Cat bites the hand that fed it… and Secret projects

I have been very quiet on my blog lately, because it is time for SECRET PROJECTS!!   I am writing this on Thanksgiving morning (Nov 22, 2018) in the USA, but will schedule it to post for “after dinner”.  Thanksgiving Day feasting will take place at my daughter’s home and we have a bit of a drive to get there today.  My SECRET PROJECTS are being delivered there today, which is why the delay in the post going live.  I like to gift before I show them on the blog!

I’ve been playing with my embroidery machine a lot lately.  It seems that I can manage the embroidery machine and changing threads pretty well, 6 weeks post-op. My fingers are still pretty stiff, but moveable, and the surgery site is now healed nicely.

I have done some sewing, webbing together the quilt top for the My Carolina Home Hurricane Quilt Drive. Now I need to clean up the embroidery supplies, pack away the box of stabilizers and make room at my sewing machine to get the rows on that webbed top stitched.  My motivation will be delivering it with the backing fabric and the batting at my Queen Bees gathering on Tuesday!

Before I show you my SECRET PROJECTS, I want to share another story.

 We have 3 cats, one outside and 2 inside.  If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know about my cat Mittens….of the pet mosaic quilt.


                           Sweet face Mittens

That sweet innocent face inspired the quilt below –

 (If you do a search on my blog you will find many posts about that project.  Here is just one –  Pet Mosaic piecing complete  )  

Mittens wins Viewer's Choice at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild Show

Mittens has chosen my husband to be “his person”, while Smokey has chosen me to be “his person”.  Our outdoor cat is their mother, and she has chosen us both.  She really like my husband “better” than me.  

 Anyway, here is the story.  Hubby does floor exercises daily for his back, and Mittens likes to help him.  While he is on the floor stretching, Mittens loves to chase his shadow, get petted etc.  

Well, one day a little over 2 weeks ago, hubby stopped petting Mittens while he stretched, and had his head turned away. Mittens decided he wanted more attention and pounced, as cats will do.  Along with the pounce came a “love bite”…only this time, it was a BITE that broke the skin and punctured into his hand,  4 canines! Got the hubby’s attention, got Mittens some negative attention as a result! Hubby washed it off, and didn’t think much about it until 72 hours later when his hand got swollen, and red marks appeared.

 A trip to the doctor was already on the calendar, so he showed it to the doc at the appointment and was immediately put on antibiotics, and scheduled to return the following day.  By the next day, the swelling was worse, a red streak up the arm and the doctor took one look at it and sent him to the Emergency room for IV antibiotics.  Long story short, he spent 3 nights in the hospital, with IV antibiotics, the surgeon checking periodically to see if he might have to do his bit to clean out the hand etc. The hospital stay was followed by another 15 days of antibiotics.  Fortunately, he did not need the surgeon, and is on the mend!

 Moral of the story according to our family doctor – a cat bite is the WORST bite you can get.  He told us that we must come in to see him if it ever happens again, and get on antibiotics immediately!  Turns out, cats have bacteria on their teeth that gets “sealed in under the skin” when the teeth retract from the bite. The wound is considered a puncture wound, and no amount of washing & application of antibacterial cream will reach the bacteria.  Web MD has some really good information.  I read that before the visit to the doctor the first time, so I knew what was coming. 

So between recovery from my own surgery and dealing with hospitals for hubby, I have been able to spend time in my sewing room.  I do feel like I have given the embroidery machine a good workout.  Some secret projects will wait for after Christmas for the reveal, but others, you can see now.

I am enjoying what they call “in the hoop” projects.  With my little Brother PE500 and it’s maximum 4″x 4″ design space, I have found countless designs to stitch!  I love these little Gingerbread boys and girls –

Ginger boy and girl

I stitched them out on vinyl that I picked up on Sunday.  I also stitched out some on craft felt and I like them too! They were so much fun to stitch, and I thought they would be fun Christmas ornaments for this year for each of the grandkids.

A collection

I also had some fun stitching out other ornaments on white vinyl –

Ornaments on White

This is a first working with vinyl on the embroidery machine, and each time I played a bit with the stabilizers, toppers etc.  Overall, I had fun and I am pleased with the outcome.

I also thought I would take the Thanksgiving host a few dishtowels.

Enjoy life one slice at a time

Save room for Dessert

Bake the world a better place

These terry towels I picked up last winter, and have been “waiting” for the right time.  I have now run through about half of my supply, but have a few left waiting to be used for other projects.

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and for taking the time to comment.

I hope you have a lovely holiday weekend!


