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, March 29, 2013

Feline Friday - 3/29/13


Pepper here.

I heard Momma say that today is Good Friday and I thought that it was as Good a Friday as any to talk about proper birdiewatching protocol.

The goldfinches are turning gold again!!
This is my fat chunky sissy, Squeaky, she used to be a feral feline so I just don't understand how she knows nothing about watching birdies. She runs up to the viewing area, jumps on the ottoman, talks to the birds and then wonders why they fly away. (On the other hand, she is very stealthy at squirrelvision - go figure!)

Anyway...enough about her.

The best viewing is to be low to the ottoman with eyes level to the window casing while waiting for birdies to arrive.

Once there are birdies, it is imperative to lower the ears. Ears scare birdies.

If the birdies appear comfortable, you can raise your head and get closer to the window but the ears must stay lowered.

Trust me - this works! Have a Good Friday! And a Hoppy Easter! And a good Passover!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Organized Thursday

A girl has to be organized...and since the table is still here why not use it?

The box is finished inventory for an upcoming bazaar. Each pile is a different product I have been cutting out. I'm getting tired of hemming & hawing over fabric choices and then cutting so it's about time to get to sewing some of these things.

Left to right: luggage handle wraps, box bottom zippered bags, flat zippered bags, mugrugs.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Twisted hexagons

With a pending road trip and a conference next month, I have been prepping hexie projects in my spare time. I'm still cutting kites and triangles for my hexie puzzle. I'm even working on the second Star Blossom that I need for my matching hexie shaped side tables in the living room.

I am also cutting half hexies for a new project!! I'm calling it twisted hexies. Very original (and probably what I've seen it called around the internet).

Anyways...it's made of half hexies in batiks that surround a black hexie center. It should be a wash of color when it's done! I had wanted to have a black batik for the center but they are darn near impossible to find in these here parts. What do you think of this tone-on-tone black instead of a batik? Do you think it will take away from the other batiks?
Yes! That is a cat tail - you convince her not to "help" when I am taking pictures...
Of course, I have been so in love with the batiks that I think I have way more cut than I can possibly baste up in a weekend, let alone that I only have 50 if the half-hexie papers. 
Look around your studio for templates you may already have, instead of buying something. I discovered this template to make half hexies from charm squares was actually "close enough for who it's for" when it came to cutting these batik half hexies.
That should keep my fingers busy for 10+ hours of riding in the car ... now if it was only half as easy to pick which clothes to pack...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Design Wall Monday - 3/25/13

Today is just a quickie post to share a table topper that I'm making as a class sample. It's a bit big for a mugrug but it might be ok with a really big snack or a snack to share. LOL.

You'll recognize the pattern as the same as the hexie puzzle that I've been working on for ages but this one is all batiks. I have an awesome batik for the back that has the same ROYGBV colors. You'll recognize the black batik as the last 5" of the black used for my Obsession quilt. I'm sad to see it go but there is just a tiny bit left so it can go into the scrap bins..

Friday, March 22, 2013

Feline Friday - 3/22/13

(Momma apologizes for the dark pictures - it was bright out from the snow but dark inside and hard to focus her pocket camera.)

We're getting more snow today...

...which makes for great birdievision! It's mostly goldfinches (getting their color back!) but we also noticed another bird. We think it's the chipping sparrow but it's awfully early. Momma writes down the date seasonal birds arrive in her NYS birdbook and chipping sparrows don't normally arrive until mid-April. We'll keep an eye out and try to confirm who the bird is. This is him...

Sometimes we are stuck in commercial break:

but then they come back and fight over the 5 feeders Momma has. Maybe she needs more?

The family that watches birdievision together stays together. LOL!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday!

I can't remember how long I have been stopping by Vicki's Blog but back in January she committed to at least 6 months of Thankful Thursday giveaways on her blog. They have ranged from her hand dyed fabrics to duplicate books from her library. Back at the beginning of March Vicki offered an antique toy sewing machine and I finally decided to give it a try and left a comment hoping to win.

I was quite excited the next week to find out that I had won - that never happens. LOL. Denise wins everything. Bwahahahahah.

The sewing machine arrived earlier this week and I am pretty sure it's a chain stitch machine. You know how you pull on the thread to open a bag of cat food? That's a chain stitch. Vicki had kindly threaded the machine for me but I've now broken the thread in playing with it (YES, it works!!) and have to figure out how to rethread it. I'll get it eventually :)

Thank you Vicki - it was a wonderful surprise for what has turned out to be a loooooog week with not much sewing.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Measure Twice, Cut Once

I finally found a black fabric I liked for my Wild Kingdom quilt....amazingly it was with the reproduction fabrics altho I don't think it screams repro.

