Bits and pieces…

Today is a “either-or” sort of day.

It feels like everything I’ve got going is either winding down or gearing up, and my calendar is full of “weeks and weeks away” or a rapidly approaching deadline.

Winding down – Christmas in July.  I’ll still be making and sharing some good-for-gift projects in the  coming months but the only thing left is to say – after one of the ladies in the office picked five numbers and I found the corresponding comment, I sent five e-mails.  If you didn’t hear from me, not to worry, this isn’t the last time I’ll have some surprises to share.  With birthdays, anniversaries and the holidays, there’s still plenty to celebrate.

While this doesn’t wind down for two more weeks, the deadline is looming.

August 18th – Spoonflower and Fabric8.  Are you putting the finishing touches on your artwork for Botanical Sketchbook?


Your name on a Moda selvage – it could happen.  But time-is-a-wasting!  You’ve got two weeks from today – get busy!

We are gearing up for several “events” coming soon, and just as it is with back-to-school, all the catalogs full of new “Fall” stuff, there are crates and boxes arriving in the office and over in the warehouse.  From fabric to notions, it’s all got the feel of “gearing up”.  It’s all rather distracting – partly because it’s intersting, partly because some of what is arriving are things we’ve been working on for much of the year, and partly because it’s all very new to me.

I’m also somewhat easily side-tracked.  It didn’t help that a couple of new “Christmas” books were dropped off in my office this week from That Patchwork PlaceMartingale.


Handmade Christmas Cheer by Pat Wys of the Silver Thimble Quilt Co. and…


Season’s Greetings by Anni Downs of Hatched & Patched in Australia.

Both books are terrific, and both books have projects that you can finish by the holidays.  (And yes, I’m sharing.  These books found their way into two of the “gifts” going out this week.)


By the way – today is National Chocolate Chip Day!

Not National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day – that’s May 16th.  But it’s a loophole – celebrating the chocolate chip includes chocolate chip cookies!  Of course, it also includes chocolate chip pancakes, waffles, muffins and bagels.  Chocolate Chip Ice Cream – mint and “regular”, chocolate chip milkshakes and chocolate chip cake are worthy treats, as is any trail mix or granola bar with chocolate chips!

I’m sorry… I need a moment.  In the excitement over chocolate possibilities, I sort of lost my head.

David Leite's Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie

I was distracted by this picture.

This was the recipe that resulted from David Leite’s search for the “consummate chocolate chip cookie“.  David Leite is an award-winning, renowned chef-baker-gourmet who writes for the NY Times and he wrote about this several years ago as the “Quest for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie”.

I’ve made these cookies – mine didn’t look anywhere near this perfect – but it’s a recipe that’s definitely worth trying if you love Chocolate Chip Cookies.  David Leite’s Chocolate Chip Cookie – Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I had a deadline this past week – and I missed it!  July 31st.  That was when I was supposed to have my blocks finished for a swap I’d been invited to join.  I finished them over the weekend and turned them in this morning… “finished” being an operative word.  That kind of implies that they were “in the works”.  Does having my fabric selected count as “in the works”?


These are my blocks – before I cut them into quarters.  The “center squares” aren’t in the center and really, they’re not supposed to be.  This can be a scrap-buster or a “I must buy lots of pretty fabric for my new project” kind of quilt.  (Mine was mostly the latter.  I know, you’re shocked.)


Have you ever participated in a swap?  I think this is my fourth.  Or fifth.

I won’t pretend that they always goes perfectly – that you’re always going to be thrilled with what you get back in the swap.  With the right group – like-minded quilters – and a few guidelines and rules, it’s a whole lot of fun.  Most swaps I’ve participated in are fairly specific about fabric – 100% cotton, quilt-store quality, color palette and sometimes even the style.  E.g., no novelty prints, all 30s or batiks, etc.

The benefit of blocks like these is that they can be squared up to uniform size to account for “variations”.  The quilt we’re all making is based on one from the Sunday Morning Quilts book by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison – and yes, we all have the book.  We were given a fabric and color-palette of – Bonnie & Camille meet Minick & Simpson.  No, fabrics weren’t limited to those two “designers”… let’s just say nobody had to dive into their stash of brown or purple.

Truth be told, half the fun is seeing what you get back.  Most are gorgeous – much better than anything I made.  But every now and then you get one that elicits this comment, “this block is from <insert the name of the sweet friend who you adore but are convinced is color-blind>… well, bless her heart.”

