Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Flowers Crossing The Ocean

Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain. 
~J.K. Rowling

I'm so bummed!!!  My Janome has developed a mind of its own.  There is definitely something wrong with its inner workings.  It stitches fine but when I want it to stop, it won't!  And there are times when it will even speed up all by itself!  I take my foot off the foot control and it continues to stitch.  I try pushing the manual start/stop button and nothing happens. I tried turning it off and letting it sit for awhile.  Turned it back on and the screen said to lower the pressure foot and raise the needle.  If I don't obey it keeps beeping at me.  So first I raised the needle.....then s-l-o-w-l-y lowered the pressure foot and away it goes...stitch after stitch after stitch!  Today was the day for the sewing machine repairman to be at the LQS so that means mine won't be looked at until next week.  This machine-over-owner thing had started happening a while back but would only happen a few times and then for only a few stitches.  There's no stopping it this time.  So that meant I had to bring out the simpler Janome - the one I don't have a walking foot for, the one that doesn't do well in a satin stitch, the one that doesn't have a darning foot or FMQ foot, the one that doesn't have a knee lift.  After sewing on the little machine yesterday my knee has a bruise from hitting the side of the table and I'm tired of having to manually cut the threads.  Oh well, it's better than not having  a machine at all.



Trail Mix

Today, August 31, is National Trail Mix Day.  Trail mix is thousands of years old. Ancient nomadic tribes used to mix up dried berries, fruits, nuts and meats together. Trail mix was (and is) high in energy, needs no specialized storage, and does not require cooking prior to consumption.  Later, explorers continued the use of trail mixes, for the very same reasons, taking the high-energy food with them on their travels over many a trail, mountain or ocean. Native Americans had a special spin on trail mix, which they shared with those explorers they had good relations with. Their mix was called pemmican, and consisted of dried buffalo, moose or caribou, mixed with animal fat and berries, and lasted for months. Pieces were often broken off and used to make a stew, called rubbaboo, by adding flour, water, and maple sugar.  Despite this long, storied history, two separate companies, Harmony Foods and Hadley Fruit Orchards of California, state that the name “trail mix” was invented in 1968 by surfers who mixed together peanuts and raisins to keep their energy levels up during more “gnarly surf” periods. They hold to this statement despite a 1958 novel by Jack Kerouac mentioning trail mix by name.  Today’s trail mix often includes fruit, grain cereals, nuts, flavorings, chocolate or carob, coconut, pretzels, and sometimes crystallized ginger.



Yesterday I mailed off flowers to my swap partner in the Inchy Hexagon Flower Swap......

My swap partner, Gemma, requested flowers in either blue and whites or blues and yellows. in a floral print.   This one looks so bright and cheery.  Then I made a second flower.....

This one is a bit more sedate but still fits her requirements.  This is the first time I have ever sent anything to Spain.  I hope they don't take too long to get there.



Over the weekend I was only able to make two more flowers for the Aunt Sarah Quilt.....

No, those dots are not on the fabric.  They are holes I've punched into my templates.  These flowers are smaller than the ones above.  These are only 3/4" hexagons.

Here is the second flower I made.  I like the look of the vine in the center hexagon.  If I only make two flowers a week for the this quilt I will be a whole heck of a lot older before it is ever finished.



And now to share my favorite flowers of the week.......

Just a little love to share with you today.  The purple basket weave fabric made for some interesting petals.

And now I will give you the sky and the stars - lol!  I'm really into that blue and yellow color combination lately. 
Would you like to see more hexies?  There are all kinds of colors, prints, and fussy cuts out there in blogland.  Thanks to Karen, all you have to do is click on her name or the link on the right sidebar and you will see all the flowers for One Flower Wednesday.



This may be the last FMQ practice you see from me until some time next week :(  The little machine doesn't have a darning foot or a FMQ foot so unless I can get the regular machine to cooperate these will be the last two you will see from for awhile.......

