Friday, April 29, 2011

Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?? The best laid plans...

Hi, all!

It's Friday again - are you ready to be encouraged and encouraging??  

I didn't get my quilt for the week finished, and I forgot to take a pic of the flimsy before I wound it up on the quilt frame - but here's my "whoop-whoop" for the week....

I'm calling this one "Passionately Pink" and it's going to a woman going through chemo for breast cancer.  Her sister tells me that she's very fond of pink these days - from a picture I saw, it looks like she even dyed her hair pink!  So I think this quilt will really fit the bill for her.  Hopefully it will be quilted first thing tomorrow morning and in her hands this weekend.....

Oooh - I almost forgot one other thing to whoop over - I am now the proud caretaker of fifteen Warm & Natural quilt batts, obtained for half price at Joann's and an additional 10% off thanks to my Joann's VIP discount card!  Woohoo!!!  Of course, that will only keep us in batts for about two months or so....

So what have you been working on this week?  Remember, it doesn't have to be finished to share it - we love to applaud all the steps along the way!!  You've got until Saturday night at midnight CST to link up - so join right in!!!

And just because I think this post needs one more picture, here's a shot of my little quilting assistant.....

.....isn't she cute???



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Toddlerless Tuesday #27! The Calm Before The Storm...

Hi, all!

We had rain this morning here in Middle Tennessee - but nothing compared to what's expected here in the next 36 hours.  They're expecting the most severe weather of the year to hit during that time.  So today has been very much "the calm before the storm" - and I worked hard to get some things done in case we lose power!

First up was to get these two flimsies turned into quilts.  Thankfully, with the quilt frame and the tons of practice I've had on it lately, I was able to get both of these done by a little after noon.  They're not fancy - just a random meander - but they're quilted and ready for binding.  These will be delivered to our pastor to be available if he wants to give them out at our monthly prayer service (a time when he does very individualized prayer with people who choose to come.)

I also picked out these fabrics for a quilt for a woman undergoing chemo for breast cancer.  They told me she is really into pink these days, so I hope these will tickle her fancy and cheer her up!  That's tomorrow's project...

And look what I got in the mail - my second set of Hands2Help fabrics, this time from my partner Robyn!  

Aren't they pretty?  I can't wait to figure out what to make with them.  Cheerful fabrics are so much fun to sew with!!

So that's what I did with my toddlerless time this Tuesday.  

But one other thing I came across today, while looking at blogs, was the ongoing conversation about being "real" on your blog.  I don't know if you've seen Rebecca's post, or Deborah's post, or Rachel's post - all offshoots of a post recently about the dumbing down of quilting.  (I'm not going to link to that post here - I did not find it to be very constructive, just argumentative.)  One of the things I noticed in the comments, particularly on Rachel's posts, was that people feel intimidated by bloggers who constantly show lots of quilts they have finished, without telling about all the trauma they went through to get there.  So I wanted to clarify a few things about my blog and my quilting...

1.  I make a lot of quilts in a hurry because (a) I make quilts for a quilt ministry and can't bear to think that someone who needs a quilt is without one because I don't feel like quilting that day and (b) because I have help - lots of ladies who put together blocks that we incorporate into the quilts, and others who donate their UFOs for us to finish.  I post them on the blog because it's a way to keep a record of what we've done in the quilt ministry.

2.  It's a rare day when I don't make a total blooper on something I'm sewing - whether it's sewing the pieces together wrong side to right side, or just totally missing the seam matching, or put together fabrics that just look awful! Stuff like that happens to everyone!  And just like everyone else, sometimes I'm "frog-stitching" (rip-it, rip-it) or embracing the error and turning it into something else!  But usually by the time I've gotten around to blogging about it, the bloopers have disappeared in the joy of the finished quilt.

3.  I love making simple quilts because I can create more of them in a hurry - and I love designing my own, or making variations on others that I've seen out there on other blogs.  Sometimes we make the same quilt repeatedly because we can make them quickly.  That's a pitfall of making ministry quilts. But we try to add to our design pool and use new patterns as they are learned!  Sometimes I'd like to make more difficult designs  - and someday I might have time. But for now, I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing!

I hope my blog doesn't intimidate any of you.  That's not my intent at all.  Please, if you have a question about anything I've done or shown on my blog, feel free to e-mail me and ask - I love to help others enjoy quilting as much as I do!  However you choose to quilt - traditional or modern, by hand or machine, fast or slow - you should enjoy it!!

