Sunday, July 24, 2011

A kitten in the Studio

We got a kitten a couple of months ago. My husband got her from the neighbor, after much cajoling from the grandchildren who were visiting at the time. Mr. Handsome really wants a dog, but after having/raising dogs (Labs) for the first 20 or so years of marriage, I put my foot down and now there are no dogs for the next 20 years (that's fair, right?). I am actually allergic to dogs (an allergy I have developed in my old age) AND I don't really even care for dogs. I (reasonably) told Mr. Handsome that when he retires, he can get a dog, because then HE will be here to take care of it all day, when normally it's ME here at home when the dog runs out of water, gets out of the yard, is barking it's fool head off, pooping where children/grandchildren step in it, chewing up things, etc. while he is at work, blissfully unaware of how much trouble a dog really is. I know I may sound hard-hearted to you dog-lovers out there, but that's the truth as I see it.
Anyway - back to this kitten, Tinkerbell, now that she survived the grandchildren's extended visit she gets sort of bored with just the two of us here. So, she tends to make her own fun, which generally includes hauling things around that she's discovered in various places around the house, and last night, while I was sewing on this quilt for #5 grandbaby:

She was running at the trashcans I have in my studio, knocking them over and crawling inside to haul out bits of fabric, paper, etc. So now, after picking up the trash, this is what it looks like around here:
She also knocks down any fabric pieces I have sitting around near my sewing machine and is working hard to pull down my design wall. Every time I get up to use the iron, this is what I find when I return:
She looks very comfortable, doesn't she?
P.S. Her nickname is Stinkerbell.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lazy Summer Days

It's been pretty quiet around here since Brooke and brood left last month. I finally finished this baby:
I've been working on it for 4 years!!!! I originally took a class to learn how to applique and it was hard and some of my applique is terrible. The newer stuff is still nowhere near perfect, but I like to think I am improving somewhat. This is one of my favorite blocks (sorry about the sideways-ness). I tried to do some fancy quilting like the quilting done by my friend on my last quilt, but as you can see, I've got a ways to go...

I made a couple of matching pillows and they are all going to go to live at the condo - the quilt will be hanging on the wall. Yesterday was the annual July Quilt Fair and I did not buy a quilt, even though I bid on a couple of small things. I did NOT let that auctioneer suck me in - I am proud of myself! I did buy lots of fun stuff though:

(No, I didn't buy the kitten - that's Tinkerbell, always in my business). I got a couple of darling kits, some fabulous fabric a couple of patterns, some great flannel on sale for $5 a yard, and some fun Jillilly red thimble stickers. I hate real thimbles, so I use the little pads you stick on your fingers and since now they come in red instead of boring tan, I had to get some. I do enjoy shopping at the vendor mall - it's my kind of shop hop - not piling in and out of the car, driving all over the place, re-sweating each time you get into your hot vehicle, etc. Anyway, great day all around! Today I am going to sort through my stack of quilting magazines - pull the patterns I might use and toss the magazines! (I am feeling pretty ambitious for sure!)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mini Quilt Finished

Here is the pattern:

And here is my interpretation of it (out of my stash):

It's called (wait for it) "Batik Flowers"

The Pattern is from the magazine "American Patchwork & Quilting" Aug. 2011 issue, by Annemarie S. Yohnk of Quilts Remembered. I, of course, tweaked it a tiny bit.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Who Knew?

Since Brooke and her precious babies went back to Missouri, I have been trying to get down to the quilt studio everyday. It has been really fun! I made a cute mini quilt for the Quilt Festival coming up this fall - I just have to get it quilted and then I'll post it. What's been really fun is just thinking about quilting more - colors, designs, ideas, projects, techniques, retreats, etc. I've just sent in my registration for 2 quilt retreats this fall and am getting excited for them too.

I was thinking today about something that I wore in HIGH SCHOOL - you know, like 30 years ago!!! and how happy I was that the stripe in the heel of my shoe, matched part of my blouse and my pants, etc. I always loved "pulling it all together" with touches of color. Mind you I was no "best dressed" kind of girl at all, but I enjoyed clothes, (when they weren't feeling too tight). I was thinking about how this has come all the way into my old age - pulling in colors in my quilts - the center blocks, borders, binding, etc. I really enjoy choosing the fabrics and colors for my quilt projects. When I first started quilting, 6 years ago, I mostly bought "kits" - all the colors were chosen for me. I felt I had enough to do with just constructing the quilt. I progressed to charm packs (Okay, I haven't really gotten past the allure of charm packs, layer cakes, jelly rolls, etc. but I digress) where, again the colors were all there, but I chose borders, binding, etc. I do still use pre-cuts, but I find I really am enjoying branching out and picking my own colors - fondling fabric, dreaming about colors, wondering if there's something under my pile of unruly stash that would be perfect (and did I buy enough of it??) Anyway, once again feeling grateful and happy about my fantastic quilting life, I mean hobby.

PS. I made raspberry jam today - a bit easier than peach jam - no peeling, pitting, cutting - only a little smashing...

(Don't ask me about that random bit leftover, I wasn't going to throw it away!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grandma's Lemonade Stand

I finally finished this quilt. My daughter helped me name it: "Grandma's Lemonade Stand". It's from the book "Gathered from the Garden" by Cindy Lammon. I tweaked it a little. I am going to enter it in a quilt show. I have never entered a quilt before, so I am a little nervous. I am certainly not expecting to win anything, but I think it will be fun to have it in the show.

The quilting is amazing! It was done by my friend, Kim Peterson of Kimberwood Quilting. I usually quilt my own quilts, but I wanted it to look extra special and it does!

The big news around here is that Amanda and Jeremy are getting married at the end of this month. We are so excited for them!