Thursday, December 18, 2014

Turtle Time

Yep that's right, I am as slow as a turtle with the Grand Illusion mystery.  I barely made it for the link up this week and last week just flew by without a post at all!

Here is what I accomplished this week. 
 Pathetic, I know, but at least I am trying to play along LOL!

I did actually get a few sample pieces done the week before too.  When I saw the clue I thought "Oh NO!" because I hated sewing the chevrons for Celtic Solstice but these went together fairly well and I decided to save those little bonus triangles and boy are they cute!
On the yahoo group someone mentioned these blocks reminded them of Good & Plenty and I thought so too. 

Want to play along?  Quiltville Mystery Clue 3 is the place to be this week!  The next clue will be released tomorrow.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

It's Grand!

Is it possible to work on not one, but two Bonnie Hunter patterns at one time?  I'll let you know as the blocks for my Pineapple Blossom quilt are nearing completion and now it's time for Bonnie's mystery.  I am not going to pressure myself into keeping up with the mystery, but I will try to do a little each week.  After all, how can I avoid cleaning house if I don't have several sewing projects going on at one time!

I absolutely love the colors Bonnie selected for Grand Illusion and I was able to pull just about everything from my stash.  I am a little worried about not quite having enough of the yellow I selected but when I did Easy Street I ended up not using all of my constant fabric and I have my fingers crossed it will be the same this time.
I am also happy to report I have quite a few cat fabrics that will be making an appearance in my blocks.  Now isn't that a big surprise!

The mystery just started so there is still plenty of time to join Bonnie so why not take the plunge!



Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's Been Awhile

Yes, it has been quite some time since I posted anything!  Life has gotten in the way and I haven't been doing any quilting which has left me quite cranky.  I took a little time off this weekend and did work on something I have been wanting to for quite some time.

When I made Bonnie Hunter's Pineapple Blossom lap quilt for my friend Greg last year I fell in love with the pattern.  I decided I wanted to make one in turquoise for myself and have been collecting a few fabrics here and there.  I figured I would just use white as the other fabric and then I realized I love using white and black as a neutral and it works well with turquoise so why not.  Now, which white and black?  I have several cat fabrics that would work and would be purrfect for me but it just didn't feel right.  I then remembered an Eiffel Tower fabric that would possibly work and ended up ordering it and it is just exactly what I wanted. 
I didn't get very far this weekend, but I did get a few blocks done. 
I am not going to use any sashing as I kinda liked the way someone did the quilt without it.  I really love working on this pattern and can't wait to get a few more blocks done.

It may seem crazy to start a quilt right now since the Bonnie Hunter mystery is about to start and I really want to participate in the mystery as well.  I just love the colors Bonnie selected for Grand Illusion, which is lovingly referred to as GI but I always think gastrointestinal illness when I see those initials LOL!  Anyway, I know I am going to play along as well but I am not going to put so much pressure on myself to keep up this year.  Also, I have decided not to purchase any fabric for the mystery this time and am pulling from my stash and the yellow I have selected is quite bright so I hope it works.

For the past couple of weeks I have been cat-sitting for a friend and decided to cut my strips at her house while I spend time with her cat.  She has a great space to work and I appreciated being able to cut without my furry friends helping which is a constant battle.  I had to laugh when I looked over at the table and saw Bizzy laying on my fabrics though.
I sure hope life slows down a bit so I can spend a lot more time sewing.



Saturday, August 30, 2014

An Education

When I got back from my last trip to Paris I decided I needed to learn French.  Crazy I know, especially since I have a proven record of being horrible at learning languages.  How do I know?  Well when I was in Italy I could say a few words in Italian but somehow I always seemed to sneak in a little Spanish too.  I never mastered Spanish in 7th grade but it sure popped up when I tried to speak Italian!

The search was on to try to find a way to take a French class and suddenly I remembered a program The Ohio State University offered called Program 60.  Bingo, age does have some privileges.  Of course I immediately sent off my application with the hopes the class would have an opening and a few days before school started I found out I was approved for the class.

I was soooo excited to finally learn a little French.  The instructor was wonderful and the students seemed eager and friendly.  We learned a few things and went over what was expected for the class.  I suddenly thought about all of the homework I was going to be required to do in order to be successful, plus traveling to get to class three times a week, and then I found out the book packet cost $250!

Fortunately I do listen in class and heard a classmate mention an online course called Duolingo that was free and once again I thought free was my ticket to learning French.

In the end I ended up dropping the class as it would take too much of my free time away from fun stuff like quilting and wasting time online.  I did check out Duolingo and thought that is probably the best way for me to learn a little French.  After all, I really don't need to know that much to travel there every now and then.

