Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Thrift Shopping

Before I returned home from the pain clinic yesterday I stopped at a few thrift shops as I am on a hunt for a pet carrier for Button dog- she is flying to Boston with us in April. It is within my personality to become quite analytical about such things so it must be just the right carrier! If I don't find what I want in a thrift store in the next couple of weeks I will resort to ordering online but there are a plethora of styles and colors and BJ says to check the thrift stores because they always have them. Of course they are all out of them now because last weekend was the 50% off sale! Drat.

I think I want something like this, it's Sherpa which appears to be the most popular carrier and I like the shape and the fact that it's softer and is open enough for Button to easily see the world around her. She would fit perfectly in the medium but I am considering the large instead to allow her a bit more space. However, if I am doing the thrifty/reuse thingy my choices will of course be limited, whereas if I were to splurge and buy a new one I'd have a plethora of them from which to choose. If I had my choice I would get a girly pink one but DH says Button isn't that kind of girl dog, so we will probably end up with something sedate! I think he's also rather mortified at the image of himself walking around the airport with a hot pink pet carrier [ROFL] !

If you have experience in air travel in cabin with a pet I am interested to hear comments and advice from your viewpoint. Button is a well behaved dog, obedience trained and friendly and pretty mellow most of the time. The flights are about six+ hours in the air with one stop around the halfway mark. However, you are not supposed to remove the pet at any time during the stay in the airport or during the flight so I want her to be comfy as possible. The only time you are allowed to remove them is to process through security when the carrier goes though the x-ray machine and you carry the dog through the human security screen.

My thrift shopping wasn't a total loss though because I found this great bargain for young Matthew, a VTech PC Fun Plus. I had priced them new at a great deal more [$50-60] and even used on eBay starting at $25 with shipping.

It was marked $1.99, but I got 25% senior discount so it was all of $1.49, no tax!
Sometimes it pays to be old, LOL.

So home it came with me and had a good sanitizing and 4 new AA batteries and it works perfectly, there isn't even a scratch on the screen! There are some things he can do with it now but it will grow with him because it has addition and subtraction as well as spelling.
Woohoo, that was a lucky day!

Early Hours Of Wednesday

So it's 1.48 a.m. here in AZ and unfortunately the three epidural shots I had yesterday are keeping me awake! Steroids can do that and I did have three yesterday instead of the usual one.
After laying in bed awake for nearly 3 hours I decided to see if a cup of herb tea and some crackers would help to make me sleepy! So far it isn't working............
There are a few more pics I can post of the other two QOV's I LA'ed this past week so I have an excuse to sit at the computer.

The scrappy RW and Blue top that the AZ Huggy Bunch pieced a few months ago...

quilted with a stars and stripes panto in blue thread.

The backing is a patriotic fabric too.

This looks familiar because it's the identical design to the scrappy one I quilted last week and made by Nancy in Montrose.

For this one I used a blue thread.....

and the backing is blue also.

I had plenty of this fabric so all three will be bound with the same, there are quite a few yards of binding prepped here all ready to sew, maybe tomorrow!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday, Almost- Spring!

Here's another of those scrappy quilts for a wounded warrior made by Nancy from the CO. San Juan Quilt Guild. Nancy is primary caregiver for her DH so she spends a lot of time at home and fills her days with sewing.

It's quilted with a red thread in the fast freehand peacock feathers.......

and the backing is that lovely soft brushed cotton from P. and B. Textiles-I think I may have just enough left from that bolt to back another of these quilts from Nancy that I plan to quilt as soon as I finish this post!

Yesterday there were three AZ Huggy bunch quilters here with me, BJ, Lauren and Alissa, but I did not take even one photo! I was a little rushed, we had friends over for dinner last evening so I had some food prep. to do.

After our friends came we sat outside for an hour enjoying pre-dinner food and drink and you can see that the patio/backyard has really come along this week.

I actually over bought a little on the annuals so they are sprinkled around in other pots as well as in the center area..........

which is a little memorial garden for our son Matthew.

The weather is beautiful right now, so we are going to enjoy every moment we can outdoors before the overbearing AZ heat sets in.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

My plan for today was to do some yard work and begin to plant some flowers because spring is coming and it comes early in AZ. Know how I know it's nearly spring? The mockingbirds are pooping on the paving stones and the outdoor furniture! Yuck.

So after a good clean up I planted just a few annuals, need to go buy more tomorrow, there are some empty pots on the patio.

DH wanted to put a swing in one of the trees for youngest DGS, so I got this one in Costco. Can't wait for him to try it out tomorrow.

Also found this lovely Azalea tree in Costco, it has two different colored blooms.

The heading of this post is Ash Wednesday,

and any who have read my blog for a while probably realize that I am a Christian, though I seldom speak of spiritual matters here. If you aren't interested, then here's where you can stop reading, LOL.
For Christians this day marks the beginning of Lent, a forty day season of reflection, meditation and repentance. The idea of "giving something up" is to help us to focus on God and our relationship with Him. If we fast from lattes, or beer, or movies, or TV [and I could easily fast from politics, LOL] we are encouraged to donate the savings to someplace where it could do some good.
I was taught that it is also important to "take something on". This year I am taking on my spiritual disciplines, prayer, study etc which have been rather poor since my son died when I lost energy for many things, including those that support my Christian life.
So please pray that I will be faithful, and I will report on my success at Easter.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fabric Search

The fabrics in this quilt top are from Maywood Studios Willowberry Winter line, I purchased them about 5 years ago and made up the top last year. Now I want to extend the size for KS bed so I need a few more yards of a couple of these fabrics.

The manufacturer numbers include 2109-EV, 2107-92, 2101G2, and 2106C.
I am hoping to find some of these fabrics preferably in USA, so any info you have would be a big help. I did an online search and found a couple of them, some as far away as Australia, not really what I would prefer though, so jump right in and leave me a comment or send me an email if you recognize any of these!
[=e= addy is in my profile info].

Monday, February 20, 2012

President's Day, And A Little Sewing

On Saturday three of the AZ Huggy Bunch signed up for the Civil War HST. swap at The Olde World Quilt Shop. It's the first time I have participated in a swap, so I am excited to see the variety of fabrics we will receive. BJ came today for a while and we sewed on this project.

The swap is based on the CW quilts in this book by Edyta Sitar.

We are all using these HST papers to ensure accuracy across the board with dozens of quilters participating in the swap with their different machines.

This is how it looks once the triangles are sewn, it's a fast and precise way to get perfect blocks.

Three of my sets all cut.

And three of my little 2" HST's. Obviously with 2" blocks it will take a great many to make a quilt, so the three of us AZ HG's have decided to do our own swap until we have enough. We each have different fabrics in our Civil War fabric stashes so we'll gets lots more variety and at $4.75 for each packet in the swap that provides only 28 of these 2" HST's, we could see we would have to spend a lot of money to get an entire quilt when we have plenty of our own fabrics to use.

BJ's Orca Bay quilt was off the LA so she laid it out for a photo op, isn't it gorgeous? Young Matthew and the dogs decided to get in on the picture- the all red Aussie Terrier in the bottom rt. is Tiki, a friend's dog that I care for when my friend is out of town. Tiki is a much larger dog than Button, weighs about twice as much actually!

This is the terrific whale theme fabric that BJ found for backing, and for next to nothing at Goodwill! Any time there's a quilt on the floor Matthew thinks it must be naptime!

The quilting is a white thread, SF and BL, and I used a whale pantograph called "Whales Everywhere" by Dave Hudson. Kind of hard to see the quilting from a distance, but this is the panto.

Here Matthew takes possession of BJ's quilt, one of his own quilts, and Button's quilt!

He was quite determined to stay in possession of all three quilts, and finally BJ had to bundle up Orca Bay very quickly and run for the door- followed by an indignant child! She made her get- away though, quilt in hand!
BJ says I have to make an Orca Bay quilt for Matthew.......

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Another French Braid Quilt

Another lovely French Braid from Leslie, looks a little washed out because the flash was on.

This pic. is more accurate because I turned the flash off, makes a big difference doesn't it?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Saturday Huggy Bunch Quilting

BJ and Lauren came to sew with me yesterday.

Lauren has been working to complete this quilt to donate to the auction for kids with cancer, and she has to have it in by Tuesday. Her DH assisted with the quilting on her Brother DSM, & together they did a great job, it should bring in a nice sum for the cause.

Matthew loved it, he loves quilts [good thing GM is a quilter] and will take every quilt he sees, throw them all down and launch himself onto them! He then rolls up in them until he disappears from sight, such a funny little fellow! Here he looks as if he is settling down for a nap.