This was yesterday's practice.  By the time I was ready to add the title of the piece to the top I had been fighting with my machine for over 20 minutes.  Thus the reason (or at least excuse) for the misspelling.  It should read  Trailing Spirals.  You can see spots where the machine just kept on stitching and I wanted to stop - there is thread buildup :(

Now this is a practice I had lots of fun with.  I can see this used in a quilt in the future.  This practice piece is called Goldilocks



Today I will finish the tops to for the Loving Hands Quilts.  Unfortunately, I won't be able to quilt them too :(



Annie's Ruby Slipperz is having her weekly giveaway.  You could win 5 fat quarters.  This giveaway ends Saturday, September 3, at midnight.

Amanda Murphy Design is having a giveaway.  You could win a Garden Paths pattern and one Veranda roll-up.  This giveaway ends Saturday, September 3.

Love Affair With My Brother is having a giveaway.  You could win a charm pack of Amelia or a charm pack of Dilly Dally.  This giveaway ends Sunday, September 4.

Diary of a Quilter is having a giveaway.  You could win one of three gift certificates from Shabby Fabrics.  This giveaway ends Friday, September 2, at midnight MST.

V and Company is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a fat quarter bundle of Kona solids.  This giveaway ends Thursday, September 1.

Our Busy Little Bunch is having a giveaway.  You could win a five pack of Aurifil thread.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, September 6.

Kate Conklin Design is having a giveaway.  Kate has some left over scraps to give away from her Baby Mobile quilt.  She will draw a winner this weekend.

Michelle's Quilts and Stuff is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of the MyMemories scrapbook software.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, September 6.

Quilting Dreams is ready to send the Traveling Stash on its way.  This giveaway ends Thursday, September 1.

Primitive Quilts and Projects is having a giveaway.  You could win a pattern.  This giveaway ends Monday, September 5.

Sew Sweetness Giveaways is having a giveaway (duh).  Here is your chance to win a GO! Baby Cutter and your choice of 3 dies.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, September 6, at 11:00 pm CST.

Be sure to come back Friday, I just might be having a giveaway you will be interested in.



Do you realize today is the last day of August?  Summer is almost over - at least that's what the calendar says.  I have been reading blogs where there are those of you out there that are actually starting to feel fall in the air.  I'm envious!  The only indication that fall is coming around here is that it gets darker earlier at night.  This summer was busier for us than normal but in a good way.  We took a few more short trips and were able to entertain family more.  We actually had fewer days above 100 degrees (F) but I think we had more in the high 90's.  I feel for those in Texas who have had record heat this summer.  I hope that you will feel cooler weather soon too.  So say goodbye to August (waving) and tomorrow welcome September in with a smile :D

Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending. 
~Author Unknown

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Tried Something New

Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella. 
~Terri Guillemets

I hope all of my friends back east weathered Irene without any injuries or damages.  I spent some time on Saturday watching the news reports and was amazed at the speed of the winds.  Our Saturday was spent running errands in horribly hot and humid weather.  We made it to the Farmer's Market and were able to refill the produce bins in my refrigerator.  It has been a long time since they had been so barren.  We had to make our Walmart/Costco run and surprisingly, Walmart was a much better experience that Costco this time.  The poor pups thought we would never stay home with all of our quick visits to drop off cold/frozen products that had to be put away.  However, they were happy to see us home after our visit to Petsmart where we picked up their food supply and even brought them home a purple squeaky spider toy.  Sunday was the normal washday and catching up on some recorded TV programs.  I am ready to get back to the sewing machine and look forward to a great week.



Cherry Turnovers

Sunday, August 28, was National Cherry Turnover Day.  Yet another yummy dessert is celebrated.  Although there isn't much to learn about turnovers, how about some info on cherries.....
* Cherry blossom and the cuckoo appear at the same time. Apparently the cuckoo had to have three good meals of ripe cherries before it stops calling. Work that one out - it means you could hear the cuckoo right through to July.
* The bark and stems of wild cherries has an odour of almonds
* In the 17th century, cherries were preserved more or less in suspended animation by 'hanging them under bell jars standing in pans of water.'
* Hot cherry stones were used in bed pans to warm beds.
* The volatile oil of wild cherries contains a small quantity of cyanide.
* Apparently cherries are a symbol of fertility. The owner of a cherry tree was supposed to have a rich crop if the first cherry was eaten by a woman who had recently given birth to her first child.
* In an average crop year, a sweet cherry tree will produce 800 cherries.
*Broadway in New York shifts west at East 10th Street because a cherry tree once stood there.



