Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: Pugs of the Berkshires!

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

Last week at the Berkshires, I experienced a perfect trifecta of happiness. Cindy gave me the surprise of a lifetime when she showed up with an original pug quilt that she had designed just for me! While she didn't give me the actual quilt, shown below, she did make me a copy of the pattern and she gifted me all the remaining fabric from her project, so I can get started on my own. Of course, I think a hot pink background will be fabulous.
I LOVE this pug quilt. He looks just like Romeo! Definitely my next project!!
Karen bought me Cadbury Eggs in the clearance aisle at Rite Aid.
And I scored big again at Marshalls!
Behold! A scrumptious fleece blanket that matches the pug sheets that I found last week at TJ Maxx. At $14.99 I couldn't leave it behind. I almost bought the second one that they had.
Here are the nail files that I bought the previous week. They also came with two Boston Terrier nail files that I gave to Joannie.
I bought a new pug flag for our garden on Amazon. Elvis is pleased because it looks just like him.
Elvis enjoyed a visit with Lucy. For those of you who can't tell the black pugs apart, Lucy is in front, Elvis is in the back. She is an exuberant 2-year old!
I found Elvis asleep one day with his head in his dish. Dreaming of his next meal, I guess.
Snoozing away.
Nancy D. sent me a photo of another finished quilt top from our quilting retreat. This is Hidden Stars from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. I'm sure she's going to add another border or two...
Thanks for visiting!
Pugs and kisses,
Nancy

Sunday, May 20, 2018

2018 Berkshires' Quilt Retreat

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

I've returned from my annual quilting trip to the Berkshires. We've lost track of how many years we've been going, I think it's been at least 20. We've been at our "new" hotel for 10 years.

Here are some of the beautiful projects from my Brown Bagger quilting friends.

Nancy D. finished a lot of projects!
Nancy added the outer borders to her colorful batik Card Trick quilt.
Here is Nancy's beautiful Christmas tree skirt.
Nancy put borders on her Friendship Braid, which was an older UFO. The outer border is a wonderful Kaffe Fassett print that ties all the colors together.
Here is Nancy's pretty table runner. The pattern is Breezy Runner by Pine Tree Country Quilts and Nancy purchased it as a kit with the instructions and all the fabrics.
Joannie was busy working on a t-shirt quilt but found time to finish her adorable patchwork elephant. It was her first time making a stuffed animal and it came out great!
Here's a close-up of the elephant.
Kim P. made this colorful play mat. This is a free tutorial on JayBird Quilts' blog that she calls Circle Quilt. I think I may need to make a few for all my friends who are having babies this year. If you look closely, or click on the photo, you can see Kim's beautiful machine quilting. She did some intricate vines in the green wedges. You may recall that Kim is an award-winning quilter who has won at the Vermont Quilt Festival and exhibited at the Houston Quilt Festival.
The quilt below has quite a back story! Kim was quilting it for her Mom's friend. She layered it this winter. When she pulled it out to work on it, she found that all of the safety pins had rusted and stained the quilt top. After she washed it to get the rust out, one of the pink fabrics in the quilt bled. In the end, Kim got the rust out and most of the fabric bleeding isn't noticeable. The quilt is absolutely stunning! I hope that her Mom's friend enters it in a quilt show.
This quilt needs to be seen in person to be truly appreciated.
Each little flower basket is different.
Here's a shot of the center medallion.
Karen was putting final touches on two new patterns that will be available for sale soon in her Etsy Shop, QuiltLily Designs.
This beauty doesn't have a name yet, although I suggested Nancy,
I think this one is called Cat and Mouse.
Of course, Marion was there with me. She finished two sets of blocks that will become quilt tops soon, probably by our next quilt weekend in August. When I left on Saturday morning, Joanne S., Kim G., Sally, Cindy and Debbie were all busy sewing but didn't have anything ready to share in the blog. I left the retreat early to go home and spend the weekend with Mike and Elvis, so I may get some more photos from Kim to share with you later this week.

Thanks for visiting.

