8/31/12

12 Days of Best Christmas Quilts Blog Tour

I am thrilled to be participating in the 12 Days of Best Christmas Quilts Blog Tour. If you are new to my blog - WELCOME!! This is where I share my crazy but crafty life as a mom, quilter, knitter, gardener and a deep love of books. I also have a podcast where I chat about all of that and more a few times a month: Crafty Garden Mom on iTunes.

I was so honored to have not one but two projects in Quilters Newsletter's special issue: Best Christmas Quilts. I’m so proud to be a part of this magazine as it is full of beautiful quilt patterns and projects for the holidays. Each of the 28 projects include step-by-step instructions. The issue went on sale on August 21st and is available at newsstands, fabric stores, and quilt shops around the country. It is not included in a QN subscription, but at $9.99 US/CAN for 28 patterns, what a value!




You'll find my first project, Selvage Christmas Tree Mug Rugs, on page 21. I have been intrigued and charmed by the colorful selvages that come in much of the quilt fabric on the market today. I've been saving a lot of it up to use in various projects but one day it struck me that little circles look like the bright Christmas ornaments we decorate the tree with every year. Why not add them as a fun element in a quilt project? This pattern is very simple to put together, as the tree is a foundation pieced block. These mug rugs will make great stocking stuffers and teacher gifts, so make a bunch up now and pull them out as the holiday season begins.

My second project, Christmas String, can be found on pages 22-23. This is a mini quilt using fusible applique (you could also hand applique these motifs on of course) and a simple embroidered backstich for the string and ornament hooks. I used a swirl motif for the free motion quilting in the background, and outlined each of the ornaments with black thread.

GIVEAWAY!!!

Quilter's Newsletter is making this holiday-themed blog tour even more merry by offering this fat quarter bundle of Star Flakes & Glitter by Tina Givens to one lucky winner.  



To enter, leave a friendly comment on this blog post before 11:59 pm MDT tonight, August 31, 2012, for a chance to win the fabric bundle! GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED I will draw one name at random. One comment per person, please. Open to those who haven’t won something from Quilter’s Newsletter in the last 90 days. Make sure you are not a no-reply commenter, or be sure to include your email address in the comment box so QN can contact you when you win!! The winner will be announced on this blog by 9/1.

Good luck and thanks for stopping by on the tour!

CGM

8/29/12

CGM Podcast Episode 35: Root for Routines

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes 

Life update:   
  • We're doing great with the first days of school. Sam has started off Kindergarten excited, eager to learn, and blissful about riding the bus every morning. Maddy doesn't know what the heck is going on, but as long as there are snacks, she's happy.
  • I "survived" the first day without chasing after the bus and a long massage session.
  • Getting back into a routine has helped immensely. This includes having Sam start her day off right, and with a sense of having already "succeeded" at something - her Morning Routine Checklist.
WIPs:
  • Daybreak Shawl 
  • Art Quilt using hand dyed fabrics and a small sketch of 2 "lovebirds" on a wire.
  • King spiderweb quilt - I go into a little more detail of my "loosey-gooseyness" on this quilt and how it's getting me into a tight spot.

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: I am a "published" quilter now. 2 of my small projects are in the current issue of Quilter's Newsletters special issue: Best Christmas Quilts. Since I am part of a designer blog hop, I will post more about this on 8/31. Watch this space because QN is running several fantastic giveaways to coincide with the blog hop and magazine release!!

Book Reviews:


The Second Life of Abigail Walker by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Wild by Cheryl Strayed



Thanks for listening!

CGM

 

8/28/12

The First Day


We made it! Sam had a wonderful first day of Kindergarten. She rose bright and early (6 am), and came into our bedroom, fully dressed and raring to go. It broke her heart when I told her she had 2 more hours to wait. I was able to hold it together, not cry, even when she put on her backpack, which is almost as big as she is.

This was a day I'd been looking forward to and dreading all summer long: my baby's first day of school. I've been a muddled mixture of anticipation for all she will learn and discover this year, both from her teacher and the interesting world of classroom dynamics between kids. Since this is Kindergarten I certainly don't expect the full-on "mean girl" scenes to manifest, but even in preschool I was often surprised at the alternating degrees of group love and outright hostility between kids. I haven't talked about it before, but Sam has had her own emotional difficulties the past year. We've been working hard to help her through that at home, in the classroom, and even in therapy. She is doing great with it.

