Chugging Along

We are all chugging along here trying to get back to some sense of normal. Things are very quiet without the golden one. Eddie really mourned him for a few weeks. It was heartbreaking. We miss him so much but know he’s at peace. I have a special urn for him that I had ordered awhile back.

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We also planted a tree for the big guy and are currently awaiting the arrival of his stone to put by it and plant some daylilies (he liked nothing better than lifting his leg on the ones I planted, lol).

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Basically, we’re working at making a new normal around here. It’s hard work some days but we keep on chugging 🙂

In sewing news, I finished the mini Swoon. Lucy has become quite attached to it 🙂

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I quilted it using my walking foot and the scallop stitch. I like the effect but I wish I had lengthened it a bit.

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Today I had some time for sewing and wanted to do something different, so I created some scarves for my two furballs and a friend who just recently adopted a new rescue. Edward’s is a cute little bow tie fabric that I’ve had in my stash for awhile. Miss Annie’s was made from some of my Vintage Modern stash. Little Remi’s is from some left over Kate Spain fabric.

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I had both girls going today stitching and piecing. Lots of fun!

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So that’s it for a quick update. Hope you’re having a great summer!

Holiday Update!

Goodness it’s been a busy month!  Are you ready for the holiday?  There’s been a lot of sewing going on over here in the wee hours of the morning in between life, work, and more life thrown in.  And it’s been cold as anything….Brr!  So, here’s a quick recap.  I am actually off work for the rest of the week, so hoping to get the blog updated during that time as well as enjoy some downtime with Scarlett stitching for fun 🙂

First up was some sewing for the fabric postcard swap generously hosted by Sandi of Quilt Cabana Patterns.  Thank you Sandi for this wonderful treat 🙂  I’ve enjoyed seeing the pics filter in on Twitter.  I’m going to post pics here because I know Marisa has received mine.  I also posted them in the Flickr group that Sandi set up!  Unfortunately, the post office has not been kind and is holding the one that Marisa sent me for ransom 🙂  I’m hoping it will still make an appearance someday soon!

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I finished the quilt I was making for my MIL.  She’s been in a wheelchair since earlier this fall and she’s always trying to cover up with her coat or something else, so I thought she might like a little quilt.  Now, she’s definitely of the “muggle” variety as Frances would say, and I’m quite sure this will be just another blanket to her, but it was made with love.  It’s a little jelly roll race quilt made from Sweet Serenade by Basic Grey.  My MIL was a music teacher and I thought she would like the little musical notes.

IMG_0245 And here’s the backing, complete with the assistance of the quilt inspector, Mr. Moose!

IMG_0248A close up of the fabric

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Now, I was running out of time for sewing the binding on by hand like I normally do, so I just used one of my 9 mm decorative stitches and hoped it was wide enough to cover my faux pas with machine stitched binding.  I can never seem to get it just right!  I think this will do 🙂  Not perfect, but fine for the project.

IMG_0253I’m also trying to finish up a little table topper for a friend.  More pics to come on that.  The weekend of Thanksgiving, I started working on a McKenna Ryan fusible applique called “Under the Moostletoe”.  Kind of appropriate with my crazy Moose kitty.  My goal was to complete it before Christmas so I could hang it up, but that’s not going to happen.  This is where it stands currently.  I used the Floriani Applique-Wonder on this and I’m not thrilled with it at all.  Very stiff and the needle makes a chunking noise when it goes through it.  I probably won’t use it again for this type of project.

IMG_2799There’s been lots of wrapping and Christmas shenanigans around here with the furry crew. Here’s a few just for grins!

IMG_0259 IMG_2906Wishing you all a very, Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays (whichever tickles your fancy).  xoxo   Lori

 

A Week of Finishes

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Well, this was a productive week!  I really enjoyed the fact that life settled down a bit and allowed me to get some sewing time in 🙂  My top finish of the week was my little version of “ME” created for the “It’s All About ME!” blog hop featuring the pattern by Amy Bradley and hosted by Madame Samm.  This was my first blog hop and I really enjoyed working on my project, but even more, enjoyed looking at everyone else’s creations each day.  I even met some new bloggers who are a little animal “crazy” like me!  Here’s my finished version hanging in my office/sewing room.  I kind of love her!MENext up were some birthday presents for a relative.  We were supposed to meet on Friday but she was sick, so she’ll get these sometime later this week.  A little mug rug made from the Amelia fabric line and a little kitchen towel that was embroidered by Scarlett (my 830).Mug Rug for Mom ATowel for Mom A