I’ll let you know how it goes.

That’s it for today – I hope you go celebrate the holiday and consider participating in a block swap of some kind.

Happy Tuesday!

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15 thoughts on “Bits and pieces…

  1. Hi Carrie! Well that was just mean….posting an incredible chocolate chip cookie photo…when you know we do not have the ability to reach into the screen and help ourselves to one! Sigh. And, posting those yummy, yummy Christmas books from Martingale. I must now add these to my overflowing book and pattern collection – and then, somehow, must try to either clone myself or find a way to increase the hours in every day to (let’s say) forty or so…and I might be able to actually make one of those pretty, pretty holiday appliques. Love your swap blocks, beautiful colour combinations. And laughing over the “insert name” comment – because it is so true. I was in a swap some months back – and my swap partner (a truly lovely human being) asked me for my colour preferences. I said “beachy, sea-washed blues, creams and shabby-chic browns” because I wanted to use the piece on my trailer. I received a beautifully crafted candle mat in vibrant shades of turquoise, rich, dark, dark, dark browns with unique patterns, and bright yellow. Colour really is a matter of interpretation, isn’t it? And we all see colour so differently…

    Thanks for another fun post. A great start to my day here in the office!

  2. I have only done a few swaps – the first I was practically coerced into – it was a signature quilt swap for a friend’s birthday. I did finish the quilt and use it on cold winter days when I am sitting and reading

  3. Wow! I didn’t even know it was “Chocolate Chip Day”! This past weekend I made a double batch of ice cream mix and made one batch with fresh peaches. I had to wait for my ice cream maker to refreeze before I could make the 2nd batch. Well, at 5:30 this morning (after kissing my husband good-bye for work!) I started the churning of vanilla mix and through in mini chocolate chips and voila! Chocolate Chip Ice Cream at 6am!!! Oh Happy Day!!!

  4. So looking forward to seeing all the quilts finished. It’s been fun watching some of them come together before being cut in quarters. Enjoy your chocolate chip’s. Have a great week.

  5. I did a different type of swap. We all purchased our own fabric and put it in a project bag. It got passed every month to a new person. They could make any 12 inch block they wanted with the fabric and then pass it on. The blocks turned out with varying degrees of success. Some were terrible. (I’ll just be honest). This was done in the late 80s or early 90s and they are still sitting there. One of the problems is that I didn’t know anything about value and the fabrics were almost all the same value. None of my quilts had good value in those days. The other problem with the blocks is that we choose to make them so large. Some day I may finish them just so I can see what I can do with them using 30 more years of experience than I had in those days.

  6. I love eating chocolate chips plain…fresh out of the freezer even though I don’t think you”re supposed to freeze chocolate. Its a great way to celebrate chips everyday!
    Your log cabin blocks look pretty. Good luck in your swap!

  7. oh happy day…….I have never been in a swap but if you need an extra coming up in the next 6 months or so…..I am unable to drive and will be finding out what treatments I will be getting after a minor fender bender from a first time seizure and subsequently found a brain tumor. ok, i apologize….nobody wants to hear that. But, I feel blessed that I’m still alive and here and that there are people in the world that choose the medical profession and want to help:) I have lots of fun fabric and quilts to sew and now I’m intrigued by the fabric contest….
    I have to look up the cookie recipe and that guy. I thought I had the best recipe already in my file:)
    I get to stitch the binding on a very fun quilt for my daughter in law!!!! by the lake with the sun shining!

  8. I read till chocolate chip cookies and then my brain stayed theere and I started to droll, sorry;-) I partcipated in some sewing swaps (Tilda) but honestly I always liked more what I send to others then what I recevied. But I know in your swap group are Camille, Lissa and a few other really amazing ladies there can nothing go wrong!

  9. Well bless your heart for taking part in those swaps. At first I felt that way too. Now I look forward to them. Somewhere in the swap will be something that will make me stretch and grow as a quilter. I want to make that swap work and in doing so, I usually learn something new or remember something my aged mind has temporarily misplaced on my hard drive. They energize me!

  10. I’m going to talk cookies, not fabric… I have had that recipe for a couple of years now and it is HANDS DOWN the BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe ever. The hard part is waiting the 24-36 hours to bake them, although the dough is pretty good:) Thanks for sharing.

  11. Carrie is there any way to buy one of the “there’s no place like moda” totes? I’ve been looking all over and can’t find one. Pretty please?

  12. For me every day is chocolate chip day. Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate. Best snack ever.

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