April Tornadoes 2011

I live in Cartersville, GA one of the areas hit by tornadoes on April 27th. We were very lucky because our neighborhood did not have any damage, but it appears that a tornado touched down about a mile down the road from us. I think that same tornado is the one that took out an entire neighborhood, including the home of a sister of a someone I know. All that was left of her home was the closet she was hiding in.

One of my coworkers lost his house near Ringgold, GA to a tornado earlier that evening. His house was lifted up and dropped back down several feet. Thankfully, he and his family were not home at the time, they were driving back home and saw the tornado leaving their neighborhood.

Another friend who lives in Cedartown spent the evening in her bathtub with the storms causing destruction all around her. After the storms they found that her street was not damaged a quarter mile in either direction had power lines down, trees sheered off and some houses destroyed.

Ringgold, GA was hit very hard, and several of my coworkers live there. My favorite quilt shop was in Ringgold. Sew Bee It was completely destroyed.

Ray Steele helps clean up Sew Bee It, a quilt shop located off of Alabama Highway, Thursday, April 28, 2011, in Ringgold, Ga. While the building was destroyed, two glass vases sat on a shelf unharmed.

These are just the people I know who were affected by the storms. There are thousands more over many states, especially Tuscaloosa, AL. Many organizations are taking donations of supplies, or volunteers to help the victims star the clean up. If you are local please consider volunteering with these organizations. Items that are needed are personal hygiene items, clothes, and food. Relief workers and families trying to clean up their homes also need sunscreen, hats and visors.

In Cartersville check out the Cartersville Cares Facebook Page.
I have also found several pages devoted to lost and found animals in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.
Help the Animal Victims of the Tornado Devastated South

If you are not local please consider donating to the American Red Cross.

I know quilters are very generous people. We just need to know how best to help.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I wish the Luck of the Irish to each and every one!

Last time I posted was awhile ago. I did finish the baby quilt on time. I am not completely pleased with my quilting. I tried to stitch in the ditch on a lot of the quilt and I had a hard time sewing a straight line!

The pattern came from a Fons and Porter magazine but was done in black and white.

My husband got me some really cute fabric for Valentine's Day including a pack of novelty fabric that had a cute panel for the back.

I didn't end up getting to go to the baby shower because I had to fly to Oklahoma for my Grandfather's funeral. My aunt, who is also a quilter, asked me to help drape a quilt made by my great great grandmother over my grandfather's casket as a pall. The quilt is beautiful and in great condition even though it was close to 100 years old. My aunt would only allow her husband and I to touch the quilt because she knew that we understood how delicate the quilt was. I wish I'd gotten a picture of the quilt.


Finally quilting again...

I am working on a baby quilt that has to be done in 3 weeks. I just started although I've know about it for a few months I haven't been in able to work on it. I ended up with my schedule opening up yesterday so it was the perfect time to work on it.

Yesterday morning I started writing out my cutting list, pulling the rest of my fabric and making sure I had enough. Most of it is fairly scrappy but I do need enough white and a couple black fabrics to complete the whole thing. Cutting isn't my favorite part of quilting (is it anyones?) so I just decided to put on some quilting podcasts, relax and take it slow.

When I started cutting I started out being very relaxed and careful and actually having fun. I was being very organized about my cutting labeling each pile of pieces as I cut. I had a layer cake of bright prints that worked really well for the pattern. Cutting those brights went really quick and I loved looking at all those cute patterns.

Then I got to my yardage of white fabric. I started cutting at first it was fine but I started worrying that I wasn't going to have enough. After awhile I realized that I was now tense. I was cutting faster like I would be less likely to run out of fabric if I got done sooner. Of course then I made mistakes, using up my fabric even faster. I was no longer having any fun. It was amazing how that one stray thought could totally derail the mood I was in.

I decided this was no good. I am quilting because I love it right? Not loving it right now, so it is time to stop. I took a break, pulled my shoulders out of my ears, played with the dogs for a few minutes and once I wasn't stressed out I went back to the cutting table. I double checked my list and started again relaxed. It worked much better and I didn't run out of white fabric. I still have some left.

So does anyone else have this problem, or am I the only one who is this big a stress puppy?


I'm back

I thought I'd stop in and say Hi since it has been forever and a day since I posted anything at all. My strategy for making myself post more last year did not work at all. In fact most of the items on my list for 2010 are still unfinished. My year just got bad. I ended up having some health issues that kept me from quilting or doing stuff with the dogs or having much fun at all. I'm really hoping for no more of that stuff for this year. Hear that universe? No more!

I did get some upgrades to my quilt studio this winter. Yes, I'm calling it a quilt studio because I have a nice quilting cabinet now. I have all the room I need to quilt, and the machine can be flush with the cabinet top. That should help my neck and arms, before I was using a small computer desk and found myself reaching up to the sewing machine and then hunching over. Now I just have to get the room organized the way I want. I've moved the furniture around about 5 times and still haven't found something I like.

My quilt room is a bonus room over the garage, so it is a long narrow room with vaulted ceilings that start about 4 feet from the floor on 2 of the walls. I have my office and a bed in there too, so I'm struggling with trying to make all that into usable functional space. The vaulted ceilings tend to cut down on usable space because you can't put anything tall next to those walls, and if you need to stand you need to be about 1 to 2 feet away from the wall. OK, I can be 1 foot or less away from the wall, but that is just because I'm short. My husband has to be closer to 2 feet away from the wall to stand comfortably. Speaking as one who has bounced her head off the ceiling several times, it is probably best to plan on staying at least 18" away from those walls.

