Tuesday, May 27, 2014

AMB Blog Tour- Rhode Island

Welcome to Rhode Island! It is my pleasure to represent Little Rhody on the American Made Brand Blog Tour

Even though I grew up in upstate New York, I've always loved Rhode Island. I was the shortest kid in my class, so I always felt a connection with the smallest state. I came here on vacation with my parents in the 70's, and our car broke down in the town where I now live.

From the beaches and lighthouses to Newport mansions and Waterfire, I invite you to Discover Beautiful Rhode Island.

If you visit, and I hope you will, you will need to try the clam cakes at Aunt Carries, doughboys at Iggy's, Del's frozen lemonade, and jonny cakes.

And then there's Coffee Milk, our state drink. Imagine chocolate milk, but replace the chocolate syrup with coffee-flavored syrup. I had never heard of it until my son started drinking it for lunch in first grade. He's a Marine now, and this is what he asked me to buy for him when he came home last weekend.

Rhode Island is the smallest and possibly most misunderstood state in the Union. Let's have a little fun with a True/False quiz. (answers at the bottom of the post)

1. Rhode Island is part of New York State.
2. Roger Williams founded Rhode Island after being kicked out of Massachusetts.
3. Rhode Island is smaller in area than Los Angeles and Dallas.
4. The state bird is a chicken.
5. Rhode Island has a strong history of textile manufacturing.
6. Quahog is a town in Rhode Island.

Here's my license plate for the 50 states tour. I was inspired by Rhode Island's sandy beaches, sea glass, and the state motto. 

Click here to download the pattern for my Rhode Island block. I pieced the background from eight 3" Bright Hopes blocks in sand and sea glass colors. 

The block does require sewing partial seams which is not difficult, and it is a good technique to have in your tool box. Visit this tutorial if you've never tried it before. 

For my vanity plate, I machine appliqu├ęd the word HOPE in navy blue. To finish it up, "Rhode Island" was embroidered with a running stitch in navy thread.

I know you're really here to enter the giveaway! American Made Brand is offering a pack of fat quarters at each stop on the tour. I am offering a second prize pack including one of my paper pieced lapel pins, some chocolate made in my little town, and a set of AMB 5" charm squares in almost all 50 colors (sorry, I miscut my leftover piece of navy). You must have a US mailing address to be eligible. To enter, leave a comment telling me what state you are from and be sure I have your email address. Winners will be randomly selected on Monday, June 2 at 0800.

Enjoy the rest of the tour!


Quiz Answers:
1. False. Rhode Island is not the same as Long Island.
2. True. Roger Williams settled in 1636 in an area called Providence Plantations. The official name of the state is "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations."
3. False. Rhode Island: 1,212 square Miles. Los Angeles: 503 square miles. Dallas: 385 square miles.
4. True. The Rhode Island Red is a popular breed for small flocks.
5. True. Samuel Slater started the first cotton spinning and textile manufacturing mills in Pawtucket, RI. There is a great quilt shop in the old Lonsdale Mill in Lincoln.
6. False. A quahog (pronounced KO-hog) is a type of clam. Family Guy is set in the fictional town of Quahog. Creator Seth MacFarlane graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design

The giveaway is now closed. Thank you for visiting!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Let's Hit the Road!

 Today is the first day of the American Made Brand Blog Tour. You can be sure I will be following along through all 50 states.

The tour kicks off today in Delaware and Pennsylvania, the first two states to sign the Constitution.

 I finished my block for Rhode Island this weekend. I'll tease you with the fabric I used in the colors of sand and sea glass.

I was inspired by scenes like this: the Point Judith Lighthouse in Narragansett, RI.

 I hope you'll come back next Tuesday, May 27, for my stop on the tour. You could win a stack of fat quarters from AMB or some Rhode Island goodies from me!

Enjoy the trip!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Orange Giveaway Winner and Fire Update

Random number generator did his thing.

The winner of the orange giveaway is Jacqueline in Pitt Meadows. Many thanks to all of you who visited and entered the giveaway!

In family news, Pete sent me this pic just before he was evacuated from Camp Pendleton yesterday. This is the Talega/San Mateo fire creeping toward his barracks. He was not happy to spend the night back in boot camp (Recruit Depot San Diego), but he is safe.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival- Pete's Quilt

 In honor of Armed Forces Day (tomorrow), the Recon Challenge (today), and because I miss my boy, I'm entering Pete's Album Quilt in the large quilt category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival

While Pete was in recruit training for the Marine Corps last Fall, I was stitching this album quilt with a few of my bee friends. We used an assortment of modern red and blue prints on a background of Kona white. 

I presented the completed quilt to him at his graduation at Parris Island, SC in December. He wasn't interested in having his buddies sign it in traditional album quilt style. He's too cool for that. We were thrilled to have him home for Christmas! Don't you just love a young Marine in dress blues?

Since he is still training to be a Reconnaissance Marine at Camp Pendleton, the quilt is on his bed at home. When he is assigned to a permanent duty station, I might let him have it! 

His area of Camp Pendleton has not been affected by the brush fires except as a staging area for evacuees. He was doing well in Recon training, but suffered a setback with tendonitis in his knee. He has recovered and will be joining the next class when they begin phase two in Coronado at the end of the month.

I asked my friend Pat Harrison to quilt it with a patriotic design of stars and stripes. That's Pat on the left, holding up the quilt with me at a guild meeting.

The blue print on the back is from a Quilts of Valor collection that includes phrases such as Miss You, Proud of You, Home Safe. The binding is a bias stripe.

The album block was getting some vintage modern love last year, but I couldn't find instructions that were quite right for my quilt, so I wrote up a tutorial for my bee mates.


Head on over to the Blogger's Quilt Festival and vote (next week) for your favorites in every category.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

WIP Wednesday

 It was a week of starts, but no finishes. Starting is more exciting for me than finishing!

Today, I took a paper piecing class with my friend, Jackie Kunkel. She presented a trunk show to Ninigret Quilters last night and taught a cactus flower table runner class today. I got four units done. I'm hoping that my curved seams will improve as I do the remaining 12 units. I have some puckering, but it's not bad enough to rip out (in my opinion).

I started working on my challenge piece for the current Modern Quilt Guild fabric challenge. I designed it in EQ7 and I'm pleased with how it's coming together. It will be on the back burner for a little while as I work on the AMB blog hop piece.

Julia is home from school for the summer and already has her own WIP. She picked up some charm packs from Jackie last night and started playing. 

Also on the short list, I have another prom dress to hem for a friend. This is not something I would want to do for a living, but I'm happy to help when I can. If you have a dress to hem this season, take a peek at my tutorial. It works with sheer fabrics, too.

Time to surf!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday Archives

 I've been participating in Val's Tuesday Archives link up when I remember. Val is taking us through the alphabet, and I've linked up with Award winning quilts and Boy quilts. Today's themes are Charm quilts and Chicken quilts. I don't have any chicken quilts, so here are a few of my quilts made from charm squares.

Low Volume Bright Hopes was made in March 2013 from chopped up charms that were gathered in an online low volume fabric swap.

 Charming Christmas was started in a Pat Sloan quilt along that I completed in November 2012. It started with a charm pack with some other fabrics added in.

This red and white quilt was inspired by the red and white exhibit in n New York. My friend Karen at Sew Many Ways hosted a red and white fabric swap. This was also completed in November 2012.

Outfoxed was a quick baby quilt made in December 2013 from 6" charms that were cut from fat quarters. 

I made Cora's quilt in July 2012 when I needed a quick baby quilt for my husband's coworker. The charms were collected in another online fabric swap.

And I love making table runners from charms.

 See you next week with Chevron and Christmas quilts.

Val's Quilting Studio

Monday, May 12, 2014

An Orange Giveaway

 If you've visited my blog before or know me in real life, you probably know I'm a fan of the color orange. For Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway Day, I decided to give away some of my favorite handmade things. Orange, of course!

The prize pack includes a mini paper pieced lapel pin, an orange key fob, and a string pieced mug mat (8x11"). The Sun Star plant is not included, but isn't it pretty?

I've been making these tiny pins for almost 20 years. Pin it to your lapel, tote bag or bulletin board. 

To enter, tell me your favorite color. Be sure I can contact you if you win, or I'll need to select someone else. FYI, I've been having trouble reaching some google+ commenters, so please check your profile to make sure your email address is accessible. I'll be picking a winner on Saturday morning, May 17.

 Visit Sew Mama Sew to see all the amazing offerings. There are two pages of links- one for supplies and one for handmade. What fun!


Have a sunny, orange day!

Edit 5/17/14: Giveaway is now closed and the winner is Jacquline in Pitt Meadows.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Garnet and Gray Complete

 Actually completed last Friday, I'm revealing Garnet and Gray for Finish it Up Friday at crazy mom quilts. I rushed to finish it so Bill could bring it to his dad last weekend. Bill did go for a visit, but did not bring the quilt yet. Ed was in the hospital then and now is in rehab, so we'll hold onto it until he gets settled again.

For the back, I pieced a giant bento box with pieces of garnet and gray.

I showed this quilting pic before, but wanted to mention again how much I loved using the Halo on this project. This tool is perfect for smaller quilting motifs. The quilting is so dense, I almost ran out of thread. I filled the last two bobbins with a darker gray.

I included washing instructions on the label, as I expect it will be washed a lot.

I love the texture created from the quilting and washing!

The colors were inspired by the school colors of Union College. My husband, his father, sister and brother all graduated from Union, and his dad was a professor there through most of his career. The hockey team recently won the NCAA hockey championship. I opened the school website in the quilt shop to make sure I bought the right shade of garnet!

Garnet and Gray
Made for my father-in-law Ed Craig
Started 4/17/14
Completed 5/2/14
Actual working time 6 days
60" X 75" before washing
57" X 72" after washing

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WIP Wednesday

 I've been trying to squeeze sewing time in between family stuff. Nothing serious, just time consuming. I did manage to finish a couple of things this past week.

Garnet and Gray is done, but I haven't done the big reveal post yet. I need to get a decent full length pic first. I'm super happy with it!

I made 11 more bandana drool bibs for Mollie, my grand niece. 

Today, I'm replacing the binding on this well-loved quilt from a customer. I have three sides to go with hand stitching while I watch NCIS.

There is so much in progress, I'm afraid to list it all! Instead, I'll show you my buddy, the Baltimore Oriole. I can't get enough of this beauty. (Please ignore the dead grass in my backyard.)

At the top of the To Do list: my block for the American Made blog tour. This is going to be fun!


Right now, I think it's time for a little surfing...