Friday I made two blocks for my swap partner in the 6 Inch Swaps Block Australia....

Boy my picture taking really needs to improve.  Every block I posted today doesn't look like it is square when really they are.  Anyway, Anna asked for autumn colored blocks in the 9 patch pattern.  This one is done in the darker tones of autumn with a yellow sun center.

This is the lighter tones of autumn.  These will be winging their way to the Netherlands in today's mail.



Friday I decided to finally try some foundation paper piecing.  Tonya, of Hillbilly Handiworks, was putting out a call for heart blocks for a charity quilt.  Well, she actually put the call out earlier but somehow I missed that post.

This is the very first foundation paper piecing that I have every done!  Wouldn't you know it, I had to rip out the very first seam I put in.  Oh well.  I guess that's why they call it learning.  After only one more seam error, I finished up this heart.  I was so happy with how it turned out that I made another one....

This one had no errors in it and went together much quicker.  Tonya has a great tutorial on foundation paper piecing that can be found HERE.   These two hearts started their journey across the country on Saturday.  Thanks for introducing me to foundation paper piecing, Tonya!



Friday I started the day with my FMQ practice.....

This is called Spiky Vine.  I forgot to dot my i's when I was stitching - lol!  I put too much curve in my 'leaves' and I was supposed to put the vines closer together but you get the general idea.  It was a good practice and I'm getting better at tracing over previous lines.



Today I will make another bee block and hopefully start the Designer Mystery Block



Pigtales and Quilts is celebrating reaching 300 followers with a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Freehand Filler Patterns by Sue Patten.  This giveaway ends Thursday, September 1, at 2:00 pm EST.

Fort Worth Fabric Studio is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Fabric Remix by Sandy Stone.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, August 31, at midnight CST.

Adventures of a Cross Stitch Drama Queen is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a fat quarter bundle of Promenade in blue from Intrepid Thread.  This giveaway ends Friday, September 2.

Sunshine Yellow is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks vol. 2 magazine, a Schnibbles Short Story pattern, and a stack of magazine patterns.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, September 7.

Meemaw Love To Quilt is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of American Patchwork, true stories from quilters.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, August 31, at 11:00 pm.

Yankee Valley Stitcher is having a giveaway.  You could win 8 f 1/8's, embroidery scissors, tape measure, note book, post its, and marking pen.  This giveaway ends Thursday, September 1.



The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't. 
~Henry Ward Beecher

Friday, August 26, 2011

Little Bits

Summer has set in with its usual severity. 
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Summer is still here :(  Yes I know it's still August and that means summer.  But I keep reading about fellow bloggers feeling the coolness in the evenings and/or mornings back east.  Not here.  You walk outside here and it feels like a blast from a furnace.  It does cool down a bit at night but that is only very late at night or very early in the morning.   It's not even long enough to let the house air out.  Our house still smells like the Chinese stir fry I fixed on Wednesday night. YUCK!  Can you guess that I'm tired of summer?


How about something different than a National Holiday?  I found some interesting little fun facts to share with you today:

* If you are right handed, you will tend to chew your food on the right side of your mouth.

*  To make half a kilo of honey, bees must collect nectar from over 2 million individual flowers.

* Tourists visiting Iceland should know that tipping at a restaurant is considered an insult!

*  Astronauts can't belch - there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.

*  Google is actually the common name for a number with a million zeros

*  Your tongue is the only muscle in your body that is attached at only one end.

*  Kites were used in the American Civil War to deliver letters and newspapers

*  Peanut oil is used for cooking in submarines because it doesn't smoke unless it's heated above 450 degrees F.

*  The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity.



Yesterday I received two squishy envelopes in the mail from two giveaways I had won...

Frances from One More Quilt had a giveaway earlier this month and I was the lucky winner!!  Aren't these great tractor fabrics?!?  And there are such large pieces here.  I will definitely be making a Loving Hands quilt or two from these this month.  Thank you so very much, Frances!!

And then Incomparable Buttons had another giveaway that I won.  Not only did I win a darling teddy bear fat quarter but I also won those adorable handmade teddy bear buttons!  This is such a wonderful company.  They provide much needed employment to women in South Africa.  You should definitely check out all of the different buttons available and at extremely reasonable prices too.  Their website is  Thank you so much, Incomparable Buttons. 



