Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Winners of the Birthday Giveaway

Sorry for the delay in posting the winners.  Blogger does not like my new computer and athough it allowed me to create a draft, it would not allow me to publish the post.

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Christmas celebration with their family. We had a lovely, if quiet celebration.  The day after Christmas is always a bit of a let down.  Luckily, today is the day to choose the winners of my Birthday Giveaway. 

There are 77 names in the bowl.  57 are followers of the blog with an additional 20 names of  people who left comments.  The first winner is:  

Tonya's name was chosen first.  Tonya is a follower and also left a comment;  "They are not the only ones that read your whining post. LOL. I just don't always comment when I am so busy and behind. My son's birthday is tomorrow. I know how it is. Well, happy birthday. So kind of you to have such a big giveaway! Notice how comments come out of the woodwork when you host a giveaway?"
Sheila's name was chosen second.  Sheila is a follower and also left a comment:  "Happy Birthday! Very generous give away.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year."

 Sharon V's name was chosen third.  Sharon left this comment:  "Happy Birthday KatieQ!!! Hopefully in spring we can arrange a meet up - got wheels now."
PattiLou's name was chosen fourth.  PattiLou is a follower.  I will contact the winners so that they can make their choices.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Funghi for the Fun Guy

If you are someone that doesn't like mushrooms, read no further.  My mother's parents were from Poland and mushrooms were an important part of my grandmothers's recipes.  This recipe is not one of my Babcia's, but it is wonderful.  I found this recipe for Hungarian Mushroom Soup at the For the Love of Cooking blog.   All of the recipes at this site are delicious.  The only changes I made were substituting Smoked Spanish Paprika for the regular paprika listed and Greek yogurt for the sour cream.  I didn't have time to go to the store for the sour cream so we had to make do.  We have made the soup twice and when I make it again, I will definitely plan ahead so I can use sour cream.  The taste was fabulous, but Greek yogurt is thick so it didn't blend as well as I would have liked.
A salad with shavings of Romano or Parmasean, some crusty bread or the Pillsbury crescent roll in the picture, and a glass of wine makes a heavenly dinner.
One more sleep until Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me and the Present is for You

Since only Sharon V and Debra S read my whining post about my birthday being so close to Christmas (, you might not be aware that today is the big day.  Even thought it's my birthday, the presents are for you.  I will be offering 4 items.  If you are already a follower, you are automatically entered.  You may have an extra chance to win if you comment on this post.  If you are just dropping by, feel free to leave a comment to be entered into the drawing.  I will draw 4 names next Monday, the day after Christmas and will notify the winners that day.  The winners will be able to choose a prize in the order their name was drawn.

The first item is the 2012 Quilts calendar by Debby Kratovil which includes instructions and patterns for 12 quilts.

The next item is an Antique Fair jelly roll by Blackbird Designs for Moda.  The picture is a little dark, but the prints are beautifully muted country colors.
Next, I am offering 3 beautiful patterns by Jill Finley from Jillily Studio.  I won the patterns at a giveaway on the fabulous Stash  Manicure blog.  I love them, but after doing a thorough inventory of my books and patterns, I already have so many projects that I want to try, that I know that I will never use them.

Last, but not least, are 2 items that I won earlier this year.  One is the pattern Rows and Bows for Fall and Winter by Seams and Dreams that I won in the C-Bees UFO challenge.  The other is the book, Nature's Way, autographed by the Granola Girl herself, Debbie Field.  Tucked inside the book is a sheet of Heat and Bond to help you with the applique.   I was thrilled when I won the blog giveaway.  The patterns in the book are gorgeous, but alas, I know that I will probably never make them.

Maybe these items have been waiting for you to use them.  I hope so.  Leave a comment and you may find yourself with a new project for the New Year.

This giveaway is now closed.

Giveaway Winners

It was amazing to see that there were 220 comments for the giveaway.  Welcome to all of the new followers and congratulations to the three winners.  The winning names were drawn by my favorite Retired Guy.

The Ruby Charm Pack was the most popular.  The winner is:

Anya said, "Ruby would be my first choice, but any of the prizes would work! Thanks for the chance!

Second in popularity was the group of 6 Fig Tree fat quarters.  The winner is:

Kathy said, "I so would love to win anything Fig Tree so count me in and thanks, you gals are great to do this for us.

Last, but not least is the winner of the Happy Camper dessert roll.

is Marjorie of Marjorie's Busy Corner.  Marjorie said, "I pick the dessert roll,please....what a decision to I love all of them."

The winners have been notified and their prizes will soon be in the mail.
If you were not a winner, don't fret.  In honor of my birthday, I will be offering another giveaway later today.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Quilting Gallery's 4th Birthday Celebration - Quilter's Blog Hop Party

Welcome Quilter's Blog Hop Party visitors.

