CGM Podcast Episode #20: Chaka Khan & Squaring Up

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes:

  • Birthday Giveaway recap and winners
  • Halloween and my own little Chaka Khan (aka Ariel from The Little Mermaid) is in the house

  • WIPs: Holiday Mini Quilt and Lemon Squares
Sketch of holiday mini quilt
Book Review

Next to Love by Ellen Feldman

Happy Halloween!! Stay safe out there.



Van Gogh Meets the Bloggers Quilt Festival

I made this quilt several years ago, and it's probably my favorite.

It is based off of the famous painting, Sunflowers by Vincent Van Gogh. As an art quilter I've been inspired by many impressionist painters work, but this one struck me as the perfect still life to translate into a quilt.

 (The original masterpiece)


I came across a sunflower print fabric in the clearance bin at JoAnn's, and new that with a little manipulation, shading, and thread painting, I could make the petals look painted on and natural. I used hand dyed fabric for the background and leaves.

I made this quilt "my own" by adding a few additional touches like the fallen leaves on the table and a more pastel hue to the background versus the yellow and orange shades Van Gogh used in his original. I also wanted my vase to be more modern and make the scene a little taller and give the naturally "tall" type of flower a sunflower is, some additional height within the frame.

The frame is made from a wood print fabric, and I simply added some shading with (of all things) a black Sharpie marker! This is the fun of making art quilts - you can use whatever is at hand that will work to enhance the quilt. And unless you tell the viewers, or confess it on your blog, none would be the wiser.

I am so pleased to link this art quilt, one of my first, up with the Bloggers Quilt Festival. Please go visit the site and check out all of the wonderful quilts on display there. And you should definitely consider adding yours to the mix!




Giveaway #3 Winners!!

Thanks everyone for entering my week of Birthday Giveaways! And I have read and enjoyed each and every one of your responses to the questions - so much fun. I am currently enjoying a wonderful birthday: served breakfast in bed including homemade biscuits and apple butter, spent the last 3 hours watching back-to-back episodes of Lark Rise to Candleford (BBC/Masterpiece Classic) on DVD but lo and behold it's currently running today on PBS - check it out if you like late 19th/early 20th century period series as much as I do. I especially enjoy seeing the references to sewing/millinery work that are scattered throughout this series; lacemaking, knitting, mending, etc...

This afternoon will be spent sewing, and then this evening the husband and I will have dinner out if the snow EVER stops. This is a first for me: snow on my birthday! I can usually depend on the week of my birthday in Fall to enjoy the crisp winds and leaves rustling, and even the smell of fires burning in neighborhood homes. Today we were all caught off guard by the non-stop snow coming down and not a single log in the bin to burn. I shall content myself with a slice of chocolate cake and a big glass of milk for dessert though!

Back to the business at hand. The winners of the Birthday Giveaway #3, a copy of Simplify by Camille Roskelley are: #17: Lori T and #15: Knitty AJ!! Congratulations to both of you! I will contact you soon to get the address to send the books. 

Hope all of you are having a wonderful weekend!



Birthday Giveaway #3!!

This is the last of the Birthday Week of Giveaways! Thanks everyone who has entered and allowed me to have some extra fun leading up to my birthday tomorrow. Today I have up for grabs 2 copies of the wonderful book, Simplify by Camille Roskelley!!

Enter by 12PM Saturday 10/29 by leaving a comment below answering this question: What's the best birthday gift you've ever received and why? I will draw 2 winners.  GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! Please be sure to leave an email address for contacting you if you win. Thanks again for playing along!



Giveaway #2 Winners!!

Thanks everyone for entering Birthday Giveaway #2. Congratulations to #1 Isabelle and #4 Susan on winning a copy of Scandinavian Stitches! I will contact you soon to get the information to ship the books.

Stop back tomorrow, Fri. 10/28 for the last Birthday Giveaway #3!!


Thursday Thoughts

  • I have a few days off work and it's raining.
  • That's OK, I have a ton of indoor stuff to do.
  • Like laundry.
  • Decluttering the closets
  • and organizing the office paperwork into some semblance of order.
  • How come when Mom's are "off" they still think about all the 100+ things that need to get done around the house?
  • And when Dad's "off" the most he is thinking about is whether to book a morning or afternoon tee-time?
  • I should have planned this time off better. But time, as usual, got away from me.
  • Does Elizabeth Arden spa take walk-ins?
  • Come hell or high-water I am going to get a mani/pedi on my birthday.
  • although the nice Vietnamese lady who does my nails may weep when she sees the state of my feet.
  • I think my heels could sand a deck it's been so long...
  • and maybe I can swing some extended time in the sewing room this weekend.
  • The grandparents "present" is to have Sam sleepover at their house Saturday night.
  • I'm a little ashamed at myself how happy that makes me.
  • Even Sam asked why I was smiling so big.
  • I told her I was happy she was getting to spend extra time with her Nana and Grandpa.
  • I think she's on to me though
  • she asked me how much sewing I will do while she's gone?
  • and will I eat all of the ice cream again while she's gone?
  • For the record that only happened one time
  • and it was less than 1/3 of a Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter container.
  • Now I want ice cream.
  • Birthday calories don't count right?



    Birthday Giveaway #2!!

    I am cracking up as I type this because I just had a funny conversation with Sam (my 4 yr old DD) about my birthday:

    Sam: Mommy, is your birthday soon?

    Me: Yes, remember I said it was Saturday?

    Sam: That's after Thursday right?

    Me: Yes, and after Friday.

    Sam: Is your party on Saturday?

