Monday, November 9, 2009

Yep, I won!

Yep. Yep. Yep.
I won the Quilt Raffle from Dark Horse Designs blog by Nancy Geaney.


I had only just recently found her online, a former super-model whose blog features fabrics from Jennifer Paganelli at Sis Boom Pow. When I won, and Nancy asked me to pick my favorite color combination for this whole-cloth type quilt, I went with a brown and tealish/turquoise combo (my fav colors) that I saw on a post where she demonstrates a turkey placemat for Thanksgiving. As you can see, this beauty is just gorgeous. Getting to pick my own colors? I didn't expect that.

The backside is just gorgeous luscious blue in toile from Jennifer Paganelli's line, Flower Power. Don't these colors make you want to stand on a box with flowers in your hair and sing out loud?? And here's the best part of all. From the day I won until the day I received the quilt in the mail was 8 days. 8 days!! Wow. That's service. See how sweetly she packed it up? Notice that little potpourri sachet with the velvet ribbon. And the little kitty note card.

How did you know that my oldest, Jade, and I love lavender? Nancy, I salute you. You made me one giddy quilter, and this is now my new cuddle-up quilt for watching Survivor and The Office while I work on my applique projects. And speaking of applique's my newest project now.

So what do you think?

This project, which I'm showing you just a bit of right now (it's in progress as you see)....and, well, it's a vision I've had for a while that was inspired by the floral rugs at the Garnet Hill catalog. I thought that I'd love to do a quilt with random flowers, leaves and curlicues all over, no real rhyme or reason to their placement, per se, just a bit my cottage garden, and my dreams and how my mind works. I 'saw' this in my mind's eye, on and off, and now I'm playing with the idea of it. Just playing. It will probably be 4 blocks, with flowers & leaves that overlap the seams, for a seamless look. The background is a lovely strawberry batik covered with meandering chocolate vines...(hmm, chocolate & strawberries, so you know it's good) Well, that's the idea, ok, but I'm still just playing with it right now. I do a lot of stuff that I just fool around with and it turns out being another little pathway in my journey. A huge portion of my quilting is about the journey. More on that later.

And now, since I have not blogged in more than a week, I will leave you with another pic, my glorious and ever so beautiful birthday quilt from the quintessential online friend, Joanna the Magnificent. Go and see her blog, Applique Today, and you will see why she is the BEST. We met on Pat Sloan's yahoo group years ago, and finally in person last spring when she came to stay with me for a week. One day, we will show you some of the quilts we've designed together. One day. Maybe at Market in Houston, right Joanna? She named this baby, Fiori, which means flowers in Italian, which is partially my heritage. What kind of cool friend is this??

So more blogging to come from moi soon, especially since I won another blog contest for the 2nd Friday in a row!!!! Yes, I am SHOUTING!! Go read up with Amy at Seven Stitches to see how I just won her Wonder Bundle. Yep.

Lucky Duck, yep, I am.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Great Give-Away at Pumpkin Patch Primitives!

Let me quote Brenda here about this Give-Away from her blog, Pumpkin Patch Primitives:

"I am drawing it on Sunday but entries will close at midnight EST on Saturday, October 31st. That is Halloween!

The loot? A Fat Quarter Bundle of Red Rooster's Pumpkins & Spice Fabrics by Whimsicals. Hello! Yes, that's 27 fat quarters." In order to enter, you must follow these rules (but following the rules could net you a sweet surprise, because she's giving away both bundles if she gets enough posts, and if she gets even more, she's giving away $100 gift certificates to her online store, so read on people!)

She goes on to say, "There's a catch though, not everyone can enter. If you want in, you will need to have a blog AND post a link to the giveaway. I will check every entry for the link. To count your entry you must have a link to this blog... not a blogroll, an actual post about the giveaway . Now for everyone that comes to the drawing from your blog AND posts about the giveaway in their blog you will get an extra entry." That's a 2nd quote, btw. I know first-hand that the fabrics in her house are not too shabby at all, and you can treat yourself real nice for Treak-or-Treating if you win this goody. So get check it out, Pumpkin Patch Primitives.

If you missed my last post where I introduced myself and Thor, please go to the archives. I am new to blogging, but NOT new to reading a plethora of the blogs out there, mostly on quilting. Getting my blog up and rolling helps me to feel so much more connected to all of you fabric and needle lovers. The kindred spirits amongst quilters is astounding.

