Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hydrangea Heaven

The hydrangea are in full bloom in my yard. They are so gorgeous. Perhaps their lovely colors will inspire your next quilting project. Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sewing with Joannie and Marion

I squeaked in a few hours of sewing with Marion and Joannie in between my recent bout of car shopping.

Marion worked on her Radio Way by Jaybird Quilts. I'm making one in black and white fabrics, accented with purple. You can see mine here. Marion is using Kate Spain's Horizon line. I bought her this kit when I went to the Houston Quilt Festival last November. I can't wait to see both quilts completed so we can hang them side by side.
Joannie was making a baby quilt with Disney Princess fabric from her stash. She got the top cut out, assembled and quilted within a week.
Finished top as of last Saturday.
A few days later and Joannie has turned it into a finished quilt!
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Monday, July 27, 2015

Another Scrap Wave Top is Finished!

A special thanks to invisible quilt holders Joannie and Marion.
I finished this quilt top a while ago, but recently decided that it wasn't really complete without borders. So this month I added the turquoise batik inner border and made the outer border using the leftover squares from the quilt panels. I have enough turquoise batik left for the binding. This quilt was made from four identical jelly rolls, which is an expensive way to make this quilt. Typically I make this quilt with fat quarters. I think that I last showed you this quilt in May 2014 when I made the first panel. I think I'm going to call this one Tropical Punch!

Does it look familiar? It's the same pattern as my Blue and Purple Scrap Wave.
If you have really sharp eyes, you'll notice a difference. When you cut your strips for this quilt, you're supposed to cut them along the short side of the fat quarter so they are 18 inches long and you get eight 2 1/2 inch strips, which you use to make eight panels that are six squares wide. When I made the blue and purple version, I forgot, and I cut them on the long side of the fat quarter, so I modified the pattern and made my panels wider, but I have fewer panels in my Blue and Purple Scrap Wave top.

This is a free pattern from Bonnie Hunter called Scrappy Bargello. Have you made one? It's easy and fun and you use 40 fat quarters (I make my panels longer and use 44 fat quarters). Here is the first Scrap Wave quilt that I made many years ago. I also made one for my friend Linda B. when she got married in 2005. I will have to ask her to send me a photo of it.

Linking up on Tuesday to Fabric Tuesday and Linky Tuesday. Linking up on Wednesday to Let's Bee Social. Linking up on Thursday to Needle and Thread Thursday. Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Strip Therapy Part 3: A Dozen More Blocks Complete

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

It was a busy week. I did buy a new PugMobile. Car shopping took up most of last weekend as well as a couple of evenings this week. Mike went to Delaware to see his parents for a few days. Work was insanely busy since it is summer time and clients, vendors and coworkers disappear on vacation with little to no warning. Romeo got expensive new ear drops and they seem to be working. He is a trooper about letting me put eight drops a day into each ear, twice a day. My Mom is at home in Florida and resting. I don't think her knee is healing as well as Romeo's ears...

Anyway, I got a little studio time on Friday night and Sunday and I finished 12 more blocks for my Strip Therapy Quilt.
A dozen new blocks are on the design wall!
To read the first post (and see the first 20 blocks) on Strip Therapy, click here. To see the second post and see the next 10 blocks, click here. I have now completed 42 blocks. I have leftover pieces from the strip sets and I've trimmed them to six inches wide. I'm hoping to use them as a scrappy border for this quilt.

I have ten more strips sets ready to sew. That will bring me to 52 blocks and I need 64. I've opened two jelly rolls and I'm going to get the remaining 72 strips I need from them. I hope the last 12 blocks don't look too "matchy-matchy" because I'm enjoying the color randomness of this quilt. One of the jell rolls is purple and green batiks, the other is turquoise, lime green and yellow batiks.
Here is the new PugMobile! It is a Honda CRV. Honk if you see me!
For those of you who love the Pug Pack, here are some new photos of the Pug Boys.
Selfie by LarryPug
TV time. The view from Mom's lap.
LarryPug and Elvis take a nap with Mommy, although it's hard to sleep when LarryPug is lying on your chest!
I got a purple pedicure today!
Here is Mike picking basil from our herb garden. He's making some pesto for our dinner tomorrow night. He sure looks handsome in the apron I made him with fabrics from our Hawaiian honeymoon.
Linking up on Sunday to Oh Scrap! at Quilting is more fun than Housework... and to Pink Doxies' Pet Project Show. Linking up on Wednesday to Let's Bee Social. Linking up on Thursday to Needle and Thread Thursday. Linking up on Tuesday to Linky Tuesday and Fabric Tuesday.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Little Retail Therapy

