Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Flowers For Wednesday


When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves -
Welcome wool sweaters.
~B. Cybrill

Do you ever have days when it seems like everything you try to do turns out wrong?  That's how my morning was yesterday.  Luckily, it straightened itself out somehow while I was taking my lunch break and the rest of the day went much better.  I can't tell you how many times I had to retype, retape, remeasure, or recut yesterday.  Sooooooo very frustrating.  But that's behind me now and I'm ready to move on.  Can you believe this is the last day of November?  Our Tule fog has arrived bringing gray days, dampness, and much cooler weather.  I finally feel like the holiday season is upon us.

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LITTLE FACT OF THE DAY


Today, November 30, is National Stay At Home Because You're Well Day.  Staying home because you're sick is the worst. Sure you get to bow out of the daily grind, but you have to spend the day piled under blankets, surrounded by used tissues, watching game shows and feeling sorry for yourself. So today take the mild fever and nausea out of the equation. Call in sick to work and have a blast. (And just hope everyone in your office doesn't try to celebrate this holiday or your boss will be suspicious.)

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HEXAGONS

Hooray it's Wednesday.  That can only mean one thing......it's One Flower Wednesday.  Trying to get into the Christmas spirit, I made two flowers this week for the holidays.......

We used to hang a fresh pine wreath on our front every Christmas so this flower is to remember that little tradition.

Who doesn't like a dancing Santa?  These jolly little guys look like they are having a lot of fun.
I'm not really happy with either of these flowers.  To me they look rather blah - or maybe it's just the mood I'm in.  I think next week will be non-holiday flowers.
For fun and beautiful flowers, Karen has provided a linky where you can check out all of the other hexi flowers out there in blogland.  Click HERE to visit.

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I need to find some cute 6" holiday squares.

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GIVEAWAYS

Lavender Dreams is having a giveaway.  You could win a $25 gift certificate to Sunshine Bliss Studios.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, December 6.

Housewife Eclectic is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of MyMemories software.  This giveaway ends Sunday, December 4, at midnight.

Hancock's of Paducah is having a giveaway.  You could win Farmers Market quilt kit featuring Moda Indian Summer by Laundry Basket Batiks fabric.  This giveaway ends Thursday, December 15, at 6:00 am CST.

Jolly Jabber is having a giveaway.  You could win 8 new patterns from Amanda Murphy.  This giveaway ends ?

Heirlooms By Ashton is having a giveaway.  You could win an i-top button maker and a selection of metal button sets.  This giveaway ends Saturday, December 3, 10:00 pm CST.

Annie's Ruby Slipperz is having her Mystery Monday giveaway.  You could win 5 fat quarters.  This giveaway ends Saturday, December 3, at midnight MST.

Hilachas is having an After Thanksgiving giveaway.  You could win a layer cake of your choice from Fat Quarter Shop.  This giveaway ends Monday, December 5.

Pings and Needles is having a giveaway.  You could win a GO! Baby cutter and your choice of 3 dies.  This giveaway ends Thursday, December 1, at midnight UK time.

PhillysBlarney is having a giveaway.  You could win the Traveling Stash!  This giveaway ends Sunday, December 4.

Life On The Block is having a giveaway.  You could win an Christmas stocking full of goodies.  This giveaway ends Monday, December 5.

Sew We Quilt is having a giveaway.  You could win a box of Godiva chocolates.  This giveaway ends Thursday, December 1.

Sewn With Grace is having a giveaway.  You could win thirty one 8x8 squares of novelty Christmas fabric,  five 20ish" x 45" pieces of additional novelty Christmas fabric, one "Get red, red, ready for Christmas" book by Natalie Ross, and some additional surprise goodies.  This giveaway ends Thursday, December 1, at midnight.

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FINAL THOUGHT

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.
~Edith Sitwell

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Christmas Quilt Show


It's time for Sew Cal Gal's 2011 Christmas Quilt Show and I've decided to make an entry.  This year I would like to share my Christmas quilt .......


This quilt was so fun to make!  It was the Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Mystery BOM quilt 2010/2011.  With only working on one block a month there was absolutely no pressure to get it done.  Many of you made the journey with me through the blocks each month trying to guess what would appear as the blocks were made.  DH gave me the finishing kit and backing for Christmas so it all matches front to back (not many of my quilts do - lol).  I didn't do the quilting on this but took it to my local long arm quilter and she did a beautiful job.  As of this last Saturday, it is out on the couch for everyone to cuddle under. 

Here are a few of my favorite blocks I made over several months:



I so enjoyed working with all of the Kate Spain fabrics.  It was especially fun to fussy cut the pieces like the windows in the house.  Fat Quarter Shop always sends more than enough fabric with each block and the instructions were so easy to follow.

