Friday, September 30, 2011

Getting there...

Words can not adequately express how whipped Mr. Quilting Bug and I are right now.  We have been working almost non-stop on renovating our Master Bedroom and Closet.

This is what our closet looked like 2 weeks ago...

Master Closet
When Mr. Quilting Bug remodeled our bathroom last year, he moved the closet.  He also made it smaller than our previous one.  I was OK with that as long as we got a closet system for it.  I read in The Family Handyman magazine (great magazine by the way) that a closet system will give you 3 times more storage than your standard hanging racks.  We designed and ordered it from Easy Closets.  They shipped it for free and it arrived in 20 different boxes.  It took Mr. Quilting Bug over 2 hours just to inventory the pieces!  But after a couple of days of assembly, painting, baseboards and molding, this is what our closet looks like now...

New Master Closet
We fit all of our summer and winter clothes in there along with the towels and bedding.  In fact, most of the storage bins are still empty, so we have plenty of space to grow into. 

After that was completed, we started on the Master Bedroom.  So far, it has required the following:
  • 6 hours of sanding the walls - to get rid of the Venetian Plaster we previously had on them.
  • 5 hours of washing down all the walls, ceiling and furniture - to get rid of the plaster dust.
  • 2 coats of paint on the ceiling, walls, windows, doors and all the trim.
We managed to finish with the painting late yesterday.  The timing was perfect, because we are both too sore and tired to do any more work at all!  Seriously, we both hit a wall of exhaustion and pain.  If I climbed a ladder once, I climbed it 100 times.  Although it was kind of backbreaking, we found we worked really well together.  We also came to a few conclusions over the course of it all...
  1. If we ever want to repaint this room, we will hire someone else to do it.
  2. If we ever build another house, no ceiling will be taller than 10 feet.  (The ceiling in the bedroom is about 14 feet high.)
  3. If we ever build another house, we will pay extra to have two full coats of paint put on every wall, ceiling, window, door and other trim.
  4. Our next vacation will be another staycation, but we will not do any home improvement projects.  Instead we'll relax, eat well, go to the bookstore, movies, etc.
First, here's a picture of the room before we repainted...

Master Bedroom before repainting
Here's the room when we started painting the walls.  Initially, we weren't sure about the color (even though we'd gone through 7 samples to choose!)  It just didn't look the same when it went up.  In fact, you can see it looks like 2 different paint colors side by side but they're actually the exact same color...

Questioning the paint choice
However, we decided to continue with it and the end result is exactly what we hoped for.  It's so much lighter and brighter than it used to be...

Newly repainted Master Bedroom
We still have a few things left to do in here, but they don't require much effort on our part.  As I type this, the carpet installers are installing new carpet in both the bedroom and closet.  Tomorrow, our new mattress will be delivered.  We bought it from The Original Mattress Factory and it's supposedly the softest mattress they sell.  It's also a latex mattress, which is supposed to be more resistant to dust mites and such.  In any case, I can't wait to sleep on it.  As I'm feeling now, I may never get back up!

On Monday, I'm planning to install the energy efficient window film, just as I've done for most of the rest of the house.  It keeps it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.  Also, next week, we're hoping the new Roman Shades we ordered will come in.  And finally, we have some chairs on order from Lazy Boy that are expected to arrive in early November.

The only other thing to finish the room off will be a new quilt for the bed.  This one's all on me.  I have the fabric and the pattern, but just haven't started yet.  I'm going on a quilt retreat in a week and plan to devote most of my time and energy to working on this.  The pattern is 45 And Life To Go by Lisa Bongean and the fabric is Little Gatherings also designed by her.  The quilt finishes at 110" square.

45 And Life To Go
So that's a recap of my life lately.  I'm hoping to get back to quilting next week.  I'm in the process of quilting a couple of quilts and would like to finish them before the retreat.  However, my neck and back are going to have to recover some before I can work on anything.

As usual, David was a great helper during this project.  Just after I finished painting the window sills, he snuck into the room and jumped up on them.  I tried to get him off, but only succeeded in scaring him.  He then ran across all of the furniture in the room and out into the hall.  Although I managed to clean most of it up, I discovered that I missed a couple of spots in the bottom of a drawer.  From now on, whenever I look it at, I'll think of him...

David's footprints in the bottom of the drawer
Until later...

Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 
Romans 12:12 (NLT)

Thursday, September 22, 2011


This year has been a bumper crop for mushrooms in our yard.  Not that we're trying to grow any or would ever consider eating these, but we've been fascinated by how many there are and their mutant sizes.  This one reminds me of a golf ball on a tee or perhaps Epcot center...