Hopefully once I get everything organized and put away I'll post a picture of the room. That may end up being next January at the rate I'm posting, but I'll try to post before then.

Hope everyone is having a great start to their year.


Red and Aqua

So I'm apparently one of the last people in the world to realize that red and aqua is such a nice color combination. I was picking out fabrics for our guild's block of the month for this year and decided I'd seen a great color combination on Happy Zombie and thought maybe I'd try something like that. By the way if you don't read Happy Zombie's blog you are missing out. She has the cutest quilts and a great sense of humor. Love her!

So anyway back to my story...

I decided I wanted to do the BOM in red and aqua. I went to the stash and started picking out fabrics. I have almost no aqua. How can that be possible? Aqua is such a pretty color. Lots of blues but very few of them really aqua. It is tragic. I think this means I am going to have to go fabric shopping.

After I decided to use red and aqua I started seeing it everywhere! Check out TLC's new summer ad campaign. Red and Aqua. It seems every other commercial I see has red and aqua.

A quick search on google comes up with this lovely piece of eye candy on All Things Lovely

It's everywhere! How did I miss it before?

Little update on my quilting...
This week I got all the rest of the blocks cut and pieced for my pansy quilt. I'm ready to start sewing the blocks together. I don't have a picture right now because the quilt is too big for my design wall. I've got the blocks laying out on the bed in the guest room. To get a good picture of that I'd have to climb on the dresser and stand on tip toe then reach as high as I can with the camera and hope I'm pointing it at the bed. Not worth it. I'll post pictures when I get the top together though.


Check out my Wordle!

I saw this on Creations by Melinda. It is a really cool site. To try it out for yourself check out Wordle


Getting organized ..again

I revised my To Do list for this year. I had a schedule for this year. I was a little too optimistic about how much work I'd get done. Ok a lot too optimistic. So I threw out the schedule. I now just have a list. I've trimmed some stuff off of it, but since it is already May I had to do something.

I printed out my cutting instructions for the setting blocks for my Pansy quilt.

I've decided to do the Underground Railroad borders as a leaders/enders project. We'll see how that goes. I haven't done that before.

This month our quilt guild started the new Block of the Month. So I'm going to try to keep up with that.

I also have a new quilt added to the list. A coworker is having a baby. I finally get to make a girl baby quilt! Yay! Every baby quilt I have done so far has been for a boy. I think I'm going to do Elisabeth Hartman's New Wave Quilt pattern or curved blocks from Blendable Curves. Or maybe I'll combine the two. That quilt needs to be done in September.

I think I'm going to have time to myself to quilt Memorial Day weekend. So maybe I can knock out some of these projects.


Still a bad bad blogger

Well, I'm still a bad blogger. I haven't been on since the end of January. I haven't been doing much quilting either. There are several reasons for that. I'll get into some of those later. But I did finish the Salt Water Taffy quilt for my friend's new baby. Well mostly...I have to sew on the label and then ship it off.

Here is the front. I still need to get better at machine quilting. I can't seem to do anything but meandering designs. I tried loopdeloops on this one.

Here is the back.

I love the backs of the quilts by Film in the Fridge. So I decided to take a page out of her book for this back. Sorry my picture quality isn't very good. I usually edit my photos or at least crop them. Now you get to see my cheap vinyl tablecloth design wall.

That is pretty much all I've done since I last posted. Oh.. except that I started sewing together the blocks for my Underground Railroad quilt border. You can see them on the top of the design wall. They are just hanging out waiting for me to get my act together and finish them up. My goals for this year are totally shot already. I think I'll have to revise my schedule.

So just what excuses do I have for my lack of quilting, you ask? Ok, maybe you aren't asking, but I'll tell you anyway.
Meet Miss RegEx Rhapsody. My husband and I are both computer geeks. We started naming our dogs using computer terms. We have Reboot, ASCII and now we have RegEx Rhapsody. We actually call her Rhapsody or Rap. RegEx is just there to continue the tradition. I haven't let my husband know yet, but it is also starting a new tradition of naming the dogs after quilts. In this case I'm thinking of Ricky Tims' Rhapsody quilts.

Rhapsody is a 13 week old Border Collie. She is a handful as most puppies are. I have not been going up to sew much because most of the time I need to take her with me. I have a lot of electric cords and stuff in my sewing room and since she is still in that phase where she wants to chew on everything. I really can't concentrate when she's up there. She is not the only reason I haven't been sewing, but she is the biggest little 16 lb reason I've got.

My other excuse is that I had to go out of town. My grandfather is not doing well. He has Alzheimer's and has been hospitalized twice with pneumonia since the beginning of the year. The last time when he returned to the assisted living facility he was put into hospice care. I flew out to Palo Alto, CA to visit him. My father flew out at the same time and we stayed with my uncle. I'm not sure Grandpa ever really knew who I was. He recognized my father though, so I am happy about that. It is so difficult to see a man who had a photographic memory and taught classes well into his 80's so confused.

While we were there we went to the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. It was interesting. They had quilts from 3 or 4 different artists and they had an exhibit of beautiful woven rugs. They totally blew me away.

I also got to go to a quilt shop near San Jose, Eddies Quilting Bee. It is a two story building loaded with fabric, sewing machines and classrooms. I highly recommend stopping by if you are in the area. They even give a discount to out of state shoppers. I of course had to take advantage of that. I got all batiks.
Do you recognize that fabric on the left? It is the fabric I fell in love with while working on Salt Water Taffy. No idea what I'm going to use it in. I may just put it under my pillow and gaze at it each night before bed. It still makes me very happy.

