Thursday, February 16, 2017

Happy Campers

Cameron has received his baby quilt! I call it Happy Campers.
Good thing the quilt is big enough for Cameron and big brother Logan to share!
This is another Warm Wishes baby quilt. Check out the Winnie the Pooh version I made last year for baby Nate. (You can download the pattern for free here.) Happy Campers uses the same colors, just the values are different. Cameron's fabrics are bright and cheery while Nate's are more of a pastel tone. I added outer borders to Cameron's quilt because I had extra focus fabric. I am excited to report that except for the main fabric, all of the other fabric came from my stash!

The focus fabric is a camping theme. My dear friend Anna (Cameron and Logan's Mom) and I chose it when I visited her in Florida last winter and she told me that she was pregnant. It has been beautifully machine quilted by my blogging friend Val, who found the most perfect camping pantograph complete with a camp fire, an owl, a dragonfly and more!

Here's a picture of the quilt minus the boys.
I also made Cameron a flannel blankie because I found this adorable flannel on sale and I couldn't leave it behind.
I embroidered his name on the other side and finished it with a wide satin blanket binding.
I also made two pillowcases for Logan. One is made from the same flannel as brother Cameron's blankie and the other has Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles on it (and of course I sent a TMN t-shirt too).
Anna said that both pillowcases had to go on the bed as soon as they came out of the box.


Linking up on Friday to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Fabric Frenzy Friday, TGIFF, Let's Make Baby Quilts and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy

Monday, February 13, 2017

Virtual Sewing Day

I have not sewn for an entire week and I have driven myself up the wall. Yesterday, despite imminent snow warnings, I picked up Marion and we set off for our monthly Brown Baggers quilt meeting. We sat alone in the conference room, receiving emails and phone calls from the other girls saying they weren't coming, until I finally threw my hands up and cancelled the event. Marion and I consoled ourselves by heading over to Joann Fabrics and buying some fabric before I dropped her off at home.

Lori dutifully reported in yesterday with a finished project. She wrote:
First up, just finished baby quilt for a friend of mine. Her daughter was a bridesmaid a few years ago and now that bride is pregnant with a baby girl. My friend’s daughter wanted to take her bridesmaid dress and have it made into a quilt. This is the hottest pink you’ve every seen. It’s PugMom Pink, as I like to say. And the pink was polyester. I cut apart the dress (size 0 so not much fabric), backed it with interfacing and made a simple Irish Chain. The flowers at the bottom were from the top of the dress. I quilted the open white squares with heart wreaths and quilted chained hearts in the border. Then I washed it to crinkle things up.
Isn't this a lovely baby quilt? And it's definitely PugMom Pink!
Here's a close-up of Lori's quilting.
I finally made it to my Studio yesterday afternoon and spent several hours cutting fabric for our annual birthday blocks. This year's block is from Colorful Quilts, the pattern is called Club Noir. The blocks finish to 6.5"x10.5" and we are making three blocks for each recipient.
Here are some of the blocks that Marion received for her birthday last month. She chose Kaffe Fassett fabrics.
I cut and I cut, and I cut. I used my Accuquilt GO cutter to cut all the 1.5" strips for the sashing. Then I cut out the other pieces with my rotary cutter. Since 11 out of the 15 participants wanted Kaffe fabrics, I cut enough to make all the girls' blocks through the end of the year, with the idea that I'd also make an extra set for myself.
Here's my pile of finished cut and sorted fabric. Sadly, it doesn't look like much.
Although my little piles look sad, these blocks go together really quickly once you finish agonizing over your fabric choices. And they're big blocks!

We've had a mild winter, but this week we've had two snow storms in the past three days. Here are some snow pictures for you.




Elvis!
Elvis and LarryPug. Their coats are from Lands End and we've had them for years. They keep the pugs nice and warm in the snow. Larry even has his name monogrammed on his!
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy

Monday, January 30, 2017

A Kaffe-tastic Weekend!

Hello Dear Blogging Friends!

Today's post will be short on words and long on photos! We spent our annual winter quilting weekend (we've lost track but think it was our 18th year) at the Cape. This post contains all the quilt tops and works in progress we made with our favorite Kaffe Fassett collection fabrics.
My Swoon blocks in progress. They are very large blocks.
I finished two and a half blocks. I have five made, four more to go. They are not hard, they just have a LOT of pieces. I purchased this as a block of the month kit several years ago from Waterwheel House Quilt Shop in Vermont.
Kim G.'s beautiful finished quilt top from the Quilts in Italy book.
Perhaps the lighting is better in this shot?
A close-up
Pat's amazing Kaffe quilt top. Pat purchased this kit several years ago as a block of the month from an online shop. I call it "border of the month" since it is lots and lots of borders around a beautiful appliqued center medallion.
Marion's gorgeous Kaffe scrap quilt top. These were our birthday blocks from a couple of years ago.
Cordula's Bowls and Vases quilt top. This was a Kaffe 20th anniversary kit. Cordula and Kim G. have both made this quilt. They bought the kit online. One purchased it from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and one purchased it from Hancock Fabrics. One of the shops was $100 less. It pays to comparison-shop! Apologies again for the bad mood lighting.
A close-up.
Both quilts in progress below use the same blocks. This is the Dresden Squared pattern from the Missouri Star Quilt Company that we selected as our group birthday block last year.
Joan S. squared off her blocks and is auditioning fabric for her centers.
Joanne S. left her blocks as circles and appliqued them with a satin stitch. Check out the cool design that the chevron printed fabric makes in the fan blades. Her polka dot fabric is really jazzy!
This is Karen's own pattern, Forever Yours. You can find it here. I love the bright reds and oranges that she used. It looks completely different than the current version on her pattern cover. I can't wait to see it when it's finished.
This is Karen's newest pattern to be published soon. We're looking for a good name. Any suggestions?
Thanks for visiting! Come back soon to see our other weekend projects made with non-Kaffe fabric.

Linking up on Friday to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, WIP's Be Gone and CrazyMom Quilts.

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy

Thursday, January 19, 2017

So Happy It's Thursday #3!

My blogging friend Lee Anna recently explained that my So Happy It’s Thursday post does NOT have to be about things that only take place on Thursday, but rather things that have made me happy during the week. Eureka! Moment of clarity for me…
Here is my gorgeous LarryPug showing off my Valentine's Day quilt. All it needs is a binding. See #3 for details!
  1. I got a package from England! Lucy Dillon sent me a copy of her newest book, All I Ever Wanted, along with a hand-written note after I had sent her a message on FaceBook asking when it would be available in the U.S. She doesn't have a U.S. publisher yet. If you like chick literature (aka chick lit) and dogs, you must read Lucy Dillon’s novels. In Ms. Dillon’s latest novel, there are two pugs and one of the characters is named Nancy. Obviously a must read for me!
  2. Today at work I was notified that two of my client communication campaigns will receive national industry awards in March. This is always exciting because it makes my clients very happy and it make me look good! They get a trophy, I get a pat on the back.
  3. I have two quilts ready for binding, both beautifully machine quilted by my blogging friend Val, plus I have three more quilts getting close to that stage! Looks like 2017 will be a good year for finished quilts.
    I've stolen this photo of my own quilt right from Val's blog. This quilt is for Cameron, my friend Anna's second baby. It is the largest baby quilt ever. He'll be able to use it until he goes to high school.
  4. Mike's cousin sent me a gift certificate for my favorite restaurant, Delfino, as a thank you gift for a quilt that I sent to her.
    Here is Ruby with her new quilt. I made this quilt eons ago but have never used it much. It is made from Brown Bagger birthday blocks from many, many years ago. I re-homed it with Mike's cousin who had admired it when she saw it on my blog (also shown here).
  5. We had a kick-ass birthday party for Marion last Sunday at our Brown Baggers quilt group. Marion will celebrate a milestone birthday on January 30th. We treated her in royal style with an enormous chocolate cake, Chinese food for lunch, lots of presents, PLUS a gift certificate to the Missouri Star Quilt Company.
    Let them eat cake and buy fabric!
  6. My Dad turned 87 on Tuesday. Happy Birthday Dad! I sent him a gift cart to Wal-Mart, which is his Happy Place.
  7. I finished the top of my nephew Ben’s quilt on Monday night. Can’t wait to make the back and send it off to be quilted.
    I like big quilts and I can not lie... this is a super-size twin quilt, measuring 70"x96" because my sister-in-law told me to make it long so Benny can pull it over his head while he sleeps. This is the quilt top before I added solid black borders all the way around.
    I’m really glad that this week is almost over. I confess that I’ve felt glum most of the week, despite all the wonderful things that happened. I’m looking forward to next weekend when the Brown Baggers will head to Cape Cod for our annual winter quilt retreat. I’m hoping to sew a lot of quilt bindings!
Thanks for visiting! Linking up with Lee Anna.

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

So Happy It's Thursday #2!

I'm not sure how I haven't written a blog post in 20 days, because in my head, I've published several... Odd, isn't it.

Anyways, after an hour long phone call with my good friend Lee Anna, blogging goddess and the creator of the I Like Thursday series, I had enough inspiration to write a new So Happy It's Thursday post. I've been slaving away in the office all month, and I've had a hard week, but amazingly, I found some sunshine and rainbows among the black clouds.

So without further ado...
  1. Project Runway Junior returns! Hooray! I've watched Project Runway since it began and I think Project Runway Junior is just as good, if not better. It is so fun to see the younger designers create and work together. Plus they are kind to each other and don't talk smack like the older bunch. Do you watch Project Runway?
  2.  It's Eggnog season! I love eggnog! I try to buy the light version. It is so yummy!
  3.  Romeo turns 15 on Friday! He will definitely get a special birthday post.
  4. Here is my darling boy Romeo and my handsome husband Mike.
  5. Thursday will be my Friday at the office! And I won't be going back to work until January 3rd! Although I will bring my laptop home because I do have a few things to keep an eye on.
  6. I love animal prints! I love to wear leopard print and zebra print. I think I have enough animal print clothing to wear a different outfit for at least a month. And that includes animal print jewelry, shoes, sneakers, etc...
  7. I love my cleaning people! Ramos and Claire are so nice and it is always thrilling to come home to a squeaky clean house every other Wednesday!
  8. I won two quilty give-aways this month. Both prizes arrived this week. The first package came all the way from Australia from Toni at The Red Boot Quilt Company who mailed me a wonderful package with Heat and Bond Inkjet Transfer Sheets and two of her patterns. I also received a beautiful bundle of five fat quarters from Stephanie through the SewMamaSew give-away day. Hooray for quilting goodies!

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy

Thursday, December 1, 2016

So Happy It's Thursday! #1

My darling friend Lee Anna has started a new blog series, entitled "I like Thursdays." As a working person, I don't much like Thursdays except that they usually mean that Friday is not far behind and Project Runway will be on television that night. I prefer to watch PR without commercials and I don't like to stay up late, so I record it on TIVO and watch it the next day or over the weekend.

Anyways, I had a pretty good day today and it inspired a So Happy It's Thursday post.

1. I adore my friend Lee Anna. First she was a blogging friend, then we had the chance to meet in person and I adored her even more. She's a part of my every day life, even if she is far away, and we usually talk on the phone at least once a week. We're kindred spirits. Plus she likes Project Runway too, so we get to discuss it!
Our first meeting at the Houston Quilt Festival in 2014.
2. And then there's the Pug Pack. I start my morning by taking these adorable little fellows to the park each morning. Today was a really good day because everyone pooped and peed outside, which is a victory, when your Pug boys are 15, 14 and 7.5. My 14-year old pug, Elvis, is actually the most house-broken. Romeo, age 15, never had an accident until he became quite elderly. LarryPug just likes to mark for fun. The Pug boys bring joy to my life every day.
From left to right: Romeo, LarryPug and Elvis. This photo was taken a few years ago before Romeo went blind.
3. Got some holiday shopping done without leaving the office. My friend Dianne made this fabulous, hand-made Christmas present for my friend Carol. I'm pretty sure that Carol doesn't read my blog. Hey Carol, if you're reading this, let me know and I'll give it to you early! If you want to order one, send me an email and I'll put you in touch with my friend Dianne. My email, of course, is Pugmomquilts. It is at gmail.com.
My friend Dianne and her husband Rich are making and selling these beautiful wooden leash holders, customized with your dog's name on it. Carol's dogs are Harry and Bella. That is my handsome husband Mike doing his Vanna imitation.
Here's a close-up
4. Lunch was delicious! I had shrimp tempura rolls and rainbow cookies!

5. The weather was unseasonably warm in Boston! In celebration, I had a chocolate frappe (milkshake to those of you not from New England). It went very well with the shrimp tempura rolls and the rainbow cookies.

6. I went to the fabric store at lunch time and hit the mother lode on the remnant table. At Sewphisticated Discount Fabrics, remnants are $2.49 a yard. The top two fabrics are Phillip Jacobs from his Snow Leopard line. The fairy print is from Riley Blake. The tiger striped fabric is an African import and it was $3.99 a yard. Whoever said that money can't buy happiness never struck gold at the fabric store!
You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much fabric.
And in celebration of my first So Happy It's Thursday post, I am offering up a little contest. How much fabric (in yards) did I buy at the fabric store today and how much did I spend? I'll come up with some type of prize for the person who gets the closest answer without going over. Write your answer in the comment section of this blog post. UPDATE: the contest is now closed. The winner is Valerie who correctly guessed that I bought 20 yards of fabric. No-one really came close to the dollar amount. I think I spent about $65, but think about how much money I saved!

Thanks for visiting!

Linking up with Lee Anna's I Like Thursdays late at night on Thursday.

And what is better than Thursday? Why Friday, of course! Linking up on Friday to Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy




Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving Road Trip 2016

From Thursday to Sunday, Mike and I visited 52 relatives and friends (we counted them on the way home) in three states, driving over 600 miles (we lost count). We left the house at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and pointed the car towards our first stop in New Jersey.
Mike behind the wheel of the PugMobile!
Overall, our trip down on Thursday was uneventful. We rocked out to seventies music on Sirius radio. Traffic was fairly moderate. We hit some slow spots in Connecticut and towards the Tappan Zee Bridge into New York. A few rain drops fell as we approached the bridge, but mostly the weather was clear and not too cold.


We used the GPS and the WAZE app, but both kept trying to take us to the George Washington Bridge. Fortunately, we knew to avoid that! It was pretty smooth sailing after we made our way over the bridge.
By 2:30 p.m., we made it to Scotch Plains, NJ, to enjoy a delicious Dim Sum lunch with my brother Gary, his wife Susie, and our friend Phil. This is one of our new favorite Thanksgiving traditions. You know, the warm-up dinner before the big dinner.
The waiter took a lovely photo of us and it looks even better after I cropped out the dirty dishes on the table!
Our tummies full, we hopped back in the car and made it to Lafayette Hills, PA, by 6:30 p.m., in time to eat some more food with Mike's Mom's side of the family, at their annual Thanksgiving dinner hosted by Mike's cousin Robin. Robin's husband, David, is a musician. While Mike went upstairs to check out David's three new guitars in his music studio, I fixed Robin's sewing machine.
It is a lovely vintage Kenmore. I re-threaded it and adjusted the presser foot tension. I made a new friend when I used it to repair three-year old cousin Holden's luvvie.
We spent the night at Mike's parents' house in Wilmington, DE. The next morning, we had breakfast with our friends Matt and Mary Kate, who were also home in Delaware visiting their families. Mike and Matt have been friends since high school and Matt was the best man at our wedding. At 6'8", he was taller than our Chuppah (wedding canopy).
I re-homed another quilt with Matt and Mary Kate. Mary Kate is a fellow pink-lover! We also share the same birthday!
Although our ultimate destination was Ocean City, NJ, for the rest of the weekend, we had another detour planned! My blogging friend Mari had just moved to Wilmington, DE, and she was only about 10 miles from Mike's parents, so we had to drop by and see her new house!
PugMomQuilts! and The Academic Quilter
While Mike hung out with Mari's husband Larry (aka LarryMan, so as not to be confused with LarryPug), Mari gave me a tour of her new sewing space. She is very organized! Look at her beautiful fabric collection all neatly wrapped on comic book boards!

Here are some of her beautiful blocks in progress on her design wall.
Mari showed me so many of her lovely quilts but I didn't photograph any. You will have to visit her blog to see them.
I picked up these lovely fabrics on Black Friday without having to hit the mall, during my visit with Mari. Mari is hosting a lovely event that she has named the Gratitude Sale. All proceeds are being donated to charity. She is holding the Gratitude Sale through the end of the year. Please check it out and if you buy anything, please tell her that you read about it on my blog! If you enjoyed my Judy Niemeyer post, Mari has a couple of her patterns listed for sale here (just scroll down towards the bottom). Remember, shopping with Mari is a mitzvah (good deed)!

Our visit with Mari and LarryMan over, we got back in the car and headed towards Ocean City, NJ, site of the annual family reunion with Mike's Dad's side of the family. Every year, they rent an entire floor of the Watson hotel, and we eat Thanksgiving dinner for two more days. The rooms are mini suites with kitchens and living rooms, so I always bring my sewing machine because I have plenty of room to spread out.
Saturday breakfast with Mike's family. From top, nephew Sam, Mike's Mom Bobbie, sister Susan (yes, I have two sister-in-laws with almost the same name, although Gary's Susie is really a Suzanne), my brother-in-law, Paul, Mike's Dad Norman, and Mike. Not seen is nephew Josh who had been dropped off in Poughkeepsie, NY, for a cross country meet the day before (I think Paul was trying to challenge our driving record for the weekend)
I made two fleece blankets on Saturday afternoon while Mike strolled the Boardwalk with his Dad and brother-in-law. Mike was a sweetie and returned to the hotel with fudge!
11-year old cousin Yael, shown with Mom Sarah, loved her new cupcake blanket.
Here is baby Nate with his new monkey fleece blanket.
We certainly managed to cram a lot of visiting in just three short days. We left Ocean City at 6 a.m. on Sunday to try and beat the holiday traffic. Driving on Sunday of Thanksgiving Weekend is the worst day of the year.
Here's another picture of adorable baby cousin Nate held by Mike's sister, Susan. Nate's Mom is Abby (not pictured), but she was very generous about passing Nate around all weekend so we could all enjoy him. He is a very happy, good-natured baby. Nate is the recipient of the Winnie the Pooh quilt.
Here is Mary Kate with her two boys, George (on MK's lap) and Reiko (on the right), enjoying their new quilt. I am so happy to see it being loved and appreciated!
Thanks for visiting! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday too! I guess it's no surprise that I'm still tired from all the driving and not too anxious to take any more long car trips soon!

Linking up on Wednesday to Freemotion by the River and Sew Fresh Quilts.

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy