Saturday, October 31, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes - October Finishes

Ok it is that time again, let's see what I didn't get done. Yes I realize that sounds negative, but hey it is honest. I didn't get as much done this month, and there is a very good reason why.  He is short, hairy and very cute. Adopting Marley has eaten into my spare time, but he is worth it.

So let's get to the list. I did get some things done, just not as much as I wanted.

1. Dog Gone Cute Quilt. You can read the process I went through on this one here. But to say the least I decided against one quilt and made it into four mini quilts. I still love them.

2. Trey and Jess's tree skirt. Well I've arranged the strips, but that is about it.  This will be on the top of my list next month.

3. Bee Blocks. I mailed my blocks out yesterday, so I just barely got under the wire, but they are done. For the Stash Bee I made a star block and for the Bee Hive I made two checker blocks.

And that is it. I have worked on some of the other things, but not enough that I feel like I can say I completed them. I did get something done that wasn't on the list. I agreed to test a tutorial for another blogger Molli Sparkles. The block is called Tidal Pool and it is a great block that will create an awesome quilt. There are two versions, but I only tested one of them.  You can find the Tidal Pool Block Tutorial on Molli Sparkles Blog.

Well it wasn't a overly productive month, but I am ok with it. Hopefully some day Marley will appreciate how much time I spent trying to help him get used to his new home.  Today I'm linking up with Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Desgins and Shanna of Figer of All Sorts.

Friday, October 23, 2015

100 Days Of Happy - Part 3

Ok it is time for another session of 100 days of happy. This is a really good process because it has me looking for things that make me happy. And if I'm looking to be happy, then I don't have time to be sad. Some of these things may seem small, but I really believe celebrating small things is just as important as big things. Finding those small things everyday that make you smile or laugh will make you a happier person.

10/12/15 - Day 21 - Getting to quilt something. I got my machine back from being serviced but haven't had a chance to quilt anything. To test it out I did a very small whole cloth quilt for Marley. I just used some of my Joann's fabric (which I bought on close out) and made a quilt large enough to go into his crate. But it made me so happy to be quilting again.

10/13/15 - Day 22 - Watching Hollywood help Marley. Hollywood has become the leader of the "potty parade" Marley will go outside to potty if he watches Hollywood go out first. And of course if no one is in the kitchen or making any loud noises. We started this little routine of me calling Hollywood and having him follow me to the door and then when I see Marley watching I tell Hollywood to go "potty" and he runs out the door. If Marley doesn't follow I call Hollywood back in and go through it all again. I know Hollywood has to be tired of going in and out, but he does it and he even sometimes moves for Marley, which is pretty rare.

10/14/15 - Day 23 - Marley slowly adjusting. He hasn't joined the family yet, but he is getting better. He joined Hollywood at the door to greet us today. Then he realized it was us and ran as fast as he could to get away. But he is trying.  He has learned where his kennel is and has made a spot for himself under the desk I use in my bedroom. When he gets overloaded he goes for one or the other of those two spots.

10/15/15 - Day 24 - Grown Up Coloring Books. I have always loved to color, it soothes me. When Sharla, Tom and I all got hepatitis as adults, one of the things we requested were coloring books and colors. It helped pass the time. Now they have adult coloring books that are just fun. It doesn't take a lot to make me happy.

10/16/15 - Day 25 - Cooler weather. It isn't quite fall yet, but the high today was 85, which meant that Hollywood got to play outside most of the day at doggy daycare. The car wasn't overbearingly hot when I got in it and we could actually be outside. And most importantly it is a sign that cooler weather is coming and hopefully soon.

10/17/15 - Day 26 - Not leaving the house. It is rare for me not to leave the house at least once a day. But occasionally there are days like today where I don't have to go anywhere or pick up anything/anyone and it is so nice. I spent the day in my pjs and it was AWESOME!! No pictures, I don't want to scare ya'll to much.

10/18/15 - Day 27 - Quilting. I agreed to do a blog hop and I had to have my project finished and posted by the 20th. So I did some fast quilting. It was so nice to get 4 mini quilts all done in one day. I could have done more, but those were all I had. When I pulled them off of the machine, I even did a little happy dance. Of course it would have been nice if I had stopped and taken a photo or two.

