Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Sunday Sampler and a Giveaway

Edited to add - I've had a couple of emails saying Blogger wasn't being cooperative in letting you leave a comment. If it doesn't work for you just click on the sidebar where it says "view my complete profile" and my email link is on the page that pops up. Hope this helps!

As I mentioned yesterday I have a sampler to show today and news about a bloganniversay giveaway - hope you like these offerings!

If I could chose a house to live in I think it would look a lot like this one --

a pretty yellow house! This is by Ewe & Eye & Friends and is called Plenty & Grace.

This one has so many elements I love in a sampler - a great alphabet, decorative stitches, a wonderful border and interesting details like the birds and the squirrel on the fence. As you can see from the date I finished this back in 1996. I've been getting comments here and there asking how I am so productive and I think people are overlooking the fact that I stitched these samplers years ago. The last time I counted there were over 70 samplers in my house. I did a lot of cross stitching when my boys were younger. It was the perfect take-along project for waiting at doctors and therapy appointments and going to the park. A stitch here, a stitch there and before you know it you've finished a project. It also helped that during that time there were several great LNS I could frequent and I did! Now I look to other bloggers for inspiration and I find lots of it - so many talented stitchers!

And while I'm about a week late with this (and I'm blaming it on my lack of a functioning laptop not my basically procrastinating nature) I'd like to announce a giveaway to celebrate my 1 year anniversary of having a blog! I can hardly believe it myself. Last year at this time I had no knowledge of how to upload pictures or publish a blog but it turns out that this information is out there and it is shared with anyone who wants it!!!OMG-- who knew? Well, I found out and I really enjoy this little space I have to ramble and share my meager accomplishments. I figure you would rather see pretty stuff than my piles of laundry or my dust bunnies. I assume you have some of your own and if you don't I do not want to know - LOL!

Okay, less ramble more stuff - Here are my giveaway goodies. First, I have a brand new jelly roll of the Sanae line, Oh My! This collection features tangerine, teal, brown, black and a bit of magenta.

And for my cross stitching buddies I have a brand new copy of the graph Wash Day by Carriage House Samplings. This will include a piece of linen and the DMC flosses.

So how do you get your hands on these goodies? The standard way - leave me a comment and tell me which drawing you'd like to be in. If you are a follower too, let me know that and you get 2 chances to win. You can put your name in both pools or get your name entered twice in the goodie offering of your choice. I will pick a winner at noon next Sunday (June 5) and post the winner's names that evening.

Off to put more quilting in the Wonky butterflies - did I mention that this quilt is HUGE? Oh yeah, I did -

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Trying to catch up

Well a week without a laptop is not fun! I was able to borrow my son's a couple of times but then I ran into the problems with Blogger not letting me leave comments. Maybe it was a good week to take a break. I am very happy with my new laptop - it is so much faster than my vintage one. I've figured out how to upload my pictures and I didn't lose any of the online games I like to play like Icebreakers and Pirate Penguins and Poppit you know the games that let your mind go all mushy. I need them to keep me sane, well at least as sane as possible.

Today I got the Wonky Butterfly quilt pin basted - here is a section in the Frankenquilt stage.

This is my favorite butterfly...

it is yellow, it has dots and some buttons, and there is typography. This is a Nancy Wolff fabric - I love her artistic style. I don't think she is doing fabric anymore and that makes me sad. I do have a small stash of her prints and I am using them selectively. I did make a quilt top using a bunch of her animal prints. I need to let it see the light of day and get quilted.

And speaking of quilting, I'm not looking forward to machine quilting the butterfly quilt. First, it is BIG! I knew it was going to be around 90 something inches when I graphed it out, but the I changed the outer border which necessitated a second smaller border to balance it out and well...... the quilt is now 100" square - ackkk!!!! I do know that the quilting is going to be on the basic side. Some straight line quilting around the blocks and I'm thinking a little meandering in the wings. I was able to get several spools of a lovely variegated thread so I shouldn't run out.

I need to have this quilt ready to mail out June 7 - that gives me 10 days. It is doable and I have no one to blame but myself for getting into this situation. I think you learn something from almost every quilt you make and this one is teaching me that I need to think it through before I go off all willy-nilly submitting quilt entries. I can do machine quilting but I honestly prefer to pass this task off to my long arm quilter. She does a wonderful job and has way more skill in this area than I do.

