Saturday, August 30, 2008

Star Struck Flimsy


I stayed up late last night just so I could get the border onto this Star Struck. It's so well worth it 'cause now I can call it a flimsy. :o)

I was afraid that I might not have enough leftover yellow and purple squares to do the piano key border, but as you can see, I do have enough and more. Those extras will go into piecing the back.

The weather this morning is a bit ugly... cloudy and humid.... so the snapshot is a bit dark. Click on the photo to see who's underneath...

It's our Suki Girl! She loves quilts and loves to have her picture taken... wether on top or bottom. lol ... and look at those feet. LOL

Have a great long weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Star Struck and Old Tabacco Road

I have finished with the embellishments on the crazy block for Linda's bag swap and should be working on the bag.... but... I need a little break from it. Plus, I haven't decided on a pattern for the bag... I'll probably make it up as I'll go along.... and that takes a bit of using the old noggle on my part....

Besides, I haven't touch my sewing machine for the last two weeks... I need a sewing fix! :D

I have this leaders/enders project that I've been working on for more than two years now. It's another Quiltville pattern, Star Struck. The fabrics came from swapping 5" squares with the Nickels Yahoo group. The subunits were done awhile back and sat on my desk staring at me all summer long. It is time to put these units into blocks then into a flimsy....

Onto to the border.... the plan is to use all of the leftover yellow and purple squares in the border..... something along the line of a piano keys.... and maybe a little bit of applique???.... We'll see.... :o)

The next Quiltville Mystery, Old Tabacco Road, is starting tomorrow. Am I doing this one? Probably yes.... but not until toward the end of October... I need to focus on completing all of my swap commitments first. In the mean time, I am looking forward to see everyone else's quilt.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Moving the Spa

It's official... summer vacation is over! Today was the first day of school for Buddy and Sweetie Pie. Buddy is a Junior in high school and Sweetie Pie is a 5th grader... my my... how quickly they have grown!

I took this photo last Friday of my Sweetie Pie and Tiger taking a few winks on the couch. We worked on getting Sweetie Pie back on a school schedule last week, so she had been waking up early and going to bed earlier. By Friday night, she fell asleep wayyyy before bedtime... heehee, easy as pie... she's back on schedule... and Tiger couldn't resisted snuggling with her. Don't they look sweet? :-D

About the spa... our friends, John and Nina, who had moved to Arizona last year, gave us a GREAT DEAL on their jacuzzi... and all we had to do was to move it from their house to our house... good thing that their old house is just right around the corner. Knowing my hubby, the weekend was filled with plans on how to move an almost 1000lbs. spa. First, he rigged his old trailer to fit the spa on top. Then, disassembled the awning from the spa. You can see the dismantled awning leaning against the side of the house in this pic. He hired a few guys to help out.... except for one of them... the one without the hat... he's our friend, Ted. They were great help! Then back the whole thing through the RV parking area to our backyard. All that plannings paid off 'cause it was so quick and simple.... no hassle at all like I thought. The jacuzzi will stay atop the trailer while he'll preparing a site for it. Hmm... when will we get to enjoy it?
Knowing my John, we will be relaxing in it very soon. Thank you Nina & John for all the future fun and relaxations. :-D

Friday, August 22, 2008

I've been stitching away!

Every chance I got, I've been stitching away on this crazy quilt block for Linda's bag swap. I'm almost done with it... only two little spots left to add embellishments. Then, I will work on making it into a bag.

I'm quite certain that my swap partner doesn't read my blog, but just in case, I'm only giving a few sneak peeks here and there.

These are the fabrics (left photo) that I
pulled this morning to use to make the bag.

It is my first attempt at crazy quilting, and I just love it... though, there's a lot of work and time involved in stitching. But that is just part of doing any kind of handiworks, I supposed.
Stay tuned for another sneak peek ... I'm hoping to get this swap done this weekend ... then onto Stitchers Angel.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Susan's Giveaway

If you have been following my blog, you know that Susan, my SIL, is working on her first quilt and recently started a blog, Ape Over Quilting. Well, pop on over to her site to take a look at her first block... she did a wonderful job... way to go, Susan!! Wish we live closer... I'm in southern California, and she's in Washington... we could be having weekend sewing every weekend!

Not only did she just started her blog, Susan is also doing a giveaway already... can't wait to see what she has in mind. :-)

Susan asked for us to blog about our first quilt...

I started quilting back in 2001. My first quilt was a handquilted queen size purple/green/white Irish Chain. On and off, it took me about two years to complete that quilt because we were selling our house and moved at that time. However, like most of my beginning quilts back then, I didn't take any pics.

So the Irish Chain was the first quilt that I started, but it was not really the first one that I finished.

That doggy quilt in the photo is the first completely done quilt... top pieced and appliqued, machine quilted, and bound in a couple of months from start to finish. Before quilting life, I did a lot of cross stitches, so it was natural for me to design the dog on graph paper and sewn from a grid.

I forgot all about that quilt. It's for our little niece on John's side of the family. About a month ago, we stopped by John's sister and discovered that she still has the quilt... of course, I had to get a pic. Now, I have a photo to remind me of my earlier quilt. :-D

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Running Here and There

Appointments, appointments, appointments!! That's what I've been doing since last week... running from one appointment to the next one.... So glad to be home today. :-)

First, thank you everyone for the getting well wishes for Tabby. She is doing great and had the drainage tubes removed yesterday afternoon. Our vet said everthing looks good; I just need to take her back one more time for another checkup and the rest of the stitches still need to come out. I'm amazed at her resilient; she hasn't shown any stress or crankiness throughout this ordeal at all.

Isn't she so sweet? She doesn't like for me to take pics of her and was moving around too much for a good shot... It's a good thing Mandy's finger was around to help. tee hee

We kept Tabby in Mandy's room most of the time while she recovered... so the dogs were a bit excited and very curious to see her today.

Here, Yoshi Bear wanted to play and got too fresh for Tabby that she had to remind him she's still the eldest and boss in this family. lol
All that doxies silliness are too much for a recooperating cat! She followed me upstairs and jumped on my bed instead.

Tabby's favorite thing to do is sleep on piles of blankets... especially freshly laundered blankets and quilts. She's eyeing Buddy's raggedy jeans quilt that I made for him a few years back... but then decided to sleep in Mandy's room .... Probably doesn't want Mom to take pics of her anymore. lol

Speaking of Buddy, he had oral surgery yesterday to remove all 4 of his wisdom teeth. He did very well and on his way to a speedy recovery.

I was going to take some snapshots of him after surgery and post it here, but I figured that it wouldn't go over to well with him. lol

So here's a pic of him a few months back, after his braces came off ... one happy kid!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Poor Tabby!

This is our oldest furry baby, Tabby. She is 8 years old and the most gentle and timid cat I know. Although she's an indoor cat, she has taken a fancy to the outside world lately. She loves to hang out in the backyard with the doxies. Perhaps I indulged in her fancy too much because...

One night last week, I woke up at 3am to let one of the doxie outside, and Tabby jumped out the door before I could stopped her. After 5 minutes of playing tease-n-chase with her... her teasing and I'm chasing, I decided that she's not ready to go back inside and that John could let her back in when he's up in an hour. I was not worried that she would leave the yard because she doesn't.

Well, the doxie and I went back to bed.... only to be awaken after 40 minutes by an awful howling noise. It only took me a couple seconds to realize that it was Tabby's. I was out of bed in a heartbeat and ran downstairs. John said that he's never seen me bolted out of bed and moved so quickly... he he... we can laugh about it now...

Anyway, Tabby was still crying when I got to the door. I opened the door; she flew in from the side of the house. Clearly, she was shaken by something because she ran upstairs and hid in my closet. John went outside, both front and back yards, to see what's out there but didn't see anything... except for the neighbors' dogs were barking... probably from Tabby's cry.

Things calmed down, and Tabby finally came out of the closet for me to take a closer look at her. Upon close inspection, I found a patch of hair missing and scratches on her back. So an appointment with the vet was in order. Her injury seemed superficial with a little bit of swelling and pus forming due to the sores. We walked away with medication for the infection and hopeful that she will not need surgery 'cause we caught it early. After a couple days with medication, Tabby is back to herself or so we thought...

Here we are a week later and a revisit to the vet. Tabby's swollenness didn't get bigger but it didn't go away neither and now needed surgery to drain the build up fluid.

As it turn out, her injury is a lot deeper than we thought including the doctor. Whatever that tried to get her had claws. We concluded that it must have been an owl because of the sizes of the scratch marks on her, we heard owl screeches before, and John had seen the actual owl.

Here she is after the surgery... shaved back and drain tubes. Those tubes and stitches will come out on Saturday or Monday.

Despite her discomfort, Tabby is a true trooper; she is still sweet and gentle as ever.

