Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Merry, Merry Month of May

I've been a crazy swapping fool during the month of May.  To say I was over-committed is a gross understatement, but I got it all done (just in the nick of time!) and they are all on their way to their new homes.  In fact, some of them have arrived already.

Pot Holders for PP11.

The Circles Mini for the DS Quilts Doll Quilt Swap.

The Mannequin Pinnie for the FLiPs Swap.

The napkins for my private swap with Peggy.

The pineapple ticker tape mini for the Mini QT swap.

And finally, the last swap of May was the Oven Glove/Pot Holders in the Super Swaps Swap.   The photo at the top is my co-worker modeling the coordinating apron as well.

 I still do have a couple of bee blocks to make, but I will get at least one of them done this weekend.  The other is a Dear Jane block to hand -sew, which may take me awhile. 

It was a pretty busy month, but I got all the swaps done, at least.

And I still managed to complete some granny squares...

Some hexie blocks...

A 12-inch Swoon test block...

And 3 quilt tops, which are still WIPs, but at least the tops are finished.

All in all, it was a pretty good month.

Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day

Monday, May 28, 2012

Fun Mail

In this post I mentioned that Peggy (mydaytocraft) and I did a private Table Top Swap.  She made me these lovely napkins

 and I made her these

And I told how I was worried that mine were lost in the mail because I hadn't heard from her.  When she responded, she said she was distracted because she was making angel pot holders for the PP11 swap.  Well, little did I know that the person she was making the angel potholders for was me!

The theme was summer and I think she nailed it.  Aren't they fun!

And if you like irony, you'll love this...  See all that beautiful hand stitching on the kite pot holder?  Well, that is the thread I sent as "extras" in the napkin swap we did. 

Peggy, I love my pot holders.  So, so fun!

I also received a lovely package from Pam (imadelong) in the DS Quilts Doll Quilt Swap.  It is amazing.

The piece de resistance is the doll quilt itself of course.  I was blown away.   The embroidery, the quilting, the piecing, the color.... Pinwheels, stars and hourglasses, oh my! 

Check out the cool label.  In another burst of irony, Pam and I were double partners and didn't know it.  She received my circles mini.  What is ironic to me after seeing her label is that my first idea - the one that didn't work - was a zig zag quilt.  I love this idea.  I really struggle with quilt labels.  I may have to borrow (because stealing is SO tacky) her idea.

And look at the cool hanger she put on the back for me...

Sadly, her quilt has neither a label nor hangers.  The label, because I forgot and the hangers because I didn't think of it in the first place.

 Pam also included this amazing sewing kit, AND all the goodies inside.  I was blown away.  I can go anywhere now totally prepared to sew.

 It is entirely possible, however, that I would have been totally satisfied with this swap if I had only received the card.  This is so perfect for me, I think I may have to frame it.  I have always said that I'm not sewing, I'm doing FABRIC THERAPY.  I tell WH that fabric therapy is cheaper than a shrink.  The truth is, I'm not sure he really believes me any more.

I am over the moon with both these swaps.  I hope my partners like their items half as well as I like what I received.  Thank you Peggy and Pam for the great swaps.

I was really over-committed for May and I still have at least 3 swaps to receive and one more to make and send. 

Guess what's on the docket for today?  Yup.  This last swap for the Super Swaps group is due to be mailed by the 31st. 

And then I think I'm slowing down a little for the summer.  I'm only doing the Table Top Swap and the Modernista Swap, which, by the way, is still open to new participants until Thursday.  If you want more info, check out this post.  Care to join us? 

I think I'll head for the sewing machine to finish my oven glove for my Super Swaps partner.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I've had several quilt tops in progress for a few weeks - some longer than others, of course, and yesterday, I  managed to finish them.  I was pretty jazzed to get the tops pieced, to be honest.  The down side is that now I have to sandwich them.  I really love the piecing and I don't mind the quilting or binding, but the sandwiching is my least favorite part.

