Monday, December 12, 2011

Virtual Christmas Party!!

I just did the MOST FUN thing!! I’ve never done this before, and I was a bit nervous, but I figured if I could do radio shows live on the phone, I could do this….the only hard part?

Wondering if I needed to put make up on for this?! Do I do my hair? Hahaha!

((And you can see ME taking a pic of the laptop screen with my phone in the bottom right of the screen..LOL!))

My friend Mary Koval of Antique Quilt Fame has an adorable quilt shop in Bedford, PA--- it’s a very very cool old building they’ve renovated! I saw it in the construction phase when I visited with her after my last visit to Hershey, ummmm….wasn’t this year, so last? 2010? I need to get myself up there to see it live and in person. Bedford is an adorable historic old town!

Mary designs delicious reproduction fabrics, many of them based on fabrics in the antique quilts she has. Below are links to several of her lines. I bet if you checked your stash, you'd find some Mary Koval in it if you are into reproductions at all!

Baltimore Album ca 1847
Cat In The Manor
Mary's Blenders
Victorian Rose
The Coverlet Collection c. 1820-1860
American Beauty
American Vintage Harvest
Family Tree
Family Tree II
Lady Liberty
Mary's Favorite Blues II c. 1810-1890
Mary's Muslins c. 1870-1910
Paradise Garden
Remember Me - Blue
Remember Me - Gold
Remember Me - Green
Treasures Uncovered c. 1810-1870
Victoria c. 1870
Vintage Christmas
Winter Carnival

If you want a real antique quilt treat, take a tour through her website HERE!

She has a wonderful group of women that meet at her shop ---they are SO heavily into making charity quilts for local organizations, it just blows me away. Show what does this lead into?

Today was their Christmas party, and Mary had called me last week arranging a Skype call with the ladies as a surprise! They put my patterns and Scrap User’s System to good work this year, making over 200 donation quilts. THAT’S A LOT OF QUILTS!! And a lot of scrap fabrics finding a good home.

One of the sweet ladies is 90! And still sewing her brains out --- so I said that I didn’t need to worry about turning 50 next month, that I’ve still got a long way to sew :c) Another of the ladies has made nearly 100 quilts herself for donation. One quilter donates her time machine quilting all the tops for free. I am just so inspired!

And so thrilled that they wanted to include me in their Christmas luncheon party! However, I think they got the better end of the deal, their food was REAL – I just had to watch them enjoy it! Hahah!

This just made my day ---Could it be? I’m feeling festive? I think I feel the need for some egg-nog coming on!

Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 4!

HOWEVER you have decided to do your Part 4 units, I hope you will share your blog link below and let us see what you got up to over the weekend!

If you are new and just starting out on the mystery, you can link below too…you can show ANY progress on any of the parts, wherever you are in your progress. The more the merrier! I’ve had a great time checking in on your posts and seeing what you’ve been up to. I loved visiting the blogs over the week and feeling like I got to know YOU a bit better, especially if you write about things that go on in your life as well as your quilting! Did you check back to last week's link-ups? We had 109 participants! Way to go!

As for the rest of my Sunday --- We did go see Tower Heist, and I did like it, but I really liked “We Bought A Zoo” better. Maybe it IS more chick-flicky, but hey---what can I say, I tend to like feel good drama that leaves me feeing inspired at the end.

I spent the evening working on the last of the 2” strips….WOW….This makes such a HUGE difference in my storage space, in the accessibility of the strips, the ability to not only grab what color I want quickly, but being able to just grab a bag and go for when I'm traveling and sewing in a hotel room….

This is the BEFORE ----

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And this is the AFTER!

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Some have asked why the bags….the biggest reason is to keep things from getting all scrambled again, but the other reason is to minimize the thready unraveling at the edges of the strips. The thready-ness alone drives me crazy, and this will greatly reduce it.

Folding them in round-ish rectangles like this takes up less space than if I were to roll them “Round” like a Jelly roll. They lay flatter and will travel with me easier on the go. So that’s mostly a choice I made, thinking of where they had to fit where I was going to store them.

We’ve all got ideas and routines and ways to do things that work for us, and I think this is one that is going to work for me, or I’m willing to try it at least. If it doesn’t work? I’ll try something else…I’m really good at recycling zip lock bags ---They won’t go to waste!