Okay off to rearrange my machines and set the table up for the quilting. Check back tomorrow I'll have a sampler and a giveaway too. I realized last week that I've had my blog for a year now so a bloganniversary celebration is in order.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, May 23, 2011

I should follow my own advice...

so I wouldn't be so tired and sore today. Okay there was a brief sunny respite yesterday and I worked in my garden trying to squeeze a week of planting and weeding and pruning into a few hours. Fairly successful, but incredibly beat. Got nothing else accomplished -

Missed posting a sampler yesterday because of exhaustion and the fact that I couldn't revive my old laptop long enough to free up a picture or two. New laptop is in transit - can't wait. Hope to catch up later this week.

I HAVE to work on my wonky butterfly quilt. This needs to be totally finished and in Columbus (thank goodness it is only 90 miles away) between June 7- 10. There always comes a time in a project where the novelty wears off and the work remains. That is where I am at. I love the quilt but I really want to work on other things and if I hadn't submitted this for the NQA show I would blithely put it aside and start something new. I can't do that now.

I always tell my boys to plan ahead, don't over do it but do I follow my own advice - ahem..... not really. So I need to buckle down and get it finished. I still need to get the outside butterfly border finished and since my actually measurements don't jive with the measurements on the graph paper layout, some fudging is in order. Off to the sewing machine!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Friday, May 20, 2011

I can't believe it....

but its true! The UPS guy just dropped it off - I won a FQ Bundle of the new Ruby line by Bonnie & Camille ... Oh my goodness! I was stunned when I got an email from Stephanie at I had left a comment on the Jolly Jabber blog the other day and my comment was the one chosen. Isn't this beauuuuuuutiful???

(Wow that is one BIG picture -- I took if from FQS site and I don't know how to get it smaller - sorry!)

I have never treated myself to a FQ Bundle but I definitely will in the future. I love this fabric and I know I will want to make a large queen size quilt from it. I just need to pick the right pattern. Any suggestions? According to FQS,this line won't be released till October. That will give me plenty of time to decide on a border fabric - LOL! I love FQS and not just because I won this giveaway. They are one of my favorite places to shop. Always the latest stuff and fast fast delivery. Thank you, thank you, thank you FatQuarterShop from the bottom of my fabric covered heart!

And since the sun is out.... pictures of my newest finished pair of socks.

This is the Pyroclastic pattern done in Fiber Optic Kashmir in the Tequila Sunrise colorway.

I will definitely knit this pattern again and I definitely need more of this yarn. It is so squooshy and soft and the stitch definition is wonderful.

So to revel in the sunny day I am blessed with, I am going to sit out on my screen porch and do a little cross stitching. I just picked up the new Mystery Sampler by Brenda Gervais at With Thy Needle from my LNS, Keepsakes. I got the package with the linen and the floss and I can't wait to put some stitches in this on.

Hope you are having a great day and have a wonderful weekend ahead of you.
Happy stitching-
carol fun

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Goodies in my Garden

I've been busy busy busy helping my son with some projects for school so my crafty output has been very low. I did find time to finish my Fiber Optics Tequila Sunrise socks and will try to take some pictures tomorrow, if we have any sun. And that is a big if. I haven't seen any sun for days. Its been gray, cold and rainy yuck. Luckily I have some pictures of my garden goodies that I took last week.

Here are the first peony blooms in my garden.

Isn't that pink gorgeous. It is electric. These flowers seemed to be lit from within. Did you pick up on my change in tense? They were beautiful and then the rain came and beat the daylights out of them. Every single petal is gone - insert unhappy face.

Now this goodie should be pretty no matter what the weather.

My boys gave me this for Mother's Day. Those birds bob up and down and spin round and round with the breeze. I love it.

The one bird looks a bit like a chicken and it has little bumps on it like polka dot. Pretty cool, huh?

