Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tagalong and Postcards

Aimee over at Adventures and Pursuits is hosting a few postcard swaps. I am in group 3 for this round. I send out 49 Florida postcards, one to each state. Then, 49 other people will each send me a postcard from their state. I thought Robbie would get a kick out of receiving post cards from all the states. I know I love postcards.

Mandy and I went to Walmart today to pick up my new glasses, get some groceries, and of course to pick out our postcards.  I picked out 60 Florida cards that looked fun. I like to keep extra postcards to add to swap packages (when I remember lol). I always grab the shark one you see here. I used to have a t-shirt that said "Send more tourists. The last ones were delicious" lol. I loved that shirt. I will be slowly addressing these. Florida is scheduled to mail out at the end of May. Each state mails at a different time so we should receive a postcard a week.

April's Schnibble Tagalong is all quilted, bound, and washed. I just did some straight line quilting. Nothing too exciting because I couldn't decide on the color of thread to use. You can  see here   why mine looks different from the pattern.

I love the fabric on the back. I've noticed that I am drawn to circle things lately.

Another bright Schnibble done. I wonder what next month's pattern will be. At least we don't have to wait very long.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

EQ 7 is coming!

I know I have posted twice already today but I just HAD to add another post. Have you heard that EQ 7 is due out this June? You can already pre-order it from I Have A Notion.


Quilts, Blocks and now PHOTOS!
Digital cameras will become a quilter's best friend. EQ7 has dozens of ways to turn everyday photos into quilt ­­art images. Or crop and edit scanned fabrics right in EQ7 in minutes. And that's just the start!

New Activation Policy
You'll never run out of EQ7 activations! Activation and deactivation is as easy as two clicks of the mouse. Install on as many computers as you like and quickly transfer activations from computer to computer. This new policy gives you complete freedom to manage your own activations — and no dongle to worry about!

Easier than ever for new users
EQ7 is the most user-friendly full-featured quilting software yet.
  • Complete user manual
  • 22 printable full-color PDF lessons (115 pages)
  • Point-and-read info on each tool – now linked directly to Help topics
  • 10 videos targeted for beginners
  • 67 “How do I?” topics: printable stepped-out instructions for doing everything from printing English paper-piecing templates to drawing a New York Beauty
  • Built-in Help buttons are everywhere, targeted to the task you're doing
  • New block tools for creating original blocks instantly without drawing
  • Blocks size themselves – just drag and drop on the quilt
Includes tons of user-requested new features
Exactly the same friendly interface, plus loads of new user-requested features.

  • 5000 copyright-free blocks
  • 5000 new scanned fabrics, plus grayscale textures
  • 120 new pre-designed quilt layouts
  • Snap blocks to a Quilt grid
  • Instant border blocks with greatly expanded Auto Borders
  • Print multiple photos on fabric
  • Create original fabric designs from photos, then print on fabric
  • Mirror and use myriad symmetries on photos
  • Use dozens of artistic effects, making everyday photos look like watercolors or Impressionist paintings
  • 79 new features in all
Netbook compatible
Works on netbooks as well as laptops and desktop computers.

Sounds pretty darn good to me :) I love the idea of more fabric choices and also the English Paper Piecing designs.

We have a winner!

I let my daughter choose a winner this time. She has chosen lucky Gin from Mom in the Wilderness!! Congratulations Gin!! I've sent you an email on how to claim your prize. I am so jealous lol.

On My Design Wall

First off I have to say that I am just thrilled to have any kind of design wall. Good thing I don't make very many large quilts though. There is an empty piece of wall between my daughter's bed room door and the garage door that is just around the bend from my sewing area in the living room. Awhile ago I thumb tacked up a piece of cotton batting and now I have myself a nice area to try out different block arrangements. Before this, I had to lay the blocks on the kitchen floor and see if they looked OK. For me it's better to look at the blocks when they are hanging on the wall instead of the floor.

This is what was on the wall yesterday:

I played with the placement of the blocks for the quilt for a fellow blogger.  Did you click the link? You didn't think I would ruin the surprise did you? I think the balance is pretty good. After everyone's suggestions, I decide to go with a dark sashing. After trying out a few different fabrics, I decided on a maroon color. It brings the color out of the blocks nicely.

I also played with a layout for an I Spy quilt. A few months ago, I took some blocks from an I Spy Swap that I was in and cut them into 4.5" circles. I then sewed them down to a 6.5" white block. Then they sat, and sat, and sat until I had this idea of adding a bunch of different colored squares to them in a checkerboard fashion. I think I like the way they all look together. From a distance all the circles remind me of planets.

