Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day Superiority

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who stopped by. This giveaway is open until Friday, 3/2, at 6 p.m. PST.

Are you excited? It's Leap Day. And it is Superior Threads giveaway day!! This might not happen for another four years so you better take advantage of it today.

Elizabeth and I were co-conspirators for this fabulous giveaway idea. I had been wanting to get the word out about Superior Threads, and it just so happens that Elizabeth is friends with Bob and Heather (also known as Mother Superior--don't you love it?) Purcell, the owners of Superior Threads. So when Elizabeth and I had the chance to meet in person at the Road2California quilt show in January, the plan was hatched. And Bob and Heather agreed to supply the thread.
I have been a fan of Superior Threads for years.While they offer a great variety of thread, in a magnificent variety of colors, I have mostly used Masterpiece for piecing and King Tut for machine quilting. Superior is in the process of changing all their 50 wt. Masterpiece thread from two-ply to three-ply. This is extra long staple Egyptian cotton that my machines love and it creates hardly any lint.

But if 100% cotton isn't what you are looking for, how about polyester, metallic, or silk?

And I'm definitely planning something for my grandchildren using this cool glow-in-the-dark thread!
The other fabulous thing about Superior is that their website is packed with information. Do you have questions about tension? Thread-specific questions? They have that, and lots more, including troubleshooting and lots of reference guides, a Deal of the Day, a Thread of the Month club, and their newsletter, which includes Bob's joke of the month, reason enough to sign up.

But you're really waiting for the giveaway info, right? Including my blog, go check out all these other fabulous quilters, each offering a chance to try some Superior thread.

Elizabeth from Occasional Piece-Quilt!

Lee from Freshly Pieced

Sherri from A Quilting Life

Leanne from She Can Quilt

Thelma from Cupcakes 'n' Daisies

Jeni from In Color Order

Amy from During Quiet Time

Carla from Lollyquiltz

Jennifer from That Girl, That Quilt

Corey from Little Miss Shabby

Terri from Sew-Fantastic

Here at Live a Colorful Life, just leave a comment  for a chance to win.
The giveaway ends at Thursday, March 1, at 6 p.m. PST.  One winner will receive three spools--two Masterpiece and one King Tut.

The other winner will receive two spools--one Masterpiece and one King Tut--along with coordinating fat quarters of fabric.

It's always fun to ask a comment question because I get the most interesting answers. Let's see...

Okay, how about this? Do you know anyone with a birthday today? Or do you have any special plans for Leap Day?

Well, that was certainly clever.

If you want to leap out on a limb and become a follower (or tell me you already are a follower), that would be cool too.

Also, my friend, Deborah (Simply Miss Luella) is having a fun fabric giveaway, so be sure to head over there as well!

Let the LEAPING begin!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

WIP Wednesday

After spending a weekend in the mountains at an annual quilting retreat, I have a couple of things to show. Yay!

I started Swooning! Four out of nine blocks completed. The center fabric was purchased in Italy several years ago, just waiting for the perfect project.
And because it would just be silly to work on one project all weekend and actually complete it, next came a baby quilt for precious Ruby...

...which seemed to me like pure "kismet"--defined by Webster as fate or destiny. Seriously. I was a procrastinator and couldn't decide on a pattern or fabric. Jill and Jason decorated the nursery in red/grey/aqua as gender-neutral because they didn't know whether they were having a boy or a girl. And then they had a beautiful baby girl and named her Ruby. And Bonnie and Camille's fabric line, Ruby, Coincidence? I think not.

Then I went from working on a baby quilt to making granny squares. Because that seems like a natural progression, doesn't it?

When I came home Sunday night, I worked a bit on my knitted afghan, Azekura (Japanese for "log cabin"):

It was a very good week.

Thanks, Lee, for hosting each week.
And because it is Leap Day, there is a Superior Thread giveaway here (so check out the next post which will be up soon), and at quite a few other places, including Freshly Pieced! Don't miss it. Also, my friend, Deborah, from Simply Miss Luella, is having a fun Leap Day giveaway as well. Happy Leaping!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Farmer's Wife Friday: The Lure of Mother Earth

Today's farmer's wife is from Massachusetts. And another feisty wife she is! I think that is what I am enjoying the most about reading these letters from the 1920s. She starts by refuting current false statements regarding a woman's life on the farm, such as "no modern improvements" and "too isolated....They are in a class with the bogy man and similar imaginary terrors."

