Friday, April 27, 2018

April 2018 Quilt Weekend in RI

One dozen Brown Bag quilters went to Rhode Island last weekend. This is a new location for us since the hotel we normally use for retreats in Cape Cod closed down unexpectedly. Our new hotel is a Hometown Suites. The facility is gorgeous and the staff treat us like visiting royalty. The only thing missing is a nearby quilt shop. This forces us to get a lot of sewing done instead of fabric shopping!

Here are some of the girls with their finished quilt tops and even one with a finished quilt! Warning, I am going to run out of adjectives, because all of the quilts are so beautiful (pronounced Bee-You-Tee-Full, like my Mom says)...
Pat finished this magnificent quilt made with birthday blocks. She made extra blocks to get this king-sized beauty.
Jo Ann E. usually works in browns, so this bright quilt was a departure for her. I loved it and offered to take it home. It is a Log Cabin variation.
Nancy D. made this beautiful batik Card Trick.
Marion finished the top of her stunning Dresden Plates quilt with last year's birthday blocks. The background is a perfect Tiffany blue.
We hadn't seen Lexine in a while. She has fallen in love and moved away to live with her boyfriend. She got A LOT done. I think she finished six quilt tops. These batik beauties were birthday blocks of several years ago. We told Lexine that love is grand, but she needs to come and sew with us again.
Here is Joannie with another one of her amazing t-shirt quilts in progress. This is the top half, of what is going to be a mountainous-sized quilt. I wonder if the ladies in Joannie's golf league know how lucky they are to have Joannie make them such gorgeous quilts. Even though they pay her, it can't be nearly enough for all of the work that she puts into them. They are truly masterpieces.
Pat with a sweet baby girl quilt top. Pastel, pretty, and perfect. Lots and lots of half square triangles. Oh my!
Nancy D. finished the top of her Sweet Petunias quilt. Another stunner.
It's true Lexine! Diamonds are a girl's best friend! Do you think this quilt is a hint for her boyfriend?
Another Lexine finish! This time an adorable purse quilt.
And another Lexine finish! Frolicking brightly-colored teddy bears with dimensional ears. What a cheerful quilt that any baby would enjoy.
Marion completed this batik beauty with Friendship Stars. Yet another fabulous finish!
Pat's daughters keep her very busy making baby quilts for all of their friends. Here is another too cute baby quilt from Pat. She is one of our fastest sewers.
I'd be hard pressed to pick a favorite! Each one is wonderful. I hope the future recipients enjoy them and know that they are sleeping under a quilt made with a lot of love.

Special thanks to Val. You can see her orange sneakers in almost every photo of a large quilt. At almost 5'7", she was the tallest person at the weekend and was pressed into service as a quilt holder.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Quilt for Baby Hazel

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

Finally, a quilt to show you! My dear friend Jillian, who is also my manager, had her first grandbaby last week. I've known Jillian for more than 20 years and I've worked for her for more than 12, so I definitely wanted to make a baby quilt for her future grandchild. Her daughter and son-in-law wanted to be surprised, so we didn't know if the baby was going to be a boy or a girl. I bought the alphabet panel at my local quilt shop. I thought it would be perfect for either sex.

I raided my Stash and found bright happy colors to coordinate with the center and cut 3" squares to make a pieced border. The panel was long and narrow, so I added two border strips to each side and only one border strip to the top and bottom. I quilted it simply with my walking foot around each block. My friend Jo Ann E. gave me the polka dot fabric for the binding.
Hooray for me, a finished quilt!
Here is Baby Hazel at one day old. She weighed 9 lbs and 5 ozs! That's her beautiful Mom Emily holding her. I love Hazel's full head of dark hair and her giant bow.
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: Pug T-Shirts, Part 1

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

The sun is shining and the day is supposed to be beautiful. The flowers are starting to come out. Hooray!

