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The Mad Quilting Librarian

Updated: 2018-03-06T07:32:30.123-08:00


A Wiscasset twin


One of my last finishes of 2012 was a present for my dad.

You may remember last year, I made a quilt for my parents for Christmas.

My mom, however, promptly laid claim to it, so of course I had to start work on a quilt for my dad, too.  Luckily, I had a couple of jelly rolls of Minick & Simpson's Wiscasset squirreled away for a rainy day, and spent the summer making up some blocks when it wasn't too hot out.  I used Kim Brackett's Blessings from the Hollow pattern from her book, Scrap Basket Sensations.  

I have to say, I tend not to be a traditional pattern girl.  I often mess with things, cobble together my own spin, etc.  Not in this case.  I give major appreciation to Kim--this was a great pattern.  Clear, easy to follow, and with great results, if I do say so myself...

I had a bit of extra yardage of Wiscasset, too, so used a sprigged cream print and a dark blue paisley as borders.  

The backing fabric is Kona Cadet and the binding is Kona Navy.  I love the solid backing--I quilted a quarter-inch inside the inner borders of each square and along the inner edge of the star shapes.

It was finished about a week before Christmas and Dad?

Loves it!

(Sorry, no gift photos--he ran off and hid it from my mother as soon as he'd opened it!)

Quilting against the clock


When I originally set myself a timeline for a quilt that needs to be finished by a certain deadline, I try to pad it a little, to leave myself room for the inevitable SNAFU.  It doesn't always work out the way I'd like it, but I don't like to deal with more stress than I have to, and I hate to make quilting stressful.  I enjoy it, after all!However, back in late October, I thought I had plenty of time to finish this quilt before the November 1 deadline--that being my grandmother's 90th birthday celebration.I used the Granny Square tutorial (appropriate, no?) from Blue Elephant Stitches, and a jelly roll each of Butterscotch & Rose by Fig Tree Quilts and Moda Bella Cream.  The finished quilt is a great throw size, about 60" by 70". But I wound up with a slight snag.  See, I was pushing to finish this by November 1, and even had the whole last week of October off, but then Hurricane Sandy happened on October 29.  Here in CT, we knew a day or so in advance that landfall was imminent, and that power outage was inevitable.  See, we dealt with Irene the previous year and were without power for 4 days, and then had a snowstorm that followed Irene and were without power for 8 days.  So we stocked up on firewood, charcoal for the grill, bottled water and canned goods, and put away anything that might be blown around the yard.  And then I quilted like my life depended on it, so that the electricity-reliant part of the process would be done before we lost power.  I finished machine sewing the binding to the front of the quilt at around 5pm...The back fabric is another Fig Tree fabric from a different line, Mill House Inn, and the binding fabric was a serendipitous find at JoAnn's a couple of years ago.And then a scant few hours later, we had this happen.40ft pine tree blown over on our cars.  :(Which looked like this in the stark light of morning the next day.In any case, all's well that ends well--the insurance and tree service people were hugely helpful, my car's been replaced (the madman's SUV was actually fine), I finished the quilt although poor Gram's party was put off by a week--my parents and grandmother were all without power for over a week, and the madman and I were lucky to only be out about four days this time.  And Gram?  She loves her quilt.  [...]

Happy New Year! And also, what I've been doing the last 8 months...


Well then.  It's been awhile, hasn't it?  I took the summer off of just about everything.  When I wasn't working, I swam and read and slept, only tiptoeing into the sewing room to make up blocks for my last remaining bee, the Peace Circle of do.Good Stitches.  2012 was the year of simplifying, and giving up all but the bee I love best was part of that.  It made the blocks I was making a special treat instead of a dreaded chore and another deadline.We had a brief stretch of cool-ish weather, and I made up the last of the blocks for my father's Christmas present (which was properly gifted and under the tree as promised on the 25th, but I'll share the finished quilt in another post...).The Madman and I went to Disney for our 10-year anniversary, and I took photos of tilework, because what else does one do on vacation? Makes one think of quilts, though, doesn't it?There was a swap sent...And received (thanks again, Dawn!!)...Oh, and there was a hurricane.  Thanks, Sandy.  That's a 40 ft pine that came down across our driveway and both of our cars.  My husband's SUV only had a few new dings.My car?Well, my car was toast.  Many thanks to the awesome tree service guys who were out the day after the storm to remove the tree, and to my amazing insurance folks, who were incredibly calming and helpful during a very stressful time.And past few months?  Well, those have been a whirlwind of finished quilts, holiday prep and partying, and cherishing all the good moments, letting those outweigh the bad.Happy New Year to all of you, and see you around here a lot more often in 2013![...]

