Thursday, October 13, 2016

Good Thursday #4

It's been a fairly good week!  Seamus is still having more good days than bad ones and we are hopeful that we will see improved results on his bloodwork (tests are tomorrow).  

Thank goodness Lee Anna has this series.  I don't get to the computer much these days and it is nice to have a day designated to catching up and sharing!

Autumn has descended on the valley.  I started using the oven again this week; it warms up the house so nicely!!!  I've been enjoying a new cook book called Sheet Pan Paleo.

A friend recommended the book because the dinners are easy to make and dirty only one sheet pan.  So far my husband (and my brother-in-law) have liked what I have sheet panned so far :)  I'm also reading the Farmer's Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt.

This past week I finished making 4 patches for my rose quilt.  I'm trying to use up scraps of fabric and make something for the sewing room as well. It's very grey here today so sorry if the photos aren't showing that well, here are the four patches and also a photo of some of the fabrics I'll be using as well.

Years ago, my brother changed the attic from the boys' bedroom to the sewing room.  I didn't have to make any requests; my brother is not even a year younger than me and we know each other so well.  It's nice when you can trust another artist like that.  Anyway, the quilt that I am making now, I will use in the Rose Room during the winter.  

It's still lecture season and tonight I'll be headed north to give another program.  Meanwhile I am almost done with the program I've worked on this past year. 

Last week the Paper Show was in town.  It's one of my favorite local events full of old books, magazines and ephemera.  Here's an adorable photo I found there:

I hope you have a sewful week ahead of you!  Happy Quilting!


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Good Thursday #3

For the first time in months, we are seeing an improvement in Seamus!  All this week he has been playing with his ball, going for longer walks, and torturing the dogs sequestered by houses or fences who aren't taking a walk too.  It's an amazing change and the first good news since May!  His prednisone had been increased and about the second week we saw him perking him up more.  We were told that it takes about two weeks for a difference to be made and we are hoping that we will get good news when he  gets his bloodwork next week.

October is here and I am slowly putting the garden to bed for the season.  I've been plucking a lot of plants out; this year I just want to rework the garden and I'm getting down to the bones of the garden (ornamental trees and bushes) and weeding out flowers I'm tired of (or have become too high maintenance).  It's wonderful not to have the a/c or the heat on and although we still run the fans for Seamus, it's wonderful to be saving on the bills for at least a few months.

 Last week was my birthday.  I always buy myself my own present because my husband is a disaster when it comes to this.  He can never get the day correct and well, I don't want hunting things as a present.  So I buy myself something nice.  Here is the quilt I bought this year:

I call it the fashionista quilt. 
 I haven't found a pattern in any of my books and I'm wondering if the quilter made her own pattern.

From the fabric, I suspect it was made in the late 50s, early 60s.  Anyway I love the quilt!

I hope everyone remains safe with Hurricane Matthew approaching.  I'm praying for you all!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Good Thursday, #2


We've been experiencing some seriously dry weeks here in the valley where I live and in most of Eastern PA.  So to have a few days of rain occur, is truly wonderful.  It might just save my garden.
I just finished reading a great book!  Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence is an easy read but compelling because of the three brave Aboriginal girls who escaped from a Native Settlement.  I highly recommend it!

My sewing machine is in the shop right now (yes I have others but I want to use my Pfaff) so I don't have much sewing to report.  

My beautiful boy a few months ago.
Seamus has been a little different this week.  He played Dogccer this week (the poodle version of soccer) and opened the door to the bathroom to spy on me.  He hasn't done these things since May.  Perhaps the prednisone is finally working?  I'm afraid to hope.  

This week I will be attending the paper show at Allentown Agricultural Hall.  It's one of my favorite things--old books and magazines and ephemera.  The show will be on Saturday and Sunday if you are interested.

That's it for this week!  Have a great day!!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

I "Like" Thursday, #1

Lee Anna over at Not Afraid of Color has started a new kind of posting entitled  "I Like Thursdays". So I thought I would join in.  

Why do I like Thursdays?  Well first off I get to put out yard waste on a Thursday.  This is a big thing to a gardener.  Very few municipalities collect yard waste and I figure if I have to pay really high taxes, I should get something out of it.  So I put out at least 4 cans of yard waste a week (there is no limit!!!).

Thursday is also the day the Farmer's Market opens.  Only a few blocks from my house, it's where I get all my meats and vegies each week.  It's indoors so the climate there is always comfortable.  We are lucky with this market.  It's open from Thursday through Saturday so if the kids suddenly come home or I forgot something, I can still run out and get it.

This past week, I finished a great book.  It's called The Perfect Horse by Elizabeth Letts and I highly recommend it.  I don't know anything about horses and still found it gripping and enjoyable.  

I hope your Thursday is going wonderfully.  I'm off to do some hand sewing now.  Have a wonderful day!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Hello September!

September means back to school--although many of the schools here are closing early because of the current heat wave.  It also means lecturing on a more regular basis and preparing for winter.  Today I will replace the batteries in all our smoke/carbon monoxide sensors as part of the winter prep.

Seamus is holding his own.  There are now doctors from three different veterinarian practices working on his diagnosis (still unknown) but it appears he doesn't have cancer anywhere. Here is a happy picture of Seamus from this morning, he gets a massage from our neighbor every morning and he loves it!

