Monday, April 30, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

The Bingo games, that is!

Yep, tomorrow is the start of our May for Me celebration, and the bingo games, too!   
I tried to have one of those fancy linkies that will play music for you, if you click it, but that was an epic fail! (Grin)

Tune in tomorrow to Lilypadquilting, Hillbilly Handiworks, Vrooman's Quilts, and Marcia's Crafty Sewing and Quilting! We'll have links for you to click on to get to their blogs, and lots of fun is planned!

See you then!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Sunday Blessing

Some of you may recall the "Destash for Malawi" effort that we hosted here at Lilypad in 2010. So many of you were so generous with your fabrics and thread that we were overwhelmed and honored to be a part of it.

I thought you might like to see some of your fabric (and thread) in action!

Click here to go to Anita's blog post about a group of women making dresses for the orphan girls . . . you might just see your donation there!  More of the fabric has been sewn into approximately 100 dresses in Michigan, and another group in Pennsylvania is making even more outfits for the children.  With hundreds of children to care for, these will be well used in Malawi!

This all happened because of the awesome, generous spirit of this virtual community. It's a blessing to me to see the results of our Destash. 

Thank you for helping, and have a lovely Sunday!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

It's Finished!

I wanted to share my finished table topper with you . . . this one took a while, but I love it. I began this for Sunni's Farmers Wife in Your Life blog hop, and I thoroughly enjoyed making the squares and designing a home for them. 

I used the fabrics from the Butterfly in the Crossroads squares (I've heard from some quilters that this is also called the Tulip block) for the scrappy binding.  

I prefer a narrow binding on my toppers, so I cut the fabric strips just 1.5 inches wide. I know, some of you are gasping at my maverick ways, but I do use a single thickness of fabric on some toppers, since no one will be pulling it over them and snuggling . . . I figure they don't have to be quite as durable. It makes for a nice, narrow edge, and I think the color changes add something to the topper.

I have some other projects started, and I hope to show you some peeks soon. Till then, hope you find some time to sew - and if you need more fabrics or supplies, please visit our lovely sponsors!
I'm linking up today with the Shady Porch linky party, and with Katherine's Corner and Margaret at The World as I See It. for the Thursday Favorite Things linkup!
I'm also linking up with the Thursday Think Tank at Making Rebecca Lynne!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's my party, and I'll FMQ if I want to!

OK, first of all, a word to those of you who are accomplished FMQ artisans --- you know who you are. Your craftsmanship is what makes all of us newbies go gaga over FMQ and have delusions of grandeur, thinking that we can duplicate your brilliant creations!

Here is an assignment for you. Are you ready? (Heads nodding.)

First step: Place your lips together.

Second step: Press tightly.

Third step: Keep them like that until the end of this post.

OK, OK, I'm just kidding!!  But I will tell you that there are many of you out there that truly inspire me. I love seeing all of your free motion quilting, and I want to be just like you when I grow up!!
So, without any further digressions (well, I can't promise that, you know me and Padsworth) I'll get into this post . . . 
Since this past weekend included a celebration of the prehistoric event of my natal arrival (Padsworth thinks I should translate that for you . . . it was my birthday, OK? LOL) I was treated to some uninterrupted sewing time by my lovely family.  Sigh.  It was heavenly.
Remember this?

I quilted each of the focus-fabric blocks with straight lines . . . I think I showed you this before:

I wanted to do something radically different in the areas of the darker green blender fabric.  Did I dare?  I'd seen so many posts of talented bloggers, building up their skills with practice "sandwiches" and I'd been awed by how great their practices looked. (Drumming fingers) Maybe I should practice like that. Yeah, I know I should. (Patting table topper) But I could use matching thread, and then my boo boos wouldn't show up too badly. 
Besides, I really wanted to try. I was itching to see what it was like. So I gave myself a pep talk, and focused on the part where I told myself, "Self, this is for practice. You will not obsess over the varying length of stitches, or the fact that once in a while you might cross over a previous line of stitching."  After some coaxing, Self agreed that this would be OK.....I think Self was getting caught up in the "this could be fun" feelings, too!

The first step was to get out the correct foot for the machine, and attach that bad boy correctly. Padsworth insisted on doing this --- he said it was his birthday present for me. He got right to work . . . 

I went off and patted some fat quarters, and came back to check on him . . .

Since he wasn't finished, I gave him a few more minutes. This is what I found when I returned . . . 

I'm not sure, but I think it was easier than he said it was. I have a sneaking suspicion that he was trying to make it look like he really worked hard to get it done.
A 3x5 card with a hole in it was over the feed dogs, and it was time to start.

After a few minutes of figuring out the foot (I was under the mistaken impression that it should press down on the fabric like the regular foot....somewhere I'd skipped over the fact that it is also called a "hopping" foot, and that it was behaving exactly as it should) I started out. I played with the speed of the stitches, and I played with the loops I was making. I was going for what I've seen called "stippling" or "meandering." 

