October Giveaway and a Blog Hop

Two quick things:

One, I’m doing another giveaway over on the Plum Patchwork Facebook page.  This month’s prize is a fat quarter bundle of LillyBelle by Bari J for Art Gallery Fabrics!

Come on over and enter the drawing!  You just need to visit the page, then click on the Giveaway icon at the top of the page wall!

The second thing is that today is the first day of the Something Wicked This Way comes Paper Pieced Halloween Blog Hop over at Whims And Fancies.  Come on by – there’s going to be a new paper pieced block pattern available for free every day this month!  My block is coming up in a few days, and I’m so excited to reveal it!  Click on the button below to join us, won’t you?

Halloween

A Bookcase Block and a Scrap Vomit Swap

The thing about being a blogger is that you’re always chasing the light.  With the hours I keep at my day job, I typically leave the house around 7 am and don’t get home until 6 pm or later, which means I don’t have a lot of daylight to work with.  Except on the weekends.

It basically means that for swaps and bee blocks and such, if I don’t get them done early so I can photograph them over the weekend before I mail them, I don’t get pictures.  That or I get really crappy pictures that I don’t wish to share.  I guess the moral of the story is don’t procrastinate.  Except in the summer.  You get longer days in the summer so then I guess you can get away with it.

Anyway.

I’ve got a couple of things to share which I actually got some halfway decent photos of.  The first is my bee block for Anna, the first month’s host of the Anything Goes Quilt Bee.  Anna requested these blocks and sent us fabulous Tula Pink fabric to work with.  She asked that we each make a bookcase block and include one book from our own stash as our little signature. In going with the Tula Pink theme, I used a bit of leftover Nest for my book:

When all the blocks are lined up, she’ll have rows and rows of books making a gorgeous bookcase.  I was thinking this block design would make an awesome quilt from outgrown clothing or scraps from previous projects.  Kind of a “story of your life” thing.  If you want to make your own bookcase blocks, Anna has shared the tutorial here.

The other thing I’ve accomplished lately were these Scrap Vomit squares for a Scrap Vomit Swap hosted by Gnome Angel.  If you haven’t seen the original Scrap Vomit Quilts designed by Katy Jones of I’m A Ginger Monkey, you need to check them out.  They are amazing.

The only reason I even share this photo is because Whitney is hosting a copycat swap for US participants only to keep the postage costs down, and signups are ongoing.  Want to get in on the fun?  Sign up here!

I’ve actually got lots of other exciting stuff to share in the near future, but I’ll save it for when I can get some decent photos.  I hope everyone has been having a great week!

Jessica

 

 

 

Better Homes and Gardens Feature (I’m Freaking Out Here!)

Oh my gosh, ya’ll.  I am freaking out.

Back in June, someone from BH&G contacted me about the possiblity of using photos from my Christmas Mantel post on one of their online features.  I was, of course, totally thrilled to be contacted and I filled out the release form and sent it back.  I didn’t give it a lot of thought, because I never thought I’d actually be included in the feature.  As they say, it was an honor just be nominated (or considered).

So you can imagine the shrieking that took place in front of my computer when, just for fun, I hopped on over to the BHG website and saw their new feature on Real Home Christmas Mantels.  And I scrolled through the slideshow.  And I saw MY mantel!

I’m still freaking out, this is so cool!  And to top it off, I’m right in there amidst the likes of Kate from Centsational Girl, Layla from the Lettered Cottage, and Beth from Home Stories A to Z!  I could not possibly be more giddy right now.

And honestly?  I’m kinda freaking out because now I feel like I need to take my summer mantelscape down and replace it with a fall one stat!

Huge thanks go out to all the ladies who hosted linky parties, as one of these was where BH&G found my photo – ya’ll are the best!

Giveaway Time

Just a quick note to let ya’ll know I’m hosting a giveaway over at the Plum Patchwork Facebook page.  I’m giving away a fabric kit that includes two Decadence charm packs, a half yard of Kona Chocolate, a half yard of Kona Celery, and a half yard of DS Quilts by Denyse Schmidt “Aunt Edna” in Pumpkin.

 

 

 

10 Ways To Use A Charm Pack

I don’t know about you, but personally I love buying charm packs. When I love a new fabric collection, but I’m not sure what to make with it yet I always buy a charm pack. They don’t cost a lot of money, but you get a little bit of every print from the collection. What’s not to love?

If you’re like me, you have a few charm packs stashed away and you’re not sure what to do with them. Of course, there’s tons of charm pack quilt tutorials out there, but maybe you’re not a quilter, or you just want a quick and easy project to showcase a favorite fabric. I thought I’d put together a little post compiling some of my favorite non quilt charm pack projects. Here we go!

