Saturday, October 31, 2009

A little bit of this...

I spent half the day today at Bridget's quilting a quilt on Jan's frame there and taking lots of pictures.  We're showing the quilting bee ladies how to use it on Wednesday and I'm hoping to put together a little picture tutorial to help them load and quilt their quilts on it.  We'll see how it goes...

Here's the quilt we managed to get done.  (It's the 2nd Quilts for Kid's top I just finished.)  I just did an all over large stipple to try and get used to the machine.  A sewing machine is like a car in that every machine drives differently.  Here's a close-up of the stitching...

You know how little children are more interested in the box a toy comes in than the toy itself?  Cats are definitely like that too.  We've received a couple of packages this week and the cats have been all over the boxes.  Climbing in and out, hiding and scaring the other cats, knocking them over...  There's all kinds of fun to be had with them.  And don't get me started on the styrofoam peanuts that came in one of them.  Those things have ended up all over the house.

Can you guess what these are?  I'll give you a hint: they're David's favorite new toy right now...  Any guesses? OK, they're zip ties.  At least I think that's what they're called.  I have a bunch them sitting in a jar in my craft room and he's taken to stealing them and spreading them about the house.  He throws them into the air and catches them and wrestles with them and...  They provide endless amusement for him and it's fun for me to watch too!

I'll leave you with one last furbaby picture.  This is Sam and David playing together.

Sorry about the lighting.  I have to snap them when I can.  Until next time...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quilts for kids...

Some posts ago I mentioned that the Quilts for Kids program was offering free quilt kits to quilters willing to make the quilt and send it back.  I ordered one for myself along with several for the ladies in our quilting bee.  I've finished my first top.  The colors are nice and vibrant and it went together very easily.

It's hard to tell, but the focus fabric in that quilt is dinosaurs.  The program also asks (if possible) for you to contribute one with your own fabric.  I had some kid's novelty fabric that I've had for years and I was able to cut up another quilt in the same pattern.  I'm working on piecing the top right now.

Because Mr. Quilting Bug drove into work today, it was just the 'kids' and I.  A couple of them decided to keep me company while I was sewing.  (A third one is on my sewing table and a fourth is laying on the floor.)

This couch is in my sewing room.  You can see it's a catch all for current projects and lazy cats.  Until next time...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pleasant dreams...

I had a wonderful dream the other night.  I dreamt that I woke up and Michael was sleeping in bed with me.  She used to snuggle in bed with me every night, but she's been unable to jump that high for the last 3 years because of her arthritis.  So in my dream, she was young and healthy again.  I know all of you who have or had aging pets know it's difficult to see them become older and infirm. 

Don't misunderstand me, Michael is doing really well for being 13 years old.  She's happy and fairly energetic.  I just remember how she used to love to jump.  She could easily jump from the ground into an above ground pool.  (Ask me how I know...)  Now when she's excited she'll try to jump and her front feet will leave the ground several inches but the back stay put.  But as I said, she's happy and I'm happy she's still with me.

When I was loading some new pictures tonight, I found this one of Michael curled up in bed.

I got a package in the mail today and so did Mr. Quilting Bug.  He was very excited to get Windows 7 in the mail.  However, I believe I got the better shipment.  Let me show you...

Oops!  I guess it's a little difficult to make out in that picture.  (David was very interested in the flash on the camera.)

That's a clearer picture but still needs explaining doesn't it?  This package is my 2nd from Pro Chemical & Dye and provides me with everything I need to start hand-dyeing my own fabric.  I'm eager to get started, but a little nervous too.  Included here are 10 yards of a special PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric, a container of Cherry Blush dye and the other ingredients needed to successfully dye everything.  I may get started this weekend if I can find the time.  Wish me luck...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spring Cleaning???

