Friday, July 11, 2014

RIP

Warning......sad post.....
 
 
 
 
 
My precious Oliver took his final walk on July 7th, 2014.  I have spoken of his health issues in previous posts and they finally got to be too much for him.  The quality of his life took a dramatic turn on July 6th and I knew that it was my final duty of love to put him out of his misery and let him cross the Rainbow Bridge with dignity.  At 18 1/2 years old,  he was not going to recover and this was the best thing for him. 
 
My heart is broken and bleeding right now, but I know that it will continue to mend and grow stronger.  Time..... you know how that goes.... things will get better with time.  My entire life is upside down..... Oliver was my best friend and constant companion.  I'm divorced....no children.....no immediate family.... with only a few extended family members that live elsewhere.  When you don't have people family, your pets become your family and the loss is almost unbearable.   
 
 
 
The vet sent this little plaque with Oliver's paw print.
 

 
 
When my little Gracie passed, the vet also sent a plaque with her paw prints in it.  The same vet tech did both of these plaques, but there is quite a difference in the way they are making them now.  Sweet mementos and I treasure them.
 
 
 
 
I won't drag this out.   It's too painful.  I just wanted to pass this sad news along.  If you have been following me for awhile, you know that my cats played a major role in my life.  My blog, obviously, was named after them.   I just wanted to give Oliver a little public farewell.  I will always treasure my time with him and my joyful memories of him will live on in my heart forever.  Sweet dreams, my Angel, you were such a blessing in my life! 

Friday, July 4, 2014

 
 


Happy 4th of July!

Be safe, be wise, and protect your pets!

Monday, June 30, 2014


I have a few new links on my left side bar.  One is for an upcoming hop in September, See Me In September, where we will all make three items to show.  One of the projects must be made out of Riley Blake gingham.  I love having a blog hop where I can make anything that I want and I don't have to rush to meet the deadline.  Of course, that means that I have to get started sometime soon.  We all know how fast time flies and September will be here soon.

Here's my gingham for my project.  I have several ideas floating around in my mind.  That brings me to the other link...the Save The Gingham link.  It appears that Riley Blake may discontinue their gingham line and there is hope that if we express enough interest their gingham, they will keep producing it.  Click on the sidebar link to find out more details.

 
 
The other new link is for another hop....It's a Sister Thing Swap.  We will have secret swap partners and we can make anything that we want, trying to base it on their likes and dislikes.  All participants have blogs, so we can browse their blog to find out about their tastes.  I'll get my partner's name tomorrow and can start thinking of what I'll make for my new blog "sister."

 
Last Christmas, I posted some pictures of a Yoda bag that I had made for a friend.  I wasn't happy with my zipper so I remade it last week.  (Better late than never)  I made it twice as thick and quilted it this time.  My friend carries his GPS in this and thought it would be better if it were thicker.  It is now 8 layers thick...4 of fabric.....4 of batting.  It was a little hard to turn but overall, I'm pleased.
 
 
 

 
And here's my latest treasure!  I was hopping around on Ebay and came across this cute little machine.  It was on the sidebar where they give suggestions for you, based on your searches.  Anyway, for less than $20....she was mine!  For those of you who bid a lot on Ebay, you know that the title of the auction is what you search for, the key words.  This particular auction only said "Diana"....no description....nothing else.  If you were searching for any kind of sewing machine, this auction would not come up.  Because of that, there were only three bidders and I managed to snipe in at the last second to grab her.  Another one is listed on Ebay right now....for $250.  I think I got a great deal!  After she arrived today, I gave her a drink of oil and she turns smooth and quietly.  She's in mint condition and such a beauty!
 
 
 
This is on the back.  She was produced in the 1950's.
 
 
I have several child/toy sewing machines, but for today, Diana is my favorite!
 
Happy Sewing!

Monday, June 16, 2014

I finished my runner kit that used the "pile" of fabric that I showed you in my last post.  The pattern was free from  Samelia's Mum, called Stack & Slash, and was really quick and easy.  In a nutshell, you use 4-10" different squares of fabric, stack them, then slice them in half-ish at an angle.  Then you mix them up, and sew them back together.  You could use different sized blocks or more blocks to make a longer runner.  
 
I used my Pinmoors for the first time to baste this runner.  I really liked the ease of insertion and it was even easier to remove the pins and Pinmoors as you quilted.  I think I would have still preferred to use my usual spray basting method on this small project, but these were certainly fun to try.  The next time I use them, I'll use a shorter and sturdier pin as I bent a  couple of pins just slightly when I was attaching the Pinmoors to the pins.  
       
 
 
 Here's the finished runner.  It's 36 1/2" x 10 1/2", a nice size for my small table.
 
 
 
Backside.  I like both sides and will switch them back and forth.
 
 


My friend Kathy introduced me to a new binding technique.... new to me, anyway.  I had never tried this before, in fact, had never even heard of it.  This is a tutorial from Pat Sloan that shows you in great detail, how to use this technique.  (Interestingly, the fabric in this runner is also from Pat Sloan.)  The binding is machine sewn on both sides for a quick, finished binding. You use a blanket stitch sewn from the front side.  I really like the look of this finish and you could certainly use other decorative stitches for more variety.


 
 
Now here's a picture of what NOT to do.  Pat explains this clearly in her tutorial.  When you sew your binding on the front of the quilt, you are to follow the stitching line that you made when you sewed the binding to the back.  If you stay on this line, your blanket stitch will fall neatly on the binding on the back.  When you don't use this line, your blanket stitch will be off kilter.... like my back side.  Now that I fully understand what I'm doing, I'll make sure that I stay on the stitching line the next time.  I don't object to this line of stitching and chose to leave it as is.  (I meant to do this....right?)
 
 

For my quilting lines, I just made several straight lines at 1/4" apart between the block pieces, then filled in the open space that was left with a wavy squiggle. 


 
 

 
 
"Action shot" (my runner at work on my table)
 
 
 
I hope you'll check out the links above and give them a look-see.  The runner went together in an afternoon from start to finish....would great for gifts!
 
 


Saturday, June 14, 2014

I haven't posted in awhile and although I have been working on a few projects, I haven't had the chance to get some good outdoor photos.  Meanwhile, here are a couple of odds and ends to show you.

First up is a new sewing foot...new for me, that is.  It's a Circle Foot or Flower Stitch Foot, depending on who's selling it.  Basically, it makes a small circle of stitches that can be varied by the type of stitch you choose, the size and width, etc.  It can be very small, resembling an eyelet or much larger.  The foot is attached to your machine like a walking foot with the feed dogs down.  It then takes your fabric and rotates it in a circle, advancing the fabric with each stitch until you have made the full circle.  I've seen some really cute effects with different colors and stitches to make some sweet embroidered looking flowers.

 
This is my first sample without changing any settings or tensions on my basic zig zag stitch.  It's not perfect, but you get the idea.  I'm looking forward to playing with this foot, maybe making a fabric post card with some flowers on it.  Oh, this is about 7/8" in diameter. 
 


Next up, some fabric!  I had a certificate that was going to expire soon so I went to my local quilt shop and had my way with it.  Five yards of pretty fabric.  I love this color combo, kind of a red orange along with a spring green.  No plans for this fabric yet.



This little pile of fabric is going to be a table runner.  It was sold as a kit with the directions included.  When I make the runner, I'll post a link to the free tutorial.  More great fabric combinations!



And finally.........
 
 
Happy Sewing!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

I've just finished the last block in the Sew Lux BOM series.  Block #12.  This is the series that I did in two different color ways so I now have 24 completed blocks, with two blocks of each pattern.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these blocks and even how many I'll end up using.  There were a couple of blocks that I didn't like so I may exclude them.  I'm just glad that I have all of the blocks completed and can decide how to use them....whenever.
 
 
 
Same block pattern, different fabrics.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I've started a little cross stitch project featuring cross stitched quilt blocks.  Little Miss Shabby is hosting this stitch a-long and although I'm weeks behind, that's OK.  Click on the link and go to the Quilty Stitches area.  You can still access all of the instructions and the block patterns that have been posted so far.  There will be 16 cross stitched quilt blocks surrounded by a cross stitched "sashing." 
 
 
 


Here's what I have so far.  (Hmmm... not much)  I'm starting out by stitching the sashing lines first, then I'll fill in with the quilt blocks.


 
 
Here's one drawer of my floss.  I have all of the DMC floss colors which allows me to just buy charts and patterns instead of buying kits that include the floss.  There was a time when cross stitching was my favorite hobby and if you knew me, you were destined to get a cross stitch gift on birthdays and holidays.  Quilting has taken over as my favorite past time but I still enjoy an occasional cross stitch project.
 
