Charity Quilt – A Scruffily Christmas Quilt

A friend requested that I make a quilt for a silent auction to benefit an animal charity.  Time has been in short supply lately, so it needed to be something that I could crank out in 10-14 days…at night….after work 🙂  Allow me to introduce you to the Scruffily Christmas Quilt!  (yes, I know…scruffily is not a word, but it’s how this quilt makes me feel lol).

scruffily christmas quiltI modified the pattern a bit from Rachel Griffith’s (from PS I Quilt) Moda Bake Shop tutorial.  I didn’t use a jelly roll for the insides of the squares, just cut up some extra solids that I had on hand.  I highly recommend her pattern if you need a quick, fun, quilt.  Super easy and I love the results.  It reminds me a little of the quilt a long hosted by Rachel that resulted in my Happy Howlidays quilt.

scruffily christmas quiltTrying to get a  picture of a quilt in this house without a cat…next to impossible.  So, its super simple.  Lay out a bunch of layer cake squares in a pleasing pattern, lay a charm square in the middle of those, and then a 2.5 inch square in the middle of the charm square.

IMG_0323Sew 1/4 inch around all of the squares, then sew the rows together, then layer and quilt.  Easy peasy.  Especially if you have a “helper” like the Moose.

IMG_4218I went with simple straight line quilting because I didn’t want to detract from the “scruffiliness” once I washed it.  The fun thing about this quilt is that the more you wash it, the more scruffily it becomes.  Awesome for some snuggling under and dreaming of Christmas wishes.

IMG_0325I hope it brings a good sum of $ for the organization and that it finds a loving home.  I love this little quilt and wanted to keep it, lol.  Maybe I’ll have to make one for us 🙂  The fabric is 25th & Pine for Moda, by Basic Grey.  I bought mine from the Fat Quarter Shop.  They’re having an awesome sale this weekend.  Very bad for my budget.  I’ve decided I need to ask Santa to redo my closet this Christmas so I can add lots of shelves for the fabric I keep accumulating!

A Finish – Chasing My Tail

Last weekend I finally finished a quilt I’ve been working on since Memorial Day.  I decided to name it “Chasing My Tail”, because that’s how the last few months have felt, both emotionally and physically.  Here’s her story:

IMG_3547The fabric and pattern for this quilt were gifted to me by my good friend, Courtney, at the French Seam.  The fabric is from the line “Color Me Happy” by Vanessa Christenson for Moda (V and Co).  The pattern is Scout from Cluck Cluck Sew.  The pattern was really well written, easy to understand, and comes together quickly because you’re sewing strips.

IMG_3670During the first month of putting this quilt together, I lost my golden love, Bubba Jr.  Wow do I miss him.  This quilt was always intended to be the “porch quilt” for our new sunroom/porch.  I had visions of Bubba and I spending many hours relaxing there and looking out over the fields he couldn’t run in anymore.  Best. Dog. Ever.   So there are lots of tears of love, pain, and love again quilted into this quilt.

IMG_3910I decided to quilt this one in the hoop using the quilting ovals pattern from Meringue Designs.  Love, love, love my Bernina 830 LE.  Of course, sometimes “this” got in the way…

Moose helping with "Chasing My Tail"

Moose helping with “Chasing My Tail”

I love the texture of the quilt.  The concentric ovals represent the circles I’ve been spinning in the last 3 months.  The backing is a dark blue print paired with some more pink (I love the way the navy and pink play with the turquoise and the white).

IMG_4126IMG_4125It’s been washed and is all warm and crinkly.  She’s getting a lot of good use and just seeing it all spread out when I walk onto the porch makes me smile.  And again, there’s this….

IMG_4147There are lots of wonderful scrap bits left over when you are trimming the strip sets for this quilt.  They were so pretty I couldn’t throw them away, so I made a matching pillow.  I also ran across some Mustang by Melody Miller for Cotton & Steel in linen (!!!!) last weekend and I think it’s perfect!

IMG_4150That’s the story of Chasing My Tail.  Hope you all had a wonderful summer.  I am looking forward to fall.  I adore the season 🙂  TGIF!

Summer, where the heck did it go?

Wow, I can’t believe August is drawing to a close.  I’m not sure where the summer went, or for that matter, where the year has gone.  Seems 2014 has been a blur.  I just wanted to post a quick update on what I’ve been working on (or not, lol) before I wake up and it’s fall around here.

