Feline Friday is hosted every friday and HELP for Hexie-aholics is hosted on the 17th of each month. We hope you'll join us!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Feline Friday - 12/30/11

Wow - it's already the last FF of the year. The pussycats and I plan to ring in the New Year in style - thanks to a coupon and gift card I'll be having lobster tail and I'll give the cats some of their fav wet food. Otherwise I'll be sewing sewing sewing. What more could a girl ask for?!

Part of my job is town & county tax collector and I pull escrows and seal/stamp them at home in the evenings the week between Xmas and New Years. They are delivered in a nice big box which became kitty central this week. I was thrilled that each of the 3 took turns in the box, altho I never saw two in it at a time. We tossed treats and toys in and out of it and I even saw Squeaky jump over the box while Midgie was in it. All this fun from some free cardboard - and it didn't even require nip!

Yup - that would be a Squeaky leg - she came to see why I was lying on the floor (which clearly need a good swiffering) with the flashy box.

Happy New Year - we'll be back on Tuesday...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

NewFOs and UFOs

I am afraid we are pictureless today...but I wanted to let you know that I have posted new "pages" on my blog with info on the 2012 NewFo and UFO Challenges that I am participating in. I hope you'll check out the pages at the top of my blog and maybe even join me in these challenges.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

keeping up with the Joneses

For Christmas/birthday my brother & SIL got me a Kindle! wootwoot. I generally prefer to listen to books while I work in the quilt studio but since I also read before bed and the thing can load games, cookbooks, etc, in addition to my mystery books, I'm enjoying it.  My dear friend the librarian, on the other hand, is shaking her head at the demise of the actual paper book as library patronage continues to decline...

Denise - can you send me that link for free book suggestions again? I sent it to my SIL who never got it and I can't find the email in my sent box. Thanks!

Of course, you know this means I need to make a cover for my Kindle...and you know it's going to have hexies, right?! I had first thought of all purple but then thought to have purple and green. I then thought I should do some kind of hexie design and liked how the diamond looks when made into a rectangle about Kindle size. Then I slapped myself on the forehead and said KISS - we are back to just purple and green...or maybe just purple.

I pulled these strips out of  the 2.5" bin this morning. But as I am typing this I realize I need to go back and hit the 2" bin since that is really the size I use. duh!

I'll be basing my cover, really more of a pocket, on this tutorial: http://frizzylizzie.blogspot.com/2011/02/patchwork-kindle-cover-tutorial.html

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Orca progress

Oh it felt so nice to type that - lets do it again - I've made progress on Orca Bay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had a half day on Friday and took full advantage of that time and Saturday to finish my half square tris - I think that was step 3.

While I was cutting strips for tris I also cut strips to make the Ohio stars. See, it helps to be behind ;)

I've now got the white Ohio Stars done (step 6) - maybe I can get the black done by the end of the weekend...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Feline Friday - 12/23/11

Warning - grainy, night time cell phone photo alert...

Sunday night, about 10 minutes after I went to bed I had to run to a rescue call. I left the bed a mess and the electric blanket on. When I came home later there was no greeting committee downstairs waiting for me - very strange indeed as there is usually at least one pussycat waiting for me.

Instead I found all three on the warm bed! They stretched from edge to edge along the foot of my full size mattress yet still managed to touch each other in some way. I had to lay almost crosswise to get myself some leg room. No, I didn't move them because it's so unusual for the three to be "cuddling."

I probably won't be posting again until next Tuesday... In the meantime, Pepper, Midgie, Squeaky and I wish you and yours a Very Meowwy Catmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Plans and hexies

Yesterday I had a plan. I was going right home after work and getting my 2012 UFO list together for Judy's challenge. It was an easy no-fail kinda plan.

Instead...I spent some time unsubbing from some blogs and email lists. I was a little on the brutal side but it's the end of the year and it's time to do a little house cleaning. I've even been cleaning out craft drawers but that is another post. It was liberating to get rid of the blogs that I'm not super vested in and if I delete one that I probably shouldn't have I feel confident I'll run across it again during a linky box or on someone else's blog. If I used to comment on your blog and disappeared please let me know that I probably deleted you by mistake.

