Monday, November 29, 2010

WIP: Maxine Quilt

{WIP == Work In Progress}

Note: If you are new here and wish to see my project from the very beginning, go to Maxine Fabric (The Beginning). Links are provided (embedded) in each of the WIP Maxine posts to continue on until you get to this post.

The border aka frame is sewn on! hurray!

I am not crazy with how the bottom left bottom block disappears into the border. Oh well.

I had sewn three sides on before taking off for Thanksgiving. I then sewed on the last side earlier today. I'm thrilled that this part is done.

I have decided that I don't like taking pictures of the quilts in progress. The picture doesn't do the quilt top justice. The fabric used in the border is more of a purple hue than blue. And, the room I am using is just too small. I just can't get it right! I think I'm going to have to find a different location to take pictures. But, where?!?

Anyway, It's now onto the backing fabric! I'm going to try to piece it (hodgepodge) with leftover pieces fabrics.

This was completed as part of the goal I set at:

Amy's Creative Side

The other part of my goal can be found here. It was completed late that afternoon when the challenge was first issued.

As for new goals:

I am pretty sure that Block 3 for the Layer Cake quilt along will be posted tomorrow. I have two weeks to do that. Should be easy enough as it's only one block.

I need to come up with a backing fabric for the Maxine quilt. That is going to take time as I need to decide on how I want to do accomplish (design) that using the leftover fabric. But, hopefully, I'll do it quickly enough as I feel like I don't have much time left. One week should be enough time, right? I am mentally screaming over this. Ha!

Next up: Sneek Peek to Backing

More Crazy Cat Lady Pictures

I am rapidly running out of pictorial things to post on Mondays. Subject matters and travels ebbs and flows. And right now, I've hit rock bottom. However, I have my ever present cats as photographic subjects. So, you're getting yet even more pictures of my cats today. I know, I know. You must be getting sick of them! Ha!

{I took all of the following pictures on November 14th.}

Delicious Belly

I have been trying to capture a decent picture of Gracie's belly and finally was able to do so on this day. It's not the greatest picture; so, I plan on to keep trying. Anyway, notice her multicolored fur? It shows up the most on her belly. And, that one back paw is almost a solid cream color. Her backside has a lot of reddish hue. And, I absolute love her front paw. Gracie is a Torbie (tortoiseshell-tabby).

I captured beautiful Chessie later on this same day. I stalked her until she finally just gave up and kept a watchful eye on the camera. She let me take pictures of her. Yay!

Chessie is a Maine Coon. She would have been considered Classic Brown (or Brown Classic). But, the one lone reddish patch between her ears spoiled it for her breeders. Can you see it? As a result, she's considered to be a Brown Patch.

She, along with Calvin (who passed away last year), were my (our) first purebreeds to own. I have always loved Maine Coons and Dan wanted a large cat. We ended up getting Chessie and Calvin at about 12 weeks of age. They were born about a week apart. Chessie is now 13-1/2 years old.

We are not planning on getting anymore purebreed cats unless they are rescues. I've always felt guilty on account of knowing there are many strays and kittens out there in need of homes. So, from hereon, it's going to be rescues, adopts, or strays.

I noticed Gracie laying precariously on a pile of boxes after I was done stalking Chessie. She loves to get up there from time to time and hang out. I realize that this perspective is strange; but, I was trying to capture how she was laying. Notice her feet? Her chin is resting on one of her hind feet and the top of her lone front leg. And, her other hind foot is laying on top of her lone front paw. She often lays like this.

A better perspective of Gracie.

And, there she is on top of the pile of packing boxes that I mentioned. We stored them in the Master bedroom as we know we will have to move again someday. Ignore the mess. Our Master closet is so small that there is hardly any room for robes, jackets and such. So, we use the pile of boxes to put them on. And, of course, the cats love them. Sheesh.

And yes, there have been some tumbles from this precarious perch by BOTH cats. ha!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

Everything Bread

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4

But oh, this was sooo delicious! Ha!

I saw the recipe for this bread in a Taste of Home magazine (Oct/Nov 2010 issue), ripped it out, and wanted to try right away.

So, I gathered all the ingredients and attempted to make the bread last Sunday. It turned out rather well for my (our) first attempt at making this. I now know not to be shy about putting the egg wash on top before baking it - just lather it on liberally - don't be afraid!

