Thursday, June 30, 2011

Paternal Blocks


Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.
~Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros


We had a wonderful break from the heat yesterday.  Our high was only 82 degree F.  I was able to keep the windows open until around 2:00 before having to shut them to keep the heat out.  We were even able to sleep with the windows open last night.  And even more amazing, I started out yesterday morning with my zip hoodie on!!  It is a short lived reprieve however, as our temps are to climb to 107 by Sunday.  Last night we made our Walmart run.  The store was still in turmoil and we felt like we were on a scavenger hunt.  Luckily there were not many people there so it wasn't too difficult to get around.  We normally do this on Saturday morning but with the long holiday weekend we were afraid it would be a mad house if we waited.  I sure wish Walmart didn't have such good deals so I could quit going to that store!

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PHOTO FACT OF THE DAY

National Meteor Day

At the risk of ruining the magic of falling stars, we must tell you that what you're actually seeing is a space rock hurling towards the planet, but burning up as it hits Earth's atmosphere. It might be a scary thought, but meteors are pretty common and nothing to fear!  Here are some facts about meteors:
* You can throw an Meteoroid off course (keeping it from hitting the Earth, for instance) by exploding a nuclear device near it.
* Meteoroids are moving fast! Some enter the Earth's atmosphere at as much as 130,000 miles per hour.
* Meteorites contain the oldest known rocks in our solar system.
* A 1985 study conducted by the science journal 'Nature' calculated the rate of meteorites hitting humans as .0055 per year, or once time every 180 years.
* Up to 4 billion meteoroids fall to Earth every day. But most of them are too tiny to do any noticeable harm.
* After it impacts the Earth, a meteoroid is suddenly referred to as a meteorite
* More than 24,000 meteorites are known to have landed on Earth, but only 34 are believed to have originated on Mars.
* A meteor (from the Greek word 'meteoron', which means 'phenomenon in the sky') is actually the streak of light we see trailing a meteoroid. A meteoroid is any interplanetary object bigger than a speck of dust and smaller than an asteroid.

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SWAP BLOCK

Yesterday I finished a block for my July swap partner in Block Swap Adventure.....

Melissa D. requested any block using blues, whites, purples or lavenders.  As you can see, I went back to the pinwheel block I've used before and found a print that had both purple and lavender.  This is heading out to Melissa this morning :)

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A FAVORITE TOOL

I have been using a tool that I received from DD#2 for Christmas to help me with my bindings. 

This is the CutRite Bind Up tool.  I used to have all sorts of trouble and would practically get headaches when I had to make a bias cut and match the ends up on my bindings.  Then I read a couple of reviews about the CutRite Bind Up tool.  It has made my binding headache disappear.  I don't know how I ever got by without it.  I used to have to read the instructions but now I don't even have to do that any more.  Instead of my trying to show you through pictures just click on the link HERE to see the instructions kindly posted by Quilters Paradise.  They even have a video that you can watch HERE.  So if you have trouble matching up the ends of your binding like I did, I highly recommend investing the $10 in this tool.  You, too, will wonder how you come you waited to long to get it.  (This was not an advertisement, just my own review).

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SAME BLOCK, DIFFERENT SWAP

Yesterday I also completed my July swap block for my partner in the Quilting Block Swaps Australia....

Alethea requested any block in dark blue.  As you can see I used the same pattern, just used different fabric.  I'm sure you all are getting tired of seeing me make the same block but I just didn't have the desire to look up another block yesterday.  Sorry!  It was nice to be able to take both block pictures out in the sun today.  The true colors really came through.  I only had to catch the block from blowing away twice - lol!

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I will try to finish making the monthly mini quilt for July

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GIVEAWAYS

SewCalGal is having a giveaway.  You could be the lucky winner of a Beam n Read.  A winner will be randomly selected on Saturday, July 2.

Sew WE Quilt is having a giveaway.  You could win a cute magnetic button ring made by Kim Walus from Bitty Bits & Pieces.  This giveaway ends Saturday, July 2, at midnight.

Quilting Along The Gorge is having a giveaway.  You could win an AccuQuilt GO! Baby cutter and 3 dies of your choice.  This giveaway ends Saturday, July 9, at midnight.

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts is having a giveaway.  You could win a Beam n Read.  A winner will be announced Friday, July 1.

Tilda's Twisted Life is celebrating her 100th post with a giveaway.  Melinda is giving away a charm pack of Hideaway.  This giveaway ends Friday, July 1, at 6:00 pm EST.

Don't forget to enter MY VACATION GIVEAWAY!

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FINAL THOUGHT

Yesterday I was easily distracted by the clouds floating by.  It was so peaceful watching the clouds skittering by high above in the blue sky.  They prevented the sun from glaring down on us.  They provided some dimension to our usually boring view upward.  Their shapes were constantly changing as they flew from west to east.  Unfortunately not a one of them contained any rain for us - I think it all the moisture was dumped on San Francisco the day before when they received a new record rainfall for the day of an inch.  Big and puffy in shades of white and gray.  Hopefully the clouds will gather moisture as they head east and dump buckets of rain on the fires in both Arizona and New Mexico where it is sorely needed.  Can you tell I was easily entertained yesterday?

A cloudless plain blue sky is like a flowerless garden.
~Terri Guillemets



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Flower Power X 3


Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled "This could change your life."
~Helen Exley

Everything was quiet around the house yesterday.  It seemed a little strange after having family in and out for the last two weeks.  Even the birds outside were quiet - I think they were just trying to cope in the heat.  I enjoyed the peacefulness.  I enjoyed the solitude.  I did talk with my mother but that was just 30 minutes of listening with a couple of "is that right" and "I understand" thrown in for good measure.  I did finish listening to a book recommended to me by another blogger (I can't remember who *see me hanging my head in embarrassment*) - Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen.  Excellent!  It was a good book to sew by.  Do you ever listen to books while sewing?  Have you heard/read a good book lately?