Many thanks to Darlene for organizing yet another fun event and for getting so many wonderful sponsors.  Make sure to check out the Christmas Quilt Show for many more beautiful Christmas and Winter creations.


And The Winner Is.......

Thank you to all of you who took the time to enter my giveaway sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop!!!  I hope you enjoyed browsing through the fat quarter bundles and plan on making a purchase or two in the near future.  Unfortunately, I still ended up with seven No-Reply bloggers :( 
But now for the winner.  With the help of random.org


Congratulations to 

Sarah Craig
"I'm loving the colors in the Azure Pear Tree bundle!! "

I have already sent an email to Sarah to get her mailing info.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Stitcheries With A Story


Only one shopping day left 'til tomorrow. 
~Author Unknown

After being away from blogland for four days, it's rather nice to be able to stop and say 'HI' to everyone.  I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Ours was so relaxed it seemed strange.  We were able to spend the day relaxing even though I did spend some time in the kitchen preparing a breakfast roll for Friday morning.  I even made my very first pumpkin pie.  Yes, I know that's hard to believe after being married for over 36 years but I'm just not a pie maker.  Thank goodness for Libby's pumpkin pie recipe - it was delicious!!!  Dinner out was different but very nice too.  It was especially nice not having to worry about the clean up afterwards.  I was quite surprised at how crowded the restaurant was.  The rest of the weekend we (me, DH, DD#2, and SIL#2) just spent the day at home watching a couple of movies and playing some Wii.  No rushing out to the stores at midnight or early in the morning.  There aren't enough good deals out there for me to fight the crowds and worry about getting pepper sprayed - lol!  I did get the majority of my shopping done on Saturday sitting on my behind using the computer.  Did you get any fantastic deals?

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LITTLE FACT OF THE DAY

Coffee

Are you like me and this morning really needed your coffee after the four day weekend?  I definitely needed that little extra kick to get started this morning.  How about some little facts about that rich, dark brew.
* Coffee was first discovered by a goat! More specifically a young goat herder by the name of Kaldi in the 9th-century. He noticed his goats acting strange when they ate the cherries from the coffee tree so he tried it for himself. This story does not show up in writings until the 16th-century.
* Contrary to popular belief light roast coffee actually has more caffeine than dark roast coffee. The reason for this is that the longer coffee is roasted the more caffeine cooked out of the bean.
* Espresso is not referring to a particular type of bean, it is a drink. More specifically it is a type of coffee brewing method.
* Coffee comes from a tree or bush that bears cherry fruit. The coffee bean is the seed that resides within the cherry.
* Coffee was declared illegal 3 times by 3 different cultures. The first was in Mecca during the 16th century and the prohibition was lifted after 30 years of debate among scholars and jurists. The second was Charles the II in Europe banning coffee houses trying to quell the ongoing rebellion yet it backfired and was never enforced. (People need their coffee!) The third was Fredrick the Great who banned the beverage in Germany in 1677 because he were concerned with the economic implications of money leaving the country on this new popular beverage.
* There are over 50 species of coffee world wide. Though only 2, arabica and robusta, are commonly used in commercial coffee production.
* Coffee can actually be used to fuel a car. Though maybe not very efficiently at the moment it is nice to know that there is an alternative out there that can not only fuel our bodies but our vehicles too.

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STITCHERY

It's been awhile since I shared any of the stitcheries for Gardener's Journal that I've been working on....

These will be made up into four different blocks.  The smaller ones on the left will be 2 1/2" X 2 1/2".  The birdbath on the right will be 3 1/2" X 4 1/2".  There is a little story that goes along throughout the book that is very amusing.  The little bit for the above blocks is titled The Art of Harold and reads as follows:  "Harold has taken up the art of sculpting topiaries. He has been training the rose bushes to look like members of his family. They are hideous, although I can spot the resemblance to my mother-in-law.  He keeps complaining about the thorns so I have much fun of an evening digging them out with my blunt tapestry needle.  I get such joy out of life".  Annie Downs is such a hoot!

This stitchery is called Pulling Weeds and will be 5 1/2" X 5 1/2".  The story that goes with this is titled Weeding The Garden.  "Time to plant bulbs, jonquils this week I think. Before I do this though, I have to remove the weeds Harold has arranged. He took it upon himself to go and collect my horse manure for fertilising the garden. Unfortunately he took the fresh pile rather than the aged pile so I now have developed quite a good oats garden in need of weeding. Here I am with my royal posterior up in the air and Harold decides to take a photo of me. Talk about getting my good side."  I have more to share but will save that for another date.
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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I plan to spend the entire day stitching.

