Thursday, May 31, 2012

Oh, Sunburn...Thou Art a Devil to Me!

Yeah, I sat too long in the sun yesterday. Let me tell you how long too long is for me. I have VERY pale skin so I was under the umbrella the ENTIRE time without sunblock on (I know, what was I thinking)....except for about 5 minutes where my neighbor buddy and I sat beside the pool with our feet in the water to cool off. That's all it took. 5 minutes. And my shoulders look like lobster skin. Sigh... oh, to have my daughter's skin (not that I would stay out in the sun; I know what it can do). Hubby says she's like his grandfather was; she walks by an open window and turns brown. Not me. Burn, peel, freckle and back to white. That's me. Inspires me to write....

Ode to a Sun Goddess
Skin of tan, smooth and brown
This is the skin I've never found
Shielded, hiding, always shunned
By a large foreboding sun

To lie beneath it's heated rays
To soak beneath it's fire ablaze
Not I, for freckles dare to rise
To sunbathe, it is ill advised.

Days of summer slowly pass
Trapped inside am I, alas
A vacay at the beach, not me
An indoor pool for this mommy!

Hope you enjoyed! Oh, I also got some recent mail goodies to post about. Got my Pilot Frixion pens I won from Quiltingranny, and I finally used my gift certificate to Pink Chalk Fabrics I won from Rachel. What did I get? Well, I picked up some more Good Fortune to go with what I have (I have a layer cake) and a pack of 12 inch colored zippers! 

I love that green. How predictable am I? Plus I have another order coming in later this week from Wondrous Woven Fabrics. Unfortunately they are going out of business, so check them out soon before they are gone.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

WIP...Where I forgot it Was Wednesday...Again!

Wednesday? Seriously? I totally forgot again until I pulled up my blogger and saw Linz's post said WIP. This is getting to be a habit! But, in my defense, it's been a crazy week with hubby being off Monday for Memorial Day and yesterday for his grandfather's funeral. I sort of lost track of time.

So, without further adieu, the progress for the week as it stands right now! But first, if you are looking for a Pay It Forward to join, check here for mine.

I had one child graduate kindergarten and one graduate 4th grade! Woohoo!
I finished my granny square baby quilt!

I am also finishing up another quilt top but I can't decide which way I like it better. I had to take pictures because it was a bit busier than I expected so it was hard for me to see the patterns it made.

In this version I tried to link up some of the colors but not all, giving the impression that there were some "roads" and some "dead ends."
This version is where the fabrics are set up to create diamonds. I think if I do it this way I will try to set up some colors to actually meet and make X's like you see the blue almost do in the lower left hand portion. The pink almost does it right next to it.

Oh, and I got some mailbox goodies yesterday. Hollie from Undercover Crafter sent me some Kona scraps I won from her. I was shocked at how many there were!

Linking up to Lee!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
And speaking of Lee...ahem...
Yo Yo Yo! Watch out cuz Lee's gettin' all gangsta in yo' bidness with some FQ to the machine! Lee "The Feed Dog" Henrich and the Fat Quarter Gang are gonna rock yo world with some hands on stitchin'. Say what? Check it all out at dis' place here. That's just how they roll, see?

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Memorial

I will post my Pay it Forward blog post tomorrow if you are interested. For today, I thought it much more appropriate and important to remember a soldier.
This is my husband's grandfather. He was a second lieutenant in the US Army Air Corps who trained other soldiers to fly the B-25 Mitchell, a bomber plane, during WWII.  He was later transferred to "Fly the Hump" in Douglas C-54's from British India over the Himalayas into Burma and China.

He passed away a few days ago at the age of 92 at the assisted living facility where he resided. We will be having a graveside service and get together for the family tomorrow to celebrate his life. Take a moment today to remember those who have served this country as well as those who have given their lives for it.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Tip for All You Bag Ladies Out There

