Monday, April 30, 2012

Mini Mania!

The end of the month is upon me and I needed to get my backside in high gear and get my minis in the mail on time so yesterday afternoon/evening was dedicated to completing them. I would never want the groups' hostess to send me a nasty gram about being late. (I hear she can be a real witch when riled up!)

First I worked on adding borders to Bea's center block for the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin. I had all sorts of ideas of what sorts of borders to add and ended up doing something totally different from anything else I previously considered. What sort of border did I add, you ask? Well I can't show you! It's a mystery. Remember? Besides she reads my blog and I certainly don't want her to have any clues until the end. Sneaky, very sneaky I am. And I like it that way.

What I will show you is this (Sorry about the sideways picture. Darn Blooger upload again that I can't get to correct). She is expecting a baby girl this summer and requested it be kept Pink in honor of her new little sweetie. Needless to say that I had more than enough pink scraps left over from the Pretty In Pink baby quilt and others pulled from my stash to choose from. I tested lots of them but I'm not going to tell you which one (s) I chose. You're tough out of luck. You'll just have to wait like she does. Neener, neener, neener!

Next up is my center blocks for the Halloween See Saw Swap. I actually am doing 2. We had an uneven number of ladies sign up so I have to play twice. Not a bad thing in my book since I love this holiday.

Anyone who knows a little about me would have guessed that The Ghastlies had to be part of one of my center blocks. I so love this line! Since I didn't have the new main prints yet, I used the one from last year. I'm calling it "The Ghastlie Gals". When I looked at the characters on the panel, this section slapped me right in the face (and you wonder how I got the pink cheeks) This is perfect! Why? Well this represents me and my daughter, my 3 sisters huddled together and my mom over in the right corner peaking at what we are up to. We are a very close family don't ya know. 

The temptation to do another Ghastlie starter block was really strong but I resisted. Something totally different was in order. Besides it gave me a chance to play with all my ghostly fabrics to choose just the right ones. This is what I came up with. I don't like prints with swirls at all! No, not me. LOL

Now which of my partners get the pain pleasure of adding to which center block?. I'm not telling even if you try to bribe me with fresh lobster and fine wine. You can try though. I never turn down lobster!

They are off in the mail today and shortly I'll be receiving another mini round robin piece to work on. I have to admit that I'm quickly becoming addicted to minis and I'm betting there are a lot more in my future. There are a lot of bare walls that need decorating in this new house.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shop Hopping Bounty!

The teacher quilts have kept me so busy of late that I've been remiss at sharing with you my NJ Shop Hop bounty. First let me tell you that it was a total blast and I think my BFF and I are going to make it an annual tradition. Here is the roster of stores in the hop.
Yes we went to every single one. I drove down to her house Friday afternoon and we ran over to the one closest to her house. We just couldn't wait to start shopping. On Saturday we picked up another friend and managed to visit 7 more shops on the list. It was a 12 hour day and our piggies were sore and tired but we were happy. On the following Wednesday she and her daughter met up with me and Sunshine in the northern part of the state to finish up. I'm sad to report that neither of us won any prizes this time. Darn!

But I did come home with this pile of loot.

I bought at least 1 thing in every single store. Most placed I did more, much more. In all those bags was this.

In the NJ Shop Hop you can buy a pack of fabrics in the current year's theme Veggies from each shop (this year 6" x 18" strips; previous years (8) 8" blocks) and you received the free pattern for each shop's own quilt designed and made with those specific fabrics. Here are all the patterns this year. You can see all the finished quilts here.

With the fabric packs, you can make any of the quilts. I've narrowed down my choice between this one (perhaps with a different background and slightly different color arrangement)

or this one, with different border fabrics. I'm not keen on the ones they used.

I picked up a few notions, a spool of Aurfil thread because I want to try it (no one around here carries it), and a Swoon pattern. My BFF also bought me (and herself of course) 2 new pair of quilty socks. I bought the 1st two pair for each of us. That day happened to be the 6th anniversary of the 1st day we met.

