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.

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                           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!

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Show update

I wanted to share with you that the Ocean Waves Quilt Guild show 2017 was a huge success!  My little corner of the show was busy and we made lots of sales at the 2nd Time Around Booth.  Quilters loved the bargains and bags we filled at check out reflected that!  Lot of merchandise moved on to someone else!

My transfer of inventory has taken place, and my fellow guild member Lois is taking over following the quilt show.  I am “moving on” to another job in the guild.  (I truly believe that 2 years in any volunteer position is long enough.)  My next job is membership chairman , and I admire Melissa for doing it for longer than I have been a member of the guild.

As we wrapped up the show, I thought a lot about the more than 40 volunteers who worked with me in the lead up this week to the show.  Beyond that, in the last year and 1/2, probably another 40 have worked tirelessly preparing fabric for sale at the show and the guild meetings.  It has been fun, and a lot of work, and lots of friendships were made in the process.  My apologies to any & all if I was a tad short tempered by the end of the day today.  By 3 pm today, I just KNEW I needed some time alone and away from the booth, and I spent an hour walking the quilts on display; and admiring the talent and art that was exhibited by the show participants.

I spent a bit of time talking with the representative of the Fiber Arts Center in Denton Maryland after enjoying the 300+ quilts on display.  What an interesting organization!  They are creating a great directory of artists, teachers etc on the DelMarVa peninsula, and we had a wonderful conversation.   Their purpose stated is this:  “The Delmarva region is home to a thriving fiber arts scene! The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore (FACES) was founded in 2011 to preserve and nurture all forms of fiber arts. From the pre-Colonial era through the Civil War, to today’s modern and fast-paced world, fiber artists have created works that reflect Delmarva’s culture. At FACES, we’re working to preserve this tradition.

We’re also working to build a vibrant community of fiber artists and enthusiasts. Perhaps more than any other visual art form, fiber arts are often social in nature. For centuries, women have joined together for quilting bees, sewing circles, and “stich ‘n bitch” groups. As more and more of our communication moves online, the face-to-face sharing of talent and ideas has become more important than ever.

We invite you to join our community. Become a FACES member, subscribe to our e-newsletter, join our regional directory, or check out an upcoming exhibit or class on our regional event calendar. Happy stitching!  ”  Check out their website – http://www.fiberartscenter.com

I got pulled “away” from that conversation by the chairs of the show; and was delighted to be told, that my quilt “MITTENS” had won the VIEWER’S CHOICE award.   I was stunned, and overjoyed.  My thanks go out to all who voted for this art quilt. I’m so glad you took 6 steps back from the quilt and looked at it, as it was meant to be viewed.

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

Additionally – I received a 3rd place ribbon for “Addison’s Quilt“.  Now, I am sad to say, I never took a photo while it was hanging at the show with the ribbon beside it! (Insert shamed face here.)  I do have a few photo’s take at the time the quilt was made though —

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Addison’s Quilt” has an interesting reverse side, and I think that is what got it into a prize winning category!

Addison's Quilt back

So, that’s it for my show update.  I spent most of the show behind the cash register, while coordinating volunteers who helped customers during their shopping.

If you want to see more about the Pet Mosaic Project – “MITTENS”, I have a FLICKR album with a ton of photos –Pet Mosaic Project . I also have an album full of photo’s on the  construction   of Addison’s quilt — https://www.flickr.com/photos/92296158@N02/albums/72157666492829803

I’ve made multiple posts here on the blog in the last year on both of these quilts, and you can read more about them if you back track through the older posts.  🙂

Taking a little time off in the morning to head to Hershey PA for the quilt show there and looking for Bonnie Hunter’s exhibit. My reward to myself for hard work (and the hard work of my two friends riding along).

How is your weekend?  Tell me, if you enter a show and it is judge, what do you think about the report given to you????

 

I love the 3rd Friday!

I look forward to the 3rd Friday of the month.  I “book” time in my calendar especially for the release of the “next step” in the Scrap Dance Mystery Two Step quilt by Carole – From My Carolina Home  .  Carole writes such great instructions, and today was the day for Step 5 of our mystery.  I love the way she breaks down the instructions into “Two Steps” !  It’s not to late to sew along!  Check out the blog post from today-use the button on my page or the link above.

I am making the twin size, (I think….) and this afternoon before dinner, and after dinner I got all 12 blocks constructed.  Of course, in the photo they are randomly placed, and this is not the final arrangement as there are 2 more months to go on the mystery!

Scrap dance two step Part 5

This is a pure SCRAP project, and I pulled from my “already cut” items in my Scrap Storage System!  (I am an avid follower of Bonnie Hunter and have been cutting the scraps for a couple of years and storing them in containers waiting for the “right” projects.)

