Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday: More Catching Up, Le Petite for April, Worthy Cause

OK I am all caught up on sleep after traveling, storm watch, general insomnia, and a too busy partial week at work. Whew!  Hopefully life is back to its normal hecticness. 

I don't like to advocate for causes in this blog because that's not what you readers are here for so skip down to quilt photo if you want.

First up, now that the Royal Wedding is over with, please consider refocusing your attention to the storm victims in the Southeast.  The devastation is horrific and residents need help.  I humbly ask you to do what you can for the organization of your choosing and thank you for anything you do good thoughts, prayers, donations, quilts, whatever. Thank you.

There are too many worthy causes in this world and I am often overwhelmed by the great need out there and feel helpless with the inadequacy of my "discretionary" income each month (or lack thereof). But when I think that I have an extra $5, $10, or $20 when others do not, I know that every little bit helps.  My choice:  I follow @HomerBlindCat on Twitter.  Homer is the blind wonder-cat from the book Homer's Odyssey who has captured my heart.  Homer's mom and author Gwen Cooper has set up a donation account for Canat Veterinary Hospital in Tuscaloosa, AL.  Read the blog post here. 
Many vet clinics and animal shelters in Alabama were damaged by the tornadoes and the heroic staff of Canat Veterinary Hospital is taking care of any and all animals hurt or lost by the storm. Donation page is here if you so choose.

OK onto Le Petite project for April. 
 I took my Le Petite project for April to Michigan with me and was able to complete it there during a couple of sewing days with my mom and SIL.  The pattern is a Schnibbles called Brocante by Miss Rosie and the fabric is Bliss by Bonnie & Camille for Moda.  (I used leftover charm squares to make Mackenzie 2 bibs.)   The background fabric is from my mom's stash because I forgot to bring background fabric.  Thanks mom and I owe you some fabric!

The square-in-a-square pattern is more subtle in my version of Brocante. I'll be interested to see the other versions in the parade. 
 While I was gone my goodies from Fat Quarter Shop came.  I was so lucky to win a FQS gift certificate from the Eventide quilt along and here are the resulting goodies:  Fig Tree "Strawberry Fields" jelly roll, yardage of Christmas owls and sweet kitties on gray, and 2 patterns.  HUGE thanks to Thelma at Cupcakes n' Daisies and Kimberly at FQS!!!
Another package arrived while I was gone. Thelma who did such a wonderful job hosting the Eventide quilt along, made and sent mug rugs to all the participants.  How sweet is that???!!!??? I will send Thelma a proper thank you but I just want to say a public thanks for such sweetness.  Thelma--Really, the fun of the quilt along was more than enough and I will cherish this cute mug rug as well as the resulting quilt from the quilt along. You are too kind!

 As frequent readers of this blog know, I love to help out the Michigan economy when I visit and save up my fabric acquisition money especially for the trip.   Here's some goodies from my favorite quilt shops in Michigan:  Lake Street Mercantile, Guildcrafters, and Mabelena.  These are for my Civil War Block of the Week (that I am now behind on...)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another Stormy Night in the ATL

Hi everyone!  I'm back from Michigan with lots of catching up to do!!  I am WAY behind in reading blogs and getting posts together and getting photos ready to post and everything else. 

I had a fabulous time with my family.  Little niece Mackenzie is 13 months old and went from crawling to running.  She is always on the go and moving fast.  Faster than the speed of light (and camera-toting aunties). Full of giggles and smiles and babbling.  Love it!!!  Love her so much! 

Here's a quick post because of storms coming (this spring sure is bringing crazy weather!!!).  More Michigan posts coming including completed projects, fabric acquisitions,  maybe a couple more photos of Mackenzie, an Easter cake, and dinosaurs!

Here is one of two bibs that I made Mackenzie while I was up there.  Made from leftover Bliss charm squares and based on pattern in the Summer issue of Quilts & More magazine.  I made the bibs a little longer and wider to keep more of her clothes covered.    

I hope everyone is safe in the Southeast (especially my blog friends in Alabama!) & Midwest tonight.  Big storms coming. Be safe, be prepared, and make sure you have leashes/carriers/food/water/medicine for your pets! 

I am getting a disaster preparedness kit complied since this spring has been a wild one.  I have solar/hand-cranked flashlights & lantern and am working on a design for a bag.  Time to charge up the iPhone and flip to the Weather Channel.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Earth Day from Michigan!

