Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Last Chance!

Today is your last chance to enter my National Hot Fudge Sundae Day giveaway! Entries will close at Midnight EST tonight and I'll announce the winner tomorrow.

Today is also the 2nd of 7 glorious days of the Think Christmas Blog Hop.
Yesterday was truly amazing...43 blocks of wonderful creativity and inspiration. You definitely need to check out today's offerings by these bloggers:
Tuesday, July 31 

Don't forget that all of the blocks can be seen on the Think Christmas Pinterest page. Just click on the button below to be whisked there.
I will be working hard on my blocks today and hopefully I will have a lot to share once it is my turn on Sunday. In other news, the memorial softball tournament was this past weekend and I'm anxiously waiting on the results so that I can share with you the pictures of the finished quilts and the total earnings from the event. Let me just say though that it was the best one yet, despite the couple of downpours we had.
Ok so now I'm off to get the kidlets to summer camp and then get my behind in high gear. I have a lot on my To Do list today and if I spend any more time on the computer, I'll get none of that accomplished.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Christmas is here!

Today is the 1st day of the Think Christmas Blog Hop, hosted by the fabulous duo of Lesley and Madame Samm. The lineup of blogs for day 1 is:

Quilt Doodle Designs

I know this will be another totally awesome hop (they always are) and I'm going to see oodles and oodles of great quilts and ideas to try myself (though I certainly don't need to add anything to my TO MAKE list; it is long enough as it is).

So hop on over and visit each of these ladies to see what wonderful creations they have to share with you today. My day to post is Sunday, August 5th. Am I ready? Not yet, but I will be. Don't you worry. In the meantime, wrap up in your favorite cuddly quilt and enjoy all the inspiration.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Don't miss out on my National Hot Fudge Sundae Day giveaway. Entries are open through midnight July 31st.

Since the teacher quilts were completed and therefore no longer making me not a quilting crazy lady, I'm finally getting back to getting some other things done around the house. How I hate to have my home a mess and disorganized! Anyway, this past week I have been rewarding myself with a bit of sewing time after I complete a household task.

On Tuesday, the office was straightened out and cleaned. I swapped out the curtain rods in our bedroom (needed larger ones so they would hang correctly) and then used those rods in the office for the valances. I also got a couple of pictures hung. There is a ton more fire department plaques, awards and stuff in boxes to be unpacked and homes found for but we need to get a shelf or two for that.

As my reward I sewed the bindings on the front of the queen size Tribute to Danny quilt. I almost finished hand sewing the binding on the back last night but I was starting to nod off so I quit. Only about 2 more feet to go.

Yesterday after work (Wednesdays are only 1/2 day for me), I tackled the dishwasher and then sewed the binding onto the lap size Danny quilt.  I plan on starting the hand sewing part tonight after I complete the bit left on the bigger one and then finish this one up on the drive to my sister's house tomorrow afternoon. I can't wait to throw it in the wash to remove all the carpet lint the black fabric picked up.

After I got all the clean laundry put away I rewarded myself with some Halloween See Saw block work. Here's a peak. I know the picture is blurry (I'll fix it later) but my son dropped my camera at culture camp and now it isn't working great half the time. I guess I'll have to start shopping for a new one. I thought I knew what I wanted to add to this about 1 1/2 weeks ago but when I got ready to start on it, that idea just didn't work for me. A few days and a bunch more contemplating on my part, I figured out a better plan and got a big chuck of it done.
This will likely get finished this afternoon and then mailed off in the morning. I also want to get the binding sewn on the front of Miss M's 100 Good Wishes Quilt.
During the softball tournament on Saturday there will be a lot of down time while the games are being played so I should have some time to work on this (No I don't play softball). We typically just sit around and chat but there is no reason why I can't keep my hands busy at the same time. Plus it is a 3 hour ride home afterwards. Having this one finally done and in the mail to her by early next week is my goal.

