Monday, April 1, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway

UPDATE:  Sorry for the delay, I was feeling a bit under the weather for the past few days,
I put all the eligible names in a hat and the first name drawn was Lisa Lisa, second name was Sandie, and the third name Crafter1953.  Thank you to all who commented!

 I received two paperback copies from the publisher last month of Jennifer Chiaverini's newest Elm Creek Quilts book, The Giving Quilt in exchange for a review. [The paperback version goes on sale April 2.]  I also have three sets of pins to give away, one with each book and a set by themselves and as this is a quilting blog and the book is about quilting,  I think a fat quarter might find its way into each winner's package! So let's get started.

This is the first Elm Creeks Quilts novel I have read so I can't compare it to Ms. Chiaverini's other books.  I don't really read this genre (historical women's fiction) that often. Briefly, Elm Creek Manor is hosting a free "Quiltsgiving" retreat for a group of volunteer quilters where quilts will be made to be given to Project Linus.  The novel delves into the lives of five of the participants:  Pauline (my favorite character), Linnea (a librarian), Michaela (a college student), Jocelyn (a teacher), and Karen (a quilt shop clerk).  The reader learns of the adversities each character has had to overcome.  The staff of Elm Creek Manor is not addressed much but I get the idea the reader already knows them from prior books.  I enjoyed reading about the quilting retreat whether it be about the participants getting to know each other, the extensive sewing time, and my favorite, being served three meals a day of delicious food without having to cook a thing!  I must say all the characters sounded like nice people, a few I'd like to spend some time with as long as we don't discuss politics.  An off-putting fact for me was that all the characters were left-leaning and a few promoted their views rather heavyhandedly.  For example, talk radio gets bashed while left-leaning NPR is promoted.  Another character instructs her budding journalist students " shine the light of truth upon injustice and inequity, and to never ignore an opportunity to make their community and the world a better place."  Somewhere along the way the purpose of the media has been lost or I should say taken over by people who want to further their agenda and not simply report the news.

I think the theme of the book is how we all encounter difficulties in life or as Jocelyn says, "Life wasn't fair, and sometimes goodness wasn't rewarded, and sometimes the wrong people won."  But no matter how bad your situation is, there is always someone having a worse time than you.  Helping other people ends up helping ourselves through the positive feelings generated by our actions.  We all have different motivations for charity, as different as we are as people, it seems. I think the book does a fine job of exploring this idea.

More info about the quilt pattern made in the book and Ms. Chiaverini's other books can be found here.  

If you're interested in winning a book,  just leave a comment and answer the following questions:  what quilting fiction (if any) do you read? What are your favorite books?  How you ever made a quilt to donate to Project Linus?

Sorry, I can't send international on this giveaway.  I'll pick 3 winners on Wednesday, April 3.  Please make sure I have a way of getting in touch with you.
 Almost forgot, here are the pins,
Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Greetings

Happy Easter, everyone!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

An Experiment

I finally finished this little quilt top I have been slowly sewing together and actually basted it today. This might seem odd, but I do the basting on my sewing room wall.  I'd rather do it on the floor but the only available floor space is right in the center of the kitchen, and that would necessitate washing the floor...
My LQS was hyping these new Pinmoors a few months ago. The idea sounds good, you just use long straight pins rather than safety pins which eliminates the closing of the pin part which always wrecks my finger. But the downside is they are expensive. Multiple packages would be necessary to do a decent-sized quilt. 
So about three-fourths of the way through safety pinning, I remember this...
I wish I could take credit for this idea but I read it on a forum somewhere. I think this product has a use in plumbing. It comes in a 20 foot long strip that is easily cut to size. I pinned the last quarter of my top using it and long straight pins. The foam is not as dense as the Pinmoors but hopefully it will stay in place during quilting.
And a closeup,
Hope it works as it's way cheaper (less than five dollars at Home Depot for a lot more product) than the Pinmoors.

