Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yes, Wantobe, there *is* a Madame Samm . . .

(With a nod and an apology to Clement Clarke Moore, the author of the original poem)

Wantobe:  Is there really a Madame Samm? Does she really send out such lovely prizes to wantobe quilters like me?

Snoodles:   Oh, my goodness, yes! There truly is such a magical elf as Madame Samm. In fact, let me tell you a little story . . .

Christmas in September
Twas the day before Wednesday, and I went to town
The Post Office was bustling, lots of people around.
The mail was boxed neatly, with lots of care
And I hoped that something besides bills would be there.
I unlocked the box and threw open the door,
There was so much crammed in there that some hit the floor.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a package from Canada – the label was clear.
A red foil package just oozing with glam
I knew in a moment it must be from Samm!
I opened it carefully and then in a flash
I had wonderful items to add to my stash.
A charm pack of fabrics first caught my eye
Then even more goodies – oh me oh my!
That big-hearted Samm put in extras galore –
The envelope just couldn’t hold any more!
She’d packed in such wonders – she’s a jolly, tiny elf -
And I laughed when I saw them in spite of myself.
Like reindeer that before the packed sled fly
So my ideas for projects did mount to the sky.
More rapid than eagles the ideas they came
And I chuckled and scribbled and called them by name:
"I’ll embellish some teatowels, make hotpads to match
I’ll find lots of uses for this wondrous catch.
I’ll embroider two runners – for me and my sis
The Presencia thread will be perfect for this.
And needles how merry – my work will go fast
They’re housed in an egg so that they won’t get lost!"
I smiled and I grinned as I drove my way home
From Sew We Quilt I never will roam
You’ll hear me exclaim as I’m sewing tonight
Happy Wantobe to all, and to Madame Samm “you’re alright!”

Yes, Wantobe, there really is a Madame Samm, and she gets no gain from this campaign. (Sorry, I'm still in rhyming mode here. LOL)  She invites her guests to post and sends out the prizes when the random pick is done. 

Lookie! Lookie! Ain't they pretty?!  :)

If you would like to be part of this wonderful campaign, read some incredible posts about quilting, and possibly win some prizes, just sign up!!

Click on the button on the left hand sidebar of this blog, and you can fill out your info (which will be kept confidential and destroyed after the campaign) and I'll send it on to Samm. Then just comment on "your" day (Monday, Wednesday, Friday for wantobes, and Tuesday, Thursday for quilters) and mention Lilypad Quilting in your comment!

Easy Peasy!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Updates - for Destash for Malawi

I am so grateful and overwhelmed with the wonderful response so far, to our Destash for the kids in Malawi. I wanted to pass along a couple of updates that really cranked my tractor!!

First, Anita, the Kropfs' daughter-in-law, who is inventorying and packing the donated fabric and thread as it arrives, told me that she has received over 100 yards of fabric so far!! I think that ya'll definitely deserve a drum roll, or a trumpet fanfare, or . . . maybe some fireworks!!

I really feel honored to be a part of this awesome community of quilters, and to be able to help with this effort! I can't wait to see pictures from Malawi, can you?

Another update came from Julie, of the Intrepid Thread. She sent me pictures of the lovely fabrics that will go to new homes at the end of our challenge! We'll have a random giveaway, and all of these will be sent to generous quilters:

There's Lola's Posies, and Alphabet Soup (one bundle for a girl, and one for a boy project).  There are more bundles, too, of Prince Charming, Dazzle, and Hoo's in the Forest . . . I just didn't want to make you have to haul out the cleaner and the paper towels, after you added noseprints to your screens this morning!  :)

I'm so happy that our challenge is going well, and the kids in Malawi are going to have some great clothes for school! Thank you to each and every one of you that has donated so far.  We'll keep you updated on how it's going!  And if you want to be a part of this challenge, just click on the "Destash" button over on the right hand side of this blog!


Monday, September 26, 2011

** The Last Block! **

Looking for the Destash for Malawi post? Click here and we'll magically take you there! 

