Monday, October 29, 2012

And the Traveling Stash Box Goes To......

Oh my goodness - it was so hard to choose a winner to receive this Traveling Stash Box.  So I just closed my eyes and picked one.

Drum roll please..... I'm glad to announce that the Stash Box goes to Denise :) of Count it *all* JOY!.

The box is winging it's way to her doorstep as I type.  In my hurry to get it in the mail, I forgot to take a photo, but trust me, it was stuffed full!  I had to put it all in a new box - the old one had seen better days.

If you didn't get picked for this box, be sure to visit Sewingly Along to see the other Stash Boxes that you can try to win.  And don't forget to check back on Denise's blog as she'll be posting her box soon.

So, what is a blog without a photo?  Here's a very random one to share.  It's my quilting doodles and my notes from Angela Walter's free motion quilting class on quilting negative space that you can get on Craftsy. Random, right?


Stay safe, all you East Coast Quilters!

Barb

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Christmas is just around the corner

I'm awfully glad the weather is changing. It just gives me more time indoors to sew!  I am getting ready to have a booth at one of our local Christmas craft shows - The Papoose Club Christmas Bazaar - and so I am frantically trying to get enough things made to actually make it look like a store front! Yikes - it's Dec. 1-2, which is only about a month away.

This is one of my favorite Christmas shows, and I make it a point to go (as a customer) every year. I love giving hand-made, one-of-a-kind gifts, and craft shows and bazaars are the perfect venue to find quality products.

The problem with this show, is that I always look for decorative Christmas items, and there are practically none there! So the point of my booth is, that in addition to my quilts and table runners, I want to offer some festive Christmas decorations and gifts.

Here is what I have been working on this week:
Festive Christmas Stocking



This is a great fabric by Benetrex called Winterscapes  and the cuff is dotted Minky, which actually looks like snow!  I've lined the stockings with a coordinating fabric of the same colors with a white background, but it's actually a Kaufman Christmas fabric.

Here's a photo of another stocking I'm working on. It's from Happy Christmas from Fabric Freedom, a fabric company based out of London, England.  It's very pretty with some gold glitter which doesn't show up too well in the photo. Makes a very classy stocking!
Work in progress - classy Christmas Stocking


And then I've had fun making a series of little mug rugs. They are from the Moda Christmas line called Sentiments by 3 Sisters.  I think they'd make the perfect item to include in a basket of cookies for your best friend, teacher, or hostess gift.


These Mug Rugs are like Victorian Christmas Cards!


With the snow we've had this week, thinking about Christmas, and working on Christmas projects, has been very easy. I'm just not ready to be listening to Christmas music, though!

So, inquiring minds want to know....do you still hang a stocking for yourself and significant other?  And if so, is it a stocking from your childhood, or have you progressed to a newer version of Christmas stockings?

And I almost forgot! I'm having a Give-Away next week. Looks like my one-year blogging anniversary is coming up, so I think we should celebrate!

Barb

Linking up to Sew Many Ways' Sew Darn Crafty Linky Party


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thanksgiving - Vote for me!

Good morning (I always do my best computer work in the mornings)!

I'd like to try something here.  I am part of a team on Etsy - Quilts Quilts Quilts. We are having a little fun competition. The entry with the most votes gets to have one-month free advertising on the Etsy Shop Owners Flea Market.



I'd love it if you took a look at all the great hand-made items and vote for the one you think best fits the theme "Thanksgiving."  Mine is item #7 - it's a great table runner made from non-traditional colors including purple. The focal fabric has great words, like Giving, Bounty, Harvest, Celebration, Love, Family - you get the idea. Great stuff!  You can vote here.

Of course, I'd love it if you voted for me, but do vote for the item you think best fits this month's theme of Thanksgiving.  Votes must be cast by Wednesday, I believe.  Thanks, and have fun!

For more views of this great table runner, check it out at Mountain Quiltworks on Etsy.

Barb

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Traveling Stash Box....Are You Next?

Last week I ran across some posts in Blogland about a Traveling Stash Box. Now how intriguing is that? Well, it caught my attention. So I signed up to hopefully be drawn as a recipient of this traveling stash (it so reminds me of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants).

Wouldn't you know it? Ellyn from over at Ellyn's Place picked me! I received the box quickly, and here's a little peek at what was inside:

I opened the stuffed box and things just started popping out. BAZINGA!  It's like being a kid in a candy shop, getting to pick something special out just for yourself.

Here is what I chose:
Two cute little holiday patterns of Santa and a snowman, the green fat quarters which match some fabric I have my own stash, a cute, bright pattern, the red and black coffee/tea pot fabric, and another quilt pattern. Score!

The rules of the Traveling Stash Box are simple:  Receive the box, take things out that you like and can use, replace those things with like kind and quantity, blog about it, pick a winner, pass it on!

Traveling Stash Box Updates  

Here is what I am replacing as my contribution to the Traveling Stash Box:

Since I was sewing on Christmas projects yesterday, I'm sharing some of my Christmas with the Stash Box, along with a place mat pattern and a cute wall hanging pattern. Plus, I'm adding a couple of extra 'secrets' which I won't show right now.

Would you like to be the next recipient of the Traveling Stash Box?  You must be an active blogger, blog about the box soon after you receive it, choose a winner, and pass it on. Full instructions are included with the box.

In order to be considered for the treasure trove of goodies, just leave a comment below. Let me know what quilting projects you are working on and hope to complete before Christmas! I will pick a winner Sunday night so I can get the box in the mail on Monday, so don't delay!

Check out the other Traveling Stash Boxes for more chances to win, and to get acquainted with other great blogs at:   Traveling Stash

So, let me ask again. Are you next?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

When You Least Expect It

This little quilt turned out to be cute as a button!  Wow - where did that saying come from?  I guess it's been quietly waiting in the recesses of my mind all these years, waiting for just the right time to use it. The right time is now, because it was just adorable and really, as cute as a button.

  

There's no need for a tutorial on this quilt, it's awfully easy!  The point of my blog is all about for whom the quilt was made.

This little baby quilt was created from a printed panel. I simply added a brown sashing and then a border, so putting it together was a snap.  What took quite awhile, though, was machine stitching around every part of those cute little puppies, and all the patchwork blocks, and then stitching in the ditch.  This quilt is not going to fall apart, no matter how many times it will be washed!

 

The thing about this quilt that makes it special, though, is that it went to a young family who needed a lift.  She had a difficult pregnancy, and at one point they thought they might lose the baby. Needless to say, their medical bills were enormous after all the hospital stays.  Not a good way to start out with your first child.

When their son was born strong and healthy, it was cause for celebration!  The back of the quilt is brown Minky and the top is flannel, so it was soft and cuddly enough to treasure that precious baby boy.

This quilt is being entered in the 100 Quilts for Kids program that Katie over at Sew, Bike, Quilt! organized.  While it didn't go to an organized charity per se, it did go to a young family that needed a bit of help. They were struggling, and I hope that an anonymous gift brought a bit of unexpected joy for them!
 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Quilter McTavish Was In The House

I traveled 160 miles to Boise last weekend to take in an Heirloom Quilting Class put on by Karen McTavish, and to sit in on her Trunk Show. What an absolute delight!


 I signed up for the class knowing that I was over my head as far as my abilities as a long armer, but I was there to learn, right? Right.

Her fame as a skilled and talented long arm quilter precedes her wherever she goes and so I anticipated that I would be awed by her quilt work. But what I wasn't prepared for was her fabulous wit and character. Karen just might well be the Quilting World's Most Tattooed Quilter with a more colorful past than many, and she has the greatest way of telling her story so that you feel an instant connection. Look at the intensity in her expression in the photo below - she was definitely 'into' her story!



Anyway, I wanted to share a few of her pieces that she displayed at her Trunk Show.






In the early days of her quilting career, her local guild coined the term "McTavishing" for her style of quilting, and the term has stuck. Karen does a variety of dense feathering and fillers, trapunto, and whole cloth quilting that truly makes your heart stop when you look at it. Over exaggeration, sure. But definitely a show stopper!


In class we learned a variety of techniques and practices with cross hatching, curved cross hatching and stenciling.  I won't show you my practice piece - definitely not photo worthy yet.


Sigh. I have such an admiration for people who have such a talent with their craft. My goal isn't to do such intense quilting as this. However, I sure would love to practice and practice and become half as good as Karen.  One day . . . . .








Monday, October 1, 2012

No Place Like Autumn

 It's that time of year again - FALL! My absolute favorite. And this year, Mother Nature's drought is at least giving us an exceptionally grand fall here in Idaho.  The temperatures are warm in the day and cool at night - perfect!

The trees are changing color, and while these photos don't do the scenes justice, you can get the idea.


Our 12-year-old Cocker Spaniel loves all the smells of fall.


 I just couldn't resist posting a picture of my favorite daughter (I only have one daughter, so I'm allowed to say she's my fav!)





 Sunset on the Sawtooths. The fires in our mountains have given us some grand sunsets the past two months. Here we got a touch of rain.

Now what do these photos have to do with quilting? Everything! Fall is my busy work season, but it's also the season when my sewing room calls to me with so many projects!  I just got my sewing machine back from the repair shop, all tuned up and ready to go.  And I've taken an inspiring long arm quilting class from Karen McTavish.

So, with this change in season is a change in focus. And I am so, sew ready to stitch some little scraps of fabric together and quilt some great designs in them. What's on your To Do List for October?



Trailing of the Sheep Quilt

Trailing of the Sheep is a unique festival in our valley. It celebrates the cultural heritage of the Basque sheepherders who helped to tran...