Sunday, March 31, 2013


Today is a day of celebration!  He is risen!  But it's also a day of introspection.  Lately I've been thinking a lot about mercy and, most especially, God's mercy toward us.  And on no day is that mercy more evident than on Easter, when we celebrate Jesus's resurrection and the living hope we now have because of it.  God could have left us in our sin filled state, but He didn't.  He made a way for us. He had a plan of redemption.  It wasn't easy, for Jesus or the Father, but their sacrifice changed everything.  And I could not be more grateful!

Happy Easter to you and yours!

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His great mercy has given us a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you." 
1 Peter 1:3-4

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Last Chance Winner...

First, let me thank everyone that entered this giveaway.  I had so much fun reading about what superpower you'd want if you could have one.  Lots of really great answers this week!  They also brought back some great memories.

  • Several of you wished you could stop time.  When I was a kid, I used to wish I could do that so I could stay up later and do more things.  
  • A couple of you also wished you never needed to sleep.  When I was in college and also working full time, I so wished the same thing.  There never seemed to be enough hours in the day and I was always exhausted!
  • Kim A. said she'd like to be able to converse with animals.  Every time one of mine is sick or has to see the vet, I wish I had that ability so they could tell me what's wrong or I could explain what is happening to them.
  • The most common superpower was to heal people/cure cancer.  Looking around, each of us knows how much the world needs healing!
  • Finally, Stephanie mentioned she'd like the ability to go back in time.  I'll admit, this one kept popping into my mind at random times, until finally I thought about going back in time to sit at the feet of Jesus.  Wow!  Can you imagine it?  We have a living and active faith as 1 Peter 1:8 says, "Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy."  But the idea of seeing Him, hearing Him and worshiping Him in the flesh totally gives me goosebumps! 
So now to announce the winner of the 8+ yards of Maison de Noel fabric by 3 Sisters.  Congratulations Jan Zinno!  I've sent you an email.  (I used a random number generator to pick the winner of this one.)

This was the last of the giveaways to launch my new blog.  However, I'm planning a big renovation of my sewing room in the next couple of months and I wouldn't be surprised to see another giveaway or two as I start going through everything!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

N is for Noel...

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

I just finished another snowmen block.  Just like the last one, it was quick and fun to embroider.

N is for Noel
I'd like to keep working on these.  The next one is 'O is for Ornaments', but I have a couple of other hand projects I need to turn my attention to for a little while.

These are really great travelling projects though, so perhaps I can bring it along on my upcoming trip!

(FYI - The pattern is Snowmen A to ZZZZ by Crabapple Hill Studios.)

Although not usually napping buddies, these two took advantage of a cold day and freshly laundered bedding for a snooze fest.

Gabriel and Sam - napping together

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. 
Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Retail Therapy...

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

Every so often, my quilt bee goes on a field trip to visit a quilt store that's a little further away than our usual ones.  Last week, we traveled to the Lonestar Mercantile in Fuquay Varina, NC.  For most of us, including me, it was our first visit to this store.  I was very pleasantly surprised.  It's not a large store, but they put a lot of effort into displaying their wares and offering unique items and patterns.  It was simply charming and their prices were extremely reasonable!  The staff was both friendly and helpful; it was everything you'd want in a quilt store.  Although it's about an hour away from me, I'll definitely go back there again.

Inside Lonestar Mercantile
I wasn't looking for anything in particular on this trip, but I still managed to pick up a few things.  Those closest to me know I have a thing for Charm Packs and I bought a few more of those along with some yardage to use as borders.  I expect I'll use them to make Schnibbles quilts or something similar.

Fabric Purchases from Lonestar Mercantile
After spending so many hours quilting my most recent quilt, I found myself picking out plain fabrics to use as borders for these.  I was envisioning how I might eventually quilt them and I wanted the quilting to show up well.  That's one of the problems I'm running into now.  Some of the fabrics are so busy that the quilting isn't obvious, and why spend a ton of time quilting something if you won't be able to see it?  This is definitely a shift in my thinking.  I've never bought fabrics before because I was thinking about the quilting!  Does anyone else out there do that?  Am I just late in learning this?

I also wanted to share this adorable pincushion I got in the mail the other day from Kathy at Troublesome Creek Quilts.  She won one of my giveaways and sent me this as a thank you.  How incredibly sweet is that!  She also included the package of Patchwork Pins (which I haven't tried yet) and some chocolate (which obviously didn't make it as far as the picture).  I really am grateful for the people I've met through blogging.

Pincushion and Pins from Kathy @ TroublesomeCreekQuilts
And doesn't David look suspicious in this picture?  He was busy stalking me through the house that day.  Sometimes he gets it in his head that he wants attention and he'll follow me around from place to place until I stop and give it to him.  He's never mean about it, just very persistent!

David on the prowl

Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor. 
Proverbs 21:21 (NLT)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Last Chance...

Let me start of by announcing the winner of the Viewer's Choice Giveaway.  Congratulations Quilting Swede!  You chose the gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop and I've already sent you an email.  (My husband randomly drew the winner for this giveaway.)

As much as I've enjoyed giving away so much fabric (and the gift certificate), I can't keep doing it forever (even if I'd like to!)  So this week is going to be the last one (at least for a little while) and because of that, I'm going to make it a big one!  This week I'm giving away more than 8 yards of Maison de Noel by 3 Sisters for Moda.  Included is all the fabric you see pictured.

More than 8 yards of Maison de Noel

Unfortunately, due to the cost of shipping this, I'm going to limit this giveaway to those living in the US and Canada.  To enter, do the following:

  1. Follow my blog. (Hint: The 'Join this site' button is on the right hand side.)
  2. Leave me a comment letting me know what superpower you'd want if you could have one. (I'd want to be able to understand any language ever written or spoken.  I'd love to be able to read the Bible in it's original language!
That's all!  I'm going to leave this giveaway open until Saturday, March 30th at 6 PM EST.  Good luck!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Quilting Progress...

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

I'm making more progress on quilting the 'Here's My Heart' quilt.  Slowly, but surely, it's getting done.  I wish I'd kept track of how many hours I've worked on it.  I'll have to do that on my next one.  I know it's a great deal longer than I expected it to be.  When I last shared pictures, I had yet to finish the Diane-Shiko in the center.   It's done now.   That took a while, but was pretty mindless sewing.

Center of Here's My Heart
Then I moved on to the first border.  I'm using YLI 100 wt silk thread in various colors to quilt the entire piece.  I started quilting the border with a feather design and had all the spines quilted in place as well as some of the feathers when I decided the thread color was all wrong.  There just wasn't enough contrast and you couldn't see the quilting very well.  Why spend hours and hours on a design if it wasn't going to show up?  So I spent another couple of hours ripping it out before starting over with another color.  It wasn't a lot of fun to take it out, but I'm much happier with the design now.

Of course, it's much easier to see from the back...

And here are a few closeups of the feathers...

The next border is scalloped and I'm trying my hand at some curved cross-hatching in it.  Again, this is something new for me, but I'm liking the effect so far.  Then there's just one more border which is the simplest one and I should be finished with this little quilt.  All in good time I suppose!  I'm certainly learning a lot and trying a bunch of new techniques.

Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others. 
Proverbs 12:15 (NLT)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Viewer's Choice...

First let me announce the winner of the Fiesta By The Sea FQ Bundle Giveaway.  Congratulations to Ann!  I've sent you an email. (My husband randomly drew the winner for this giveaway.)

OK, I'm going to switch things up this week.  I know that not everyone that reads my blog is a quilter or even a fabric 'collector'.  So this week, I'm going to give the winner their choice of prizes.  You can win either a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop or a $25 gift certificate to

Your choice of a $25 gift certificate.

