Monday, May 30, 2011

Crazy moving

Well, I'm here in South Bend, IN.  We keep trying to remind ourselves that we are actually living here now and not just visiting.  But since we've only been here for about 24 hours, I think we have time to get adjusted. ;)  You all will be proud of me.  One of the very first things I did was quickly stop by the local quilt store to check out what they had in stock.  Of course there were a few things that I "had" to get.  It's still such a novelty to see fabrics that I'm interested in buying in a store in person!

We're definitely in limbo right now between locations and staying at my in laws for the present.  Good thing I really like them!  Seriously.  I do!  We're going to have to do more work on our "temporary" home than we originally thought, so I'm going to have to figure out when I can do some sewing.  I will definitely go through withdrawal soon if I can't do some sewing.  But there is plenty to keep me busy with putting together our next temporary home.

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures for you today.  Taking photos, getting them uploaded and then putting them on the blog is too much right now for me.  I'm lucky I found a place to plug in the laptop.  But I did, so that's great.  And as long as my father in law doesn't insist that the wireless internet is messing up his computer I should be able to use my laptop for photos in the future.

Thank you so much for all of your compliments on my bottled rainbow blocks and well wishes for moving.  I didn't get a chance to reply to anyone, but know that I read each and every thing you guys tell me!  I'm off to bed so I can get some more work done tomorrow!

Crazy moving

Well, I'm here in South Bend, IN.  We keep trying to remind ourselves that we are actually living here now and not just visiting.  But since we've only been here for about 24 hours, I think we have time to get adjusted. ;)  You all will be proud of me.  One of the very first things I did was quickly stop by the local quilt store to check out what they had in stock.  Of course there were a few things that I "had" to get.  It's still such a novelty to see fabrics that I'm interested in buying in a store in person!

We're definitely in limbo right now between locations and staying at my in laws for the present.  Good thing I really like them!  Seriously.  I do!  We're going to have to do more work on our "temporary" home than we originally thought, so I'm going to have to figure out when I can do some sewing.  I will definitely go through withdrawal soon if I can't do some sewing.  But there is plenty to keep me busy with putting together our next temporary home.

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures for you today.  Taking photos, getting them uploaded and then putting them on the blog is too much right now for me.  I'm lucky I found a place to plug in the laptop.  But I did, so that's great.  And as long as my father in law doesn't insist that the wireless internet is messing up his computer I should be able to use my laptop for photos in the future.

Thank you so much for all of your compliments on my bottled rainbow blocks and well wishes for moving.  I didn't get a chance to reply to anyone, but know that I read each and every thing you guys tell me!  I'm off to bed so I can get some more work done tomorrow!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Signing off from New Orleans

Well, I think that this will be my last post from Louisiana!  The sewing machine is officially packed up and my chair was just loaded onto the moving truck seconds ago! lol.  Kaelin and Karen came over last night with their machines and we had one last group sew together.  It was complete with chick-fil-a, favorite baby, and many episodes of Glee.  So many of our favorite things.  Kaelin and I worked on our bottled rainbow blocks and Karen was working on her mod bento box blocks for a swap that a few us will be doing from the group.  The both stayed much longer than they intended too, but saying goodbye is always hard.  Thankfully we know that the next time we're all together will be a fabulous time at the sewing summit in Salt Lake City.  It helps to know when we'll see each other again.

But onto the sewing.  I completed three more bottled rainbow blocks.  I had two more ready to be worked on, but I decided that I didn't need to kill myself with these.  I am doing this quilt because I enjoy it.  Not because it needs to be done by a certain time. ;)  But I'm not quite me if I'm not being an overachiever with ridiculously lofty goals.  I'm actually kind of proud of myself that I'm not making sure that my machine is the first thing that I set up when I get to Indiana.  Teehee.  Even I need a break sometimes.

So I worked on a beautiful Plum block.  I was really surprised that I had enough fabric scraps in this particular shade, but I did!

