July 27, 2011

Summer Blogger Quilt Fair

We have a county fair every year in my hometown in Indiana for Labor Day called the Blueberry Festival. We are the county seat so we get to host this fun event. It is your usual fair with rides, tons of yummy food, and lots and lots of booths to check out. Unfortunately, there definitely was never a quilt contest and it seems such a shame. That would have been so neat to see and might have piqued my interest in quilting long long ago.

I doubt I will ever make a quilt amazing enough for a real quilt contest at a fair, but I'm happy to link up one here:
 Gen X Quilters Summer Fair

Here is the quilt I have chosen, nicknamed "The Blue Beast"

This lovely monster was a Father's Day present for my dad this year which I delivered in person over 4th of July weekend. It is my first king sized quilt and maybe my last haha. It took me around 4 months to make this quilt, start to finish, including quilting it on my home machine. I learned A LOT about my machine, quilting, the value of spreading the quilting process out over a long span of time instead of marathon quilting sessions, and lots of "what to do better next time" tips. Its not my best work, but I am proud of what I learned and proud of how it turned out in the end inspite of the many challenges I faced during the process.

 My dad loves it, it keeps his bed looking pretty and him warm at night, so I guess I can't complain :)

Hope you like "The Blue Beast" and hope you enjoy checking out all the other quilts being showcased!

July 25, 2011

Weekend WIP Update

Hello and welcome to today's episode of "What I worked on this weekend" haha
Considering that it was in the 100s here and it wasn't worth it to go outside for anything but pool time, there were a lot of movies, crafting, and napping at our place... ie. a LOVELY weekend :)

That being said, let's get this WIP Update started:

1. Kaleidescope QAL:

FINALLY got all of my grey triangles sewn on and everything ironed - now I just need to pair them up, then pair up again and voila, 29 more blocks will be completed! Now if only it could be completed as fast and simple as it sounds haha.
I am definitely behind and will not have this completed by August 4th with the rest of the group but I've come to terms with that and I'm ok. :)

2. We Can Do It! - Skill Builder Sampler:
Block #5 and the last of the HST's (thank goodness! hehe)

3. A Zig & A Zag QAL:
**Pictures to come maybe on my Wednesday WIP update if I have time for one, started working on this last night and might actually make some headway this week!

4. 4 x5 Modern Bee on Flikr
I need to make 5 blocks - one for each of my bee members - here are the first 2:

They just happened to choose the same colors, which are also my colors for this bee! I really want to keep these blocks and work them into my own quilt haha... but I'll be nice and mail them on ;-) These crazy blocks are super fun to make, just takes about 1.5 hours and I'm a little burnt out on creativity afterward so I like to space them out.

5. For the Love of Solids - Swap on Flikr

Just got my partner today! So excited to get started on her project! I'm thinking coal, violet, dark violet, and 2 colors of turquoise (darker and lighter). I'm not sure about a pattern or block style, or if I'm going to make a mini-quilt or a pillow cover... we'll see what I come up with. Fabric.com is having a sale on Kona Cotton and with the 15% off coupon I have, it is only $3.60 a yard, can't pass that up!

6. Children's Charity Project

Last year I mentioned that my church was working with the youth in our Sunday School's across Delaware to earn quilt squares for reading their scriptures. I volunteered to make 5 quilts for our group by October... kicking myself for taking so much on haha but its nice to give back. These quilts will be a reward for the children's efforts to read their scriptures throughout the year, and will be donated to local chartities.

1 finished, and 2 tops finished - here is top #2 that I just completed on Friday:

I just want to say thank you SO much again to those bloggers who posted about this project and/or donated fabric to our cause. Definitely could not have made these beautiful quilts without you! So glad to donate my time and talents to supporting our youth and community... gives me the warm fuzzies inside ;-)

7. And re-posting this from earlier in the week - a charity bee block for Sew Fresh Fabrics:

Cabin Fever
 Linking up with:  sew many ways  WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Fresh Poppy Design

July 22, 2011

Awesome Heartsy Seller and "Cabin Fever" - a charity bee block

First thing this morning, I want to share this awesome Heartsy.me deal with all of you.

