Friday, December 19, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Friday

Hello everyone out there in quilt blog land. No I didn't fall off the face of the earth and Yes everyone and everything here is just fine.  I actually received an email yesterday from a quilty friend who was worried because I hadn't posted in two weeks. That certainly isn't the norm for me but to say that I've been overly busy is an understatement. And thanks so much to Katie for being worried about me.

So what has been going on here in the Crayon Box household?  Lots of holiday prep of course.....decorating the house and the trees, gift shopping, their class holiday parties, you get the idea.  Plus to top it off, both of them have birthdays this month.
 Sunshine turned 6 last week and Jammer's birthday is next week.  Unless their birthdays fall on the weekend, we always take them to dinner on their actual birthday to a place of their choosing, Sunshine picked Friendlys and it was during a snow storm no less, and then we have their birthday party with a few friends on Saturday or Sunday.
 Sunshine's party was at a paint-your-own ceramics place and they had a blast.  I'll pick up the pieces this Sunday and it should be interesting to see how they turned out. Plus they take in a treat to celebrate with their class. So there's always a lot of partying going on here during December.

I've been trying to stay caught up on blog reading here and there but I'm still way behind.  Oh well, I'll get to them eventually. I've missed out on a lot of fun going on including Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day but I've come to accept that around here, whatever isn't done by Thanksgiving just isn't going to get done at all until after the holidays are over.

Our Elf on the Shelf Twinkle has  been up to his usual daily antics.  A couple of days ago, the Olaf that Sunshine made at her Polar Express party on Saturday was trying to cook up some Elf Stew to eat. That wasn't nice Olaf.
 And then last night Twinkle was a very helpful elf and he fixed Sunshine's Lego Friends creation that accidentally got broken yesterday. It looks like he had some leftover pieces.
Last but not least, there is a completely new project that has taken up all of my otherwise free sewing time lately and it involves this.
Sunshine has recently joined a Daisy Girl Scout troop but in addition to that, I am the troop leader.  I had been trying to get her into a troop since school started and it didn't happen. There just weren't enough troops with spots available and last month I found out that there were a lot of girls like Sunshine on the waiting list.  So along with another mom, we started our own troop.  The girls are having a blast but recent weeks have been filled with leader training, meeting planning, craft supply gathering, paperwork and more required paperwork and field trip planning.  It will all smooth out soon as soon as we have the rest of the year's agenda decided on but the past 5 weeks has been nothing but a whirl wind of Girl Scout activities.

I haven't been near my studio in weeks and I don't know when I'll get near it until after Christmas is over.  I did want to get a quilt finished for this month, a table runner or two made and a trio of new small tree skirts sewn up but that just isn't going to happen. I'm disappointed but I'm certainly not going to get too upset over it either.  Hopefully there will be plenty of available sewing time after the new year arrives.
I wasn't going to post these Stunning Stitchin Sunday photos since some it has been a few days since they were posted on their owners' blogs but then I thought "why not".  Some of you many not have seen the original posts yet and it is definitely some pretty eye candy to appreciate. There's nothing wrong with a Stunning Stitchin Sunday the Friday version when it comes to sharing quilty goodness. So grab a cuppa and enjoy.
1. Night Owl Quilting & Dye Works, 2. Christa Quilts, 3. Happy Quilting, 4. Pumpkin Patch Quilter,
5. Ivory Spring, 6. Tamarack Shack, 7. Night Owl Quilting & Dye Works, 8. Val's Quilting Studio,
9. Flourishing Palms, 10. Quilting is more fun than Housework, 11. Pumpkin Patch Quilter,
12. Green Fairy Quilts, 13. Tamarack Shack, 14. Tamarack Shack, 15. Piece N Quilt,
 16. I Dew Quilting, 17. Quilting is more fun than Housework, 18. Quilting is My Bliss,
19. That Girl Who Quilts, 20. Alycia Quilts

And with that I'm off the computer folks.  I have Daisy scout meeting prep to finish and I have lots of gift wrapping to get done while the kids are in school today as it is my last chance.  There will still be more extended family wrapping to do but the kidlets love to help with that.  Enjoy your Friday and enjoy your weekend.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Joey's Wings

Joey's parents have set up a foundation called Joey's Wings to help fund research for rare cancers in children and young adults.
If you are the giving type, please consider donating to this so worthy foundation.  As their website states:
Help us not lose anymore wonderful young lives like Joey's!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Castles on the Horizon - my 1st Moda Bake Shop project

I have something exciting to share with you. It is my first tutorial for Moda Bake Shop.


