Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April 2015 Quilt of the Month

Sorry for the lateness of this post and the lumpiness of my bed. We're in between seasons here in Mass and since Mike is always hot and I'm always cold, there are a couple of extra blankets underneath the quilt on my side.
Better with the pug boys! LarryPug and Elvis make every quilt look better!

This quilt is a golden oldie, it pre-dates my finished projects' list which I started keeping in 2001. I made this quilt in one of my first classes with Charlotte Angotti. It was the first time I had ever seen batik fabric. I confess that I've never washed this quilt (hopefully it won't run) and this is the first time it's ever been on my bed. It has been living in the linen closet. I am afraid to keep a white quilt on my couch for LarryPug to pee on.

The machine quilting on it is lovely and it was either quilted by Lynne Godin or Mary Schilke. This quilt barely covers the top of our queen bed, so it's another "bed dressing" quilt. Sorry, I don't know the name of the quilt pattern.

Here are some more photos. Enjoy!

Here is my handsome husband Mike!

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Monday, April 27, 2015

That Burning Feeling Inside

Unfortunately, not that burning, yearning, kind of feeling (ala Motown), but the other kind of burning feeling, the one where you feel like you've digested an erupting volcano full of hot, molten lava...

After I spent most of Saturday night writhing in pain on the spotless white rug in my mother-in-law's bathroom, Mike and I then spent the wee morning hours on Sunday at the Christiana hospital in Newark, Delaware. We had gone to Delaware for the weekend to attend Mike's little cousin's Julia's Bat Mitzvah.

Remember my intestinal distress that I had mentioned in an earlier post? Well, it's lasted on and off for over a month. When I mentioned it to my primary care physician, she told me that it was probably a "food sensitivity" and that I needed to be more careful with my diet.

WRONG! My "food sensitivity" was a meteor-size gall stone that is lodged in the neck of my gallbladder. The kindly staff at Christiana hospital took great care of me and gave me something for my pain while they ran a battery of tests that revealed said gallstone. They wanted to take me right upstairs for surgery, but I begged to go home for treatment.

Today I checked in at my primary care physician's office which resulted in a referral to a surgeon for an appointment later this week.

I'm not in any discomfort (at the moment) and I promise to keep you posted!

Here is my mother-in-law, Bobbie, my husband Mike, and my father-in-law, Norman,
all dressed up for Julia's Bat Mitzvah. Mike got his good looks from his Mom
and his sweet personality and charm from his Dad. A pretty potent combination!
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, April 24, 2015

Quilt Appreciation Week

Recently I received photos from two friends that I had given quilts to and one friend that I had given a machine embroidered table runner. I'm always glad when people enjoy the hand made gifts that I give them.

Here is a photo from my friend Susie. Susie is one of my co-workers and I've known her for a really long time. I gave her this Asian wall hanging that I made in 2012. She decorated her guest room around it.
Here is a photo from my co-worker Lisa. I made her this purple quilt last year when she lost her house in a fire. Now she has a new house and a new bedroom for her quilt. She says that she doesn't put the quilt on the bed because she doesn't want to share it with her husband and her dog! She is looking for a special rocking chair to hold her quilt. To see a photo of the full quilt and for more information, go here.
Here is a photo from my friend Cindy. Cindy is my dog walker and a dear friend of mine. I made the table runner below many years ago in a machine embroidery workshop with Jenny Haskins. It's really pretty, but it has a beige background (and I hate beige, just in case you've never read my blog before) so I never found a place for it in my house. You can't see the embroidery well in the photo but it has very pretty pink flowers and it is made out of silk dupionni. The cute little dog in the photo is Sushi and he is a 12 year old Japanese Chin.
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Yellow Brick Road Rides Again!

Yes, I freely admit that the Yellow Brick Road (YBR) quilt pattern from Terri Atkinson at Atkinson Designs is one of my all time favorite quilt patterns. I make it all the time. It is quick and easy and it is a great pattern if you want to mix up a lot of prints and colors. We frequently joke that it's not an official quilt weekend unless someone is making a YBR.

Here are three new YBR quilts to show you. Can you tell that these are all the same pattern? Don't they look different depending on the color choice?

Terri made this YBR in soft Spring colored flannels at our  Cape Cod quilt retreat last week.
Marion made her YBR in plaid flannels at our QuiltPort USA retreat last week.
This is Sue's first YBR! Congratulations Sue!
It is made of holiday print fat quarters that she bought from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.
You know that I have one in progress of course! Mine is made out of blue and purple batiks. I have all the individual rows assembled and ready to put together. It is going to be the back of my Blue and Purple Scrap Wave which you can see partially assembled here. I'm hoping that the quilt can be reversible.

