Saturday, April 30, 2011

National March for Babies Day!

I havent' gotten much sewing done this week.  I've barely managed to make 2 hexi flowers, but I guess that's not all there is to life.  This morning was a beautiful day here in Northwest Florida.  When I got in my car, it was a comfortable 66 degrees, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and there was a lovely breeze.

There is a lot going on here in Pensacola this weekend.  There was a 5K run that began in East Hill, the Fiesta Crawfish Festival downtown, the Goombay Festival in the DeVillers neighborhood, the mullet toss in Perdido Key, Relay for Life in several communities in Santa Rosa County, and it is National March for Babies day.  If you don' t have a passion for one of these events, I don't know how you select which one to participate in.  They are all fun events, and it is a glorious day.  For me, however, the choice was easy.

I have served on the Walk Committee for the March of Dimes for - I honestly can't remember how long...  seven or eight years, I think, and I have headed my corporate team for about twice that long.  This year, the two came together nicely, as my corporate team took Top Team in the under 250 employees category.  I was very surprised.  With everything else that has been going on at work this year, I really didn't have a lot of time to devote to running this year's campaign.  But I wanted it to be a great year.  Our former President was Walk Chair this year, and I just wanted it to be a great year for him, and somehow it worked out.

This is the sign I created for Ambassador Avenue at this year's March for Babies. I am very fortunate that I had three healthy children and a healthy granddaughter.  All of my children, and little Abby, were full-term babies.  Many children aren't so lucky, and I heard a lot of those stories today. I am grateful that my family and I have been so blessed.

But the March of Dimes has really helped everyone.  Have you or someone you know ever had a polio shot?  Thank the March of Dimes.  Have you ever known someone who has had a child in a Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)?  Thank the March of Dimes.  Have you ever known a baby whose lungs weren't fully developed but learned to breathe on its own?  It is likely the treatment was developed with the help of the March of Dimes.  Ever known an expectant mom who took folic acid to prevent spina bifida?  Yup, the March of Dimes again.

There are a lot of good causes out there that people can choose to support, and I'm sure they all do a lot of good.  March of Dimes is the one that is dear to my heart.  If you care to lend a helping hand, go here.

Thanks.  Someday, I hope every baby will be a healthy baby.

Friday, April 29, 2011


Recently, this little bloggy adventure has been so much fun! I have really appreciated the comments everyone has left, the other blogs I've discovered, the information people has shared and the vote of confidence of those kind souls who have become followers.  I had hoped - someday - to actually have someone besides my family and close friends read this, and I am astounded that more than 100 people have actually decided to become followers.  Thank you.  I will try to provide interesting - or at least colorful - updates here.

Sadly, all good things do come to an end, and this blogiversary is no different.  This is the final giveaway - at least for this time.  Thanks again to Westwood Acres for providing the lovely DS Quilts jelly roll to today's lucky winner. 

So today's winner is (cue the trumpets please)...

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-04-29 11:00:40 UTC

 Comment #36 was

Mama24Monkeys who said...
I'm a follower
Mama24Monkeys, I understand you haven't ever had a jelly roll to play with before either, so I hope you have fun with it.  If you will send me your address, I will get your jelly roll in the mail to you in the next day or two.

Thanks to everyone who entered any of the giveaways, and thanks to those of you who read and comment here.  I really appreciate you.

On a totally different note, I did something this morning I never dreamed I would do.  It happened that I was up already, and my co-worker, who is British, has been so excited about the RW (that's Royal Wedding, of course) that I decided I would turn on the TV and watch it.  I was really touched by the event.  The couple seems down-to-earth and lovely, and I hope they are genuinely happy together.  Certainly Prince Will's parents were not. 

The bride was lovely, as a bride should be.  Her dress was very classy and classic.  Did you notice the appliques and beading at the bottom of the gown?  Just  beautiful!

I thought the ceremony was very nice. I especially enjoyed Kate's brother reading Romans 12.  I am going to go back and re-read that chapter.  I also appreciated the Bishop of London's comment that every wedding is a Royal Wedding. Very nice.

So, Will and Kate, Congratulations!  May God bless you.  I wish you happiness.  I hope that you will be a good example and a force for good in this increasingly chaotic world we live in.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Last Day to Celebrate!

To enter the giveaway, go here!

A month ago, when I decided to do a giveaway every Friday in April to celebrate my blogiversary, I had no idea I would have so much fun!  I thought it was a fun idea, but I didn't realize that it would be such a blast to read everyone's comments, or that I would learn so much by the things people shared, or that I would become aware of so many new blogs that would be so much fun to read.  I definitely got the best end of this deal.  I'm really sad that it's almost over.  But, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and this giveaway ends tonight at midnight.

Thanks again to my friends at Westwood Acres for their generosity in providing this week's giveaway. 

If you haven't entered, click the link above and leave a comment (or two) (or three) on that post.  And good luck!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

MIAGIA Progress

Don't forget to enter my last Blogiversary giveaway here.  Ends Thursday at midnight Central time!

I just wanted to do a brief post and let everyone know that I have not fallen off the planet.  Monday night was quilt guild and we had a jumble sale.  I took a few items that I had been given and decided I wouldn't ever use.  I didn't sell many, but made a donation of them to the grab bags for the 2012 quilt show.  Maybe someone else can use them  Unfortunately the air conditioning wasn't working and by the time I got home, I was too ill to do anything productive.

But I did get the MIAGIA quilts sandwiched. They say these charity quilts are a good way to practice techniques, so I plan to practice my FMQ on them.  I am still struggling with FMQ techniques, although my machine and I seem to have reached an accommodation - at least most of the time.  I've decided the machine has a faulty design:  the darning foot is not screwed on and comes off the presser foot at the durndest times.  But, I think I am getting better.  This should give me a chance to try a couple of new things.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I'm not going to be sewing as much as I planned today.  I've decided to focus on other things this Easter Sunday.  But I do have a little something for you today.   And may you all have a blessed and joyful Easter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

WIP Weekend Part 1

 Don't forget about Week 4 of my blogiversary giveaway here!

I don't know if any of you do this, but I always seem to over estimate the amount of time I have to complete Christmas projects.  Then, as the day nears, I run out of time and give my family unfinished gifts with the promise to finish them "soon".    Do you do that?  Well, it's probably not the best gift-giving technique, but I do quite a lot of it, actually.  This past Christmas was no different.  Grandma got Abby this adorable growth chart panel from and I was certain I could finish it by Christmas.  No dice.  In fact, I have worked on it pretty consistently since Christmas, and finished it this past week.  So proud.  I even got it mailed this week so now I can show photos of my project.

One side is this cute little plant with inches marked.  I hand quilted around the  images.  It also has places for significant dates, first word, first haircut, etc.  I embroidered the milestones that have been achieved so far.

The other side has name, birthdate, parent's names, etc.

Flower pot and watering can.

Cute little birdie.
It was a lot of fun to do.  I used fusible fleece, and I'm not sure I like it.  It  left the fabric looking crinkled.

This is Abby in her favorite shirt waving "hi" with both hands.

BTW, did I tell you that Abby likes doggies?  Last January I found this little shirt at The Gap for something like $4. Abby loves the shirt.  Abby would like to wear it every day.  Her mommy, however, feels the need to wash the shirt occasionally, which makes our little doggie lover very unhappy sometimes.  So, I came up with what i hope is a solution to the problem.

 Five more doggie shirts.  I found a fabric quarter at JoAnn's and a cute piece of fabric with a doggie on it at our LQS, and appliqued them onto onesies.  I hope they make my Abby-girl happy.

And I finished one more GMFG block the other night while I was watching TV.  Overall, it was a pretty productive week, I think.

This weekend is dedicated to finishing projects that have been on "the list" for too long.

 I finished the Soul Blossoms dress BD#2 and I started last weekend,

and the one I had started before she came home.  I'm especially proud of this one because you know, I love a bargain!  The fabric was on the free table at the January quilt guild meeting.  All I had to buy was lining and a zipper.  There must have been 5 yards there.  I still have enough to make BD#1 a dress and probably even a skirt for me.  The whole dress may have cost $5.

