Tuesday, March 30, 2010

One flower detail, the alphabet and a few more personal details and I can put Margaret H. to bed. I have added my hometown and I will add my name to the piece. I'm stitching this on an unknown piece of Silkweavers. It might even be 36 count rather than the 32 count I usually use when doing BBD pieces - I haven't paid that much attention to it.

The weekend was pretty much a wash - the seminar a waste of my time and money. I was further along than the class so I didn't get any new information and they never even got to the topic I was interested in learning about. But it was nice to hang out with some friends and talk agility and dogs. I didn't do a single stitching sort of thing at all the entire weekend. Usually I do something at least but no, nothing. :-) Once in a while I guess that is ok.

I need to start thinking about my next stitching project and I'm going to dive into my stash for that. I'd love to do a chart that has been hanging around for a couple of years and I have plenty to pick from. Or maybe even do something that I have all the supplies for. :-) There are several of those waiting also.

Have a great week!

Friday, March 26, 2010

friday :-)

Despite that fact that I had a day off work yesterday, I'm still jumping for joy that it's Friday. Here is my progress on Margaret H. It just keeps getting prettier and prettier. I love those gals at BBD. :-)

I had bad news at the car repair place yesterday - to do the minimum of work required on my car it will take $1,200 and that is not even fixing what I went there for. I have no idea where I'm going to find the money for that. That pretty much put me in a rotten mood for the rest of the day so I didn't as much done as I had planned. I basically sat and sulked the bulk of the day. But I did finish month three of Civil War Tribute. This was a really cool block to do. It looks hard but wasn't at all. I did get some of my fat quarters made into strips but not as many as I had hoped. I found that I needed a nap. :-)
Tomorrow and Sunday, Clancy and I are going to be at a clicker training for agility seminar. It should be fun and help get me out of my funk.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Playing hooky

I'm at home today taking a vacation day. :-) I needed to get some work done on my car and rather than work from home, I decided to just take it off. I have made it to the other edge on Margaret H. I don't know about you but when I get to the edge of a piece I feel like I'm half way home. :-) I really love that honeysuckle border on this piece and I'm going to plan on doing the companion piece also. This sure would make a cute pillow. ;-)

I started on a new rug hooking project last night. This one will also be destined to be a pillow. I'm itching to find, purchase and start a larger rug project but I want to finish the two small kits that I have. And then there is the problem of picking just one big project - my head is filled with ideas and I don't know where to start. :-) A good problem to have I think rather than the opposite of finding nothing I like.
I'm going to spend most of my day quilting. I'll finish up my BoM for my Civil War Tribute quilt and then I have no idea what I'm going to do. Maybe finish cutting out my log cabin medium and dark strips. I only have 10 yards to strip. :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

good progress

I had a good stitching day yesterday. :-) Here is my progress on Margaret H. I'd like to get to the other side by the end of the day. If I stitch at lunchtime I think I can do it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday just keeps coming around

Monday came very early this morning although not as early as last week seemed! :-) I quilted most of my weekend away. On Sunday I cut and pieced the above quilt top. It's called Framed Four Patch and the pattern is from a company called All Through the Night. Wow this was quick - I started around 8:00am and was finished by 3:00pm and even had time to make two pots of soup for lunch for the next couple of weeks and do all my laundry during that seven hours. It's the first top that I have completed that used precut pieces of fabric. I'm going to hang onto this pattern for sure so I can have it on hand in case I have a need to turn something out super quick. It's a lap size quilt finishing at 50 x 60 and I used flannel. I love to piece with flannel because there is so much give in the fabric that it's very forgiving. If I were going to recommend a starter sort of quilt I would mention this one and I'd even recommend using flannel. The backing fabric is a very cute bunny print. I'm planning on machine quilting this one myself. That's Clancy looking up and I think Aoife to the bottom. They love flannel quilts too. :-)
Here is my progress on Margaret H. I didn't put a stitch in all weekend - after quilting all day all I was good for was watching the TV.

On Saturday I finished putting together the four blocks required from month 2 of my Civil War BOM quilt. If I recall, these four blocks finished at 18 1/2 by 18 1/2. It took almost my entire day Saturday to finish them.

