AmandaCarlisleDesign - Widget
Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Family Literacy Night ~ Camp Read S'more

While Merry Mermaid and Super Scraptastic Scrap Eater were at Quilt Market in Minneapolis with Riley Blake, I was preoccupied with another activity close to my heart. :)  

This was the first year that I volunteered to co-chair something at my son's school, their Annual Family Literacy Night.  Two other moms and I had been planning it since the first of the year, and it finally happened!  It was so much fun!! 
I found this graphic online at a library site, and we used it to make passports, for the kids to get stamped at the various activity stations, and then had some door prizes at the end of the night. Lots of key club and other high school volunteers who needed hours for credit helped out at the stations.

One of the dads made some wooden trees for decoration from the lumber from a friend's construction site scrap pile.  I wish I had better pics, I just took some quickly before it got too crowded. FREE lumber is the BEST! The mom decorated the trees with paint, egg cartons, shower scrunchies, tissue paper, you name it.  They turned out really cute.

We had been sending home flyers asking for donated books that kids have outgrown, etc, and ended up with eight extra long cafeteria tables overflowing with books for the free book exchange.

The first station had kids decorating a book bag, so they had a bag to carry their free books in. :)

Along with the free books at the book exchange, a local author came, and had a great table setup, and was also autographing her books if anyone wanted to buy one. 

There was storyboarding with another local author; bookmark making; vocabulary volley where kids could volley a beach ball over a net, and whatever word their thumb landed on when they caught the ball, they had to use in a sentence, or give the definition..

There was a tent set up in the middle of the multipurpose room, for decoration but we realized that the kids LOVED taking their books inside, or just hiding out in it for a few minutes for some down time from the crowd.  Kids, tents and books seemed to be a good combo. :)

There was a "poet-tree" which I failed to get a pic of. :(  Lots of signs dotted around the room.

A "paws-4-reading" therapy dog, for the kids to read to, which ended up being a huge hit, even with the older kids. This pic melts my heart, not only the student reading to the dog, but the kids lounging on an old quilt that I threw in at the last minute to put up on the stage in the dog area.  Kids, tents, books and QUILTS.  Winning combo. :) And the dog's owner was so soo kind.  He was a Vietnam vet and a retired school teacher and volunteers his time in the community doing wonderful things like this for kids.

We had a Literacy Lounge - a small area of camping chairs and some literacy info out on a table for people to pick up.

Our public library system brought their Training Wheels bookmobile. *swoon*  It was also a huge hit, even with the older kids!  And they have a program where they can give out a free age/reading level appropriate book to anyone who listened to a story reading.

Everyone left with a bag of books. We couldn't have pulled it off without the volunteers from our community organizations, which helped me realize that there is so much support out there and so many resources.  It was just a lot of fun!!

While I'm really realllly looking forward to this year being behind us for various reasons, this was definitely one of the highlights. A had a lot of fun being behind the scenes and helping set up and build/decorate etc. even if he was exhausted and may not have finished his homework that night. ha! :) 

If you have a minute, check out these staggering literacy facts. The most staggering being:
  • To determine how many prison beds will be needed in future years, some states actually base part of their projection on how well current elementary students are performing on reading tests.

In other news, I sold two more pin cushions for pancreatic cancer! :) Thanks to Janet and Sunny!

Buster is suddenly obsessed with jumping up onto the patio table and nearly jumped up into the middle of it when we had guests over and were sitting around it the other night! NOT good!!

I spotted Merry Mermaid and SSSE on instagram the other day thanks to Riley Blake and mini_mushrooms! So exciting!

.. and if you're ever looking for a good chocolate cheesecake that has a little guinness in it, this recipe that I found online is sooo so good!! I posted it on IG but wanted to share for my friends that don't do IG. I found the recipe here.

If you have a moment tomorrow, pray for my sanity.. I'll be on a field trip to a Nat'l Park with 90 2nd graders.  Then after next week, it's on to summer vacation! And lots of summer sewing! Can't wait! :) 

Happy Wednesday!
Friday, May 8, 2015

Little Miss Merry Mermaid on her way to Quilt Market with Riley Blake, and her pattern is finally done! 

