Sunday, October 26, 2014

Nothing Can Stop Me from Getting to Houston

After what seems like an interminable amount of time since I originally booked my trip, I am leaving for the International Quilt Festival in Houston tomorrow at the crack of dawn. It is the 40th anniversary of the show, so all the bells and whistles have been pulled out. It should be an amazing week and I promise to return with lots of stories and photos.

There is one small problem though. I hab a cob. Which translates to: I have a cold. And an ear infection. Which should make flying on a plane pretty fun. Yesterday, Mike even took me to Doc in a Box in hopes that they could give me something for my earache. After my $35 co-pay, the doctor told me that I had a cold and an ear infection (something I knew when I walked in), and that I should take Mucinex (which my friend Lee Anna had already recommended for free and without the benefit of a medical degree). I did however leave with a nifty paper handout that describes my medical condition. I have Fluid in the Middle Ear, No Infection (adult).  The fancy Latin name is Serious Otitis Media. This condition does not respond to antibiotics since there is no infection. Lucky me.

Serious Otitis Media. It hurts.
Mike took me home and I spent the day alternating between napping with the pugs on the couch and napping with the pugs in my bed. I drank three glasses of orange juice and blew my nose a lot.
Here I am in all my germy glory. At least I have Romeo (top), LarryPug (middle) and
Elvis (black spot on the bottom) to comfort me. As well as a couch full of quilts to wrap up in.
Mike made me his famous minestrone soup for dinner. The recipe is from Cooking Light magazine.  Mike omitted the summer squash and also added turkey sausage.
Mike's minestrone versus Serious Otitis Media.
I ate two bowls of soup for dinner and a small bowl of chocolate ice cream. I'm feeling slightly better this morning but my ear still hurts. It feels silly to be an adult with an earache.

I am going to spend a lot of quality time on the couch again, although I must pack my suitcase.

Much love to you all, I'll be back in a week.

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Entering the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

This is my first entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, which is organized by Amy Ellis, quilt author and designer, who blogs at Amy's Creative Side. I am entering the Large Quilt Category. You can  vote on Amy's blog from November 1-7.

I finished this quilt in 2013 as a wedding gift for my darling friend and coworker, Anna. Anna and I have worked together for over ten years. If you've read my blog, you may have seen it before, but it is worth seeing again. I've been quilting for over 20 years, but to-date, this quilt is my absolute favorite. I LOVE the colors. And, I could have only given it to Anna.
Here is the quilt in all its glory. I'm on the right and my friend Joannie is on the left.
Photo by my husband, Michael.
The pattern is a Blooming Nine Patch from Traditions with a Twist, which is one of my favorite quilt books. I've made this quilt before, but never one so big (it's 96"x108"). There are 10 different batiks in this quilt which blend out from an aqua to turquoise to purple to a greenish-blue.

Here is Anna's darling little boy Logan who was born the same day as Prince George! He is on the quilt with his two canine siblings, Frou and Jasper at their new home in Florida.
From left to right: Jasper, Logan, and Frou. Jasper and Frou are Cocker Spaniels.
For more on this quilt, go here. For more on Logan, go here and here.

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

Thanks for visiting! Please come again soon! You can also subscribe to my blog through Bloglovin' or through email. You can read my other non quilting blog, here.

Here are my three pug boys, the source of inspiration for my blog name and the puggy-loves of my life.
From left to right: Romeo, 13, LarryPug, 5, and Elvis, 12.
Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wild Thing!

You make my heart sing!
Live from the kitchen last night!
I have finished assembling this top from my 2012 Brown Bagger birthday blocks. I love the fuchsia background and my piano key border. Eat your heart out, Tarzan! I actually provided all of the fabrics in this quilt to my fellow Brown Baggers when they made my blocks. It will be a generous lap size when it is quilted.

Even before the top was finished, I had bought two different fabrics (so far) for the back. One is a  leopard print in cotton and the other is a flannel leopard print. But, I think I'm going to go get some leopard minky for the back so it will be just yummy!

Can you tell that I LOVE animal prints?

Linking up on Wednesday to Freshly Pieced and Sew Fresh Quilts. Linking up on Friday to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Richard and Tanya Quilts and Crazy Mom Quilts.

Thanks for visiting! Please come again soon! You can also subscribe to my blog through Bloglovin' or through email. You can read my other non quilting blog, here.