Heartsy - Exclusive deals on fabulous handmade designer items at members-only prices.

If you don't know about Heartsy.me, its an online voucher source for Etsy stores. Each day they share various deals from various shops, and you can even browse future shops and vote for ones you'd liked to see featured.

Starting tomorrow (today for VIP members) - for 16$ you can get a $38 voucher to Aggieray.

That is a great deal and the seller is super nice and helpful!
I am a VIP member I got a $48 voucher for the same price - and got to buy mine a day earlier than normal members.

Want to know what I purchased?

No joke - $16, including shipping, for this fabulous bag! I'm soooooooooo excited to get in whenever she finishes it, as it was a custom order. So if you are in the market for a new handmade bag at a great price, check out Heartsy for the voucher and Aggieray for the wonderful products!

Other than my great shopping experience this morning... I also wanted to share my new charity bee block. Sew Fresh Fabrics was offering a small scrap bundle to readers on their blog, and asked in return that we use the scraps to make a 12.5" quilt square with the scraps, then keep the rest for our scrap bag. Here is what I came up with last night, I really like the way it turned out:

Cabin Fever
I love participating in charity projects, even if its just one block for a bee, it makes a difference.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Friday!
Its going to be in the 100s here today with high humidity, as always.
I hate heatwaves but I'm leaving work early to go enjoy the pool to stay cool :)
Delaware is not in the west... it should not be this hot here!

July 19, 2011

To the zoo!

A few highlights from our trip to the Philadelphia Zoo

My zoopass which we bought last year for my birthday expires at the end of the month so we made the most of our list trip there - including another camel ride for me, woo hoo :)

He looks so snuggly!

Baby Giraffe born last summer

Those crazy wild animals ;-)

Awww, even cheetahs groom and snuggle eachother
Awesome... what more can I say?

Riding off into the sunset on my camel

Playtime in the kitty pool for Mr. Tiger

Cute... but may bite... caution!

He's been working out ;-)

The Philadelphia Zoo - America's first zoo apparently!

T-rex love and the early morning giggles :)

Source: None via Tiffany on Pinterest

This makes me laugh, so much.

A little background story... I'm 5'11 and my husband is 5'10. Somehow my arms are either longer than his or I can just reach higher, because he is always asking me to get things off of the top shelf for him. So I always tease him and say "O sorry T-rex, are your little arms to short?"  I do the same to my mom, who is around 5'6" I believe... it's even funnier to say to her ;-) Hence why this cartoon is giving me a lovely early morning giggle... hee hee hee :)

July 18, 2011

Crazy blocks and lilly pads!

Wow - what a busy but fantastic weekend I had!

Harry Potter on Friday... fabulous, simply fabulous :)

A sunny trip to the Philadelphia Zoo on Saturday - complete with a camel ride!

And then ofcourse... we can't forget about the sewing! Are you ready for a weekly update? Here we go:

1. Kaleidescope QAL:

I was able to get all of my small and large triangles sewn together - or atleast 100 out of 120, still waiting on my FQs to come in the mail to make up for my cutting accident. I also started sewing on the grey triangles and completed around 40 of those - hoping to finish those tonight but the rest still need cut so it probably isn't going to happen.

I'm way behind on this QAL... I don't think I'll make the August 4th deadline. If I don't have my quilt top finished by the end of the week, its probably going in the "to be quilted" pile whenever it does get done and won't be a priority... sad, but that's life :-p So let's all hope I get the top done this week and stay motivated to finish this beauty!

2. We Can Do It! - Skill Builder Sampler:

Block #4 - I've named it "Lilly Pads" - because that is what my pinwheels remind me of :)

3. A Zig & A Zag QAL:

No update - it still looks all pretty in strips like this and is waiting for me to get those strips sewn together!

