Green Fairy New Year Give-Away

Friday, December 31, 2010 0 Comments »
She's beyond talented, she has adorable kids, and she's giving stuff away!  Who am I talking about?  Why, The Green Fairy (a.k.a. Judi Madsen), of course!   Don't dilly dally -- go see what she's up to!

Go check out Nancy's Blog

Friday, December 31, 2010 3 Comments »
Seriously, this is nuts.  I'm not sure how Nancy tumbled on to this one, other than the fact that she manages to tumble on to a lot of great things (she's amazing). 

Make sure you watch the whole thing so you won't get your knickers in a bunch about the bias edges. 

Click here for Blogging, Near Philadelphia.  Talk about an instant quilt!!

Zip it!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 7 Comments »
My name is Pat, and I am zipper phobic.  Ask me to make a block with a hundred 1" HSTs, or sew cowhide together, or maybe quilt a car, but don't ask me to install a zipper. 

My sewing horizons have been narrowed by this gap in my skill set.  I love those cute little zippy pouch patterns that look like swell, last-minute gifts, and I long to make a purse with something other than a button-an-loop closure.    Now I can! 

Thanks to Nicole, at Sister's Choice Quilts, we have a fabulous, fool-proof, zipper-installation-for-dummies tutorial.  Nicole wrote a post about a very cute, very simple cosmetic case pattern that she was using to crank out gifts by the dozen.  Loved it!  Then I lamented that I would love to try it, but alas, I had major problems with zippers. 

Nicole came to the rescue and created this ASTOUNDING TUTORIAL.  Go read it, print it out and bookmark it.  It will unzip all kinds of possibilities. 

Senior Wedding

Monday, October 25, 2010 1 Comment »
Every once in a while, someone sends me something that just tickles my funny bone.  I got this today & it is too cute not to share.

Jacob, age 92, and Rebecca, age 89, living in Miami , are all excited about their decision to get married.  They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding, and on the way they pass a drugstore.. Jacob suggests they go in.

Jacob addresses the man behind the counter:

"Are you the owner?"
The pharmacist answers, "Yes."
Jacob: "We're about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?"
Pharmacist: "Of course, we do."
Jacob: "How about medicine for circulation?"
Pharmacist: "All kinds."
Jacob: "Medicine for rheumatism?"
Pharmacist: "Definitely."
Jacob: "How about suppositories?"
Pharmacist: "You bet!"
Jacob: "Medicine for memory problems, arthritis and Alzheimer's?"
Pharmacist: "Yes, a large variety. The works."
Jacob: "What about vitamins, sleeping pills, Geritol, antidotes for Parkinson's disease?"
Pharmacist: "Absolutely."
Jacob: "Everything for heartburn and indigestion?"
Pharmacist: "We sure do."
Jacob: "You sell wheelchairs and walkers and canes?"
Pharmacist: "All speeds and sizes."
Jacob: "Adult diapers?"
Pharmacist: "Sure."

Jacob: "We'd like to use this store as our Bridal Registry."

A Blessing on your House

Friday, October 15, 2010 4 Comments »
Fiddler on the Roof is one of my all-time favorite musicals.  I thought of the lyrics to one of the songs this week; it's from Tevya's Dream.  "A blessing on your house, Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov!"

For those of you who may not be familiar with the Yiddish expression, "mazel tov", it is used as a response when someone has had particularly good fortune, or has celebrated a significant milestone in their life.   Someone tells you they just had a baby?  "Mazel tov!"  To the new bride & groom?  "Mazel tov!"  Just got a promotion at work?  "Mazel tov!"  Although it translates literally to "good luck", it's really used to say "Way to go!" or "Congratulations!".  It's always said with great joy and exuberance. 
Well, one of my friends, Ms. M.  has come through a particularly rough patch.  She is in the process of reshaping her life and moving forward on new paths.  Part of her journey involved selling her home of many years and moving to a different house.  The journey has not been easy, and the journey is by no means complete, but this Saturday marks a significant milestone for her. 
Ms. M. is having a House Blessing.  I'd never heard of a House Blessing before, but what a terrific idea.  She has invited family and friends to her new home to participate in a House Blessing service conducted by her church's pastor. What could be more meaningful than  inviting God to come into your home and be a part of it?  And what a wonderful thing to share with your friends.  The house will be blessed, we will rejoice with her in having achieved this milestone, and we will reaffirm our support of her on her journey. 
Way to go, Ms. M.!
"A blessing on your house, Mazel tov!  Mazel Tov!"

Count Your Blessings

Saturday, September 25, 2010 1 Comment »
I've admired Judi Madsen (the Green Fairy) for quite some time.  She is a young wife and mother who has been blessed with a tremendous gift for quilting.  I drool over the pictures she posts of quilts she's long-armed for customers (and herself), I smile at the pictures of her youngsters, and I am in awe of her endless enthusiasm.  Today I cried.

Judi and her husband Clint are involved with charity work for Romanian children.  Last year they traveled to Romania, visiting an orphanage, and this year Clint and his dad made the trip, visiting various families living in very difficult circumstances.  Their main purpose is to distribute donated quilts to children, but this year (through generous donations), they were able to deliver food and school supplies as well.

If you think those scraps in your stash don't really amount to much, take a look at what an impact those scaps would make when put into a quilt.  Then pass it along!

Green Fairy's 2010 Trip to Romania.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010 2 Comments »
It's not going well, and I am starting to wonder how I ever got myself into this.  Sample cow hide scraps in hand, I went to a BOM class at my LQS on Saturday & asked advice from some expert quilters for advice.  Then I visited the store where I had purchased my Bernina, and asked their advice.   The suggestions ran the gamut from butting the edges, using a strip of fabric backing, and feather stitching the seams, to sewing on top of a full fabric backing.

Leather needles and jeans-weight thread in hand, I tested 5" samples and was pleased.  What works best is overlapping the edges, then doing two parallel rows of stitching, just like the stitching on a pair of jeans.  Worked like a charm on the scraps, but not on the big pieces.

The pieces that I need to stitch together are roughly 18" x 24".  Very very tough to hold them together so that they stay aligned while I stitch.  And they are heavy, so they don't want to feed as nicely as I'd like through the machine.  And they have fur that switches direction, so I'm sewing with the nap for 5 inches, then against it for the next 5.  And the fur flies all over the place when you cut it, less so when you are stitching.   Sheesh.

The current solution to the holding together problem is basting glue.  I tried it for one pair of rectangles, but applied the glue too late in the evening for it to be set enough to work on.  It was dry this morning, so I'll try again tonight when my bovine outlook is a little better.   I will also experiment with my walking foot.

If that doesn't work, I might just staple the darned things together and throw some cow pies.

The last of the summer baby quilts

Sunday, September 12, 2010 8 Comments »


Whoooo could this be for?

This is MOST special of all of the summer 2010 baby quilts because it is for my daughter and son-in-law's very first child! 

Baby Ojeda is due to make his (or her) grand entrance at the end of February.  This will be our 4th grand child, but will be the very first on the Ojeda side of the family -- as you might imagine, joy abounds. 

Kate and Paul want the sex of their baby to be a surprise, so I chose a non gender-specific flannel by Valori Wells for Baby O's first comforter.  I think it's smashing, with colors that are sure to grab any baby's attention.

Next up on the agenda?   The nursery suite!  I told Kate that one of my gifts would be a fabric ensemble for the baby's room:  dust skirt for the crib, bumpers, changing table pad, crib sheets,  curtains, and anything else that suits out expectant fancy.  Her tastes run  to the more modern and "organic" (her description), definately not pale baby colors or even cute children's prints.  And of course it can't scream "boy" or "girl".  And it needs to compliment the fabulous crib they found on Craig's List.  Oy.

What did she pick?  Thanks to a layer cake of fabric I had in my sewing room, she found just the thing:  Fandango, by Kate Spain.  We'll neutralize the girlier aspects and combine colors to make an ensemble that's both baby appropriate and mommy stylish.   I took advantage of a huge pattern sale at Joann's last week, bought a very nice Vogue pattern for a box-pleated dust skirt, and got the bumper innards.  I'll write out my yardage requirements this week in anticipation of a trip to The Hayloft or The Old Country Store next Saturday.  This is gonna be a major fabric buy.

Stay tuned in future posts for progress reports.

More of "what I did this summer"

Saturday, September 11, 2010 2 Comments »
I know, it sounds like one of those compositions you wrote on the 1st day back to school in September.

I made 2 baby quilts this summer.  One was for the Jenn, the daughter-in-law of dear friends.  When my husband and I were dating (back before there was fire, paper and cell phones), Jenn's husband Chris was the very first baby any of our friends had.  After seeing what our friends Jan and Denny went through with Chris, it's a wonder we ever had kids ourselves.  Chris turned out to be an exemplary young man, and married an even more exemplary young woman, Jenn.

Jenn and Chris are expecting their very own little bundle of joy in a week.  Baby Duerr's gender will be a surprise, and Jenn wanted bright bright primary colors for her quilt.  "Duerrpalooza" is made from Moda's Animal Alphabet, plus some additions from my stash.  The pattern is another from my friend Kimberly's book, Jelly Roll Quilts and More.

I used a new long-arm quilter, who made some great suggestions for the over-all pattern and the thread.  It was her idea to use the variagated thread in primary colors to compliment the colors in the quilt.  It was a great idea!

Here are some pictures of the back and the label. 

The other baby quilt was for one of my daughter's friends, Liz.  She is expecting a little girl, so I used many of the same fabrics I used for Amazing Grace.  (Side note:  Amazing Grace was made for Chris's sister Kate last year)  Liz's last name is Rookstool, so I called the quilt "Rookie Star".

One again, the quilter made a great pattern suggestion that picked up on the movement in some of the fabrics. 

Today is Month 8 of my Civil War Tribute BOM class.  I have to tell you, this quilt is not easy, and the Homestead Hearth directions leave a lot to be desired.  HST's measured to the 16th of an inch????   I'm told that their next Civil War quilt has much better directions, but I probably won't be checking them out after this experience. 

I'll also be visiting the LQS where I bought my Bernina so that I can seek advice on the cow hide situation. 

Holy Cow*

Thursday, September 09, 2010 4 Comments »
*with props to Nancy for the title. 

Here's the problem. 

My beloved son-in-law, Paul, brought  back several cow hides from Mexico.  He thinks it would be a truely wonderful thing to create a manly cowhide wall hanging from these hides. 

To that end, he cut big squares from them thinking that his talented MIL could create a bovine quilt.  Of course he made me feel like a sewing goddess, so how could I refuse?  The boy is no fool.  Truth be told, Paul would really love to keep this creation for himself, but my daughter Katie refuses to have dead cows hanging on her wall. 

Oh, and did I mention that he would like me to teach him to sew at the same time?  And that both he and my husband think it would be a WONDERFUL idea if I used the cow scraps to make him a cow tie? 

Now that I've bared my soul, or at least exposed my hide, does anyone have any suggestions for sewing these suckers together?  They are not super thick, and are somewhat supple, not unlike the suede on a jacket.   Using my wonderous Bernina, I'm thinking a #16 jeans needle and quilting thread?  Overlapping the edges of each piece & either zig-zagging or maybe double stitching to give it a jeans look? 

BTW, these hides have fur on them and my dog has formed an amorous bond with one of them.  If you can't give me advice, at least send wine.

