Monday, September 15, 2014

Oliver's Quilt

As many of you know, my cat, Oliver, passed a few months ago.  I had been planning to make a little memorial quilt for him and I just finished it.  Several months ago, Oliver "won" some George Washington fabric in a giveaway.  Go Here for that post.  Long story short, he won the fabric because his birthday was on Washington's birthday and his middle name was Washington.  I used that fabric for the focal point of this little wall hanging.
 I wasn't sure how to quilt the center panel because I didn't want to dissect George's face.  I ended up doing a 4 1/2" grid which worked pretty well. 
The corner squares, which you would assume would have patriotic quotes in them, actually have cat quotes in them. 

And my label.  The last names have been blurred to protect the innocent.  ;) (This can be enlarged with a click.)
Overall, I'm pleased with this little wall hanging.  I'll be displaying it on all of the patriotic holidays but, of course, I'll be remembering Oliver every day.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

See You In September Blog Hop

Wow...... summer has just flown by and we are now entering my favorite time of the year.... fall.  I love the cooler weather and crisp leaves..... We aren't quite experiencing this yet but will be very soon.  And with fall on the horizon comes a new batch of inspiring blog hops starting with:
 "See You In September."
As with so many of our wonderful hops, Madame Samm from Sew We Quilt, has put this one together for us.  Our cheerleader and blog organizer for this hop is Shari from Living With Purpose.  I have to thank both of these great ladies for all of the behind the scenes work, organization, and communication that must take place for these hops to hit the ground running.
"See You In September" was announced a few months ago, giving us time to make three projects to show on our designated day.  One of those projects was to include some fabulous Riley Blake gingham.
I have to admit that my summer sewing plans were put on hold until the middle of August and then it was time to get busy.  Phew.... I hustled and got them done!
Here's the first project..... I guess I could claim this as my three projects but I don't think this would be quite fair.  ;-) I made 
three fabric bins, each one using Riley Blake gingham as either the lining or the outside of the bin.
Three nested together....

And next to each other, large, medium, and small. 

Large.... this one would be a great napping spot for a cat to curl up in. 

Medium....hmmm..... maybe a kitten would like to nap in this size.

And small.... maybe for cat toys? (I always seem to be thinking about cats!)
Of course there are multiple uses for these bins.  Everything from cats to fabrics and sewing supplies.  You can find the free pattern for these bins at  Matryoshka Bins.
Next up is a little wall hanging that I made for a swap this summer.  It has been mailed and received so I can now show pictures of it.  And I must, again, apologize for these photos.  The project is now gone and I never had a nice day to photograph this wall hanging outside. 



The free sewing machine applique pattern  that I used can be found at Sew Can She.

And last up is a large tote bag that I made for the same swap as the hanging above.  I wanted to use some more of that great Riley Blake gingham for this bag.

 Here's a close up of the flower/button embellishment.
And the inside...  I don't have anything to show you the scale, but it could hold a pillow form or two....or lots of groceries, whatever.
This easy, free tote bag pattern can be found at
I should have had many more projects ready to show you but at least I managed to get my three projects finished.  I've done some more sewing since making these projects and will post soon.
Thank you so much for visiting today.  Now I hope you will continue your blog hopping and visit the other bloggers that are joining me today.  I'm loving that we get to see three projects on each blog so we will be overflowing with inspiration!
Thursday, September 4

Thanks for visiting today..... Happy Hopping!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

It's A Sister Thing Swap

A person could get old while waiting for the sun to shine for outdoor picture shots.... so I've decided to go ahead and post these pictures so everyone can see the great goodies I received this week.
My goodie package arrived from my "It's a Sister Thing" secret swap sister, Vicki, from A Quilters Mission!  We were given our partner assignments a few months ago and were to "stalk" our partner's blog to find out about their likes and dislikes so we would have an idea of what to make for them.  Vicki hit the nail on the head for getting to know me and I was thrilled with her gifts.
First off is this sweet little zipper pouch that she made in Oliver's honor.  I was really touched by her sweet thoughtfulness.
Here's the inside of the pouch using the opposite fabric colors.
This shows some additional goodies that Vicki sent...... a sweet hand made strawberry pin cushion, a tiny cross stitch kit, and some spools of thread.  All very much appreciated.

And here's the grand finale!  My picture taking does not do this justice but here's the wall hanging that Vicki made!  Isn't it darling?  You can't appreciate the hanging from this shot, but it's fairly large....21" x 21".  She did some great stipple quilting in the ladies' squares and straight line quilting in the border.  And don't you love that tape measure binding!?  It's hanging in my sewing room where it brings a smile to my face everyday!

