Sunday, January 23, 2011

Watching Dora Grow

So, we got this idea to shoot weekly photos of Dora because we KNEW she would grow quickly. We were right! We are trying to use the same pose each time, in front of a piece of furniture (my grandma's pump organ), as a frame of reference to show her growth.
Here she is just 2 days after we got her - December 26th, 2010 - 8 weeks old, and 11 pounds. Isn't it perfect that she is trying to chew the sign I'm holding?
...9 weeks old, and 12.5 pounds...

...10 weeks old, 14 pounds...(realize that we are weighing her on our old bathroom scale, not very accurate!)
...11 weeks old, and 18 pounds (big week for Dora!)

...and now she is 12 weeks old, and 19 pounds! Note also how much taller she is! She has been sleeping a LOT, which is when she does lots of her growing, I think. We just bought her a dog bed cushion today, for the family room floor. We got the extra large size! :)




Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Christmas Projects Finally Posted - The Final Chapter!

I tried to get all of these pictures onto the previous post, but it was too much for blogger, I guess.
This shows the three sets of coasters I made. The bottom set is reversible, from dark gray to light gray batik - I showed one with the reverse showing. They are displayed on the back of the aqua and black table runner I blogged about yesterday, I think.
Here's Dora in one of her hangout spots. When Scott works from home, he brings Dora downstairs with him (his office shares space with our laundry area). Dora loves to snuggle in with the laundry. :) I think she just woke up when I took this picure - she looks a little groggy!

Christmas Projects Finally Posted - Almost Done!

This wasn't technically a Christmas present, but I wrapped it and sent it with the others. I have made graduation quilts for all of my nieces and nephews (we don't have a big family!), and this one is for my niece, Collin, who graduated from high school in Virginia in June of 2010. A little late, I know! I knew she liked pink, white, and black - but I had trouble working black into my design, so this is what I ended up with. The back is pieced with the leftover fabrics, and I even have a pieced binding. I used up all but a small basket of leftover strips in this quilt.
Here you can see the quilting detail. I did not quilt it myself - I sent it out for quilting, to a local long-arm quilter I have used in the past (she does not want her name given out). She does a beautiful job, and I was happily surprised with the results! I just sent her the quilt, and asked her to "play" in all of the borders, using variegated pink thread. When I asked her if she had that color of thread, she started laughing - "oh, you have no idea!" Apparently she collects thread like many of us quilters collect fabric.
I am happy with how this table runner finally turned out. It went through a few arrangements before I settled on this design. The blue and green strips were leftovers from another project, so I started with the pieced blocks. All of the other fabrics were from my stash. The backing is actually a black and white splashy modern print, and looks awesome with the lime green binding, making the runner reversible. This now lives with my brother and sister-in-law in Virginia.
Close-up of quilting detail. I had lots of fun quilting this. I saw the design on a quilt by Victoria at BumbleBeansInc. blog. I practiced by drawing on paper first, then went to the fabric. It is my new favorite all-over quilting design. It is fun and easy, and looks great.
Had to finish with a picture of my gorgeous puppy, Dora. She is growing at an amazing speed - she gained 4 pounds last week! She is our beautiful yellow lab, from Cricket Hollow Farm in Galva, Illinois. She is a sweet doggy, and we all just love her!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Christmas Projects Finally Posted - Continued!

I had lots of fun finishing these four wall quilts for Christmas gifts this year. I had already finished, or almost finished, these four blocks as part of a wall quilt. Well, I knew the quilt would never happen - so they became individual wall quilts, and I'm happy how they turned out. This one now lives with dear Genevieve, who loves animals. She also loves sparkly things, so I quilted it with metallic threads. It was fun to use lots of those fun threads which have been in a box for a while.
One of my challenges for these wall quilts was to not buy any fabrics to finish them! Each quilt required 3 fabrics: narrow inner border, wider outer border, plus the backing/binding fabric. On each quilt, I brought the backing around to the front to bind it. I love this finish - it is quick and easy, and perfectly fine for projects like these, which will not receive lots of wear and tear, or frequent washing. I love the little cardinal in the tree - nice pop of color - and did you notice that each quilt has a cardinal in it? This quilt now lives in Indianapolis with dear friends.

I love these bears, busily getting ready for Christmas! I was lucky to find the black/gray print for the border, plus I like how the bright blue and red borders echo the Christmas lights. This quilt lives with our great neighbors and friends, the Knights.


These little chickadees were the perfect gift for Scott's brother and his wife, in Minnesota. They have other chickadee accessories in their home, and love feeding the birds in the beautiful backyard. They have a nice big sliding glass door next to their breakfast table, so they can keep watch on all of the local wildlife.



Totally different project! These blocks were a UFO begun by Hannah and me, a number of years ago. Hannah was ok with me using the blocks for another purpose, and I think they look lovely in this table runner. Just a simple black border, some simple stipple quilting, and then bind the edge with the backing fabric. This lives in the D.C. suburbs with my brother and his wife and daughter. More projects in the next post!




Monday, January 17, 2011

Christmas Projects Finally Posted

Of course I couldn't post about Christmas gifts until after Christmas - and I just received these photos from my daughter, so here we go. I forgot to take pictures on my camera, not sure why!
I made this Christmas stocking for Emily's boyfriend, Matt. He's a great guy, and we all like him a lot. Since he and Emily spent the holidays at our house with us, I thought he definitely needed his own stocking! I added the Notre Dame logo, his alma mater. The front is scrappy/crazy pieced, the back is solid fabric, then both were overall stipple quilted before assembling the stocking. Fun project - and Matt liked it!
Emily asked me to make her a tree skirt. I love to sew for my daughters, but they haven't let me do so since they were in grade school! I was thrilled that Emily asked for something - but she didn't ask me until sometime in December! I was already up to my eyeballs in sewing projects to be completed by Christmas, and working two jobs, so I told her I would sew one - for next year. She was fine with that - and was definitely surprised when I DID finish it for this year! I found a tutorial on another blog, crazymomquilts, added a few changes of my own, and had the whole thing done really quickly. I just did simple grid quilting, and finished the edge by bringing the backing around to the front - a quick and easy finish, quicker by far than a separate binding. And it is totally fine for something that will get little wear and tear. The tree skirt turned out great, and Emily's dog, Cohen, looks just precious posing on it, doesn't he?
I guess Cohen got tired of posing - but he still looks pretty cute! Emily was unable to properly attach the tree skirt under the tree, as it was late in the season and the tree was too dry and brittle to get close to and under it. Better picture next year!