Tuesday, May 2, 2017

And the Winner Is...

My good friend Vickie, although a non-quilter, still came and supported my guild's quilt show the weekend of April 22-23, 2017. She bought a ton of raffle tickets.

"A donation to your guild," Vickie claimed. "I never win anything and besides I do not want to bring more stuff into my house." 
"I hear you," I replied. "There is only one basket here that I would love to win. It has tons of fabric and sewing notions in it."
"Which one?" she asked. "I will put just about all the tickets I bought in that one". I advised her which basket was my favored one. It was labeled 14 and titled Christmas in April.

Well, what do you know? A short while later Vickie comes over to where I was working at the membership table, beaming and carrying a basket just about as wide as her arms could span.

"Guess what? We won number 14!" she exclaimed.

The label with the contents revealed a bountiful haul. We had agreed before hand that "when" we won it (snicker, snicker, very unlikely) that I got all the sewing stuff and she got all the food gift cards. I guess it pays to talk positive. She got $115 in gift cards, all for eating establishments she frequents. I got all the rest. What a deal! I set out to explore my goodies starting with the fabrics – a lot, over 32 yards – in two Christmas design themes.

There was a Christmas fabric by Loralie Harris, which I will show first, and nutcracker themed  fabric which I will show afterward. The focus fabric for the Loralie Design is an 18-frame panel of lady caricatures getting ready for the Christmas holidays, titled Holiday Delight. A few of the panes are holiday symbols so if I get tired of the femme fatales I have five other options. The panel is about ⅔ yard of fabric... just the beginning of the Loralie Design assortment.

There were coordinating fabrics in generous lengths, enough for sashing or backings (7⅝ yards):
     Christmas Party, showcasing ladies bedecked in their finery – 2⅝ yards
     Holiday Fancy,  striped and polka dot holiday icons – 2 yards + 1 yard
     Candy Cane Crowd, bow adorned candy canes on black – 2 yards

I also discovered a ½ yard of a white background fabric titled Holly Scroll that will also go with that ⅔ yard panel of those ladies.

But there were many more cuts of tone-on-tone blender fabrics designed to go with the Loralie fabric line but in reality will prove to be very versatile. From left to right, a total of 6 yards in ½ cuts:
     SCRIBBLE in red – 3 x ½ yard
     SCRIBBLE in green – 1 x ½ yard 
     Confetti in red/black – 2 x ½ yard
     Confetti in green/black – 2 x ½ yard
     LOTSA HOLLY – 2 x ½ yard
     HOLLY DANCE – 1 x ½ yard
     Elegant Scroll – 1 x ½ yard
Underneath these is a 1 yard length of Space Dots.

There were similar yardages from a nutcracker theme, all but one from the Nutcracker Suite line by Marlene Moore for Northcott. First there were three mini-prints with nutcrackers, teddy bears, trains, horns, and drums (pattern #711). They would make great points on an Ohio Star block - not too large scale a print to be erratic as star points when cut, but not too small as to be uninteresting.
     red – 1 yard
     green – 3⅜yards
     blue – 3 yards  + ½ yard

This block fabric (pattern #708) would make great fussy cut star centers. There are 6 styles, each 5" wide x 3¼" tall.

There is a coordinating border print (pattern #710) and classic-looking stripe (pattern #712) to go with the block fabric, just right for outer borders and striped binding. I think a quilt design is forming in my brain.
     border – 1½ yards
     blocks – 2 yards + ⅔ yard
     stripe – 1 yard

There was one last nutcracker themed fabric in the assortment, a print from VIP fabrics. Each nutcracker is approximately 3" high not counting his legs which are hidden since the nutcrackers overlap. This fabric has a more playful feel than the others so I would use it elsewhere - maybe as a crib sheet for my grandson for the holiday season... ? I have 3⅛ yards of this and need just over 2 yards for a crib sheet. Maybe a pillowcase or two with the leftovers?

The rest of the goodies in the basket included a dozen adorable christmas buttons. Those I will try to press into use embellishing clothes for my four grandchildren. Snowmen might be more appropriate for the Oklahoma crew. The Southern California crew love hiking among nature so perhaps the trees and cardinals will go that way. The ice skating bear? TBD.

There were six  patterns. I think my two favorite are the snowday...sewday and the coiled snowflakes, both on the far right in both photos. Some are heavily appliqué so I may be sharing the wealth with others on those. That deer one is awfully cute, though. Give him  red nose instead of a black one and you've got Rudolph. I have never worked with  wool so that JOY and Sled could be a skill builder for me. The stained glass window angel at the far left bottom claims no bias tape and no turned under edges, only contemporary techniques. Now my curiosity is aroused.

There was a set of quilting stencils. These could be a good way for me to get inspiration for extending my FMQ skills. I do not think I will be doing a lot of hand piecing but I am curious about the statement on the package to "Mix+ match for endless geometric patchwork designs."

There were lots of tools and gadgets. I do love wonder clips and the rainbow assortment is bright and cheerful. A long tape measure in PURPLE, not yellow will surely be easier to locate in my often less-than-pristine sewing room. I held those red poppin™ scissors and they have a nice hand to them. The stainless steel blades are longer, teflon coated, with a blunt tip.  It is still to be determined if I fall in love with them as fabric shears or keep them as a visible standout for paper cutting tasks. They sure are sleek and attractive and I love red. I plan to try out using that red pincushion for my machine needles. I saw a tip somewhere to write in each section a needle size such as 90/14 or 80/12. Then when you remove a machine needle you can store it in the appropriated sized section. .

There was a bobbin case and an assortment of Superior threads; three spools of So Fine in neutral tones for the bobbin and red and green Magnifico for topstitching.

There were a couple of books for my reading pleasure. I loved the touch of playfulness the basket creators added by including the third item on the far right. Depending on where I sit to read, I may need to use the Poo-pourri™ spray first. If you have never seen its introductory ad, check it out on YouTube. It is delicately hilarious. (The Amazon ad is funny, too but in a gross, middle-school humor way. I like the classier introductory ad much better.)

Someone contributed a cute felt snowman tote bag, blanket stitched around the edges. Note too how his body sections were printed to look like buttons. There was also a gift certificate to one of my local quilt shops, Wooden Gate Quilts. One of our guild members does beautiful professional longarm quilting. She included a gift certificate for up to $100 worth of her services.

As I cleaned out the base of the basket, having emptied it of its treasures, I found two more  useful items. The red background that I thought was cardboard to support and display the contents was really two glossy red folders with inner pockets, great for project notes and pattern. Some of the smaller items had been corralled in a tapered side cardboard box - just the right size to sit on my sewing room counter and collect those cutting scraps that are too big to throw away and need to mellow in a bin until sorted and trimmed. This raffle basket was put together by the Amador Valley Quilters friendship group, the Quiltinators and man, those ladies who packed this basket thought of everything!

I kept the outer wrapping of the basket: 1 yard of 72" wide white netting, some lengths of red ribbon and of course the spunky bag tag. I did initially throw away the crumpled white tissue that had been used to fill up the few and far between gaps in the contents, but then I had second thoughts. I retrieved the tissue paper from the recycling bin and smoothed out each of the seven sheets. Aside from a few wrinkles it was not torn and was in good shape. I folded it carefully; you never know when you will need white tissue paper.

The gold metal embossed "basket" itself was a thing of beauty. It found a home displayed on top of my china hutch.

As I folded, fondled, photographed, cataloged, and blogged about the winnings I could not but help feel a welling up of gratitude. I hope all the contributors know I really stretched out my enjoyment of the prize. The joy will be ongoing as I relish making the projects from and with all the goodies.
  • Thank you to the Quiltinators for creating such an awesome, thoughtful raffle basket.
  • Thank you to the businesses and guild members who contributed to fill the basket.
  • Thank you to Vickie for coming to the show and buying those raffle tickets.
  • Thank you to whoever drew the winning ticket.
  • Thank you to my husband who refrained from rolling his eyes when that huge volume of stuff entered our front door. He has been enduring its display on our dining room table, in our living room wing chair, and across the upstairs counters for going on two weeks now.
It is time to utter that last sigh of contentment and put it all away - where I can find it. I will also share this tale of good fortune with my online quilt friends at Let's Bee Social #175


  1. Now that was worth winning! Congratulations. What are you planning on making with all that Christmas fabric?

    1. I am considering an Ohio Star pattern quilt with the nutcracker fabric. I think the humorous holiday ladies characters will have their humorous poses dispersed in a variety of small projects. Placemats? Napkins?Aprons? Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  2. Winner winner chicken dinner!! Congrats!

  3. Wo2w! What a windfall! And especially fun that you and your friend could split the spoils and both be happy. I especially love the "ladies" fabric. They are so sweet and comical. I'm sure you will come up with a fabulous project to show them off.

    1. The ladies are quite comical but I am not quite sure I want to devote an entire quilt to them. I am leaning toward a few fun placemats perhaps? I also googled some projects and saw a couple aprons I liked where three ladies make for a triple section pocket. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. So much goodness!! Congratulations to you both! I've just recently discovered Magnifico thread and have some waiting for me to play with. Have fun with all your goodies!

    1. I have been somewhat timid with trying new thread so maybe this prize will give me the incentive. Thanks for visiting.

  5. What a fun collection of fabric! And what a good friend to share such lovely spoils. Even the basket looks nice, and I want to borrow the Dorky homemade quilts book when you are done with it! I'll also hint that a copy of that reindeer calendar panel would be well received :-) That purple tape measure is a stroke of genius.

    1. The reindeer pattern is yours just for the asking. I concluded that the dorky book was a real hoot even after having read only the first two chapters. I will definitely pass it on to you. It is a quick read - even for the mother of two small children! The basket is living on in extreme usefulness. It is upside down in front of the swivel rocker so poor injured kitty Wima can climb up to her preferred perch even with the cast on her leg and without clawing the !@#$@$^% out of the chair front.