Not quite remembering how wide to cut the black strips, I pulled up my EQ file but the cutting directions weren't quite making sense. I checked the "block" section where I had drafted the block ... yup, it was at 6" like I wanted. Then I pulled up the "quilt" layout section where I obviously hadn't paid any attention to block size because it was set for 9". In the grand scheme this won't actually affect any cutting but it means the quilt is over 20 inches shorter in each direction.

Remember how I had extra animal print strips? Well now I have the option to let the quilt stay at 60something" and have enough strips to make another quilt or add more blocks to get it back to the 80" quilt I thought I was making...

I certainly haven't been paying close attention while making this quilt. First having "extra" fabric to now finding out the quilt is smaller than planned. I'm just glad I haven't made any major goofs and am now out of a no longer available fabric because I cut it wrong.

I need a vacation day to get my head back on straight...anyone wanna work for me a couple days?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Design Wall Monday - 3/18/13

It's hard to tell but the red fabric has hexies on it!
And the white fabric is Fairy Frost so it glows in the dark!
OK, I admit this is not the most earth shattering project I have ever made. That and, at 18", it is ginormous compared to the 4" blocks I have been making of late.

No matter what, I like the concept of super sizing a favorite block to add pieced hexies to it.

I'll still be adding something hexie (yet to be determined) to the four corners to jazz it up a bit more.

I still need to finish making a sample for the next Hexie Night ... guess what I am leaning towards?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

HeLP for Hexie-aholics

Since y'all know that I am a certified Hexie-aholic (which is extremely different from being certifiable) it shouldn't surprise you that I immediately signed up for Mickey Depre's Craftsy class when it went live this week - I mean it was half price and it does have 2 new pieced hexie designs!!

And that also meant I had to immediately go home and start making some samples...starting with the paddle.

As usual there are multiple layouts and they can be modified even more by playing with fabric placement. I even came up with another new layout altho I am sure there are still more to discover. My favorite is in the middle.
You are probably thinking that these colors are pretty wild but they are based on this FQ that my dear friend Denise gifted me some time back.

After finding this layout while perusing a magazine last night I've decided to make a 18" block with the hexie flower in the middle. Won't this make a great catmat/dollquilt/table topper?!

PS - since yesterday was National Quilting Day it was also my two year hexi-versary ;^)
PPS - Mickey released another Pieced Hexie Star yesterday - be sure to check it out!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Feline Friday - 3/15/13

There's not much going on here at CasaGrande. Momma ordered a loaded french fry pizza earlier this week but she didn't share. That was the only highlight. Harrumph.

Here's hoping that next week will be better. It probably will be because hey... Saturday is National Quilting Day and Sunday is St Patty's Day and Momma is more than 75% Irish so be sure to give her a kiss.

But even more exciting, and never to be forgotten again, Sunday is also HeLP for Hexie-holics. Hexie prep means lap time with Momma but she never has the camera to catch proof. LOL.

Make sure you stop by...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

no more google reader??

As I logged in to Google Reader today I was given a little message that it would be discontinued in July of this year? What??? I guess they are going to focus their energies on other products...

I don't know about you but I had all my fav blogs signed up in Reader and it would tell me when someone posted something new, as opposed to my old method of going to my favorites list and opening each blog to see if something new was posted. That was such a waste of time and Reader was great for when I was behind...which was often.

I'm looking for any alternatives that you have tried and really like. My computer has Explorer 8 at this time if it makes a difference. TIA

PS - don't forget that Sunday, 3/17/13, is St Patty's Day!
PPS - Don't forget Sunday is also Hexie Linky Party Day...you didn't think I forgot again did you?! ;^)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wild Kingdom Update

Due to poor planning on my part, I have more fabric than I needed. Weird! 

The blocks still need the black side strips because I still need to go buy the black fabric :)
I'm waiting for a sale next weekend
Y'all will recall the Wild Kingdom quilt I started earlier this month where I had half the strips together and would be putting the other half together later. Turns out the first half netted me more than enough 4-patches for my original design. I enlarged the design to use all but 1 of the finished already 4 patches and that makes the quilt somewhere around 60"x70" which is a good couch size.

Now I need to decide if I make the quilt bigger by making more 4-patches, use the remaining strips to add a pieced border or just add them to the stash. A duplicate quilt? A hexie project out of animal prints?

This was supposed to be an easy project and now I need to make decisions ;^(

Monday, March 11, 2013

Design Wall Monday - 3/11/13

Sewing wise, this weekend was pretty random. I worked on my hexagon puzzle project but no pictures because it doesn't look much different than last time. I had hoped to have the top done and quilted to demo the way I want to finish the edge by the end of the month but I'm not sure it's gonna happen...