Quilt on!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Make-A-List Monday #44! Where Did The Week Go?

Hi, all!

Where did last week go??? It seems like just yesterday that it was Monday!  I didn't do so well on my list this week, and I'm not really sure why - just one of those weeks, I guess!

So let's see how it went....

1.  Make the Origins quilt for the quilt ministry.
Done and delivered!  This was the 100th quilt we delivered through our quilt ministry since we began in January 2010!

2.  Complete two more quilts for the quilt ministry.
Done - sort of!  I completed one quilt, and pieced two more tops that will be quilted this week (I need more batting, but it is on sale this week, so I needed to wait!)

The finished quilt....

...and the two pieced tops!

3.  Piece a back for the Christmas Around The World quilt.
Partly done - I pieced half of the back Saturday morning before my husband whisked me off for breakfast at Cracker Barrel and a day of errand-running!

4.  Cut out the Ocean Blues quilt. (My vacation project!)
Total fail on this one - but I'm going to pick up the Kona Coal I need for this quilt today at Joanns, now that I have a coupon and it's not on sale for $1 off any more!

5.  Mail off H2H fabric packets and prizes!!
Done!  I think everyone's received their goodies, too....

So let's see what I may or may not get to work on this week...  ;-)

1.  Quilt the two ministry quilts that were pieced last week.

2.  Finish piecing the Christmas quilt back.

3.  Cut out the Ocean Blues quilt.

4.  Make a Hawaii-themed ministry quilt (but the fabrics have to get here first!)

5.  Work on H2H quilt.

6.  Go to Paducah on Saturday for the AQS Quilt Show!!

That's more than enough to keep me busy, I think!  

So - what are you working on this week?



PS - Nicole of Aunti Nicole's Corner is having a giveaway to celebrate her one-year blogging anniversary!  Go check it out!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

We Interrupt Our Regular Programming to Bring You H2H Update v. 1.0...

Hi, all!

It suddenly occurred to me on Friday that not only was this Easter Sunday, but it's also the last Sunday of the month - and that means it's time for the first Hands2Help update/check-in!

This is just a time to pop in, say hello, tell how things are going with your H2H project - nothing heavy duty, although you can link up to a blogpost at the linky party at the bottom if you want to!  Maybe you could put one random fact about yourself in your comment so we can get to know each other better!

Here's my update - I sent off these two squishies of fabric last week....

This one went to Robyn...

...and this one went to Cindy!

I also received my fabric from Cindy on Friday, and adding some of my own, cut out a quilt this morning!

I'm going to use this fabric to make a version of that sweet quilt on the front of Amy Ellis's new book, Modern Basics!  I can't wait to start, but a ministry quilt was needed, so I had to set it to the side for a while.

On another H2H front, I contacted some folks and we're getting a very nice group of prizes for the end of the challenge!  Take a look....

From Judi of Green Fairy Quilts, a jelly roll...

From Pam Nagle of Silver Sound Quilts, a Verna kit by Kate Spain...

From Rebecca of Chasing Cottons, six of her patterns (probably to be divided among multiple winners)....

From John'a Lee of The Scrappy Appleyard, a quilt....

From Peg and Becca of Sew Fresh Fabrics, a fabric bundle...

From Leah of Burgundy Buttons, a $15 gift certificate...

From Sharon Vrooman, a $25 gift certificate to Green Fairy Quilts' shop, and a Robert Kaufman "brights" solid Roll-Up from Fat Quarter Shop...

And from KatieQ, two charm packs!

And for people who send in one or more quilts in addition to their "swap" quilt, there will be a special giveaway - winner's choice of five of Judi's great quilt patterns!  Each additional quilt will get you an entry into this giveaway....


OK - so that's my update, and here's my random fact - - -

In high school, I took an aeronautics class, and was the only girl in the class. The guys were not impressed - until I was the only one that passed the first test!  I suddenly became very popular, all thanks to the fact that I had been flying with my dad since I was tall enough to see over the yoke of the plane!

So now it's your turn.  Tell us how things are going, link up to a blogpost if you want to, and be sure to leave your random personal fact!!



Friday, April 22, 2011

Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?? Where would we be without friends....