Before I started quilting I made bags. Because of the costs involved in the hardware associated with bag making, I started looking for alternative ways of finding these jewels....NO, I didn't steal them! I just started taking purses apart!  Most of us have some sort of thrift store or Goodwill in our area. I would hit my local shop and buy purses from the markdown bin with loads of hardware in them. I have also done some demo on my own purses that are worn out.
Well, something new struck me the other day after the kids came home from the last day of school: backpacks! Yup, how many times have I thrown them away because they were so worn out and awful looking, but didn't take them time to check the hardware? This is what I took so far from my kids' book bags this year.
A zipper at least 12 inches long that can be cut down, 4 swivel clips and D rings, 3 slides and a slide release buckle. There are also 2 slides in black from my son's backpack. I haven't tackled his zippers yet. I will say this about recycling hardware: make sure it's worth your time to remove. If there are scratches and dings on it, if you wouldn't won't it in a piece you made, then don't remove it. All of my pieces were in great shape (especially in comparison to the bags!) so I took them all. With zippers, you can usually tell within the first couple of snips with the seam ripper whether or not it will be too dirty to worry with. Plastic holds up to a lot but zippers do get dirty. If it is only mildly dirty, zippers can also be hand washed. If you think re-using the zipper is not your thing, that's fine. But remember that only the center of the zipper is even visible in most crafts anyway so no one is going to know that needles have been through it before. And, yes my zipper's ends need to be trimmed but ends are hidden in most crafts anyway. You will just need to remember to sew the ends together on both ends so the zipper pull will not come off either end while your'e working with it.

It is also important to figure out how involved it will be to remove the hardware. My son's backpack has two zippers I'm still contemplating removing. One would be really great because it's long, but it's also really complicated getting it out.

What other hardware have I removed? O rings and magnetic snaps. Depending on where you get them, magnetic snaps can be very costly. When I purchase them, I usually hit Joann's because they have a brand where I can get 4 for the same price you would normally buy 1 for in other stores. I have not attempted it yet but you may also be able to remove purse feet (though these are more likely to be tarnished and damaged because of the wear and tear) and metal purse frames found on snap change purses.

Happy hardware hunting!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Decor

So Memorial Day is right around the corner and you don't have anything to put up in honor of the occasion? Here are a few pins from some of my Pinterest boards.

Pay It Forward...Finally!

This Pay it Forward is full. Looking for one? Check here:
Live, Love Create  This one is full.

The Best Laid Plans

I was so excited when I finally got in a Pay It Forward. I lucked out big time and got in one from Clover & Violet; yea me! Jennie always makes the cutest things!  So what is a Pay It Forward you may ask? Well, it has been making its way through the bloggy world and makes its recipients very happy. Basically you agree to post about it, accept three recipients, and send them a handcrafted goody by you within the next year.

Wanna play? I'm asking three of you to sign up here and now. Need some rules? Make sure you understand what you're signing up for before saying you will participate. Read below...

 1. I will create a crafty gift for each of the first three people who comment to this post. This is a surprise, and will arrive to you anytime within the next 365 days.

2. In signing up for Pay it Forward, you are committing yourself to the project...someone pays it forward to you, so you pay it forward to others! Just post this, or something similar so others can get involved. Basically you will create your own post where you create gifts for 3 people as well.

3. You need to have an active blog of your own...{or some way to post up your PIF info like a flickr, pinterest, or Facebook account. Basically you'll need a place to announce your own PIF and to post some pics of the process.}

4. After commenting on this post, post something similar on your you can spread the pay it forward love. I will email you asking for your mailing address {and the online address where you are posting} so I can get your crafty treat in the mail. Please make sure your email address is visible on your profile or leave it in the comment.

Friday, May 25, 2012

SMS Giveaway Winner!

I can now say I have officially participated in the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway! It was fun, but like many of the other blogs doing giveaways, I may have to rethink writing replies to every single comment. If there were two comments from one person, I tried to just send one reply, but even that got overwhelming. That is not to say that I don't appreciate each and every one of those comments though. I really do plan on sitting down and looking at the suggested fabric lines with which I was not familiar. You guys had some great suggestions...and I have a winner! I fed the numbers into Random Generator and it spit out...

Number 180! This was "SewFrench" who said:

Congratulations to Lori (I found out her name from her blog) and thank all of you for playing! I have contacted her and will be sending out her goodies as soon as I receive her snail mail!

