Thursday, June 30, 2011

Making Progress

In the midst of all the wedding stuff to do, I have commitments to keep and deadlines looming.  This was yesterday's finish for my partner in the Spicing Up the Kitchen Swap round 2.  I have some accessories to finish to go with it - towels, apron and pot holders I think, and then it's ready to go in the mail.

I got this guy backed and bound for PTS5, but I haven't taken a picture yet.  It's just too dark for me - all the gray reminds me of a rainy day - but after all, I didn't make it for me.  I think a hexi needlebook and maybe some perle cotton will complete this package.

All I've managed to get done on the Santa Sack Swap so far is the sack.  I have some great ideas, but nothing has actually come to fruition yet.  I'm sorry Pauline.  I hope to work on it tonight and get it in the mail.  No photos, obviously.  I feel terribly guilty, since Pauline mailed mine at the first of June!  She's obviously an overachiever {grin}.

And then there's the wedding...  It's really terribly difficult to plan a wedding 2000 miles away, but we're muddling through it.  Today's task?  Invitations.  She wants something kind of different and fun, so I need to find a printer who can do what she wants.  So, I'm off to work, where I will spend my lunch hour looking for wedding invitations.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Placemat Swap Reveal

My partner received her placemats in the mail yesterday from Placemat Quilt Swap 6, so I can now share what I sent her.  She asked for something summery and said her absolute favorite color is red and her favorite fabric is gingham.  She has a 5-year old son who will be heading off to school in the fall, so I wanted the placemats to be a little bit fun.  So I started out with this pieced watermelon idea. I thought they might be fun for picnics or pretend picnics maybe.

For the other side, I chose these bright yellow dragonflies.  I think it might have been OK to stop there, but while we were teasing each other, my partner mentioned that she liked these placemats that I did awhile back, so I thought, "why not?"  I saw a pattern somewhere for a placemat with a pocket (although I think that one rolled up to take along on picnics), so I decided to applique the fruit motifs onto a pocket for napkins or flatware.

I wanted to include a cloth napkin, but I could only find white, and that just wasn't what I was going for.  That and the time constraints, and - no.  Anyway,  each of the pockets is different.  I toyed with making the pear red, but I just couldn't.

So, an appliqued kitchen towel, one of my famous hexi needlebooks, and the package was complete.  I got the nicest thank you email yesterday from my partner, meanfish2.  It really made my day.

That is until I realized that my own placemats had arrived in the mail too. Perfect timing for  a non-secret swap, huh?

Aren't they gorgeous?  And fun!  I'm having a blast examining all the different fabrics she used.  LOVE the strawberries.  And apparently she stalked me well enough to know that I love anything paisley. 

And wouldn't it be fun to use them in pairs as a table runner?

Oh, I am so excited.  These are great!  Meanfish2, you're the bomb! Thanks so much

Monday, June 27, 2011

Oh - One More Thing!

Awhile back, during Quilt Market, in fact, I completed my Ugly Quilt for the Save the Uglies Quilt Challenge.  I received two pieces of seriously ugly fabric in the mail and the challenge was to make a quilt from these hideous fabrics.

Well, as it turns out, I was the only entrant into the contest.  But, the organizers awarded me a prize anyway, which was a $25 gift certificate to Pink Castle Fabrics.  I had a really fun time shopping and choosing, and this week, I received my package.

And since I'm on something of a fabric diet due to the upcoming wedding (lack of sewing time and hit on the pocketbook), this little treat was especially welcome.  There's some Ruby Star Rising viewfinders (oh, yes, that reminds me of my childhood), some Lizzy House Castle Peeps, some Newsprint, a little Farmdale, and some Heather Ross Mendocino.  All things my LQS doesn't have and super fun!

So, just one more piece of fun mail!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fun Mail

Lately, when WH goes to get the mail, he is frequently heard to call out, "You've got fun mail."  I love that he is almost as excited as I am to see those interesting envelopes show up in the box.  

