Blogtoberfest Day XIII–More Aurifil Love (WINNERS!)

First of all, Happy Birthday to my sweetie!

Secondly, have you seen Lynne’s newest brainchild?  Seriously, I wish I had half the ideas that woman does!  (Note to me sweetie, and other loved ones who want to give me Christmas gifts:  FOLLOW THAT LINK, and revisit it periodically over the next 2.5 months, please. You can click the icon below, too.  Maybe bookmark the page?)

Christmas Gifts for Quilters

Okay, now that that side-note is taken care of… (fingers crossed—stocking stuffers for me…. oh, sorry!)

Third, I HAVE THE WINNERS of the Aurifil Giveaway!  Mr. RNG picked 5 lovely ladies to receive 5 spools of Aurifil Thread EACH.  Drumroll, please….

  1. samelia’s mum
  2. CraftyNewbie
  3. Donna
  4. Lorraine (raineoc)
  5. Carla at Lollyquiltz (I get to give this one IN PERSON, when I meet her “IRL” NEXT WEEK!)

Thanks to Mr. Aurifil for providing these gifts!  Congrats girls, an email is on it’s way!  OMG, I wish I had 200 gifts to give, y’all are so sweet (can you tell I lived in the South for a few years?)–but I would go broke on postage!

Several of you were as interested as I was in the Aurifloss, it comes on 18 yd., “wooden” spools, here is the info from the website:
  • Aurifloss is perfectly suited fir stutching on all types of fabric, is made with 100% long staple cotton
  • Brilliant 6-strand divisible thread
  • Washable and Fade-resistant
  • Used for embroidery, huck embroidery, miniature punch-needle embroidery, tatting, applique, needlepoint, crochet, etc.
  • Useful for embroidering in scrapbooks and on lampshades (would love to see that!)

For now, keep commenting throughout October for more giveaways (I’ll post a pic tomorrow of next week’s gifties!!!–there will be FABRIC involved… and ALL October comments count!)
Now, go see Lynne, and try your luck in her Aurifil giveaway!


3 Great Reasons to be in Des Moines, Iowa, This Week

1.  The Blue October concert tomorrow night at the amazing Hoyt Sherman Theater.  The acoustics in this fabulous, historic theater are uncomparable.  One of my faves, Brandi Carlile will be there on Monday!
2.  Th Iowa Artists Installation at the Des Moines Art Center, as well as Friday evening’s  
Manhattan Short Film Festival.  Who says Iowa doesn’t know arts and culture? 
 3. And, of course, the AQS Quilt Show and Contest opens tomorrow, September 28 and continues through Saturday. 
  • There is a huge Merchant Mall with all of the latest quiltmaking tools, fabrics, vintage quilts for sale, quilt-related gift ideas for your favorite quilter–a dream shopping experience for any textile lover! 
  • Quilters compete in the juried show for more than $44,000 in cash awards 
  • in the AQS Contest
  • Annual show of the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild
  • Many more non-judged special themed exhibits. 
  • An Education Center will be available for children and adults to learn more about quilting. 
  • Some of the 150 quilts that will be presented to the Des Moines Veteran’s Home patients will also be on display.

I’m spending my day there on Thursday.  Even if you aren’t a quilter, I’d highly recommend you visit this show just to take in the beauty of the exhibits.  

If you can’t make it to the Des Moines area this week, I’ll give you one good reason to come back and visit my blog… a chance to win a pack of my favorite brand of thread!

Patriotic Sewing and a new Mascot

In addition to being president of the very new Des Moines Modern Quilt Guild, I am a member of the Des Moines Area Quilt Guild, a traditional guild that has been going strong for decades.  Our guild is making quilts of comfort for our local Veterans Home and Hospital in Des Moines.  Two quilty friends and I are making a large lap size quilt together…my part was to make these five Tucson Sunset blocks.

These fabrics are so “outside of my box”, I had to raid the stash of my friends to make them!  I don’t buy these shades of reds or neutrals…  I tend to do many things at once, and I am typically working around a mess, rather than moving it out of my way or cleaning up the mess before I move on to the next task.  That’s when things like this happen… cutting your template in two because it happened to be under your fabric…. Oops.

Oh well, a little tape and my template was good as new!

I was lucky enough to win a giveaway on Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway day, and this little pretty (recently named Eleanor) has become the new mascot of my sewing studio. 

She was made by my friend Veronica, who is still trying to find good homes for Eleanor’s brothers and sisters (if you might be willing to adopt one, go take a peek at them here!)  In addition to elephants, Veronica crafts amazing handmade jewelry, the sweetest little ipod cases, tissue cozies and some knockout potholders!  She’s a mad paper crafter as well…  Please go pay her shop a visit!   And tell her Doris and Eleanor sent ya!

Have a great weekend!


My First Quilt…and a WINNER!

I always have a hard time giving a simple answer to the question, “when did you start quilting?”  Because, it was somewhat of a gradual process.  I learned to sew garments as a little girl, and I learned to hand quilt as a pre-teen, quilting part of a hideous cheater cloth quilt (never finished it, and I’m sure it’s in a landfill somewhere) and then, an antique bedspread that my Grandma had given me; then I STARTED piecing and quilting, as a hobby and an obsession, about eight years ago.

The bedspread Grandma gave me was a typical white, woven bedspread from the early 20th Century.  It was well used and well worn.  I guess this is what I would have to call my first quilt.  A whole-cloth quilt of sorts, quilted by hand, with a large oval hoop, by a total beginner…a teenage Doris.

Here it is spread out on a Queen size bed.  The angled corners are where there used to be notches for a four-poster bed, which were tattered and worn, so I cut them at angles.  It fits a Twin size bed perfectly now.

I quilted the details, fleur de lis, a Mariner’s Compass medallion….


Scrollwork, lattice grid borders….

I even got crazy wild and did the binding along the zig zag edge…(I suspect my Mom did most, if not all of the binding for me)!

It’s plain bleached muslin on the back:

Not too bad, stitch-wise, for a teenager, huh?!

This lived on my bed for many years, moving with me from apartment to apartment through my single girl years.  I guess now it’s a treasured heirloom. 

Thanks to all of you who visited from Amy’s blog and left comments on my posts.  The winner of the giveaway is Pokey, of pokeydotquilting. Pokey will receive a Moda Charm Pack of her choice in a zipper tool bag along with a few surprises.  So Pokey, take your pick of Giddy by Sandy Gervais, Fresh Flowers by Deb Strain, or Dilly Dally by Me & My Sister! 

Have A GREAT Tuesday, and come back tomorrow!

Thanks, Amy!

Today, I am a featured blogger over at Amy’s Creative Side. In honor of that, I’m putting together a little giveaway (gifties to be revealed on Tuesday, along with the winner, so leave me a comment on ANY post before Midnight CST Monday, February 14th…)
Amy has been hosting the Blogger’s Quilt Festival for a few years now. I’ve entered three or four of my quilts in her festival, which has grown RIDICULOUSLY to over 600 entries each Spring and Fall. Sadly, I usually don’t find the time to go view them all. But I have found some wonderful blogs through her links, and other people have found me and my blog.  It’s a great community here online, great support, great feedback and great motivation! Who doesn’t need more of that!?!

I’m going to post on Tuesday about a quilt I mentioned to Amy when she asked me about when I started quilting:

“…and I learned to hand quilt as a pre-teen, quilting a hideous cheater cloth quilt and an antique bedspread that my Grandma had given me; then I STARTED quilting, as a hobby and an obsession, about eight years ago”

I realized when I answered that question, I have never posted about that quilting experience.  Then I realized why, I have NO photos of it.  So browse the blog, leave me some comments and come back on Tuesday, to see my Grandma’s Bedspread Quilt and see if you won anything!

On a side note, I have to tell you, today I am on cloud nine because my dear friend Dawn, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan, and who we made this quilt for just prior to her deployment, is home for a few days of R & R, and I get to see her and give her a big hug tonight!  yippeee!!

A Runner Tutorial…and a WINNER!

Need a quick-and-dirty gift that doesn’t look so quick-and-dirty? This is NOT my design, someone showed me recently how to make these, based on a free pattern they were given at their guild meeting. I thought it was one nifty technique…

Start with a 1/2 yard (by width-of-fabric/WOF) of your backing material and 1/3 yard (by WOF) of your top. (I think these are both Marcus Brothers fabrics, they came from my stash…)
With right sides together, stitch along one long edge:I then pressed my seam open, but you can just keep sewing if you want to. Stitch along second long side with a 1/4″ seam allowance, forming a “tube” with your fabric:
Press seams, and then turn right side out. Fold your “tube” in half, lengthwise, with your backing fabric inside the fold, and your top fabric on the outside. Sew a 1/4″ seam on both short ends:Press each end seam open…Then turn the point out and press well:Your table runner is essentially finsihed at this point, with only a few minutes of construction time! No batting used, it would make the points too heavy, but you could use a flannel batting or an interfacing stabilizer to edge a little weight to your runner.

A few finish ideas (because the triangle flap is left open): Sew buttons at the seam on your end triangles; Top-stitch around the backing fabric to keep it flap even when washing; Quilt it; Use a decorative stitch from your machine to dress-up the edge; Or, apply applique…I free-handed a few maple leaves and did a raw edge fused applique on each end. I then finished up by top-stitiching around the center rectangle in dark brown thread. I made this for my Autumn Giveaway, and I’ll be sending along a charm pack of “Blessings” by Brannock and Patek (for Moda).
Drumroll….pleeassseeee….. The Random Number Thingy tells me is Kali, an awesome photographer! I’ve sent you an email Kali, congrats…

Thanks for playing along, for all your kind words and for your engagement stories (FUN!)….