On Saturday after I finished piecing my four blocks, I had time to cut out month 3 and on Sunday I started to put them together. I think I'm going to try to finish them up this week at night to get it off my list. There are four blocks with month 3 - two 15 1/2 by 15 1/2 blocks and two 12 1/2 by 12 1/2 blocks - all the same.

That's all for now - hopefully Margaret H will progress a little more than she did last week. :-) Have a great week!

Friday, March 19, 2010


Happy it is Friday and happy my house is done. The piece will fly now I'm sure. :-)

Someone made a comment yesterday or the day before about how long houses seem to take and they sure do. :-) But always so worth it.

No plans for the coming weekend except crafting, crafting and more crafting. I do have the usual household chores to deal with, more than last weekend so I don't expect to get as much done as I did last Saturday and Sunday. But on my list is: finish my four Civil War Tribute quilt blocks, start and complete month 3 (it should arrive today or tomorrow in the mail), work on cutting out and starting to piece my last quilt kit purchased from last year's International Quilt Show (a lap size flannel quilt), stitch my Margaret H piece and maybe start on a new rug.

I do want to maximize my time however as my next two weekends are going to be pug weekends. Next Saturday and Sunday I'm attending an agility seminar with Eva Bertilsson and Emelie Johnson Vegh - they are the hottest agility thing out of Sweden these days. They have a new book out covering agility and clicker training. I love clicker training for my dogs but I have not used it much with agility and I'm hopeful it will help me with some problem areas that I have. It will be a lot of fun for sure. The weekend after that I'll be with Clancy at an agility trial in St. Charles, IL.

Please everyone enjoy your weekend! And thanks for stopping by. :-)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's a house

I managed to stay awake for two entire train rides! Yeah for me! LOL!

I had planned on stitching last night but I sat down at my computer to harvest just one more crop on FarmVille and three hours later I was still rotting. :-) I went to bed not long after not putting in a single stitch. Damn that FarmVille! I'm still looking for more friends, let me know if you want to be one with me.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

managed to stay awake!

I swear it's the little things, like staying awake on the train in the morning. :-) Here is my Margaret H. Hopefully on the way home tonight I won't feel the need for a little nappy. I think I'm going to stitch in the evenings this week. I have my next little rug hooking project ready to go but I'm in the mood for pulling thread and not pushing wool.

Happy St. Paddy's Day! I forgot this morning to take a photo of my little Irish Pugs. I'll try to remember tonight.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

at least it's a start ;-)

As usual at this time of the year, the start of Daylight Savings is kicking my butt. I didn't stitch last night or this morning. But I'm going to make myself stay awake a bit tomorrow on the train so I can start getting used to the early hour. Here is the start to Margaret Harris - I discovered that the house color I picked out on Sunday almost matched the fabric perfectly so I have to go through my stash again. I seem to recall a variegated DMC white that should work perfectly and it's a great price to boot. :-)

I have to laugh at most of the comments I received from my post regarding my weekend's activities. I do tend to get a lot done during the week and on the weekends but there is a reason. I really don't have much else going on. :-) I don't have kids or a husband or significant other distracting me from the things I like/want to do. If I want to sit at the sewing machine for eight hours I can do so freely. And often do. I started sewing on my quilt Saturday morning at 10:00am - I was done doing my little bit of housekeeping and my laundry for the week (I did get up at 6:00am to start this) and I sewed until 6:00pm that evening. I then drove to Joann's to pick up my wool fabric for my pillow and got home an hour later. I then hooked until my heart pillow was finished. On Sunday I started sewing again around 10:00am or so and didn't stop until almost 7:00pm. After that I worked on kitting Margaret Harris. So over the two days I got in almost 17 hours of quilting/sewing! Most people don't have that much time to dedicate to one thing over a weekend. Truthfully most weekends I don't either. I have to fit in dog training, housework, shopping, friends and everything else I need to get done. It just so happens that last weekend it was still to wet to take the dogs outside to train, I didn't need to go grocery shopping, had no plans with friends and my housekeeping tasks were very light. :-)

And then don't forget I have an almost two hour commute every day. Before I do anything at night, that is almost three hours a day of stitching. If I don't fall asleep on the train that comes to 15 hours of bonus time that most people don't have. Heck that amount is what some of you must get all week including the weekends to craft!

But now that the weather is getting better I will have less time. I try to spend at least 30 minutes every evening to train/play with the pugs outside and on Saturday and Sunday I try to do more. I also will start my gardening soon and that really eats into my weekend. And peak agility trial season starts soon (May) and then I don't get any quilting in at all on the weekends because I'm gone both days at a trial site. So I'm really trying to push right now to get the stash down while I have the time.

Monday, March 15, 2010

a non-stitching weekend :-)

But I got a lot of other things done. :-)

I spent the majority of my weekend piecing my Quilt By Numbers quilt. I really didn't think it would take me as long as it did to get this together. In my head I was thinking one day max. But it took all of my available day on Saturday and half of Sunday. But there are over 550 blocks plus I had to lay them all out before I started to join them to the pattern right.

I got this quilt pattern from an old issue of one of the McCall's quilting magazines, maybe from 2007/2008? That's all I remember and I only saved the quilt instructions not the entire magazine. The fabric is from Cherrywood Fabrics. I purchased this to practice my machine quilting skills and that is still the plan. I'll do a continuous line orange peel in all of the triangles with a simple curving pattern for the borders. At least that is the plan for now. I have two others quilt tops that I need to also get ready to machine quilt but I need to take my machine in for a tune up first. I just don't know when I'll do that however. The closest Bernina dealer is an hour away from me and quite frankly, I don't believe I can live without my machine for very long right now. :-) In mid-May I have two agility weekends back to back so I'm thinking that would be good timing as I'm only sewing on Saturday and Sundays.

I was able to finish Garden Flowers on the way home from work on Friday evening. Part of the weekend's plan had been to finish it into a pillow but I didn't like any of the fabric in my stash for it. Can you believe I have yards and yards of fabric and nothing worked!?! So I need to go shopping. Bummer. ;-)

Garden Flowers - design by Stone & Thread
32 count Dark Tan by Silkweavers
Various overdyed threads

I finished up hooking my second little rug on Saturday night and started turning it into a pillow on Sunday. I haven't put on the binding yet. It's all done by hand and I was just too tired last night to even start it. But the finished product won't look to different from this photo. I have two more little rugs in my stash and I'll start on one of those this week in the evenings.

After I finished up piecing Quilt by Numbers I started working on my Civil War Tribute quilt's second installment. For month two we received four 15" blocks. They are all the same. I'll finish them up next Saturday. Good timing as I expect I'll receive month 3 by the weekend.
As for my new stitching start I kitted up Margaret Harris from Honeysuckle Manor by Blackbird Designs. I'm not using the silk called for but rather an assortment of cotton overdyed. I'm disappointed that BBD are starting to use Belle Soie more and more. Not only are they so not colorfast but they are now more than $7.00 a skein with the new price increase! Way too expensive for me.

I didn't get a chance to start on it today because the alarm clock went off way to early for me today and I promptly fell asleep as soon as I got on my train so look for the start tomorrow. :-)

Have a great week!

Friday, March 12, 2010

One more train ride

And I'll be finished with Garden Flowers!
I'm thinking I will pillowize it. :-)

I have a wedding to go to tonight - in fact I need to catch an early train to get there on time. I hate Friday night weddings. But I understand why people do it.

The weekend will be full of pugs, rugs, stitching, pillowizing and quilting. Hopefully I will have tons to share on Monday.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I made it to the top of Garden Flowers! :-) I'm really winging the colors on this piece. I only had about a third of the recommended overdyed thread for this piece so I've been picking out of my stash. I realized this morning I HATE one of the colors I picked for the flowers. So back to the stash and find something else. The flowers are two shades of pink and the darker of the two I picked I think is way to bright to go with the Clover I really like. But I'm sure I'll have something that will work. :-) I'm still feeling poorly (it's been almost two weeks - enough is enough) so I didn't stitch/hook a bit last night. My cold has moved into my sinuses and even my teeth hurt. Ouch!