Just beside it is this long legged beauty.  Doesn't it stand out against the trees in the background?

Does anyone know what the stuff dripping from the front mushroom is?  It looks like the thing is melting...

Finally, here's a shot to give you the proper perspective on their size.  That's my size 7.5 foot in the picture...

Until later...

A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. 
Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Checking in...

Not a lot of quilting going on here right now.  Mr. Quilting Bug is on vacation and we're in the process of renovating the master bedroom and closet.

Installing a new closet system
Does anyone else out there use all of their vacations for home improvement projects?  I really can't remember the last time we actually went on vacation together.  Of course, we enjoy these types of projects and staycations in general.  Plus, with 5 pets, it's just easier all around to be at home.

The cats are really enjoying all of the activity. Especially the drawers full of clothes lying on the bed.  Jack is in the drawer and you can just see David sleeping in the background...

Our little helpers
I've managed to snatch a few moments here and there to work on some quilty things.  I loaded another quilt on the frame.  I'm tentatively calling this one H20.  It's a Debbie Caffrey mystery quilt from a couple/few years ago...

Current quilt in progress
And I finished all of the Dresden Plates for a Christmas Table Topper.  I'm calling this one Festvities...

Festivities Table Topper
Thanks to some good advice, I used invisible thread and a small blanket stitch to attach the Dresden Plates to the background...

Blanket Stitch around the edges
It's at this point (when the top is done) that I start debating myself concerning how to quilt it.  On one hand, I'd like to do something simple and move on to the next project.  On the other hand, I plan to use this for years and years and am considering something more elaborate (like trapunto and feathers).  It will take a lot longer, but once it's done, I'll probably be glad I spent the extra time on it.  What about you?  How do you decide how to quilt something?

In any case, I have some time to think about it.  I need to finish organizing the closet tomorrow and then we have to get started sanding the bedroom walls.  Yep, that's right, I said sanding.  About 8 or 9 years ago we put Venetian Plaster in the bedroom.  Now that we want to get rid of it, it means all of the walls have to be sanded smooth before we can paint.  And after 7 different paint samples, we've finally decided on the paint color.  Wish us luck!

Until later...

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. 
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My big boy...

David has lived with us for a little over 2 years now, but I still find myself caught off guard sometimes by his size.  Compared to my other 3 cats, he's a really big boy!

David on the loveseat
But for all his size, he's also very sweet and can be fairly timid.  I'm so grateful he joined our family!

Until later...

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 
Hebrews 10:23 (NLT)

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I've finished another quilt!  This was probably my oldest UFO to date.  It was a Strip Club project offered by my local quilt store in 2006 (I think).  It's been in a flimsy stage for at least a few years and I've just finally quilted and bound it.

I really like this quilt, so I'm surprised it's taken me so long to finish it.  To be honest, I was intimidated by my quilting frame for the longest time, so I made lots of tops but didn't quilt them.  However, with practice, I feel much more comfortable doing pantographs and am slowly making my way through the stack of UFOs.  (Plenty still to go though!)

Harmony on the frame
After loading it on the frame, I managed to quilt it in just a few days.  I generally make one or two passes at a time and then take a break and work on something else.  Before you know it, another quilt is done...

I tried a new pantograph on this one called Funky Feathers from Urban Elementz.  I'll definitely use it again.

Funky Feathers from Urban Elementz
Because this quilt was made so long ago, I couldn't find any leftover fabric to use to make a label.  Instead, the quilt label is part of The Word for All Occasions Fabric Panel by Block Party Studios.

Harmony Quilt Label
So, here are the stats for this quilt:
  • Size: 68" square
  • Fabrics: Cinnamon Stars by Fig Tree Quilts; not sure about the background
  • Batting: Warm &White
  • Thread: Guterman (piecing), Superior Threads Variegated for quilting
  • Pattern: Star Struck by Cozy Quilts
  • Quilting: Funky Feathers from Urban Elementz (17 passes, 5 bobbins)
  • Started: 2006?
  • Completed: September 16, 2011
  • Recipient: Keeping this one

Whenever I work on a quilt, I usually have one or more helpers.  For this quilt, it was Moses...

Moses on the quilt
She was particularly helpful when I tried to square the quilt and put on the binding...

Until later...

Shout to the LORD, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! 
Psalms 98:4 (NLT)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Orange Sherbert...

One down and about 50 more to go (only a slight exaggeration).  I have a closet full of quilt tops that have been waiting patiently for me to someday get around to quilting them.  This week, I managed to finish one of them.  I'm calling it Orange Sherbert.

