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Archive for January, 2013

I swear I found the book like this!

I swear I found the book like this!

I swear I heard squirrels in here

I’m sure I heard squirrels in here

The last of "The Last of the Mohicans"

The last of “The Last of the Mohicans”

 

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waiting for spring

Photographed by Charlie.

We are participating in the Black & White Sunday blog hop.

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Blue Moon Magic Quilt

After a year and a half the raffle quilt for the Genesee Valley Quilt Club (GVQC) is finally complete! Okay I will back up a bit to tell you why I care. So please grab a cuppa as this is a long story (I said it took 18 months). Okay I won’t blame you for not reading everything, but at least humor me by scrolling down, looking at the pictures and Oohing and Aweing and telling me how beautiful it is. 😉

A year and a half ago the president of the GVQC approached my mother and I and asked if we would be interested in creating the raffle quilt for the 2013 GVQC Quilt Show. We told her we would discuss it and get back to her. Well you know how it goes, someone asks you politely to do something and it can be hard to refuse. We thought that since we would be working on it together it wouldn’t be too bad right? So of course we agreed to do it.

Center Squares

Center Squares

Designing quilts from scratch was not a strong point for either my mom or I. We got together a few times and discussed the types of quilts we like to look at and searched through quilt magazines and past quilt calendars for inspiration. My mom said that she liked New York Beauty blocks and would like the quilt to have some of those in it. We found a couple of pictures of quilts that we liked the layout of to use as a starting point.

Sunrise Beauty block from EQ7

Sunrise Beauty blocks from EQ7

I was fortunate to be able to purchase Electric Quilt 7 (EQ7), a quilt design software, to help with creating the design. It was challenging to look through all the quilt blocks available in the EQ7 software to pick out the one I wanted for our quilt but I finally settled on one called “Sunrise Beauty”. I didn’t want the quilt to be just beauty blocks so I added some palm and crazy pineapple blocks.

Palm & Crazy Pineapple 6from EQ7

Palm & Crazy Pineapple 6
from EQ7

The final blocks to add were the border. I wanted something that would have a similar feel as the beauty blocks without distracting from them. I added a one inch border first and then chose the “Staccato Border” and “Staccato Corner” blocks.

Staccato Border blocks

Staccato Border blocks

The next step was to choose the colors I wanted to use. My mom and I used some fabric catalogues to choose a pallet that we liked so I started from there. The colors that show up in the EQ7 software for each of the blocks is very different to how I colored them.

First try

First try

I started with the beauty blocks, then the crazy pineapple (remember I wanted them to look like roses) and then the palm blocks. The final blocks I did were the borders. I just made sure that I repeated the colors from the rest of the quilt in the border and only added the white in the border.

Second try...getting closer

Second try…getting closer

With the colors in place we took a trip to one of our local quilt shops to pick out samples of fabrics we wanted to use.

We liked this one

We liked this one

We needed a dozen different fabrics for this quilt and only purchased a fat quarter of each fabric. We still needed approval from the board of directors on our design. My mom took the fabrics and created a few samples of the blocks we wanted to use and I scanned the fabric into my computer and added those fabrics to the EQ7 design.

EQ7 design with actual fabric scanned

EQ7 design with actual fabric scanned

With printouts and sample blocks in hand the board didn’t hesitate to approve our design. After all nobody else was going to jump in with a new design any time soon.

The EQ7 software gave us estimates of the amount of fabric we would need so we hurried back to the fabric shop and picked up the yardage we needed of each one. When we took on this task we had no expectation of sewing the quilt together by ourselves. We chose paper pieced blocks for the quilt since they would allow for the most accuracy when sewn by many different people.

The next project was to create kits to hand out for our club members to assemble. This required writing instructions, creating guides so the right fabric went in the right place, printing the paper templates, cutting the fabric and bundling it all into kits. We had a fun cutting party at my house (I was so busy keeping everyone working that I didn’t get any pictures) to put the kits together and then handed them out at the next GVQC meeting in May 2012. We asked everyone to bring them back no later than the September 2012 meeting (the club doesn’t meet in July and August).

After all the blocks were returned we sorted through them, fixed a few problems and created a few blocks that we were short on. It was time for another party to assemble the quilt.

