Thursday, August 28, 2008

Birthday Giveaway!!

Today is my birthday! I hope you can come to my party because I am giving away a party favor to one lucky quilter and one lucky knitter.


Here are the two prizes:

A quilt for a quilter...


And sock yarn and a set of bamboo double pointed needles for a knitter.

The quilt was made by me and measures 14"x20" and will be very hard to part with. Luckily I made it with this giveaway in mind which makes it a little easier. The sock yarn is from my stash. It is Knit Picks Essential in the Burgundy colorway. I hope it will go to a good home, become a beautiful pair of socks, and write me letters of its adventures now and then.


All you need to do to come to the party is leave me a comment telling me if you are a knitter or a quilter and within that genre what pattern you have made most often. If you haven't made a pattern multiple times then tell me your favorite one.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I'm outta here!

I never thought it would happen when I read this post. Did you read that paragraph at the end? The one with the invite? I called her up to tell her that was just mean (teasing of course) because there was no way that I could come. Then my mom e-mailed me asking if I was going and when I said no she offered to fly me there saying she wanted to "repay" me for a favor I did for her. Wow! Then my husband said, " You should go and have fun. I will work from home that week." Double wow!

So I get to spend a week in California! My sweetheart is going to stay home with the kids so I don't have to worry about anything! Somebody pinch me!

My parents are picking me up and I get to spend a few days at their house. I love hanging out with my mom and dad. My mom is a knitter so we sit and knit together and I love it. My grandma lives nearby so I will get to see her too. My mom and I will drive down to Tina's house and spend a few days with her. I am excited to see her. We won't have time to make a sister quilt or work on our Dear Jane quilt, but we will be going to the quilt show on my birthday! So fun!

I set this to post while I am in the air. I hope security let me take my knitting needles on the plane!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First, Worst, & Best

First
On my birthday 11 years ago (give or take a year because I am not sure) my
sister sent me a quilt kit that she had made me. It was for a small wall quilt with appliqued hearts. She had cut out just about everything so it was as simple as possible for me to put it together. It was my first quilt and after that I was hooked!



It is very much a first quilt! The binding is pretty funny but I did hand sew it which I am pretty impressed by when I look back.


The only quilting I did on this quilt is the hand quilting around the hearts. That's it. I think I burned out just doing that.


So if I ever try to wash it (and I never have), I will probably want to finish the quilting on it. And now that I think about it, I probably shouldn't wash it because the hearts are fused on and not secured with stitching. It is a cute pattern and it was really fun to do. I will always be grateful to my sister for introducing me to quilting.



Worst
A few years after I had made my first quilt, I decided to make a quilt for my daughter. I chose some blocks I had made shortly after I finished my first quilt. I had used a St. Louis Star pattern that I had gotten out of a beginners quilting book. I figured since I already had the blocks it would work up really quickly and it did. I wanted it to fit on a twin bed so I made it exactly the size of the top and made a ruffle to hang down and cover the sides of the mattress. I tied the quilt using red ribbons and then tied them into bows. I used a thick polyester batting that has since pulled away from the sides and bunched up in places.



One day a friend was visiting and I proudly showed her the quilt. She says, "Those look like swastikas". I was so horrified that I grabbed the quilt and stuffed it in the bottom of a trunk.



And there it stayed until my daughter found it years later and wanted it on her bed. Ugh! I can laugh about it now but it took me a long time to see any humor in it. Now I think it is pretty funny that I unknowingly made a "swastika" quilt for my blond haired, blue eyed, baby girl. Sure, they are backwards swastikas but it is still just so wrong!!



Best
I think I would have to say my best quilt so far is my Sylvia's Bridal Sampler quilt. For no other reason than the fact that C&T Publishing picked it to be in Jennifer Chiaverini's new pattern book and I could not be more excited about it!




Want to play along? Post your first, worst, and best quilts on your blog! Don't forget to leave me a comment when you do so that I can come see!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Anniversary

This past weekend was our 12th wedding anniversary!

