Monday, December 9, 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day - Pillow Covers

****GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED**** Thank you to all who stopped by.****
The winner, by number generator is Melissa!  She's the 34th entry out of 41. Congratulations, Melissa!
"Melissa Palmer said...
My family would go to the Christmas Eve service every year. So one year, back in the day, my youngest brother (12 at the time... yes, 12), got ALL. THE. WAY. TO. CHURCH... and then realized he wasn't wearing shoes as he was getting out of the car. Hilarious, and oh so typical of him :) We make fun of him every year for it!

Thanks for the chance! Those pillows are GORGEOUS!

I may be missing a lot of blogging opportunity lately but I'm not going to miss posting a giveaway for all y'all!
Sew Mama Sew has organized a wonderful day again and I'm excited to join in and use this to jump start my blogging again. I've missed you so much, but that's not important right now, what's important is to get to the fun stuff.

I'm giving away these matching pillow covers.  They will fit a 16" square pillow form.
(Note: I am not including the pillow forms but they are standard forms from any craft store or Walmart.)

To enter, please leave a comment telling me a good funny family holiday story (any holiday if you don't celebrate Christmas).  NOTE: if you are a no-reply blogger or leaving an anonymous comment & do not include an email I can reach you if you win, your entry will be disregarded. The moral, please be sure to leave an email if you are one of those. Thanks! 

Giveaway is open until Friday, Dec. 13 at 8pm ET and I will ship internationally and will choose the winner randomly from the comments.

My funniest holiday story would have to be the one where my mother tried to kill the entire family one Thanksgiving.  We got to her condo and just outside the door, the smell was awful. When we got in, even worse! She told us she just made dad take out the garbage b/c it had to be the cat litter and while we thought this was stretching it, we figured, "okay".  No, about 10 more minutes and we couldn't take the stench any more. 5 grown adults and 3 adolescents started sniffing around the 900 sq ft condo looking for the smell. We all converged on the stove at the same time.

Hubs opened the oven door and the gagging commenced.  He closed the door. Mom profusely stated she just bought this, thawed it properly, it couldn't be the bird.  We opened the door again. She shut up.

I don't know who took the bird out to the back deck to torture the neighbors (frankly, I don't know how they all didn't come beating on her door b/c her smell had to be ruining their turkey day smell) but I know it wasn't me.

Mom started calling stores to see if she could find an unfrozen bird or breast. I opened the wine. Dad and hubs went to get the new bird.  The girls drank and then, like any family who needs to waste time, after we had a few under our belts, we started drunk Skyp-ing and I decided calling Ms Shay of Quilting in My Pyjamas fame, to introduce her to my kin was a good idea.

Seriously after that, Shay only answered one Skype call after that. I think she felt sorry for me but has ultimately realized that if she's not talking to me, the police will have no reason to haul her out of bed at midnight one night when one member of my family has finally succeeded in offing the rest and the police need witnesses to determine what happened when and how. Wise choice, Shay, I'd probably have done the same. -wink-  It's a wonder I'm still on her blog roll list.  The woman must not be as administratively judicious on her blog as she is on screening Skype.

So, while to this day mom laments her best plan had not worked, the rest of us are not so silently thankful our noses weren't all stuffed up that fateful day. (And yes, we've had Thanksgiving's since without incident.)

So, you want to win these pillow covers or what?  Share your tale!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tree Heart Quilt

A few weeks ago my SIL showed me a quilt on Pinterest. she wanted my assistance in making it. Not a problem, it looked to be pretty straight forward.
Then last week, she realized she probably wouldn't get around to it as soon as she wanted to so asked if I would make it for her.  I said yes.

There's not much to say on completion of this quilt. Once I was provided size preference and color preference, I started it and hand embroidered the initials in the heart and machine-appliqued the heart onto the brown.  I used one FQ to make the hear, folded it in half & drew half a hear on the fold, then cut out the half. Once unfolded, I had a complete heart, even on both sides.  I pinned it like crazy to the background then appliqued it on using a blanket stitch. I backed it with a brown minkee and bound it with double-fold, wide bias tape.

On this windy and cold day, I think the photo stream speaks for itself in trying to get a good finish shot.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fractured Sunlight

I have been waiting for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy's Creative Side, to unveil this quilt on my blog.  First, though, if you are here from the festival, welcome! If you have not heard of it, click the link to check it out. It is an awesome, online quilt show that will open up for voting at the end of the week. I absolutely love this festival.  I try to visit each and every blog to see the creations and I become so inspired.

