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Monday, February 27, 2012

Really? I don't believe it....not IHAN blog readers....

I'm giving away a very inspiring and beautiful book and as of today at 2:00 pm I only have 20 comments.  I know IHAN blog readers are not Chickens?  I never said you HAD to join in the challenge to win the book...nor did I say your reason for wanting the book more than I do,  had to be a good reason....and still there are only 20 comments.  I'm almost speechless....but not quite :)

With over 1600 people reading my blog, I can't believe that many of you missed THIS POST.   I am giving away a copy- a germ free copy- of  Creative Quilting with Beads by Valerie Van Arsdale Shrader .  After reading the copy I received to review, I didn't want to give it away....and besides...I've been sick and my copy must have some germs on it.  The publisher, Lark Books,  didn't want any of you to get my bug so they have agreed to ship a copy of Creative Quilting with Beads to the winner of the drawing (US addresses only.  If you win and are outside the US I can have the book shipped to me or one of your other friends and you can arrange for it to be shipped to

You'll get one chance to win by simply leaving a comment on the post about the giveaway (click here) and if you choose to join the" teeny weenie ittsy bitsy challenge" you'll get three more chances to win the book.   Anything that you have to embellished will count....I don't care if it is a postage size piece or a mug rug....the goal is to encourage one another to pull out some of our beads and other embellishments and create a little something....that's all...nothing will be's just a teeny weenie ittsy bitsy little what are you waiting for?  If it is a call from me better let me know that so I can dial you up.
If you actually went back to read that post you'll know exactly what I'm referring to with this picture of Jim Carey from the movie Mask. 

When I said it was very difficult  not to show a photo of every page in Creative Quilting with Beads....I wasn't kidding.  Y'all know I can be over the top...every now and again...and apparently this must resonate with most of you or you would not be near crazy enough to read this blog...LOL. 

Sue Spurlock, one of the contributors to Creative Quilting with Beads, has made so many beautiful pieces and I just love looking at her photos for inspiration.  I asked her if I could use "some" of her photos from her blog, Piece of Work, and she said yes.  I have saved the e-mail as proof too....and she made the big ole mistake of not saying how many...
"Somebody Stop Me".......said with wild abandon....ROFL :)

All photos below are property of Sue Spurlock and have been used with her written permission.
I assure you after looking at these photos you'll want to go over and follow Sue's blog, Piece of Work.  No, she's not promised to give me one of her pieces nor has she offered to take my boys for a week while I go on a retreat....I sincerely don't want folks to miss some wonderful inspiration and meeting a very insightful enjoy :)
All photos above were published on this post with the written permission of Sue Spurlock, Piece of Work blog.

I know within each and every one of you there is an idea appreciation....a fun thought....and I want to invite you to express it in some way...embellish it!!  :)

I want to say THANK YOU to Sue Spurlock for the permission to use your photos....and for inspiring me to express some of the ideas I've had stirring for quite some time.  And to the rest of you...I say:

 If you look closely at the fabric under the is all with beads and the other with stitching....and you know what?  I didn't make either one of them....nope.  The beaded one is a vest I wore to work years ago that I absolutely loved.  I knew one day I'd use it in an art piece but I didn't know I've saved it....and this here:
is a vest I picked up at a yard sale.....I loved the stitching and I knew it could be embellished further and added to something else. Each of you have interesting little things tucked into drawers and closets...lets pull something out and make a little something...or a big something....where ever your inspiration takes you.

Before I close I want to show you a photo of something I decided to do one night.
I had this fabric...I think it was Art Gallery Fabrics but I'm not' was a long time ago and I was in love with it. 

The post I took these from is HERE....I made this for Amy Butler as a gift (I'd never make another gift like this again...I thought I'd throw up giving it to her).  I have to say I absolutely loved putting the beads on the fabric and I've not done anything like it I'm in for the itsy bitsy challenge too :)

Appreciative Joyful Smiles,

Friday, February 24, 2012

Creative Quilting with Beads - Book Review and Giveaway

I sure hope everyone is feeling healthy and energetic today.  I've been sick for the past few days and even though I have not felt well....I've had some joy, smiles and some gratitude.  That's not to say I haven't also had a few moments of ........!!!  LOL....Why?  Because I have the absolute pleasure of reviewing Creative Quilting with Beads ..... but I have previously agreed to give it away. What is wrong with me anyway?  My true colors are showing now....I feel greedy and want to keep the book....but I am a woman of my word we go! :)
Valerie has done an incredible job of showing us how to add some pizazz to our art quilts.  She has put together over two dozen projects by some wonderful artists and has showcased them in Creative Quilting with Beads.

I'm not kidding when I say I could easily take a photo of every page and show you.....I need a bonus point for restraint here folks....
"Reach For The Stars" designed by Sue Spurlock

Look at the hair dance on this piece.  I love the swirling stitches and the beads.  I think the addition of the bead work has taken this piece from nice to wonderful and eye grabbing....what do you think?  I think Valarie and Sue are very generous because the instructions and patterns are included in the book.  Rest assured if I had created this beautiful piece....I'd charge you a whole lot more to share the instructions and patterns!  I wish I were kidding...but I'm not. 
Valerie takes us through the choosing of beads, threads, tools, quilting methods, fusible applique as well as hand sewing techniques.  She also covers quilt assembly techniques...binding and making the hanging sleeve.  I am absolutely certain that if you can hold a needle and do some basic stitching....there isn't a one of us who can't make any one of these beautiful projects.  The projects include  purses, a pillow, table runner, fridge magnets, art quilts and a card. 

