Friday, June 28, 2013

Late June in my Garden

Beautiful clematis growing along my fence. This was a teeny tiny plant when I originally got it.

I love my beautiful blue hydrangea. I have at least four of them in my yard.

This is a different hydrangea, next to a pretty pink bush that I can never remember the name of.

Lovely daylilies gifted to me by my dear friend Linda several years ago. What started as five small plants now fills out the corner of my yard quite nicely.

Sweet little pug flower, Romeo. Look closely to see his gap-toothed smile.

Pretty astilbe from our office plant swap earlier this year.
What's growing in your garden?

Pugs and kisses,

Something New

I was bored on Monday night so I decided to ignore my massive list of unfinished projects and start something new. A few weeks ago my friends at Keepsake Quilting had sent me an email, letting me know that they missed me and offering me a 20% discount on my next purchase.

I didn't want to hurt my friends' feelings, so I bought two kits. This is one of them. It is a bargello wall hanging.
There are 20 lovely colors of batik in this quilt.
On Monday night, I got as far as sewing colors 1 through 7 together. I only have to make 2 strata units, so it should go fairly quickly.
Joannie joined me in my naughtiness and set aside her husband's Christmas quilt to start some new place mats. She bought these adorable veggie fabrics on her last trip to Vermont to pick up her daughter from college.

After all, this is a hobby, it's supposed to be fun!

I'm linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Link a Finish Friday and Crazy Mom Quilts. You can check out some other great quilting blogs. If you're visiting me, stop and say "Hi."

Have a naughty day!

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A little Thursday night quilting

We had a small group tonight, and all of the girls were done by 8pm, so I got home early. I would have liked to stay until 9pm, but Pat had run out of thread and Ginny had sewn some of her blocks wrong, so they were ready to call it a night.

Ginny brought this adorable appliqued baby quilt to show us.
The poor little lion has fallen asleep, but the elephant and giraffe are ready to play!
Pat had her assembly line/sweatshop all set up. She is making 75 eyeglass cases for her niece's wedding shower favors.
Pat was too busy sewing to look up for my photo.
Toni had grown tired of her quilting project and took out her crocheting. She made this lovely afghan and a matching sweater for her neighbor who is expecting a baby girl.
That's Toni peeking out from behind that afghan.
Karen assembled a top out of of her birthday blocks. Isn't it pretty?
Karen and Pat are both behind the quilt. Karen has apparently joined the Witness Protection Program.
I'm still working on Eleanor's Christmas quilt that I showed you previously in my Purple Blog post. You have to scroll all the way down to the bottom to see it. I only have three strips left to finish the bottom half! Of course, there are still borders to add!

Here are my darling Larry and Elvis taking a nap together in the small dog bed. This was yesterday, when I was working from home. They love keeping me company in the office. There is also a large dog bed in the office, but they seem to prefer the small one.
My Mom had a double knee replacement yesterday. Oddly enough, three of my girlfriends' husbands also had surgery this week. So wishing a speedy recover to my Mom; Pat's husband, Mark; Judi's husband/Beth's Dad, Norm; and Joannie's husband, Dan.

Have a good night!

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A little Saturday sewing

Joannie and Marion spent the day with me in my quilt studio yesterday.
Marion dropped off another tote bag for Sadie's Dream for a Cure.

Marion's sampler quilt in progress.
Marion has been finishing a lot of projects lately. Yesterday, she was putting together the rows for a sampler quilt. She did this quilt as a block of the month at Ann's Fabrics a few years ago. She also made a second set of blocks in a different colorway, so she will have two lovely sampler quilts when she is finished. All of her blocks are made, she just needs to add sashing and borders.

Joannie is working on a quilt for her husband Dan. It is a single Irish Chain in brown batiks. You all know that I hate brown, but Joannie's quilt will be striking when it is finished.
One block for Dan's quilt.
I put the finishing stitches in Anna's Wedding Quilt.

I also finished three little fabric books.
A good time was had by all!

I am pleased to report that Anna's Wedding Quilt is packed and in a box and it is in my car ready to go to the Post Office tomorrow morning! She is also getting the Fish Tales book (above) and this fishy flannel blanket. I still have to finish her baby quilt--her baby is due next month!

Have a great day!

Pugs and kisses,

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Finally, a REALLY BIG FINISH!!!!

Anna's Wedding Quilt
FINALLY!!!!! Anna's wedding quilt is done! I finished sewing the binding on this afternoon, right before lunch time.

Here are some of the details... Anna and I picked out the fabric together when we were on a business trip in the summer of 2011 in Maryland at Capital Quilts, which was a very nice quilt store. The pattern is a Blooming Nine Patch from Traditions with a Twist, which is one of my favorite quilt books. I've made this quilt before, but never one so big (it's 96"x108"). There are 10 different batiks in this quilt which blend out from an aqua to turquoise to purple to a greenish-blue. I LOVE this quilt and I'm happy there is a little fabric left over to make myself a memento.
Here I am with Anna at her wedding. Wasn't she a beautiful bride?

Anna got married on May 5, 2012, and I started working on her quilt on my annual Berkshires trip later that May of 2012. I finished the top this past February. It was quilted by Shirley Gammon. This is a really wonderful pattern, very easy, but A LOT of pieces, especially if you enlarge it to king size! It is simply a 9-patch block, alternating with a plain patch block, set diagonally on point.

This quilt goes in the mail (with lots of insurance) on Monday.

Doing the Happy Dance!

Pugs and kisses,

P.S. I am linking up with……Confessions of a Fabric AddictLink a Finish FridayFreedom Fridays, Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday, Sew Many Ways, and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Nice girls finish last

Last weekend, I did my first 5k walk/race. It was a benefit for Pug Rescue of New England (PRONE), which is one of my favorite charities. When I signed up for the walk a couple of months earlier, I had happy thoughts of walking along the beach with my husband Mike and our three pugs on a beautiful sunny day, surrounded by hundreds of other pugs and pug owners. I thought it would be a nice family activity as well as a great way to motivate me to start exercising again. I would also get a free t-shirt with a pug on it! 
Here we are before the walk began. My t-shirt is the photo from the holiday card
that Mike created last year. It has all three of our pugs on it.

Unfortunately for me, although last Saturday in Boston was sunny, it was also blisteringly hot and 93 degrees, even at 9:00 in the morning. We left our pugs at home, in air-conditioned comfort, and headed for Carson Beach, the race site. The runners started first and the walkers lined up behind them. I walk my dogs twice a day, and though we don’t walk far, I thought that walking three miles on a flat surface wouldn’t be too difficult.
Did I mention that it was hot? Yes, very hot. Seemingly no sooner than we had started, the first runner was already circling back, sprinting by us towards the finish line. He finished in 17 minutes.  My husband, Mike, took my picture at Mile 1. We had already stopped for a bathroom break, and my feet hurt. I noticed that the crowd was thinning and that we were in the back.  When we reached the midpoint, I drank one cup of water and dumped two cups down my shirt. At Mile 2, I suggested to Mike that if we turned around now, we would probably finish in the middle of the pack, and we could go get some ice cream. We walked on…

Although I finished in LAST place with the deplorable time of 1:30:01, I still had fun and I got a new pug t-shirt. Now I need to buckle down, start a regular walking program, and start training for next year. I only have to finish second to last to beat my own record.
Summer is a great time to be outdoors and enjoy lots of activities. When I’m not training for my next 5k, I enjoy gardening. Mike and I also plan to walk the Freedom Trail in Boston and maybe do some hiking with the pugs in the Blue Hills.
What summer activities do you enjoy? Do you enjoy being active? Where will you go on vacation?
Have a great day!
Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June Sunday Sewing Report

I met up with my Brown Bagger Quilting friends this past Sunday for our monthly sewing get together.

I had some small finishes, pillowcases of course.
This is a birthday gift for my nephew Ben. He turns 11 today.

Ben is a funny little kid and he is pretty much a
"Mini Me" of my brother Jeff, who is his Dad.
I made a set of 2 king size pillowcases for my friend Eleanor. Her birthday was Sunday.
If you look closely you can see that Eleanor's pillowcases are made from the Holy Grail of fabric, the Red Sox, which has been out of print for many years, but hiding safely in my stash for a special occasion. Eleanor is a devoted Red Sox fan, so she will treasure these.

My friend Kim P. was sewing on some very intricately pieced miniature quilt blocks that have 1/2" pieces in them. I need to get some photos of them! Kim recently bought a small quilting machine and has been busy doing machine quilting for some of the other Brown Baggers.
This is Pat's quilt, quilted by Kim P.

This is one of two Scrap Wave lap quilts made by Joan S.
Also quilted by Kim P.

Joan used two different jelly rolls of batik strips to make these two quilts.
Kim's Dad also found a new use for flip flops that he purchased at the Dollar Store.

Kim layered her circular play mat.
He cut them up with his saw and made pin ends (like a safety cap), so that Kim can use them when she pin bastes her quilt with straight pins. You may recall that our friend Sally uses disposable ear plugs.

Marion and Joannie finished three more tote bags to donate for Sadie's Dreams for a Cure.
Marion, on left, and Joannie, on right, model the new tote bags.
My friend Toni, who I sew with on Thursday nights, also finished a tote bag.
JoAnn was working on some lovely strip pieced batik blocks.

Joannie's sister Mary also joined us for the day.
Sally joined us before heading up to Vermont for the rest of the summer.
Not pictured, but also happily sewing for the day were Lexine, Debbie, Jo Ann E., and Lori. I sometimes have to choose between taking everyone's photo and getting some sewing done!

Lexine--thanks again for the adorable pug pin!

Have a great day!

Pugs and kisses,