So do you reward yourself for household tasks done? I have to say that I am liking this mix. I get needed things accomplished and fuel my creative side all at the same time. A win, win situation for me!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

National Hot Fudge Sundae Day and Giveaway!

Did you know that July 25th is a very important holiday?

Well, it is! It is
I am one very lucky lady in that I have access to the most awesome hot fudge sauce on the planet. It is made by my good friend Katie at Sundaes Best Hot Fudge Sauce Company
I don't love to tell folks about her products because she is a friend, I tell people about it because it is honest and truly THAT GOOD! It is made with 5 real simple ingredients: cream, sugar, semi-sweet chocolate, butter and the highest quality cocoa available.

Not only does she make her original dark chocolate fudge sauce but she also has 9 other flavors: Raspberry, Mint, Peanut Butter, Java, Hazelnut, Orange, Cherry, Almond and Caramel. All chocolaty goodness, each and every one. I'm betting you can't pick just one favorite! This thick and gooey wonderfulness isn't just great on ice cream...it is also fantastic on pound cake, strawberries, pretzels, marshmallows, drizzled over sliced apples, adding a spoon in your morning coffee, it makes the very best hot chocolate...I could go on and on and on.

To celebrate this momentous day, she is having a special promotion for her newsletter subscribers between now and midnight on July 31st:
Buy (3) 8 oz jars and get one free
Buy (6) 8 oz jars and get two free
Buy (9) 8 oz jars and get three free

Plus to 1 of my lucky followers, she is giving away (3) 8 oz jars in your choice of flavors.

What do you have to do to have a chance at winning? You must be a follower of course.

1) Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite ice cream flavor.
2) Sign up for Katie's newsletter.
2) If you click on over to her website and make a purchase, you get a 3rd chance at the prize. Make sure you mention "Crayon Box" in the notes so that she knows you found her through me (I will be checking).

That's it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 3 chances to win. Entries will remain open through the deadline of her promotion, midnight on July 31st.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dots on Dots a coming!

Yet another great blog hop idea was conjured up by Madame Samm, this one hosted by Corrie of Quilt Taffy fame!

Am I playing? Silly question. Of course I am!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Problem....Some research and an idea = Solution

What might all of this be for, you ask?

I'm a person that has a problem and somehow, someway works, researched and think until I find a solution.
The problem? This!
 This is Sunshine's pile. I forgot to take a "before" picture of Jammer's pile.

We've pared down the "guys" but there are still a bunch the kiddos want to keep. No problem. They aren't the type of kids to pile them all on their beds. But having them sitting along the walls of their rooms or taking up an entire shelving unit just doesn't work either.

So what are we to do? Research time. Online I found this cool idea.
Great! I'm all about using vertical space as much as possible. Cost? $13 plus shipping, for plastic chain and clips no less. Too much, too much.

So I checked out the local Toys R Us to no avail but they did suggest I try the home improvement stores. Hmmm. Interesting thought.

After stocking up on essentials at the grocery store, I stopped at Home Depot and a very nice salesman helped me with my project. I bought (2) 6 foot lengths of metal chain (one for each kidlet's gang), 30 of these metal and definitely stronger clips and a pack of split rings to attach the clips to the chain. No doubt this will hold up so much better than the plastic version would have. Total cost? $30, less than 2 of the plastic ones with shipping included.

Within minutes, those piles on the floor became this

and this.

A huge improvement if I do say so myself and hopefully they will stay off the floor now. As I was brought up and strongly believe....a place for everything and everything in its place!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


When I started this blog, I made a wish list page to help me keep track of all the quilty tools and fabrics that I coveted to own. Well I eventually deleted the page because I'm sure no one was interested in it and many of the fabrics weren't available any longer.

But now I have decided to resurrect that page, if only for my use and reference. I want to try FMQ and I'm finding there are some things that would help with that. And I've seen one quilt line that I must, must have once it comes out in Sept and if I don't put a picture of it somewhere, I'll forget. I missed out on her last fabric line (learned about it way too late) and I don't want that to happen again. I so love her lines! Plus it will give me incentive to save my fabric $$$ for the lines that I really love instead of those that I just like.

