Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sew Much to Share

The August Breakfast Club is next week and I realized yesterday that I forgot to share Show and Tell from July. So here is a quick look as what the ladies have accomplished even with the nice summer weather we had in May, June and July.

This is a laser cut kit from an Alaska designer, Dana Michelle. Here is a link to her webstore: Wildfire Designs. She has several great Alaska theme kits. 

A small quilt that will be made into a pillow for a bride. The colors are her wedding colors.

This little wreath is such a popular pattern lately, "Fold'n Stitch Wreath." I love Marie's version because she did a blanket stitch that really makes a great addition to the design.

This is one of those deceptive quilts that you start putting together with your scraps but find you need to buy a little fat quarter or two to get the colors just right! Laura started this with some leftover layer cakes. We all know how that happens. Your trying to just pull from your stash but you find something is missing. The end result is beautiful so she made the right choice.

This beautiful cross stitch piece is being turned into a pillow. Perfect for Barb's cabin.

This is the pattern, Himalayan Pink. I need to add a picture of mine to this post. I think this was our April project. I believe this was a kit that was added to...I should have written some notes.

Obviously I should have gotten this quilter to turn her quilt so we could see it properly...but you get the idea. I think this was another Breakfast Club pattern from a long time ago. I remember it but can't remember the name.

A small project from scraps. 

And a nice big quilt from Thimbleberry fabrics.

A sweet quilt for a baby girl.

My version of Himalayan Pink with a set of batiks from Moda's Holly Taylor. They had been aging just long enough!

And our project for August will be this Moda Bake Shop pattern, "Speedwell Quilt." It is a layer cake pattern, 54 x 72-inches. Looks like a great quickie.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Moving in the Right Direction

I've gotten a fair amount of work done in the past week. August can be a gloomy, dreary month in our part of Alaska. So far...that's what we are getting. I might be one of the few people happy about spending more time inside.

I experimented with making Seminole borders in my setting triangles for my quilt, "Midnight Blooms."

Loving the direction of this quilt. It has been a big challenge for me not to "biggie size," this design.

Here's the EQ7 rendition of my design. Finished size is 63 x 76 inches. I'm actually going to join in on Design Wall Monday over at Judy's Patchwork Times. I can't remember the last time I joined her link up. Always some great projects to see there.

Hot off the quilting frame is this baby. I am a little frustrated with myself for falling back on "pebbling" as a filler. I really need to expand my repertoire. But I just wanted to actually get quilting instead of just stewing on design options. The binding stage is one of my favorite steps so I will probably do some more bonding with the quilt and feel better about it as it relaxes and puffs up now that it is off the frame.

I finished a Jim Shore cross stitch Santa ornament, "Best Friend Santa."

More house projects...though this one won't get finished until next summer. I am having my handyman build a series or raised garden beds on the sunny side of our house. That big window leads to my sewing room. He's only about a third of the way through. Every time I hire my handyman to tackle a means more work for me in the future. How will I ever get my house projects done????

The first three feet against the house will actually be a gravel walkway. Lots of fill will need to go into these much work for next spring!

I could be like Eli and just sleep all day and play all night. He got a new cat tower in my sewing room and just loves it! 

The best part is...this top basket is about 5-feet off the ground...just out of reach from Kinley. I put another tower in our bedroom and he slept in our room last night. Kinley on the bed with me and Eli on top of his cat tower. My husband is out of town so I figured it was a good time to see if the cat and dog would actually sleep in the same room and allow me to sleep too. We all slept!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Commencing with Projects

I had a great time at Breakfast Club last Thursday working on July's quilt, "Bloom." My next step on this quilt will be a border...and I really don't know what I am going to do yet. Maybe some time playing with EQ7 will help me figure out a plan of action. I definitely want to incorporate a multitude of colors.

I'm going to link up with What a Hoot and her weekly Monday posts to track BOM progress. I have been at the same stage for the the kit, "Full Bloom," for several months. Fabrics washed, ironed and ready for flower production. I was so thrilled to get this quilt kit over a year ago and it is crazy I haven't gotten started. I would love to get a block done every week.

I finished the last Jim Shore series snowman, "Snowy Owl Snowman."

My kitten Eli is growing like crazy. He's been hiding all over my studio...sleeping on piles of fabric. Some of these spaces are not going to  "fit" him for very long. I gave him some homeopathic drops in his food for digestive issues and switched to a kitten food by Blue Wilderness. No more diarrhea issues. Eating and growing like a teenage boy!!! Thirteen weeks old. We think he is going to be a big boy.

Kinley is loving her new kitty. Occasionally I have to rescue a kitty toy from her. She loves those toy mice too! Kinley needs her "bangs" trimmed...starting to look like a sheepdog.