"Tagalong Handbag"  designed by Veronica Hofman Ortega

I would be proud to have this handbag when I go out.  Veronica has taken some plain fabrics and given them life with her beautiful stitching and beads.  Seriously...look back at the photo of the "Tagalong Handbag"....just focus on the fabric and imagine it without the beads and stitches.....another amazing transformation! 
You know "Love Letters" by Deborah Boschert grabbed my attention.  She used Marcia Derse Fabrics and I'm a fan of Marsha Derse Fabrics.  I have some fabric left from my Derse Purse so now I have a great idea for using those scraps....thanks Deborah!  I took this photo on my iphone and it pales in comparison to the photo in the book....this is a beautiful art quilt.

Do you remember when Jim Carey said, "Somebody Stop Me", in the movie Mask?  That's exactly how I feel right I just can't stop myself from showing more photos....I'm so bad.  (I'll put a link to the clip of Jim Carey at the end of this post just in case you don't remember or didn't see it....and need a good laugh today)

" Jewels Of Our Past" designed by Larkin Jean Van Horn

I'm going to leave you hanging here.....aren't I just terrible?  By the way....this is not a is a beaded applique....and I know you will love the rest of the piece when you win this book.

In the back of Creative Quilting with Beads, Valerie has included 12 Gallery pages. 

Queen of Heaven II by Patti Shaw is a piece shown on one of the Gallery pages.  This was made with commercial cotton fabric, photo transferred, hand quilted seed beads and sequins. The 12 pages in the Gallery are full of more photos as beautiful and amazing as this one.

Creative Quilting with Beads is a must have for anyone who loves to stitch and wants to add some pizazz to anything they create and lots of things they haven't created.  Sixteen different artists have contributed to the book ....there is something here for everyone.

So....I ask.....Who would like to win a copy of Creative Quilting with Beads....other than me?  I'm going to make you work for this is going to take a little more than a simple, "count me in" to get this book out of my hands :)

If you are an IHAN blog will need to leave a comment on this post before Thursday March 1st telling me why you need this book more than I do. 

Is one chance not enough for you?   If you are jones'in to have this book and will agree to participate in a future  IHAN challenge inspired by Creative Quilting with Beads I'll give you 3 extra entries.  You say you want informed consent?  My readers are no dummies. The challenge will be announced as soon as I know who wants to participate and the project can be any can make an inchie and go ahead and plunge head first into my devious plans to get all of you to make something beautiful. 

The winner of Creative Quilting with Beads will be announced on Thursday March you need to start to think about how many chances you want to win this wonderful book.  There is a total of 4 chances available.


If you need a good can watch Jim Carey translate how I was feeling when writing this post :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Curved Piecing and Fun in Ohio

Many of you will remember my friend Jean Overmeyer and her amazing art quilts.  A group of us have started gathering once a month and are sharing some techniques and skills that with one another.  Last Sunday Jean shared how she does curved piecing. 

Jean pieced each of these fabrics....I think it is amazing because before Sunday the only way I would have thought to achieve this would have been applique.

 The background of this quilt is all curved piecing and this is what Jean wanted us to start with....just a background we could use to start an art quilt with. 
Here is the pattern I created.  The fabrics I choose were not necessarily neutrals....but I didn't stress over the fabrics.  Instead,  I chose to look at this as a learning experience and if I could incorporate a fun applique later....that's be great.  If not....I'd have one cool looking curved wall hanging to practice some free motion quilting on.
I'd like to say I was like some of the other whipper snappers in the group who finished their tops before the end of the class.  I'd also like to say that I finished more than one seam....but I can't.
 I brought mine home and finished it yesterday.  My problem was that I had not trimmed the seam allowance close enough so I had way too much fabric to ease into the curves and I needed to do more pinning.  I really am proud of my curves today.....every pun intended :)

I don't want you thinking it is all work and no play around here.....

 IHAN has Freddy the Flamingo now....he turns up all around the house.  Apparently Freddy likes to sew as well....look at that big beakey grin.

As if curved piecing wasn't enough for one co-workers and I played a nerve racking game of Jenga.
 I won't tell you what happened next....I'll just leave you hanging...LOL.  All I can say is I'm so glad it wasn't my turn again!
Flamingos and'd think we were in the south Nawtherners can do what the Sawtheners do.....we just have to make a few adjustments.


Monday, February 20, 2012

A Little Progress

Since having set up the small sewing space upstairs I have made some progress.  I know...a big shock.  I finished all the blocks for my Hugs and Kisses Quilt.  Here they are on my design wall....and I numbered them .... that is what the little white stickers are on the blocks.
I'm going to be adding at least one border....and that is as far as I have planned.  If you have any visions or see something you think might look fun added....feel free to leave a comment and tell me.  I'm always open to hearing suggestions, opinions and anything else you want to share :)
February in OH....and I took these two pix yesterday....almost unbelievable!!!
Can you believe it?  These little flowers are about to open.
A little Flamingo update is how they are today :)

And then there is a stray Flamingo peaking in the window....a peeping Flamingo!



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