Charm Pack Skirt

There’s lots of tutorials for charm pack skirts out there, but this is one from Polka Dot Chair is of my favorites because it has the cute little underskirt.

Charm Pack Skirt by Polka Dot Chair

 

Charm Pack Tote

I especially love this charm pack tote bag tutorial from Teresa Down Under because it has an interior pocket and that cute little bow detail. Cute, right?

Charm Pack Tote Bag from MyPatchwork

 

Charm Pack Pincushion

If you’ve ever wanted to make a cathedral window quilt, but were intimidated by the pattern, I recommend getting your feet wet with one of these cute Cathedral Window Pincushions from the Moda Bake Shop.

Charm Pack Pincushion by Moda Bake Shop

Charm Pack Table Runner

Again, there are table runner tutorials all over the web, but there’s something about this one from Serendipiti Joy that I really, really like.

Charm Pack Table Runner by Serendipiti Joy

Charm Pack Bunting

Everybody loves buntings, and the fabulous thing about this one from the Suppose blog is that it’s no-sew! Love it!

Charm Pack Bunting by Suppose

Charm Pack Coasters

I love the linen accent on these coasters from Craftsnob

Charm Pack Coasters by Craft Snob

And I also love the simplicity of these ones from Flossie Tea Cakes

Charm Pack Coasters by Flossie Tea Cakes

Charm Pack Notebook Cover

Craft Apple was one of the first craft blogs I ever followed, and it’s a wealth of ideas. This pretty little notebook cover uses just 15 charm squares!

Charm Pack Notebook Cover by Craft Apple

 

Charm Pack Wreath

This is actually kind of ingenious. It’s from The Material Girls, and it’s a great way to change up your décor with the seasons!

Charm Pack Wreath by The Material Girls

Charm Pack Flowers

I absolutely adore these charm square flowers from The Ribbon Retreat. They would be so cute appliqued onto a quilt or a girl’s t-shirt!

Charm Pack Flowers by The Ribbon Retreat

Charm Pack Pillows

If ya’ll have been over to the shop, you know I love me some Chevrons! This zig-zag pillow tutorial is right up my alley. Sarah at Fairyface Designs used an Accuquilt Go! Cutter to make her diamonds, but you could use a diamond template as well.

Charm Pack ZigZag Pillow by FairyFace Designs

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little roundup of tutorials.  Now go use your charm packs!

Gone Quiltin’ Bee Blocks

Well, I’m sad to say we’re wrapping up the Gone Quiltin’ Bee (unless Annaliese decides to organize another round *hint* *hint*).  I guess it’s time I showed you all the blocks I made, and sent you along to their blogs to say hello! I should have been doing this all along – bad blogger I am!

March

We started out the swap with these fun gumball blocks for Debbie.  She sent along some Thangles – this was my first time using them, and they were really neat!  This was a great opportunity to use some fabrics I wouldn’t normally use.  I’m not daring, so I tend to go with safer fabric choices (a habit I am trying to break).

We also did these Wonky Star blocks for Alisha.  Her fabrics were from the Promenade collection by Riley Blake Designs.  I have to admit I enjoyed making these blocks so much, I requested them for my own host month!

April

In April we did some Deep Blue Seas blocks for Annaliese.  The fabrics were her younger sister’s school colors – we got to help make her graduation quilt!

We also made Granny Square blocks for Phuong.  I fell completely in love with these granny squares.  Expect to see a lot of them around here!  I’m obviously not the only one – they’ll make several appearances in this post.

May

In May we made more Granny Squares for Melissa.  I love the Red and Aqua color scheme!

We also made these Churn Dash blocks (also know as Monkey Wrench blocks) for Katie.  She sent us all scraps from a quilt she made for her mom, so that her new quilt would match.  How cute!

June

In June, we made a variation on the Granny Squares for Mary.  She came up with a brilliant way to make the blocks square with a border around them!  She called them “Granny Square Squared“  I must have been in a rush, because I don’t have any photos of these blocks!

June was my month to host, and I chose Wonky Stars again.  Ya’ll know I love me some Nicey Jane

July

In July, we made Super Granny Squares for Mallory.  These babies were HUGE!  They take up my whole cutting table for the shop!  Love those Joel Dewberry prints.

We also made improv tree blocks for Kelly.  I’m not proud to admit it, but I was super late on these blocks.  So late that the minute I clipped my threads, I put them into the mail without taking photos.  I know!

