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Thursday, March 29, 2012

more Kickin'Stash blocks & a new quilt shop!

I was so excited to get some more Kickin'Stash swap blocks in the mail!  If you're not tired of reading about it yet, or if you're a more recent reader, you can read this original post about the swap or this post about the pattern.


We were each supposed to get three blocks swapped back.  Mine were put into two envelopes, and only one arrived.  The other one disappeared in the post!  Either some sticky fingers at the post office or it's stuck to the bottom of someone's mail cart.  Either way, Beth @ Eva Paige Quilt Designs insisted on sending me some more.  Because she's cool that way.  :o)  And yippee!!  Look at this one!  My mail box has never been happier. :o)
The penguins are soooo cute!!  This pattern would even make a good "I Spy"!


Swap block #2:


Swap block #3: 


And I also found my original sock monkey block in the package:


And together with this one that I made a week or two ago.. I now have a total of 5 KS blocks:


No plans for them yet, though I think they'll turn into a scrappy quilt when I get enough of them for a top.


My other sewing plans fell by the wayside after we made a rather spontaneous trip to the inlaws house this week for a couple of days to visit.


It was pouring rain as we drove through Sonoma.. it's gorgeous grape growing/wine making country!


So pretty!  But even prettier?  This new (to me) quilt shop on the outskirts of Sonoma.. we have been driving right past it for TWO years and I have never noticed it!  


So cute on the outside:


And positively dreamy on the inside:

Dreee.Meeee. !!  And HUGE!



Look at all the books..


There was even a side room with lots of kids' prints, and 30's prints, and a Thomas the Train table!!  Austin had a great time there, while I roamed around the store, and that is even my hubby in the pic looking at all of the books.


And.. they have a long-armer there that does all of her quilts custom and for really reasonable rates. Her machine is set up in the classroom .. oh .. did I mention the classroom?


So.. guess where the Swoon is going?  Yep, I made my decision.  Just as soon as we make another trip over there, the Swoon will be dropped off.  The rates are so reasonable that there is really no reason for me to "practice" on it and mess it up.  Here is the long-arm in the classroom space:
Look at all that yummy, rainbow-y thread back there!  


If you're ever visiting the area, you HAVE to stop here!!  I seriously wanted to move in.  And live there. 


Buster, however, was ready to come home.

Next time, I will share pics of what jumped in the pink bag and came home with me from Broadway Quilts.  It's a good thing that shop is two hours away, that's for sure!  What IS it anyway, about colorful fabrics that draws me like a sun bather to the sun?!


Gonna link up with Thursday Think Tank @ Making Rebecca Lynne.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012

new projects and fmq practice

Now that the Swoon top is done, I have been ogling over this stack of fabric that I have been drooling on for a couple of years, and have posted about a couple of times. I was seriously hoarding it for a while.  Oh Rainy Days and Mondays, I LOVE YOU!!


But now that I have printed out the templates for the pattern ("Celebrate"--free pattern from Riley Blake), they seem a little small to me.


So I'm thinking I might enlarge them, so the diamonds are bigger, and show off the umbrella print better.  It's one of my favorites of all time.

(SO in love.)


In Swoony news, I picked out a backing..which looks amazingly like my ironing board cover.


and am still trying to decide whether to quilt it myself, or send it out to have it quilted?  That is my Swoon question.


I haven't ever had a quilt machine quilted by someone else.. the idea is intriguing to me, but it is more expensive..  and I do like that sense of accomplishment when I do it all myself.  And I do like a challenge..


So I started practicing a little with the machine quilting.  With the feed dogs and the walking foot.  It's the only way I can do it right now.  I've tried with the feed dogs down, and just can't get the hang of it yet.  Anyway, I was able to do this, without drawing it out or anything.. so maybe if I actually traced a design, I could do it... ? ... Decisions, decisions.
This is the bottom view--try to overlook the fact that I had the fabric folded over on itself and caught it in the stitching. Oops.

In other news, I finally finished painting our spare room, and made a trip to IKEA yesterday for this little number:
And tonight, my sewing machine will sleep in its very own space, instead of on the dining room table. For the first time ever.

Can't wait to sit there and do some sewing!

Gonna link up with Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story.  Happy Tuesday! xo
Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pee-Wee Parade Winner

The blog hop is over, and drum roll..... the winner of 9 FQ's of Pee-Wee Parade from the Fat Quarter Shop is..


Quiltmom!!  




Ahhh.. I LOVE these fabrics, and might have to invest in a charm pack for myself. Someone keep me away from the FQS's web site!!  


Congrats Quiltmom!  Hooray for Blog Hops.  :o)  Thank you everyone, for entering and following along, it was a lot of fun and I had a great time *meeting* you all and checking out your blogs!  I love finding new quilting blogs to follow.


And many MANY thanks to the Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring the giveaway and being so generous, and offering this prize!


Happy Weekend to everyone!
xo
Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Swoon-DONE! Plus a Buster moment.

I feel like jumping up and down and doing the happy dance!  The Swoon is DONE..  just the top, though.  Not the basting and quilting and all that.


In fact, that's what keeps me from doing the happy dance..  I have no idea how I'm going to quilt it.  Even if I just do straight lines, it's such a big beast, it'd be so hard to get through my smallish machine.  Or should I have it done on a long arm?  But that costs money, and well, it's huge, so it would cost even more.  ???  I'll have to think on it for a while.  I don't know what to do.


Anyway, here it is.. before I sewed on the outer borders.. so it's even bigger than this.  I had to move the table to lay it out in the floor.


I wish the green polka dot background fabric showed up a little more..  


And I think the backing fabric I bought for it isn't going to work.  Might have to find something else.  I do love red polka dots...  If I had all of these questions worked out in my mind, THEN I might be doing the happy dance!  


In other news, I have been painting this week.. still had two walls to paint in our spare room. Remember last summer when I started painting it?  Well, I got two walls painted light grey, and then went with a green that was too bright for the other two walls, and stopped after one wall.  So two grey walls, one light brown wall, and one bright green wall. ?? Well, it's about time!  I settled on a very light celery-ish green for the two non-grey walls, so got them painted this week, and am now working on the cutting in at the edges.
Someday soon, I hope to have a sewing table next to the computer desk in the spare room, instead of on the dining table. :o)


I can't leave without sharing a photo or two of Buster... Newfoundlands are very hairy and drooly dogs.  Here he is after eating his dinner the other night. :o)


Real Newfies Wear Drool.


He L-O-V-E-S to get his face wiped clean with a towel, too.  He will walk face first into a towel and let you scrub his head and face with it.  He's so very sweet and lovable..  And messy.  And lacks table manners... obviously. :o)


Gonna link up with W.I.P. Wednesday over @ Freshly Pieced. And Thursday Think Tank @ Making Rebecca Lynne.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Giveaway News--Please Read!

Remember this party that we are all enjoying?


You will not be able to win, even if your name is drawn, if you are one of these:


Lots of bloggers like to respond to their comments/entries, so if you have spent the weekend entering all of these blog hop giveaways, and haven't received a response from anyone thanking you for stopping by or for entering, then you are more than likely a "NO-REPLY BLOGGER".  It simply means you have not allowed your email address to be seen, therefore if you win, there is no way to contact you to let you know! Yikes!


Which you will need to fix by following the simple steps in this post from 4 You With Love:


CLICK HERE so that you can spend a couple of minutes fixing the problem. 


I'd hate for someone to spend so much time entering all of the giveaways only for nothing!  And I have noticed that a surprisingly high number of comments on my giveaway are no-reply bloggers.  So I'm sure it's the same for other giveaways, too.


Hurry and enable an email address to be linked to your account!  So that you can be notified.. In case you win!!  I'd be so sad if I picked a winner that I had no way of getting a hold of, and had to pick another. :(


(It's really easy to fix--go do it!)
Friday, March 16, 2012

FQ Pack/Blog-Hop Giveaway!!

Last time the Quilting Gallery had a blog hop giveaway, I missed out, but not this time!


This time, I will be hopping with the rest of you, AND having my first sponsored giveaway, brought to you by the Fat Quarter Shop.


They have generously offered to send a fun and colorful FQ pack to one lucky follower.


Nine FQ's of Pee Wee Parade! (click the link to see each of the fabrics closer)

So cute!  I could think of all kinds of uses for it.. Children's projects or quilts, zip pouches, framed purses, etc.  


All you have to do to win is  leave a comment telling me you follow for one entry.


If you choose to share it on your blog, come back and tell me for *two* bonus entries.  That's it! This giveaway is open to everyone, including internationally. :)


Thank you Thank you Fat Quarter Shop for sponsoring this giveaway. I have had nothing but wonderful service when ordering from them and I could spend hours surfing their site and drooling. 




When you're done entering here, click the button at the top of my page to head over to the list of participating blogs (which will be posted at midnight tonight, I believe)and enter some more giveaways!  The giveaways are open from 3/16 - 3/23. 


Happy Hopping!  May the Luck of the Irish be with you!!
xo
Monday, March 12, 2012

New Favorite Scrap Pattern

I'm taking a Swoon break today for  two really fun reasons!


Today is my first time to link up at Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, a new (to me) blog I found, where you can link up anything you're working on that's fabric-related. (Button located in the right side-bar if you're interested.)


It's also Blog-Around Tuesday and I'm taking part in my first Blog-Around, as Beth from EPQD officially releases her new pattern, "Kickin' Stash", this week.  

She has asked if I wouldn't mind writing about my experiences using her pattern, so here goes.  This is what I've been working on.. 



Back at the start of the year I was able to help Beth test her new pattern by joining a block swap/group quilt project.  Each participant made four blocks.  She kept one for the group quilt, swapped the rest out, and mailed three back to each of us who participated.  


Here is one of the swap blocks I received:



I will post the gorgeous group quilt in a minute, but first let me tell you how easy the pattern is.  I whipped this up tonight to share in my post using my Swoon scraps:


And there weren't many Swoon scraps to use.. they aren't kidding when they say don't make cutting errors in the Swoon.  (I even pieced some of my tiny scraps into small scraps.) But "Kickin' Stash" uses such small scraps, and manages to showcase them in a way that makes them look purposeful and beautiful. I wish I had enough of these scraps to make a whole quilt.


AND, this is how small the smallest scrap in the block is:
(that is even part of the selvage edge, it hides well in the block) The possibilities are endless!  Its measurements are also friendly for leftover charms and jelly roll scraps.


If you have tiny scraps of your favorite fabric line that you can't bear to toss (Flea Market Fancy?), you could pair them with a FQ or two of a complimentary color and you would have a whole new quilt showcasing the scraps in a beautiful way!  I just love it!  


Or you could just do random not-matchy scrappiness.  Or random scraps, but in the same color family (which is what we did for the swap).. it's very versatile.


I really do love it.  And not just because Beth has become a very good blogging buddy, and is fun and hilarious, and generous, and kind, but because it really is great and fun AND easy! It is great for all skill levels, and is especially beginner friendly.  Small pieces make for short seams, in case you need to rip one out.  Also, trimming the small scraps to the right size would give one good practice with the rotary cutter. Plus, there is not a seam to be matched except at the center, not a point to be made, just straight seams.  Very forgiving.


  
And I love it b/c now I don't feel like a hoarder anymore for keeping those small bits of fabric that I just can't part with.  I now see their potential.


Here's the group quilt, as pictured at Patternspot.com, where "Kickin' Stash" can be purchased as an instant download for a discounted price this week to celebrate its release. :o)
The group quilt was used as the pattern's cover quilt. (my block is the aqua on the far left) Didn't it turn out so colorful and gorgeous?  All made from random scraps from all over the country. I love what the pattern can do for scraps.  They don't even look like scraps.  There are three sizes included in the pattern, and here are two more photos: (I believe the one on the right is showcasing more group/swap blocks)


Of course, I like the pattern's sassy name, too.  


So what are you waiting for? Go download the pattern and start kickin' some stash! :o)  You won't regret it!


Haven't decided?  Want to read some more reviews?  Here's the blog-around schedule for the week:


Monday, March 12 - Deb Donovan (Aspen Hill)http://aspenhill.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, March 13 - Kelli Fannin (Seriously....I think it needs stitches)www.thatlookslikeitneedsstitches.blogspot.com

Wednesday, March 14 - Anna Dzik (West Third street Designs)http://www.westthirdstreetdesigns.com/

Thursday, March 15 - Marianne Nowacki (Hillside Quiltworks)http://hillsidequiltworks.com/

Friday, March 16 - Linda Pearl (The Patchwork Pearl)http://www.thepatchworkpearl.blogspot.com/

Saturday, March 17 - Terri Sontra (Purple Moose Designs)http://www.purplemoosedesigns.com/weblog/


Happy Tuesday! xo  Go check out Fabric Tuesday, too. :o) I'll be back to sashing the Swoon on Wednesday.






Fresh Poppy Design
Sunday, March 11, 2012

Swoons 8 & 9...CHECK!

You read it right.. two Swoons in one post!  I finished them all.. and I think I just saw a pig fly past my window! Can't believe I'm done with all nine of them.  


No. 8:



No. 9:


So..laid them out in the floor..as best I could..
And tried to figure out how to arrange them. Decided on this:


Bad lighting, not enough space to lay them out and get a good photo.. :/


Even got the horizontal sashing rows done, now just need to do the vertical sashing.


Oh, and I couldn't finish block #9 without making one last cutting error. ;) Requiring two seams to make a 3 1/2 in. square.


After finishing them all, this one is still my fave.


More sashing to do tomorrow, and then maybe I'll have a completed top!  


And if you're blog surfing tomorrow, it will be the first day of the Kickin' Stash Blog-Around.  Where participants in the Scrappy New Year group quilt/swap will blog about their experience testing Beth's new pattern. Head over to Beth's blog to see the links.  My day is Tuesday. :o)  So be sure to stop by.


xo
Thursday, March 8, 2012

Back on the Swoon Wagon

Last week, I nearly fell off the wagon, and lost interest in my Swoons, but some very sweet people  lent their encouragement, and I plowed on to finish Block #7!  Here she is.


I love red, and I love dots.. so I think this might be my favorite one now.. I'm kind of in love with it, but I like them all.  That being said, ironing these pieces of red dots, on top my of red polka dot ironing board cover.. bliss. :o)

(I managed to match some points!)



Now #8 (green print with yellow dots) is cut and marked and pinned and in the process of being sewn together.  I don't know what I was thinking last time saying I might have two blocks to post this time. hahaa  


Didn't quite happen.  Yesterday morning, an hour after drop-off, my little mister had to be picked up from school.. this time he had thrown up!  So many things going around right now. *sigh* And they are so thorough, even militant, about hand washing at school but I guess with kids, things are still going to go around. :(


I'm looking forward to finishing Swoons #8&#9 and getting the top completed.. b/c I can't stop thinking about cutting into my stash of Rainy Days and Mondays by Riley Blake.  


I thought I had found a pattern for it last fall.. (free Riley Blake pattern)


..but recently I found a different one that I like a lot better.  I think it will be gorgeous!  It's called "Celebrate" and it's a free project pattern sheet from Riley Blake also.


I think the larger diamonds/harlequin-ish pattern will show off the umbrellas better..  I've had this fabric for ages and just couldn't bear to cut into it, but now that I'm 100% decided on the pattern, I kind of can't wait.


But I will squash back my Quilter ADD and focus on finishing the Swoon!!  Because I love that one, too.  Thanks for the virtual support and cheering on!


Gonna link up with the Thursday Think Tank @ Rebecca's.


**If you want to win a quilting mag, head over to Beth's blog to enter..magazines are expensive these days!**
**200 follower giveaway going on over @ Cathy's Blueberry Patch!**
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