As a pug owner, it is essential to own pug t-shirts. This declares your allegiance to Pug Nation and all its denizens. Although I am truly not a fan of all pug ephemera, I can never resist a pug t-shirt. So if you see one, feel free to buy me one. I like a size 2X so that it is nice and roomy. I have a zillion pug t-shirts, so you will see more in future Pugtastic Tuesday posts. Joannie wants to take my shirts and make me a pug t-shirt quilt, but I  wear my pug t-shirts to the gym all the time, so they get used regularly.
This is probably my first pug t-shirt. I had this t-shirt made at the indoor flea market when I visited my parents in Florida. This is a photo of Elvis and Romeo when they were babies. I had their photo taken at a Petco. I love how Elvis is holding Romeo's paw. For some reason, I have two of these. The shirts are now soft and faded, but I won't give them away.
I also bought this pug t-shirt at the flea market. It is double-sided, with the black pug image below on the back. This is an old-school iron-on t-shirt. The images are old and cracked, but again, I love it.
This is the back of the t-shirt above.
I have a second t-shirt with just the fawn pug on the front. I believe it was a gift from my sister-in-law Diane. It has been personalized with Romeo's name (our first pug).
Every year, we do a personalized holiday card starring the Pug Pack. Since Mike and I got together back in 2008, the card grows ever more spectacular since he is a Photoshop Wizard! The two t-shirts below were some of Mike's holiday card illustrations.
This is one of my favorite shirts/cards. Mike used one of the famous Dogs Playing Poker paintings (not sure if you knew this was a series!). This painting is titled, A Waterloo. Elvis and Romeo have joined their friends at the poker table. I also have this image on my mouse pad at work.
Mike made this shirt/card the year we adopted LarryPug. The headline reads, "And Larry makes three... Is it hoarding or is it rescue?"
The azaleas have burst into bloom in front of our house.
Here are LarryPug and Caesar cuddling in the smaller dog bed. They are like real brothers. Sometimes they love each other, sometimes they like to beat each other up. Caesar is bigger so he is usually the winner.
Come back soon. I've got lots more to share, even some actual quilts!

Thanks for visiting!
Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Lorraine's Quilt

This quilt dates back to my pre-blogging days. I gave this quilt to my co-worker Lorraine after she had a house fire in 2007. I never took a photo of it. We still work together so when I ran into her the other day, I asked her to send me a photo.
Lorraine's quilt still looks nice after 11 years! Lorraine says that she treasures it and it is always on her couch or on her bed. Now that's a good compliment!
This quilt has a funny back story. My friend Carol and I signed up to go to the Chicago Quilt Festival and take a mystery quilt class from Debby Caffrey. Carol was very busy at work the day I went to the quilt store, so she told me to just buy double of whatever I picked out for the class. So I bought Carol her fabric. Carol was still busy at work, so I ended up cutting out her pre-class fabric homework for her. Sadly, when we got to the Quilt Festival, Carol caught a horrible stomach virus, and never got to go to any of her classes or even see the show. She was sick in the hotel for the whole trip. We joke that I should have just gone ahead and made Carol's quilt too. I'll have to ask her if she ever made it.

Thanks for visiting.

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: Fun with Food!

This week's Pugtastic Tuesday was inspired by all the pug-shaped food photos that my friends post on my Facebook page. While I've yet to receive any of these delectable (for the most part) pug-shaped treats, I thought you would enjoy them too.
Pugcakes. Yum!
Pug-shaped sugar cookies. Also yummy!
Pug cookies and matching bone cookies. So cute!
This one got posted on my timeline last week. I'm pretty sure this is photo-shopped, i.e, faked. The pug faces appear to be superimposed on the cookies. I couldn't eat these.
The perfect cake for my next birthday!
More pug cupcakes with black pugs too!
I think that Elvis deserves this cake for his birthday in October!
Pug-shaped gummies for humans! I will have to ask my nephew Sam to look for these when he goes to Germany in May for his study abroad program.
This past weekend, Mike went to New Orleans for the French Quarter Festival with a couple of his friends. The Pug Boys were not thrilled with their new accommodations in our living room due to the impending kitchen remodel. Caesar thought it would be fun to start barking at 5:30 a.m. each morning. I brought them upstairs to bed with me in hopes of getting a few more hours of sleep. Here's why the pugs no longer sleep in the bed with us...
Caesar wants to sleep on chest, but preferably on my face. He weighs about 25 pounds (he's a big boy). LarryPug is right next to him. LarryPug also enjoys sleeping on my chest, but he only weighs 20 pounds.
In case you're curious, this is not a super comfortable position, at least for me.
Elvis is that black spot under LarryPug's tail. I managed to grab him before he fell out of the bed.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Kitchen Capers

No sewing has been done. There have been some fabric purchases to assuage my soul, but Mike and I have been very busy packing up our kitchen. We are having our kitchen renovated! Last weekend we did this...
Mike was in charge of buying boxes. He brought home six... we packed 25...
Here's a little blog post about our kitchen renovation.

About 15 years ago, I built a two car garage, not-so-affectionately referred to as the Garage Mahal, a project of such epic proportions that I vowed I would move before attempting such an undertaking

Earlier this winter, my husband and I started to toss around the idea of remodeling our kitchen. Our kitchen is small and impractically laid out. I’ve never liked the ugly brown cabinets and the homely Formica counter tops. Our discussion began with the necessity of having our hardwood floors refinished and quickly morphed into tearing down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. This would double our space and give us room to add an island so that Mike would have lots of room for food preparation. Mike also wanted a high powered exhaust fan that vented outside and a stove with higher BTUs for more cooking power. I was more concerned with the kitchen’s aesthetics and desired white Shaker style cabinets and a farmhouse sink.

Pug boys in the kitchen last weekend before the packing began. As you can see, we definitely need our floors refinished!
Since neither of us is a master of DIY, we hired a contractor who will oversee the renovations. We placed the order for the cabinets last month. We chose grey quartz for our counters and are still negotiating the color for our tile back splash. If all goes well, the kitchen remodeling project will start in mid-April. When my Mom asked me how long the renovations would take, I jokingly said, “about one hour with three commercials,” because I watch too much HG TV. Our contractor has assured us that the project will take 4-5 weeks; I’m secretly estimating 6-8.

My friend Jason has lived through two kitchen remodeling projects and offered me the following advice.
  • Move our refrigerator and microwave into another room and set up a makeshift kitchen.
  • To minimize eating out, order a large submarine sandwich and eat half for dinner on one night, and save the other half for the next night.
  • Invite ourselves over to our friends’ houses for dinner with the promise that one day they can come over and dine in our new kitchen.
While I’m very excited, I’m also terrified. I’m worried about the mess and the upset of our normal household routine. In order to get to the other side, i.e., our dream kitchen, we will need to remove EVERYTHING from the three rooms on our first floor — furniture, knickknacks, and dog crates — so that the floors can be refinished. There is definitely a major spring cleaning in my future.

If you’re considering a kitchen renovation, you may find these articles helpful:
Have you ever done a large scale renovation project? Do you have any tips? Would you like to have Mike and me over for dinner?

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

P.S. Latest update: Construction was supposed to start tomorrow... we are still waiting for approval of our Home Equity Line of Credit and our contractor is waiting for the construction permits... I am camping out in the living room while Mike is visiting New Orleans for the French Quarter Festival.

P.P.S. One would think that having no kitchen would mean that you would have a lot more time for sewing. This doesn't appear to be the case yet...

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: Pug Magnets

Today, I bring you pug magnets!

Lest you think that only pug people are crazy, on Sunday I met my Scottie dog doppelganger. My friend Cindy introduced us to Lisa. I brought LarryPug and Caesar with me to play with her dog Kiltie, an adorable three year old Scottish Terrier. Lisa was wearing a Scottie sweatshirt and Scottie dog earrings. Naturally, I was wearing a pug sweatshirt and pug earrings. She invited us inside and we toured her Scottie dog themed family room. I forgot to check her refrigerator, but I bet that there were Scottie dog magnets...

Without further ado, I present my collection.
There is quite a collection of pug magnets on our refrigerator.
This gigantic pug magnet is Lily's favorite and mine too! I should get a second one and add it to my PugMobile!
This is also one of my favorite pug magnets. Let me know if you see this graphic anywhere else. I'd love a giant framed print or a t-shirt. Maybe we should name our next pug Mr. Puddingstone. What a great name!
More puggy cuteness! It's always a bonus when I find a black pug version!
Puggy cuteness multiplied when pug magnets hold up cute photos of Romeo and Elvis in their glorious youth. Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of Romeo's death. I can't believe that it's been a year since we lost our precious pug angel.

Mike's sister bought me this funny magnet for my birthday a couple of years ago. Ever wonder how the puggies got their squishy faces? Now you know.
My adorable pug boys dressed and ready to go outside.
Our adorable baby Caesar. He turned five last month!
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: A Brief Hiatus

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

All is well, except that I have no time to write a Pugtastic Tuesday blog post this morning. Mike and I spent the holiday weekend in Delaware and New York visiting family and friends. We spent all day Thursday and all day Sunday driving in the car. Yesterday I was back in the office and I am leaving this morning for a two day business meeting in CT.

Here are two things to entertain you while I'm gone.

The Clever Chameleon blog in Australia is publishing a monthly Beary Colourful Block of the Month quilt. It's free and the patterns are adorable.
This is the bear for April.
If you've never visited Moda Bake Shop, they publish new quilt patterns about twice a week. The patterns are free and there is a search bar if you're looking for something specific, such as a bag pattern.
This one definitely appeals to me. It looks fast and pretty. A great way to use your jelly roll strips.
Go sew! Enjoy!

Pugs and kisses,