I spent about an hour trying to get close to some white pelicans that arrived in our neighborhood recently.
This is a small flock of the total. It's been a real treat to see the white ones as they are rather rare. I am sure the other birds cannot wait for them to leave. I watched a great blue heron catch a fish and hurriedly swallow it while being mobbed by about twenty of these guys. Quite funny to see.
Thanks for visiting~

Sunday, March 17, 2013

If You're Lucky Enough to be Irish ...

... You're lucky enough!  Happy St. Patrick's Day! I've been doing a wee bit of sewing on my Catnip quilt kit and have most of the blocks finished. I am trying to resist making it larger. It is supposed to finish at about 37 by 51 but to me a quilt is not a quilt unless it's a minimum of twin-sized. Quite silly, I know plus it makes the task of actually quilting the top that much more onerous. I guess that's why I have a closet full of quilt tops. I'll have to show you some time.
Enjoy the day and watch that green beer!
Talk to you later~

Saturday, March 16, 2013

We Have A Winner!

First off, I hope everyone has a chance to celebrate National Quilting Day! I paid a trip to my LQS to check out the new fabric and check out the scrap bin.
I signed up again for the swap at The Curious Quilter.  I think I got a nice variety.
Unfortunately there are a lot of jelly roll strips but I can't use them as they get ragged and the size I swap is 2.5 inches. There's just no way to neaten the edges.

Came home and chose a winner for the Winter Blues Giveaway by using the Random Number Generator and #185 came up.

Erin @Sew at Home Mummy said...
Wow, what a great giveaway!!!
At the moment I'm working on a Riley Blake instructor's project and binding a queen sized quilt :)

I had so much fun hosting this and reading all the comments. I responded to everyone who I had a way of getting in contact with. The comments were just awesome! I learned about a lot of new fabric lines and reading about what projects were in the works was so inspiring. Thank you to all who took the time to comment!

I've been asked to review Jennifer Chiaverini's new Elm Creek Quilts novel, The Giving Quilt so that's coming up the beginning of April. I have 2 books to give away and some quilting pins which are kind of neat.
 I've never read any of the Elm Creek Quilts novels so I am really looking forward to it. Here are the pins,

Thanks or visiting!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Small Project

For Beat the Winter Blues giveaway, go one post down.

 I found a little kit from Art Girlz (which now seems defunct?) I had won awhile back and decided to make it into a card.  I used to find the little bag full of goodies every so often and take it out and admire all the trinkets, especially the tiny bag of beads.  I thought it would make a great birthday card for my niece who turns 13 in July. She regards me as somewhat of a Craft Goddess so living up to the reputation factored into that decision.  Although, in passing my daughter seemed overly interested also...
I first glued the purple Batik (does that get capitalized? If not, it should!) and then sewed the piece of glittered-decorated tulle over that before sewing a green felt heart on top. Sorry about the bad pic, I tried, really tried to get a good one but man, it was cloudy here today in Florida.
Some beads and a metal heart...and I called it done. It looks better in person. Really.
Here's the inside. 
Maybe I better stick with quilting!
Thanks for visiting.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Beat the Winter Blues Giveaway

I have closed comments and will pick a winner soon! Thank you to all who commented.

 Welcome to the blog party hosted by the Quilting Gallery! I am participating in the fun to beat back those Winter Blues by offering a giveaway of the Fast-Forward book by Pat Sloan (yay, Pat!),
and along with the book the lucky winner will also get these 9 fat quarters...
I will ship internationally so the giveaway is open to all. Just leave a comment about some fabric you have your eye on, your favorite season, what project you are working on, whatever.  I'll pick a winner sometime on March 15.  Be sure I can contact you, if I cannot, I will choose another.
And be sure to check out all the other bloggers listed at the Quilter's Blog Hop Party over here.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Getting My Mojo Back

I'm still tryin' to get back into the groove of sewing and what with a shelf chock full of quilt kits,
I thought I'd give this one a try.
Isn't this Laurel Burch theme fabric great?
So some serious cutting has been going on along with taking care of the ailing Queen, who my daughter gave SQ fluids to on Monday I might add!!!  She seems to think that sticking a needle into a cat feels like sticking a needle into a pile of fabric. Haha, I like how a quilter's daughter immediately thought in sewing concepts.
Now I just need to sit down and start sewing!  And just because it's so darn cute...
I think the photo is from The Cottage House, Minnesota.  It almost looks like the same kitty in the first picture.
Don't forget a giveaway starts here on Friday.
Thanks for stopping by~

Monday, February 25, 2013

Motivated, not!

Ok, ok, I have not fallen off the face of the Earth, it just feels like it. My little sewing buddy has started to show her age.
Look this way...
Yes, you, silly!  She turned 19 (Yikes! ~ That's 92 in people years!) on February 9 and we've had her into the vet many times in the past few weeks.  I love this cat! Needless to say, I did not take the diagnosis of terminal kidney disease lightly. Waahhhh!!! She's on medication for blood pressure, potassium supplements, steroids, appetite stimulants, etc.
The sad thing is when you look at her, she looks pretty good. It's just a constant battle to get her to eat. When the toxins build up in the blood too much we have to take her into the vet to get subcutaneous fluids injected under the scruff of her neck. It takes a bit to be absorbed so she looks all lumpy until that happens.  I suspect on our visit tomorrow I will be instructed on how to do this at home. Not looking forward to that!
My daughter's now 23 and Cinabella has been a part of her life since she was 4 years old. I know all this is not a 'cure' but simply will buy us a bit of time anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year according to our vet.
Anyway, I've  been spending my time reading rather than sewing. For some reason I find reading more distracting.
I have done a tiny bit of shopping trying to get back in the sewing groove...
Two spools of thread at Wal-mart (had to do something while waiting for the cat's prescription. I liked the admonition for her to not drive or operate machinery while taking the drug! and yes, they knew it was for a cat!)
And lookie at this good deal,
One of my LQSs was selling their scraps for $2.00/pound. And you got to go through the scraps to choose.
I think I got a nice variety.
All for 80 cents! Can you believe it? I've been participating in swaps and collecting swaps to make a quilt made up of 2.5 inch squares. Mary over at her blog runs swaps for this a few times a year.
Here's my collection so far,
That's it for now! Thanks for stopping by.
I plan on participating in the Quilting Gallery blog hop in early March so be sure to some back for that.
Happy sewing~

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Resolution Number One

A wee bit late, but heartfelt just the same, Happy New Year! Yikes I have been busy working on  my New Year Resolutions, yes, actually!  I am a terrible procrastinator, something I really dislike about myself so I thought I'd really try and do something about that this year. For th past several years both my daughter and I would put stuff in the dining room to sell on eBay "soon".  That pile grew and grew until it just got out of hand.
It wasn't quite so bad as this, but it was pretty bad, so that is where I have been: listing stuff on eBay, Craigslist, selling textbooks to Amazon, and driving to Goodwill and 13 days into the new year the Christmas tree is still up and the worst part is I have done zero sewing!
I found a large stack of quilting books under all my mess and thought I'd list them here cheap for anyone interested.  First person to leave a comment/pay for the book will be the new owner. Remember I need a way to get in touch with you so be sure to leave your email if you need to. They are all in excellent condition: no writing, torn pages, and no one smokes here.  I will send you an invoice and once I figure out postage will ship them off via Media Mail to you. [Info for each book is below each picture].
1.  96 pages, softcover, $5.00 plus shipping.
2.  112 pages, softcover, $5.00 plus shipping.
3.  144 pages, softcover, $5.00 plus shipping.
4.  80 pages with quilt projects and cookie recipes!, softcover, $5.00 plus shipping.
5. 223 pages, softcover, $6.00 plus shipping.
6.  96 pages, softcover, $5.00 plus shipping.
7.  63 pages, softcover, $5.00 plus shipping.
8.  63 pages, this has a few projects but includes mostly decorating with little quilts. More pics below, hardcover, $4.00 plus shipping.  SOLD
Thanks for looking~