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GIVEAWAYS

Quiltin' Grandma's Blog is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Quilt Maker Small Quilts & Gifts Magazine.  This giveaway ends Thursday, December 1.

McCall's Quilting is having a giveaway.  You could win one of their 2012 calendars and some fabric.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, November 29.

The Intrepid Thread is having a giveaway.  You could win a ten inch stacker of Sunny Happy Skies, a Cinderberry Stitches pattern, a pocket friend pattern with Echo to sew it up with, and two Thomas Knauer patterns to use your Pear Tree on.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, November 29.

Leona's Quilting Adventure is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of The Wedding Quilt.  This giveaway ends Friday, December 9, at midnight.

Quilt n Queen is having a giveaway.  You could win a Moda Sherbet Pips Jelly Roll.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, November 29.

Sew Kiki is having a giveaway.  You could win a kit for a wall hanging from Quilt Kit Market.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, November 30.

Our Busy Little Bunch is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a  bundle of Pear Tree fabric.  This giveaway ends Friday, December 2.

Lovin' Life At The End Of The Dirt Road is having a giveaway.  You could win a new seam ripper from Mighty Bright.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, November 29, at midnight.

It's So Kiki is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Stash Happy Patchwork.  This giveaway ends Saturday, December 3.

Cat Patches is having her Fun Fact Friday Freebie giveaway.  You could win fat quarter.  The winner will be announced Friday, December 2.

Sew Cal Gal is having a giveaway.  You could win a silk trio bundle from Sewing With Silks.  This giveaway ends Friday, December 2.

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FINAL THOUGHT


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm Finished With November


Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence.
 ~Erma Bombeck

It's the day before Thanksgiving.  I'm sure many of you are deep in meal prep for the big event.  Not me!  This year it will just be me, DH, DD#2 and her DH for the holiday.  My DH suggested that we try something different this year.  "How about going out for dinner on Thanksgiving?" he asked.  I couldn't say "YES!" fast enough.  No cooking and especially no cleaning up afterwards.  But, sadly, that also means no left overs.  But not to worry, DH will be smoking a turkey on Friday - YUMMMMMM!!  Are you have a big family get together or are you away from home and don't have to cook this year?

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LITTLE FACT OF THE DAY

Cranberries

Cranberries are unlike any other fruit in the world. From Cape Cod to Washington State, the cranberry has played a role in holiday culture and family health & wellness for years. Its unique health benefits and refreshing, tart taste put it in a league of its own when it comes to healthy refreshment.  Cranberries in one form or another will be on many tables tomorrow.  How about some fun facts:
* The cranberry is one of only a handful of major fruits native to North America. Others include the blueberry and Concord grape.
* The cranberry gets its name from Dutch and German settlers, who called it "crane berry." When the vines bloom in the late spring and the flowers' light pink petals twist back, they have a resemblance to the head and bill of a crane. Over time, the name was shortened to cranberry
* Native Americans used cranberries to make a survival cake known as pemmican. They also used the fruit in poultices and dyes.
* Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. They are grown on sandy bogs or marshes. Because cranberries float, some bogs are flooded when the fruit is ready for harvesting.
* Cranberries are primarily grown in five states -- Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington. Another 5,500 acres are cultivated in Chile, Quebec, and British Columbia. There are nearly 1,000 cranberry growers in America.
* Americans consume some 400 million pounds of cranberries each year. About 80 million pounds -- or 20 percent -- are gobbled up during Thanksgiving week.

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BLOCKS FINISHED

I finally finished my last swap blocks and Bee block for November.  I can't believe how late I'm running this month.   For the 6 Inch Block Swaps Australia I made......


and this......

Susan requested a butterfly block made from batiks on white fabric.  This was the first time I have made the paper pieced butterfly block.  It was fun to make even if I did have to resew one of the blocks - lol!  I think the color combinations I used worked out fairly well.  I hope that Susan likes them.

The block I made for this month's Bee In Oz hostess, Anorina, has a little bit of story......

Anorina included very detailed instructions with her block but somewhere along the line I misread the size the blocks needed to be.  The instructions read "choose 2 different fabrics and cut these into 4 X 5" squares."  So I cut out pieces measuring 4" X 5" thinking the whole time that these aren't square, but oh well.  When I went to sew these together to make HST it dawned on me that I was supposed to cut four 5" squares.  OMG!  I felt so bad and even offered to buy some matching fabric.  Anorina was so nice and said to go ahead and make a smaller block and she would use it in the backing.  What was supposed to be a 16.5" block ended up measuring 12.5".   I'm such a dope sometimes.

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NON-HOLIDAY FLOWERS

I still was unable to find any more cute Thanksgiving fabric so instead of more Christmas hexie flowers, I decided to go non-holiday for One Flower Wednesday.....

