Monday, January 31, 2011

Make-A-List Monday #32!

Hi, all!

We had a wonderful gift this weekend - it was 66, sunny and gorgeous on Saturday, and 65, mostly sunny and gorgeous on Sunday!  After the winter we've had so far, it was so nice to be able to step outside without a coat and just enjoy the weather!!

I did get a lot done this week, too - so let's get to the recap!  Here's last week's list....

This one is done - quilted, bound, and delivered.  I named it "Tropical Breezes".  
(That sounds funny, with its picture taken in the snow!)

Done!  This quilt is also quilted, bound and delivered.  
I named it "The Shirt Off My Back" because it was made from 
shirt fabric samples from the 1960's.

Here's some detail on the blocks - pieced together by the ladies in our quilt ministry 
at our January meeting.

And here's how I covered up an "oops" moment - when I found a 
raw edge while quilting on the quilting frame!  (It's the recipient's initials!)
Done!  The top and back are finished and ready to be quilted.
It needs a name - any ideas?

4.  Finish piecing the flimsy for my Christmas Trip Around The World quilt.
Done!  And I've named this quilt "Noel".  I am so happy with the way this came out, 
and can't wait to quilt it!  But ministry quilts come first....

So now, what's up for this week?

1.  Finish piecing another ministry quilt.

2.  Quilt last week's unnamed ministry quilt.

3.  Piece backs for two donated quilt flimsies.

4.  Assemble a set of donated Double Irish Chain blocks into a flimsy.

5.  Put binding on a donated quilt.

I think that's enough for the week - probably more than I can get done, but it's a good goal!  A friend from church brought me some goodies last Saturday - one quilt finished except for binding, two flimsies ready to be quilted, a set of Irish chain pieced blocks, a completed baby quilt, and an enormous box of cut 5" squares!  Woohoo!!  But now I need to get on the ball and put it all to good use!  I'm getting quite a stack of flimsies that need to be quilted - so as soon as I finish piecing the top I'm working on right now, I'll be moving the Juki back to the quilting frame to get to work on them!!

So - - - - what are you working on this week???



Sunday, January 30, 2011

Surfin' Sunday - Featuring Em's Scrapbag!

Hi, all!

It's Sunday again - and time to discover a (hopefully!) new-to-you blogger!!  Today I want to introduce you to Emily, of Em's Scrapbag!

I love Emily's blog - she is a scrappy and prolific quilter, and always has beautiful eye candy!

What a unique way to use coin strips!

Oh, I do love this quilt top!!

And check out this happy little block!!

She also has a great feature on Mondays called Find The Good - she collects up wonderful pictures from fellow bloggers that fit into a theme - more eye candy and inspiration!!

And best of all - she's using her quilting skills for good!  

She hosts sew-ins to make quilts for Happy Chemo, an organization that, among other things, gives quilts to cancer patients.  She's set a really lofty goal for her donation to them this year - maybe you'd like to help her?  You can read more about her efforts here and here.  

So go check out my friend Emily's blog - I think you'll stick around for a while!!  

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

As always, let me know of any blogs you think I should check out - I'm always looking for new inspiration!  Keep working on your projects so you can link up for Can I Get A Whoop Whoop Friday, too - because we all need a little encouragement!!!  



Friday, January 28, 2011

Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?? Mastering the Machine!!

Hi, all!!

Well, it's time again for a little bloggy love - I hope you've got lots of great things to share today!  

Last week I was e-mailing with my friend KarrieLyne of Freckled Whimsy
and I mentioned that I still hadn't had a chance to play with my Christmas present, 
a "faux" long arm quilting frame.   Her response - and I quote - was, 
"I can't believe that you haven't quilted on your new frame yet woman!! 
Ack!! I need to come and break it in for you! LOL :)"  

Oh, the shame of it!  Unwilling to face Karrie again 
(even through e-mail!) without having used my new frame, 
I set aside last Thursday, and last Friday as it turned out,
to get the thing set up and running.

I was using it before last Thursday....

Just not exactly for its true purpose!
(I will say, though, it makes a great flimsy holder!)

But last week I girded my loins (whatever that means!) and read the manual (oh my gosh!), moved my new Juki onto the frame, hooked up the Cruise Control, 
and loaded up some test fabric.

Took it for a whirl.  Oops!  Helps if you drop the presser foot!
But after I got past that little catastrophe, 
it was pretty smooth sailing!

