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Sunday, December 30, 2012

More Angel Appliqued Quilt Blocks for Sandy Hook...

A few days ago I posted the 1st angel quilt block I had designed and appliqued for the Connecticut tribute quilt that I am helping Sally, a fellow quilting friend of mine make blocks for.  Twenty six blocks are being designed, one for each victim who was lost in the school tragedy.  You can click the link above to read more about it and even how you can help :-)  

Well, now I have four new blocks to share with you.  All I can hope is that maybe when the friends and family pass by this quilt when it is complete it can help bring them back to some happy memories of the ones they lost in such a horrific way.  I would love to hear what you think of these blocks, please leave me a comment if you have a few minutes.  PS...Happy early New Year to you and yours!  :-)

This was the 1st block I made :)
FYI:  This is lightweight iron on adhesive I used for the back of my appliqued angels .  It is called Heat n Bond Lite (HeatnBond).  In the past I have used Lite Steam-A-Seam 2 and this time it was recommended I try this and I have had no complaints so far.  I love that I no longer have to figure out what sheet to trace on first to make sure it is on the adhesive side.  This adhesive is made so I don't have to think to hard when it is late at night (giggles) one side it paper, the other side is adhesive!  WoW!  Love that!   

Hugs & Smiles, Tiffiny ~ Smilie Mommy

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Appliqued Angel Quilt Block for Tribute Quilt Being Made for Connecticut Victims (Sandy Hook)

I made my first block for the tribute quilt that a friend, Sally has started for the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy that happened in Connecticut this month.  

I designed this appliqued angel quilt block myself and the finished size of the block is 12 1/2 inches as Sally has requested for the quilt she is making to donate to the school.  She is still looking for more blocks if you are able and interested in making one or more yourself...hint hint hint :-)  If she were to receive any extra angels they will be made into wall hangings that will also be donated to the school.  Here is a link to Sally's Quilting Corner blog so you can contact her if you have any questions.  I hope everyone is ready for the New Year, and remember that one action of kindness can spread like wildfire, let's always challenge ourselves to treat people the way they deserve to be treated and that even includes believing in ourselves.  :-)

PS... If you would like to see more of the angel appliqued quilt blocks I have completed click on this link.  =) 

PPS...This time I used Heat n Bond Lite to make these angels instead of the Lite Steam-A-Seam2 like I have used in the past to applique with.  I love that the Heat n Bond was one layer of paper, no more fooling around with which side of the paper to trace on, there was only one side.  Made it a nice no brainer.  I need that sometimes, you know?  =)

Hugs & Smiles, Tiffiny ~ Smilie Mommy

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Quilts / Quilt Tops & More Still Being Collected / Needed For Super Storm Sandy

Remember the huge storm we had the end of October that ripped up the east coast, Storm Sandy and devastated huge parts of New York?  I know some of us may have let it slip our minds with all things like the holidays we are preparing for, the tragedy in Connecticut but those families are also still in need.  The Hoppin Bobbin, the only quilt shop my boys will ever ask to go in to with me has been collecting finished quilts and quilt tops for the families of New York since it happened.  I just found out they are still collecting them and also looking for the every day things you need to stay warm when out in the cold.  Imagine what you send your children bundled up in to play in the snow or what you walk from your front door to your car in the ice and that is what they would need as well.  So ANY help would be greatly appreciated!  All of the info of what is needed and where to send the quilts to can be found right on the website above for the Hoppin Bobbin!  :-)

PS...Oh by the way, if you noticed in the pictures, there is a really cute Pomeranian getting her belly rubbed, that is Tootsie.  She may be a minor reason why they ask to go to that specific shop so much, but hey if it gives me an extra excuse to go in, I am all for it!  They are an awesome group of ladies who will answer any and all of your questions!  :-) <3
PPS...They do actually both enjoy sewing as well!
PPPS...The quilt behind their shoulders was designed and made by Erin Underwood, the pattern can be found here and is called, Cathedral Windows by Machine!  :-)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My Favorite Decorations Are the Snowmen Hand prints!