I didn't get a picture but Kinley has now chased off a large grizzly bear along with a large black bear. So many bears this summer!!! The grizzly was in our yard Saturday evening...the black bear was in the yard about two weeks ago. I have stopped walking by myself...even with a gun I don't feel comfortable. Kinley comes back to me immediately when I use the command word, "here." So glad we sent her to a trainer for a few weeks last winter. We missed her but it is so awesome when she comes to me immediately with one word!!! I haven't gotten her to leave the kitty toys alone yet...somethings are just too tempting.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Kitty in the Sewing Room

Our new kitten, Eli, has been settling into his big Alaskan life pretty well. So far he has spent most of his time in my sewing room...mainly because he has been having a little bit if diarrhea. My sewing room has tile floors that are pretty easy to clean when a kitten's paws might have a some icky stuff on them. It's a great excuse for me to be stuck in my sewing room.

And I have even managed to do a little quilting. I think it has been three months since I touched my midarm. I'm happy to be getting into the groove again.

Everyday, Eli gets a bit more relaxed. A quick snooze on the floor while our dog, Kinley was upstairs. Sometimes I think Kinley is acting like a mom and licks him up. Sometimes Kinley relentlessly chases Eli around the house.

Breakfast Club is next Thursday. Not sure if I am going to make it but I like the pattern they are making so I went ahead and started my version. It's a strip pattern.

The pattern is from Kim Brackett's book, "Scrap Basket Beauties." I know I am going to make some changes to the layout and the border...I just can't resist "exploring." The block is cute and super quick to put together. No matching points to worry about!

As you can see...Eli occasionally asserts himself...poor Kinley...all she wants to do is play! 

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Talkeetna Train Trip

My husband's parents are visiting us. One of our adventures was to take the train from Anchorage to Talkeetna. It was about a three hour trip...mostly through wooded areas. The train cars have glass domed ceilings and a restaurant in the bottom half. Very nicely appointed train cars. 

Talkeetna is one of my favorite little towns in Alaska. Several colorful moose can be spotted around the town. This looks like a patchwork moose to me.

And some lovely one-of-a-kind shopping...

The artist is Joan Edwards. Titled, "Floating Kaleidoscope Blues."  A batik wall quilt for $750. This town lacks a quilt shop but not much else. It is well known to mountain climbers who wish to catch a plane ride to base camp on Denali (I started to type Mount longer the name!) 

Talkeetna...a big climbing town with a small drinking problem. Just one of the many quaint sayings associated with the town.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Critter Overload???

It is tough to get much of anything done when every time I look out a window...I see critters.

Early one evening we saw this grizzly just tearing up the roots of two birch trees. Not sure what it was trying to get. I'm confident this is not the grizzly we saw earlier this season. It could be an offspring of her since this one is pretty blond too.

We are in the middle of an owl invasion. We've had as many as five owls in the trees of our property. Click on this tree picture to get a closer look. We think we have at least one or two adults training three juveniles to hunt rabbits. Lots of bunny parts in our yard that Kinley is only too happy to find! bears have really started to become a common sight in the past week. Besides this one, we've had a mother sow with only one cub in our yard yesterday...and in our garage today.

As if that wasn't enough bear viewing...we have out-of-state visitors so we went to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage, about 45 minutes from Anchorage. We were excited to see two brown bears right away. One in the water and one on the far shore.

Then one of the grizzlies started walking right toward us.

Wow...I was thinking I sure hope this silly fence stops this bear. At this point he was a yard away...yipes!

This bear weighs 850 pounds and is 12 years old. He was so close, I could have petted him.

Apparently the smaller female wanted to spend some time with me too.

I better get going...might miss some more animals with my head stuck in front of this computer.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Good Progress on Several Projects

I have an acre to potentially landscape. I'm starting close to the house and working my way out. I think this wall of tubs is a great little start.

The view from my deck...

The delivery of 12,000 pounds of local granite rock is the material for my next landscaping project. Most of it will probably go toward finishing off my wall of tubs and starting another bed. Kinley left a couple of dog toys at the bottom of the pile.

I did manage to finish quilting my pillow shams. I am hoping to devote most of tomorrow to the final construction of the shams. Rain is in the forecast so landscaping can wait.

The Jim Shore Evergreen Snowman ornament is finished and joins the Pinecone Snowman.

My biggest news is I am picking up a Maine Coon kitten in two weeks. I have to travel to his current home just outside of  Kansas City, Missouri. 

It was quite a little process to get selected to become this kitten's owner. The breeder released photos of the kittens on her website between 8:30 to 9 a.m., central time, this morning. That meant 5:30 a.m. for me! I had tried to get a kitten from this breeder before but others beat me to it. This time I was prepared. I had my email requesting a particular kitten written days in advance. (I don't function well early in the morning!) The instant the breeder posted the kitten pictures, I hit the send button on my email draft. A few minutes later, I got the call. I had to immediately send my deposit in via paypal. My last cat lived a healthy life to the age of 15 so hopefully we will have this guy for a long time and all this work to get him will be worth it!

Oh...of course I have a bear picture. This was taken on Tuesday or Wednesday morning. I ran into him closer to the house when I went outside to water my flowers. He was about 100 feet away from me. I hustled Kinley inside and ran up to my bathroom on the second floor to watch the bear.

There is a stack of logs beside the driveway that two owls have been hanging out on while they eat rabbits. My husband took Kinley out for a walk the other morning and she ran up to him with a rabbit head hanging out of her mouth. Yuck!