Friday, March 11, 2011

It Was A Better Day!


A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.
~Douglas Pagels

OK.  I'm going to get a little mushy here.  I was overwhelmed by the amount of comments I received yesterday!  I would like to thank all of my friends for the supportive and encouraging comments after my post yesterday.  I will do as you all suggested and not worry about the numbers - or at least try really, really hard not to worry - lol.  I will continue plodding along, writing my blog just as I have since the beginning.  You don't know how much your kind words meant to me.  And I hope you realize how much I appreciate each and every time you leave a comment.  I'm going to do my best when visiting blogs to leave a comment too, even if it's just one or two words.  That way you will know that you are being read.  Because, speaking from experience, there are days is seems as though your writing has gone unread and you feel like "well, guess that was boring".  And maybe it was but I bet somebody read it - lol!  Let your fellow bloggers know you are there.  Thank you again, each and every one of you, for your friendship and support! 
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PHOTO FACT OF THE DAY

Girl Scouts

Saturday, March 12, is the Girl Scout birthday.  It commemorates the day in 1912 when Juliette Gordon Low officially registered the organization's first 18 girl members in Savannah, Georgia.  GSUSA aims to empower girls and to help teach values such as honesty, fairness, courage, compassion, character, sisterhood, confidence, and citizenship through activities including camping, community service, learning first aid, and earning badges by acquiring other practical skills. Girl Scouts' achievements are recognized through rank advancement and by various special awards. Girl Scouts welcomed girls with disabilities early in their history, at a time when they were not included in most other activities.  President Obama signed the "Girl Scouts of the USA Commemorative Coin Act" for the 100th Anniversary celebration. The act authorized the minting of 350,000 silver dollar coins in honor of Girl Scouts and the achievements of the 50 million women influenced by Girl Scouting during the last 100 years.
Don't forget!  It's Girl Scout Cookie time.  Show your support - after all, their cookies are delicious and they freeze well too.

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BALTIMORE BLOCK

Yesterday I did as planned and didn't touch my sewing machine.  I sat in my recliner and worked on my first Baltimore square.

Above is what I accomplished.  I can now see where some of my leaves weren't perfectly placed and there are a couple of wiggles in my stems.  But I like my stitching, so that's a plus.


Above is the back side showing all of the stitches.  Each stitch is about 1/8 inch long.  I hid all of the thread tales except the one in the top right.  Somehow I ended up with a knot and loop that I just couldn't untangle.  I didn't want to unstitch so I just made another knot and then hid the tale.  At least that error won't show once it's all quilted up.
I'm really enjoying the process of hand applique.  Oh, it won't take the place of the old sewing machine method but I do find it relaxing and I love having some sort of handwork to do.

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NEW TOOL

Yesterday the UPS man brought my newest stitching tool.  No it wasn't new needles, pins, or pens.  It was....

My very first light box.  I was having trouble seeing patterns for stitchery unless I taped the pattern to a window and then taped the fabric over that.  And then it better not be a cloudy day.  It was so uncomfortable to work that way and my arms would start tingling if I had much to do.

Here is the quilt block I'm working on on top of the pattern on the light box.  You can see all of the lines so clearly!  This is going to make my life so much more easier, especially when it comes to tracing for stitchery.  I think this was a wise purchase.

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QUILTED TABLE SWAP

I am currently involved in a secret swap called the Sping/Easter Table Topper/Candle Mat Swap being organized through the yahoo group, Quilted Table.

This is the candle mat I made for my secret partner.  Remember the disappearing 4-Patch tutorial I had on my blog the other day?  Well, this was made using four of those blocks.  It looks like a much more difficult piece than it really was.  No cuts of little pieces just matching the seams was all it took.  It really didn't take much time at all.  I think it fits into the Spring theme quite well.  There will be a couple of extra goodies included with this candle mat when I mail it out next week.

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I'm going to work on a mug rug for a swap I'm involved in.  Hopefully I will have some time to do some stitching on my Baltimore block.

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GIVEAWAYS

Leona's Quilting Adventure is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 2!  So if you missed getting a copy, here's your chance.  This giveaway will end Friday, March 18, at midnight EST.

Sew Fabulous Quilt Shop is having a March giveaway.  They are giving away a Central Park fat quarter bundle by Kate Spain.  This giveaway ends March 31st and the winner will be announced on April 1st.

Spun Sugar Quilt is having a Pot O'Gold giveaway.  You could win one of three $50 gift certificates to the Fat Quarter Shop!  (There is also a discount code for 20% off on the Spun Sugar blog for the Fat Quarter Shop).  I believe this giveaway ends Thursday, March 17th.

The Vegetarian Hunter is having a giveaway.  You could win 4 beautiful fat quarters and a copy of Carolyn's self created pattern.  This giveaway will end March 20th, at 12 pm MST.