4. 4 x5 Modern Bee on Flikr

Here is my practice block for my Hive in my colors - Aqua, Orange, Grey
Crazy Block by Aneela Hoey

2 of my bee hive members have the same colors so one of them may get this block, but maybe not... look at that dorable hippo in the middle, how can I give him away? hehe

A few QAL's have been stalled or given up... still hoping to do the Farmer's Wife Sampler at some point but I need to finish a few more of these projects first.

Also waiting on my "For the love of solids" partner which should arrive in August - because I'm pathetic and could not resist signing up last week haha.

More to come later this week if I get some sewing time in, stay tuned!

Linking up with:  sew many ways  {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations  

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedFresh Poppy Design

July 12, 2011

Gift time!

There were some nice goodies in the mail when I got back from visiting my family in Indiana last week.

First off was my partner's gift from the gift exchange:

These are little felt flowers - I really like the first one with the pink and oranges and the sunflower style one next to it. These will look really cute on a bag or some other project I think. Time to start brainstorming :) Thanks Tara!

Second... and I must say WOW I'm so excited about this every day.... was the mini "swoon" quilt I wont from Deb at http://aquilterstable.blogspot.com/ She had a giveaway for her 100th post and I was the lucky winner! The pictures looked lovely on her computer but wow, this quilt is even prettier in person! It is now gracing my table and makes me smile everytime I see it - thanks again Deb! :)

Recognize that fabric? It is Aviary 2 from Joel Dewberry, one of my favorite lines! I have SO much of this fabric and have yet to make anything out of it. Her fantastic fabric taste makes me love it all the more ;-) Green and eggplant purple happen to be my 2 favorite colors as well... seriously... its like it was made for me!

Speaking of giveaways... I am going to make something special for a lucky reader for my 100th post... 9 more after this one so stay tuned!

July 10, 2011

Weekend Sewing and QAL update

As you probably know, I am involved in way too many QALs, swaps, bees, charity projects, etc. Here is a small smattering of those I've worked on recently (this weekend) and those I've recently signed up for:

1. Kaleidescope QAL:

I finished up my cutting of everything except for the grey solid and 3 FQs which I am waiting to receive in the mail. Their predecessors  suffered an untimely death due to mis-cutting Friday night.

I also sewed together my first block. There is some puffing in the middle which will hopefully be fixed through more ironing and the final quilting. Hopefully my other 29 blocks turn out a little flatter, but all in all I love this little guy and can't wait to get the rest of his friends put together!

Block #3 - Churn Dash 

And just for fun - here are my June blocks 1-3 laid out together:

I finally bought Kona Coal for my solid and cut up my strips today. I realized that the fabric requirements on the QAL were wrong however, so I need to buy more solid. Fortunately I can still do the strip piecing step of the QAL this week without the extra solid so hopefully I can get that done. 

All of the charm sets were received and have been sent out to the participants. I can't wait to get my set! Here is a preview from the organizer:

6. 4 x5 Modern Bee on Flikr

Here is my inspiration collage for my bee members - my requested colors are Orange/Aqua/Grey with Coal or White as the background. I'm super excited to get this started! Blocks are due by Oct. 15 so stay tuned :)

4 x5 Bee Aqua/Orange/Grey inspiration

7. For the Love of Solids - Swap on Flikr

Sign-ups start on the 13th... I have not 100% made up my mind yet but I am pretty sure I will join. 
We have to make one big item - like a mini quilt, table runner, etc. for our partner and then one little item - like a scrap bundle, pin cushion, etc. It is due by Sept. 15th tho so I just need to make sure I can get my bee blocks done and this and everything else haha. 

Here is my inspiration collage for my swap partner:

Linking up with:  sew many ways  {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations  

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Fresh Poppy Design