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways 

I can't wait to start visiting all of the bloggers participating in the blog hop.  In honor of my birthday and  the Quilting Gallery's 4th birthday, I will be offering 3 items for my giveaway.  Don't forget to stop by the Quilting Gallery blog to see the links for all of the Blog Hop Party blogs.  I can't wait to start visiting all of the bloggers participating in the blog hop.

With all of the lovely online Thanksgiving fabric sales, I was able to snag a few beauties to share.  I love anything from Fig Tree Quilts so I am offering 6 fat quarters, 3 from the Fresh Cottons line, and 3 from Mill House Inn.

A yummy Happy Campers dessert roll from American Jane.

And a sweet charm pack of Ruby by Bonnie and Camille.

Please tell me in your comment which of the items you would like to have.  The winners will be drawn on December 17th.  I will be happy to ship anywhere in the world.    Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the blog hop.

This Giveaway is closed.  No further comments accepted.

December is for birthdays

I'm sure no matter what time of the year you were born, there is something to complain about when it comes to celebrating your birthday.  For me, it's the fact that my birthday is a few days before Christmas so my relatives always said, "I'm giving you a bigger gift because it's for your birthday and Christmas."  I might have fallen for it if I didn't have 3 cousins who were my age that lived right around the corner from my house.  My cousin Pat is 1 year, 9 months older and my cousin Susan is 21 months younger.  Did they really think I wouldn't notice that we got the same things?  Bah, humbug!

My mom was not much of a baker (or a cook) so she often bought a chocolate cream pie (my father's favorite dessert) or a few cupcakes for my birthday, saying, "It's so close to Christmas that we don't want too many sweets in the house right now."   Phooey!!

When my children were in the lower grades of elementary school, I taught Religious Education classes in my home.  Each year on my birthday, the children in the class (I usually taught a group of between 4 to 6) could invite a friend to my house and we would have a party.  They had to bring a wrapped gift (so I could have the thrill of opening a present) that was suitable to be given to the Toys for Tots toy drive.  My favorite, was the year one of the children brought an African American Cabbage Patch doll. One year, I opened a football, basketball, and a baseball and glove.

This year as part of my birthday celebration, I'm joining the Quilter's Blog Hop Party and offering a few giveaways.  Quilt Gallery is celebrating their 4th birthday and the celebration will be world wide with  226 bloggers participating.
Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways
The Blog Hop Party giveaways start on December 10th and will run until December 17th.
You can click the logo on my sidebar to get more info. I'll be posting about my giveaway items later today with a Blog Hop Party post.

My complaints may seem petty when you consider I share my birthday month with the One who gave us the greatest gift of all, but I am human, not divine.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The One That Got Away

Our internet service is back so I thought I would post the other quilt that I sent to Basic Housing Inc.  My daughter liked it until she realized that all of the charm squares are insects.  I think it's fun.
This is the last of the donation quilts I sent for the 100 Quilts for Kids project.  Now it's time to do something for myself.

The Post Office Loves Me

Our phone service is out, so we are without internet.  I am posting from the Library across the driveway from our local Post Office.  There are 4 Post Offices within an 8 mile radius of our house.  Two of them are in CT.  I have been bringing so many boxes to ship quilts for the 100 Quilts for Kids drive that today when I stopped by with 2 more boxes; they told me they loved me.  I guess things are as bad for the Postal Service as you hear on the nightly news.  In the 21 years that I have lived in this area, I have used the various offices depending on what errands I had to run afterwards.  None of the offices are convenient.  Actually, nothing is convenient to where we live.  Over time, I have found myself using the other 3 offices rather than the one for our town.  With the reception I have been receiving lately, I guess it's time to become more loyal to our town Post Office.
Two of the quilts I mailed were for Wrap Them In Love  The mission of WTIL is to collect donated quilts and distribute them to children in the United States as well as around the world, so they can be wrapped in love and comfort.  Many of the children are in orphanages awaiting placement in loving homes.  Some of the quilts are sent to areas experiencing natural disasters or extreme poverty.  With the economy in trouble, they are receiving more requests to provide quilts to children needing warmth this winter.  Although the 2 quilts were made last summer, I never got around to mailing them.  The 100 Quilts for Kids drive was a real wakeup call for me to get motivated and send any quilts already finished out to the world where they can be used.

This quilt went to The Basics, Inc in the South Bronx.  I mailed 3 quilts to them in September.  Victoria at Bumble Beans is trying to collect 250 more quilts for this group by Thanksgiving.  If you have a quilt looking for a home this is a great place to send it.  They help homeless families get into permanent housing.