Hi everyone!  Happy Earth Day from the Great Lakes State!  I'm here visiting family, especially my little niece Mackenzie! She liked her quilt and knew exactly what to do with it--hug it lol.  I'll have photos next week or I may try to post via iVan the iPhone. 

For now, reduce, reuse, recycle and bring your favorite mug to Starbucks today for a free coffee.  Yum!  I have a travel mug I keep here in Michigan so you know I'll be stopping by the local SBux for some coffee. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In a Tree; Not a Bird

Mid-afternoon on one of the first warm, sunny days this spring, S. and I were surprised to see a strange shape in a tree in the yard.  Although the shape resembled Edgar Poe in color and belly size, we knew it wasn't him.  

It was our resident raccoon sleeping soundly in the warm sunshine and tucked firmly into a crook in the tree.  In this photo, one of his/her back legs is hanging off. 

Through binoculars, you could really see his/her striped tail and dark mask.

We laughed and laughed as the raccoon slept ignoring birds chirping and flying near it.

He/she slept there all day and we kept checking to see if he/she left.  Day turned to dusk and we could no longer make out the shape of the raccoon in the shadows.  It was so great to experience this little bit of nature in our small town yard.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guest Blogger: Edgar Poe Talks Process

Hello everyone!  Edgar Poe here and it's come to my attention (thanks to the always fabulous and wonderful *karendianne) that Mom forgot to include my contribution to her recent quilt finish. 
That's OK. She's a busy lady and I'll make sure to jump on the dresser and knock things off a couple of extra times this month to make up for it.

The other day I helped Mom Swifter sweep the floor (I may have hindered this process a little bit because you know it's shedding season...) then I helped her spread big fabric on the floor. If you do this, make sure to run and slide on the fabric a few times.  Trust me; it's fun.
image from

Then Mom used this blue stuff that looked like fun paper to chew on but when I touched it; it attached itself to my paw and wouldn't let go.  Not fun!  I don't like this paper.  And Mom laughed at me.  She better not tell Stella about this.

The next step is to spread out fluffy stuff on top of the fabric. Mom was being unhelpful at this point because (1) she wouldn't let me roll on it  (2) she wouldn't let me help spread it out and (3) she wouldn't let me roll on it. 

I kind of lost track at this point because Mom kept picking me up and moving me so I'm not sure what happened next.

This next step is very important.  You have to hold everything down and don't let it move. 

See.  No one is moving me from this spot.  

This next step involved some mysterious objects that Mom kept saying were Not For Kittens.  There sure are a lot of things in the world that are Not For Kittens. 

Even though I was careful and not moving and I just wanted to see what these new objects were, Mom said Not For Kittens and kept picking me up and moving me.

This sure gets tiresome after awhile and I don't like that part of the process.

In fact, I decided that repeatedly getting picked up and moved was just not something I wanted to do anymore.   I left Mom to finish up by herself since she didn't want my help and went to my favorite spot to watch the birds and squirrels in the yard. Mom calls this "Poe TV."  Oh please Mom, you are so lame. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Big Finish!

 Ta Da!!  It's done.  Pieced, quilted, and bound by me. 

The pattern is the 2010 BOM Jelly Roll Sampler by the fabulous UK shop and authors of one of my favorite quilting books, The Quilt Room .  The fabric is Cherish Nature by Moda. 
 I'm getting ready to hand deliver this to a very special person in honor of a very special birthday.

(Yes, I know it's late but I couldn't be there on her birthday, so we'll just have to celebrate her birthday again!)

This is about as elaborate as I get with my labels.  Usually it's just my name and a year and the cat stamp.
Here's a view of the quilt outside.  The weather was beautiful today.

I loved making this quilt for my niece Mackenzie.  I found the jelly roll shortly after she was born and the colors and nature theme are perfect for her room. 

Be on the look out later this year for the pattern in a new book called Jelly Roll Sampler Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Two Projects, Two Sneak Peeks

Yes, I've been neglecting my blog.  I spent most of my time trying to decide what to buy at Fat Quarter Shop with my gift certificate busy busy busy.  This past weekend was filled with yard work--picking up sticks from the recent storms, pruning overgrown shrubs, and mowing the lawn with the repaired push mower. Spring is exhausting! I also worked on two project--one with a deadline and one that I couldn't resist. 

Sneak peek #1: The Quilt Room jelly roll sampler BOM from 2010. I'm quilting this one myself and am almost finished. Good thing because it's due to be gifted next week.   

Sneak peek #2:  Pips!! Oh those irresistible Sherbet Pips fabrics. I'm making a quick and chunky-block quilt to showcase these great fabrics that I didn't want to cut into little pieces.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

You Know You Are a Dedicated Quilter When...

The electricity goes out and since you don't have a treadle sewing machine...

 You cut out two quilts by candlelight.

Quilt #1:  The UFO challenge for April.

The score is currently UFOs 3     Me Nil
Wonder if I'll get on the scoreboard this month???

Quilt #2:  Schnibble using the most fabulous Central Park fabric by Kate Spain.

I'm seriously considering a treadle machine now....

NOTE:  I obeyed all safety practices and did not leave candles, fabric, rotary cutter, pins, matches, etc. unattended.  Be safe, quilt safe, cats stay safe.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Eventide: Parade Time

Whew!  My entry in the parade almost didn't get posted because we lost electricity in my neighborhood for about 5 hours!!!  Right when I was going to post this photo!!!

So here it is..quick before the electricity goes out again.

Edited (on 4/6/11) to add:  Sorry for the hasty post.  It really was a miracle that I got this posted on Monday night.  We had horrible storms in GA and sadly 6 people lost their lives in the weather.  Along with countless trees (including one somewhere in my neighborhood that caused our power outage before the storm even hit). 

I do want to say a BIG HUGE THANK YOU to Thelma at Cupcakes n' Daisies for organizing and maintaining this quilt along.  It was so fun and supportive and I loved seeing everyone's progress on Tuesdays.  Tuesdays just won't be the same (until the next one??? hee hee). Thank you also for everyone who visited and commented during the quilt along.  Another reason why Tuesdays were so much fun--all the comments!

This is a big quilt and outside was the only place I had that was big enough to get a photo.  Really.  There isn't this much floor space in my little house.  I ordered some Moda wide backing and can't wait to get this to a long-arm quilter so I can use it this spring.  

Thanks again everyone!  To those who have asked the fabric line is Moda Fig & Plum, a line a few years ago from Joanna of Fig Tree Quilts.   I love Fig Tree fabric and I bet any of her lines would make a stunning quilt. Thank you Joanna for always designing beautiful fabric.  And a big thanks to Carrie of Miss Rosie's Quilt Co. for always designing unique and challenging patterns.  Lots of pieces, but definitely worth it:)  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring Here and There

I spent most of the morning trying to get the lawn mower started (apologies to those who are suffering from late spring snowstorms for the spring-has-arrived-elsewhere-like-it-should-have-where-you-live reference).  After troubleshooting as much as I could (gas-check, spark plug ok-check, air filter ok-check, oil changed-check), I spent more of the morning trying to find a lawn mower repair service.  (note to self:  should have studied small engine repair).  [insert long, boring, time-wasting story here].

After finding a mower repair service and signing paperwork that said "oh it will cost you more than getting a tune-up for your truck and yes it's not even a riding lawn mower it's a push mower", the very nice repair guy said, "it's probably the ethanol in the gas. We'll tune it up but you should get some stabilizer." I think my eyebrows reached the middle of the top of my head.  "Oh yeah," he continued, "ethanol is great for the corn farmers but not for small engines. It's probably the diaphragm in the carburetor."  

Why didn't anyone tell me this??!!?? That I needed stabilizer for the gas because of the ethanol??!!??  I mean if some Nigerian prince's family can find me through Interpol to tell me that all I am the sole heir of $150 million euros and all I need to do is send my bank information, why can't someone send a friendly email to lawn mower owners saying, hey maybe try to put some stabilizer in the tank OK. 

Now I know and as soon as I get my lawn mower out of hock the repair place, I will apologize to its little small engine and promise to do better.  [Note to self:  should have been a small engine repair person and hedge fund manager]

Moving on.

Here is my Civil War block for this week
Fox and Geese.  A quick block to make this week and I just had to use red in the block after seeing all the unbelievable posts and articles about the quilt show in New York Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts.  What an amazing spring gift to the quilt world.

The closest I got to seeing the show was a behind the scenes look on Martha Stewart and reading all the blog posts about it.  I especially enjoyed a review of the show in the [London] Financial Times by my favorite British art historian Simon Schama.  [side note:  I am a huge fan of Simon Schama's books, BBC shows, & podcasts.  He has a wonderful way with words.].

Here's my favorite quote from the review:
"And that, in an age when all our fingers seem to do is race across a keyboard, a different kind of digital handiwork done with steadfast grace and exquisite vision can afford us a glimpse of heaven on earth." 
Simon Schama (from the Financial Times article March 29, 2011: