Tuesday, October 30, 2012

READY to quilt!

During the Mountain Days Festival earlier this month, I was approached about teaching a workshop to kids through an after school enrichment program at a local elementary school.  Well, I'm doing it!  The school received a 3-year READY grant (I don't know what the acronym stands for), and there will be workshops offered to the kids each quarter.  For now, I'm just starting with this marking period - we'll see how it fits into my schedule and how well the kids and I like working together.  I'll be doing 2 workshops per day, twice per week, one with grades K-2 and one with grades 3-5.  My workshop is called READY TO QUILT!

I set up a blog to be able to communicate with parents about what we are doing and so the kids can show off their work.  I made my first post today (http://centralquilts.blogspot.com), outlining workshop goals and displaying my class samples (since Hurricane Sandy canceled our Open House on Monday).  Basically, I want the kids to:

1) make at least one take home project, either a pillow or a composition book cover.  In keeping with the season, here are my class samples:
I recovered one of my couch pillows.  I drew the design freehand.  If I were doing it again, I think I'd leave out the word EEK and make the spider bigger.

I figure the kids should be able to do a backstitch, right?

For the first time, I made the pillow cover small enough that the pillow is plump, without wrinkles or empty corners

Envelope back so it can be removed
Donald wants this composition book cover for himself!  I told him I'd teach him how to make his own.

I don't know where I got that skulls fabric, but I love it, and have been trying to figure out what to make with it for a while now.
2) contribute to a group quilt to enter in the quilt show at the 2013 Rockbridge County Fair, along the lines of this quilt that I made with my cub scouts two years ago
The boys won 2nd place at the County Fair quilt show that year.

They traced images and then colored the blocks with crayons

3) assist in making a denim rag quilt to donate to my guild's Comfort Quilt program.  I want them to understand quilting's history as a community building activity.
The denim quilt I made for Jason earlier this year

The back of the denim quilt
 I'm so excited!!!  One of the things I'm going to do is incorporate some children's books into my workshops, probably starting each session with a reading.  I know I'm going to use the following books, but if you have suggestions for others I can use, please let me know.  Since there are 8 weeks, I'd love to have 8 books to share.

Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt - to talk about how quilting is not just for girls, about entering quilts in fairs and how working together often allows us to make something even better than if we work separately

Reuben and the Quilt - another quilt that shows boys quilting and introduces the idea of giving a quilt to comfort someone else

The Quiltmaker's Gift - to talk about how it is better to give than to receive (and because the illustrations in that book are AWESOME!)

The Patchwork Quilt - showing how quilting is an intergenerational and a multicultural activity

The Keeping Quilt - I've not read this, but the READY coordinator really likes it and wants me to use it

Have any of you or do any of you currently teach quiltmaking to kids?  If so, do you have any suggestions for me?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lotto, Love and Lollipops

I finally ran out of solid white fabric, so I am done making Block LOTTO blocks.  I ended up with seven, and I think I'll put 4 into the Block Lotto pot, and keep 3 for myself.  I figure, with 3, I could make a table runner, right?  But ideally, I'll win and have a bunch of blocks to put together into a fun, crisp quilt!  I really like the looks of these.
Hmmm, which to keep, and which to give away?
I received some LOVE in the mail this weekend from "my best friend that I've never actually met", Em.
This photo is from her Facebook page because my photo of it did not come out well. She did bind it, and it is awesomely textured with her creative quilting.
In addition to this quilted L, she included some cool novelty fabric,

and this iron on Cowgirl patch that I ADORE!!!

I've always wanted to be a real cowgirl.  I want to put the patch on something, but what?  I might need to make myself a denim bag just to have something to affix it to that I can use/wear daily.  Thank you, Em!

Saturday night, we went to the final weekend at Hull's Drive-In for a costume contest, Trunk-or-Treating, and to see Hotel Transylvania.  At the last minute, I decided to dress up, revisiting my vampire costume from 4 years ago.  Apparently, I wasn't very scary that time, so this time I added a scraggly wig, and put black make-up around my eyes, and painted my fingernails black, and put some blood dripping down from my blackened lips.  Then, I decorated my trunk as a graveyard, using some Halloween fabric as a backdrop and stringing some cobwebs for the kiddos to reach through to pluck a LOLLIPOP from my black cauldron.  There were a couple little ones who were afraid to approach me.  Hee, hee, hee!
Trunk-or-treating at Hull's Drive-In 2012
Halloween is so much more fun if you just go with the flow and dress up and act WICKED.