Need something else to do? I mentioned the other day that I am participating in Pay It Forward with Clover & Violet so keep an eye out for that post.  I've been wanting to participate in one for a while and I finally caught one before it was full! I will probably post it sometime in the next two days.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Grads, Grannies and Gratis

This is the last day of my SMS giveaway so go here and participate!
Thursday morning my daughter graduated from 4th grade! It was a nice program and she got several awards (A-B honor roll, perfect attendance, A in conduct all year, etc.). I'm  a very proud mama! I checked her out early and let her have some mom time. And Friday morning we will be attending my son's graduation program from kindergarten. Woohoo! I'll give him the same option of checking out early for a day with me. Last day of school!

I finished my granny square quilt and my daughter helped me deliver it. That was fun for her because she and her dad sort of "work for" this lady at the church when they do skits and help with small/large groups at our church (2-4 year olds). She's in charge of that age group. She loved it and even emailed hubby to tell me how much she liked it.
The front was done in all scraps and Kona bleached white. I did straight-line quilting 1/4" away from the side of each sashing seam, then again 1/4" away from that line. This was done both ways. 
Every other block was quilted with what I call stitch to the side of the ditch around the diamond shape and the center square. 
Then every OTHER block was stitched the same way outlining the inside of the X. 
The back was Eclectic Garden and I had a hard time giving this fabric up. So soft and I love the colors!

Here's  a close-up of the X outline on the back. You have to look close to see it. Don't stare too hard; it'll make your head hurt!

I'm very excited that my friend Mitzi is in charge of BOM for our quilt guild because she decided to do the granny square. That way I can make one to keep. Yeah! And she had a great idea for it. Anyone who wants to participate will do 3 blocks; keep one, donate one for a charity quilt, and put one in the pot. A name will be drawn from the people who participate for the ones that are put in the pot each month so there is the potential to go home with a lot! And luckily we're going to do it for about 3 months.

Since I'm talking about quilt guild, I just have to show you guys the GOR-JUSS version of a Granny Square quilt that my friend Judy did in our quilt guild. We tease her because she always has to do things differently, and let me just tell you, that means her pieces are always unique and spectacular! Judy decided to group her squares into 4 before sashing, then she decided to turn them up on point. She added a single 2.5" square to separate each set of blocks.
Sorry for the cruddy picture; I used my dumbphone. But how stinkin' great is this quilt? I may have to aim for something like this for my next one, or take a cue from Judy and get more creative in how I put my next one together!

Speaking of quilt guild, the president of ours is a friend and she loves hitting yard sales. She's great about sharing her finds as well. In the past she has picked up 7 yards of Amy Butler home decorating fabric for me for $15, and some scraps of vintage Girl Scout fabric. Monday night at quilting guild she brought me some vintage game fabric she picked up last weekend for 50 cents. From selvage to selvage it is 35" (the selvages don't have holes and don't feel like a different texture like fabrics today) and 2 yards + 14" long. The selvage says Masterpiece Prints (c) 1953 Original Artist's Design "Pastimes". I've scoured the internet trying to find information on it and the only place I could find it was a retro skirt someone made for Etsy. Their version was pink.
So here's my question...what would you do with it? I was thinking about the fabulous game night quilt Lindsay at LinzSews is putting together as part of her Bee. It would make a great back for something like that. Do you have any other ideas?

Linking up!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

WiP Wednesday: the One I Forgot...

Okay, so yes, I forgot it was Wednesday so this is going to be a quick one! Gotta go finish my Granny Square quilt!
Number 1: My SMS Giveaway is here if you are interested!

Number 2: My secret project this past week was a Hello Luscious lap quilt I did for a former student dealing with leukemia who just had a bone marrow transplant. More pics and the story here.

Number 3: Yesterday I posted a quick tutorial for making a wrist pincushion using some of those trendy interchangeable open faced watchbands. Interested? Check here.

Number 4: I am almost done with my Granny Square baby/child quilt but I am having computer issues. I am on our home computer right now because for some reason blogger is not working correctly for posting on my laptop. Right in the middle of entering giveaways the other day, it said there was a RealPlayer update so I have no idea if it was the update that did it or something from the giveaways, but it now says, "Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger. Some parts of Blogger will not work and youmay experience problems. If you are having problems, try Google Chrome/Dismiss."
I have the searched the net for fixes but nothing has worked. I also tried to download Google Chrome and it won't let me. Basically I can't post from my laptop. I can put pictures in the block but it won't let me type. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I may be going to visit the Geek Squad again. Sigh...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wrist Pin Cushion Tutorial

Don't forget to check out my giveaway for SMS Giveaway day here. You have until 5/25/12 to enter!