Is there a part of the quilt process you're not especially fond of??

I know that sandwiching is a necessary part of the process, but the older I get, the less I like it. Maybe it's the crawling around on the floor.  I did see a method to do it on a table top and pin it in sections, using binder clips to hold it taut.  I don't have a suitable table, but someday I just may invest in one.  Since we put in our hardwood floors in 2007, crawling around on my knees has been anything but comfortable.

This is another quilt top from Camille Roskelly's book Simplify made from American Jane's Fairy Tale Friends fabrics by Moda.  It uses a charm square pack and a honey bun, along with the sashing.  I used a bone sashing on this quilt, although it looks white in the photo.  It's a little smaller than my normal quilt, but would be fine for a child.

I love the fabric.  It's so bright and fresh, although my photography doesn't do it justice.  I bought the charm pack last fall from my daughter's little shop, Westwood Acres, but it wasn't until I found the honey bun that I knew it was the perfect fit for Camille's pattern, "Square One". 

I've had some of Aneela Hoey's Little Apples sitting around here for awhile.  I met Aneela at last year's Quilt Market in SLC and it was such a pleasure.  I love this fabric.  I had a charm pack, a jelly roll, and a fat quarter bundle that I actually won from Pink Chalk Fabrics and I have been debating what to do with it for months.

I wanted to showcase the fabric, so the pattern had to be something that wouldn't require me cutting this adorable fabric in to teeny little pieces.  In the end, I kind of did my own thing. I surrounded each charm square in a length of jelly roll, and then joined 4 of them into a reverse bento-ish square, with the jelly roll to the center.  I really liked the blocks when they were finished.  I used a narrow yellow (Kona Buttercup to be exact) sashing because the blocks had so much white, and I wanted them to stand out.  I tried a border of randomly sized jelly roll pieces for the outer border, but it was just too much.  I finally decided that the white was perfect.  It's so fresh and clean, it kinda thrills me.  (There I go with my brights on white thing again - it doesn't take much to get me excited!)

Those of you who have visited here a time or two know that gray is just not my favorite color, but I rather like it in this line, although it does kind of remind me of winter, rather than summer.  Even so, I was pretty pleased with how the top turned out.  I'm looking forward to quilting this one.

 My final finish yesterday was this little "Sweet Pea" quilt, again from Camille's book.  I had a charm pack of Lizzie House's Outfoxed from Westwood Acres and a Kona charm pack I got in my swag from Sewing Summit last fall.  I was playing with my stash when I noticed how well the colors went together.  One of the things I really like about Amanda and Weston's shop is that you can get charms and jelly rolls of fabrics that aren't manufactured that way.  Sometimes it's fun to just play with a little bit of something, and not make a big investment.  They painstakingly cut them and make them available for sale.  It's like having them do most of the work.  I love it!  I'm not sure you can get Outfoxed charms anywhere else. 

Some of the prints in this line are just so cute.  I love the foxes and the hedgehogs!  There are only something like 25 pieces in Outfoxed, so I needed a pattern that mixed them up pretty well.  The way the charms are sliced and switched in "Sweet Pea" was perfect.  Some of the blocks used two solids, and some of the blocks had solids mixed in with the Outfoxed charms .  I wanted the Outfoxed fabric for the border, and had a difficult time finding yardage of the Outfoxed print in the brown "Outsmarted" color.  I finally found it and placed my  earlier this week, and it arrived in yesterday's mail.  Perfect timing, don't you think?

I love the little bow on this one.  I bought some brown polka dot ribbon, but it was way too busy, so in the end, I settled for the orange.

The Sweet Pea pattern calls for scalloped borders, but you don't cut the scallops until you finish the quilting.  And I neglected to enlarge the pattern 133%, so I'm going to have to make a run to Kinko's - but not today.

Guess I'd better get busy.  I think I'll go put on a movie and lay these babies out on the floor and get started with the sandwiching.  Once that's done, I'm home free.