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October Quilt Weekend

As usual, there was Chinese food, chocolate, and fabric shopping. We also had a first time quilter, a couple of hockey games, kugel and a Bar Mitzvah breakfast. You never know what's going to happen when you come to a Brown Bagger Quilt Weekend!

The unofficial theme of the weekend was "niece." Gifts were being made for lots of nieces, great nieces, nieces' babies, and there were also quilts being made that had been ordered by nieces.

Pat quilted two baby quilts and bound them. The pink one is for her niece's daughter, Harlowe, and the Dr. Seuss quilt is for a different niece's son, Ronan. I bet everyone wishes that Pat was their Aunt!
This quilt was made entirely of scraps from a previous baby quilt project!
I love this zippy Dr. Seuss rail fence. The striped binding was my suggestion!
Valerie assembled this beautiful star quilt top that will be a gift for her great niece. I just love the beautiful blue and white fabrics.
This beauty is queen size. Just needs to be layered and quilted.
Joannie assembled her birthday blocks into a finished top and then layered it. This will be a gift for her son Kevin. The poor boy doesn't have a quilt for his bed. Over the past week, Joannie also quilted 55 Christmas place mats.
I'm usually down with brown, but I like Joannie's quilt!
Kim P. is still making patchwork kittens.
I love these little pink kittens.
Nancy D. finished her Christmas table runner made with the Little Twister. She also worked on a Snowman table runner and a Yellow Brick Road quilt. Do we ever have a quilt weekend when someone doesn't make a Yellow Brick Road quilt?
A Christmas gift for Nancy's piano teacher
Winter fun!

Cheerful Yellow Brick Road!
Debbie made this Yellow Brick Road quilt top in Tula Pink fabrics. This contemporary palette is very different from Debbie's normal choice of country colors.
Debbie, please give this quilt to ME! I've been GOOD!
Joanne S. has been "volunteered" by her great niece into making 8 quilts for her and her cousins for Christmas gifts. She told Joanne that she needed to "commit to the project." That little girl is going to make a great CEO one day.
Six quilts are layered and ready for quilting.
There was a Bar Mitzvah breakfast on Sunday in the function room next door and they left behind two of the centerpieces. I took one home. I love sunflowers, and so does my mother-in-law, Bobbie.
Still life with Ove Glove, rubber band, and junk mail.
Perhaps I should clear the kitchen table.
This gorgeous Christening gown wasn't made at the quilt weekend, but I had to share a photo with you. Pat made this gown from the baby's mom's wedding dress. She also made an adorable matching cap. This will be a family heirloom for many years to come.
Isn't this little guy cute?
Hope you enjoyed our October Quilt Weekend in photos! Linking up on Tuesday with Freemotion by the River. Linking up on Wednesday to Freshly Pieced and Sew Fresh Quilts. Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Monday, October 20, 2014

Houston Bound!

Next week I am going to the Houston International Quilt Festival! Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am traveling with my friends Carol and Sue. It will be Sue's first time at the Festival and she is very excited. Carol and I have been a few times before and we are super excited as well. My friend Kate from Kate Mitchell Quilts will be vending there, so please go visit her booth (tell her I sent you). I am looking forward to meeting my blogging friend Lee Anna from Not Afraid of Color.

Any of my other blogging friends going? Email me if you would like to meet up.

Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's National Pug Day!

How did I almost miss this?????

Honestly, folks, I don't make this stuff up! More information can be found here. And I found a Facebook page too! I even found Hug A Pug Day!

From left to right: Romeo, LarryPug, and Elvis
It's getting late, so we'll have to celebrate this weekend! Pug lovers unite! I'm marking my calendar so I will be ready for next year!

Pugs and kisses from the Pug Pack,

Romeo, Elvis, and LarryPug


PugMom Quilts (aka Nancy)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Putting the Pedal to the Metal

Hello Dear Blog Readers!

I am so excited to announce that I actually finished something this week! I feel like its been ages since I've shown you a finished quilt.
Yeah! It's a finished quilt!
I made this quilt for my husband's friend Phil. They've been friends since college. All the fabric came out of The Stash and some of it is quite old, but all the colors look great together. I love the black sashing, it gives the quilt the look of stained glass. This pattern is Colonnade by my blogging friend Kim from Robot Mom Sews. It was very easy and fun to put together. In fact, I've already started a second one in novelty prints. This quilt was professionally machine quilted by my friend Terri Bearer.

