Monday, August 31, 2015

It's Time to Vote!

LarryPug and Elvis would like to remind you that it's time to vote!
Hey Blog Friends! It's a guest post from LarryPug and Elvis!

Mom's quilt, Pugs in the Garden is in the annual Pets on Quilts contest. This was a group quilt that was made by Mom and several of her Brown Bagger Quilting Gal Pals.

The voting is open until Thursday, September 3rd.  You can vote for us by leaving a comment at the bottom of this blog post.

In your comment please write: I am voting for Entry #46, Pugs in the Garden, entered in the Animal-Themed Quilts category.

There are other great quilts to see and you can vote in other categories too, such as Dogs on a Quilt (we won this last year).

Wouldn't you be a great friend if you shared this post on your blog or on your FaceBook timeline and asked all your friends to share the pug love and vote?
Don't make us send PugDaddy Mike and big brother Romeo after you!
Here's another look at Mom's quilt, starring US!
Thanks for voting!

Pugs and kisses,

LarryPug and Elvis

Blame it on Romeo!

Marion and I had planned to do some sewing on Saturday morning, but Romeo had other plans for us. He was coughing and sneezing when I took him and his pug brothers for their morning walk, so I called the vet at 8am and brought him in for a check-up.
Here is my brave little fella at the vet.
I can't say enough nice things about my vet and his office staff. They are so sweet and take such good care of the pug boys. Romeo has a sinus infection. I think he has seasonal allergies. He is always sneezing and coughing but he is severely congested this time.

By the time I got back from the vet, showered, etc., it was after 11am, so Marion and I decided to have an adventure instead. We're both morning people and like to start sewing early.

Off to Sewphisticated!
The pink and purple fabrics are batik. Not quilt shop quality, but I've used them plenty of times before and they are fine. I plan to use these two pieces for quilt backs. They were only $2.99 a yard! The black and white fabric has already been cut up and used for the back and future binding of Jeff's Star Trek quilt.
Marion and I had ice cream for lunch!
Then we went to Heart in Hands. We ran into my friend Ginny and I also saw my co-worker Jill who was taking a bag-making class (her first sewing class!). Upstairs in their bargain room, they have a table called the New England Stash Exchange. This is always my first stop. You can "trade in" your fabric for credit and it is sold through the Stash Exchange for $6 a yard. I hit it big on Saturday. Look at my new pretties!
I can never pass up a zebra print or a black, red and white print. The large groovy florals remind me of Lily Pulitzer and the colors were so fabulous. Not sure if I'll squander them on a pillowcase or save them for a bag. I'm not usually a pastel person, but I couldn't resist the fabric on the far right. There are some close-ups below.
I love the vintage vibe and the snarky "oh snap!".
Surely I can put "Ooh La La" to good use!
Downstairs they had an impressive collection of batik for 30% off! These went home with me.
Marion and I wrapped up our afternoon with a little more shopping at TJ Maxx and HomeGoods. I had a slice of pizza for dessert and our adventure drew to a close.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, August 30, 2015

On My Way!

It is Sunday morning, bright and early, and I'm on my way (well almost) to spending the day sewing with my Brown Bagger buddies! In preparation, yesterday afternoon I assembled three bindings. Optimistically, I will finish two quilts today!

I cut my binding as soon as I finish the quilt top. I put the binding strips (sometimes with a note to self, as seen below) in my special pink binding box along with ALL of the remaining binding fabric -- just in case I miscalculated the number of binding strips I needed, which doesn't happen too often, but I'm no math whiz!

From left to right: black and white binding for Jeff's Star Trek Quilt, navy batik binding for my Rainbow Bargello Quilt, and purple batik binding for my Blue and Purple Scrap Wave Quilt.
My special pink binding box.

I also made a back for Jeff's Star Trek Quilt because I finished the top on Friday! Hooray! Unlike me, my brother Jeff is a math whiz... he's got two degrees from MIT and is some kind of computer software designer genius. Guess I could always ask him for help calculating quilt bindings.
To Boldly Go... the lap quilt version. 65"x70".
I'm taking the Pug Boys to the park and then I'm off. More later, quilting peeps!

Pugs and kisses,

Monday, August 24, 2015

A Visit with Cheryl and Jean

This is one of Cheryl's beautiful quilts hanging in their home.
On Saturday, Marion and I drove up to Bolton to visit our friends Jean and Cheryl. Jean recently suffered a nasty fall. She broke two bones in her neck as well as her sternum. Her guardian angel must have been watching her because the neighbor next door was an emergency room nurse and took great care of her until the ambulance came.

Jean has spent several weeks in the hospital and in rehab and was very happy to be at home with her daughter Cheryl. Jean and Cheryl are both Brown Bag quilters and you've met them in the blog before.
We're happy that Jean is on the road to recovery. Seated: Jean. From left to right: Cheryl, me and Marion. Thank you Daniel for taking the photo for us!
Cheryl treated us to a scrumptious Chinese food lunch and made home-made brownie sundaes for dessert. She even insisted that I take all of the brownies back with me. I didn't argue with Cheryl and I even gave Marion a couple of brownies when we got home.

