Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Busy Weekend

This weekend, we had company.  And not just any company.  This was very special company.  BD#2 brought a boy home.  We spent Saturday doing touristy things in Pensacola, which was pretty fun, because we don't do that very often.  We went to the "Naviation Museum" (a term HS coined when he was about 6, and which is now part of our family lexicon) and had a top-notch tour guide.  Yup, WH is perfect for the role.  Having a Master's in Military History and a life-long love of all-things-aviation, he was almost certainly a better guide than the ones provided by the museum, not to take anything away from them, of course.

We had a really good time.  I hope he did.

Then, on Sunday evening, he took her for a walk on the beach, and she came home with this

and plans to be married here

on September 3.

Oh my.  I think I'm suddenly looking at a pretty busy summer.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

SMS Giveaway Winner!

Thanks so much to everyone who visited and left a comment during the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway.  I've had so much fun reading your comments.  It's been fun to see what new fabrics everyone is excited about.  I've replied to some of you, but haven't been able to reply to everyone yet.  I hope to be able to reply to everyone in the next few days.  (We're having company this weekend, so I've been away from blogland scrubbing and cleaning.  I would much rather be here with y'all!)

But, as they say, all good things must come to an end, and so it is with this little giveaway.  My friend RNG (Random Number Generator) has picked

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2011-05-26 12:12:36 UTC

who is Melissa, who said,

Melissa said...
Thanks for the giveaway! I love Tula Pink Prince Charming.

Congratulations, Melissa!  Email me your address and I'll get that in the mail to you - probably Tuesday.

Thanks again to everyone who entered.  Check back with me, because there might just be a little something later for you Little Apples fans - if I can bear to part with it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quilt Market Loot - and a Giveaway!

One of the really cool things about quilt market was the fun things people were giving away.  My favorite, of course, was the mini charm squares.  I was fortunate enough to snag a couple and boy are they cute!

But there were some other fun things, too.  Some folks gave away patterns.   This one is cute.

I totally missed out on the mini charms of Ruby, but I was fortunate enough to get a pattern.  See those receiving blankets made with Ruby flannel?  That flannel just may be the softest flannel known to mankind.

The folks at Interweave gave me a calendar and a whole bunch of magazines.

 And then of course there were the brochures.  sarahjane's new fabric is gorgeous, but I especially loved the embroideries.

And Jillily's booth was so fun.  They were giving away mini sorbet cones in some great summertime flavors.  My favorite was raspberry.  Yummy!

There was some other loot as well, but I haven't taken photos of it all.  Suffice it to say that my luggage was heavier coming home than it was on the outbound trip.

And since the folks at QM were so generous, I thought I would share.  If you caught this post, you know that I have a running love affair with French General (shhhhh...  don't tell WH!) so you can tell that I really love this fabric.  It's classic and fresh and olde worlde all at the same time.  So I really hope you will like today's giveaway as much as I do.  It includes a mini charm pack of French General's new line Panier des Fleurs, which comes with a project sheet for a sweet hexi pin cushion, and a copy of the 2010 Quilting Arts Gifts magazine.  Even though the mag is last year's, there are some fun, simple gifts lurking within those pages.  I had a browse through it and I think I'm going to try one or two of these ideas before it wings its way to someone else's home.

So what do you need to do to win?  Just leave me a comment and let me know your favorite fabric from this spring's collections, or let me know what fabric you're most looking forward to for summer/fall.  That's it.  I'd love it if you'd FOLLOW my blog, but it's not required.  ETA:  Oh - and I forgot to mention, be sure I have a way to contact you if you win.  Duh!  And I think I forgot to mention that this giveaway ends THURSDAY, May 26 at midnight.

And if you're in the mood for a little web surfing, check out Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day post.  Lots of folks in blogland are having giveaways today.

Good luck!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I'll Never Do That Again

Next weekend, we have company coming.  This may not be a startling fact until you realize that WH has been remodeling the guest bathroom since Thanksgiving.  He actually is a wonderful craftsman, but quick? - not so much!

Anyway, I started out the weekend with the thought that I really needed to clean house.  Having the bathroom "under construction" for so long has provided all the justification I needed to neglect the cleaning and spend more time sewing.  I did, in fact, get some cleaning done.  But in the process of trying to tidy up my sewing room (it is just too small to call it a "studio"), I decided that since Monday is quilt guild night, if I got these two MIAGIA quilts finished, quilts that were already sandwiched and pin-basted, it would get them out of the basket and make the room tidier.  Makes sense, right?

Last quilt guild night, one of the ladies mentioned that MIAGIA quilts are a great project to use to practice new techniques.   "What  a great idea!" I thought.  I had already tried (definitely not mastered, you understand, but tried) the FMQ meandering stipple, so I decided to try the stippled pebbles.  BIG MISTAKE!!  I used up an entire 850 meter spool of Guitermann thread, about half a spool of serger thread, at least 25 bobbins, and about 6 hours.  NOT what I had in mind.  And worst of all, I really don't like the way it looks.  It could be my technique, but nevertheless, i won't be doing that again.

