Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Another quilt with Murray in it

Murray was always such a good sport. He would always take my quilts for a test-cuddle:

Besides, the handsome rascal was so darn photogenic! I have been compiling Murray pictures and noticed that I would often give him a prop, and he would make it work! No, I am not trying to be maudlin here, its just I am between quilts, and I need to be packing for the move (finally!). We will be in a limbo situation for a while so I am saving some smaller quilt projects to work on then. I have my string quilt top to finish piecing together and I am quilting a top for my friend Tammy. I will just have to put my piecing projects away for a while. Yes, a little more chaos, but at least I will finally get to live with my hubby again.

Another nugget of wisdom from Murray: sometimes a belly-rub is just the thing. That and peanut butter crackers.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The lasting wisdom of Murray

Thanks to all for the kind comments and condolences on our loss. As each day passes, we feel a little better, and I still have my 2 young Belgians to tend. They have been so sweet, very quiet and clingy. I know they miss the boss and need extra pats and hugs. But all, in all, we are okay.

One of our long-running jokes was that Murray was a "World-Class" napper. He would nap for a while before going to bed. He would get up in the morning and move into the living room to nap a bit before starting his day. And afternoons were made for napping.

As part of my healing process, and to keep the quilting content up on this blog, I offer you photographic proof of Murray's love of quilting:

His naps were always better when wrapped up in a quilt!

I am beginning the packing process, so posts may me sporadic. And I will occasionally offer up more of Murray's wisdom. But for now, thanks again so much for your sympathy, love and prayers. Please love and cherish the pets you have, and please spay/neuter so we can make sure every pet is wanted!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

a time to mourn

We had to say goodbye to a dear family member on Friday, August 27. He was Murray, our 15 year old elder statesdog. Murray's beginnings were unknown to us. His history for us began in early 1997 when he was found, broken and bleeding, a victim of hit and run, on a busy street in a retail area. He was patched up and put up for adoption. We were looking for a dog and fortunately we found each other. Murray was kind, patient and gentle. He had a loud, deep bark, but would literally cry for attention. His lineage was guessed to be German Shepard (his coloring) and Basset Hound (his paws and his build) so he was a rather long and low fellow. Murray was never any trouble, great with kids and loved our neighbors as much as he loved us! 
His health had declined rapidly in the past few months. Last week had been very rough and we had to make a humane decision. Yes, I second guessed myself, this was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but by Thursday, he could not get up. His body had started to fail him, yet he was in such pain, that he cried if we touched his shoulder. We spent our last time with him, stroking his velvet soft ears and nose.

Murray made my life so much richer. With all the limbo of this past year, he was a constant. I will miss him greatly.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

OddBlok is finished!

This is OddBlock, 55" by 66".

No new fabrics were harmed in the making of this quilt top. (All scraps!) 

Well the backing fabric was new, but I bought it at deep discount-108" wide for $5/yd!

I free-motioned it with swirls like I used on the birthday quilt for my Mom. I used poly thread, I like the subtle sheen against the cottons.

The odd block has a feather in the center and pebbling in the background. The dense quilting makes it really cushy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More orphans ready to stitch

I bordered these with whites. I think they will be fun little quilts to do!

What do you do with your orphan blocks?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Stitching on the orphans

Orphan blocks, that is! Orphans are what I call my odd blocks, the sample blocks I make when I am learning a new technique or pattern. I can't bring myself to throw them away, so I am adding a border to my orphans and I am going to quilt them in different designs. That way I can use them for my classes and hang them up in my studio. These are my dark, black based orphans.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thoughts while quilting

So its Friday night, Hubby and Man-Cub are at the high school football opener, and I am in the sweatshop, free-motion quilting like crazy.
Normally this sones me out; the hum of the machine, the softness of the fabric, the repetition of the movements.
Not tonight. I am covered in a shroud of anxiety. 

Not all anxiety is bad. This is more of the " I am anxious to find our new home, get moved and settled and resume life."
Right now, I am in limbo. I know, I have been asking for this for well over a year (Hubby took the new job in Feb of 2009). I just really am ready to GO.

I know we will have to have transitional housing. We are planning to crash with my MIL as she lives alone and we have enough room for our hounds. No room at all for our stuff, but enough room for the dogs! LOL. And everything will have to be stored for that time.
Yes, I may have to go almost A WHOLE MONTH without quilting! (I am aghast at the thought.)

I may spend the time, piecing instead. I simply cannot go that long without sewing. Period.
Anyway, wish us luck, we are looking at 4 different houses tomorrow. I really hope one of them is THE ONE!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Random thoughts in the midst of it all

The move is steadily becoming more real. We have had inspectors, contractors, power technicians, et al, showing up. We have paperwork to assemble. Stuff to clean out, donate, trash, prepare to pack.
We are looking at 4 houses on Saturday and I am hoping one of these feels right. 

