Custom Longarm Machine Quilting

Monday, August 19, 2013

My New Ring - AND - a GIVEAWAY!

Hey guys! I know it's been a few weeks since I've blogged. Sorry. It's been CRAZY busy this summer!

So, a lot's happened lately. I've been quilting up a storm, working on commissioned projects, projects of my own, and writing. I even published a book (my 2nd one comes out August 30th! For more about that, go here.)

I also was contacted by Diamond Candles to see if I would be willing to try their product, give my honest review, and host a giveaway.

Have you heard of Diamond Candles before? They have these awesome, all natural soy candles. And the best part? Each candle has a ring hidden inside the wax. Some of the rings aren't worth much, but there's always the chance your candle could have a ring worth up to $5000!!

So, I picked out the candle I wanted. My husband is really picky about candles (I know, weird, right?), and so I picked a scent that wasn't so much fruity or food-related. They have a lot of really good scents though. If I could have gotten the whole line, I totally would have! I ended up ordering Midnight Kiss.

I couldn't have been more surprised when it arrived. Guys, the candle is huge! Way bigger than I expected.

And here's the view from the back. See that little gold spot? Yeah, that's where the ring is. I was so excited to see what kind of ring I got, I lit it right up.

It's got a really good wick. I seriously left my candle burning for hours on end, and the wick held up and kept lit the whole time. Usually, when I use candles, they burn themselves out. Not this one.

It took about 35 hours of burn time before I got down to the gold packet. Remember how "close" to the top it was? Yeah, 35 hours. This candle lasted a long time! Now, the directions included with the candle for the ring removal are there for your safety. FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS. I didn't. I burned my fingers, ruined a perfectly good pair of scissors, a magic marker, and a pencil. But, I got the ring out!

The ring was wrapped in a sealed ziploc baggie, and then wrapped in foil before being placed in the wax. It came out looking pristine. Isn't it so pretty? I have really fat fingers, so it doesn't fit over my knuckle. I wear it on my right pinkie finger. I love my ring!

So, now for the giveaway! Diamond Candles is giving away a candle to one lucky winner!!

To enter, just fill out the little form on Rafflecopter. I'd love it if you guys headed over to Diamond Candles, browse their candles, and leave a comment letting me know what candle you would get if you win. Also, feel free to head on over and check out their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest pages.  

I'll announce the winner at the beginning of September, so make sure you come check back to see who won! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 5, 2013

Salem Days Quilt Retreat 2013

On Saturday, August 3rd we had our annual Salem Days Quilt Retreat. We had 48 people come, and it was amazing!

We had some great gift bags with patterns and Sprinkles donated by Izzy n Ivy Designs, and a fat quarter donated by Gracie Lou's. Sweetbriar Cove gave everyone a little purse with a chapstick and a piece of chocolate. And everyone got their very own bag of Chex mix to snack on during the retreat.

We had a ton of great prizes donated from local shops and people, too. Home Depot, Velcro, and HouseParty sponsored some of our gift bags, and donated the materials to make a darling little make up organizer out of PVC couplings, Velcro one-strap, and duct tape.

We also had a slew of patterns and quilt kits donated as door prizes. Even darling ceramic button coasters, so you don't have to worry about your drink sweating onto your fabric while you sew. "Sew" cute!

Vicki Peterson, organizer of the Quilt Retreat and owner of Sweetbriar Cove, started us all off by showing us how to make a darling notions jar. You can get the jars at the Dollar Store. Then, you use a piece of fabric and gather the edges, stuff it, stick in a piece of cardboard, and glue it to the lid.

Voila! You have a cute little pincushion on the top of your notions jar!

Then, tie some ribbon in a bow around the top edge.

It was darling!

And super easy! Seriously, with some scrap fabric from your stash, a roll of ribbon, and a jar from the dollar store, this is a cheap enough gift you can make them for all of your sewing/crafting friends for Christmas gifts!

(Great idea, right? I totally might have to do that!!)

See how darling they are? I'm still dying over how cute mine is. I think I'm going to fill mine with candies though, because chocolate is a necessity while you're quilting, sewing, or crafting. Right? Right.


Next up was Carrie Brown from Gracie Lou's Quilt Shoppe in Salem. She did a trunk show, showing off some of her favorite quilts they've made at the shop.

This is one of my favorites. The 18 inch square, sashed. Super easy, super quick, super awesome for using some of those large prints you don't want to cut up into little pieces. I made this one for my mom a few years ago, and it's so quick and easy to do.

After the trunk show, Carrie taught us how to make yo-yo's without using a yo-yo maker.

It's actually not that hard. Some people turned under the raw edge of the fabric, but I decided not to. I like the look of the unfinished edge. Then, we glued the yo-yo onto the front of the notions jar. Cute, right? SUPER CUTE!

After Carrie we had Rebecca Morganson show us some of the quilts she's designed and made over the years. She does some really fun things down at her shop in Payson (Morganson's), like a monthly mystery quilt and a block of the month/every-two-weeks club. So fun!

I just signed up for August's mystery quilt, and I can't wait to see what it is. Rebecca designs all her patterns, and showed us how to do some fun and different things with fabric to add a little texture to our quilts.

This is one of my favorites that she showed us. In the center it's a Lone Star. And then she just added different borders until it was big enough for her liking. How adorable is it?  I mean, seriously. LOVE this quilt.

After Rebecca spoke, we took a break for lunch. Oh my goodness it was so yummy! Thank you to Zupa's for catering such a spectacular lunch.

Each lunch box came with the Nuts About Berries salad, the turkey cranberry sandwich, and a chocolate dipped cookie. Oh my!

I did a little make & take demonstration on how to use washi tape to make a quick and easy card. I didn't take any pictures though, sorry. But let me just tell you, it was cute. I got the idea off of the Silhouette blog. You can find the project instructions here.

Angie Stewart did a great little redwork demo. We had a few samples of finished redwork quilts there, and then she gave us all this cute free pattern she found online. Go here to download your own copy of the pattern. So cute!

I didn't get much of mine done, but this is one I am definitely going to finish. Someday. I'm adding it to my pile. ;)

We had Lynda Hales come show us some of the fabulous quilts she's made. She loves to do embroidery, and it was really fun to see all of the different things she's made with embroidered blocks.

I love this one, because it's cute and bright, with simple patchwork. Someday I'll try to do an embroidered quilt top. I don't have the patience, really, but maybe that's why I'll do it. To train myself, yeah?

We also had Joyce Slye come show us some of her favorite quilts. She loves circles (and I love to quilt them for her!) This one that she showed was one of my favorites. If you want to see more detailed photos of the quilting, find them here.

Jana Nielson from Izzy n Ivy Designs did a fun make and take from a metal zipper. Who knew that if you cut up a zipper you could make a flower pin?

It was a little tricky at first to get the hang of working with the zipper pieces, but once everything was all glued/sewn together, it actually looked really cute. Mine is a little wonky, but you get the idea. I think I'm going to buy some zippers online and make a whole bunch. Jana showed us an example she had made of the zipper flowers all connected together into a necklace. Cute idea!

After Jana spoke, we had Keri Carter do a food demonstration. My favorite! She gave us the recipe and showed us how to make her orange dream cupcakes. She even had samples premade for us to taste. They were so flipping good!

After Keri did her demo, Shannon White came and showed us some of the quilts she's made. She is such a talented lady! She teaches classes over at the Corn Wagon in Springville. She has made some great quilts and is very talented!

After her trunk show, she handed out kits and taught us how to make a quick little pin cushion ring from felt. They were so cute and easy to make. One lesson I learned though, don't hot glue the ring while it's on your finger! OUCH!

Shannon also showed us some quilts from another lady who works at Corn Wagon. This woman dyes all of their wool, and does amazing, incredible things with wool. I'd love to try something like that, someday. Wool gives a great texture to quilts and looks really fun to work with.

We had a lot of fun at Quilt Retreat this year (but don't we every year, really?). This coming Saturday is the Salem Days Quilt Show in the trees. I can't wait to see all the fun quilts people bring to show off.