Back in November I bought my daughter this cool watch set. It had one watch face and 4 different colored slap bracelet bands that went with it. Yes, I said slap bracelet. There I go, showing my age again..., anyway! How many times do you think I have seen her wearing said watch since then? Dare  I say it, one time. There you go. Buy them something cool and they just don't care. So I decided I would just scrounge it up and wear it myself. Only problem: I can't find the watch face. I found the bands under her bed. I'm still looking but, in the meantime, I had an idea. I had been watching reruns of Project Runway and saw one of the designers wearing a wrist pin cushion. Eureka! And my brain started running with it.
How do you do it, you say? Well, I'm glad you asked!
You will need:
  • an open faced watch band/ a Nano wrist carrier will also work (I have a Minnie Mouse one I'm going to use to make another one of these)
  • scrap of fabric at least 4 times the size of the watch face hole
  • scissors
  • thread
  • needle
  • cardboard
  • pin/pencil

Pick the band you want to use and some fabric for the pincushion.
The circular part of my watch band was removable. Trace the circle onto cardboard. It is best to trace the smallest outside circle.
You will need to trim it down until you can pop it into the watch face and have it lay flat on the back.
Trace a circle on the fabric that is no ~4 times larger than your cardboard circle. My cardboard circle was about an inch, so my fabric circle was about 4 inches wide.
Sew around the edge like you would for a yoyo. Don't know how to make a yoyo? DIYDish has a great little video on it right here. I tend to make mine with a finished edge just because that's how I learned to make them but it does not matter for this project.
Stuff your yoyo with polyfil or whatever filling you prefer. Make sure it is stuffed pretty well (I had to pull mine open and stuff more). Place your cardboard circle in the bottom to close.
Pull your yoyo tight keeping the cardboard in place. It will keep the polyfil from moving around and coming out. Tie off your thread end a couple of times and trim. This part does not have tobe pretty because you aren't going to see it.
Manipulate the pincushion into the watch face hole of the band. The cardboard needs to be pushed all the way into the hole and pressed against the back.
And here is the finished project! I thought it turned out pretty stinkin' cute for a refurbish. And when the watch face shows up in my daughter's room, I can pull it out and use it as a watch again...or I could just use one of the other bands!  I hope you like!

Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm so Excited... It's Giveaway Day!


I'm participating in Giveaway Day!
If you do not leave me a way to contact you, your name will NOT be drawn! I have no less than 9 no-reply bloggers comments so far. PLEASE, if you want to win, leave me your email in the comment.
And what may you ask might I be giving away? Well, I'm so glad you asked!
First we have some fabric! There are three fat quarters; one is an Anthology print and one is Nature's Glow by Ro Gregg. These have been pre-washed. There is another fat quarter which is a floral (NOT prewashed) and a piece of Ambrosia by Robert Kaufman I cut from my leftovers which is about 13" x 28" (also NOT prewashed).  There are 4 patterns and two packs of Class 15 Bobbins.
There is April Showers by Pearl Louise Designs (an 11" x 23" Banner),

Snowflakes in the Stars Table Runner (17.5" x 52"),

 Don't Make me Call the Flying Monkeys by Terrie Eskew,

and Black Red White by Marinda Stewart (40" x 55") for Michael Miller Fabrics.
Sorry for the loveliness of the pictures. They were taken with my dumbphone because I was in a hurry to get this done and I didn't have time to reduce pics from my regular camera.
Want to win some goodies? Just leave me a comment below for one entry, maybe telling me your favorite new line of fabric since quilt market just ended. I am not requiring that you be a follower to enter, but if you ARE a follower, you are welcome to a second entry.
Here are the ground rules:
This giveaway closes Friday, May 25th at 5:00 p.m. I will send to the US and Canada only. Sorry international readers! I'm participating in several things right now so trying to keep my costs down. I just realized I screwed it up and put it in the wrong place on the Sew, Mama, Sew list so, if you are international, I will send to you! My mistake.
Thanks so much for visiting and I hope you will come back if you're a newbie!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Yummiliciousness...and A Steal Too!