Wow, my bad...


If someone would like to explain to me where the last month has gone, that would be awesome.  In reality, life has been sort of ridiculous lately.  Super short-staffed at work, lots of stress that seems to come home with me and knock me out on the couch as soon as I walk in the door, running around trying to get myself prepped for a pending vacation (my first in nearly seven years--woohoo!), trying to keep my flight-phobic husband calm about said pending vacation, realizing I have nothing to wear on aforementioned trip...  Yeah.  I'm a bit of a basketcase, though some of the stress is good. I admire people who travel easily--I was one of those people, about a dozen years ago.  I shake my head at my young self, traipsing around Europe on breaks from studying in London.  If I knew then what I know now? Kind of glad I didn't, actually, as being young and foolish was half the fun, I think.   In any case, I've sort of turned into a weekend sewer, since the evenings have either been filled with errands (shoe shopping, in particular, is a helluva chore.  I'm abnormal, I know.  But if you wore a 10-wide, US, you'd be crabby about finding cute shoes, too.) or I've just been coming home and collapsing.  As much as I'd like to share details of work stress, since people have this wonderful idea of libraries being these quiet, calm places to work, suffice it to say that filling out police reports and trying to manage coverage for service desks AND still have enough people available to get new books and dvds out to the public in a timely manner makes for some interesting times.  Anyone who thinks libraries are dull and quiet probably hasn't been to one in awhile... Oh, and I'm still writing blog posts for work, which acts as sort of a creative siphon, so that by the time I get home, I'm running low on words.  I know, weird, right?  Rest assured, this blog will likely never wind up monetized, simply because I don't think I can manage to get paid to maintain TWO blogs-worth of content!  That, and my point-and-shoot photos are nothing to write home about.  :)On the weekends (though I often work those, too), I've managed to carve out little pockets of time to get to my sewing machine.  The results? A couple more Swoon blocks.Some improv piecing to clear my head, and my scrap bin.My blocks for the April round of do.Good Stitches, Peace Circle, using Michelle's tutorial.And occasionally pulling little piles of fabric for a couple of secret projects.  Don't you hate it when quilters pull that card?  Me, too.  And I'm sorry!  I'll have more to share on these piles in about a month.  Now, let's hope I can manage to hop in here and say hello between now and then, shall we?[...]

Slowly Swooning


The last week or so, I've felt "off". Maybe it's the time change? I feel frustrated, unfocused, and edgy. I thought maybe it was because of the full moon (it can't just be me who has trouble sleeping when it's so bright?). Then there's work stress, but then, who doesn't have that, right? I know. I'm whiny. And tired. Mid-way through the week, I thought maybe some quality time in the sewing room would help. Until I started sewing parts of my Swoon block together wrong, and then I knew it was time for bed. (Block 6 in progress. Also, please disregard my disgusting ironing board cover...thanks!)I'm so close to being done, though! And by so close, I mean...I have 6 of 9 blocks done. Just 3 more! But as I am admittedly one of the slowest sew-ers on the face of the planet, it takes me an hour or so to cut all the pieces for a block, and then about 2-3 hours to sew, press, and assemble the block. When I'm in a good, productive groove, I manage a block a week, cutting one night, sewing the next two. If I'm super-lucky, I do that AND cut a second one, then sew it up one day during the weekend, provided I actually have a day off that weekend. (To the women who work full-time, and are moms, AND manage to blog and finish a quilt or more a month, I salute you--I don't know how you do it. I feel like a slacker!)(Blocks 1-4)(Block 5)I have so much I want to accomplish, but Swoon is feeling like a big beautiful albatross right about now. I want it finished! Now! Especially since I have three other quilts waiting in the wings that I want to leap into. Normally, I'd just shift over for a few weeks, then try and shift back. But my track record on the "shift back" part is kinda shaky, so I'd rather avoid that if at all possible right now.So, to get my proverbial engines revved, I had a play with a few different color palettes this morning. Nothing I plan to cut into quite yet, just a little juice for the old brain, and the eyes.First, this delicious stack of Heirloom by Joel Dewberry, from the Ruby and Sapphire colorways. I chose to keep the greens out of it, and just ran with purples, pinks, and those bits of mustardy yellow. Those who have been reading around here know that I am typically not a pinks and purples, at alllll. But this collection really spoke to me, with the architectural, modern feel to so many of the prints. My plan is to use these beauties for Camille Roskelley's On A Whim pattern, which is what the Swoon-along group on Flickr is working on next (alongside another of Camille's patterns, Hopscotch, but I'm saving that one for another day...). But there's another quilt in the works, and I have some test blocks I need to make in the next month or two. So I built this palette of basics in royal, navy, carrot-y oranges, and sunny yellows. How can that not make you happy? I'll be sharing more of this one as we get closer to the summer, I think. Hope everyone has lots of their favorite things this St. Paddy's weekend. My husband HATES corned beef, so we're skipping that and going straight for the Guinness! Cheers, and happy sewing![...]