This flower is almost blindingly bright.  This was made from some Laurel Burch fabric I won awhile back.  Aren't all of those cat faces fun?

I really have gotten a lot of use out of the Hoo's In The Forest fabric.  First a Loving Hands quilt and a baby quilt, and now a hexagon flower.  The tops of the trees made up into great flower petals.
Would you like to see more hexies created by others out in blogland?  Well, thanks to Karen, of Journey Of A Quilter, you can.  Just click here or above or on the sidebar to access the linky site Karen has provided.

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I need to get some embroidery done.

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GIVEAWAYS

Love Affair With My Brother is having a giveaway.  You could win a fat quarter set of Free Spirit solids.  This giveaway ends Saturday, November 26, at 11:59pm PST.

Amy's Creative Side is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Dyeing To Stitch.  This giveaway ends Friday, November 25.

Lily Pad Quilting is having a giveaway.  You could win a GO! Baby cutter, you choice of three cutting dies and layer cake of Chemistry by Cosmo Cricket.  This giveaway ends Monday, November 28, at midnight.

A Quilting Life is having a giveaway.  You could win a charm pack and a jelly roll of the fun Chemistry line by Cosmo Cricket for Moda .  This giveaway ends Friday, November 25.

Kool Benz is having a giveaway.  You could win a jelly roll of Cape Ann from Fat Quarter Shop.  This giveaway ends Friday, November 25, at midnight EST.

Home Sweet (Quilting) Home is having her first giveaway.  You could win MyMemories software.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, November 30.

Annie's Ruby Slipperz is having her Monday Mystery giveaway.  You could win 5 fat quarters.  This giveaway ends Saturday, November 26, at midnight MT.

Tilda's Twisted Life is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of The Princess Bride.  This giveaway ends Sunday, November 27.

My Go-Go Life is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a fat quarter set of the entire Daisy Mae line from Denyse Schmidt Quilts.  This giveaway ends Saturday, November 26.

Quilty Habit is having a giveaway.  Jess is ready to send the Traveling Stash on its way again.  This giveaway ends Friday, November 25.

Jolly Jabber is having a giveaway.  You could win  Pam’s Designer Select Fat Quarter Bundle.  This giveaway ends Monday, November 28.

Primitives By The Light Of The Moon is having a giveaway.  You could win a darling rug that Ginger hooked.  This giveaway ends Thursday, November 24.

Notions is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Easy Batik Landscape Quilts or a fat eighths sampler of Connecting Threads entire Batik Paradise collection.  This giveaway ends Sunday, November 27, at midnight.

Don't forget to enter my Fat Quarter Shop Giveaway II.  Just go HERE to enter.

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FINAL THOUGHT

I will be taking the next few days to spend with family so I will not be posting on Friday.  Everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.
~Ray Stannard

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Weekend and A GIVEAWAY!


A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

Thank goodness for my sweet husband.  Because of him I was able to get a lot more done this weekend than I had hoped.  Saturday he dropped me off at my guild's quilting workshop (more below) and then did the Farmer's Market weekly run and ran errands to Smart and Final and to Petsmart.  In the evening we attended his boss's 70th birthday party.  Gorgeous house, lots of friends, and good food.  Sunday DH went grocery shopping for me freeing up my time to finish up the baby quilt and work on other necessary projects around the house.  I know I don't say "thank you" enough to him but I sure hope he knows how much I appreciate him and love him!!  How was your weekend?

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LITTLE FACT OF THE DAY

Turkey

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I thought it would be fun to share some fun facts about the bird that will be gracing many of our tables on Thursday.
* Ben Franklin, in a letter to his daughter, proposed the turkey as the official United States bird
* Turkeys originated in North and Central America, and evidence indicates that they have been around for over 10 million years.
* Domesticated turkeys (farm raised) cannot fly. Wild turkeys can fly for short distances at up to 55 miles per hour. Wild turkeys are also fast on the ground, running at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.
* Only male turkeys (toms) gobble. Females (hens) make a clicking noise.
* The heaviest turkey ever raised weighed in at 86 pounds -- about the size of a large German Shepherd -- and was grown in England, according to Dr. Sarah Birkhold, poultry specialist with the Texas Agricultural Extension Service
* Mature turkeys have 3,500 or so feathers. The Apache Indians considered the turkey timid and wouldn't eat it or use its feathers on their arrows.
* The fleshy growth from the base of the beak, which is very long on male turkeys and hangs down over the beak, is called the snood

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QUILTING CLASS

Saturday my guild had a class taught by Sylvia Davis.  She was our program in September and was so much fun that we all wanted to take one of her workshops.  What a great day!  During this class I made......


an African Triad block.  This 10" block has lots of pieces to it but Sylvia provided a 'road map' that made it so much simpler than mere instructions would have.  Obviously I didn't take the time to give this block a good pressing before taking the photo (not too smart of me).  I have most of 3 more blocks made and will be making a wall hanging out of them.  But don't look for it to be completed any time soon as I have other projects that "have to" be completed first.  I hope to have it done maybe some time in January.

