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Monday, July 04, 2011

….And The Winner Is:


I’ve loved reading the comments as they came in for the Mini Windmill pattern and template!! I am so glad to be sending it to someone who wants it.

And I am amazed how so many said they would use YELLOW with it! You don’t have to, you know? You could use ANYTHING…but the yellow really does make those scraps shine, doesn’t it?

I’m also one of those who can’t “WEAR” yellow. I don’t wear orange well for that matter either, but it doesn’t stop me from putting them in my quilts. I think we have this idea that if colors aren’t good ON us, that they therefore aren’t good AROUND us either! And that’s just hogwash.

I mean, look at nature! I remember being told that pink and orange don’t go well together, but just look at the colors in the garden! Do we NOT plant certain colors because we can’t wear them? Well, I hope not!

So here we go with the winner of the Mini Windmill Pattern ---

Sarah Stephens aka SoSarahSew!

Sarah wrote:

I have 20 Florabunda blocks made already. I started as soon as I saw your original post and knew I had some 2" yellow strips from another top I was just finishing. I'm searching for more yellows to make more blocks, since 20 just doesn't do it. Thanks for the give-away chance... and all your neat patterns!

I’ve emailed Sarah, she had her email address visible in her profile settings so I “COULD” get a hold of her. Sarah, as soon as you email me back with your snail mail address, this little cute pattern will be on it’s way to you!

And I think you are rockin for having 20 blocks made already --- I’ve still got….FOUR. I’m laggin way behind, but I hope to catch up --- at some point! Congrats!

And as I look around me…..there is SO MUCH STUFF in this studio that needs to find a new home, we may be doing more giveaway’s occassionally! Of course, DH is like “You mean you are paying for postage to get rid of things??” Why sure! It doesn’t make sense to him, but it does to me!

Home Improvement Weekend…..


When kids move out……it doesn’t mean they take the effects of living WITH them! Things like scuff marks and spills and stains and dings, dents, and other marks are left behind!

We’d talked about painting Jeff’s room, but it was kind of iffy when that would come about – however, after leaving Karen’s house on Saturday evening, and meeting DH at a place for dinner that was just DOWN from Lowes….a plan had evolved.

Long holiday weekends are just made for home improvement projects, aren’t they? And usually…I am a bit apprehensive because I tend to think that the project is going to overshoot our ability to get it accomplished in that time frame…which means things will remain UNDONE for an immeasurable amount of time.

For instance --- The roof has been done for quite a while now, but the sun room still needs to be re-sheet-rocked. This is something that has to be hired out and we haven’t found anyone to do the job yet. So it sits.

Painting should be a job we can tackle ourselves….so after dinner off we went to Lowes in search of paint and other accessories we would need to get the job done.

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This store is a COMPLETE danger zone! I suppose a man entering this store is much like a Quilter entering the world’s biggest fabric warehouse. Am I right?

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Me: “I thought we were looking at painting supplies”

DH: “Yes, but look! There is a 3 cordless power tool set for a great price!”

Me: “Uhoh!” >_< ((Yes the price of painting Jeff’s room just went UP considerably!))

It’s okay. I’ll remember this purchase, and I know I can turn it to my advantage in the future when the need arises!

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We chose a color called “antique white”…..it doesn’t look white at all in this picture! It looks more like a dark sand! But that’s okay, I like how it looks in the room….what we are covering UP is that old dirty white. And let me tell you --- who ever thought cheap flat white paint was GOOD for interior walls? You can’t wash it without it coming off! Everything we have repainted, we have been SURE to use a SCRUBBABLE variety. Life is messy. It needs to be scrubbed. Nuff Said!

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My job was to do all the corners and cracks with a brush so DH could come back with the roller. It might make me crazy, but I actually like the smell of new paint…it gets rid of all the other aromas that moved-out-children leave behind! A fresh and new start!

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Roll those walls! We had to put primer in some spots….and some places needed more than one coat of paint to get an even look.

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Just one more spot left! And then the really bad part begins….THE TRIM!

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I got to be princess of the masking tape. Believe me, it isn’t as fun as it looks! But I’ve learned that a good tape job is just as important as a good paint job!

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Besides, if I could tape…someone ELSE could do the actual trim painting!

