Monday, December 22, 2014

Sew Sweet Simplicity - Block #3

It's time for another Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM block!!!  Are you ready?  

I really had to get busy and get this block done in time for you all today :)
Sometimes I wonder if I would ever get anything done without a deadline!

This Laurel Burch cat looks to me almost as though it has a halo, which of course reminded me of Gypsy, so that was naturally the one I chose from the panel print for this month's block =^..^=

I got off to a great start.  I knew exactly the fabrics I wanted to use. This purple is one I picked up while on my Thanksgiving travels - YUM!  It is from the same line as the blue I used in an earlier block.  (Shimmer by Timeless Treasures)  You can see the difference here..... aren't they beautiful???

And I wanted to put a nice gold in as well - this Laurel Burch fabric seemed perfect!  This picture is not quite true - it is brighter, and there are actually little punches of orangey-gold in this fabric where you see the darker brownish color patches.  You can see it better in the next photo I took earlier in the day.  I only have a small treasured piece of this!

And in referring back to my first two blocks, I realized that orange seems to be a recurring color, so I added a fun orange too :)

Before long, however, this block proved to be a little bit of a challenge for me.  Not the pattern of course - it was perfectly written and very easy to follow, as always :)  No, I had trouble deciding where to put each fabric in the block - not a common problem for me.  For some reason, I just couldn't visualize how they would look in different places in the block.  So this is how I auditioned them .....

After quite a bit of dilly-dallying (fun word huh?), I finally decided the gold would look like a crown around the cat, and I would save the purple for the outer sawtooth points....

I moved along pretty well after making these decisions, and here is the completed block!

I have to admit, I'm still not completely satisfied with it.  I'm thinking maybe those colorful strips around the cat cause it to fade away a little?  And that bright gold demands a lot of attention so perhaps the cat needs the stark outline of the black in order to shine as well?  I don't know what it is, but it's bothering me.

I'm keeping open the possibility of going back and removing those colorful strips and just framing the cat in black at a later date.  I want to be sure these beautiful felines are the focal point of the quilt!

So now that you've seen my block and listened to my whining, how about I share some fun news!


Yep, once again Jacquelynne is offering up one of her amazing pattern bundle prize packages as a Giveaway this month!  I just love that Sun Blossom Tote bag!  And the sand dollar quilt - ooooo, it makes me yearn for Summer!!!

You can win this fun PDF Patterns Package designed by Jacquelynne Steves simply by leaving a comment here on this post - perhaps let me know if you're loving Winter or you would rather Summer hurry up and get here (like me :)

Since this is the busy time of year, we will leave the Giveaway open through January 2, 2015.  But why not go ahead a leave us a fun comment now so you don't forget :*)  It is open to all US and International readers :)  

I think Jacquelynne is a little jealous that her blogger buddies are having all the fun giving away fun prizes, so she's decided to do a little GIVEAWAY on her blog today too!

You'll want to hop over to her blog (here) and get in on the chance to win one of her "mini-kits" of pre-cut fabrics to make one of these fun Sew Sweet Simplicity blocks out of her own fabric line, Cottage Charm.  All the pieces will be already cut for you, just arrange and sew - how easy is that?

That's not all Jacquelynne is offering FREE right now either!  If you sign up for her FREE e-magazine (here), she will send you a PDF of this lovely Red and White quilt.....

One other note to put on your calendar, we will be hosting a "Catch Up" day for the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM in January.  So if you haven't been able to play along - maybe the holidays have just been too busy? - or maybe you're all caught up but you'd like to make extra blocks?  Well, get your things together and get ready to sew along with us on "Catch Up" day!  Watch for more details to come soon :)

 We are looking forward to some children and grandchildren who will be traveling "over the river and through the woods to Grandma and Grandpa's house" :*) ♥♥♥  I probably won't have time to blog much between now and New Year's, so I wish you all a lovely Christmas week!!! 

Hugs & Blessings!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Playing in Fabric ......

It may not be cheaper than therapy anymore, but it sure is easier and definitely more fun!!!

Photo found on Pinterest

I want thank all of you for your sweet and loving comments about our loss of sweet Gypsy.  

Gypsy on my lap her last morning with us .....
I had to go pick her up and bring her upstairs with me
because she couldn't walk on her own anymore,
but I will always be glad that I did ....