I really enjoyed the trip. I don't get to see my dad very often. So it was great to spend time with him and with my uncle and his family. My cousins are both grown and married. I really enjoyed getting to know them again, and meeting their spouses, kids and pets. My aunt was wonderful and made me feel so welcome. I even got to spend a day in San Francisco. We went to the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf. I of course forgot my camera, so the only pictures I have are on my phone.

That's all I have that is new and quilt worthy. I will try to post again sometime soon.


Design Wall Monday

Currently on my design wall is a baby quilt I am making for a friend of mine. This quilt is from a kit called Salt Water Taffy. I spent an hour today arranging and rearranging the blocks to keep from having too many darks or brights in one place, or too many of one color in one place. Every time I fix one problem area, I create another.

My husband came up and took a look at it and his only response was "That's bright". I asked if he saw anywhere where I had too many of one color together. He said "No you pretty much have a technicolor yawn there". Thanks, sweetie. I appreciate your support. But he went on to help figure out what was going on with the battery backup for my TV and DVR in the sewing room, so I won't complain too much.

Even if the quilt is bright, I am loving the batiks in this kit. This one is my favorite. I'm thinking I need to find a couple yards of this fabric. It just makes me happy.

So it is the end of January already and I still am an awful blogger. I did not accomplish everything I hoped to in January but here is the rundown.

These were my goals for January

1. Make demo blocks of the Stars 2009 BOM for the January business meeting
2. Write up instructions and prepare templates for teaching the January work night
3. Finish 2 other Stars BOM (2009 BOM) blocks
4. Finish the Underground Railroad borders
5. Finish quilting 1 charity quilt for the quilt guild (turn in Feb business meeting)

I got the stuff done that I had to do for the quilt guild. Not that I had a choice on that. It was either get it done or look bad in front of the whole guild...which turned out to be 5 people this month. I got one of the two extra Stars blocks done. I trimmed all the bunny ears and squared up the blocks for my Underground Railroad border, but they are all still sitting in two neat piles next to my sewing machine.

On Friday I got an invitation to my friend's baby shower in Colorado at the end of February. I won't be able to fly out for the shower, but it did kind of make me feel like I'd better get to work on her quilt, which was one of my goals for February. I've got all the blocks pieced for the Taffy quilt. I will try to get the top pieced, and the whole thing quilted by the end of the month.

Oh, I also was having so much fun with those batiks that I made a little pin cushion with scraps. The heart pattern is the same pattern I taught at our guild work night. The inside of the heart is pieced with scraps and the outside of the heart was reverse appliqued. For the pin cushion I experimented with machine applique using a zig zag stitch. It didn't go well. But the little heart is kinda cute anyway.

Update: I almost forgot to say that you can see what other people are up to this week by going to Judy's weekly design wall posts


January Week 1 Update

My plan for this week is to work on the Stars Block of the Month demo blocks. I will make one complete blocks and make a few other blocks to show how to do different steps to assemble the block. Our guild business meeting is next Monday, so this is my priority today.

I also will start working on writing up instructions to teach the January work night. This is a small valentine's day project based on an article from the "Hearts Alive" article in the February 2009 Quilter's Newsletter. I signed up to teach this last year when we were setting up our guild calendar. I have the final quilt complete (except that I want to frame it), and I have some demo blocks done. This needs to be done by the 4th Monday of this month for our guild work night. I've tried to plan in some hand or design work each month. I can do that in front of the TV with my husband. Then I don't feel like I'm ignoring my husband so badly.

If I have any time left over this week, I'll start catching up on the 2009 BOM blocks.

Next week I'll let you know how I did, and post pictures of the completed blocks.

To do list for 2010

I am not much for resolutions. I do have a few things I want to work on this year though. Things like losing weight, exercising more, trying to keep the house clean enough that I feel like I can have company more often, cook more often, spend more time training the dogs, and spend more time quilting. All this will dramatically cut into my Facebook time. I log into Facebook and all of a sudden 2 hours of my day is gone.

I have several quilt projects that I'd like to finish this year. I've seen many blogs with bucket lists, or UFO lists. I love the idea, so I thought I'd start my own and mark of what I get accomplished this year. If nothing else I can see what I've completed. Hopefully I'll post a picture with each completed project. So without any further ado here is my 2010 To Do List as I see it right now. I'm breaking it out by what I want to accomplish each month (I am resisting the urge to create Gantt charts to plan this thing). I'm sure I'll end up pushing some things off to another month and working on others early but this is my initial plan.

2010 To Do List

  1. Make demo blocks of the Stars 2009 BOM for the January business meeting
  2. Write up instructions and prepare templates for teaching the January work night
  3. Finish 2 other Stars BOM (2009 BOM) blocks
  4. Finish the Underground Railroad borders
  5. Finish quilting 1 charity quilt for the quilt guild (turn in Feb business meeting)
  1. Bind 3 charity quilts for my quilt guild by the Feb. business meeting
  2. Do 2 more Stars (2009 BOM) blocks
  3. Finish 1 more Tree of Life Block of the Month Quarter block
  4. Start Jo's baby quilt
  5. Choose pattern for a quilt for Kate and start to gather fabric
  6. Make sure the guild meeting minutes/books are ready to turnover to new Secretary
  1. Finish Jo's baby quilt (including quilting and binding)
  2. Start Irish Chain quilt for my cousin Gina
  3. Finish 3 more Stars (2009 BOM) blocks
  4. Piece and quilt one small charity quilt for guild
  1. Finish remaining 2 Stars (2009 BOM)blocks
  2. Assemble Stars (2009 BOM) top
  3. Continue Irish Chain quilt
  4. Start on setting blocks for the Pansy quilt
  5. 2010 Guild BOM
  1. Finish Irish Chain quilt and send out to be quilted
  2. Finish Pansy Quilt top
  3. Piece and quilt one small charity quilt for guild
  4. 2010 Guild BOM
  5. Finish 1 more Tree of Life Block of the Month Quarter block
June - may have some traveling this month
  1. Start piecing Kate's quilt
  2. Finish 1 more Tree of Life Block of the Month Quarter block
  3. Start quilting or send out Underground Railroad
July - May have some traveling this month
  1. Finish 1 more Tree of Life Block of the Month Quarter block
  2. Continue Kate's quilt
  3. Piece and quilt small charity quilt
  1. Start quilting Turning 20 quilt
  2. Finish piecing quilt as you go quilt (from 3 years ago!!!)
  3. Finish Kate's quilt top
  1. Either quilt or send out Kate's top
  2. finish binding on Kate's quilt
  3. finish binding on the quilt as you go quilt
  1. Decide and start on any home made Christmas presents
  1. Christmas Presents
  1. Christmas Presents

