Friday, June 27, 2008

2007 Blogger Siggie Quilt Done

In February 2007 I participated in a Blogger Siggie Block Swap. One day last summer I sewed the blocks together. Last night, I finally quilted it and this morning finished sewing down the binding and label. Woohoo! This is the first project larger than pieces for a tote bag that I machine quilted. There will be no closeups of the quilting as it isn't the best. I have to start somewhere, right? I started with this quilt.

Here is the list of bloggers who participated and their blogs. Not everyone wrote their blog address on their blocks. If you happen to know any of the missing blogs, please let me know.

Starting in the Top Row 1 (L - R)
Row 2 (L - R)
Row 3 (L - R)
Row 4 (L - R)

Row 5 (L - R)
Row 6 (L - R)
Yesterday I finished all my swap deadlines that were due before my vacation. Now when I get back I only have swap left to finish.

I will be blogging while on vacation. I can't leave home without my computer and camera, can I?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mail Goodies

Yesterday was a great mail day for me. First my vintage apron from Confessions of an Apron Queen arrived. It's a half apron with a pocket trimmed in red. Last week I ordered three patterns from By Annie and they arrived too. Finally, Simply Libby and I had placed a bet on the Celtics/Lakers series and the Celtics won. Libby sent me a box of California goodies: Chocolate San Diego Pebbles, Strawberry Candy Sticks, a Bareroots pattern complete with everything to make the project, a chicken pincushion she made, and a Mickey Mouse coffee mug with Disney coffee. The coffee was delicious this morning. I'm still nibbling on the chocolates. Thank you, Libby for being a good sport.
Kim and I have bet on the Red Sox/Yankees season. Right now the Red Sox are leading the series 2-1. You better pay attention Kim - they play each other over the July 4th. The Sox are looking good. The Yankees are so-so.

Last night I finished my third Hatched and Patched block. I am really enjoying these small blocks. I think I'm going to make the quilt that is in the book with them later this Summer.
I actually spent time sewing in my studio today. I managed to cross off a couple items on my pre-vacation to do list. Hooray!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Morning

I finished one more Cyber Stitching block yesterday. I also started a third one. I wish I would have more time to stitch, but sometimes life happens. Late yesterday morning DS called and asked if we wanted to play a round of mini golf with him and DIL. I couldn't say no. We teamed up girls against the guys. DIL and I scored 39 each. DH scored 54 and DS scored 55. Hurray for the girls! The guys had to buy lunch - subs from Quiznos! Yummy!
This week I need to focus on finishing some projects before we leave on vacation on Saturday. I have to finish my June BQL bag. I have pincushions to make for swaps and I have to get my postage stamp charms in the mail. I'm still putting together the prize packages for my contest and hope to get those out in the mail this week as well. It doesn't sound like a lot, but when I add in the house projects I need to finish I will be busy this week.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cyber Stitching Saturday

My Cyber Stitching Saturday didn't turn out as well as I had planned. First I slept in later than usual. Then I spent a couple hours cooking in the kitchen. I made blueberry breakfast bread, tuna salad and put a turkey breast in the crockpot. I knew DH was planning a trip to the big box hardware store with our handyman (HM) to pick up the items he needed to do projects for us while we are on the vacation. However, I didn't expect him to wait until noon to start planning the list when they were supposed to meet at one, nor did I expect him to think I was included in the trip.

I shouldn't complain too much though. When we got back to the house, the HM and I finalized the plans for my new pantry. After about an hour of discussion and drawing plans he realized he would have enough wood leftover to make something else out of it! My first thought - shelving for my studio! So now I get to design custom shelving for my studio. Hooray! Do you know how much fun it is to have a piece of wood that is 30 inches by 48 inches and you can decide how you want your shelves? It's like taking a piece of fabric and deciding how to cut it. Certainly appeals to my creative side!

Anyway, by the time DH, HM and I were done; lunch was eaten and I had picked up my meds at the store it was 3:30. I tried to take a short nap with no luck. At 4:30 I finally sat down to stitch. I managed to finish one of the 12 stitcheries last night. As soon as finish this post I'm going to start another while DH is still sleeping. He wants to paint the bathroom today as one of the tasks for the HM will be to install a cabinet, towel bars and toilet paper holder. I know I won't get a whole day if stitching in, but I'm going to stitch as much as possible.
Leanne at Leanne's House is having a giveaway of a beautiful sewing tin. She asked us about our sewing tins. I didn't show this tin in my recent contest so I can show it now. This tin is about 6 inches wide and 2.5 inches tall. At one time it did hold chocolate and it was yummy. I use it to hold items for my current stitchery project. It sits on the small bookcase next to the couch.
This is what it looks like when it's opened. I keep the threads for the project I'm working on, my needlecase, my Ricky Tims pincushion, scissors, thread heaven and needle threader in it. My 4 inch hoop fits in there as well.
It's time to start stitching. I would love to get at least one more stitchery done today, but hoping to get more than that done.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cyber Stitching Friday

Good morning from your local Starbucks!