I have to confess that I haven't been able to respond to each and every one of your comments - I get all choked up and upset all over again each time I sit down to the computer to answer those wonderful emails.  I hope you will understand and forgive me for not responding to you individually.  Please know that your compassion and caring lifted my spirits and gave me many reasons to smile through my tears the last few days :)  And I prayed for quite a few of you who shared your own pain at losing a beloved pet.  Praying for others is another thing that lifts me up out of the pit :)  Does it you too?

Today was a better day.  My Guy and I puttered around the house and tried to get back to what passes for normal around here.  I finally began to feel the urge to do some sewing again, and there were a few projects demanding attention.  Playing with fabric is usually a sure thing to take my mind off what ails me, and it didn't fail me today.  I pulled fabrics to my heart's content!

Aren't these luscious??? 

Rainbow version?

I'm really beginning to love working with solids - they have such impact!

Or how about these???

Sunset version?

Tone-on-Tone prints in bright, hot colors!

Hmmmm - how do I choose??? 

I know - You're wondering, "What is she up to now???"  LOL!!!  Well, there are few things that can yank me out of a deep hole better than pulling lots of gorgeous, color-drenched fabrics off the stash shelves and planning a new project!  So that's what I did today :)

I've decided I absolutely HAVE to make the Arcadia Avenue quilt by Shayla and Kristy Wolf of Sassafras Lane!  I'm sure you've seen this quilt, right?  It's been all over the Internet for months now :)  I went over to Sassafras Lane and bought the book the first day it became available - I knew the minute I saw it I would have to make it :*)  I do love to paper-piece and haven't had a good PP project in the works for quite a while - it's time!!!

The above picture shows it in beautiful Dear Stella dot fabrics and a light background .... (Psst....Canton Village Quilt Works has a limited number of kits available in this colorway if you're interested!)

Of course, I'm drawn to the darker background, and I really want to use that gorgeous shade of aqua in my pictures above.  (I know it looks more blue in the picture, but trust me - it is a perfect aqua!)  I've challenged myself to pull all the fabrics from my stash, although I will allow the purchase of one or two small pieces to complete the set if needed.   I already know I will have to buy a light and a medium constant.  I'm sure more of the fabrics in my pictures above will be subbed out for others.  A few are just there to audition the colors I think I might want to use, even though I know it is not the particular fabric I want to use.  Make sense?

My biggest problem right now is in deciding which color way!  I love the Rainbow version I've pulled together - YUM!!!  But I also love those sun-loving yellows, oranges and pinks in my Sunset version!  I may have to toss a coin - but I'm leaning toward the Sunset :) 

And just a reminder - Shayla Wolf is also the talented designer of the cute little Hootie owls I've been sharing with you!  She's super talented, isn't she?  I interviewed browns for the tree limbs today since I wasn't totally sold on the original choice of the chocolate brown (the one in the background between the Hooties).....

I think I've finally decided to go with these fabrics ....

I'm thinking most tree trunks and limbs are not really a dark chocolate brown, but rather have a lot more gray in them.  I kinda liked the touch of green in the top left batik and plan to work it in as the tree top somehow.  This project is on schedule to get lots of love next week :)  Since I've also worked these owls one block each month, I'm linking up with Lyn at What a Hoot! for her BOMs Away Party.  Did you see that she graduated?  That is such an accomplishment and I am so proud of her!!!!  I'm hoping this means we will begin seeing more of her lovely quilts in progress :)

But ..... before I did any of these things, I had to get my #3 Sew Sweet Simplicity block done and a post ready for you for Monday morning!

I hope you'll come check out all the fun blocks - and get inspired to make your own.  This month, there is a Bonus Block included, and there's another GIVEAWAY too!  Jacquelynne is just so generous to us, isn't she???

Now, I plan to get back to my therapy session - relax and pull some fabrics for my next Patchwork of the Crosses block!  Here is the start of my current block...

I'll be Slow Sunday Stitching on this, and hopefully start another, while watching football with My Guy tomorrow.  Why not pick up a slow stitching project and join the fun by linking up with Kathy's Quilts!

Hope you all have a lovely Sunday!
See you Monday morning, bright and early :)

Hugs & Blessings!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Long Live the Queen!

Our darling little Gypsy passed over the Rainbow Bridge today. I am pretty sure that right about now she is letting all the others there know that The Queen Has Arrived =^..^= 

We are at such a loss. She was with us for 18 and a half years and filled such a huge place in our lives. She felt it her duty to keep me company, no matter what I was doing. Always a faithful companion and ready at a moment's notice for a snuggle in my lap. 

There are so many things I'm sure I will not know how to do alone now..... drinking my tea in the quiet time with the Lord each morning with Gypsy in my lap....  winding down at the end of the day, watching a favorite show on TV with Gypsy in my lap....  watching the Panthers play football on Sunday afternoons with Gypsy at my side as I stitched....  she was even an excellent traveler!

I think the hardest thing for me will be when the Spring finally arrives.  She and I are always so excited to be able to get outside again.  We sit on the side porch in the early morning hours and welcome the warmth, grateful for the passing of winter and our enforced captivity inside.  I sip my tea and talk with the Lord, she sits beside me and listens, ever watchful for birds and intruder neighborhood cats, sniffing the air in appreciation.  We sit in companionable silence and watch the world come alive.  I'm sure I will have no idea how to do that alone this year.....

She may have loved my stash almost as much as I do!!!

            I am glad our sweet girl is no longer in pain or suffering, but we miss her terribly.....

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Rainbows and Winners!

This time of year is always so BUSY!!!  

I know you all know what I mean, right?  Getting ready for loved ones and grandbabies coming to visit.... putting up the tree and decorations.... Christmas parties and pot-luck luncheons with friends and guilds.... shopping for the perfect gifts.... putting the last stitch in this year's newest Christmas quilt... the list is endless.

It's a lot like babysitting the grandbabies - I love it, and it's always fun, but I'm always glad when it's over too :)  Frankly, at my stage of life, fun can be exhausting!

Of course, quilters cannot live by family and responsibilities alone, but by every stitch they can sneak in when no one is looking!  Am I right?  And I seem to remember that I did promise you the 9th Hootie recently, didn't I?

Well, wait no more......

Introducing Rainbow Hootie 
and boy, does he have ATTITUDE!!!!

If the sun ever comes out, I'll get some better pics!

Rainbow Hootie is the Hippee Flower Child of his family LOL!!  I've decided to name this quilt, "Whooooo's Your Daddy?"  I mean, can you see all of the other owls looking anywhere but at Rainbow?  No one wants to claim him as family LOL!!!  Not that it seems to bother him any - he's chillin' and sportin' that whole "Make Love, Not War" attitude :*)  He's just happy to be hanging out with the crowd and doing his own thing!

I'm almost finished sewing all the feathers down, and next I will assemble the "limb" sashing strips and the tree trunk on the left.  I'm having second thoughts about the brown - it makes the whole quilt look dark I think.  I hate to say it, but I just may have to go shopping!!!!  Eeeek!!!!

I have no idea right now how I will quilt it, but I just can't wait to finish it now that I'm this close!  Everyone doing the Rainbow Scrap Challenge over at SoScrappy this year is trying to finish up our projects for the end of the year, and this will be my second finish if I can pull it off.


And speaking of finishes, did you notice my Partridge in a Pear Tree table-topper in the blog header???

Oh, I really love how this turned out!
It dresses up the fireplace area nicely, and adds a pop of color :)

I think the partridge turned out really nice!  The striped batik worked perfectly for his wing.  I re-designed the black striping around his face from the original pattern design (you can see the original pattern picture here if you are interested).

 And the pears cut "broderie perse"-style also worked perfectly.  I used this fabric....

Ironed light fusible on the back, and then cut out the pears and fused them to the background.  Then I just did a simple straight stitch around all the edges.

I even used some of the leaves from the fabric (the ones with gold in them), as well as the ones I cut from my own green scraps.

Don't you just love that red print for the border???  To me, it looks like bright red Christmas bulbs :)

I'm very happy with it and look forward to many years of enjoying it during the holiday season!


And now to take care of a little business .... 

I really want to thank everyone who came over to visit during the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day :)  So many lovely comments!  And I have some new followers too - Yay!!!  Welcome aboard :)

And so, without further ado.....

    ♥  The WINNER of the 100 Blocks Volume 4 issue from my Giveaway Day with Sew Mama Sew is - Cathy who blogs over at A Quilting Chick!!!  You should pop over and visit her blog - she is making Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion mystery quilt and I just LOVE her colors and fabrics!!!!

