Monday, March 31, 2014

Make-A-List Monday - I Love The Beach!!

Hi, all!

Well, I'm happy to say that we are really enjoying ourselves at the beach!  We've got a great condo, plenty of room for all of us without being on top of each other.  The weather has been beautiful - a little bit cool, but nice enough to spend some time on the beach. We flew kites this afternoon, and saw a heron close up on the beach - about six feet away!  And look at this sunset!

The little girls are having a wonderful time, too.  We went to the National Naval Flight Museum in Pensacola today, and Lilli rode in a flight simulator with her dad.  In Lilli's own words, it was "AWESOME!"

But now, let's see what happened with last week's list...

1.  Quilt the pink and gray baby quilt.
Not this week.  I had other things to work on, and won't need it until May, so it got put on the back burner.

2.  Quilt another top for a baby girl.
Done!  This baby is due in early April, so I wanted to be sure it was ready...

3. Quilt one man's and one woman's top to leave for any ministry needs that arise next week.
Done!  I think one of these will be used next week, but I'm not sure about the other.  Hopefully it won't be too busy a week.  Here's a pic of the woman's quilt - I left the pic of the man's quilt on my camera at home!

4.  Cut kits to take on vacation.
Done!  I've got a second pink and gray granny square baby quilt, a Flea Market Fancy Jacob's Ladder quilt, and the Swoon quilt I started last year on vacation. That should keep me busy!

5.  Clean up the house a bit so the house sitter doesn't run away screaming!
Done!  She seems to have settled in with our movie collection, so I don't know what I was worried about..

6.  Work on the Swoon blocks for an upcoming wedding gift.
I finished up one more, so I've only got five more to make.

7.  Iron the interfacing on the t-shirts.
I thought I was going to get this one finished, but not yet!

8.  Write a giveaway blogpost for Friday!  It's a good one, too - be sure to check it out!!
Done!  It's open until Thursday night, so be sure to check it out here!  You definitely want this prize!

9.  Prepare blogposts to go live while I'm on vacation.
I've started a bunch, but still need to finish them up...

10.  Keep up with any ministry needs that arise.
Done!  I quilted one other quilt not mentioned above that went to a  woman with breast cancer.  This one was pieced by the ten-year old granddaughter of Rita, the Orphan Block Queen!

And now, even though I'm on vacation, I've got a "hope I can work on these" list…

1.  Piece the Jacob's Ladder top.

2.  Finish the Swoon blocks.

3.  Piece the granny squares top.

4.  Get Friday's Whoop Whoop post and Sunday's Meet The Sponsors post written and in the queue.

The Jacob's Ladder and granny squares top will be made into quilts that my daughter can use for a fund raiser in her adoption quest.  We're trying to find the best way to use them - an auction?  a raffle?  Any ideas you'd like to share would be greatly appreciated!    And the Swoon quilt will be a wedding present that I've got to finish before June, so getting those blocks finished would be great. It's definitely not my favorite block to make - but hopefully with a deadline I can get it knocked out!

But mainly I'm going to have fun vacationing with the family!!

So now the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



PS - Some reminders of stuff not to miss - the H2Hers are posting their favorite tips, tutorials and tasty things on Sunday's blogpost (open all week, so feel free to add to the links!) and Carol over at Fun Threads has posted another quilt pattern you can get for free in her Craftsy shop today!  Don't miss it!!  AND Shannon over at FabricsNQuilts has the Project Linus/Peanuts fabrics 30% off today as her Deal of the Day!  What a great time to use that free shipping code!!  Check it out!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hands2Help - Tips, Tutes, and Tasty Things!!

Hi, all!

Sunday has rolled around again and you know what that means!  It's time for a little more H2H fun!!  Today is your chance to link up and share - your favorite quilting tips (or tips that give you more time to quilt!), your favorite quilting tutorials, or your favorite recipes - snacks, or great meals that you use when you need more time to quilt!  You can write up a new post, or you can link to someone else's, particularly for tutorials and recipes.  I'm always looking for great ideas - aren't you?


So here's my favorite tip - at the age of 45 I finally learned how to correctly use a seam ripper - and discovered one of my favorite bloggers, too!  Here's a link to Karrie Lyne's (Freckled Whimsy) blog and her tutorial about how to use a seam ripper.  And here's one more reason to check out Karrie's blog - she's one of our sponsors for H2H this year!!

And here's a few of my favorite tutorials…

This is a new one to me, but I'm so glad I found it - a great tutorial about squaring up blocks I found at From My Carolina Home!