Of course, if you have any suggestions of other things that I should add to my list, I'm all eyes and ears.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

274 vs 1422?

The dang numbers fanatic in me got to wondering yet again while I was taking my shower. What about this time?

The price of thread!

I typically buy Gunterman at Joanns with a coupon or when it is on sale. Until recently I couldn't even get Aurifil locally, let alone any other of the "better" threads. If I ordered it over the web, by the time I added shipping, it would be a lot. Plus I didn't want to order a bunch of it to find out that my machine doesn't play nice with it.

Now my favorite LQS is carrying it plus I can get all the colors available by getting it through them when the place their order so no additional shipping costs to tack on. Terrific!

Now I just need to make sure I like it.

But which is actually more economical for me? This inquiring mind needed to know.

The larger Gunterman spool is 250 meters, or 274 yards. On sale and with tax it costs me $2.69. That is $.0098 per yard.
The Aurifil sells here with tax for $11.88 per spool. It has 1300 meters, or 1422 yards. Per yard it works out to $.0083 each.

I know I am talking pennies here, or actually less than pennies, but over time those partial pennies add up and any way I can find to save money on this expensive obsession of mine is a good thing.

So as long as the Aurifil and my machine play nice together, I'll be using it for the most part from here on out.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hop, Hop, Hop

Lookie what I went and joined. Another blog hop. Lesley and Madame Samm announced they were extending this one by 2 days and there were some spots open, so I quickly hopped on board.

Another deadline! What am I thinking?
 That I don't want to miss the party, that's what!

Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to make. I rushed over to my LQS this morning to meet up with my long arm friend with the Tribute to Danny quilts and while I was there I grabbed 2 red FQs to use for this hop's block (s). When I peaked at my stash this morning, I saw that while I have white and a bunch of different greens, I didn't have much in red.

I know that it (they) don't have to be done in traditional Christmas colors but ya gotta know that I will make at least one like that. The others? Who knows. You'll have to hop here on my day to see.

The Spices of Life

This is definitely a blog devoted to my quilting adventures and other crafty pursuits but I also sprinkle in a little smidgen of other interesting tidbits every now and then. This is one of those that I just needed to share. Besides no one can ever claim that cooking is not crafting.

Cooking for the ones you love is the Spice of Life and truly good food demand good spices. The very best spices I have ever used (and have only used now for a lot of years) are from Penzeys.

Honest people...the seasonings and spices from this family owned company are top notch and hands above anything you'd ever find in the grocery store. They are no more expensive. I can't tell you how many times I have told someone to close their eyes, waved a bottle of their garlic powder under their nose, and watched their expression of WOW come across their face. So much better than the store bought stuff by far. The fact that I now have a store reasonably close by and don't have to pay for shipping any more makes be happier beyond belief plus I get to sample all sorts of new offerings. I have an entire drawer in my kitchen devoted to them plus my refill bags almost fill a 2nd drawer.
Yes they are labeled except a couple (got to get the labeler out and fix that problem) and they are in alphabetical order. I like to be able to find what I am looking for and not have to search for just the right one.

This company's products are THAT good. They have loads of basics like Oregano, Basil and  along with terrific blends that just beg to be sprinkled over everything. The Galena Street Rub is our favorite. Plus they have great ones not found in every store such as Vietnamese Cinnamon, the very best in the world. Their cocoa turns my holiday cookies into extraordinary masterpieces. And don't get me started on their Double Vanilla. To die for! 

If you need a really terrific unique gift for a wedding or any other reason, their gift boxes can't be beat. Not only are they filled with a variety of their products but they use Bay Leaves, Cinnamon sticks and whole Nutmegs as their packing materials. Very cool. So go check them out and order some goodness to spice up your cooking today. You won't be disappointed, I promise.

