Category Archives: Raining Cats and Dogs

More quilt show pictures

 Karen Van Den Brink
Who was the featured artist of the show.

A week has gone by and I never got a chance to show more pictures from the show.  Karen Van Den Brink was the featured artist and I love the quilt above.  It is reverse applique and very simply quilted.  If you could see, it’s just straight lines diagonally across the quilt from corner to corner of each solid block of fabric. I told her how I liked her choice to quilt it simply and she laughed saying that she quilted it herself on her domestic which is why it’s so simply quilted.  I thought it was a design choice and thought the simplicity really made the complexity of the blocks stand out.  I liked it!

 

We will Never Be Royals
Dottie Cincis

 

The Shaman
Marty Boles

Golden Rain
Victoria Crayne

There were so many beautiful quilts at the show and I am extremely grateful to be part of a guild with the talent that was exhibited at the show.  I’ve taken note of my favorite quilters and I’m hoping to track down the ones who still give classes.  Some of them do periodically at the quilt shops around here.  I personally love the applique and the hand quilting.  One day I plan to start working on practicing hand applique and quilting on smaller projects.  I generally make big quilts and hand quilting a big quilt takes too much time.  I do not enjoy that process.  I’m already hand quilting Raining Cats and Dogs and I barely touch that 1-2 times per month.  I hope I can get to it more.  Now that basketball season is over for my Clippers I’m going to have to find an evening each week to spend some time quilting that project.

On the personal side: The hubby is back from the Philippines and we’re having friends and family come over today to welcome him back.  I hope to get some crafting done before they arrive.  I’m still having trouble staying motivated and working on things.  Knitting is easy because it’s small and travel ready.  I’ve picked up a copy of Love at first Stitch by Tilly Walnes.  It’s all about garment sewing for the beginning garment sewer.  I’m familiar with my sewing machine and quilting but have not ever done anything on garment sewing.  I’m intrigued by the #memademay movement and I’m inspired to start on the path of dressmaking.  I’ve struggled to find the right fit and the right look at commercial stores and pretty much only wear t-shirts and yoga pants on a day to day.  I hate shopping.  If you don’t know about Me Made May it’s all about wearing something you’ve created every day in May.  It’s meant to encourage crafters to use their handmade items more regularly and incorporate it into their daily wear.  I don’t have much of anything to actually wear so I’m just watching from the sidelines.  It’s a wonderful concept and I’m looking forward to trying out garment sewing.

The problem with starting is that I’ve got a backlog of other projects that I haven’t finished up yet.  To be honest, it’s like a weight around my neck. I don’t want to start anything new but I can’t find the motivation to finish anything.  I have an idea of a new quilting project and I want to get started.  I’ve had the book The Civil War Diary Quilt forever and I’ve always wanted to work through the book and make each block.  But I haven’t for one reason or another.  I woke up one morning with an idea to just start with some colors in mind.  I’ve been gathering the items I need and have finally gotten the background fabric I’ve decided on.  I was getting stuck on this and I decided not to get a lot of fabric.  I decided to just do one block at a time and see where this takes me.  There are 121 blocks in the book.  I do not know if I’ll make all of them.  But I’ll start with one and I hope to get at least 1 done every week.  That’s about all I’ve got for right now.  This is very different than how I normally work.  Normally I have a pattern or a plan and I follow it to the bitter end.  This is the first time I feel I’m winging it.  I’m kind of excited about this.

Those other unfinished projects… they’re going to have to remain unfinished.  I need to get my sewjo back and I hope to get that by starting this new project.  If you’ve worked on the Civil War Diary Quilt, any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

~Happy Crafting!

~Melanie

 

 

 

Fabric Tuesday, 8/30/16

Happy Tuesday!

I’m back to hand quilting Raining Cats and Dogs.  I’m enjoying it again.  I’m working on outlining with the cream colored thread.  I just finished the third block in the first row.  Once I get all the blocks done, I’ll work on quilting some other part.  I see this as a very long term project.

