Really Random: Quilters Rock!

Anyone with quilt-y friends knows, quilters are typically a kind a generous lot.  Over the past few months, I’ve been the recipient of some of that fun generosity.  My business partner, Trina gave me this Jack-o-Lantern flash drive (in May, because we are both big fans of Halloween!), and her husband had the serial quilter decals made for us:

Cindy showed you my decal on my Beetle, which travelled to Gruber’s in Minnesota with me this year.  

But I sold my Beetle in August and bought my little Yellow Mini Cooper shortly thereafter.  Thankfully, they had one more Serial Quilter decal for me, so the Mini Cooper is properly decced out.

And the Jack-o-Lantern flash drive, he’s darned cute.  Trina hunted him down on the internet and had him shipped all the way from Japan, so I could have a fun drive, too.  (Her’s is a monkey)

I was lucky enough to win a few bloggy giveaways this Spring and Summer, including this one from Carolyn Friedlander, including her Sessoms pattern (LOVE!) and a hand-picked jelly roll:

I have a nearly finished table runner made from this pattern (just need to quilt it so I can show it to you!).  And one day, I plan to make an entire quilt fro this pattern–it’s lovely!

Stephanie is one of my Gruber’s friends, (and a fellow Iowa native) I met her for the first time in July 2011, and saw her again at Spring Quilt Market in May 2012 and this July… She became one of those fast friends, an immediate connection that felt like we had been friends forever. Little messages pop up from her at The. Most. Opportune times.  I don’t how she does it, but she can sense when I need a little pick me up.  She sent me this “happy” earlier this year at a time when she knew I needed a hug:

She knows I love Kate Spain, and I had admired these journal/calendars on her blog… and it came with the sweetest note.  It holds all kinds of notes related to the pattern business these days, and every time I look at it, it gives me warm fuzzy thoughts of a treasured friend.

Much of our time lately has been spent house hunting (read: scouring realtor.com at least once a day for new listings; obsessing over properties we are interested in; mentally moving ourselves and our stuff into the space)… you get the picture.  We put an offer on a house that we still refer to as “the Dream House” and we lost out on it not once, but twice.  I’m pretty sure that ship has sailed.  But we keep looking and my thoughts are about 78% focused on houses and architecture these days.

As a diversion, I’ve been trying to catch up on some reading, including a large pile of magazine on my nightstand, and this pile of books from our library:

What’s occupying your thoughts these days?

Have you been the recipient of a quilter’s generosity lately?

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Blogtoberfest Day XX–Scrappy Charm Pincushion

…and A WINNER–and a NEW GIVEAWAY!!!!

First of all, Happy OCTOBER Birthday to a new blog friend, Mrs. Gooden Ghastlie.  Incidently, she won today’s giveaway–ON HER BIRTHDAY!!!!  Congrats & best birthday wishes–these goodies will soon be on their way to you:

Remember, the best way to win is to follow my blog and leave comments on my October posts….

Now for another installment of our Halloween Party...

I started last fall making scrappy spiderwebs for a twin-size quilt, which incidentally left me with a LARGE pile of Halloween scraps, and like my friend Amanda Jean, I have developed an addiction to scraps.  I used to actually toss them (gasp–the horror!!)…

So, I whipped up these Scrappy Charm Pincushions, so named because they use a left over charm square for the back (GREAT use of leftover fabric, btw!), some fun selvages, rick-rack scraps and ribbon:

Very simple, free-pieced, scrappy log-cabin style design. I think it took about 30 minutes to make all three.  I stuff them with crushed walnut shells (available at pet stores) which works like emery, in that it helps sharpen your pin points. Carefully stuffed using a kitchen funnel…

What do you think, do you like them?  Have a favorite?  Well, this little witchy-poo could come to live with you:

She is part of this week’s giveaway–items to be added to the giveaway daily–just follow my blog and remember to comment on my daily posts.  The more you do, the better your chances of winning.  Just ask our birthday girl, Patricia.  😉

Happy Halloween and an Awesome October to you!

Blogtoberfest Day XIX–The Guest Book Quilt

I finished up a commission quilt this week, and I’m delivering it to my client this evening.  I first talked about it here, and showed you our inspiration piece.  It’s a signature quilt, that served as the “guest book” for the client’s July wedding.  Her wedding colors were Truffle Brown and Daisy Yellow, and she had yellow Gerber daisies as her primary flower.  I drew up a sketch for her, she loved it, and I prepared the blocks for her prior to the wedding (freezer paper stabilizer on the back of them, pinked edges to prevent raveling while being handled, and provided her with a supply of permanent pens for signatures).  I got the signed blocks back from her in late August, and went to work piecing the quilt and creating the applique design.

I’ve never had this issue before, but I had to baste this quilt THREE times, and tear out far too much quilting, because of bunching up fabric on the back.  Grrrr…  I finally walked away from it Saturday evening, went on a date night with my sweetie, and after Church Sunday morning, went back to basting it fresh for the third time.  Third time was a charm.

Here it is in all its (finally) finished glory:

Yellow is not really my color, but this quilt may change my mind about it.  It’s so bright and cheerful, I’m going to have a hard time parting with it!

The couple’s names and wedding date are hand embroidered at the center of the daisy (used my Aurifil wool thread to embroider–worked wonderfully!!)  The photograph does not show it, but the wool thread provided a wonderful visual texture on this embroidery…

This design may be making a repeat appearance here one day:

Happy October!
Don’t forget to leave your comments before 8 PM (CST) time this evening to qualify for this week’s giveaway:

And come back tomorrow for another installment of our Halloween Party and NEW GIVEAWAYS!!!!

p.p.s If you are in Central Iowa, join us tomorrow night for the Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild Meeting, at 6:30 pm, West Des Moines Public Library.  More details here.

Blogtoberfest Day XVII–My Holiday Haunt

My sweetie and I both have an affinity for vintage Halloween decorations, and even though we get no trick-or-treaters, don’t host our own costume party (we go to someone else’s party), and receive very few visitors during the month of October–we go all out decorating our 1,000 square foot condo for Halloween (the only holiday besides Christmas that I decorate for)!  Above is a little baker’s rack shelf in our kitchen, the crepe-paper pumpkin is from sweetie’s childhood home.  The ghost and vampire are Jim Shore figurines that have been given to me as gifts.  I love these die-cut cats from the 1960s (they originally belonged to my Gramma B):

Our mantle is fun to decorate (though impossible to get a decent photograph of!)–the plastic jack-o-lanterns are also from my sweetie’s childhood home:

I spray-painted a branch last year to make a Halloween tree with one of his plastic jack-o-lantern buckets as a base:

It’s not complete without some macabre flowers, cobwebs and spiders–and a raven, just for good measure…

Next to the fireplace wall is my wall of Notre Dame and Paris etchings & photographs, with these 1940s jack-o-lantern die-cuts, also from my mother-in-law:

And this little punkin-head, we bought last year, because he reminds us both of a friend’s little boy who we spent some quality time with that summer:
He greets us in our entryway and brings a smile to my face everytime I see him!  BTW, the framed artwork in the background is (the bottom edge of) one of my drawings from university.  I need to show you my artwork here someday…

This week’s giveaway includes an American Jane pattern, a spool of Nature’s Rainbow thread, and 5 fat quarters of Lizzy Dish fabric from Andover.  To qualify, comment on any of my Blogtoberfest posts (you can qualify more than once, and followers of my blog automatically get an extra entry):

Happy Halloween and an Awesome October!

Blogtoberfest Day XVI–God’s Jack

Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin.
God lifts you up, takes you in,
and washes all the dirt off of you.

He opens you up, touches you deep inside
and scoops out all the yucky stuff–
including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed.
Then He carves you a new smiling face  
and puts His light inside you to 
shine for all the world to see.

I received this in an email last October, and I just love the message…

Remember, comment on my Blogtoberfest posts to qualify for the giveaway.   This week’s giveaway includes an American Jane pattern, a spool of Nature’s Rainbow thread, and 5 fat quarters of Lizzy Dish fabric from Andover.  To qualify, comment on any of my Blogtoberfest posts (you can qualify more than once, and followers of my blog automatically get an extra entry):

Have a blessed Sunday and an awesome October!

Blogtoberfest Day XIV–Midnight Serenade

This gallery contains 20 photos.

My latest finish (which you may have seen here, unfinished, last year) a wall quilt for my sweetie, a banjo & guitar player (his youngest daughter also plays a little banjo). Yeah, I’m a lucky gal…I have access to banjo … Continue reading