She is certainly eager to learn, and filled with excitement for making new friends. But of course, the number one thing she has been waiting for, wanting desperately, begging me to let her go on for over a year was...the bus.

 I was able to get her to turn around right before she stepped on.

 But once she was on, she was no longer looking at me or for me, 
she was only looking ahead to what was to come.

And really, isn't that what we're here to help them do?

Happy "First Day" to all you Moms and Dads out there!

CGM



8/23/12

A New Knitting Bag

Last night I had a bought of insomnia and used the time awake to sew myself a new knitting bag. Up until now I've been cramming my expanding Daybreak Cowl into a small toiletery bag. I pulled out Jeni of In Color Order's pattern for Lined Drawstring Bags and made my first one!


What makes me smile about this bag is the cute fabric - who wouldn't smile at sheep knitting?!?! I bought both prints from Fabric.com, and it's a novelty line from Timeless Treasures. Here's a better shot of the top part with contrasting fabric:

 

This bag fits my project with room to spare as it continues to grow to the finished size:



Jeni's bag pattern is absolutely wonderful: very well-written with a good amount of photos. I made this bag in less than an hour. In fact, it went so quickly I started on a second, smaller bag for when I (finally) cast on my first pair of socks:


Mr. Potato Head and contrasting I Love Carbs! fabric - another "makes me smile every time" fabric. This one was from my stash, but I'm pretty sure it's still for sale on Fabric.com and other places.

So that's what I've been burning the midnight oil with recently. What have you been working on?

CGM



8/21/12

Bookpalooza Giveaway Winners!!

First, thank you to ALL who took the time to stop by and enter my crazy/spur-of-the-moment giveaways last weekend! I loved all of the comments, and wish I had a book for each of you.

But of course, there can only be 1 winner this time around, but I do have NINE winners in total since I went a little nuts and threw 9 books up for grabs....if you missed it, where the heck were ya'? Don't fret, I just may have a few more books to giveaway in the coming months because that's the kind of crazy book lady (minus the cats) I am.

Winner of Book #1: Cozy Modern Quilts is: #20 Laura
I follow your blog!











Winner of Book #2: Crafty Chloe is: #16 Jackie
 
My 2 year old granddaughter loves to sit on my lap and sew, new ideas would be wonderful. 









Winner #3 of Scrap Republic is: #6 Debra Lee

I'm a follower!










Winner #4 of The Pioneer Woman cookbook is: #32 Just Pam

 
I love PW and have used some of her recipes from her blog-would love to win this book








Winner #5 of Thread Magic Garden is: #18 Debby


I'm a long time follower of both your blog and podcast.

-debby








Winner #6 of Tradition With a Twist is: #4 Pam
One of my favorites! Would love the complete book. Thanks!











Winner #7 of The Quilt Walk is: #4 Sarah of foodmathquilts
 
I follow your blog.
Sarah









Winner #8 of Skinny Quilts is: #26 Rhonda of Quilter in the Gap

Another fun one...yep, I seem to be working backwards










Winner #9 of Modern Minimal is: #17 B Greene

Tweeted the giveaway, too.
I have contacted all of the above winners via email, so please check your inboxes!! Thanks again everyone for playing along.

CGM











8/19/12

Bookpalooza Giveaway #9

Final giveaway is for those who enjoy the modern/minimalist aesthetic in quilts. Enter to win: GIVEAWAY ENDED


Modern Minimal by Alissa Haight Carlton

CGM

Rules reminder: Leave a friendly comment under each book you want to win. Leave a separate comment if you're a current or new follower of my blog for a second entry. Tweet the giveaway and leave a comment you did so for a third entry. All giveaways will close at 11:59 pm Sunday August 19th. All winners will be announced by Tuesday August 21st. And PLEASE make sure you leave either a vaild email address in your comment, or that you are not a no-reply blogger when you comment, so I can reach you. If I can't reach you, another winner will be picked.

