Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Time to celebrate our December Banner quilters...Work with me..2 posts in one day....as we have a guest blogger tomorrow...

If this Banner does not have you seeking a mistletoe
to kiss all of these very creative quilters
then YOU are just not ready for the 
But I am , sew here you go, Wendy, Michelle,
Ariane, Carla and Elizabeth...Here are your stories...
Warmest Congrats and thank you for inspiring me
and assisting me in creating a beautiful December Banner!

To all those who entered their Quilts, I kiss you too..
It is always a challenge for me to blend all of them together,
I could have made dozens of banners to highlight you all.
Sew thank you, you all sew INSPIRE me. 

Think BLUE for January wink!

Let's begin ....
Top Left corner belongs to Wendy.
Upon seeing her quilt...oh do go to all of their blogs
to view them in all of its entirety 
I was captured by the authenticity of her design!

Last Christmas my youngest daughter was 9 months old.  She was born premature and with health problems.  I had health problems leftover from a challenging pregnancy.  Without a doubt, it had been the toughest year of my life, but things were starting to look up, and I wanted a project that really celebrated my sweet family.  This quilt will always remind me of the huge blessing of us all being together (and happy and healthy) at Christmastime.  I made a square for each of us:  a mama elf, Santa, and two little girl elves.  Last year this quilt hung from our mantle during Christmastime, and I am thrilled to see it out again this year.  And I am equally thrilled to share it with Stash Manicure!

You can see the rest of it, here. Thanks for included me and my happy quilt Madame Samm. What JOY!

And then came Michelle knocking on my door
with this lovely Christmas Wreath
top center..

Originally, I made this wreath for my secret Santa - before I knew who it was.  I was anxious to get the ball rolling, even though it was October.  LOL!   During the process, my little man made comments about how pretty it looked & when would we be able to hang it up...yikes!  I'm going to have to make another one.  But as luck would have it, after I found out who my secret Santa was...my gift did not fit her taste.  So now it is hanging up in our home...another treasure added to our mountain of Christmas decor! (smile)
( Madame samm's comment...who the heck would not have been over the top 
excited by this?...I would have treasured it But that is me lol.)

Now Top right is  Ariane
with her delightful Santa Runner..
I heart  this!

Wow, thank you so much for choosing my little Christmas table runner. This is my original design. I call it "Santa's coming". I used by Go! cutter to make it. I really had fun with it and quilted a unique design on it too. This was my first time doing the little swirls, that is noted on his beard and hat. This is just a fun Christmas runner you can all make. I posted a tutorial on my blog for this. You don't need a Go! to make it. You can just make a template. Not only that, but it is all made from your stash too. 
Love to see you!
Visit me here for the Tutorial. Love to see you!~

Bottom Left belongs to Carla...
for her very festive quilt, just love the border too..

For several years, I really had a thing for joining Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt projects on her website, Quiltville. After each one, I would tell myself, "That's it. No more. There are too many small pieces." Then, Bonnie would introduce another and I'd be hooked right away, searching though my stash for just the right fabrics to create another quilt of mysterious design. This  quilt is the fourth and final project that I made with Bonnie and her quilt- alongs. It is also my favorite of the four.  Using one white background fabric with all of the scraps, I think is what makes it shine for me.  I also took my color selections from an Alexander Henry fabric that I'd found on clearance, fallen in love with and used as the backing.  The traditional Christmas color scheme of red and green was joined by a more modern pink, lime and greyish blue. I'd probably have never dreamed up that combination on my own, but I love it! When I look at this quilt, it reminds me of the enjoyment I've had quilting with others in a virtual reality. I'm also pretty proud of the fact that I finished up this project which contains tons of 1 inch squares! If you would like to see more pictures of this quilt, take a look at my original blog post.  So excited to have been chosen, Thanks Madame Samm, a lovely surprise!

And bottom right is Elizabeth's quilt...
Kate Spains, 12 days such a good choice
in design and placement!

