Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kitchen Project in Progress--No Sewing to Show

Our kitchen is getting a face lift, and helping DH is "job one" for me this week. The house is 30 years old, which is not ancient by any means, but it does require a little freshening up now and then. (We have seen some houses in our neighborhood decline rapidly when no upkeep was done and don't want this to happen to us.)

We chose very good cabinets the last time we went through this, so we are keeping them. They're oak--not the latest rage but we still love them and they look good after our recent effort to clean and polish them. We're getting new counter tops and a new cook top, and DH is also going to replace the back splash with this tumbled slate mosaic tile. (Doesn't this look like something a quilter would select?)

My favorite part of the project is what DH is doing in the wall space where he removed the old double ovens. We are replacing them with a single wall oven, and then he is utilizing all of the vertical space in that area by building a platter-size plate rack at the top, a niche for the microwave under that, then the oven, and finally at the bottom will be a deep heavy-duty drawer! He is doing a superb job, and I am so looking forward to the increased storage space and new look! The walls will be a neutral called "Wicker" and the trim is just a shade creamier than white. The last touch will be new window treatments--my job. This includes a bay window, so it'll be a big splash of whatever color we choose.

Right now my job is to "get this" and "hold that" and clean up a lot--no point working on a project of my own. I'm the unskilled labor, helping out my carpenter!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Teddy Bear Album Top

Here's my Teddy Bear Album top, all finished! Kudos to Sindy Rodenmayer at Fat Cat Patterns for a darling design.

DH likes this one so much that he has asked me not to give it away just now. With another grandchild on the way, he says we might want it later. Point taken--I'll hang this top in the closet until DDIL gets a look at it. First dibs for grandbabies!

We were going through the different blocks and naming the bears (slow night on TV, I guess), and we found Sister Bear, Mama Bear, Grandpa Bear, Baby Bear, Movie Star Bear, etc. When we came to the poor little bear with the kerchief tied around her head, DH named her "Menopause Bear"! (Guess who ties a kerchief around her head when she's having a "power surge"? LOL) Maybe I should find a way to applique beads of perspiration trickling down her cheeks.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Meet "Bucky"

Here's my new buddy, Bucky Bunny. (Pattern from Fat Cat Patterns, of course!) The designer, Sindy, calls him "Jumbo Bunny", but I named him after his prominent overbite. He looks like a cross between a bunny and a beaver.

Isn't he a hoot? I just had to make him, and then realized I don't have any fabric that would really work well for borders. I think I'll offer him as a center medallion for a round robin quilt for Project Linus on the Quilting Passion Forum. Hopefully, someone will want to make Bucky into a beautiful quilt and send him on his way to a deserving child.

Gee, I've been scattered in my quilting this week! I've started four new projects--pretty silly when I have so many UFOs.

Today I also made 48 large half square triangles (brights with black) to make a quilt for an orphanage in India that we are sponsoring on the Quilting Passion Forum. As I was trimming them to size, I accumulated quite a little pile of colorful trimmings. I've decided to save little trimmings until spring, and then set them out for the birds to use in their nests. Hopefully, I'll see some woven into little nests and can post pictures of them later.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Teddy Bear Album in Progress

I'm in love with this little girl! She's one of nine bears in the Teddy Bear Album pattern by Sindy Rodenmayer at Fat Cat Patterns. I just visited her site to get the link, and she has another new cat pattern on there! I am hopelessly behind in making this talented lady's designs.
Oh, well, this one is coming along very well. I liked the plaids that Sindy used in her illustration, and since I have a big bin of plaid scraps, I am using them for the bears' accessories. I will also use them to make snowball corners for each of the bear blocks, making a cute pattern at the block intersections. I just need to stitch on a few more facial features, and they will be ready to assemble. If my DDIL takes a liking to it, I would give it to my new grandchild-to-be. If not, it'll go to Project Linus.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunshine Ladybugs and Kitties

Look at what I finished yesterday during the Green Bay/New York football game! I got the cutest panel when I was in Dallas and cut up the squares for this Project Linus quilt. (When I recorded it in my journal, I realized that this is #111 for Project Linus!) I made this quilt on my machine, which is unusual for a handwork fanatic like myself.

The border fabric was left over from the Buttons 'N Blooms BOM border and tied in beautifully with the colors of the squares and the ladybugs. I think it looks happy. It will go to the hospital when I volunteer this week.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I Got an Award!

Big, big thanks to Debi for giving me the "You Make My Day" award, my first! Since I don't make blog entries very often, it'll probably be my last!

Debi, I think you are the inspirational one! You inspired me to travel to Dallas by myself, something I hadn't done in years, and showed me unselfish hospitality. Being able to room with you and talk into the wee hours was one of the highlights of the trip! Your quilting projects inspire me to use my machine more. (Without a little push, I'd probably be producing piles of applique blocks with no finished projects.)

Debi has already given this award to some of my favorite bloggers. Please take a peek at my list of "Sites to See". There is inspiration in all of them!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Starting SuzGuz Designs BOM

Isn't this a cute block? It's the first in a Block of the Month series by Susan Guzman. You can sign up for the series, and she will very kindly send each design to you by email when it is released. I thought this one was whimsical and would be great for using up some polka dots and miscellaneous brights. I'm looking forward to the February block in this series, as well as the one that Debi is doing through Quilting Passion Forum.
Our son called last night and said that he and DDIL had heard the heartbeat of the new baby she is carrying! It is a fast heartbeat, which he said is probably another girl. We already know, since we have darling granddaughter Avery, that they make wonderful girls, so that is fine with us. Whichever way it turns out, we are thrilled to welcome little "Jellybean", as we are calling the baby now.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jungle Animals

This jungle print fabric was really fun to work with! I got the border fabric and the animal prints in Dallas when I was there for the DFW Gang Christmas party. Debi was driving us to all the shops with Jan in the front seat, and Dori and I were in the back seat. After each shop, we would get out our new goodies and show each other. I was so taken with this fabric that I couldn't wait to get home and make something for Project Linus. The animal shapes are from a book called "Polka Dot Quilts for Kids", and I enlarged them to 200% on a copier. This one was hand appliqued and hand quilted.

This afternoon I was working on another quilt from "Dallas fabric" that is machine pieced and machine quilted. I don't do too many of them this way, so I'm always amazed at how quickly it works up!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

One Woman Sweat Shop

That title is not original but is shamelessly borrowed (stolen) from my friend, Debi, whose husband thinks she is running a one woman sweat shop! That seems to apply to this woman, too! There are so many projects I want to work on, and I always seem to have several going at once. Here are a few things I've been doing lately:

I've finally assembled the blocks from a 2007 Block of the Month quilt on the Apple Blossom Quilts site. The designer is Connie Sue Haidle. I love this top but have no real plans for it yet, so it'll have to do a little time in the closet! Maybe my granddaughter will take a liking to it someday. (Those are my husband's head, hands, and feet, and that's my sweetheart cat, Quincy.)

Pioneer Braids is finished, after hand quilting, and is in regular use, keeping DH warm in the family room in the evenings. The colors look really good in that room, so it is also a decorating accent.

Here's my first row from Debi's Roosting Round Robin Mystery on the Quilting passion forum. I'm going to try to make this totally from my stash, concentrating on plaids in red, blue, and mustard.
I'm almost finished with a jungle animal quilt from fabric I bought on my adventure to Dallas to meet quilting friends. I hope to post it within the next few days!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Don't Give Up on Me!

If anyone still comes here, I want to tell you that I am still alive and kicking! I've been quilting a lot and finally finished DH's Pioneer Braids quilt. I'll post a pic soon. We are having a lovely break in our weather now, but soon it will be cold again, and DH will be snuggled under his couch quilt.

We are going to replace some 30-year-old appliances in our kitchen, so we're at the library now, researching on Consumer Reports. That is, he is researching and I'm looking at forums and blogs! He always finds so many ways to distract me that at least I can do this while he reads!