Friday, April 26, 2013

Mail Call

Look what showed up in my mail today.

I won this last week from Loris - Lucky Pup Quilter. I can't wait to get reading!
Thanks Loris!

I sure hope you get a surprise, good news, or at least no bills in your mail today. :-)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Design Wall Monday

I subbed today and forgot to take a picture last night so this post is kind of late in the day. It doesn't really matter, since the project is still up on the wall.

I'm working on the backing to my version of Totally Decaffeinated, which has the borders on but is too big for me to get a picture right now. Here's what I have so far.

I like the design, but really dislike that light fabric. I'm not sure where I got it or when, but it is so thin that I've decided I can't use it. I'm really disappointed because I had enough of it and I wanted to use it. I just know that I won't be happy if I continue on with this fabric, so I guess some of tonight will be spent looking for light/neutral fabrics. 
Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times

Sunday, April 21, 2013

April Showers Blog Hop Winner!

The random number generator has picked #75 as the winner of the half yard of baseball fabric that I am giving away as part of my April Showers Blog Hop post.

DeAnna S. who said...
           Really cute mug rugs! The baseball is great and a perfect coaster size. Thanks for sharing
           and for the giveaway chance.

An e-mail has been sent to DeAnna. Thanks to everyone who played along and enjoyed the wonderful mug rug creations.

Check back here often, as I plan to have more giveaways.

More Pictures

Here are some follow-up pictures of what projects were being worked on last weekend by the guests in my sewing room.
Connie was working on her version of Slide Show by Atkinson Designs.
She is well on her way to completing her blocks and constructing the quilt top. I love her fabrics! 
Jerry was quite productive. He practiced some free motion quilting and then constructed this cute project. Here it is naked (no borders).  :-)
And now, with borders.

I think Ann and Paula like their purses! They are sooooo cute, but I forget the name of the pattern.
Margaret spent some time playing with the layout of her log cabin blocks.
Don't you just love the bright colors she's using?

I can't wait for the next time everyone is here and completes their projects. I'm also looking forward to seeing the new projects they begin. I love having people over to sew. :-)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Snow Socks?

So who would have thought that I would wake up on April 20th and seriously consider wearing my snow socks? I mean really. I guess the 80+ degree temperatures two days ago made me think the socks could be put away. Perhaps yesterday's gale force winds and quickly dropping temperatures should have been a clue. I never did profess to being a quick study.  :-)

Enjoy your day. I hope you do something quilty!

Guests in the Sewing Room

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of having a bunch of people here to quilt and sew. I took some pictures and I'll let them speak for themselves. We had a blast and I think most everyone felt good about what they accomplished.

Julie, Paula, Margaret and Jerry
Work, work, work

Jerry, Connie and Ann
More work!
Paula and "Thinking Ann"
I wonder what's on her mind.
Paula and her purse
Ann started it and Paula finished it!
Ann and her purse
This is going to be so cute!

Margaret is multi-tasking with Log Cabin blocks and a tea cup quilt
Wait until you see her blocks. You're going to love them!

Julie is sewing her first quilt!
She's beginning a 1600 quilt on steroids. She's using 4 1/2" strips.
Connie is squaring up blocks - her favorite part of quilting - NOT!
Just look at that concentration.

Ann must be thirsty!
She always makes me smile, and sometimes drool.

Jerry is so excited that he can't work.

Eileen just presented him with his official Milan Quilt Builders membership card
He's our first male member.
I think he's up for the challenge.
Check back tomorrow for some pictures of actual projects that were being worked on last weekend.




Friday, April 19, 2013

Catching Up on Things

I'm finally getting caught up on my e-mail responses to the comments that people made on my April Showers Mug Rug post. (Just click HERE if you want to see the post.) If you leave a comment before Sunday evening, you can be entered into the giveaway. YEAH!

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the comments and was pleasantly surprised by how people reacted to the baseball mug rug. It was really so simple to make and I was almost too embarrassed to include it in the post, but since that is what truly inspires me every April, I knew I just had to do it.

I usually stay on top of sending the e-mail out much better than I did this time, but last night I was at a baseball game! I had a really fun time at the game and am pleased to announce that Ty's team, the South Central Trojans, won by a score of 14-9. It sure was fun seeing them come alive with the bat as well as have some really nice defensive plays. Way to go team!

Unfortunately, the Cleveland Indians did not follow suit. Maybe next time....

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mug Rug Blog Hop and a Giveaway!

It's the last day of the April Showers Mug Rug Blog Hop, which means that it's my day to share. YEAH!!!!

I have so enjoyed seeing all the wonderful creations over the past two weeks and am in awe of the talent of so many people. Thanks to everyone who has participated.

I also want to send a great big thank you to our cheerleader
You two ROCK!!

Grab a cup of coffee or other drink of choice and check out my co-participants for today.

With "my day" being the last day of the hop, I was a bit intimidated as I saw the wonderful creations shown each day. I finally remembered that this isn't a competition, and that my creations are for me and my use. That's all that matters and once I remembered that, making the rugs was easy and fun. I hope you enjoy them.

So, here are my creations...
It's been kind of rainy here lately (imagine that - rainy in April) and the flowers are a bit slow in blooming. I decided to take matters into my own hands and make something that might coax more flowers to break the surface and let us enjoy their beauty. Either that or it would look like flowers growing.
Don't these flowers look great amongst the green blades of grass. They're even in baskets already. Each basket block measure 1.75" x 1.75" and were fun to make. I fussy cut some of the flowers (like the one below) and I like how they turned out. Just a reminder that if you're going to use monofilament thread to quilt, use smoke on darker fabrics. It won't shine like the clear does here. Of course I didn't have smoke when I made this and didn't think it would show too much. Guess I was wrong.

This mug rug is a bit on the large size (8.5" x 8.5" ), but it's perfect for those mornings when I need the LARGE cup of coffee.
I've really enjoyed seeing all the mug rugs that reflect April showers and May flowers, but when I think of April, rain and flowers are not the first things that pop into my mind.
I've made a mug rug to reflect MY April mind set. See if the following pictures help you figure out what I think of when I think of April. (Hint: think about the song you hear from one of the American truck manufacturers.)
OK, let's all sing along...
I've got baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. They all go together in the good old USA. Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet!
I love baseball! I grew up following the "Big Red Machine" in Cincinnati and then I moved up north and began following the Cleveland Indians. (That was a big change - going from the National League to the American League!) My husband was never a big sports fan, and he laughs at the fact that I start taking notice of baseball trades and transactions in February and March. I think it's quite normal. :-)
This mug rug is very versatile. It's great for a refreshing beverage during a ball game.
But I think it's best for that morning "cup of joe" when I'm reading the scores from the night before or thinking about the game that will be played later that day.

 I've made a couple of other baseball related projects over the years. Click here for a wall hanging made for a friend of my daughter. (Be prepared, it might be considered a bit racy.)
I mentioned a giveaway, didn't I? Since I like baseball so much, I thought a half yard of baseball fabric would be in order.
For your chance to win, just leave a comment below. You don't have to be a follower, but it would be great if are.
I'll pick the winner on Sunday afternoon (4/21/13).
Now, go play ball, I mean go check out the other blog hoppers from the list above. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

UFO Parade

As part of Judy L's Patchwork Times UFO Parade, I've pulled a couple of projects that I've chosen to commit to completing. (Boy that sure sounds like poor English, doesn't it.) Anyway, I decided that I REALLY need to get some of those completed tops quilted and bound because they're doing nothing but taking up space right now. (Not that they won't take up space later, but right now the space they occupy is bugging me.) Here are a couple of projects that I WILL complete.

What's the tentative date of completion you ask. Well, I haven't gotten that far yet, but these are going to be sitting front and center so they will be "in my face" until they are done.

Tears of Joy
Margarita Sunrise

Hunter's Star

Rainbow Stars
Ok, wish me luck!
Oh, and by the way. I have a lot of other UFOs but I decided to just pick out these and not be overwhelmed. I think that was a good plan.  :-)
Check out Judy's Patchwork Times blog to see who else is working on UFOs.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Anyone who knows me well, knows that I try really hard to always find a positive in just about everything that I encounter. It's not always easy and some times it takes a little bit of time, but I'm usually successful.

This morning, as I was making my rounds on the April Showers Mug Rug Blog Hop,

I came across something really wonderful and decided I NEEDED to share it with you all.

Here's the quote posted by Lavonna at Zellerwear. She also has a wonderful picture posted and mug rug to match. Just click on her name and you'll magically be transported to her post.

"Anyone who thinks sunshine is pure happiness, has never danced in the rain."

Now if that isn't putting things in perspective and finding a positive in all this rain we've been having, I don't know what is. Well it's not raining right now, but as I look out the back door and see the completely flooded field below, I think a little puddle-splashing just may be in order.

Who wants to join me? A word of caution, though. It's muddy, so wear old clothes. Bring a change of clothes with you and I'll stick the muddy ones in the washer while we munch on the apple cake that's baking right now.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Look What Happened

Check out what happened over the weekend. (Please ignore the old dead leaves and other yard waste.)

Yep. Those are actual flowers and they are really beautiful. Of course the hail we got tonight probably destroyed them, but at least they looked good for a couple of days.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Design Wall Monday

It's hard to believe, but I actually have a picture to share!

If you read any of yesterday's posts (here, here, and here), you'll know that I kicked myself in the butt and got some sewing done. (I know, it's about time.)

Well, here's the status of the Totally Decaffeinated quilt so far.

I'm liking this!

