yesterday, we got 6.5 inches of snow, officially - nothing compared to other folks.  And people are stranded on the 402 in Canada.  In their cars.  One man [from Michigan] had been there 13 hours, and they told him they might be able to get him out by Tuesday afternoon.  ???  Apparently the truckers who are also stranded have been opening their trucks to folks, keeping them warm in the cabs.  God bless the truckers.

Last week, when we went to the library, I almost didn't go in - I have so many projects going, I didn't want to get any books.  But I did go in, and of course a book jumped off of the shelf into my arms, demanding my attention.
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This project in particular caught my eye.

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I thought it was possibly the cutest family tree I'd ever seen.   Maybe someday I'll find time to make it!

The snow has stopped, and now we're just dealing with bitter cold.  You'd think, since I'm staying home, I'd be getting a lot done...but no.  This cold weather is sapping my strength.  I think the hardest part of dealing with fibro and arthritis is the lack of energy.  In my head, I'm still a Type A person, full of grand plans and always overestimating what I can do.  The pain is easy to deal with in comparison!    Staying busy is one way to keep my mind off it.  Right now I can't stand for more than maybe 10 minutes - hard to cut out a quilt in that amount of time.  [Even a teeny one!]

Tell me, at what point in the race to Christmas do you decide you're NOT going to do something you planned?  I had planned on making Christmas cards this year.  Today, I decided it wasn't going to happen, and I'm not even sending pre-made ones [since I didn't purchase any].  The little gifts I'm making for some special friends will not be finished by Christmas, let alone shipped.  Is it time to throw my hands in the air, and just get a bunch of Christmas movies at the library?  I feel like a slacker!

I think I'll go watch Everybody Loves Raymond and read your blogs.  Pretzel, anyone?

Friday, December 10, 2010

She Loves Me

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This is Greta.  She's my friend's dog, and right after I took this pic she jumped up and kissed me.  She's a very lovable pup.   Mum and I visit my friend every Thursday night.  This past Thursday had a twist - I dropped mum off, and then went to the SE Michigan Crafters Meetup, hosted by Rae from Made By Rae and Karen of Patterns By Figgy.  Very fun - although I wasn't able to stay long, I got to talk to a lot of interesting folks.  The highlight of which was getting to meet Rebekah, from Don't Call Me Becky.   She's so sweet!  I think most everyone there had a blog.  Then I went back to pick up mum and go for donuts.  Blueberry filled.  With hot chocolate.  I found my hot chocolate in the car this morning....totally forgot I had it.

Today was a mixed-emotion day.  I went down the street to my best friend's house, to help her pack up her sewing room.  She's moving.  Only to the next city, but I won't be able to run down in my jammies anymore to borrow a sewing notion.  We actually met several years ago, on an international machine embroidery yahoo group.  What a happy day when we discovered we lived so close!  I was happy to spend time with her today, but sad at the reason.

Tomorrow will be spent baking with my mum.  I honestly don't know when I'll get any sewing done.  Stuff is still in piles everywhere, maybe Sunday I can get to it - we're supposed to get some snow Sunday, and it will turn very, very cold.  Sounds like a good reason to stay in, right?

I'm going to go take a look at my Google Reader now, I'm sure it's bursting at the seams!  If you don't hear from me for a couple of days, I'm either sewing, baking, or have exploded from eating too many ginger snaps.  'Tis not the season for self-denial!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

So. So. Cold.  I'm typing this post with a t-shirt, hoodie and sweater on, under a quilt and with my heated rice bag on my knees.  Our guaranteed-for-life windows leak quite badly, and the company is no longer in business.  But it's still summer in my heart!  Sweet Carrie sent me a package and warmed me right up.

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The loveliest towel, hand-stitched with a bucket full of seashells, reminds me that it's still summer somewhere, and will be again [she has me pegged, you know, I love all things beachy], the darlingest little reindeer ornament [the nose is a red bead!] and some vintage buttons with, yes, ANCHORS on them!  Thank you so much Carrie, you're a darling.  This is where they live:

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I had bought that cupboard years ago, loaned it to my mum, and now twenty years later it's come home to roost in my sewing room.  PERFECT for the towel and reindeer!  The buttons are on the shelf with the vintage picture.

