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Liebster Award

Liebster-Award
Wow! I was nominated for a Liebster Award by Heather at Peachy Pages. Thanks Heather, I accept.

Liebster Blog AwardSo what is the Liebster Award? The gist of the award is that you “accept’ with the intention of “paying it forward”.  Upon accepting the award, one chooses 11 blogs that you feel are deserving of more subscribers and “nominate” them for the award.  No one is obligated to accept the award (or even to pay it forward), but it does help to generate traffic and get the word out about some really great little blogs that can be crammed full of big punches of inspiration!  For now, let’s just say, it’s a fun and friendly award by bloggers, to bloggers, for bloggers!

To qualify the blog must have less than 200 followers or must be less than six months old. Once the award is received you are to write a post and in it

  • List 11 random things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions posed by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 blogs for the Liebster Award and link to them.
  • Leave a comment so the blogger’s know they’ve been nominated.
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

Let’s see, 11 random things about me:

  1. When I’m not quilting, I love reading long running series, especially mysteries where the heroine is female. Think JD Robb, JA Jance, Michael Connelly’s Bosch series, Kathryn Hall Page and so on.
  2. I’m a licensed, instrument-rated pilot although I haven’t flown in 10 years.
  3. I have one son and two beautiful grandchildren, 11 and 13.
  4. I’m the primary caretaker for my 98 y/o mother, although amazingly she really doesn’t need much care.
  5. I’m majorly claustrophobic so don’t ask me to go spelunking with you.
  6. I work for an Atlanta-based company though I’m based in California.
  7. I really dislike exercising.
  8. I’ve traveled to or through most of the 50 United States.
  9. Purple, turquoise and orange seem to be my colors of choice lately.
  10. I’m very content to spend my days in jeans and t-shirts. And, fortunately, my current job allows that (most of the time).
  11. I hate crowds, so you’ll find me doing all my shopping early in the morning.

Here are the questions from Heather and my answers:

  1. What’s your favorite LQS or crafty store? Honestly, I don’t have a local favorite. The LQS where I took classes tends to stock fabric in the Asian and modern styles. After seriously quilting for more than 8 years now, I find I like more traditional fabrics. So I tend to shop when I’m traveling or online. Though for notions, batting, etc., I always use my Jo-Ann’s % off coupons.
  2. What types of things spark your creative inspiration? Looking at what others have done gives me all the inspiration I need. I can wastespend hours looking at blogs, Pinterest, etc. etc.
  3. What are some of your favorite blogs any why? Of course, I love Bonnie Hunter. I’ve done all her mysteries but one and I look forward to her articles in Quiltmaker. She is just an amazing inspiration and I find I love scrap quilts the best. I also love reading Judy Laquidara‘s blog. I had the opportunity to share a table with her at a retreat in 2010. I’ve made some of her quilts as well, but they are a bit matchy for me. I need to try her patterns with a more scrappy look. But I have too many UFOs now as it is. I have a short list of about 30 other blogs that I follow daily that routinely give me inspiration. I could follow so many others but I would never get any work done.
  4. What are the top 3 things on your creative to do list this year? 1. Finish, 2. Finish, 3. Finish. I’ve got to start using this early stash that I accumulated and now don’t particularly like. So the best way is to use it up or turn it into scraps. My 2013 Goal is to finish more of myUFOs than I start so that I can start on my inspiration list. So making backs out of that early stash is high on my list.
  5. Where would you go on your dream vacation? Oh, my. I think I’ve been on a few already, England/Wales, Paris, Italy, Spain. But at this point, I would love to visit Germany, Austria, Switzerland and take one of those River Cruises advertised on Masterpiece.
  6. What has been your favorite travel experience? I love cruises. You get to visit so many places and yet not have to unpack/repack. In fact, I’m taking my 13 y/o grandson on a cruise to Alaska in June.
  7. What’s playing on your TV and iPod lately? Downton Abby of course, along with NCIS, Gray’s Anatomy, Blue Bloods and the list goes on. I don’t listen to music on my iPod, I listen to books. Right now I’m listening to Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell.
  8. Do you feel you “give back” and how so? I am trying to do more giving back in recent years. In fact most of my quilting is now Charity Quilting. I have enough quilts of my own and I’ve given as many to family and friends as they can handle. So I’m concentrating on doing what I love and hoping to make a difference. I’ve sent quilts and pillow cases to Colorado, New Jersey, Quilts for Kids and my local quilt drives.  As long as I’m working full-time, that’s about as much giving back as I can handle at the moment.
  9. What 5 sites do you like for shopping online? Amazon of course is my main go to site. Then there’s always Lands End and Zappos. Love the easy of returns at those two. For quilting, it’s Missouri Start Quilt Co. for pre-cuts and Connecting Threads, especially for their batiks. Otherwise, I tend to buy fabric in person when I’m traveling or at shows.
  10. What was your favorite class/lecture you ever attended? The machine quilting class taught by Mary Mashuta at my LQS. She gave me so much inspiration for quilting on my DSM.
  11. Why do you blog? I started blogging to keep a journal of what I’ve accomplished with my quilting.  But blogging has also allowed me to interact with quilters in places I would never have imagined. As I said before, I get so much inspiration from other bloggers that I couldn’t just lurk and read other blogs without contributing myself. If even one reader gets an idea or inspiration from my blog, it’s done it’s job.