So what colors did I have the most of in the 2” strips? Blue and Green. Not much yellow at all, very little orange --- not much brown either, it’s interesting to see them all divided by color family this way. I’ve used up a lot of red over the past several months, but if I run short on a project, I can always head to the Fat Quarters and find something to slice up to add to the mix…..

Let’s link up!

If you are a blogger, please link your post showing your Orca Bay Mystery progress on Part 4 ((Or any other part, no matter where you are in the mystery)) below!

Remember that we need the url of the specific POST, not the address for your whole blog. To get the correct address in the linky –right click on the title/subject line of thepost you wrote about your quilt progress. Chose “copy link address” and paste this url in the form when you link. You can also CLICK the title line of the post you want to link...and copy the url from the address bar at the top of your browser there that way.

For instance, my blog address is http://quiltville.blogspot.com but that isn't enough. I can't link to the WHOLE blog, I need the address of the post. The address of THIS post is http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2011/12/mystery-monday-link-up.html See the difference?

If you link to your whole blog, I’ll have to remove your link and have you try again because I can’t fix it FOR you.

Some have asked how they can link a picture if they don't have a blog, and that is one thing we are not doing right now. You have to have a blog to link up. If you can link a picture, you can put it on a blog page! It's simple as that....start a blog, upload a picture, link it here. :c) Come on, you know you wanna! What's stopping you?

We'll leave this open for a week to give you time to write your posts! I LOVED seeing what links came in last week! If you missed those, you can find them linked in the Orca Bay Mystery tab at the top of the blog ---just look at the bottom of that page below the step links for the Mystery Monday Link up Links !

Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Movie Madness!

I’m a movie goer!

I have always loved the feeling of escaping to the darkness of a theater, a big bucket of popcorn in my lap and a huge diet coke in the cup holder of the arm rest by my side.

Last night DH and I headed out to see “We Bought A Zoo!” because I loved what I saw in the trailer ---

Let me tell you that it did NOT disappoint! It is a great family movie….and I have to admit that I sure like the way that Matt Damon has grown up. LOL! Man, that man!

And DH will probably roll his eyes at me if he reads this, but...oh well! Some of us *ahem* DO get better with age, right?!

Here’s a quick peek at the trailer if you haven’t seen it:

What we’ve found when seeing different films, is that the previews for the up and coming movies are kind of tailored to the movie you are sitting there to watch…meaning…if you are in a blow up everything spy thriller, or in a slash-em-gash-em vampire thing, you may miss out on other previews for future movies of a different genre that look REALLY GOOD!

We saw a preview about Chimpanzees that we want to see next year when it comes out, and one about a family of whales being stuck under ice --- true to life stories but lots of drama, and yeah, I love anything with animals in it!

I also saw a preview for the new Snow White that has Julia Roberts playing the wicked queen! It looks Wicked Funny! Gotta add that to the list.

This afternoon we are sneaking off to another matinee to see Tower Heist with Eddie Murphy:

Weekend matinees are my favorite, because they are usually fairly empty, and I feel like I’m playing hooky in the middle of the afternoon and getting away with it!

It’s a good thing to get me out of the basement for a while!

I’ve finished quilting the LAST QUILT for the book…the binding is on…only the hand stitching is left to do! Yeah! Any progress is good progress, right?

Sunday Stuff!

Thank you to everyone who responded to my cry out on the foot cramp in the middle of the night thing. I think a combination of everything is in store for me starting today. I need to make a trip to the store, and I’ll be picking up tonic water,I had heard that before…

But isn’t it amazing all the knowledge of the world that can come through comments? according to several of you, the following can help my situation:

  • vitamin D and calcium with magnesium and zinc.
  • a magnetic wool underlay, one with strong magnets, works miracles with legs cramps
  • calcium, but you also need magnesium & potassium in the mix
  • Magnesium, that is what my doctor told me to get rid of them, she said 400mg a day
  • have you tried putting a bar of soap at the end of your bed between the top and bottom sheet?

I think I’ll try the calcium, magnesium, potassium ---- I’ve heard people talk about magnets because they do work on the iron in your system, some people put magnets in their shoes, etc. I’m not sure about the soap thing it said anything but ivory! I wonder why that is brand specific? What’s in that that makes it work for foot cramps? But I tell you what, if the minerals and tonic water don’t help --- I’m going to try anything!

