Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A giveaway to celebrate our Independence Day

I am in the process of re-stocking my batting in my brick and mortar. I would love to hear your thoughts on:

What batting do you use ?
Cotton, poly, bamboo, soy, wool?
Pre-packaged or off the bolt/roll?
Machine or hand quilting...do you buy different batts for either?
Warm and Natural, Legacy, Hobbs, Luna, or ?
Does the cost alter your choice?

I have a Red, White and Blue quilt kit, designed by moi,  to giveaway, if you answer my questions please!  Why, yes it is a baby/toddler/lap size quilt! I'll draw a winner the 4th of July, toss me some answers and I'll put your name in the draw. You will have to return to my blog on the 4th to see if you are a winner if you wish to remain private or you don't have a blog. Of course you can enter if you don't live in the US! That's how I roll. Thanks, Elaine
Did ya notice, I didn't mention the goofy chooks!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What gives me inspiration

My weakness is scraps. I cannot believe it myself. I buy them from my fellow etsians, cannot help myself. I love the varied colors and different manufacturers. I have bought a few bags of them in Christmas prints, kind of girly girl prints and colors. Colors and prints I would not normally buy, but it isn't for me and I need to learn to be a little more adventurous. 

 I was reading on a few other blogs about starting Christmas gifts early? I didn't have time to fully investigate it, but the whole idea is very appealing to me. I have started one of my little quilts, I'll show you a little peek...more to follow later.  

These are mixc. scraps from different designers, Michael Miller, Riley Blake...have I mentioned I love Riley Blake?l...Moda, and I'm sure I'll remember others after I hop in the tub.

So what inspires you....?
And if you weren't sick of my chicken talk and/or pics, there is more. I haven't mentioned that I am a banty (of 5) mommy and sweetly asked BD to perhaps help with an enclosure for them. Ok, fine, I used my helpless female routine and he fell for it! Now, before you young ladies shake your heads in disgust...this routine does come in handy for when...the sewer backs up in the bathtub, the dog has a foreign object protruding from his rectum or any other disgusting thing that really makes you toss your cookies! Trust me, it works.

Cute little enclosure,huh? Ahhhh.....where are my banty chickens?

See the gate? We leave it open, so they can peck around the front yard at their leisure and come back to their condo for food and water. Since we leave the gate open, they stick around.
So..... if you look up above the gate...there are my babies! All 5 of them. They don't go to bed anymore...they go to tree! Cute little buggers. Thanks for stopping by, Elaine

The ultimate cheapskate...!

Big Daddy has a dog. Not just any dog, but a big dog that eats....hair brushes, Nyla-bones, furniture, and now the bedroom door.
 Yeah, she's cute until the crunching starts.  Take note, it takes mere nano seconds to shred a bear and trash the house~~

Lets set the stage. We live in Texas and it is VERY HUMID most of the time. Now, couple that with the average daily temperature pushing 100 degrees for several weeks.

Homey loves to go riding with BD, but not in this weather, EVER! It is way to dangerous for dogs to be left in vehicles.

A few weeks ago, we decided to go someplace together for several hours and we put, said Princess aka Homey (not that strange a dog name if you knew us), in our bedroom with her boy toy, Poco, who is also a Rottie, water and food. The rest of the dogs roamed the house. We have to separate our kids because our two little ones are Chihuahuas and we don't want the Rotties to get hurt, lol. We have done this many times, for up to 6 hours at a time, without mishap.

But....this was the first time for Homey, and the last.

 Did you know that the doors inside your home are hollow core? By that I mean that the doors are multi layers of some kind of pressed wood, to equal the outer and  inner sides of the door. The insides are filled with a cardboard type crap that is not only filling for dogs but also creates lots of fun when peeled off and chewed up to be spit out? Did you also know that, when you, as a dog, start peeling this crap off, well heck, it's nearly impossible to stop? Kinda like a potato chip with a woody texture.

Big Daddy replaced the bedroom door and set the old one out in the carport/hay storage shed/excess house junk. I am not even close to kidding either!

We built a nesting box for our chooks, a nine hole delivery suite for those little hens. I tore apart an ugly little bookshelf, pried boards off pallets, gleaned some boards from our outsheds and a big piece of red metal leftover from roofing our house. BD wanted to run down to the lumber yard but I insisted, since we started with "make-dos", that we finish with them. You know, kinda like a scrap quilt? It may appear a little heavy, but that sucker ain't going nowhere!

Wood for the nesting boxes: free    
Up-cycling the inside of the bedroom door for a chicken runway: priceless!

I have actually been sewing....wahoo! Pics to follow up tomorrow. Stay cool, Elaine                                                                                            

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I love the mail delivery person today!

A while back, Ms Lottie had a blogaversary, so since I am slightly off kilter, I wrote and told her I wanted to post some batik scraps off to her....she wrote back and suggested that we swap scraps. I have to tell ya, after the mail came yesterday, I was slightly totally in awe! That little scamp sent me some wool from New Zealand...oh heck yeah! And some batiks from there as well! All that loot was enclosed in the cutest little cloth gift bag. And if that wasn't enough, she sent me the custest little hanger quilt ever! That little sucker is going on my wall above my sewing area in my sewing hoarders closet room.  I started laughing, couldn't help myself!

I love you Ms.Lottie! Thank you for making my day!!!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Our next quilt project

I did a little searching today for  something fun, colorful and fairly quick (read: big blocks and super easy). So, sister, want to make one of these?
This quilt was designed by a very talented longarm quilter, for Riley Blake designs. A fabric company that I am falling in love with. The quilters name is Lisa Sipes and she has put up a tutorial on this site. If you get a chance, check out their new Christmas line, awesome, loving it to pieces.
Since this Christmas fabric isn't out yet, you want to try it in some different colors...like blacks and whites? Let me know, I'll get some fat quarters off to ya, since I know you love cutting your own fabrics, lol!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hey Sister...check out our newsworthy pics!

Answers for Michele on the Go-cutter

Sorry I didn't make myself clear on my new Accu quilt go cutter. I bought the machine and added 2 dies with it in the 1 1/2" and 2" strips. I have been looking at it since it came out. MY reason for buying one was that I can cut 2" strip with my ruler and rotary cutter and if the ruler slips, even with those dots on the back of the ruler, I have a tendency to let my ruler slide a tad bit...so my 2" strips are 2" at one end and somewhere in the middle those little suckers are now slipping into 2 1/4" to 2 3/8" at the other end. So you know that small amount of waste when cutting your strips? You're going to have waste here too!


The die is either square or rectangular and the blades for cutting ARE INSIDE THE DIE. The roller is smooth and pulls the die, with the plastic cutting mat on top. The pieces are ready to sew when you roll the die thru the roller.                     

If you go to the Accuquilt-Go site, you can hop around and see what all they have to offer. I have seen ads in nearly all the quilt magazines for this machine and noted that Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims are spokespeople for it. When I went to the site, I found that their are these videos.....fix a box lunch, it's going to take some time to see all of them!

I searched all over and couldn't for the life of me figure out how this thing worked...so I did the video watching and finally found out! The blades of the dies are embedded into the foam of the dies, duh! Ever have one of those moments?

It isn't for everyone, I'm sure, but for me, it is for me. Hindsight is something, eh? I wish I had held out and bought the studio cutter. I do love this one but with the studio it would take more fabric then the 6 layers I am now using. But, if you use 6 layers of fabrics, you get 12 sets of 1/2 square triangles at once, pretty cool!

Like any other big purchase, do your homework. Ask yourself if cutting in large amounts is what you want/need? How much fabric can you buy for $350.00? Each machine comes with the star die and if you want to get other dies, they are separately available and also cost. When you purchase the die, you also need the plastic cutting mat. The dies don't wear out but the plastic mats will need to be replaced as they do wear out.

Would I buy it again...omg, yes! I am already cutting like crazy on the star die. I am using the large and small square for future projects and the 1/2 square triangles for pinwheels for the granddaughters.

Some of you know that I have a brick and mortar shop, and I will be stocking it as well as the dies. I am not going to offer them in my etsy shop as I don't feel that would be very nice since Accuquilt is selling them online. I would love to sell one to whomever wants one with free continental shipping in the USA, but just know,  YOU HAVE TO ASK for it!

Is this helpful Michele? Any other questions? My elderly friend called and needs help in the AM to put her quilt frame together, so I am going to bed. Have a great day today, Elaine

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More of the Accuquilt Go and a cool giveaway

I went surfing and found this site and was in complete awe! A very savvy lady Caron is, quilt maker and business lady too. I was enthralled with her advice and her pics. She is having a fun giveaway on her site and the first question is, name some Michigan trivia! I had an original answer, lol.

Back to the Go-cutter. I had some yummo Riley Blake Christmas scraps that I cut a little bigger then the 1/2 square triangles, laid the plastic cutting mat on top and rolled over the fabrics.

Removed the excess fabric, of which the wide ones are going into my Wacky-log-cabin-someday box. The rest of the strips are less then 1/4" and were tossed. There ya go Tara, very little waste, wahoo!
And do you see the little notches? Heart be still....the little niblets are cut off before you sew? OMG, this is genius!

AND, the bestest part? If you lay the pieces down, right sides together, you  just pick that little sucker up and sew it. Yep, all ready to go. As painful as my hands are, this is a snap to use.

After I sewed them together, I just pressed them. I can see a Christmas pinwheel. I am so in love with this Riley Blake....has anyone else bought any? I heart every piece, so yummo!
I better go let my dogs out before bed. Ya'll have a great night. Don't forget to check out Carons' blog and her super fun giveaway, Elaine 

New fangled can be explosive

So, I bought one of these and let it sit for a couple weeks, don't know why. This morning I decided I would give it a road test
It's pretty hard to see the lines, but this particular die set has 1/2 square triangles, a small square and a large square...all ready for a 12 1/2" finished star square. I was a little concerned about the fabric waste. I rough cut the pieces for the 1/2 square triangles with right sides facing, cut them out and realized that

those pesky little corners are cut at the same time! OMG, did a woman design this or what? I am in total love.....
Now, I need to show you what Mama Sparks sent me

I wrote and told her that her Pink Flamingo quilt was worthy, way worthy of awards....if I didn't, well, I should have. She was so sweet and sent me a ton of Pink Flamingo fabric with a coordinating HUGE piece, to make my own! I was truly humbled by her gift and will be for a good long while.
 The other gift was a bag 'o selvedges from Nancy . I guess I was at the lucky end of the straw for this one! Wahoo, double wahoo!

I have a big bunch of them, think HOARDER! and have a great project in mind...kinda scary, right? Thank you Nancy, give those babies extra kisses.
I have got to get back to that darn GO...little heart be still! I am going to have these in my shop. If you are interested in one, write to me as I will not put them in my etsy shop. Later...moi

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

my Bad

I guess I was a little flippant on my last post and I do apologize for it. I never meant to hurt anyones feelings or make them feel less then...so, my heart is on my sleeve and I am actively eating crow.

 I hope you all understand. I do treasure each and everyone that writes me and that reads my blog. It's like my Facebook account. I log on to see pics of my grandkids and children and my beautiful  great grandson. I don't have time to start a garden, feed the kittens or round up animals for others. I am not trying to demean anyone, I really am not. I just choose not to get involved. After my sister left, I found a million things that needed  done and haven't got done. I am not too keen on spending alot of time on the PC. My right hand is very painful...I'm unable to clench my fist. My left hand is nearly that bad. It is difficult to type. The mornings are better for my hands. Go figure, I love hand quilting and knitting, yeah, not fun now. So, if I can ever get a job so that I have insurance then I can see a doctor. Until then, I tolerate bilateral trigger finger of my ring fingers and middle fingers. I keep praying that they don't stick!
And if you have a few minutes, go to Debbies blog and check out her awesome windchimes. I love the one with the authentic calf/cow tag! Very chic.
Now I am going to go unpack my Go-cutter and see if I like it, Elaine

Monday, June 14, 2010

One or two bloggers...

...sent me an award. I don't want to put anyone on the spot so if you so like, please accept this from me! The first kind lady sent this love to me and have to tell 7 things about me. Ms.Lottie had sent me one last week, but, well, things were kinda hectic. She sent me a blogger award that says I need to tell 10 things about myself. OMG...IF I REALLY TELL, NO ONE WILL RETURN HERE!!! Oh well, lol. I'll edit and lie a bit so I look so much better for ya'll.
I hate chocolate.
I hoard gifting bags.
I want a fairy door for my tree that has a swing.
I covet wood cook stoves, yes I have used one and yes, I love them!
I want to actually finish an applique album quilt.
I never graduated high school but did graduate college.
I yearn for soil in my garden that IS NOT CLAY!!!
That's all I can think of and couldn't even think of a lie, hee,hee!
And yes, I am working on a quilt. It's for my bff and I will post pics since she doesn't read my blog. I love it, hoping you will too! Later, Elaine

Hey, do you a small piece to spare for a fellow quilter?

I follow this crazy lady on  blogger who is so sweet and amazingly talented...and is making a quilt in memory of her grandmother. She is seeking very small scraps of owl fabrics since she is unable to get any from her lqs. Go to her blog and read up on this request, it's gonna crack you up! Liz also works at a lqs and does amazing quilty stuff. She also posts animal pics weekly that are very cute.

Thanks in advance. Don't forget to check out her blog and her quilting, you'll love it! Who knows, maybe next week you'll need deer fabric scraps and I have some of that...Elaine
This pattern is calling my name...7" square applique blocks, really sweet! I wonder how it would look in batiks?
It's in my shop, check it out, Elaine

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Buhbye Sista....until August, 2011

I am gonna miss ya sister, thanks for finding me!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What have I done!~

Georgie with her first quilt, washed, dried and wrapped around her!
What she learned:

Using a rotary cutter, ruler and the cutting mat.

Dog hair does come out.
Pin basting on the carpet.
Machine quilting with the walking foot.
Making your own bias binding and applying one side by machine and hand stitching the free edge down.
Signing your quilt is mucho important.

It is 1516 (3:16 pm) and she has 12 free form log cabin blocks finished and ready for trimming. My sister is out of control and loving the "quilting thing".

All I can say is I feel blessed to have a sister and to teach her to quilt...well, that's priceless!! I'm  going to fix Italian Meatball Soup for dinner and Georgie is making the biscuits....yummo! Have a great evening, Elaine                                                                                   

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Giveaway time at Micheles blog

Just so ya'll know, my friend Michele is having a giveaway over  at her house! She has a $40.  gift certificate, 2  fat quarter bundles of new fabrics, and a super great book....what? I should not tell you so I can win, he,he,he!! Let's get some traffic headed her way....4 great prizes. You go Michele!

Countdown to quilt within reach

Georgie has been here a week today....and is FINISHING,
yes people, FINISHING the binding on her disappearing 9 patch!
Now, can you believe that...kinda makes me feel magical.

Bias binding was an absolute must to learn.
I  told her it was a quilt police rule...no buying of binding at the store in the little packages, nada, gotta do it from scratch.
"why do I have to make bias binding?"
"because you WANT to learn how!"

We had deep fried turkey and Banoffee pie yesterday...she has sent for her things and is now moving in, lol! She likes weird suthrun foods.

Like a duck to water I tell ya. Houston, we have a problem.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What we're up to this week in Texas

Let me introduce my sister Georgie to ya'll! She is going to regale ya with the high falutin ways of her fabulous, wonderful sister....moi! Georgie, take the mike honey,......

Hi. A. I.m loveing Texas and being with my baby sister.Shes got me quilting and I love it. Hooked......for sure. My sister and I sooo much alike. We have 57 yr. to catch up on and its fun. I even ate a deep fryed  turkey. What I LOVE about my sister is she makes me feel so at home. Bye for now. Georgie


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Teaching a sister new tricks

Here she is, my sister Georgie!

Georgie, "I have never made a quilt".
Me, "Let me show you my Christmas Quilt ".

Yep, that's all it took...another quilter convert!
Disclaimer: The wine glasses contain REAL WINE!