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PHOTO FACT OF THE DAY

National Camera Day

The earliest cameras were massive, difficult to operate and required subjects to hold posses for so long they often needed to sit down or lean against a table.  Photography started with a camera and the basic idea has been around since about the 5th Century B.C. For centuries these were just ideas until an Iraqi scientist developed something called the camera obscura sometime in the 11th Century. Even then, the camera did not actually record images, they simply projected them onto another surface. The images were also upside down.  Photography and cameras were brought to the general public by George Eastman somewhere around 1885. He called his first camera the 'Kodak'. It was a simple box camera which had a fixed focus lens and had a single shutter speed. It had enough film for a hundred exposures (photos) and had to be sent back to the factory for processing the camera, as well as reloading it. Cameras became widely available only in the nineteenth century, with Kodak coming out with a series of box cameras as well as folding cameras.The Brownie by Kodak may be the cheapest camera to be ever made, with it being sold at around a dollar. The Brownie was also the camera to introduce the 'snapshot' concept. The Brownie was first introduced in 1900 and was on available for purchase even till 1960.  The first true digital camera was the Fuji DS-1P in 1988. It had a 16 MB internal memory. However, it was never released in the US. The first widely available digital camera was released in 1991, the Kodak DCS-100.

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HEXAGON SWAP

Yesterday I finished two hexagon flowers for my July swap partner in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap.  First I made this flower.......

Paula requested bright petals with the center being any color of green.  These petals are definitely bright.  Next I made Paula a second flower......

The purple isn't necessarily bright but the pinks and greens make the petals bright.  And, again, with the same green center.  These will be off in today's mail to Paula.

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MAIL DELIVERY TO CANADA

I read where we can now start sending mail to Canada again (as of Monday, June 27).  USPS said there might be some delays until all the backlog is cleared but they hope to have everything back to normal soon.

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MY OWN FLOWER

Today is One Flower Wednesday!  And, of course, I couldn't let that go by without my weekly addition to my GFG.....

Just look at those plump little ladybugs on the petals!  I like how their feet added a whole different dimension to the center of the flower.  And, yes, this is another green center.  Guess I just sort of got stuck on green this week.  This will be a great addition to my other bright flowers :)
And, thanks to Karen's linky (of Journey of a Quilter), you can view more wonderful hexagon flowers out there in blogland by clicking on Karen's name or on the link on my sidebar.

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I will make swap blocks for Block Swap Adventure and Quilting Block Swaps Australia.

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GIVEAWAYS

Amy's Creative Side is having a giveaway.  You could win 2 Lapel Sticks.  This giveaway ends Friday, July 1.

Irish Muses is having a giveaway.  You could win a Beam n Read.  This giveaway ends Friday, July 1, Irish time.

Happy Cottage Quilter is having a giveaway.  You could win a Beam n Read here also.  A winner will be selected Saturday, July 2.

Diary of a Quilt Maven is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Snowy Garden Stitcheries pattern.  Monica will pick a winner on Friday, July 1.

Diary of a Quilt Maven is also having another giveaway.  In this giveaway you could win 6 patterns by Sue Daley of Patchwork With Busy Fingers.  A winner will also be drawn for this giveaway on Friday, July 1.

Fabric Worm is having their weekly giveaway.  This week you could win 6 bolt ends from the Heather Ross Far Far Away 3 collection from Kokka Japan.  This giveaway ends Monday, July 4, at 8:30 am PST.

Do you need a new pair of embroidery scissors?  Or maybe a kit for a table runner?  You could win those at MY VACATION GIVEAWAY!

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FINAL THOUGHT

I have been toying with the idea of purchasing a new sewing machine.  I'm just beginning the research.  I would absolutely love a long arm and quilting frame but have neither the money nor the room.  I have started with research on the HQ Sweet Sixteen with the sit down table.  It affords ample sewing room for quilting without taking up too much room.  Plus it lets me sit down while quilting which is a good thing since I can't stand up for long periods of time.  Have any of you ever used this machine?  Could you let me know the pros and cons?  Is there another machine out there similar to the HQ Sweet Sixteen that allows you to sit down?  Do you know of a good source that reviews such machines?  As you can tell, I asking you for your advice.  Let me hear from you!

I always pass on good advice.  It's the only thing to do with it.  It is never any use to oneself. 
 ~Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I've Started The Mystery


Dreams are answers to questions we haven't yet figured out how to ask.
~X-Files

Lately I have not been sleeping well.  I have had an over abundance of dreams.  One dream was about my next quilt guild meeting - I didn't have my projects done and I showed up empty handed AND late.  Another dream was about tornadoes - and the tornadoes had multi vortexes.  I have strange dreams.  Last night was full of dreams, many of which I don't remember.  I do remember looking at the clock several times during the night feeling sure that it must be time to get up.  I know that dreams are supposed indicate what's going on in your life.  The guild meeting one I understand - I probably feel under pressure to get things done even though I have over 3 weeks before the next meeting.  The tornado?  I have no idea.  We don't live in a stormy area and I don't think my life is in turmoil.  Do you ever try to figure out what your dreams are trying to tell you?