So now, here are my questions for my nominees:

  1. How do you usually quilt your quilts?
  2. What size quilt do you normally make? or is your favorite to make?
  3. How big is your fabric stash and where do you keep it?
  4. Do you take quilting themed vacations/trips?
  5. Do you quilt for charity and if so, what is your favorite organization?
  6. What are you reading right now?
  7. If I sent you a bag of 2.5″ scrappy strips, what pattern would you make with them?
  8. What was the last vacation you took? (A get away from it all vacation… not a visit to family or other purpose driven trip)
  9. What quilting goal do you have on your bucket list? (other than reducing stash and finishing UFOs)
  10. What normally inspires you to start a new project?
  11. Tell me one thing about you that not too many people know.

And now for my nominees. Not 11 but these blogs definitely worth checking out.

Hop on over and see what these very creative ladies have been up to.

July UFO Almost Finished

Finally, I have something to report on my UFOs. My number 3 for this year is my Twister Christmas Wreath. I finished quilting and adding the binding this month. All that’s left is to sew the binding down. I’m saving that for a trip later this month when I’ll have lot’s of time for hand sewing.

I’m also excited that Judy chose number 7 for August. I finished that UFO in July. Yay!! I’ll report on that one at the end of August.

To see what everyone else has completed, go here.

Productive Weekend

It’s not Sunday for a Stash Report or Monday for a Design Wall post, but I did have a very productive weekend and lot’s to show off. I finished quilting four small quilts and got the first part of the binding sewn on.

First up, a little preemie incubator quilt I put together with some very pastel blocks that I didn’t know what else to do with. I think it turned out pretty cute.

I free-motion quilted it with a large meander which was a piece of cake on a small quilt like this. I love the texture it added.

I bound it with some scrap 2.5″ yellow strips. Now I just need to hand sew down the binding and it’s done.

Next up is a Halloween wall hanging I bought as a kit some time ago. I only had to add the borders and binding, but I thought it was pretty cute. It’s completely finished now with banding and hanging sleeve.

I saw this Christmas Wreath using the twister blocks on the quiltingboard.com somewhere. Don’t have the link right now. I thought it was so cute and lots of fun to make. I have another one with the blocks put together but haven’t started the twister step yet.

It’s table topper size or a good size for a wall hanging. I did a small meander in cream on the light part and a larger meander in the borders. I’m leaving the pinwheels plain for the moment. I can always go back and do some kind of quilting there if I change my mind.

Last is my Nine Surrounded, one of Bonnie Hunter’s patterns from Patchwork Posse. Isn’t the texture great? I just did a large meander all over.

I’m really enjoying all these little quilts. They are so much fan, finish quickly, and so easy to FMQ.

Design Wall and Orca Bay Pt. 1

Not much happening on my design wall these days. I’ve got a mini top from Bonnie’s Mini Marathon that I completed in Shipshewana on the wall just to look at.

This weekend, however, I dove into Orca Bay Part 1. I’ve got 180 of the QSTs made. Only 40 or so more to go. I think I’ll get them all sewn if not trimmed and pressed before the next part is released on Friday.

To see more design walls, click here.

To see everyone else’s Orca Bay Part One, click here.

Design Wall Monday

Here is what is on my design wall today.

