Category Archives: Community

Happenings on #BFSI 2014

I work with a woman in Belgium who kindly said last week, “The entire United States needs to go away for a few days. I’m so glad you all have a holiday next week.” Truer words were never spoken.

There’s a little thing around here we like to participate in the day after US Thanksgiving called the Black Friday Sew-In. There’s a lot of ways to participate in it this year, so keep checking back for updates!

  • Chat with other #twilters (Tweeting Quilters) using the hashtag #BFSI.  That means just add “#BFSI” to any tweet or Instagram you send/post that day on quilting so people can follow along with all the fun.  Specifically for twitter, you can use tweetchat to track the hashtag.
  • Hang out with us on a Google chat! Daisy over at Very Lazy Daisy is coordinating a Google Hangout. Look for the announcement on twitter for the link to join the Hangout, or just watch on YouTube at 3pm US Eastern/2pm US Central
  • Participate in a giveaway! Some quilting bloggers are hosting giveaways, and I’ve provided a linky below for those that want to share their giveaway - you can link a blog post, Flickr photo link, Instagram link, or whatever you’d like that describes your giveaway.  Just plug the URL into the widget below.

Mega List of Scrapideux Giveaway Entries!

By popular demand, here’s the list of entries for the Scrapideux giveaway (minus the last names, because that’s the courtesy I’d want!).  There are some missing because the macro I wrote in Excel (*cough* NERD! *cough*) to code the HTML of the entries threw some out for improper link protocol (like it didn’t start with “http…”, etc.).

Edited to add: some people submitted their entire blog as an entry. As long as there was a picture of a quilt on the front page, I counted that entry.

Here’s the randomly picked winner of the quilt itself, Janet:


Here’s the 1st special award winner from Jen:


As noted in episode 189, I’ll post the 2nd special winner’s entry if I get permission!

Win a Quilt: The Last Three Days!

The giveaway for the Scrapideux quilt is ending this Sunday evening, so go visit this post to use the Rafflecopter widget to win it!


The Sportsball Sew-In! #SBSI


As you know, I am a connoisseur of Sportsball. At least, I married a person who knows it well, and together we made a person who knows it pretty good, too. So what better way to celebrate than by getting the hell out of their way when there’s a big game on! I am pleased to once again tie together a Sportsball Sew-In (#SBSI) on twitter this weekend!

There is nothing worse than feeling left out of large social and cultural events. I mean, sure, sports are hard and who can keep track of all those nit-picky facts like runs and side-outs and points. The only points we care about are those on a Disappearing Pinwheel or Scrapitude, amiright ladies?

Carl the Sheep Wide-Mouth Zipper Pouch

So, shed those tacky polyester jerseys, slap on some soft pants and join me for the SportsBall Sew-In this weekend!

To celebrate I’m giving away an Official Carl the Sheep Wide-Mouth Zipper Pouch. This is the Noodlehead medium size - about 11 1/2″ x 7″ with a 4″ wide base. I use this size to hold my EPP and another one to hold my crochet project, so it can fit quite a bit. You can click either picture to go to Flickr to enbiggen the picture and scrutinize my doodling prowess.

Carl the Sheep Wide-Mouth Zipper Pouch

You can read about the history of Carl the Sheep in last year’s giveaway (short story: printing error leads to hilarious sheep doodles!). This year Carl is joined by his new friend, the Redrum Rooster. For those not in the know, the Redrum Rooster lives behind my house and crows like it’s being strangled. At all hours of the day.  There are also farts, a light saber, and party hats among the other doodles.

Yes, I can draw a fart. My kids are in awe of my (f)artistic abilities.

The Rafflecopter giveaway will be open until midnight Sunday night (US Eastern time) so all you non-US folks can enter to win. I’ll ship it anywhere!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The #BFSI Giveaway!

I am pleased to announce THREE BFSI prizes to giveaway!

The first is from long-time friend of the podcast C&T Publishing.  Did you know they celebrated their 25th Anniversary this year? Their first book was An Amish Adventure, and to celebrate the anniversary they released a NEW book on Amish quilts called Amish Quilts—The Adventure Continues.  And even better, C&T is having a sale on their website for Black Friday through Cyber Monday for 25% of everything on their website.  See this page for details.

Today, however, you have a chance to win a copy of Amish Quilts - The Adventure Continues by entering the giveaway below. If you are in the US and win, you’ll receive a hard copy of the book; if you’re outside the US, you’ll win an e-copy.

And our next giveaways are from Carole! You may know Carole on twitter as @carolewool, and she is generously offering two fat eighth batik assortments as a giveaway. Each assortment has 12 fat eighths in it, for a total of 1 1/2 yards each. On the left is the blue/green, and on the right is the pink/purple assortment. Carole has generously offered to ship anywhere in the world, so international quilters, go ahead and enter!