10/19/15 - Day 28 - Binding...binding...binding. Those four mini quilts all had to be bound and although they are small it still takes time to do each one. I sat down at my machine for about 4 1/2 hours and did nothing but binding, but they are all done!!! And just in time for me to do my blog post.

10/20/15 - Day 29 - Blog comments. Sometimes I wonder why I write this blog, and wonder if anyone is even reading it. Then I get a series of comments that just make me smile. It shows that someone somewhere is reading what I write and that makes me so happy. I love hearing from readers, so thank you to everyone that writes comments!

10/21/15 - Day 30 - The trash can. Now this is such a small thing, but it makes me so happy. Yesterday was trash day, and so Tuesday night I took the trash to the curb because Cole wasn't home. And although it is not a really hard task, I don't like moving the trash can back and forth to the street. When I got home last night Cole had moved it from the street into the garage. I was so happy. I know silly, but not having to do it just made my heart sing.

Well that is a sample of what has made me happy the last week or so. I can say I'm looking forward to cooler weather and soup soon. So I've crossed 30 days off of my quest for #100Daysofhappy.  I'll be back soon with more reasons to smile.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dog Gone Cute Blog Hop

Hello world, today is my day to show you what I created with the Dog Gone Cute pattern. But before I show you what I created, let me tell you a little about my process. When I saw the pattern on Sew Fresh Quilts I knew right away I wanted it. Being a dog lover I just knew I wanted to make this a quilt with this pattern. I lost my precious Tucker last July and I thought it would be a great memorial quilt for him. So the first thing I did was make one of the small blocks, but after working with a pattern that had lots of little pieces, I just wasn't feeling the little blocks. So I decided to do a quilt with 4 blocks, using the big blocks. Sounds like I have a well thought out plan, right? Well I wish it all came together that easily.

I found fabric for three of the four fairly easily, but struggled with the fabric for Tucker, but finally found what I wanted. I thought different backgrounds for each block would be cute and then sash them to tie them all together. I love the grunge line of fabric, so I found colors that I liked for each block's background and the blocks went together quickly. After a small sashing snafu, I got the top together and hated it. Now know it wasn't the pattern's fault, I didn't like having a quilt wider than it was long.  It was a mental issue with me.  So I was trying to decide if I wanted to make more blocks to make it longer or what. But I had decided I wanted to hang it on my sewing room wall and being longer wouldn't really work.

And then we added to the family and I needed 5 blocks not 4. So I decided to change what I was making. Instead of one quilt, I was going to do 5 mini quilts and hang them individually on my sewing room wall. But because I time I couldn't get all 5 done, I've completed 4 of the five and now it time to show my fur baby's in quilt form.

Up first is Cooper, he was such a crazy little dog. He was actually Sharla's dog, but he loved to snuggle with me. He was fierce for a little dog, and told you about it, but he also loved to give kisses. He passed away in 2013 and I still miss him. Here is a photo of him and then the block I did representing him.

Next is my precious Tucker. I still miss him terribly and expect to see him at the door every time I come home. He was my quilt buddy, he loved to sleep under my long arm as I sewed and quilted. I had the hardest time with the fabric for him because he had a golden brown face and I just didn't find a lot of fabric that color. Dark brown or orange brown I could find, but not golden brown.

My third block is of Zoey a princess in her own mind. Mom adopted her and she tolerates us living in her house. She has pretty much gone totally deaf, but she still enjoys sitting outside on sunny days and sleeping wherever and whenever she pleases. I did modify the pattern slightly for her because her white top is not all the way across the top of her head.

The last block I've finished is Hollywood. He has been a character since the day my nephew brought him home. He is the first big dog I've had in a long time and the first shedding dog. And let me say there is "holly hair" everywhere. I can never get it all. But he is a sweet dog and I would give him up for the world.

I so wanted to finish the 5th mini before this blog hop, because he is the reason I changed my layout. Ok maybe I would have changed it anyway, but he has definitely gotten a hold of my heart. He is still very very timid, but we are getting glimpses of personality coming out every now and then. He is Marley, soon to have a quilt for my wall.

