Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

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I'm very excited to announce that the Random Number Generator chose #61 - MiniMNM's:



Mini MNM's said...61





I am looking forward to letting my kids outside without the worries of heat exhaustion or death by mosquitos!
August 20, 2011 1:08 PM 

Death by mosquitoes! Um, I can definitely relate. I had so much fun reading through all your comments. Are we excited for fall or what?

If you didn't win, keep your eyes peeled. I'm sure I'll run across something else I'm willing to part with in the next few weeks.

I'm also very pleased to announce that as of yesterday afternoon, my etsy shop has been cleared out! I still have some items to list. I'll try to get that taken care of in the next few days.

Mini MNM's - I just sent you an email - be sure to get in touch with your mailing address.

I hope everyone savors these last few days of summer in anticipation of cooler weather around the corner!!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Best of My World

Blog post trailer: If you're looking for the giveaway post, it's here. For all the folks who have entered, I am LOVING reading through your comments. I think I'm more excited than ever for fall.


CRAFTINESS

  • Design Seeds - I have a hunch I might be the last person to find out about this site. It's not specifically for quilting, but check out all those color palettes. Don't you wanna make a quilt for each palette?
  • Lily's Dead Simple Quilt Along - If you answered yes to the previous question, then check out this blog post. Lily's preparing to host a quilt-along, where everyone makes the same pattern but pulls fabric, based on a color palette from design seeds. Brilliant.
  • Embellished Tea Towels - It's never too early to start filing away ideas for Christmas gifts or maybe beginning of school teacher gifts.


FOOD



LIFE

  • Party in the C.I.A. - I might like this version of the song better than the Miley Cyrus version. (Thanks to the husbatron for passing it along.)
  • Michael Penny House - I want to live in every one of these photos.
  • How to Love Your Laundry Room - I don't really like laundry all that much, and our laundry area is kind of a disaster.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Letting Go with a Giveaway

UPDATE: This giveaway is closed. The winner will be announced on Tuesday. 'Night all!

I'm finally coming to grips with the fact that I have more spare fabric than I will ever have spare time, so I'm de-stashing. Head over to my etsy shop to see if there's anything that tickles your fancy. I'm starting out with some old skool Moda pre-cuts. Keep an eye out over the next few days. I have a lot more left to list.

To celebrate the fact that I finally worked up the gumption to de-stash, I'm also giving away a Moda Scrap Bag, filled with strips from Sandy Gervais's Awesome collection - her annual autumn collection from 2 years ago. I'm a big fan of the scrap bags. They're composed of leftover selvedge ends of the fabric that was used to make pre-cuts. The scraps are cut on the length of the fabric, rather than the width, and they're usually only about 30" long, as opposed to the standard 42"-45" length on a jelly roll strip.

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All the strips in this particular bag are cream or gold and vary in width between 2"-4". They're pretty much perfect for a quick fall project.

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To be eligible to win the strips, just leave a comment, answering this question - What are you most looking forward to this fall?

Pumpkin bread? Crisp cool mornings? Setting your clock back an hour in a couple of months? Football? Mosquito hibernation? Sending the kids to school?

I'll close the giveaway Monday night at midnight EST and announce a winner Tuesday. Good luck!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Weekend Accomplishments

With all my quilts in progress, sometimes I get the itch to complete something quickly. With a family birthday coming up, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to start and finish a quick projet.

Enter Kate's wine tote tutorial over at Needle and Spatula.

The brother-in-law requested some wine for his birthday. While the Husbatron and I were out shopping for wine the other night, he said, "Well, I don't really know if my brother's looking for quality or quantity."

My reply: "I only made one wine tote."

That decided it. We went for one quality bottle of wine, as opposed to multiple bottles of cheaper wine.

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To me, finishing this little tote was kind of a big deal. I don't know if you've noticed, but I don't do bags. They just seem awfully fussy. (says the blogger who last posted about saving the tiniest bits of fabric and scraps) But after reading through the tutorial a few times, I worked up the gumption to just start it and carefully followed the step by step directions.

I'd definitely make the tote again - it used up 2 fat quarters quite nicely, and I also was able to bust a few smaller scraps of batting. I've even entertained the idea of modifying the tutorial to make larger-sized gift bags to keep on hand for birthdays, etc.

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I also received my fabric for the Color Wheel Charm Swap from Stitch 'n' Frame in Vicksburg, MS. One of my projects for this week will be to cut it up into charm squares and send it along on its merry way to Kati.

In the background of the photos, you'll notice a pan of pears. We have a few pear trees in our yard that have yielded quite the harvest this summer. They're way too hard to eat raw, but native North Carolinians say they're good for cooking. I tried a recipe for crockpot pear butter over the weekend and had my first adventures in canning Sunday night. I'm very pleased to report that all my jars seem to have sealed properly. I still have at least 3 more batches (that's about 15 more pints) of pear butter ahead of me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Every Last Bit

I don't know what it is, but I rarely throw away fabric. Sure, I'll get rid of it and donate some to The Scrap Exchange or to the guild to sell off for their annual auction. But you will rarely findfabric in my trash can unless it's smaller than a 1/2" square.

If the leftover bits are "incidental" random trimmings not associated with a larger project, I usually just toss them in my crumbs bin to make some crumb blocks (See Bonnie Hunter's crumb tutorial here),

distraction #4

or I'll trim them to fit in one of my scrap bins.

If they're part of a larger project, where I have lots of little bits that are all roughly the same size, then I'll bag up all the trimmings from the project and store them together. After following this routine for a few years without making something from these trimmings, I'm gathering quite the stash of little bits.

distraction #3

For some reason, all these leftovers have started to weigh on my mind over the past year. It's probably because I'm running out of room for them on the bottom shelf of my fabric bookcase.

