Saturday, June 30, 2012

here and there and everywhere . . .

Meaning this blog post is going to be *all* over the place!

First off ... I need HELP!!!  Not quite a year ago, I blogged about a trip to Knoxville and the AQS show.  We made a little stop in a darling quilt shop -- Mamaw's Thimble.  I blogged about it here.  Anyway, to my total delight, I found some really fun fall fat quarters (say that three times fast), my favorite of which were these two:
I used these for the pillow I just swapped.  I've been really miserly with these two fat quarters because, well, it's all I've got!  I realized I should have gotten more.  I know my love for shiny, metallic-looking fabrics ... but I didn't.  My problem is that neither of the FQs had selvages, so there is absolutely NO information on them.  How do I find more?!?  HELP!!!  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.  Mamaw's Thimble does not have an internet presence, but I have their number and I plan on calling them later today to see if I can get any assistance that way.

Temps are still hot, hot, hot!  We had a group overnight in the camp ... whew!  They sure didn't need their down-filled sleeping bags!  This was yesterday's official high temps for North Alabama.
See how it decreases the further south you go?  Very strange!  Today is supposed to be even warmer!  Glad the RV's a/c is in fine working order!  I'm also glad the humidity is so low -- makes it far more bearable.

In temps like this there's only one thing a glamour girl can do . . .
Head to the pool!!  I think we have an Audrey Hepburn in the making, here!

And my darling, precocious Sawyer has come up with a new trick.  I'm not sure how he figured it out, but figure it out he did.  He's decided though, based on the reactions he gets every time he does it, that's it a worthy trick to keep in his arsenal.  I need to learn to ignore it!  But oh my gosh -- when he got tired of having the camera in his face, this is the look he gave me!
I admit -- I think I squealed a little bit ... my reaction was enough to make him laugh and do it again!

Last but not least, the day after our anniversary, I got a call from the local Christian radio station, WAYfm.  Sometime -- maybe close to our anniversary last year -- I entered our name and wedding date into their weekly anniversary "date night" contest.  It seems we'd won!  I picked up our winnings yesterday . . . 
Dinner for two and two movie tickets!  What fun!!

Stay cool today!

:)

Friday, June 29, 2012

(borrowed title:) feline friday . . .

My friend Sarah, from over at Sarah Did It! faithfully posts a weekly "Feline Friday" entry.  I look forward to it all week!  Seriously ... one week when she was taking a blog break, I was really disappointed there was no Feline Friday post.  I miss having my own kitty cats, so I have to get my fill from other sources!

One of my other favorite sources is at Jocelyn's house.  I've shared pics of her cat, Leia, before.  Leia is a cat with definite "cattitude" -- trust me.  But since Ellie's been born, she's come around a bit.  She lets me pet her and even lets me pick her up from time to time -- though not for long.  Anyway, when I was over there this week, Leia was quite fascinated by the whole sewing process. She was so cute I had to pull out my phone and snap my own Feline Friday entry!  I think the pics speak for themselves, so without further ado . . . 




Good job keeping that spool of thread on the machine where it belongs, Leia!!

Happy Friday!

:)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

lots of little happies . . .

Quickie post (well, quick for me, anyway) . . . 

Finished up the first set of coasters yesterday . . . I just quilted a square spiral . . . nothing fancy or precise.  
I think they look fun.  More importantly, Joc really liked them, so I'm happy!  I may practice some FMQ on the next set.
So, one set of matching napkins and coasters complete!  :)

My pillow swap arrived yesterday!  It's so pretty . . . 
Front.
Back.

That was actually the second one she'd sent.  For some reason she felt like the first one did not have the requisite stitching on it.  But I love the first one . . .
Front.
Back.  Isn't it darling?  I particularly loved the little spider web and spider in the top left corner, and the little flowers stitched into the girl's headband!  Her stitchwork is just beautiful!

And here's a sweet shot of my little lady . . . 
She's cut TWO teeth!  And her tongue doesn't like to stay in her mouth.  She's such a character!

I'll leave you with this last image, courtesy of WHNT.com . . .
I think it may be hot this weekend.  LOL!!!

Happy Thursday!

:)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

dabble in fabric . . .

Part of yesterday was a "play" kind of day.  I finished my little "Cinderella" pumpkin (as my sister so aptly called it). I really like how it turned out -- especially with the blue marker washed out of it!  
Since I'd stitched it on white (what was I thinking?) and I knew the background I was going to put it into, I decided to add batting and backing and quilt it with a little "bling" (a gold metallic thread).  
And now, tah dah, it's a pillow, ready to head out to my swap partner (who I'm fairly certain does NOT read my blog, at least I hope).  All in all, for a first pillow swap attempt, I'm pleased with it!  The theme was autumn and this speaks autumn to me!  (Especially if you know my affinity for all things pumpkin!)