Later this morning we are heading out to the local Farmer's Market to check out their fruits and veggies. We're all really craving some fresh produce and yummy fruits. I've been looking for some nice yellow squash and zucchini but you can't really buy those at a supermarket. Plus, I would rather buy local and fresh than something that has been shipped from far, far away.

I also need to do some regular grocery shopping. Hopefully there will be some time later in the day to start sewing these tops together.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Strings and Things

I had 2 string blocks left over from my table topper   just sitting around on my sewing table so I decided to do something with them. I was thinking that they could be potholders but they are a bit too small for that. I think I will just use them as hot pads.

I backed them with some denim thinking it would make a good insulator. One of those good ideas/bad ideas kind of things. The denim is a good insulator but very hard to sew through all those layers when you do the flip and sew thing. Lesson learned for the next set of pot holders.

I have a sister that loves Pink Panther. I searched Ebay for awhile to find some Pink Panther fabric that caught my eye. Didn't happen but I did find this panel. I knew it would be perfect for the project I had in mind for her.

She liked my strings table topper so I had the idea of putting little string blocks along the edges of the panel to jazz it up a bit. She wanted a simple string runner to use along the headboard of her bed. The problem was that she would never measure the area that she wanted to use a runner on. I hope it fits. If not, then she will have a dresser runner or a table runner for her dining room. I'm sure she will find a spot for it.

For the quilting I just went with some simple circles around the paw prints in the light pink areas. I didn't place any quilting on the Pink Panther portion hoping that would help him stand out a bit.

I love the pink circles on the black fabric for the back. It's almost gone now. Not sure if I can find more. I bought it at JoAnn's way before Christmas last year. I also have some in pink and green. I'm working from my stash right now so no shopping trips for a bit.

I actually bought two of these panels because I knew once it showed up on my doorstep that I would want one for our house. I have the strips ready for the strings, I just need to sew them to the papers and put it all together. Some day...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Found Hexies

During my breaks at work, I like to work on hexies.

After I make a few flowers I put them in a ziploc and a store them in one of my craft drawers.

I don't really have a plan for them, I just like making them.

I found all these this weekend when I was looking for some quilt blocks for another project that I wanted to work on.

All of these have been made in the last few months. I haven't worked on any this year I don't think. I miss working on them. I love the rhythm and peace of hand sewing. It makes me slow down and relax. My hands may be going fast but my mind is going at a much slower pace.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Owls and 9 Patches

I received my blocks back from the  It's A Hoot     swap over on  Pins and Needles the other day.


There were 11 of us in this swap. We each made 12.5" 9 patches from fabrics of our choice...

...and 12.5" owl blocks. We could make the owls any way we wanted too.

This was such a fun swap! I can't wait to get started on the next swap!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

April's YOE swap goodies

My package from Kerry for the YOE Swap arrived today! Boy was I spoiled! I thought I would take you on a little tour.

The box felt very heavy for an ornament swap. My son (11) was so excited to open it to see if there was any chocolates in there that I made him wait until I opened up all the other mail first. When I opened it all I saw was PURPLE! WooHoo! My favorite color!

I gently took off the top layer of shredded paper and found this. I saved the shredded paper to recycle to use another month.

Inside I found these two adorable birdie jars with Mike n Ikes and jelly beans. Of course we had to stop right here and try the candies. Just to make sure they made the trip safely of course. These jars are so cute they will be staying on my sewing table with buttons once they are empty.

Four wonderful coasters. I have one at my table by the couch, Hubby has one on his side, Robbie (11) has another on my table and the last one went to my daughter's (19) room.  See how Kerry carried the birdie theme throughout so far?

Such a pretty birdie with jingle bells. I love jingle bells! There is something about the sound of jingle bells and wind chimes that make me smile.

Another sweet birdie. Robbie thought this one was made of chocolate. I think he has been craving chocolate a bit too much lately lol.

Was that it?......

Nope! This is one of those iron on embroidery patterns that I love so much. This is perfect timing too. I have a swap coming up that involves birdhouses and these will be perfect!

My Kerry made scrapbook. I tried to explain what a scrapbook is used for pertaining to this swap but he just didn't get it. I'm obviously not a scrapbooker so it isn't something he is used to.

Last but not least...some gorgeous fabric. If you look closely you can see a little butterfly charm. I love butterflies and dragonflies so this was fun to see.

Thank you Kerry for everything! You have gone above and beyond.

This is what I sent Kerry.... (pictured borrowed from the YOE blog)

I had so much fun embroidering the pillow and ornament!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Couple more things checked off the to do list

I cleaned my sewing area yesterday in preparation for finishing a couple projects today.

