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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Having A Ball and A Bang

Here are some pix of my drive....
Yes, I hold my I-Phone up while driving and snap pix....I'm sure other drivers think I'm nuts.  I am careful though.....I don't look at the screen...I just snap.

Friday morning started with a BANG!
 Brenda's Car
My van....ooops!!!  While unloading sewing machines etc, I backed into Brenda's car.  Like they say, don't sweat the small stuff...:)

We all got right to "work".....

 Donna is making a Zen Garden

 This is Marj's Baltimore Album
Joyce is hand quilting this one.

Opened the door to find this fella looking back at me.....
 Then we had afternoon guests.
Then we had a dusting of is beautiful here in the mountains of PA.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gone Fishing

Translation.....I"m out of here!!!  Driving to PA for my annual retreat with my girlfriends.  Lets pray all the cops are sleepin' today cuz I'm in a big hurry.....girlfriends, sewing machines, girlfriends, sewing machines which must mean FUN!!!!

Before I go, I thought I'd leave you with a bit of a funny.  A few years ago I participated in a fabric swap coordinated by Karen at Sew Many Ways (that was back before she went  It was for I-Spy fabrics and I tought my boys would love an I-Spy quilt.

Sometimes procrastination pays off!!!!  They are now old enough to put it together themselves! 

Giggles and Smiles,
PS....if your driving east on 80/90....get out of my way!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Golden Quilter Awards 2013 and An Ode to Carol

Be sure you read this post all the way to the bottom :)

First off, be sure to head over to the Golden Quilter Awards being hosted by SewCalGal to nominate your favorite in the following catagories:

Quilt Shop (brick and mortar and internet based)
Best Long Arm Quilter
Most Innovative Product
Best Book Publisher
Lifetime Achievement Award
(hope I didn't miss any)

You can submit your nominations through February 9, 2013.
Feburary 10-28, 2013 you can go back and vote for your favorite in each catagory.

Not that you would need any incentive to head over.....but....there are tons of wonderful prizes!!! 

Now on to the "An Ode To Carol." ....
 written by Barb Wilhelm a member of the Black Swamp Quilt Guild

A wee bit of  background info....Carol held several classes to teach us gals how to do the quilt as you go method in hopes of getting more and larger charity quilts finished.  You may remember Waldo and I working on this project.  I blogged about it here .  So with further ado.....

"An Ode To Carol"
Published with the authors permission

Carol gave the call and said to pick
Pretty fabrics she had a new trick.

So I cut and cut until my stash was bare
She didn't set a limit so what did I care?

I listened and sewed and had a good time.
But wait-what's happened?  It's a horrible crime!

There are still 2 inch pieces on my sewing room floor,
In a bin, in a tin, hanging half out the door.

So I started a new quilt.  I guess I needed one more.  
I got out the bin, I got out the tin.
I picked up the pieces that littered the floor.
I tracked down the pieces that had gone out the door.

OK, I had fun as I sorted and stacked
OK, I had fun as TWO more quilts were packed! 
A few two inches pieces managed to drop
But what I really need is a class teaching me when I should stop!

Barb read this to the guild at our last meeting and we all enjoyed it so much.  The laughter was wonderful so I asked if I could share it with all of you.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

I just read THIS and had to come back and post it to my blog today!!!


I was just over there, HERE, and I couldn't believe the incredible things you can get....I'm talking about Hoffman Fabrics, Island Batiks 2 1/2' Strip Tease Bundles, Sizzix Big Shot and dies, a Robinson Anton Thread Collection, a Beam N Read Light, and Layer'em Up #3 by Sharyn Craig.  The bidding ends between Feb.3 and 6th......hop on over, I did :)



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Intentions, Imperfection and Acceptance

Do your intentions ever get lost?  Or forgotten? 

I started this quilt before May 9, 2011 (my memory is not that good....I checked my blog posts):

My intention at the time was to make a quilt for myself and use some of the fabrics I had in my stash.  I had a Bali Pop that I liked and I really liked this pattern, Hugs and Kisses, by Jaybird Quilts.  Simple and manageable intention right?  Where did I go astray?

