Monday

My Little Pony Pillows

My daughter is moving closer to us. She has until the end of August to get the move completed. Since she is going from an apartment to a townhouse, she now has the freedom to paint and decorate the rooms as she sees fit.

I volunteered to help her. That actually translates to I want to paint my granddaughter's new room purple and decorate with My Little pony stuff. She was happy for the extra help.


I purchased 2 gallons of Dutch Boy Dura Clean Satin paint in the color, Prairie Sky. I love this color. It is just the right shade of purple to meet my granddaughter's obsession with the color of Twilight Sparkle a.k.a. the purple pony. So I painted the ceiling white and then the walls. I was totally surprised when I only had to use 1 coat of paint. Even though the can did say it was primer and paint in one, I just never believe that claim. That meant I have way too much paint...a whole extra gallon. I predict many purple paint projects in my future.

After I painted, I made the girls some valances from 3 yards of My Little Pony fabric I purchased last year. I also made a banner to hang in their room. As soon as I have those things hung I will post about them here.

The leftover fabric went into making these two pillow covers. Each one has two pockets so the girls can put their little goodies in the pockets. They were so thrilled when they saw them. I was hoping to save them until they see their new room all done but I just couldn't wait.

Wednesday

Garden Sunflowers


The sunflowers in my garden have finally started to bloom. Here are a few of the beauties I get to enjoy every day. There are many more that have yet to bloom. The next few weeks will be incredible.







Tuesday

My Garden Vegetables

Many of my sewing days have been replaced with harvesting days. This week I am lucky enough to be picking a large bowl of green beans and peas every-single-day. I love it.

The raspberries have also been plentiful over the last few weeks so I've been freezing them as soon as I pick and clean them. By fall I will have enough to make a batch of jam. Yay!

I tried growing kohlrabi this year and the results are fantastic. I have six very large vegetables ready to be picked. They are my husband's favorite so he will be happy to find them sliced up and ready for snacking tomorrow. But for today, we will be roasting green beans on the grill with our dinner tonight.

Saturday

What's on the design board?

Crosses Quilt Blocks
As we start the month of August, I realize I've been pretty busy during the last few weeks. Busy at starting things, anyway.

I started a Wisconsin-themed table topper for my sister-in-law who is visiting us from Marinette at the end of August. My nephew was in the UW-Madison Badger band during his college years and it just so happens that this year's Wisconsin Shop Hop fabric has a print of sheet music with the lyrics "On Wisconsin". That song is oh so familiar to any and all Badger fans. So it seems appropriate to make her a little-something with that fabric. I guessed how much fabric I would need and as it turns out, I do not have enough for the backing so I will have to get more on my next trip to the fabric shop. For now, it can hang nicely in the center of my design board.

I also started a cross block quilt. I really wanted to do something using low-volume background fabric and this was my attempt. I see now that I look at the photo I have some re-work to do on some blocks. There are some backgrounds that are way too busy to qualify as low-volume backgrounds so I will have to adjust those.

I also have some leftover scrap vortex blocks on the end of my design board. I will use those when I make the backing for my scrap vortex quilt but as of right now, I haven't decided what to use for the backing fabric.

Usually in summer I slow down on the quilt-making process. I tend to save up the finished quilt tops until fall when the weather is cooler. It's much easier to work with quilt layers on my lap when it's not so hot outside. Especially since I hate air conditioning which means if it's hot outside, it's hot inside. So far, I have 6 quilt tops that need to be completed. Whew!

Wednesday

Table Topper WIP

Using the 2015 Wisconsin Shop Hop fabric, I put together a block from the pattern given out at the local quilt shop. I added a few extra borders to make it into a simple table topper.

This block took me about an hour to put together but it looks like a lot more work than it really was. In fact, I was pretty surprised at how easy it went together.

I like the nice muted colors used in this year's fabric collection. It is a tribute to our University of Wisconsin Badgers only with less bright red. :)

Thursday

3-Zipper Pouch

I received a request to make a 3-zipper pouch from a toddler t-shirt. The client also wanted me to include some vintage daisy trim she possessed. She asked for something floral to complete the project.

I auditioned 3 different fabrics, 2 were floral and 1 was the doily-print I actually used. I left the fabrics next to the t-shirt for about a week and struggled to pick one of the florals. Then my daughter stopped by, took one look at the fabric selections and instantly stated that I HAD to use the doily-print.

The print was something I picked up from a modern quilt shop and was not planning on using it for something I would be selling. I secretly wanted it for myself. I think that was part of the hesitation in using it for this project.

But it was a perfect match with the t-shirt graphic. Once that was decided I had to figure out how to make the pouch. I had a smaller version to use as a sample. With no pattern, I cut up pieces and through trial-and-error, put the pouch together. I only had to unsew pieces twice!

I gently removed the logo tag from the inside of the t-shirt and sewed it in place as if it were a label. Then I finished off the inside seams with some bias ribbon and it was completed. I sure hope my client likes it; it is so very soft and cute.