Speaking of WICKED, are any of you getting caught up in the Wicked Blog Hop?  Oh my goodness!  I spent several wonderfully wicked hours over the weekend visiting blogs and entering giveaways and bookmarking blogs I want to revisit or blocks I want to make!  Fun, fun, fun!  And they inspired me to make a new Halloween pillow cover for one of my couch pillows, but more on that tomorrow (when it will be done).  Until then, be well, my pretties!  Cackle, cackle, cackle!!!

(and Mobenda, if you are reading this, please email me so I can get your address and fabric preferences to send you your fat quarter for commenting on my last post)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Baby quilt ideas

I have TWO friends who are newly pregnant and expecting their very first babies in the summer.  You know what that means, right?

I get to make BABY QUILTS!!!

I am so excited!  I have some ideas, but am always looking for new ideas.  If you see or know of something that would make a wonderful baby quilt (think unisex not gender specific), leave me a comment with a link to a photo of a baby quilt I can make.  It can be something you have made, or just something you have seen around.  The first 20 people who leave a comment with a link to a photo will receive a fat quarter of fabric from my stash.  If you have a preference (a particular color and/or type - stripe/floral/dot/novelty/juvenile/calico/modern print/etc) let me know.  Otherwise, I'll just surprise you.  If I don't already have your mailing address (I have already mailed things to a startling number of my followers, and keep all those addresses in a "quilter's addresses" address book), then I will email you to ask for your mailing address.  I'll plan on visiting the post office with my packages on Monday, so leave your comments before the end of the day on Sunday.

My ideas so far include:

Finishing up this Summer Breeze quilt that I started.  I only have enough of these fabrics for a baby-sized quilt anyway.
The Summer Breeze pattern is by Melissa Corrie - click the link above to see her entire quilt 

Making another Lil Twister quilt, but much more colorful and scrappier.  Lord knows I have enough scraps, and that quilt was awfully fun to make.
I gave this one to my newest baby cousin, born July 2012

I go back to visit this spiral log cabin quilt by Beth at Love, Laugh, Quilt all the time.  I could finally have a good reason to make one of these.
Photo from http://www.lovelaughquilt.blogspot.com/2010/03/two.html

I look forward to seeing what ideas you all have!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I have rituals when I begin to sew.  First, I get something to drink, coffee or tea if it is cold outside, water or juice or tea with ice if it is warm.  It is a long way from the kitchen to my sewing room, and I usually don't know how long I'm going to be down there, so I like to be prepared.  When I enter the room, I light either a scented candle or incense.  If necessary, I turn on the lights, but since there is so much southern exposure in my sewing room, I only have to do that at night and on gray days.  Then, I wander around, putting away anything that needs putting away so that I have room to work on the day's project(s).  All this takes just 3 - 5 minutes, but it is a smorgasbord for the senses, getting me ready to be creative.  I've got taste and smell covered with the drink and the incense.  Part of cleaning up is practical, but part is so I can feel the fabrics in my hands and see what is hiding in my fabric drawers as I put things away - touch and sight.  All that is left is hearing, and while I used to always listen to music or a story while sewing, lately, I've been sewing in silence.  I get so much THINKING done while I am sewing, and it is easier to think with less noise.

Do you have any rituals when you sew?

After last night's ritual, here's what I accomplished.

I'm up to three completed Split Stars and 3 completed selvage blocks, but I have another Split Star nearing completion, and 3 more selvage blocks in various stages of completion.

Halloween brings its own rituals.  One, of course, is carving the pumpkins.  I cut the top, the kids scoop the innards, I separate the seeds for roasting, the kids draw on the faces, and I cut along their drawn lines.  It's such a simple activity, but the boys and I always have so much fun doing it together.  Then, we light them and wait for Daddy to come home from practice.  He always takes a picture.

For someone who loves spontaneity and change, I realize I also cherish my rituals.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A first and a second

Riel over at the Q and the U continuously inspires me with all her selvage creations, so I finally bit the bullet and tried a selvage block.  I didn't use her tutorial, but rather Jodi's at Pleasant Home, using some fusible interfacing as a foundation.

The only reason there is only one block here is that I had to come back to town for a Cub Scout committee meeting and a karate class.  Otherwise, I'd have made block after block after block.  It was much easier than I had anticipated, and so gratifying to use the parts that are usually thrown away.  I was momentarily skeptical about having a foundation in there - as a hand quilter, I'm not sure how that would work - but I came up with a strategy that I think will nullify that concern.  Nothing more on that until I give it a try.

While sewing the selvage block, I also sewed my second Split Star for Block Lotto.  I love how crisp and clean these blocks appear in solids and white.  I think I have enough solid white for 2 more blocks.

Lastly, I want to share an experience my children and I had on Monday night.  Several months ago, I met a woman at the Community Festival in my quilting booth.  We talked about quilting and flower pressing (which is her craft and home business), and eventually talked about the Community Table.  The Community Table is a weekly restaurant style meal (complete with 4 courses, waiters in red aprons, white tablecloths and cloth napkins and live music), served free of charge to anyone in the community.  Those who can afford to make a donation at the end of the meal are able to do so as they walk out the door, but anyone can attend these meals and eat a healthy, home-cooked style meal in a collegial, non-judgmental atmosphere.

We went for the first time this Monday, and picked up my new friend from the Community Festival (she is 83 and unable to drive) to bring her along, too.  There were professors there.  There were families there.  There were people from local nursing homes there, out for a meal in town.  My kids saw friends from school.  I saw some quilting friends.  It was AWESOME!  I am so proud of my community.  To me, this is a really ingenious way to feed people in need without segregating them or taking away their dignity.  My family and I will definitely be going back.

When we took my new friend back home, she invited us in to see some things:

  • her flower pressing, but also how she has incorporated real snake skins and real cicada wings into some of her creations (she is super talented!) 
  • her antiques - including a Victrola hand crank phonograph from over 100 years ago with the THICK records (my kids danced and danced and danced to the scratchy tunes)
  • her many motorized chairs (she said she gives driving lessons to young people)
  • her chair lift to take her down into her basement (I've always wanted to try one of those!)
  • her play rooms that she set up in her basement for her grandchildren where they create fantasy worlds behind the fabric and beads that she has hung as walls

Can I just tell you, my kids were MESMERIZED!  She invited them to come back and play anytime, and they have asked to go several times just in the two days since!  I'm so glad that my kids 1) have active imaginations and 2) don't share the sentiment that so many young people have these days that older people have nothing to contribute.  They recognized my new friend for what she is - a vibrant, interesting, exciting person who is really cool to hang out with!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Playing the lotto!

I have been admiring the Block Lotto blocks I've been seeing over at Julie's Joe Tulips Quilts blog for quite some time.  Here's the post that put me over the edge, making me resolved to participate, but if you search her blog, there are TONS of awesome block lotto blocks on there, and she wins A LOT!  I hope I have her luck!

So here's my first block.  I used up the rest of that greenish teal solid that I bought in WV and then used nearly all of in the world's heaviest quilt block (the Pine Burr block).

I already have fabric cut out for a couple more blocks.  I'm thinking maybe I'll make 4; we'll see.

This weekend was much busier than expected.  Saturday morning, I was an uke (think rag doll/punching bag/test dummy) for a young woman who was testing for her first degree black belt test.  It was actually quite fun being thrown around repeatedly, but boy, was I sore on Sunday!

