Friday, February 13, 2015

Shamrock

Welcome to my 200th post!  Cue choir singing, and trumpets ... well, trumpeting.  Two hundred mini-essays, complete with photos, since September 2013.  Who'd have thunk it? Although I don't have that many followers, really, it's a WHOLE lot more than for the first 6 months when I had hmm, 3? My daughter, my sister and my mum...oh wait and one of my aunts.  I think so many of us start off blogging for two main reasons:  first, to share what we are up to with our loved ones, especially if they live far away, and second, to keep track of what we accomplish.  I know this is true for me.  However, it has become so much more to me.  I have made some very good friends, kindred spirits really, learned way more than I EVER expected to learn (and me a longtime quilter, but then I consider myself a lifelong learner.  Period.)  Quilting blogland has become everything that the guild to which I used to belong when we lived in Alberta was.  Thank you to all those who have read my little (and not so little, ha) posts, given me so much positive feedback, and shared, connected with me on so many levels and topics.  And thank you to my sister, Linda, and my daughter, Dayna, for so much support on this venture.  All right.  On with the show.

I am starting off with a dish!  I made this for the first time last winter when we were in Florida, and I made it a couple of nights ago.  Why am I not making this more often?? Like once a month!



This is Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry with Spinach.  Yup it's a mouthful.  In more ways than one. Ha!  You will find the recipe if you click the Food! Glorious Food! tab up top.  I've been remiss of late in sharing some of the dishes we eat...maybe because we haven't been eating anything spectacular?  Hmm, should work on that.  Let me just say that the curry was divine.

The second topic for this post is my finish, another on my list for the 2015 Finish Along.  This is Shamrock.  I'm mixing metaphors, make that occasions, with this giveaway so close to Valentine's Day, during February, which is Random Acts of Kindness month, and adding a pinch of the luck of the Irish for the draw.



This quilt is going to our dear friend John, Brandy's human.  John is a bit of a dog whisperer himself.  He, along with his beautiful lion-eyed girl, Brandy, are a huge part of our lives here in Florida.

Yes, Rocco is wearing Brandy's Christmas collar! We forgot his at home that day.
Both he and Brandy helped our Rottweiler, Naala, come out of her shell and trust people and other dogs.  Our fault, all of it, for not socializing her enough during her crucial first few years.  We lived in the boonies then.  Still.  John is the youngest 75-year-young man we know.  My husband always says, it's not how old you are, but how you are old.  We both agree we want to grow up to be like John. (wry grin - where's emoji when you need it?)


We met John and Brandy two years ago.  They, like us, winter at the condos where we used to live.  Even though we are now 45 minutes apart, we still get together twice a week to walk the dogs together, and to visit.  It's as good for the dogs as it is for the humans.



At The Celery Fields Park, last week
John is Irish, and proud of his roots.  I am proud of this quilt, which is my own design, and another scrap quilt.  I love scrap quilts.  I included a few nods to the Irish:   I used a lot of green, also his favourite colour; the pattern itself is Irish chain; I quilted a Celtic style chain in the outer border; and I quilted a shamrock in the lower right 9-patch.



I wanted a masculine feel to the quilt, and I think I've succeeded.  John appreciates colour combinations; he commented on how vibrant the colours were in my Over and Under quilt last year.  Many of the fabrics are symbolic.  The green forest you see in the above picture is a nod to the Catskills, where John lives the other half of the year.  There is a rusty red-brown within the red 9-patch blocks, a symbol of his beloved Brandy.  The backing is houndstooth print, (get it?) in green. There is a blue with apples on it, for me, a teacher, and a few of the blues and one of the reds have snowflakes on them, for us northerners.  The ivory sashing fabric is a sand and sea themed fabric, symbolic of our meeting in Florida, and his love of this state.



Most of this quilt was done with a walking foot, rather unusual for me, but it just evolved this way.  I did three different designs in the sashings, a leaf FMQ design in the green 9-patches that form the Irish-chain, and a "groovy look" design of Angela Walters, her words, from her book, Shape by Shape in the coloured 9-patch squares.



I will update this post with more pics once the quilt is washed and blocked.  I inadvertently scheduled this post and giveaway for a crazy couple of days, the Friday of which we are away for 12 hours!  Doh!  I am anxious to see what it looks like after washing, as this is the first time I've used Quilter's Dream Wool.

And so now we come to the giveaway!  Fat Quarter Shop came through with the parcel arriving Thursday, perfect timing for some pics.  I have two items to give away in celebration of this milestone, and appreciation for all my followers.

First is this set of 5 fat quarters of Jennifer Sampou's latest line, Black & White.  I entered her giveaway and admired the creations of the designers in her blog hop, and so hoped I'd win, as it is just gorgeous fabric.  Sadly, I didn't.  But that is when I thought, THAT is what I will give away!


Second is a charm square pack of this pretty fabric, Castlewood, by Jan Patek, for Moda.  I just love Moda fabrics, so I had to give something of theirs.


How do you enter?  It's easy peasy.  All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me how you follow me, if you do(!), and tell me your favourite sweet treat on Valentine's Day!  I will draw two random numbers from the comments, (numbering them in order), on Monday and post the winners on this post, as well as notify them by email.  You don't have to be a blogger to enter, but be sure to leave me your email.  Be sure you are not a no-reply blogger!

Linking up with TGIFF at Quilt Matters as well as with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Oh Scrap! and WIPs Be Gone (see buttons on side bar).

And the winners are:


Nancy from Pug Mom Quilts! Congrats.  Nancy and I "met" over zippers and makeup/etc. pouches.  She has a great tutorial that shows how to shorten a zipper by adding great zipper tabs here.  Hope this will help chase the mountains of snow blues away.

