Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Howl O'Ween 2013

Our Mom will do anything to get candy

Mom, take these off, please?

LarryPug wants to point out that the photos above are
from a couple of years ago, BEFORE he joined
the Pug Pack and took over the household.
Pugs and kisses to all of my blog readers. Sadly, the pugs are not dressing up for Halloween this year because I'm off to my November quilt weekend. I promise to come home with some photos to share.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Bed Quilt Entry for Blogger's Quilt Festival 2013

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

I'm sorry that you may have seen this quilt before but it is reappearing for an important reason. I am entering it in Amy's Creative Side's annual Blogger's Quilt Festival in the Bed Quilt Category. You can vote later this week from November 1st through November 7th on Amy's blog.

I love this quilt for so many reasons. First, I think it is one of the most gorgeous quilts that I have ever made. I love the ten colors of batik that radiate out from the center. I did NOT want to give this quilt away. This quilt was a wedding gift for my co-worker Anna. Anna has worked with me for 8 years. We are very close and I love her very much. We picked out the fabrics together when we were on a business trip, so I knew that the colors were exactly what she wanted. Even her husband was thrilled with the finished quilt and the two of them wrote me a beautiful thank you note.

Quilt Statistics:
  • Size: 96"x108" (king size bed)
  • Pattern: Blooming 9-Patch from the book, Traditions with a Twist by Blanche Young and Dalene Young-Stone
  • Fabric: Batik
  • Sewn by: Yours Truly, aka PugMom. It took about a year, working on it among other projects.
  • Professionally Machine Quilted by Shirley Gammon from Blue Moose Quilting in Maine (no website unfortunately)
  • Number of pieces: one zillion (or too many to count)
  • Original blog post here. This post had 611 views and got 18 comments, which was monumental for me.

Anna's Amazing Wedding Quilt. Joannie on the left, me on the right.

The very first stitches in Anna's quilt. May 2012.

From such humble beginnings...
It grew.
It even went on vacation to Cape Cod with me, shown here on
the rug at Sue's Cape Cod house (Marion's daughter).
Putting together the corner units.
Assembling in halves.
The finished top!
I hope you enjoyed seeing this quilt again. Please vote for me on November 1st. I don't expect to win, but it's great fun to see all the entries and visit all the other blogs.

Pugs and kisses,

Bali BedRunner Class Part 2

A star is born! Well, half a star at least!

Here I am with half a block. It took me most of the day,
but I am still smiling. My teacher, Ginny Radloff is on the right.
I am pleased to report that the Bali BedRunner goes together swimmingly, with the help of my new Sewline glue pen and a few strategically placed pins. Although I had valiantly done most of my homework since my first class last month, I didn't have enough A Rings made. I didn't want my blocks to have too many duplicate rings, so I assembled what I could.

Here is Joannie with her half block. I love the colors she is using.
We are leaving on Thursday for our annual November Cape Cod weekend. I am bring my Bali BedRunner to work on. Hopefully being in the company of fellow classmates Joannie and Nancy D. will spur me to continue, especially if I don't pack any other projects!

Pugs and kisses,

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Couch Pugtatoes

Last night, Mike and I spent the evening in front of the television, having a very relaxed Friday night in-home date. I had treated him to the leftovers from my Chinese food lunch, and he made me a delicious egg white omelet with the last of our garden tomatoes. We watched 21 Jump Street, a farcical movie based on the old television show. It was silly and stupid and we thoroughly enjoyed it. A perfect movie for a stay at home evening. Originally, our plan was that I would sew some more rings for my class today and Mike would practice his guitar, but we were both tired, so we sat on the couch some more.

We never got up, and ended up watching a couple of hours of Sir Paul McCartney and Wings perform back in 1976 on VH1 Classics. McCartney's music is timeless and beautiful. He and Linda looked so young in the video. Of course, I was in sixth grade back then, so it was a long time ago, for all of us.

While listening to the concert, I amused myself by taking photos of the pugs with my iPhone. Hope you enjoy them!

If you are new to my blog, allow me to introduce you to my three darling pug boys: Romeo, age 12 (in December), Elvis, age 11, and baby LarryPug, age 4. We adopted LarryPug last year. Romeo and Elvis have lived with me since they were puppies. They are half brothers, sharing the same father.

The view from my lap. Romeo in black, LarryPug in green. Romeo surprised me by sitting in my lap the whole evening. Usually, he is not a cuddle pug, preferring to sit right next to me on the arm of the couch.

Elvis is turning silvery.

Elvis got some special cuddles from his PugDad.
Doesn't my husband have gorgeous hair?

Cuddling with Dad.

Love this photo of Elvis. It's hard to get a good photo of
him since he is all black, plus he usually turns his head
when I aim the camera. If you look closely, you can see some
quilts and Sam, the doll model for my Etsy shop in the background.
The pugs love to snuggle and they end up intertwined in all sorts of funny positions.
Here LarryPug is snuggled into the curve of Romeo's hip. Kind of looks like Siamese pugs, not
sure where one begins and the other one ends.

Such a sweet face--LarryPug

Even closer. Look at his darling eyelashes.
Have a great day! Remember to cuddle often with your loved ones!

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, October 25, 2013

Lord of the Rings

I am still plugging away at my Bali BedRunner. Progress has been slow, and I haven't allowed myself to work on anything else, despite the fact that whenever I go in the Studio, all the other projects cry out, "Work on me! Work on me!". Kind of like when the cookies are calling from the freezer...

I spent last weekend sewing with my girlfriends at our annual October weekend, and took only one photo, despite the fact that all of them were working on many different lovely projects. I couldn't stop sewing. I have my eyes on the prize.

Last night I finished these. They are Unit B. This represents a lot of work, but you can't tell. There are three in each stack, so now I have nine. Still more to make in two additional colorways.

This is the side that you sew from. Lots of instructions!

Lots of trimming
This is the one photo I took last weekend. My friend Valerie is
making this quilt. I love the three dimensional effect.

Here is a photo of the pattern. She bought it at Quiltique in Las Vegas.
My class is tomorrow. I've got my bag of M&M's packed. I need to try and squeeze in a couple of hours sewing today and make some more Unit A's. Hopefully, we will start to put the quilt together in class. Although this has been A LOT of work, I have enjoyed it (Joannie, not so much, Nancy D., on the fence).

For more about my Bali BedRunner, you can read previous posts, here and here.

Have a great day!

Linking up on Friday to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Link a Finish Friday and CrazyMom Quilts.

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Signs of Fall

Here in New England, I know it's Fall when the elusive pink dahlias begin to bloom. According to, dahlias may begin to bloom as early as May (probably down South) and reach full blooming potential in August. I guess that mine didn't get the memo. Fortunately, our weather has been mild, and my dahlias are finally starting to bloom. I'm in love with this gorgeous pink one.

When my girlfriends and I went to New York City last weekend, we were treated to the most magnificent fall foliage on our drive through Connecticut. The pugs and I have been enjoying the pretty colors in the park where we go for our daily walk.

I love the colors in this tree!

LarryPug is resplendent amidst the fall foliage.

I bought the pugs new harnesses at Petco. They close with
a plastic buckle instead of a prong, so hopefully they will
be more secure. Don't they look cute?

My hydrangeas have turned a rusty red. Beautiful!
I would love to make this giant maple leaf quilt!

It is called Modern Maples. You can download the pattern for free on Lark Crafts' website here.

Have a wonderful day!

Pugs and kisses,

Saturday, October 12, 2013

New York City Garment District Tour

Last weekend, Joannie, Marion, Carol, and I went to NYC for a tour of the Garment District. The tour was run by Mimi Jackson who writes the blog, Shop the Garment District. The SpeakEasy Tour is offered several times a year. This is not a historical tour, it is a shopping trip (aka, my kind of tour). Marion and I have wanted to go shopping in NYC for several years, and we finally took the plunge. Once I signed up with Marion, it was easy to convince Carol and Joannie to join us.

New York City: So much fabric to love!


Marion had the great idea of driving to Stamford, CT, and then taking the train into NYC. It made a lot of sense. Although Joannie, our designated driver, is fearless and volunteered to drive us right into the Big Apple, we thought staying overnight in CT was a better plan. NYC is very expensive, so we feared that the cost of the hotel, the parking, and the meals would be astronomical. Our other option was driving or taking the train from MA in the morning. However, we had to meet the tour at 10am, so we would have needed to leave by 6 am or earlier. Ironically the high-speed Acela train was out of service, so I'm glad that we hadn't planned on taking it!

Thursday afternoon, we left Boston around 3pm. We stopped in Vernon, CT around 5pm to eat dinner at Rein's Deli and visit Quilting By The Yard. To our delight, we also found a lovely yarn shop and a used book store in the same shopping plaza.

At Rein's for dinner, from left, Marion, Joannie and Carol
I couldn't decide between rice pudding or chocolate
pudding, so the waitress gave me a scoop of each!

I had never been to Quilting By The Yard before. Mike and I had eaten at Rein's Deli once before, but it was late at night and the quilt shop was closed. The quilt store was lovely. It was filled to the brim with beautiful fabric, patterns, and notions. Samples were hanging everywhere. Joannie and I were particularly taken by the shopping cart full of remnants right at the front of the store. If you bought three fabrics, your fourth one was free!

Trying to convince Joannie to sneak the entire cart out of the store...

These little beauties came home with me. Joannie got a pretty batik remnant.

We spent the night at the Holiday Inn in Stamford. The hotel was lovely. It has just been renovated. In the morning, we got free breakfast and free shuttle service to the train station.

On the train. It took about an hour to get into NYC.

Ready to go on the tour!
There were a total of 12 ladies on the tour. It was a really nice group. We thought that we were adventuresome, having come in from Boston, but one lady had flown in from Miami! The tour is geared toward garment sewing. We spent the morning going to three different shops that had an amazing variety of dressmaking fabrics. These shops were off the beaten path, located in the upper floors of office buildings, with no signage from the street. Carol found a lovely piece of white matelasse and Joannie found a nice piece of red cotton that she is going to use for her ever-growing collection of place mats. We also went to Pacific Trimming, which had an enormous variety of notions, trims, and zippers. After a group lunch at Ben's Deli (two delis in two days), we were released into the streets of NYC with a list of additional fabric stores and a flurry of good-byes.

There are a zillion stores at street level to enjoy. We also picked up a free map of the fabric stores at the Garment Center Information Booth. Many of the stores specialized in a particular type of fabric. We visited Spandex World (everything you would ever need to make anything with stretch, from lingerie, to a bathing suit, to a skating costume). We also went in a lovely store that specialized in silk, they had an entire wall of the most gorgeous dupioni silks in every color of the rainbow, and an amazing leather shop. The leather store had a beautiful piece of gold leather embossed with Egyptian designs in the window, but it was $125, so I didn't buy it. What is wonderful about the Garment District is the enormous variety and the availability of custom services such as pleating, adding grommets or snaps, and zippers cut to any custom length you choose (done while you wait).

As a devoted Project Runway fan, I insisted on taking my friends to Mood. We also went to The City Quilter, which is a great quilt shop, located outside of the Garment District. I had visited both of these shops before, so I knew the girls would enjoy them.

Inside The City Quilter

My NYC purchases

In the end, I didn't buy too much. First because it was a little overwhelming, and second because we were on a walking tour and we had to carry everything back. I also picked up business cards because most of the shops we visited have websites, so I can order things at a later date. I did finally get a Thank You Mood t-shirt, four zippers cut to size to make more zippered totes, an awl, and a funny piece of fabric that has all fifty United States on it. I saw this fabric in a shop window, across the street from Mood. I will probably make my nephew Ben a pillowcase with it.

By the end of the day we were very tired. I wish that I had worn my pedometer to see how many steps I had walked. Joannie hailed her first cab (ever) and we started our journey home. We all had a great time.

On Monday, Carol e-mailed me to ask when I would plan our next sewing adventure!

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, October 11, 2013

In The Studio with Joannie and Sue

Monday night I hung out with Joannie and Sue. I finally got a photo of Sue's snack food quilt. It is just adorable. I'm not sure if this is the finished size or if Sue is making more rows. She has a great selection of novelty prints. I can't decide which one is my favorite. I may have to start my own collection of snack food prints. They are such fun!

Joannie was working on her favorite project: place mats. This set is a donation for a charitable auction to benefit a charity for the blind.

Veggie prints on the borders. What are the shiny things in the center?

Here, Joannie is setting hot fix crystals.

Look closely. The place mats say, "Eat Your Veggies" in Braille!
I think that Joannie is very clever (and generous)!

In case you would like to make some place mats, here is a link to a fun place mat pattern that I found at the Moda Bake Shop.

I was working on my Bali Bedrunner. My next class is in two weeks, so I continue to persevere.
I spent my evening pinning Unit CDS together.

Here is the finished unit.
I would not be able to get such sharp angles and curves without foundation piecing. I'm finding it very helpful to pin all my pieces. Although it may be an extra step, it helps me ensure accuracy.

Have a great day! My next blog post will be on last weekend's trip to NYC's Garment District...stay tuned.

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rainbow Bargello Quilt Top Is Finished!

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

I am pleased to tell you that I finished my Rainbow Bargello Quilt Top tonight! I'm sorry I haven't written since October 1st, but I've actually been very busy sewing and shopping, so I have quite a few blog posts to catch up on.

This is such a long quilt that it almost takes a village to display it.
My friend Beth, at left, helps me show off my finished top.

It is either a wide table runner or a skinny wall hanging.
In this photo, I may look tall, but I am standing on a chair.
I started this project at the end of June. It is a kit from Keepsake Quilting. The directions were good, the fabric colors were pretty close to the sample, and it was easy to put together. It is not a project for a beginner, but if you are familiar with strip piecing, you will enjoy it. I blogged about it previously here and here.

Where am I going to put a long, skinny wall hanging? Perhaps in my stairwell. Unfortunately, the other quilt in my stairwell is a rainbow pastel-colored bargello variation. Maybe my stairwell will look like a gallery, maybe it will look like a hot mess. It will be months before I get around to making a back and quilting this project, so it will be a while before we find out.

I will be linking up on Friday to Link a Finish Friday, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and CrazyMom Quilts. I am also trying a new linky party at 627 Handworks. If you come by for a visit, please leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you.

Pugs and kisses,

P.S. Happy Birthday Anna!

P.P.S Happy 75th Birthday Aunt Marcia!

P.P.S Welcome to the world, baby Colton John! Congratulations Auntie Pat!