Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wishing You....

I just had to pop in and say Happy Holidays to everyone, this time of year can be so stressful and I appreciate this blogging world more than I can say. I've been reading all I can of the blogs, smiling, laughing and crying along with you. 

I have no time for a long post, so here's a link to last years.

May all your spirits be bright,
Dana, David, Maya and Brady

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fall ME Blog Hop Winner!

I used the Random Number Generator to pick the winner, for those of you who never want to be the first or last commenter, check this out :)

My winner is Nancy and we've already been in touch, I'm thrilled that she's new to ME and we can help her start out with some really wonderful designs. 

Thank you to everyone for coming by and your kind comments, this has been so much fun. Of course we wouldn't have done it without the amazing SewCalGal, who never seems to stop coming up with wonderful ideas. Huge thanks to Embroider Shoppe for supplying such beautiful designs, she makes it easy to say how much I loved sewing out her designs. 

Later gators,

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fall Theme Machine Embroidery Blog Hop and a Giveaway

Welcome to my day for the Fall Theme Machine Embroidery Blog Hop, put together by SewCalGal,  I was thrilled and honored to be invited to join in the fun and fun it has been. Have you visited the other blogs? There are  so many beautiful projects.

Machine Embroidery is what brought me to quilting, I had this amazing machine that sewed out beautiful embroidery, but in the beginning I just didn't know what to do with this ever growing pile of blocks, then light bulb moment, add some sashing, a border and wow, I had a colorful and cute quilt!

This weeks Hop showcases designer Zandra Shaw from South Africa and her store Embroider Shoppe.  Thank goodness I had a good idea of what I'd like to do because she has so many wonderful designs and projects to choose from, but the timing was perfect for my usual holiday project so I stuck with the plan. I found Bernard & Bernice which are perfect.

Since the holidays find me deep into charity work, the thought of all of those little gifts needing to be wrapped can make me a little crazy, so I make these little stockings, it's a gift in a gift and everyone loves them. I've used them for co-workers and teachers, stuffed with candy, candles, gift cards and I even make a bunch for David's golf buddies with a sleeve of golf balls and tees. 

They're pretty easy, but here's directions if you'd like. I use felt for the stocking and fleece for the cuff, they don't fray so no worries. You'll also need a small piece of ribbon for the hanger.
First I draw out the quick pattern, I make them in different sizes so I have plenty on hand for whatever I'm putting in them. Cut out two layers for the stocking.

I don't hoop them, but use a hydro stabilizer which is much faster for me, you can do the same thing with any stabilizer and spray adhesive, just make sure you clean any over spray off of your hoops when you're done, last time I forgot and they looked like weird puppies with all of the dog hair that stuck to them. :)

For placement I use the little tabs on my hoop and a ruler to draw lines right on the stabilizer, I often mark my fabric with tiny dot for where I want the center of the design to be, the dot will be covered by the design, if it won't be covered, I just use a quilt marker which will air disappear.

Sew your design, pull off the stabilizer and with right sides together sew your stocking. Take your ribbon and sew it to the wrong side back of your stocking, make sure it's laying down, not up, I mess that up at least once each year.

For these stockings I cut my fleece 3" wide, you'll need to eye the size of your stocking and the placement of your design. I leave it in one long strip so I don't need to measure and since I'm mass producing these, I just trim it off when I'm done.  I do sew a tiny hem on one edge, just because I like the way it looks. 
Your stocking should still be inside out, pin the fleece to the top edge of the stocking with the RIGHT side of the fleece against the WRONG side of the stocking, that won't matter if you don't add the hem. 
Overhang the edge of the fleece about a quarter inch so you can sew it closed when you're done. 
After you've sewn the fleece all the way around the top of the stocking trim the end leaving another quarter inch, then sew those two ends together, watch out that you don't catch the ribbon, again guess how I know that :)

Turn your stocking right side out and pull the fleece and ribbon out and you've got cute, cute, cute. 

