Friday, December 31, 2010

Last stash report of 2010...

December 24 - 31, 2010

This is stash report # 52.  The last one for this year.  When I look back on them, I'm definitely glad I kept track.  I know I would have purchased more fabric and probably have used less if I hadn't.  I can honestly say I'm surprised at how much I still ended up buying and am even more surprised at how much I really did use.  It was an eye opener.  I've been thinking about my goals for this new year, but before I share them, I want to finish this last report.

I hinted at it last week, but I really fell of the wagon this week.  Not only did I fall of the wagon, but it must have been backed up to a steep cliff and I tumbled over that one as well.  This must be the largest amount of fabric intake for me this whole year.  Fortunately almost all of it was a gift from one person or another.  Some in the form of gift certificates that I wasted no time in spending.  I was really trying to squeeze it all in this year so I can start fresh in 2011.  I ended up adding 63.5 yards to my stash this week!  Wow!  I would have expected it to look like a mountain of fabric, but it really doesn't.  Here's how it broke down...

The Fat Quarter Shop had the 12 Days of Christmas sales leading up to Christmas Day and Mr. Quilting Bug let me order those items I wanted as part of my Christmas present.  First off, I got 6 yards of this beautiful metallic batik at half price.

I don't have a purpose in mind for it yet, but there's enough here for borders on a large quilt or as a backing.  I also got 7 jelly rolls from them on Christmas Eve - 3 Maison de Garance, 3 Lumiere de Noel and 1 Breakfast at Tiffany's.

I would love to make a quilt for our King size bed using the Maison de Garance and the Lumiere de Noel jelly rolls.  I bought 3 of each because I figured that would be plenty for such large quilts.

I also got a gift certificate there from my brother and I used it to purchase 15 yards of Moda Bella Solids in Snow.  This is a great staple to have in my stash for all types of projects and I know I'll love having it on hand.

My sweet mother-in-law gave me a gift certificate to JoAnn's and I used it to supplement my stash with other basics.  I bought 7.75 yards each of Kona Cotton in White, Black and Bone.  I've already washed and pressed all of this fabric and have it sitting on bolts in my sewing room.

And that ladies and gentlemen is basically what 63.5 yards of fabric looks like - minus the picture of the Snow Bella Solid because that hasn't come in yet.

Now comes the part where I have to admit that I used no fabric this week.  I had hoped to have another quilt quilted by today, but it just didn't happen.

So my totals for 2010 are:
Purchased-this-week: 63.5 yards
Used-this-week: 0 yards
Purchased-to-date: 316.5 yards
Used-to-date: 434.75 yards
Net used: 118.25 yards

Boy, this week really killed my net used totals for the year.  But that's OK.  Tomorrow wipes the slate clean again.  I have some new goals for my stash in 2011.
  1. Buy no more than 150 yards of fabric the whole year.  This equates to 12.5 yards each month and would be less than half the amount of fabric I bought in 2010.  
  2. Concentrate almost exclusively on my UFO's, starting out with those that are already kitted.  If I do that, then my first goal should be pretty easy because the quilt kits contain all the fabric to make the quilt except for the backing.  
  3. Get these quilts quilted!  I have far too many quilt tops waiting to be turned into finished quilts.  
  4. Whenever the need arises, drop everything and make a prayer quilt.  It's important to have priorities and God's calling is the highest.
  5. I'd also like to make several quilts for charity whether for woman's shelters, orphanages or soldiers.  Wherever there's a need.   But I plan to use the fabric in my stash for the bulk of these.
I have some more specific goals on some of these things, but figure this is enough detail for here.  I'm not setting a goal for how much fabric I want to use, because that number's not really that important to me.  It'll sure be interesting to see how this next year turns out.

Until later...

"This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God" 
2 Corinthians 9:12 (NIV)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mom's last package...

Well, I'm sure it's not the last package I'll ever send her, but it is the last one of this year.  I've managed to send/give her a quilting related package every month this year.  This package includes supplies to finish a couple of things for her.  I traced the last 3 blocks for the Winter Wonderland quilt for her.

Winter Wonderland block 8, 9 and 10
For Christmas, I bought her all the fabric she should need to make the pieced blocks and borders for this quilt too.  All in shades of blue of course.

For this last package, I included block 12 of the Imperial Splendor block of the month.  She's been keeping up with them pretty wall and should be ready to assemble the quilt after making this block.  To that end, I also included the setting kit for the quilt as well as enough fabric for the backing and binding.  It's a pretty generous sized quilt and finishes around 80" x 100" I think.

I also included a book called "Learning to Machine Quilt" by Pat Sloan, a snowman ornament and a photo calendar.  I printed out personal photos for each month and taped them inside.  There's still one more item from last month that I'm trying to finish up and mail to her.  Hopefully, I'll finish it before the start of the new year!

As she finishes up her quilts, I'm sure I'll share the pictures here as I'm just so proud of her and happy that she's taken an interest in quilting too.  I love you Mom!

Until later...

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones" 
Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gabriel's Christmas...

Gabriel somehow fooled Santa into believing she was a good girl this year.  She got a plethora of treats and new squeaky toys, including this cow that has 16 squeakers in it.  Can you say doggie heaven?

Until later...

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones" 
Proverbs 14:30 (NIV)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Weather delays...

I'm sure I'm not the only one to have their Christmas plans derailed by mother nature this year.  It snowed for the fourth time this month on Christmas Day.  The last time it snowed here on Christmas Day was in 1947 before either myself or Mr. Quilting Bug were even twinkles in our parent's eyes. 

We got 8 inches of snow and our plans to visit my family for Christmas were postponed.  I'll drive down to see them tomorrow, but because of work and other responsibilities the whole family won't be able to get together now.

It's so beautiful when it snows, but I sure hope we don't get a lot more of it this winter.  Is it too early to be looking forward to spring?

Until later...

"A fool gives full vent to his anger.  But a man of understanding controls himself."
Proverbs 29:11

Monday, December 27, 2010

Stitching along...

Between preparing for Christmas and spending time with my family, I've managed to finish another one of the Winter Wonderland blocks.  This is number 5 out of 10.  Half way done now...

Winter Wonderland #5
And during this season of family and togetherness, Gabriel has also been joining in.  Somehow she's talked Mr. Quilting Bug into letting her up on the couch on special nights.

Does she look happy or what?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stash Report Week #51...

December 17 - 23, 2010

Only one more of these to go for the year!  I've been thinking about goals for my stash busting next year.  I'll try to finalize them in the next week and post them so you can hold me accountable!

I bought no fabric this week.  OK, that's not strictly the truth.  I did buy some as a gift from Mr. Quilting Bug, but it hasn't come in yet and I'm not going to count it until it does.  So for this week, the purchase total is 0.  But next week, watch out!

As for what I've used, I'm in the process of quilting a quilt, but it's not done yet.  I also wrapped up 14.25 yards of fabric and gave it to my mom.  She wants to make the Camelot snowman wall hangings for each of her brothers and sisters next year and I pulled out fabric from my stash that will work as borders for these.  Of course, she has 10 siblings so it might take her a while.

Purchased-this-week: 0 yards
Used-this-week: 14.25 yards
Purchased-to-date: 253 yards
Used-to-date: 434.75 yards
Net used: 181.75 yards

Just so I can include a picture, here's one of Gabriel on her daddy's lap...

Until later...

"A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed" 
Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Why do you celebrate Christmas?

This is the reason I do...
The Birth of Jesus Christ
Matthew 1:18 - 2: 12 (NIV)

   This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.  Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.  But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”  When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler
who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Now I can share...

So now that Christine has received her package from me, I can finally share pictures of it.  This is what I made for her for the Nancy Halvorsen/Christmas challenge.  This challenge is the most recent in a series of ongoing challenges for a group called 'The Twelve of Us'.

