Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Vacation

Momcat is heading out first thing on Friday morning for a brief vacation. With the divorce and money woes the vacation was almost canceled. After some thinking through and talking with friends she's decided to go anyway for the following reasons:

  • The condo was reserved over a year ago with a non-refundable deposit.
  • It has a kitchen so she can cook her own meals. She'd have to buy groceries here anyway.
  • It's directly on the beach and Momcat's never been to Virginia Beach.
  • She's going to spend two days with her parents on the way down.
  • She's opting to leave vacation two days early in order to work a quilt show in Ohio Amish country with her boss from the quilt shop.
Although there will be no sight-seeing or shopping, walking on the beach is free. There's a balcony with the condo so viewing the beach scene while reading a book will be relaxing.  She even seems pleased that there won't be any furry friends waking her up at 5 a.m. for feeding. Hrrumph!

Cross-stitch projects, knitting schemes, and quilting UFOs are making the trip too.

"Springtime Tulips" is the first UFO to win a spot on the Virginia Vacation Express.

This quilt is SEW close to being done! It calls for two borders. The first border is 2-1/2" and matches the background color.

The outside border will be pieced from all the 30s prints used within the body of the quilt.

This pattern is from the book Surprisingly Simple Quilts and was much easier to make than it looks. Isn't it a perfect project to keep Momcat busy over spring break?

Another take-along will be the "Tuffets" pattern for pincushions made from charm squares and The Poky Little Puppy fabric from Quilting Treasures made up in a Hyde Park design.

I'll miss Momcat while she's gone. Manchild Philip will be here taking care of Maggie, Butch, Sundance and me. Logan and Trouble have gone to live with CatDaddy. The beans miss them, but I don't. More lap time for me. Mmmmwwwwhahahahaha.

Worship me,

Yeah, I Made That! - - Labeling Your Quilt

Do as I say and not as I do.

I don't label all of my projects. I should, but I don't. There's some insecurity that I carry around with me that says, "What if they don't like it and want to regift it?"  So sometimes I label and sometimes I don't.

This post is about the way I made a quilt label for "Fiddlesticks." Now that I've given the quilt to my friend Teresa, who happens to be my son's MIL, I can share the label-making process with you.

I have a pet peeve with people in general who insist that there is only one way to do something. There are as many ways to make quilt labels as you can think. Researching on the web is a great way to get some ideas. You can buy pre-printed labels, you can get fabric with label designs, there are iron-on transfers to color in, you can download and print labels from your computer, some people make their labels as pockets and include the washing instructions.  Experiment with all kinds of ways and do what brings you the most pleasure.

I like to make labels using rubber stamps. It's very simple and my favorite way, especially for quilts that have scrappy or country-type designs. For a more modern quilt I think an updated label would be smart.

First I pick out a neutral color fabric for the label and cut a rectangle of freezer paper the size I want the label.  I iron the freezer paper shiny side down on the WRONG side of the label fabric.

Cut out around the freezer paper leaving about 1/4" or 3/8" border of fabric.

Gather your supplies. I used a cute angel rubber stamp which I won from Shellie's giveaway, black ink, a micron pen and fabric markers (not shown). I placed the fabric on sandpaper. This is still showing the freezer paper side up instead of the fabric side that I'll be writing upon.

Stamp wherever you'd like on the fabric, making sure not to go beyond the boundaries of the freezer paper stabilizer. Using the micron pen write the basic information:

  • Your name
  • Name of quilt
  • Month and year
  • Name of recipient
  • Why the quilt was made
  • Washing instructions (optional)
  • Any other information you think should be included
The extra fine sandpaper helps create a stable writing surface. I find that I need to go over the lines of the rubber stamp and the writing a couple of times.

Here's how the label looked after I completed it. Iron the front of the label to heat set the marker(s). Iron the border fabric to the back of the freezer paper, making some nice creases. Remove the freezer paper.

Time to sew your label to the back of the quilt.  Pin it in place first.  I used a blanket-stitch with a double strand of cotton thread. Make sure you go through the backing fabric without going all the way through to the front of the quilt. Some people like to create their labels prior to quilting so that they can also quilt through the label, ensuring it will be there throughout the life of the quilt. Again, my own insecurity prevents me from doing that.

My quilts will never be in any show. I won't win any awards or blue ribbons. I couldn't bear to hear what a judge might say about my simple creations. However, my quilts and other crafts do represent the love that I MUST express with my hands. For the recipients, I can only hope that's enough. 

Happy stitchin',

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blankets for Haiti Update

On February 13 Momcat and her BFF Kim participated in the Blankets for Haiti event sponsored by the Greater Cincinnati Project Linus Chapter. 

Here's a report from Momcat:

I wanted to wait until I received all the information from the our Project Linus coordinator. All the stats are now in the newsletter, so I can share them with you.

The event was held in a church.  First we checked in, dropped off our blankets and signed the volunteer form. Then we were put to work.

