Friday, February 17, 2012

The Cactus Rose

About once a month (if the universes align just right) I spend some time with a few quilty friends.  Yesterday our universes aligned!  The Cactus Rose has been my traveling project for at LEAST 4 years now.  Judy Niemeyer is an awesome designer and I appreciate the finished results of paper piecing. 

There is no doubt that The Cactus Rose is a very eye catching quilt but... I often deviate from the pattern and this project is no exception.  Now, I have seen this quilt (more often as just one block instead of four) and they have ALL been done with Judy's colors.  When I went fabric shopping (not a stash quilt this time) I decided to use a slightly different color scheme.  So, my background is done in navy blues. The flower plumes are done in colors complimentary to blue.

Currently on the design wall

After all these years (and I do hate to admit it has been four!) I have all the background piecing done and ONE plume.  The pattern has SIXTEEN plumes!  Each of those plumes has TWENTY pieces.  For sanities sake, this is one of those times when I'm sticking by my motto, "I don't do math!".

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

When you think of Valentine's Day, you think of hearts, romance, grand gestures, expressions of love and devotion.  Are ya just a little bit curious how those in LOVE show their intentions of love and devotion?  I did some digging around to see how it all plays out.  Here's what I found:


~  144 million Valentine's Day card are exchanged annually, making Valentine's Day the second-most popular greeting-card-giving occasion, second to Christmas.
~  Over 50 percent of all Valentine's Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the observance, making Valentine's Day a procrastinator's delight.


~  Valentine's Day comes in fourth for highest candy sales after Halloween, Easter and Christmas.
~  More than 36 million heart-shaped coxes of chocolate are sold for Valentine's Day.


~  Of fresh flower purchases only, Valentine's Day ranks No. 1, capturing 36 percent of holiday transactions and 40 percent of holiday dollar volume.
~  23 percent of adults purchased flowers or plants as gifts for Valentine's Day 2011; of those 61 percent were men and 39 percent were women.


~  When it comes to jewelry sales, Valentine's Day comes in second, behind Christmas.
~  Rings and necklaces come in close 50/50 in popularity, for Valentine's Day gifts.


~  About 10 percent of all marriage proposals take place on Valentine's Day, the single most popular day for marriage proposals all year.
~  2.6 million marriages take place annually in the United States. 12,000 of those happen on Valentine's Day, making it the most popular date for marriages to take place.

Hope your Valentine's Day plays out GREAT!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beading and STUFF!

Yesterday I had an educational experience with Arlene Walsh.  If you are not familiar with Arlene's work you've missed something.  Arlene is a resident of our fine state who offers quilters (and others interested in Southwest Art) eyecandy and projects.  She has a line of quilt and bead embroidery patterns for us crafty types and rustic jewelry and wall art for those that enjoy looking at it but not making it.  Arlene does not have a website however you can reach her at 928-472-7680 or  Her patterns can be found at quilt shops throughout the state.

So, anyway... I spent the day with Arlene (and 3 other lovely ladies) watching (and imitating) how Arlene does her beadwork and other STUFF.  The picture above is what I accomplished with my day.  Under Arlene's watchful eye I covered a 3 inch square piece of Timtex Interfacing/Stabilizer with my background fabric.  Then sewed on a BIG bead and started added smaller beads.  As you can see in the picture I didn't get very far.  The really sad part of that statement is it means I still have a LONG ways to go before this little 3" square is finished!

I did come home with enough STUFF to finish my little square AND some other STUFF that I thought would be FUN to work with (or maybe just look at and fondly once in awhile).  What a day of inspiration and FUN!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Day of Charity Sewing

Yesterday was the Peace by Piece Quilters monthly charity quilting bee.  We started the day by presenting the quilt (shown above) to the Mission del Sol Presbyterian Church.  This is the church that so generously allows us to use their space, free of charge, every month for our bees.  The fabrics for this quilt were donated by an unknown donor.  We received the donation with only the very center stitched together and all the remaining fabrics for the top and binding included.  It took the work of several Peace by Piece volunteers to complete the quilt.  The church will use the quilt as a fundraiser to help support their charitable missions.  If you live in the area and would like to purchase opportunity tickets for the quilt it will be displayed at their annual Super Flea Fundraising Sale held on Saturday, February 11 at the church located at 1565 E. Warner Rd in Tempe.  Thanks to the donor who gave up on this project and passed it onto us, all the volunteers who made this pile of fabric into a beautiful quilt, and the members of this church for sharing their space with us.