2011: Projects, Resolutions and a Giveaway!

I thought I'd take a little break from showing you the Christmas gifts that I made, and tell you what I hope to accomplish in 2011!

There are lots of sew-alongs popping up, and I've really had to use restraint to not join every single one. I'm hoping that bloggers will continue with them throughout the year, because it's just silly if everyone starts at the same time!

If you find yourself with gobs of free time now that the holiday frenzy is past, here are a few that I've seen:
Postage Stamp Quilt Along @ p.s. I quilt (I really wanted to join this one, but my plate is already full!)
Sliced Coin Quilt Along @ Don't Call Me Betsy (Another fun one, I'll be bookmarking this to try out later in the year!)
One Yard Wonders Sew Along @ Pink Chalk Fabrics (I have this book, it's got a lot of great projects in it!)
Ticker Tape Quilt Along @ deeroo designs/Old Red Barn Quilt Co. (Great scrap buster!)
Lots of Apron Tutorials @ Sewing in No Man's Land (Check out her freebies, all of her patterns are free and they are adorable!)
Blogger's Pillow Party is a fun little contest going on over at Stitched in Color. I'm hoping to enter something!

And the last one I'll share with you is the Birdie Stitches Hand Embroidery BOM @ Little Miss Shabby. I'm not sure why I didn't see the Little Miss Shabby blog before now, but she's got tons of inspiration over there! This is the only sew along/quilt along that I've committed to for this year. I have my first block pieced and embroidered, and while I was at it I pieced the other 11 blocks.
(Ignore the blue marks, my marker lines haven't dissolved yet.)
The piecing is from the Sunkissed line by Sweetwater (LOVE them!!). Solid is kona in ash. Floss is DMC.

So, that was my first 2011 commitment. What else is keeping me busy?
Quilt up 1 quilt for my Mom
Quilt up a wallhanging that my Mom made Addy for Christmas, and didn't get a chance to finish.
Finish Start this coat. I'm giving up on the hair canvas b/c my wool is very thin. But I need to rework the front panels b/c it's huge in the bust. Did I mention that I already cut the wool AND finished the bound button holes? So yeah, I shoved that one in a closet to start on Christmas gifts.

Use the City Weekends line by Oliver + S to make a baby quilt for one of Matt's coworkers.
I picked up this fat quarter pack from my soon-to-be lqs, Quilting Loft in Seattle, WA. To say that I love this shop is an understatement. I've never seen so many modern fabrics, patterns, books, and samples all in 1 location. The prices were a bit higher than I'm used to, but about equivalent to those at the 1 shop in Chicago. As soon as I saw this fq pack I thought of the woman at Matt's work who is having a boy, so I had to pick it up! I also picked up a charm pack of City Weekend (which I already used), a yard of some fun boy/car fabric, and another charm pack of Fandango. This quilt is first new project on the list after I quilt the two projects above.

The last part of my sewing/quilting new year is to sew more from my stash and be grateful for the amazing things that I have. I go through waves of spending lots and feeling guilty about what I have, so this year I'm really trying to stick to it! And to share what I do have with others, I pulled out a pile of quilts to donate.
I found Margaret's Hope Chest, and they are the first group that I'm going to contact. I still need to dig through my plastic totes in the basement because I know that I have more to share!
I've also joined a group of crafters on Facebook who are going to "Pay it Forward in 2011". I'm sending a handmade gift to the first 5 people who commented on my Facebook status, and in turn they have to do the same!
My non-quilting resolution is to spend more time playing with my daughter and less time interneting during the day. That meant that I had to whittle down my blog reader list. In lieu of following so many blogs, I've started adding contacts in Flickr. It's a great way to keep up on what others are doing! Here's my photostream, if you'd like to add me as a contact. :)

Just one more thing before the giveaway details. ;) For the central IL locals (or visitors!), I have to share my recent visit at the Treadle II in Bloomington, IL. I was in this shop years ago for a shop hop, before there was much modern fabric out there. The owner is a really sweet woman, and the shop is FULL-floor to ceiling bolts of fabric, and racks of craft and sewing notions and supplies. I don't usually stop in there, because honestly I expected it to be full of calicos like I remembered it. But last week after we dropped Matt off at the airport I decided to take another look at the shop, and Oh.My.Goodness. There are no samples (or room for them!), but she has more modern fabric than my 3 local shops combined! She orders charm packs of EVERY line that Moda puts out, and from many of them she also gets jelly rolls, layer cakes, and yardage! I was hoping to find some old FMF or Heather Ross in there somewhere, but she must have a really great client base because most of her fabric is from the last 3 years, I'd guess. So, what did I pick up? Well, I had some charm packs in my hand as I waited in line to pay: Plume, 12 Days of Christmas, Hideaway, Sugar POP, and It's a Hoot. While I was waiting, I picked up a copy of Elizabeth Hartman's new book. I've seen it before, but I thought I'd flip through it once more. This time I started reading some of her tips, and couldn't put the book down. She has a lot of great techniques, and I was surprised by how much I learned from just reading a few paragraphs while waiting in line. So into my pile of goodies it went!
I've already read the entire book, and I have plans for a few of the charm packs. So although I bought more than I should have, I'm feeling pretty good about my purchases.

And now, the giveaway! My 100th post came and went, and then my blog anniversary came and went. I had plans to do a Halloween giveaway, and then I ran out of time. So, here we go!
I joined the Sweetwater Label Crew when they started it up a few months back. The January labels included a pattern to make covers for the little "brag book" photo albums, but those aren't really my thing. So I added the labels to the fronts of a few moleskine journals! I kept one to stick in my purse, and I have the other two to give away!
All I ask is that the winner "pay it forward" and share one of the journals with a friend.
And because everyone likes a little fabric, I'm going to throw in this charm pack:
The charm pack you can keep for yourself. :)

To enter the giveaway, just leave me a comment.
Tell me what projects you have in mind for 2011, any resolutions that you've made, what you'd like to see here in the new year...whatever is on your mind!
One comment per person, and if you don't have your email in your profile, please leave it in your comment so that I can contact you. Don't know if your email is in your profile? Here's how to check.
If you need to leave a new comment, please delete your first comment.
You don't have to be a follower, although I do love my followers!
The giveaway will be open for one week. I'll pick a random winner sometime Saturday night, January 15.
Good luck!

This giveaway has ended. Thanks to everyone who joined me in my first giveaway! I'm going to do monthly giveaways through 2011, so stop by again to see what's going on!