Old City Quilts had this bag made with Asian fabrics hanging in their window and it caught my eye. I've never made any sort of bag before but I want to make this one. Instead of similar Asian prints, I chose prints from Valley of the Kings line by Robert Kaufman. LLLOOOVVVEEE IT!

I picked up this little gem table runner kit at The Village Quilter. It was a great price. Include is the magazine that contains the pattern, the fabrics for the top as well as the backing and binding fabric and the batting too.

I bought just a little bit of fabric. The panel will be used to make something special for hubby's train room.

Just look at all these lovelies! There are only 9 new Asian pieces, 2 of which are the same print in different color ways bought at 2 different stores and I didn't even know until I unpacked it all today. A couple of new Halloween pieces and 2 new Ghastlie coordinates. I was actually shocked that I didn't see more Ghastlies anywhere. Plus I picked up a few miscellaneous bits. The bigger roll is 2 1/8 yards end of bolt that was on sale plus 20% off. $4.23 per yard! Now that is what I call a bargain.

Here are all the fabric packs from all the stores. (Darn Blogger sideways upload again!) What would you do with all of them?

And here are all the cute veggie buttons that came with the fabric packs. Aren't they adorable? I have no clue what I will do with them but for now they are sitting right next to the flower buttons from last year's shop hop. The right project for them will come to me some day.
If every you get the chance to do this shop hop, I highly recommend it. It was a ton of fun. No, I take that back. Don't do this shop hop! One less person I'd have to compete against for the big prizes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Tribute to Danny blocks

3 more blocks arrived in the mail yesterday. Oh how I am loving opening that box lately.

First up there are 2 all the way from England. Both are fantastic. Diane made this one.

And Celine sent this beauty.

And this stunner was sent by Kathy in Washington. On her note she wrote that she thought this wouldn't work with the other blocks that I have received so far. Silly Kathy! I love this block. It literally took my breath away and there so no way I'd leave it out.

Part of the fun of this project is seeing everyone's different version of these stars. In some ways it reminds me of sampler quilts that I have seen hanging in quilt shops. I never cared for the ones that were all sorts of different colors but I did like the ones that had a common colorway involved.

Thank you ladies for your wonderful contributions to this project.

Gotta run for now. On my "To Do" list for today:

1) Finish washing and putting away a ton of laundry. Poor Jammer is out of clean school uniform shirts. Note to self: buy more next year.
2) Erase the gray roots from my hair that I can't stand and make me look closer to my real age.
3) Finish the slight modifications to the Lead Teacher Quilt top and get it delivered to my long arm quilter before the day is out.
4) Sunshine's speech therapy session.

Yes there are a lot more really important things on my list but these are the "must dos" for today. My poor house needs some serious cleaning attention but since the end of the school year in mid June is fast approaching and the teacher quilts have to be done by then, I'm doing the bare minimum cleaning until all 3 tops are complete and off to be quilted.

Whatever your day brings for you, I hope it is a good one.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Love from my mailbox

In the past couple of days, some absolutely beautiful Eight Pointed Star blocks arrived for the Tribute to Danny quilt. I am honestly speechless at the quilters love arriving in my mailbox each day from people that I don't even "know"; people who are willing to help make this project a reality. This is truly a wonderful community to be a part of.

Lesley sent this one all the way from Nova Scotia.

This block arrived from Deanna (no blog) in British Columbia.

Kelli in California sent this one with the baseball fabric center. Very fitting don't you think.

Another beautiful block from British Columbia, this one from Linda (I didn't know this one was coming so I don't have her blog address).

Fellow New Yorker Vicki (no blog) sent this one.

And this amazing one came from Kristen in Virginia.

These are going on my design wall so that I can gaze at them as I work. I can't wait to start piecing them together. This quilt is going to be beyond fantastic, not only because of the gorgeous blocks everyone is contributing but more so because of the love and generosity of all of you that are becoming a part of it. I will never be able to thank you enough.

A number of quilters have emailed me asking if I still need more blocks. So far I have commitments from folks for enough blocks to make this queen size. Perfect for the raffle. But I thought perhaps if more of you want to help, I could put together a 2nd smaller quilt, perhaps lap size, that could be a 2nd place prize. The possibility of another prize for the raffle would definitely entice more people to buy the tickets. So I am going to say Yes I would love to have more blocks if you are willing to send me one. Email me and I'll give you my address.

