Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Getting to the Fun Stuff

Last week I made two baby quilt tops. I need to finish them soon since they're both on a deadline.

My favorite parts of quilt making are
  1. Shopping for fabric -- this can be at the quilt store or in my fabric stash
  2. Cutting and piecing the quilt top
Some of the more tedious aspects of quilt making, at least to me, are putting on borders and layering the quilt.

My Monday night in the Studio was spent putting together the two quilt backs and making the bindings. I find that if I make the binding when the quilt is in progress that I'm much more likely to finish the quilt right away.

I went to my box of beige fabric to forage for the quilt backs. If you're new to my blog, you may be unaware of my hatred of beige.

Still not close to emptying the beige fabric box.
I recently decided that I shouldn't purchase any more plastic boxes, but instead focus on emptying them by using up the fabric or finishing the project inside the box. I found some quarter yard pieces that looked nice together. I made the backs a little more fun by adding a strip of the focus fabric from the front of the quilt.

Quilt back for Construction Vehicle Quilt

Quilt back for Winnie the Pooh Quilt

Bindings are ready!

As always, Joannie came over on Monday night to sew with me. Her project was bright and cheerful.

Joannie made vegetable print place mats on
Monday night. They are her own design.

I forgot to show you her golf table toppers that
she worked on the previous Monday night.
Now that my backs are made, I just need to layer the quilts and I'll be ready to machine quilt them this weekend. Perhaps, if I'm super fast, I will even get the bindings sewn on. That would be worth a Whoop! Whoop! as Sarah would say.

What's your favorite part of quilt making? What are you working on?

Hope you are having a great day!

I am linking up on Friday to Confessions of a Fabric AddictRichard and Tanya Quilts and Crazy Mom Quilts. Please leave me a comment if you drop by!

I am adding a link on Sunday to Lily's Quilts Small Blog Meet Up. I can't even imagine having 50 followers. I'm thrilled to have 14!

Pugs and kisses,

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If I do this correctly, you will now have the option to follow my blog with Bloglovin.

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Honestly, I have no idea what I'm doing.

Pugs and kisses,

P.S. It worked! There is a button on the upper right of my blog now.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Oh Baby Love

Two handsome baby boys were born this past Monday, July 22, 2013. Across the ocean in England,  while the whole world watched and waited, HRH Prince George of Cambridge was born on Monday evening. Back here in the States, awaited by a slightly smaller crowd but just as eagerly anticipated, my friend Anna gave birth to her darling baby boy, Logan. Logan was born at 7:49 a.m. on Monday morning. He weighed 9lbs, 1 oz and is 23" long. So, he's actually a little bit heavier than the Prince, although I'm sure that HRH Prince George will catch up in no time.

Meet Logan!

First family photo

This week, I have been busy making baby quilts. Note: I'm not making one for HRH, although Kate has only to ask (her wish is my command), and Logan's baby quilt is finished and waiting for him in his crib. I completed two quilt tops this week. They are both the same pattern, but the fabric choices make them look very different. I prefer the brighter colors in the construction quilt. The pattern is called 4-Patch, Plain Patch and it is found in Ursula Reike's Quilts for Baby which is one of my go-to quilting books. Both baby quilts were made entirely of fabric found in my stash. I didn't need to buy a thing.

The Winnie the Pooh quilt below is going to my friend Helena who is having her third child next month. She is supposed to be having a boy. Her two previous ultrasounds were both wrong, so I figured that Winnie the Pooh is fairly gender neutral in case little Jacob turns out to be little Jessica.

Winnie the Pooh Baby Quilt

My Mom had a double knee replacement in June. My two brothers and I each went to Florida and took a turn helping out, but she has needed some full time help for an extended period (this was expected). She has found a wonderful woman named Charisse who has been helping out with cooking and errands. Charisse has also been doing double duty as a computer consultant and helping my Dad with his new laptop computer and tablet. My Mom, of course, was showing off my blog to Charisse who admired the quilts and wanted to buy one for a baby gift. I am making the baby quilt below as a gift for Charisse (who in turn will give it as a gift) because I really appreciate what great care she has taken of my Mom. P.S., my Mom is doing great!

Construction Vehicles Baby Quilt

I am also including a couple of other photos so you can get a better look at the fabric in these quilts.