So, guess what I got in the mail yesterday?  {Jumps up and down and dances in circles!}  My Sewn Spaces Swap sewing machine cover came!  Would you just look how cute this is?  LRH is so adorable inside the star.  Can't wait to put this baby on my machine!  I asked for bright and cheerful, and this certainly fills the bill.  So, so cute!

My partner, quiltergirl80 had a family emergency and was called away in the middle of the swap.  I have to admit that before I knew the story, I despaired of getting a cover.  I consoled myself with the thought that I got a great cover from Suzettra in the Make Mine Modern Swap, notwithstanding the fact that I have 4 sewing machines.  Or is it 5? 

But despite a pretty darn difficult month, Kristy came home and sat down and made a cover for my sewing machine.  I am pretty impressed.  And, I'm pretty durn lucky, huh!

And that wasn't all the "fun mail" I've received this week.  I got  6 more blocks for my Christmas quilt and the fabric to make the block for Marci's block.  Too fun!

Here are my 6 blocks!

CF Bee Blocks from Julie @ Distant Pickles

CF Bee Blocks from kristina_withak

CF Bee Blocks from toerintx
So, we've had a pretty fun mail week here.

And in other news, I finally finished the placemats for  Placemat Quilt Swap 6.  Here's another sneak peek. 

When I finished the quilting on the other side, I got this idea that it would be fun to embroider the dragonflies.  Boy, did that take forever.  I figured it would take about an hour or so for each placemat.  It took more like 4 hours each.  And you know, once you've begun, the only thing to do is continue on.  I did one Thursday evening and one Friday evening and started at 6 am Saturday.  With only a few minutes off for breakfast and a shower, I finally finished about 1:30.  Then I had to bind them, package them, and head off to the post office.  So, they were late, but not by much.  I'm pretty happy with them.  I hope my partner thinks they're worth the wait.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Scrapbuster Saturday - Scrap Vomit Pillow Top

 I've been agonizing over what to make for my Pillow Talk Swap partner this round.  My partner is an awesome quilter, and gave some very specific hints of what she would like in a pillow, including fabrics (none of which I had), size, and colors.  BD#1 was nice enough to hook me up with charm squares of some of the listed fabrics when I was at her house earlier in the month, but I still didn't know what to make.  Then, as we were chatting the other day, she said, "Mom, you should make a scrap vomit pillow.'  I have to tell you that I was somewhat horrified.  The name of the block just wasn't appealing at all. 

BD#1 persevered, however, and directed me to this website.  I have to admit, the quilt is far more appealing than its name.  On the other hand, there was no chance that I would forget it, either, which is a plus.

Scrap vomit is an easy block to put together and frankly, is a lot of fun.  I enjoyed the piecing process on this one.

This is supposed to be a close up of the actual quilting.  Can you see it?  After my frustrating experience with the MIAGIA quilt in this post, my friend Jessica commented and told me about the Free Motion Quilting Project.  What an awesome resource!  The instructions are so clear and easy to follow, and there is a video for each of her quilting designs.  Just watch and do.  This one is a beginner design called Spiral Illusion.  It was really fun.

So, I have the top made.  Just have to put the back on and get this guy in the mail.  I might actually get it done by the deadline.  Amazing!

Meanwhile, if you're in the mood for a giveaway, check out the awesome giveaway on my friend Leona's blog.

Happy quilting!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sneak Peek - PQS6

I've been working all week on these placemats.  They are taking me much longer than I anticipated. I decided to do a little hand embroidery, and for some reason, that is taking me forever.  I ran out of red embroidery thread (seems impossible, I know, but there it is) and had to make a quick run to JoAnn's just before they closed last night.  I was really pretty good in there - for the first time in my life I think, the tab was less than $10.  I didn't buy any cut fabric.  Not a single book.  Nada.  Just  one itty bitty remnant and some embroidery floss. Pretty amazing. 

