Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Normal Day

We are never prepared for what we expect. 
~James A. Michener

Thank goodness for a better day.  Yesterday was a more normal day.  No personal drama, no physical upsets, and a better night of sleep.  The only downside to yesterday was that it didn't start the cooling trend that the weather gods-that-be had predicted.  We still reached 108 degree F.  When the morning starts out at 81 degrees at 4:45 am with high clouds and sticky humidity, you know it's not going to be a good weather day.  Isn't it funny that we are now calling a cooling trend getting down into the 90's.  Just a month ago our high was lower than our low was last night - YUCK!  I did get some sewing in and some cutting too.  If it weren't for the trip to get groceries, it would have been a perfect day - lol!




Today is Chocolate Day.  Here are some interesting facts about chocolate that I found:
* The largest chocolate bar ever manufactured was in Italy in 2000. The bar had a weight of 5,000 lbs
* Chocolate is a natural form if anti-depressant. It produces serotonin –a chemical that elevates the mood. It is also referred to as the "happy chemical." Now that is a happy fun chocolate fact.
* White chocolate has no caffeine. In fact, white chocolate isn't chocolate at all. White chocolate is based on fat (vegetable oil or cocoa butter) and sugar, without any cocoa solids.
* Chocolate syrup was used to depict blood in the iconic shower scene of Hitchcock's film, "Psycho."
* Chocolate melts in your moth because its cocoa butter component has a melting point that is slightly below the human body's average temperature
* Scientific research can prove that chocolate is not addictive
* The first bar of chocolate was produced by Cadbury in England in 1842
* A dark chocolate bar has approximately 10-15g of sugar. A glass of orange juice has about 22g of sugar
* An average Swiss will eat about 21 lbs of chocolate a year. The Swiss, however, have one of the lowest heart failure rates and obesity cases in the world
* In the U.S., 25% of all peanuts and 40% of all almonds are used in chocolate making
Now go out and enjoy some chocolate - I will personally eat a chocolate kiss or two today :D



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

Wendy sent us this beautiful fabric to work with.  She selected the block, Ann's New Years Eve Star.  The only fabric placement she gave us instructions for was the background fabric.  The fabric is much richer in person.  I probably could have gotten a better shot outside but I really didn't want to go out into the heat.  This will be in the mail to Wendy on Friday.



I have decided to put off purchasing a long arm machine for awhile.  So, now it is time for me to learn free motion quilting on my regular sewing machine.  For those of you out there that do your own quilting, is there a book or website that you would suggest to begin the process of fmq on a regular machine?  I like detailed instructions that are easy to understand.  I would appreciate any suggestions you might have.



On June 8th I won a giveaway from The Q and the U.

Riel had a giveaway for 40 five inch I Spy blocks and I was the lucky winner.  She included several extra blocks too.  This is just a small sampling of some of the adorable blocks that were included in this package.  Thanks to the Canadian postal strike, the blocks just reached my house the other day.  I look forward to making a darling little child's quilt with these squares - probably to be given to Project Linus.  Thank you so much for the wonderful I Spy blocks, Riel!!



Today I will finish my final PIF commitment I have had since October.



Gen X Quilters is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a pattern bundle from Dewberry Lane.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, July 12, at 11:50 pm EST.

Jo's Country Junction is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a $100 Visa gift card from BlogHer.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, July 20.

From The Blue Chair is having a giveaway.  You could win a GO! Baby Cutter and three dies.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, July 12, at 11:59 pm MT.

Lily Pad Quilting is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a wonderful fat quarter bundle from Intrepid Tread.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, July 13, at midnight.

Alderwood Quilts is having a giveaway.  You could win a fresh bundle of lavender.  Sue will select a winner on Monday, August 1.

So Sew Crafty is having her first giveaway.  You could win Lucky Stars pattern by Atkinson Designs AND a $25.00 gift certificate from the online quilt shop of your choice.  Donna will draw a winner on Monday, July 25.

Fabric Worm is having their weekly giveaway.  You could win Zoe Pearn Designs Alphabet Soup Girl Bundle in Fat Quarters.  This giveaway will end Monday, July 11, at 8:30 am PST.

The Shabby is having a giveaway.  You could win one of three $25 gift certificates to Shabby Fabrics.  This giveaway ends at the end of the month.



My granddoggie, Samson
March 2006 - July 2011

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
 ~From a headstone in Ireland


Annie said...

Awww, so sorry on your granddoggie passing.

My mouth watered instantly on seeing that pic of chocolate. : )

I love that block you showed, so perfectly done.

And lucky you on the winning those cute fabric squares.

Stay cool,

Barb said...

There are so many wonderful sites out there...Leah Day...

