Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Finally - a Winner!

Thank you for being so patient with me! I started feeling a cold coming on a few days ago, the first I've had in a few years, but still wanted to get out and play with my seeds yesterday. It's been about 40 to 50 degrees out lately, so my littlest and I bundled up and she got to blow bubbles while Mommy braved the garden hose. Of course I ended up soaking myself, but you know I gotta make sure my seeds don't dry out, or I won't have much of a garden this year. I sure paid for it later though, spending the majority of last evening on the sofa with 102 degree temperature and the chills. Hubby has been in Columbus for work the past few days, and thank goodness he's home today! He needs to rest too, but hopefully since the kids are so happy to see him, I might get a little bit of a break!

So anyhow, what you're really interested in is who the give away winner is! I wrote all of your names on a slip of paper (some of you twice!), threw them into a bowl, and drew a name...

I am sending you an email! :) I sure hope you like what I am sending you...

my first pattern! (And a fat quarter to match!) Ok, so it's not as exciting as a book deal, or a baby, or an award! Your guesses all made me feel very good, and I can only wish for any of those wonderful things! :) I am going to teach a beginner's paper piecing class, and show how to make this pattern at a local quilt shop, called Forever Quilting starting in April. The class includes the pattern, but you can also buy it seperately at the shop, if you are already a pro at paper piecing. I also drew up this, which I like to call a "twisted mariner's compass", and will be teaching how to make it beginning in May...

This will also be available seperately as a pattern very soon. I'd have loved to be very prepared but you know being a Mommy, that doesn't always happen, so I can tell you I have plans to sell these patterns and more on Etsy, and I will update you here when that happens.
So thank you all who participated, you all made me feel very good! :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Give Away Update/Garden Rambles

Just wanted to let you know I didn't forget about the give away! I will post the winner in the next day or so! I've got to get some things done around here first! You know, Husbands to cook for, babies to care for and all that. Lol* I appreciate all the comments and really kind compliments. Your guesses were incredibly flattering. I have nothing too grand to share unfortunately, and my Dad and I even joked that you might all be very disappointed! LOL*

I've been a busy gardenin' gal over here. I should warn you that now since it's officially spring I've got plants on the brain and will probably inundate you with lots of garden pictures. I'm really excited about this winter sowing business and have been trying to recruit some converts but until I have plants to show for I don't think my argument is very convincing. I have now 4 hollyhock sprouts in that jug I showed last post. I'm really hoping to have more soon!

Here is my winter sown/spring sown list so far:
hollyhocks (black/dark purple)
hollyhocks (mixed)
canterbury bells
shasta daisies
painted daisies
sweet peas
bachelor buttons

Here's some of the new bulbs I planted this year. Last fall I put in over 100 daffodils...

Here's the iris's from Dad's house...transplanted them the day before yesterday...I hope they bloom!!! Iris's are one of my favorites.

Things I sitll want to sow or buy from the garden center for 2009:
english daisies
pink iris
white iris
pink tulips
white tulips
grape hyacinths
large hyacinths (last years bulbs were eaten by bugs)
pink daylillies
white daylillies
sunset echinacea
coral bells
creeping phlox

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Garden Post: I have a sprout!

I mentioned last summer how I was going to attempt winter sowing in 2009. I got a later start than I'd planned, putting my first jugs out in early February. I actually forgot about them (although I'm sure my neighbors didn't as they filled up our front porch) until a few days ago when I decided I could no longer tolerate looking at 30 jugs and 3 lasagna trays every time I walk out the front door. While moving them to a less visible sunny patch in the side yard, I noticed this...

I HAVE A SPROUT!!!!! I did a "yipppeeee!" and a happy dance right there in the side yard. Lol* That itty bitty green dot in there, with luck, will grow into a hollyhock. What makes it even more special, is that this sprout grew from seeds my Mother saved from my parents hollyhocks last year. I put them out the same time as I put out Burpee hollyhock seeds and still, Mom's sprouted first. I think that is awesome. Lol*

Monday, March 16, 2009

Who's a treadle owner? I am!!!

I've been working on some itty bitty 1" hst blocks that were from my EQ quilt.
What? What's that? That sewing machine you see there? You say, you're wondering...wondering if it's old? If it might be...
A TREADLE?!!!!????
Oh I'm lucky ya'll!!! I don't know how I got so lucky either! LOL* Not just because I am the proud owner of a gen-u-wine treadle, lol*, but because I think I must have married the most awesome guy on the planet. Seriously.
He bought it from a friend of mine from one of my quilty groups. She is way awesome too because she kept it a secret from me for WEEKS! Lol*** Turned out she and Hubby were in cahoots. How awesome is that? LoL*

I love my Husband. :) Ok I'm off to SEW! Lol*

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Another Year Older, and some Quilty Thinking

Today I am 28. It's official. My twenties have begun to wane. You can now say, "she is in her late twenties."

I have to say, I'm not who I thought I'd be at 28, but I couldn't be happier. :) I have a wonderful life, the best Husband, beautiful & healthy children, family and friends who care about me and support me. Who could ask for more?