As these precious blue hand print & hand painted snowmen ornaments of my son's go up on the tree, I quickly sneak a kiss just before handing them off to the boys so they can place them as they wish amongst the other memories on the Christmas tree.  Last year I was looking originally for an ornament large enough for their larger hands, then I came across these gold bells and decided they would be perfect for them to recreate the hand snowmen.  So here I took this photograph of to show how much they have changed over the last few years.  I hope this inspires you to make them for your family, I made the blue ornaments for the Grandparents as well as gifts, they loved them!  :-)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pillowcases for the Children of Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut

With the tragedy in the Connecticut school that struck the hearts of so many across the world just a few days ago, leaves most of us with questions that may not ever be answered.  But if one of the questions you have is what can you do to help make a difference in the children who did physically survive this ordeal there is something that may seem simple but it could still be so touching to know they are being thought of as well.  And you can do this easily with your own children, it is making pillowcases!  :-)

I saw on Facebook last night that Becky, of Quilter's Corner  in New Milford, CT is trying to collect 600 new home-made pillow cases for the children who still attend Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut by the return of Christmas break.  Okay, I hear it already, but I don't know if I can make a pillow case... Well, Canton Village Quilt Works located in Canton, CT was nice enough to share a FREE 20 minute Pillow Case pattern with all of us (I love LQS helping each other)!  Still thinking you aren't sure if you can do this or not?  Well, here are pictures of my boys when my oldest was just 9 and my youngest when he was only 7 making their 1st pillow cases!  If they can so it, so can you!  :-)  They are now 11 & 8 and will surely be helping me make more for this cause.  All of the information of where to ship your finished pillowcases can be found on the Quilter's Corner Facebook page, just let them know that Smilie Mommy (Tiffiny's- me - Facebook page) sent you their way if you are able to help, even if it is just one or two, they add up and will make a difference to a precious child and hopefully bring a smile to their face!
Carefully rolling his pillow case :-)
Big T taking his time learning how to sew :)
LiL T watching his big brother sew :-)

You may also enjoy the blog post I wrote called the Challenge of Change in early November and the blog post from last week about believing in yourself, friends have told me it was pretty uplifting for them.  :-)

LiLT was wearing his as a cape! :-)
Using an iron for the 1st time!
LiL T proudly standing in front of Big T for the big reveal!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Believe in Yourself Even When You Think No One Else Does!

The most important times in our lives to be strong, and stand up for what is right is when you may be the only one aware of it.  Trust your instincts, don't doubt what you are capable of and don't let anyone take away your goals and abilities, they are yours and yours only.  

Accomplish them, you can do anything you set your mind on and you can even be a kind person along the way.  Don't let others negativity become a toxin it is contagious just like love, laughter and happiness that is just as easily spread.  Enjoy life, we only get one.  Xox. :-)

This will make sense as you read the next section below...I promise!  :-)

This all just came to me a few minutes ago.  Earlier I was sitting around sortof feeling glum today.  I try so hard to focus on the positive, that sometimes when the negative things build up it comes all at once and becomes like a heavy weight that I am stuck under for a little bit.  Then I had a call from a special friend I have known since childhood.  Helping me realize we all go through stuff, we all have our own baggage.  But how we all carry it (our stuff) is what in the end defines if we lived a happy fulfilling, epic life or not.  I am choosing to live my life to the best of my abilities, being the best mom to my boys, which means to just not talk the talk, but walk the walk.  So glad I was put on this Earth not to be perfect, this road is definitely not bump free, especially the paths I choose (just like the quilt, but I will find my way and be dancing and smiling as I get there!  :-) may also enjoy this blog post I wrote about a month ago called the "Challenge of Change".  It isn't an automatic thing, it is a daily choice we make, I am proof of that.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Tree FREE Block Pattern & Tutorial!

