Friday, September 30, 2011


Loki is one of the kitties that I bottle raised in 2008, and coerced Tony (the bf) into adopting before we lived together.  He is 3 years old now.  This photo is of him smushed into the bed I bought on etsy for my 6.5 lb dog.  Loki weighs 17 lbs.  

Loki loves to go outside, and well, we let him.  In Jackson, WY, where we used to live, the main worries were coyotes and owls (although it would be a stout owl who could take the Lokes).  Here it is cars.  

Saturday, Loki lost his luck and collided with a vehicle (spoiler, he's still with us).  He must have been chasing something, because he knows enough about cars to be scared of them.  Anyway, he made it back to the house and we took him to the vet where we found out he had severe internal injuries that required emergency surgery at CSU.  It's a good thing we are crazy pet people, because we took him to the vet for being lethargic, not because we had any idea he'd been hit by a car.

Now, Loki looks like this, and will for a while.

He is shaved and has stitches up and down the length of his belly, and he has to wear a cone of shame to make sure he doesn't chew on them.  He's also confined to a room where there is nothing to jump on.  He is still in pain, but already bored out of his mind.  What do you do to entertain a sick cat?  The answer with dogs is raw bones and bully sticks.  But those don't work for cats.  Hmmm.

Loki's sister, Leda, hasn't been outside since this happened, but she's miserable and bored, waiting at the door and mewing.  Loki will be in the same position in about 4 weeks.  So what do we do?  Do we make our cats happy, knowing and accepting the risks, or do we keep them inside, safe, bored and miserable?  You may not have to answer this question if you were smart enough to always keep your cats in, but we used to have a dog door, and guess what...cats can use it, too.  So they discovered outside on their own, and we didn't stop them.  This is a question we haven't answered yet, it's really a tough one.  I'll let you know if we come up with a magic conclusion.  The reality is that someday they will probably get past us, no matter how hard we try, and end up outside again.  Because that's what they want, and cats are slippery, smart little buggers.

Just to make this a bit quilty...also in Loki's sick room:

My stash!  So I visit him and it often.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Difficult Quilt (for me, anyway)

So, I'm working on what is the most time-consuming and intricate quilt I have made to date.  That's not to say it will take the longest, or that it's technically that hard, it's just a lot of little pieces, which is something that either I have avoided or that just doesn't appeal to me.  It's Freckled Whimsy's charm pack quilt-along.  Yes, I am more than a year late to the party.  But it's cool, and I discovered it to late to actually quilt along.  So after working on it for about 3 weeks (among other things), I have 6 out of 25 blocks finished.

A very small number of block parts fully trimmed (this is the worst part... so tedious)

A large number of  square block parts waiting to be trimmed.

A large number of triangle block parts waiting to be trimmed, and even more that have yet to be sewn.

Two per day, that's my goal (breathes into paper bag).  I started the two per day thing two days ago, and I'm doing well.  I've completed one of my two for today.  I hope this quilt is TOTALLY worth it.  I'll let you know.

In other news, here is a 7 lb puppy sleeping in the crate that belongs to 100 lb Daemon.  Obligatory cute puppy picture anyone?

Stained Glass and On the Design Wall

Here is a very cool (well, I think so anyway) stained glass photo:

This is the top of a quilt for a friend of mine, and seeing as it is based on Elizabeth Hartman's Kitchen Windows pattern, I had to get this photo.  

This is the quilt that's on my design wall right now.  It is Eva by Basic Grey, and is based on i'm a ginger monkey's tutorial.  I did it the easy way, with a charm pack and a layer cake.

The design wall is how I get my boyfriend involved in my sewing.  I make the blocks, then sometimes he either designs or helps me design the quilt, then I sew, sandwich, quilt and bind.  He thinks he's going to make a quilt start to finish for his mom.  It involves applique, and so far, he has cut out 10 pieces.  It's going to be a long process :-).

Hope you enjoy the photos!  I'm trying to get better about taking them on a regular basis.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My other hobby

So, besides quilting, I foster dogs.  The group I foster for and volunteer with is Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue.  They/we bring puppies in from areas of Kansas and New Mexico where there are fewer people likely to adopt, and the dogs are at a high risk of euthanasia.  Right now I have four fosters.  One five month old shepherd puppy, and three 8 week old furry things, two of whom look like shiba inus, the other looks like a little chow.  