I finished a project this weekend, unfortunately it wasn't for me - my aunt asked me to make some placemats from some napkins she'd bought, as a gift for her friend.  Of course I said yes.  So she purchased the backing fabric and brought it over.  Both fabrics were stretchy, and what should have taken about 20 minutes took all weekend.  Midge  suggested I use interfacing on the back, which would have worked very well, had I seen her email before I finished the first few.
 
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The picture was taken before I snipped the threads and ironed them.  Just so you know - nothing leaves my house looking like that, lol.

Must tell you about a couple of things.  First, Jenny of Elefantz has a new pattern out, Christmas Tea, so, so darling!


And bonus, right now she's having a 50% off sale in her shop!  You can't beat these prices, gals - and right here, I want to publicly thank Jenny for keeping her pattern prices low enough so we can all afford them.  Even when they're not on sale.  I'm not an affluent quilter - I can't pay big bucks for patterns - and I really appreciate Jenny's doing that.  Should I ever sell my own patterns, I'm going to follow her excellent example.  Go check out her shop, and if you already have all of her patterns, you can tell her you'd like to purchase some and send them to a fellow stitcher!

Also, I wanted to tell you about a give-away over at Val's blog.  Val is yet another lovely Aussie designer [something in the water down there, folks, Australia abounds with talent!] and is having a wonderful give-away.


She has some really sweet patterns - and some free ones, go check her out!  I really need to make the hanger covers for my aunt.  DARLING.

I think that's all for now, I need to go into hyper-top-secret sewing mode between now and Christmas day [and probably beyond, to be truthful].  So I doubt I'll have any finishes to show anytime soon.  For the new year, I'm planning on some more free designs, a give-away, and who knows what else.  So be well, stay warm - cuddle up with someone you love~!  And if you're Down Under, stay dry and cool...although my imagination won't even go there right now.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fail

Good evening my friends.  Remember my great project I was doing a tutorial for?  Remind me not to do that anymore, at least without finishing the project first.  It was going to be a table runner, then somehow morphed into a table topper.  And it's Awful. 

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Me and my big mouth.  I do like the trees, and I do think they'd work just fine if I'd chosen a different background.  AND shape.  Table runner is what those trees need, not a big fat square.  After I'd agonized over it for hours last night, it dawned on me that my mum and I are baking for Christmas, and everyone is getting food gifts - including the person I'd tried to make this for.  So, back to work on other things.  Meanwhile, I'll share how I made the trees, it's easy and I think they would look cute on a card.

First, find your greens.  They don't have to match.  Cut strips 1 1/2 inches, 1 3/4 inches, and 2 inches.  My strips were from 14" to 18" long.

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Arrange them on your design wall in an order that pleases you - I went from light to dark, sort of.  Start sewing them together.

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 Press - I press the seams open, it lays better.

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Now it's time to make some trees.  Draw a straight line on a sheet of paper, or directly onto your fusible web.  You're going to draw 3 lines, not equal - 2 longish ones and one to connect them at the bottom.  Alternatively, you could add fusible to the whole piece, then free cut your trees.

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 Cut them out [not on the line yet!] and fuse to the wrong side of your pieced fabric, following manufacturer's instructions.  Make sure you change the angle and direction to make them wonkier.

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Now cut them out on the line, and arrange them in a PLEASING formation on your background.  Um, somehow I totally didn't do this.

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Then blanket stitch in place.

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If your machine doesn't have a blanket stitch, you can do them by hand, but that would defeat the purpose of being fast and easy.  I've done applique with just about every stitch on my machine, including straight stitch.

Now - I'm envisioning these trees on fabric cards.  I'm going to try a few, and add some decorative stitching to look like garland.  I can also see them on a table RUNNER, with a light blue background and some curvy white fabric to look like snow. 

The reason I showed you my failure, is so you know that everything doesn't always work out perfectly, and that's ok.  Unless it's Christmas time and you're swamped.  Then it's not ok.  The star in the middle?  I was mimicking the one in the background fabric, somehow I thought it would show up bolder - tried ribbon, but couldn't sew it on straight.  I forgot to lengthen my stitch, and it puckered.

Quilting and designing are both learning processes.  What can I say - it's better than trigonometry, right?  Now will someone please pass the chocolate.....

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's 2am, Do You Know Where Your Mother Is?

Good, cuz I don't.  She's out running the streets with a friend.  They're both night owls and they like to shop without crowds.  And her friend just bought a new home, they might be there drinking tea and discussing paint colors.  I come by my night-owl-ism honestly, it seems.

A couple of weeks ago, Jenny had a give-away and I won - and today the parcel arrived from Australia.  I wish Jenny had come with it.    So beautifully wrapped....

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Look at these darling scissors, and the sweetest scissor fob you've ever seen, stitched by Jenny's own sweet hands!

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Jenny has a matching pair, so we can snip together across the miles.  But that was not all....oh no....

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THE most gorgeous calendar diary in the world.  With attached bookmark, no less.  I have no excuse for forgetting appointments this coming year!  It will be such a pleasure to use, I'll have to write something each day even if I stay home.  I know - prayer requests!  I think that's perfect.  Jenny, thank you so much my friend, my dear sweet kindred sister. *sniff*   I wish the picture was better [my crummy camera and all].  It was dark when I took these, it's dark by dinnertime now, the picture doesn't do it any justice at all.

And now a picture of what I'm working on. 

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This is going to be a tutorial, I've already started taking pics of the process.  A fast, easy, doesn't have to be perfect tutorial.  I should have more time tomorrow to finish up, after the Y.  Just don't expect better pics - it's pouring rain, I know it will be dreary.  Oh, and dark early, sigh.  I'm also working on some hearts for Shirley.   She's collecting them for the families of the miners who lost their lives in New Zealand.    Every family will be getting quilts.  If you'd like to help, pop on over to her blog and scroll down to see the post. 

I'll be back soon with the tutorial - I think I'd better go try my mom's cell phone, and tell her to get home or else!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Busy Week Ahead

Hi everyone!  I hope my American friends are recovered from all the turkey and shopping happening this past weekend.  I only did a bit of shopping - my cutting mat had worn out, and Joann Fabric had them half off, so I got a new one.  Bonus, it is marked on both sides, so it will last twice as long.  'Bout time they thought of that one, eh?

I'm working on a new design for you.  It was born out of a need for a gift, for someone who needs nothing.  However, she has just moved, so mum and I decided a holiday table runner would be quick and easy.  I'll have that for you early in the week, I hope.  It's pieced applique, using fusible for a quicker finish.

Jeff [hubby] and John went to their very first hockey game tonight, to see our beloved Red Wings play.  John bought the tickets for Jeff's birthday last week.  And of course our Wings won.  [They're first in the league].  The boys took pics, but they came out so terribly that I think my chances of a new camera for Christmas might be good.  My camera can take good close-ups, in ideal lighting, but outside and apparently sports arenas come out awful.  So if you have a favorite all-purpose camera, let me know in the comments!

I wanted to share a pic that Sue sent me.  She made a Lemon Tree pillow and I love it!


I really love the lemon yellow backing.  Great job, Sue!

Tomorrow, I'm taking my friend from Florida back to the airport.  I read something that pretty well disgusted me the other day....you know those pat-downs they do for security?  Well, it turns out they do not change gloves with every passenger.  So if the person in front of you has lice [or worse], or some kind of open wound, or an infectious disease, it's going to get wiped all over YOU.    Remember, they check inside the waistband of your underwear!  Some of the security people carry extra gloves in their pockets - um, not quite sanitary - so if I were to fly, and had to do the pat-down, I would insist on clean gloves from the box.  These people aren't trained in medical procedures, and the gloves are only to protect them.  Not you.  Mum will be flying in December, and can't go through the scanner - she'll have to have the pat-down.  Being in fragile health, I've already told her to insist on clean gloves. 

I think I can safely say I'll never fly again.  I've been avoiding it anyway - too claustrophobic the last time - but going through all of this is just too much.  Safer?  Don't you believe it.  Follow the money and you'll see why these scanners are in place.  And that's all I'll say about that.  You can thank me.  Seriously - I could go on, and on, and on.....but I won't.

I found my pile of vintage transfers [under all the projects I have going on] and remembered that I was going to upload them for you.  So I'm hoping to get to that too - oh golly I have so many things going at the moment!  There is fabric everywhere, in piles according to projects, every surface is covered with drawings, thread snips and floss all over.  I can't turn around without tripping on something, and I keep stubbing my toes on a pile of books on the floor next to my computer. I really have no business being on the computer, lol - so I'll say good night and sweet quilty dreams, see you in a couple of days!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

No commenting on blogs tonight, today was hubby's birthday and tomorrow, of course, is Thanksgiving.  I hope all of you that celebrate have a safe and blessed holiday.  I am so thankful for all of YOU!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Break Time Is Over

Gosh, I hated those words when I worked.  Fortunately, I'm retired.  Not really, but I like saying it.  I had a bumper sticker on my car that said "I'm retired, go around me".  People used to ask me how I could retire so young [I retired from working OUTSIDE of the home when my oldest was born] and they no longer ask.  It stings a bit.

My break time was totally unproductive.  Well, not totally - it just didn't work the way it was supposed to.  I spent two days raking leaves at my mom's.  [Not a good idea, with fibro and arthritis...]  The boys did most of it the first day, but then one of the traitors young men decided to go someplace with dad, and I had to rake and bag 9 large bags with my younger son.  Running my mom around and visiting friends that just flew into town took up the rest of the time.  NO sewing was done, at all.  I'm very thankful for my mum and I love my friends too, I guess I didn't pick a good week to take a break!

I did remember to take a pic of those solids I got from Sue's shop.

kona solids

A Liberated quilt will come from these and the fabric Mary sent me.  I just can't stop petting them.

We've not finalized our Thanksgiving plans yet.  We don't have a working oven at the moment, so I know I won't be hosting the big event - we'll probably go to my mum's.  I need to get a turkey Monday.  How are your plans going? 

I'm working on a new design.  This one will be secret though.  Until after Christmas.  I'm trying to get very serious with designing.  I have so many things in my head and I'd love to get them into fabric.  I'm finding it very satisfying to create something that's never been created before - the whole process of creating is giving me a reason to get up in the morning.  When I'm working on something, I don't notice any pain or discomfort, and when I don't have time to work I find myself getting very stressed.  It's like a drug but without the nasty side effects.  Too bad I can't bottle it, I'd make a fortune.

Have a good and safe week, find something to be thankful for!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Time For A Break

I'm overwhelmed at the moment - soooo many designs demanding creation, and going to the Y every day really eats into my sewing time.  So, I'll be staying off the computer so much this week, just checking emails in the morning.  I was hoping I'd get used to working out and it would give me more energy, but that's not happening.  I can't give up going, as I have to shuttle the boys anyway.

Oh yes - I just ordered some Kona Cotton solids from Sue at Blueberry Buckle  - oh my are they gorgeous!  I'd love to take a pic but the batteries are defunct in my camera.  Sue has a shop on etsy called Simply Solid Fabric and I think she must have every color in the rainbow and some I've never heard of.  I ordered the 7 yards Custom Kona Order, you get 7 yards for $36 and let her know in the message which colors you want.  What I LOVE is that she labels each cut with the color and number.  So easy if you need to order more, or want to make sure you aren't ordering doubles.  What a clever cookie she is!  This will be making its way into new designs.  It also came very fast - she's on the ball!  Thanks Sue, I'll be back!

So be good, and if you can't be good, be good at it.  Back in a week.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just A Quick FYI....

My free download for Lemon Tree will be coming down next Saturday....so you have a week to grab it if you want it!  Nothing new to report, but lots of designing going on - the floodgates have opened and I'm wearing out pencils fast.  Fun stuff!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Mushrooms Have Landed

Sounds like a 60's song, doesn't it?  But no.  Remember the offer for bloggers from Meyer Imports?  It came!