IMG_4029Most of our summer has been spent under construction.  We added a sunroom and a two tier deck.  It took about 8 weeks longer than intended, but we’re pretty in love with the finished product.  Needless to say, the cats have claimed the room as their own.

IMG_3952 I also finished quilting the quilt I’ve been working on for my porch.  It’s the Scout pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew.  I quilted it in the hoop with Scarlett (my Bernina 830 LE) using the master hooper and the jumbo hoop.  It took 36 hoopings over the course of about 2 weeks.  Please pardon the cat, as usual.  I used the quilting ovals pattern from Meringue Designs.  I’ve wanted to do this for some time.  I fought some tension issues, but overall I love the effect of the ovals.  The binding is sewn down to the front, now I just need to do the hand binding.  Hopefully some of that this weekend and then a good wash and she’ll be ready to snuggle.

IMG_4039Mom and I are back in the groove with our Farmer’s Wife blocks.  These are the 4 I finished this weekend.  I have one more to go and then we’ll move on to September blocks.

IMG_4059 IMG_4056 IMG_4054 IMG_4045It’s been a stressful few weeks and I have really enjoyed being able to come home at night and relax in front of the fire pit on the deck (it’s propane so no fuss, no mess) with a glass of wine and chill.

IMG_4003And while relaxing with said glass of wine, I just “might” have been doing some fabric shopping which resulted in these two yummy bundles of Cotton + Steel from Crimson Tate 🙂  Just sayin’….

IMG_4077You’re also well aware of my tendency to hoard all things Bonnie & Camille 🙂  So needless to say, Miss Kate already has a place in my sewing room with some of the flannel fat eighths on the way as well, lol.  Isn’t she pretty?

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Well, I’m afraid that may be all the fabric goodness you can stand 🙂   More pics soon once I get the porch quilt bound.  I’m calling her “Chasing My Tail” and will tell you the full story once she’s complete.  Happy quilting friends!

Pets On Quilts Show – 2014

I stumbled across this today thanks to Valerie.  Thanks Valerie!

Sounds good to me!!!  So, here are my kids!  We are entering in the “Cat or Kitten on a Quilt” category.  With 4 cats in the house, there is always a cat available to help with the quilting process.  First up…the Moose!  Moose is the youngest quilt tester in the household, but he is the first to pop up and help me.

cropped-img_1862.jpgHe has been helping me quilt my latest quilt, Chasing My Tail, with my 830 and the jumbo hoop.  Thanks Moosie!

Moose helping with "Chasing My Tail"

Moose helping with “Chasing My Tail”

He’s always up for a good photo shoot…especially when I’m trying to get a picture WITHOUT a cat in it.

Moose presents Mini Swoon

Moose presents Mini Swoon

He sure does keep us laughing though!

Yoga Moose :)

Yoga Moose 🙂

Next up is sister Lucy.  She’s our little rescue girl that someone tried to drown at 8 weeks of age.  Saving her did some damage to her vocal cords so her meow and purr are very, very quiet.  That hasn’t slowed her down every though!  She’s a sweet soul, but she keeps da’ Moose in his place.

Lucy helping with layout of the Montana Quilt

Lucy helping with layout of the Montana Quilt

Lucy helping demonstrate "place cat butt here!"

Lucy helping demonstrate “place cat butt here!”

They have another very shy sister, Emmie.  Emmie is also a rescue and used to love to help with quilting until I got my 830.  The 830 is just a bit big and intimidating for her, but she still loves to snuggle and help with quilting when the machine isn’t running.

Emmie on Lisa's quilt

Emmie on Lisa’s quilt

Emmie on Happy Howlidays

Emmie on Happy Howlidays

And last but not least is Simon.  Simon is the senior cat in the household at 14.5 years old.  Simon is also a rescue that had an injury early in life.  Jim says he’s a “few Buds short of a 6 pack”, but he is truly just the sweetest boy ever.  He is a gentle soul and always the first to make friends with a new animal in the house.

Simon and Moose on Happy Howlidays.

Simon and Moose on Happy Howlidays.

