Saturday, January 30, 2010

WIP/UFO check-in time!

So, what do you all think of the "new look" to my blog? I've got mixed feelings but think I'll leave it for now so I hope you don't find it obnoxious. (HA! I almost just wrote "upnoxious". Glad I caught that or I may have lost a few of you!)

Onto important information. TELL ME your WIP/UFO progress.  I have to say, I have another finish! I have finished my giveaway quilt's quilting and it will be on its way Monday. I will not post a picture until the owner provides permission after she has a chance to see it.

Well, and if she likes it. I was originally thinking an all over flower pattern when I saw the top on her blog but then, when I saw the fleece back she chose, I had to re-think it. I like my choice but am concerned she might think it a little too simple.

(Hey! It's my blog and I'm allowed to be self-conscious when sending another quilter my work. I mean, after all, I'm at the beginning of what I hope will be the first decade in many of doing this. So... deal with my insecurities. I'm not looking for support. Just a way to get it out so I can focus on being romantic with my man instead of obsessing. -wink- Did I just type that? hehe)

So, I have officially completed 3 of my WIP/UFO items and I'm thrilled.  In Feb. I don't have such lofty hopes but I will work hard b/c the number of new project ideas pushing into my brain is very tough to ignore. 

Have a great afternoon. I'm off to read more lovely crafter blogs linked to the giveaway. If you haven't browsed, you really should. The number of people out there who are talented and sharing their talent through blogland is amazing! Go look... you will be spending too much time ont he computer just like I am.


Friday, January 29, 2010

I entered a quilt contest!

First, my giveaway is still going strong until the 15th. You still have time to participate!

Second, I hopped over to Homestead Hearth thanks to my blog friend Quixotic Crafter and got a great deal on some FQs.  25 for $25! 

Bummer though, they ran out of the pattern I really wanted to purchase. Now I have to find it somewhere else.

Finally, I entered  a quilt contest! I'm shocked and amazed I even did so but those penguins are so cute, I couldn't resist. 

I call the quilt "BRR!!!" and voting is next week over at Quilting Bloggers. Whether you want to vote for mine or someone else's quilt, please pop over there and take a look.  Traffic helps keep the site going.

Have a good day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart annual giveaway

I came across this giveaway and decided I wanted to participate.  For those of you stopping by, welcome and enjoy my blogland home for a bit. I always love it when new faces (and old regular faces) stop by.  Wait, not that my regulars are "old."  And not that you are "regular" in any way.  Oh brother! I just love it when everyone stops by. It keeps a gal from being too lonely!


You see, I hosted my first giveway last month on my birthday and I enjoyed it tremendously. It's very selfish of me, but the feeling I got when I had a chance to give a stranger something fun and different is, well, it brought me some euphoria!

Honestly, it's the same kind of happiness I felt when I watched those Disney movies, like Aladdin with the magic carpet whisking the hero and heroine to safety and to fun places. It's the kind of happiness I feel when I see my kids do something good without being asked. It's the kind of happiness I want for myself and I hope, I can pass on to one of you fellow bloggers by giving my services. By giving you something you usually don't get for free or for yourself. A chance to have someone else do some of the work. I want to take you on my carpet ride of euphoria and therefore, I offer you the following:

1) 2 patterns for bags,
2) 2 packs of Dritz inner fuse, and
3) my services*.

*Here's the disclaimer and parameters of my services:
(A) I am not a professional longarm quilter. I have a mid-arm machine and I would qualify myself as an advanced beginner/intermediate.
(B) I will quilt 2 pieces of fleece together for you or a finished, pieced top to a fleece back. No batting will be included and binding your quilt is not included, either. 
(C) I will provide the thread and work with you regarding color of thread and design choice for the quilting and I will work with you to determine what you'd like done within my capablities. In other words, this will not be show material. This will be a lovely "I get to use it to cuddle up in," quilt.
(D) You will provide the pieced top and fleece backing (please be sure they are already sized to match with the backing being a minimum of three to four inches longer and wider on EACH side) or the two fleece pieces.  (Note, anti-pill fleece works best for the quilting and the durability of the finished product.)  You mail those to me and as part of the giveaway, I will mail the quilted product back. (Please note, I am not responsible for any taxes or tariffs, a foreign country may impose on your prize or any postal restrictions.)
(E) The final size can be anything from a wall-hanging to a twin size quilt.
(F) IF YOU DO NOT SEW (as this is a crafting bloggers giveaway) ENTER ANYWAY. We may be able to come up with a way to still give you my services.

