Sunday, October 19, 2014

#71 Celebrating 1000+ InstaGram Followers with a GiveAway!!

You guys are the best!!

If someone would have asked me when I signed up on InstaGram, how many followers I think I would have after a few short years, I would have said 10 maybe 20, and that would have been mostly family and friends, lol! Boy was I wrong!! I am over the moon happy to be a part of such a supportive network of quilters and crafters!! In the last almost 3 yrs I have virtually met so many amazing and truly talented people. So I want to say thank you, for all your encouragement and support and lovely comments, by hosting a giveaway for all of you! Not to leave out those who follow my blog as well, because I know some follow both, and because RaffleCopter making picking a winner easier, I'm using the blog to host the prize giveaway. Just to explain the blog's difference, I post far more pictures here and share the process of some projects, giveaways, tutorials and Blog Hops here. Please follow along if you would like, I usually  post every other week (sometimes once a month) unless there are a lot of fun things going on!! (like right now)

Mad About Patchwork is a Canadian Online store that recently also became a store front!! Don't worry though they ship Internationally too!!

There are 2 prizes up for grabs, a gift certificate to Mad About Patchwork (one of my favourite shops) for $30.00 and a Homemade Package from me, including the Honey Cowl I just finished knitting, a crocheted market bag, a tiny zippered pouch and a hipster purse. (Prizes are open to all)

Thank You all so much and good luck to everyone!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again to Pam and all the Mad About Patchwork team for the support and fantastic prize they have donated!!

Keep scrolling to the next post if you are interested in a Free Block of the Month, that includes embroidery and or applique. There is also another prize giveaway available!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#6 Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM, Introduction and a Give Away

 If you are a follower you will recognize me by now I think, but if you are new, 
Welcome to my Upstairs Hobby Room!!
My name is Sandy, and I have been quilting for the last 3 years and blogging for almost 2.
I'm a wife and mother of 3 grown kids ( a daughter and 2 sons ), one married, one out on his own, and one still at home. I live in rural Ontario, on a working farm, and love it. I've always liked to sew, knit, crochet and craft, I even did woodworking for awhile, but when I landed on quilting that was it, I am hooked! I still knit and crochet, but all other creative outlets have fallen away. 
 Three fun facts: I'm tall (5'10"), I love dark chocolate, and I turn 50 in Februrary. (I'm sure you are bored by now, so on to the BOM!! lol)

I want to say thanks to Jacquelynne for asking me to get involved, I am having a blast and it hasn't even officially started yet!!
I hope everyone is getting just as excited about the start of the Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM. If you are here and haven't heard about it, use the link below to get all the info and sign up! There is still plenty of time, the first block release is Oct 27th!!

If you like Quilting, embroidery, applique.... 
This is for you, especially if you want to combine them..
so many options...

I had a great time tossing around what I was going to make, what fabrics I would use and how I would construct my blocks. With all the options it was hard to go with just one idea, so I'm doing 2 different projects. 
1. A table runner
2. A Mini quilt....more info on this to come

All organized and in a bin (! use the 13" scrapbooking bins at Michaels), my first project material. You will have to wait to see the rest. Anyone recognize the fabric? 

And don't forget to enter the giveaway for the fantastic PDF Pattern Bundle

This prize is open to everyone!! Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 10, 2014

#5 It's my day for....... RJR Fabric's What's Your Shade

Click here to see all the other talented blogger projects

This is my second time working with RJR Fabrics (see the first projects here, and here) and I have to say I had just as much fun with this time. From choosing which of the fantastic colours to work with from the RJR Fabrics Cotton Supreme Solids line to what project to tackle!

My selections:  French Vanilla  (111), Bowood Red (266), Red Wagon (110), Driftwood (297), Burlap (310), Grey Hound (321).  I always like trying something different,  I've never made a quilt in these colours and thought they would work great in the modern design I decided to try.

I wanted to attempt  a technique I really had only touched on once in a BOM.  I remember thinking it was fun and modern, but when I sat looking at the blank 18" vanilla block, I have to say I was a little afraid to start, lol. I think I was into the second block before I really started to relax and enjoy the process, but that's just me, wonky and freestyle are not always easier. I like my ruler and cutting instructions, lol!!

I read about the slice and insert technique in the book  Quilting Modern by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen. The amazing part is it is totally improve, so when I  finally got over my apprehensions and started enjoying the process, it was fun to think I was designing my own pattern.

It really isn't hard just make a cut anywhere and sew in a strip and then another and another, till you are satisfied with the look. So a few or a lot it all depends on you. Depending on the angel of the cuts is whether they line up, I had to get over that, in the end I liked  the look, even the odd angles.

Don't forget to read/skim to the bottom for the giveaway. While you are looking at the pictures maybe you can help me come up with a name for my quilt (I'm horrible at it) The only thing that I came up with is Pick Up Sticks, a game I use to play as a child at my Grandmother's. My son says it's Drunk Tic Tac Toe, lol!

So enough talk, let's get onto the picture show!!

As I said I started with 18" blocks of the French Vanilla  and various strip widths from the other colours, and I ended up trimming the blocks at 18.75" when I was finished.

On the Frame, this is when it gets real exciting, and nerve racking...

Definitely the right choice of quilt pattern....

With the weather changing so quickly, here in Canada, I wanted to make sure I got some fun shots while I can!! (before binding)

Love my Wonder Clips

 The home stretch!!

Finished quilt is approximately 60" square.
 and the back.....just some random blocks made up of left overs!!