Southport Congregational Church Quilt Show, 2012


I've spent the last week kind of noodling this post around in my head, because it feels like there's so much to it. Those of you who have been reading since last year may remember that I attended this show with my grandmother last year, too. (If you missed those posts, take a second to go back and browse--there were some really incredible pieces!) Southport Congregational Church has been putting on this quilt show, Fabrics and Fabrications, since 2003, and it is hosted and run entirely by community volunteers. The proceeds go to Emerge, Make a Wish and Project Learn. This year's show hosted over 150 quilts and quilted objects, and the theme was "Reuse, Recycle, Rejoice!". There was a huge showing of scrap quilts, as you'll see, as well as a special exhibit of art made from found or repurposed items. The special exhibit was super-crowded, and I didn't manage to get many photos of it, unfortunately. The day was overcast and kind of dreary, which meant that there wasn't the same stained-glass glow lighting the quilts in the sanctuary as last year. The lights were turned all the way up, but some of the photos still feel a little dark--my apologies! I also didn't get a chance to take as many pictures this year--last year, my grandmother had brought her cane, but chose not to walk very far, and sat at the entrance of the sanctuary while I ran around and ooh-ed and ahh-ed and snapped photos. This year, she'd brought her wheeled walker, and I believe I might have used the term "heck on wheels" more than once. She's a speed demon with what she calls her "jeep". So I didn't get as many photos as last year, and therefore chose to keep this as one post.There were LOTS of scrap quilts this year, and they ranged from antique to contemporary, traditional to modern. Actually, you'll see that there are quite a few more modern quilts this year than last, something one of the volunteers mentioned while talking to a reporter from the local paper as we walked through the chapel display (the chapel's pretty small, I swear I wasn't eavesdropping...much). It was cool to see that shift in the show quilts in just a year's time!Finally, I will say that there were a few issues with the program this year, so I will share what I can that I think is accurate. I'm also linking out where I can--I'm not receiving any compensation or incentive to do so, just so this is all above board!This first is a star sampler using a Connecting Threads pattern, using fat quarters. It was finished in 2010 by Pat Cole, machine quilted by Butler Country Crafts, Clyde Park, Montana.This Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt was hand-pieced, -appliqued and -quilted. I don't think I've ever been to a quilt show that didn't feature a hexagon quilt! There's a reason we're all obsessed with these all over again, I think--they're so timeless. We might not use seafoam green borders if making one today, but if you didn't include that, you could easily be looking at something a modern quilter might create today.Log cabin variations were very well represented this year. This one was made in 2008, machine pieced and quilted. This next was made in the 1930s, and was machine pieced on a Singer treadle sewing machine, then hand-quilted. Many of the fabrics were flour and feed sacks. I could have honestly looked at this one all day.Another log cabin quilt, hand pieced and quilted, finished in 1998.I kind of love the crazy scrappiness of this next one. It was made sometime before 1920, according to its family pedigree, and is just a flimsy (an unquilted, unbacked quilt top). It was hand-pieced by the owner's grandmother and great aunts. I really kind of have to wonder why it has gone unfinished for nearly 100 years. What happened? That's one for Jennifer Chiaverini to write about, huh? This next one I totally fell in love with. I love Ocean Waves, though the thought of so many little HSTs gives me pa[...]