I think her outside escapades will end here though. But I'm concern that if an owl tried to pick up an 11+ lbs. cat, will it able to pick up the little doxies? :-[

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Crazy Quilt Block

This is for Linda's Bag/Bucket Swap.
It is my first attempt at crazy quilting. What do you think? It is rather plain. I'm hoping with a little stitchings and embellishments will add some sparkles.
Can't wait to work on it tonight! For now, I'm off to do a bit of school shopping.
Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dryer String Series

Still no sewing ... I've been cleaning and organizing my sewing corner after all the finishes from last week. So I thought I'll show you my Dryer Strings for the last two years and work-in-progress (WIP) ...

When I first discovered Quiltville, Bonnie's String Quilt pattern really interested me. About the same time, I heard from somewhere the many uses of those dryer sheets... it's not just for your laundry... it's for cleaning your iron, dusting, bug repellent, air fresheners, glass/mirror cleaner, thread detangler, etc. I'm sure that you probably could name a few uses of it yourself. But, my favorite use of all is to use the used dryer sheets for foundation piecing!

Also, at the same time, I was in a few fabric swaps to build up the varieties of fabrics in my stash. There were plenty of 'strings' after all the trimmings, and they started to overflow from my baskets. So this is where I merged it all together to make my first "dryer string quilt".

I started in 2006 and completed this quilt by Christmas 2006 for my nephew, Victor. The blocks are rectangular because the sheets are rectangular shapes. The blocks finished at 6"x9". I did the blocks as Bonnie's leaders/enders technique. It took about eight months for me to do all the blocks for this quilt and another two months to finish it up. I pieced leftover strings for the binding too. It is 1/2" binding, not the usual 1/4" binding, due to the thickness. It was a blast making these string blocks, not to mention that it was also mindless sewing. I like to do them when I need not to think but just power sew.... just pick up one string and sew to the foundation, then add another string, then another string, then another string...

The result is another strings flimsy, Hidden Stars. This one took from the beginning to the end of 2007. It is waiting to be quilt. I'm planning to put this on the quilting frame next once I have the back and binding prep. Also, not quite sure how I will quilt this one... any suggestions?? Maybe simple arcs from corner to corner?

Hmm... this photo was taken right after I finished with the top last year and is dark because I snapped the photo just as the sun was setting... will have to take another one.

Well, after I finished with Hidden Stars, I made it my personal challenge to make a quilt every year by recyling those dryer sheets. Less stuffs to fill up the landfill is a good thing ... not to mention, all of those skinny strings are used up.

The most recent and for 2008... (yeah, top done before the end of the year!) ... is Don't Throw It Out! Finished back in June... just didn't get a chance to post.

Since I had to buy new rulers for Bonnie's Carolina Crossroads (the quilt above in the banner), I might as well use the rulers for other quilts. The Companion ruler was used to make the blocks. Here's the quilt top...The funny thing about this quilt top is that while I was piecing the blocks for the last row, I ran out of dryer sheets! I couldn't believe that I actually ran out of sheets! Do you know how many loads of laundry a family of five need to do a week?!! A lot! But here I am with no dryer sheets, so I was constantly looking for a laundry load to do. As it turned out, the kiddos forgot to save them for me and have been throwing out the sheets when they do laundry. Then I was constantly reminding them to not throw it out, hence, the name Don't Throw It Out! :-)

This is the back side to show your those dryer sheets...

I have a couple more quilts dancing in my head for this series, but first, I need to do lots more loads of laundry... LOL

Monday, August 4, 2008

Swap and Challenge

WOW!! There are so many fun things out there in blogland. The first one is Chookyblue's 2008 Christmas Swap.... I've joined in!

The next one is a challenge from Bonnie at Quiltville - FUNGLY! I'm heading to my fabric bins to play now. 8-)

Have a good night!

I Can't Believe...

it's August already! Only 3 more weeks of summer vacation!

I have been spending time with the family and in the yard for the last few days, so there is no quilty thing to show.

However, I did pulled out my OC top to work on the borders yesterday. Well, due to my carelessness, I forgot to put aside the extra blue material with the quilt top when I had stored it. Plan A was to use that blue for the inner border; instead, I used it to back this quilt.

OOppps... onto Plan B... My next thought was to replace the blue with the extra black fabric like in Bonnie's quilt. But after some calculations, I don't have enough fabric for the amount that I needed. Sooo... onto Plan C... nothing! ha ha... I'm sitting on the sideline for now with this project... maybe go shopping for another tone-on-tone black... gee, that's a hard thing to do! ;o)

No quilting photos... how about doxies photos?
Awww... a baby lizard... 2 inches long... so cute...


Hee hee... no animals were harmed; although, Yoshi almost got his wish.