I made all the blocks and that went well.  Then I joined all the blocks and that went well.  I had one seam left to join the two halves of the top together and yet it has hung on my quilt wall for months.  MONTHS!!!  Just waiting for one seam.

You know what it was?  I didn't like how some of my blocks met, they were off here and there so I put it aside.  Perfection got in my way of finishing a quilt for myself.  Not a quilt for some big show.....just a quilt to snuggle under for myself.

I have a confession to make:  I'm not the best piecer in the world.'s out....I feel so much better.  Waldo has even offered to give me some lessons on better piecing. No big deal right?  You know what I tell other people, including my daughter? 

"Just start, have fun and let it be what it turns out to be."

Great advise ay?  I think it is time I start taking it myself.  Acceptance is the word I choose to define my year and I'm guessing I'll be revisiting the practice of ACCEPTANCE over and over again.

I can accept that I'm not a great piecer and I can accept that my quilt will not be show quality and I also admit that if you look for the mistakes, you'll find them.  Somehow finishing a quilt seems so much more exciting than wrangling with all these "issues" so I finished the last seam yesterday.
Instead of tearing out the stitches when the blocks didn't quite meet, I did a basting stitch first.  When I opened the quilt I decided I could live with the imperfections so I then stitched a permanent seam.  There is freedom in letting go :)

Now, to choose the borders and binding.  Here I go again....frustrating the tar out of myself.  I want the quilt to be pleasing to my eye when it is finished.  I'm not the best at choosing went through my stash to see what I had (after all I intended to use my stash...not buy more fabric).  Here are some options:
Exhibit A...LOL
Exhibit B
Exhibit C
Exhibit D
Exhibit E
Exhibit F
Exhibit G
Exhibit G

And these are only the options I want to show I nuts or what?  I need more color confidence is what I need.  After I publish this post, I'm going down and getting my color will tell me which one's work best together.  I'd also like to know your opinion.....someone needs to educate me today :)

Perfectly Imperfect Smiles,

Monday, January 14, 2013

Holiday Re-Cap

This is a photo heavy forewarned!

The holidays are still with us here at IHAN....if you can believe that.  We were hoping to get our holiday decorations down tonight, not happening!   Too much going it will have to wait until later in the week.  I don't feel too bad because I see plenty of neighbors who are still turning on their outdoor lights :)

This photo hasn't been posted yet....hate to be so late in wishing everyone a Happy New Year from the Flamingos, it just happens sometimes :)

(Monday morning now and I'm finishing this post.  You may be shocked to know we no longer have a Christmas tree in our living room....giggles.

Back to the Re-Cap

Wait until you see what "the girls" gave their grandparents for Christmas.  Keep in mind Maddy has less than 3 hours of sewing time under her belt and Krista has until they decided they wanted to give their grandparents matching aprons. 

They purchased some aprons and came with these designs all on their own....using only what I had in my stash.
 Here they are Christmas morning surprising Grandma and Grandpa (they call one another "Hun" and "Babe").

This is their "daytime" aprons.  Grandpa's tie is put on by velcro so it can be changed out for his "evening" apron.  The bottom of Grandma's apron is buttoned on so it is interchangeable.

All Grandpa had to do was unsnap his apron to unveil his "evening" look and Grandma just buttons on her matching evening wear....complete with crystal bling across the top...look closely.

The pride I felt watching those two girls go to work on those aprons made my heart swell.  They did a great job, don't you think?

This is one of the gifts I received from all three girls (yes, we have three grown daughters for those of you who are new to the IHAN blog).  My own sewing tool belt.  They went to the internet and took images of the notions I have and printed color photos and taped them into the tool belt.....they are just tooo clever!  I think I'll wear this and use it to hold my phone too!

A few other very noteworthy gifts I received:
Fleece socks from LLBean.  I have made several pair of fleece socks for myself because I love fleece socks in the winter.  When I saw these in the LLBean catalog, I made sure to point them out to Mr. McSteamy!  I am crazy about these socks.

These PJ's, given to me by my mother, really tickled me too.
Fun frogs really make me smile and boy was I surprised when I opened a package and found these frogs looking back at me.  Yep, I'm a frog lover....and elephants too.  No clue as to what this says about me....but I'm sure it reveals

Five days before Christmas my mother moved to a seniors apartment.  It was 40 years to the day that she had moved into my childhood home.  I knew her space was going to be smaller so I bought these small canvases, probably 3 x 3, and let the boys create some "apartment art" for grandma.  Who could help but laugh when you see what they boys drew....too funny.  They were a big hit, grandma loves them and they fit perfectly in her new apartment.

Mr. McSteamy has a snow globe collection so I thought it would be fun for the boys to make him some snow globes for Christmas.  I Googled "hand made snow globes" and came up with several methods of making snow globes.  The biggest challenge was finding glass jars with wide openings that would still look good.  I found some fun things at a rummage sale and at the Salvation Army to decorate the inside.   I found this tiny jar and Zach found a way to get this tiny house into the tiny jar.  He was very proud.

Not all hand made gifts turn out as planned......
These carolers look more like pickled people then a snow globe....oops....stuff happens :)

Just a few more fun pix....

Christmas eve the boys put their cookies, carrots and glass of milk by the fireplace and went to bed.  The girls were up late helping wrap gifts and Maddy decided she should be Santa this year.  After all, someone has to take bites out of those cookies, right?  In true Jackson style....she went full measure with her new job....
As you can see, we don't have much fun around here.

Last week, Maddy returned to pick up a few things including the sewing machine I had given her (by way of MJ :) and some sewing notions to inspire her creativity.  She had just finished a 2 day road trip from FL and her car was stuffed.  I was told the sewing things wouldn't'd think she'd know me by now!
 I was able to fit a sewing machine, fabric and some rulers into her already full trunk.  She was traveling with her two dogs as well so I had to plan accordingly.
A large cutting mat fit perfectly against the back seats.
What fun would all those notions be without some beautiful fabric? 

Yep, we had a wonderful holiday season and I'm sooooo glad it is over and all that food is out of the house!


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mandala Wall Hanging

Christmas, yes it is still up here at IHAN headquarters.  Last Sunday we finally wrapped up celebrating with family and hopefully by the weekend we'll have our decorations taken down.  Notice I say hopefully.  Something always comes up and last Friday was no different.   A group of gals were meeting to make a Mandala Wall Hanging and my girlfriend, Diane, was demonstrating and teaching.  How could I pass that up? 

Diane has made 5 of the Mandala Wall Hangings and here are photos of two of hers:
I figured if she could make 5, I could at least make one and as it turns out, I'll be making two...LOL.

Here is the pattern we used by Nanette's Quilts.

Mandala Wall Hanging by Nanette's Quilts

Choosing fabric became quite the adventure for me.  I wanted to use Aboriginal Fabrics by M & S Textiles but I couldn't find more to go with what I had.  Then I thought about using Patternista by  Paula Nadelstern and I could not find enough coordinating fabrics locally. 
Then I found Love Lives Here"by P. Carter Carpin for P & B Textiles and that's what I went with.  You need a 10 degree wedge ruler to make a Mandala.
The neat thing about Cheryl's ruler is that it comes with a free pattern on the back...can you say BONUS :)
This is how far I got in a 4 hour class.  I thought I did pretty well considering that included cutting out my fabrics.  Once I put the Mandala in the frame I realized the stripe section that I used emphasized the orange.  Sort of clashing with my border.  When I got home I took my stripe fabric and color copied a variety of sections so I could preview the combinations before making another Mandala.
Believe it or not, each of those sections are different and bring out different colors.  I decided to go with a smaller bird for the center as well.
I believe I have settled on the dark red spiral in the center.  Now I just need to re-cut my fabric and make another Mandala.  No worries, I will find another fun fabric to use the Mandala with the orange emphasis.  Unless of course someone says that it is just perfect for something they already have and I'm likely to pass it along :)

It has been awhile since I posted a Flamingo Family here you go :)

Hope you are having a wonderful week!


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