Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hands2Help - Introducing Our Next Guest Blogger, Val!


Hi, all!

It's Sunday, and that means it's time for the latest H2H guest blogger!  And be sure to read all the way through to the end of the post - we've got some new sponsors that I want to let you know about!

Today we are welcoming Valerie of Val's Quilting Studio.  Val has a fabulous blog!  One of my favorite features on her blog is her Tuesday linky party, Tuesday Archives.  Each Tuesday she chooses a theme and you can link up old blogpost you may have forgotten about - revive those old posts and show off your beautiful quilts!  Today she's going to share the reason why she makes charity quilts - and so now I turn this post over to her!

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Hi everyone, and thank you Sarah for this wonderful opportunity!  I'm grateful to guest host here today to share how much of a difference our quilts make!!  You see, twenty-two years ago I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease and underwent 10 months of chemotherapy followed by a month of daily radiation.  And I'll never forget the comfort of my mom sitting by my side during every treatment, knitting this blanket for me.  (...when she wasn't chasing our then 2 and 3 year old daughters that is!  Love you mom!)




To this very day, I love my heart blanket.  It has been worn thin from years of use and its softness has been replaced with those little bubbles knitted blankets get after a million washes.  Its holes have been mended and re-mended.  Yet here it sits every single day, on my favorite chair.  I'm comforted by the love of my mother when I see it...when I cuddle upon it. And even though my mom has since made me a newer...bigger version, nothing can replace the memories and love this ol' one holds.

I enjoy volunteering my quilting services for Project Linus, hoping the whimsy designs I create add a smile to many children who receive them and remind them too, of comforts and support of loved ones as they went through a difficult time.





I am so grateful to be a part of H2H with all of you and appreciate the opportunity to let you know from experience, that your efforts make a difference!

Click here for more information:

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Thank you, Val, for a wonderful post, and a great reminder of how important our efforts are!  If Hands2Help is your only experience with charity quilting, I hope you will take the time to find a regular local outlet for charity quilts.  There is nothing quite like the feeling of hearing that your quilt has made a difference in the life of the recipient - to see a picture of someone holding your quilt and smiling, perhaps for the first time in days, knowing that someone they don't know cared enough about them to make a quilt for them.  Or hearing that the mother of a deceased soldier wraps up in the quilt you made when she feels sad and alone, and needs to feel the love and prayers that went into it.  Or seeing a quilt draping a casket - those are the hardest, but you know that the quilt had great meaning for the person you gave it to. Val is right - the quilts you make are important!  Keep up the good work!!!

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And now, as promised, let me share with you about some sponsors who have come on board since our "Meet The Sponsors" post!

Karen Green is donating two surprise packages of quilt-y goodness!

Terri Bohling is donating a Jungle Things fat quarter bundle!

Lara B. is donating 50 neon green Wonder Clips and some fabric and other quilt-y goodness!

And the lovely Hema of Malini's Quilts is donating 
a fat quarter bundle of Jungle Ave by Sara Lawson!  
Check out her Etsy shop - it's great!

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Be sure to check back next week when we'll have another great guest blogger!!

Hugs!

Sarah

Friday, April 24, 2015

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Stained Glass at Night...

Hi, all!

Can you believe it's already Friday again?  It's hard to believe the week has passed by so quickly - - - but you know what that means! It's time to get our whoop whoop on!  Are you ready?

Today I want to share a project I worked on last week before I got the little girls (and all sewing time went the way of the dodo bird...)



It all started with sixteen of these little beauties - paper pieced courthouse steps/log cabin blocks made by Sharon of Vroomans Quilts.  Aren't they gorgeous!  


This was my original thought - to lay them out in an X design on a black field.  But then...


...I started fiddling around with them on point, and came up with this modified granny square design.  The four blocks in the center were already assembled, with the tiniest little black strips and an itty bitty cornerstone joining them.  It is truly amazing, but I am not patient enough to replicate that kind of work.....  So I grabbed a bolt of Kona black and starting assembling the blocks into a quilt.


After some serious pedal to the metal time, this was the result.  I showed it to my husband and told him it would have black triangle corners to finish it up into a square.  My husband looked at it and said, "If you put black on the corners, you're going to have an awful lot of black!"  Well, yeah.....



