Friday, February 27, 2015

                          SNOW- and more snow!

   I am sorry about the lag in posts- I got hit with the darn flu (or a bad cold) last week and boy it did me in! I did not get a darn thing done/sewed!  They were predicting quite a bit of snow here (nothing like back east however) so I was looking forward to hunkering down in my sewing room all weekend but NOOOOO- I laid on the couch all weekend and didn’t do shit! The dogs loved me, though. They are such little slugs!

    I did, however make it to a little job interview Monday night and I now have a part time job making dog collar covers for a dear woman I met through a friend. I have to make 100 of these little things before mid March- so I know where I will be this weekend! I think I can get them done Saturday, which leaves Sunday to play.
  I have been drooling over this Quilt A Long quilt in the most recent American Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

  I just love this quilt. It just seems to speak to me- maybe because it is so bright and cheery.

   Of course I have several things I really should be doing instead- piecing my Bear Paw BOM, starting the graduation quilt for a very special great nephew, and of course there is the pile of 4,000 unfinished damn quilt tops I have started. Oh well- that is what retreat is for!
   My first retreat of the year will be here before I know it- it is at the end of March. I have to start to try to figure out what to take. Last year I had everything prepped, cut and bagged beforehand along with the thread and any special notions I would need. It worked wonderfully- I got a ton of stuff done and there was no digging around for anything.
   I hope this year is a tad better for me - last year my dumbass brother ended up in the hospital right when I left and I was worried about his stupid ass all weekend. Love ya Brookie!  We have very spotty cell phone service at the retreat which made it even more difficult to get updates. Of course he ended up being fine- dipshit- but it was enough to put a damper on my fun trip. TO BROOKE- your ass better not be going near any hospitals at the end of this month- DO YOU HEAR ME NOW????
   A few years ago when I went there was major stuff happening at home- I almost did not go, but at the insistence of my daughter I went. I did end up having beergaritas at 10am that Saturday morning- but it was 5 o’clock somewhere! Lucky for us one of our stipulations where we hold our retreats is that they must allow alcohol. One year I called ahead and asked how big their freezer was and how much ice it could hold. The gal on the other end of the line was probably wondering what kind of quilters exactly were coming? She got awful quiet. (turned out they have their own ice machine- and it did keep up with the margarita making).

  It is because of the support and love from these peeps of mine that I am not in the looney bin typing this, but instead am at my office desk in a nice, warm environment not wearing a straight jacket. They are always there for me- and I love them all dearly.  HUGS to you all-past and present retreaters- you know who you are! Thank you for putting up with my crap- you will all be included in the book- I promise!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

                                     A heart filled weekend-

   Hello all! I hope every one of you had a nice weekend. We had some beautiful weather Saturday- in the 60’s here in Denver. Saturday found us out and about. Bob and I had a nice lunch, went to the Denver Dog Show then splurged on red velvet milk shakes at LIKS.

     I got a 4 mile walk in after the milk shakes- in a t-shirt only! (well, I did have pants on as well- contrary to what some people believe, I am NOT an exhibitionist!) We then went out to dinner- fried oysters for me! The good thing about loving tiny places with good food is that they aren’t that busy on Valentines’ Day- we got right in!  Of Course we got up Sunday and it was 30 degrees. And then it snowed. Gotta love it!

   I did get another of my bear paw blocks done, so I am caught up! There are only 3 more blocks left, I believe. But, the big news is I finally got done sewing my Bionic Gear Bag! I have been working on it for a few weeks. The only reason it took so long is because instead of going into my sewing room when I get home from work, I plop my ass down in the chair, the dogs jump up on me and we cuddle the rest of the night. (plus I have been re-reading Fifty Shades of Grey- for the third time, teehee)
   All I had to finish on the bag was sewing the binding and zipper on to the top of the bag. And I finally did it! And, wait for it- it looks good for once! All of us quilters know how tricky sewing binding on by machine can be. When I fold the binding over, and try to stitch in the ditch, it always seems like the top stitching on the other side is crapola when I am done. This time, my friends, I kicked the bindings’ ass! And, for you my friends, I will tell you I think I have finally figured out the tricks to a good looking binding. I know, I know. I have only made 4,000 fricking bags with machine stitched binding. Some things come slow to me- DUMBASS.

    The first thing I did this time was slow the hell down. I am usually a fast sewer. It drives my friends crazy.  Just ask them. I also pinned that first seam- a LOT. These 2 things, along with making sure that I sewed that first seam very straight did the trick! This way, when I turn the binding over to the other side, if my seam is straight to begin with, the same amount of binding will be folded over the whole way across the bag. Also, as I am sewing in the ditch from the back side, the ditch is actually straight, also making this seam look good. I also used a LOT of pins when sewing in the ditch. I did hold my breath as I was turning the bag over to look at the first side of the stitching- holy crap- did I actually sew that? I was amazed- then proceeded to do the other side. Success!
   The bag I sewed is the Bionic Gear Bag. It has 4 zippered pockets inside, plus a fabric tray at the front where you can place more stuff! Take note of the way the stripes are laid out on the pockets- total accident, but a happy one at that!