So, I still have a bunch of work to do.  I have the embroidery nearly done on only one of the 4 placemats.  So I need to finish the other three and bind the little goodies, and then they are off in the mail to Stacey (meanfish2).  The deadline is today, so I hope to finish them this evening and get them in the mail by midnight - thank goodness for postal machines!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Progress

Here are my finishes for this weekend.  Hard to believe it's all I have to show for a whole weekend's work...  Well, I did finish 8 placemat tops, but they're not quilted yet and I can't take pics until my partner receives them.  So here goes...

Black and White "Pop" Block for misscarolann53

Black and White "pop" block for misscarolann53

CF Bee block for Julie@DistantPickles

Mug Rug Swap Adventure 2 for my partner

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Progress Report and Giveaway Winner

I've been making some progress this weekend on all of my swaps and projects, although I have yet to actually FINISH anything.  Maybe I'll get some things accomplished this afternoon, although I am feeling the need for a nap.

Meanwhile, we do have a winner of the Little Apples mini charm pack and it is....


Comment #11, which is my friend Jessica from Australia who is a regular follower - and frequent commenter and encourager - of my blog.  Thanks, Jessica, for your friendship and your encouragement, even though we've never met.  Jessica, send me your address, and I'll get this little package in the mail very soon.

And thanks to everyone who left comments.  You all shared some great wedding planning ideas, and I am certain that many of them will be put to good use.  We had almost decided against favors, but some of your ideas have encouraged me to re-think that.  I can't wait to share them with BD#2.  I also got some great decorating ideas from your comments.

Thanks everyone.  I appreciate it.  I hope to have some finished projects - and pictures - later on.

And while I don't suppose there are many dads out there reading this, nevertheless...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mail Call!

PP7 received from quiltndot2003

The mailman has been pretty good to me for the last 10 days or so, but I haven't managed to stop long enough to take pictures.  I finally received my PP7 potholders and bag, and they were worth waiting for.  I love the yellow, and the aqua flowers with red centers make them so sunny and cheerful.  The watermelon market bag is perfect as well.  I love the watermelon seed lining.

3x6 beeblock from Dorrie
I also received my last 3x6 bee block made by Dorrie.  I love the tiles, and the flower in the center is so fun.  I'm sitting out the next round of this swap, for obvious reasons (something to do with a wedding), and I'm really kind of sad about it.  I'm hoping for 6 more awesome blocks and I'll make my sampler quilt.

Blocks received from the citrus surprise swap
I also received my 10 blocks from the Citrus Surprise block swap.  Won't this make a fun quilt?  I was sorry that more people didn't participate in this swap (I seem to have a knack for random swaps) but it was fun.  The other 3 ladies that participated in this swap were far more creative than I was.  I made 10 of the same block using slightly different fabrics, while everyone else made each block different.  That was seriously too much work for me - in fact, it didn't even occur to me - but I'm glad it worked out that way.  This will make a fun sampler quilt too.

CF Bee blocks from Stephanie
I received my first two CF Bee blocks.  I'm going for a Christmas village.  My inspiration was a bunch of Flickr blocks and the song "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas."  I think Stephanie did a great job.  There are also some awesome blocks in the Flickr group pool.  Can't wait to assemble all these and get my "village" built!

Santa Sack Swap from Pauline in the UK

And I received my first installment of Santa Sack Swap goodies from Pauline in the UK.  She is really on the ball, isn't she, considering that I haven't started yet.  The good news is that I do know exactly what I'm going to make.  Better get with it.  Do you know how hard it is to get goodies - especially international goodies - in the mail and not open them?

Aurifil Thread from Leona's Quilting Adventure sponsored giveaway

And believe it or not, I actually won a giveaway.  I have heard so much online about this thread, I was excited to win some to try.   The giveaway was on my friend Leona's blog.  She was my partner in one of my very first swaps - Spicing Up the Kitchen, I think.  Anyway, thank you, Leona.  I guess now I'll have to modify my, "I never win anything" lament to "I seldom win anything."  It's nice to break my losing streak though!