The first job was to separate three types of blankets:  Fleece created one category, flannel was one category, and quilts intended for local use were the final category.  You can see Kim is the pretty lady in glasses and the pink sweater sorting and folding blankets.

The blankets had to be folded tightly together and placed into green/black lawn and leaf bags. In the picture above you can see a man on the right doing just that.

Once a garbage bag was full, a vacuum cleaner hose was placed in the bag to suck out all the air. In effect, we were shrink-wrapping the bags.  When you're a nine-year-old boy, that's a pretty fun job to have.

Once the bags had the air sucked out they were duct taped and labeled with the number of blankets enclosed and whether they were fleece or flannel.  The lady in the gray sweatshirt is doing that while helping the woman in the scarf to a station.

The bags were then placed in large cartons. Each carton was numbered and then a sheet was created with corresponding numbers indicating contents (3 fleece and 4 flannel = total number of blankets, for instance). That was my job.  Kim was a great sorter and folder so she stayed in that position.

Helpers were all ages and sizes. What a wonderful way for children to help other children. All the blankets stacked and folded on the floor of this picture are from the group of friends I contacted who surpassed my wildest dreams with their generosity.

These bags represent quilts made for the regular chapter drop-off. Even though contributors focused on the Blankets for Haiti project, they still found time to make quilts for our area children in need.

Click here for the link to the full article about the event: March 2010 Project Linus Cincinnati Chapter newsletter.

The chapter committed to 1000 blankets for the cause - - - and collected 1,500!

Shipping cost $680 - - contributors gave $580 and the remaining $100 came from the chapter account.

There were almost 40 volunteers (so many that some of us worked just a little to give someone else a turn).

To all my friends who contributed in some way, whether by making a blanket or simply praying for the project, I humbly give you thanks.

Linda (and Piwacket)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stash Report Sunday - March 28, 2010

Any week with a finish is a good week!  Momcat's boss at the quilt shop gave us three fat quarters with a teaching theme. I don't mind reporting something that results from generosity (meaning I didn't buy it). Thanks, Jan!

Used this Week:     0 yards
Used year to Date: 79.1 yards
Added this Week:    .75 yards
Added Year to Date: 33 yards

Net Used for 2010:     46.1 yards

Lots of us are reporting through Judy Laquidara's blog, Patchwork Times. Take a look to see how we're all doing.
Licking my paws; are you licking yours?

Friday, March 26, 2010


Fiddlesticks is ready for its quilt label and then can be given to its unknowing recipient. It was started over Easter weekend last year and it feels great to have it finished.

I quilted in the ditch along the gold sashing/border. I completed the 60-degree grid quilting using the masking tape method.

You can see the resulting diamond shapes from the close-up of the back of the quilt.

Reminder for those of you who own the same pattern: I deleted the extra wide outer border because I know this is going to be used as a sofa quilt and didn't need the extra size. As you can tell from the picture on the queen-size bed, this size is going to be perfect for a throw.

Ready to move to the next project,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Stash Report Sunday - March 21, 2010

Happy Spring!

We've had beautiful weather here for the past several days. It's still too early to plant flowers in our area because of the threat of frost, but Maggie has certainly enjoyed her walks and her yard. We kitties have liked lying in the sunbeams.

Yesterday was National Quilting Day and Momcat sure took advantage of it. All seven of us (Momcat, five felines and one dawg) were in the sewing room together at one point.  The binding for Fiddlesticks is done and we spent time working on 3" squares for a scrappy baby quilt.

I'll snuggle in with Momcat so she can finish sewing the binding down and then we'll take a picture.

The figures below reflect .75 yards used for the Fiddlesticks binding plus 1.75 yards cut up for the scrappy baby quilt.

Used this Week:     2.5 yards
Used year to Date: 79.1 yards
Added this Week:    0 yards
Added Year to Date: 32.5 yards

Net Used for 2010:     46.6 yards

Judy is complaining that her numbers are stagnant. That girl has already busted 152 yards this year! Click on the link to see what I mean.

Create for fifteen minutes a day. It's good for the soul.


Saturday, March 20, 2010


Remember the shrew?

Maggie has apparently graduated to eating small boys from the neighborhood.

This is what Momcat found when calling Maggie in from breakfast. It's important to note that we do not have any children living with us and we do have a fenced yard.

Shoe ala mode, anybody?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Killer DAWG

Maggie has earned my grudging respect.

Two days ago Momcat noticed Maggie in the backyard with something in her mouth that didn't look quite familiar.  It wasn't her tennis ball or a Konga toy.  It wasn't a branch from the honeysuckle bush which she's intent upon destroying.  It looked like a clump of mud from a distance.

When Maggie realized Momcat was watching, she came running to the patio door and dropped a dead rodent for Momcat to see.

"EWWWW!" cried Momcat.  "Philip, if you go to the patio to clean up a dead shrew, I'll get Maggie in through the basement door."

When Momcat called Maggie in through the basement door, Maggie had the shrew in her mouth again, which she happily dropped at Momcat's feet.  Once Momcat got over saying "Yuck!" about a million times she praised Maggie in a huge way. It was sickening. Not the dead animal. The way Momcat fussed over the stupid DAWG.

I was hoping that she'd give my siblings and me the corpse to play with, even though it's a lot more fun to play with something still living.  But no, the manchild threw it away.

So I got nothing. Maggie got praised, a treat and a thorough teeth-brushing.  The shrew got dead.

Deprived of shrew stew,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I Paid It Forward. And Received More!

I owed three pay-it-forward (PIF) gifts to some blogger friends. Regina (bitnbyaquiltingbug), Beth (the quilt ladies book collection) and Linda (hand quilting nana) should receive their gifts in the next couple of days if the post office hasn't already delivered them.

In the past couple of weeks, I've been lucky enough to be the recipient of even more PIF gifts.

This darling candle mat was made by Cathy (Cat in the Sewing Room). I wasn't allowed to post a picture of it for awhile because her other recipients are out-of-town. Momcat was lucky enough to receive this one when she and Cathy spent a much-needed girls' day out together.  Say "Hi" to Smudge for me, Cathy!

Next I received this from Shellie (Shell Creations).

Naturally, when Momcat opened the envelope I assumed it was something for me. I love yarn and thread, and I eagerly started to think of all kinds of cool things I could do with this lacy crocheted piece.  I started dragging it away. And then, you won't believe what happened......

....are you ready?

Momcat tapped my nose and said, "NO! NO! NO! Piwacket, that bookmark belongs to me. We don't play with gorgeous handmade pieces like this!"

Well, excuuuuuuuse me! 

You know, that kind of abuse just made me so upset I had to take it out on someone. Butch was in the crow's nest of the kitty condo. MY crow's nest. Time to teach him a lesson about usurping the queen.

As everyone knows who has ever eaten a chocolate Easter bunny, it's best to start with the ears. Butch's taste just like chicken.

Once I'm done with my snack, I have SIX PIFs to create. Stay-tuned for the announcement and a reminder of the rules. Link back to this post and encourage your friends to visit here often. 

Testily yours,

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Very Special Day

Today is all about me.

It's an international day named for me.

It's not about this.

And it's not about that.

(yep, that's a cow pie).

Some crazy mathematicians might try to convince you that today is all about this:

However, anyone with any sense at all knows that the date of 3-14 is to celebrate...

...the only Pi that matters.

Enjoy my special day, everybody!!


Stash Report Sunday - March 14, 2010

I can't stand it anymore!  I'm counting what I've used for "Fiddlesticks" even though I haven't completed it yet. I've spent so much time this week helping Momcat knit, fix the dishwasher and help the real estate agent do a walk-through that our sewing time was cut short again.

If you also have the Fiddlesticks pattern by Kansas Troubles Quilters, we're not doing the outer border. That means our yardage is reduced by the outer border and that we have a smaller backing.

I'll add the binding separately when I cut it. 

Used this Week:     12 yards
Used year to Date: 76.6 yards
Added this Week:    0 yards
Added Year to Date: 32.5 yards

Net Used for 2010:     44.1 yards

Next week Momcat is visiting her parents in North Carolina. There won't be any sewing, but Philip has promised lots of cuddle time.

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


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Stash Report Sunday - March 7, 2010

It's the sun! It's the sun!  I never thought I'd be so happy to see dust motes drifting through the house, but even they look pretty with the sunshine finally dappling through the windows. Plus they're fun to chase.

Boring stash report this week. All those goals had to be put aside thanks to a kitchen plumbing emergency. So Fiddlesticks is still being quilted.  Even though grid quilting is easy and can look great, Momcat doesn't enjoy going back and burying all those threads. I'm sure we'll have some TV and recliner time soon to accomplish that task.

Used this Week:     0 yards
Used year to Date: 64.6 yards
Added this Week:    0 yards
Added Year to Date: 32.5 yards

Net Used for 2010:     32.1 yards

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


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Wayback Machine

As we join Mr. Peabody and Sherman in the Wayback Machine, we find that we have only a short trip to make.

In January I received a Pay It Forward (PIF) gift from Jennifer, meaning that I needed to create three items for three different bloggers.  And this week I'll finally be done and able to put those gifts into the mail!

These three bloggers have agreed to the PIF rules and have committed to announcing on their blogs their giveaway:

Beth @ The Quilt Ladies
Hand Quilting Nana
BitnByAQuiltingBug (which also happens to be my buddy, Regina)

Beth, Nana and Regina...if you haven't already done so, be sure to send me your snail mail address.

Momcat was actually having a good hair day last week and allowed me to take her picture using the Pi-Cam.  If you were to ask her children and some of her closest friends, you'd find out that although she does smile and laugh a lot, there are times that she has THE LOOK (insert scary music here) Fortunately, she must reserve that horror for human beans.

Hope you found your 15 minutes to create today!