Happy quilting!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day Update! And the other winner is...

Well, I promised a solution to my comment numbering dilemma today, and I am determined to make good on my promise.  Ladies (and gentlemen?) we have a solution.

I made a run to Jo-Ann's today and picked up 8 more fat quarters of yummy DS Quilts fabrics.  It's not exactly the same selection as the last one because they were sold out of some of the prints....  Or they weren't in the right place, which is entirely possible with Jo-Ann's, but I'm pretty good at searching, if I do say so myself.  And it's late and I'm too lazy to take pictures, so you'll have to take my word for it that they are lovely.  And if I'm less lazy tomorrow, I'll take pictures of this yummy fabric stack AND the 3 quilt tops I finished today (which explains why it's so late and why I'm so tired.)

 {cue the drumroll again please...)

The winner is -

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-05-27 05:11:58 UTC

who is -

226  Debora K May 25, 2012 10:42 AM 
I'm excited about the quilt kit giveaway at Inchworm Fabrics. It's #55 on the U.S. only Sewmamasew list.

So, congratulations Debora K and I'll send you an email shortly to get your snail mail address.  Your package will be in the mail on Tuesday.
There.  No more guilt.  A long aaaaaaahhhh sigh of relief.  

And now, with that settled, I'm off to bed.  Hopefully, there will be some sandwiching and quilting on the docket after church tomorrow.

Sweet dreams.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day Update! And the winner is...

I had a great time with this spring's Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, didn't you?  I met so many wonderful people and got to visit so many great blogs!  It was a little intense trying to answer all the comments, and if I missed yours, I'm sorry.  I still have a few in my inbox I haven't gotten to yet.  And all the giveaways were a bit overwhelming, but everyone was so generous and there was such great variety.  It was great fun and I had a blast.  

I have learned a few things this week during my ramblings in blogland, and I thought I might share some of them...

1.  People are right when they say that comment verification is a pain, but it's better than the alternative.

2.  I didn't have good luck with raffle copter at all.  That widget just made me crazy.  Call me stupid, but I just couldn't figure it out.

3.  I like following through Google better than Facebook, RSS Feed, Email, or any other way.  That way, when I have a mind to go blog surfing, all my favorite blogs are right there in one place, in the order of most recent posting.  Makes it so easy to go visit my friends.  I'm really sad that Google turned off Google Friend Connect for non-Blogger blogs.

4.  I'm not ready to start tweeting and have another communications medium to try to keep up with.  I have enough trouble managing my blog, my work email, my home email, Flickr, Facebook and Insta-gram.  Nope.  I'm not ready to tweet just now.

5.  People in blogland are so nice and so very generous.  I really enjoyed meeting everyone and visiting all the cool blogs and entering all the giveaways.  Thanks to those who left comments for pointing me to the ones you liked best.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to visit and left a comment.  And a special thanks to everyone who clicked "follow".  I am really jazzed that anyone would want to read my ramblings.  I love it when people stop by and leave comments.  The giveaway comments were no different - I loved reading what all of you had to say.
And now, I have an announcement to make!

{trumpets here!} Since I'm so close to 200 followers, I'll be having another giveaway for the other 8 DS Quilts fat quarters (2 total yards of fabric) on the day (or as close to it as I discover it) I reach 200 followers, and maybe a special gift for follower #200.  So stay tuned, as they used to say on TV!  It could be any day now, because I'm pretty close!

And now, if you missed the Update on the SMS Giveaway Post, here it is again...

{Disclaimer:  I had a terrible time figuring out who the winner is.  Blogger says I have 248 comments, but I counted them electronically and by writing down each one, and I only come up with 199.  Add to that that since Blogger instituted the reply feature my comment counter doesn't work, and figuring this out is a nightmare.  I tried printing them all, but my printer ran out of both ink and paper, so that wasn't very successful...  Anyway, if you count them differently than I do, I apologize.  I really tried.} 

NOTE:  After I posted the above comment, I received a visit from CeLynn at The Sunflower Patch. She told me about Jenelle's blog which described a way - an easy way - to add comment numbering back on Blogger.  I tried it, and it worked.  Note that there are now numbered comments in the comments section.  Very cool.  Hopefully, I won't have to try to figure out how to count comments again.  EVER.