This was my first time using a “topper” (aquafilm) on embroidery.  I’ve been reading that it helps with the stitches and helps them to not sink into the towel.  I think I liked it and will definitely try it again in the future.aqua film topper

At one point, I had both girls going.  Scarlett was embroidering the towel and I was piecing and quilting the mug rug on Bernie, the 440.  Jim said the whole house was shaking, lol.  I told him I needed a different table for Scarlett and he said I needed a different house…wonder what he meant?  🙂Scarlett & BernieOnce those were finished, I got down to business and finished up my Farmer’s Wife blocks for February.  I am finally caught up!!!!!!  (take that mom :))  Here are my 5 blocks for February.  I’m loving this quilt.  The original thought was to make it out of all of my stash, but I’m so in love with the Etchings fabric (that was in my stash to begin with I swear!) that now I kind of want to focus on those colors for the entire quilt.  We’ll see 🙂  There are a few other fabrics I’ve worked in that weren’t from the Etchings line, but I think I will stay with that overall color scheme.Feb 2013 blocksI like all of them but I think Checkerboard (top left) and Butterfly at the Crossing (middle of the top row) are my favorite.  In other news, I’m now sporting a very snazzy addition to my wardrobe.  I managed to break my heel and will be wearing this sexy thing for the next 6-8 weeks.  Kind of puts a cramp in my plans to run a 5K in April and certainly threw a wrench into restarting my riding lessons I had finally gotten lined up.  Grrrr!  IMG_1564

So, it was a busy week here with lots of progress on various projects!  Bubba Jr was exhausted by the end of it 🙂  What did you finish this week?

Bubba Jr. snoozing!

Bubba Jr. snoozing!

Wrapping up 2012

I love the week between Christmas and New Years.  It’s always been a time of reflection and planning for me.  2012 has been such an incredibly busy year.  The clinic has grown so much…it’s hard to believe it will have been 3 years since I opened it in February.  Here’s a pic of my awesome staff at our Christmas party.  ADC Indy Staff 2012I’m very proud of them and all the hard work we’ve been doing.  However, hard work has its downside.  When building a thriving business, sometimes that doesn’t leave a lot of time for things like hobbies, family, and other things that bring passion and joy to our life.  2012 found me running from the get go with tons of speaking engagements Jan through April, busy volunteer work as outgoing President of our state veterinary medical association, and the regular day-to-day craziness with appointments.  You would think it would have settled down in the summer, but this was the summer to beat all summers in terms of allergies and my little patients were extra miserable resulting in lots of extra hours.  I tried my hand at gardening again this year, just in time for the summer with the least amount of rain in Indiana  history.  I kept it going until I was gone for a week for a meeting in July and then it all died while I was gone (thank you hubby….).  Then fall approached and my dermatology resident was off for 5 weeks studying for his board examinations (which he passed!!!! YEAH!!!) so that meant one dermatologist doing the work of two.  Let’s just say I don’t remember much of October and November…and here we are at the end of December.  This year has flown by and we’re ending it with a bang.  We have about 9 inches of snow on the ground right now, which is beautiful…but makes it a bit difficult to do the daily chores that come with taking care of these beautiful ladies.

Tongo & Blossom 2012

Tongo & Blossom 2012

Then, what would a vacation be without a trip to the ER for surgery?  I tell you, I’m not sure why my animals can’t ever have dermatologic issues that I can fix, lol.  Poor Edward woke me up crying on Friday morning.  For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him until I accidentally touched his face and he cried again.  Well, I opened his mouth and voila!  He split one of his upper left molars in half (dangling…ewww!) and slab fractured the other with the pulp hanging out.  Now, as a veterinarian I have a pretty strong stomach but there are 2 things I do NOT do…maggots and teeth.  I have a long-standing history with hating dentists (not their fault…something ALWAYS goes wrong when I have work done), so yes, I’ve transferred this phobia to my animals.  So poor Eddie had surgery to remove 2 teeth (each with two roots…ouch!) on Friday along with a cyst he’s had on his rump for a bit that I was going to have removed when he had his dental in March.  It’s been a rough 48 hours with him, but I think things are looking up today.  Here’s the poor patient on Friday night.EddieSo, what have I accomplished on the quilting sewing front this year?  Well…I started the year with a “thank you” quilt for the Executive Director of our state veterinary medical association.  She was a huge help to me while I was President and she is all about family, so I made her a photo quilt.  With some help from the resident quilt police 🙂Lisa's quiltWork on the Swoon quilt commenced, but I only have 3 blocks finished (this one will be showing up in my goals for 2013!)  March brought the exciting arrival of Scarlett, my Bernina 830 LE (you can read all about it here).  I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know her this year!  I spent 3 days in August at a Bernina retreat and made some great friends (and bought a lot of stuff, lol).  I really love this machine and still have so much to learn.  I made a fun little banner to welcome her to her new home with my embroidery module.  ScarlettNext up was the completion of a fun little table topper.  Nothing exciting, but something bright and summary 🙂Table TopperI started the HoopSisters Mystery Quilt project in June and this is as far as I got 🙂  This is a fun project, but all of a sudden I lost patience with all of the thread changes and didn’t really care for the colors and was just kind of “meh” on the whole thing.  HoopSisters Mystery QuiltNext, I completed the top on a quilt kit that the hubby had purchased for me Christmas 2011.  He brought it back for me from Glacier Quilts in Montana.  Finishing it and quilting it are on the list of goals for 2013.  Montana QuiltOh yes…I almost forgot, we added a new addition to the helper cat household in July.  This is Moose (aka “bad kitty”).  He was a rescue with some serious eye issues but has grown into a huge boy (10 lbs at 7 months old!) and his lack of vision in one eye doesn’t slow him down in the slightest.  MooseNext up was a baby quilt for our neighbor the end of July.  This was the first quilt I have tried the “endless embroidery” option on using my 830 for quilting.  All of the quilting was done in the hoop repeating a design over and over.  It was a good thing to try with a baby quilt, but I sure wish I’d had my MasterHooper then.  I felt like the quilting was too dense and it’s not my best work, but the baby’s mom loved it, so that’s what counts.Moon & Stars quilt for AidenIn August, Mom and I decided we were both going to make a Farmer’s Wife Sampler quilt out of our stash fabrics.  Each month, we each pick 5 blocks from the book (alternating months of who picks the blocks).  We took a break over the holidays because I fell behind while my resident was out of the office, but I’m eager to get back to it in January.  It’s fun working on this together and texting each other pics of our blocks as we go.  It’s even more fun to lay them out in person when we get together.  She and Dad are in Florida most of the time now and I sure miss them!First Five BlocksOctober blocksThen I finished Mom’s “Florida Quilt” using the Jelly Roll Race technique.  I used Vintage Modern by Bonnie & Camille for Moda.  This was my first attempt at a pieced back along with my first Jelly Roll Race quilt.  I really love the way it turned out, so I’ll be making more of these.Mom's qult frontMom quilt backThen, before you knew it, it was October and time for Halloween.  I fell in love with this embroidery pack from Claudia’s Creations called “Pillow Talk”.  It has designs for every season and so far I’ve made the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas pillows.  I just make the 16×16 pillows with an envelope back and toss in a pillow form.  The Halloween one was great because I used fabric on the back that glows in the dark (the smiles glow in the dark even though it’s a little hard to see in the pics).Halloween Pillow frontHalloween Pillow backGlow in the dark smilesI also made a fun little Halloween quilt that I could never get the cats off of long enough to take a full picture of the front and back, lol.Halloween QuiltMooseIn November I made a Thanksgiving pillow (with Simon acting as Vanna White) and a little Turkey Table Topper (that I didn’t finish until the day AFTER Thanksgiving thank you very much!).Thomas TurkeyThanksgiving PillowThanksgiving pillow backAnd we wrap up the year with my favorite season.  Even though it was incredibly busy this year, I always LOVE the holiday season.  I love the decorations, picking out presents that I know will bring a smile to loved one’s faces, and just the joy of the season.  This Christmas was especially fun with a 7 month old kitten in the house tearing up the ornaments, decorations and tree as quickly as I could put them up.Moose treeDon’t let that angelic face fool you…He’s all mischief and trouble.  My embroidery machine got a work-out over the month of December.  I made several holiday pillows using the Pillow Talk design to give for gifts.  In fact, I made so many I didn’t have time to make one for me this year!  That design takes over 2 1/2 hours to stitch out!  Christmas PillowChristmas PIllow backThen I cut up a little Maxine panel with funny sayings and made little hand towels out of them for family members.  I found this nifty little snowflake stitch on my machine and went to town.  This is the one I made for my Mom and Dad since they’re in Florida more than Indiana.  They were good for a giggle when their recipients opened them 🙂IMG_1293Maxine towelAnd last, but not least, the last quilt of 2012 is meant for my neighbor.  I finished sewing the binding on last night and just need to put the label on today and wash it up.  More pics to come of that one.Pam's quiltSo, as I look back at all I accomplished in 2012, I realize I managed to do more than I thought I did 🙂  As crazy busy as things were, I still managed to try some new techniques and create a little sewing time for myself and the helper cats!  I hope you guys had a great 2012 as well and I plan to be posting a lot more next year (stay tuned for the 2013 goals post).  Happy New Year!

A Little Embroidery

I finally finished creating the spools banner for Scarlett yesterday 🙂  The pattern was from Big Dreams Embroidery and was very easy to follow.   It’s called Spool of Thread Banner.  I ended up creating the 7 inch spools.  Each spool took a little over an hour to stitch out between putting fabric in for the applique, trimming, etc.  This is a close-up of the first few letters when I started last weekend.  For fabric, I had a little fat eighth bundle of Etchings by 3 Sisters for Moda.  I’ve been in love with this line for awhile and still want to make a quilt out of it, but the reds, greys, and creams seemed just perfect for Scarlett’s banner.

So, here’s the completed banner.  I’m sorry the light is kind of punky.  I was using my iphone camera and was too lazy to get out the fancy, schmancy Nikon 🙂

And there’s Scarlett sitting under her new banner.  Please excuse the mess!  Eek 🙂  I’m not sure how much sewing I’ll get done this weekend as I really need to do some work outside in the barn cleaning stalls and brushing the girls out.  The horses are shedding their winter coats like crazy!  I also need to start preparing the garden and cleaning out all the winter stuff to get ready to plant in the next few weeks.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

Shop Hop Loot!

You have to love a good shop hop!  This one was so much fun because it was 27 different quilt stores ALL IN ONE PLACE!  They called it shop ’til you drop 🙂  It was about an hour away from me.  I got there about 10:30 and it was packed!  So packed that you couldn’t really turn around in the booths.  And you know how a group of quilting women can get when they want to “get at” something, right?  Yikes!  So, I spent the first 45 minutes or so, just cruising around on the outskirts.  It calmed down around lunch time because all the hungry quilters were eating, so …. that’s when I went in for the kill.  Here are pics of my fun finds!

First up, some fat quarters for a Princess quilt for my little great-niece.  She’s totally into Princesses right now and I want to take advantage of it before she shuns all things girly.  And for those of you following, yes…I’m still looking for the perfect horse fabric for my other great-niece 🙂

Next, a trio of handwork projects/ornaments.  These are really small but wait until you see them up close!  The quilt shoppe one is going to make an awesome Christmas present…dang, I should have gotten TWO!  I also bought some little wrought iron hangers to hang them from.  Here they all are close up.

Hmmmmm, I’m noticing that I have a tendency to buy things involving cats.  Are you sensing a problem here?  🙂

Moving on before you all start referring to me as the crazy cat lady….

These yummy fat quarters are for me and ONLY me 🙂  Nope, not sharing!   I have my sights set on making two different wall hangings for my bedroom…one with an early bird for my side of the bed and one with a night own for Jim’s side of the bed.  It’s a really cute design from Whimsicals.

I must have been on a hand-work kick today because it would appear that’s what I brought a lot home of, lol.  I found these two adorable red work patterns, one for dogs and of course…wait for it….one with cats!  I think I might make them for the humane society silent auction for the Indy Hairball in October.  I also bought a couple of pieces of muslin for the backgrounds and some red floss as believe it or not, I’ve never done red work before!

I bought some wrought iron hangers, a refill of Mary Ellen’s Best Press, and a Welcome quilt hanger (that I have no idea what I’m going to make to hang on it, but I liked the idea!)

Then I found a quilt that I absolutely fell in love with!  Ever done that?  Seen one and just loved everything about it from the colors to the fabric down to even the variegated thread that was used to quilt it?  I scouted the booth a few times because the line was so long and then eventually I went in and asked if they had the fabric/pattern for that quilt.  Turned out they had ONE kit left!  Well, needless to say, I had to have it.  It’s not a pattern I would have normally chosen but I just loved the blues/browns/creams so much I just wanted to snatch it away from their booth!  However, I maintained and just purchased the kit instead 🙂  I don’t know if you can get a feel for how pretty it is from the picture, but just wait until I get some variegated quilting on there with the blue/brown thread….yummy!

Ok, I promise, I’m winding down now.  My last purchase was a little thread/scrap catcher.  Now, I know I could make my own…but who has time?  🙂  So I gladly paid a nice woman $10 to have one that she’d already made.  And it features what else?  A cat!  It says, ” I made this for myself, but my cat thinks it’s hers”.  I thought that was appropriate for Ms. Emmie, my frequent helper.

Now it’s almost 4:00 and I have a ton of work to do yet, but all I really want to do is sew 😦  Maybe I’ll work until 7 and then give myself a break.  Hope you enjoyed the “trunk show”.  I’m hoping to have some updated pics of my summer table topper by tomorrow!  Have a wonderful evening!

And I’m back :)

Sorry for the blogging hiatus…the last two weeks have been a bit on the nutty side.  We’ve had the death of the dear family friend I spoke of in my last post, and then my husband’s uncle passed away, and my mom’s sister’s husband is very ill and expected to pass any time now.  It seems to come in groups doesn’t it?  On a brighter note…work has been incredibly busy.  The allergy season is rough, not only on us, but on our furry friends as well.  These insanely high temperatures in the midwest are not helping at all.  The horses have been getting cool sponge baths morning and evening (read = I cool them off, they make me filthy flicking the cold dirty water around with their tails, lol).  I wish I could just set up a sprinkler for them to run through, but knowing Tongo she would get it caught around her hoof, get a gash in her leg, and we’d end up with another $2000 Tongo bill 🙂

So, what’s new?  Well, last weekend I worked on a block of the month that I have had for a year now and just have been too intimidated to start (yep, I’m a wimp that way….buy something so I will be able to learn a new technique and then not want to ruin it).  Not only was I intimidated by the pinwheels (I’d never made them before) but the hand stitching makes me nervous too.  I love the look of applique and really enjoy the machine applique I’ve done, but I’ve never done hand applique or embroidery (other than cross stitch as a kid).  This quilt is based on a BOM called “A Kitten’s Tale” by Lynette Anderson.  I love all of Lynette’s stuff (probably because it features animals so often!).  I found it on www.pastimesonline.ca as a 2010 BOM.  Valerie, the creative force behind Past Times Online is super sweet and these monthly kits have been fantastic for a newbie handwork person like me.  I know she has several BOM projects and was a sponsor for Alison from Within A Quarter Inch for a long time…you should check her out 🙂

So I took a deep breath and dove in.  I put the interfacing on the back of all the silk pieces, traced my applique pieces on freezer paper, cut them out, fused to fabric, cut those pieces out and traced my background on the fabric…I was ready to roll.

Now what?  Well, Valerie has some great tutorials for each month of this BOM (of course most people have finished by now…but she’s kind enough to keep them up there for slackers like me) so I tried her method of needle turn applique for the white cats body.  A couple of things I think I’ve learned:  I don’t think I left enough fabric around the edges for the needle turn as it was a pain in the you know what, I fried my fingers several times trying to iron the edges of the fabric around the freezer paper pattern, and I cut out one too few legs for the brown cat 🙂  That’s ok though, most of the cats in my house are here because someone didn’t want them due to being special needs, so this one-legged brown kitty will fit in just fine.  I didn’t think I liked needle turn, so I tried to do some buttonhole stitching.  As you can see, I need A LOT of practice.  It’s not pretty…but I’ll get better 🙂

Now it was time to start on the blocks that surround the applique center.  Oh boy….time to brave the pinwheels.  And ya know what?  I’m pretty proud of them!  They’re a long way from perfect points and matching, but for my first endeavor, they’re not too bad.  Here’s my first pinwheel block ever.Hee hee!  So, onward I went.  I made a total of 6 pin wheels and 4 rail fence blocks.  I felt more confident doing these then I did with the hand stitching, lol.  The end result:

Now all I have left to add to this block are the yo-yo’s on the ends of the branches.  Yeah, I’ve tried those twice so far with the yo-yo maker and they look like crap, so I need to google and find some tutorials to see what I’m doing wrong.  They look like they should be so simple.

So that’s what I’ve been up to…how about you?  My stomach is growling so I’m going to go get some breakfast to go with all the coffee I’ve been chugging this morning and then figure out what to do with the day.  I REALLY need to get working on some Powerpoint presentations for some lectures I have coming up in September, October, and November.  It’s a good day to stay inside and work, so I may do that and then reward myself with some sewing later as a break.  If I start with the sewing first, I’ll never make it to my work, lol.  Have a great weekend everyone!