Not that I really need a new project, but here are some inspiration mosaics for what I could possibly make with all these bits...


Bonus Triangles
bonus triangles mosaic

1. Dime Quilt- completed!, 2. An afternoon with bonus triangles, 3. Purl Soho Quilt, 4. pams geese block - oct australasian bee :), 5. flying geese in blue and red accents, 6. More Triangles Quilt, Georgetown, KY, 7. Save 'em, Wash 'em, Clean 'em, Squash 'em: The Mini Quilt, 8. Imogen's Quilt, 9. ZigZag Quilt

Selvedge/String Quilts

selvedge and string mosaic

1. Selvedge table runner, 2. Selvage Star - b, 3. Bookshelf, 4. DSC_0670, 5. Basting, 6. Selvage Mummy Progress, 7. Selvage Quilt Progress, 8. selvage quilt sneak peek, 9. Molly's Quilt, 10. Strings Quilt Back, 11. scrappy x is progressing like a champ!, 12. triangle strip quilt

Crumb Quilts

crumb mosaic

1. DSCN2121, 2. Morsel Mosaic Quilt top, 3. brown crumbs, 4. crumb quilt 2, 5. green crumb quilt, 6. Quilting detail, improvised wallhanging, 7. Stroke of midnight, 8. The Confetti Quilt, 9. Confetti Quilt for Anni

What about you? Do you save every last bit for a rainy day? If so, are your bits organized by color, collection, etc? Inquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Current Events

Over the weekend, the Husbatron and I spent several hours outside doing yardwork. In honor of the occasion, I diligently slathered myself in bug spray. Twice. The mosquitoes diligently avoided all skin that came into contact with the bug spray. Instead, they flew up my shorts and bit me on the butt. Five times. True story. I guess I'll be wearing old jeans for all future yardwork, even though it will probably be 90+ for the next month or so. I always scoffed at those treatments, where someone comes out to spray hardcore bug repellent on your lawn that supposedly lasts for weeks. As I sit here squirming in my seat, those treatments don't seem quite so silly.

In happy news, I signed up for the Color Wheel Charm Swap, hosted by Kati. The first round filled up in a matter of hours, but keep an eye out on her blog. She's planning to coordinate a few other swaps after this one.

Color Wheel button2

It's my first charm swap. Can you believe it? As much as I love charm packs, I've never swapped to get one before. Even though I supposedly don't like orange, I requested it as my first choice to please my subconscious, I guess. Kati assigned me orange and orange-yellow. I've actually had a lot of fun poking around online for orange prints.

Here are the fabrics I'm planning to submit:

colorswap orange

from Chrysalis by Sanae for Moda (for my orange print)

colorswap orange-yellow

from Modern Workshop by Oliver + S for Moda (for my orange-yellow print)

I'm ordering from a new shop - Stitch 'n' Frame in Vicksburg, MS. I mainly picked them because they were the first shop I found via quiltshops.com to have both the prints I had chosen. But I was also pleased to see that they're en route to the parents' house. Nothing like a little fabric shopping to break up a 16-hour car trip, right dear?

I've also been trying to make some headway on another charity project. The day after I mailed out my H2H quilts to Judi, one of the local guilds had a workday for Quilts of Valor. The space where we met was absolutely gorgeous with lots of natural light, and there was plenty of food and fabric to go around. I only brought my cutting mat, rotary cutter, and rulers because the idea of lugging my sewing machine around in the 100-degree heat was less than appealing. At first, I was worried that I wouldn't have anything to do, because everyone else brought all their cutting supplies AND their machines. But once I let it be known that I was willing to cut fabric for folks and press seams, etc, I stayed pretty busy.

I went to work on the scrap bins and cut out fabric to make some scrappy Just One Star blocks. The fabric from all the sawtooth stars came from the QOV scrap bins, and I'm pulling some cream background fabrics from my stash, along with some red and blue prints for the sashing triangles.

scrappy just one star blocks in progress

On a side note, I'm thinking this pattern would be a perfect way to use up a layer cake of Cotton Blossoms I've been hoarding saving

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or maybe a fat eighth bundle of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

(Image swiped from here: http://hollyhillquiltshoppe.typepad.com/boughs-of-holly/2011/03/can-i-get-an-amen-in-here-its-a-contest.html)

I'll file away that idea for a rainy day.

If you're here for the food, here's what we've been eating this week:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Piles

Are you a piler?

scrap quilt blocks stacked

I sure am, especially in my sewing room.

scrappy just one star blocks in progress

I tell myself that it's because I don't have a sufficient storage system and that the problem will be solved when I get a new! improved! storage system. But much to Ikea's dismay, that's not really true.

next scrap quilt

My piling instincts are deeply ingrained and defy all storage systems out there.

2 quilts' worth of blocks

I could browse Ikea and Pinterest, pining away for and designing the most perfect storage system for my sewing space, but that isn't very productive. Instead, I'm going to focus on appreciating the fact that I have the space to contain such a wide array of haphazardly stacked projects and start sewing some of these piles together into quilt tops.

signature blocks

Then they can be piled in a bin with the other quilt tops that are ready to be quilted. {Insert vicious cycle here}

blocks in progress

But those bins are stored under the guest bed. So they don't count, right?

preserved

On a random note, I don't think I've shown y'all this quilt top yet.

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It was my "twin project" for this H2H half-square triangle quilt. It's from a Chrysalis charm pack and a Freebird charm pack, and I used up the last of my Kona Snow for the background and border. I'm pondering some fun quilting designs in the middle of those cream diamonds and some heavy allover quilting in the cream background around the printed diamonds.