I have the Patsy Thompson DVD' to free motion quilt in 365 days and I don't have the blog addressees...sorry....good luck.

Chartreuse Moose said...

Thank you for a lovely blog! Chocolate will now be in my pantry for all those special moments! I'm so sorry for the loss of your grand dog....losing dear pets can be so, so hard! Happy stitching!

501 Quilt Blocks said...

You might try Leah Day at
She's working on a 365 designs project and has some free tutorials.

Linda said...

I'm so glad the bad day is behind you. Sounds like the perfect day to celebrate with chocolate!!!

krisgray said...

Yum! We can't let chocolate day go by w/o celebrating, now can we?!

corina said...

So sorry your granddoggie passed away :( I just looked up "free motion quilting" on YouTube and had access to a whole lot of free videos on it. The best advice I was given on FMQ was to NOT drop my feed dogs. The biggest problem is always tension and by not dropping them and setting the stitch length to zero most of the problems are eliminated. Second advice I was given - have a stack of 12x12 quilt sandwiches by the machine and stitch for 10 to 15 minutes EVERY day for a month. My FMQ improved by leaps and bounds after doing that, even though some of the days I just scribbled with the machine.

Fiona@BubzRugz said...

Hiya... I enjoyed the instructions given on this blog
Have fun.... I'm a learner quilter and only use a small domestic machine - really enjoying it

Barbara said...

Such a sweet grand-doggie -- they leave holes in our hearts when they move on, I know.
I love your Bee block! Sorry, I can't help with FMQ, but good luck to you with it!

Joanna said...

I'm sorry about Samson. He was a young little guy. I can recommend Mary Mashuta's Foolproof Machine Quilting and Maurine Noble's Machine Quilting made Easy if you want a book to work with. But I took an online qal last year with Christina of and doing the step by step with her was the best way for me. Her blog has a tab that brings you to the posts. What it is in the end is you practising on a quilt sandwich (not your good quilt, but a priactise piece)quite a bit, but it does work. Christina is good at encouraging you to create your own designs. I keep a notebook near my machine that has designs in it. That's what works for me. Good luck.

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

So sorry to read about the loss of Samson, We have had our dog for 5 years and I can't think about being without him.

Your Bee block is pretty!

Maria said...

Sorry to hear of Samson's passing.

Enjoyed reading your post.

Looking forward to seeing your quilt made out of the I Spy squares.

Sandi P said...

So sorry about your furry friend.
I second the suggestion of Leah Day at Free Motion Quilting project. Someone gave your her website where she has great starter videos as well as all the videos of the "project". Here's her blog
She is also very good about answering questions and I've ordered a couple of things from her store and got good, quick service.
That being said, I think I am going to check out the other site a couple of people mentioned. One can never have enough knowledge when trying to develop or improve a skill.

Needled Mom said...

So sorry to read about Samson, Linda. Those are tough times.

Your block is just gorgeous. Those are "my" colors!!

I see that many have suggested Leah's blog so I won't repeat the http. Be sure you get that Supreme Slider and of course the Machinger gloves. They both make a world of difference.

Now....what chocolate can I eat for breakfast?

Sandra :) said...

I'm so sorry about Samson - he was so young! :(

FMQ - practice practice practice, and definitely Machingers gloves! Even after you "get it", warm up with a practice block every single time you go to FMQ - I used to make cage quilts for the animal shelter with my warm-up blocks :D

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Sorry about the doggie. Someone sent me this link. This blog shows lots of great ways to to FM quilting. I have a pair of Machinger gloves that I don't use, if you want them. Let me know.

Vesuviusmama said...

Oh, Samson was so young!!! I haven't received my July block fabrics yet - is your lovely block for Group A or Group B? Also, I believe I am August for Group B and I am super excited. Last night I finished my sample block, and my kits are all bagged up and ready to be sent. I know it isn't time yet, but when it is time, will you be sending me a list of addresses? Thank you, again, for your encouragement to sign up for this Bee. It was one of my quilting goals this year, and I have truly enjoyed it so far.

Staci said...

I can't tell you how often I have gone on a cupboard rummage after reading your blog! Yep, 8:30 AM and I'm hunting for chocolate. . .

So sorry about the dear doggie, it is hard to lose a friend!

I have a question for you, didn't you win a Go a while back?

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Two excellent sites given you already for FMQ - I can recommend You Tube for videos too - there are several there. I love chocolate - but lately with the heat, I prefer an Italian Ice.

Love the new block. Sorry for the loss of a a family pet/friend.

Megan Harmeyer said...

So sad about Samson. I can't believe he was so young. That's a great pic of him, though.