I heated up some yummy leftover tomato soup (Pioneer Woman recipe which I can't seem to find online - lemme know if you want the recipe) and a cheese quesadilla for dinner and spent the rest of the night watching Lost Season 3 while I worked on hexies:

See the orange diamond on the top right that is almost encircled with black sashing? The orange diamond is already attached to the diamond on either side of it and as soon as I get the black sashing completed on those two diamonds I can attach the threesome to the center. I was running out of papers so I needed to start getting some of this round together. This round will take 18 diamonds and I have 9 done and 1 more started. Once I get this row done I will finally have to make a decision as to what I want to do with the completed project as each row will take progressively longer and I want this done to enter in the county fair next August.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


--Rant ON--
Well, I'm not really proud of it but yesterday I hit critical mass and went Humbug! It wasn't pretty and even worse there was family involved. Why is it so much easier to blow up at family than friends and co-workers?

I just hate this time of year when there are so many things to do, see and buy NOW! Pressure and I don't get along well. Having been sick (Bell's seems to have gone but still on meds - keep your fingers crossed) plus the occasional headache, stomachache, etc, didn't help the month pass by in a flash. I had a 4 day weekened that didn't get to be "me time" until 9pm last night. Ugh.

I have a few more pressies to wrap (and mail even!), cards to write (in the new year?!), bills to pay and places to go.  Town tax collection season starts next week. There is no rest for the weary this year as I will also have to renew my EMT certification beginning in January – it’s a 5 month process but thankfully I do not have to take the test this year in order to renew.
--Rant OFF--

I'm sorry to say that I had to completely clear out my Google Reader. I glanced at a few posts but didn't comment on any of them. 400+ posts was just too much to wade thru. Out of curiosity - how many blogs do you follow? I really need to unsub from a few blogs...but whose? It's the proverbial what if I miss something...

Other than a few hexies in the last week I have only begun to work on step 3 of Orca Bay. Friday I have a half day so I hereby declare that Friday afternoon is for sewing ONLY!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Comfort Food!

There's nothing better on a rainy gray (warm!) day in mid-December than comfort food!!

Grilled cheese and hexies!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

YoYos on a stick

Aren't they cute? Just a flower yoyo and a leaf shape on a tongue depressor style stick. I considered putting them on pencils but I didn't think there was quite enough room for the hot glue.

They are little table prizes for the Guild party tonight. I thought they would make cute bookmarks or you could even stick them in a flower pot for a little extra color.

I may try to make a yoyo garland for my 2012 sewing themed Christmas tree...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 12/12/11

Lest y'all think I fell off the face of the earth...I thought I should post something. It really isn't much because I was super busy this weekend. Saturday was cookie day with mom and yesterday I was working on more of those charm snowflakes and making flower yoyos for our guild party tomorrow.

It doesn't look like much as they are stacked but I hope the finished plant sticks will be pretty. They should be finished tonight so I'll try to get another photo.

On the health front the ear ache is basically gone and that's becasue it was really a precursor to Bell's Palsy.
Unfortunately, doctors don't really know what causes it or how to make it go away. I had this about 6 years ago and having had BP once makes you more suceptible to having it again - lucky me. Hopefully the heavy doses of more drugs will help and eventually it will go away partially or even completely.

Eating is difficult especially with no sense of taste (I found out that's a rare symptom today) so I've managed to lose another 3 pounds - yah me! The biggest problem for me is the eye strain it causes from not blinking or closing properly - by midafternoon my eye is whooped. And that means I may not be very productive in the quilt room for the rest of the year. I'll have to be very creative with finding something to blog about. Anything I can interest you in hearing about?

Friday, December 09, 2011

Feline Friday - 12/9/11

For the third year I have hosted a work related Christmas Party at my house. We tend to have it early in the month since December is always chuck full of activities. Since the party was on Monday I thought I should decorate early - you know - Sunday morning.

I started by putting all my Santas out (I'll post pictures another day, it is FELINE friday, right?!) and then started bringing the trees out of the attic. My largest tree happens to have a 4-pronged metal stand and I didn't want it to scratch my laminate floors so I put the tree on a folded flannel pillowcase. I soon discovered that Cali felt she really needed to hold down the tree for me: She was curled around the base, on the pillowcase! I figured as soon as I went for the camera she would bolt but she decided to stick around. I will likely find her under the tree often - she never messes with my ornaments but I do still put the breakables out of kitty reach.