I am not a Penzeys employee or am I affiliated in any way, shape or form. I just wanted to spread the word about products and a company that is just that wonderful.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I blew it!

I swore a number of weeks ago in this post that other than 3 specific needs I wasn't going to purchase any more fabric until summer was over. I have plenty of projects to keep me busy for quite a while.

Well I did buy the fabrics I needed for the Tribute to Danny quilts and the Fruitcake quilt bits that I was missing. I still need the backing and binding for the baby girl quilt though and will shop for that once I get started on that one.The swap was postponed so that one got crossed off my list.
But then I went and bought a bunch of other fabrics that weren't on that list. I just couldn't resist! Michele at Quilt Kit Market was still having her going out of business sale and with the huge discounts, the prices were ones that are unheard of these days.

Two weeks ago I placed another order with Michele (great name she has ya know). For a whopping $43.20 plus shipping I got 4 charm packs, a layer cake and a jelly roll. All of that for less than 50 bucks! Regular prices would have been about $118.

But then I got an email from her at the end of last week that suggested I might want to check for any yardages I might need for backings for future projects. A yard of fabric for $3.60! Rare indeed. No one can pass that up and I didn't. But inventory was low so I didn't go hog wild.

My new order consisted of a trio of kits and 3 1/2 yards for one of those future projects on my To Make list. What did I spend this time? A grand total of $38.40 plus shipping. Really it was impossible to pass up kits for less than $10 each (with backings included no less). I just wish there was more that I could have gotten at those prices.

So I'm confessing and begging my wallet's forgiveness. I will work really hard the rest of the summer to not spend another dime. Thankfully hubs hasn't said a peep about my spending and I don't think he has ventured to inspect just how much is in my stash but the accountant in me feels the guilt and I'm promising here and now to reform. At least for the next 6 weeks that is.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I I Love Blog Hops...

...but they should definitely come with a serious warning.

I loved participating in the Celebrate Red, White & Blue Blog Hop put on these past 2 weeks.
I also had a blast checking out all the other participants on their designated day. So much wonderful patriotic beauty abounded.

During the Ghastlie Blog Hop last, I couldn't wait for each day to start so that I could check out all the new goodies everyone created.
I was hooked and seriously addicted.
Of course, I now own a LOT of my own Ghastlie fabric.

So what's the problem with blog hops?

It isn't all the gorgeous quilty eye candy shared every day nor actually learning about lots of great blogs I didn't know about before. Meeting so many new-to-me quilters is always fabulous.

And it isn't because there is something fun to wake up to every day. It is the very best way to start each morning, with a nice hot cuppa fresh java right at hand.

Blog Hops are dangerous because of the following facts:

1) A ton of new blogs get added to my Google Reader and keeping up reading all the posts is already hard enough. Don't even ask how many were waiting for me when I got back from vacation. Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds.

2) There are so many ideas that I see and want to make my own versions of that my To Make list keeps getting longer and longer. I'll never get caught up.

3) Those ideas make me want to shop immediately for the perfect fabric, stretching further my already stretched fabric budget.

4) Work, house cleaning and other household chores become less important and I just want to spend all of my days in my studio creating (but that doesn't get to happen).  Major disappoint and dispair sometimes results. 

Now I'm not saying that there shouldn't be more blog hops nor am I saying that I won't participate in a few of them myself. I can't wait for the next one. It goes without saying that I will do a ton of hopping around so as to not miss one single quilty bit.

What I am saying is that before you start hopping, be prepared and forwarned. Be strong and resist the urge to forget about everything else in your life that needs your attention so that you can do nothing else but sew. Enjoy the party but be smart and have support if you need it so that you finish without emptying your savings account. Remember to eat and sleep and shower, pay attention to your loved ones and don't piss off your employer by being MIA. 

Be inspired. Be part of the community.

But also be careful.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lickety Split!

Who knew that I could complete an entire queen sized quilt top in about 10 hours? That has to be a new record!

Ok, so I'm fessing up....I didn't actually make the entire quilt top in 10 hours. Yes I pieced the blocks together and added the sashing and borders but it I wasn't the only one who contributed to making this quilt a reality. 25 other wonderful and generous blog readers made and sent the blocks to me and for that I will forever be extremely grateful.

So Tuesday late morning I arranged them all into a layout that I was happy with.

The sashing on each block came next.

The blocks became rows.

The rows were then ready for the rest of the sashing and the border.

On Wednesday afternoon, the long strips of sashings were joined together.

Then all the rows were attached together and the border was added to eventually come up with this.

What? You can't see the picture of the whole quilt? I don't understand what the problem is.

Oh yeah! I decided to be a little stinker and only give you a peak of the finished top. The completed quilt will be revealed once the quilting is completed and the binding is done. A tad mean? Yup but I want to draw out the anticipation a bit. This is such a special quilt since so many of my readers had a hand in it that I want the reveal to be the entire quilt totally done and not just showing you the completed top.

My long arm quilter promised to do another rush job for me so the final reveal should be sometime next week. Stay tuned. Now I'm signing off so that I can run upstairs and piece the backing together and rush it over the my LQS so she can pick it up.

And as I mentioned in my previous post, if you are interested in purchasing raffle tickets for this quilt, you can. The info is here. The drawing will be at the softball tournament on July 28th but I'm going down the evening before, on the 27th, so I can be at the event bright and early the next morning. So that means that I need your check in my hands no later than Wednesday the 26th. Any questions, just email me...my email address is on my sidebar.

I will never be able to say Thank You enough to everyone who helped with this project. This was truly a project of love from around the world.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Raffle tickets are available

For those of you that have express interest, the raffle tickets for the Tribute to Danny quilts are now available for sale. They are $5 each or 3 for $10. The actual tickets are in the mail on their way to me today.

I've tried to figure out the easiest way to do this and I honestly don't want to have to deal with the Paypal fees so if you want some raffle tickets, you can just send me a check. I trust you. If you already don't have my snail mail address, I'll email it to you.

So that you know that I actually purchased your ticket (s) on your behalf, I will email you a photo of it (them) showing your name and the ticket number.

There are 4 other large items that are being raffled at the event:

1) an Ipad2
2) a Wii and 4 games (I don't know which ones)
3) a flat screen tv
4) a pair of hand made Adirondack chairs

Since the tv and the chairs would be impossible to ship, I'm leaving those out of the options here but if you want to try for the Ipad or the Wii, you certainly can. You don't have to buy 3 tickets for the quilt and then separate tickets for the others, you can mix them up. Just let me know how many of each want in your comment.

Thank you so much to all of you that have told me you want to buy a ticket. I am touched deeply. It was never my intent to try and sell them to my readers but since you asked, I'm not going to say No.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Who won and today's list.

There were 218 comments on my Celebrate red, White and Blue Blog Hop post. Wow! There are also 70 new readers to my humble blog. Welcome! I hope you enjoy what I have to share and will stick around for a while. I tried to reply to everyone but while away for the weekend, the internet access was very spotty and though I could read comments I couldn't post any replies. Now it would take me all day to get caught up and I have way too much other stuff on my To Do list today.

So now to relieve your suspense, the winner of my 2 charm packs of Jovial is (as chosen by random.org):

#79 Gmama Jane and here was her comment:

Can I just say upfront, my favorites are your fantastic *Models*!! They are so stinkin' cute!!! I loved your blocks but they really Popped when you put them in a table runner! I may have to use that block pattern since I'm partial to star patterns!! This is a unique pattern I have not seen. I love the block with the blue polka dots best of all!
God Bless America
Gmama Jane

Congratulations Gmama Jane! I've emailed for your address and your winnings will be in the mail in the morning.