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Here’s a close up of my quilting.  I’m working on consistency and straightness.  Sometimes I get it spot on, other times I can see I need more practice! 🙂

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This is one of those quilts that will be on the wall or on display some where.   For right now, I’m using the hand quilting frame I bought from a friend of DezertSuz some months ago.  I finally had the time to put it together a couple of weekends ago and while I had the quilt laying on top of it, I finally put it on and started quilting.

img_2288It does take getting used to.

Of course the quilt is on wrong, so that might be part of the problem.  I can’t remember all the details but by the time I received the frame, I had already gotten the quilt basted and ready for hand quilting.  So I didn’t need to set up the frame.  That’s partly why it took so long to get it set up in the first place.  Anyway, I just laid the quilt on there and rolled it up.  Next time I work on a hand quilting project, I’ll be able to put all the layers on without having to baste it!

hand quilting Raining Cat and Dogs 8/30/2016

hand quilting
Raining Cat and Dogs
8/30/2016

 

~Happy quilting!

~Melanie

 

Linking with   and Fresh Poppy Designand Scraptastic Tuesday

~Melanie

 

 

 

TGIF, 5/6/2016

I started going to yoga again.  I didn’t say but when my parents came to visit last month, my routine was interrupted and I’ve been skipping yoga.  But I started up again on Wednesday and I was able to go yesterday too.  That’s twice already.  I’m really sore but I want to go again today.  I do have some commitments planned today that tell me that I probably won’t make it.  The thing about yoga is that it helps me sleep.  That might be true with other kinds of exercise but I get the best sleep with yoga.  And when I sleep, I’m so happy with the world. 🙂  Even when a virus threatens to take down your company as it did yesterday. ;0  Anyway, all that to say that going back to yoga takes up a bit of my crafty time so I wasn’t able to get the machine quilting finished on Raining Cats and Dogs.

Raining Cats and Dogs Finished Top 4/10/2016

Raining Cats and Dogs
Finished Top
4/10/2016

But I’ve got the first two rows done and I’m working on the third.  The bottom third row has the biggest pucker of all and it runs through the middle of the middle block.  I’ve already unbasted the block on the right and I’ll pin it this evening.  I need to work real hard in getting the pucker out of the middle block.  I think it’s all about pinning this evening.

Linking with –

Fort Worth Fabric Studio

A Quilted Passion

Happy Quilting Friends!

Melanie

Tuesday’s Simply Living

Quilting Raining Cats and Dogs 4/26/2016

Quilting Raining Cats and Dogs
4/26/2016

Happy Tuesday!  I started quilting Raining Cats and Dogs.  And in the process, I found PUCKERS in my batting.  Puckers!  😦  I found 2 very bad spots.  The first pucker I found was in the middle lower part and it was REAL bad.  I couldn’t leave it in.  I figured I could still quilt the top half and then unbaste the lower half and smooth the pucker.  But then I found a small pucker at the very top of the quilt.  I was so frustrated last night and then CP3 got injured and my Clippers lost.  It was a bad night. 😦  So very sad.  I’d already quilted the top border and other parts but I hadn’t yet quilted all 4 borders so I picked out the basting for the top row of the quilt and then smoothed out the pucker and pinned.  I’ll machine quilt all the straight lines with my walking foot.  Then I”ll undo the 2nd row, smooth out the pucker that starts in the middle lower part of the 2nd row, pin and quilt.  I believe I didn’t smooth out the batting very good when I loaded everything onto the frame to baste this.  I guess I was rushing to get it done.  In the meantime, here’s the status of my garden:

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Strawberries are doing well.  I thought I took a better picture but I didn’t.  I was able to harvest 1 little sweet strawberry from above.  I shared it with the hubby.

