Friday, August 30, 2013

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? A Book Review and a Giveaway!!!

Hi, all!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I mentioned that I had passed 900 followers, and that a giveaway would be forthcoming?  Well, I think that's a great reason to whoop it up a bit, so today's the day!  

I was also asked by Christina over at A Few Scraps to review her first book!  Some of you may know that I am a big fan of Christina's blog, and refer lots of folks to her free motion quilting tutorials, which are wonderful - a great way to learn how to do FMQ.  

I was eagerly anticipating this book, but wow, I was blown away by the actuality of it!  The first part of the book deals with the how-to part of FMQ.  There is a section on what you need before beginning, another on the basics of the process, and a third section that covers things like how to decide what type of FMQ to use on a project.  The next twenty-three pages of FMQ design ideas should give you a ton of inspiration!  

But wait, there's more!  Christina not only outlines the basics of free motion quilting, but also has twenty-four (!) great projects to hone your new skills on.  My usual method of deciding whether to purchase a book is to see how many projects "take my breath away" - a minimum of three is require before I'll consider purchasing a book.    When I counted up how many projects I wanted to make in this book, I found at least twenty I want to make, or that will give me a jumping off point for my own interpretation of the technique.  

Here are three projects I've made up from the book in just the past couple of days...

Hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow,
this will be a finished pillow cover!

I can't decide whether to make a wall hanging
or a pillow cover out of this one!

I absolutely love these bowls - super simple to make, and I can think of so many uses for them!  In my studio, I can use them to corral thread, rotary cutters, or even my bluetooth headset that I'm constantly worried I'll cut up when I'm not wearing it!  And on my dresser, I always need little "catchers" for jewelry, change, and the like.  How would you use them?

And guess what?  You can totally flip them inside out and change the look!!  I love it!! 

My daughter looked through the book and decided that she wants me to make matching quilts for the little girls by one of the quilt designs.  (There are six quilt designs, by the way, each one designed to highlight the free motion quilting you've learned to do!)

But by far the most eye-opening section for me was the Embroidered Projects!  I've been doing FMQ for four years now, and never once considered using it as embroidery on non-quilt-y projects.  What an epiphany! I'll be doing at least one project out of this section in the next week.  

The book ends with a very short and concise section about sewing and quilt construction techniques - good information but not a textbook on the process - and a very useful troubleshooting section.  I learned a lot here!  

There's a lot in this book for people new to free motion quilting, people who've been doing it for a while, even those of us who use a long-arm quilting machine!  I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to do their own free motion quilting, as Christina is an exceptional teacher and shares her experience (and yes, even her mistakes!) freely.  For those of you who have been quilting a while, I think you'll find some fresh new projects and inspiration here.  It's available in paperback and in a Kindle version on Amazon.

BUT WAIT!!  Remember I promised a giveaway?  Well, I was so excited about this book, I decided to put my money where my mouth is, and I purchased a copy to give away!!  So here's how you can have a chance to win (or two or three!).....

1.  Leave a comment!  Tell me something about your FMQ experience - your biggest quilt on a home machine, the most creative thing you've made, or the biggest "oops" you've ever done!  Have fun with it!

2.  Follow this blog, or let me know you already do!  If you follow through something other than Google Friend Connect, I'd love to know how you follow (just for curiosity's sake).

3.  Join the Whoop Whoop Friday linky party!  It's fun and a great way to get encouragement and inspiration! (Your link below will be your entry for this chance.)

3.  Spread the word about the giveaway by mentioning it on your blog and linking back to this post.  Come back and leave a comment letting me know you did!

Leave a separate comment for each entry.  And be sure you leave an email address if you're a no-reply blogger (or think it's possible you might be!)  I ALWAYS reply to your comments, so if you've commented here before and I've never emailed back, you're a no-reply blogger.  Leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!!

You can enter until next Thursday, September 5th at 5 pm CST.  I'll draw a winner and announce it on next week's Whoop Whoop Friday post!  And if you just can't wait to get a copy of this book (and who could blame you?) you can get it sent right to your door here on Amazon!


And now it's your turn to whoop it up!!

What have you been working on this week?

What's made you dance the happy dance?

For anyone who's new, it doesn't have to be a finish -
just something you're excited about!

I'll leave the linky party open until 
Thursday at 5 pm this week - 

Be there or be square!!



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Make-A-List Monday - It's Starting To Snowball!!

Hi, all!

Well, it's been a busy week!  I spent lots of quality time with my little girls, my husband, and my daughter and son-in-law, PLUS I managed to get a good bit of sewing done!  A good week, all in all!  Thanks to a major internet fail last night, I'm a day late posting this, but better late than never, right?

Here's how I did on last week's list...

1.  Keep quilting for Rogersville - at least five quilts this week.
Done! I took six quilts to church last week for others to bind.  No pictures, though - they were snatched up in a hurry!

2.  Applique stars on the flag field.
Didn't get to this one yet - hopefully tomorrow! I did buy the new fabric and a Chacco chalk marker so it's ready to go.

3.  Finish the six mug rugs.
I finished five of these!  

4.  Make two pinafores for the craft show.
Didn't get to this one - I decided to make up a good stock of each type of item I've already got before branching out into these 
(I think!)

5.  Make first aid roll-up sample for craft show.
Done!  I actually already made four - they are quick and easy!  And I made another of the little pyramid pin cushions too.

6.  Keep up with the quilt ministry needs.
It was an unusual week - no needs came up.  But this week is rapidly making up for that!

Could be better - but still a respectable week!  In addition to the things on the list, I received a copy of Christina Cameli's new book, First Steps to Free Motion Quilting, that she sent me to review.  I'll be sharing my thoughts about it on Friday, along with a few projects from it that I've already finished!  (There might even be a giveaway....)

And here's what's on tap for this week...

1.  Help a friend finish a ministry quilt top for a young boy.

2.  Make a ministry quilt for a 6-year old boy who just had a heart transplant.

3.  Make a ministry quilt for a young woman who was in a serious car accident.

4.  Make a quilt for a teenager dealing with brain cancer.

5.  Finish a quilt started by my MIL to give to my FIL.

6.  Start prepping the house for a visit by my FIL and SIL.  (This involves moving stuff around since we only have one guest room!)

7.  Keep quilting for Rogersville - at least five quilts this week.

8.  Get those stars appliqued on the blue field!

9.  Keep up with any other ministry needs that arise.

Well, that ought to keep me out of trouble!!  It's funny how some weeks are really pretty easy, and others seem to hold more than can possibly get done - but the important stuff always gets done!

So now the question is - - - what are you working on this week?



Friday, August 23, 2013

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Lots of Baby Quilts...

Hi, all!

Friday again - can you believe it?  The weeks go by so fast! Do you realize that there's only about four months until Christmas?  Eek!!  Well, I see lots of finishes in my near future - and I imagine you do too! 


This week seems to have been my week for baby quilts!

First up is this cute pair of quilts made using the Noodle Quilt tutorial for a pair of newborn twins!  The quilts use the same focus fabric, but have different color pinwheels.

I'm also very happy to say that I had this cute teddy bear corduroy in my stash - a long term resident, it's been there about ten years - and I had just enough of it, with a contrasting strip added to each, to make backs for both quilts!

And next is this quilt, which will make its way into my Etsy shop very soon...

It's made with some of the ombre fabric in V & Co.'s Simply Color line.  A simple patchwork made interesting through the subtle shading of color!

Because the quilt top was so simple, I wanted to do something interesting with the quilting.

Straight-line cross-hatching, with some angular spirals and double-stitched boxes....

I also used some vintage Irish linen from my grandmother's stash for the back.  It shows off the quilting nicely, and will get softer and softer with each washing!

And one more picture, just because it's pretty!!

So that's what I've been working on this week!  
Can I get a whoop whoop?


And now it's your turn!  

What's made you dance the happy dance this week?

What made you whistle while you worked?

Share with us!  We want whistle along with you!!

The linky party will stay open until Sunday midnight - 
plenty of time to link up and join the fun!!



Monday, August 19, 2013

Make-A-List Monday - Plugging Away!

Hi, all!

Wow, it was a busy week last week!  Did your week fly by as fast as mine did?  On top of everything I knew was going to happen, we ended up with some extended family obligations.  And some quilt ministry needs came up, too. So I didn't get everything done on my list for last week.  Let's see how I did...

1.  Keep quilting one quilt a day for Rogersville.
Done!   I took six quilts for Rogersville to church last week for others in the group to do the binding.

2.  Applique the stars to the flag field.
I didn't get this done.  A series of really annoying errors had me back at the store today picking up some more navy blue fabric and a different marking pen.  Hopefully by next week....

3.  Make nine mug rugs for the craft show.
Started!  I've put together the tops for five of them, and pulled the fabrics for a sixth.  Here's one of them...

4.  Quilt a baby quilt for the craft show.
Done!  This is what I spent today on...

The front is made using some of the Simply Color ombre fabric, and the back is a piece of real Irish linen from my grandmother's stash.  It is so-o-o-o-o soft!! 

5.  Quilt a ministry quilt for a woman just diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Done!  This beautiful quilt top was donated by Sharon and was a pleasure to quilt!

6.  Keep up with any other ministry needs that come up.
Done!  I pieced and quilted two baby quilts for a set of twin boys that were born last week.  Pictures to come on Friday!

Okay, so not too bad - could be worse!  So let's see what the list looks like this week...

1.  Keep quilting for Rogersville - at least five quilts this week.

2.  Applique stars on the flag field.

3.  Finish the six mug rugs.

4.  Make two pinafores for the craft show.

5.  Make first aid roll-up sample for craft show.

6.  Keep up with the quilt ministry needs.

I'm sure more stuff will come up this week - it always does!  Tomorrow I'll be picking Lilli up after school - our first time at her new school. She called me this afternoon to be sure I knew where and when to pick her up - silly girl!  And Emmy will be here on Wednesday, so I probably won't get to too much sewing that day.   Although naptime has been a little bit more productive lately, so maybe I will!

