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!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 10/31/11

Sunday I worked on finishing this table topper - the top was already pieced and it was actually sandwiched. I merely had to quilt and bind the little sucker :)

I quilted a grid over the 4 arrowhead blocks and then used one of my favorite patterns (can't remember the book title at the moment) to create this pinwheel type effect. I understand she will or does have a second book out so I'll be looking for it at IQF-Houston since I didn't get in to her class.

The border just has 4 rows of straight quilting around the center. Simple but effective.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Feline Friday - 10/28/11

Look at the beautiful but pitiful little face...

Can you tell she's pleading for heat? The vent wasn't even warm anymore but there she sat. My favorite brother, the electrician, is installing a new digital thermostat at my house this weekend because the touch pad on my current thermostat isn't working. I can't adjust the temperature let alone correct the day of the week. Today it thinks it's Saturday...The kids will like the warmer "weekend" temperature but it didn't come on very early and with the 20-something degrees outside, a little heat would have been nice.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The "S" word

Yup - it's here - SNOW!! The temp has dropped almost 10 degrees since I got up and it's now a toasty 34F outside. I did break down and wear a winter coat this morning - but ONLY because I would have to walk to the post office at work :)  The snow is melting as fast as it falls but it's fun (on this first day only) to watch it out the windows.

Not such a great shot of the snow but it's dead on for the grey dreariness.

Google decided to clear all my unread Google Reader posts today. I was behind so it's a "relief" to not have to feel like I need to play catch up but who knows what I missed...

I guess I over estimated my hint giving capabilitites with yesterday's Wazzit post. I really thought someone would get half way close.

The 4 rectangles will make 2 luggage handle wraps. There was a finished one rolled up in the back left of the photo (and shown below). I've taken some pictures to do a tutorial next week. They are quick and easy for gifts and craft bazaars and they really do help find YOUR suitcase. I bought a green suitcase thinking no one else would have one but baggage pickup is usually so dark it's hard to tell mine from all the black suitcases.

What was I focusing on? The handle wrap is complelety out of focus

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wazzit Wednesday

Can you guess what pair of "things" these four 4.5" x 6.5" rectangles will be made in to?

Hint: They are a hit at bazaars so I'll be making more pairs as well...I'll be using the finished green/purple batik pair next week.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Yes - they really are calling for snow on Thursday and Friday!!! I don't have the yard ready yet but I don't think that alone will stop the snow...

You may remember that I bought these woven snowflake kits back during our September Shop Hop. I was told they were an exclusive design for that store (altho I saw them at another store) so I don't know if they are available elsewhere.

I think they are adorable but I've found some design issues I would change if I made these again in future. The kit comes with 4 rectangles of fabric with fusible on the back. There are also 2 squares of shiny poster board. You are supposed to iron the fabric/fusible to the poster board - think I'll just use a thin Peltex style fusible next time since the pieces aren't sticking very well.

The pattern suggested using super glue or plain white glue. I had this Fabric Fusion that supposedly is dry cleanable and permanent. Not so...I've already had to reglue the middle section and anchor it with more books. I hope to have this snowflake finished by tomorrow but I'll wait a while to see how the glue holds before I do the second kit.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 10/24/11

This stunning photo shows my new 20 gallon crock. I paid "too much" at a local auction but not near as much as I could find around the internet and those examples don't even have handles like mine. Thank God for the handles cuz this sucker is heavy - it is not a one person crock. Mom offered Dad to make a top for it so I can put it in the window with a kitty cushion! I think it's big enough to stand a few bolts of fabric/batting upright but I haven't tried it yet - it was in some one's barn and needs a bit of attention.

You can also see the RWB candle mat on my design wall. I found the pattern link from my friend Denise's blog. I think my mat looks too busy but after looking at Denise's again, I think maybe it's just that mine is only RWB and there isn't any place for your eyes to rest except the solid corner squares. I was thinking this morning that I might try to make another one with the fabric Mom got me from the Adirondacks...sorry, can't find the picture. There are about 5 or 6 coordinated fabrics and I would do the center as a square in square to eliminate some of the seams. This one and it's twin will probably be finished for a bazaar I am doing in November.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Feline Friday - 10/21/11

Earlier this week - the morning sun coming into the house was just brilliant.

Too bad it didn't stick around for longer than an hour...it's been gray and rainy almost all week and with no sun to warm up the house during the day I'm about at my breaking point to finally turn the heat on. As usual, I'm one of the last holdouts.

Squeaky - waiting to lick off the spoon after I dish out wet food for treat time

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My very first sewing machine

I've owned 4 sewing machines in my lifetime - oh wait it was 5.

  • I've had my Bernina 430 since 2007.
  • Before that Mom had bought me a Janome - it still works fine but since it wasn't for quilting I outgrew it quickly. Couldn't lower the feed dogs and all...
  • Before that I had inherited Grandma's sewing machine - after lugging it back to Miami I discovered it hadn't been worth the effort and stuffed it in a closet until it got wet in a hurricane.
  • Before that I had a turquoise Singer. Yes, exactly the color of that font I just used. I was the third owner and received it as a Christmas gift when I was barely a teen - used that baby for about 15 years until there was just nothing else I or the repair shop could do to fix the tension. It was a heavy metal jobber and who knows how old it was when I finally tossed it after the same hurricane.
And this, THIS was apparently my very first machine!!!! The boys found a bucket of old toys in Mom's closet and lo and behold we found this little treasure amongst some other Fisher Price jems.  She's a little worse for wear but I think that 1" strip of RWB fabric looks just great :)

Is this the official start to that toy sewing machine collection I've been dreaming about?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

In 14 days 21 hours 28 minutes and 26 seconds I will need to wear this:

I just need to finish the binding and attach the hang strap. The lining is a great yellow-green batik and there's plenty of room for collecting more pins. OMG there is so much to do between now and then...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Zip me up!

One of the projects I was able to work on this past weekend were these zippered pouches. They are made very similarly to my flat zippered pouches but these are much bigger with box bottom pleats. The purple/black/white version ("large") just needs that large button sewn on. The "medium" size with the chocolate fabric is for me and since I didn't know if I could find large ric rac or some other decoration for it, I still need to do the side and bottom seams. Same situation for the RWB "small" version.

These are very fun to make with the variety of zipper colors available and use scraps, which I KNOW you have just sitting around! Don't be afraid of the zippers - her method makes it sew easy I can almost do them in my sleep.

I bought my pattern locally but you can find it about halfway down this page on the Atkinson Designs website.  The pattern does call for for fusible fleece but I've only ever used regular batting since it's really a quilt as you go project and a walking foot prevents any slippage. I've also modified the fabric cutting sizes since I didn't care for the waste that I was throwing away.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Design Wall Monday - 10/17/11

This Saturday we are having Jelly Roll Races at my LQS and I started making the "place ribbons" this weekend. You know: first, second, third is blue, red, white.

maybe I should clean all the little strings from my design wall?!
I've got the hexies done for the rosette part. I am thinking of stitching some tails to hang from the bottom but I would love to hear if you have any other suggestions.

Should I make a ruffle like these that I found online? Or just make a backing? I could put a fancy button in the middle of the hexie rosette.

I don't have the satin ribbons to add. I could hand write wording on a muslin tail or just hang 2 or 3 tails.

Any ideas would be welcome! What would you like to recieve, even if you weren't expecting a prize?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Feline Friday - 10/14/11

Last Monday, while on a quick trip to get more gas for the stupid lawnmower, I finally remembered to swing by Mom & Dad's to check on this year's catnip crop. I've tried to grow catnip at my house, particularly where I had "planted" Tula but the neighbor cats rolled in and killed the poor plant. I don't begrudge the neighbor cats, I just didn't feel it was worth it to grow 'nip at my house and not expect any crop for my own pussycats. Mom and I walked their 2 acre yard and only found 2 plants. It was a pretty crummy crop this year and I'll probably blame it on the weather just as with everything else. We spread what seeds we found so hopefully next year will be more bountiful.

My kids love to eat or roll in 'nip but I also like to make small cloth bags of nip to sell or give as gifts. I've had people buy 1 and call for more because their cats went berserk. I think it's the local/organic versus store bought conversation all over again.

I bought my gas, came home to throw the nip on top of a table, put some fresh nip out for the 3 babes and finished mowing the stupid lawn. I came back into the house for a drink and found little Midgie sitting on the table in the middle of the undisturbed 'nip. Only after I chastised her did she start rolling in it. She knows she isn't supposed to be on the table but I can't blame her...it's good stuff!

Needless to say the 'nip is now in a plastic shoebox on the top of the fridge so it can dry.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

UFO Thursday - Counting to 600

THIS, my friends, is what 600 red and neutral half square triangles looks like.


Each basket is about 12" long and the basket on the left is just crammed full of HST's, the right is about 3/4 full. I can finally move forward on my RollRollCottonBoll quilt - yeh, I know, Bonnie's mystery quilt from last fall.

What I didn't think to photograph is "how" I counted from 0 to 600. I have used this method for quite some time but generally for much smaller projects.

 I have a collection of 10 antique thimbles that Mom gave me a few years ago. For every 5 (insert HST/9-patch/cut piece/etc) I would place a thimble on it's side. When it was up to 10 the thimble is placed on end. 10 thimbles makes a hundred and that was usually sufficient. This time however I was really slow in making the HSTs so I used a toothpick for 100 and then went back to the thimbles to get to the next 100. 6 toothpicks and I was FINALLY done :) A private little happy dance soon followed.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Remember the scraps I bought during the shop hop a couple weeks ago and how I said I wanted to get them trimmed that weekend but I told you not to hold your breath? Well, anyone who actually did hold their breath can let it out now because I finished trimming them this past holiday weekend!

