Tuesday, May 31, 2011

WIP Wednesday #29

I'm not clever with titles, sorry. :)

This week has certainly been more productive than last. The incredible bendable toddler has remained in one piece. He is holding steadfast to his story that "GiGi hurt my arm!". (GiGi is a classmate of his... who was nowhere near him at the time of the incident. But kudos to the Kid for holding so strong to that story!) He's even realized that being hurt gets you sympathy and popsicles, so he's taken to running around and telling people "GiGi hurt my arm!".... but he can't remember which one was actually hurt, so he just holds up whichever one he thinks is right. He's usually wrong. I'm getting a giggle out of it.

Onto quilty things!

On Ogee:
Nada. It's making a really pretty decoration on my wall, though. And I also found out last week that my templates shrunk to fit my page when I printed them... so I cut every bloody piece incorrectly. Fortunately, it's an easy fix - I just need to resquare my centers. But GAH!
I did make the binding for it, though. As well as the binding for my Jungle D9P and my Swoon quilt!
Mmm, pile of bindings!
Have you guys tried out the Simplicity Bias Tape Maker? Lurve. For reals. And I've heard that some Walmarts carry it for way cheaper than Joann's. Amazon, too.

 On Swoon:

CUT! And marked! And.. I don't have a gosh darn clue what the flip I'm doing, but I suppose it'll come together in sheer awesomeness at the end. Or perhaps be shredded and become pillow stuffing. But the binding's sorta sexy, so that's a start.

 Zach's Jungle D9P -
Whoa mama, I was productive! I not only cut, pieced, and basted, but I also quilted, trimmed, and prepped binding. All that's left is hand sewing. That's what 2 am and a 2 liter of mountain dew'll do for you. I call it the rule of 2. Try it.

Haunted House: 2 new wonky house blocks done! I have two cute little scenes I'm deciding on at the moment - unsure if I want to do the last two house blocks as actual houses, or play with those scenes. These are the two newbies:

MHC Max and Whiskers D9P - Big fat nothin'. It's pretty on my shelf though!

New: matching curtains and pillowcases for Zach's Jungle Quilt! Hope to have progress on those for next week - I just ordered the lining tonight.

 And, just because I like looking at my crazy bright walls, I got a new table for my laundry room! I think it's rather cute. (Yep, that's a quilt back hiding those boxes that you're pretending not to look at.) I'm quite excited about this, though. Right now, it is too doggone hot to even dream of sitting out there - no a/c in the laundry room! But come November or so, it'll be a nice winter craft table, laundry folding table, etc. You know, for the three weeks of bearable temperatures we have.

As usual, I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday, which is hiding out over at Don't Call Me Betsy this week. Check it out!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Wow you guys, we are just overwhelmed by the response to the giveaway! When we signed up we knew we would get some traffic but we just couldn't believe how much! 

We were chatting a little earlier today and wondering how in the world we were going to respond to all of you. I have to say the stories and jokes had me laughing and crying. A few that stuck out were the one where the daughter set an alarm on her ipod to tell her mom she loved her and the lady who chatted online with a fellow for a few months only to find out it was her ex-husband she had been chatting with! (I think they're married again?). Oh, and the little boy who asked why his mommy was on a diet and said she was beautiful just the way she was, so sweet!!

And the jokes, oh my, I have been giggling for three days now. Even the silliest ones have had us laughing. 

And thank you all so much for all of the great recipes! I have so many new things to try, though I think I won't be trying the chocolate covered cicadas ;)

We just wanted to say that we are going to try to respond to each and every one of you because you took the time to tell us a story, or a joke or give us a recipe. But if we don't for some reason please know that we appreciate every one of you so much for visiting with us and hope you stick around!

Now on to the good part because you all want to know who won, right?!

Ok, courtesy of Mr. Random the winner of the Sunkissed charm pack and the secret goodie (which will still remain nameless as I actually stopped working on it to post this) is:

#399!! And that belongs to Nancy Sue!!

