Sunday, March 31, 2013

Post 555 - The One With the Winners

And the winners are....

Drum roll please...

The winner of the five fat quarters is Heather who wrote, "I read a book once with a bedroom with Mood Wallpaper. It changed colors and patterns depending on your mood. I want that!"

That would be cool.  And helpful for husbands everywhere!

The winner of the 10" flannel squares is Gill who wrote, "I like to read by the fire!"
Me too!

The winner of the 5" charm squares is Ruth, who liked my facebook page.  She also wrote, "At the moment I am loving charm packs and jelly rolls. I love jelly rolls because I am obsessed with scrappy trip along quilts and I love charm packs because I really want to create a Crochet Fusion Quilt soon."

I've never heard of these, but google is your friend.  These projects are awesome!  

The winner of Quilts in Georgia is Gill who wrote, "At the moment my favourite book is Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen."

That's a great choice!

The winner of the pattern and pre-cut denim squares for My Recycled Quilt is Pam from Hip to Be a Square Podcast who wrote, "Oooh.... this would be good for my son, who loves blue! Happy Blogiversary!  And related to the actual question you asked... in five years, I hope to have finished a postage stamp quilt for my king sized bed. HA HA HA HA."

If anyone can do it, Pam, you can!


Thanks so much to everyone who commented and read along for my 5th Blogoversary.  It's been a blast!

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all who celebrate!

He is risen, indeed!

(post with contest winners will be up at 5PM EST tonight)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

March Along Week 4 - Getting in the Habit

It's time to report in for Week4!

This week has been busy getting ready for Spring Break, but I can do anything for 15 minutes!

On Sunday I finally tracked down those hexi templates to bring on Spring Break.

On Monday I started putting together the blocks for Greer's Sister's Quilt (which really needs a name).

On Tuesday I finished piecing the top.

On Wednesday I hosted the WannaBees and prepped handwork to take on vacation.

On Thursday I ironed and cut fabric scraps from that giant basket

On Friday I started FMQing my Easter project

Yesterday I finished my FMQ and started on the binding.

Rafflecopter Review

Everyone should be very familiar with Rafflecopter after the last week, but you may not realize how easy it is to use it yourself. It's free!

I made a little video to show you. Why not set up a giveaway on your blog or Facebook page and try it out?

PS...sorry about some of the choppiness at the end.  I had to do some quick editing so that personal information was not visible on the screen.  I value your privacy! the video I make reference to the giveaway by C&T Publishing for #NQDSI.  The giveaway was actually donated by Stash Books, which is an imprint of C&T.  But I wanted to make sure I gave credit where credit is due.

Friday, March 29, 2013

FMQ Friday - Bargain Bin

Free Motion Quilting Friday

Today is Free Motion Quilting Friday over at Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project.

The rules are simple:
  1. Link up with a post that features something about Free Motion Quilting (FMQ). 
  2. Somewhere in your post, you must link back to Leah's site, or you can just post the FMQF button in your sidebar. 
  3. Comment on at least a few of the other FMQF links. Share your love of free motion quilting and make this weekly link up a fun way to connect!  
I'll bet you can guess what this is going to be!  After I made my practice postcard, I decided to try a bigger version.  I couldn't find a high quality thread in the colors I wanted, so took a chance on some clearance thread that happened to be exactly the right colors.

Let's just say that I understand why it was on clearance, but since I switched to a metallic needle it has worked beautifully.

Hoping to get this done before Sunday!

What are you quilting today?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My 5th Blogoversary!

Today is my actual 5th Blogoversary and the last day of the giveaway. I just want to say thanks so much to everyone who reads here. I wish I could send you all a present!

Unfortunately, I haven't won the lottery, so today is my last day of giveaways.  Today I'm offering a set of denim squares, pre-cut, and the instructions for making My Recycled Quilt.

You can use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter in several ways.  Today I want to know what one thing you hope to have accomplished in five years - by March 28, 2018.  (YIKES!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

WiP Wednesday - The One With the Cannoli

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Today I'm hosting the WannaBees. It was so nice to have all seven of us together.  We started making plans for our next group project and showed off our latest work.

Mine is the finished top for Greer's Sister.  (I'm taking recommendations for a name!)

Jodi was working on her String Spider Web blocks from the Bonnie Hunter class.  Laura showed some fantastic blocks from a class whose name I can't remember but will ask her.  Vicki was doing beautiful hand work, as always.  Ben was drawing on fabric.  Lene came in late sharing longarm stories.  And Lynn had just finished this quilt for the chorus director at her daughter's school.  Isn't it fantastic?

I was still working to put together my hand quilting kit for our vacation and drawing out my next FMQ project.