Again, mere words cannot express my heart felt gratitude. I will forever be grateful for the journey that brought me to quilting and all the wonderful people that it has brought into my life.

Friday, April 20, 2012

What is lost?

When you join together 2 strips of fabric with a diagonal seam to make a longer strip, just how much length is lost at the joint? I didn't know. Do you?

But I wanted to know. I needed to know! There are times, like now for the teacher quilts, where I need to cut enough for the binding from the remaining yardage before I use the rest to piece together the backing. Running out at the very end wouldn't be good. Not good at all.

So what is a numbers crazy girl to do? Figure out the answers of course. An experiment was in order. One I thought was pretty clever. I actually took strips of paper in various widths, folded them as if they were sewn together, and then measured the finished strip to see exactly how much length disappears.

Once I did 2 tests, I made a quick realization and actually felt pretty dumb for not knowing this before. The answer to my question was so simple. So incredibly simple and right in front of my face. Why I didn't see it before I'll never know.

So what is the obvious result of my inquiry, you ask?

The width of the fabric strips being joined together!

If you sew (2) 3" wide x 10" long strips together, the resulting strip will be 17" long. A pair of 5" wide by 7" long strips will result in a strip now 5" x 9". Two identical 1 1/2" x 20" strips will give you one strip now 1 1/2" x 38 1/2". Get it?

Just give me a dunce cap to wear over this one. I admit that I am a smart cookie and pretty good with numbers but I think my creative brain got in the way of my math brain and that is why this was unknown to me before. Well at least now I know and if you didn't know before, you now do too. I guess I did my part today to edumacate others.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

100 Followers!

Whoo Hoo! A reason to celebrate.

Tons of thanks go out to each and every one of you that follow along and give me endless support and encouragement in my quilting journey. I truly appreciate it.

And to show just how much I value you my loyal followers, I'm going to have Mr. Random pick a number and one of you is going to receive a special little package from me. Just because.

Update: I had Mr. Random pick a winner. But guess what? I decided to keep it secret since I happen to already have her address. Hehehehe! A charm pack of Oops-A-Daisy is packaged up ready to be dropped off at the post office. 

Yes I like to be a bit sneaky at times. At least one of you will have a happy surprise in your mail box soon. Thank you for all the kind comments today. They make me smile.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Last chance!

Stop trying to avoid joining our party! You know you want to play.


I got home later than I thought I would yesterday afternoon so I've got a bit to catch up on here at home before I send out the matches for the Halloween See Saw Swap. That means you have just a little bit more time to sign up for this devilishly wicked swap.

Tomorrow is your very last chance. By the end of the day Tuesday, you'd better put your name in or I may just have to set a spell upon you. So put your pointed black hat on and start your cauldron a'brewin. Email me your name and address and you'll be added to my list little coven. 

All the details can be found here. It promises to be a howling good time.

Note: Daisychain please email me your name and address. You are a no reply blogger and I have no way to get in touch with you!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

The 1st round

The 1st block that I get to work on for the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin arrived a little over a week ago along with this adorable owl pin cushion, both fashioned by Bea.

It was so sweet of her to include a special gift for me. She actually thought I might not like it and would give it away to someone else. No way! I love it. It is the very 1st thing someone else has made for me and I definitely won't part with it. Besides it looks really cute in my studio. Thank you so much Bea!

Her block is all in shades of pink. She is hoping that her group members will continue with that theme as she plans on hanging the finished quilt in her baby girl's room (due in August). I'm considering the options of  what I will add to this and hope to have my decision soon. I want to get it done and on its way to the next person in line. Will I comply with her wishes to keep with her color scheme? She and you will just have to wait to see.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Giveaway winner and my weekend plans

Quickly, before I get my excited self out of town, I'm announcing the winner of my Half Year Blogiversary. I had fun reading all of your comments. So without further ado, the winner of the Citron FQ bundle is:
mumasu who said Happy half blogiversary. I love a coffee and walnut cake everytime (a bit too much really). I'm off to see how to link to your blog from mine :)

Congratulations Mumasu! Please send me your address. It will go out in the mail early next week.

