Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another finish!

Woohoo!  I didn't think I would finish it before my trip, but I put the final stitches on the binding to 'Snowflakes' tonight.

It's not a large quilt - only 20" square.  It will make a nice table topper I imagine.  I'm not keeping it though so that will be up to it's new owner.

I did some more machine embroidery on this quilt.  Taking the lessons I learned from embroidering Mr. Snowman, it went much more smoothly.  I really enjoyed the process on this one.

I embroidered these snowflake designs on all of the 2" squares on the front (9 total).

And I embroidered some larger more free-form snowflakes in the borders.  (I'm sorry for the quality of the picture, but it's hard to get the white thread to really show up on the white background...)

So now the quilt is labeled and bound and marks my 6th UFO finish for the year!

On a different note, my quilt bee traveled to Plain and Simple Quilt Shop in Apex, NC today.  We try to take a trip out there as a group a couple of times a year.  And as always, it was a great time!  I also found out that this shop will be featured in the May 11th issue of American Patchwork & Quilting's Quilt Sampler magazine.  I'll have to make sure I pick up a copy.  I always think of them as the go to place for Civil War fabrics.

I was very restrained during our outing and only purchased a couple of patterns- including 255 Flight of Fancy by Crabapple Hill Patterns.  It's a beautiful mix of hand embroidery and piecing.

I also bought 2 yards of a red grunge fabric from Basic Grey.

We had a great lunch and a nice time browsing the eclectic stores on Main St.  I always enjoy our outings out there.

And now I'll leave you with a recent picture of Sam on the couch.  She looks like she wedged herself into the corner pretty good...

Until later...

Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 1 Corinthians 14:20 (NIV)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mr. Snowman is done...

I've finally finished the quilt for my mom - Mr. Snowman.  I tried a lot of different quilting techniques on the top and I'm pleased with how it turned out.  This is my 5th UFO finish for the year!  Yeah!

This quilt finished at 35" x 34.5".  I used stitch in the ditch, echoing, cross-hatching and machine embroidery to complete this top.  It's the first time I've done so much machine embroidery on a quilt and I learned a few things that will help me in the future.

I definitely think I'll use this technique again.  Although it's time consuming to re-hoop the quilt, it looks very professional.  One tip though is to make sure you use designs that are very open and airy!

Now I think I'll work concurrently on 3 projects - D9Patch, Snowflakes and Prayers for Night and Day.  I guess I'd better get busy!

Until later...

I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love, so that you, together with all God's people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ's love. Ephesians 3:17-18 (TEV)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Stash Report Week #12

March 19-25, 2010

This was a fairly boring week for stash busting.  The flu really kept me from completing anything and away from the fabric stores (for the most part).  The exception was a quick stop at JoAnn's.  I picked up 2.5 yards of fabric to make some accessories for my purse.  It's a mess in there right now - fliers, coupons, receipts, etc.  I'd like to make some coordinating items to 'control' the mess and this is the fabric I picked out for it.

I'm going out of town for a week to pet sit and this will be a good project to work on.  (I always bring far too many projects for the amount of time I'm away so I'll see if I get to it.)

I worked on several projects this week including Mr. Snowman, but alas, didn't finish it in time for this report.  However, I now recall I did finish several doll outfits - so lets call that 1 yard.

Purchased-this-week: 2.5 yards
Used-this-week: 1 yard
Purchased-to-date: 80.25 yards
Used-to-date: 134.5 yards
Net used: 54.25 yards

Until later...

"A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!"
by Howard Hendricks

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More progress...

I managed to sneak a few hours of sewing time in this morning.  It helps that I woke up early.  This was the first morning since I fell sick that I woke able to breathe out of both nostrils and I took advantage of the small amount of energy I had.

I continued embroidering snowflakes on the Mr. Snowman quilt.  Here's the quilt hooped in the machine...

I undoubtedly spent more time tearing out embroidery stitches than the machine did stitching them.  First, I didn't keep the excess quilt far enough out of the way and during stitching, one part got sewn down to another.  The machine was really unhappy with me and stopped working until I fixed it.  It was a mess.

The second mess was when the bobbin thread had almost run out.  The thread tail that gets wound on the bobbin first and is buried under all the layers became uncovered enough to get caught up in the machine.  So for a short time, the embroidery was using 2 bobbin threads.  It created a huge rat's nest under the quilt.  Fortunately, I was able to remove both mishaps without tearing a hole in the quilt

In between these mishaps, I did finish 2 more doll outfits.  It's the same outfit but in different fabrics.  These are probably the last ones I'll get done before her birthday.  But I have plenty more fabric and notions and plan to continue making them throughout the year.

