Christmas in July Blog Hop Begins!

Hooray! Today officially kicks off the start of my friend Julie’s Christmas in July Blog Hop!

Christmas in July Blog Hop

It goes from today, July 12 through the end of next week, Friday July 19. There will be a few give-aways and include a wrap up with Julie on the last day. You’re not going to want to miss any of the fun!

The official list of bloggers participating in the blog hop are as follows:
July 12: Amy – Amy Made That!
July 13: Amanda – The Patchsmith
July 14; Elaine – Summercrafter
July 15: Sarah – Sarah Rose Quilts
July 16: Patricia – Quilting Lines
July 17: Sheri – Sunshine in the Attic
July 18: Julie – The Crafty Quilter
July 19: Wrap Up and prizes (@ The Crafty Quilter)

Here’s a sneak peek at the line of fabrics I’ll be using.
Winter's Lane by Moda
It’s Winter’s Lane by Kate and Birdie Paper Co. for Moda. I will be making a project using pieces from a Layer Cake. I’m very excited to share it with you all on Monday July 15!

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July Block of the Month – 2013 and Vacation Pics

I’m not even going to comment on how fast this summer is blazing by me. I can’t believe it’s already July!!! But the beginning of July means it’s time again for my next block for the Animal Whimsy Block of the Month! This month is the donkey. :)

Donkey Animal Whimsy Block of the Month

Those two front teeth and big ol’ snout make him so goofy and cute! I love the way he came out!

I think Maisey was totally in love with him too…maybe because I made him gray just like her? Who knows? All IIII know is that she wanted to hang around the entire time I was making this cute little block. She went from sleeping right next to my machine when I was stitching, to practically laying on the sample while I cut for my kits, and finally….

Maisey taking over my BOM

…totally encroaching on my working space entirely! Until I pretty much was working just on the edge of the table! But I really can’t complain..because I just didn’t have the heart to move her when she looks that stinkin’ cute laying there like that. She my little quilting kitty. <3 She might have also been a teensy bit clingy this weekend too since we had just spent an entire week away from her (and my other cat Sadie) while we were on vacation on a cruise to the beautiful Alaska!

Welcome to Alaska sign

Our cruise was fabulous and Alaska was just stunning. It was pretty hot up there most of the time though which is pretty out of the norm for them. We got up to the high 80s most days walking around at each of the ports which was a little miserable, but it was all totally worth everything we got to see and do. We made stops in Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, and finally Victoria B.C. before cruising back into Seattle.

Ketchikan Harbor

We did a wonderful crab boat excursion in Ketchikan where we got to board a real crab boat called the F/V Aleutian Balad (as seen on the first or second season of The Deadliest Catch if you watch that show) and watch our guides fish for real crab.

F/V Aleutian Balad Crab Boat

They also went to an island where all these eagles nested and threw out fish. We got to watch the eagles swarm and snatch the frozen fish out of the water. It was an amazing experience.

Alaskan Eagle diving

Our next excursion in Juneau took us up on a tram to the top of Mt. Roberts where you could look-out over the water and see all of the neighboring mountains for as far as the eye could see. It was also up on that mountain where the weather decided to turn from super hot and muggy to storm clouds in about no time flat!

Storm Coming in Juneau

We were stuck up on the tallest mountain, in a metal tram, in the middle of a lightning storm with rain pouring down around us. I was so incredibly scared but we eventually made it down the mountain just fine and danced in the cool rain thankful to be on the ground again.

Our cruise also took us to the beautiful (and really tiny) town of Skagway. We took a nice leisurely bus ride to the summit and border where Alaska and Canada meet. We then crossed over into Canada where we spent about 2 minutes driving down the road before we turned around and came back down. LOL! It was so beautiful to see those mountain ranges though…so green!

Skagway Mountain Range

We had so much fun getting dressed up for formal dinners and drinking cocktails – things we never do otherwise. Also, we enjoyed playing cards on the ships penthouse lounge in the evenings. It stayed pretty light out until nearly 10pm on some nights. Overall, it was a really enjoyable cruise and a great family vacation that I will always remember. I definitely recommend an Alaskan cruise if you’ve never done it before. Truly a wonderful experience!

Formal night on cruise with my sister

Bali High Cocktail - Passion Fruit and Rum 10pm in Alaska on cruise ship

I can’t forget to mention too, that my good friend Julie over at The Crafty Quilter will be holding a Christmas in July Blog Hop coming up in about mid-July. It will be 7 projects over 7 days and I’m so happy to say that I’m going to be a part of it. Look for more details as the date gets closer. I’m looking forward to being a part of it!

Christmas in July Blog Hop

New Goodies

Since I’ve not done any sewing in nearly two weeks now, I’m in some serious need for inspiration. So I’ve been filling my time splurging on some really awesome new goodies like a few really great new quilt books that I’m hoping will to help motivate me to get back to my machine again. All three of these books I got at my local quilt shop recently and I love them ALL!

Quilts from Sweet Jane includes patterns to make quilts using precut fabrics. There are some really great patterns in this book. I particularly love the “Red Letter Day” and the “Modern Greek Cross” patterns – both of which are Layer Cake patterns. I’m pretty sure I have a few Layer Cakes laying around to whip one of these two lovies out. All of these patterns look like they’d be really fun and really fast to put together. I can’t wait to make something out of this book soon.

Simply Retro is Camille Roskelley’s latest book and let me tell you, it’s a really stunning book. I saw previews of a couple of the quilts from the book on Pinterest before the book was published and I was desperate to get my hands on it as soon as it was out in my local shop. As always, Camille is charming and tells a great little story that inspired the quilt as well as explains her idea behind these reinvented retro quilts. So fun! “Swell” is definitely at the top of my list to make from this book, but it’s hard to even pick a favorite quilt from this book. They’re all ridiculously adorable.

New Quilt Books

Sunday Morning Quilts has been out for a little while now but I kept putting off buying it. I thought I could resist but it turns out I couldn’t. The thing is, I don’t normally do super scrappy quilts so I didn’t know if the book would really work for me and the style of quilting I normally do. Turns out there were just too many really great quilts in this book to pass it up.

The “Sunday Morning” quilt pattern in particular has been on my radar for a while now too thanks to Pinterest. It’s popped up there a few times and I’ve never seen a variation I didn’t like. So in addition to purchasing the book I’ve also been on the lookout for what seems to be the latest trend in quilting, “low volume” fabric. I purchased these two bundles from Etsy and can’t wait to use them in my Sunday Morning quilt. I really love the subtleness of all of the fabrics.

Low Volume Fabric Bundles

I’m usually pretty picky about bundles (especially when they’re random fabrics from all different lines like this) but I just love all the colors and textures in each of these. So soft and soothing…

Low Volume Bundle

I especially love this splattered paint looking fabric by Jay McCarroll. The colors are just fantastic – peach, turquoise, olive green and hints of gray and black. This piece just speaks to me. Lovely, lovely….

Jay McCarroll Splatter Fabric

If all of this new inspiration doesn’t kick me back into gear on quilting again, I just don’t know what will. But don’t worry, there are just too many exciting new goodies to remain in this awful slump I’ve been stuck in!!!