I surprised my husband (and my kids) by arranging for our kids to spend the weekend with my sister that lives an hour away. Thanks, sis!! While the kids had a ball with their cousins, we had a ball being alone!

It is so amazing to be alone for an extended period of time with no distractions (I love them like crazy, but I am talking about our kids). It felt like back when we were dating and it was exciting and all you wanted to do was be together!

Friday night after I dropped the kids off, I met hubby and we had a date. He brought me a big, gorgeous bouquet of the most fragrant flowers. (I wish I would have taken a picture right away when they were looking extra fresh)




On our date we went to the temple and then out to dinner to Black Angus. We had never eaten there before and it was yummy and we had plenty to take home and have the next night.


On Saturday we were responsible and had some fun too. Our closet shelving broke a week ago so we spent some time putting our new shelving together and installing it. I love working together on a project. Hubby even gave me more room for my clothes to hang (which took away from his clothes space) and I didn't even ask for it. He is so sweet to me! We also went out to the movies and ran some errands.

On Sunday we went to church without the kids (they went to church with my sister) and that was so weird to not have them there. Last night we drove to my sister's house and had dinner and picked up the kids. It was so good to see them and I missed them a lot.

I can't believe I am lucky enough to be married to my best friend! I feel so blessed to have him as my husband and the father of my children. Here's to 12 more happy years!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

DQS4

I finished my quilt for the Doll Quilt Swap 4!


Now I just have to come up with some extra goodies before I send it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Birthday Weekend

This last weekend was a big secret! Sunday was my daughter's birthday and my husband and I had been planning a secret getaway for our family. It started Thursday night when we surprised the kids with a Mariners game. We left the house with an excuse to run some errands, put a movie on it the car, and the kids didn't even realize what was going on until we got there. It was Stitch n Pitch night and I brought my knitting...


Yep, I started another sock! I already had tickets to sit in the section with all the knitters but my husband got tickets from work to their company's suite. How can you pass up a comfy chair and lots of yummy catered food? In the 6th inning we all took a trip up to the knitting booths so I could fondle the yarn. I was so tempted by some sock yarn that was dyed in the Mariner's colors but I resisted because I have a ridiculous sock yarn stash that should keep me happy for years. (some day I will show you a picture of my addiction that is sock yarn)
After the game we put another movie on in the car (perfect distraction) and drove out to a friend's cabin to spend the next couple days. Again the kids didn't pay attention and when we pulled up they were so excited. We spent the next couple days alone as a family playing games and spending time together. It was so peaceful. I even got some time to work on my new sock and read my book.
I think the highlight of the trip was the tunnel. This tunnel is part of the Iron Horse Trail and was originally built for the railroad. It is now paved over and is popular for bicyclists and walkers. It is over 2 miles long and pitch black inside.

It is a little scary to come upon it and know you are going in. The kids were a little freaked out but really wanted to try it.

We were armed with flashlights and headlamps. It is crazy when you are inside and all you can see is what the beam of your flashlight shows you. The walls are covered in soot so we walked right down the middle, except when we scooted to the side when a bicyclist came by. The tunnel is perfectly straight so you can see the light of the other side for miles. Here is a shot of what we saw if we turned our flashlights off...

Isn't that crazy! I still kind of can't believe I could do it being that I am a little claustrophobic sometimes. Here are my kids keeping each other "safe" while they walked. They were only scared for the first few minutes in the tunnel and at that point they were clinging to mom and dad. For them to be able to walk without us shows that they were just fine.

Here is a view of the other side of the tunnel. We actually weren't planning on walking the whole thing but after we got going the kids really wanted to get to the "light at the other end".


We found a geocache on the other side. I think this is the biggest ammo can I have ever seen! The kids were excited to pick out some prizes.


Here is a picture of us heading back through the tunnel. (this is right at the opening)


We headed home Saturday night so we could be home to go to church on Sunday and because we were having family over for a birthday dinner for my daughter. In Primary (the children's Sunday school) she was highlighted and sung to for her birthday. I provided a funny story about her and I wanted to share it with you...

When she was 5 years old she had the stomach flu and I had put a bucket by her bed. After the first time she threw up in it I took it to go clean it out. She said, "Don't take it away". I said, "Why?". She said, "Because I want to try and fill it up".

Isn't that disgusting!! and funny!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

UFO Completed!

Thank you for all your comments about your quilting pet peeves. It was fun to read all of them and be able to relate to eachother as quilters about what bugs us. It's a good thing that the wonderful things about quilting far outweigh the bad.

I finally finished my first block of the month quilt from 2004, yay me!! It is quite pathetic that it has taken me this long, but I prefer not to dwell on that. I am just so happy that it's done and I love it. This is the quilt that I ran out of bobbin thread on (previous post) and then when I wound the new bobbin and started sewing with it and it kept breaking. Fun! But I worked it out and soldiered on.


Yep, I put this binding on by machine. No hand stitching for me. Not that I have a problem with hand stitching, I have finished many quilts with a hand stitched binding. But I really wanted a decorative stitch and I didn't see the point in doing it by hand and then stitching over it with a decorative stitch. I don't have that much time! And for a quilt that I started in 2004 the most important thing is that it gets done!

I am really proud of myself for getting the decorative stitching to line up right along the binding on the front and back of the quilt. That is usually a problem for me but not this time! I had this handy dandy tutorial. Thanks, Cassie!



I love the pinwheels in the corners!

Here is a shot of the front (the colors look washed out from the sun).


I think a pieced backing adds character.



If you haven't checked out Crafty Giveaways as I mentioned in my folded flowers post, you should click your way over there. She does giveaways regularly and they are really great ones. This week she is giving away completed blocks to make an Irish chain quilt!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Quilting Pet Peeve!

Argh! I am putting a binding on my quilt and I got all the way to the corner and noticed that I ran out of bobbin thread way back at the beginning of that side, about an inch past the previous corner! That is a huge pet peeve for me. First of all, I hate running out of bobbin thread at all because then you have to stop what you are doing and put a new one in. (or if you are like me, unprepared, you have to wind a new bobbin) But the worst is to run out of bobbin thread and not realized it. You are stitching merrily along and then you notice. And nine times out of ten you ran out a long time ago. I think the worst is when you are chain piecing and by the time you notice you ran out of bobbin thread about twenty-five pieces ago. So what's your quilting pet peeve?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Folded Flowers

First of all, I keep forgeting to say thank you for your great ideas on what to do with my big flower block-of-the-month blocks. I think pillows and tablerunners are great ideas. I especially love the idea that Amber gave about using the blocks to make tote bags. It really is a great idea becasue my friend, Lou, gave me all her blocks so I have two of each block. Perfect for tote bags!




I have received a lot of compliments on my header and each one has made me smile. Thanks! Jen over at Crafty Giveaways did a tutorial on folded flowers just like the ones in my header. I love the way she constructed hers. It is different than the way I did mine and I think it is a lot easier. She had a giveaway of the leftovers from a gorgeous quilt she made. It included beautiful batik squares to make folded flowers and some already folded flowers all ready to go. Sadly, I didn't win the grand prize. But for those of us who entered and didn't win, she sent us our own batik squares to try our hand at folded flowers.



Don't you think that is so generous!! So here are my squares all made up into folded flowers. Isn't the fabric beautiful! Thanks Jen!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Berry Lovely

All done!! Hooray! There is something so fun and satisfying about finishing a pair of socks. Usually I get to start wearing them right away but wool socks don't work so well in the summer time. Even in the mild summer climate I live in!





I love these socks. I love the colors, I love that self striping yarn is fun and fast to knit, and I love how cute they look on me.




So here are the stats. I used Knit Picks Felici sock yarn in the Mixed Berry colorway. I used a size 1 (2.50mm) for the leg but realized it was a bit roomy so I switched to a smaller size 1 (2.25mm) for the heel, gusset, and foot.




Now I really should finish up some of the unfinished socks I have sitting around (I don't have that many) but I am really itchin' to cast on a new pair!
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