an unexpected year

If I were to summarize 2011 into one word, I think I'd choose unexpected.

It was unexpected that I'd face so many trials and yet come out of them for the better

It was unexpected that I'd prefer a part-time job to a full-time real-world 60 hour a week gig. (I am a known workaholic)

It was unexpected that I'd yearn to move back to the West Coast (I guess I really am a California girl at heart)

It was unexpected to go snorkeling in the Florida Keys and even more unexpected that I enjoyed it and can't wait to go again (I have an irrational fear of the deep ocean)

It was unexpected that my super-smart husband spent even more time studying (I didn't realize how easy the first year of medical school really was)

It was unexpected that I was able to travel so often (I went to almost 20 different states this year alone)

It was unexpected that I managed to finish more than half a dozen quilts for near and dear friends (I've only been quilting off and on for a few years)

It was unexpected that I received such a generous response to the stocking drive I organized for the local foster children (I was so blown away that people all over the world helped me quadruple my goal)

It was unexpected how many friends I've made because of my quilting - both online and in person. (I've never had friends that quilted before - it's quite nice!)

And it certainly was unexpected how nice and welcoming the online community has been to a new blogger like myself.

Here's hoping 2011 had a few unexpected surprises and 2012 is full of even more!


Sneak Peek!

I've been working on many secret projects that I am so excited to share with you guys...I can't wait anymore so here's a sneak peek of one...full reveal coming to a blog near you soon!! =)


Happy Christmas Eve!

Today is one of my favorite days of the entire year -- we decorate our Christmas Tree, put up the stockings, make cookies, and enjoy some quality family time. It's a time of the year that's so full of traditions and makes me appreciate my family. This year, especially, my thoughts are with those people who don't have families to share the holidays with...people like the foster children I've been working with this year.

I am so thankful for the outpouring of support from people all over the world who participated in the Stockings for Kids drive. I received over 250 stockings from all corners of the globe -- my husband was quite excited when a package arrived from Turkey -- for the foster children in Central Virginia. Due to the generosity of local businesses, churches, community service groups, and people like you, we were able to stuff the stockings and tomorrow morning many children will get to open a Christmas stocking.

 A snapshot of some of the many stockings we got this year.

Toys ready to be divided up into the stockings

Just some of the many games ready to be divided up into the stockings.

Thank you again for your love and generosity this holiday season!


Zig-Zag Quilt: A Wordless Post

Plus Quilt

The other day I realized I never shared this quilt with you. Back in August, I really wanted to make a plus quilt and when I learned that some of my good friends were expecting their first child this year, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it a try. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the results. 

Quilt Stats:

Fabrics: Assorted blue, yellow, pinks, and kona white from my stash. 
Quilting: stitch in the ditch around each plus.


Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

So I recently hosted a giveaway of some purple fat quarters in conjunction with sew mama sews giveaway day (week). This allowed me to do some "market research" if you will. See, I was curious to see what colors people were sewing with these days.

And according to my completely scientific approach (i.e. tally sheet of color combos) it appears that most of you enjoy sewing with gray in almost any combo but especially gray and yellow and gray and purple. A lot of you also love orange. I have to say I haven't gotten on the orange band wagon yet, but I'm thinking about hitching a ride!

I am so amazed by how many of you guys entered my sew mama sew giveaway -- almost 400!! But after some tough deliberating by my friend Mr. Random, Gill was lucky number 86 and won the awesome fat quarters. Yay Gill!!

Blogger gill said...
I love turquoise and grey!
12/12/2011 4:22 PM

**I haven't figured out how to successfully copy and paste my random number generator thingy. If you want to give me a suggestion that would be appreciated.**


It's giveaway day! Yay!

If you are here from Sew Mama Sew, then welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere! I do hope you'll take a few moments to make yourself comfortable and look around...and maybe even come back from time to time to visit and say hi.

Today is the official start of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day where tons of blogs out there in blogland are hosting giveaways this week. Back before I had a blog, I stumbled across this and thought it would be a blast to be able to participate. I love it because you can find new blogs to follow AND win some cool stuff.

So here's what I'm offering this year:

A fat quarter bundle of some of my favorite Kona purples! We've got Pansy, Magenta, Dark Violet, and Hibiscus. They are even more gorgeous in person. I also will most likely throw in some fun quilting tools/other purple fabrics.