I just realized that this picture was taken before I added the first small border. Oh well. That is sewn on and the flying geese are all made for the second border. I'm adding some star blocks to the second border and I haven't made them yet, but that shouldn't take long. I plan to add another small border and then I have a large outside border that doesn't need pieced. That's the plan right now but as you probably already know, that could easily change. I told you this was going to be big!
Unfortunately I can't do any sewing until later tonight, but now that the fire is re-ignited this shouldn't remain an UFO (minus quilting) much longer.
Of course then the quilting dilemma begins....
Check out what other quilters have on their design walls today.
Go to Judy L's Patchwork Times
Also, don't forget the check out today's April Showers Blog Hop creations.

April Showers Blog Hop

Today begins the April Showers Blog Hop!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Totally Decaffeinated Update

The camera battery is charging so there's no picture right now, but I'm excited to say that the rows are all sewn together. YEAH!! I'm making my decision about the inside border now, and then I'm going to continue piecing my border flying geese.

This is so much fun! Why did I wait?


Here's the first update on my sewing today.

The reunion with the sewing machine went well. She's all cleaned and oiled and I even changed the needle. I wound a couple of extra bobbins just because, and now I'm ready to sew and be another productive member of the quilting community.

Before I begin, I should bring you up to speed on one of the projects that will hopefully see some major progress today.

A couple of years ago, one of our guild members made a quilt called Totally Decaffeinated and it was gorgeous! I decided that I wanted to make one, but finding the pattern/book proved to be quite challenging because it was out of print. (In the bottom picture, the Totally Decaffeinated quilt is the one on the right. See, isn't it beautiful? Kathy's was made with Christmas colors and it was stunning!)

Well the search was on and I finally came across the book (quite by accident) and bought it. Now you would think that since I fell in love with the quilt so easily and that because the search for the book was not easy that I would have chosen fabric and get started on it right away wouldn't you? Obviously that wasn't the case and this book sat about for about a year until this past summer when I decided that it would make a great "leader/ender" project. I pulled fabrics and got started cutting.

Par for the course, as I was cutting I decided I wanted to make a few design changes and the already large quilt (98" x 110") was going to be even bigger. (I'm still "playing" so we'll all be surprised now won't we?) The change didn't really affect my fabric quantities though because it's scrappy and I just pulled more fabric.  :-) Here's some of the fabrics I'm using.

Using the leader/ender concept, I started sewing units in June of last year. I know exactly when I started because it was while I was in Washington Island, Wisconsin. Here's a picture of the basic block units that I began sewing. I started with the two patch blocks and moved on to the flying geese units after all 512 two patch units were made.

(Soon after I began working on this, the guild raffle quilt committee announced that they were going to make this quilt for the 2013 project. The guild's project is much less scrappy than mine but I know it's going to be beautiful! Maybe the fact that the guild quilt will be done soon is the kick in the butt push that I needed to get mine done.)
Anyway, for various reason, I didn't work in this project continuously but instead only when it felt right to do so or when I didn't have a pressing project that needed done. (There were times when I was working on two class samples at one time and of course that took precedence.)
So fast forward to about three weeks ago and for whatever reason, I pulled this project out and sat down to make some decisions about the changes I wanted to make. I decided that I really couldn't make those decisions until I had all the blocks done so I took the time and finished them. Here are the two blocks used for the body of the quilt.
Stacked Log Blocks (32 of these)
Rising Star Blocks (16 of these)
I am sewing the blocks into rows, and  my goal is to have the inside of this quilt done today and begin sewing all the flying geese units for the borders. The original pattern calls for 66 flying geese units for the border., but this is where I decided to make a change. I'm going to have flying geese on all four sides, instead of just two. That means I have a lot more geese to sew. Fortunately I'm using the no-waste method and I can make four geese at a time.  :-)
I'm headed back to the machine. I'll post progress pictures later.

Look What the Wind Blew In...

It's a post from me!

Wow, I can hardly believe that March is gone and even though I chastised myself almost a month ago about being a bad blogger and not posting, it didn't help. One measly post was written in March. One!! That is sad. I wish I could say it was because I was on some wonderfully exciting trip or working on a top secret project, but unfortunately that is not the case.

The mere truth is that I was too unorganized, busy or just plain un-inspired to sit down and write something for you all to read. There I said it. Whew! I'm glad it's out.

Unfortunately, it hasn't just been blogging that's suffered. I haven't spent nearly enough time in my sewing room to accomplish much. Don't get me wrong. I have been involved in some quilt-related things, just not actual quilting for me or for fun.

Well, this morning I feel the desire to sit down and re-acquaint myself with my trusty sewing machine. I'm hoping "she's" not too upset with having left her for so long. I think I'll treat her to a spa routine (cleaning, oiling, etc.) before I put her to work. That should make her feel loved and useful again, don't you think.  :-)

I promise that I'll be back later today with some pictures and hopefully words of wisdom - or at least fun.