Since both these stores ship internationally, this giveaway is again open to everyone everywhere!  To enter, do the following:

  1. Follow my blog. (Hint: The 'Join this site' button is on the right hand side.)
  2. Leave me a comment letting me know which gift certificate you want if you win. (Just so there's no confusion, you only get one, not both!)  And if you feel like sharing, what might you buy with it?
That's all!  I'm going to leave this giveaway open until Saturday, March 23rd at 6 PM EST.  Good luck!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Oral Surgery...

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

Warning!!!  This post contains graphic pictures of dental surgery on a cat.  If this bothers you, you should probably skip it.

Did you know that cats from the same litter can have different fathers?  I think surely that must have happened with our Jack and Sam.  Although they have the same mom, they really couldn't be much different.  Jack is a beautifully dispositioned grey tabby with a trim figure, while Sam is, well, usually cranky, has been dealing with weight issues her whole life and has arthritis.  (Of course, having arthritis and being on a diet would tend to make many humans cranky too!)  Another big difference (in Sam's favor this time) is that she has perfect teeth, while Jack doesn't.  We are very blessed to have a great mobile vet that comes out to our house and so Jack had a dental cleaning (and extraction) yesterday.

Jack after her morphine shot
It's hard to watch them go under anesthesia or have any type of surgery, but it's so much better being there with them the entire time.  Unfortunately, Jack got sick from the morphine shot before it starting to kick in, but then she became very relaxed.  It was obvious right away that one of her canines was infected and would have to be pulled.  See how much longer the one on the upper left is?  The vet explained her body was slowly expelling it from her and it's how the expression "long in the tooth" came about.  It was also very loose and filled with pus.

Jack's infected canine tooth
Did you know that animals don't close their eyes when they're under?  She put a gel in Jack's eyes to keep them lubricated the entire time.

Getting ready for the anaesthesia
I'm going to skip quite a few pictures here because they're just hard to see.  She had the tube put in and her teeth were cleaned.  She had some gingivitis and light bleeding on her gums because of it.  However, this is her first dental cleaning in 12 years, so I was impressed at how white her teeth ended up.  She didn't remove her bad tooth until the end and it was very hard to watch.  I could never be a dentist!  It turns out the root was being eaten away because of infection, so it was a good thing we did this now.  Here's the tooth after it came out...

Jack's rotten tooth
She cleaned it up and gave it to us, but really, what do you do with it?  I'm at a loss.  She cleaned out the cavity and filled it with a bone filler.  It took 4 stitches to close it up.

Jack's stitches where her tooth was
Cats don't use their canines to eat with, only to hunt prey, so she has no food or other restrictions now.  After the stitches, we just had to wait for her to wake up, which took a long time.  She looked so very pitiful lying there.

I brought her inside wrapped like a burrito in some warm towels. She stayed like that for almost an hour before she started to come out of it.  But it took her another couple of hours of weaving and such before she was pretty much back to normal. 

She hadn't eaten since the night before and so she staggered to her food bowl as soon as she could.  She kept sticking her head in the bowl, but her mouth couldn't pick up the food.  It was probably 30 minutes before she was able to eat her first piece of food, then I think she spent the rest of the day eating.

Slowly her eyes became more focused.  She didn't seem to be in any pain and was actually super happy and extremely friendly.

And I'm glad to say she had a great night and is back to normal this morning!

I took my troubles to the LORD; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer. 
Psalm 120:1 (NLT)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Family Sewing Time...

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

I love going on vacation to visit my parents and other family just because I enjoy spending time with them.  But as an added bonus, my mom and I generally get to sew together too.  We usually work on the same or similar projects and my most recent trip was no exception.

Because I needed to make another block for my bee's Quilt in a Box swap, I brought it along with me.  My mom recently purchased Monique Dillard's Fit to be Geese ruler and wanted me to show her how to use it, so she decided to make a sample block too.  (Sorry about the bad lighting in the second picture.  The block is much prettier in person!)

My Block for Verna's Box
My Mom's block to try out her new ruler.
After we finished these blocks we got started on a secret project we've been working on for a while.  To date, we've made over 2000 - 2 1/4" HST's.  (It took 4 jelly rolls to get enough.)

A Gazillion HST's.
On this trip, we finally got to start sewing them into blocks!  Yeah!  We made great progress and finished 43 of them while I was there.

We're still not half way done, but we'll each work on them at home and then plan another trip to work on putting them all together.  However, I laid them out to get an idea of how the quilt will look and I'm really liking it so far.  Hopefully the recipient will too! 

Some of the blocks laid out in the pattern.
FYI - the pattern is called 'Magic Triangles' and is in the Strip Therapy 7 book by Brenda Henning.  It's made using a jelly roll (or 4 in our case!)

I don't get to share many pictures of Moses, because her coloring is so dark that she usually doesn't show up very well.  However, the sun was shining and she was actually napping on top of the covers this day and so I managed to get this one.

I hope you're having a blessed day with your family and friends as well!

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 
Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Anyone interested in more fabric?

OK, now that I'm back home and everyone's happy again, I figure now's a good time for another giveaway. I shared pictures of some of the prizes with a friend and they wanted me to give away this one next.  Up for grabs is another FQ Bundle called 'Fiesta By The Sea'.  Included are 8 fat quarters in these beautiful shades of blue.

Fiesta By The Sea FQ Bundle

Again this giveaway is open up to anyone living in the US or abroad.  If my post office can figure out how to mail to you, you're eligible.  To enter, do the following:

  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 what you're working on right now.  (Doesn't have to be quilting related.  Perhaps it's a good book, or a home improvement project?)
That's all!  I'm going to leave this giveaway open until Sunday, March 17th at noon EST.

Once again, good luck and have a fantastic week!  It's actually supposed to warm up a bit here, so perhaps I can take off a couple pairs of socks.  Maybe spring is finally on the way!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

M is for Mittens...

And I hope to soon be able to pack mine away for another year.  Not today though.  It was cold and very windy and we even saw a stray snow flake or two.

M is for Mittens Block
I had a lot of fun working on this latest block of the Snowmen A to ZZZZ quilt.  (FYI - The pattern is by Crabapple Hill Studios.)  It didn't take very long to embroider and it also means I've now passed the halfway point on these blocks!

Mittens Block closeup
I've already started on 'N is for Noel' and it looks like another quick one as well.  Both of them are a nice change after all the lights on the last block.  I'm going to finish this next one before taking a break and working on some applique.  It's about time I got some of my ships out of dry dock for my Ladies of the Sea quilt. (I think it's been about a year since I've worked on them.  Yikes!)

Now that we've returned home, this one is so much happier!  But I don't think she's ever going to let me take her on vacation again.

Sam - Happy to be back home!
I've just been reminded that this Sunday starts Daylight Savings Time whereby we'll set our locks forward an hour.  Does anyone know if any other countries do something similar?  Just wondering...

O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. 
Psalm 62:8 (NLT)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Worst Vacation Ever!!!

Note: This post was written by a guest blogger, my cat Sam (aka Miss Crabby Pants).

Mom has taken me on another vacation to visit Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Usually that means I get lots of rest, food, treats and attention.  While Mom and Grandma sew, I also spend time with them in the sewing room.

But this vacation sucks!  My Grandma's cat has turned crazy and keeps trying to beat me up.  She's supposed to hide out in their closet when I come, but this time she's decided to stand up for herself and attack me.  She won't let me near her food or treats.  I don't know what's gotten into her, but I don't like it!

Grandma and Grandpa are also letting all these cats come in from outside during the day.  They steal MY food and sleep on MY bed.  I'm getting no rest because I have to keep a constant eye on them.  They don't know that I'm supposed to be in charge and they won't listen to anything I say!

These young whippersnappers just don't understand how things work around here and they're showing me no respect!

I've been in a very bad mood since we got here and I can't wait to go home!  I keep telling mom on them, but she's not doing anything about it.  This really is the worst vacation ever!