As of this moment, my little red vehicle is hitting the road. I'm on heading to my BFF's house to do the NJ Shop Hop 2012 with her! I'm uber excited and can't wait to hit each and every store along the route. Maybe I'll even be lucky enough to win some prizes. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

2 1/2 days away from my babies will be tough but also so wonderful. But I get to buy fabric and that is never a bad thing. There are a few things I'm really wanting like Vintage Modern, California Girl and of course all of the Ghastlies. I just hope that I can keep it reasonable and not go totally overboard.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tears

That was my 1st response last night.

The first 2 envelopes arrived for what I am now calling the "Tribute to Danny" Quilt, the one that will be raffled at the 8th and final softball tournament in July that benefits the scholarship fund set up in his name.

Edy (no blog) sent this beautiful block.

And Julie (no blog either) made these 2 terrific ones.
The tears came because of the outpouring of love and help you all have given me to make this project a reality. Tears because it still hurts so very much to think about my nephew, how much he is missed every single day and how raw the pain is still at times.

Tears of joy and happiness that I belong to such a wonderful community of people who genuinely care.

The memories will never be erased. That horrible phone call, the 3 hour drive to his hometown, the initial hours as the news spread, endless phone calls and the enormous task of making the arrangements that had to be made, choosing his final resting place, selecting his casket, ordering the flowers and all the while taking care of my sister and her family as best as I could. Having something important to do was the only way I made it through those days.

This quilt will be one very special way I will honor a terrific young man who had a promising future ahead of him and who's life was cut way too short.

When my sister decided that this needed to be the final year of the tournament, I suggested she find a way to more permanently pay tribute to him, his sportsmanship, his generosity and his team spirit. Something that will last a long time and would benefit many other students. I am happy to report that when she talked to the school and voiced my idea, it was agreed that the balance of the fund will go to replace the score boards at both the baseball and the football fields at his high school. I can't think of a better way for the community to remember him for years and years to come....at the two places he loved most of all.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I'm so touched!

Quilters never let you down!


Honestly when I posted "Would you help?" I was very unsure if anyone would. I'm such a newbie to quilt blogging and though I have some terrific followers, I haven't been around very long and am not very well known at all. But my belief that quilters are kind and generous is so true.

So far I know of at least 12 Red, White and Black Eight Pointed Star blocks on their way to me for Danny's Tribute Quilt. I hope to make it at least twin size so I'll need 8 more for that. If I can get 25 total, it will be a queen. I even can't imagine getting enough to make it king size.

The fact that other quilters have posted about this on their own blogs blows me way and I humbly thank you for spreading the word and helping me to make this a reality. Words cannot describe how surprised my sister is about all of this.

The softball tournament where this will be raffled off to a new owner is July 28th so I need to receive the blocks by the end of May so that I can get them pieced together and then off to my long arm master. Anyone willing to lend a hand? Leave me a comment and I'll email you my address.

Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Tagged! I'm it!

I wondered if I would end up having to play this game and it turns out that I do. Melinda over at Tilda's Twisted Life tagged me last week but with all the craziness going on here in recent days, this is the 1st chance I've had to write my post.

She asked and I answer:

1. Musicals or plays? And what are my favorites? Tough one to start. I've actually been in quite a few in my younger years. But if I have to pick I'd choose musicals. Favorites include those I've done: Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel, Music Man, plus others that escape me at the moment.

2. Do I have any "hidden" talents that haven't yet made it into my blog? I've eluded to the fact that I'm a cake decorator, have been for about 20 years now, but I also do counted cross stitch, I have a great green thumb and I've made Ukrainian Easter Eggs.

3. Am I reader? And if so, what am I reading right now? Yes but reading time is scarce these days. I'm in the middle of Peony in Love by Lisa See. I have others by her on my bookshelf as well as some of the Elm Creek Quilters series, but I need the 1st one of that to start with. No going out of order for me.