The good news is that both MIAGIA quilts are now quilted.  The bad news is that I'm too tired tonight to bind them, so the chances of them being done in time for the quilt guild meeting tomorrow night are slim.  Ah well, maybe next month.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Block Party Saturday

All this travel has gotten me behind on some swaps and projects.  I've really got to get with it.  Today, I decided that I could at least get caught up on Bee blocks.  I expected it to take a couple of hours.  Well, I did get some blocks done, but it seemed to take a lot longer than I thought it should.

Carrie wanted picture blocks.  I don't know why, but I always seem to have a little trouble visualizing how the angles should go.  I made a big mistake and cut some fabric wrong, which made the second block (above) a real challenge.  Finally got both these blocks completed.

The bento block was for Kristina.  She had all the pieces cut and so this one was really easy.  A little trimming and it was all done.

I still have a couple of blocks to make for the First Time Bee.  This bee has been a challenge.  Everyone has chosen something different, and it has really stretched my skills.

 Mary gave us a photo and had us design our own blocks based on the photo.

I chose Grandmother's Flower Garden, and so we all got to work on hexagons, which turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought it would be. 

Kari chose tree blocks.  I did a couple of different kinds of applique.  Those blocks were really fun.

This month, we are doing Mondo birds.  I haven't ever done them before but there's a great tutorial here. I hope to get those done tomorrow.

And, before the end of the month, I need to finish the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap and the Stitch Duchess Pin Cushion Swap.  I know what I want to do, but I just can't manage to sit down to do it.  It's hard to sew when you're not home.  And I was hoping to get the MIAGIA quilts quilted and bound before Monday.  Hmmm... 

And on a more mundane note, my girls have sent me all their jeans that need mending.  I read somewhere that asking a quilter to mend was like asking Michaelangelo to paint the bathroom.  LOL.  Guess there's always plenty to do.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Eye Candy

BD#1 speaking with Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs

 Today, we're going to have a little fun with three or four of my favorite fabrics and experiences at Quilt Market.

First, is Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs.  Anne was so nice and we had a wonderful time talking to her.  Maybe the best part was that she and her colleague thought I was BD#1's friend instead of her mom "because I didn't look old enough to be her mom."  Sure made my day!

Puttin on the Ritz, in blue

Puttin on the Ritz in pink

Her new line is called Puttin' on the Ritz, and comes in three colorways - pink, blue and gray.  As you may know, I'm not a big fan of gray, but I am learning that it has its place.  This is lovely fabric and great for kids.  

While BD#1 was conducting some business...

I had probably my favorite experience of the whole market - meeting Camille Roskelly and Bonnie Olavesen of Bonnie and Camille fame.  I loved Bliss when it came out, and their new line doesn't disappoint.  

It is so bright and cheerful - I love it.  It's called Ruby, and BD#1 must love me, because she brought home a Fat Eighth bundle of Ruby for me from Sample Spree.  Am I the luckiest mom ever, or what?

Isn't it just yummy?  And I had such a good time talking with Bonnie and Camille. They were so kind.  Check out their own blogs for their own stories.  Suffice it to say I'm in love with both the fabric and the patterns.  Can't wait til Ruby hits the stores.

One of the things that really impressed me about this line is that they are producing coordinating flannels in some of the prints.  The flannels are maybe the softest I have ever felt.  Too yummy!  Bonnie gave me a free receiving blanket pattern I'm dying to try - maybe in Ruby flannels if I can find some.

And we met Sandy Klop of American Jane.  Her booth was so fun - and I didn't get a single picture.  Too busy talking, I guess!

And I loved this quilt by Oliver + S.  Wouldn't this be sweet in a nursery?

This is Dazzle, by Melissa Averinos.

And this is 1001 Peeps, by Lizzie House.  Here's a close-up.  Fun, huh?

Well, I've got to save something for tomorrow, so I'll wish you sweet dreams of yummy fabrics and fun quilt designs.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

More Quilt Market Fun!

This quilt is called "Laundry Day"...  Just too adorable!
Take a walk down the aisles at Quilt Market with me and enjoy some eye candy.  Honestly, I should have taken better notes.  I have some really fun photos, but I am clueless as to who made them or which booths they were in.  If anyone knows or wants to clue me in, leave me a comment or send me an email, and I will give proper credit.  For now, we'll just take a stroll...

Loved the houses in this one.

Isn't this beach scene adorable?
Castles, houses and trees!  What fun!
LOVE the airplanes, trucks and cars.  What a great boy's quilt!

Sometimes, what was on display was just plain overwhelming.  So much to see...

I really liked the sewing panels.  The quilt itself is a little drab for me, but the panels are awesome!

Who says you can only make quilts from quilter's cotton?  What little girl wouldn't love these outfits?