You may have noticed that I didn't quilt over the doggie faces, and that is because they were just too cute. I've already purchased some command clips to hang them on my sewing room wall and will do so as soon as I finish Mr. Marley. I did lay all the finished blocks together to give you an idea of what the bigger version of the quilt looked like. The sashing was wider, and I think if I had made it smaller I would have been happier with the layout.

If you are a dog lover, I would really recommend the Dog Gone Cute pattern, the directions are easy to follow and it makes up super cute.  I'm thinking of doing one as a baby quilt in the future. I've been following along with all the different stops on the hop and have see so many different versions that just make me smile. And head over to Sew Fresh Quilts to see the other stops on the hop, there are some awesome quilts that have been shown so far.

Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Finish Along - Quarter 4 Goal Setting

Ok it is time to set my goals for the last quarter of 2015. I could easily just copy my list from last quarter since I got so little done, but that isn't the way I roll.  I have things that I have to get done this quarter and there is just no bones about it.

1. Trey and Jess's tree skirt. I've got the fabric and have matched up the strips, but now I have some real sewing that needs to get done. I'm using the Joyful Jelly Roll Tree Skirt pattern that I got from Fat Quarter Shop and Jingle by Kate Spain.

2. Dog Gone Cute quilts.  Yes I said quilts. I changed how I'm doing my quilt and so it will be done in five sections, 4 of the pieces are together, but I still need to piece #5 and quilt them all.  I also have the blocks cut for a smaller version that I need to finish.
3. Callie and Beau's Wedding Quilt. The blocks have just returned to me, so now I have to get them pieced together and quilted. I also have to get a backing fabric picked out, but this one I'm not starting until later November.

4. Memory Quilts. These stay on every list until they are done.  I have made a little progress but not enough.

5. Sharla's Box Trot. I had planned on quilting this last month, but I lost it. I put it somewhere safe and then couldn't find it. Actually I found it last weekend and it looks like I was carrying it and a couple of other things to my bedroom and it got buried under a pile of quilts. But it is going on the machine very soon.

6. Cross Quilt. I'm making real progress but need to push to get it done. I am so loving it, because the colors are bright and fun and I love all the low volume fabrics.  I've been making about 20 blocks per month, and with the time off at Thanksgiving I just might be able to finish it.

7. Turning 20 Seeing Stars. This is a BOM/QAL and it finishes in December, and so far I'm keeping up with each month, so I would like to finish it this year.  I am loving doing the 12" blocks but not so much on the 6" blocks, but I'm doing them.

8. Quilt for Marley. We've done a quilt for each of a fur babies and with the addition of Marley last weekend, that puts the need for another quilt on the list. I actually did one for him that is the same fabric front and back, but it is more to put in his kennel. But this cutie deserves a break and a quilt.

9 to 15. Quilt Things. I have Sharla's Flirt, Sharla's Norway, my Purple quilt, Sharla's class one, my class one, and our log cabin quilts that need to be quilted. I want to try and get a few of these done just to get them off my list.

Non-quilted finishes. I know this is about finishing quilts, but I have some things I want to track for not other reason than listing them helps me get them done.

A. Sewing room re-do. I've changed out my sewing table and have have to rearrange some things. I also want to go through the closet and see what I can get rid of to make room for things I want to keep.

B. Midnight Mystery QAL. It runs through next year so I won't be able to get it quilted before the end of this year, but I do want to stay on top of the steps so that when the QAL is over I have a completed top.

C. Bee Quilts. I have my tic tac toe quilt and flying geese quilt where I need to make some more blocks so that I can finish them. It would be nice if I at least had the tops done this year.

D. Quilt top for my bed. I currently have a quilt my grandmother made my mom on my bed and although I totally love it, I would love something more my style. If I could get the top done this year, it would be on the top of my list to finish next year.