Since Thanksgiving is tomorrow for us who live in the States, I thought this was appropriate. Plus, I know a few who have been wanting to see pictures of what we made last Sunday since I posted about it on facebook.

And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake [it], and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Luke 22:19

Let us give thanks in and for all things. It wouldn't seem like Thanksgiving without giving thanks for you! Thank you all for hanging in there with me and this silly blog.

Note: I will be "breaking bread" with some of my family and most likely will not be online again until Monday as I will be out of town. I hope you all will have a wonderful Thanksgiving! And, for those of you who don't celebrate and/or live outside the States, have a blessed weekend! In all things, be safe!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Layer Cake Quilt Along: Documentation II

Previously: Documentation I

The instructions for block 2 of the Layer Cake quilt along was posted last Tuesday (November 16th). It took me a little time to get started as I could not decide on how I wanted to make the half square triangles (HSTs). But, once I decided upon the method, I zoomed right along. It was scary because I am not confident when it comes to making HSTs.

The method I chose? I decided to make my own Spinning Star paper pattern (3 in. version). This is paper piecing! Paper piecing makes triangles and points a lot cleaner. Just layer two fabrics right sides together and sew along the dotted line. Cut it apart along the solid lines and viola! You'll end up with eight HSTs. By the way, the stitch length needs to be small (mine is small anyway). It perforates the paper and makes it easy to tear apart when ready to remove the paper.


The first thing I had to do was choose the fabric - 3 lights and 2 darks. This was tough! Since my last block was very brown, I wanted to go with "Pure" blue this time around. Ha! {FYI: in case you don't know, "Pure" is the name of the fabric line I'm using.}

The fabric all cut and the HSTs sewn together.

Now, I had two choices concerning the design of the block.

I decided to go with the first (left) design pictured above because it didn't look so busy.
The four HSTs sewn together (making 2) and the other two HSTs along with the two squares sewn together (making 2). I had to do some "anti-sewing" (ripping out seams) as I messed up twice. But, all in all, these came out great.

The finished block.

I now know that I need to press towards the dark fabric if I have some really white fabric. In spite of this, I am really pleased with this block.

The one thing I like about participating in something like this is that it challenges me (makes me go outside of my comfort zone). I also learn new things in the process.

By the way, I uploaded my picture to the Layer Cake Quilt Along flicker group (pool) Check it out for the latest (newest) blocks by the participants of this quilt along!

Next Up: Documentation III

Monday, November 22, 2010

Special Necklaces

When I first heard my niece was going to have a baby, I wanted to get a special gift just for her. So, I kept an eye out for the one special gift. When I first laid my eyes on this necklace at Kristen's Custom Creations, I knew it was the one.

So, I placed an order. Fortunately, the parents had already chosen a name for their precious little one. It made it all the easier because I wanted to give it to the mother as soon as possible after she had her baby.

When this came in the mail, I was extremely pleased with it. It's petite and delicate looking. And yet, it is strong. I thought it was perfect for the mother.

The baby came on a Sunday. I was thrilled. This meant we could go up there right away and see Lillian. We didn't have to wait. I also gave Lillian's mother her gift that day. I think she liked it.

And, of course, when I spied this item (below) from the same maker on the same day, I had to get it for myself. {Is there any women who goes shopping and NOT get herself something too?}
It was just too cute! I was real pleased with it.

It was just perfect! It conveys how I feel about photography. Pictures, for me, are snapshots of memories.

I always was one those who likes to take pictures at gatherings, events and such; but, I am always a little concerned that people wouldn't like it or understand. I always try to take pictures so that they would want the snapshots too.

If I don't get any pictures, especially when we visit family, It's like a gaping hole in the snapshots of memories. I know. Silly and sad. But, it's so true.

{Photo credits: Dan}

Friday, November 19, 2010

Indiscriminate Contemplations

Indiscriminate Contemplations == Random Thoughts

  • I have a secret: I do not like working with solid color fabrics. *gasp* Yes, I dislike solids. However, I don’t mind fabrics, such as white on white, which reads as solids from a short distance. I believe that these kinds of fabrics are considered “basics”.

