Friday, July 31, 2009

A giveway worth trying for at Badland Quilts!

Karen at Badland Quilts is doing a sweet giveaway- a Soiree Honeybun! If you scoot over there, you can have a shot at winning it, too. Her blog is really nice, so become a follower, you'll be glad you did.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The things you do for love.......

We have 4 cats, 3 are grown and 1 is a kitten. The kitten is too small to go outside yet, so it's difficult because the big cats come and go thru a series of small cat doors. One lets them into the garage and another at the top of the stairs lets them into the laundry room area. They come and go as they please which means that we can't let Nosey Parker out of our room at night because we don't want her following them outside. This creates a problem for our oldest dog who likes to wander around at night and go get drinks of water. (She doesn't want the water that we keep in our bathroom for her, nooooo, she wants laundry room water.)
So we had to come up with a way to keep NP in the house, once she figures out what that flappy thing does. Currently she doesn't weigh quite enough to break the magnetic catch at the bottom, but it won't be long as she weighed in at 3 whole pounds on Thursday at the vet's office. Piglet.

I glued velcro strips to the flap. Glued popsicle sticks together and glued corks to them. More velcro on the corks.

One of the corks is so fitting since all 3 of our boys are lunchy. :)

Now at night we can put the "lock" onto the flap and like the roach motel or Hotel California, the big cats can check in but they can't check out. So instead of getting up to let Paisley out for a drink, we'll be getting up to let big cats who feel trapped out of big doors. But at least the baby will be safe in the house!
I made a couple of pillowcases for a friend of mine out of Alexander Henry's "Spotted Owl" fabric in the light aqua blue colorway. They are SO cute! I trimmed them with a Kaffe Fasset Teal Paperweight material and a bit of a pink mottled fabric. I just love these cases! I hate that it costs so much to make a pillowcase, though, especially when the design runs from selvage to selvage, making it take 1.25 yards of just the main fabric to get a decent sized case. Then add in the trim fabric and you need another 1/4 yard, sheesh. Yes, I have some little scraps of fabric left over, but not enough to make anything substantial out of it. And I really hate to whine about the cost of good fabric, but my job has fizzled out and I'm not earning anything these days. And I refuse to buy crappy fabric, I just won't do it. See what a conundrum it is?

I love 'em, though, they came out so cute! This is such great fabric. I want to keep these! lol And I may get to if my friend decides the price is ridiculous. And I wouldn't blame her a bit. Who pays $40 for a pair of pillowcases these days? Not me, that's for sure. It's crazy expensive to sew.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Just to let you know about a giveaway.....

Taiya at A Cargo of Joy is having a lovely giveaway! If you'd like a chance at some nice Figgy Pudding fabric, here's your chance. I think it's so nice when people do this. I'm going to have to do one as soon as I build up some readership, I would like to give a chance to several peeps to return the favor somehow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kitten poses and new quilt along....

Nosey Parker is one of the cutest, busiest and most entertaining kittens we've ever had. Because she's an "only child" as far as her age goes, she's commanding a lot of our attention and makes us laugh constantly. She is growing like a weed and learning at an alarming rate, she's fearless and yet respectful when she gets hissed at by the big boys. Respectful in that she backs off, for the moment, but it's not crushing her spirit one little bit- those boys are liable to be the next victims of a drive-by at any moment. :) She's pretty fast, did I mention that? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzoooooooom, she's here and she's gone.
She can now jump from the counter to the island to the sink. Oy. Nothing is safe from her now. Got a box or bag of food on the counter? Not for long! No sir, not with Parker on the loose. She's ravenous and demented and the little booger showed us her temper yesterday. We went to cut her nails and she wasn't ready to stop playing for 2 minutes and she got ugly with her daddy. It was actually pretty funny now because she's little, but if she keeps that up and does it when she's grown, it'll be scary.

Looks sweet and innocent, doesn't she? Ha. And when she tuckers out, she's DONE. She'll plop down just anywhere and crash, no matter if it's comfy or not.

Yesterday she figured out how to jump or scramble up onto previously "safe" places, now she's in windows and on ironing boards and cutting tables, oh man, the world is a dangerous place when you don't know from nuthin'. Thank goodness for the net, she was walking the stair rail over the staircase yesterday and I had slippery fabric on it, if that net hadn't been there, I'd have been having a stroke.

There are a few safe and warm places, though, like cuddled up with Artemis and Daddy on the sofa. Or lurking behind the broom (that needs to be used!) waiting to pounce on Sammie who is busy swimming in the water bowl.

And there's always camouflage, that can work, too.

Well, it's time for a new quilt along! This time we're all going to make zigzag quilts. These are the fabrics I think I'm going to use. This is for the foot of our bed where the cats spend a lot of time, this will be much nicer than towels that don't match the pretty bedding.