A little while ago I finished another stitchery for A Gardener's Journal......

This little piece is called Dovecote.  It will end up measuring 3 1/2" X 9 1/2".  I am currently working on the center piece.  It is the biggest and will measure 8 1/2" X 9 1/2"



I only have one FMQ practice to share with  you today.......

This practice is called Shoo Fly.  I think it looks more like demented rabbits - lol!  Maybe it's because I made the fly bodies more rounded than oval.



Since I don't have much to share with you today, I thought I might share a counted cross stitch piece I did years ago.......

This was a gift to my BIL and SIL that we visited last weekend.  Ignore the glare in the lower left corner - it is not part of the picture.  This was just one of the several angels I did from the Lavender and Lace line.  This angel is called Angel of Grace and was stitched on linen (I think).



Today I will make a swap block or two



Moosestash Quilting is having a giveaway.  Here is another chance to win a GO! Baby cutter and 3 dies of your choice.  This giveaway ends Friday, September 2.

Jo's Country Junction is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a Curio Jelly Roll from Fat Quarter Shop.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, August 30.

The Adventures of the Empress of the Universe is having a giveaway.  You could be one of five winners to win a 4 Citron/Gray FQs by Michael Miller.  This giveaway ends Sunday, August 28.

Annie's Ruby Slipperz is having a giveaway.   You could win 5 fat quarters in  your color choice.  A winner will be announced Monday, August 29.

Random Thoughts do or 'di' is having a giveaway.  You could win a sewing machine cover made by Di herself.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, August 31, at midnight PST.

Quilt Matters is having a giveaway.  You could win 3 fat quarters.  This giveaway ends Sunday, August 28, at 8:00 pm EST.

Quilt Hollow is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Pick Four.  This giveaway ends Sunday, August 28.

Diary of a Quilter is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Inspirational Projects by British Patchwork and Quilting.  This giveaway ends Saturday, August 27 at midnight.

Hawthorne Threads is having their weekly giveaway.  This week you could win a Notus daisies half yard bundle.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, August 31.

The Learning Curve is having a giveaway.  Here is yet another chance to win a GO! Baby cutter and your choice of 3 dies.  This giveaway ends Thursday, September 1, at midnight.



There was no sewing going on in my house yesterday.  I didn't even get in my FMQ practice.  It was a day of organizing the monthly swap partners for Block Swap Adventure and for preparing packages for mailing for two swaps.  Who knew that it would take most of the day.  I did get a little stitchery in while watching tv

I cannot count my day complete
'Til needle, thread and fabric meet.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Flowers In Many Sizes

In the case of an earthquake hitting Las Vegas, be sure to go straight to the Keno Lounge. Nothing ever gets hit there. 
~Author Unknown

The earth is moving, rumbling and grumbling.  It's vibrating in places that don't usually receive earthquakes.  Is this a needed release or a build up of things to come?  Were you one of those on the East coast or in Colorado that felt the earth shake?  I have felt many earthquakes over my life time, but then that is expected here in California.  I don't think there's any place in the state that doesn't lay near a fault line.  We are over due for a large shaker.  With things moving and shaking across the country, who knows, we may be next.  Maybe I will finally get that beach front property the experts-that-be have been predicting for as long as I can remember. LOL!




Today, August 24, is National Waffle Day.  Waffles can be traced to ancient Greece, when Athenians cooked obelios — flat cakes between two metal plates — over burning embers. The word waffle is related to wafer, as in the communion wafer — one of the only victuals that early Catholics could eat during fasting periods since wafers didn't contain animal fats, eggs or dairy products. During the Middle Ages, when bakeries decided to compete with monasteries in the wafer market, the secular — and considerably tastier — waffle was born. Eventually, waffle irons engraved with coats of arms, religious symbols and the familiar honeycomb pattern (said to resemble interlocking crosses) were used to brand the baked treats. In medieval France, an entire guild was established in 1270 to train the vendors who sold waffles on the street. Because the simplest version only called for flour and water, it soon became a staple of country cooking, though wealthier peasants would add honey, eggs and aromatized wine.
Thomas Jefferson, as legend has it, bought a waffle iron in France as a sort of culinary souvenir and began serving waffles in the White House, helping spark a fad for "waffle parties" nationwide. Americans got their first taste of Belgian waffles — which are leavened with yeast and egg whites — at the 1964 World's Fair (an event that also introduced sangria). While the most common way to serve waffles in the U.S. is covered in butter and syrup, regional variations have evolved. Waffles topped with kidney stew were once said to be a local favorite in Baltimore, while one restaurant in Harlem claims it introduced waffles paired with fried chicken back in 1938