Notice that the end of the year got kind of lean. I figured I should give myself a little wiggle room in case some of my earlier projects run long, and because I am not yet sure what I want to do for Christmas presents this year.

My plan is to post weekly updates on what I've accomplished and what I plan to do. Probably I'll try to do this on Mondays with Judy's What's on your design wall updates.


Merry Christmas


ASCII wishes you all a very merry Christmas!
Posted by Picasa


Making Christmas...

Remember that song from The Nightmare Before Christmas? Well, I've made a little Christmas this year. This year I made purses and a wallet for my mom and my mother in law. Neither of them read my blog, so I have no fear of spoiling the surprise for them.

I was in a rush to get stuff shipped out, because I never get anything done early. So I forgot to take pictures of the first purse and the wallet I made. I'm hoping I can get Sam's mom to take a picture for me.

I did remember to take a picture of my mom's gift. Mom likes blue, but I thought that brown with blue might be a bit more versatile than all blue.

The bag is a Claire Bag from Lazy Girl Designs. This was the first Lazy Girl pattern I've used, but I've been wanting to make this bag since the first time I saw one. The pattern was well written and it was pretty easy.

The wallet, glasses case and check book cover to go with the hand bag are from Vera Bradley. I intended to make a wallet to go with this one like I did for my mother in law, but I just ran out of time. I think this pattern goes really well with the fabric I chose.

The wallet I made was based on a tutorial from that*darn*kat. It was really fast and I actually think I like it better than the Vera Bradley wallet. I used a button and ribbon loopto keep it closed. I'm a little worried the button will come off with use. The next time I make one of these, and there will be a next time, I will use snaps.


What I'm currently working on...

I have posted pictures of the Underground Railroad blocks I worked on over the past year.

The quilt blocks are now all sewn together with the sashing. I wanted to put a border around the outside and had planned on doing 2 plain borders. When I started planning out the border, I decided that this quilt deserved some more exciting borders. So I decided to try a pieced border (insert ominous music and thunder claps here). I know how important good borders are but I have a tendency to just slap on plain old borders and call it done, so this is a challenge for me. I'd seen a ribbon border in one of the quilts from Elm Creek Quilts that I thought would look good. Judy has a similar border (except more colorful than mine) in the quilt in her post about deciding whether you need odd or even blocks in borders. This is the first time I've added my own pieced borders to a quilt.

I laid the quilt out in EQ with blank blocks and used a Y block to make the border. The problem was that EQ wouldn't let me have more than 24 blocks on one side of my border. I don't know why but the little drop down only went to 24 and it wouldn't let me type in the field. You might be able to see in the image below that the blocks on the long sides are not square. This meant that I couldn't print out correct measurements and cutting instructions for the borders. I finally just adjusted the size of the block when I printed out the cutting instructions for the block.

I added some "floaters" around the outside the quilt to make it the right size to use 3 inch blocks in the border and to make the ribbon look like it was kind of floating in the border. I've got all the blocks made and just need to finish squaring them up and sew them together. Hopefully all my math was correct and the borders will fit!

I'm working on a few Christmas gifts right now, but hopefully I'll get back to this before the end of the year...End of the year! What happened to August?!?!


Catching up...

During my long absence from my blog I have been doing some sewing. Our guild had both a quilt challenge and a quilt show in October.

We had a Log Cabin challenge. Basically we had to have at least 3 log cabin blocks (12 inches or less in size) and the quilt could be from table runner size to lap quilt size. I decided that I wanted to do a quilt with different shaped log cabin blocks. I used EQ and tried using different blocks as quilt layouts and setting log cabin blocks in each section of the quilt layout. Here are a couple of designs I came up with:

I think this is a Lone Star block layout:

Storm at Sea Layout - This is the one I chose. Mostly because I was worried about having enough time to complete the Lone Star quilt above.

Here is the final quilt. I paper pieced it, although it wasn't really necessary since those are pretty large blocks. I was a little worried about getting the angles and corners right if I pieced it traditionally.

I also ended up switching out the corner blocks from log cabin blocks to plain square in square blocks. I just ran out of time trying to get the quilt finished.

This is the first quilt I've designed in EQ and actually completed the entire quilt. I've got a few others that I've designed and haven't made yet. But I do enjoy using the software and have a couple other quilts in the works.


I'm am a horrible blogger

I have been away way too long and will try to be better. This summer and fall have been really busy. I realized I didn't even give an update on Valerie. So here is a quick update, then I'll try to get back to blogging more frequently and get back to quilting.

The Belgian Shepherd Rescue Group was able to raise enough money to pay for Valerie's surgery. Valerie's leg was amputated just above the knee. Everyone at the vet's office fell in love with her while she was there. Valerie also had to be spayed.

Val had to keep calm and quiet for several weeks following the surgery while the sutures healed. She had a hard time with our hard wood floors..they are a little slippery. So Valerie would try to jump or run from one rug to the other to minimize the time spent on the slippery floor. Of course that just made her slip more. So we ended up making paths of rugs everywhere we wanted her to be able to go.

Valerie healed quickly and before long she was able to go out and run around with our other dogs. She and our Standard Poodle, ASCII, liked to play in the yard. Valerie could almost keep up with ASCII, even with three legs! She likes to play fetch and when she runs you can't even tell she is missing a leg.

While Valerie stayed with us she was one of the easiest, sweetest dogs I've ever known. She even got along with our cat. We did find out that she was scared of thunder. So we had to make sure she was inside and kept calm during thunderstorms. I'm pretty she ended up in the animal shelter with a broken leg because she panicked during a thunderstorm and just started running.

My husband took Valerie to obedience classes and she did very well. Valerie even went to a doggy yoga class with me a couple times. She loved the part where she got massaged.

Valerie stayed with us from around the 4th of July until Labor Day Weekend then went to another foster home. Her new foster mom loved her as much as we do. She had 3 other Mals to play with. Including an older male who she seemed to take a shine too.

Just this week Valerie went to her new forever home in Connecticut. Her new family seems to have fallen in love with her right away. They have been sending us daily updates and it looks like she is getting spoiled rotten already. I'm so happy for both Valerie and her new family.

I can't express enough gratitude to all those people who helped Valerie out. She is a really special little dog who got a second chance at a good life thanks to those people who helped her out.


Update on Valerie

Thanks to everyone's donations Valerie's surgery was paid for. She is doing great. She is starting to get up and moving around a little more now.

She likes toys. She chews on all the tough rubber toys. She's still learning how to act around the other dogs. She doesn't display the best dog manners when sniffing the other dogs, but she'll get better. She loves to be near people and loves to be petted.

From Valerie Day 1 After Surgery

Valerie Day 3 After Surgery


Guild Challenge Quilt

I am dying to post my EQ design that I'm going to do for my challenge quilt for our quilt guild. I'm not going to post it until after the challenge in October just in case any of my guild members actually read my blog.

We are doing a Log Cabin challenge. I've decided on blue and green as the main colors. I'm also not doing all traditional square log cabin blocks. I need to get started on this quilt if I want it finished by October.

Just a little teaser.


Valerie..Dog that needs help to live up to her name

This is the story of how I met a wonderful little Malinois who we are all calling Valerie. Valerie means health and strength... This is a strong little girl that we would like to see get healthy again.

On Saturday morning my husband received an email from Malinois Rescue. A veterinarian doing health checks and vaccines in a kill shelter in North Georgia found a young female Malinois with a broken leg. The bone was poking out of the thigh and the dog was in danger of being put down.

The vet does not have her own office and did not have the equipment to be able to give the dog the medical care she needed so she contacted Malinois Rescue. The coordinator was scrambling to find someone who could help the weekend before a holiday when many people are on vacation. My husband and I said we would help.

Sunday night I drove an hour and a half to Braselton, GA to pick up the dog. When I got there I found a little, dark red girl, who wiggled her butt at me then immediately rolled over to get a belly rub. The leg was bandaged but still flopping all over. When I took her leash she went with me and even looked like she was going to try to jump into the back of my car by herself. She moves really well on her three good legs.

I loaded her into my car and gave her a few treats which she took gently, but you could tell she was hungry. She drank a little water, then made a nice cushy nest from the blankets I'd spread out for her, and went to sleep. I started to drive back home cringing every time I hit a bump. I can just imagine what it feels like to have broken bones getting jostled all over.

When Valerie and I got home we got her some food and slowly introduced her to our pack. She was good with our dogs, did not seem over protective of her food, and paid attention to the cat but did not go after it. She went into her crate when told and turned around to have her leash taken off. She was quiet in her crate all night and every time my husband woke and checked on her she would give him kisses. Obviously she has been trained and I wonder if someone is looking for her.

This morning Hubby took Valerie to our veterinarian. He said that her leg has probably been broken for two to three weeks and there was nerve damage and massive infection. My husband said that Dr. Moore was frustrated because if he had gotten to her earlier he could have saved the leg. Now it would have to be amputated above the knee. He did the surgery this afternoon and Valerie is recovering overnight at the hospital. Tomorrow afternoon she will come home and we will foster her while she is getting medical care.

Valerie's veterinary bills will run at least $1300. Malinois Rescue is raising money to help pay for it. If you feel you can spare anything to help her that would be great. If not please keep her in your thoughts.

I'll keep you up to date on her progress and post some pictures when we get her back home. Sorry about the wordy post.


I'm a bad blogger!

I know it has been weeks since I have blogged. I got started on "What's on my design wall?" and then never updated anything. I will get that done tomorrow (only 5 days late but who is counting).

The last couple of weeks have been really busy. I think last time I mentioned that a big release was due at work on June 19th. I put in a lot of hours in the last couple of weeks to be ready for that. Last week while trying to finish everything up for the release, I got hit with a really bad sinus infection. I have not been that sick in a long time.

I mentioned that I won a giveaway from Patchalot More. I got the patterns in the mail, along with a nice note from Marcie, and a package of quilting note cards. Thank you, so much Marcie!

The last update I have for now is that I did not get my Facebook block swap blocks done in time. I was a little ambitious with those blocks. I had a little bit of difficulty piecing the flowers, especially the 8 sided star. So I switched out the 8 sided star for another 4 petaled flower. I got two blocks done. The swap coordinator said to hang on to them because they will be great for a Spring swap. I'll probably finish up 6 of them so I'll be ready for that time. I'll post pictures of those later.


ASCII talks about Doga

It is me, ASCII. I'm back again and this is just for you Beth. Today my mom and dad took me and Reboot to Doga which is a doggie yoga class. It was at Playful Paws. There were about 10 other dogs and owners there.

It was nice. Mom and Dad stretched and Reboot and I got petted, massaged and loved on. Mom started out working with Reboot and Dad worked with me. In the middle of the class Reboot and I decided to switch places on them. It was very relaxing. I fell asleep at the end while mom just sat with her hands on me.

The other dogs in the class were nice. We saw Lois and Augie who are always at agility trials. One dog, Pepper..I think he was a labradoodle, really wanted to play with me, but mom and dad said it wasn't the right time. Pepper kept trying to sneak over and play but eventually he calmed down. All the dogs were pretty calm. I think they were just soaking up the loving from their humans.

After class we met another dog that survived cancer like Reboot did. He is a Visla and he lost one of his front legs to cancer. He is a really amazing dog. He still does hunt trials and even got his Master Hunter title, and he is going to be a therapy dog. He even swims with only 3 legs. I don't like swimming at all and I have 4 legs.

We get to go back to Doga every weekend in June.

I won!

Have you noticed the quilt pox immunization patch on my sidebar? This came from Marcie at Patchalot More. She had a drawing for two of her patterns for people who "immunized" their blog by adding her patch. Well guess what! I won.

Thanks, Marcie! Everyone go visit her site and get the Patch. I hear those quilt pox can be nasty.


What's on my design wall?

Last week Judy at Patchwork Times by Judy Laquidara started "What's on your design wall". Each week we can post what is on our design wall, then the next week we update on our progress.

Last week I posted my Underground Railroad quilt laying out on my "design bed". I had hoped to have the top finished by this week.

Well, it is still sitting there. I walked in and looked at it a couple times, but that is as far as I got.

The only quilting related activity I did was to cut few patches for my June Facebook block swap. This time we are doing basket blocks. I need to make five blocks for the swap (plus one for me) and mail them to the swap coordinator by June 19. Funny, that is the same day that I've got a meeting with my business users to turn over our latest software release for testing. Something tells me the next two weeks are going to be busy.

Here is the block I intend to make.

I found the block in EQ and tweaked it just a bit so that it would be easier to piece. I'm a little worried about the points on the flowers. Those stars can be hard to get right. The only time I've tried it before I did them by hand. I also have to do set in piecing with this block. I tried to print out a foundation piecing pattern for, but I must be doing something wrong. The piecing order made no sense at all, and I couldn't figure out how to get it to work.

So my goal for this weekend is:
  1. Finish at least 2 of the basket blocks
  2. Put together at least 2 rows of the Underground Railroad quilt
Non-Quilt related side note:
At the risk of sounding like an enormous flake, I want to tell you that my husband and I will be taking two of our dogs to a Doggie Yoga class on Sunday. Should be interesting. I love yoga and need to do it more often, and I love spending time with my dogs. I never really thought about combining those activities before. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.


ASCII Takes Over The Blog!

Hi!! I'm ASCII! I'm a two year old Standard Poodle. Usually my mom writes on this blog, but she hasn't been posting enough so I decided to post for her. I'm not the first dog to try blogging, my dad knows a Malinois that blogs all the time. If Leinie can do it then why not me?

I spend most days helping my mom and dad work. Some days mom works from home and other days dad does. Sometimes I have to tell them that it is time to stop working and play with me! The best way to do this is to sit directly behind them, stare at the back of their head, and whine. Sometimes that doesn't work and I have to put my head on their lap and whine some more.

On weekends and some evenings mom and dad take me to go do agility. I like the teeter, the dog walk, the A-Frame and tunnels. If I get too hot sometimes I go in the tunnels and don't like to come back out. Sun is hard on a black dog. I also like seeing the other dogs at agility, and nibbling on Miss Cyndy's ears.

My favorite things to do are playing with the cat, nibbling on people's ears (it makes them giggle), the teeter, and curling up on the couch next to my dad. I live with 2 other dogs. Kiwi and Reboot are both older and slower than me, but sometimes they run around the yard with me.

Well, mom says I have to go to bed now. I'll be back next time she doesn't have anything to say.


What's on my design wall?

Judy Laquidara from Patchwork Times by Judy Laquidara is asking this question every monday. This was the first week.

Well currently I have a design bed. My sewing room is a bonus room over our garage. I have about 4 feet of wall, then the rest is the angled ceiling. I still love my room, but it isn't easy to make a design wall. I have a large piece of foam board that I will eventually make into a free standing design wall.

So what is on my design bed? Our quilt guild did the Underground Railroad sampler by Eleanor Burns as our Block of the Month last year. I have all the blocks completed with the sashing and cornerstones. Hopefully by next Monday I'll have the top completed.


2009 Star Block of the Month

I started the first block for our guild's block of the month yesterday. I have the task of demonstrating the first block. Before I could sew the first block I had to decide what colors I wanted to use for the quilt. The brown fabric with multicolor...uh blobs is the best word I can come up with.. is from Kaffe Fassett. I bought all they had left (a little over 2 yards) when I was at Sew Bee It a couple weeks ago.