4. What is my favorite time of day? Again a tough question. I love seeing the sunrise when I get up (though I hate actually getting up) and I love getting to end my day by snuggling under the covers. And not to be forgotten is when I pick up my kids from daycare or school. They come running at me full speed and I get the bestest hugs ever.

5. Do I save the selvage from fabric? Have I made anything with them? Nope and nope. I haven't been motivated to do this yet but one never knows.

6. What is the my favorite quilt that I have made? Jammer's 100 Good Wishes Quilt for sure. It is what started this all. It is mega huge (116" x 130") and I was so proud when the owners of my LQS praised my work. It was only the 3 quilt I had made.

7. What color comes up most often in my quilts? Since I haven't completed a ton of quilts yet, there isn't one particular one that is a predominate theme for me. I just go with my gut when deciding what to use.

8. Do I play music when I sew? What songs get me motivated? Absolutely! I listen to the local country station the most.

9. What is the worst injury I've ever suffered? There are 2 though 1 isn't an actual injury. In Feb 2003 I became sick, sick. For 6 months I was miserable (a long time to feel rotten every day). After a lot of doctor visits, different tests and medications and loosing a pound of weight a month it was discovered that my gall bladder had turned against me. It was not only not working as it should but it was also badly infected. After it came out it was a longer than expected recovery because of the infection but eventually I felt a ton better. The 2nd injury was when I was prepping for our annual pumpkin carving party, hanging decorations in the garage where we do the messy carving, fell off the chair I was standing on and badly broke my left wrist. I am allergic to morphine so the doc in the ER couldn't give the good drugs when he tried to reset it. He shot a local right into the break. Mega Ouch! I ended up having to have surgery to set it properly and I have a lovely plate inside and a beauteous scar as my reward.

10. Do I come from a large family or a small family? Large. I'm 1 of 5. My mom is 1 of 8, my birth father is one of 5. I have 43 1st cousins and who knows how many 2nd and 3rd cousins. When my mom's side has a family reunion there are 150+ of us.

11. Have I always lived in my current home town? If not, how far away do I live from the town I was born in? Nope. And I would never live there again ever. It is small and doesn't have a lot to offer. I'm about 2 1/4 hours from there so visiting when I need to isn't bad.

And now it is my turn to ask some questions.

1. Cake or ice cream?
2. What type of print fabric do you have the most of in your stash? (my answer hands down is Asian prints)
3. Do you have a long arm machine? If not do you want one eventually?
4. Have you ever entered a quilting contest or show and if so, did you win any awards?
5. Car, truck or SUV? Which one and why?
6. Absolute favorite food? (for me it's lobster, fresh off the boat in Maine)
7. Favorite season? Why?
8. If you buy fabric for your stash, what do you buy if you can only pick one type and why? (FQ, Layer Cake, Charms, Jelly Roll, Yardage)  
9. Do you have a fabric budget and are you good or bad at sticking to it?
10. What play or movie are you itching to see? I can't wait for Wicked coming here in November.
11. Where do you dream of vacationing some day? (I so want to go to Hawaii).

So there you have it. This inquiring mind wants to know. Who needs to respond? Why these ladies:

Bea at Bea Quilter
Wendy at Why-Knot-Kwilt
Doris at Made By a Brunnette (formerly Threads of Conversation)
Richard at Richard Quilts


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

6 More Days Left...

...for you to sign up for my Halloween See Saw Swap.

All the details are here. So far I have 7 players (that is if Daisychain responds to my email and sends me her name and address; if you are reading this Daisychain please check your email). We need an even number of players for this to work. Plus the more the merrier I always say.

If you like Halloween as much as I do, are addicted to swaps and really need a cute wall hanging or table topper to decorate your abode for the ghostly holiday, join us. It is going to be a scream!


Keeping my nose to the grind stone

There are a ton of terrific quilt alongs, challenges and other project going on around me but I have been stead fast in keeping to what I already have on my plate. The teacher quilts absolutely HAVE to be done by mid June and I'm not nearly as far along as I wanted to be by now. I'm keeping my nose to the grind stone and only working on these (and the Modern Mini Mystery Round Robin blocks of course).