I haven't chatted much about the Market pieces that came out this year. Mostly because I just don't want to spend much money and try to get to my ever growing stash. But I really want Autumn in Hawk Run Hollow. I love that one - I love it as much as I didn't care for the Christmas piece. I liked a couple of With My Needle pieces - Quaker Sampling III - a must have for me since I have already stitched QSI and QSII. Also I loved Mrs. Waddelow's Huswif but I really don't need to spend money to stitch and finish yet another needlecase. But I might give in anyway. :-) As usual a couple of Primitive Needle designs caught my eye but unless I can pick them up on a really good sale I will most likely pass on those.

I also liked everything from Blackbird Designs (of course!) and purchased Honeysuckle Manor just this week. I also want the new series, Anniversaries of the Heart, and I want to do it on the same piece of linen. So far the only thing that as kept me from buying the two charts that are available is I don't have any linen of the size that is needed. To keep down the cost of thread I figured I would do mine on 35/36 count because then I could do one over two. But that is still a 29" x 21" piece of linen. The largest piece of quality linen I currently have in my stash is a fat quarter which is too small. Bummer. I have several yards of crappy linen that I can over dye no problem but which a project this long term I have found that I really like to use Zweigart based overdyed and not the looser weaves. It doesn't look like Silkweavers sells custom cuts anymore so that means buying a fat half at $51.00! Yikes! Plus 12 charts at $9.00 a piece. That's almost $160.00 before I buy any thread. So not in the plan for using my stash! But I'm still torn. I REALLY like the two that are out so far.

Thanks for your nice comments on my agility videos. I'm so glad several of you noticed how much fun Clancy was having! :-) That is my first priority always. He was even so relaxed that on a couple of the runs (and you can see this in the videos) he was rolling over for a belly rub at the start line! Now that is relaxed.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

uploaded some videos

I made it to the left margin on Garden Flowers - now you can see just how small of a piece this is. :-) Way to small to be taking me two plus weeks. LOL! I didn't go to agility last night (still feeling sick) and I almost picked it up. Instead I wanted to work on my hooking and I almost finished my little heart. Photo of that tomorrow for sure.

I posted four videos of me and Clancy from the weekend's agility trial. Here is the link to my channel: http://www.youtube.com/ThreeCoolPugs. The videos are dated from last weekend. WARNING! Watch at your own risk - videos include lots of bad handling. :-) Since most of you don't know the difference between good handling an bad handling I'll fill you in. It's good handling when the dog just seems to know where to go next, there are no dog under your feet and dog way behind you and things like that. Good handling is very smooth and it looks easy. :-) Bad handling is very jerky and out of sync with the dog.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

back to stitching

I finally feel like I'm making some progress with my Garden Flowers piece. I can still see it totally as rug. :-) The fence shows up better IRL but as usual my photo skills are not what they should be.

Here is my little heart rug. I should be done hooking tomorrow evening. Then I will pillowize it like I did my little house rug. :-) I won't be able to do that however until the weekend at the earliest - I need to go buy some wool yardage for the backing as well as some wool to bind the edges.

Thanks for all your kinds words yesterday regarding my agility weekend. Clancy and I both appreciate the support.

Monday, March 08, 2010

pug looking for new agility handler

Hi, my name is Clancy O'Shay and I'm a great agility dog. But a have a problem. My mom sucks at agility - will you be my new handler?

That just sums up our weekend. Clancy was great - I sucked. In the end I cost us three qualifying scores. That just breaks my heart. My timing was off and I even go lost once on a course. Clancy does his darnedest to figure out what I want him to do but sometimes even he can't figure me out. :-) Our next trial is in four weeks so I have time to learn all about agility handling. :-)

I didn't get any crafting in of any sort expect some hooking on Friday evening. But I'm making quick work of my little heart pillow. It should be done by the weekend for sure.

Enjoy your week! I'm doing my best to enjoy mine. And so is Clancy! :-)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

still sick

Here is Garden Flowers - it's really a small piece - I didn't realise just how so until I got the almost the right edge only after a couple of hours of stitching. But I really like it and I'm still seeing it as a potential rug someday.