So now that I'm old, lol*, I've decided to make myself a promise. I'm going to put more into my quilts. More time, more planning, more accuracy. I've never been afraid of mistakes, and you could do a timeline of my quilts by placing them side by side and looking at varying degrees of my work! But I've had a lot of fun making really ugly quilts. LOL* I'd like to think I've graduated from being a beginner to that gray middle area where I've still got a lot to learn, but I've enough knowledge to avoid old mistakes. My biggest struggle is patience. I'm a Mother of small children and my sewing time is not easy to come by, and not to be wasted! So I often take results over accuracy. But somewhere in between making that first quilt and stumbling through designing my own, I've inherited that desire that so many passionate quilters have, to somehow get my quilts to look as good as the ones I drool over. And why can't I?

So with that in mind, I pulled out one of the very first books I ever bought on quilting, The Art of Classic Quilt Making, by Harriet Hargrave and Sharyn Craig. It has become my favorite.

I can't count how many tips in this book I have used with great results. One tip shared that I've also heard seconded from many quilters online and off, is to use a fine pin for piecing. I currently use these...

There's nothing wrong with these, and they have been very useful in the time that I've used them. But I'm on the hunt for a good fine pin, that will not mind being shoved into tight seams without shifting my pieces around. Any suggestions? What pins do you use?

I've also been working on my EQ quilt, Autumn Cabins. Did you think I forgot it? I didn't. I was anxious to see it together, and in my haste, did quite a sloppy piecing job on these center stars.

I sewed them together, then ripped them apart. On the suggestion of a well-meaning, experienced quilty friend I squared them up, then re-pieced them together. I have never been a fan of squaring up blocks. I understand why many people do this, but I just can't seem to do it without losing my seam allowance. I think a better approach for myself, is to take time and care in cutting and sewing accurately. But I don't know it all, and so I squared them up. It does look better, but I'm sure you can guess what happened. I lost about 1/4 an inch over all when I put all 16 back together. This has re-affirmed that I am not a squaring up typa gal.

I can tell you what did help though. Many of you already like to do this, but one of the ways I have been experimenting with to reduce bulk, is pressing my seams open. I have found in places where I might have lost the very tip of a point by pressing to one side, has been recovered with an open seam.

I have also fallen in love with Best Press to get seams super duper flat, but I am running low, so today I'm going to experiment with sizing. I will let you know how that goes. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Give Away...

My good blogging friends have left a few guesses about my far, no one's guessed right, though a few have been warm.

I thought It'd be fun, to make this a giveaway. It's way overdue. ;)

So leave a comment by Saturday, March 21st, with your guess as to what you think my secret might be. Your guess doesn't have to be right for a chance to win, a comment alone will get your name in the hat.
Of course, if you're ambitious, and feel blogging about my give away is appropriate, then leave me a link to your post and I'll throw your name in the hat a second time.
Be sure to leave a way to contact you, if you don't have a blog, or are a "no-reply" blogger. ;)
What do you win? Well that's part of the's just something small and fun and I'm hoping you'll enjoy it. Here's a hint...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pumpkin & Kitty Door Hanging

This is so very out of season, but you know I can't resist anything with pumpkins or kitties...

I made this little door hanger up has something to do with a little announcement I will be making here in a few days. I'm so excited I want to tell you! But it's a secret for now, and when the timing is right, I'm going to spill the beans. Yay! :) They will be good beans too, I promise. ;)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Autumn Cabins: Sawtooth Star Four Patch

12" Finished block

These instructions are for ONE block. You will need FOUR of these blocks to complete this quilt. This will allow you to test one, then if you choose go back and cut for the rest.

***NOTE*** For this block in particular, I am giving instructions on piecing a 6" (6 1/2" unfinished) sawtooth star block. What is needed for the Autumn Cabins quilt, are FOUR blocks, consisting of FOUR 6" sawtooth star units. In total, you will have SIXTEEN 6" sawtooth star blocks, that will be sewn together into four blocks, to be added to the quilt. It will be useful, to read through these instructions before you begin cutting.

From creams/background:
- cut 4 squares 2 x 2
- cut 4 rectangles 2 x 3 1/2

From Darks (red, orange, deep brown, deep purple, olive green, deep blue):
- cut 1 square 3 1/2 x 3 1/2
- cut 8 squares 2 x 2

Piecing the Block:
To make the sawtooth star block you will need to create four flying geese units. To make a flying geese unit, lay right sides together, one 2 x 2 square cut from darks, onto the left side of one 2 x 3 1/2 rectangle cut from creams/background fabric. Draw a line from corner to corner diagonally on the wrong side of the dark square to use as your sewing guide. Sew, press, and trim seam to 1/4".

Repeat for the opposite side of the rectangle, with another 2 x 2 square cut from darks. Double check before sewing that the line you drew from corner to corner as a sewing guide is going in the correct direction, otherwise you will not end up with a goose!

Repeat these steps three more times, to create a total of FOUR flying geese units.

Next, sew one 2 x 2 square cut from cream/background fabric to both ends of two of your flying geese units.

Sew the remaining two flying geese units to the top and bottom of your 3 1/2" square cut from darks. Sew the flying geese units with 2" squares on each end, to the left and right side of your 3 1/2 square/geese to finish the star block.

Remember, you need four 6 1/2" unfinished sawtooth star blocks to make one of the center blocks of the Autumn Cabins quilt.