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!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday - Leap Day!

If we get an extra day this year than why am I a day behind and have nothing worth posting? Instead I'll make you laugh and work a little...

This would be even funnier if both options were yes!

Can you spot the cat in this photo? You probably need to biggie size the photo.
Photo stolen from somewhere on the world wide web...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

We are in trouble my friends...

...because yesterday I figured out how to do hexies in EQ7 after emailing with another blogger!!!

You all know know that I have this little hexie project I am working on...but you probably didn't know that I had a very rough sketch on graph paper to get the project started. Then I had to add paper "wings" so the final design would fit. Yup - the final will be a huge hexagon shaped quilt. I was highlighting in bright yellow when the diamonds were attached to the mothership. I have 9 more diamonds done and another 7 "kitted" so I need to start figuring out where they go so the colors are spread out evenly and I can kit more. I need a total of 42 whole diamonds and 12 partial diamonds for the corners.

Then I moved to this! The colors are not actual matches but are pretty similar, and only represent the "mothership." Need to still play with those 9 finished hexies for placement. Hardest part was setting up the grid because of the way EQ counts rows. I suppose reading the manual might help but I was in a hurry last night :) Biggest lesson learned: If you doodle and then want the grid bigger, more space is added to the bottom, not to the top where I needed 2 more rows for this design. Live and learn for the next design...cuz there will be more!

PLEASE ignore the background mess - yikes!
I think the graph paper has it's purpose for a quick doodle or portability but I also really like the EQ version for showing colors and figuring yardage. I like the actual mothership for placement of the other finished diamonds - it's just faster. Which do you like better?

 And now I should get back to actually sewing hexies instead of just talking about them before my lunch is over...

Monday, February 27, 2012

Design Wall Monday - 2/27/12

Wow - the last Monday in February - where did this month go??
One of my goals for the weekend had been to do housework. Yeh, I know, my least favorite chores too but it had to be done. At least I got to spend Saturday morning watching the big storm while working on hexies by the front windows. I didn't even realize until 2pm that I had not turned on a radio or CD or anything but had just been enjoying listening to the wind.

 During some of the storm, I couldn't even see the houses across the street. Does that electric pole show you how tall (and old) these pines are? I sure would miss them if they had to come down - I just don't want them coming done on my house!

I love ever changing drift patterns...

...and tails on my car.

For most of the house, chores are dishes, vacuuming and changing out the sheets BUT in the quilt room, it means cleaning off surface clutter from various projects. One of the first projects I wanted off the surfaces was my selvage quilt. It's not that I'm tired of the project (on the contrary....I decided to make it bigger!!) I just need all this stuff put away for a party at my house in a couple weeks. I zipped together another 24 blocks Friday night from the parts that I had already trimmed to size and, after doodling in EQ on how I wanted to change the project, added them to the blocks I did last weekend. I hung the project over the door (and I'll leave it there for the party) so that none of the seams  will need ironing *again.* Pinwheeling the intersections on this style quilt works great until you have to re-press it each time it's been folded up. One bin emptied!

Another part of this selvage project is going thru my scrap bin to find some chunks large enough to use for one end of each selvage block. I was ironing the scrap, cutting off the chunk I needed and then throwing the ironed chunk into a laundry basket where it got wrinkled again. Duh! I re-ironed the whole stack and layed them out on my cutting table to I can take a few mins here and there all week to trim them into my scrap bins. Another bin emptied!

Then I ran across 30-some blocks that need trimming for my Omigosh quilt. These tiny suckers have been sitting out for eons waiting for a couple minutes (ok, maybe an hour) to be trimmed down to 2" squares. Easy peasy with a good book to listen to. I now have 101 of these suckers done! Another bin emptied!

You can barely make out one of the quality control officers in the background :)

Sunday was mostly the un-fun chores and a lot of interruptions. By 9pm I wanted some simple piecing to work on - nothing that would require brain power. Since I was sitting by the laptop I noticed a bin of half square tri's leftover from making this quilt on my left. On my right were some printouts of recent Bonnie quilts that I wanted to tackle "someday" and the one on top needed half square triangles. I doodled again in EQ to come up with a layout that would work with the HST's I already had but forgot to give the file a name before closing the software. ARGH! My second doodle is not half as accurate as the first! I'll show you more on this project later this week so here is only a peak. Another bin that will be emptied this week! Wonder if I can make a similar quilt or table runner with the leftover red HSTs that are in another bin?!  