Originally I was working with the fabrics from one family at a time, making the 12" lead teacher quilt blocks first and then the (2) 8" assistant teacher quilt blocks. But that was very slow going, switching between the 2 sizes and 3 color schemes. My brain was getting befuddled. A couple of weeks ago I decided to switch gears and concentrate on one at a time. This way I was better able to focus on one plan and I was able to work so much faster.

These are the Purple and Green blocks for the lead teacher's quilt all completed. Now I need to get them laid out, design and sew the center block, then add the borders. In the beginning I wasn't sure how these 2 colors would work together in the overall look of this quilt but I'm happy with what I see on my design wall now.

Hopefully within another week or so this one will be on its way to my long arm friend and I can move on to the next one. Keep your fingers crossed for me that I can make speedy work of those blocks too and get all of these done before school lets out in 2 months.

And for the 1st time I have something to share at Connie's Linky Party Tuesday over at Quilting By the River.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Half Blogiversary and Giveaway!

A lot changes in 6 short months. Today my humble little blog in the quilting blogisphere is 6 months old. And I'm celebrating!

I've never celebrated a half birthday before. Have you? I figured out when mine would fall and perhaps it would be a fun thing to do every so often since it would be during the middle of the winter.  Once the kidlets are a bit older, we are going to give them the choice to have their parties on their half birthdays instead of their normal birthday because they were both born in December. Having birthdays right before the holidays isn't great.

My quilting life has come a long way. It was only early last summer when I even delved into reading quilting blogs and now I have one of my own, a bunch of terrific followers, some fun things to write about and share and I'm hosting events that other quilters actually want to participate in. Very cool!
So to honor this special occasion, I am giving away this set of 4 fat quarters to one lucky follower. It is from Michael Miller's Citron line.


Included is (in case the winner wants to get more):

Soleil CX 5183
Feeling Groovy CX 3359
Play Stripe CX 3137
Pluto Dumb Dot CX 2490

Delving into my stash to choose something to offer us wasn't easy. It is hard to part with fabric, any fabric. But this grouping grabbed my attention. It was part of a huge pile of lovelies that I received last fall from a wonderful friend and while I like the prints, the colors are just not me. I don't see myself ever using them. So off they need to go to someone who will love them more than I do.

To enter to win:

1) Be a follower of course and tell me...if you had to pick just one kind of cake to celebrate with when your birth anniversary rolls around, what would it be....cake flavor, filling (if there is one) and icing type/flavor. As a cake decorator I'm curious.

2) Blog about this giveaway and come back to tell me about it.

3) Post about this on Facebook and come back to let me know.

Entries are open until midnight on Thursday, April 12th. I'll pick a winner on Friday the 13th. If these fabrics are calling to you, enter to make them your own today.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Would you help?

While driving home last Saturday night from what used to be my nieces house, I had a long time to think. It is a 3 hour drive. I kept thinking about just how close we came to loosing all 4 of them in that fire. And I'm still thinking about it. I probably will for a long time.

After my nephew Danny was killed that Christmas almost 8 years ago, the idea formed to start a scholarship fund in his name. The 1st event the following spring was a dance. It raised $8,000. 

Danny was a baseball player and a mega huge Yankees fan.  I know these aren't great quality pictures but this is all I have on hand at the moment.
He was good. Really good. His life's goal was to play for the Yankees one day.

He was also a terrific football player. This isn't his normal jersey number, but I don't have the picture of him in his #8 one.
He would tell you that he only played football to keep him busy until baseball season started again. He was talented in this sport too. He was the quarterback for both the JV and varsity teams.

That first year after he was gone, one of his close friends came up with the idea of holding an annual softball tournament in his honor to raise money for the scholarship fund. Every year it has been the senior project for one student from his high school. Thousands of dollars have been raised and numerous graduates have benefited from the scholarship fund.

Plans are underway for the 8th and final tournament this summer. The "4 Girls" (my 3 sisters and me) are the organizers. His mom wants this to be the last year and we are ready to close this chapter of our lives in style. This will be the biggest and best tournament of them all. It is very fitting to hold the final one this year since his number was 8 and he was killed almost 8 years ago..