So I loaded up a quilt top I had made for the quilt ministry....
Then reloaded it, as I wasn't happy with the way it went on the frame.
I did the quilting over the weekend!  Woohoo!!

It's so nice to have my little photography assistant again!

The back of "Tropical Breezes"

It didn't feel like I was saving much time, but I vowed to 
give it another chance.  I loaded another ministry quilt on it yesterday
during Lilli's nap, and then quilted it today while Lilli was in preschool.  
It only took 1 1/2 hours to quilt!

The binding is sewn on the front, but I still need to hand-stitch it to the back.
I'm calling this quilt "The Shirt Off My Back" because the blocks are
made with 2" x 4" samples of fabrics for men's shirts from back in the 1960's.
(I'll be showing finished pictures of this quilt later on in the week.)

And then tonight, after working on all the quilt ministry quilts, 
I decided to spend an hour or so working on one of my UFO's.
This is the Christmas Around The World quilt I started last January.
I'm naming it Noel.

And it's done!  (Well, ok, just the flimsy, but wow! I cut this out over a year ago!)

So all in all, even though I felt like I was spinning my wheels while working on the quilt frame, I seem to have gotten a reasonable amount of stuff done this week!

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

So now it's your turn.  What did you do this week that made you want to dance?   
Link up below and show us what you did!!
Whoop whoop!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Don't Forget to Get Your "Whoop Whoop" On!!

Hi, all!

Just a reminder - tomorrow is our second "Can I Get A Whoop Whoop??" Friday - so gather up your pics and join in!  No need for a finish - just some achievement you want to dance around and shout about!!

See you tomorrow!!!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sharing the Bloggy Love....

Hi, all!

It was an award-filled week last week for me - imagine my surprise when I opened my e-mail to find a message from Staci, who blogs at The Confused Quilter, saying that she had given me the Stylish Blogger Award!  How sweet, and very humbling.....

I'm fairly new to blogging, and really just stumbling around in the dark here, so it came as a big surprise!  But it certainly made me smile!!

There are a two rules for this award; one is that I have to share 8 things about myself, and the second, is pass the award to 8 other blogs.  Wow!  Both Rules are rather tough!  I'll start with the second, although it's really hard to narrow it down to eight blogs.  I've tried to choose some that might not be so familiar to you....

8 Bloggers and blogs that you really ought to check out!

Christina at A Few Scraps
Angela at Cut To Pieces
Georgia at Stitchlings
Traceyjay at Traceyjay Quilts
Shannon at Monkeydog Quilts

8 Things about Me:

    1.  I used to help my dad restore old airplanes.

    2.  I was the only girl in the first aeronautics class my high school offered - and pretty quickly became very popular, as I was the only one who passed the first test!

    3.  Before last year, I was VERY finish challenged!

    4.  I never quilted seriously until 2010.

    5.  I made 41 quilts last year, but only have one quilt that I made in my home (a fact I'm hoping to change that this year!)

    6. My grandmother, who taught me to sew, also made sure that I knew how to knit, crochet, and embroider, but I never saw her make a quilt and she didn't teach me how to quilt.

    7.  Not really about me, but interesting - my grandmother's father was 73 when she was born and fathered three children after her!   Great-granddaddy was a pistol!

    8.  I come from an old southern family and we really prefer the phrase "southern eccentric" to "weird" or "crazy"!!

    WHEW!  Glad that's over with - it's always hard to think of interesting things to say about yourself!!

    And then, after reading Staci's e-mail, I opened one from Cindy at Rose Room Quilts, and read that she was nominating me for the Liebster Award!  The Liebster Award is given to blogs with less than 300 followers and every award recipient then nominates 3 more award winners....

    So here are my nominations...

    Emily over at Em's Scrap Bag.  Emily is so good at scrappy quilts, and she always has such lovely eye candy on her blog!!

    Helen over at Patchy Work of Mini Grey.  Helen does the most fabulous applique
     and free motion quilting!  You will be amazed!

    Miranda over at Miranda & Charlie.  I first met Miranda when she guest-posted 
    at Stash Manicure - she's a new, young quilter with an outstanding sense of design.  
    This is a blog you'll want to keep your eye on - I think she's going to do great things!

    Here are the rules:
    1) Tell your readers who tagged you.
    2) Add a link to their blog.
    3) Award 3-5 bloggers who you think deserve this award.