Friday, February 24, 2012

Feline Friday - 2/24/12

Monday was sunny and all the kids were sleeping in the quilt room while I had my nose to the grindstone.

This little fuzzy bundle was enjoying the purple afghan in the sun and must have been dreaming about running because her little paws were just a churning away. I'm not sure how to explain the next photo other than I just couldn't resist! It's so tiny, pink and cute.

No kitties were harmed in the making of this post :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

UFO Thursday

Being a three day weekend, last weekend was very productive. You already saw the selvage quilt progress yesterday but I also worked on Kangaroo Walkabout.

The top is completed and measures 54" by 72" which is a decent sized couch quilt.

Can you see the snow? There is a thick coat, perfect for snowballs, on every tree branch, electric line, etc. It's gorgeous!

Next I want to get the back pieced. I have almost 5 yards of the Aussie fabric left so I won't need to buy anything. I just have to decide how to piece it since I'm not into matching the design at the seam. I will probably just add a strip of something else to the middle and make it easy on myself.

Monday is another end-of-the month sale so I'll get another bag-o-batting for 30% off...wootwoot!

I filled out my weekend by making 30 blue string blocks for Orca Bay and making more hexie diamond "kits." I didn't get a lick of housework done but I had a great time :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Almost Wordless Wednesday

These selvage blocks have turned out to be sew easy it's addictive and I stayed up waaaaay past bedtime Saturday night (altho I blame it on the audiobook I was about to finish). This is about half the center. I'll then add a border in a yet-to-be-picked color and then another border of selvage blocks. I swear it's much prettier in person. These photos make it look pretty drab.

I took this to guild last night for a little show-n-tell and to ask for any selvages no one wants. They loved it and want a "5 Minute Flash" (mini-class) sometime. That might mean they won't share their selvages :(

Janet - can you find your selvages??!! Val found hers...of course she was holding the quilt...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Versatile Blogger

As is always the case, I was stunned to be honored by Barbara at Cat Patches for the Versatile Blogger Award. My little blog? Really?

However, I do need to say that my blog wouldn't be what it is without my readers. There is a definite crew of lurkers and commenters and my day isn't complete until I've heard from most of you! Barbara and everyone else offers me encouragement and lets me know what you guys would like to see on my blog. I can't do it without any of you!!

Here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

  1. Add the award to your blog.
  2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you.
  3. Mention seven random things about yourself.
  4. List the rules.
  5. Award to 15 bloggers.
  6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.

To me this was the hard part: Seven random things about me:
  1. Let's just get this one out of the way - I'm shy. You can't tell on this blog, at my job with the public, nor can my friends but stick me in a room of strangers and I become a wall flower.
  2. In high school I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist but when I studied chemistry in college I hated chemistry and did quite poorly. It wasn't until I moved to Florida that I switched to database design and did quite well.  Now I have a job that has nothing to do with either. Go figure...
  3. I love to travel and I've been to 4 of 7 continents so far, including Africa twice! Most trips have been to visit friends or family (the best kind of trips IMHO) and I currently have an offer to visit family in Vietnam. I just need to make friends in South America and Antarctica!
  4. I can change the tires, brakes and oil on my own car. I choose not to most of the time...but I can.
  5. I have two left feet, unless I am in Zumba class.
  6. As a kid I would stay up waaaay past bedtime with a flash light and book under the covers. I still stay up late with a good book but I use the bedside lamp :)
  7. I love cooking and baking, including 18th century cooking over an open hearth. Doing dishes is an entirely different story.

