Sunday, July 29, 2012

Old Work, New Work

It's been a busy week of not posting but lots of work and pretty things.  And, of course, the Olympics.

My birthday thrifting goodies, freshly washed, hanging to dry.

Is there anything more beautiful than sun on linens?  I mean, textile-wise.

The stashy quilt is 99% done.  I have a few stitches to finish and fix here and there.  But that's what watching the Olympics is for.

I'm so pleased with how it turned out.  It's very much like I'd envisioned, except for different in surprising ways.  The edges are my favorite.

I was so pleased with the result and with the process that I've started another quilt project immediately, at great expense to my housework and social life.  Who needs clean dishes anyway?

This piece is for my mom and dad, to go at the foot of their bed.  My mom's style is different than mine, tending away from patterns.  Because I can't possibly make a quilt of all solids, I've chosen to mix my cotton prints with lots of natural, neutral linens.  Most of the fabric was from my stash, but I did thrift a few larger pieces of linen.

Linen skirts are always a good bet, yielding lots of yardage and minimal fabric waste.  The pink one had never been worn, probably because of the hideous 1 1/2 inch elastic waist band.

I'm using a simple yet very scrappy log cabin-ish block.  These blocks will be set inside of large, natural colored linen.  Kind of like this.

I'm planning to hand-quilt it somewhat elaborately to give it a sense of opulence.  I'm hoping the contrast of the simple, natural fibers and blocks will be interesting.

As usual, I'm learning as I go, discovering that the first blocks I made aren't quite right.  I far prefer the more simple blocks.  I think the larger ones are just too busy.  And although I had wanted to appliqué the blocks on by hand, there was just too much play in the fabrics.  My hand stitching looked all wonky, and not in a good way.

I ended up using my sewing machine, which gave me a more deliberate wonkyness.

There will be plenty of hand stitching, though, at quilting time.

I am feeling a certain amount of pressure in making something for my mom, especially something she'll have to look at every day.  What if she doesn't like it?  Will she hide it away and just bring it out when I visit?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Another Dog Post

I once read that one of the most boring things you can do on your blog is go on and on about your pets.

Oh, well.  My dogs are so cute and precious right now, I can't resist.  Ruby and Winnie are both doing well.  Winnie continues to lose weight but also to enjoy life.  Ruby, meanwhile is settling in and making herself at home.  She got her stitches out today and she's ready for action.

Watch out, Thomas.  Ruby eats wood.

Nice camera.  Can I have it?


Yeah, our dogs are cute.

Frankly, we're all cute around here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

I'm 39 today.  I am a big fan of my birthday.  I'm not one to sit back and wait for people to remember me.  Nope.  I'm happy to tell everyone.  I'll even wear a party hat if I need to.  We should all celebrate our births.  It's good to be alive and to rejoice in the anniversary of it.

For this one, I spent the morning thrifting.  Hooray for a surprise half-off sale at Unique.  Happy Birthday to me, indeed.  It was pink vintage linens day throughout the Chicago area.

Look at this cheery crocheted afghan.  I have such a weakness for these in bright colors.

Apparently, so does Ruby.

I guess she approves.

For the afternoon, I have the house to myself to do whatever I want.  Of course, I'm outrageously dull and will spend it finishing sewing the binding on my stashy quilt.  Pretty raucous, huh?

Tonight we are headed out for margaritas.  We have a babysitter and everything.  My birthday is awesome.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Quilt Binding and New Friends

We have discovered the cure for the losing our dog blues: a new dog!

Her name is Ruby and she couldn't be sweeter.  She's a medium-sized mix of something, though likely some chow based on her spotty tongue.  She's as mellow as they come, which is perfect because Winnie can't handle anything crazy right now.  Well, besides her own crazy, which is thankfully still in evidence.

Ruby is nursing her own injuries.  She recently had surgery to correct a bone splinter in her hip.  Although she's on her way to a full recovery, her back leg is very weak and she still needs to take it slowly.  Check out her purple stitches!  They might inspire some fiber art of their own soon.

Hey, what's that?

Meanwhile, I've been making bias tape.  Yesterday, Sarah, Ellis and Ruby headed off to the pet store to get a new tag for the new pup.  Winnie and I stayed behind for rest and craft-relaxation.

I've made bias tape before using my bias tape maker.  However, I lent that to a friend.  I had to kick it old school and diy that bias tape for real.

I used this tutorial for the cutting and this one for the pin trick.  I did melt the plastic head of my pin.  I really need some glass-headed pins.

I will admit that my second batch turned out somehow not cut on the bias.  So it's not as stretchy.  I'm going to use it anyway, though.  Well, I'm going to try it.  Hopefully it'll work.  I'll be sewing it on today.

It was so nice to craft with Winnie.  She slept peacefully next to me.  She's such a good dog and we are going to miss her beyond belief.  I'm so grateful for the time we have now.

Friday, July 13, 2012


The stashy quilt is into the homestretch.  I've finished the quilting and all that's left is the binding.  Of course, I've just realized I've lent out my bias tape maker.

Meanwhile, Winnie is doing okay and has just come into the kitchen to investigate the bacon I'm cooking up for dinner.  I see this as good.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Winnie, the Best Dog Ever

We got some very sad news at the vet yesterday.  We came home from vacation to find our sweet dog Winnie not feeling very well at all.

A trip to the vet confirmed the worst.  She has a very large, fast-growing mass in her belly.  This was doubly upsetting since she had been to the vet just two weeks ago for a well puppy visit.  The vet couldn't feel the mass at that time.  In just two weeks, it grew to the size of a baseball and Winnie lost two pounds.  Given the aggressiveness of the tumor, we have chosen not to pursue surgery.

We are just trying to help her--and us--enjoy what time is left.  The vet gave her some meds that are helping her feel better.  She seems more comfortable and doesn't seem to be in pain.

She's still eating (and eating the best food ever, I must say), going for walks, playing with her tennis ball (which is now allowed in the house), wagging her tail, enjoying getting pet, and barking at the neighbor.  However, we know this will likely go quickly and we are heart-broken.

She's a good dog.  Yes she is.