Saturday, July 25, 2009

Christmas in July

I dug under my cutting table and pulled out another plastic container with an aged project. That's my goal this year - to empty some of those containers. I don't know why, but I felt like working with Christmas fabric. It could be the post that Brenda did on shopping for Christmas all year long. About three years ago, I took a class at Stitch 'N Quilt Shoppe with Pat Wys. The class was her Christmas tree skirt, Slice of Christmas.

I selected Moda's Maison de Noel Christmas fabric, one of my all-time favorite Christmas fabrics. The pattern involves a special ruler. I borrowed Carol's ruler because the shop was out of the rulers when I took the class. It's probably time to return the ruler to Carol. The last time I worked on this project was at a Summer Stitch-In.

I cut one panel completely wrong. That's when it was put back into the plastic container to age. I wasn't sure that I had enough fabric to complete the pattern. About a year ago, I ordered additional fabric from several online shops. This afternoon, I cut the additional strips that I needed. With my Ipod playing a favorite book, I completed sewing the strips together. Sometimes this weekend, I'm hoping to press the strips and cut the wedges with Carol's ruler. This pattern makes two Christmas tree skirts. It would be super to have them ready for Christmas gifts.

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Finish!

My quilt holder had a difficult time holding the quilt up today, but he did conquer the "attitude" long enough for me to get a photo. This is my "Completed" Orange Crush mystery quilt top. The rows were almost done. As usual, it was the borders that stopped my progress. Yesterday, I was determined to sew until the borders were firmly attached. Melisa at Sweet Home helped me select the border fabric. Kristie and Karin had lots of input, too. We all had to like the fabric before Melisa could cut the needed amount. Many of the fabrics for this top (except the borders) were left-over scraps from other quilt projects. It's so fun to look at the top and recognize the fabric from another quilt. I'm glad to have this one Done!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Composition Book Covers

At a quilter friend's stash reduction sale, customers were given directions to make a cover for the black marble composition books sold in school supply aisles. I've wanted to make a couple of these covers since her sale in the Fall. I love using the composition books to keep notes to myself at work, next to my bed for quick notes and in my sewing room. I have also been asked to mentor a new library media specialist this next school year (we start back to work in a week and a half). I had some Olivia the pig fabric from the Olivia books by Ian Falconer. I thought it would make a nice gift for my mentee when we met this week for lunch at a County meeting. I'm pleased with how these turned out. It was a fun, quick project. I can check another item off my list!

Christmas Lights Part One

Done. I've finished the steps to Part One of the Christmas Lights Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter in Quiltmaker Magazine. I do like the color combinations so far. I worked on some of the block parts during the Stitch-In, but had put it aside. Yesterday evening, I totally enjoyed working on this project. DH was out-of-town so I stayed up late sewing. It felt good to complete a task. This morning, I finished trimming the blocks with my new Tucker Trimmer ruler. All the pieces were put in a plastic container and put away until the next steps in the mystery are revealed. Check this one off my list!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Enter this Give-away

My friend Brenda, who blogs as the Quilting Cowgirl is having a great give-away. I know personally that Brenda has great goodies in her give-away. I won her last one:) Brenda prepares for Christmas all year. Her give-away would make a great Christmas gift. Head over to her blog and leave a comment here. Good luck!

Supporting the Public Library

Earlier in June with the launch of the Sewn website, I was curious and wanted to examine the quilting book Material Obsession by Australian authors Sarah Fielke and Kathy Doughty. Sarah Fielke is the creator of the Sewn website. I searched at my LQS and the local "J" store, but could not find the book at either store. Occasionally, I search our local library system online catalog for new quilting titles. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my public library had a copy of Material Obsession in their collection. I placed a request for the book. In a short amount of time, I received an e-mail that the book was available for me to pick up at my local branch.

I enjoyed the book. The quilters used brightly colored fabric. Many of the patterns were traditional quilt patterns, but with bright, modern material. I especially enjoyed the side notes with comments on the quilts. While I didn't discover any quilts that I just HAD to make myself (thankfully), I did enjoy reading and experiencing this book.