The other cats? They walk away from the trees!

This photo was taken with the lighting effects setting on my camera. You can even see lights reflected in the window were turned into stars. Unfortunately, this setting really only works with the flash and that tends to washout white kitties. Too bad the light in her eyes wasn't turned into a star.

This photo was taken with a little gummy lens that is designed to stick to your mobile phone's camera lens.  I have 3 of these little lenses and really need to play with them more often.

Thursday, December 08, 2011


Ahhh the miracle of prescribed drugs!!

I've been laying low with a sinus and ear infection (seems to be becoming an annual thing. boohoo) but I finally went to the doctor yesterday. I haven't had the umph to sew, let alone post something clever and then answer comments so I just disappeared all week. Sorry! I spent my evenings watching season 2 of Lost on DVD and doing a few hexies now and then.

Last night and today I feel completely different. Look what I made:

The directions are here and it just uses 12 charm squares and some Steam a Seam 2. I'll be making one more star from this fabric and then I'll make a larger one with 10" fabric squares. Not sure what fabric I'll use for the larger star since I'm just about out of these fabrics. All white might be pretty or I could just use reds and greens from my stash. What do you think?

Friday, December 02, 2011

Feline Friday - 12/2/11

While working on my Orca Bay mystery quilt parts earlier this week I received a surprise inspection from one of my very capable Quality Control Officers. Really - it was a surprise because Pepper hasn't visited me on the table in a very long time and I was thrilled for him to join me.

After a few inspections and scritches from his Momma, he also felt the need for an impromptu bath. You know the kind where they are doing something or you've just scratched them and all the sudden they go into bath mode like you dumped something incredibly dirty on them. I tried hard to get some tongue action but my camera wasn't fast enough and faster than you could say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious bath time was over! Ah...the life of a cat...

Thursday, December 01, 2011

And so, let it be Christmas gift making time...

You guys are never, and I mean never, gonna guess what I am making for Mom's christmas gift. Ok, so you guessed it was a runner cuz she seems to get one every year and I used to be the Runner Queen but you'll never guess the pattern. Come on give it a good try. Can't guess, can ya?! I thought so!

Remember those graduated FQ packs from Cherrywood that I got in Houston?

Well, I finally cut into the Madagascar set last night (yeh, I know, only 23 days 11 hours 54 minutes and 5 seconds until Christmas but I am also the Queen of Last Minute) and, wait for it, wait, have you figured it out?, started working on 2" hexies!! LOL - you knew that right?! I hope so.

Yeh, I was sew excited to #1 cut into them and #2 make hexies that the pic is out of focus

 The original idea came from this runner I found online which only uses one hexie of each fabric pattern.

I had planned to lay out the fabrics like the following picture but in reviewing the original runner, it appears that the color actually comes out of the corner. ie one block in the corner is purple, the next row is 2 purples, the next is 3 purples and then you move on to color blue. I do think that will look better than my original plan but I plan to make all the hexies and then lay them out before picking a design.

I was able to get the first 2 colors made into hexies last night while watching DVDs so I don't think this will take too long to accomplish...yeh right, you don't want to hear the list of to do's but it might get done on time :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday



It's amazing what a little organization, tossing and putting away can do for the mojo. Cheapo baskets to organize projects were a great help.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Houston Quilts

Hmm...well...I was going to pick a "theme" for today's quilts but I can't decide on one so just enjoy some eye candy...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 11/28/11

Gosh...I'm still working on Quarter Square Triangles...can't wait for some free time this week to bang these out and get started on Orca Bay Step 2. I did pull out some phone book pages and my paper trimmer. I am almost ready...I just need to cut some blue strips since I don't do strings :)

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Feline Friday - 11/25/11

There is nothing better here at CasaGrande (according to 3 of the occupants) than a batch of fresh catnip toys. I was really making them for the craft sale this past weekend but the pussycats knew what I was working on and let me know it. They just wouldn't leave me alone.

Pepper and Midgie like to eat their nip but they all like to roll in it as well...hence the leaves ground into the carpet. Midgie also liked licking the new toys. I only sell Kitty tested and approved toys! Squeaky likes to carry them around but it's impossible to get a picture of that.

Later, the empty box became a great toy for Squeaky to play with: putting toys in and out, scratching, sniffing and the like. Midgie just wants a turn at the box...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Talkin' Turkey

To my American readers - I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

To everybody else - Happy Thursday and remember that tomorrow is TGIF!

What are you thankful for this year?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday

Mother nature is confused again...

Yesterdays high was 32F and it was raining buckets. Last night it was freezing in rivulets on my car and this morning my back yard is flooded again even tho the Village claimed the tiling done in the park behind my house would eliminate that problem.

This morning we are already at 34F but it's snowing flakes the size of a small dog.

I have no idea if this poor confused Delphinium will get to blossom again or not.

But don't worry Friday and Saturday will be in the 60s again.
If you don't like the weather in WNY - wait 5 minutes.  :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Houston Classes Continued...

Keep your fingers crossed that Blogger will be a little friendlier...

My second class was Saturday morning and called "Fantasy Flowers." Again we spent a lot of time on the prep work and not the stitching. For me that was fine because I have a "little" experience on the topic but there were some newbies that had no idea what they were doing. I think another hour of class might have helped - the newbies to learn the stitching and the rest of us to get more done on the project. Also, where as I baste in a manner so that I don't have to take the basting stitches out later, she uses freezer paper patterns and must remove the basting to take out the patterns. I think I'll stick to my way but I'm glad to have had the chance to try hers. The real premise of the class was using pieced fabric to create alternative designs within the paper pieced project. The teacher sews strips together and places a certain section of the template along those seams to get the spiralling designs. She gave us plenty of extra strips to go home and play with. AND as teacher's pet for this class, I got to take all the leftovers home. Wootwoot!

Teacher on the far right. Yes, those are my diamond hexies on the display wall along with the teacher samples.

Our class project - we were supposed to learn all three flower designs and the prairie points.

As far as I've gotten on my class project. It needs a good pressing and then to remove the basting stitches and the freezer paper. Luckily the class kit included the supplies to make the rest of the flowers as well as the background and other fancies.

Another possibility - leave out one of the "bishop" or jewel shapes for a different flower

Fussy cutting fabric for the center or adding embroidery add plenty more details.

Houston Classes

Wow - 10 comments yesterday - for this little blog that is definitly a lot of visitors. I hope some of you will come back again! I realized I never finished this post. I hope you don't mind hearing more about Houston - I am sure you have been inundated all over blog land with pictures and stories. I do have more quilt pictures if anyone is interested - lemme know...

I was able to take 2 classes at Houston - one on converting a photo to a quilt using fabric and threadpainting and the other on English paper piecing (Teacher was British and she said they call it English Patchwork). Sorry, can't remember the teacher names at this point as all my papers are at home - let me know if you want me to look anything up.

My Friday class was an all day affair titled "Start with a Photo." The teacher provided us all with the same photo of a red barn and the three pages we could tape together to create the pattern. She also told us how to create a pattern for when we get home and begin work on our own designs. The pattern was then traced onto clear vinyl to create a placement guide for the fabric pieces and some of the quilting. We used a light box to transfer the pattern pieces to the fabric and then fused them to the background with Steam a Seam 2 Lite. Mine isn't sticking so well at the moment but I think it's from being rolled up in my suitcase. I can certainly re-iron it but them I'm worried my chalk lines will disappear for the quilting. I'll have to iron a test area first. We spent most of our day prepping the pieces so we didn't get to spend a lot of time on the thread painting but I took a number of pictures of her sample quilt as well as the others on display. She said that her pieces take 20-40 hours of FMQ at the minimum. One of her quilts even took 48 spools of thread. Yowzer! Luckliy she now has a deal with one of the thread companies and trades product for patterns. Lucky her. Superior Threads - If you are listening - I can barter just as well!!

Teacher on the left with a portion of her samples.

This was the teacher's class sample

NO Laughing allowed - this is my class project and it clearly needs LOTS more quilting. At least 19 more hours of quilting according to the teacher.

Alright - I've had enough of Blogger's shenanigans...I'll try to put the second class info in another post...