I made her 2 tea towels - the top one that says 'Bless Ewe' and another one with a dove in a tree.  I've looked through my pictures but can't find any closeups of them.  I finished them quite a while ago and thought I'd taken individual pictures, but if I did, I don't know what happened to them.

The main part of her package was the Christmas wall hanging.  The letters are fused on and then blanket stitched around with coordinating floss.  The words are embroidered and the people are supposed to be buttons.  At least that's what they are in the book.  However, the individual button pack was over $50 with shipping and I decided to see if I could recreate them in fabric.  Here they all are before I added the details to their faces and such...

I should have put a quarter next to them so you could an idea of the scale of them.  Each figure is probably about an inch tall.  These were some teeny tiny pieces to cut out and I couldn't have done it without my tweezers.

I was really pleased with how it turned out although I won't be quick to try it again.  I spent probably 5 or 6 hours making those people.

Nancy Halvorsen makes some very cute and whimsical designs.  I think all of her things have a very distinctive look to them.  Considering this was actually Christine's project choice, I wanted to make her something she would hopefully like.  The patterns for the stitchery and tea towels are in the book 'Tidings'.  All of the fabric in this wall hanging are the same as those in the book.  I also included all of the leftovers in her package as well.  I only needed a small amount of most of the fabrics so there was quite a bit left.

Considering she likes her work so much, I'm hoping she can use them for other projects too.  So now on to the next project - Quilted Greeting Cards.  This is yet another project I've never tried.

Until later...

"Give yourselves completely to God - every part of you ... you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for his good purposes." 
Romans 6:13b (LB)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My new table runner...

I got a lovely surprise in the mail yesterday.  OK, it wasn't a complete surprise, Carolyn told me to expect a package.  But I had no idea of what would be in it expect that it would have something to do with Nancy Halvorsen and Christmas.  Those are the directives of this most recent challenge for the group 'The Twelve of Us'.  I finished mine and mailed it at the end of last week to Christine.  I know she's received it so I can share pictures of what I sent her, but I'll save that for another post.  This is the adorable table runner that Carolyn made just for me...

The mustaches and holly leaves are all three dimensional.  They're just adorable!

The previous pictures were courtesy of Carolyn herself because as soon as I set it on the table, I had a cat on it.

I should ask her if she quilted any catnip in it because my cats won't stay away from it.  I couldn't get a single picture all night without one of them on it.

This was the best overall picture I took myself.  It's the perfect size for my table which is quite large.  I also already had the flower arrangement there and it goes perfectly with it.

Every time I walk into the room and see it, I smile.  I'm sure I'm going to use it in this very spot for years and years to come.  Thank you so much Carolyn for making it for me!

Until later...

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 
2 Corinthians 9:6 (NIV)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stash Report Week #50...

December 10 - 16, 2010

A very quick report this week.  I bought a little bit a fabric but as it's all a Christmas gift, I won't add it to my report.  I also finished a project for a friend that used 2.5 yards, but as she hasn't received it yet, I can't show a picture.  Lots of Christmas shopping, cooking and wrapping going on, but not much on the sewing front.

Purchased-this-week: 0 yards
Used-this-week: 2.5 yards
Purchased-to-date: 253 yards
Used-to-date: 420.5 yards
Net used: 167.5 yards

I can't show a picture of the project I finished, but I can show you David who kept me company while I worked on it.  He's quite fond of this minkee fabric I bought a while ago as the backing for another quilt.
Until later...

"My life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus - the work of telling others the good news about God's wonderful kindness and love." 
Acts 20:24 (NLT)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sam's Diet Update #5 (and other issues)...

Yesterday was 15 days since Sam's last weigh-in.  We've settled into a sort of routine with her food now.  I feed her right before bed and she'll wake me around 2 or 3 in the morning begging for more.  I'll get up and feed her again and she's generous enough to let me sleep the rest of the night.  She gets to eat one other time during the day around lunch time and that's it.  She's allowed to have 1/8th of a cup of food each time and I measure it carefully.