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BABY QUILT

I finally finished the baby quilt for my hair dresser on Sunday.  Good thing because I have a hair appointment with her this evening and this will be the last one before the baby's born.

The finished quilt measures  43" X 43".  It was made out of the Hoo's In the Forest fat quarters that I won a few months ago.  All I had to do was buy the matching backing.  The pattern is a smaller version of Connecting Threads' Thimble Blossoms - A Piece of Cake  downloadable pattern.  Unfortunately, yesterday was cloudy and rainy so I had to take the picture indoors.

Here's the backing.  I think you can see the quilting a little better.  I just did a simple stitch-in-the-ditch and then a little added straight stitching, nothing fancy.  I really like how this turned out for the little girl to be born next month.

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FAT QUARTER SHOP GIVEAWAY II

One of my 'go to' online shops is Fat Quarter Shop.  They have so many wonderful fabrics and notions, fantastic service, and great sales.  If you've never been there before, you definitely need to check them out.  Fat Quarter Shop has generously agreed to sponsor a giveaway.  What you may ask can you win?  How about........


OR


Don't you just love these Calico Caterwauling Tales Fat Quarter Bundles by Sue Marsh for RJR Fabrics?  Each bundle includes 11 fat quarters, one half-yard stripe and one 23" panel!  The winner will be able to select either the blue and purple colorway or the pink and green colorway.  I sure wish I was eligible to win! 

How can YOU win?  You have three chances to enter by doing the following.....

1.  Visit Fat Quarter Shop and leave me a comment telling me what your favorite NEW FAT QUARTER BUNDLE is.

2.  Sign up for Fat Quarter Shop's newsletter and then come back here and leave me another comment telling me you did.

3.  Blog about this giveaway and then come back and leave another comment with a link back to where you blogged about it. (I will be checking)

Rules and the Fine Print
This giveaway is open to absolutely everyone.  No matter where you live you could win!  This giveaway will end Monday, November 28, 2011, at 8:00 am PST and the winner will be announced Tuesday, November 29.  Only 3 comments per person.  If you are a no reply blogger, you must leave a way to reach you in your comment (like your email address).  If I can't reach you, you Can Not win.  If you are unsure if you are a no-reply blogger check out my right sidebar for a quick tutorial. 

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TODAY'S GOAL

To make a couple of swap blocks that I'm behind on.

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GIVEAWAYS

BJ...From The Heart is having a giveaway.  You could win a signed copy of Lost December by Richard Paul Evans.  This giveaway ends Sunday, December 11.

Sweet Bee Buzzings is having a giveaway.  You could win MyMemories software.  This giveaway ends Friday, November 25, at 11:59 EST.

Love Affair With My Brother is having a giveaway.  You could win a jelly roll of Circa 1934 by Cosmo Cricket for Moda.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, November 22, at 11:59 pm PST.

Sew Cal Gal is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of the new DVD "Dynamic Quilt Design: Paint Meets Stitch".  This giveaway ends Friday, November 25.

Blueberry Patch is having a giveaway.  You could win some samples of Basic Grey's line "Fruitcake".  This giveaway ends Thursday, November 24, around 6 pm PST.

Cut To Pieces is having a giveaway.  You could win a set of fat quarters from the girl collection of  Storyboek.  This giveaway ends ?

Woolie Mammoth is having a giveaway.  You could win a sweet wooden bowl painted with a snow family and a new Bunny Hill Pattern and the wool to make the most adorable holiday pillow.  This is another giveaway that I do not know the end date of.

Cat Patches is having her Fun Fact Friday Freebie.  You could win a fat quarter.  This giveaway ends Thursday, November 24.

Happy Quilting is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win some stunning Fat Quarters from Khristain A. Howell's new collection The Woodlands from Intrepid Thread.  This giveaway ends Thursday, November 24.

Jolly Jabber is having a giveaway.  You could win one of Scott Hansen's Blogger’s Choice Fat Quarter Bundles.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, November 23.

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FINAL THOUGHT


Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Blocks


Sometimes it seems your ever-increasing list of things to do can leave you feeling totally undone.
~Susan Mitchell and Catherine Christie, I'd Kill for a Cookie

It's hard to believe it is Friday already.  I'm not sure I'm ready for the weekend.  I have a quilting class tomorrow that will take most of the day.  Then we have a 70th birthday party to attend in the evening.  Sunday we may do our weekly grocery shopping because I refuse to do it on our normal day, Wednesday.  Who wants to be in the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving when everyone is running around trying to pick up odds and ends for their big meal and the shelves would probably a mess and understocked.  I'm still working on the baby quilt that needs to be done by Monday.  I'm starting to feel like a chicken with its head cut off!

