Monday, April 27, 2015

Make-A-List Monday - and a Giveaway Winner!

Hi, all!

Wow, did last week fly by for you?  Mine was a blur of child care - fixing lunches, monitoring homework, giving baths, driving EVERYWHERE - I put over 100 miles a day on my car! - followed up by a whirlwind trip to the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah!  

There was a lot of sleeping in the car after school... 
(Emmy, not me - the screaming kept waking me up!)

...a lost tooth necessitating a visit from the tooth fairy 
(who needed to be re-educated on the current value of teeth...)

...and new pictures of Nathanael to be admired!  When Emmy saw this one, she said, "Aw, 'Thanael - he cute!"

When I got home Saturday afternoon late I wasn't sure which end was up - but I knew where I wanted to be - in my studio!!  I managed to do just enough to get the happy endorphin level up before the girls arrived back for the week Sunday afternoon - but oh, do I miss my studio time!!

Well, now that I've made that intricately crafted excuse for whatever I didn't get done last week, let's look at last week's to-do list...

1.  Start repairs on the antique crazy quilt.
Started!  As you can see in this pictures, I am hand-stitching bridal illusion (really fine tulle) over the damaged blocks, then trimming it close to my stitching with my tiny curved-blade scissors.  I've got cream tulle for the light pieces and black tulle for the dark ones.  As my friend isn't planning to use this as a working quilt - it will be a photography prop - this will protect the damaged spots without changing the antique integrity of the quilt top.

2.  Cut out 400 signature blocks.
I'm close - yesterday I think I got up to 375 - so I'm going to call this one a win!!

3.  Write a tutorial for the pennant quilt.
It's started - and that's a good thing!  It will take another day of sitting for a couple of hours to finish it off, so maybe tomorrow or Wednesday I can finish it.

4.  Work on a quilting design for the black stained glass quilt.
In progress!  I think I know what I want to do in general - an inklingo/zentangle type of design in the negative space, sort of like the picture below. What I'm still trying to work out is what to do immediately around the blocks.  Any ideas would be welcome!  You can see the quilt here.

5.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that arise.
Done!  We gave away three quilts this week...

This quilt went to a woman living in Louisiana, just diagnosed with leukemia...

And this one went to another woman in Louisiana dealing with cancer.

This quilt went to a gentleman who worked in our local school system for many years.  He has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and has returned to Arkansas to live with his extended family and receive treatment there.

 We had a blast at Paducah - I got to see my friend Shannon of Fabrics N Quilts!  

Don't forget that she's done a complete makeover on her shop's website and there are blog hops going on to promote the new site!  I'll be sharing about it this Friday, but there are other blogs that are already hosting giveaways - check out the list below and enter all the giveaways!  

Quilt Shop Gal:
Mary Mack Made Mine:
Weekend of 5/1: 
Confessions of a Fabric Addict:
Life in the Scrapatch:

I also got to take a class with the fabulous Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts fame!  

I've always admired her quilting style and mad skills, and it was fun to get a little hands-on time learning how she does it.  I'll never be that good, but at least now I can aspire!

And after spending a medium-sized bucket of money, I received one of these bags for my trouble...

We took some of our budget money for this year and purchased a BlockRockit mid-arm quilting machine for use at the church!  If you've never seen one of these little gems, check one out somewhere - it's small but mighty!!  We have to wait a little while to get ours, but in about a month she'll be ready to go!

OK, so much for last week.  Here's what I think I might be able to get done this week...

1.  Finalize a design for the stained glass quilt and start quilting.

2.  Keep working on the antique quilt repair.

3.  Sew the label on Nathanael's quilt before Friday night.

4.  Write Friday's blogpost promoting Shannon's new site.

5.   Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that arise.

 Since I have the girls until midnight or so on Friday, I don't anticipate having much sewing or quilting time this week.  Fortunately, I can do most of the things on my list from my comfortable table at the McDonalds near Emmy's school!!

But wait - there's more! Emmy tells me I almost forgot the giveaway winner!!  I asked Little Miss Random to choose a winner...

And she chose number 133!  (aren't you proud of me - I finally figured out how to get a picture of the Random Number Generator in my blogpost!!)  Number 133 is Barb N...

...who wanted to know how we roll our toilet paper - over, or under!  I tell you, inquiring minds want to know!  Congratulations, Barb!  I'll be emailing you and Christina so you can hook up and get your copy of the pattern!

By the way, I absolutely loved reading the random questions you guys came up with!  I think my favorite, though, was the person who asked, "Fabric, or chocolate?"  Totally unfair!!!

So now that all the business is taken care of, inquiring minds also want to know - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Oh, and here's your "awwww" moment for Monday...

Nathanael holding his new mom's hand!
Love those little sneakers!!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hands2Help - Introducing Our Next Guest Blogger, Val!

Hi, all!

It's Sunday, and that means it's time for the latest H2H guest blogger!  And be sure to read all the way through to the end of the post - we've got some new sponsors that I want to let you know about!

Today we are welcoming Valerie of Val's Quilting Studio.  Val has a fabulous blog!  One of my favorite features on her blog is her Tuesday linky party, Tuesday Archives.  Each Tuesday she chooses a theme and you can link up old blogpost you may have forgotten about - revive those old posts and show off your beautiful quilts!  Today she's going to share the reason why she makes charity quilts - and so now I turn this post over to her!