Quilt Market was certainly a visual feast.  I'll be back with more yummy stuff tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wonderful to Get Away... Lovely to Be Home

Union Jack quilt by mother-daughter design team Cabbages and Roses from Spring Quilt Market in SLC
It is always wonderful to get away for a few days...  Different sights, and sounds, and people...  And this year has been so stressful in many ways, that the change was especially appreciated.  It didn't hurt that it was filled with one-on-one "Grandma Time", visits with all three of my children, and some awesome eye candy,

I loved getting to play with sweet little Abby.  At 17 months, she is so much fun.  She is so clever, and sometimes she is just downright hilarious.  Wish I'd brought home a copy of the video her daddy took of her dancing.  She turns circles until she is dizzy, and then she just laughs and claps for herself.  So funny.  And so much fun!

I loved being able to help out while her mommy and daddy made plans to open their online shoppe.  It was great fun to accompany BD#1 to Quilt Market last Friday.  I was so awestruck by all the lovely fabrics, quilts, bags, clothing, and just about anything you can imagine that had anything to do with quilts or textiles.  I took more than 100 photos, and now when I look at them, I think, "Why didn't I take a picture of THAT?"

As an agent for Crafty Fox Fabrics (opening soon), I even got to place a fabric order for some very yummy fabric.  Very fun!  And I even picked up some great loot, some of which I'm sure will be very useful on this blog later (hint!

One of the booths I loved was a triple booth, with Aneela Hoey's Little Apples, Cabbages and Roses' Northcote, and French General's Panier de Fleurs new fabric lines.  All that yummy goodness, and would you believe I only got one photo?  Luckily, BD#1 did a much better job of getting photos of that booth.  In fact, there is a giveaway for a mini charm pack of Aneela Hoey's Little Apples on A Crafty Fox's blog.  Why not head on over and check it out?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Scrapbuster Saturday - A Silk Purse {Out of a Sow's Ear}

Sometimes It seems like I have nothing interesting to say in this blog, but right now, it feels like there is so much going on, I don't know where to start.  Today, Amy of Amy's Creative Side is hosting the Spring Blogger's Quilt Festival, so today I will share my "Ugly Quilt".

Way back in January, Just A Bit Frayed proposed a challenge on Flickr called Save the Uglies.  It seems it wasn't a very popular challenge, and I believe I may have completed the only quilt entry, but just like the MIAGIA quilts I posted about here and here and here, the challenge is to make something attractive out of fabrics you don't really like or maybe wouldn't choose - or worse yet, you did choose them, and now can't seem to understand just what you were thinking.

Just a Bit Frayed sent me some fabrics that I just couldn't imagine how I would use.  One was a Halloween print, and while I don't have anything against Halloween, it isn't my favorite holiday, either, and I have no desire for a Halloween quilt.  So what was I to do?  I think BD#1 thought I was crazy to make it, but I had "won" the fabric, and I felt obligated to complete the quilt.

Along about the middle of March, I was browsing quilting mags in the Navy Exchange, waiting for WH to get a haircut, and I ran across a quilt pattern called "Box of Chocolates".  It combined brown and rust with pink and cream and turned into a really attractive quilt. Of course, those fabrics were created to go together.  Could I do it with these fabrics?

So a couple of weeks ago (yes, I am a procrastinator, but I prefer to think of it as managing my deadlines - LOL), I went through my scrap bag and picked some leftovers from several other quilts I made - some of them years ago.  The pinks are from a quilt I made BD#1 for her birthday in 2007, shown in the photo above.  She is actually using the quilt on her bed now, which makes me happy. 

Most of the other browns are from a log cabin quilt I made eons ago.    The one piece of "new" fabric was a piece of L'amour that BD#1 sent me a few weeks ago.  I actually think she was a little bit offended that I used it in the Ugly Quilt, but it tied the browns and pinks together so well, I couldn't resist.

 I finished the blocks just before I packed to come to Utah, and put them together the other day during nap time.  I think the addition of the pinks and creams hides the ugliness of the ugly fabrics pretty well.  I tried to make the Halloween pieces small enough that you weren't sure whether it was really  a Halloween fabric, or not. 

Friday night, after our day at Quilt Market, I assembled the back, made my sandwich, and did the quilting, and this morning, I put my scrappy binding around the edges and presto-chango - I think it turned into a really attractive quilt.

Even BD#1, who said that it contained "some really unappealing fabrics" concedes that the finished quilt "turned out very pretty".

 One of the highlights for me of making this quilt was doing the actual quilting on BD#1's Bernina QE440.  It was really a blast.  I am not great at FMQ yet, and while the Bernina FMQ feature is awesome, I had a lot of trouble with stops and starts and the weight of the quilt making "designs" I didn't intend.  But overall, it was a lot of fun.  And it went so fast!!  I love my machine.  It was a gift of love (which is probably a story I'll tell another time) and it has some really awesome features, but I certainly can't do FMQ this easily or quickly on it.

And I like that this quilt fits into my Scrapbuster Saturday category.  I used a TON of scraps in this quilt, in addition to the 2 ugly FQs, the L'amour, and the backing fabric.

My grandmother used to say that you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, and most of the time that is true, but maybe sometimes, you CAN make a silk purse out of a sow's ear - at least in a quilt.