Along with school projects I've been battling with my laptop. It is dying. Let me bow my head and observe a moment of silence for this wonderful companion. Ok -- I've been complaining for weeks that I need a new laptop, however, in this house only certain people think they are capable of selecting and purchasing new electronics and this person has NOT been working on this. Getting a new laptop is a double edged sword. It will be great not to have to jiggle and wiggle the power cord so it makes a connection but I will have to learn the ins and outs of a new laptop. I don't like spending the time to learn what I need to know. Remember I'm ADHD I want to jump right in and speed off. Big sigh----ahhhh.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Sampler for a rainy Sunday

Oh the days do fly by! It is Sunday again and I have another sampler to share on this rainy Sunday. This one is The Brown House Sampler by The Middle Row.

I was totally smitten by the tulip border on this piece and I love how the alphabet wraps around. I stitched this on a pretty rose colored even weave and like most of my samplers it just has a simple wood frame. I also like the addition of the bird on the tulip and the orange tabby cat. He reminds me of our previous cat - such a good cat, a cat with a dog like personality.

I've been bouncing back and forth on different projects this week. I got some knitting done but I don't have a matching pair of socks finished yet. I worked a bit on my wonky butterfly quilt and finally got ALL the fabric back on the shelves. And I did a little cross stitch too. I received the final installment of the BBD AotH series and I do love the final bonus chart. I think this will motivate me to pick that project back up for the summer.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Hot Flash #914

Here is my entry for this edition of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I call it Hot Flash #914 and yes I did make it during that "special" change of life - LOL!

As I talked about earlier this week, I love brights and I love novelty fabrics and this one has a ton of them. I made the quilt in 2005 and it was shown at the NQA show in Columbus Ohio that summer. About a month after the show I got a letter from Klaudeen Hansen to ask if they could photograph it and include in in the 2006 Quilt Art Engagement Calendar. I was so flattered and immediately contacted her to say yes. They took a wonderful picture of this quilt and I was so excited when I saw it in the calendar.

This quilt is modeled on a antique quilt from the 1860's. A friend of mine was making a reproduction of this quilt using fabrics that were representative of that era and I admired the graphic quality of the quilt, but it wasn't my palette, so I did my version.

I love the princess feather center and all those log cabin blocks were foundation pieced - lots of papers to remove but very accurate. To put my own touch on this quilt I used a different novelty fabric in the center of each log cabin block.

There is a dragon which reminds me of my youngest son's fascination with these mythical creatures...

A horseshoe for good luck...

Tony the Tiger, a nod to my youth...

Of course, a polka dot chicken...

And not to be forgotten, ELVIS!

Enjoy all the entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, I know I will!

Happy stitching!
carol fun

Amy's Creative Side

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

7 Day Forecast Makes Color a Necessity!

I watched the weather report last night. The 7 day forecast is for some rain every single day from now to eternity. Ok maybe that eternity part is the voice in my head, but it sure seems that way. So to counteract the gray that will be omnipresent I broke out one of the most colorful quilts I have every made. A quilt that totally changed my quilting palette. Here it is.....

It is affectionately titled Carol's Crazy Kitty Cottages or as my oldest son refers to it - the Crack House Kittys. There are 36 different crazy cottages and each one features a different cat in the window. (I love novelty fabrics!) This one is my favorite.

A cat wearing a polka dot underwear. I know that just makes you shake your head and mutter to yourself that "this is just wrong on soooo many levels" but it makes me happy, which clearly shows the depths of my mental issues - LOL! And here is another one that makes me smile...

I love the expression on this cat and that he seems to be peeking through the foliage.

And I was so proud of myself for figuring out how to make that bright yellow picket fence turn the corner.

This quilt was created from the 1999 book Freddy's House by Freddy Moran. This book blew me away. First it has beautiful pictures of her color saturated house and studio. Red, electric purpley blue, turquoise accents, a sunny yellow studio with a black and white checkerboard floor. I covet that studio! And her quilts are just a riot of color and pattern. This book focused on the house quilts Freddie has made and she has made A LOT of them.

When I purchased the book it was love at first sight with the quilt on page 86 called "The Stars at Night". I couldn't wait to start this quilt and it wasn't until I got the book home that I realized that this quilt is in the "Gallery" section - you know the quilts for which no patterns are included. arggh! Okay, I will figure it out myself- and I did! I made the houses 8" square and every one is a different combination of doors, walls,roofs, chimneys and windows. And that little square in the bottom left hand corner next to the door - I considered that to be the garden spot for each home and they are all different patterns too. I worked on this quilt for a whole summer when my kids were out of school and I even quilted it myself. I'm hanging it in my basement family room where my sewing space is and I can see it from my behind my machine and it makes me very happy!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mother's Day Sampler

Happy Mother's Day to all of you who do the hardest job you'll ever love! I hope that someone spoils you today and that you have a lovely dinner you don't have to cook. That's my idea of a great day!

For Mother's Day I want to share this sampler I did 24 years ago. I remember I finished it right around Mother's Day when my oldest son was just two. Oh time has wings, doesn't it?

This is from Told in a Garden by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum and is titled Family Treasure II. It is stitched on a khaki color Aida using DMC flosses. I that turquoise and rose color combination matched my bedroom at the time. I love the lacy edge on this piece and the verse still melts my heart.

I count the stitches
Line by line
And watch the thread
Record the time
My eyes were strong
My hand was true
And filled with love
Made this for you

Happy Mother's Day!

carol fun

Thursday, May 5, 2011


is not my middle name. I think my middle name goes something like "bounces around like a bb in a boxcar", at least that is what my sainted father use to say about my behavior. So last week I started 3 new socks and over the week I have knitted on all 3 of them. First, the Lorna's Laces Zombie BBQ yarn in the rpm pattern.

Second, the Gale's Art Crayon Box yarn in the Charade pattern.

And third, Fiber Optics Kashmir Tequila Sunrise yarn in the Pyroclastic pattern.

Now you can see I have made nice progress on each of these socks, but if I had focused I could have a pair of socks finished by now instead of 3 single unfinished ones - sheesh - just bouncing from sock to sock. (Here is a link to for socks. Lots of free patterns in case you aren't on And then there is the cross stitch I'm working on. This is Country Flower Sampler by Cedar Hill.

This is so close to being finished. A couple of stems, a little back stitching oand fill in those 2 flowers and it is done! Maybe I'll buckle down tonight with this. My big motivation here is I want to start something new - imagine that, I know you can. Oh I did get all 121 butterflies sewn together for the center of the wonky butterfly quilt. Now onto the borders. I really want this one ready to start quilting by the beginning of next week. The deadline on this will come quick.

Hope you've been productive this week. Starting a new project is soooo much fun but finishing isn't bad either.

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Monday, May 2, 2011

Design Wall Monday - Butterflies Continued

I was semi-productive this weekend and I have ALL Wonky Butterfly blocks sewn together. I actually made more than the 177 that I need and I think I'll incorporate the extras into the back.

This is the center of the quilt - 121 blocks -set 11 X 11. I tried to keep the colors moving about and this is the point in every scrap quilt where you could spend from now to eternity moving them around or just stop and sew them together. I am hoping to get all these rows together today and I know that I will move blocks around even as I sew them up.

I'm putting a border of butterflies around this center. I have to cut some more spacing background pieces but it should be pretty simple. Its a good day to sew. It is raining again. I'm beginning to grow moss on my northern side with all this moisture and my hair is becoming terminally frizzy. Off to wind more bobbins!

Happy stitching-
carol fun

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A aampler for Sunday

Okay if April showers bring May flowers, what do May showers bring? Today it brought me a headache and no energy. Luckily I already took some pictures the other day when we had sun of this oldie but goodie sampler.

I have no idea who the designer was or what the name of this piece is. My memory banks have absolutely no information on this one. I liked the simplicity of this piece. I used just one overdyed floss and all the letters are stitched in eyelet stitch and each row between the letters is a different decorative stitch.

I know that I chose it because the big orange tabby reminded me of our sweet cat that we called "Khat" - pronounced "cat". I got the idea from a book by Susan Wittig Albert in her China Bayles series. There was a cat China inherited that she named "Khat". I love this series as it includes lots of wonderful information about herbs and flowers and gardens along with the murder mystery. I love Susan Albert's books and I'm currently reading the first book in a new series for her called the Darling Dahlias and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Happy stitching-
carol fun