Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Blocks And Squishies!


About the only time losing is more fun than winning is when you're fighting temptation.
~Tom Wilson

Whew! I had a busy day yesterday.  It felt good to be productive.  Three blocks made, scraps put away, and 5 packages ready for mailing.  I like when my Monday starts like that.  It's definitely a good way to start the week.  Now I almost feel as though I can coast through the rest of the week.  Not really, but almost.  My mind keeps going to my WIPs and to projects I want to start.  The two projects I want to start are there, just waiting - one even has the fabric all picked out.  The fabric does need washing but otherwise it's ready to go.  Can I start another one?  Will I continue working on the ones I currently have sitting in piles around the room?  Only time will tell........

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PHOTO FACT OF THE DAY

Frog

April is National Frog Month, whether you like those little green creatures of not, every April is set to celebrate their existence. There are a lot of people out there that do not like frogs, but then there are those people in the world that love these slimy little frogs. What is the difference between a frog and a toad? Well surprisingly toads actually are frogs. Frogs have two bulging eyes, strong, long, webbed hind feet that have been adapted for leaping and swimming. They have smooth or slimy skin, frogs like environments that are moister. Frogs also tend to lay their eggs in clusters. Toads have stubby bodies, short hind legs that are for walking instead of hopping. They have dry, warty skin, and prefer places that are drier. Toads also have poison glands behind their eyes, and they tend to lay their eggs in long chains. Frogs can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They are referred to as the “true frogs” because of their generalized body form and their life history. On a frog, its eyes and nose are located on the top of its head so it can breathe and see when most of its body is under water. People who study frogs are called herpetologists. Frogs can only see in black and white. Frogs can lay up to 4,000 eggs in one sitting. Frogs can also change the color of their skin to blend into their surroundings better. Tree frogs have adapted to their environment by developing disks or suction pads on the toes of their feet to help them climb into the tree canopy.

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SQUISHY ENVELOPES

Yesterday I received two squishy envelopes in the mail.  One was for a swap and the other from a win.
Sharon, of Quilting With A Marmalade Cat, sent me this fun package for the Table Topper Swap that I was in through Quilted Table

Inside those packages was this beautiful table topper that Sharon made for me. I just love the colors and the fabrics she used are gorgeous as is the quilting.  She also included a happy little Easter card, charm squares of some wonderful fabrics, a tin of vanilla wafers and a beautiful floral fat quarter.  Thank you so much, Sharon.  I love it all!!

The other squishy envelope was......

These two great pieces of fabric.  I won these a couple of weeks ago from Cara over at The Official Mark Cesarik Fabric Fansite.  These are one yard cuts of Calypso Swing fabric.  Aren't they beautiful?  I'm not sure what I will be making with them yet but the possibilities are endless.  Thanks, Cara!

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SPRING IS FLYING IN

This weekend my thistle feeder was full of gold finches.  Some were on the feeder, some were on top of the feeder, some were waiting for their turn in the tree and others were looking for seed in the scrub jays peanut dish.  The males are definitely coming into the vibrant yellow mating colors.  They are so much fun to watch.

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BLOCKS MADE

Yesterday I made a swap block and two Bee blocks.....

This block was made as a surprise for someone in the Block Swap Adventure group.  The recipient doesn't even know I made it but she didn't get a February block from her partner and I felt bad about that, being the hostess and all.  She likes bright autumn colors.  Can you believe I made another mosaic block?  It went a little better this time and I love the bright colors with the black sashing. 

Next I made a Bee block for one of the hostesses in Let's Bee Together.....

I really liked the fabric Melinda sent for us to work with.  However, I wasn't pleased with the block I decided to make with the pretty fabrics :(  The block is called Woven Ribbons.  I think I really should have had four different fabrics to work with.  I have offered to make Melinda another block if she doesn't like this one.

Next I made a block for the February hostess of Bee In Oz.....

No, I'm not way behind on making this block.  Shruti  had sent out all of the envelopes at the end of January but none of us received them.  Shruti finally discovered that they had never left her post office in India because they had gotten wet and the fountain pen addresses had all smeared or disappeared completely.  Luckily, the fabric was protected by plastic and she was able to retrieve the envelopes.  She was finally

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MY INQUIRING MIND

I have noticed a couple of bloggers who are doing the 'quilting as you go method. Have you ever made a quilt this way? Did you find it easy or hard? Would you strongly suggest making a quilt this way? What tutorial or book do you recommend for this kind of assembly? My inquiring mind wants to know. Thanks!!