And, while I was at JoAnn's last week, they had this cute broomstick dress fabric on sale.  It was $4 a yard, and I only needed 30 inches.  How's that for a bargain?

This morning I made these Just One Star blocks.  Moda is collecting 1800 blocks to make 100 quilts for America's soldiers and veterans.  I'm married to a veteran, so how could I not?  It only took about an hour, from cutting to completion.  If you're interested, the deadline is May 1.  The pattern is available here.  I was gratified to find out that the Quilts of Valor Foundation has collected and donated 37,000 quilts to service members and veterans.  Way to go!

Then I made this block for Toerintx for the Christmas Fabric Bee.  She asked everyone to make something that represented Christmas.  I had a tough time deciding what to do.  I had a different idea originally, but this one kind of made itself.  Do you like it better with or without the button?  I think the button finishes it, but it's not a very comfortable thing to have on a quilt, so I can't decide.


Jessica suggested I try a yo-yo in the center instead of the button to finish it off, and I tried it.  I really like it a lot better now.  Thanks for the suggestion, Jessica.  Why didn't I think of that myself?

We were to make 2 blocks, and  my other block is an angel.  What do you think?  I left the block a little big.  She can trim it if she needs to, or if it doesn't work on point, she can add triangle blocks to make it square.  Her face is awfully pink...  Is it too pink?  It is the petal of a poinsettia from 12 Days of Christmas, I think.  Oh well, it's made now.

I am participating in the Sewn Spaces Swap.  The idea is to make your secret partner a sewing machine cover.  I need to get my act together because the deadline to mail is next Saturday.  About the time the swap started, I became aware of a Charley Harper sew-along on Flickr.  I had never heard of Charley Harper before, but I really like his images.  They are so "quilt-able".  I had several choices in mind for the front of the sewing machine cover I am making my partner.  Here is what I came up with....

I actually really like it.  I hope my partner does.  She is a bit challenging for me because her color palette was full of colors I don't have in my stash. I still have to quilt and bind the cover, but that should go fairly quickly, I hope.

And for tomorrow?  Here is the list...

Finish the sewing machine cover
Make the tote bag and pot holders for PP7
Make blocks for the Spring Citrus Surprise Swap
Quilt the 2 MIAGIA quilts for the Guild meeting on Monday night.

How far down the list do you think I will get?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Celebrate With Me One Last Time! DS Quilts Jelly Roll Giveaway!

I can't believe how much I've been enjoying my blogiversary giveaway.  I come home from work and race to the computer to see the comments folks have left.  I've discovered some way-fun new-to-me blogs, and really enjoyed finding out what projects everyone is working on.  Everyone is so busy and it seems like most people are like me - several projects going at once.

So fun!  It has really brightened the last few weeks.

Yesterday, I asked for input about what to do for this last giveaway for my blogiversary month.  Many of you were very kind and said that all the choices were great (including my homemade ones), and you couldn't decide.  The rest were pretty much unanimously in favor of more DS Quilts fabric. Well, have I got a treat for you!

My friends at Westwood Acres have generously agreed to donate a DS Quilts Jelly Roll to help me celebrate this final week of my blogiversary.  I haven't got all the details yet, but I know that it will contain 2-1/2 inch strips of all of the DS Quilts prints.  I'm so excited!  I want to win it myself.  Thanks Westwood Acres for helping me celebrate!  Westwood Acres has a few FQ sets and jelly rolls left to sell, so if you're dying for this DS Quilts fabric, head on over.

EDIT:  I just found out that this jelly roll includes TWO! strips of each fabric  for a total of 42 strips!  Generous, huh?

So, how do you enter to win all this DS yumminess, you ask?  Well, I'm glad you asked.

1.  Leave me a comment and tell me what you would make with this beautiful jelly roll.  If you have a favorite jelly roll tute on the web, please let me know.