On to my entry, which I'm putting into the Two Color Quilt category, I love this quilt for a few different reasons.
-         It makes a bold statement in its simplicity (honestly, it looks much more complicate than it is.)
-         The design is 100% my own, but I did enjoy using the InstaGram community for opinions along the way.  (I love IG these days, feel free to find me at Sarcastic Quilter.)
-         The kids and hubs (who doesn’t usually like modern quilts) all love it and enjoy seeing it on the wall.
-         The kids participated in the photo shoot of the quilt! You have to read on for details on this one. I’ll just say now it was one of my finer parenting moments and I am bragging because it’s so hard to have these moments when they are all teens! LOL

This quilt uses the "Sunrise" block from EQ6 and is foundation pieced. I did a QAL a couple years ago with this block to teach foundation piecing but have been wanting to explore different looks I might get with only two colors. I chose the fabrics.
I made four blocks and tested designs.
I sewed the remainder of the blocks, then pieced borders and sewed them on. Next, I quilted the heck out of this baby, echoing the shapes in each block and border and even mimicking some of the print on the fabrics in places.  

Regarding that parenting moment, it was shortly before school started. The kids nor I had any activities all weekend and the sun was shining.  I told them to get their shoes on, grabbed this and another quilt which needed photographing and we hopped in the car.  When the kids asked what we were doing, I said going on a photo shoot. They all had to come up with places to photograph the quilts at, keeping in mind the style of the quilts and figuring out complimentary backgrounds etc. Reluctant at first, after the 1st location (a park down the road), they were in the spirit.  Taking my camera and taking photographs themselves or giving me instructions on angles as they were hanging and arranging the quilts.
For example, the shot below actually has my kid pulling on a branch to open up the draped quilt. He passed the little seedling and thought it would be great to drape the quilt on with the background and filtered sun. Kind of cool for a 13 year old, don't you think? I'm convinced these kids have more than we do half the time & we just need to find ways to let them express it.
My kids got creative, we spent a few hours outdoors together and we had fun laughing and sharing. Many of these photos came about because of the quilt's name, "Fractured Sunlight", can you tell?  
There were quite a few people around so it became a big race to get photographs without folks moseying along the paths in the background.
So, I love this quilt. Not just for the personal experiment it was for me in designing, creating and quilting it but for the wonderful excuse it provided for an afternoon of fun and comraderie with my kids.

If you like it, please consider nominating it and giving it a vote.  That would just be some nice icing on the cake to share with the kids.  I know their involvement in the story will make them proud.
I am off to view all the other beautiful entries now, I hope you enjoy the rest of the festival and a big thanks to Amy for hosting and ALL the sponsors this year!!!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Swoon Loving

My interpretation of the song Summer Loving from Grease? Check it out...

Swoonin loving, had me a blast
Swoonin loving, happened so fast
I saw a fabric perfect for me
Found a fabric cute as can be

Summer sun, something's begun
But, oh, oh, the summer nights

Well-a well-a well-a huh
Tell me more, tell me more
Was it love at first sight?
Tell me more, tell me more
Did the fabric piece right?

Well I will tell you more! I had been wanting to create a non-holiday kitchen wall quilt and struggled with what to create that would appeal to hubs while, at the same time, meet my desire for color and go with the kitchen design.  Finally,  it hit me. A swoon block from Camille Roskelley's Swoon Pattern.  
I started searching fabrics but couldn't decide which 2 out of the 4 star fabrics to use. I didn't quite have enough of one but found a substitute, can you see it? I ended up making 2 swoon minis and use one as a counter mat under my fruit and veggie bowls while the other is on the wall.
Wait, what does this have to do with Grease and Summer Loving? It's just that as I was sewing away, I couldn't stop singing this song. It was a pretty summer night and I thought I'd share.
Back to the story, I feel like these blocks come together fairly quickly and these two swoons didn't disappoint. I added a small border using the leftover triangles, then I grabbed one large backing and batting piece each, and loaded them up on the frame. I quilted the same design into both and now they are interchangeable. 

Wall or counter, it matters not! Maybe I better use up my fresh produce before it goes bad though, don't you think?


Monday, September 16, 2013

Mug Rug Revival Swap

Since I've been neglecting this blog, I have a few older finishes to catch you up on. This one is about the swap I joined in May.  It was a blind swap, which can be difficult but I love. I truly enjoy the little bit of online stalking for my partner's favorite photos and tastes

My partner didn't have too many favorites but what I did find, had a leaning toward thread painting and fabric art. Neither of which I had experience with but I did want to try.  I thought and thought.  And thought.

About 5 days before the deadline to mail, I decided on a plan.  Make a reversible mug rug. One side, sassy and fun. The other side, thread painting and art.

For the sassy and fun, well, a Maxine block of course!

I was at the Mid Atlantic Quilt festival and I decided to purchase stencils and paints that use shaving cream as a medium.  I painted poppies on some blue fabric and then decided to use thread to create clouds and a little bit of rain.  I am so pleased with how it came out that I feel like I just might try this thread painting thing again. Luckily, my partner also liked the mug rug.  Both sides!
Here's a darker picture but it shows the thread painting better.
The rug I received in all of this, a sarcastic "good morning sunshine" rug. It's perfect for me. I don't necessarily feel all that chipper in the morning so it helps me smile or gives me something to be sardonic at instead of the live people who cross my path before the coffee kicks in. Plus she sent along a little cross stitch of my initial and a handmade card. So sweet!
Swaps are fun.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Now I know I can make a skirt.

I bought the Favorite Things Cute Skirts (V023) pattern a while back because I wanted to make a skirt for the Stash Bash.
Then I decided, if I was going to use the beautiful Simply Color Vanessa Christianson fabric, I wanted to be able to wear it for a while. I didn't want to make something only to be unable to wear it due to the weight loss I've been working on. And before you say it, it's enough I'm thinking about making simple clothing. I have yet to be of the mentality that altering clothing is not that hard.   :)

I cut everything out of my test fabrics and then got to sewing. The pattern was very easy to read and quick to do. This post is short and sweet so here you can see my progress.   Pardon J, he was commenting I should make an apron out of it somewhere in the middle of the process.

(ps - my belly is a little bit smaller, even now.  yay!)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Pillows,pillows, who's got the pillows?

I have the pillows!  Using this post on Sew Mama Sew, I created covers for a couple pillow forms I had.

If you want a quick uplift to your couch pillows, these covers are the way to go. You can use any fabrics, designs, etc. Just follow the basic measurements and basic rules and go for it!  

First, I chose a focus fabric and then I added borders.  Very simple.
Next I quilted the pillow front and then applied the backing.  Oh, I love this simple, simple technique.
Last note, I've been saving these babies for a friend of mine. I don't think she'll mind that somewhere in the process of one, I lost a 1/4" or so and now the sizes aren't exactly equal. Heck, she has kids... in about a day they probably will all be distorted anyway, right? -wink-
Go, check out Sew Mama Sew if you've never been. It's a fabulous resource.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Wall Quilt (5 months late)

I'm in the mood to catch you up on my quilting and sewing year. I have been so quiet here and I miss it.  Therefore you get the brunt of the backlog of posts, er, I mean, I am just sharing what I've been up to.

One of my goals in life is to have 2 seasonal wall hangings for each holiday or season. One smaller for the kitchen area and one larger for the family room.  Last year, I blogged about my Rainbow Trail small wall hanging. Here's a reminder.
I decided, oh, maybe on March 13, that making the larger wall hanging would be good for the upcoming St. Patrick's day.

I took leftover fabrics from the Rainbow Trail quilt and created a simple top.  Since we had a rainbow with sparkles throughout, it only made sense to applique a pot of gold.
I then let the quilting speak for the quilt. Silly shamrocks on the outside borders.
Baptist fan in the rainbow give it a full rainbow feel and arches of thread coming out of the pot to provide a shine effect.
Lastly, a 70s-ish beaded curtain style meant to reflect rain drops. It kind of looks like spoons but the effect is cool so I don't care.
In case you are wondering, it did not get completed until the end of the day on March 17. But, it got done!

Monday, August 12, 2013

I completed my first 5k Race

...but not sure it can really be called a race. It's title stated it was a race so maybe it does count after all.

You decide.

I, along with 4 of the kids and sister in law, completed the ROC Race (Ridiculous Obstacle Challenge Race) this past Saturday in DC.

After completing Insanity, I wanted to see if I could do a 5k but wasn't sure I wanted to run and only run. So, I started looking for a silly sort of 5k, a color run or something.  I found the ROC Race. I asked my family if they wanted to join and we all signed up.

I decided to show you my day in photos. Much more interesting than my words, I think.
Warming up. (Click on the link for video)  


We didn't make it. (Click on the link for video)


At this point, all I can say is if you have this race come to your area, sign up and go. So much fun!

Now I want to do a Tough Mudder or a Spartan Race but I know I'm not there yet physically so one of them will be my goal for next summer or fall. They look awful and awesome!

What does that mean? Motivation to keep exercising and getting stronger and fitter. Motivation to continue to eat right.  All for the bragging rights of saying I. Did. It.

So, what will you do? What will your goal be? Start small. Meet the first goals, add new ones as you feel better and know you are stronger. I know you can do it.