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TODAY'S GOAL'

Since tomorrow is Wednesday, I really need to make a hexie flower.  And, then if I have time, maybe I will start the third Baltimore Album block.

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GIVEAWAYS

KoolBeenz is having a giveaway.  You could be one of NINE lucky winners to win a Hullabaloo jelly roll.  This giveaway ends Friday, April 8 at midnight.

Jaybird Quilts is having a sponsored giveaway.  The sponsor, Fabric Shoppe, is giving away  a 1/2 yard bundle of Ty Pennington Impressions in the Ice/Persimmion colors and a Robert Kaufman Half to Have It Radiance bundle in Oceanic a Silk, Cotton blend. This giveaway ends Thursday, April 7, at midnight EST.

The Other Side Of Me is having an April Showers Fabric Giveaway.  You could win 3 fat quarters of Twinkle Little Star or 3 half yard cuts of Cowboys & Cowgirls.  This giveaway ends Sunday, April 10.

Happy Cottage Quilter is having a giveaway.   You could win a free year of "Ole Frog Eyes", a computer program design wall.  This giveaway ends Friday, April 8.

Did you enter my 200th Post Giveaway?  Would you like to try to win a $25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop?  Then what are you waiting for?!?

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FINAL THOUGHT
I love watching and listening to the birds outside my window.  The little tweets, chirps, trills, and peeps; all communicating and claiming their territories.  I do not like hearing the call of the red tail hawk or the sparrow hawk.  When they are around that usually means my bird feeders will be devoid of life.  The little birds fear for the lives and rightfully so.  After a few days they return, once the hawks have moved on to better hunting grounds.  The little birds flit and swoosh by.  Joined by the hummingbirds getting nectar at my feeders.  Even the clumsy doves that visit my yard are fun to watch.  Can you believe they actually scare the scrub jays out of the peanut dish?  Hopefully soon I will see an oriole or a flicker.  So many pass through for just a short visit before continuing their travels north for the summer.  Do you have many birds in your neighborhood?

A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song. 
~Chinese Proverb

May your Tuesday be full of thread!

23 comments:

A.J. Dub. said...

Hi Linda!
I have made 2 strip quilt-as-you-go quilts and they were fast, fun gifts. (They are on my blog and flikr - Nest Baby quilts)
I have recently learned there is a way to do blocks so that you can't tell it's quilt-as-you-go. I really want to take the class but it is out of my time/and price range. They are using the Handi Quilter Sweet 16 machine.
You can contact the shop owner for info. Not sure what she would be able to tell you, but you never know unless you ask. :)
Cindy : Alfordinn at aol dot com

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I haven't done the QAYG as I see it as double work. For someone who likes to have take-and-go projects and not able to do large quilting on their machine or by hand - fine.

We are starting to get large numbers of birds - cleaning the feeders out. Today they are singing in the rain. Robins are nesting in the apple trees and the blue birds in the boxes.

Natasha said...

I love the Block Swap block. Beautiful! Since I got my block, I know it is not for me :( Oh well.

I am doing the Lily's QAL which is quilt as you go. I have never done this method before. I am hoping that I will be able to get good results.

Linda said...

I absolutely adore the red stained glass block! The fabrics are perfect for it and you did such a good job of putting it together!

Megan Harmeyer said...

The swap blog is really pretty - it reminds me of stained glass. I can't believe you get that many gold finches! And I like the fabric you won - the grey, white and pink has a really pretty design.

Char said...

Good morning Linda,
Great post. I have never done quilt as you go. I think it looks like more work than the standard method.
I agree with you about the block for Melinda.

We have lots of birds. The Finches are coming in now and soon I'm sure the Wrens will be back. We have 2 houses and they come back every year.We have Jays, Doves, Cardinals and Sparrows all year long.

Cheryl said...

The Harris Hawk, a few red Cardinals and the Gambil Quail are my favorite local birds.
You are very busy with all your exchanges! Very fun!

Peach Rainbow said...

I love the pink fabric you won - I won a similar print in black & gray :D

WoolenSails said...

I really love the look with the black strips, something fun to try. I have thought about a stained glass look, so maybe something small with black outlines would be fun to try.

Debbie

Staci said...