Jaybird Quilts is having a sponsored giveaway by Wondrous Woven Fabrics.  You could win all the fabric you need for the quilt top & enough jelly roll strips to make a scrappy binding for the quilt on the front cover of Julie's new pattern, Hugs and Kisses, the pattern and the Lazy Angle Ruler too!  The giveaway will end Sunday, March 13, at midnight EST.

Sew WE Quilt is having a Spring Giveaway!  Her sponsors are donating layer cakes, charm packs, jelly rolls, fat quarter bundles, patterns, silk fabric, silk floss, embroidery packages complete with pattern and floss, background fabric...books...( oh and this is just some of the sampling...I have just been informed there is more coming...a lot more) for the giveaway.  Saturday will be the draw day.

Would you like to win a B. Bumble and Company pattern?  Then you should check out my giveaway by going HERE!

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FINAL THOUGHT

The correct tools can make all the difference in the world.  Have you ever thought about the tools you use everyday?  In the kitchen there are knives, pots and pans, measuring instruments and more.  In the bathroom there are toothbrushes, razors, scrubbies and others I won't mention here (tee-hee).  Cleaning tools, washing tools, and even tools for watching television - yes, the remote control is a tool too.  Life is so much simpler for us quilters now than it was even 30 years ago.  With our fancy machines, rotary cutters, and long arm frames, quilting is more fun because it is easier to accomplish.  Thank goodness there are people out there who figure out ways to make life simpler.  Blessed are the inventors in the world!

 Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.
~Mark Twain

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend, too!!

34 comments:

Sarah Craig said...

Hi, Linda! I'm glad you were cheered by all the comments yesterday - I didn't get to leave one then (internet problems!) but I was there! And National Blueberry Popover Day? Where do you find these things???? Fascinating!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I can feel you smiling, so glad. I love your start on the Baltimore Album and yes, a light box is sow much easier than the window.

How pretty the D4P blocks looks all fancy in a candle matt - very shabby chic looking, love it.

I haven't gotten my GIrl Scout Cookie call - maybe her daughter is no longer involved - or grown up. I think I will have to find another resource - Peanut Butter Melts and Grasshoppers are my favorite.

Barbara said...

Awww...sweet opening sentiments. Yes, just a few words that say a blog is being read can make a world of difference. About that LOVELY Baltimore block, I don't see it, but of course(!) the leaves are not perfectly placed. If they were, it would look like every other perfectly machine-manufactured project. There's nothing special about those because it's hand-work that makes a piece unique and your own. PS: Now I want a light-box. It would be so much easier than taping things to my window!

Vickie E said...

I have that light box! LOL and thanks for including my giveaway.

Cyndi said...

Linda, I'm glad that today is a better day for you!

I think your stitching looks great on the Baltimore Block...they are so nice and even...and the back looks fabulous, too! I think that light box was a great purchase...you will get so much use from it and since you do a lot of stitching, it will make it so much easier for you!

Have a great day!

XOXO,

Cyndi

PaTcHwOrK jEnN said...

Great job on your Baltimore block. Where did you get your light box. I need to get a real one, not a cofee table hijacked one...

krisgray said...

Your applique looks great - remember there are no straight lines in nature.

Lynda said...

I love my light box. Use it quite often. I also made a disappearing 4 patch from your tutorial for future reference. Very easy and looks complicated. I have always said yours is one of the best blogs....full of information and your fun personality! Keep it up for all of us who really enjoy visiting you each day.

Mommarock said...

They really should put a Surgeon Generals Warning on the side of those Girl Scout Cookies: Warning.. once this box is open... you WILL eat them ALL!!

Maria said...

Pleased you are feeling better linda.

Love your Balimore Block.

Yes I have a light box as I am also a leadlighter. Such a marvelous thing. As you say much easier on the arms.

Jodi said...

Linda, just before reading your post I read Amy's Creative Side post where she interviewed Barbara from Cat Patches. When I read what you said about your Baltimore block, I just have to quote her here: "My favorite quilting tip has to do with not taking my quilting too seriously. I do the best I can, but perfection is elusive. Anyone striving for perfection is looking for the flaws in their work all the time. That seems a shame. I try to focus on the positive as much as possible." What a great piece of advice to us all! We can be our worst critics! xoxo (sorry for the wordy comment :-)

Sallie said...

Linda, your blog is the first one I look at every day. Love it! I'm using your disappearing 4-patch to make a baby quilt. Have a fantastic Friday and a wonderful weekend.

Cheryl said...

Your applique is gorgeous. Such tiny stitches! The blocks will be beautiful!

Mamacessories said...

I am so glad we cheered you yesterday - you do that for me each day! Thank you for visiting me yesterday and commenting on my blog (as sad and sparse as it is!) You have inspired me to do more with it!
Maria

Wendy said...

I love hand applique for the same reason...so relaxing. Machine applique makes me too tense.

I really need a lightbox too. I've been tipping a little lamp upside down under my glass dining table...awkward!

