Friday, February 21, 2014

Mike Goes to the Quilt Store!

My husband and I did a lot of celebrating last weekend. We had a good time dining out and spending time together. We even squeezed in a movie, The Monuments Men, on Monday.

On the way home from brunch on Sunday, I asked Mike if he would mind if we stopped by the quilt shop. He paled a little, but agreed. We went to the Cambridge Quilt Shop which I don't get to very often. It's a nice shop with a medium-size selection of fabric in a more contemporary flavor.

Doesn't Mike seem delighted to accompany me?
I was pretty quick in the shop. I was looking for some black and white fabrics for a swap that I am doing next month. Mike was pretty bored, and he said that he felt like Mr. Bobbin, the husband in the cartoon below.

At least I wasn't in the fabric store this long:

I did find some new black and white fabrics. Aren't they pretty?

Next time we'll go to the Fabric Place Basement. There is a Guitar Center next store, where Mike can hang out. In fact, sometimes it's hard to get him to leave!

Have a good day!

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Quilting Scavenger Hunt!

Mike and I treated ourselves and went to brunch at Henrietta's Table on Sunday. If you ever visit Massachusetts, you should check it out. Henrietta's Table is located in The Charles Hotel in Harvard Square in Cambridge. The food is divine. Brunch is expensive, but worth it!

I started my brunch with the chocolate bread pudding.
Mike hit the raw bar and had some oysters and lox.
We go to Henrietta's Table once a year on the weekend between Valentine's Day and our anniversary. We met on Presidents' Day, which you can read about here. I call that our dating anniversary (February 18th). We got married four years later on February 20th, so our actual wedding anniversary date is two days later than the day we met. So we celebrate both and throw Valentine's Day into the mix. It makes for a fun week.

We ate like kings (pigs?) and I was disappointed that I couldn't squeeze in that piece of chocolate flourless cake that I had my eye on. Next year I will eat that first! After we finished eating I wanted to take some photos of the antique quilts that they have displayed in the staircase atrium. I thought you all would enjoy seeing them. Unfortunately, the entire staircase was closed for renovation! No quilts to be seen.

We headed down to the lobby so I could ask when the staircase would be re-opened (another excuse to come back for brunch!). There were some quilts in the lobby so I took some photos. One of the front desk staff members was nice enough to tell me that there were also quilts on display in the guest areas on floors, 4, 5, 9 and 10. (Guess they didn't have enough for floors 3, 6, 7 and 8.) So Mike and I went and rode the elevators!

All of the quilts are blue and white, except for one. I took a full view and a close-up of each one we could find. The lobby quilts had attributions and pattern names, but none of the floor quilts had any documentation. Sadly, none of the quilters are known... be sure to label your quilts!

This beauty hangs in the lobby under glass.

It is an Ocean Waves quilt, simply credited to an American quilter in the 1920s.
Another blue and white beauty in the lobby.

This is an Economy block, made by an American quilter in the 1880s. What stories these quilts could tell!

A log cabin quilt in an unusual setting arrangement.

Check out the quilting!

Lots of flying geese units in this one. No pattern name was listed.

Another example of the intricate work in these quilts.
This nine patch beauty is one of my favorites!

A close-up of the blues and indigo prints in this quilt.

This Sawtooth Star was my other favorite.

I believe the quilting pattern is called Baptist Fan.

There was also some quilting artwork, but I'll save that for another post. Hope you enjoyed our virtual quilt show. Sorry you couldn't join us for brunch!

Adding a link on Friday to Confessions of Fabric Addict, Richard and Tanya Quilts and CrazyMom Quilts! Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Happy wedding anniversary Mike!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Presidents' Day!

Presidents' Day (the celebration of President George Washington and President Abraham Lincoln's birthdays mushed together--it used to be two separate holidays), is a special day for me. It is the day that my husband Mike and I had our first date six years ago. We had lunch at an Indian restaurant and talked for two hours. We met through an online dating service and had been emailing and talking on the phone for about a month before we finally met in person. I liked Mike right away.

A few days later Mike called me after our date. He said, "I have something to tell you. I liked you a lot, but I didn't like the restaurant you picked." Nonplussed, I replied, "That's OK, you can pick the next restaurant we go to." And the rest, shall we say, is history.

So every year, even though we like the restaurant less and less (we have found lots of better Indian food in other places), we have lunch there once a year on Presidents' Day. Three years ago, Mike proposed to me at the site of our first kiss--their parking lot.

Like I said, the food leaves a lot to be desired, but we're quite fond of our little tradition. Happy Anniversary Darling!

Our annual anniversary lunch!

Sue and Joannie came over for Presidents' Day evening. Sue was putting the binding on this cute little Princess quilt that she is making for her granddaughter.
Putting in the final stitches.