Not only that, but I found the other 49 missing comments.  I'm really not sure which ones were missing actually, but it is clear that some of you were disenfranchised by this whole comment numbering/missing comment thing.  And that makes me unhappy.  And feeling guilty.  You entered and you deserved to be counted.  But the winner has already been selected.  So, I'm working on a plan to have another drawing for another prize, but I don't know exactly what yet, since I've already committed the other 8 FQ's to my 200 follower giveaway.  But I'll think of something, so please hang in there.  I plan to have a solution by tomorrow, Saturday, May 26.  

I'll get back to you.  Promise! 

And now {insert drum roll here} the moment we've all been waiting for....  The winner is

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-05-26 01:24:53 UTC
... who is  
MargaretMay 24, 2012 12:18 PM
Hi-so many great giveaways- and yours looks great but you might also like Jayme@FindingSweetland- offering some very cool IKEA fabric!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
Margaret, I'll be sending  you an email to get your address and get this yummy little bundle in the mail to you on Tuesday.  

Thanks to everyone who played along.  I had a great time reading your comments and visiting the blogs you suggested.  It was way fun! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pineapple Ticker Tape Mini

 Note:  If you're looking for the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway, go here.  Sorry - the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway has ended.

One of the swaps I have participated in a few times is the Mini QT Swap.  Each swap has a theme, and everyone who wants to participate signs up and is matched with a partner.  Since you know who your partner is, you have to be a little sneaky in posting pictures.

Here is the picture I posted.  Sneaky enough?

This time, the theme was ticker tape quilts.  I have made a couple of ticker tape quilts and blocks, and the prospect is kind of daunting.  All those tiny pieces have to fit just so for it to look right.  Anyway, my partner was Denise (dwriter_3) and in looking through her photostream and the things she had created, it seemed to me she liked fruits and veggies and gardening.  Then I saw a picture of a quilty pineapple on Pinterest, and an idea was born.  I would make a ticker tape pineapple for Denise!

While I was sick, I set about the planning.  I printed out a pineapple coloring page off the internet and traced the shape onto my white Kona, which was slightly bigger than I wanted my little quilt to end up.

Then, I went through my scrap bag and pulled out every yellow and green I could find and arranged them into my traced shape, then trimmed them and pinned them down where I thought they would go.

When I finished the pineapple, it looked boring, so I echo quilted around the shape.

It still looked kinda boring.

Then I remembered that somewhere I had heard that in Hawaii, the pineapple is a symbol of welcome.  Perfect!  It's a wall hanging after all, right.  What better message to convey?  So I printed the word WELCOME in a nice big outline font, got out my Wonder Under (hate that stuff, BTW - will NOT buy it again) and traced my letters backwards onto the Wonder Under, then ironed pressed them onto the wrong side of my fabric.  (NOTE to self:  Wonder Under works much better with a HOT iron, NO steam, and NO iron movement.  Also, sometimes sticking a pin between the web and the backing helps to separate the two without losing the bonding qualities of the web.)

Once the letters were placed and the backing removed, I pressed them down and stitched.


Add a little binding and you have one ticker tape mini quilt.  Finished!

Don't you love it when it's finished?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Table for Two Please

If you're looking for the SMS Giveaway post, go here!  Sorry, the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway has ended.

A couple of months ago, I was poking around Flickr-land when I realized that I had missed the sign ups for a swap I was actually pretty excited about.  I left a whiny comment, and a couple of days later Amy, the swap mama, contacted me and asked if I wanted to do a private swap with someone who hadn't swapped before.  I thought about it for - oh - about 10 seconds and then jumped in with both feet.  For one thing, Peggy (mydaytocraft) offered to angel the swap.  THAT takes real dedication and interest.  For another, she had some gorgeous things in her photostream - not a lot of things, of course, but we all have to start somewhere, right?  For another, I really like cloth napkins, and handmade cloth napkins, well, I really, really like those.