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PHOTO FACT OF THE DAY

Paul Bunyan Day

Today we honor America's tallest folk hero, who hung out with a blue ox named Babe and wore size XXXXXXXXXXL plaid shirts. Paul Bunyan started out as an advertising campaign for a logging company in the early twentieth century, and over time his legend caught on and gained popularity.  The story of Paul Bunyan says he was born in Bangor, Maine. It took five giant storks to deliver Paul to his parents.
His first bed was a lumber wagon pulled by a team of horses. As a newborn, Paul Bunyan could holler so loud he scared all the fish out of the rivers and streams.  His parents had to milk two dozen cows morning and night to keep his milk bottle full and his mother had to feed him ten barrels of porridge every two hours to keep his stomach from rumbling and knocking the house down.
One winter, Paul Bunyan came to log along the Little Gimlet in Oregon. Ask any old timer who was logging that winter, and they'll tell you that Paul's kitchen covered about ten miles of territory. That stove, now, she were a grand one. An acre long, taller than a scrub pine, and when she was warm, she melted the snow for about twenty miles around. The men logging in the vicinity never had to put on their jackets 'til about noon on a day when Paul Bunyan wanted flapjacks.
Quite a tall tale for this giant of a man!

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FREE PATTERNS

22 Free Patterns - Download Now
How would you like to receive 22 FREE patterns?  All you have to do is sign up for AccuQuilt newsletters.  Nothing hard about that.  They are a great company that is always coming up with new ideas. 

Right now they are running a GO! 4 It Die Sale that gives you great prices on their cutting dies.  And if you buy before the end of the day on Wednesday, June 29, you can get double the rewards points on your order. 

Check out AccuQuilt either by clicking on the links above or on the link on my right sidebar.

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MYSTERY BOM

I have started the Designer Mystery BOM 2011/2012 from Fat Quarter Shop.  The first block arrived around the 13th but I'm just now getting to it.  Shall we get started?

Here I've cut all of the beautiful fabrics.  This years fabrics are all from the Strawberry Fields collection by Fig Tree Quilts for Moda.  They always send an ample supply of the fabric and I've even seen a couple of bloggers that are able to get two blocks out of the fabric sent each month.  The colors are so much prettier in person.  I guess I should have tried an outside shot but it was just too hot and I was just too lazy - lols.

First I had to assemble four of these blocks.  You probably can't guess yet....

And then there were these four simple blocks.  Easy enough so far....

And here it is complete.  This year won't be like last year where you could actually guess what I was making in the Christmas theme.  This year is to be a spectacular flower garden filled with blooms and blossoms.  This cute block is called "Sweet Pea" and was designed by Bonnie Olaveson and Camille Roskelly.  I think this will be a fun quilt and if you think you might be interested, you can still join in the fun at Fat Quarter Shop.  This BOM only cost $10.99 a month so you certainly can't beat that price.  I'm already looking forward to the next block release on July 10th.

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I will make two swap hexagon flowers and one hexie flower for myself.

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GIVEAWAYS

Amy's Creative Side is having a giveaway.  You could win a Beam n Read.  This giveaway ends Friday, July 1.

AccuQuilt is giving away 22 free patterns just for signing up for their newsletter.  Now that's a deal you certainly can't beat.

Creative Confessions is having a giveaway.  You could win 4 coordinated fat quarters, a darling packet of pretty white buttons, all sizes and shades,  a make your own fabric covered button kit, and a very lovely pattern from Nancy Halvorsen. This giveaway ends Sunday, July 3.

Buzzing and Bumbling is having a giveaway (plus Linda has a great tutorial!).  You could win 2 patterns of your choice from B. Bumble and Co and Linda's new little bee pin cushion kit.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, July 6.

KoolBeenz is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win one of two fat quarter bundles from Fat Quarter Shop.  This giveaway ends Friday, July 1, at midnight EST.

Pigtails and Quilts is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a Dottie Fat Quarter Bundle by Moda Fabrics from Fat Quarter Shop.  A winner will be drawn on Monday, July 4, at noon EST.

Bluebird's Wing is having a giveaway.  You could win a FQ bundle of Sew Cherry in yellow by Lori Holt for Riley Blake Designs, or a FQ bundle of Bohemian Soul in the Freedom colorway by Patricia Bravo of Art Gallery Fabrics, or a FQ bundle of Lou Lou Thi in the Eleni colorway by Anna Maria Horner for Westminster/Free Spirit, or one of two Moda Bake Shop boxes to make a mini quilt, or a set of three mini charms of Just Wing It! by MoMo for Moda, or a set of three mini charms of Civil War Reunion by Barbara Brackman for Moda.  This giveaway will remain open Sunday, July 3.

Love, Lizzie is having a giveaway.  Two winners will win 3 one yard cuts of some very cute IKEA fabrics.  This giveaway ends "Thursday, July 1" (not sure if it closes Thursday or Friday, July !).

Canoe Ridge Creations is having a giveaway.  You could win 7 Kona Cotton FQ.  This giveaway ends Friday, July1, at 10:00 pm CST.

Chasing Cottons is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a $100 gift certificate, or a $50 gift certificate, or a $25 gift certificate all from Fat Quarter Shop.  Three winners will be drawn on Tuesday (tonight), June 28.

Annie's Ruby Slipperz is having her Monday Mystery giveaway.  You could win 5 fat quarters in the color of your choice.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, June 29, at midnight.

Northern North American Bears is having a giveaway.  Debbie is ready to send the Traveling Stash on it's way.  The box is crammed full of all sorts of goodies.  Debbie will draw a winner on Wednesday, June 29.

Lisa T's Blog is having a giveaway.  She has the second Traveling Stash to giveaway.  Like Debbie's box, Lisa's is also crammed full of lots of wonderful things.  This giveaway ends Thursday, June 30, at 9:00 pm EDT.

Would you like to win a table runner kit and a darling pair of embroidery scissors.  Check out MY VACATION GIVEAWAY today!

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FINAL THOUGHT
The end of the month in is fast approaching.  I have every one of my June obligations completed and have even started on some of my July swaps.  I would much rather be ahead of the game than trying to play catch-up.  This month I felt like I was always running two steps behind after taking those 10 days off from blogging and sewing.  But I was never behind or late - I just put myself into that crunch.  All swaps were out in the mail before their deadlines and all of my Let's Bee Together and Swap Block Adventure computer work was done in a timely manner.  I am still way behind in responding to comments left for my giveaway - I may never catch up with them.  I'm will to let that go (maybe) - no matter how much it bothers me not to have answered each and every comment for the giveaway.  I'm trying to limit my computer time so that I have a little more sewing time.  Time to get busy sewing......I hope your week is going along creatively.

