Podcaster Meetup Recap and Quilt Show Eye Candy

I had a fantastic time on Saturday at the Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA. Not only did I see some gorgeous quilts, shop a plethora of vendors, but I got to meet up with some fellow podcasters and listeners!

Podcasters Left to Right: Pam (Hip to Be a Square), Frances (The Off-Kilter Quilt), 
AJ (The Quilting Pot), Sandy (Quilting for the Rest of Us), Tanesha (Crafty Garden Mom)

We had a marvelous time chatting and laughing. I was amazed at how natural it felt to meet everyone. Frances put it best when she said that it felt like we were already friends since we'd been communicating to each other through our podcasts, blogs, and the Big Tent group. And yes, everyone sounds exactly like they do on their podcast, lol. 

The icing on the cake for me was that we had several listeners join us as well! Oh my goodness, it was so crazy to me that there were actual people who listen to me ramble on every few weeks, lol. And that they took time out of their quilt show viewing to meet us, words can't express how great that made me feel. So THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by. 

The show itself was very good. It's been about 6 years since I last went to this one, and the venue has since changed from Colonial Williamsburg to the convention center in Hampton, VA. The negative of this is mainly that I really liked the historical setting of Williamsburg, and having a chance to walk the grounds there. This is a bit outweighed by the positive in that the convention center is a perfect venue to host this large regional quilt show. In any case, those that have been going the last 5-6 years have been lucky to enjoy a show that is very organized, clean, well lit, and the quilts are on display all over, with the "big winners" being right in the center.

Here are some of my favorites:

Earthquake Compression by Marcia DeCamp

On the Way to Grandmother's House by Sheila Riess

Caught in the Act by Barbara McKie

Lemon Grass by Cynthia L. Vogt

Jack by Sandy Curran

Unequal Nine Patch by Barbara O'Malley, 
quilted by Sylvia Thompson

Venetian Glass Variations by Debby McCullough

Light at the End of the tunnel by Becky Ray

Sam's Owl by Barbara Korengold

Special Exhibit: Alzheimer's Illustrated. This was a very moving exhibit
of banner quilts made up of printed names of the victims of the alzheimer's
disease. In between the banner quilts, there were small 8 x 11 quilts that
were artistic representatives of all the good and bad that comes from being
a part of this disease whether you are the victim, family member, or friend.



Book Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the 2 Bink & Gollie books is #5 Sarah!

Love your dish cloths!

Olivia & I enjoy the Junie B Jones series. Makes both of us laugh ... For very different reasons. There's something for kids and adults to enjoy about each one.

Congratulations Sarah and thanks to everyone who entered! I'm off early tomorrow morning for the Quilt Festival and the meetup. I'll let you know all about it when I get back and will include lots of quilt "eye candy."



Snapshots To Catch You Up

Good old Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn

Using the Cream 'n Sugar to make some cute dishcloths.
This one has an ice cream sundae imprint.

Working on a cupcake cloth..using this set of Dessert Cloths patterns.
A quick word on dish cloths: I love them. They are sturdy, reusable (i.e. "green"), 
and can be used for a variety of chores: dish washing, dusting, wiping up spills,
cleaning counters, as a washcloth for your face and body, mug rug, hot pad,
potholder, and cold compress for puffy eyes and headaches.

Some fabric I bought at JoAnns recently.

Some fabric I bought at Missouri Quilt Co. recently.

Some Laurie Wisbrun fabric I bought on Etsy recently. 
It's llamas wearing a quilt and knitted scarves and hats, how could 
I possibly resist that level of cuteness?

Did you know Camille Roskelley recently released some new patterns?
I don't know when I'll be able to make these, but they 
had to get added to my pattern stash.

What I'm reading for fun right now..part of my "monthly reads."

New magazines I plan to savor this evening.

What I'm reading to Sam. Are you familiar with the adorable duo,
Bink & Gollie? They're like a girls Odd Couple, but for age 4-99 year olds.
The first set of short stories, Bink & Gollie, emphasizes the positives of being different
while still being friends. The second book shown above is an advance copy of Two for One. 
It doesn't come out until August 2012, and is just as sweet and lovable as the first.   
Leave a comment about your favorite children's book (current or past) and I 
will pick one winner to WIN a copy of both books!!!  GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

What I've been quilting the past week in short spurts of time. I just finished
the border last night. Went to cut the binding and lo and behold I didn't HAVE
the fabric to bind the quilt! Guess when you've been working on a quilt
for 4 years, it's inevitable some part of the batiks used would get used up elsewhere. 

How I'm able to get "spurts" of quilting in. Yep, we're all about 
keeping our kids in the "pen" around here. 

Where I will be Saturday:

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival XXIII

February 23 – 26, 2012All under one roof at the
Hampton Roads Convention CenterHampton, VirginiaGreater Chesapeake Bay / Williamsburg Area


Join me and several quilt bloggers/podcasters at this show 

if you plan to be there! Visit Sandy's blog for all the meetup details. 



CGM Podcast Episode 25: Love Everywhere

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes

  • Life update: NY Giants won the Superbowl and why this probably won't ever happen again, Maddy started daycare last week, Samantha reminds me this is the time where there is "loooove everywhere"
  • Finished Projects and WIPs:
    • Gaptastic Cowl: FINISHED!!
    • Currently quilting At Home in the Woods using all monofilament thread. I give a few "tips" on how to sew with this finnicky thread, and why it's now my go-to thread when quilting art quilts.

    • What's Making Me Happy in Crafting: Thread nets! Do you use one? I give a few reasons why you should be.
      • Here is a picture of a thread net, in case you're not familiar:

    • How CGM Keeps It Together: Menu Planning
      • Some good resources for menu planning:
        • Saving Dinner books by Leanne Ely

    Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely
    •  Book Reviews:
    Modern Mix by Jessica Levitt

    Home Front by Kristin Hannah
    • What I'm Reading Now: Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood and Crossed by Ally Condie
    Thanks for listening!



    Book Giveaway Winners!

    Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. I was so touched by the many comments in regards to Maddy starting daycare, and how tough it is on moms. I so appreciate the understanding and insight.

    Without further ado, here are the winners!

    Book #1: The Gentle Art of Quiltmaking by Jane Brocket goes to:

    #7: Pam!! Otherwise known as Pam from Hip to Be a Square podcast and blog. Congrats Pam!!!!

    And I follow you on Google Reader.

    Book #2: Modern Blocks by Susanne Wood goes to:

    #32: landscapelady!! She is an art quilter from Vermont, and does absolutely gorgeous landscape quilts. Congrats Carol!

    Just retweeted:-)

    Book #3: Simply Triangles by Barbara H. Cline goes to:

    #52 verylazydaisy!! Otherwise known as Daisy from the Very Lazy Daisy Podcast. Congrats Daisy!

    I love your insights into motherhood. And the weather I am having is total crap for crap... I swam to the mailbox today. Just sayin.. LOL


    Congratulations to all 3 of you. I have sent you an email, so please respond as soon as possible so i can pop your book in the mail this week.

    But don't be sad if you didn't win this time. Be sure to watch this space because that was a big pile of books, and I still have a lot to get through!



    Thursday Thoughts + BOOK GIVEAWAY!!

