Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Busy Week

Lots going on this week.  First, Don decided he thought I was much too isolated spending all day up in the 3rd floor studio.  So he suggested we move the longarm down to the second floor den.  Actually, I was thrilled to have everything in one place for a change...and solitude doesn't bother me too much.

Obviously, he feels isolated..or doesn't like hiking up to the 3rd floor to see what I'm up to.  Happily, he still likes having me nearby after all these years!

So, we took it all apart and moved it downstairs.  Now I have a 2 story studio.  It's working fine, and hubby is happy.  And I have 2 huge rooms instead of one.  I'll give you a tour....

2nd floor space is 23' x23' and has a wonderful large sun porch right out the door to the left of the machine.



this is the chaise lounge that Chloe and I share for knitting...you can see a glimpse of the sun porch through the windows.  We won't talk about the exercise bike....



and moving around the room...here is my office space. Notice the kitty bed under the shelves :)



TV and game space for when the grand girls are here...still haven't gotten the house painting done......



and the stairs up to the 3rd floor portion of the studio



Moving up the stairs, the domestic sewing machine area



and then looking to the other end of the room where the longarm used to be.  I've expanded the painting and cutting areas into that space.  The room is 46' x 26'





Also, this week I worked  some more on my newest bird of Paradise quilt



And pieced backs for the next 2 quilts ready to be quilted



And actually got one loaded after these photos were taken.  I was getting low on batting, so I placed a big order this week at quilters dream, so that will arrive next week and keep me in stock for a good while.

No work tomorrow , a fun day planned....photos from that to come!

 

 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Rescue Me"

I finished the quilting on this quilt today.  Just the  trimming and  edge finishing left to do.   As the name implies, the recipient of this quilt is very involved in kitty rescue.  With a birthday coming up soon, I thought this would make a fitting gift.

[caption id="attachment_1510" align="alignnone" width="300" caption=""Rescue Me""][/caption]

I used Vicki's "Citrus" gradient..I just love the vibrancy of the colors!  For the cats, I used a print and just fussy cut them out and fused them to the background with Misty Fuse.  Then I quilted the whole thing, securing the appliqu├ęd edges as I quilted.

[caption id="attachment_1511" align="alignnone" width="300" caption=""Rescue Me" closeup"][/caption]

I think it is cute...I'm happy with it and I think it's recipient will be too.

[caption id="attachment_1513" align="alignnone" width="300" caption=""rescue Me" closeup 2"][/caption]

Tomorrow I'll finish the edges...I have something special in mind!

 

 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Working Again!

Today I got back to work on a new project for the first time since our move.  It really felt good to be creating again.

So what is it you say?  Well here's a peek.

It starts with one of Vicki's gorgeous hand dyed gradients...in this case "Citrus"



and then I added this



and this



and more.  I loaded it all on the frame with quilters Dream Select cotton on the bottom and dream wool on the top.

Tomorrow I start quilting.   It will be the first time I have turned on the longarm since moving...keep your fingers crossed it still works!

It really feels so good to get back to creating...like maybe I'll make it through the sadness after all!

 

Of course it doesn't hurt that we'll be getting our new baby May 8th.  I'll leave you with photos of his Mom, Dad and our lastly, our new baby.

First is  mother...her name is Cherokee



Next is Dad...his name is Sebastian



And last but most important of all, is our new baby, who is nameless until we get him home and see what his little personality tells us what his name should be.



I think Harry would approve.  And I know Chloe will be so happy to have the company, and we are grateful to have a new little boy to love.

 

 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Getting back into the swing of things

I've been working on getting 2 new patterns ready for release in May, and working on a couple of quilts that have been in progress for some time now.

I also updated the  photo galleries on my website.  I've really neglected it, but soon I'll be back to adding content and tutorial videos regularly.

Today I ventured out to the local quilt shop for the first time... Mes Amis... just a couple blocks from the house.  Terrific shop..wonderful owner ( thanks Denise!); loads of great fabric and friendly people. Bought a few yards and chatted for a while then came home.

