Monday, August 31, 2009

Long time...

I know it's been a while since my last post.  I've been busy trying to acclimate our household to it's newest member.  It's been a smoother transition than I hoped for, but it has still taken a lot of time and patience.  David had his surgery last week.  We had him fixed (no kids for him) and he also had a laser declaw.  From the moment he woke up, he was off and running.  He didn't seem to know he'd had surgery and he didn't have any bandages or sutures to remind him.    He was so active in fact that he managed to open up one of his paws and start bleeding a little, so back into time out he went for another 4 days.  He was out all night for the first time last night.  He slept half the night and played the other half.

I haven't done a lot of sewing recently, but I did manage to finish the flower blocks for a charity quilt.  Good timing too because they're due tomorrow.  I showed a couple of them some time ago, but ended up having to redo one - so here they all are again.

#1 Rose

#2 Coneflower

#3 Starflower

#4 Tulip

I also made a few 9-patch blocks that will go in the quilt as well.

I'm going to end this post here.  David has jumped on my keyboard a dozen times since I started and interrupted me and I think I'd better stop and go play with him.  Until later...

Friday, August 21, 2009

Settling in...

I haven't been doing much sewing lately. I've been trying to get David settled in and everyone adjusted to his presence. He had surgery yesterday to get fixed and for his claws, but you couldn't guess it from looking at him. He has no bandages and appears to be in no pain. Actually, our greatest issue is getting him to be less active. I've prayed about it and the whole transition is going easier (so far) than I had hoped for!

I promised this post would have something other than pets in it, so let's move on. I realized looking at old posts that I forgot to show you the last Ladies of the Sea ship I finished. She's called the Elissa. She's the last ship I'll be working on until I get some other things finished up.

I read on a blog some time ago a post asking quilters to show the first quilt they ever made and the latest. I show you all of my latest projects but I didn't have a picture of my first until now. I made this quilt for my mom about 5 years ago. Two weeks before Christmas I decided that I wanted to get my mom something else as a gift, but I didn't have any idea what. I saw this BOM (block of the month) at JoAnn's on clearance. The colors and the pattern were perfect for my mom. Having never made a quilt before, I figured it would be easy. The pieces in the kits were all pre-cut and I think I'm pretty good at following directions. And the store had all 12 kits plus the setting kit.

Working furiously, I managed to finish the quilt top in time for Christmas. I think my mom was both surprised and I believe pleased when she opened it on Christmas Day. I thought this would be a one time thing - making a quilt. But I so enjoyed making it, that I was hooked. It took another year for me to turn the top into a quilt. I tried to hand-quilt it, but was discouraged by my stitches and took them out. Finally, I just tied it.

My mom used it for a long time and washed it almost every week. It's now a bit faded and some of the seams are starting to open, but I still like to sleep under it whenever I visit. It's far from perfect, but I still love it.

I've made about 25 quilts since then and given most of them away. Of the completed quilts I've made (not just tops), I have 3 wall hangings hanging in our house. They're in the living room, the half-bath and the laundry room. It seems a little weird to have 2 of the 3 hanging in utility rooms, but one day I hope every room will have one.

To end this post, I'd like to share a couple more pictures from this past weekend. The first is a picture of my niece, Gracie. Her personality is just as sweet as she is pretty. She's also very much a girlie girl.

And finally, here's one more picture of David down at the farm.

Until later...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kitten Tales...

I've been snapping pictures like a fiend here at my parent's. Can you guess the composition of most of them? Here's a hint...

That's a picture of one of David's brothers. Out of a litter of 5, all of them are boys! What are the chances? The new litter has a mix of sexes I think. I looked under all their tails, but since they're so small, it's difficult to be certain. I saw 2 girls, 2 boys and one I had no idea.

They love playing with the laser. It's like tag-team wrestling. I shine it all over the floor and one of them will chase it. Then another joins in and the first takes a break. Sometimes though, 3 or 4 of them get going and it's a mess of kitties. They run so fast, it's hard for me to move the pointer fast enough.

Can you see the red dot by his front paw?

I've put the cat carrier in the room with them so David can get used to it. I thought they might be afraid of it, but from the beginning they thought it was just another toy for them.

That's Ernie lying on top of it. I found a couple of toys in it this morning...

Here's a picture of the shyest of the 5 boys. He stays hidden under the recliner. We call him 'Little Mama' because he looks so much like his mom. It took us so long to check his sex that the name has stuck.

That's as close as he'll let me get. But here's a picture of mom and he looks just like her.

As if you haven't seen enough kitty pictures, I'll leave you with some more of the newest litter.

And finally, isn't he precious?

I'll try to include something other than kittens in my next post...

Welcome to the family!!!