Bookpalooza Giveaway #8

Make a new tablerunner or wallhanging for Fall. Enter to win this "skinny" book: GIVEAWAY ENDED

Skinny Quilts by Kim Schaefer

CGM

Rules reminder: Leave a friendly comment under each book you want to win. Leave a separate comment if you're a current or new follower of my blog for a second entry. Tweet the giveaway and leave a comment you did so for a third entry. All giveaways will close at 11:59 pm Sunday August 19th. All winners will be announced by Tuesday August 21st. And PLEASE make sure you leave either a vaild email address in your comment, or that you are not a no-reply blogger when you comment, so I can reach you. If I can't reach you, another winner will be picked.

Bookpalooza Giveaway #7

Some middle-grade (age 9 and up) quilt fiction coming this Fall! Enter to win this advance copy: GIVEAWAY ENDED

The Quilt Walk by Sandra Dallas 
(on-sale 9/1, you will be getting an advance copy)

CGM

Rules reminder: Leave a friendly comment under each book you want to win. Leave a separate comment if you're a current or new follower of my blog for a second entry. Tweet the giveaway and leave a comment you did so for a third entry. All giveaways will close at 11:59 pm Sunday August 19th. All winners will be announced by Tuesday August 21st. And PLEASE make sure you leave either a vaild email address in your comment, or that you are not a no-reply blogger when you comment, so I can reach you. If I can't reach you, another winner will be picked.

8/18/12

Bookpalooza Giveaway #6

This is an oldie but goodie..has the Blooming Nine Patch pattern it too! Enter to win below: GIVEAWAY ENDED


Tradition With a Twist by Blanche Young & Dalene Stone

CGM

Rules reminder: Leave a friendly comment under each book you want to win. Leave a separate comment if you're a current or new follower of my blog for a second entry. Tweet the giveaway and leave a comment you did so for a third entry. All giveaways will close at 11:59 pm Sunday August 19th. All winners will be announced by Tuesday August 21st. And PLEASE make sure you leave either a vaild email address in your comment, or that you are not a no-reply blogger when you comment, so I can reach you. If I can't reach you, another winner will be picked.

Bookpalooza Giveaway #5

Get your thread-painting on with this amazing book by Ellen Anne Eddy. Enter to win below: GIVEAWAY ENDED

Thread Magic Garden by Ellen Anne Eddy

CGM

Rules reminder: Leave a friendly comment under each book you want to win. Leave a separate comment if you're a current or new follower of my blog for a second entry. Tweet the giveaway and leave a comment you did so for a third entry. All giveaways will close at 11:59 pm Sunday August 19th. All winners will be announced by Tuesday August 21st. And PLEASE make sure you leave either a vaild email address in your comment, or that you are not a no-reply blogger when you comment, so I can reach you. If I can't reach you, another winner will be picked.

Bookpalooza Giveaway #4

Get ready for some scrumptious cooking this Fall! Enter to win this cookbook: GIVEAWAY ENDED


CGM

Rules reminder: Leave a friendly comment under each book you want to win. Leave a separate comment if you're a current or new follower of my blog for a second entry. Tweet the giveaway and leave a comment you did so for a third entry. All giveaways will close at 11:59 pm Sunday August 19th. All winners will be announced by Tuesday August 21st. And PLEASE make sure you leave either a vaild email address in your comment, or that you are not a no-reply blogger when you comment, so I can reach you. If I can't reach you, another winner will be picked.

8/17/12

Bookpalooza Giveaway #3

Need ideas on how to use up those scraps? Enter to win this book! GIVEAWAY ENDED

Scrap Republic by Emily Cier

CGM

Rules reminder: Leave a friendly comment under each book you want to win. Leave a separate comment if you're a current or new follower of my blog for a second entry. Tweet the giveaway and leave a comment you did so for a third entry. All giveaways will close at 11:59 pm Sunday August 19th. All winners will be announced by Tuesday August 21st. And PLEASE make sure you leave either a vaild email address in your comment, or that you are not a no-reply blogger when you comment, so I can reach you. If I can't reach you, another winner will be picked.

Bookpalooza Giveaway #2

Enter to win this adorable children's book for the little crafter in your life:  
GIVEAWAY ENDED

Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio and Heather Ross (illustrator)

CGM

Rules reminder: Leave a friendly comment under each book you want to win. Leave a separate comment if you're a current or new follower of my blog for a second entry. Tweet the giveaway and leave a comment you did so for a third entry. All giveaways will close at 11:59 pm Sunday August 19th. All winners will be announced by Tuesday August 21st. And PLEASE make sure you leave either a vaild email address in your comment, or that you are not a no-reply blogger when you comment, so I can reach you. If I can't reach you, another winner will be picked.