Hi everyone, and thank you Sarah for this wonderful opportunity!  I'm grateful to guest host here today to share how much of a difference our quilts make!!  You see, twenty-two years ago I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease and underwent 10 months of chemotherapy followed by a month of daily radiation.  And I'll never forget the comfort of my mom sitting by my side during every treatment, knitting this blanket for me.  (...when she wasn't chasing our then 2 and 3 year old daughters that is!  Love you mom!)

To this very day, I love my heart blanket.  It has been worn thin from years of use and its softness has been replaced with those little bubbles knitted blankets get after a million washes.  Its holes have been mended and re-mended.  Yet here it sits every single day, on my favorite chair.  I'm comforted by the love of my mother when I see it...when I cuddle upon it. And even though my mom has since made me a newer...bigger version, nothing can replace the memories and love this ol' one holds.

I enjoy volunteering my quilting services for Project Linus, hoping the whimsy designs I create add a smile to many children who receive them and remind them too, of comforts and support of loved ones as they went through a difficult time.

I am so grateful to be a part of H2H with all of you and appreciate the opportunity to let you know from experience, that your efforts make a difference!

Click here for more information:


Thank you, Val, for a wonderful post, and a great reminder of how important our efforts are!  If Hands2Help is your only experience with charity quilting, I hope you will take the time to find a regular local outlet for charity quilts.  There is nothing quite like the feeling of hearing that your quilt has made a difference in the life of the recipient - to see a picture of someone holding your quilt and smiling, perhaps for the first time in days, knowing that someone they don't know cared enough about them to make a quilt for them.  Or hearing that the mother of a deceased soldier wraps up in the quilt you made when she feels sad and alone, and needs to feel the love and prayers that went into it.  Or seeing a quilt draping a casket - those are the hardest, but you know that the quilt had great meaning for the person you gave it to. Val is right - the quilts you make are important!  Keep up the good work!!!


And now, as promised, let me share with you about some sponsors who have come on board since our "Meet The Sponsors" post!

Karen Green is donating two surprise packages of quilt-y goodness!

Terri Bohling is donating a Jungle Things fat quarter bundle!

Lara B. is donating 50 neon green Wonder Clips and some fabric and other quilt-y goodness!

And the lovely Hema of Malini's Quilts is donating 
a fat quarter bundle of Jungle Ave by Sara Lawson!  
Check out her Etsy shop - it's great!


Be sure to check back next week when we'll have another great guest blogger!!



Friday, April 24, 2015

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Stained Glass at Night...

Hi, all!

Can you believe it's already Friday again?  It's hard to believe the week has passed by so quickly - - - but you know what that means! It's time to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready?

Today I want to share a project I worked on last week before I got the little girls (and all sewing time went the way of the dodo bird...)

It all started with sixteen of these little beauties - paper pieced courthouse steps/log cabin blocks made by Sharon of Vroomans Quilts.  Aren't they gorgeous!  

This was my original thought - to lay them out in an X design on a black field.  But then...

...I started fiddling around with them on point, and came up with this modified granny square design.  The four blocks in the center were already assembled, with the tiniest little black strips and an itty bitty cornerstone joining them.  It is truly amazing, but I am not patient enough to replicate that kind of work.....  So I grabbed a bolt of Kona black and starting assembling the blocks into a quilt.

After some serious pedal to the metal time, this was the result.  I showed it to my husband and told him it would have black triangle corners to finish it up into a square.  My husband looked at it and said, "If you put black on the corners, you're going to have an awful lot of black!"  Well, yeah.....

...but he made me start wondering if it would be too much black.  So I turned it the other direction (not on point) and took a pic to see if I liked it.  Being, as usual, unable to decide, I put it on Instagram for a quick powwow with some other quilters, and the on-point design won, hands down!

So I added the corners.  That was a tricky proposition - I didn't have enough black left to make full-sized corners (which I realized after cutting the first two!) but the quilt was going to turn out larger than I wanted anyway, so I made a smaller set for the third and fourth corners and trimmed the first ones down to match.  I think it now measures about 66" square.

And look how gorgeous it looks with the sun shining through!  Although those beautiful blocks glow a good bit on their own, as you can see from the studio shot above this one.

Because of the way it glows, I'm calling it 
Stained Glass at Night.  

It was originally intended to be a ministry quilt, but I think it will serve another purpose that I can't reveal yet.  I'll work up a ministry quilt out of my stash to "repay" for the orphan blocks that form the basis of this one.  

As far as quilting goes, I'm thinking of using a "zentangle" type of quilting in all that black negative space, using a glossy black thread.  The backing is going to be a rich reddish purple artists' canvas type print.  The binding will probably be either black or scrappy - I can't decide on that yet, and would welcome any suggestions!

I'm also hoping that my class with Judi Madsen in Paducah this weekend will give me mad quilting skills and uber-inspiration for a great design on this quilt!

And here's one more thing we're whooping about around here this week...

So - - - can I get a Whoop Whoop?


And now it's your turn!

What are you whooping about this week?

What's got you dancing the happy dance?

Share - we want to dance right along with you -
Because it's always more fun to dance with friends!

Remember - it doesn't have to be a finish - 
just something that makes you happy!

The party will stay open until Sunday at midnight.

Hope to see you there!