So we made contact with each other, set a mailing date, and communicated a little about what we liked.  I advised her to add to her favorites and make a mosaic so I'd have some ideas about what she liked.  I did a little stalking of her blog and photostream.  And before I knew it, it was almost the mailing date and I hadn't started.  Oops!  So I got busy sewing, and popped them in the mail on the day.  And a couple of days later, I got this gorgeous package in the mail.

But I didn't hear whether she received my package or not.  I was getting worried.  Finally, I FM'd her and yes, she had gotten it, but she was distracted by angel-ing another swap on short notice.  Now THAT's dedication.  (Did I say that before?)

Aren't they gorgeous?  Absolutely classic.  And they go really well with my kitchen.  Lucky, lucky me.

But now that I know that she has received my package, I can show mine here too.  These are the napkins I created for her:

She said they use cloth napkins every day in their family, and sometimes use them more than once if they're not soiled, so I thought it would be great to make them each a little different.  I used a selection of DS Quilts fabrics, which seem to be my "go to" fabrics lately.  Each napkin is different on the back, and the same on the front, except for the "binding" which is just carried over from the front.  Each one has a different "citrus" applique.

I was actually amazed at how well each of these went together (although looking at the photos now, I realize I should have pressed them again before their "photo shoot".)  I really didn't fuss with them at all.  I cut the front 2" smaller than the back and then just folded the back over the front.  I mitered the corners simply by folding the corner in diagonally, and then folding the sides over 1/2" and then again right at the ironing board.  I barely pinned them.  Easy peasy.

The napkin rings were just two DS Quilts fabrics sewn together and bound, and closed with velcro, and then a button sewn over the velcro to hide the stitching.  I believe I cut the napkin rings to 2-1/2" by 5".  They were pretty darn easy too.

This was a fun project and a fantastic swap.  Thanks, Peggy, for swapping with me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

 UPDATE:  Thanks to everyone who stopped by.  I have tried to answer all the comments you left, but I know there are still a few I haven't gotten to yet - but I will.  Hasn't SMS Giveaway Week been fun?  Overwhelming, but fun!  

{Disclaimer:  I had a terrible time figuring out who the winner is.  Blogger says I have 248 comments, but I counted them electronically and by writing down each one, and I only come up with 199.  Add to that that since Blogger instituted the reply feature my comment counter doesn't work, and figuring this out is a nightmare.  I tried printing them all, but my printer ran out of both ink and paper, so that wasn't very successful...  Anyway, if you count them differently than I do, I apologize.  I really tried.} 

There is more to this story.  Read here.  

And now {insert drum roll here} the moment we've all been waiting for....  The winner is

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2012-05-26 01:24:53 UTC
... who is  
MargaretMay 24, 2012 12:18 PM
Hi-so many great giveaways- and yours looks great but you might also like Jayme@FindingSweetland- offering some very cool IKEA fabric!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
Margaret, I'll be sending  you an email to get your address and get this yummy little bundle in the mail to you on Tuesday.  

Thanks to everyone who played along.  I had a great time reading your comments and visiting the blogs you suggested.  It was way fun! 

I know, I know - I should title this post "A Day Late and a Dollar Short", but I just couldn't let this week go by (again) without playing in the SMS Giveaway Day Week.  It has always been so much fun for me to check out the cool blogs and enter the giveaways, so when I heard - yesterday - that it was that time again, I was really bummed.  How could I miss it?

So I decided I would put together a little package of my favorite DS Quilts fabrics and just see if anyone comes to visit.

This package is 8 fat quarters of DS Quilts fabrics - 2 full  yards of scrumptious cotton goodness.  It includes selections from Picnic/Fairgrounds, Daisy Mae, Aunt Edna, and Meadowlark.   (Ooooh, I just love these!)