Raffles of baskets and gift certificates are a huge part of this event. This year I want to make a bed sized quilt to raffle off. But there is no way in the world that I can possible get it done in time for the late July event. I have to get the 3 teacher quilts done by mid June and after those there simply isn't enough time. But the idea came to me during those long driving hours....perhaps my quilting friends could help me with this Quilters are wonderful people and they have huge hearts, willing to help out when asked.

So I'm humbly asking if you would be so kind as to make a block and send it to me. They will get joined together into a quilt to be raffled to help make this year's final tournament an even bigger success. I know my sister, Danny's mom, would be over the top touched and so would I. I am asking for 12 1/2" unfinished Eight Pointed Star blocks in the color scheme of Red, White and Black. They are the school's colors (the Honesdale Hornets).

There are many options for stars with 8 points: Ohio Star, Sawtooth Star, Star Flower, Lemoyne Star, Double Friendship Star, Royal Star, Sister Star, Twisted Star and probably a bunch I haven't found yet. Any one would be great and very welcome.

If you are willing to help out a fellow quilter with this very special project, I would be forever grateful. Leave me a comment and let me know and I will email you my address (I'm not comfortable having it boldly obvious on the internet). Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.

March results-Crafting By The Numbers


Pitiful in relation to my hopes and expectations when the month started. 8 days. Only 25.8% of the 31 available days.

As usual, life stuff took precedence and my right hand gave me a lot more pain and discomfort lately so I wasn't feeling up to sewing a ton. My enthusiasm was there but when my hand aches, I have to give it rest.

So far this year I count 25 days of crafting (27%). Blech!Oh well. I can only do what I can do. April is here and so far it is starting off much better. Considering the fact that I really need to get the 3 teacher quilts done (hopefully before this month is over) perhaps my April calendar will have a ton more X's in the boxes by month's end.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award!

Again I am so honored that a fellow quilter thinks enough of my humble little blog to choose me for an award. This time Kathy bestowed upon me The Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you, thank you so much Kathy. It tickles me to no end that you chose me (and a few well deserving others) for this recognition.

As a recipient of The Versatile Blogger Award, there are 3 rules I need to follow...

1. Thank the person who awarded you.
2. Tell 7 things about yourself that your readers may not know.
3. Award five other bloggers with this award.

 Again Kathy, thank you! Mere words aren't enough to express my sincere gratitude.

Hmmm. 7 things to share that you don't know about me?

1. I'm a middle child of 5. And I'm a Libra. So I'm aways working to balance out all aspects of my life and family.

2. Also being a Libra, at times I have trouble deciding between 2 options. That means I'm typically considering the options and ideas of others before choosing which way I will go.

3. Totally opposite to Kathy, I don't watch any reality TV, other than Deadliest Catch of course! (The new season starts Tuesday. Hurray!)

4.  I finally became a mom for the 1st time at the age of 42. I was 45 when my 2nd child came home. I'll be attempting to retire by the time they start college, but they do keep me active. Thank goodness I don't look my age.

5.  During the wait for our Vietnam and then China adoptions to happen, I "met" a ton of other adoptive and waiting parents that have become great friends. Sharing our triumphs and struggles means a lot to me. There is nothing like having the support of others going through similar things with their kids.

6. The wait also led me to the person who is my very Best Friend Forever and I will forever be grateful for that. We are true Laotong, "Old Same" (from Snowflower and the Secret Fan). Our greatest wish was that our daughters were in the same orphanage, waiting for us to come and bring them home. And they were. So not only are my BFF and I forever entwined in each other's lives, but our daughters share their beginnings too. They will always be sisters.

7. I'm very sentimental. I'm a true sap and I cry easily. Whether it be over a movie, something sweet someone has given me or done for me or something adoption related, tears flow like water for me. 

