Sunday, December 18, 2011

Blog Hop Party Winner!

The number chosen:

The 38th person to comment was Michele Hester, who said, "Thank you for joining in the blog hop party - this is fun!" Congratulations, Michele! I sent Michele an email. If I don't hear from her within the next 48 hours, I will choose another winner.

I appreciate every wonderful quilter who stopped by. I hope everyone enjoyed the Blog Hop Party! I know I did.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Blog Hop Party with a Giveaway!

Hi! Welcome to one stop on the Blog Hop Party! Blog Hops are always fun. My prize is an on-demand-printed copy of Kathleen Tracy's book "American Doll Quilts," a charm pack of Kansas Troubles Quilters "Warm Memories," and 1/2 yard of brick-toned fabric. If you so desire, the charm pack and the yardage (backing and binding) could be used to complete one of Kathleen's charming doll quilts. Kathleen's "American Doll Quilts," her first book, is out of print. I think the delicate prints in Kansas Troubles Quilters "Warm Memories" collection would make a lovely little quilt. So fun!

Just leave any comment, and you'll be entered to win. My giveaway is open to everyone!

Giveaway will end on December 17, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. CST. I will email the winner.

Have fun blog hopping!

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Quilt Lover's Heart

For quite a while, I've been meaning to feature a post about the beautiful quilt lover's heart necklace I was so fortunate to win. Some months ago, I promised the talented silversmith, David McNutt, of The Lover's Heart Collection, that I would. I certainly didn't intend for so much time to pass before doing so. Had I felt better, I would have kept my promise.

I wear my beautiful necklace nearly every day. I have received numerous compliments from people who have admired the necklace.

I snapped this photo of my necklace against a quilt my neighbor's late mother made many years ago.

The quilt lover's heart is only one example of David's jewelry designs. He also creates custom designs. The jewelry arrives in a beautiful, flocked presentation box. Great to give as gifts.

Please visit David's web site and view his lovely designs. The craftsmanship on these amazing pieces is superb. You won't be disappointed!

Don't forget to visit my blog Saturday, December 10, 2011. I am participating in the Blog Hop Party (see the link on my sidebar). My giveaway features a wonderful book with patterns for doll quilts. Fabric will be included! Everyone is welcome to comment because I will ship the prize anywhere in the world.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Gone to Pieces

Last month, I attended the 7th biannual Quiltfest sponsored by the Hot Springs Area Quilt Guild. Two hundred amazing quilts were on display. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Blue Birds for Conway by Reta Lawrence of Hot Springs

Seasons by Nell Osbahr of Hot Springs

Blossom Wreath by Laurel Oliver of Hot Springs Village

Heart and Home by By Nola Abraham of Hot Springs Village

Le Jardin (Anne Sutton) by Lou Ann Buell of Hot Springs Village

Yankees in Atlanta by Shannon Young of Benton

Stars and Shadows by Geannine Ott of Jacksonville

The Blue Collection by Mary Jo Kurten of Hot Springs Village

Blooming Hearts by Doris Oliver of Hot Springs Village

Good Morning Chicks by Wilma Blair of Hot Springs

Welcome to my Migraine by Shannon Young of Benton

Civil War by Nancy Philpot of Mena

Night Bloom by Eddie Landreth of Benton

Favorite Things by Geannine Ott of Jacksonville

Pineapple Smoothie by Connie Partain of Hot Springs

Pineapple Smoothie is my very favorite! I am usually drawn to reproduction fabrics related to Civil War quilts and 1930s reproduction prints, but this quilt is stunning!

Twenty-four vendors set up shop at the quilt show. I enjoyed browsing and shopping. I bought Anne Sutton's Le Jardin pattern set and two wool applique kits. I also entered to win a Bernina model 215 from Hickory Hill Quilts and Sewing Center of Hot Springs Village. I was elated when I later received a call from the shop telling me that I won!

This is me and Norma McKinnon, owner of Hickory Hill Quilts and Sewing Center. When she processed the transaction, she said, "I will ring up the machine at a 100% discount." Can't beat that deal!

I love this machine. I had admired it at the show and even attempted to pick it up by its handle to check its weight. I let go of the handle when I realized I shouldn't be lifting the machine off its display, but a representative of the shop lifted it for me and told me it weighed about 16 pounds -- perfect for classes. Later that evening, I told my husband about the machine. He recalled that my eyes sparkled when I described it to him. I still can't believe I won this wonderful Bernina sewing machine!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Quilting Southpaw's Thoughts: 5000+

A Quilting Southpaw's Thoughts: 5000+: Sonia is celebrating 5,000 blog page views! Hurray!

In her header, Sonia states, "Who knows where this will lead? Maybe thoughts of inspiration, challenges, projects, days of time past, and a recipe or two thrown in from time to time. This is a journey I'm on to learn new things and to share with others as I go."

Sonia is offering followers a choice of two wonderful giveaway prizes! One celebrates Christmas in July, and the other includes a floral print fat quarter! Head on over to Sonia's blog and take a look at the great items she's chosen for a lucky winner!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Stray Stitches: My Birthday Celebration Giveaway!

Stray Stitches: Linda's Birthday Celebration Giveaway!: Linda is giving away 8 one half yard cuts of a fabric line called Jasmine by Pamela Mostek for Clothworks. That's 4 yards of beautiful, coordinated fabric!! Linda bought this fabric a few years back and it's just been sitting on a shelf. Head on over to Stray Stitches for your chance to win!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Anne Sutton's "Bitty Bird" Pincushion

On Tuesday, I attended another pincushion class at Pinwheel Fabrics. Gwen Rogers, who'd earlier led two classes to make the "Bitty Bunny," again instructed a fun group of women in this class. "Bitty Bird" is another adorable creation from Bunny Hill Designs.

My fellow classmates and I certainly benefited from Gwen's prep work. She again foraged for wool at thrift stores. Not only that, Gwen also dyed the wool in custom colors, and she added subtle shading to some of the pieces. All fabric, trim, and embellishments were ready for each of the five students when class began.

I chose blue wool for my bird, as did the others. Gwen also offered pink wool. I will likely make another version in pink. Anne Sutton's pattern booklet pictures a pink "Bitty Bird," and it's adorable. I later added my own vintage lace around the tuffet upon which the bird rests.

Again, Gwen suggested copying pattern pieces onto freezer paper. We ironed the pieces slick-side-down onto the wool to make cutting easier. To stiffen the bird's tail, Gwen suggested using Timtex or "Steam-a-Seam." We used the latter with great results.

The pattern pieces Anne designs are perfectly shaped, so success with the finished creation isn't difficult to achieve. The critical seam was the gusset-like piece that forms the bird's breast and underside. Students were instructed to clearly transfer marks from the pattern to aid in proper construction. Gwen suggested using tailor tacks, and I agree that it's the best method. I marked mine with chalk, but my markings quickly disappeared.

I highly recommend Anne Sutton's "Bitty Bird" pincushion pattern! A fun project you'll love making and enjoying! A pincushion also makes a great gift for the crafty person in your life.

Update on the Traveling Stash! Debra contacted me via email and wrote that she'd be hosting the Traveling Stash Box giveaway on her blog for winner Jen W. A link to the giveaway will appear on Quilty Giveaways soon! Hurray!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Traveling Stash Box Winner is #5!

Mary Lou Casada who said, "What a fun way to de-stash AND feel the rush of something new to you! LOVE it! Count me in!"

Congratulations, Mary Lou! I've sent you an email! Thanks to everyone who entered!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Fashionetta Quilt, designed by Evy Hawkins

Last April, I attended a "For the Love of Sewing" event in Rogers. Evy Hawkins, artist extraordinaire, demonstrated a technique, using her own designs, that allows quilt blocks to be appliqued, pieced, and quilted in the hoop. One set of Evy's designs, the Fashionetta Quilt, features images of twelve darling clothing ensembles. Each of the twelve relates to particular seasons and holidays throughout the year.

When I saw Evy's lovely version of her Fashionetta Quilt on display, I knew I'd have to make one for my daughter. My daughter, Laura, has always held an interest in fashion and even earned a degree in apparel studies at the University of Arkansas.

