Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tuesday Archives #147: Snowmen!

Welcome to the linky party that rejuvenates your old quilting/sewing posts! 
Please click here to read more about this linky party.  
Val's Quilting Studio

This week's theme is: SNOWMEN

What a perfect theme to end January with...well, atleast in my little part of the world.
We have more snow on the forecast this week and I can't imgine my morning snow tunnel getting any hirer...but who knows what mother nature has planned! LOL! Anyhoo.....

Val's Quilting Studio

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Jan. OMG: Winter Wallhanging Finish

My January OMG was to get these finished into a wallhanging that would be completed and
hanging in our home by the end of the month. 

Ta Da! With two days to spare, I got 'er done. 

Knowing this was my "One Monthly Goal" motivated me to get this one done. I used a variety of random quilting on this one as I didn't want the quilting to be too dense and well, quite honestly, I wasn't in the mood to quilt this weekend. So I  kept things simple as I echoed around the mittens and the hearts and quilted small snowflakes on the two snowman blocks.

I didn't want to use a pantograph, yet wanted the effect that it was snowing.
So, I randomly quilted nine larger snowflakes throughout the quilt. 

I know there's a ton of different ways I could have really enhanced this quilt if I had taken the time to quilt it, but honestly, sometimes it's just nice to get it done. So, if you ever find yourself in "the neighborhood" know you'll find yourself cozy right here were it now hangs in our guest room:
Grateful for the motivation our monthly linky gave me this month.
Click HERE to see what everyone else finished this month. 
Note: This week's Tuesday Archives theme is, ironically: SNOWMEN.
Val's Quilting Studio

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Saturday Sewing...

I think someone wishes he was outside as he...
...watches his dad clear all those icicles that have built up.
I just let him out and he lasted all of five minutes and is now cuddled up on the couch.
Personally, I plan to keep warm in my studio today with a list of quilty things to keep me busy: 
1. Happy RSC Saturday...I linked my final purples.
2. I'm all caught up on my January Scrap Dance Mystery QAL
3. Just need to quilt and bind my Winter Wallhanging and I'll have my January OMG met.
4. Cut and prep my two blocks for my Sat. Sampler.
5. Prep sewing supplies to teach my students to stitch next week.
That should keep me busy in-between the laundry and cleaning...because I'm NOT going outside.
Thanks for stopping by and happy, happy Saturday!
Next week's theme is: SNOWMEN!
Val's Quilting Studio

Friday, January 27, 2017

Stitching with Kids?

We've actually completed an entire week of school!  Yet, it's impossible for the kids to play outside since their playground is buried in three feet of snow, and well, they only four feet tall themselves! 

So we've been filling our afternoons with fun crafts. I'm inspired by the contrast of these bright colors against the snow as more often than not, black is always my "go to" contrast with bright colors. 
These colorful elephants were inspired by the story: Elmer.
But even more, I'm inspired by my students creativity and enthusaism to do crafts! So now I find myself brainstorming and searching for stitching project ideas like THIS. Something they can keep in their own desks, work on when they have free time and during our "indoor" recess. Our harsh winter is wearing us all down. As you can kinda see in the picture above, we've can't not only go outside, but we're now under a gloomy inversion of freezing fog. We need something new that will be fun, motivate and rejuvinate all of us. So please do comment if you have ideas to share. 
Thanks! Stay tuned...

Val's Quilting Studio

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tuesday Archives #146: Row by Row Quilts

Welcome to the linky party that rejuvenates your old quilting/sewing posts! 
Please click here to read more about this linky party.  
Val's Quilting Studio

This week's theme is: Row by Row Quilts

2016 RBR Home Sweet Home - Pattern Only
Pattern from The Quilt Crossing in Boise, Idaho
I've never made a row quilt . Oh man, I've been enticed, especially whenever I drool over my Lori Holt pattern books. I've also never participated in a Row by Row Experience. Coincidentally though, this summer my husband and I (and Jackson of course) are planning a motorhome trip and I think it would be fun to collect the Row by Row patterns from the quilt shops along our route and how cool that this year's theme is: "On the Go!" This is one of those bucket list vacations, so collecting these would certainly make for a  great memory quilt.  

