Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Yes....... I've won another giveaway!  And no, these are not fat quarters, they are YARD cuts of fabric!  I won six yards of coordinating fabrics from Westminster Fibers, Inc.  This generous assortment is from the Free Spirit Fabric blog giveaway, featuring the Pretty Little Things collection of 24 fabrics.  You can click on these links and go to the site featuring all 24 fabrics.  They are bright and happy fabrics and winning them has made me very happy too!  (I'm not especially bright, just lucky!)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The wedding autograph blocks are humming along.  I've done 72 blocks so far and they are going together very quickly.  As you can see in the picture of four blocks above, I'm doing a simple 9-patch variation (I wanted the center of the block to be larger for more writing area) and alternating the two focal colors.  Half of the blocks will have green as the main color, half of the blocks will have brown as the main color.  By alternating the blocks, it makes a 2-color 4 patch where they are joined together in the center.

My eyes are a little crossed for today, so I'm calling it quits.  I'm hoping to have more time tomorrow for sewing and maybe (this is a big maybe) get all of the blocks completed.  We'll see!

Friday, July 20, 2012

A new project in the works.......

My sister Patti is getting married in October.  She and her fiance, David, already have about everything that they need, so gifting was a problem.  I decided to make them a wedding autograph quilt and asked Patti if she thought that would make a good gift.  She thought it was a great idea and I asked what colors she would like.  Green and brown.  I can go ahead and blog about this since it isn't a surprise.

Off to the quilt shop to buy fabric!  The fabrics above will make the entire top, which will consist of 100 blocks.  All batiks (and one Moda Marble) so that it won't be feminine.  Click on the photo for a closer look.  There will have to be some doubling up of signatures because I didn't want the quilt to be too huge.  (The last fabric on the left actually has a lot of green in it, although the picture only shows blue and brown from the way I folded it.)  From left to right...... the border fabric, the binding fabric, the center fabric which will be the autograph section, then the last two fabrics will make up the blocks along with the light colored center.  I didn't buy the backing yet, but with brown as the binding, I'll easily be able to find a nice green and brown backing fabric.

My block pattern is very simple so that I can get the blocks done fairly quickly.  I'll be able to rotary cut everything and chain sew the pieces. 

My plan is to get the blocks done as quickly as possible, iron freezer paper on the center autograph section to make signing  smoother, and mail the blocks to Patti.  They will not be sewn together into a top at this point to make signing them easier.  She could also mail some blocks out to people that won't be able to attend the wedding.  

My finished quilt gift will have to be belated, as I'll have to wait until the wedding is over and everyone has signed the blocks.  Then I'll sew them together......quilt them...... and give them their "official" gift.  Sounds easy enough......right?!  ;)  We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This came in the mail today, sent by my vet's office.  It's a hardened clay imprint of Gracie's footprint and her name.  I thought it was really sweet of them to send this, along with a nice note of condolence.

And here is July's BOM from the Fat Quarter Shop.  Just like last month, there is ample fabric left over to make another block of my own design or choice.  I'll tackle that another day.

Monday, July 16, 2012

It is with great sadness that I post about the passing of my beloved cat and namesake of this blog, Gracie Lee. 

You know how much my cats mean to me..... they are valued members of my family.  I've never really blogged about Gracie's health issues, but she has been a diabetic for the past four years.  She required insulin shots every 12 hours, 365 days a year.  Her personality was such that she took this in complete stride, even coming out to the kitchen (without prompting) to get her shots at the proper time.  She was quite a trooper with a fairly accurate inner timer.  I admired her wonderful attitude and sweet disposition.

Her death was not caused by the diabetes, but by some sort of throat, esophageal, or vocal chord cancer.  She was only 15, but being a senior diabetic did not make her a good candidate for surgery or extensive treatment.  It was in her best interest to let her go.

My life has changed drastically and Gracie is missed terribly.  Oliver is doing his best to carry on, but it is evident that he is also missing Gracie.  They were the best of friends for 15 years and it is going to take some time for both of us to adjust. 

So here's to Gracie, my dear, loyal friend.  May you rest in peace.  I thank God for bringing you into my home.  I am blessed for having you in my life, albeit way too short, and you will always hold a special place in my heart.  Godspeed to you!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Found this on Facebook and thought it was cute.  It is so dry and crispy around here that we won't be able to recover this year, even if we do get rain...... too much of a water deficit. 

There is one thing good about this drought.......very little yard mowing! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

***Please be careful and respect the laws in your area.  It is illegal to shoot off any fireworks in Allen County in Indiana due to the drought.  Please, please don't start any unnecessary fires.  Be smart and be safe!***

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Horrible wind storms hit my city and neighborhood last Friday leaving a wake of destruction.  This shot is very near my house and there are plenty more pictures all around that have a similar scene.  You can't drive down many streets that don't have some damage.  Thankfully, no one was killed, only cuts and bruises from falling limbs.  Even homes that were completely destroyed did not injure anyone severely.

The winds were 91 miles an hour and the debris (limbs, trash, leaves, shingles, and branches, etc.) absolutely filled the air.  I was outside, trying to drag my recycle bin back to my yard and realized I needed to sacrifice my bin and get myself back in the house.  It was all I could do to get my door open with the force of the wind oposing me.  I gathered my cats... one was busy looking out the window trying to grab at the things floating by....... kind of like the Wizard of Oz scene minus the witch on the bicycle!  I finally got both of them corraled and we waited things out in the bathroom (my only room without a window) until things got quiet.  I've only headed to the bathroom twice in my life for shelter and this time I was really afraid for my safety. 

I was very lucky.  I don't have any trees in my yard, but had lots of branches and twigs from neighboring trees littering my yard afterwards.  It took me about an hour to clean things up.  I only lost power shortly, although my transformer was hit.  Still today, there are downed, live wires on my garage, in the alley, and draped around my neighbor's cars.  My other neighbor took a stick and moved one of the wires so that I could get my car out of the garage.  From my transformer, only two of us have electricity.....I'm so very grateful!  The electric company says it may be as late as midnight Wednesday before all homes will be restored.  118,000 lost their power, 74,000 still remain without power.   And to top it all off, we have been having weather temps in the high 90's with 100's on the way. 

Many businesses are without power too and today we had several churches join my church for services because they were without power.  We are also hosting one of the children's homes and letting them "camp" out in the church until their power is restored.  Shelters are open throughout the city where people can stay or just come in for cooling.  

It will be a long clean up but things will be back to normal in a few weeks.  Again, I feel so blessed to have had little damage or inconvenience.  And as frightening as it was, it was also absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing to see and feel the force of nature.  Such amazing, raw power! 

(More storms are due this afternoon and I'm praying that it won't do further damage!) 

*Edited to say that the storms passed by without causing any further trouble.  The news says it will take until September to complete the clean up.....much worse than I thought.  According to the firemen in my backyard this afternoon, I may still loose power for a few days while repairs are being made.  But......so far, so good!*