Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quiet days in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

Encouraging words of the day:
In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. ~ Colossians 2:3, NLT

I’m still in the Texas Hill Country enjoying the beautiful weather.  The only thing that would make it better is some rain as it is so dry out here that our wildflowers are not even blooming.  We spent the first part of our day today driving around the area.  One of the little towns we went through had a beautiful quilt shop so Mama and I enjoyed browsing through that.  We bought some charm packs, a layer cake, and a few fat quarters and had a marvelous time.  Then lunch and now we’re back at the ranch.  

I have two of my sewing machines out here but the only sewing I’ve actually done is a little work on the Twister quilt top I’m working on.  I also cut out some 5-inch squares for Mama to start work on for her Twister.  The charm packs we bought today will eliminate some of the cutting of 5-inch squares.

Gosh, no pictures to post.  I haven’t even had any luck with our hog hunting so don’t even have a hunting picture to share.  So, all I have to share are: 
Giveaways I've run into:
"Jackie's Art Quilts" is giving away 5 fat quarters. – ends May 5th.
"...Just One More Stitch" is having a giveaway of a jelly roll. – ends May 1st.
"Blacksheep's Bit of the Web"  just indicates that there will be a nice prize. – ends May 7th.
"Diary of a Quilter"   is offering a fat quarter bundle. – ends May 1st.
The Intrepid Thread" is having her 200th post giveaway – lots of fabric – ends May 6th.
"Fairy Face Designs" is having a scrap giveaway. – ends May 6th.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Me? Quarrelsome?

Encouraging words of the day:
When I read these “encouraging words of the day” I kind of laughed and said, “Yeah, right” and did not feel encouraged at all.  Then I continued reading and thought there might be something of me in this… hmmmmmmmmmmm. 

A quarrelsome wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day. Stopping her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or trying to hold something with greased hands. - Proverbs 27:15-16, NLT

Quarrelsome nagging, a steady stream of unwanted advice, is a form of torture. People nag because they think they're not getting through, but nagging hinders communication more than it helps.

When tempted to engage in this destructive habit, stop and examine your motives. Are you more concerned about yourself--getting your way, being right--than about the person you are pretending to help? If you are truly concerned about other people, think of a more effective way to get through to them. Surprise them with words of patience and love, and see what happens.

I haven’t blogged for a couple or three days.  Easter was wonderful.  What a glorious holiday.  I hope all my blogging friends had a wonderful Easter as well.  Yesterday we started our road trip to the Texas Hill Country.  It was not as beautiful a drive as usual as we are in the middle of a terrible drought and all of the beautiful flowers that should be blooming are NOT.  It is still lovely with all the beautiful trees.  Here are a couple of pictures from our front yard.

Oh, and while on our road trip, I sewed on my hexies and am ready for "One-Flower Wednesday".  I sewed 16 hexies on our 8-hour trip but I’m only posting 3 of them so I’ll have some extras in case I fall behind, hahaha.  Plan ahead as “they” say.  It takes me 25 mintues to make one flower if the shapes are already basted.

And the “Penny Haren Applique Quilt-Along” continues.  This block is called Barb's Spinning Star.  Have I mentioned that these blocks seem to gradually be getting harder?

Has anyone done the “Dear Jane Stickle” quilt?  I’m thinking of starting one (yes, after all the moaning and groaning I’ve done with the “Penny Haren Applique Quilt-Along.”  How hard could it be?  Is it hard or time-consuming or both?

Giveaways I've run into:

"Oops Lah" is having a marvelous fabric giveaway.  - Ends May 9th.
"Dawn's Quilt Corner" is giving away two sets of 6 fat quarters. – ends April 30th.
"Kool Beenz" has a 7 piece 1/2 yd fabric bundle to give away. – ends April 29th.
"Aunt Nicole's Corner" has a giveaway of an  Essential Dots by Moda fat quarter pack and pre-cut strips in Basic Grey – ends April 30th.

That is all.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Short blog post today.

Encouraging words of the day:
Wait patiently for the Lord.
 Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
~ Psalm 27:14, NLT 

Short blog post today.  I’m getting ready to celebrate Easter.  I’ll be taking a couple of road trips so will be working on my “hexies.”  Road trips are definitely a good time for hand-sewing.

Giveaways I've run into:

"Singing Three Little Birds" is giving away a pincushion pattern and a yard of Poppy Seed Fabric – ends April 29th.
"Little Bluebell" has 21 fat quarters to giveaway. – ends May 5th.
"Stray Stitches"   is giving away 10 coordinated fat quarters from Classic Cottons. – ends May 1st.

 I finished the Dresden Plate queen size quilt but was still not completely happy with it.  It’s not long enough to reach the bed skirt on my queen sized bed so I’m adding to the sides.  I’ll see how that ends up after Easter.  Happy Easter to everyone!

That is all.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Buttons, buttons, who has the button?

Encouraging words of the day:
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. ~ Romans 8:38, NLT 

Buttons,  buttons, who has the button?