I'd like to thank all of you that have been following along on this journey, as I have made blocks for this memory quilt. It's been a blast, and I've loved the comments, since some of you have said you recall the songs, or similar family memories.

This last block is a reminiscence of a song that I bet all of you know!

See if you can guess what this is all about:

Easy peasy, right?!  Froggy went a-courtin'!! Yay! This is another of the many songs that are good memories from my mom-in-law's childhood; her mom and dad would sing this to her. In later years it made little ones laugh as they bounced on her knee and she sang it to them.

There are various versions of the song --- in some of them, the Froggy has a decidedly martial appearance, with a "sword and pistol by his side"

While in others, he is just a very dapper fellow with amorous intentions:

He has marrying Miss Mousie on his mind, and so on my block, I appliqued a froggy, embroidered his eye and some details, and then embroidered the flowers for Miss Mousie . . . here is a closer look:

If you were to sing ALL of the verses, there is usually an extremely sad ending to the song, but I don't think many people hang in there to sing all of the verses! (I believe that Froggy meets a sudden end at the hand of a cat, or maybe a duck, depending on the song version. Sigh.)

I hope you like this block! Padsworth likes it, and says it is an excellent likeness of his cousin from the other side of the pond! Drop by and see Padsworth at Ole Frog Eyes and take a look around! You might like to sign up for the design wall membership.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

One more block for the Memory Quilt!

PLEASE NOTE: If you are looking for the post about the Destash for Malawi Challenge, please click here and we'll tell you all about it!

Of all the blocks so far, for this memory quilt (see here, here, and here and here for previous blocks), I think this one has the funniest story. But first, take a peek at it:

I know, I know, I am probably the worst, and the wonkiest photographer that there is! This piece is L-L-L-O-O-O-N-N-N-G-G, almost 48 inches, so that it can be placed along the side of the memory quilt. But hopefully you can see, the patchwork blocks on the sides are pinwheels of thirties fabrics, and the stitchery in the middle has tulips on the left, and the words: "Amster, Amster, dam, dam, dam!" and some music notes.

There is an old novelty song that goes this way:

There were three merry fishermen
 Fisher, fisher, men, men, men

The first one's name was Abraham
Abra, abra, ham, ham, ham

The second one's name was Isaac
I, I, sic, sic, sic

The third one's name was Jacob
Jay, ay, cub, cub, cub

They all went down to Amster-DAM
Amster, Amster, DAM, DAM, DAM
Now, I've related to you that my mom-in-law had four siblings, right? The youngest one was her little brother, and she was a pretty mischievous little girl!

Just to get him in an uproar, she would make sure he was in ear-shot and sing the final verse of that song! Then he would threaten her, "I'm going to tell mama that you said that word!"  She, of course, would continue singing it, and emphasize each and every syllable of that last verse . . . next thing you know, he's running top speed into the kitchen like a plow-horse that's been turned toward the barn at the end of the day!  She still grins when she relates this story! (None of you special peeps EVER did anything like that to purposely antagonize your siblings, correct? Yeah, right!)

I thought some of you might like to see the stitchery a little better, so here it is:

If you would like to use the tulip stitchery for one of your own projects, feel free. You can find it here on our blog, and when you click on the link, you'll end up at our very own filing cabinet at Google docs and be able to print it out.

One last block, and then it's time to put borders on and quilt it! I hope you have enjoyed seeing this memory quilt take shape! If the blocks were more consistently sized, I'd put it on Ole Frog Eyes for you to see, but these have all been wildly different sizes.

If some of you have been with me all along, I'd love to know what colors you think would look good as borders.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Two Birds with one Yard --- A Challenge

Yes, yes, I know, the old saying is to get two birds with one stone . . . but we don't want to do that!! It's mean, and it's messy! :)

We're talking about accomplishing two things with one yard of fabric, here. How do we accomplish this bit of magic?

