Monday, May 2, 2011

Behind the seams with our MAY Banner Winners..

 The month of May is my most favorite time of year..
SPRING, MUMM's Day and now
new celebrations as we unveil our May
Banner Winners..

Please visit them, let them know that
their contributions to making our month
beautiful is noted...

( from Oman in the Middle EAST)

A Quilt For Everyday Use – Rhanda Johnson
 My husband and I live a 16 hour plane trip from our families.  We live far, too far sometimes. Last September my mother-in -law died unexpectedly. This was one of those ‘too far away times’. 
My father-in-law was alone, stunned by her death. Fortunately, one of his neighbors, Ted, also a pastor, was there for him.  Ted and his wife have 6 children (one more was due within the week). Much to the relief of my husband, Ted stayed with my father in law until we could arrive. He had been so generous with his time, we were so grateful. 
Ted also spoke at the funeral. In his eulogy he retold a story of two quilts, (which I now know was likely adapted from a short story by Alice Walker). One quilt had been made to hang only on a wall. The other was “a quilt for everyday use.”  It had been used when children were born, used to cradle those same children on cold winter nights, used to cuddle up and watch TV. And because of this “everyday use” it was more special to the family. 
My MIL also made things for everyday use.   She had knitted all of Ted’s children teddy bears. His kids truly loved these bears, played with them often, some missing an arm or a leg or an eye.  But they were cherished.
Well, I knew then what I would do to honor what Ted and his family had done for mine. I would make a quilt, of course.  I titled it “A Quilt for Daily Use” and gave it to their newborn baby girl, born just days after the funeral.  I chose a coin quilt pattern and Bliss fabric. The backing was a soft flannel, so warm and cuddly. I know it will be used daily and I will be honored that it will likely have holes too, 50 years from now. 
Thanks Madame Samm for picking my quilt and letting me tell its’ story. It was a special one.  

This one is Cheryls'  ( CJ) and here is her blog
( from Idaho)

My quilt is called "Sent with Love to Isabella".    Our church family had a baby boom last spring - 6 babies born between March and June!  We only knew ahead of time that one would be a girl (born in March) and one would be a boy (the last born, in June).  I would have liked to have quilts done ahead of time for each of them but I wasn't prepared to have two quilts at the ready so in each case I had an idea of what I could make but waited until I knew for sure and then made a quilt with the appropriate colors.  When I heard that Isabella had been born my choice was Sent With Love by Moda and backed it with some 'oh so soft' red polka dot flannel. Such a cheery color combination!  I had heard that her father didn't want a bunch of PINK stuff. Seriously? Get ready for pink overload pops because at some point your little girl is most likely going to want EVERYTHING she owns to be pink or purple.   I used Elizabeth Hartman's tutorial that is found at Sew Mama Sew's blog for this quilt. It goes together quickly and looks great in just about any fabric combination.  
It's so exciting to have a quilt chosen for the banner and to be in such good company! I am honored. Thank you, Madame Samm!

This is Trudi's and here is her blog

( from England not Australia...what was I thinking? lol.)

 Ok, so I’m a busy lady, and I did see on the Stash Manicure blog the need for Coin quilts, ooooh it has to be several months ago, and I thought, Yes!  I have several coin quilts, I must send them to Madame Samm,  and be in with a chance of taking part, I’m  always in awe of the ladies that get featured.  And there the thought stayed.  Until I saw a plea from our dearest Madame Samm on the Coins Quilt group on Flickr.  Now the deadline was fast approaching and being queen of last minute, I finally sprung into action and sent my pictures.  You can imagine my utter surprise and delight to have one of my quilts chosen to feature on the banner.  In fact I’m still grinning from ear to ear!

So now you really want to know about that little quilt.  Well, this was my first adventure into the modern look of a traditional quilt that I have so admired on blogs and flickr.  It was one of those moments when you just have to play, after a rummage through my stash I found a charm pack of Dandelion Girl from Fig Tree Quilts for Moda and a stack of white on white (always a staple diet in my house) and off I set to see how far that little charm pack would go!  I love the soft subtle colours of the fabric, and how they play happily with the white.  A few calculations and I’d worked out a rough size plan and set to with the sewing machine.  As you can imagine, it didn’t take long, lol.  And so the top was born, and I knew I loved it then.  The quilt has been quilted all over with meandering feathers with a Superior Rainbows Thread called Seashell which is so soft and subtle to match the fabrics.    There is a little more about the making of this one here :  http://trudi-quiltingprolifically.blogspot.com/2009/11/just-quickie.html

We all love this quilt, and I’m not one for washing after finishing, but there was no need, between my daughter (the Teenage Diva) and I, we’ve used this one so much it is soft and snugly as if it had been washed a gazilion times already  . love Trudi xx

And this one is another Cheryl and her blog

( from Washington)

This coin quilt is special to me for many different reasons.  I made this quilt for a baby gift for my niece who lives in Austin, Texas.  This was her first baby, we knew it was a girl, and I wanted to make something special for her.  I hadn’t made a quilt in quite a long time, actually several years.  Although I really wanted to get back into quilting I procrastinated, worrying about how well I would do.  Especially since I was making the quilt for a gift (and my sister-in-law is a quilter!).  I decided that making a coin quilt would be a good place for me to start.

I started looking through my (enormous) stash of fabrics and decided on some pretty pink fabrics I had.  Those fabrics were actually some pieces left from the time my daughter was young and I was sewing my daughter’s clothes.  Since the fabrics are actually considered vintage (yes they are that old!), I knew that there were some pieces of fabric there that wouldn’t be readily available to others.  This would make the quilt even more unique.  I decided that these would work perfectly because it also brought back past memories of making those dresses and quilting projects for my own daughter.
I love how the quilt turned out, even the machine stitching!  This was the first machine quilted project I had done!  And every time that I look at the pictures of this quilt, I know that I gave a special piece of the past to a new little girl in the present. 
Here is a link to my presentation of the quilt in my blog:
Thank you,

Editors note....

What beautiful stories from all over the world....Middle EAST, Australia, Idaho and Washington 
and "I" Madame Samm from Canada... Please leave them a note and do visit their blogs become followers...
and if you do, I have a very special offering....

 I will design you a NEW BANNER ( you know the top of your blog). I have been known to do a few. Here are a couple new designs I created for 2 ladies this weekend...Michelle and Vicki. 

Sew MUMM"S out there. leave a comment for our delightful may winners, go visit their blogs, tell me you did and I will enter you into this draw....for 1 banner design...winner will be announced on FRIDAY, ( just in time for your new look for SUNDAY)

This one I just designed on the weekend for Vicki

And this one I designed for Shell this weekend as well

( this one is Trudi's our banner winner, I designed her banner
months ago)

and the winner of a new Banner Design is 
@ the confused quilter..
she likes it very much...no confusion there!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sew its time for April to take its bow, sew May can enter ....Look new Banner Winners...

Yes April embraced us with a lot of  yellow, and yes we certainly 
had a lot of rain, and sadly we say goodbye 
to some very lovely ladies and their quilts......
Lee, Wendy, Jill and Liesbeth
Thank you for gracing us all with your talents...
We bid you farewell for now...hopefully our paths will cross again.
Keep stitching with your hearts!
You sew showered us with a burst of sunshine each and every day!

and now a speak peak for our 
MAY Banner Winners...

Congratulations to our May Winners...
I received over 402 coin quilts  thank you thank you...many were
seasonal, dark, ( great for future months) 
I think we all needed some bright colors...agree?
SEW these 4 were chosen as they blended
perfectly for this month...MONDAY you will
read BEHIND the SEAMS - their stories behind the quilts...
Sunday we rest...

For now- why  these were selected....?

This one ( top left) as it looked liked
the sun had kissed it. The colors just popped- like
when it rains in the morning and then the sun comes out...
FRESH! She proved that making COIN Quilts can 
say diff't things to diff't people. 
This one said to me...albeit it is my interpretation..
but it shouted..."Squeeze Me" ...lol...

The next one center left....
I smiled when I saw this one...
as I swear it said..."where is summer?"..
with the touches of green, soft pinks and reds...
well it looked like to me like a MAY garden...
(Ok, what I would like my MAY  garden too look like now)
light, airy, just sew pretty...

 Next this Center one....
NO pinks here...but to me it whispered sunshine...
as in a vital ingredient for our gardens...
There is sew much warmth omitted from this,
you can't help but think, there is a story here....
ohhhh and can you see the sun reflecting on it 
in the top left corner...see....warmth...

And our next one chosen...
well this one reminded me of strawberries and whip
give me a spoon....
I want to eat it....( but I won't )

Sew you see, no easy task, when all of the photos are in my file
I have no idea who they belong too...until I come up with a banner
and new logo design...it is then and only then do I go back and see
who they belong too.... It is always about blending...
this one being COIN quilts was a challenge.....

