Thank Cuteness

Generation Q Magazine/Blog is having a “Oh Thank Cuteness” link up party to celebrate the cuteness in our lives that we are thankful for. 

My cuteness is a 5 month old Wheaten Terrier named Tessa.  I got her when she was 2 months old and about 6 pounds.   The picture below is her with a full sized Wheaton – her Uncle Toby. 

She likes to get into clothing and shoes… although she is getting better now than she was. 

She is also very curious.  She had to lick the pumpkin to make sure it was ok. 

She also likes to eat grass and leaves when she thinks I’m not looking. 

She has come a long way since then.  Now she is 5 months old and about 20 pounds.  And she still has another 15 or so pounds to go. 

She is not a fan of blow up Christmas decorations either. 

She was purchased to be my buddy after I redeployed because my husband was going to be Iraq about six months longer.  She has taken more of my time than I ever thought possible, and chewed on more furniture than I ever thought possible, but she has also been my sweet companion and been my sanity more times than she has driven me crazy.  I’m happy to have her in my life. 

Great Giveaway

Annemarie from Gen X quilters currently has an amazing giveaway going on right now for the EQ7 software.  http://www.genxquilters.com/2011/11/electric-quilt-7-review-and-software.html?showComment=1322425878215#c7777702639946613356

Rebecca from “Our Busy Little Bunch” also has a great giveaway for the pink bundle of the new Pear Tree line.  So pretty!  It would be perfect for the girl baby blanket I need to make!  http://www.ourbusylittlebunch.com/2011/11/friday-fun-giveaway-sponsored-by.html

One of those weeks

Ever have one of those weeks?  This was mine… I had a sick puppy (luckily temporary and she is now feeling better, but it was pretty bad for a couple days).  I also accidentally deleted the entire contents of my DVR.  Two months of fall shows that I was saving to watch after Christmas are gone.  My advice…never delete a group!  I thought I was deleting 4 shows, not the entire contents of the DVR. 

To cheer me up this morning, I was able to purchase my fabric for the “Yellow, Aqua, Gray” swap.  Based on the fabrics linked up so far, I think this should be pretty good.  Based on the colors shown on the screen, I think I managed to hit all three colors! 



Play Dot – Sea, by Michael Miller



In the meantime, I have started my stack of fabrics for my Christmas quilt.  It’s a crummy, rainy day today so I should be able to make some progress. 
Countdown to Christmas by Sweetwater
I have wanted to find a quilt guild to participate in for awhile.  I live in the middle of several, but there is not one that will be the most convenient.  I also have some trepidation concerning how I will fit in.  I work full time and am younger.  Therefore, any group that meets on a Tuesday afternoon (as an example) will not work for me.  The guild in the town just north of me had a quilt show last weekend, and I attended hoping to meet some people from the guild in order to learn if it would be a good fit.  I was disappointed that I didn’t get to talk to anyone from the guild.  I’m not sure if it is because I am younger, so they didn’t think I would be interested, but I was definitely out of place at the show and wasn’t being dragged by anyone, so I think it was pretty obvious I went out of my way to go there.  Looking at the quilts, I’m not sure it was for me either way.  I love traditional and modern, but didn’t really have strong feelings for most of the quilts there.  At least it wasn’t a total waste… I did see some interesting quilts, and picked up a few fat quarters I want to turn into a bag. 
Top: Luna by Gail Fountain and Maywood Studio, Right & Bottom: no selvage, Left: Acorn Chain by Joel Dewberry 
I think I am going to head further toward the larger cities I live near to see if their guilds may be a better fit.  I am planning on trying the Modern Quilt Guild’s November meeting.  Looking at their flikr feed, I think my style may fit in there.  I just wish it wasn’t a 1.5 hour drive both ways on a Sunday evening!  They are holding a homemade ornament swap, so I’ve been playing with the scraps from my quilt and have an idea in my mind of what I want to do.  I think it will be pretty fun. 
 Once the little girl goes to sleep, I will be able to make some progress on my WIPs. 

Fabric as Motivation

The little girl is keeping quilting at an all-time low.  I sewed more than this when I was working insane hours in Afghanistan and didn’t have weekends!  Then again, in Afghanistan I didn’t have to take out the trash, cook dinner, do dishes, laundry, mow the lawn, or commute.  I also didn’t have cable, and I admit to sitting in front of the TV to relax at night.  
Tessa, 4 months

My first full quilt since getting back is for “Quilts for Kids”.  I highly recommend it as a great program that distributes quilts to kids that are hospitalized around the world.  Another bonus for this program is that they have kits that you can request.  I did that for the quilt below.  The fabric arrived at my house, partially precut and ready to be sewn.  All they ask in return is that as the quilter you provide the manpower, the batting, and pay the postage to mail it back within 4-6 weeks of receiving the kit.  I admit that I will be closer to 8 weeks by the time they receive it, but as I mentioned before the puppy demands more time than I had initially expected.  The link to request a quilt follows: http://www.quiltsforkids.org/patterns/request/

This is actually the first quilt I have made 100% on my home sewing machine.  Before I moved, I used to rent the long arm from the LQS for a reasonable price so there was no reason to wrestle with a quilt on my personal machine.  I don’t know if it gets easier with time, but I didn’t really enjoy my first attempt.  I enjoy the freedom and convenience of the long arm.  I will have to do more research to see if there is one I can rent in this area.   
I actually had this quilt sitting, waiting for the binding for about two weeks before I finally finished it.  What motivated me to finally finish it?  Fabric!  Sweetwater’s new lines are gorgeous, and I ordered some, but I made myself wait to cut into it until I finished the “Quilt for Kids” project.  Now I am debating between starting the Christmas quilt from their “Countdown to Christmas” collection or to do the more practical year-round quilt I need for the guest bedroom…


Back home

And I’m back!!  I have to admit that the first month back, I was in a total lazy mode.  I am working my way back into regular life and back into creativity and sewing.  Part of the challenge is that it’s no longer just me… I also have a little puppy to keep me busy. 



Meet Tessa!
To ease back into it, I’ve decided to make some placemats.  Normally, I’m a tablecloth girl.  However, tablecloths fall to eye level for the puppy, so they are now safely out of reach until she gets a little older.  I’m using the “Lines in the Sand” placemat tutorial from “Handmade by Alissa” http://www.handmadebyalissa.com/placemat-pattern/
This was a great way to break back in to sewing… it hits up fabric selection, piecing, quilting, and binding.  I used four different techniques on the four placemats.  And, because I bought too much fabric, I still have enough to make six more.  The first four are birthday presents for my mom, and the next six will be for me J
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