Although there are numerous steps to the process of creating and completely finishing these blocks in the hoop, it's a fun and creative process. I most enjoy choosing fabrics for each ensemble. For the swimsuit and cover-up skirt, which is June's block, I used remnants cut from a tangerine-colored bridesmaid's dress.

Last summer, just a day before my daughter's best friend's wedding, I was asked to "hem" the dress of a bridesmaid who lived out of state. This bridesmaid's dress didn't even come close to fitting in the bodice, so I unpicked thousands of stitches and reworked the bodice in addition to altering the hem. The flowing skirt was constructed of three layers ranging from poly satin to sheer organza. I altered the dress from floor-length to knee-length. What a job! For April's lime linen suit, I used the sleeves I'd cut from my neighbor's blouse when I shortened the sleeves.

I did find it difficult to maneuver my applique scissors below the lip of the hoop in order to trim away excess fabric from the appliques. Recently, I purchased Gingher's double-curved machine embroidery scissors. These scissors make trimming so much easier. No more wrist pain! Their razor-sharp, pointed tip also makes cleaner cuts, allowing the satin stitching to completely cover raw edges.

To assemble the quilt, the appliqued and filler blocks are to be attached with straight-of-grain fabric strips. I will admit that I presented the blocks I've completed so far to my daughter at her bridal shower last August. My daughter married in October. Laura has asked me more than once when I will finish her quilt! I truly hope to have the quilt completed by the end of this month. Wish me luck!

Gingher's six-inch Double-Curved Machine Embroidery Scissors

Anne, procrastinator extraordinaire

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stray Stitches: 200th Post Celebration Giveaway

Stray Stitches: 200th Post Celebration Giveaway: "A blog is a message in a bottle, both in purpose and likely readership. ~Robert Brault Linda, at Stray Stitches, is celebrating her 200th post! I urge you all, my dear reader, also known as my sweet, supportive mother-in-law, to visit Linda's blog today! Linda, a talented writer, offers thought-provoking messages, witty observations, and need-to-know news about what's going on in blogland. She shares thoughts for the day and presents clear photos of her beautiful projects in progress. She even gathers information about various blog giveaways and lists the details of each one at the end of her posts! Only a few days left to enter Stray Stitches' own giveaway! The prize is a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop! (Linda's giveaway will end Monday, April 11, at 8:00 pm PST, and she will announce the lucky winner on Tuesday, April 12!)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Giveaway: The Amazing Traveling Stash Box

I won the "Traveling Stash Box" from Kelly at Cotton Charm Quilts/Charming Chatter. Thanks so much Kelly!

Here's how it works: I won the box from Kelly, and she mailed the box to me. It weighed a ton and was packed with goodies galore! I took the things I wanted, and I added some back! Like Kelly, and the five previous bloggers, I'll draw a name to determine the next winner. Stash Box #1 will be mailed to that winner! That person will take what she wants, fill up the box, and choose another person to receive it in order to keep Stash Box #1 traveling. Included is a travel log to fill out in order to keep track of the box's journeys.

So far, the box originated at * the next stop was * then on to * next it traveled to * and then to Kelly at * Kelly split the growing stash into two boxes, and box #1 came to me. Yippee!
Box #2 headed to

From Kelly's house, the box came filled with all of these goodies! I found some glorious goodies I wanted. I couldn't believe my eyes when I found the gorgeous cross stitched Asian design in the very bottom of the box! I would love to know who cross stitched it. What a treasure. I intend to frame it and hang it in my dining room. Thank you to the generous person who added it! I love it. I also chose some wonderful charm squares, the honey bun, and some leftover quilt scraps. Though I have been obsessed with quilting for many years, I have only recently discerned the difference between fabrics from discount outlets and the premium quality of fabrics sold at quilt shops.

In addition to the many items left in the still almost-full box, I added three 1/2-yard cuts of fabrics from my local quilt shop, a big roll of scrappy strips, also from my local quilt shop, a pattern, a recent issue of McCall's Quilting magazine, Book 2 of American Quilts, seven fat quarters (from Quilt in a Day and Connecting Threads), two vintage quilt blocks acquired from an estate sale, a card wound full of ecru lace, a package of paper Solvy, and a pincushion (see photo below). I chose to keep the cute pincushion Kelly made, so I made another to travel on.