To give you a sense of what I can do, here are 2 links to my webshots albums for your browsing pleasure of my work with fleece.

2-sided fleece
pieced top/fleece back

So, for anyone interested in my giveaway, please comment to this post.  Please be sure, if you don't have a blog where I can contact you, you leave me an email address.  Feel free to tell your friends and definately click on the link above to the Whimsical Bohemian's blog. There are many other crafty bloggers out there with their doors open for new visitors to stop by and say hello.

This giveaway runs until Feb. 14 at 11:59pm CT. The winner will be announced on February 15th.

Good luck and thank you for stopping by!  Please come back soon.

Cheers! Beck

Sunday, January 24, 2010

"...I wish I may, I wish I might

Have the wish I wish tonight."

Do you remember that nursery rhyme?  Well, tonight I made that wish. I wished this completed quilt would magically show up on my doorstep along with that chair I had previously posted about.

I can see a newly designed sewing room with these but, sigh, no chair and I don't want to do all the work on this quilt so for right now, I've decided my best bet is the childhood rhyme.

:-)  Beck

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another finish - LSU Quilt

I've finished another quilt!

Invariably, and I must share this, the minute I complete a quilt and lay it down for photos, one, then two and eventually all three dogs come to test it out.  You should have seen me wrestle (literally!) with the girl on the right when I laid down my penguin wall hanging. I was laughing so hard, she couldn't take my "no" seriously and kept trying to get on that thing to lay down. She pushed, leaned, low-crawled to get to it... but I digress.

The LSU quilt is complete. I tried practicing again on machine binding (if you look closely, you can see the stitching on the back of the quilt where the binding is) but alas, I miss edges (must have a problem pinning accurately because it surely can't be I'm not sewing a straight line!)

I just hate the way it looks so back to hand-finishing the binding.  That's okay, it gives me time with the hubby watching television together (translate that to the shows he likes which I don't care much for.)

I also tried writing with Ms. Midge. Surprisingly, I can write very well going sideways up a quilt and straight across a quilt. You may not think this is much to brag about but in the world of Sarcastic Quilter, it's HUGE.  I have the penmenship of an 80-year old doctor who cannot see.  Always have.

At last! The tall son comes home and can hold the quilt up so you can see the entire thing without the fur-babies.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

First UFO/WIP finish and a giveaway!

It's done, thanks in large part to the quiltathon, and it's so cute!  I saw this hanging in my local quilt shop and mentioned how cute I thought it was. I was promptly told they were doing a 2-day class on raw-edge, machine applique for, get this... only $25!

I signed up.  My first class. It was low-key, come and go as you please, 3 or 4 people.  Sa-weet!  I learned some basics. Where I was fudging my way before, I now know how to accurately tack and stick down the applique prior to sewing. I've learned about zig-zagging around curves.  I've learned why, no matter how careful I am with cutting fabric, I'm always just a little bit off.  AND THAT, my friends is so important, I have to share with you. I think it makes more sense to explain it with pictures so a mini-tute on how to properly measure & cut your fabric is on its way.

Yes, I'm sure there are other tutorials out there but I don't feel like searching this morning. -wink-

Now, onto the good stuff!  My poor, cold, penguins!

Now, over at Kati Cupcake, there is a fat quarter giveaway. As much as I don't want anyone else to enter, the fabric is so pretty I have to share the opportunity. Go check it out!

Cheers! Beck

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So close

I'm so close to being able to post a photo of an actual finish but DANG WORK is getting in my way.

Stay tuned, it's a cute one! -wink-

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Quiltathon update - 10am CT Sunday

First, I worked later than normal for me to catch up a little from yesterday's start and I finished a third top I'm extremely proud of.  More on that in a moment.

Regarding the practice piece yesterday. That was the Western wall hanging in my WIP list. I'm leaving it as a WIP for now b/c I may rip out all those stitches or, more easily since someone was able to direct me to the designer of the pattern, get a new pattern and make a new one without all the building and creating errors.  We will see but my original intent to have it as a wall hanging has not disappeared so that keeps it as a WIP.

Now, the LSU quilt top is complete and will be quilted today. Since I am going to do a meander stitch with LSU and Tigers written in randomly, this should quilt fairly quick. I need to make the binding strips still out of some leftover fabric for this one. I may not get this complete today because I can't machine bind and keep the sewing "hidden" but I'm going to try!