I also managed to make the binding for Mr. Snowman.  There's only a little more than one side to embroider and then it's ready for the binding.  I'm hoping to find the time to finish it tomorrow.

And I caught Jack taking another sunshine nap today.  I love that thing she does with her paws...

Until later...

"Nature herself has imprinted on the minds of all the idea of God."
- Cicero

Jack in the box...

The other day I got back from the store and started putting away the groceries.  I left the pantry open while I was emptying bags.  When I turned around, I found Jack...

She had climbed on top of all the cans and into the back of the cabinet.

She's coming up on her 10th birthday this year, but lately she's been acting really goofy.

Until later...

Worrying is taking responsibility for things God never intended you to have. 
Rick Warren

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More pet pictures and hardware...

I thought I'd split posts tonight for content purposes.  This post is mainly about my pets...

I was on the computer yesterday in the sun room when I happened to glance up and see cats everywhere basking in the sun.  So what did I do?  I grabbed the camera of course.

Sam on the love seat.

David on the chair.

Jack in between the two on the trunk.

Gabriel found her own patch of sunshine on the floor.

Moses on the binky.

By the time I made it back from taking pictures of Moses, David had morphed into this...

And this...

Boy does he look comfy (and fluffy)!  He's coming up on his first birthday in a couple of weeks and then no more kitten formula for him.

I cleaned out the cabinet above my fridge the other day.  It was obvious I hadn't been up there in a very long time.  I expected to find light bulbs and medicine - which I did - but I also found this...

This the hardware we picked out for the kitchen back when we built the house in 2000!  I don't know what we were thinking, but there must be at least 30 extra drawer pulls in here.  I decided I can swap out all the existing ones with new ones  - the old ones are starting to tarnish.  And still have plenty leftover.  My sister is planning to redo her kitchen next year so perhaps she can use them.  We must have purchased 3 to 4 times the amount we needed???

I replaced one and figured it was a project for another day (when I've completely kicked this flu).

Until later...

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Matthew 6:8 (NIV)

Quilting Mr. Snowman...

I'm still working on quilting Mr. Snowman.  The quilt isn't large - only 37" square, but I'm doing custom quilting on it that's taking rather longer than I expected.

 First I outlined stitched some of the snowman and echoed around his hat.  I also stitched in the ditch around the borders.

(Of course I had my usual helper slowing things down.)

Then I did a cross-hatch in the background 16-patches.

And finally I'm doing some machine embroidered snowflakes in the borders.  This step requires me to keep re-hooping the quilt and is taking a good bit of time.  I'm almost done with 2 sides but I like how it's turning out so far.  Mr. Quilting Bug recommended that the snowflakes extend into the lighter blue and gold borders.

Between naps and flu medicine, I've also managed to finish another outfit for my niece's doll.

It's a great in-between project while I'm waiting for an embroidery to finish.   I've got a couple more outfits I'm working on which should see me through finishing the quilt.

Until later...

Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own. Jeremiah 33:3 (MSG)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Down and out...

with the flu.

Mr. Quilting Bug and I have been struggling with it this past week (him longer than I).  While I think we're both on the mend, we're still struggling a bit.  Night time is worse than the day.  Please pray we're completely better soon.

Until later...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stash Report Week #11

March 12-18, 2010

Did you read my post about the big sale at JoAnn's last week?  That contributed a good bit to my stash accumulation.  I bought 2 yards for the bee sampler, 6 yards for quilt backings and 4 yards for doll clothes.

I also went to Wish Upon A Quilt earlier this week and picked 2.5 yards of some Indigo by Timeless Treasures.

That's a grand total of 14.5 yards of fabric added to my stash.

I finished one doll outfit that used up half a yard.  Too bad the outfits are so small.  They're not great stashbusters, but they're so adorable!  And fun to make.

And thanks to Susan, I now have another UFO done -Barney.  (I can't thank you enough Susan!!!)  That used 4.5 yards for the backing and binding.  The top was done last year so I don't count that towards stashbusting now.

If I did my math right, I used 5 yards this week.  Better than last week!

Purchased-this-week: 14.5 yards
Used-this-week: 5 yard
Purchased-to-date: 77.75 yards
Used-to-date: 133.5 yards
Net used: 55.75 yards

Until later...

"If God can work through me, he can work through anyone."
- St. Francis of Assisi 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

One of life's blessings...

is that of true friendship.  And I have been SO blessed this week by my friend Susan.  Knowing that I have so many quilts that need to be quilted and that I just don't enjoy that part of the process, she was willing to quilt one of them for me.  She refused to take any payment for it either - only the thread.

She does all her quilting on her regular sewing machine and her work is SO beautiful.  Because the thread blends so well with the fabric, it's difficult for you to see how lovely her stitching is but her tension is perfect and the design works so well with the quilt.

She did a stipple with stars in the body of the quilt and leaves in the borders.

 I spent a good deal of time sewing the binding to the back today and I had lots of help...

Every time I put it down to take a break, another cat claimed it.

I made this quilt for a friend of mine from high school who is currently serving in Iraq.  When I asked him what colors he liked, he said green and purple.  The first thing that came to mind was Barney (the Dinosaur), so that became it's name.  It finishes at 65" x 72".  Once I add the label, I'll ship it off to Iraq.  I hope it makes it to him!

This is my fourth UFO finish for the year.  (A lot more still to be finished.)  I'll leave you with a funny picture of Sam I took tonight.

Until later...

"I live and love in God's peculiar light."
- Michelangelo

Cute outfit and other furry tidbits...

I've finished one of the top and shorts outfits for my niece's doll.  I had a lot of fun working on them.

Isn't the rickrack a nice touch?  Fortunately they fit her pretty well too.

My mom has been having a lot of trouble with hers turning out too small.  She even went looking for a skinnier doll but couldn't find one.  Now she's trying to add a bigger seam allowance and hope that helps.  I think it just depends on the pattern and the one I'm working with fits just right.

I've also managed to cut out 4 more outfits and they're ready to sew.

Recently I've started reading a new blog (to me) called Quilt Obsession.  I enjoy reading about her quilting projects, but I love that she ends every post with pictures of her two cats, Lester and Smudge, and what they're up to at that time.  I thought what a great diary that would be one day in the future when she no longer has them with her.  So I took my camera and went searching for my brood.  I'm so glad I did because I got some great pictures...

Sam was napping in her chair.

Jack was napping on this chest.  This is her favorite pose.

This is David's favorite daytime napping spot in the sun room.

Moses was snug in bed.

Gabriel was passed out on the floor.

A canine friend came to visit Gabriel today and they played until she was exhausted.  She still needs to lose a good bit of the winter weight she put on.  Then again, so do I!

I also found this great picture of Michael taken about 5 years ago.  She was such a sweetheart...

I know one day I'll love looking back on these pictures and thinking what a blessed day it truly was.

Until later...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bible studies...

This may not be your cup of tea, but I thought I'd share about a bible study I just finished with my friend LeeAnn.  We've been reading the book Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver.  It has a 14 week bible study that goes along with it.  Every chapter had something to teach me and I really feel that the author was Spirit-led to write this book.

Here's a description of it from

In Having a Mary Spirit, Weaver, author of the bestseller Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, directs your gaze past your own shortcomings to the God who stands ready, willing, and able to make a new woman out of you. She equips you with biblical insights and practical tools to partner with Christ, inviting him into the hidden places of your soul and giving him full permission to redeem and renovate. Drawing on the stories of biblical Marys and others whose experience with God transformed their lives, Weaver shows how you can find the hope, healing, wholeness, and joy your heart longs for.

Whatever stage you're at in your walk with Christ, I'd recommend this book.  We also read her first book, Having a Mary Spirit in a Martha World, and found it just as valuable.  It has a great lesson on worrying for all you compulsive worriers out there!

If you've done any good bible studies, let me know what they were!  We're now ready to start another one, but don't yet have one in mind so I'd love some recommendations...

Until later...

Did you see...

the huge sale that JoAnn's had last week?  I think they called it a coupon commotion or something.  I must have had at least 15 coupons worth 40 and 50% off.

I went down there on Saturday afternoon - the last day of the sale.  I was so busy the rest of the week, this was the first chance I had to make it there.  I could tell from the parking lot they were busy.  When I walked in and saw all the people waiting for the cutting counter, I immediately grabbed a number.  I didn't know if I'd find anything I needed, but I took one just in case.  And I'm so glad I did!  My number was 52 and they were currently on #22.  I've never seen it so packed.

I found another Ravendale print for my bee sampler.  I'm thinking I'll set the quilt on point with this fabric and it will nicely show off the blocks.

I also found 2 fabrics that will work well as backings.  The green is a little bright, but I've been drawn to it every time I see it in the store.

And I also saw several more fabrics that would be adorable as doll clothes.  My niece's birthday is in less than 3 weeks and I'd like to get another 3 or 4 outfits made for her birthday doll.

I've got some adorable rickrack and pom pom trim to add to them as well.  I'm hoping to start cutting some more out tonight or tomorrow.

Don't you love it when a store prints out on your receipt how much you've saved from regular price?  And don't you love it even more when you've saved 50% or more off the total?  I love a bargain!

(By the way, I had to wait an hour for my number to be called.  In that time, I picked up and put away another half dozen bolts of fabric.)

Until later...