The first is my supply package for the Bloom Bloom Pow! A Springtime Quilt-Along with Lee at Freshly Pieced.
Just for this quilt-a-long, Amanda of A Crafty Fox and Westwood Acres made up these beautiful bundles from Lizzie House's Pearl Braclets line at Andover fabrics.
I just ordered my bundle two days ago and it's here already. The quilt-a-long starts March 28th and now I'm ready and psyched.
The other present is my copy of Victoria Findlay Wolfe's book that I ordered just one week ago.
Can't wait to dig in to both of these treasures.
While my letter carrier was bringing me these luscious gifts, I was actually at the post office (Click-n-Ship at USPS.com was down all morning long).
I sent off my quilt top and pieced backing to my great friends at Missouri Star Quilt Company for them to do their magical machine quilting on my finished pieces made as part of the quilt-a-long with the Patchwork Posse and the Sewing Loft. Here are nine of the eleven blocks laid out in the order I planned to stitch them together. You might remember seeing some of them in earlier posts.
The top left block is one I made up to use the left over triangle pieces from the Flying Geese block. I had originally planned to make this a 12 block quilt and was looking for two other blocks to include while working on the raw edge applique block.
The quilt-a-long was called Quick-As-A-Fox and had a fox as the raw edge applique piece, but the instructions from Becky at the Patchwork Posse didn't initially include a template for the fox as she wanted us to find the creativity within and use coloring book pages. I made my block from a cartoon cat and went wild making him into a scrappy and scraggly tabby.
I have to admit it was hard forcing myself to sew it scrappy. I kept wanting all the sewing lines to be perfect, but once I got into it, it was somewhat liberating.
When I placed "Tom" as an homage to my childhood cat, into the mix with the other blocks, he just didn't fit. So then, still planning to make a couple of extra blocks, I decided he needed something on which to focus. What better than a grouping of birdhouses?
This block is another free pattern in Marcia Hohn's The Quilter's Cache. I still have pins in the birdhouse holes in the photo above. I eventually machine stitched them using a blanket stitch.
So I played around with the arrangment and still couldn't fit the cat and birdhouses into the quilt to my liking. And then inspiration hit and voila.....they could go on the quilt back.
That also meant, I was done making blocks for this quilt. Good thing too, since I got a call from my good friend Aimee who asked me to help her put baskets together for a silent auction for a fundraiser to fight childhood cancer (more on that a bit later). I then decided that this quilt would be donated for the auction instead of going to the Blessed Trinity Parish prayer blanket ministry. The church will get a replacement quilt before the end of summer.
So the quilt top was pieced, sashed and bordered and measures 48" x 48". Ooh, and it looks like I finally cleaned up the guest bedroom!
Now the fun began with piecing the back together. I wanted to use the brown as the backing but didn't have enough even with the two blocks. So I framed the birdhouses similar to the quilt top with a wide pieced border and then added sashing strips to break up the large brown spaces. Tom was kept at the angle I liked in the photo above.
The plan is to use the yummy paisley print (directly above) for the binding. I know I'll get the quilt back in time for the fundraiser on April 20th.
So now, let's talk about Team Marissa.
Marissa Ierna is the beautiful 19 year old daughter of Todd and Diane who live next door to Aimee. Aimee is my good friend and was my neighbor across the street in Centreville, Virginia and what a joy that we now live only a couple miles from each other in Jacksonville, Florida. Through Aimee and Rob, we met Todd and Diane and have grown very close to their family. Marissa got me hooked on the Twilight books and soon we were buddies at the midnight premieres for each of the next films; unfortunately, Marissa could not make the very last premiere due to the effects of her chemo regimen.
Now back to the fundraiser. Todd will be the Elvis in the flyer and yes, I made his Elvis costume a few years ago. I'll have to get picture for the Maus blog.
We'll be there to support Marissa and if you're interested in helping out....
...here's a link to Marissa's blog... http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/marissaierna
She'll tell you her story on her own words and you'll see how she plans to give back to Wolfson's Childrens Hospital.
Marissa: you are a remarkable young woman who embodies inspiration, grace and dignity. You go girl!