Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stash Report Sunday - January 31, 2010

Used this Week:     8.25 yards
Used year to Date:  32.25 yards
Added this Week:    0 yards
Added Year to Date: 29.5 yards

Net Used for 2010:     2.75 yards

Any week we don't add fabric is a good week!  We made five more pillowcases and three blankets for Haiti.  Good stuff!

Someone asked how I determine how much fabric I've used. With the pillowcases and blankets it was easy. Each blanket was a simple one-yard cut of flannel. Each pillowcase uses just over a yard of fabric.

Judy keeps an Excel spreadsheet and tracks her yardage used as she goes. For me, even with a large quilt, I'm not counting it until it's done. That way I'm encouraged to get some of those UFOs out of bins and onto the sewing table.

Hop on over to Judy's blog for a look at how everyone else did this week.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Stash Report Sunday - January 24, 2010

Used this Week:     0 yards
Used year to Date:  24 yards
Added this Week:    11.5 yards
Added Year to Date: 29.5 yards

Net Used for 2010:  + 5.5 yards

 It's all Momcat's fault. I mewed. I cajoled. I wrapped myself around her legs and gave her gentle headbutts. When playing nice didn't work I said "Ack!" and threatened to poop in her shoe.

But I just couldn't get Momcat to complete anything this week. She'd get home from work and either have to go back out or crash on the couch. Slacker, I tell you!

I'm hoping that the Pillowcase Team of myself, Butch and Trouble can convince her to turn this mountain of fabric on the kitchen table into completed UFOs.

Take a look at Judy's blog to see how she and everyone else did this week. I have a whip to crack.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Building a Log Cabin

Momcat and I are in an online quilting group called TranQuiltity. The group has decided to work on quilts from any of Judy Martin's books. Jill, the group's fearless leader, fell in love with Judy's Log Cabin book.  There's no timeframe on when to get things done and no requirement about which pattern to work on.  In other words, the kind of easy project to build community that I deadlines and no competition!

I have two of Judy Martin's books:  Judy Martin's Log Cabin Quilt Book and Scraps.  Both are terrific books and I haven't made anything from either yet.  In browsing through I realized that I've never made a log cabin quilt. That's probably why I haven't earned a quilting badge yet.

Here I am pointing out the pattern to Momcat.

Judy includes several different block placement ideas.

Momcat's friend Cathy, Smudge's mom, decided to make the same traditional quilt using Civil War reproduction fabrics.  Cathy and Momcat made a couple of trips to local quilt shops that are known for carrying a nice array of reproduction fabrics. After stops at The Quilt Bug and Valley Quilts the empty spaces in their stashes were filled.

We need 5 blacks, 19 darks and 14 lights for the twin size quilt.  Here's what we're using.


I can hardly wait to get started on this, but in keeping with one of our 2010 resolutions, we need to finish two projects before we start on this. So far the pillowcases equal one completed UFO. One more to go!

Happy creating,

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Pillowcases

This week Trouble is helping Momcat make more pillowcases for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge.  We've made 17 so far (5 on behalf of Best Friends Quilt Shoppe and 12 from Momcat's stash.)  Our goal is to make 10 more this week.

Here's a few that we finished.

I admit that despite how much I like feline fabric motifs, these gorillas are my favorite. The gorillas, penguins and polar bears also helped Momcat complete a few UFOs. She bought those fabrics when she and Philip visited Darren and Niki in Los Angeles in August. They were purchased for the sole purpose of making  pillowcases for needy children, cut to specs, and then put aside.  Ta da!!

Create joyfully for 15 minutes today.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Stash Report Sunday - Week Three

I purchased some cream-colored backgrounds this week for use in three different quilts. On the other hand, I made 12 pillowcases.  I'm feeling really good about this!

Used this Week:     13.5 yards
Used year to Date:  24 yards
Added this Week:    6.5 yards
Added Year to Date: 18 yards
Net Used for 2010:  6 yards

Visit Judy's blog to see how everyone else is doing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

1 Million Pillowcase Challenge

Are you participating in the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge sponsored by American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine?

Here's what we've donated so far.  Pillowcases are so fun and easy to make, and they use up your stash in a hurry!

Naturally, one of my quality control assistants had to make sure they were ready to go.

Thank you, Sundance!

We hope to get a few more made in the next couple of days.  If you've never made a pillowcase before there are a lot of free, simple patterns on the web.  I use a couple of different techniques depending upon whether or not I'm using a directional fabric.

Happy stitching,

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Goal Met, Plus One

For our Quilt-Along, we agreed on making six blocks per month. That's going to be a cinch because we're working with small blocks, and once the cutting is done the sewing goes quickly.

In my previous post you saw that I did all my cutting earlier today. After the cutting was finished I was able to sew SEVEN blocks in a matter of about an hour (that's including time to let Maggie in, let Maggie out, let Maggie in, feed everybody, let Maggie out, etc.)

And here are today's results.  I really like how this is coming together!  If you have any questions at all, let me know. I'm pumped and purring!!

Did you create for fifteen minutes today?


Our Quilt-Along is Snowballing!

Regina and I are both really excited that so many of you are joining along with us.  The Snowball and 9-Patch combination is a very simple way to use up some of your stash.


Here's how I'm cutting my layer cake for the project. Remember, you don't need to use a layer cake. Regina is using fat quarters. I'll be adding some scraps from my stash for additional interest.

The first thing I did was separate my lights from my mediums and darks.  For my blocks I decided I want to use the lightest fabrics only on the corners in the snowballs.   My mediums and darks will be used in the snowball blocks as well as the nine-patches.

Now it's time to start cutting.  I decided to cut from my mediums and darks first.  I layered four fabrics on top of one another.  The first cut is a 6.5" strip.

Move that strip aside.  Now cut a 2.5" strip.

From the 6.5" strip, cut a 6.5" square.  From the remainder of that strip, cut 2.5" squares.  Take your 2.5" strip and divide into 2.5" squares.

Each piece of the layer cake will yield ONE (1) 6.5" square and SIX (6)  2.5" squares.

Now let's cut from the lights.  I used June Tailor's strip cutter for this part.

Each piece of layer cake will yield SIXTEEN (16) 2.5" squares. Again, I like to cut through four layers at once.

Whew!! All that cutting. It must be time for a cookie break.

Hmmm. I hope there's some chocolate chunk or snickerdoodles in there!

Oh, now that's a dirty trick. I've heard of high fiber treats, but this is ridiculous!


Yes, I do silly things to make my quilting process even more fun. Since I want this to be a scrappy quilt, but since everything is from the same line and I know it will work together, I decided to mix up all those light squares in the cookie jar. Now without peeking, I'm going to pick four. These will become the four corners of my snowball block.

And here they are!  Now get your mechanical pencil ready.

Turn each square over.  I like to use this little tool. Align the center with the diagonal center of the block. Using your mechanical pencil, draw a line down the middle and also on either side of the tool. It's a perfect 1/4".  You're only going to use two of those lines, but I find it's easier for me to just draw than it is to align the squares afterwards. That's just me.

Do the same thing with the other light squares.

Now pick a 6.5" square from your stack. Right sides together, put a light 2.5" square onto each corner of the 6.5" square.

You're going to sew on TWO (2) lines in each of those squares. Sew down the center line and the line nearest the corner.  Do that on all four corners.

Press open. I like to press open before I cut anything because it adds stability to the block.  This is what it looks like.

Now it's time to trim off those waste triangles.  Open up one of the corners and carefully cut between the two sewn lines.

Do this on all four corners. Press your block again, pressing seams away from the snowball.

You'll now have four darling 2" blocks.  Press toward the darker color.  Trim off the dog ears.  This is what you have.

By taking the extra time to sew an additional line, you've added to your available blocks. As Bonnie Hunter likes to remind us, the fabric that we throw away cost just as much as the yardage we use. Get as much out of it as you can!


Simply take your 2.5 squares and sew together three across. Join so that you have three rows. Make sure to use a scant 1/4" seam or else your blocks won't be 6.5".  You want them to be the same size as the snowball blocks.

The main thing about this quilt-along is to use what you already have and make it fun!

