Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas to all!

In the midst of the wrapping paper, the thread and fabric, the tinsel, and the sugar cookies, can we stop a minute, you and I?

I won't keep you long.

I want to wish you a blessed, peaceful, and yes, a merry Christmas. Why?

Because this is a time of year when so many people are sad. Some are depressed because they won't get many presents. Some are sad because they can't afford to give many presents. Some are sad because there is someone special in their life who won't be around this Christmas -- perhaps because they are estranged, or perhaps that person has passed away.

They look around at the merriment and the mayhem and they sigh. It is for you, dear friend, that I want to pause and give you a virtual hug. If I could, I would wrap you in my softest quilt, and tell you that you are not alone; you are loved. Because that is what Christmas is really all about. It's about pure, unconditional, irrepressible, unbelievably awesome, self-denying love. The love that brought God to man.
 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
I hope that I have not offended you, gentle reader. I hope that you will have a merry Christmas. He knows what is in your heart today, and He's ready to fill your heart with the peace that passes all understanding. My Christmas wish for you is that you know Him, and that you know that He loves you, and me, and everyone.

Because that love is what makes my Christmas merry.


PS. For more Christmas thoughts, click here  or here and check them out!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas time is quilting time!

Are you sewing with the pedal to the metal?

Are you finishing up some fabulous presents?

(This one is courtesy of Barb, at Bejeweled Quilts)

(This one is courtesy of Pink Penguin)

Take a deep breath.

Take a sip from your cup of eggnog.

Relax. It will be OK.

Take a peek at some lovely Christmas things from around the interwebs . . . you may see something that fills a stocking at your house!

Pinterest can take up a lot of your time, no? So much to see! I have a couple of ideas for you!

You might find this tutorial helpful, for a tea or coffee wallet to drop in a purse or pocket . . . you can use some of your scraps that will make it just right for that certain someone!

Or this tutorial for a table topper might fit the bill.

Got some family recipes you can share? Make a recipe book with a quilted cover, like this tutorial shows you how to do.

Hope these ideas help you in the home stretch of Christmas sewing!


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I do loves being organized!

Don't you?

Sometimes it is difficult. 

But as in so many situations, the right tools make all the difference!

I wanted to show you a gorgeous set of tools from our sponsor, the Fat Quarter Shop, and the talented Lori Holt, of Farm Girl Vintage block fame. . .

Remember these cute blocks?

Let's get organized together, OK? I won't be so scared of my UFOs and my bulging sketchbook, if you say you'll help me here....

The first thing we need in order to get organized is a "to-do" list. Am I right?  Personally, I live and die by my lists, because I'm a little forgetful.
OK, I'm a lot forgetful. (Grin)

Next we need adorable bookmarks to hold our place in our quilting books:

I heard that "squee" from here! They really ARE cute!
Next, how about a book for stickers or journaling (or both):

And to make colorful notes in said book:

You will also want to use those beautiful pens in this Scrappy Project Planner book:

I think you will love this planner -- Lori Holt designed the ultimate tool here, for when quilting and life need to stay organized! There are five sections: a weekly planner, a project planner, a tips and organization section, a scrappy planner with six patterns (awesome!) and extra pages for your own notes and sketches. Over two hundred pages of organizing helpfulness!

Last, but not least, some gingham washi tape for making your plans super cool and pretty, too!

If you would like to check out these cool tools, hop over to the Fat Quarter Shop and be sure to leave lots of notes around your house for any Santa that might want to gift you.....just sayin.

Thank you, to all the team at Fat Quarter Shop, and thank you to Lori Holt! I think now I will really be organized!


Monday, December 5, 2016

Whoooo do you love?

I apologize to all of you Lilypad peeps out there -- I am totally awestruck and full of admiration for the bloggers who manage to blog every day and still have a life! (Grin)

Anyways, I apologize to all of you for my absence of late. Tis the season, you know, and in between working for a living, there's decorating the gorgeous tree that hubby picked out, making or purchasing gifts for special people, and so much more!

I did want to show you one of my projects -- are there any folks out there whooooo know what I am talking about when I say that I am terrified of Daleks? That I would love to take a trip to ancient Gallifrey? Or, better yet, if I give you a knowing wink and whisper that "it's bigger on the inside," do you know what (oops, Who) I'm talking about?

Haha! Can't fool y'all! Of course! 

And whoooo do you love? Which Dr. Who is your favorite? I've got two -- number four and number eleven! (Tom Baker and Matt Smith)

I want to show you what I'm working with, today, and then hopefully I will remember to photograph it before I wrap it up and place it beneath the tree! (Giggle)

First off, you need a good set of instructions. I am in love with this book, and I would encourage all of you who love to applique to get a copy!

We reviewed it before the annual Pet Show, and I've been wanting to try out Lara's method, ever since! 

Lara made this adorable needle book, and I had the idea to tweak it to make the call box blue....

So here is the background fabric, and here are some fabric auditions:

This is called "Rainy and Criminal Night"and it's available from Spoonflower, if you should want to make one of your own!

Here are some possibilities for Tardis, windows, and the rectangle that says "Police Box."

Two pieces in my stash that could be the main part of the Tardis:

Option One:

Option two:

The check is so small that it ends up looking like a solid, so that is why I included it. 

What do you think?

I hope you will look at Lara's book, and maybe put it on your Christmas wish list -- I love how clear the instructions are, and her templates for the applique are awesome! You Amazon-Primers can even get it here: click on this link.

See you next time!


Monday, November 28, 2016

Here's how to find a giveaway

In the midst of making turkey pot pie from the leftovers, and cheering for our team in the upcoming playoff, I wanted to let you know of a great giveaway!

You're going to want to hop over to Jacquelynne Steve's place (you can click on that linkie) and enter to win the grand prize for the blog hop we've enjoyed for the last few months.

Check out this prize!

There's also a second prize package to be awarded:

What are you waiting for? (Grin) Hurry over and enter to win!

See ya next time!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here in the United States, we're celebrating Thanksgiving . . . some of us focus on the food, some on the parade, and some on the football games. (Grin)

But I want to focus on being thankful!

We've had a long and often rancorous election cycle here in our country. Many people are worried about whether or not there will be political discussions at their feasts, and the celebrants will morph into combatants. Mashed potatoes and giblet gravy will be flying, and it will turn into a Thanksgiving even more memorable than they'd hoped. (Grin)

Perhaps we need to reach across our tables and take each other's hands, and remind each other that today is a day to celebrate the love, peace, and gratitude that we share with our families and friends. Politics can come another day. Or not.

I've been blessed. So much. Yes, we've worked hard. And we've tried to work smart. The important thing is that the Lord has blessed our efforts. Our gradually widening middles (in spite of daily exercise) are confirmation that the Lord has provided....we've not gone hungry. He's protected our health, and comforted us through some Very. Hard. Times. 

So today, I raise my hand and say, "Yes, I'm blessed! Thank you, Lord!"

I hope you'll join me. Please don't throw the potatoes?


Friday, November 18, 2016

Quilter's Patch Book Review

I received a lovely book from one of our sponsors today!

The Fat Quarter Shop sent this:

Oh, so yummy! Quilter's Patch is from Edyta Sitar (I love her designs!) and it's just beautiful!

Inside the book are patterns for each of the blocks used to make the quilt . . . there is a cat block (they know me so well!), coneflowers, delphiniums and more. 

What I really like about the book is that each block is going to do one of two things -- either refresh your memory of a technique, or teach you a new one!

For example, for these coneflowers, you'll be making angled units from strip sets. And for the sunflowers beside them, you'll make dresden units.

See those cute pink hollyhocks in the picture below? You'll brush up on your curved piecing skills on those . . . and the instructions for the clamshell roof on the house are so clear and easy to follow!

There's even some paper piecing (shudder) but as much as I dread paper piecing, I think that even I can follow her great instructions!

This truly will be an heirloom once created. It is just beautiful! The finished size is 75" by 78.5".

I hope you will hop over to the Fat Quarter Shop and check out this book. I think you'll love it, because all of the applique templates and embroidery patterns are inside! 
This is an awesome block of the month pattern for using up scraps from your stash. But if you want to create Edyta's stunning version, you can get the package of 87 laser-cut shapes at this link, or you can get 13 sturdy templates already cut and ready to rock and roll at this link!

Just tell 'em that Snoodles sent you! (Grin)

See ya next time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Giveaway winner!

We've consulted with Mr. Random Number Generator, and Colleen Gonzales is our winner!

Here is what Colleen said about her seam allowances:
Unfortunately, it's hit or miss for me. If I go real slow, I come fairly close to the magic quarter inch seam
Congratulations, Colleen!
It was a lot of fun reading and responding to everyone's comments! It seems that many of us strive for that perfect one quarter inch, but we also use tools to help us achieve it.

And in the event that we aren't quite perfect?  Well, we just enjoy the journey, and keep going on our quilts! Of course, there were a few perfectionists that mentioned seam rippers, but I'm going to ignore that! (Grin)

I hope that you are sewing along with us on your own Maggie's First Dance quilt. There is still just enough time for you to get the instructions, over at Jacquelynne Steves' site!

And if you want that really cool Clearly Perfect Angles tool for yourself, click on this link and go get one!

See you again soon,

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Never, ever forget

With a grateful heart to those who've given their all, for those who've served and made it home, and for those who serve today.

Many, many thanks. We live in a free land because of those sacrifices. May we live in such a way that your efforts are not in vain.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Borders and finishing - Maggie's First Dance (Giveaway closed now!)

Have you been sewing along with us on the free Block of the Month from Jacquelynne Steves?

We've had a blast with this project!

This month, it's time for borders and finishing . . .  I changed things up a bit from the suggested borders, because I had a certain spot on my wall where I wanted this to be displayed.

Here are my blocks assembled into rows:

Aren't they cute?

Now here is my take on the borders:

I used a white border half the width of the suggested one, and then went ahead with the floral print right next to that.
I love, love how the borders sparkle! The floral is such a cute print, and really pulls all those colors together!

I'm not sure how this next picture happened . . . looks like someone's toes are in the photo. Who is that photo bombing?

I'm going to "sandwich" and quilt this as soon as possible!
Any way, I hope that you are all excited for this month's instructions to slide into your inboxes, and that you will hop around to all of the other bloggers that are participating. Check these out:  (You are here!)

As always, we have a fun giveaway for you to enter! This one is sponsored by Kari at New Leaf Stitches! 
I hope you will hope over to her shop and look around -- she has some awesome, helpful products there for us quilters!

This one is called the Clearly Perfect Angles Pack . . .

Here is a video so that you can see this cool product in action!

Would you like to win this? Tell me in a comment: do you always sew a perfect quarter inch seam? Do you sometimes hit the magic "quarter inch"? Or do you just sew, pedal to the metal and not worry if you are accurate? (Gasp!) For sure, that makes matching things up just a tad difficult! (Grin)

Be sure to enter the giveaways at the other bloggers' sites, too, OK?
We'll leave this one open until the 14th, to give everyone time to enter.

Good luck! Oh! PLEASE make sure that you leave your email address as part of your comment, OK? I have SO many no-reply folks, and I want you to have a chance to win! You can do it like this: quilterjane(at)jane(dot)com