Most public libraries have a service called Inter-Library Loan. This service borrows books from other library systems for their patrons. Yesterday, I had the idea to request another quilting book that I wanted to read. I have often purchased my own copy of books that I first explored from the library. So I filled in the online request form and figured I have to wait a couple of weeks before I heard anything. Today, I received an e-mail that the book that I requested can't be loaned through inter-library loan since it hasn't been out for a year. They wanted to know if I'd like to request that they move my request to the Suggested Purchase List. Wow! That's even better.

Our public library here in Gwinnett County, Georgia is fabulous!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

And the Winner is ..... # 1

Yes. The winner of the book give-away is #1. I've been reluctant to post a comment for give-aways when I was the first one. This time it worked for #1. I used the random number generator on The number it choose was #1. Krousegirl (Jenny from Indiana) was the first person to leave a comment on the give-away entry. She is the winner of the Cleaning my Sewing Room Give-away books. I had to take care of another problem at the post office, so the package is already in the mail to Jenny. Thank you to everyone who commented, became a blog follower and blogged about my give-away. It was reassuring to have longtime friends participate. I also made some wonderful new blogging friends. It was just plain fun.

I loved reading your comments on ways that you recycle. Here are some of the ideas that were shared:
Donate to local elementary school artroom
Bring magazines to offices (lawyer, doctor, dentist)
Use plastic grocery bags as liners for garbage cans
Rinse out ziplock bags. Reuse them until they begin leaking.
Upcycle clothing into purses or quilts
Donate clothing to thrift stores
Donate sewing items to project that teaches women in other countries (Mexico) to sew
Share children's books with younger children in extended family
Crochet sheets into rugs
Bring books to workplace for Relay for Life sale
Utilize charity pick-ups from your front doorstep
Use selvages to tie plants in the garden and yard
Use batting scraps to dust
Bring books to local nursing home/assisted living facilities
Share quilting items and books with blogging friends! (my personal favorite:)

Again thank you for giving me so much pleasure and joy with your comments! Take care!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cobbled Court Quilt Series Continues....

I keep forgetting to share with you the next installment of the Cobbled Court book series by Marie Bostwick. The first book, A Single Thread was quite goo.

Lots of interesting characters with a serious plot-line. I love almost any story that includes quilts, fabric and/or a quilt shop. This series includes all these plus a close-knit group of quilters.
A Thread of Truth, which was released this Summer, continues with many of the same characters. Ms. Bostwick does a marvelous job introducing the topic of domestic violence in this book. Her characters grow and develop in the story. I particularly love her character of Howard, who has fabulous color-instincts. If you're looking for something to read this Summer, give yourself a treat with A Thread of Truth. I'm looking forward to the next installment in this series. More information can be found on Ms. Bostwick's website.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cleaning and a Give-Away

Blessings! I finally was motivated to do some cleaning in my bedroom closet and my sewing room. Last Summer, I had lots of pain with my hip (which has since been surgically replaced) and didn't get much done. This Summer, I'm feeling much better. After cleaning my closets, I brought over 8 garbage bags full of items to the Goodwill drop-off place. I did attempt to recycle some of our stuff. Many items from my sewing room made it to the Stitch-in for the give-aways. I have a bag of items to bring to school to share with our teachers.

I did hold back a couple of books to have another blog give-away!!! I'm close to 200 posts so lets call it a Cleaning My Sewing Room/200 post give-away. I'm still putting my things away from the Stitch-In so I may have some additional items (fabric) to add to the books in the above photo. The Days to Remember book is from Black Mountain Quilts. The pattern for Autumn Ridge and a log-cabin Watermelon Quilt are in this book. The Two Color Quilt Book has red and white quilts in one half and blue and white quilts in the other half. The Sew Fun So Colorful Quilts is from Me and My Sister Designs.

To enter the give-away, comment on the post for one entry. Please share ways you recycle items that you no longer want or need. An example is that I list books that we no longer want at It's also a great site for hard-to-find books. I also locate books that my MIL wants to read and select to have them shipped directly to her in her isolated community.

Receive another chance by becoming a Follower of my blog.

Receive two extra chances by blogging about my give-away.

Looking forward to reading your recycling hints! Thanks so very much for reading my blog:) It has been a blessing making new friends through my blog and yours!