There's a button on the right side of the page you can click if you are interested in joining in or just watching what gets created, please join us- it's so much fun!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cuteness to the 10th degree....

Peek-a-BOO! The baby is having fun playing in her big brothers' old bed underneath a tatty old kitty quilt that I made over 20 years ago. It's totally worn out and falling apart but it's SO soft, she just loves it. OK, I just love it more. lol

There's some poor white trash in this house!

And all flaked out of the 4th of July, in her red/white/blue collar. She slept thru any fireworks, as did we! This "getting up at 4:30 to play with the kitten" stuff is wearing us out!

"MOHM! At least let me fix my face before you snap a picture!" Caught her in mid-yawn.

"Do you love me, Mom? Am I just the cutest thing ever?" Yes, dearheart- you are! And I do. And so does Daddy.

Doesn't she look calm here? IT'S ALL AN ACT! She's such a little faker. lol

Ask the other cats, they'll rat her out! She's a little crazed monster but she's so much fun and so cute and entertaining. And when she crawls into your lap for a little nap, your heart just about bursts because you know- she NEEDS you! And she wants you,it's so flattering.
Yes. We ARE saps!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

My coin quilt saga- from A to Z....

I started to make a quilt in early June, in a hurry to catch up with a quilt-along. The premise was to use 12 different fabrics to make 42 blocks that each consisted of 6 strips. It required a half-yard of each of the 12 fabrics. Well, I didn't have 12 half-yard pieces that went together, but I had a ton of bright colored fat quarters and thought I could make that work. So you can see the fabrics in the first photo- it doesn't show all of them, but you get the drift. And I sewed them into random blocks and laid them out of the floor. EW! I didn't like the results at all, it was too bright, too busy, no cohesion at all. So I folded the blocks in half and liked that a lot better, especially having them all going one way, like a coin stack. So my quilt was off in a different direction!
Of course, I needed more order to my quilt, so I started unstitching the blocks. Phew. I'm still doing that, actually, 210 seams is a lot of seams to unpick. Anyway, I reorganized the strips, added some more different ones, took some away, etc. I even used some of them to make "Pity Potholders", things that I hope will generate some pity income to compensate for me having cut up $100 worth of fat quarters into strips that won't make it into a quilt. I've also made some of them into "Scrappy Neck Wrappies" and I even sold one on Etsy. Woo! I'm $6.50 out of the hole! lol
When I was laying out coins, I had a helper- my big boy, Murphy. Then Nosey Parker emerged onto the scene, what a little cutie-pie! I had to time my sewing to her naps, she's kind of excitable.
And finally, I got it finished. I made lemonade out of lemons, so to remind me of my mistakes and lessons learned, I used lemon fabric on the back of the quilt and named it "Lemonade". And we all like it, especially Nosey Parker. It's on the loveseat and she's using it at bedtime to wear herself out, playing on it, climbing it, tearing around like a nut and doing somersaults, it's pretty hysterical to watch. Hopefully she won't damage it before we've had time to enjoy it!
It measures about 63" x 82", the biggest one I've done so far. (I've only done 2, I guess "bigger" would be the proper word to use.) :) I used white Kona cotton for the sashing and borders and I machine quilted it using a stipple stitch. It washed and dried and crinkled up SO nicely!

And there you have it- a stacked coin quilt that was supposed to be something completely different. I guess you just never know what's going to happen, do you?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The bigger they are, the harder they fall....

We had to have an old dead oak tree removed from the property last week. It just died, it had a tiny bit of rot inside the base and a fungus was growing on it. Because of its location near to the house, concrete driveway and fenced yard, we decided to hire a tree service to do it, they're insured and had a huge bucket truck which was really helpful as the limbs wanted to pull the tree towards the house. So Mike's Tree Service came out and in about 3 hours, on one of the hottest days of the year, trimmed off most of the branches and dropped the tree into the old garden area.
This is before-

This is during- most of the side branches are off now-
And this is after-

There's a lot of work to be done, the guys cut up the biggest pieces as our chain saw isn't big enough to go halfway through the trunk.

This is just from some of the branches-

Main trunk and where it split into 3 big sections, there's another stack just like this one-
And just for size reference-

The really hard part will be wrestling these 200 pound chunks into the log splitter, poor Jim! Oh, he counted the rings in the base- 123 years old, approximately. Wow. Beeswax used to climb this tree, just to scare me to death, I think. I used to see him up in it but never saw him come down it, I have no idea how he did it.

One funny coincidence- Mike, from the tree service is married to Debbie. She works at our vet's office. I asked him if he had seen the 4 white kittens that the clinic had raised and he said not only had he seen them, he'd helped feed them as they all took turns bringing the litter home at night to care for them. He had fed Nosey Parker! He was so excited to see her again and he was glad that we had her. He kissed her on her head. lol It was so cute.