Friday, December 14, 2012

NoveDecember...A new month (?) plus A POOKA

This has been the longest and shortest month and a half ever!!  I am going as fast as I can but not feeling like I am gaining ground. Do you ever feel that?

Top that off with living in Florida where the temperature and surroundings make it a bit difficult for me to get into the Christmas spirit.  All of a sudden it is 11 days 'til Christmas but the thermometer hasn't changed and it feels like a practical joke.....

I don't have all the days filled in yet but it is just a matter of time!
11 Days 'til Christmas
10 Movies choices
9   Dinners to plan
6   More gifts to wrap
5   Rooms to clean
4   Packages to mail
3   Quilts to hang
And a Pooka in the artificial tree.......

Here is POOKA. She is the other reason my world is a blur right now.  Most of you know that my Juni went to live with my older daughter this summer when she moved to a pet friendly apartment.
We were going to travel, etc. and we did take a wonderful trip this fall.  Mostly though, we are home bodies and I work at home so I missed someone to talk to.  Enter Miss Thing.  Jim says he has "always wanted one" what?  She is a soft-coated Wheaton Terrier and that face just melts you.
 PLEEEEEEEZE- just one ice cube!!!
Jim wanted to name her Crumpet but I wasn't in love with that.  I wanted Buttons (for my quilting) but he didn't love that.  This breed originates from Ireland and we looked for a Gaelic name.  Pooka in Gaelic means 'Mischievious Sprite'...Boy is that dead on!!  When our daughter met her, she told me we should have named her Fizzgig and I completely agreed but we couldn't talk Jim into it!!
Those familiar with this movie will completely agree too:)
Here she just looks like a teddy bear! We are completely hooked and in love even though our lives have been turned upside down.
So the tree may or may not go up this year.....
Remember the Steelers pillows I said I made for my they are.  I thought I had shown a picture previously but didn't find it.  They turned out great.  For the Steelers lovers in your life, the cathedral window works perfectly!!
The pictures above and below are small 14" table mats that I made for the guild Christmas party as door prizes.  I used the Poinsettia from my Coastal Christmas to center onto an 8-1/2" center square and added a small border.  Then a friend had made me some embroidery blocks using Loralie Designs.  I was able to trim the extra, squeak in a sliver of red, and add the extra black back on for a cute little mat.

Lastly, I shrunk down my Jingle Penguin so that he was an adorable little mini that fit into a 4x6 frame opening.  Too cute!  I may have to make a few more of him!

This is a fat quarter bundle I treated myself to....Basic Grey's Jovial for MODA.  Not my usual Christmas color pallette but it just looked so yummy.  Now to decide what to make myself!! 

In case I don't get back here for awhile,
Thank you for following my journey!

PS:  Don't forget to visit all the other creatives over on Nina's OFF THE WALL Friday

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quiltmaker 100 Block blog WINNERS!

Congratulations to Debbie Trail who won a free copy of the magazine from Quiltmaker.

Congratulations also go out to VWLady and Shar who won NESTLINGS patterns of their choice.

The patterns chosen were Las Flores de Amigas and Butterfly Cabin, both of which can be found on my website along with lots of other fun designs.
I was pleased and surprised by the choices of patterns in the comments.  Patterns that are some of my absolute favorites were overlooked and vice versa:)  Admittedly the above two are in my favorites category, so Thank You!

Hopefully those of you who didn't win today will purchase your favorite pattern anyway as a gift to yourself.  Enjoy the magazine when it comes out and stay in touch!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Off the Wall Friday

Here we are again at another week gone by....I missed last week's Off the Wall and will make up for it today:)
If you go to this post, you will see the before pictures of the above earrings.  Although they didn't quite keep the shape I was hoping for, they are pretty cool if I do say so myself!!
Now time to figure out some new stuff????  I am still struggling to figure out what to do and how it may look when done.  Have I told you how much I really like my fabric!  The above photo is of a couple of small dishes...the top one being floral and the next one being abstract (NOT my strong suit!).  The bottom bits will melt into blobs like button candy....mmmmm candy:)
This photo shows the before of a small dish and some more earrings.  I am really excited about these!