As long as we're talking about royalty, you must check out my friend Beth's shoes--they are definitely fit for a Queen! She was wearing them at our quilt group tonight and I was quite envious...not to mention that she snagged them last year for a mere $5!

Can you get any better than gold metallic wedges with a leopard print bow? Oh, baby!

I still need to quilt both tops, but my two oldest nephews, ages 14 and 17, are coming to spend the weekend with us, so quilting will have to wait until next week. Mike and I are looking forward to doing some different activities than we normally do. So far, indoor rock climbing and a high speed boat ride are on the list. And I'm sure that the pugs will get a lot of extra attention.

Hope you have a great weekend! I am linking up to Richard and Tanya Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric AddictSew Many Ways and Crazy Mom Quilts.

I have just added a new link to Plum and June: Let's Get Acquainted.

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Hard Day's Work

Marion and I put in a hard day's work at the 2Pugs Design World Headquarters yesterday. I spent most of my day pinning and cutting, while Marion did most of the sewing. I put bindings on three fleece blankets, and cut out pillowcases. Marion put together the T-Shirt Pillow that matches our most recent T-Shirt Quilt commission. It is a very large 27" bed pillow. She also assembled five pillowcases.

I love this pincushion. It is made out of boiled wool. I have two of them and use them for different kinds of pins. These are my cheapie pins from Walmart.

Our finished T-Shirt Pillow!
Somehow, it is much more pleasurable to spend the day sewing, even if it is for our Etsy Shop and not for our personal use, then to spend the same amount of hours in the office. However, I will not be quitting my day job any time soon, because if we sold everything we made yesterday, it would bring in about $212. I'm not certain how anyone can make a living wage by doing crafts.

Our lunch break at Friendly's. Marion's hot fudge sundae had butter pecan and forbidden chocolate ice cream. Mine was forbidden chocolate and mint chocolate chip. Yum!!!
Joannie joined us towards the end of the day and worked on a table topper and some birthday blocks.

Marion and I model some of our finished products.

Thomas the Train, bowling, Bob the Builder and Celtics (2) pillowcases. They are headed to our Etsy Shop.

Red Sox (2) and Winnie the Pooh fleece blankets also headed to our Etsy Shop.

Today is Sunday and it is apparently chore day for me, although Mike has left on a bike ride for a few hours. I've organized my finances, paid a few bills and washed some dishes. Next, I have to sort several baskets of clean laundry. Lest you think Mike is shirking from chores, don't worry, he is cooking dinner. Tonight it is shrimp grilled on a cedar plank. If I have any energy left I'm going to go downstairs to the basement and try to attack some of the clutter lurking below.

Hope you are having a great day! I am linking this post up to Sew Many Ways.

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


If you are not busy quilting, and you are looking for something else to do, I recommend the following:

If you like foreign films, Mike and I just watched Vitus on Netflix, and we both enjoyed it. It is the story of a child prodigy. It was funny and poignant and the acting was great.

If you like to read, Marion recently loaned me A Thread of Grace, and I thought it was excellent. This book is about the Holocaust, and it takes place in Italy. It is fiction, but has roots in a true story.

If you like fashion and documentaries, I just watched, The Eye Has to Travel on Netflix, which is about Diana Vreeland, I fell asleep towards the end, but I had a long day yesterday (business trip to Virginia and back in one day--about 15 hours). The pugs and I thought it was very good.

If you like to bake, make the Rootbeer Float cookies, and substitute Maple extract for the Rootbeer extract. You will then have Maple Madness cookies. My husband Michael gave me the ultimate compliment when he said, "Honey, these cookies are dangerous. I can't stop eating them." We had to put them in the freezer.

It's not a blog without a photo, so here are the cutest pugs in Hyde Park. Romeo is wearing a cone because he had a little eye surgery two weeks ago, but he is getting his stitches out tomorrow. Elvis likes this photo because he is in the front.

If you like any of my recommendations, let me know. And I'd love to hear from you if you've read any good books, seen any good movies (don't recommend The Heat to me, I didn't think it was funny), or baked anything yummy.

Linking up on Friday to Richard and Tanya Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pugs and kisses,

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Busy Little Bee

I've been a busy little sewing and cutting bee, but I've been working on projects that I can't show in the blog yet, like birthday blocks for my Brown Bagger friends, which are supposed to be a surprise, or I've been cutting things out that aren't very exciting.