I am not a huge fan of Starbucks. I may love my coffee, but I'd rather make it at home than buy it somewhere else. However, I have a doctor's appt. this morning and DH and I have date night tonight so I drove him to work and am sitting at Starbucks until my doctor's appt.

Yesterday while running errands I found this cute tin bucket for $1. I couldn't resist it. You know how much I love unique containers. This fits the bill. Anyway, it's perfect for temporarily holding my Cyber Stitching items until I have time to start stitching. Last night I traced all the patterns from Anni's book onto the fabric. When I get home later today I'll pull the threads, needles and scissors together so I'll be ready to start stitching. I hope to get some time in today stitching, but first I have to paint our pantry. Tonight DH and I are going out for dinner and then we are going to see Get Smart.
Here's a peek at my other new quilting endeavor. I've decided to take the plunge into embellishing my quilts with beads. I bought the book Beading on Fabric to guide me. It's a great book. Rather than spend lots and lots of money on many packages of beads I bought a package of mixed beads, a beading needle kit (came with needles, needle holder, finger pad and threader), beading thread and this small container. For around $13 I'll be able to test how well I like beading on fabric.
If you're Cyber Stitching this weekend, don't forget to post about it. I'll be sharing my progress once I get started. Otherwise, have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pins and Pincushions and Winners . . . Oh My!

Nicole at Sister's Choice Quilts wrote a post pins and sewing over them. She asked us what kind of pins and pincushions we use. Here is a small collection of pincushions I have accumulated from pincushion swaps. I bought the doll at a quilt show and I could use her as a pincushion, but she is too pretty to stick pins into.
These are my "working" pin dishes. The red heart on the left is a Fons & Porter magnetic pin dish and was a gift from a friend. It sits next to my sewing machine. It has an assortment of pins. My favorite pins are flat headed pins. The Sweet Pea dish was part of a Winter Solstice package I received. It sits on my cutting table and serves as a catch-all dish, but mainly holds pins.
This is a pin cushion I made for myself last weekend to use when I'm hand stitching. I made it using 2-inch squares of Ricky Tims fabric. I hand stitched the blocks together and then used hand-dyed purple/green embroidery floss and backstitched a wavy line around the sides. I think it's cool.
And now, without further ado, here are the winners of my 300th post Container Contest.
They are: Lynn at Blue Bird Quilts, Brenda at Pumpkin Patch Primitives, and Nancy at With Thread in Hand. I wish I could all of you a prize. Everyone has wonderful containers and all of us have had fun looking at them. Will the winners please send me their snail mail address. I will start putting your packages together and try to get them out in the mail next week before I go on vacation.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Final Entries and Another Give-Away

I had close to 100 entries of sewing room containers! Thanks again to everyone who participated. My bloglines subscription list has grown over the last few days. As soon as the baseball game is over I will print out all the names and get them ready for dear hubby to choose three winners. Good luck to everyone!

Here are the final entries for the Container Contest:

Lisa at Pincushion Points is having a 100 posts give-away. To enter you have to tell her what you're favorite sewing item is and why you like it. Here's my favorite:
OK, OK, I suppose you're wondering why I have a photo of me. Well, my favorite sewing tool is my brain. I'm not being egotistical here. I love the skills and gifts God gave me that allow me to play with fabric and needles and thread. If that answer doesn't work I would have to say my favorite tools are my quilting studio and friends who share quilting with me.

One last item before I end this post:
Hooray Celtics! They have kept me up late the last few weeks and it was worth it! With Tiger Woods out for the rest of the golf season all I have to watch is baseball until August 8 when the Patriots play the Ravens in their first pre-season game.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Containers and A New Giveaway

Bloggers are still showing their containers. Here are some more interesting containers for you to view. Remember you can post until midnight tonight (EST) to be entered into the contest. I will show the final entrants tomorrow and have DH draw the winners at dinner tomorrow night.
Now, through my contest, I have found a new contest. Becky at the Quilting Booklady is having a birthday give-away and has asked us to show our favorite books and show a quilt we have completed from it. Well, she didn't say we couldn't show a magazine, but that is what I am showing. My all-time favorite quilting magazine is the Stitchery issue of Australian Country Threads. This issue is published once or twice a year. It is the only publication (book or magazine) where I start a project within days of getting it. Sometimes, even hours after getting it. This is current issue and I have already bookmarked three projects I want to make from it.
Here is the first project I started. This will become a stitching roll for carrying projects when it's done.
Here is block I stitched from the first issue of the magazine I bought last year. It needs a border still and will hang on a wall in my studio.
Well, it's time to get my day going. I'm on the last load of laundry and then I can play some more with fabric and thread.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tidbits, Post #300 and Contest #6

Some tidbits . . .
Jackie at Canton Village Works is having a contest offering her quilting services for a quilt. Go check her blog out. You'll love her helper.

I received my Cyber Stitching package from Mrs. Martin on Saturday. If you're in the U.S., did you get your package? If we all got them then I suggest we start stitching Friday night and work through the weekend. After all, Australia is about 12 hours ahead of us, depending on what part of the country you're in.

DH and I have our airline tickets for vacation. We are flying to Vancouver, BC on Sunday, June 29th and will be there until July 5th. Then we are going to Whistler, BC until Wednesday, July 9th. We fly home on July 10th. Are there any bloggers out there who want to meet a blogger from New Hampshire?

Now, on to Post #300. Here is another storage container in my studio. This wire stand and bottles was purchased at Kitchen, etc. The bottles were filled with cinnamon sticks, cocoa, cinnamon sugar and something else that I can't remember. I used the cinnamon sticks and cinnamon sugar and then this sat on my bread box for the longest time. Finally I got tired of it just taking up space. I cleaned out the jars, removed the labels and put my slowly growing button collection into the jars. Can you think of anything that says "Coffee Time Quilt Studio" better than this?
Now on to more bloggers who are joining the contest:
Remember, you have until tomorrow night, Tuesday, to share your containers. Since I've shown six containers, you can show up to six containers and will get one entry for each container. There will be three winners and I think I know what I will be doing for the prize packages as long as you can wait until after my vacation for me to get them in the mail.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Contest Day #5

I'm up to post #299, one more to go and I'll be at #300. I want to thank everyone who has been showing their unique containers. It has been fun to see what others use to our tools and toys. Here's the latest bloggers to show their containers:
I still have one more post: #300 and one last storage item to show. I will probably write the post tomorrow. I will continue to collect entries through Tuesday night, June 17th. I will have DH do the drawing on Wednesday, June 18th.

Here is my next storage container. DH is in the lodging industry and frequently attends industry conferences. He always comes with tote bags filled with promotional gadgets and gizmos from various companies. When he gets home it's like a mini Christmas for me to dig through the stuff to see what he got. Often there's a small tin that's useful for storing small notions or a cool gadget that's excites me. But this container ranks as the #1 coolest item ever in my book. A hotel management company used this case to promote a new hotel they were opening. Notice the strap and key holes on the locks (yup, it does lock). The case is 13 inches x 10 inches and is 5.5 inches deep. It is sturdy and solid. The inside of the box had lots of padding and included nothing more than a photo book of the hotel. Pretty impressive marketing tool if you ask me.
So what do I keep inside? Right now it is holding several goodies I received from Australian quilters at Christmas time. There's fabric, buttons, sticheries, tote bag pattern, and candles. I'm trying to decide if I will use it for carrying a project with me when we go on vacation. I wonder if the case would make it through security?!?
I'm trying to get all my swap and challenge projects done before we go on vacation. I started working on my pincushion last night for Linda's Pincushion swap. I should have it finished this weekend. I'm still working on my June bag for BQL. My Summer Solstice package has been mailed. I have my postage stamps cut and ready to send in to the Swap Mom. My Cyber Stitching Package arrived from Mrs. Martin and I can't wait to work on the projects next weekend. The other two swaps/challenges I've signed up for aren't due until August but I may get them done before vacation.

Today is a big sports day in our house: Red Sox at 1 PM, Tiger Woods tees off at 4:30 PM, followed by the Celtics/Lakers game at 9 PM. I plan on doing some handwork all afternoon and evening while watching all these sports! It's cool and rainy here in NH. DH was supposed to go golfing today, but they were rained out. At some point I'll be making bacon-wrapped filets and corn on the cob for dinner.

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there. Remember to hug your dad today!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Contest Day #4

Are you ready for the weekend and Father's Day? I am!

Yesterday's entries into the Storage Container Contest:
There is still time to enter the contest! Come on, show me your storage containers. Here is my next unique container. This is a handmade basket my son bought me for Mother's Day three years ago. Notice the tape measure woven into the basket. Isn't that a great idea? Right now the basket holds odds and ends. I'm going to start using it to hold my stitchery projects and threads.
I hope you have good plans for the weekend. We will busy with graduation parties, Engaged Encounter meetings, Red Sox, Celtics and golf! I may even have time to work on a quilty project or two!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Contest Day #3

More bloggers have joined the contest! Yesterday's entries include: Brenda at Pumpkin Patch Primitives who uses a candle jar from her sister; Betsy at Quilting Fiesta shared another Vera Bradley box she uses, Pat at Bell Creek Quilts has two entries, one with a cigar box and one with a cookie tin; Nancy at With Thread in Hand has already posted her day #3 container - an adorable lime green lunch box! I'm jealous of these wonderful containers. Keep them coming!

Here is my third entry in unique storage containers. I bought these jars on one of Ikea excursions. I paid one dollar for each of them. The two jars on the right hold buttons. The jar on far left has some bookmarks in it. The jar next to it holds my binding clips. Don't the trees look gorgeous outside my studio window? I think so.

I hope to spend more time in the studio today. I'm falling behind on some projects I need to get done before we go on vacation at the end of the month!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mrs. Martin's Cyber Stitching and Day 2 of Contest

Here is another unique storage item I use for my quilting hobby. This tote bag began it's life as the first redwork stitchery I made in January 2007. The tote bag was made two months later on a whim. I collect coffee-themed fabric and I thought this would be a great way to showcase some of the fabric.

I use this bag for carrying stitchery projects with me. I keep one or two projects in there all the time so when I'm going somewhere all I need to do is grab the bag and go. It is a little too flimsy for me and I'm thinking of making another one that is stiffer. For now, this does the trick.

Two people have signed up for the Unique Container contest so far. Betsy at Quilting Fiesta shared her Very Bradley box for storing blocks.

Nancy at With Thread in Hand was disappointed because her computer died and she thought she couldn't join the contest. I told her if she could tell me about her container I would include her. I'm not that strict with the rules. Here is her email:

Yippee.......I have a little metal lunch box with Curious George that I use for my embroidery thread, scissors and such...; Right now I have all my thread for the Noah's Ark in it...; It is so cute!; It looks like a small picnic basket.... I will take a photo of it now and when I get my hard drive in the mail and get going I will post the photo....

Today is day #2 of the contest and this is post #296. You still have plenty of time to join in before I get to post 300. See the details of the contest below.

Mrs. Martin has mailed the Cyber Stitching kits early. Two people signed up with me to join us in the US Cyber Stitching Day that I don't have emails for: Mariequilts and mjjones. Can you contact me so we can set up our Cyber Stitching date?

The weather is much cooler here today. That's great because I'm ready to spend some time in my studio.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Contest and a Question

This is my 295th post! An occasion for a contest for post #300! And, here it is:

Show Me Your Unique Container or Storage Item

Here are the rules:
  1. On each post between now and post #300 I will post a photo of a unique container or storage item I use in my studio.
  2. If you want to enter the drawing, post a photo of a unique container or storage item you use in your sewing space. In your post please put a link back to my blog.
  3. Leave me a comment telling me you posted a photo of your container.
  4. You may enter once for every post I write between now and #300.
  5. I will have my DH draw three winners two days after post #300. Each winner will receive a unique container filled with some quilt goodies.
Here is my first container. You may remember I bought this octagon box when DH and I were shopping in Portland, ME. It was sold as a box for paper coffee filters. I may be a coffee drinker, but I use a gold coffee filter and not paper.
The box has been designated the Postage Stamp Charm box. I've decided to collect 1.5 inch squares for a postage stamp quilt. This box works perfectly for storing the charms.

Now for my question of the day. I finished hand piecing this Christmas table topper last night. This is my oldest UFO, started in December 2004. I don't know if it needs another border. I'm thinking a red TOT Christmas print might make a good border. What do you think? Should I leave it as it is or add a border?
Don't forget to show me your container! I'm off to run errands today. Without AC in the whole house and one more day of 95 degrees I thought running in and out of AC would be a good idea today.

Monday, June 09, 2008

A Quick Project

Over the weekend and today I started and finished a quick project. I used three of the Valori Well's FQs I won a few weeks ago. Nancy, I don't think I'm going to enter this one into the Challenge. I have another idea for the rest of the FQs.

I used the Bouquet Pincushion Bags pattern by Debbie Beaves for Connecting Threads. It was a free download, but they don't have it posted any longer. Here is the bag closed and sitting pretty.
Here is the bag open with the pincushion and the little needlebook displayed.
The pattern went together quickly and I think Valori's fabrics look great used this way.

I cleaned out one of my sewing baskets and found a hand pieced Christmas table runner that I started way back in December 2004. The top was nearly pieced so I decided to finish it last night. I should have it all pieced later tonight.

I hope everyone is staying cool where it's hot and warm where it's cold!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Postage Stamp Charm Swap

It's hot here in NH today! According to the Weather channel, it's a roastin', toastin' 93 degrees and it feels like it! The heat reminds of the one item I miss the most in our new home: central air conditioning! We bought an AC for our bedroom which is nice for sleeping. We bought a stand up fan for the living room and that helps. If we get desperate all we have to do is go downstairs. It's very cool down there. I don't know how much that will change once we refinish it.

My studio is on the top floor and today it was too hot to work in there without the fan. DH came home from his guys night so I had to give up the fan for now. I do have some handwork to do while watching the Red Sox game with him if my cold doesn't put me to sleep first. I did see an AC on sale at Target for $79. It looks like it would work well in the studio and I may go get it this week.

Have you ever thought about making a postage stamp quilt? Are you collecting 1.5 inch squares? If so, you can sign up for a postage stamp swap. We are swapping 1.5 inch squares. If you'd like to sign up, please let me know and I will send you the email for the hostess: Jo in Scotland. Here are the guidelines:
1. Please select 50 different fabrics from your stash of yardage. It would be best if the fabric is washed and ironed, but at this size, shrinkage probably won’t be an issue.
2. After evening up the edges, cut a 1 1/2 inch strip from each fabric.
3. After you have 50 of these strips, cut the strips into 1 1/2 inch squares. It is fairly easy to get at least 25 1 1/2 squares from each 1 1/2 width-of-fabric strip.
4. Stack the squares into piles of 50 different fabrics. You should have 25 piles.
5. Thread a needle with a contrasting thread such as red or black. “Sew” down through the pile so the thread goes through each fabric. Either tie a knot on each end of the pile of charms, or tie it together so it forms a loop through the fabric.
6. Place all 25 piles into a plastic Ziploc bag or similar.
7. Place bag inside an envelope addressed to Jo, and post.
8. Please aim to have your envelope in the post to Jo July 1st, 2008.
9. She will have the charms in the post back to you by July 15th, unless we are waiting on some late swapper who has contacted her and made arrangements with the group.
10. In order to help with postage costs, please place either 3 American dollars in with your package, or put in 10 extra 1 1/2 strips of fabric. She can use either! If you live in Europe, please include 2 Euros with your package, or put 7 extra 1 1/2 strips of fabric in the parcel.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

In The Pink

Natalie at Cinderberry Stitches is doing five days of color. Today's color is pink. I don't have a lot of pink in my house, unless you count corals and rose as pinks. Then a lot of my clothes are in the pink range. Here are some photos of pink quilts made by me or my DIL.

This is a close up of the quilting on my Pink Finity quilt. This quilt was made with Moda pink FQs in 2006.
Here's a photo of the completed quilt. This quilt lives on the loveseat in my living room.
My DIL made this quilt for the youngest niece when she was born. It also uses some of the Moda Pink fqs I used for Pink Finity.
And, just in case you were wondering how many quilts I can make with those Moda Pink FQs, here's another quick quilt I made this spring. I still have enough pinks leftover for another small quilt the next time I get in the pink mode.
And last, but not least, here's a photo of my in my jammies. This photo was taken in our old condo. I didn't have a pink coffee cup then, but I do now!

Friday, June 06, 2008

I Started A New Blog Today

I started a new blog today - Coffee Time At Home. This blog will be about my life as a stay-at-home wife. Won't you stop by for a visit? It's small and undecorated now, but it will be growing.

I look forward to seeing you there!