I started this quilt to get rid of all the 1930s prints I had in a drawer. This barely made a dent. Either that or these prints reproduce. :) This is simply a Disappearing 9 Patch with the four patches in each of the four corners and a solid piece in the middle which makes the cornerstone. I’m auditioning the pink setting triangles. I think they are keepers.

I just realized I haven’t posted in a while. Not because I haven’t been sewing; I have. Just haven’t had the urge to write a post. I started another quilt as well which I’ll post about later.

Check out Judy’s blog for more Design Wall posts.

Stash Report April 2

Well the first quarter of 2011 is finished. I’m happy to say that to date I have only purchased 2 yards of fabric. And, that was to finish my February UFO. Nothing in my stash would work. I even used two color in the binding so I didn’t have to purchase any more. Here are my stats:

Total used this week        1.72
Total used year to date    13.60
Total added this week      0.00
Total added year to date  2.00
Net used year to date       11.60

Normally this would mean I haven’t been sewing, but as you can see from my UFO status, I’ve finished two quilts and am on my way to finishing two others on my UFO list. And, all this momentum has caused me to get another one not on the list ready for quilting.

Now the question is What do you do with all these finishes???

I don’t have a problem finishing quilts that have purpose and need to be complete to give to someone. The quilts on my UFO Challenge list this year are not tagged for anyone special.

Have a great Sunday!

February UFO Complete

I did it, I finished my February UFO. Tonight at 10:10 pm I put the last stitch in the binding.

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At the beginning of February, this was just 9 12″ blocks that were part of the Quilts Your Way Squishie Swap in 2010. So I’m very happy to have this one done. It’s the first set of Squishie blocks that have made it to quilt status. I have three more years worth of blocks to go. :)

I ran out of the Ocean Blue Fusions for the binding so I had to use some of the gold along with the blue. Makes it a little interesting that way. It finishes at about 56″ square. Don’t know what I’ll do with this one, but it’s finished.

Judy has selected number 1 for our March project. I confess, I had to swap my original number 1, Darby’s quilt with number 3, Strip Twist. I will be gone most of March on vacation so there will be very little sewing happening for me. Since number 3 only needs binding at this point, I can actually have a completion for March this way.

Check out Judy’s UFO post to see what others have completed in February.

Fabulous Give Away…

I couldn’t help myself. I had to post about this great give-away going on over at Stash Manicure.

mels-stashmani2

Head on over here to get in on the fun for yourself. Oh but wait a minute. Never mind. I want to win this one. ;)

More later on what I was up to last night.

Happy New Year!

happy-new-years
I wish you all the best in 2010. I hope you can spend this first day of the new year doing what you love because it’s said that what you do on the first day of the year sets the stage for the rest of the year. You’ll find me in front of my cutting table and sewing machine. No mysteries this year. I’ve way to many WIPs already started. But I do plan to start one new project today. I plan to start on my first charity quilt for 2010.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to you all.

I picked up this really cute Holiday kit at one of my LQS on Wednesday for 50% off. It’s the Bountiful Blessings fabrics from Laurel Birch. This is the center panel. The kit came with other fabrics from this line for the borders, backing, and even the binding. It finishes 40″ by 40″. Perfect for a wall hanging or just a little Holiday throw.

Today is a very quiet day for since we do all our celebrating with family on Christmas Eve. So, even though I have many other WIPs calling, I decided to start this one today. It just seemed appropriate to me.

I did get a bit of a late start today after sleeping in until 9:30. Yikes, late for me is normally 8:00 am even on the weekends.

I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful holiday with family and friends. And, maybe getting in a little quilting as well this weekend.

Look What Arrived Today…

I’m sew excited. My Sew Steady table for my new Sapphire arrived today. Shipping was supposed to take 4-6 weeks so I thought it would arrive in time to go under the tree. Not so, only took three weeks from Connecting Threads.

Can’t wait to try it out, but I won’t have much time this week for sewing. It may have to wait for the weekend when I can set it up exactly like I want. Right now the machine and table are sitting on an old Singer cabinet. Not the best location for it.

What’s on my Wall Today…

Here’s what’s on my Design wall today. It’s the first of eight blocks I need to make as part of the Quilts Your Way 2009 Squishie Block Swap.

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The blocks are due in a month or so, so I better get busy. This block pattern is from Quilter’s Cache and is called Double Z. I will make a few of the others out of this pattern as well. Don’t know if it comes across in the picture, but on the wall there is a definite optical illusion going on.

