Monday, May 28, 2012

Near the finish line

Happy Memorial Day to all of my American friends!  Let us never forget the sacrifice that so many American soldiers and their families have given that we might enjoy the freedoms and rights we are accustomed to.  Without our fighting men and women, our lives would be so very different.  Thank you to each of you that have served or supported a family member that served our great country!

Now...there are 9 days of school left for us here.  Nine days!  And to add to that, there are 4 days until my little Miss turns 8!  That is an even bigger revelation around here, but for right now, I'm concentrating on those 9 school days left.  We are so near the finish line of the craziness that has been our life these last few months!!

In those 9 days I have to turn 15 blocks made by my friends in the Nubees Blocks swap into a quilt for Oren's kindergarten teacher.  Background--as I've mentioned before I was a kindergarten teacher myself in a previous life...the one before I had two kids of my own.  And I had a wonderful mentor teacher who taught me how to be a kind, caring second-Mama to these little ones I cared for and taught for 6 hours a day.  She listened when I was unsure of myself and celebrated two pregnancies and two special babies being born into our family.  In other words, she was there for me and a dear friend.  When Oren was born, this teacher and I both left the school we were working at.  She moved to a school about an hour away and I began my journey as a stay-at-home-Mom.

Fast forward 5 years and this wonderful lady moved to the town I live in and began teaching at the elementary school...and became Oren's kindergarten teacher!  So now she has had the "privilege" of teaching us both!  ;)  She loved Oren before he was ever born and has been a wonderful influence and mentor to him this year.  She has taught him so many wonderful things that he wouldn't listen to if they came from me.

I volunteer weekly in Oren's class and we often talk about blogs and the online community.  Of course, she reads education blogs and I read quilting/sewing ones, but we both love the community and support these online worlds create.  So, I could think of no better end-of-the-year gift for her than a quilt made for her from my friends in the online quilting community.

For three months, I asked my Nubees group to make me red, blue and yellow blocks.  I figured these primary colors would be great for a primary teacher.  :)  Once they all arrived, I decided to sash them in gray to provide a neutral background for all of those variations of the same colors to come together.

And here it is all laid out and ready to sew.

I have 3 more blocks for the back (well, one is on the way) to tie it together.  I think it's gonna be great!  I'm off to sew...wish me luck on getting this one done!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Finished up by Friday and A WINNER!!!!

I cannot even begin to express in words my amazement in both the number of responses to the giveaway and the number of y'all that stuck around and became followers!!!!  I mean 772 comments!  REALLY!!??!!  I am blown away. 

And I am sorry that I couldn't respond to every comment individually.  I worked 3 days at the book fair this week along with other responsibilites that really cut into my blogging time.  ;)  And with trying to enter the giveaways too, I just didn't have time for everything what with my need to sleep each night.  BUT, I am very interested to hear your responses and I kept each email to read when I do find the time.  I find it very interesting how we all are alike and different in our use and appreciation of color.

So, enough with the small talk...the winner of the giveaway for $25 to Poppyseed Fabrics is..........

Leila  (May 21, 2012 08:09 PM)

Who said:
     Life is super crazy. I am just waiting for my life to get even crazier once my kids are out of school.

Congratulations to Leila.  I have sent an email to her and will get the gift certificate out as soon as I've heard from her.  

I hate that I only had one to give away.  I wish I could give one to each of you, although that would take an awfully big wallet and a LOT of inventory on Kimberly's part!  ;)

So....yesterday afternoon I finished up my Nubees Blocks and my modern blocks bee block after all.  Here are some results:

While on the subject of color with my giveaway question, I find it interesting, that even without Pantone spouting Tangerine Tango as the color of the year, orange is so popular among quilters right now.  Look at my blocks above--three of the four requested orange!  Interesting indeed.  :)

These are just simple 2.5" patchwork squares framed in 2.5" solids to turn something we all know and love into beautiful art...or at least that's how I think of it.  This is what I asked my lovely ladies in the Empower group of d.GS to send me too, and they are rolling in!  Can't wait to share them with ya!

As for my Modern Blocks block, here it is:

Jan asked for a wonky square in a square block using these fabrics.  You know wonky is not my favorite when it's very deliberate but still supposed to look orderly.  I'm better at a little wonk, you know.  ;)  But, I hope she will like this.  With no real direction other than the fabric choices and to start with a dark red center, this is what I came up with.  I like the creative process of wonky blocks, but I always question my end result...  I am very interested in seeing this quilt when it's all put together.

So, that's my sewing progress since Wednesday.  Emma and I are headed to run those birthday errands tomorrow and I'm picking up new sashing fabric for an end-of-the-year quilt for Oren's kg teacher.  Only 9 school days left...better get cracking!  But the blocks are all made from my Nubees friends, so I just need to sash, baste, quilt and bind.  Easy, right?

Haha!  Anyway, have a great weekend to each and everyone of you!  I hope you find Monday peaceful and (to my American crew) remember those that have served their country to grant us the liberties we all hold dear.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wow, a WIP Wednesday!

First off, I just have to say WOW!!!   I can't believe the response to my giveaway (still time to here).  I know I'd love $25 to shop with, but I never figured so many of you would and that you'd want to follow too.  That's what means the most to me.  That you're willing to come back and read more of what little ole me has to say.  I am honored.  :)

Second, wow!  I'm getting to a post on a Wednesday!  I had a few free hours alone this afternoon, so I got to work!  Both fun--catching up on bee blocks, and not-so-fun--catching up on that pile of laundry threatening to take over my laundry room!

So, without further ado, here are my bee blocks in progress...all other progress, which actually is quite a bit since my last post will wait for another day.  Let's not get dragged down with too much unfinished today.  :)

I'm participating in the NuBees Block Swap again but this time there are only 5 of us in a hive, so we only swap 4 blocks.  I chose the same framed patchwork block that I asked the girls of my do. Good Stitches group to make this month.  I had 2.5" squares out anyway, so I just went with the colors each girl requested.  Tonight I'll cut out 2.5" strips in their chosen background color to frame the blocks and make them 12.5".
All but the top left block will be framed in white.  That one will be framed in black!  I can't wait to see them all done!

Up next is my Modern Blocks Bee.  Jan asked for square in a square blocks with this fabric.  It should be a quick sew, so I'm hoping to get it done tomorrow morning.  Here's the fabric she sent and an example of what she's looking for...looks easy enough...

Tomorrow I have a few errands to run and some birthday party supplies to buy for a certain blonde 7 year old who is about to turn 8...I don't know if I'm ready.  She asked for a sleepover!  Yikes!   Chris said he's staying somewhere else that night!  haha  :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Giveaway Time

Hi all, remember me, the girl who used to post here with witty commentary and excellent projects?  Well, that was before I was hit with a tidal wave of school field trips, fun days, Book Fairs, softball games, teeball games and other such nonsense called life.  I have been getting some sewing in, just not enough time to sew and blog...I didn't think y'all would hold it against me.

But enough of where I've been instead of around here, today is a great day to make a comeback because it's SEW MAMA SEW'S GIVEAWAY DAY!!  Yay!  This is one reason I began blogging in the first place.  I love the online sewing and quilting community and I'm so glad to share in the love.  :)

I haven't had time to get anything made in advance to give away this time around, so I decided to just share some fabric love this go-around.

The winner of my giveaway will receive a $25 gift certificate to Poppyseed Fabrics!  No, I am not affiliated with the shop in any way, I just think that Kimberly does a fine job of both selling great fabrics and putting together fabric bundles that make great combinations together!

Here are a couple of my favorite bundles just to show you what I mean:

Icy Blue, custom Fat Quarter bundle, 9 total
Icy Blue Custom Fat Quarter Bundle

Kona Designer solid cotton, by Robert Kaufman, Fat quarter bundle, 7 total
Kona Bundle, 7 Fat Quarters

Crazy pickles and smoke custom Fat Quarter bundle, 9 total
Crazy Pickles and Smoke Custom Fat Quarter Bunlde, 9 Fabrics

See what I mean?  And I didn't even go into all of the single fabric line bundles and individual fabrics she carries.  

I'm all about easy giveaways so you can get going with the rest of your day, so if you're interested in winning this gift certificate, leave me a comment telling me your favorite color combo right now.  Don't just say hi or great giveaway, let me know what you're digging right now.  For a second entry, you can become a follower, because I LOVE to reward those that stick around and really make this blog interactive.

I'll choose a winner through on Friday (5/25) evening after 8 p.m. (EST).  I'll let the winner know via email that night/following morning.  So PLEASE make sure you leave an email address or you aren't a no-reply blogger.  If I can't get ahold of you, I'll draw someone else.  

Now leave a comment and get back to entering all of the great giveaways being shared.  I know I will be!!  :)  

Monday, May 7, 2012

A late finish, but still done

I finished it.  After four months of sitting in various states of doneness, I finally sewed the last stitch.  I am ready to mail it off...