 
 
 
If you are looking for a nice, carry along project that is pretty simple, cute, and fun, check out the link above and join in!
 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The 12th and final block arrived last week from the Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery BOM series. 
 
Here it is, pieces cut and ready to assemble.  I continue to use my penny system to identify my pieces and it has saved me from many a mix up.
 
 
 
 All assembled and ready to become a quilt.

 
As of last night, I actually have all 12 blocks sashed and sewn together and I'm now ready to add the borders.  Hopefully, I'll get this done and posted quickly.  I really do love all of the blocks and the fabrics that were chosen for this series so I'm excited to get this one finished. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Thought I should try and post something since I've been AWOL since Easter.  I've been working on some projects, but none are ready for pictures.
 
Here's a somewhat better picture of the jelly roll quilt I recently pieced. I have no place to take pictures that has a large enough space to spread out, so this was taken hanging from my living room armoire.  I really need to find an outdoor spot so that the natural colors will show well.
It still has only one border and I'm thinking it will remain this way as it makes a nice lap quilt at this size. 
 
 


Same shot with an Oliver photo bomb.  In order to get any pictures without Oliver, I had to tuck him away in the bedroom for a few minutes.  He means well.... but you know, he's a cat and cats have different ways of "helping".


 
Once I get this quilted, I promise to take a better
picture of the finished quilt.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

 
Just a couple of goodies to show you today. 
 
The first is a package of Pinmoors that I won from Kristy at Quiet Play.  I haven't used the Pinmoors yet, but I'm thinking they will be a great hand saver for basting quilts.  Instead of safety pins, you use a regular straight pin and stab it into the Pinmoor to secure the pin.  Easy in and easy out.  I have pretty severe arthritis in my hands and anchoring safety pins is always a painful task.  If you go to Pinmoor's web site.... you can see a short video using Pinmoors.  Thanks so much to Kristy for hosting this giveaway and giving me the chance to test drive these Pinmoors!
 
 
 
 
The second gadget is for a Seam-Fix seam ripper.  It's your basic seam ripper except the end has a rubberized tip that is used to clean up your seams after you have clipped the threads and have little snippets to pick out.  The rubber tip makes easy work of gathering the snippets instead of using tweezers or your fingers to pull out all of the strays.  Another simple idea that really does the trick.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

 
The birds were bathing in here yesterday....
 today, they are renting skis!
Happy Spring in Indiana!
 


We only got about 2" last night and most of it has already melted.  Nothing stuck at all to the sidewalks and streets so it was just a pretty snow with no hassle.

(Don't let the snow distract you from getting those taxes in the mail!)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

 
And look..... here's the Fat Quarter Shop's Designer Mystery Block for April.... block #11 out of 12.  One more month and I can finish both of my BOM series.
 
 


I haven't signed up for any more BOM series for the time being.  I have so many other things that should be worked on that I decided to skip a year of BOMs.  I leave this decision "subject to change" if a really great series comes along!

Friday, April 11, 2014

I know I'm not late with these blocks for a change!  Here are April's BOMs from Sew Lux Fabrics.  This is Block #11, so this series is coming to an end with the next block.  Right now, I'm thinking that I'll combine both fabric lines into one quilt, maybe eliminating a couple of blocks that weren't my favorites. 
 
 
 
Same block, different fabrics.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Early or Late?

I've been working on a little quilt for my table stand.  I had planned to make this for Valentine's Day, but that ship has sailed for this year.  However, I'm 10 months ahead of things for next year.  I'm going with that!
 
I took a picture of each heart before I sewed the tiny pieces together.  I was afraid that I'd get them in the wrong spots and two of the same fabrics would be next to each other.  This let me refer back for placement.
 
 
 
 
Here's one of the hearts after it was sewn together.  I want to point out that theses fabric are hot pink, not a muted red.  I played around with the pictures and never did get a hot pink version.  Just use your imagination!
 



And here's the final little quilt.  Since I didn't put "Happy Valentine's Day" or similar on it, this can be used for several occasions.  A heart is good any day of the year, isn't it?


 
Remember.....think Hot Pink!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Rain, rain....go away!

It's raining at least one cat at my house today!  I've never seen this much rain since I've lived here..... 16 years.  The streets are flooded, which is expected, but so is my yard.  The flower beds are flowing over their borders and the low lying areas could be stocked with fish!  The problem isn't the amount of rain, it's that the ground is saturated (and still frozen except for the top few inches) and can't accept any more moisture. 
 
