Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Fabric Bargain

Mike and I spent the weekend in Cape Cod with Marion and Merwyn. It was a lazy weekend. We ate lobsta and chowda. Marion and I did a little sewing, Mike played his guitar, and Merwyn did his sudoku puzzles. We went to a craft show on Saturday where I put my Visa card to good use and started my holiday shopping.

Marion and I also made a trip to Tumbleweeds. I believe that Tumbleweeds is now the only quilt shop left in Cape Cod since HeartBeat Quilts closed its doors. Although Fabric Corner is still in Falmouth, and they have a nice selection of fabric, they don't consider themselves a quilt store. They also have decorator fabric as well.

I got this fabric in the bargain corner for $9.90. It is a 10 yard piece. It is a second, with an extra large selvage on one end. You are not allowed to open the roll before you buy it, so hopefully that is its only flaw. One day, I'm going to make a music quilt for my cousin Lise, who is a professional musician and it will make a nice quilt back.

The last time I bought fabric for $1 a yard, it was 1982 and I was a senior in high school. Ronald Reagan was President. Richard Gere was starring in An Officer and A Gentleman. I wore a size five.

Ahhh, memories.

Have a great day!

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rachel's Birthday Bag

My niece Rachel turned 16 this week. Shortly before her birthday she asked if I would make her a bag as part of her gift. I was happy to oblige. Since Rachel is an accomplished equestrian and her favorite color is purple, the fabric choices were easy. All of the fabric was ready and waiting in my Stash. I did spend about $10 for additional hardware that isn't part of the original pattern.

This is one of my favorite patterns, the Chubby Charmer tote bag. I've made it at least a half a dozen times, which still didn't prevent me from sewing the inside pockets on wrong last week when I was tired and skipped a few of the directions. (Yes, I did go back and fix them.) I made a pink Scottie Dog Chubby Charmer for my friend Eleanor last Christmas, and last week, my friend Karen made this lovely one in Kaffe Fassett prints.

10:30 pm, and the bag is finished!

I also made a matching cosmetic bag.

The purple strap on the left is a "leash" so my niece has
the option to clip her cosmetic bag into her tote bag.

I had a lot of fun adding options to the pattern and making it even better. First, instead of making it as a patchwork bag, I decided to show off the large scale horse print by using it as a single piece of fabric. I added a magnetic snap to the inside of the bag so the bag would stay closed. In addition to the "leash" for the cosmetic bag (see photo above), I also added another strap with a clip on it that my niece could use for her keys. The green clip is a carabiner that I bought in the camping section at Target. I put the clip on a D-ring, so she has the option to remove the clip and use it as a key ring if she wants to. The cosmetic bag was a free pattern on Moda Bake Shop last week, called the Strippy Charm pouch. I made mine out of a single piece of fabric. It was super quick and easy to make.

View of the key clip. Love the purple lining!
I also added a velcro closure to the large pocket with the key clip. I divided the pocket on the other side of the bag in half.

A view of the divided pocket and the magnetic snap.

After 18 years of owning my Bernina, I finally discovered my edge stitch foot! It does exactly that--it allows you to stitch right next to the edge of your fabric. You might not be able to see it in the photo, but the foot has a vertical metal plate that you align against the edge of your fabric. It gives your project a very professional finish!

I've never made such nice straps before!

After my success with the edge stitch foot, I put another four
rows of top stitching in the handles. I think they look great!
I also made an optional hard bottom in a mini pillowcase for the bottom of the bag. This is part of the pattern, but I've never done it before. I used needlepoint plastic for the stiffener. The bottom piece is removable and if my niece is ambitious, she can even wash the cover. Since she may be bringing the bag to the stable with her, I thought it would be a good idea!

This is the removable hard bottom for my niece's bag.

Here is the plastic peeking out of the pillowcase.

This is what the needlepoint plastic looks like.
You can buy it at any crafts store.

Another view of the tote bag.

My lovely niece Rachel on her horse. This photo is from 2011.
Now I must get to bed! I need to get to the Post Office bright and early to mail Rachel her belated birthday gift!

Pugs and kisses,

P.S. On Friday, I plan to link up to My Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Richard and Tanya Quilts. If you drop by for a visit, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sunday Shopping Fun at The Stash!

I freely admit that I am a fabric buying addict. However, I'm not taking dog cookies out of the pugs' mouths or putting a second mortgage on my house to fuel my addiction, so I think it's ok and under control for now.

With that in mind, Marion and I headed over to the Quilter's Stash last Sunday. Sadly, they are closing shortly as Sue is planning to retire. Everything in the store is now marked down to 40%. There was still quite a good selection when we were there, but the shopping activity was lively.