I actually sewed every day last week (except Wednesday) from Sunday to Saturday. It's amazing how much I got done! In addition to the beautiful quilt above, I also finished three small projects.

I made a Halloween pillowcase for my five year old friend Lily. I also found a book of owl stickers to accompany it. Lily loves owls. I've already found Christmas owl fabric for the next pillowcase.

I sewed the binding on to this table runner. This is a thank you gift for my co-worker Dianne. She painted a bunch of items for my Studio. She has a pink dining room!
This was an old UFO that I resurrected. I had four blocks made, so I called it a day and made a table runner from them. This is Hunter's Star by Deb Tucker. This table runner has been professionally machine quilted by my friend Kim Pratt. There are adorable daisies in the center of each star.

On Saturday, I sewed with Joannie and Marion. I made this little zipper bag for my friend Cindy's birthday next month. I plan to make two other smaller ones to go with it. I used two layers of medium weight interfacing instead of batting and it stands up very nicely.
I love this dog fabric!
Have a great day! Linking up on Tuesday to Freemotion by the River. Linking up on Friday to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Richard and Tanya Quilts and Crazy Mom Quilts. Thanks for visiting.

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Happy Birthday Lexine!

On Sunday, we had a big surprise for Lexine's 30th birthday. We gave her this beautiful quilt.
We like to celebrate milestone birthdays in a big way in our Brown Bagger quilting group. To see more of our birthday quilts, click here.

This quilt pattern is Lucky Star by Atkinson Designs and it is made from Jo Morton fabrics, which are Lexine's favorite. My blogging friend Tanya just recently finished a Lucky Star quilt that looks completely different because of her fabric choices. Check it out here.

Happy Birthday Lexine!

Pugs and kisses,

Monday, October 6, 2014

Gary's New Quilt

My brother Gary came down from New Jersey last weekend to see my parents. He also met his new brother-in-law, Mike and his newest nephew, LarryPug. I was very happy to see Gary because I haven't seen him in a really, long, long time.

Naturally, I sent him home with a quilt. Perhaps this quilt will offer some consolation since the loss of his '80s disco shirt.
This is Gary's dog Giacomo showing off
the quilt in its new home.
I purchased this quilt as a kit at the Vermont Quilt Festival in 2009. It is a Trip Around the World made up in Asian fabrics. I finished this quilt on May 19, 2011. I did not keep a record of who did the machine quilting for me, but it is lovely.

Here is a close-up of the different fabrics. This is a  better representation of
the true quilt colors, since they appear rather muted in the photo above.
There are Geishas on the back. I was lucky to find
the perfect theme backing fabric on sale.
This is my husband Mike (in blue) with two of his brother-in-laws,
Paul, on the left, (who is married to Mike's sister, Susan)
and my brother Gary, standing in the rear.
Linking up on Tuesday to Freemotion by the River. Linking up on Friday to Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Richard and Tanya Quilts. Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Legend of the Brown Baggers

The origins of the Brown Baggers are shrouded in mystery... like other secret societies, we cloak ourselves in privacy and reveal our true identities only under duress...
From left to right: Iron Maiden, Rotary Queen, Runs with Scissors, and Size Matters.
Some people will do almost anything to get in the blog*
Just kidding folks! This is not how our quilting group got its name.

Many times, I will mention my Brown Bagger buddies or that I'm going quilting on a Brown Bag Sunday, so I thought it was time to offer you a little explanation.

More than 20 years ago, a local quilt shop, The Quilter's Nook in West Roxbury (alas, yet another great shop long gone) hosted a Friday afternoon quilt group called the Brown Baggers. It met from 12 pm to 3pm. The group got its name because you were supposed to bring your lunch (brown bag optional). There was also a Friday evening group, also called the Brown Baggers, that met from 6pm to 9pm. I had just moved to the area and was newly divorced and I didn't know a soul. It was my lucky day when I signed up for the evening session. Little did I know that a whole new chapter of my life would begin.
In true Brown Bagger fashion, (from l. to r.) Joanne E., Lexine, and Terri
brought their lunch from home today to the October Brown Bagger meeting.
Every Friday night I would rush home from work to go to my new quilt group. Although I was one of the youngest members, everyone was very friendly and welcoming, and I soon became a regular member of the group. It was an open sewing night, so you could bring any type of quilt project to work on. It was great fun to bounce ideas off each other as well as get advice if you needed help. Plus, we had the store all to ourselves, since it was after business hours, so there were many Friday evenings that were spent fabric shopping instead of sewing, especially if new fabric had arrived! Since many of us came straight from work, instead of bringing a brown bag dinner, we would simply go to Friendly's Restaurant after class was over for a late night dinner of ice cream.

