Monday, April 13, 2015

Kirby Cockatiel

As many of you know, I have been pet-less since last July when my sweet Oliver crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  I have been hesitating to get another cat....not sure if it is because it would be hard to find as great a cat as Oliver or what.  He would have tough paws to fill.  I just haven't been able to bring myself to adopt another cat.  That may change, but for now, I'm holding back.
 
So... recently, I came across the little fellow below.... a cockatiel.  I decided I needed a friend as I was talking to just about every inanimate face in my house... pretty pathetic.... so I decided to adopt him.  His name is Kirby and his hatchday is 12/02/2014, making him just over 4 months now.  He was hand raised and is now quite tame, enjoying as much time as possible with me, interacting....playing... watching TV....whatever.
 
Now here's the rub.... I'm allergic to him.  Not an airborne allergy, but on my skin where he walks on me.  His little claws just barely scratch the skin but it's enough to cause an itchy rash.  I found this out right away and have been trying to find him another home.  Last week.... I found a girl that was really excited to adopt him from me.  At first I was really excited too, then the reality of giving him up hit hard.  Long story short.... I couldn't bare to part with him.  I have had him just over 5 weeks and he's now just part of my family.
 
Here's Kirby carrying a clothespin up one of his ladders.  He's pretty easy to entertain. 
 


Kirby at Easter time....riding on his lambs.


Kirby apparently has "David Letterman Disease" and enjoys throwing things off of the top shelf of my bookcase where his play stand is located.  That yellow stick is a toothpick and it's actually in motion, falling to the ground.  If he can get it in his beak... he will throw it off the shelf and watch it fall.


He loves, loves, loves his veggies.  It's important to have your bird eat a variety of foods and Kirby is a good eater....takes after his mom, I guess.  ;)  The brown/tan spot you see around his eyes is dried baby formula, hard as a rock.  It will eventually come off but it looks a little crusty right now.

 
 
Here he is enjoying a laugh with Steve Harvey.  The gray lump that he is standing on is my folded up leg.  It's his favorite spot to preen and nap.

 
 And lastly, he likes to help me read my email.  He likes to peck at the things on the screen.... on my phone too... and has even tried to remove the keys.  Needless to say, he has to be supervised at all times.  A bird is a perpetual 2 year old and I hope I'm up for the challenge! 


I won't bother you with lots of Kirby pictures from now on.  I just wanted to introduce him to you.  I'm hoping my allergies will be manageable.  I've ordered some of those thin white gloves that they use at the quilt shows... hoping that they may help a bit.  We'll just have to see how it goes.  I've yet to let him into the sewing room....too many things for him to get in to.  Right now, the Sarducci Brothers are still my main sewing models and will be keeping their jobs.  They were quite happy about that!

Thanks for visiting and meeting Kirby!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

More Misc

More odds and ends today.  I have several projects that are ready for quilting and binding and will get those posted one of these days.... you know how that goes.
 
This is a little zipper bag that I made for a birthday gift last month.  My friend likes anything pink.
 
 
  Inside....blurry shot.....

 
 
This is a little fabric basket that I made this afternoon.  It's a free Craftsy pattern called 1 Hour Basket Tutorial.  I'm thinking it took me an hour and a half...but then I'm pretty slow.  It was quite easy and once you've made one, the next ones probably would be easily completed in one hour.  This is a great size to hold a bunch of FQ's.
 
 
 
 Inside.....


A little stash acquisition.  These yummy fabrics came from Missouri Quilt Company.  If you haven't already signed up.... they have a daily deal that is pretty inexpensive.  I don't remember now, but this charm pack was probably $1 or $2.  The catch is... and this isn't much of a catch.... they have a flat rate shipping cost of $5.  This still brings it in much less than the normal price of a charm pack, plus you can add other fabrics and goodies to this same shipping price.  They have fabulous service.


More stash acquisition.... This time from Shabby Fabrics, another one of my favorite shops.  They had a wonderful sale of Tim Holtz fabrics for $5 a yard.  I just love his style and picked up several fabrics.  This is another shop with fabulous service and products! 



And lastly..... and the best....  I picked up this little lady on Ebay.  As always, I was looking for a bargain and I found one.  Not sure why I was the only bidder but I was thrilled to win this sweet children's machine.  It came with the original instructions as well as the table clamp.  And this may make you wince.... it came with the original box too.... but I tossed it.  I know.. you always keep the original box but this one was in horrible shape.  One side was almost completely chewed off by some sort of rodent and the other sides weren't much better.  It had to go!
 
So there's a little update to let you all know that I'm still out here.  I'm not sewing as much as I would like, but I am nipping away at one thing or another.  Stay tuned.......

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mug Rug Angel

Here's an update on the mug rug swap that I posted about recently.  My swap partner was unable to  fulfill her swap assignment so I did not receive a mug rug.  Lindsey, our swap hostess, got to work and lined up a Mug Rug Angel to step in and complete the swap.
 
My mug rug arrived yesterday and I was surely happy to find this in my mailbox.  I don't know who my Mug Rug Angel is.... this is all I had to go by... no name and address.  Because of this, I'm unable to send her a thank you note so I'm hoping that she may come across this post and see that the mug rug was received and is appreciated.
 
 
This is the little note that she included, along with a couple of tasty tea bags.  I may not know who she is, but she has great calligraphy skills!
 

OK... here's the mug rug!  It's made of up a ton of little fabric strips...  I love the colors and I love the text prints.  Cute as a button!


The backside is a nice bright print and the only quilting lines are around the focal flower.  This picture doesn't show it very well, but it's pretty cute.  You can also see the quilting lines in the picture above.

 
So, Mug Rug Angel..... whoever you are..... I thank you very much for being kind enough to send me a mug rug, even though I was not your swap partner.  I wish I could thank you directly, but this will have to do..... THANK YOU VERY MUCH!  Blessings to you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Tree Bird Hop

 Apologies...this was scheduled to post and didn't....anyone having troubles with Blogger?

 

Just in time for spring comes this great blog hop..... Tree Bird Hop!  I can tell you that the birds are actually returning to Indiana in full swing with temps in the 40's and 50's.  The snow is melting and will be soon be gone ... my shovel will be retired to the garage and the mower will come out to take its place.

This is another hop from dear Madame Samm.  She continues to keep us "hoppin!"  And I also have Lana to thank for being our hostess.  There are lots of participants in this hop and it has to take a lot of checking and rechecking to keep us all under control.  A HUGE thanks to Madame Samm and Lana!!

This hop was all about the birds.  We were asked to make something bird related.  It was suggested.. only suggested.... that we might want to use some fabric from Elizabeth's Studio called Beautiful Birds.  It was designed by Tracy Lizotte.  Well, I loved the fabric so much that I really wanted to use it in my wall hanging.  I started with this panel of several birds nested in their colorful houses. If you are interested in this fabric line, there are many different bird fabrics, all colorful and delightful. 

 

And then, Pat, my sweet blogging friend, sent me this panel.... an empty tree, just waiting for some colorful birds.  Thank you so much Pat for sending this to me and making the vision that I had in my mind come true.



And lastly, a picture of Oliver that was printed on fabric.  I had intended to thread paint this, but it just didn't work out.  I'll have to give it a try on a future project.


 

Here's the finished hanging.  Although Oliver is no longer with me, I have tons of memories of him sitting by the window and "chatting/cackling" at the birds in the backyard.  I took a few of the birds from the bird panel and combined them with some "blank" tree sections from the tree panel.  I had intended the tree to kind of extend as one into the window sections.  Somehow, when I added the borders and the seam allowances, they were far from lining up.  Oh well... the eye really doesn't pay much attention to the fact that the tree doesn't exactly flow from pane to pane.




A closer look at Oliver.  I added a layer of fusible fleece under him to make him look like he was in the room and give him a bit of a 3D dimension.



These shots are trying to show that I actually did quilt this wall hanging.  Even in person, the quilting lines kind of disappear.  I didn't do heavy quilting, but quilted all of the trees and the window sections.  I think it would have turned out better if I had used a thicker batting.



 

This is a little template that I made to do the window sections.  It was the first time that I had done a version of Attic Windows and was concerned about messing up the Y seams.  With this little template, I just marked the intersections and stopped sewing at the marks.  I machine stitched the whole thing and they went together perfectly, without a glitch.  I was a happy camper!