 I did make the matching little fabric bowl so I had a place to put my Wonder Clips.

   It is a really slick pattern- very easy to follow. She includes lots of pictures and tons of instructions. You can find the pattern here-

     I really like the bag. I also love the fabric I picked. I machine quilted around all of the little flowers, and put just a little bling in the center of a few flowers.

   I will definitely make another one- I might have enough fabric left to make a matching 2nd one. If not, I may have a few pieces of fabric in my stash I can use-haha!

   Update- on Gracie- she is doing well at her new home. The vet said she is approx. 8 weeks old, and is a doxie/terrier or doxie/schnauzer mix. She is a healthy, happy little girl!
    Thank you for reading this my peeps!  Have a good week!

Saturday, February 14, 2015


And welcome to our new blog readers from Hungary and Italy!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Quilting, Sewing and Embroidery
 Knitting, Crocheting, Spinning and Weaving
 Food, Cooking and Cake Decorating
 Drawing, Painting and Photography
 Gardening and Woodworking
 Jewelry, Scrapbooking and Paper Crafts

 Fall in love with your craft all over again!! Treat your sweetheart or yourself to up to 50% of ALL Craftsy online classes.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

                                       There once was this puppy-

     Boy, what a week!  On Thursday morning, as I was enjoying the peace and quiet in the office (bosses were out of town for a few days- whoo hoo,LOL) in walks one of our truck drivers. He had a little pet taxi with him. He told my shop guy and me that he had found this puppy and kennel abandoned at a truck stop- freezing and hungry. The truck driver had put a big block of snow in the kennel for her to drink from. (I am trying not the judge him- at least he rescued her, put her in his warm cab and brought her to us). As far as the ass who dumped her- I hope someday you are freezing and starving with no one to help you, you rotten bastard. The driver was going to take her to a shelter, but I took her out the kennel and she sure as hell was not going anywhere. I told him I would find her a home and shoved her in my hoody.
        I wanted to get a good look at her to see what breed she was, so I tried to stand her on the work table in the back. The poor little thing could not stand! I thought she had hurt her hind legs or her back. My shop guy poured her a big bowl of milk ( I know this is not good but at this point it was all we had to give her as my turkey sandwich and Fabian’s Captain Crunch were not interesting to her). She at first was not interested in the milk, and just slept in my arms for a while. Going to the bathroom was quite interesting as I did not want to put her down. But now I know I can do it one handed if I ever need to- haha. TMI- I know.
       I made the obligatory call to hubby-“come help me, I rescued a puppy”. Of course, he answered with “What do you need me to do?” So, while he was on his way to my work with some food for her, this sweet little girl finally woke up enough and warmed up enough to want some of that milk. And she drank, and drank, and drank. About 20 minutes later she was up and running all over the office- eyes brighter, ears up, tail wagging, and peeing all over the floor. Success!
    I was finally able to get a good picture of her and posted it on Facebook, asking if any of my friends were interested in this puppy. Bob showed up with the food and suggested I contact our vet to see if they do any pro-bono type work with stray puppies. One- I hate asking for free stuff, and two- this place is not known for being cheap, but we do love them! So, I called, and the sweet gal that answered the phone said ”yes- we do that all the time for adoptions for strays, etc.” and she told me she would have the main vet call me back.
      I got a text from a friend at one point that said “looks like you found a home for her” WHAT? I had not checked on Facebook as I had been pre-occupied cleaning up pee spots :) Actually, there were several offers to give this sweet thing a home! The first person to respond is a dear friend I worked with several years ago. She has another dog, a cat and 2 great kids- a wonderful family for a puppy! She wanted to come look at her! Fortunately she lives very close to where I work.
     She showed up a few hours later, sent a pic to her hubby and left with the puppy! I did not even cry as I knew this little one was going to be loved and well cared for. I would have loved to have kept her, but we have 4 critters and live in small place. I know we could have given her the love she needed, but I knew she was better off with my friend.
   The next morning my awesome vet called me, I gave him my friends’ number, and they have an appointment! He said they would give her a free well puppy check, and a discount on shots and getting her spayed. If you live near Lafayette, Co go see Dr. Dodge and his staff at Jasper Animal Hospital. They truly love their patients and it shows!
   I texted my friend to see how the puppy was doing- they have named her GRACIE! I think that name is absolutely perfect! She is fitting in well, and Amy says she is a joy! I promised her I would not nag her all of the time for updates- I hope I can keep that promise!
  Here is Gracie in all her glory-

    Have a great week everyone!

