Friday, March 23, 2018

Baby Ava's Quilt is Finished!

Ava's baby quilt is my first finished quilt for 2018, although I have finished other projects, such as seven pillowcases (five for Lily!) and three fleece blankets for my co-workers. Originally, when I started this quilt in September 2014, it was intended for Lily, but then I decided it was ugly, so it languished as a UFO, until my blog readers voted it out of the UFO pile and I repurposed it for Ava.
Here is my handsome husband Mike serving as my quilt model.
The quilt measures 43" square. I added a 2-inch pink border to make it slightly more girly. The pattern is the Disappearing 9-Patch. The individual squares in the original 9-patch are 5". I used a flannel Charm Pack that I bought at Joann Fabrics. I quilted it myself in a large diagonal grid. It's not a fancy quilt, but hopefully it will be well used and loved.
The pink flannel was not quite big enough for the back so I added a strip to the middle.
I hope to go and see Maria (Baby Ava's Mom) at the fabric store this week to give her the gift. I also need to update the top navigation bar of my blog with photos of my finished quilts from 2017 and 2018.

There are more babies on the horizon! My manager's daughter is having her first baby (they don't know if it's a boy or a girl) in April and two of my co-workers are having baby girls in May and June, so I have at least three more baby quilts to make. The fabrics have all been selected. There will be an alphabet quilt, a koala bear quilt and a ballet quilt. I started on the alphabet quilt yesterday. The center is a panel and I'm adding a colorful block border to make it larger. Fortunately, I love to make baby quilts!

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Special Day with Lily

Last Saturday, my favorite 9-year old came to spend the day with Mike and me. Lily is my friend Jeff and Dorothy's daughter and we've been friends since she was a little tiny baby. Lily loves owls, so she has a vast collection of owl pillowcases as well as an owl quilt that I've made for her. The last time I visited her house, she showed me her special drawer full of pillowcases and we counted them. There were 18, predominantly owl fabric, of course.

I purchased two craft projects from Joann Fabrics to do with her. The last time she visited, she wanted to learn to sew, but I wasn't sure if she had liked it that much. She was only seven and I think that she found the sewing machine a little intimidating. She did enjoy pinning.

First, we made a pom pom owl. This was pretty easy to do. It has a felt base and you apply a sticky-backed adhesive to which you apply the pom poms. Once all the pom poms are in place, you iron it to make the glue permanent. Then you stuff it and pull it closed with a drawstring at the bottom.
Lily had a lot of fun making this and she was excited to add another owl to her collection.
Next, we worked on a friendship bracelet with safety pins and beads. This kit was a little harder to do because it required some manual dexterity to thread the beads onto the safety pins. I opened and closed all the safety pins for Lily. They were a little hard to close after you put the beads onto them. I also strung the finished pins onto the elastic cord. The cord that came with the kit was really flimsy, so if we decide to make another bracelet, I'll buy something stronger.
Lily wanted Mike to join in on our fun.
Here is Lily modeling her bracelet. She also wants you to notice her special pug t-shirt that she wore for her visit to the Pug Pack.
Here's a close-up.
We finished the craft projects way more quickly than I had anticipated. After Mike made Lily a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch and we took the pugs for a walk, Lily insisted that we visit my quilt studio to make some pillowcases. I warned Lily that the Studio was kind of a mess, but she told me not to worry about it.

When she saw the piles of fabric on the floor, Lily dove right in. She told me that her Mom likes everything neat and organized (Note to self: do NOT invite Dorothy to visit), and that she would fold the fabric while I made her some more pillowcases. She also insisted that we take "before" and "after" photos. Lily's Dad is a photographer, so I think she gets that from him.

WARNING! If you are excessively neat and tidy, you may want to stop reading now.
Here is Lily among the storage pile on the floor... Lily is wearing a silver sparkly bow on her forehead. It's important to look nice when you are cleaning.
Why yes, there is a rug under there! Now I can cancel my casting call with Hoarders...
Lily did A LOT of folding.
Lily took this photo of me making pillowcases for her.

Here are Lily and her Mom with Lily's five new pillowcases. There are two flannel owl pillowcases, a goldfish pillowcase and two "weather" pillowcases. Lily loves studying about the weather and wants to be a meteorologist when she grows up. I made her a lightening pillowcase and a rain cloud pillowcase for her new weather collection.
Lily had a GREAT time folding all the fabric. We had a lively discussion about all the different prints, designs, and colors. She chose the goldfish fabric from the big pile that she was sorting. She also went through my box of owl fabric and chose two more owl fabrics for pillowcases. Lily was fascinated by sorting through the box and she pointed out the various prints that I had used in her pillowcases and quilt. We decided that next I should make her a large floor pillow with all the leftover owl fabrics and maybe an owl tote bag too.

Lily wants to come back next weekend to sort all the fabric that she folded and put it into boxes. I may start renting her out to my Brown Bagger quilting friends. She will work for pillowcases!
Here I am with my darling girl. I can't believe how big she is getting!
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: Pugs at Work!

Not surprisingly, my cubicle at work is decorated with pug paraphernalia. All my "doubles" go there, plus there are lots of Pug Pack photos as well as cute little pug memes hanging all over the place.
This is Edmond. He waves (via solar power) from atop my cubicle wall. I bought him on Amazon. Lately he hasn't waved much, not enough sunshine in New England for his liking.
Naturally, I have a pug calendar. I also had a Thunder Down Under calendar until my manager suggested that it might not be workplace appropriate...
This is the shelf above my desk.
I have two of these cute little pug mirrors (at left). One is in my bedroom at home and one came to live in my office. This pug card is from my birthday last year, but of course, I'm keeping it.
This is Rollo from Disney's Puppy Dog Pals.

This is my mouse pad. If you look closely you can see that Mike added Elvis and Romeo to the classic Dogs Playing Poker painting. This image was our holiday card one year.
This cute magnet hangs on my overhead file door.
Another cute magnet that also lives on my file door.
Another saved birthday card plus a fabulous quilt magnet featuring zebra print and hot pink made by my sweet co-worker Dianne.
My co-worker Luis sent me this cute little stuffed Doug the Pug after I helped him during his orientation.
Obviously this is not a pug sign, but I love it. My friend Dianne made it for me as a holiday gift this year. It's totally me, complete with glitter!
My former co-worker, Sue, made me this cute picture frame with a photo of Romeo and Elvis during their glorious youth, way before the days of LarryPug and Caesar.
This is my co-worker Audrey's black pug named Buckley.
My good friend Eleanor bought me this gorgeous pug ornament and snazzy stand.
Pug memes never fail to amuse me. My co-worker Jason sends them to me constantly.
Pug yin and yang.
This guy looks just like Caesar, complete with tongue hanging out!
I found this image on the Internet and thought it would make a great quilt pattern.
Of course, there are photos of my handsome husband Mike and our beautiful pug boys. You saw my pug mugs previously.
Lily visited us on Saturday and gave LarryPug, left, and Caesar, right, some great pug cuddles.
Thanks for visiting! Come back soon to see what fun Lily and I got up to!

Pugs and kisses,

Saturday, March 17, 2018

It's Lily Day!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day and Happy National Quilting Day! It's a day to celebrate! But put your sewing machine away if you've had a few beers, you don't want to sew over your fingers!
Kiss a pug today for good luck!
Buy some fabric today!
Today is Lily Day! Lily is coming to visit. I've bought two different craft kits for us to do together. We will go out to lunch and maybe we'll even go to a fabric store to celebrate National Quilting Day.

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: Art Imitating Life

Hello Dear Blogging Friends,

I had good intentions of writing this post on Sunday evening so I could release it on Monday evening so it would be waiting for you in your inbox. But as we know, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Sunday evening slipped into Monday, then Monday slipped into Tuesday, which was a blizzard here in New England. I worked from home, surrounded by the pug boys. This has been our third large storm in two weeks. Up until now, we've had a fairly mild winter, so I guess that March is coming in like a lion.

