Monday, August 30, 2010

Grace is Back in the House . . . . .

A present for me!!

I picked up State of Grace from the quilter, Dawn, at The Sewing Basket, right before I left for vacation.

I could not be happier with this finished quilt.

I went back and read my posts from when I was making this top, back in March. As my daughter loves to say, "You're a doodle, Mama". I was a nut! Remember how I got all worked up about the fabric, the placement, the block the extent that I even renamed this top "State of Chaos"!

Well it was worth every new wrinkle and every gray hair!.

The quilting is amazing.

It's hard to describe, but Dawn outlined all ends of the buzz saw blocks to make hst's and give the quilt an interesting motion that flows diagonally, from corner to corner. This formed two blocks set on point. In each block she quilted a whirly gig pattern spinning out of the pinwheel.

Here's a view from the back, I think you can see the detail a little better with this shot.

This is why I do not quilt my tops, even if I could have come up with this design, I know I would not have been able to execute it this perfectly. Isn't it amazing how a good quilter can really make the difference in the overall look and feel of the quilt?

This was the first quilt where I added a flange accent to the border. Remember how I called it a peeper, and couldn't figure out why there were no tutorials on the web for a "peeper border"! Well I still call it a peeper, and it makes me smile every time.

This is the quilting design in the border, from the front, I think it has the look of a bumble bee, flying from flower to flower.

I made the buzz saw blocks smaller, from 8 to 6 inches, so this quilt would fit right here.

Ah, perfect fit, and perfect timing. An ideal quilt to have out as the season transitions from late summer to early fall.

This is lifetime quilt number 56, it has 732 pieces and finished at 61" X 72".

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another Winner . . . .

Thanks again for stopping by and for all the wonderful comments as I celebrated my first year of blogging.

I'm so glad there is such a thing as Random Number Generator, if it were up to me I would pick every one of you. Your comments about your favorite thing for the last year were delightful, fun, and heart warming.

But on this day, Sandy from The Textile House, is the winner of the $50 Gift Certificate from any online shop of her choice. Sandy, be sure to let us know what you buy with your shopping spree!

Based on the comments I've received this week, I would say we're all winners!
Thanks again for stopping by.

Tomorrow, I'll be blogging about State of Grace, I just got her back from the quilter!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's a Wrap . . . .

Thank you so much for helping me celebrate the first year of my blog.

I've enjoyed all the comments and truly appreciate you sharing your thoughts on my questions.

I'm so relieved to know the vast majority of you don't expect a response to all your comments. If there is a question, I'll always respond to those comments, and when I notice someone new stopping by, I'll make sure I give them a Cupcakes n Daisies quilt blog welcome. A response just like the warm and inviting response I received when I left my first comment. And I'm still going to try to respond to all the other comments, because I do enjoy our little "chats", and getting to know you better.

Today's post was going to be a little year in review, my biggest challenge, my favorite quilt, and surprises, good and bad, along the way. But as I was working on putting it all together, I realized it was too hard to pick a favorite anything. It's been a wonderful first year, and having all my challenges and triumphs, with your support and point of views added in, has been a priceless experience. My blog is my favorite, the whole thing!

I'm pleased to know that I add a little something to your day and thrilled that you enjoy visiting with me as much as I enjoy visiting with you.

So lets wrap this week up with a pretty pink bow!!!!

And my final blog anniversary giveaway. How about a $50 gift certificate from the on-line quilt shop of your choice. If they will let me buy you a gift certificate, it's yours.

Giveaway is now closed, thanks for stopping by!

The winner from yesterday's post is number 25, The Cantuck Quilter. Congratulations!! Visit the Green Quilt Fairy and pick your prize, any jelly roll or layer cake that suits you. Send me your choice along with your address and it will be on the way to you!!

And since I received so many wonderful comments, I've decided to pick another winner, number 42, Gretchen, at Stella Bella Quilts, you're a winner too! Same as above, pick your pleasure and send me the details.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Few of My Favorites . . .

I really enjoyed reading all of the comments on yesterday's post about what appeals or does not appeal to you when you visit a blog. While we may have different preferences regarding the length of a post, we all pretty much agree that pictures and a connection to the writer are key. Most of the negatives were in regards to music added to a blog. I always keep my computer mute button on, so I never know when music is playing!

