Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pawsitive thoughts

Just a quick update and a sincere "Thank you" to all of you -- all of the purrs and prayers have been much appreciated!

Moses' blood work does not look good. His white blood cells are high, and his albumin is low; coupled with the mass in his tummy, the doc says he is reasonably sure this is cancer.

Now we move to phase two . . . trying to see what we can do to maintain a good quality of life in an elderly cat. He's probably not a good candidate for surgery, but research has brought up some ideas of meds that might slow the growth of the tumor, and increase his appetite, so that he can be more comfortable and enjoy life here in the studio.

After all, what would I do without his help in arranging my quilt blocks? (Grin)

And he is a great duckling baby-sitter, too!

Please keep those pawsitive thoughts coming as we try to come up with a strategy for Moses. We're not ready yet to throw in the towel, though we know that day will come. Hopefully he has some time left with us. We want to do the right thing for an old friend.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Purrs and prayers needed

Frogs and dragons and cats, oh my!

You see a lot of these boys frolicing around here at the Lilypad. They are supervised by the Official Studio Cat, Moses.

Sometimes he's a little grumpy, but that's OK. He's fifteen now, and he's entitled. (Grin)

He's in time out here, for being way too grumpy.

Hope all of you pawsome peeps and pets out there will send up purrs and prayers for Moses. He's lost some weight lately and is off his feed. Just got back from the vet and hope to hear about his bloodwork tomorrow. Not sure what we are dealing with, but he does seem to have a mass in his belly.


Weekend projects and an Etsy shop tip

Want something fun and fast to do this weekend? You know, the instant gratification kind of project?

Hop over to Jenny's and check out her tea towel project. She has a tutorial, too, and is offering the pattern for the sweet birdies in her Etsy shop.

Speaking of shops, I have a tip for you . . . scoot over to Etsy and check out the gorgeous thread holders that Bea of BeaQuilter is offering. 

Letters with dowels for thread and enough room to organize with the bobbins, too!

You may want to put that on your Christmas wish-list, right? Or just get one now, and don't wait till Christmas! (Grin)

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I do love me a . . .

. . . a squared-up HST!!

What did you think I was going to say? (Grin)

Been making a bunch of these critters lately. I like the instructions that Jacquelynne Steves gives in her Maggie's First Dance pattern. You cut your pieces a teensy bit larger, and then square up those bad boys and add them to your block!

And I have the most awesome tool for doing just that!

Let me show you . . .

Here is one of our lil cuties, ready to be used in the block. He fills up that two inch square just perfectly. Did ya think he came that way?


He started out like this:

Now, don't talk too loudly -- don't want to scare the lil guy, or make him feel bad. But you can see he's kinda wonky, right? (When I first started teaching myself how to quilt, no one told me that you should square these up, and I had some really "unique" looking blocks, let me tell you!)

Here is the tool; you may already know and use this one:

Here is the magic part of the Bloc Loc ruler, the part that makes my day (it's groovy, I swear!):

Can you see it? It's a groove on the back side of the ruler. What for, you ask?

OK, I understand, I'm a visual learner, too. I will show you.

First, you take your pressed square, and slide the ruler onto it, so the groove kinda "hooks" onto or over the lil hump of the seam. Like so:

Run your handy-dandy rotary cutter along those two sides, and you have this now:

Then you turn the ruler. No, no, no, don't lift it up. Just turn it!
It's going to take the square with it! (Trust me!!)

Then you slide the ruler so that it is like this:

Trim those two sides, and you're done!

Oh, OK, I admit it. I needed to watch the video, too. Here is a link to the hugely wonderful video instructions.

I'm telling you, the best quilting tools are made by quilters, for quilters. Am I right? Check out the story behind these great rulers and squares: click here to see the home page and then scroll down to meet the peeps behind the tools. 

I'm looking at all the other cool tools they have, and making my list. Let's see, I need that flying geese one, and . . . (Grin)

Do you have a favorite quilting tool?


Monday, July 18, 2016

Clever Tools sponsors again! Huzzah!

Clever Tools sponsored a prize for our show before . . . they are back for more fun this year!

Not to bore you with details, but a degenerative condition in my thumbs was really making my free motion quilting a chore. A painful one.  Quilting is supposed to be fun, right? (Grin)

Enter Ellen Holder of Clever Tools! She's invented the "Grip and Stitch" tool for us quilters!

What exactly are "Grip & Stitch" discs? Check out the Frequently Asked Questions on the Clever Tools site!

This brought the joy back to my quilting!

Padsworth thinks they are "ribbet-worthy" too, and not just because of their cute mascot!

These look deceptively simple -- but what a difference they make! With my gloves, I was still in pain. The Grip & Stitch pieces are so easy to hold, and they do an awesome job of moving the fabric sandwich around with a minimal amount of effort from me! 

No pain, just fun again!

I love 'em!  I hope you will click over to Clever Tools and watch the video, and maybe order a set for yourself! (A portion of the proceeds goes to a non-profit that supports Camp Korey and also American Hero Quilts.) 
And one lucky prize winner in August will get a set of these!

(Waving) Thank you, Ellen, for sponsoring a prize at our August Pets Show! Can't wait to see what new products you dream up next!