#BFSI In Review

Friday was, yes, our Black Friday Sew-In! Woot! And a great time was had by all. The giveaway on my blog was great fun--loved reading everyone's responses! Congratulations to Brenda J (The Quilt Show subscription) and  Fiber of All Sorts (The Fat Quarter Shop certificate), the lucky winners of my blog giveaway!

Thanks to all the other bloggers who hosted their own giveaways and linked up here. It made the party even bigger!

And even more--I did four mini-giveaway challenges via Twitter through the day. Posted those winners via Twitter. Again, I loved reading everyone's responses to my questions!

What else did I get done on Black Friday, besides hang out on Twitter? (By the way, for me "BFSI lasted through Sunday morning--other than some Christmas decorating and going to a movie with the fam, I basically hung out in my sewing room most of the weekend--so this is a tally of everything done from Friday morning until this writing.)

I took an April Cornell charm pack (Portugal) I've owned for several years...
 ....made some 9-patch blocks out of it....

...and then turned it into this Disappearing 9-Patch.

The astoundingly oversized borders are because I'm making this a wheelchair quilt to donate to a local nursing facility and the one charm pack only makes a 26"x26" square center. Wheelchair quilts should be in the neighborhood of 36"x45" so I added 5" borders (finished) to either side and 9" borders (finished) to the top and bottom. Normally not a design choice I'd make but I think it works okay. I didn't have another charm pack that coordinated and I also didn't want to cut just a few squares from yardage in my stash, so I went with the honking-big-border technique. And hey, I got to use another yard out of my stash for the borders, 2 1/2 yards for backing and another part of a yard for binding. Big stash-busting happening this past weekend!

Disappearing 9-patches are fun. I'm already digging into the rest of my charm pack collection to see what ones I might work with next--they make very fast donation quilts! This only took about 90 minutes total to get to this stage. Since I'm just going to meander-quilt it, it won't take any time at all to finish completely.

Then, rather on a whim, I pulled another set of fabric off my shelf that's been there for a few years. I fell in love with a vendor's booth the last time I was in Houston in 2008. She did all her own hand-dyed fabrics with various surface treatments--super cool stuff. I bought a roughly one yard piece of fabric and then several small pieces that each had leaves stamped onto them. No idea what I was going to do with them, which is why they sat.

Finally today I just bit the bullet, did some arranging, lightly fused them into place as a basting method, pulled some yarn apart to make it a little thinner, then did some stitching and embellishing. I also loved the frayed edge of the background fabric so I frayed all the pieces to give it all a very organic, rough-hewn look.

It's not really a quilt since there's no batting, backing, or quilting. Let's call it a tapestry.

Leaf details 1

 Leaf details 2

I can't put a hanging sleeve on it because stitching would show through front so I need to find a hanging device with hooks that fits the mood of the piece.

And then I finished something I'd been playing with for a bit.

Karen Lee Carter teaches a dimensional flower technique that I've been wanting to try. Since this was a test piece I used some scrap fabric for it, so my fussy-cut flower (center) has a part of another flower overlapping the leaf. That particular fabric doesn't have any whole flowers untouched so it doesn't work well for fussy-cutting. Again, test piece, didn't worry too much. I did some satin-stitching for the first time--need to practice more on that. Then I also used it to test another technique I saw in Quilting Arts Magazine: cut a hole in the center of something and sew across it to create a web effect. Very cool!

Detail of dimensional flower

Detail of webby hole in the middle.

Love both techniques!

I also put together a few new "quilt sandwiches" to practice my FMQ on, and the rest of the time I spent poking away at Easy Street Week 1. I'll put pictures in the Flickr and Threadbias groups tomorrow (Monday) and be linking up to Bonnie's blog then. 

I had a very productive long weekend. What about you?

Black Friday Sew-in Giveaway! #BFSI

This giveaway is now closed!

I am in the process of being in contact with the winners and will announce them later!


It's Black Friday again here in the U.S.--the day after Thanksgiving when retailers publicize huge "door-busting" sales to entice as many shoppers through their doors as possible. Lots of people look forward to Black Friday for months, plan their holiday shopping lists around the sales they'll find, and strategize for how to get first dibs on their chosen items. I have a friend for whom heading out to Black Friday sales with her sister is just as much part of the family celebration of Thanksgiving as the meal the day before is.

For me, it sounds like the seventh level of hell.

I'm not a big fan of crowds in general, and crowds whipped into a frenzy of wanting to be first in line at the cash register is even more unsettling for me. I'd much rather unwind after hosting the dinner the day before by hanging out in my sewing room and petting fabric.

So I invite you to stay in with me and sew! 

Even if you do head out for some shopping, check in during the day or put your feet up with tea (or whatever your recovery beverage of choice is) and catch up with what's been happening with #BFSI.

On Twitter, we'll be posting pictures of our progress, asking for advice, cheering one another on, talking about the many ways we're eating turkey leftovers, and in general hanging out and having fun. Just use the hashtag #BFSI. You can also use Tweetchat to track all the tweets in one place: http://tweetchat.com/room/BFSI.

Meanwhile, back at the blog, I'm hosting a giveaway today to make it even more fun to just stay home!

The first winner will receive a:

$50 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop

Woot! Even better--Fat Quarter Shop is having a huge-a-mongous Black Friday sale too! Note that the sale ends at midnight CST Nov 29th, so you'll have time to spend that gift certificate during their sale if we can get everything timed right. Meanwhile, I'm just gonna do some cyber-shopping on Black Friday myself. :-)

Thanks, Fat Quarter Shop, for sponsoring this giveaway!

The second winner will receive a:

Gift certificate for a 6-month membership to The Quilt Show

 (Value $24.95.)

This gift certificate will give you the opportunity to try out The Quilt Show, Web TV for quilters and worldwide quilt community with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. Internet "TV" episodes, a daily blog, classrooms, and more. It's a great resource, and this is the perfect way for you to dabble your toes to see if you like it.

By leaving a comment here, you are entering both giveaways--I will choose two winners from the total number of comments. (In other words, I can't separate out who wants which giveaway; I'll just be drawing two winners at random.)

Also, your email address must appear in either in your comment or attached to your profile in order for you to be entered in the giveaway. If I draw your name and don't see an email address, I'll move on to another winner. Please check to be sure your profile includes your email address, or include your email address in your comment below. You may want to write it as "screenname at gmail dot com" to avoid web-crawlers.

To enter the drawing, please leave a comment here answering the following question:

What is one thing you have to be thankful for--quilty-related!--in 2012?

You may have a second chance to win!  
Just leave a second comment that tells me you've subscribed to my podcast (which you can find at www.quiltingfortherestofus.com or at iTunes).

This giveaway closes at Midnight Eastern Time Friday, November 23rd. (So it's a 24-hour thing!)

Now, guess what else? 

Other bloggers and podcasters are hosting their own giveaways today too! After you've entered my giveaway, use the links below to check out who else is giving great stuff away. Good luck!

Starting to Plan for #BFSI

Friday is my now-annual Black Friday Sew-In, or #BFSI. (Last year I named it the Anti-Black Friday Sew-In which more completely captures my feelings about the day but I'm trying to minimize character count for Twitter purposes.) I'll be doing some fun giveaways and I've invited other podcasters and bloggers to join in as well--I've been hearing rumors of plans so I think it'll be a great day!

But the purpose of the day is really to stay in and sew, so I'm starting to make plans for what I might do. Part of me wants to work on current projects or UFOs, of course, but part of me also really loves the thought of finishing an entire top, beginning to end, in one day, for a donation quilt. I did that last year (mostly in one day) for Boxing Day Sew In (#BDSI). It was a hoot.

If that's what I do, I'm thinking I may play with the disappearing 9-patch design. It's been around awhile. If you're not familiar with it, Missouri Star Quilt Company has a nice, brief tutorial on it.

I've got charm packs galore, plus lots of my own charm squares I've cut from scraps, although no baby-style so I'd be making a lap quilt for an adult. Maybe most appropriate for a wheelchair quilt? Our guild collects a variety of sizes for a variety of places so I'm sure I could find a willing taker. Anyway, that's a thought.

Another thought is, truly, to knock out some UFOs. Here's my current UFO list:
1. Poppies--needs borders, backing, quilting, binding
2. Momufo Flower quilt--needs borders and backing (sending out for quilting)--I've not posted about this one yet because I'm waiting for the "big reveal." I worked on it during my vacation at the family cottage last August. The whole story will come out when it's done.
3. Vickie's Peacock--needs backing, quilting, binding
4. Guild Medallion Challenge--needs backing, quilting, binding
5. Stash Mystery Challenge quilt--needs a whole lot!
6. Hexies--so far, only cut and marked. Needs even more than #5
7. Jelly Roll Sampler--still in piecing phase
8. Guild BOM--still in piecing phase
and now I've added 9. Stack the Deck for niece and 10. Something for nephew--still just in my head, though, so not sure it counts as a UFO. Is there an IOUF category? Intended Objects UnFinished? (Pronounce it like "OOF!" and you're not too far off the mark.)

I guess I should start paying attention to my UFO list. I'd gotten it way down to only having two or three UFOs but now I've been doing more experimental things and my UFOs have been multiplying while my back was turned. They have a way of doing that, you know--sneaky boogers.

Oh, and I'll have some blocks to do for the Easy Street Mystery Quilt. Woot! (Check out pics as we go at the Flickr group.)

So, if you're planning on getting something done over the coming holiday weekend here in the U.S., or the regular weekend everywhere else in the world, what's on your list to do? Let us know your plans!