August

August was our last month for the bee, and we finished it off with some great blocks!  We made Rainbow Starflowers for Lorelei.  Aren’t they amazing?  And much easier than they look!

We also made My Blue Heaven blocks for Michelle.  She let us use our scraps, so I got to dig through my huge scrap basket.  I so enjoyed pulling out fabrics from projects past!  I need to make a scrap quilt soon:

 

 

Pinwheel Sampler Top is Finally Finished!

I can’t believe the top is finally finished!

I spent my whole weekend doing nothing but sewing and going to the dog park. I got several bee blocks finished (more on those later) and I *finally* got my Pinwheel Sampler Quilt Along top finished!

Hopefully next weekend I’ll get this lovely basted and start the quilting. But now, if you don’t mind, I’m just going to stare at it for a while.

Linked up at:
Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story
WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Can I Just Say…

That I’m always amazed

How sometimes the little things

 Can make all the difference

Fresh coat of paint, $0 (from my paint closet).  Two glass knobs, $3 (from Pier 1 Clearance).  Total time, 20 minutes.  Total cost, $3.

 Happy.

Although now I see I need to relevel the doors.

I’ve linked up at: Making Lemonade

Lit

Ya’ll.

I am quite possibly the worst procrastinator ever.  I realize this is not news to anyone who’s been following along for any amount of time,  but I feel like it bears repeating. (And no, I’m still not done with the Pinwheel Quilt).

Anyway.

So, remember that ugly old thrifted light fixture that I turned into a cloche last year?  I bought this one at the same time.

I’m embarassed to admit it, but I painted it at the same time as well.  Hey, as long as I had the spray paint out…

The next weekend, I planned to install it.  What was that, November?

I wanted to get rid of this boring, contractor standard, not very bright little number right here in my side entry.

I pulled that ugly thing down and got all set to put up my new super cute lantern.  When I went to hang it, I realized I was going to have to shorten the chain a bit if I didn’t want  tall normal sized people hitting their heads.  As I was shortening the chain, some paint flaked off.

That’s right.  I painted it before I made all the mechanical adjustments.  Genius.

I’ll admit I got frustrated.  I tossed the light into my living room and let it sit on a table.  For eight months.

The most pathetic part?  I didn’t even bother to put the old light back up.  I’ve been doing laundry in the dark for the better part of a year.

Even more sad is that every time I went through that entryway, I flipped the switch.  As if light was magically going to appear.  I never got used to it being unlit.

Not until I realized I have company coming next week for a barbecue and there are bare wires hanging from the ceiling in my entryway did I bother to readdress the light fixture situation.

The other day, I mounted that sucker to the ceiling, sprayed a bit of the oil rubbed bronze onto a paper plate, and touched up the exposed brass with a brush.

It literally took me fifteen minutes.

I absolutely love how it looks!  Plus, it hangs a bit lower than the old light, so I actually get some illumination into the laundry closet, so I can ACTUALLY SEE WHAT I’M DOING!!!!

I’m kicking myself for not getting it done months ago.  This light makes me happy every time I look at it!!!  It’s amazing what a $4 light and a can of spray paint can do!

 What projects do ya’ll have laying around waiting to be finished!?

Note: This project may be linked up at some or all of the following parties, depending on my caffeine intake. Either way, you should definitely stop by!

Monday: Tutes & Tips Not To Miss @ Home Stories A to Z

Tuesday: Show Me What Ya Got @ Not JUST A Housewife Tuesday’s Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Wednesday: Hooking Up With HoH @ House Of Hepworths Overflowing With Creativity @ It’s Overflowing

Thursday: Transformation Thursday @ Shabby Creek Cottage

Friday: Weekend Wrap Up@ Tatertots and Jello Refresh Your Nest @ Making Lemonade Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest Come Party With A Blonde @ A {Blonde’s} DIY Life

Saturday: Saturday Seven @ Positively Splendid

Sunday: Sister Sunday @ Sisters of the Wild West

Summertime

The exciting news here?  I finally got the DSLR I’ve been wanting forever.  Poor Kona has had an assortment of lenses in his face pretty much nonstop since.

Other than that, not much is new with us.  We spent the week of the Fourth in my hometown, where I pretty much ate my way across Upstate NY.  It was fabulous.

I’m trying to make the most of the summer - it always passes all too quickly.  I’m hoping I’ll be around here more often than I have been, though!

My Google Reader shows over 1000 posts that I’m behind on.  I’ll be catching up with those shortly too!

Hope everyone is having an amazing summer.

-Jessica

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