 


As soon as I got home, Oliver claimed the umbrella and is now napping in it as I write this.  Rain is expected most of the day tomorrow too, so it will be interesting to see if there is much area flooding.  Even with this much water at my house, I should be fine.  I'm on a slab and the most water is pooling on the side of the house without a door.  And, hey..... imagine if this were snow.... Noooooooooo!

**Update**..... a few hours later, the water has absorbed into the ground.... at least on my property, the streets may tell another story.  I couldn't believe the difference a few hours made.  I suspect tomorrow's rain will bring the same effect..... flooding, followed by absorption.  April showers have certainly arrived!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Winner

Hi All!  I was the winner of this cute Ruffles pattern from Pauline at Quilt N Queen!  She had a random drawing during the Ruffles blog hop and my comment was drawn.  Lucky me!
 
 
 
 
Here's the fun part.... Last week, I was working on this little hanging for my table stand.  I was putting on the finishing touches when I found out I had won the Ruffles pattern.  Guess where the cute snowman stitching came from? ...... Yup, Pauline at Quilt n Queen!  I won this snowman in September of 2013 from another of her blog hop giveaways and had not done anything with it until a couple of weeks ago.  I wanted to have it done earlier during the winter weather, but it continued to be put on the back burner for one reason or another.  I bordered it asymmetrically and will probably add some buttons on the left side... maybe some snowflakes.  




So here it is finished.... finally!  It's being displayed right now as we are expecting more snow tomorrow.  Like our last snowfall, this one will be short lived and won't require any shoveling. 

Thanks so much, Pauline, for both of these generous giveaways!  I'll be thinking about you while this cute snowman is making me smile!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Here's a peek of the quilt top that I just finished.  I need to find a place to take a full shot but thought I'd put a little tease up first.
 
This was a free pattern called "Trade Winds" that came from the Hoffman Fabrics web site.  I went back to give you a link and it is no longer available on their site for free.  I did Google it and it can be purchased in several places.  This must have been one of those patterns that was only free for a limited time.
 
Anyway, it was made from a batik jelly roll that my friend, Kathy, gave me a couple of years ago.  If you do track down the pattern, you will see that I changed many things, like adding sashing and corner blocks.  I did this because I had some distortion with all of the bias edges and wanted it to be true, flat, and square when finished.  It is. 
 
I'll blog more about it when I can get a decent picture.  It only has one border right now, but that may change to make it larger.  And, of course, now comes the hard part..... quilting it. 
 
 


My assistant is enjoying a rare moment of a clean, cleared off cutting mat.  Don't get too comfortable, Oliver!



Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's been a rough winter.... Happy Spring!
 


The calendar says it's spring... let's hope that
Mother Nature is in agreement!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

 
 
Here's block #10 in the Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery Block of the Month series.  Apparently, the last three blocks will be kind of flowery.  As usual, I just love their block patterns.  Always so unique and creative. 
 
I've also been working on a new quilt using a bright, batik jelly roll.  The blocks are all finished and I'm ready for the sashing and borders.  It will be nice to get this one completed, as I've had the jelly roll over two years.  It's far from my oldest UFO, but it will still feel wonderful to complete.  Phew....

Monday, March 17, 2014


Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
 
May you find that pot of gold
in everyday blessings!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

National Quilting Day

Happy National Quilting Day!
 
 
 
What did you do to celebrate the occasion?  I went to our 24th Annual Gathering of Quilters.  It's your typical quilt show with lots of quilts, lots of vendors, a catered lunch, and a keynote speaker.  This year, the speaker was Beth Ferrier of Applewood Farm Quilts.  She treated us with a humorous trunk show... lots of eye candy and some of her "true confessions."
 
I only took a few pictures of the quilts on display. If you click on them, you can get a better view.  (BTW, none of these are Beth's quilts.)  I'm a bat lover and this first quilt really grabbed my eye. 
 



This one was had the cutest little embroidery motifs all around each of the plain borders.  I just thought it was very clever and made a really simple quilt pattern stand out.  It would be perfect for mini charm packs.




In my opinion, this last one was the show stopper out of hundreds of quilts!  At first, from a distance, I thought it was an embellished quilt panel, but each item on the quilt is individually appliqued.  It was truly amazing and fun to read the book titles and just browse around the quilt.  She said the idea came from the wood grained fabric.  It was a great job, full of her special memories!


 
 
And if you can't get to a nearby quilt show, I hope you can grab some quality time with your sewing machine today!