Monday, November 21, 2016

My trip to International Quilt Festival in Houston Part I

It was great, of course. I got up and left super early and I'm glad I did because there was a bad wreck on the way. I got there in plenty of time, but it was a close call for panic-y me. Of course there's construction all around the George R. Brown convention center.
The first class was a free motion quilting class. It was very fun. When we got there, the machines were already set up and ready to go. Of course, the dealers are trying to sell you the machines at a low, discounted price, which is still close to $1000. Nice machines, of course, but nothing too special. The lady was great, but talked a lot before we got started. It was annoying because she also gave us a packet that explained what she was talking about, so you could just read the packet.
The class was a lot of fun. What she said that rang the most true is that no class or technique is going to take the place of you, at your machine, practicing. That's one of the reasons I love sewing - it's a skill that I can and do get better at.

We had to bring quilt sandwiches to practice on. Really fun stuff. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

General craftiness

I'm making a whole stack of these for Christmas gifts. I started this summer. I have all of the materials - fabric for pillow cases and fiberfill for the pillows. I just haven't finished them. Sometimes my FMQ isn't working, so I have to either come back later or figure out something else. I spiraled the wreaths and may do a square spiral on the outsides. Not sure. I have some time. Once that part is done, there's not a lot left to do to finish it. Just work. I think they'll be well-received, and since it's a Kimberbell, I can make new covers for the pillows every year. Yah!
I love to sew. I think I love sewing more than almost anything else I've ever gotten into. My biggest issues are the mental energy left at the end of the day and the mess in my sewing room. It's also the girls play room and the laundry room, so just getting in there is a chore, no matter how many times I ask for it to be cleaned up. It's not my mess. If it were up to me, I would chuck everything in the garbage can and just buy new socks. But it's not and it's stressful. But I love sewing! 

My Quilt guild name tag

A row - this one is from Missouri. There is a boy in Grace's grade that I had both of his older siblings in class and she brought this back for me. I'm working on a mirror image for her, but sometimes my zig zagger doesn't work like I want it to.

Part of a row

Another row from a friend

Another row

I made little tissue holders and put snacks in them for my colleagues for back to school.

I made a iron caddy. This took some doing and required some special materials. I don't know that I'll make another one, though I do have the materials. I made one for my friend Rebecca in Nightmare Before Christmas theme. 

A row I made that a friend gave me, then I made a table runner for her birthday. It was well-received. 

My square for the round robin my quilt guild is doing. I'm sure I'll post more on that. But isn't it cute! I can't wait to see what becomes of it!

Monday, October 31, 2016

International Quilt Festival In Houston

I'm going! And I'm taking classes! And I'm going to be there when they open up the exhibit floor! I can't wait!!! I'm taking Wednesday off. I still need to prepare my stuff for the classes I'm taking - a fmq class in the morning and a color and design class in the afternoon. I can't wait! Such excitement! I'll post about my experiences, for sure!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Sewing Class

I bought my sewing machine last summer from a local quilt shop and found my people. They had a monthly meeting at the shop where you came to show off your stuff, see what the shop was doing that month or coming up and get a discount on things you bought that night. Of course, there was a day meeting and a night meeting. I came to one day meeting that summer, but made sure I was at all of the night meetings. When the quilt shop closed, the ladies still wanted to get together, so they found a church and organized it.  I was only able to go to one this summer - they only meet during the day, but I showed this casserole carrier I had made. They asked if I could teach it as a class, but I could only do it in the afternoons, after school, so we set that up and we had people come.

It was a lot of fun. I had submitted the directions and materials and I just walked around and helped. I got a lot of good ideas and Charlotte gave me a serger - a nice one that someone gave her and she didn't need and couldn't figure out how to thread it. So Julie took it home and set it up for me. I haven't used it - I haven't had time to sit down with it, but I can't wait to figure it out!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Zoo trip

Over Labor Day, we took a trip to the Houston Zoo with the girls. It wasn't as hot as the last time we went, but it was still crowded. But - we got to see DINOSAURS!

This bear was ready to play with some visitors!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Mystery Quilt

After I was so pleased with the Alletaire mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter I did last year, I was very excited when   announced a new mystery quilt.
It didn't have applique, which I generally try to avoid (not too successfully) in larger projects, so I joined the facebook group and shopped my stash when the colors came out. We had a month of picking colors, a month to cut and 2 months of  sewing so far. I'm caught up. And I'm pretty happy with my results. I can't wait to finish it!
Color Choices



Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lager and Therapy Dogs

My little Millie is going to kindergarten next year (sad face) and Scott will be home alone for most of the day. Not a good plan for someone with major depression. So I've been thinking and praying about what we could do to help alleviate some of that, and a dog is what I came up with. 
We have Lily the 13 year old Chihuahua and Bean the 15 year old cat, but they are generally hands off and not so cuddly, especially since the girls came along. 
I love Chihuahuas, but our experience with Lily soured us to them. There are several rescues in our area that hold adoption days on Saturdays in the local pet stores and we've been stalking them for a few months. In person, Facebook, etc, just looking for a dog we are drawn to and we feel would be a good match for us. One of the reasons I like the rescues is because most of the dogs are with foster families and are already house broken and crate-trained, for the most part. 
We've been looking at all kinds of dogs. I'm drawn to big, black dogs or just big dogs in general. Also, of course, Chihuahua mixes. Millie and Grace like all kinds of dogs. Millie really loves the sweet Chihuahua mixes. If it were up to us, we'd have a whole herd of Chihuahuas. Scott is more reserved. 
One of the best things about the rescues is that they have "sleepovers" where the dog comes to stay with you for a while and you can bring him/her back if it doesn't work out. We tried one last week with Lager. He's a 50-lb, beautiful 2 year old, maybe a collie/shepherd mix. We found out a lot during his stay, but he wasn't ultimately for us. He's too energetic and rough with the girls. He doesn't know how big he is. But we found that we liked having a dog around that wanted to cuddle and love you. We think 50 lbs is too big, though.  One of the dogs Millie and I found and loved was this huge, white dog named Marsha Mallow. She's really striking, both because she's huge and because she's all white. Millie and I really liked her but Scott and Grace haven't seen her. Now, she's all Millie can talk about. Even when I remind her that Marsha is bigger than Lager and even Millie is saying we need a smaller dog, Millie still keeps talking about Marsh Mallow. But I really think Scott is not going to go for a big dog.
We had him Wednesday to Friday and brought him back Friday afternoon. 
We started again Saturday. Pups in Peril is an organization my pastor's wife is a part of and she's a real advocate for us getting a dog. My favorite there is a big, black female named Sadie. There was a smaller, black one, but they're not sure how potty trained she is. We've proven with both kids and dogs that we're not good at training, so that's out for us.
We spent some time at an art festival, and of course, Millie found some super tiny Chihuahua puppies that were soo sweet and lovable. Too small for us, though. 

PAWS Beaumont is usually at the PetCo in Beaumont, so we headed there next. They always have a ton of dogs available. We had told them we were looking for a female, and they had Rosebud. We took her out and played with her a bit and decided we would try her this Wednesday. She's soft and smaller - not too small. Big enough for Millie to be Millie with. And she seemed to like us and not freak out when Millie got in her face. And Scott liked her and made the arrangements for the sleepover. I'm hopeful but I know there are a lot of other dogs out there. We just need one that's good for our family. I'm still hoping for a big black dog, but it's not for me - it's for Scott and the girls. I'm the motivator, but it's their decision. 
This is Old Lady Lily