I also cut and stitched the first set of coasters for Jocelyn.  I did stitch them inside out and then turned them right sides out.  I've got five sets to do, so I may do each one a little differently, just to add a little variety, but I'm pleased with how these look.
They haven't been quilted yet.  Joc had purchased different colored threads to stitch each set of napkins.  I thought it might be fun to use that same color to quilt the coordinating coasters.  I'm headed over there today--I'll finish these up on her machine while I'm there!

Which leads into my last note for the day.  This time three years ago Joc was waking up and enjoying her last morning in her parent's home, before breaking out into pre-wedding frantic busyness!
Happy Anniversary to my sweet little girl and her husband! 

:)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

quilty prizes and baby showers . . .

I definitely wanted to share some of the fun goodies I'd received from participating in our guild's challenge and for winning my category.  Our Challenge Chairman did an EXCELLENT job of rounding up wonderful prizes and raffle items for that night!
Games, gadgets, Sulky threads, organic yarn, a book, a sewing kit, a quilt pattern and a terrific bundle of monochromatic fat quarters ... just lots of fun things (that I now have to decide what to do with or figure out where in the sewing bunk they go)!  There was also a $25 gift card to Moe's BBQ!  Whoot!

As if that wasn't enough, my friend Cindy, the owner of Hooked On Quilting (and Sew Much More) dropped off a sweet little surprise for me!  She'd been checking out one of my favorite tea blogs -- Tea With Friends -- and had seen where Angela had featured this darling little tea time tote bag, from TJ Maxx (view post here).  Well do you know that Cindy was in TJ Maxx's, saw the tote and picked up a couple.  And gave one to me!!
Isn't it cute?  I was so touched by her thoughtful gesture!!  I need to do something extra sweet and special for this dear friend!

Over the weekend I attended the most darling baby shower I'd ever been to.  And I'm not just saying that because Jocelyn hosted it, or because I lent a hand.  The theme was pink giraffes, and it was over-the-top darling!!
I didn't have the camera with me, just my phone, so the pictures aren't the greatest, but I had to share a couple.  'Scuse the quality.
Isn't the giraffe cut out perfect?  I projected her on some paper and a dear woodworking friend of ours cut her out with the jigsaw.  She was 44" tall!  (She's a she because the baby we were celebrating is a she, too!)
Joc even ordered a giraffe cookie cutter and had wonderful giraffe sugar cookies to adorn the table, along with lots of other fun goodies.
I told Joc later on that she'd learned all she could from me ... she is now the hostess with the mostess!

:)

Monday, June 25, 2012

design, desire, disgrace . . .

Just a little swap-stitchery-something on my design wall this hot and sultry Monday morning . . . 
I think it will be prettier when the blue marking isn't clashing with the yellow/orange stitching!  It's a from this cute little drawing: 
I love all the scroll work!  I'll frame this up in some yummy autumn fabrics and get it on its way.

I've also got a pile of 15" square tee-shirt cut-ups that I need to give a little zigzag stitch around the edges.  
They will become washable "paper towels" for Joc.

Joc's first major sewing project was making a set of six napkins from each of these lovely fabrics.  Aren't they fun?
I told her I'd take the remnants and make some matching quilted coasters for her to use.  So that's on my 'to do' list.  It shouldn't be tough to cut and quilt them ... but is there an easy way to bind a small project like this?  Should I just buy some bias binding?  Or should I just bite the bullet and make binding for each set of six?  That's thirty coasters!!

And at some point I really really need to take care of this . . .

Isn't it disgraceful?!?  June has definitely taken it's toll on my sewing bunk (not to mention my large number of WIPs)!  I know creative juices will have a hard time flowing while it looks like chaos.  So perhaps--now that things have settled just a bit--I can carve out some time to whip this room back into shape!

And with that in mind, I'd better make a hasty retreat!  You, on the other hand, should head on over to Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times and check out the list of great design wall stuff out there today!

:)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

stash report #26 and some more craziness . . .



Hmmmm ... I think I'm caught up on stash reports.  Yay!  And I've even got some use to report this week,  and *no* additions!

Used/donated this week: 1.5 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 14.75 yards
Purchased/added this week: 0 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 70.5 yards
Net used/donated for 2012: -55.75 yards

I also made a table runner for a baby shower Jocelyn hostessed ... but since I didn't purchase the fabric (or count it in a report) I guess I can't really count the three yards against my stash.  Drat!  As per usual, I'm linking up with Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times for the weekly stash reporting!

I thought perhaps I'd share a couple more of my favorite pieces from our guild's challenge the other night.  I just realized that because I couldn't vote (I was on the challenge committee and helped receive and hang the pieces), I never really looked at them seeking out my *favorites* in the different categories.  It was kind of nice!  I'll post a couple today and spread them out through the next week ... so I'm not too picture laden in one post.  Keep in mind that this challenge celebrated our guild's 25th anniversary and the theme was Still Crazy After All These Years!

