Saturday, April 30, 2011

Last Day To Enter!

You have about 4 1/2 hours to finish your Christmas gift and get linked up - I'll probably do the give-away very late tonight, after midnight.  I'm impatient that way.  Can never wait til the next day.  I have another finish to show you, this one by Dolores from True Blue Canadian - a gorgeous tea cozy!

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Love the button flower, Dolores!!

Leslie of LesQuilts has given me an award!   Isn't that sweet?  Thank you Leslie!

There are some rules with this -

The Versatile Blogger Award rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post
2. Tell 7 things about yourself that others might not know about you
3. Pass along the award to 15 newly discovered bloggers 
4. Contact these bloggers to let them know they’ve received the award

I have to tell 7 things about myself?  Yikes!  Let's's times like these you realize just how boring you are!

1.  I'm a neat freak.  If you came to my house, you would never believe it - but I'm the ONLY neat freak living here.  To keep my sanity [and everyone else's], I've learned to close my eyes to most of the mess.

2.  I'm a voracious reader.  I love reading even better than quilting, but I feel guilty for just sitting when I do.  That's why I love audio books, I can multi-task - no guilt.

3.  I love taking trips by myself.  The open road calls endlessly to me.  I should have been a truck driver.  I WANTED to be a race car driver, but girls weren't in it then.

4.  I talk to myself.  Back when I was actively teaching my boys, I called it a parent/teacher conference when I got caught.

5.  I have a terrible memory.  Probably why I talk to myself so much.  I would love to be the kind of friend who always remembers birthdays, anniversaries, and any important occasion.  I write things down, but then I forget where I put them.

6.  I hate shopping.  Except for fabric stores [that's a given].  Clothing, shoes, groceries, yuck.  Although I do like thrifting....the thrill of the hunt.

7.  I used to be a pessimist, but now I'm an optimist.  I love to look for the best possible in any situation.

So that's my boring 7 things, lol!  Wow that's hard.  But harder still is picking 15 [or five] blogs to honor.  I'll tell you what - click on my profile pic, scroll down, and you'll see all the blogs I follow - EVERY SINGLE ONE deserves this award!  When you want to surf some new blogs, check out that list.  I've been really bad, I haven't updated my blog roll on my sidebar in click the profile pic.  There is no way I could stop at 15 blogs to honor, and I know some folks don't like awards, so I'm going to pick all the blogs I follow.  I guess I should have put on my 7 things that I'm lazy.

But maybe you already knew that. *G*

I'll be back later with our April winner!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

April Strut Your Stuff Is Here!

It's time to link up for our April Christmas Through The Year - remember, you have until midnight April 30th to link up!  If you don't want to do a post with a picture of your gift, email me, I can put it up here on my blog.  And don't forget to upload your pics to our flickr group!

Our give-away gift for participants this month is the gorgeous 1/4yds of fabric from Lyn of Blue Bird Quilts.

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Thank you Lyn, what a blessing you are!  Everyone who links up with their Christmas post will be entered to win.

I wanted to share a gift I received from Cathy at Big Lake Quilter.  She's such a sweetie - she made me the most darling little pouch, and the cutest card!

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Front and back of pouch.

Cathy, I love it - I'm so hooked on these pouches, they're so handy for when you're working on projects.  Thank you!

I've been listening to the news coming out of the South.  Oh people, please pray.  266 confirmed deaths just yesterday.  Whole towns wiped out.  Thousands homeless.  And it's not just the tornadoes in the South, it's the flooding everywhere, the wildfires in Texas, so many have lost so much.  If you can, please consider giving to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army, they're stretched so thin right now.

[Val, they mentioned Ringgold GA in our news tonight.  My prayers are with you all.]

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday

Is it Tuesday AGAIN?  Oh my how time is flying!  Join Cheryl and I in posting what's tickling you today!

There are a few things tickling me today.  First is a package I received yesterday from Martha at Q is for Quilter.  Martha found some vintage fabric and thought I might like some - OH YES - look at this gorgeous fabric!

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I love it so much!  The colors, design, it's vintage but has a very modern feel too  - not sure what I'll make yet, but I'm leaning towards curtains, so I can see it all day every day.  I think it's perfect for spring and summer and would really lighten and brighten the sewing room, which tends to be pretty dark.  Thank you so much Martha!

If you've not been to her blog, you are really missing out.  Martha has been working on a wedding for her daughter - right now she's making vintage inspired aprons for the bridal shower.  Martha is the Queen of Vintage.  Her quilts are awe-inspiring.  Go see her blog and wear a bib - check out her sidebar too, she has quite the collection of vintage stitchery patterns as well!