That’s the only thing on my wall at the moment. Yesterday, I pulled all my fabrics for the 8 Squishie blocks, I sandwiched and pinned the crazy wild baby quilt, and that’s about all the quilting that happened here yesterday. So now I’ve got two baby quilts ready to be quilted. One more to go.

Super Bowl Sunday with Bonnie

Just added the Super Bowl Strip Twist logo to my sidebar. The rules are to work along with Bonnie on her Strip Twist (or any of her other patterns) on Super Bowl Sunday.

Haven’t decided if I’ll start a Strip Twist on Sunday or not. But in any case, I will be working on my Double Delight this weekend. I still have nine blocks to put together to finish the top. If I get all that done on Saturday, I may just start a Strip Twist. I certainly have the 2.5″ strips cut to do it. In between, I’m working slowly on Old Tobacco Road. So with all of these, I’m certainly qualified to add the logo. Seems I’m working exclusively on Bonnie’s patterns these days. I’m totally hooked on scraps or making scraps from my existing stash.

Added to Stash this Week…

I have to confess. I added to the stash this week. I couldn’t resist a sale at Fabrics.com and of course I had to get free shipping so I spent more than $35. Way more, $56.56 to be exact. Here’s my additions:

3 yards Kaufman Fusions Floral Ruby
3 yards Kaufman Fusions Floral Turquoise
3 yards Kaufman Fusions Floral Periwinkle
2 yards Kaffe Fassett Stencil Carnation Rose

AND, 3 yards 108″ WOC backing

Can’t say that I’ve used any more stash this week. I’m still working on Double Delight and all the pieces have been cut for several weeks now. I may use the WOC backing for the back of DD though. Haven’t decided yet.

When I first started buying fabric just for stash, I was grabbing 1 yard cuts, and only sometimes 2 yards. Now that I’ve been quilting for almost 4 years, I realize 1 and sometimes 2 yards in not nearly enough. So, now, when I buy, especially blenders, I buy at least 3 yards. But I still avoid paying full price. I shop the online sales and only buy brands/lines I know. And, I rarely pay for shipping unless it’s for a special fabric that I really need and can only find at that store.

I still shop my LQS (only one in my local area) but I support that store more by taking classes and BOMs, and buying specialty threads, etc. that I really need to see before I buy. JoAnn’s and their great coupons is saved for notions, rulers, and books, etc. where I don’t have to worry about quality. Occasionally, I’ll buy some of JoAnn’s better quality fabrics on sale or with coupons. Got great Christmas fabric there for 70% off at the end of the year.

That’s it, that’s my stash report for this week. 14 yards added and 0 yard used.

I’m still here…

Just a quick post to let you know I am still out here. Since I’ve been back to work after the holidays, I’ve had no time to post. Haven’t even been sewing much. But this last weekend, I had to get this wall hanging put together for my mother’s 94th birthday yesterday. I got as far as it being basted and ready for quilting. She loved it.

So I took it back and now I have to do the quilting. I think I will hand quilt it by echoing the star points. Something to keep my hands occupied while watching TV in the evenings.

Haven’t worked much on my Double Delight, but I do have several of each block on my wall. I’ll try to get a pic posted and more done this long 3-day weekend coming up.

That’s all for now. Back to work…

New Year’s Quandry…

Happy New Year! I’ve been working on Part 1 and Part 2 of Bonnie’s Double Delight today. After cutting out all my cheddar pieces for Part 1 last night and then Part 2 today, I’m totally bored with my choice. See it in the pic below.


So I raided my stash to see what else I had to liven it up. The closest thing I could find that excited me was the yellow in the pic below. So i made a block from each part with this color too.

After recently finishing my Orange Crush, I just couldn’t work with that blah mustard in the first pic. But what does everyone think of the second choice before I cut up the rest of the yardage?

I’ll be busy sewing the light triangle on my blue centers for awhile before I have to decide for sure. I’d love to hear from you.

Anxiously waiting……….

I’m anxiously awaiting tomorrow morning to start on these NYE mysteries. I doubt I will be up at 5 am. That’s the problem with being on the West coast. Ann Smith will post her first clue at 8 am EST, way too early for me. And, Bonnie said she will post her first set of instructions when she gets up which could be as early as 6 am EST. Yikes, that’s 3 am here in CA. Sooooooo, I will just have to be behind everyone else.