Monday night I cut the strata units for my bargello quilt into strips. Joannie made place mats, this time in golf fabric for her golfing league banquet.

Joannie, aka The Place Mat Queen

On Thursday night, I finished my August birthday blocks for Debbie and Nancy and did the first step on all the remaining blocks for this year (birthdays in September, October, and November). This reminds me that we will need to pick a block for 2014 soon.

Ginny was laying out her floral blocks from a birthday swap that the Thursday girls did last year. Karen was making a Chubby Charmer tote bag in bright colors, and Pat was working on the 50 Shades of Grey t-shirt Quilt #2. Beth is also working on a t-shirt quilt. Judi, Nancy Q., and Toni were also sewing. Sorry I didn't get more photos. It was nice to see all eight of us together at one time.


Pat's T-Shirt Quilt, #2

Karen's bag, side 1

Karen's bag, side 2

Marion came over today with a very large bag of cut squares. We are going to destash (it won't make even a tiny dent) and list some bags of fleece and cotton 6.5" squares for sale on our Etsy Shop. We had fun sorting them and putting them into color groups. In the end, we did keep a few...but we're going to experiment with listing five bags of goodies. Here are the listings for the squares of pink fleece, blue fleece, fleece in turquoise, yellow and mint green, pink flannel and cotton, and assorted flannel squares. When we were finished playing with the fabric squares, we made a t-shirt pillow that is a custom order to go with our most recent t-shirt quilt, and we also cut out four pillowcases for our Etsy shop. Then we took a break and went to a new Chinese restaurant for lunch. After lunch we stopped at All About Quilts and visited with our friend Margaret. Marion got lucky and found a lovely bolt of bargain fabric for $3 a yard, so she bought what remained on the bolt to put towards a future quilt back. I got a couple of Kaffe Fassett fabrics for upcoming birthdays and also found a really cute fabric book panel about trucks.

Front of T-Shirt Pillow

When I got home, I still had energy, so I tackled the infamous Root Beer Float cookies, which are now Maple Madness cookies. The cookies have come out of the oven, so next I need to make the frosting. While the cookies were cooling, I cut out 14 blankets for our Etsy shop. We definitely need some new inventory.

It does feel good to get some of my obligatory quilting out of the way. I've told myself that as soon as all the birthday blocks are made, I can start assembling my new bargello wallhanging. Everything is cut and ready to sew!

What are you working on in your neck of the woods? Still one more day in my weekend left...maybe a little more sewing in my immediate future...

Linking up on Sunday to Sew Many Ways. Linking up on Friday to Richard and Tanya Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A little Sunday fun at Sewphisticated Fabrics

On Sunday afternoon, Joannie, Marion and I made an impromptu road trip to Sewphisticated Discount Fabrics in Dorchester. I've mentioned Sewphisticated in my blog before, it is a great discount fabric store. Taking a trip to Sewphisticated is like going on a treasure hunt because you never know what you will find. Plus, all of the quilting cottons are $2.99 or $3.99 per yard. The remnants are $2.49 per yard. They also have apparel and decorating fabric. With these great prices, who can resist?

My first find were the four beautiful black, red, and white fabrics below. All were on the remnant table. There was a fifth coordinate but it was snatched out from under my nose by another eager shopper.

I'm thinking that these fabrics might make a lovely tote bag...

Next, I augmented my pillowcase fabric supply. The soccer fabric and the dog fabric are intended for my friend Helena's children in Ireland. They usually visit every summer, but they are having a new baby in August, so we won't see them until next year. I have to make a baby quilt too...

The money fabric is for my nephew Ben, age 11, and the Beatles fabric is for my older nephews, Sam, age 17, and Josh, age 14, who appreciate classic rock (and Aunt Nancy's pillowcases).

These fabrics will make some fun pillowcases!

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the baby print below, but at $2.49 a yard it was too cute to leave on the remnant table.

Any suggestions?

This last fabric jumped into my arms as I was waiting in line to have my fabric cut. It is a decorator weight cotton and I fell in love with its bold graphic pattern. Again, I think it will eventually make a great tote or duffel bag.

Into the Stash for now!

But wait! My fun didn't end here...Joannie wanted some background fabrics with a little texture. While we were shopping she had found some of the Andover Dimples line in red and purple (with a little help from me) but what she really wanted was green.