NEXT month will be Lilacs, Purples, Lavenders...
if you have quilts, runners, wall hangings...please
send to me...be sure the photos are taken outside, on a sunny day..
and send to me by the 3 rd week of the month...
I always have the banner done by the third week of the month
as I have to notify winners and get their stories...


OHHHH and our winner for 
this lovely giveaway 
( OH YES YOU my dear...)
All others...well you know we will have sew
many more giveaways, as we have sew many

Thanks for being part of all of this...

Friday, April 29, 2011

End of Month Giveaway...an An ALL STAR giveaway..

This is an ALL STAR giveaway..
to celebrate SPRING

1 winner gets all 3 prizes...

1st a copy from
That Patchwork Place -Martingale & Co
Runners, pillows....
bathroom caddy...

This would be sew easy and practical..
YES yes yes...Martingale...THANK YOU!

How about a cube pillow or something for boys..
always looking for project for boys..
I like this and with the fat quarters here for our giveaway
this would make a great boys pillow..

Don't you just love the simplicity of this chain stitch
on just a plain white fabric..I do..!

 Oh look an envelope pillow...
all these in this great book..

 2nd prize....A fat quarter bundle of ALL STAR 2
from Riley Blake...
There are 10 FAT quarters all in greens
and browns...again perfect for boys and SPRING.
Thanks to Riley Blake for some great collections for 

 3rd prize And Look 3 spools of  Presensia sewing threads and 
 2 spools of El Molino Rayon ( take a peak at bottom of page..
Bag Lady and Presensia same company)
for some accent work on your projects..
I really love this thread, no lint collected in your
machine, and my machine just purrs with this...
The rayon I have used for bottom stitching on 
my recent quilt...
Thanks to Presensia for their fine Egyptian threads...

Draw will be on the 30th of April.
that is tomorrow...YEP!

WANT TO WIN? Here is what you can do...

#1 Be a follower, how easy is that?
#2 What do you use for binding your quilts.?
( tell me what width, fabric choices, stripes,
dots, scrappy...yep I want to know )

(I know, that is it...no jumping here or there
and everywhere...)
Ohhh a  HUGE STAR  thank you to our sponsors would
be very appreciated!.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lyn is here...had a bit of a hiccup this morning....

Good Morning, A very Warm thank you, to Madame Samm for the invitation to be Guest blogger today.

How you may ask, to manicure 12-16 stashes? Simply, by organising a Mystery Quilt Project through your Friendship or Quilting Group.

Requirements:12-16 willing quilters to participate, through to the very end of the project. (to avoid disappointment to fellow quilters, need to be committed)
Start at the beginning of the year, for completion in time for the Christmas Festivities.
Quilting Mama to oversee the smooth running of the Mystery Quilt Project.

Quilting Mama to choose a suitable pattern design. ( that will include 12-16 different blocks, many free designs to choose from the net.)
Make participants aware, the finished size of the block. ie 12 1/2 inch block. Also, for each participant of her obligation to fellow participants.
Each person is given their pattern. Then they make one block, in their desired colourway.
Next step, place the finished block into a container. Add approx. 1 1/2 metres of your chosen background fabric. Place your name/details on the container, with your likes and dislikes of colours.Each month/fortnight/week when you meet, each person takes a different container and makes the same block from the pattern sheet they were given, in the chosen colour of the other participants. (12-16 times, depending on the number of participants)

The best part, to me, was choosing from my stash, the different colour combinations, for each participants blocks.

When all the blocks are completed, Quilting Mama returns the containers, back to their owners, with 12-16 completed blocks, in readiness for the final step.
Each Quilter, then completes her Mystery Quilt, in readiness for Show and Tell at their last meeting for the year.

I hoped you enjoyed the idea, of manicuring your stash. The end result 12-16 completed quilts.

Warm Regards, Lyn

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tea Cozy For A Proper English Tea!

Tally-ho!  It's Nan from Pots and Pins, back for another round of codswallop, er, fun!  Surely you all know about the seismic event that's coming up??  No, not another earthquake, but The Royal Wedding!!  I hear it could be the most watched TV show in history with over two BILLION viewers!  Crikey!  Of course, I'll be setting my alarm and waking up in the middle of the night to watch...(1:00 am here in the Northwest!) and the mister will be sleeping down the hall because I wouldn't want to poke the bear wake him and  put up with any of his cheekiness about watching what could arguably be called the greatest spectacle EVER!

Tea and Scones will be necessary, for my viewing pleasure, and no proper English tea would be complete without a Tea Cozy!  Today I'm going to show you how to make a Tea Cozy in less than ONE hour!  No, I'm not joshin', it is possible and you will be totally gobsmacked when it's done!  So let's get started!

Make a pattern out of paper by taping two sheets together, end to end.  Cut the pattern 14-inches wide at the base by 9-inches high at the top, then gently round/arch the sides, keeping the width till about half way up...does that make sense?  Hope so!

You will need two different fabrics (fat quarters work great), plus fabric for binding and batting.  Or you can use scraps from your stash - there's a novel idea!
2 pieces of fabric:  9" x14" for the front and back.
2 pieces of fabric:  9" x 14" for the insides.
2 pieces of batting, 9" x14" for each side of the cozy.
1 piece of fabric:  2" x 5" for the pull.
1 piece of fabric:  2 1/2" x 28" for binding.
Optional:  rick-rack, yo-yo's, buttons or any other embellishments you might want to add.

Lay the pattern on top of both fabrics and batting, stack it all up together and cut it out!
 Layer the fabrics, with the batting inside, to make the two sides of the cozy.
 Machine quilt the two sides of the cozy, use a few pins to hold together but no need to go overboard!
 When quilted, trim up so everything is even.
 Make the pull for the top of the cozy by cutting a piece of scrap 5-inches x 2-inches.
Fold both sides to the middle.
 Ignore the gnarly fingers...I never could have been a hand model...or ANY model for that matter!
Once both sides are folded to the middle, fold one side over the other.  Finger press, no need to break out the iron for this!
 Stitch down both sides, close to the edge.  Godfrey!  Do I need a manicure or what?!?

This is purely optional, but if you would like to make your cozy a bit more cozy, add some jumbo rick-rack to the edge.
 Pin rick-rack to the right side of the cozy, and at the middle top, pin the pull.  Place the other side of the cozy on top, right sides together.  Pin in place.  Just look at the size of that vein!  Years ago I was sitting in church next to a little girl, about 4 years old and I caught her staring at my hands...she looked up to me and whispered, "You've got a worm under your skin!"  My first thought was, children shouldn't be allowed in church, my second thought was, she was right! 
 Stitch around the cozy, turn right side out...almost done!
Cut a piece of fabric for the binding, 2 1/2-inches by 28-inches.  Fold binding in half, length-wise and sew binding onto bottom edge of cozy, just as you would sew the binding onto a quilt.  Either machine stitch or hand-stitch down. 
 Now, if you really want to posh things up a bit, add some yo-yo's...or buttons or both!  (My binding has not yet been sewn down.)
 And just like that, you've got yourself a bonafide English Tea Cozy and Bob's your uncle!
 Stinkin' cute, no?  Now you just need some tea and scones!
And Devonshire cream and jam and tarts and bangers and mash and Scotch eggs and fish and chips and Pepto-Bismol!!  Okay, maybe just tea and scones...I'll let you pick your own tea but for the Scones, you must try my recipe for  Butter-Cream Scones, it's spot-on!  While these scones have butter and cream in the recipe, you still need to butter them up...and then load on some Devonshire cream for the full English effect...blimey!  I'm drooling already!
I'm looking forward to watching the Royal Wedding...and I sincerely hope it lasts longer than the last televised Royal Wedding!  Can't wait to see what Camilla wears on her head...or the Queen!  The mister and I saw the Queen and the entire Royal Family, including Princess Di and Prince Charles, back in 1984 on our first trip to England.  We stumbled upon this huge crowd of people (we are the original Accidental tourists!) lining the streets in front of Hyde Park and had no idea what was happening...I asked a man what all the falderall was about and he said, "Are you daft?  The Queen is coming!"  And so she did...and she waved her Queenly wave and I waved my Queenly wave right back and dare I say?  We had a "moment"...she looked right at me and smiled, as if to say, "You and I are two of a kind!"   And in my dreams, we are!  Well, that's my take on it and I've been her biggest fan ever since!
Until next time, I remain your humble servant...come see me at Pots and Pins, I'll have tea and scones waiting for you!  Cheerio!  Pip! Pip!  xoxo, Nan