Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My favorite blog

I read a lot of blogs, many...many (too many?)...blogs.
In fact, I have book marked so many blogs, I have category folders on my bookmarks bar for each different type.
I have one folder for quilting blogs, one for cooking blogs, and another for crafting blogs. I have a folders for news/information blogs as well as one for entertaining/lifestyle blogs. And, so I don't miss something, I have a folder for miscellaneous blogs.
With so many blogs dedicated to so many topics, you might think I would have a hard time pinpointing my favorite. Not so. There is one blog that is hands down my absolute favorite: Dirt Just Flies Up And Hits Me! 
This blog never fails me. It inspires, delights and just plain cracks me up with every post. She breaks my heart and makes me laugh, sometimes at the same time.  
The author, Ali Brinkerhoff, is witty, wry, and insightful. Take for example her post on how she would cook more if she could do it in an Easy Bake Oven: brilliant. Or, her post in January 2010 about her resolutions for the year: a scream. Then there is today's post on her fairly tale life: wonderful, just wonderful. She is a gifted writer whom, I personally think, should write a book. If she did, I would buy copies for everyone I know.
I have been privileged to know Ali since she was in college. Even back then, I loved her take on life and how she expressed it. She was as quirky and funny then as she is now. She was and still is one of my favorite people.  
So my friends, if you need to laugh, cry or if you just want a slightly off-kilter view of life; do yourself a favor and check out Dirt Just Flies Up And Hits Me!  You'll thank me. 
 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Psst! Pass it on...

I always like to pass along great news, so make sure you hop on over to Moda Bake Shop and check out the "progressive dinner" going on over there.  If you stop by every blog listed you are entered to win their new, drool-inducing book and several other great prizes.
Also, make sure you stop by The Polka Dot Chair because she is having a great give away in conjunction with the progressive dinner.  You don't want to miss it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I want it, I want it, I want it!

Like many other modern quilters, I am totally in love with designer Heather Ross' fabrics. It is so bad that I regularly scour the internet to buy used pajamas from her Munki-Munki line.  I have a whole bin filled with PJ arms, legs and front/back panels.  Not to mention the bin I have with her Spoonflower and Kokka fabrics. 

Far, Far Away II is one of my favorites. 



I mean who can resist The Owl and The Pussycat!
I rationalize that I will fussy cut them to make the most adorable quilt ever but the reality is I love the fabric so much, I haven't yet been able to bring myself to chop it up.

So today I was stalking her blog and found out about these...


I am not a surfer and they are crazy, expensive but, I.WANT.ONE!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Umm...wow.

Well, I either have the shyest readers ever or it is as I originally suspected, no one but my few friends and family really care about what I have to say.  Even then, my own mother and sister didn't even sign up to follow.  That is too funny! 
This does, however, make the give-away a no-brainer.  Congratulations to my friend Margie!  Because you were my one and only new follower, you win the fabric  Woo-Hoo for you!  I would love to see some photos of what you make. Would you please email me your mailing address again, just to make sure I have the right one in my address book?  I would hate for those four beautiful fat quarters to wind up in the wrong hands. 
so this week,  I started quilting my first cheater quilt. 
I decided to just to outline the beautiful floral print.
I think it is turning out nicely.  And I have the perfect spot in my sitting room just waiting for it.
I am trying to decide if, once I am done with the outlining, I should fill in the rest with a tight stipple. 
Leave a comment and give me your opinion.  That is, if you're not too shy :) 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Projects, the give-away and a thank-you...

I finally finished putting away the Christmas decorations!  Yay!  I love the holidays but I have to admit I also feel relieved when it all goes back into storage and my life goes back to normal.
And by back to normal, I mean I actually have time to work on my own quilting projects. So last week, that is exactly what I did.
First, let me introduce you to my new best friend, "The Cheater Quilt."  I frequently purchase large patterned fabric and then it sits in my stash because I don't want to chop up beautiful print.  This is a wonderful way to utilize those large prints.
My friend, Kathy, introduced me to this concept right before the holidays, but I didn't have a chance to try it out before now.  Here is her version.



You can quilt them any way you desire but it gives great texture if you quilt around the print as Kathy did here.

Here are my versions. 

Cheater quilts are fast and easy to put together.  I cut and pieced these in two hours. 
You will need a one yard piece of 44"-45" fabric for the center.  A half yard for the inner border of which you will cut four, 2" strips. You will need need to cut five, 5" strips for the outer border.  Piece these together in order to make them go completely around the perimeter.  That's it!  How simple is that?  I think these are a great idea not only to showcase large print fabrics, but for when we need a quick quilt for a baby shower or other gift.
I also started assembling these blocks.  I don't have a particular reason for putting this quilt together.  I just like to have a couple of quilt tops at the ready for unexpected baby gifts, etc.  I love the way these fabrics are going together.
I also promised, in my last entry, to show what I got at the big 40% off sale at Pine Needles:

 Lately, I seem to be stuck on the color lime and anything with daisies.  So, of course, I couldn't pass up this little beauty.

