One big birthday quilt

My sister-in-law Jenn will not be the only one to receive a birthday quilt this year. Terry, my second Mom (Sam’s Mom), has a very big birthday coming in May. And it deserves a very big present.

You guessed it… it’s going to be a VERY big quilt. As soon as I saw the Calico Star quilt tutorial on Missouri Star, I knew I wanted to do it. And it’s the perfect size for this birthday.

I had a pack of 10″ squares in these fabrics


I pulled the batiks and a few of the lighter squares that wouldn’t work with the white background fabric, and subbed in a few squares cut from my fat quarter stash.


Then came the challenge of mixing them up into five separate piles of nine squares (each pile will make two stars).  After much dithering, I finally got it done. Here’s a peak at one stack.


Now I just have to cut 45 white 10″ squares to go with these…


And I can get started!

Up a tree

One of the other exciting things about seeing Sam last weekend was that she had an extra special present for the cats.

You may or may not know, Sam manages a pet store. A couple days before our scheduled visit, an order of cat trees came into the store. But one of them was damaged – a big hole punched through the side of the box, and into the little hut. It was enough damage that they couldn’t sell it, but the tree was still usable, with some minor repairs. So she asked me if I’d like it.

I’ve been in the market for a cat tree since forever. I bought a small cheap one when we first moved here. But it was small and cheap, and well, it didn’t last very long.

The better ones are quite spendy, and while I love to spoil my babies, it just wasn’t in the budget (plus I blew all my money on dresses, candles and fabric…)

Anyway,  I of course, said YES!!!! Even though I wasn’t quite sure where I was going to put it. The ideal place, the back door, is taken up by my plants at the moment… and they have to be there because there just aren’t many places in this house with enough light. But I knew I’d figure something out

We loaded the box in my truck when I left, and there is stayed until Tuesday, when Dave headed off to work. This was for two reasons:

1) Dave and I don’t work well together when it comes to assembling furniture and the like. We both want to be the boss.

2) I knew Dave wasn’t going to be thrilled with where I finally decided to put it…

The bedroom! But there’s a few reasons for this placement:

1) The only windows on the front of our house are the front door, a teeny tiny high window in the powder room, and our bedroom windows. Burton NEVER gets to look out front, and he loves it. If I’m standing by the bedroom window, he’ll climb my leg until I pick him up and hold him at the window.

2) The dining room window (back of the house) is a no-go… it’s too close to the fish tank, which Burton already has too much interest in. (Plus I have a plant stand there)

3) There zero room in my studio (back of the house) because it’s office/sewing room/craft storage/library. It’s the smallest room in the house stuff with the most stuff)

4) Dave’s studio (back of the house) is absolutely off limits. The door is shut at all times and the cats are not allowed in there at all.

So like any smart wife, I waited until he was gone, and lugged the huge box in the house by myself.

Burton was intrigued from the first moment, and of course, had to snoopervise the assembly.

It didn’t take too long to put together, and there were minimal swear words. But soon enough…


There’s just sooooooooooooo many new squirrels out front!!!


Take that, January blahs

The other day I was up early for a work call, and then found myself free for the rest of the day. Of course, I decided to sew.

I wasn’t in the mood to work on any of my current projects, and I had an empty project box. I wanted something mindless. Well not mindless… there really is no mindless sewing (not like knitting) – but something simple… and quick.

I had two charm packs squirreled away with plans to use them to make a disappearing nine patch.

It took about an hour to fiddle with combinations, and  I finally ended up with six cheerful nine patches, ready to be chopped up and reassembled.


And that’s when things went off the rails… in the best way.

I decided that I didn’t want to do the usual (chop them in quarters, flip the pieces around, and then sew them back together). I wanted something different… but it DEFINITELY wasn’t mindless.


I did chop them into quarters. But instead of sewing them back together, I created four separate piles. I took those piles to the design bed, and spent the next hour or so moving them around to create the perfect layout. Then sashing and cornerstones were added, a couple of borders, and voila!


A colourful lap quilt (40″x 52″) perfect to chase away the January blahs. And another one for the to-quilt pile


I’ve got this crazy patchwork piece for the back, and some nice sunshiny yellow for the binding. I better get up to Mom’s soon!

Slow start

Here we are, officially a month from Valentine’s Day…


And these sad little rows of ribbing are all I have to show for the second Hamilton sock.

I generally only knit in the evenings (day time is saved for day job and sewing), and there hasn’t been a lot going on. Work got crazy again, so I’m usually too zonked by the time the sun goes down. When I have had enegery for the needles, I’ve been working on the poncho.

Still… I have a month to finish this poor second sock. It’s more than enough time. If I actually work on it. I may have to put a row minimum on this, just like the poncho.  Gotta get those stitches in!

Where can you see lions…?

And now for a post about that second new quilt I told you about last week….

In late 2019 I added a few charm packs to a Missouri Star order, one of which was Moda’s Safari Life


And on my last trip to Lens, I picked up a remnant of aqua fabric what was just perfect to pair with it.


I chopped it up into 5″ squares to pair with the charm pack and set to making HSTs. Now, I love HSTs – they are easy to make and so versatile… but…


Trimming them to size is soooooo tedious. And there were 64 of them! Still, I stuck with it and after what seemed like ages, they were all ready to put into the final layout.


A simple, but effective chevron pattern. It’s one I’ve wanted to try for quite some time. Once it was all sewn together, it was a little smaller than I wanted, so I dug into the stash for something for a simple border. The only thing I had in the right quantity was some marble fabric leftover from Dave’s quilt. It did the job, and brought the final size out to a respectable 39 inches square.

Some time in the near future, I’ll get up to Mom’s and get quilting…


… and it will be finished off with more of the aqua fabric for the binding, and these cute flannel lions on the back.

And if you’re wondering about the title for this post… it’s inspired by a silly song from a silly site. Enjoy!

And they called it puppy love…

I have no finished quilts to show this week, because I didn’t make it up to Mom’s this weekend. Instead, I went to visit Sam and her wonderful family for our annual holiday get-together. We were supposed to do it a couple weeks before Christmas, but the weather interfered. As both our schedules were too full after that,  this was the first opportunity we had to see each other.

But I’m soooo glad we waited because…


THEY GOT A NEW PUPPY this weekend!!!!!!! Meet Calibre (Cali for short), the cutest little Beagle ever born. She’s only 10 weeks old and soooooo tiny!


That’s her beside Sam’s hand. And Sam does not have big hands. She’s just a wee little thing.


And so full of energy. It was hard to get a picture of her when she was awake.


And sleeping… well she’ll just melt your heart. You may or may not know, but Sam’s already got a full house – two labs (Dozer and Moose), and three cats (Ezra, Ruby and Marlin), and though Cali has only been there a short time, they are all adjusting very well.


As long as Cali doesn’t get too pushy! And of course, as long as the boys still get plenty of the attention they so deserve.


And as cute as wee Cali is, I don’t envy Sam and her early morning  outside pee sessions…


I’ll definitely stick to cat. At least they potty in a box!