Saturday, June 29, 2013

patriotic giveaway!

Are you the patriotic sort?
Always making sweet quilts in the good ol' glory colors?
Well then, this is your lucky day!
Head on over to Lavender Quilts and check out her current patriotic giveaway . . .
And let the fireworks (and the quilt-creating) commence!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

nothing but the f*a*c*t* . . .

What a BUSY week we just wrapped up!!  Our church had VBS last week, but we had it out in a residential community . . . with a humongous tent and canopies and WOW!  It was work, but it was SO incredibly worth it!  We had 24 children ... out of whom 6 accepted Christ!  What a joyous celebration!  I taught 4-5 grade (which actually became 4-7 grade) and fell in love with some really terrific kids ... kids we wouldn't have met or ministered to if we'd had VBS in the church building. 

In addition to VBS, we also had World Changers going on.  We had a team of eleven (nine youths and two crew chiefs) from two different churches -- one in Columbia, TN and one in Franklin, NC.  They were a huge help to us since a lot of our regular members work during the morning hours and weren't able to help with VBS.  After VBS finished up each day, we'd head back to the church where lunch was served and then we had different projects for the World Changer crew to work on.  They left each day at 4 p.m. and then we'd head back to the community and do a movie night or hold service or a family night in the big tent. Lots of early mornings and late nights.  Plus Sawyer was with me each day -- he thoroughly enjoyed his week of VBS!

In other words . . . WHEW!!

And do you know, I don't have a single picture?  One of our youth was our designated photographer -- and she did take some phenomenal pictures -- but I have not the first one.  LOL!  I guess I was busy, huh??!

In addition to all that, we had lots of family stuff going on . . . the kind of stuff the devil throws out at you when you're bringing God glory and making a difference for the Kingdom.  But God is faithful and He certainly provided for all our needs this week!

On a quilty note (and with pictures!), on Thursday night I took off my VBS hat and put on my guild hat!  Our program that night was an applique round robin . . .
And yes, that's *me* down there demoing a form of faux applique, aka crayon tinting (f*a*c*t*)!

I didn't get any pics at the meeting that night, but luckily our 1st VP did and shared some with me.  This is me at my station about halfway through the night.
Do I look frazzled, much?

My friend and head of our Stitcher's Group, Kari:
She demoed raw edge machine applique (she doesn't look frazzled the least little bit!).

And Barbara--of My Joyful Journey--was our program coordinator:
She demoed turned edge machine applique (and also shows no signs of frazzling!).

Here are a couple of my sample pieces . . . 
I really enjoyed the evening, though I wish I could have visited the other stations, too.  There's a reason I did 'faux' applique.  LOL!!

I shared some useful info, too.  Like, you can buy white crayons in bulk:, of course!

You can print designs on fabric using card stock and removable tape:
Which is good, because otherwise I'd have set this pretty little design aside, since my tracing stinks!

And putting your traced design in an embroidery hoop upside-down keeps your fabric taut while you color 
*and* provides a ridge for your hand to rest on, so you don't smudge you work!

This week holds a lot of catching up . . . laundry, housework, groceries, more laundry . . . you get the picture!  


Saturday, June 15, 2013

seventeen terrific years . . .

Yesterday Todd and I celebrated our seventeenth anniversary . . . 
It really has  been a great seventeen years and I'm so grateful for my husband -- he's the most godly, loving man a wife could hope to have!  

We've got a huge week (starting today) ahead, so we decided to set our anniversary day aside, turn off our phones, and hang out together.  You know a couple is good together when they enjoy long road trips with each other!  We headed out to Tim's Ford (Tennessee) and had lunch at a fun little place on the water . . .
The Blue Gill Grill.  The food is good, but what I especially like is the built-in dining companions:
How fun is that??!!  We sat on the outside corner of the dock and I had as much fun feeding the turtles, ducks, geese, and fish as I did eating!!
Isn't that a LOT of carp?  And they're HUGE!!  It was funny ... the fish obviously couldn't see to anticipate where food was going to come from, but the geese/ducks could.  So whenever the geese started to move in on someone who was tossing food over the side, the fish would swarm underneath them, hoping to grab a bite.  It made for some very *splashy* activity!

We tooled around the State Park and checked out different camping spots and RV setups (being a fulltime RVer, I'm always intrigued by what other seasoned RVers do) and then headed up to Tullahoma.  My trusty "Quilt Shops" app noted a quilt shop there I'd never been to, and since we were so close anyway . . .
Quilting Dreams! Yay! It was a cute shop with some fun projects on the walls . . .

I was tickled to find out they're going to be one of the vendors at our guild's quilt show in October!  And I was particularly taken by this piece (gee, I wonder why, Sarah?!?):
The ideas just started rolling through my head.  Guess what will be appearing on my blog for the next HeLP???!  Needless to say, my purchases included the paper templates for this project, as well as some other assorted goods and sundries!

The quilting templates are for My Orange Crush blocks.  And most of the fabric is flannel -- I really like backing my table toppers with flannel.  The shop had a GREAT selection of flannels, too!  They also had some of the new fall fabrics on display, like the Posh Pumpkins by Sandy Gervais.  I *love* this line!
Aren't they fun?  I would like to get a bigger charm pack of this to play with!  And let me just say -- a man who has no problem sitting in a quilt shop, on his anniversary, and foots the bill?  That man is a KEEPER!  (He was a keeper anyway, but gosh, what an indulgent, patient, generous hubby!!)

From the quilt shop, we headed west to Shelbyville.  We got there just in time to have an afternoon cup of coffee:
The Coffee Break is a relatively new shop, owned by two pastors.  One of the pastors did all the baking, and I have to say, his creations looked AMAZING! Todd got a strong Americano coffee and I got Nutella Latte (a mix of chocolate and hazelnut).  LOL!  :)

From there, we took the scenic route home, traveling back south through some of the most beautiful farm country set in lush, green rolling hills.  Very idyllic! When we got back into Alabama we headed to our favorite Chinese carry-out, ordered dinner, and brought it home for a picnic-on-the-mattress and a movie.
On a throw that is now officially our "picnic" blanket (thank you, Jocey!) because it's all green and flowery.  All-in-all, it was a fabulous day, a sweet way to mark seventeen years with my best friend and love.

Today, Lord help me, I'm headed to Point Mallard (a water park) with our youth group!  Yikes!  No telling what kind of stories I'll have to tell next time around!! (Talk about a splashy event, right?!) Wheeeee!  Should be a fun day!


Sunday, June 09, 2013

under glass . . .

Yesterday afternoon I had the pleasure/privilege of heading to Huntsville's Museum of Art to participate in our guild's "quilting demo day" in collaboration with a special exhibit the museum has in its gallery, as well as an exhibit of locally made quilts of our guild members.  It was quite fun.  Four of us brought some handwork and whiled the afternoon away stitching and chatting and answering questions about our respective pieces and quilting and the guild in general.  I had a productive afternoon.  I finished up quilting on one of the blocks from My Orange Crush . . . 
Marked and readied another of the blocks for hand-quilting . . .
And made great progress on basting the pieces for my Starburst block!
Enough so that I came home and finished it before bedtime.  Hurrah!  Next will be to whip the pieces together (they're currently taped to my mat) and then I'll machine stitch on the purple sashing, setting the block on point.  I'm very pleased with how it's turning out.

So, stitching-wise, it was a fabulous afternoon!  But the best benefit of demo-ing was the opportunity we had to get into the museum for free and check out the exhibits ... most particularly "Crazy Quilt" 1887 by Susan Keziah Hobbs Fennell Henderson (whew, imagine having to sign that!) . . . 
Isn't it absolutely gorgeous?  I hated that there was glass between the quilt and I because I *so* longed to touch and pet it!
A closeup of the borders here . . .
Oh my gosh, I could have spent hours looking at this quilt -- it must have taken her *years* to finish this!  There were tons of questions I'd have loved to have asked the quilter. I was blown away by the level of detail in each different block. Her seam treatments were just gorgeous.  Here are some closeups for you to drool over (good thing it *was* under glass):
Sweet little basket of embroidered flowers!
Required spider and spiderweb!  She used metallic silver thread for the web.
This is 1887!
There were LOTS of initials, including this "R" surrounded by sweet daisies!
I counted a total of four different fans stitched into the quilt.
There were also a number of different butterflies, but this was my favorite!
This embroidered spray of flowers was simply GORGEOUS!
Her ribbon work was exquisite.
The rooster, center, sits next to characters that look oriental.
Or perhaps hieroglyphics?  Or some secret code??!!!
The year, 1887, is embroidered in that same patch.
I really hope I have an opportunity to go back and look at this piece of art again. Every time I looked at it, something new caught my eye!  It was like the "I Spy" of crazy quilts!  Each of us who participated this afternoon received a lovely card, featuring the quilt.  I'll share a photo of the card, only because it's a great bird's eye view of the entire quilt center:
Yup, a good day.  Even if my favorite part of it remains under glass!


Friday, June 07, 2013

quilting in greece . . .

Yup ... I can now say I've quilted amongst the architecture of Athens, Greece.
Or at least I can say I've quilted amongst the VBS setup of Athens, Greece! Semantics, right? Our Stitchers group got together at our usual meeting place (Epworth UMC) and found ourselves immediately transported to another time, another place!  It was kind of fun to be stitching (or snipping, as the case may have been) around the columns and tents and drapes!

I had a *finish* to show off, too . . . 
YAY!  And before the 4th anniversary deadline, too!  Hahaha!
Back.  I'm debating on whether or not to stick it in the washer before I present it. I'm a little afraid.  All that hand quilting.  LOL!  I guess I should just put it in on delicate and go with it!

Last night I finished removing all the paper templates from my little apple core piece . . .
Seriously, I think that's the most difficult (or perhaps tedious is a better word?) part!  It's even kinda fun to look at from the back . . .
Now that it's pieced, I'm not sure what to do with it next.  Hmmmm.  Need to get on that.

I also worked on my Starburst block . . . 
Got the reds all finished, so now all I've got is the oranges and yellows.  
The oranges will take the longest, because there are eight of them (they go in the empty spaces).  Still, I'm loving the way this original-to-me block is shaping up!!

My darling friend Ronda, from church (and Ronda Quilts), was manning a fund-raising yard sale last weekend and found these goodies and thought of me:
Wasn't that sweet?  More hexie templates!  Yay!!

My sister and her crew left on Wednesday -- we had a marvelous, marvelous time and I've got lots of pics to share, once I sort through them all.  For now, I'm off to bake some bread (thank you Kim and Pinterest)! And since it is Feline Friday, I'll leave you with this little tidbit:  Jocelyn is moving this weekend.  Ellie's doing her part and making sure her most important treasures make it to the new house.  
Leia, stuffed owl, and apple tv remote.  Way to pitch in and help, Ellie!  Leia's relieved she makes the moving cut.  Whew!  (Linking up to Feline Friday at Sarah Did It!)