My husband and I read your post about the frogs together this morning; it was very interesting to learn more about them. We lived in Panama for several years, and every spring frogs became a big deal. You would look outside one night, and the entire lawn would be carpeted in little bitty frogs. The first time I saw it, I couldn't believe my eyes! It was like the lawn was moving! There would be a couple nights like that, and then we'd go months and months and never see frogs again.

Panama was a bird place. We had a crane that nested right behind out house, and we used to watch it all the time. The trees were often full of parakeets, and tucans. Seeing a tucan fly is a strange thing! Often there were whole flocks of ugly turkey vultures about. There were several owls in the neighborhood, too. Sometimes we'd get a glimpse of them in the day time.

Where we live now in southern Arizona is also a bird place. We have read that more than half the migratory birds in north America come through here. We've seen all kinds of bird, but I don't know what most of them are. Birding is a big deal here, people come from all over to go on group excursions.

Pauline G said...

Hi - I would recommend Carolyn Foster's book - Quilting on the Go - I have just finished a really large quilt using this book as a quide and I have started another one - its great for breaking up large projects and getting them quilted as you watch TV !

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Thanks so much for posting about my giveaways. Hope you will enter.

Maria said...

Love your top quote but I am afraid I don't win often. LOL

Yes I have done QAYG blocks and then made into quilts. there is a great tutorial on http://ozcomfortquilts.blogspot.com/
Jan puts together sooooo many quilts for those who need some comfort.

You have had a great start to your week. So nice to mail out our blocks.

Belinda said...

WOW girl....you sure have a LOT of wonderful 'stuff n things' going on over here! Good squishies indeed!

Snoodles said...

Love your blocks and your birdies! I wish I could have some feeders around...unfortunately it would be luring them to their doom, since my kitty Moses would pounce!
Thanks for mentioning the olefrogeyes giveaway on Stray Stitches! We're hoping for more subscribers. Have a pleasant day!
Jacque in SC
quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

Leanne Harvey said...

Hi Linda,
I have done tonnes of QAYG quilts. I have even designed one myself. I can send it to you if you like?? Another Australian designer who is huge here is Monica Poole of Moonshine Designs. All her quilts are QAYG. She has some fantastic patterns and a book.
Happy Quilting
Leanne

Stormy Days said...

I love the birds in my yard. We had a hawk a while back, which I enjoyed until he took a dove right in front of me, after that I wasn't too thrilled to see him. Love all the frogs too, what's not to love except the boffos.

Gene Black said...

I love your latest mosaic block. Great work.

QAYG is a method I have used a few times. I learned the way I do it from Crazy Shortcut Quilts by Marguerita Mcmanus. I don't do it exactly her way, but that is where I learned the basic technique. I usually do the quilt in 3 or 4 sections and join them.
Email if you want to know more.

Melinda said...

I love the block you made me. Thank you.

Sarah Craig said...

I haven't tried the QAYG method yet - I just haven't had time, but I want to! It looks so easy... I love your blocks, too!

Did you read about the upcoming Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge on my blog? I'd love it if you'd like to get involved!

jennifer said...

Howdy, Thanks for mentioning my giveaway.

Anne said...

Currently, I am working on a quilted-in-the-hoop project for my daughter. It's Evy Hawkins' "Fashionetta" quilt. Each block is appliqued, pieced, and quilted before removing the piece from the hoop. I have some of the blocks completed. The blocks will be joined with straight-of-grain strips of fabric. I haven't yet wrapped by brain around that task, but I hope it'll work well.

Sue SA said...

I just finished a QAYG cot quilt this year, which I started 8 (?) years ago! I took a class, but the problem was instructions for assembly were for HAND piecing the blocks and I didnt own a walking foot at the time. So once a brouht a walking foot I was able to sucessuflly make more log cabin QAYG blocks (highly recommend) but put off assembling the. Then when I decided to tackle it I just goggled QAYG and found two great tutorials on the web for free that used machine sewing to assemble them. I would definately do this ago as quilting anything bigger then a cot quilt really upsets my neck and shoulders. So next time I want to make something larger then a cot quilt, but just got to convince DH that he should bring me a GO cutter back from USA (assuming I cannot get them in Australia) so I dont have to rotary cut all the strips for a new log cabin! I like "quick" methods and I think QAYG fits this bill, because truth is most of us have quilt tops in the cupboard and I certainlly put off quilting things. Happy quilting Sue SA (Australia)

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