December 31, 2008

Winter Giveaway sneak peak

Daisy Jayne is the winner of the Winter Giveaway! Her favorite color is BLUE and she posts from Australia!
The entrants were written on a separate slip of paper each, then put into a container and one name was randomly chosen; bingo style. I chose the winner this morning after reading the new posts.
Thanks for participating!
{BTW- did you figure out my favorite color is PINK with GREEN a close second!}

Tomorrow, (1/1/09) the Whirl Into Winter Giveaway begins. You may click here or the snowflake to the right and find a list of blogs participating. Each participant will have her/his giveaway item posted on their respective blog, the giveaway begins on 1/1 and the winner will be chosen on 1/15.

My giveaway is pictured above: A cell phone purse (it could be used as a camera case~it has two pockets inside), a cell phone or scissor fob, and a quilted postcard. You may enter to win the above items by following the rules below.

1) Anyone can participate.

2)You must answer the question~ What is your favorite color?

3)Your answer must be added to the comments of any blog post between 1/1-1/15.

4)I will draw and post the winner from the list of answers on the 1/15.

5) If you win you will email me your address and your prize will be mailed.

Thanks to Debi for sponsoring the Giveway. Good luck and have fun checking out some new blogs.

(If you have happened upon my blog from the Whirl Into Winter Giveaway site, you may click on the snowman above and he will take you to the most recent entries. On January 15th, the winner will be posted to this link and the link posted on the 15th)

Posted by Picasa

December 29, 2008

Confetti Fabric

After some tidying around yesterday in the sewing room and collecting snips, threads and some roving; I made this confetti fabric (or ~quilter's trash fabric~ I have heard it called). This brightly colored piece will be used for something soon.....

Due to the mild temps the robins have come out in flocks and appear to be tanking up for the cold snap we are expecting later.


Don't forget to check out the Winter Giveaway by clicking the snowflake to the right.

December 28, 2008

Whirl Into Winter Giveaway

Just a few days left until the Whirl Into Winter Giveaway begins! Click on the snowflake to the right to find out how to be a participant in the giveaway. Or check back here on December 31st and see how you can take a chance at winning my giveaway.

Happy Winter Fun!

December 24, 2008

-Holiday Cheer-

The little tree in my sewing room. I love it.

More Dominoe Books with holiday greetings. Each of the holiday books was given a string to attach to a tree or hang as a decoration. These are so fun to make and give as gifts.

Spiced nuts, cranberry nut bread, gingerbread and a Dominoe are some of the gifts this year. At the last minute I found the idea of Heat Therapy Wraps on Carla's (Feathered Fiber's) blog. Youngest, who is sick with a cold and stiff neck, has worn the sample around his shoulders for most of last night and already this morning. I have a few more to make today and will try differnt sizes. Such a great little gift item.

Went out shopping around with oldest the other night. It was fun; the hustle and bustle of traffic and crowds. It was Holiday mayhem and as crazy as it felt, being together was nice. We bought these beautiful flowers and first the pollen from the lillies ended up on his face. It was funny, he had a pollen mustache. Then it ended up on my face and was funnier, I didn't need a pollen beard. We chuckled. And then yesterday I put my coat on, I chuckled again at the memory, there the pollen was all over my collar.

Enjoy the Holiday like every day.

Posted by Picasa

December 21, 2008

I won I won!!

On Friday I was notified I had won a drawing from Two Creative Studios -12 Days of Christmas Give away. What a surprise!-This was so exciting; I never win anything. My gift came yesterday, the very next day. The gift was tissue wrapped and tied with a beautiful, brightly colored ribbon. It was such fun to open, it brought back memories of opening my Mr. Peanut cup that I had mail ordered as a kid. Simple pleasures. Anyway, inside this package was a mini quilt (fromTerri Stegmiller) with little hand painted details and stitching. And a handmade journal(fromSue Bleiweiss), covered with pretty batik looking paper. I love and will treasure them both. If you follow the link above to Two Creative Studios you will be able to find more about these very talented women and follow their creative blogs.
I am also rich with the gift of my sistahs and friends. Yesterday, in two separate emails I was sent the youtube clip of Kelly Corrigan reading an excerpt from her book The Middle Place. To hear her speak of the neat bond and strength that comes from women's relationships is touching, rich and poignant to where I am; where we are in this sistah-hood. If you haven't seen it, you should and I bet you will nod your head more than once, and you may even want a tissue.
Posted by Picasa

