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Quilting with Cats

My husband and I say we’re the crazy cat couple. Until we lost Zoe recently, we were a six cat household. I must say I adore the whole kitten kaboodle of them but they don’t really help my productivity.

After all, how can you fight this much cuteness?

And recently, they’ve taken to “helping me” as I work on quilting a quilt for my youngest.

However, despite their best efforts, I’m halfway through.

It’s got the dreaded fuzzy stuff on the back which I planned to only use once but this reaction from my older one makes me think I may have to use it once more!

Ah, the allure of the fuzzy!

Linking up to The Peacock Party.

Classy things…

I’m having such fun with my little quilting class! Everyone’s moving along and making great progress. Take a look…

Everyone has finished their blocks, we have a range of sizes of quilts being made from large throw to baby.  Gizmo has faithfully worked along side us, inspecting blocks and generally making sure that we are not lacking in feline supervision.  Jennifer started machine quilting her quilt last night (organic wavy lines which are great for a beginner because, well, wavy….that’s how my straight lines come out!)  I’m so excited to see my friends getting excited about how their projects are progressing.  I’m also excited to report that two of my students have wandered into quilt shops on their own.  And one brought me a souvenir from my favorite shop in Sisters…The Stitchin’ Post!

The other’s experience was, well, not positive but I’ll tell you more about that another time.  In the meantime,  if you want to know why I’m taking time out of my super-busy, two-job, hectic, hectic, end-of-the-school-year life to teach a beginning class…well, here it is…

Just look at that smile as Jodi wraps her newly completed quilt top around her!  I love quilting and I’m loving the chance to see other people fall in love with quilting!  So, again, if you have that friend, or friends who’ve been saying, “Gee, I’d love to make a quilt…”  Take the hint and help someone get started!  You’ll have fun, your friend will have fun and your quilting industry will thank you some day.

Happy quilting!

Beth

 

 

Quilting 101 – Catching Up

These little Tuesday classes I’ve been teaching have been sew much fun!  And my friends are catching on so quickly!  Nearly everyone has the center of their quilt done.  Jennifer has borders and already pieced piano keys!

 

Kathie opted not to use random scraps but cut a whole bunch of her favorite Halloween fabrics to make her adorable quilt!  Quilts are going to be any size from baby to large throw by the time we’re done.  There’s plenty of “cat scanning” going on and supervision by furry friends just makes it more fun, right?

There something so fun about watching these quilts grow!

On the other side of life, we suffered a loss in our furbaby family.  Last Friday, our Zoe made it clear that she was in pain and, on Saturday morning, we escorted her to the base of the rainbow bridge.  She crossed over to our voices telling her how much she was loved, our hands petting her fur and our tears blurring our vision.  She was a one-of-a-kind girl who ruled the house here and I am somewhat adrift without her.  Her littermate, Griff, seems to miss her, too, although they could be a bit snippy with one another.   The pair of them are 16 this year and I’ve been saying that they’ve been bugging me about getting their driver’s licenses!  I miss our sweet girl but I’m grateful she had a peaceful goodbye.

We’ve also gotten a new roof this week (now that puts a hole in the budget!)  No more toys for this girl for a while!  In addition, we found out that there was frame damage to Hank (my husband’s truck) when he was rear-ended and Hank is going to be totaled.  Which means we also need to find a new truck.  Thankfully, we have enough cars to be able to wait a bit for the right one to come along.  On the plus side of all these unexpected expenses…I have enough fabric to see me through!

And, speaking of fabric, I made a quick run to quilt guild to drop off my membership (and peruse the free table) and was able to put a face to the wonderful Sally over at The Objects of Design.  If you aren’t reading her blog…you should.  She’s quite talented and has a terrific way with words.  (She’s a cat person which is always a win in my book.)

Well, it’s off to bed with me.  We are in the final week of school with students’ last day being tomorrow.  It’s all a bit frantic and there is  so much to do that I entitled my to-do list “D Day.”  It may not be as complex as planning the invasion of Normandy…but it feels like it!

Happy quilting!

Beth

 

 

Quilting 101, Part 1

Do you remember the old song, “I’d like to teach the world to quilt…”?  Well, maybe it was sing but the sentiment remains the same! As I mentioned a while back, I’m teaching a small group of friends to quilt on Tuesdays after work.  We just had our third session last night and I thought it was high time I caught you up on our progress.

Our project is a quick and easy scrappy rail fence variation with strips from my 2.5″ strip drawer.  Now, I decided I wanted to make it as easy as possible for a few friends to try out quilting and that, for me, included sharing from what I have so that they don’t have to run out and buy a bunch of stuff.  My 2.5″ strip drawer was full so that was an easy choice.  Also, 2.5″ is a nice size to work with when you are starting out.

Our first class, I gave everyone a Bonnie Hunter seam guide and one of her cute pencils and walked them through the “seam allowance test” where you sew three 1.5″ strips together and if your center strip measures an inch…presto, you’re ready to sew!  All of my people did amazing and we were able to get first blocks done that very night!

 

We are cutting our strip sets at 8.5″ inches so the second session I worked a little with each person on the basics of rotary cutting.  Lots and lots of cute blocks were emerging!

 

My friend Jodi is looking like quite the natural behind that Bernina!  I also have two of my featherweights set up on tables.  I just realized that I don’t have the photos for last night uploaded yet so I’ll get those in the next post.  I’m having so much fun with this group!  I can’t wait for you to see their finished quilts!  If there is someone in your life who has been eager to learn to quilt, why not consider a little class of your own?  You don’t have to be a teacher or an expert, just a quilter willing to share a little time, knowledge and maybe some fabric?

Till next time…happy quilting!

Beth

 

 

 

 

 

Sew Much Better!

