Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Martin Luther King Day

I recently joined Paula Stoddard's Block Party and am anxiously awaiting my first set of patterns. I don't know why I did it, since I already have 300 bazillion patterns that I'll never get made--even if I live to be 250 years old, lol, but I did it. Her patterns are so cute, and all the extras you get for such a low price--I just couldn't resist! And besides, she's kind enough to give us the free Seasons Sew Along patterns and now she's added a wonderful redwork BOM called "Love Is", it's only fair that we give something back to her. (And that's how I'm justifying buying more patterns, so there!)
Block 1 of the new BOM is up and just waiting for you to stitch, so stop over and get it while you can.

I ALMOST have my first OPAM project finished--it's a baby quilt for a friend's first grandbaby. Top is all done, now just the quilting and then the binding, and I can post my first finish. I'm happy if I can get one complete project done a month, since I do a lot of block swaps that don't count for OPAM. I figure any push to make me actually complete something is worthwhile.

And now Katie is pushing me to get back to the sewing machine and finish up those blocks I'm running behind on. Boy, she can be so pushy sometimes! She makes me work--and look at her!

Until next time...
Happy Quilting from Sharon and Katie

Monday, January 11, 2010

Another new BOM....

from the very talented Sindy of Fat Cat Patterns, but ths one is a little different. She doing a row-by-row pattern for a gorgeous Christmas quilt. Isn't it wonderful? I have to do this one! She already has the first pattern up, but only til the end of the month. She'll add a new row the first of every month and leave it up just for the month, so hurry over and get it while you can.

I've spent the last week doing everything but sewing. I washed and ironed all week, but I have all my sets cut and packaged, ready to mail today, for Kathleen's No Sew Block Swap. Plus have everything ready to cut for Block Central's February Fav Block Swap and for Aunt Pitty Pat's Holly Jolly Swap. Now to get sewing.

But I am almost finished with Gail Pan's free Merry Christmas pattern. I'm doing mine in mixed colors instead of the redwork, but I like it. About 3 inches on the last border to stitch and then I can make it into a little wallhanging and post my first finish for the OPAM group.

What's the OPAM group? Well click on the picture and go to Kris's blog and read all about it! If you're a procrastinator like me and never seem to finish anything, this is the group for you. We've promised to finish One Project A Month, to clear out our stacks of UFO's. I love to plan projects, and even put up with the washing and ironing of fabric (not my fav chore, lol). And I even get the cutting done, and most of the sewing. In fact, I love the piecing part, but it's the putting together and finishing, that slows me down--sometimes even stops me in my tracks. Once the piecing is done, I get bored or find a new project I want to do. And before you know it, I've put that project aside and started another one. So this group will be good for me--give me a kick in the butt, (I mean gentle push, lol) to actually finish something. Sort of like Big Brother looking over your shoulder and gently keeping you on track, hehe. Sort of like Katie, when she gets after me.

Tomorrow is Give A Hug Club at O'Susannah's, so I'd better get to work today, 'cause I'll be gone tomorrow to work on our "feel-good" quilts. My friends Lynne and Linda D go with me, so we have sewing time and then a nice lunch after, so it's a great day. I'm trying to make pins for us to wear, like guild membership pins. What do you think of the design so far? I hope the gals will like them. I haven't quite figured out the finishing yet, but I'm coming along with it.

Until next time.....
Happy Quilting from Sharon and Katie

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My First Swaps of 2010

My Quilted Table Yahoo Group is having it's first swap of the new year--a candle mat swap with a St. Patrick's Day theme! Can't wait to get my swap partner and get started on this one. Every swap I've done with them, I've received beautifully made gifts for my table, and some little extras, too. Plus, every month on the Group, a free pattern is posted and members are "Challenged" to make it up. By the end of the year, we should have 12 gifts already made for holiday giving. Great idea, eh?

Kathleen at Welcome to My World is hosting a fun swap. This is a new idea to me and I love it--The swap is called “The No Sew Block Swap”. You pick a 12-inch block from Quilter's Cache; cut it the out nine times-once for each member of your group, send them off to Kathleen, she swaps them out, and you receive 9 different blocks back. Then YOU do all the sewing. That way all your seam allowances will be the same and you can put the 9 blocks together any way you like. What a great idea! Stop in and check it out. She has 2 colorations going. I chose the Pink/Green/White Swap.

On another note, have you visited with Karen over at Sew Many Ways? She posts a tip every Tuesday on how we can use ordinary hardware store items in our quilting and crafting. Instead of buying some of the expensive tools that we crafters think we need, she shows us how to use realtively inexpensive items from hubby's toolkit (or our fav hardware store) to do the same thing for lots less! She has wonderful ideas, so it's worth your time to check out her archives.

I stopped over at Bunny Hill Designs today, and Anne has a new BOM for us this year called Snowbound. It looks like it will be as charming as last year's BOM, with more great snowmen to applique or embroider.

Bird Brain Designs has posted their last Freebie Tea Towel for the series of 12 for 2009....they started with a February Valentine's design. So far I've saved them all, but only have July done. Enjoy this cute little snowman to cheer up the long winter days! Plus they're having a huge sale on retired patterns--and they have some lovely ones that will tempt you, for sure.

