Thursday, February 28, 2013

Be a Hero!

Late in 2011, I was surfing blogland when I discovered that Val of Pink Please was doing a Heroes quilt to raise money for cancer research.  She raised $1000 with her quilt.  I think that's fantastic!

At the time, two of my co-workers had just been diagnosed with cancer, so I offered to make a couple of blocks. My friend Chris lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last January at the age of 46.  My friend Jeannie, only 29, just celebrated one year since her last cancer treatment a couple of weeks ago.  This disease sure hits close to home sometimes. 

This year, Val is doing a wonky circles quilt.  I think these blocks are so fun.  They waste a ton of fabric, but they're really fun to make.  I hope I can find a use for the scraps.

Val asked that we use solids, and I don't have a ton of solids in my stash - hardly any, in fact, except the yellow for the GMFG quilt "fences" and a bolt of Kona white that I bought for the Swoon quilt.  Ironically, I won one of the door prizes at the very first meeting I attended of the Emerald Coast MQG, and it was 6 FQ solids!  Isn't that just a bit of serendipity?  Love it!

I had a little trouble at first getting them wonky - can you tell?  Yup, I made the yellow one first.  The bottom three rings are almost perfect - and they were cut freehand.  Most times I can't do that well with a template!

I did a little better at wonkiness with the second one.  I have to work to be wonky.  LOL.

So, these blocks are for anyone who might be struggling with cancer, but this year, especially Devie and Renee, and the doctors who are treating them.

If you would like to make a block for Val's 2013 Heroes Quilt, visit Val's Pink Please blog or join the Flickr group.  There's an easy tutorial and the blocks really are a lot of fun.  Do it for someone you know that's fighting this ugly disease.

God bless.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Friendship Bag Swap

Well, my resolution to ease up some on my swapping barely lasted a month, but this one was just too good to pass up.  This was an easy little project filled with fun goodies for my partner.

It started with an adorable little quilted gift bag made from Rachel's tutorial (of psiquilt fame).  And isn't it so much more fun and environmentally friendly than those cheap paper ones you buy at the dollar store?

For the outside, i used strips from that same FE bundle of Bonnie & Camille's Ruby that BD#1 got me at Sample Spree a couple of years ago - yup the same one that I made the Simple Merry Christmas Quilt and the Love Pillow from.  It's really amazing how far a FE bundle will go!  I used a scrap of texty print from the Waterfall pillow as the base.

My partner said she liked texty fabric, so I lined it with a texty print in the same colors as the outside.

And then the fun began....

I started filling it up.  I had the best time!  I hope there's something in there that will make my partner feel special.

Because that's what friends are for.

Monday, February 25, 2013

HR FQ Giveaway - A Winner (and a Loser)

I have to apologize for the tardiness of this post.  I had promised that I would pick a winner on Sunday, but the prsd4tim2 household was taking turns feeling a little (lot) under-the-weather yesterday and it just didn't happen.

I really enjoyed reading everyone's comments about what makes the perfect tote bag.  Everyone seems to agree that pockets are the Number One Thing, followed by straps, and then other random and/or innovative details.  I will be doing an update of my 1-Hour FQ Tote on Leona's blog in two or three weeks, and I plan to incorporate many of your suggestions, so thank you all for your input.

By the way, if you like Tula Pink, Leona is giving away some OOP fabric this week.  When you finish here, why not hop on over and enter her bloggy giveaway???

And now, it's time to pick a winner of the super fun Heather Ross Crafty Chloe fabrics...

True Random Number Generator 96 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Well, I never have figured out how to get the little widget thingy to work, but this was my first pick.  And wouldn't you know, #96 is Debbie, who is a no-reply blogger, isn't a follower, and didn't leave an email address.  Thanks for stopping by, Debbie, but you may want to adjust your email and privacy preferences, or leave an email addy in your comment.  I'm sorry I can't give you this yummy fabric because I don't have a way to contact you.

So, as promised, I'm off to pick another winner...

True Random Number Generator 70 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
And #70 is Jessica, of the Quilty Habit blog.  I'm so excited I actually have a winner!  Yay!

I think the perfect tote bag needs a pocket somewhere!

And Jessica seems to echo everyone's first choice in tote bag perfection.

So thank you to everyone who entered.  I'm off to email Jessica now.

Be sure you stay tuned - I'll let you know when the Tote Bag Perfection post will appear on Leona's blog.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Last Day - Heather Ross FQ Giveaway

Today is the last day of the Heather Ross FQ Giveaway!  But don't enter on this post - be sure to go here and follow the instructions to enter. 

I have really enjoyed reading all the comments about what makes a fabulous tote bag.  I'll be incorporating many of them into my guest post on Leona's blog in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, head on over to the giveaway post and enter.  You never know  - it may be your turn to win!

Friday, February 22, 2013

13 in 2013 - First Finish!

Note:  If you are looking for the Heather Ross Giveaway, go here!
 I just finished the first quilt on my list of 13 finishes in 2013, and I'm feeling pretty "chuffed" as my British friend says. 

This finished quilt top has been sitting in the WIP pile since last spring, so I'm glad to get it on its way.

I haven't had the opportunity to take much in the way of photos yet, because the weather hasn't exactly been conducive to outside photos - or it's been dark when I got home, but I hope to do that this weekend.

I also got my Jelly Roll Race quilt about 1/3 quilted, so it's feeling like I'm really making progress.  Hope to get the quilting done, at least, this weekend (along with a list a mile long!)

And I'm making progress on the Grandmother's Flower Garden.  I'm beginning to think I may actually finish this one!  So excited.  It's going faster than I ever dreamed it would.

All three of these quilts were on the 13 in 2013 list, so just maybe I'll get at least some of the list crossed off.

Doesn't that feel good?

Happy stitching!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Celebrating 350 Followers - Heather Ross FQ Giveaway

I noticed the other day that I had reached 350 followers on this little blog of mine!  I've been mulling over what I could do to say thanks to those of you who read about my crafty and quilty adventures, and I thought, "What could be better than to share some of my stash with them?"

I have some Heather Ross prints that BD#1 gave me last summer from her shop.  Aren't they cute!  This line was from Hancock Fabrics, and is called Crafty Chloe.  I think this is a complete collection of the prints, but if not this is a complete collection of what I have.  The selection is 5 FQ or 1-1/4 yards of fabric.  These prints are perfect for fussy cutting! 

I recently made a 1 Hour Fat Quarter Tote for a swap with the sock monkeys.  I think it turned out pretty cute.  Kinda quirky, but fun!  This is enough fabric to make one for yourself, if you so desire.

And I'll be updating the 1 Hour FQ Tote on Leona's blog in the not-too-distant-future, so be sure to come back for a peek.  I think she's planning a giveaway of her own soon, so you might want to check in sometimes...  just sayin'...

So how do you win these adorable prints?  Well, here's the scoop.

1.  Leave a comment below and tell me what makes a great tote bag.  Inquiring minds want to know.  What does a tote bag need to be "perfect"?

2.  Be (or become) a follower of my blog and leave a comment to tell me so (2nd entry).

3.  LIKE my Facebook page, and then leave a comment on the blog to let me know you did.  If you already LIKE my page, you can just LIKE the post to count for the giveaway.  =)  (NOTE:  Comments on the Facebook page are wonderful - and welcome - but won't count in the giveaway.  But you would make my day!) (Possible 3rd entry.)

4.  Post on your blog about this giveaway, then come back and leave a comment letting me know.  (Possible 4th entry.)

5.  Mention this giveaway on Instagram, Google +,  or other social media, and then come back and leave a comment.  (Possible 5th entry.)

So you have 5 possible entries to win the fun HR FQ bundle. BE SURE YOU ARE NOT A NO-REPLY BLOGGER.  The winner of my last giveaway was a no-reply blogger and I had no way to contact her so I had to choose another winner.  Too bad for her. =(

The giveaway will close next Saturday, February 23 at midnight.  I will let Mr. Random choose the winner sometime Sunday. 

Good luck!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

All You Need Is LOVE

Last Saturday, while I was at the Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild meeting Kira did a paper piecing lesson using kelbysews wonky alphabet pattern

Many of us, including me, I'm proud to say, completed the L-O-V-E under Kira's helpful tutoring.  I brought the letters home, and they were just sitting there on the cutting board.  Last night I decided that if I didn't do something with them by Valentine's Day, I probably never would.

So I sat down at the sewing machine and put together this pillow, just in time for V-Day.

The fabric is the leftovers of a FE bundle BD#1 picked up for me at Sample Spree in May of 2011.  I am always amazed at how far a little bundle of fabric can stretch.  I have already made a quilt from this bundle!  I had the fabric for the backing and binding left over from the Simple Merry Christmas quilt.  And the outer sashing was 1-1/2 inch strips left over from yet another Ruby project.

The quilting was fairly simple - straight lines in the sashing and hearts (or attempted hearts, anyway) in the letters.

So, on this Valentine's Day, I hope that your life is filled with LOVE.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

So Interconnected - A Story

 It's amazing what a small world the online quilting community really is.  Today, I want to tell you a story....

On Tuesday, when my sweet daughter posted on her blog about the quilt I made her for Christmas,  I got lots of wonderful comments on my own blog posts about the quilt.  It warmed my heart!  

One of those readers read my post about my Waterfall pillow and noticed that I said that while I was at the drugstore, this gorgeous fabric fell into my cart.  Ha!  Ha!

Not many people, I believe, buy gorgeous modern quilt fabric at the drug store.  Our local quilt shop just happens to be A&E Pharmacy.

It's really not much to look at on the outside, but inside is a wonderful selection of lovely modern quilt fabrics, notions, patterns, and a friendly, helpful staff.  If you're ever in Pensacola, this is the place for quilters to come to shop.

This is where I go when I need fabric (of course) or helpful advice.  A&E is where I pulled about 40 bolts to find the coordinating fabrics to finish the swoon blocks featured in the quilt above!  (Oh, I'll bet they loved me when it was time to put those away!!)

Anyway, back to my story...  After reading that comment, Cindy emailed me and said, "Funny, I buy fabric at a drug store too...." and we got to chatting online, quickly realized we both lived in the same town, and she invited me to the Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild meeting on Saturday.  I've been meaning to go for months.  I really have.  But it's an hour away, and it just seems so far, and... and... and... (can you hear me whining???)

So, thanks to her kind invitation and suggestion that we convoy over to Crestview, I decided the time was right.  I had such a good time!  The ladies there were so friendly and welcoming.  I felt right at home.

And so talented!  I was so inspired by the beautiful things everyone brought for show and tell.

Kim even brought her Madrona Road Challenge quilt.  Gorgeous, isn't it???  In a stroke of irony, Kim used BD#1's Pointed in the Right Direction pillow tutorial as the focal point in her quilt.  Isn't it fabulous (the quilt, not the picture - it really doesn't do it justice, and I only took one shot ={  )?  Everyone was so complementary of my talented daughter, I felt like I was basking in reflected glory all day!

I even got to wear my cool name tag that lovethesky40 made for me.

And, I was invited to put my Little Apples Quilt in the 2013 Emerald Coast Quilt Show.  I've never entered a quilt in a show before.  This one is far from perfect, and I don't expect it to win anything at all, but Marcy, this year's ECMQG president, said they were looking for examples of modern quilting that had an "I can do that" feel, and this one fills that requirement for sure.  It is a charm square and jelly roll combination, suitable for the beginning quilter.  Of course, I was flattered.

One of the cool things about the ECMQG is that the meeting is combined with a sew day, so there is lots of opportunity to learn and bond and work.  We had a demonstration/lesson on paper piecing by the awesome Kira, using the amazing Wonky Alphabet pattern designed by founding ECMQG member Kelly who blogs at kelbysews.  Kelly was one of my first swap partners.  I still have trouble wrapping my mind around thinking inside out and backwards when paper piecing, but her tips were extremely helpful, and I did end up with a usable (I hope) set of letters for a little Valentine gift.

I also got to meet "the other Kelly" who was the first president of the ECMQG, and who was my partner for Pillow Talk 8 (I think it was 8...)

I even spent a couple of hours quilting my Fairy Tale Friends quilt, which has been sandwiched almost 6 weeks, and sitting there since... um... July???  It's about 50% done now, I think, so I'm excited to have made some progress.  I hope to finish it this week, and start on the next one.

In reflecting on this little set of circumstances, I was struck by how interconnected we all are.  It's kind of amazing really....

All in all, it was it was a fabulous day.  I can't wait to go back.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Progress Report - What progress?

It seems like we all start the year with the best of intentions, and then - somewhere about the 15th of January - reality sets in and we pack it in.  Last month, I posted my goal for 13 finishes in 2013.  And I was actually coming right along.  I wasn't going to give in to the resolution doldrums.  No sir!  Not me!  I was going to keep that resolution.

On January 1st, I actually sandwiched TWO quilts, and they are all basted and ready for quilting.  And I actually started quilting one of them! 

And then...

First, I hurt my foot and have spent an inordinate amount of time sitting in a chair with my foot up, which means I have made really spectacular progress on one of the WIPs on my list...

I am actually making spectacular progress on the GMFG.  It now has 49 flowers placed with 42 of them sewn on (the others are pinned in place) and all the fences are up for 35 of them.  So I am about halfway done with a project that I thought would (and let's be honest - still could) take years.

And then Penelope choked on a pin and had to spend a week in the hospital. 

And after that, it was down hill.

But I'm going to get back on the horse.  I'm thinking I will spend Saturday that the Sew Day at the Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild.  I met someone online who lives here in town and is going.  Maybe that is just the motivation I need.

I know what I'm taking to sew.  And maybe, just maybe, I'll get them quilted. 

After that, it's a piece of cake.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Making her Swoon

One of the things I really enjoy about my iphone is that I don't have to wait until I get home from work to check my email.  Today at lunchtime, I checked my email, and I had several lovely comments about the Swoon quilt I made for my beautiful daughter and her husband.  I know that she posted it on Instagram and got over 200 "likes", which warmed my heart.  But today she did a blog post about her gift. And several of her friends stopped in here to tell me they liked her gift!  I am so glad they did.  It made me feel wonderful!

Those of you who may have read the blog recently know that I made Amanda a Swoon quilt for Christmas.  Or rather, I made the quilt top and put it in a box with the backing and a promise to send it to the fabulous Sarah for quilting.

We mailed it off to be quilted in early January, just days before Sarah gave birth to a darling little girl.  Ironically, I received it back the day her baby was born.

Sarah sent it back to me for binding, which I finished in a weekend - all 420 inches of it.  And I managed to get it mailed off again in a reasonable amount of time.  BD#1 had the quilt within a month of Christmas, despite the fact that it had to traverse the country twice!  (Itself a major miracle.)

I wanted this quilt to keep her warm.  I wanted it to show how much I love her and her dear husband and their adorable children.  I wanted this gift to bridge the distance between us.

So today, she posted on her blog about how this little gift made her feel.

She made me cry.  In a good way.

And that's the best part!