This is the shepherd mix, Mesa.  She was found wandering the streets of Taos, NM with her mom and two sibs at about 4 months old.  Now she's 5 months old, and hopefully living with us for a while gets her over her fear of people and unknown things.  She has good reason to be scared, and it's our job to help her get ready for a home of her own.  She's already getting more confident, which in her case means acting more like a typical, destructive, happy go lucky, puppy.

This is Bloom, the chow looking girl.  Her sisters are Bella and Bliss, and they have an upper respiratory infection, so they are separated from everyone else.  It isn't easy on us or them to essentially have 3 sets of puppies plus our own two dogs and three cats, but we do it because it gives us great satisfaction and it's a way to give back to these guys who give us so much.

If you love animals, you should consider doing this.  So many people say "It would be too hard, I'd fall in love with all of them," "I wouldn't be able to give them up," etc.  When people do keep their fosters, we call it a foster failure, and it does happen.  But usually, these are people who have the room, time, money and love for another pet, and fostering just helped them find the right one.  We have been fostering for 3 years, and have no foster failures.  In fact, neither of our dogs came from the rescue we work with.  One came from Idaho, one from Kansas.  That's not to say we haven't fallen in love, its just that we feel good about giving these animals a stopping point on their way, and we work with a rescue which lets us help choose the eventual permanent home of the dog, so we can feel confident they are going to a great forever home.  So, my house isn't spotless, it's full of exercise pens, I could vacuum twice a day and I am constantly doing some dog chore, but to me, it is totally worth it.

OK, off my soap box.  I'll tell you more soon about our guys, and how we train them, exercise them, feed them, and generally make sure they have great lives.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Yes, it's been a while...

But I'm fairly certain no one has missed me.  Anyway, it's been busy; we traveled, went to a wedding, let a favorite foster dog go, picked up a new foster dog, etc.  I need to start taking more photos so I can share with the in-tar-net.  Meanwhile, this is Tiger.  She is my 20 year old cat, whom I have shared my life with since the age of 10.  Yeah, yeah, do the math.  It's pretty straightforward.  She is a feisty old girl, and we wouldn't have it any other way.  She mostly eats and lays in the sun, but that's a good life for one who is approximately 96 years old, huh?  She likes to make burrows for herself in my bed.  Usually they are in such place that there is no room for anyone besides the 7 lb cat in the queen sized bed.  Amazing!

There has also been some quilting.  I've worked on something for my dad, something for my mom (yes, they live together; no, apparently they can't share.  I don't make the rules, people.), something for my sister and tried to finish up a WIP or two before starting something else.  It's amazing how difficult that can be.  There are so many ideas floating around in my brain.

I need some practice at taking quilt pictures, but this is one that was floating around in my head last April, and has been delivered to my Mom in plenty of time for this coming Christmas.  I have had a few people interested enough in it that they want me to make them their own.  Commissions!...sort of.  From family and friends.  But still!  This uses Laurel Burch fabric and the pattern is Kate Conklin's "Pine for You."  Tons of fun.

Soon I will have my memory card back and will start showing more recent things, as well as things that I'm working on.  I also need to share all my WsIP so others can start keeping me honest.  And on that note, Good Night.

Monday, September 5, 2011

New Book Modern Mix by Jessica Levitt

I absolutely cannot wait for this book to come out.  It uses lots of solids, which I love.  It uses many purples (judging from the available photos), which I love, and the quilting is done by Angela Walters of, whose work is fantastic and is something I can only aspire to.

See?  Beautiful Purples.  Stash Books commented about it on their blog today.  If anyone is reading this, go check it out.

Now, for another of my quilts:

This one was made for my sister's birthday, and uses Sultry by Basic Grey.  I adapted the Scruffily pattern by Rachel Griffith of  It was incredibly fun to make, and my sister loves the texture.  It was my first quilt on my brand new Bernina 440 QE, which has made my quilting sooo much better.