Ah, I love good mail.

Friday, June 17, 2011

So Far Behind... Big Sewing Weekend Planned

This is the PTS4 pillow I received from Lexiloo in January
Don't forget about my Little Apples giveaway  which ends Saturday at midnight Central time. 

Since BD#1 introduced me to Flickr and swapping last fall, I've been having a great time.  I have had fun making projects for others, and received some awesome things in return.  I have tried things I might never have tried if it hadn't been for the creative challenge of the swap.  My own creativity has been stimulated as I observed what others have done.  It has been a blast.

But, as with so many things in my life, if a little is good, a lot is better.  When I was a kid, my mom would say that my eyes were bigger than my stomach.  I think maybe it's the same principle.

And I didn't expect the distraction of a wedding...  or a second trip to Salt Lake City in less than a month...

And so now I am way behind, and deadlines are looming.

The good news is that I have this weekend to sew, and I am determined to get these projects done on time (the placemat swap is due June 23, but everything else is due July 1). 

Here is my list for the weekend:

1.  Placemat Quilt Swap 6.  This one is new to me and it sounded like so much fun!  My partner keeps sending me teasing emails and even posted a black and white picture of her project, complete with polka dots and stripes, and it has points, similar to a Dresden.  Such a tease!  And I know what I'm going to do - finally - so it's just a matter of sitting down to do it.  Let's just say that I'm thinking "summer"...

2.  Pillow Talk Swap 5.  I loved PTS4, although that was my first "real" swap.  I really struggled with it, and I don't think I would do that project again if I had it to do over, but it was a real learning experience.  I received not one but TWO great pillows from my partner.  Here's the second one...

This is the other pillow I received in PTS4 from my partner, Lexiloo.
3.  Mug Rug Swap Adventure 2.  This is another swap that is new to me, but it sounded like so much fun.  One of my partners from a prior swap is the swap mama.  Mug rugs are amazingly hard for me.  They are so small and look so easy, but their size is deceptive.  But I have an idea for this one too, and just have to execute it in fabric.  For this one, I'm thinking "beach"....

4.  Spicing Up the Kitchen.  I did the first round of this swap and it was a blast. My partner gave some pretty good hints, so I know exactly what I want to do for this one, but my idea seems a little bit challenging, and will require WH's help.  I've been admiring the embroidery hoop clocks - in fact, BD#1 actually received one in a swap and I wanted to swipe it, but restrained myself.  Anyway, I found an awesome tutorial online, and can't wait to try it.  I really struggled with this one last time too, but I'm hoping this time it will go smoothly.

5.  Santa Sack Swap.  This one is not a Flickr swap, but it sounded like so much fun.  You make a large Santa Sack, and two items and send to your partner on July 1st.  Then, 2 items a month until December.  On Christmas Day, your partner gets to open her sack with all her gifts in it.  This one isn't a secret swap, so I'll have to be discrete with the photos and hints.  My partner is Pauline from the UK.  She has already sent me her 1st package, so I really feel like a slacker.

6.  Christmas Fabric Bee.  June was my month for the CF Bee, and I mailed my fabric {almost} on time (it went out June 1st), so that's one I can wait a little bit on.  {The blocks the ladies are making and posting on Flickr are AWESOME!!!  I'm so excited about this quilt.  It is going to be way fun!}  The other QB for June is Julie, and she chose a "village" of trees and houses.  My assignment is a tree block, so that shouldn't be too hard, although she wanted pieced blocks, not appliqued, so that takes a little more thinking maybe.

7.  First Time Bee.  Carol has asked  us to do a black and white block with a pop of color.  I have ideas of what I will do for my two blocks, so it's just a matter of actually doing it.

So, I think that's it.  Over committed?  Undoubtedly.  Insurmountable?  No, I don't think so.

I will say that I have scaled way back for the rest of the summer.  I have a wedding to help organize and a wedding dress to alter, after all.  The good news is that it's too hot to be distracted by ANYTHING that has to do with outside. { It IS Father's Day weekend, and WH probably deserves a bit of attention.  I told him I'd take him to a movie.  And we'll probably do dinner or something easy.}

And I just couldn't resist another round of the Make Mine Modern swap - it was SO much fun last time, but I don't even have my partner for that one yet, so I've got awhile. 

Anyway wish me luck - and a productive weekend.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wedding Ideas - and a Giveaway!

So, can I just tell you how complicated it is to plan a wedding in Utah when the bride is in Idaho, the groom is in Canada, and the bride's mom is in Florida?

We did have some success in our whirlwind wedding planning adventure last weekend.  We were successful in the search for a dress, a photographer, and a venue for the reception.

I was somewhat surprised at the number of vendors who told us we were coming late to the party, given that BD#2 has only been engaged for 2 weeks.  Still, I think it can be done, and done well, even on a budget.

Now we need -

a caterer (complete with linens, china, silverware, etc.)
a wedding cake (and groom's cake)
bridesmaid's dresses
decorations for the reception venue and food tables

So, I'd love it if you would share your recommendations for any of the above.

Now, for the fun part...

Several weeks ago, before all the wedding madness began, I promised another giveaway from all my Quilt Market loot.  So here's your chance.  If you leave me a comment, you will have a chance to win a mini charm pack of Aneela Hoey's Little Apples, along with the instructions to make the cute embroidered pillow from Quilt Market (you can see the pillow on my daughter's blog, here).   Adorable, huh?

So, if you live in the Salt Lake area, and you can recommend a baker or florist or caterer, that would be so very helpful.  (It's really hard to choose if you aren't from the area and don't know ANYONE, by reputation, or otherwise.)  If you don't have recommendations for those, how about a great tip for an elegant and inexpensive idea for table decorations or for the space itself (indoors or out) - think large space and blank canvas.

So, please leave a comment with your recommendation, suggestion, or hint.  If you're a follower, or become a follower, you can leave another comment for a second chance to win.  This Giveaway will close Saturday night at midnight, and I'll draw the winner sometime Sunday afternoon.

Thanks for your help, everyone!  I'm looking forward to some great new ideas!

PS:  Be sure I have a way to contact you if you win...  If you're a "no-reply" blogger, I don't have a way to contact you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Say "YES" to the Dress

The first dress she tried on - close, but not exactly what she was looking for
You may be wondering where I've been lately.  This poor little blog has been terribly neglected.  Well, in addition to a really busy week at work last week, I left Thursday to fly out to Salt Lake City to help BD#2 make some wedding plans.  Of course, a byproduct of flying standby is never really knowing when you are going to arrive, which always makes things more interesting...

This one was beautiful, but - no
Luckily, I had made some appointments for the afternoon, and people were very supportive and helpful when they found out I was traveling so far and had such a short time - 2-1/2 days - to get everything accomplished.

This one had real possibilities - the French tulle was lovely - but... no
And such was the end of Day 1.

We thought we might have found it at store #2, but...  no.

Store #3 carried only 100% silk gowns and didn't have anything within our budget, but they were very helpful.

Store #4 was very promising, although we got really lost getting there....

I never realized before how exhausting wedding dress shopping could be - even for the one watching!

This one was lovely...  Hated the ruffly thing on the shoulder, though.

This one was very close to what we thought she wanted...

Not really fond of the corset back - it makes even thin girls look not-so-thin.

This one wasn't what we were looking for.


Found it!

Notwithstanding it is 10 sizes too big, it is a one-of-a-kind, and perfect. Lots of work for mom, but...

Just lovely.