Thank you so much, Vicki, for being a wonderful Swap Sister!   I feel so lucky that you were chosen to be my partner.  And I must also thank Michele from Quilts From My Crayon Box for hosting this swap.  I've mailed the gifts that I made for my swap sister but cannot post about them yet because..... shhhhhhhhh..... it's a secret!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Just wanted to show you a giveaway that I recently won from Sharon at Vroomans Quilts.  She had a boatload of selvedges and wanted to pass them along.  This little photo only gives you a glimpse of how many selvedges were squished enclosed in the shipping bag.  You probably have an idea of how big the child's sewing machine is and the mountain of selvedges is much higher!  They kind of exploded from the bag when I opened the package!
I had fun sorting through them and looking at the huge variety of fabrics.  I'm hoping to make some pin cushions for small least that's the plan for now.  Thanks so much, Sharon!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Checking back in again..... My SIL left yesterday, and as I promised, my sewing machine was put to use and was humming along for much of her visit.
Patti found out the week before her visit that she was going to be a grandmother (again) and a great Aunt (again) and wanted to get a start on some baby quilts.  Here's Patti beginning to piece the baby quilt.  She found some cute monkey fabric and thought it would be pretty cute.  She's a beginning quilter and not very confident of her skills, but she truly does a great job.  We chose an easy pattern that will also be used for the other quilts she wants to make.
Here's her finished baby quilt.  Patti did everything herself with me just barking directions at her.  She takes her time and is very accurate with everything that she does.  Her quilt is completely finished except for the hand sewing on the back of the binding.  She'll be able to finish it easily at home.
She also brought along a jelly roll that she purchased on a previous visit.  I thought a jelly roll race quilt would be fast an easy..... it was.  She only finished the top but was pleased with the quick results.

We had to have a little retail therapy while she was here so we visited a few quilt shops.  This is the fabric that I picked up for myself.  It looks like a lot, but several of the pieces were half price remnants of only 6" or so.

And here is my treasure!  I found this child's sewing machine at a little antique store that is just down the street from me.  I saw it a few weeks ago and resisted it.  When Patti and I went back to browse around, it was reduced by $5 and had to be mine!  It was a really great deal.  The little machine was probably made in 1957 and is in super shape.  Even the little plastic instruction disc is still attached.  I gave it a few drops of oil, and she's cranking quietly and smoothly. 

We actually did quite a few things besides sewing while Patti was visiting.  I didn't want her to feel chained to the sewing machine, even with her deadline to get the baby quilt finished, so we went on some kind of adventure every day.
  (Miss you, Patti!)
Now I've got to get myself moving and get my See You in September blog hop under control, as well as the Sister Swap that I joined.  My blog hop day is September 4th, coming right up.  I've only got a few weeks to get everything done, but I think I can.... I think I can....

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Thought I had better check in for just a minute.  I've had a few emails asking how I'm doing..... and I'm doing just fine.  I'm expecting a visit from my SIL next week so I'm getting the house in order and un-fun things like that.  My sewing machine is definitely feeling neglected but I'll take care of that soon.  While my SIL is visiting, we'll be doing some sewing and my machine will feel the love again!
I did want to show you a little giveaway that I won a few weeks ago... a Riley Blake charm pack.  I won this from Corrie at Quilt Taffy..... check out her shop..... it's great!  Thanks so much, Corrie!

So that's my little update.  I won't be posting until later in August and I'm going to try and keep up with reading my blog buddies posts'.  Hope your summer is going well.  Our schools start August 18th, so the summer is definitely winding down.  Keep cool and happy sewing!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Roomie Vacation

After a rough start to July, I needed some time away for a little R & R.  Fortunately, my annual reunion with my high school friends-and then college roommates- was already scheduled and I slipped away for a few days with my longtime girlfriends.
We stayed at the cottage of one of my roommates which is up in Michigan.  We had perfect weather....not too cold.... not too hot...... and not a drop of rain. 
This is me waiting for everyone to wake up.  I'm floating around on the pontoon in my jammies listening to the chorus of bird songs as they start their day.  Pleasant....... ahhhh.  I'm an early bird myself, so I always plan on a little quiet time before everyone gets up and around.
The making of Smores!  We had a great campfire with hot dogs and then Smores for dessert.  Not fancy, but just the perfect meal after a day in the water.

Here are my Roomies holding the tote bags that I made for them.  All of the bags are the same except for the linings.....well, and the initials too.




I just had a wonderful time being lazy and relaxed with my friends.  We live far apart and don't see each other often, so this time together is special.  I'm back at home now.... still adjusting to my new normal without Oliver, but it's going well. 
Now I just need Smore time with my Roomies! 
Until next year........

Friday, July 11, 2014


Warning......sad post.....
My precious Oliver took his final walk on July 7th, 2014.  I have spoken of his health issues in previous posts and they finally got to be too much for him.  The quality of his life took a dramatic turn on July 6th and I knew that it was my final duty of love to put him out of his misery and let him cross the Rainbow Bridge with dignity.  At 18 1/2 years old,  he was not going to recover and this was the best thing for him. 
My heart is broken and bleeding right now, but I know that it will continue to mend and grow stronger.  Time..... you know how that goes.... things will get better with time.  My entire life is upside down..... Oliver was my best friend and constant companion.  I'm immediate family.... with only a few extended family members that live elsewhere.  When you don't have people family, your pets become your family and the loss is almost unbearable.   
The vet sent this little plaque with Oliver's paw print.

