Sunday, January 23, 2011


I got tagged for my first blog award!  LittleBook of LittleBook Notes was wonderful enough to honor me with a mention as one of her favorite blogs.  (This actually happened on the 8th, but that was Stitch N' Bitch day, so I got distracted) The awesome thing about the Leibster Blog award is that it highlights 'wee' blogs, those with less than 300 followers.  Those so honored are asked to share the love, and forward this award on to 3 to 5 other blog writers.

So, without further ado, I'd like to share some of the 'wee' blogs that I enjoy quite a bit:

1. ) Blue Elephant Stitches - Jolene is a wonderfully talented quilter, with a great sense of color.  I also love her design style.  I love to pop by just to drool over her fabric selections!

2.)  Don't Call Me Betsy! - Elizabeth has a great writing style, and she's just starting what looks to be an awesome quilt-along.  I'd join in, but I think I'm already over-committed on projects.  Don't let that stop you though!

3.) Hip to Piece Squares - You should really pop in to see Sarah.  She's got a great sense of humor to go along with her creativity and talent.  She's also got a cat and a dog who show up periodically, which I love, since I've got fur-babies of my own.

I'd have nominated more, but I really don't read that many blogs, oddly.  Which is kind of sad.. so if any of you want to suggest some reading material, feel free!

In other awesome news, I made it into Doll Quilt Swap 10!!  Partner information has been sent out, which is thrilling me.  I'm already cyber-stalking and fretting and worrying.  I have to get off my duff and get into the design stage of this!

DQS10 Inspiration Mosaic

So, partner...  My tastes are all over the place.  I think of myself as a more traditional quilter, with modern leanings.  I don't have a favorite color, instead preferring tones on the brighter end of the spectrum.  Honestly, I'll love whatever you make.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Quilting Tip

My goal was to have the Christmas Cactus top completely quilted in time for Stitch N' Bitch, which took place this last Saturday, the 8th.

Yeah, that just didn't happen.  I got slammed with the killer cold from hell that had my tonsils so swollen that I actually dreamed that someone was shoving orange and purple fabric down my throat and woke up choking!  Yeah, I was in Urgent Care that very morning, praying I didn't have strep throat.  Then I called in and slept as much as I could.

Anyway, I'd gotten about 50% (and 500 yards of thread) into quilting the top before I got taken down for a week with said killer cold from hell.

Now, I've not done a lot of quilting big tops on my piecing machine.  Why should I, when I have this:

 'Nuff said, right?

Well, not so much for the Christmas Cactus top.  The big frame is awesome for anything that isn't a straight line.  Since that's all I'm doing to this particular top, I'm shoving the giant thing through Bessie's woefully inadequate throat space.

It's not a big deal, really, except that the quilt sandwich kept unrolling itself as I quilted.  I bought bicycle clips at Joann's - those are the metal semi-circles coated in (supposedly) non-slip plastic.  Well, those stupid things just kept falling off.  I pondered taking a big needle and basting the rolled quilt together, but I could damage it.

The solution?

Available at your local office supply store.


Seriously!  I went to OfficeMax and bought a package of 12 - 1" binder clips for $5.97.  At home, I rolled the quilt up and went to town:
Yes, Demon just had to settle herself and begin cleaning herself in the five minutes it took me to roll the quilt and apply the binder clips.

They work great!  Quilt layers compress down to nearly nothing, so the 1" clips are perfect!  It seems like they'll be a little tough to get onto a quilt that  has more bulk to it, but careful folding should circumvent that problem.

Now, my quilt fit in the throat with no fighting and the clipped rolls make for awesome handles!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Winner, Winner!

So, I'm a little late, but I ended spending the morning dealing with some family drama...  Too make a long story short, I'm short a brother, but other situations in the family might be fixed.

Anyway, that's not anything I need to dump on you all..
So that makes our winner:

Congrats, Terri!  I'm sending you an e-mail with the CSN gift code!

2011 Quilts and Tops

The above four pictures are the total sum of my quilty accomplishments for 2010.   Not a lot.  Not a lot at all.

But, you know, I'm okay with it.

This year will be different.  I've got plans!

1.) All of my quilt tops, with the exception of my Grandmother's Fan top, will be completed into quilts this year.

2.) I will do a Double Wedding Ring Quilt-along on this this blog.  I think it'll start towards the end of February - I've got to figure out yardages and everything.

3.) I will start a quilting-related comic, as soon as I have a few drawn and ready to go.

4.) I'll be making a Dear Jane quilt, along with Sandi and Karrie.

5.) I've plans for a mystery quilt...  I have to finalize the design, figure yardages.

6.) I want to join more quilt swaps this year, but we'll see how that goes.  Time might still be a dicey thing, since my boss wants to open a store in the mall.  

7.) I want to start a weekly skill-building segment, working my way through color and fabric choices all the way through to bias-binding a quit.  That too looks like it'll begin in February, and start running on Saturdays.

I've a lot that I'd like to do, obviously.  The only real limitation is me, really, and how much time I'm willing to dedicate to myself, my creativity, and this blog.  But, I'm all fired up, even though I'm coming off of a stupid number of work hours in December, and recovering from a nasty cold that's taken residence in my sinuses.

Honestly, this is probably the best that I've felt going into a new year.  I don't think I've ever gone into a new year feeling like I could actually grab my life by the reins and produce the results that I want.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


If you're looking for the CSN give-away, click here.  You have until Sunday, January 2, 2011 at 10 a.m CST to enter!

2010 was a good year.  I worked at a much more personally fulfilling job, with people that I like and appreciate.  My efforts are noticed and appreciated.  Zebediah is attending Early Childhood Development classes, and has made such progress in so many areas!  JohnPaul and I have had our rough spots, but we've weathered them, and come out stronger.

I was not nearly as prolific, quilt-wise, as others were.  But that's all right.  That's something I hope to rectify with the new year.  I've started to figure out where I'm happiest, creatively.  I'm a mostly traditional quilter with a distinct love of bright color.  I'm not afraid of new techniques or learning a new skill.  It's a good place to be in.

I think the best thing about 2010 was discovering such a wonderful community of quilters who share the same passion and energy that I have for quilting.  If I hadn't made the leap of faith, and jumped into the online quilting community, I would have missed out on meeting Sandi of Piecemeal Quilts, Karrie of Freckled Whimsy.  I would have missed out on the Sew Mama Sew! give-away days, and I wouldn't have won these two awesome prizes:

The hand-made needle case and charm pack (from scraps from her projects - how awesome is that?) were given away by Hilary of  She's got some awesome items in her etsy shop, Petite Legume.  The oh-so-funky and fun apron is by Kellie of And She Can't Even Cook!  Kellie also has an etsy shop, The Laughing Otter.

However, as 2011 kicks off, there are several things I have on my list:

First and foremost, to take better care of myself.  I have a bad habit of ignoring physical ailments until I can't anymore.  I'd like to change that, and start making sure that I'm on the road to better health.  Part of this is to genuinely try to lose weight, by improving my eating habits and by getting out there and exercising.  A really, really big part of the 'take better care of myself' initiative will be to decide on a psychologist and start getting some therapy.

I tend to shove all of my negative emotions down into a box, ignoring them until they explode, ugly and hateful.  Unfortunately, the person who tends to get the brunt of this is my poor husband.  Thankfully, he's put up with it this long, but it's time I broke that particular cycle and started taking a look at the underlying causes for my emotional repression.  And maybe, getting my mental health in order will be another stepping stone to managing my weight and physical health.

Now, this is getting long, and I've just discovered that Elizabeth of Don't Call Me Betsy is doing a 2011 Quilt List Linky, so I will post more tomorrow about what I would like to do creatively, and with this blog.  I've got some big plans, and I've talked about them previously, but it doesn't hurt to make a list for myself.

So, with that, I hope all of you enjoyed your New Year's Celebrations, and I hope the coming year provides enrichment, fulfillment, an abundance of creativity, and happiness for you!