    Inform them and post directions to your blogspot. Please don't tag people who already have 300 followers. The goal of this award is to get more publicity to blogs that are good, but not so well known.

    I am extremely appreciative that people find my blog interesting enough to read, much less to give awards to - but it is my pleasure to pass those awards on to others.  I only wish I could pass them on to more of the blogs I read.  Each and every one of you are award worthy!  

    Thanks for all the bloggy love!!



    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Toddlerless Tuesday #18! Slow and steady wins the race.....

    Hi, all!

    Just a quick post to let you know that I didn't waste my toddlerless Tuesday - remember this quilt from Monday?

    Well, it's quilted, trimmed, the binding is sewn on the front and I'm sitting here getting ready to watch the State of the Union address and hand-stitch the binding on the back!  I'll show finished pictures of it when I can get some daylight for a photo!  That may not be tomorrow - they've gone from predicting 1-3 inches of snow, to 2-4 inches, and now they're at 3-6 inches!  I may even have a toddlerless Wednesday - at least in the morning - if it comes through!

    So what have you been up to??



    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Make-A-List Monday #31! Lots of Catching Up to Do!

    Hi, all!

    How was your week last week?  Did you get a lot done?  Mine was a mixed bag - I got a lot done, but not a lot of the things on my list from last week.  So let's see how it went....

    Last week's list:

    1.  Finish the second ministry quilt (the one that's half pieced).
    I finished piecing the top, pieced a back, and have it half-mounted on the quilting frame. So not quite finished, but a good way there!

    2.  Start on ministry quilts #3 and #4 (using the blocks from Saturday).
    Ministry quilt #3 top is pieced, so is the back, and it goes on the frame as soon as I finish quilting the second one!

    3.  Choose a pattern for ministry quilt #5.
    I have the fabrics picked, and I think I know what pattern I want to use - but something tells me that there may be a better idea.  So while I've still got others to finish, I'm letting it percolate a little!

    4.  Set up and test drive the quilting frame!!
    WOOHOO!  YIPEE!  WHOOP WHOOP!!  I finally did this!!  It took longer than I thought it would, (most of Thursday and almost all of Friday!) but it's done, and I didn't have any problems on my test fabric (except for forgetting to put the presser foot down the first time!  That does NOT work well at all!)

    In addition to all the things I got done (or didn't get done!), I set up a linky party for Fridays, created a button for the linky with a lot of help from some friends, and worked on one of my UFOs!

    So - - - what is on my list for next week?

    4.  Finish piecing the flimsy for my Christmas Trip Around The World quilt.

    I think that's enough to keep me busy for the week, don't you?

    So what are you working on this week?



    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    Surfin' Sunday - Featuring Baby Boomer Quilting Bee!

    Hi, all!

    Wow, I really messed up my schedule when I added "Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?" Friday - leaving it open until Saturday evening means that my Surfin' Saturday now needs to become Surfin' Sunday!  So - slight game plan, but here we are with Jamie from Baby Boomer Quilting Bee!

    String Card Quilt Trick

    Jamie is a very creative and prolific quilter - she posts a design wall Monday feature that allows you to see the progress she is making on her fabulous quilts!  Over several weeks, we saw the lovely quilt above go from being a couple of string blocks to the final finished project - what a beauty!  And be sure to check out her tutorial for making string blocks on paper foundations without all the paper mess!  Genius!!

    Here's a quilt that is currently on her design wall - a monochromatic study....

    And here's another quilt that is made by one of her own L'Affair patterns - posted free for your use on her blog!  There's even a tutorial for this particular block on her blog.

    Kendra's Quilt
    She's even been featured on Moda Bake Shop with her "Missy's Fall Garden Quilt" - one that's definitely on my bucket list!!

    Jamie's always got great eye candy on her blog, and I'm fascinated by the insights into her process we get to see each week.  Be sure to go check her out!!!



    PS:  Be sure to check out the giveaways at Lila Tueller Designs and Freckled Whimsy - awesome stuff!!

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?? The very first one!!

    Hi, all!

    Here we are at the beginning of what I hope will be a long-standing Friday tradition - the Can I Get A Whoop Whoop??? Friday Linky Party!  This is a laid-back, easy way to get motivated to work on your projects and get a little bloggy love to inspire you!  If you want to see the guidelines, you can check them out here - then join in the fun!!

    So without further ado, here is my Friday finish......