The penguin wall hanging needs to have the binding finished and the embellishments sewn on. I believe this will be complete today! Hooray!

Finally, the top I finished last night (except the outer border which will be completed in about 20 min.) and a call for help.  This is my original design and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. So thrilled in fact, I am going to write down what I did so I have the record if I ever want to make it again.  I never knew a creation from start could be so satisfying. I've had some concerns along the way I measured or cut wrong, etc. but so far so good.  This will be backed by a light minky fabric. I do not plan to put any batting in.  I have a few quilting ideas but decided I would call out to you in blog land for your ideas as well.  I love ideas to choose from. 

Now, how are YOUR projects going?  Feel free to pop over to Judy L.'s site to check in on all the other quilting fools this weekend!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quiltathon update 1 - 6:24pm CT

I didn't manage to start quilting until 3pm today so I'm behind where I wanted to be on my schedule. However, I am making great progress and still have the goal of showing you 2 completed quilts by weekend's end.

In the meantime, DH took care of supper tonight - from scratch! 

For your laughing pleasure, my PRACTICE with invisible thread for wall-hangings.  I'm glad I used this to practice, I learned some valuable lessons (which I probably would have known about if I had bothered to go read about anyone else's experiences with clear thread.)

1) Clear thread is not so clear on dark fabric. 

2) Raw edge applique MUST be ironed down thoroughly.

3) Draw the outline before you try to free-hand. Especially when you are a crappy aritist!

4) BEG all your BLOG LAND FRIENDS for HELP in finding another pattern/kit like this one again. 

As it turns out, I really like this kit but have too many booboos on this one (trust me, piecing, quilting, etc.) to make it wall worthy. I can't find the pattern again, though so if you know what this is called, please let  me know.

Now, the reason I showed you the practice, I have just finished quilting and will start binding tonight a snow man wall hanging. The clear thread works great on this one. Pictures tomorrow!

How are you doing?
The Quiltathon has begun.  Since DH is going to make dinner tonight (chicken orzo soup) I've only got to get off this computer and do the grocery shopping then I can get to my craft.
I'm working exclusively on WIPs/UFOs today and hope to have pictures of at least 2 projects by the end of the weekend, I'm that close! :D
Who else is using this weekend as dedicated quilt time?  Don't forget to post progress over on Patchwork Times.

Friday, January 15, 2010

EQ6 fun

I was playing around with EQ6 for fun yesterday. Here are some of my creations just because I think it's time I posted something colorful and with less words.

Colored Triangles:

Easter Parade

Pretty in Pink or Pepto Bismal?

Which way out?

Lavender Fields

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On the diet front

Tortillas, as in tortilla wraps, are just plain blah. They taste so chalky to me. As a matter of fact, it's the same problem I have with beans (i.e., Kidney or lima). It's a texture thing.

I have to remember the only way to make it passable is to add a "spread" of some sort which means I really better get back to figuring out how to create some unique veggie butters for my chicken or turkey.

I'm thinking my next "butter" will be a sweet potato butter to put on a whole-wheat wrap. Add some healthy turkey and a lightly sauteed (translate to only olive oil spray to prevent sticking) mix of sweet onion (maybe shallot?),dried cranberries, fresh spinach and a pinch of fresh garlic.

What do you think? Sound better than just plain old tuna with a little mayo, some diced tomato, spinach leaves and bread and butter pickle, right? That was today's wrap and B-O-R-I-N-G.

Okay, thanks for helping me brainstorm tomorrow's wrap. I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


I went searching through a seldom used box of quilting books/patterns today and came across 2 envelopes of blocks for 2 quilt tops.

My first thought was, "uh-oh" two more UFOs I need to complete.

My next thought, "no, they aren't on my original list and no one will know."

My final thought, "nice try idiot. you have to fess up, this is your resolution after all. Not to mention, but I will, you negotiate legal terms and conditions every day... perhaps a little honesty with those who bother to read your posts would be appropriate."

So, I come to you, hat in hand to say, the good angel won the discussion and I have 2 more UFOs I'll be posting to my list. It gives me sadness to add these, for some reason 1 per month average felt a whole lot more do-able than 1.17 per month.

