Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ice Cream Lovers and Chocolate Lovers Winners!

Congratulations, Deborah in Atlanta who will receive the Quilts for Ice Cream Lovers book and fabrics, and Cheryl of Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting, who will receive the Quilts for Chocolate Lovers book and fabrics!  Thank you to each of you who commented!  Nine of you indicated a preference for the Ice Cream, while six are Chocolate Lovers, and seven were on the fence :-)  Happily, Deborah and Cheryl will receive their favorite -- yay!!  

And there were some really great suggestions, like chocolate-covered strawberry Blizzards that would cover either/or/both :-)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Design Wall Monday 5/30/11

Off the design wall and quilted and bound!!!  I got to play with my new machine just that long :-)  It's a simple pattern using 8 FQ and 1/2 yard for the border.  This is going to Habitat via one of the guilds I belong to.

While you're here, go to my previous post ( http://scrapsofhappiness.blogspot.com/2011/05/so-whats-it-going-to-be-giveaway.html ) for a giveaway!  It's open till tomorrow night.  

I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend, and that the weather is perfect for whatever you're doing.  Please take the time to send out a silent prayer and thank you to those who lost their lives, for us, for our freedom.  Thanks!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

So, What's It Going To Be? Giveaway!

With names like "Hot Chocolate," "La Chocolada!" "Chocolate Covered Cherries," "Chocolate Pound Cake," how could anyone not start craving Chocolate!?!
But then, "Four Scoops, Please," "Summertime Sherbet," "Cherry on Top," "Girlie Girl Grape," get my taste buds wanting Ice Cream!  
Here are your choices, "Quilts for Chocolate Lovers" book with some yummy chocoholic fabrics (mainly batiks) or "Quilts for Ice Cream Lovers" book with French Vanilla topped with strawberry goodness fabrics to start.  Both flavors will consist of eight fat quarters, for a total of two yards.

Nothing complicated to qualify for the giveaway, just leave a comment, making sure I have a way to contact you, and telling me which you'd pick.  I'll draw two names in the evening of May 31st.  First person drawn gets their choice, second gets the other.  

Have a wonderful, happy, safe Memorial Day weekend, and take a minute to remember why we celebrate this day.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

She's Heeeeeere!

Of course, I'm talking about my new baby, the HQ18 Avante :-)  And boy is she sweet!  The dealer, Linda of Creative Stitches in Glascow KY (I had the incorrect name, and changed it, I hope it didn't create any confusion), came with her hubby and set up, leveled, adjusted, tweaked the machine and frame, and she patiently taught me the basics of using it.  They were here for about 6 hours!  That's what I call customer service, and I wholeheartedly recommend them!  

By the time they left, my poor brain was totally fried -- I've never used a longarm, except for some timid doodling at a quilt show.  But I played all day yesterday, and just had a blast.  It's so different from quilting on my Janome, but also very similar.  I feel pretty comfortable with the quilting part, and I know practice will help with all those herky-jerky moves.  The loading and unloading are the tough parts!  Seems so weird.  But practice will help with that, too.  And I have lot o'flimsies waiting in the tote to become quilts.  Here's some of the practice areas:
The weather didn't cooperate today, it rumbled thunder off and on all day, so I didn't dare turn it on.  Maybe tomorrow!!!  In just this short period of time, I totally understand the passion and joy I've heard about quilting on a longarm, I'm loving this :-)

And with this happiness, I feel the need to share!  On Saturday, I'm going to have a little giveaway.  Just because.  Meanwhile, think about which you'd choose: chocolate or ice cream?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Design Wall Monday 5/23/11

Aw, man!  I hate hemming pants.  And when they have a zipper up the side, I double-hate it!!!!  Even when they have those zippers at the ankles, they don't stay at the ankles.  So, I'm working on shortening the pants, and they're those slippery workout pants, with a slippery lining, and with those #$(*&@( zippers at the ankles.  Grrrrr.  I always grit my teeth when I cut off pants bottoms, because I've used the wrong end of the ruler and cut off too much.  Then what can you do?  Ruffles, I guess, except these are my husband's, and I don't think he'd be thrilled with ruffles on the cuffs -- LOL!!!

