Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Friends Together Forever - Little Artists' quilt finished

Here it is!
The quilt that so you all have been so anxious to see completed. It turned out really wonderful, better than I ever thought it would. The teachers let the kids choose the name for the quilt so I very proudly present

Friends Together Forever
My long arm quilter used a primary rainbow variegated thread and stitched straight lines in the sashings. She didn't do any quilting in the artwork blocks themselves.
The teachers chose this fun Schoolies Alphabet print for the backing and I did a scrappy binding with the leftover strips from the sashings.
My shop hopping partner drove on Friday and while we traveled I hand stitched the binding down on the back, getting 3 sides done before we got back home. I stayed up to finish the last side and clipped the final thread at 11:30 pm. The quilt finished at 65" x 65".
On the way out of town on our shop hop, I ran by the school to show the teachers and the kids the quilt. They were beyond excited and each kid wanted to see just where his/her block was placed in the quilt. It was fun to hear each of them yell "There's mine!"
The head teacher, on the right, received last year the Guiding Young Discoveries quilt and she brought it to school when we started this project so the kids could see what we were working towards creating. You can see it on the chair next to her.

The label was sewn on right before I had to leave to deliver the quilt to the silent auction venue.
The response was beyond overwhelming. Everyone wanted to know how we made the art blocks and I received tons of compliments. Even the event coordinator, a quilter herself, was amazed. The other teachers were jealous of this cool project....there is quite a bit of competition between them to see who's class project will sell for the most money during the live auction part of the event. Although the class projects were really great, as you can guess, this one was the highest seller.

The 1st grade teacher who Jammer will have next year said to me "we have to talk"! I'm not sure how we can top this project but I'm sure that if we put our heads together, we'll come up with something equally spectacular.

If you want to see how we did the art blocks, you can read all about it here. I know that I'll be using this method again sometime. Handmade gifts for the grandmas will be a perfect project for me to do with my kidlets during the warm days of summer.

Crimson Diamonds - Finally Finished

I've never done bindings as fast and I've done them this past week. Here is the totally completed quilt.
It measures 48" x 50". Saturday morning, right before I took them to the silent auction event location, was perfect for taking the pictures. I do love the way the red pops but still blends well with the other fabrics in this quilt. The charms were Moda's Love Letters.

My quilter chose a Rust colored thread for the front and it looks perfect. We did audition a number of other Red threads and they just weren't right.
The pattern she used is the open swirly flower and it suits the design so well.
For the backing I used Bella Bliss Tiny Flowers Cream by Andover.
This was a perfect smaller project to make for the school's silent auction fundraiser. During the evening I got a lot of compliments on it and I was proud that it was well received.
I do like this pattern a lot and will definitely use it again in the future.

Monday, April 29, 2013

300 Posts!

 
Wow! I just logged in to draft a new post and saw that my NY Shop Hop post was my 300th. Not bad, not bad at all considering the fact that this blog yet 18 months old.
 
I'd typically host a giveaway to celebrate but since I'll be joining in on Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day next Monday May 6th, I'll hold off and make that giveaway a bit more wonderful instead. 
Thank you to all my readers, those that have been with me since the early days and those of you that are newer readers. I do honestly appreciate each of you, the things we learn from each other, the inspiration we share and the fun events that I have had the honor to host.
 
More fun is to come, you can bet on that.

New York Shop Hopping

I have lots to share this week so look for all the upcoming posts in the next couple of days.
First up is the NY Shop Hop that my friend Alana and I did on Friday. We didn't get to all the shops (we weren't planning to) but we did find a bunch of ones that we hadn't been to before.

Flying Geese was our 1st stop. I've only been to this store a couple of times in the past and I have to say that we were both very disappointed, both in what she had to offer and the overall condition of the shop.
At each shop on this hop, you received a free fat quarter and this is the one that I chose from the pile she had on the table. 
 I did learn later that of the 3 original owners of this shop, only 1 is left and she is trying to do it all by herself. From what I understand it is only a matter of time before she closes for good. In some ways, that is a shame, but in others I personally won't miss it. My 1st visit there back in 2007 was pleasant but the couple after were not. Their attitude certainly was less than friendly and from what I've heard many other shoppers feel the same way.

