Friday, December 31, 2010

New pillow for a new year

My Pillow Talk Swap-4 pillow arrived while I was in California celebrating my in-laws 60th wedding anniversary!
 My secret swap partner -- Nik Ramirez --  obviously studied my inspirational mosaic and/or Flickr photostream, and/or blog to know that the cross blocks and blues, greens, and grays would be a big hit with me!  
 A sunny morning and a lovely new pillow to end the year with.  Sigh of contentment.
Oh, and she threw in some charm squares, a coffee sleeve, thread, and a produce bag! 

Thank you so much for a great swap, Nik, and our fabulous hostesses, Heather, Kerry, and Nova, and swap mamas Tacha, Kelly, and Tami!  Pillow Talk Swap - 5?  I'm ready!

With wishes, true and kind and a happy new year to all -- Joan

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas miscellany

Christmas Eve day found me busy with last minute preparation and full of anticipation.

The mail brought me a Pay It Forward package from Sarah Fielke.
 A lovely Christmas Eve surprise!  Thank you, Sarah!

We had a delicious Christmas Eve family dinner at my sister's loft, and
 then attended the 11:00 Christmas Eve service of our church (Solid Rock), which was held in downtown Portland at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.  It was a fabulous way to celebrate and begin Christmas Day with family and friends!

Molly's fiance, Peter, spent the night, so it was a joy to wake up after a few hours of sleep to have him open presents with us.  And then the extended family arrived to spend the day, from brunch till dinner, with a few margaritas in between.  What a day!

(Table runner made years ago by my MIL)

The "kids": future SIL Peter, daughter Molly, niece Lauren, nephew Mark, son Michael.

Did I mention that it turns out my that husband is a pretty good liar.  And the kids are in cahoots with him!

(1) He went shopping with Molly at 4:00 a.m. on Black Friday (I know!) and came home with a Cusinart Food Processor for her.  I said that I wished I had known, because mine is so worn out after years of heavy use, that you have to hold the pieces together and push down on the whole thing just right to get it to work.  Of course, he said that they only had a limited number, the sale price was only for a limited time, etc.  I didn't think anything more about it, until I opened the package Christmas morning.  The tag read, "Merry Christmas -- I lied!"

(2)  He started emailing me earlier in the month about Juki sergers -- were they good, would I want one, etc.  Then when I asked him about it, he told me that he had a chance to get one for an incredible deal, but that he had not had the time to respond during his work day and lost the deal to someone else.  It was donated to a radio station fund raiser by a local sew and vac store with lifetime sewing lessons.  It was an amazing deal, so it made sense to me that someone else got it before Steve.  So, I was really surprised to get this (from Michael, Molly, and Peter).

 So, apparently, I live with a bunch of liars.  Thank goodness!

Just between us, I'm thrilled with, but more than a little intimidated by this beautiful machine.  I can't wait for my first lesson!  

Do you own a serger?  Have you ever used one?  What projects have you used it for?

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Final finish of the year

 I finished my Pillow Talk Swap (Round 4) pillow yesterday, squeaking in just under the wire!  
Molly can't believe I'm sending this off to someone else! 

 The pattern was adapted from Elizabeth's Hartman's Rain or Shine quilt in The Practical Guide to Patchwork, which is a fabulous book, by the way.  My swap partner indicated that she loves lots of color, so I hope she loves Amy Butler's Love fabrics with the Kona Coal.  It feels so good to have completed this project and sent it on it's way to my swap partner!

I also received a lovely, lovely package of goodies after winning a giveaway on Jennifer Paganelli's Sis Boom blog.  Thank you so much, Jennifer!

And now I will turn my attention to the last few cooking and cleaning projects as I prepare to have the family over on Christmas Day. 

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Saturday, December 18, 2010

2010: The year of (mostly) unfinished projects

Perhaps 2011 can be the year of (mostly) finished projects.
Anything's possible in a new year....

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Friday, December 17, 2010

Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Winner: Sanctuary!

The winner is:
 These gorgeous fabrics have been sitting next to my computer so that I could enjoy every last minute that I had with them.  In addition to being absolutely beautiful, they are also incredibly soft.  But, they will be on their way to your home, Debb, as soon as I get your address.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Thanks to everyone who entered!  
I LOVE Giveaway Day!

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Monday, December 13, 2010

Giveaway Day: Sanctuary!

I LOVE Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day!

I participated last May and had a blast with charm squares, so I thought long and hard about what I wanted to offer for December's giveaway...

In a wonderful, but hectic, time of year, I offer you the chance to find a little sanctuary in the beauty of Patty Young's Sanctuary, which I purchased from sweet Tisha at So Fun Fabrics on Etsy.
You have no idea how much I want to keep these for myself! 

Four half yards (for a total of 2 yards) can be yours simply by leaving a comment below.
That's all it takes.

Dahlia Lama in Seafoam

 Glass Tiles in Seafoam

 Zen Garden in Gray

Seaweed Wrap in Seafoam

Don't you feel a blissful sense of peace just looking at these shapes and colors?

