Monday, May 30, 2011

Stash Report Week #21...

May 21 - 27, 2011

This week saw one purchase and one finish as well.

First, my LQS had a sale last week and I picked up 6 yards of this Blush fabric as a backing.

Blush fabric by Basic Grey
This was a line that came out early last year.  I already have a jelly roll and some other pieces set aside to make a Paintbox quilt.  I just have to find the time to make it!  I even have the directions printed out and bundled with all the fabric.

All the fabric to make a Paintbox quilt
Although size-wise it was a small finish, in terms of effort this block was a doozy - it had 100 pieces.  I finished block #11 for the Baltimore Halloween quilt.  It probably only used about a half yard of fabric though.

Baltimore Halloween Block #11
I'm continuing to work on quilting Man Cave as well as making a Twister quilt, but didn't make a ton of progress on either of them this past week.  However, I did get a ton of painting done!

Purchased-this-week: 6 yards
Used-this-week: 0.5 yards
Purchased-to-date: 109.25 yards
Used-to-date: 69.5 yards
Net used: -39.75 yards

I caught David catching a nap in the sunshine the other day.  He knows how to relax better than any other cat I know.  I should take lessons!

David waking from a nap
Until later...

You (God) created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created.”  
Revelation 4:11b (NLT)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yeah! I've finished a block...

I've finally finished stitching another block for the Baltimore Halloween quilt.  I had to go back through my posts to see when I started it and it was before Thanksgiving last year.  I took a long break from it to embroidery all of the Winter Wonderland blocks as well as a few other things.  This makes 11 of the 12 small blocks done.

Block 11 of Baltimore Halloween
This block had exactly 100 pieces in it and finishes at 10" square.  The owl's eyes are just under a quarter of an inch big.  You would think they were hard to applique, but it was the tops of the acorns that gave me the most trouble.  FYI - I use the Back Basting Hand Applique method for all of these blocks.

Closeup of the owl's eyes
I've already started on the 12th block.  This one only has 67 pieces so should stitch faster.  After that, there's a large center medallion to stitch and I can start putting it all together.  I would love to have the top completed by Halloween of this year!

All of the cats are enjoying the sunshine and warm weather we're having lately.  Jack is usually found in the same place each afternoon napping.  I think I caught her mid-yawn.

Until later...

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. 
 Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Stash Report Week #20...

May 14 - 20, 2011

My stash report is incredibly simple this week.  Nothing in, nothing out. 

Now that that's done, I'll share a little bit of what I've been working on this past week. (Warning - Most of it is pretty boring.)

1.  Lots of painting.
I'm touching up the paint in the interior of the house.  I finished the walls in the kitchen and have all of the trim taped off to paint tomorrow.  I also had one small square of ceiling to paint above the refrigerator.  Unfortunately, when I touched it up, it didn't blend in with the rest of the ceiling.  So now I've added "paint the entire kitchen ceiling" to my task list.

Can you see the 2 different shades of white?
2.  Washed and re-blocked "Deconstructed".  It is now back on the wall where it belongs.

"Deconstructed" - Blocked and Drying
3.  I laid out all of the squares for the Twister quilt I want to make.  I was trying to find a pleasing arrangement of colors, but having never made one of these quilts before, it'll be interesting to see how it turns out.

Layout for Twister Quilt
The squares are all in order now waiting for me to find some time to sew them together.

Squares ready and waiting for me to sew them together...
4.  I'm continuing to work on quilting "Man Cave".  I figure it's going to take me 28 passes to quilt it with the pantograph I'm using - Square Spirals.  I've made 8 passes so far or I'm about 28% done.  I'm going to try to take 2 or 3 passes each day this week and hopefully finish it up.

Finally, I thought I'd share this picture I took of Moses.  She hates the camera and with her dark coloring, it's almost impossible to get a 'true' picture.  It's not the most flattering pose, but the coloring is spot on.  She's been my little helper in the sewing room this week.

My Sweet Neurotic Moses
Until later...

Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 
1 Peter 4:8 (NLT)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

This, that and the other...

Still not a lot of quilting happening here.  I finally started quilting Man Cave.  I've only made a couple of passes so far, but that's still forward progress.  It's been loaded up on the frame for at least a couple of months.

Man Cave
I'm making this quilt for Mr. Quilting Bug to snuggle under while watching TV.  I didn't finish it in time for this past winter, but hopefully it will be ready in plenty of time for the next one.

I'm also working on hand appliqueing block 11 of the Baltimore Halloween quilt.  There are around 100 pieces in this block, but I'm nearing the end.  Hopefully another week and I can share pictures.

I made a couple of fused pieces several weeks ago.  The first is a greeting card for a friend.  It only took about an hour from start to finish to make a very personalized gift.

Pig Greeting Card
I did learn a very valuable lesson while making this card.  The fusible I used was several years old and wouldn't stick properly - no matter how much I ironed it.  I've never had that happen before although I have heard similar anecdotes from others.  I've thrown the rest of the package away and I'll be more careful in the future.