December 20, 2008

More Holiday Cheer

The holiday quilt gets hung going up the stairs. I use 3m Command strips to hang a lot of the quilts I switch out over the seasons. You can pick them up at Lowes or Home Depot in the picture hanging section. The heavier quilts require more strips, but they never damage the quilt or the paint on the walls. I ran out of strips with the holiday quilt, so the creases really are noticeable. Had I used more strips it would have a better look. My son's nutcracker collection lines the steps. (and ST if you look closely at the railing you will see one of the blue peacocks... I love her).

The Gingerbread House. I never said they were architects.....There were problems with the dough this year, resulting in some breaking and cracking. Using team work and some expert engineering they were able to maintain a sound structure. The other side of the house is better looking, but I couldn't get that photo to post. And, yes there is a sticky film on the counter that will last for days.....

We had these elf guys hanging on our tree growing up. My parents still put them on their tree. They gave us this one when Joe and I married which will be 20 years in January. It seems like yesterday.

We were blessed with some snow yesterday. Youngest sat in the window anxiously awaiting for the flakes to fly. Finally.... he went out and enjoyed the afternoon with his gal pal and her little brothers. And thanks to mom for the 'boot bail out.' Out my sewing room window this morning were two beautiful blue jays, by the time I was ready to take their picture only this little fella remained.

Enjoy the day.

Posted by Picasa

December 17, 2008

Some Holiday Fun Items

This is Pete. He made a quick get away from his cage over to the tree in the kitchen. He looked right at home with the silk birds which decorate the kitchen tree.

This is Wicked Old Santa. In his back used to be a crank, when you turned it he would laugh. As a kid, I remember cranking him like mad and cracking up right along with him.

Well, I said I would post a picture of a tacky Holiday sweater, but decided to go with the jewelry instead. There is more, however, it just hasn't surfaced this season. (which probably isn't a bad thing)

Ahhh, and last but not least- who knew there was such delightfully, tacky, bovine holiday kitsch. These lovely items are only part of a 'collection' which was given to me by the 'sistahs'. Perhaps on another slow blogging day we can get into that whole story. As for now, I hope you are enjoying the Holiday Season.

Posted by Picasa

December 13, 2008

The Holiday Quilt

I used the Pine Needle pattern by McKenna Ryan: Journey to Light, to make this Holiday quilt. I named my quilt "Coming to Life One Blustery December Night."

I began the quilt on the day my youngest son (now 10 year-old) started kindergarten. A friend aka sistah, challenged me to finish it by Christmas of that same year. I have fond memories of working on it during the 2004 Red Sox playoff/world series games... thankfully the playoff games that year were lengthy, which allowed me to get most of the blocks accomplished. I also took it to a Fall Get away weekend and then enjoyed finishing it during a snowstorm while I watched inches upon inches of snow pile up outside my sewing room window. The top was finished by Christmas and I took some time to quilt it with fancy threads and embellishments after the Holiday season was over.

At the time I made it, I didn't know any better and used thick fusibles. Today the quilt is really stiff and gets a lot of creases when it is stored during the off season. I wish I had known about some of the lighter weight fusibles which are available now.

I free-motion satin stitched around each of the fabrics and hand stitched beads, sequins and embellishments. I will have to go and see if I can get a good shot of the whole quilt. It's a fun one to look at with all of the stitching and embellishments. I was inspired to post the pictures after watching the deer in my own yard under the huge full moon, last night.

Enjoy the season!
Posted by Picasa

December 8, 2008

Life's Spiral

Made in 2004 as my Guild's challenge "The Shape You Are In". We were given a few different shapes to choose from, and two fabrics. The challenge was to create a quilt of our choice using two of the shapes and as much or as little of the fabric as you liked. The challenge fabric was the black in the border and a red and white stripe shown as the seed below.

At the time the challenge was given my husband had lost his job on the same day his dad passed and the whole family was suffering from Strep and some other lingering virus.... We were in bad shape. I made the life spiral that we all seem to go up and down on... No matter where you are on the spiral, with strong roots the spring sun always will shine and eventually the flowers will bloom again.

The details were hand beaded and embroidered. And, in the border I hand beaded sequins in the flower centers. Stupidly I also hand glued on crystals..... this was prior to my purchase of the hot fix type.
I hope you are enjoying your day no matter where you are on the spiral!
Posted by Picasa

December 4, 2008

A Charming Quilt

This Charm quilt is king sized and while the owner said 'it was not a true charm quilt as it had a few duplicate fabrics," I was hard pressed to find them. Historically, charm quilts were made from hundreds of fabrics, all different. These quilts date back to the 1800's making a resurgence during the 1920's when quilting became a passion and hobby for many women. And, again in the past 10-12 years when online sites, stores and guilds hosted charm fabric swaps. While charm quilts are said to have all different fabrics, there is a theory that some did contain duplicates. The charm quilt with duplicates was used on the bed of a sick child and he/she would find the duplicate fabrics during their convalescence, much like our contemporary 'Eye Spy' quilts. Perhaps this is myth, but the story is charming and I know several woman who have made eye spy quilts for this exact purpose, today.

You may find out how to participate in a Charms for Charity project by clicking here.

Enjoy the day!
Posted by Picasa

December 1, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite Pins

When I started with my longarm I used the pearl head corsage pins to pin the quilt to the canvas leader. They worked perfectly as it took me awhile to get the pinning rhythm down and the corsage pins were big enough for me to handle. Then, I realized I had best control when the take-up roller would just hover above my machine, I liked the drag. Only thing, when I had my base on and would come to the line of pins which were rolled into the take-up, the machine would blimp as I went. I started to use the flower head or butterfly head by default and found they worked better to combat the blimp. They would bend easy, but I liked using them anyway, plus the butterflies were really cute.

For some reason I thought I would try a new pin. I love them and they are my new favorites. They are thick, sturdy, sharp and flat. They poke easily into the canvas without bending. On the box BOHIN/France is written.

For sewing and quilting I love a long, thin, glass-head pin. They have to be really long and really sharp. And last but not least for applique I love the minuscule pins. The smaller the better. The tomato pincushion pictured above is a sweet, antique pincushion one of the 'sistahs' gave me. I love it, it's silk and has the old emery strawberry attached.

Do you know the history of the tomato pincushion? Apparently, hundreds of years ago when someone would move into a new house, the first guest would bring the gift of a tomato. The tomato was set on the mantel to bring the owners or occupants prosperity. When tomatoes were not in season the tradition was not halted as a stuffed tomato was brought. Over time, the tomato on the fireplace became the woman's pincushion. (This is probably lore, but a fun story anyway.) Original pincushions were stuffed with sand, dirt, sawdust and emery. Today, it is said we should not use antique pincushions or emery strawberries as our needles and pins are made of different metals and the emery can be damaging. I don't care, I like using it and it hasn't seamed to be a problem.

Posted by Picasa

November 29, 2008

Practicing on the DSM

Since I started using the longarm, the quilting I did on the DSM was like doo-doo, I was all thumbs. Yesterday after attaching two bindings (which is a job I can't stand doing) I practiced a little on some scrap pink fabric. It took awhile, then I ran out of bobbin thread and stopped. I don't have stitch regulator on this machine and it was hard to get back into the grove of moving the fabric. I do rely quite heavily on the SR on my longarm. All in all I was happy I spent the time practicing. I may use this little piece for an eyeglass case or another cell phone purse for someone.

I don't like to use quilting gloves, although, if I have to I find Machingers are the best. I prefer to use Lickity Grip and was happy to find a replacement box of it. It is a sticky substance you can put on your fingertips and it allows you to get a good hold of your piece without wearing anything on your hands.
Posted by Picasa

November 26, 2008

Charity Challenge

These beautiful fabrics arrived the other day and I haven't stopped thinking about them since. They are luscious and silky feeling from the fabric designer Marianne Elizabeth of Benartex. I signed up for the MQX 2009 Charity Challenge which is in support of the New Hampshire Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Stratham, NH. The Challenge kit and entry fee is$25 which goes directly to the charity. I have no affiliation with the charity or MQX, but saw this as an opportunity to challenge myself while supporting a good cause. I love the fabrics and know exactly what I'm going to do! Go here and find out more how you can sign up!

I have a little collection of fancy items to add to my piece. Stay tuned and I will show you my progress....
Posted by Picasa