My flowers for my GFG and for One Flower Wednesday are bright once again......

I used left over jelly roll strips to make this flower.  The petals and center were cut quickly with the GO! Baby cutter.

This rainbow flower was a bit more challenging.  Not all of the stripes ended up perfectly matched going from one petal to the next but I still like the effect.  For this flower I used a template and did fussy cutting.  If you look carefully in the lower left petal you can see a tiny zebra hoof - it almost looks like someone took a little bite out the petal.
To see more hexagon flowers made by other bloggers, just click on the link above on in the right sidebar and it will take you to Karen's linky connection.  Thanks again, Karen, for all you do to keep us producing flowers each week.



I was only able to get one more flower made for the Aunt Sarah quilt.....

The flower is made with 3/4" hexagons so is considerably smaller than its flower mates above.  I did get lots of petals made on our travels this weekend, they just haven't been assembled.



I am involved in a swap where the theme is Spring.  I decided to make......

a wool pincushion.  It is filled with crushed walnut shells and dried lavender.  I thought this pink posey looked quite springish.



I almost forgot to share my latest FMQ practice.....

Yesterday's practice is called Mario Vines.  Some of my vines had some very irregular leaves - lol!  I can definitely see using this pattern in a quilt.



Today I hope to finish my September mini quilt.



Sew 4 Home is having a giveaway.  You could win a Michael Miller Fabric-In-A-Fabric-Basket Gift Bundle.  This giveaway ends Saturday, September 10, at midnight PT.

Canton Village Quilt Works is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of Quilt Album.  This giveaway ends Friday, August 26, at 10:00 pm EST.

It's So Kiki is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a "Sophie" jelly roll by Chez Moi for Moda from Fat Quarter Shop.  This giveaway ends Monday, August 29.

Lisnaweary Quilts is having a giveaway.  You could win a True Cut Rotary Blade Sharpener, a new non slip Basic Range 4" x 14" rectangle ruler, a new non slip multi size triangle ruler 45 and 90 degrees, and a Creative Grids Non slip ruler demonstration DVD.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, August 31, at midnight GMT.

Love Affair With My Brother is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win a jelly roll of Hometown by Sweetwater from Fat Quarter Shop.  This giveaway ends Monday, August 29, at midnight PST.

Never Enough Stash is having a giveaway.  Peggy says "Included will be at least one chart, several skeins of floss, of course a wonderful Utah Mint Truffle bar (or another flavor if you prefer), and some other really cool stuff."  This giveaway will end on Wednesday, August 31.

Just One More Stitch is having a sponsored giveaway.  You could win your choice of the yellow bundle or the purple bundle of "Promenade" and it's by Riley Blake from Intrepid Thread.  This giveaway ends Sunday, August 28, at midnight CT.

Crazy About Quilts is ready to send the Traveling Stash on its way.  This giveaway ends Thursday, August 25.

The Q and The U is having a giveaway.  You could win an 8.5 by 11 inch envelope with lots of novelty fabric scraps from Riel's stash.  This giveaway ends Thursday, August 25, at 7:00 pm AST.

Quilting, Stitching, and Sew On is celebrating her blogiversary with a giveaway.  You could win 2 Marcus Brothers Fat Quarters, 1 pincushion, a card or coupon wallet, and a quilt pattern from Clares place.  This giveaway ends Friday, September 2.



