Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Giving 2011

Another year is coming to a close and another is waiting in the wings, full of promise!  The other day our older daughter of 16 remarked, "Wow, time is just flying by!"  Wait until she's my age--it evaporates!!

Wanted to share some of the Christmas items I made this year--this is the first installment since not everyone has received their gifts yet......

Ten-Minute table runner from The Village Quilter
Some button embellishments
This table runner is one of the gifts I made for my mother--she loves cardinals and chickadees!

A tiny 12 inch wall-hanging in a Celtic style for our pastor and his wife......

Batik stocking--tres chic for the 16 year-old!
Skull animals for Christma
Our older daughter was ready for a new stocking--Minnie Mouse no longer held all the loot Santa brought!

 The younger daughter's stocking was starting to show its age, so she also needed a new stocking.  She is certainly her own person!

We only have two human children--the other stocking is for Tuffi, our Wheaten Terrier!
Our Tuffi!

 There were two quilts on the gift list, but will have to post the second picture in the next couple of days.  Here's one for a special little guy....
His mom holding up his quilt--she was just as thrilled as he was!
This year ended with some very exciting quilty possibilities and I'm looking forward to 2012!  Planning some fun activities, will be revealing a brand new look for my website and a new BOM!  Hope you'll join me!

Wishing you and your family much health and happiness in the coming year!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Latest Winner!

Congratulations to Cassandra, our newest winner of the Sophie charm pack! 

Thanks to all who participated in the Blog Hop Party--had a wonderful time meeting everyone! In the next few weeks, watch for the unveiling of a new look for my website, Ewes Quilting and a brand new BOM! 

Wishing all of you the happiest of holidays--Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy New Year! Or, as one of my great-aunts used to say, "Have a Cool Yule and a Frantic First!"

Friday, December 16, 2011

Our Final Prize

Click here for a complete list of participating bloggers!
Many of you have been busy bees, buzzing from blog to blog!  Certainly nice to have a bit of a diversion during such a busy time of year! Thank you to all my new followers--appreciate you taking the time to read my little blog and enjoy all your comments!

Congratulations to Rosa for being our latest winner of the table runner kit!

And my final prize is.....
Another 5 inch charm pack!
Moda Bake Shop has a project that uses a Sophie charm pack, click here to check it out.  Very clever quilt and full of places to do some fancy quilting!  Looking over the pattern, I noticed that they recommend using a product like Liquid Stitch to place the appliques.  Not sure how my sewing machine would enjoy sewing through glue, so I think I'd use Roxanne's Glue Baste-It.  Had anyone ever tried sewing through Liquid Stitch?

Find I'm doing more and more applique lately, although piecing is my first love.  Seems like applique compliments the piecing and makes the quilt extra special.  Have tried various ways to applique, but would love to hear your favorite way--needle-turn, fusible, machine, hand, etc.  Feel free to share any secrets you use to make your applique "just right." 

Please post a comment on any applique advice you'd like to offer on this entry between Friday, December 16th and before midnight December 17th and a winner will be selected randomly on December 18th.  Please make sure I'm able to contact you by e-mail to let you know if you won. Thanks so much for playing and it's been great fun meeting all of you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Everyday Ten Minute Table Runner Give-Away!

Click here for all the blogs on the hop!
Looks like I'm starting to rhyme my post titles--must be due to all the excitement this time of year brings!

Congratulations to our latest winner......Cherise!!  Very much enjoyed reading everyone's favorite two color combinations-thanks so much for sharing!  You all have fantastic color sense!

Our next prize is.....
.......another Ten Minute Table Runner ready to grace your table after the hubbub of the holidays!!  This kit includes Moda's Grand Finale by Sandy Gervais--very charming!

So, for today's question, I'd like to know how many blogs all of you have visited during the Blog Hop Party?  Have you won many prizes?  My husband has an amazing track record at winning prizes, but me, not so much.  Please post a comment on this entry between Wednesday, December 14th and before midnight December 15th and a winner will be selected randomly on December 16.  Please make sure I'm able to contact you by e-mail to let you know if you won. Thanks so much for playing!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Charm Pack Give Away!

Click here for all the participants in the Blog Hop!
Thanks so much to everyone who left a comment on the last post--just loved learning about all the wonderful handmade gifts you've given or received!  Congratulations to Ella for winning our first of four give-aways!

The next prize up for grabs is....