Well, you grab your favorite beverage and maybe a little snack, because I'm going to explain that right now!

All settled? Good. We're going on a trip to Africa! (Maybe you had better have more than a little snack on hand!)

Recently, I was introduced via Anita, of The Other Side of Me, to a wonderful couple in Malawi, in southeastern Africa. The Kropfs work diligently to educate, clothe, and house the many orphan children there, and adults, too, of course.  They live and work among the very poor. Here is an excerpt from a letter from Lois:

I have been measuring children for school uniforms. I have measured a little over 900 of them in the last month. I enjoy this. It gives me a chance to see their little faces and connect some names with faces.

I look at these precious little 6 year olds, not quite sure what this Azungu (white person) is going to do, their eyes wide with fright; the 9 year old girls give me shy little smiles; the boys put on a bravado.

There are so many teenaged girls in grades 5, 6, and 7, failing many years, and partly because when they become women, they do not have the necessary sanitation means to go to school, so they miss a lot of school. The boys miss a lot of school because they go out looking for odd jobs to buy clothes, shoes, food, etc.

Wow! Over 900 children to sew for? That is amazing! Here are some of those kids, showing off their new clothes:

Here is a picture of some of the boys, with new clothes and new school books:

Aren't they cute? Look at all those happy faces! You can see more of the Kropfs' work on this blog post.

Now, this is where the magic comes in . . .

We quilters sometimes need to de-stash and thin out the ranks of our fabrics that we pet, er talk to, well, love and purchase too much of.  And, with yardage, Mrs. Kropf can transform a tee-shirt into a dress for a girl, or create a pair of shorts for a boy.  She says:

I made a lot of tee shirt dresses last year, using new material for the bottom and used shirts for the top;  I made over 300 of them. That is why new material for dresses and tee shirt dresses is so much appreciated. I can buy material here, but it is not as nice as the states.

So, here's the plan.

  1. Rummage through your stash, and pick out some one yard (or more) pieces that you can donate to this effort in Malawi. And yes, if it is almost a yard, that's good, too. (It does need to be cotton, and please, no decorator or heavy fabrics!)
  2. When you decide on what you will send, email me (click on "Snoodles" under "Contributors" and then you will be able to click on "email") or leave a comment, either one --- and I'll give you the shipping information for the Kropfs' daughter-in-law, Anita, who lives in the United States. One yard is not too heavy; postage will be easy to handle!
  3. By the by, if you are able to toss in some thread (any color) that will be much appreciated, too!
  4. Anita will keep track of the fabric as it comes in, and make certain that the box or crate makes it into the hands of her folks. (We can't just ask all of you to ship to Malawi --- it's expensive, and it may not make it to them . . . )

Now, all of us that help with this challenge will be winners, because we've paid it forward, and helped someone else. It even ties in with the upcoming Make A Difference Day here in the US: October 22. But to encourage you to help out, we have enlisted the help of some sponsors, who will be contributing prizes for a random giveaway to those who participate!

Here are a few of the folks that have signed on to help us out:

Julie at the Intrepid Thread has generously donated eight lovely fat quarter packs!

QuiltSue has happily donated a copy of her new book, Pick Four! A great book for rookies and veteran quilters alike!

Padsworth has donated two twelve-month subscriptions to Ole Frog Eyes, the virtual design wall quilting site!

Amanda Murphy is donating a complete set of her patterns for the campaign!

Jacquelynne Steves at The Noble Wife blog is providing an autographed copy of her new book
Fruitful Hands for one of our winners, and she is sending yardage, too!

Mike and Shawna are generously donating fabric prizes, and also will be sending yardage for the Malawi effort!

Dewberry Lane will let a winner choose two patterns from their awesome selection!

We'll post pictures of the prize packages soon, and we are hoping to hear from EVEN MORE sponsors, too . . . so look around in your stash, and look in your thread cache, and let us know what you can contribute to the De-Stash for Malawi!!

