Sunday, June 28, 2009

Glad to be back home again!

There's nothing like sleeping in your own bed is there? I'm finally back home. And although I enjoyed visiting my sister and her kids, I've missed my family here. I also found that I had 4 packages waiting for me at home. Of course, 3 of them were pet medications but the last one was some fabric I ordered from Hancock's of Paducah. I ordered 5 yards of Kona Snow cotton for the 30's quilt I want to make. I packaged it up with all of the other materials and the pattern so when I'm ready to start, it's all right there. I also bought a cream and blue ombre because I like the subtle color changes and they were really on sale. The same goes for the 2 Kashmir IV charm packs.

I also had a little time yesterday to play in my sewing room. I'm working on an applique UFO from Sew Unique. I only had November and December's blocks to finish and I'm almost done with them. I need to make about 150 flying geese units for the borders that I'll get started on next. Well, not immediately. I need to make some pillows for our living room first, but that shouldn't take long.

Also, I'm going on a trip to Whistle Stop Quilt Shop in Selma, NC tomorrow with some friends. They're having a 4th of July sale. I hope not to purchase anything (yeah right), but just spend time with friends.

Until next time...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finished another project!

I managed to finish the mini quilt I was making for my secret sister. I mentioned earlier that she was going through I rough time, but I found out yesterday that she'll be in the hospital for another 2-3 weeks! I started cutting the fabric for this quilt on Tuesday night and sewed and quilted it on Wednesday. All told, it probably only took 3-4 hours to complete. I like the satisfaction you get from projects that come together quickly. I need one of those every once in a while...

I think it turned out very bright and cheery and very patriotic looking. It took 21 charm squares to make this quilt (excepting the border of course). Each block is 3". I also used the leftover fabric from the tote bag for the backing.

I only quilted in the ditch on this mini quilt because the fabrics are so busy, you wouldn't be able to see it anyway.

This past week I've also been sewing together a ton of pet bandanas. I had cut them all out a couple of years ago and then got sidetracked. I'm now determined to finish all these projects just lying around and have been stitching them whenever I get a chance. There are actually 5 different sizes for a total of probably 250 bandanas. I still have to turn them all right side out, iron them and stitch down the tops for the collars to slip through. However, I'm very happy that I've at least got all of them stitched together. Here's a picture of the largest size ones.

You may wonder why I'm making these. That's a good question. Initially I was going to sell them on ebay. But now I'm thinking I might donate them to raise money for spaying/neutering pets. There are so many animals out there having litter after litter. That's why my parents now have 6 cats living in their garage. And there aren't enough people to adopt and care for all these cats and dogs. I'd love to adopt them all, but that isn't feasible. If I find that I can raise more money by selling them myself, I may resort to that and just donate the money to the charity. I'll decide when they're done. Until later, stay cool!

Sunday, June 21, 2009


My sewing has been derailed the last couple of days because of something the size of a flea. Literally. Cats + Outdoors = FLEAS!!! I've been spending time with the 5 kittens and mom that my parents rescued now living in their garage. They've been there a couple of weeks now, but no one mentioned a flea problem. Probably because they weren't getting bitten... For some reason unknown to me, fleas love me. Something about me attracts them. I probably have about 50 bites now and they've been itching like crazy. I know you're not supposed to scratch, but that's difficult not to do when you're whole body is driving you nuts. So I've been loading up on the Benadryl the last couple of days and have been too sleepy or too miserable to do any sewing. Gabriel has been having a tough time as well. The yellow flies here have been biting her. Go figure, they've left me alone.

However, today I seem to have turned the corner! The bites still itch but I'm handling it better and have stopped the sleepy medicine. I was able to get enough time to finish a present for my secret sister for July. I was going to hold off on showing it, but don't figure she'll drop by my blog. It's a tote bag in patriotic colors. It's large enough to haul a bunch of stuff.

It also has six pockets inside. I was going to put them on the outside but didn't care for the busyness of the fabrics together. So I just moved them to the inside and problem solved!