Swooning, babies, Valentines


So, do you Swoon? As in, are you one of the over 800 quilters participating in Katy's madcap Swoon-along on flickr? I am, and we're all mad for Camille's pattern, and it's awesome to see everyone's different takes on the block. Of course, say Camille and Katy in the same paragraph and you know I'm there! And here's what I have to show for it...Three Swoon blocks (these big babies finish up at 25" square) and a slightly blurry pile of fabric that needs putting away. My sewing room is a disaster, always. Perfection would be boring--that's my story, and I'm sticking to it... In any case, I have a fourth block cut and ready for piecing, and plan on going for the full 9, plus some borders to make it big enough for our queen-size bed. And this one? I'm sending out for quilting. It'll be the first I haven't quilted myself, and I'm a bit nervous about it. Cart before the horse at the moment, though. In between Swoon blocks and all the bee blocks I've been cranking out, there was time to put together a Valentine's Day mug rug for The Madman, to match his Man Cave quilt, currently draped over MY quilt in said Man Cave.Also, does it count as a commission if you're not getting paid for a quilt? Didn't think so. We'll call this a favor, then.The Madman's co-worker and cw's girlfriend are expecting a daughter next month, and TM asked me if I'd make them a quilt. How can I say no to a man who helps me baste my quilts? So I weaseled the nursery colors from his co-worker (pink and brown) and started thinking. I had a small stack of Weekends by Erin McMorris in pinks, golds and browns, which I had won from a Fat Quarterly giveaway last year, saving it for the perfect project, of course. So I added a few basics from my stash, and went with simple patchwork to show off the big prints. And wound up with this:Thanks to the Saturday storms that cleared off in time for me to snap a photo before it headed into the wash! I quilted it with straight lines, two on either side of each vertical seam, using the edge of my walking foot as a guide. To the Weekends fabrics, I added a brown solid, some Kei Honeycomb dots in pink, a pale pink with square dots from Aneela Hoey's Sherbet Pips, and Tula Pink's Birdcage print in pink from her Plume line. Oh, and a brown and cream sprig from Liz Scott's Sugar Pop line, which I also used to bind it.I backed it with a pink and white floral from City Weekends by Oliver + S, which is so, so soft and cuddly. Hope the parents-to-be love it! I know I do! The finished quilt measured at 38 x 44", and I used 6" squares to piece it. And that's a second finish for the year--I am on such a roll! I have some cool pictures to share later this week from the annual Fabrics and Fabrications quilt show in Southport, CT, which I attended last weekend with my grandmother. See you then![...]

Bee blocks, catching up


What a wild month--it's amazing how a few things like a stomach virus (YUCK!) and a quilt commission will just knock the whole month out. I am all caught up (actually, a little ahead of myself) on my bee blocks. I've stayed true to my word, and I'm down to two bees (from five at one point--I am feeling much saner!), but there's been enough to keep me busy!First, there were two scrappy green stars for February's round of my Peace circle over at do.Good Stitches, using a tutorial by Amber. Such fun little blocks--I fell so in love with them that I have a super-scrappy version in process. Like I need another WIP, I know!And then there was a call for some scrappy log cabin blocks for a special quilt for a girl going through a rough time (you can read about it over here), and I was so moved by her story, I had to help out. In a night, these little guys were sewn up and then sent out the next morning. Then I started putting together piles of yummy fabric for the lovely ladies in my hive of 4x5--I'm caretaking for hive #2 this quarter (see, still a little nuts!), and my hive has some great color combinations...Which quickly became some of these Ribbon Stars (tutorial by the illustrious Faith of Fresh Lemons). Really fell in love with these--they actually come together super fast, and the piles above became these:Over the course of a few evenings. See the extra in the bottom left corner? That was my test block in my colors this round. I love seeing them all together again. Can we say, future scrap quilt? (Really, this should surprise none of you at this point--I always have...several in progress!)And finally, March's blocks for do.Good Stitches are already done and sent. Paula was heading out of town for a few weeks and gave us our assignment early, so I took a couple of evenings and knocked these babies out--8 little 6.5" scrappy blocks using the tutorial over at Completely Cauchy. Love them, with their little red centers--Paula's only stipulation on color.SO much happened in February, obviously it's going to take me more than one post to tell y'all about it. In which case, I'll be back in a few days with Swoon blocks, a baby quilt, and what I made for my Valentine. :) [...]

Project Monogamy


AKA, finishing a project.First of all, where the hell did January go? I blinked, and it was over. I had a week off in the middle, a stay-cation, marred by the death of my godmother, who I've known since I was hours old. The world is a sadder, duller place without her, and I miss her like hell. I spent most of the rest of my vacation in my sewing room, losing myself in piecing and color and old episodes of SVU on Netflix. Ask my husband--I was not a joy to be around that week, crying at the drop of a hat, not sleeping well, and no nerves to speak of. I'm on the other side, and I'm grateful I had the time away from work and people to get my act together. I'm also lucky to have a husband who just holds me when I'm a mess. :)But from all dark places come bits of light, and at the end of the week, I'd finished my first quilt-along. EVER. My favorite fabric maven, Brenda, started a Bust Yo Scraps! quilt-along at the beginning of January, and boy, did I have scraps to bust! I pulled all of my blue, aqua and green scraps, then threw in a few odds and ends in gray and black. I cut and cut and cut and sewed for hours, days. I'm not normally one for sticking with a project to the end, and I'm still not sure what was up with this. Maybe because it was the first quilt I was making just for me, specifically? I don't know.All I know is, at the end of the week, I had this.Said awesome husband helped me baste it, and I started working on picking a binding. I thought I knew just what I wanted, until I pulled it out...Have you ever had a different idea of what a fabric in your stash looks like? I somehow remembered this Tula Pink fabric as being much more green than this, but when I pulled it, it read paler and more gold than I'd remembered. I spent several hours kind of casting around aimlessly, pawing through my stash. I lit on this DS Quilts print, and decided to run with it. Two hundred and seventy-some-odd inches of binding later, I had this...The quilting, usually my least favorite part, was smooth and easy and pleasurable on this one. I never know how the quilting will go--sometimes the easy stuff takes me ages and plenty of frogging, sometimes the ones I think will be more challenging are fast and easy. I decided to try and take it easy on myself for this one, and just went with straight lines about a third of an inch or so to either side of each block seam. I used Warm and Natural batting, which allows you to quilt or tie up to ten inches apart. My quilting lines are about seven inches apart across the blocks, and it made for a soft and cozy lap quilt.This quilter finally has a quilt of her own. It has scraps of so many favorites, and it's backed with another DS Quilts print.My first finish of the new year, AND one that would work really well with Jelly Rolls or Charm Packs, too. It went super fast, and I'm so happy to finally have a quilt on my own--now I can stop stealing the Madman's Man Cave Quilt when we're watching TV! (Although, this quilt, which finished at about 54"x62" after washing, is slightly bigger than the Man Cave Quilt, and now the Madman is whining about needing a bigger quilt, too. *sigh*)Now, on to the next project! Hope everyone else had a good sewing start to the new year, and I promise I'll try and post again before March![...]

2011 wrap-up


My apologies for disappearing for the last month of the year. There were many gifts to finish, a house to clean in order to entertain (twice!), and general holiday madness in these parts. But overall, this feels like it was a fairly productive year, and the new year will be one of a number of changes for me...First, the wrap up. I made a rather ridiculous number of bee blocks this year, doing multiple rounds of several quarterly bees, in addition to rocking out with my ladies over at The Beehive and the Peace circle of Do.Good Stitches. The Beehive1. Julies Block #2, 2. Julie's Block #1, 3. February Beehive block for Jo, 4. Andi's Beehive block, April , 5. May Beehive blocks for Kat, 6. Wee boats for Annabel, 7. The Beehive, Belinda's String Blocks, 8. The Beehive, Sheridan's blocks, 9. Tanya's block for The Beehive, September, 10. 3 blocks for Meg, December Beehive11. Not available12. Not availablePeace at Do. Good Stitches1. do good stitches April, aqua, 2. do good stitches April, green, 3. coin block 1, Peace circle, May, 4. coin block 2, Peace circle, May, 5. do. Good Stitches, Peace Circle, June, 6. do.Good Stitches, Peace Circle, July, 7. Starflower blocks, Peace Circle, do.Good Stitches, 8. bee blocks, do. Good Stitches sept , 9. October block for do.Good Stitches, Peace Circle, 10. do.Good Stitches, Peace blocks, November11. Not available12. Not available3x61. 3x6 Beehive blocks, Qtr 1, 2011, 2. 3x6 bee block, hive #28, 3. 3x6 bee block, hive #28, 4. 3x6 bee block, hive #28, 5. 3x6 bee block, hive #28, 6. 3x6 bee block, hive #28, 7. 3x6 bee block, hive #28, 8. 3x6 bee block, hive #7, 9. 3x6 bee block, hive #7, 10. 3x6 bee block, hive #7, 11. 3x6 bee block, hive #7, 12. 3x6 bee block, hive #7, 13. 3x6 bee block, hive #7, 14. secret, 15. 3x6, 3rd Quarter, hive 17, 16. 3x6 bee blocks, Q3, hive 214x5Round 1(Round 2 is still in progress on my design wall....)One of the significant changes coming is that I'm stepping back from a number of my bees. The Beehive has gone for two years, and we've come to the unanimous conclusion that we've had a lot of fun, learned a lot, made new friends, and challenged ourselves, but life has changed for a number of us and we're ready to move on. I love that group, and I was really torn about the decision, but it ultimately is what's right for all of us, and I look forward to swapping around Flickr with them all in the future. I also stepped back from the 3x6 after the third quarter, and am debating whether I'll stick with the 4x5 after this round. I will absolutely stick with the Peace circle of do.Good Stitches--wild horses couldn't drag me out of that group!I'm hoping that changing my focus this year will let me finish more of my own projects, including making quilts with the stacks of bee blocks in my sewing room!Finally, speaking of finishes, there were a few this year.A little pillow that I whipped up just before the holidays...A quilt for my mom and dadI finished the scrappy Epic Adventure quilt for little LeahAnd I completed the baby quilt for Leah's new little sister, CadieI also made a set of placemats back in March for the Urban Home Goods Swap, round 3.And made a special little block for a secret projectThat became part of a very special gift for a talented woman (Heather Ross) and her new addition(picture c/o Mama Spark)And waaaay back in January, I finished this little baby quilt for my friend Tori's new little boy, RyanMy resolutions this year, with regard to sewing, are:1) Finish more projects than I start. Seriously, I have so many UFOs, it's a little embarassing.2) Use up some of my stash, especially some of the things I've been hoarding. Wonderland layer cake, I'm lookin at you.3) Finish more projects, full stop. It tends to be my least favorite part of the process, the basting and actu[...]