Alrighty then...

She goes on to prove her point by citing "one-pipe furnaces, farm lighting systems, septic tanks and the expert knowledge of rural sanitation...." She also likes alliteration. "The other bugbear, isolation, can be answered in the key of 'F', as it were--Flivvers, Fones and Free Rural Delivery." She feels that the bright daughter, "who might be a nobody in a large city, can be a real power in a small farm community...." She and her husband probably spend hours talking about the business of running a farm, sitting at their kitchen table and having a cup of coffee.

#25 Cups & Saucers

"It is upon the farm that her mind may be kept broad and alert by much reading, much thinking; her heart kept sympathetic and warm by communion with God's out-of-doors..." She probably kept in touch with what was going on in the world through periodicals and letters brought by the mailman. Don't forget that she mentioned "free rural delivery." Free, you say? And here we are in 2012, with postage that continually goes up in price, and contemplating delivery service going from six days per week to five.

#68 Postage Stamp

All these farmer's wives constantly inspire me with their spunk and love of life on the farm. They certainly are able and willing to communicate their thoughts in an articulate way.And I'm happy to have a little bit of insight into their lives.
Don't forget to check out Carla's thoughts. She always has great blocks, and fascinating insight into the letters as she actually lives on a farm!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Anticipation Part 2

So here they are. Pictures of Colorbox. Pictures do not do this quilt justice. At least not my pictures! The one thing I always do is have my charity donation quilts professionally photographed. That doesn't happen until March 8. Then and only then will there be some decent pictures. Until then, the quilt blocks, one by one.  And remember, the blocks really are square. It is just my poor un-Photoshopped photography that makes them look kinda wonky. The important thing is to pay attention to the quilting!

Row 1

 Row 2

 Row 3

My socks (from my best friend) look particularly awesome with this block!

 Row 4

Do you have a favorite? I can't decide. Like children, I love them each equally, but for different reasons.
And because it IS "really random Thursday," something on my bucket list: to ride on a Zamboni:
I'm leaving today for a weekend quilting retreat in the mountains. Last year there was nothing but sheet ice--treacherous! This year, up to 72 degrees and sunny. Go figure.

Farmer's Wife Friday will still be up and running tomorrow. Even though I won't be anywhere close to a computer. Technology--don't you love it?!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


When I told Mark was I going to write a post with the title, "anticipation," he did exactly what had been running through my head. He started singing the Carly Simon song from 1972. Awesome. I love it when that happens.

 Fast forward to 1:07 for the chorus--that way it will stick in your head all day. :)

So. Anticipation....

Remember this quilt? Colorbox.
Anticipation kicked into high gear when Mark's cousin, Ione, longarm quilter extraordinaire, sent me a sneak peak and told me the quilt was in the mail and should arrive today!!

It's really hard to see her amazing quilting. I'm pretty sure when the box arrives, I'll do the same thing I've done the other four times a quilt has returned after spending quality time with Ione: I open the box. Stare in stunned silence. Shed a few tears at the absolute beauty of her artistry. And then feel like taking it and showing it off to anyone I can grab. Friends. Family. Strangers on the street.
A few other things anyone reading can anticipate:

A Leap Day Superior Threads giveaway is happening on February 29! My friend, Elizabeth, and I got the ball rolling on this, because this day only happens once in a blue moon every four years. (Side note: You all know what a "blue moon" is? I didn't, until my brother-in-law got married on a blue moon--when there are two full moons in a single month). Anyhoo... some other bloggers jumped on board with this fun giveaway as well. You won't want to miss a chance to try some of this fabulous thread.

The nice people at Penguin Books/Dutton contacted me to see if I would be interested in reading and reviewing a new book by Jennifer Chiaverini, Sonoma Rose. Having read several of Jennifer's books before, I was particularly interested in a book that takes place in Sonoma, California, during the Prohibition era. When I'm done, I'll be happy to pass it on to someone else.

Look at the blocks printed on the inside front and back of the cover. I might want to try making "Sonoma Rose," and also "Road to Triumph Ranch."

While we're talking about books, my awesome friend, Riel Nason, author of The Town That Drowned, one of my favorite books of 2011, has agreed to give away an autographed copy of her book as well. That happens on March 1.