The giveaway is open for 24 hours starting at 12:01am US Eastern time on Friday the 29th of November (so no entering before then!). I’ll notify the winners by email and connect you with our generous sponsors to get your prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m also hosting another giveaway on Twitter at 2pm Eastern on Black Friday, so pay attention to #BFSI to enter.

Giveaway: A Month of Sundays

A Month of Sundays—Family, Friends, Food & QuiltsI’ve had a copy of Cheryl Arkinson’s A Month of Sundays in my possession for a couple weeks, and have waffled on writing a review. Not because it’s not an intriguing book, but because it’s difficult to categorize it.  Yes, it has sewing and quilting projects. And yes, it had some recipes. And yes, it is a “lifestyle” book, but somehow that phrase feels a bit hokey.

What Cheryl does do is talk about how her quilting style mimics her family and personal style - it’s laid back and low volume. It’s precut friendly, but also speaks to the value if doing things from scratch. Compared strictly project-centric books, A Month of Sundays has significantly more “story” around the projects than just instruction and techniques, although those are included too.

A Month of Sundays—Family, Friends, Food & QuiltsProjects include a wine tote, buntings, quilts, and several other smaller projects, all of which reflect the “low volume” aesthetic, defined by fabrics with low contrast in volume with lots of whites and creams.  The Sudoku game quilt is a great example of this.

I may never be able to master a lifestyle that embraces biking to a local market to purchase regional wine and a joyous parade of children waving homemade buntings, or even embrace “slowing down and sewing”, but the book makes me think I could.

You, too, can find out of the “Month of Sundays” lifestyle is for you by entering to win your own copy of the book! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. There will be one winner; if you live in the US, you’re entering to win a hard copy of the book. If you live outside the US, you’ll receive an e-copy of the book.  Giveaway will close on Tuesday Sept 10 at midnight.

Thanks to C&T Publishing for offering the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Kid’s Guide to Sewing: Learn to Sew with Sophie & Her Friends

Bloomer & I got an amazing opportunity to review the book “A Kid’s Guide to Sewing: Learn to Sew with Sophie & Her Friends” from C&T Publishing.  What I didn’t realize when first looking at the book was that Sophie Kerr (who I recognized from some spots on Quilting Arts with Pokey Bolton) was the daughter of Bill Kerr & Weeks Ringle, some of the pioneers of the modern quilting movement.

I’ve been mulling for a while how best to teach Bloomer to sew. On the one hand, I don’t want to force her into projects because she’ll come to hate it (and the time I spend helping her with projects takes away time from me doing my projects!), and on the other hand, I think it’s a great tradition to continue on. Let’s make it four generations of sewists in my family!  And possibly more, since I’m sure Grama Eddie’s mother and grandmother had to sew out of necessity.

What I think is great about this book is that it really lays out the basics of sewing terminology, getting to know your sewing machine, and elements of various stitches including embroidery stitches.  I skipped that part of the book because I’ve got over 25 years of sewing under my belt, but I suspect if I left the book laying around Bloomer would pick it up and read it (even though she’s only seven).  I do think that part of the book is an excellent reason to get it for a child/tween without a sewing heritage, like if you were an “auntie” for a friend’s kid if your friend didn’t sew.

I had Bloomer peruse the book and pick out a couple projects, so we started with a headband for her to wear at gymnastics. She claims that the ponytail pulls her hair too much, but her hair has to stay out of her face.  The directions were clear (and elucidated a part of headband sewing I had never mastered as a teen, so that was helpful), and illustrated well.

We worked on this together, with me doing the rotary cutting and ironing (although she measured some things), and us splitting the sewing machine sewing.

She also picked out a felt ornament to make in the shape of an ice cream cone.  She picked the felt colors and I had her trace the pattern, then I cut it out, and then she traced the pattern on the felt pieces.  She did ALL the hand embellishment with my old bead collection from when I was in high school, which I realized were leftover from craft time with Grama Eddie.

This was her first time doing any hand sewing, and she poked herself a couple times but no bleeding.  I did help do the blanket stitch around the edge, and then she hung it up on about 50 different doorknobs before settling on one.

So in general, I definitely recommend this book for a new sew-er, especially if their parents don’t sew.  The projects are listed in order of increasing difficulty, and there’s enough variety that you don’t think you only making totebags.

C&T is generously letting me give away a copy of the book! You can use the Rafflecopter thingy below to enter, and the giveaway will stay open for a week.  If a US winner is chosen, they’ll receive a hard copy of the book, and an international winner will receive an e-copy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thoughts on Independence Day

I’m prone to a ton of introspection, but I don’t usually spill it out all over the interwebs when I do.  But I feel like what the heck, it’s a holiday, here we go.

