Thursday, January 31, 2013

Another giveaway (and a winner!)

First off, let's get to the winner of the Valentine's Day giveaway.  I tried to get some help from my furbabies to pick a winner, but I finally gave up and had my husband pick it.

See the slips of paper at her feet?  She just wouldn't pick one!
Congratulations 'Angel and Kirby'!  I've sent you an email.

Now for the next giveaway!  This one will run until next Friday (Feb. 8th) at noon EST.  This time, I'm giving away 2 Charm Packs of Pure by Sweetwater and the Schnibbles pattern Spot.  I've had so much fun making Schnibbles quilts and I want to pass some of the joy along.

2 Charm Packs of Pure by Sweetwater
Schnibbles Spot Pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.
Like the last giveaway, if my post office can figure out how to mail to you, you're eligible!  To enter:
  1. Follow my blog.  (Hint:  To follow, hit the 'Join this site' button on the right hand side and choose to follow publicly.  FYI, this should automatically show up in Google Reader if that's how you normally keep up with blogs.)
  2. Leave me a comment that you're a follower.  Just to make it more interesting, tell me something fun about yourself (not technically required though).
  3. For an extra entry, blog about this giveaway and leave another comment letting me know you did.
That's it!  As I said, this giveaway will be open for 1 week and then it'll be on to the next one.  I hope this is as much fun for you as it is for me!

Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. 
Psalm 100:2 (NLT)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My favorite Schnibbles quilt...

(Note: To enter my giveaway, please go here.)

Sinta from Pink Pincushion and Sherri from A Quilting Life are hosting a parade on February 1st.  This time it's your favorite Schnibbles quilt.  I joined in Another Year of Schnibbles for the first half of last year, so I started thinking about which was my favorite.  At first I thought it might be La Maison.  I spent a great deal of time making this one and quilting it (especially those cobblestones).

La Maison - My version of the Full House Schnibbles Quilt
But the more I thought about it, the more I kept thinking about another quilt.  One that took very little time to make and that I quilted with just a simple pantograph.  The colors aren't really me either, but I just really like this quilt.  I think it's because of the secondary pattern that emerges and how striking I find it.   The Schnibbles pattern is Bibelot and I named my version Child's Play.

Child's Play - My Version of the Bibelot Schnibbles Quilt
I made a couple of very simple changes to the pattern.  I left off the sashing around the 'T' blocks and kept all of my rows vertical.  I used bright colors to make this quilt, because initially I was going to donate it.  However, my sister liked it so much, I ended up giving it to her.  Purple and green are really her colors!

I also used a soft flannel to add an extra outer border.  My quilt finishes at 48" square, while the pattern is 38" square.  I thought the larger size would be better for a child.  And as I mentioned, I used a very simple pantograph to quilt it.

It just goes to show you that you don't have to spend a ton of time and effort to make something you love!

Thanks for stopping by!

"Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts." 
Proverbs 4:23 (GN)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Verna's quilt...

(Note: To enter my giveaway, go here.)

I've been down and out this past week with a bad cold, so not a lot of sewing going on.  However, I did find a few moments here and there to finish quilting a quilt for a friend.  This is another of the mystery quilts our bee did last year.  Once they're all done, we're going to donate them to soldiers.  Since my friend Verna is moving, I offered to quilt her top for her.

Another Hatch and Windows Mystery Quilt
Verna made hers in traditional red, white and blue and it turned out just beautiful!  I'm sure whoever ends up with it will be pleased with both the fabrics and the workmanship that went into it.

I used a new pantograph to quilt it from the book Quilting Dot to Dot by Cheryl Barnes.  The pattern doesn't have a name, but it's on page 87.  (I've actually gotten a lot of really good pantographs from this book!)

Quilt pantograph I used
This was a pretty easy (and quick) pantograph to stitch up.  I like it so much, I'm going to use it on my next quilt as well!  Here's a closeup of the quilting on the back of the quilt...

Back of Verna's Quilt
The stats for this quilt are:
  • Size: 59.5" x 71"
  • Fabrics: N/A - Verna made the quilt top.
  • Batting: Warm & White
  • Thread: Superior Threads So Fine 50/3 #451
  • Pattern: Mystery 26 (Hatch and Windows) from the Yahoo Group Mystery Quilts 4 Military
  • Quilting: p.87 Quilting Dot to Dot by Cheryl Barnes
  • Completed: January 2013
  • Recipient: QOV

Now hopefully this cold will let up and I can move on to funner things!

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. 
Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Pattern picture...

(Note:  To enter my giveaway, go to this post here.)

I just realized I forgot to include a sample picture for the giveaway pattern.  If you're anything like me, you'd probably like to know what the quilt will look like first!  As I mentioned in my last post, the pattern is Dora by Me and My Sister Designs.  Although you'll be receiving your own individual copy of the pattern, they've also published it in a separate book called 3 times the charm!  The following pictures are taken from that book.

Sample Dora Quilt #1
Sample Dora Quilt #2
Sorry for the omission and I hope that helps!  Remember, I'm giving away everything you need to make the quilt top, including a charm pack of Sent with Love by Deb Strain.  Good luck!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. 
Psalm 106:1 (NLT)

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's official...

My blog has a new home here at Mike & Gabby!  I've been planning this move for, oh, a couple of years, but I finally buckled down and did it.  My old blog had the same look for as long as I can remember.  It took a lot of work and some help from, but I like the fresh clean look of my new home.  Hopefully you do too!

Gabriel and I welcome you!!!
If you have a few minutes, take a look around.  There are some tabs at the top that explain a little bit more about who I am, my houseful of pets and my love of quilting.  Although after filling out my list of UFOs, I feel like I should be spending less time on my blog and more time in my sewing room, trying to get some of them done!

To celebrate my big move, I've planned a number of giveaways!  Although most of them are quilting related, I know that not everyone that reads my blog actually quilts, so at least one or two will take that into account.  (Disclaimer: None of the prizes are sponsored.  They're all coming out of my own pocket!)

Since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, I'm going to start with this little bundle to make a table topper/wall hanging: a charm pack of Sent with Love by Deb Strain for Moda, the Dora pattern by Me & My Sister Designs, 1/3 yard red print for the border and 1/2 yard of Bella white for the sashing.  This will make around a 28" square quilt.  All you need to add is the backing, binding and batting!

Valentine's Day Giveaway Bundle
So who's interested?  If my post office can figure out how to mail to your address, your eligible for this giveaway!  To enter, you need to do 2 things:

  1. Follow my blog.  This is a brand new blog with no followers, so you'll be one of the first!  (Hint: The follower button is over on the right hand side.)
  2. Leave a comment on this post telling me you're now a follower.
That's it!  However, if you'd like to earn one extra entry, you also welcome to blog about this giveaway on your own blog.  Just leave another comment letting me know you've done so.  Once I reach at least 10 followers and 10 comments, I'll draw a winner!  I'd like to get this prize out ASAP so the winner can work on it before Valentine's Day.  And also so I can get started on the next giveaway!

And once again, thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Good reads...

I don't think I've ever offered a book recommendation here, but I've been reading a lot of books lately and have come across several really good ones.  In case you're on the look out for something new yourself, I thought I'd share a couple here.

The first book is The Passage by Justin Cronin.  My husband downloaded this book to his kindle and told me how much he thought I would enjoy it, but I was in the middle of another book (see below) at the time.  However, by the time I'd finished my book, he'd mentioned this at least a half dozen times so I thought I'd give it a try.  I'm so glad I did!  It's a long book, but I just couldn't put it down.

This book was named one of the ten best novels of the year by Time magazine in 2010.  Here's a synopsis.

An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy—abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Brad Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl—and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.

By the way, The Passage is actually part of a trilogy.  The second book is already out (also a real page turner) and the third book will be out in 2014.

The other book I'd recommend is completely different; it's a non-fiction book called To the Golden Shore: the Life of Adoniram Judson by Courtney Anderson. 

It's the story of one of the first Baptist missionaries to Burma.  At times it's a difficult read, just because of how heartbreaking their lives sometimes were, but you can see how real faith is played out in people's lives.  Here's the book description:

On February 12, 1812, Ann and Adoniram Judson sailed from Salem aboard the brig Caravan as two of the first missionaries to go out from North America. Watching the shoreline disappear from view, they could not have foreseen the impact of their journey on the future of the Christian world mission or on the thousands of men and women who would follow in their footsteps. After a short stay in India, they carried the Good News of Jesus Christ to the golden shore of Burma.
Drawing on letters and church records, Courtney Anderson paints a poignant portrait of Judson’s early life in dealing with the conflict between his desire for material success and the inner call to serve God. For Adoniram Judson the golden shore brought bitter hardships, imprisonment, and family tragedy. Yet, he never wavered in his commitment to win people to faith in Christ and to translate the Bible into the Burmese language.

