Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Winners and Grinners

The winners of my blog giveaways were:
  1. Tabitha (commenter #19), a newer quilter in Ohio who won Pineapple Fabrics' four jelly rolls of Painter's Palette Solids, and a mini Painter's Palette color card
  2. Martha (commenter #11) who won a PDF of her choice from Landauer Publishing
  3. Kim (commenter #2), a very good Iowa friend who won a digital copy of Curated Quilts.
I thought these were wonderful, highly-desirable giveaway items - thank you to my generous sponsors! - so I was surprised at the lower number of comments than in past giveaways. Most often I've had more than 100 commenters. For these giveaways there were 56 commenters for fabric and 27 commenters for digital items. It's evident that interest in social media platforms has changed. The once wildly popular blog giveaways have been replaced with easier and faster Instagram giveaways.

Still, I want to extend my thanks to all of you for entering, and especially for your lovely comments. I could spend a whole day replying! And thanks for your stick-to-itiveness at reading blog posts. Mwah! ๐Ÿ˜˜

Sewing has been happening here in a random sort of way. I'm jumping among several WIPs - AKA not finishing anything. The current project that has my attention is the Slopes quilt I stopped working on last May. It's a pattern in Amanda Jean's book No Scrap Left Behind, and is made from string scraps. I stopped working on it because I was running low on color scraps, especially purple. However, thanks to a generous offer from Amanda Jean (CrazyMomQuilts) herself, she sent a bunch of purples she had collected.

Now that I've begun this rainbow plan, if I piece it as is, Slopes will be wider than it is high! I've been playing with another scrappy block made with a Bloc Loc ruler called "Triangle in a Square." I could insert these blocks between a few rows to make the quilt "taller."

They would fit in those empty spaces. But I haven't settled on anything. I'll play more today.

After sharing in my giveaway post that I was celebrating nine years of blogging, and that my first blog post was about making pavlova for Australia Day, I started craving pavlova! I decided to make it again and followed the easy recipe here on Allrecipes.com.

First, whip the egg whites into a meringue, and then puddle the meringue in a 9" circle onto parchment paper. To get the circle, I drew around a cake pan on the back of the parchment paper.

After it's baked, it looks like this, prettily cracked.

Whip a carton of heavy whipping cream - I didn't add sweetener, but you could - spread it on top of the meringue, and finish it with fruit that's been flavored with a little vanilla, balsamic vinegar, and sugar (that's also a recipe).

Cut a slice. Oh my! Quite honestly, I had to eat two slices. I also shared with Dan and neighbor-quilt-y-friend Becky. I need to make this more often! It's so good.

Two weeks ago, when I was getting ready to fly to Kansas City, I packed my 64" X 80" Rainbow Strings quilt (string-pieced onto telephone book pages) in my suitcase. Once in KC, I quietly handed off the quilt to my nephew's wife and asked only that I get a picture of their daughter with the quilt. Look at how they came through! What a precious picture of 14 month-old Maddie. Isn't she a doll? As a quilt maker, it's heartwarming to know a quilt is appreciated and being used.

Did you get to see the eclipse of the moon this morning? I saw it, but barely. Tonight is when we get to see a super moon (that's when the moon is nearest the earth, called a perigee) and a blue moon (a full moon happening twice in a month). This is my layman's photo of the moon rise over my house last night, a day before the super moon/full moon. I hope you get to see it tonight. I'm sure it will be awesome.

And speaking of natural wonders... it's been cold here in Florida this winter. This morning we woke to a temperature of 39 degrees. It's not the first time we've been in the 30s either! If you're planning to make a wintertime get-away to Florida, be sure to pack your Cuddlduds! Linda

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Celebrate Too!


This giveaway is now closed. 

I'm still celebrate my blog-iversary, but let me say thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post! I truly wasn't fishing for compliments, but many of your comments did just that. You all are great!

Now, so as not to leave out the many international friends I have through my blog, these two giveaways are two chances for you and US readers to win! Yep, these giveaways are open to everyone!

Continuing my celebration of nine years of blogging (on January 26, 2009), the first giveaway is from Landauer Publishing (Clive, Iowa) the company that in 2006 published my book First Time Quiltmaking. The book is laid out in six lessons, though in a classroom environment, I teach beginner quiltmaking in five lessons.

First Time Quiltmaking first appeared as hardcover, and is now available in softcover. I found it recently, still being sold at JoAnn Fabric.

First Giveaway
Landauer has gone digital with some of their titles, so the winner of this giveaway will get to choose any digital book in their eBook PDF collection! Wow! I hope you'll go for a quilting book, perhaps First Time Quiltmaking, though I'd be all over one of these by Wendy Sheppard (IvorySpring) or Sew Kind of Wonderful's designs using the Quick Curve Ruler.


But it will be up to the winner to choose from any of Landauer's 66 eBook PDF download titles! The value is up to $28.

Second Giveaway
This one comes from the new magazine being produced by Amy Ellis and Christine Ricks - Curated Quilts.
The magazine - really more like a "journal" - features modern quilts submitted to the magazine by up and coming quilt makers. There's no advertising!

The winner will receive the latest (second issue) digital issue of Curated Quilts: Log Cabin. 

I've seen a few of the quilts on Instagram, so I know this will not disappoint. This is an $18 value (per issue). An annual, quarterly-produced subscription is $75.

This giveaway is now closed. 

So if you're up for either of these giveaways, just do the usual:
  • Comment once. Let me know which giveaway you'd prefer to win:
1. Landauer Publishing eBook PDF

2. Curated Quilts publication in digital format
  • Be sure I have a way to reach you if your comment is chosen. I cannot contact a "no-reply commenter" and will choose another comment if you haven't included an email address.
  • Enter by Tuesday, January 30. The giveaways end at 6 pm Eastern time.
Once again, thank you to everyone who reads my blog, and those of you who have followed me for the past nine years!

I'm especially grateful for everyone who comments on my day-to-day posts. Unless you're a blogger yourself, you can't imagine how much it means to hear from you! Linda

Friday, January 26, 2018

Celebrate!

This giveaway is now closed! Thank you for participating!


Today marks the day I've been blogging for nine years!

On January 26, 2009, I wrote my first blog post. Interestingly, it wasn't at all about quilting. Rather, it was a very brief post about January 26 being Australia Day, and making my first pavlova, a traditional Australian dessert. Back then I was all about Australia because our daughter lived in Sydney and I was visiting her each year. I even taught quilting there during a six week-long visit! I have wonderful memories of time spent in Sydney.

To celebrate the nearly 900 posts I've written, I'm tickled to tell you that my first giveaway is for a product I love... Painter's Palette Solids.

If you haven't yet tried this brand of solid fabrics made by Paintbrush Studios (located in Kansas City), I highly recommend them. The hand is "just right" - not as heavy/thick as a very popular brand of solids; and not as light as another. Also I've learned that, as a die-hard fabric pre-washer, Painter's Palette Solids do not run (as the very popular brand does). My opinion is my own, and totally unsolicited.

My giveaway sponsor is Pineapple Fabrics who is generously donating and shipping the prize to the winner.

I found Pineapple Fabric's booth at QuiltCon 2017 in Savannah, and after making an initial purchase to try Painter's Palette Solids, I've been shopping at PineappleFabrics.com ever since. 

My anniversary party is your chance to win four jelly rolls of Painter's Palette Solids!

Specifically, one winner will receive one each of Pineapple Fabric's Painter's Palette "Master Collection." Each jelly roll includes 42 different colors. All together, that's 168 Painter's Palette colors cut into strips - a retail value of $179!

Now how fabulous is that?!

Shown are Painter's Palette Master Collection jelly rolls:
Rembrandt Neutrals; Picasso Blues; Monet's Magentas; and Van Gogh's Sunflowers

Pineapple Fabrics is also including a mini version of my Painter's Palette Solids color card shown here. The winner's will be smaller, but still have swatches of all 168 colors.

If you can't wait to try these solids, I highly recommend perusing PineappleFabrics.com where you will find Painter's Palette Solids for only $6.99 a yard (by the yard is favorite way to buy them), and sold in other precut sizes and bundles.

If you're planning to attend the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Lakeland, Florida from March 15-17, be sure to look for Pineapple Fabric's booth. Stop and check out the hand of these luscious solids!

This giveaway is now closed! Thank you for participating!
To enter this giveaway:
  • Comment about one of these things... Have you ever tried Painter's Palette Solids? Or, if you like to follow and read blogs, in general what kind of posts interest you?
  • Be sure I have a way to reach you if your comment is chosen. I cannot contact a "no-reply commenter" and will choose another comment if you haven't included an email address.
  • Enter by Sunday, January 28. The giveaway ends at 6 pm Eastern time.
I'm very sorry, but this giveaway is not open internationally.

However, international and US readers... check back Sunday evening. I'll still be celebrating and will offer another, equally special giveaway!

Let me say a very big thank you to those of you who read my blog, and comment! I've become friends with many of you through conversations we've share via email. Some of you have read my posts almost from the beginning, and you're special friends too. Linda

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Six Days Away

If you noticed that I haven't posted for more than a week, you're right! I found myself unexpectedly needing and wanting to travel to Kansas City. I flew on a direct flight from Tampa to Kansas City into the cold of winter! I wouldn't usually consider going to KC during this time of year, but my dad had a pacemaker implanted, and was in a rehabilitation hospital for two weeks. I went to assist as I could.

Doesn't the Midwest look dreary from the air? Note the shadow that our Southwest Airlines plane made on the snow as we were approaching Kansas City.

Except for several cold mornings (like in the 20s) and having to drive in some wet snow flurries on Monday, I was glad to spend six days with family. I stayed with our daughter, SIL and grandsons Tay and Aesa, and each day I visited dad to keep him company and monitor him through speech, occupational, and physical therapies.

This dreary daytime picture was taken from the physical therapy room. Those are herons hunkered on the branches. I'd forgotten how depressing winter can be in the Midwest without sunshine.

Though I took my camera along, I ended up not taking a single picture with it! My KC photos were taken on my old iPhone 5.

I did get a chance to have a two-hour coffee time catch-up with quilter-friend Carla (formerly a blogger at Lollyquiltz, now @lollyquiltz on Instagram). Carla is one of those special friends with whom I can resume conversation a year later as if there's been no break in between. I'm sure you all have at least one friend like that. I'm blessed to have several.

These EPP medallions are the extent of my quilting productivity during my time away. That's almost four medallions done of the 40 medallions needed to complete my LindaNova quilt. Ha! Yes, I have a way to go. At least all of them are prepped and ready to piece.

I always like to worship in Kansas City. The beauty and spirit-filled service at Methodist Church of the Resurrection (the largest Methodist church congregation in the US) never fails to stir my spirit.

Pastor Adam Hamilton is a dynamic preacher, and in his current sermon series, "Christianity and World Religions", each week he is sharing similarities and differences between different religions. This is a wonderful way to reexamine one's own beliefs. I plan to listen to them online. 

Since arriving home at 8:30 Wednesday evening, things are hoppin' again! In the next two days are two doc appointments, line dancing, Ukulele Players Club (I'm leading the song When Will I Be Loved), and Bible study where we're on week four of Kelly Minter's study of Nehemiah - one of my all-time favorite books. 

Friday is... well. Friday is a special day. If you're guessing that January 26 is Australia Day, you're certainly correct. But Friday is also a special anniversary for me. I'll be celebrating nine years of blogging! Let me tell you now that if you're a smart cookie, you'll check back on Friday.

I'm just sayin'... Linda 

Monday, January 15, 2018

First Finish

This quilt has been finished for more than a week, but Florida weather hasn't been cooperative for getting outdoors to take a picture. We've had overcast skies (most contrary to Florida being the "Sunshine State"), rain, and cold temperatures - like Iowa in November. Not nice.

But at the Saturday Sew-In with Central Florida MQG friends, in spite of overcast skies, Cindy offered to hold my quilt for pictures. Thank you, Cindy! We picked a spot under a huge live oak tree dripping with Spanish moss. The gnarly texture of the tree trunks is beautiful.

To make this Rainbow Rounds quilt, over many months I foundation paper-pieced 16 12" X 12" quilt blocks. I prepped fabrics and papers, and in no hurry whatsoever, took them along to work on (using my tiny, aqua-colored Janome Derby) at weekly meetings of Big Cypress Quilters. In September, while on a week-long retreat with friends (#sixgalsretreat), I completed the quilt top.

In my last blog post I shared that I used homemade basting spray to sandwich five 24" X 24" quilts I made to hang in our living area. Rainbow Rounds is the first larger quilt (it finished at 57" X 57") that I also sandwiched using homemade basting spray. I used the same spray that remained from the first batch, and after giving the bottle a good shake, the spray worked just as it did well two weeks earlier. 

If I haven't expressed it sincerely enough, I will do so now... I love using homemade basting spray! It has changed my domestic machine quilting life - a surprise to me that after all these years of quiltmaking (since 1976) I have discovered something new to me.

Homemade basting spray is the bees knees!

I quilted an all over swirl on Rainbow Rounds. It's been a long time since I've quilted something other than custom quilting designs. The swirl was easy and fun to do. In case you'd like to try it, watch this video with Angela Walters. (Jennifer Keltner is in the video too, and ironically, she was my boss when I was an editor at American Patchwork and Quilting magazine back in 2001-2002. )

After quilting, I washed it. Even though I pulled the quilt from the dryer after ten minutes, and let it finish drying on a bed with a ceiling fan going overhead, it dried crumply - a look I'm not overly fond of. Perhaps it's unavoidable when batting is 100 percent cotton - Quilter's Dream Request. The thread used for quilting is YLI silver polished cotton.

I love the backing fabric because the print completely hides any hiccups in my quilting. The binding is pieced from different scraps of text prints used as backgrounds in the blocks.

Rainbow Rounds is a pattern by Jo Avery (MyBearPaw) that was in issue 24 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. Jo originally called the quilt Bufferwheel, in case you'd like to look for it on Instagram. 
Rainbow Rounds, 57" X 57"
I'm tickled with my first 2018 finish. And even better, I have no end of pleasure in saying that I have NO quilt tops waiting to be quilted! What a delicious feeling!

Oh! And we're 15 days into January and I haven't bought any fabric! ๐Ÿ˜‚ "No fabric purchases" is my 2018 goal and I'm stickin' to it! Linda

Friday, January 12, 2018

Wayward Transparency QAL

I've been looking forward to today, as this is when Yvonne (QuiltingJetGirl) opens up linkys to her  Wayward Transparency Quilt Along that began in mid-November. 

If these quilts look familiar, I counted them as one quilt finish in 2017. But until now, I haven't fully shared the quilt along process of them. I'm excited to do that now!

The most difficult part of the QAL for me was choosing three values of a difficult color: orange. I knew I wanted orange because it had the best chance of actually being used! 

Painter's Palette Amber is the light
Riley Blake Shade Tangerine is the medium
and Kona Flame is the dark

I tested the contrast in values by turning the color photo into black and white (an easy auto edit in Photos). It looked good! 

Upon completing four units, 

I considered quilt arrangement options, and put it to Instagram followers to suggest which arrangement to choose... 

...or whether to line them up to hang them above our quadruple sliding glass doors.

After settling on "hang above the doors," the question became whether to sew four together in a row; or five together in a row; or finish four individually; or finish five individually! By a majority preference for five stand-alone quilts, I moved forward. 

Having just discovered a recipe for homemade basting spray - you know how you get on the Internet and follow rabbit trails? - I made some to test on these five small quilts. 

The homemade spray worked so well that I have since used it to baste and quilt a 58" X 58" quilt. I'm now a believer, and it's my new favorite method of basting! Here's the recipe, in case you're interested.

I also highly recommend going here to read StringandStory's thorough tutorial about how to achieve positive results.

All batting is Quilter's Dream Request Loft Poly (leftovers from a large roll), and thread is 50-weight Aurifil. Since quilting wouldn't show very much with the quilts being hung so high, I made quilting simple by using the walking foot.

Wanting a clean edge on each quilt, I looked up and used a WeAllSew tutorial for faced binding and repeated that a total of five times. Not all my backing fabrics are the same, nor are the facing fabrics. I used only fabrics I had on hand.  

When they were finished, I took this picture of four of them together, and then...

... went to the living room and tested different arrangements. I used FunTack to temporarily hold them up while I took a number of photos. The staggered look was quickly nixed. 

The straight line look was best. Then came the challenge of figuring out which direction to point each quilt! On the Saturday before Christmas, I spent a couple hours hanging them. Just so.

It's tough to get a good photo when you're aiming toward light, but I think this picture best shows the impact of the quilts in the room. They're a nice complement to the adjacent orange wall.

I'm very happy I live in a place where it's acceptable to use bright colors year 'round!

Even more, I'm more thrilled with the outcome of this QAL! To have made something I can actually use -  versus the many quilts that immediately find their way into a pillowcase to be stored at the top of our master bedroom closet - is a real treat! And along the way, I learned how to achieve transparency.

Thank you, Yvonne, for leading us on this adventure! Linda

Friday, January 5, 2018

First Week of January

It was a quiet changeover from 2017 to 2018 at our house. We didn't even stay awake until midnight! And the week has begun quietly resuming usual activities: Big Cypress Quilters, line dancing, and Bible study. In Bible study we're doing Kelly Minter's book Nehemiah, an Old Testament book I've wanted to go in-depth with for a long time. I have many notes written in the margins of my Bible, having determined at least eight years ago, that Nehemiah is about taking on a God-directed project that helps others. For those who've known me for a long time, and are familiar with the quiltmaking ministry I led in Iowa, I made analogies between making quilts in Stitchin' Mission and Nehemiah's efforts to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.