I'd hoped to add the borders to the QOV quilt, but all I've managed to do is put the middle on the design wall, and I'm auditioning borders.  I think it will be 2" red, and 5" dark blue.  That will bring the dimensions in line with the size QOVF requires.
This pattern was so easy to make, I think it would look awesome in Army colors with gold stars, don't you?  QOVF says they don't have to be red/white/blue, but that's what I always use for my quilts for vets.  I think I'll try other color combinations for the next one.  Go to Judy's design wall page to find other quilts in progress: http://www.patchworktimes.com/2011/05/23/design-wall-monday-may-23-2011/

Do you have ants in your house?  We suddenly have a trail, and are battling those little critters.  Seems like every Spring we get a few, but this time it's bazillions!!!  I never find a food source, or the nest, strange.  They're really excited about something this year!!

Have a great week!  Only 29 hours 28 minutes (or so) until my HQ Avante is supposed to show up.  Tick, tick, tick.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Total Discombobulation

Once upon a time (a week ago), my sewing room was like this.  Yes, there was stuff everywhere, and yes, it wasn't very organized.  But I had everything right where I could find it.  (Well, if the stars were aligned with the planets.)  From my sewing machine, I just had to turn in my chair to get to the computer.  Which may or may not have been a good thing, come to think of it.
Today, it looks like this.  The ironing board will be taken down, and everything will be out of here on Tuesday morning.  This would be the world's most opportune time to paint in there!!  (as if...)  It will never be this empty again, until we move!!!  Which, I hope, will be long time hence :-)  Why would I do this?  What am I thinking?  Well!  In just a few days -- actually, 75 hours and some seconds.  But who's counting?  Until my HQ Avante shows up.

So meanwhile, I decided to distract myself, and made a QOV top.  Well, almost.  Still have to add a small red border, then some of the bubbly stripe border.  Then it will be in line to be quilted on my new HQ Avante.  Oh, did I already mention I'm getting one next week?  I did?  Sorry.

In the midst of all this, my Quilt Diva guards the door to the sewing room, ever placid, and smiling.  I just love her!  She's such a cool babe, all packed up and ready to go to class.
On top of all this, guess what?  JustPlainLaine.com had a giveaway a couple of months ago, and I won!  Just shows good things are worth waiting for -- I got this in the mail yesterday:
Now, I don't think I would ever have bought this ruler.  It's 8"x14", what an odd number, don't you think?  But after looking at it, I think it's going to be very handy!  I usually use a 3"x18" -- what size ruler do you use most? -- but it's a little long for some applications, and just "that much" too narrow for many of the cuts I make, like 6 1/2". This solves both of those issues.  I'm thrilled!

75 hours and 44 minutes to go till my Avante shows up.  Who's eager???  Meanwhile, I'm trying to find my fabric bowl that has my everyday notions, like seam ripper, little scissors on a fob, etc.  I want to get those borders on the QOV quilt.  I hate it when everything is discombobulated!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sewing Room Cocktail!

Take my sewing room, turn it upside down, then shake.  That's what it looked like yesterday!  I forgot to take a picture, but trust me, it was awful.  My HQ Avante is showing up here next Tuesday -- wooohooo, yippeee, at last!  My sewing room measures about 11 1/2' x 13'  In there, I had my computer table, cutting table, ironing board, large Horn cabinet (opened), and several wicker etageres for fabric, books, TV, and all those miscellaneous sewing room necessities.  Impossible to stuff a midarm on a 10' frame in there, right?  Of course!  something had to go into the second bedroom, which measures 11 1/2' x 12, and which already has a bed, triple dresser and end table.

My DH doesn't do furniture moving without a lot of gentle urging (wasn't that diplomatic?!) so I had to be certain the furniture I needed to move would fit and function as planned.  So I measured everything in the other bedroom and everything in the sewing room.  I drew them all to scale on gridded paper, and played with the layout.  I even made a list of what needed to be moved first, then next, etc.  Can you believe it -- I put the computer table and sewing table (not open) and two etageres into the bedroom, which leaves just the cutting table, an etagere and ironing board in the sewing room.  Hey wait.  Can it still be called a sewing room when there's no sewing machine?  

After much shuffling of stuff and things, I have enough room for the midarm!!!  I hope!  Now I'm nervous about it.  But the cutting table is on wheels and can come out of there, as can the ironing board.  If I don't have one other thing in that room, I will make room for the midarm!!!!!!!  This is something I've wanted for years, ever since I started quilting, just about.  I've saved a part of my piddly little social security check, and after five years, I'm getting it!  I have a huge stack of flimsies, ready for practice :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

QOV and Color Challenge

I love challenges, especially color challenges!  And even more when there's a secondary challenge that comes with it.  (See my April 16th blog.)  The current challenge colors are tropical beach sand and surf.  Beautiful.  But I'm limited by the BOM blocks I have to choose from.  The American flag, autumn leaf, Valentine heart, Irish shamrock, umbrella in rain, Thanksgiving turkey, Jack-0-Lantern, apple and a snowman.  I could have used the tropical colors for the umbrella in the rain, in fact that would have been perfect!  BUT!  The colors for a snowman are kinda limited, right?  So, here's my tropical colors snowman:
Oh, well.  At least I've finished another dual challenge, color and BOM.  I think he's kinda funny :-)  He would have looked even funnier if I'd had to make him in fuchsia and orange!  