I consider myself a fiercely patriotic person. Although I wasn’t technically born in the country because my dad was in the Air Force and stationed in Germany when I was born, it’s a matter of technicality that I was born on a US Air Force base near Zweibrücken.  Now, with a father in the Air Force, you can imagine there’s a lot of military pride in my family as well. Add to that the fact that I grew up in an area of Virginia close to Jamestown and Yorktown and Williamsburg, the rooted trifecta of good old US of A gumption, and… well, you can imagine how much I know about glass blowing AND the struggle to survive and thrive.

Sure, the United States has some problems.  We’re a bit egotistical and focused on the US as the center of the world. We sometimes forget Canada isn’t a state, but rather a whole other country full of neat stuff all it’s own. And we’re a bit insensitive to the UK about celebrating the glorious day our founding fathers put pen to paper and lost them a giant cash cow of a colony. And our news channels are often more focused on piddly local stories instead of revolutions in other countries (WTF, CNN? Ever heard of Egypt? Sheesh.).

F’ yeah, MURICA!

Or something.

So yes, I love my country despite its faults. I cry during the national anthem. Every. Single. Time. No matter whether it’s played before my kid’s school play, at a baseball game, or during a glorious display of pyrotechnics. I also cry any time Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” is played, which is usually when I’m surrounded by hairy rednecks in tank tops watching a laser show on the side of Stone Mountain. Granted, I also cry at the end of the movie Con Air, but I like to think perhaps they are tears of joy at not having to hear Nicolas Cage’s bad Southern accent anymore.

One of the great things about my country is that we have freedom of expression. That doesn’t mean we have freedom from consequences, or freedom from having our feelings hurt.

In the US, we have a perfect right to say whatever we want. Likewise, I have a right think you’re an idiot for your views.

We have the freedom to make ourselves look as dumb as we possibly can. We frequently exercise that right, as the rest of the world loves to tell us. I’d say you’re whispering it behind our backs, but let’s be honest, we’re a bit self-involved so you’re probably saying it in front of us and we just don’t notice.

All of that is to say that, hey, I’m proud of my country. I’m glad I live here. I support the men and women that keep me and my family safe. And I just want to thank my own (founding) father for instilling that in me.

Q2 Finish Along Final Tally

Well, in by the skin of my teeth on one of the projects!  My daughter’s Aeroplane bag was the last finish for the quarter on my original goal list, so here are all four of my projects, all completed and pretty. Yay!

Signature Quilt for my daughter’s teacher (done, and she loved it)

Aeroplane bag for my daughter (done, and she loved it)


 My Aeroplane bag (done, and I love it)

Labyrinth Quilt for my son (done, and he loves it)

I’ve got a rough idea of some aggressive goals for Q3. Yikes!

Happy Birthday Nina!

Dear Nina,

I can’t believe that you are a year old! You are a petite beauty that combines the best of both Zoom and Zapper; tt might be a disservice to compare you to other cats, but I can’t help it. I have a hunch you will be eternally kittenish like Zoom, not just because of your slight build as you’ve topped out at 7 1/2 pounds, but also because you are a consummate player-of-things. Because your brothers are in a love affair with each other, you frequently turn to me when it’s time to snuggle by standing on whatever is close and reaching your paws up to my left shoulder until I cup your butt in my hand and you fall asleep on my shoulder.  This is a very Zapper-like trait.

You seem to be at your best self in the middle of the night, when you slip into your Unbearable Cuteness of Being routine. You have slept, snuggled at my hip, until 1 or 2 am, and then decide that 1 or 2am is the proper time for belly rubs. So you stretch to an impossible length, belly up, and then wave your paws in the air as if you just don’t care. Except you do care, quite a bit, and will gently nip if said belly rubs are not forthcoming. Then you bounce up and sproing off for a midnight snack.

Sproinging seems to be your primary method of conveyance. This is delightful to me, yet slightly maddening to Fred.  The grown-ups in the house think you and Fred would get to be BFFs if only a) Fred was a little bored of you and 2) you didn’t try to stare him down like malevolent pigeon every time you saw him. Neither of you seem to be backing down on your respective stances, though, so it’s all hot dog bribes and time-outs for a while yet.

I call you The Ninavore the most often, but have also referred to you as Precious Puddin, Orange Purrbert, and HEY QUIT THAT.  So far, you have not quit That Thing You Were Doing, which usually consists of the following:

Nina: “You like this thing?” *points to thing on edge of counter/couch arm/table/etc.*

Me: “Yes, I like that thing.”

Nina: “Oh, this thing?” *pokes the thing in question*

Me: …

Nina: “Well… FORGET THIS THING!” *knocks thing on floor*


So Happy Birthday, precious girl! Don’t stop doing Your Thing.