Hi, all!

Friday is here once again - I hope you had a good week!  Mine has been very productive - but I couldn't have done any of it without the help of some very good friends!

My first finish for this week is a quilt I made for a woman recently diagnosed with cancer.  She likes greens and yellows, and my first thought was the stash of Origins on my shelf.  Here's where friends #1 and #2 come in - my friend Cathy of Wondrous Woven Fabrics donated a prize for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival last fall, and my friend Karrie of Freckled Whimsy won!  But bless her heart, Karrie told Cathy to send the prize to me for the quilt ministry to use.  Two charm packs of Origins and six half yards of coordinating yardage!  This is the second quilt we've made using those fabrics, so now I'm down to just scraps of those pretty fabrics.

The front....

...and the back!

The really exciting thing about this quilt?  It is the 100th quilt we've distributed through our church's quilt ministry!  

My second finish is another quilt for the ministry.  This one is going to a woman diagnosed with breast cancer.  Once again, this quilt is a joint effort.  

My friend Kate North over at Kate's Arty Bits Blog sent me some of her beautiful batik blocks that she decided she wasn't going to use herself.  This is the first quilt I've put together using those beautiful blocks - and there will be several more!

You may notice in this picture that the binding isn't completely finished - but the sun was shining, and I wasn't taking the chance that it would be shining tomorrow when I had the binding stitched down!  Sun has been a rare commodity around here lately..... and never when I need it!!

And one more "friend" shout-out - take a look at all the beautiful fabric and scraps I received for the quilt ministry this week from my friend Molly over at Stitch-N-Thyme Designs!  We will have so much fun putting these to good use!

So that's what I've worked on this week - now it's your turn!  Show off your accomplishments, be it a finish, a start, or a clean sewing room!  You can link up until Saturday night, and remember to go check out some of your fellow linkers and leave some bloggy love!!!



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Toddlerless Tuesday #26! A Very Productive Day!

Hi, all!

How did your Tuesday go?  Mine started early early this morning, when I dragged myself out of bed and tackled a stack of half-finished blocks.  Got those done before I had to go pick up Miss Lilli, and put them up on the design wall.

(While taking Lilli to preschool, I found out that you can buy a magic flute at an enormous green store for $8.00.  I'm not sure what a magic flute does, but Lilli has one!)

Got back to the house, sewed the blocks on the wall together and put a border on them.  Pieced the scraps into a back, and got ready to load it on the quilting frame.

Intercepted the propane truck so they didn't fill up my tank in April with gas I won't use until next November - woohoo!!  Grabbed a little lunch, read a little e-mail....

Back upstairs at noon.  Thought, "Hey, I can get this loaded on the frame and quilted before I have to pick up the Bug at 1:30!"  While pinning the last of the pieces on the frame, I got a call from a friend who was having trouble with some machine quilting.  Made the mistake of laughing at her dilemma (in a nice way, of course!)  Spent the next forty minutes trying to figure out why my sewing machine was giving me fits!!!  Lesson learned - be kind to everyone - payback stinks!!

Anyway, long story short - I finished up the quilt after I picked up Lilli, who very kindly let me use the quilter while she watched Tangled on my computer!  I got the binding sewn on, and here's my hand-work task for tonight....

So that's what I got done today.  I'm also totally excited about Hands2Help - I've seen lots of comments and e-mails about people already sending and/or receiving their fabric packets - there's lots of excitement out there!  I've also had some great feedback from sponsors, and there's going to be awesome prizes up for grabs at the end of the challenge!!

So what did you do today?



Monday, April 18, 2011

Make-A-List Monday #43! Back to our regular programming....

Hi, all!

OK - Hands2Help is all set up and should run on its own for a while now, so it's time to get back to work on the regular stuff!  Last week was consumed with lists and e-mails and all the work I didn't really know was involved with organizing a challenge/swap - I have so much more appreciation for the people who organized swaps I've been involved in!!  It was loads of fun, but also loads of work - and my list from last week really reflects that.  Here's how I did....

1.  Pull fabrics for the Hands2Help challenge.
Done!  Here are the two packets of fabric that are going out this morning to my partners.....

2.  Assign partners and e-mail everyone!
Done!  Hallelujah!!  48 individuals participating!!!

3.  Quilt the sixteen-patch ministry quilt.
Done!  This one is intended for a lady who's just been diagnosed with lung cancer, and will be delivered this morning...