I do have orthotics in my shoes, so my arches are supported --- I wear good supportive sensible shoes. Gone are the day of cute flat shoes or daring and trendy high-heels making a fashion statement. Fashion stops BELOW the KNEES for me ---

So what have I been up to? Quilting the LAST quilt for the next book! And writing my brains out to the point where I have to step away from the monitor. Not a lot to show you there!

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My adventure with taming the strip bins is still in full swing. I’ve tackled the 2.5” bins, both the color and the neutral. I’m now working on the 2” ones.

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A whole drawer of neutral 2” strips was tamed down to THIS…..THIS is all!?

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The quilting machine is occupied, so I’ve been ironing them and draping them over the back of a chair. It’s amazing how much you can go through with some netflix on! Some of these fabrics….JEESH! How long have I had these? But you know, I love them…there is so much history in them.

I can just tell you that there will be a whole lot more quilts designed with the purpose to USE this stuff in my future!

And a special thanks goes out to Dianne L of White Rock BC ----

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For the darling Christmas card, and a hunka chunka MILLENIUM FABRIC! LOL!! Guess what I get to replace the blacks that we used in the Orca Bay Mystery with? Thank you Dianne!

While I’m pretty much living down here in the basement, I do get visitors to keep me entertained ---

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Emmy Lou takes up residence on one chair…((That’s her towel there…the girl LOVES towels! She will plop herself down on any surface that has a towel on it!))

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Jeff and Sadie have occupied the other chair and keep me laughing! Good news on the job front for Jeff, looks like he might have found a place of employment at the local pizza/pasta joint. Fingers crossed on this one folks, we really need him to get a J.O.B.!! And I can tuck this in the bottom of this post, because I know he doesn’t bother to read my blog ---Love you so much it hurts son!! Just want to see you pushing forward into your life with some joy and determination! xoxox

Better get back to the machine…..and I’ve got binding to prepare for this quilt when it’s done being quilted….tonight? More binding in the recliner? Hope so!

Happy Sunday, Everyone!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mystery Methods!

As the saying goes, there is more than one way to “skin a cat”! Now, I’ve never personally considered the different ways you can skin a cat, or why you would want to do so….but in this case, those late night foot cramps gave me time to think things through.

For some --- the easiest way to trim those string blocks in Part 4 would be to simply square the blocks to 5-1/8”, slice them on the diagonal and be done with it.

Why use the Companion Angle Ruler at all? I guess it is like my favorite cooking spoon. I have this one slotted spoon that I like to cook with, and if I can’t find that one, I go looking. I just prefer it.

So here is what I thought last night…

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Here before you is a 5-1/2” foundation square covered with red scraps. It was easier for me to cut 5-1/2” foundation squares from a flyer that was already 5-1/2” X 8-1/2” than it would be to cut everything at 5-1/8” to begin with. And I knew I wanted a bit extra because it makes for a cleaner trimming down…I don’t fall short on my strip lengths as badly!

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We generally don’t like all that excess hanging off the edge of the block, and so I was pre-trimming before sizing down. I don’t know why it has to take leg cramps and an anvil hitting me on my head to see THIS in my mind --- The paper is our guide! Instead of squaring everything up first, just slice from corner to corner on the back side of the messy block!

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Then use the companion angle ruler to trim it to size, through paper, rough edges and all. Then remove the paper. Of course, if you want to, you could slice it in half and remove your paper and THEN trim to size.

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What matters is that you end up with TWO of these from every block that you do for a total of 128 trimmed triangles.

Don’t you love my Maryland crabs next to my lucky cow fabric? There are cherries with gold glitz in there too..FUN!

So as far as skinning cats goes ----use whatever method gives you the results that you want, with the method that makes the most sense to you and makes you the happiest, knowing that not everyone will choose to do it the same way as you, and that is okay too.

Happy Stringing!

Yard Sale Saturday!

I’m getting another late start this morning….I had one of those nights where you wake up with foot cramps at 3am and the only thing to do is get up and stumble around and walk them out! Does that happen to anyone else?

After that, I lay there thinking of what to do with the Part 4 steps……really…and I have some ideas to streamline things, and I’ll post that in a bit. It will take me making one more block and some more photos! So come back this afternoon for that.

Remember me telling you I wanted to do a Yard Sale Saturday thing? I’m thinking we can use the LINKY and it would be like a neighborhood yard sale!

There will be some ground rules…These items need to be QUILT RELATED. Patterns, Books, Fabric, Notions, Partial UFOs…whatever you want. This is for gently used –white elephant type items, not new-sell-at-retail-stuff or new crafts you have made to sell for Christmas. Understood? Think YARD SALE. When your item has sold, mark it sold on your blog page so people know.

You must link your post back to THIS POST, not the whole blog --- The url to use is http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2011/12/yard-sale-saturday.html

You write the post on your blog, you come back here and link it up. It is up to you to decide how you are going to interact with your buyers. I’m going to use paypal, and the selling price does not include the shipping. The shipping price will be figured depending on where the person lives, and the shipping price will be added to the purchase price.

***Notice!! These blocks have SOLD to Miriam! Thanks Miriam!***

So what did I sell today?

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How about a set of 16 vintage churn dash blocks! And not just ANY Churn dash block..these are pieced differently than I’ve ever seen!

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Block Front Block Back

She’s used SMALL triangles around a center framed square….it’s really unique! Maybe all she had was smaller pieces to work with and this is what she came up with?

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This brown one is even more interesting….there are two long bars…and then the corners are added only to one side…Here is the back of the block, I think you can see it better by viewing the seams:

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By my closest guess ---these fabrics date from around 1900-1910. There are shirtings, ginghams, plaids, double pinks, polka dots, solids, and lovely mourning prints and burgundy resists. They measure just a bit over 10” on average.

Check out ALL the blocks here:

There are stains, some yellowing, lots of wonkiness and loads of character. The blocks are big enough that they could be taken apart, and reassembled or used as an addition to your vintage fabric collection.

I was able to sell my blocks within a couple hours of posting them --- isn't this great?!

Do you have something to unload SELL!? Write your blog post, and link it below! We’ll leave the linky running through The weekend, the entries will close on Sunday at 11:59pm. Monday starts our Mystery Monday Link-Up so be sure to come back for that too!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Evening Edition..Free Kindle Book!

It’s on the machine….the last quilt for the next book is on the machine! I am so excited I can barely stand it..I love this quilt..it turned out every bit as terrific as I hoped it would.

AND…I was thrifty…last year I bought a set of King sized flannel sheets on sale because I thought they’d be cozy…well---

DH isn’t crazy about them, says they are TOO HOT…so today, they became BACKING! And I’m happy about that too.

Speaking of DH’s and those of us that have them, and have to deal with them through the Holiday season, dropping hints, or shopping for ourselves, etc…..Here’s a fun freebie from Amazon:

A Married Man's Guide To Christmas, by Robert Henry, is free in the Kindle store.

Book Description

In the great tradition of guy-humor everywhere, here comes humorist Robert Henry’s growling, good-hearted rant about holiday madness, A MARRIED MAN’S GUIDE TO CHRISTMAS.

Henry reveals the truth about Christmas through the eyes of a typical married man. “Remember, it’s not how you celebrate the joyous season. It’s whether you are still alive, married, sleeping indoors, with a healthy prostate, and without a rap sheet on January 4th that counts.”

Husbands will laugh out loud. Dads will slap their knees and keel over (have CPR ready). Wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, aunts, female co-workers and sales clerks who dread seeing men mumble and mutter their way through the Christmas section at BIG BOX DISCOUNT WAREHOUSE will nod in recognition at the syndrome best described as “CAN I SURVIVE UNTIL NEW YEAR’S?”

A Married Man’s Guide To Christmas is a must for every guy who wants the women in his life to understand why he’d rather buy them gift certificates than brave the treacherous online world of lingerie catalogs. Why have just a joyous season, when you can have a Christmas filled with laughs that don’t include finding pictures of Uncle Herbert in a teddy?

Irreverent, honest, and biodegradable, Robert Henry has captured the essence of the holiday season for all men in A Married Man’s Guide To Christmas.

So grab it today for all the beleaguered males on your Xmas list and all the long-suffering females who just want the lights strung on the front porch by Christmas Eve, the honey-do list completed before Aunt Sookie arrives with her flatulent Pekinese, and that expensive bottle of Scotch left mostly full until the tinsel is hung, the presents are wrapped, and the home owner’s association has accepted your apology for spelling out a less-than-jolly greeting in solar-powered candy canes on your front lawn.

Sounds good to me! I just downloaded it and it is still free --- but double check before clicking just in case it isn’t any more….

Back to the quilt in the machine!