I know that there's usually a time in the spring when we're compelled to freshen up and declutter our surroundings, but my internal clock must be confused.  I've been feeling like I need to clean everything around me: the floors, walls, windows, every inch of every space.  Of course, I haven't done all of it (yet).  Perhaps if I had more energy and didn't pay for it afterwards, I'd be further along.  But I'm pleased with what I've done.  I've scrubbed our carpets and every inch of our bathroom (except the ceiling - let's be real).  Tonight I moved our living room around so I could scrub our wood floors in there.  The baseboards have never sparkled so.

I still need to do the windows though.  For anyone who's been to my house, you know that's a big task.  Almost the entire back of the house is windows:  2 in the kitchen, 12 in the sunroom, 6 in the living room and 4 in our bedroom.  And it's not cleaning the windows that's the worst part, it's cleaning the window sills.  You know the space between the window and the screen that gets filthy and is difficult to completely scour because of all the tiny corners.  That's the part I like the least.  Of course, the weather is going to have to turn a lot warmer before I tackle that task.  Hmm...  Maybe it will end up being spring by then after all?

Except for the label, I've finished the prayer quilt for Chris, my secret sister.  I had intended to add more yoyo's, but the prevailing opinion has been to stop where I'm at.  I hope when she looks at it, she smiles and knows that she is loved.  (Moses insisted on being in the picture as well.)

I finally manged to get new pictures of some of the other pets.  Sam found my bag to be a good place for a snuggle and a nap.

It's hard to tell, but she's is managing to lose some weight.  I also caught Michael giving me a smile.  Can you see her dimples?  I think she's looking good for 13.

See you later....

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Change is good...

I've just spent the last hour or so changing the background and colors of my blog.  There are so many options to choose from that I finally had to say enough is enough.  I could be at it all day but instead, Mr. QuiltingBug and I are off to his mom's to celebrate his birthday.  His sister's birthday is the day after his and she'll be there too.  His mom is making lasagna and I'm SO looking forward to it.  She uses about 3 bags of cheese on it so you can imagine the ooey gooey goodness.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Quilt the day away...

This Wednesday we were at Carla's house for quilting.  She made an Apricot Danish and Blueberry Coffee cake for us to snack on.  Thank you Carla (and Bob); they were delicious!  I always enjoy getting together for quilting to catch up with each other and ooh and ahh over the beautiful projects everyone is working on.

One of our members, Susan LeHoullier, has her put her first pattern out.  It's called 'Colour Charm' and you can buy it at Thimble Pleasures.  Another member, Bridget, tested the pattern out for her.  It's very simple to make, but really showcases your solid fabrics.  Check out Susan's website, Seedlings Sewn, for more pictures.  She made it up in some hand-dyed fabrics and it's gorgeous!  I'm sure this will be the first of many.

I've finally finished quilting the flower quilt for Chris, my secret sister.  I've even finished the binding.  Usually at this point I would be done, but on this quilt, I'm now hand sewing on a bunch more yo-yo's.  I've made about 200, but can already see that I'm not going to attach even half that many.  Perhaps I'll send her the rest of them and she can use them to embellish a pillowcase or something.

Here's a few new pictures of David.  He just keeps growing and growing.  He's only 6 months old right now but he's already longer and taller than our other cats.  He's not yet fatter than the others but looking at his belly, you can see he's working on it...

Can you see the shine of his new collar?  He's turned into a little escape artist.  He keeps trying to dart out the front and back doors, but usually only at night.  He's a little difficult to see out there so he must now wear a reflective collar, a name tag and a BELL.  All the other pets appreciate this for different reasons.  First, he can no longer sneak up on the other cats.  This has allowed all of them to finally relax without worrying he's going to suddenly appear and tackle them.  And Gabriel, our dog, loves it because she can keep tabs on him whenever she wants to play.

Finally, it's helped us as well.  I can't tell you how many times we've accidentally kicked him coming out of the bathroom at night.  Now we have some inkling he's there in the dark.  Mr. QuiltingBug and I were talking just this morning that he's only been here for 2 months, but it seems like much longer.  He fits in so well.  (As I'm typing this, he's fast asleep on my legs.)

I hope everyone is enjoying the brief bit of fall weather we're getting now.  I'm even considering taking off one of my pairs of socks.  'Til next time...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Another chilly night!

Well, I'm still cold.  I have a feeling I'm going to say that a lot over the next 6 months or so.  I'll also be doing laundry more frequently as I now start wearing 2 pairs of socks every where I go.  If your feet are cold, then the rest of you will be too.

I got a little time today to sew on the binding to the quilt for my Secret Sister.  I still need to hand stitch to the back and attach a gazillion (or so) yo-yo's.  Then I can finally mail it off to her.  I hope she enjoys it.  I also managed to work on step 1 of the new mystery quilt Jan is hosting for our bee.  We get step 2 in a couple of weeks and it would be nice not to be behind.

I signed up to make another challenge quilt that will be raffled off next year.  The challenge part of it is that I can only use two colors in it - black and any value of Crayola Wild Strawberry.   I've been looking to find a fabric that has both these colors in it.  I didn't think it would be that hard, but I haven't had any luck.  However, I did find one black and white scroll fabric that I've decided to try and dye the right color.  To that purpose I ordered a practice dye kit from PRO Chemical and Dye and a color chart.  I've been told the process is very simple and the directions sound like it, but I'll let you know after I try it out for myself.

The kit will dye 30 fat eighths (9"x22") of fabric in a gradation of rainbow colors.  Assuming I do it correctly I'll have some very pretty hand-dyed fabric from which to make something.  I still need to buy some PFD fabric to go with the kit so I'll be on hold until I get it.

You see that you can dye fabric in almost any color.  The chart also tells you how much of the dye you need per pound of fabric.

When I ordered the special fabric for Heather's quilt (see last post), I also managed to pick up a few yards of batiks at a really great price.  These fabrics have already been washed and pressed and are awaiting their new homes.  I already know that I am going to owe 10 of the beautiful ladies in my quilt bee fabric for each item I don't finish up on my quilting list.  To date, I haven't completed 5, but I'm hoping to whittle that down to 3 by January 1st.  So ladies, take a look and see if there's anything you like.  It's not too late to put in a request either...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Brrr! Chilly...

Is it just me or does winter seem to be crowding out fall lately?  I've got the heat on today, fleece pajamas, a sweatshirt and 2 pairs of socks.  And let's not forget the booties...  We even have a frost advisory for tonight.  I'd like for the mid to low 70's fall temperatures to return for at least a little bit.

I've been very lax about posting lately.  Part of that is again because of the weather.  The cold has my fibro acting up and makes some every day tasks harder to do.  So I'm trying to take it easy and not aggravate it any more.   In the last couple of weeks I did manage to finish up one of my to-do's.  I machine quilted a baby quilt for my neighbor who had a beautiful little boy at the end of August.


I did some outline stitching and some stippling in the borders.  However, I did try something new and stitched his name and birth information on the top and bottom borders.  Here's a closeup:

It's probably a little difficult to see, but I was pleased with how it turned out.  I'm getting a lot more practice on machine quilting with the Grace GMQ Pro frame I have and I'm starting to feel more comfortable with the whole process.

Last time I saw my sister, she asked me to make her a quilt to hang above her living room sofa.  She picked a very simple pattern and this focus fabric that she fell in love with...

It's a Tina Givens print.  I had a chance to look for coordinating fabrics last week and already have them washed and pressed.  (This is the first chance Heather has to see them so I hope she likes them?)

OK, I'm going to go snuggle under some additional covers right now to try to stay warm.  I hope you do the same!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Smile a mile wide...

OK, I'm just grinning from ear to ear today.  I found out this morning that my quilt, 'Deconstructed', aka the doggie quilt, won Best of Show for the Scraps to Treasures Challenge I told all of you about.  Quilters are such sweet people; they've said so many nice things about it.  And to think, I almost didn't finish it.  Right now I'm so glad I did!