Saturday, February 25, 2012

Athena the Cat

I haven't mentioned KittyStitches very much in my blog, although she's always been a huge part of my life. I did show you a picture of her nose when she was checking out my new shopping bag here.

Unfortunately, KittyStitches (aka Athena) died last week, after spending almost fifteen years with us. Her twin brother, Hercules, died about five years ago. MisterStitches and I are feeling quite lonely; our house seems incredibly quiet and empty.

Here is a long-ago photo of KittyStitches peeking around the corner into the kitchen. That object on the floor in front of her is one of her beloved paper balls. She used to love chasing paper balls. MisterStitches would throw one into the next room, and Athena would run to retrieve it, bringing it back to MisterStitches to throw again.

Athena loved to be curled up in her little bed, looking out the window.

Here is another one of Athena's favorite places. Under the covers on my bed, with just her tail sticking out!

And finally, Athena cat-napping in the sun. Cats really know how to make themselves comfortable, don't they!

Athena liked tuna, keeping our laps warm while we watched movies in the evening, sleeping in the sun, cuddling under the covers with me at night, and having her tummy petted. She had the most silky, sleek fur ever, and a super sweet disposition.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm going to show you the valentine I made for MisterStitches for Valentine's Day. I wanted to show you sooner, right after I made it. But MisterStitches reads my blog, and I didn't want to spoil the surprise.

I started off by crazy piecing red and pink and cream-colored fabrics onto a muslin base. I sewed in a few pieces of lace, too. In the photo above I'm finished with this step. If you look very closely you might be able to see my drawn line around the heart shape. I sewed a line of stitching just outside the drawn line, just to hold it all together nicely. Then I removed the pins and proceeded to do my decorative stitching.

I used the stitches on my machine, rather than doing this by hand, which greatly speeded up the process. Above is a close-up. Isn't that heart stitch great!?! And I love the little "swag" stitch, too. It's so dainty and delicate.

Here I am all finished with my decorative stitches, and I have trimmed the heart to its final shape. Now I have to finish the edges.

I did a nice, tight zig zag all around the edges to bind them. I went slow and easy, and used a stiletto to hold the edges together as I sewed them.

An alternative would have been to bind them with fabric, but this zig zag method was nice and clean.

Here are both hearts! Yes, I made two: one for MisterStitches, and one for
MomStitches and DadStitches.

I then sewed each fabric heart to the front of a blank card. Just three little threads, and tiny stitches that don't show on the front.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fabric Ornament

I found directions on a lovely website for this fabric ornament. You can find the how-to at V and Co. It's not very hard to make, and I completed it with no trouble. I found this wonderful red and gold fabric in my stash that I think works real well. I have to tell you that it involves a hot glue gun, which I always think is great fun to use!

I was thinking of trying it using card stock instead of fabric. I wonder how that would work. Of course, a fabric ornament would probably store better than a paper one from one Christmas to the next, don't you think!?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cute Little Folded Box

Last month I found directions on the internet for this cute little folded box.

The directions/pattern were on Jinny Beyer's website. It is meant to be made from stiffened fabric. I thought I would try it out first just with some cardstock. Worked pretty well.

I look forward to making it with stiffened fabric too. The fabric will make for a nicer texture than the paper. Even though this paper is quite nice. (DaughterStitches gave this paper to me!)

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I'm finally starting to feel better. I've been sick with a cold and sore throat for the past nine days. Sniffly, sore throat, runny nose, achy, coughing, generally feeling very yucky. It really hit me hard, and I've been pretty much glued to the sofa for the past week.

It has not been much fun, but I won't complain about it, as I know everyone has gone through this. The worst part is that I missed my guild's annual quilt retreat. That is three days when we go out of town, stay in a motel there, and sew to our heart's content in a conference room which we turn into a sewing "factory." No cooking, no housework, no making beds. It's always so much fun, and a time to get a lot of sewing done. One of my favorite parts is seeing everyone else's projects. So that was a big bummer, to miss that.

The good news is that I survived (!) and MisterStitches took good care of me. KittyStitches actually had the nerve to enjoy my being sick, as I generally had a lap for her.

I was able to do some things, though. I read a lot, and I did a lot of hand sewing. I recently showed you the hexagon Grandmother's Flower Garden designs I'm working on here. When I started these, I was brand new to it, and wasn't sure I wanted to sign up for a whole quilt. But I needed some kind of a project.

So I joined two flowers together with a ring around them, then added another ring all the way around that. I filled in the corners a little bit until it was about the size of a placemat. My plan is to quilt this, then trim it up and bind it into a placemat.

Here you can see three of the placemat shapes I've done. In the photo just above I've removed papers from some of the green hexagons, but not all of them. That's why it looks like there are two different colors of green. I've actually completed four placemat tops, and am close to done with number five. I love sewing these little hexagons together!

Now I'll tell you what I've been reading.

First of all, I finished reading Vanity Fair, which had taken me a very long time to read, since it's such a big book. Really. Big. Book. 1800's England, society, family life, society, hierarchies, society.

Then I picked up Sarah's Key, which I had bought a few weeks ago. I was so glad to have finished Vanity Fair so I could get on to reading another book! Sarah's Key is a great book, very moving. It went back and forth between present-day New York/Paris and Paris under Nazi occupation. I highly recommend it.

And just today I picked up this little book and read it through. Heaven is for Real is the true story of a 4-year-old boy who almost died with a burst appendix. After his recovery, he starts talking about seeing God and visiting heaven, with amazing detail for a child that young. It's very interesting, too.