Hugs and purrs,
Pi and Momcat

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quilting with a Friend

Regina and Momcat met online through the Prolific Online Quilters group, and then had the pleasure of sitting next to each other at the St. Jude's Retreat last year. They really hit it off and have stayed in touch.

Regina lives in Michigan and we're here in Ohio, so that makes getting together pretty difficult. Enter Regina's awesome idea. She mentioned that she wanted to make a Shoo Fly quilt.  "I'm in!" cried Momcat. So Momcat has been doing some web surfing and looking through her books, finally deciding upon Pat Speth's Shoo Fly quilt from More Nickel Quilts.

Regina: (sending an attachment that she saw on someone else's blog): I like this quilt too.
Momcat:  I'd like to use some snowball blocks.
Regina:  How about this?
Momcat: Love it!
Regina: What should we commit to doing?
Momcat: What about six blocks a month, and if we could set up a virtual sewing time and check in on each other's progress that would be cool, too.
Regina:  Sounds good!

So now we've committed to not only each of us doing a Shoo Fly quilt, but a 9-patch plus Snowballs quilt at six blocks a month.  I haven't even picked out fabrics yet.  Meanwhile, Regina's already got seven of her blocks done!  Check out her progress here:  bitnbyaquiltingbug.

Anyone interested in joining us? Just leave a comment and you can play along.

EDITED TO ADD:  I've picked my fabrics!  Regina is using fat quarters. I decided this project lends itself perfectly to a layer cake I have on hand. One of our goals is to use fabrics from our stash.

I love this line of beautiful floral fabrics.  Moda's Natural Garden by Holly Taylor

Here are the cutting dimensions:  For the nine-patches use 2.5" squares, for the snowball blocks use 6.5" squares. Attach a 2.5" square to each corner and sew as you normally would. Remember to sew in such a way that you'll save all those little waste triangles. They could make an awesome border!

Make as many or as few blocks as you want. We're going to make six per month. Let me know when you've completed some blocks or picked out your fabric so that I can link to your blog.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Stash Report Sunday - Week Two

Remember those nice round zeroes last week? Week Two shows some activity.

Used this Week:     10.5 yards
Used year to Date:  10.5 yards
Added this Week:    11.5 yards
Added Year to Date: 11.5 yards
Net Used for 2010:  + 1 yard

Those 11.5 yards came in as the result of 8 yards of fabric I earned doing inventory at the shop, and also receiving a very generous $50 gift certificate for the shop as a Christmas gift. So in addition to the 8 yards I used the gift certificate to purchase some fabric to use in the pay it forward gifts I'm making.

Fortunately, by finishing Monica's Tea Roses quilt my numbers aren't as bad as they could have been!

Today I'm making pillowcases for the 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge through American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine.  Since each pillowcase uses 1-1.25 yards of fabric, I'm looking forward to a great report for next week.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Monica's Tea Roses

This is a story about  Monica and the significance of this quilt.

Monica and Momcat met when they were in the seventh grade. After graduating from high school, Monica went on to study art in college, get married, have two terrific sons, and be very active in her church and community.

Unfortunately, kidney disease runs in Monica's family. Her mother, Therese, is herself a kidney recipient. When Monica's kidneys began to fail she went on dialysis and the search for a donor began. Her mom was ruled out, for obvious reasons.  The rest of her large family was tested, but none were a match. The call then went out to the general public.. Her husband, John, decided that he should be tested on the off-chance that he could be of help.

He was a match!!  Monica received John's kidney 11 years ago. She's beautiful and her artwork is full of blessings. She's won several awards, and will be receiving another honor tomorrow.  Her artwork was selected for the Loveland, Ohio Valentine Card and will be unveiled tomorrow.

You can visit Monica's website here:

When I think of all that she has done for the world thanks to the tremendous gift of her husband I am in awe. God's ways are wondrous.

The Tea Roses quilt is an original pattern from Best Friends Quilt Shoppe, designed by Katy Doench. I created it to represent the love between Monica and John, and the eternal love of our Savior Jesus Christ.

I had Cheryl at our shop do the quilting. Here's a couple of close-ups of the terrific loopy hearts that Cheryl did. I can hardly wait to give this to Monica tomorrow. She's already told me that this is going to grace the foot of her and John's bed.