Marion and I were glad to find Jean in good spirits. Cheryl gave us a tour of her beautiful home and I took photos of her gorgeous quilts that were on display on the first floor.
Cheryl made this quilt for her husband Daniel.
Here's a close-up.
This is another photo of the New York Beauty at the top of the blog.
Here's your close-up.
Cheryl machine quilted this wall hanging on a long arm machine. Her first attempt and her workmanship is spot on!
 Cheryl and Jean have also been doing some wool felting.
Cheryl is holding a large wall hanging that her Mom Jean made.
Here is Jean with a block that she made using the wool felting technique.
Here is Cheryl with her block.
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Stash Enhancement Saturday

Joannie gave me this cute sticker on the back of the new PugMobile!
On the way home from visiting Cheryl and Jean, Marion and I visited two quilt shops. The first stop was The Quilted Crow in Boxborough. I'd never been to The Quilted Crow before. I did not leave empty-handed. They have a huge selection of Civil War fabrics, Reproduction fabrics, Jo Morton fabrics as well as wool fabric for wool felting and hooked rugs. Happily, they also have a very nice selection of contemporary fabric and batik. There were lots of great samples on display in the shop.
I found this great New York City map print and two lovely pink and orange batiks.
Here is Marion with the lovey Rose of Sharon out front.

A charming outdoor vignette.
Lots of treasure awaits behind the garlanded front door!
Our second stop was Quilter's Way in Acton. This store has a very contemporary vibe and I've been here several times before. I had a lot of fun in the batik aisle and two really cute novelty prints also went home with me. Have you seen the nail polish quilt pattern at the Fat Quarter Shop? I thought the nail polish print would make a cute border. And I thought my brother Gary, or my Mom, who are also both writers, might like a little gift made with the typewriter fabric.

More purple and blue batik, plus a half yard of Kate Spain's Terrain.
Friends, fabric, Chinese food and chocolate! What more could a girl want?

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pets on Quilts 2015 Entry

Pugs in the Garden wants your vote!
Drumroll please! Our Pets on Quilts 2015 entry is finally ready! This beautiful quilt was a group project done by me and several of my Brown Bagger quilting friends: Lexine Sullivan, Pat McHale, Nancy Dorgan and Jo Ann Eden. The top was finished and returned to me in September 2014. I put the binding on it last Monday night. The super, fantastic, amazing quilting and trapunto was done by Sue Daurio. My quilt top was beautiful, but once Sue did her quilting magic, it became even more unbelievable. Check out Sue's blog post about Pugs in the Garden so you can see her wonderful quilting up close. Don't miss how she quilted the Pug Boys' names at the top!

We are entering in the Pet-Themed Quilt Category. Last year the Pug Boys were winners in the Dogs on Quilts Category!  We had so much fun last year and made lots of great friends! Voting begins on August 27th, so don't forget to come back and vote!

Here are some more photos of my quilt. I love it so much!

This is the row that I made. This was the start of my quilt.
Starting row, made by me!

I passed my row to Pat. She added the row with the three pugs and the pink bicycle.
Pat's Row.

Pat passed my quilt to Lexine. Lexine gave the quilt balance by adding her row on top of mine. I actually have pink flowers in whiskey barrels in my garden, so you can tell that Lexine knows me pretty well.
Lexine's Row.
Nancy Dorgan added the bottom row and took home the best blog spy award by copying the actual purple bench from my garden. Isn't it wonderful?
Nancy Dorgan's Row.

Nancy Dorgan passed the quilt to Jo Ann. Last, but not least, Jo Ann decided that the quilt needed something vertical!
Jo Ann's Row.
Lots of pugs and kisses from the Pug Boys! From left to right: LarryPug, Elvis, and Romeo.
To see how the other girls' Row by Row Quilts came out, click here.

Linking up on Sunday to Lily Pad Quilting: Pets on Quilts Show. Linking up on Tuesday to Free Motion by the River's Linky Tuesday and Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday! Linking up on Wednesday to Let's Bee Social. Linking up on Thursday to Needle and Thread Thursday. Linking up on Friday to Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, Link a Finish Friday, Fabric Frenzy Friday, TGIFF, and Crazy Mom Quilts.

The voting has begun! You can vote for us by leaving a comment at the bottom of this blog post. In your comment please write: I am voting for Entry #46, Pugs in the Garden, entered in the Animal-Themed Quilts category.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,
Nancy, Romeo, Elvis and LarryPug

Friday, August 21, 2015

To Boldly Go...

With my new record-breaking prowess of Monday night, you'd have predicted it to be a week full of quilting progress and blog posts. At a minimum, I was hoping to get my Pets on Quilts entry blog post done, but the weather was quite uncooperative this week, with lots of rain, so no photos outside on my lovely purple bench.

There was one bright spot in my week and it was on Wednesday night! Pat finally made it over to sew with me while Mike went to an after-work event. Since I worked from home that day, Pat showed up right at 5pm and we got several hours of sewing in and had time to treat ourselves to delicious hamburgers at the Met Bar.
Pat, the super sewing whiz, whipped up about 40 blocks, using her shot cotton Kaffe Fassett stripes. These were our 2015 birthday blocks this year. I didn't participate this year because I didn't like the block design, although Pat's look pretty nice...

I finally got started on my brother Jeff's Star Trek Quilt. The quilt will be a birthday gift when Jeff turns the big 5-0 this October. Jeff likes Star Trek and has turned his kids (my niece and nephew) onto Star Trek too. I've made Jeff a couple of Star Trek pillowcases and thought a quilt would be the next logical gift for my Trekkie brother.
I've cornered the market on Star Trek fabric. I think I have enough to make at least two Star Trek quilts. My friend Cindy's husband likes Star Trek also, so maybe I'll make him one for Christmas.
First row is assembled.
I'm using one of my TNT quilt patterns, a free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop called Lemonade. It is fast and easy and it is a great way to showcase large scale prints. Although I've made this quilt twice before, seen here and here, I finally READ the directions and discovered that you needed to cut the first square in the sashing row at 5.25 inches (it's not actually a square, it's 5.25x5), rather than just cutting the 10x5 rectangle in half. Amazing what an extra half inch will do!

For the ultimate in Star Trek nerdiness, Pat is urging me to make my brother a Star Trek fanny pack with my left over fabrics.

I've recently adopted a zero waste policy in the Quilt Studio.
At left are my large pieces that go back in my Stash, at right are the small pieces that I save for my friend Janet, the scrap quilter, and the string size trimmings go in the bucket to be stuffed into pet beds for donating to the local animal shelter. You can see the first pet bed I made towards the bottom of this post here.

If you have extra time on your hands, be sure to check out (and subscribe to) my non-quilting blog.

Linking up on Friday to Fabric Frenzy Friday, Link a Finish Friday, Whoop Whoop Fridays and Finish It Up Friday.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Monday, August 17, 2015

Oh, What A Night!

Two quilt finishes in one night! That is probably an all-time record for me. Just a short post for now because it's late, but I promise to give you more details and photos in the blog this week.
Pugs in the Garden is finished! And not a second too late, because it's going to be my entry in the Pets on Quilts Show contest this year.
Wild Thing is also finished! Here's a preview...
Check out these beauties... Sadly, they belong to Joannie, not me. She is making a queen size quilt for her daughter Jill who is moving out to her own apartment next month. Goodbye Jill's bedroom, hello sewing room!
Sorry to be such a tease tonight, but it's 11pm, and this girl needs her beauty rest!

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, August 14, 2015

Purple Brick Road for Leah

Hooray! I finished another quilt. This Yellow Brick Road quilt is a gift for Leah, who is my niece Rachel's cousin (technically no relation to me, but I call Leah and her sister Jill my "bonus nieces"). I made Jill a quilt when she turned 13 and I'm a little behind on Leah's because I think Leah just turned 16. Oh well.
LarryPug poses with Leah's quilt.
Inside a Quilter's Mind or The Circuitous Route to Making a Decision
Originally, I had decided that I should start making my quilts reversible. I thought this might make a slight dent in the World's Largest Fabric Stash, so I was going to use this Yellow Brick Road quilt as the back of my Blue and Purple Scrap Wave. When I discussed this with my machine quilter, she didn't jump up and down for joy at my ingenuity since she was concerned with all of the seams that would be on both sides of the quilt. Then I decided to enlarge my Blue and Purple Scrap Wave and my YBR top was no longer big enough (the machine quilter wants at least 8-10 inches of extra fabric), so I would have had to make the YBR larger (and we know most of that would have ended up on the cutting room floor after quilting).

Anyway, I was long overdue to give Leah a quilt and what teenage girl doesn't like purple? So I posted a photo of it on her Facebook page  for her approval and she gave me a big thumbs up. I had two extra rows of blocks left over which I believe ended up on the back of the Blue and Purple Scrap Wave (still with Kate, so I'm not certain, they could also be buried in my Quilt Studio somewhere).

Here are a few more photos of Leah's quilt.
It's supposed to be a twin size quilt, but it fits the top of my queen size bed.
LarryPug and Elvis add some pizazz to the quilt photo shoot.
I really like the purple striped binding. This fabric is not in the quilt top but blends perfectly. The floral you see at left is the quilt underneath (currently on my bed). The back of Leah's quilt is a plain purple.
A close-up of some of the fabrics.
This is my fifth finished quilt for 2015. I have finished a total of 36 sewing projects this year. I have three more quilts waiting for binding, so more finished projects to share with you soon!

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,