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Oh my.....

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Can you stand it?  Is this not the cutest?

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Look at those adorable little vials of glitter!  And the sweet little mushrooms! They have little kits of gnomes, creatures and people too, so I'm thinking a wee scene for my mum for Christmas.  She LOVES that.  Maybe like a little terrarium?  I'll have to make myself one too....I know I'd want to keep it.

The offer for this kit is that you get it free with any order in November, and if you blog about it, you get the kit free.  Many thanks to John, for a brilliant offer and a lovely product!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Do You Take Pics With Your Phone?

And then upload them?  If you do, you need to learn about geo-tagging - and how someone can use it to get within a meter of you, by the information from your picture.  This was just on our local news, minutes ago, and there is a website that has information on how to turn off geo-tagging for your phone.  On the right-hand side, you'll see "Help Me Fix This!" The website is called I Can Stalk U, and they are trying to spread this information.  Make sure the children in your life who have smart phones have this turned off!

Things And....Stuff And....Hmmmm

I wonder if authors have a hard time coming up with THEIR titles.  I finished the baby quilt, and wouldn't you know, only got one picture.

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That's my mom peeking out over the top.  Not the best pic but you've seen pieces of it before.  Mum is 5'2, so the quilt is a good size.  All washed and wrinkly, ready to hug a baby.  And here's the proud mum-to-be, Danielle, with her little niece....

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Hard to believe I've known her since she was born, and now she's ready to be a mum herself!  Isn't she a beauty?  She was very happy with the quilt.  My mom had made some crocheted afghans, and a crocheted dress, with a beautiful crocheted bib - and some lady latched onto her and got her name and number, might want some commissions!  I wish I had a pic of what my mom made, I'll try to get some when I go visit.

And now the books I've been wanting to tell you about.  I had won the give-away over at the lovely Joanne's, the $25 gift certificate to I Have a Notion - talk about happy!!!  I got this book that I've been wanting since it came out:

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You see where it says no rules, no ruler?  Is that my kind of quilting or what!
Joanne and Kelly, thank you SO much - I'm just thrilled with this book!  And as always, the service from Kelly can't be beat!

The other books I wanted to tell you about I got from the library.  Here are two of them, the camera died before I could take pics of the third.

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I am so, so in love with Gwen Marston's quilts.  Quite some time ago, Mary from Mary's Quilting Notes was  clearing out her stash, and sent me half a ton of solid color fabrics.  Well, ok, not half a ton - I exaggerate - but close.  I've been looking for THE project ever since, and I think I've found it.  There are quite a few quilts I'd like to try in these books, but I think what has amazed me so much is how many of the quilts are showing up around blogland right now.  They're called something different, but they're the same quilts!  Both of these books are on my permanent "must get" list.

The third book is Stitched So Cute from Mary Engelbreit.  Folks, it's Mary's pictures, STITCHED.  With just basic stitches, or applique, and colored in with markers [I'd used colored pencils].  And my teeny tiny library had it!  It's now also on my permanent list.

I think that's all for now, I guess I'll go read blogs - I way overdid it at the Y today, rode the recumbent bike for over four miles.  And yes, I'm paying for it.  I've decided I have to stay off the treadmill as my right foot is not happy with me, which stinks because I LOVE the treadmill.  It has handles so I can hang on and not fall down, lol.  Can't do that outside!  Be well and happy, find something that makes you giggle!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Give-Aways To Tell You About

First, Meyer Imports is giving away a Free Mushroom Kit with every order - and for bloggers, if you blog about it, send them the link to your post and your mailing address and you'll get the kit free!  Link is here, on their blog - oh my what a yummy blog.  I can't go there without a bib on.  Check them out, they have such beautiful things - I'm crazy about the vintage silk prints, going to have to get some of those!!!

Second, the gorgeous Jenny of Elefantz is giving away the most darling pair of scissors you've ever seen!  And check out her new pattern, Spotty, Dotty Snails - oh my gosh you're going to love it.  I can't wait to make it!  PLUS - she's having a buy one get one sale in her etsy shop!