Here are today's newest pug photos.
Elvis sat on Caesar for a while. Caesar is quite good-natured and didn't seem to mind.
The pug boys found most of my work day snooze-inducing.
I am under 24-hour pug surveillance. Here LarryPug keeps a close eye on me while I use the bathroom.
Last Tuesday, I featured our pug art. Later that week, Mike and I had dinner at Zaftigs Delicatessen in Brookline. We were seated next to a very large painting.
Do you see what I see on the front steps?
The artist is Dan O'Connor.
Doesn't this darling pug boy look just like my Elvis? I was in love.
But it gets better, because there are actually two pugs in the painting...look in the right side window.
This one is slightly long-eared for a pug, but he reminds me of our dear departed Romeo.
For more on life imitating art...

Thanks for all of your lovely comments on my blog post last week. I'm still in the process of answering your emails.

Next week, I think that I will feature some of my pug bracelets. As always, I'm open to your suggestions. What other pug items would you like to see?

Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,

Saturday, March 10, 2018

March Sunday with the Brown Baggers

Last Sunday I had fun hanging out with my Brown Bagger quilting group.

Sandie brought this drop dead gorgeous quilt for show and tell. Her guild did this quilt as a block of the month. Sandie experimented and made the blocks in different sizes. She used a really cool ombre fabric to make her blocks. She ran out of fabric twice but found it on eBay in a shop in Alaska.
I made this photo extra large because this quilt is that good!
Joannie's beautiful daughter Jill joined us for the day. She wielded the acuquilt cutter with deadly accuracy and turned her mom's batik scraps into all different shapes and sizes for Joannie's next t-shirt quilt. Hey! Maybe we can get Jill to come back next month and we can all bring our scrap fabric to be cut!
Pat and I celebrated our birthday and received our birthday blocks. This year's block is a free pattern from the Moda Bake Shop called Big Sky. I hate making this block because it is nothing but half square triangles, however, I really like the finished result. These are very large blocks and will work up into a quilt in no time.
These are my birthday blocks. Kaffe Fassett fabrics alternating with a rich purple.
These are Pat's birthday blocks. She provided beach-themed fabrics in various shades of blue. You can't even tell that we are using the same pattern.
Pat brought a delicious birthday cake from Greenhills Irish Bakery in Dorchester! It was so good I had a piece for breakfast the next day. Yum!
Wish I had another piece right now...
Happy birthday to my fellow Brown Bagger March birthday girls: Pat, Sally, Terri, Jean, Juliana, Emma and Rochelle (who has gone to the great quilt shop in the sky).

Today I'm going on a birthday road trip with Joannie, Marion and Sue. Although I don't need any fabric, I'm sure that some will sneak into the car. And as my husband Mike says, "it's not about the shopping, it's about the adventure!" I married a really smart guy. Wish I could take all of you with me!

Thanks for visiting.

Pugs and kisses,

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Pugtastic Tuesday: Pug Art

Today I share with you the pug artwork that is slowly invading our house. I'm beginning to worry that our dining room is starting to look like the Museum of Bad Art... There is actually such a museum. It is in the basement of our small community art theater, not so coincidentally next to the mens' room. The smell just adds to the ambiance. The next time you're in my area, you'll have to check it out.

My first contribution was this pug wall hanging that I had framed instead of quilted. This is a fused quilt and there are approximately one zillion pieces in it. I made this several years ago. I believe that I blogged about it, but searched and couldn't find the entry, so don't ask me for the pattern name.
Not everyone can boast of an original Pugcasso in their dining room.
Then Mike and I purchased this cute pug print at a Newburyport dog shop.
Our friends Mike and Christine gave us this print as a gift.
I painted this portrait of LarryPug at a paint night with my friends. I'm considering donating it to the Museum of Bad Art. Or maybe I'll just leave it to them in my will.
Mike bought me this pug plaque as a gift.
Our friend Cindy bought us this pug art when we adopted Caesar last year.
Our latest addition came from my brother Gary and his wife Susie. I have not had a chance to frame it and hang it yet, although I have purchased the frame.
Here is the pug art as shown in the gallery, aka, dining room, aka dog room. Only three pieces are actually hung. The others are on top of the dog crates. We are planning to remodel our kitchen this spring, so the pug wall will be moving... I think there is plenty of space in our basement..
Here are the Pug Boys in their native habitat, aka, sitting next to my kitchen chair in hopes of a handout.
When sitting and looking cute isn't good enough, the next step is to climb on my knee and look pitiful.
Thanks for visiting!

Pugs and kisses,