When my little Gracie passed, the vet also sent a plaque with her paw prints in it.  The same vet tech did both of these plaques, but there is quite a difference in the way they are making them now.  Sweet mementos and I treasure them.
I won't drag this out.   It's too painful.  I just wanted to pass this sad news along.  If you have been following me for awhile, you know that my cats played a major role in my life.  My blog, obviously, was named after them.   I just wanted to give Oliver a little public farewell.  I will always treasure my time with him and my joyful memories of him will live on in my heart forever.  Sweet dreams, my Angel, you were such a blessing in my life! 

Friday, July 4, 2014


Happy 4th of July!

Be safe, be wise, and protect your pets!

Monday, June 30, 2014

I have a few new links on my left side bar.  One is for an upcoming hop in September, See Me In September, where we will all make three items to show.  One of the projects must be made out of Riley Blake gingham.  I love having a blog hop where I can make anything that I want and I don't have to rush to meet the deadline.  Of course, that means that I have to get started sometime soon.  We all know how fast time flies and September will be here soon.

Here's my gingham for my project.  I have several ideas floating around in my mind.  That brings me to the other link...the Save The Gingham link.  It appears that Riley Blake may discontinue their gingham line and there is hope that if we express enough interest their gingham, they will keep producing it.  Click on the sidebar link to find out more details.

The other new link is for another hop....It's a Sister Thing Swap.  We will have secret swap partners and we can make anything that we want, trying to base it on their likes and dislikes.  All participants have blogs, so we can browse their blog to find out about their tastes.  I'll get my partner's name tomorrow and can start thinking of what I'll make for my new blog "sister."

Last Christmas, I posted some pictures of a Yoda bag that I had made for a friend.  I wasn't happy with my zipper so I remade it last week.  (Better late than never)  I made it twice as thick and quilted it this time.  My friend carries his GPS in this and thought it would be better if it were thicker.  It is now 8 layers thick...4 of fabric.....4 of batting.  It was a little hard to turn but overall, I'm pleased.

And here's my latest treasure!  I was hopping around on Ebay and came across this cute little machine.  It was on the sidebar where they give suggestions for you, based on your searches.  Anyway, for less than $20....she was mine!  For those of you who bid a lot on Ebay, you know that the title of the auction is what you search for, the key words.  This particular auction only said "Diana" description....nothing else.  If you were searching for any kind of sewing machine, this auction would not come up.  Because of that, there were only three bidders and I managed to snipe in at the last second to grab her.  Another one is listed on Ebay right now....for $250.  I think I got a great deal!  After she arrived today, I gave her a drink of oil and she turns smooth and quietly.  She's in mint condition and such a beauty!
This is on the back.  She was produced in the 1950's.
I have several child/toy sewing machines, but for today, Diana is my favorite!
Happy Sewing!

Monday, June 16, 2014

I finished my runner kit that used the "pile" of fabric that I showed you in my last post.  The pattern was free from  Samelia's Mum, called Stack & Slash, and was really quick and easy.  In a nutshell, you use 4-10" different squares of fabric, stack them, then slice them in half-ish at an angle.  Then you mix them up, and sew them back together.  You could use different sized blocks or more blocks to make a longer runner.  
I used my Pinmoors for the first time to baste this runner.  I really liked the ease of insertion and it was even easier to remove the pins and Pinmoors as you quilted.  I think I would have still preferred to use my usual spray basting method on this small project, but these were certainly fun to try.  The next time I use them, I'll use a shorter and sturdier pin as I bent a  couple of pins just slightly when I was attaching the Pinmoors to the pins.  
 Here's the finished runner.  It's 36 1/2" x 10 1/2", a nice size for my small table.
Backside.  I like both sides and will switch them back and forth.

My friend Kathy introduced me to a new binding technique.... new to me, anyway.  I had never tried this before, in fact, had never even heard of it.  This is a tutorial from Pat Sloan that shows you in great detail, how to use this technique.  (Interestingly, the fabric in this runner is also from Pat Sloan.)  The binding is machine sewn on both sides for a quick, finished binding. You use a blanket stitch sewn from the front side.  I really like the look of this finish and you could certainly use other decorative stitches for more variety.

Now here's a picture of what NOT to do.  Pat explains this clearly in her tutorial.  When you sew your binding on the front of the quilt, you are to follow the stitching line that you made when you sewed the binding to the back.  If you stay on this line, your blanket stitch will fall neatly on the binding on the back.  When you don't use this line, your blanket stitch will be off kilter.... like my back side.  Now that I fully understand what I'm doing, I'll make sure that I stay on the stitching line the next time.  I don't object to this line of stitching and chose to leave it as is.  (I meant to do this....right?)

For my quilting lines, I just made several straight lines at 1/4" apart between the block pieces, then filled in the open space that was left with a wavy squiggle. 


"Action shot" (my runner at work on my table)
I hope you'll check out the links above and give them a look-see.  The runner went together in an afternoon from start to finish....would be great for gifts!