Giveaway Details:
The giveaway will close at 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on December 17.
The winner will be chosen by a random draw.
I will ship internationally.
Please, please, please: if you are a "no-reply comment" blogger, include an email address in your comment.

Have fun exploring blogs and entering giveaways, and please stop by The Portland Modern Quilt Guild blog, where we are giving away a $30 gift certificate to Sew, Mama, Sew! and a one year membership to PMQG!

Did I mention that I LOVE Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day?!?!

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Pillow Talk 4 Sneak Peek

I hope my partner loves it as much as I do.  
It's a modification of Elizabeth's Rain or Shine quilt pattern in Practical Guide to Patchwork.  

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's up?

 I just posted a blog giveaway for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild, so hurry on over and enter.  Just one quick comment will put you in the running for a Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton charm pack or 2 half yards of Holiday Happy fabric donated by The Happy Zombie.  There will be 10 lucky winners!

Come back here (and PMQG, too) on December 13 for Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day.
I just ordered 4 half yards of some gorgeous, newly released fabric for my giveaway.  Any guesses?

I recently stumbled upon these OOP Amy Butler Temple Flowers fabric on Etsy 
and just couldn't help myself.  I wasn't even looking, so I maintain that these fabrics found me!  

And I have been making progress on my Pillow Talk Swap pillow.  It just may involve a modification of a quilt pattern from Elizabeth Hartman's Practical Guide to Patchwork, some Amy Butler Love, yo-yos, and a Kona Cotton solid (to be determined).  My partner is not afraid of color, so color she will get!

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bee Hexed In

I've been making progress this weekend on my Bee Hexed In blocks.

A finished block for Brioni (flossy blossy):
My favorite part of this block is the striped sashing between the solid blue strips.

Progress on and sneak peaks at my block for Chris (izzy inspired):

I'm just starting to pull fabrics for Brooke (april two eighty):

The block pattern for the Bee Hexed In group is based on Tacha's (hanies quilts) pillow cover pattern in Fat Quarterly, Issue 1 - Fresh Start:

These blocks require a little time, but I love putting them together.  It's going to be fun to see how they look in all the different color palettes month by month.  

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Sunday!

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

(Not so) Wordless Wednesday: fabric to die for edition

Packages out

Packages in

 Oooooo.  Ahhhhh.

Oh là là!

 I had no idea when I ordered these OOP fabrics on Etsy that they were still on a sample hanger!
 I feel like some sort of weird collector, but I just can't see myself using these fabrics!

Would you think I was weird if I left just hung this on the wall in my sewing room 
(coming June 2011)? 

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hello again

I can't believe it has been over a month since my last post!  I knew teaching a graduate class at Portland State University, in addition to working full time, would be a ton of work and very time intensive, but --WOW!  Plus, there's a wedding to be planned! 

Somehow, a lack of time to sew has not translated into a lack of time to buy.  This is the result of feeling sorry for myself for working overtime while friends frolicked at Quilt Market.

When I last posted, I was determined to catch up on bee blocks by the end of that week.  Well, that didn't happen.  However, I spent the last couple of days making bee blocks in between other holiday weekend festivities, and I'm very pleased with the results.  

Bee blocks for Beth: She chose the pattern and the fabrics in the block on the left, I chose fabrics in the block on the right to coordinate with her choices.

Bee block for Dee: She chose the pattern and fabrics, which I enjoyed using.  Each member of the bee is using different blue and green fabrics sent by Dee.  You all know how I much I love blue and green!

Bee block for Lesly for her red and aqua snails trail quilt.

 Bee blocks for Ruth, who asked for 1/4 log cabin blocks in the fabrics she provided.

 Bee block for Frieda: She sent the fabrics and left the block design up to each participant, with a few stipulations.

Bee block for Claudia: She sent the fabrics and pattern for Ohio star blocks.  

 Bee block for Heidi: I finished this block before realizing that I should have made two blocks.  Although I didn't have any difficulty with this block, I immediately made a cutting error on the second, so now need more fabric before I can make its twin.

Blocks ready for mailing -- a beautiful sight!

I also turned my attention to my Bee Hexed In group, which started in October.  Brioni chose one of my favorite color palettes for her block.
Hexies in Waiting

A Canvas for Hexies
Bee Hexed In Block in Progress

This pile of fabrics will hopefully start turning into hexagons by this evening for Chris's Bee Hexed In block.  Her palette of grays, browns, and other neutrals is turning out to be absolutely fabulous.  You can see more Bee Hexed In blocks here.

Have you been keeping up with the Portland Modern Quilt Guild blog?  Next month will be my last month as secretary.  I haven't missed a meeting since our first one in Multnomah Village on March 18, and it is just amazing to look at how far this group has come in such a short time!  Please read about our November meeting, which featured Kristin Link of Sew, Mama, Sew! and the Green Grocery Bag Challenge and ended with a fabric destash and homemade craft item swap and sale.  

I'll leave you today with a few sneak peeks at our last PMQG meeting.

Seriously, this is just scratching the surface.  Go take a look.

With wishes, true and kind -- Joan