Thank you all for your wonderful comments about my blocks and table runner. I can't wait to find the time to actually get it quilted. I'll be doing it by machine instead of by hand since I have issues with my hands and since it will get finished a whole lot faster. My models....well of course I think they are so stinkin cute but I'm allowed to be a bit biased that way. Though hubs and I had absolutely nothing to do with the way they look (we thank their birth parents' genes for that) I do get to appreciate every day just how adorable they are, except of course when they are really being little stinkers, which they are so good at.

So what is on my agenda today?
 - Well I have a mountain or two of laundry to deal with. Being away isn't conducive to keeping chores up ya know.
- While the machine is running, I'm going to rush and piece together the blocks and sashing for the Danny quilts. I need to get them to my long arm friend ASAP.
- I also have the July Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin block to work on. I think I've figure out what fabric (s) to use but have yet decided what I will actually do with it. Hopefully some inspiration will come to me soon. I need to get it off to its next destination quickly. It will be traveling to France after I complete my round.
-Lastly one of the Halloween See Saw blocks is here to be worked on and again I haven't figured out yet what it needs next. If I can at least make that decision then I can actually do the sewing tomorrow afternoon and get it in the mail back to my partner before the work week is done.

I hope you get to enjoy some sewing time today too.

Friday, July 6, 2012

June crafting report

Can I get a Whoo Hoo? 15 days of crafting bliss craziness in June. It was mostly from the hectic pace to complete the teacher quilts on time. Honestly it was nuts and although I hope to have more months at least if not more productive, I prefer to not have it as nail biting working towards a quickly looming deadline.

So June resulted in 50% of the available days of doing something crafty. Surprising considering we were also on vacation for one of the weeks (I took along some binding work to do while in the passenger seat.

Total for the year so far is: 64 days out of a possible 182 or 35%. For those of you followers to my blog, I know this is geeky but I am a bit of a numbers geek at times. I am an accountant after all.

Pretty in Pink is finished

The piecing and quilting was completed over the winter but then due to the hectic work on the 3 teacher quilts, it got put aside until recently.

While on vacation I did the hand sewing of the binding. It was the perfect project for the road trip.

As I am coming to prefer more and more, the backing is pieced. That wasn't the original plan though. Once I had completed the top, I started thinking about which way to piece the single fabric backing but I quickly discovered that the pattern I used listed the wrong amount and I didn't have enough. So I used that fabric, the fabric I originally bought for the binding and a white on white print from my stash and pieced together this much better and prettier backing.

My long arm quilter did a sweet butterfly pattern with variegated pink thread.

This project turned out to be the perfect one for the hodge podge of prints and shades of pink fabrics from last year's NJ Shop Hop. In the end, they worked together well and I'm truly happy with the end result.

It has been gifted to the little missy and her mom was beyond ecstatic. She was floored that I made something so special for her baby girl. Hey...that is just what I do. 

There is another baby girl due to join the neighborhood in a few weeks and I haven't decided if I will make another quilt like this one or use another design but after the Tribute to Daddy quilt, it will be next on my To Do list.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How cool is this?

These are all the Tribute to Danny quilt blocks.

Each and every block was made and sent by a bunch of my wonderful blog readers.I could never thank you enough for your kindness and generosity. YOU made this project possible. 

The sashing, border, backing and binding fabrics have been purchased, washed and ironed. I will be piecing them all together next Tuesday. This afternoon Jammer and I are heading to Vietnamese Culture Camp for the weekend. It promises to be a fantastic weekend. Hubs and Sunshine will be hanging together at home. Lots of Daddy & daughter time which is very much needed.

My long arm quilter is again going to do a rush job on this for me. She is such a doll to understand the importance of my recent projects and do whatever she can to make sure I meet my deadline.

I created a draft picture of what the final quilt will look like in Excel to go along with the raffle tickets and the sales of them are starting today.  Everyone involved with the softball tournament and the memorial scholarship fund is hoping this quilt raffle raises a record amount of money this year. It will be a fitting way to help honor my nephew, by raising enough money for the scoreboard and the annual scholarships. Those of you new to my blog, if you'd like to read the original post about this project, it can be found here.

