May 28, 2010

SWAP Mania

Sew & Tell Friday

Ok, so I didn't sew any of these--I can't actually show you the 2 minis I finished this week, at least not until my STUD swap partners receive them. Be sure to check all the Sew & Tell finishes over at amylouwho (click on the button on the sidebar).
No, these are just some of the great little quilts I have received over the past year or so of swapping. Don't you love them? And I have lots more. Here's my top 10 for being in SWAPs. A SWAP project:

10.keeps me starting and finishing a new project often.
9. keeps me checking out flickr & blogland for new ideas, as I "lurk" around my partner's stuff.
8. helps me try really new things, stepping outside my box.
7. helps me meet new people.
6. gives me a nice little collection of great minis--no one else in my house makes quilts for me!
5. freshens up my office, where I change minis every month.
4. shows me different approaches and techniques in quilting.
3. gets me mail!
2. gives me lots of planning/day dreaming time.
1. makes me quilty happy (I know, sounds sappy, but the simple truth).

I wish I had time to be in more swaps. Check out flickr for a million of them, from potholders to minis to pillows to who knows what. Gotta love 'em

75 Post Winners ~ Since I only had 5 entries, I am sending out 5 packages! Send me your snail mail address if I don't already have it, along with a repeat of your favorite color combinations, and I'll get your giveaway ready. It will be so much fun selecting your fabrics!

Have a great weekend--the weather's absolutely perfect in Iowa!

May 26, 2010

STUD Sneak Peek

Wish You Were Here STUD swap

Not any better clue than Sara gave me :) On its way today!
If you want to enter my 75th post giveaway, scroll down. Open until Thursday!

May 24, 2010

75th Post Giveaway

I know, in some ways I think ONLY 75 posts. I've been dabbling at this blog thing all along. But I missed the 50th, and I think the last 25 or so I'm starting to get the hang of this.

When I started this blog, I thought I'd be able to consistently post 3 or 4 times/week (I thought I'd get to sew that often--silly me). I thought maybe I'd make some things to sell. I thought none of it would take much time. But then, that's the story of my life--routine underestimation.

I'd tried this blogging thing a couple times before and just couldn't stick with it. False starts. (If you're like me, you've written HUNDREDS of posts in your head!) But then I discovered SWAPs! SWAPS really keep me motivated, not only to finish things but to blog about them. And I love reading so many of the quilty blogs out there. And here I am, talking too much again.

Here's the giveaway:

Two kits + pattern for this table topper--it's easy to make (although I don't want you to have to WAIT for me to make one). With each kit, I'll include some extra goodies, like a take-along sewing kit, perfect for stitching down binding. This little thing is easy peasy and fun to make--one of my favorites.

Just leave a comment with (1) your favorite thing about quilty blogland--free tutes, reading about process, meeting people, just what inspires you most? and (2) your favorite color combination. Deadline: Thursday, noon, Central Time. Winners will be announced on my Friday's Sew & Tell.

Have a great week! And thanks for stopping by!

  • Central Air = real sleep (it's been 90-ish with high humidity all weekend)
  • Rhubarb cake--very little redeeming about it nutritionally but so yummy
  • Automatic washing machine--if we had to use a ringer machine or a washboard, we couldn't get some sewing in at the same time! (I got 4 loads done while finishing up a mini for the STUD swap.)

May 21, 2010

Sneak Peek

Sew & Tell Friday

Hmmm. . . which swap partner do you think will like these? Inspired by Oh, Fransson's Rick Rack block, I started with the yellow and blue scraps. After looking for some dots (to be like Elizabeth), I found this great cherry fabric from Robert Kaufman--my partner LOVES cherries (or so she says).

Anyhow, turns out this classic square within a square block is not so simple to keep square--the rick rack adds just enough bulk. So I cut the yellow one a bit wonky after the 2nd round--to cover up embracing the natural process instead of fighting it. Yeah, that's why. I just love this fresh look.

Today I will finish up this mini and get started on the "Wish You Were Here" swap--too many ideas for that one! I have the entire day to myself!

Check back Monday for a giveaway celebrating 75 posts!

  • Blessed by an impressive school orchestra concert--don't my boys look sharp! The music was truly beautiful, too. Their teacher really loves these kids.
  • Our cat, Chin, returned Sunday after 32 days missing! A little on the skinny side, but otherwise in good shape. Everyone except the dog is thrilled!
  • So proud of all the new graduates--we've been making the rounds of receptions--many of these kids were in my Sunday School classes years ago. They have grown up to be so poised and respectful and fun. Next year our oldest DS will join their ranks (is that a tear rolling down my cheek?).
Check out all the other great Sew & Tells over at Amy's--just click on the button in the sidebar!