Last year BlueBird Quilts put up a quilting challenge. She would send a few of us a set of 5 hexagon style blocks and we would then turn them into a small quilt.

My blocks were mainly black and white. At first I thought about making flowers out of the hexagons but once I had them in my home I knew flowers wouldn't work. If they had been more colorful then they would have been fine. They have been sitting in my hexagon drawer for several months waiting to be turned into something spectacular. I don't think they became "spectacular" but they have been saved from the trash and will have a useful and purposeful life now.

I've  been wanting to try my hand at Dresden plates and thought they might work nicely for this project. My first instinct was to have the plates alternate with the hexagons. Then I reread the rules and saw that the quilts are to be under 27". Not going to work. Then I had the idea of using the hexagons as the center circle of the Dresden plates. When I was laying out the half plates I liked how they looked (see the corner blocks).

Today I sewed all the pieces on and quilted it. Add some nice red binding and it is ready to be loved.

As you can see I'm not very good at spacing. I took a whole piece of grey fabric and folded, measured, pinned, remeasured trying to get the pieces evenly spaced. Didn't happen. I'm OK with that though. This will be a fun little quilt to toss around and use top build forts. To cover up with in the car or on the couch. In other will be used.

Since the front is so dark I decided the back needed to have some color to it. I used the same fabric for the binding.  I failed the size requirement. It measures 27" X 42".

Now for something brighter. Our neighbor is waiting (im)patiently for her new Granddaughter to make her entrance into the world. She should only have a couple more weeks to wait if the baby girl decides to show up on time. I made this quilt last month but never got around to putting on the binding. Now it has it's binding and has been through the wash so it is all crinkly and ready to go to it's new home. I want to make a few bibs and burp cloths to go along with the new quilt.

The back is a soft pink with dark pink hearts all over it. The binding is the scraps from the front.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Suggestions Please

I've been collecting quilt blocks for a friendship quilt for a fellow blogger (sshh it's a surprise). These are the blocks I have received so far.

I might have a couple more trickling in too. I need your help in deciding if the blocks need sashing and if so, what color would you use?   One of the white squares will have a brown applique on it. The other white square is a place holder for the next block that comes in the mail. I haven't decided on the exact placement of each square yet. I want to wait to see if any more blocks arrive.

I'm having the hardest time getting a good photo of these blocks for some reason. This is one of my blocks. It hasn't been trimmed down to size (12.5") yet. I embroidered the word "friends" in white in the center.

I also embroidered this tree. I was planning on writing all the names of the people who contributed blocks in this tree. Kind of like a Family Tree but instead a Friendship Tree. This block hasn't been trimmed down either. If it looks too dark for the quilt, then I will trim it closer to the tree and add a light border so it blends in the quilt better.

So, sashing yes or no? If yes, what color would you use?

Thanks everyone!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Give a-way time!!

I was recently given the unique opportunity from CSN Stores to offer my readers a new gadget. CSN stores offers a large variety of items from furniture to kitchen gadgets, to toys and baby items. They have excellent customer service and their items ship and arrive pretty quick.

While looking through all the kitchen gadgets they offer, I came across the Oster Hand Blender with chopper attachment. I knew I wanted to give a-way a hand blender and I saw several nice ones but this bad boy also has chopping ability. Not only can you make soup and smoothies but you can also make salsa. Party time!!

  • Powerful 250 watt motor for exceptional performance
  • Includes chopper attachment for large tasks
  • Variable speed dial with hi/lo setting offers multi-speed control for versatile blending
  • Stainless steel s-blade for durability
  • Detachable blending rod for ease of cleaning
  • Includes blending / measuring cup and dual purpose lid - as a cover for storage and as a non-skid base
The Oster brand represents a strong offering of unique, fashionable, and versatile products that will help inspire and empower you to be creative in the kitchen. This 250 Watt powered hand blender is great for blending and easy cleaning with its stainless steel blade, and detachable rod.

OK, so what do you need to do for a chance to win this new toy? First off, this give a-way is only open to US and Canadian readers. CSN Stores currently ships to only the US and Canada. Sorry my international readers, but I will make it up to you with the next give a-way.

So, leave a comment for one entry. Blog about it for a second entry. That's it, easy peasy :) Let's run this give a-way until Wednesday April 28th Noon EST. Please leave a separate comment for each. If you are a no reply blogger or anonymous, please leave an email address. Otherwise I won't be able to contact you if you win.

Good Luck everyone!!