Yes I know this is a very long list and I don't expect to get it all done, but hopefully I will make progress on some of it and hopefully finish at least a 1/3 to 1/2 of it.  I just have to stay focused!!! Today I'm linking up with On The Windy Side.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

100 Days of Happy - Part 2

Ok it is time for the second installment of #100daysofhappy. It has been another 10 days and I've managed to find something to be happy about every day.

10/02/15 - Day 11 - Salted Caramel Frappuccino. Now I love frappuccinos any day of the week they make me happy. But as crazy as people are about all things pumpkin spice, I look forward to the salted caramel frapps at Starbucks. I like pumpkin, just not in my coffee, but caramel.....yummo!! The normal way it is made is as a mocha, but I asked for white chocolate instead and it was simply heaven.

10/03/15 - Day 12 - Holding puppies. Ok this was one of those happy but sad occasions. Sharla and I went down to the SPCA to check out a couple of dogs to possibly adopt. I loved the photo of Stewie and Sharla love Wilbur. We got there and they bring them into a room one at a time. They were both small and extremely timid. It turns out they had to be removed from their "home" along with 20 other dogs because the conditions were so bad. Stewie would at least walk around the room, poor Wilbur was just frozen in panic. We eventually held both of them and they calmed down a little, but they were still terrified. I wanted nothing more than to bring them home with me and love them forever. But alas we decided not to do that. Not that we minded working with them to overcome their fear, but because we fear that Hollywood would be too much for them. He is big and loud and that would just make things worse for them. So we made arrangements to go back for a meet and greet with Hollywood.

10/04/15 - Day 13 - Sleeping In. I rarely get to sleep in, and I didn't sleep really late today, but I didn't get up until 9:04 and it felt great just having that extra time snuggled in bed. If I could have slept later I would have, but I had to stumble to my desk to work.

10/05/15 - Day 14 - Getting Things Done. After dropping Sharla off at work, I took my HandiQuilter in to be serviced, then I came home cleaned some, sewed some, and picked Sharla up from work. I know that seems like a pretty boring day, but I am happy when I get things done, even the little things.

10/06/15 - Day 15 - New Fabric. Yes I know I'm addicted to fabric and I just don't care. I ordered some kona solids for Sharla and I to see which we want to use on our Pie Making Day quilts. She wants dark rich colors and I want light airy colors.  After seeing the solids with the fabrics, we settled on glacier for Sharla and meringue for me. They are the top two colors in the photo below.

10/07/15 - Day 16 - Return of Abby.  Abby is the nickname I gave my HandiQuilter Avante. I love the fast service I got. In on Monday and back on Wednesday, I say you can't beat that with a stick. I've not gotten to quilt on her yet, but hopefully Monday at the latest.

10/08/15 - Day 17 - Funny Stuff. Ok I love to laugh and lots of things make me laugh, but as I was driving down the road this morning I saw a truck ahead of me. Now that doesn't sound too funny until to read the back of the truck. I know they don't sell "farts" and that part of the "p" has come off, but it made me laugh.

10/09/15 - Day 18 - New Sewing Table. Cole went to Ikea for me this week and picked up a couple of tables and drawer units. He put together my set on Friday.  I'm still organizing it all, but I promise pictures soon.

10/10/15 - Day 19 - Marley. We took Hollywood with us to the SPCA today and he did very very well with "Stewie", so we adopted him. And changed his name before we even left the building. We still have lots of adjusting to do, but I think he is going to be a great fit for our family.  I've not heard him bark at all, and he is still finding his way around. But we are very very happy. I would have loved to bring home Wilbur as well, but two scared dogs would be a little much. We felt it would be better to focus our attention on one dog. He needs a bath but can't have one before Wednesday due to his surgery. And he needs to learn to use the doggie door, but other than that, he is a real sweetheart.

10/11/15 - Day 20 - Marley Again. Ok he is the sweetest little dog, but he is still so scared of everyone and everything. Last night he couldn't settle down in the kennel, so I closed my bedroom door and let him have the run of the room. It took a long time for him to settle down and go to sleep, and he kept waking me up about every hour moving around, but finally about 4 he crashed and slept hard until I got this morning.  For today we are keeping him kenneled and taking him out about every 2 hours to potty, drink, and stretch his legs.  He didn't eat much this morning, but he is still getting used to all the sights and sounds.