The Future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.
~C.S. Lewis

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Basket In The Garden


Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.
~Larry Lorenzoni

We had a busy weekend.  We did our normal running on Saturday morning and then our DD#2 arrived around noon.  We did a few quick errands after lunch and then tried to stay cool the rest of the afternoon by playing a few round of Wii Resort.  In the evening we attended a double 60th birthday for two cousins.  Lots and lots of family were there from my DH's side.  We all had a good time but I left there with my ears ringing as they are not a quiet bunch - lol!  Sunday was spent with a relaxing breakfast and lots of visiting time with our daughter.  And now I'm ready to start the week.  I've already received a couple swap assignments for the month of July so hopefully I will get a head start on them this week.  Do you have big plans for the coming week?

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PHOTO FACT OF THE DAY

Sunglasses Day

The history of sunglasses can be traced back thousands of years though they were much different to those worn today and served a completely different purpose.  The Roman emperor Nero apparently liked to watch gladiatorial combat through polished gemstones though the first things resembling what we would know as sunglasses appeared in 12th century China. The lenses were made of smoky quartz and did go someway to protecting wearers from glare. These early sunglasses were actually used in courts to shield the expressions of judges when they questioned witnesses.
By the turn of the 20th century sunglasses became more widespread and early silent movie stars rapidly took up wearing them before filming to shield their eyes from the right stage lights, which were often as bright as the sun itself.
It is widely believed that sunglasses really became 'cool' during the second world war when people viewed photographs of prominent military figures such as General MacArthur wearing them. The popular wartime image of a GI in sunglasses made them become an aspirational item among young people all over the world.  Since then sunglasses have grown in popularity to such an extent that people can be seen wearing them even when it is not sunny, or even indoors.

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FINAL JUNE FINISH

Friday I finished my final June obligation.  I had signed up to participate in Cheryll's Let's Exchange #3.  This time we were to make a bread basket and purchase 4 novelty buttons......

This 14 1/2" square and ribbon doesn't look like it would hold much bread, does it......

Once you tie up the sides it can then hold the bread.  It's nice that it can then lay down flat again for storage.  This basket was easy to make and took me less than two hours to make from cutting to the final tie.  These would make great Christmas gifts if made out of a Christmas print and then filled with cookies.

Here's another angle so that you can see that it does have a nice depth.  The sides are about 3" high. 
If you would like to participate in this swap, there's still time.  This is considered a reverse swap so you have to make the basket before you know who your swap partner is so there's no worry on fabric selection.  And the four buttons can come out of your stash or you can purchase them special for this. (I forgot to take a picture of the buttons).  To join in the swap just click on the link above and you will find the necessary instructions/rules. 

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A NEW PROJECT

Last week I started a new project.  I have began working on A Gardener's Journal by Anni Downs.

This is the first block I have stitched.  It is called The Potting Shed.  I stitched using two strands of DMC floss.  I am unsure of the fabric name but do know it came from Connecting Threads a few years back - there is no name in the selvage.

Here is a picture of the back.  I did not use a single knot anywhere in the stitching.  I also made sure not to carry any threads across the back unless absolutely necessary.
I plan to do all of the embroidery blocks before assembling the bigger blocks with the patched piecing.  I have what I think is the perfect line of fabric for that, but you will have to wait to see it until later.  If this project turns out as I hope it will, this may be my first entry in the local quilt show come January.

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I hope to work on the first Designer Mystery BOM for 2011-2012.

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GIVEAWAYS

I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a fat quarter bundle of 21 fat quarters in different shades of Kona pink from Canton Village Quilt Works.  Ryan will announce the winner on Wednesday, June 29.

Hawthorne Threads is having their weekly giveaway.  This week you could win a 1001 Peeps quilt kit.  The winner will be selecting on Wednesday, June 29.

Vicki B Quilts is having a giveaway.  You could win an AccuQuilt GO! Baby cutter and three dies.  This giveaways ends Sunday night, July 3.

The Intrepid Thread is having their weekly giveaway.  You could win a fat quarter pack of one of the three color ways of Wrenly.  This giveaway is open until Friday night, July 1.

Leona's Quilting Adventure is celebrating her 700th follower with a giveaway.  She is giving away some wonderful notions and two Hullabaloo charm packs.  This giveaway ends Sunday, July 3, at midnight EST.

There's still time to enter MY VACATION GIVEAWAY.  Check it out today!

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FINAL THOUGHT

I went to look up a pattern on google the other day. Found it.  But then that lead to me in another direction. I probably spent an hour hopping all over cyberspace looking at this, looking at that. And, do you know, by the end of that hour I had forgotten exactly what I started out looking for. Sometimes I get so easily distracted. Often I look through an online store and see something I like and wonder "Can I find that some place else for less?" So off I go - again! While looking for that 'something' - oh look! I like that! Isn't that cute? Maybe I can find it for less some place else. Oh look - I didn't know they carried wool. LOL! And so goes my life with online shopping. Sometimes it is a good thing because I get so confused and want so much that I finally end up not buying a single thing. Guess I just enjoyed the window and comparison shopping journey. Does the same thing happen to you?