And Beth over at Love Laugh Quilt has a great tutorial about making continuous binding..

And this tutorial from Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts for making a chevron quilt without using half square triangles!

And have you discovered using Pinterest for recipes?  So much goodness there - but this is one of my favorite crock pot recipes - it makes the best, juiciest pot roast around!  (Just a hint - if you can't find pepperoncini peppers, I have used fresh banana peppers and they work great!)


And now it's your turn - link up your favorite





Or even all three!  

I can't wait to see all the new-to-me stuff!



PS Be sure to check out the new Hands2Help Flickr group - there's some really pretty stuff showing up there!  Join the group and link up your progress and finished quilt shots!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Time For A Giveaway!!

Hi, all!

It's Friday - are you ready to give out some whoop whoops?  I am - and I've got a giveaway today that will have four of you whooping it up big time too!!

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a blogpost that had me dancing in the aisles - and here's the back story so you'll understand why.  When we moved into our lovely old house, it didn't occur to us that the 200+ trees in our yard would make our house very dark inside during the summer.  Lots of shade combined with low ceilings make for very dim lighting!  So currently, my sewing room has two windows, two torchiere lights, an overhead light, and sometimes I add an Ott light for task lighting.  Even with the sewing machine light on my tabletop machine, or the gooseneck light on Jolene, it's hard to see what you're sewing during the day, and it's almost impossible at night.  So when I saw someone raving about LED lighting, I had to check it out…

The company's name is Inspired LED. They have all kinds of LED lighting - but I was on a mission.  I jumped over to specialty lighting and found the sewing machine lighting kits.  Take a look at the kit contents…

Pretty simple!  The flexible strip of lights is adjustable to the length you need - you just cut it between sets of three light bulbs.  Peel off the paper on the back to stick it to the top of your machine throat.  Attach the on-off switch to the back of your machine, also with stickies on the unit.  Plug the light strip into the box, plug the power cord into the other side, and position the strip clips to keep the cord out of your way.  How simple is that?  

For those of you visual people, the above is a video of the installation process. 

The pictures above are from the LED Inspired website, showing the installation on a small-throated domestic machine.  Here are some pics of it installed on my Juki TL98-Q…

Seen here with only the machine light on...

…and here with the LED lights on.  The lights are so bright the picture looks dark!

And then I put a second set on Jolene.  Here's a picture with the LED lights turned on - look at all that lit up area!  So much better and brighter than using the gooseneck lamp.  Now I can redirect the gooseneck to get to other spots in front of the needle!

I can't wait to try some custom free motion quilting and ruler work using the new lights - it should make it so much easier!

I've suggested to Inspired LED that they make a longer set for long arm quilting machines - I could have easily used a 22" strip instead of the 11.5" strip they sent in the kit - and a longer power cord for the long arms, because it has to travel with the machine.  Hopefully those will be available soon, but even the 11.5" length is great on my 26" long arm quilting machine!

All in all, I'd say this product is definitely worth the money.  Thirty dollars for the kit shown above, and they also have free shipping!  If you sign up for their newsletter, the first email you receive from them contains a 10% discount on your first order, too - sweet!  (Unfortunately, the kits are already discounted, so it doesn't apply to them, but you can use it on other great items on their website!)  

And now for the giveaway - Inspired LED has generously provided four sets of the sewing machine lighting kits for the readers of my blog!  So if you would like one of these for your very own, leave a comment below answering the following question…

Beach, mountains or city?
(for me it's beach - where I am this week!)
(Whoop whoop!)

You can have a second entry if you are a follower - please leave a second comment!

And don't worry - if you just can't wait to purchase one, go ahead!  If you win, Inspired LED will refund the purchase price to you!  What a deal!!

I'll draw a winner and announce it next Friday - giving four lucky folks a great reason to whoop it up!!


And on a very personal note, 
I've got a BIG whoop whoop!  
My daughter and son-in-law have been
pre-approved for their adoption!

We're one step closer to having
a cute little Chinese grandson!

(that's whoop whoop in Chinese!)


And now it's your turn!

What's got you dancing the happy dance?

What's making you jump for joy this week?
(Gosh - there's that darn beach again!)

Share with us - we want to dance and jump right along with you!

Remember - it doesn't have to be a finish!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight -
hope to see you there!



PS - GenerationQ's blog has a story about the Hands2Help Challenge today!  How cool is that?  Click here to go see it...

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Working Wednesdays - Why We Quilt!

Hi, all!

Today I want to share a little bit about why we do what we do.  A couple of years ago, I was asked to write a very short article for a magazine about the quilt ministry.  They asked if there was anyone who could do a companion piece about how the ministry had affected them, and I knew the perfect person.  The following are the two articles that were published….

My Story…

My grandmother taught me how to sew when I was a little girl. She gee me a love for the texture, color and feel of fabric, which started a collection that in 45 years threatened to take over my house.  

But two years ago, God gave my fabric stash a purpose by urging me to gather my friends and make a quilt for a woman battling cancer.  Since then, our quilt ministry has donated more than 160 quilts (almost 750 now) to people going through medical, spiritual, or emotional hard times.  The quilts serve as a physical reminder of God's love for each recipient.  We also partner with quilt bloggers around the world who donate fabric and quilts-in-progress to the ministry.

Who doesn't love the feel of a freshly washed quilt, bringing comfort and warmth on a less-than-perfect day?  

It warms my heart to see how God took a group of women who really didn't know how to quilt and used them to create a vital, growing ministry that touches lives around the world.  Because of my grandmother's legacy and the promptings of the Holy Spirit, I've discovered my More!

Nancy's Story

One week after my cancer surgery, I received an amazing quilt from my church.  It's the 47th one made by Gladeville Baptist's Piece*Love*Quilt ministry.  The quilt is a beautiful illustration of God's perfect timing.  Just 24 hours earlier, I'd learned that my cancer had spread.  But the expression of love and the prayers sewn into every stitch of my quilt gave me sweet peace.  I knew Sarah and her team of quilters were lifting me up. 

My quilt and I were inseparable throughout visits for radiation, chemo treatments, and countless trips to the doctor's office.  My fear was real and cold - - not of physical death, but rather the side effects of cancer treatment:  weakness, pain, brain fog, and nausea.  But God continually showed me His peace is far greater than my fear.  As I continually wrapped myself in my quilt, I claimed Psalm 23. 

At times, I wondered if the hospital visits would ever end. But God used those visits for His glory.  Other patients, doctors, and nurses often commented on my quilt, opening the door for me to witness to people I would not have otherwise known.  My life has been enriched and God has been glorified through the Piece*Love*Quilt ministry.

I am now cancer free.  Still, my quilt is always close by.  A simple look or touch reminds me of God's love, the power of prayer, and the love God's people have for one another. I truly am a living example of the power of More.


As many times as I've read this story, it still amazes me at how God uses a simple quilt for so many purposes.  It makes me appreciate what we get to do so much more, knowing that it has a purpose so far beyond what we can imagine!



Monday, March 24, 2014

Make A List Monday - Time for a little R&R!

Hi, all!

Well, I'm down to the wire - headed for the beach this Friday for spring break with my husband and our daughter and her family!  But that means I need to get to work figuring out what projects to take with me for sewing during our off-beach times.  I think this time I'll be working on some things my daughter can use for fundraising, so it's time to raid the stash! 

Before we get started, I need your opinion on which of these two border fabrics looks better


They both work with the appliquéd blocks, but I can't decide if my favorite is just because I'm a total hippie at heart!   So please tell me what you think!!  I have four of the pretty appliquéd blocks (can you believe someone was throwing them away?) and that nice pink to do sashing and a stop border around the four.  This will be a small baby girl's quilt.

And now, let's see how I did on last week's list.

1.  Deconstruct the t-shirts for the commission quilt.
Done!  The shirts are ready to be ironed onto the interfacing and cut into blocks!

2.  Put together at least one of the pink and gray baby quilts.
Done!  I finished this one early this morning and I like it so much, I'm going to make another one for the fundraiser.  Vacation project #1!

3.  Put together a test pieced flimsy to test out Jolene's quilting with.
Done!  And boy, did we quilt the heck out of that test piece!

4.  Work on Jolene's timing with a friend.
Done!  And Miss Jo is back in fine form!!

5.  Quilt two quilts for ministry needs.
Done!  Before Jolene was fixed, I quilted this pretty pink and black quilt on the machine at church for a woman with breast cancer…

…and this very manly patchwork quilt for a gentleman with cancer.

6.  Contact all the H2H participants for their contact info.
Everyone's been contacted, but I haven't heard back from some of them yet.  Seventy-five participants so far!  Woohoo!!

7.  Draw a winner for the giveaway (a lot more complicated than it seems, unfortunately!)
Done! Lucky Terri in California won the signup giveaway!  If you've never seen her blog before, you ought to check it out - she does amazing paper piecing!