Monday, February 2, 2015

                                   Productive weekend-kind of
    On Saturday, I got to hang out with 2 of my favorite peeps- Terry and Lexie. I was Miss Daisy as Terry drove my ass all over Denver. The first stop was Holly’s Quilt cabin, a super quilt shop at the south end of town.
   I had been down a week earlier and was drooling over the new fabric line from Fig Tree called Somerset. While this fabric line is stunning, the large floral is not a fabric I am normally drawn to. I think it is the peach/salmon /green combo.

 My awesome boss bought me a gift certificate to Missouri Quilt Company for my birthday and it has been burning a hole in my pocket ever since. Then, on Wednesday I jumped on the Stitchery Dickery Dock blog and she has a new pattern out using a layer cake. OMG. You can find the pattern here-

  Well, as you all know I am quite the enabler so I talked Terry into making this quilt as well (to be honest it didn’t take much convincing and actually I think it was her idea). So, I figured what the hell and used my gift card and ordered a layer cake and my binding fabric. On Saturday, I bought a bit of yardage of the line so I could replace any of the layer cake squares I may not want to use. I also found my background fabric- it is so nice when you have friends that have a great eye for color to help with that!

 Then, we decided to do lunch. I had eaten at a little dive called Granny Annie’s Peachy Pie a year or so ago and decided we should go there. It was fricking closed! So, we headed up Federal and found agreat Mexican place and chowed down. We needed nourishment to continue shopping!

  After our bellies were full, we headed to most amazing stitching shop called- The Stitching Shop. They had thousands of threads, patterns, etc. They specialize in Brazilian Embroidery- which has nothing to do with a Brazilian bikini wax, although I think I did see Terry’s eyes roll back in her head several times when we were in there. They have the only certified teacher of Brazilian Embroidery in the state working there- and she also owns the shop- so you know they know their stuff! I think Terry and I will be taking some classes in the near future. Here is their website

    After we quit drooling there we dropped Lexie off and headed to another great shop called Wooden Spools. They carry fabric and the most beautiful yarn! I did find a yard of a white dot fabric that I loved- and I actually have a plan for it. Imagine that!
   That was our last stop, so Terry dropped Miss Daisy off at home. I was pooped!
    On Sunday, I woke up to 4 inches of snow- which was NOT predicted! So, I finished a quilt for my neighbor, and then traded four thousand emails and pdf’s with my pattern editor who shall remain nameless.  I am such a dumbass- she would send me a revision, then I would catch something else I missed. God love her for being so patient with me. But, after all that I now have 4 patterns for sale on Craftsy! I had them for sale through Jazz Cat- Irene rocks- and then decided to put them on Craftsy. So, I had my trusty editor change a few things and off I went. We shall see what happens! I have come up with a few new pattern ideas, now I just need time to draw the shit! You can find my patterns here-

  I am not really into the Super Bowl this year, so I am typing this as the game is on. I am even missing the commercials- the best part! Oh well-I will watch them on You Tube tomorrow!

Hope you all had a lovely week!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

IT'S HERE!!!!!
Chip and Dale Designs are now official Craftsy pattern designers. Check out our Sunflower pattern on Craftsy!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Welcome to our new blog readers from Slovenia and Switzerland!
Quilting is truly a universal language!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

                                      My Quilt Top from Hell

  Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, the tale a fateful… and now you are welcome. While you are reading this rant of a blog, you will be humming the theme to Gilligan’s Island, one of the greatest shows to ever be on television. Remember when Kurt Russell was the jungle boy? I loved him even way back then- anywhoo-
  This past weekend I finally finished a quilt top that has been in progress for about 3 years. I think I heard angels sing at one point- but that was in between all of the cussing. It could have just been the other voices in my head- I am still not sure. The dogs’ ears did perk up at one point.
  This quilt began as a project with friends. We were all shopping one Saturday celebrating one of our birthdays, when we saw this quilt book. My cohorts are big fans of reproductions-me, not so much. Most times it is hard for me to picture a quilt in anything other than what is in the photo on the cover. Lame, I know. I am trying, people. Don’t judge me. We also had hit a quilt show recently where this quilt was displayed in something other than reproductions. It was beautiful. So, due to the fact I was getting a birthday discount that month I actually purchased yardage to start my anti-reproduction top.

   A few months later, after my fabric cured for a while (this has to be done-ask any quilter-some people call it fabric hoarding but they are just on crack) I took it to a quilt retreat to work on it. As luck would have it, my friend Lexie, master of drawing and quilting was done with her project and volunteered to trace all of my patterns for the applique onto fusible web. God love her. I got the middle block fused down and a few of the smaller ones done before I left the retreat. I brought it home to let it cure some more. Again, this must be done. Right Becky R.?
   I had quite a bit of time off this year around the holidays and decided now was the time for all good men- oh wait- that was typing class. I decided it was time to get the top done. I finished all of the machine applique and was finally ready to get this damn thing put together. I starched the center block and cut it to the correct size according the directions. Then it was time to piece the 4,000 flying geese that go around the center. After I got all of those little bastards done, I read the next step in the directions, which did not amuse me. It basically said that the math didn’t work out exactly for the geese to go around the center and you may have to fudge a bit. WTH?? If I fudged at all, I would lose the points on my geese, which did not amuse me. I plowed through, and by some miracle I did not have to fudge at all. Whewww. On to the 4,250,323 half square triangles.

  After I had all of them pieced, I had to trim them to 1-7/8”. Odd size- and let me tell you if you do not have one of these rulers go to the Bloc Loc website and buy the 2-1/2” and 6-1/2” square ruler. Do not pass go, do not collect $200- just do it! This ruler saved my life- or my husband's- not sure which at this point.

  I was finally ready to piece the borders. I looked at her diagram, and sewed all of my units to look just like hers. I got the borders ready to put on my design wall, and guess what? The damn drawing does not match the layout of half square triangles in the quilt piecing diagram or the picture of the quilt! If you all saw smoke or heard a sonic boom Saturday coming from Thornton it was me. Poor animals- I think I broke their eardrums. After a shot of whiskey, a 3 mile walk and a trip to Sprouts (they had clementines for $2 a bag- score!) I was ready to dive back in. I figured only the author of the book and I would ever know these borders were not facing the right way. These borders were not easy- directions were telling me to use a generous ¼” seam allowance at some points, and a scant seam allowance at others. This does not float my boat. I was so close to the end, however I just kept going. Darling hubby fed me, I popped a shit load of Motrin and kept sewing. Finally, at 7:30 I was done. Finis. Finito. (I have no idea if those are words- don’t stop me now, we are almost done here).
    Here it is in all of its glory-(Olwyn if you are reading this I was not sure about an apostrophe after its- input please?) I took it on my walk this morning and found this great bench at the lake/pond. In Pennsylvania, it would be a pond. In Denver, anything over a 2’ square is called a lake- go figure. Colorado is close to perfect but we aren’t quite there yet. We made great inroads with the whole pot thing but that is just getting us started. Haha.

Thank you for reading this novel- have any of you had a quilt top from hell? Other then you, Lexie :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Well, it is not exactly a new feature but it is an expanded feature!
If you look on the right side of the blog page, you will find the links to a variety of Craftsy online classes. If you see a class that looks interesting, simply click on the picture and you will be directed to that class information page.
If you scroll down to the bottom of the blog page, you will find even more classes. And we will occasionally post special classes as blog articles.
Please share with other readers in a comment section if you have found a particularly good class!!!!
                                                    AND MUCH MORE!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

                    I THINK I HAVE A PROBLEM-

   I have been having a terrible time making my damn tea in the mornings as of late.  The Saturday before last, I got up as usual and started to putter around the kitchen. As I heated up my water for my tea in the microwave, I added sweetener and milk to my mug. After adding the hot water to my lidded mug, I started cleaning, laundry, etc. After about a half hour I figured I better throw my tea bag out. I took off the lid and lo and behold no damn tea bag! I had been drinking hot water with sweetener and a splash of milk! And I did not notice! So, I dumped out the remaining water and proceeded to make a 2nd cup of tea- which I did with no problem.

   Last week, we had some terrible weather in the morning so darling hubby offered to drive me to work. As he was out warming up the car, I was gathering my work bag and making my cup of tea. As my water was heating up in the microwave, I grabbed the milk out of the fridge and proceeded to pour it into my cup- EXCEPT it was not milk- it was water from my pitcher in the fridge- WTH???? So, I dumped the water out, added more sweetener and waited for my water to heat up. Good God- Bob did get a good chuckle when I got out to the car because I of course fessed up.
    Now- on to this morning. I am sipping my tea on the way to work thinking it just doesn’t taste the same as it usually does. I just kept chugging it down, however because it was cold outside and the tea was hot. After I finished my tea at work and went into the kitchen to refill my mug, I noticed the bit of tea left in my mug that I made this morning was dark- I never put milk in it! Oh man- what the hell is going on?

    I am seriously thinking something is going on. There was a call from one of our customers this a.m. looking for his doors- I received an email from him last month to proceed with his order and never gave the email to my boss to order the doors. Thank goodness the customer was not totally pissed at us- guess I better start playing those games to make your mind better! I am not retaining anything!! At this rate I am hoping to find my way home after work every day!

  On a better note, I had a sew day with my buddy Terry this weekend to help her through a Sew Together bag- she bought the outside fabric in Japan. Isn’t it lovely?? She did a wonderful job- this was her first bag/zipper project ever!

 Happy Sewing everyone- here’s to hoping I can remember how to turn on my machine!!

Friday, January 2, 2015