    This quilt has a great story.....  A couple of days after Christmas, I received a package of blocks from Diane over at Life Scraps containing some pretty pink and green blocks and block kits, and some purple scraps that she was donating to our church's quilt ministry.  When I e-mailed her to let her know they had arrived, she told me that the purple scraps were originally intended to be made up in another rendition of this quilt, but she decided she didn't want to make the same quilt twice.  So I put the scraps in a bag with the intention of making up her pretty squares quilt sometime in the future.

    Cut now to the second week in January.   I got an e-mail from a friend at church asking us to make a quilt for Savannah, a ten-year old girl with cancer - she has been battling it a long time and just got some unfavorable test results.  Anyway, I e-mailed her back and asked her if she knew anything about the Savannah's color preferences or likes and dislikes, and she told me she'd see what she could find out and get back to me.  

    The next morning, we woke up to lots of snow and no travel because the roads were so bad.  Faced with a toddler-less day and a sewing machine, I headed upstairs to my studio to work on some old projects!  After I finished one, I checked the computer to see if my friend had e-mailed me with any more info on the little girl.  Nothing there.  So I decided to go ahead and work with the purple fabrics, and if it didn't work for Savannah, we'd just give the quilt too someone else.  I worked on it all afternoon, adding a few purple fabrics I had and some white fabric, and got 30 blocks done for the center of the quilt.  

    Still no information from my friend, but it occurred to me that Savannah might have a Caring Bridge webpage, so I checked, and lo and behold, she did!  I went in to her photo section to see if I could tell anything about her favorite colors - - - and her entire bedroom is decorated in purples and apple green!!  So I went ahead and finished the quilt top, knowing that this little girl's quilt had been determined long before I even heard about her!  

    I even found a piece of purple print in my stash that would work, colorwise, with the front of the quilt - but I was worried about it being too traditional compared to the contemporary front.  I took it to church to show some of my fellow quilters to get their read on it, and happened to run into Keri, a good friend of Savannah and her family.  Keri saw the fabric and without my even mentioning it, asked if it would be part of her quilt - because it had butterflies on it, and butterflies are Savannah's favorites!

    I named this quilt "Hope" - and the name is worked into the quilting on one of the blocks.  Our prayer is that it brings Savannah hope every day!

    Here's Savannah, wrapped up in her new quilt!

    It always amazes me when I see how God works in everything!  It's not the first time I've seen this happen with our quilt ministry - and I'm sure it won't be the last.  It's why I love being able to do this so much!!

    So that's my finish for this week - 
    thanks for letting me share with you!

    Now it's your turn - here's the linky!  
    Show off your accomplishments for the week, 
    linking to your blog or flickr page!
    And don't forget to encourage your fellow linkers!

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    There's Something New Coming....

    Hi, all!

    Well, on Monday I asked if anyone would be interested in a Friday linky party to keep them motivated - and there was lots of interest!  So - - - tomorrow will be our first.......

    "Can I Get a Whoop Whoop" Friday Linky Party!

    Here are the guidelines:

    1.  If you did something crafty this week that you"d like a "Whoop Whoop" for, blog about it or post a pic on Flickr, then link up on Friday right here!  It"s not always possible to have a finish, I know, but maybe you conquered something that was standing in the way of a finish, like finally getting that invisible zipper put in, or sewing that stack of blocks into a flimsy.  Here's where you can celebrate your accomplishment!

    2.  Put your name on your link-up - that way we can get to know each other a little better!

    3.  Try to visit at least the link-up right before yours, and leave a comment!  After all, this is all about getting some blog-love and encouragement from our fellow bloggers!!  The more linked blogs you can visit and comment on, the better, but everyone understands that life gets in the way sometime!

    4.  Grab the button (over to the right in my sidebar!) and put it in your sidebar - you can copy the code from the box right under  the button, then paste it into an HTML/Javascript gadget.

    Not this button, the one in the sidebar!! ;-)

    Update to the update:  Thanks to Vicki from Dotty Jane Designs, we have a working button with html code you can copy!  Whoop Whoop!!

    5.  Be sure to mention the party and put a link back to the linky post on your blog so other people can check out all the links and maybe even join in the fun!

    I'll try to have the link set up starting at midnight Central Standard Time (US) on Friday, and run through midnight Central Standard Time (US) on Saturday, to give everyone time to link up!  

    I'm excited!!  I hope you are too!!