Tonight we went out to dinner, to Mr Ed's...a local neighborhood eatery in Bucktown.   I had the jumbo lump crabmeat au gratin, and Don had the fried oysters.  My crab was good, but a little too much cheese...kind of over powered the delicate flavor of the crabmeat.  I sampled Don's oysters and they were fabulous!  Huge and light...a true treat for the palette.   The service was excellent too.   We will definitely go back there.

All in all, a good day!

 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Socks

I'm on my second pair of socks.  The first pair I knit two at a time on two circular needles.  It took me forever and I wasn't thrilled with the way they fit. ...I have pretty small feet...Of course, I probably should not have picked two socks at once for my first knitting project....

 

At any rate, I decided for the next pair I'd try a different way.  I decided I wanted to try knitting toe up. I figured this way at least I can try it on as I go and adjust the fit.  I also did not really care for using two sets of needles.  Probably it was awkward because it was the first time, or maybe because I was trying to do two at once...

So I decided to do one at a time using one circular needle...the magic loop.

Now it took as couple tries to get it down, but I love this method!  And I'm liking the toe up construction so far too.  It is going soooo much faster for me and I like that, plus the fit is perfect! ...though the knitting is not :)  . But I am really enjoying this as opposed to the frustration of my last pair.



I'm using the personal footprints book  by Cat  Bordhi  for the general construction, though I think I may do a ribbed leg when I get to it.



At any rate, I'm still a novice at this, but to anyone out there struggling with sock knitting...don't give up...just try different methods until you find the one the works best for you!

 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Back to Work

Filling pattern orders, DVD orders, working on new designs and DVD's...not to mention continuing the house reno.

My sweet Harry is settled in with Sidney and Ira to look after him now.  The little shrine with all of them is done and it helps us cope with the loss.

And of course giving Chloe plenty of love and anxiously awaiting the end of the month when we can pick up our new baby!

 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Unpacking

I'm gradually starting to get things in order here.  There have been many essentials to do... plumbing leaks fixed, drywall repair, hot water heater replaced, running AC up to the studio, screening in the downstairs porch, weeding the garden, central vacuum installed..just to name a few.  After next week, all the outstanding repairs will be finished and we can move on to doing the fun stuff like picking paint colors, getting new flooring, kitchen and bath updates... after we take a break to catch our breath.

In the meantime, the unpacking continues.  I've gotten all the boxes out, now I'm just putting it all away and getting things arranged like I want. The studio is mostly put away now...just a few things to put in place, and I still need to get my design wall up.  I'll be replacing all the plastic bins and shelving with nice cabinetry once things are more settled, but these are functional for now.  The best part is having it all in one huge room!

And check out this floor tile; it's in 3 of my bathrooms ...perfect for a quilters home! The hexagons are 3 inches, in good shape and a nice neutral color, so I may leave them...



I'll leave you with a few more photos , first of Chloe





and then some shots around the house















Have a great evening!

 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Back to the land of the living, sort of...

I think if it weren't for having a house to unpack and put away, I would have gone mad by now.   The loss of Harry has hit me harder than any before him.  I'm still very weepy, but better today than last week.

Chloe too has been hard hit with this loss. She still is going from room to room crying for him...as you know they were inseparable...as Harry and I were.

But, there is the house to unpack and put away, and many jobs to be done...life goes on, though painfully and reluctantly right now.

 

After Sidney and Ira died we got new babies very soon...they were Chloe and Harry.  While they did not replace Sid and Ira (whom we still miss)...they did force us to get on with life.  They demanded so much love and attention, we had to comply. That in turn, slowly helped us heal.

 

So yesterday, I found a ragdoll breeder just 3 hours west of us.  It just happened she had new kittens. So we reserved a new little boy.  Hopefully this new little guy will demand much love and attention and  help all of us get on with living.

Nothing can replace the gaping hole in my heart from the loss of my sweet Harry, but Chloe and I have to find a way to stop crying all day every day, and to try and move from the profound sadness to a place where we can savor the wonderful memories of our short time with Harry.  I'm hoping the distraction of a new baby will help us do that.

He is only 7 weeks old, so we can't bring him home until the end of April, but it is something to look forward to.

And here are your first photos of him