In non-quilty news, Deuce came home last night and announced that he was making cannoli for his AP Calculus class.  (No, he did not get his math ability from me.  But you knew that.)  I had so much fun helping him figure out a substitution for cannoli molds (butter knives) and showing him how to make a piping bag out of a ziploc. 

As promised, he sent me a picture of the finished product once he filled them...

...which led to this text conversation with The Pit Boss...

...and this one with my brother, whom my son clearly takes after most.

I hope you are getting lots done and having some spur of the moment family fun!

5th Blogoversary Giveaway! - Day 4

It's Day 4 of my 5th Blogoversary giveaway!

Today I have a great book for you called Georgia Quilts: Piecing Together a History.  The Pit Boss likes it so much he bought it for me two Christmases in a row! 

You can use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter in all kinds of ways.  My favorite, though, will be when you tell me your favorite quilt book.  This can be a book of patterns, a novel, or any other book that inspires your quilting.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

5th Blogoversary Giveaway! - Day 3

It's Day 3 of my 5th Blogoversary Giveaway!

Today I have a homemade charm pack (5" squares.  Get it?) of various fabrics that I assembled while I was cutting all that fabric.  

You can use the Rafflecopter widget to enter in a bunch of ways.  The ones I can't wait to read are your comments about your favorite cut of fabric.  Is it fat quarters?  Layer cakes?  Yardage?  Let me know. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Monday, March 25, 2013

5th Blogoversary Giveaway! - Day 2

It's Day 2 of my 5th Blogoversary celebration!

Today I have a stack of 10" flannel squares left over from a quilt I made for a friend who was going through a rough time.  They are all girly girl fabrics.  One has desserts, one has fuzzy slippers, etc.

I was going to give you 25 because, you know, the whole FIVE thing, but I had more than that left so I'm giving you all 38 of them.  They would be perfect for a fun back or a shaggy raggy quilt.

You can use this Rafflecopter widget to enter in a bunch of different ways.  I want to know what your favorite thing to do while snuggling under a quilt is.  (Please keep it PG!)  Do you like to read?  Watch a movie?   Make another quilt? 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

March Along Week 3

It's time to report in for Week 3!

This week didn't go exactly as planned, but I got a lot done since Grace was home sick for two days.  With the help of my podcaster friends I can do anything for 15 minutes!

On Sunday I worked on blog posts for the rest of the month.  Phew!

On Monday I listened to Sandy's latest podcast while I cut scraps.

On Tuesday I made the zippered pouch for my niece's birthday.

On Wednesday I cut out the pieces for Greer's Baby Sister's Quilt.

On Thursday I started piecing the blocks and listened to Sandi's latest episode.

On Friday I listened to Frances's latest episode while I ripped out all of my mistakes in those blocks. 

On Saturday, I finished piecing the blocks correctly.  I think.  

5th Blogoversary Giveaway! - Day 1

We're kicking off five days of celebration for FIVE years of blogging.

Today's prize is FIVE fat quarters of fabric left over from my Master Bedroom block for the WannaBee's house quilt.  I love these fabrics.  They are so soothing and restful.  I wish my real bedroom looked like this. 

You can use the Rafflecopter widget below for lots of ways to enter.  The one I'm most looking forward to is the comment about what colors your dream bedroom would be. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Feedly/Bloglovin App Review

This isn't so much about a quilting app, but after all the discussion about Google Reader this past week I thought I'd throw in my two cents.

From my quilty friends, it seems that Feedly and Bloglovin are the two most common readers to switch over to.  After playing around with both, I think I'm going to use Feedly.

Here's why:

Pros (both)
  • very simple to transfer from Google Reader
  • Ability to like or save posts, even from the mobile app
Cons (both)
  • can connect to a Facebook User, but not a Facebook Page.  Bloglovin offers a profile picture, but it can only be pulled from Facebook.
Pros - Bloglovin
  • Ability to "claim" my blog and see who else is following me in Bloglovin
Cons - Bloglovin
  • My categories didn't transfer, so I need to go through and create them and reassign all of the blogs.  My "Starred" posts in Google Reader are gone.
  • There doesn't appear to be a way to manage the layout.  The only options I can find are to sort by blog or by date.
Pros - Feedly
  • Not only can I group my blog feeds into categories, but the categories I had in place in Google Reader transferred over.  My "Starred" posts in Google Reader were added to a Feedly category called "Saved."  Awesome!
  • Ability to change layout, "theme" (read: "colors"), social media feeds, and more.
On my computer, Feedly seems to be the winner.  But how do they hold up on my mobile devices?

The Bloglovin app works fine, but is not quite as intuitive to me. I keep finding that articles I read show up in the unread folder.  This may be user error and part of the learning curve, but I love when technology works the way you think it should!

Feedly has many more options.  It's very easy to go to your unread posts and flip through them with a simple swipe of a finger.

I really like the easy sharing to social media channels, right from my phone.

I didn't even bother downloading the Bloglovin app onto my iPad, but here's a glimpse of the Feedly app.  It's beautiful and easy to read.

Do you use a reader?  Do you have to switch from Google?  Which one do you like?

Friday, March 22, 2013

FMQ Friday - Turning Ten

Free Motion Quilting Friday

Today is Free Motion Quilting Friday over at Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project.

Warning:  This is a long, rambly post.  If you just want to see my FMQ for the week, scroll to the bottom! 


Tomorrow my only niece turns ten.  Even though my own kids are well past this milestone, it marks a special day in my life.

You see, when I was about seven or eight years old, a girl down the street with much older siblings became an aunt.  She was only six!  I was beside myself with jealousy.  I don't know what special privileges or honors I thought were bestowed on someone when she achieved this status, but I was sure that I was missing out.

I was taught a little lesson about jealousy.  My only sibling is my brother, who is five and a half years my junior.  (He showed up on Christmas Eve.  I have recently forgiven him for ruining Christmas.)  As fate would have it, The Pit Boss is an only child.

Yes, you can do the math and figure out that I was in my thirties before achieving aunthood.  Well played, karma.

It was 2003 and we had just gone to war.  My sister-in-law was way past due, and emotions were running very high.  I remember reading an article about Iraqi women giving birth under the most horrific conditions, and weeping over the idea that my niece was going to be born in a nice clean, well lit birthing suite with every possible medical necessity at hand.  It was all just dumb luck and geography.
Yes, something bled on this quilt.  After experimenting, I believe it was the variegated thread.

While my sister-in-law labored, I was taking a quilt class with the guild.  It was a scrappy LeMoyne star quilt that was all raw edge applique with a double needle.  I chose patriotic fabrics, thinking it would make a great blanket for watching fireworks.  I cried more tears making that quilt, worrying and giving thanks that this sweet girl was going to have every possible thing going for her, and that she wasn't being born in some bombed out disaster area.  I cried for the babies and mothers who didn't have the same good fortune.

Later, when the quilt was finished, I printed the news article onto fabric and used it as a second label.  I named the quilt American by the Grace of God.  (That was also a little inside joke, since my sister-in-law is British.)

Ten years later it is amazing to see this beautiful creature as she becomes herself.  She is smart and funny.  She is never still; she is constantly twirling and dancing and hopping like a little blonde pixie.  She and Grace have a special bond as the only girl cousins.  I like to tell her that we're the only ones in the whole family who understand what it's like to be the older sister.

I wanted to do something fun for her birthday.  She's getting an iPod Touch (shhh!  Don't tell!) and my brother suggested a gift card.  Useful, yes, but so boring!  Grace and I decided to make her a little pouch to carry her iPod and keep up with her stuff.  I used this very helpful tutorial from The Crafty Gemini.

I free motion quilted it in an all over loopy meander.

We had so much fun filling the pouch with "ten" things.

Inside the larger pouch we put:
  1. the iPod case with a $15 iTunes gift card (I couldn't find a $10 one anywhere!)
  2. 10 jawbreakers
  3. 10 creaseless hairbands (haven't you heard?  They're all the rage.)
  4. 10 Tootsie Pops
  5. 10 dog stickers
  6. 10 packs of Smarties
  7. 10 balloons
  8. 10 gumballs
  9. 10 messages from our family wishing her a happy birthday
  10. a $10 bill!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Modern Madness!

It's time for the madness to begin! No, not March Madness - Modern Madness! It's much more exciting! (You can totally tell by my excessive use of exclamation points!!)

While the rest of the country obsesses over basketball, quilters know that the real contest is among the 64 fabric lines from the past year.  Who do you think will be crowned the winner?

Here are my picks:

 My 2013 Champion Pick is Madrona Road by Violet Craft for Michael Miller Fabrics.

Note:  these are not necessarily my predictions for how I think the voting will go.  These are simply my favorites in the moment that I happened to search for images.  If I looked tomorrow it might go a different way. 

Download your bracket form and play along.  Don't forget to vote for each round at Fat Quarterly!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

WiP Wednesday -In Practice

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.  Today I started cutting my fabric for the quilt for Greer's new baby sister that you all helped me design.  I love having all my fabric cut and ready to sit down and sew when I have a few free minutes. 

If you read my blog with any regularity you know that, in theory, I'm a big proponent of the Bonnie Hunter scrap users system of organizing my stash.  You also know that I talk big but don't always follow through.  As evidenced by this:

So you'll be proud to know that, after fussy cutting the little girls out of the focus fabric, I spent some time cutting up the crazy leftovers.  It didn't actually take all that long, and I ended up with all of these useful pieces to add to my drawers...instead of the usual wad of irregular bits and pieces.

What are you working on today?

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