We now have a new member of our family. His name is David and he is a little over 4 months old. He has the sweetest personality and shiniest black coat. I'll be bringing him home with me tomorrow.

He's both friendly and playful.

He's mostly black with just a couple patches of white on his chest and belly. In bright sunlight, you can see black tiger stripes on his body, but usually he's just a glossy black.

The last time I saw him was about 6 weeks ago. I was shocked at how large he's gotten since then. I expect he's already the same size as our cat Moses - who is about to turn 5! It's hard to tell scale from the picture, but trust me, he's huge. And his paws are so large, he still has a lot of growing to do.

And he loves having his picture taken. I'm not sure if it's because of the flash or the wrist cord hanging from the camera.

He still has 4 brothers from the same litter that need homes. Three of them are black like him and one is gray tiger striped. I'll show pictures next time.

I also took a bunch of pictures of their mom's new litter. They were born on August 4th and just opened their eyes 2 days ago. All they do is eat and sleep. And when they sleep, they curl up into one large ball of kitty limbs.

If you would like to adopt any of them, just contact me. I have an 'in' with their caretakers!

Until next time...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Michael!!!

My sweet girl is 13 today! I have to admit there were several times I didn't think she'd make it to this ripe old age - particularly earlier this year. But she has. And she's looking good.

We've happened upon the right combination of food and medication for her arthritis. She's acting far younger than 13 right now. She enjoyed a special birthday bone this morning for breakfast.

Please ignore all the hair on the carpet. With 5 pets (soon to be 6), it's inevitable.

We're going to have to get her something good to eat for dinner. Perhaps some egg drop soup - one of her favorites. She just went to the groomer last week to have most of her hair cut off. With this hot weather she's so much more comfortable with it gone. However, here's a picture of her before the shave. She looks fluffier, doesn't she?

Gabriel had to get in on all the pictures I was taking. Here she is laughing. (OK - I think she just closed her eyes against the flash.)

In case anyone is wondering - I do realize Michael is a boy name and yes, she is a girl. But honestly, she doesn't care what we call her and I like the name.

I'm out of town this weekend, but I'll have another surprise when I return...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Too much to do...

Let me start off by saying August is turning into a pretty stressful month for me. It has something to do with my penchant for volunteering for things and deciding to make gifts at the very last minute. I know you can't make a quilt in 3 days and yet I continue to delude myself. I have a great many things to finish by early September including:
  1. 7 Charity quilt blocks - due Sept 1st (5 done, 2 more to go)
  2. Prayer quilt for my Secret Sister
  3. Crayon Challenge quilt
  4. Scraps to Treasure quilt
  5. Quilt 2 soldier quilts for Kathy
  6. Purse for my Secret Sister's September package
  7. Embroider 2 jackets (Done 8/14)
  8. Embroider 16 labels (4 done now)
  9. Embroider heart for Verna
I'm also thinking that I have 5 more UFO's to finish by December 31st or I owe a bunch of FQ's (fat quarters) to my quilting bee. In addition, I've just recently decided to make 2 more quilts as gifts for Christmas. Somehow, I found the time to buy the fabric and pick out the patterns for them. Now I just have to find the time to sew them!!!

OK, pity party is done! I am so blessed to be able to spend my time quilting and I have made so many friends through my 'hobby'. I'm constantly learning and creating and I love it! Besides if it takes me longer to get these done, I'm sure the world will not end because of it.

I have finished a couple of the charity applique blocks. I believe this first one is a tulip. (I'm not very good at recognizing flowers.)

And this second one is a coneflower.

I also had a great time Monday night at our quilt guild meeting. There was a fantastic trunk show by Quilter's Gallery followed by the opportunity to shop! What could be better? This is where I managed to find the fabric and pattern for one of my Christmas projects. They sell most of their fabric packaged together in 'pizzas'. They pick out and color coordinate it for you saving you a lot of time and effort. They have a great many kits as well. Here's the first pizza I bought. It has 20 FQ's - the exact number needed for the pattern. How fortunate!

I also bought another one with batiks in it. I don't have a pattern yet, but am sure whatever I pick out will be beautiful with these fabrics. This one had 24 FQ's.

It's not a great picture. The fabrics are much more vibrant in person. And I also found a package of wool at a very good price.

In addition I bought several patterns. I have to say the whole evening was a lot of fun.

Tomorrow is a special day for one of us in our family. I'll be back to share in the morning! Til then, happy quilting!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Another finish!!!

Tonight I finally finished the embroidery on my 3rd Ladies of the Sea block, the Le Coureur. There are an awful lot of grapes and leaves on this one, but they all look so pretty. Sue Garman did a wonderful job designing this BOM. Each block is a labor of love. It takes me about 5 weeks of sewing at night to finish each block. And have I mentioned that there are 16 blocks in this quilt and 4 full borders? Yes, it will be many years before it's completely done, but my dear husband is so worth it!!! (I love you honey!)

