Monday, August 29, 2011

Playful Kitten Quilt and No Kill Animal Shelter

I have good news and I have very good news!  First the good news:  I received my second order yesterday!  Yep, I sold my cat quilt "Playful Kitten".  

Playful Kitten Quilt

Now for the very good news:  My quilt will be auctioned at a No Kill Animal Shelter Black Tails and Ties fund raiser!  May the bidders be very generous.  

WooHoo!  How exciting!  I have many passions and the two largest ones are my quilts and my cats.  To tell you the truth, I like just about every kind of living creature. Well, okay, I'm not too fond of snakes, spiders or similar critters that people keep as pets.  I do feel they should all be given a chance to live a happy life.  I don't know about you, but I cannot watch the commercials about animal cruelty.  I have to turn away and find a cat to hug because it is so upsetting to see what a human can do to a defenseless and trusting animal.

In the right column, I have a Paw that links to the Animal Rescue Site.  I just moved it up so more people will see it and click on it.  When you click, it takes you to the AR Site, click the button again to help feed the animals.  This does work.  I have double checked in  It is true and you can check for yourself by clicking here

Thank You!
Hitch, Max, Squirrel, & Dusty

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Garden Quilt Top (Branson, MO)

Back in July, I picked out some fun summer fabrics that was inspired by picnic shelters on Camp Lejeune's beach.  I finally found a wonderful yet simple block that I thought was perfect for this fabric.  I know I'm a little backwards.  I should be thinking about Fall colors and themes, but I have to go with the idea at that moment (and the fabric kept calling to me)  okay, so I sound a little nuts.  What can I say?

You probably remember these two photos that I posted back in July.
Camp Lejeune's Seashells

Fun fabric
The colors in my Electric Quilt 6 (EQ6) almost matched the fabrics.  I could not find the deep blue, but the blue-green worked out just fine.
Quilt Block
Close up of blocks

Top 40 x 50
I got the appliqué patterns from The Complete Book of ART NOUVEAU DESIGNS.  A great collection from various artists.  I have been wanting to use the patterns in this book.

I think the hand-dyed Batiks will be perfect for this design.  I think Batiks are the best fabric for appliqué work.  It is the most forgiving fabric.  I can iron a crease into it, iron the crease back out, and it still looks good.  I can appliqué it, leave it, rip it back out days later, and still reshape it.

Below is the flower design and the Batiks.
Batiks and Appliqué pattern
 Below:  I'm not sure if I'll use both designs or all the different colors.  I might use just the one pattern on the right.

More Appliqué patterns and batiks.
Placing the designs on the top.  What do you think?
Freezer paper:  Traced. Cut. Ironed.  Now to trim, mark, and sew each piece on to the top.
Freezer Paper ironed on.  Ready to trim and mark.
Well, that's as far as I have got on this project. Stay tuned.  Oh, and I decided that I wasn't quite done with the Kokopeli quilt.  I'm adding just a little bit more to the top.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hanging Around Branson, MO

funny pictures - im like planking or wateber
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

So, we have decided to hang around Branson until the weather starts cooling off a little.  Living in a motorhome is great, but it still acts like a solar oven when we don't have full hook-ups.  Along with full hook-ups, this campground is close to shopping and it has cable TV.  I'm all caught up on Eureka.  Oh, and I got to watch the first season of Top Chef Dessert when Bravo did a marathon yesterday.  So I quilted while watching show after show of desserts.  I think I like Top Chef better.  Not much of a variety of food challenges when all they make are desserts.  I was sugared out by the end of the day from watching chefs make desserts.

The cats are enjoying their outdoor visits.  They need to give this kitty some lessons....

Anyhoo...there's not a whole lot going on around here.  Stay Cool!
cute baby animals - Acting Like Animals: You're Nice, Mr. Ice
see more Daily Squee

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Treasury of Cats (Branson, MO)

Aquariann does a Treasury Tuesday every week.  I have been wanting to do a Treasury List since joining Etsy.  First list - Cat Crazed.... of course!  There are so many choices.
Treasury Tuesday

And speaking of cats...I finished my quilt top.  I plan to add silhouettes of cats to the top before I quilt it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What's Smaller Than a Placemat, But Bigger Than a Coaster? (Branson, MO)

Mug Rugs!