Have you ever made a Yellow Brick Road quilt?

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rangeley Star Revisited

Last week I had the good fortune to go on two quilt retreats. I have lots to share but I'm going to break it down into several posts so that you won't need to spend four hours reading my blog...

Lately I've been busy working on quilt projects with deadlines so I decided to give myself a break and dig through my UFO pile. I was actually looking for something else, when I found my Rangeley Star. I started this quilt in April 2008 in a weekend workshop with Deb Tucker at the Strong House Inn in Vergennes, Vermont. Carol went with me and as far as I know, her quilt isn't finished either. (Note: I can't believe that 2008 was already seven years ago. My how time flies!)
Three blocks on the wall in progress.
When I dug out the project I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had already finished eight out of the 12 blocks that I needed for the quilt center. While I was at my Cape Cod retreat, I finished the last four blocks, assembled the quilt center and added the first inner border.
Here is the center of the quilt.
Quilt center with the first inner border.
I need to make 36 medium size stars for the outer border. I worked on them all week and have completed 20 so far with eight more partially assembled. I promise not to put this quilt back into the UFO pile. I'm excited to see what it will look like when it is finished. It will be queen size when completed. I promised Mike that we're keeping this one.

The quilt is made of batiks from my stash. The background fabric is a sky print from Maywood Studios that frays the moment you touch it. The blocks in this quilt are quite large. Each block has a medium size star, three small stars and one large star. I have used a bright green batik as my accent fabric and a mottled turquoise, purple and green batik as my focus fabric. You can see it well in the inner border.

If you get a chance to take a class with Deb Tucker, jump on it! She is an excellent teacher and has created a whole array of specialty rulers that make piecing easy. The Rangeley Star only requires the Tucker Trimmer.

Some fun facts: the weekend I went to Vermont it was unseasonably warm and one of the other attendees at the quilt weekend loaned me a short sleeve shirt that I wore all weekend. I had just met my husband Mike only two months earlier and I already knew that I liked him A LOT. Later that same summer, Marion and Pat took the Rangeley Star class with Deb Tucker and they have both finished their quilts!

Linking up on Wednesday with Freemotion by the River and Sew Fresh Quilts' Let's Bee Social. Linking up on Friday to Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Richard and Tanya Quilts. Linking up on Saturday, May 2nd to Pink Doxies Pet Project Show.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Happy Birthday Sue!

If you see this petite red head, please wish her a happy birthday! She may be going incognito and not wearing her party hat. Sue's birthday is Wednesday, so I'm posting this early to make sure she sees it.
Birthday girl Sue on the left, Joannie on the right.
Here is Joannie modelling the gorgeous knitting bag that she made Sue for her birthday.

We took Sue out to dinner on Saturday night for an early birthday celebration.
We were in Freeport, ME, and we ate at Petrillos. Yum!
The usual cast of characters, Sue, in green, with Joannie next to her.
I'm on the opposite side of the table in pink, with Marion.

I have lots to get caught up on so I promise to write a blog post tonight!

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Misadventures of No! No! Bad Dog! LarryPug!

If you've read my blog before, I'm sure that you remember meeting LarryPug in previous blog posts. LarryPug just turned 6 years old and he joined our family almost three years ago. LarryPug is affectionate, smart, and can jump like an Olympian.

Recently I found him seated at our kitchen table ready to join us for dinner. This is an impressive feat when you consider that LarryPug is 12 inches tall and pugs are not known for their athletic abilities. Lately, LarryPug’s athletic prowess has been getting him into trouble. He snatched a bag of snacks from Mike’s ski bag and devoured a small bag of potato chips and several slices of bread. Of course to eat both of these items, he also ate through the packaging. The other day while I was in the shower he climbed on the kitchen table and ate a bag of cough drops. He also ate through the outer package of the accompanying cold medicine, but luckily he did not penetrate the child proof packaging. I’m not sure if it was pug proof or if he just ran out of time before I caught him. On yet another occasion while I was outside taking out the trash, he pulled a bag of carrots off the kitchen counter and was eagerly devouring them when I came back inside. And at no time, did he offer to share his trophies with his two pug brothers. Fortunately, he has not suffered any ill effects from any of his culinary misadventures. I should add that LarryPug appears to have a cast iron stomach and his favorite snack is mulch.
Don't be fooled, LarryPug is cute, but he likes to be naughty.
This is not the face of innocence...
So, Mike and I have been “pug-proofing” our house which in many ways is like “child-proofing” except that in our case, our “child” can jump about three feet off the floor. Every time we leave the kitchen we make sure that our chairs are pushed all the way under the table so LarryPug can’t use them as a spring board. We close all the doors and closets firmly. I’m also considering purchasing some child proof (pug proof) latches for the lower kitchen cabinet before LarryPug decides to sample the alluring buffet of our kitchen trash.

What’s the strangest thing that your pet has eaten? Have you had to “pet-proof” your house?

Thanks for visiting! I am heading off to the Cape tomorrow with my posse of quilting buddies for three fun-filled days of non-stop sewing. We come home on Wednesday, repack the car, and on Thursday we will point the car towards Freeport, Maine for four more days of non-stop sewing fun. Time permitting, I'll try to post on Wednesday night.

Thanks for all your well wishes and sorry I've been slow to respond to emails. I'm feeling better every day, although the stomach thing is lingering (slightly), so at night I'm often too tired to sit at the computer.

Pugs and kisses,

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Visit to the Machine Quilting Expo

Despite my malingering stomach bug, I'm definitely on the mend. On Friday, I met up with Joannie, Marion and Kim P. to go to the Machine Quilting Expo, also known as MQX, in Manchester, NH. After only one emergency bathroom visit, we made it up to Manchester and went wild in the hotel ballroom. I lost the girls for a while, but eventually we reunited. Lots of great vendors and many FABULOUS examples of machine quilting. As my friend Lee Anna would say, "I quilt by check" (meaning I pay to have my quilts professionally machine quilted). I don't apologize, free motion quilting is a completely different skill set than machine piecing. I've taken classes and have practiced, but I just don't have it in me. I can quilt lovely straight lines using a walking foot and I do quilt my own baby size quilts, but that's where it ends.

Warning, this post is photo heavy and may induce drooling.

Anyways, feast your eyes!
This was one of my favorite quilts in the show. I love the colors and it was just gorgeous. My photo is not doing it justice.  The tag is in the photo below. The quilt is called "Trying to Find my Way Home" by Irene O'Brien of Anchorage, AK.
 Here's another photo.
Here's another one of my favorites. Doesn't this puppy just have the sweetest face? All thread painted and machine quilted.
This wallhanging is titled, "A Prince among Kings" and it is made by Lois Podolny of Tuscson, AZ. If you're not as dog crazy as I am, this is a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, hence the name of the quilt.
There was a special exhibit of quilts by Cathy Wiggins. I had never heard of her before, but her work was amazing. Here are some of her quilts.

I had to photograph this...Cathy says, "Life's too short to spend time piecing quilts, since I hate piecing." Her label is below. These are blocks she started in 2004 and never finished. I had a good laugh!
She also had a whole section of quilts she made with leather that had the most intricate quilting I've ever seen. I wonder how she got the idea to quilt with leather? Thankfully there was a small exhibit of samples on leather that you could run your hands over. They were just yummy! And leather quilts smell good too, just like new shoes!
"Modern Love", a leather quilt by Cathy Wiggins. Label below.

Here's a close-up of the quilting.
This quilt is cut out in the center. The blue you see behind the heart is the curtains at the show. It is strung with beads inside the heart. It was so original. Or should I say, Groovy?
I guess I forgot to take a picture of this quilt, but here's a close-up. It was also a Peace symbol.

 Here are some more wonderful quilts from the show.
I love the tranquil colors in this quilt. It is "Ronald's Flight" by Helen Ernst, of
Cape May Court House, NJ. Label is below.

Here's a close-up.
This beauty is "Soul Shine" by Suzanne Munroe of Barrington, RI. Love the striking colors! Label below.

Here's a close-up of one of the flower centers.
This quilt was amazing. It is La Passion by Grit Kovacs of Germany. Label below. I can not imagine making a quilt that has over 17,000 pieces in it. Yikes!!

Here's a close-up.
This is "Ad Libbing" by Linda Hungerford of The Villages, FL. I love the bright colors and improvisational piecing. Label below and make sure to check out the close-up of the quilting!

Here's your close-up!

This is "Let's do the Dresden Twist" by Teri Cherne of Henniker, NH. Label and close-up below.

I've run out of adjectives. Is amazing good enough?
This is "Spring Fling" by Charlotte Peterson of Park Rapids, MN. I can never get enough of Kaffe Fassett's bright colors. Guaranteed to cure the winter doldrums. Label below.

From left to right: me, Joannie, Marion and Kim P.
Did I buy anything? Of course I did... I treated myself to the Curvy Log Cabin Trim Tool and Jean Ann Wright's brand new book, Curvy Log Cabin Quilts. I also got a fabulous rainbow colored Dresden Plate pattern called Rainbow Dash plus the fat quarters to make the quilt. Since I've given up eating (due to the stomach ailment that just won't quit), I have more money to spend on fabric! (And yes, I've been to the doctor, she says it's just a bug...)

Thanks for visiting.

Pugs and kisses,