I did work on this pieced hexie which is a sample for Hexie Night at the LQS. Now I just need to make it in to something ... and of course I can't decide what that should be ...

Next up are mugrugs in the works. I might be able to participate in a show before a conference I am attending next month so I want to beef up on my stock. I also plan to make more luggage handle wraps and name tag holders. The name tag thingers should be a big hit instead of the generic plastic things they give us.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Feline Friday - 3/8/13

Momma is rearranging the quilt room. Wednesday she moved stuff off the table with the purr machine and put some old drawer up there with a fluffy towel in it. She said something about it coming from the safe at the old village hall.

You know I had to test it out the first night but I haven't been back since. It's a nice bed with plenty of room for my tuckus and all but there are lots of nice places to sleep here at CasaGrande and they all deserve a turn. Momma is trying to get me to come back by leaving my fav toys and some treats in the box. I've eaten the treats but not taken another nap there. How long do you think I can milk this treat thing?

PS - don't forget to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors this weekend when you Spring Forward :)

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Class Sample

Do you remember the batik sample I made before I had to make a class sample? No? Well here it is again.

I finally got the last border on the actual class sample this morning! I must say that I just adore this fabric line and will be sad to give the sample to the store (she provided the fabric) so I best come up with something for me from the scraps...

While drafting this in EQ, I had to decide how to angle the strips and liked that the four corners pointed in.
 I swear this was purely coinkydink but if you look really close in the middle you will see an "S"!!!
 This is such an easy project because it's made from jelly roll strip sets. I modified the original magazine pattern that was geared for multi-width scraps to work from a 36 strip jelly roll and that includes the pieced border as well. I can't wait to see what fabrics the students pick for their quilts...

Look ma! No wrinkly borders!

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Online Shopping trip :)

Sometimes, even when you're on a tight budget, you just can't pass up a good sale...and I found two of them last week!

It started with an email from Superior Threads. I prefer to piece with MasterPiece #155 (a medium gray) and quilt with King Tut variegated threads. Last week was Bob the owners birthday and there was a $5 coupon if you spent like $20. Masterpiece isn't cheap but since it's a thinner thread there is more on a spool and it lasts a bit longer, about 1 to 2 months for me. And because it's thinner, seams are just a bit thinner when pressed open. The thread is well worth the price to me...so I got just enough to hit the sale threshold which was not quite buy 2 get 1 free.

Then I got the weekly email from Paperpieces.com and you all know I love that company as well :)

It turned out they were having 2 sales. First was a sale on certain notions. I have been wanting one of these needle domes for some time but couldn't find them locally. They are great because you can fill them with up to 10 threaded needles. The dome was marked down from $10 to $7 but on top of the notion sale was another 20% off ~$20. This essentially marked the dome down to half price.

I also ordered 2" half-hexies for my next project and the Tiny Obsesssions book which is geared towards small hexie sizes. I thought the magnets, pins and framed scenes would make nice gifts or things to sell.

The thread I would have had to order at some point so I might as well get it on sale and the other things weren't quite needed but fun. We all need to have a little fun once in a while and it's even more fun when it's on sale :)

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

NewFO: Wild Kingdom

I know...you're saying, but Sarah you wanted to focus on UFOs this year...why did you start another new project??

Well I questioned it a little myself but when one is up in the middle of the night not feeling well and you need to work on something mindless to while away the hours, you start the new project you have been drooling over without asking too many questions.

I have drafted this in EQ but don't have the graphic handy - you'll just have to trust me that it's going to be awesome. I mean I *have* been ruminating over this jelly roll for 6 or 7 years to find just the right project...

The jelly roll has 50 animal prints. I cut the strips in half so I would have more variety and sewed the first set of half strips in to pairs.

This week I am taking 1 minute breaks while spring cleaning to subcut them in to 3.5" lengths. After I get this half sewn in to 4 patches I'll work on the other set of the half strips.

I'm still (and always, it seams) on the lookout for a good black to use as "sashing"... I feel like I should just buy a bolt of it if I ever find a really good one...

Monday, March 04, 2013

Design Wall Monday - 3/4/13

Remember when I finally got the center of my Sister's Choice quilt done at retreat and I was thinking outloud about border options? Well, I think my idea was a brilliant brainstorm and I've got the picture to prove it. Ok, we need to support our own decisions once in a while, right?!!

I still need to plan the inner border and I'm not yet sure if it should be the same purple as the cornerstones, scrappy pieces of various bright fabrics or something else I haven't even thought of yet.

All in good time...

Friday, March 01, 2013

Feline Friday - 3/1/13

Do you like to make mugrugs? Do you have a stack laying around?

Please feel free to ignore the mess in the background
Well...who knew but they also make nice catmats when you have a tiny slip of a tabby!

What has your cat appropriated lately?