Okay, I'm starting to see some results on all the time spent on the sewing machine.  I finished two Reindeer and three Santa Claus mug rugs.  Yep, thinking about Christmas in August.  Why not....

I'm working on a few more for the fall.  I hope to have them done soon.

I have linked the photo's description to the individual mug rug or you can click here to see all of the mug rugs on Etsy.
Reindeer Mug Rug with plaid scarf
Reindeer Mug Rug with blue scarf

Santa Mug Rug with stripes

Santa Mug Rug with polka dots

Santa Mug Rug with snowflakes
And back to quilting.....I finished appliquéing the larger Kokopeli and added the borders.  I really like the way Kokopeli comes out of the border.
Large Kokopeli

I'm using the same border material for the back.  I plan to use black cotton batting so the batting will not show through when I quilt it.  I'm thinking of doing swirls instead of my usual meandering.  This one will take some time to finish since it is a lot bigger than the other lap quilts.

Well, back to sewing...oh, wait...I have to feed the cats first...THEN back to sewing.

Friday, August 19, 2011


My PinBoards (folders) on Pinterest
My daughter Misty introduced me to Pinterest a couple of months ago.  At first, I thought it would end up being another website I would spend too much time on and not getting my quilting done.  I do spend time in Pinterest, but not as much as I had feared.

Pinterest is a social media bookmark site and it is wonderful!  Yes, it is public, but you do have to send a request to Pinterest for their approval.

Let me ask you this - do you like to bookmark websites so you can refer back to them later?  Do you bookmark so many websites that you can't find that ONE website?  Well, I do!  I have too many folders overflowing with my Favorites.  When I need to look for one favorite in my many folders?.....I can't find it or it takes me way too long to find it again.  My quilt folder alone has 15 subfolders with hopes to find what I am looking for easier - Not!

I am a visual person.  I see a picture and remember things faster.  When I get ready to post, I use my photos to help me organize my thoughts.  That is what I love about Pinterest.  Everything is visual and once you click on the photo you can see the link.

Using my Etsy Shop as a demo, here's how it works:
Following the Pinterest instructions, save "Pin It" button to a Favorites Bar.  I could not get this to work on IE9 so I use Google instead.

Next, I find a website I want to save in Pinterest
"Pin It" button has been saved to Google's Bookmark Bar for easy access.
 Next Pinterest gives you choices of photos if there is more than one.
Move arrow over photo you want to save and click "Pin This"
The pop up shows the photo and a drop-down menu of your PinBoards or you can add a new one.
Drop-down menu
In comment, I sometimes add a reminder or the price to help me out.  Plus others will see this as well. Click "Pin It"

Add a comment or price or tag it or @ mention for sharing

It is now in my Pinterest...

Pinterest Board with links to site

The best part is the sharing!  I love opening Pinterest to see the Pinboards I follow.  Check out what I saw this morning...

You can choose to follow a person or just one of their Boards or two
Okay, I have to show this last PinBoard for recipes that I call "Looks Delicious" and I think I should rename it "10 lbs +" .....;0)
It's hard not to drool on my keyboard!
If you are interested, you can go to Pinterest and click on Request an Invite or you can email me.  I'm happy to send you an Invite!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

1 fish-eye lens and 2 Arcs x 4
Wordless Wednesday

Back to Kokopeli (Branson, MO)

I finished the first Kokopeli.  This one is the smaller of the two.  I like the faded black material.  Kokopeli looks more like a shadow on the quilt and doesn't take a way from the quilt design.

one done

Close up

Freezer paper & marking with a white pencil

The second Kokopeli is a lot bigger so I will have to tack it down real good so it doesn't slide around.  The border will be made with the same material.  He will look like he is coming out of the bottom corner border.

Tacked down.  Now sewing.
I'm going to keep this one short today.  I really want to get back to my sewing.  Happy Quilting!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Peach Keeper and Shopping (Branson, MO)

I'm having a hard time getting back into my old quilting routine that I had going last winter.  Instead of quilting, I finished reading "The Peach Keeper" by Sarah Addison Allen.  I read another book by Sarah called "Garden Spells" with an apple tree that seemed to have a mind of its own and its owner Claire a talented cook with a flare for healing and comfort food.  People would claim her food had its own magic.  I think I gained 10 pounds just reading what Claire was making.  It sounded so yummy!  I find Sarah's books to be different from my usual readings.  I love the characters with their secrets and history of knowing each other with a hint of magic in the southern small town atmosphere.