  • It appears that Gracie is 100% healed. No more issues and she's eating regular cat food and hasn't suffered any set backs. I don't think she's allergic to certain foods.

  • We'll be going home for Thanksgiving (USA) next week. Well, to one of my brothers. He lives close by my mother; so, we'll be able to feast and visit with her. I am not sure what we'll do after Turkey day.

  • I have been sick. Two days with a migraine/headache and now, I have a sore throat. *sigh*. It’s time to stock up on chicken soup and cough drops w/Echinacea. So, I don’t have much in the way of rambling thoughts because I haven’t taken the time to write. And besides, I'm feeling very melancholic. So, I don't want to write as I don't want to bring people down.

  • Winning Loves:

    A gorgeous mini art quilt

    I’ve been entering into giveaways (Nov 8 through Nov 12) like mad for a book-like magazine, called Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks: volume 2, hoping I could win one. There were over 50 blogs, each were designer(s ) of a block (or more) that made it into the final cut of this magazine, participating in this madness. So, that meant I had 50+ chances to win. But, thousands upon thousands of people were participating in the blog tour; so, my chances of winning were slim.

    The first winning notice I discovered was last Saturday at Maria Michaels Designs. At first, I got all excited and then I realized that it was only for a “Santa Stocking” pattern. Yes, it was a letdown; but, I am happy to be getting a stocking pattern. My Gracie needs a stocking and this may be a solution depending upon whether or not I can modify the design as I don’t really want Santa on the stocking. I don’t mind Christmas tree(s) though. And, I could always make the quicker plainer version of the pattern. :-)

    The second winning notice I discovered was this past Monday that I actually won the magazine at SuzGuzDesigns. You should have seen me. I was yelling and just so excited. Thank goodness God and my cats were the only witnesses. :-) I now don’t have to go out hunting for this ever popular quilting magazine. The first volume sold out so quickly that I never got a physical copy of it. I could get a digital copy; but, I dislike digital magazines; so, I never got one. I guess that means I’m old fashioned. :-) Anyway, I’m absolutely thrilled that I do not need to go out hunting hoping to get a copy before they sell out.
  • Around the Interwebs:

    I Heart Neologisms
    Hilarious winning results of Neologism contest by The Washington Post. Warning: Might be offensive to some people. It was certainly shocking to me in some cases.

    Tool, Toy or Tangent
    Inspirational article about things (such as the internet) that can be a tool, toy or a tangent.

    Stolen Quilt at Festival
    Pass the word along. Hopefully, someone will recognize it and it'll get returned.

    Free Quilting Calculator app
    For quilters who have an iPhone, a descriptive blog post about an app. I don't have one; but, this sounds cool. Word on the street that they will be an app for the Droid too.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

I spied this Spiny Orb Weaver spider early in the morning on November 7th at my mother's house. It is also known as "Spinybacked Orbweaver".

When I first spied it, I only saw the belly portion. It was very round and I was curious to see the backside. So, I went around being careful to not disturb the web. I was surprised. It was so strange looking and colorful.

I went back inside the house to tell Dan about it and to grab my camera. We had a lot of fun trying to snap a picture of this tiny strange looking spider. It was challenging because 1) it was extremely tiny and 2) it was breezy which made the web bounce around.

In my research on this spider, I discovered it can also be found with white or tomato red backsides. I would so love to see a red one!

What a strange fascinating looking creature!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

WIP: Maxine Quilt

WIP == Work In Progress

Note: If you are new here and wish to see my project from the very beginning, go to Maxine Fabric (The Beginning). Links are provided (embedded) in each of the WIP Maxine posts to continue on until you get to this post.

The blocks all sewn up!

The quilt in the picture seems narrower at the bottom. It's not. I am not an expert photographer and haven't yet learned how to "fix" this problem (either while taking pictures or during the editing process). Edited to add: Dan will be teaching me how to make it look more square/even both ways soon. Yay!

The border fabric

And yes, I know, it needs to be ironed before I cut into it. Ha!

For some odd reason, purples just don't want to show up very well in the pictures. This fabric is actually more of a purple hue than blue. Some of this fabric was used as borders in the blocks in the quilt (three of them). Can you find them?

Anyway, I've decided on cutting the fabric (for the border to frame the quilt) 4-1/2" wide. This will make the actual border width approximately 4" wide after it is all sewn up and bound. Most likely, it'll end up a tiny bit smaller than 4" because I'm not an expert at binding. But, that is okay.

Next Up: WIP: Maxine Quilt (11/29/10)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chessie Begging

I don't have much to share today. However, I do have these pictures that I took September 9th with the sole purpose of demonstrating how BIG our Chessie is.

Chessie LOVES this particular wet cat food. She gets impatient and wants it NOW. She also becomes a chatterbox when Dan gets out the wet food.


This last one is a strange viewpoint that I like. I don't know why; but, I do. We kind of teased her to get this shot. I know. Mean. Just absolutely cruel. Ha!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Indiscriminate Contemplations (Lengthy)

  • The Houston International Quilt Festival last Saturday was fabulous. I didn’t get many pictures. In fact, I hardly took any. No photography was allowed for most of the show. Phooey.

    In times past, they allowed it without flash. This time, they didn’t allow it at all. I totally understand because frequent flash (light) is not good for fabrics. And, some folks are unethical (taking pictures for copyright infringement). Many folks don’t know how to turn off the flash on their phones and small cameras and yet, they still take pictures. That is all kinds of wrong. I was annoyed the last time I was at a show when people still took pictures with the flash in spite of the fact it was against the rules. I feared this very thing happening (banning all photography). Sure enough, it did. *sigh*

    However, I find it curious that people who attended the Market (earlier and separate from the Quilt show) were allowed to take photos. The reason why I know this is because I’ve seen quite a few bloggers posting pictures of quilts and more from the Market. It’s frustrating for this blogger (me) to not be able to talk (pictorial-wise) about the show. *sigh*

    Anyway, I didn’t have much of a purpose at the show other than to look at sergers. I did a little research and I thought I’d get a Janome. But, after seeing the Baby Lock serger demonstrated for me, I decided to go for that one even though it’s extremely pricey. It’s so cool! And, just right for me. I'll have to save up my money to get one and it's going to take FOREVER. Ha!

    I did fall for a bunch of fabrics of a particular design at the show; but, I refrained from getting any. I regretted that because I just can’t get them out of my mind! So, I will probably go to a quilt shop tomorrow to see if I can get some. We’ll also go to a farmer’s market nearby. So, it should be a fun day.

    I saw Alex Anderson up close and personal. Let me tell you, she was scary for this shy girl. Ha!

  • We stayed at my Mother’s house last weekend. Thankfully, nothing disastrous happened this time around. (A water pipe broke during my last stay at the house.) It was sort of depressing though because we were alone and there was not a whole lot to do ~ No TV and Internet. We can get online via our broadband card; but, it’s a pain. And, I was so cold Saturday evening that we went to bed early and tried to get warm. The heat wasn’t working all that well.

    I explored outside for a little bit Sunday morning. I discovered an interesting looking spider in the front yard and located a few pecans in the back yard. Memories of the days long past flashed through my mind and sadness overwhelmed me because the one constant for the holidays is gone. Changes are here and I do not know what to do. I’ve always gone home for the holidays. But, this isn’t going to be happening anymore.

    I’m missing the family gatherings; but, the family is so scattered that this just isn’t possible. We’re going to one of my brothers for Thanksgiving this year. We’ll be close by Mother to take her some of the feast and visit with her. After that, I am not sure what we'll do.

    Mother wasn’t feeling very well when we saw her Sunday and my hope of her returning home is gone. She just isn’t going to ever return. That time has ended. She most likely will stay in the nursing/rehab care for the rest of her life. She still goes walking; but, hasn’t improved. She gets tired so easily. It breaks my heart; but, there is nothing I can do. It’s really all up to her; but, she has no desire or willpower to overcome her hurdles. She seems somewhat content; although, she still isn’t happy with the food there.

  • I’ve been getting up between 5:30 and 6:00 every morning since the time change last Sunday. And, I’ve been going to bed around 10pm. I’m planning to stick with this simply because I think I can get more accomplished with two extra hours in my day. Ha! We'll see. And besides, I can’t really sleep once I wake up around that time in the morning. So, I might as well get up.