No pine tree around here, so I used a palm to show my creations.

I have to say these designs were a pleasure to sew, they had good stable understitching, the design itself provided good coverage without being thick, none of my fabric showed through, there were very few jump stitches and they were big enough to be easily clipped and my pet peeve, the outline stitches went exactly where they were supposed to, nothing was off. 

Zandra has generously provided Machine Embroidery designs for us to give away. All you need to do is take a look at the Embroider Shoppe, then come back here before midnight on Sunday and tell me what design or designs you'd like. I'll pick a winner and announce it on Monday Nov. 11th. The other bloggers also have giveaways, so if you missed anyone, you may want to go back and catch up. Here's the line up:

 Monday, Nov 4th
Tuesday, November 5th
Wednesday, November 6th
Thursday, November 7th
Friday, November 8th

Huge thanks to Zandra for sharing her talent and of course to SewCalGal for putting this all together. I hope you've had fun.

Later Gators,

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fall Theme Machine Embroidery Blog Hop

Today kicks off the Fall Theme Machine Embroidery Blog Hop over at SewCalGals. Lots of tips, tutorials, prizes and gorgeous designs from the The Embroider Shoppe in South Africa

I'm honored that they asked me to join in the fun. Here's the line up:

Monday, Nov 4th
Tuesday, November 5th
Wednesday, November 6th   
Thursday, November 7th
Friday, November 8th

Enjoy the hop and I'll see you back here on Friday to show you one of my favorite things to make for the holidays. 

Later Gators,

Friday, November 1, 2013

New FO for October


Time again to show off what we've done for the past month, I really thought I hadn't done anything, but it was a month of repeats, so nothing original must equal nothing done in my mind. I surprised myself when I went back to my pictures. I love surprises :)

First, I want to show the camo baby quilt that I only had pieces of last month.
The hunter's camo really worked for this one, I like the splashes of color, the green was an accident that I bought online, not the color I wanted, but surprise, it perfectly matched the camo. 

This quilt is a repeat, when I first starting quilting I followed a pattern to make this quilt, there was so much waste that I swore off patterns, but I really liked the quilt. I changed it and made it my way. 

Then I was asked to do it again, bigger and different colors.

Then I was asked to remake a baby quilt, but in boy colors.

And then, since I wanted to enter my elephant string in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, I made this guy so I could show the process.
Just like with the elephant, I kept the quilting simple, he has bubbles coming up from his nose and sea grass all around the bottom half of him, I just couldn't get a good picture.

I'm really trying to get some holiday things made, but I still have two more requested quilts to make. Oh well, May's a nice month for holiday sewing.

I hope you'll jump over to Cat Patches and join in the FO linky party. While you're there please show Barbara some love, her husband is in the hospital and it's been a pretty stressful time for all of them.

Later gators, but GO 'NOLES!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival


I hope you're ready to spend a lot of time cruising blogs since the Blogger's Quilt Festival kicks off today and runs through Nov. 8th. It's always fun to see so many bloggers come together and share their creations and the inspiration is overflowing. A huge THANK YOU to Amy of AmysCreativeSide, who has been putting this together for years, I can't even imagine how much work goes into it. 

A funny thing happened on my way to the last festival, I got sidetracked by this guy and never made it.

I did use him for a string challenge, but I feel it's right that he finally makes it to this show.

I became obsessed interested in making him after seeing a watercolor painting which just screamed quilt to me. 
I've had a lot of questions about him so here's how he came about. While I was making him I never even thought of taking pictures, but I'm working on the next one and didn't completely lose my mind with it, so I have pictures of that one, I'm pretty sure you'll know what the next animal is.

I started with a quick outline sketch of what I wanted, nothing fancy, just size and most important the curves for his trunk.

Heres the new one, can you tell what it's going to be? I laid my strips down on the outline for color placement, size and checking those curves.

Sewing the curves is the most important part, but easy

Once he was all sewn together, I made his tusks, then drew the pattern on WonderUnder, trimmed him down and appliqued him to the backing. 

I kept the quilting very simple, remembering an elephant I loved at the zoo when I was a child, who would spray water at people as they walked by. 

He was great fun to make and I'm so happy he finally made it to the festival. I hope you like him.

Finished size is 29 1/2" X 22"
Category: Wall Hanging

I hope you enjoy the festival and join in. Again Thanks to Amy for putting this all together.

Later gators,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

You're A Quilter? Prove It!

Snoodles over at Lily Pad Quilting has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged us to prove we're quilters, is there enough evidence in our homes to convict us of being quilters? 

Some days my entire house is a sweatshop, cutting in the living room, sewing in the den, ironing in the kitchen and quilt blocks laid out on the bed, that's how I get my exercise :)


But I can't show you that because it would mean a whole day of cleaning before I could take pictures.
I can show you the wall hangings all through the house, they change by season or holiday, these are all the summer ones. 
Front Door



I see other people showing beautiful pictures of quilts on all of the beds in their homes, I don't have any because of games like this:
The rules are very much like queen of the hill.
Have you ever wondered why I call them "the terrible twins"?

So I pulled together a bunch of the quilts I still have here and made a collage quilt on my bed

Will that do? Am I a convicted quilter?

Please visit Lily Pad Quilting where the "Go To Jail" linky party is going on and see how others are proving they would be convicted of quilting, it's fun and of course when you get a lot of quilters together, there's lots of inspiration. Have fun.

Later Gators,

Monday, September 30, 2013

New FO for September


I don't know what's happened to time but somehow a month has turned into about two weeks and Sept. only lasted one week, I wish someone would look into this, does anyone know Stephen Hawking personally? Really, thank goodness Barbara has these FO link ups or I'd probably think it's still March.

At least in that week that was Sept. I did get a few quilts made

I love the way the back looks on this one, I dyed the fabric so there were slight color changes, but kept it plain so the stitching would show. 

After spending so much time on that one I grabbed some fat quarters I've had for awhile and made this
The fabric is Tree Huggers and it's just adorable. 

I was asked to make a camo baby quilt and now know more than I want to about camo. The woman wanted more of a hunter camo which has a lot more color. I ran to JoAnn's hoping to pick something up there but no luck. So ordered what I needed online. I'm happy about that now, take that JoAnn :)

While waiting for the fabric to arrive I made this:
I love elephants!
And this
Not real thrilled with this, but I had the rick rack.

And I still had a day to wait for the fabric, so I made this:

Now, I'm cutting and sewing hundreds of these
I'm thinking of it as a fall quilt even though this is the camo. Not my usual colors, but I think it will be nice when I'm done and I've never made a fall quilt. 

I hope you'll join in the fun over at Cat Patches, this is an easy, no pressure link up, all you need is to start something, no finishes required. If you haven't seen the pictures from Barbara's trip, do yourself a favor and look through the last blog posts she's done, the trip was an adventure and her pictures are awesome. 

I want to thank everyone for their input on JoAnns, I feel like I'm the last to know. It still seems like a funny way to run a company and I still think a "we're sorry, can you pick up a roll of the batting that we'll send to the store" would have been a better answer than we do what we want, but hey...if I ran the world :)

Later gators,

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Question for You About Joanns

Blog posts need pictures so I'm throwing in random baby pictures of the terrible twins, they have nothing to do with what I'm saying, but they are cute :)

A while ago, probably the end of last year, I stumbled upon a roll of batting at Joann's, it was Pellon Nature's Touch and since someone had put a bug in my ear about buying batting by the roll, I bought it and fell in love. I really can't say enough about this batting, it's soft and drapes beautifully, even when I overly quilt something and my free motion quilting really stands out, it's just wonderful stuff. 

When it ran out I couldn't find it by the roll anywhere so I bought a roll of Warm and Natural, but I want the Pellon back, so how wonderful to see that Joann's had it for a Daily Deal, Saturday only. I even contacted their customer service to make sure it would really be in the store, they said yes and I changed my plans for Saturday.

The store opened at 9, I was there at 9:04 and of course you know where I'm going with this, they didn't have it :(

When I got home I emailed them and it started out O.K., but by the third email I think I may have said "bait and switch" which led to them talking about their fine print, which basically says "we can put anything we want on sale, but we don't actually have to have it". 

So here's a question for you, is this the way Joann's has always been? I don't normally run all the way up there for a specific sale, it's about an hour each way. I do know I've been up there and planned on buying something on sale like blades for my cutter and they don't have them, but I just figured they had sold out. This was a one day only sale and they just didn't even bother putting it in the store. Normal for them? I think I'll still cut the coupons, but not pay attention to the sales from not on. They are all I have for supplies other than WalMart, so I can't write them off entirely. I'd like to hear if you've had this experience. 

Meanwhile, I highly recommend trying the Pellon Nature's Touch, I don't recommend Joann's and really stay clear of their customer service. 

The morning wasn't entirely wasted, I stopped and bought the Terrible Twins favorite treats, which I can only get in Miami. 

Later gators,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Story of Henry

This story begins on Monday, Labor Day
I'm not a big Facebook person, I do skim through it every morning mostly looking at fabric sales :)
Monday morning I see this

What you don't see in this picture is that he's heartworm positive and due to be put down on Tuesday. This was posted by a local rescue group, Marrvelous Pet Rescue.
Something about his eyes really got to me, he reminds me of my Brady Bug when I first saw him, sad and sick, needing someone to care. 

Normally when these pleas show up someone jumps in and says they'll adopt him or at least foster him. I checked back constantly and no one was jumping in. I started talking to all of the dog lovers I know and called my daughter, Cori in Ft. Lauderdale, telling her she had to repost this on her facebook.

On Tuesday, Henry is still on the shelters webpage and now I'm obsessively checking both pages, still talking to anyone I can think of and still no takers. David and I had a long talk, taking another dog in would be really hard, our Maya is terrified of just about everything especially other animals, she considers Brady as hers that's the only reason she accepts him. We lived for a while with two dogs that fought and it's an impossible situation. The night ended with me in tears saying "someone needs to save this dog".

Wednesday morning nothing has changed, but he's still there. I get a phone call from Cori that goes like this:
"Don't you ever *%*# call me about a **%$#* rescue dog again."
She's in the same situation with two rescues, she's going to school and working two jobs and one of her dogs is just like Maya. She hadn't slept and first thing she called the place that had Henry. To top off all of the other problems, Henry has conjunctivitis, which is very contagious to other dogs, bringing him into either of our homes is off the table. 
I called Marrvelous rescue and update them on the situation, the woman I'm talking to, Kat, is crying but says she'll call me back. The result of that call back is, if we can get Henry here to the Keys, Marrvelous will board him with the best Vet in town, he'll get the medical help he needs while we all continue the search for a home. 

Cori, who is working on her dissertation, or trying to, drops everything and a few hours later Henry arrives in Key Largo.

He's malnourished, covered in ticks, his ear is ripped, his eyes are gunky and of course he has heartworm. He's absolutely beautiful and he's been saved.

To me a Hero is someone who steps out of their comfort zone to do the right thing because it needs to be done, right a wrong and make the world just a little bit better. Cori is my Hero and I think Henry thinks so too. The people at Marrvelous really stepped up and this beautiful dog gets a second chance. 
He has a long road ahead, I'll be going to see him often, taking him for walks and socializing him. He's a wonderful calm and sweet guy, I don't think we'll have problems finding him a home, so far everyone who has met him, loves him. Just think what he'll be like when he's healthy. :)

Thanks for reading Henry's story.