Today, Debbie brought in her finished baby quilt to show us.
Then summer came and the shop owner put our class on hiatus. We couldn't imagine not seeing each other for a whole summer, so ten of us stayed together and took turns meeting in each other's houses. When Fall arrived, we were horrified to find that the shop owner had discontinued our beloved Friday night class. I found a new home for us at a local college, and we continued to meet. Within a few years, we had extended our session to include a once a month all-day Sunday sewing session. We've moved locations many times as our local quilt shops have moved, gone out of business, or changed ownership. We now meet in a nearby hotel.

Twenty years later, we're still together and more than half of the original gang is still in the group. Our group has grown to 18 members, hampered only by the size of our meeting room. We discontinued our weekly Friday session about ten years ago when the last quilt shop that we used to rent space in moved to a different location. We still meet monthly on Sundays and we also have six quilt weekends a year (three are local and three are away). My friend and fellow Brown Bagger, Kim P. will tell you that the only rule in our Brown Bagger group is that there are no rules. For example, we hold a Birthday Block swap every year, but participation is optional.
Check out the beautiful feathers that Debbie put in her quilt border!
This is an amazing group of women. Quilting together has gotten us through death, divorce, and illness, and has also brought us great joy when we get together to quilt and to celebrate new babies (both children and grandchildren), milestone birthdays, retirement, and my third marriage! I feel very blessed to be a part of this group and to have made so many wonderful friends!
Beautiful batik birthday blocks today for Lexine!
I am doubly fortunate in that I also belong to a Thursday night quilt group, which I usually refer to as The Thursday Night Girls, which is also an outgrowth of an open sewing class from another out of business quilt shop, The Quilter's Compass. This group is only in its adolescence, since we've only been meeting for about six or seven years. It's a smaller group, with only eight members. Thursday Girls, I love you too.
Lori got lovely red and blue birthday blocks today.
I hope that you enjoyed my story and the next time I refer to the Brown Baggers, you'll understand what I'm talking about! I hope that you are fortunate to have a great quilting group in your life, whether it is in person or online.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

*A very special thanks to my four Brown Bagger buddies who volunteered for this photo session. They didn't even blink when I handed them a paper bag and asked them to put it over their head. You guys are the best!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Tale of the Time Traveling Shirt

This is a story about a shirt.

I used to make my brother Gary a lot of Hawaiian shirts and jams (funky long shorts) when he was in high school. We would deliberately seek out the wildest fabric available. The shirt below was one of his favorites, and I even made him a pair of matching shorts.
Here is my brother wearing the shirt when he was in college back
in the '80s. One of his friends posted this photo on his Facebook page
for Throwback Thursday, so I was able to grab it.
I was really surprised when I found this shirt last year in a pile of boxes that I hadn't touched in 15 years since I moved from my apartment in Newton to my house in Hyde Park. I'm not sure how it ended up with my stuff. I didn't think it would fit my brother Gary anymore, so I gave the shirt to my nephew Sam. Sam is also fond of outlandish clothing and he owns some great hats as well.
The shirt is still performance-worthy even in 2014.
Sam is so cool. He is in a band called Bookman and the Faucets, and he wears his vintage '80s shirt to a lot of his performances. I think that Sam is a Faucet (which is kind of like being a Supreme), since he is not the lead singer. But they are quite talented, they write a lot of their own music, and you can download their album, Dad, or their new single, Seasonal Feeling. Check them out! 

My sister-in-law told me that Sam wears this shirt frequently and that he even wore it for one of his yearbook photos. Sam told me that five of his friends also borrowed the shirt for their yearbook photos. I can't wait to see this!

Good fabric never goes out of style! I can't wait to tell Sam that I found a cut out shirt in the same box that I never finished... I hope that I have all the pieces... the fabric is hot pink and orange with Mickey Mouse on it!