  • Linky Love:

    Spoon Fudge!
    . Fudge you eat with a spoon. Here’s a review about it. This is how I heard about this company. Now, I haven’t order any of this stuff in spite of getting a good review. But, I did check out the site. And, oh my! Dark Chocolate! Dan would probably like the Chocolate Peanut Butter cup or just Chocolate Peanut Butter flavors. By the way, I sent Dan the link and his response was “that's just all kinds of wrong”. Ha!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordy Wednesday

A man in the kitchen...


How cool is that?!?


Picture snapped on July 11th, 2010.

We had made a mess in the kitchen cooking something together. Sad to say, I cannot remember the details. However, I do remember that I could not resist snapping a picture of him helping out with the cleanup.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Layer Cake Quilt Along: Documentation I

Back in early October, I decided to join in the Layer Cake Quilt Along 2010. They had done a Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along that looked like it was a blast to do. I just couldn't resist this new quilt along when it came around.

I had fallen in love with a collection of fabrics called "Pure" designed by Sweetwater for Moda some time previously; but, I had no purpose for them and never purchased any. I just couldn't pass this up for this quilt along.

So, I had a blast shopping at the Fat Quarter Shop, which is fast becoming my favorite online store for fabrics. They are very good in customer relations and excellent in fulfilling orders quickly. The toughest part I had was choosing the backing, border, accent and binding fabrics. I hope I made the right choices. We'll see.

The package arrived some time ago and I delayed opening it until recently. The instructions for the first block for the quilt along was posted on November 2nd. So, I was then ready to open the package.

Don't pay attention to the "rolled" fabrics in that back, those were extras I purchased that has nothing to do with the quilt along. :-)

The square fabric packages are the "Layer Cakes" -- forty-two 10 inch squares of fabric from a collection. I purchased an extra Layer Cake for a backup - just in case I mess up. I'm so glad I did because I did mess up! Ha!
Main fabric that made me fall in love with this line. Isn't it delicious?

I took one of those Layer Cakes and attempted to separate them into light, medium and dark fabrics. This was tough! I'm still not sure where some of the fabrics belong. I also chose the fabrics for the first block...
I then started to cut up each square per instructions. In spite of being careful, I did mess up cutting up a section of fabric. I was pretty disgusted with myself; but, that is okay - that is what the backup Layer Cake is for!

The fabrics all cut up and the sections sewn together.

The fabric sections arranged.

At this point, we were to applique a circle onto the center square of the block. But, I couldn't decide between the dark or medium fabric. I even took pictures, one with the dark and one with the medium, to see if it would help me decide.

Nope, I still couldn't decide. At the moment, I am leaning towards the medium fabric. But, I kept flip-flopping. Sometimes, I liked the dark better. I'm thankful that this part was optional. I will go back and applique something in the center because I feel like it needs something in there.

My finished block

We had the choice to upload a picture to a flickr group established just for the sole purpose of this quilt along. I uploaded mine. So, did many others! It's awesome to see how many people are participating. And, you get comments and constructive criticism from some of the people participating. Check out that link to see all the blocks posted if you're interested. At this moment, there are 102 entries into the group.

Next Up: Documentation II

Monday, November 8, 2010

Lillian aka Lily

I posted a sneak peek picture last Wednesday. We had gone up to see her the day she was born. I cannot stop thinking about her. She is just so adorable and beautiful.

Here are a few more pictures of Lillian aka Lily, my grandniece. There isn't a whole lot to say about them other than to make note of who took which. Dan took most of the good pictures I just love. By the way, all the pictures have been resized for the blog, which means the quality isn't as good as you would see full sized.

{Dan} Note: she was being bathed in the nursery and wasn't happy about it.

{Dan} Bless her heart...




{Dan} Obviously, he took this picture. How could have I taken it? Ha!




{Me} I couldn't decide on which of the above two I liked best. Which one do you like best? I'm leaning towards Dan's photo.


{Me}A happy Grandpa and a very pleased Uncle

There are more; but, a couple of them I did not feel comfortable posting. The rest are more like snapshots and I didn't think they were worth posting. All of the pictures will go to the parents of Lillian if I can remember to burn them on a CD and mail them along with the pictures from the baby shower. Yes, I'm a procrastinator. Ha!