8.  If Jolene gets fixed, try to quilt at least two more quilts for the ministry.
Done!  I've actually quilted four more quilts…

This one is going to a man who is having difficulty recovering from an angiogram and other heart issues…

An elderly gentleman with a bunch of health issues should be cheered up by this beauty…

A lovely lady who just had brain surgery will be enjoying this one…

And this one is going to a man with a serious brain injury. 

9. Keep up with all ministry needs that arise.
Done and listed above!

So last week's list went pretty well!  This week will be a bit different - so much to do to get ready for vacation - but plenty of quilting too!  So here goes…

1.  Quilt the pink and gray baby quilt.

2.  Quilt another top for a baby girl.

3. Quilt one man's and one woman's top to leave for any ministry needs that arise next week.

4.  Cut kits to take on vacation.

5.  Clean up the house a bit so the house sitter doesn't run away screaming!

6.  Work on the Swoon blocks for an upcoming wedding gift.

7.  Iron the interfacing on the t-shirts.

8.  Write a giveaway blogpost for Friday!  It's a good one, too - be sure to check it out!!

9.  Prepare blogposts to go live while I'm on vacation.

10.  Keep up with any ministry needs that arise.

I think that's more than enough to keep me busy and out of trouble, don't you?  #6 and #7 may fall by the wayside this week if I run out of time, and #9 may be hard to do if my internet service doesn't improve, but I'm going to try to get to it all!

So now the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hands2Help - Drum Roll Please….. The Signup Giveaway Winner!

Hi, all!

Wow!  You all have really come through - we have a record number of participants in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge this year!  So far, seventy-two of you have signed up to participate, with many of you pledging more than one quilt!  Now, we all know life happens, and some of those quilts may not materialize, but your willingness to give of yourselves is amazing and I appreciate it so much!!!

We’ve got lots of fun stuff coming up, too!  You’ll want to pop by here each Sunday between now and June 8th to see what’s on tap - guest bloggers, check-ins so you can see all the beautiful quilts in progress - and in two weeks, on April 6th, you’ll get to Meet The Sponsors - the fabulous people and companies who want to thank you for your generous spirit!  

Because no post is complete with a pretty quilt in it….  ;-)
And speaking of companies who want to thank you - remember that C&T Publishing discount code I sent you?  Well, I found this on line today...

Don’t miss C&T Publishing’s Spring Fling sale this weekend only! 
Save big March 21-24th on your favorite C&T books!
Save up to 75% on on your favorite C&T books
Visit and click on the Spring Fling button!

So this would be a great time to make that 25% discount go even further!  It ends tomorrow, so check it out!

And now, because I know you’re all squirming in your seats to find out who won the signup giveaway...

The winner is...

Terri said...

2 for Happy Chemo - you all know why.
I am a follower!!!
Congratulations, Terri!  I’ll be contacting you by email soon!

Now - your assignment for next week?  Be prepared to link up about your favorite tip, tutorial, or tasty thing (recipe!).  It can be a link to a new or past blogpost on your own blog, a link to someone else’s blogpost that you’ve used and appreciated, or a link to a recipe you love.  It’s always fun to see what everyone posts, so join in and share your favorite(s) - you can link up more than once if you have more to share!

And now.   Ready.... set.....  GO!!  Make those quilts!!!



PS - Rhonda, you are my only no-reply blogger - so I can't respond to your request to sign up for the challenge!  Please email me directly at salliesue (at) clearwire (dot) net so I can send you some more information!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Time Is Almost Up….

Hi, all!

Just a quick reminder that at midnight tonight the entries close for the Hands2Help signup giveaway.  You can still sign up afterwards, but if you want to get in on a chance at that $35 gift certificate to FabricsNQuilts, you need to sign up quick!

See you tomorrow!



Friday, March 21, 2014

Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Butterflies and the return of….

Hi, all!

Wow, can you believe it's Friday again?  And not only that, but it's the first Friday of spring!  Woohoo!  That's worth a whoop whoop all on its own!

But before we go any further - just a reminder that signups for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge run through Saturday midnight - so there's still time to join in and have a chance at the signup giveaway!  (You can join in after Saturday midnight, just without a chance at the first giveaway.  There will be more at the end of the Challenge!)  There are already fifty-six participants - so you'll be in good company.  You can read more about the Challenge here.  (PS - Shelli, a/k/a Quilting Butterfly, I don't have an email address for you!  Please email me directly at salliesue (at) clearwire (dot) net so I can send you more info about the Challenge!)

And now, in honor of the beginning of Spring, I want to share a beautiful quilt pieced by my friend Betty…

Somehow, these gorgeous bright butterflies seem very appropriate as a herald of spring!  I had a great time custom quilting this quilt on my friend Debbie's Gammill (while Jolene was recuperating)...

Big petal loops in the wings, a string of pearls in the body of the butterfly

…feathers in the border, too!  And lots of small stippling around the butterflies to help them stand out.

It's hard to see in this shot, but even the back looks pretty cool!  It was so much fun to do some custom quilting again.  I started to do just a random meander on this quilt, but those butterflies kept speaking to me, demanding some pretty quilting.  I'm glad I did it! This quilt will be going to a woman with cancer, hopefully bringing her some joy and hope and a reminder that there are people praying for her!

And did I mention a return? Well, my friend Debbie came over and we worked on Jolene yesterday and finally cured her woes!  I've already quilted three quilts since then and it's so nice to have my own long arm machine back and working properly!!  Debbie was incredibly generous to let me use hers, and I did several on the mid-arm at church, but I missed Jolene!  So - - - CAN I GET A WHOOP WHOOP???


And here's a heads up for you - 
Be sure to come back here next week - 
There'll be a giveaway that will really give YOU
something to whoop about!  
Don't miss it!


And now it's your turn!

What's making you dance the happy dance this week?

Share with us - we want to dance with you!

Remember - it doesn't have to be a finish -
just something you're happy to have accomplished!

The party will stay open until Sunday midnight - 
Plenty of time to join in!

Hope to see you there!




Monday, March 17, 2014

Make-A-List Monday - Hands2Help & Other Things!

Hi, all!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Hopefully you've been able to sew on something green today, and avoid getting pinched… my husband tried to pinch me this morning, saying that my green t-shirt was really gray.  I think he needs to get his eyes checked!  

Just in case you haven't heard, signups for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge began yesterday.  You can click here to go back to the signup post - there's a giveaway for all who signup!  I hope you'll join in the fun!  More than 35 folks have signed up already…

By the way, Carol over at Fun Threads is offering a free pattern each Monday for Hands2Help participants - this week it's her Giant Rainbow Heart pattern.  Hop over there and get your copy!  It will only be available free for one week.

And now, it's time to see how I did on last week's list….

1.  Straight-line quilt the camo Hunter's Star quilt.
Done!  I don't have pictures of the finished quilt yet (it was gray and nasty all day here) but here's a pic of Tommy with the pieced top…

2.  Custom quilt the butterfly quilt.
Done!  It hasn't come back to me after binding for photos yet but hopefully I'll have some on Friday...

3.  Straight-line quilt the baby star quilt.
I didn't get to this one - too many other things came up!  Good thing there's not an immediate need for this quilt!

4.  Deconstruct the t-shirts.
Not yet!  I thought I'd get to them yesterday, but answering email related to the H2H Challenge kept me busy!

5.  Put the laminated border on the Singer 99 case.
Done!  I think it looks really cute...

6.  Cut the pieces for two baby granny-square quilts.
Done!  One of these will be for the quilt ministry, the other for my daughter to use as a fundraiser for the adoption.

7.  Write a Working Wednesday post.
Done!  If you missed it, you can see it by clicking here.  

8.  Write the post for the H2H signups!  This Sunday, y'all!!
Done!  Once again, if you haven't signed up yet, I hope you'll click here and join in the fun!

9.  Keep up with any quilt ministry needs that arise.
Done!  Instead of quilting the baby quilt, I straight-line quilted a man's quilt with a fishing theme for a gentleman who was just diagnosed with prostate cancer.  The pictures are downstairs and I'm too lazy to go down there and get them, so I'll post them later!

So I got some of last week's goals accomplished, but not all of them.  Let's see what I need to do this week…

1.  Deconstruct the t-shirts for the commission quilt.

2.  Put together at least one of the pink and gray baby quilts.

3.  Put together a test pieced flimsy to test out Jolene's quilting with.

4.  Work on Jolene's timing with a friend.

5.  Quilt two quilts for ministry needs.

6.  Contact all the H2H participants for their contact info.

7.  Draw a winner for the giveaway (a lot more complicated than it seems, unfortunately!)

8.  If Jolene gets fixed, try to quilt at least two more quilts for the ministry.

9. Keep up with all ministry needs that arise.

That should more than keep me busy!  I don't think I'll be doing a Working Wednesday post this week, because of all the administrative duties involved with Hands2Help.  But hopefully I'll be back on track with that next week!

So now the question is - - - what are YOU working on this week?