Chris, Anne and Claire(left to right)

Chris, Anne and Claire
(left to right)

A couple of the ladies from the club joined my mom (Claire) and I to sew the blocks together. I pinned the rows up on a huge piece of cardboard and each one took a row. I pieced all the border blocks together.

There were a ton of seams to press!

There were a ton of seams to press!

We did the sewing in my dining room and pressing in the kitchen. I have a huge table that easily fit all of us and our machines. After a few hours the top was completed! Now to find someone to quilt it. Every time Claire and I stood up in front of the club asking for help we emphasized that we would like to find a member with a longarm quilting machine to do the quilting, but no one stepped up. Finally when we were collecting the blocks in September Karen Kiener of The Cottage Quilter finally offered to do the quilting.

Quilting detail

Quilting detail

If you click on the pictures above you can see what a fantastic job she did to enhance our quilt. We really had no ideas regarding the quilt motifs to use and left it all up to Karen.

Back view of Center of Quilt

Back view of Center of Quilt

She did an amazing job and we couldn’t be happier with it.

Hand sewing the binding while Millie supervises

Hand sewing the binding while Millie supervises

Last, but not least mom and I added the binding under Millie’s watchful eyes. All totaled there were about 70 ladies that helped to create this quilt. It really was  a group project and my mom and I want to thank all of you for your help. We certainly couldn’t have done it without you.

Very soon you will be able to purchase raffle tickets to win this quilt. If any of my readers buy a ticket just remember that if you win you have to give the quilt to me 😉 !

 

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Flannel quilt parts

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We all know how much fun Blogville is right? Well one of the things I enjoy reading about are surprise pressies. This time the story is about a surprise pressie for me!

When I picked up our mail on Saturday there were the usual bills and junk mail, but there was also a package addressed to me. I hadn’t ordered anything and wasn’t expecting anything so I took a closer look and noticed the postmark was Royal Mail, and I didn’t see the return address right away either. Foreign packages all come with a customs declaration on them that gives away the contents, but without even looking at it I told Charlie, “I think I just got a Mini Millie from Lynne!”

His response, of course was, “What the heck is a Mini Millie?”

Mini Millie

It’s Mini Millie!

I opened the package and showed him the contents. He looked at it and said, “Wow…that really is a Mini Millie!” It was indeed from Lynne, mother to Dinah, Bridget and Elliot, creator of the Blogville Ladies Crochet Society, and the person who is responsible for turning me into a hooker! 😀

Millie sniffing Mini Millie

A little insniffigation to start

Lynne has an Etsy shop where she sells her hand-made crochet creations and has been making “mini’s” of lots of blogville residents. The Mini Millie was her way of thanking me for making the crochet project bag and fleece bones for her and her pups. I have to admit that when I first looked at Mini Millie I let out a bit of a squee.

Millie with Mini Millie - innocent look

She really looks like me doesn’t she?

Lynne added so many great details including the flecks of tan and white that Millie has on her chest, face and legs. I love the little bandana too. I was going to take pictures of Millie wearing her pink bandana, but when she laid down in my sewing room with me and was in a quiet mood I knew I had to take my pictures quickly and forget about the bandana.

Mini Millie - head shot close up

I love the details Lynne added including the faint blaze that Millie has on her nose. If you click on the picture below to biggify and then zoom in on Millie’s nose you can see the blaze.

Millie with Mini Millie - close up

We sure make a cute couple

Millie did very good during the photo shoot as I kept telling her to leave the Mini Millie alone.

Millie - take down of mini Millie

I swear squirrels came in and knocked her over

Well most of the time anyway. She only knocked her down and sniffed for a while, but I also didn’t let it go too far. After all the real Millie is quite a stuffie destroyer.

Thank you so much Lynne for my Mini Millie! I am keeping her in my sewing room where I spend most of my time and can look at her often. I’m sure if you are interested in having Lynne create a mini of your favorite pup she can do it. Just visit her Etsy shop and click on the link to “Request Custom Item.” As you can see your pup doesn’t have to be a pure bred dog either. Lynne is crafty enough to make mini mutts!

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A couple of days ago after all the snow had melted and the temperature warmed up a bit I took my mom and dad to the park at the Penfield Town Hall. It is the same place where Remy and I had our first meeting.

Milllie and Cindy on small bridge Penfield Town park

We decided to spend most of our time on the wooded trails. I was walking with my mom and dad was taking pictures.

Penfield Town park - still life under ice

When he wasn’t taking pictures of us walking he was doing some artsy fartsy nature pictures.

Milllie and Cindy on boardwalk Penfield Town park

The trail has lots of nice bridges and raised walkways so you don’t have to walk in the mud if you don’t want to. Although I did try it a couple of times, but mom made me stay on the planks.

Penfield Town park - thin ice

Dad really liked the way the ice was formed around the stick. I just wanted to try to pull the stick out of the ice.

Milllie and Cindy on bridge Penfield Town park

It was a great day for a walk and even though it was a bit windy we could not feel it while we were in the woods.

Penfield Town park - tree belly

My dad calls this one “Tree Belly” because he thinks it looks like a fat belly with a belly button showing. I think he might have been drinking heavily or on something when he took that picture. 😀

Milllie and Cindy - who dat - Penfield Town park

I had a great time exploring and can’t wait to come back.

Milllie and Cindy rock climbing Penfield Town park

My mom and I even got in some rock climbing. As I mentioned before our town is full of large rocks and my mom has been teaching me to climb on them.

Millie on stone bench

This park has some really cool plantings and memorials. I always like to climb up to this stone bench and look out over the playing fields.

While I was sitting there I was dreaming about the up coming double date that Remy and I are going on with Murphy & Stanley to the Valentine’s Day Ball. You must click on their names and see the wonderful way they asked us and see their beautiful pictures. They had just been to the groomers and boy are they handsome!

Well I hope you enjoyed my walk in the park. It is supposed to be “warm” (around 40° F) today so I’m going to try to get my parents to take me to the park again. After today the weather is supposed to get real cold and SNOW all week long. I sure hope they are right because I have really been missing my digging snow pile.

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Hi everyone, it’s Millie here. You know, being a young pup my mom and dad have been working on making sure I have proper manners at home and in public with people and other pups. My friend Remy and her mom are working on the same things so we have been trying to get together at least once a week.

Remy and I were supposed to have another walking date on New Year’s day, but the weather was real snowy in the morning and our parents were worried that the sidewalks would be too slippery. With so much snow on the ground we decided to meet at my house and just have a play date instead.

There isn’t much photographic evidence of all the fun we had, but here is a quick video of some of the action. Don’t blink or you might miss it. We are that fast!

If you can’t see the video you can go here to view it.

After a while Remy got a bit cold so we all went inside and gave Remy and her mom a tour of our house. I was a very good hostess and enjoyed showing my house to Remy. Of course we both stayed on leash as our parents didn’t want us zooming and wrestling in the house just yet. The parents talked for a while and Remy and I had a chance to relax.

Last week Remy and I had a date to meet at the Village Gate for some indoor training. It is a cool place that has restaurants, businesses and loft apartments and is dog friendly. There is also a lot of interesting art work scattered throughout the inside and outside.

Village Gate - artwork

Imagine our surprise when we walked up to Debra and she had her other dog Allie with her instead of Remy! How cool! Now I got to meet Remy’s big sister. She was such a sweet and happy girl and we got along real well. We also met up with another friend Debbie and her dog Happy.

Village Gate - water break - Millie

Happy is the big boy on the left and Allie is in the middle of this picture with her mom. She looks a lot like her sister, but is a lighter color.

It was kind of fun walking around and seeing all the people in the offices pointing at us. I’m sure they thought we were all so cute and well-behaved.

Village Gate - phone sculpture

We spent most of our time on the second floor where there is a lot of open space with some hallways to explore too.

Village Gate - walking down the hall - Millie

Someday maybe I will try going up those spiral stairs to see what is up there. There were some other stairs that Happy thought were scary, but I ran up and down them with no problem. For such a big boy he was a bit of a wuss.

Village Gate - open space

After a while we were all getting a bit thirsty and tired. Unfortunately we couldn’t drink from the fountain because people throw pennies in there and it might make us sick.

Debra & Allie, Me & My mom, Debbie & Happy(left to right)

Debra & Allie, Me & My mom, Debbie & Happy
(left to right)

All in all we had a great time and were pretty tired by the time we finished. I can’t wait to get together with Debra and either of her pups again and Debbie and Happy too.

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