Monday, March 28, 2011

Sam's Diet Update #10...

(Note:  You may have noticed I haven't been blogging much lately.  Although I'm busy here, it's not with anything you'd care to read about.  My sewing room is still a mess, so not much happening on that front either.)

However, I do have an update on Sam's diet.  She's lost another 0.2 lbs in the last 10 days and has finally dropped below 16 lbs!  When I asked how she felt about it, this was her response...

Yeah, I kind of feel like that when I'm on a diet too.  Still another couple of pounds to go though, but every ounce lost is a step in the right direction.

So Sam's stats are now...
  • Starting Weight - 17.9 lbs
  • Target Weight - less than 14 lbs
  • Last Weigh-in - 16.1 lbs
  • Current Weight - 15.9 lbs
  • Net loss - 0.2 lbs
  • Total Weight Lost - 2.0 lbs
Keep up the good work Sam!

Until later...

So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. 
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NLT)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stash Report Week #11...

March 12-18, 2011

What a great day for this stash report!  Today is National Quilting Day and the numbers from this report will put me back in the black.  Hopefully to stay...

Let me start with my purchases.  The only things I bought were another jelly roll and charm pack of Buttercup.  I'm going to make the Jewel Box quilt (king size) and a coordinating wall hanging with this line.  Except for some border fabric, I think I have enough to do it now.  So that was 3.5 yards in.

Buttercup Jelly Roll and Charm Pack
As I mentioned in one of my last posts, I finished 21 pillowcases to donate to the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  Each pillowcase used a little over a yard of fabric and I have a few scraps that I'll be donating to someone else.  So I'm counting that as 26 yards used!  (Note: I also gave away about 200 yards of apparel fabric this week, but that doesn't count towards these stash reports.  It still feels good to have a new home for it though!)

Pillowcases for charity
Purchased-this-week: 3.5 yards
Used-this-week: 26 yards
Purchased-to-date: 59 yards
Used-to-date: 64.5 yards
Net used: 5.5 yards

Happy National Quilting Day everyone!

Until later...

And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.  
Titus 2:7 (NLT)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sam's Diet Update #9...

This is just a quick update on Sam's diet.  It's been 18 days since her last weigh-in and she's lost another 0.2 lbs.  I told her I would give her an extra helping of food today if she had lost at least half a pound, but no go.  I'm very happy though that the scales showed a loss - even as small as it is.  She is now the skinniest she's been in years.

This was an old picture, but she really doesn't look much different now.  I expect I'll see a big difference after she's lost another couple of pounds.  At her current rate, it will take her another 180 days to lose 2 pounds.  It's a good thing I'm in it for the long haul - midnight feedings and all!

So as of today, Sam's new stats are...
  • Starting Weight - 17.9 lbs
  • Target Weight - less than 14 lbs
  • Last Weigh-in - 16.3 lbs
  • Current Weight - 16.1 lbs
  • Net loss - 0.2 lbs
  • Total Weight Lost - 1.8 lbs
In related news, I weighed her brother, David, today as well.  He's about to turn 2 on April 8th and he now weighs 21.5 lbs.  However, he's really not overweight for his size.  He's just a behemoth of a cat.

David, helping me organize my sewing room
Until later...

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  
2 Peter 1:5-7 (NIV)

Another finish...

I've been in the process of slowly cleaning out my sewing room.  Yesterday I finished going through all of my apparel fabrics and set aside these 11 bags to donate...

11 Bags of Apparel Fabric I gave away
I have some wonderful neighbors who just happen to have 9 kids of their own.  They were able to take them off my hands and I know they'll share them with their church and others who sew.  It's good to see that the fabric will be turned into something useful rather than languishing on my shelves.  I used to love to sew clothes, but now that time has been taken over by quilting.

So as of yesterday evening, this was the state of my sewing room...

The current state of my sewing room
What a mess!  I'm now thinking I want to paint the walls and shelves as well so it's turning into more of a long term project.  However, I took a couple of hours today to push aside some of the clutter and finish up some pillowcases to donate to the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  I know at least one of my local quilt shops is a participant.  It only took maybe 2 hours and the use of my serger to finish 21 pillowcases.  They only needed the last step and some ironing to finish them.

21 Flannel Pillowcases to Donate
Most of the fabric is flannel.  Only the pink one has a cotton header.  Best of all, all of the fabric came from my stash!  Now I'm on to sorting through my quilting fabrics.  I've already boxed up a bunch to give to my mom, but in the process, I've found more fabric that would be perfect for more pillowcases.  So it looks like I'll be making a few more in the near future.

Until later...

We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Perfect Score!

Today I finally managed to get a perfect score on Advanced Step for the Wii Fit!  672 points!

(Image borrowed from
I've been trying at this for a while now.  In fact, this was my 59th attempt.  Each time lasts 5 minutes and requires 336 steps - forward, backward, side-to-side, sideways and with a kick.  In order to get a perfect score, you not only have to take the correct step, but you must also have perfect timing.  I'm a little rhythmly challenged so it took me a while to get the pace right.

Until later...

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 
 James 1:2-3 (NIV)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quilted Greeting Cards...

I'm in an online group called "The Twelve of Us".  Every six weeks or so, one of us picks a project we'd like everyone to try.  Each member executes the project in their own way and mails it to another.  To date we've had the following challenges (what I made is on the left and what I received is on the right):

Challenge #1 - Purse/Tote with Yoyos
Challenge #2 - Quilted and Embellished Sketchbook
Challenge #3 - Crazy Quilt Art Quilt
Challenge #4 - Wool or Wool Felt Project
Challenge #5 - Nancy Halvorsen Christmas
And the latest challenge was to make 6 Quilted Greeting Cards.  I had never done this before but found it was actually very easy and quite fun.  Although by the time I was done, I had little scraps of fabric everywhere!  Here are the cards I sent to Amanda.  She likes Greyhounds, nature and gardening, so I tried to make my cards to match her interests.

This last one was actually based on a tutorial I found online here.  It was the first one I attempted, so I could get a feel for how to do it.  It would be so easy to make a coordinating greeting card for someone with the leftover scraps from a project.  I'll definitely keep that in mind the next time I make a quilt for someone.

I'm trying a lot of things in this group that I normally wouldn't do and it feels good to go outside my comfort zone.  The remaining projects still to come are: Fabric Foil, Stained Glass Fabric, Schnibbles Wallhanging, Sewing Hussif, Victorian Pincushion and Soft Sculpture Jewelry.  I honestly have never tried any of these, so it'll be very interesting to see how they turn out!

Until later...

The LORD is my light and my salvation - so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? 
Psalm 27:1 (NLT)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stash Report Week #10...

March 5-11, 2011

Still not a lot of sewing going on around here.  I made some quilted postcards that used about half a yard of fabric.  I'll share pictures of them in a later post.  I've also been working on some more pillowcases for charity.  They use a good bit of fabric, but they're not done yet.  I've got a quilt loaded on the frame, but at the last minute decided to use a different thread color and had to wait until I could get it.  Oh, and I've also decided to spring clean my sewing room.  That will take a good bit of time, but I'm really wanting to get rid of a bunch of stuff that I know I'll never use.  Hopefully I can find good homes for all of it.

I did make it to the quilt store last Monday where I bought some stuff, but not as much as I expected.  When I walked in the door, I thought I would be coming home with this fat quarter bundle...

Civil War Fat Quarter Bundle from Whistle Stop Quilt Shop
But as I walked around the store with it tucked securely under my arm, I started to picture Mr. Quilting Bug's reaction to a quilt made with this fabric and I just couldn't see him liking a quilt with pink and brown in it.  They are so not to his taste.  I didn't want to expend all that effort only to have a quilt that I couldn't comfortably put on our bed - so I put the bundle back.

Instead I picked up the fabric I needed for a few other projects.  First, I bought 10 quarter yard cuts of some neutral backgrounds.  I forgot to take a picture before I cut them up, but here they are in the bag with the rest of my purchases...

Purchases from Whistle Stop Quilt Shop
These neutrals will help fill in the missing fabric gaps from the Pieceable Puzzle Quilt kit I bought.  I was already missing fabrics from the kit, but now that I've decided to make it much larger, I need even more.  I was calculating all of the fabric requirements this afternoon and my husband asked me what I was doing with all that math.  He was surprised when I told him it was for a quilt.  But quilting is really about geometry so it shouldn't be too surprising.

I picked up a couple half yards of fabric to audition for the pieced blocks in my Winter Wonderland quilt.  I think they coordinate pretty well.  I need to decide if I want to go scrappy or just use a few fabrics before I buy any more.

Fabrics for Winter Wonderland Quilt
Finally, I bought a couple of different border fabrics to coordinate with all of the Buttercup charm packs I bought recently.  I think one is a Buttercup fabric and the other is Breakfast at Tiffanys.  In any case, they're both from Fig Tree Quilts, so they go together beautifully.  There's a total of 5 yards here.

Border fabrics for Buttercup quilt

Purchased-this-week: 8.5 yards
Used-this-week: 0.5 yards
Purchased-to-date: 55.5 yards
Used-to-date: 38.5 yards
Net used: -17  yards

At least next week should see a bump in my used totals.  But only if I finish the pillowcases I'm working on.

Mr. Quilting Bug snapped this picture of David in his desk chair this week.  Doesn't it make you want to rub his belly?

Until later.. .

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 
1 John 1:5 (NLT)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Playing around...

Still not doing much sewing but I did find some time to play around on EQ.  After finishing the king size quilt for friends, I really want to make one (or 6) for our bed.  Every pattern I see, I wonder how it would look in a king size.  It's so easy to redraw them in EQ7 and import the exact fabrics you want to use.  You can make the blocks any size you want, play with the borders, etc.  Here are a few of the quilts I've been playing with...

First is Pieceable Puzzle.  This is the quilt kit I bought several years ago only to recently discover that I'm missing half the fabric.  Since I have to add fabric to it anyways, why not add even more and make it bigger?  This first picture is the original quilt size in the pattern - 61" x 72".

Pieceable Puzzle Quilt - 61" x 72"
I then resized it and added more blocks to make it 116" x 105.  My version will be scrappier than this as I'm just pulling dark tones from my stash.  Also, the blocks in both quilts are the same size, they just appear smaller in this second one.

Pieceable Puzzle Quilt - 116" x 105"
Last week on Moda Bake Shop was a project called Sunkissed Jewel Box Quilt.  Being so ready for Spring, the freshness of the colors really called to me.  I downloaded and imported all of the image files for Sunkissed to create my own larger version of the same quilt.  I also resized the blocks to 8" which would let me use pre-cut charm squares and jelly roll strips for its construction.  My version is 114" square.

Sunkissed Jewel Box Quilt - 114" square
I figured out that besides the borders and background fabric, I only needed 1 jelly roll and either 4 charm packs or 1 layer cake to make this quilt. (I sure hope my math is right!)  That kind of thinking reminded me that I just recently purchased 5 charm packs of Buttercup, so off I went to download the image files for that line of fabric.  With just a few clicks, this is what I came up with...

Buttercup Jewel Box Quilt - 114" square
I liked this one even better.  Plus I have all the fabric I need to make it except for the jelly roll and outer border (which I will rectify imminently).  This one is definitely going on my to do list.

While playing around, I came across this Echoing Stars quilt I drew up.  I can't remember where I got the idea from, but it's not my design.  I just redrew the blocks in EQ, resized it and changed the colors.  This first version uses the red tones from Rural Jardin (I believe).  It is 115" square.

Echoing Stars Quilt (Reds) - 115" square
This second version incorporates the blues in that line as well.

Echoing Stars Quilt (Blues) - 115" square
Which do you like better - the red or blue version?  In fact, which of the six quilts is your favorite?  I'd really like to make one of each of the three different patterns along with about a dozen others.  If I ever managed to complete them, I could change the quilt on my bed every month.  Just imagine...

Until later...

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
  Psalm 119:105 (NLT)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stash Report Week #9 (A little further in the hole...)

February 26 - March 4, 2011

This week sees me a little further in the red.  The only thing I've completed recently was a wrist pincushion, but it used a minuscule amount of fabric, so I'm not going to count it.  And since I couldn't find much time to sew, I figured the next best thing was to buy more fabric.  What could possibly make more sense than that?  I saw that Hancock's of Paducah had their Buttercup and La Petite Ecole charm packs on sale so I bought 5 of the former and 1 of the latter. 

Buttercup and La Petite Ecole Charm Packs
I plan to use the Buttercup charm packs to make one of the larger quilts in the Schnibbles Times Two book by Carrie Nelson.  I already had one of the La Petite Ecole charm packs so this give me a total of two - which is enough for one of the small Schnibbles quilts.  Of course, when I'll have the time to work on either of these projects is anyone's guess.

I'm going to Whistle Stop Quilt Shop on Monday where I expect I'll make additional fabric purchases.  She carries the Buttercup line so I might pick up some yardage for borders.  And then if she still has this fat quarter bundle, I might have to take it home with me.  I'm thinking it could make a beautiful Eventide quilt.

Civil War Fat Quarter Bundle
Purchased-this-week: 4.5 yards
Used-this-week: 0 yards
Purchased-to-date: 47 yards
Used-to-date: 38 yards
Net used: -9  yards

My stash report is feeling like a bit of a joke right now.  I don't know when it will start to look any better either.  I'm guessing I'm going to continue to dig myself deeper for a while.  However, I would like to make some more pillowcases for the Million Pillowcase Challenge, so perhaps that will give me a little boost.  That reminds me I need to wash the fabric for those so I'd better go do it now before I forget yet again!

Until later...

And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. 
Psalms 39:7 (NLT)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Found some time today...

to spend in my quilting room.  I finished all of my chores before lunch and spent a few hours sewing.  Oh, how I've missed it.  I didn't work on just one thing, but puttered around doing little tasks here and there.

First, I sandwiched a table topper for quilting.  It's a large pickle dish block that I made in a class with John Flynn some years back.  I've already marked some of the quilting I want to do on it, although it doesn't really show in the picture.

Then I made a large pincushion that I can wear on my wrist when loading/unloading quilts on my frame.

I spent a long time sticking pins in it, getting it ready to use.  I think it has enough pins now for any quilt I may want to load.

After finishing it, I was eager to try it out.  I loaded the backing to "Man Cave" on the frame.  Before, I would balance a magnetic pin bowl on one of the support bars, but it was always wobbly and I constantly had to move it.  Having the pins accessible on my wrist was so much faster!  I also stuffed it with wool to keep the pins sharp.

With just a little bit of time before I needed to start dinner, I dug out another quilt kit I had hiding away.  It's a variation of a snail's trail that I bought probably 3 or 4 years ago.  When I started looking through it, I found I was missing A LOT of pieces- almost half of the fabric to make the quilt.  It makes me wish I had gone through it when I first bought it.   But live and learn.  I spent a frustrating evening trying to figure out what I had and what I still needed.  I probably need 18 more fat quarters to put it together, so I'll be on the lookout now for fabrics that will coordinate with those already in it.  I considered not making it at all and just putting the fabrics it came with in my stash, but I really like the pattern so I'm going to try to make it work.

That was all I managed to do today, but I would love to find time to load the rest of the quilt on the frame tomorrow.  Boy will I be excited if I can spend time in there 2 days in a row.

I mentioned in one of my last posts that my cat Sam is eating one of my house plants.  Don't worry, I know the plant's not poisonous.  I'm very cautious about things like that.  But I did manage to get a couple of pictures of the poor thing today.  In this first one you can see where she's chewed on the leaves.

She also keeps knocking the stems out of the pot.  I don't know what this plant is, but it has very, very shallow roots.  Most of the plant has already died off, including the entire center of the pot.  Last summer it was very lush and full.

Until later...

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  
Matthew 11:29-30 (MSG)

    Warm weather and cats...

    Last weekend we had a couple of days of beautiful weather.  In fact, on Sunday we may have hit 80 degrees.  I took advantage of it to open up the windows in the house and let some fresh air in.  Within a few minutes, every cat in the house was in front of a window giving themselves a bath.  I don't understand the correlation, but that's the first thing they did.  I didn't get any pictures of their ablutions, but I did get a few others...

    David in the sunroom.
    Sam - Still not looking much thinner.
    David in the bedroom window.
    It's turned colder again, but I know that spring is just right around the corner.

    Until later...

    May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God” 
     Ephesians 3:19 (NLT)

    Thursday, March 3, 2011

    So what's new...

    Pretty much nothing.  Certainly not anything that would deserve it's own post.  But here are a few snippets of my life now...
    • I'm still working on my Winter Wonderland block.  I've finished perhaps a third of it.  I'll probably be working on it for several more weeks at least.
    • The only time I've spent in my sewing room lately was a couple of hours to make some new zippered leaders for my Grace frame.  No pictures though.  Because let's face it, it's kind of boring.
    • To make up for no sewing, I caved and bought more fabric.  I don't need it, but it somehow filled the quilting void I'm in right now.  I'll have to fess up to it on Saturday.
    • I'm also going to a quilt store on Monday with a friend where I'll probably buy yet more fabric.  (I've really got to get back to quilting so I can use it instead of just buying it.)
    • On the pet front, my cat Moses is now on Prozac.  Imagine trying to give a completely neurotic cat a pill every morning.  "Here kitty, kitty.  Let me pry open your mouth and shove a pill down the back of your throat.  You OK with that?"  
    • Actually giving the pill to Moses is going better than expected.  She even locked herself in the bathroom this morning so I didn't have to hunt her down.  On the other hand, Sam is becoming a complete crab when I try to give her her "happy" medicine.  She's biting and scratching me.  I think she's just really mad that she's still on this diet.  She's taking to eating the leaves off one of my two surviving plants.  I don't think it's going to live much longer.
    • I'm doing an intense cover to cover bible study right now that's taking 2 or 3 hours a day.  It's one of the reasons I can't find time to sew.  The other reason - I've been working out every day too.  I'm trying to make it a priority of mine.  I'm still waiting for that sweet spot where the endorphins kick in and you start enjoying exercise.  Right now all I can say is that I'm sore pretty much everywhere.
    I really can't think of anything else.  So now how about you?

    I took this picture of Jack the other day.  Please ignore the dust on my bed.  I'll get to it some day.

    Until later...

    If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you … But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to tell you.”  
    James 1:5-6 (LB)