Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show 2013...

(Note: To enter my current giveaway, go here!)

Well, I've returned from another fun visit to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, Virginia.  I try to make it to this show each year as it's only 3.5 hours from my house and it's a nice size show.  It also has a great mix of vendors.  Although the show was actually last week, it's taken me until now to edit my pictures and write this post.  I was also surprised to find that I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I usually do.  Mainly, I found my focus was again on the quilting rather than the composition, because that's what I'm striving to improve in my own quilting right now.

This was the most impressive quilt there and I'm sure it's going to be at the bigger shows later this year.  It's Carousel Stampede by Cathy Wiggins and won "Best of Show".  Some interesting facts about this quilt: She began with a white muslin for the background which she then painted.  She spent 300 hours painting it, 250 hours machine quilting it and around another 40 hours applying the more than 5,000 crystals.

Carousel Stampede by Cathy Wiggins
Honestly, it's the machine quilting that blew me away on this one.  She quilted the name of each horse into the background.  Here are a bunch of close ups...

Can you imagine how much time it would have taken if she had appliqued these horses?  To have to pick out the perfect fabric for each piece and achieve sharp points and the right shading would have been even more of a challenge.  I'm seeing a trend these days towards a lot more painted quilts and there were quite a few at this show.  In any case, I really loved this quilt!

Here's another example of a painted quilt.  This is Windblown by Maria Elkins and won "Best Wall Quilt".  I liked how she carried the quilting from the hair into the background of the piece.  I also thought the rest of the quilting was pretty interesting.

Windblown by Maria Elkins
Another favorite of mine is Marilyn's Badger's Euphoria.  She won 2nd place in the Traditional category.  Her machine quilting is always amazing and this one was no exception.  To be honest, I would have placed this one higher!  She said the quilt was inspired by the works of Jacqueline De Jonge, Judy Niemeyer and Sally Collins.  I can see the influences in the design and colors.

Euphoria by Marilyn Badger
This is another one with over 2,000 crystal beads hand-sewn on it.  Lots of bling!

I was really impressed with the quilting on this next one, even though I'm not a big fan of the colors.  This is Green Miles by Peggy Kragnes and it one 1st Place in the Traditional category.

Green Miles by Peggy Kragnes
There are a lot of different things to look at in the quilting, which always makes it more interesting.

So those were the quilts that really impressed me at the show.  The following are quilts that I just liked!  None of them won a major award, but I just enjoyed looking at them...

Lollipop Trees by Mary Ellen Sample won a Judge's Choice Award and it just made me smile.  What a happy quilt to look at and what fun fabrics!

Lollipop Trees by Mary Ellen Sample
Closeup of Lollipop Trees
It was only while putting together this post that I realized this next quilt was made by the same quilter as the previous one.  I would never have guessed and in fact, had to double and triple check to make sure I had the names right.  This quilt is Florida Keys Fantasy Garden by Mary Ellen Sample.  (I obviously like her work!)

Florida Keys Fantasy Garden by Mary Ellen Sample
I saw several quilts using this next pattern in the show.  I believe it's a Sue Garman design.  I really liked this particular fabric combination and her quilting was also very nice.  This is Ascent to the Stars by Linda James.  (I'd like to make this quilt one day!)

Ascent to the Stars by Linda James
And finally, I had to admire all the detail in this last quilt.  I know the picture doesn't do it justice; there was just so much to see!  This is School's Out by Eileen Williams.

School's Out by Eileen Williams
So those are all of the quilts I have to share this year.  It's funny, but I've seen others blog about this same show and they've mentioned completely different quilts.  I suppose that's why there are so many quilts in a show.  We all have such varied tastes and interests that what captures the attention of one person might not do the same for another!  But sometimes looking at their choices gives me a new perspective on a quilt.  In any case, I hope you enjoyed looking at a few of the quilts out there this year.

This post is already long enough, so I'll have to share what I purchased in another post.  Not that I went crazy or anything, but I did manage to pick up a few things.  Have a fantastic week and I hope you stay warm and dry!

Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. 
Proverbs 26:20, NLT

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Another giveaway...