While I was visiting my brother and his family in CA, I had the chance to go to a quilt shop. I picked Prairie Queens Quilt Shop because I had never visited it before and my quilting app said the store had over 7,000 bolts of fabric.
The store was very nice, the staff ladies were friendly and they had lots of beautiful samples. A sign outside said you couldn't take photos without permission, so I didn't bother. Fabric prices were more expensive than my local quilt shops and the sales tax in CA is super high, so I tried not to buy too much, but I did my small part to support the local CA quilting economy...

Want a closer look at my pretties?
All batik, mostly purples but one rainbow colored print snuck in. The fabric in the center graduates from blue to purple.
My attempt at an artsy shot starring LarryPug
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, July 17, 2015

My Life is a Country Music Song

This is my life since last Friday:
My Momma fell in the parking lot of the Indian restaurant...
My dog is sick...
My car has died...
(Insert twangy guitar chord here. ) Is it a hit? Should we sign Kenny Chesney?

Let's just start by saying it's been a very expensive week....

Last Thursday night, Mike and I jetted off to San Jose, California to attend my nephew Ben's Bar Mitzvah. We arrived without incident. On Friday morning, Mike and I went to the Computer History Museum for a few hours. The museum was marvelous. We went on a one-hour guided tour that discussed computers in popular movies that was great fun. We ran out of time to see everything and we would love to get a chance to go back.

I snapped a few quick photos. Recognize any of these golden oldies? Have one in your garage?
Apple 2
Radio Shack TRS 80 (My Dad had one of these)
My Dad. Breakfast at the hotel was free. Dad ate one of everything.
We left the museum early to meet my parents and my Aunt Marcia and my Uncle Stanley for lunch. Aunt Marcia wanted to go to the Indian Restaurant that was right next door to our hotel. Mike and I arrived back at the hotel just in time to find my Mom lying on the ground and my Aunt Marcia (who is an MD) flagging down an ambulance. My Mom had tripped in the parking lot and ripped open her knee. It was a good thing that I have been watching the Crimson Tide on public television lately because her wound was nasty. My Aunt knew right away that my mother would need stitches.

Mike and I met my Mom at the emergency room. We spent 4.5 hours there. Luckily my Mom didn't break any bones but she did need 14 stitches! Mom, ever a trooper, made it to the Bar Mitzvah on Saturday. More on the family trip in another post...

Alas, poor Romeo has another ear infection. Romeo has ear infections pretty regularly. We can get his ear infections to clear up but they always come back within a few months. Most recently we tried putting Romeo on a limited ingredient diet, and while it seems to have helped, the ear infection has returned. On Tuesday evening, Romeo went to the specialty vet and saw Dr. Cohen who is a veterinary dermatologist (she is also very young and very pretty and she appears to be 12). She ran some tests. You could buy an Accuquilt cutter for what the tests cost. Not the Go Big!, but the next size down.
Here is Romeo on the way home from the vet. Always wear your seat belt!
In keeping with my week of extraordinary expenses, I had dropped my car, aka the Pugmobile, off on Tuesday afternoon for what I thought would be an oil change and new shocks. On Wednesday afternoon my mechanic called with a nasty surprise. He said the frame on my car had rusted out completely and it was unsafe to drive. My car is only 10 years old and has less than 100,000 miles on it. Naively, I had assumed I'd get at least another five years out of it.
RIP, Pugmobile...
Goodbye favorite Pug Mom window decal...
At least I still have my Man! I think I would rather have no luck than bad luck.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Val's Piggy Bank Challenge

Val from Val's Quilting Studio is hosting her 3rd annual Piggy Bank Challenge = Money for Quilting. I meant to sign up last year. I did have a jar as you can see (hopefully) below but I didn't officially enter. It is difficult to photograph clear plastic.

I am hereby officially now entering for Year 3! I love my jar which is a big plastic bear that used to hold animal crackers. My friend Richard from work gave it to me (sadly, after he had eaten all the animal crackers inside).
I'm starting with a modest nest egg.
I have collected change in the park when I take the pugs there for a walk, from the dryer when Mike forgets to empty his pants and from the bottom of my purse because my wallet has no change pocket. I use my credit card for everything so I expect my savings to be modest. But every little bit helps.