Here is how we will count the entries: 
  1. For each yard of fabric that you can donate, you can make a comment on this post.
  2. If you can contribute thread, you can comment again. Not once for each spool, just one comment!  ;)
  3. If you are one of our subscribers at the Old Frog Eyes site, and you contribute, you can leave yet another comment.
  4. If you grab our "De-Stash 4 Malawi" button from the right-hand sidebar, and post it to help spread the word, you can comment one more time! Or if you tweet or Facebook the campaign, you can tell us that, instead!
  5. And you don't have to, but if you would like to follow our blog, we'd sure appreciate it, and count another comment!
This challenge will run through October 15 (that's just three weeks, so let's hurry!), and the winners will be announced on or before October 22, for Make A Difference Day. (That will give us time to verify our lists, and confirm our winners.)

Updated: Here is a helpful note from Jacquelynne Steves, who suggested . . .
I suggest using a flat rate box from the post office- medium box costs 10.95 to ship and large is 14.95 to ship, no matter how much you put in. So if you can cram it full, you can ship it for the same price as sending just a little by first class or priority would cost. If they can't fill a box on their own, they can ask a friend to share a box with them. And if they have a little room left, they could take it to their local quilt shop and ask them to "top it off" before they ship it out.
Awesome! Thanks, Jacquelynne!

I hope that all of you special quilting peeps will contribute! It's a very worthy cause!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mary Tribute for Muse - Day!

Howdy! Elby here!

Today, we've got something *really* scrumptious for you! It's a quick project, and a sweet gift for the Mary Engelbreit fan who thinks she's got everything . . . Well, she hasn't got CHERRY CHARMS!

Yep, that's right. Cherry Charms. It's a mix of fuzzy dice and a quilter emblem.  :)

Wanna see the finished charms? You do?? Aw, you guys are a great audience!!

Don't you want 'em?! I know, I know! Well, stay tuned!  :)

To make these adorable little berries, you'll need some scraps of "fuzz" fabric in red and green, a length of brown cord, and some small scraps of cotton --- and I know you've got those.

Optionally, you can use potpourri for some of the innerds.  ^-^

The pattern for this project is available over in our little filing
cabinet at Google Docs.

Now, to get started! Print out the pattern, and cut it out along the solid lines.

Then, you'll need to cut out your fabric.

Remember to flip over the leaf pieces when you cut them the second time!

You'll use the guide piece to mark the darts on the cherries. I broke all protocol for this part, though. Since the fabric is thick, I used a marker . . . yep. It was stinky, but fast. You can use chalk or thread if you like, but just make sure each point on each triangle stays visible.

(Yes, I know . . . Snoodles has informed me that markers are a forbidden item . . . But they do work! haha)

Now comes the part that took a bit for me to finish because I'm a rookie . . . You'll need to sew or tack up each dart. [Dun, dun, DUNNN!] I'm pretty sure there's a faster way than the one I chose, but it works! That's always my motto. I may not be a master at something, but as long as I can make it work, I know I'm improving.  :)

Look! A CHERRY!!!

If some of the nap of the fabric is caught in the dart, pull it out with your needle.

Heh, heh. Smudgy fingers.  ^-^

Pin each side to its mate, right sides together, positioning the sides so that the darts don't overlap. That would be much too thick to sew through.

I was adventurous, at this point, and sewed the cherries on the machine with a (sort of) 1/4 inch seam allowance. It was the first time I'd used the special stretch stitch. I'm afraid I didn't manage it properly, though. Luckily, nothing shows!  :)

Remember to leave a small opening to pull the cherry right-side-out. That's the next step.

Now, stuff the cherries with fabric scraps and smelly stuff if you got it. I didn't have any potpourri on hand, so it's just got that "new project smell".  :)

A pen will come in very handy at this point, by the by.

There. Now, it's time to cut out a length of cord for the stems. I had some rustic string that I braided together, and knotted at both ends. The finished cord was about 14 inches long from knot to knot.