And

Cheryl was #20.  I had an entrant by email, whose comment kept disappearing into cyberspace...she was #13, so everyone after the 12th comment you see on the post is bumped ahead one number.
Cheryl's blog is Meadow Mist Designs.

Thanks everyone for entering my first giveaway; maybe I'll have a few more entrants for the next milestone!
Washed, blocked and ready to rock to its new home.




24 comments:

  1. I follow you through my blog roll! The Irish chain quilt it beautiful. Congrats on the 200th post!

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  2. I follow you through my blog roll! Congratulations on your 200th post. I just hit the 350 mark today! My favorite sweet treat is a Cadbury Egg and they're usually available by Valentine's Day even though they're meant for Easter. Your quilt for John came out great. He will love it.

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  3. Love how much thought you put into your quilt and how many details you were able to include personal to John. A really lovely gift!
    I follow on feedly and I'm partial to a glass of red wine on Valentines (goes well with the chinese take away we always have on the 14th)!

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  4. You know I am a faithful follower (Bloglovin)! I love your quilt and it looks like it has found a great home. I am going to my LQS today to treat myself to a little fabric!

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  5. I have your blog added to Blog Lovin along with some artist blogs and my sister's which is the oldest blog I'm aware of. I am so impressed with how often you post! You always have a lot to share. John is going to be so touched with how much love you have put into that quilt. Wondering if he will allow Brandy to lay on it! I love all things chocolate, but my fav is also the worst for my teeth. Chocolate covered caramel with sea salt!

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  6. Hi Sandra, I luckly stumbled onto your blog about a year ago and have been following ever since through email postings. This way I never miss a post. I have enjoyed stalking and plan on doing so for a long time. Your quilt is beautiful and was very thought-out for John. I am sure he will being loving it! Those Black & White feathers are truely amazing--fingers are crossed!!!

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  7. Congratulations on your 200th post! I found you only recently and follow you by email. The way you tied the design, colors, and quilting patterns to both John, Brandy, and even yourself is inspiring. What a thoughtful gift, and what a beautiful quilt. Thanks for the food for thought! Mtlakequilter@gmail.com

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  8. What an amazing quilt with a beautiful story and meaning. Congrats on your 200th post. I follow with Bloglovin and am going to make sugar cookie bars for the boys. But my favorite purchased treat is mint truffles.

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  9. I'm glad I found your blog which I follow my email. Congratulations on your 200th post! The quilt is colorful but suitable for a male so I think your friend will like it. I agree with the aging statement made by your husband. The number matters for certain things but then it's how we live our lives. Thanks for asking for feedback.

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  10. What a precious quilt for John and your quilting on it is beautiful! I will be turning 64 this spring but in my mind......I'm a lot younger! Of course there are days when my body thinks I am older....fortunately there aren't too many of those :) I just started following you with bloglovin.

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  11. Sandra, all this time when you talked about John and Brandy, I mistakenly though Brandy was John's wife! Hahahah! I love that his quilt is packed full of symbolic meaning! The other thing is that I never noticed your tabs up top. Blind as a bat and can't see out of either ear. So I am sending the link to your Glorious foods to my vegetarian daughter toot sweet!
    Congratulations on 200 wonderful posts! You are doing great! I think it says a lot about you right there, that you loved Jennifer Sampou's line, didn't win the fabrics in a giveaway and then turned around and are holding a giveaway of your own.

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  12. I love all the thought you put into the design and special touches of the quilt for your friend. I'm sure he will love it! Gorgeous quilting! My special treat on Valentine's Day is often Mussels. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

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  13. Email darling, that's how I follow, hugs

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  14. John is going to love his quilt...just stunning! And thanks for sharing photos of the dogs. Precious!

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  15. Oh man! I've been buried in a quilt sleeve and label and missed this post! Thankfully saw it just in time! John's quilt and the story behind it are just full of awesomeness! :D

    Don't have a favorite VD treat - see what I did there?? LOL Sorry, just had to do that! I follow on Bloglovin :) I'd follow you anywhere dear :D

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  16. I have come across your blog many times through link-ups and now I follow on Boglovin! Congratulations on 200 posts! I love a glass of wine most any day, but my sweetie bought me a bottle of my favorite for Valentines Day, so that was a lovely treat!

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  17. I follow you on bloglovin. congrats on 200 posts! what a special friendship you have with John and Brandy and what a gorgeous and thoughtful quilt. he will love it! my fav treat is an orange cream chocolate preferably Russell Stover. hee hee

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  18. I am following with Bloglovin. Love your colorful quilt. Red Devil Cake Balls are a favorite of mine!

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  19. I am a new follower on Bloglovin and I love Twizzlers for Valentine's day.

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  20. Youre welcome for encouraging you to do the blog and for following and commenting on EACH and EVERY one LOL omg did I really comment 200 times?! And many of them with snarky snide comments? Sigh. I better get a life . Wow you left so many open spaces with those age related comments that I can hardly contain myself. But....I will. Out of respect for John as this post is basically dedicated to him! Beautiful quilt! Love Brandy!
    Not sure how I follow you (email alert I guess) but I'm very good at stalking so that may be the actual way lol. :p

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  21. Your buddy, John is sure to be thrilled to get this gorgeous quilt. Love the scrappy design and the quilting is incredible! Congratulations on the bloggy milestone, Sandra!

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  22. Beautifully done! I love the way you have quilted it!

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  23. I've heard or read that 95% of blogs fail after a few posts. Yay for you being in the 5%!

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