...but he made me start wondering if it would be too much black.  So I turned it the other direction (not on point) and took a pic to see if I liked it.  Being, as usual, unable to decide, I put it on Instagram for a quick powwow with some other quilters, and the on-point design won, hands down!


So I added the corners.  That was a tricky proposition - I didn't have enough black left to make full-sized corners (which I realized after cutting the first two!) but the quilt was going to turn out larger than I wanted anyway, so I made a smaller set for the third and fourth corners and trimmed the first ones down to match.  I think it now measures about 66" square.


And look how gorgeous it looks with the sun shining through!  Although those beautiful blocks glow a good bit on their own, as you can see from the studio shot above this one.

Because of the way it glows, I'm calling it 
Stained Glass at Night.  

It was originally intended to be a ministry quilt, but I think it will serve another purpose that I can't reveal yet.  I'll work up a ministry quilt out of my stash to "repay" for the orphan blocks that form the basis of this one.  

As far as quilting goes, I'm thinking of using a "zentangle" type of quilting in all that black negative space, using a glossy black thread.  The backing is going to be a rich reddish purple artists' canvas type print.  The binding will probably be either black or scrappy - I can't decide on that yet, and would welcome any suggestions!

I'm also hoping that my class with Judi Madsen in Paducah this weekend will give me mad quilting skills and uber-inspiration for a great design on this quilt!

And here's one more thing we're whooping about around here this week...


So - - - can I get a Whoop Whoop?


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And now it's your turn!

What are you whooping about this week?

What's got you dancing the happy dance?

Share - we want to dance right along with you -
Because it's always more fun to dance with friends!

Remember - it doesn't have to be a finish - 
just something that makes you happy!

The party will stay open until Sunday at midnight.

Hope to see you there!

Hugs!

Sarah

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Come With Me on a Magic Carpet Ride! Giveaway!!


Hi, all!

I hope you want to go for a ride with me - 
I've got one fabulous Magic Carpet to share with you!!  

I was recently privileged to be allowed to "test drive" a new pattern by Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps.  Now you may know Christina as the author of First Steps To Free Motion Quilting and her newest book, Step-By-Step Free Motion Quilting.  (If you don't, you really should check out her books!)  But now she's branching out into pattern design - and she's made a great start of it!!  

So here's the beautiful design she has created...


"Magic Carpet"

Don't you love the way it looks like the blocks are floating over the background?  Hence the name "Magic Carpet"!  And while that looks complicated, Christina has made it a snap to put together.


I had a great time making this quilt - it's so quick and easy! It took me about an hour and a half to cut out (while talking to several people, so you could probably deduct a half hour or so if you are working solo!) and another two and a half hours to piece together.


All of that to say, this is a quilt you could easily complete in a weekend.  And I managed to make it all out of my stash, which made it a great stash buster, too!  

Christina is now selling the pattern for Magic Carpet over on Craftsy as a digital PDF download.  I hope you'll hop over and get your own copy - it will become a favorite, I'm sure!  She shows some alternate colorways to give you more ideas, and there's even a coloring sheet included in the pattern so you can try out your own color sequences!


I think mine is ready to become a magic carpet - it got in some serious practice during the early photo shoots!


But wait - - - there's more!  Remember I mentioned a giveaway?  Well, Christina is offering a copy of the pattern for one of my readers!!  How exciting!!  So how can you enter, you ask??

1.  Leave a comment below.  Let's make it fun!  Leave a random question for the next commenter to answer, and answer the question left by the commenter before you.  I'll start it off for the first commenter with this question - Fries, or Tater Tots?

2.  Followers of my blog get a second entry.

3.  Go check out Christina's blog - I guarantee you'll love it!  If you are a follower of hers, leave a comment here for a third entry.  If you're not a follower, you ought to sign up - she posts great designs for free motion quilting and has a series of tutorials that I use for teaching free motion quilting.

So it's that simple.  You don't have to jump through all the hoops to enter, although you can if you want.  I hope you'll all leave a question with a comment, though - that's the fun part!  And it will give me some enjoyable reading while I'm answering all your comments...  ;-)  You can enter until Sunday, April 26th at 12:00 noon CST, and I'll announce the winner on Monday, April 27th.  

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And now, for those of us old enough to remember another "magic carpet ride", here, for your viewing and listening pleasure, 
is Steppenwolf...




Good luck, and big hugs!

Sarah