The strips are for my strip bins ala Bonnie. The squares are for my Scrap Therapy bins. The neutral 2" strips are for RollRoll Cotton Boll and the neutral 2" and 2.5" squares and 1" strips are for Omigosh. The neutral/gold/black chunks at the top are for various UFO's.

And this is all that I had to throw away...just a handful really.

I have a whole trug of scraps - I guess I need to just grab a pile every week and whittle away at them.

That wasn't so wordless was it?!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cathedral Pines Trail

I promise - this is my last post about my trip to the Adirondack Mountains!

I found this link at cnyhiking.com with photos and a youtube video.

Mom, Dad and I walked this hike on my last day in the Mountains. It's supposedly the shortest maintained trail, at a whopping one-tenth of a mile. If you start to the right of the loop, it takes you up a steep hill where you can see the huge white pines that give the trail it's name. Not only are the trees exceptionally large around their girth but they were extremely tall which was hard to adequately photograph.

Maybe you can see in the photo to your left - if Dad and I had been on level ground we might have been able to touch finger tips...but there was probably a lot of space still on the far side of the tree.

Does this help you get even a hint of how tall these trees are?

Their root systems were massive.

At the turning point in the trail loop, is this plaque to a local vet. Mom & Dad had just hiked this trail three days before and there were only 3 pennies then...

The plaque used to be on this white pine, just behind the stone memorial, which was hit by lighting somewhere in the last 20 years - Dad can remember hiking this trail when the plaque was still on the tree. I didn't photograph it but you could see where the tree had grown around the plaque over the years.

Dad posed for me and was pleased as punch that he had a patriotic shirt on to match the flag.

While fiddling with camera settings I remembered that my camera has a color accent feature. I really need to play with this feature more often.
It's quite subtle but the moss is still green in this B&W photo of the top of the tree where it landed how every many years ago

Can you see the patina on the plaque?
(Check out the tree to see where the plaque used to be)

Or the red on the flag? The soil also reflects a little red.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Feline Friday - 10/7/11

Still no sewing at my house. Some scrap trimming, some lessons on EQ7 but nothing involving needle and thread other than a few hexies. I do have pictures of other "stuff" but no time this week to post them...next week should be back to near normal as my school tax collection job is now on the downswing ;)

I was able to capture this little guy out my front window last Sunday. It's pretty fuzzy because it was taken through the dirty window and the screen. He looks to be a yellow finch, all puffed up in the cold, sitting pretty on what's left of my purple cone flowers. I tried to slowly open the window for a better picture but he smoothed out his feathers and quickly flew away.

Ok - I can hear you now...What does a cold finch have to do with Feline Friday??

Well...if it wasn't for my #1 bird watcher, I wouldn't have seen the little guy in the first place!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Alas, no actual sewing was done this weekend - the weekend was full of activities and working at job#2 followed by staying home sick on Monday. NOTHING was accomplished Monday. I miss my sewing machine :(

Sew, lucky for you - we are back to pictures from the Adirondacks.

On my drive to 8th Lake I stopped in Inlet at the Black Bear Trading Post quilt store. I never thought to take a picture of the outside of the cute little store but I swore I took a picture of the bear mounted over the cash register. I can't find the picture on my camera or mobile so please use your imagination. Think they send him after people who bounce checks? They also have a wall of these great heart shaped quilt hangars. I don't think they would stress the quilts very much and it was a great way to hang a lot of quilts in a small space. Daddy said he could make me some :)

Not a single person said boo to me when I was looking around the store Friday and then it took some time for the "cutter" to notice I was ready to have fabric cut. I wasn't very impressed so far. But then the cutter lady was chatty and I found out she lives in Rochester and works at a popular LQS there - only about an hour from where I live. Small world!

BBTP is only open during the tourist months so was having their end of season sales on batiks and kits. I picked up this great cat batik, the cream batik and a few random FQs.

The next day Mom, Dad and I stopped in the same store to have a look. They immediately recognized my dad and remembered that he owns an old truck (1929 International). How they remember Dad and not Mom (lady with the checkbook winkwink) is beyond me but Mom says it happens often. The staff was quite chatty that trip - a totally different atmosphere. The 2 striped fabrics above, wrapped in BBTP ribbon, were from the scrap bin that I hadn't notice the day before. Mom picked up bear flannel for me to make her a pillow case and we are going to use the BBTP ribbon some how. Santa also picked up a few things for my stocking :)