Now, for the Four Paws part:

This is Daemon.  (Sorry about the old photos, just being lazy).  If anyone can tell me how to make him right-side up in the first photo, that'd be great.  The second photo shows how he thinks the coffee table is his bed.  He gets upset and barks at us when we try to use it ourselves.  We adopted him from the Idaho Falls animal shelter July 7th, 2009 when he was about 8 weeks old.  He weighed 8 lbs, and based on his color, curly tail and black spots on his tongue, we thought he was a chow mix and would be around 50 lbs.  Well, he hit 50 lbs at 6 months and kept right on going until, at 21 months, he leveled out at a lovely 94 lbs.  We wouldn't change him, but we have no idea what breeds of dog are mixed in there..  His name was "puppy" for a long time.  He was the first pet my boyfriend and I got together, although we both had cats when we moved in together.  Finally, we agreed on Daemon.  I thought we were naming him Latin for demon, which he was.  Although now that he's grown out of it, I miss it a bit.  Tony thought we were naming him for the program that runs in the back on your know when an email bounces back, and it says "mailer-daemon" has refused...  Yeah, well, anyway, it's turned out to be a great name, regardless of which meaning you subscribe to.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Thanks for joining me

So, everyone in the world has a blog, right?  Why does the world need one more?  To be honest, it probably doesn't.  But that hasn't stopped anyone else, right?  So join me in a glass of wine and let me tell you why I want to join in the fun.

1.  I quilt.  I have wanted to quilt for some time, but it was a sad day in April, 2009 when I actually started.  My wonderful grandmother had had a stroke, and we didn't know whether she would live (she didn't, but we were all able to say goodbye, and I like to think she knew we were there).  My sister and I had driven 12 hours through a snowstorm in Wyoming and Colorado and then caught a plane to North Carolina when Dad called with the news.  Not sensible, but we had to.  You know how it is.  While we were home, we drove past a fabric store and went in to kill some time.  My sister said she'd like a quilt, and I said OK, lets pick out fabric and I'll make you one.  So, my first project was a queen size quilt.  I didn't even own (or know how to operate) a sewing machine at that point, but that is how I roll.  I was able to show my first pieces to my grandmother.  She would have been pleased to see me being crafty.

2.  Most of what I learned about quilting came from wonderful blogs I've found.  I would be a much worse quilter without the tips and tutorials quilters generously post.  Maybe I can help by posting my own tips one day, or maybe I can just post pictures that will inspire others to create, or maybe my mom will like reading about what I'm doing.

3. Speaking of my family, many of them, and my friends, are far away.  Hopefully this will help us feel more connect and give them a peek into my everyday life.

4. Besides quilting, my everyday life involves three main things.  First, I have two dogs and three cats upon whom I dote.  You will hear more about them, whether you want to or not, believe me.  I also foster dogs and puppies, so I generally have up to nine animals in my house at a time.  I work part time at a holistic, upscale pet supply store because I like to educate people about their animals.  I am obsessed, it's true.  When I get into something, I really do it-see first quilt, above.  I will this blog to talk about my critters, which I love to do, and do a bit of lecturing from my soapbox, no doubt.  Second, I love to read, generally about 100 books per year.  Mostly audiobooks at this point.  Multitasking is great.  If I read something interesting or just generally awesome, you'll hear about it.  Third, and unfortunately, I do chores.  I feed my animals raw, so there's much kitchen mess and I have a lot of fur to deal with, plus the mess that a 30 year old guy makes just by breezing through the house.  Since I like a tidy, if not spotless, home, much time is spent on this.  Hopefully you will hear nothing about it, but everyone needs to bitch once in a while.

So, there's a photo before this gets out of control.  That is Leda in front of the quilt.  She is a three year old cat who I bottle raised, along with her brother Loki, after their mother was hit by a car.  My first and only two foster failures.  The quilt was made for my aunt's birthday this year.  I like to think she shares my aesthetic, so I made her a quilt I would love to have for myself.  It is Cluck, Cluck Sew's Skipping Squares pattern and it is awesome.

Oh, PS, in case it wasn't clear, I enjoy my fair share of wine, and my favorite color is purple.