So, go ahead. Start singing along with Carly Simon and do some anticipating of your own.

And if your doorbell rings today, it will probably be me, wanting to show you the gorgeous Colorbox quilt!

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Name Game: I'm a Ginger Monkey

Did you see who is here today? Katy from I'm a Ginger Monkey! She even wrote her own intro--love that! Thanks, Katy.

Hello - I'm Katy and I blog at I've been quilting for about 4 years now and am 1/5th of modern quilting e-zine (or digital magazine) Fat Quarterly ( Along with the other guys from FQ we have our first book coming out in May with Lark books, called Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop, which is crazily exciting and more than a little bit scary! I live in the UK with my husband, our 2 children, 2 fat cats and a pain in the butt chihuahua puppy. Thank you to Cindy for having me on the blog today!
 Do you have your own copy of this issue? Paper piecing is popping up everywhere. This is a great issue! And I definitely have my copy of The Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop preordered. 
How did you choose the name for your blog?
 My blog name was originally my name on a parenting forum when my youngest was a baby. I'm not a ginger monkey, but he is. Not a real life monkey, but a ginger boy who happens to be a little monkey. Although in actual fact, he's always been pretty good. My blog header has been 'Monkey Do' for a good few years, but the URL remains I'm A Ginger Monkey.

Were there other names you considered, and can you share any of them with us?
 This quilt possibly has one of my all-time favorite names: Technicolor Yawn, aka Scrap Vomit. 

No - there were never any other names, it was always going to be I'm A Ginger Monkey, my twitter, my flickr and my blog are all that same name. I like the continuity!
Katy was one of the three  people who guided us through the Single Girl Quilt-along

Now that you are recognized by your blog name, are you happy with it, or do you wish you could change it to something else?
I've been Ginger Monkey for so long now I can't imagine being anything else. It doesn't necessarily make any sense, but I can't imagine being called Katy Quilts or something that makes more obvious sense. I sometimes find myself confused by blog names and who is who if they have a name similar to someone else. I'm a ginger monkey - I am, or at least, I'm not, but I haven't found anyone else with a similar name, and people tend to remember it, which is always useful! I can hide behind the name, it doesn't have my name in the title, it's not necessarily me (although it is me, obviously!) and if I were to wake up one morning and decide I hated quilting (never going to happen, but you know what I mean!) my blog name doesn't reflect anything that I make. I can blog about any old thing and the name still fits. 
Katy just announced that she will be teaching English Paper Piecing at Sewing Summit in October. As she says, EPP should be taught by someone who is English, right? 

Thanks, Katy, for playing the Name Game today. It was such a pleasure to have you here!

If you aren't already reading Katy's blog regularly, please go over and say hi, and spend some time looking around. These is a LOT to see!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Farmer's Wife Friday: Clear-Eyed and Clear-Hearted

The farmer's wife this week is from New Hampshire. Like so many before her, she talks about the work that is required to live on a farm. And like those before her, she speaks quite a bit about how she finds time to read and keep "somewhat in touch with current events." In fact, she is one who will "find, take or make time" for these endeavors. She has varied interests, from dietetics to books by good authors, poets and playwrights.

She has found the close companionship and common interests that she shares with her husband, and believes the farm to be a place where "parents can teach their children the lessons of truth and right living" without the influence of outsiders.

One of my favorite parts of the letter has to do how life on the farm has taught her of God's wonderful care and tenderness. "Can we watch over the tiny seedling, the wobbly calf, the toddling baby feet, and not gain in our own souls some of  God's tenderness?"

Indeed, He cares for the birds and the bees.

#7, Birds in the Air

#49, Honeycomb

She would much rather have her daughter marry someone who is a "clear-eyed, clean-hearted, penniless farmer than a city man with a white-collar position and a large salary." (Note: It is kind of interesting that Laurie Hird, the writer of this book, listed the title of the letter as "Clear-Eyed and Clear-Hearted," but the letter is quoted as saying clear-eyed and clean-hearted. I guess it doesn't make that much difference--just kind of made me wonder which word the author of the letter actually used.)

#9, Box

#70 Prairie Queen
It is hard to get them all in one photograph!

I always enjoy Carla's comments on the week's letter, and the cheery prints she uses in her blocks.