    ♥  and - I realized I have never officially announced the WINNER of the Sew Sweet Simplicity Giveaway (my bad!)  Congratulations to - Kathy E!  Kathy blogs over at Sparkles, Sprinkles and Everyday Crap - cute name huh?!?  She's a fairly new quilter and has challenged herself to make the SSS blocks - and doing a great job of it too!  Kathy has already received her pattern package from Jacquelynne Steves :)

Now don't despair if you didn't win - there will be several more prize packages to come in this fun BOM before it's over!  Be sure to go to Jacquelynne's blog to sign up for the free patterns if you haven't already HERE!

And I know you want to grab a copy of the Christmas Edition of her E-magazine!  I just received mine the other day in my email inbox - wow!!!  Such lovely inspiration!!!!  You don't want to miss out on that either, so while you're there, sign up for the FREE e-magazine too HERE :)

And for those of you who act fast, Jacquelynne is giving away a FREE PATTERN right now on her blog HERE for this oh-so-cute and classic Red and White quilt...

Photo courtesy of Jacquelynne Steves Facebook

Now I'm going to watch some football with My Guy 
and play with my Patchwork of the Crosses blocks for a while.
Today is Slow Sunday Stitching with Kathy's Quilts after all :)

Slow Sunday Stitching

Also linking up with the Tuesday Linky Party at

Wishing everyone a lovely Sunday!!!!

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hooray It's Giveaway Day!!!!

I have to admit, Giveaway Day almost slipped up on me!

Thanks so much to Sew Mama Sew 
for sponsoring this fun blog hop once again!

I am so happy to join in on the fun!
And you will be too when you see what I'm giving away :)

How about a really nice copy of Volume 4 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks?  These are SO HARD to find once they are off the shelves!   Volume 4 came out in Winter of 2011, and the only copy I found online was digital.  Somehow, I ended up with two copies of this one (and none of some of the others - that's how it goes sometimes, right?).  This copy is in great condition, very clean, unread, and all patterns are intact :)

If you're not familiar with the 100 Blocks issues, they come out about twice a year, and they contain 100 original blocks by some of the most exciting designers out there today!  This issue has blocks by Bonnie Hunter, Crabapple Hill, Kaffe Fassett, Kim Diehl, Weeks Ringle & Bill Kerr, Jan Krentz, Pam Kitty Morning, Camille Roskelley, Denise Russart - and so many more!

The upper right block in this photo is Bonnie Hunter's block, and look at that adorable Lil' Monkey block by Sonja Callaghan!

Here's a closer pic of some of the others that are shown on the front cover....

I'd love to share my bounty with you, so if you'd like to win, just leave me a comment on this post telling me which quilting magazine is your current favorite.  I have to admit, I love Quiltmaker!  I also usually enjoy McCalls, especially their Christmas issue :)

No hoops to jump through to win!  You don't have to follow, but if you are a follower, thank you!  You may leave a second message letting me know that you follow, and I'll put your name in for a second chance to win!  Now, remember - I MUST have an email address in order to award the winner.  This giveaway is open to both domestic and international readers, and I will keep it open until midnight Friday, December 12, 2014.

BEFORE YOU GO .... you might like to see what I've been working on lately :)  I'd love to have your encouragement and input as I work on these fun projects!

My favorite current project is finishing up my Hootie quilt!

This is a block that I got from Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Volume 7, and it is designed by the very talented Shayla Wolf of Sassafras Lane Designs.  I made one of these blocks each month along with the Rainbow Scrap Challege hosted by SoScrappy.  I eventually decided against the gray Hootie in the bottom right - and went with just a little different look for the 9th Hootie - here's a peek....

Today I spent a good part of the day preparing pieces for my newest project, Patchwork of the Crosses - these are my "slow down and relax as I piece by hand" blocks :)  Here are the blocks I have finished ....

And this one is in process....

During my Thanksgiving travel, I picked up a few pieces that I thought might work for this design.  Here are a few of them ...

.... and I think they are going to work very well ....

Oh yes, I'm excited!!!!

I hope you'll come back after you have visited all the other fun blogs during Giveaway Day.  You just never know what we might get up to here at A Quilt and A Prayer =^..^=

Hugs & Blessings!

Also linking up with:
Tuesday Linky Party
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...