Choosing 15 bloggers to honor was a tiny bit easier for me. I've left out four of my fav sites ( Barbara awarded me as Versatile Blogger, Denise already won the award and I thought Bonnie and Judy were already pretty popular) I want you to meet some of my friends that may not be as well known. These are the blogs I try to visit daily and they all bring a little something different to my table even if I just lurk:
  1. **Annie's Quilt Orts - I love reading Annie's weekly orts - you never know what will show up next! She also inspires me with her mini quilts.
  2. **Daisy Hill Quilts - I started reading Michelle's blog because she was also making hexie diamonds. Then she started the Rose Star that I am dying to do.
  3. **Darling Millie - Millie is Millie - what can I say other than I often wonder if this is what my kids are thinking?!
  4. Field Trips in Fiber - Vicki dyes the most amazing fabrics and posts EQ designs to go along with the monthly palette.
  5. **FlossieBlossoms - Susan's skill at those bittie blocks amaze me
  6. Giraffe Dreams - Carol first got me hooked on shelfari.com to log the books I read and look for others. I really enjoy her weekly book reports and charity projects, especially for the indian reservation that I can't remember the name of. Oops.
  7. Making Scrap quilts from Stash - the name says it all! Mary is a very prolific quilt maker and traveler. I love to see her quilting designs
  8. Me & My Stitches - Have you seen Julie 's quilted jewelry? Stunning!
  9. Prairie Quilts - I love hearing about Nines Holiday Feasts with her family - another prolific quilter.
  10. **Quilting by the River - Connie has lots and lots of fun tutorials
  11. Quilting Twin & Pages from Me - OK, I know this is two blogs but they are twin sisters Keryn and Mereth, who are very prolific scrap quilters.
  12. Rogue Quilter - Janet makes lovely quilts and I always love her fabric selections
  13. **Scraps and Threadtales - Want to learn more about antique quilts? Be sure to visit this blog.
  14. **Sew Karen-ly Created - Karen designs some amazing quilts - I really like the mariner's compass style designs.
  15. **There's a cat on my quilt - Lauren was a real life friend from my LQS before she became a blogger. Her art quilts and devotion to local animal shelters is amazing
**With the exception of one blog, I was drawn to these blogs for many reasons other than cats but 8 of my 15 blogs talk about their cats!! I hope I didn't miss any cat references.

Once again, Squeaky, Midgie, Pepper and I thank you all for visiting our little blog and look forward to seeing you again!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Feline Friday - 2/17/12

What's a girl to do when it's snowing and blowing?

Well, of course, you snuggle under your quilt next to the "fire" :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Squeaky here -

Just wanted to let you know that the post Momma was working on for today just isn't coming together as easily as expected. Something about it's hard to write about yourself. I always like to be front and center so I'm not sure what the problem is...

She's now aiming to get it posted next week. Tomorrow will be our regularly scheduled Feline Friday so be sure to check out what my "big" sissy did last weekend...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

V-Day continues..

Chocolate in the Stacks was quite successful last night. We had 59 auction baskets, 130 attendees and we made a bit more money than last year. WootWoot!! Anyone still there at the end of the night gets to take some of the leftover chocolates home...yummy...

I was even lucky enough to win one of the "baskets." I won a gift certificate to a not-so LQS along with a FQ, a quilt calendar and a lovely pillow that looks like a basket of yoyo flowers.

And look what else I got yesterday - two squishies!!!

You should see and feel the texture of the feathers on this zippered pouch - I can only hope mine are this good someday...  A nice little surprise gift, and all because I asked for it :)

Thanks to Janet for the packet of selvages!!!!! These are great colors (that I didn't have already) and some of the color dots are even shaped like birds and paisleys. The birds are definitly my favorite.

And this morning a coworker brought me this super long selvage. But look - there is no #2 color dot, not even the outline like in the photo above. Weird.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

it's ALL about the chocolate today!

What do you get for your sweethearts when they don't eat chocolate?
Stinky goodness, of course! And nothing else could make them happier.

I made these chocolate cookies for my coworkers. They are actually store bought sugar cookie dough and you mix in instant coffee, cocoa powder and cream. They come across as a little strong but well worth it.

My boss bought me a chocolate cupcake from Sweet Sarah's (a great little ice cream shoppe with a chocolatier and gift shop of locally made items). Yes, those are pink lips on top :)

My friends from the LQS brought me a plate of homemade cupcakes and cookies. Sorry - couldn't take them out of the bag unless I wanted to sacrifice frosting and that would be horrific.

And tonight is "Chocolate in the Stacks." Think of your small town library with EVERY surface either covered by Chinese auction baskets or chocolate confections of all types. There are at least 60 baskets filled with goodies from local businesses and artists (remember my mugrug? Hah! Called myself an artist) and since I'm not afraid to be loud, I get to call out the winning tickets for the auction.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Design Wall Monday - 2/13/12

Have you ever made a weekend to do list and resolved to get as much as possible done without straying from the list? Yeh, that was my goal for the weekend and this was my list:
  1. Cut koi and green batik fabrics for February NewFO
  2. Cut more kangaroo fabric for Kangaroo Walkabout (aka floribunda)
  3. Gather blue strips/strings
  4. Make 10 blue string blocks Saturday and 10 blocks Sunday
Except, I never got past #2.

I cut the green sashing Friday evening. I was still a little skeptical about cutting into the koi fabric so I saved it for later in the weekend.