Brain is tired.  I want to shut my eyes for just a couple of minutes.  Thoughts?  What thoughts?  I don't have any - first, middle or final.  There's just that constant ringing sound that never ends..........oh wait, there was a brief color explosion behind the eyelids.  Darn....that didn't last long.  Breath in........breath out.......y...a...w...n.  Oh sorry!  Pardon me.  That was rather rude.  Guess that's it for today.  Hopefully tomorrow the brain and fingers will be functioning as one.  Hopefully there were will be some bright flashes of wisdom during the day to share.  Only time will tell........

A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. 
~Attributed to Arthur McBride Bloch

Monday, August 22, 2011

Using a GO! Cutter for Applique

Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.
~Bill Watterson

What a great weekend we had.  Friday afternoon we headed south to my BIL and SIL's.  Four and a half hours later through LA traffic we finally arrived at their home.  Saturday was very relaxing as we visited and just enjoyed each other's company.  Sunday we ventured further south to a fantastic little Mexican restaurant for a delicious lunch.  After stuffing our faces, we headed even further south to San Diego's Balboa Park for a viewing of Tornado Alley.  I am so happy to have been able to see that movie in IMAX - what amazing cinematography.  Afterwards we headed back north to SIL's home where she prepared a scrumptious dover sole piccatta.  We are heading home today, possibly as you are reading this post.  I so enjoyed our visit and being able to where long pants and my zip sweatshirt for three days.  I hope you had a wonderful weekend too!


Today, August 22, is National Tooth Fairy Day.  Hundreds of years ago in Europe, when a child lost a tooth, often they would bury it, a sort of symbolism that a new tooth would soon grow in its place. They also believed that if a witch or evil spirit were to acquire their lost tooth, then a curse could be placed on the child. That’s why they buried them underground; it seemed like the best way to avoid such a curse.
When Europeans began moving west to America, they brought their beliefs and traditions with them. However, since many of them lived in cities and towns where land was scarce, people started burying lost teeth in a household planter or flowerpot. Eventually the original meaning faded, leading them to placing the tooth under a pillow.
The tooth fairy as we now know her didn't make an appearance until the early 1900s, as a generalized "good fairy" with a professional specialization. The child loses a baby tooth, which is put under the pillow at night, and the tooth fairy exchanges it for a present, usually money but sometimes candy. She became widely popular from the 1950s onward, with a veritable eruption of children's books, cartoons, jokes, etc., including more focus on children's dental hygiene. Parents cheerfully bought into the idea and the tooth fairy became part of family life.



I have discovered one of the best uses for the GO! Baby Cutter by AccuQuilt.  Cutting applique pieces!!  Well, and as I have previously mentioned, hexagons.

I'm going to use the Critters die for this tutorial.  First I outlined the different shapes with a Sharpie as I had seen suggested by others.  This helps so you know exactly where to lay your fabric for cutting.

After cutting the appropriate size of fabric, I adhered the Pellon's Wonder-Under according to the manufacturer's instructions to the wrong side.  Of course, you can you use your favorite fusible web for this step.

I placed the both of the (2) prepared fabrics over the two critters that I want to cut out.  After placing the fabric on, I then topped it off with a cutting mat (I forgot to take a picture of that)

After easily rolling the die through the cutter this is what you get.  Two perfectly cut critters.  Well, actually their are four but you can't see the layers here. 

Peel off the backing and now you are ready to press it onto your quilt.

And here is the little bee all ready for stitching.  I used a satin stitch on this as I know it will be going through the washer many times.

And here are the 3 of the 4 little critters completed.  You can't get any easier than that.  No tracing of patterns on the fusible web, no cutting out of fabric into tiny little spaces.  Just run the fabric through with the fusible web already attached and your ready to GO!
PS.  Keep an eye out because I just may be having a GO! giveaway some time in the not too distant future.



Today I will be working on my September little quilt



Sew 4 Home is having a giveaway.  You could win a Free Spirit Artist Trio: A generous selection of Loulouthi fabric in one-yard cuts , a copy of Seams To Me by Anna Maria Horner, and Anna Maria Needleworks new pearl cotton threads and 6-strand embroidery threads.  This giveaway ends September 16 at midnight PT.

Jackie's Art Quilts is having a giveaway.  You could win 6 FQ's from the new collection Taza by Dena Fishbein for Free Spirit from Intrepid Thread.  This giveaway ends Friday, August 26.