Opps! Guess I should set an ending date to the give-away. Let's make it next Sunday, July 19th. I'll do the random generator thing on Monday morning. Again, thank you!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Six Glorious Days of Stitching

I apologize profusely for my days of silence. I totally intended to blog each and every day of last week. Having lots of fun and sewing for six straight days is absolutely exhausting :) I'm ashamed to admit that I am sleeping an extra hour each night and still had to take a nap yesterday afternoon. I'll try to do better. Girl Scout promise!

Last week, Monday through Saturday was the Summer Stitch-In sponsored by Pat Wys and The Silver Thimble Quilt Company. In past years, I was able to attend two or three days of the Stitch-In, but never the entire time. This year the moons aligned and it worked for my family and me. In fact, I just announced to them that attending the Stitch-In was what I wanted for my birthday and their gift to me was to tend to all the stuff around the house (walking Rusty, doing laundry, unloading the dishwasher, etc. etc.) Pat and her entire family worked to make our stitch-in a very special experience. When we arrived on Monday, we each searched for our place at the tables. Pat had made name tags for each of us and we had goodie bags! Each bag contained a small journal, bottle of Mary Ellen's Best Press (fabulous stuff), peppermints and bag of M & M's.

We each contributed money for lunch, drinks, coffee, snacks. The food was fabulous!!! Dinner on Saturday night was unbelievable. Pat cooked her famous Spagetti Pie (need that recipe) for us. Julie D. baked three awesome Cheesecakes for us. Julie, your cheesecakes were The Best cheesecake I've ever had. We discovered that she baked cheesecakes for a local restaurant at one time.

We had visitors during the week. What a treat on Monday! Melisa of Sweet Home Quilt Shop sewed with us throughout the day. It's wonderful to see a quilt shop owner who sews and quilts just like we, her customers, do. Read about Melisa's Excellent Adventure on her blog here.

We "Celebrate" everything during Stitch-in -completed quilt tops, new purchases, new quilt patterns and even birthdays! Carla's friends made sure that her day was recognized. She had two luscious birthday cakes. Happy Day, Carla!

Everyone set their own goals during the Stitch-In. We brought many more projects than were possible to finish, but finish projects we did. I was very pleased to finish two quilt tops during the week. This is the first time that I ever complete a quilt top during Stitch-In! The first top completed was my blue/indigo/white version of Pat's Strawberry Pie Pattern. This top was made mostly from fabric that I had left-over from my Blueberry Pie Quilt. I enlarged the quilt top and had lots of extra fabric. Susan from Susan's Stitches donated her extra fabric to help me out. I do have fabric left-over and that will go back to Susan for her strip collection.

My second quilt top was Honeyberries from the book 40 Fabulous Quick Cut Quilts. I did lots of sewing on this top last Summer at the Stitch-In, but it spent almost an entire year in a plastic bag. I even had blocks pinned and ready to sew. I was determined to get this top completed. I was afraid it might sit for another year if I didn't. I collected blues and neutrals for this quilt some time ago. I did use scraps from other projects. There was lots of sewing, cutting and resewing on this quilt top, but I'm really happy with the results. This one is definitely one I'll keep for my family.

There were lots of give-aways during the week. We each brought items from our sewing rooms for the drawings. Pat collected wonderful items that she named The Princess drawings. Many of us brought half a yard of fabric for a special give-away. Guess who lucked out? My lucky winning was close to 10 yards of great fabric!

I'll have to end for now. Today is errand day. I've already brought my Bernina to Mr. Nixon to be serviced, had my haircut, made a salad for tonight's Swim Team end-of-year party and shopped for groceries. We're now headed to the vet for Rusty's annual check-up. He is not going to be happy with us :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Silver Thimble Give-Away

Quick! Click over to Pat's blog, Silver Thimble Talk, and become a Follower of her blog. When she reaches 20 followers, she will select a winner for these fabulous goodies (layer cake, triangles on a roll, Fat Quarters, holiday panels) Pat's blog is great fun! Good luck, but I'm crossing my fingers that these goodies find a home in my sewing room :)

Fourth of July - Celebrate Freedom!

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Thomas Jefferson

Have a wonderful day! How very blessed we are to live in a country with such freedoms!