Though there is no one person credited with inventing the button, the first buttons made their appearance during the Bronze Age, over 3, 000 years ago when they were worn as ornamentation. They were used to decorate belts and other metal objects. They have been noted in virtually every important civilization. Some cultures such as the Romans may have used them as fastening devices, but this is not proven. Rudimentary buttons appear to be first used for fastening by Europeans in the 13th century, but were much more common in the 14th century.
At some point, someone thought a button might make a nice fastener.  They ran the button through a loop of thread and created a use for the button along with pins to keep garments together.  Use of the button became more common as it was less likely to cause injury than the pin.  In time, the first buttonholes arrived as slits in clothing and this worked to keep clothing closed.
By the late 18th century, buttons began to be made in factories. Metal buttons were punched out by dies, and die-makers were prohibited from emigrating from England, so that they would not take their trade secrets abroad. Nevertheless, the technology spread, and buttons began to be mass-produced in metal, glass, and other materials.
By the early 20th century, the prevailing style was much simpler, reflecting the more sedate look of the growing white-collar class. Inexpensive matched shirt buttons for men and women were available in five-and-dime stores around 1910. Plastic buttons became widely available in the 1930s, though most typical shirt buttons were still made of sea shells or other natural materials.  The common material for buttons today is polyester. 

It’s  "One-Flower Wednesday" and here are my flowers.

I had been hearing about the “Lil Twister” so I just had to try it.  It’s kind of cool how this works.  Here’s a little sample I made just to try it out.  I can probably make a table topper of some sort out of this and will eventually try a quilt top.  My neighbor is expecting a baby and I think this will be a nice way to make a beautiful baby quilt quickly.
man didn't fasten anything with them, but simply wore them for decoration. I’m making progress on my UFOs. I finished the Dresden Plate queen size quilt.  Yes!  Here it is:

Giveaways I've run into:

"Jaybird Quilts" has a generous giveaway of two Robert Kaufman  fat quarters bundles.  – ends April 21st.
"The Intrepid Thread"   has 2 charm packs to give away. – ends April 25th.

That is all.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"I give to you a paper of pins..."

Encouraging words of the day:
"This is the day that the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!" - Psalm 118:24

Ok, enough about knots.  How about straight pins? Everyone already knows about pins, right.  Well, I didn’t.
Throughout the years, human beings have invented methods of holding two pieces of cloth together:  Pre-historic people used thorns and bones as pins. The clothes of medieval Europeans were adorned with pins of many materials including bone, ivory, silver, gold, and brass.  The use of iron wire began as early as the fifteenth century in France.  In his book, Wealth of Nations, published in 1776, Smith described how one worker drew out the wire, another straightened it, a third cut the wire, the fourth sharpened one end, and another worker ground the opposite end for the attachment of the head. At the end of the process, the pins were polished and inserted into a paper packet. A "paper of pins" became a familiar cultural phrase, signifying the possessions of the simplest nature. Have you ever heard the song?

I give to you a paper of pins
If that's the way that love begins,
If you will marry, marry, marry, marry,
If you will marry me.
Back to pin history: Attaching the heads presented a particular challenge. In the early to mid-1800s, American inventors Seth Hunt and John Ireland Howe and British inventors Lemuel Wright and Daniel Foote-Taylor patented machines that produced pins with a solid head from a single piece of wire.
Here’s how straight pins are made today:
One-hundred-foot rolls of steel wire are unwound by means of a roll straightener. The end of each roll is threaded into the straightener which pulls the wire flat. Rotating blades cut the wire into pre-set lengths, usually between 1-1.25 in (2.5-3.2 cm) long.
The cut wire travels via conveyer belt to the next station where the heads are "stamped" on. One end of the wire is slammed against a block. wire and create a flattened head.
The straight pin has gone relatively unchanged for years and few improvements have been made. The head of the pin can now be either solid metal or plastic. Its use to bind paper together has been replaced by the stapler, but despite its simplicity, the straight pin is the first choice for a temporary way to bind cloth.

I’ve finished the little quilt from the Layer Cake Quilt-Along.  I thought that adding the vine and leaves would add something to it but it looks kind of dorky.  Oh well.

This is our catch-up week on the Penny Haren Applique Quilt-Along.  Here are the last 5 blocks I’ve made.  The first of these 5 doesn't even look like it goes with the others. I'm also noticing that not only do I sew crooked, my photos come out crooked also.

 I’m making progress on my UFOs. I’ve been working on my Dresden Plate queen size quilt.  I’m quilting it on my sewing machine so it is quite a challenge and I’m running into a few wrinkles,  literally.

Giveaways I've run into:

"One More Quilt" is having an interesting giveaway of fabric yardage and remnants plus patterns.  – ends April 25th.
"1 Choice 4 Quilting" has a book to giveaway plus a quilt kit. – ends April 24th.
"Kool Beenz" has a fat quarter bundle to giveaway. – ends April 22nd.

That is all.