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LITTLE FACT OF THE DAY

Bagpipe

Saturday, November 19, is National Blow Bagpipes Day.  When you think of bagpipes, it's likely that Scotland comes to mind. So you might be surprised to learn that the instrument does not have its origins in Scotland. There are some interesting and little-known facts about the bagpipes, including what they were made of, how they are played and even why they were once banned in Scotland.
Contrary to popular belief, the bagpipes did not originate in Scotland. However, it was Scotland that kept the instrument alive. As a result, it is Scotland that is most often associated with the instrument. While the exact origins of the bagpipes are disputed, the oldest reference to the now-famed instrument is from Asia Minor. The reference was carved on a stone slab dated back to 1000 BC. Bagpipes were eventually found in various countries all over the world, including India, Spain, France and even ancient Egypt. Historians are unsure as to whether the Scottish bagpipes were imported from Rome or if they were brought to the country from Ireland.
Each bagpipe consists of a chanter, a bag and one or more pipes, also known as drones. Today drones are typically made from hardwood, but in historic times they were constructed of bone or ivory. The bags were made from the skin of animals, including sheep, cows and goats.
A little-known fact about the history of bagpipes in Scotland is that the instrument was actually banned in the country -- once in 1560 and again in 1746. James Reid, a bagpipe musician, was executed for having a bagpipe during the ban. During 1746, bagpipes were considered war instruments. It is reported that during WWI more than 500 pipers were executed for playing the bagpipes

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BRIGHT BLOCKS

Over the last few days I have received two sets of beautiful and bright swap blocks......

These two 6" blocks came from Jenn in PA.  Jenn and I were swap partners for October in the 6 Inch Block Swaps Australia.  Aren't these bold and bright.  I love the fussy cuts she did in this Bird In The Air block.  Thank you so much, Jenn.

Linda from Australia (my November Block Swaps Australia swap partner) made this very fun block.  I just love the little monkeys and the bit of added rick rack.  This mosaic block is just full of humor.  Linda wasn't happy with this block - can you believe it ?!?  As a result she sent me a second block.....

Another adorable block!  This one has a bit more rick rack.  Both blocks are going to make a wonderful children's quilt one day for Loving Hands.  Linda also included a boomerang key chain.  Does that mean when I lose my keys they will automatically return to me?  Thank you so very much, Linda, for both of the wonderfully happy blocks.

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LOVING HANDS II

Last night I took both of the Loving Hands quilts I made this week to our guild meeting.  I already shared with you the green and yellow frog quilt so here is the second one I made......

Definitely little girl.  I made this with some left over scraps from the baby quilt I'm making.  I just did some simple line quilting along with stitch-in-the-ditch quilting.  The backing is a white heart on pink flannel (I forgot to take a picture of the back).  All Loving Hands quilts measure 32" X 32".

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FMQ

Only time for one free motion quilting practice again.......

Texture of Two is created by echo stitching the number 2.  Each time you just change the angle of the 2.  Not my favorite design but a good practice anyway.

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QUILTING GALLERY CONTEST

I have entered my little monthly mini quilt in the Quilting Gallery Contest this week.  The theme is Thanksgiving/Gratitude.  In case you forgot what mine looks like here is another look at Who Me.....

I would certainly appreciate your vote.  But make sure to look through all of the lovely entries first by going HERE.

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TODAY'S GOAL

To finish the baby quilt and to survive the weekend with a smile :D

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GIVEAWAYS

World of Charity is having a giveaway. You could win one of 6 Pine Mountain Pillow Cross Stitch Kits. This giveaway ends Tuesday, November 22.

The Barn Hollow is having a giveaway.  You could win a snow couple made by Kim from a Country Friends pattern.  This giveaway ends Monday, November 21.

Marcia's Crafty Sewing and Quilting is celebrating her birthday with a giveaway.  You could win a quilting gift certificate worth $54.00 off the quilting on a twin size quilt.  This giveaway ends Thursday, November 24, at 6 pm.

Lily's Quilts is having a giveaway.  You could win two boxes of Kona Bounty of Basics - one dark and one light.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, November 23.

Fabric Worm is having a giveaway.  You could win 10 french inspired Fat Quarters of J'Adore by Dear Stella.  This giveaway ends Monday, November 21, at 8:30 am PST.

Smashed Peas and Carrots is having a giveaway.  You could win a pattern from Hadley Grace Designs.  This giveaway ends Saturday, November 19, at 8 am.