Left hanging


Didn't mean to leave y'all hanging over here. I've got a camera full of photos and it happens to be in a different county at the moment. *sigh* Needless to say, I've been in a finishing frenzy. Which, if you've been a reader here for awhile, is highly unusual for this mad quilter. A baby quilt and two throws have been finished (pictures pending, obviously...), three pillow tops and another throw quilt top have been finished in just the last week. Saturday night, I have a basting date with the madman and the MadMan Cave floor, and Sunday will be a marathon quilting session. At a quick estimate, I've made roughly 900 inches of binding in the last 3 weeks, and sewn about 2/3 of that already. In fact, I was up until 11 last night sewing and pressing binding.

Needless to say, 6:30 came VERY early this morning! *mmmm, cooooffffeeee*

Once the mad sewing, and wrapping and gifting and feasting is over, it'll be back to business. Deal?


Now we can all quit procrastinating and go finish our projects!!

Works in progress...


Do you remember these blocks I started over the summer? I made 100 of them, total, and have finally started to sew them together.

This is 1/4 of the finished quilt. I'm crazy--the finished quilt will be something like 100" square. See? Crazy. (Speaking of crazy, let's not point out the heaps of blocks and unfinished tops littering the top of the bookcase on the right side of the photo, shall we? Thanks.)

Of course, I got this far and then put it aside so I could work on Xmas gifts! That said, I work much better with a deadline.

Other blocks (partly pictured above) that I also started over the summer using some charm packs of Wiscasset and Clermont Farms along with Bella Cream Solid, finally made it back to the design wall.

And even got borders...

It's now basted and set aside with a couple of other tops for this weekend--Thanksgiving is over and I'm giving thanks to have my dining room table back! It's my favorite place to quilt and sew on bindings!

Angel blocks...


As you know, I'm kind of a sucker for sewing bees over on flickr. At one point, I was part of 5, though I'm down to 3 at the moment. I was a caretaker over at the 3x6 bee last quarter, and one of my bees unfortunately had to withdraw at the last minute due to health issues. (Hope you're feeling much better, Cleo!!) So I decided that, once I got my power back, I'd make the group a round of angel blocks. They were quick, but fun, and I'm thinking maybe someday I'll get around to making a churn dash quilt of my own... >.>

In any case, here are the finished blocks, which should be arriving in their new homes any day now.


What the snow was actually like...


It's funny. I had a lot of friends (many in warmer climes) comment to me during and after the virtual blackout here in CT at the beginning of the month, "But Meg, you guys got like 7 or 8 feet of snow last winter. Why was this storm so bad?"True, this past January was snowy as a mofo--one of the snowiest I remember, and I've lived in CT for most of my 34 years.But we've never (to my recollection) gotten 8" of very heavy, wet snow while all the trees still had their leaves. Think of it this way--hold your hand up, fingers splayed, and pour sand into your hand. Your palm will hold some, but most will trickle between your fingers, right? Now close your fingers and pour the same amount of sand, only have that sand be wet.Different story, yes?Three weeks after the storm, we're still clearing branches. Everyone finally has power back. But there are few things more miserable than going to bed fully clothed (leggings, socks (i hate sleeping in socks--hate it!), long sleeved shirt, hoodie with the hood pulled up) with every blanket in the house on the bed, and still shivering yourself to sleep. A few mornings, we could see our breath when we got up, and it hovered right around the freezing mark INSIDE. I have never been so thankful as the moment we got power back--the madman and I were actually rather damp-eyed with relief. Eight days was a long and very frustrating stretch--it's no surprise to anyone in the area that the CEO of the power company resigned/was forced out this past week.So thank you for your patience! I've been 8 days behind in my general life here, and am slowly gaining on it. All of the last giveaway prizes were mailed a week ago, so they should be showing up in their new homes shortly. And I've been working like a fool with every spare second to get caught up on my to-do list (not to mention I'm feeding 13 people for Thanksgiving this week, and um, let's just say I'm much more laid-back this time around.). Photos and posts of all my sewing shenanigans will be forthcoming!And so I leave you with some pictures of what life looked like the day of/morning after the storm. During:And after (please note that the flattened bush to the left of the driveway is normally a 10" tall tree...):Stay warm![...]