Here I am with my basket of goodies.
Unfortunately, basket not included.
I found some batik pre-cut half yards that were calling my name, then I moved on to the sadly-neglected animal prints that were languishing on the bottom shelf. Sue has the best collection of black and white cotton prints, so I had to buy a few of those as well. Since the magazines were also 40% off, I got two new issues that had just come out, as well as a couple spools of thread and a few lonely remnants. They will be much happier at my house!

Marion, my partner in crime, and co-fabric addict, also had fun adding to her fabric stash. Here she is below, all smiles at the cutting table with her choices.

I am coveting Marion's lime green and turquoise
fabrics; however she did find them first...

Here is Sue cutting Marion's fabric. Yes, that fabric is part of the
Kaffe Fassett collective, but no, Marion did NOT buy the whole bolt.
Happy new fabric owners, with Stash owner, Sue, in the middle.

The totals will remain a secret.
Only our VISA bill knows...

Barry and Sue--we will miss you!
Marion and I also enjoyed a lovely Chinese luncheon at House of Fortune, a new-to-us Chinese restaurant that Sue has been recommending to us for a long time. Hopefully, there will be at least one more visit to the Quilter's Stash before they close for good.

Have a great day! Go buy yourself some fabric! You deserve it!

Pugs and kisses,

Saturday Non-Quilty Fun

Mike and I went to the annual Corn and Tomato Festival at Verrill Farm last Saturday. It is held outside under several large tents. They have pony rides for the kids, a hay wagon ride, and a bluegrass band, plus all the delicious fresh tomatoes and corn that you can eat. For the non-veggie lovers, there are also hot dogs and hamburgers for sale. One tent has cooked items made with tomatoes and corn and several smaller tents have fresh corn on the cob and at least 20 varieties of fresh tomatoes.

This was my plate. There was corn polenta, risotto with tomatoes,
macaroni and cheese with tomatoes, bread pudding with corn
and tomatoes, cornbread, and couscous.

Here is Mike enjoying some of the fresh tomatoes.

After we enjoyed our corn and tomato goodies, we visited their farm store. They have wonderful fresh produce, baked goods, and plants. I had forgotten that they had plants!

Aren't these eggplants just gorgeous? We bought some and Mike grilled them for dinner.

I filled my wagon with some new perennials for my garden. The hot pink flowers
in the front are Bee Balm. I also bought some new varieties of sedum.

Later that afternoon, we decided to take the pugs to Jamaica Pond for a walk to enjoy the beautiful weather, and of course to show them off, since they are still in the Pets on Quilts contest and they need all the votes we can get. You can still vote here until Saturday night, August 24th. Look for the big blue arrow at the bottom of the post that says, "Vote Here", then click on the comments. You have to write your vote in as a comment. Sorry, it's a little complicated.

 In the car.

LarryPug is in front, Romeo is in the rear,
and Elvis is riding in the carriage.
This is the first time that we brought the baby carriage for Elvis to ride in. Elvis is almost 11 and he is very arthritic. He can walk, but Jamaica Pond is a 1.5 mile loop, so I usually end up carrying him part of the way. Romeo is a year older than Elvis, but he loves to walk. LarryPug is only 4, so he probably could have done a second lap. This was LarryPug's first visit to Jamaica Pond, which he enjoyed tremendously. Our friend Cindy got us the carriage at a garage sale for $10. Elvis loves to ride in it. He barked at all the big dogs as we passed them on our walk.

Saturday night, we enjoyed some delicious grilled veggies, plus a killer tomato salad with tomatoes from our own garden, as well as Mike's mouth-watering buttermilk chicken for dinner. For dessert, there was a home-made blueberry and rhubarb pie from Verrill Farms.

A great day!

Pugs and kisses to all,

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Vote Often and Early

The following is a message from Romeo, Elvis, and LarryPug.

We are just worn out from being shown off so much!
Please go and vote for us so our Mom will let us rest!

Won't you please, please, vote for us? Our Mom, so devoted to us that she is known as PugMom, has entered us in TWO, not one but two, pets on quilts blog contests this week. She believes that we are the cutest, smartest, most adorable pugs in the whole world and she loves to show us off.

You can find us at the Pets on Quilts Show here. The voting begins on Sunday (August 18th). Apparently all you need to do is leave a comment that we're your favorite. We are picture #17, entitled The Pug Pack, as shown below. We apologize, the Show Entry is a really, really long blog post, so you need to scroll way, way down to find us, and then scroll down further to leave a comment. If you want to read Mom's original blog post and see lots more pictures of us, click here.

Yesterday, Mom posted us on Facebook for the Quilting Gallery's Weekly Show and Tell Contest on their blog. She was hoping that some of her friends, especially the ones who have LOTS of friends would post this on their wall. So far we only have 21 votes (at least three of the votes are Mom's), so we're lagging in fifth place.

