Friday, August 28, 2015

Feline Friday

Thanks for all the concern about my last Feline Friday post and Chloe getting into the dryer as I am loading it.  It's "cute" and makes us laugh when she's up to her crazy kitty antics, but believe me, I'm freaked out about her getting stuck in there and I don't know it.  So the last two weeks, I've been catching her before she goes all the way in and shooing her away with a firm "no!"  She's showing less and less interest already.  I'm sure she'll move on to something more interesting before too long...like the small garbage cans in my sewing room.  They are tipped over every single day.  Grrrr...

This week she decided she wanted to help me cut fabric!  Somehow, she wasn't helping much.

Do you have one of these scratching boxes for the kitties?  Both of our cats do use it for scratching...but this is the other favorite use.  They both love to sleep on it.  I guess this day they were trying to share...that's as close to cuddling each other as they ever get!

I'm linking up with Feline Friday over at Sarah Did It!!

Hope you all have a great weekend!  It's hard to believe August is almost over!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Quilting with Friends!

This week I was so lucky to be able to go visit my "old" guild back in Delaware.  While I was living there, I was so thankful to be part of this great group and have so missed the "Sit & Sew" time together.  I'm close enough here in Virginia that I will be making the trip occasionally for special events or maybe just because!!  Monday night was the guild meeting and the speaker was Sheila Karel.  She is the quilt designer of the Star Trellis quilt I just completed.  (She has patterns ready for sale, for those that asked!)  She shared many of her beautiful quilts and her love of all things "crumbs!"  I don't know why I didn't take any pictures that night!!

The next day, Sheila taught a workshop for the "Sit & Sew" day.  It's her pattern called Courthouse Steps Bargello.  This pattern is also available for sale from Sheila.

Here are my blocks...

The girls are hard at work assembling blocks...Hi Sheila and Lynn!

You can see Pat's row of blocks coming together there on her table...Hi Pat!!  :)

Looks like Jeanne has row coming together too...

Here is one of each of the ladies' blocks...you can really see the design coming together.  Even though all the fabrics and colors are different, it looks great!  

I think these were Sue's...she had quite the productive day!

I don't remember who these blocks belong too...but I love the colors!

This is such a great picture with all the Sit & Sew gals...Sheila, our instructor for the day, is in the middle with her gold and black block.  Everyone oooh'd and ahhh'd over her fabric/color choices...it's perfect for fall/halloween time!

Special thanks to Lisa for letting me stay at her house so that I was able to be part of such a fun day!

On the way home, I did make a stop at one of my favorite shops, Serendipity, and picked up a few treasures.  Until now, I hadn't followed any of the Row by Row events going on, but I decided I liked this one enough, I had to have it.  :)

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle



Sunday, August 16, 2015

Catching up with Bitty Blocks

I realized I hadn't shared my monthly Bitty Blocks since May.  I'm surprised myself that I was able to keep up with these, even during the move!  They are just so fun...and fun is a great motivator.  :)

There were 3" hearts for June....

3" sailboats in July....

and 4" log cabins for August.  I chose to paper piece these and they were sooo fun to make.  I might just have to make a few more!  They take about 1/2 hour each to assemble....so you do the math on how long I spent making these babies!  LOL  Totally worth it!

edited to add:  4" pinwheels for April!


This is a suggested layout for the Bitties and right now, this is what I plan to do with my blocks.  I'll need 16 each of the 3" blocks and 12 of the 4" blocks...so far, so good!   I might make the border a little wider, so make it just a bit larger.  We'll see when the time comes!

Are you making the Bitty Blocks?  If you haven't checked them out, head over to the Quiltmaker Magazine blog...all the patterns are still available and each new month is published on the first Monday of each month.  On Instagram, check out #qmbittyblocks.

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Friday, August 14, 2015

Feline Friday

 I'm sure other cat owners can relate...Chloe is my shadow.  She's not the most cuddly, affectionate cat I've ever owned, but she will never let me out of her sight.  If I move to a different room, she is literally at my heals, following me.  

One of her kind of annoying cat antics, if there is a door open, she runs to it.  Cupboards, closets, etc...including the dryer!  Usually though, I would have a second to shoo her away before she got inside.  Not anymore...she dashes in and immediately lays down and starts purring.  I thought if I "toss" the wet clothes on her, she'd jump out of the way.  Nope.  This is cute/funny...but I actually need to be really careful she doesn't get caught in there without me knowing!!  She does it every, single, time.  Bad kitty....

We recently purchased a new scratching post (you can see what they did to the old one)
...ummm, I think she likes it?? 

In the mean time, Smokey has been working on his stomach crunches.  Not.

Happy Quilting and have a great weekend!!  I'm linking up with Sarah Did It!

~Michelle


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Weddings and Wild & Goosey

No, the wedding wasn't Wild & Goosey....(well, maybe the party after the reception was!).  My brother's and new sister in law's wedding was just amazing.  They were married on August 1st and I am so glad we were able to be there.  The quilt I blogged about in my last post was a gift for them and I think they really loved it.  She already has it on the bed!


Since being home, I haven't been feeling 100%...I think I picked up somebody's icky germs on the airplane or airport.  Ugh.  It started out as a sore throat, but it's now a full blown head cold, fever, congestion, etc.  Needless to say, I'm not being very productive, sewing or otherwise.

Today, however, I made myself go into the sewing room and pick something to work on.  The only thing that motivated me was to finally try the Wild & Goosey block.  This quilt has been on my bucket list forever.  The pattern is from the May/June '13 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine...and it's one of Bonnie Hunter's "Addicted to Scraps" blocks.  Can I just say...I love it!!!  So fun and so cool to be using up the tiniest of scraps.  I love that it's paper pieced because it's so easy to use up those wonky shape leftover pieces.

I've not been good about saving "crumbs."  Anything smaller than 1.5" square usually goes in the trash, but I decided to start saving smaller pieces because they work great for this block.  Each "goose" block finishes at 3" and the whole block finishes at 7".   The larger outer triangles came from my 2.5" square bin, the sashing strips came from my 1.5" strip bin.  How cool is that to have everything precut and ready to work with?!
I need lots more variety in this crumb box...it's mostly reds, blacks, and blues.  There is no rush though, I'll make a few here and there.  I'll definitely be saving those smaller scraps from now on!

Have you tried the Wild & Goosey block?

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle

Monday, July 27, 2015

Star Trellis Quilt...a FINISH!


(click for a bigger view)
You know what they say about best laid plans, right?  They don't always go the way you think they will.  I started this quilt at a retreat back in January...and I knew shortly after that I would be giving it as a gift in August.  Plenty of time...right????  Well, of course I had other projects and deadlines and I had "time" left to finish this one.  

Before I knew it, it was time to pack up and move across country and the quilt wasn't anywhere near completion.  BUT...we were moving in our travel trailer and in fact would be living in it for a few weeks between moves.  I've set up my sewing machine in the camper before...I could do it again. 

 The plan was to get the top all together while in our temporary "home" and have it ready to quilt after getting settled in Virginia.  I did get all the blocks assembled, but have you ever tried to assemble a queen size quilt in a 16 foot trailer.  hmmm...not really going to happen, in my opinion.  I'm sure there is someone that made it work, but it just wasn't working for me.  So I packed away the couple of partial rows I had attempted to sew together, plus all the blocks and knew I'd have to get right on it after unpacking and setting up the house.  Suuuurrrrre....

Now it's July and I'm on a real time crunch...the top went together in an afternoon...next day, I added the borders, made the backing and the binding.  I'm thinking...Yeah, I'm golden!!  

We had set up the longarm a week or two before, but I hadn't turned it on until a few days after I finished the top.  I loaded a practice quilt...and it wasn't stitching right.  Ugh.  Luckily, hubby is the detail guy when it comes to setting up the longarm and when he got home from work, he realized the encoders weren't engaged properly.   After he set them right...it was stitching like a dream!  Whew...big relief, to say the least.

Anyway...after a few starts and stops, I'm happy to say, it's finished.  I will still add a label, but I was so excited to get a picture of this guy out in our new backyard this afternoon.  

Is it wrong to love the back as much as the front?  I used leftover block parts for the back....

I've had this red in my stash for years...it's pretty, but it just doesn't play well with other reds, so it's not been my favorite.  For some reason, I had two large (over a yard) pieces of it.  I was so thrilled to see how well it worked for the binding and backing.  I used up all but about 5" of that red and the rest was cut up and put in my 1.5" strip bin.

I'm glad to have this one checked off the UFO list!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle
Friday, July 24, 2015

Feline Friday

The kitties had no problem making themselves at home in the new house.  This was Chloe's first move, and it didn't phase her one bit.  We've been lucky to have cats that don't get stressed out with these big moves.


She is the queen of the house, for sure.  I walked in the door the other day to find this.  I think she'd been sleeping, and when she heard the door, she sat up.  I need to decide on a centerpiece for this table, but this is not it!  She knows she's not allowed on counters and tables!

We have a backyard full of squirrels and birds, so this is her favorite spot (if I'm downstairs).  She keeps watch over the yard, or naps.  Mostly naps.

Goofy face....


Smokey doesn't seem to get much camera time since Chloe is such a ham and always doing photo worthy antics.  Smokey sleeps...a lot.  But he's a love bug and is happy to just lay low.

I'm linking up with Sarah Did It for Feline Friday...go check it out!

Happy Quilting!
~Michelle