Went to JoAnn’s today to pick up a quilting stencil with my 40% off coupon and walked out the door with 12 1/2 yards of fabric. I usually don’t buy fabric at JoAnn’s because I prefer the LQS quality, but they hit me right as I walked in the door with their Christmas fabric 70% off. How’s a girl to resist? This is actually the better quality stuff from Cranston and Cotton Classics normally $8.99 a yard so I just had to buy it. Just had too! Excuse the poor pic, I took it with my phone.


In the meantime, my mom was poking through my stash the other day looking for light blues. She couldn’t find any. When I asked her why, she informed me she wants a light blue and white wall hanging for her bedroom. Since her Birthday is on the 11th, I guess I better try to put something together. Good thing I don’t go back to work until next Monday. I think I’ll make a Carpenter’s Star with a small border around it. That should be easy and will look great. The photo above is one I made for the center of another quilt that we are slowly working on at Quilts Your Way. It went together pretty easily. I’ll do it in two shades of blue with cream as the background.

That’s all for tonight. Can’t wait for tomorrow and the mysteries to unfold.

Happy New Year!

I’ve signed the Stashbusting pledge for 2009!

Okay, I’ve signed Judy’s Stashbusting pledge for 2009! I did it and I don’t regret it. In fact, to show how serious I am, check my previous post from Friday. All the fabric for the two mysteries I’m doing for New Years is pulled from my stash. No new purchases!

I am a fabricaholic. A new one maybe, but a fabricaholic just the same. I don’t have a huge stash but let’s just say it’s starting to creep from under my bed to under any space that an underbed storage container will fit (chairs, cabinets, you know what I mean), and now it’s creeping into the garage.

Why do I buy fabric? Well I have to say I rarely buy fabric at full price. There is just no fabric I love enough to pay $10 a yard for. I will pay that much if I find the perfect piece for a special purpose but that is rare. I do buy fabric:

- Because the price is so good, I can’ afford not to.
- To match something that I can’t match from my stash, but that is rare also.
- And, just because I need to feed my habit. (Most often)

The reasons I want to join this Stashbusting effort are:

- I have some fabric that I really don’t know what to do with that I bought early on in my fabric buying. I want to use it up. It’s just not really my style now that I’ve been quilting awhile.
- I want to make room for more fabric.

I know, I know, that last one goes against my pledge. But, you have to understand, when I first seriously got back into quilting a few years ago, I bought everything I liked or that caught my eye. Now my stash is filled with this fabric and not enough blenders, tone-on-tones, and range of colors so I really can shop my stash everytime I start a new project.

So my goal is to get rid of the stuff that just doesn’t work for me any more. That will mean some serious planning to figure out a quilt (or quilts) that will use this stuff up. Here’s just a little pic of what I’m talking about. This is my bin of crazy wild fabric that is desperately looking for a project.

Oh, and there is more, this is just a sample.

Well, I’ve done it. Publicly committed to using my stash and to finding a quilt home for these wild and crazy fabrics.

Getting Ready

Happy Day After Christmas everyone. I spent the day getting ready for two New Year’s mystery quilts. I was delighted to wake up this morning to find that Bonnie is surprising us all with a new mystery to start on New Year’s Eve day, Double Delight. Of course, I’m going to participate. Here’re my fabrics that I pulled all from stash. I’m also going to pull 1.5″ strips in neutral or pink since Bonnie dropped the hint in her fabric requirements.

And, then, I’m also going to do the QTMysteryQuilts Yahoo group mystery, also on New Year’s Eve day. Of all the other mysteries out there, this one sounded most interesting to me. I think because I haven’t done one of Ann’s patterns before and I only had to choose four fabrics.

Now, with this quilt I have to pre-cut the fabric and pre-sew a bunch a half square triangles. I’ll work on that tomorrow.

I think I’m also getting my interest back in Bonnie’s Old Tobacco Road mystery from earlier this Fall. I had a bunch of the pieces cut, and then lost interest. Maybe tomorrow I will sew all those little tiny HSTs together and see how far I get.

Saw this on another blog and looked interesting. Here goes. The things I’ve done are in Green.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill – SHHHHHH
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone – no, knock on wood
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited Brazil
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Lake Michigan
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant