Friday, August 10, 2012

How Lucky Can You Get?

I really enjoy participating in all of the blog hops that Madame Samm comes up with.  I have only made blocks for 2 of them, but I always visit the blogs on the hop and see what everyone is doing.  It's a great way to get ideas and to find blogs you might enjoy reading.  Sometimes when I stop to make a comment, I notice other comments that sound interesting and I check out the blogs of the quilters who wrote them.  That's how I found The Slow Quilter.  I liked a comment that she made on my favorite blog Vroomans Quilts.  The rest is history.  I enjoy The Slow Quilter's warm, friendly style.  I always feel like she is bringing her quilts and lovely bags to my house and sharing a cup of tea with me.  Obviously, many other people enjoy reading her blog because she is almost at 100 followers.  I won the R/W/B blog hop giveaway at the Slow Quilter's blog.

It included some beautiful batik fabrics.

The Slow Quilter collects turtles and sent a beautifully carved wood turtle from Malawi, Africa to guard the fabric and make sure it got to its destination.     It has a bottle opener on the under side.  When I was a nursery school teacher at the Nature Center, we had many animals who were injured and could not be released into the wild.  My favorite was a one eyed Eastern Box turtle named Willi.  Although this turtle has 2 perfectly good eyes, he is now called Willi.

Included in the package was a special surprise.  This wallet is made in Ghana from recycled water containers.  It has a velcro closing so it is not only environmental sensible, it's also very practical.

Thank you Slow Quilter for the lovely giveaway and for sharing your work and wry sense of humor on your blog.  Stop by and have a visit with The Slow Quilter.  You'll be glad you did.  Just don't read her post on Underwear Dust if you have a mouth full of liquid, it may end up on your key board.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Welcome Christmas Blog Hoppers

Thank you Madame Samm and Lesley for putting together another fun blog hop for all of us to enjoy.  I'm embarrassed to admit, I've been so busy I have only been able to visit a few blogs during this  hop.  Hopefully, I can catch up and see them all this weekend.  Welcome!  Please come in and take a look at my Christmas tree.  Doesn't it smell wonderful?

Two years ago, Denise at Just Quiltin with Denise Russart organized a swap featuring a snow globe block that she designed and distributed for free.  I loved each of the 8.5 inch blocks that I received.  I must have loved them so much that I put them in a treasure chest and buried them, because I can't find them or the pattern we used.  Using Denise's block for inspiration and a cake plate to trace the shape, I came up with my own 12.5 inch version.  Although Denise is not one of the stops on the blog hop, visit her blog to download a gorgeous butterfly quilt she is sharing.

I'm sorry for the poor quality of the pictures of my blocks, but I snapped them at 11:00pm.  Hopefully, I will be able to edit the post and put in better quality photos tomorrow.  The snowman is machine embroidered on the tree print fabric.  I think they look kinda sorta like the real thing if you squint.

Sally over at Sew Wonderful has a great tutorial for the Disappearing 4 Patch, also known as the 4 to 9 patch block.  I decided to put a wintry spin on the block by adding some Redwork snowmen. Charming Station Embroidery offers free Redwork machine embroidery designs of snowmen and clever sayings to go with them.  Over 200 of their free snowmen designs are available to download for machine embroidery.   I embroidered the snowmen on 10 inch squares and trimmed the squares to 7 inches with the snowmen centered on the square.  Major error!!!  I did not take into account that when creating the 4 patch block you cut one inch from the seam both vertically and horizontally.  As you can see, the snowman with the song book is too close to the edge.  I embroidered the squares before we left for vacation so it was too late to embroider another block.  I love the block, but when I get back to my embroidery machine he will be replaced.   I am showing this block as a cautionary tale and to remind myself that Sister Diane Marie  was right 49 years ago when she told us that geometry/math is an important skill.  If only I had paid attention.

Thanks for stopping by.  Don't forget to visit the other blogs scheduled for today.

Creations On The Island
That Other Blog
Sunshine Girl
Hallbrook Designs
The Recipe Bunny
Sisca At The Other Blog
Polka Dot Classic
Ariane Quilts
Katie's Salt Marsh Path (you are here)
The Cuddle Quilter

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tetris Quilt Along Blocks Week 2

I just wanted to post photos of my Tetris Blocks from week 2 of the Tetris Quilt Along before I started my blocks from week 3.  If you haven't joined the quilt along, it's not too late and it's lots of fun.  The pink and yellow look washed out in the pictures, but they are very bright when seen in person.

Sorry for the picture quality.  I didn't notice how much alike the blocks were until I just posted the pictures.  I think once they are distributed though out the quilt it will be fine.  I can't wait to start on this week's blocks.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

I belong to an online charity quilting group called the Sunshine Quilters.  They are currently running several Round Robin groups.  This is the first time I am participating in a Round Robin where you add a different border to each block you work on. I really want to make my row in the Round Robin to enhance the block I have already received.  This is where you come in.