I love getting good deals! My LQS had a sale on their sale fabrics today. Yes, I said a sale on their sale! 15% more off which meant a total of 60% off. Can't beat that so I stocked up. I got 2 yards of this, 4 yards of that...wanna see?
That second one is the same Ambrosia I used on the back of the fundraiser quilt I picked for Bloggers' Festival. I looked around and they had it in the green/purple so I got the end of both of those bolts. I also picked up some Eclectic Garden by Jason Yenter for In the Beginning Fabrics and some Savannah by Fabri-Quilt. I'm probably going to use the Eclectic Garden on the back of the baby quilt I'm making. I know. I make quilts that kids can use. I don't usually make true baby quilts.

Have you made much headway checking out the Bloggers' Festival yet? I haven't made it past the first line yet!
Oh, and I totally forgot! I got in on Clover & Violet's Pay it Forward blog post so stay tuned in the next week for a blog post on that. Would you like to receive some kind of crafty package from me sometime in the next year? Hmmmm?? Well, look out for that post and jump on board quickly!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bloggers' Quilt Festival: A Quilt for Mack

So what was my secret project... well, here's some background.
I am a speech/language pathologist by trade though I have been home with my kids for the past 3 years. I worked at a local school for my last position and I made a lot of friends there. I also saw a ton of kids, one of whom was a great little kid named Mack. Mack has leukemia and has fought it since he was 3 years old. He got to attend school all year in 4th grade, but now he is in 5th grade and his cancer is back. He just underwent a bone marrow transplant May 11 with his mother as the donor. With all the chemo and treatments involved with Mack's cancer, his mother has been unable to work. She has taken fabulous care of him and she is a wonderful woman.
The beautiful people at the school where I worked decided to throw a fundraiser last night to help raise money for Mack's mom to pay the bills while she and Mack recover at the hospital and then Ronald McDonald House. For some reason, it didn't occur to me that I could make something to donate (I'm spacey like that sometimes!). Then my friend Mitzi showed up to our Saturday Sewcial for quilt guild selling tickets for a quilt she made for Relay for Life (her quilt is SOOO gorgeous, by the way, and I so hope I win it!). So Monday I made a quilt top, Tuesday I made a back and pinned together my sandwich, Wednesday I quilted it and put on the binding. I washed and dried it, then delivered it yesterday morning! My house is a wreck, but the quilt got finished!
Sorry the pictures are not crisp and clear. I've been cutting back on the size so I can fit more into my Picasa. Anyway! The top is done in Hello Luscious by Basic Gray for Moda. I used a quilt top idea from a Missouri Star Quilt Co. youtube video where they used a layer cake. I lucked out that my LQS carried Grunge by Basic Gray and I was able to get more of the teal to use as a border and binding.
I quilted it on my home machine with my walking foot using wavy vertical lines. The above picture is post washing and below is prewashing.

I backed the quilt in Ambrosia by Robert Kaufman which ended up being perfect. The colors melded together so well!

I loved this quilt so very much, I may have to make it again...for me!
I took the kids to go by the "Miracles For Mack" event to see what all was going on. Good thing I did...they had my quilt lying in a chair. They were floored, however, when I suggested they tack it up to the tack strip high on the wall. Well, people have to see it!

There were vendors all down the halls (each table was "rented" and some vendors donated percentages of their sales) and there were horse rides outside. My son jumped on that immediately; I could not talk my daughter into it even though she's ridden horses at camp. They sold spaghetti dinners as well; one of my friends told me they'd pre-sold 200 by yesterday at 2:00, and that wasn't including the teachers or vendors! I'm just praying they did well for Mack's family.

Quilt size: ~ 60X70
Fabrics: Hello Luscious by Basic Gray for Moda & Ambrosia by Robert Kaufman
Quilting: wavy lines by me on home machine
Enjoy all the quilts in the festival!
I just heard that we don't have any hard figures yet but they event raised over $7000 last night! Big Whoop!!!!!! I'm so ecstatic for Mack's family!!!
*****SECOND UPDATE*******
The principal just let me know they brought in right at $8000! I also found out who won my quilt; the coach was also there when I worked there won it! I hope she enjoys it and I emailed her to let her know how happy I was that she won!

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