Val--if you're reading this, I hope that you know that you are one of my favorite quilt bloggers (you're on my blog roll!) and we're all sending pugs and kisses to you and Jackson.

Linking up to Val's Piggy Bank Challenge!

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, July 10, 2015

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

This is my 400th blog post! Congratulations to those of you who've been with me the whole way and welcome to the new followers who've recently joined me.
LarryPug, chief quilt inspector and blog model extraordinaire, helps me layout some blocks. Doesn't everything look better with a pug on it?
Here are some random facts and figures that I find interesting.

Read my first PugMom Quilts! blog post. I started this blog as a personal quilting diary. I'm still amazed that other people want to read it. I have fabulous blogging friends that write to me almost every day! And followers!

My husband and my Mom are still my biggest fans, but in addition to them, I now have 77 followers through BlogLovin', 56 through email, and 50 through Google Plus (I still have no idea how Google Plus works.)

I have six quilts out to be machine quilted right now. I can't wait to get them back and finish them! They are: Wild Thing, Blue and Purple Scrap Wave, Rangeley Star, Purple Yellow Brick Road, Pugtopia (my Pug Row by Row) and Rainbow Bargello.

So far this year I've completed 35 projects. Four projects were quilts, 15 were pillowcases, 9 were zipper bags, 3 aprons, 1 table runner and 2 multi-pocket bags. I've kept one small quilt and one multi-pocket bag. Everything else has been given as a gift. I just added my 2015 finished quilts page to my blog. You can see it here.

I've got five quilt tops that just need borders and they too can become finished projects, perhaps even in 2015!

Last month Mike and I celebrated our 40th anniversary! Ok, it was 40 months of marriage, but by the time we get to 40 years, we might not remember.
Last September at the beach

The three best Pug Boys in the world: Romeo, LarryPug, and Elvis

My handsome husband getting smooched by moi!
Last month, LarryPug also celebrated his three year anniversary of joining our family.

LarryPug is a nutball, but we love him to pieces.
The PugMom Quilt Posse (from left to right): Joannie, me, Marion and Sue. These girls are always up for an adventure!
Don't forget about my other blog!

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Truth About Pre-Cuts

Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, Charm Squares, who doesn't love them? I've said it before, I would re-purchase my own fabric if someone came into my house, cut it up, and tied it up with a bow.

My latest purchase of pre-cut fat quarters. This is Inked by Lynn Krawczyk for Red Rooster fabrics.
The Good
Pre-cuts are an easy way to buy an entire collection without having to make an enormous investment. Last summer I bought a package of Cotton & Steel charm squares because I wasn't certain if I really liked its modern elements. I also bought a couple of coordinating fat quarters. Someday, perhaps even this year, I may use them to make a Chubby Charmer tote bag. A small investment in pre-cuts is also good if you're making a gift for someone who wants something very specific (purple sharks!) or doesn't share your color vibe.

The Bad
Not all pre-cuts are created equal. Some are cut by hand, some are cut by machine. I've gotten some jelly rolls where some of the strips were either wonky, under-sized or both. Who thought pinked edges were a good idea? I believe that you're supposed to include the pinked edge within your seam allowance and I feel that makes them a little small.

and The Ugly
Ever notice that the really ugly fabrics are hidden in the middle? That way you can't find them until AFTER you've purchased them. I'm also not fond of pre-cut lines that include duplicates or solids. Recently I bought a charm pack at Joann Fabrics of flannel squares and one of the squares was so ragged on the edges it was unusable at its full size (which is of course, what I needed it for) and of course there was exactly 40 squares in the pack which was what the pattern required.

Everyone has jumped on the pre-cut wagon and there are a plethora of patterns available. Check out Moda Bake Shop and Quiltville for lots of free patterns. Check out these blog parties hosted by Val's Quilting Studio on jelly rolls and layer cakes for even more ideas. If you're not familiar with Debbie Caffrey, she's a great teacher and pattern designer who was on the pre-cut bandwagon before it was even fashionable. Unfortunately, rather than choosing a tantalizing delicious name like Jelly Rolls, she went with Worms.There are tons and tons of books starring pre-cuts. Some other authors that I like include Pam and Nicky Lintott, Kimberly Einmo and Brenda Henning. The Missouri Star Quilt Company has a zillion videos (they have their own YouTube channel!) and patterns using pre-cuts, which they sell in their online shop, and now they've come out with an App (search Missouri Star Quilt Company in the iTunes Store). I downloaded it last night. It has all of the quilt pattern videos on it. This should keep me entertained for hours.

Do you buy pre-cuts? What are your experiences with pre-cuts? What are some of your favorite patterns using them? Favorite quilt designers? What are your thoughts about pinked edges?

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Few Thoughts on Strips

I love working with strips. I love the mindless, meditative effects of running the fabric through the machine. Strip piecing (at least for me) is a perfect project when I'm quilting with friends. You will definitely notice a large number of strip pieced quilts in my blog.

Years ago, I belonged to an Internet quilt group called InterQuilt and I participated in a monthly strip swap for 2" strips. I used some of these strips to make a purple rail fence quilt for Jill, who is my niece Rachel's cousin. I realized that I don't have a picture of that quilt so I will have to reach out to Jill's Mom for one.
A view from inside the 2" strip box. A lot of oldies, but goodies in here.
Currently I'm working on two quilts made from 2.5" strips. You can see Strip Therapy here and here and you can see Radio Road here.

The strips I'm using came from swaps that I did with some of my quilting friends. A few (luckily, very few) of the strips are poorly cut. The over-sized strips are easy to trim and I've managed to finagle most of the undersized strips to work too. Some of the strips I received from our Black and White strip swap are black and cream, or black, white, and grey, but I'm going ahead and throwing them in my project anyways. A few non-batik strips snuck into the Batik strip swap. It's always interesting to work with other peoples' fabrics and see the variations, even though in theory they are all 100% quilt-shop quality cotton. Some of the fabrics are very thin, some are heavy, some of the prints appear dull, others are crisp and clear.
Here is LarryPug helping me to choose some fabric.
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Strip Therapy: Ten More Blocks Made!

I did some sewing on Friday and Saturday and finished ten more blocks for my quilt that I am jokingly referring to as Strip Therapy. To read the first post (and see the first 20 blocks) on Strip Therapy, click here. I've got six more strip sets assembled, and hope to get at least another four done tomorrow.

In all the years that I've been quilting, this is the first time that I ever had a design wall, and although it's small, I love it!
Joannie and I went out to lunch today. Check out the tile on the floor and my pink sneakers.
I hope that you had a great Fourth of July! Belated Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends!

Linking up on Saturday to Pink Doxies' Pet Project Show. Linking up on Sunday to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Quilting is More Fun than Housework's Oh Scrap!, and Richard and Tanya Quilts. Richard featured my original 20 Strip Therapy blocks on his blog party this week. Thanks Richard!

As always, thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

P.S. Read my other blog here

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Asked and Answered!

Thank you dear friends and blog readers for all of your recent help! Your kind comments have also been  extremely motivating to me.

Here are a couple of updates for you.
Thanks for all of the lovely comments on my blocks from this post. I have not put this project away. Last Sunday I dumped out my entire bag of batik strips and coordinated sets of six strips together. I had enough strips in the bag for 32 more block sets (I need 44 more, but who's counting? Don't worry, I have plenty of batik to cut up). On Monday night I assembled 10 strips sets. If I can managed to finish 10 blocks each week, I'll have enough blocks to make my quilt in a month (or two).

These pretty pink flowers that I asked you about in this blog post are Evening Primrose. Thank you Miss Jean and Kim's Mom, Caroline in Florida, for your speedy (and accurate answer). I will be going to Home Depot and Lowes this weekend to look for some.
Many of you have written to ask about Pinky, who appeared in this blog post. Apparently, because I mentioned that I had bought Pinky on eBay, many of you think I may have gotten a bargain. No such luck! I paid full price for her. Although I will say she is worth every penny and a Featherweight is still much cheaper (and works better) than any machine you could buy today, especially if you're a quilter and all you want to do is sew straight lines.

Anyway, if you want a Pinky (or Bluebelle, or Red Rover, etc.) of your own, here is a link to the vendor that I bought her from (he does lots of painted vintage machines and he does do other colors besides pink)). He did a great job of packaging and shipping Pinky and I recommend him highly. And if you'd rather have a pink 301, he has one of those too...

Linking up on Saturday to WIPs Be Gone! Thanks for visiting! Come back soon!

Pugs and kisses,

P.S. Read my other blog here.