Oh goodness me, how pleased I was when Madame Samm sent me an email with a list of the winners. She showed us a preview of the design. WOW!. I was chosen. I am so thankful. This quilt is a gift for my sister-in-law's family this year, and was a lot of fun to put together.  When I first saw Kate Spain's 12 Days of Christmas line, I knew I had to have it.  I wound up snapping up a few charm packs of it, and I stumbled upon Thimbleblossoms' Wild Thing pattern and it just felt like serendipity.  A super fun, whimsical pattern to go with a beautifully whimsical fabric line.  I'm really pleased with how this quilt turned out and I'm hoping my sister-in-law will love it just as much as I do!

Here's where it originally appeared on my blog -

Again thank you Ladies...you were a JOY to highlight....
You will have the chance to win this
on the 1st of January.
Another sweet treat from
One of you will win this delightful BLUE  collection...

p.s comments still apply....yes maammmmmmm ! 

WINNERS , Banner of the Month, Blogger of the Month and our month end Giveaway Winner! ( and I think yes, there is another GIVEAWAY added)

 Yoooohoooo Melissa ....

#1 Winner
Refresh from last months entries into our November Banner
top left was Karen's entry, top middle Melissa, top right Millie
bottom left was Ethne and bottom right was Polly.
 In my mind YOU were all winners.
And to all those who submitted thank you, it was awful
difficult for me to choose...

The winner of our  November Banner is 
Melissa Corry, top middle...
Congrats Melissa, yours was the choice I built
all others to blend..
I still remember us going back and forth about
photos in the sunlight and how excited you were back
then when I was just asking you do that ...
Nothing ever speaks more to me than enthusiasm...
I know you will no doubt find something to do with
this great bundle...
Melissa you will also be highlighted on our Blog ROLL.
Each month the winner will be added...

You will be receiving  it from Shabby Fabrics
this Victorian Collection.
A warm thanks to Jennifer at Shabby for being
our sponsor for  the Banner winners each month.
Her link will lead you to all of her new products-
As a delightful sponsor I ask that you remember
them too.

#2 Winner
And  I am pleased to announce another winner
beginning each month
we will have a 

Congrats Miranda..

How could we forget the delight she brought to us all
with her heart felt post... At 17 this young lady has a future.
And with sew little stash I don't think any one of you who
blogged this month would be not be over the top excited
for her. Sew dearest Miranda...connect with me
sew I can get your address off to Riley Blake
who have shared with me they will be putting
together a delightful package for you...

#3 Winner

OHHHHH you think I forgot our 

The winner which was chosen
 from all of the matched avatar/buttons
and emails and numbers that are giving
to you on your comments is

Robert Kaufman( another dear sponsor)

Happy Thanksgiving Madame Samm. It has been so much fun reading this blog. I am grateful that I found it!
The designer I am most grateful for is: Robyn Pandolph for RJR Fabrics. I love everything she does. It brings me back to a different time and the designs are just so elegant.

Please connect with me sew I can send this along
with a few little extras that will be added...wink.


#4 Winner..

Oh and yes and another Winner will be announced
tomorrow! If you are a Subscriber to Stash
Manicure, you know a follower
YOU will more certainly, be included!

Comments left today congratulating our 
winners will also be entered into this giveaway
to win a Jelly Roll from
yes a Jelly Roll....
Terry Clothier Thompson
called Stars and Coxcombs..
Reflective of the fall season...


Before I announce the winner...
Can I share that ALL of your comments were winners..
everyone of them. You lifted many  hearts.
Especially the many who contribute to this blog,
the guest bloggers who daily entertain and educate us.
To our sponsors who contribute sew much excitement, thank you..
To all the followers, YOU, who leave comments win too..
People see your comments they go to your blogs..
Great way to get  new followers...
Great way to put smiles upon your face and warmth in your hearts..
It is like ringing a door bell and someone answering it with a huge smile...
and welcoming you IN...

May I add there were many contenders, I did say enthusiasm and appreciation
didn't I? lol Well read this winner....Vrooman's quilts and tell
me you don't think she deserves this jelly roll....
Congrats my dear...she brought much warmth to everyone
in her comments...
Sew please send me your addy, sew I can send some warmth
to you...

Reminder your comments mean sewwwwwwwwwwwwww much!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

WOw - our gracious MSamm and sponsors have outdone themselves. Congratulations Melissa for the Banner - how lovely to have your quilt the building block to such a lovely seasonal banner. The Victorian Suite is just SWEET! I might have to treat myself to one of those. Miranda was such a delight and the RIley Blake pink/green Quilt Connection bundle just so suits her. I look forward to seeing the project(s) she completes with this. Jansie - oh, you lucky duck. THe Kauffman Collection and the SImple Graces are a great X-mas present. Wonderful pairing. And Moda Lisa's Jelly Roll selection - my anyone who wins that should be greatly inspired to enter the Jelly ROll Challenge by Moda. Congratulations to all the winners, thank you sponsors for such gracious and beautiful prizes, and lots of luck to all on the jelly roll.

The more gracious your comment
the more likely your chance to win...
( appreciation and enthusiasm speaks volumes) 

Ok, I think that is enough excitement for one day?
yes? no? maybe? lol

(whooo I need a coffee)

ps. oooops forgot to mention...all the stories about our
December Banner will be posted tomorrow...
and possibly and I say possibly another giveaway???? lol

Monday, November 29, 2010

Weaving Rugs with My Stash

I'm Jo from Jo's Country Junction. I haven't been over here at Stash Manicure for awhile...been busy-busy.... One of the things I have been busy with is the house remodeling. It seemed like a "forever project". One of the things I did to keep me from pulling out my hair was to weave rugs.

Yep...weave rugs. It's a GREAT way to not only manicure your stash but to take a HUGE chunk out of it! This is one of the six rugs I weaved while waiting for the remodeling to be done. All of the rugs were weaved with "not so much my favorite fabrics anymore", "project leftovers" or "what was I thinking fabrics" from my stash.

I have been weaving rugs for many years now. It all started with trip to Country Threads in Garner, Iowa and the purchase of their book, Rugs From Rags.

To make the rugs, you need to build a frame....that's my hubby's department. There are directions in the book that are VERY clear. If your don't have anyone to build a frame for you or you don't want to be that patient. NO FEAR....the ladies at Country Threads sell the rug frames too.

After your frame is built, you'll need to cut or rip strips of fabric. How wide you cut/rip them depends on how "chunky" you want your rug to look. The thicker the strip, the "chunkier" the weave of the rug. I like mine about 1.75"-2" for a rug.

The fabric gets weaved onto the nails making a warp.

Strips get twisted through the warp to make the rug. My first rug took more time as I was reading the directions through several times, but now....I never look at the directions anymore at all.

The original rug frame from their book makes a rug that is 25" x 37". I made a couple that size but then wanted a rug that was a little smaller to go by my sink in the kitchen. My hubby made me a smaller frame that makes a 19" x 30" rug. I like this size much better and that's the size I typically make now.
The book also comes with instructions for a frame that is place mat size, 12" x 18". That is the small size in the photo above. I have made several of these....not for place mats though. I put the dog bowls on one and keep one on my end table in the family room.

There is also a table runner size....I've made this size too. Again, I don't use these as table runners. I have two that I use at my entry ways. People put their shoes on them as they come in the house. The narrow size is PERFECT for that.

In the picture above, my daughter was weaving a place mat size rug. To make the mat she works one end for awhile, flips the frame and then works on the opposite end.

I wanted all of the rugs in the addition to have the same "look" to them. To achieve that, I went Goodwill shopping and purchased a couple blue sheets. I weaved the blue strips in to give the rug a blue tone. Then I pulled "uglies" from my stash and mixed them in giving it a real scrappy look.

I have a girl friend that started weaving rugs too. She doesn't sew a lot so doesn't have "stash". She uses old sheets and makes beautiful rugs with them. Her rugs are more of a solid color with a little accent or a secondary color.

Now you might be wondering how much fabric will one of these rugs take....
25" x 37" rug takes approximately 10 - 15 yards
12" x 18" place mat takes 1.5 - 2 yards

That's serious stash reduction!

If you read Country Threads website, they say that the large throw rug may take 10-12 hours to complete. That is true...it's not a fast project. I keep mine on a chair in the kitchen and weave while waiting for something to cook...or weave while I visit with my hubby. It goes faster than you think.

I have the old version of the book, Rugs from Rags...the new one (3rd addition) has color pictures. They also have a video available.

Mary at Country Threads, is the rug weaver. When they go to shows, Mary demonstrates weaving. A while back, she weaved several of her woven rugs together to make a large area rug. It's a beauty.

Rather than let the "old uglies" in your stash weigh you down....take them out, weave them into rugs and walk all over them.
Thank you Stash Manicure and M.Samm for the lovely visit..
Come and visit anytime, we will weave some tales and possibly rugs too!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It is that time again...

Pssst yes brand new LOOK, more on our Banner Winners ( they all have been notified)
Stay Tuned on Wednesday for the stories behind the quilts...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Reborn quilter--needs Rulers and Mats

I was so happy to be invited by Madame Samm to share a little bit of me with you today.  I am a new blogger and a reborn quilter.
My Grandma with a quilt I made her for the nursing home in 1993. 
She had Altzheimers.
What exactly is a reborn quilter you may ask?  Well way back in the early 1990’s my grandfather gave me my dad’s mom’s beautiful old White sewing machine.  It came in a cabinet with a knee bar.  I was 22 and interested in quilting.  My grandma and great aunts and great- grandmother had quilted but it skipped a generation so there was no one around to teach me. 

Quiltnet World quilt
I decided to teach myself with the help of Quiltnet an online quilt guild.  I did lots of block and border exchanges and learned to quilt with email and ascii drawings.  In 2000 after three moves my quilt life was packed up in a closet - inaccessible.

A decade of illness and recovery and graduate school later I unpacked it all this past summer, set up a studio, and rediscovered a part of myself I had forgotten.  Now I have had to relearn all of my old skills and discover all of the new resources available.  Color photos! Blogs! Flickr groups!  Video tutorials!  Wow! 

I organised everything-in fact I am still organising as I figure out what works for me.  Plus I keep finding great containers! (but that's another post)

Unfortunately as I began sewing projects I discovered the limitations of some of my old tools.  My first rotary mat was worn out.  I loved the clear color of it but it was not usable any more. 

I unpacked the very large mat I had received more then a decade ago but never used because it didn't fit on the day glow orange card table I used to use for cutting.  I loved how big this 'new' mat was!  I could even use my longest ruler on it!  I love this omnigrid ruler with the yellow grid. 

Or I could use my large 12.5 inch square ruler with plenty of room around it.  Two problems.  My large cutting mat was dark gray.  When ever I tried to cut dark fabric on it I could not see the edges of the fabric clearly!  I didn't have that problem with the old clear mat.  Second problem was my old 12.5 inch square ruler.  It was one of the first made with hard brittle plastic and guess what?  I discovered it wasn't square anymore. 

I went out looking for some new mats and rulers and found there were many choices.  I bought a Fiskars cutting mat that was light green on one side and yellow on the other. In case you cant tell from the pics of my studio, green is my color.  The mat is light enough to see the edges of the dark fabrics. 

I also bought a few new rulers.  This 3.5 inch wide ruler I thought would be great for cutting strips.  It came with little sticky anti slip dots.  Its OK but I don't like the markings and the red shaded areas. It does not have the ridges underneath that grip like the omnigrids.