One of the Internet's strengths is its ability to help consumers find the right needle in a digital haystack of data.
~Jared Sandberg

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Few More Obligations


The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you. 
 ~Elbert Hubbard

Yesterday I went out to lunch with my BFF.  We hadn't seen each other in almost 4 weeks - he had been back east visiting family.  We had a great time catching up and sharing what had been happening in our lives.  Cussing and discussing politics is always a favorite with my friend and sometimes laughable, too.  Our favorite lunch spot was packed to the rafters and was extremely noisy.  To show you how much of a introvert hermit I am, I practically lost my voice trying to be heard over the din.  I'm not used to that much talking let alone at a loud volume.  We both showed our age with several "what was that" and "huh?" from not being able to hear one another across the table.  All in all it was a good time, reuniting with a friend, sharing good food, and just being out in the world :)

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PHOTO FACT OF THE DAY

Swim A Lap Day
Today is Swim A Lap Day.  A swim sounds really good with the heat we have been experiencing.  Swimming laps is an excellent form of exercise.  In keeping with the theme, here are some fun facts about swimming:
* Around 65 thousand people (are estimated) in the United States don't know how to swim!! * The first recorded swimming race was held in Japan
* Women weren't allowed to compete in swimming at the Olympics till 1912
* The bikini was named after a U.S nuclear testing site in the South Pacific, in 1946
* The slowest Olympic swim stroke is the breaststroke
* Swimming started in the 1st century
* Egyptians made a picture or symbol for swimming as far back as 2500 A
* The shorter your hair is the more chance you have for swimming faster because there is less friction
* •It really is true that you shouldn't swim for about an hour after eating. This is primarily because your body is digesting your food and you may get a cramp during the time right after you eat. Allow your body to rest after eating and then go into the water.

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MUG RUG

The other day I completed another obligation for the month of June.  I made a mug rug....

This mug rug is for my secret partner in Leona's Mug Rug Swap Adventure 2.  My partner requested brights that don't necessarily go together so my mind automatically went to wonky.  Why do I keep making wonky when it is such a challenge for me?  The black sashing measures 1/4" in width.  When I went to quilt this little thing I discovered that my small Janome didn't have a walking foot.  No problem, I thought......so I pulled out the walking foot to my big machine that was in the shop for servicing.  Guess what?  That foot is not interchangeable between the two Janome machines!  Who would have thought that would happen - certainly not me!  I ended up using the regular pressure foot for quilting so I did a simple stitch in the ditch.  Even that was a challenge without a walking foot.  This mug rug is on its way just a few states over.  I sure hope my swap partner likes it.  Oh, the backing is just a solid black.
If you are interested in seeing more of the mug rugs being swapped, check out the flickr group.

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KEEPING COOL

This is Weasley's normal position now that summer and warm temps have arrived.  (I touched it up for modesty purposes).  Doesn't he look comfy baring his belly for all to see?

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SWAP BLOCKS COMPLETED

Wednesday I also completed my June swap blocks for the 6 Inch Block Swaps Australia....

My swap partner, Coralie, requested Star Of Hope in jewel toned colors with a light background.  First I made the orange and yellow block.  Next I made.....

this purple and pink star.  Now that I'm looking at the pictures, I see that some of my points don't quite match up.  Hmmmmm......I'm going to blame that in part to working on my little Janome. 
I hope that Coralie likes these stars.  I would have put them on a black background if she hadn't requested light.  I think that would have made the jewel toned colors pop even more.  These are winging there way to Australia as your read this.

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I plan to make the bread basket that I need to complete before the end of the month for another swap.

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GIVEAWAYS

Quilting In The Rain is having a giveaway.  You could win a jelly roll of Terrain by Kate Spain.  This giveaway will end Sunday, June 26.

Quilt I.T. is celebrating her one year blogiversary with a giveaway.  You could win 5 Fat Quarters of "Jacobean Jewels" by Red Rooster Fabrics or a Candy Bar of Moda's "Breakfast at Tiffany's".  This giveaway ends Sunday, July 3.

Quilt Story is having a fabric giveaway from Sew Obsessed.  You could win a 6 fat quarter bundle of Urban Chiks.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 28.

Confessions of a Fabric Addict is celebrating her 400th follower with a giveaway.  You could win at least a fat quarter of three yummy Swiss Chocolate prints, and Kona cottons in four coordinating colors.  Sarah will select a winner on Wednesday, June 29.

Our Busy Little Bunch is having a giveaway.  You could win an AccuQuilt GO! Baby Cutter and your choice of 3 dies.  This giveaway ends Friday, July 1.

Stray Stitches (ME!) is still having a giveaway.  Click on the link for all of the details to win an awesome table runner kit and a darling pair of embroidery scissors.

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FINAL THOUGHT

Wednesday evening on his way home from work, my DH picked up my big Janome from the shop.  It was cleaned, polished, and ready to put in another year of sewing.  I missed my machine.  I was afraid to tackle anything big on the little Janome.  Do you know how many times I hit my knee on the side of the sewing desk trying to use the knee lift on the little machine?  It doesn't have a knee lift.  I had to lift the pressure foot up by hand each time.  Do you know how many times I hit the automatic clipper button that wasn't there?  Or tried to adjust the sewing speed?  I have become spoiled.  Not to mention the automatic needle treader.  I now know of at least four things that all future sewing machine MUST have.  I'm also used to having many more selections for tension than the little machine has.  I guess it's good to have the big machine missing for a few days.  It makes really appreciate all it can do and what we can do together.  It probably enjoyed the vacation of no sewing for two weeks but I'm sure glad it's back and ready to go!

The sewing machine joins what the scissors have cut asunder, plus whatever else comes in its path.
 ~Mason Cooley

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Little Stitchin'


Heat, ma'am! it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones. 
~Sydney Smith

The heat just dulls the brain - that's the only thing I can figure.  It zaps your strength and melts your creativity.  You walk out the door and it's like being hit with a blast furnace.  Yesterday it was a scorching 110 (F) degrees here.  I'm sure that all of the water parks and public pools were full to overflowing.  I can't imagine how people who work outside all day can survive.  All the plants are in wilt mode even though they get watered twice a day.  The poor birds stand around with their little beaks open trying to cool themselves.  Both dogs lay around belly up trying to keep cool.  And yet it is only June.  We have a minimum of 3 more months of this lovely stuff.  The A/C is working overtime and the ceiling fans are whirling away.  I try to do all of my sewing that requires ironing in the morning and save stitchery for the afternoons.  What do you do creatively when it's hot outside?

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PHOTO FINISH OF THE DAY

Typewriter

Today is Typewriter Day.  There are probably some of you that have never even used a typewriter.  I used to own one similar to the one in the picture except mine was baby blue.  For those of you that do remember using a typewriter - do you remember how hard it was to make corrections?  You couldn't simply hit the back key or delete key.  The sounds of its signature clackity clacking rang through offices and homes, and as the typist hammered away all that racket gave a certain importance to the document being typed.  Things sure have changed.
The idea behind the typewriter was to apply the concept of movable type developed by Johann Gutenberg in the invention of the printing press century to a machine for individual use. Descriptions of such mechanical writing machines date to the early eighteenth century. In 1714, a patent something like a typewriter was granted to a man named Henry Mill in England, but no example of Mills’ invention survives.  But the first typewriter proven to have worked was built by the Italian Pellegrino Turri in 1808 for his blind friend Countess Carolina Fantoni da Fivizzono.
In 1867, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin printer-publisher-politician named Christopher Latham Sholes, with assistance from Carlos Glidden and Samuel Soule, patented what was to be the first useful typewriter. He licensed his patent to Remington & Sons of Ilion, New York, a noted American gun maker. In 1874, the Remington Model 1, the first commercial typewriter, was placed on the market.
The electronic typewriter, a typewriter with an electronic "memory" capable of storing text, first appeared in 1978. It was developed independently by the Olivetti Company in Italy and the Casio Company in Japan.
 ==============================

BEE BLOCK

I finally finished my Bee Block......

Melissa was one of our June hostesses in Let's Bee Together.  She said we could create any block we wanted with the great chili fabrics she sent us as long as we included a white signature square somewhere in the block.

I hand stitched my name, city, and state in red on the little 2 1/2" square.  Sure hope Melissa likes the block I made for her.

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STITCHERY

I was also able to finish this month's Birdie Stitches.....

For some reason the colors didn't show up as bright in the picture but I think you can get the idea.  My goal was to stitch the words in the same color order as the border, starting with the blue square.  And now I only have to wait a few short days for the July release.  If you would like to join in this stitchery being hosted and created by Little Miss Shabby, just visit her website for all of the past designs.  It's never too late to get started :)

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A NEW SWAP

Are you ready to think about Christmas in July?  How about making a Christmas themed mug rug?  If you think you would like to join in the fun, Crafty Pug is hosting the Christmas In July Mug Rug Swap.  This is being held through the Christmas Quilting Block Swap Australia but you Do Not have to be a member to join in the mug rug swap.  Just click on the link above if you are interested.  I'm joining - like I need another project - but it sounded fun!!!

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I would like to make the mug rug for Leona's 2nd mug rug swap....after all, it has to be in the mail by the 30th.

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GIVEAWAYS

Inch Worm Fabrics is having a giveaway.  You could win your choice of book from her store.  This giveaway ends ?

Bitty Bits & Pieces is having a book giveaway.  You could win a copy of Fresh Fabric Treat Book signed by a few of the designers.  This giveaway ends Saturday, June 25, at midnight.

Fort Worth Fabric Studio is having a giveaway.  You could win a sample set of Benartex CHLOE fabrics or a copy of Two From One JELLY ROLL QUILTS.  This giveaway ends Sunday, June 26, at midnight CST.

Just Sew Y'all Know is having a giveaway.  You could be one of two winners of a set of patriotic fat quarters.  This giveaway ends Sunday, June 26, at 8:00 pm EST.

Sew, Mama, Sew is having Summer Sewing Giveaway - week #4.  You could win a complete fat quarter pack of Spring Street by Carolyn Gavin or a copy of Crafting a Meaningful Home: 27 DIY Projects to Tell Stories, Hold Memories, and Celebrate Family Heritage by Meg Mateo Ilasco or a $25 Gift Certificate to Sew,Mama,Sew!  This giveaway ends Sunday, June 27.

Fresh Lemons is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a fat quarter set of Lemons and Limes, Metro Market, Monaluna from Robert Kaufman Fabrics.  Hurry - this giveaway ends this evening, Thursday, June 23.

Would you like to win a kit for a table runner plus a darling pair of embroidery scissors?  Then go here - My VACATION GIVEAWAY - to enter.

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FINAL THOUGHT

As I was sewing yesterday and trying to match up seams, I realized how many of my pins are bent.  Very few of them are straight any more.  A curve to the right - a curve to the left - either way they are definitely bent.  It's hard to match seams when even the pins can't line up straight.  I could try to blame the bent pins on my magnetic pin holder - you know, too much force causing the pins to bend over each other.  But that's probably not the case.  Running the pressure foot over some has been the cause of some of the bends.  Trying to force the pins through too many layers of fabric when they are getting dull is probably another factor.  Not to mention the ones that end up on the floor and get stepped on - lol!  Poor pins.  Time to say good-bye and time to buy replacements.  My favorite are the flat head flower pins.  What are your favorite pins to use?

Pins and needles, needles and pins. It's a happy man that grins.
~Ralph Kramden

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Spy Flowers :)


Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
 ~Russel Baker

 Yesterday was a day of finishes.  They were simple projects but at least they are done.  I was able to prepare four envelopes for mailing.  Only one more project to make and finish for my monthly obligations to be complete.  Taking off that week of sewing really threw things out of balance.  However, I wouldn't trade the time I had with family for anything.  I was even able to start a new project - woohoo.  It was quite warm here yesterday.  Oh, who am I kidding.  It was darn right HOT.  The high yesterday was 105 F.  Lovely to know that summer did not forget us.  And what better way to start summer than with a scorcher.  Only the first of many more to come.  Yay!  I can hardly wait.  Not really, but I have to try and look at it positively - either than or it just puts me in a funk.  Thank goodness for the good ol' A/C!!!

