Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving pictures...

How is it that my whole family came up to visit and these are the only pictures I took?  As if I don't take enough pictures of Jack the other 364 days of the year.  I guess I was having too much fun visiting to remember to grab my camera...

Someone could use a dental cleaning...
A little blurry, but I love her tongue peeking out.

Until later...

Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. 
1 Timothy 4:8 (NLT)

Monday, November 29, 2010

'You can quilt that out'

There's a video going around YouTube called 'You Can Quilt That Out'.  If you haven't seen it and you're a quilter, it's worth a look.

I'm currently having my own issues with this.  The other day I loaded a quilt backing onto my frame.  I didn't have time to do anything else right then and left it like that.  When I went back the next day, I could see a huge dent in the fabric all the way across the room.  I stupidly left the door to my sewing room open and my heaviest cat, David, decided that would make the perfect spot for a bit of a nap.  It probably made a good hammock.  Imagine how much a 20 pound cat can stretch out a piece of fabric.  Now I'm in the process of trying to quilt it without huge puckers on the back.

I'm about half way done with the quilting now and hoping you won't be able to tell anything happened.  But I've learned my lesson.  My quilting room is barred to anything with a tail whenever there's a quilt on the frame!

Until later...

"A fool gives vent to his anger but a wise man keeps himself under control." 
Proverbs 29:11 (NIV)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Stash Report Week #47...

November 19 - 25, 2010

With celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday, I completely forgot to do my stash report.  There's not too much to it this week, but every bit counts right?

To start, I bought no fabric this week.  Well, OK, that's not exactly true.  I did pick up the fabric for the bathroom curtains, but that's decorator fabric and I don't include that in this report.  So I'll amend that to say I bought no quilting fabric this week.

I also finished 2 quilt tops this week but I already talked about them here.  Both tops are the same quilt - just in 2 different sizes.  I'm calling them 'Nestled in the Branches' and 'Nestled in the Branches II'.  (I realize no one is ever going to hire me for an ad campaign or to name any new products.)  In any case, between the both of them, I used 4.25 yards.  I've got a quilt on the frame and I'm about half way done with it, but that will have to wait until next week's report.

Purchased-this-week: 0 yards
Used-this-week: 4.25 yards
Purchased-to-date: 250.5 yards
Used-to-date: 411.5 yards
Net used: 161 yards

That's my highest 'Net Used' total this year!  And only 5 more weeks to go.  I wonder how much higher it will get...

And because I had no quilting related pictures to share this week, here's one of Gabriel after a recent bath.  I was surprised at how curly her coat was.  I suppose rolling in dead animals acts as a sort of gel or hair straightener.

Until later...

“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” 
Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude.  ~E.P. Powell

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
I pray that you are blessed to spend this day with your loved ones.

Until later...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My little helper...

I was trying to plan out my menus for the next week or so and David decided to help me.

No, he's not supposed to be up there.  But he has a thing for pens...  And pencils...  Actually any writing device.  He thinks I'm taunting him and tries to catch and bite it.  It makes it impossible to write anything.  So what do I do?  I stop and take pictures of course.

He looks almost dusty in the sunlight.

He's so used to the camera that he just tunes it out now.

That last one's a good one of him.  He's so black, it's hard to get a good picture of him without the light reflecting off his coat.  He has the yellowest eyes and is such a big sweetheart.  Except when he's trying to chew my pen that is.

Until later...

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you were working for the Lord and not for people.
Colossians 3:23 (TEV)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More this and that...

I'm not really close to a finish on anything right now.  With regards to quilting, my priority is to get 3 tops quilted before I start piecing anything else.  I prefer the piecing though which is why I have so many needing to be quilted right now!

I'm also puttering along on a few other projects.  I'm working on Block 11 of the Baltimore Halloween quilt.  It's all back-basted needleturn applique and takes a good bit of time.  Here's my progress so far...

Block 11 - In Progress
Here's what the finished block is supposed to look like...

Baltimore Halloween by Pearl P Pereira
I've got quite a ways to go.  There are around 100 pieces to this one block and most of them are pretty small.  When I'm not working on this block (which is most of the time), I've been working on a secret project for Christmas for the Twelve of Us.  For obvious reasons, I can't share a picture of that one.  Suffice to say, there's more embroidery and applique on it.

I was supposed to have this quilt finished and delivered as of this past weekend.

Disappearing 9-Patch for charity
But I just pieced and loaded the backing fabric on the frame yesterday.  Sorry it's late Thearica!  I hope to load the top on Wednesday and to start quilting a pantograph on it.  In between Thanksgiving preparations that is.

Oh, and I just got a call that my fabric for the bathroom has come in.  It would sure be nice to make the valances and such this weekend.  Just so much to do, but I know it will all get done in its own time.

I love these pictures of each of our 4 cats...

Until later...

Human beings are the only things in all creation that worry. Everything else trusts the heavenly Father and creator to care for their needs. 
By Rick Warren

Monday, November 22, 2010

24 Birds and counting...

Not turkeys, although I suppose that would be appropriate.  What I actually meant is I've finished the top for Nestled in the Branches and a smaller Nestled in the Branches 2.  The first one has 20 bird blocks in it and is 53" x 62.5".  When I finished making it, I realized I had enough bird blocks and coordinating fabric to make a smaller duplicate.  This one has 4 bird blocks in it and is 34.5" square.  Hence 24 birds. 

Nestled in the Branches II
I didn't get a picture of the larger one because I didn't have space to lay it out.  Just imagine a bigger version of the one above with 5 rows and 4 columns of birds.  I've already got the backings cut/pieced and the bindings made.  Now they'll go into the queue for quilting.  It's a long queue though.

I'm sure to give at least one of these away so I didn't mind making 2 of the same pattern and fabric.

Here's a picture of Jack balancing on the furniture.  She's probably our most graceful cat.

Until later...

I said to myself, "Relax, because the Lord takes care of you."  
Psalm 116:7 (NCV)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sam's Diet Update #3...

It's been 18 days since Sam's last weigh in.  I was really nervous this time.  If she hadn't lost any weight after the radical measures I've taken, she was going to have to go back to the vet to have more tests done.  But praise God, she lost 0.7 lbs!  I am so very, very pleased with this number.  First, it's a weight loss not a gain like last time.  Second, it's a significant number for a cat her size.  Third, it's not too much for the time period, 18 days.  If cats lose weight too quickly, it can negatively impact their health and organs.

She's not too happy on her diet - except for the days I give her her 'happy' pills.  But I don't care.  I also don't care how many times she wakes me up in the middle of the night begging for food.  All I have to do is hear her walk across the room with every joint popping at each step to make me hold firm.  As she loses the weight, she will feel better and will be healthier.  I guess the same thing can be said for people!

If she can keep to this pace (.7 lbs in 18 days), it will take her a little more than 3 months to drop below 14 lbs.  Ideally, I'd like to see her around 13 lbs and to maintain it.

I just can't tell you how happy I am to finally see some positive progress on this front.  It's been a long time coming.

So today, Sam's new stats are...
  • Starting Weight - 17.9 lbs
  • Target Weight - less than 14 lbs
  • Last Weigh-in - 18.1 lbs
  • Current Weight - 17.4 lbs
  • Net loss - 0.7 lbs
Way to go Sam! 

Until later...

From now on if you listen obediently to the commandments that I am commanding you today, love God, your God, and serve him with everything you have within you, he'll take charge of sending the rain at the right time .... 
Deuteronomy 11:13-14 (MSG)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stash Report Week #46...

November 12 - 18, 2010

Another good week for stash busting!  This just motivates me to keep going.  I've given some thought as to whether or not I want to continue these reports next year and the answer is an emphatic yes!  I know I would have bought more and used less if I hadn't been keeping track of the details.

I did buy some fabric this week.  In particular I needed some more fabric to finish the Nestled in the Branches quilt I started at the quilt retreat.  The fabric is from JoAnns and it's been over a year since I bought the original batch so I was a little concerned if they still carried it.  It's from their Legacy Studio collection of fabrics.  Well, I was fortunate to find enough of both fabrics I needed.  I bought a total of 2.5 yards between them. 

Legacy Studio's Nestled in the Branches
While there, I started looking for the backing to this charity quilt I made in September.  It's earmarked for Interact once it's quilted.

Owl Charity Quilt for Interact
I found this really soft Minkee type fabric for the backing.  The brown matches nicely with the outer border and it will be great for a kid.  I bought 2 yards of it.  It's 60" wide so I needed less of it than a traditional cotton fabric.

Minkee backing for charity quilt
I don't know what's up with the line through it.  I didn't notice that until I looked at the picture.

Now on to what I used this week.  I only finished 1 quilt top, Twisted Rope, but it is definitely the largest one I've ever made!  112" square.  I used 14.5 yards for this top!  Wow!  That's a lot of fabric.  Here's a picture of the quilt laying on top of LeeAnn's bed.  She's the one I'm making the quilt for.

Twisted Rope Quilt Top
Now all that's left is to quilt it.  LOL!  That's easily going to be as challenging as piecing the top.  I have a pretty good idea of how I want to quilt it, I just have to figure out some of the logistics.

Purchased-this-week: 4.5 yards
Used-this-week: 14.5 yards
Purchased-to-date: 250.5 yards
Used-to-date: 407.25 yards
Net used: 156.75 yards

Wow!  I've finally topped the 400 yard mark.  That feels like quite an accomplishment!

Until later...

"The Lord demands fairness in every business deal." 
Proverbs 16:11 (LB)

Gabriel's new baby...

I bought Gabriel a new baby today.  All her other ones are in little pieces.  Somehow she knew it was for her even before I took it out of the bag.  Do they put a special scent on it that tells them?  She was trying to stick her head in the bag when I was carrying it in.  And while I was cutting of the tag, she tried to steal it off the counter.

I'm glad I took pictures right away because not even 6 hours later, it's already missing some of it's stuffing and an ear.  I swear the next one I buy her isn't going to have any stuffing in it.  I forgot how much I enjoy picking up stuffing off the carpet.  Not!

She snuck it outside when we went out to play ball and she ran around the front yard in wild circles carrying it.  I really wish I'd had my camera then.  Of course, I was laughing so hard it would have been difficult to get any pictures.

Until later...

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing …” 
Proverbs 3:5-10 (NIV)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finally, a working bathroom!

I said earlier that I would share some pictures of my new bathroom.  I was going to wait until after I had made valances and recovered a stool for the vanity, but it looks like it could take up to 6 weeks for the fabric to come in.  And the chances of this bathroom looking as pristine as it does now are pretty slim.  Life happens.

Keep in mind that every bit of the work, except installing the granite countertops, was done by myself and Mr. Quilting Bug.  By that, I mean he did 99% of the physical labor.  I bought stuff, put up some window film and painted some.  So here are the pictures of my gorgeous new master bathroom.

First up is the new bath tub space.  The bath tub is the same one we had and is the only thing we didn't replace in the bathroom.  But the decking and all of the tile is new.  He also built the wall to the right of it.  The french doors to the far right will house our custom closet.  Mr. Quilting Bug still has to build it, but I told him to take some time off first.

Next is the separate toilet room.  (I really do like having the toilet separate from the rest of the space.)  Notice the skirted toilet.  That means no crawling on my hands and knees trying clean the nooks and crannies behind it.

Then there are our new sinks and refurnished cabinets.  The granite was a remnant, so we got a really great deal on it.  You can also see a vent under the middle cabinet.  Mr. Quilting Bug installed a special heater that we can turn on with a timer switch.  This will be so useful in the winter.

Next up is the steam shower.  Although it's functional right now, it will soon have steam, aromatherapy, chromatherapy and a radio.  He's going to pull the electrical this weekend and my dad, who happens to be a master electrician, will give it the once over at Thanksgiving.  This baby has amazing water pressure which was a big problem with our old one.  When you took a shower in that one, it just felt like it was drizzling on your head.  I have long hair and it took forever to get it wet enough to wash it.

And one last picture to complete the circuit.  I have a stool that matches the vanity, but like I said, I'm waiting on the fabric to come in so I can recover it.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  And even though we were way off on the time line and also on the budget, I'm glad we did it.  By the way, our initial time line was 3 weeks.  It is now almost 7 and a half months later.  Of course, Mr. Quilting Bug had the initial 3 weeks off and has basically only been able to work on it during the weekends since then.  I know he's going to appreciate his free time now!

I hope you enjoyed your tour of our new bathroom.  I'm just pleased as punch that I can now use it!

Until later...

“Keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.” 
Proverbs 3:1-2 (NIV)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quilt retreats...

I've only been to 3 quilt retreats since I began quilting some 6 years ago.  And all of them have been in the past year or so.  But I can already see that I get so much done then.  And this last retreat in Williamsburg was no different.

I brought 4 projects with me - 2 of them had already been started and the other 2 were just the fabric and patterns.  I thought perhaps it was a little optimistic of me to bring so many but in 3 and a half days, I saw progress on each of them.

My main priority was to finally assemble the blocks for Twisted Rope.  I had already made all 181 blocks but still needed to put them all together.  This is a king size quilt, so it was a challenge.

One quarter of Twisted Rope
 I put the quilt together in quarters so I had fewer of the very long seams to sew together.  After working on it half of Monday and most of Tuesday, I was able to finish everything except the borders.  I decided to hold off on putting the borders on until I returned home and had more space to spread out.  I'm really pleased with how this quilt turned out.  In fact, I'd love to keep it, but it's already earmarked for a dear friend.

Twisted Rope without it's borders
Note: Just tonight I finished putting on all of the borders - so this top is done!

After working so hard on such a large quilt, I was really in the mood for some instant gratification.  I picked up a pattern during stash dash called 'Greta' by Me & My Sister Designs.  It only takes 1 charm pack and a little bit of yardage.  After a few hours between Tuesday night and Wednesday, I had it done and again, I'm pleased with how it turned out.

Greta made with Maison de Garance
This quilt finishes at 36" square.  I'd love to have it quilted and on my table for Thanksgiving but that might be a little too optimistic.

After that quick finish, I moved on to making a quilt called Nestled in the Branches.  It's a free pattern from JoAnn's and I made the same quilt as a prayer quilt for a friend at the end of last year.  I liked it so much (and had a lot of the fabric left over) that I knew I wanted to make it again.  However, when I started to cutting and calculating, I realized I was short on 2 of the fabrics.  I didn't have enough bird blocks or the border fabric.  Although this will end up being 4x5, I only had enough to make 3x3 at the time.  So I put as much of it together as I could and also sewed the sashing and cornerstones for the remaining blocks.  I worked on this one most of Wednesday.

Nestled in the Branches
Fortunately I was able to find the fabric I needed at JoAnn's returned.  It's been washed, pressed and cut up, so this quilt should go together rather quickly now.

Unable to finish the bird quilt, I moved on to the last project I brought.  I worked on it Thursday.  I'm tentatively calling this one Man Cave because of it's colors and because it's for Mr. Quilting Bug.  I already had the fabric cut and organized for the blocks, so it was another one that went together quickly.  The quilt finishes at 65"x73".  Here's hoping it's not another year before I get it quilted!

Man Cave
So that's it for my very productive quilting retreat.  If I went on a few more of these a year, just think of how many UFO's I could knock out!

Until later...

Therefore, accept each other in the same way that Christ accepted you. He did this to bring glory to God. 
Romans 15:7 (GW)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Stash Report Week #45...

November 5 - 11, 2010

OK, better late than never for this.  It's not a bad stash report this time either, although the next one should be better.

To start, the remaining 7.5 yards for the backing to the Twisted Rope quilt came in this week.  The fabric is from the Summer's End line by Kansas Troubles.  I was expecting this but while on my quilting retreat, we stopped at 2 different fabric stores, and I didn't buy any fabric!  Amazingly, I wasn't even tempted.

As for what I used this week, I managed to finish 2 quilt tops and almost finish 2 more.  I made this quick little table topper from the 'Greta' pattern by Me & My Sister designs.  The pattern only requires 1 charm pack and a small amount of yardage.  The entire quilt top used 1.75 yards.

'Greta' Table Topper
I'm hoping to get it quilted before Thanksgiving so I can use it on my table.  The charm pack I used is Maison de Garance.

The second quilt top I completely finished is a pattern I've used a couple times before in Barney and Blue Boxes.  It's such a simple pattern and only requires a jelly roll and some fabric for borders.  This quilt will be for Mr. Quilting Bug to snuggle under while watching TV.  I have yet to come up with a name for it though.

Mr. Quilting Bug's TV quilt
The quilt is 65"x73" and uses 4.5 yards for the top. On the advice of some friends, I staggered the rows this time and I like how it turned out. 

Purchased-this-week: 7.5 yards
Used-this-week: 6.25 yards
Purchased-to-date: 246 yards
Used-to-date: 392.75 yards
Net used: 146.75 yards

I took this picture of David and Gabriel being sweet to each other.  They were actually both squirrel watching.

David and Gabriel squirrel watching
Until later...

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 
John 15:7

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm back!

Actually, I got back last Friday from the quilting retreat in Williamsburg, but I've been lame about posting.  First, I had internet issues (I couldn't connect) and once that was finally fixed, I was busy catching up on important things - like grocery shopping, laundry and sleeping.  Oh, and working on the bathroom renovation.

But I'm so happy to report that I took my first shower in our new bathroom last night!  The steam isn't hooked up yet, but it was still probably the best shower I've ever had.  Woohoo!  Talk about water pressure.  And I'm loving the new bathroom layout.  I'll share pictures once Mr. Quilting Bug finishes hanging up a few things.  I've still got to make valances but have to wait for the fabric to come in first.

I've downloaded lots of pictures of pets, quilts and the retreat, but I'll have to share them little by little.  But right now, I've got to run out to some stores to pick up a few last touches for this bathroom!

Until later...

Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body.  
Romans 12:5 (Msg)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A family affair...

Have you ever played Where's Waldo?  Here's my version with pets.

If you saw 4, you're exactly right.  Sam, Jack and David are on the table.  And Gabriel is to the left of Sam underneath the table.  The only one missing, Moses, is probably in bed sleeping under the covers and grateful for the peace and quiet.

Until later...

"One person standing alone is easily attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three people are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." 
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Finally finished...

Yesterday saw a finish to one of the projects I've been working on - a charity quilt destined for Interact.  I made the quilt top during my last quilt retreat at the beach.  Remember the one where we got 15 inches of rain?  It's really good timing though, because as you're reading this, I'm off to another quilt retreat.  This one is in Williamsburg, Va.  Here's hoping it doesn't rain this time - and that I don't get lost again.

The pattern is Megabits by Swirly Girls.  The quilt is 60" x 70" which I think is a nice size for a child.  The pattern was incredibly quick to put together.  And I did an all over loop de loop design for the quilting using Superior Thread in a variegated purple color.  (I used to always match the bobbin thread to the backing but now I find I like when it stands out.)

Those feet sticking out belong to the wonderful Mr. Quilting Bug.  While I'm off quilting with friends, he's busy at home tiling the bathroom.  I do believe I have the better end of this deal.

I'm glad to have finished this quilt except for a quick wash and dry.  I'm also glad I can count it on my stash report this week.  Hopefully I'll get lots more done at the retreat as well as spending time with good friends.

Until later...

"The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord; the earth and all who live on it are his." 
Psalm 24:1 (TEV)

Two of my favorite things...

I managed to get just the right angle to capture both Jack and a quilt I made that hangs in our living room.

Until later...

"In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy." 
Philippians 1:4 (NIV)