More success, however, with the QOV project.  I'm using the gorgeous QOVF fabrics from SkyeReveFabrics.com.  Because the fabrics are pretty busy prints, I didn't want to cut them up and mush them together.  (Is that an official quilting term?  I don't want to be making up stuff here, you know!)  I found a really interesting pattern online that was designed for a book, "The Giving Quilt" and the authors donated this pattern for QOV quilts.  Simple rail fence, but with a twist!  
Long ago, I read somewhere, "If you see someone without a smile, give him one of yours."  I try to do that as often as I can (or dare, in the case of someone really scary or very angry), and you know, I always get a smile in response!

Go see Sarah at ConfessionsofaFabricAddict.blogspot.com to see some really neat projects of all kinds!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tickled on Tuesday~

Gotta call my bookie!  Buy some lottery tickets!!  I am on a lucky streak!  I never, I mean never, win anything, ever.  But look at this!
Sherri at AQuiltingLife.blogspot.com picked my comment a couple of weeks ago for a giveaway, and I won a $25 gift certificate from a fabulous shop, SkyeReveFabrics.com.  Yiippppeeee, woooohooooo, wowza!  I had not yet made a veteran's quilt this year, so I ordered a half-yard bundle of this yumm-o red, white and blue, plus extra yardage of the dotty dark blue stripe-y.  The stars fabric is Windham Fabrics Presents Brights & Pastels Basics, but all the others are American Valor Fabrics, Quilts of Valor Foundation, www.QOVF.org by Timeless Treasures Fabrics.  I didn't know QOV had a fabric line, and it's simply wonderful.  

I'm not usually a red/white/blue kind of girl when selecting fabrics, but these are the most gorgeous shades, and I look forward to using them in a QOV quilt.  Our guild also makes quilts for local vets, and for vets living in the nursing home at the VA Hospital in Murfreesboro, TN.  I have enough of these to make a couple of quilts, so I have my projects lined up for awhile!

AND Natasha at SkyeReveFabrics.com included a couple of sweet charms that will go perfectly with those I had on my design wall last week.  Please go see her, she's the sweetest lady and so helpful and she has all the newest stuff.  Also, any purchases through the end of this month are entered for a $50 drawing at the shop online!!!!  (As for the charms that were on my design wall, well, they had to come down for awhile.  But they'll be back!)  Thank you, Natasha, and Sherri!  

Two giveaways in one month.  'scuse me whilst I faint.  And when I recover, I'm going to think about doing a giveaway, too!  So stay tuned :-) 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Glory Be!

It just gets better, but I don't know how today could be improved on!  It started with a blog I read this morning: http://stashmanicure.blogspot.com/2011/05/original-quilt-by-who-me-seriously.html 
Madame Samm's guest blogger was a lady I met nearly ten years ago when I joined my very first quilt guild in Fairfield, TX.  I was a totally new quilter, and I'd never even heard of a guild!  I was so thrilled to find her, to read her blog, Molly's Place here: http://www.sewhappy10000.blogspot.com/  and to catch up on what some of the ladies I knew back then have been doing!  Go visit her for a taste of East Texas :-)

Then my hubby called me from the airport and asked if I wanted to take a short flight around the town, just because it was such a beautiful day, perfect for flying.  Even though he's a pilot, I haven't flown in a small airplane in years, so I thoroughly enjoyed it!  

Today's mail brought me the bestest Mother's Day card, Ev.Er.  It has a beautiful cat diva, wearing a diamond necklace and a tiara and reclining on a silk pillow, with the greeting "Hail to thee, Your Royal Momness!"  Isn't that great?!?!?  My baby boy can sure pick out perfect cards!   

He knew it would be really hard to get into a restaurant tomorrow for Mother's Day, so my hubby suggested we drive down to Knoxville and go to my favorite restaurant, Famous Dave's.  Barbeque and blues, can't be beat!  Last night, a girlfriend and I took each other to a blues concert at the wonderful Palace Theatre here in town, and had a blast.  Her birthday and mine are both this month, so we do something fun together every May.  It was a wonderful concert, by the way, with Janna and Her Cool Friends.  Amazing talented people, with so much energy and love for the blues, it was a great time.  