I mean, come on, 'lil birds!  Awww.
This will make a beautiful back to one of my cheater quilts.
Again, awww!  These will definitely find a home in kitchen in the near future.  What do you think, apron or hot pads??
What's a girl to do when she loved every single print in a line of fabric??  Buy the layer cake, that's what. 
And now (drum roll please) for the give away.
Remember this post?  Well, I promised to have a give away as soon as I could fix some problems with my blog.  Well, I have done everything I know how to do, to make sure that everyone who wants to can comment.  I have even allowed anonymous comments.  So, if you find that you still can't comment, you will have to check the security settings on your own computer to see if that is the problem.
Here is what I am giving away. 
The basic concept for the give-away is outlined in my previous post but here it is again in a nutshell.  I am curious to see how many people actually check out my little blog so if you are a reader but, haven't yet signed up to be a follower, sign up to follow me.  Then, leave a comment to let me know that you did and why you haven't before. I mean, are you a bit shy like me or just too busy? If you have already signed up, get someone else to sign up and leave a comment giving you credit.  You can then leave a comment saying who you got to sign up and you will both be entered. I will select a winner in a random drawing and announce the winner on January 18th.  Make sure I have some way to contact you for your mailing address.  I want to make sure the winner gets her bundle without delay.
So let the experiment begin.  Good Luck!
And last but not least...
For Christmas, my fabulous and talented friend Kathy gave me this beautiful quilt.  I was absolutely thrilled and just had to show it off.  Kathy, I know I have said it a hundred times but, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. You're the best!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

Well, I'm back from the frozen north.  And when I say frozen, I mean frozen.


See that -13 reading?  That is the outside temperature as we headed out for our drive home.  It was brutal. To say that I am glad to be back in sunny, warm California is an understatement.
After 9 days I got a bit of cabin fever and needed bit of exercise, so I decided to brave it and take a walk.


Despite the cold, it really was quite peaceful.


These forlorn spring toys sat waiting for warmer weather.


And yet, holiday cheer was still to be found.


...and just for ironies sake.  Frankly, I really think the maintenance people are going to need a bigger bucket.

The day after this big storm, my favorite quilt store, Pine Needles, had a huge sale.  My husband thought I was crazy for getting up early, to make the drive on ice-packed roads, just so I could make it there right as the store opened.  I know he thought no one else would go out in that weather but I knew I wasn't the only
fabric-aholic unable to pass up 40% off.  And boy, I was so right.
While the rest of Gardner's Village was a ghost town, Pine Needles was packed.  There were women everywhere and bolts flying off the shelves.  Not to mention, more than one bewildered husband standing in a corner holding someone's purse.
As I wrangled my way through the crowd, I caught the eye of several other women.  We gave each other wry smiles as we recognized our mutual addiction.  It was worth it, though.  I got some great fabric, including 4 beautiful fat quarters for my give-away,  but I will wait to show you my haul until the next post. 
I have had a couple of people ask me where Pine Needles is and why I love it so much.  So, while I was there, I asked Holly if she would mind me taking pictures of the shop to post on my blog.  She graciously allowed me to take as many shots as I wanted. Sorry for the quality, but I had to take these with my phone.


Pine Needles is the type of shop I daydream of one day owning myself.  It is warm and inviting.  The shop has a decidedly country feel with a nod to the funky.  They have tons of fun, modern fabric...



And, great ideas of how to use it. Unfortunately, I was only able to capture a few of them, but they have everything from quilting and embroidery patterns and supplies to patterns for handbags and children's clothing.  Everywhere you turn there is something to delight and inspire.
 
Their staff is SO friendly and they treat you like family.  Since I live in California, I only get to go there when I make my visits to my family, which are only about once every 3 months, if I'm lucky.  Yet, the ladies there recognize and say Hi to me every time I shop there.  That really means something to me.  

They also have my absolute favorite sign. One of these days I will buy that lovely sign, but so far, every time I have been there, my car has been so full, I have no way to fit it in.  I just hope it doesn't sell before I can find a way to get it home.

If you are ever in the area, take my advise and stop by Pine Needles. If you do, I promise you that you will go back again and again.
They are located in Gardner's Village at:
1100 West 7800 South
West Jordan, UT 84088-3500

Of course, Gardner's Village itself is a delightful place to spend the day.




I mean, who can resist atmosphere like this?

While I was browsing in the other shops there, I had my mind on the coming new year.  I thought about my personal resolutions and wondered what I should focus on. Gradually, I began to notice messages everywhere and realized that perhaps someone, somewhere was giving me some guidance.  I thought it would be nice to share with you.  Again, pardon the quality, iPhones aren't the most professional cameras.









As we go through this new year together, I hope we will see all of these messages unfold in our lives.