Sadly, kidney disease runs in Monica's family. Her sister Ursula is herself on dialysis and on the transplant list. None of the family is a match. The ideal situation is a live donor, although the odds of a match are tremendous. I'm starting the first steps to see if I am a suitable match (Momcat, not Piwacket!!)  Please pray for Ursula and all those who are in the position of waiting for organ donors.

If you haven't already signed your driver's license to donate your organs, please do so now. The world is a better place because my friend Monica still lives in it.

Linda and Piwacket

Pay It Forward

I was the very happy recipient of a Pay It Forward gift from Jennifer at Quilting Mom's Blog.  Look at this cute Mary Englebreit bag she made!

Isn't it cheerful?!  The lining is the same fabric as the handle. I love it.

Now it's my turn to Pay It Forward.  Here's how it works:

The first three people to comment on this blog post will receive a handmade gift from me. Once you receive my gift, you'll need to do the same (post and make three for others). You need to have a blog or some other way to get gifts out to others to participate. Remember, you're committing to make three gifts. 

Spread the love!


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Stash Report - Week One

I've finally jumped on Judy Laquidara's bandwagon and decided that this would be the year of the Stash Report. Bringing home unnecessary fabric is an occupational hazard since Momcat works at a quilt shop. Becoming accountable should help bust that stash and halt the purchases.

Used this Week: 0 yards
Used year to Date: 0 yards
Added this Week: 0 yards
Added Year to Date: 0 yards
Net Used for 2010: -0 yards

Gee, that was pretty simple!

Are you ready to join us?

Scarfin' It Down

I'm lovin' the fact that Momcat has taken to knitting in such a big way.  We may have to change the name of the blog to The Crafty Cat soon!

Here are the scarves she completed since taking the beginners' knitting class a couple of months ago.  The first one, with the most mistakes, belongs to Momcat. All the others are gifts and were made from the "Ribbed for Her Pleasure" pattern out of the Stitch 'n Bitch book.  The first two pictures were posted on the blog before.

(Momcat's first ever knitting project.)

(Daughter-in-law Niki's scarf. She picked out the yarn herself. Strawberry Smoothie.)

(Basic heather gray scarf)

(Neck warmer made from Kaffe Fasset yarn.)

(Kim's scarf. She loves it with her black coat.)

Momcat has a little bit of arthritis in her right hand. I think it's from years of doing cross-stitch and needlepoint. Knitting for several hours a day really made it flare up. There are several varieties of therapeutic gloves on the market so that's a purchase that needs to be made. If any of you own a particular pair that you recommend I'd love to hear from you.

In the meantime, we'll head to the sewing machine for awhile to give that hand a rest.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy 2010!!

I trust all of you had a full and blessed Christmas and New Year!!

Thank you for understanding the need for a blog hiatus. Now it's time to catch up not only on our doings; I need to visit your blogs again as well.  It will be fun to become acquainted all over again!

In the next few days I'll post some pictures of projects, but first things first....


  • Two UFOs must be completed before starting a new project.
  • At least one Christmas present will be completed monthly. It will be nice to know that when December comes, several gifts will be ready to go.
  • Except for backgrounds, fabric purchases must be for a specific project.
  • No new patterns or books.
  • Within three months of moving sign up for at least one class at the LQS.
  • Within six months of moving, join the local guild.
  • Hairballs will be barfed only on easy-to-clean surfaces. Momcat is never too happy about them being on the carpeting.  And when they're on bedding she becomes quite unpleasant.
  • Give the other kitties a chance to cuddle on Momcat's lap. 
  • Swat and hiss at Maggie only once per day, no matter how much she deserves more.
  • Give thanks daily for the blessed life we all live here together.
Have you been creating for 15 minutes a day in my absence?  I supervised Momcat in the making of five scarves, 30 knitted dishcloths and one quilt.  My siblings and I really like Momcat's knitting. Cuddling up next to her and watching her fingers loop the yarn is mesmerizing. I'm happy to report that we are each very polite about not grabbing at anything. The same cannot be said when she cross-stitches.

Looking forward to catching up with all of you soon!