sewing for puppy: a bed for fleury

For my Madrona Road challenge project for my local Modern Quilt Guild, I decided to make something that I already had plans to make instead of adding another project to the list. I also wanted to use the Madrona fabrics with things I already had in my stash since I didn't want to spend a ton more money on the other patterns.

fleury's new bed
fleury's new bed
Since the colorway we received was rather limited and muted, I thought I needed to jazz it up a bit. First I added some green in a bright, vibrant hue to give some life to the otherwise soft palette. Then I thought, why not warm it up a bit and tried out a few other colors in my stash - solids only, per the rules - and kept in mine this was for my boy dog (so pink was out).

After settling on orange, I tried a tangerine at first, but then settled on this red-hot orange. I thought it really added some pop to the palette, complimented the bright green and best of all, was the color of Fleury's most favorite ball.

fleury's new bed
fleury's new bed
The bottom of the bed also features a fun strip of patchwork which was the result of a happy accident. I had initially cut the bottom panel 3/4" too short. Oops. But, making the best of things, I added a strip of patchwork that hadn't fit on the top of the bed and it fit just right.

It seemed that he knew this was for him and took to it right away. He snuggles up on it now pretty regularly and I think as he grows it will be just the right size. Using only the Madrona fabrics (donated to our guild for the challenge) and stash fabrics kept the costs of this bed pretty inexpensive. I really only purchased the zipper and the cording.

fleury's new bed
Speaking of zippers and cording - both had me cursing pretty heavily and I really hope he doesn't destroy this bed too quickly as I'm not in too much of a hurry to repeat the process, but I do love the look and structure that the cording gives and of course, the practicality of the zipper.

I had made the inside of the bed from an old feather bed. I don't recommend doing that without a heavy duty vacuum and a lot of patience. Feathers everywhere. But it was free and we had nothing else to do with it.

I really like the end result of the project - one of my favorites so far, believe it or not. And, of course, I love seeing the pup bunny hop onto it before he lays down on it.

fleury's first day at the beach

road trip
A few weeks ago, we went on a road trip to San Diego. It was a nice, quick but relaxing getaway and I'll be back with a few more pics from the rest of our time there. But this is about the day we decided to take the pup to see the ocean. Lots of sand to dig in, water (water!) and room to run seemed like it was his idea of a good time. He's a huge water dog, but we weren't exactly sure how he'd react - scared of the waves, unsure of all the other dogs, excited for all the water, could he swim? How would he behave off leash?


All our concerns were for naught. He looooved the water, we even had to call him in a few times because he was going for it and we're still not sure if he can swim (and the ocean in March didn't seem like a good time to test that). I wore some rain boots so I could get in the water without getting too wet so we both ran around for a while. Fleury spent his time trying to bite the waves and pop little seaweed bulbs in his mouth. He'd inevitably lose them in the surf and stick his head back in after them, blowing bubbles in the water with his nose.

He even did well on his recall and other commands, which I have to tell you, kind of shocked me. Another dog was playing fetch and we gave a stern "leave it" and then a "come" and I was close to passing out when he actually listened. And before everyone thinks I'll get a big head from having such a well behaved dog, don't worry....I swear it was a fluke because we never get that kind of obedience at home.

But he really, really loved it. We came home and are searching for a hard sided plastic pool. I know, a poor substitute, but we live in the desert so we'll have to make do.


sew and tell: a finished trip

scrappy trip
I recently finished up my scrappy trip along. I really couldn't be happier with it. As I've said before, it goes together so quickly. I was hoping it would really make a visible dent in my scrap pile, but for some reason, my scrap pile seems to have a slow metabolism and just keeps gaining weight no matter how much I work it.

scrappy trip
I ended up binding it with a solid pink that complimented the pink flowers in the backing print (that I got for 50% off - score!). I wasn't quite sure as I was sewing it on - I was thinking that maybe I should have pulled the darker plum color instead - but in the end I'm glad I went with the lighter color as I think it works really well with the front and pops the edges a bit more than something darker would have.

I know I'll be making another one of these sometime as it really does come together easily and I love that it uses scraps! It's residing on my couch now and is just the perfect size for snuggling under. I ended up using a thin cotton batting as the weather has definitely turned warm here (almost 80s! yikes!). But with a little air conditioning, I still think it would work.

scrappy trip
I tried to turn it over to show off a bit of the quilting pattern - diagonals and straight line quilting, but Fleury had had enough of all this picture taking - didn't I know outside was for playing ball? As you can see, he reminded me of my oversight...

scrappy trip

scrappy trip
"Seriously, still? How many pictures do you need, woman?"

scrappy trip
"I'm so over this..."

color choices: houndstooth quilt

One of the husband's cousins has "commissioned" me to make a quilt. After we went back and forth a bit about her color preferences and other aesthetics, we settled on the Houndstooth pattern from V & Co.I really love this pattern - it's a nice bold graphic, but I can see how with linen and white, or a softer color, it would be a mellow quilt as well - even soft and sweet for a baby.

gennys quillt - color choices

She liked the colors blue, green and gray as she has three boys. I pulled a few I thought were nice from my stash. I also threw in a white and a linen since I think either would provide a nice neutral background and contrast with the colors.

I think a white/linen/light blue combination would be light and breezy and have a real beachy feel. The navy and a light background would be striking and bold. The greens would be very natural looking if paired with linen and white. There really is no bad combination in my opinion, just possibilities. What is your favorite?

gennys quilt - color choices

spring is for cleaning

Today I want to talk cleaning. I know, bear with me, I know it's a Monday and I'm talking about the least favorite thing to do for possibly everyone on the planet.