Thanks for stopping by and sharing today.
Val's Quilting Studio

Monday, January 23, 2017

Baby Gifts Done!

Like many of you, I enjoy making baby quilts but find new moms seem to use the heck out of these extra large, flannel receiving blankets. The first one  I made is for my instructional assistant who is having a baby boy in February and doing an "outdoor" theme for his nursery. The middle one is for my stash of baby gifts and the third one is for a friend who is having a little girl and they are having a "mermaid" themed shower for her. (Cute huh!) So quick and easy to sew them right sides together, turn right side out and add a decorative stitch around the perimeter. (Finished size: 45"x45")

Plus! These are blankets that seem to be a favorite with the little ones for quite awhile,
as witnessed by our own grand guy. Here he is a few days old with his Dinosaur R.B.:

Here he is last June with it as he packed all his "favorite things" to go to preschool.
It doesn't get better than that does it.
Wishing you all a great start to the week.
Our snow days are FINALLY over and I'm looking forward to a NORMAL week.
Well, as normal as things get around here! LOL!!

Val's Quilting Studio

Friday, January 20, 2017

Scrap Dance Mystery QAL!

I'm in!
But with that said, I've NEVER done a mystery quilt! They make me nervous. I like to know what I'm making. But I trust  Carole. Her directions are clear and easy to follow and that she includes pictures is so helpful. So with that said,  I dug threw my "primitive fabric" drawers.

I'm going to follow her directions to a tee.
I pulled fabrics that were similar to hers and I'm just going to go for it.
I love that this is scrappy and I LOVE these fabrics!
Click here for step one of Carole's Two-Step Mystery QAL.
The fact that it's just one step a month (Each third Friday she will post the next set of directions) makes this soooo doable to accomplish  in-between all the other things I want to do and I especially appreciate that I'm using my stash! (Now I'll also have something to share at Cynthia's Sunday OhScrap! Linky too!!) Another thing I appreciate is Carole created instructions that are downloadable!  THANK YOU!!! I NEED that! Sooooo....now that my stash has been selected, I'm going to finish some receiving blankets and tomorrow I will cut into these. 
Please do comment if you are joining in...we can cheer each other on!
Posting from my snowed in basement studio....

Val's Quilting Studio

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Seriously!! More Snow/Sew Days!!!

Well, the snow just won't let up in our little part of  the world!
We've received ANOTHER two feet of snow since yesterday afternoon.

We are literally snowed in. Most everything is town is closed with advisory given: Driving Conditions are very hazardous. The County Sheriff is advising everyone to stay home if they can. Travel only for emergencies. If you have to travel, be prepared for road closures. Drive with extreme caution.

At this point we are only working to keep three major areas cleared.
First, the driveway:

Jackson appreciated having somewhere to run!

Secondly, the mailbox:

Finally, access to the backyard...our back porch...though I don't know why as...

...below is a picture of our backyard. 
We even have the dogs "go outside" on the front driveway now.
Yes, they are very confused!! LOL!! (That's okay, I am too!)

 Sidewalk? None of us are shoveling them anymore...as there's just no where else to put the snow.

The street berm just gets wider and wider and now taller and taller as tractors move the snow around. 

So what's a girl to do? 
Well I made a list as I just need to feel productive:
1. Luckily I stopped by JoAnne's Tuesday on my way home from work/school (Yes, we returned for one day.) and bought enough fabric to make three receiving blankets I need for upcoming gifts.
2. I need some mindless sewing, so will play with my I-spy squares or pull some fat quarters in effort to complete a quilt top this next couple of shut-in days. ( I did order some fat quarters! LOL!)
3. Finish my purple RSC.
4. Quilt my Winter Wallhanging
5. Cut pieces for my Mystery Quilt
Again, I close so very grateful that this quilty hobby of ours keeps me motivated.
Thanks for stopping by and keeping me company.
Stay tuned...
Hey dog lovers! Have you taken the Dog Breed quiz yet?
Click here to take the quiz and comment to be entered into my give-away. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What Dog Breed are You??