It's a Bookpalooza Giveaway Weekend!

For the next 3 days, I will be posting multiple book giveaways. Check back here throughout the weekend for new ones. I'm not sure how many I'll post, but it will be more than 3, less than 10. Leave a friendly comment under each book you want to win. Leave a separate comment if you're a current or new follower of my blog for a second entry. Tweet the giveaway and leave a comment you did so for a third entry. All giveaways will close at 11:59 pm Sunday August 19th. All winners will be announced by Tuesday August 21st. And PLEASE make sure you leave either a vaild email address in your comment, or that you are not a no-reply blogger when you comment, so I can reach you. If I can't reach you, another winner will be picked. Have fun and thanks for entering!

First book up for grabs: GIVEAWAY ENDED



CGM

8/16/12

Get Ready For It

Check back here ALL WEEKEND LONG for the
"Bookpalooza Giveaway" 
First giveaway of many will be posted Friday morning....don't miss out on a chance to win some fabulous books!

CGM

What's Up

Been cutting up the blue fabric into this:


And placing it like this:


Been knitting on this:

Daybreak Shawl by Stephen West


Been hangin' out at the fair with these 2:


And watching them play their silly games:




What have you been up to?

CGM

8/10/12

Still "Feeling" Blue..

No, not sad blue. Happy blue! Shades of blue are in my mind and hands right now as I cut into this delicious hand dyed fabric from my stash.



It's been a long time since I was inspired art-quilt-wise but lately with my sketching (more on that to come in another post) and some journal work, I have been inundated with ideas. My Crafter's ADD brain is working overtime. Which also means I'm not sleeping well. Which also means I wake up tired. Which also means I've spent about $364 at Starbucks. This week. OK not really that much, but it's a crazy amount for iced coffee with a squirt of caramel in it.

Anyways! My smokin' debit card not withstanding, I am in the midst of a serious need to get all these ideas down and start CREATING. Of course like all of us, there is little time to make all I want to make. So I'm doing what I can to make what's in the forefront of my mind that day. My hope isn't necessarily to finish every project I start. But instead I'm going to try and just go with the flow of my creative inspiration right now, and see where it takes me. I may end up loving some of what I create, hating and trashing a lot of it. Either way, I think when I come out on the "other side" (read: wake up from my Starbucks-driven-high) I will have a small-ish body of work I'm proud of. And who knows where that will take me next?

More to come soon!

CGM

8/5/12

CGM Podcast Episode 34: Summer Standstill

Listen to the episode HERE

Show Notes 

Life update:   
  • Feeling a bit caught up in the "lazy days" of summer right now, so not a whole lot of productivity going on.
  • Feeling anxious/excited/anticipatory about Sam starting Kindergarten (real school!) in a few weeks.
  • I reference the eBook: No More Parents Left Behind as a good resource for parents with kids in the school system and you need a "helping hand" to guide you.
 F.O.'s and WIP's:
  • I finished my Wendy Knits Mystery shawlette - but I'm not happy with the end result. I loved the yarn (Dream in Color) but it didn't turn out very big, and I'm not crazy about the pattern. I am able to wrap it around my neck a bit, and may try wearing it this Fall as an accent piece...we'll see.
 
  • I didn't end up casting on my Stephen West Mystery Shawl...and after seeing others' finished shawls, I'm not going to.
  • Cast on the Daybreak Shawl by Stephen West....love it so far!
  • Batik floormat - 1st try was a bust. I blogged (briefly) about it here, with a pic.
  • I'm still sketching, with some Georgia O'Keefe inspiration...which caused me a bit of embarrassment at work.
Book Reviews:


Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Thanks for listening!

CGM

8/1/12

What I'm Reading This Month

The Diviners by Libba Bray
(on sale 9/18/12, I am reading an advance copy)


Objects of My Affection by Jill Smolinski


Little Century by Anna Keesey

Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson
(on sale 10/9/12, I am reading an advance copy)

What are you reading this month?

CGM
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