2.  Be sure you're a follower, and leave a comment to let me know.

3.  Invite a friend to be a follower and leave a comment to let me know that you did.  If they become a follower too, you will get a 4th chance to win. 

EDIT:  Someone commented that I don't have an end date here, and I totally forgot.  This giveaway ends Thursday, April 28 at midnight.

And now, (drum roll please!) for the winner of last week's giveaway, which was a selection of 7 fat quarters of the new DS Quilts Picnic and Fairgrounds fabric...

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-04-22 11:54:57 UTC

Alisa said
I'm working on some pillows with baseball themed fabric for the president of our school's baseball booster club. Great give-away.

Alisa, if you will send me your address, I'll get your FQs in the mail on Monday.

Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of my little blog. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Last Day to Enter for DS Quilts Picnic & Fairgrounds Giveaway

Don't forget that tonight at midnight is the deadline to enter my Week 3 Blogiversary Giveaway for the 7 fat quarters of yummy Denyse Schmidt DS Quilts fabric.  I think it is really beautiful.  BD#1 said that these fabrics are reproductions of flour sacks from the 1930s or 1940s (I forget which), but I believe it because last night I was petting my DS Quilts collection and one of the prints totally reminded me of the curtains my mom had on our kitchen windows when I was really little.  I suppose I'll never really know, but there is kind of a retro feel to these fabrics - in a modern sort of way.

And then she said that our Aussie friends are getting a different selection than these JoAnn's prints.  I looked at the photos in the Flickr group online, and there are a whole bunch of the fabrics that JoAnn's did not pick up, including the green leaves above in red and several more gold prints.  Looking at the Aussie selection (you can see it here) I really wish JAF had picked up the whole line.  Those prints really round out the collection.  Oh well, sometimes one must just be content with the yummy goodness that does come their way!

I'm trying to decide what my last Blogiversary Giveaway item will be...  Suggestions?

Another DS Quilts fat quarter selection of different fabrics?

A Hoopla charm pack and a couple of half yards?

A homemade item of your choice from items seen on this blog?  Hmmm... the last one is intriguing.  Maybe have to limit the selection.  How about choosing between

A sewing apron...

A sewing themed hoop...

A messenger bag...

Or maybe a market tote?

Maybe I would even make the item out of this DS fabric.

So leave your vote in a comment for one of these three blogiversary giveaways:
1) A different selection of Denyse Schmidt Picnic/Fairground fat quarters
2) A Hoopla charm pack and 2 half yards of Hoopla yardage
3) Choosing one of the above items.

Please help me decide!  But you only have one day to leave your comment, because I have to decide by morning.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Practice Pinnie

Don't forget about week 3 of my Blogiversary Giveaway here

I've been wanting to try my hand at making a bottlecap pinnie for awhile now.  I've seen them made with coke bottle lids and Gatorade lids, but those seem too small to be very practical for the kind of sewing I do.  I've been saving lids to things like shaving cream and deodorant and household cleaners since about the first of the year, and they have just been piling up.

So yesterday afternoon, I was watching some mindless TV program and had finished the project I sat down to work on, except for the machine sewing.  I wasn't ready to move to the sewing machine yet, so I decided to pick this up and give it a go.  I have all those felt scraps sitting around from my hexie needlebooks so I decided to see how it would turn out.  There is an excellent tutorial on Flickr by verybigjen.  I basically followed her tute, and just made the pieces bigger.

I didn't spend much time planning, so it was really off-the-cuff, and the top and the embroidery are kind of wonky, but it was just for practice, after all.  The cap I used was from shaving cream, and the sides are scalloped, so if I do it again, I may add a bit of batting inside the felt.  I traced the bottom circle around the cap, but it is a bit too small, so if I make another one, I will add maybe 1/8 inch to that diameter.  I used rice inside a nylon stocking to weight the bottom, and then stuffed the felt topper with polyfil.