I also agree that font size is important. Sometimes I wonder if my readers think I'm getting in their face with my large font, but the last thing I need are new wrinkle lines from squinting while reading my blog.

All in all, it was a very interesting and thoughtful discussion, thanks so much for your contributions. ( 50 of you stopped by and shared your feelings on this!!)

Today I thought I would share my 3 favorite pictures from my blog over the last year. I really want to improve on the pictures I share with you.

So this picture was taken in my daughter's new apartment, I really like this quilt, and I think it's the angle of this picture that appeals to me. (This is quilt # 11, Myths of Avalon, if you want more detail see Lifetime Quilt List.)

I have a hard time capturing quilt detail in my photos, but not on this one. This was hand quilted and I was thrilled how the picture really showed the wonderful quilting job. (This is quilt #18, Twisted Bargello)

Someone who not only does amazing quilting, but is able to capture the quilting detail with her camera is Judi at Green Fairy Quilts. I just love seeing what she comes up with.

Here's another picture that appeals to me because of the angle. I know sometimes you have to just shoot straight at the quilt, but these kind of shots are a nice change of pace I think. (this is quilt # 48, It's a Girl)

Lately I have really been inspired by the blog Sew Picture Perfect. Each day there's a new theme for displaying sewing related pictures, and they are always amazing. My hat's off to anyone who has had a photo selected for that blog.

While I was deciding on my favorite quilt photos from the the last year, I really enjoyed revisiting all the Cooper pictures. It was hard, but I picked my favorite Cooper photo from last year while I was it,

this is Cooper in his Garfield the Cat Halloween costume. He really got into his role.

If you enjoy pet pictures, check out Paws 'n Tails Quilts. Laura has pictures of cats in the most interesting positions in the strangest places......I don't have a cat, so maybe that's just what cats do, her cats can sleep in the most bizarre positions.

Melinda selected the Spirit Layer Cake by Lila Tueller for Moda. Congratulations!

The winner from the Celebration Continues Post is #5, Becky, who has the blog "The Quilting Book Lady". Congratulations Becky and thanks for leaving a comment. Please send me your address and choice of layer cake.

Today's giveaway is for any layer cake or jelly roll from the Green Fairy Quilts. She offers wonderful prices on her precuts and is currently offering a special, a free honeybun with any jelly roll or layer cake purchase. You will really be winning two things!!

To enter leave a comment on this blog before 5 am CST on Friday, August 27th. I would love to know your feelings about receiving a response after leaving a comment on a blog. I went through a phase where I would not create a new post until I had responded to all the comments I received on the last post. When someone asked me why I was blogging less and I explained, she said she would prefer more posts as opposed to getting a response from her comment.

When I started blogging I was told it was proper etiquette to respond to all comments and felt guilty when I didn't. Now I get to what I can and then move on but still feel guilty when I don't respond to all of them. Some comments are so thoughtful or well written I think they deserve a what are your feelings on this?

Friday will be the last day of "The week of Cupcakes 'n' Daisies First Anniversary Celebration", I hope you're able to come back!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Celebration Continues . . . . .

Wow, thank you all so much for all the lovely comments regarding my first year of blogging. I'm blushing, but am also thrilled to know you've enjoyed my blog and that you look forward to seeing what's going on in my little world.

You know how I said I continue to learn more about this blogging thing as I go, Rachel left me an interesting comment about how I have over 200 Followers on Google Reader! Oh my!! I don't know if I should be flattered or worried, I sure hope I continue to meet your expectations!! If I knew more about Google Reader, I would have a giveaway for all those followers too.....if anyone can clue me in, send me an email. THANKS!!

Lee, my Blogger Follower Winner, has picked these charms packs,

Saltbox Harvest.
I'll get these in the mail to you soon, Thanks Lee!

So, the first order of business when starting a blog is deciding on a name, that is so much easier than it sounds as I found out first hand!!

I had my blog name all picked out and ready to go, "Sew Sassy" but then I found out it was taken.....are you kidding me, I was REALLY wanting that name. My grandmother, whom I'm named after but who never went by Thelma a day in her life, instead went by the name Sassy. OK, so I'll go with my second choice, "Sew What"...taken. I really liked that name, oh well I'll go with my third choice, "Sew Much"...taken, "Sew Special"....taken, "Sew Unique"...taken. UGH!!

OK, I'll drop the "sew" and go with something with "sassy", "Sweet and Sassy"..taken, "Shamelessly Sassy"...taken, "Sassy Southern, Sassy Pink Pepper, Sassy Radish, Sassy Bean"....taken, taken, taken taken. OK, I really wasn't looking to be the Sassy Bean, but you get the message.

Stumped I dropped "sassy" and moved to "pink"...I like pink, as Julie Roberts once said, "Pink is my signature color." "Pink Paisley was not taken but I did not want to get confused with "Pink Paislee" which was...taken. "Pink Cupcake"..taken.

So I dropped pink and worked on something with my favorite flower, gerber or is it gerbera... daisies.....Oh my, what a mishmash of hits that got....anything flower related is popular, with all those flower shops out there.

While googling and searching I stumbled across an i-stock photo of the most adorable cupcake with daisies on top. What a happy little cupcake, who wouldn't like looking at that everyday. So even though my blog will never be about gardening or baking I went with "Cupcakes 'n' 'Daisies", it was available and it had a cute picture ready to paste.

This picture.....

Yes, it was this picture that lead me to pick the name Cupcakes n Daisies!!

In addition to being available, it really is a good fit for me.

I had liked daisies for ages, and everyone knows I like daisies, but when it comes to daisies, what's not to like? I got these flowers for my birthday in July...

And this is the cover of a birthday card I me....

Additionally, I've always really liked cupcakes, and they seem to be very popular right now, the edible kind, with all the cupcake shops popping up everywhere, and the non-edible kind....I've been getting some great ones since I started my blog....

Here are a couple of felt ones, the one with the daisies is perfect.

And this cute cupcake,

is also a pincushion.

So in the end, cupcakes and daisies are cheerful and make me happy, it's just as simple as that. And looking back on it, I'm not really a "Sew Sassy" kind of girl, I'm more of a "Sew Shy" kind of girl, so I guess it all worked out for the best.

Regarding yesterday's post . . .
Throws are by far the most popular quilt size you like to make, not surprising to me, I like that size also and for the same reasons you mentioned, easy to work with, easy to throw over the back of a couch, less expensive to make and quilt. All great reasons. The second most popular size is Queen Size with Baby/Schnibble size coming in third. I totally understand the queen size choice, nothing says "Welcome Home" like a quilt on your bed. But in the end, we all make a quilt because we like it, the size sometimes is just not all that important.

And the winner is.....

Random Number Generator selected # 38 - Melinda at Melinda Quilts Etc.
Congratulations Melinda, let me know what you prefer, the two Stars and Coxcombs charm packs

or the layer cake!

Now for today's giveaway,

Leave a comment letting me know what you like best about your favorite blogs, is it the writing style, the you prefer short and to the point or like the more wordy blogs? What keeps you coming back? Or maybe more importantly, what keeps you away? For me, it's the writing first and the pictures a close second. Two areas I always want to improve on.

Leave a comment by Thursday, August 26th, 5 am, CST to be eligible to win the layer cake of your choice;

Remembrance by Brannock and Patek for Moda

A Simpler Time by Holly Taylor for Moda

or Prayer Flag by April Cornell for Moda.

Thanks for stopping by, for Thursday, another giveaway and a few of my favorite things from the last year!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1 Year Down, ?? To Go . . . . .

Today is the one year anniversary of my blog!!

It's hard for me to believe, it seems like I just started. It has been and continues to be a learning experience, but it has been well worth the time. I feel like I have received much more from you than I have given in return.

A year ago, I wasn't into all. But I had a friend who kept talking about all the great quilt things happening out in blogland. She was all the time, "did you see that blog or this blog". My response was always the same, "I don't have time to read blogs about quilting, I'm too busy actually quilting". Then one day she sent me a link to Sister's Choice blog, written by Nicole. She sent it to me because Nicole had dogs similar to a dog we once owned. All it took was one post about Ozzie and Sophie and I was hooked. Nicole is a wonderful writer, I immediately felt like, and still do, that each post is just a short chapter in a very interesting book. The kind you start reading and can't put down. Well once I got hooked on Nicole's blog it was no time until I was reading the blogs on her favorites list, then the favorites list of those favorites and so on. Once I was hooked on blogs, I decided I wanted to be part of the wonderful quilt blogging community. So 164 posts and 2,130 comments later, here we are!!