    Me: No, no party. We're going to dinner though.

    Sam: No party?!?!

    Me: Nope.

    Sam: Mommy, I'll ask Daddy to take you to Chuck E. Cheese like for my birthday.

    Me: Believe me when I say this Sammy. Chuck E. Cheese is the last place Mommy wants to go for her birthday dinner.

    Sam: Why, because they don't have wine?

    ....that kid knows me a little too well don't you think? Ha!

    The next book I have for Giveaway #2 is:

    I have 2 copies of this adorable book up for grabs! Please leave a comment answering the following question below: What do you like to do on your birthday?

    Enter by 12 pm Thursday 10/27 GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED and I will then draw 2 entries. Please be sure to leave an email address I can contact you with if you win. Good luck and thanks for entering!



    Birthday Giveaway #1 Winners!

    Congratulations to #2:theygrowuptoofast (Kristin) AND #12: Janet for winning a copy of Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee. I will send you an email to get the address to send the books.

    Thanks everyone for entering! Check back again tomorrow (Wed 10/26) for Birthday Giveaway #2!



    Birthday Week of Giveaways!!!

    Yes, around these parts we don't just celebrate birthdays on one day, we party all week long up to the birthday day. And as much as I love to get presents, I truly love to give them. So to get the party started, I've decided to have a few giveaways of my favorite thing (BOOKS!!) this week. Today I have 2 copies of Block Party: The Modern Quilting Bee up for grabs

    Leave a comment below answering this question: When's your birthday (month and day)? This giveaway ends GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! and I will then draw 2 winners. make sure you leave an email address where I can contact you. Thanks for entering!



    Thursday Thoughts

    Decided to put down on paper..or in my case, this blog, what I'm thinking about lately. Kind of a brain dump to allow room for more craziness to enter. I fully expect you to think I'm nuts by the time you're through reading, but here goes:

    • I finished another Birdie Stitches block yesterday. I'm either the slowest stitcher on Earth or damn that took forever.
    • The slow stitching might have something to do with needing one hand to pick up and drink my glass of wine.
    • OK OK, it was 2 glasses....but lest you think I'm like that Mom to the missing baby who passed out after 5 glasses, my mother-in-law AND husband were home.
    • Not that I'm judging a mom for having a day where she feels the need to get shit-faced drunk on wine.
    • But come on, really? Who does that?
    • ...without backup in case of emergency?
    • Where was I going with this?
    • Oh yeah, so I'm a slow stitcher and that's why I hate sewing on mundane things like quilt bindings, buttons, hooks-and-closures.
    • You know, the stuff that holds it all together.
    • and also pieces of fabric on top of other pieces of fabric....you know, hand applique.
    • Ick.
    • Stop clutching your pearls in horror, I didn't say I didn't appreciate hand applique
    • it just isn't for me. All that hand stitiching.... 
    • I particularly hate making the blanket stitch. 
    • I don't even like doing machine blanket stitching really
    • So I can't explain why I enjoy doing embroidery so much.
    • Crazy, huh?
    • Maddy is 9 months old today.
    • Someone please stop the clock.
    • Thank you.
    • Samantha has learned to count backwards from 50.
    • And she does it. A lot.
    • Like All.Day.Long.
    • Hence the need for wine.
    • I gave Maddy peas for dinner last night.
    • She scrunched up her nose a bit, but ate them.
    • 5 minutes later as I was holding her, I felt her stomach heave..
    • pea soup all over both of us.
    • very Exorcist-like of her.
    • I can't blame her though. Neither her Mom or Dad likes peas at all.
    • As in we NEVER eat them.
    • That's what I get for trying to be a "good mom" and feed my kid a particular green vegetable when it is genetically predetermined she won't like them.
    • I bet she'll just LOVE french fries and chocolate cake when she's old enough to eat those.
    • Again, genetically predetermined....
    • Samantha thought the pea soup was so gross she ran from the room screaming.
    • right into my sewing room where she proceeded to bump into my table with my carefully organized embroidery floss cards sitting in neat stacks
    • by color.
    • 362 of them.
    • Hence the need for wine.
    Have a great day!



    CGM Podcast Episode 19: Quiltspotting

    Listen to the episode HERE

    Show Notes!

    Works in Progress:

    • Holiday sketches for future quilt or embroidery projects
    • Birdie Stitches BOM progress
    • Lemon Squares Quilt - I decided to put my big girl panties on and quilt it myself

    What's Making Me Happy in Crafting:

    • Instagram!! If you have an iPhone I HIGHLY recommend this great photo app. I am using it to connect with other crafters, quilters, and knitters. You can instantly see photos of their works in progress, what's inspiring them that minute, and general fun stuff. It's like PhotoTwitter - lots of fun.
    • Quiltspotting: lately I've been seeing quilts everywhere on TV and in movies! From You've Got Mail with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, the classic Christmas movie Holiday Inn, The Walton's and Little House on the Prairie, quilts have been used behind the camera for years to evoke a feeling of warmth and comfort.
      • Where have you noticed quilts lately?
    Book Review:

    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    Thanks for listening!



    Stolen moments....

    While things have been hectic around here (business as usual!) I have been able to steal a few moments to work on a sketch that's been sitting in my head for awhile:

    Looks like a future mini quilt to me..... what do you think?

    Working on a new podcast episode! Hope to record it this weekend, post by Sunday night.



    What I'm Reading This Month

    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

    The Next Always by Nora Roberts
    (on sale 11/1/11)
    The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
    (on sale 11/21/11)

    Faith by Jennifer Haigh

    What are you reading this month?

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