Overall, I am pleased with the concept.  I think I will be making several more of these.  There's certainly no shortage of can lids in my collection.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Industrious Saturday

Don't forget about week 3 of my Blogiversary Giveaway here

If you read yesterday's post, you may remember that BD#2 was home from college and we had a busy Saturday planned.  She wanted to do several things, most of them of a domestic nature.  We started off the morning planning to go strawberry picking.  I honestly haven't been strawberry picking since I was in my teens (other than in my own garden) and while I was looking forward to the experience, I remember it as being a TON of work for 25-cents an hour (or was it 50-cents? - either way, it was a ton of back-breaking work.)  We looked on the internet for a you-pick place nearby and we were off.  When we got there, the lady told us that they don't do you-pick any longer because of fear of lawsuits. How very sad.  They also didn't have any berries to sell because of the high winds that had affected the area the night before.  We were terribly disappointed.

As we were chatting, though, I mentioned that we wanted the berries to make jam.  She brightened at that and said she did have "jam berries" and they were half price.  I guess those were berries not pretty enough to sell.  So we bought a flat of berries, ran some other errands,  and headed home.  I had to go pick up jars and pectin, and BD#2 started to work cleaning the berries and cutting stems.  Here is a shot of her handiwork:

Aren't they beautiful?  A couple of hours later, here is a photo of the result:

And boy, is it yummy!

Once we cleaned the kitchen and had dinner, we started on the sewing projects.  I had a dress half finished, she had one started, and she also had another Sugar Rush quilt started, this one  from the Origins charm squares Santa got her for Christmas.

Please ignore the mess in the background.  This poor little room is full to the brim.  What is behind her is my to-do pile, just waiting for their turn.
Five or six hours later, after an all-night push-to-the-finish, we had both dresses fitted and the quilt finished, about 30 minutes before she had to leave to catch her plane.  BD#2 managed a little nap while mom finished the quilting and binding.

I am pleased with the way it turned out.  I hope she is.  It was really fun to share these skills with her and have a companion in all my madness.  I hope she enjoyed it too.

Oh, and guess what I had for breakfast?  Uh-huh.  And it was yummy!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Make Mine Modern

Don't forget to enter my Blogiversary Giveaway.  The Week 3 giveaway is here.

Yesterday was the deadline to mail my items for the Make Mine Modern swap, and I squeaked in just under the wire.  I don't know why I waited until the last minute to finish this up, exactly. This was a long swap - I think it started in January - but it just took me a long time to decide on something I thought my partner would like.  I finally decided on a sewing apron "tool belt" because it seemed like something my partner could use.  I hope she likes it.

This photo was taken before I modified the scissor loops.  Sadly, I didn't take an "after" photo.

The pattern is loosely based on the one in the One Yard Wonders book by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.  I thought I followed the dimension directions pretty closely, but it doesn't look very much like the one Tracy at Pink Chalk Fabrics has on their blog.  I love that they are reviewing the patterns in the book.  Their reviews and creations are what motivated me to actually buy the book, although it was on my Amazon wish list for maybe about a year.  Anyway, I really like their practical approach, and having the benefit of their experiences as they re-create the patterns in the book.

I modified the pockets somewhat, and added a little pinwheel pin cushion to the front.  I also modified the scissor loops, because they just seemed too big.  My partner said she was pink-deprived, and I think this should satisfy her pink craving.  The back is canvas, so it is very sturdy and should hold up to a lot of use.  Also, the canvas should prevent pins in the pin cushion from stabbing the tender flesh underneath.  I hope.  That was the thought anyway.

The hoop was a lot of fun.  I knew from the beginning I wanted to do a hoop.  I think I was inspired by all of the wonderful hoops I saw in the {Scrappy} Hoops Swap.  I didn't participate in that one, but my daughter did, and there was such an abundance of creativity in that swap I was blown away.  At the time, I was just being introduced to Flickr and swapping, and all of that genius amazed me.  Still does in fact.  I woke up one morning a couple of Saturdays ago with this quote on my mind.  I have no idea if I have heard it somewhere before, but I couldn't get it out of my mind. If you know where the quote came from, let me know.
I showed BD#2 and WH the hoop when I finished it, and both said, "shouldn't it be 'said and done?' and I was like, "That doesn't rhyme.  You just don't get it."