I shared recently that I was on a mission to spruce up the sewing room. Well, I can tell you that after much paper tossing, a lot of throwing away, a near- fatal amount of dust (OK, I am exaggerating the dust but only slightly) the sewing room looks worlds better! Now, if you’re an ultra- tidy minimalist then we’re going to need to sew elsewhere but if you’re not…. well, come on in!

It’s sew much better! Tuesday, I’m kicking off a free quilting class for a few friends and can’t wait to share my space! I can also hardly wait to recover the rest of the chairs! And get the new shelves…. well, you understand, right? For now, I’m just basking in the improvement!

Happy quilting!

Beth

A Chair Makeover

I’m on a mission to clean and spruce up my sewing area. I even made a plan while I was in Australia. (Staying in hotels always gets me excited to clean and organize. ) Tonight my favourite guy and I recovered the first of two rolling chairs. Here’s how it started.

Pretty sad, right? But everything’s better in pink. This fabric is one I picked up at a garage sale years ago. 17 yards of upholstery fabric for $10 if I remember correctly. A little sewing, a little glue and possibly a little swearing and here it is…. pretty and ready for some sewing time!

Gizmo approves, too.

One chair down, four to go. One more rolling chair, one old sewing chair with a lift seat, one bentwood rocker and one fully upholstered platform rocker (that’s a bigger summer project. ) I’m also planning to use some of the pink to make fabric baskets. It’s a lot of pink but I think having the cohesive upholstery will really look great when it’s done. Especially after we paint!

Happy quilting!

Beth

A Star is Born!

It’s my day on the Be a Diamond blog hop hosted by Just Let Me Quilt. Huge thanks to Carol who keeps letting me play along!I’ve been working on UFOs this year and I knew I had a Lone Star that only lacked a couple of setting pieces and some borders. It was a really good plan – stick and easy. Except I can’t find that project! So, I went with a backup UFO, a second Lone Star that wasn’t nearly as far along. It was here..And when the diamonds were done, there was some serious auditions for background.The black won and I stayed up way past bedtime to get this together.It’s an awful photo and I’ll replace it in the morningbut be sure to hop over to my other friends and see their diamond delights. Mine may be a bit of a diamond in the rough but I’m excited to have brought it this close to being a top!

Today – April 23

Sew Much to Tell!

I have this theory that for every day of a vacation, it takes two to catch up. And we came back to a full- steam- ahead schedule. First, my stepdaughter’s wedding. A beautiful, small ceremony at the Portland Chinese Garden.

It was a beautiful night despite the rain and I had the joy of seeing these four beauties all together for the first time in years. And speaking of first time in years, I wore a dress!

I love this picture of me and the handsome husband (aka father of the bride. )

I did make one small sewing contribution to the wedding with the ring pillow.

Which was carried by the adorable new granddaughter! It was a two-fer wedding as the groom brought a bonus child into our lives!

Now, on a more quilty note, I believe we’re all in agreement that diets and vacations don’t go together, right?

Which holds true of fabric diets as well and the USS Frankenbatt did store some cargo in Australia!

 

And like any diet, it was a little hard to get back on the straight and narrow when I got home.

Tula Pink’s Pinkerville arrived mysteriously and a customer at the candy shop mentioned seeing Statue of Liberty fabric at my favorite thrift store… sigh.

 

What’s that old saying, “Lead me not into temptation, I can find it myself!”

(By the way, the handsome first mate of my ship doesn’t read my blog… which may be a good thing!”

And, I got a package from the Just Wanna Quilt Squad with some pretties to make something with and send back.

However, I’m back on the straight and narrow and excited for my party in the diamond blog hop this week. I’ll be sharing one of a pair of UFOs that fit the bill. Here’s a sneaky peak

So, a Happy Easter to all and more to share tomorrow!

Happy quilting!

Beth

 

All About Strings Blog Hop

Oh strings… when I first “met” Bonnie Hunter I wasn’t all that excited about strings. Then I started piecing Bonnie’s Jamestown Landing and I really liked using odd bits to make blocks.

I had some string blocks donated that my cousin helped me assemble into donor quilts. Hmmm, pretty cool.

I took a class with Bonnie and made string blocks again.

This time they were colorful and even more fun.

I snuck a few little string block into this quilt.

And by then, I was hooked. Even more so when I discovered that string blocks make great leader/ender blocks! I started making blocks that were 9.5 inches square. Lots of them. Then I decided to see how many blocks were hiding in a bag of scraps. This bag.

I thought 10 blocks, or so.

Boy was I wrong! A total of over 44 blocks were hiding in that bag along with some scrap vortex sections. So I’m well on my way to a second string quilt. Here’s a photo of my first string top.

I hoped to get it done in time for the hop but it’s still in the flimsy stage. I’m having a little internal debate about borders or not but now that 2.0 has nearly all its blocks done, I’m thinking one of each!

Many thanks to Carla at Creatin’ in the Sticks for putting this together! Pop over to her blog to enter for a terrific Fat Quarter Shop gift certificate and visit my fellow hoppers to see even more stringy inspiration. Then, grab some strings (check out Bonnie Hunter’s website for great string tutorials) and put together some string blocks. They’re like potato chips…I best you can’t stop at one!

Happy quilting!

Beth

Wednesday, March 27th

More Vacation and Strings Blog Hop!

We’re having the time of our lives here in Australia! We fed kangaroos at the Healsville Animal Sanctuary

Saw penguins three different times… only one time that I could photograph and I could not use a flash.

We survived high winds at the 12 Apostles and Lockhard Gorge.

And now we’re settled in our Sydney hotel.

But, that’s not all the excitement! The strings blog hop is going on and there’s sew much to see!

Be sure to check out today’s great hoppers! The whole schedule is at

http://www.createinthesticks.blogspot.com/
Happy quilting!

Beth