There was another reason I didn't want to include *too* many quilt craziness photos ... I wanted to share some grandbaby photos, too!!  
I can hardly believe that Ellie is 23, going on 24 weeks old already!  Joc texted me this morning saying, "Somebody has been army crawling this morning...  And it's not Jason!"  And she's cutting a bottom tooth, too.  
AND she had her first carousel (or merry-go-round) ride on Friday.  She's growing up WAY too fast!

And isn't Sawyer looking like quite the little man here?  He's so precious.  I went over and spent a couple of minutes with him yesterday morning and he came and sat in my lap and laid against me and just let me love on him.  He's such a cuddle bug!
Oh, you're wanting to know about the pink balloons?  They mean that June Madelyn will be here in October!  Yay, it's a GIRL!

Okay, I need to get busy, so for now . . . adieu, adieu, to you, and you, and you!

:)

Friday, June 22, 2012

whew!

If you've never helped put up/take down a quilt show ... have mercy ... it's WORK!  We had 25 small quilts entered into our guild's challenge show last night and since I was on the committee, I helped setup/takedown.  I was so worn out by the end of the night, I didn't even CARE that about this:
Hahaha!  Who am I fooling?  Oh yes I did too care!!  I finished it with sixty minutes to spare and won first place in the Innovative Design, Hand Quilted category.  Yay!  The technique I used is called "colorque" (or faux applique) and I've blogged about it here.  The design was one of my NewFO dreams for the year (drawn out here) and I had a BLAST working on it!  I quilted it with silver, sparkly sulky thread, and bound it with a soft grey and white paisley (part of the challenge was including a recognizable amount of gray/silver fabric). 

The theme was Still Crazy After All These Years, celebrating our guild's 25th anniversary.
And we celebrated right -- with cake!
And tons of fun raffle prizes, too!
And a marvelous crowd of women - we had over 150 members show up for last night's meeting/show!

I was so tickled that all the entrants' gift bags, the winners' prize bags, and the ballot pens all had my logo design on them.  
Whoohoo!

My favorite quilt of the night one first place in its division as well as Best Use of Theme and Best of Show!
Isn't this fun?!?  It was made by my friend--and the coordinator of our Stitcher's Group--Kari.  I knew as soon as I saw it that she'd made it!

I'll come back over the weekend and share a few more photos of my favorites and some of the goodies I got for entering and winning!  For now I'm getting ready for a GLOW event tonight and a baby shower and a wedding tomorrow.  Busy, busy, busy!  Happy Friday!

:)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

i can do it . . .

Kinda crazy, huh??
I sure hope so, considering the theme is, after all, Still Crazy After All These Years!  I'm so excited, but it sure will be a race to the finish to get it ready for the guild's challenge in time.  I have to turn it in TOMORROW!

I can't wait to be able to share the WHOLE thing!!

:)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

stash report #25 et al. . . .



Huh.  Once again I've missed a weekend!  But since I've not purchased any fabric since my last update, no harm, no foul, right?

Used/donated this week: 0 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 13.25 yards
Purchased/added this week: 0 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 70.5 yards
Net used/donated for 2012: -57.25 yards

My challenge piece should [better] finish up this week (seeing as how the challenge is on Thursday), so I should have a little to report next week! As per usual, I'm linking up with Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times for the weekly stash reporting!

And I thought while I was here I'd catch up and share a few things.  Like these sweet hanging plants Todd surprised me with for our anniversary!
I've wanted to get some for ages, but just couldn't justify it.  I'm so glad he did it for me!!

Ellie's baby dedication was yesterday.  It was such a sweet gathering of friends and family . . . 
 Proud papa!
 Let us eat cake! :)
 Ellie and her Grandma Merkel!
Sawyer, his mama and his buddy Luke!

I can't think of a much nicer prelude to Father's Day!

My May doll swap quilt, compliments of Miki, from Miki's Fabric Creations, arrived from Washington!  Isn't it lovely?!  I love the purples and the batiks!
I was also quite charmed by the way Miki outline-quilted the center flower.  So pretty!!
Miki and I agreed right from the get-go that we would probably not have our pieces ready at the end of May, and we were both right.  Our swaps crossed in the mail ... only I forgot to take the first picture of mine.  DOH!  Perhaps Miki will send me one or two, or post some on her blog!

I'm busy, busy, busy on the challenge piece.  I'm having *such* fun with it!  I especially enjoyed matching DMC floss colors to my colored pencils!
Not to toot my own horn or anything, but don't you think I did a great job?!?  
I'm anxious to move onto the next portion of the process, but I've got to wait a bit . . . 
My brushes are cleaned and drying, and so is my top!  Yup, this really is a multi-media project -- fabric, colored pencils, stuff painted and floss!  And quilting on top of all that!

This morning at church we celebrated as four children came to be baptized.  Four sweet faces that sat in my VBS class for five nights.  I was so overcome this morning by God's goodness!!  Angels have definitely been rejoicing in our neck of the woods!!

And finally, to my darling daddy, my sweet husband, and both my son and son-in-law -- a very happy Father's Day!