Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Part Two

Health, family and friends all fill my days with enormous blessings.
Just dropping in to wish all of you in the states the best today.
I got in a little stitching this morning as we watched the beginning of the Macy's Parade. Our girls are home and our holiday is being spent enjoying time as a family.
Those may  be Bloody Marys near by....
I also got in some Grandma time with our new little guy.
  The house is filled with the aroma of holiday cooking 
and I can't wait to fill my platter full of holiday yum.
Happy Thanksgiving.
With smiles!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Part One

These little ones give me a lot to be thankful for!
We had a fun day concluding our study unit of
Thanksgiving  with Arts & Crafts....

,,,and a feast among "Pilgrims and Indians". 
(Can't believe I forgot to get a picture of the turkey cupcake!)

 Love that the littlest guy in my class made the largest hat!
With smiles!

Blog Hop of Give-Away Winners!

What a fun blog-hop!!
 I've truly enjoyed meeting new bloggers and revisiting friends.
I had a lot of fun with this, my first give-away, and can't wait to put more
give-aways together in 2014!

So here, we go.

With the help of  Mr. Random Generator 
I am pleased to announce the following winners:

For becoming a new follower:

Linda from Sew We Quilt



Linda, you won: 
 Riley Blake Charm Pack: Pieces of Hope (21 5" squares) 


Joanie from Joanies Trendy Quilts is the winner of the 1" Glass Hexagon Template!
"I have a basket by my recliner with 1 inch hexies. I love hexies but I love them in all sizes."
Be watching for some happy mail Joanie!

Tammy from Tammy's Sew N Life is the winner of the
 1 1/2" Glass Hexagon Template!
"God I'm crazy about 1.5 inch hexi's too."

Charity: "Quilts are a Work of Heart": 

Sue who is a blog reader is the winner of this cute snap bag.
"I've made quilt blocks for Margaret's Hope chest which is a great organization! 
Check it out:"

Winners, I can't wait to send "happy mail" your way! 
Check your email in box to send me your mailing information.
And I recommend everyone take a minute to check your no-reply status. 
Unfortunately, I had over 70 no-reply entries.

With smiles,

Monday, November 25, 2013

When I'm not sewing...

Tonight found me  sipping wine as I texted with my mom during Dancing With The Stars, both as I baked 5 dozen cupcakes to be turned into frosted turkeys tomorrow. Our Second Grade tradition is to end our Thanksgiving unit of study with a "feast" between our two second grade classrooms. One class makes Indian headbands while the other makes pilgrims hats. Then we join together for a "feast". Quite honestly, I think the kids are more excited that they get to eat in the classroom together, but never-the-less, it's a fun filled afternoon!
Stop back tomorrow for some Thanksgiving cuteness!!!
(BTW....I do miss my summer days of just gardening and sewing....but until then, these moments are precious and well, this is my life.)
With smiles!

PS: Yes! Those are fun-fetti cupcakes...of course! :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Quilting with Variegated Thread

In-between prepping the extra bedrooms and cleaning toilets in preparation of the kids and grand-baby coming home for the holiday, today found me in the studio quilting my guy's quilt. He chose a pantograph design called: Grizzly Ridge:
Whenever I work with a pantograph, my current quilting "lesson" is learning to nest the rows. There's a lot of math in quilting...and for us right brain people, wellll, this can be a challenge! LOL! For some reason, when I REALLY like a quilt top I made, I get little nervous to quilt it. (Is that wierd??)
With relief, I'm really liking how this one is coming out!!
I'm liking variegated threads right now. Today I'm using a brown variegated  thread from King Tut called Cedars. I like how it "flows" between the colors of my quilt:
Whether it's the blues....

...or the reds....

...or the browns...
I'm loving how the "design" is there, but in a subtle way.
I'm finding the variegated threads are complimentary to a quilt top this way.
Thanks for stopping by! Hope you weekend was great!
With Smiles!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

My 100th Post & Blog Hop Give-Aways!

Wow! My 100th Post!!

YES! I'm so excited!!!

I mean seriously,  I don't even have a data plan of my cell phone!
So this is a big deal for me!

  1. I'm grateful I actually got all this blogging stuff figured out! (HAHAHA!!Because I'm not techy!) 
  2. I'm grateful I have a  routine established so I can continue to be involved instead of just sitting on the outside reading everyone else's blogs. 
  3. I'm grateful for you, my new quilt blogging friends. Really! Thank you for visiting my blog and for supporting me with your  kind comments and emails. You are like my "virtual" quilt guild. I always enjoy grabbing a cup of coffee and visiting your blogs for inspiration, support and friendship.