Hey, it's a big difference! Really. Just as I was thinking of starting a new project. Maybe I'm not really sad about the UFOs but more sad that I have to figure and reorganize my schedule once more if I truly want to get these done AND be able to add a few other projects into the year.

Or maybe I feel sad because I really didn't get a chance to do any sewing today except to add patches to my son's boyscout shirt.

Or maybe it's just my "woman's time."

Yeah... maybe.

So, back to it. 2 more UFOs added. At least I'm honest. BLAH

Monday, January 11, 2010

She finally received the Pink Quilt!

This shall be the last post on the subject but I was once amazed at how God and our loved ones can work to get messages to us from the other side. A couple months ago I wrote about the Pink Quilt and sending it along to its home.

I didn't hear anything for a long time but turns out, that's because her husband (who knew I was sending it) held on to it until Christmas day. Last week, I received this note from the recipient and wanted you to hear the end of the story as I did. With her permission, here's the email I received.

Thank you so much for the beautiful quilt! Brian said that you sent the quilt much earlier, but he didn't give it to me until Christmas.

It is amazing of you to give it to me in honor of my mom. You may not know that she was an accomplished seamstress and wanted to learn to quilt, but never got the chance. Ana now sleeps with it on her bed (there was zero chance I would get it for mine after she saw it) and it is like you sent Ana a quilt from my mom. Also amazing is that the quilting pattern you used has daisies in it with the ribbons. Daisies were my mom's favorite flower and I couldn't believe they were sewn into the quilt! Thank you so much for this precious gift- I am crying again as I type this note- it means so much to me to know that she is remembered by so many people and that she is still working through all of us. I hope that you will have a chance to meet A and see your quilt "in action". I will have Brian post some pictures on Facebook so you can see how beautiful it is on her bed. Thank you again.

One of the great things this note tells me and the reply I sent to Liz is that that from the time the idea took hold, the quilting design is not my normal go to motif. I told Liz I really thought her mom finally quilted and did send the gift directly to Ana.

So there you have it, "the rest of the story." Happy Monday everyone!

ps - this is the quilt at the top of my blog page

Friday, January 8, 2010

Quiltathon- introduction

Judy Laquidara over at Patchwork Times, has scheduled Quiltathons for the first 4 months of this year.

I can think of no better way to tackle those UFOs/WIPs/PhDs than with dedicated time each month!

As Judy says, if you can't dedicate 2 full days (but you can try with planning ahead -wink-) try to dedicate chunks of the weekend to quilt along and post progress reports.

I am going to do my best to participate for portions of the weekends, if not the full weekend so I will post my progress here to link back to her blog as the weekend progresses.

So you all know what to expect, my posts will occur over the following weekends:
January 16 & 17, 2010
February 13 & 14, 2010
March 27 & 28, 2010
April 17 & 18, 2010

Maybe you want to join in? Go take a look and you decide!


Now, one other item of extreme importance, should I make homemade mac and cheese for dinner tonight or cheat with a chicken and spinach alfredo Bertolli frozen meal for the family? ;) Have a good day!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A productive day - First WIP/UFO post

Okay, so only a couple of you are interested in following along so I'm going to keep all this simple. I posted a list to the right with my WIP/UFO quilts. I'll post a monthly (maybe 2) updates on how I'm doing.

I don't have any finishes YET but I did take the last 3 evenings and get 3 of the WIP tops complete and ready for quilting.

The Western Wall Hanging is ready to quilt. This will be my first adventure with invisible thread on my Ms. Midge (my Voyager 17).

The Penquin Wall Hanging has been sewn down and before I go any further, I have a question. There will be embellishments for the eyes, buttons, etc. Should I add those before or after I quilt it? I'm thinking after but... ??

The LSU quilt is ready to be quilted. This was going to be a gift to DH and I for the house (make all my family guests sleep under it since they love other teams... hehe) but now he wants to give it to friends of ours. I don't want to. I'm already disappointed with my lack of attention to cutting/sewing which has led to uneven corner seams. I also screwed up the order of the blocks so it doesn't look quite as neet as the pattern. As a matter of fact, when I look at it, I'm not sure how I feel about it. It doesn't 'flow' as nice as the pattern but it does work. Anyway, I told him I'd rather keep it, buy a new kit and make that one for our friends but, what can I do? He doesn't see the flaws like I do. I guess I'll have to let you know how that one works out! :D

Anyway, that's my update for the beginning of the month. With luck, when I update you end of Jan/beginning of Feb., I will have those quilted and one of them bound.