First, let me announce the winner of the Hurry Up Spring Giveaway!  Congratulations Kathy!  I've sent you an email.  (My husband again randomly picked the winner for this one.)

Are you getting tired of the giveaways yet?  I hope not.  Since I started them back in January to celebrate the official launch of my new blog, they have been so much fun for me (and hopefully you too).  And I'm not planning to stop now!  However, I am going out of town for a good portion of the next week. so I'm not sure how much I'm going to be able to blog.  That's why I'm going to do a smaller one this time.  Up for grabs is a FQ Bundle called A Sultry Mystique.  There are 8 fat quarters in this little bundle...

A Sultry Mystique FQ Bundle

This giveaway is open up to anyone living in the US or abroad (so basically everyone).  If my post office can figure out how to mail to you, you're eligible.  To enter, do the usual things:

  1. Follow my blog. (Hint: The 'Join this site' button is on the right hand side.)
  2. Leave me a comment letting me know you're a follower.  In the same comment, tell me one fun fact about yourself.  (Not required, but it just makes for a more interesting read!)
  3. For an extra entry, feel free to blog about this give away on your own blog!
That's all!  I'm going to leave this giveaway open until next Sunday evening.

By the way, I hope you have a fabulous week wherever you are!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Picture Day...

(Note: To enter my current giveaway, go here!)

I realized the other day (while I was trying to get pictures of Miss Crabby Pants) that it had been a while since I had gone on a photo shoot with my furbabies.  It was a bright, sunny day and they were surprisingly cooperative, so I ended up with some really good shots.  As you can tell, I'm a fan of the up close and personal ones!

My husband loves this one of Gabriel!
Not all of the shots were close up.  I got some good full body ones too.

Sam was being playful here!
I really do need to remember to do this more often.  They're so funny when I'm taking pictures, although they're not usually this cooperative.  For each picture I keep, I have to delete many, many more.  So grateful for the invention of digital cameras!

I hope you have an amazing week!

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24 (NLT)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Liebster Award...

(Note: To enter my current giveaway, go here!)

I won an award!  Cathy over at Cathy's Craft Corner has nominated me for the Liebster Award.   How very sweet of her!  (A much nicer surprise than the tax bill I also received in the mail today.)

So I did a little searching on the history of the Liebster Award and found out it's origins are pretty much a mystery.  However, the gist of it is, bloggers nominate other bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  It's a nice way to say, "Hey, I like your blog.  You're not a completely boring, nincompoop and here's an award to prove it!"  Then those bloggers who are nominated answer a bunch of questions and pass it on.

Here are the rules for accepting the award:

  1. List 11 facts about yourself.
  2. Answer 11 questions about yourself.
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers with 200 or less followers to receive the award.  (Their links are at the end!)
  4. Create 11 new questions for the nominated bloggers to answer.  (Those questions are also towards the end.)
  5. Go to each bloggers page and let them know about the award.
  6. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.  (At the beginning.  Thanks again Cathy!)

So let's start with 11 random facts about myself.  Hmmm...
  1. I once dyed my hair purple.  I didn't mean to.  It was a home dye kit and I just did a really horrible job.  It cost me $200 to get it repaired!
  2. From about October until April, I usually wear 2 or 3 pairs of socks at a time (plus slippers).  I have very cold feet!
  3. I love to cook, but I'm not a very good baker and I'm really bad at rolling out pie crusts.
  4. I gave up eating beef and pork 3 years ago, when my dog died.  Not because she died, the timing was just coincidental.
  5. I really like to dance, but I have NO rhythm.  I take a Zumba class at the gym, but have to make sure I'm not standing in front of a mirror so I'm not reminded of how bad I really am.
  6. At one point in my life, I was pretty much confined to bed for over 2 years.  Thinking about it reminds me how far I've come and that God really is in control of everything!
  7. I love to spend Sunday afternoons reading and napping with my husband and all our furbabies.
  8. In a previous life, I was a computer engineer and worked on the development of Bluetooth.
  9. Despite #8, I've never sent a text message!
  10. I have 4 cats and a dog - all rescues.
  11. I have at least 30 UFO's, but if you count projects that I've kitted up but not started yet, it's more like 60!  Yikes!

Here are my answers to Cathy's questions:
  1. What is your description of a perfect day?  One where I get to stay home all day.  I'd start off  in my sewing room and I know there'd be a long nap in there somewhere surrounded by all my furbabies.  Then spending the rest of the day with my husband hanging out.
  2. What project have you done or created that you are most proud of?  The doggie quilt that I designed and made for a challenge on the HGTV Quilting Forum.  I had a picture in my head and was afraid I couldn't translate it to fabric, but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  (See picture below.)
  3. How long have you been blogging and what got you started? I started blogging in June 2009 because I wanted to start documenting my quilting.  But I quickly found I wanted to share more than just quilting.  I like having a scrapbook of our pets through the years and other life happenings.  It's also been a great way to meet people I never would have met otherwise.
  4. What is your favorite style of decor?  I'm not sure what the term for it is.  Maybe contemporary?  I like clean lines and not a lot of clutter, but I'm a little more traditional than modern.
  5. Who or what gives you the most inspiration?  For living my life, definitely the Bible!  I enjoy doing Bible Studies, listening to contemporary Christian music, etc.  Creatively, I get a lot of inspiration from looking at the quilting others do.  Judi Madsen does some beautiful work as does Diane Gaudynski.  There's always lots of inspiration at quilt shows too.
  6. What is you favorite season of the year?  It used to be fall.  I loved the changing weather and leaves.  However, since I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, I'm really partial to summer.  I just do better with warmer weather.  Plus I only need 1 pair of socks.  Much less laundry!
  7. Who do you admire the most?  Jesus.  I try every day to be more like Him and although I'm not the same person I was when I came to know Him, I still have a long, long way to go!
  8. What is your favorite blog to follow?  Thelma over at Cupcakes 'n Daisies.  I always enjoy her posts and she makes some beautiful quilts.  She's also managed to document every quilt she's ever made, something I wish I had done.
  9. Where is the most interesting place you have ever visited?  I used to live in Panama as a child and I loved it!  It was summer all year round and so much fun.  I don't know what it would be like as an adult, but as a kid it was paradise!
  10. Describe your home decor.  Lots of dark wood and neutral color walls, but tons of windows, so lots of natural light.  Not a lot of clutter.  Bright, cheerful kitchen with yellow walls and red valances.
  11. Do you enjoy outdoor activities? Such as?  I am not an outdoor girl.  The only outdoor activity I take part in is walking my dog in the park.  During the summer we try to do 20 miles a week, but because it's so cold, we've hardly been going at all.  I'm looking forward to the warmer temps and getting back out there!  It's great exercise (and bonding time) for both of us.

Here are the 11 blogs that I chose to pass the award along to.  I've chosen them because I follow them and enjoy reading what they have to say!  Please visit them and say hi as well!

Donna @

Ann Marie @

Amy @

Nancy @

Lisa @

Satu @

Kim @

Nan @

JoAnne @

Brandie @

Kathy @

Now here are MY questions for the 11 bloggers that I have nominated.  Please post this information for others to see when they stop by.

  1. What one item could you not live without?
  2. What's your favorite beverage?
  3. What is one thing you want to do or learn this year?
  4. How long have you been blogging and what got you started?
  5. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up and how does that differ from where you ended up?
  6. What is the last book you read?
  7. What project are you working on right now?
  8. What is you favorite blog to follow?
  9. What is the strangest place you've ever visited/want to visit?
  10. Favorite music singer or group.
  11. Where do you look for inspiration?
P.S.  I realize it's kind of difficult to come up with 11 of this and 11 of that, so if any of the nominees feel like shortening their lists, that's fine with me.  Looking on Google, it appears that the rules are somewhat flexible. Just have fun with it!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Progress Report...

(Note: To enter my current giveaway, go here!)

Although I'm working on a bunch of things, I'm not finishing much right now.  Everything seems to be somewhere in the middle of completion and looks like it will be that way for a while.  I'm still working on quilting my little wallhanging.  I'm adding some Diane-shiko now and that's pretty slow going.  You can see my grid lines marked on the top.  I used the FriXion pen and they'll disappear when I iron it.

The design is a little easier to see from the back.  It's my first time using it, but I think it's a nice background filler.

I also still have a quilt on the frame.  Although to be honest, I'm not making much progress on it.  I'm having more fun with the custom quilting than the pantograph I'm doing here.  I do hope to complete it soon though.  It's a charity quilt that will be donated to Quilts of Valor.

I've started on the next Snowmen A to ZZZZ block and this one is a lot of fun to stitch.  I don't think this will take too long to finish...

I recently took advantage of the Fat Quarter Shop' sale on Bella Solids and ordered 10 yards of their Ivory #60.  It's a great neutral to keep on hand.  I've washed it, but now it's sitting on my ironing board waiting to be pressed and put away...

The only projects I have finished lately have all been for my quilt bee.  We got together last week and had a sewing day where we made pillowcases, both for our soldier quilts and to donate to the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  I made 2 pillowcases to present the soldier quilts I have and together we managed to complete 19 pillowcases for kids!

My other finish is for a HST Swap my bee is starting.  I managed to finish 2 sets of HST's (half-square triangles) for our first swap.  We're planning to do this once a month and then make charity quilts with them. There are SO many different patterns using HST's out there!

So lots of half-finished projects going on here.  And they're going to remain that way for a while longer 'cause I'm headed to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival later this week!  That's always a fun show to go to.  I've already made out my shopping list and charged my camera battery.  I'll be sure to share the pictures of the beautiful quilts I see there.  Of course, going to a quilt show always makes me want to come home and practice my machine quilting!

Here's a picture of one of my quilting buddies.  Fortunately, she's been much better behaved the last few days, although I don't think she's going to like it when I pull out my suitcase...

Sam in my sewing room

Don’t believe everything you hear just because someone says it is a message from God; test it first to see if it really is!” 
1 John 4:1 (LB)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hurry Up Spring Giveaway!!!

Before I get started with the new giveaway, let me announce the winner of the FQ Bundle of Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 fabric from my last one.  Congratulations Nanabanana !  I've sent you an email.  (My husband randomly drew a winner from all the entries for this one.)

And now, because it snowed all day yesterday and I've been wearing at least 2 pairs of socks since November, I've decided to give away a bundle of Spring-like fabric this week.  Up for grabs is 6.5 yards of bright cheeriness, including 2 yards of the green, a half yard of the yellow and a yard of each of the prints.  The red stripe is from Oh-Cherry-Oh by Me & My Sister Designs and the remaining prints are all from Sweet by Urban Chiks.

Since this is likely to be a pretty heavy box, I'm going to limit this one to those living in the US.  I'd love to include everyone, but since I'm paying for everything out of my own pocket and international postage has skyrocketed, I've got to be practical.  But don't worry, I'm planning more giveaways that will include those living farther away!  To enter:

  1. Follow my blog. (Hint: The 'Join this site' button is on the right hand side.)
  2. Leave me a comment letting me know you're a follower.  Also, to make it more interesting, why don't you tell me what your favorite animal is.
  3. For an extra entry, feel free to blog about this give away on your own blog!
That's it!  I'm going to leave this giveaway open until Sunday, February 24th at 7 PM EST.  And after this one, I still have several more planned.  So good luck and have a fantastic week!
UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.  Congratulations to Kathy who won this one!

The wise are known for their understanding, and pleasant words are persuasive. 
Proverbs 16:21 (NLT)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Miss Crabby Pants...

(Note: To enter my current giveaway, go here!)

This is Sam.  She's our 12 year old domestic short haired cat.

After last night, I'm temporarily changing her name to Miss Crabby Pants.  At least, I hope it's temporary.

Although she had plenty of food and water, she spent most of the night alternating between stepping on my neck and knocking items one by one off my night stand.

She was being a real pill and would only settle down when I would pet her.  Then I would fall back to sleep and she would start up again.

Would anyone care to guess what she's doing now that it's daytime?  If I were a meaner person, I'd go wake her up in retaliation.  Just saying...

Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest.” 
Matthew 11:28 (TEV)