For the final requirement I need to nominate five other bloggers for the award. Like others I follow a lot of  blogs.  Tough to narrow it down to just 5 but my nominees are :

*Madame Samm at Sew I Quilt Now - a real inspiration to all in the quilting community and someone I am honored to call a friend.
*Sharon at Vrooms Quilts - a "local" who I have yet to meet in person (hopefully at our NY shop hop in May) and who just blows me away with all that she accomplishes.
*Gmama Jane at Grandmama's Stories - a true kind and gentle soul who shares so much.
*Deonn at Quiltscapes - fun, fresh and fantastic.
*Judi at Green Fairy Quilts - her quilting blows me away, and she has a great shop too.

Please go and visit all of these fantastic blogs and share the Versatile Blogger congratulate them too. They SEW deserve it!

Don't forget about my Halloween See Saw Swap

There is still lots of time to join in on the fun of my newest organizational project. All of the details can be found here.

I find it very amusing that others hord collect Halloween fabrics too. But it is long overdue to actually make something with them. They can't sit in the drawer forever!

I've seen one center block done already by Diane. Very cute. It will be great to see what it becomes. As for my center block, a  lot of ideas are brewing and I hope to find the time next week to make one of them a reality.

So don't miss out! If you are in dire need of a great Halloween wall hanging to help celebrate what it my favorite holiday, sign up today!

Luv U Letters Quilt

This is my Luv U Letters quilt that I made a year and a half ago for my daughter's speech therapist's new baby. The fabrics are all from the Luv U line by Deb Strain for Moda.

I had purchased the panel and a couple of charm packs a couple of years earlier, in the very beginning days of my quilting life, but had no idea of what to do with them. When I found out that a baby was expected, I hunted the web and found a quilt pattern using a center panel at Allpeoplequilt.com. Thankfully the rest of the yardage I needed was still available online.

It pieced together amazingly easy and quick. I backed it in the yellow letters print from the same line. But I have to confess...being a relative newbie to quilting, when I ordered the backing fabric it never occurred to me to consider the directional nature of it when figuring the yardage. Once the speech therapist saw it she loved it just the way it was.

My long arm quilter did a simple swirly pattern using a red, green, yellow and orange variegated thread that went beautifully with the bright colors of the fabrics.
Once I started this blog I knew that I needed some better pictures of this quilt before I would post about it. The pictures I had previously were inside shots and didn't show the colors well. The therapist brought the quilt back to me this week and I was able to take outside pictures and now share them with you.

I can report that this quilt is loved by its owner. When she picked it back up told me that both she and her son missed it. That makes me so happy to know they are enjoying the fruits of my labor.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

An angel was watching over them.

This is what is left of the house my niece and her family were living in.

We believe they all got out alive because a very special angel was protecting them. This angel.
This is my nephew Danny. He was killed by a drunk driver in December 2004, one week after he celebrated his 16th birthday and one week before Christmas. I have never seen a community come out in support of a family before like theirs did. There were 1,500 people at the wake. Donations poured in from all over to cover the funeral expenses.

But the wound of loosing him has not and will never heal for my family. It is a hole in our souls which will be there forever. Thankfully in the wee hours of Saturday morning, he was protecting his family.

It was a 130 year old house, with very dry wood that went up lightening fast. The family of four decided Friday night to have a camp out in the living room, the room in the middle of the photo below. The kids' bedrooms were on the right.

This is what is left of the kitchen.

The roof collapsed.
The front part was the original house. The middle kitchen part was the 1st addition. The parents slept in the back bedroom, on the right below inside the door. This was the last addition to the house. If everyone had been sleeping in their bedrooms, there was no way my niece and her husband would have been able to get to the kids and get them out safely.
They don't know why they decided to camp in the living room that night but we are all very happy they did.

The cause of the fire? ARSON! Someone lit a fire under the covered porch that used to exist across the front of the house and the flames raced quick. Thankfully my niece heard the smoke detector in the basement go off, she thought it was her alarm waking her up for work, she looked out on the porch and saw the orange glow. They scooped up the kids and ran out the kitchen door.

My family was so very lucky that another horrible tradegy was averted. Danny knew that we didn't need to lose anyone else and we would have never been able to ever recover from that. So he did the only thing he could, he made sure his sister woke in time.

Today I am kissing and hugging my kids a lot more and thanking God for my blessings and for keeping my niece and her family safe from harm.