For those of you that contributed to this project, you all should be given an award for helping me make this idea a reality. I could have never have done it without each and every one of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday America!

The 4th of July, the day that every American celebrates our country's birthday.

I hope your day will be filled with loads of fun and laughter, a bounty of terrific food and wondrous weather. May you be surrounded by those you love.

Remember to visit all the great blogs in today's Celebrate Red, White and Blue Blog Hop. These ladies are your hostesses.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wowie Wow!

I am blown away by all the wonderful comments for my Celebrate Red, White and Blue Blog Hop contributions. If you are looking for my post, it is here.

187 comments and still counting. I'm really enjoying reading each and every one of them and I truly hope to be able to reply to everyone but please forgive me if I can't reply to you all. This is a crazy busy week for me and I'm not sure I'll find enough time.

This blog hop is terrific so far. I hope you are having as much fun with it as I am. All of the blocks can be seen over on the Pinterest page. One of mine even became one of yesterday's Top 2. I'm honored that it was picked from amongst such other amazing pieces.

Today's lineup of fantastic ladies is:

So hop on over to their blogs and see what they've created for you. A little birdie has told me there are also a few giveaways to enter.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Celebrate R,W & B with American Beauty and a giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Celebrate Red, White and Blue Blog Hop and my celebration of the colors of Old Glory! I hope you enjoy what I created to share with you today.

When this hop was 1st announced, my original thought was to totally stay away from the traditional star blocks and do something unconventional. But then while browsing through my books for ideas, I came across the Blackford's Beauty block and all previous ideas flew right out the window. This one just called out to me to be my inspiration.

I delved into my stash and scraps, cut and sewed, and this is the result.

I said to myself "I like, I like". So what did I do next? I made another one of course!

Two led to three and this one was the next one completed.

An addiction was started. Oh no. One more just screamed at me, begging to join the party.

Next thing I new I was cutting for yet a 5th Blackford's Beauty block.

More, more I wanted to make even more, but a glance at my watch showed me that I was almost out of time! July 2nd was fast approaching. So I resisted the urge to keep going but then I was left wondering what to do with all these beautiful blocks. I'm not one to just let them remain unfinished.

They were hanging out on my design wall and Hello the obvious project was staring me right in the face. With a little of sewing together, a bit more cutting and a few borders, I created this patriotic table runner. I named it American Beauty.

It is my first table runner and I am ticked Red, White and Blue how well it turned out. A couple of quilt models wanted to help but then weren't the easiest to work with.

It measures 22" x 70" and officially it is considered a UFO since it's neither quilted nor bound. But it still looks wonderful on my dining room table.

Why isn't it actually finished? Well the final stitches weren't completed until yesterday afternoon and I've also decided that this will be my first piece that I will quilt myself. I already have a plan ready. I don't have the right needles nor any good quilting thread so a shopping trip is in order. I'm anxious to finally quilt one of my quilt tops on my own. I'm just praying it goes as well as hope it will. keep your fingers crossed for me.

 Are you wondering yet about that giveaway I eluded to on Saturday? Well here it is. Looking for a new home is not 1 but 2 Jovial charm packs. Loads of folks celebrate Christmas in July and I thought, why not? Whomever is the lucky winner will have plenty of time to create something fantastic to help celebrate the holidays.

For a chance to win, just tell me where your dream vacation place is, someplace you've always wanted to go. For a 2nd chance, become a follower and tell me that you did or if you already follow my adventures, mention it. That's it. 2 chances to win. Entries will remain open for 1 week, through midnight EST on July 8th. The winner will be announced on July 9th. If you are a No Reply Blogger, make sure you leave me your email address so that I can get in touch with you.

Remember to also visit my fellow bloggers today and see what other wonderful Red, White and Blue creations they've come up with. I'm sure it will be well worth it.

Quilts From My Crayon Box (You're already here!)

After today there will be 14 more glorious days of blog hopping bliss. You won't want to miss a single stop on the tour, I promise.