And now the question is - - - what are you working on this week?



Friday, August 16, 2013

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Finally A Finish!!

Hi, all!

Here it is, Friday again!!  Time to whoop it up again - - - are you ready?


It's been a busy week here, but definitely a productive one!  Lots of things made for the craft fair, including this cute little pin cushion that I whipped up...

I finished up a beautiful quilt top, donated by Sharon, to be given to a single mom who has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  This one's just too pretty to show in one shot...

And Lilli went to her first day of kindergarten this week!  Here she is showing off her first-day outfit...

Emmy and I had a big time while Lilli and her parents were attending the opening of school..

Snuggling next to Nana on the sofa watching early-morning cartoons...

All cuddled up under Lilli's first quilt..

...and really glad to see her big sister at the end of the day!!

 So many things to whoop about this week! 

UPDATE:  Just got one more, a big one - a clear annual CT scan!  Whoop whoop whoop!!!


And now it's your turn!

What have you been working on this week?

What made you dance the happy dance?

Share - we want to join in the party!

The linky will be open until Sunday midnight - - -

Hope to see you there!!!



Monday, August 12, 2013

Make-A-List Monday - Good Times!

Hi, all!

Monday again, and the start of another busy week!  This one's especially busy, because Lilli will be starting kindergarten.  A whole different schedule this week, then we start a new "normal" as Emmy and I will be alone together again!  And in between all the babysitting this week, I've got plenty to do.  But first, let's see how I did on last week's list...

1.  Make a ministry quilt for a little boy.
My friend Piper is working on the kit I put together using Spiderman material.

2.  Applique the stars to the blue field of the flag quilt.
I didn't get to this one....  :-(

3.  Create a plan of what to make for the craft show.
Done!  And I feel a lot better about it now - I've got plenty of time to make everything I want to take, I think!

4.  Make at least five items for the show.
Done, big time!  I made ten crayon roll-ups, seven key fobs,  six lanyards, and a quilt top last week!

5.  Quilt at least five quilts for Rogersville.
Done!  Including the three I took to church last Sunday, I've quilted nine quilts in eight days. Here's a few of them...

6.  Finish the guest room.
I did some work on this but when my niece's plans changed, I lost interest...

7.  Take care of any other ministry needs that arise.
Done!  We had a request for a 3-year old girl just diagnosed with cancer, and this quilt will work perfectly!

And here's what my week looks like this week - - - Monday (today) I had both girls for the day.  We had a ball, and I managed to quilt a Rogersville quilt, finish three crayon roll-ups, and make a quilt back, too.  Tomorrow I'll be taking Lilli to a movie while her little sister has some doctors' appointments - our last fling before school starts!  Wednesday I'll be babysitting Emmy for a couple of hours in the morning while my daughter and son-in-law go to the beginning of the first day of kindergarten with Lilli.  Thursday is mine, and then Friday, I have Emmy for at least part of the day.  In between all of that, here's what I'd like to get done....

1.  Keep quilting one quilt a day for Rogersville.

2.  Applique the stars to the flag field.

3.  Make nine mug rugs for the craft show.

4.  Quilt a baby quilt for the craft show.

5.  Quilt a ministry quilt for a woman just diagnosed with a brain tumor.

6.  Keep up with any other ministry needs that come up.

I think that's enough for this week - and maybe I can get to all of this before next Monday!  Oh and if anyone's interested, the diet is going well - I've lost four pounds since last Monday and I find that I'm making better food choices on the non-fasting days!  Woohoo!!    And those fasting days aren't so bad - not much worse than a day when I get too busy to eat.  Let's hope it continues....

So now the question is - - - what are you working on this week?



Friday, August 9, 2013

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Check Out These Beauties!

Hi, all!

Where did this week go??  Seems like just a few days since we last whooped it up - - - but it's time again!  Are you ready?


I have so many projects going on right now - quilting for the Rogersville mission trip, making things to sell at a craft fair in October - but nothing finished in time for this post.  So let's see some of the beautiful things I found when checking out last week's links....

This pretty top is by Francine at MochaWildChild -
she loves Kona Coal as much as I do!!

This one's by Jane at Imperfect Quilter - great pattern!

Kathy at Kwilty Pleasures made this beautiful Comma quilt!

This amazing quilting can be seen at A Maidenhair Fern - the quilt is great too!!  Be sure to check it out!!

And my favorite for the week...

Can you tell I like bright colors?  This quilt just sings!!
It was made by Cathy at Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting.
A few of her favorite things!!


And now it's your turn!!

What are you dancing about this week?

What's made your heart sing?

Share with us - we want to join in!!

The party will stay open until Sunday at midnight -

Hope to see you there!!