So for the rest of the week I'm going to share a few of my favorite moments from the last year and have a few giveaways.

Tommorrow, I'll answer a question I get frequently, "What's up with the "Cupcakes n Daisies" name?"

But for today, what's an anniversary without a giveaway?

First I'm giving away two charm packs from two families of fabrics that I love but don't seem to get much love out there,

Saltbox Harvest by Deb Strain for Moda

and Stars and Coxscombs by Terry Clothier Thompson for Moda.

My blog has 46 Followers. When I first started, I had to email one of my Followers and ask her what was a Follower! I threw all 46 names in a basket and drew one......

Lee, you're the Follower winner. Lee's blog is Lala's Lovelys.
Let me know if you want the Saltbox Harvest or Stars and Coxscombs packs along with your address and they will be on their way North to you. Thanks to you and all my followers.

Today's giveaway is your choice of whatever charm packs Lee doesn't select or

a layer cake of Spirit by Lila Tueller for Moda.

To be eligible, please leave a comment letting me know what size quilt is your favorite or the size you make the most. That's it, you have until 5:00 am CST, 8/25, to leave a comment. The winner will be announced on 8/25.

Thanks for stopping by and come back, more memories and giveaways to come.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'm Back, Again . . And so are these!!

Greetings!! Who knew, that when I last blogged about A la Mode, it would be two weeks before I got back to my computer!! Not me....but I'm back, again,
and so are these

The coconut m&m's are back at my store, for a limited time only. Be on the lookout for them in your store, they are by far my favorite m&m and they don't hang around long.

The lack of blogging is due to one week spent with my folks and one week spent with my daughter.

Last week I met my baby girl for a week of fun in Las Vegas.

One week each year we meet for a Mother/Daughter vacation. It's one of my favorite weeks of the year. We laugh, relax, and get caught up on on the happenings in our lives.

This year we struggled with our destination, but finally decided on Las Vegas. It was a good choice.

We ate at some fabulous restaurants, (when did Vegas switch from $4.99 all you can eat buffets to gourmet dining?)

Saw some great shows.


and laughed all week long. (until we got the airport, then I cried). The week just flew by. I won't see my baby girl again until Thanksgiving.

I had the best time and am already counting the days until our trip next year.

While I was busy with family, you were busy trying to help me finish up A la Mode.
Thanks so much for all your help! I received 40 comments!!

Give yourselves a pat on the back, you're a clever group! Here's where I'm at right now.

Someone suggested that I finish the lattice border before making up my mind about the containment border, because having the entire border surrounding the baskets will change how it all looks.

I could not agree more, so first up, I'm finishing the top row.

While I haven't for sure decided on my plan of attack, I have decided against a few of the options I threw out there:
I'm NOT going to separate the basket blocks and add something. Someone suggested adding the lattice border in between , which I loved, but they would have to be smaller in size and I think two different sizes of lattice blocks would be too busy.

I'm not going with any of the fabric that I initially auditioned. The brown was a very popular choice, most popular in fact, but I thought it was too big of a contrast and a distraction.

And finally, I'm not going with a narrower lattice block to fit. I would need to cut 3/4 an inch off the inner side, and I think that would give it a wonky, unfinished look.

Here's what I AM considering:

Using a containment border that's a tone on tone, light pink (thanks Sinta!), or custard or peach (thanks Carrie!).

Using a containment border that's all the colors listed above, set between blocks of my background fabric.

Not only was Jane clever enough to come up with this idea, she was able to photoshop my picture to illustrate her suggestion! You know me and my mind's eye, in this case, a picture was worth a thousand words! It's just a matter of finding the perfect tonal values of fabric.

If none of the suggestions above make me happy,

then I plan to remove the current sashing, and add new sashing that is the proper width to "push" the baskets into the lattice border. If I had had the foresight to pick this border when I started this project, this is what this project would have looked like, so I'm not going to throw this idea away just because it's labor intensive.

So stay tuned, it's like my very own summer soap opera....except this is going to have a happy ending!! I guarantee it!!

Tomorrow is my one year anniversary for my blog! Stop back by, I have some giveaways and posts planned for each day the rest of the week.

Now I'm off to see what you've been doing these past two weeks!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

A la Mode - Update . . . . .

Warning, many many words ahead......

In the beginning........

all I wanted was a simple little basket quilt.....

After seeing Sherri's (of A Quilting Life) Laundry Basket quilt, I knew I had found my project for the month of June. The pattern is from Fresh Vintage Volume 14 by Fig Tree.

So I sat down and whipped up a few baskets using a mixture of Fig Tree fabrics.

After I finished piecing the blocks, I decided to change it up a bit by adding setting triangles,

and loved the look so much I decided to make it king size

and add sashing .... this took me two weeks,

Sweet, that gave me the rest of the month to add a border. Then I'd have it all done and be ready for something new come July, like a Schnibbles or a watermelon quilt.

Then I came up with this idea.....

to use Miss Rosie's American Pie pattern for my border.

Right off I liked the looks of this border and started working on the 256 lattice blocks I would need to surround the baskets.

Between planning, going and recuperating from vacations, doing some charity work, watering the flowers, making homemade ice cream, becoming a cupcake food critic, walking Cooper, and a multitude of other summer activities, I would sew lattice blocks.

July came and went and I continued to sew lattice blocks. But I didn't feel like it was work, I enjoyed the fabric and the process and tried to be as productive as I could, whenever I could.

So this is where I am now, 3 sides down, one more to go. I'm hoping to wrap this up by the end of Labor Day Weekend, which is September, time will tell, and I'll try not to get all worked up about the arbitrary deadline. But I love the border and think it's well worth the time!!

As soon as I decided on the lattice border, and the block size, I knew that I would have around a 1 3/4 inch space between outer border and the basket blocks. I told myself not to worry about it, that it would all come together, but deep down, it bothered me. It bothered me on two levels, that one, perhaps I would spend all the time making the outer border but never come up with a containment border to suit me and two, why can't I figure things out before I start!!

If you've not read this post on Carrie Nelson's blog, The Process, give yourself a treat and do so. She talks about how she comes up with her pattern designs, and goes through the process, start to finish for one of her patterns. I found it fascinating because she does it all on paper first! How she sees the end result in her head, before she actually starts cutting and sewing fabric is amazing to me. I honestly think I'm going down one path when I start a project, but inevitably veer off track and end up with something totally different then what I thought I would have when I started.

So here I am, trying to decide on the perfect containment border, when if I had been able to "see" this quilt before I started, I would have just made the sashing wider!!

So here are a few ideas I tossed around....

and out...this was my worst idea, white tone on tone. I thought maybe I would leave this dilemma up to the quilter to remedy, thus the plain white, but oh my, I don't think the most experienced quilter could make that look good!

How about a little stripe? Just Ok...and not nearly good enough.

Dark brown....kind of like a chocolate covered strawberry to go with the pie.....I'm lukewarm on this one.

Here's some floral from Breakfast at Tiffany's, I like it Ok, but think I can do better.

So after looking at those 4 ideas, I played around some more....

and noticed the border looks great next to the blocks, no containment border needed, except for the space I need to fill!!

Then I got to thinking, what if I expanded the basket blocks to fit the border? I could separate the 36 blocks into 4 distinct areas of 9 blocks (3 x 3) by adding another row of sashsing and some kind of border down the center! But what ???? It would need to be around 3 inches to push the baskets out correctly. Scrappy piano keys, strips of some fabric maybe? I'm not sure, and probably won't be sure until I unsew those blocks down the middle, add sashing, then start playing.....which I hate to do.....what if I don't like that either!!

So what do you think, go with one of the containment borders from above or push the baskets out to the edge of the lattice blocks with something.....and what should that something be?

Or maybe you have an entirely different idea....a better idea??

Oh how I hope you can HELP!!

One more thing..should I add one more block to the outside of the lattice border to make it just a little bit wider?? As is, the quilt would finish at 108" x 108", add another row of blocks would make it 114" X 114".

Thanks for stopping by!