Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Year in Review: Schnibble Style

I've had fun seeing how other bloggers did a "Year in Review" of the fun year-long "Another Year of Schnibbles" quilt along, so I decided to do one too.  Good thing you can search blogs (including your own) by keyword to remember what projects go with which month (and also to figure out if you missed a project or two or three).

 Way back in January (can we even remember way back in January????) was  "Full House."  I made mine in French General fabric (it still needs to be quilted).  
February. What was February?  Looks like I didn't make February's quilt called "i.s.t.h. (insert snappy title here)."

March was "T is for Thelma" aka Bibelot.  This was a fun quilt to make and a fun quilt to lay out all the blocks and hope that the cats didn't decide to "help" rearrange them.

April's quilt was an out-of-the-box quilt for me in colors and in flying geese (not a flying geese fan). I do like this quilt though and Edgar Poe seems to like it too. 

May was "Doc" and I made this version from Moda Zen Gray solid and Kate Spain's "Good Fortune" line.  I adore this quilt and as soon as it gets quilted, I'm hanging it up in my living room.

June's pattern was "Leap Year." There is nothing better than a 16-patch block.  I just love these made from the "Little Apples" line.  I used a lot of gray fabric this year.  I'm glad it was popular for 2012 and I hope I stocked up on enough for when gray is not a popular color.   

July was a choose your own Schnibble.  I love it when it's a choose your own.  I had to check my blog and see what I did for that month.   Oh look!  I made this older Schnibble called "Four Corners" out of Kate Spain fabric. I just love Kate Spain fabric. This quilt was fun to make with the happy Central Park charm packs I've been hoarding.  (I really need to get this one quilted too).
August was "Dimestore."  I guess I didn't make this one. What was I doing?  I need to go back and check my blog and see what I was doing in August.  Probably melting from the heat and complaining about the drought. Looks like I didn't do much of anything in August so let's move onto September.

September was "Speck" and look I actually have one that is quilted. AMAZING!  Called the media. (I am so slack about getting even these little quilts quilted.  It's just not my favorite part of the process.)

October was "Hubble." Oh how I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this quilt.  More Kate Spain wonderful lovely Serenade fabric and my favorite plumy goodness Eggplant Moda Bella solid. I can't wait to get my pennies saved up so I can get this one quilted.  Sigh. I have the backing and binding all ready. 

November's pattern was "Drop."  Didn't make this month.  October/November is always really busy for me.  

Here is December's "Morsel" pincushions. These were great fun and I think I *need* to make more of these in 2013.

Well I made 9 out of the 12 projects and enjoyed every one.  And 9 out of 9 project have gray fabric in them.  Love gray!!! And 3 out of 9 are Kate Spain fabric (did I mention I love Kate Spain fabric?) 

This was a fun year and I love seeing all the other versions out there in Blogland.  HUGE thanks to Sinta and Sheri for all their hard work and Carrie and Miss Rosie for their wonderful patterns!!!   

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Trio of Finishes

Well things are finally starting to slow down for me after the rush, rush, rush of the holidays.  Doesn't it seem like yesterday was Thanksgiving?  How does time go by so fast?

I was talking to my dear friend Karin on the phone about getting back into sewing when I realized that I have finished a few projects that I haven't blogged about.

First up, this month's Another Year of Schnibbles project.  I love making these pincushion and plan on making some of the other ones in the pattern during a less busy time.

I made these scraps of Vintage Modern and the irresistible Moda twill tape that holds bundles together. 

After making my sister-in-law a charm square scarf, I made one for myself out of a Morris Apprentice charm pack and a striped flannel on the reverse (I used a gray stripe from the Marmalade line by Bonnie & Camille).  I love William Morris fabric and I am looking forward to wearing this with the new black wool coat that S. bought for me for this winter. 

 I also quilted September's Schibbles project. This is Speck with some simple straight-line quilting and a thin dark chocolate brown polka dot binding.
I made a scrappy back from leftover pieces.

