Monday, May 28, 2012

A Dog's Best Friend

Last Christmas, I received a Brittany ornament from American Brittany Rescue for helping out with their annual holiday catalog. The ornament was a new one for our catalog, and it came from Sweeney Ridge. It also came with a nice little dog poem that I stuck on the front of our frig.

I'm trying to clean up the house a little bit and thought it was time to toss the poem, but first, I am going to post it here. And also as a reminder to myself to not get frustrated when I'm tired of cleaning up dog and cat puke this weekend.

O Lord, don't let me once forget
How I love my trusty pet-
Help me learn to disregard
canine craters in my yard
Show me how to be a buddy
even when my sofa's muddy,
Don't allow my pooch to munch
postal carriers for lunch,
Shield my neighbor's cat from view,
Guide me steps around the doo,
Train me not to curse and scowl,
when it's puppy's night to howl,
Grant I shan't awake in fear
with a cold nose in my ear,
Give me patience without end-
Help me be "A DOG'S BEST FRIEND."

-unknown

And here's what made me smile on Thursday, as bad as this sounds, a report about Hurricane Bud on the Mexican coast. Bud was the first dog we ever had, an orange and white Brittany. Somehow, the idea of a hurricane sharing his name seems to make sense to me. Our Bud was known to wreak a little havoc himself.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mini Art Quilt Swap Submission

Well, those swaps on Craftster are addicting as hell! :) Just last night, I finished the Mini Art Quilt I was working on. This actually ended up not being as intimidating as I thought it would be, but I've only made one quilt so far. It wasn't anything fancy, just a block quilt to cover the futon in my crafting room.

Anyway, details of this swap: 

"This swap is to make a mini quilt for your partner! We are only going to swap the mini quilt itself, no extras required, so we can focus on making the quilt. If partners agree you may send a couple of tiny extras, but they are not required and you must check with your partner to see if it is ok.

"The size of the quilt should be between 1 and 2 feet square (12 to 24 inches), with any size, shape, and dimensions that fits within those parameters. So 12 x 18 inches is ok, and so is a 15 inch circle, but any one side shouldn’t be smaller than 12 inches or longer than 24 inches. Use whatever methods you want to make a lovely art quilt for your partner! Piecing, embroidery, hand dying fabric, adding beads or charms, etc."

This was part of the questionnaire I received from my partner, StickerChic87, so I knew what to incorporate into the quilt for her:
--What are your favorite colors: Grey, purple, green, red, black
--What are some of the colors in the room of the house you might display this in: Our rooms dont really have themes or color schemes, so Im not too concerned with this. Everything we have is mismatched!
--What colors do you dislike: Pinks, oranges, and yellows. Small amounts are fine though.
--What patterns/shapes/objects do you like: Plaid. Circles.
--What patterns/shapes/objects do you dislike: I cant really think of anything.
--Any specific fabric or quilt patterns you really like? As far as fabric, I really like batiks, and fabrics with fun, colorful prints.
--Any specific fabric or quilt patterns you really dislike? Licensed stuff like Disney, John Deere, Hello Kitty, etc. Not big into country type stuff either.

Please list at least 5 themes/ideas to help your partner know the kinds of things you might like (they can be more specific, ie dolphins, or less specific, ie the ocean) More than 5 is allowed, but 5 is the minimum:
1. The Beatles
2. My state-Michigan!
3. Houses
4. Retro campers
5. Jane Austen (Northanger Abbey and Emma are my favs)
6. Robin Hood (prefer classic over Disney)
7. Bob Dylan
8. Books in general
9. A surprise inspired by my Pinterest, profile, etc!

StickerChic87, if you happen to read this before you get your quilt, stop reading right now!!! There are spoiler alerts ahead! :)

Looks around the internet. Is she gone? She is? Okay, here's what I made. As you can see, I went with the vintage camper motif. :) There is batting inside and I even pressed the plaid edging out when I was done. :) I'll iron for other people, but I won't iron for myself.

THE FRONT: The circle and batik fabrics came from Hancock Fabrics. The plaid fabric came from my stash. The camper fat quarter came from a seller on Etsy. I tried to do a little log cabin piecing of the circle and camper fabrics, but then I realized once I put the little camper appliques on in the corners, it covered up the edges! What the hell was I thinking? BW, the red veggie fabic is my dining room tablecloth. :) Please ignore it in these photos.

I'm still not 100% sure if that center fabric really is batik though. I don't have a real good handle on what batik looks like. I got the idea for the larger camper (all that fabric and buttons came from my stash, too)  from another Etsy seller that had patterns to make those campers. I didn't need a pattern like that. I got advice from another Craftster user, a quilter named Funthreads, on how to top stitch without stitching the appliques on the front.

THE BACK: I'm actually disappointed in how the back turned out. While I'm happy with the top stitching I did, I forgot to iron out the brown backing fabric (leftover from my Jedi robe) before really getting into it. That, added with the empty areas on the back (where the appliques are on the front), it looks wrinkled and messy to me. All of the thread I used was already in my stash. Some of it even came from my father-in-law, from his senior aged neighbor he was looking after years ago. When Ethel passed away, Robert gave me a lot of her crafting things. And I'm even thinking about future projects now: most of Ethel's thread was on wooden spools, which I'm now saving. :)

Since this is meant to be a wall hanging, I made very simple loops from matching fabric and a little bit of quilting. The camper buttons came from one more Etsy seller. 

These are just pinned through the loops and through the plaid edging. That way, if StickerChic wants to hang it differently, she can take off the loops and still use them and the buttons, if she wants.

I did kind of screw up the finished quilt. The overall size was to be no more than 24" in either direction. Well, this quilt is 23"x27". Hopefully, this doesn't mess up my Craftster standing for future swaps since I didn't follow directions and I got carried away!