Until next time....
Happy Quilting from Sharon and Katie

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New BOMS for 2010

For you Dear Jane lovers, Brenda at Dear Jane dot com is offering a free 4 1/2-inch BOM starting in January. She's been working on Dear Jane quilts for thirteen years! Can you imagine? In appreciation for sharing her Jane Journey, she's offering this new BOM that can be appliqued or embroidered. I'm saving it, but whether I'll ever get to a Dear Jane quilt--who knows? Especially since I've been saving all the Midget Blocks (90 of them so far) over at Sentimental Stitches. Plus I've been saving the Jane's Redwork Embroidery blocks. Take some time and spend a while on Gay's website-she has tons of wonderful information, plus she offers lots of great free patterns.

The Rabbit Factory has their new January 2010 applique block up now. It's beautiful-I wish I had time to do that one, too. You can still download from the August 2009 block, up to today's.

Cheryl Goss at Willowberry Designs is starting a new embroidery BOM on January 4th. 'Under the Sea' a 10 month Design of the month - Free in 2010. Month 1 - Josephine the Jellyfish . Like all Cheryl's designs, it'll be gorgeous!

Cheryl is also one of the Gum Tree Designers. Did you know that each of the 8 designers are giving a free pattern from January through to August? That means 8 new designs for us for free! Then in October their Christmas freebies start all over again. What wonderful ladies!

And speaking of wonderful ladies, I promised to share with you the terrific Christmas gift my friend Mary, made me. Every year she makes me a wonderful creation to decorate my home. This little kitty was part of this year's gift. She said it reminded her of Katie.

Last year she made me this gorgeous Santa for my front door! Isn't he beautiful? You can click on the picture for a closer view.

The year before that she made me this cute Winter Kitties wall quilt. I hang it on my desk front so everyone can enjoy it along with me. All my cat friends (and DD) love it! And so do I!

And this year she outdid herself! She copied the front of a T-shirt I bought in Florida and wore to Quilt Club at her house just before Christmas. She is so talented, she doesn't even need a pattern--she makes them herself. She looks at something, then gets an idea in her head, and then translates it to fabric! Isn't she something? Here is this year's wonderful gift. I was happy to see that she changed the words on the t-shirt to something more appropriate for the wallhanging, lol. The t-shirt said "Naughty" (I also bought one that said "Nice"), and you all know that I'm not naughty, hehe, but Mary changed the word to "JOY"-much better for the season. Although Katie thought since SHE was the subject of the picture that the words were about her! And of course, she is never naughty.

I already showed you the lovely gifts I received from Gai in Chookyblue's SSCS, now I can finally show you what I made Julie, who was my swap partner. Julie says she's mad for chooks, so I had to shower her with chooky gifts, lol. I found a really neat chook fabric, so I used it and made her a reversible tablerunner, a tea bag wallet, and a tissue holder all in that fabric. At an antique mall that I visited with my friends, Linda D and Carol M, I found the coolest set of tin Rooster hooks, so they had to go into Julie's Christmas package. And in another little store, we found some really cute paper napkin sets with Roosters on them. So of course they had to be added also. And I had to add in some sweet drinks from the states, so lots of different teas, cocoas, and some really delicious hot apple drinks all went into the package, too. I hope she likes it all, 'cause I had a ball putting it together!

Now that the holidays are over, it's time to get back to sewing and stitching again. So until next time.....

Happy Quilting from Sharon and Katie

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year !

Today signals a fresh start for all of us....a clean slate that we can write our hopes and dreams for the future on. My wish for all of you is a healthy and safe year that brings newly found prosperity, love, happiness, and delight in your life. And as the Irish say: "This New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want."

My new friendship's this year started with Gai from New South Wales, Australia. Gai was my swap partner in Chookyblue's SSCS 2009. In addition to a lovely card showing her home town, a dish towel appliqued with Australian animals, and a package of tiny cat buttons,
Gai made me 2 lovely decorations for my Christmas tree.
If that wasn't enough, she embroidered me a gorgeous Angel wallhanging! She even added the hanger for it. I am amazed at how small and even her stitching is. I only hope some day mine will be as nice and precise as Gai's. It is a beautiful piece of workmanship and I am so proud to hang it on my living room wall. Please click on the picture, so you can see a larger view of it and admire her handiwork. I just love this gift! Thank you so much, Gai.

My stitching friends, Linda D and Carol L, both gave me prezzies for Christmas. They're both part of our larger Craft Club group, but the 3 of us get together once a week just to stitch. Carol L makes beautiful cards and made the cutest Santa gift card holder for me and put a gift card to Jo Ann Fabrics in it. And Linda D can do anything-- she does beautiful tole and folk art painting, plus she makes quilts, and does hand stitching and applique, among other things. She (and her sister, Carol M) made me the sweetest blue bird pincushion from wool felt. It has little colored flowers all around the bottom and is just adorable!
I made them both tea wallets and matching tissue holders for their purses. Of course I forgot to take pictures, so I'll have to show them to you another time. I have an order for more, so I'll be working on them next week.

I have another friend, Lynne P, who also makes beautiful cards. She made me this gorgeous card for Christmas; I think she calls it "Iris-folding". I know it sure looks complicated. I plan on framing this card and putting it in my sewing room (when I get it cleaned up, lol).

Tomorrow I'll show you the lovely present my friend, Mary, made me. Until then, stop in and check out the new BOM that Jenny of Elefantz is offering. It's a 6 month BOM, beginning January 7th, called Bouquet. It's going to be beautiful! And Tozz at Tozz'z Corner is also starting a new 6 month applique BOM. Block 1 called Flippy Daisy is up now.

Happy New Year from Sharon and Katie