What a Lovely Week!

Yes, what a lovely week it has been. We’ve had sunshine, and we’ve had snow. Thankfully, we had more sunshine than snow, but it was nice to look out for just a brief moment and see snow flying through the air, and I do mean flying! The wind was blowing it almost completely horizontally. What a treat!
Valentine Roses
Of course Valentine’s Day falling during the week made for a nice change as well. I got these from my husband of soon to be 25 years, and Dove chocolates and a new book to read from my secret stitchin’ sister at our guild meeting on Thursday night. Our program that evening was given by Miss Bonnie on the red and white quilts that were exhibited at the Armory in New York back in 2011. Absolutely perfect for a guild meeting that fell on Valentine’s Day.1 Dozen Roses

I had all three of children here at one time or another during the week which hasn’t happened for a while. Everyone seems to be going in their own direction these days, except me of course. I’m here all the time, save for going to a guild meeting now and then and an occasional Friday night date. That’s probably just as well because I still can’t seem to find enough time to get done all that I want and need to do. Amazing!

We had our second Stitchin’ Camp last weekend and the ladies seemed to enjoy themselves as much as ever. They get sooooo many projects finished at camp! We had a few who had attended the first camp and returned for the second camp, and we had several who returned from last year, and then there were a few who had never been to camp before. I love having them all! I need to come up with a little different menu for the third camp which will be held March 7-9. Want to join us? There’s still room if you do.

Miss Frances' Medallion Quilt
On Saturday afternoon we have Show-n-Tell. We’ve seem some amazing quilts over the years during this time. Like this quilt shown at our January camp by Miss Frances. It started its life with just the center section that was taught in a guild workshop several years ago. The center section is known as a Gordian Knot and was taught by Nancy Allain. Our guild later had a challenge whereby the quilt had to start with a medallion center and was to grow from there. Miss Frances did a wonderful job of incorporating all the different requirements of the challenge.
Spicy Spiral Runner
Miss Pat taught a spiral table runner at the January camp and we had several of those to enjoy. She also brought several of her quilts that were made with the Twister tool and the X-Block tool. She believes that learning how to use a tool isn’t enough. You have to use the tool over and over again in order to really master it and keep the technique in your head. In order to master the technique she usually makes six, or more, of the new project so she doesn’t forget how. Here’s one of the runners that Victoria made (not my Victoria). Aren’t the colors wonderful!!!
Susan's Elegant Runner
Another impressive runner that was made in the January camp is this one. Susan did a beautiful job on this one, making it longer than the pattern says. While it looks very complicated, it’s done with striped fabric from the Holiday Flourish collection by Peggy Toole for Robert Kaufman. Isn’t this runner absolutely gorgeous! You’d have to see it in person to really appreciate its beauty. If you’ve been looking for a quick and easy runner this one is exactly what you need. What an impact you get with only seven seams!

OK…I can now see how Flicker might come in handy for posting lots of show-n-tell photos. I’ll have to look into setting up an account so you can see all the other wonderful projects that we enjoyed during both camps as well as our camps last year. I think I have some photos from those camps as well that I could share with you.

I want to alert you to a new blog hop sponsored by Moda that starts tomorrow. You won’t want to miss this hop as there will be several 9” block patterns to save and prizes to win. Some of the designers you will know and some of them will be new to both you and me. I’m putting a reminder on my calendar now so I don’t get caught up in other goings on here and forget. This should be great fun so mark your calendar too!

It’s my turn!!! The day I’ve been waiting for (and fretting over) has finally arrived. Ever since I ran across this pattern on Jill Finley’s website last year I have wanted to make it. Did I get a round to it? No, of course not. Soooooo, when I discovered that there was going to be a blog hop and the main attraction was going to be this pillow I decided I’d better sign up or the project would be one more thing on my wanna-do-one-of-these-days list. Yes, it is a very, very long list.

Finding time to make the project now proved to be just as difficult as it has been all year, but remembering the words of my high school band director, Mr. Lambert, I decided that results, not excuses, were what I needed to strive for. Of course, I had to make the project my own and change some things. I know you’re not surprised. Before I tell you what I changed though I’ll show you the whole project. Cute, huh!

Now, to explain the changes and why, just in case you’re interested. The main thing I changed was the construction method of the project. Rather than doing the piecing I turned the project into an appliqué one. Why? Well, first because all this time that’s what I thought it was to begin with. No, I had not looked at the actual instructions until it was time to start working on the project. Secondly, and more importantly, because I greatly dislike sewing on a drawn line and flipping back corners. Yes, I dislike it enough to prefer the “A” word technique. I used the measurements of the rectangles given for the houses and drafted my appliqué patterns accordingly…with one exception. You see, I prefer smaller projects and really didn’t need such a large pillow. You may not have been able to tell it from the photo, but I shrank the houses so that they’re only 2-1/4” wide and their height is half of the measurements given for those rectangles in the original pattern. Of course, I then had to draw my own rooftops and trees, but that wasn’t too difficult, even for someone like me who has trouble drawing stick figures that are recognizable.