When I bought the kangaroo fabric I was still in my wash everything mode. I washed it and then of course it needed ironing but since I had bought the end of the bolt (at least 5 or 6 yards) it was just such an overwhelming task that it never got ironed. I sorta folded the fabric in half and wound the wrinkled mess back on the cardboard bolt. Now I have to iron a portion at a time without dragging the whole thing on the floor and then cut what I need. I am *very* tempted to wash the whole thing again and take it out of the dryer before the wrinkles are set.

Sew...I cut some strips Saturday and thought oh, I would just use up the blacks that were already cut and waiting to be used. I sewed and sewed. I was having a great time churning out more blocks. When I used up the kangaroo strips I had cut before the black was used up I decided to iron a bigger chunk and cut more strips while also pulling out more blacks.

Sunday began early with an MVA (we finally have snow!!!!) so I worked hard during the morning but began fading in the early afternoon. I did finish one audiobook and have nearly finished a second - I so love sewing along to a good book!

When the weekend was over I had 39 out of 48 blocks done with 3 more partially done. Don't forget last Monday I only had 18 blocks done. I probably could have gotten at least 4 more blocks done last night if I hadn't fallen asleep watching America's Test Kitchen on DVD.

My *only* goal for the next week is to finish the blocks and get the top together. I am sew close there is no use relegating it to the corner when I can just gitterdone  :) and I can't wait to see what it looks like!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Feline Friday - 2/10/12

Hmm...maybe this isn't the best or most pleasant view...

...but when there is fresh 'nip to be had (yes, in Midgie's box!) they aren't shy about anything!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

NewFOs and UFOs

UFOs first -
I took a little liberty with my UFO list. My original #1 due to be worked on this month was my RollRollCottonBoll Quilt. HOWEVER - I am sew close to getting my Orca Bay done I switched them in my list. I hope to at least get the blue string blocks done this month. Might as well work on it while it's still out :)

NewFO -
By special request, I am starting my Broderie Perse quilt this month. The directions are from an old Quilter's Newsletter Magazine and this is the quilt shown in the article:

I don't know the entire history of BP but I do know that it was often made from expensive chintz where motifs were cut out and assembled into scenes. This quilt consists of squares and sashing. I will cut some motifs out of the extra fabric to machine applique onto the top so that the motifs are extended into the sashing.

The next fuzzy photo is a closeup of how the magazine article showed that technique. Check out the various flowers and cranes.

Unfortunately the article was pretty short and never mentioned yardage amounts. I purchased these fabrics back in Miami where we guesstimated how much to buy so I don't have near enough as I now wish I had. I love this koi fabric altho I am a little concerned that the design is too big for this technique. We shall see! That dark green batik is just yummy. Wish I had more and not just for this project.

Last night I played around in EQ to determine how big a quilt I could make with the fabric I have on hand. I think I changed the squares to be 8" finished and the sashing 2" or 2.5" finished, which allows me a quilt that is 5 x 6 blocks. It won't be bed size but I think it will be close to my favorite couch size. I would have liked the binding to be from the same batik but I would have had to make a much smaller quilt to accomplish that sew I decided to find something else for the binding.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

not-so-Wordless Wednesday


Can you find my helper in the after photo? He's kinda hidden...but nice and cozy.

For years I have wanted shutters for the front/studio windows. It's so easy for people driving or walking by to see what I am doing at any time of the day, especially at night with the flourescent lights on. Rosie would even stop her walk to look in the window so she could wave if I was working there. Some days I just don't want people to see me in my pjs and bed head hair!

What shutters I could find at Home Depot/Lowes were pretty pricey and come to find out they weren't the right size anyway. The only reason I know they wouldn't fitright size is becasue Santa investigated this year! After realizing they wouldn't fit, he decided to make me some, sneaking into my house while I was at work to measure and remeasure the window frames. Each of the four panels has removable dowels at top and bottom allowing me to change the fabric panels at will. Mom thought I could make quilts that would fit the space but I started with just the purple fabric as it was faster to start with. I thought it might be fun to make Christmas panels some day.
I was really surpirsed at how much bigger and brighter the space seemed after removing those half rotten sheers that came with the house. I still need to make the valance - I have fabric that looks like green Olfa mats and I will probably use the same purple to "line" them so the purple shows from the outside.