 I bought a 10.5, 6.5, and 4.5 inch omnigrid rulers.  I just like the way the way the ridges on the bottom grip the fabric.  Also the lines every eighth inch make it easier to line up to cut. 

Well this is kind of getting long.  I guess you just have to play around until you find the mats and rulers that fit you.  I see all kinds being used in the pictures on blogs. 

Stop by my blog Lucky Duck Dreams and follow my adventures as I rediscover the quilter in me.  I also like to post about my vintage treasures, other tools I use, and new quilting exchanges. 

I am working on manicuring my 1990's stash too. 

My late cat with my old studio design wall circa 1995.

 Thanks Madame Samm for letting me hang out here at Stash Manicure-which by the way was the first quilt blog I discovered, while looking for an apron tutorial!
Keep dreaming…Colleen of lucky Duck Dreams

Friday, November 26, 2010

I want to quilt SCRAPPY quilts...

I have a story!

My names Ariane, from Ariane's Crafts.

Thank you Madame Samm for inviting me to join you all
at Stash Manicure.

Today, I thought I would let you know a little bit more about me.
I've been quilting since August 2008.
I needed a hobby to help me keep my mind off all life stresses.
Since I worked shift work, I didn't have time to take quilting classes.
Sew, I went online and started looking around at different sites.
I had never heard of blogs before.
All of a sudden, I was so inspired by all the quilting blogs and the projects they shared.

I really loved all the scrappy quilts.
But I didn't have any fabric.
Sew, I started buying fat quarters at Fabricland and at the LQS.
I went to the library and found a bunch of quilting books with patterns that I liked and started piecing my blocks.
The quilt above is the first quilt I made.
I used a block pattern that I had seen in a book, then just added sashing and the scrappy border.
I made this quilt for my cousin, who was having her first baby.
I had so much fun making this quilt, that I had to make another.
I started to buy more fabric.
My next quilt was for my oldest son.
I wanted a twin size bed quilt. Something that he could have as an everyday quilt.
This is the quilt I made.
When I bought fat quarters, I just bought fabric I liked and fabric that was on sale.
I didn't really consider if they all matched or if they were a specific style.
I just bought them, cause I liked them.
You can see that their are scraps from my first quilt in this quilt as well.
I used the values of the fabric to create the pattern.

Once I made this quilt, I had to make a quilt for my two other kids.
I picked two patterns that I liked and worked on the next two quilts at the same time.
I machine pieced one quilt and hand pieced the other.
This is the quilt that I hand pieced.
 I finished this one first.
 It's my tumbling block quilt.
I would sit in front of the TV and hand piece these blocks together.
 It was very relaxing.
I liked the fact that I didn't have to sit in front of a sewing machine to make it.
I also hand quilted this one.
 I searched online for tutorials on how to do hand quilting.
That helped me a lot.
This is my Jacob's Ladder quilt. It's machine pieced and quilted by me.
It's also a twin size.

Do you see a pattern here?
All four of these quilts were made using basically the same fabrics.
I added a few fat quarters as I went along.
The borders were always bought last.
The three bed quilts all have red and blue borders.
These are my favorite colors.
Sew, that just makes sense, right?

I continued to make a lot of little projects like bags and baby quilts.
Once I was hit with the quilting bug,
I would stop at my LQS's every week to see if I found any fat quarters I liked.
My stash really started to grow.
I still only bought fat quarters because I liked them, not for a specific project.

The first project that I started to really focus on a specific color palette was for a baby quilt I was making for my brother and his wife's 1st baby.
I bought fat quarters from 6 different local quilt shop's.
I kind of went on my own shop hop. LOL!
This is the quilt I designed.
 It's still a scrappy kind of quilt, but more controlled colors.

Well, even though I have a lot more fabric now,
 I still tend to make scrappy quilts.
Like this queen size quilt I made this summer for my girlfriend.
I used a lot of different red and cream prints to make this quilt.
I would buy the fabric in fat quarters.
When I was done with it, I still had quite a bit of left over fabric.
They were mostly small scraps, but there was enough to fill a large grocery bag.

Sew, a few weeks ago, I decided to make a project with these scraps.
I used my GO! cutter dresden die to make the dresden block.
The half square triangles were already made, scraps for the above quilt.
So, I arranged them to make a border around the dresden block.
I just kept looking what I had available in my scrap bag and making my quilt larger.
This is my finished quilt.

I had a lot of fun taking pictures. LOL!!!

I have made many other sewing projects during this time, but that's for another day.

I started quilting to help deal with my stress and anxiety. 
It has done that.

Some days when I was hand piecing my quilts,
 I would be so stressed and anxious 
that my hands would shake so much it took everything I had to sew a straight line.
But, I needed to focus on something... anything....so I chose quilting.

I was able to use my creativity again, which I had lost along the way.
Having three kids by age 22, I didn't really know where I fit in.
 I knew I had a lot of talents, but I felt lost.
Quilting brought me back to the creative, energised self that I was when I was younger.
All of a sudden I felt like....."YES".....this is what I was looking for.
This is what I needed.
The support of the blogging community really helped me too.
I made so many friends through my blog and found so many people just like me.
It really opened a lot of doors for me.

Thank you God for helping me find this wonderful craft,
and this  wonderful quilting community.

I am really happy now that I know how to quilt..



Thursday, November 25, 2010

End of Month Giveaway, count them 2 Blessings!

First Happy Thanksgiving
to all of our American Friends.
In Canada we celebrate this day in October but nonetheless
that month is behind us , but any chance to count blessings
I am IN!
Sew today I am counting my blessings
with this giveaway! To have amazing sponsors..
we can all be blessed for that!

Today Robert Kaufman and that Patchwork Place
are serving this....

Our most generous offering today is from 
who has been more than generous to offer.
1 fat Quarter Bundle of Darlene Zimmerman's
1930's fabric, the entire collection is here.

and from that 
I chose this  Pattern book
by Kim Diehl
Simple Graces
as an appropriate choice for today.

Here is my preview on this book...

Kim Diehl is no stranger to many quilters. They look to her for new trends and she never disappoints. Take her “Mug Mats”, simple, quick, and you get to use up your scraps. They can be stitched super quickly and are great gifts for quilting friends. Her “Pie in the sky pillowcase” with path work star band can easily be made into a throw pillow.  Her patterns are so versatile. Take her “Fowled Up” design; it can be made into a colorful bed quilt and a t-towel. Her silhouette rooster will appeal to all fowl lovers. Kim never disappoints, she epitomizes simple graces!

SEW how to win this great package...?

#1 Be a follower/subscriber on Google, here on the right...
( please leave an email address if you want to be included )
tell me you are a follower...if you are!

#2 Comment which designer are you thankful for and why.?
If you answer this without a doubt you will be in this draw!

Only 1 entry needed...
each name is matched with your photo(avatar) button
and your number is entered into our software immediately.

( now I know the obvious question would be what are you thankful for ...and family, friends would be up there, I know they would be there for me too...)  Sew I thought this would be a good ? yes ? lol

Draw will take place on NOVEMBER 30th.

psst since I cannot win...
I thought I would share my blessing.

"You know why I am blessed?
Because this wonderful season of my life
I get to share it with YOU,
each and every one of you.

To Rae Ann for believing
I could take Stash Manicure to new
heights, to the most delicious new friends
I have made, to the generous sponsors
that allow me to share sew much with you.
I am sewwwwwwwwwwwwww grateful"
Thank you for sticking around...

p.s more sweet things will be occurring
sew be prepared for more sticky lol
Madame Samm xx

Happy Thanksgiving!