I love five-inch charm packs!  Feel so empowered owning a little bit of an entire collection!
"Rouenneries Deux"  translates to "two printed cotten."  Moda has packaged these little beauties in a five-inch charm pack, all ready for your creative touch!  If time is short and you need a project in a jiffy, check out Moda's Bake Shop for a great idea!  Was thinking it would made a great tote bag for my sister, the family francophile.
Since these fabrics are printed with only two colors, I was thinking about two color quilts and wondered what two colors you enjoy most together?  If I look at my quilts, seems I prefer red and white.  Please post your favorite two color combination by midnight, Tuesday December 13 and a winner will be selected randomly on December 14.  Please make sure I'm able to contact you by e-mail to let you know if you won. Best to you!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Prize 1 of the Blog Party

It's time to start!!  Click here for the complete list of participating blogs!

Welcome to my blog!!  Am so glad you stopped by to visit during the Blog Party! Since your time is precious as you're checking out the over 200 blogs, I'll be brief!

Here's the first prize:
Chickadees, cardinals and holly!!  Oh, my!!
This cute little bundle is a Ten-Minute Table Runner, complete with complimentary fabrics and instructions.  Believe me, you can whip one of these babies up before Christmas dinner!  I usually add simple embellishments like buttons or yo-yo's to give it that extra  special touch.  Made one for my parents this year--will post a picture when I finish sewing on the special buttons.

To participate in the drawing for this prize, please post a comment on either December 10 or by midnight December 11.  Just for fun, please include in your comment your favorite hand-made gift you've either given or received.  Make sure I can contact you by e-mail if your is number is randomly selected on December 12, when a new prize will be posted!  Please come again on Monday and see what you can win!

Hope you win lots of great quilty stuff this week!  Thanks, again, for stopping by!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Give-Aways for the Blog Party

So, the Quilter's Blog Party is right around the corner!  From December 10-17, well over 200 quilting blogs will be offering prizes and my blog is one of them!  My prizes are pictured above--one Ten-Minute Christmas table runner, one Ten-Minute everyday table runner, a Moda "Sophia" five-inch charm pack and another Moda "Rouenneries Deux" five-inch charm pack.

Since there are so many blogs to visit, thought I would  have a drawing every other day so you have two days to enter for each prize.  How does that sound?  Post a comment to each blog entry and I'll pull a winner randomly.

For a list of all the blogs, click here!

See you December 10th!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quilter’s Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways!

For the first time, I'm going to participate in a Blog Hop!  December 10-17, 2011 check back here to see what prize I'll be offering, how to enter for the drawing and a list of all the other blogs that are participating, 

There will be plenty of quilty loot for you to win from nearly one hundred blogs!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Necessity Is Still The Mother of Invention!

I love my Avante, whom I've lovingly named "Harvey."  (I'm sure you've all seen the 1950's movie with Jimmy Stewart and the six foot, three and a half inch white rabbit--if not, here's a description of the classic movie.)

Harvey is pretty well behaved and quilts anything I throw at him, but he's picky about his thread.  He likes it on a cone rather than a spool.  Not having too much extra time to get the proper spool pin in place, I had to improvise.  Thankfully, our household doesn't lack for craft supplies, specifically, chenille stems (formally referred to as "pipe cleaners" when smoking a pipe was more socially acceptable).

Please, HandiQuilter, don't hold this against me!!
My innovation isn't going to be a permanent solution, but in a pinch, works perfectly!  Would love for you to share your unconventional, but effective, solutions to machine quilting issues!  Please post a comment so I can learn from your experience!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Quilt Market Adventure

Flew home yesterday from Houston after enjoying Quilt Market--my very first time!  Not sure if  "overload" is the right word to describe how I feel, but it's a start. 

Perhaps I should start from the beginning--a friend of mine, Simona Brickers, is planning to open a quilt shop in Princeton and needed a bit of technical advice on what a quilter would like to see.  Thankfully, my schedule wasn't too full and my Paul encouraged me to go.

Houston Airport art--very pretty!
Houston at night


 The first day of our adventure took us 110 miles away from Houston on a tour of Texas landmarks, quilt stores and a quilt museum or two.

Am thankful for the people willing to do this job, since I certainly wouldn't do it!

Painted church--just gorgeous!
Then we were off and running to the newly opened Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange!  Need to go back to see the Grandmother's Flower Garden in full bloom.
There's Simona with the handbag everyone wanted!

Here's the mural on the outside of the building.  You can see the frames where the flower garden in the shape of a quilt block is going to live.        

Our next stop was Winedale.....
Another worthwhile exhibit!
We also went to four quilt stores, but I was too busy buying fabric to take any pictures.  Imagine lots of fabric, fantastic customer service and snacks greeting you at each shop....sort of like quilter's heaven....

The next day we woke up bright and early to go to Schoolhouse (mini workshops talking about new products, techniques or business strategies). 