When we got home, a florist delivered my favorite flowers, tulips -- pink ones! -- for Mother's Day.  Aren't they simply perfect?  These are from Kelly, Ken, Jon, Matt, and Nyssa, my perfect kidz, my son his wife and family. 

So, from start to finish, this day has been just wonderful, full of fun and smiles and joy and blessings.  And my Annie is pleased.   

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Woohoooo! I won! I won!

Leona, at http://oneygirl-myquiltingadventure.blogspot.com, had a giveaway last month, and looky what came in the mail today!!!   First out of the box was a roll of Windham Fabrics "Flutter."  Yumm-o, the soft colors and style reminds me of Lily and Will by Bunny Hill.  

And next, out came this most intriguing item that I've never seen before -- it's called a Carnival Gift Box.  Inside the cellophane wrapper is a plain box, a chunk of Princess Mirah fabric and narrow strips of the same fabric, and down in the bottom, what looks like some really delicious embellishment threads.  Evidently, you wrap the box with these fabrics and make a big ribbon fluff on top with the narrow strips and threads.  I'm so not creative, but this will make me look like a superstar of wrapping when I give it to someone!!!  

I would never buy these for myself -- Caring for Fabric & Quilts and Choosing Batting by Harriet Hargrave.  I took a class with this lady and she is The Wise One when it comes to these subjects (and threads!).  I'm of the "toss it in the washer and dryer and see what happens" school of fabric care.  And when I choose batting, it's pretty much looking in the closet to see what I have that's the right size for my quilt; the batting I have to choose from is what I found on sale when I was at the quilt shop.  All that stuff written on the packages was too confusing.  But guess what?  Just quickly perusing these pamphlets have convinced me I can learn what I really, really need to know, and save me money and some "ooopsies" along the way!

But wait!  There's more!  I think the creative gods are trying to nudge me into trying some landscape/artsy kinds of quilts.  I won this book, "Dream Landscapes" and some time ago, I received the DVD "Jane Davila & Elin Waterston Teach You Art Quilting Basics."  I've always been a huge fan of Laura Wasilowski and Melody Johnson and the other Chicago School of Fusing alum.  I've dabbled, in the meekest toe-in-the-water way, with winging it.  OK, I'm going for it, and I even put it on my calendar.  I have some "gotta" finish items for our guild's quilt show, in June.  But then, I'm going to fly!!!
And when I do, I'm going to need some of this stuff.  Which I love, and use by the tons.  Are you believing all this good stuff -- in one box!!!???  As a giveaway!!??!!  
Annabella had to check for mice, of course.  And to be sure that was all that could possibly be in the box.  Well, all I can say to Leona is:  I'm simply overwhelmed, and thank you so much!  I had just discovered her blog when I won, and after going through her archives, I've learned she is a very generous lady, both with her time and talents -- in fact, right now she's doing a tutorial on half square triangles -- as well as with giveaways.  Go see her, learn, sign up as a follower, and enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

UFO Challenge

Curve Appeal is a cool name, don't you think?  Which would be a success story for me, if curves were in.  Oh wait, not those curves.  These Curves:

My hubby thinks I'm part crow, because I'm always drawn toward the shiny, sparkly, bling-y stuff :-)  And this pattern required it.  So I happily cut the parts, quilted them, and commenced to beading.  What was I thinking?!!!!?   Did I begin beading with a tiny little sample square.  Or a jacket pocket, something small?  No.  The front of a bag.  And not a coin purse.  Not a cute little evening bag.  This honker is 16" square!  Do you know many inches that is?!!!  When  you're talking about itsy, bitsy, teeny-tiny, little beads?  Well, I beaded an area about 1" square before I decided beading was not exactly my calling.  I whined about it so much that a dear, dear friend agreed to add some beading, which she did (isn't that gorgeous!).  But I was not in love with the project any longer and into the UFO closet it went.

When its number came up on Judy's UFO Challenge (patchworktimes.com), I grumbled about it.  Hello -- did I think its number would never come up?  But guess what?  After dragging it out and figuring out the directions, it took about two hours to assemble. BUT WAIT!  Don't you hate it when you *think* you've finished a project, then realize....  I was feeling pretty great about getting this thing done, except when I tried it on over my shoulder, I realized I had put the handles across the bag instead of sewing them on one side, and it hung all catty-whompus.  I've done that, probably with all the bags I've made.  I don't know why I do that!  Do you?  But it's done!!!