Yes, my do. Good stitches quilt from our Empower group from December is completed.  Let's take a walk down memory lane as we finally finish up talking about this one...

 In December, I asked the girls to make me two heart blocks using pink, red, white and one color of their choice.  I left construction of the block completely up to them.  They could choose to do applique, piecing, embroidery, etc.  I told them I wanted this quilt to truly be from us so we should all represent ourselves in our blocks.

And I got back these 18 lovely blocks.  I added my two in and got a layout idea set.  Then, I had to come up with an alternate layout since another Empower lady set her quilt in almost the same arrangement.  So I ordered sashing fabric and waited....and then these poor blocks waited on me.

But, eventually I got them sashed in a tilted style and sewn together.  I used a vintage sheet that I had here at the house to back it and fmq'ed a meandering loop allover the quilt.

I bound it in the black I'd used for sashing to frame it all in.  I thought about using a machine binding technique that Michonne, Shannon and I had talked about before, but in the end, I decided to just go with what I knew this time around.  So, the back of the binding is hand-sewn down.

This baby has been washed and dried and is just waiting on a quick label and then it's off to the post office to be delivered to someone who can use it's warmth and comfort.  I hope they know that all ten of us stitched love into this fabric and it's warmth can be felt both physically and emotionally by it's recipient.

And since it is Monday, I'm linking up with Megan!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Hey everyone!  I have survived the sewing room cleanup and am energized and ready to get busy.  That's my habit.  I clean everything, touching all of my fabrics and getting so much inspiration that I want, no MUST sew with everything I have...but then as I get busy with projects I start leaving stuff out until I'm just piling fabrics and supplies on top of each other to the point of disaster.  Then I become unmotivated and blah about sewing at all.  So, I reverse the feelings by cleaning and touching all of my many fabrics again, vowing to keep it clean this time!

So we will see.  I've told Chris I'm going to keep it clean for 2 weeks easy this time and then he challenged me to a month of putting everything away as I use it.  Hmmm....  ;)

So, now that I've got a clean workspace and lots of ideas, what's first?  Some WIPs, of course!  Gotta get these done and outta here so I can get busy on some new goodies!

So today I'll be sewing black binding strips to my Hearts quilt for do. Good Stitches so I can mail this baby off (a few months late!).

Then I'll be working on Carrie's secret Christmas gift (yes, from last year...).

And tomorrow I plan on digging into a dress I found in my stash that has a completed bodice AND skirt!  All that's left to do is add attach the two and put in a back zipper.  And probably hem the skirt, but even still...was I out of zippers and put it away and forgot about it or what???  Maybe I can give myself an all-new summer wardrobe just out of my WIP basket and fabric stash.  Wouldn't that be fun?

Make sure to head over to Lee's to see all of the great ladies (and gents) who link up to WIP Wednesday.  I say it every week, but there is some AMAZING talent out there in blogland.  I'm glad to just hold up my little corner!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I made something!

Aahhh, I'm over here basking in the glow of remembering what it feels like to make something start-to-finish in one sitting.  My sewing room is almost done and I took some time out yesterday to whip up a cute summer dress.  My friend Jenny had a new pattern to try out and she asked me if I wouldn't mind.  Ummm...I wouldn't mind!  ;)

Bardot Dress via Seamingly Smitten

This is Jenny's Bardot Pattern.  It's a simple strapless sundress with an elastic Empire waist, cute ruffle detail along the top, and pockets!  I LOVE pockets in my dresses.  And they really are easy to add.  You can add them to just about anything with side seams, but I love that Jenny went ahead and included them in the pattern.

I decided to really get out of my comfort zone here and work with a medium-weight jersey knit.  I figured "Why not live a little and really try something new!"  I've NEVER made a knit dress before.  Sure, in 4-H I worked with knit samples to learn how they stretch and sew.  And I did make a knit skirt last summer, but this was a little more involved.

But, honestly, other than being a little more careful cutting it out and actually using pins instead of just going for it, this sew-up was a breeze.

I love Jenny's patterns for their simplicity--both in style and in directions.  She makes it easy, even for a beginning sewer, to make something cute and stylish.  If you have even thought about making something for yourself or your daughter this summer, I would recommend Jenny's patterns as a starting point.  My summer wardrobe is full of Jenny's dresses.  :)

Thank you, Jenny, for trusting me to try out your new patterns.  I'm ALWAYS happy with the results!

I'm going to add this dress to a few parties going on.  Make sure to click over and look at ALL of the amazing things people are doing this week.  Inspiration galore!

wednesday's wowzersI MADE THIS