I included another quilt in the box with this one, but was unable to down load it to the blog from the Library.  It uses the Storytime pattern for the 100 Kids Quilt Along with mottled blue sashing and insect print squares.  If we get internet service back later today, I will post that one too.  I am so happy that the project was a success and the numbers of quilts donated far exceeded the goal of 100.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Post Office Won't Go Broke With Me Around

When the 100 Quilts for Kids Challenge was posted it really captured my heart.  This year, like many other bloggers, I decided that I would make eleven quilts for donations.  Some bloggers have called it, "Eleven in 11.  As of July, I had donated 8 quilts. I have been trying to reduce my stash and clear out some UFOs.  The 100 Quilts for Kids Challenge  seemed like a perfect way to accomplish both goals  I originally thought I would make 3 quilts to accomplish my original goal of 11 for the year.  While we were without power, I spent my days going through my stash and looking for UFOs.  I started cutting kits and when the power finally came back, I was ready to rock.
This little quilt was completed in April, but I wasn't sure where it should go.  It will be added to the box going to the Basic Quilt Drive in the South Bronx in memory of my husband's great Uncle Joey.  He was a lifelong resident of the Bronx and Supreme Yankee fan who died in July.  He volunteered with the Saint Vincent DePaul Society arranging for donations of food to local families and soup kitchens in the Bronx.

The third quilt packed in the box was started using fabric left over from a UFO that I repurposed.   I planned to donate it to the Hands 2 Help Charity Quilt Challenge, but didn't finish it in time. I didn't like the layout so I moved the blocks around until I was satisfied.  Now it is ready and on its way.

The dot on the picture is not on the fabric, it must have been on the lens.

This quilt is traveling to Texas.  Debra of Debra's Design Studio is collecting quilt tops she will quilt on her long arm machine and distribute to local veterans and their families.  I think this quilt would be fine for a toddler.  The binding I prepared for the quilt is the same fabric as the outer  border.

I have 2 other tops that are waiting for quilting, a set of blocks ready to put together for a baby quilt, and a group of blocks for Debra's Texas Veterans' quilts.  Hopefully, I can finish them next week.  After that, the rest of the year is reserved for projects just for me.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Few More Quilts for The 100 Quilts for Kids Challenge

Unfortunately, it is still raining out so the pictures are less than ideal.  This little quilt is for Quilts for Kids.  It's made from an Eye Spy panel that I bought a few years ago.  It's hard to believe that the quilting took 2 full bobbins.

Victoria of Bumble Beans Inc is hoping to collect 700 quilts for the Basics Quilt Drive.  These quilts will be donated to homeless families in The South Bronx.  My husband was born and raised in the Bronx so this donation is a perfect fit for me.   It was started with some blocks and fabric left over from my H2H challenge quilt.
 I love the polka dot fabric on the back.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

100 Quilts for Kids

I can't believe I finally have something to post.  We lost power for 5 days as a result of Hurricane Irene and our internet service was not restored for 17 days.  Without electricity, I spent the daylight hours cutting fabric to prepare kits to sew as soon as power was returned.  While the internet was out, I discovered how many hours there really are in a day.  Although I missed visiting my favorite blogs and keeping up what was going on, I managed to finish 2 UFOs and several quilts for the 100 Quilts for Kids challenge.  It's not too late to participate.  Check the button on the right side bar and you can get more info.
The 2 quilts below will be donated to Quilts for Kids.  The pink quilt is from a kit provided by Q4K.  The bug jar quilt is a former UFO that has been hiding at the bottom of my fabric closet.

The Hearts and Flowers quilt  below was also a long term UFO.  It will be donated to the Down Syndrome Assoc. of Middle TN.  This quilt will become part of Diane Wingo at Dew Quilting's  dream to give every newborn with Down Syndrome in her area of Tennessee a quilt in honor of her son Stevie.

When I pieced the backing, the blocks seemed too large.  After it was quilted, I found that I really liked it.
I have one more quilt that is finished and 3 tops waiting to be quilted.  It's raining here today so hopefully the weather will be good enough to take photos of the rest tomorrow.

Monday, August 8, 2011

No Sewing Today, but...

Today we made our annual summer visit to the Aquarium in Riverhead.  They have added a butterfly/exotic bird exhibit that was really fun.
I managed to snap a picture of an Isabella Luna moth.  You may be more familiar with how they look as a Wooly Bear caterpillar.

A butterfly tried to hitch hike out of the exhibit on the back of my husband's shirt.

We were able to hold a bird.