Time to get busy catching up on BOMs, BOWs and planning for next year.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Waiting for Santa

Remy, Gomez, Stella, Edgar, and I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Holiday Weekend in Washington, DC

Happy Hanukkah to all those that celebrate! Hope you are having a wonderful holiday.

Last Thursday, S., E., and I went to the greater Washington, DC area to visit S.'s family for a long weekend.  We planned the trip far in advance, and because I had never been to the White House on past trips to DC, I thought it would be a great time to visit while it was all decorated for the holidays.

The process to tour the White House is much more complicated in this post 9-11 world than in Thomas Jefferson's day when each morning visitors could just walk right in. Today, you have to go through your U.S. Congressperson's office and submit information for a background check.  You only find out if you are accepted for a tour about two weeks before your trip so it's good to have backup plans.

I was overjoyed that we were accepted for a tour, especially since we would be five out of the 90,000 people expected to go through the White House this season.

There was so much to see from the architecture, paintings, portraits of former Presidents and First Ladies, flower arrangements, antique furniture, not to mention the beautiful Christmas decorations.  It is impossible to adequately describe everything.

To add to the festivities, on the day we visited, an a  capella group from Smith College sang carols in the ground floor visitor's entrance and a group from a New York church played English hand bells in the East Room.  

Here is a view of the official White House Christmas tree in the Blue Room.  The theme this year was "Joy to All" and the tree was decorated with red, white and blue ornaments made by U.S. military families from around the world.   This tree was nearly 19-feet tall.

The White House gingerbread house complete with the First Lady's garden and beehive on the right and First Dog Bo on the left.  I just love gingerbread houses and this one is incredible with the painstaking details and stonework-like finish.  It is also huge, weighing 300 pounds.  Wonder what happens to it after the holidays?
A portrait of President Lincoln in the State Dining Room.  I thought the decorations in this room were delicate and airy looking and matched the plasterwork on the walls, the gold tablecloths, and the floral pattern in the carpet.  

Can you image what my cats would do to garland with glass ornaments?!?!? Remy would be hanging from the walls, breaking everything!

The State Dining Room is much smaller than you would imagine and seats 130 for dinner. Can you tell I read my White House brochure?

Here is the East Room, the largest room in the White House. The portrait is Martha Washington with the famous painting of George Washington on the other wall.  The Christmas trees are just amazing. You could spend all day looking at one to see all the different ornaments. Unfortunately, there are 80,999 other people wanting to see it too so time to move along.

Here is the famous portrait of President George Washington by Gilbert Stuart that Dolly Madison saved when the British burned the White House in 1814. The portrait was painted in 1797.

Yes, I paid attention in art history class.

And read my brochure.

In the grand entrance hall and cross hall of the White House were four large Christmas trees decorated with ornaments representing past First Ladies as well as ornaments honoring Gold and Blue Star military families.  There were also gold and bronze star metals on the trees.  A poignant reminder to remember our troops and their families this season.  
For more info about the White House history and decorations and to download a tour book and even  try a White House cookie recipe visit this link: 

There is also a super-cute You Tube video of Bo giving a tour of the White House decorations. 

For even more history about the White House visit the White House Historical Association website at this link: You can see decorations and Christmas cards from the Kennedy administration through the present. 

And because a post is not a post without one or more references to Remy, here is a statue at the National Gallery of Art that reminded me of a certain leggy kitty at home.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sill Life: Two Sleeping Cats and Quilt

Stella and Gomez 11-25-2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Weekend

I hope everyone in the U.S. enjoyed the Thanksgiving weekend!!!!!  I spent more time off-line than on so I thought I'd do a weekend wrap-up post.

Thanksgiving, I worked half a day at Starbucks.  It was busy and lots of fun.  Came home, collapsed for awhile, S. bought a ham and I made side dishes, and we called it Thanksgiving. Simple and no frills, just the two of us.

Friday was no-shopping-for-me day.  Edgar and Stella went to the vet for their annual check-up.  Both are doing great.  I came home and started working on some handmade Xmas gifts.

Saturday, finished up Xmas gifts and made myself a new purse.

When I was in Michigan in October, Mackenzie helped me make pie crust.  She liked stirring, cutting in the shortening, and rolling out the dough.  I thought it would be fun to make her a couple of aprons.

 I made two aprons--one for her house and one for Grandma's house.  I used the super-easy reversible apron pattern from the Moda Bake Shop website. She likes owls so I made this and a matching chef's hat from the Michael Miller fabric blog.

For Grandma's house, I made used this cute dog and cat fabric with polkadot accent fabric. 

Here's the reverse side with the dog fabric.

Here's the purse I made for myself.  I love this pattern and this is the third one I have made.  The pattern is "An Everyday Bag" by Favorite Things.  I love it because there is 4 pockets on the inside and one on each end on the outside that is perfect for holding my work ID and business cards.  I used two magnetic closures instead of the ties in the pattern and it keeps your stuff from falling out if your purse falls upside down.  I used an older Moda fabric I had with a dark purple for the interior. 

Sunday was another busy day at Starbucks making holiday drinks.  I am sad that this long weekend is coming to an end and I have to go to my day job tomorrow. 

Here's a sweet photo of Remy to cheer us all up!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I missed posting on November 13th, the one-year anniversary of Remy's adoption.

Here he was a year ago--just a little guy

And here he is today (on the same quilt no less)--

In the past year, Remy has:

  1. Spilled countless bowls of water because he likes to play in the water bowls and really likes to drop cat toys in the water then fish them out
  2. Ate all the tails off the toy mice, chewed ears off the others, shredded lots of toys because he thinks he is a dog
  3. Chewed the straps off my favorite pair of Mary Jane chunky heeled shoes because he thinks he is a dog
  4. Torn up countless paper bags, played in countless boxes, and chewed on every box, bag and any other paper in the house because he thinks he is a  Remy recycling machine
  5. Hid under rugs, under couches, up in the box spring of the bed, under dressers and armoires because he thinks he is a hermit crab 
  6. Reminded us that the cat food container was nearing empty by fretting and fretting and meowing and rubbing against the container whenever it was getting low because he never wants to miss a meal.
  7. Kept Edgar, Stella, and Gomez on edge from countless Remy-stealth-ninja-kitty attacks 
  8. Caused great joy and laughter in the past year
We love you Rem, you silly cat.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Finally a Bit of Sewing

There seems to be a paltry lack of sewing going on at Stella Bella Quilts.  I have no idea what I have been doing but I am still behind in everything--emails, sewing, blogging, reading blogs, etc.

If you commented on my posts or emailed me and I haven't responded, I am very sorry and thank you for commenting/emailing. I read everything and sometimes forget to reply back.

September and October flew away and now it's almost Thanksgiving.  I am working more at Starbucks and getting ready for the big weekend promotion this week (buy one, share one holiday drinks 2PM -5PM Nov. 15th-18th. Take a friend and )

This is the little bit I have done:

1. Sewed three backings together for Hubble, Civil War Block of the Week  and Good Fortune.  Made one binding, and have binding fabric for the other two quilts. Now I just need to get these to the quilter (not gifts--thankfully--all for me).  A big task finished 'cause I really dislike sewing backings together.

2. Figured out most of the Xmas gifts for this year--ordered some online, making some the Friday & Saturday after Thanksgiving, plans for the rest, no malls/stores/madness for me.

3. Made October & November's blocks for the Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Block of the Month
October FQS BOM
November FQS BOM
4. Made a couple Votes for Women Block of the Week blocks.  I am behind in this from being so busy in October and getting hung up on hand piecing (OY!!) the sunflower block from week 4 (I am still working on that one).
Here is New Jersey (week 5)
And Aunt Eliza's Star (week 6)

Nights are getting chilly and Stella has perfected the quintessential cat-curled-up-in-quilts pose.

My thoughts are with everyone two- and four-legged affected by Hurricane Sandy.  It is going to be a long road to recovering, particularly with winter arriving.  On behalf of my warm, safe, & healthy cats, I made donations to the ASPCA, which is on the ground helping rescue & reunite pets.  I know there are a lot of causes and people out there helping & it's much needed.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day

Image from The Guardian newspaper accessed 11/11/12

Remembering the sacrifices of our men and women who served our country past and present. Thank you from a grateful nation.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Halloween Hubble Finish

Whew!  Got this month's Another Year of Schibbles quilt in just under the wire.  Yes, it is still hot from the iron and I had to take a not-very-good photo but it's done!

I used Kate Spain's Serenade line and Moda Bella Solid in Eggplant.  I love the autumn colors and can't wait to get it quilted.  

I also need to get a better photo outside when my quilt holder is home.

And how about a Halloween Remy photo?

Here is Remy in his disguise as The Creature Under the Bathroom Rug (with special effects flash).   

The Creature Under the Bathroom Rug appears most weekday mornings when I am trying to get ready for work.  

I'll tell you a secret:  The Creature Under the Bathroom Rug is more funny than scary.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm Back! It's October! It's the end of October!

Sleeping on the job.  No help blogging here.
I did not realize it had been nearly a month since I last blogged.  Sigh.  What a bad blogger I've been this year.

I just got back yesterday from a week long trip to Michigan to visit my family,

celebrate October birthdays,

and spend oodles of time with this little cutie
Mackenzie 2 1/2 years old.

 My sister-in-law, aunt, mom, and I spent some time sewing.  I finished the center of the Schnibbles quilt for this month "Hubble".  I am using "Serenade" by Kate Spain charm packs and Moda Bella Solid in Eggplant.

Love the autumn-ness of these colors.   

Mackenzie, dad, and I picked raspberries and made a raspberry pie.  Mackenzie *may* have eaten more berries than ended up in her basket.

Now to get caught up on everything.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

September's Schnibble: Speck

Stella photobombs just about every quilt photo session around here.  But that's OK 'cause she's pretty cute. 
I finished up the top for this month's Another Year of Schnibbles this afternoon.  This was a fun and immensely cutemous quilt to make.  The pattern is "Speck" from Miss Rosie's new line of "Little Bites" patterns made from 2 1/2" squares.  
I used a bundle of scraps that I won eons ago from Cloud 9 fabrics.  This is an older collection called "Forest Friends" and it's their organic cotton flannel.   I have enough left over to make a scrappy back and binding.   The sashing and borders are a regular cotton solid (Moda Bella or Kona--don't know which. I usually try to write on the edge of solids the manufacturer and color but forgot to on this piece.)  Can't wait for the parade this month. I've seen some adorable versions around the internets. Hope everyone is enjoying the last few days of September.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Savannah Trip

 Well I am still two weeks behind on everything so I'll go ahead and post photos of my Savannah trip from two weeks ago :)

S. and I escaped for the weekend (Sept. 7th-Sept. 9th) for a very relaxing trip to Savannah.  

It was the best kind of trip, no where to be at a certain time, no place in particular to go, we have both been to Savannah numerous times so it was fun to just walk around and enjoy the end-of-summer weather and eat lots of good food. 

Savannah is the most walkable place in Georgia.  

I think it one of the prettiest places too. 

River Street

Gen. James Oglethorpe monument in Chippewa Square

 Savannah is famous in recent pop culture as the location for movies, books, ghost tours, food, famous people on the Food Channel, St. Patrick's Day green beer festival, etc. etc.

Savannah is also famous among architectural history and urban planning geeks for its historic plan (1733) that is laid out into squares. 
This is one of the best aspects of Savannah in my opinion. 

 Along with amazing architecture. 

Congregation Mickve Israel (est. 1733, building dates to 1878)
Savannah Row Houses

Colonial Cemetery (est. 1750)
Colonial Cemetery 
This ice cream is TO DIE FOR!!!  Coffee Chocolate Chip with Hot Fudge

One of my favorite houses