My giveaway is open to readers ALL OVER THE WORLD! =)

Also it will close Friday, December 16 at 5PM PST.

To enter all you have to do is:

1. Tell me what your favorite color combo for sewing/crafty projects is. (Mine is dark purple+gray)

If you feel so inclined you may do the following for bonus entries:

1. Follow my blog
2. Tweet about winning some awesome purple fabric from PurplePandaQuilts!

Thanks for entering and good luck! Also don't forget to check out some other awesome blogs and see what they are giving away here!


I have gotten many comments from no-reply bloggers. PLEASE be sure to leave me a way to get back in touch with you (i.e. your email address) if you are a no-reply blogger so I can let you know if you win. Also please put your email address in this form: purplepandaquilts (at) gmail (dot) com so we can avoid spam. If I can't get in touch with you, I will put your name on my blog for a few days and if you don't respond then I will be forced to draw another winner.


The winner was # 86 Gill who said:

Blogger gill said...

I love turquoise and grey!


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

December is my favorite time of the year. I love Christmas and everything that it stands for -- family, celebration, giving, love, etc.  Many of my favorite memories as a kid are from my families Christmas traditions -- going to Disneyland, baking dozens of cookies, shopping for stocking stuffers, ice skating downtown, Hotel Del Christmas trees, sticky buns in the early morning, getting a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, and more.  

We finally got our fresh Christmas tree up and decorated.

What are your holiday traditions? I'd love to know!


Stockings for Kids Giveaway Winners!

First off a GIANT thank you to everyone who participated in the first ever Stockings for Kids drive. I am very grateful to our awesome sponsors (go show them some love this holiday season please!) and to people who have sent in stockings from all over the world. As of this morning I have, wait for it...

219 stockings

I am seriously floored. That's more than four times the amount of stockings I was hoping to get. You guys rock! I never imagined that so many people from around the world would be willing to help make stockings for the foster kids. Not only have you made stockings, but some of you have donated money and even gifts to put in the stockings. Your generosity astounds me. I know it is because of you that these children will have a brighter holiday season.

Because I received so many stockings, I had to quickly figure out where the extras were going to go (my foster center doesn't need 200 stockings!) Most of them will be going to the foster children I work with and the rest will be distributed to other foster care centers in the central virginia area. I also will be taking a few to the hospital my husband works at where they will be given to kids who have to stay overnight on Christmas Eve. We are having a stocking stuffing party this next week so look for pictures of that soon!

Now on to the giveaway. Again another plug to go visit my awesome sponsors who have made this such a fun event. I used my friend Mr. Random Number Generator because my usual go to guy is very busy studying for an exam about how people breathe (apparently knowing that information is important). I thought I had saved the images of the random number but apparently I did not do that properly so you'll just have to take my word for it! =)

$50 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop goes to Ella

The countdown to christmas charm pack from Sweetwater fabrics goes to Joyce C.

The fat quarter pack donated by Tallgrass Prairie Studio goes to Melissa

The "Mystery" red and green fabric bundle donated by Pink Castle Fabrics goes to Jessica!

Happy Early Christmas to our winners and again THANK YOU to everyone who participated.

Quilters rock! 


Holiday Wish List

Happy December everyone! It is now the official start of the holiday season!

It is also the last day to mail in any stockings you have made for the Stockings for Kids drive. I have so many stockings right now and I am very appreciative of everyone who has contributed.

Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway that ends tomorrow at midnight EST for lots of fun prizes from our sponsors (lots and lots of fabric!)

Anyway with the beginning of December, I know many of us are struggling to finish up our holiday shopping (or perhaps finishing up our handmade gifts as the case may be) and so thought I'd share what sewing/quilting things are at the top of my wish list this year...who knows maybe it will inspire you (or your loved ones) in their holiday shopping...and hopefully you can share what you want so it can inspire me in my holiday shopping!

Ly's Sewing Wish List 2011

1. A binding foot for Nina (the Bernina) because that would speed up my quilt making process - and with a busted wrist it sure is difficult to hand sew those bindings on.
2. A fat quarter/half yard/yard/however much santa sees fit to give me set of Lotta Jansdotter's new fabric line Echo (loving those grays and blues and purples right now):

3. The new Modern Blocks book. A lot of people I know have contributed to this book and I am excited to see all the different blocks in it.

4. Block Party. I've heard nothing but good things about this book and think it would make an excellent addition to my sewing library.

So, what's on your holiday crafty wish list this year?