The Jolly Jabber is having a giveaway.  You could win  Bunny Hill’s Designer Select Fat Quarter Bundle.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, November 22.

The Confused Quilter is having a giveaway.  Staci is ready to send the other Traveling Stash on its way.  This giveaway ends Monday, November 21.

Out Numbered Quilter is having a giveaway.  You could win a special, beautiful, and unique bundle of fabric.  This giveaway ends Monday, November 21.

Craftaholics Anonymous is having a giveaway.  You could win  a Silhouette Cameo digital cutting tool.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, November 23, at 11:59 pm EST.

***Make sure to stop by on Monday as I'm having a giveaway sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop***

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FINAL THOUGHT

Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing.

~Author Unknown

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fun Flowers

If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.
 ~Olin Miller

Why is it when I feel pressured by a deadline, I will work on anything but what I'm supposed to?  Or why do I waste precious time on the computer doing nothing of importance?  I get so mad at myself.  Nobody else to blame.  It's something I've always seemed to do.  I really do hate the feeling of "have to".  I have set these demands and deadlines on myself.  Each day I tell myself "you will get 'item with deadline' right from the beginning with no messing around".  But NO!  Not me!  I guess it's something I should be used to by now and should have learned to correct.  It's definitely a flaw in my personality.  Oh well..........  Do you put off doing what should be done right away?

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LITTLE FACT OF THE DAY

Buttons

Today, November 16, is National Button Day.Often when you buy a jacket or cardigan, the garment will come with a bonus button to hang on to for later repairs. Of course, we usually just toss this button in a box somewhere and then by the time we need it we forgot we ever had it in the first place. Okay, maybe this doesn't happen to everyone, but for those of us with a box of misfit buttons, today's the day to put them to good use.  Here are a few facts about buttons:
* Archeologists have discovered button-like objects dating as far back as 2000 BC, which were most likely used more for decoration than for fastening.
* Button holes were not used in Europe until some 3,500 years after the first buttons.
*  In the 18th century, only men sported highly decorated buttons on their frock coats, while women still fastened their gowns with lacing or hooks and eyes.
* France’s King Louis XIV, the infamous Sun King, reached the zenith of button excess by spending $6 million on buttons during his reign, and $600,000 in one year alone!
* In 1520, King Francis I of France ordered 13,400 buttons from his jewelry, ALL of which were sewn onto a black velveteen suit, which he wore to a meeting with King Henry VIII of England, hoping to form an alliance.

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FLOWERS FOR SWAPPING

Over the weekend I sewed two hexie flowers for my swap partner in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap.....

Shannon requested red, orange, or yellow flower petals with the same color center only lighter.  I have such a small selection of red that I had to go with the yellow and orange.  These will be on their way to Shannon tomorrow.

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WEDNESDAY'S FLOWERS

It's time for One Flower Wednesday, and as is my usual routine, I made two.......

I know it's not yet Thanksgiving, and I really dislike seeing Christmas items prior to Turkey Day, but I couldn't help myself.  These California Santa's just screamed to be made into a hexie flower.  Don't you just love the sunglasses?

And keeping with the holiday theme, Santa just had to bring presents.  I made this hexie flower with scraps left over from the Loving Hands challenge quilt I made last month.  I really like the look of this flower.
Thanks to Karen (Journey of a Quilter) you can go to one easy spot to check out more hexie flowers.  Karen provides links to everyone who has joined in the One Flower Wednesday fun.

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FMQ

With my own time crunch dilemma, I was only able to practice free motion quilting once over the last two days.....

Spiral Petals was fun today but I think I did it in too much of a rush.  A few of my swirls were nice and smooth but many have points where they don't belong.  This design reminded me of the North Wind blowing around.  I can see this design being used in a regular quilt.

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TODAY'S GOAL

Well, I finished the Loving Hands quilt so now I need to work on the baby quilt that I have to have done by Monday afternoon.

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GIVEAWAYS

Our Busy Little Bunch is having a giveaway.  You could win 9 yards of Pellons new Eco-Cotton blend batting.  This giveaway ends Monday, November 28.

Sew Kiki is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win Sarah Jane's Make It Do pattern/kit.  This giveaway ends Saturday, November 19.

A Spoonful of Sugar is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a set of buttons from Incomparable Buttons.  This giveaway ends Sunday, November 20.

Kool Beenz is having a giveaway.  You could win a 4 Fat Quarter bundle set of Michael Miller Holiday Fabrics.  This giveaway ends Friday, November 18, at midnight EST.

McCall's Quilting is having a giveaway.  You could win a McCall's Quilting blank journal, plus 2 different packs of 6 Troy Riverwoods Modern Textures fat quarters.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, January 3. 2012.