Lily Pad Quilting is having a giveaway.  You could win a Flurry charm pack, a roll of Heat Press Batting Together, and some Presencia threads or six fat eighths of Flurry, a roll of Heat Press, and yummy Presencia thread.  This giveaway ends Thursday, August 25.

Hanging On By A Thread is having a giveaway.  You could win a cute little pouch made by Patty.  This giveaway ends Thursday, September 1.

Quilting Ranny is having a giveaway.  You could win a beautifully created handmade blessing bracelet from It's A Blessing.  This giveaway ends Tuesday, August 30, at noon.

Woolie Mammoth is having a giveaway.  You could win one of four charm packs.  This giveaway will end Sunday, August 28.

Little Bits and Pieces along with Peas In a Pod are having a quilt along.  And to help spread the word they are also having a giveaway.  You could win 5 pretty fat quarters.  This giveaway ends Friday, August 26.

I'm Just A Guy Who Quilts is having a giveaway.  You could win some pieces of Strawberry Fields.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, August 24.



With all of the modern conveniences in the sewing room do you sometimes feel like we are cheating in our craft of quilting?  Do you feel it shouldn't be considered an art if it isn't hand cut, hand stitched and hand quilted?  I don't.  I love all of the shortcuts that are out there and available to us.  If it weren't for my ruler and rotary cutter, I probably wouldn't have a straight line in any of my quilts.  If it weren't for my CutRight Bind Up Tool I would still be fighting making that final bias joint in my bindings.  If it weren't for my sewing machine it would take me years to complete just one quilt.  Yes, I know that the sewing machine isn't really considered a modern convenience but to me it is.  If it weren't for the computer, I wouldn't be able to find all of the wonderful fabrics, patterns, and notions that are available to me today.  And, most importantly, we probably wouldn't be friends.  Now how sad would that be!?!  I say thank you for all of the modern conveniences!  How about you?

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. 
~Theodore Roosevelt

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Will You Vote?


I hope you can hear us as we are having to whisper.  We have taken over Mom's blog this morning. Please, please don't tell her, we don't want to get in trouble!  We just wanted to remind you about Pets On Quilts.  The voting is happening this weekend!  Did you see Mom's post about us and our her quilt full of color?  You can check it out HERE

Then go over to Pets On Quilts being hosted by the wonderful Darlene at Sew Cal Gal and cast your vote.  If you would like to throw your vote our way - dog theme #9 (Stray Stitches), we certainly wouldn't mind.  There are a lot, and we mean bunches, of great looking canines out there so if you would rather vote for one of them we would certainly understand.  And there is a separate category for those strange looking, snooty felines out there in blogland too.  Just be sure to join in the fun and cast your vote!

Snickerdoodle and Weasley
(Mom's little fur babies)

Friday, August 19, 2011


Inflation hasn't ruined everything. A dime can still be used as a screwdriver.
  ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

My dreaded chore of grocery shopping on Wednesday actually went a little better than expected.  The store was practically empty.  We should have guessed this would be the case when we walked in and nobody, and I mean nobody, was in line for fried chicken.  There is always a line in the deli for fried chicken.  I had even asked DH if the store had run out of fried chicken - lol!  I don't know where everybody was but I'm not complaining.  We zipped through the store, bought what was on our list (minus two things) and were back home in less than 45 minutes.  I almost gagged when I looked at the receipt and noticed that a bag of frozen peas cost $3.69!!!!  WOW!  Talk about inflation!  That used to be one of the cheapest thing you could buy at the store.  I like to have a bag on hand for when I run out of fresh veggies, something quick to throw in the microwave for some green.  Oh well (sigh).  I guess nothing is cheap any more.



Today, August 19, is National Potato Day.  Here's a holiday to celebrate one totally tubular tuber! The potato is a versatile food source and contributes to so many favorite recipes worldwide. The average annual diet of a global citizen is 73 pounds of potato and the world's top potato producer is China. So get up, couch potatoes, it's time to start peeling, slicing, mashing and frying to get your fill of potatoes today.  Did you know the potato is the world’s fourth most important food crop?  I bet you already know that approximately 1/3 of all potatoes grown in the US are grown in the state of Idaho but did you know that 62% of all Idaho potatoes that are harvested are used to make frozen or instant potatoes?  And our most starchy population is New York which consumes more potatoes than any other state, followed by Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Texas.