We took a break yesterday afternoon and went and saw “Larry Crowne” with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. I loved it! It was just easy, fun, and enjoyable – I don’t care if it is predictable, it was as cute as a button and a great escape from the afternoon heat.

Today is going to be hot as blue blazes, and DH--glutton for punishment that he is--will be enjoying his hot sweaty afternoon out on the golf course – as for me?! I’ll be in the cool of the basement working away at this or the other!

And tonight? I’ll be drawing the winner of the free mini-windmill pattern and template! If you missed that post, you still have time to leave your comment HERE and be in the drawing!

My trim in the basement needs to be repainted too --- but after the past couple of days, I think I’ll leave that for another time. Right now? Id rather sew!

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Holidaze!!


MUCH MORE sewing was accomplished at Karen’s yesterday! I finished up and trimmed my yellow string blocks and de-papered them!

And yes, that is MY "Troll Sister" right there with my blocks! Last year when I visited Sharon near KC, MO....in our antique jaunts, I found a whole BAG of trolls ((For $10.00-- bargain of the century!!))...and brought them home to hand out to my bee. So when we get together, the Trolls have to come too! I think I have a picture of them SOMEWHERE....

Here we go! I found it!

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I played with these trolls when I was little…I envied my Aunt’s collection of them…..seeing these brings back my childhood! Fun Stuff….So back to the sewing part!

Now, every time I post about using phone book pages for my foundations and actually taking the TIME to REMOVE THE PAPER ((Oh gasps, and horrors!!)) I get comments asking why I don’t use muslin, or why not use thin interfacing…or….have I heard about this nifty trick about using dryer sheets as foundation?

We all have our own way to do things. My big thing is that I don’t want BULK. There are a LOT of seams, because I use some really skinny stuff in my string blocks.

The only thing the phone book paper is there for is to add a bit of stability, and it gives me a size to shoot for…so I know where I can use my longest scrap strips, and where I can use the smaller ones, and finally using left over crumbs and triangles for those corners.

Not all my strips and strings have straight edges…and that’s another good reason for having the paper there…I can lay things at an angle and sew, or put a straight piece on top of a curved or raggedy piece and the shape of the paper helps me still keep things in the direction I want to go.

I don’t use dryer sheets for a couple of reasons. They shrink if the iron is as hot as I want it to be, and I get residue all over the bottom of my iron. I have to be careful with fragrances, some give me migraines, and yes I know there are “unscented” dryer sheets, but there is still residue, and I am limited to the size of the dryer sheet. Do I want to sew them together to get a foundation big enough just so I don’t have to remove it later? Doesn’t thrill me. :c)

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And the laundry product I like to use best is that Purex 3-in-1 sheet that goes from the washer to the dryer, and it is more like a curvy sheet of poly batting with soap in it! LOL! Do I want to string piece to these? Nope! But Jeff did tell me once that I should zig zag them together and use them for a batting…..uhhhhh….no thanks, son!

Phone book paper is free. It stitches easily. It doesn’t melt. It has no perfume. It removes with ZERO effort…..I just make sure my stitch length is set very small so that it is easy to remove.

I don't have any "ink transfer" problems because I use OLD phone books...and I don't use steam in my iron. I iron with the tip of the iron just on the seam....I'm not mashing the whole block, I just want that seam to be flat and crisp ---the tip along the seam works great for me.

And I like to trim up my units and remove all my paper BEFORE I sew the units together, this way there is not also paper in the seam allowance, and additional stitching that crosses the seams.

Once I get the paper out of there, it is as simple as doing regular patchwork. Once the blocks are pieced, I don’t need a foundation in there.

And my final reason for using phone book pages, or reject printer paper, or deli wrappers….or…..left over cruise flyers from the cruise that Pat Sloan and I are doing in November--- Yes Pat! I’ve been using our faces as foundation too! LOL! Is because I like to hand quilt many of my smaller projects.

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Do I want foundation in anything that I’m going to hand quilt? Nope. It doesn’t need to be there. There is no reason to have extra fabric, extra weight, extra fragrance, extra ANYTHING beneath the strings once they are pieced.

I even LIKE the process of removing the paper! If you do it the way that paper is removed from a notebook…start at one edge and remove it from one seam, then loosen the next edge by running your finger under the paper to lift it from the seam, and remove that piece, then loosen the next edge, etc…it’s really fast!

We’ve had a busy morning Chez Quiltville --- We’ve painted Jeff’s room! It looks so much better! I’ll have some pics of that experience to post later, but right now Hubster and I are thinking it’s a great day for a matinee movie and a big bucket of popcorn!

When it gets THIS hot out in there….we hunker down and STAY IN! Not sure what’s playing…I’m on my way to go found out and decide --- Do you think there is a chick flick I can get away with?!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Which Tomorrow Is It?!

The past couple days went much like this…it started THURSDAY…

Lisa via email to Karen and Me: We are still on for SEW DAY tomorrow, aren’t we?

To which, another email was immediately sent because she included ME in on the email, and also the WRONG KAREN, who was then flustered because she didn’t know what we were talking about!

The response from the RIGHT Karen: Yes, we are on!

So I pack, and I head out, stopping at the bank first to take care of a couple things, and I call Karen to get her address, realizing that she was not pre-programmed into the new GPS system in my new van.

Karen says….you DO know that sew day is TOMORROW, right?

Well only yesterday, tomorrow meant today! But okay..that’s fine! I’ve got other errands to run. I concur that it was just "typical me" getting things scrambled in my brain. I needed to go to Sam’s club for gas, and dog food, and other stuff. ((Yeah, sometimes it is a complete surprise as to what jumps in my cart that as NOT on my list!))

Half way down the aisle after picking up the dog food, my phone rings.

Karen: Where are you?

Me: Sam’s Club.

Karen: Guess who just arrived at my door with sewing machine in hand?

Me: LISA AND SHELBY!!!!

Karen: Yep! So, I’ve officially declared today a Sew Day if you still want to come!

And I be-bopped it over there, since everything was already in my car! And all day long we laughed about WHICH Tomorrow IS IT?!

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Lisa takes the happiest pictures! Her smile and laughter are infectious, and we found ourselves howling over much silliness!

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Of course this girl, Miss Shelby is ever-present and who can’t help but smile and instantly find themselves doing “baby speak” while giving her pets and loves? ((Why do we do that?!? I’ve seen grown men reduced to GOO when talking to a cute dog! Hilarious!))

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Karen, you are not doing a great job of hiding behind your Troll Sister with the slime green hair! If you can’t tell by the other items in this picture, Slime Green is Karen’s color of choice…..I didn’t know there was that much GREEN in this pic until I posted it here..LOL!!

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Karen’s string blocks for a charity project….wow…more Slime Green, Karen? Why does that not surprise me?! :cD These blocks are really fun and are going to make someone really happy!

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And because YESTERDAY was brought to you by the COLOR YELLOW -----I spent time digging through this bag of scraps and strings doing much the same as Karen, only in a monochromatic theme….

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This is my growing pile of Yellow string blocks! I sewed all day, and the bag is NOT going down. Karen’s bin is not going down either….and we are having so much fun with this stuff!

So much fun in fact, that since TODAY is the original TOMORROW, we are sewing today too! WHY NOT!? My DH has headed to the golf course. Karen’s hubby is just returning on a red-eye flight from a business trip and will be asleep upstairs all day—Lisa will join us after she finishes up at the shop this morning, and we will do a repeat of yesterday.

Simply….because we can!

And since yesterday was Tomorrow and Today is Tomorrow and Tomorrow is Tomorrow….Here’s a little song that has been floating through my head! LOL

Let’s just see how long it takes you to get it OUT of yours! :cD

Friday, July 01, 2011

Late Night Edition–Free Kindle Book!

I just got back from Karen’s…had a blast of a day! And while I was trying to catch up on email, etc….((Wow! Lots of comments for the free pattern give away..Yeah!!))......I came upon this freebie. It says Free July 1st. That’s today! There is only a couple hours left of July 1st where I am sitting, a few hours later if you are on the Westie Coastie..so I’m sending this out here quickly.

I love intrigue, and the description caught me!

A Cure to Die For: A Medical Thriller, by Stephen G. Mitchell, is free in the Kindle store -

Book Description:

A genetically engineered cure for the common cold turns out to be a cure for cancer. It threatens to put a major pharmaceutical company, along with about half the medical community, out of business. They will stop at nothing to destroy it before it destroys them.