She's not looking any thinner though and I was a little hesitant about her most recent weigh-in.  I'm pleased (sort of) to report that she's lost another 0.2 lbs.  Yep, two tenths of one pound in 15 days.  So I'm happy that it was a loss, but at this rate we're going to be battling the bulge for the next 10 months.  Of course, that's about the same amount of time I've given myself to lose around 10 pounds.  Perhaps we can have a contest to see who gets to their goal first!

Sam just started her new prescription diet food a couple of days ago so it'll be interesting to see what the scales say next time.  Either way, we're in it for the long haul.  On a positive note, she loves the taste of her new food.  Unfortunately so does our other cat, Moses.  I have to keep shooing her away.

I mentioned in my last post on Sam's diet that she had developed acne from the stress.  We shaved her chin and began cleaning it with a special gel each night.  It took almost a week before we realized that she was allergic to the cleaner.  Poor girl.  Here's a picture of her chin before we stopped using it.

I hope that didn't gross you out.  The black stuff isn't actually the acne but scabs that formed because her chin was so raw.  She's now on an antibiotic - amoxicillin - for a couple of weeks.  Remember that stuff from when you were a kid?  It's pink and has to be refrigerated.  You should see me trying to squirt it down her throat.  Not fun.  Poor, poor Sam.  However, her chin is now healing nicely and it doesn't seem to be causing her any pain.  As for the acne, it appears to be mostly gone but it's hard to tell for sure.  She's got another week of antibiotic so I pray it will be healed by then.

Doesn't her chin look so much better now?

So as of today, Sam's new stats are...
  • Starting Weight - 17.9 lbs
  • Target Weight - less than 14 lbs
  • Last Weigh-in - 17.2 lbs
  • Current Weight - 17.0 lbs
  • Net loss - 0.2 lbs
Until later...

"If you love me, you will obey what I command."  
John 14:15 (NIV)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Another small finish...

I've not been doing a lot of sewing lately, but I have seen a small finish or two.  One I can't share as it's a gift and I'll have to wait until she opens it.  But I did finish stitching another block for the Winter Wonderland quilt.  This is block #4 out of 10.

Winter Wonderland Block 4
It was a pretty quick one.  I've found that it's the snowflakes that seem to take the longest in each of these blocks.  I've started on #5 now too.  It's something simple to work on at night while watching TV.  Mr. Quilting Bug and I are making our way through season 1 of Lie To Me right now.

Block #5 In Progress...
Until later...

Reverence for God adds hours to each day.
Proverbs 10:27 (LB)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stash Report Week #49...

 December 3 - 9, 2010

Only a few of these reports left for the year.  My goal was to use twice as much fabric as I purchased.  I can clearly see I'm not going to make that, but I feel good about where I'm at right now.  I did cave and go to a LQS, Quilts Like Crazy,  that was having a good sale.  Bring in 5 cans of food for the Food Bank and receive 25% off your purchase.  I wanted some more of one fabric I had purchased from them before.  Fortunately I found the exact fabric I needed, plus a few others for the Winter Wonderland quilt I'm working on.  I bought 2.5 yards of assorted wovens/flannels for this quilt.

Fabric for the Winter Wonderland quilt
And if you read my blog on a semi-regular basis you know I've been making a quilting related package for my mom each month of 2010.  One of my reasons for this was to get her interested in quilting.  I can  mentally picture us getting together for our own little retreats.  So I was really excited to see her Christmas list this year.  She wants fabric for a couple of different projects, including for her version of the Winter Wonderland quilt.  This is the best of both worlds for me.  I can go fabric shopping and it doesn't count towards my stash report!  I was able to find a few things that will work and I'll look for more in the next week or so.

I've not been sewing much this past week.  After finishing the bathroom valances, I've been doing a little bit of hand work.  The exception to that are a couple of charity blocks I made for a friend.  It's a surprise so I can't share them here, but they used a half yard of fabric.