Earlier this week I finished three little quilts for Loving Hands. 

I used some fabric from my stash and made 2 1/2" strips and used the Jelly Roll Race quilt plan. 

Once it went together I wasn't real happy with the fabrics I used.  These will definitely be for little boys.  But you know what?  I actually did FMQ on each of these little quilts!

I did all over meandering on one.  I used the same gingham backing on two of the quilts.

And I did loop meandering on the other two.  What fun I had with this!

Here you can see the loops on the gingham and also where I outlined the little bee applique that was on the front. 

Here are the three little appliques that I cut using my GO! cutter and then appliqued to a front corner with a satin stitch.  I thought these might add just a little bit of cuteness to the quilts.  I really am happy that I used FMQ on these three little quilts.  It was a great exercise and they do look pretty good (if you don't look too closely).  I turned them into my quilt guild last night to be given to one of the local hospital's NICU.



I have tried two more of Leah Day's FMQ practice squares......

Wobbly Cosmos was fun to do.  I still have some trouble tracing exactly on the outside stitch lines.  I can see this pattern being used as another type of flower design.

Yesterday's practice is called River Path.  Ignore the top center error where I forgot to curve - I didn't realize that I was that close to the top.  You can also see some squiggly moves in a lot of the lines - this is where I reposition my fingers without stopping the stitching.  I'm so used to moving my fingers along a seam line that I forget it is best to stop before rearranging you hands and fingers while attempting FMQ.



Today I will work on a couple of swap blocks.



Tales at Wayne Manor is having a giveaway.  You could win one yard each of two prints of Joel Dewberry's Deer Valley.  Not sure when this one ends :(

The Veggie Hunter is having a giveaway.  You could win a copy of the My Memories Suit software.  This giveaway ends ?

Button Mad is having a giveaway.  You could be one of 20 lucky people to win some darling hand painted owl buttons.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, August 24.

Little Island Quilting is having a giveaway.  You could win a fat quarter bundle of Pooches and Pickups from Fat Quarter Shop.  This giveaway ends Thursday, August 25, at 8:00 pm Little Island time.

PS I Quilt is having a giveaway.  You could win a promenade fat quarter bundle from Green Fairy Quilts.  This giveaway ends Monday, August 22.

Hawthorne Treads is having their weekly giveaway.  You could win a Peacock Land Fat quarter bundle.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, August 23.

The Jolly Jabber is having a giveaway.  You could win one of John Adams' Blogger’s Choice Fat Quarter Bundles.  This giveaway ends Wednesday, August 24.

Green Fairy Quilts is having a giveaway.  You could win a fat quarter bundle with 38 fat quarters in it called "Coming Home" by Deb Strain for Moda Fabrics, a jelly roll called   "Panier de Fleurs" by French General for Moda Fabrics or a layer cake called "Northcote Range" by Cabbage and Roses for Moda Fabrics.  Not sure when this one ends.

Crooked SeamsModa Scrap Bag, filled with strips from Sandy Gervais's Awesome collection.  This giveaway ends Monday, August 22, at midnight EST.



It's time to straighten up the sewing room.  I have stacks of fabric and scraps on almost every surface of the room.  I have managed to keep all scraps and WIP's off my DH's desk.  Or, at least I make sure it is cleaned off every evening before he comes home - lol!  I have books on the printer and swap blocks along with I Spy blocks and a fat quarter bundle on the computer desk.  The cutting table has quite a mound of scraps accumulated on it.  The sewing table is piled high in one corner with a WIP, FMQ squares, and another endless heap of scraps.  Even the digital clock has a small stack of scrap sandwiches that I use to check tension on.  I'm constantly picking threads off of the poor pups and pulling bitty scraps of fabric out of their bed.  It wouldn't be so bad if that all didn't stick to their fur and then end up all over the house.  I'm a big enough thread snip magnet as it is leaving my little trail of bits and pieces throughout the house.  They say clutter is a sign of creativity.  I think I should post that sign at my front door as a warning to all who enter.

I'm creative - you can't expect me to be neat too. 
~Author Unknown

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