Plum Bottled Rainbow Block

I also completed a pink block.  I'm a little less sure about this one for some reason, but Kaelin and Karen assured me that it was beautiful and in one last show of faith I chose to believe them. ;)

Pink Bottle Rainbow Block

But I think I love this yellow block the most (it's always a toss up though).  In the spirit of no longer hoarding my fabric, I'm proud of myself for using my new scrap of FFA III, the guitars, as the kicking off point for this block.  And I love how many of my other favorite designers I managed to squeeze into the block as well.  Truly a happy block.  I think I need to quilt with yellow more often.

Yellow Bottled Rainbow Block

So that's it from New Orleans.  I'm amazed at the wonderful quilting friends that I have found here and can only hope that I find people I like half as well in the next home.  Hugs and Kisses to all my friends here!  I will miss you all!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Flying to the end

Well, I've had an interesting couple of days.  I went out to get my white thread that I needed in order to do any more sewing.  I happily found it on sale and everything.  Made my purchase and was coming out of the store carrying my package and my daughter when I ran into a concrete parking spot bumper.  I jammed my toe into it, went flying face forward with my daughter in front of me.  I saw the whole thing in slow motion and did the best I could to protect her from hitting the pavement.  She's a little bumped and bruised but no scrapes, thank goodness!!  Me, not so much.  I really slammed my left knee, toe and leg into the ground and have a very swollen knee.  I'm waiting to see what pretty colors it becomes. ;)  So, I didn't manage to get any sewing done that day because I was keeping my knee on ice.  But I forced myself to bend it enough to sit at my machine the next day and use that white thread that I was so determined to buy. (stubborn? me?)

So here is the finished purple bottled rainbow block, which I will always remember by the scrapes on my knee.  ;)

Purple Bottled Rainbow Block

I also needed to finish up my last bee block for the month and for this house.  For Holly for Bee Modern Too she asked us to make flying geese blocks.  She sent us some fabrics and encouraged us to add some of our own too.  She has a really fun color palette and I wanted to make something different than I had made before.  I'm kind of taken with the long strips of flying geese right now, so I made her one giant "block" that measures 12.5" x 28.5".

Flying Geese Block for Holly

It's funny.  I'm never a huge fan of flying geese when someone tells me to make them, but I always end up really like them after I've made them.  This is why I like doing bee blocks because I'm forced to work on things that I don't naturally gravitate towards.  And I (usually) end up liking them.

Flying Geese Block for Holly

I also made one last online fabric purchase last week that came in the mail.  I bought some FFA meadow flowers that I've been drooling over for far too long.  I finally gave in.  And the person I bought them from put in a couple of scraps of the upcoming FFAIII that she acquired through a woman who made a quilt for the quilt market.  Anyway, I was very excited to get a feel for these because I doubt I'll ever see a bolt of these in person.  Online ordering is the only way they can enter my life.

New Heather Ross

The guitar print is on a light weight canvas that is more flexible than the FFAII and the flowers are a light weight cotton that is as light weight as the gauze from FFA but won't be as hard to work with! Yay!

3 days until we pack up the trucks!  I'll try to post one more time before we move and then I have no idea.  Internet access, unpacking and a mini vacation for the husband and I are all on the plate for next week.  Of course I fully plan on finding some fabric stores while on our little vaca!

Monday, May 23, 2011

flower power

I still have a couple of bee blocks to finish for this month(!) and I'd love to get that all done before we move at the end of the week.  I'm not sure what life will be like for a bit and I'm not sure when I'll have internet access!  Agh!  Hopefully we'll have that figured out quickly.  Because I know how much you would all miss my ramblings.   ;)

But I did manage to finish up my bee block for Tracey for VIBees last night.  She's expecting and has been waffling between finding out whether she's having a girl or boy.  But in the meantime, she's having us make blocks for a "if it's a girl" quilt.  Love it!  She sent us the most yummy girly fabrics and wanted a 16" block with a flower theme.  Well I took her quite literally.

I had this done by last week some of you might recall.

Working on Tracey's block for VIBees

A sixteen patch block with a bunch of white fabric on the side cut up into tiny pieces....  Well I had a plan and I was finally able to see it come together (although I almost did not have enough white thread!).

VIBees quilt block for Tracey

I took each one of those white fabric pieces and made them into petals.  There about 50 of them and they are hand sewn together and then machine appliqu├ęd to the quilt block in rings.  I did end up needing a tiny button for the center of the flower, so I don't know if Tracey would actually use this block in her quilt.  We'll see what she thinks.  I think that it is kind of begging to be a pillow myself, but since I was supposed to be making a block for a quilt, I want to make sure that she could use it that way too.

Hand made flower

And those petals have been child approved because little miss decided she was very interested in my attempts to hand sew while she was still up. *Note to self: do NOT try to hand sew while your 17 month old is up.  She will unravel your thread, pull out needles, ruin your carefully sorted piles, and gleefully throw everything on the floor.  Good thing she is cute. *

I've also been making some progress on the bottled rainbow front!  I have all my batting scraps cut up and ready to made into the final blocks.  I have six more block backgrounds put together (I ran out of white for the rest) and I have all the scraps glued into place for my purple block.

Bottled Rainbow Progress

 As mentioned before, my thread shortage halted my work on finishing this and nearly stopped my work on finishing the flower for Tracey's block.  I NEED to buy white thread today.  Every project that I have left out to work on this week requires white thread. So yes, I'm going to be one of those people.  You know.  The crazy people who are buying things in a fabric store when they will be moving in a week.  But I'm pretty sure that I will use up all the thread in the week.  I'll let you know. ;)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I feel like playing a game

When we were on our sewing retreat, Kelly kept asking us funny questions in order to get to know us better.  The rest of all us all knew each other pretty well and it was our first time meeting her in person.  One of my favorite questions turned out to be about what? You guessed it!  Fabric!  Our question ultimately became which Heather Ross fabric would you be?  Her fabrics are a great choice because they have such a story to each one.  At first I thought that I would be the plum Cat in the Boat with the Owl from FFAII.

It's a bit of a joke, but I made a comment to Kaelin one time about how I was NOT a cat in a boat with an owl (long story) and it was the perfect answer in light of that.  But then I realized that I had forgotten my true love...Alice.

Yep...that would be me.  Thrown in confusion down a hole filled with literal idiosyncrasies but still in a pretty blue dress with a cute hair bow. ;)

So....what fabric would you be?  It doesn't have to be a Heather Ross fabric...that worked for us, but the more specific you are about an actual fabric, the more we can get to know you!    This is one of those times when I wish you all could post a picture in your comments.  But describe it...I bet we'll know it. ;)

Friday, May 20, 2011

long arm styling

Well I've recently had a chance to try out the local long arm quilting machine to whip through a few quilt tops before I leave town.  Let's just say that I have very mixed feelings about the experience.  I have this impression that using a long arm quilter makes every thing easier and better.  After all, you can quilt a large queen or king sized quilt in matter of a few hours.  But reality struck as I attempted to use the long arm quilter on my own.

I quilted one twin sized quilt the first day of my two days of quilting.  And all went fairly smoothly.  I had the woman who taught the long arm class there to help me set up the machine and do the adjustments as I needed.  I chose to quilt the top that I recently put together after a few years of holding onto the rows.  You might recall it.  It has blue and green and white and lots of circles!

free motion long arm quilting

I chose to do a loopy pattern that I felt I could reasonably tackle as my first attempt at free motion quilting on a long arm machine.  And I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out.  The all over pattern brings some continuity to the quilt made from different rows.  I'm saving a full reveal of all of the quilts until I get a chance to bind them and show them off separately, but I did remember to take some close ups of the curved flying geese row at the top that some of you requested.  I have no idea how she made it and no idea how to get in touch with her.  But here's the pictures nonetheless.

curved flying geese made for me

close up of the flying geese row

Having felt that I achieved a fairly successful first attempt at long arm quilting, I happily went away for the weekend on my sewing retreat.  I worked the whole weekend on a quilt top that I planned to quilt on the machine on the following Monday.  I'm happy to say that I finished the quilt top as planned.  I'm not as pleased with the fact that I was NOT able to use the long arm quilting machine to finish up the quilt.  Because you see, I had a hellish day with the long arm quilter on Monday.

First off, the lady who helped me on Thursday and had promised me on multiple occasions that she would be there to help me on Monday (I had the whole day dedicated to quilting there) changed her schedule over the weekend and did not come into the store that day.  She was in another city teaching other classes instead.  So when I confidently walked in the store all ready to accomplish my many quilt tops, I was quickly frustrated to learn that she would not be there.  You all know that I'm in the midst of moving and putting aside this kind of time to quilt was a big sacrifice.  And I felt like I was wasting my own time....and I HATE that.

I started out with a crib quilt that I wanted to use as a practice for some quilting ideas.  But crazy quilting techniques went out the window when I realized I was on my own to figure out how to use the huge machine with no instructions.  None.  No diagrams, no nothing.  Frankly, I would never let someone use my machine without any instruction and it's no where near the price of this machine!

baby quilt free motion long arm quilted

I think just about everything that could go wrong did.  I had the quilt on there the wrong way.  The thread of course broke and the machine needed to be rethreaded...oh and did I mention that the store is under new management (which in the long run will be a good thing) and the woman running the store doesn't know anything about anything.  She's sweet, but uninformed.  So I muddled my way through that little quilt...taking hours on what should have been a 45 minute quick top.

I moved on to my pink quilt, properly named Neapolitan Dreams, and at least I managed to get the quilt rolled on the machine correctly.  I was now an expert in threading the machine due to the number of times I had to rethread it on the first quilt.  I do think that the machine was out to get me, but after hours and hours with the machine I have a feeling that I understand it better than the lady who was supposed to be helping me.  Too bad I'll never use it again.

Neapolitan Dreams free motion quilting

Again, I did some random free motion very lame attempt at feathering.  I know that it looks ok...and I haven't been able to wash the quilt yet because it is not bound.  But I know that it could have been so much more than it is.

And that quilt top that I worked so hard to finish for Monday for the long arm quilting machine?  Well the baby quilt and the pink quilt took the whole day and there was no way that I was going to risk that new quilt top with my shady quilting abilities.

So, lesson learned.  A long arm machine is not a magic machine...especially if you are free motion quilting and are not a natural artist.  I know other people have no problems, but I really think I could do better if I were able to follow a pattern for a bit to get a feel for the motion that you need to use for particular patterns.  And I really would love to learn more about the machines from someone who knows what they are doing. ;)  But in the end, I have three more quilts finished and ready to bound once I get to South Bend.  Can you believe that I actually had aspirations of getting even the zig zag quilt done?!  Reality check needed.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nola Modern Quilt Guild Retreat on the Gulf

This past weekend was a fabulously fun filled time of lots of sewing, laughter, yummy food and shopping. The New Orleans Modern Quilt Guild assembled for our second sewing retreat. And our accommodations have definitely improved since last time! Kaelin's aunt and uncle generously allowed us to use their gorgeous condo on the Gulf. Let's just say that I didn't need to buy any allergy medication this time to breathe through the mustiness. Nor did we run out of toilet paper.

Here's the master suite of the condo. It's a tough life but someone has live like this. ;)

master suite

Kaelin, Karen and I stayed in the room designated for the grandkids. The bunk beds were so much fun! And the three of us giggled ourselves to sleep like school girls each night.

Our sleeping room

The view from the condo was so beautiful! Unfortunately I never actually made it down to the beach but this was a busy weekend for me and not exactly a vacation (as much as I would have liked it to be!)

the view from the condo

It didn't take very long before every surface was covered with fabric!

NOLA quilt guild has arrived

Gulf Port also has a fun outlet mall, so Kaelin, Karen and I took off to do some quality shopping. While browsing through JCREW we finally got to meet Kelly who drove over from Florida to join us for the weekend! I knew that we would get along well when she was wearing a top almost the twin of one that I was holding in my hand at the time. ;) Not that I had any doubts. But she proved herself sassy enough to fit in with our crazy crowd! She has some great photos of the weekend and a lovely video of me dancing (what can I say? I've watched too many episodes of Glee!). You can find all of that fun on her BLOG.

Here she is!  So beautiful!

sassy Kelly!

I don't have any photos of that evening because no one warned me to bring my camera.  But we met up with sweet Cherie (who comes in for our retreats from Hattisburg!) at a local BBQ joint.  I would have said the highlight was getting picked up at the bar by creepy men, but the gals all surprised me with an early birthday cake and gift card to Hawthorne Threads!!  Sweeties!  I think that it was just a good excuse to buy some super yummy cake from Whole Foods. ;)

Sadly Cherie could only stay for the evening this time because she had to dash off to her grandmother's 81st(?) birthday party the next day.  But she stayed late into the night sewing with us!  Also on the retreat was Lana (Kaelin's mother in law) who is so sweet and so funny.  One of the best people that I have ever met. Seriously.

sweet Lana

Darling Karen who spent much of the weekend working on a Christmas quilt for ME!  She's so darling for making it for me.  She's the one that I just made the Christmas blocks for, so I will love having a Christmas quilt by her that is just so her!  She just posted some pictures of it on her BLOG.

precious Karen

Of course, Kaelin was there working away on numerous projects.  One of them was a pouch for Kelly that she worked on while Kelly was there.  But she tricked Kelly into thinking it was for someone else and later surprised her with it!  You can read more about that on her BLOG.

Kaelin looking all cute

And then there was me...working away on a project that I'll show you later. ;)  I worked the whole weekend on just the one project though I foolishly brought many more with me.

Me at the quilting retreat

So many good times, jokes, tv shows, fabric adoring and laughter.  I'm definitely going to miss these gals!

NOLA quilt guild sewing retreat

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival - May 2011

Amy's Creative Side

So I've had the button on my blog to remind me of this, but with the craziness going on around here I haven't had a chance to post about it yet.  For my regular readers (love you!), you have all recently seen this sorry about that.  But hey, I like this one and wanted to to share it.  You'll forgive me. ;)

The quilt I want to share was cleverly named by one of my readers as "Down the Rabbit Hole".  There were so many other great names as well, but ultimately I'm such a sucker for Alice and whimsy that I couldn't deny the perfection of that name!

Hexagon Quilt

This quilt is designed by me and based on a small block that I made for my super sweet and funny friend Lynne.  I love the movement of this quilt and the options that I have yet to explore.  I'm determined to make this with six different fabrics as I did the original block and I think that I'm going to try to use my Mendocino Swimming sisters for it!  But life is a little crazy right now, so it may be a little bit until I can do that.

I've also been working hard on writing up the pattern because I think that this is the first one that I am going to offer for sale. Which of course puts added pressure onto writing it up because I obviously don't want their to be any mistakes.  But I wrote that up the last couple of weeks and just need to add the center hexagon template to the PDF and I should be able to offer it.  Woohoo! know I'm crazy when in addition to everything else I'm also writing up patterns. ;)

But thanks for stopping by and I hope that you enjoy this quilt!  You can find my original post about it HERE.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm still here!

Agh!  I tried to post at least twice last week and blogger was down every time.  Crazy!  And then I left for the weekend to go on our lovely NOLA modern quilt guild sewing retreat weekend.  And on Thursday and all day today, I was at the sewing machine store renting time on the long arm quilting machine in a desperate attempt to finish up some projects before I move in about 10? days.  So I'm a little nuts right now.  But I should get some moments to share all my sewing with you in this coming week.  Because I need to slow down for my sanity!

I've packed up all of my fabric into an obscene number of boxes and moved my sewing machine and table, along with all of my scrap boxes, to the family room.

Sewing in the Family Room

So this is my little corner of the room.  It actually works pretty well...I just have a bunch of sewing stuff out all the time.  So I wouldn't have loved this arrangement permanently.  But it's keeping me going as we pack the house.

My current sewing space

Here is my obscene amount of scraps.  Yup.  Now you understand why I want to do quilts that use up scraps. ;)

a tower of scraps

I'm making a list and checking it twice, but I can't tell if I'm naughty or nice.  I finished Karen's blocks for Bee Modern Too.  I had made the one block of the North Pole already, but I had this idea for her Christmas quilt as well.

Bee Modern Too - Block for Karen

Santa looks like he got stuck!

Bee Modern Too - Santa Block

So here are my two blocks for Karen!  Which I happily handed over to her at our quilting retreat this past weekend.

Bee Modern Too - christmas blocks for Karen

Then I also whipped up two grey tossed nine patch blocks for do. Good Stitches.  This is my last month with that bee for now as my life has gotten slightly out of control with moving across the country.  But I managed to make these.  I'm not sure how the quilt will go together but I think that it is a rainbow.  I picked the grey colored blocks to do.

Grey Block for do. Good Stitches - May

And I've been working on a block for Tracey for VIBees.  It's not finished yet, but I'll give you a sneak peek. ;)

Working on Tracey's block for VIBees

I'll have more to share soon!  I just need to catch my breath and then I'll tell you all about this past weekend and the long arm quilting.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pure Elements winner is...

Cristin said...27

Angela, good luck moving so far away! Thats crazy!
Our house is on the market and we had our fist showing today... but we're just hoping to buy a bigger home in the same area, I cannot imagine moving 1000 miles away!

So I've moved once, 6.5 years ago... my tip is this: when you're taking the beds apart (or anything that will have loose hardware (curtains rods too, right?) put all the loose hardware into a ziplock baggie and tape it to the item it belongs to. My family thought I was crazy organized when we moved just because I did that. Nothing like trying to setup your bed (or crib) at your new house, its late, PAST bedtime... and you can't find the screws for it! It will save you some time, I hope! Good luck again, and thanks for the giveaway too - its a lovely set of fabric to be sure.

Yay Cristin!  Thank you for the wonderful tip as well.  That sounds exactly like how we are packing. ;)  Except that we're probably adding bubble wrap to it all as well!  Nothing is going to get scratched this time around.  Regardless, I hope that you enjoy the fabric!

And thank you to everyone for all of your lovely tips on packing and traveling with a little one.  I'm definitely going to be getting some of those wardrobe boxes.  I didn't realize that those exist!  So thank you to all who mentioned those.  And oh how I wish we had movers and packers and endless supplies of hard labor and money.  But alas, we're doing the work and packing every box.  It's good because we like to have control, but bad because we're exhausted and have waves of being overwhelmed.  But I think that we're finally done with purging (and trust me, we are excellent purgers! except for fabric) and now we are wrapping and packing.  We have just under three weeks and we're tackling a new task every day.

I'll try to post some pics tomorrow of the projects that I have been working on.  Because yes, I'm still quilting and sewing away! Because yes, I'm still crazy. ;)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Phoebe Bag

Call me crazy...I know you will.  But I have a number of projects that I'm trying to finish up in the midst of packing and inspections and crazy moving stuff.  One of them is my bag for the Goodie Bag Swap that Kaelin and I are running.  We thought we were being all clever with our timing because we set everything up and had it going before life got stressful.  But then she moved a week ago or so and now I'm moving in three weeks.   So let's just say that life has been interesting as moderators.  I'm not really sure what we were thinking.  And now we both have to tell each other's partners that they need to ship to us at a new address. I'm really hoping that all goes well with the shipping aspect of the swap.

But I do have the bag completed and it is the very first bag that I've made!  Now I have done plenty of sewing in my lifetime, but I still have never made a handbag.  So this was a little nerve wrecking.  But I'm happy with how it turned out.

For my partner!

I put myself in the beginner category both because I've never made a bag, but also so that I could make a simpler bag and not drive myself crazy.  I tend to go overboard on projects. ;)  Who?  Me?

Phoebe Bag

I wanted to make a bag from someone else's pattern that others have tried out and liked.  So I looked for one that had a great shape but fairly simple construction.  This pattern is by Artsy Crafty Babe and is called the Phoebe Bag.  And it is a free pattern!  You can find it HERE!  It's a great little pattern.  I think the size is perfect!  I was a little distracted I guess when I was making the bag and kept doing some steps in the wrong order.  Then I would think I had a better way of doing things, but I didn't.  Oh well.  That's why it's the first time making a bag!

My first bag!

The pattern calls for an interior simple pocket, so I pulled out some of my favorite shade of Tufted Tweets and threw it on the inside for a little fun.

Interior Pockets

The exterior fabric is from Just Wing it by Momo for Moda I believe and the green fabric was just a random print that I found at my quilt store that matched. I fussy cut the tab closer so that the trees lined up for a more seamless look.  And then I threw on a pretty sparkling button just because everything is more fun when it sparkles!  There is a magnetic closure in the tab, but I'd have to think about whether I would want to do that again if I make another one. (and I probably will)

Bag for my goodie bag swap partner

Since I used quilting weight cottons for both the exterior and lining of the bag, I decided to use some fusible fleece help give the bag some weight.  I like how it helps the bag keep that cute shape and it was a breeze to work with.  I'm trying to explore different types of interfacing and fusible support.  So this was a fun time to use a new to me product.  And I also bought some scotch guard for the first time and put a couple of coats on the bag to help protect it from stains.  I love that it doesn't change how the fabric feels.  Genius!

Phoebe Bag

So partner it is ready for you!  I may even give myself permission to ship it a little early due to our move date. ;)   And I have a yummy goodie bag of scraps all ready to go that I think that you'll enjoy.  I know I like them!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Give some tips and get some fabric

*the giveaway is now closed*

Hello all!  It's been a crazy day already here.  We've had the plumbing inspection today for the house and we're not sure how that went.  We have to wait until the end of the day before we hear anything.  So that's making us a little anxious right now.  All I can say is Louisiana wants to be a swamp! ;)

But the good news for you all is that today we're having a giveaway sponsored by the oh so lovely Fat Quarter Shop!

I picked out something for you all that I want to have. lol.  I'm going to live vicariously through you because once again I think it would be bad form for me to enter my own giveaway. ;)  Wish I could though!

So what is this mysterious fabric bundle?  Why it is Patricia Bravo's Pure Elements Fat Quarter Bundle.  This is her collection of solids.  If you have not worked with Patricia's fabrics, you are going to want to.  They have such a nice hand!  They are really soft and light weight.  And I've heard nothing but great things about this collection of solids.

So, since I'm in the midst of packing my whole house to move 1000 miles away, I would love some tips.  I need tips for packing, moving, traveling with a 16 month old...all of it!  So to enter the giveaway just leave me a tip to help my transition.  Thank you in advance for all of the comments.  I'm not going to be able to return all of the comments this time due to my time constraints. But trust me, I read every comment.  I hope you all do too on these giveaways because there are always really interesting comments.  I found so many beautiful quilts from all of your suggestions with the last giveaway!

Oh yeah...and today I'm featured over on Jennifer's Blog,  So if you're interested in learning some things about me that perhaps you didn't know, you can hop over there and check it out.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Here and there and everywhere!

That is what my brain feels like these days.  I'm here.  I'm there.  I'm everywhere.  Boy is it draining.  We've been busy making plans for packing with the remaining 3.5 weeks.  I'm happy to say that our niece will be coming into town to help us for a I will happily be able to traipse off to my sewing retreat with the NOLA modern quilt guild for one last fabulous weekend with them.  And then I should be able to sign up for some time on the long arm machine in order to quilt like a maniac and get some projects done.  Crazy?  Me?  Never.

So I know that I've been quiet lately, but I'm online all the time actually.  And I realized that I never mentioned that I'm making the occasional appearance on Shruti's blog this week for the first week of the Bella Parade.  I'm an "expert" (hah!) fabric selector for fabric bundles that look good with the colors that she gave me to pick out.  So if you are dying for some of my expert advice, you can hop on over there and check it out.  She's giving away tons of fabric too, so I think people are having fun.

Also tomorrow, I think I'm featured on Jennifer's blog as part of her Big 5 Blog Party.  She has some great interviews that she's already done this week with lots of delicious quilty eye candy.  So go check her out too.  Oh yeah and I'm pretty sure she's giving away things too.

So random that I've ended up on two people's blogs this week, but it works well since it's a crazy week for me and life is a little crazy around here.  I have been doing some sewing I promise!  I'm working away on my bee blocks and finishing up some quilts and writing up some patterns.  Yada yada yada.  I did finish a block for Jessica who even sent us some of her fabulous new fabric, Timber!  (Oh and how did I not know that she is having a book published?!)  She wanted a slightly wonky block of any rectangular size no bigger than 14.5" square with the 1" grey border around the perimeter.  She did say that she preferred not having a huge number of fabrics in one block despite the lovely assortment she sent.  So I took her at her word and went with "less is more".

Busy Bees - May Block for Jessica

I love how it ended up looking like books!  I totally did not intend that, but it was a fun realization when I was finished.  Someone else thought that it looked like Bamboo, so that's pretty cool too.  Jess says that she likes it, so that's all I need.  Oh and by the way, if you stop by her blog, scroll down and check out her daughter's unicorn and rainbow birthday party.  I'm exhausted just looking at it.  She's put Martha Stewart to shame!  Again, just enjoy the eye candy and try not to think about the work that it took to pull that off. ;)

I will be back soon with another giveaway...sorry these things all stacked up so close together, but really...I'm not going to complain about free stuff!  It's all fun!  And let's just say that tomorrow's giveaway would have fit in perfectly with Jess' party for her daughter. (now I've got you all freaked out that there is going to be a bunch of fabric with unicorns on it!  Haha!)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sometimes it's all about circles

First off, I want to announce the winner of the Metro Circles Bundle from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics.

Will Annabelle please step to the head of the class?!  You're the lucky winner!

"Circles, love them!!!!!

I have lots of favs but I about to do this

one with a charity bee. Should be fun and easy for our frist quilt together."

Congrats Annabelle!  I'm sure that you'll enjoy them...I know that I would. ;)

In other news, we recently made the decision to move back home to South Bend, IN.  We are currently living in New Orleans and moved here after Katrina to help rebuild.  But the time has come for us to return back to the midwest and cooler weather, to snow storms instead of hurricanes.

After a very brief stint trying to sell our house for sale by owner, we talked to a real estate friend of my husband's and determined that the most efficient way to sell our house here would be to list it with an agent.  So we did...and within 48 hours we had 4 showings, 3 families in love with the house, 2 offers and ultimately a verbal agreement for the sale.  Let's just say that it has been a crazy weekend!

So we'll be leaving the Crescent City and returning to the home of Notre Dame in 4(!) weeks.  That's just slightly overwhelming but exciting.  I'm going to keep trying to sew as long as possible, but I can't make huge guarantees at this point; especially as we near the move date.  I'd like to get the quilt along going before I leave so you all don't forget me when I inevitably will need to take some days off from sewing and blogging.  It's getting there...I promise.  Sometimes I'm full of promises. ;)

I'm working on a hand bag for a swap currently and will zip out my bee blocks soon so that I can move onto other things.  I want to make sure I get to use the long arm quilting machine here for three or four quilts before I leave.  I hope that's not being too optimistic. ;)


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