Saturday, May 31, 2014

What we've been up to lately

Life in the spring always seems to get so busy. It is a good thing though.The kidlets have been spending as much time outside as possible, between the days with rain of course. We recently received this hand-me-down kiddo four wheeler (made by Fisher Price) from my sister and after it got a new battery, my two were off to race up and down our driveway.
They are actually good about taking turns with it and thankfully it doesn't go very fast.
The one who isn't on the four wheeler is driving this fancy schmancy vehicle, again another hand-me-down though this one came from one of hub's coworkers a few years ago. There is no way in the world we'd buy these things ourselves, they cost too much darn money.
The kiddos love them and we are grateful for the hand-me-downs and once my kidlet outgrow them, we'll hand them down to another family.
Monday we had a bit of excitement here. You of the training wheels on Sunshine's bike kept falling off and it did it yet again while she was riding in the driveway as I was getting dinner ready. As the story goes, Daddy asked her if she wanted to try to ride without the training wheels and as is typical with my fearless girls, she quickly agreed. She was so excited when she came and got me to come and see what she can now do.
Either Uncle Tom or Daddy stayed close by and she isn't too steady yet, but as the day wore on she got better and better. Having the seat lowered so that she could put her feet on the ground easier when she wants to stop definitely helped. I fully expected this event to happen sometime this summer, especially since Jammer just took off a few weeks ago sans training wheels and if nothing else, my Sunshine is very competitive, I just didn't expect it to happen this early.

On the quilting front, I was able to finish all of the EMS/Fire quilt blocks on Sunday.
Here is sneak peak at the start of the layout. While she was here for dinner, I got my friend Alana to help me tweak the block placement, ready to be sewn into rows.
My work schedule got switched up a bit this week and I was able to sew the rows together on Thursday afternoon and the borders when on yesterday.
I even completed piecing the backing and making the binding for this quilt so it is now all ready to be quilted and finished. This quilt is going to be raffled off at the New York State Fire Chief's show in a couple of weeks and the proceeds will benefit the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. 

I even got some time last night to sew the binding on the front of the Purple Hand2Help quilt. The Quilt Challenge is coming to an end and I need to get these finished up quick. Thankfully this is a baby quilt so the hand sewing will go quick.
On tap for this weekend, besides dealing withe usual laundry pile, is quilting the other 2 Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge quilts and get them bound. Penelope hasn't been playing nice again so I'm going to have to quilt these on my domestic machine. 

The weather here expects it to be a mix of sun and rain so we'll be in and out accordingly. At least I've got plenty to keep me busy when we are stuck inside dodging the storms.

American Made Brand Blog Tour - Week 1 & 2 collage

Week 2 of the American Made Brand Blog Tour is now complete. So far we have visited 40% of the states in the USA.
As I did last weekend, after the 1st 10 stops on the tour were completed, I made another collage showing all 20 of the state license plate blocks that we've seen so far.
I really love the variety of designs and the final quilt that will be on display at Quilt Market in Houston this fall will be so fabulous. I just wish that I could be there to see it in person.

Next week we will visit another 10 states on the blog tour. You can find the entire blog tour list here. If you missed any of the stops along the way, go back and check them out. Some of them still have their giveaways open for entries, including me (until Midnight, Sunday June 1st), so you still have a chance to win a FQ bundle of American Made Brand fabrics.

Rest up and be ready to hit the road again with us on Monday. There will be more terrific state license plate blocks to behold.

Friday, May 30, 2014

American Made Brand Blog Tour - Day 10

It is Friday again and the last day for this week on the American Made Brand Blog Tour.
Our state hosts today are:

Mississippi - Life as a Quilter

Don't forget to enter for a chance to win a FQ bundle of American Made Brand fabrics. My giveaway is open through Midnight on Sunday to go to my post from Monday to enter to possibly win.
I'll do another license plate collage post tomorrow so check back here to see what they all look like together. The blog tour will resume on Monday with 2 more states to visit and blocks to be revealed.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

American Made Brand Blog Tour - Day 9

You not having to spend any money on gas as we tour the USA on the American Made Brand Blog Tour, it leaves us more money in our wallets to...
...stock up on these beautiful fabrics for ourselves. I'm going to. Aren't you too?

Today we find ourselves visiting the states of:

Louisiana - Fleur de Lis Quilts

During this blog tour there are 50 chances to win a FQ bundle of American Made Brand fabrics courtesy of Clothworks. You can still enter my giveaway here.
So what are you waiting for? Get hopping over and see what designs they came up with.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

American Made Brand Blog Tour - Day 8

So where will we be traveling to today on the American Made Brand Blog Tour?
To the states of:

Kentucky - Simply Sandy

Each blogger will be hosting a giveaway for a FQ bundle of these fabulous American Made Brand fabrics and you can still enter my giveaway for them too here.
This is a great road trip so far...lots of lovelies to see and No Gas Required!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

American Maded Brand Blog Tour - Day 7

On the road again,
I just can't wait to get on the road again,
The life I love is making quilts with my fabrics,
I can't wait to get on the road again.

I have no idea why that song is running through my head this morning but it is so I thought it would a an interesting way to start this morning's post for the American Made Brand Blog Tour.
Thank you to everyone that left the sweet comments about my New York license plate block yesterday. It was fun to design and I'm looking forward to working with these awesome fabrics again soon.

Today's detours along the AMB highway takes us to:

Rhode Island - Seaside Stitches

If you didn't see my post yesterday revealing my block for this tour you can read it here. And remember to enter for your chance to win an 8 piece FQ bundle of American Made Brand fabrics courtesy of Clothworks or a stack of 6 inch of these lovelies sent from me.
Have fun checking out today's creations. I'll see you along the way.

P.S. I tried to keep up with the replies to your comments on my post from yesterday but when the emails started coming in faster than I could type, it was time to cry "uncle". I am reading each and every comment so please keep them coming but please know that I just can't reply to them all during this giveaway.

Monday, May 26, 2014

American Made Brand Blog Tour - Day 6 and my day

Welcome! One of today's stops on the American Made Brand Blog Tour is my state of New York.
The email asking if I'd be interested in participating in this blog tour arrived the day before I headed to MQX East last month and to tell you that I was thrilled is a huge understatement. Thank you so much goes out to Clothworks for this opportunity.

Once I got back from MQX a stack of pieces of each of these gorgeous solid fabrics awaited me.
I really love the theme behind the brand...A Farm to Fabric Movement which means that every part of the process of producing this fabric happens here in the USA. That is definitely something worth celebrating.
The fabrics are just wonderful to work with. The colors are vibrant, the feel is great and they unravel very little compared to some other solid fabrics I've worked with in the past.

I had a long list of ideas of things to include in my New York block but eventually narrowed it down to four icons that I believe represent my state well. Here is my New York license plate block.

A New York Beauty block was one of the 1st ideas I came up with and truth be told, this is the very 1st paper piecing I've ever done, aside from my 2 practice pieces that is. I used the colors of Light Aqua, Aqua and Dark Aqua to represent the water that is such a big part of this state... from the Hudson River to the ocean surrounding Long Island to the Finger Lakes upstate and Niagara Falls, just to name a few.

The horse (also my 1st try at applique) represents all the horse breeding farms and racing history here. Not only does New York have Aqueduct and Belmont Park but it has the famous Saratoga Race Course which this year will be celebrating it's 151st season.
The Rose is the state flower and I decided to create it with counted cross stitch using the Light Pink fabric as the base. I left out those areas of the cross stitch pattern where the floss matched the fabric and just let the fabric shine through.

And of course I had to include an apple. You may thing that it represents the Big Apple New York City and while it does, more so it represents New York's apple growing industry. We are the 2nd largest apple producing state averaging almost 30 million bushels of apples grown on over 50,000 acres across the state each year. 

So I hope you like my New York license plate block and have learned a little about this state that I have called home for most of my life. To celebrate this blog tour American Made Brand is donating one 8 piece FQ bundle for each blogger to giveaway and I'm offering a 2nd giveaway for a 6 inch stack of squares of these American Made Brand fabrics.
For your chance to win, leave me a comment telling me which variety of apple is your favorite. 
My followers get a 2nd chance to win, just tell me how you follow.

Are you a No Reply Blogger?  If you never get replies to the comments you leave on people's blogs then yes you most likely are. Just make sure you leave your email address so that I can get in touch should you win.

The giveaway will remain open through Midnight, Sunday June 1st.

Also remember to visit my blog tour partner today:

North Carolina - A Stitch in Time

Thanks for stopping by. You are welcome back anytime.

P.S. My giveaways always produce hundreds and hundreds of comments and it just isn't possible to reply to all of you but please know that I read and truly appreciate each and every one.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

American Made Brand Blog Tour - Week 1 collage

As I was drafting the American Made Brand Blog Tour posts for this coming week I got to thinking.
I wonder what all the blocks will look like once they are sewing together into a quilt. Then I thought...why wait? I could get a glimpse of that now so I created a collage of all 10 blocks from the 1st week.
I like, I like! To see all the posts from last week with the links to each blogger that created the blocks click here. I think I'll do this at the end of each week for the duration of the blog tour. Good idea? I think so.

Stunning Stitchin Sunday

Life has been insanely busy still around here and for the past few years that seems to be how it typically is for me in the spring. Part of that is because I always end up with a bunch of projects with early summer deadlines and partly because it is big industry trade show season at work so there are lots of behind the scenes requirements there. 

I know that I missed doing a Stunning Stitchin Sunday post last week and that might happen again here and there but I never planned it to be a weekly series, just a regular series. With all the goings on, I've gotten really behind on my blog reading. The unread posts seem to be hovering around the +600 mark a lot lately. Hopefully during the early mornings this weekend I can make a huge dent in that. 

Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy today's "show" and don't forget to come back tomorrow to see my license plate block for the American Made Brand Blog Tour.


Friday, May 23, 2014

American Made Brand Blog Tour - Day 5

The American Made Brand Blog Tour is on the road again today with 2 more stops on this road trip through America.
Today we will travel through the beautiful states of:

New Hampshire - Park Hill Farm
Virginia - Pat Sloan's blog

Each quilter along this no gas required road trip is hosting a giveaway courtesy of Clothworks' American Made Brand fabrics and 50 people will each win one 8 pc FQ bundle of their new solid fabrics.
So remember to enter for your chance to win. Now I'm heading off to check out today's state license plate block designs. I'll see you there.

The blog tour will take the weekend off but I hope to see you back here on Monday because it will be my day to share the license plate block that I designed and created for my state of New York.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

American Made Blog Tour - Day 4

The road trip continues today on the American Made Brand Blog Tour.
 So far this week we have visited the states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Idaho, Alabama and Massachusetts. I don't know about you, but I am loving all the fantastic state themed license plate blocks I am seeing. I can't wait to see what is next.

Today we visit the states of :

Plus don't forget to enter the giveaways on each blog tour stop. There are 50 chances to win a 8 piece FQ bundle of American Made Brand fabrics.
 My days to share is Monday, May 26th. I hope to see you back here then.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

American Made Brand Blog Tour - Day 3

It's day 3 of the American Made Brand Blog Tour and so far we've seen 4 awesome license plate blocks representing Delaware, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Idaho.
Today we will visit 2 of New York's neighboring states:

Alabama - green Quilts
Massachusettes - A Quilting Jewel

Plus remember to enter to win 1 of 50 8 piece FQ bundles of American Made Brand fabrics.
Happy touring!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

American Made Brand Blog Tour - Day 2

Did you see the great license plate blocks created that represent Delaware and Pennsylvania yesterday on the 1st day of the American Made Brand Blog Tour?
If you missed them, you'll definitely want to go back and check them out. Plus you can enter for your chance to win 1 of 50 8 piece FQ bundles of American Made Brand fabrics from Clothworks.
Up today for day 2 is:

Idaho - Quilt Taffy

So hop on over to their blogs to see what they've created and enter to win.

Monday, May 19, 2014

American Made Brand Blog Tour - Day 1

Rev up your engines and get on the road with us. Today is the start of the American Made Brand Blog Tour.
We are touring the entire United States in the order that the states joined the union. The 1st stops on this tour are:

Delaware - Blue Striped Room
Pennsylvania - Cheryl Lynch Quilts

Not only will you see great inspiration on this trip but at every one of the 50 stops along the way, you'll be able to enter to win a 8 piece FQ bundle of American Made Brand fabrics courtesy of Clothworks.
Plus rumor has it that many of the designers are adding to this prize with some goodies of their own, items representing their state.

And even cooler - after the blog tour is over all of the blocks will be sewing together into a quilt that will be displayed in the American Made Brand booth at Quilt Market in Houston this fall. How exciting is that? So what are you waiting for? Get in gear and go and see what they've created and make sure you enter to win.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

7 years ago today

Seven years ago today our lives were changed forever, we were 8,727 miles away in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to finally bring our Jammer home. This was the 1st photo of us together.
Look how stinkin cute he was! It still makes my heart skip a beat.
Back in our hotel after the papers were signed. He was then officially and forever our son.
I was not happy with my hair during this trip. My flatiron refused to work and the humidity was brutal.

Here is my "baby" today. So proud of the boy he has become but also so sad that the sweet baby years are behind us. He promises though that he will always be my baby.
He is still so cute and I'm sure at some point he'll not want me to tell him that but I will never stop. Momma's prerogative.
Our children are such a blessing in our lives. They are so much work but they are so worth it. We know how lucky we are to have them and never a day goes by that we don't thank the heavens for allowing us to be their parents.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sneak peaks

Progress has been made the past few days on some projects. Yippee! On Wednesday I worked on the EMS/Fire quilt that will be raffled off during an industry trade show next month. There was lots of chain piecing happening.
By the time I left to pick up the kidlets from school, I had completed the Red frames around all the focus blocks.
Plus I was able to complete a couple of the blocks so that I could show my boss. This quilt is going to turn out great and I hope that it raises a lot of money for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure.
Yesterday was another sewing day, after I got back from grocery shopping that is. By Jove, I think I've got it! This was only my 2nd attempt at paper piecing and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.
Here is a sneak peak at what all the paper piecing practice is for. As you can see, this is really small. It will finish at 3 1/2" high. Sewing the inside curve on an arch this tiny wasn't easy!
This bit will be part of my New York license plate block for the American Made Brand Blog Tour that starts on Monday.
The entire tour schedule can be found on the above link and I will be sharing my creation on Monday, May 26th. You won't want to miss this!

Today I hope to finish up this block and I'm hoping to finish the EMS/Fire quilt top by the end of the day tomorrow. So what are you working on this weekend?