Thursday, November 28, 2013

Giving Thanks

For my family, friends, and blogging mates... and for the beautiful country that we call America.

(...not to mention that the pies are done and the applique is basted for the road trip...)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Have a blessed day...

Image courtesy of Cathy @ Crazy by Design


PS.  Image courtesy of Cathy at Crazy By Design -- Thanks Cathy!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Giving Thanks, Winners and WIP

It's been a wonderful week of giveaways hasn't it?  Thanks again Quilting Gallery for hosting this fun Blog Hop. It's a perfect way to find other bloggers with your same interests and with inspiration in every click!

I'm humbled by the number of bloggers that hopped here, left thoughtful comments, and shared their Jelly Roll experiences and patterns.  There were so many great Jelly Roll pattern suggestions... Oh HOW will I make them all ;)

Before we celebrate our winner(s) -- let me say that I've had computer troubles all week... So we finally gave in and purchased a low end laptop that will hopefully provide some reliability for my blogging, tutorials and patterns (thankfully I've been $saving$ for it).  Any proud owner of a Windows 8 computer knows it comes with a whole lot of learning curve... I can do this!  I know I can...   Thanks for listening and for your patience.

A peak at the progress made on Quilting the Garden blocks since I last wrote.  You can read more about Quilting the Garden (by Blackbird Designs) here and here.

Block 1 is ready for this sweet little bird to be appliquéd.  The bird is fussy cut from the border fabric by 3 Sisters (Sentiments I think).    Isn't he darling ?  I plan to place these birds Broderie Perse style here and there on the blocks.  Have I mentioned I'm addicted to birds ?
Below Coneflowers #2 and #3 and a new leaf were completed on the Autumns Hurrah block.  Yippee!
Also, while in San Diego, I finished Coneflower #1 and this cute little bud on Autumns Hurrah.
I LOVE how this block is coming together.
For those of you on the lookout for the needle turn appliqué tutorial I promised -- thanks for your patience... I'm making progress.  I think I will post in sections and plan to get section 1 out this weekend.
And finally I'm excited to say I'm working on a new Recipe for the Moda Bake Shop...
Fingers crossed that you like this new recipe...  You can see my first recipe for the Bake Shop, Family Tree Quilted Envelope Pillow, by clicking here.

Oh wait... We need a winner don't we.... or better yet two winners!  With so many comments I've decided to add to the original giveaway.

The first winner will receive this great book:

Mr. Random Generator chose a number:

And the winner is:
Congratulations Deborah -- I've sent you an email so we can figure out the best way to get your book to Indonesia !!  Can't wait to hear back from you!

One additional giveaway -- this "sweet" little Quilt in a Day pattern by Eleanor Burns -- just perfect for Valentines day.

Mr. Random Generator choose another number:
And the winner is:

Congratulations Tamie -- I've sent you an email so we can get your pattern shipped right away!

Thanks to all who participated and special thanks to Mishka at Quilting Gallery for hosting this awesome Blog Hop with Give Aways! 

Take care all,

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Welcome to the Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways!

Happy Thursday all!  Today is the first day of the Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways where Quilting Bloggers around the globe unite to give away fun quilting stuff.   A list of participants will be published at Quilting Gallery's site by Noon EST today so be sure to click here or on the Blog Hop Party image below to find other blogs with giveaways...
Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Many thanks to Quilting Gallery for hosting the party -- stop by and view her beautiful patterns here.

For those new to my blog be sure to check out my Family Tree Quilted Envelope Pillow tutorial by visiting the Moda Bake Shop Recipe here.
For the last week DH and I have been on a wonderful trip to Sunny San Diego!  Yesterday we visited two fantastic and unique quilt shops - "Our Country Loft" and "Rosie's Calico Cupboard".  If you've never been to them you should put them on your Must Visit list.  I'll share more in another post.  Many thanks to those that left comments for me about these shops -- definitely worth the trip.

The foliage and vegetation in San Diego are beautiful right now.

And although I've been very busy juggling work and tourist activities I did find some time to turn a few petals on Quilting the Garden.  
I'm using Aurifil Mako 50 Wt cotton color #2452 on the coneflower... Doesn't it match perfectly?
and we visited the Zoo.
To commemorate my San Diego trip and in the spirit of Quilting Galleries Blog Hop with GiveWays I have a brand new book to share with a domestic or international quilter.

I'm a big fan of a Jelly Rolls they are so easy to work with.

The "Jelly Roll Inspirations" book has 12 beautiful projects and step by step instructions for making them.   From strip piecing to mitered borders to binding with Jelly Rolls... this book has it all. 
To grab a chance at winning this book, leave a comment below and share what, if anything, you've made using a Jelly Roll.

Followers have an extra chance to win -- so be sure to follow and leave a comment that you've done so.

A winner will be chosen on November 26th.

Thanks for stopping by today and enjoy the Blog Hop Giveaway!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

On the Road Again!

Well here I am in SanDiego, California!

Leaving early morning has its advantages...
The commuter flight from Binghamton, NY to Washington Dulles Airport was mostly uneventful.  I had a chance to see a live concentric circle quilting design over the sunrise!
 My husband made the flight from Dulles to SanDiego interesting by bringing his GPS along!  How cool is this?  I finished this Needle Turn leaf somewhere between West Virginia and Ohio!  Hello down there Deb Strain, Debbie Wicks family and the lovely ladies from Sauder Village!  
It was really cool to see the air speed And the elevation.  I'm always looking out the window and wondering where we are... The GPS had all the answers!
I've been fortunate to see many beautiful parts of California but this is my first time to SanDiego.  I'm excited to visit the Zoo, Coronado, Cafe Coyote, and make a trip to Roses Calico Cupboard (fingers crossed).

Check out the Pet Facilities at the airport!  Can you imagine?
Because I've been a bit under the weather we took it easy the first day here.  We strolled to a nearby shopping area to pick up some essentials...  I was in awe of this tree along he path to the market...
And this is the somewhat drizzly view from our room looking toward downtown SanDiego.
Hope you enjoyed the tour!

If you live in California or have visited and have other recommendations send them along!  I would love to hear your experiences!  I'm here for a conference but it doesn't start until Monday evening...  Until then were just tourists.

Have a great weekend all.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Work in Progress -- Applique and a Tutorial

Well it's been a whirlwind 7 days -- dress shopping with my lovely granddaughters, wing nite with my sister and friends, glass blowing with my in-laws and then... the dreaded cold snuck up on me...  Barely able to function the last few days and I'm so upset as I will miss my Quilting the Garden class tonight :(   It's best though, that I don't go places and get other people sick....  So I'll stay home and rest (but it breaks my heart - miss you Debbie, Janet and Bonnie).   I need to feel better soon as we leave for San Diego this weekend!  I'll share more about that later. 

In the meantime though, I have found a few minutes for some stitching...  First up, The Winter Bloom block.... what do you think about a little broderie perse bird where the star usually goes ?  I want to add the bird, just not sure where on the block to add him.
 And on the Autumn's Hurrah block the smaller leaf and the first black eyed Susan are basted and ready to be needle turned.   I LOVE the colors.   Shown below with the border that will be used once all 9 blocks are completed. I'm happy to see this block finally taking some shape.
Oh, I also have the little bud ready to needle turn...  I fussy cut the leaves for it... I love doing that.  There are plenty more smaller pieces to prepare for this block - I just haven't had the ambition the last few days.  Hope to get more ready so I can sew while flying.
Here is Alma's version of the block directly from Blackbird Designs "Quilting the Garden" book:
Alma and Barb did two separate versions of the quilt -- Barbs being done with darker background.  They are both beautiful but I'm partial to the lighter backgrounds.

I've also been working on a Needle Turn Applique Tutorial and Practice Sheet.  I hope to have my DH take pictures for me while we're traveling and post the tutorial in sections starting next week.

I'm calling the tutorial "Teardrops of Love" and it will as as a guide for those new to Needle Turn Applique.  There are two practice shapes (you can probably guess) to work on.   I'll go through the prep steps, my favorite supplies and some pictures of the process.  All the while making a small quilt that you can use as a wall-hanging or on a table top when you're done.   Stay tuned...
Some other fantastic news on the Applique front. Erin Russek from "One Piece At A Time" blog has teamed up with McCalls for a new Applique Quilt Along called: Fancy Flowers.   The Applique Quilt along includes 11 FREE episodes that share how to machine or needle turn applique and includes a vase & flower design that Erin made.  Click on the links above to learn more about it!!   Very exciting stuff as Erin is top of the line when it comes to applique!

Thanks for stopping by eveyone and have a blessed week!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day and A Winner!

On this Veterans Day - giving thanks to all that have defended and continue to defend our free Country.    Thank You!
Also... special thanks to all that left thoughtful comments on my post and on Deb's blog -- your feedback is most welcome and such a joy to read.   A warm "hello" to the new followers and those that hopped over from Deb's blog -- nice to have you aboard!

Now -- I'm happy to announce the winner of the box of Family Tree scraps donated by the very talented and generous Deb Strain.
Mr Random Number Generator rolled the numbers...
and I counted through the comments... (74 total but one was mine -- so it was excluded)

And here is our winner !