(In case you're wondering why her number says 199, it's because blogger rolls the comments to the next page after 200 and numbers them from 1. She is number 199 on page two, which means she's 399!) 

Congrats Nancy Sue! I have to say, your joke had me really giggling so I guess I am off my rocker! I will be emailing you for your address.

Thanks for visiting everyone!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I'm Featured!

Hop on over to Quilt Story today to see yours truly!



Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wiggle Wiggle WIP Wednesday!

Wiggle Wiggle? What the heck is she saying?!

I haven't made a whole lot of progress due to a certain toddling terror this week. He dislocated his elbow on Sunday, resulting in a trip to the ER, and re-dislocated it this morning at daycare! Poor Kid! He keeps me on my toes. After his second relocation, we tested out his arm ... "wiggle, wiggle, Kiddo!" (Insert funky chicken flailing arms here). Try it. It's quite liberating.

So.. not tons of progress, but a little bit!

On Ogee:

I am ALL CUT! YAY!!! Rejoice with me, that's more tracing and cutting than I've ever done in my life, but oh-so-worth it. Now, it's up on the design wall. I'm still fiddling with the layout a bit - there are a few places that disappear into each other. And that white block is supposed to stick out like a sore thumb - it'll be an appliqued birdcage eventually :)

 I also got my binding strips cut. Bonus points if you can guess what that blackish blob in the far distance is... and not the blob that is the rotary cutter.

Now, I'm onto practicing curves! Even if you're not doing the ogee quilt along, you have GOT to check out Lesly's curve sewing post. She's a genius. Plain and simple.
Since I have an issue with throwing out scraps, I decided to make my practice pieces into something useful. I'm not sure what it'll be yet. Maybe a whole quilt top. Maybe.. I don't know. Any ideas on how to make this grow?

Haunted House Quilt:
No progress. I pulled it down from the design wall to make way for Ogee. It's calling me, though.

Swoon Road to Spring for Margaret's Hope Chest... this one has changed. Here is the fabric selection:

And here is the new inspiration. I don't know if I can pull it off, but I'm gonna give it the ol' college try! The girl I selected for the Wrapped in Hope program loves horses, so I'll de-horn the unicorn. The current plan is for charm squares for the underside, white-on-white pinwheels for the top, and a border using both colors to extend it larger. I've got my measurements done, I need to start cutting!

MHC Max and Whiskers D9P: Cut.

Zach's Jungle Quilt: the fat quarters are pulled off the shelf finally, does that count as progress?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday again!

WIP Wawa....Tuesday?

Tomorrow I have some pretty awesome news so I'm posting my WIP Wednesday post today. 

If you're visiting from Lee's linky, then it's already Wednesday, go back to my home page and check out my news!

Ok, I totally spazzed last week and did not get my post up. Good thing Bree was on the ball so y'all still had something to look at. Wasn't her stuff great? I just love her Halloween quilt she's working on and can't wait to see it finished.

So what have I been up to?

I finally have made some progress on my Naked Bed Challenge quilt and the Ogee Quilt Along.

For the Naked Bed Challenge I've taken old jeans and cut them up to get squares of denim. I'm sewing them on the top of the quilt patchwork style. The idea was my husband's and this is how far I made before I started wondering just what the heck I let him talk me into.

Just kidding. I ran out of the squares that I had pre-cut. This is going to be quite a challenge though. Those squares don't like to stay in place, can you see the one that got really wonky on me? I had originally started using that gold denim thread to stitch them down and really loved how it looked but the thread kept snapping on me! I don't think it liked that I wasn't using the same thread for the backing. I switched to the blue and I think it will be more forgiving in hiding mistakes anyway.

Here's how far I've gotten on the Ogee Quilt Along

I still have more cutting to do and am playing around with more colors. Do you think I should add some pink?

If I do there will be four "blocks" in the pink colors. I have another idea that might work that I have to play around with a bit, just though I'd get your opinions so far.

Now how about a couple of finishes?

I've gotten a couple of bee blocks done.

For the Christmas Bee, Kristina sent us precut strips and asked us to put them together for a bento box block. She's going to cut them up when she gets them back, we just had to sew them together.

And for the 12 Month Bee, Karen sent us a pattern and fabrics for a Shoofly block

This is actually going to be HER Naked Bed Challenge quilt, talk about killing two birds with one stone!

I still have two more blocks to do for the Christmas Bee, pictorial blocks for Carrie. I have to finish those this week! 

And guess what, I'm the Queen Bee for June for BOTH of my bees! I've got all my packages together and ready to stuff into envelopes.

For the 12 Month Bee I'm asking them to make me a house for my little faces

I wish I could claim credit for this idea but I saw it on A Quilt is Nice. I asked Nettie if she minded if I duplicated it since I loved it so much and she graciously said yes and requested a picture when it was finished.

For the Christmas Bee I'm asking for houses and trees so I can have a Christmas Village. I haven't made a sample block yet but here are the packages ready to go!

I signed up for the Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Block of the Month last year. I wasn't really feeling the patterns I was being sent though so I just held onto the fabric. I decided to send a packet to each of my bee buddies. I split the fabric up as evenly as I could (The Fat Quarter Shop was VERY generous in the amount of fabric in each one) and added some charms from Flurry since it coordinated so nicely with the 12 Days of Christmas just to give them some variety. I'm really excited to see what they come up with!

Is that all I'm working on? Yikes, it feels weird to not have 10 projects going on at once. 

Projects on Hold

It's a Hoot String quilt-I have fabric! And a super awesome friend :) Ogee needs the design wall, I'll pull this one back out later.

Lollipop bento box quilt

Strawberry Lemonade snowball quilt

Strawberry Lemonade ritzy cracker quilt

Dill Blossoms hexagon quilt

One last thing. Have you ever had a destash sale? I've been wanting a new camera lens for quite awhile. See those pictures of the Ogee? I had to stand all the way in the corner of my room, as far back as I could get and hold the camera above my head to get just a teeny bit more room to get the whole thing in the picture. My widest angle lens is a 50mm. My other option is to use my cell phone or my point and shoot and I just can't seem to get pictures that really show off the fabric with those. They always seem to be really grainy.

Anyway, I went through my fabrics last night and pulled a few that I'm thinking about selling. Mostly fat quarters where I ordered an entire bundle and didn't want to use them all, or fabric I bought for one thing and then changed my mind and used something else.

This is some of what I have pulled out so far.

Have you had any luck destashing? Or have any suggestions as far as the best place to list (ebay, etsy?) and prices to get it gone? Any input would be great!

As always I'll be linking up with Lee (once her link goes live that is!)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, May 23, 2011

Giveaway Day is here! (Giveaway is now closed)

Giveaway is now closed, I'll be announcing the winner in just a bit!

Welcome to Distant Pickles!

If this is your first time here then welcome, glad to meet you!

If you've been here before then hello friend, good to see you again!

In a comment on one of the posts last week I was asked about our blog name. I realized then that Bree and I have never explained how we know each other or how our little blog came to be!

I figured now would be a great day to tell everybody since we'll hopefully make lots of new friends today :)

Well, I started to type out the whole long story but then realized, y'all are here for a giveaway! So I'm going to just get to the key points. 

We met in an online community for women who were pregnant and expecting in September of 2008. We've maintained a friendship through our pregnancies and over the past 2 and a half years of our toddler's lives. Coincidentally, we gave birth on the same day so our toddlers share a birthday!

We chat online daily and via email. We discovered that we both shared a love of sewing and quilting and general craftiness and she asked me one day if I would like to do a blog with her, and of course I said yes! 

When trying to come up with a name, we asked a lot of our other "friends-in-a-box" for suggestions but Bree ultimately came up with Distant Pickles. Her reasoning? We met when we were pregnant and pregnant women like pickles, and because we are distant from each other, physically of course. She lives two states away.