After so long, it is hard to realize I am going to be living full-tim with my hubby again. I really, really miss him.

Our son is now 21. He is moving back to school on Saturday. He has been cleaning out his stuff, peeling away the layers of little boy, teen-ager, revealing the strong young man. Yep, my baby is a man.

Our BOD (Big, Old, Dog), Murray is really slowing down. His arthritis is causing him a lot of pain. I have been on the phone with his vet almost daily as we map out a new care regimen to manage his pain.

Pepper and Sarge are still rambunctious sweet pups. I am looking for a place to board them for our transition time. The time after we move out of here, before we move into our new home. Looks like it will be about 2 weeks.

Maybe we can find the perfect place and get it closed soon, so we can all live as a family unit again. Too many things on my mind to quilt right now.
I am excited!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Purging for the Move!

I am trying to sort and purge a little each evening as we prepare for our move. We did a lot of this last year before we put the house on the market, so it is not as bad as it could be! But, I have acquired and accumulated so I must sort and eliminate! My son has already taken a load to the 'dump' from the basement, and I am gathering a load to go to Goodwill. Some of my craftin supplies I am offering in my etsy shop. If you want some killa deals go here and buy. I have books and sewing patterns listed now and will be adding other craft supplies as I sort. All my proceeds will go toward my new studio (if we find a house!) 

On the quilting front, well, with the move imminent, that is taking a backseat. I am quilting on a scrap quilt, and helping a friend make a quilt. So, I will sew more and post as the time allows!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Some Vegas Eye Candy

Some pretty colors while I get my bearings for a real post:

This wall in the parking lot of the Miracle Mile Shops looks like a quilt to me!
The top of this dome at the Bellagio also seems quilt-inspired, or quilt-inspiring!

My view from my chaise by the salt-water pool. We were in a real oasis!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My man-cub turns 21

We are currently in Las Vegas for a long weekend to celebrate our son's 21st birthday.

Happy Birthday, Jacob! Love Mom and Dad

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A new quilt, a new way

This quilt comes from my scrap bin. I started sewing the 2.5" x 12.5" strips into squares. Then I layered them and made 1/2 square triangles. No plan, just pull fabric and sew together. I added in the odd block. I am in the process of making and adding the border. And yes, you see 4 separate pieces. I have been wanting to try quilting a top in pieces, then assembling. This way I can use up some of my lager batting scraps and have a smaller piece to quilt. I am calling it "Oddfellow".

Friday, August 6, 2010

My Deal! (or should I say steal?)

While out for my noon walk in the horrendous heat yesterday, my friend I passed a little antique shop we pass every day. This day, a modern piece catches our eyes. I snatched the object without any bargaining. What did I score?

Well it has this little logo stamped on the back:

Look at what I got!

A Herman Miller Aeron Chair!!!

The price, you ask.

You are not going to believe it. 


This is my new sewing chair. Granted the arms are missing, but I would have taken them off anyway.

Oh, yeah, the price.

$29.25.  Yes, that is twenty-nine dollars and twenty-five cents.  

It is so comfy. LOVE.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Whats on the design wall

Having just completed the last 2 'big' quilt projects, I am relaxing with my scraps. I am making several random blocks and plan on quilting them in smaller sets, then assembling to the finished size. Will give me something to do, but not so major. We have a bit of news/work/excitement happening: 
WE GOT AN OFFER ON THE HOUSE!!!! So things will be moving, and so will we! We have a lot to do, but I still need a project to relax with, and this is perfect. Now we just need to find our new home! I know its out there....

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Memory Quilt Completion

I have completed the memory quilt for my friend dobbygirl. The quilt uses the outgrown clothes of her adorable daughter, Audrey. This was both a fun and learning experience. Fun to play with "little girl" fabrics (really poignant since my baby boy will be 21 next week!). And a learning experience since I was quilting with knits. But I am really happy with how it tuned out.

 Hard to see here, but I used her little flannel receiving blanket as the inner border. I like the variety of textures in this quilt: the knits, the flat woven of a crib sheet, the felt appliques of her play clothes. It is quite heavy too. I foundation-pieced the knits onto muslin in a crazy quilt style, add that to the cotton batting and it is a warm cozy quilt. The setting triangles are made from a pink and brown striped crib sheet. The outer border is a white-on-white print I had in my stash.

 I used Paula Prass' Garden Trellis in pink for the back and binding. I like that while it is a vibrant, rich pink, it is not too 'hot' or fluorescent. This is a quilt where the various fabrics are the focal point so I free-motioned the center in a random loop with white polyester thread. I have also washed it so it has the crinkle.  It really is cute! I will be shipping it to Georgia this week. Still summer, but now Audrey will be ready for the fall!