    • It's been a tough week in the neighborhood.
    • Madeline started daycare on Monday.
    • When we dropped her off, I fought the urge to grab her and run for the door.
    • The temptation of all the toys was so strong, she could barely be bothered to say goodbye.
    • I called in the afternoon to see how she was doing.
    • Could hear her crying in the background.
    • It's true when they say a Mom can recognize her kids cry.
    • Was told she was "having a little trouble taking a nap."
    • Wanted to stab myself with a rusty butter knife, but knew she would fall asleep soon.
    • Went back to my work day.
    • Called 4 minutes later to see if she'd stopped crying.
    • She had.
    • Picked her up that afternoon, and she cried a little when she saw me.
    • If there had been a butter knife around....
    • Then she grinned wide for her big sister.
    • It's been 4 days and she's doing great.
    • No tears.
    • Except when she doesn't get her way.
    • Just like at home.
    • They say the first week is an "adjustment period" for the child who starts at a daycare or new school.
    • I think it applies more for the Moms than the kids.
    • Some days I feel like there should be a "first week" support group of some kind to get us through.
    • Or maybe hand out free bottles of booze as you walk out the door.
    • Luckily I have a job I enjoy to go to.
    • It would suck if I was leaving my kid all day to go to a job I hated all day too.
    • I've been working on various and sundry quilt projects the last few weeks.
    • Many of them have been 'worked on' in my mind.
    • It's simply amazing how many completed quilts I have in my head.
    • I have also been absorbing all of the information to be had from the not-so-little stack of books I received last week.
    • Remember these?
    • I'm ready to share!
    • I've picked 3 from the pile using a very scientific method of selection.
    • It goes something like, "Eeenie-Meenie-Miney-Mo..."
    • The first "very best one" my finger landed on was:
    This book is very much in the Kaffe Fasset style, especially with the beautiful photography used to display the quilts. The designs themselves are simple, but her use of color and the skilled way she teaches this craft, is a pleasure to read.
    • The second book selected was:

    by Susanne Wood
    This is a fun book featuring, as the title says, 99 blocks of all different styles and looks, but all in the modern aesthetic. You may or may not recognize the designers (many of them popular bloggers), but you're sure to see a good number of blocks you can translate into a larger quilt.

    • And the third selected was:
     Simply Triangles by Barbara H. Cline
    This one isn't on sale until 2/16. It has 11 beautiful quilts where you'll learn various techniques combining triangles, diamonds, and trapezoids. She breaks down a Y-seam so simply it makes even me want to try, and I've been avoiding them for years!

    • So here's the deal.
    • You can enter up to 3 times.  GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!!
    • So yes, technically, one person could win all 3 books.
    • But I'd seriously wonder what "bug" got into the random number generator that day.
    • Anyways, you can enter by leaving a comment about anything...how motherhood is tough a lot of days, the weather where you are, you hate your job but are happy to have it, you love your job but would rather be quilting all day...anything goes just leave a "real" comment, not just "hi and bye!" 
    • You can enter by tweeting about this giveaway using the hashtag #giveaway, coming back here, and tell me pinky-swear, you tweeted about it.
    • You can also enter by following this blog, and leave a comment saying so.
    • Any and all 3 ways to enter are strictly optional to do. You get 1 entry for each way.
    • I will pick 3 winners via random # generator by 5 pm EST on Sunday, Feb. 12th. Winners will be announced by Monday.
    • The order you're picked is the book you'll win (if you're pick #1, you win book #1, pick #2 you win book #2, etc..)
    • I think that's it....right?
    • Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

    PS - one more thing! (I knew I forgot something)...make sure you are NOT a no-reply blogger when you enter. You MUST MUST MUST leave an email address somewhere for me to be able to contact you, either in your profile or in the comment. Otherwise I will assume you really don't want to be picked but like entering things, or are in a blog-commenting-but-in-the-witness-protection-program type of situation and I wouldn't want to blow your cover. Either way I'll pick another winner. If you think you are one, but would like to change that, try this simple tutorial on how to do it. Thanks!!


    Finished Top + Using My Timer to Quilt

    Squeaked out a little time last week to finish this top:

    Disappearing 9 Patch

    I used a charm pack from the Ruby by Bonnie & Camille line, and this was a super-easy top to put together. So now I have to "Ruby's" to get quilted once I am done with the quilting on At Home in the Woods.

    The good news: I'm back behind the machine again!
    The bad news: I keep adding to my WIP pile and need to buckle down and get some actual quilting done.

    To help manage my time this week, I've decided to set my timer for 15 minutes at a time and do nothing but free motion quilt on At Home in the Woods until it is done.

    I often employ this method in my quilting, as well as other areas of my life where I have to buckle down and focus to get the job done. A timer keeps you on task and you quickly realize how fast the time goes by.

    Put on some fun music, start sewing, and you can get quite a bit of surface area covered in just 15 minutes.

    Back to the machine and my timer! And stay tuned: BIG BOOK GIVEAWAY coming Thursday!!


    What the Dickens?

    You know I have to point out anything "cool" that has to do with books, or in this case a famous author. Today is Charles Dickens' 200th Birthday (not that he would ever have lived to be 200, but you get the point). I think Google does something brilliant with their logo to mark any notable occasion, and today's is fantastic!

    In addition, the Google Books team has put together a FREE eBook library of his works for you to download. Go check them out here.

    And if you don't already have "Dickensian Fever" you just might soon when the new BBC Drama, Great Expectations, begins in April. Gillian Anderson plays the iconic literary character, Miss Havisham. I must admit, I haven't ever read this book, but I plan to this year...maybe as an audio.

    My favorite Dickens story is A Christmas Carol, but Oliver Twist comes in a close second. Some of his writing is a bit difficult to get through, but there's no doubting why he's considered such a great writer. And to think of the subject matter he wrote about, during the time. He was one of the first to really put the abject poverty so many people were living in, right in the face of the privileged who were the only ones who would have been able to read it (very few people could read).

    Have any of you read much Charles Dickens? If so, what did you think?



    What I'm Reading this Month

    February is "love month" and as such, I usually fill the 28 (29 this year!) days reading all the 'fluff-and-nonsense" books I can fit in. So I'm unashamedly letting you know there will be minimal, if any, "serious literary reads" going on this month. However, books like this (chick-lit, romances, fluff, etc..) hold a special place in my book-lovin' heart. I remember reading my first Sweet Dreams YA romance and have been hooked on that "boy-meets-girl, then something"bad" happens, then they fall in love/live happily ever after" since.

     First Impressions by Debra White Smith

    On-sale 3/13/12. I am reading an advance copy.

    Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

    Bond Girl by Erin Duffy

    What are you reading this month?



    Thursday Thoughts

    Outside my window... gray sky and 53 degrees... yesterday it was almost 70. My flower bulbs must be so confused.

    I am thinking... about how much work I have to do. Big surprise.

    I am thankful for... Netflix and Amazon Prime instant streaming. No really, they are the bomb.com.

    I am reading... 4 books right now. I know, nuts.
    I am wearing... Camel pants (the color, I'm not wearing a camel), chocolate tank, chocolate "flowy front" cardigan with crochet edges.

    I am creating... my knitted cowl, and pipe dreams of finding a solid block of time to sew this week.
    I am going... to start working just as soon as I check out Pinterest. Somebody smack me off of it in 5 minutes...wait, make that 10.

    I am hoping... Maryland Crab Soup is on the deli menu today..yummm. And yes, we Marylanders are definitely snobs when it comes to crabs and all food-related items with crab in it.
    I am hearing... the casting of the movie version of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society book is underway in Guernsey.. hooray! If you haven't read that book yet, why are you still here? Run! Don't walk and read it now. Come back and gush, I mean tell me, how much you loved it. If you didn't, I guess we can still be friends.

    Around the house... not our best look right now. Above, I should have put how thankful I am the cleaning lady is coming tomorrow.

    One of my favorite things... birthday cake. Have had it twice in the last 2 weeks now.

    A few plans for the rest of the week... finish something crafty, declutter my nightstand drawers, bounce in a Bounce House with the girls during Sam's birthday party, shed a few thankful and selfish tears when my MIL leaves for good on Sunday.

    A picture to share..

    I am happy...because I have this beautiful stack of quilting and sewing books to go through! 
    I am lucky...because I have a job that sends me all of these free books.
    You are lucky...because I got 2 copies of each and plan to have some giveaways soon. Watch this space!

    What's up in your world today?




    Five years old today. My beautiful sunshine girl. I can hardly believe you've gone from this little sweetheart.

    To this big girl who fills our hearts and home with laughter, smiles, and kisses everyday.

    So much will happen for you this year: preschool graduation, first dance recital, summer camp, Kindergarten (aka riding the school bus which is your main focus).

    Happy Birthday my Sammy-Sam!!

    Your CGM
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