"The Peach Keeper" is about four high school students meeting again as adults.  Their family's history of wealth, friendship, lost, and magic makes for a relaxing read.  I loved how Sarah included Claire from "Garden Spells" for a brief time.  I will be reading more of her books.
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen      Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
I had to visit Quilts and Quilts Country Store in Branson.  I have always loved the Ozark quilts.  The more traditional look of the simple country style reminds me more of my own childhood.  This quilt shop has been a family operated business since 1983.  Three generations have worked at the shop and now there is a fourth generation...well, she is only 17 months, but it is never too early to start her love affair with fabric, right?  The 7,000 sq. ft store has over 10,000 bolts of fabric, 1,000+ books, and 2,000+ patterns.  I could have spent hours in there!  Everyone was cheerful and helpful.  I had a great time quilt talking and browsing through the many aisles.

I need to use up a few yards of muslin and I thought the best way to use it would be in 1930s quilts or with some redwork.  I have been wanting to buy some redwork patterns, but I haven't seen anything that jumped out at me.  Well, I found what I was looking for at this quilt shop.  I have no idea how many redwork patterns they had on display.  I do know that I had a hard time picking out just one pack!  There were so many cute patterns!  

Now I don't know about you, but I always did the iron-on stamps for embroidery and redwork.  I knew that I could use my light box to transfer the pattern.  The question was "with what"?  Water soluble pen?  Yea, I can see that fading out before I'm done.  Permanent ink?  What if I goof?  Silly question!  I would slip's a given, then I would have a permanent mistake.  I finally asked and two ladies behind the counter told me "I use a #5 pencil.  I have never used anything else.  It is the best way to transfer and it doesn't snag the material.  I just talked you out of a sale, didn't I?"  I loved their honesty and they are right.  A pencil would work and it washes out.  

That made me think of how I have let all the magazines and other quilters influence the way I have changed my quilting habits.  When I first started quilting, I made my own templates and I used a 1/4 inch wheel to make the seam allowance.  Later, I used store bought plastic templates.  All patterns were hand drawn on the material (not easy to do on dark fabrics) and cut out with scissors not with a rotary blade.  All the blocks were sewed by hand and then quilted in my small hoop.  I suddenly realized that I missed those quiet hours and I have let the business side take over.  Maybe it is time to get back to my roots and stop buying all the fancy tools. (Leaves more money for fabric)

This reminds me of a joke my husband told me many years ago about astronauts needing a pen that could write upside-down while in space.  Researchers spent thousands of dollars to make the perfect pen for the astronauts.  The astronauts rendezvous with the Russian Cosmonauts in space.  When it came time to write reports the astronauts showed off their expensive new pen. The Cosmonaut shrugged and pulled out his trusty low cost pencil.  Granted the government needs their reports done in ink, but I don't.  Lesson learned. :0)

Friday, August 12, 2011

What Came First? The Fabric or The Pattern? (Branson, MO)

I'm a little curious about something.  How do you plan your next project?   Do you have a planned project before you buy your supplies?  Or does your supplies dictate your project?

For me, I find the fabric that I have in my stash often makes the decision for the quilt pattern.  For example, I have some fabric with pirates and to me, the perfect block was the Storm at Sea block.  Now I suppose I could have decided on the pattern before shopping for the fabric......but that doesn't seem to work out as well for me.  Knowing my luck, I would not have found anything related to the sea that appealed to me.  For me, the fabric comes first.

Below are older photos of quilts I made for Project Linus.

Pirates - Wind in the Sails (Storm at Sea)

Leftover Alien scraps. I had to do a Star block.

I'm back to working on the Kokopeli quilt.  I was testing visually on where to place my appliqué.  Of course, Dusty had to help me. See that look.  He's telling me he isn't moving.  Every time I tried to pick him up, he moved to a different corner of the quilt. It took a kitty snack bribe to get him off the quilt.  Of course, the other three had to have a snack too.  No playing favorites around here!
Placing the Kokopeli Appliques

I'm using an off-black for the appliqué work.  I'll use the same for the borders as well.
Basted and ready for sewing

I finished uploading my photos to Webshots.  The links are below:
Paducah, KY 
St. Louis, IL


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