Pieceful Quilting is a great shop just down the street from the Aquarium.  The ladies who work there are really friendly and helpful.  I wandered through, but I only found one fabric that interested me.  At $11.25 a yard, I was able to resist.  I was not able to resist the fabric by the pound bin.  I found two bags that were an incredible bargain at $6.95 each.  They both contained several slightly less than 1/2 yard cuts, with lots of smaller pieces and some strips.  This one had several cute prints including fabric from "The Hungry Caterpillar" line and a beautiful seashell print (the $11.25 fabric was from the same line).  There was also a quilt block. 

 The green pack has a really lovely sea themed batik and even had a few 2 1/2 inch squares tucked in.

It was a great bargain.  All of it is quality fabric and will come in handy.  My only regret, is that I didn't buy another bag.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

It's a Gold Mine in There

 "Nothing [is] so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task." 
--William James

William James must have been a quilter describing his relationship with his UFOs.  Despite my attempts to make friends with my UFOs, they continue to taunt me and refuse to be tamed.   I have decided to ignore them and go on to something new.   While I was looking through my collection of 5 inch squares in preparation for Debra's Quilt Smack Down, I discovered some hidden treasures.

I remember buying a Tumbler template for 5 inch charms from the Missouri Star Quilt Co. awhile back, but didn't remember cutting out any shapes with it.  For those of you who don't own a shape cutting machine, this is a lovely template.  If you have charm squares already cut, you can turn them into a pile of Tumbler blocks in no time.  I also works well with 5 inch strips.  I don't know when I'll get time to work on it, but I created a kit that I can start on when I'm just looking for something to sew.

In June 2010, I completed this quilt called "Quilter's Bounty." 

 I must have really enjoyed piecing it because I found the pattern packed in a baggie with enough of the sewn strip blocks and 2 1/2 inch squares to make another one.  All I have to do is cut the setting squares and strips and I'm good to go.  It's an older pattern so the instructions are not written to be used with a jelly roll , but it would really work up fast if you used one.  The finished quilt is very deceiving.  It looks as though you frame four patch blocks and alternate them with strip blocks.  I'm sure that would be an easy way to go but the pattern offers a quick alternative that works very well..  One more quilt added to the list.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Charity Quilt Smack Down

After finishing up the H2H Charity Challenge, I decided I wasn't going to sign up for anything for awhile and just concentrate on my UFOs.  That was before Debra at Debra's Design Studio  lured me into signing up for a Charity Quilt Smack Down she is hosting on Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28.   The reason she was able to reel me in without a fight was because the quilt she will be making is super easy, uses a ton of scraps and will go to a Veteran's group.  As if that isn't enough, you can send it to her and she will quilt it.  Since I like to piece, but dread quilting, this is an answer to my quilting prayers.

The pattern she will be using is from Barbara at Thinking Out Loud
Debra had a Pyramid quilt Smack Down last weekend that I was unable to participate in, but I'll certainly be using her method in the future.

I've already pulled some fabrics from my stash.

Go on! Take a look!  You know you want to do it.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hands 2 Help Challenge completed

Today is the final day of the Hands 2 Help Quilt Challenge.  Visit Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict to see all of the quilts made by the 47 participants. I  completed 2 of the 3 quilts I started for the Challenge.  I tried 2 new to me techniques on the red, white and black quilt. It was the first time I used a flange on a quilt and my first attempt at sewing a binding on completely by machine.  I was delighted with the flange which added a narrow punch of solid black to the border, but less than excited about the machine sewn binding.  I actually like hand sewing the binding to the back of a quilt.   I find it to be very relaxing and a great way to keep my hands busy while watching television or when I am a passenger in the car.  I decided to try the machine sewn binding because it has been so hot here this summer.  The week I was applying the binding, temperatures reached 100 unairconditioned degrees.   The tutorial I followed recommended using a blanket stitch.  Although I like the quilt, if I machine bind a quilt in the future, I will try a different method.

The back of the quilt looks washed out in the photo.  The middle stripe is Kona cherry, while the 2 side stripes are from the fabric below.

The second quilt I completed was made using the fabric sent to me by my challenge partner Jamie.  I really like the bright colors against the crisp white.  While I was finishing up the quilting, I realized that I reversed a few of the blocks.  I was disappointed that I didn't pick up the error in time to correct it, but I still love the way the quilt looks.  If you find the errant blocks, please don't tell me, it will definitely burst my bubble.

I used a pretty pink floral for the backing which is actually much brighter in person.

I wasn't able to put together the blocks I made for the third quilt so I will complete it and use it for a different charitable group.  The fabric was leftover from the same UFO that spawned the first red/white/black quilt.  I think it will make a cute quilt when finished.

The quilts will be taken to Romania along with food and school supplies by the husband and father-in-law of Judi of Green Fairy Quilts.  If you would like to see a video of one of their mission trips visit the Green Fairy Quilts blog Thanks Sarah for hosting such a fun and worthwhile Challenge.  I hope this will become an annual event.