I'm very proud to introduce you to

Castles on the Horizon
This quilt is made with 12 Castles in Spain blocks in Kate Spain's newest fabric line Horizon. The inspiration for this quilt came from a quilt block book.  I was flipping through the pages, looking for an idea for a quilt along I hope to host next year and I came upon the Castles in Spain block and new that it would be perfect for this design. The play on words with the name of this quilt was just an added bonus to this project. Castles in Spain blocks + Kate Spain + Horizon fabric line = Castles on the Horizon!
At that time I just happened to have one charm pack of Horizon that Lissa Alexander, Director of Marketing for Moda, had sent to me when she participated in the Kate Spain Charm Swap Round 2.  I knew that I wanted to do something with that charm pack and didn't want it to sit on the shelf for eons so I was excited when I had that Ahh Ha moment that resulted in this design.
I used that single charm pack to make a few sample blocks and loved the result so I drafted a full size quilt and sent it off to the Moda Bake Shop editors and they loved it.  Making those sample blocks was a good thing because it helped me to see a few construction details I needed to include in the pattern.
A photo shoot in the recent snowfall was the perfect setting for this quilt that will keep me thinking of the warm Caribbean breezes as I struggle to make it through the coming winter storms.
For the quilting, my first thought was that all that negative space in the center of the blocks would look fantastic with some Judy Madsen-ish quilting.  There was just one problem with that idea.  My skills aren't any way near that to have been able to do that. So after a ton of sketching I came up with a plan.  I even stitched out 2 1/2 rows of it. The design actually quilted out well but something just didn't feel right.  I liked, I liked it a lot but.....I just didn't like it for this quilt.  So I unstitched all of what I had already done. After a lot more pondering, I took my clue from the lines in the fabrics themselves and went simple. I quilted straight across the blocks both diagonally, horizontally and vertically and love the end result.
Though it is bit tough to see in this picture, the quilting lines actually created a pattern on the back of the quilt.
The Moda Marbles fabric in the coordinating shade was the perfect companion for the front of the quilt and I bound it in the darkest Aqua print from the Horizon line.
I truly love this Castles on the Horizon quilt and am looking forward to snuggling with it on the couch through the cold months ahead.
I hope that you are inspired to create your own Castles on the Horizon quilt.  The step by step tutorial is over on the Moda Bake Shop so hop on over and check it out.  I can't wait to see your own versions of my Caribbean inspired quilt. I'm joining today up with a few linky parties today to get the word out about this fun Moda Bake Shop feature.

 Fresh Poppy Design


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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Sunday

Another Sunday morning dawns and I start this day with a heavy heart.The news of young Joey's passing hit me like a ton of bricks and brought back all of the memories from 10 years ago when my nephew Danny was killed in a car accident right before Christmas.  The holiday season has never again been the same for my family and unfortunately it will be the same now for Joey's family.
So today I hug my kids a little tighter and am thankful that they are healthy. I'm going to also remember to cherish the little things in life like my quilty friends who share their creations with all of us each and every day.
1. Quilts of Love, 2. Quilting is more fun than Housework, 3. Addicted to Quilts, 4. Sew Kind of Wonderful, 5. Quilting is My Bliss, 6. Tamarack Shack, 7. Treadlemusic, 8. Elven Garden Quilts, 9. Night Owl Quilting & Dye Works, 10. Marcia's Crafty Sewing & Quilting, 11. Green Fairy Quilts, 12. mmm quilts, 13. Quilting by Dawn, 14. Sue Dario's Quilting Adventure, 15. Geta's Quilting Studio, 16. Night Owl Quilting & Dye Works

I've heard from Kris that Joey's mom Kathy is starting a non-profit organization to be called Joey's Wings to fund research on the specific cancer that he fought so hard to beat.  When I know more I'll definitely share.  I'm glad to know that his parents have found the strength through this very difficult time to find a way to help others so that they might not have to go through what they have.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Very sad news

This is an extremely difficult post to write and there are massive tears streaming down my face as I type this.

Those of you that have been my followers for long enough remember this 100 Good Wishes Quilt (120 good wishes actually) that I made for the Spring of 2013 for an 8 year old boy, Joey, who had been diagnosed with a very rare form of renal cancer.

Here is the picture my friend Kris sent to me of Joey and is family when she delivered the finished quilt to him.
This is Joey with his 100 Good Wishes album. That smile will always warm my heart.
So many of you, my kind and generous quilting friends, sent fabrics and wishes when I put out the call for help to make this quilt a reality and for that I can never thank you enough. I know that the quilt and the love that it contains has helped Joey and his family through this long journey.
This boy just was the sweetest.  Even after receiving his diagnoses, he continued to help others.
This is a recent photo of Joey.  It hurts to see just how much his poor body has endured as they continued to battle the cancer that was raging though him.
Of course, you must have deduced by the title of this post that despite trying so very hard, Joey finally has lost his battle. The cancer has won.  And that makes me so very angry!
I knew it wasn't going to be long when I got the news Monday night that he was in a coma and they were med-flighting him from the hospital in Ohio back home to Gainesville. He left this world on Wednesday.