I will be glad to ship this little package to you, wherever you are.

How do you win?  Well, I'm really glad you asked.  Just leave a comment on this post and tell me about your favorite giveaway on another blog so I can go visit.  I'd love it if you would become a follower, but it is not required.

The giveaway is open until 5 pm on Friday, May 25th, this giveaway is now closed to comments and the winner will be chosen by Mr. Random Number Generator sometime Friday evening or Saturday morning. Be sure you leave an email address so I can notify you if you win!

Good luck!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I'm Swooning!

Have you seen the lovely Swoon blocks and quilts that are popping up all over blog- and Flickr-land?  Aren't they gorgeous?  I've been wanting to try Swooning for awhile now, and I thought these might make fun blocks for my 3x6 bee.  I had no idea the pattern created a 24-1/2 inch block!  So, after reading all the hints and tips in the Flickr group, I set out to make a 12-1/2 inch test block.  I was successful, but only just.  It's not that this block is so complicated really, it's that you really have to be focused.  I put it together wrong at least 4 times.  In fact, I if you look at the lower left you will see a white block pencil mark-side up, but after taking it apart so many times, I just didn't have the heart to grab the seam ripper again.

Nevertheless here it is - my own little mini-Swoon.  And it looks remarkably like the original, only half the size. So, I'd call this moderately successful.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Modernista Homemade - A Modern Swap for Every Space in the Home

1. Amber's Design Studio, 2. Vintage Sewing Machine and Notions - Sew Out Loud QAL #5, 3. Pinball Swirl Pincushion, 4. Patchwork 318 Bee - Sewing Basket For Amisha, 5. pincushion from neet designs sps3, 6. Pincushion Caddies from 'Seams to Me', 7. máquina de costura, 8. mug rug from Karie Nov 2011, 9. craft1, 10. Rainbow mosaic machine cover 2, 11. DSCN3352.jpg, 12. Flirty GIrl, 13. Hanging Hoop Wall Pocket Swap, 14. Sewing Machine Cover, 15. Scissors for Amisha ~ Patchwork 318 Bee ~, 16. Selvage Spool Mini Quilt, 17. Issue 5 - Scrap Bucket, 18. Scrappy Storage, 19. Scrap bucket, 20. Dressmakers Mannequin Mini Quilt, 21. Sewing machine cover - side 1, 22. sneak peak, 23. Stay Calm & Quilt On, 24. IMG_0166, 25. Last Project Complete!, 26. Wonderful Package from Rachel (Stitched in Color), 27. Folding Knitting/Sewing Basket {Explored}, 28. Craft Apron Slanted Pockets - Pocket View, 29. Sewing Machine Cover (Front), 30. finally finished my sewing machine cover!, 31. UHG Swap Sewing Machine Cover - Front View, 32. singer handmade quilted cover by mama, 33. MMM Swap Machine Cover, 34. Modern Swappers Machine Cover, 35. Hoop Up for Jill, 36. Christmas swap with my friend
If you're a regular reader of this little blog you know that I really enjoy Flickr swaps.  I like virtual quilting bees and mini quilts.  I like pot holders and kitchen items.  I really like pillows and home dec.  So when Jennifer (thethreadedchickadee) invited me to join the Modernista Homemade swap, I didn't waste any time.  We're going to go from room to room making cool things for every room in our home. And the first room we're going to adorn is the sewing room.

Now my sewing space isn't exactly enviable, and it is filled with even more stuff than was here when this photo was taken.  In fact, it's amazing I can get anything done in here.

And I received a couple of sewing machine covers in swaps last year.

Which are very, very cute.

Call me greedy, but I just can't pass it up.

And there are plenty of decorative things besides sewing machine covers that one could make to dress up a blah, overcrowded sewing space.

Like -

and a million things I haven't thought of yet.

I hope you'll join us.  We're gonna have a blast!