Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sewing cats

I had a conversation with some friends last night about the funny things our cats do.   I told how I sew a lot, and Stella wants to help me.   She has a fuzzy mousie, that looks like it might be a baby to her based on its coloration, that she carries around.   Often when I'm stitching away she jumps up and drops the mouse right on the sewing machine, just by the needle.  As if she wants me to stitch it into the quilt,  or maybe she just wants me to play.   So I give in, toss the mouse - and she fetches it back.   We can do this forever, if up to her.   I call a halt after about 6 tosses.   

I ran across a blog that is having a contest where people are voting for their favorite "pets  and quilts" and although I'm coming late to the contest, it just prompted me to collect up a few recent pix of my two kitties and their quilting/fabric obsession.  

First,  the baby, Kiva,  snug in my stash.  Somehow she managed to stuff herself in this small space.   Cozy.

and this of course piqued Stella's curiousity:

who promptly informed Kiva that she was in charge,  and so Stella took her rightful place.  Honest, this happened all within about 5 minutes. 

Stella really liked the Fishies quilt I was whipping up for my Quilts For Kids project


and here Kiva is clearly telling me she wants to be boss of this Fishies quilt.  

I found this too late for voting (prizes!) but was still inspired to share these pix.  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The little red table had a pretty good workout today.   This was sew in #1 for Quilts For Kids.  In my limited space,  5 good friends stitched up 6 quilt tops from the kits.   Quite an accomplishment since Nancy knew how to sew a bit but not how to sew a quilt - which is very different from garment sewing - and Jane is an extremely experienced seamstress but she too had never sewn a quilt.   But old hands, Linda Wiz, Pat and Alice, with chirps from Turbo who did all the handsewing from her perch on the couch, got the newbies through with flying colors, and everyone ended the day with a great feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.  

We each had a workspace, and for the 5 machine sewers,  3 sewed on a classic Featherweight!   See how nice my red table looks!   

and Nancy gave it a good workout.  Of course my serious-enabler friend, Pat,  introduced me to these wonderful tables, hers in the natural finish.   

We were sewing kits,  and here is Linda with her completed "flimsie":  

I managed to get one of my non-kit-quilts onto the longarm and quilted, but was generally a little too busy to spend much time actually "doing" rather than coaching and encouraging.   Oh, and getting the food on the table.   Gosh, now I know why I'm a quilter, quilters are good at food!  And newbie Nancy brought divine tomatoes with fresh basil and mozzarella, and seasonings so clearly pulled her weight as a quilter-in-training!   

So for me, this was just another high point of the day!

And finally,  what was really great was how well my friends meshed.   It was nearly as though everyone had been friends for years instead of several meeting today for just the first time.  It was wonderful.  I have really nice friends. 

Scorecard (Goal: 12 Non-kits,  12 kits)

  • 8 non-kits completely finished including label
  • 1 non-kit complete except for binding and labeling
  • 6 kits are in flimsy status, ready to be quilted
  • 2 kits need borders then will be ready for quilting
I'd say this is on target to meet the mid October goal!  Just in case though,  sew-in #2 is scheduled for Saturday September 17.   There are a few friends who wanted to participate but could not attend today so if needed, we will do it again and finish up. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Red! It's HOT!

It was stinkin' hot in the garage on Saturday, even with the door open and a fan blasting warm air on me, and I think I'll retain that memory whenever I sit down at the new table on my Bebe  (thanks Pat for the name inspiration).   

Kiva approves,  she checked it over.   

The table was my best (favorite) purchase at the Hershey Quilt Show last weekend, but I must admit to having purchased some fabric. . .  

Pretty aren't they.   No particular plans but wow, what a surprise this confession will be, I got a little carried away. . .

So I'm taking the pledge.   The idea is to send out more fabric than I take in,  I certainly have enough to last a lifetime right now, and I have no excuse for buying any more other than that they are JUST SO PRETTY.   I counted this little batch up,  it's 9.5 yards (yikes, that hurts).  

I will do this for the rest of the year, thankfully I'll have a dozen Quits For Kids going out later this year from my own stash (plus the 12 kit quilts).   Of course one goal for the stash quilts is to help me de-stash while doing some good, and at about 4 yards each, that makes a nice dent.  OK, another confession, I did buy a little - not much - fabric to work with the kid prints I had on hand.  Really, not much at all.  Yes, really.

Scorecard on the Quilts for Kids - one more bound and now 6 are done.  I'm now getting ready for the sew-in on Saturday - 5 friends will be here to work on the kits.   Should be fun.  I'm planning a second sew-in for September in case there is still a lot to do after Saturday and so the friends unable to participate this time might have another chance.   See, I'm thinking people are anxious to help!   And why not. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Despite having a few long-term fairly intense quilt projects underway that I work on regularly but not steadily, I frequently need a quick-sew fabric fix.   For the last 2 months I've satisfied this by a big project of 24 quilts for donation to Quilts For Kids.   The QFK Mission is:  Transforming discontinued, unwanted and other fabrics into patchwork quilts that comfort children with life-threatening illnesses and children of abuse.

My UU CareShare project is to complete 12 QFK kits, with the help of some wonderful friends, and return those to QFK along with another 12 kid quilts made by me from my stash, for a total of 24 quilts.   This is a project that has many returns and perks:
  • some non-quilty friends will have a chance to engage in some basic quiltmaking (hook 'em!) 
  • some quilty friends get to be quilt-fairy guides 
  • I get to de-stash a LOT of kid fabrics (how did I accumulate so much???)
  • I'll quilt all 24 on the long-arm giving me some excellent time bonding with Avante, improving my skills
  • a little quilty party at my house on a few sew-in days with a nice pot luck lunch
  •  24 sick kids will get a quilt from QFK that they can love and keep
Our first sew-in scheduled for Saturday August 13, and another on Saturday September 17.   If you want to participate, let me know and I will make room for you.  

Scorecard to meet the October 16 Sunday Service deadline:
  • All 12 of my flimsies are done!  (tops, not assembled or quilted)
  • 5 of those have been quilted and bound, 1 has been quilted but not yet bound
  • (I actually have two or three more set up with fabrics pulled, but not cut or sewn yet - those would be 'extras')
  • 1 sample flimsy made from the QFK kits
I'll keep the scorecard updated from time to time as the project progresses.   They don't all have to be done by then but that's when we report on our CareShare projects to our Fellowship so I hope to get most if not all done by then.  Here's the QFK top I stitched up last night as an example for the sew-in - happily it has pink monkeys (jumping on the bed?) on the lime background fabric:  

And if that wasn't enough,  during a great Bonnie Hunter workshop earlier this year I learned to make letters.  Well isn't that fun.   When my friend Nancy said her sister is collecting small quilts for babies who are in our local hospital I thought, gee, I can do that!   So I quick whipped up two little placemat sized quilts that said "Baby" only to learn that the size wasn't exactly what they wanted but the hospital ended up putting them to good use as covers on the premie isolettes - the lights are on 24/7 but the little quiltlets serve to block the glare so they actually ended being quite useful.   I didn't take pix of the first two but since the hospital rep sweetly said "do you think she could make some that say Bebe for our Hispanic babies?" how could I resist?   So I whipped these up:

 and will hand them over later this week.   Sweet dreams, premies, stitched with love.