Insert the ends of the cord to the openings, and sew up the cherries. If you wanted, you could attach a little hook and loop tape to the last bit of the opening to allow you to open the cherry and squirt a little potpourri super-charger in from time to time.

NOW THEN, the leaves are the final touch!  ^-^  Place the leaf pairs wrong sides together and pin. I used a blanket stitch with embroidery floss around the edges of the leaves. It doesn't really show up, but it does give the leaves a bit of a curve, and scallops the edges.  :)

Tack them onto the cord about 1 or 2 inches off center. This will let the cherries bounce off of each other better.

THERE! Isn't it cute?!  :D  I've decided to put them over a part of a lamp on Snoodles' desk. It's rather festive!

That's all for this week's inspiration --- I hope it gives you plenty of good ideas!

And I'd love to see variations, so if you make them for yourself or a friend, send us a photo!

And, as always, this blog is brought to you by Ole Frog Eyes!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My chair is creaking and complaining . . .

Oh, the excitement! When I get happy about something, I bounce in my chair! Then I hear the chair complaining, and I hop up to happy dance!

Why am I happy dancing? Well,

Whoo hooo! One of the Team Lilypad wantobe quilters won a prize package on Stash Manicure, and so I won, too!

Lock your peepers on Heather's prize:

I'm looking forward to seeing what she makes from this! And then, this is what I won!

I have wanted to try those yummy Presencia threads for quite a while, and now I have some on the way to my hot little hands! Yay!

I believe I will have to design some more stitcheries and show you how lovely the thread looks and behaves! By the way, any of the stitcheries that I have been using on the memory quilt that I'm making, are yours for the taking. I have them listed on a tab here at Lilypad, and you will be whisked away to Google Docs where you can print them out for your own use!

Now, you may be asking yourself . . . how do I get in on this excitement? Easy peasy --- just look on the left-hand sidebar of this blog, and click on the sign up sheet button! We'll make sure you are registered, and have the chance to win!


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

If it's Tuesday, It's Muse-Day!

Sunbonnet Sue --- what does that phrase bring to mind?
For some of us, Sunbonnet Sue is a cherished quilt pattern; maybe it's a quilt in our possession, made by loving hands just for us.

For others, Sunbonnet Sue is a favorite pattern for which we have carefully selected fabrics and set them aside, mumbling something about "starting that one early in 2015." (I have to admit that I'm in this group!)

We don't have anyone building a Sunbonnet Sue quilt on Ole Frog Eyes, but it sure would be a good project to put there!

Many times we see Sue in different color dresses. Same style, different colors. Hmmm, should we get her a gift card for Macy's childrens' department?

Sometimes we see Sue doing different activities. Sometimes she will hold a broom, or a kite string, but that's about the extent of it. The little girl doesn't get to explore too much. Maybe that's one reason why she's so shy, and won't look over this way.

Sue even has a friend named Sam --- he's shy, too.

And sometimes they play with pets!

I was rambling about on the interwebz and found something that inspired me --- hence the Muse-Day post! What do you think that Sunbonnet Sue might look like, if she grew up?  And would she let us see her face? 

I'd like you to check out these "grown-up" appliques . . . they make me think of Sue, but as if she had done some growing up! Click here to see The Bonnet Girls! Aren't they cute? You can create scenes for a quilt, a wallhanging, and more, using the patterns available at that site.

I called Luann Burke, and she is just as nice as she can be. She gave me permission to show you one or two of the patterns, so you can see just how sweet they are! This one is called "The Music Room."

I love the kitty peeking into the room!

There are a lot of Bonnet Girls to choose from: country, Christmas, even gentlemen, too! They can ride in autos, enjoy a tree swing, shop in the town, and lots more!

Look at the details here --- and we can catch a glimpse of a lady's face! Some of you applique artists out there might want to check out the Bonnet Girls site and add some of the patterns to your wish list!

I thought this was really inspiring, although my applique skills are probably not up to this detail, yet!

Maybe in early 2015?