So, tell me where you are (those of you following along) at your starting point!


ps - I just found this blogger who's doing a 6-mo version of this! I'm going to link to it in my sidebar and here for you.

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year Resolutions & UFOs

I started 2009 in a great place mentally and emotionally. I was productive in my personal and professional life.

Things were good.

Somewhere along the way, I got off track. I don't know how/where/when but somewhere or maybe over time, I became tired, beat up, overloaded. Felt like an oarless rowboat in the sea. There was nothing anyone or I did to create this, I think. I believe it was just life took hold and I wasn't effectively communicating anymore. How could I? I wasn't even acknowledging I was overloaded myself until the 2 week vacations I was supposed to get ended up being worked through and I never had my "me" time before the mad rush of the holidays. It was only at that point, and a minor meltdown at work, I realized I had to change things and fast.

However, once again, it had to wait. Wait for the right time to talk with my boss, wait for the right time to talk with hubby, wait for the holiday stress. Wait worked until Dec. 24. At that point, hubby asked something of me. I lit into him. I bitched, I moaned, I bitched more. (Have no fear ladies, he yelled back at me- he's good like that. ;) ) The house was empty, my family went to Christmas Eve Mass while I stayed to work on some necessary wrapping. They took the kids so house was empty while hubby and I talked.

2 hours later we were finally on the same page. Having each let out our long pent up grievances with life and finding our foundation again. Christmas Day, I promptly got sick. Ever get that? You finally, finally, let go of whatever you've been holding onto and your body says, "okay, defenses down... now's the time to lay her out so she REALLY gets some rest"? well, happened to me. A congestion/coughing cold that settled deep into my chest, took away my voice and left me tired and achy. I did the bare minimum at work and nothing else.

I spent that week chilling and thinking about what I needed to do/change over the next year. The first thing, I wanted to celebrate the little things. I started with my giveaway. I enjoyed it so much, my first resolution is to do a giveaway every birthday! I hope I can always find something appealing to you. :)

Anyway, long post coming to an end, I figured out what I need to stay centered and balanced and thus, hopefully, prevent another all out fit at poor hubby anytime in the near future (let's face it, I'm sure there will be a few more of these in our marriage so I'm being realistic in holding it to near future! -wink-).

(1) Host another giveaway on my birthday at the end of the year.

(2) EXERCISE and EAT BETTER/HEALTHIER (I know many say this but over the last couple months, I've looked at my little boobies and they are actually sagging. I know this may be TMI but really, I've always had a small chest it's just never been noticeably lower than it has been the last couple months. Nor has my skin sagged so or I've looked tired and older than my 36 years. I just don't think I look healthy and I need to change that. I'm ONLY 36. I shouldn't feel older than that or feel I look it so that is changing. I am finally incented to do something.)
(2)(a) keep food and exercise journal on weightwatchers for the next 3-6 months to keep me honest.
(2)(b) set up exercise schedule and KEEP to it. If I schedule it in my day, I can't make the excuse there's no time.

(3) GET ORGANIZED in my quilting world. This means, FINISH all or most of my WIP's & UFO's this year and work on only those necessary new projects (of course, you probably notice I am not defining "necessary" -hehe).

(4) COMMUNICATE with hubby. -wait, maybe this should be #1... yeah, consider this #1 with the rest to follow! (yikes, hope he's not reading).

Now, the reason I posted this LONG post... I want to be accountable. I think I've got hubby on board with holding me to #2 and #4 but I need you for #1 and #3.

I've seen last year where folks list their UFO's and mark em off as they work them. I'm wondering if this might not be a good idea and does anyone want to join me? If so, leave a comment and we can try to figure out how best to keep each other motivated. Maybe a 1x per month check-in post (with a bi-monthly reminder)? I have 12 UFO/WIPs that I can think of off the top of my head and that just bugs me.

So, where are you at? Are you in?

Cheers! Beck

Friday, January 1, 2010



My son pulled the name from a mug and BridgetB seems to be on a winnning streak these last couple weeks. Buy a lottery ticket, girl, and congratulations!

Please email me with your address and I will send you the items on hand and we can also start to talk about your quilt. :D

Thank you all who participated. I LOVED reading the memories and in some cases, even had sentimental teary eyes to explain to the kids.

It was a great way to celebrate my birthday, blogging milestone and even the new year.