P.S. If you are reading this post on Facebook, please follow the link to my actual blog post. Only comments on the actual blog post will be included in the give a-way. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kids and their Stuff

My kids rooms always seemed to be cluttered with "Stuff". There never seems to be a place for everything and everything in it's place. They are pack rats but it's OK, they get that from me and I get it from my Grandmother. Periodically (every couple months or so) I go through my stuff and clean out what really isn't needed or I can't figure out why I even bothered to save it. It looks like it might be time to do that with the kids too. I'm thinking it might be easier if I do it when they aren't home lol.

Part of the problem is that the rooms are small and there really isn't much storage. I've been picking up some containers here and there to help out but we still need more. One of the big problems is the TV and video games. The TV ends up being right in the middle of a wall with video game components spilling out all around it. I think they need corner TV stand with doors to corral some of the electronics.

I've recently been given the opportunity to give one of my readers a chance to win a kitchen gadget of my choosing.  I need some help...what small kitchen accessory (under $40) is on your wish list?

I've always wanted a submersion blender...

or a fun carpet for in front of the sink...

this one resembles a quilt.   So help me out...please.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Playing Catch Up

Over at Patchwork Posse we are doing a charm-a-long Quilt. The new blocks come out the first Wednesday of the month. I was behind by 4 blocks.

I like how the red and blue give the block some movement.

This one is my favorite so far. I like the blue star. Another one of those square in a square blocks again. Eventually I will be able to make these the right size and without losing any points/corners.

I've been having fun playing with color placement. I like having just a handful of colors to work with. Makes it easier to decide where to place everything.

Now I am all caught up with this quilt a-long. On to the next project...after a day of rest. I over worked the shoulder and it isn't very happy with me. The sewing part is easy now, it's just the iron and the rotary cutter. I don't have much strength in the shoulder yet but I just couldn't sit back and not work on any quilts. I could hear my sewing machine calling my name. "R o b i n...come out and p l a y. Just for a couple minutes." Yea right, I've spent at least 4 hours a day for the past 3 days "playing" :) It felt great to get things done though.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Yesterday's finishes

This is Suzi and her quilt. These are the practice blocks from last year when I was trying out improv blocks. Just a bunch of scraps but they look nice and bright for Suzi. I only had the binding left to do. Don't know why I never finished it. I found it in the bottom drawer of my sewing desk and decided to finish it up.

I also put together this month's Schnibble Tagalong.

I'm still struggling with the square in a square block. The pattern called for them to be 5" unfinished but if I did that, I would have lost lots of points. I ended up squaring them at 6.5". The other 9 patches were already 5" so they needed some borders to bring them up to size. I actually like the way it turned out.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Have You Seen?

I Have A Notion is having a month of give a-ways. They are giving away some very fun items each day from March 15th - April 15th 2010 ending at 10 PM CMT . You can post a comment on any day but you do need to answer the question they ask. Easy Peasy. Just no comments like "add me please". They also have a I I Have A Notion store.  You can find some very nice free patterns over at their store too. There's a couple I have my eye on.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Dome Has Arrived!

I love this picture of Robbie.

Robbie's Dome showed up Friday afternoon around 3pm. It took the 4 of us about 3 hours to get it all put together. I say the 4 of us but I really didn't do anything but read the directions and tell them what they were doing wrong. I think that is my official job when it comes to putting things together. Rob and the kids just do not like to read the directions. What's worse is this dome did not come with directions! I think it is so crazy. In order to get the directions we had to call their customer service center and request the directions to be sent to my email. For what we spent, you would think they could include the directions. Plus, what if it came on Saturday and they were closed. We would be out of luck until Monday. I hope this isn't a trend.

Both Robbie and I had pictured it bigger in our heads but it's fine. He has been climbing all over it. He really likes to hang upside down.  Suzi is a bit scared of it but she is getting used to it. She's funny because she will only go in through one of the triangle sections. She only leaves through a different section straight across from the "entrance". It's like she thinks there is a front door and a back door. Silly Suzi.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Animated Happy Birthday
Animated Happy Birthday Comments : Forward This Picture

Today Robbie turns 11. We've always told him he looks like a monkey, so this graphic is perfect for him :)

He is patiently (not) waiting for his birthday present to arrive. Unfortunately, FedExpress says it won't arrive until tomorrow :(

 We ordered him the Lifetime Geometric Dome Climber Play Center from Amazon. It is 6 feet tall and 10 feet wide. It will definitely stand out in the back yard lol. Robbie being the monkey that he is loves to climb and hang from things. We had to cut down our climbing trees because the previous owners planted them under the power lines and they grew right into them. The other ones fell down several years ago during Hurricane Charlie.