A while ago, I had fallen in love with a  free quilt pattern called "Trellis" designed by Lauren and Jessi Jung ;  instructions are here.  I had a layer cake from Moda called Farmhouse and decided to tackle this pattern the past two weeks.  As I worked on it, I decided to make it into a queen sized quilt and put it on the other side of Peter and Jessica's quilt (remember this---here).  They will have a two sided quilt then.  Here is the finished top:

Jessica loves aqua so I chose this border for this quilt.  The blocks are hard to see (it's cloudy here today) but they have a lot of patterns she loves, like polka dots:
and something that resembles houndstooth plaid.
Plus it has various other motifs (like cherries) and a few printed blocks that have the kind of things she likes on it (like mason jars, cooking and gardening things, etc.).  I hope she likes it!  

So that is all the news here.  Seamus had a slew of tests this week and we should begin to get results next week.  Keep him in your prayers if you could!  Hugs, Mickie

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Another UFO Top Completed

A few years ago I made a bunch of Ami Simm's dog blocks.   These are the last 12 and I found them yesterday in the bottom of one of my UFO boxes.   I framed and sashed them.  I forgot how cute this pattern is!  Ami called it "Dog Yeared".  I don't see it on her website anymore so the pattern may be retired now.  Did I mention I made this years ago?  Anyway, it is a cute top and I'll have Terri quilt it.

Have a safe and happy day!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Summer Sewathon

It's the worse reason for having a summer sewathon.  My boy Seamus is still unwell and nothing has made him better so far. He has had an ultrasound, a liver biopsy, and a variety of blood work.  Each time he has bloodwork done, the tests show that his ALT liver enzyme has elevated more.  Doctors from two different practices are working together but the diagnosis has remained elusive.  Seamus is now on two antibiotics, in addition to the rest of the medication he is on.  In fact, some of his medication no longer fits into his pill organizer.
He spends most of days sleeping in front of his fans.
I don't go out much because of his medication schedule.  I'm just hoping something will soon work and I will have a recovering baby soon.  But with each option not working, it is hard to keep a postive spirit.  The truth is no one knows what will work for him.  So we medicate and wait and hope the sleep helps him.

And I sew to abate the anxiety.

I just make tops.  Some will go to my friend Terri to be quilted, others I will quilt later when it is cooler. I've hit the UFO boxes pretty hard and done some samples for upcoming programs that I am working on.  Here are a few I've done:

The last top is a lap quilt for our groomer.  Seamus isn't well enough to be groomed but there is some maintenance that poodles always need (because they don't shed).  Jessa came to our house last week and groomed while he layed down.  It was no easy task for her but she did a beautiful job and he is more comfortable now.  Yes, we even took the fan outside to keep him comfortable while she worked on him.
I know this is a long post but I don't often feel like posting these days.  Hopefully, I'll have better news about Seamus soon.  Hugs, Mickie

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Hippy Hippy Shake Quilt

My neighbor Carol and I found a photo of a quilt online that we fell in love with but can't seem to find anymore.  All I can tell you is that the quilter said she used 2.5 inch strips and thin border of 1.5 inches.   We call it the Hippy Hippy Shake Quilts because every time I see Amy Butler fabrics I hear the old "hippy hippy shake" song from the 1960s.   The kids today call these kinds of fabric "boho chic."  So I did the one above and decided to do a thicker border between the blocks.  

Carol did two of them:

And the log cabin version which is already completed:

We are both working on different projects now.  I am completing some UFOs and Carol is making two quilts for a gift.  But we really had fun doing the same pattern with our own tastes in fabric.  We've already picked out the next pattern we will tackle when we are done with the current projects.
Keep you posted on the next quilts!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

News from the Home Front.....

A lady from my quilt guild was given a bag of old quilt pieces and blocks.  She passed them on to me because she didn't want them.  I found this top in the bag!  Isn't it a delight?  My daughter-in-law has fallen in love with it too, she thinks it is "bright and cheerful!" I'm going to have it quilted for her and my son and hope to give it to them at Christmas.  It will look really nice in their bedroom and give the boring apartment beige walls a real, POP!
Seamus likes it too!
This was also in the bag.  I'm not sure what I will do with it, the yoyos are appliqued on a light gauzy type of fabric.  I might cut apart the blocks, baste the blocks onto a plain piece of fabric (to strenthen it) and do some kind of alternating block.  For now, it is just going into the UFO bin.  Here are the yo-yos up close:

Seamus is holding his own.  I had to take him to the vet last Saturday because he was having a really bad day.  He is stable now and we hope that the medication is finally working.  He still sleeps a lot and my whole day is structured around his medication times.  

While at the vet, he was diagnosed with entropion in his left eye; the eyelid is curling inwards and now he is also on medication for that.  Normally this would be corrected with surgery but until he is stable, the ointment will have to suffice.

The garden is the usual mess that it is in August.  I never garden during heatwaves and we had many during the last few weeks.  This past week we had two good days and I filled 4 garbage cans with yard waste.  I expect to do even more after this weekend when the cooler temperatures arrive.

I hope you and yours are all doing well!  Take care and stay cool!