The pincushion is made from Moda's "Lily and Will" fabric line designed by Anne Sutton. As a matter of fact, the fabrics in this pincushion came directly from Anne Sutton's personal stash! On the day I learned I'd won the stash box, I also discovered that I'd won a "scrap bag" giveaway from Anne Sutton! The rabbit is a machine applique design and was created by the very talented Evy Hawkins.

If you'd like to win this traveling stash box and agree to take what you like, fill it up, and send it on, just post a comment. On Friday, April 8, 2011, at noon CST, I'll draw a winner at random and notify that person to anticipate the famous Traveling Stash Box #1! It is so much fun!

Keep on stitching,


Friday, March 25, 2011

Bitty Bunny Pincushion

A couple of weeks ago, I took a class at Pinwheel Fabrics and made Bunny Hill Designs' "Bitty Bunny" pincushion. When I saw an adorable version of the pincushion in the shop, I knew I had to make one! I signed up and held out hope that my attempt would actually resemble the adorable little rabbit posed on the counter, charmingly greeting patrons as they purchased much-needed layer cakes and jelly rolls.

The very talented Gwen Rogers taught the class, and five women attended. One student hailed from Vermont. She'd lived in Arkansas for a few years and had returned to visit a good friend. We worked steadily in order to complete our projects in three hours, but we also enjoyed getting to know each other and sharing ideas.

I learned a lot from taking the class. Gwen often sews creative projects, so she offered helpful hints along the way. I especially appreciated Gwen's suggestion to employ a hemostat, similar in design to a pair of scissors but fitted with a narrow clamp on its tip, in order to grab hold of the seam allowance when turning the diminutive body parts inside-out.

The hemostat was also useful for strategically placing bits of Polyfil in just the right places when we stuffed the bunny's body components. My husband found, at a sporting goods store, a $3-tool used by fly fisherman that is almost identical to a hemostat. I promptly added the tool to my cache of sewing notions.

The "Bitty Bunny" pincushion pattern includes full-size pattern pieces and detailed instructions. Gwen supplied pieces of wool, which she'd cut from clothing purchased at Goodwill. Students had a choice of milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or strawberry cream, and the wool pieces she'd cleaned and prepared matched those delicious-sounding colors.

Students traced off multiples of pattern pieces printed as "cut two or four" onto freezer paper and cut them out. That way, we were able to iron the clearly marked pattern copies onto our fabric. One student, a seasoned doll maker, suggested sewing the fabric pieces together without first removing the freezer paper. I, however, peeled away the freezer paper before seaming because Gwen had suggested reusing the pattern pieces traced from the original patterns we'd each purchased with our supplies and tuition.

The wool was easy to sew, and I used my Featherweight to construct my project. Gwen suggested taking a very small seam allowance, so my finished bunny is likely larger than the pattern specifies. Students had available jars of beads, yards of vintage trim, and other decorative bits, so we could embellish our bunnies. Gwen had even made tiny corsages for each of us to affix to our bunny's neckband. It was exciting to watch each bunny take shape and acquire personalities.

Anne Sutton, of Bunny Hill Designs, created the pattern. Visit her blog Bunny Tales soon because visitors who leave a comment have an opportunity win fabulous scrap bags! Hurry, because Anne will draw winners early Monday, March 28.

I am proud of my completed pincushion!


Monday, February 28, 2011

Five-dollar Quilt Blocks

A local quilt shop sponsors a BOM project that costs only five dollars to purchase the supply kit to create the first block. If participants return on either of two appointed days each month and attend a brief presentation, a kit with fabrics and instructions are provided for no additional fee. At the end of the year, participants could construct twelve blocks for only five dollars!

So far, I have completed blocks for January and February. March's block is ready to be stitched on my Featherweight. The quilt shop also offers one-yard rolls of coordinating fabric strips to facilitate completion of the quilt. Those rolls are priced at less than ten dollars.

What fun it has been to meet monthly with a group of eager quilters as we anticipate a brief presentation about new trends and products before being given the kit to make the next month's block. Quilters are indeed the most pleasant people in the world!

Happy quilting!