So Distant Pickles was born!

One day we hope to be Not so Distant Pickles. That's right, we've never actually met. Don't worry, when we do you guys will be one of the first to know!

Now for the giveaway, because that's what you're all here for right? 

Today I have up for grabs

A Sunkissed charm pack!

Because it's Spring and what says Spring better than Sunkissed?

I'm also throwing in a handmade goodie to be named at a later date because, well, I lost my sew-jo these past couple of weeks and I'm a little bit behind on finishing it up.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment! I'm not going to make you jump through any hoops. I won't make you become a follower. I won't even make you blog or tweet or post on Facebook about this. 

I have hopes that you'll take a look around while you're here and if you like what you see, then you'll click on that "Follow" button over there :)

So leave us a comment, but make it a good one. Tell me a joke, or your "how I met so and so" story. Or give me a good recipe, my dinner menu has been sorely lacking lately.

I'll leave the giveaway open until 11:59 PM Eastern time on May 25th. If I'm still awake at midnight then I'll draw a winner then via Random.org. If I'm lucky enough to get the toddler in bed at a decent hour then I'll draw when I wake up on the 26th ;) International visitors are welcome to enter too!

Please make sure to leave me a way to contact you. If you are a no-reply blogger then leave your email address in your comment please.

Good luck!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

WIP Wednesday, Bree Edition

After about 10 days away from my sewing machine, I'm finally back in the saddle. I had family in town, and spent the last week hanging out poolside... good times, but no sewing!
No, I am not any tanner than I was before. As a coworker pointed out, there's a solid chance I might start to sparkle in the sunshine if I'm not careful.

After getting past finishing Pretty Doggies a couple of weeks ago, I've settled into a madhouse of multiple projects.

In Progress:

The Ogee Quilt Along in Sunkissed
Status: cutting in progress. Sweet Pete, that's a lot of tracing, marking, and cutting!

Haunted House Quilt (Riley Blake's Boo to You)
Status: Six Blocks complete. I'm currently deciding on layout. I've steered further from my original plan than intended. Each block finishes at 12", and I feel that a 4x5 layout would be sufficient as this is going to be a living room throw quilt. With a 4x5 layout, only 6 wonky house blocks doesn't seem like enough, so I'm aiming to make 4 more, for an even 10, with 10 topsy turvy blocks remaining. I'm also considering a ... ready?... pieced sashing. Am I crazed?

Not Started:

Swoon Bricks Quilt (Think Road to Spring, but with bigger blocks): for Margaret's Hope Chest
Max and Whiskers D9P - the charms are cut for this, but that's it : for Margaret's Hope Chest
Jungle Themed Baby D9P - a baby gift for a friend who may or may not have had her baby in December... sorry, Jess!

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced... go check out the projects!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How Working Moms Design

With impromptu design walls, of course. Did you know that those icky cubicle walls make lovely design walls for little squares? Hello, sweet sunkissed sunshine, brightening up my office!

I'm spending my lunch break tracing my templates to cut for the Ogee Quilt Along!

Spring has finally arrived!

Ok, technically it's been spring for awhile now but if you go by how long it took me to make this quilt, then spring has been on hold for just about a year now. Oops :)

So I'm finally no longer On the Road to Spring, but I'm there!

I've had the top put together for this one for quite awhile. I even knew what I wanted to do for the backing right away, which is rare for me. I usually take forever to plan the backs of my quilts!

So why did it take me so long?

Well, like a lot of people out there, the economy and job situations affected our family. My husband's income is our only income and when his boss suddenly didn't have any work for him last summer, we were left without a couple of paychecks. 

So my creativeness had to be put on hold until he had work and we had money to spend for things other than groceries and diapers.

He stuck it out with his employer for as long as possible but when he was left without work again in March my husband had to make a tough decision to leave the place he had been working for the past 5 years and look for more steady work.

Thankfully he found a great job right away and with his employer's blessing he was able to start without having to put in a 2 week notice. 

This new job is taking some getting used to since he has so much work now. He's gone from being home by 5:30 every day and having days off here and there (because of there not being anything for him to do) to working until 7:00 every night and all day Saturday too. 

I really miss him but at least I get more guilt free sewing time! It always helps to look on the bright side right? 

Back to the quilt! I pieced the binding on this one too. I had lots of leftover fabrics from the top and well, I've learned how to get really crafty in the money saving department lately ;)

One of my favorite parts of this one is how the blacks pop. I NEVER use black when I sew but it just felt right this time.

I'm loving how my quilts look hanging over this fence rail. I'll have to try to refrain from doing this too often though, wouldn't want to bore y'all :)

I'm going to link up to Fabric Tuesday this week since I finally remembered to!

Fresh Poppy Design


Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Doggie Sort Of Story

I've recently shared a favorite finish, and I'd like to bring it up again, just for the blogger's quilt festival. Is that a total sin in the bloggy world? Oops. Call it a double-brag, I just flippin' love this quilt. ;)

This isn't my first quilt. It's not my second. Heck, it's not even my 30th. I got a whole lot of quilting in last year. But this one, so far, is my absolute fav!

Let's start with the reason, shall we?

His name is Kid. Or, well, that's what we call him. Occasionally, he's referenced to as "The Toddling Terror". Sometimes we're normal and use his actual name, Cole, but mostly we just call him Kid.

Yes, that's a normal look for him.

Kid... well, he's got more patience than any normal 2 year old should be required. That poor boy has seen so many quilts come into and out of this house, thought so many were his to keep, and was just disappointed so many times last year. What's a quilting mom to do, but to make him his own quilt to love and cherish? Well... what's a quilting mom to do when she can't decide on a pattern, fabric, or anything?!

First up, fabric. Dear God. Too much. Color overload. Will it grow with him? You don't want this huge, grown up, boring quilt for a two year old! Need some spice to make it fun. Need color. But not too much color, then he'll hide it under his dresser when he's a teenager, in shame, along with all those really cool, babyish dinosaur t-shirts he wears. Pattern? Novelty? Batiks? Nah, I'm not a batik person. Lurve me some novelty prints. ARGH! Enter... Max and Whiskers. Hello, happy toddler who yells "GOGGIES!" upon first meeting with M&W. Hello, happy mommy, who isn't overwhelmed with babyish tones and thinks this just *might* grow with Kid. WIN!

After googling, flickr-ing, sorting through block tools, blogs, books, magazines, and websites, I finally discovered something: I'm not as modern as I'd like to pretend. After gaining Husband's approval, I settled on the Ritzy Cracker pattern from Moda Bake Shop. Phew.

Now, to sew.

And sew, and sew, and sew. This quilt, I can easily say, has more pieces than any quilt I've done to date. Laugh. I know it's not intricate. :)

As this quilt slowly came together, a bit every night, Kid started making this more and more worth it. He'd sneak into my sewing room, and pet the blocks hanging on the design wall. "Pre-e goggies.... my goggies!", he'd whisper. ("Goggies" is clearly toddler-speak for "doggies")

He'd sneak in a pillow, and lie on the floor to just stare at his pretty doggies.

The day this quilt was finished was the happiest day of Kid's life. He ran into his bedroom like a bat outta hell at 6 pm, and crashed for the night. (Jealous?)

So, my quilt may not be perfect. Some blocks may not line all the way up. There might be an overlap or two in the quilting. Shoot, I think there's a few bumps where the seams just wouldn't iron flat.... but you know what? It's my favorite quilt finish to date... because it's HIS favorite quilt finish to date. :)

I'm linking this up to the blogger's quilt festival at Amy's Creative Side... because I'm darn proud of it, and my kid thinks I'm awesome for making it. ;)