When you click on the link below, you will see us here, then you need to scroll down to the list of quilt names and click the box next to Pugs on Popsicle Sticks.

Here is a repeat of our Facebook post.

The Pug Pack needs your vote!!

Please visit the Quilters Gallery and vote for them. We are Photo image #30, entitled "Pugs on Popsicle Sticks".

--Voting is open Friday to Monday, August 19, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. (EDT)

--One vote per person (based on IP address NOT email address), so have your family and friends cast a ballot for their favorite quilt! So vote from your laptop, your desktop computer, your iPhone, your iPad, and your Android, because we need all the help we can get.

So we implore you, please, please, vote for us! If you visit our house we will kiss you to death and give you a piece of Mom's fabric stash (Sssssh! Don't tell Mom...) 

Pugs and kisses,
Romeo, Elvis and LarryPug

With your vote, fame and fortune is only moments away! Help us go viral!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Thursday night was especially bright at my quilt group. I finally got to start on my Rainbow Bargello Quilt wall hanging, which I first showed you here. It worked up very quickly. I had all the strata units made so tonight I just had to start sewing them together. I have four strips left to add to this piece and this half will be complete. I love it--it has such wonderful bright colors.

Top half is almost finished!

My friend Karen finished her Kaffe Fassett Bag. She modified the Chubby Charmer tote pattern by making it larger to hold all of her quilting supplies. You saw Karen start this project here. And as soon as she finished it this evening she proceeded to dump out her other quilt bag and fill this one to the brim! Love it!

Karen's bag is lovely!

My friend Beth, at bottom left, put together her batik birthday blocks. My Thursday friends swapped these last year, the year that Mike and I got married, so I didn't participate.

Another batik beauty from Beth!
Hope you enjoyed our brightly-colored quilt show!

On Friday morning, I will be linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Richard and Tanya Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts and Sew Many Ways.

Don't forget to come back to see the Pets On Quilts Bloopers Reel and please vote for the Pugs!

If you come by for a visit, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Finished Projects (and almost finished projects) from the August Weekend

I admit that while I greatly enjoyed the company of my Brown Bagger Quilting friends last weekend, I was not particularly enjoying the projects that I brought to work on. My work life has been dismal the past few weeks, since my co-worker went on maternity leave, and I've been kind of down in the dumps.

Happily, this week my mood has improved, as I've continued a steady dose of sugar and shopping, my fail-safe cure for most ills.

For me, it was a zig-zag weekend, as for the most part, I put bindings on baby blankets. This was a simple task that my depressed brain could handle. One could even call it therapy.

Three new blankets for the Etsy Shop, since I've
already sold the blue one at upper right.
I made three more Patriots pillowcases, also for the Etsy Shop.
I made two full size pug fleece blankets. I'm keeping these.
This one is for Mike. I've trimmed it in orange and it reverses to
orange minky. Mine is trimmed with pink. I bought this fleece at
JoAnn Fabrics a few years ago and I have been saving it.
Next, I'm making myself a jacket and no, I'm not kidding.
If you've read my blog before, you can probably guess that
these place mats belong to Joannie. They were quite a hit at her
Golf Banquet on Tuesday night.
Another golfing friend received this cute little tote bag that Joannie made.
Marion also caught the place mat bug. She finished a set of
four autumnal place mats that will be a hostess gift.
Valerie made a table runner.
Joanne whipped up this baby quilt top in one day.
This quilt belongs to Nancy D. As usual, she is posing behind it.
Terri made this Yellow Brick Road in flannel.
Paula finished the top of her star quilt.
Lexine put the binding on her brightly-colored baby quilt.
Kim G. assembled the top of her Asian quilt.
Joan was working on this appliqued Christmas quilt with
lots of details. I can't wait to see it when it is finished.
Kim P. made this pink and black play mat.
It even has pink leopard print in it. My favorite!
Kim P. also finished the assembly of the center of her Civil War quilt which she has been working on for quite a while. She still needs to add the outer borders, but it is truly a masterpiece and my photos don't do it justice. The first photo is an overall picture. I've also included two close-ups so that you can see more of the details. Look closely, you'll see a Hershey's Miniature candy bar in one of the photos to give you an idea of the size of the teeny tiny pieces in this quilt. After you see this, you'll never be able to throw away a scrap of fabric again! Kim--this is so fabulous!

Center of the quilt. I think Kim said that she bought it as a
kit at the Houston Quilt Festival a few years ago.
Close-up #1
See the Hershey's Miniature? These are really small pieces.

Hope you enjoyed this mini show of our projects! Please leave a comment if you drop by for a visit!

Pugs and kisses,