 

Thanks for stopping by today and checking out my Tree Bird project.  There are other talented bloggers joining me today and here are the links to visit their blogs.  Please fly over to each one and let them know how much you enjoyed your visit!

Tuesday, March 17
Gracie Oliver Arts-You are here!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mug Rug Swap

Fort Worth Fabric Studio announced a spring mug rug swap a few months ago.  I thought it would be a fun swap to participate in... a quick project and something I'd have time to make without putting myself in a bind so I signed up.  We were to make one mug rug and were assigned a partner to make and send a mug rug to.

I decided to make two mug rugs, as it seems like the times that I'm using a mug rug, I'm usually sharing a cup of coffee with a friend and it's nice to have a spare mug rug to share.

So here they are.  I didn't know anything about my swap partner, so I just focused on happy, spring fabrics.  I paper pieced the baskets on both mats.  I forgot to measure these before I mailed them, but I'm guessing they were about 6" x 12"...or something like that.


 

These could be reversed... pretty simple and clean on the backside.  To quilt these, I used a standard serpentine stitch on my machine and just made it as wide as the stitch adjustment would allow.

                   

 
 

 

 

I enclosed a pack of lady bug buttons and some spring-ish note cards.  There was also an initial button but I forgot to include it in the photo. 


Now, here's the not-so-great part.  I haven't heard anything from my swap partner.  Not even a quick email acknowledging that she received these mug rugs.  It makes me think that she didn't like them at all.  :(  I also have not received a mug rug from whom ever was assigned my name....this would not be the same person that I sent my mug rugs to.  You always take a risk when you join a swap.  I will say that this was an international swap and it is possible that my mug rug will yet arrive and is swimming around in the postal system somewhere.  I'll post an update if this happens.  I've been terribly disappointed with some swaps before and I have also been extremely thrilled..... you just never know! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Nothing Special

Not much to show you lately.  I'm still out here, lurking around  all of the other blogs but not adding any posts of my own.  I have been doing a little sewing but two of those projects have to be secret for a little while longer.
 
This one I can show you. This is a little project that has taken me about a year and 30 minutes.... one year thinking about making it..... and 30 minutes actually constructing it.  Pitiful, huh?  In any case, it's just a little quilted envelope style bag to hold the extension table for my Janome.  I've already made one for my other extension table but wanted to make another one to keep this one from getting scratched too.  Simple, but effective. 
 

 
We've been blasted by snow this past week.... 16" on Sunday and another 6" two nights ago.  Yesterday was the first day that I was able to get out of my house and run some errands.  I focused on the important errands..... getting some groceries and stopping at my LQS.  Only essentials, right?!
 
I found this cute little basket at Target for $3.00..... not bad.  It was in those $1 to $3 bins that are in the front of the store.  It's actually quite well made. 
 

I'm using it as a scrap basket for now.  It's just perfect for the job.


And finally, a little stash building at my local quilt shop.  Everything Christmas was on sale and I picked up a yard of each of these fabrics, plus the charm packs.  I'm telling you, after being stranded for 4 days, I needed some retail therapy to keep my sanity!

 
Hope you are all hanging in there this winter.  I do love the exquisite beauty of winter, but the snow shoveling just wears me out.  We are actually expecting rain on Sunday with warmer temps so the snow will melt a bit, enough to clear the streets anyway, I hope.  OK, Spring.... I'm ready!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tree Bird Blog Hop

There's a new blog hop in town!  I just joined the Tree Bird Blog Hop, scheduled for March 13- 23.  This is the perfect time to see all of the birdie creations my fellow bloggers will make as the "real" birds are returning for the spring weather.  I'll bet there are still openings if you'd like to join in on the fun.  Click on the Tree Bird button here or on my side bar to find out all of the details.
 
 
 
I also wanted to show you a new toy.  I picked up a Stitchopoly board game.  Basically, it's Monopoly with a stitching theme.  It's really cute....."Jail" is "Pull out Thread".... the houses and hotels are needlework studios and needlework shops.....etc. 
 
 


I'll be annoying treating my quilting friends with this at our next meeting.  Hopefully, I can find someone who will play along!