Hi everyone!  Before I show you where to find my free quilt block pattern and tutorial for the Christmas trees I made above (yes, I do like to tease a  I am hoping everyone has been doing well, enjoying the changes of the seasons and also maybe still participating with the Challenge of Change blog post I wrote a few weeks ago.  If you haven't read it, please check it out either before or after you look over this free Christmas tree quilt block pattern and tutorial I made back for a Christmas in July Quilt Along!  :-)

Heather, from The Sewing Loft (link to her blog), came up with a really good gift idea, she said from her, The Sewing Loft Facebook page: "I Spy this super cute and FREE Christmas quilt block from FreeSpirit Fabrics & Smilie Mommy Quilting & Crafts. I'm thinking what a cute border on a dish towel. Hostess with the Mostess gift: Check!"  Thanks "sew" much Heather for the great idea and kind words!  :-)

I made this pattern and tutorial back for my first Quilt Along where I was actually one of the long list of other great Quilt Bloggers that were able to unveil their very own pattern and tutorial using fabric provided by Free Spirit, that was then pieced and quilted into one quilt for Free Spirit Fabrics, here is a link to their website, it should also lead you to where you can find my FREE pattern and tutorial in PDF form

Here is the list of other bloggers that participated in the Quilt Along and their websites attached:

 Heather at Fiberosity
  Pat Sloan
  Melanie at Melanie Dramatic
  Pam at Pam Kitty Morning
  Kelsey Creates
  Katie @ Swim Bike Quilt
  Kim at Persimon Dreams
  Amanda at Sasikirana
  Jane at QuiltJane
  Kristy at St Louis Folk Victorian
  Kimberly at Fat Quarter Shop
  Lee at Freshly Pieced
  Jennifer at MJandCo
  Mishka at Quilting Gallery
  Tiffiny at
  Tacha at Fat Quarterly
  Megan at Canoe Ridge Creations
  Jocelyn at It’s Sew Emma
PS...When visiting their pages, feel free to let them know that Smilie Mommy sent you and says hello as well. :-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Challenge of Change :-)

This time of year with the beautiful colors of Autumn and the briskness in the air, it makes me think of all of the changes going on around me.  So many things to be grateful for and realize how fortunate we all really are.  

Last week, when my electricity was out for just under 24 hours, I understood fully all I had was a minor inconvenience.  There are people less then 50 miles away from where we live that are in total devastation, loss of not just "their stuff" that can be replaced eventually but the loss of their friends and family members.  The people we choose to share our lives with are gifts that are priceless and we should try to take all the time we have with them to admire the things we love about them and try with all of our might not to focus and waste time on the negative things that don't define who any of us are.  

While I was in line to vote today there was something that caught my eye.  It was something called Rachel's Challenge, two large white boards with all of the student's signatures on it.  There was a girl standing in line behind me who attends the middle school, waiting with her Grandmother.  I decided to ask her about Rachel and the challenge.  I have sheer gratitude for being in the right place at the right time today.  To hear this teenage girl tell us the story of Rachel, it was bone chilling hearing her recall how good of a person she was, loved by everyone, the caring notes she left behind and the deep thoughts she kept about so many of life's challenges.  Then to hear how she had sadly lost her life way too soon due to the Columbine shootings in 1999.  
Rachel's Challenge Website
There is so much more to tell and her website (Rachel's Challenge) will do it best, that will surely give you goosebumps as well.  But one quote I found on the site that touched me and is from Rachel, "Tomorrow is not a promise but a chance"  She believed in starting a chain reaction of kindness.  I challenge all of us to start our own chain reactions of kindness and compassion.  Let it be in our own families, then our families can gain the strength and confidence to stand up, encourage and help others, and to help keep Rachel's dream alive, may it never stop and the wave continue flowing back and forth just as we depend on the waves in the ocean to always come back to us at some point, we just never know their true power until they have touched us.  :-)

P.S.  Please one other thing, what ever you can give, no matter how small even if it is of your yourself, please donate to your local charities to help the people living in your communities and if possible please help the people also struggling to get by who lost so much in Hurricane Sandy.  The American Red Cross has a Relief Fund set up for those that can help.  Thanks for listening and tag you are it.  :-)
American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund


Friday, October 12, 2012

Back again...this time from Tennessee! :-)

Up the Strings it says  "Honky~Tonk Heroes"
So I was in Tennessee for the last 3 days.  I have to be honest I am not really a country girl, meaning the music, it was really interesting finding a channel on the radio, it actually ends up growing on you though...haha!  But I do love the southern hospitality & charm, their awesome accents, sweet potato fries and the evil but incredibly delicious cookies our hotel had creeping out at every corner waiting for us.  I was keeping my eyes open for the perfect pair of boots for me, but perfect and too much $ clashed, I like bargains and wouldn't be willing to spend $300-$700 for a pair of cow girl boots!  
I even managed to get out to a few quilt shops.  To protect the guilty, I will leave the store unnamed but it was a bit rustic, dusty (dirty), out of date and can I say (cough cough) smoky inside.  It was the 1st one I visited while in Tennessee so it had me nervous for my next adventures of shop hops of the day, but hey, I am always up for an adventure.  This one just happened to have two yapping dogs included for free in the package.  This should be my last trip for a bit.  I am grateful for my husband's work trips and that I get to tag along, but it does put a glitch into getting any sewing done.  With that said....
Elvis has left the building! ;-)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Consider Organ Donation ~ I did :-)

On a personal note, something to consider and none of us really want to think about or even talk about is if you want to be a donor or not. I know it is a tough topic for many.  My uncle passed away a few weeks ago and his skin alone was able to help over 40 people!  To me that is an amazing gift to be able to give when who knows when our # is called and end up leaving our world maybe in tragic circumstances.  I have already chosen to be a donor for many years, so that tough emotional decision is already made for my loved ones, what about you? Here is a link I found that may be helpful for organ and tissue donation. :-)
If you want to see different views of these appliqued hearts I designed onto a pillow click this link and it will take you to the correct page, thanks for reading my post.  :-)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Back again~ 2 new quilt shops, beaches, food and did I mention quilt shops?! :-)

Ok, so I did warn you I wasn't done with the traveling quite yet.  Just didn't tell you it was so going to be so soon.  Sneaky me....giggles!  :-)  Ok, so the people that take care of our attack hamster know when we are gone, that is the important part and our neighbors the cops, I should bake them some cookies or better yet quilt them up something like these simple coasters I made a while back!  So again, I need to somehow catch up on the pictures I keep taking.  Here is one cool one I took while the hubby was driving us to the hotel from the airport in Florida. 

 I didn't think it turned out too bad since he was probably going around 70 miles per hour and all!  The skies were beautiful most of the time we were there.  I managed to get to two great quilt shops but behaved myself compared to my last trip when I was in Cape Cod.  I am very grateful for my husband's work conferences and my lack of fear of being out of state and following a GPS.  Ok, I need to run and pick the boys up from school, I am looking forward to catching up on this blog and most of all touching my sewing machine again!  Thanks for hanging in there with me, the traveling for this year is soon over :-)

Monday, September 24, 2012

I am alive, just to let you know :-)

Here is just a glimpse of the fabrics I feel like I almost "stole from Cape Cod!  :-)
If anyone has been wondering where in the world Tiffiny has been, I am still here, alive and kicking :-) So sorry I haven't blogged in it feels like forever.  :-)   I have been traveling with my husband with his job, which has given me many things to blog about, believe me when I can grab some time to do it, I took tons of pictures of our trip to Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard!  While there I also was able to meet one of my Quilty friends, Sally who lives up that way and we went to a quilt shop together and had a blast picking on each other and some how I managed to even find perverted fabric I thought she should buy, hahaha!  An added bonus for me when I travel with him is I go hunting for quilt shops when he is busy in his conferences, which this last time I needed a suitcase for the trip back, but to my defense the fabric was between $.99 & $4.00 a yard!  One store was going out of business and another was having a mega sale to try to keep up it seems, I was in quilty world heaven we can say!  So when I can get caught up, which is hopefully sometime in the near future I will be posting pictures of all of my goodies.  Until then, thanks for waiting for me and chat soon.   :-)
Bigger pic, since a few friends told me the pic above was to much of a tease :-)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2012 September ~ Busy ripping out a quilt, piecing Quilt #10 and traveling :-)

Hi everyone, wow time has been flying by between school starting for my boys and way tooooo many trips to the dentist this past month and a trip to Virginia & Pennsylvania!  Been busy with my seam ripper for the Labyrinth king size quilt that is meant for our own bed and continuing to piece together my Quilt #10 which has 1296 triangles in it, where I am using the 15 Degree Ruler designed by Erin Underwood, here is a link to her awesome quilting blog. She is a professional quilter, instructor and pattern designer.  She is a sweet lady, who is down to Earth and very easy to talk to, she is always willing to give advice when asked!  :-)

My bin of fabrics and completed paper pieces to the left! :-)
My paper piecing pile up haha :-p

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 ~ August ~ Quilting from H-E-L-L :-)

{{{Warning, venting is ahead...haha}}}  Okay, so my story should hopefully help you next time you may be letting someone quilt (the sandwiching of the quilt top, batting and backing) something that you have worked hard on and are in a situation where you need someone else to quilt the tops for you.  My story begins over a year ago.  I made this Labyrinth quilt pattern in a king size and was so excited to be putting something on our very own bed.  I used a Quilter who had also been my instructor once in a class.  First thing I learned, look at your quilt before you hand over the $ cash $!  She meets me, hands me a bag with my now quilted comforter in it and I was so excited and naive I didn't say, may I look at it?  So she hands me the bill, I write her a check and go home.  I place it on the bed, knowing it still needs binding and take pictures.  Then I start noticing problems with it, where she must have been having tension issues.   But basically big and small loops on both sides that could easily have a finger or toe stuck under them and it would make it worse. So then, called her, told her the issue, which she attempted to deny was even possible until the proof was in front of her, seeing the 50+ pins all over it, front and back with mistakes.  So she proceeded to rip it all out and re-quilt it.  She then calls me a few months later to inform me it happened again, what would you like me to do?  Ughhhhh, so we go back and forth in email and she suddenly drops off the planet for almost a year.  So I finally heard back from her about 2 weeks ago after writing her on a whim again.  At this point I just wanted it back and what ever money I could get refunded to me.  So I am in the process of ripping it all out just so it can get done properly.  I need to buy a new quilt back and batting, she squared mine off, leaving that 4 inches needed on all sides, no longer available.  I purchased Batiks, and the backing was 11.5 yards, so I bought an entire bolt!  So it will be fun finding something else that goes as nicely as it had before.  Seriously, that part will be fun for me...LoL!  :p  So here are some pictures of my poor quilt.

So please feel free to share / vent with me about quilting issues you have heard or dealt with yourself.  Leave me a comment, just leave out the offender's name please :-)  I would have been willing to reuse her if she had handled things differently then she had.  Last thing she said to me was it ended up being a bobbin issue, and there was no way she could have known.  I didn't respond, all I kept thinking was all you needed to do was look at it every once in a while and seen it was happening...LoL! :p  Anyway, everything happens for a reason and it will all work out.  Live & Learn right? :-)

PS...Another thing I learned was make sure your quilter has insurance for situations even worse then mine where an actual hole is in your item.

What my quilt looks like on my bed, maybe one day hehe :p

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Olfa Collection of Rotary Cutters & Mats

So, I made a new friend, Bruce Kennedy on Twitter yesterday and he runs a Olfa business in the UK and online.  It made me start thinking about how all of my rotary cutters   and cutting mats are made by Olfa.  So here is a picture of my growing collection.  I bought the nifty Olfa rotary circle cutter during a demonstration at a quilt show last year, seems it would work so much better if I took it out of the package, oops....haha :p  I have three of their Olfa cutting mats, a nice sized one for my cutting table (36"x24"), and one that sits next to my sewing machine (18"x12" Olfa cutting mat) that is great while I am paper piecing and one that is my tote (18"x24")   when I take a class.  I honestly do use all of my rotary cutters, the largest one when I am cutting through many layers of fabric at the same time, like I did for my Stack-n-Whack quilts.  I obviously love their stuff.  No one asked me to write this blog post, this was my idea since if you know me, I will take pictures of everything if it stays still long enough...LoL!  So let me know, what is your favorite tool and even the brand you prefer.  This happened to be the brand I received recommendations for and have stuck with them ever since.  :-)