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Tuesday, March 3

A Great Blog Hop with Giveaways & other Fun Things!



Today is Day 2 in the Simply Striped Pillow Blog Hop at Susie's Sunroom!  
Susie had the positively brilliant idea of choosing a lineup of "superstar quilters" to create their own versions of her Simply Striped Pillow and guest post about it on her blog.  (I find that very flattering, because one of them is moi! LOL)  If you haven't met Susie yet, I'll tell you, she is simply wonderful and you should get right over there and introduce yourself!  

Do you like to see one pattern, interpreted in many different creative styles?  I sure do!   The Simply Striped Pillow is a fun pattern to play with and also the perfect springboard for adding your own inspired touches.  I jokingly asked Susie "What if two of us show up at the prom wearing the same dress?"  But you just KNOW that isn't going to happen - especially with seven very diverse designers!  

Below is the lineup for the week.  If you haven't visited yet, start off with day one!  You'll want to see Elaine's sophisticated pillow and Susie is also having a Giveaway for some lovely fabric and an easy angle ruler (the latest, greatest thing)!  The giveaway lasts the whole week so be sure to enter for a chance to win!

Simply Striped Pillow Blog Hop at Susie's Sunroom   
                     

March 2   Elaine ~ Summercrafter       

March 3   Susie ~ Susie's Sunroom      

March 4   Geta ~ Geta's Quilting Studio     

March 5   Sheri ~ Sunshine in the Attic         

March 6   Lara ~ BuzzinBumble          

March 7   Amanda ~ The Patchsmith   

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Did you notice my pup up at the top?  I've been drawing him for more than 45 years... aack! I feel a little old.  I've been trying to come up with a fun blog signature and I think this just might be it!  What do you think of it?  Should I color him in, or leave him as a line drawing?  I'm trying to decide if I should use it in place of my "Push My Buttons" button.  It does a pretty good job of reflecting how I feel.

I found the neatest free website: gifmaker.me   You can upload a series of images and it will change them into an animated GIF... for FREE!  Did you ever make one of those flip books?  You know, where you draw something and then on each successive page, you slightly change the drawing so that when the pages are flipped it looks like the drawing is moving?  That's basically what this is - only the computerized version and much easier.

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Be sure to come back here on Friday!  It's my turn in the hop and I'll be guest posting at Susie's Sunroom.  I'm so excited - it's my very first guest posting!  I'll also be holding a giveaway here at BuzzinBumble and one lucky winner will get to "take home" Susie's Simply Striped Pillow pattern PLUS a brand new copy (you can't have mine!) of Christina Cameli's book "Step-by-Step Free-motion Quilting"  I'll be using another pattern from Christina's book on my pillow too!    

Until then, thank you for visiting, because I am always happy to see you! 



Friday, February 27

Little Trip Around the World - A Scrappy Flannel Baby Quilt

Scrappy Flannel Little Trip Around the World
This little quilt is the second part of the New Baby Brother / Big Sister gift. It's made from polka dotted flannel scraps in 1 inch squares.  It has a minky backing, cotton batting, and satin binding.  (Boy those satin bindings are a bear to sew on when you have a thick quilt sandwich.)  It has been so cold, I figure  my new little cousin needs lots of warm bundling up.   It will make a nice play mat during warmer weather.

I used Eleanor Burn's method of sewing the strips into big connected loops (or tubes). The directions are in her book "Quick Trip Quilts".  This is a tiny version. I don't think I could ever make a Quilt in a Day... I sew slowly. (I feel like I'm borrowing that line from Kaja's blog, Sew Slowly)

Most of you know this: ironing the seams in one direction, alternating the direction for each row, helps a lot.  When you go to match them up with the next row, they fit naturally and want to butt up together.  It was fun to make this little quilt, but also harder than I expected.  Have you sewn much with flannel?  Flannel is actually stretchy fabric!

I quilted it by stitching in the ditch every other row.  It forms a stair step pattern on the back, but mostly disappears into the plush minky.   It is all set to go; I washed it in Dreft.  Oh my! does that scent bring back sweet memories.   Somehow, washing it made it a little wonky, with one side larger than the other.  I have no idea why that happened, but it is still very soft and cuddly. 