I finished the baby quilt, it's in the washer now - pics to follow probably Monday, along with a give-away win that I've been dying to show you.  Don't forget, if applicable, to turn your clocks back - yay for an extra hour of sleep!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Big And Small, I Love Them All

Today, I had a shock.  I found out my hubby was using one of the quilts I'd made for my son, when he was an infant, as a dog quilt.  It was a simple quilt, just a piece of train fabric, and I'd hand quilted around all the trains.  Offended doesn't even begin to cover it.  I think the dog will survive with a thrifted quilt originally purchased at ChinaMart.

All of my quilts got pulled from the closet and will go into hiding, just in case.  Not that my family really uses them much - we all have big comforters that are warmer and lighter.  I began to wonder why I made so many.  I think my Sis Boom quilt will be the last big one I make, for me.

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And I've already made quilts for everyone I know.  Last Christmas [never to be repeated, I don't recommend it...at least, not when you start in October].   I'm sure charities will appreciate my quilts more.

But what about small quilts?  I've made so many, and I dearly love them too.  For me, a quilt isn't just for cuddling....it's also art.  No matter WHAT it looks like, it's art.  From traditional patterns, to whimsical patterns, to abstract and stitchery designs.  When I have a blank corner I want to warm up with color, a small quilt fits the bill.

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pattern from Jenny of Elefantz, words added by me

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pattern by Dawn of As Sweet As Cinnamon

And then there are the quilts I rescue.  From thrift stores, from estate or garage sales, it grieves me to see someone's handwork tossed aside [take note, family].  If the item is within my budget, I rescue it. 

Quilts don't have just one use - they can warm your body or warm your soul.  They can create a mood in a room and in a family.  They can cheer you up, make you think, give you a giggle.

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Every quilter has the soul of an artist.  Whether you're creating your own design or making one that was perfected 200 years ago, you're an artist.  Every quilter has the curiousity of a child and the patience of a saint.  Some are perfect, some are not; all are creations that spring from a deep place in the heart that holds a wellspring of joy.

Right now, we're celebrating the Blogger's Quilt Festival, an amazing brainchild of the amazing Amy.  I'm hoping to visit each and every quilt in the coming week[s].  Every quilt tells a story, and every quilt is a work of art.  Sometimes I feel like an amateur, viewing these wonderful creations.  But it's not about skill level, it's about sharing an art form.  Some are very large, meant to warm another - some are very small, meant to warm all who see it. 

Big or small, I love them all.  Look at your precious hands, and go create something.  And if your family doesn't appreciate it, you'll know that those who create with you will.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival! It's Here!





The brilliant Amy is your host to the best quilt show on the internet - get your beverage of choice, your most comfortable chair, shut off the phone and lock the doors - and get ready to spend a lot of time browsing the wonderfully creative entries!  I think some Halloween candy is in order too.  Buckets full.  Must have sustenance.

My entry this year is my Lemon Tree.  I really wanted to enter my Sis Boom, but it's still being quilted - hand-quilting takes me a long time.

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This quilt started with the fabric.   Mary had a fat quarter giveaway and I won it, and the old Lemon Tree song popped into my head as soon as I saw the bundle of fabric.  I drew up a simple tree shape, added some leaves and lemons, and part of the song.  The fabric really reminded me of the 60's, and I thought about the artwork in children's books in that era - when I quilted it, I tried capture that same sketchy, freewheeling style. 

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I had a lot of fun making it, and it ended up looking exactly as it had in my head.  Which never happens, right?  I learned a lot in the making, mostly about my ability to bring a design to life and gained a lot of confidence in that.  I offer it as a pdf download in my sidebar, and Sue from Charlotte's Cottage made a brilliant version!  She used fabric with musical notes on it for the leaves and when I saw it, I wished I'd thought of it. *G*

Now go take some pics of a quilt you've made, and join in on the fun over at Amy's - there are lots of prizes to be won.  And after you've entered, have fun browsing all the wonderful quilts and enjoy making all kinds of new friends!  My poor Google Reader is going to be groaning with all the blogs I'll find to stuff in it, it happens every time!

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