The other thing tickling me today is how much quilting I'm getting done on my Sis Boom quilt.

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I have two and a half rows left to quilt.   I'm trying to get it finished for Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival on May 13th.  I'm pretty pleased with the progress I've made this past week.  Not too pleased that I'm so far behind on my blog reading, however - but I can't do it all.  I've been watching The Walton's while I work, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed that show.

The third thing tickling me today is the warm weather.  Today it's going to 74F, humid and very summer-like.  Of course there's a trade-off, we'll be having some severe storms.  Nothing like the south - a very small threat of tornadoes here, but to the south they are having storm after deadly storm.  There's been what, 565 tornadoes so far this year?  Maybe more, not sure.  Just an unbelievable number.  Please do keep our southern neighbors in your prayers.  And if you're in the risk area, please be safe and keep an eye on the are in our prayers.

I'll be doing my month-end post in a few days.  How are you doing with your Christmas gift this month?  I'm so happy to be done.  I also hope to be catching up with your blogs soon.  I miss you!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection Day

I am wishing you all a very blessed Resurrection Day - He is our risen Lord!

"I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
John 11:25

I am disabling comments for this post - enjoy the day and celebrate! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Magnetic Quilted Photo Frame Tutorial

Yay, I got my April Christmas Through The Year gift done!  And I'm going to share with you how I made it.  It's easy and quick!  Forgive the pics, it got dark while I was working.

First, figure out what kind of picture you want the frame to be for - a 4x6 [which is what I used], a small school picture, etc.  For a family with schoolchildren, a school picture size would be a great gift - they could keep the frame up and just change out the picture.  I used a 4x6 so that's the size we're doing with for this tutorial.

You will need:

5x7 rectangle of plain fabric for center
4 strips of border fabric, 2 1/4 x 10 inches [I'm a little fuzzy on the length - you might not need it that long]
ribbon to coordinate with border
glue stick
fabric for binding
magnetic tape

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Take your center rectangle, and fold it in half both ways and finger press.  You're finding the center of your sides.

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Get your glue stick, and glue your ribbon in place from the center top to the center side, top and bottom.  The glue stick is important - pins will shift!

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Now take one of your border strips and attach to a side.  Then attach the other side.

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Take it over to your cutting table and trim the extra off.

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Open your sides and press, being careful not to scorch your ribbon.

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Next, you'll attach the top and bottom.

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Trim again.

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Press again.

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Now you'll baste your batting and backing [I used white felt for batting!] and quilt as desired.

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I kept the quilting very simple - just a wavy line around the inside seam.  Trim your edges.

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 Add your binding.

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Cut a piece of magnetic tape, peel off the backing, and attach to the top - you can also add a piece to each side, so the frame can be used in any direction and will hold well to your refrigerator.

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Add a picture, and you're done!

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Pretty easy, eh?  I'd made a couple of these years ago, and thought they would make a good gift.  Whatever size picture you use, cut your center fabric one inch bigger.  I cut mine originally 1/2 inch bigger, and had to trim my picture down.  This whole thing took me a couple of hours to make, but I was taking pictures as I went.  And I'm SLOW.

I have a correction to my last tutorial post.  For the matching bag and wallet tutorial from Gluesticks, the wallet tutorial is actually by my sweet friend Cyndi of Bluebird's Wing!  I confess I didn't click on the link before posting.  Sorry Cyndi!

Let me know if you make any of these, I would love to see them!  I think I'll be adding flowers and embellishments to some as well.  You could have some fun with them!

Monday, April 18, 2011

April Showers Bring May Flowers

 Well, that's how it's supposed to work, anyway.  This is what greeted me when I woke:

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NOT the kind of April showers you want to see.  But then the mailman was knocking at the door, and in his hand was a package containing this:

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From the lovely Fiona!  If ever there was a day I needed this reminder, it was today!  Thank you darling Fiona, I love it so so much, you have brightened my day and my sewing room forever.  I had just been admiring this yesterday on her blog, lol!  Her stitching is just perfection.  And isn't the little bunny card cute??

I said I would have some tutorial links for you, and I do.  Carmen and Sandra have been very busy.  Thank you ladies, some great links here!

From the Purl Bee, a mini churn dash quilt.

From Make Baby Stuff, a darling Christmas elf.

From Obsessively Stitching, cute angry birds!

From A Spoonful of Sugar, a quick notebook cover.

From Thimble, a travel organizer.

From Fireflies and Jellybeans, a travel first aid kit.

From Popular Patchwork, a simple sewing companion.

From A Time to Stitch, a potato bag.

From Skip To My Lou, a pleated zipper pouch.

From Two Wacky Women, a steno notepad cover - scroll down, it's a button on the right side.

From During Quiet Time, a manicure kit.

From Make It Do, lavender eye pillows.

From IKatBag, a strawberry bag - cute!

From Notes From A Very Red Kitchen, headbands.

From Simply Sewn by Yvonne, a shoe tote bag.

From Precious Cupcakes, a darling tutu.

From Tutu Today, a fairy wand.

From Gingercake, a play mat/messenger bag for boys.

From All Free Sewing, a teeny tiny tote - this would be great for a special doll for a little girl.

From Dandelions and Lace, marshmallow chick plushies and marshmallow bunny plushies.

From Gluesticks, a bag and matching wallet.

From Brynwood Needleworks, really really cute stuff - a scissors bunny, dove mug mat, acorn ornament and more.

Wow that's a long list.  I hope there's something there to inspire you.  How are you coming with your Christmas stitching?  I haven't started mine yet.  Queen of the Last Minute, that's me.  I do have an idea buzzing around in my head for a tutorial though, hopefully I'll get to that in the next couple of days.

Please keep those in our Southern states in your prayers - over 240 tornadoes in the past few days in 6 states, at least 44 people have died.  The damage is incredible.  And there's another round coming.  Be safe, wherever in the world you are!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Busy As A Bee

...But no sewing to show for it!  Instead, I took Sandra and Robin's advice to keep my sewing area clean and organized, and get my projects kitted up, ready to pick up and start sewing when I find a few minutes. 

I had been putting stitchery projects in ziploc bags with their floss colors, and then tucking them in a drawer and forgetting all about them.  That's not good, right?  I needed them where I could see them, and this is the solution I came up with. 

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I removed my closet doors, put my vanity in there and added my cutting table [formerly my ironing table] on wheels in it.  Across the top of the closet, I left the rod in place - it's a shower curtain rod, very sturdy.  I went to Walmart and got some cheap [$1.16] shower curtain rings, and hung my ziploc bags across it.

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A friend gave me some small, clear, zippered bags that her new sheer curtains came in, and they're the perfect size to hold bits and bobs, and charm packs.

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I would rather have gone to IKEA for fun new organizing tools, but this is my low-cost [although not PRETTY] solution.

I also organized the rest of the room.  My cutting and sewing area:

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Computer area, and "design wall", which is simply the ironing table cover I made turned around backwards. 

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I never did finish the corners on it properly....maybe someday I will.  Don't hold your breath.  Computer area:

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That's also where I sit to do my hand quilting, and the pouch that Sandra made me is perfect to keep my threads, thimbles, needle book and scissors tidy.

I'm feeling pretty darn good about how organized I am, this is such a small room and hard to keep from getting messy.  When it's chaos, I don't feel like sewing, I just feel like running away.  Please forgive the gloomy pics, it's another dreary typical Michigan day - and please don't notice all the holes in my walls.  This room needs painting [and patching] desperately but that's a whole 'nother level of chaos I can't take.

Joanne from Splitting Stitches had a surprise give-away the other day.  What a sweetie she is - she sent me a lovely package!  Four fq's of gorgeous spring-y fabric, some Aurifil thread, the sweetest tissue holder [perfect for my Dottie Bag!] with lots of refills, a little Mucinex guy [appropriate as we've had SO many colds this year, lol!] and the yummiest candy EVER.  Gone now, sad to say...but I enjoyed it thoroughly and didn't share.

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Thank you so much Joanne!

Cheryl from Willowberry Designs has a brand new pattern, is it CUTE - and she's having a give-away in honor of it!  Go check her out, and good luck in the give-away - although I hope I win one, she's giving away three copies!

I have a lot more tutorial links to give you, but this post is already long so I'll save it for Tuesday.  Sandra and Carmen have been busy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tickled Pink Tuesday

It's VERY early Tuesday morning [2:30am] so I thought I'd better get my post done - join Cheryl and I in celebrating whatever tickles you!

I was thinking of changing my blog named to You've Got Mail, or something.  But that was a movie, right?  Because yes, I'm going to show you more mail today.  One of these days I will have an actual project to show you, but not today. 

Today, Midge and Sandra tickled me pink with polka dots.  Midge sent me the most darling, darling glasses case - perfect for my bifocals!

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Such pretty pictures on the case, and that card is too perfect. I'm in love with the artist.  Inside the case was a surprise:

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A gorgeous butterfly magnet and three delicious milk chocolate bees!  There's a story behind those bees - Midge has a tutorial for making bee boxes on her blog, and I HATE bees.  I should say, I don't hate them, I'm terrified of them.  I know they're necessary and good, and God made them.  But why oh why did He give them stingers?  When I see one, I do a special Bee Dance so they know to leave me alone.  My children don't think it's a real dance, they think I've lost my mind.  Midge always tries to get me to like bees.  Thank you Midge!  I do love the milk chocolate ones!