Love your candle mats, always! I'm going to read back through the post you referred to later. I like this block!!

Have a great weekend!

Needled Mom said...

Your hand applique is looking just fabulous. I am sure the light box will male a giant difference. I do it the same way you do - against a lighted window - and it does put a cramp in the body!

I love that D4P block reassembled. Very nice!!

I have my load of GS cookies already since our granddaughter is a GS.

Yes....thank heavens for all of the wonderful tools! Have a wonderful weekend.

Char said...

After your post yesterday I said I will comment more often also. When I first started my blog I didn't get many comments and the teenager said, "Mom you're not that interesting!" Ha, what does she know.
I had a few cookies yesterday. This is my daughter's last year selling them. It's off to college in September.
Great idea, the light box.

Joanna said...

You're right about leaving comments, and I appreciate it when you visit my blog and say something nice. Your stitching is so nice that from the back there are no spaces. It's amazing. I'm going to look for a light box too because I've done the window thing and yes, it's a pain. I love the block you made. Have a wonderful day and weekend!

Mariliz said...

I'm glad you are felling better today. The light box is a great tool. Enjoy!

Scrappy quilter said...

So glad you are feeling better today. That block is so pretty. I've never used a light box however it does look like a wonderful too. Enjoy!! Hugs

Megan Harmeyer said...

I'm sorry you're losing readers (for reasons that probably have nothing to do with you!), but just think of all that new readers that will (eventually) take their place! I really like the Baltimore block. Are all the blocks going to be similar to that? And it's all hand-sewn? I can't wait to see the finished project! That light box is cool - I'd love to get one of those!

Impera_Magna said...

Yea! ...for GSs and GS cookies! My granddaughers are 4th generation GSs and my daughter a 3rd generation GS leader! I love me some GS cookies!

Staci said...

Love the mat you made with the Disappearing 4 Patches! It is so cute!
Reading your post today has me smacking my forehead! Whenever I trace patterns, I've got stuff taped to the windows, and you know how much fun that . . . isn't!
I have a light table! I've had it for years! It is in a box in the garage! Guess it is time to go find that thing!
And yay for your girl scout post! I was a Girl Scout leader for a few years, and it was one of the best experiences of my life & something wonderful I could do with my daughter! And yes, those cookies are darn good, too!

Polka Dot Classic said...

Love your Candle Mat! is so pretty and it sure looks hard to make.
I'm going to use your tutorial for a small quilt,I will send you a picture when is done :)
Have a Happy sewing day

**P.S. Marta was here today ** LOL

Kathryn said...

I'm glad you were able to put the Block Lotto D4P to use for another project. I plan to use it for something else too. Kathie L in Allentown

Deborah in Atlanta said...

Hi Linda - I've said it once and I'll say it again. If I could only subscribe to ONE blog, I think it would be yours. I love the layout of your blog and am always amazed that you can have such a good transition from one subject to the next. I wish I knew why people were leaving you. Since I only have 9 followers, I certainly couldn't tell you. HA-HA. I'm still a baby at blogging, and one day I'll be a grown-up and have double-digit followers (only one more to go!). dmj53(at)hotmail(dot)com

jennifer said...

Howdy Linda I love your table swap thingie it's so pretty.

Gene Black said...

I am not big on pink but i do like your candle mat.

Deb said...

Where did you get the light box? I need one badly and I really like the looks of this one!

Melissa said...

I just committed to an applique block. I am a bit concerned that my carpal tunnel will not cooperate with hand piecing, though. Whether I hand piece or fuse, I will still need accurate placement. I have been debating a light box. I might have to go for it!

quiltzyx said...

Your hand applique is lovely!

How big is the candle mat - I am definitely going to try the disappearing 4-patch now. :^)

Hope you're having a terrific weekend!

Nancy said...

Linda,

So glad you are feeling better. I can't believe the tiny stitches in your Baltimore block. Don't you think hand-sewing is so relaxing? I enjoy it when I'm sewing binding. You can't multi-task when you are doing that.

Rocknquilts said...

Thank you for all the links to the giveaways! I've been thinking about getting a light box. Looks like it would be quite handy.

The Vegetarian Hunter said...

Mmm, I wish I could get some girl scout cookies. I just ate an entire box of mint chocolates some hockey team was selling at the grocery store on the weekend as well as 1/2 a box of chocolate covered almonds. If I was not so full, I would search for more. lol.
Your hand stitching looks better then my machine stitching. Its just fantastic! Love the light box, I always have to use a window too and I hate when I forget I need to trace something as I am always trying to sew after working all day - then it is dark out and I have to try and remember to get home fast enough the next work day. I could do it in the morning, but then I could not hit my snooze button 3-4 times. =)
Thank for posting about my give away too, I love how you always have all these give aways in your blog - makes my searching so much faster. lol. Take care my friend,
Carolyn

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