I have tried cleaning schedules and systems and lists for the past few years. When we lived in our itty bitty apartment (back in our Florida days), it was quite manageable to deep clean the place weekly. It took about half a day and the place would be sparkling.

Then we moved to the desert and a bigger place and the dust started to take over. Now, we have a house. It has multiple rooms, not just the typical apartment with one giant kitchen/living/dining/office space and a bedroom. For the past six months I've been working on getting a routine down to make cleaning more manageable, quicker and less painful.

At the moment, Monday is downstairs cleaning day and Tuesday is upstairs cleaning day. Tuesday being the much easier of the two. Laundry gets done during the week - one load a day. The kitchen gets cleaned daily as well.

Sounds good, right? But really Monday is a b-word. There's got to be an easier way to keep things clean and tidy than deep cleaning an entire floor every week right? Spending two whole days cleaning with other mini-cleans throughout the week just seems like a lot. Am I crazy? Who wants to spend two whole days cleaning just to keep their house clean?

Short of hiring a housekeeper, what are your tips to make cleaning faster and more manageable? How do you control clutter?

bad, habitually

Fellow sewists: how are your bad sewing habits? This question was thrown out by Emily (Mommy's nap time) this week and it got me thinking. I guess I didn't realize how many bad habits I had until well, I wrote them all down. And wouldn't you know, almost all of them involve (potentially) dangerous sharp objects....yikes!

not changing my needle - I know, I should change it in between projects, but I get so excited to start another one that I rush past it and three projects later I start to think, "Geez, this needle sucks..." Of course it does....

putting pins in my mouth - I heard about someone who inhaled a pin by accident and required surgery or something horrific. I vowed to not put pins in my mouth anymore. But sometimes I walk away from my pin cushion and where else can I put them?

dropping pins - and sometimes, most always, but not every single time, I pick them up. I've gotten much better at this since we got the puppy though. Imagining a $3000 surgery to remove a pin swallowed by my puppy I guess holds a little higher priority for me than inhaling one myself....

not closing my rotary cutter - I try to remember...really....

using my rotary cutter the wrong way - This stems from all the cutting I did in college. I used an exacto knife to cut out cardboard, foam board and balsa wood almost daily for four years building models. And when using an exacto knife, you cut towards now I do it with my rotary cutter. I know this is dangerous...but I figured I survived college with only one trip to the hospital for exacto usage...what are my  chances i'd cut myself with a rotary cutter? *knock on wood* (on a side note: the only sewing injury I've encountered is sewing my finger with the machine, nothing resulting from my worst sewing habits)

not changing my rotary cutter blade - Are you sensing a pattern? I use these blades until they are dull, which is stupid - a nice, new rotary blade cuts like butter, but I plow on using a less than perfect one. One, because they are sooo darn expensive and also because well, I'm lazy. Mostly because I'm lazy. Then I change my blade, remember how much less pressure I need to apply with a nice blade and tell myself to never let it get that bad....

not getting my machine serviced- like, ever. I've only had it a few months over a year, so really, it's just now due...sort of...and I swear I've been meaning to take it in, but then I tell myself, well, after this project...and with project ADD that turns into 3 projects later and a linty machine that will soon give me hiccups.

sewing space sloppiness - For two weeks I couldn't find my seam ripper. But when it comes to having time to sew, I want to sew, not clean, so sometimes (ok, most of the time) the sewing room ends up looking like a really fabulous (but still messy) fabric bomb went off.

I'm going to stop thinking about these now so I don't get too down on myself....In the meantime, what are your worst sewing habits?

cutting and pressing and planning

Now that I've finished up some WIP (not all, mind you, but enough to take the pressure off...) I can dive back into this barely started Retro Flowers quilt. I began cutting and planning and piecing this quilt awhile back, just after the holidays. But then life got busy and other projects and things took precedence. I'm excited to get back into it though.

chicopee planning
The pattern calls for 16 flowers, so I'm planning the above layout. Like most things, seeing it photographed lends a different perspective - I hadn't noticed the two red and one purple solid we're really all grouped to one side. I might tweak it a bit once the flowers are assembled. I'm also still debating on the two spaces that have a couple different options. I'm not sure if I want to lighten it up with some of the white prints, or keep things pretty saturated...

chicopee cutting
I spent yesterday morning doing the first round of cutting (there is a lot of cutting in this pattern!). I can't wait to get the cutting over with so I can start to sew!

newbees - february quilt block

newbee blocks january and february

I finished up my block for February's Newbees block swap. I was a little uncertain when Quiltnwool mentioned that she wanted purple in her block as I rarely have any in my stash. But it just happens that I had a scrap from my journal swap last year and it had green in it too! Perfection!

This was a pretty easy block in terms of construction, something I am definitely enjoying about this group. Next up: March's Wonky House block. ;-)

last weekend

Last weekend, we took the pup and his new girlfriend up to Mt. Charleston to enjoy the nice weather and the last of the winter's snow. We made the hike up to 8,500 ft to Mary Jane falls, the view from which is gorgeous.

hike collage 1

At the top of the mountain, the falls were half melted. Some running water coupled with the vibrant blue ice and a fun little (big!) cave to explore made the trek up totally worth it. The pups seems to have a fun time too - eating snow, chasing snowballs and running around - up and down the snow bank formed at the base of the falls.

hike collage 2
About halfway into our rest/ play period at the base of the falls, a whole dog pack made it's way to the top with their owners. There was a bit of an impromptu dog park created at that time and they totally wore each other out. Before they completely pooped themselves out, we headed back down the mountain and ended the hike with another quick romp in the snow.


hike collage 3
Hope you all had a fun weekend as well!