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I’ll probably be able to harvest another one today.  🙂  It wasn’t very hot yesterday but I’m finding I have to water every day.

img_0156We planted onions last week.

milk thistle

milk thistle

The Milk Thistle is growing well.  They look pretty weird.  Can you see the middle leaves.  They are kind of pokey and rough looking.

img_0155The basil is not doing well.  I guess the 2 days in the 90’s a week or so ago really killed off the little seedlings except the one growing above.  I’m going to plant more seedlings when I get a chance.

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Our tomatoes are looking good.  It gets dry fast so I have to keep watching and watering it every day to make sure its getting enough water.  I can’t wait to have my own garden grown tomatoes again.  I forgot to take pictures of the potatoes but it’s overrun.  I need to split them up.   I hope to get to that sometime in the next week.

In the meantime, I’ll be quilting and unbasting. 🙂

Linking with   and Scraptastic Tuesday and Fresh Poppy Design

 

~Melanie

 

TGIF, 4/22/2016

I’ve been basting a bit of Raining Cats and Dogs every day and I only have one more pass left to do.

Raining Cats and Dogs Finished Top 4/10/2016

Raining Cats and Dogs
Finished Top
4/10/2016

I plan to get that done tonight after work.  I am planning on machine quilting SITD between each block and the inner border.  Once that is done, I’ll be taking one block at a time and quilting each block separately.  I’ll do as much as I can machine quilting but I plan to do a bit of hand quilting too.  I just am not yet sure about the specifics yet.

Linking with –

Fort Worth Fabric Studio

A Quilted Passion

Happy Quilting Friends!

Melanie

Tuesday’s Simply Living

Good morning!  Happy Tuesday!

The temperature has been in the 90’s the last few days and our little basil plants are not doing well.  Our strawberry plants are droopy too.  I had been watering every 3-4 days but now I’ll have to increase that to every 2 days.  I think I’ll move the basil plants to a more shaded area until they get more strength to them.  Potatoes and tomatoes are doing well.

Yesterday I got happy mail from Massdrop…

Superior Thread King Tut 4/19/2016

Superior Thread
King Tut
4/19/2016

I’ve been into thread lately.  I like having a variety of colors and choices to have to play with.  I also like having different weights to use for decorative stitching.

A Rainbow Garden Block 4 in progress 4/19/2016

A Rainbow Garden
Block 4 in progress
4/19/2016

Since I’m watching as many games as I could catch during the NBA Playoffs, I’ve had a lot of hand work time.  I knitted (YES!) and I got further along on my wool project.

And since it’s hot here again, the hubby shaved the boy’s hair… and it reminded me that he has two hair swirls on his head.  Weird right?

My son's bald head 4/19/2016

My son’s bald head
4/19/2016

And since today seems to be a bit scattered in the overall scheme of things, have you ever made Vanilla Extract?  It’s so easy.  Vanilla beans, mason jar (or any bottle) and vodka (or rum).

5/30/2015 - Absolut Vodka and 7 vanilla beans that came with the kit

5/30/2015 – Absolut Vodka and 7 vanilla beans that came with the kit

Anyway, you throw the vanilla beans into the bottle and cover them with vodka (or rum) and then let it sit for 6 weeks or so.  You shake the jar a bit every day the first week or so and then periodically after that.  After a few weeks, you strain the mixture to remove the beans and it’s ready to use.  I made some last summer and I’m still using what I made.  I know it’s easy to buy vanilla extract but I recently came across Chaste Berry Tincture as a natural way to balance hormones and reduce fibroids.  (Obviously, this is not FDA approved or anything)  I originally bought the tincture already made but with shipping and taxes, 1 oz of the tincture cost me $17!  Way too much money to spend when I can buy dried Chaste Berries for $5 and then make my own tincture.  Basically it’s made the same way vanilla extract is made.  I fill a jar about a third full of the dried chaste berries, cover it with vodka and let it sit for 6 weeks.  Shake it every day the first week and then periodically after that.