Finally, I made the Chickadee block again using fusible instead of hand applique.  I needed the second version as a sample for another class I taught.  Right now, it's just stuck to my applique pressing sheet waiting for it's own background some time in the future.  This version has more jagged edges on the bird's head than the hand applique one.  It would be very difficult to needle turn all those points, but is very easy when fusing.

Fused Chickadee Block
So that's basically what I've been up to on the quilting front.  I have all the squares cut out for a Twister quilt, but haven't found time to arrange them yet.  Lots of plans, but most of my free time is being taken up with painting duties.  It seems like every room in our house needs at least touch up painting, with a couple of rooms needing a complete redo.  Good thing I enjoy painting!

Until later...

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 
Romans 8:28 (NLT)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Before and after...

Just look at these pictures...

Sam - Before and After
 The picture on the left was taken last March and the one on the right was taken last week.  I can really see a big difference.  So far she's lost 3 pounds and is holding steady at 15 pounds.  Our goal was between 13 and 14 pounds, but she's doing so well health wise that I'm not sweating it.

Until later...

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.  
2 Corinthians 13:14 (NIV)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's about time...

This past weekend, I finally finished making the roll-up window shades for our 'newly' renovated bathroom.  This project has only been on my plate since last November, but I can now officially cross it off my list.

Tub Alcove with new shades
I used a fusible kit I got from JoAnn's.  It's fairly simple, you just fuse your decorator fabric to the backside of the interfacing.

Backside of the shade
The hardest part of the whole project was rethreading my serger in order to serge the edges of the material.  Now I can safely take a bath at night without giving the whole neighborhood a show.  (Although we already had privacy film on these windows, you could still see a silhouette through them if it was night and the bathroom lights were on.)

See the frosted windows?
Another added benefit is we can now sleep in on Saturday mornings.  With just the privacy film, the early morning light still came through the windows and made it difficult to sleep through.

Jack, begging for attention - as usual
This was a picture of Jack I took a couple of weeks ago while in my sewing room.  Every time I stopped petting her, she would cry.  I have never met a cat that loves to be touched as much as her.

Until later...

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. 
Psalm 118:24 (NLT)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stash Report Week #19...

May 7 - 13, 2011

I've decided to continue with the stash reports for the time being.  Although this week will see me slightly more in the hole at least I have my first finish in quite a while!

Last report, I showed these fabrics that I bought at Mary Jo's to make a throw quilt that will match the new colors in my quilting room...

Fabrics for Quilt Room Quilt
This week I bought a couple more fabrics that coordinate with these as well as the Lil Twister ruler.  I'm now planning to make a small wall hanging for the room as well.  I've seen pictures people have posted using this ruler and I like the geometric lines of them.  I think it will work well in the room plus it looks like it's a cinch to make.

Fabrics from Quilts Like Crazy
I love the black print on the left.  The swirl reminds me of the sky in van Gogh's Starry Night.  I only bought 2 yards but wouldn't mind having a whole bolt of it!  I also bought half a yard of the print on the right.

Finally I can say I've finished a project.  I took a class on rope bowls a couple of weeks ago and finished mine up this week.  It's a small bowl and only used half a yard of fabric, but it's so cute.  I definitely see myself making more of these in the future. 

Rope Bowl from class
In fact, the lady who taught the class had a bunch of samples - including this purse.  I bought enough rope from her to make one for myself.  It's even more gorgeous in person!  Great job Ann!

Purse made by Ann

Purchased-this-week: 2.5 yards
Used-this-week: 0.5 yards
Purchased-to-date: 103.25 yards
Used-to-date: 69 yards
Net used: -34.25 yards

I had no idea I'd fallen so far into the hole here.  Although I probably have at least that much fabric put aside to make more pillowcases for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  Perhaps I should get started on them...

Until later...

For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 
Proverbs 2:6 (NLT)

Friday, May 13, 2011


You know how you can be plodding along, focused on the task(s) at hand and suddenly you're stopped dead in your tracks?  I have a long list of things I feel like I need to accomplish and I've been trying to make my way through them in an orderly and logical fashion.  I felt completely in control - until suddenly I wasn't anymore.

On Wednesday, after dutifully working out (another check on the list), I came down with a horrible migraine.  For half the day Wednesday and the entire night, I was in so much pain.  If you've ever had a migraine you understand the feeling - you're sick to your stomach, you can't handle the slightest light or sound.  In addition, my neck was bothering me so I couldn't lay down on it.  Pain medication didn't help either.  So I was propped up against a mountain of pillows in the dark with an ice pack across my eyes just praying for it to go away. 

It finally eased enough by morning for me to move around, but it left me feeling tender.  I knew that if I wasn't ultra careful, the pain would come right back.  And although I hate feeling so sick, I find that I need these occasional reminders.  I get so focused on what I can do and what I can control that I sometimes forget that it's all an illusion.  I'm not in control.  No matter how much I plan or schedule, things happen that derail all my efforts.  It's then that I remember that only God is in control and His is a perfect plan.  I can relax and breathe easier knowing that.  I'll continue to make my lists and plan my days, but I won't get bent out of shape if they don't go the way I want them to.  At least for the near future.  Until I become so caught up again in me that I take my eyes off Him.  So although the last couple of days were unpleasant, I'm grateful for His gentle reminder.

Until later...
And this small and temporary trouble we suffer will bring us a tremendous and eternal glory, much greater than the trouble. For we fix our attention, not on things that are seen, but on things that are unseen. What can be seen lasts only for a time, but what cannot be seen lasts forever.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (TEV)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Old Dog, New Tricks...

In addition to teaching a couple of classes at the recent retreat, I also got the opportunity to take one.  The class was on how to make rope bowls - something I'd been wanting to try.  In fact, I bought the rope for such a project several years ago, but never even opened the package.  The class was only 2 hours long, but it was hands on and the teacher was great.  She brought lots of examples of different projects, including a purse that I would LOVE to make.  When I got back from class and pulled it out to work on, this was about the point I was at...

The colors are a bit subdued, but I wanted one to match my sewing room (once it's been painted).  This bowl only required 15 - 1" strips and about 30 feet of 7/32" rope.  And this is the end result...

It was much easier and faster to make than I expected.  My only cautionary note has to do with your machine.  One of the ladies in the class had a machine that just wouldn't sew through this thickness. (It might have been a Janome?)  I have a Hsuqvarna Viking and had no problems.

I've got a number of projects on my immediate to do list, but once I whittle some of them down, I'd really like to try my hand at that purse.  It's takes about 2 yards of fabric and 300 feet of rope, but boy was it GORGEOUS!  I wish I had a picture to show you.

While I worked on the bowl, Gabriel kept me company.  This was the kind of cute picture I wanted to get yesterday - on her birthday.

Gabriel resting while I worked on my bowl.
Until later...

...Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations. 
Revelation 15:3 (NLT)

Stash Report Week #17 and #18...

April 23 - May 6, 2011

Long overdue on the stash report so I'll cover 2 weeks here.  Although I have to be honest and admit I'm seriously considering stopping these reports.  I really wanted to keep track of my stash, but considering I gave away so many hundreds of yards earlier this year, I'm not feeling so strongly about it now.  However, it is fun to go back and see pictures of what I bought, so I'll continue for the time being.

I was at the Circle of Friends retreat in Charlotte, NC for 5 days during these two weeks.  I played games of strip poker (2.5" strips) and FQ (fat quarter) bingo while there and managed to win this batch of batiks.  There are 24 FQs here, so that's 6 yards in.

FQ Bingo Winnings!
I also participated in a neutral swap with a group of ladies and received a few more in my welcome bag for the retreat.  That's another 10 FQ's in or 2.5 yards.

FQs from neutral swap and welcome bag.
Finally, there was also a trip to Mary Jo's Cloth Store.  It's like the Holy Grail of fabric stores.  If you're in the area and you sew clothes, curtains or quilts, I highly recommend you stop there.  The prices are that good and so is the selection.  I picked up this bundle of quilting fabrics that will coordinate with my (soon to be) renovated sewing room.  I want to make a small wall hanging for the room as well as a quilt to go over the back of the sofa.

Fabrics from Mary Jo's.
It may not look like it, but there are 15 yards of fabric in this pile.

Purchased-this-week: 23.5 yards
Used-this-week: 0 yards
Purchased-to-date: 100.75 yards
Used-to-date: 68.5 yards
Net used: -32.25 yards

Until later...

I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing; make something of me! You can do it; you’ve got what it takes God.” 
 Psalm 40:17 (MSG)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Days...

Yes, I know I've been a pretty lame blogger lately.  First because I was busy preparing for a retreat and the classes I was going to teach.  Then because I was out of town at the retreat for 5 days.  Finally because I've been too busy recuperating - aka taking lots of naps!

But I couldn't let this day pass without recognition.  It's an important one for a couple of reasons.  First, I want to thank all those mothers out there.  While I don't have any children (without tails anyway), I recognize what a demanding and most times thankless job being a mother is.  Also how vitally important it is to the development of every person on this planet!  Thank you for all your love,  hard work and endless support!

This day also has another special occasion attached to it for our household.  Four years ago today, I found a happy-go-lucky, tick-ridden fleabag by the side of the road.  The vet figured she was 10 months to a year old back then, so May 8th became her official birthday.  Happy 5th Birthday Gabriel!

Admittedly bad picture of Gabriel on her birthday.
Of course I wanted to get a good picture of her on her special day, but she was completely uncooperative.  However, I kind of like this one of her with Mr. Quilting Bug...

Gabriel and Mr. Quilting Bug.
As you can see from her tongue, she had some trouble controlling herself this close to his face.  It's her fondest desire to lick it.  Something I think he'll only allow on his or her deathbed.

Gabriel in mid-stretch.
After almost a month of wearing a cone, she was finally released from it yesterday.  And then only because she threw up in it.  Not once, not twice, but three times!  She seems to be leaving her toe alone though so we're hopeful it won't have to go back on. 

So Happy Birthday Gabriel and here's to a dozen more in the future!

Until later...

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. 
Psalm 19:1 (NLT)