This is the 17.5 inch center block sent to me by Kathy from Tampa.
I decided to add one solid border to make the block 20.5 inches square.  I also wanted to use half square triangles in the border.  I have the blocks made, but I can't make up my mind if I want to echo the purple and black star point or to go in a different direction.  This is a bold step for me.

After sewing a row and a half of the blocks in this direction, I decided I should explore another opinion.

 This would be the other choice.  I can't show the complete border because some of the HST are already sewn in the direction above.  It wouldn't be a problem to take them apart.
Hopefully, you will share your opinion.  After me, there will be 2 more participants to add rows.

I also made 2 more Tetris blocks from last week's shapes.  I plan to sew this week's block later today.

After seeing all 4 blocks together, I decided I will not be using sashing between the blocks.  I also feel kind of dumb realizing in all 4 blocks I put the orange shape in the bottom row.  I don't know how I didn't notice it before, but when the blocks are all sewn together it won't be a problem.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tetris Quilt Along Week 1

If you haven't succumbed to the infectious fun known as the Tetris Quilt Along, visit Melissa at Happy Quilting. She has designed a quilt based on the colors and shapes of the Tetris game  The shapes for the first week have been released and it is an enjoyable challenge  putting these blocks together.  Melissa is using 5 inch squares for her blocks, but I prefer using 2.5 inch squares.  I am planning to make 2 blocks each week from the shapes using a different placement.  It's so much fun I may decide to make 4 blocks per week so that my quilt will be closer in size to the original project.   I used white squares to represent the empty spaces where I wasn't able to fit a block.  There are no restrictions as to size or even color.  I plan on saving the extra squares from the parts of the shapes that did not fit and plan to use them  to make a block for the back of the quilt.

I'm going to link my blocks with the rest of the Tetris quilters at Happy Quilting and also with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for "Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?"

Sharon of Vrooman's Quilts is hosting a Crafter's Campfire today.  Put on some sunscreen and bug spray and stop at her place to see the fun craft she has posted.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Red/White/Blue Blog Hop Giveaway Winner

Thanks to the 124 hoppers  who stopped by during the Red, White, and Blue blog hop and left a comment.  The winner of the Tried and True charm pack by  Nancy Halvorsen is number 108, Sharon of Camp Gramma   She said,  "Both blocks are beautiful! and that is a great little charm pack...hope it finds my house :) 
My handsome assistant Retired Guy chose the lucky number.

It's been miserably hot here for the last week.  I can't bring myself to iron the fabrics I need for my  projects.  I did manage to sew some blocks with strips that were already cut..  The quilt requires 110 blocks.  I only need to make 13 more.
I was also able to make some HST to use for the Round Robin I am in.  I'm not sure if I like them with the block, but I'll make my decision once they are all made.

It's raining now, so hopefully that will help to cool it down a bit and I can cut my charms. for Melissa's  Tetris Quilt Along at Happy Quilting

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Taking Inventory

In April, I was inspired by Rhonda over at Quilter in the Gap to pick some unfinished  projects and bring them to completion during the second quarter of the year.  It's July, the three months are up and I have to admit, I did not finish even one of the projects.  I don't feel guilty or embarrassed.  For the most part, I just found myself busy with other projects.

I'm going to give it another try this quarter and have found a few projects to target.
 Most of these blocks were leftover from a quilt top I made earlier in the year.  Hopefully, when I finish this top, I will quilt the both of them and send them on their way.
 I finished the center for the Faded Charms quilt from Wedding Dress Blue.  These are the rest of the charm strips that I pieced as leaders and enders.  It's a great quilt so I'm eager to put it together.

This block is part of a Round Robin from the Sunshine Quilter's blog.  Kathy Thompson sent it to me.  I'm struggling with the math for the border I planned to use.  The block is 17.5 inches square.  It has a deadline, so I hope to put my border on and get it in the mail next week.

More leftover blocks from a quilt I made for Sarah's Hands 2 Help Challenge last year.  I have the strips already cut for the rest of the blocks and plan to finish it to send to Sarah's NOLA project for children affected by Hurricane Katrina.  It's hard to believe there are still people suffering from the aftermath of that terrible tragedy.
 I love this quilt and placed it on my list last quarter.  I did add 3 more rows and the top is finished (this picture was taken when it was in progress).  This is also slated for the NOLA project so it needs to be quilted and sent on its way.

I'm going to link up over at Quilter In The Gap's Third Quarter Challenge.  Hopefully, these 5 projects will be finished before the summer is over.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Welcome Red, White and Blue Blog Hoppers

Happy 4th of July and welcome to all Red, White  and Blue Blog Hoppers.  My apologies to everyone for posting so late.  My plans to post last night after dinner went awry when we found out our phone service was out and of course our internet was out with it.  Our good friends at Verizon informed us that we will have our service back by July 11th.  Ugh!!!  I've eagerly visited all of the participating blogs this week and am really excited about hosting the hop here on my blog.  I didn't want to miss my big day so I drove 35 minutes to use the WiFi at Panera Breads in Brookfield, CT.

I have two 12.5 inch blocks that I designed to share as well as  a giveaway.  The first block is a stylized flag using twenty seven 2.5 inch HST (finishing at 2 inches) and a 6.5 inch blue square with   rough edge machine applique wonky stars.

The second block is hand appliqued and was made using Darlene Zimmerman's Easy Dresden ruler.  I used a 4 inch strip for the blue blades, the red is made with 2.5 inch strips and the white blades are cut from 1.5 inch strips.  The center star is also hand appliqued.  I plan on making 3 more blocks varying the color placement to turn it into a table runner.

Thanks for stopping by, please leave a comment to be entered into the giveaway for a Tried and True charm pack by  Nancy Halvorsen for  Benartex.  It's a great pack and contains 55 charms.

Don't forget to visit the other bloggers featuring special posts today.  Please click the blog hop button on my sidebar for links to bloggers who posted earlier this week.

Quilter in the Closet
The Recipe Bunny
A Reformed Heath'n
Jane's Fabrics
Kris Loves Fabric

Thanks to Madame Samm and Jane for organizing a fun blog hop and to Panera Breads who bailed me out with their free WiFi (even if it is so slow it took over 2 hours just to load this post.

Happy 4th  of July!!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sneak Preview

Tomorrow begins the very special Red, White, and Blue Blog Hop.  Over 100 bloggers will be participating.  Each blogger will feature either a 12.5  or 10.5 inch red, white, and blue block.  Some will provide tutorials and many will be offering giveaways.  This is the first time that I will be participating in this type of blog hop.  My blog's day to host is Wednesday, July 4th.  In addition to the red, white, and blue block that I designed my very own self, I will have a giveaway.
This is a sneak peak of the fabrics I used for my block which features my nemesis, the dreaded half square triangle.

I'm sorry I can't figure out how to make the Blog Hop button operational within the text of this post but you can visit Jane's Fabrics and Quilts or use the button on my sidebar for the blog hop schedule.

I have been very negligent about showing the lovely items that I have won in recent blog giveaways.

This fabulous book arrived yesterday from Vanessa at The Crafty Gemini.  She has a lovely blog and offers lots of video tutorials.

A Year of Making Life Beautiful, by Melissa Stramel is a beautiful spiral bound book that features, projects, quilt patterns, crafts, and gardening for each  month of the year.  It's a delight just to turn the pages and look at the gorgeous pictures.

A few months ago, I won an incredible giveaway on Australian designer Val Laird's blog.
Val is currently offering a free BOM called Thoughts in Thread that combines pieced blocks with applique and hand embroidery.  Although the BOM started in January, all 6 of the blocks are still available.  Feast your eyes on these goodies and try not to drool on your computer  screen.

The color of the etui is much prettier in person.  You can see better pictures of the giveaway items on Val's blog.  Val's handwork is beautiful.  Her stitches are tiny and even.

The Herb Garden wall hanging has the names of 19 herbs embroidered in the outer borders and features appliqued pots of mint, rosemary, and cloves.  It's hanging near our kitchen table and it makes me happy to look at it at every meal.  She also sent a charm pack of Grace by Three Sisters and a pack with charms suitable for embellishments.

Last month, I won 2 patterns from Amber at A Little Bit Biased.  You are probably familiar with her fabulous tutorial Scrap Jar Stars.  The patterns are really well written and I have a charm pack that will be perfect to use.

Don't forget to check out the Red, White, and Blue Blog hop tomorrow and come back to visit for my blog hop day on July 4th to see my block and enter the giveaway.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Glimpse of Giverny

I may never make the trip to France to see Monet's beloved gardens at Giverny, but I was able to catch a glimpse of the beauty that inspired him.  The New York Botanical Gardens, in the Bronx, is holding a special exhibit of flowers growing at Monet's Gardens at their Conservatory.  The exhibit will be on view until October.  We visited shortly after the opening in April and returned again on Sunday.  In addition to the floral display, the Library at the Botanical Gardens has diagrams and photos of the gardens as well as 2 of Monet's paintings and his sketches of the gardens.
The Botanical Gardens feature a changing array of gorgeous gardens that change with the seasons. The heavy down pours this June have taken their toll on the Enid Haupt rose gardens, but there are still many beautiful and fragrant varieties to enjoy.
On our first trip in April, the 20% chance of rain that was predicted turned into a heavy rain that soaked through my raincoat and filled my camera with water.  The camera is a loss, but the memory card managed to survive with the few photos I was able to take of the peonies..

Viewing the beautiful colors and varieties really made me want to try a water color quilt.  One more quilt to add to my "must try" list.