Friday, June 29, 2012

Embroidered Block & Goldie Update

Like most guilds, my guild does a "winner take all" block each month. This is the block due at our July meeting.

I used wool for the heart and flowers. The buttons are attached with only the buttons in the center. I'm pleased with how it turned out!

Most of you know our sweet cat, Goldie, (who isn't gold at all).

Something happened to her Monday morning. We aren't positive what happened but I have a guess. I'll tell you what happened first, then explain my guess.

Monday morning she was underneath our camper yowling in a "help, help" kind of voice. I couldn't get her to come to me. She was in the exact middle of the camper underneath and I could not reach her. I had my son come out to help me. As soon as she say her boy she began to drag herself toward him, yowling the entire time. She could not use her back legs at all! As soon as she came out from underneath the camper, I scooped her up. Then we ran around like mad people collecting keys and shoes and her carrier and flew out the door to the vet. They examined her and took x-rays but could not find anything wrong with her, other than she was obviously in pain and her back side was paralyzed. She has been at the vet ever since.

The vet guesses that she received a severe blow to her back and has swelling that is causing the paralysis. We ruled out getting hit by a car because she has no broken bones or organ damage and we found her a long way from the street. In her condition, I don't think she could have drug herself that far. They are giving her anti-inflammatory meds along with pain medication and are keeping her still and calm in the hopes that she will get better with time. She is eating and drinking a little, but they are giving her extra nutrition and fluids through an IV.

photo from Tuesday's visit

We have been visiting her every day. Yesterday when we got home I cried and cried. She didn't seem to be getting any better. Today however, she was more like her regular self. She was able to move her tail and she was very talkative during our visit. She even sat up on her own for a short time. The vet says that they have notice some movement in her left back leg but not her right side yet. I didn't see that but she did move her tail numerous times for us. Whew! Big sigh of relief today!

photo from today's visit

My guess is that she fell out of our neighbor's aspen tree. She has climbed that tree numerous times and has never gotten herself safely out of it. We have always had to get the step ladder out and climb up to get her. The tree is right next to our camper and there are rocks underneath the tree on our side. There is also a short fence underneath the tree on the property line. So I think she fell from high enough to hurt herself but not high enough to have enough time to land on her feet.

I believe she now only has 8 lives left.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Metro Slouch

I bought the pattern, hardware kit, fabric, battings and stabilizers for this bag a couple of months ago. I finally got around to making it last week.

The Metro Slouch

The pattern is by Lila Tueller Designs

My friend Stephanie made one of these back in April. Click here to see her bag and read her review of the pattern. She did a great review of the pattern and provided some tips (some I wish I had followed)!

This is the most professional looking bag pattern I have ever attempted. The hardware list is quite extensive and I recommend ordering the kit so all your hardware matches. I ordered the pattern and hardware kit together from an Etsy seller. She doesn't have any more hardware kits at the moment or I'd link to her store for you. Ordering information for the hardware kit is available on the pattern though. You just need to contact the designer and you can do that through her blog, Lila Tueller Designs.

The inside of the bag has 5 pockets, three on one side and two on the other.

The flap attaches in the back with Dungaree Buttons.

These are tricky to line up properly. I didn't get them measured out quite right and the flap is puckered a bit as a result. C'est la vie!

I did have some trouble with one of the dungaree buttons. My husband was admiring my bag and it broke. He wasn't handling it rough or anything. These buttons are two pieces, a tack and the button (the two pieces on the packaging in the photo below).

As you can see on the right in the photo above, the head of the tack broke off while the point stayed in the button. Does anybody know what I did wrong? Did I hit it too hard with the hammer putting it in? Or is this one just defective? I've never used dungaree buttons before. I do like the look of them for this bag though. I just bought another set and replaced the broken one. The pattern does give alternate directions for using regular buttons to attach the flap. If these dungaree buttons keep breaking I'll do that instead.

The bag has one pocket on the outside for your phone or a water bottle. You could easily put another pocket on the other side. However, the pattern does not tell you in the materials list that you need a 4.5" piece of 1/4" elastic for the pocket. If you plan to do two pockets you'll need 9" of 1/4" wide elastic.