The Wedding Quilt

Monday, September 06, 2010 3 Comments »
The daughter of our Best Man was married a few weeks ago.  What a great excuse to make a quilt!  I posted the flimsy a while ago, but thought youz guys (y'all?  yins?) might like to see the finished quilt.  She's a generous queen size, made by up-sizing a pattern from my friend Kimberly's book, Jelly Roll Quilts and More.  Since the newlyweds are using brown, turquoise and aqua for their bedroom color scheme, the jelly rolls of Cherish Nature seemed perfect. 

To Paraphrase Mark Twain......

Sunday, September 05, 2010 2 Comments »
"The rumors of my blog's death have been greatly exaggerated".

Laziness. That's all it's been. Sheer laziness. I've been lurking and commenting on other blogs, but have just not done a posting myself. So if I haven't been posting, what the heck have I been doing?

For one, I've been working through some Schnibble kits that I put together at the beginning of the summer. I spent most of one weekend picking patterns, matching them up with the appropriate set of charm packs (or so it seemed at the time), cutting the various components, packing them in little baggies, then putting each set together in a larger baggie along with the pattern. 

This one is State Fair, using Moda's Breath of Avignon.

The whole megillah went into one of my ArtBin organizers and became my Schibbles Schtash -- ready to raid any time I needed just a little project. It went with me on a retreat, and came out again at a church Quilt Day. I've played with the stuff in that bin all summer.

There a couple of things I found during this process:

1. The charm packs that I thought would be great for a certain pattern in April ain't necessarily the charm packs that look best when I get around to working on that Schnibble in August. Here's an example. It's Roundabout, done in Moda's Happy Daisy. Is it terrible? No, but it's just not what I thought it was going to look like, and I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with it.

For some patterns, I might have been better off mixing charm packs or supplementing from my stash rather than just using the squares form one one fabic line alone. 

2. I AM addicted to charm packs, even though some of the squares contained therein are dogs and really don't play well when Schnibble-ized. My over-all stash now contains a sub-stash (stashette?) of charms. I tend to buy 3 at a time to allow for the dogs and for my personal design latitude (la-de-dah!).  Some of those charm packs would also lend themselves nicely to co-mingling with other charm packs, although that sounds vaguely smarmy.

3. White or beige can get very very boring as backgrounds, although they seem to work best with these little quilts. I need to create a stash of interestingly textured neutrals, or even force myself to try something more adventurous.

4. The concept of having ready-made kits is an awesome one. There is nothing like being able to pull out a project and having everything pre-cut. Nothing. 

And you don't need to limit yourself to Schnibbles.  Any smaller project will do.  I even took  a Civil War repro kit that I bought at my LQS on sale and put together this kit.  What the heck, you could even do this for bigger projects.  Once the cutting is done, the rest is a piece o' cake.  Or at least a slice of eclaire.

Stay tuned for the next few posts which will contain pictures of the big girl quilts I finished this summer, as well as a happy announcement.

Eat your hearts out, boys!

Friday, August 06, 2010 5 Comments »
Miss Madeline

Big Sale at Joann's

Friday, August 06, 2010 2 Comments »
I'm not usually a fan of the fabric at Joann's, but I do love their Snuggle Flannel.  This is the stuff I use for my quicky baby quilts.  The quilts use a yard each of two complimentary flannels for a small quilt, or a yard and a half each for a large quilt.  You also need batting and additional yardage to make 3" wide strips to fold in half for binding (I make them generously wide for this project). 

Although Joann's doen not carry it yet, I've been trying Hobbs Heirloom fusible batting & really like it.  Makes this project super fast.  Once I have the quilt sandwich together, I strap on my walking foot and grid quilt on the dialgonal.  Trim, add the binding & you've got a very nice present in a very short amount of time. 

Joann's is having a super sale (on line and in their stores) now through August 14th on a ton of stuff, including that Snuggle Flannel.  The flannel is an astounding $2.79/yard.  In addition, shipping is a flat $5 shipping rate now through Sunday 8/8 if you use the promotional code EQW220 in your online shopping cart.  That's $5 for your whole shipment (!), no matter how big. Now might also be the time to stock up on notions or even some of those Art Bin organizers I like.

Wouldn't that flannel make some very snuggly pillow cases too?

Wide Quilt Backs

Thursday, July 15, 2010 2 Comments »
I have ordered from this place before & they have some really good stuff.  Right now they are having a great sale on wide quilt backs.  Might be worth you time to check them out!  They are also having a sale on pick & choose FQs (cottons, flannels & batiks). Although there is a big selection, some of the quantities on the quilt backs are very limited.

I REALLY want one of these

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 2 Comments »
I am shameless when it comes to coveting gadgets, and the AccuQuilt Go! Cutter is my most recent obsession.   If you join me in checking out  Spun Sugar Quilts, you might have a chance to win one (if I don't win it first, he he).  Seriously, my wrists would be really grateful if this baby showed up on my doorstep.

Prints Charming, to the 9's

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 12 Comments »
As some of you may recall, I've discovered charm packs.  Truth be told, I've been infected with the Charm Pack Virus.  It's not my fault.  I was surfing the quilty web one day when I happened upon Sisters Choice Quilts, where I was told I needed to join the Between Charming Friends Quilt-along.  And having no will power what-so-ever, I did just that.  I even blogged about it here

For those of you who have taken The Process Pledge:  we picked out fabric, then we cut out fabric, then we started to sew.  Then along came my darling daughter's wedding anniversary & the need to fill a very large, blank space on her kitchen wall.  Wouldn't you know, that little quiltlette I was charming along with was exactly the right size to fill the Katie's kitchen wall void.  Instead of waiting for instructions, I barged ahead, put it all together, quilted the darned thing, bound and labeled it.   How serendipitous.  Turned out pretty well, and she LOVES it.  Of course she loves everything I do (grin).  Well, almost everything......

Ta Da!! Finished size: 27.5" x 33".

Not having enough to do, I also joined the 9 Patch Project which started on Karen's blog.  I found a jelly roll of Kansas Winter, by Kansas Troubles hiding in a trunk, and started patching.  The tan, green, burgungy, black and dark gold patch combination will make a perfect cold weather throw for our family room. The idea is to make a patch a day from June 1st through mid-August,  netting about 76 patches; I've got 39 done.  Here is my progress so far:

I'm always looking for ways to make my sewing space less helter-skelter.  Those plastic take-out entree containers make really good storage trays for pre-cut strips; I have them sorted by color.  They stack up on each other very nicely & fit quite well into my Art Bin storage box.      Take 'em out to work; pack 'em up when I've had enough.

The Charm Pack Virus continues to rage.  I've been making myself project packs for Schnibbles quilts.  I'm taking a Schnibbles pattern, doing all of the sub cuts from a couple of charmers, and packing everything up in pastic bags to create ready-to-go project kits.  The Schnibbles work up so quickly they make a great diversion from weighter efforts, and I can manage quilting them myself on Bernie.  With any luck, they will work in happily between other stuff and make great Christmas presents. 

Oh, and Patchwork Penguin, a.k.a. Nancy, got me started reading Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper mystery books.  Funny, light summer fare -- just the ticket to sooth a schnibbled brain -- the books have a quiltish theme without the (sometimes) cloying sweeness of a few of the Elm Creek books.    My favorite quote in the 1st book, Fool's Puzzle is from one of Benni's old friends.  She and Benni are trying to figure out what they ever saw in a particular boy 'way back in high school: "I don't know where my mind was. He kissed like a vacuum cleaner set on thick plush."  I laughed out loud, eliciting stares on the commuter train this morning.  I'll go back to the "good for me" books in the winter.

True Beauty

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 1 Comment »
We've all had bad hair days, but this beauty queen lives with no hair days.  This is great story about  an amazing young woman.

You can read about Kayla Martell's story here and discover how her beauty comes from the inside out.   It took her five tries to make it to the top spot in the Miss Delaware Pagent, but she perservered.   She will move on to represent her state in the Miss America Pagent, held in January of 2011.  Can you imagine what this means to the self esteem of a child with alopecia?   Here is someone who is truely making a difference.  Wonder if she quilts too? 

Kayla, you go, girl!!!  

Jump on in -- the patching's fine!

Saturday, June 19, 2010 1 Comment »
Went to the monthly meeting of the Civil War Tribute BOM at my LQS, and the instructor told us about the summer-long 9 Patch Project started on Karen's Blog.   Sounds good to me.  

I'm gonna use parts of an old jelly roll I found lurking in my stash and some tan-ish scraps to make 9 patches that are 6" finished size.  It'll be my leader/ender thing while I'm sewing this summer.    C'mon!  Use up those scraps and do the 9-patch boogie.   It'll be like a free quilt top!

Opportunity Quilt

Thursday, June 17, 2010 1 Comment »
Here is a chance to win a stunning quilt while helping a family heal after a tragic loss.  Pass it on!

Butterfly Kisses Quilt
91 x 91
Machine pieced; custom quilted by Pooregirl’s Quilt Co., McDonough, GA

$1.00 donation per entry requested. Drawing will be held July 12, 2010. Need not be present to win. Tickets are available at the shop or by calling 678-413-1611. Cash or checks made payable to Brian Mahaffey Memorial Fund please.  

Sweet Home Quilt Co.
1004 Green Street SW
Conyers, GA 30012

Like a hole in the head...

Monday, June 14, 2010 3 Comments »
As in "I need this like I need a hole in the head".

I was lurking in the forrests of Quilt Hollow when the urge to charm along with the Between Friends Charming Quilt Along struck.  I don't know what possessed me to do it other than I just love those purdy lil' charm packs  -- that, and all of the heat & humidity here in the great Northeast has gone to my head.  I have virtually no self control when it comes to quilting.  You know, the infamous project-is-always-much-cooler-on-the-other-blogger's-website-syndrome?  Don't lie -- you KNOW what I'm talking about.

I need 2 charm packs, some background fabric, some backing, sashing and binding.   I'm only commiting to the charmers and the background right now:  Oz, by Sanae for Moda, and a random piece of unidentified cream swirly textural fabric I found in my stash.  I think the colors will be good for a nice Fall-ish mini quilt.  Because it's not going to be very big when it grows up, it will be manageable to quilt on my Bernie.

The cutting instructions are here

It's not too late to join in the fun.  We can trade holes in the head.

I Love Staples

Saturday, June 12, 2010 2 Comments »
Or Office Max.  Or any other big office supply store. 

Got the large binder clips to hold my run-away fabric strips (and decorate my wall in the process).  They work pretty well on sets of charm squares too.

Got the old steno pad stand thingy to hold my pattern/instructions next to the sewing machine while I sew.  The instructions stand up nice and straight & don't get lost under random fabric pieces.  Sorry about the glare, but I've also got sheet protectors to keep my pattern pages spiffy, clean & neat.  Those sheet protectors allow me to keep the pages in a binder without having to punch holes in the them (which I always mess up & punch cock-eyed anyway)

Got the notebooks to keep those pattern pages in.  This one happens to be full of basket block patterns I've downloaded from other bloggers (thank you Piecemeal!)  

And the very best of all, I've got two of my favorite books spiral bound!  My friend Kimberley suggested it on her blog when one of her students showed up with her book spiral bound.  Makes the books so much more user friendly!  They did it at my local Staples for about $3/book.  Took all of 10 minutes.

And here's something that has nothing to do with an office supply store, unless you're dying of thirst from all that shopping.  It's a recipe for a Nojito.  Yep, you read it right, a Nojito.  I love mojito's, but I can only handle so much alcohol.  When I'm thirsty, I just want to chug multiple glasses of cold refreshement, so this is a great alternative.   Heaven help us if I belted down 3 or 4 REAL Mojito's!!

You can find Gina's recipe (and a whole lot more) here.  Enjoy!!