So that’s my crew!  I hope you enjoyed this little introduction to my quilting helpers.  Make sure and check out all the other links at Lily Pad Quilting and enjoy the Pets on Quilts Show 2014!  I know I will 🙂

Simon, Lucy, & Emmie

Simon, Lucy, & Emmie

Baby Moose

Baby Moose

Vacation Accomplishments

Wow!  I have enjoyed having a week off so much that I told my staff I’ve decided I should take the summer off.  Needless to say, they’re not in favor of that and it might make paying the bills a bit difficult, but oh boy….this was a much-needed retreat from a CRAZY five months.  I really can’t believe we’re at the end of May.  I have NO idea where the last 5 months have gone (wait….yes I do, I was traveling like a crazy woman and working my butt off, lol).

So, without further delay, here is just a little peek at what I did this week.  First, I started every morning (after the chores were done of course) with a cup of coffee on the front porch with this smiling boy who turned 14 (!!!!!) back on the 10th!  How he got to be 14, don’t ask…seems he was just a goofy pup not too long ago.  Every day we have with him is a blessing.  Lots of limping these days and we’re in early renal failure, but he’s happy and I keep him pain-free.  He still likes to walk to the barn every morning and night (but then he prefers to ride back in the gator, lol).

IMG_3556Mom came out last weekend for a “photo shoot” with Aunt Joann’s quilt.  Special memories here that will last a lifetime!

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We finalized plans for the addition of a sunroom and deck on the back of the house!  I have been wanting to do this forever, but we didn’t want to finance it, so this has been a 5 years of savings and lot’s of speaking gigs kind of project.  Construction should start in the next 2 weeks.

Thompson over view 4 Thompson over view 2Lot’s of stuff happening on the sewing front and that was truly the most awesome part of vacation…just being able to sew and relax with the windows open, the birds chirping, and the horses munching.  Heaven!

First I got caught up on our Farmer’s Wife blocks.  I am sad to say that these were February’s blocks…we had to put everything on hold when my travel schedule got out of control and mom had to have thumb surgery.  We’re back on track and I have picked out our 5 June blocks.  With the addition of February’s blocks, we have 65 out of 111 complete.  That means we only have 46 more blocks to go!  Amazing.

IMG_3592I finally had a chance to put all of the ones I have made up on the wall together last night, so here they are.  I really have NO idea how these are all going to tie together in one quilt lol, but I said I was only going to use stash fabric and I have stayed true to that.  I love how when I look at the blocks I can see what was going on at the time in my life and remember special times associated with certain fabrics.

IMG_3593Now, you might have noticed that this is actually hanging ON the WALL.  The other big project of the week was to clear out my sewing room/office.  It has been SO cramped for so long that it just makes me edgy going in there.  First I got rid of Bubba’s big over stuffed chair that was taking up an entire wall.  With his legs, he hasn’t been able to get up on it for over 4 months and when he does, he can’t get down on his own without falling.  It was an accident waiting to happen…so out it went.  Then I got rid of an old kitty condo that was taking up space under the window.  The cats are always on my sewing table or desk, NEVER on their designated space, lol.  So, with that space opened up, I turned an old table that my mom made years ago into a much-needed cutting table.  I added some 5 inch risers and voila!

IMG_3566You can see my Grandma Foster’s old treadle machine there now 🙂  It was crammed into a corner and covered with books.  Moosie likes it too.

IMG_3573Now, as you can see above, the appearance of the self-cleaning litter box beneath the new cutting table AND the lovely brown risers do not add to the ambiance I was trying to create.  Home dec is totally outside of my comfort zone, but with Mom’s encouragement, I bit the bullet and decided to make a skirt for the table.  I fell in love with the Moda Mochi dot linen fabric.  Mom tried to teach me how to make ruffles by  pulling on two threads….after several frustrating tries, I went and purchased a ruffler foot, lol.  This is why god invented technology right??????  Seriously…this thing is a dream!  Here is the finished skirt.  Looks MUCH better than the litter box and risers 🙂

IMG_3585The ruffler foot and I got on famously!  Talk about super simple.  It had 3 settings:  ruffles every 12 stitches, every 6 stitches, or every stitch.  I did every 12 because I wanted looser ruffles.  Now, the new hemmer foot and I, well that is a different story.  We are still not on speaking terms.  I had enough of the mochi dot left over to make a fun little pillow to sit on the chair by Grandma’s machine…I mean Moosie’s chair.

IMG_3586IMG_3588Fun!  I still want to paint the room too, but there are some other things I need to clear out (aka “purge”) before I tackle that.  However, I had such fun with the ruffler that I might consider making curtains when the time comes, lol.

Up next on the cutting table?  Well, I am working on the Scout quilt by Allison Harris at Cluck Cluck Sew.  My awesome friend Courtney from The French Seam (she’s also my neighbor at work, lol) gave me the pattern AND the fabric.  Seriously, how lucky am I to work next door to this lady????  If you’re in Indy, you should totally check her shop out…AMAZING fabrics!  I “heart” her 🙂  All of the strip sets are cut and sewn together (thank you for your help Moosie), so today we cut and piece the blocks together and hopefully get the top stitched.

IMG_3547So, it’s been a fabulous vacation and I still have 3 days left!  Cheers!  Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone!

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Hugs and Kisses

My Aunt was diagnosed with renal adenocarcinoma several months ago.  She had one kidney removed and did very well for several months.  Recently we discovered that the cancer was back…damn cancer.  So, she has started chemotherapy.  Mom and I had the idea to make her a quilt to snuggle with while undergoing her chemo treatments.

IMG_3533I found the pattern for X’s and O’s by Elizabeth Dackson of the blog Don’t Call Me Betsy.  Mom purchased the pretty batiks and pieced the top, then sent it to me.  I did the free motion quilting and binding.  Just finished it up today 🙂IMG_3531 IMG_3527I hope she loves it and it brings her comfort.

IMG_3529Here’s to it almost being the weekend and being on vacation next week!!!!!  Hope you’re all well 🙂

Disappearing 9 Patch Table Runner

I finished up the last of the Christmas gifts yesterday!  Sandy H has been talking about disappearing 9 patches on her podcast and I’ve been wanting to try one, so I thought a table runner would be just the ticket!

Table runner frontI had a left over layer cake from Kate Spain‘s Christmas line, Joy,  that I cut up into 5 inch squares, then used those to create four 9-patch blocks.  This was super easy and fun to put together.  I can see an entire quilt made out of these fabrics 🙂

table runner - backThis is the backing fabric.  Please ignore the mess of  Christmas stuff in the background.  I love this fabric.  I’m sure that comes as a shock to many of you….NOT.  I wasn’t familiar with this designer (Jill Simmons Smith), but the fabric is called “Santa Paws” by Illustration Ink for Robert Kaufman.  It comes with a gray background as well…which I wish I had snapped up.  I “might” have purchased a “few” yards of this one 🙂 

photo 2I went with plain, straight line quilting for this one.  FMQing would have probably been faster for this project, but I liked the straight lines better. 

photo 4This was fresh out of the dryer so a bit wrinkly.  I’m having a hard time giving this one away.  I have enough left over charms to make myself one too…probably should get on that huh?  Today I’m planning on trying to get some of my December Farmer’s Wife blocks completed before December is gone (eek!) along with screening resumes for a receptionist position I have open…fun, fun, fun.  Then tomorrow, it’s back to work for me!  Have a great weekend!

Mason’s Quilt Finished!

IMG_0265Today I finished a very special project!  This is a memory quilt for the owner of one of my very special patients, Mason.  Mason was 6 months younger than my Bubba Jr.  They look remarkably similar – long, lanky, reddish gold in color.  I loved Mason as one of my own.  Over the course of his little life, his Mom and I became friends.  When she lost Mason last January, it became a void in both of our lives, but mostly hers.  She feels that loss every single day.

IMG_0266So a few months ago, I started planning to make a memory quilt for her.  Something to snuggle under and hold tightly to when she’s feeling that deep pain that we feel somewhere where no one can touch…that pain those of us who have lost someone close to us feel bone deep.  I hope this quilt can give her some comfort.  I loved Mason with all my heart and I love his Mom too.

IMG_0267Mason became my patient when he was a little over one year of age.  I had the pleasure of knowing him for 12, too short, years.  Our little Mason had a lot of allergies (he was a Golden after all LOL), and as he grew older, he developed several GI issues so his mom had to cook for him for the last several years of his life.

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I know this post is a little picture heavy, so I tried to make them smaller, but if you click on them it should give you a full size image.  Here are a few of my favorites.IMG_0270

IMG_0274The fabrics are a combination of Moda white and then the fabric for the four patch blocks is from Whimsicals Around Town.  Super fun prints along with a panel.  I used some of the left over blocks on the back.  The four patches are just straight line quilted, then I FMQ’ed around the pictures.  I started by tracing bones and trying to quilt over them as an outline…but that looked kind of blah, so I tried my hand at FMQing the bones.  They’re not perfect, but I think they look ok and I’m sure Mason’s Mom will like them.

IMG_0290IMG_0291I couldn’t figure out what kind of label I wanted to put on this…everything I thought of was either too fancy, or too “perfect”, and not Mason…so I just went for something simple like this.

IMG_0295I hope Mason’s mom can feel all the love that went into this quilt…because there was a whole golden lot of it 🙂  RIP Mason…you were truly loved by all who knew you my special man!

xoxo forever,

Auntie Lori

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Montana Quilt

Blogger’s Quilt Festival :: Fall 2013

Have you been following the Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis?  This is something I’ve enjoyed following every year but never entered for several reasons.  Normally I’m working crazy hours and the time for entry is long past by the time I actually get caught up with my blog reading, lol.  Also, I’ve always considered myself such a novice quilter I never thought my work was “good enough” to be entered in something like this.  This year I’m throwing caution to the wind!  Many of my quilty friends have linked up and so what the heck?  The worst that could happen would be I would get an email from Amy saying, “uh…what do you think you’re doing??” to which I would of course respond with how much I admire her work and have been a long time fan (xoxo Amy….thanks for all you do!)  So here we go!

IMG_0147My entry into the “Throw” category is my Montana Quilt that I finished earlier this summer.  You can find my original post about the finish here and early pictures here.

IMG_0151The reason I chose this quilt to enter is because it was something totally out of my comfort zone that I didn’t think I would like when I started it, but ended up loving because of the memories I now associate with this quilt.  See, the husband purchased the original pattern on a business trip to Kalispell, MT in 2011.  He gave it to me for Christmas and I was like, “wow!  Thanks honey!”  Let’s be honest, I wanted to ENCOURAGE the fact that he would buy me quilty gifts on a business trip out of the blue (uh..yeah!) but this was definitely not my cup of tea.  I’m more of a Bonnie & Camille, Sweetwater, Kate Spain kind of girl 🙂  A quilt featuring wildlife from Montana was kind of “meh”.  So, it went into my closet and stayed there for a few months.

IMG_0149The following April he casually mentioned that he hadn’t seen me working on the quilt.  Then my Catholic guilt commenced (thanks Dad!) and I thought I better get piecing.  So out it came.

Close up

Close up

Gosh there were a lot of triangles in this quilt!  So I finished piecing the top and back in the closet it went.  UNTIL…in June 2012 I had the chance to tag along on a business trip with him to Montana.  OMG…I fell in love with the place.  Never has there been a more beautiful place and all of a sudden, the fabric came to life for me.  All those silly triangles that made the effect of the running streams went from being a PIA to reminding me of this.

RapidsI went and purchased the backing fabric from a quilt store in Whitefish because at that point I wanted every single bit of fabric in that quilt to have been purchased in Montana, thus effectively being able to wrap myself in the memories of that trip every time we used that quilt.  I love how the backing turned out!

IMG_0154Here’s a close up of the strip running down the middle of the backing.

IMG_0156What wonderful memories!  So that’s the Montana Quilt.  I hope you like it as much as I do…and as much as Moose does 🙂  He pretty much claims the quilt whenever we’re not using it.

IMG_1862A special thank you to Amy for hosting the 2013 Blogger’s Quilt Festival!  I’m sure it’s a lot of work to get all the sponsors and coordinate all the entries.  It’s sure a lot of fun to be a part of this year!

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Zig Zag Table Runner – Coffee Style!

Another finish finally 🙂  Feels good to be sewing again!  A few months ago I started a zig zag table runner based on a fun tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  The pattern calls for a charm pack and some yardage for backing, but I made my own charms from some fabric I bought when I went to the quilt store in Florida last March with my mom and Katie from Katie’s Quilting Corner.

IMG_1759The tutorial was super easy to follow.  It was really interesting how Jenny put it together so I wanted to give it a try.  Basically you make the top with alternating rows at an angle.

cropped-img_1777.jpgOnce the top is pieced you layer the bottom and the batting and then stitch all around the edge, leaving a hole, then turn it inside out, sew up the little hole, then I straight line quilted the top.

IMG_0197My coffee cup likes it!

IMG_0199Here’s a pic of the backing.  Love this fabric!

IMG_0200There you have it!  In other fun news, we had a Halloween photo shoot with the fur babies this week.  It was a little challenging to corral 3 super heroes 🙂

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