I decided that instead of having a black background I would use a lovely night sky fabric that we have on hand and Michael Miller’s Fairy Frost for the snow covered ground. I mean after all, if there’s that much snow on the rooftops there must be snow on the ground. Right? Then I decided I didn’t want dark windows but lighted ones, hence the golden glow emanating from two of the houses. I also thought it might be kind of interesting to look into one of those houses and see the occupants’ tree all decorated up. Last, but not least, I made one of the houses yellow because I’ve always wanted to paint our house yellow. I doubt that it will ever happen though. It used to be a medium shade of green at one time many, many years ago. We found evidence of that on the part that was built in the 1850s.

My project ended up measuring about 11”x16” (I didn’t measure it after it was put together) and will be a wallhanging instead of a pillow. Then again, I might get creative and decide to use it as the center, or one section somewhere, in a larger wallhanging and add some of my favorite wintery things in other blocks. Talk about getting the creative juices flowing!!! I think I’ll live with it as is for the time being and just ruminate over it a while. As they say, you can’t rush greatness…

Many thanks to Miss Jill for so generously giving us her pattern. I love her work and plan on making several projects from her latest book…one of these days. Thanks too to Mdm. Samm for all she does to promote and encourage our creativity and to Miss Pauline for cheering us on and answering question after question for this technically challenged person. Be sure to visit each and every one of the blogs listed below because without a doubt you’ll find even more inspiration. That’s what it’s all about; inspiring and challenging each other to explore areas that are interesting but maybe a little scary were it not for the reassurance of like-minded individuals, of which there are thankfully many.

Words and Stitches
Trying to Blog
Peanut’s Patchwork
Moosestash Quilting
A Loose Thread
stitch, stitch, stitch
In Stitches and Seams
Hooked on Quilting – Enjoy!
A Reformed Heath’n
As Sweet as Peaches
Geema’s Wonderings

Until Next Year…

Our second annual Shop Hop is officially over! Were you able to visit all the shops you intended to? Some folks visited here more than once during the hop so I expect it might be a while before we see them again. Hopefully, it won’t be too long, but I bet it won’t be before the end of the month.

While our physical shop hop has ended you can still enjoy some great freebies by going on a blog hop sponsored by Quilting Gallery. Once you go to their site just look for the Autumn Block Party button on the right hand side. Click on that and you will discover and learn about designers you may have not heard of as well as be able to enjoy a free 12” block from each of 45 designers over the coming weeks made especially for the Block Party. There will be three different designs posted each week along with three different deals of which you may wish to take advantage. So far there have been designs posted for three weeks (nine blocks) so you’re a little bit behind. Choosing a block to start with won’t be easy. I’ve had a little time to think about it though, and I think I’ll start with Hide-n-Seek by Shelly Pagliai of Prairie Moon Quilts. It is sooo cute and absolutely purrrfect for this time of year! Best hop on over there pronto! You won’t want to miss anything!

Now, back to our local shop hop. I owe you two door prize winner names – one from Friday and one from Saturday. I wish I could give everyone something special, but then that might take the specialness out of winning if everyone was a winner. All in all we had eight winners in this shop, and I’m guessing the other shops had multiple winners as well. It would be nice to compile a list of all the winners and see how many folks actually ended up winning something.

Okay…without further ado the winner for Friday was drawn by Miss Martha when she came in Saturday morning. Yes, I forgot again. Our Friday winner was Heather St. Clair. Congratulations Heather! The winner for Saturday was drawn by Victoria after she came in from playing at a wedding in Tuscumbia. The name she drew was Rhonda St. Charles. Congratulations Rhonda!

We’re open to feedback on your hop experience. Tell us what you liked and what you think could be improved upon. Tell us what things might entice you to hop again, or hop at all, next year. Did not having a specific pattern to pick up at each shop bother you? Did having smaller prizes from each shop bother you rather than having one or two big prizes? Did you visit a shop that you’d never been to before, or did you stick with the shops you have frequented in the past? Was sufficient time given to allow you to get to all the shops you wanted to visit? Since this event is meant to get your creative juices flowing for the long winter months ahead, we want to make sure that you were sufficiently pumped after you left the last shop on your list. If that didn’t happen for you please let us know what to change so next year will be even better.

OK…I can’t stand it…How about one more winner? If you leave a comment before 9:00 p.m. CST Saturday, September 29 answering some, or all, of the questions above I’ll randomly pick a name from those who comment and award one last prize. Put your thinking cap on and help us make future shop hops well worth your time and effort to participate.

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