After you take his picture he is always anxious to see it!

BJ is putting together some UFO exchange blocks from a couple of years ago, here is a good start.

As for me I am pleased to say I bound the two quilts above, now I can cross them off the list! Only about a dozen more to LA and bind and I have 10 and 1/2 months before the year is out, but I will be making more flimsies along the way!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

More Orphan blocks

Now this is almost antique, LOL, well at least nearly vintage, blocks left from this quilt,

begun when we lived in Texas in the early '80's, it came to AZ with me in 1986. I had begun to hand quilt it and over the years managed to quilt about 2/3 of this KS quilt. After I acquired my first LA in 2000, I decided to machine quilt it and went about the laborious task of removing the not-so-great hand quilting. This took quite a while, the years rolled by and I realized that the backing wasn't large enough for the LA so it was again set aside. Eventually a couple of years ago, I enlarged the backing and quilted it intending to perhaps sell it-except that my SIL saw the picture and loved it so I gave the quilt to her and it graces their bed, more than 25 years since it was begun.
I was left with all the blocks that were intended for pillow shams, now not necessary for their smaller QS bed. These laid around for another few years until a couple of weeks ago I decided to use up some unfinished blocks and they became a quilt fit for a baby girl.

The backing is a pin dot and it's quilted with the folk-art floral all-over that I used on the big quilt.
This year I am focusing on finishing and quilting as many of this kind of thing from my stash as I can. I am still beginning new projects but am dedicated to also clear out old bits and pieces that have been ignored for too long. I have no daughters who might finish my UFO's.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wednesday Quilt Report

Orphan blocks joined in random order were left from a long ago quilt project; they make a cute child's quilt that I think would be appropriate for either a boy or a girl.

The backing too is left-over ocean theme fabrics that have been in my stash way too long!
Unfortunately I have still more of these fabrics, perhaps it's time to gift them to another cause! I used a lime green thread and an ocean theme pantograph and the quilting went fairly fast.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

AZ Huggy Bunch

Three of us gathered to sew and one to observe! Lauren was ill and Alissa AWOL, we know not where!

This is BJ's "ta da", her blocks for Orca Bay are all done, and today she worked on the pieced borders. I love this Bonnie Hunter mystery but I was way too busy in December to attempt it.

Andee is still working on hers, this is her progress to date. She had a little glitch that required a teeny bit of un-sewing and re-sewing in 58 blocks! Argh!

BJ sent me to a website Craftsy Block Of the Month that looked fast and fun, and I decided to join in. Today I made the two blocks for January.....

and also the two for February. Each month there will be two new blocks with a different technique, I think March is paper piecing. Most competent quilters will be very familiar with most of these blocks, so it will be easy and fast for them but good lessons for newer quilters.
My batiks are coming out of the dark and into the light for this quilt, so it will have a plethora of colors across the spectrum and I will finally be able to produce a batik quilt top. Until now I have used batiks only randomly mixed in with regular cotton quilt fabrics.

I took just one pic of one of the four blocks BJ has made, I think it's called the "Balkan Puzzle"

This odd looking object is to hold all those bags we save for recycling -my old one was sad looking and the elastic was worn out so I decided to use up some odd fabric for a new one. It took about half a yard, sewed into a long tube with elastic in one end to hold the bags in but allowing them to be pulled out the bottom.
I also managed to sew up backing for two more flimsies that I hope to quilt this week.

BJ arrived with this adorable bag she had made for me, stuffed with an assortment of lovely birthday gifts. I have never had a shopping bag this cute so it will stay on the front seat of my car ready for use. I try to avoid using store plastic bags as much as possible and have quite a few canvas bags but nothing nearly this pretty.

These yummy fabrics were in the bag, the yellow one on the right has little chickies [peeps] all over it.

There was also a pattern for applique animals including a giraffe; I have been searching for a giraffe for another quilt for DGS Matthew, yes I know he has several quilts already but he's got a quilter for a GM ................
There are adorable pins with buttons for their heads [in honor of Button the dog?] and -not shown-some chocolate chai tea I plan to try tomorrow.
Thank you my friend for this birthday goodie bag!
Tomorrow is SuperBowl but as I am no fan of football, perhaps I will get in some more sewing or quilting. DH has earphones...........