"...for we put the thought of all that we love into all that we make" ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fat Quarterly E-zine

Well, Fat Quarterly premiered today! My very own, unsolicited, personal opinion of it? It ROCKS!!
This E-zine is SO much fun!! It has fun and easy patterns and interviews with fabric designers and book authors- and bloggers just like you and me! It's bright and fresh looking and it's obvious a lot of care went into the appearance of this e-zine.

They have a little challenge in the magazine- I'm not going to say what, but I will show you what I made for it...

Fat Quarterly E-Zine Flying Geese Challenge

I highly, highly recommend you head over to the Fat Quarterly website and buy it. It's worth the $8 in my opinion!!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Taking really good photos with the perfect subject and lighting has never been my strong point. I always strive for great pictures, but most of the time they elude me. Lately I've really been making an effort, though. I set aside the cheap camera I got on clearance at Shopko. I learned how to use all the features of our really good Olympus camera. I'm learning about lighting and focus and white balance. We have a tripod now and a remote for the camera is next on the list. I try to pose my subjects (usually quilts!) for the maximum effect.

But this? This was totally random!! I took the camera outside to take pictures of the crabapple tree. I stepped into the grass to get a better view. I happened to look down, and there was this:

Not Just A Weed :)
What may possibly be the most perfectly formed dandelion flower I've ever seen!

I love dandelions. I don't look in my yard and see unsightly weeds... I see hundreds of happy cheerful flowers! Fortunately I live in the country where no one is bothered by them :)

We Have A Winner!!!

Aaaaaannnnnddd here we go!! As of 9:00pm US CDT there were 456 comments... 456! WOW! Thank you all SO much!!

Mr. Random Number Generator has picked out a winner!!

And that is...

OMG it's MICHELE!!! One of my real-life bestest quilting peeps!!!! I am TOTALLY holding you to that cookie promise, darlin'!

Thank you so, so much to everyone who stopped by and left me such lovely comments!! I read each and every one of them and am so happy to have made new friends- and found many new blogs to read!!

Quilty love to all!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Post #300- You Know What That Means!

***This giveaway is now closed and a winner has been announced! Thank you so much!!***

That's right- it means it's time for a giveaway!! I am so excited to have reached this blogging landmark... 300 posts! That's a lot of sharing my little world with you all :) Thank you for reading and commenting and sharing my blog journey with me!

So, about this giveaway... ALL of this prize goes to ONE lucky person! International entries are welcome :)

300th Post Giveaway!!

Here's the prize package:

1. A copy of the book "Handmade Home" by Amanda Blake Soule!

2. THREE charm packs of current Moda lines "Frolic" by Sandy Gervais, "Make Life..." by SweetWater and "Blush" by BasicGrey!

3. AND you will also get a free download of the premier issue of Fat Quarterly!! Fat Quarterly is an exciting new e-magazine written by modern sewists for modern sewists! It will premier on April 27th and YOU could be checking out the first issue for FREE!! For more information about Fat Quarterly e-magazine you can check them out at their website, on Flickr and on Twitter :)

So how do you win this awesome package? There are 3 ways to enter!

1. Leave a comment on this post! That's simple enough, right? :)

2. Become a follower of this blog and leave me a separate comment on this post telling me you've done so! If you are already a follower, let me know in a separate comment for your extra chance!

3. Blog about this giveaway!! Then come back and leave me another separate comment on this post telling me you've done this, with a link to your post!

This giveaway will be open until Sunday April 25, 2010 at 9:00 p.m. US central daylight time. The winner will be drawn at random and announced on Monday April 26, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. US central daylight time.

Thanks for coming by, and good luck!

Spring Flowers :)

I wanted to show you some of the flowers I saw today :)

The Crabapple Tree, Spring 2010
This crabapple tree is right in our front yard, and it's always SO beautiful this time of year! I wish I could post the scent that's coming into the house from this tree- it's so sweet and peaceful!

This tree is also buzzing right now- literally. There must be hundreds of bees in the flowers right now!

Strawberry Flower!
I must be doing something right with the strawberries this year- some of them are already flowering!! I'm so excited for some fresh strawberries this year :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

International Quilt Festival 2010: The Quilts, Part II

Just a few more of the quilts that caught my eye and inspired me at the International Quilt Festival this past weekend!

"My Stash At 50" by Karen Eckmeier

"My Stash At 50" by Karen Eckmeier... check out the quilting on this!!

"Crocus" by Maggie Weiss

"Oh, For Henna's Sake" by Michelle Reasoner

"Oh, For Henna's Sake" by Michelle Reasoner... another one that just had amazing quilting!

"Fantasy Seahorse" by Pat Mazzarella

There are more pictures of amazingly inspirational quilts in my Flickr Set "IQF 2010" :)

Monday, April 19, 2010

International Quilt Festival 2010: The Quilts, Part I

Here are some of the quilts that really caught my eye at the International Quilt Festival!

"Petal Palette" by Jean Smith of Fort Meyers, FL.

"Stained Glass Flowers" by Leigh Elking of Scottsdale, AZ

"Spring Field" by Akiko Kawata of Osaka, Japan

Red Weeds On Stricker's Pond by Susan Jackan
"Red Weeds On Stricker's Pond" by Susan Jackan of Madison, WI

"Spring Is Just Around The Corner" by Saradean Hallman of West Columbia, SC

"Beyond" by Kathryn Botsford of Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada

I'll post more of my favorite quilts from the International Quilt Festival tomorrow! More photos are in this Flickr set if you just can't wait :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

International Quilt Festival 2010- The Loot :)

Oh, I had SUCH a good time at the quilt show today!! It really wasn't as crowded as it has been in past years, and that made it nicer for shopping :)

IQF Loot 2010
And, I shopped :) Not as much as I've bought in past years, but still quite enough to last a while!