Quilting Ranny is having a giveaway.  You could win one of four prizes.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, November 30, at 11:30 pm MST.  Please mention that you learned about the giveaway on my blog :)

I Have A Notion is having a giveaway.  You could win a Beam n Read.  This giveaway ends Monday, November 21, at midnight.

Annie's Ruby Slipperz is having her weekly Monday Mystery giveaway.  You could win five fat quarters.  This giveaway ends Saturday, November 19.

Sew Bittersweet Designs is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a jelly roll of Flora and an Easy Star and Geese Ruler from Fat Quarter.  This giveaway ends Sunday, November 20.

Nunu's Quilt World is having a giveaway.  Shannon is ready to send the Traveling Stash on its way.  This giveaway ends Thursday, November 17.

Hawthorne Threads is having a giveaway.  You could win a Fat Quarter bundle of the complete Woodlands line, a 2012 Calendar, and a Woodlands Print suitable for framing OR a Fat Quarter bundle of the complete Woodlands line, and a 2012 Calendar.  This giveaway ends Friday, November 18.

One More Quilt is having a mini giveaway.  You could win 3 yards of fabric.  This giveaway ends Thursday, November 17, at 10 am.

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FINAL THOUGHT


Monday, November 14, 2011

A Day of Ones


We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart... and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude.
~Helen Hayes

We had a rather uneventful weekend - which is a good thing.  We did just a little running on Saturday - a trip to Joann's for floss (and they actually had every one I needed in stock) and then a quick run in to CVS and a meandering through Trader Joe's.  We had lunch out followed by an ALS support group meeting.  Home in time to wash Snickerdoodle and a little computer time.  DH kindly bought dinner from Famous Dave's that we brought home to enjoy, afterwhich I was able to get a little hand sewing in.  Sunday was the normal day of wash, hand sewing while watching Nascar and catching up on some of the past week's TV shows.  All in all, a rather quiet weekend for us.  I think I'm finally on the road to recovery with less and less coughing - woohoo!!!!  Now onto a week full of sewing with a few appointments and meetings thrown in there.

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LITTLE FACT OF THE DAY

Pickles

Believe it or not, today, Monday, November 14, is National Pickle Day.  Do you like pickles?  Not me but I will share some fun facts about them anyway.....
* People have been eating pickles ever since the Mesopotamians started making them way back in 2400 B.C.E.
* In the Pacific Islands, natives pickle their foods in holes in the ground lined with banana leaves, and use them as food reserves in case of storms. The pickles are so valuable that they've become part of the courting process, helping a man prove he'll be able to provide for a woman. In Fiji, guys can't get a girl without first showing her parents his pickle pits
* Cleopatra claimed pickles made her beautiful
* The majority of pickle factories in America ferment their pickles in outdoor vats without lids (leaving them subject to insects and bird droppings). But there's a reason. According to food scientists, the sun's direct rays prevent yeast and mold from growing in the brine
* In the Delta region of Mississippi, Kool-Aid pickles have become ridiculously popular with kids. The recipe's simple: take some dill pickles, cut them in half, and then soak them in super strong Kool-Aid for more than a week. According to the New York Times, the sweet vinegar snacks are known to sell out at fairs and delicatessens, and generally go for $.50 to a $1
* The Department of Agriculture estimates that the average American eats 8.5 lbs of pickles a year

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ONE DONE

I have managed to complete one Loving Hands little quilt......

Two of the blocks were made by member of Bee In Oz.  When it was my month, I had everyone make a block for me out of the cute frog fabric.  I should be able to make two more just like this.  I just did simple stitch in the ditch quilting.  I think this is perfect for some baby boy.

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 ONE FMQ

On Friday, I did just one free motion square.....

Superstar was a relatively new design by Leah.  As you can see, I had a little trouble with spacing and keeping some of my lines straight.  My star ended up a bit wonky.

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TODAY'S GOAL

Today I plan on finishing the second Loving Hands quilt.

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GIVEAWAYS

Cat Patches is having her Fun Fact Friday giveaway.  You could win a fat quarter.  The winner will be announced Friday, November 18.

A Quilting Reader's Garden is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Terrific Table Toppers with Patrick Lose.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, November 16.

The Intrepid Thread is having a giveaway.  You could win six fat quarter pack of Primitiva.  This giveaway ends Friday, November 18 at midnight.

All About Applique is having a giveaway.  You could win Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 4 or Dolls and Dresses to Applique.  This giveaway ends tonight, Monday, November 14, at 7:00 pm PST.

Green Fairy Quilts is having a giveaway.  You could win one of four items that you have chosen.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, November 15.

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FINAL THOUGHT OF THE DAY

From 11/6/11

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