4.  Make a ministry quilt from Origins fabric.
I didn't get to this one - probably because I spent all my quilting time Thursday and Friday working on Hands2Help. But there's no excuse for this week - so it will get done!!

5.  Piece together a blue ministry quilt.
Done!  This one has been delivered, too!

6.  Piece a back for my Christmas Around The World quilt!
Still no luck on this one.... maybe this week??

OK - so here's my list for this week...

1.  Make the Origins quilt for the quilt ministry.

2.  Complete two more quilts for the quilt ministry.

3.  Piece a back for the Christmas Around The World quilt.

4.  Cut out the Ocean Blues quilt. (My vacation project!)

5.  Mail off H2H fabric packets and prizes!!

I will get more done this week!!! (That's my new mantra...)

So what are you up to this week??



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Surfin' Sunday - A Shout-out to the H2H Bloggers!

Hi, all!

Today's Surfin' Sunday will be a little different....

A good friend of mine said something I found to be really memorable this week...

When Your Plate Is Full...

Get a Bigger Plate!

You see, she had originally told me she didn't think she had time to participate in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge because she was so busy.  Imagine my surprise when I saw this blogpost and had an e-mail from her signing up!  

I think that most of the participants in the challenge are busy quilters - I know I am - but they have all opted to "get a bigger plate", so to speak, and join in for a good cause.  So today's Surfin' Sunday is a shout-out to all those wonderful quilters!!  Here's just a few examples of what some of them are doing....

Beth organized a block challenge and has put the blocks she received together into these beautiful quilts that will go to Japan for tsumani relief...

...Janet created this fabulous pillow that won the Fat Quarterly Reader Challenge....

and Jamie made this beautiful quilt to donate to Relay for Life!

This is just a small sampling of the skills and heart of the ladies who have joined us for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge.  You can find all of their names in the right sidebar of my blog - click on their name and it will take you to their blog.  I would encourage you to check them out - they are all talented and well worth a visit!!

Thank you, everyone who signed up to participate!  And to those of you who just couldn't get that bigger plate, we'd appreciate your support as we head toward the finish line in July!



PS if you signed up to participate and you have not received your partner assignment, please e-mail me and let me know - I'll re-send the info!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Can I get a Whoop-Whoop?? And Giveaway Results!

Hi, all!

Wow, it seems like forever since last week's Whoop Whoop Friday!!  It feels like all I've been doing for a week is talking to people about the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge.... I had to really think hard to find something I finished last week!  But I did come up with one thing...

All About The Blues (the front...

...and the back)

This quilt was made for the mother of one of our quilt ministry members, Joyce.  Joyce asked last Saturday at our monthly sewing day if we could make a quilt for her mom, because her dad was near death and her mom really needed "a hug" of sorts.  Joyce's dad died early this week, and this quilt will be in her mom's hands very soon.

So that's my whoop whoop entry for this week - a sad reason, but a pretty quilt.  Oh, and I'm really happy that I've got all the participants for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge paired up, too! 

We ended up with 48 participants - how awesome is that!!  And, as promised, there are some giveaways to take care of....  like this Origins jelly roll donated by Judi at Green Fairy Quilts...

...which was won by KatieQ!!  Congratulations!  And then there's this Sherbet Pips jelly roll....

... which was won by P.!!  (P., I am so-o-o-o-o jealous!!)

And then, just because all these ladies did such a great job of promoting the challenge and helping get such a fantastic response, I decided to sweeten the pot just a little more.  Perhaps you've seen all the chatter in blogland about Denise Schmidt fabric now being available at Joann's.....

...and some of it somehow leaped into my shopping cart!  So I have a half-yard each of Dots in blue, Dots in red, and Tiles in red.....  for Ann of Renegade Quilter!  (And oh, this fabric feels wonderful!!)

Just FYI, my DH drew these names from a sack containing all the comments left by the participants in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge, plus the names of all the people who contacted me directly by e-mail about joining!  I couldn't find a feasible way to use Little Miss Random, and it only seemed right that since my husband came up with the original inspiration for the challenge, he should have to draw the first giveaway winners!

So that's what I've been up to this week!  How about you? What are you excited about?  Do tell - - - link up below and share your achievements!!