Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Missing In Action

If you have left a comment that I have not answered, or are a blogger that I usually leave a comment for, I apologize for my neglect.   The last 3 weeks have been a blur here at our house.  I have spent a large chunk of time in doctors' waiting rooms.  Three weeks ago, my 23 year old daughter's only concern was waiting to hear if she was accepted into graduate school.  Then she noticed a blind spot in the peripheral vision in her left eye.  She has been examined by at least 5 opthamologists, including a neuro-opthamologist and had 2 MRIs.  She has a swollen optic nerve, but they have not been able to find out what is causing it.  Luckily, they have been able to rule out a brain tumor, cancer, and a detached retina.  The swelling hasn't gotten any worse and there has been no change in the size of the blind spot.  Unless there is a further change in her vision, the doctors want to keep an eye on it and we have a follow-up appointment.  It's been very frightening, but we have confidence in the optical team and she's handling it very well.

I did manage to start a few projects and actually finished one.  The top of my dryer has a few large scratches that are starting to rust.  After seeing dryer toppers on a few blogs, I made one of my own.  I used 2.5 inch charms alternated with muslin on both sides. The hand stitched binding was a great project to pass the time while waiting at the doctor's office.

Last weekend, I was able to take a class at our LQS.  The pattern is Eleanor Burn's Oriental Fans Tablerunner.  The fan blocks were so much fun to make that I made 9 instead of the 3 called for in the pattern.  I didn't finish the extra blocks because the fabric I chose for the setting triangles and backing was too light.  I've also decided to change the fabric for the fan base.  I love the pattern so hopefully I will find the fabric I need.  

The Basics Charity Challenge at Cara Quilts ended today.  I planned to deliver the personal care items I was donating to our local women's shelter in tote bags.  I already had 2 canvas tote bags I purchased previously, but I needed 3 more.  I found some pale orange denim in my stash that I bought for a Girl Scout project years ago.  Although there are lots of great patterns for totes on the internet, none of them seemed to fit my needs so I came up with my own pattern.  The denim was heavy enough not to need any stabilizer and I finished the inner seams so that I did not need a lining.  I still have plenty of the denim fabric left so I may make a few more and fill them up for the shelter later this year.

I'll be linking up with Barbara At Cat Patches for the February NewFO Challenge

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cara's Basics Charity Challenge

Last year, Cara of Cara Quilts issued a challenge on her blog to encourage people (of course quilters are people too) to donate the basic needs of life to local shelters for women and children.  She was inspired to start the challenge when driving past her local women's shelter that had a sign out front asking for donations of paper towels.  She expresses her thoughts so much better than I can.  Please click the button on my right side bar to visit her blog and read all about it.
I participated in the Basics Charity Challenge last year and donated 3 tote bags with the every day items we all take for granted; toothpaste, toothbrushes, liquid hand soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, hand creme,  and deodorant.  We also packed some extra food and household cleaning items in a shopping bag and dropped if off at the same time.  When we dropped them off, the woman at the reception desk was very grateful and told us that they were really in need of  all kinds of basic cleaning and personal hygiene supplies because donations drop off after the Christmas holidays.  It wasn't a big deal for us since we try to buy a few extra items when they are on sale to donate through our church.  Last year, over 200 people answered Cara's challenge to help.  Cara has recruited sponsors that will be offering all kinds of quilty goodies to participants.  The challenge runs through the month of February so you still have time to participate.  We all know someone who has needed help; now is our chance to extend a hand to a woman or child who is counting on us.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Pass It Along Box Finds A New Home

In case you're wondering how the "Pass It On" box is doing, it's ready to move on to its new home.

I removed 2 books (Scrap Basket Surprises and Miss Rosie's Floral Quilts), 1 Dance of the Fairies  fat quarter pack,1 tan print fat quarter,  a Clover yo you maker (large and small size included), and 1 applique pumpkin pillow pattern.

I added:  1 Riley Blake charm pack, 1 Curio charm pack by Basic Grey, 2 packs of 100 two inch squares, 2 packs of wash away foundation paper, 1 quilt pattern, 2 books (Make It Simpler Paper Piecing and Spring Cleaning , 3 Moda fat quarters (Lumiere de Noel, Aster Manor, and Roman Holiday), 1 Keepsake Quilting Die Cut Assortment of fifty eight 4 inch squares, and 2 one yard cuts from the Buttercup Line from Robert Kaufman.

Unfortunately, it no longer fits into a medium size priority box so I'll  be shipping it in a larger box to the lucky winner Miki Willa of Miki's Fabric Creations and slipping in a few more surprises.  Congratulations Miki.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Cut The Scraps Challenge

Warning!  This post has a lot of pictures so it may take a while to load.

Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict heads a quilt ministry that makes quilts for people who need a special hug.  When Sarah  announced a Scrappy Block Challenge using the methods described by Joan Ford in her book, Cut The Scraps!, I was ready and willing to try it out.  Joan's method recommends cutting your scraps into squares of 2, 3.5, and 5 inches.  Try as I might, I couldn't come up with anything original.  In spite of the fact that my idea is far from original, I had lots of fun playing with my scraps.  The block/blocks I came up with can actually be very versatile.  It is based on the old reliable 9 patch using 4 patch blocks made of 2 inch squares in the corners and varying the center.  In 2 of the blocks, I used a solid in the middle.   The 2 patch strips are made from 2 strips of fabric 2 by 3 1/2 inches cut from 5 inch squares. The solid square used in the middle of 2 of the blocks is 3 1/2 inches.  Each of the blocks is 9 1/2 inches square.

Sarah is hoping to use some of the blocks that were designed for the challenge to make quilts for her ministry.  The blocks above are obviously not sewn together so that I could demonstrate their versatility.  I'll be cutting more so that I can sew all of the samples and send them to Sarah.

Friday, February 10, 2012

It's Here

I'm so excited!  One of the Traveling Stash boxes has arrived at my house.  With Sharon V's  help, I have been tracking the boxes and hoping to get a chance to open one and touch everything inside.
This box originated with  Brandie at ABC then went to Sunny at Sunny-Quilting Dream and now to the very lucky me.
Inside are:  wonderful quilting books, applique patterns, fat quarters, some blocks, a magazine, and some yardage (the scissor is mine, I used it to open the box).  I promise I will update this post tomorrow with the items I am removing as well as the items I will replace them with.

If you want to be the next lucky recipient of the "Pass It On" Box there are a few rules you need to agree to
You must be a blogger so you can "pass it on" to another blogger and keep us posted about where it's going.
You must be willing to ship it on to the next person.
You may take anything you like, but for every item you remove, you must replace it with another item.
Items do not need to be new, but if they are not new, they must be gently used.
You may fill the box with:  orphan blocks, books, patterns, notions, rulers, and definitely fabric.
There is a note in the box that logs where the box has been.  Please add your info and place the note back in the box.
Sorry, but because of shipping costs the box cannot be shipped internationally.
You know you want to see everything inside.  Leave me a comment and I will announce on Wednesday who the next lucky recipient will be.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

When I Should Have Been Quilting

I just wasted a perfectly good morning playing with word pictures on this site.  Taxedo allows you to make word pictures using template shapes.  You can choose your blog or come up with a word list that you would like to use.  These are a few I came up with.

The first image was from a list of words I typed.  The next 3 were made using the blog choice.  Unfortunately, if you use the blog app, you don't have control over which words it chooses.  As a tea addict, the teapot and cup were a perfect choice for me, but there are lots of others.  Maybe I'll play some more another day, but for now, I'll sew a bit.