So, off we went over the bridge and through Boston to the Somerville location. Carol and I had tried to find the Somerville location a few years ago, but we got lost and went home (and never tried again). Joannie, however, had been to the Somerville location before, so getting lost was not an issue.

Although Joannie did not find her beloved Dimples in green, she did find some nice motorcycle fabric to make a gift for her brother Tommy and a whole armload of other fabric goodies (no photos to protect the not-so-innocent). There was some nice bass fishing fabric, but Joannie did manage to turn it down. Marion also made a few small purchases. She has been quite diligent about not buying too much "on spec" (i.e., for the stash) since she is trying to make a dent in her current fabric inventory. How's that going Marion?

Look what I found at the Somerville's the elusive fifth coordinate that I didn't grab fast enough at the Dorchester location (at bottom right). I also found a sixth coordinate (upper right) and added two more animal prints to my ever-growing animal print collection. A girl can never have too many animal prints? Right?

Hope you enjoyed my fabric shopping trip...I sure did!

Pugs and kisses,

P.S. Linking up to Sew Many Ways.

Your Personal Fabric Shopper

I got a new job on Saturday. I became a personal shopper for quilting fabric. My first assignment came in at 8:30 am. My friend Pat called me from her beach cottage to ask if I would buy her a medley of gray fabric to make a quilt for her niece's wedding gift.

Is it a problem for me to buy fabric? Why, not at all. Joannie, Marion and I were headed to the Quilter's Stash that morning anyway (Pat had been invited, but opted for tanning instead), so off we went.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to instantly photograph and email two choices to Pat, so she could virtually select the fabric herself.

Fabric Medley, Option 1

Fabric Medley, Option 2
Pat is planning to make a low volume gray quilt, so she immediately selected Option 2, which happened to be from David Butler's Parson Gray fabric line. David Butler is Amy Butler's husband, and Amy Butler is Pat's favorite fabric designer, so I though this was pretty funny.

On a sadder note, Quilter's Stash is closing in the next few months, as owners Sue and Barry want to retire after 11 wonderful years of supplying my addiction. Everything is 25% off right now. The sale just started on Friday, July 5th, and there is plenty of lovely fabric left, even after a visit from Joannie, Marion and me.

We have a lot of great local quilt stores, but Quilter's Stash has been one of my favorites for a very long time. Sue stocks a huge number of Kaffe Fassett fabrics and Batiks, which are my two favorite kinds of fabric. She has wonderful samples on the wall. If you're in the Massachusetts area, it's worth a trip.

Quilter's Stash--you will be missed!

Let me know if you need any personal fabric shopping done...

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sadie's Dream for a Cure

I finished my second tote bag for Sadie's Dream for a Cure this afternoon. I found this charity through another quilter's blog a few months ago. They are an organization that provides support for pediatric cancer patients.

They provide you with a fabric kit to make one tote bag and they ask you to make a second bag with your own fabric. I requested five kits and recruited several of my quilting buddies to help me out. Joannie, Marion, Toni and I made the eight bags below. My friend Sue is still working on her bags. She spends most of the summer at her beach house, so I won't bug her again until September. In the meantime, the bags below are going in the mail tomorrow.

If you would like to request a tote bag kit, contact Katherine at You can also visit their website at

Another project to check off my list! Yeah!

Hope you are having a great day! We are having a heat wave in Massachusetts (I think that it is day 4), so it is a great excuse to stay inside in air conditioned comfort and sew!

Pugs and kisses,

P.S. Linking up to Richard and Tanya Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts, and Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Please consider making a tote bag for this worthy organization.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey

This week my regular Thursday quilting night was cancelled because it was the 4th of July (which is a major American holiday). My buddy Pat decided to come over and quilt with me in my Studio on Wednesday night instead.
Pat at work
Pat is busy making two t-shirt quilts for two children who lost their Dad unexpectedly last year due to a sudden illness. Their Mom is ordering the quilts as a birthday surprise. Unfortunately, Dad was not a snazzy dresser...and Mom wants the quilts to be very plain...there was only one logo t-shirt in the whole batch.

One red t-shirt adds a tiny spark, but the rest of the t-shirts are kind of bland.
Pat was having a hard time, because in her own words, she "didn't want to make an ugly quilt." We both agreed that it is very difficult to work with colors that you don't like. Pat and I are a lot alike, we both like lots of bright colors and patterns.

