Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2013...what to do..what to do..

My mind has just been crawling with all kinds of creative goals and "To Do's" for 2013.  But few actual DECISIONS...   So I decided to spend the evening surfing to gather some choices....uh....BAD IDEA

There's so many to choose from!!!

4-block a week Quilt-a-Long on "Simplify and Quilt" HERE
Dancing Stars Quilt-A-Long on "Amy's Creative Side" HERE
Jingle Block of the Month on "One Piece at a Time" HERE
Santa's Toy Box Sew Along on "Pat Sloan's Blog" HERE
A Row-A-Long that's already started on "Bee in my Bonnet" HERE with a Flickr Group HERE
Free Motion Quilt-a-Long HERE
2013 NEW FO at Catpatches HERE
BOM with Quilt Story HERE
Nothing But UFO's HERE
Crazy Quilt Journal Project HERE
Secret Blog Hop HERE
a ONE DAY Mystery on NYE! HERE
Quilting Gallery "Show and Tell" Weekly HERE
Blogger Block of the Month HERE
60 degree diamond EPP Quilt A Long HERE
Block of the Month 2012 HERE
Drop and Give me 20 HERE
The Bitty block Swap HERE
Paper Pieced BOM HERE with a preview of the Blocks HERE
A RAINBOW Dear Jane....HERE  referencing the tutorials HERE  (Dear God - PUHLEEZE don't let me get "Jane" fever....)

And Don't forget the "Linky Parties"!!!

Design Wall Mondays HERE
App Store Tuesday HERE
Fabric Tuesday HERE
Wordless Wednesdays
Friday Night Sew-In's HERE
Thank God it's Finished Friday HERE
Stash Report Sundays HERE

Super Awesome Podcasts...
Quilting for the Rest of Us - HERE

Ok.....Someone please shut down my internet.....Just for tonight.....(sigh)

Enjoy the links!!   Be sure to "Like" us on Facebook too - we post all KINDS of kewl stuff to surf on there weekly!   Click HERE to get to Quilting Revolution on Facebook

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mystery Quilt Inspiration

Things have been very quiet around here recently - making me really dive into the Mystery Quilt I'm doing.   Never done a mystery quilt before.   I stressed for WEEKS over choosing colors.   I didn't want to copy the colors that Bonnie Hunter chose for her rendition of Easy Street.   So this was a "Breaking Free" experience for me.   Not having any idea what the quilt was going to look like.    I'm a planner.   I plan everything.   Right down to the Binding before I even begin cutting and sewing.

My inspiration was a flower I discovered in the flower beds of Wegmans this past Spring.   I saw them get planted and they immediately drew my eye.    I had never seen anything quite like it.

I became obsessed with it!   I had to stop and see it's growth every time I went to the store!   Finally, my mother got sick of me talking about this flower and decided to call Wegmans Customer Care and ask what the name of the flower was.   We contemplated creeping into the night to snag a sprout - but our moral character thought better.  <grin>

The woman from Customer Care actually went out to the flower beds, with mom's vivid description of the flower and went hunting.   A few hours later - she returned the call.   She had to make a few phone calls, but found out the name of the flower was "Lantana" and was in fact available in a few locations near us!

Off we went - We finally found tiny, baby Lantana's, with just buds on the tips without any blooms.   But the staff at the Garden Factory assured us we were looking at the right flower.    4 plants later - and some gypsum, peat moss, something something steriod fertilizer (I have no idea - my mom is the gardener) - they were planted, fed, watered and loved until they grew into these GORGEOUS bushels of Pink, Yellow and orange flowers.   

And believe it or not - I am still keeping up with the clues that Bonnie Hunter posts for Easy Street - Mystery Monday Link Up   I just love playing with all the pieces!   This is by far NOT the solution to the mystery, as there are a few pieces I didn't use - but boy is it inspiring to move these things around my Design Wall.   OH - It's Design Wall Monday Too!   You can see more projects here -> Patchwork Times

This is so much fun!   I can't wait until the next clue to come out on Friday!   Aren't the colors amazing?

If you are on Facebook - be sure to come "LIKE" our page there!  It's a great launching pad on where to browse "All Things Quilty" when you feel like surfing!  Visit our own "Likes" to find all the coolest quilty places on Facebook!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Where it all started...and where it's going...

It's funny how our Creative Minds evolve....  Think back to your first quilt, or the first time you embroidered on something.   We come so far as we develop our talents and creative minds.  Our tastes change - our "Signature Colors" sometimes change. The types of projects we sew change...our lives change.   If you don't take a deep breath...and accept every moment that something'll miss the whole journey.....

Even our BLOGS change! If you are a blogger - you know exactly what I mean.  Remember your first few posts?   Remember all the aggrivation of setting it up, figuring out all the little widgets and links and stuff that everyone else seemed to already know?  Where to put it, how does this work, how does that do I promote it?  ....Now WHAT in the world do I blog about?? 

Once upon a time I started a blog... I started it because I was working at my dream job.  Surrounded by creative minds, eager to learn, eager to CREATE, eager to share and be proud of their accomplishments.   They came to me with thier quilting problems, computer problems, sewing machine issues.  So many would wander in with worry in their eyes, and the feeling of failure because something wasn't coming out the way they envisioned it.   They read our newsletter every week to see what was going on in our little corner of the world.  They came to our embroidery club to be wowed by the creations we'd find on the internet.  They took our classes to get the support they needed to conquer their fears...

Then - one day, the dream was gone.  It ended as quickly as it started, and I felt lost.  I tried to get it back, some way, some how....but I didn't have the tools, the support, or the startup funds to do it.   I was heartbroken.    The last class I was teaching there was a "Beginning Quilting Class".  I had 7 or 8 students that were scared, and nervous but wanted SO badly to try and make their beautiful quilts and overcome their fears. They wanted so badly to have a legacy to leave behind some day, or bond with other people that would inspire them, instead of bringing them down.   One of my students was even a family member that swore that she would NEVER touch a sewing machine.  I remember how proud I was when she couldn't help but smile when she realized she was actually really good at it.   I have no idea if she ever continued to perfect her talent.  I have no idea how any of those women are doing anymore....

Eventually, as time went on, I got sick of being sad....I picked myself up by my bootstraps....deleted the painful memories off of my blog, and slowly crept back out.  When life gives you a gut punch to the stomach you have two choices....curl up in a ball and wallow in the things you can not control....or stand up.  Put one foot in front of the other, keep breathing in and out, love and cherish the people in your life......and eventually - time will heal, it will get easier, things will change.  You will smile and enjoy the world around you again.   All you can do - is go with the flow.    Sometimes it takes a while.   But if you hang in there, and believe in your heart that time heals all'll be ok... 

I try to stay away from news sites and's so depressing.  Sometimes you can't help it - even Social Media can bring all the sorrows of the world right into your view.  Facebook - that's how I heard the news.   All of the sweet angels that are gone in Conneticut and the teachers that loved them...   Those families, that community, I know it's hard to see now....but it will get easier.  Take time to grieve and accept what has happened....but life CAN go on.  Our to survive...EVERYTHING that life hands us.....and keep on the journey....

More CHANGE is coming in my life.   I thought I knew exactly what I was doing, and where I was going.   No such luck.   But the heartbreaks and hurts that I've experienced in my life have started to make me realize, that something will always change.   When you least expect it. There is more pain and hurt on your journey.   Don't fool yourself into thinking that life is perfect and you've got it all figured out.   You don't.   When it comes...take a deep breath...put one foot in front of the other, and keep on...keeping on.  This too shall pass....

Who knows where the next turn in the road will bring you.....take the plunge...hold your head high and stop looking behind you......always forward.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

App Store Tuesday

Ooooh Baby!   Did you miss "APP STORE TUESDAY"??   Well, I'm now the proud owner of an iPad 3 thanks to my amazing sons.  They pooled their paychecks together this past summer to ensure I had the MOTHER of all Birthdays in July :-) So without further adieu....let's get some "App Store Tuesday" up in here!!

Finally!!!  An app to design quilts for iPad\iPhone!  Woot Woot!

Quilt Wizard - By Patrick Diligent

Electric Quilt for IPad\iPhone it is NOT.....But it's definitely kewl enough to justify the $4.99 price!  

Quilting Wizard is a mobile application which allows you to test fabrics for your quilt project while you are browsing at the shop or at a quilt show. It runs on iPhone, iTouch and iPad.