So ten more days of happy in my quest for #100daysofhappy.  I'll be back in a week or so with some more things that make me happy.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Sunday Stash #146

Happy Sunday all, I told you last week that Sharla and I had bought more fabric, and I would show you soon. Well today is the day for installment two. We both did the piggy bank challenge last year, and saved a nice chuck of change. We had some ideas of the fabrics we wanted, but they weren't available at that time. I showed ya'll Eden last week that was on the top of my list. I was lucky enough to get it on sale and I had a gift card that covered almost half.  Sharla was waiting for her favorite line to be available but couldn't decide what she wanted to use the rest of her money to purchase. I was looking and found Pie Day by Brenda Ratliff, and showed it to her and she loved. And I loved it too.  So we both bought a bundle.

And although we both love the fabric, we have very different ideas on the quilts we want to make with them.  Sharla is looking at doing a brick pattern and I'm doing a pattern I found in a magazine. In order to see if our bundles were enough to make the designs we wanted I drew them up in EQ7. We both like our layouts but are struggling with the background fabric we want to use.  She is debating between Kona Glacier and Wine (and a couple more) and I'm debating between Kona Dusty Peach and Meringue.  We are going to order a 1/2 yard of our top three choices, to play with before we decide.  Here are the top two options for each of us, Sharla's is on top.

Sharla's is a brick pattern with horizontal sashing after every three rows. Mine is a pattern called Chevron On that I found in Quilty magazine (Mar/Apr 2013), but I made it larger than theirs. We aren't in a super rush to pick the fabrics, but we'll be ordering the options soon.

There is still one more round of fabrics to show everyone, but that will be next week. Today I'm linking up with Molli Sparkles.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes - October Goals

It is time to gear up and get somethings done. I have a big list this month of things I need to get done and I'm going to do my best to get everything done early in the month...yeah right. But I want to get lots done.  I'm going to change things up a little this month because I have several projects that I have to make progress on, so those will be tops on my list. And of course the first item is always my main goal for the month.

1. Dog Gone Cute Quilt. I have to finish it because my blog day is the 20th. The blocks are done, but the real issue is going to be my long arm is going into the shop on Monday and I won't have it for at least a week. So everything has to be ready the minute I get it back to get this done.

2. Trey and Jess's tree skirt. I want to have the top pieced. I need to give it to them at Thanksgiving at the latest so I need that top pieced. It isn't large, so I just need to push myself to work on it.

3. Bee Blocks. Now these are important, I've not missed a month yet and I want to continue on that path. The blocks this month are really cool and I've never done either of them, so that is fun. For the Bee Hive block I'm doing Checkered and for the Stash Bee I'm doing a My Favorite Star block.

4. Midnight Mystery QAL. We are doing a courthouse square block for this month that looks to be very simple and straight forward. My plan is to get it done while my long arm is gone and I have to focus on piecing.

5. Turning Twenty BOM. There will be two more blocks this month, both done in 12" and 6" versions. I'm having fun doing these, because I'm not done a lot of star blocks in the past. Some I really love others not so much, but I'm learning and doing new things which is important.

6. Callie and Beau's Wedding Quilt. I got the blocks back this week, so it is time to start piecing the top. But first I have to layout it out so that I get a good mix of signed blocks and blank blocks. And that should be easier starting next week because I ordered a movable design wall.

7. Tic Tac Toe Blocks. I have seven cut and I want to get those sewn this month. I'm not going to work on my cross blocks or flying geese blocks, so that I have time for other projects. But if things slow down I might cut some of both of those for next month.

8. Memory Quilts. They don't come off my list until they are done.

9. Sharla's Box Trot Quilt. I want to get it quilted. We purchased a wool batting for this one, and I want to see how warm it is so I know if I want to do a couple more wool ones this winter.

10. Revamp the sewing room. I know I'm always doing this, but it is always in a constant state of change. But I've decided that I want to change my sewing table out for and Ikea one and add a drawer unit for storage and I would like to get that done this month.