May 14, 2010

SEW Much Legacy

Sew & Tell Friday

Today's Sew & Tell post is all about my mother. The day after Mother's Day, I finally received her sewing things--she passed away 3 years ago. It's so exciting to have her Bernina sewing machine (yes, 18 years old but still computerized), her Bernina serger, her big fancy sewing table, and most of her notions.

She LOVED her sewing machine, as you can see form the above photo--it's all 90s, but it's a tribute to this baby that allowed her to applique and make lace to her heart's content! My mom LOVED sewing of all kinds (except, strangely quilting). Sweetly, I also found this Mother's Day card from me to her among her things--one I am proud to have written her (let's just say that at age 29 I finally got around to showing some gratitude).

Channeling My Mom

I have always thought my mom and me to be so different--yet while going through these boxes of her favorite things, I can see that I do indeed channel take after her in many ways:
  1. We love gadgets and tools. The wide array of scissors above I'm sure helped her with applique and other fancy sewing--I will have to do some research to figure all of these out. This is just the tip of the iceberg of what she had--scissors, marking tools, measuring tools, needles. If they made it, she got it. I'm sure she kept her local fabric store in business for many years. Fortunately for me, she had an unopened bias tape maker, something I was thinking of getting. Personally, it takes real restraint for me to leave that cool marker or ruler at the store.
  2. If 1 is good, 12 are better! Apparently, neither of us likes to run out of stuff. Witness just a few from an entire shoe box full of ZIPPERS my mom had. She must have thought they might become extinct. I guess I'll have to break down and learn to put a zipper in a bag--I have all kinds to use now.
  3. We love making things--it almost doesn't matter what. The creative process, and perhaps a resulting gift, is the thing. Look at this cute, but slightly strange (maybe in an early 90s way) handkercheif apron. Enitrely useless as an apron (too flimsy), yet I'm sure she had fun experimenting with this. Mom would have belonged to a dozen swaps!

As I've grown older (and now that mom is gone), I realize that sewing/creating is an important thread connecting the generations of women in my family. My mom was a fabulous clothes maker: she made her prom dress (spaghetti straps, tafetta, boning!), my wedding outfit (battenberg lace) and many, many other pieces. Her mother probably started sewing out of necessity, yet she loved her Singer with all the dials and feet that allowed her to smock and gather and do so much else--a big step up from the treadle she had when I was little. All of us often had matching dresses in the 60s when it was cool. Sewing well was not only fun but practical and frugal.

I am SEW thankful that my mom lived long enough for me to actually share this interest with her and for me to show her gratitude for the courage with which she lived life. And now, as I incorpate her sewing tools and supplies into my own stash, I can be reminded each time I sit down to the machine what a loving mother I was blessed to have. And if you made it through this post, thanks for taking the time! Be sure to check out all the other Sew & Tell posts by clicking on the sidebar button.

May 7, 2010

SEW Much Fun Swaps

Sew & Tell Friday

Don't Be A Square for Meg
April's STUD Swap couldn't be square. I spent most of the month thinking about the possibilities--circles, hexes. . . . after lurking around Meg's website I knew I wanted to use Asian fabrics. Finally, I went for simple--this great star. It was definitely easy until . . . .

The binding. I know, I know, IN THEORY the miters work the same way as a 90 degree angle, but it real life it took 2 tries and a lot of brain time. Turns out splitting this angle and matching it with the points was pretty much not ever what i expected. It looks ok, but I know it could be more precise. I did find some special rulers online for this purpose, but I don't have one yet--pretty sure I'll make more of these little mats. About 12 inches across, I really like the way this pattern highlights the fabric.

For April's Anything Goes Swap I made this:

I always wanted to try the Crazy Mom Quilts Zig Zag without triangles. SaraSQuilts likes blue and green and modern fabrics. Turns out following the directions (use the same fabric as half of each set throughout) would make the layout MUCH simpler. And I would have liked the color to go from dark to light--but it didn't quite work out. Still, this is another fun pattern with lots of possibilities.

Still lovin' these swaps--they're a great chance to try something new and get to know someone a little better. Up for May: Wish You Were Here (I got to pick the theme). Hmmm. . .should I do pigs, corn, cardinals, ice cream . . . .surprisingly, the options in Iowa are nearly endless :)

  • My mother's sewing machine is on its way to my house (a special inheritance to be sure)
  • It's Friday--'nuf said
  • We all survived prom--and DS even had fun!
Amy over at Sew & Tell just had a beautiful baby girl, so I'm not sure if they'll be a spot this week, but there are lots of great links to check out anyhow--just click on the button in the side bar.