Chaste Berry Tincture

Chaste Berry Tincture

This will be ready mid-May.

I hope you guys get to play with fabric!  I’ll continue to baste Raining Cats and Dogs.  I hope to get that off the frame ASAP.  The current plan is to machine quilt on my domestic along Stitch In The Ditch between each block and then hand quilt within the blocks.  But that may change when I actually get it off and start.

Raining Cats and Dogs on the frame to be basted 4/18/2016

Raining Cats and Dogs
on the frame
to be basted
4/18/2016

 

 

Linking with   and Scraptastic Tuesday and Fresh Poppy Design

 

~Melanie

 

Monday Madness – 4/18/2016

Raining Cats and Dogs on the frame to be basted 4/18/2016

Raining Cats and Dogs
on the frame
to be basted
4/18/2016

I spent the weekend basting Raining Cats and Dogs.  I broke 3 needles and my thread kept breaking as well.  😦  not sure why but I have a feeling I’m using the wrong thread in the bobbin.  When my the bottom line that was in the bobbin ran out I put 40w Aurifil and it is too thick.  I’ll be replacing the bobbin with bottom line.

On Friday night I was all set to get the practice quilt on the frame to test the threads and get Bailey ready for Moon Glow.  I even went through all my fabric to find a top, back and pulled out a bit of scrap batting. Then I realized that if I do this test, basting Raining Cats and Dogs might put it out again so I decided to baste first and do the test after.

Last week’s to do list:

  • practice quilt on the quilt frame to prep Moon Glow‘s threads and get Bailey ready … not done
  • Cross Stitch – keep working on the welcome project … done
  • Hand work – Work a bit on A Rainbow Garden …  done
  • Knit – keep working on the Rosie Hat … not done
  • Missing Ivy – pull out the project and do the next step … I need a little break from Celtic Solstice … done
  • Celtic Solstice – press more Block A’s and top row of Block B … not done

 

This week’s to do list:

  1. baste Raining Cats and Dogs
  2. Hand work – Work a bit on A Rainbow Garden …  
  3. Knit – keep working on the Rosie Hat …
  4. Missing Ivy – pull out the project and do the next step … I need a little break from Celtic Solstice
  5. Celtic Solstice – press more Block A’s and top row of Block B …
  6. Cross Stitch – keep working on the embroidery for the welcome project and get started on Farmland!

I’m looking forward to a great week!

Check out more at  and  Patchwork Timesand Cooking Up Quilts and Bits 'n Bobs and  Monday Making and  Ems-scrapbag

 

Have a great week!

~Melanie

TGIF, 4/15/2016

So apparently it has been a couple of weeks since my last TGIFF post.  During that time, I finished binding Scrapitude!  Woot Woot!!!

Scrapitude 4/3/2016

Scrapitude
4/3/2016

And I finished the top of Raining Cats and Dogs!

Raining Cats and Dogs Finished Top 4/10/2016

Raining Cats and Dogs
Finished Top
4/10/2016

Linking with –

Fort Worth Fabric Studio

A Quilted Passion

Happy Quilting Friends!

Melanie

Tuesday’s Garden Update

Tomatoes 4/12/2016

Tomatoes
4/12/2016

The tomatoes are doing really well.  It’s been raining so they’ve been growing strong.

Potatoes 4/12/16

Potatoes
4/12/16

The potatoes are doing well too.  There are multiple kinds planted in this pot as you can see by the different leaves.  I’ve never planted potatoes before and retrieved these from my compost bin when I saw that they were growing.  I’ve read on the internet to toss more dirt on top as the leaves start to grow to help the potatoes grow.  Do you know if this is accurate?  I started tossing dirt on the side at the top of the picture but kind of stopped.  I think I should continue to do it.

Strawberries #1 4/12/2016

Strawberries
#1
4/12/2016

My strawberries are growing really nice.  You can’t tell very clearly, I’ll have to remember to take a close up picture so you can see the strawberries clearly.

Strawberries #2 4/12/2016

Strawberries
#2
4/12/2016

Milk Thistle 4/12/2016

Milk Thistle
4/12/2016

I’ve been reading up on some herbal/ home remedies to healthier lifestyles and started growing Milk Thistle from seed.  This is supposed to be good for the liver and kidney and have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties.  It was one of the suggestions made to help reduce fibroids.  I thought it would be fun to grow them and see what happens.  I planted these 4/1/2016 and you can already start to see the seeds sprouting.

Basil 4/12/2016

Basil
4/12/2016

And I felt the same about basil.  I love basil, especially fresh with balsamic vinegar and tomatoes and mozzarella.  Of course, I shouldn’t have mozzarella anymore but I can use basil in a lot of stuff.  I haven’t been successful growing basil so this is an experiment.  I planted these on 4/1 too but they aren’t sprouting yet.  I think it takes longer for basil to sprout.

On the quilty side of life…

One of my goals for 2016 is to finish 6 quilts.  This has been on my goal list for the previous 2 years and I didn’t accomplish it.

In 2014, I finished 4 quilts.

In 2015, I finished 3 quilts.

I’ve always been happy to just finish something.  This year, I’m on track to finish 6 quilts.  I finished 2 already and there are 3 more that are ready to be quilted.  So I’m working on piecing quilt #6 – Celtic Solstice.  This is the only project I’m working on right now that’s in the piecing stage.  The problem is, I get really tired working on 1 project at a time.  Especially a project like Celtic Solstice with a hundred million little pieces.  I’m now ready to put my next UFO back into rotation and that is Missing Ivy.

Missing Ivy Blocks A and B placed Design Floor 11/2/2015

Missing Ivy
Blocks A and B placed
Design Floor
11/2/2015

It’s really almost done too and may surpass Celtic Solstice to the finishing stage.

 

 

Linking with   and Scraptastic Tuesday and Fresh Poppy Design

 

~Melanie

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Monday Madness – 4/11/2016

I am so excited because I finally have the top of Raining Cats and Dogs finished!  Once I got going on border #2 it was a couple of hours and the most difficult part was measuring the borders and pinning everything!

Raining Cats and Dogs Finished Top 4/10/2016

Raining Cats and Dogs
Finished Top
4/10/2016

I’m leaning towards hand quilting this project and since my hand quilting is very slow, I’m going to put getting the backing and batting together and basted to the top of the list (either something I want to do this month or wait until May) but sometime soon.  I’m planning on machine quilting in the ditch between blocks and then doing hand quilting within each block.   The only thing I’m not looking forward to is basting.  I may go to my favorite LQS to see if I can use their back room.  When I first learned to quilt they had these tables that you can clamp your quilts on to baste.  I’m not sure if they still have them but it doesn’t hurt to check.  I’d rather do that than use my floor.

Last week’s to do list:

  1. Cross Stitch – keep working on the welcome project … done
  2. Border #2 for Raining Cats and Dogs ….  done
  3. Knit – keep working on the Rosie Hat … done
  4. Celtic Solstice – press more Block A’s and top row of Block B … not done
  5. Hand work – Work a bit on A Rainbow Garden …  done
  6. Scrapbooking – do 1 page … not done

This week’s to do list:

  1. practice quilt on the quilt frame to prep Moon Glow‘s threads and get Bailey ready
  2. Cross Stitch – keep working on the welcome project …
  3. Hand work – Work a bit on A Rainbow Garden …  
  4. Knit – keep working on the Rosie Hat …
  5. Missing Ivy – pull out the project and do the next step … I need a little break from Celtic Solstice
  6. Celtic Solstice – press more Block A’s and top row of Block B …

I’m looking forward to a great week!

Check out more at  and  Patchwork Timesand Cooking Up Quilts and Bits 'n Bobs and  Monday Making and  Ems-scrapbag

 

Have a great week!

~Melanie