Monday, October 26, 2009

An In-exhaustive Me (& Thor) - Part 1 WHO AM I? Well, this will not be an exhaustive post, chronicling my life, my likes, my strengths, my goals....(thank the Lord, right?) BUT here I am with my hunky carpenter husband of 21 years, Thor, (that's what he says the grandkids will call him) at a small dinner we gave for friends and then, up above, by candlelight, on my 41st birthday this year when he gave me: a blue diamond ring, which is in the shape of a 16-patch, not on purpose, quite by accident (but even my man thinks in quilt pattens) & an entire day to myself without children or responsibilities, and then out to dinner that night.

Yep, I'm keeping him.

We met in the 9th grade and I still remember with clarity the very 1st time I ever saw Thor walk into the auditorium at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, DC. I would have never believed, had you told the 14 yr old me back then, that I would marry that guy and have 7 kids with him! He's a hunky dude, though, that Thor is, so I didn't mind all that much, mind you.

For the last 20 yrs, I've been home with our kids (Jade, 20, Zach, 17, Noah, 15, Nadia, 12, Eliza-Jane, 10, Summer, 8 & Sarah Rose, 7) adding a new little person every two to three years for quite some time there, homeschooling and consulting and lecturing on the same subject, instructing quilting when I could, making as many quilts as I could by the time #3 was born 15+ yrs ago, gardening, helping my c-6 quad brother, baking hundreds of loaves of bread, and reading in the wee hours when my house was finally quiet. Just recently, on Sept 1, 2009, I had a major life change when after seeking a school for a change for my son, Noah, I happened upon a brand new school in the DC area that is so unique, so different that I had to take a second look. Before I knew it, I had jumped in with both feet because the perspective and the creativity with which the students will learn was so akin to homeschooling, and because I could finally get some help with teaching all these youngsters. My kids, who have never gone to school a day in their lives, are now enrolled, 3 of them in School for Tomorrow ( and the youngest two, who are still called 'The Babies' at 7 & 8 are in 3rd grade in the school the new school rents from. Our oldest two are done and graduated.

AND me? I now teach in both schools full-time. On August 1, I had no idea that I'd be doing that on September 1, but it is such the right thing for the kids and me right now. I am still fully invested in their education, it still takes all day, just in a totally different way, especially since I now teach about 58 kids each week, from age 4-16.

And it has really altered my life. A lot. Homeschooling and being a Stay-At-Home mom is not for the faint of heart, most definitely, but if you do it long enough, you can work that thing good. You can sleep in occasionally, you can do school in the car as you run errands all day, you can take school to the playground at any given moment, and you can skip school because ultimately, life was always our real school.

But Thor still has this thing for dinner every night. And the rest of them, too! I have been a 'working' mom for 20 yrs, but working everyday away from home, that is getting trickier and trickier as the weeks progress. It has altered my ability to applique during math time, that's for sure! Can't do that when you're teaching other folks' kids in a private school. Well, you can't do that much at all in a school. Except I always have an applique block in my purse. Always. You can see some of my stuff here at

So at lunch that's what you'll see me doing....more handwork than lunch. And my turquoise Tommie Jane Lane thimble is still about my neck every morning when I leave in the Suburban, hoping against hope that it'll get slipped on my finger a couple times a week at least. It wants to work 40 hours per week, too!

...more to come, one day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Applique Every Moment blogging again, at least trying to....and I thought, why not talk about how I make my applique more accessible to the various spots of free time I find sprinkled throughout my day.

Currently, I am carrying around block #3 of Jan Patek's Jubilee quilt
(of You can see me posing here with block #1 and I thought I'd only do that one, but I just love the easy folk-si-ness of this block, and I couldn't resist doing block #2, and then I got even more addicted to it, and decided, I am going to do the whole dang thing.

Of course, I have chosen some really vivid fabrics, and they're eclectic, seeming as though they wouldn't be friends or cousins, but they just love each other on that black background. In order to get in as much stitching as possible, I have realized that I need to have as few items that I carry as possible. I have it down to a science.

I carry only a few items in my purse that pertain to a given project: the current block, my Needle Keeper, and lately, my reading glasses. In my Needle Keeper, I have gotten myself down to 6 threads that will usually match almost any block I need, but I customize them for each block, I keep a plethora of needles that I pre-thread often, pins, a Clover needle-threader thing-a-ma-bob, and a small pair of scissors. That does the trick. At any moment, I can just pull out that block and start sewing within one minute's time. It has become worth it even if I only have 10 minutes to spend. Those 10-20 minute increments add up and eventually equal hours.

And we all know that oft-quoted and trite but true idiom, "Every moment counts!"

~anna in md