Of course, that probably had something to do with what we did Saturday afternoon.  The Farm Store had a big Fall Farm Festival day.  There were vendors and tractors and livestock and a corn maze and lots of other things to do.  It's how we spend the rest of the day.
A turkey drive, simulating taking livestock to market - fun for the kids, terrifying for the birds...
Petting animals - sheep and cattle, ducks and geese and turkeys, and pigeons

We spent 2 hours lost in the corn maze before we sneaked out from a path that was near the edge. Jason was horrified that we "cheated" but we had two kids with us who were about to have a meltdown.
Playing on hay bales - they thought it was fun to jump over the rows that made up the maze
But they didn't always make the whole jump!
Even I got into the act!  See the guy in the back looking and me and saying, "What is that fool woman doing!?!"
Thankfully, there was a tractor with wagons to pull our tired bodies back to the parking lot. The kids are calling DIBS on the tractors they want.  It was a beautiful day!
So, a Saturday where I barely saw the inside of my house, I was resolved to stay home on Sunday.

It was not to be.  My oldest, Jason, has been asking if we can go to church.  How do you say, "Mom is too lazy to go to church," while still setting a good example for your children?  For a while, I could put him off because I wasn't sure my beliefs would line up with those of the parishioners at many of the area churches, but I keep meeting some pretty progressive, liberal, and NICE people who go to a local church, and they have invited me time and time again.  So we went to church yesterday.  Jason was so excited, and dressed to the nines again (no hat this time, but a sweater vest and bow tie - forgot to take a photo).  Donald was despondent, and walked in his slouchy "I'm doing this only under duress" way until I threatened him with not being able to watch The Cosby Show with us (that's our new family evening activity - we bought 4 seasons worth!).  I was somewhere in between - mostly just thinking of all the time I wouldn't be able to spend quilting.  Sounds terrible, I know.  I hope I don't lose any readers over that confession.

But church was nice, and afterwards, Donald came bounding out of the enrichment room to show me what he had made and then ran off with a new friend to scarf down cookies and lemonade before playing in the church courtyard.  We'll probably go again.

OK, lazy Sunday afternoon coming up with lots of sewing, right?  Wrong!  My hubby called to see if we wanted to go on a family outing.  Our jobs are both so busy that it is rare that we have time to go out as a complete family, so, of course, I said yes.  We got back at dark.  It was fun, but now I am wishing I had one more day to the weekend so I could stay home and sew!  And wouldn't you know it, my kids don't have school today!  I left the house grumbling this morning, wishing I were still in bed like the rest of my family.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Stepping out

No quilting news.  I didn't even put in one stitch yesterday.  I hate it when that happens!

But I did get to dress up and go out with my kiddos to our annual karate banquet, honoring those who will be testing for their Black Belt this coming Saturday.  It is fun getting dressed up every once in a while!  Well, fun for everyone except Donald.

My kids picked out their own clothes, as they always do.  Jason has a sense of style that I envy, and the confidence to carry it off!

I mean, on election day for Student Council, when the kids had to get up in front of the whole school to give their speeches, he picked out jeans, a white t-shirt, and a vest left unbuttoned.  He looked so COOL!

I love my kids!

Side note: They showed this short 2-minute video at the banquet both this year and last.  I love it.  It rings so true to me.  If you have 2 minutes, take a look.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Journals and Mug Rugs

The Farm Store, a local cooperative where they sell local produce and crafts, is having a fall family day this weekend, with live music, a corn maze, sheep shearing, games and more.  Since I already have merchandise in the store, I don't have to man a booth, but they did encourage us to prepare more inventory since they are expecting to have a lot of visitors that day.  So, instead of hand quilting my Orange Creamsicle quilt or embroidering my new mini quilt, I worked on some more fabric journal covers, since they have been so popular at my last two booths.  I only completed one last night because I spent quite a bit of time (ahem) un-sewing.  I HATE it when that happens!

Anyway, another yo-yo has found a home!  About 30 to go!  (just kidding!  But really, what else can I do with a handful of scrappy, mixed weight - they aren't all quilting cotton - yo yos?  I'm open to suggestions.  I want to use them, but I also don't want to have to make any to supplement what is there.)
Pretty simple fabric journal cover

The un-sewing came about because I thought it needed some machine quilting to jazz it up, forgetting that I SUCK AT MACHINE QUILTING!  On second thought, no jazzing up required.

Close up detail - a striped fabric makes such a neat yo-yo!

The other journal cover I was working on last night isn't done yet, but I hope to finish it today.  Plus, I want to crank out some more Scrabble Tile earrings because they sell like hotcakes!  (Where did that expressions come from?  Where do hotcakes sell quickly?  What IS a hotcake?  A pancake?)

The good thing is, if these things I am making don't sell this fall, I already have some people in mind to give them to at Christmas.  It's a win-win situation, don't ya think?

I'm also thinking of making some Mug Rugs to give, not only because I use mine ALL THE TIME,
Those blue and white things are York Peppermint Patty Pieces, which I recently discovered and fell in love with! And in the cup, water.  I'm trying to drink more of it these days.  And right behind it?  The stand to my new ENORMOUS monitor at work.  Can I tell you, it is so much more amazing to see all of your creations on that big screen than on my tiny laptop monitor!  Not that I read your blogs at work...
but also because they are so fun to make.  But tell me, what is your experience giving Mug Rugs to non-quilters?  We all know what they are, but does a non-quilter know?  Do you give them with a mug and tea bags or coffee beans, or do they work as a stand-alone gift?  Do you include an explanation?  If you've given them to non-quilters before, I'd love to hear what you have to say.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Can you tell I'm done traveling?

Three posts in three consecutive days?  It is a lot easier to do when I sleep in my own bed at night and actually have time to sit and stitch.  I'm not caught up READING blogs yet, but I'll get there.  If you haven't heard from me in a while, just wait - I just haven't gotten to you yet.

I was asked to come in to teach a karate class yesterday afternoon, and while I was glad to help out, Tuesday is usually my "go straight home after work and don't leave until Wednesday" day.  I was determined to sit outside and stitch on my mini for an hour or so, enjoying the autumn sun and warmth, before heading back to town.  But when I got ready to sew, I discovered that I hadn't brought my mini home with me!  I had taken it to work, thinking I'd stitch a bit at lunch time, but of course, I didn't have the time.  I came back in this morning to find it sitting in my window waiting for me.
Yeah, lots of my kids' handiwork in my office
Not to be thwarted, I pulled out my new border stencil that I just bought in West Virginia last week, and marked the borders of my Orange Creamsicle Quilt.  I'll be honest, I've never marked a border with a stencil before, and I was dreading it.  I usually just do something simple that doesn't require marking, like stitching in the ditch or echo quilting, but this quilt has enough straight lines, I wanted some curves.  I was nervous about making it all fit neatly, but I decided to leave a space in the middle of the top and bottom borders for a butterfly stencil that I got from a friend, and on the long sides, I was able to shrink one of the curves to make the stencil fit, and now that I've marked it, I have to really look to see which one is different.  Not so bad, after all.

Then, as I watched the debate (with my boys, who asked if they could stay up late to watch...not sure where that came from, but OK), I quilted.  I try to always quilt when I am watching politics.  I need something to help relax me because the spin and the half-truths and the accusations and the pandering really stress me out.  Bah!

No political talk on here today.  Instead, I'll leave you with a photo I took yesterday afternoon.  I was looking for Jason to remind him to get started on his homework, but he had already started.  In a tree.  I LOVE MY KIDS!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Out of my system

Yesterday, I was so motivated to work on embroidering my little mini.  I put the final borders on, spray basted it to some batting, and took it with me to karate.  After my class, I sat through my youngest son's class, first drawing on some freehand vines, then getting going on the embroidery.  In a perfect world, I'd have gone home to stitch some more, but like a moron, I declared on here yesterday that I was going to make a Pine Burr Block.  I'm too proud and stubborn to not follow through, so that's what I did when I put the kids to bed.

I'm happy to report that I got that out of my system, and can now go back to my mini.  Let's just say, I didn't find making the Pine Burr Block quite as addicting as LeAnn over at Nifty Quilts.  From now on, I think I'll satisfy myself with seeing those beauties come together over on her blog, instead of in my sewing room.  I love the way my block looks, but getting there...whew!  LeAnn obviously has talents (and patience and persistence and vision) that I just don't possess!

I cut my 12.5" square piece of muslin, cut out the fabric I wanted in the center of my block (surprise, I didn't quite follow the directions - I wanted a focus fabric in the center, not the burrs), and cut my first ring of 3" squares to then make into prairie points and set around the center.  I could tell RIGHT AWAY that this block was going to take more time and fabric than I was anticipating.  I immediately trimmed my muslin down to 10.5" square.

A couple rows (and a couple hours) in, as I cut and folded and pressed and pinned and sewed and repeated, I went ahead and trimmed it down to 9.5" square.  I swear to you, if I had left it at 12.5", I'd probably still be working on it.  Holy moly!

And not only is that block a lot of work, it is also HEAVY!  I could rename this post, "The Heaviest Quilt Block EVER!"  Or, I could rename it "Orphaned at Birth," because I feel pretty confident that I won't be making any more of these blocks.  I kid you not, I used nearly a full quarter yard of fabric on just the teal color.  There is probably over 1 yard of fabric in that one little (heavy) 9.5" block!  I can't imagine how heavy a whole quilt would be made this way.  It would smother a child or small pet.  You could use it as blackout drapes.  Folding it would constitute a weight training workout.

IF I were to make another, and that is a huge IF, mind you, I'd go ahead and just use my scrappy, pre-cut 3" squares.  That would reduce a lot of the time from cutting, and would make a nice dent in my precut stash.  Or maybe I'd use larger squares?  We may never know.

For now, I'm going to finish that puppy off into something useful - maybe a hot pad for setting hot dishes on the table?  Or a candle mat?  Or what?  Any suggestions out there in blogland?  After all that time and fabric, that block is going to become SOMETHING!!!

Monday, October 15, 2012


I was cruising blogs yesterday morning, and came across a Pine Burr quilt block on the Nifty Quilts blog, Nifty Quilts.  Inspired, I rushed downstairs in my pajamas to start making one right away.

I got down there to discover that I hadn't yet unpacked the car from my booth, and hadn't yet cleaned up from the frenetic activity of preparing for the booth, so I had to put my enthusiasm for that block on the back burner while I unpacked and straightened up.  Honestly, it is nicer working in there when I don't have to move piles of stuff to get to the ironing board or the cutting table.

While cleaning, I came across a package of fabric scraps that I tried giving away earlier this year, but I never heard back from the person who won.

Determined to do SOMETHING with that fabric other than put it back into my stash, I whipped up a little top that used all of the yellow, all of the blue, and nearly all of the green dancing pigs. (I did put the green dot back into my stash.) It measures about 24" square, so now I just want to find a border fabric and finish it off as a baby or doll quilt.

I also realized that the fabric I wanted to use for the Pine Burr block hadn't been washed yet, so I threw that in the machine, and went upstairs to shower, eat and visit more blogs while I waited for my fabric to be ready.  And came across a cute little mini on Joe Tulips Quilts.

Back down to the sewing room I went, not to make a Pine Burr block, but to whip up this little mini.
Right now it measures about 9"x 13" without the outer border. There will be an embroidered vine with leaves around the outside and in the two background columns and hopefully some tiny button flowers.
The outside borders aren't sewn on yet, but I'll do that this evening and start the embroidery.  How cute and easy and fun!  I have a feeling I'll probably make another, too!

But first, this evening, I AM going to make a Pine Burr block.  Hold me to it!  Come back tomorrow to see how I did.

Finally, according to Random Number Generator (I don't know how to do the screen shots so you can see which number is chosen...if you want to let me know how, I'll be forever grateful), the winner of my last giveaway with the fabrics I bought in West Virginia (to which I added a half yard of a neutral from my last shop, making it a total of 1.5 yards of fabric goodness) is commenter #2 - Julie of My Quilt Diary!  I'm very happy to send this fabric to her as she is always helping me out with scouting ideas for my boys.  Send me your address, Julie, and I'll send this to you.  I've never sent anything to Japan before.  Fun times!  Seems like many of my giveaways are won by people outside the US.  My last winner was in Canada.  I guess I have international appeal...  :)

Enjoy your Monday, everyone!  I know I plan to!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A - ma- zing!!!

That was my day - just AMAZING!

I got home last night and packed up the car for Mountain Days, a street festival and craft fair in neighboring Buena Vista.  I didn't get much sleep, because I got the bright idea to make up some items (travel tissue covers, denim backed bookmarks and a travel neck pillow) in some pink ribbon fabric that I picked up at a quilt shop in West Virginia.  The idea was to sell those items at my regular cost, but for all of the proceeds to be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation with a matching donation from me - a way to double my donation.

Today dawned bright and crisp and beautiful, and the kids and I headed out to set up the booth.  My expectations were low - I figured I'd have fun meeting new people and hand quilting, and possibly sell a few things, too.


I had fun meeting people and hand quilting, but sold OVER HALF of my inventory!  I sold at least one of everything I had out there - earrings and bookmarks and travel neck pillows and composition book covers and crayon rolls and gift card key rings and denim aprons and pillowcase aprons and a baby quilt and even my Flurry quilt top made from the ugliest Christmas fabrics on earth that wasn't even for sale!

I am high on my success!!  And dreaming of the fabric and batting and notions I can purchase with my earnings!!

Don't I look like I am in my element, hand quilting out there on the streets of Buena Vista, Virginia?
I discovered this photo on Facebook this afternoon when I got home. See that quilt? When I finally finish it, it will be for ME!
And guess what?  A woman approached me and asked if I would teach a class to kids in a local afterschool program (paid!) and another woman told me she owns a Bed and Breakfast and is thinking of doing theme weekends, and would I consider teaching a class to her guests?  We'll see if anything comes of either of these, but it sure feels nice to be wanted!

OK, enough bragging.  Suffice it to say I had a great day.  And I had the foresight to put dinner in the crockpot before I left home, so I came home to a fragrant home and a hot meal.  Aaaahhhh!

Last thing, in addition to making pink ribbon items last night, I also made a new composition book cover.  I've never made anything with yo-yos before, but I inherited a baggie of them a while back and never knew what to do with them.  I can see several of them finding their way onto notebook covers in the near future.

Making these notebook covers is ADDICTIVE!!!  This one got fondled many times today, mostly by pre-teen girls whose parents wouldn't buy them anything.  Into my ETSY shop it goes!  Thank goodness, too, since I had to deactivate over a dozen listings after they sold today.  I need to make more inventory,  but not today.  For now, it is hot soup and Netflix shows and my bed.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wild and wonderful! (giveaway)

I am on the road...


But it is my last trip of the fall, and one of my favorites - Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.  The foliage in the mountains this time of year is breathtaking, the people are friendly, the air is crisp and clean - it is a nice trip.  Plus, there are lots of QUILT SHOPS on my driving routes!

I stopped at one today, and there was a sale table with $4/yard fabric.  I snapped up two that caught my eye, as well as a baggie of orange and yellow solid scraps that I thought went well with one of the prints plus a quilting stencil for quilt borders.
I think this fabric will end up being an apron and matching potholders as a Christmas gift.

Not sure what I'm going to do with this fabric yet.
Gotta support the LQS, even if it isn't MY Local Quilt Shop!

And a blog reader bought one of my fabric composition books from my ETSY shop today.  THANK YOU!

To celebrate the ETSY sale and my sale purchases, I'm going to give away half a yard of each of these fabrics, plus some of whatever I pick up from tomorrow's quilt shop stop (yeah, I plan a quilt shop stop every day of my driving trips).

To get your name in the drawing, how about you leave a comment with a suggestion for what I can be for Halloween this year.  In recent years, I have been a nun,
Halloween 2011
a cowgirl bandit,
Halloween 2009
a witch,
Halloween 2008
a basketball player and Pocahontas.  I'm looking for ideas of something easy to throw together on a budget (my disposable income goes towards FABRIC, not costumes!).  I'll draw a winner on Monday morning, October 15.

In the meantime, I have finished putting the binding on my Orange Creamsicle quilt, and now just need to finish quilting the border.
Lousy cell phone photo, so you can't see the quilting, but you can see that there is a pale yellow binding on it.
One good thing about road trips - I get lots of hand sewing done in my hotel rooms in the evening.