If you would like to post to his mom Kathy's Facebook page, I'm sure the family would gain strength that will help them through the coming days.

No child should be diagnosed with Cancer let alone die from it.  But he tried as best as anyone could and maintained a brave face through it all.

Joey I know you are in Heaven gazing down on your grieving family and friends and I for one am honored that you touched my life. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Box Tops For Education

Have you heard about this! You must be living under a rock if you haven't. The Box Tops For Education program has been around for years and years and it really is a great way for schools to earn money for extra things that enhance the whole experience. Both of my kids' schools have been collecting them and we happily help as much as we can.
Just in case you've never seen them before, this is what they typically look like.  You'll find them on all sorts of products.
This is the huge sheet of 25 box tops that we just filled.  For each one, his school will get $.10.  That doesn't sound like much to you? Well this one sheet has 25 box tops so it will earn the school's PTA $2.50.  Multiply that by the approximately 600 kids in Jammer's school (if all families participated of course), and they'd receive a whopping $1,500.00.  Not bad for something you'd throw out if you weren't in the know.
This is the new sheet we just started to fill.  The typical monthly themed sheets the school sends home has 10 box top spaces so they still earn $1.00 each. Last month, my boss's wife sent home a big bag full of them and Jammer was thrilled.  Her son is in high school now and they don't collect these at that level.  Some of them were expired so we couldn't use them but he still filled a ton of sheets and his class ended up being the second biggest collector of the month.  The school has a friendly competition throughout the year between the classrooms and the top collecting class each month gets to display the trophy.
You may not have kids in school any more, but I'm betting that your local elementary schools are collecting these box tops too.  Our PTA uses the money to fun all sorts of free events for the kids throughout the year which both Jammer and Sunshine really enjoy.  So if you aren't collecting, start now.  Contact your local schools and find out where you can drop them off.  During the summer we always have a baggie in the drawer were we put our box tops so that we can fill a few sheets early in the school year as soon as they start coming home.  This is really a wonderful and free way to support your local schools. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Winners, Winners Turkey Dinner

Now it wouldn't have been right for me to use Chicken Dinner in the title of this post, would it? The beloved bird of the season would have gotten it's beak all out of joint.
Today 2 of my readers have a little something extra to be thankful today. The winner of the book Quilting Wide Open Spaces by Judy Madsen is:
A Quilter's Mission said...
A new recliner! Congrats on your 600th post! Wow, that's so encouraging. 
and the winner of the half yard bundle of Petal Pushers fabric is:
Jeanie said... Congrats on your third birthday and 600th post.... that's a lot of great blogging! Thanks for the giveaway....seems like we should be gifting you. I already have Judy's wonderful book so you can leave me out for that one. May your have many more blogging anniversaries!

Wow! How perfect was that when Mr. Random picked for the 2nd winner someone who already has Judy's book.  I guess it was fate.

Congratulations ladies!  I hope you enjoy your goodies and they will be on their way to you on Friday.

The big snow is coming today so depending on whether or not they close schools early, I just might get a chance to do some sewing this afternoon.  Wherever you are, stay safe and warm and have a very Happy Thanksgiving.
 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Last Chance to enter

Today is the last chance to enter my Double Celebration and Double Giveaway.  I'm celebrating both the 3rd Anniversary of this humble little quilting blog and
my 600th post. I'm still in awe that I've had that much to write about over the past 3 years. 
Not 1 but 2 winners will get the happy news tomorrow that they have won.  One of them will win Judy Madsen's Quilting Wide Open Spaces and the other will win the half yard bundle of Petal Pushers by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics.
Entries close today at Midnight so hurry on over to the giveaway post to enter.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Sunday & Giveaway reminder

Winter is here. Ugg! My longtime followers know that I am definitely not a fan of winter. Blame it on my thyroid. We've heard that this year it is going to be worse than last and if what we've had so far in bitter cold temps and very early snow and ice are and indication, their predictions are going to be true. Caribbean take me away. Now please!

Well, a girl can dream can't she? Thoughts of warm water and tropical breezes are what will have to keep me from going stir crazy this winter.  Plus hopefully getting a ton of quilting done.
To that end, here is this week's showcase of fabulous stitching.  I hope it spurs you onto do doing some stunning stitching yourself. And don't forget to enter for your chance to win one of 2 giveaways on my Double Celebration and Double Giveaway post here.  Entries are open until Midnight on Tuesday. Now on with the show.

Enjoy!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Double Celebration and Double Giveaway

I can't believe how swamped I've been over the past couple of weeks but there is plenty of good reason and I'll fill you in on that shortly but today is just going to be a day to celebrate.
A few days ago this blog became 3 years old.
Unfortunately I didn't have time to write this post then but I do now. It is hard to believe that it has been 3 years already.  Time sure has flown by fast. It is fun to look back at my first months of posts and remember just how much of a newbie I was and think about where this journey has taken me so far.  It really is amazing

One of those amazing things that recently came my way was an invitation to be a guest speaker. My friend Sharon of Vroomans Quilts asked me to speak to her guild, The Schoharie Valley Piecemakers, at their November meeting about 100 Good Wishes Quilts.
It was a thrill and an honor and from the feedback I've heard, it was a huge success. Whew! I admit that I was just a tad bit worried about that.  My friend Alana came along for technical and moral support.  That group is fantastic and so much fun.  Too bad they aren't close by....I'd join in an instant.  I'm happy to report that they "got it" and many of them are now thinking about making some 100 Good Wishes Quilts, for new babies or weddings or graduations. I can't wait to see the pictures of what they create.
(Thanks Sharon for allowing me to use your picture.)

But not only am I celebrating this blogiversary, but this just happens to also be my 600th post!
That averages out to 200 posts per year.  Not too shabby I think, especially considering I still work and have little kidlets at home.

Now it is time to party! I'm not receiving presents but two of you will. Reaching dual milestones calls for dual goodies in my eyes.

One winner will receive Judy Madsen's Quilting Wide Open Spaces book. It truly is fabulous and the instant she announced she was getting it published I put it on my wish list.  Well...I ended up receiving 2 copies so one of them will go to one of you.

The second winner will receive my last half yard bundle of Petal Pushers by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics.  I love the bright colors and fun prints in these fabrics and considering the nasty early winter weather we've had lately, I'm trying to keep spring-ish thoughts. Hey, a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do to get through the bitter cold months.
These giveaways are open to one and all and will close at Midnight Tuesday, November 25th.

To enter for your chance to win one of these goodies, leave me one comment and one comment only answering the question:

What One thing are you hoping Santa brings to you this year? 

Have many wishes on your list?  I'm sure but for this giveaway you have to pick and tell me just one.

My followers get a 2nd entry, just tell me how you follow.

I'm looking forward to what year 4 might bring. One never knows what exciting new avenues might open up.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Sunday

Ahhh.....another Monday morning version of my Stunning Stitchin Sunday series. My sister Tina actually called me the other day to make sure everything is okay, because I hadn't commented on her recent blog post and I hadn't posted much myself lately, which certainly isn't normal. Rest assured, I am fine and the family is fine. I'm just swamped beyond swamped.
There is some really gorgeous eye candy here.  I hope that you enjoy.

The cold and snowy weather isn't making me happy.  It is way too early in the season for this. But I guess I have no choice but to deal with it since I live in the northeast.  It just makes me think more about the day when we will finally move a bit more south.  If you are in the midst of this yuck too, stay safe and stay warm.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The American Made Brand License Plate Block Quilt

Have you seen it yet? I just did, thanks to the photo posted by my friend Christa Watson over on her blog Christa Quilts. It is the quilt created by the folks at American Made Brand fabrics with the license plate blocks made  by me and 49 other quilters from every state in the nation as part of their AMB Blog Tour.
So here it is!  Isn't it fabulous? I just love it and I'm betting that you do too. Oh how I would have loved to have been in Houston to get to see it in person but I'm betting that it got tons of attention from those that were able to be there.

Can you find my New York block?
Photo borrowed with permission from Christa Watson

American Made Brand fabrics are a dream to work with and if you haven't had a chance to try them out yet, you really should.  They are just beautiful and I know that I'll be using them in my projects.

Thank you again goes to American Made Brand for giving me the opportunity to participate in this really fun project and I count myself lucky to be in such fabulous company with all the other quilters that helped make this quilt a reality.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Stunning Stitchin Sunday

Welcome to the first Stunning Stitchin Sunday post at my new home. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see this new blog design when I start up my computer in the morning.
So many have been sharing great pictures from quilt market in Houston and Yes I do hope to see it in person myself some day but there is obviously still lots of great quilting being done by those of us not there. I hope you enjoy today's showcase.

I've got a ton on my plate quilting wise this coming week and hopefully it will all get done in time.  Whatever your week has in store for you, make it a good one.