Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sam on drugs...

This is Sam on her happy medicine...

The bright green are her eyes completely dilated.  The drugs do that to her.  And yes, she's leaning on top of the water bowl.  It's as if she got too tired or spaced out while drinking.  Can you see the water dripping from her chin?

Until later...

"I only seek to please Him who sent me."  
John 5:30 (LB)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Personalized gifts...

I bought an embroidery machine several years ago expecting that I would go to town embroidering everything.  As I understand from almost everyone else who has bought one, this is a common misconception.  Although I don't use it nearly as much as I expected, it is great for making fairly quick and inexpensive gifts.

I embroidered a towel for a friend the other day.  It cost me the price of the towels, less than $5 for the embroidery and about a half hour of my time to stitch this...

It's a gift that I feel confident will match her tastes and is something she'd be unlikely to find in a store.  Or if she did, it would cost considerably more.

I have 2 more matching towels I want to embroider like this one.  If you have an embroidery machine, I highly recommend the Embroidery Library for your designs.  I buy almost all of mine from them as they have a huge selection and the best prices.

While I was at the embroidery machine, I noticed David sleeping under the table.  In the first picture, he was completely oblivious to my presence.

Then he realized the crazy lady with the camera was after him again...

So he went with it...

Until later...

"It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you." 
Proverbs 29:25 (LB)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Stash Report Week #43...

October 22-28, 2010

Almost November already.  Wow!  I've already put in my order for Thanksgiving dinner.  It's our tradition for everyone to travel to my house for the day.  I order the meal from Boston Market and it just has to be heated up.  It tastes better than anything I would make, plus it gives us more time to spend visiting instead of cooking.  In fact, my niece said she couldn't wait for Thanksgiving because Aunt DeeDee makes the best food. 

This weeks stash report is a little anemic.  Again this week, I bought no fabric.  That'll change next week when I buy a backing for a charity quilt.

I've had a few small finishes this past week too.  I finished both November and December's Camelot Snowmen.   That was half a yard.  I also made a small embroidered pillow for my mom.  That's was another quarter yard.  I'm continuing to work on several other things that will have greater totals.  I expect to finish several of them in the next month.

Purchased-this-week: 0 yards
Used-this-week: .75 yards
Purchased-to-date: 228.25 yards
Used-to-date: 386.25 yards
Net used: 158 yards

I couldn't figure out what Sam was up to here.  A very unusual pose for her.

Until later...

The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won't face facts. 
Proverbs 14:8 (TLB)

A quick little finish...

As I mentioned yesterday, I spent some time back in my sewing room.  I cleaned and dusted for the first hour, but then I made this little pillow for a friend.

I had completed the center block some time ago.  It's a simple embroidery with some wool accents.  If you've never stitched with wool, it's incredibly easy to do.  No turned under seam allowances and it's very forgiving.

I started with the center and added both inner and outer borders.  I almost like it better laying flat like this...

Normally when I make pillows, I always add cording around the edge but I didn't have enough of the blue fabric left to do it this time.

While sewing, I caught Gabriel trying to groom David.   She pins him down and chews lightly on his fur.  She frequently does this, I'm just not usually quick enough to get a picture.

Gabriel grooming David
By they time I went around to the other side for a better picture, David had already had enough and run away.

"Pleeease come back!"
Until later...

"Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." 
Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My helper...

I got back in my sewing room yesterday.  So did my helper...

I took this from the backside of my sewing machine (in case it isn't obvious).  I had to scooch him out of the way every time I wanted to sew a seam.

Until later...

"I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." 
Psalm 119:11 (NLT)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


After reading my post on Samsomnia, my sister sent me an email detailing her own issues with Chanceragia.  I thought you might enjoy her response.

First let me offer some background, several months ago my sister adopted a 5 month old puppy, Chance, for her son.  He was not housebroken.


This is the email she sent me.
Dear Dee,
I am so sorry to hear about your bout with Samsomnia.  It sounds quite awful and I hope I never go through it.  I on the other hand am going through something quite horrible myself...

Chanceragia (n): The extreme rage that hits a person when their dog looks at them, purposely pees right in front of them and then runs around through the pee attacking their owner even while the owner is screaming at the top of their lungs and telling the stupid dog to come to them.  The dog then tries to bite the owners thumb off and instead jams the thumb into the persons hand causing extreme pain and even further rage. The dog stupidly wags his tail the whole time like everyone is playing a fun game.

Chanceragia is extremely serious and drives a person to such a rage they feel like they are having a heart attack.

I'll pray for you and you pray for me.

Love you,


Although I got a good laugh from her reply, I do have a lot of sympathy for her.  I reminded her about my dog, Michael, when she was 6 months old.  I was visiting my parents when I finally reached my breaking point.  I remember I was so frustrated that I tied her leash to the leg of the couch and left the room sobbing.

She then sent me another email...

Dear Dee,
Thanks for the sympathy.  It does help to know that someone else went through something similar and that they didn't go stark raving mad.

I've had two more bouts of Chanceragia since I last wrote you.  Pray for Chance...There is a new mutation of Chanceragia and it's called Homicidal Chanceragia.  It is extremely serious.  This happens when the dog pees in your son's room this morning and then when you are steam cleaning the carpet he jumps on your son's bottom bunk bed and pees all over it.  The dog is in solitary confinement for the rest of his life (or until I calm down).  He peed so much it went through the mattress and it is ruined.  He also wagged his tail as I went chasing him to lock him in his cage.  Keep praying...

So please pray for both her and Chance.

Until later...

"Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine"
(Mark 14:36 (NLT).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A couple of small finishes...

I finished up a couple small projects yesterday.  These are the last 2 of the monthly Camelot Snowman wall hangings - November and December's.

I've been making these throughout the year for my mom.  I sent her a hanger with the first one and she puts a new one up each month.  (One day I'm going to make a set for myself too!)

These snowmen were a free pattern from the internet.  They're cute and quick to stitch.

Another bonus is I found the fabrics and buttons for all 12 of these wall hangings in my stash.  Except for the buttons in October - I didn't have orange buttons on hand.

Yeah!  So this completes the whole year.  Now on to other things.

Until later...

"To whom much is given, much is required." 
Luke 12:48

Monday, October 25, 2010


Samsomnia (n) - Sleep deprivation caused by a dieting cat named Sam.

I have a serious case of Samsomnia.  It's making me rather cranky.  When I'm overtired and I hurt, I can be a bit of a bear, although I'm working on it.

Let me explain.

If you read my blog, you know that my very fat cat, Sam, is on a diet.  She gets 7/8 cup of diet food a day.  Through trial and error, I've discovered that she handles it better when she gets 1/8 cup of food at a time.  In fact, most days she leaves a few morsels behind and is fine with as little as 6 feedings.

However, she now insists on being fed twice during the night.  Once at 1 am and again around 5 am.  I read some time ago that you should never let your cat wake you up at night.  If you do wake up, you should pretend to be asleep.  Because once they know they can get you up, they will never give up in the future.  I think that's good advice.  But how do you pretend to be asleep when an almost 18 lb behemoth walks back and forth across your chest, tries to sit on your head and then resumes walking all over your upper body?  I say it's impossible!  And it doesn't matter how many times I push her off, she never gives up.  Until I get up and give her some food that is.

You're probably thinking I should just shut her out.  Good advice.  Except I've tried that to.  This cat will throw herself against the closed door and set up to caterwauling all night long.  I promise that you couldn't sleep through it.

You might suggest leaving food out for her overnight.  Again, I think that's a good idea.  Except for the fact that my other cat, Jack, loves Sam's diet food and would eat it all up before she ever got any.  Which means she would just continue to wake me up.  And at $24 for a 6lb bag, I really don't want to be paying for 2 of them to eat this food.

I've even considered giving her her special happy medicine at night.  She's not as hungry when she's on it.  Except unfortunately, she doesn't sleep at all while she's on it.  If I'm laying down, she has to lay on my chest, purring and head butting my face.  I think she's trying to be affectionate by rubbing her face against mine, but she basically rams her head into my jaw.  I have fibromyalgia and TMJ and my jaw is already very sensitive.  After a night of her hitting it, I feel like I have deep bruises along my entire face that take days to heal.  This is not a viable option.  In fact, she's not allowed to have any happy medicine after 11 am on any given day to prevent this.

So until Sam loses another 4 lbs, I'm afraid I'm going to have to deal with frequent bouts of Samsomnia.  Please forgive me if I'm a little grumpy; I'll try my best not to take it out on you.

P.S.  I forgot to mention the dog also insists on going out between 3 and 4 am.  Of course, they couldn't get me up at the same time!  And neither of them bothers Mr. Quilting Bug.  They know I'm the go to person for food and potty breaks.

Until later...

"This is the reason we never lose heart.  Our body does suffer wear and tear but every day the inward man receives fresh strength."  
2 Corinthians 4:16

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stash Report Week #42...

October 15-21, 2010
(I don't have any pictures that correlate with this week's stash report so I'm putting in random pictures of my pets.  Like this...)

A pensive Gabriel
This week was another one with no fabric in.  I'm not sure where the week went, but I wasn't even tempted to stop at a fabric store.  I know I need to get a quilt backing for a charity quilt and I even know the exact fabric I want.  It's at JoAnn's, but it's been on sale for the longest time now.  It seems like that would be the perfect time to buy it, right?  But I actually want it to go off sale so I can use my 50% off coupon on it.  Hopefully next week or the week after.

My parent's cat, Cricket
When I realized I had another week with no fabric in, I got to wondering how many weeks this year I've done that.  We're at 42 weeks, so I guessed probably less than 10.  I actually went back and counted and the answer is 15 times!  That's more than 35%.  (There's that math thing again.)

Note:  Mr. Quilting Bug just walked in and I told him my statistics.  He wasn't as impressed.  His reply is you could turn it around and say that means almost 2 out of 3 weeks you bought fabric.  He's obviously not a quilter...

A regal Sam
I still haven't gotten the Twisted Rope top put together.  I'm going to work on it some this week, along with a couple of other things that have to be finished by the end of the month. I did finish stitching block 3 of the Winter Wonderland quilt, but I won't count the fabric in it until all the blocks are stitched and the quilt top is put together.  That's unlikely to happen this year.  And I worked on costumes this week for my church's annual production they put on at Halloween.  It's not about Halloween, but it's a Haunted House alternative.  I had to clean and repair 7 angel gowns and I managed to finish 4 more of the new ones.  They were sizes XXL and XXXL so they used a total of 20 yards of fabric.

Purchased-this-week: 0 yards
Used-this-week: 20 yards
Purchased-to-date: 228.25 yards
Used-to-date: 385.5 yards
Net used: 157.25 yards

Gabriel with Mr. Quilting Bug
 Until later...

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear . . ." 
1 John 4:18 (NIV)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sam's Diet Update #1...

This is Sam...

She is fat- very, very fat.  She has degenerative arthritis in her elbows and the extra weight makes it worse.  She has been on a diet for a little while now.  Here are her stats...

  • Starting Weight - 17.9 lbs
  • Target Weight - less than 14 lbs
In the last 9 days she has lost a total of 0.2 lbs.  That's not too bad for her.  It's a combination of diet food, 'happy' pills and light exercise (chasing the laser pointer).
  • Current Weight - 17.7 lbs

Until later...

"These things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will sure come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!" 
Habakkuk 2:3 (LB)

Monday, October 18, 2010

A little finish...

I've been busy lately, but not with quilting.  I'm spending a lot of time working on the bathroom renovation.  I've managed to get all the trim painted (baseboard, doors and crown molding) and privacy window film put on the windows.  Why does it feel like such a workout the day after painting?  Although I did have to perform quite the balancing acts to get to the crown molding above the tub and vanity.  Fortunately, no pictures of that.

I did manage a small finish yesterday.  I put the final stitches in block 3 of the Winter Wonderland quilt.

Winter Wonderland Block 3
I need to finish a few other things before I start on another one.  However, I did look to see how many of these there are.  The answer is 10.  It's that math thing again.  I like knowing that I'm 30% complete with these stitcheries.  Although I realize that's not completely accurate because a couple of them are pretty big.

My posts might be sporadic for the near future because I'll be spending more time working on the bathroom.  I have more painting to do and also still need to pick out tile for the backsplash and tub surround.  And tomorrow, I need to spend all day working on costumes for an upcoming church production.  But if I manage to finish something else or snap some cute pictures of the pets, I'll be back.

Speaking of pets, I caught David snuggling up on a charity quilt I'm trying to load on my quilting frame.

David on quilt and batting

Until later...

"And this is my prayer, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that you may be able to discern what is best and be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God." 
Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Lady is done...

This Lady took me a long time.  Not because she was more complicated than the others, but because I had so many other things to work on at the same time - namely the CQ block.  I looked back through my posts and see that I started stitching her in July.  So that's about 3 months to finish the one block.  Normally I can do one in about a month.

If you have no idea what I'm referring to, I'm talking about the Ladies of the Sea quilt I'm making for Mr. Quilting Bug.  It's a pattern by Sue Garman and I've been working on it for a couple of years now.  I do a ship or two and then work on the Baltimore Halloween quilt, then come back to this one and so on.  I now have 10 ships completed and have 6 more to do (not to mention the applique borders).  Here's the latest ship...

Ladies of the Sea - The Mayflower
I'm doing all of these blocks by hand using the Back-Basting Needleturn Applique method.  It takes some time but produces very accurate results.

Now that this one is done, I'm going to turn my attention back to the Baltimore Halloween quilt.  I'll start on block 11 (out of 12).  This one has a lot of small pieces (around 100) so I expect it will take a while too.  But that's OK as I enjoy working on them.  I'll also be interspersing it with the final two Camelot Snowman stitcheries, Winter Wonderland and a small wool project.  Busy, busy, busy!

I just took this picture of Gabriel and 'duck' baby.  It's our nightly ritual; she brings me one of her babies and we play tug of war.  If I can manage to get it away from her, I throw it, she fetches it and we continue on until I cry uncle...

Tug of war with Gabriel and duck baby
Until later...

"God is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes."
Ephesians 3:20 (LB)

Stash Report Week #41...

October 8-14, 2010

After such an amazing report last week, this one is kind of a let down.  I'm still hard at work on a bunch of things, but haven't finished much yet.

On the purchasing side of things, I stopped at JoAnn's and picked up some Kona cotton and a background fabric for one of the charity quilts.  There was a total of 3 yards of the Kona in Snow and Ivory and 4.5 yards of the blue.

Kona Snow, Ivory and charity quilt backing
Then there was my goofy purchase where I bought a yard of the brown and .5 yards of the cream and when I got home realized it was supposed to be the reverse.  So I can't use them as I intended and they'll go into my stash for a later date.

Bought the wrong amounts - Duhh!
And finally a friend gave me this cat panel (I almost bought it myself a while back) and I might try to turn it into another charity quilt.  It's about half a yard.

Gift from a friend
So that's a total of 9.5 yards in this week.  As for what I used...  I finally finished the CQ block which was about half a yard and I embellished some towels for a friend which was another quarter yard.  So I think I used .75 yards.  Lots more in the pipe though and I hope to see some bigger finishes in the next couple of weeks - including quilting at least one of the charity quilts.

Purchased-this-week: 9.5 yards
Used-this-week: .75 yards
Purchased-to-date: 228.25 yards
Used-to-date: 365.5 yards
Net used: 137.25 yards

I took a couple of pictures of Gabriel with a funny perspective.  I'm finding I like these weird angle shots more than the normal ones.  And yes, those are my toes in the picture.

Until later...

Now you belong to him ... in order that you might be useful in the service of God. 
Romans 7:4 (TEV)

A Quick Project and a Goof...

Don't you just love quick little projects?  Especially when you have a list a mile long?  I bought these towels last week from Kohl's.  They're from the Laura Ashley collection and are super soft and fluffy.  I wanted to make a quick house warming gift for a friend and managed to find a coordinating fabric in my stash...

Towels from Kohl's

The fabric is Rebel Roses by Heather Mulder Peterson.  In just about an hour, I was able to add a band to both the bath towel and wash cloth to make a personalized gift. 

Towels with added trim

In other news, Sinta and Sherri are hosting the La Petite quilting challenge - starting this month.  The first challenge is to make the Schnibbles quilt Paganini by October 31st.  I've been wanting to make some Schnibbles quilts because they're small projects and don't require a huge investment of time or fabric.  This pattern calls for 64 charm squares and I have a couple of charm packs of Pure that I thought would work nicely.  So I stopped at a quilt store yesterday to get some coordinating fabric.  I went in knowing I needed a yard of one fabric and a half yard of another.  This is what I picked out...
Fabric purchases for Paganini

FYI - That's David's tail in the picture.

Well, here's where the goof comes in.  Wouldn't you know that I bought the wrong amounts of each fabric?  I switched them.  The brown was intended to be the outer border and the cream the background.  Only now I don't have enough of the background to actually make the quilt.  I didn't want to go back to the quilt store for more background (too lazy I guess) and so I dug around in my stash.  I found a couple of charm packs of Shangri La by 3 Sisters for Moda as well as a background and outer border that will work.  I think I like this selection even better than the original.  I'm hoping to work on this in between the multitude of others and still finish it by Halloween.  At least it doesn't have to be quilted by then...

A few more pictures of Gabriel playing ball the other day.  She's a cutie but she's getting awfully fluffy lately.

Until later...

Psalms 59 "I will sing of your strength in the morning and I will sing of your love for you are my refuge in times of trouble."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Final CQ Update...

Yes, I've finally finished the CQ block.  I expect this will be my last post concerning crazy quilting for quite some time.  It is a labor and time intensive hobby that a lot of people are 'crazy' about.  After having tried it, I can report that I don't think I'm one of them.  I much prefer to admire other people's efforts.  Here is the block with all the patches and seams completed...

Finished CQ block

As I mentioned before, I intended to added some Hyacinths to the final block.  These flowers are made using a bunch of Looped Ribbon stitches with 4mm silk ribbon.  The stems are Twisted Straight stitches and the leaves are a combination of Ribbon stitches and Folded Ribbon stitches.  Both the leaves and stems were made with 7mm silk ribbon in shades of green.

Patch #11 - Dutch Hyacinths and caterpillar

All that was left was to finish the edges and put a backing on it.  I wasn't certain how to go about it.  It's a pretty heavy block with all the beads, charms and ribbon.  I have a friend who has had several of her pieces framed.  I thought that was a good idea but couldn't find a frame that would work with these dimensions.  The block finished at 11.25" square.

So I asked Mr. Quilting Bug to cut me a thin piece of wood 12" square.  I added a border to the block out of a green velvet.  I stitched a backing to 3 sides, turned it right side out and inserted the piece of wood.  I then hand stitched the opening closed.  If Elaine would like to do something different with it, she can easily remove the wood.  Or she can hang the finished piece on a wall or set it on a stand.  Whatever she fancies.

Finished CQ block

Some lessons learned -

1. CQ is not a cheap hobby and (for me) it takes up a lot of space.  Mr. Quilting Bug has put up with quite a bit of clutter in the living room for the past month or so while I worked on this.  There are books, ribbons, charms, beads, needles, thread and other assorted paraphernalia. 
2.  You can create some very lifelike flora and fauna using silk ribbon.  There were several techniques I had always wanted to try and making this block gave me the chance to do so.
3.  This is not a good stash busting hobby.  Although you have the opportunity to buy a bunch of different embellishments, you don't need a lot of fabric.  And I find that I really like fabric and lots of it.

So while I enjoyed myself and learned a lot, this is unlikely to turn into a passion of mine.  But every time I see a crazy quilt in a quilt show now, I'm going to have a much better appreciation of the time and effort involved in making one.

Another picture of Jack.  Lately she's taken to rushing the camera when she sees it.

Until later...

"If you wait for perfect conditions, you'll never get anything done!" 
Ecclesiastes 11:4 (LB)