Close Up of Little Trip Around the World

Minky paisley backing on Little Trip Around the World

Scrappy Flannel Little Trip Around the World
Thanks for visiting!
Lara




Linking up to Cyndy's Oh Scrap! party at Quilting is More Fun Than Housework!

Saturday, February 21

Goldfish Bowl Pocketbook ~ Sew the Library & a Giveaway Winner

Last weekend, my cousin's little girl became a big sister for the very first time.  I made her this sweet little goldfish bowl purse as a big sister gift.  It will be paired with the book "A Fish Out of Water", by Helen Palmer, so I wanted the little fish to look just like the one in the book.  Of course, inside the purse there will be a pack of "Go Fish!" playing cards.  Hmmm... there's something fishy going on here.


Goldfish Bowl Pocketbook
Pattern from "First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting", by Christina Cameli

The quilting design shows up better in the picture below.  Although there is much room for FMQ improvement, I'm really happy with how it turned out.  The color in this photo is more accurate too - the outside of the purse is Kona Cotton in Azure.    


Goldfish Bowl Pocketbook 
Quilting Design from "Step-By-Step Free Motion Quilting", by Christina Cameli

I've gotten serious about learning to free motion quilt... at least enough to do small projects.  This time around, I am finally meeting with some success and there is a reason for that.  Her name is... gee, can you guess?  Yes!  Christina Cameli.

Christina is just the best and I am definitely a huge fan!  I met her last spring when I chose her Spoonflower fabric for one of my own book's projects.  At the time, I had no idea who she was, or that she was such a sweetie pie!  She is a great teacher too.  As you can see, I've spent some serious time pouring over her two wonderful books.  All those little tabs are for things I want to try!  (That is not a real cookie - it's one of my cookie coasters.)  


The Secret Formula for learning how to Free-Motion Quilt
Christina's second book, Step-By-Step Free-Motion Quilting, just came out recently.  Looking through this book makes you feel like you are reading a friend's treasure of a design journal.  It is filled, chock full, with wonderful free-motion quilting patterns, along with instructions on how to accomplish them.  It stands alone as a great design book and it is also the perfect accompaniment to Christina's best-selling first book: First Steps to Free-Motion Quilting.  That first book has wonderful projects to make, and I intend too!   That adorable Goldfish Bowl Purse is one of them.  One of the things I love about Christina's patterns and quilting designs is that she brings a fresh and modern approach to free-motion quilting!

I also enrolled in Christina's bestselling Craftsy Class: The Secrets of Free Motion Quilting, which made me an even bigger fan than ever! Christina is very good at teaching quilting and watching her class is so helpful!  She has a gift for being somehow inspiring and restful at the same time.   

I am a Craftsy affiliate now, so must tell you that if you click the links to Craftsy and happen to purchase anything, that I will receive a commision.   Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is more fun than Housework helped me learn how to set that up and I just have to say a huge "Thank You Cyndy!" here on my blog.  
I chose to become an affiliate because I love Craftsy. I was already a fan of Christina!  


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On March 6th, I will be guest posting for the very first time for my friend Susie of Susie's Sunroom!   I'll be taking part in her Simply Striped Pillow Blog Hop.  I've purchased the cutest fabrics for this and will be quilting my pillow with another of Christina's beautiful quilting designs from Step-By-Step Free-Motion Quilting.  This is so exciting for me and I am really honored that Susie asked me to be a part of her hop! 





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Aren't I a meanie-mean-pants?  I've put the announcement of who won the Kona Cotton (All 303 Fabulous Colors) Color Card all the way down here in my post.  Bwah, Ah, Ah!  A very link filled post with lots of wonderful places to go and check out, I might add.  So without further ado, here is the photo I took of the computer screen with the winner chosen by the Random Integer Generator




I met a lot of wonderful folks this week and wish everyone could win!  There were 101 comments (I did not count blue replies by me)  I haven't been able to get my blog set up with numbered comments yet, which means I counted three times to make sure I got it right.  The lucky winner is one of the people I just met: Colleen K., who blogs at Fancy Foot Farm!  Colleen, I'll email you soon.  Or you can email me; either way is good.   

Would you like to see another fun giveaway?  Mara has made the most adorable and tiny little paper pieced Bee blocks and is making a pincushion to give away to one of her lucky readers.  You can comment for a chance to win here: Secretly Stitching 

And Last, but certainly not least, I am linking this post to Sew the Library.  This is a monthly link up party that starts on the 20th of each month.  The great idea behind this linky party is to make a project from a book you already own... something we all intend to do , but often put off.  Oh Look!  Squirrel!
This month the party is at Martha's Weekend Doings.  Check out the great Kimono Tunic that Martha made!  Have you sewn a project from one of your books this month?  If so, go and join in the fun!  

Thanks for visiting!
Lara



Saturday, February 14

A Giveaway and A Great Linky Party for Playing with Color!


It's Party time!  How would you like a chance to win the latest Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids Color Card?  With all 303 wonderfully tempting colors?   I'll tell ya, I felt giddier than a kid in a candy shop when I first beheld it.  I've been planning this giveaway for a while and this seems like the perfect time to do it!

That is because today Jenn, at A Quarter Inch from the Edge started a really fun linky party to celebrate the love of solid color fabrics.   Jenn is a fiend for Kona Solids, but she welcomes any fabric palette to the party.  If you enjoy playing around with color, you can link up either a photo of your own solid fabric combo or a virtual fabric combo, using a website like Play Craft with Anne's Palette Builder 2.1

The linky party doesn't end until Thursday, so go and join in the fun!  And... you'll have a chance at another giveaway there!  Jenn and Lynn at Buttons Quilts are giving away a one of a kind Kona Charm Pack!    

To enter my giveaway for the Kona Solids 303 Color Card, just leave a comment here on BuzzinBumble telling me about your own favorite color combination. 
For a second chance at winning: just leave another comment, telling me how you follow my blog.  (Please don't say "Instagram" or "Twitter", because I have not done more than dip my toe in those ponds, LOL.)  Make sure it is a separate comment so that you get two chances to win.  I'll draw the winner's comment with a random number generator one week from today: Saturday the 21st of February.  If you are a no-reply commenter and I have not been able to contact you before the drawing, I will have to redraw for a new prize winner. 
Don't be shy if you live outside the United States... The love of Quilting doesn't have any borders, even though quilts do!  

Here are some wonderful color combinations I came up with while playing with Anne's Palette Builder.  What a great way to get inspired!  Can you tell that I love the Adirondacks?


Adirondack - Chapel Pond Frosted Palette

Alina & Gonzo Kayaking

Pond Near the Hudson Color Palette


Hee hee, instead of my usual "Push My Buttons & Leave a Comment", try this one:



Thanks for visiting and good luck with the Kona Solids 303 Color Card contest!
Lara

Thank you for looking, but the giveaway is over.
The Drawing was held on Saturday, the 21st of February.  

Monday, February 9

Elephant Parade Week 2 and ... I got carried away!

It was just so much fun making these blocks for Lorna's Elephant Parade. This is week 2 in the quilt along, but it isn't too late to join in; it never is.  Lorna's Elephant Parade Pattern and the Quilt Along page at Sew Fresh Quilts will always be ready for you!  

Originally, I bought the pattern (you don't need to, but it is a bargain!) to have as a handy reference and bam!  Before I knew it, I had "Oh, just one more"-d my way into getting the whole quilt top sewn.   It isn't just that the quilt is sooo cute; Lorna did an exceptional job with her instructions, and everything is so logically organized and easy to understand.  This quilt top was a pleasure to make from start to finish!  


Elephant Parade quilt top - sewn with Peppered Cottons
I'm not going to quilt and bind it just yet.  That will take some thinking through and some bravery on my part.  Do any of you have ideas for how you would quilt up designs like this one?  

Here are some close up shots so that you can see what the fabrics look like.  I was really happy with the Peppered cottons.  They are a thick and very soft fabric, with nice visual texture.   
Elephant Parade - Momma Elephant
Elephant Parade - Baby Elephant
Elephant Parade - a Cheeky Bird

Mr. Frog had always imagined that elephants would be bigger.


I think, when I do finish this, that it is going to be the sweetest quilt for a little one.  Thank you Lorna for sharing your adorable pattern with us!  

I'm going to be a copycat and use the same backing fabric that inspired Lorna to design her quilt:

Happy Elephants in Grey by Ed Emberley for Cloud9 Fabrics


And Thank You for coming by for a visit!
Lara