Grand Finale giveaway winners!


Many thanks to everyone who has been participating in my month-long run of giveaways! I know it's been a bit quiet outside of giveaway posts lately. Here in CT, we got socked with an early freak Nor'easter last Saturday, and I've been without power at home since Saturday afternoon. It's been very cold and frustrating! Thankfully, my folks live right near the library and have been generous with their showers and coffee in the mornings! Hoping to get power back soon (maybe tonight??), but in the meantime, obviously there hasn't been any sewing going on and it's making me crazy! So bear with me--there will be actual content soon, with a little luck (and power!).And without further ado... Here are your winners for the final giveaways!For the assorted red and green scraps, the winner is:erin, who said...With Christmas quickly approaching, I'd choose the holidays fabric- thanks for the chance :)For the Quilting Line + Color book, the winner is:Holly, who said...Great give away Meg! I would pick the book Quilting Line + Color. I love the look of the cover and I have never managed to get my hands on a copy to look through. Hope life is returning to normal for you!The two winners of the copies of Block Party are:robin, who said...Nice giveaway! I'd choose Block Party. :)and Megan, who said...If you made me pick, I'd have to choose the Modern Block Party book - I looked through it at the bookstore awhile back, and I mentally flagged a good number of those blocks.And finally, the Heather Ross fat quarters, which were the most popular of the prizes, go to:Jo, who said...Oh boy, decisions, decisions, Ok then, all are wonderful prizes but I would really like to win the Heather Ross fabric as I have never actually owned any of it. I have drooled over it often but I have yet to have the extra cash to spend on it. Thank you for holding the giveaways for all of us.Many thanks to everyone who has participated over the weeks, and congratulations to all of the winners! [...]

October Giveaways--Grand Finale!


You've all been so patient as I get my act together here for the final giveaway of the month! As a thank you, I've got FOUR prizes, so put your thinking caps on, and choose wisely!You get one entry on this post, but if you've been playing along all month, I'll add all of your entries from all of the giveaways this month into the drawing of your choice, so you potentially have up to five chances at the prize of your choice.The catch is, you can only choose one.To enter, just leave me a comment telling me which prize you'd like to win most, and why. Simple enough, right?So... Will you choose...Three fat quarters of soft Heather Ross fabric to add to your stash? Or maybe...A copy of Quilting Line + Color by Yoshiko Jinzenji?Or a copy of Block Party Quilts by modern quilting gurus Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks? (I've actually wound up with two extra copies of this one, so I'm picking TWO winners from this drawing!)Or does your stash need a little holiday cheer? This little bundle of five solids and three prints would make great placemats, or pillow covers, or a tablerunner, or maybe some scrappy stockings... So many possibilities!I'm leaving comments open until noon eastern on Friday, so you have a little time to consider. Happy choosing!ETA: The giveaway is now closed--winners will be announced shortly![...]

Week 4 Giveaway Winner!


Wow! 62 entries? That's crazy-talk! It might be a drop in the bucket for bigger bloggers, but for little old me? That's huge! There is some serious Hunky-Dory love out there.

And your lists! Some of them make me feel like I've dug myself a hole I can never work out of, and some of you made me feel like we'll all be pulling some late nights together between now and the holidays.

Before I get to the winner, I'd like to take a second and say thanks for your patience this week. It's been one of "those" weeks, you know, the ones where you can't even win for losing? But I've finally gotten a decent night's sleep, and am hoping to get back in gear shortly. Which means (fingers crossed!) that the grand prize giveaway post should go up this weekend, and then I'll leave it up until next Friday so everyone can decide what they'd like their entries to be drawn for! (Is that grammar terrible or what? Perhaps a bit more sleep is in order...)

Ok, enough suspense. The Random Number Generator has done its little dance, and the winner is...

Anonymous said...

Making blankies for the local shelter from fleece scraps. The puppies and kitties are crying, so I'm working as fast as I can lol.

Anonymous, I am emailing you for your address now! Congratulations!