The finished quilt!
Joannie took a sewing class today and came home with a new toy!
This is a Passport sewing machine by Pfaff. It weighs only 12 pounds. Joan says it sews like a dream! It is so quiet, I wasn't even sure that Joannie was sewing. She is making miniature nine patches from her scrap fabric.

I was busy cutting black and white fabric for an upcoming strip swap.
I did some Stash Enhancement this weekend.
Hope you had a great weekend (it was a 3-day weekend for most of us in the United States)!

Pugs and kisses,

Saturday, February 15, 2014

First Quilt Finish of 2014

February 15, 2014 and I finally have a finished quilt to show you. So far, this year I have finished two large fleece blankets and five pillowcases, but I think that people aren't really interested in those.
Ta Da!

This quilt is called Lemonade. It is a free pattern on the Fat Quarter Shop's website. All of the fabric came from my stash, including the back. I made the binding from leftover fabric from another quilt back that was the 108" wide fabric. It was great! My binding only has one seam and it didn't end up in a corner! My friend Terri Bearer, who is a professional machine quilter, did the machine quilting. It is a cool swirly design that offsets the squareness of the quilt. If you click on the photo, you should be able to see it. I blogged about this quilt previously here. This lap size quilt measures 48" x 60". It is a gift for my co-worker Lisa who lost everything in a house fire this summer. Her favorite color is purple. I hope she likes her gift!

Here is a photo of two of the cutest puggy boys in the world. LarryPug and Elvis were snoozing in my lap when Mike snapped this photo. I love their smooshie faces.
LarryPug, age 5 (fawn pug) and Elvis, age 11 (black pug)
Hope you are having a good weekend!

Happy first day of retirement to my friend Nancy D. I hope that you will be taking some more Judy Niemeyer classes with me!

Adding a link on Sunday at 1:40 a.m. (What am I doing awake now? Must go back to bed) to Sew Many Ways' Sew Darn Crafty Party. Adding a link on Tuesday (how did it get to be Tuesday? Love those 3-day weekends!) to Freemotion by the River and Sew Fresh Quilts' Let's Bee Social. Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Perfect Man

Happy Valentine's Day! I couldn't resist this little goodie when I was shopping for Valentine's Day gifts...
The Perfect Man is the perfect gift for my friend Eleanor!

Not only is he sweet and rich (and dark and handsome -- check out those chocolate pecs!),
you can always bite his head off if he disagrees with you!
Here is my darling, perfect man, my husband Mike, whom I love and adore. Hard to believe that our two-year wedding anniversary is next week!
Mike recently grew a beard (at my request) and I really like it!

Happy Valentine's Day! (and happy birthday Jo Ann E!)

Adding links on Friday to Richard and Tanya Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Studio Style with Joannie

Joannie came over on Monday night to help me put up my gigantic new sewing room decal. I bought it on Etsy from Vinyl Art Studio. I had it custom made for the space above my sewing machine. It is 60 inches long.

It wasn't too hard to affix to the wall, although both Joannie and I had to stand on step ladders. Mike came over with a paint scraper to help adhere the decal to the paint and also brought me some masking tape, since I didn't notice that my blue painters tape had disappeared until we were ready to work. It was definitely a two person job! The secret is to peel the backing paper off very slowly so that you don't rip the vinyl and so it sticks to the wall instead of the paper.
The decal is this big!
After we put the decal up, Joannie whipped out her staple gun and helped me make a panel for a design wall. I used insulation panels that I bought at Lowe's and we covered them with gridded grey flannel. I need to buy more flannel to make a second panel. This flannel is by Kaffe Fassett and I bought it at Glorious Color.

Showing off my new design wall, part 1.
Thanks Joannie for your help and your patience!

Linking up with Free Motion by the River and Sew Fresh Quilts. Adding links on Friday to Richard and Tanya Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and CrazyMom Quilts! Thanks for visiting.

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, February 7, 2014

February Quilt of the Month

Sorry, I'm late in getting my February quilt on the bed. If you've been reading my blog, I've been busy posting all the photos from our fun quilting weekend at the Cape.

My February quilt is Popsicle Sticks by Atkinson Designs. It is made from 2.5 inch batik strips. This quilt was made from fabrics I exchanged with my Brown Bagger friends. I organized a strip swap in November of 2010. It was a lot of fun. Everyone cut a bag of 15 different strips. I think we each got over 150 different strips.

I started this quilt in December of 2010 and finished it in August of 2011. I enjoy going back and reading my quilting notes. My friend Terri quilted it for me. I gave it to her in February and she gave it back to me in March. Apparently, I was really busy, since I didn't put the binding on the quilt and finish it until five months later.

The colors in the quilt reflect the lovely colors in the tapestry hanging over our bed.

Cheerful and bright! Guaranteed to beat the February blues.
The back of the quilt is this fun elephant print batik
that I bought in the bargain room at Tumbleweeds.
I used this quilt in my entry for Pets on Quilts last year. You can see more photos of the quilt along with my darling pug boys, here.