First select some fabrics for your quilt in the fabrics palette, and select blocks from the block library. Fill the blocks with fabrics. Place the blocks in the quilt grid. Go back to the block design to adjust the fabrics, and see an immediate effect in the quilt view. While you are at the shop, or at a quilt show, you can take pictures with the device camera and use the fabrics picture straight away in the design. You can also select fabrics from pictures in your photo library.

Be sure to visit Wattlebird Designs & Co (Australia) to see the tips, tricks and user guide!  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Sound of the Machine...

There's something soothing about the steady hum of a sewing machine.   I don't know that I really noticed it before.  When the house is quiet and empty, with only the sound of a small fan off in the distance somewhere, "Emma" (my sewing machine) sings to me softly.   I slow the speed way down so that I can put my foot to the floor...pedal to the metal... but in reality.....stay slow and steady....

So I started thinking...What happens in there when she's humming along?
Soothing isn't it?  Almost hypnotic...  And to think the steady song of our sewing machines...and single, circular, repetitive motions....give us the ability to C R E A T E.....whatever we can dream.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My First "Mystery Quilt"..Mom's fault?

Ok - who's with me here....   When I dive into something - I have a tendancy to REALLY dive into it.   My latest endeavor - Bonnie Hunter's "Easy Street" Mystery Quilt

I still say that this is all Sandy's fault over at Quilting...for the rest of us.  But the reality is - my mom thinks SHE started it all.

My mom has become a TEXTING ADDICT.   We gave my mom an old cell phone with a pop out keyboard just so we could get a hold of her when she's off on her excursions to God knows where until God knows when. To my surprise - she went to a dinner party with friends and halfway into a bottle of Merlot - I get this random Text Message from my mom's cell phone.    "Hello??   Is this thing working?"   27 phone calls and text messages later, my mother's friends taught her how to text.....   Now - 6 months later - momma knows the text lingo better than my 17 year-old.   She sends me texts all day every day, 1,000 characters long.   It's hilarious.   She says she feels "hip" and "included" now.   Yay Mom!   Anywho....   She could be ANYWHERE, and if she hears or sees something that she thinks there might be an INKLING of interest on my part....I get a text about it.    So she texts me that "Sherri at Applebee's is doing a mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunter.  Do you know Bonnie Hunter?  Are you doing this too?   She says it's a really big deal!   You should look it up on Google!".

I waved it off - "Mom... there are Mystery Quilts all over the web all the time"....and didn't think anything of it.

Then days later, Sandy announces at Sew Day...."Ok - they talked me into it - I'm doing Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt!.   Wait....who?  What?  How did my MOM know something I didn't know?!?  To the Web!

Then I discovered that the quilt that our other friend Kate made at the last retreat was a Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt...   I would recognize "Orca Bay" anywhere once you've seen it....we were awestruck when she tacked the finished top to the wall.  

Ok....I'm in.   I want to play in the sandbox too!!!    I picked completely different colors from Bonnie...  So stay tuned on my progress!   I am proud to say that I am caught up with the rest of them and am anxiously awaiting "PART FOUR" to come out on Friday.  :-)

P.S. I can ALSO proudly say - that I have FINALLY - after an 18 month hiatus....have RE-BONDED with my sewing machine.....I've missed her.  :-)  It feels really good to be "Friends Again". :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cats in the Sewing Room...

I find it fascinating that my 4-legged children have taken an extreme interest in being in my sewing room 24x7 now that it is down in the finished basement without a DOOR...why is that I wonder?  And what IS it about the places they choose to deem theirs??

This is where I found Max Cat.  He is undoubtedly the FATTEST Orange Tabby you will ever meet. How he managed to squish himself into this bin of FQ's is beyond me.....  Must remember to keep the top on that...

Scout....better known as "Meester Mow", has decided that the best place to be is on the ironing mat but ONLY when the iron is ON...and I'm facing the other direction.    Uhm....guys....the cat hair....the....(sigh)...never mind....

Don't even get me started on little "Miss Precious"....

Seriously!   What IS it about cats and quilts?   I decided to do some surfing...  My favorite landing page...Pinterest of course.    I find myself here more and more when surfing for random thoughts.  :-)   Take a look see.  :-)