October is going to be a busy month, so I have got to get my game plan down and really concentrate on the projects I need to complete. I hope that everything is done and checked off by October 31st, but I'm self aware enough to know it won't be. I'll settle for getting most of it done. Today I am linking up with Melissa of Sew BitterSweet Designs and Shannon of Fiber of All Sorts.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

100 Days of Happy - Part 1

I'm sure many of you have seen the #100daysofhappy going around facebook and instagram and I wanted to participate, but rather than use FB or IG I thought I would group my days into 10 at a time and post about them here.  That way I can explain more and honestly some days won't have photos and so this seemed easier to me.

09/22/15 - Day 1 - I finished my bee blocks. I thought I had finished them the day before until I realized that one was assembled wrong. So I fixed it and it made me very happy to be done. Of course typical me didn't get them in the mail to the 29th, but I was glad they were done.

09/23/15 - Day 2 - My new white board arrived and it is pink!!! I love having the white board in my sewing area and thought it would be a great addition to my desk area. I book travel for my company and often make the reservations in advance of when we actually want to pay. So I constantly have a list of dates and whose authorizations I need to fax. The problem with a notebook is some stay on the list for several weeks and others are only on it for a day or two. So I thought a small white board would work. The one I ordered was "color optional" and I was very excited when mine arrived and it was pink.

09/24/15 - Day 3 - This was a very frustrating day on the job and to be honest I was struggling to be happy, and then I saw the wonderful bundle of fabric that had arrived and I was very very very happy. I love all of Tula Pink's fabric, but the new line Eden is by far my favorite.

09/25/15 - Day 4 - TGIF!!! I was so happy it was Friday, and that would have been enough, but I also was able to get my white board hung in my sewing room.  It isn't exactly perfect, but a couple of well placed push pins and all is right with the world.

09/26/15 - Day 5 - Tamales and Krispy Kremes. There is a shops that sells the most wonderful tamales about 45 minutes from my house. You can buy them frozen and they have all kinds of great flavors, beef, pork, 4 cheese, feta cheese/spinach and sweet potato. We go over a couple of times a year and buy a dozen of our favorites and when they run out we go back.  Tamales just make me happy and the 4 cheese and feta/spinach ones make me really happy. The shop just moved and it is now just down the street from a Krispy Kreme and so we stopped and got some fresh doughnuts as well. Yes I realize it wasn't a healthy eating day, but it really made me happy.

09/27/15 - Day 6 - I got to quilt something. It seems like forever since I quilted. I've been doing lots of piecing but very little to no quilting. But Sharla's machine cover got loaded and I got to quilt it. It was a small project so it didn't take very long to do.

09/28/15 - Day 7 - I finished Sharla's machine cover. I know it isn't for me, but it made me happy to one finish it, but to make her happy. Funny how making others happy can make us happy too. 

09/29/15 - Day 8 - No line at the post office. We have 2 post offices in town, the main one and a small satellite one. I use the small one because it is closer, but sometimes the line can be long. I went and there were two clerks working and both had a customer, but I was the next in line. I was in and out in about 5 minutes, which was awesome!!! I hate waiting in lines, so no line means a happy woman here!!

09/30/15 - Day 9 - 30 minutes of peace and quiet. Now I don't have little kids, but there always seems to be something needing to be done around my house. And since I work from home, it means when things slow down on the job, I can unload the dishwasher, do a load of laundry, or throw something in the crockpot. Now that is great, but sometimes I just want everything to go away for a little bit and today it did. I took my lunch break and laid on my bed with my feet propped up and just relaxed. No tv, phone, internet or interruptions and it was nice. I don't do that very often, and it really made me happy.

10/01/15 - Day 10 - Warm chocolate chip cookies cooked by someone else. I might have guilted Cole into making the cookies, but I don't care. They was warm and gooey and just perfect. Now don't think I made Cole slave over cookies, they were the frozen kind where you just have to throw them on the pan and bake. But I didn't have to do it, which made them all the more sweet.

Ok that is the first 10 days of my 100 days of happy. I think it is a great thing to focus on those things that make us happy, big or small.  I will be back in about a week or so to give the next ten days.