Remember to stop back this weekend to see what I have in store for the grand prizes--there are some serious goodies to be had!

Week 4, October Giveaway!


Here we are, folks--the last week of October giveaways! This week's prize is:

Two charm packs of Hunky Dory by Chez Moi for Moda! (I told you I had a charm pack problem!)

To win? Leave me a comment telling us what you're hoping to finish before the holidays. No crying allowed!

And come back later this week when I reveal the grand prizes for this month in giveaways!

ETA: The entries for this giveaway are CLOSED! I'll announce a winner shortly!

Week 3 winners!!


Here we go! Our winners this week are...For the Hoopla charm pack: Kellye Quilts said...I'd go with Hoopla and make a few tote bags. Yum!For the Just Wing It charm pack:Heather A said...I would love to make a child's quilt with "Just Wing It". I've seen some others done with this fabric line and they all really stick with me the way the fabrics works together.For the Origins charm pack (which was the clear favorite among y'all!):Solstitches said...I like Origins and it would have to be a bag. I love to make bags.MargaretAnd finally, for the Snippets charm pack, our winner is:Barb said...Oh, great give-away. I'd love to win the snippets charm pack!(Who says the first entry never wins?!)Congrats to all of this week's winners--I'll be emailing you all shortly. Monday will bring a new week's giveaway (our last!) AND the unveiling of all of the goodies I've got lined up for the grand prize giveaway. See you then![...]

Sneak peek


Just running through to give y'all a sneak peek at one of the prizes that will be part of the giant end-of-October giveaway blitz. If you've been putting your name in the proverbial hat for prizes all along, then those are all counting as entries toward the goodies I've got in store at the end of the month.

Three FQs of out-of-print Heather Ross lovelies. Sooo soft--I am a fool for these fabrics!

Oh, and if you're looking for this week's giveaway (you still have one day left!), click on over here.

I'll be back tomorrow to pick this week's winner!

(ps--Feel free to comment on this post, but those comments (or any comment on non-giveaway posts this month) will NOT count toward the final giveaway entries. Sorry!)

do. Good Stitches


I love working on scrappy projects, and in particular, digging through buckets and bags of scraps for just the right pieces. And that's one of the reasons I enjoy sewing for the do.Good Stitches beeevery month (I'm in the Peace Circle). For October, Paula asked us to make word blocks using the methods from Word Play Quilts by Tonya Ricucci. It was so much fun! Paula started us off with "Today, I will..." and then we each had to pick a word or phrase. I chose...

"Celebrate" as my word. I love the palette she gave us--vibrant yellows, reds and aquas with touches of linen--it all makes the white letters stand out beautifully. And now, off it goes to be put with the other great blocks from my fellow bees, and I get to look forward to what we're doing next month!

October Giveaways--Week 3!


We have FOUR prizes this week, folks! It's no secret I love charm packs. You might say I have a bit of a problem... But you'd be wrong! I can stop anytime I want--honest!

Sorry, what was I saying?

Oh, right! Charm packs!

I've dug through my stash, and come up with some great ones, including several of lines that have been out of print for a bit! There are four prizes, and there will be four winners, but you can only enter once. So leave me a single comment, telling me which one you'd like to win, and what you'd like to make with it! I'll pick the winners this coming Friday.

Good luck!

ETA: This giveaway is now closed!

Week 2 Giveaway Winner!


And the RNG picked comment #6!

Congrats to Mimi, winner of 2 Fairy Tale Friends charm packs, who said:

I'm working on a really cute dog applique quilt for my niece. Thanks for the chance!!

You are most welcome, Mimi--now go and check your inbox for an email from me!

I have some sweet things to share with everyone next week, including a sneak peak at the final giveaway prizes, so see you all on Monday! Happy weekend!

Week 2, October Giveaway!


Happy Columbus Day! And welcome to week 2 of my October giveaways! I'm doing a giveaway each week for the month, and then at the end of October, there will be a giant final giveaway for everyone who has entered during the month. More about that next week!

In the meantime...

This week's prize is two charm packs of Sandy Klop's (American Jane) awesome new line, Fairy Tale Friends. It has a remix of her wildly popular multi-color pez prints, which I believe is being called Magic Beans in this incarnation. You can see details of all of the prints over here.

To enter? Just leave a comment telling me what you're working on. Have you started working on holiday gifts yet? Finishing up works in progress? Doing a quilt-along? I want to know!

Good luck, and see you this Friday for the winner announcement!

EDIT: This Giveaway is now closed. Please come back on Monday for a chance at a new October giveaway prize!