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PHOTO FACT OF THE DAY

Velcro

Velcro, whose name is a combination of the French words velour and crochet, was developed in the early 1940s, after Swiss inventor George de Mestral returned home from a walk with his dog and noticed that pesky cockleburs had stuck to his pants and his dog’s coat. Examining the burrs under a microscope, de Mestral found the basis for a unique two-sided fastener — one side with stiff hooks (like the burrs) and the other with soft loops (like the fabric of his pants).
de Mestral gave up his engineering gig, got a $150,000 loan and spent eight years staring at matted dog hair under a microscope before arriving at a patent in 1955. He named the invention "special napped piles of man-made material with some of these loops having the means of hooking near their ends."
The first Velcro sample was made of cotton, which proved impractical and was replaced by nylon and polyester. Velcro fasteners made of Teflon loops, polyester hooks, and glass backing are used in aerospace applications, e.g., on space shuttles.
Velcro is strong enough that a two inch square piece is enough to support a 175 pounds (79 kg) person.  In favor of Velcro, it is easy to use, safe, and maintenance free. There is only a minimal decline in effectiveness even after many fastening and unfastenings. The tearing noise it makes can also be useful against pickpockets. Additionally, in the United States Air Force, where Velcro is used to attach patches to flight suits, aircrew have learned that they can remove small cloth pile balls that accumulate on the suits by using the hook side on the back of the patches like a brush to remove them.

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HEXAGON SWAP

I finally finished the second hexie flower for my swap partner in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap.


You might remember from a couple of weeks ago, Jane requested modern fabric for the petals and a white center.

Here are both of the hexie flowers that will be winging their way across the ocean to Jane in Australia.

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I SPY SWAP

Recently I joined in on an I SPY Swap being hosted by Mrs. Sassy Crafter.  There are a total of 20 people participating and we are to each cut twenty 4" squares out of each of ten different novelty print fabrics.  I purchased 10 fat quarters from Connecting Threads for this swap.  Yesterday I cut out these squares. 

Aren't these some cute fabrics?  These went out today and some time next month I will receive 200 I Spy squares back.  I can't wait to see what other people used for their fabric choices.

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ANOTHER HEXIE

Today is One Flower Wednesday.  Each week, Karen, of Journey of a Quilter, creates a linky page for those of us who are creating hexagon flowers to share our flowers.

Here's my flower for this week.  No, those dots are not on the yellow petals.  Those are the center of my paper templates that are showing through.  Don't the bright yellow petals remind  you of the blazing sun?  I thought the little mouse in the middle with the paw prints was awfully cute :)

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I will finish my Let's Bee Together block for Melissa.

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GIVEAWAYS

Stumbles and Stitches is having a giveaway.  You could win a $25 gift certificate from Fashionable Fabrics.  This giveaway ends  Friday, June 24.

Annie's Ruby Slipperz is having a giveaway.  You could win a kit to make a darling baby quilt.  This giveaway ends Friday, June 24, at midnight MT.

Fabric Worm is having their weekly giveaway.  This week you could win Hoos in the Forest by Doohicky Designs Yellow in Fat Quarters.  This giveaway ends Monday, June 27, at 8:30 am PST.

McCall's Quilting is having a giveaway.  You could win 1 of 2 patriotic Gingher Scissors.  This giveaway ends Monday, June 27.

Did you enter MY VACATION GIVEAWAY?  There's still plenty of time but you don't want to put it off and then forget.  Just click on the link :)

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FINAL THOUGHT

We have been going through a dessert desire in this house.  We can go months on end with no desserts - no cookies, no cakes, no ice cream.....no sweets of any kind.  Don't these kind of cravings usually happen during the winter?  We have had Klondike Bars on a regular basis - Heath and chocolate chip.  We have had our favorite spice cake with coffee frosting - several times!  Occasionally we have a good for you dessert and have a bowl of strawberries or blackberries.  Where are these cravings coming from?  Does it mean we are missing something essential in our diets?  It really has to stop!  I love the desserts but they tend to stay with me for a long, long time.  As the saying goes "A minute on the lips, a life time on the hips" - but that should include my arms, thighs, butt and anywhere else that fat likes to stick.  Oh no!!!  Now I'm hungry - off to eat my multi-grain cheerios for breakfast - lol!  How are you starting your day?

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.
~Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Did Someone Say "GIVEAWAY" ?


A good vacation is over when you begin to yearn for your work.
~Morris Fishbein

Hello, my friends!!!  I'm back from my blog-less vacation/family time :)  We had an absolutely wonderful time with my DD#1, SIL, and grandsons.  We celebrated birthdays with family and friends.  We visited the local water park.  We watched as GS#1 enjoyed the blow-up pool.  We played Wii.  The little one learned a new word or two.  It was so much fun having the grandsons around and seeing the world through their eyes.  But I did miss all of my friends in blogland.  It felt extremely strange not blog hopping and preparing my daily blog.  I did spend a little time yesterday catching up on a few of your blogs, finding giveaways, and reading my backlog of emails.  I was only on the computer twice when family was here - can you believe that?  But I'm back and ready to pick up where I left off.  So here we go........