108*?! Ugh. One of the reasons I'm glad I don't live in Cali. Your Bee block is pretty - very fall. The squares you got in the giveaway are really cute!

Just a heads up...I'm hosting a giveaway. I don't know if you want to put it on your blog since it's not anything quilt related. :)

Wendy said...

The block looks great Linda, even better than my sample/test block. Looking forward to seeing it in person. Also feeling the dreaded heat wave here in Modesto. Ugh!!

Barbara said...

Someone already gave you Leah Day's website. She is the FMQ queen of the internet. I practiced by making Downy Quilts For Kids and did a different design in every block. I just watch Leah's demonstration and then do what she does. Mine don't always look like hers, but they turn out okay.

So sorry about your grand dog.

Ann Marie said...

I know the feeling of losing a pet at a early age. I lost my best friend my cat named Bubbles at the young age of 6 to kidney failure. It still hurts knowing she is gone.

As for the chocolate, I eat chocolate everyday, because I am not guaranteed tomorrow, so I am going to enjoy it today, while I am here.

Seams to Sew and Quilt said...

Linda, so sorry about your grand doggie.
Love the bee block, oh thanks for posting about chocolate, now you have me craving chocolate and an idea that maybe I should make hubby and chocolate pie today :)
Glad you are feeling better, have a great day.

Char said...

Sorry about the loss of Samson.
I was going to suggest Leah Day as so many others have.
I hope your weather gets better soon. We're having the nasty stuff now. I do not like summer!

Sunnybec said...

Oh Samson was only a baby it's always hard to day goodbye whether they are young or old. Thanks for the tips on Chocolate much better to eat some of that when depressed than start taking where did I put that bar of Cadbury dairy milk........Linda x

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

There are lots of books and youtubes about FMQ on your domestic machine. Patsy Thompson's DVD's are excellent, but one book I would HIGHLY recommend is by Sue Nichols "Machine Quilting - A Primer of Techniques". My BFF took Sue's class a couple of years ago, and then walked me through the book. She said the book is like taking Sue's class. I am no expert, but it does take practice.

Sheila said...

Sorry about Samson ,he looked like a great dog . Loved your block and have printed off that pattern , it is new to me . Thanks. Good luck on the free motion , I am just learning myself .

Lana said...

I am always amazed at all the beautiful things you WIN! Sure hope it cools off there so it might cool off here in a couple of days!
Samson went knowing he was loved...

quiltzyx said...

For FMQ, check out - Paula Reid has quilted something like 1200 quilts, 1/2 of them Queen-size, 1/4 KING-size, the rest smaller - all on her domestic, home sewing machine! She quilted for Alex Anderson & has won lots of awards too. I recently bought her "Batt Scooters" to help me quilt. I haven't tried them on a quilt yet, but they worked great when I was "free-motion" patching my cut-offs! Her quilting DVD is on my wish list.

So sorry to read about the passing of your granddoggie. He looks like he was quite a character.

Christine M said...

Sorry to hear about Samson.

The Mayo Family said...

Awe sorry about lil-Samson!
It is always hard to lose a sweet pet! They are family...
Sooooo glad that your day has been a better one!
I love the block from "Bee Block"!
have a wonderful tomorrow & stay cool...too bad we can't bag up the warm for winters here! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, Linda, your bee block is gorgeous! I may have to put that block into a sampler I am planning! I can't advise on the FMQ - I am too chicken to try it yet! LOL
Sorry about your furry friend's passing. He was a cutie!
Jacque in SC

Nancy said...

I'm glad you had a better day. I have only done stitch in the ditch quilting with my machine. If you find a good resource for this skill, please let us know.

Anne said...

So sorry about Samson. Pets are so much like family members.

I am happy to hear that you had a better day! Hope tomorrow's even more wonderful. Maybe a little cloud will shade your house and bring temps down a degree or two.

Tomorrow, I will attend "Gone to Pieces." It's a quilt show that will be held in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The owner of my local quilt shop said it's almost equal to the Houston show. I am sew excited! Wish you could join me!

crafty pug said...

glad you had a better day - and here is hoping for even better tomorrow
much love

Tonya said...

Poor Samson. I am sorry :(

I knew there must be some reason that I cannot stand white chocolate. But I am here to tell you that I am very addicted to chocolate. Science may not think so but just try taking it away from me! Well, I try but I won't let myself.

Shannon said...

I am glad your day was better but 108* is way to hot. Your block is so pretty. Chocolate ROCKS!! LOL! I am sorry about the passing of your Granddog:(

Shannon said...

Oh and I watched a lot of You Tube videos on FMQ. I have done about 6 or 7 quilts this way and I love doing it. I can't afford to get my quilts done by long arm. So I taught myself. Good luck!!

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