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: New Acquisitions

Hello Dear Blog Readers,

There have been some new acquisitions to the ever-growing pug collection. A couple of weeks ago, while innocently perusing TJ Maxx, I found both pug sheets and pug nail files! When I went to check out, one of the seasonal $1 shopping bags had a pug on it, so I purchased one of those as well.
I bought these beauties for $19.99 at TJ Maxx. I also found them on eBay for $69.99... Maybe I should go back and buy some more...
A couple of new pug t-shirts found their way to my house.
A T-Rex, a unicorn and a pug all rode into a bar... this design is probably a pop culture reference that I don't understand... I will have to ask my brother Gary or one of my nieces or nephews.
If you're a KISS fan, you'll appreciate this shirt even more. I was a huge fan of Gene Simmons' reality show, Family Jewels. I had someone stop me last night at the supermarket while I was wearing this t-shirt to compliment me.
The Pug Boys even bought me a t-shirt for Mother's Day.
Note: I am incapable of such styling, this photo has been borrowed from the website where the Pug Boys purchased the t-shirt.
Thanks for visiting! I'm off to the Berkshires to sew for four days with my Brown Bagger friends. I'm bringing two brand new projects to work on. I just bought the fabric last night for one of them.

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Kitchen Renovations, Part 1

Mike and I have survived week 1 of our kitchen remodeling project. If you have never visited Casa Pug Pack, here's a photo of our kitchen before the demolition.
Here is our original kitchen. Everything is builder grade and boring. By the way, the only time the kitchen was this clean was when I moved in 19 years ago. You can see, we really needed our floors refinished. The shiny part in front of the fridge had been protected by a rug. I guess that 19 years of four human feet and 12 pug paws can cause some wear and tear.
The demo started last Friday, April 27th. Mike and I packed up the pugs and headed to Maine for the weekend.

After a week of demo, we now have an open concept kitchen.
Look Mom, no walls!
Fortunately, we have a nice new ceiling beam to carry the load.
As well as a matching post to bear some of the weight in our laundry room closet.
As part of our reno, we removed a window in our kitchen. Our stove and exhaust fan will now go where this window was. I'm hoping that by removing the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, we'll still have plenty of sunlight.
Here's our first nasty surprise. Mold. Yuck! When our contractor removed the window, he discovered that it had not been properly installed. So now we have new sheathing and we'll be getting some new siding too. This window was not original to the house, so luckily our whole house is not rotting away.
Waiting for some siding and a sunny day for installation.
Here's our own personal dumpster, who's joined the POD in our driveway. Luckily, we have a very large driveway.
During the busiest parts of the demolition, LarryPug and Caesar are spending a few weeks up in Maine with their Auntie Deb and her menagerie of three large dogs and one cat.
Here are Caesar and LarryPug sunbathing in Maine. Deb's dog Sam is in the background. Luckily, Deb sends me funny photos every day. And I know that Caesar is having the time of his life, hiking in the woods with her.
Elvis has been spending his days in Joannie's kitchen enjoying a little senior romance with her 13 year old Boston Terrier Alli.
Elvis says that you're never too old for love! And special thanks to Auntie Joannie for senior daycare!
Mike, Elvis and I are camping out in the living room or grilling outdoors.
I miss my couch!
Here are our accomplishments for the week:

The dining room wall is down and the ceiling beam has been installed.

We've got the power! Ron the electrician spent most of his week with us before he leaves shortly for a 2-week mission trip to Africa. Elvis and I enjoyed hanging out with him. He also fixed our outside motion detector light.
I love how Ron writes on the wall! He assures me that the new paint will cover the pencil marks!
The new wiring is complete.
We purchased our sink, faucet and pot filler.
This is our new farmhouse sink and faucet. We ordered a brushed finish on the faucet (Mike's choice).
Here is Mike cooking the last supper in our old kitchen before the demo.
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Swoon Quilt top is finished!

I finished the top of my Swoon Quilt at our retreat in RI last month. Here it is in all of it's glory.
I love the stained glass quality of the photo with the light shining in from the windows behind us. I think there are at least three Brown Bag quilters behind the quilt to hold it up. The tiny hand at the top of the photo belongs to Marion.
Oh yeah! The top is finished.
I added extra wide borders so that this beauty will fit on our bed. Now it is off to my friend Marie Coady for some custom machine quilting.

As a bonus, here is Baby Hazel on her new quilt. Grandma JJ is visiting Hazel in North Carolina. She hand carried the quilt down and took a photo for me. I think she is enjoying her trip to see her new grand daughter!
For all the dirt on my Swoon Quilt, read this post. Or if you want all the back story, use the Search Bar and type in Swoon Quilt. I started this beauty in 2013, so if you have old UFOs, don't despair, you may eventually finish them!

Swoon Quilt basics:
  • Pattern by Camille Roskelly
  • Kit from Waterwheel House Quilt Shop (BOM in 2013)
  • Fabric: Kaffe Fassett and Kona white
  • Size: about 96" square (I haven't measured). I think the pattern finished at 80-something square but I wanted this puppy to fit on my bed.
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: I've got BedPugs!

Welcome to Pugtastic Tuesday!
If I had a dollar for every time someone posted this meme on my FaceBook page, I could use it to buy more pug sheets. Yes, of course I have pug sheets, although only one set. I don't have flannel pug sheets yet, so if you see any let me know.
Here's our bed with our lovely, comfy pug sheets. They are 100% cotton. I bought them more than ten years ago from the Danbury Mint.
Here's a close-up of the design.
We also have pug fleece blankets that I made several years ago. I have not made a pug quilt for our bed yet, but I have several ideas percolating. I must stop offering to make quilts for other people!
I made this blanket back in 2013. You can see it full size here. Thank goodness for my blog and the search bar (thank you Val for asking me to add one!). This fleece is from Joann Fabrics and it has been long discontinued.
Our kitchen renovation is in full swing. LarryPug and Caesar are staying with my friend Deb in Maine for a few weeks. She works from home and has three big dogs for them to play with. Elvis is home with us. He has been going to Joannie's house during the day and hanging out with her Boston Terrier, Ali.
Here is Elvis happily snoozing the day away in Joannie's kitchen.
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy

Friday, April 27, 2018

April 2018 Quilt Weekend in RI

One dozen Brown Bag quilters went to Rhode Island last weekend. This is a new location for us since the hotel we normally use for retreats in Cape Cod closed down unexpectedly. Our new hotel is a Hometown Suites. The facility is gorgeous and the staff treat us like visiting royalty. The only thing missing is a nearby quilt shop. This forces us to get a lot of sewing done instead of fabric shopping!

Here are some of the girls with their finished quilt tops and even one with a finished quilt! Warning, I am going to run out of adjectives, because all of the quilts are so beautiful (pronounced Bee-You-Tee-Full, like my Mom says)...
Pat finished this magnificent quilt made with birthday blocks. She made extra blocks to get this king-sized beauty.
Jo Ann E. usually works in browns, so this bright quilt was a departure for her. I loved it and offered to take it home. It is a Log Cabin variation.
Nancy D. made this beautiful batik Card Trick.
Marion finished the top of her stunning Dresden Plates quilt with last year's birthday blocks. The background is a perfect Tiffany blue.
We hadn't seen Lexine in a while. She has fallen in love and moved away to live with her boyfriend. She got A LOT done. I think she finished six quilt tops. These batik beauties were birthday blocks of several years ago. We told Lexine that love is grand, but she needs to come and sew with us again.
Here is Joannie with another one of her amazing t-shirt quilts in progress. This is the top half, of what is going to be a mountainous-sized quilt. I wonder if the ladies in Joannie's golf league know how lucky they are to have Joannie make them such gorgeous quilts. Even though they pay her, it can't be nearly enough for all of the work that she puts into them. They are truly masterpieces.
Pat with a sweet baby girl quilt top. Pastel, pretty, and perfect. Lots and lots of half square triangles. Oh my!
Nancy D. finished the top of her Sweet Petunias quilt. Another stunner.
It's true Lexine! Diamonds are a girl's best friend! Do you think this quilt is a hint for her boyfriend?
Another Lexine finish! This time an adorable purse quilt.
And another Lexine finish! Frolicking brightly-colored teddy bears with dimensional ears. What a cheerful quilt that any baby would enjoy.
Marion completed this batik beauty with Friendship Stars. Yet another fabulous finish!
Pat's daughters keep her very busy making baby quilts for all of their friends. Here is another too cute baby quilt from Pat. She is one of our fastest sewers.
I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite! Each one is wonderful. I hope the future recipients enjoy them and know that they are sleeping under a quilt made with a lot of love.

Special thanks to Val. You can see her orange sneakers in almost every photo of a large quilt. At almost 5'7", she was the tallest person at the weekend and was pressed into service as a quilt holder.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy