Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Pugtastic Tuesday: Pug Boots

I have new rain boots!
I was inspired to look for pug-themed rain boots after I saw some children's rain boots with pugs on them. An adult-size version was quite easy to find. I bought mine on Amazon. They are perfect for puddle stomping and taking the Pug Boys in the yard, especially when it's muddy. Note: If you don't like pugs, there are 41 other patterns to choose from!

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Victoria's Baby Quilt

I woke up this morning and decided to finish baby Victoria's quilt. I worked on it last week at our MLK quilt weekend and it was nearly complete.

All the fabric came from my stash (aka Nancy's House of Fabric). I mixed cotton prints with flannel. I finished it with a wide satin binding. I think the baby will enjoy all the different textures. There is no pattern for this quilt, I just used what I had. The gray squares were cut 4.5" wide. 
The finished quilt is 36" x 42".
Here's a close-up of some of the quilt fabrics.
Here is LarryPug doing his best Vanna imitation and showing you the back of the quilt which is pink flannel owls. Nice and toasty warm.
My brother Gary asked me to make this baby quilt as a gift for his co-teacher who had her second baby in November. Her colors were gray and white and her theme was owls. I have lots of owl fabric because my little friend Lily loves owls. I don't normally work much with gray, but I had bought a bunch of gray prints when I made my friend Pat a Chubby Charmer for her birthday a few years ago.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Friday, January 25, 2019

2019 Birthday Blocks

Each year the Brown Baggers choose a birthday block for our annual exchange. We vote on the block choices in the fall and create a sign up sheet. We can choose our own colors and often provide one or more of the fabrics in the block.

This is our 2019 Birthday Block. The pattern is from Stitchin' Therapy's blog.

Last year's block had way too many half square triangles and it caused me (and others) a lot of angst. Debbie finally found that if we used the Layer Cake papers, it made the block come out a bit more easily, but by then, half the year had gone by.

This year's block is easy and fun (see picture above). Marion celebrated her quilting birthday during our MLK quilt weekend, so we got to see the new blocks all made up in Marion's color choice which was a scrappy white background with Kaffe Fassett fabrics.
Here is Joannie laying them out on the table as Marion opens her gifts.
Here is Kim P.'s machine all set up to assembly sew lots and lots of birthday blocks!
Here is a photo from Stitchin' Therapy's blog, showing the quilt top. Isn't it pretty?
I chose not to participate in our birthday swap this year, but I may make the quilt on my own because I really like it! And it looks like a great way to use some of your scraps (although it won't make a dent in my scrap pile!).

If you want to see more of our birthday blocks, just type "birthday blocks" in the search bar on the right hand side.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

MLK Weekend 2019: More Quilts!

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

Here are some more fabulous quilts as seen at our 2019 MLK Quilt Weekend from my Brown Bagger Quilting friends.

The first two are made by my friend Joannie.
This is a memorial quilt that Joan made from her Aunt's clothing. It is even more fantastic in person.
Here's a close-up. There are many different types of clothing in it. If you look closely at upper left, you'll even find parts of a housecoat! My Mom used to change from her work clothes into a housecoat when she got home. Do you remember housecoats? I think they were the equivalent of today's sweatpants.
Here's how Joan incorporated a pair of capri pants.
Joan also finished this cute baby quilt.
Here's a close-up of some of the fabrics in it.
Jo Ann E. finished the top of another old birthday block quilt. I love the bright colors. This is very different than Jo Ann's usual color palette. She prefers browns and soft colors.
Marion received these fabrics as a birthday gift from Joannie one year and she put together this striking quilt top. I helped her find the border fabric on the internet.

The photo below is Marion's quilt called "Fairy Tales," which is the name of the fabric line used in the quilt top. Marion put the outer borders on this past weekend.

 Below is Marion hard at work.

I put together the top of a baby quilt for my brother Gary, who is giving it as a gift to his co-teacher. By Saturday, I had it almost quilted. The quilt is cotton and flannel. I'm going to finish it with a wide satin binding. I know the baby will enjoy all the different textures.
Here is a quilt that Kim P. completed for our friend Jean. Kim finished the piecing and did the machine quilting.
Here is Joanne S. with her scrappy Many Trips Around the World quilt. Looks like she is checking her work.
Special thanks to Kim P. for providing many of the photos for the MLK blogs.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Pugtastic Tuesday: New pugs in the office!

New calendar for 2019. I bought it from Pugs and Kisses.
New pug mugs for Christmas from my co-workers, Julie and Lauren.
This is the inside of the mug from Julie (shown at left, above). Both friends thoughtfully filled the mugs with chocolate, but alas, they are empty now...
A soft and squishie pug from Rebecca who joined my team in October and helps keep the ship afloat!
Caesar and Elvis snoozing in front of the glass door on the new dining room rug.
Thanks for visiting!

Hope you have a Pugtastic Tuesday!

Pugs and kisses,

Monday, January 21, 2019

MLK Quilt Weekend 2019: Debbie's Quilts

Our MLK Quilt Weekend was cut short by a winter snowstorm, but we still had two days to do some quilting together, before we decamped on Saturday night.

Debbie found a new machine quilter (a husband and wife team) and brought in five completed quilts to show us.

We did this pattern as a birthday block a few years ago. I believe it is a Terry Atkinson pattern called "Snapshots", but I'm recalling this from memory, not looking it up.
Naturally, Debbie plans to hang this quilt in her sewing room.
Here's a close-up of the quilting design with needle and thread.
This was my favorite of the batch. Below is a close-up of each house.

Quilt Barn and scarecrow
Pilgrim Hat House
Owl House
Acorn House, complete with squirrel
Come back on Wednesday to see some more quilts from the other Brown Bag Quilting Girls! It's cold and icy here in Massachusetts, so I'm staying inside!

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Pugtastic Tuesday: A Visit from Roxy

People often ask why I have pugs. After 9/11 I decided to get a dog because I had always wanted one and I wasn't going to wait for the "right time" any longer. I knew that I wanted a small dog. I investigated several different breeds including pugs, Boston Terriers, and King Charles Cavalier Spaniels. I also considered adopting a greyhound (not a small dog, but a fairly complacent breed), but my boyfriend, at the time, didn't want a "used" dog (his words, not mine).

Enter Lyn. Lyn was one of my very favorite clients, and she had two pugs, Rocky and Harley. She told me funny stories about them all the time. I also read Clara: The Story of the Pug Who Ruled My Life by Margo Kaufman and fell even more in love with the breed. I brought my first pug, Romeo, home in March 2002 and the rest is history.

Lyn has retired and moved to Arizona. Rocky and Harley and Romeo have all crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Roxy is Lyn's current pug. I got this adorable photo from her the other day.
It’s cold in Arizona right now. Time for old gals to get out their minks and jewels. (The mink was inherited from a dog friend, and one of my dog walking pals was so charmed by Roxy  in her fur coat that he made the necklace for her.)
Isn't she precious?

In other big news, the Pug Boys are on Kinga Nichols' refrigerator (to me, this is on par with being a football fan and Tom Brady puts your Christmas card on his refrigerator)! Kinga Nichols is a bead embroidery super star and she is one of my idols. I took a bead embroidery class with her and we bonded over our love of pugs. Kinga has an adorable white pug named Karl Barx and two other fur babies, Samantha Regina, a beautiful boxer, and Butters the cat.
Check out the Pug Boys at lower right.
If you didn't get your 2018 Pug Boys holiday card, don't despair. I'm still writing out a few more.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Royalty Earrings

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

Here is my most recent beading project: Royalty Earrings. This pattern is an original design by Christa O'Brien who teaches at The Bead Cache in Mansfield, MA. I took this class on Saturday afternoon. I finished one earring in class and the other earring on Sunday. There are over 50 steps in each earring and probably almost 100 beads in each one.
I finished my earrings! They are made with Super Duos, crystals and seed beads.
They are small but sparkly.

My husband says they remind him of Dream Catchers or a crucifix. I think they look like snowflakes.

My brother Gary liked his yoga bag!
He has already taken his bag to his yoga class and said that all of his classmates were jealous.

I'm taking two wire wrapping classes on Thursday with Melody MacDuffee and I can't wait! So you will probably see some more jewelry soon. If you prefer my quilt projects, don't worry, I'm in no danger of running out of fabric or projects. I have two quilt weekends coming up, so I will have something fabric-related to share with you in my blog.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Yoga Mat Bag for Gary

I am fortunate to have the most fantastic family who support all of my craft endeavors. Most recently my brother Gary requested that I make him a yoga bag to carry his mat to his yoga class. He sent me a sweet email with his request as well as links to two free patterns that he had researched. This is the pattern that I used to make his bag. It was fast and easy. Gary also went to Joann Fabrics' website and chose the fabric that he wanted. Here is the second pattern link option that he sent me, which I did not use.

Here is my husband Mike modelling Gary's finished yoga bag which I mailed to him on Monday.
Gary wanted a "bad-ass" yoga bag with skulls and flames!
The pattern was quick and easy. The recommended fabric is decorator weight, but Gary had chosen quilting weight cotton, so I added a layer of fusible foam for firmness. Next time, I think I will also interface the fabric. The handles are made of webbing and the bag closes with a simple loop and a button. Of course, I added pockets to the bag: two on the outside, between the bag handles (one on each side) and two patch pockets on the inside. I also added an inside strap with an S-hook for Gary's keys. The pattern called for turning the bag inside out at the top seam, but I prefer to do it at the bottom of the lining.
Here is Mike showing you one of the outside pockets.
Here's a close-up of the clever outer pocket that I added with orange trim. There's a close-up of the skull button in the photos below.
I added a key loop. Orange is Gary's favorite color.
Contrasting inner pocket. Can you see the skull faces in the flames? Gary chose the bright orange for the lining too.
No bad-ass yoga bag would be complete without a scary skull button. I made this from a plain black button and a Halloween figurine (found at Joann Fabrics) of the three skulls. I glued them together with my trusty E600.
I'm looking forward to getting a photo of my brother with his new yoga bag. I promised my sister-in-law that if she joined Gary at yoga class that I would make her a bag too! Thank you Gary for your patience (email request sent in mid August, bag sent December 31st).

I also included some new pillowcases in Gary's package for him, his wife and their two little nephews.
Some of my next projects are two baby quilts (one for my friend Anna and one for my brother Gary for his co-teacher), and a leopard print pillow for my friend Julie.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Pugtastic Tuesday: Happy 2019!

Happy 2019! Not sure how we got to a new year this fast! Here are some fun pug photos for New Year's. They are not my pugs, although I will share some pug photos of the pug pack at the end. Yes, you can find almost anything on the Internet, although most of these popped up in my Facebook feed.

I am not ready to go back to work after a glorious week off. I feel relaxed and could happily spend at least another week at home playing with all my beads and fabric and the Pug Boys. Plus, Mike and I have at least another four movies that we want to see.

Mike made a glorious New Year's Eve dinner.
Stuffed mushrooms in progress. Not as good as Nancy Dorgan's version but I found her recipe in my cooking notebook and we'll try it next time.
Surf and turf! Mike found delicious fillets, and served them with mashed potatoes and parsnips, jumbo shrimp (my favorite oxymoron) and roasted asparagus. Yum!
I believe that we are all supposed to start exercising, organizing and dieting. Phooey!
My brother Jeff and his family went to Hawaii for Christmas week vacation and they visited a quilt store. They apparently bought fabric, but it's not a gift for me, it's so I can make them Hawaiian pillowcases.

Here are some pictures of the handsome men in my life.
My handsome husband Mike, and our sweet baby Elvis, age 16.
LarryPug, at left, and Caesar. Larry will turn 10 this year and Caesar will turn 5.
Thanks for visiting! As a reward for reading this entry, a real post about sewing will be up tomorrow!

Pugs and kisses,