Then I showed my co-worker, who is into needlework, and she immediately said, "Oh, that is SO me," so maybe you have to be into fabrics and stitching to "get it".  Anyway, it was a fun hoop to do, and I hope my partner likes it.  I worked it on Kona (ivory? off white?) and it was such a great fabric to work on.  I will be doing more embroidery on Kona.  It has just enough body to make stitching a breeze. The last embroidery I did was on linen, and that was not a great experience.  The linen kept stretching in odd directions.  So much so that I nearly gave up.

I included a little pinnie

and of course one of my hexie needlebooks, which are so easy and fun I just can't NOT include them.  And the fabric of course.  The ones I sent are some that just make me happy.  I hope they make my partner happy too.

So, there it is.  The swaps seem to be winding down a little.  For the summer maybe?  I still have plenty going on, but somehow I miss the ones that are finished.  I've really been enjoying them.

And now, for my Saturday plans....  BD#2 is making a quilt from an Origins charm pack and some yardage Santa got her for Christmas, and we have a couple of dresses in the works.  I thought she was staying until Monday, but she is leaving in the morning, so we've got to get busy.  She also wants to go pick some strawberries and  make some jam today - she wanted blueberries, but they're not ready yet.  So it should be a busy Saturday.  I love that she's starting to enjoy sewing and quilting.  And that BD#1 enjoys it so much.  It's fun to share these things I love with my girls.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Another Friday - Another Giveaway!

It's hard to believe, I know, but it's Friday again - the 3rd Friday in my Blogiversary month. I'm having a blast with this giveaway.  First of all, I have gained lots of new friends - followers on my blog and new blogs I have discovered, both from comments, and from visiting the blogs of the followers and commenters.  I have really enjoyed it!   And reading the comments has been so much fun - and so informative.  I learned how to number the comments, thanks to a comment by H2OGirl.  And that gave me the motivation to find a random number generator on the net and generate a random number for the Week 2 Giveaway (this week I didn't have to wake up WH to ask him to "pick a number between one and..."  I'm sure he appreciated that consideration LOL!)

So the winner of the tote bag and the Sunkissed Charm pack was comment #6, which was Quilting Mom, who said, "Congratulations on your blogiversary!!" So, Quilting Mom, if you will email me your address, I will get your charm pack and Jelly Roll Market Tote in the mail.

Thanks Quilting Mom, and to everyone who visited my blog and left a comment.  I especially enjoyed blog-hopping this week to the blogs you suggested.  I've discovered a lot of talented quilters and crafters, and learned a couple of new things.

And now for the Week 3 Giveaway!  There is a wonderful new line of beautiful fabrics by Denyse Schmidt at Joann's of all places.  The colors are gorgeous - so summery and fresh, and the fabric has such a nice hand.  I haven't been able to accumulate all of it yet, and I hope I am in time, because it's going like crazy.  I think they just got it in and my Joann's is already out of several of the prints.  Nevertheless, this week's giveaway is 7 fat quarters from the DS Quilts Picnic and Fairgrounds collection (I can't really decide what it's called, but you know the fabric I'm talking about, I hope). There are 2 reds, two aquas, two greens, and the gold.  This fabric is so yummy, it makes me want to head right to the sewing machine.  Yummmmm.  I hope you like it as much as I do.

So what do you have to do to win all of this fabric deliciousness?

1.  Leave a comment on my blog and tell me what creative thing you are working on.  I'd love to get a glimpse of what people are doing creatively.  If you're not working on anything right now, tell me the last thing you sewed, quilted or created or your favorite fabric at the moment.

2.  Be a follower, of course, and leave a comment to tell me so.

3.  Blog about my blogiversary giveaway and leave a link in a comment so I can come check out your blog.

4.  And new for me this week, LIKE my FB post here about this giveaway, and leave a comment to tell me you did.  (Let me know if this doesn't work....  I've never tried a FB link before)
EDIT:  OK, the FB thing isn't working out very well. If you've tried to LIKE on FB and not been able to, just leave a comment here.  

Thanks, everyone.  Here's to a creative week!