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PHOTO FACT OF THE DAY


Two Days In One
Today, June 21, marks the beginning of summer in the northern hemisphere and simultaneously heralds the beginning of winter in the southern hemisphere. On June 21, there are 24 hours of daylight north of the Arctic Circle (66.5° north of the equator) and 24 hours of darkness south of the Antarctic Circle (66.5° south of the equator).
Rumor has it that if you hear the call of a cuckoo today, that bird is predicting a wet summer. Don't ask me how he knows the future, he just does. The best way to avoid hearing the call of the cuckoo is to avoid areas with a dense population of cuckoo birds. Likewise, if you hear the call of a person yelling, 'Cuckoo! Cuckoo!' it might be advisable to avoid them too.
How am I celebrating Summer Solstice?  By staying inside under the A/C on a day that is predicted to be 106 degrees!!

===================================

A WEEK AWAY

I don't want to bore you with the ton of pictures I took of my grandsons so I just made a simple collage depicting a couple of the things we did....


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MAIL RECEIVED

While I was away on my little absence, I received two items that I won out in blogland.  First came my winnings from Sharon at Vroomans Quilts.....

I won some Kathy Schmidt - Full Circle - 2 panels and 3 FQs - tan.  I'm not exactly sure what I will be making with these but you can bet they won't be stuffed on a shelf and forgotten.  Thank you, Sharon!!

I also received a squishy from the Fat Quarter Shop.....

Melissa from Happy Quilting had a giveaway and I was the lucky winner of this beautiful assortment of fat quarters.  These are Natural Elements by Patricia Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics.  The colors are so much prettier in person.  I just love the colors!  Thank you so much, Melissa and Fat Quarter Shop!!!
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MY VACATION GIVEAWAY

I did very little sewing during the week I was away from blogging.  Okay, I did sew around 20 stepping stones for my Grandmother's Flower Garden, but nobody wants to see a bunch of white hexagons.  So, instead, how about if I have a giveaway.  After all, I haven't had one for the month of June!  What can you win?  Well............

how about this Connecting Threads Kit?  This is a kit for Hen & Chicks Table Runner.  It contains 3 1/2  yards of fabric.  The breakdown is as follows: 
Top fabric (Lily Pads - Blue) = 1 3/4 yards
2nd Fabric (Basket Weave - Lt Brown) = 1/2 yard
3rd Fabric (Packed Summer Flowers - Blue) = 1/2 yard
4th Fabric (Sketched Floral - Cream) = 1/2 yard
Bottom Fabric (Vining Stripe - Blue) = 1/4 yard
Paper = Pattern Instructions
AND.....
Aren't these embroidery scissors just too cute?  This is Bella Blue - Embroidery Angels 4" embroidery scissors. 

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
One lucky winner will win both the kit and the scissors.  How can you win? 

1.  Leave me a comment.  Just that easy.  Any comment will do. 
2.  For a second entry, blog about this giveaway.  Then come back and leave me a second comment and include a link to where you blogged about the giveaway. I will be checking!

Rules
*This giveaway is open to everyone!  Foreign, domestic, wild, tame, purple, pink, yellow - well, you get the idea - lol!
*No more than 2 entries per person!
*If you are a No Reply blogger, you must leave me your email in your comment.  If I can't contact you, you can't win.  I had to eliminate over 10 people from my last giveaway because there was no way to reach them - so sad :(
*This giveaway will end Sunday, July 3, at 8:00 pm.  I will announce the winner no later than Monday, July 4, at 10:00 am.

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I need to make the second flower for my swap partner and make a flower for myself for One Flower Wednesday.

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GIVEAWAYS

Samelia's Mum is having a giveaway.  You could win a GO! Baby Cutter and 3 dies of your choice.  This giveaway ends Sunday, June 26, at 9:00 pm AEST.

KoolBeenz is having their weekly giveaway.  You could win a $25 shop credit to Skye Reve Fabrics.  This giveaway ends Friday, June 24, at midnight EST.

Jolly Jabber is having a giveaway.  You could be one of two winners of 10 Sweet Jane's Quilting Patterns.  This giveaway ends Friday, June 24.

Sew I Quilt is having a giveaway.  You could win an I Rock tool.  This giveaway ends Wednesday morning, June 23.

It Seams To Be Sew is having a giveaway.  You could win 2 charm packs of Terrain by Kate Spain (and this won't be available in stores until September!).  This giveaway ends Monday, July 4.

1 Choice 4 Quilting is having an "Awesome" giveaway. Shawna is giving away 4 fat quarter bundles of Strawberry Fields and 2 yards of matching Bella solids for sashing.  This giveaway ends Monday, June 27, at 10:00 pm EST.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting is having her first giveaway.   Cheryl is giving away An OLFA Circle Rotary Cutter (18mm) and the product demo disc that goes with it, a pattern, 'Bundle of 12 - Beach Balls' by Amelie Scott Designs, and a pattern, 'Gifts All Around' by Aarol Penny Pattenden.  Cheryl will select a winner on Tuesday evening, July 5.

Annie's Ruby Slipperz is having her weekly Mystery Monday giveaway.  By answering Annie's mystery question you are entered in the drawing for 5 fat quarters.  The drawing will be on Wednesday, June 22, at midnight MST.

Jay Bird Quilts is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a full collection of fat quarters of Outside Oslo by Jessica Jones from Pink Chalk.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, June 22, at 10:00 pm EST.

Crazy Mom Quilts is having a giveaway.  You could win an AccuQuilt GO! Baby Cutter and 3 dies of your choice.  Not sure when this one ends :(

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FINAL THOUGHT

Today is my Monday even though it's Tuesday.  I have my sewing room back in order and my piles layed out just so.  Sadly, I don't have my sewing machine back from being serviced yet - hopefully Wednesday evening.  In the mean time, I'm talking kindly to my little Janome, coaxing it through some easy steps so that I don't get too far behind on my monthly commitments.  I am eager to start a new project that involves both piecing and embroidery.  My Christmas quilt is still at the long arm quilter and should be ready by the end of the month.  Time to get busy, so I'm off to sewing................

All my scattering moments are taken up with my needle.
~Ellen Birdseye Wheaton, 1851

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