Sunday

Scrap Vortex Quilt Progress

I finally finished my scrap vortex quilt top today. I've been absolutely obsessed with making the blocks from my scraps and the scrap vortex quilt along blog posts have been very helpful. The trouble has been finding the time to work on it. I've had a few obligations that have kept me from working on this project which is really not a bad problem to have.

I don't like to use the word 'obligations'; the word feels like it has such negative connotations.  My 'obligations' include working in a quilt shop as a web page designer and social media developer, making charity quilts for veterans with my church group and my family obligations include babysitting my granddaughters and taking my mom to her doctor appointments which is usually followed by lunch with mom. They hardly sound like obligations at all.

I may have started the scrap vortex quilt during the final week of the quilt along however, I think I got this part of it completed rather quickly, all things considered. If you would like to follow Amanda Jean's instructions to make one of your own, just click here for the quilt-along.


Friday

A Pallet Project - WIP

I picked up a few pallets last month and they've been hanging out in my garage ever since. I really wanted to take the time to take them apart however, I've been struggling with finding the time.

Last month my husband had his second round of rotator cuff surgery on his left shoulder. Of course he is also left-handed. Since the surgery he is going stir-crazy considering his limitations.

So I decided to put him to work... sort of. I asked for guidance in taking apart the pallets. My husband immediately dug out the proper tools and taught me how to use them. So I hammered and pried the boards while he instructed me in the easiest way to disassemble the pallets. He was in heaven.

Once I got the boards taken off, he could easily remove the nails that weren't dislodged with his one good hand. He felt so productive that his mood totally changed for the rest of the day.

So now it's time to figure out what to do with the pieces. I really didn't think we would get this far this quickly.

Tuesday

Quilted 1 in a Minion Bag

I picked up some of the Minion fabric that our shop got in this week and decided to make a quilted mini-shopping bag for my granddaughter, Avery. I've been picking up Avery from day care when her mother has to work late and she is obsessed with carrying her mother's mini-shopping bag with her.

My daughter has mentioned that she misses her bag, she uses it to carry her lunch to work. And she didn't want to take it away from Avery since there's an assumption the two-year old would not understand why she should give it back to her mother.

So here comes the Minions fabric...and a grandma motivated to make a mini-shopping bag for her granddaughter! I took the measurements from the little bag and made my own version. It only took me an afternoon to completed this little bag from start to finish.

Thursday

Tin Can Wind Chimes

Tin can wind chimes
My granddaughters spent the afternoon painting their version of ponies on the sides of the tin cans I spray painted a few weeks ago. They love My Little Ponies and spend many afternoons drawing their favorite characters.

After they were finished painting, they worked with their grandpa to make them into wind chimes. He popped holes in the cans then threaded them with plastic coated wire. He used electrical fasteners to hold the wire in place. They were ready in time for the girls to give them to their mother on her birthday today.

Both the girls and their mama had a happy day.

Nomad

My son and his wife have a beautiful Himalayan cat named Nomad. They named him Nomad because my son's company transfers him from job to job. As a civil engineer on large road construction projects, assignments have been at least 2 years long however the 405 project in L.A. lasted over 4 years. Once that project was done he transferred to Honolulu and that made it difficult to take Nomad along. There are many rules for taking pets to the Hawaiian islands. So Nomad came to live with me.

Nomad has been with us since last October. During that time my husband and I have fallen madly in love with him. He's adapted to our early morning routine and knows all the nuances of our family like spending time outside in the yard. He even enjoys when my granddaughters visit, which was not the case when he first got here.

This week has been a terrible week. On Monday Nomad seemed ill and a visit to the vet confirmed that he was having trouble urinating. They kept him overnight when they discovered that his urinary tract was totally blocked. After a day of catheterization and flushing out his system, he came home with some medication to help the healing process. Between Tuesday and today he did not get better. In fact, he was worse. He was listless and lying on the floor twitching from pain. So back at the vet's office we got the horrible news; they could not help him. They could attempt surgery but it was such a long shot they advised against it. So the humane decision was made by my daughter-in-law to let him go. We recently celebrated his 4th birthday with our granddaughters who thought it was fun to have a kitty birthday. He was way too young to be this ill.

Nomad loved quilts. He spent most of his days with me in my sewing room so he was a big part of everything I made. No matter where there is a quilt, he would lie on it. This photo of him was taken when the linen closed was left open. He instantly found a quilt to lay on when the door opened.


We are devastated. 

Wednesday

What's on the design board?

Scrap Vortex Quilt Along
I decided to follow Crazy Mom Quilts Scrap Vortex Quilt Along. Although she is finishing up the quilt along while I am just getting started, I have to admit, Amanda Jean is correct, it is addictive.

I thought I would just sew a few scraps together to see if I liked the idea of making a scrap quilt like hers. The thing is, I love to make postage stamp quilts out of my scraps so doing this project is just a little out of my comfort zone.

After one session in my studio, this is where I left off. I have so many scraps that I think I could make more than one scrap vortex quilt. The pieces are on the design board just willy-nilly. Once I have more blocks done, I will start rearranging them - that will be fun. If you want to follow the quilt along too, here is the link to the first post.