 
There is also a Quiltopoly ...same idea as Stitchopoly, but quilting themed... but it can be hard to find.  I keep an eye out and one day I'll come across one that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. :) 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Gift Certificate Winnings

 
I wanted to show you some great fabrics that I WON a few weeks ago.  Melissa from Happy Quilting has a very generous sponsored giveaway every Tuesday.  (Go there right now to see what's up today!)  Sure makes Tuesday a special day, doesn't it?!  I was the lucky winner of a gift certificate from Shabby Fabrics and here's what I chose. 
 
I went immediately to the 50% off section so that I could get more for my money... or gift certificate.  I picked up a fat quarter set of Pearl Bracelets... 15 of them... most in a tone on tone coloring.  There are also 2+ yards of the cute sewing scissors fabric and 1 yard of Christmas fabric.  And to top all of this off, SF had a 15% off of your total order.   Score!
 
Be sure to check out Melissa's blog and also visit Shabby Fabrics with the links above!
 
 
I was anxious to try my new Go Cutter and started a project for a small wall hanging.  I only used one shape, the 2 1/2" square to cut out these background squares.  Yeah.... I could have easily cut strips and sliced them off fairly quickly the "normal" way, but I wanted to see what the cutter could do.  I cut 88 of these little squares in short order.  Since you can cut 6 layers at a time, it was a bit faster.  When I rotary cut, I worry about slippage and never cut more than two layers.  The thing I like best about it is that I know these squares are just about perfect.  I always feel like I'm rotary cutting things perfectly too, but now and again, I'm off a few threads.  This adds up in the long run. 
 
So anyway, I had fun with my new gadget.  The worst thing about it is the fabric waste.  You have to have enough fabric to cover the die blades with a small border that is ultimately cut off.  This is certainly something to take into consideration when you are planning your cutting.   
 
 
Hope you are off to a great start in 2015.  We had our first "major" snow last night, which was only 3".  We were predicted to get more and I was thrilled to look out the window this morning and see that it would be manageable.  I'm tired now.... 65 minutes of aerobic shoveling is pretty rough when you are as out of shape as I am.  But.... I can't complain when I think of last year and shoveling 90+" of snow! 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gifts!

Santa was very good to me this year!  My dear friend, Kathy, gave me a Go Cutter, plus an extra die!  How generous was this.... I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed!
 
This is one of those quilting gadgets that is far out of my budget so it was never even considered.  Now that I have one, I'm trying to think of ways to utilize it the best.  It's not the answer to all of my cutting needs, but it's one of those specialized tools that is just right for certain projects.  I'm ready to start slicing!
 
 
And don't worry, Santa did not overlook the Sarducci's!  They each received two skate boards, each with a Star Wars character on it.  They love Star Wars so they were pretty excited.

Since the modeling business has not been that busy, I needed something to keep them occupied and to burn up some of that goblin energy.  Trust me, you do not want bored goblins.... they will find their own entertainment!


They soon mastered their boards and have kept out of trouble and out of my way. 


And don't worry, they may be fearless but they also seem to be indestructible.  No bumps... no bruises.... nothing but fun!


Hope your Christmas was full of delightful surprises!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Designer Mystery BOM

 
I can't exactly claim this as a finish, but it's as finished as it's going to get for the time being.  These are the blocks from the 2013 Designer Mystery BOM series from the Fat Quarter Shop.  I managed to keep up with the monthly blocks, but then fell behind with the sashing and completing the quilt top.  Well.... the top is finally completed.
 
The FQS is very generous with the fabrics that they include with their BOM packages....generous enough that I was able to do my sashing and corner stones with leftover fabric.  I still have plenty of fabrics left, but they are smaller pieces and will be used in my general stash.  I did have to buy the red border and outer yellow border.
 
As always, these pictures are not the best.  The colors are bold and bright, not washed out.  In fact, I just fell in love with these fabrics and that's why I first joined the BOM.  The blocks were a mystery, but I love them too because they are all so different. 
 
 

The first row is made up of baskets, the second row contains stars, the third row is full of houses and the last row has flowers.  I really loved making these blocks and I'm glad to see them sewn together.



Now my little flimsie will go into the "needs to be quilted" bin.... and this contains many tops.  I get everything pieced and then shy away from the quilting.  I'm getting better with smaller quilts, but the larger ones still scare me.  That's a goal I'm working on.... tackling the larger quilts.  I'll get there.......