Summer 2011
I'm reminded I took this picture for a story quilt I wanted to create. I should do that!

Take the Quiz!

After finding PuppySpot.com I was inspired to take their flowchart of a quiz: 
I took the quiz three times. I'm a confirmed #2:"Easy Going Playmate"...which is the terrier group! That makes so much sense as Jackson is my "best friend" As you already know, he is my empty nest angel/life saver/happy companion. LOL! But I would be heartbroken if a reader ran out and adopted a Jack Russell just because they like Jackson. 
Jackson at work with me on a teacher work day. He always uses by jacket as his blanket.
 We haven't always had a Jack Russell/Terrier and after finding PuppySpot I was inspired to write this post. In review of their site, I'm appreciative of the work they have done to develop a resource that helps one find the "right" puppy for their homes and not make the mistakes I have made in dog ownership in the past. 

I'm a strong advocate for finding the right dog for the right home.  Pet ownership is a responsibility. I've witnessed  JRT with the wrong owners. They end up neglected and/or in shelters. Yet, this can be avoided. I sooo enjoy and appreciate that Jackson has become a highlight on my blog and that you all love him too. But it's important we all make the effort to find the "right" pet for ourselves.
Jackson December 2009
Admittedly, I've made my share of uneducated, mismatched choices over the past 28 years. 

They were cute but.....

Pebbles, that  adorable little Yorkie: So cute and playful. But with two toddler daughters, fifteen months apart, this was like having a third child. Unfortunately, she ran into the street and got struck by a car. I was devastated and felt I had failed as a dog owner. I should have never let her loose to play unsupervised with the girls.  We also had a Papillon. This was that situation where your friend just had a litter and you can get this cute puppy for free! The girls begged: "oh it's so cute". Well, puppy grows up. She kept running away from the girls. She was scared of everything, especially the girls! I finally found her a home with a house-bound woman and they each became one another's "Loyal, Lap, Companion". This is a #1 category breed and not a dog for a home with toddlers.

I write this post to share the valuable resource PuppySpot has to offer if you are ever looking for a puppy. I have always had a dog. I grew up with my own dog. (A little terrier I named Cindy) PuppySpot has a variety of  puppies just waiting for a home, including, Jack Russells.  Take the quiz and find the right dog for you and your lifestyle. I understand the terrier breed and even moments like this: (YES! This is where my puzzle ended. Notice the little bowl on the couch.) I understand he's just feeling as housebound as me during this harsh Winter.
Even him trying to "make up to me" as I collected floor pieces only made me love him more!

If you are looking for a puppy:

PuppySpot uses a personalized approach that caters to the needs of those in search of a new furry friend as well as the breeders who are looking for their puppies' forever homes. PuppySpot is a service committed to helping responsible breeders place their puppies with caring individuals and families. But, more than just a service, PuppySpot is a community of dog lovers whose mission is to make lives better by placing healthy puppies into happy homes

I want to dedicate this post to our first dog CJ, a Labrador Retriever. 
As a young growing family, having a dog that then fit into #3 "The Active Socialite" category was perfect. She was a rescue dog who who we wanted to retrain. We had a house. I especially didn't mind that she barked when anyone came to the house. She was protective, and active with us. 
She lived a long life with us. She was the dog our girls grew up with. She finally passed away from old age and Cushing's Disease. When she passed, we lost a family member.
Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope if you are looking for a puppy or know anyone who is, that you will share this quiz and resource with them. They make it possible for everyone to find and enjoy the life-long companionship of "their own" Jackson. 

 Jackson wants me to end with a Give-Away!

So here ya go:
 Take the quiz above and comment which breed is your perfect match! (This will be fun!)
Give-Away will close on January 31st.
and licks and cuddles...

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