Next remodel job here at Casa Grande is my bedroom...then I can do the Studio!! I'll paint the trim white again and the recessed panels under the windows will be purple, the floors will get the same laminate as the rest of the house (yeah - no more pink carpet!) and I'll finally have to decide what to do about the paneling. The window bump out area appears to have the original wallpaper on plaster. It will be a bugger to remove but since it's starting to crumble at the bottom it will probably need to be replaced.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Orca Bay progress

I'm sure you quickly picked out what's missing from the photo above...blue string blocks. This top is sew close to being done but I needed to finish the purple project and then I needed some mindless work so I've been working on the floribunda quilt shown yesterday.

I don't want this to fall by the way side, altho it's listed for 2 months in this year's UFO challenge, so I have left the 3 baskets of parts out on the cutting table. It's annoying taking up that much space and I'm hoping that will be the kicker to gitterdone :)

Monday, February 06, 2012

Design Wall Monday - 2/6/12

Having worked on sew many little pieces recently for Bonnie's Orca Bay and my little hexies, I longed for some no brainer "big" piecing when I finally finished the purple project yesterday. As I scanned the UFOs and WIPs in my studio I decided to work on my "floribunda" quilt. I have a basket of parts that are partially pre-cut as this was meant to be a leader ender type project so it was easy to jump right in.

I made enough progress to feel good about it and it may go back to leader-ender or I may just push through to see how many blocks I can get from my cut pieces. I am doing 2 blocks from each tone-on-tone black and they all have the same brown/orange Aussie print. Bonnie used 48 blocks for her version of the antique quilt. I have 18 blocks done so far and I forgot to count how many other blacks are already trimmed to size. I would guess I am 3/4 of the way there so I may need to get some more blacks :)

I also need a better name for this quilt and I'm open to suggestions. I googled for some kangaroo references but nothing intrigued me...

Friday, February 03, 2012

Feline Friday - 2/3/12

I LOVE this pose! We call it "paws out" and Poppi always gets extra attention for the pose but he quickly draws his paws back in so I can't touch them.

This is quickly followed by a roll to the side for some tummy lovin'. You can't tell in the picture but that paw was "kneading" the carpet and the purr was on full volume. He was Momma's happy boy!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

NewFOs and UFOs

Somehow I never started the NewFO I thought I would in January...not to worry tho as I did start 5 other projects! One is done, I hope another is done this weekend and one is probably long term altho a little addictive.

This is the NewFO I finished already. A mug rug that was donated to my local library for their V-Day fundraiser. I had planned to also make one with hexies instead of the hearts but forgot until I was typing this post. I haven't picked colors for the hexie version yet.

This is the NewFO that I hope is finished this weekend. I haven't specified what it is but several people have made some very close guesses.

This is my addictive NewFO. I had thought it would be long term but it's too easy to grab for a few minutes here and there. This could be a good thing so that I don't have parts sitting around forever. Maybe I should aim for the end of the year? I'll still collect selvages but I'm not sure what the next project will be and I need to see how many I have left when this quilt is done anyway.

This NewFO would probably be pretty easy to get finished and since I hope to keep up with the doll-quilt-a-month-a-long at http://sentimentalquilter.blogspot.com/2012/02/february-small-quilt-challenge.html (this is the link for the next doll quilt) I better get caught up and keep the quilting simple. I had thought about fans but we shall see when I get the red backing on what strikes me.

The last NewFO isn't done yet because I wasn't sure how I wanted to proceed. This is a cover for my Kindle and my original idea was to make the hexies go all the way around without any seams but I wasn't sure how to make that work along with the tutorial that I working from. I've now decided that the best way to proceed will be to make the hexies a little bit bigger, quilt this to the batting and then do the seams as on the tutorial. I think it will be safer for the Kindle. Now if I could just figure out what's wrong with my wifi connection all will be honky dorey.

My January UFO was my Blooming 9-Patch, probably started 4 or 5 years ago. I had hoped to finish the top (which turned out I just needed borders) and get her quilted this month. I purchased the border fabrics and got part of it on but had to stop when I was just a little short on the light purple fabric. I did buy another quarter yard but I still need to finish the borders. I bought batting (on sale!) and I should have enough scraps to piece the back. I would like to think this doesn't now go to the bottom of the UFO pile but who knows.

My February UFO is RollRollCottonBoll which was Bonnie's 2010 mystery project. I've actually listed RRCB for 2 months in this year's UFO Challenge so I don't have specific goals this month other than to make progress. I have 4 steps left: neutral string blocks (and y'all know how much I love them!), assembling the 600 HSTs from those 2 skinny bins into sashing and attaching them to the blocks which are under the red and neutral fabrics, assembling the center of the top and then the borders (parts are in that black dish to the left). OK - no real pressure this month and I like that!