Pat's t-shirt quilt #1
Pat did get one of her tops assembled and I thought it looked really good. It has a modernistic element to it. Pat is still not sure if she likes it. She has nicknamed this quilt, Fifty Shades of Grey.

In contrast to Pat, I was working on my rainbow bargello quilt. I finished both of my strip sets. I LOVE the colors!
Rainbow BRIGHT!!
By the way, my 83-year old Dad read Fifty Shades of Grey and he told me that he thought it was boring. He recommends Forever Amber instead.

What colors do you prefer to work with?

I am linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts, and Richard and Tanya Quilts. Please say "Hi" if you come for a visit. July 6: I just added a link to Lily's Quilts, Small Blog Meet. This is for new bloggers with fewer than 50 followers.

Pugs and kisses,

Move Over Martha!

Happy 4th of July!

This beautiful patriotic quilt was made by my friend Carol as a gift for her Dad. She just finished it this morning! Her cute little poodle Bella, at lower right, is so cute, she looks like a stuffed animal! Carol designed the whole quilt around the flag border print. I think it is fabulous!
Today, it was hot enough to fry a pug on the sidewalk, even at 8am this morning, when it felt like Africa had arrived in Hyde Park. So, after I took the pugs for a walk, I thought it would be a great day to bake a cake!!

Quilt Taffy had mentioned some interesting recipes in a recent blog. I decided to make the Apple Tortellini Salad, the Strawberry Lemonade Cake, and the Rootbeer Float Cookies.

I made the cake this morning. I haven't baked from scratch in a long time. Mike helped me out by making fresh lemon zest and squeezing fresh lemon juice for me. You've got to love a man with his own microplane (this is the tool to make lemon zest). After the cakes were in the oven, I started on the Apple Tortellini Salad. Mike helped me with some of the ingredients--he has mad knife skills--and it was fairly quick and easy to put together.

We went out for a little while in the afternoon to get a few last minute ingredients. The cookies called for rootbeer extract. We went to four different stores, including Whole Foods and Williams Sonoma, and we could not find it anywhere. Finally, I bought maple extract, but by the time we got home, we were tired and I gave up on the cookies since I still had to make the frosting for the cake.

The icing for this cake is just delicious. Of course, most things that involve a pound of butter and five cups of sugar usually are... Unfortunately, I made the frosting too thin, and it was quite difficult to spread on the cake.
My brief Martha Stewart moment.
The final verdict: the Apple Tortellini Salad was absolutely delicious and I would definitely make it again. I thought the lemon cake was very dense and I made the frosting too thin, but it was still quite tasty. Mike liked it and he is not a big sweets eater. I may write to Quilt Taffy to see if I overmixed the batter or if it is supposed to be a dense cake. And I still have to get back to the Rootbeer Float Cookies which are now going to be maple until I can find rootbeer extract.

The pugs also liked the strawberry frosting!


Romeo (he's wearing a cone because he had a little surgery on Tuesday, but he is doing fine.)

Larry (usually a camera-hog, but looks like he left the photo a little too soon...)
Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hanging out with my talented friends

Here are some things that my friends have been working on.
Kim P. finished her circular play mat. Isn't this cute?

Joannie, aka the Place Mat Queen, finished up a set of a dozen place mats for the 4th of July. Just in the nick of time!

Joannie gave me two for my own table! Love the fireworks fabric! Thanks Joannie!
I met my friend Janet for lunch yesterday at Panera. Janet used to belong to our Thursday quilting group, but is overbooked right now. Janet and her husband are retired and spend each winter in Florida. She is home for the summer.

Janet brought a quilt in progress (see below) to show me. It is a commission for a friend and it is Janet's original design. She mitered her corners (I'm green with envy). I wish that I had taken a close-up of her quilting, it is really nice. I was finally able to give Janet her giant bag of scraps. I'm sure she will make something wonderful.
Janet, on left, and me.

Janet's quilt. We had to corral one of my co-workers to help hold it.
Desmond's blanket
Lastly, here is one of my projects that didn't make it to the blog last month. It is a flannel panel (center), that I added borders (green flannel) to make it bigger. I backed it with fleece and embroidered it with the baby's name. It is for my neighbors down the street. They have the cutest little red-haired baby boy and he was born on my birthday, this past March. Naturally, I gave it to them on the hottest day of the year, but I'm sure that they will use it this winter.

Have a great day!

Pugs and kisses,