Orange Sherbert
I considered calling it The Tropics, but I plan on using this quilt to cuddle under during the cold winter months and I was afraid that name would make me long for summer too much.  Besides, I have pleasant associations with Orange Sherbert.  Yum!

I tried a new pantograph on this quilt.  It's a 5" panto called Dusty Miller - Petite by Urban Elementz.

Dusty Miller - Petite by Urban Elementz
It took a little more time to quilt each row than most of the pantographs I've used in the past, but I really like the design and would use it again.  However, because I used a thread color that matches so well, it's almost impossible to make out the design on the quilt.  Not a problem though because I know it's there and think it's beautiful!

Back of Orange Sherbert
Here are the stats for this quilt:
  • Size: 52" x 59"
  • Fabrics: Batiks from Love 2 Quilt
  • Batting: Warm & Natural
  • Thread: Aurifil (piecing and quilting)
  • Pattern: Bali Boxes (out of print)
  • Quilting: Dusty Miller - Petite Pantograph (15 passes and 4 bobbins)
  • Started: October 2009
  • Completed: September 11, 2011
  • Recipient: Me - to curl up in during the coming winter!

 As I was finishing the binding on this quilt, Gabriel tried to tempt me to play with her toy, "Plubber".  I put her off until I was done, but then we took her outside to play with the laser.  That's hands down her favorite game...

Gabriel and Plubber
Until later...

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.  
Psalm 9:10 (NLT)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stash Report Week #36...

September 3 - 9, 2011

Lots of stuff to report again this week!  A few more purchases and lots more going out.

Let's start this time with what was added.  First was the remaining Jovial fabric I had been waiting for.  This was the last of what I need for 3 quilts I have planned.  I'm hoping to finish them all in time for Christmas this year, but considering one is a king-size quilt, time will tell.

New Jovial Fabrics
From the top, there is half a yard of the Red Poinsettia, half a yard of the Red Grunge, 4.5 yards of the Black print and 2.75 yards of the Black Grunge.  (I have to admit that I've loved this Grunge fabric in every color it's been produced. )  That's a total of 8.25 yards.

I also bought 2 Charm Packs this week.  The first is American Banner Rose by Minick & Simpson.  I'm considering making my Farmer's Wife quilt using this fabric line and wanted a sampling of it to see if I liked it.  The answer is yes!  I think it would make a gorgeous patriotic version of this quilt.  Of course, yardage isn't available yet, so I'll have to wait a bit to get started.  The other Charm Pack is Hometown by Sweetwater.  The colors match my sunroom and I've been wanting to make a table runner in there forever.  This fabric is perfect for it and I already have the quilt designed!

2 New Charm Packs
Finally, I received a squishy in the mail last week that I didn't order.  I was at a complete loss to explain it's presence.  After asking around, I found out that a friend of mine sent it to me to cheer me up during my recent illness.  Thank you Thearica!  That was really very sweet of you and the fabrics are just beautiful.  There's a total of 1.25 yards here.

Surprise Squishy in the Mail
So that's a respectable amount of fabric that came in this week.  Fortunately, I used a lot more than that this time!  Early in the week I finished this table topper, Holly Jolly, and used 1.25 yards for the backing and binding.  I mailed it to my sister and her children to use come Christmas.  I think they were completely surprised to get a Christmas package in September.

Holly Jolly
I gave away 8.5 yards of novelty prints to a friend to give to the Girl Scouts.  They're making little bags for the Beads of Courage Project.  And I used 32.5 yards for the pillowcases I made.  I washed and dried them today and dropped them off at my local quilt store.  You can check here to see if there's a donation spot near you (in case you want to make some as well).  These will go to children fighting cancer.  (Ugh, those 3 words should never go together!)

(I've also decided to add in the fabric I donated earlier this year.  It did leave my stash, so to more accurately reflect what's come in and gone out, I'm retroactively including it.  Plus, it makes my numbers look so much better!)

Purchased-this-week: 11 yards
Used-this-week: 42.25 yards
Purchased-to-date: 318.5 yards
Used-to-date: 476 yards
Net used: 157.5 yards

I recently bought some storage bins for use in our bedroom.  I didn't have them home for more than 5 minutes before they were occupied...

Moses - making herself at home
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)

Tidings of Comfort and Joy...

There's just something about the thought of a child suffering (whether from illness or homelessness or tragedy or for any reason really) that can bring a person to their knees.  I'm no different.  And although it's impossible to make a quilt for each and every one of them, I do try to make at least a few each year.  I've also been trying for the last couple of years to make pillowcases to donate as well.  In the same amount of time (or less) than it takes to make a quilt, it's possible to make a lot more pillowcases and reach a larger number of children.

Moses - on the pillowcases
This past week, I've been busy working on the most recent batch.  I've had the fabrics set aside for a while now, mostly novelty and animals prints.  Out of these fabrics, 31 pillowcases were born.

Moses again...
I used a very simple pillowcase pattern that I found some time ago.  When you make these pillowcases, they do ask that you finish all of the seams.  I'm fortunate enough to own a serger.  Although it doesn't get much use anymore, it's still perfect for overlocking the edges on things, like these pillowcases.  It's so much quicker (and easier) than doing a French Seam!

Moses - still on the pillowcases
After I wash and dry them tomorrow (I need to get all the cat hair off!), I'll drop them by my local quilt store, Quilts Like Crazy.  They're still a drop off point for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  Hopefully from there, they'll find their way into the arms of some child who could really use some comfort right now.

Until later...

Be careful! Don't make the mistake of thinking that little children are unimportant! I tell you that they have angels who are always with my Father in heaven.  
Matthew 18:10 (NCV)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ongoing Projects...

It's been a while since I posted about my current project list.  In fact, since last time, I've actually managed to finish most of what I was working on.  So I've made a new list.  I'm hoping I can finish most of these in the next couple of weeks.  That might be too ambitious, but time will tell.

1.  Orange Sherbert - I'm about halfway done quilting this right now.  It will be my TV watching quilt when the cooler weather comes.  I'm using a new pantograph that's a bit more intensive than those I've done in the past, but I'm really liking the design. (Completed 9/11/11.)

Quilting Orange Sherbert
2.  Pillowcases - I've been wanting to make more pillowcases to donate for a while now.  I even had all the fabric set aside.  I'm actually hoping to finish these tomorrow.  They go together really quickly with my serger. (Completed 9/9/11.)

Some pillowcases ready to sew
3.  Cindy Lou Who - This is a Schnibbles quilt I'm making using Odyssea (an older fabric line).  The pieces are all cut and arranged, I just need to start sewing!  I'm looking forward to putting this one together... (Completed 10/27/11.)

Cindy Lou Who Schnibbles Quilt
4. Dresden Plate Table Topper - This table topper requires 3 large Dresden Plates (plus another for the label).  I've made one and have the pieces ordered for the rest of them.  I'm still not sure how I'm going to attach them to my background, so all suggestions are welcome!

Dresden Plate Table Topper
5. Dresden Plate Wall Hanging - The table topper above uses the light fabrics from Nature's Gift by Deb Strain, while the wall hanging I have planned uses the darks.  This will hang in my kitchen come Christmas (assuming it's done).  It has 4 full Dresden Plates on the front (plus one for the label) and 8 half Dresden Plates in the border.  Again, all the pieces have been put in order and are just waiting for me to find the time to sew them together...

Dresden Plate Wall Hanging
6. Winter Wonderland - The center of this quilt is done and I'm still working on the star blocks in the border.  I have half of them made and would really like to finish the other half so I can lay it out.  My mom's version turned out so gorgeous that I can't wait to put mine together...

Winter Wonderland Star Blocks
So I'm wondering, am I the only one who works on so many projects at the same time?  I hope not.  And truthfully, these aren't all of them.  I have a couple more in the design stage and I'm waiting on a king size quilt kit to come in the mail.  Oh, and we've decided to start our bedroom renovation in a couple of weeks, so I've been meeting with carpet guys and shutter people and buying furniture as well.

Hmm, I think I'm getting tired now so I'll stop and head off to bed.  But before I go, I wanted to show this picture of David I took tonight.  I was trying to iron some fabric I just washed and he absolutely wouldn't get off.  In fact, he ended up biting me - which I will not tolerate - so he found himself on the floor and subsequently chased out of the room by the dog.

David on the fabric I was trying to iron!
Until later...

The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 
1 Corinthians 3:8 (NLT)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vet visits...

We are very fortunate to have found a vet that comes out to our house.  With 5 pets, it just makes things so much easier.  Last month, all of them were due for their yearly exams and shots.  I wasn't supposed to bend over or pick things up at the time, so it was up to Mr. Quilting Bug to corral each of the cats and put them in their carriers before the vet arrived.

Moses, Jack, Sam and David
If you have pets, you can imagine how not happy they were to be trussed up like this.  But they all got a good report from the vet and hopefully won't need to see her again until next August!

Until later...

Be made new in the attitude of your minds.”  
Ephesians 4:23 (NIV)