Congratulations Nancy in MT!  I'll contact you via email to get your mailing address!  I hope you enjoy this awesome box of scraps -- I know I did.

Be sure to visit Deb's blog too to see who won her giveaway! (Psst... she has a new giveaway going on already -- woohoo!)

Thanks again Deb for donating the scraps - such lovely fabrics.
I leave you tonight with a picture of me and my 3 very special granddaughters.  We share an annual  tradition of shopping for Christmas dresses... leaving the momma's and the boys (5 grandsons) at home.   We did just that on Saturday and had a blast!   Three young ladies, one gramma, 40 dresses, and 4 hours later we exit the mall with one for each of them!   I'm very blessed.   The grandchild photo shoot is coming up in early December -- another fun day!
Have a wonderful week everyone!
Happy Sewing!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Woohoo! Two More Family Tree Giveaways!

How much fun is this.... and it's not even Christmas!!
The very talented and most generous Deb Strain has offered to share another box of her "Family Tree" scraps for a new Giveaway on my blog!  Happy Dance!
Additionally * check it out * at the same time, Deb is also giving away a box of scraps on her blog!

This means two Family Tree Scrap Giveaways are underway.

Here are a few images of the beautiful Family Tree prints:
Reds and Browns and Comfort - Oh my!
Blues and Browns and Warmth - How sweet!
If you are hopping over to my blog from Deb's Blog Giveaway -- welcome !!

So thrilled that you stopped by.
 We've been having a blast with the newly released "Family Tree Pillow" Recipe on the Moda Bake Shop

 You can see more images of the Family Tree Pillow on this post and view/download the complete tutorial from the MBS here.

Now, to participate in my Giveaway leave a comment below sharing your thoughts about the fabric line or the Family Tree Pillow

If you're a new follower, let me know that too for an extra chance to win.

Also, remember to jump over to Deb's Blog Giveaway and comment there for a chance to win a different box of Family Tree scraps.  (This is a Large FlatRate BOX of scraps -- oh the potential!!)

A winner will be chosen on each blog sometime on Monday, November 11th -- Happy Veteran's Day!!

Special thanks to Deb Strain for her generous offering of Family Tree scraps and for designing such a beautiful line of fabric!  Thanks again Deb.

Oh I just LOVE giveaways!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Work in Progress -- and Lots of It !

Hi all -- it's another Work in Progress day here at home -- I'm looking around and seeing all sorts of things that are "In Progress" - some have higher priorities than others (don't we all know that!).

** See a Family Tree Giveaway through November 11th here.

My Quilting the Garden blocks are moving along -- albeit a bit slowly.

You can read/see more about my long awaited Quilting the Garden journey here.

I just LOVE this quilt -- my friend Debbie has it done and it's a knock out finish -- absolutely stunning!  She is guiding a few of us through the process now - I'm so thrilled to finally be making it! 
Quilting the Garden -- Winter Bloom
In the last week I managed to get the holly pieces on the Winter Bloom block.
Progress -- added holly!
More holly

I promise to share more about Needle Turn Applique this month -- stay tuned for some tips and process.

I also started the 2nd Quilting the Garden block - Autumn's Hurrah (Block 8 in the book).  It uses the same vase as Winter's Bloom -- so when I prepared Winter Bloom I made the vase from template plastic to reuse it. 

I start the block by placing and basting the vase down.  Then I make a clear plastic overlay and with a dry erase pen I  mark all the stem locations on the overlay - this helps me place the vines and get them tucked under the top of the vase as necessary before I do my sewing.  

Quilting the Garden - Autumn's Hurrah - In Progress
There are more than 70! - Yes 70! stems in the 9 Quilting the Garden blocks -- I decided to incorporate some efficiency techniques this weekend and made a bunch of bias tape stems -- I bet I have 25 or more of varying fabric ready to go !  Yippee!

I'm a firm believer in basting things down -- sometimes (when I'm feeling lazy) I use applique pins to baste - but on large pieces or LONG pieces the pins really detract from my getting in the stitchin' groove!!   Nothing I dislike more than stopping to get my threads untangled from a pin head.  So, I take the time and baste.
Marked and basted for needle turn
I also avoid glue (if I can).... some would glue baste their pieces down... it's certainly an option.
All stitched - now to remove the basting threads
Here is an image of both blocks as they stand now -- Winter Bloom is still missing some stars ( and a bird I would say -- wouldn't you ?)

I also have my Winter Apple applique -- still in need of quilting the applique (and picking the back out :(

I've also got this little gem to work on -- a mock-up design for something I will share with you in the future...

Coming soon!
Thanks for stopping by today!

Linking up to some sweet parties -- check them out on my sidebar and be sure to stop over and see all the eye candy - beautiful stuff out there !