I've made this bag a couple of other times. Once for myself with a cute cat print and again for my mother. She's taken hers with her on her trip, so I can't get a picture. But here's mine...

I'm also hoping to make a mini quilt for my secret sister tomorrow. She's having a real rough time of it now and could use some cheering up. Fortunately, I have the charm pack that matches the tote. It's Red, White & Bold by Sanda Gervais for Moda. (Have I mentioned before how much I LOVE charm packs!)

Can you tell I'm going with a 4th of July theme for this package? Here's hoping I get as much done tomorrow as I hope to. Until later...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Puppies and kitten tales...

I had a great time today. I spent a good amount of time playing ball with Gabriel (I only wish it were less humid). I sat with the kittens several times so they could start getting used to me. I even got a couple of them to play with some toys with me. At their young age, they don't really care to be petted. They like to play, eat and sleep. Oh, and fill the litter box up again and again. LOL I also got to spend some time with my sister and her kids. I only wish I saw them more often.

I even got to sew some. I worked on a charity project, making some templates for another ufo and did some more hand applique on my next 2 Ladies of the Sea blocks. I'm committed to getting at least 6 (out of 16) done this year. Here are the first 2 again...

Tomorrow looks like it will largely be a repeat of today. I do want to get started on a gift for my secret sister though. I need to have it done by the end of the month which is not that far off. I've also been going through my mom's house and taking pictures of some projects I've made for her. This is a patriotic wallhanging I made for one of the bathrooms. She decorated it in a patriotic theme so it fits right in. I had to sit on the counter to get the picture and couldn't manage to get the top border in.

All the blue and white triangles are actually folded so they have some more dimension. Here's a closeup...

I love blogs with lots of pictures, so I'm trying to incorporate them into mine. It's also a good diary. Time passes so quickly and I feel like I don't get much accomplished. This is a visual reminder of how much I've really done. Until later, have a blessed day!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Down at the farm...

I'm not really at a farm, it's just something we call my parents place because they have a lot of acreage and live in the country. Gabriel and I made it down here safely and for once Gabriel managed NOT to throw up in the car. Thank you Lord for that miracle! My niece and nephew came over and played lots of ball with her. Here's a picture of her bringing it back. It's a little bit blurry because she runs really fast.

When they were done playing, even though she was exhausted, she still tried to sneak the ball in the house. In this picture, her wheels are turning as she tries to figure out how to grab the ball and make it in the door before I shut it. We've gone through this routine many times. My job is to shut the door as soon as she picks up the ball and until she lets it go again.

I do hope to get to some quilting tomorrow. I brought several projects down with me in case I get a chance to work on something. But here's a picture of the quilt I made my mom for her birthday last year. The pattern is called Storybook Farm by McKenna Ryan. I'm working on another one called At Home in the Woods by her as well. It's another of the UFOs on my list for this year. Both quilts are fusible applique and then free-motion quilting around everything.

My mom grew up on a dairy farm so the quilt has special meaning for her. Until next time, may God bless you!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Back to normal...

The weekend's over and so is my sewing marathon. The closest I made it to my sewing room yesterday was buying some fabric. I needed a backing for the JoAnn's BOM and found some wide backing at JoAnn's. It's washed and ready to use.

I also stopped by another LQS (Carolina Sew n Vac) and bought some more 30's fabrics. I recently got my last issue of Fons and Porter Love of Quilting magazine in the mail and I LOVED the quilt on the cover. I immediately pulled out the necessary fat quarters from my stash to set aside for this project. This yardage should give me the rest of what I need. Of course, I have no plans to start this quilt in the forseeable future, but when I'm ready it will be too.

I also bought some fabric to make something for my little secret sister from the HGTV Quilting & Needlework Forum but obviously I can't show it here. Finally, I thought I'd show you what my cat Moses considers part of her stash. She steals this bag of scraps almost every night and I thoughtfully return it to my sewing room the next day. This is probably the 5th or 6th plastic bag I've put it in and it looks ready for a new one, don't you think?