Have a great day!

I am linking up on Friday to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Richard and Tanya Quilts and CrazyMom Quilts. Thanks for visiting.

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cape Cod Final Wrap Up

Looking back at all the beautiful projects, blogged, here, here and here, I can see that despite my own paltry efforts, a lot of progress was made at our Cape Cod quilting weekend. I didn't even get a photo of everyone's projects because some of the girls are such fast sewers that they would whip a top together, put it away and then move on to the next project without giving me a minute for a single photograph.

Here is my other quilt pattern designer friend Karen. Karen has graced the pages of my blog many times before. You can find more information about Karen's business, Quilt Lily Designs, just by clicking the link. She has an Etsy shop too.

The first two patterns shown below are brand new. I don't think they're on Karen's website yet, but you can always send her an email and inquire.

I believe this pattern comes with an option for additional sizes.

This sample has gorgeous peacock fabric in it.

This pattern is called Linked Up.

Pat was looking for some purple fabric in her stash when she found the blocks for this quilt top. It is a Sampler Quilt that she started a long time ago at the Quilter's Compass. She added sashing and cornerstones and now it is ready to be quilted. She made good use of her purple stash--that's where she found the border fabric which coordinates perfectly.
Purple Sampler Quilt by Pat

Mystery Quilt done in Amy Butler fabrics
Pat brought the finished quilt shown above to sleep under (it's cold at the hotel). This is a mystery quilt that we did a few years ago. Sorry the photo doesn't do it justice.

Jo Ann E., at right, (assisted by Debby) made a matching pair
of quilts using birthday blocks. Jo Ann is very fond of muted colors.
We tease each other all the time, since I like brights.

Marion made this pretty table runner.
Cordula layered her flannel quilt top.

Joan S. is working on this brightly colored quilt.
Kate says, We're not stringing you along, come back soon
for more quilting adventures with PugMom Quilts!
Hope you enjoyed our virtual quilt show!

Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"A" is for Applique

There were some really pretty applique quilts seen at our weekend. I spied at least two nearly finished wall hangings and some works in progress.

You never know "Whoooo" you'll see at a quilt is Debbie with her adorable owl wall hanging for her grandson Kellan. When Debbie wasn't quilting, she was indulging in her second love, playing Candy Crush!

Great job Debbie!

I also spent a few hours helping my quilt designer friend Kate add some gadgets to her brand new quilting blog, Kate Mitchell Quilts. Click the link and check it out!

Here is Kate with her newest pattern, aptly called Cupcakes.
You can buy it in the Annie's catalog or from Kate's own website.
Hey, I need a cupcake! A real one, not a fabric one!
Pat's chocolate bunnies make me drool!
Such a pretty table runner. Now I want a chocolate Easter bunny!

Jo Ann E. is making these adorable little dresses. I can't wait to see more of them.

Below are some non applique projects in progress...

Cheryl worked on some birthday blocks.
We didn't see much of Cheryl this weekend, but for a good reason... Cheryl has made the transition from corporate America to future real estate mogul. She completed her first closing this weekend as a realtor. Her Mom Jean threw a mini party for her at our weekend. We all sang "Happy Closing to You" (sung to the tune of Happy Birthday) and ate some cake in Cheryl's honor.
Congratulations Cheryl! Watch out Donald Trump!
Jean was working on some pinwheel blocks made from a charm pack from 2000.
I have the same charm pack, and I'm still working on my blocks too...
At least one more Cape Cod blog post to follow!

Pugs and kisses,

Under the Big Top

A lot of beautiful quilt tops to show you from our recent weekend at the Cape.

Joannie put the final borders on her Christmas Quilt. She is keeping this quilt for herself. It may end up being Christmas all year long at Joannie's house.

Joannie designed the parallelogram border.

She also made this pretty little mug rug. Not shown is the set
of eight matching place mats. They are already on her table!
Sue was making the Lemonade pattern that I found on the Fat Quarter Shop's website and shared on my blog recently.

Here is Lemonade in Black, White, Gray and Yellow. These colors
remind me of a stormy day with a little sunshine peaking through.

Here is Lemonade in Valentine's Day prints.
Sue also put together this Alphabet panel quilt for her granddaughter.

Marion, at left, finished this top done in all Kaffe Fassett fabrics.
She started this in a class with Kimberly Einmo at the
Vermont Quilt Festival in 2012. Kate, at right, is going to
machine quilt it for Marion.
Carol brought some sunshine to our quilt weekend while
she was working on this cheerful orange quilt.
It came out great, and she cut out a second one!
Joan S. put together her Kaffe Fassett quilt which is made
entirely of half square triangles using a light fabric
and a dark fabric. I love how she set her design off center.
Lots more photos to come!

Linking up to Sew Fresh Quilts, Let's Bee Social. Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,