Here's a picture of a ruler demonstration with Cheryl Phillips of Phillips Fiber Art:

Another great workshop was on social media, but I may be a bit biased.  Monica Lee-Henell (my sister-in-law!!) helped us to learn about blogging, Facebook, websites and various ways of interacting with others on-line.
Monica Lee showing off one of her two new fabric lines, "The Neighborhood."  Take a peek at Cardigan Girls here .
Later that night there was an event called, "Sample Spree," but I feel that is something of a misnomer.  This Jersey Girl was no match for many of these quilters when it came to taking advantage of a sale--using brute force if necessary.  If you smiled and made small talk, they were less likely to draw blood in pursuit of a bargain.

Here's a picture of about a fifth of one of the lines to get in.....

And once inside.....
A sea of humanity!
The next couple of days were spent checking out all the new quilting products coming out this year.  Was told that if you walked up and down every aisle, you would have covered forty miles.  Don't doubt it for a minute!

Not sure how many of you know it, but there are super heroes that quilt and I have a picture to prove it!

The Man of Steel reveals his secret identity as a cutting-edge quilter!
Going to Quilt Market was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed every minute I spent in Texas, but there is no place like home!  Am so excited to find all the new products in the quilt stores and move my quilting to another level!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meeting Barbara Brackman

At the American Quilt Study Group seminar in Cherry Hill, NJ this September, I met a quilt historian I admire--Barbara Brackman!!!  Actually, she came up to me during the presentation of the papers and took a picture of my portfolio......and then......she blogged about it!!  Check out her blog, Barbara Brackman's Material Culture--it's cued up to the page where she has the picture of my portfolio.  (It's the second picture.)

Kind of funny--I wouldn't know a contemporary actress if I tripped on her, but became a giggly school girl in the presence of a famous quilt historian. 

Here is a picture of the portfolios I've made--the larger red one is the one Barbara noticed.

Portfolio samples for a Love Apple Quilters workshop
 The AQSG was wonderful--was so glad I was able to attend the events I did and look forward to the chance to do it again!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October's BOM Posted!

"Fool's Block"--the name has no reflection on those making it! ; )  Think the points in the corners look like a jester's hat.
Wow!!  We are fast approaching the end of the of this block of the month and zipping towards the holidays!  Keeping the time of year in mind, the blocks get simpler.  This one is called "Fool's Block" and the instructions can be found here.

In case you need a refresher, here's the final quilt:
"Quilty Delights" 2011 Block of the Month
Will be posting the sashing instructions in several installments between now and the first of the year.

Thanks so much for following my Quilty Delights this year!  Have an applique BOM ready to go for next year--preview coming in the next few weeks!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September Block of the Month Is Posted!

"Baskets of Flowers" is now posted!  You can find the instructions here.  You'll see there is a bit of a glitch with the picture of the block at the beginning of the instructions--my computer tech/husband is working on it and we'll have it fixed as soon as possible.  The diagram at the end of the file is fine and gives you a good idea of what the block should look like.

Thanks so much for checking out "Baskets of Flowers"--we're coming to the home stretch and you'll have all the installments, sashing included, but January!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Jersey Fresh

At the beginning of the summer, I stopped by The Village Quilter to pick up my block of the month, when I was shown their newest kit.  "Jersey Fresh" suited my taste--polka dots, fruits and veggies and lots of room for quilting.

Look at how cleverly the staff at The Village Quilters pack their kits!
Look at all those cool fruit and veggie fabrics together!

Our older daughter arranged the pieced border for me--she did a great job!  Love that our girls love fabric and design as much as I do. 

The rest of the top came together quickly and soon it was on the frame.

Here's a close-up of some of the quilting--since I love vegetables, I quilted double hearts among the polka dots and strawberries.
Cabbage, carrots and plums!  Oh, my!
Am thrilled it's a big enough quilt to cover my entire kitchen table (but, it certainly had a decent amount of binding!).
Pretty sure not one plate of food will be placed on this tablecloth!
Since this summer's heat was so intensive in our part of the world and the rabbits so voracious, our veggie garden yielded the minimum.  (Am hopeful the few tomatoes out there ripen by Thanksgiving!)  This table cover provides the Jersey Fresh fruits and veggies my garden couldn't.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today's My Day!

Today is my day to be featured on Quiltmaker's Blog!  Click here to see the completed quilt I made for their Back To School event.  While you're there, get the first few installments of a free pattern and sign up for the give away!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back To School

It's that time of year again--Back To School!  Love those words!  In fact, I love school so much, I became an elementary school teacher and taught first grade in the inner city for a number of years.  As a tribute to those years, would like to offer you a chance to travel back in time and revisit the quilts I made for various schools.  Come and join me in my time machine and we'll set the dial to February, 1995.....