If you are new to my blog, WELCOME!  That's a picture of me over on the right. This is a quilting/sewing hobby blog. Visiting my blog, you'll notice I'm a pretty eclectic sewer who dabbles in applique, English Paper Piecing, (love my hexagons) traditional and out-of-the box piecing, long-arm quilting, quilt/sewing area organizing (See my Sunday Organizing Series). And, as if that's not enough, 2014 will find me exploring wool by participating in Sue Spargo's BOM. I  have many W.I.P. but let's not talk about those! (wink! wink!) Feel welcome to check out my "pages" and/or "labels" in areas that may have sparked your interest. Hopefully you like what saw and  you'll become a "follower" and I can visit your blog as well. 
Hey, I've always been a great multi-tasker

I'm proud so to check: "Start a Blog" off my "2013 To-Do" list and thankful for
the "virtual" quilt guild blogging has provided, that
I'm sharing my joy by participating in:
Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways
Thanks Michelle from the Quilting Gallery! Give-aways will be posted late
Thursday afternoon at Michelle's blog. Check that out and visit all the other bloggers. Great prizes. 

I've put together Four (participate in them all

Give-Aways to say thanks and welcome!

Give-Away is closed. 

Winners announced HERE!

1. Follow my blog and leave a comment letting me how you follow and you'll be entered in a give-away for this Riley Blake Charm Pack: Pieces of Hope (21 5" squares) 

 2 and 3. Love Hexagons?? Enter for a chance to win one of my glass hexagon templates (Yes, I'm giving away two) by making a separate comment saying:

"I'm crazy about 1" Hexi's too!"

and/or "I'm crazy about 1 1/2" Hexi's too!"

4. Finally, Quilts are our works of heart, leave a comment on my Project Linus page and share how/if you ever donate sewing materials, quilts,or  time to a charity organization. (It doesn't have to be Project Linus) Please be sure to share in your comment the organization you volunteer for! (Deb I know you are a Project Linus girl,  Sarah you have your Hands 2 Help and Lorna your Quilts 4 a Cause.) All new comments will be entered in a give-away for this little snap bag:

Crayons not included.

Thanks for visiting!

With smiles!

FYI:    I'll pick each of the "category" winners using Mr. Random Number Generator.
I will announce the winners and highlight their blog here at Val's Quilting Studio on November 27th.  I will also email the winners, so make sure you are not a no-reply blogger. Everyone is welcome to enter as I'm happy to post internationally. (Oh and I probably won't reply to giveaway comments as it can sometimes be a little overwhelming.)  Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November Happy Mail

The most awesome collection of orange fat quarters arrived in the mail today.
So Happy!

Blog Hop of Give-Aways is Tomorrow!

Also tomorrow another great Quilter's Blog Hop Party starts, created by Michelle from Quilting Gallery. Her site is include the quilting bloggers directory, a listing of quilt shops & services, a world-wide directory of quilt guilds and much more. If you haven't checked out her site yet, you should jump over there and do so.

The Quilter's Blog Hop Party is really a chance for me to thank my regular blog readers, to host a fun giveaway and to fill you in on news and events happening here on my blog.

It is also a chance for you to find great new-to-you blogs to follow, to enter hundreds of giveaways and potentially to win some great quilting goodies.

Be sure to stop by as I celebrate my 100th Post with a few give-aways myself!
With smiles!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Organizing: WIP Storage

I find myself sorting through things and using my time to wrap up my  2013 Projects. I also find myself curious how you may organize their WIP?? My favorite storage idea is using these ArtBin Totes (you can find them at any of the big chain Craft Stores) They measure 15" square and about 2" deep: 
I love that they stack neatly on top of each other, snap securely shut for safe travel and I can easily label them for quick finding.
Now truth be told, I confess the discovery of a few forgotten WIP. (UhOh! How'd that happen!!) Be curious to see if they make it onto my  2014 "to create" list. But for now, I'm happily finishing an applique wall hanging and a bed quilt that will help cozy up one of our extra bedrooms. My quilting goal for 2013 create a series of quilts for our home. I'm hoping to conclude the year with a satisfying list of quilting finishes to share. (Keeping my fingers crossed!)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Applique W.I.P.

 First, Thank you to everyone for your positive comments on my previous post. It's always refreshing to check in each day and know I have such awesome support. It motivates and keep me in "check". I'm so grateful to have found such an awesome blogging community of friends.

Boy is November going fast for anyone else!? All of sudden I'm looking at my 2013 project list and realize I have two projects left I'd really like to complete. One is this: my BOM for 2013. I got back to it this past weekend. I have almost three more blocks traced, cut and tacked down. I really want to get it done before I start by 2014 BOM. (Good idea huh!!)

This week is quiet and will find me sewing applique in the evenings. I also want to get my guy's flannel quilt on the frame so it's ready to quilt  this weekend.
In appreciation and with smiles!

Monday, November 11, 2013

FMQ: Live, Love & Laugh

After not being behind my long-arm for almost six weeks, I spent the weekend playing! I used only FMQ as I worked on this quilt top from/for Project Linus. I needed to do this. I needed to follow my own creative flow.

Before I start to quilt a top, I always sketch it out. I like to accent the fabrics with my quilting and will take a few days to practice by doodling. This was my first time creating big flowers and pebbles.My FMQ is by far perfect. But whenever my lack of confidence would try to sneak in, I'd intentionally remind myself to follow my own advice and that is: "TO JUST START!" "Every great adventure starts with a beginning. You can't be your best at something right away. It takes time and practice to develop confidence in a skill.." My daughter told me I sounded very Mary Engelbrighty! (LOL!!)

So as I worked on this quilt, I continuously reminded myself to have more fun as I learn to follow my creative flow. I didn't even plan on doing the letters! I got tired of doing pebbles and thought it would be fun to add a message to the chalk! I just went for it! (Now THAT was fun!)

 This quilt helped me find my groove again and rebuilt my confidence. Someone (not a blogger) told me a few weeks ago, that I ruined a quilt. It was this quilt: A Star Studded Finish!  (Funny thing is, I'm really proud of my skill progress  on that I was shocked when they made such a comment!) Luckily, I was able to keep this person's opinion in perspective and I was able to stand up for myself. But in the back of my mind, it reminded how important it is to be kind and supportive of each other as we all work to develop our skills and find our own style.

I hope you all are living well, loving  much and laughing often...especially at people who don't always appreciate your quilting style! LOL!
With smiles!

PS: And then I get emails like this:

(After I dropped the Star Studded Finish off to Project Linus)

Hi, Val,
  Somehow I never got this note sent to you last week!  Where did the time go?
  I wanted to let you know that EVERYONE was in awe when they saw your quilting on the quilts I turned in for project Linus!  Especially, the Halloween quilt!  Wow!  Donna asked if you would quilt for other people. I told her, yes, definitely!  She might have a quilt or someone in mind that needs something done.  I'll ask her. I plan to call her later this week.

   Thank you, Val.  Have a great week!

Linked up with:

Connie at Freemotion
Sarah at confessionsofafabricaddict

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sunday Organizing: Bobbins

Am I the only one who hates this? 
You're in the middle of a sewing project and your bobbin runs out! 
I don't mind changing the bobbin, but having to wind a new one mid project, for some reason, annoys me! (chuckles!) So here's my solution: 
Upon the beginning of a project, I wind a whole set of bobbins using my  Simplicity SideWinder Bobbin Winder.  I  really do just  love flipping open my case and popping in a ready bobbin.  (Simple pleasures I guess)  

I also use it to wind all my applique threads for easy access and travel.

Just another little way I keep organized.  
With smiles!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Flannel Quilt Top Twisted and Done

Welcome to:
Hosted by Madame Samm.
Amy of Sew Incredibly Crazy is our head cheerleader for the event.  

...and this one is for my guy! His birthday is this month and in February we will be celebrating our first 25 years as Mr. and Mrs.  (Love it!!) So I'd say it's about time I made him his own quilt for the ol' "Man Cave"  don't ya think!? A big thank you Amy and Madame Samm for hanging a carrot in front of me!!

I started with a layer cake of soft, cozy flannels.

Sewed them together in rows of 6x7.

 Used my Twister template to make the easiest pinwheels ever and bordered it with a blue plaid flannel.(If ya like the look of the  pinwheels, the directions are included with the template and they are very, very easy to follow. There is even a Lil' twister you can use with charm packs!)

Ta! Da!

Here it is finished and waiting to be quilted.
The entire perimeter of the quilt is bordered with the blue plaid. (The top is draped over the fence.)
Luckily, I have a long weekend off  and ten more days until his birthday! I think I can easily have it done for his big "five-O" celebration! I hope. (I'm thinking of just quilting it with a fun pantograph??)  I have a  green flannel for the back and a dark blue flannel for the binding. I've never made a flannel quilt before but  one thing I can tell ya is, it is the coziest quilt I have ever made and it's not even finished yet!! I think I'll be making myself one very soon as it's that cozy!! I LOVE IT!

 I'll be sure to share when it's quilted and at home in the "man cave". Thanks for stopping by and for even more awesome inspiration, be sure to check out all the other participants of "For The Boys":
The Reluctant Quilter

With smiles,
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