I had a hard time with figuring out how to write and organize this one.  Which is weird b/c she looks easy enough, but WOW.  I was banging my head for a while.  But it finally came together and is now a neat and tidy, easy to follow little pattern.

I dreamed her up a few months ago, when I doodled a little mermaid, and then when I saw Cinderberry Stitches new line coming out, Saltwater, I knew I HAD to make her with that fabric!!

She's really quick to sew up.. it only took a long afternoon. I love that she's a mermaid, and there are mermaids in the fabric.

This is her final pattern cover.

I love this mermaid fabric, too. How cute would it be in this quilt!  It's by Ann Kelle.

I do like a "theme-y" quilt if you hadn't noticed yet. :)

You could customize the skin tone and hair for the recipient, whether fair or olive or dark, or you could just go wild and colorful.  

Happy Friday, have a great weekend!!

P.S. The Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Blog Hop giveaway is going on until Sunday, if you haven't entered yet! :) Thanks for popping in to visit!
Monday, May 4, 2015

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Kick Off Giveaway

Welcome! Today kicks off the Blog Hop to celebrate the release of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 11. It runs May 4-8, and there will be lots of blogs to visit and prizes to win! So let's party!

My block, called Beat It, is #1046 on page 34.  It's mostly pieced, but is in the mixed technique category due to the trim.

I had so much fun making it, I made four more, all out of scraps.

Even the white background came from scraps. But this time, instead of sewing the beaters' ric-rac down, I left it loose and intertwined it. On some, I used skinny ribbon instead of ric-rac.

Then I added a white border and some scrappy borders around them and sewed them together... make a wall hanging size, about 34" square. When I accidentally stitched the handle pieces backwards on one of them, I just decided to go with it and make one of them facing the other direction. :)  

I hope you have fun blog surfing and seeing all of the blocks and entering the giveaways!  For the giveaway here, these are the prizes up for grabs, thanks to some really generous sponsors!


Quiltmaker will be giving a copy of the magazine to one lucky winner..


Wintercreek Cloth has generously offered to give another winner a Modern Solids Strip Set A Rainbow by In the Beginning Fabrics.


...and yet another winner, a $25 gift certificate to their online shop, which I will include a copy of the magazine with.


Mad About Patchwork has contributed a $30 gift certificate to their shop, which I will also include a copy of the magazine with.


And last, but not least, Fat Quarter Shop has donated a FQ bundle of Kona Cotton Solids, the Red Pepper Quilts Designer Palette Bundle.

That's five winners! For entries, I went the easy way again and put together a rafflecopter.  That way, I'll be sure to have an email address to contact the winners, and it's easy for you to click whichever entries you'd like. Blog followers get extra entries. Thanks for stopping in and happy hopping! :) And thanks Quiltmaker for including my block! Don't forget to head over there when you're done here to enter all of the other giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will be open until next Sunday and I will also be linking up to Sew Mama Sew's biannual giveaway day. What a fun way to start off a week. :)

Happy Monday!

Linking up: Sew Mama Sew Giveaway DayCraftastic Monday, Create Link Inspire, Linky Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday, Show and Tell, Sew Cute Tuesday, Handmade Tuesday, Show and Tell Tuesday
Friday, May 1, 2015

Pre-Blog Hop Winner

Congratulations to Nita in Canada! She won the sample copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 11. 

But, there are still many more chances to win! Come back on Monday, May 4th when the blog hop kicks off for a chance at some rainbow-y solids, and some gift certificates, along with another chance for a copy of the magazine. Mad About Patchwork, Wintercreek Cloth, and Fat Quarter Shop have all donated prizes for that day. Here's a preview of the fabric prizes. :)

Hope to see you Monday, when I can show you my block and the small quilt I made with it and post all of the fun prizes up for grabs. :)

Have a great weekend! Happy Quilting!

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