Amid harrowing kidnappings, manhunts, political and corporate intrigue, Wall Street corruption, drug addiction, suicides, arrests and terrifying escapes--in the Montana wilderness, in the high-tech world of Houston, Texas, in the political cesspool of Washington, D.C., in the teeming jungles of Mexico and on a 26,000 square mile Indian reservation--a man and a woman fight to survive the perilous journey where the fate of a healthy planet hinges on the survival of a tiny seed.

A crisis of medical and corporate greed sweeps the country. The government and the media conspire with the medical industry to keep a miracle drug off the market. The book is a medical thriller that is part adventure, part mystery and part love story; a novel about two people who stand against a broken world.

I just downloaded mine. If I don’t like it…well, the price was right, right?!

We had so much fun today, We are headed back over to Karin’s house Saturday morning ((Tomorrow!!)) to DO IT AGAIN!

When I walked in the front door a bit ago, Ferris Beuhler was on TV.....LOVE THIS MOVIE! When the "Shake it Up Baby" parade started, I had to run into the living room and dance it out with DH....whoowhooo!

That's enough for one day..I’m off to bed….

Night all!

For The Love Of Yellow! ((Giveaway!!))

I do love yellow…I admit it! Anywhere from pale butter yellow, all the way to marigold, and everywhere in between. As a quilter, I am all about the punch colors! And for me, yellow is right up there with cheddar and red! And yes, there is a Giveaway at the bottom of this post, but you gotta read all the way down there to get to it. No skimming!

So I’ve been kitting up stuff to take to Oregon with me, and you can see here my wide array of yellow solids. My question for this quilt kept going back to this:

Do I want to stick with ONE YELLOW ((The SAFE route, right?!)) For the Florabunda quilt, or do I want to let loose with different yellows as in the antique quilt that started this whole MUST MAKE NOW craze?!

I’m leaning toward different yellows. I really am. When I look at the quilt with ONE yellow…blocks join in the corners to form one big yellow square with 4 seams in it. If I am going to have 4 seams there anyway, why not add a bit of something to make that piecing worth while?

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I’ve got 4 blocks sewn. Yes. Only 4. I know some are nearly ready to put their whole tops together, or get the binding on --- and I’m straggling at 4..but hey! It’s progress! Subee just posted that hers is DONE! YankeeQuilter's are well on the way!

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See how the two different yellows come together in the center? I like that. Where when it was one yellow, it was just not as interesting. So I’m going to go with it!

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Here are my 72 blocks worth of floral strips, all cut and ready to go! I still have to cut the yellows, but will get to that.

All this yellow got me thinking about the other yellow quilts I’ve made, and I went upstairs to the guest room closet to pull this one out:

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The pale yellow looks even more faded in this picture, but the paths ARE yellow! I made this grandmother’s flower garden, every stitch by hand, in the regular “add a 1/4” seam and just piece it the regular way” style. I’m thinking of when it was started…we bought our first home in 1992….and I know I started it before that. I remember tracing the templates on the fabric and cutting them out one at a time when Jeff was TINY. Jason was in swim lessons --- and I’d bring this with me and stitch the blossoms during the lessons. So it dates around to 1990 and a bit after. Funny how you can date quilts by where you lived when you were making them?

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Do you recognize some of these prints? Oh, some were definite FAVORITES of mine! This quilt also taught me why I should never use warm and natural batting for a hand quilting project! >_< It was like quilting through cardboard! My how things have improved since then! You’ll notice there is no binding. I simply turned the front and the backing 1/4” to the inside and blind stitched it closed, and then went back and quilted 1/4” from the edge of the quilt to finish.

Yellow in antique quilts always makes me giddy! Here are some I’d love to share with you!

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Look at these golden yellow sashings for this great country style 9 patch! There is an idea for you….have some blocks that need to be set? Try yellow!

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Lovely 6 pointed star with yellow background! I love how the yellow just adds the “HAPPY” element! Yellow, Aqua and Red? Yes please! And throw in some pink for good measure!

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I loved the shape of these dresden plates! Of course, I would have scrappied them up a bit, but yellow is a great background for this 1940’s quilt!

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I just love the shape of these dresdens! Flat blade/round blade/flat blade/round blade…Cool, yeah?

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Now THIS top has my heart! I’ve been a string piecing fool over the past year, and I’m still not making much of a dent! Isn’t this just so classic against that yellow? YES PLEASE!

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And this one is a bit grainy, but I think you get the idea! How simple! Scrappy split-4-patch blocks with alternating yellow squares….LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

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And what is not to love about a gorgeous scrappy wedding ring on solid yellow?!? What really caught my eye and made me smile is that some of the rings follow a pattern, some do not…and the red/white 4 patch connectors all turn different ways. DOUBLE YES PLEASE!

So are you wanting to sew something yellow?! I have here up for grabs….a pattern and template to get you started!

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This pattern and template can be yours just by leaving me a comment below! The template makes a 4” mini windmill block. You could go to town on your scraps…and punch it up with some YELLOW! Are you game?

I’ll draw the lucky winner after the fireworks on 4th of July. That’s Monday….we’ll give it the long weekend to make it available to all!

I’m off this morning for a SEW DAY at Karen’s! Lisa and Miz Shelby will also be joining us! Have a great Friday everyone!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Feeling Wilted?!


And not just due to the heat, I’m sure…..See this house plant? I have “ONE” house plant. And I can’t even keep THAT one alive…The good thing about this plant is that it perks up if you water it when you see it droopy! LOL!

And it lives on the kitchen counter, so it gets light from the window, and is very close to the faucet, so you think it wouldn’t be nearly as neglected as it is….but…..this is what I saw yesterday morning when I padded into the kitchen in the wee small hours to get a cup of tea. Poor plant! I could swear it hasn’t been that long since I last watered you!

And the same thing for Miss Sadie’s nails! When I posted the picture of her in the van yesterday, I didn’t even NOTICE how long her nails were until I saw them in the picture! So it was definitely time to do something. Water the ONE house plant…and take care of Sadie’s pedicure!

Sadie LOVES to run errands. She is eager to go at a moment’s notice, but this was her first time in the van. And I’m trying something new. She was always up on the back seat in my Saturn, and I never could get her to lie down…and if I came to a stop, she’d go flying.

In the van…..she had LOTS of floor space, but I’m not letting her up on the seats. And she got bored, and laid down! This is a complete WIN!

She loves going to the bank drive up window….they give TREATS!! And she knows when she’s there…you should see her get all excited when we pull in!

Likewise, she loves going into Petsmart. I have to admit I do to. Even if I’m having a blue day, you can’t go in there and look at cute fluffy things and NOT come out feeling better! She sniffed at the hamster and guinea pig cages…but where things are really fun, is when we go back to the grooming area:

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This is only about half the window…I think there were 6 dogs being groomed at once in there…small ones, medium ones, large ones…..there was a huge golden being shaved down for summer, and it made me miss Buddy so much!

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I always wanted a “Lassie” collie when I was growing up….but just seeing this groomer deal with all that hair made me grateful for a little yellow pound puppy Sadie who, though she still sheds, has short hair and doesn’t have to be shaved in the summer!

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This little guy was getting the full treatment…..his tail will be quite the show piece when the groomer is done with him….and the dogs must be USED to this attention. No one was fighting or pulling away…they just looked bored as if to say…”get it over with already, I have better things to do than sit here all day!”"

I had fun watching through the window as Sadie was in getting HER nails done….

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She really wanted to play with THESE two! Aren’t they cute? Are you smiling yet? I mean it….just go, and I know you will walk out of there feeling lighter!

Still don’t agree with me? Okay..I’m pulling out the big guns!

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GOTCHA!!! This sweet little guy is named Buster, and he is 7 weeks old. What a face!

And I have to admit it…I walked over to the cat area and…*sigh* there was a white girl with bright gold eyes that looked so much like my Oscar…..I SERIOUSLY had to make myself get out of there before I did something really stupid like adopting her. She was 7 months old and so sweet. But I know Emmy Lou…..and she has just now started getting to be more social and more loving now that Oscar has crossed the rainbow bridge. She is happiest without any other cats around, and since she is 11, I’ll respect that. Besides…..do I want to deal with more right now? Not realistic. If I was home all the time maybe, but for now…I’ll just go down to Petsmart and love on them if I get that hankering.

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So here is my shy girl! All trimmed! Looking good! She also got lots of loves and pets from the children who were in Petsmart with their parents. She loves attention…….

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All four paws, no more sharp points! No more catching on the berber carpet….Why’d you wait so long, mom?!

And I’m still kitting up projects for Oregon……pics to come later!