What else have I been up to?  Well my Tropical Flags block came out in Volume 6 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks.  It will be out on shelves next week.  So the blog hop was this week and today I get to pick winners and tell them the good news....So Fun!!
Now we are back to quilting, where I belong:)))

A few weeks back I showed the Cathedral Windows for the Pittsburgh Steelers pillows for my younger daughter.  This is the Gerber Daisy quilt for my older daughter.  She is a math nut and opted for a more contemporary geometric background.  Her favorite flowers are Gerber Daisies though so this will go beautifully in her living room.

Lastly we have the Rose quilt.  One of our talented guild members demonstrated a method of quilt as you go for hand quilting.  I don't know why it has taken me so long to attempt this, but I finally did.  I altered her method for my machine quilting since I didn't want to have to go back and add all the strips to cover my seams on the back of the quilt.  I can definately see the benefit of this but I needed to think the borders through a bit more since I really didn't want the red inner border to go all the way to the edge that way.  This piece is very small, maybe 22" square so a larger quilt would definately be more challenging but worth the effort.

Now if I have wet your appetite for more show and tell, make sure you pop over to Off the Wall Friday and follow the links at the bottom of the post:)
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quiltmaker's Blog Tour

Hello Quiltmaker fans!  Today is day 3 of Quiltmaker's Blog tour to launch Volume 6 of the very popular 100 Blocks.  Welcome and let's talk about my block, Tropical Flags!

It is an honor every single time to be included among so many wonderful designers, some I call friend as well.  This time I worked out of my normal color pallette and kept with the paper is just too much fun.
Tropical Flags Block #522 on page 28

If you go to town and make all the above blocks, you get a really nice size quilt (48 x 60) even before borders.  I also really like the secondary pinwheels.

Want a bit more bang for your buck?  Try breaking the block apart and alternating the quadrants with other blocks.  In this variation, I used half square triangles.
Put a bunch together for this variation.  With 12" blocks, you will have a 48" square wall hang in no time.
I have so many ideas once I get going on one of these designs because the possibilities are endless.  Have some fun with the design and send a picture when you finish:)
Now for the giveaways-
Giveaway #1
1.  Visit my website.
2.  Come back here and mention which of my patterns is your favorite in your blog comment for a chance to win it. 
3.  I will draw a random number from the comments left on the blog so make sure I have a way of contacting you.
Giveaway #2
Two lucky commentors will have a chance to win a copy of 100 Blocks Volume 6 by random number from all the blog comments.
Plus you will want to visit Quiltmaker's blog for a chance to win more fun prizes from them.  You will also find a complete list of all the participating designers.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

100 BLOCKS, Volume 6 IS HERE!

My advance copy arrived yesterday and again I feel honored to be among so many talented designers!  Next week the blog hop starts and I look forward to chatting with you all again...My day is Wednesday, Nov 7th.  You will be able to find the links to all the hop participants here, plus comment for chances to win wonderful prizes.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fused Glass?

My husband knows I like shiny things....So, for Christmas last year he bought me a beautiful pair of earrings that were made of fused glass. The second part of the gift was a Groupon for learning to make your own fused glass. How cool is that?
The pic above shows my Poinsettia pattern that I have used in a couple of different quilt patterns.

Here it is in glass. This really solidified my love of fabric.  In fabric I can layer bits upon bits but in glass it is more puzzle like.  It is taking my brain a bit to follow which I am sure is good for the neurons but can be a bit frustrating.  I had all my pieces cut out before the class helper told me that wouldn't work because of the melting process-duh!  
So I recut pieces until they fit together better leaving me with all these leftover bits.  I don't know that using quilt designs in fused glass is the way to go-would have been better with stained glass.

The leftover bits are useful though because they get crushed into finer grades called Frit (don't know how they came up with that word).  These can be sprinkled around in your background to add color or texture.
Here is the final piece ready for the kiln.  I tried using frit to fill in underneath pieces I didn't want to bend downward in the firing process...Now I see the mistake in that!
It is hard to tell by the pictures but I had chosen a clear piece that had a great texture in it not realizing that if I wanted a full fuse the texture would melt away.  Therefore I had to choose a medium fuse to keep some of that texture and in doing so, the flower didn't quite melt the way I wanted.  Plus, using some of the frit to fill in made the petals look a bit globby.  Note to self-next time use clear bits OR just let the petals melt down.  This was class #2.

For class #3, I chose to try my hand at earrings with a full fuse.  We shall see!  Here they are ready to go to the kiln.  Hope they are done next week:)  I only have 3 more classes and need to focus on what I want to accomplish.

I don't think glass work is for me.  My fabric work is just so soft and fun and easy and, did I say soft.  My hands are starting to look all chopped up but I do like working with power tools again!!  :))  I am glad I tried it-it was a great gift!  I can appreciate the jewelry more now when I see the pieces at shows but I will keep my fabric obsession!

Today is Off the Wall Friday so don't forget to peek in there to see what others are working on!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall in NH part 3 ~NYC

I have always loved going to NYC!  Most of the excitement is probably sentimental from being taken there as a kid with my mom and grandparents, but the energy of the city is so invigorating to me!  I have taken my children a few times as well.
I don't know if I ever knew that they turned Rockefeller Center into a wonderful restaurant area in the off season.  I only ever remember seeing it as a skating rink.  I would totally eat here if I had the money:)  We opted for wonderful NY pizza for dinner since I can't seem to find any here in FL.  This boggles my mind with all the New Yorkers that live here!!
This was just fun since it has my mom's name...NOT the Stardust part:))
 In all my years to NYC, I hadn't ever been to the Statue of Liberty.
She is under construction now so you can't go up in her but you can take the ferry out to her and you get pretty close!  She is amazing and I am in awe of how someone created her in panels, shipped her here, and reassembled.  What a great feat for the times or today for that matter!
I didn't feel a need to go inside anyway but I did want to see her closer than my usual view.....
The picture above is of the Verrazzano Bridge from the Statue of Liberty.  This is how I normally saw her.....MAYBE!  Many trips to NY as a kid took us over this bridge and mom would try to get us to find her as we drove at highway speed with the steel beams rushing past and she is a mile, or more, away!  Kids have no real perspective of size or distance and you better hope there wasn't any haze or fog to get in the way too.  I think it was a ploy to keep us busy so the driver could concentrate on traffic!  I must admit doing the same to my children on our trips:))
As the ferry rounded Liberty Island, you could see Manhattan in the distance with the new World Trade building going up (it is the tallest one with the black top).  The windows are still being added and I personally think it is an ugly building.....Opportunity wasted!
My real goal for the ferry ride was to go to Ellis Island.  What an overwhelming experience!  I have moved many times in my life and it can be daunting going to a new place, not knowing anyone.  With that said, I can't imagine going through what these families went through.  Their desire for a new, better life brought them much heartache.
 View of Verrazzano and Statue of Liberty from Ellis Island.
I was surprised to find Graffiti on the walls of Ellis Island.  There were many people who had to stay on the island for health reasons, etc. and they would leave drawings and writings behind in various languages.  When the rehad was being done, these were preserved.
 This just jumped out at me because I live here now:)

 Views from Ellis Receiving room: Statue of Liberty above and Empire State building below.

There were display cases full of antiques that were found when the rehab was done in the 80s.  Instead of throwing these broken bits away, the cases were built and the items are now there for visitors to see.  I took many more pictures than I can possibly share here but this one had sewing machines in it:) 
Then there is the wall of names!  I heard a tour guide say that not all names are here only of the families that donated money to the reconstruction project.  I am not sure if I am related to them but I did find my Father's family name and my Mother's.  More so, I found her specific name which made a little chill go down my spine.

What do you know of your history?