Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday is Thimbleberries Sew Day

Happy Day! We have an extra day in February, thanks to Leap Year.  And today is even more special because it's the last Wednesday of the month so it's Thimbleberries Sew Day.  Visit Bejeweledquilts by Barb by clicking here and scroll down her sidebar to see who else is participating. Why not join us?  All you have to do is sew today at your leisure on a Thimbleberries project of your choosing. If you want to register so we'll know who is sewing today, just contact Barb at her blog.


I found another Thimbleberries project in the house that I made years ago. It's a small table runner I adapted from a wall hanging pattern called "Home for the Holidays".  It's showing its wear, but I still love it! 




I started my new Thimbleberries project last month. I chose the Flying Geese Charm Quilt from Lynette Jensen's free patterns listed on her Thimbleberries  web site.  


I printed the pattern off and started looking through my stash for some fabrics.  The quilt is nice and tiny, 31"x39", so only needs some charm squares and a few coordinating fabrics. I found a charm pack in my stash to use and started cutting squares and rectangles.  The multi-colored fabric is primarily floral in greys, tans, roses, and some black.  


Lynette's directions are excellent so in no time at all, I had completed the first 6 of the forty flying geese I need.


Today, I'll continue sewing the geese. If I finish them today, I'll choose the fabric for the binding and borders. I guess I should call them Canada Geese?


So you know what I'll be doing. What should you be doing?  If you haven't already entered my GIVEAWAY for a little Schnibbles quilt top, backing, and binding, then please do it quickly!  The deadline is tomorrow, Thursday, March 1 at midnight Atlantic Standard Time. To enter, you must go to my last blog dated February 26 by clicking HERE and leave a comment on that post. You'll see a picture of the quilt top and you'll get all the info you need. One comment per person please. Good luck!  


I'm off to my sewing corner.  It's a great day for quilting!





Sunday, February 26, 2012

Who Needs an Oscar?

Not me, because I am the proud recipient of  The Versatile Blogger award.


A huge "Thank You" to Snoodles of Lily Pad Quilting for choosing me and my little blog as one of 15 blogs that was honored on her blog of February 8.  I am so very humbled by her recognition.  My apologies for not sharing my award 'till now, but I was a little busy golfing! Or was it shopping?


When you receive this recognition, there are some rules to follow:

   1. Add the award to your blog.
   2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you.
   3.  Mention seven random things about yourself.
   4.  List the rules.
   5.  Award to15 bloggers.
   6.  Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment.


As you have probably figured out by now, this blog world has been a wonderful experience for me. Since I published my first post of The Cuddle Quilter in October, I have been overwhelmed with the support, enthusiasm, and sharing of resources for which this blog community is known. 


I have found people just like me in every corner of the world who share my love of quilting, piecing, and all things related, like applique, paper-piecing, working with wool, stitcheries, and even quilties!  I have also come to realize that many blog friends are the real deal and I thank you for embracing me as a newbie!


Now back to the award. Rule #3 says to share seven random things.  Here goes:


1. I am the third of four girls in our family and grew up in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.


2.  I graduated with a degree in Physical Education from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, also where I met my wonderful Woodworker Hubby.  We will celebrate 33 years of marriage this summer. We have two children, now young adults, who bring us joy each and every day.


3. I played varsity field hockey for one year in university and junior varsity for two years.


3. I will be officially retired as of March 8, with most of my work experience over the years literacy-related. In addition to Physical Education, I taught and substituted in the classroom, taught and coordinated adult literacy programs, and just finished up 11 years as a manager at a regional library. 


4.  I love books and fabrics. Just as I love to open a new book, I love to unfold a piece of fabric. Just as I love reading a page-turner, I love being in my sewing corner cutting, sewing, piecing, and just handling quilting fabrics, like these blues.  I'm going to combine some shades of reds on white backgrounds for my next Schnibbles quilt called I.S.T.H.




Who is my favorite author?  Jodi Picoult. There is always a surprise in her books and she deals with issues that are very timely. She has a new book coming out that I can't wait to read! 




5.  I love chocolate chip cookies.  But they have to be home-made, fairly soft, with lots of chocolate chips!  
I also love Christmas. You'll see what I mean if you keep reading.


6. I follow rules. I like structure. I can't lie. I don't cheat.  Ok, someone out there who knows me is probably saying, "Wait now...that's not true", but generally, this is me and how I try to live my life. This leads me to #7.


7.  I said I always follow the rules. Oh, oh. I am supposed to list 15 blogs that I like. But I'm a rule follower! I can not tell a lie.
There are so many more than 15 blogs that I adore!  Every day, I choose a few more to follow. Every day I bookmark a few more pages, a few more patterns, a few more quilts. Every day I add something to my to-do list. So I just can't make the list.


So what do I do?  Well, because I follow the rules, and because I can't follow the rules, I won't add the The Versatile Blogger award button on my sidebar. But I will enjoy the knowledge that Miss Snoodles thought of me!


So my sincere thanks again to you, Miss Snoodles for honoring me. You are a sweetie and I hope you'll have lots of visitors checking you out at Lilypad Quilting.  And another thank you to all my fellow bloggers for making this such a generous community of which to be involved.


If you've read this post, you deserve a medal, or at least a chance to win a giveaway!  This will be my first giveaway, in honor of my wonderful friends and followers and all those who drop by to see what I'm doing.


My giveaway is a little Schnibbles quilt top that I made before Christmas.  The pattern is called Hot Cross by Carrie Nelson of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. and I used Jovial fabrics by Moda.  In addition to receiving the quilt top, the winner will also receive enough coordinating fabric for the binding and backing.  Just think...if you are the winner, you have almost ten months to quilt it before Christmas for yourself or a friend.  And I know there are so many out there who would machine quilt it in a mad minute. This could be yours!  Here is a picture of the quilt top. It measures 31" x 31".



You can see how I started the quilt by clicking HERE.  For a chance to win, leave a comment on this post by midnight Atlantic Standard Time on Thursday, March 1. That's it. One comment per person for a chance to win. If you are not a blogger, you can still qualify to win. Just send a comment to me by email to lcarruthers3@gmail.com by the March 1 deadline with the subject line "Giveaway".


Before I go I have to give a huge heartfelt hug to Madame Samm at Sew I Quilt for helping me and so many others learn how to turn off the word verification program. Check out her blog for the directions.You can now leave a comment pain-free. Those letters were getting smaller every day.


That's it.  Thanks so much for coming by. It's a great day for quilting!



Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm Back!

I just returned from a wonderful week-long holiday in Clearwater, Florida visiting my mom and sister. They were the bestest hosts a person could ask for, and I felt like the Queen Bee for a week!  Woodworker Hubby wasn't able to come with me, but did paint the ceiling while I was away, so hopefully wasn't too bored without me. 


It was a girls' week and what fun we had!  Golfing, shopping, eating, and lots of white sand, blue skies, and blue water. Here is a view of the palm trees I enjoyed at Clearwater Beach:
And here is what I enjoyed when I drove into the driveway on Tuesday of this week:
Woodworker Hubby became Shoveller Hubby while I was away and shovelled, and shovelled, and shovelled some more.


So let`s go back to Clearwater.  I found two wonderful quilt shops within twenty minutes of where I was staying. And of course, since this is a blog about quilting, I have to share them with you.


Country Quilts, formerly Country Bears and Quilts, is in a big red cabin located in Clearwater.  The web site is currently under construction to reflect the new name, but you can find a little more information about the shop by reading their latest newsletter


It's a wonderful quilt shop that was bustling with activity the day I popped in.  There were two classes going on and the hub bub and excitement just added to my own enthusiasm. I didn't know what CW fabric was a month ago, (Thanks, Kaaren, now I know it's Civil War fabric). Now all I want to do is add CW fabrics to my fabric collection.  This shop was perfect for me because they had an entire wall of CW fabrics.  On display was a small sampler quilt that is now on my to-do list.
I purchased the pattern, Windham Sampler designed by Clothesline Quilts, and chose some wonderful fabrics to use. Of course I looked around at everything else too!
And naturally I made a few more small purchases before I left, but I kept gravitating towards the CW corner.
The we had another day of golf. To answer your question, yes, my mother and sister regularly have much lower golf scores than me, but I still have fun!  Only in Florida would I have to avoid this kind of hazard on the course, just a few feet away from me. I think they said it was a Sand Crane.  
Next we were off to the second shop, Rainbow's End Quilt Shoppe in Dunedin.  This is a huge, huge quilt shop.  I actually didn't see any CW fabric, but I saw everything else. 
Lots of color!
They have a small separate room for woolens and a huge warehouse room filled to the rafters with Christmas fabrics, samples, quilt kits, and everything related to Christmas and the other seasons.  
My pictures do not do justice to Rainbow's End. However, they do have a Flickr link and you can see a slide show of the shop by clicking hereThen you may find yourself hopping on the next plane to Florida! 


The day I visited, there was a workshop being offered in what I call "The Christmas Room".  The only sounds I heard were sewing machines whirring and the giggling and laughter of a lot of happy sewers!  


And by the way, there is a "Sale" room, so of course I found some treasures there. Unfortunately, my treasures couldn't fit into my suitcase, so I "had" to buy a little rolling carry-on bag to fly home with.
After arriving back in Nova Scotia at 2 am, I spent the night in an airport hotel and travelled home the next morning.  But I still had one more stop to make, at Harbour Quilt Company in Antigonish,  my LQS (Local Quilt Shop), about 40 minutes from home.   Owner Kim was on hand, there was a workshop going on in the back, and I quickly added to my treasure trove! 
The shop may be small but it is overflowing with amazing fabrics, samples, and a variety of popular quilt kits, many designed by Kim.  

Kim is wonderful to find what you`re looking for and order it if it`s not in her shop.  

So that was my week in a nutshell. Believe it or not, I still haven`t unpacked my carry-on.  When I went through customs coming back, the agent did ask what I spent my exemption on, and in a little voice, I said "I'm a quilter and I bought fabrics and some small gifts for my family".  Now that I'm home, I want to organize my cupboards a little bit better before I pet my fabrics and put them away.


Thanks for dropping by. I have no projects to show you now, but I've got a lot of works in progress. I brought three projects to Florida to work on but didn't get a lot done. I was just too busy having a fantastic time! 


Hope you know that it`s a great day for quilting!






Monday, February 20, 2012

Little Wallets

In a past post, I showed you a little gift card wallet from a kit I had purchased from Quilt Taffy. It was just too cute so I decided to make more. The little wallets are a perfect size for credit cards, paper money, and especially the gift cards that you can purchase from well-known coffee shops.  


My plan was to make a whole bunch of these little wallets to use as parting gifts for my colleagues at work. I'm on vacation time now and officially retired as of March 8. This will give me much more time for sewing and quilting!


I wanted to use coffee-themed fabric for the little wallets so I scoured some online fabric shops and my LQS (local quilt shop) and found some great fabrics adorned with coffee beans, "coffee" words, and even some fabric printed with those old-fashioned coffee percolators! Here is how things went. 


My first batch of browns/beiges:




I added them to my batik blues and Ta Da! I now have 13 little wallets.




An inside look:



And a closer look:


  
See my new labels? Thanks so much to Kaaren at The Painted Quilt for sharing her label source. I bought two kinds of twill labels from the Mommie Made It Etsy shop. The picture above shows my love and hugs labels, and the picture below shows the label that includes my blog site.




Hope you are now inspired to make lots of little gifts.  Thanks so much for coming by and I hope you get to your sewing room soon. It's another great day for quilting! 


Friday, February 17, 2012

A Week of Hugs

Couldn't resist sharing with you another fabric valentine I made for my table stand for the month of February. 




I used some wonderful fabrics from the Chemistry layer cake by Moda that I won from Green Fairy Quilts before Christmas. I love the combination of pinks and chocolates...yummy!


I found the pattern here while I was searching the web for valentine quilts. The block was designed to be a pillow, but I made a few small changes and it fits perfectly on my table stand.


Now I am off to eat more chocolates!


It's a great day for quilting!





Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Wishing you all a day of love, hugs, and chocolates! 


Here is my Valentine's card to you all. 




It is a little quilt I made for my table stand and will replace Mr. Blueman for February. I used red stitches to outline the block and white for a narrow row of stitching on the red border. Love using utility stitches!


"Be Mine" is a wonderful stitchery designed by Kaaren at The Painted Quilt. Her First Friday Freebies are marvelous...free patterns offered on her blog site on the first Friday of the month.  Kaaren is undergoing intensive cancer treatment at this time.  Please join me in offering silent prayers and positive thoughts for Kaaren as she takes the journey to recovery.


I will keep this short as I have to go eat some chocolate. And those who know me, know that I really mean this!


It's a great day for quilting!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Updated: Christmas Quiltalong Day In Progress

Update: Please see the update below with pictures of my fabric choices. Just scroll down to the end of this post.


Today is the day I will be in Christmas mode as I participate in Quilt Sue's 2012 Christmas Quiltalong. It's being hosted by Hazel at Hazel's Quilts and throughout the day you might see some updates, inspiration and surprises at Hazel's so make sure you visit her.


Before I head to my sewing corner, I wanted to get some  Christmas spirit flowing. I started by having my morning coffee in a Christmas mug, a mug that is still hidden in the back of the cupboard. My "coffee" is made with hot chocolate, butterscotch flavored coffee and Irish Creme creamer...it is so yummy! 




As I sipped my coffee and waited for the sun to come up, I watched an episode of "Castle" and put a few quilting stitches in my Frontier Foundations quilt.




For more Christmas inspiration, I had a good long look at my Santa plant, a gift from a friend. The plant is still gracing my kitchen table and the Santa always makes me smile! Thank you, friend!




For even more inspiration, I admired the flowers and card that I received yesterday at my retirement lunch.  OK, this isn't about Christmas, but it is about starting a new chapter in my life and having the time to embrace family, friends, sewing, quilting, the wonderful blog community we share and especially the 2012 Christmas Quiltalong!




For a brief moment, I viewed the snow melting on the back deck, anticipating more rain and a possible change over to snow later.  Gotta love winter in Nova Scotia! 




So now I am ready to head to my sewing corner. I'm going to make Quilt Sue's Festive Mystery quilt and will decide on my fabrics today. If I'm quick to decide, I may have time to cut my fabrics.  The instructions for Part 1 are posted on Hazel's blog here. I better get to it, 'cause it looks like I may be late to the gate!


UPDATE:  12:15 pm AST
Hi folks!  I did it...I chose my fabrics for the Festive Mystery Quilt. Background is is a solid white, dark is a multi-colored Christmas print on a black background, medium is red with white medallions, and the light is white with red polkadots.  




I started to cut my strips, and thought it would be fun to have two darks (of course, if you can read between the lines, that means that I didn't have enough fabric), so I now have two darks, both with a black background that I hope will make the quilt more interesting!  
I didn't cut the white strips yet, but that will be next.  Then I'll cut the squares and be ready for next month!  If you're interested in joining us, it's never too late.  Go here and scroll past the Mr. Linky names, and there you'll see the directions.

It's still a wonderful day for quilting!







Friday, February 10, 2012

What are you doing on Saturday?

Want to have some fun with some folks that love Christmas as much as I do?  Then join the gang for the first 2012 Christmas Quiltalong on Saturday, February 11. This is the second Christmas Quiltalong being coordinated by Quilt Sue at Quilt Times






From now until December, on the second Saturday of the month, Christmas Quiltalongers will set up shop in their sewing room, studio, sewing corner, in the spare room, or at the kitchen table to sew on a Christmas-related project. You'll be able to join with Quilters from around the world that day and see what Christmas project they're working on through the Mr. Linky tool which will be provided at the guest host's blog site.


You can choose to do your own project, or the Festive Mystery Quilt designed by Quilt Sue. There will be six installments, so tomorrow we'll get to see what fabrics we'll need and from there it's full speed ahead.  I'm definitely in it for the mystery.  I've actually been collecting red fabrics so my quilt may become a Festive Mystery in Red! 


Quilt Sue has some Christmas elves all set up this year to guest host. Tomorrow, the guest host is going to be Hazel at Hazel's Quilts and she's all ready to roll out the welcome wagon. I'm going to be the host for the month of April and I'm already thinking of some fun activities for blog visitors that day. Mmmm, maybe that might be the time for my very first giveaway?  

Won't you join us?  You can never be too ready for Christmas! By the way, there are no quilt police looking over our shoulders.  Sew for five minutes, or the whole day. Whatever you want to do is fine with us.  We love Christmas! 

Santa says it's a great day for sewing!