BOMBOGENESIS and Grandma’s Kitchen Blocks 18-22

I did some “power sewing” yesterday ahead of the snow – or as the Weather Channel calls it the Winter Storm Grayson to Undergo Bombogenesis 

I was not sure what was going to happen overnight, as they have been hyping the storm all day on Wednesday. Honestly, the effort to “scare you to death” is something. Anything to make noise….I mean news.  I just know I am glad I am retired, and not making the 40+ mile commute to work!  Not to bore you with snow photo’s but thought you might appreciate a bit of my morning.

It snowed all night, and the cats were not sure about what was happening as they looked out their window perch. It was pretty early and so I had to use a flash….and got the eerie photo of Smokey with the glowing eyes…..Mittens is busy looking at the birds that are hanging out under the house eaves.  (This is the 1st time I have seen him up that high on the climber!!)

While the were peering out the window, I had to see what was up, and caught site of the oil tank which is only 1/4 full.  (I have “auto-delivery”, and did not like to see it that low with the days of extreme cold that are forecast between now and next week! Our low today is 12, and for Friday it will be 7 with a high of 17 both Friday and Saturday!)  A quick call to the oil company and they put me on the schedule for tomorrow!  (Keeping my fingers crossed….at least they “JUST” filled the propane for the heater in the garage……)


There didn’t seem to be much snow piling up out front, and I noticed the winds were whipping from North to South…so I went out to the laundry room for a peak out back.

A little snow

I think that is about 6″ of snow in the foreground on top of the hot tub.  The roof of the porch along the garage has some interesting swirling snow. Note….my sewing room is “out there” on the 2nd floor of the detached garage….I think I am staying in today!

Needless to say, I am VERY glad I power sewed last night!  Since I had ALL the fabric out in stacks on the work table for Grandma’s Kitchen (pattern by Pat Sloan), I dug in and worked on blocks 18 – 22. Hubby went to the train club yesterday afternoon and I sewed from 4 pm until after 11pm when he got back home!  It was funny when he came upstairs in the garage all covered with snow, and asked me if I realized how much had already fallen.  I didn’t have a clue.  I couldn’t really “see out” the window with all the sewing room lights on, but we had already gotten about 3 “.  I’d skipped supper and was oblivious to the weather.  (At least until one daughter decided to send me severe weather warnings!)

I set aside the fabric for Block 18 the last time I was out working in my sewing room.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do for this block with 4.5” corner squares.

Block 18 Pattern by Pat Sloan Grandmas Kitchen

I had fun with block 18, fussy cutting the yellow fabric.  I have used the pink and the yellow in other blocks previously.

I knew I wanted a stripe with block 19 –

Block 19 Grandma's Kitchen

Block 20 just had to be made with reds!

Block 20 Grandma's Kitchen

For Block 21, I dug in to a bag of scraps for the gray fabric, and actually in the leftovers from Addison’s quilt for the biggest part of the phone.  (Ok, so they are not 30’s reproduction fabrics, but I needed gray!) The dial circles were cut from a piece of “very modern” dot fabric.  Those dots were hard to applique stitch down.

Block 21 Grandma's kitchen

Block 22 wasn’t one that I felt excited about until I pulled the fabric.  Now I am rather pleased.

Block 22 Grandma's Kitchen

Just 3 more “feature blocks” and TONS of filler blocks to make.  A fun project.  I feel like I am catching up a little!  More color balancing to do as I proceed.

Are you on the East Coast of the USA getting hit with the storm?  Don’t you think these silly names they give the storms “over hype” what is just a snow storm???

Working on anything fun today?

edit – note – pattern for Grandma’s Kitchen is by Pat Sloan, and can be found at Grandma’s Kitchen Sew Along

MITTENS has 2 eyes!

Pet Mosaic Update — Mittens really does have 2 eyes!  My quilting sister-in-law asked at some point if he did, and now, I can show evidence!  I have worked on this project off and on this week; primarily on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I fed my dear hubby dinner at 9 pm tonight because I was on such a roll!  Here is a look at him over the last few days.


August 25 2016


Aug 27 2016  Spent some time building in the right ear and side of his head

Mittens Aug 28, 2016

Aug 28 2016 – head taking shape


Aug 31 2016 – Working on the left side of his face and the bridge of his nose.


Sept 2, 2016 – And now he has a nose and I am starting on his left cheek!

Kind of like watching paint dry, but it is fairly exciting to see him coming together.  There are areas that I will probably rework a little bit around his nose, nostrils etc before I move on to his lips.  My next goal is to finish that left side of his face.

Hope you enjoy the project process.  Thanks to Cheryl Lynch  ( Cheryl Lynch Quilts )for her wonderful instruction and to Carolyn Lingor (  One Block Wonder Woman) for her great advice too.      (My hubby has been kindly giving his artistic point of view on some of the pieces with transitions and it has really been helpful…right up to the point where he said “I never thought you would stick with this”; at which point I threw him out of my sewing space….)  (I did let him come back in to look at it today!)

This soft fuzzy thing is Smokey, the brother of Mittens.  He has much softer fur, and very soft stripes.  He looks dejected because he is not the star of my Pet Mosaic Project.  He claims ownership of me, as “HIS” human.  If I sit in a chair, he will instantly be in my lap!



Mittens was selected for the project because of his highly defined markings.  He looks a lot like his mother – Momma Cat; but she doesn’t have the pretty white above the sweet pink nose.

Momma Cat

Momma Cat is a cat with attitude.  She does like to talk alot, and is in mid conversation when I took this picture.  She lives “outside”; and likes to share her food with every stray that wanders in the yard.  (This is how we acquired these 3 cats…they moved in and took over).   She is all settled in to her nice little igloo, waiting on the coming storm.

As the Tropical Storm Hermine heads up the East Coast of the USA, I hope you are safe and sound where ever you are. Looks like we are going to get a big hit from the storm beginning Saturday morning, with 3 days of Tropical rains and winds as the storm is predicted to settle just off the coast of Delaware.  As my sewing room is “out over the garage” I may not be able to venture out to play with this project, so I will have to settle  and play with the real cats in the house!


Five minute block…4 days later

I finished a table runner today!!! Yeah for the first finish of MAY !!
I started this on April 29th; a 5 minute block pattern by Suzanne McNeill.  (  ….so after 3 solid days of sewing at my quilt bees “sit & sew”; and an afternoon dedicated at home, I have taken my 5 minute block and  made it into the table runner you see below!

Note: this table runner is finished with Susies Magic Binding — (That is the little piped edge next to the binding that makes it so special)   Tutorial link:

If the fabric looks familiar, that is because it is made with “left over fabric” from my Happy Birthday / Celebrate Bunting —  posted about here:…unting-wrap-up/



Our Quilt Bee sit & sew was awesome. We were each given an 8 foot table to work on, there were irons available and lots of mentoring. The church where we were located provided a big lunch everyday, so we were well cared for.  We did a bit of show and tell every day, and there were some tutorials.  The table runner was an option, and I thought I had the perfect fabric to use.  (Yes, dear daughter, the table runner will be mailed with the bunting, but not until after I show it off at the Quilt Guild meeting on Monday).  (I demo’d the binding that is on this table runner!)

I got one UFO layered up and pin basted, so I will be working on it’s quilting. I took 4 UFO’s with me, and spent so much time on this table runner, that I never got to them.  The UFO’s are a result of 2 classes I took in 2012 & 2013. In those classes we started a new project every week, and I never got back to the project from the previous week. The thing that was holding me back was uncertainty.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with a small quilt (36 x 36 ).  I have come to the conclusion in the last 14 months that small is ok.  I am thinking wall hangings!  I love the fabric of EACH of them so much, I can’t bear to part with any of them.

While at our sit and sew,  I took possesion of 2 of our Senior Quilts for church from a Bee member who donated her long-arm quilting skills.  Next up is to create some binding for those quilts, as they are due to be presented to the graduates in 3 weeks.

Life is busy; lots of sewing going on! Don’t mind the dust bunnies…the cats are shedding and so is the dog.  Time to fix dinner….happy stitching!

Is it really Spring ??

Gerber Daisy

Gerber Daisy

The sunshine is abundant this morning!  It is also finally above 40 degrees.  SPRING may finally be here.  Last night we had another freeze warning, and people all over the area were covering their outside plants or bringing them back into the house. Hoping for mid 50’s today.  My hubby gave me some new lilac’s to plant in the yard for my birthday and I am hoping it warms up enough to get out in the yard and do that today. Yesterday, on Easter, a dear friend gave me a Dinner Plate Dahlia to plant along with a beautiful orange Gerber daisy.  Our ‘last frost’ date is May 15th according to the Farmers Almanac, so I think the Gerber daisy will have to stay in the house for a bit.

Seems one of my cats has tasted a leaf of the Gerber daisy during the night, and I need to find a place to “keep it in the light” but out of the reach of said cat.  Maybe on top of the microwave…near a window….out of their usual prowling space.

Do you have cats that like to prowl during the night into places that you never seem to find them during the day?  I have these mysterious happenings during the night…pencils removed and relocated to under the kitchen table; paw prints on the stove, and such.  When they were kittens we used to put them to “bed” in the laundry room, and close them in for the night.  They were really climbers as “toddlers”. We have a shelf in the dining room that my husband keeps his “collectibles” on, and I have found them climbing up the wicker legs of the shelf. When one of his items crashed to the floor, we wrapped the wicker legs with foil to inhibit the climbers.  I decided they need a climbing shelf of their own and bought one of those things from the pet store and parked it in the laundry room.  definitely they needed a better place than my chair legs to do their scratching, and this had rope wrapped posts to do the same.  (Until about 2 years ago we were PET FREE…..when we got adopted by a stray momma cat with 2 kittens….and then a 12-year-old Rottweiler in the final years of her life).

One of our cats (Momma Cat) was not a good fit “in the house” as she was just too wild.  We have given her a nice home, a heated cat igloo house, outside, and has now become the nicest, lovely cat ever. You walk out the door and the old girl runs to greet you and waits for you to stop and pet her.  She used to be such a scared cat!  And because we feed her outside, and she doesn’t eat all her food in one sitting, there is often food left in her bowl, and another stray has ventured into the yard and eats the leftovers.  I chase him away, and he returns to clean Momma Cat’s bowl. I swear I am not befriending another cat!  The first 3 cost me a fortune in vet bills to get them spayed, nutered, shots etc.  So, how do you prevent the new stray from hanging around for a free meal?  I have decided I am not up for chasing or trapping this one or the vet bills involved with keeping it, shots, nutering etc.  It could be someones pet I suppose.  So, for now, I will ignore it, chase it out of the yard, etc.  I keep thinking do I put out less food for Momma Cat, so she is hungrier at feeding time or more food since she is subject to sharing?

Well, time to go play in the sewing room this morning!  Bunting beckons me~!~  Then I will be sorting through old costume jewelry for “decorations” for “crowns” for a 4-year-old birthday party!

I’ve got a couple of “FOR ME” projects in mind once the birthday party goodies are sorted out.  I just downloaded a pattern for a bag:   (Bag is called sweet 16) – It uses 32 charm squares (5×5).  Already I am thinking how to add some interfacing in the handle and between the layers, knowing it might be way too soft.  And I think it needs a little quilting too.  🙂   I think that is on my list of things to make soon….thinking it would go together easily in an afternoon.  (Or like my friend Judy  of her 1 day project that took 5 days….it may take me a week to do it.  )

Hoping the afternoon warms up enough to plant.  If not today, then tomorrow afternoon, when it is supposed to hit 70 degrees!  !   My garden needs the winter leaves cleared out, our daffodils are finished and the tulips managed to bloom in spite of all the leaves at their feet.  Oh, and my Sedum still has flower heads that I need to remove from last fall. (  I save them once they dried out to use in the model rail road “tree making”.  The fella’s at the model railroad club use a lot of plant materials on the train displays in interesting ways.)

Time to get busy and go play in the sewing room!! Hope your Easter was a beautiful celebration of the blessing that we have in Jesus Christ and his plan of salvation for all who follow Him.

Clean baby

Cleo had a bath!

Cleo has been with us for 3 weeks today.  She is a 10 year old Rottweiller.   She seems to be settling into our household quite nicely.  We finally got her to the vet this past Wednesday, a huge operation getting her in and out of the SUV….with her old bad hips.  She has gotten the first round of shots and nail clipping done by the vet.  We went on the search for glucosamine products, paid way too much at the local pet store, and managed to order online via Amazon a 4 month supply for 1/3 the local price. Because we live on the edge of the woods, ticks are a big concern.  We learned that there is a shot the dogs can get to prevent LYME disease. It is accompanied by the usual flea & tick topical medications.  Thinking that anything you do to prevent a problem is the way to go.

On Thursday, the mobile groomer came with her camper / dog grooming vehicle.  Cleo had a 2 hour spa treatment, and came out smelling like a brand new baby! (She felt wirey before, now she feels like silk!)  The scarf is courtesy of the groomer!  What a difference a bath makes in the life of a dog.  For one thing, it makes the whole house smell a little better, and no more black smudges on my fingers (and rugs) from her dirty old coat. She seemed like she enjoyed the process, and I know I will have to be a regular customer of the Park & Bark grommer!

She is even making friends with the cats!  (At least the kittens….not so much for mamma cat!).  I find the kittens nosing around her kennel, and watching her eat and drink.  Cleo would like them to come and say hello, but when she talks, the kittens run. That ‘hello accompanied by a big RUFFFFF’ is a bit much for the ‘fraidy cats!.  Certainly is entertaining!  Chewing is a past time for most dogs, and thankfully she is not in a destruction mode.  Cleo has managed a wooden clothes pin and a couple of the squeeky toys that belong to the cats.  Those doggie tennis balls…what a joke….last about 1/2 an hour.  I found some at the local drugstore, wrapped in twisted cording, and they are still going strong 3 weeks later.  (Paid 80 cents each!!)

So, that is our life, pet free zone until 8 months ago…now with a family of 3 cats and a rottweiller…..somebody knows what a sucker I am for animals……keeps me entertained!