IQF Loot 2010
A couple booths had some AMAZING deals on Moda pre-cuts!! I found two jelly rolls of "1974", three honeybuns of "Neptune" and a honeybun/layer cake combo of "Make Life..."! There were many more but I decided to leave some for people that are going to the show tomorrow :)

IQF Loot 2010
A lot of the quilts on display featured silk. I've recently moved out of my "cotton ONLY" phase and have incorporated linen into my quilting and sewing projects. I decided to keep leaping and start using silk, too! These are pieces of Thai and Chinese silk- they are so shimmery and richly colored!

IQF Loot 2010
These were at a booth that had some pretty mad prices for things- like these bundles: 5 yards of fabric for $25! FIVE dollars a yard! I was very happy :)

IQF Loot 2010
The same booth was selling remnant pieces for $4/yard! These Sandi Henderson pieces were too good to pass up.

IQF Loot 2010
I also made sure to pick up my pin- the last pin for Chicago :(

Next year the spring show is moving to Cincinnati, OH, so I was glad I was able to get to the show today. It is unlikely I will get to another International Quilt Festival anytime soon... Houston and Cincinnati have too much extra expense, like hotel and travel. I'll miss having this great show in my own backyard!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Night Fun :)

So, we go pretty nuts here in the Sunflowerquilts household on Friday nights. Hubby is currently sitting on the couch with our cat, watching DVDs of the TV show "ALF". Yes, you read that right. He loves that horrible show!

I, on the other hand, am in my sewing room. (I bet you're all shocked, right?) I pulled out a book I bought a long time ago and never did anything with- "Convergence Quilts" by Ricky Tims- and decided to play with it tonight.

Like I said, we are TOTAL party animals :)

Friday Night Fun :)
It's not completely sewn together yet, and I think it's going to need some fun borders to really make it pop. But I like it! I already have plans for another one :)

Now I'm off to bed so I can be nice and rested for the International Quilt Festival tomorrow! I've heard some reports from friends that went Thursday and today and I'm pretty excited!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Other People's Projects!

Here is a smattering of the things the other ladies were working on this weekend...

Retreat Projects :)
Patti's first order of business was to complete these adorable baskets!!

Retreat Fun :)
Vicki was working on the pattern "Slide Show" by Terry Atkinson, making it with these GORGEOUS "Lantern Bloom" fabrics! She actually finished the top right at the end of the retreat, but I didn't get a picture! When she blogs about it I'll post a link :)

Finished Retreat Project!
DiscoJen was working on a couple Trip Around The World quilt tops to give as gifts to friends. Here's one of them!!

Amazing Quilt!
Carol was working on this AMAZING quilt- I have to be honest and say that I never have, nor am I likely to ever put this much time into a quilt!! She had the center portion and all the blocks done, she put it together at the retreat. Isn't it just gorgeous?

We're Still Going!
Michele made this lovely little table runner!! She also made a cute baby quilt, but again, I didn't get a picture of it.

Several more things were made/worked on over the weekend that I didn't get pictures of. Next time I'll be better at photographing projects :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Quilt Retreat!

This past weekend my friends Vicki, Michele, Pat, Pat, Patti, Carol and Jen and I went on a 3 day quilt retreat up in Janesville, WI! There is an awesome quilt retreat house there called Evergreen Retreat (no website)- I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone looking for a place to have a retreat!!

One of the biggest attractions for me was the fact that they set it up electrically so that each person could have an iron at their sewing area! I took along two paper-piecing projects and got a lot done on them:

Yesterday's Progress :)
I made 12 centers for my New York Beauty quilt! I'll finish them now that I'm home. I just did the paper-piecing part at the retreat- I would have had to bring a LOT of fabric to make whole blocks!

Chugging Along :)
I also made about 20 blocks for my Park Slope log cabin- not all of them are pictured here! I laid them out to show some of the ladies what the curved log cabins do when you put them together.

Finished Shangri-La Top :)
Saturday evening I put away all the paper-piecing and pulled out a jelly roll of my all time favorite fabric, "Shangri-La" by 3 Sisters for Moda. Using the "Keyholes" pattern from Anka's Treasures, I whipped up this quilt from Saturday 5pm to Sunday 12pm! It's 78" x 78"- I made the borders a bit bigger than the pattern called for.

It was a wonderful weekend, and I'm already looking forward to the next one. Which is in November :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Garden 2010

All Ready!!
Well, here it is!! Hubby and I finished up the last of the prep work this morning: we made the last of the beds, worked the compost into all of them, and got the soil/peat moss mixture for the blueberries into the pots!

I guess my measurements were a bit off, because I thought I could only get 6 beds in the space I had. But it turns out that there was room for 7 beds. That makes me very happy- the more planting space the better!!

I now have 252 square feet of deep soil raised beds for planting! They'll need to settle for about a week (and it's supposed to rain most of the next week, so that's perfect!) and then I can start the early stuff: peas, lettuce, radishes, and spinach. I can hardly wait for my first garden-fresh salad :)