This bag even has feet!

Overall I'm really happy with my bag. The pattern was well written with plenty of well-labeled diagrams. It's not an inexpensive bag to make though, nor is it what I would call a quick and easy beginner pattern. I do not recommend you try this pattern for your first bag unless you have someone you can call for help with the tricky parts. You need to take your time with this one, read the directions thoroughly and don't rush yourself with it. A walking foot really helps too!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Block 38:

You can see Caroll's version at Attic Window Quilt Shop. Then visit Jenifer at 42 Quilts to see what we will be making this week.

Posts are liable to get a little more intermittent than usual for the next couple of weeks. We have some family activities on the horizon that will pull me away from the computer as well the sewing room. So if I don't post for several days in a row, don't worry. I'm just having too much fun doing other stuff and may not even have internet access to be able to post.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Two Finishes

First, I finished my latest Lattice Quilt (variation) charity quilt.

I must admit that this isn't my favorite arrangement of these blocks. I'm going to try a zig zag pattern with the next one. This one is simply quilted with an allover meander. I'm getting pretty fast with this quilting design. It took me a little over an hour to quilt this little quilt with Hattie! Finished size is about 33" by 45".

Second, isn't completely finished because the binding still needs to be hand sewn to the back. However, my part of this quilt is finished. It's actually my mom's quilt. She asked me to quilt it for her and attach the binding to the front.

I'll be seeing her soon to give it to her. She will hand sew the binding to the back in the car on their long drive back home.

The backing fabric for this one is so cute!

Dresses, hats, shoes, and hangers. It also says "let's play dress up" over and over in between the rows of outfits.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reindeer #3

I'm keeping up with the Reindeer Games embroidery blocks.

My third block is done!

The winner take all block this month for my guild is also embroidery. It's a little basket of flowers. I started it last night but am not far enough along for it to be photo worthy. I'll be sure to show it to you when I get further along with it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

An Interesting Project

A friend and fellow guild member was recently gifted six boxes like this.

The boxes are full of drapery samples, approximately 12.5" by 12.5" in size with a card attached to one side.

She brought the above box with her to guild last Saturday and spent the meeting ripping out the stitches that attached the cards to the fabrics. We got to talking about these and what in the world one could possibly use these for. The only thing we came up with was bags. I have since thought about pin cushions too. Do you have any suggestions?

The other catch is that we are suppose to use these for charity. I don't think these would make good quilts. Many of the fabrics probably aren't even washable. Our plan is to make bags (or something else) from them, try to sell them and give the money to charity or spend it on supplies for charity quilts.

She gave me the box of samples to play with. I have several ideas but have only had time to execute one so far.

side one

side two
A simple unlined bag. Three of the edges of these fabric samples are already serged so I didn't even do french seams on the inside. The handles are left over nylon webbing from another project. It's not a large bag, about 9.5" tall by 11" wide. My other bag ideas involve lining, boxing the corners, and adding separate side and bottom pieces. I'm just going to play until I come up with something I really like. The above bag is nice and simple, but I think I can do better.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Last Thursday I went to Taos, NM for the day. It's about an hour and a half drive from Alamosa, CO so it makes a nice day trip. I went with my P.E.O. chapter. One of our members lives in Taos. We had our meeting then spent the rest of the day having lunch, shopping and enjoying each other's company. It was such a nice girls day out!

My first stop was Taos Adobe Quilting. The shop is not large, but they carry mostly brights, geometric prints, southwest prints and batiks.

Here's what I bought:

One yard each of every A Stitch in Color print they had. I have an idea now for my A Stitch in Color fat quarters and some yardage might come in handy.

Some Art of Possibility fat quarter bundles. Not all the prints are Art of Possibility fabrics but they all go nicely together.

Art of Possibility is a licensing agency that represents physically disabled artists under the Art of Possibility brand. Some of the prints above were done by a legally blind artist. I just love his work!

Some London Calling fat quarters and two others I just liked (two on the bottom right).

Whew! Good thing I only go to Taos about once a year! I bought a few other things, not fabric/quilt related too. I can't show those because they will be gifts.

In unrelated shopping, Interweave Press had their annual Hurt Book Sale recently. I decided to give these books a good home.

This is the first time I have bought anything from their Hurt Book Sale. I was very surprised when these arrived in what I would consider excellent condition. Maybe they are emotionally hurt because no one wanted them? In any case, I got three great books for less that $50, including shipping. The middle one and left one have been on my wish list for a while and the right one is a brand new release.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Block 37:

One of my geese is flying the wrong way! I thought about fixing it then decided it adds to the charm to have it wrong.

Go see if Caroll got all her geese going the same direction. Then visit Jenifer at 42 Quilts to see what we will be making this week.

Our little Goldie turned 2 years old last week. Here she is in "her spot" in the front yard.

The plant is cat mint and the cats do like it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


My art group is doing 12" by 12" projects this year on a theme. I put a bunch of words on slips of paper and we draw a new one every month or so. The latest theme is "flowers."

I decided that these projects are an excellent opportunity to try something new. For this one I tried out some new-to-me paints and carved my own stamps. Here are my supplies:

I carved a leaf shape out of an eraser (the white block on top of the paints) and a petal shape from a carving block (the beige block below the paints). I used a Speedball linoleum cutter to carve the shapes. Both the eraser and the carving block were very easy to carve with my Speedball cutters. I also used a purchased swirl stamp and some little foam stencil brushes.

Here is my painted/stamped piece:

The paint didn't turn out as dark as I would have liked. I don't know if it was because of the green background fabric or because I didn't use enough paint or what. Oh well! After the paint cures I'll add some quilting. This paint didn't make the fabric stiff or anything. I really like that! And once you heat set the paint, it is washable and dry cleanable. So it would be good for clothing or even a quilt you would want to wash.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just Because

I made a few more pin cushions using this Cathedral Window tutorial.

The blue button with red dots and the green button with blue dots are handmade buttons. I got them specifically to use with this pin cushion pattern. The two blue buttons are from my stash. I have no plan for these other than one will be mine. I gave away the first one I made with this pattern and have been wanting one for myself ever since.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Modern Monday Quilt Along

Block 36 - the "H" block:

And a group shot:

I'm still not sure how I will be putting these blocks together. All I know for sure is that I don't want to sash them and sew them together in rows. Jenifer is planning 64 blocks so I may be getting two or three quilts out of these blocks. Or maybe I'll make a reversible quilt, hmmm ....

Caroll is using gray, orange and white with a touch of blue for her blocks. Visit her at Attic Window Quilt Shop to see her version of the "H" block. If you are interested in what we will be making this week you can visit Jenifer at 42 Quilts.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Oh My Stars Finished Top

Whew! I've got the top done!

I'm really thrilled with how this turned out! It's bigger than my design wall and it's too windy to get a picture of it outside today.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bitten By the Embroidery Bug

I finished my second Reindeer.

He looks like he has had a bit too much eggnog!

Since I have been enjoying these reindeer, I thought I'd try a pattern I have admired for a while.

A lady in my guild did up this pattern and brought it for show and tell some time ago. It was so cute! You use crayons to color in the embroidery too. I don't know if you do that before or after stitching since I haven't read the pattern yet. But it sure adds another dimension to the piece.

I bought this half yard bundle of Guising fabrics to use for the borders from the Intrepid Thread.

I look forward to getting started on this but I want to finish my Star project before beginning this one.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Hazards of Working at a Quilt Shop

I've been working at Heartstrings and Heirlooms about 2 months now, just once a week and one Saturday a month. I am really enjoying my job but it's not without its perils.

First, the fabric calls to me all day and I come home with more fabric than I will probably ever use.

Fat Quarter Bundle of Kate Spain's Good Fortune
Second, I come home with new projects I never intended to do and don't really need.

This is a Ruffle Knit Scarf. The yarn is so pretty! I couldn't resist. I don't know how to knit and I can make this scarf. I learned by watching this video. It is surprisingly relaxing to make these. Any friends and family reading this, don't be surprised if you get one of these for Christmas this year! I've made four already.

The way I am doing these I can get two scarves from one ball of yarn.