Once my decisions were made I thought I would celebrate with some fancy pastries to remind me of Paris.
They are from a cute little place called Pistacia Vera.  I had a very hard time trying to decide what to get as everything looked very French!
Au revoir!  Hey, I actually knew this word before I took my one French lesson!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's A Top!

Miracles never cease to amaze me as I finally have a Celtic Solstice quilt top!!!
And I actually like it despite all my whining earlier this year about not being wild about my colors, etc. Now you know once you take a photo you are bound to find a block turned the wrong way and if there are any in this top they are staying that way as I have frog-stitched way too many pieces and parts to this quilt already.

Of course I had help with the borders--Jeanne from Pinehurst Projects this photo's for you LOL!
Now I just need to get it quilted.



Monday, August 18, 2014

Black Cat Appreciation Day!

Did you know it was Black Cat Appreciate Day?  I sure didn't and I have a couple of black cats!  Thanks Romeo the Cat!

Black Cat Appreciation
Sadly, not much quilting or blogging going on around here.  Perhaps I'll get back to both soon.



Friday, August 1, 2014

Pineapple Blossom and a Pet Show

It has been a very busy summer and I haven't been able to do much quilting.  Earlier this year I made a quilt for a friend and I thought I would share it.  The pattern, Pineapple Blossom, is from Bonnie Hunter/Quiltville and it was such fun to make.  My friend is a huge cat lover and so I included blue cat prints in the quilt.
I really want to make another Pineapple Blossom quilt but I have to finish several other projects first.

Speaking of cats and quilts it is once again time for the Pets on Quilts Show.  Visit Lilypad Quilting to join the fun--cats, dogs, chickens, fish, any pet or pet related quilt can be entered.  Come on, you know you want to.



Saturday, June 21, 2014

Golden Spools

It is Saturday and that must mean posting something for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  It has been a very busy and stressful two weeks so I haven't done much sewing.  To top it off I took my machine in for a little cleaning and tweaking so that also contributed to not getting much done.  Here is the grand total of my Sunshine!

Can you believe Coconut "allowed" me to lay these blocks on her and was patient enough for a photo!  Okay not a great photo, but at least you get my drift.

Here is a little more Sunshine for the month.
Gotta love an orange cat!



Saturday, June 7, 2014

You Are My Sunshine

Golden yellow is the color for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge for June.  At first I was ready to dive in and make a few scrappy spools but then I thought "Ahhhh, I really need to get back to Celtic Solstice" and golden yellow is perfect since I needed to make a bunch of those pinwheels.
I have avoided Celtic Solstice for months and I was really surprised at how much I had already done so it worked out perfect for this week.  In fact, I have even started finishing those pesky chevrons too and so you may see them next week LOL.  I am going to try and squeeze in a few scrappy spools as well.

When I was working on my little pinwheels Miss Coconut decided she had to participate.  She is such a lovely cat and is a wonderful bit of sunshine in my life.

I also wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who visited my blog and left a message last month.  I really appreciate you visiting and taking the time to comment.  It has been an incredibly busy time with painting the dining room, starting my summer job which kicks my butt, and all of the regular stuff that goes on in life and with my best intentions I didn't get to thank each of you personally.  So, thank you very much!

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done. Well I just noticed I posted the wrong link for the month--sorry about that!  I am going to try again and hopefully I will be successful.



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Late to the Party

In February I thought about playing along with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge but I was just too busy to even think about what I wanted to do.  Then I purchased Bonnie Hunter's new book More Adventures with Leaders and Enders and I knew I wanted to make her Spoolin' Around quilt which would be a perfect choice for the RSC as well.  So I may be late to the party but at least I made it!

I also wanted to make a block for each of the other months and made these:
I am not sure if I will be able to make anymore blocks this month because I am painting my dining room today and that is where I sew.  If I get lucky and get things finished up and back in order I'll try to work on a few more spools for next week.



Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Tulip Applique

Several months ago I took a hand applique class from one of our quilt guild members.  I have appliqued for years and am satisfied with the needle-turn method I use but this class offered a different technique so it piqued my curiosity.  The instructor does tons of beautiful applique and she uses interfacing to line her individual pieces.  It was a nice technique but I think I'll stick to my method even though it seems like I rarely do applique any more.

I recently purchased a Bailey's Home Quilter and this was the first thing I quilted on the new machine.  I love quilting on my old c-1996 Bernina but the harp just isn't big enough and this machine has much more space although it really didn't matter for this little wall hanging since it is only about 20 inches square.

Here is a close-up of the quilting.
And a photo-bomb by Merlin.


Friday, April 25, 2014

French Fabric Purchases

Montmartre is home to lots of fabric shops and I visited them a couple of times.  My favorite shop was Tissus Reine as it reminded me of the shops we have around here with their fabric selection and the way it was displayed.  I was amazed at the price of the quilting fabric as it was just over 15 Euros a meter which is probably around $22 or $23 for a little over a yard.  Needless to say I didn't buy any quilting fabric while in Paris since it was so expensive and it is exactly what we have here!

I did try to find fabric that was made in France and found a little which was only 5.50 Euros which makes it less than $10 a meter!  I plan to make window toppers out of one and the other will possibly be a whole-cloth lap quilt which will allow me to play with machine quilting.
I also couldn't resist this Macaron fabric.
Just as I can't resist Macarons!
These Macarons were from Paul's and they were okay but Gerard Mulot has the best ever.  Sadly I wasn't able to snap a photo of what I bought as they were gone in no time!


Monday, April 21, 2014


Before I went on my trip I went to the Columbus Metropolitan Quilters quilt show which is a quilt guild I used to belong to.  It was lovely and I should have taken some photos of the quilts, but I didn't as I just get to busy looking and forget to pull out the camera.  They had a "garage sale" area at the show and I couldn't believe what great stuff was available for sale at really great prices.  Now mind you I have plenty of UFO's myself but how could I resist another quilter's UFO's?

For some reason Christmas items caught my eye and I came home with this little quilt.  So cute!

I couldn't leave these blocks at the show, after all they had kitty fabric in the centers and each block is signed by the maker with the date 2010.
I also bought these applique blocks because I knew four of the five quilters.  Sadly, most of the quilters have passed away so it was nice to have a little bit of their history.  The blocks were made in 1982 and I joined the guild in 1984 and quilted with them for many years.  They were lovely ladies and I sure miss those Saturday afternoons when we got together for quilting and friendship.  
A large wall hanging also caught my eye as I liked the colors and the little bee in the heart. 
The applique is fusible, which is something I don't do so I have to try to figure out what to do to make it a little more permanent since one of the pieces is starting to come off.  I will attempt to re-fuse it, but I may end up doing some sort of stitching around each piece just to secure it a little more.  I just hope the fusible that was used is something that can be stitched through otherwise I am not sure what I'll do.

Finally, there was a little bag of 40 of the cutest blocks.  The maker had a quilt in the show made from these blocks and now I can just kick myself for not taking photos of the quilts because it was one of the quilts that I really liked.  The workmanship is excellent and I can't wait to play with them.
All in all it was a great show and I just love the UFO's I came home with.  Now I just have to take the time to work on these as well as so many of my own. 



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Montmartre Cats

Last week was a pretty exciting week as I was in Paris!  Trip planning kept me pretty busy a few weeks before we left so not much sewing happened around here.  Our trip was wonderful and we visited the touristy stuff and a did a few other things as well.

We stayed in Montmartre instead of Central Paris this time and it was the best.  On our first day we ventured out to Montmartre Cemetery.  The cemetery is beautiful and is situated below the city so it is really peaceful and quiet. The stonework is just amazing.  Maria, my fellow traveler, took tons of great photos and of course I don't have them yet so you are stuck with what little I did take.

No sooner had we started our way through the cemetery when we ran into the friendliest man who was feeding a large cat colony that lives in the cemetery.  I do volunteer work with cat rescue groups and help out with trap-neuter-return (TNR) so it was such a surprise to find a like-minded cat purrson in Paris.  He took us to one of his stations to see the kitty but the cat was no where to be seen.

One would never know that there is a cat condo tucked in between the graves.  Here is the side entrance--so clever!

One of the Montmartre cats waiting for his meals-on-wheels!  Yes, the caregiver did have a cart with all of his care items available so he could easily go from station to station. 
As we continued to stroll through the cemetery we did see quite a few cats that were most likely waiting for their daily visit from their caregiver.

We also got to meet a very special cat named Minute who lived right around the corner from our hotel.  As we ventured out each day we would see this big orange kitty curled up on a motorcycle sleeping the day away in front of a little grocery.

Every time we would stop and ohhh and ahhh over the kitty we noticed we were being watched by someone in the grocery so of course we went in and introduced ourselves and everyone became fast kitty friends.  Minute is 11 years old and is apparently much-loved in the community.  He spent a lot of time on the motorcycle sleeping away but he also took advantage of any vehicle that was parked near the grocery entry as well.
Of course we want to send Minute one of the catnip mice we make for rescues so when we got home we searched online to see if we could get the exact address of Sitis Market and found a video!  It is just too cute.
Now if I only understood French!



Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rescue Me

When Lilypad Quilting announced a "Rescue Me" party I knew I wanted to join the fun.  You can too so why not jump in and share your story!

All of my cats are rescues in one way or another.  I could go on and on with stories about all of my cats, but for this post I thought I would share my cat Boo's story. 

In 2005 I was volunteering at my local shelter and working the front desk which is not a fun job especially at a small rural shelter.  At the end of the day the phone rang and the caller said she wanted to surrender a stray, sick cat the next day but she lived in a neighboring county and I had to tell her we couldn't take out-of-county cats.  When the caller told me the cat was really sick and she thought he was a Himalayan I knew I had to help in some way because I absolutely love Persian cats.  What are the odds that I would be the one to answer that particular call?  I followed her home and found the most pitiful black Persian cat and I knew I had to take him with me come hell or high water. 
Can you believe these photos?  As soon as I picked him up I called my veterinarian and took him in for evaluation and they were shocked at his condition as well.  He had the worst case of fleas and he ended up staying at the clinic for a couple of days where he got a complete spa treatment, testing, and vaccinations.  Luckily he was already neutered so apparently he was a house pet at some point in time.
Poor Boo!  My veterinarian wasn't sure if he would ever grow hair back but he certainly has and he has become a much loved part of our family.  He even helps out with quilting every now and then.
Boo is very sweet and loving.  He purrs up a storm and drools when he is very happy on your lap.  He does have one behavior that is a bit odd and that is he likes to suck on your earlobes!  Weird I know. 

Well that's Boo's story.  I hope you are as amazed at his transition as I am.




Saturday, February 22, 2014

Basket Crazies

A couple of years ago I took a workshop from a fellow quilt guild member using the pattern Basket Crazies.  Basket Crazies is a Buggy Barn pattern.  I hadn't tried any of their patterns until I took the workshop even though I had one of their books.  Naturally after the top was complete I let it age for a couple of years and then decided to quilt it so I could put it in our quilt show last year.
After the quilt show it went back into the closet until yesterday when I decided to put a sleeve on it so I could hang it in the living room.  I thought it was a perfect quilt for both St. Patrick's Day and Easter.  It really brightens up the space where it hangs too which is an extra bonus. 

I still haven't made any progress on Celtic Solstice as I have been working on a few other projects.  Someday I really need to just suck it up and get back to it.



Thursday, February 6, 2014

Celtic Solstice Progress

First, thank you Bonnie for another wonderful and fun mystery.  Celtic Solstice has been challenging and fun as well. 

My Celtic Solstice is coming along although it is very slow going and I am not sure exactly why it is taking me so long but I think it is the colors.  I am just not wild about them and I think that has influenced my progress.  Yesterday when I was putting a few blocks together I thought I would just make a small wall hanging out of what I had already completed and then I took a photo of a few blocks I had basted together and I was surprised at how much I liked it in the photo.  Go figure.

Now I am undecided on what I want to do as I still have lots of work to do in order to make the smaller quilt and I really could use a St. Patrick's Day wall hanging so that may just win out.  As you can see I did the star block instead of the Birthday Girl block because I am not a huge fan of green and that particular setting did seem to highlight the green plus I really liked the star. 

Interested in seeing what everyone else has done with Celtic Solstice?  You will need more than a few minutes to see what everyone has done when you visit Bonnie's Celtic Solstice link.  I just love these link-ups as they are really inspiring.



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Saying Good-Bye

Saying good-bye is never easy and on Thursday I had to say it to Guinness, my heart and soul kitty.  I loved him to bits and will miss him terribly.
Sewing will not be the same without my constant sewing companion.  Good-bye my luv.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Big Reveal

Bonnie shared "The Big Reveal" of Celtic Solstice on January 1st and it was very exciting to see the finished quilt.  I wish I could say I had a big reveal to share but right after my holiday company left our whole household came down with the creeping crud.  I did get this done--LOL!
Yep, printing off the instructions for the last clue; however, a few days ago I did actually sit at my machine and finished this one unit.
After taking this photo I noticed the little yellow triangle does not come to a point.  It is a good thing there is a frog in the block since the frog-stitch will come into play sometime this weekend if it really bothers me that much.

I also spent a little time sewing one whole block because I happened to have the pieces and parts available to make one!
I still have lots to do on each step of Celtic Solstice and then I will need to make all of the blocks.  Speaking of blocks, I think I am going with the alternate setting for my quilt as I really do love the star block, plus I just may make mine a queen size too.  Let's hope I can get it all done before the next linky-party.

Coconut says she is more than ready for me to start sewing again.
Take a look at all of the unbelievable progress that everyone has made on Celtic Solstice.