I think this is going to be pretty and I love that the brown fabric will tie all the colors together so well. I'm excited about this quilt. I have the first block done, as well as some partially finished blocks that I'll use to demonstrate the construction of the block. I'll show those in a separate post. I so rarely have anything interesting to say I need to drag this one block out as long as possible.


And now back to our regular programming...

I'll get back to quilting talk soon. I did get a set of blocks from my Facebook block exchange group. They are all really pretty. The next block exchange is going to be basket blocks. Those are due in June.

I'm going to start the first block for our quilt guild block of the month this week. I have to present it next Monday. Eeek...where did April go?

CKC Agility Trial at Georgia Dog Gym Part II

The second day at the CKC Trial was fun but our performance was a little disappointing. There were only a couple of us there and we were all running for exhibition only because we had not qualified for Supreme the day before. We ran three Supreme runs and then did 3 games. Cyndy Douan, and the GDG and CKC staff did a great job at keeping things moving, and keeping organized. I wish more people had come on that second day. I think they would have had a good time.

We did get some cool ribbons. Two qualification ribbons for the Novice I and Novice II titles, two second place and a third place ribbon. We also got one of the big Wow trial ribbons, because there were two of us that stuck it out all weekend and ran every run.

I think that ASCII and I would have qualified on one of the Supreme runs and maybe on the Dare to Double game. ASCII did not want to be there though. He used to run ahead of me but this weekend he just kind of drug behind me. I talked to the judge, who happens to be our trainer, and she said to throw a party before and after each run. I'm not very good at being really energetic and enthusiastic. I'm kind of quiet even with the dogs. ASCII needs a cheerleader. He doesn't respond to just treats, and doesn't care about retrieving a toy, so its going to have to be me just being excited and telling him how good he is. I also might try the Kong spray cheese stuff again...we call that Doggie Crack. Sometimes I'd let him go to my husband after a run and let him give the affection and praise. He needs to get it from ME since I'm the one he is working for.

I have been calling him off of obstacles when he is about to go off course and did that a lot on Saturday. He has lost confidence and it isn't fun for him right now. We will work on that. I need to practice more outside of class, and let him take the obstacle even if it is the wrong one. Most likely if he's going the wrong way it is because I was not clear, or quick enough. More practice will help me with that too.

After the run I have to throw a party and be excited even if I'm not happy with the run. Also while I need to be respectful of the time I take to get in and out of the ring, I need to take the extra few seconds required to immediately praise him and make a big deal about it. Too often I am so worried about getting my leash and getting out of everyone's way that I delay in throwing the party. By the time I do it, ASCII has pretty much turned off. Can I get someone to kick me in the butt when I start to do that please? Yo dummy! Pet your dog!!

We are doing agility for fun, not so we can get national titles and stuff like that. If ASCII isn't enjoying himself then it is not worth continuing. A year ago he was so excited to be out there that he would take off ahead of me and run like a wild dog. One of the people running the ASCA trial said he was a great dog and to just just make sure he kept having fun. We started reigning him in because he was not listening and just running around taking what ever obstacle he wanted, I think we went too far. I'm not sure if we can get the galloping, prancing, goofball agility dog back now...I sure miss him though.


CKC Trial at Georgia Dog Gym

This blog is called DogsNQuilts so it is time for me to talk about my dog. Today was the Continental Kennel Club Obedience and Agility Trial at the Georgia Dog Gym. It was cloudy and wet from all the rain last night, but it was also a nice 70 degrees.

I like the way the CKC Agility rules are set up. The Novice levels are pretty mellow. It lets you get started trialing on easier lower stress courses. ASCII and I got the Novice level I qualification with no problem and got second place in our class. We also go the level II Q and got third place. I did notice that ASCII did not want to lay down on the wet table, and did not want to sit on the wet grass at the start line. He just got groomed yesterday and apparently did not want to mess up his 'do by getting it wet.

On Novice level III the course has obstacles side by side and it tests obstacle recognition. This should have been easy, but most of us messed it up. The course was a big S shape and on each leg of the S was a pair of obstacles and you were allowed 2 faults. The point of the course was to send the dog through the appropriate obstacle. I started out lining up on the wrong side of ASCII so he thought he should take the tunnel instead of the A-Frame.

Then the second leg of the S had two jumps side by side. I ran a little too close again and he started to go to the left jump instead of the right one. I called him back and he took the correct jump but ended up out of position for the next jump in the course. He ran by it, then when I called him back to try again he back jumped the jump.

Then we went on the last leg of the course and I think I pushed ASCII's course again. I needed to draw him to the left by running to the left myself. He ended up starting to taking the tunnel instead of the chute, I called him before he went to far in, then he wouldn't go through the chute. He's been through that chute a bunch of times, but he wasn't sure about it this time. We finally got through the chute and over the final jump but by that time we already had too many faults. Even though we did not qualify we ended up getting 2nd place in our class.

Unfortunately because we did not qualify for Novice III, that meant we could not qualify on any of the Intermediate runs. This time we were allowed to run For Exhibition Only which meant we just did not get credit for them. When we ran the Intermediate I course and would have qualified. Then it started raining for about 20 minutes.

We started the Intermediate II course and ASCII would not lay down on the wet table. Since I knew I couldn't qualify anyway I went ahead and touched him to get him to lay down. We ran the rest of the course clean.

The final run of the day was the Intermediate III course. I think we had one fault but also would have qualified.

The trial will continue tomorrow. There will be three runs for the Supreme class then there will be three different games, which I will run for exhibition only. It should be fun.

Book Signing at Sew Bee It

I attended a book signing at Sew Bee It this past week. The book was Color Mastery by Maria Peagler. She gave a nice talk about her book including 10 tips to innovative color palettes.

I enjoyed the talk. I bought the book and it looks really good. One of her tips is to start a color journal. This idea intrigues me. It seems like a good way to start getting ideas for new color combinations to use in my quilts.

Maria said that she has a monthly budget for fabric and suggests that you organize your fabric so you can determine what you are missing. Yesterday my husband also suggested I make a monthly fabric budget, instead of buying a larger amount of fabric a couple times per year. I think this is a great idea. I'd spend the same amount as I do now (or slightly more) but it wouldn't hurt as bad.

By the way Sew Bee It is a wonderful quilt shop. I wish that I lived closer...or maybe it is good that I don't. It might be dangerous if I could wander in any time I like.


Wonderful Cajun Meal

My husband and I had our anniversary over the weekend. We decided to go Henry's Louisiana Grill for dinner. Several people have been raving about this place and told us we had to check it out. It was really good food and we are both kicking ourselves for waiting so long to get there.

Nothing we had was healthy and we totally overshot our Points (Weight Watchers) for the day (or week in my case) but it was really worth it. We started off with their Seafood Fondeaux. My husband thought it was "disturbingly good". It was cheesy and the seafood was nice and fresh tasting. Yum!

Then my husband had Louisiana Ooh La La. This was fried oysters, shrimp and crawfish in a tasso cream sauce over french bread. Yes, I do feel my arteries hardening just thinking about it. The fried seafood would have been good on its own but the sauce was wonderful. It comes in a full order and half order. The full order was ginormous (Why is it that my spell checker is complaining about crawfish but ginormous is A-OK?). My husband ate about 1/4 of it and brought the rest home.

I had the Louisiana Crab Meat Au Gratin. It was pretty good. Not as good as the Ooh La La but good. I actually liked the sauteed squash that came with it best of everything on the plate.

Yes I did save a little room for dessert. I have to confess that I am a major chocolate lover. I get this craving for gooey warm chocolate and vanilla ice cream. I have tried everything to satisfy this craving..Hot fudge sundaes, brownies a la mode, chocolate pudding cakes. Nothing matches the taste in my head. All this time I have been craving the Death by Chocolate Cobbler and never knew it! It was a cup full of warm, chocolaty goodness, with chocolate sauce oozing over the sides and topped with ice cream and whipped cream. Mmmmmm...what? oh sorry I'm back now...

Anyway we had a really good night. We wandered (or maybe waddled) through some of the cute shops in historic Acworth. After we got home we relaxed on the deck enjoying the warm weather.


Amaryllis Blooming

My Amaryllis plant is blooming. This is the second stalk of flowers that it has put out in the last month. I thought I'd cut it back to late and it would not bloom, but here it is....

Tic Tac Toe Quilt

I finished the Tic Tac Toe quilt. Sorry the picture is not very good. I have got to figure out a better way to take pictures of quilts. The center four blocks came out of the March 2006 Quilter's Newsletter. The border was taken from a quilt I found in Quick Quilts, except I decided to do random size colored blocks.

The quilt is for a baby shower at work on Wednesday. I hope they like it. It isn't a very traditional looking baby quilt. I was using fabric from my stash so I could get started quickly. I looked for primary colors but I just did not have them. So I used brights.

I always get asked how long it takes to make a quilt and usually I have no idea. This time because I did it in a week and a half I have a pretty good idea.
  • 8 hours to piece the top
  • 6 hours to machine quilt
  • 10 minutes of swearing once I found out that I had large tucks in the backing on two corners
  • 1.5 hours to rip out the quilting on those corners
  • 30 minutes to quilt those portions again.
  • 6 hours to do the binding

My husband liked it enough that he said I should keep it and give them something else. I think that means I'll be making a king size Tic Tac Toe quilt soon. I definitely need to add to my stash for that one.

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Finally quilting again...

I've been doing all kinds of other stuff rather than quilting for the last few weeks. I have a friend at work who is having a baby. We are having a baby shower for him and a his wife in a week and a half. I decided I wanted to make a quick baby quilt as a gift. Unfortunately two weeks have passed since I decided to do this. This weekend was the first time I felt like I had some spare time.

I went through a bunch of magazines to find a fairly quick quilt that looked cute. Last night I narrowed it down to four possibilities. One was a rail fence pattern, another was pinwheels and the last was a square on point made using four patches and half square triangles. I pulled out some brights from my stash (they are having a little boy) so I could make my final choice and start this morning.

Then I ran into my latest issue of Quilter's Newsletter and found the Tic Tac Toe pattern. For some reason I was sold on doing that quilt. It has 18 inch blocks and is larger than I really want. So I decided to do a 2 X 2 layout with a cool border from the split rail fence pattern. That will end up with a 42" square. I think that is a pretty good baby quilt size and one that I can hopefully finish quilting in a week and a half.


New Blog Look

Well, I did change the look of my blog. It didn't take a whole lot of work either. I found this cute template from Blogger Templates.
Anyway hopefully this will inspire me to blog more.

Beth Mitchell Photography

I have been helping a friend with her web site. Its been fun and a good way to practice html and javascript. I have spent almost every night this week working on it though. I'm not doing anything amazingly cool or anything, but I think it looks pretty good.

It gives me ideas for ways to change the look of this blog. So stay tuned you may see some changes coming in the near future.

I haven't been doing much quilting lately because I've been either working on Beth's site, working on stuff for my quilt guild, going to agility class with the dog, or working. Hopefully I'll get some time this weekend to quilt.

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