Friday, September 19, 2008

Things I’ve been up to lately

I have been a quilting, bag making, canning, and dog visiting fool lately!

Fall is my favorite time of year. The cool weather, the amazing leaf colors, pumpkins, apple cider doughnuts, squash soup, Halloween and everything else autumn brings makes me happy. It all invigorates me! I’ve been referred to as Autumn Girl at work.

This is fall quilt that I’ve been working on. "insert beautiful, fantastically photographed photo here." Uuummmmm... it appears that I somehow deleted said beautiful photo prior to downloading it. Which is a shame because I totally wanted to share it with you because I completely LOVE this quilt!

It’s made from the line Maple Hill Road from Maywood ( left) and is absolutely stunning and ever so autumnal! I love that word. I had a comforter for my bed a long time ago that was tan with scrolls and leaves in fall colors. My boyfriend at the time said “it’s very autumnal” when I proudly showed him my new purchase. That phrase has stuck with me ever since. It’s probably my favorite fall related phrase. I had considered it as a name for the quilt, but I think it will be called “Autumn in Provence” instead. The pattern is the “French Countryside” quilt(see right side) from the “Purely Provence” book by Renee Nanneman of Need’l Love fame. I really love her designs. She creates many different kinds of projects with various materials in her books. She does pillows, wool 3d thingies, rugs and various and sundry other decorative items along with quilts.

I used the acorn and leaves print on the brown background for the large zig-zag part of the quilt. Then the cream tone on tone toile (3rd down on the left of the swatches) for the light half squares. I used all of the plaids, pumpkins, leaves and sunflowers for the blocks.

It’s not done yet because I wanted to get it out to Tammy Tadd’s to use as a sample for the fabric line before fall was over. I was going to put a small sage green inner border and larger brown acorn/leaves border on it then bind it in the green plaid on the bias (diagonal), but now I’m not so sure. Jennie thinks I should leave it as is. I am the queen of borders though, and I prefer at least 3, so I’m not sure I can just leave it border-less.

I can finally show everyone the grocery bag that I made for my friend Anne, who lives in England, since she's finally received it. I chose the Catzilla -Garden Cats line of fabric in honor of Anne's two cats, Willow and Scooby, who periodically hang out in her English garden. I bought this fabric years ago with Anne in mind, so I was thrilled when I decided on a grocery bag for her. Isn't it cute?

I’ve also designed a small, easy to make, take along book bag that I’ll post the pattern for it so that everyone can try it out for themselves. It is so easy it’s ridiculous! It would make a great little gift for Christmas. Maybe filled with some home made sweets or foods that have been preserved! But then, things that have been preserved in jars really should have matching fabric hats, don’t you think? Perhaps matching / coordinating hats!
I took the bag pattern over to PittyPat's last week for her to try out, and she thoroughly enjoyed making it. I'll have to get a photo of the one she made for you all to see. It's super cute. I brought her some Michael Miller retro 50's glam girls fabric to test it with. We decided to make it slightly larger than the one in the photo, same concept though.

Speaking of darling fabric jar hats, below is the gazpacho that I made entirely out of my garden produce! I also made the croutons (in the coordinating baggies) to go with it. The two jars were not canned/sealed, I just thought they made a nice presentation since I was giving them to a couple of my friends to enjoy. As if you all didn't know this already, here is the evidence that I’ve totally lost my mind. The hubby has spent the last three weekends visiting various stray Husky organizations. While I’ve told him repeatedly that I think we are good with the critters that we have, he wants another Husky. I agreed to go with him last Sunday only because the rain was so torrential that Amy and I decided against the Renegade Craft Fair, which disappointed us both. I figured that he’s going to get a dog anyway, so it would be best that I at least go and give some input.

We met Penelope, Cloudy and Brick. Penelope was a young, small, all white dog with big brown eyes. She was sooo cute and spunky! Cloudy, who is also all white, is bi-eyed, one blue, one brown. He was sweet, sweet, sweet! He lumbered in and flopped at our feet, looking for belly rubs. It says he's exuberant on the website, but he was really mellow when we met him. He's the only one that we met on the website. We also met Brick, who is a blue eyed, red Husky. He was really nice too. The funny thing is that both Cloudy and Penelope were submissive to Robbie! No creature of any kind is ever submissive to Robbie! He’s the Zeta dog, if that’s possible. We actually had decided to adopt Penelope, but by the time the hubby called, she had already been adopted. She was adopted out the day after we met her!

We were supposed to meet a mostly blind Husky last weekend, but his foster family fell in love with him and decided to keep him. I’m a sucker for just this kind of case! Apparently, so is my cousin Ashley. It must be genetic. The hubby jokes that I would take in a blind, deaf, legless dog if the opportunity arose. I told him that of course I would, I mean the poor dog couldn't see or hear and would only be able to roll around for goodness sake! If I didn't take him, who would? (Ashley would.

After Adopt A Husky we went over to Save a Pet, a no-kill shelter where we had adopted Methos from in 2002, to look at Snowbell. I feel badly for her. She has a "mouthing problem" where when she is riled. She goes crazy, grabbing at clothes until she rips them. The woman who brought her out to us was awful. She really ticked me off big time. I seriously think she riled poor Snowbell more than she would have been if the wretched lady had not been there. We also overheard her telling the front desk people that Snowbell doesn't like her so she doesn't think she should be the one showing her. I agree with Snowbell's opinion of the lady. I told the hubby that if he wants Snowbell (and I would like to get her out of there) that he has to invest ,both monetarily and time, into reforming her behavior. I also informed him that it will probably cost a couple thousand dollars and at least an hour a day for a couple of years to get her behavior totally in line. My big problem with adopting her is that I don't know that Bug will like her. And w/her craziness, I have to worry about the other 3 dogs as well as DiscoJen’s and Donna’s children when they come to visit. I also don’t really believe that the hubby has it in him to do the kind of follow through that this dog will require, and I simply don’t have the time for it right now.

Then there's Woody, who is a fluffy brown dog with the sweetest eyes. He's 10 years old, and we don't really want him to die in there. I mean, who's going to adopt a 10 year old dog? No one wants the old ones.

What really made me cry (I ALWAYS bawl like a baby at these places) was Nikita. We almost adopted her when we got Methos, back in 2002. She's very fearful of men, but I felt, especially at that time, that we could work with her. The hubby didn't think she would was a good choice at the time though. The poor thing is still there! It totally breaks my heart. I would consider Nanouk too, but he's been a long time companion to Nikita, and I would hate to leave her with no companionship.

Well, I think that makes me mostly caught up. I have my quilt guild weekend retreat this weekend, and I’m the one in charge of it, so there’s much to do this week! I’ll try to post about the Madison quilt show next week. I'll leave you with this photo of my multi-colored peppers, just because I think they are so pretty! I made Italian stuffed peppers out of them. The purple pepper turns back to green when you cook it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I'm terribly sorry for the lapse in posts. It's been a crazy few weeks. I've been canning tomatoes like mad every night after work, trying to keep up on the garden, finish a quilt for display at Tammy Tadd's, make bags for Jennie, and help a friend get her house in order to sell! Whew! I'm tired just thinking about it all! The house turned out amazing, if I say so myself! We did our very own version of Designed to Sell. I'll have to take photos to show you all.

The tomatoes were exciting. I've never canned them before, and it ends up that it's ridiculously easy! I think this means I'll have to plant even more tomatoes next year. I want to make salsa, tomato sauce, gazpacho, soup, and all things tomato based and can them for the winter! Imagine opening garden fresh salsa in February! It practically makes me giddy just thinking about it.
I'll post photos of the projects next week when I can breathe again. This weekend is insane as well. Friday, Jennie and I are going to the Madison Quilt Expo. I'm rather excited. I've never been to this show.
Saturday I'm working. And finally, Sunday, Amy and I are hitting the Renegade Craft Fair!It should be great. There are a lot of really interesting crafters going to be there. I'm totally looking forward to checking out the Sublime Stitching booth since I've decided that I really should learn how to embroider. I know, it's insane, but they have just the cutest embroidery patterns these days and I just can't help myself! I mean how cute would this be on the pocket of one of my grocery bags along with the cute sushi fabric as the main print?
Squirrel Momma will be there too. She makes the cutest pin cushion thingies. I'm totally in love with her hedgehogs and penguins. They are just too cute!

Well, that's all I have time for today. I'll try to post again very soon. Back to work for me! Bags and quilts to make!