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?

IMG_3945

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!

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!

I did it…meet Scarlett :)

Meet Scarlett!

So, I bit the bullet!  After lots of angst, research, and beating myself up for not “needing” a new machine, I decided to get the Bernina 830 LE.  Ever since I looked at her last Saturday and allowed myself to even think about getting her, it’s become an obsession.  I scoured the message boards of all my favorite groups, searched all the blogs, contacted the folks who I knew owned one for feedback and looked for all the good, bad, and the ugly.  It seemed that the first machines that came out in 2008 had some tension issues, but all the folks I spoke with had either had their issues resolved by the company or had their machines replaced.  Since 2010, it didn’t appear anyone was having issues.

Settled in her cabinet

It seemed that everyone that owned one, loved it and didn’t regret the purchase.  Now, I can do guilt like nobody’s business (thank my parents for sending me to a Catholic school growing up), so when I read all the messages about folks that thought it was insane to spend that kind of money on a sewing machine, I of course, started to feel guilty for even considering it.  Then I thought long and hard about it on Thursday.  Thursdays are normally my late day/night at the clinic.  I go in at 1:00 and see clients until 9 p.m.   This allows some after work options for those who can’t come in with their itchy pets during normal  hours.  I started off my day by going to an equine hospital and doing a skin test on a horse at 10 a.m. and found myself ending my day and driving home at 10:30 p.m.  I thought, you know, this is crazy…you work your tail off…if you can afford to buy this (48 month interest free financing which is how I bought my 440 QE!) and it makes you happy, then the heck with what everyone else thinks!  You’re almost 44 years old, why the HECK do you give a rat’s “bleep” what anyone thinks?  You don’t have children, you have a husband with an equally expensive hobby…does this make you happy?  YES!  Then consider it therapy!  So, Friday morning, I walked into my dealer and placed my order.  After hyperventilating for a bit (thank you Katie @ Katie’s Quilting Corner for calming me down and telling me it was ok, lol) I went home and started preparing for her arrival.  I actually got a call Friday night telling me she MIGHT be ready by the time sewing circle and software sampler were over on Saturday afternoon!

Emmie stalking Scarlett 🙂

So, yesterday I brought her home!  Emmie doesn’t know what to think…she’s bigger than Bernie (the 440 QE) and “purrs” differently.  She spent most of the evening stalking her.  She would hop up on the table, crouch down, and slink around her on all sides.  She even hissed at her once, lol.  I was trying to think of names for her (because the “big hussy” seemed oh, so inappropriate for such a pretty girl) and luckily, Katie came to my rescue again with “Scarlett”.  Given her red face plate, I think that name is PERFECT!  Thank you Katie….now you just need to come schedule a visit to Indiana to play 🙂  The IQF is in Cincinnati in April…wanna come?  🙂

Block 2 of Swoon

So, Emmie and I stayed up until midnight playing with Scarlett and finished Block 2 of Swoon.  Thanks to Pam @ Hip to be a Square for her pressing tips!  (go here).  Block 2 turned out much better than block 1 with only one seam ripping event I’m happy to say.  I can tell piecing on a 9 mm feed dog is a lot different from piecing on my 5 mm Bernie.  I bought the single stitch throat plate, but I need a lot of practice!  Looks rainy here today so it would be the perfect day for some sewing IF I didn’t have to finish taxes, do laundry, go to the grocery store, get horse feed, clean stalls….sigh.  Oh well, I played all day yesterday, so today I shall do my chores 🙂  I have my first class with Scarlett from 10-3 next Friday…I can’t wait.  Oh, and with my purchase came an all expenses paid trip for a 2 day seminar on the 830 LE with the Bernina Educators in Chicago in August or December!  I’m a lucky girl 🙂