I'm still sick and while I don't feel very ill, I'm feeling really tired and nap time has a big draw. I worked from home yesterday and did manage a tiny one during the day. I also got going on my next rug project. It's just a little heart and I'll finish it off into a pillow. This one is smaller than my last one - only 10 x 10. But I think it's very cute.
Last night I finally got going on my Glove Class work - part 2 just came out and I haven't touched it yet. Remember it's the one I signed up for late last year from Thistle Threads? I very quickly remembered why I like cross stitching so much. I had so much trouble with even the basic outlining with a backstitch. Without the warp and the weave to guide me I'm lost. After I backstitched only two flowers (just that took forever I swear) I then had to do a long and short stitch to complete the flower. I worked on it for what felt like hours and never was happy with my results so I ended up cutting out every I had put in. I'll try again tonight with more penciled in guidelines on the linen. It's a good thing Tricia said there was lots of extra silk. I suppose I could practice on another piece of linen until I get the hang of it but I really don't roll that way. :-)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

under the weather

Here is my progress on Garden Flowers. Not as far along as I would like. I picked up a cold somewhere - mostly likely on the blasted train. :-( So I didn't get any stitching done last night and nothing today on the way into work. It was nap time! Hopefully it will be a short lived cold - I have an agility trial I want to be fresh for this weekend. :-)

Monday, March 01, 2010


I spent most of my crafting weekend quilting. And it felt great. :-)

I managed to start on my new cross stitch piece - Garden Flowers from Stone & Thread. It's kinda funny, now that I'm a rug hooker I look at every cross stitch piece as a potential rug and this would be a perfect design for one. You will see that as I get more stitched in.

I finally finished Paintbox Stars! It only took six years. :-) I purchased it six years ago for a guy I was dating at the time and even managed to cut it out. I dropped the guy and put the quilt pieces back in my stash where it didn't see the light of day until this January. I knew that once I had the blocks together it would be just a day and it would be together. And that is exactly what happened. I worked a little on the blocks every evening over the past couple of weeks and on Saturday I spent the day and got the entire thing together. Unfortunately I can't take a decent photo because this baby is big! It's a king size top and I won't be able to spread it out until I can take it outside and that won't be until spring when the snow melts. :-) I love the idea of seasonal decorating and this would make a great summer time quilt - it looks very Fourth of July to me.

As I mentioned on Friday I did take a couple of hours that evening and went through my quilt stash. I figured I had a couple of kitted quilts that I could sell. Well I only found one that I didn't want anymore along with a used BOM quilt pattern from Thimbleberries called Safe Haven that I might be able to sell. I do have four quilts that I still want to finish or start. One is Moon Glow from Jinny Beyer - this quilt has been around forever and I have even finished six blocks. As you can see from the photo below, it's not my style at all but the challenge of putting it together still appeals to me so I'm going to hang onto it. In any case, I only have half of the kit that I could sell and I didn't think I get very much $$ for it at all. I also found a beautiful fall quilt that I still LOVE and is totally still my style and colors but I put it back and still don't plan on doing anything with it yet. There was also two other smallish quilts that I found. I had purchased both at the International Quilt Show that is held every April in Rosemont Illinois. I have a hard rule that says if I purchased a quilt kit or large quanities of fabric and if I have not finished them or used the fabric I can't buy more at the next show. I figure that way it will keep my stash from getting out of hand. And so far it has worked - until now. Somehow I managed THREE kits from prevous years in my stash! I did start one - it's the wall hanging quilt with the baskets that I started a couple of weeks ago and since I decided to do a slightly different color way for the rest of it I'm letting that be ok. Of the other two, one is a flannel quilt made up of pastels. I had intended to make it has a baby quilt for a nephew but I never got around to it so now I'm keeping it. It's small and will be very quick and I have seven weeks to start and finish it. The other was a quilt kit from the McCall's Quilting magazine that I used to receive in the mail. It features fabric from Cherrywood Fabrics. They make the most amazing sueded hand dyed fabric in the world. The feel of it is wonderful. I purchased two kits three years ago so I could practice my machine quilting skills on the finished tops. I did finish one top but somehow this one got pushed to the side. So I stared it yesterday. It's small, 36 x 42 and I will only need one more good day of quilting to finish the top. The colors are so pretty and I still plan on machine quilting it.

So that was my weekend. :-) I had a blast and got a huge project done. Enjoy your week. I'm going to try to get as much stitching and hooking in as I can. Clancy and I have an agility trial this weekend so no crafting time at all so I need to make up for it.