Speaking of Bonnie Hunter, I played a bit with my Talkin’ Turkey quilt that I started in her class in Dover DE last September.  I have started the sashing of the blocks, and have 2 rows sashed.  The first row is stitched together, and I still have some joining of blocks on the 2nd row. I like the way the sashing puts a little 9 patch between the blocks.  More to follow on that project.

Sashing done on a few blocks Talkin' Turkey

There are 30 blocks total to sash and join.  I have all the sashing made, but need to spend some time attaching it to the blocks etc.

I had to take the Talkin’ Turkey “off the wall” earlier in the week to lay out a quilt during my quilt bee with the Material Girls.  Our guild is making a quilt top for the outgoing president, and we all did a string block and signed the blocks.  The president of the guild is in my Material Girls bee, so we had to “keep her from looking” while we worked on the quilt.  I put her to work on “Second Time Around” fabrics, ironing and trimming and folding and pricing donations for the quilt show. She and a few other other ladies did an AMAZING amount of work while the rest of us focused on the president’s quilt top assembly.  Of course, since we were at my house, I had to flit from person to person, making sure my “Second Time Around” helpers were on task and answering questions.  I did manage to sew 3 rows of the President’s quilt, so I can safely say I wasn’t goofing off the whole time.  I tasked one member of our bee to take a wide assortment of 4.5″ squares, and to “bundle” them into groups of compatible colors.  She was amazing and got 99% of them into bundles that we will sell at the quilt show.  (I just knew she was the right woman for the job, and she was committed to NOT leaving the job unfinished!)

Working on bundles

I’ve had 3 days this week of working on 2nd Time Around in preparation for our quilt show in July. Today I tackled all those “non fabric” items that have been donated.  I ended up with 3 shoe boxes sorted & filled with various rick rac, hem tape and packaged binding.  Any of the packages that were already opened went into a box for donation to a charity our guild supports in Tanzania, Africa,  Sifa Threads .  I am boxing up notions, thread, zippers, seam rippers, and LOTS of rick race & prepackaged binding.  A member of our bee & guild will have her son take a suitcase full of sewing supplies to Tanzania when he returns later in the year. We are inspired by the Sifa Threads mission to teach young women to sew and at completion of the course, they earn a sewing machine of their own to take home. Hopefully they will find a way to earn a living for their families through the training and equipment provided.

Last week I was able to work on quilting my Pet Mosaic quilt – “MITTENS”.  I was inspired at a sit & sew the end of April to get it layered up and quilted.  I ordered a wide backing from Marshall Dry Goods . com and it arrived early in the week. I did a lot of “thread painting” on his (Mittens) ears, and general quilting of his fur.  I still have a lot to do, but on Monday, I turned in my entry for the quilt show.  He is coming along nicely, and I think if I have just “one more day” to work on the quilting, I will be able to knock it out.

Thread painting the ear

Quilting Mittens

I am working on my Janome 8900 doing free motion quilting, trying to capture the way the fur on this cat grows. (The squares in the quilt are 2″ to give you an idea of the scale).

I hope you are working on something fun, and have fun things to look forward to as well.  I find it so important in my well being to only do those things that bring me joy.  Not always possible, but I am striving to do away with the things that stress me (like those stinkin’ wisdom teeth)  and focus on the fun.

Happy Scrappy Quilting!

More Mittens and good reasons

I’ve taken a long break on this pet mosaic project** because of more pressing demands.  The last two days I have spent working again on stitching sections together.  It will soon be midnight and  I have clocked nearly 10 hours straight! I started focusing on joining sections that were already sewn yesterday.  Today I got 3 more sections sewn.  Each section has 81 squares or can be counted as 9 rows across & down. .   Mittens is turning out pretty cute I think!

12 sections done

I really needed to move this project UP on the wall before I could lay in the rest of the design.  I have the next 4 rows on the wall, and need to move them up, now that I have made room.

Rows 28 to 32

I have 5 more rows to go to get his mouth and chin into the design. I packed up all my “containers” of squares 2 weeks ago so I could work on something else!  They are in a big container on the floor at the bottom of the design wall. No doubt I will be spreading them out all over the place before I finish~!~.  This is a time consuming but fun project.

Speaking of projects — remember those bibs in my last post??   Well, this is why I make them — Check out that smile!

The reason making bibs is so worthwhile

Where ever you are, I hope what ever you make brings a smile to someones face!

 

**Mittens Pet Mosaic Project – Class by Cheryl Lynch – http://www.cheryllynchquilts.com/