Purchased-this-week: 2.5 yards
Used-this-week: .5 yards
Purchased-to-date: 253 yards
Used-to-date: 418 yards
Net used: 165 yards

Until later...

"Give freely and spontaneously. Don't have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God's blessing in everything you do, in all your work and ventures."  
Deuteronomy 15:10 (MSG)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A little break...

I'm taking a little break from blogging right now.  Although I'll still post, I expect them to be more infrequent.  I'm going through another fibro flare (in part because of this cold weather) and it's making it harder for me to get around and do things.

But I did want to share this YouTube video that I saw.  I don't watch many things on YouTube but this was right up my alley.  I also watched the rest of his videos and got a kick out of them.  Go Jupiter!

Until later...

Reverence for God adds hours to each day. 
Proverbs 10:27 (LB)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

An exercise in frustration...

I set myself a task today.  To finish making the valances for the bathroom.  Actually I set myself a bunch of tasks today because I figured that it would take no time at all to finish them.  Don't you love when a plan just falls into place?  Me too.  Except that's far from what happened.  Instead I was ready to tear my hair out.  I ran into one problem after another after another.

When the day started, I thought I was ahead of the game because I already had the fabric and lining cut out and I had even surged the edges on the focus fabric.  I kind of had to because the stuff was shedding like a banshee.  (Ever heard of that expression?  I used to have a friend that said it all the time in reference to everything.)  In any case, I managed to put together the valance for the toilet room pretty quickly.  Until it came time to install the grommets.  I picked up several packages of them from JoAnns, but had never personally tried them.

They were supposed to just snap together.  Easy peasy.  Except they weren't.  I struggled a good 10 minutes to get the first one in.  Fortunately the other 7 on this valance went together more quickly.  I hurried to the bathroom to hang it up and this is what it looked like...
 It was way too long.  I usually make my valances about a foot long but because I was using the grommets, I decided to research online and see what they suggested.  Everywhere I looked they said 18" and that's the length I made these.  So I had to take it back down and try to figure out the best way to shorten them.  After another frustrating amount of time, I hung it back up completed.
I think they look much better this length. I was glad I'd figured this out before assembling the longer valance to go above the tub.  So I trotted back to my sewing room to put that one together.  It didn't take too awfully long to assemble but when I went to install the first grommet, I accidentally cut the hole on the bottom of the valance and not the top. 

Oh crap!  Now what do I do?  All the edges were finished, so I had to do some wrangling, cut off one end and create a new side seam.  It's not the prettiest job I've ever done, but it's in the back so no one will see that it doesn't exactly match the other side.  Then I went to installing the grommets.  There are 16 of them on this wider valance.  It took me about 30 minutes to install the 8 on the previous valance, so conservatively it should have taken me an hour to complete this one.  But for some completely unknown reason, they wouldn't snap in!  I spent the better part of 3 hours trying to get these stupid plastic grommets attached to the fabric.  And in the end, I super glued the last 2 in place.  Yep, I was so extremely disgusted and frustrated with the whole thing that I pulled out the super glue.  And it worked.  So after hours and hours of work today, I've finally finished these 2 simple valances.  Here's the one hanging above the tub.
The stripes on the fabric are actually a kind of plush velvet and are very soft and rich looking.  It just so happens that the new hand towels in this room have the same vertical stripes on them.  Now all that's left is to recover a stool in the same fabric and to make some roll up shades.  Hopefully those 2 tasks go easier.  I can't remember the last time I was so frustrated and exasperated working on something.

Until later...

"If we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong." 
1 John 1:9 (NLT)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Wonderland...

It started snowing Saturday afternoon and it was so beautiful.  It's unusual for us to get snow this early.  We don't usually see the white stuff until January or February and then not very much of it.  We got an inch and a half at our house but the ground was so warm, we didn't have any trouble with the roads.  It was still snowing when I took these pictures.

