Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pug Friendship Circle

May 31, 2014, 8 a.m., in the park near our house.
From left to right:

LarryPug aka Larry David Roderigo Velveteen Rabbit Cohen-Tomases Pug (his full name, story to come another day). The Baby. Age 5 years and 2 months.

Elvis aka Mamma's Baby. Arthritis has slowed him down a bit, but he can run if there is food in sight. Age 11 years  and 7 months.

Romeo. The pug who loves everybody and everyone, aka, the Pug Ambassador. Age 12 years and five months.

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, May 30, 2014

Thursday Girls Show and Tell May 2014

I got to hang out with my Thursday Girl Sewing Friends last night. They had lots of beautiful quilts in progress.

Karen made this lovely Scrap Wave out of Amy Butler fabrics. This is a free pattern on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville website. It's a big quilt. Pat and Karen are both behind it, standing on chairs.
Karen still needs to add piano key borders to the top and bottom.
Karen was inspired to make her quilt, after she saw Pat's Amy Butler quilt, which she finished last month. I started a batik version last week.
Pat's Amy Butler Scrap Wave.
Isn't it funny how the inner border can make a difference? Very similar fabrics in both, but the blue inner border accentuates the blue fabrics in the quilt, while the pink inner border accentuates the pink fabrics. I am in love with both of these quilts. Maybe I need to start collecting Amy Butler fabrics...

Karen also gave me this finished quilt top to bring to my friend Terri for machine quilting. This quilt was made from birthday blocks that the Thursday Girls did a few years ago.
Very Lily Pulitzer! This quilt makes me feel happy.
Toni was finishing the same quilt in a different color way. She is still putting on her piano key borders. Want to know a secret? Toni's piano keys are made from one fabric--it's printed in stripes! This quilt is even prettier in person. Toni even has red leopard print in it!
I may have to steal this quilt from Toni when it is finished.
Last, but certainly not least, Judi made a Popsicle Stick quilt out of a beautiful blue batik jelly roll that she bought at QuiltPort.
Isn't this pretty? Too bad you can't see Judi or her paisley print shoes.
I hope that you enjoyed our Show and Tell. Maybe next time I can get my friends to show their faces! Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A New Face in Town

When I left my house last Tuesday, my husband looked like this.

Winter Mike

When I returned from my trip to the Berkshires, on Saturday, he now looked like this.
Summer Mike and LarryPug

Yes, same guy. Went from long hair (shoulder length) and beard to super short hair. I loved Mike's beard, but now that he shaved it off, I think he looks 10 years younger. No fair! Mike is adorable either way.

LarryPug is relieved that Mike did not want to shave him!

I promise to do some quilty stuff soon to show you!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Berkshire Quilts OPP

Ready for some OPP (other people's projects)? There were 11 of us this year, so there was plenty of room to spread out at our annual Berkshires retreat. While Nancy D. appears to be the most prolific, this year she was also the most willing to have her photo taken, calling me over every time she finished something.

I neglected to take any photos of Marion, who diligently worked on five different sets of previous birthday blocks. She finished one top, and shortly will have four more of various sizes! Kim P., who made us a delicious lasagna dinner on Thursday night, layered several really large quilts, including her Bonnie Hunter Easy Street. I'm looking forward to seeing them finished. She also made an adorable giraffe baby quilt. Hopefully she will bring it with her when I see her this Sunday.
Nancy D. finished her I Spy quilt for Mason.
Fabric book for Mason and Julianna to share.
Baby quilt for one of Nancy's former co-workers.
Elf on a Shelf Christmas quilt for Mason and Julianna.

Joanne finished this Boston sports-themed quilt for her great nephew.

Jean brought in her felted wool wall hanging in
progress to show us. It is her original design.

Jean was also working on these brightly colored pinwheel blocks.
Below is Karen with three of her original patterns. You can purchase them here at her website, QuiltLily Designs.
Autumn Harmony
Corner Cafe (tablerunner and place mats)
Click on this photo to see Karen's amazing quilting.
Here are my friends who virtually quilted along side me.

While I was at the Berkshires, Pat completed 70 cosmetic bags to be used as wedding shower gifts.
Pat, if there are any left over, I will happily take one!
Joannie went camping and sent me a photo of her sewing station on wheels.
Look closely and you can see Alli, the ferocious,
one-eared Boston Terrier at lower right.
I hope that you enjoyed seeing our projects!

Pugs and kisses,

Berkshires Highlights and My New Projects

I am still in "re-entry" mode after having enjoyed a full week off from work including four days of sewing with some of my Brown Bagger friends in the Berkshires. If you've been following my blog for a while, you may realize this is an annual trip. Indeed, this is our fifteenth year together in Western Massachusetts. I think that I've only missed one visit. Since we've been together for so long, we gravitate towards doing the same things and eating at the same restaurants, etc., so I will try not to be too repetitive.

Yesterday, I wrote about our felted wool class. Karen has arranged other such outings in the past, but this is the first time that I joined in. I'm glad I did.

Right before I left, I decided that I hated all my current Works in Progress and decided to start three new projects. This was just the therapy that I needed. No pressure, no deadlines, and all new lovely fabrics to caress, although everything came out of my gi-normous Stash.

On the first glorious day of sewing (Wednesday), I started working on a kit from Pumpkin Patch Quilts that I bought there two years ago. It is lovely blue and purple fabrics with hints of gold. By the end of Day One, I had finished most of the background. This is from Eleanor Burns' book, Quick Trips. The version in the book features lilies in homage to Monet.
The quilt shop still had the finished sample, so I was able to take a photo. This is what my quilt will look like when I'm done.
There was a special visitor on Wednesday while we were sewing. Luckily he stayed outside. This photo was taken from our quilt room window!
This black bear visited the trash bin for some goodies.
He scaled the six foot fence with ease.
Every day, I decided that I would work on a new project, so on Thursday, I put away my Butterfly Wall Hanging, and started on a Scrap Wave Quilt using Bali Pops. The color way I'm using is called Pink Lemonade. I'm using four packages in order to make eight panels for my queen size bed. I love these colors! This is a free pattern on Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville website.
One panel done! Seven to go!
I did bring one project that is going to be a gift for my sister-in-law, Susan. Like many of my other projects, I bought the fabric several years ago and hadn't gotten to it. I had chosen a different pattern, but found out last month that my sister-in-law and brother-in-law had upgraded to a King Size bed, so I had to amend my plans. I chose a new pattern, shown below, and was able to use most of the fabric from the original kit that I had ordered. My goal is to finish this quilt by November for Susan's birthday. I'm using 15 different green batiks. Susan's bedroom is surrounded by trees, so I think this will look beautiful (once finished) on her bed. This was my Friday project.
The blocks are simple to make. Many more to go!
On Saturday, I worked on Jo Ann's Row by Row, so I can not show it to you. But here is a quilt that we presented to Sharon. Sharon lost her house and all her quilting supplies in a fire. We started this quilt in March at my Big 5-0 Weekend and got the top finished. We also took up a collection and sent her some money to replenish her stash. Last week, Sharon was happily shopping, replenishing her quilting supplies.
Sharon was thrilled with her quilt. Pink is her favorite color.
Here is a full view of the quilt.
Quite by accident, Sharon had brought us an enormous
chocolate cake, which we used to celebrate her new quilt.
There was plenty of leftover cake for breakfast (not a typo).
Come back soon and I'll share some of the other girls' projects from our trip.

Adding links on Friday to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Richard and Tanya Quilts, and CrazyMom Quilts. Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Monday, May 26, 2014

Wool Felting Class

As part of our Berkshire Quilt Retreat, our hostess Karen arranged a private wool felting class for us at 413 Glassworks. None of us had ever felted wool before and we thought it would be fun to try. Plus, it would be a field trip from the quilt room.

The owner of the shop, Brittany Gabel, was our instructor. She was very nice and very patient. Although she usually has the class work on one item, she let us choose our own design from her samples. Marion and I decided to make pincushions.
Marion, Kim P., and Nancy D. in action.
Nancy D. at work on her penguin.
Karen at work on her funky owl.
Felting wool is an ancient art and is quite simple. You use wool roving and a punch needle. You repeatedly stab the wool against a Styrofoam block and try to avoid stabbing your fingers. It is a good way to take out your aggressions.
Karen's funky owl is taking shape.
My model was the smaller pincushion at the top. Guess, I got a
little carried away... or had a lot of aggression to work out.
Here is my pincushion in progress.
It went from a tomato to a flower.
Sharon really enjoyed the class.
Nancy D. was a star!
Sally worked right up until the end.
Shop dog Oliver. Twin sister Harley was camera shy.
I gave him a lot of snuggles.
Proud class graduates and our projects. From left to right, front row: me and Marion.
Back row: Sally, Kim P., Nancy D., Karen and Sharon.

Here is a close-up of our work!

Rewarding ourselves with ice cream!
More to come about our Berkshire adventures!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Raising The Flag

You may have seen our old house flag in a previous post.
On Sunday, we hung our new flag.
I took LarryPug outside to see it.
He seemed underwhelmed.

Our beautiful dog flag is from House of Flags. This is not a paid endorsement. I have bought many flags from Sandy over the years and they are beautiful and very high quality. I have many dog loving blog friends and I thought you might want a personalized dog flag for your house.

In other exciting quilt news, I finally touched my sewing machine after about a one week hiatus. I made a fleece and minkee blanket for my cousin Angie who will turn two next month. I found this fabric in the remnant bin at Joanne Fabrics and it was perfect for my little kitty cat lover.
This blanket measures 54"x60".
It has pink minkee on the back.
I also put a binding on the Sheep Quilt. I machine embroidered the sheep blocks. Marion assembled and quilted it. Hopefully we will sell it.
This quilt has an assortment of different
tactile fabrics: minkee, flannel, and cotton.
Mike and I joined a local CSA. We purchased a Spring and a Fall share. Last weekend was our first pickup. We got: salad greens, garlic chives, bok choy, shallots and a reusable tote bag. Mike made a fabulous pizza and salad with some of our goodies.
Turkey sausage, shallots, garlic chives and mozzarella. Yum!

Freshly grown salad greens accented with roasted tomatoes and goat cheese.

Here is the handsome chef in a made by me apron.
The beard is rumored to be coming off soon for the summer.
Today, I am packing for my annual trip to the Berkshires with my Brown Bagger quilting buddies. I have decided that I hate all my current projects and have packed three new ones instead. I will be happily sewing through Saturday afternoon. We are also scheduled to take a felted wool class.

Yesterday, Joannie, Marion, and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts and saw the quilt exhibit. It was wonderful. I photographed every quilt.

I will be busy writing blog posts when I return!

Pugs and kisses,