Friday, May 27, 2011

7 Things You Didn't Know

This weekend I got to fly a plane. Yup, I really got to steer the plane while it was up in the air! Then the pilot did all kinds of G-turns (dips, dives, and hard climbs). I saw the blue sky, then the sparkling lake water, then the green trees. It was amazing. And I'm so happy that my stomach was able to hang in there with me!

This got me to thinking about other amazing things I’ve gotten to do. Just in time to coincide with the Versatile Blogger Award! Toni from the Quilting Pirate gave me this award. Thank you Toni!!

I get to tell you 7 things about myself and then pass the award on to some other Versatile bloggers.

So, in no particular order:

7 Amazing Things Jennifer has done in her life:

1. I have danced on top of a mountain under purple Northern Lights. I have also gone to a keg party at the base of a glacier.

2. I volunteered to be a dog handler for the Iditarod Race, which is the famous dog-sled race run over 1800 miles in Alaska every year.

3. I have completed a triathlon.

4. I have run a 10k in Area 51 at midnight, dressed as a Space Cowgirl. It was gorgeous (the view. Ok, and my costume!). I have also eaten a picnic at the gate to Area 51. These were on separate days.

5. I was a Slam Poet for 6 years. I performed poetry I wrote in bars and cafes and let strangers hold up scores like the Olympics. I made it on a Regional Slam Team twice but never went to Nationals. I was published in 4 separate literary magazines and won cash prizes and awards. I love the feeling of commanding a room with my voice and my words.

6. I slid one whole mile on my butt down the side of a mountain on a snow-slide. Imagine a water slide but it’s made of snow. And it’s not a real slide, just a steep hill. I just sat down and pushed off. I slid so fast down the hill I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. The snow was flying in my face like water does when you first get on water skies. All I could do was scream and laugh. The hill petered out at the end and I came to a soft stop before the end of the snow. Then I had to walk the other mile down in my wet jeans, which wasn’t fun.

7. I went on a hike in Maui that included a bamboo forest, climbing and descending rope ladders, bouldering, climbing waterfalls and crossing small streams of water. Near the end you have to leave all your possessions and swim the last few hundred yards to a 30 foot waterfall.

Now I get to pass this award on to 7 other new, fun bloggers.

1. Blackberry Creek Home Arts Susan is running a UFO bust right now. She cracks me up with her variety of posts. Check out this one about the hats worn at the Royal Wedding.
2. American Homestead A great blog to read for quilting, traveling, prairie life, and some yummy recipes!
3. Pots and Pins Oh my, do you follow Nan? She has an amazing blog full of mouth-watering recipes and tons of quilty goodness! I have so many of Nan’s recipes saved that it’s ridiculous. She’s also very funny. So swallow that Diet Pepsi before you read her posts.
4. Crooked Seams Megan blogs about quilts (check out her tutorials on how to make quilts from one charm pack!), food, and home improvement. I really like that she blogs about her meals every week. Cuz I’m a dork like that.
5. Cupcakes and Daisies Thelma makes amazing quilts. And she’s funny. I really like how she breaks down her steps and takes us through her thought process.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Winners!! And I broke Blogger :(

Yes, it was me. I broke Blogger. Too much hopping, too many blogs! You should have seen it, I was entering all these giveaways and adding tons of new blogs to my Google Reader (which is about to break too, BTW, under the exuberant amount of blogs I now follow), and suddenly my Blogger screen just melted and fizzed. I got that sick face icon. I gave it a few minutes to recover then found myself in an endless comment cycle. I sorry guys. *hangs head in shame*

(I didn't really break Blogger. So don't believe this and leave me nasty comments)

Now on to the winners!

Wow, 459 comments! Amazing. I had so much fun blog hopping these last couple of days. Seems like I spent every free minute (and snuck in some work-minutes too, shhh!)visiting blogs. It was like Halloween, only better. Halloween with fabric and scarves and cute headbands, oh my! I didn't have enough time to visit all the participants either! Next time I'm taking Giveaway Day off from work.

I had so much fun reading comments! You guys really made my week. The winners are:

Comment 214: Jessy! Haha, you sound like me. Quilting and wine, and occasionally finishing something. Glad to find kindred spirits in the online world. Thanks for putting together such a great giveaway.

and Comment 93: Cwebb! You have me laughing :) This would be fun to win! Thanks for the chance.

I'll email the winners for their address. Then I'm locking myself in my sewing room. It's been neglected. I took today off from work and will have my own mini-retreat. I've already wasted an hour of my morning on blogger, yikes!

Come back tomorrow for a really cool post I've been working on. See you then!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway!

Welcome to my Quilty Home! I'm Jennifer. Can I get you a glass of wine? How about some Denise Schmidt fabric? I'm giving away 1 fat quarter of each of the prints you see here. I cut the fat quarters myself. While drinking wine. And watching The Biggest Loser on my laptop. And twirling a hula hoop. A hula hoop on fire. Not really. But the cuts look like I did.

Leave a comment if you would like to be entered into the drawing. 2(!) winners will be chosen randomly on May 26. I will ship internationally.

Feel free to sip your wine and poke around. I like to make quilts here. Sometimes I even finish one.

Happy Hopping!

Edit: Oops! I posted this a week early. Premature posting, I suppose. I don't know how to fix it, so it will stay up. Good luck everyone! Enjoy Giveaway Day!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My First Quilt and entry to Blogger's Quilt Festival

I finished My First Quilt just in time to enter it into Bloggers' Quilt Festival hosted by Amy from Amy's Creative Side.

This is the first quilt I ever pieced, although not the first quilt I every finished, making it my oldest UFO. Yay! My first UFO finish of 2011! I took a Beginner's Quilting class from Quiltique, an awesome LQS in Henderson, NV. I bought a kit from the store with all the fabrics already picked. There is a beautiful Asian theme going on, the real-life colors are red, gold, and black. The pattern is (loosely followed) by Alex Anderson. I made extra blocks and added sashing and cornerstones. It finished at about 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. It will be perfect for car rides. It can cover my feet and legs without bunching around my waist.

I quilted it on my Bernina. I used Suns and Rays, which is basically radiating lines coming from a circle. I traced all kinds of circles from household objects: a small plate, a pot lid, a tupperware container, to get different sizes. I used a walking-foot but some of the lines are a little drunk. I used gold metallic thread on top and a variagated brown/yellow on the bottom. I should have just used regular brown though, since the thread blends so well into the back.

Today was binding day. I went to Joanns Fabrics to find some binding and forgot to take my quilt with me. Argh! I found a pretty red, small print floral that would be okay and got in line to cut. There were 20 numbers ahead of me, and groceries sitting in my car. I decided to look at their Fat Quarter selection instead. I found the PERFECT binding: red (the perfect red) with gold flowers. This fabric was made for this quilt!

I made the binding, then attached it. I was going to hand-sew the back, but I just got too excited! Instead, I attached it by machine. My first time trying that technique. I love it! I left lots of room to improve, of course!

Kitty-tested, Kitty approved!

I finally finished it just before bed. Now it's past my bedtime and no time to wash it, so that will have to wait. Right now I'm just enjoying sitting under it while I type my post. BTW, this is the first quilt I've made that I get to keep! Yay for me!

Monday, May 9, 2011

What's New

I think I may be FMQ'd out. On Friday I just kinda sat in my sewing chair and stared at my machine. Oh man, I just don't want to do another feather! It's understandable, since I've been pushing these last two weeks. It's hard to tell myself that it's a journey, not a destination. It obviously is a destination: finished quilt on the couch. But it's a journey to some amazing FMQ skills. I did a few feathers but just couldn't put my heart into it. And I hate it when I have to force myself to quilt.

So I took the weekend off! Went to an Earth Festival with some friends (oh my, amazing food. I love vegetarian, sprouty, veggie tofu food. It's my fav) and then spent Mother's Day with my awesome mom. Seriously, she's the best. I also finally beat the Yeti on my Puzzle Quest 2 game, which I spent about 10 hours on this weekend. So yeah, I still felt productive!

Did you play in the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Magazine Tour? How fun was that? I loved going to everyone's blogs and checking out thier block. I have the last issue and loved it! It's total quilt porn. Eye candy. Sigh. And yay, I won a copy of this issue! I won a copy from Heidi Pridemore at the Whimsical Works Studio. She designed the cute yellow ducky block. I think that would be so cute appliqued to a baby bath towel or a hand towel. What do you think?

Do you listen to quiltcasts? Those are quilt podcasts in Jen-speak. I listen to podcasts all day long while I work. I have these really cool wireless headphones that sync with my iPhone so I can leave my phone at my desk and make copies or pass out papers. It's hard to find good quiltcasts (even though there is a ton for knitters! What's up with that?!). Rhonda, from Quilter in the Gap has just started a quiltcast that seems very promising! For the first episode, she interviewed Lynne from Lily's Quilts. Go check it out and give her some feedback. We really need to support each other if there are going to be some great quiltcasts for us to listen to!

Rhonda is hosting a great giveaway too! I don't know about you, but I really need to make a quilt with Sunkissed before it's gone! Rhonda is working with 1Choice4Quilting and their Quilting Book Club to give you a 10 yards of Sunkissed fabric and the book Modern Basics by Amy Ellis. But hurry! Comments will be closed May 10 at midnight.

Monday, May 2, 2011

FMQ Challenge Days 4 & 5

I'm making great progress in the FMQ Challenge!
I had to skip a day because I was having socializing kind of fun. But I came roaring back this weekend by getting about 2-3 hours in each day. Since I’m doing all the black thread first, I can finally say that I completed one row of my quilt! I started my second row and am already making some fabulous progress. Here’s a picture of the back so you can see better.

It seems like that first row took forever to complete. Probably because all I could see were all the unquilted areas. Now I can see my quilted row and I feel like this project is within my reach! Some nights I feel like I have to wrestle and fight the quilt. Other nights it flows freely and we do a quilting waltz. Still a bit awkward and hesitant but my flow is improving.