Friday, March 15, 2013

Luck And News

I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can. 

Ernest Hemingway

I'm announcing the WINNERS of the Blog Hop Giveaway.  Congratulations to the lucky winners picked by the Random Integer Generator:  Barbara Woods, Catskill Quilter and Crafter 1953.  I'll be getting your prizes in the mail next week.

What else is happening around here?  SPRING IS!!!  Look at what's popping out in my yard.

Snow bells?  not sure of the name

One group of Irises is blooming

Even a purple one which usually don't bloom until after the white

This one was blown over so I brought it in
and the second bloom opened

Up close with a white iris

Bradford Pear Blooms are opening 
Yes the sky was that blue
Not in full bloom yet
This is what happens when the squirrel figures out where you keep the bird seed.
This is the second lid destroyed. 

I did get a charity quilt quilted on the longarm.  My knee behaved and I hadn't forgotten how to run the machine.  It has been several months since I was able to work on it.  No picture since it was not one I made.

If you thought I was going to tell you what else I bought at the show you are just going to have to wait a little longer.  I will soon be posting my 100th blog post too.  What do you think I should do to celebrate?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stash Enhancement

I am taught the poorness of our invention, the ugliness of towns and palaces. Art and luxury have early learned that they must work as enhancement and sequel to this original beauty. I am over instructed for my return. Henceforth I shall be hard to please. I cannot go back to toys. I am grown expensive and sophisticated. I can no longer live without elegance: but a countryman shall be my master of revels. He who knows the most, he who knows what sweets and virtues are in the ground, the waters, the plants, the heavens, and how to come at these enchantments, is the rich and royal man. Only as far as the masters of the world have called in nature to their aid, can they reach the height of magnificence.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays Nature 1850

I must agree with Emerson that there is no substitute for the beauty and elegance of nature.  However, I can not or will not go to the woods to live and enjoy it like he did.  I could be easily persuaded to go live in the mountains on a permanent basis as long as it was inside a house with all the required creature comforts to keep me comfy.  The idea of a studio filled with my quilting essentials and large windows looking out over the mountains... ahhh.  I've seen a few pictures of several that have that on the web and I seriously want my own.  Maybe someday.

A couple of weeks ago I so this fabric and had to buy it for my bird loving sister.  It will probably become a lap quilt and a couple of pillows.  I'm undecided if I will use the mottled piece with it or not.  It does match very well.  It is by Springs.

Large Panel

Pillow Panel

Robins and Bluebirds

Chickadees and Yellow Finches?  Not sure of the names.

All over birds and extra fabric

Then Friday I went to the Sewing Expo.  My knee held up very well from all the driving and walking.  I didn't have any pain in it. Yeah!!  I did find some batiks.  The two large pieces are 108" wide.  There is a 2 yard border print and a 3 yard all over.  This will be for the back of a quilt for my bed I have been planning for several years.  Now I just need to get it designed.

Border print on the bottom left and allover on the rignt

Seven half yard cut jumped into my hands for some reason
I also found a new seam guide to try.  The machine I'm using upstairs and travel with has a slightly larger 1/4" than my Janome 6600 and I'm hoping this will even out the difference.

I did get started on cutting some of the plaids I showed last week.  I also got a little strip sewing done to.  Here are the results.  Can you guess what it will be?

Strip Sets Sewn and Pressed

There is one other purchase I made at the show.  I'm VERY, VERY excited about it!  Can you guess what it is?  No pictures yet but it will be here soon.  I can't wait!!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Beat the Winter Blues – Quilters’ Blog Hop Party

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. 
Victor Hugo

Are you ready for Spring?  Maybe you just love winter and cold and snow and don't care if it hangs on a little longer.  Here in Georgia we have had some of our coldest days of the Winter in the last week or so.  I don't mind the cold so much but my husband hates it.  

We haven't seen any snow this year unless you count the few random flakes that fell and disappeared as they hit the ground.  Snow in the South is always a celebration or Holiday for us in the deep South.  Schools and many businesses close down and grocery stores sell out of staples within hours.  Although it seldom happens, when we get enough snow to build a Snowman it is a big event!!  It still could happen this year, although I have my doubts.  The biggest snow storms of my lifetime have ALWAYS happened in March or April.

Thanks to Michelle from the Quilting Gallery for hosting the Blog Hop Party and Giveaway.  There are well over a 120 blogs participating so you have the next few days to sign up for a chance at a lot of prizes.  If you haven't stopped here at my blog before I hope you will take a few minutes to poke around and get to know me.  I have some things that I've done in the last year that I think you will enjoy.

So what am I giving away today?  I thought some happy SNOW related gifts.  I will choose 3 random winners from comments.  I found another copy of this great book.  If you like snowmen or log cabin quilts you will love it.  One of you will win it.

Front Cover

Back Cover

Here is the second prize.  Snowbound by Bee Creative is a nice winter landscape with either a church or barn.  A second person will win it.

I have some cute fabric for a third giveaway.  This print is called Snowballs.  Winner will receive a one yard cut.

Giveaway is closed.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Finding New Resources

The greatest achievement of the human spirit is to live up to one's opportunities and make the most of one's resources. 

Marquis De Vauvenargues

I said I would share with you what the new goodies I found at the quilt show were.  I managed to get them photographed so you can take a look.

The first vendor booth I stopped at had a number of things that caught my eye.  I didn't want to walk around carrying them when I had yet to see the show so I made a few mental notes and walked on.  I took a look around the show and then returned to get the items before I left.  I hate to be weighted down with bags the whole time I'm walking around.  Juggling a cane and a camera and a purse (I did have a cross shoulder bag) was enough.