Found some extra editing tools.....and had some fun playing with exposure and saturation....

So I guess the question goes out to all of you now....What's Your Shade?

Please join in the give away for the FQ Bundle of the fabrics I used in my project and see what you can come up with!!! This time the give away is only open to Canada and the US, sorry to my international friends!! (but stay tuned, because more fun stuff is coming!!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

#70 Quick Update and I'll be back Friday!!

So Friday Oct 10th is my Post date for the RJR Fabrics, What's your Shade Blog Hop!! I'm so excited to finally be able to show you the quilt I made!! There will be a prize available too, if that helps, lol!! But you have to come back to enter.....

Then I'll be back on the 16th with an intro post for the FREE Sew Sweet Simplicity BOM by Jacquelynne Steves and Blog Hop!! Make sure you come back there will be prizes!! and lots of fun!!! These blocks are amazing.

I've been so excited about the 2 hops and was so wrapped up in the prep that reaching 1000 followers on Instagram kinda got missed! So look for a give away coming soon to celebrate the milestone!!

What I've Been Up To, (finally back in the sewing room)

Testing this great pattern Parade by Valerie Rigney of The Aqua Umbrella

That's it see ya Friday!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

#69 Sharing a Bit About Me......

I don't really share a lot about me or my private life here. I set up my blog as a way to keep track of my quilting journey! I am constantly amazed that so many nice people that I have never met are enjoying my journey with me!!
Today however I am going to share some of my personal struggles, so if you want to get to know me better read on and if not, skip to the What I've Been Up To section!! :) I won't know the difference! ;)

So quick refresher of who I am. My name is Sandy, married to my high school sweetheart Dave, for 29 yrs now. We live on a farm in a rural area of Ontario,  have 3 children Amanda, Shawn and Adam. Amanda is a Children's Minister at our church and was married last year to Ryley, Shawn is a Farrier and dating a great girl, and Adam is figuring it all out still. The youngest is still at home, but the other two are off living their lives, though they are all very close to home, which is a great blessing!!

My life is good in so many ways, but I have been sick so much over the last 5 yrs or so and not really known why. My stomach has always been my weak area, even as a kid. I have always struggled with my weight, been a junk food lover and over eater, and a healthy eater and back again. I would feel good for awhile and then start feeling bad again. I would feel fine one minute and be nausea and shaking like a leaf the next. I never knew what was going to set me off or when. I've had some medical tests, that all came back clear, thank God. I've had allergy test that were negative. Over the last year I have been  loosing weight (the silver lining in all this) but feeling worse and kinda closed off.
(I have to say that quilting has come into my life during this time and been a true blessing. All the nice people I have met and all the distracting projects I have done, have all helped me so much!!)
I have back problems from a car accident as well and it seems that it plays off the stomach and the stomach sets off the back and around we go!!!
I have regular massage appointments, chiropractic and have tried physio/homeopathic, acupuncture and never seem to get to the root of the problem. Good for a few hours or day if I am lucky, but the cycle of pain never stops.
A few weeks back a friend mentioned a Naturopathic Dr in our area, so I made an appointment. I figured I had nothing to loose but time and a few bucks, lol. We spent an hour or so together just chatting about all the issues, she was fantastic. She listened to me wanted to know everything, not just one or two things like my medical Dr allows per visit. She suggested we start with figuring out the food issues, and gave me some options, one of which was a blood test!! I had never even heard of such a thing. So instead of groping in the dark with an elimination diet, I opted for the blood test that would let me know what foods where affecting me, because I have tried taking foods out of my diet and had no success at finding what was making me feel so bad.
I found out this week and have started a specific elimination diet for the next 6 week, that all dairy, wheat, gluten, eggs, and a few other things all cause me issues. This is not fun!!! But it is no wonder I felt so bad all the time, eggs are a main staple in my diet along with wheat and diary. I had been buying some gluten free items and not noticing any improvement, which makes sense now, because I react as poorly to wheat as I do to the gluten.
I am a little overwhelmed right now trying to change my thinking and wrap my brain around what I can and can't eat over the next 6 wks. Yesterday I cleaned out the pantry of all offending items, and my son and daughter came grocery shopping at my house!! lol That was the easy part, now to fill the fridge with the right foods and find substitutes for the other items. It is going to be a challenge in some areas more than others. Breakfast cereal for one, even regular oats say may contain wheat on the package.
I am having a whole new appreciation for life threatening allergies and Celiac sufferers. My symptoms may not be as severe  but it is tricky finding the foods that won't hurt you, because the ingredients can be labelled as so many different things, here's an example: I have to go egg free which you would think would be easy, just look for egg on the label or egg whites, but no if I see any of these words Albumin, Apovitellenins 1& V1, Lysozyme, Ovalbumin....... and there are more, all represent egg.  It is crazy, and scary how easily someone could get hurt if they don't know all this, or if the labels aren't clear.
Well my journey is just beginning I know a little, but really know nothing at all at this point, lol!! I will be entering a new life's journey, and it will all be worth it if I get my energy back, start feeling like myself again and stop hurting!!

 Thanks for listening.... if you have any knowledge in this area please share it with me!! Good recipes, help!!!! Substitutions?? Would love to hear from you!!!!

What I've Been Up To:

Block for a fellow guild member

 2 Blocks for a fellow bee member:

Taking a class Sept 27 to master my fear of curves!! I hope ;)

Started a Christmas gift!!

And getting ready for the BOM hosted by Art of Home