Quiltbug in Esperance was next up on our list. It is a really cute shop in an older town in an older building. I just love these sorts of places. They have so much more character than a strip mall or modern building. And to make this particular stop even more fun, I finally got to meet in person Sharon of Vroomans Quilts. She lives nearby and haunts this shop frequently. We are both looking forward to our next get together.
The shop was busy, there was lots to see and some great goodies. I spotted these Michael Miller blender and I want some! But I couldn't decide which colors.
Since we are definitely planning a return trip soon and since we had a lot more stops to make that day, I held off getting some of these. I need to check my stash to figure out which ones that I will buy.
I did grab this fun Halloween panel and a yard of the bolder pink fabric. I'm not sure why it called my name but it did. The pink fat quarter was my selection from this shop.
Next up was The Yardstick in Cobleskill. It was a pretty non descript building but the offerings inside didn't disappoint.
I grabbed a 1/2 yard of the Boo print and a yard of the green blue/green fabric. I couldn't find any of the coordinates for that one so I'll have to hunt online to find it. Again I chose a tan/brown fat quarter as my freebie (yes there are plans for all this woodsy bits) and they gave everyone a Sulky color card which will surely come in handy.
The bonanza at this shop was finding the bags offered up for a bargain price of $9 and each bag was chock full of various size bits, some pretty large. All in all there was 2 1/2 pounds of fabric in this sack. Alana bought one too and we are going to get together and do some swapping soon.

Our next visit was to Log Cabin Fabrics which recently moved to this new location. It was much easier to get to and I'm sure the better location will help with sales. I ran into a friend there whom I hadn't seen in a while so there was a bunch of catching up that happened before I took a look around.
As you can imagine from their name, they specialize in Colonial and Civil War type prints plus wool projects. There was a bit of other items but not a ton. Since I didn't find anything there that screamed to be taken home with me, I walked out with just my free fat quarter.
Our 5th shop of the day was Foofsique in Chatham. It is another small shop but it did have a bunch of fun goodies inside. This is the shop where I spent the most money though I still kept my acquisitions to a minimum.
Here is another free fat quarter, of course in the came brown/tan color way, the crayon quilt pattern that I could not, would not resist and a bundle marked 60% off.
In that bundle that cost me all of $12 was these 2 Halloween panels and the coordinates to make 2 wall hangings. I forgot to take a picture of their samples but no matter...they will be fun additions to my Halloween decor.
The absolute best find was this panel and coordinate from Loralie Designs. I found out about these fun ladies a couple of months ago and have wanted to get some. They are hilarious! You know they will end up a great wall hanging for my studio in time. I also got one for my sister Tina since I got her hooked on these ladies too.
I forgot to take a picture of the last shop of our day, Pumpkin Patch in Lee, Ma but it was again a small shop in an old house in a great little historic town. I was pretty tired and starving at this point and only decided to purchase this adorable Pixywood Holiday panel from Michael Miller with a couple of the coordinates.
Isn't she just great?
They were sold out of the other prints in this line so again there will need to be some online hunting to find the rest. This is the shops wall hanging from the line.
I'm not going to do mine exactly the same as this one but at least their version gives me ideas.

Dinner was definitely our next need before the hour drive home and on the way to the restaurant we stopped to snap a picture of the fantastic firehouse for hubby and Jammer. It is new but it was built to look old.
And then down the driveway behind the firehouse we saw this cool truck.

We texted the picture to hubby and inquired as to whether our fire company should get one like this ourselves to use as our next brush truck.

All in all we had a great time. We saw a bunch of shops that we are most definitely going to visit again. I was happy that I kept my spending low and since I wasn't looking for anything in particular, other than thread on large cones and long arm rulers and such (I struck out on those btw), I had no preconceived notions of what purchases would strike my fancy.

As usual though finding the time soon to make all all my new little projects won't happen for a bit. My projects in ready baskets are beyond overflowing so after the teacher quilts are done I need to get some of them done so that I have space to buy more new ones.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mad Binding Rush

No time, no time.
No time to chat, no time to read blogs let alone write comments, no time for pretty much anything else.

I'm in a mad binding rush this week, to finish the 2 quilts for the school's annual silent auction fundraiser dinner this Saturday. They need to be completed and handed off to the event's coordinator by Saturday morning.
I just received them back from my long arm quilter Sunday afternoon. Five days to completely bind and label 2 quilts is a daunting task.

The 1st one is done. I sewed the binding onto the front Monday night and then did the hand sewing on the back during a marathon 4+ hour session Tuesday while watching the Harry Potter movies. I have yet to actually watch the entire series and I'm determined to do just that while doing the bindings on all the quilts I have to get finished this spring season. Thankfully I don't work on Tuesdays so it was perfect timing to get this task done.
I prepared the label last night so now all I have left to do is to sew it on and take the pictures.

I got about 1/2 way done with sewing the binding on the 2nd quilts' front side before I called it quits last night. 
As soon as I pick up the kidlets from school this afternoon, I'll be back at it and I'll keep working tonight until I can't keep my eyes open any longer. Keep your fingers crossed for me and hope that last night's crappy sleep (thanks to Miss Sunshine) won't have me nodding off early.

Tomorrow is NY Shop Hop day so if my quilting cohort will agree to drive, I can work on the hand sewing part while we travel. I have yet to do my local shop hop and while I'll probably not get to all the shops, I'm not missing out on the chance to see some of them that I haven't been to before.

Wish me luck and other than my work day, pray that time flies by for me SLOWLY! I'll need all the help I can get to pull this off.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Team Joey

Lots and lots of envelopes and packages have arrived with all sorts of great fabric squares inside along with tons of funny jokes, sweet sentiments and silly stories. They are all for the 100 Good Wishes quilt for Joey.  Thank you, thank you to each and every one of you that took the time to send one, two or even a few more. Kris and I appreciate it so very much.
For those of you that offered to send a square and haven't had the chance yet, I ask that you do so by this coming Monday. Kris is sending me the pile that she has collected locally from Joey's friends and as soon as that box arrives I'll be starting to work on the piecing the quilt together.

I also want to update everyone on Joey's situation but it is much easier for you to just read everything on the blog that his mom set up to keep friends and family informed. Team Joey can be found here.
Picture borrowed from their blog

The 1st time I clicked on the link, I couldn't read the posts. It was too hard. I imagined that it was my own son. Such a bright smile and obviously a huge love of life this little boy has. I know that all of us are wishing and hoping that he makes it through his diagnosis and treatment and will grow up to play beside the best violinists in the world some day.

With all the tragedy that has happened this week in Boston and in Texas, the entire nation has come together in unity, support and shared grief over the losses of life and all those injured. I'm very proud that my quilty friends have also come together to help Kris and I make this 100 Good Wishes Quilt for him a reality. We are all now members of Team Joey.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Thankful


Tonight I am thankful, so very, very thankful.

Amongst today's horrible news from Boston, while thinking about the dead and the injured, I have to keep telling myself that my family was very lucky today.

You see.....my niece Gina, my sister Tina's daughter, ran in the Boston Marathon today.

All I know at the moment is that she is home, she is safe and she is uninjured. I don't know how far she was from the blast site at the time it happened. I'm sure that I will find out more tomorrow.

I keep thinking about how close we could have come again to losing another one of our family members. Gina was very close to Danny, they were only 2 months apart in age.
The fire that almost took my niece Alisa (Danny's sister) and her family was just over 1 year ago.

We have had more than our share of grief and close calls. Enough is enough.
My family wouldn't have survived another tragedy.
Please keep all those suffering in your thoughts and prayers.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Quilter's Public Service Announcement: Weekly Giveaways at Christa's Quilts

Christa's Year of Giveaways
Who doesn't love giveaways? I sure do and I'm betting that all of you do too.
Well Christa of Christa Quilts announced today that she is going to host a whole year of weekly giveaways on her site. Wow! That is fantastic and super generous of her. I didn't know about Christa's great shop until just recently and to be totally honest, I haven't bought anything from her YET. With my upcoming big expenditure for my long arm, I've been behaving but there are some new lines coming out soon that are on my "Must Own" list so you know that I won't be behaving for much longer.

Now I could have just entered the giveaways and not told you about this too but that would have been selfish and just isn't my style. I'd rather spread the quilty love. So head on over and enter yourself. This week's prize is this cool Olfa Blue Splash Rotary Cutter.
More color in our sewing spaces is good. I'm sure it will look great in my tool bag. And I'll happily accept your congratulations when I win each week. Just kidding, of course. Or am I?
Those of you that have read my blander for a while know what a goof ball I can be at times.
No really, I hope there are a lot of very happy winners in the coming 52 weeks. I just hope that I am one of them.

Sign up to receive Christa's blog posts directly into your Inbox so you don't miss out on the chance to win each week. You just might be very glad that you did.

This has been a Quilter's Public Service Announcement!