I hope to get some time to sew today but I need to get ready for my trip. I leave tomorrow to house/pet sit for my parents. They have 2 cats and 2 dogs of their own, but they recently rescued 5 kittens and their momma from outside. Luckily they have a separate garage to keep them in. In any case, that's a lot of critters. Oh, and I'm bringing my dog Gabriel with me. She'll probably be the most challenging of them all. But I've hired my nephew to play ball with her each day to hopefully tire her out. We'll see...

Monday, June 15, 2009

More sewing time... Yayy!!!

I was able to spend several hours in my sewing room yesterday working on various things. I love when I get a chunk of time like that. First off, I made the binding for the JoAnns BOM. I don't know anyone who loves to make binding. I know it's not my favorite thing to do, but I find that if I make it right after I finish the top, it's not such a chore. Then I just have to store it until the top is quilted (10 years later of course).

Then I got to work on yet another UFO. This one is a pieced BOM that my LQS (Sew Unique) hosted in 2008. I was good about keeping up with the blocks and only had December's to make. The teacher did something a little different than I'm used to. She used different fabrics each month. I mean the colors were all over the palette. The only unifying factor was our background choice. Luckily I had a batik in my stash that had a lot of color variation. She also had us create a lot of templates for each block. Here's a picture of the fabrics she included for December's block and then a picture of the completed block. The top fabric in the picture is my background. There were 7 templates for this block so it took a couple of hours (and a lot of pinning) to put together. But I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Now that the blocks are all done, I need to put it together. I could go with the normal 3x4 block configuration, but I wanted to try something different. I drafted my own pattern. I'm using a black flannel for the sashing and the borders. I needed to create one extra 3 1/2" x 12 1/2" block for it as well and I just used scraps leftover from all the blocks.

I hope to work on it some this afternoon, but we'll see if I have time.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another UFO done!

Wow, after a marathon sewing session today, I've managed to finish another UFO. I started this quilt several years ago. It's one of the BOM (block of the months) from JoAnn Fabrics. I've heard that the quality of their kit fabric has improved in recent years along with the precutting. However, this was one of the older ones and so had some problems. I'm just glad to be finished with the top! It looks better than I thought it would though.

I sewed for at least 6 hours today and I expect I'll pay for it tomorrow. It's just a relief to have it together. I don't like working on projects just to get them done, but I also can't see never finishing one if it's halfway there. I can always donate it to charity. I'm going to have to heavily quilt it when I get the chance to make up for the poor quality of the fabrics and the miscut pieces.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Getting some serious sewing done!

I've really been trying to concentrate on my UFOs as of late. I signed a 'contract' with my quilt bee to finish 10 of them by the end of the year and I'm no where close to being finished. After the Garden Gatherings top posted here, I have another 7!!! to complete by December 31st. Luckily most of them are only quilt tops.

The latest one I finished is called Garden Gatherings by Lisa Bongean. She makes such beautiful primitive quilts. It was a BOM I purchased through Kaye Moore. I started the quilt in January 2008 and managed to do a block each month of last year. There are about 200 scrappy HSTs in the borders and those were kind of time consuming. I'm pleased with how it turned out, but now it will go on the shelf of completed quilt tops until I finish some of my other UFOs.

I've also been working at night on hand appliqueing my blocks for the Baltimore Halloween BOM by P3 Designs. I've finished the first 3 blocks so far. Now I have to get started on my 3rd block for the Ladies of the Sea quilt for my husband.

I also received a package in the mail today from Hancocks of Paducah! I LOVE getting packages in the mail. I had ordered 5 yards of fabric and 5 charm packs (all on sale of course). They accidentally included 3 yards of fabric I didn't order. But when I called to tell them, they told me to keep it! Yippee! It was all batiks so I know I'll be able to use it. The bottom 3 fabrics are the ones I didn't order, but aren't they beautiful?

And here are the charm packs. I know I have a bit of a thing for them. I collect them right now, but one day plan to make lots of quilts with them.

So far this blogging thing is a lot of fun! Until next time...