The only activity it looks like I won't be engaging in for a while is Ukulele Players Club. I showed up at 12:15 on Thursday for the 12:30 start to the club strum and sing, and along with about a dozen other people was denied admittance to the room because it was at capacity (fire code says 115 people). To say I was crushed is an understatement because I was scheduled to go to the microphone and sing one of the songs, and have my picture taken with the Ukulele Players Performance Group. Apparently snowbirds and guests in The Villages have taken over for a while. It was suggested by the rec center manager that we come earlier to get a seat, but that's a seasonal game I won't play. Go early to sit in a chair for an hour or more before the club sing starts, just to get in the room? I have better things to do with my time. So, I'll continue to sing and strum at performances - we're playing and singing for a neighborhood group next Tuesday evening - and avoid the regular club meetings on Thursdays until I can get in again. Disappointing for sure. But that's how it is when you live full-time in a community with thousands of part-time residents.

In my sewing room, I've been working toward my first 2018 finish. It's my 58" X 58" Rainbow Rounds quilt (also known as Bufferwheel Quilt). I completed foundation paper piecing 16 blocks and made them into a quilt top in September, while on retreat with my friends. It's the only quilt top I have that needs quilting, so I've been excited about finishing it.

Also, this was my chance to use homemade basting spray on a large quilt. In December, I used this spray on smaller quilts that quilted-up easily, and I've been anxious to see how it works on a large quilt.

Dan commented on the smell when he came into my sewing room to see what I was doing. That comes from the rubbing alcohol. I opened a window and turned on the ceiling fan. An Instagram friend told me that the Pinterest recipe she found uses vodka, which likely doesn't have the intense odor. Here's the recipe I used.

One batch covers a lot, and would easily baste two large quilts. Also, the basting spray was still good in the bottle after two weeks. 

After allowing the quilt to stay on the table like this, under the ceiling fan, for about two hours, I untaped it and moved it to the guest room bed, where I placed the quilt backside up, and turned on the ceiling fan. I left it that way overnight and started quilting the next afternoon.

Choosing a quilting design is always a small hurdle. All I knew for sure is that I wanted to quilt an allover design. I browsed Pinterest to find this swirl pattern demonstrated by Angela Walters. The design is repetitive, so you get good at it pretty quickly. I tested it with my acrylic board and dry erase markers and liked it.  

By that evening, this is what it looked like. The basting spray worked beautifully! I haven't had a single issue with fabric scooching, or tucks. I love homemade basting spray! And how about that texture?! That's using only a single layer of Request Loft Quilter's Dream Cotton!

In the light of day... The thread I'm using is YLI 50-weight polished cotton in the color silver. 

Just as soon as I say I'm caught up on 6" foundation paper piece blocks for the Year of Scrappy Triangles, Leila releases another one. These are blocks 10, 11, and 12, and block 13 needs to be made.

Yesterday's mail delivered my long-preordered Modern Quilts book compiled by three leaders of the Modern Quilt Guild: Riane Menardi, Alissa Haight-Carlton, and Heather Grant. I was honored when Riane contacted me last February for permission to use my Lime 'n Luxe quilt in the book. 

Here is Lime 'n Luxe on page 173, right across from Kim Soper's glorious Lincoln quilt. Both our quilts were displayed at QuiltCon in Savannah (February 2017). 

Interestingly, whoever laid-out the book, rotated my quilt 90 degrees counterclockwise. Yep, it's laying on it's side! I'm trying to figure out how that happened. On the contract I wrote which way to orient the quilt, and I just confirmed that I wrote it correctly. Also, there's a sleeve on the quilt back, so the photographer would have known which way was up. Oh well. I guess it doesn't look bad this way either. I'm honored to have had my quilt included among those made by such a prestigious line-up of modern quilters. 

This is the pile of stuff in our guest room, waiting for me to take to Monday evening's Central Florida MQG meeting. It seems I often take a "pile" to our meetings! Five quilts are being passed on for our Central Florida MQG display - "What Makes a Quilt Modern?" - at World Quilt Florida. I think we have about 24 quilts being displayed from our chapter, so if you attend World Quilt Florida at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, January 18, 19, and 20, look for our display. Lime 'n Luxe is one of my own three quilts being displayed. 

Also, my Florida quilt has been juried into the World Quilt Florida show. I shipped it earlier this week.

This evening I plan to sit at my Janome continuing to quilt Rainbow Rounds. I'll be wearing Cuddleduds and have a quilt over my lap because it's been cold here in Central Florida... colder than we've experienced in the 5-1/2 years we've been here. Between no sunshine and high winds, a couple times it's felt as cold as 29 degrees. Walking the dog has not been fun! I know. I've turned into a Florida woo-sie. I'm not a bit ashamed. Linda

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