Tree in our backyard
Can you see the deer eating in the forest?  They didn't seem too bothered by the snow (or the flash from my camera).

See the deer underneath the trees?
Even Gabriel went out for a short bit.  She came in with a light smattering of snow on her back.

Gabriel with snow on her back
Whenever it snows, it reminds me of how much Michael used to love it.  She'd run around energetically and then she'd lay down in it and let it snow on top of her.  She was a hot blooded creature so I'm sure it felt good to her.  I'll never forget the freak storm we got in 1999 with 22" of snow.  It was basically taller than her and everything closed down for a week.  But we had a ball playing in it together.

Michael in 1999
I do hope this isn't a sign that we're in for an abnormally cold winter this year.  It's nice to see snow once in a while, but here in North Carolina it usually means the roads are covered in black ice and dangerous to travel on.  I enjoyed these brief flurries but almost all signs of them have disappeared.

Until later...

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Stash Report Week #48...

November 26 - December 2, 2010

Only 4 more reports after this one !  I'm already starting to think of some goals for next year.  Like how about buying NO fabric all year...  Nahh!  I know there's zero chance of that happening.  But seriously I would like to set some realistic goals.  I'm still pondering and have a few weeks to prayerfully consider it.

This report will be short and sweet.  To begin with, this was another week where I bought no fabric.  I'm now at 18 out of 48 weeks (or 37.5%) where I didn't purchase any fabric.  That's up from 35% 6 weeks ago.

My big finish this week was the Charmed, I'm Sure quilt.  It's been quilted and bound and is ready for it's new home.  I used 5 yards for the backing and binding on this one.  I used another yard of fabric as the background for my mom's Winter Wonderland stitcheries.  And basically, that's it.

Purchased-this-week: 0 yards
Used-this-week: 6 yards
Purchased-to-date: 250.5 yards
Used-to-date: 417.5 yards
Net used: 167 yards

Until later...

"He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness" 
2 Corinthians 9:10 (NIV)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mom's November Package...

or at least part of it.  When she came up for Thanksgiving, I gave her the bulk of her package for the month.  There's still one more item to it, but I haven't finished it yet.  When I finally do, I'll mail it to her.  Hopefully that will be before the end of the month when her next and final package is due!

It's hard to believe that almost a year has passed since I started sending her a monthly quilting package.  My goal was two fold - to show her how much I love and appreciate her and to get her more interested in quilting.  I think I'm batting 2 for 2 right now.  She's really gone to town on learning new techniques in quilting.

A couple of months ago, I started adding the traced blocks for the Winter Wonderland quilt by Crabapple Hill to her packages.  She's completed them so quickly that I sent her 4 more this month.  Her background is a Bone kona cotton and she's embroidering them using a blue perle cotton thread.  She's already finished the first 3.

Four more blocks for Winter Wonderland
This month also saw the last of the Camelot Snowman mini hangings.  I gave her each snowman a month in advance so she would have them on hand when the time came.  This was the snowman for December.  He might just be my favorite of all of them.  (And I really think the color blue is growing on me!)

December Camelot Snowman
I printed out the patterns for these blocks for her because she now wants to make a set for her siblings.  Of course, she has ten brothers and sisters so it might take her a while!  I also bought a cute snowman tin and included sets of buttons that she can use on her versions.  There aren't enough to do them all, but they'll get her started.

As usual, I sent her block #11 of the Imperial Splendor BOM from JoAnn's and another quilting magazine.  And finally, I included a pattern booklet called Calendar Quilts by Kim Schaeffer.  It's a really cute collection of patterns to make themed quilts for each month. And like I mentioned earlier, there's one more item to this package.  I'll share it once I've finished it and given it to her.

Until later...

"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me."
Psalm 51:10

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sam's Diet Update #4 (and other issues)...

It's now been an additional 13 days since Sam's last weigh-in.  Although I must confess that I did weigh her 5 days ago and she had lost nothing.  I tried again this morning and she's down 0.2 lbs.  At least it's something.

Although after dealing with a wicked case of Samsomnia last night, I'm a little disheartened.  As much as she and I are struggling with her weight, you'd think there would be more to show for it.  Or actually less to show for it.  I've talked to her vet about it some more and I'll now be trying her on a prescription weight loss food.  Or I will as soon as it comes in.

As if her weight and joint issues are not enough, she has now come down with another case of acne.  If you didn't know, cats get acne on their chins.  Usually it just looks dirty unless the acne gets really bad.  And in cats, it all shows up as blackheads.  About 6 years ago when we adopted Moses, both Sam and Jack came down with it.  It can be caused by stress and also plastic food dishes.  Sam had a really, really bad case of it with festering sores and all.  It was horrible for her and you could tell it hurt her.

Her case of it right now is very minor compared to that, but we've had to shave her chin again.  We figure this current case is caused by the stress of her diet.  Mr. Quilting Bug and I have to wrestle her every night to wash her face and apply medication.  I'll spare you the pictures because it's not pretty.  But for some reason, Moses has now become her champion.  The first night while Mr. Quilting Bug was holding Sam and I applied the medication, poor Moses was so distraught that she attacked my husband and bit his arm, breaking the skin and causing it to bleed.  Every night since, she shows up as soon as Sam starts crying and circles around the two of us.  Fortunately she hasn't attacked either of us again.

So today, Sam's new stats are...
  • Starting Weight - 17.9 lbs
  • Target Weight - less than 14 lbs
  • Last Weigh-in - 17.4 lbs
  • Current Weight - 17.2 lbs
  • Net loss - 0.2 lbs

So please pray for her.  She's having a really tough time of it.  It always seems to be her that these things happen to...
  • We're practically starving her while the others get to eat a lot more
  • She has degenerative arthritis in her joints and can't walk or jump like the others
  • She had the horrible case of acne before and now has it again
  • She gets a shot every month for her arthritis
  • I pry her mouth open and stick a 'happy' pill down her throat every other day or so
  • She gets the lower half of her back shaved once or twice a year because she can't reach back there to clean it herself
  • She used to have an unfortunate habit of marking things when she would get too excited and had to have her anal glands expressed every few months (luckily this no longer seems to be an issue)
I know, this is probably too much information, but I really feel for her.  She's such a sweet creature.  I pray that her face heals quickly and that she can finally start losing some significant weight and feeling better.

Until later...

"Give me relief from my distress, be merciful to me and hear my prayer."
Psalm 4:1 (NIV)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A quilty finish...

Despite all David's help, I finished quilting and binding a charity quilt.

I was calling this one Disappearing 9-Patch, simply because that's the pattern.  Then I decided to rename it Blue Patches, but wouldn't you know I've already named a quilt that?  It was a surprise to me too.  So after struggling with it, I've finally decided to call it 'Charmed, I'm Sure' because the blocks are all made with charm squares I got from swaps I participated in.

This quilt finishes at 59" x 74" and will be donated to Central Children's Home via a very generous lady and her birthday wish.  I quilted the Hedge panto on it from the Sweet & Simple Pantograph Packet.  I just enlarged it by 140% because I wanted it to be a little larger than it came.

I used YLI machine quilting thread in white for the top and a variegated purple for the back.  I believe this thread is a 40 wt.  I loaded the quilt on my frame sideways so it would take fewer passes to quilt the panto.  All in all, I think it took 14 passes to do the entire quilt.

The binding is completely attached using the machine.  I've finally found a method that gives me results I like without having to spend hours hand stitching the binding on the back.  Although I'll still do that for special quilts, I much prefer doing the whole thing by machine.

I really liked the look of this pantograph and will definitely use it again.  So now that I'm done with this one, I need to quickly load another quilt on the frame and get started on it.  This next one is also a gift so I can't share it until it's done and delivered.

Until later...

God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing. 
Ephesians 2:10 (NCV)