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Isn't that a cute bee?  The picture of the butterfly doesn't do it justice, it's really gorgeous.

And then Sandra - I had admired some fabric she had used on her blog, and she graciously offered to send me some of it.  SO SO CUTE.  Not only did she send me a generous amount, she made me a little zipper pouch too!

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Too sweet!  I think Sandra needs to come help me put in zippers, she does beautiful work.  Thank you Sandra!

Sandra and Robin commented on my last post about being organized, having a project ready to work on, and keeping your sewing area clean so you'd be motivated.  Well both comments hit me like a ton of bricks.  My sewing table is always covered with things I don't know what to do with - books, magazines, drawings, phone numbers, etc.  I have to clear it off to sew, and it's so annoying.  I realized that if my table was clean all the time, and I had my projects organized, I could get some work done in very small amounts of time.  So I'm on a mission to get organized!

Today, I deep-cleaned my room and moved furniture around.  Wow did it need it.  The rest of the week I'm going to work on finding a place for everything, and putting it there.  I think this will really help my motivation.

I also decided I'm not going to do a schedule for blogging.  Nobody pays me to sew or read blogs, so why do I put myself under so much pressure?  This is supposed to be fun, and I've been missing that lately.  So, back to fun it is.  Pressure is OFF.

Before I forget, the homeschool message board that I've been a member of for a VERY long time, is having the annual raffle.  There are gorgeous hand-made items, curriculum, a watercolor artist's set, even a $50 Visa card!  This is the largest homeschool site on the net, a really wonderful place - here's a link to the raffle if you'd like to check it out -   Homeschool Christian.

Lastly, Sam went downstairs to fill his water glass, and found Hermoine had stuffed herself into a box that was too small for her.  How she even got in here, I don't know.  But she was loving it and I had to share....

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I hope she unfolds ok.  Like a cartoon cat.  It makes me stiff in the joints just to look at her.

I hope you all have a lovely week, mine is filled up already - busy busy - but I'm looking forward to relaxing in the evenings with you all and catching up on what you've been doing.  I'll see you on the blog rolls!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What Happened To Spring?

Hi everybody!  I've missed you so new bloggy schedule isn't working out.  I'll have to do something different, but I'll get there.

Today was a winner of a day.  High of 82F and very humid - I think 40 degrees warmer than yesterday.  My friend didn't realize it was so warm, and went to church with her winter coat on!  Tomorrow will be cooler, then we'll bottom out again.  I spent the day [last few days] helping my friend Cathy move - today we got her quilt frame up, woohoo!  So I was able to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.

I've been wanting to show you what Cyndi did.  You know she sent me that gorgeous purse - which I get compliments on every time I take anywhere - well, she also sent me a gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop for my birthday.  The girl has a heart as big as the universe.  They had a sale on Kona Solids, so boy did I get some, along with my favorite at the moment print!

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Seriously, how cute is that print?

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I added a bit to the gift certificate, as hubby forgot to get me anything for my birthday. *G*  I'm trying really hard to stick with solids, I want to make some things from the Liberated Quiltmaking II book that I got, and I have so many novelty fabrics that I'm not sure what to make with.

As I said, I've been helping Cathy move, and last Thursday on the way over we saw that our local church was having a rummage sale.  I dropped her off at home to pack [shame on me] and went to the sale.  It was a LOT smaller than it usually is, so I was in and out rather quickly - which was good because I was feeling guilty.  I did pick up a few things, all together less than $3.

A very large oilcloth tablecloth:

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Four napkins:

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A brand-new bear towel for my mum, for Christmas [she loves bears]:

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A card-table sized tablecloth:

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And a vintage apron that I forgot to take a pic of.  Not bad.

Before I forget, I uploaded a bunch of vintage embroidery designs to my flickr, here's a few.

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Now don't download from here, go to the flickr set so they all come out the same size.  You'll find the full sets there of these designs.  If you're not familiar with flickr, let me know, and I will walk you through how to download them.  It's easy, once you know how.

As I said at the beginning, I'm giving up on scheduling my blogging.  By Wednesday, I had 192 posts in my Reader.  And I got no sewing done this week.  Looking back, I'm not sure what I DID do!  I know Thursday and Friday I helped Cathy move, but before that it's a blur.  I think I'll just try to get past the mindset that I need a big chunk of time to get sewing done, and work on utilizing those small moments that I tend to blow off.  And maybe get a different computer chair - this one is far too comfortable.  I sit here way too long!


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