I also got a little package in the mail today with a single crayon in it. You might be wondering why just one crayon? Well, I signed up for yet another online challenge. This one is the 2nd annual Crayola Challenge. The challenge is going to be used to raise money for a Ronald McDonald House in California this time. Each person who volunteers makes a quilt (54"x70" or larger) to be raffled off. The rules for the challenge are that you can only use fabric the color of the crayon you receive. It can be any shade of that crayon though. In addition, you can pick one other crayon and use that shade only as an additional fabric selection. So are you ready to see the color I got?


Doesn't it sound delicious? Yum. I've already been thinking of what other color I'll add. Perhaps a sunshiney yellow... or maybe orange sherbert... or a leafy green... or who knows? I think so many colors would look good with this choice. (I should probably invest in a box of crayons though to make sure whatever I choose is also in the box.)

When I got my crayon, I went to the web to learn a little bit more about it. Did you know it's the favorite color of Tiger Woods? Or the it has only been around since 1990? You can learn such useless information on the web. I also learned the RGB code for my color. I put it into Paint and this is what is showed...

A little bit bright huh? Actually, I don't think it's a great representation of the crayon in person. The crayon is not so in your face. Why don't I show you and let you decide for yourself.

By coloring with different pressures, you start to get an idea of the possible shades. The quilt doesn't have to be completed until Feb. 1, 2010 so I'm in no rush to get started. (Other than the fact that I get to buy more fabric of course.)

I did go out to a couple of LQS's on Monday with Jan to pick up a few bits and pieces that I need to finish current quilts. And while out, I bought some fabric to make a very special someone a surprise. I'm not going to say anymore about it other than to hope she'll love it. It won't get done immediately, but I'll show a picture after it's in her possession. (I know she sometimes reads my blog and I don't want to give it away.)

Well, I'd better head off to bed now. I've got a very busy day tomorrow filled with dog groomers, acupuncturists and my very favorite quilting buddies. Until later...

Just too funny!!!

In my last post I showed you the Ugly Fabric Challenge fabric. (Boy that's a tongue twister.) One of the participants also posted it on her blog. I found her comments hilarious and figure anyone with a sense of humor will as well. So if you have a few minutes pop on over to Penny's Blog and read all about it!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What was I thinking?

So what do you think of this fabric? Be honest, it won't hurt my feelings in the least. Actually, I didn't pick it out. It's for another challenge I signed up for on the HGTV Quilting & Needlework Forum. (I really need to show more restraint...) This is an Ugly Fabric Challenge - thus the picture above. The hostess picked out this lovely gem and sent 1/2 yard to each participant. (Yes, we actually paid her money to do this. The fabric wasn't free.) We have until sometime in Nov. to make something with it. It doesn't have to be a quilt and we can add any number of additional fabrics. The only rule is we must use at least 90% of it. We send her pictures of our creations and then we'll vote on different categories - like Most Creative. I have no idea right now what I'm going to make with it. I have so many other projects due before then that I'm just going to have to set it aside until I have some real time to dedicate to it. However, if you have any suggestions, send them my way...

I haven't finished any projects recently. Rather I've been working on a great many projects little by little. I had planned on sending my SS a black/white themed package for August but changed gears at the last minute. She's still in the hospital and likely to remain there for the next couple of months so she's not able to do any stitching. The longest I've ever spent in the hospital myself is a week and I was ready to go bonkers, so I imagine she must be stir crazy. So I decided to send her some things to relieve the tedium. I also wanted to make her a prayer quilt. I've gotten started on it, but I'll have to send it later this month as I won't have it completed by the mailing deadline of the 5th. Her favorite color is blue, so I'm trying to incorporate it into it. I found a Sweet Treat that I had in my stash that I think will work pretty well. (For those of you not familiar with Sweet Treats, they're 8 coordinating FQs packaged together and sold by the Pincushion Boutique.)

As I was pressing and cutting them, Moses was keeping me company. I have to be very careful when I use my rotary cutter around her because she's forever sweeping her tail in the way right at the last moment. I think she likes these fabrics too. (I'll take any opportunity to throw in pictures of my furbabies...)

Before I forget, I recently took all my quilt tops out of the cupboard and hung them with their batting and backing. I'm hoping that seeing them out in the open like that will induce me to get busy quilting them. I really hope to start doing that soon. My problem is I'm still intimidated by my machine and frame and therefore keep putting it off. I really just need to get over myself! Here's a picture of them hanging nicely on my garment rack. There are currently 14 there.

Well, that's enough for one night. Have a wonderful evening yourself. Until next time...