Linking up on Tuesday to Freemotion by the River. Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, October 3, 2014

October Quilt of the Month

Some of my pre-blogging day quilt record keeping is sketchy. October's quilt of the month may be my October Mystery Millennium Quilt, which I started in October of 1998. According to my UFO list, I finished the top on July 28, 2001, got it back from the machine quilter, which I think was my friend Kim P. (it's done in a beautiful stipple), in January of 2003, and I finished it on February 7, 2003. Or, this entry may be referring to a pink and purple star quilt, which was also quilted by Kim P., which was also a mystery quilt that we did at The Button Box. I really need to hold an all-day label making extravaganza and give my unlabeled quilts some identity! I think they could be in crisis!
Whatever. I made this quilt a really long time ago at the long defunct Quilted or Not. They used to hold these really great Midnight Mystery classes that ran from 4pm to midnight. A lot of my older quilt projects got started at a Midnight. You had a fabulous dinner at the MoonShadow Cafe (also long gone) across the street and you got to sew your brains out. The creative girls at Quilted or Not had a kit all made up for you, usually in a choice of colors. This one was totally scrappy strips. They had several different layout options, and I chose to solidify mine by using two colors of pinwheels to tie it together, in pink and in yellow. The border fabric is an eye popping hot pink and orange, with a fabulous hot pink and orange striped binding, cut on the bias for extra zip!
The diva shot! LarryPug!
LarryPug and Elvis, because a quilt always looks better with a pug or two on it!
The colors in this quilt are bright and cheerful. I need to dig out my giant Maple Leaf quilt project and get it done for next Fall, so that I have something more seasonal for my bed.

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

Linking up on Tuesday to Freemotion by the River.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Elvis Turns 12

Happy Birthday Darling Elvis! Today you are 12 years old, which is the human equivalent of 84 (same as your Grandpa Alan and Grandpa Norman). You have slowed down a little from arthritis, but you can still run to me if I show you a bag of dog cookies.
Your Daddy took this photo of us this morning after we sang "Happy Birthday" to you. You sang along as always. I am holding you tight because I never want to let you go. You are my darling angel boy. The pug who always wants to be picked up and carried. Who always wants to snuggle and cuddle.

All the pugs were treated to a special birthday breakfast today, but I made sure that Elvis got a slightly bigger portion.
Dog kibble, peanut butter and carrots! A gourmet treat!
I brought home Romeo, my first pug, in March of 2002. Story here. Romeo was such a perfect angel, that within a few months, I called the breeder back to get a second pug. I was hoping that she would have a black one. We picked Elvis up on a bitterly cold December day. The breeder was holding him inside a duffel bag and he was crying. When the breeder handed him to me, she said, "This one is completely different from the other one (Romeo)." When I asked her how, she said cryptically, "You'll see," and as an afterthought, she muttered, "He talks." Elvis cried on the way home for about an hour, then he decided that things were going to be OK and he calmed down.

When he came in our kitchen door, Elvis immediately took Romeo's favorite toy, then he peed in Romeo's bed, and declared that it was his house now. And Elvis ruled as our benevolent king for the next 10 years, until LarryPug arrived. Elvis was a very naughty puppy who grew up and became a great dog. He used to poop in his dog crate, roll in it, and then run out to greet you. He taught Romeo how to slide under the garden fence and chew up my flowers. But he is the most loving, affectionate pug ever. The first winter that Elvis lived with us, his feet never touched the ground. It was bitterly cold, and I carried him inside my jacket, next to my heart. And next to my heart is where he has stayed.
Romeo and Elvis. The original dynamic duo!
And as for the talking, it's true. Elvis makes a wide variety of sounds, and it definitely sounds like he is trying to talk to you. When I come home for work, it sounds like he is trying to say, "Mama." He loves it when you sing, and he always joins in.
LarryPug and Elvis. LarryPug let Elvis play with Beaver this
morning in honor of his birthday. Beaver is LarryPug's favorite toy.
Last week when he was at doggie playgroup, there were seven little girls fighting over who got to hold Elvis. I'm sure he must have loved it.
The King in his carriage. It's hard to see, but the black thing
in the carriage is Elvis. Unfortunately the interior of the
carriage is navy blue. Perhaps I should reupholster
it in gold lame, as befitting The King.
Like his human namesake, Elvis the pug is a mamma's boy.

Happy Birthday Elvis! Long live The King!

Pugs and kisses,