A few things caught my attention at another booth further on.  This vendor hand dyes fabrics and had a few patterns and tools.  This tulips pattern caught my eye right away.  It's fusible applique and is only about an 18" square.

The fabric here just seemed perfect for the tulips.  The photo doesn't do it justice and the piece is 58" wide.  I know I've shown you several 60 degree rulers that I own but I didn't have this one or one this large for hexagons.  The jewel shape intrigues me and the full size is 12" finished.  I'll have to be on the look out for some of Jaybird's Patterns.

After viewing the quilts I wound back where I started.  I used the fabric as a backdrop for these items too cause it looked better than my old cutting mat.

More software.  I have Karen Stone's first EQ quilts so I had to add this one too.  Since I have been planning to share the many ways to make triangles with you I thought I might try Brenda Henning's Triangulations 3.0 also.

I had owned both of these tools before.  One of the things that happens when you own a quilt shop is that customers want what they see you using.  If you don't have enough of the items hanging on the wall they will buy the one in your hand.   This is what happened to mine. ;-)  Sales are always a good thing in retail.  The Scrapmaster tool was out of production for a few years but now Marsha McCloskey has added a 1" finished triangle to it and is producing it again.  Judy Martin's Point Trimmer will trim various types of triangles.  I'll have to share how it works sometime.

If you have been following me for very long you know I am a tree lover.  This bowl pattern looks really cool.  After I got home and looked at it I realized it calls for a specific kind of stiffener.  Guess I need to put that on my list now.

This jelly roll jumped into my hands too.  It's not batiks but certainly has that look.  It will work well with some other fabrics I've been saving for a special project.

I had seen this new seam ripper at my Charity quilting group back in January.  The white ends help pull out those nasty little short threads you get while ripping out mistakes.  I thought I should have one on hand just in case I ever make any mistakes.  Maybe it will be a long time before I need to use it.  Hee Hee!

Tomorrow will be another adventure!  I going to the Sewing Expo.  I'm sure I'll find a thing or two there also.

I've also signed on for the Quilting Gallery Blog Hop and Giveaway.  So tune in to see what you could win!

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

I'm linking with  Really Random Thursday

Friday, March 1, 2013

Marching On

March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life's path. 

Kahlil Gibran

How can it be March already?  My to do list was longer than my month.  I did get a few things done on my February Goals list.  I will hopefully get a little more done this month.  I had my last physical therapy session yesterday.  Going out twice a week for that took away from my sewing time some but I can now go up a flight of stairs but I haven't yet got the confidence to go down.  That movement is still a little jerky.  I go up and down 1 or 2 steps O.K. but I am not ready to go down a dozen by myself yet.  Did I mention the steps in my house are 7 3/4" high.  That's like the max of building code I think.  I have loaded a small quilt on my longarm so I'll find out how that movement goes next week.

Another reason my quilting output for the month was down is because of all the rain we've had.  I'm blaming the lack of sunshine for a major reading binge.  Hey, it's better than some other vices.  I'll share some of the better prose I went through soon.  Needless to say with all the clouds and rain I wanted something bright and cheery.  Look what I picked up at the grocery store last week.

Pink Hyacinths

When I got them they weren't open.  I didn't have a clue about what color they would be.  The ones that were beside them were royal blue.  I thought these might be purple.  I was surprised with pink.  The house was filled with their delightful aroma for a few days.  By the end of the week they were past their prime.

Sunshine made them glow.

My husband has planted them in the yard now.  Hopefully they will grow and be beautiful again next year.  

Back to my goals for the month of February.  Here where my goals and progress for the month:
  1. Blog Hop Quilt for It's all about me - DONE
  3. Get Borders on a Kid's Quilt - NO PROGRESS
  4. Finish Sewing Orange and Blue Tumbler Top Together - STILL ON THE DESIGN WALL
  5. Flannel Baby Blanket - ALMOST COMPLETED

Ready for hand stitching

Goals for March:
  1. Hand stitch binding on Mystery Quilt
  2. Get Borders on Kid's Quilt
  3. Finish Orange and Blue Tumbler Top
  4. Quilt small Charity quilt on Longarm to see how knee holds up to the movement
  5. Finish Baby Blanket - do a tutorial for blog on the technique
  6. Get started on quilt for new grandson coming in May

Possibly a baby quilt

I have a lot of plaids to use

I also have some other blog posts I've been trying to get pictures for.  They are coming along slowly.  Today I went to a quilt show and found a few new goodies.  I'll share them soon.

These are two of the quilts I liked.  Apparently the judges did too.

The BIG NEWS for the day is to announce the WINNER of my GIVEAWAY. The random number generator picked number 112.   Congratulations Suze!  You will being getting a pack of Thangles.

I became a new follower. For triangles, I usually, take a square and sew the 1/4" on each side of the diagonal and then cut on the diagonal. For a long time, I didn't realize that I needed to square up the new squares. I wasn't taught that and I guess whoever taught me (whether in a class, book, or pattern) thought it was square enough (at least for government work). I'm doing a block of the month through a LQS and one of the clerks is doing a monthly demo of the blocks. She loves the triangles on a roll. A friend and I bought a roll together last month. I haven't tried them yet as I didn't have enough fabric for one of my two blocks. Saturday she reiterated how much she likes using the paper for the triangles, so I guess I'll sure give that a try. She does beautiful work. You are very generous with your giveaway. I hope you continue to do blog hops and inspire us.

 I'm linking up with:  Lily's Quilts and Quilt Story and From Blank Pages and Patchwork Times and Cat Patches and Pig Tales and Quilts and Richard and Tanya Quilts

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