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.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

May For Me

Thanks to Marcia, Sharon, Snoodles, and Tonya for inspiring quilters all over the world to take some time to do something just for themselves during the month of May.  On the first  Saturday in May, I attended a local quilt show and was able to see Bonnie Hunter's trunk show.  After years of reading about Bonnie traveling around the country to give workshops, it was great to be able to see her in person.  Her talk  was funny, informative, and full of beautiful quilts.  She gave several workshops in New York state and she taught Jared's Star for the local guild.  Unfortunately, the workshop was filled, so I wasn't able to attend.  I did get to have Bonnie autograph one of her books  as a surprise birthday present for a dear bloggy friend.   I was surprised that a large number of quilters that I talked to on the shuttle bus and at the show had never heard of Bonnie before.  After her talk, everyone was talking about how great she was.  It was really weird visiting her blog and reading about restaurants in our local area that she visited during her stay
On Mother's Day, my Viking daughter and I went into Manhattan and attended Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.  We had lunch at a  Thai restaurant called Thainy and it was small enough to live up to its name.  ON our way back to Grand Central Station, we decided to visit the observation deck of the Empire State Building,  I had not visited there since I was a little girl and my daughter had never been there.  I got to meet King Kong.  The visibility that day was 25 miles so the view was great.

I also managed to join a weekend sew along with the C-Bees online  group using the Twister Tool.  I used 5 inch squares and the small size Twister  ruler.  It will be turned into a table topper  for my night table.  I found it difficult to judge where to position the light and dark charms for the best color balance.  

In my next post, I will share more May for Me adventures.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

H2H Challenge

Today is the last day to link up to Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict's Hands 2 Help (H2H) Charity Quilt Challenge.  Quilts from the challenge will be donated to the NOLA Project that sponsors trips to Louisiana to assist children still suffering from the aftermath of hurricane Katrina or to the Happy Chemo project which distributes quilts to cancer patients.
My original plan to donate 2 quilts to each project didn't come to fruition in time.  The photos below are of 2 quilts that will be going to the Happy Chemo project.  Two more quilts that are earmarked for NOLA will be finished soon.
 This quilt is X Rated from Carrie Nelson's Snibbles Times Two.  Each quilt in the book can be made in 2 sizes, from layer cakes or charms.  The gold tone Xs are from 10 inch squares, but the green Xs were cut from yardage.  The backing is the same green tone on tone as the binding.  I left off the scrappy piano key border so that the quilt would finish at 60 inches square.  I've never made one Carrie Nelson's patterns before and I really enjoyed it.  The instructions are very clear and easy to follow.

The red, white, and blue quilt was made using a tutorial from Cluck, Cluck, Sew.  It's an easy stack and whack block that starts with 8 1/2 inch squares.  The resulting blocks are 7 1/2 inches.

It's wonderful knowing that these quilts will soon have a good home thanks to Sarah and her H2H Challenge.