For my last year in Camden, had each class contribute a crayoned block of what Black History meant to them:
Polaroids don't scan that well....
Everyone seemed very happy with this quilt!  It was intended it to be a present for H. B. Wilson Elementary School, but the Camden Board of Education liked it so much they hung it in their offices.  They even called the Courier Post!  The kids were so proud their efforts were in the newspaper!

When our oldest daughter entered first grade, I offered to make a thank you gift for her teacher.  It was her first year teaching and she did a wonderful job.  Each child made their own block and I assembled it.  She felt so appreciated!
Each of the children's names are quilted in the borders.
 For the second grade teacher, we made a quilt as a family for lovely Mrs. Pliner.  Time was short, so Paul helped me clip the seams on this rag-style quilt--I have the best husband ever!

Mrs. Pliner has a room in her house dedicated to school related items and this quilt hangs proudly there.  Every time she walks by, she remembers how much she is loved.

Third grade rolled around pretty quickly!  This year's teacher was also a farmer.  And a man.  Certainly did present something of a challenge making a masculine quilt, but didn't want him to feel left out.  Maybe his wife would appreciate it?
The star centers were the phrases he often used in his class.
The backing fabric was John Deere tractors--perfect for a farmer's quilt!
The following year, the room parents remembered my ability to quilt and recruited me to make another quilt for the teacher.  Unfortunately, we had a terrible car accident and my collar bone and foot were broken.....and the quilt wasn't quite done being quilted.  I asked a dear friend and exceptional quilter to finish the names in the border for me and she did a wonderful job.  In all the excitement, I'm not sure where the picture of the finished quilt is, but I still have the EQ design so you can get an idea of what it looked like:
Imagine fourth grade art work in the blank squares.

On a recent Back To School night, we went to visit this quilt and were horrified at what we saw...almost can't type it.....those of you with sensitive stomachs may want to look away for the next few spite of the hanging sleeve on the back of this quilt, the teacher cut two holes in the corners so she could hang it by two hooks. I was in total disbelief she would CUT holes in a quilt!  People really need to be educated in quilt care!

Imagine my surprise when the next year's room parents remembered I had made "thank you" quilts for teachers!!  This particular year was our older daughter's last year in elementary school, so I was willing to make what I thought would be one more quilt.  And, since our younger daughter started kindergarten that same year, I didn't want her teacher to feel left out, so I did one for her class, too.  My mantra that year was, "What was I thinking??"
The fifth grade quilt
The dedication blocks
Detail of our daughter's block.
The teacher seemed pleased to receive the quilt and the kids were so proud to present her with such a keepsake.

Here are some pictures of the kindergarten teacher's quilt:
The teacher just loved all things Disney!

Have to say, the kindergarten teacher gave the most enthusiastic reaction I've ever experienced when presenting a quilt!  She bounced up and down and hugged me so hard--it was wonderful to see someone so happy!

If we continue on our time travel adventure, fast forward to 2009.  A few years had passed and I took a break from making teacher quilts, mostly because many of the teachers already had one! One day, I received a phone call from the art teacher asking if I'd be willing to work with her to create a quilt for the district art festival.  Of course, I would!  At the time, I was also the president of Love Apple Quilters and those generous ladies were always looking for a community service project.

Money was limited, so I hand-dyed muslin and Love Apples contributed all the fruit and veggie fabric they could find.  The block was designed to allowed for all 100 students in the fifth grade to contribute their own fabric art.

Here is Marlton Elementary School's "Farm Fresh Fifth Grade":
A Love Apple donated her awesome quilting, but would prefer to remain anonymous--talented and generous!
A special group of fifth graders were selected to draw the alphabet letters and their accompanying fruit.  Turned out to be a great cultural experience, including tasting a variety of new foods.  Loved hearing the kids tell their parents about the quilt and showing off what they made.

Since the 2010 project went so well and our youngest daughter was in fifth grade, it was suggested I would also make the 2011 district art project.  Mrs. Gordon  decided our project would be influenced by the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, and the students did a fantastic job!
"Fifth Grade Fantasy Flowers"
Again, the budget was tight, so I hand-dyed the muslin, but that allowed for custom colors.  The kids used paintsticks to achieve these fantastic fantasy flowers.

Well, our faithful time machine has brought us back to the present.  Hope you've enjoyed our little journey! I've never seen all these quilts together and am amazed at how much my style has changed and grown over the last sixteen years.  Wonder what the next sixteen will bring?

As a quilter, please consider sharing your artistic endeavors with as many children as possible--they are the quilters of the future!