So those are my recommendations.  If you've read any great books lately, I'd love to hear what they were!  I'm always on the lookout for new authors and compelling stories.

(Today I'm hooking up with Judy over at Patchwork Times for Watcha Reading Tuesday.)

Moses is actually a great reading buddy.  She loves curling up next to me while I've got a good book.

Until later...

The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.” 
Proverbs 10:9 (NIV)

Saturday, January 19, 2013


For a long time I saw Schnibbles quilts popping up all over the internet and I thought how cute they were, but I was slow to hop on that bandwagon.  Now I wonder why I waited so long.  They're so much fun to make, don't require a lot of fabric and they're quick as well!  SO many of my projects take years to complete that it's refreshing to finish a quilt (or the top at least) in a couple of days.

One of my latest Schnibbles quilts is Paganini.  I used Shangri-La by 3 Sisters (love this fabric!)  It's an older line of theirs from around 2009 or so.

Paganini Version 1
This pattern actually has 4 versions.  I picked the first one with the scalloped border.  To be honest, I've never done a scalloped border before.  It took me quite a while to get it just right.  First I drew it using a Frixion pen that disappears when you iron it.  Once I had the lines just right, I traced over them with a permanent pen.  Once I've quilted this, I'll cut on the lines and bind it.

Scalloped border drawn on
I was also fortunate to find some ready made bias binding out of the Shangri-La fabric on the internet.  What are the chances?  I couldn't believe my luck.  I'm not that fond of making bias binding and now I don't have to!

Shangri-La Bias Binding
I went ahead and made the backing for this quilt as well.  I had some left over charm squares, so I made some extra blocks and put them on the back.  I can use the middle one for the label once it's been quilted (sometime in the far distant future of course).

Backing for this quilt
Although I've been getting up early to quilt each morning, Gabriel isn't finding herself as energetic.  She manages to drag herself upstairs to the sewing room sofa before she falls right back to sleep.  That's OK though.  I know when the weather turns warmer, she'll be pestering me to take her to the park as soon as the sun is out.

Gabriel on her sofa
Until later...

Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. 
Proverbs 12:18 (NLT)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hatch and Windows - Take 2...

My first finish of the year is a QOV top.  The pattern is Mystery 26 from the Yahoo Group Mystery Quilts 4 Military.  This is the second quilt I've made using this pattern.  The first one I ended up giving my parents for Christmas and I made this one as a replacement to donate.

Hatch and Windows - Take 2
This was the first version I made (that my parents now own)...

Hatch and Windows (Original Version)
To be honest, I really like the colors in both versions.  I'm also quilting a red, white and blue one that a friend made and it's beautiful as well.  I think I just really like the pattern.  It's basically made up of 2 blocks...

Blocks for Hatch and Windows Quilts
For the new quilt, I just went with a simple set of borders, because I didn't have enough of the background fabric to make the diamond border in the original.  I think it looks fine both ways though.

Simple border treatment
I'm going to try to get this quilted quickly so we can get them in to the hands of soldiers as soon as possible.  I have to finish quilting the RWB version first though.

Sam has been putting on a little winter weight lately and I've had to restrict her food some.  Can you see how happy she is about it?

Here's hoping the scales are treating you a little better than her!

Until later...

The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller.
Proverbs 11:24 (Msg)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bee blocks...

Recently my quilt bee has started doing a 'Quilt in a Box' project.  You may know it by another name, but basically the idea is that each member puts together their own group of fabrics and passes them around.  The other bee members will make a block for them using those fabrics.  In the end, you get a quilt out of fabrics you know you like, and you have a block made by each person.  There are 12 of us this go around, so we've really just gotten started, but I've finished 3 blocks to date (including my own).

Carla has chosen Civil War fabrics for her block...
Carla's Block
Carolyn has picked some very pretty rose prints...
Carolyn's Block
And I'm using Blueberry Crumb Cake by Blackbird Designs for my fabric.  Mine was actually the fist block I made and I'm planning to remake it when my box eventually makes it's way back to me.  I made my flying geese according to the pattern directions and you can see from the picture they don't lie perfectly flat.  I used Monique Dillard's Fit to be Geese ruler for the other 2 blocks and they turned out perfectly.
Dee's Block
We're only doing one block a month, so it's going to take the better part of this year to get all the blocks made.  But it'll be worth it!  I'm sure there are going to be some gorgeous quilts!

Until later...

In response to all he has done for us, let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good.” 
Hebrews 10:24 (TLB)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Better late than never...

When I was putting together my yearly review of the things I quilted, I realized that I never shared pictures of my finished Baltimore Halloween top.  I'm surprised I let that slip by considering I've been appliqueing it for over 3 years!  I'm going to guess I was planning to immediately quilt it and thought I'd share pictures once it was completely finished.  But as often happens, plans change and the top is sitting off in a pile still waiting it's turn.

Baltimore Halloween Quilt Top
The pattern is Baltimore Halloween by P3 Designs.  (I also have her Baltimore Christmas pattern, but haven't started on it yet!)  I did this one using hand applique.

It was hard to get a good picture of this quilt because there are so many little pieces to each applique block.  If you're interested, I shared close up pictures of the individual blocks here and here.  And here's a picture of the bats in the outer border.  I probably spent close to 100 hours appliqueing all of them.

I really am hopeful that I'll have it quilted by Halloween this year.  Then again, I say that every year!

This is just a funny picture I took of Sam recently.  For some reason, she was really interested in the camera!

Until later...

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. 
Proverbs 15:1 (NLT)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

J is for Jingle Bells...

Although this block has been done for a little while, I hadn't yet gotten around to sharing it.  This is the 9th block in the Snowmen A to ZZZZ quilt by Crabapple Hill Studios.

J is for Jingle Bells
The next block is a double one for K and L.  I'm finding my lap full of kitties at night, so I'm not making a lot of progress on it.  They're warm and snuggly though so I don't mind!

Closeup of J Block
Here's another one who wants to snuggle a lot now that the weather has turned colder...

Until later...

Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. 
Psalm 25:5 (NLT)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 - A Wrap Up...

Well, it's time for that annual tradition of looking back over the past year, taking stock of what I've accomplished and envisioning how much more I can do this year!  This is my 3rd yearly review in blog land and I can definitely see that I didn't get nearly as much done in 2012 as in previous years.  Not a big surprise.  I struggled most of the year with finding time to sew.  It's only been the last couple of months where I've found a solution.  I now get up a couple of hours earlier each morning and those are my dedicated sewing hours.  It was a little difficult at first, but now I've come to love that time of the morning in my sewing room.

I've been struggling to find time to blog as well.  I wrote less than a third of the posts I did in 2010 and 2011.  Considering this also functions as a journal of sorts (public though it is), I'd like to try to be better about that this new year too.  It's important for me to share pictures, which can take a bit of time to import and edit, but I suppose I could be a little less wordy!  (Ironically, this is a really long post...)

And here's a recap of the quilting things I accomplished this year (in no particular order):

I participated in AYOS for the first 6 months of the year and these are the quilts I made.  (Leap Year isn't quite done yet because I've decided to turn it from Schibbles size into king-size!)

Clockwise: Child's Play, Feathered Friends (top), Candy Shop (top), La Maison, Leap Year (top) and The Night's Sky (top)
Clockwise: Pathway to the Stars, Baltimore Halloween(top), Grandpa, Winter Wonderland(top), and Hatch and Windows
Clockwise: Modulus, Shangri La Quilt (top), Coupon Organizer, Hope Table Topper (top), and Thanksgiving Table Toppers
These next ones are quilts I quilted for others and a sewing hussif I made for a friend.
Clockwise: Robbie's Quilt, Gracie's Christmas Gift, Sewing Hussif, Gracie's Quilt
Finally, these are blocks that I'm working on for the Snowmen A to ZZZZ quilt (that I started with my mom in 2012) and a couple of Ladies of the Sea applique blocks I made.  (I've finished 12 of the 16 ships now.)

Snowmen A to ZZZZ Blocks
Ladies of the Sea Blocks
So that is basically a wrap-up of my quilty 2012.  I still haven't finished a king-size quilt.  I have to believe I'll finally get at least one of them quilted this year and on our bed!  As for other goals,  I'd really like to knock out some of my UFO's.  Early this year I'm also planning a big renovation of my sewing room and I know that will take a good chunk of time.  Other than that, I'd just like to continue to spend a little time each day doing something I find so much pleasure in!  I hope you get to do the same...

Until later...

Jesus said, ‘No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.’” 
Luke 9:62 (MSG)