I know that some of my loops have points, and some of the stitches vary from excruciatingly tiny to about 3/8 inch long!!  Gasp! I should go back and rip that out. Not. This is for fun, Self.

You know what? In spite of the fact that I'm an amateur at this, I found myself smiling as I went. Actually smiling. And when I pulled it out to look it over, I laughed!
And isn't that really one reason that we pursue this crazy hobby? This craft where we take perfectly good, amazingly lovely, large pieces of fabric, and cut them into little pieces --- only to sew them back together again, in different designs? It's for the joy of creating.

Yes, quilting is a lot about the precision. The points matching. The mitered corners.  But isn't it also about the FUN??  I see so many quilters posting that they have lost their mojo. The fun has walked out, leaving them behind.
I think I just found the cure --- do something purely for the FUN of it! Smile, grin, giggle and laugh -- at yourself, if possible. As Sharon posted recently, whistle while you are sewing. 
Yes, I had bobbles and booboos. But my choice of green thread on the top and white on the bottom proved to be inspired --- Self had less to obsess over, and I had SO MUCH FUN!!  It was pure joy, and a lovely party!
So you see, that is why I asked those of you who are such awesome FMQ-ers to bear with me, and not say too much until I got to the end . . . but now I am going to be brazen enough to invite you to comment! Let me know what you think; I'm braced for the criticism, and I can take it!
Of course, I am now going to start watching the videos, and learning all of the cool stitches -- and I'll be scouting around for tips on thread, and on tension, and all those good things. I want to get just as good at this as you are!
But for "my" day, it was just so much fun to let loose and try something new. I now know that this is so much fun, that I want to try it again and again!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Civil War Legacies - new from Martingale!

 I received a copy of one of Martingale's new titles, Civil War Legacies, by Carol Hopkins --- what a sumptuous book!

It's a collection of fifteen quilts in small sizes - perfect for wall hangings or doll quilts, or even for a table centerpiece. These are scrappy jewels utilizing reproduction fabrics; if you fall in love with one you could expand it and make a large quilt!

Smaller quilts are perfect for experimenting with combinations of prints and colors, without making the large investment of time that's required for a full size quilt. 

Civil War Legacies has quilts titled Lincoln's Logs, and Hooker's Hat Patch, along with Stars to Freedom, Brass Buttons, and even Tomorrow, Scarlett. You can see that the author used famous figures (a president and a general) for some, and for others she pulled from events of the era, or members of her own family.

I found the patterns and instructions in the book very clear, and extremely well explained. As a visual learner, I appreciated the many diagrams and layout helps that she included. I especially liked the tips found with each quilt, called "To Add Interest."  These tips were great ways to change up a block, or to make colors "pop" and add more interest to the wall hanging or doll quilt. 

Civil War Legacies is a beautiful book, and you're sure to be inspired by it!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Colonial Needle winners!

This Colonial Needle blog hop has been lots of fun!  We have two winners to announce today, so let's hear it for the two lucky peeps that Mr. Random chose!

(I know I usually insert the picture of the random number generator, but I was in a hurry this time and forgot to get the picture before jumping back to write the blog post . . . sorry! You'll have to trust me and Padsworth!)

Winner number one is comment #162, Rachel! 

And winner number two is Ella, who wrote comment #108!

Many thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway, and a special Lilypad thank you to all of our participating bloggers! They did a great job, and I appreciate them so much!

And of course, a super big bucket of gratitude goes to Colonial Needle, for sponsoring the hop! They were very generous with the prizes they provided. 

I hope that all of you will check out their web site, and make them your "go-to" online store --- especially since so many of you expressed interest in the Pebbles! They are a wonderful product and they are reasonably priced; go get yours!

Got some FMQ fun coming soon . . . 


The Colonial Needle Blog Hop Finale

Moses, my studio cat, is quite happy that Barbara at Catpatches is our Colonial Needle bloghop hostess today.  Her blog is one of his favorites, as she regularly posts pictures of her special kitties: George and his ample-bodied assistant, Gracie.

When she posted a video of kitties "singing" Silent Night at Christmas, Moses nearly demolished my monitor -- he climbed up in my lap, then onto the desk, and then tried to get to the kitty in the picture . . . purely in a friendly way, of course. But we don't hold Barbara responsible for that. (Grin) Moses just found it irresistibly cute.

He also has a serious case of hero worship. It's not widely known (I think she had to stop his blog-posting because of celebrity issues -- you know, stacks of adoring fan mail, bundles of catnip, that kind of thing) but George's secret identity used to be Captain Cat-tastic. Moses so admires his bravery in the face of pythons, coyotes, neighbor spy-cats and the like.

Now, I know that you are primed and ready for her giveaway, so hop right on over to the Three Cat Ranch and enjoy your visit!  (You may want to follow her just for her great recipes....and for the Key Lime Smackdown that is coming in the near future. LOL)


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Let's all hop over to Sunni's place!

Sunni at Love Affair with my Brother is our host today for the Colonial Needle bloghop! In addition to having the blog with the most intriguing title I think I've ever seen, Sunni has a lot of inspiring projects and tutorials to offer! (For anyone who doesn't yet know, her title is referring to her fav sewing machine! Giggle!)

Sunni has exciting projects like these on her blog, and she is also hosting a Mystery Charm Swap! 

She combines traditional piecing with a modern palette, and does it with flair. Hop on over to see her post today, on the second-to-last day of the Colonial Needle hop! I'm amazed that she was even able to participate, since the love of her life will be deployed very, very soon. (Waves) God bless you, Mr. Sunni! Thank you for your service!


PS I hope you are still reading, cos one of our awesome sponsors is having a HUGE sale!! Click on the logo on the left-hand sidebar, to hop over to Quilt Kit Market, and then select "Clearance" for some jaw-dropping specials! Hurry and check it out!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

We're Visiting Kiera today!

Kiera's blog is called It's So Kiki, and you'll find patterns, tutorials, reviews and more --- and today you'll find her hosting our Colonial Needle blog hop!

This is one of her published patterns, called "Follow the Leader" --- isn't it stunning?

Kiera also designs gorgeous totes -- this one inspired me to make one in Mary Engelbreit fabrics. I hope that you will hop over to her blog (see, I gave you a link to zip over there to it!) and leave her some comment love today!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Next Stop - Sew Bittersweet Designs!

I hope you've been enjoying our trip across the fruited plains . . . this Colonial Needle blog hop has been a lot of fun so far, and it ain't over yet!

If you haven't yet entered the giveaway here at the Lilypad, click here to do that. And don't forget that all of our bloggers are having their own giveaways, too! Here is the list again for you --- so stop in and see them! 

Monday, April 16 –SewCalGal
Tuesday, April 17 – Gene Black
Wednesday, April 18 –HillbillyHandiworks
Thursday, April 19 – SewBittersweet Designs
Friday, April 20 – It’s So Kiki
Saturday, April 21 – Love Affair with my Brother
Sunday, April 22 – Catpatches

Today you'll visit Melissa at SewBittersweet Designs -- hop on over and see what she has planned for you!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Set the GPS for - Missouri!

We're winding our way through the scenic backroads, traveling from Alabama to Missouri --- we're off to see our good friend Tonya, at Hillbilly Handiworks! She's the creative genius behind the Ahhhh Hexies Series - her intricate stars and hexagons will inspire you!

She is also one of the master-minds behind the exciting Bingo games that will be starting soon --- check out that page on her blog, cos you might want to join in!

Hop on over to her blog, and she'll tell you more about our sponsor, Colonial Needle, and some of their great products.  (And I hear there's a giveaway, too!)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Next stop on our road trip!

On the road again . . . this time our Colonial Needle blog hop takes us to Alabama, and the blog of our creative friend, Gene Black. Stop in and see him, and see what he's been up to! 

(Pssst . . . come over closer. I want to tell you - he's got a giveaway going on!)

See you back here soon!


Monday, April 16, 2012

The Fun Begins!

Welcome, blog hoppers! Welcome to the Lilypad! We are thrilled to be part of the Sew We Quilt Table Toppers hop --- featuring mini quilts that can be displayed on our Ackfeld wire frames.

Some of you that are hopping over here may not know why I say "we" here at Lilypadquilting . . . it's not the royal "we" that I am referring to. I share this blog with my mascot, Padsworth, a frog of some renown. (Wink)

He has his own web site, too: Ole Frog Eyes virtual design wall for quilters. He helps out here at Lilypadquilting, and we enjoy his antics. 

Let me show you my table topper for this hop:

It's a very simple block, called the Log Cabin block, and I made it to finish at 12 inches, which is a very nice size for the frame.

It's an old and traditional block, and I think that when someone comes in and sees it, it says, "A quilter lives here."  Personally, I think it also says, "And she is interesting and creative and has superb taste in fabrics and design."  But I digress.

You just need some fabric strips with nice contrast, like these:

and you start with a red block, because the hearth, or fireplace, is the "heart" of the home:

  . . . and you just keep building!

Madame Samm said we didn't need to show a tutorial, so I'm just giving you an idea of how the block is constructed. You can easily find log cabin blocks on the web. 
Once you quilt it and bind it, with a little hanging sleeve on the back, you have a mini-quilt to go on your frame and display with pride:

Okay, okay, Padsworth . . . get over there and I'll take your picture, too!  

Be sure to hop around and see all of the other table-topper display quilts!  

Here is the list for today:

Snoodles (haha! You're here!)

And check each day at Sew We Quilt to see a list of bloggers that are participating!
Before you leave, be sure to enter our Colonial Needle giveaway, too!  Just scroll on down to the post below! And stop in at the next stop on our Colonial "hop," which is SewCalGal's place!