Temple Treasures!

Remember these?

Shabbat!

I cannot tell you how much my family and friends are loving these! In fact, rumor has it, that a certain family has Shabbat dinner SOLELY to use their new challah cover! Whatever works, right?

H’anyways, when I first posted about these, Diane’s website, Temple Treasures wasn’t up and running yet. It is now though!! Go look around, she’s got some GREAT stuff and Passover is just around the corner!

In other news, I know I’ve been quiet over here. I am working on things, just nothing really interesting for blogging at the moment. I promise to try to be more interesting in the near future 🙂

Posted in embroidery | Tagged , | 1 Comment

FREAKING AWESOME (almost) Friday!

*I wrote this post and scheduled it for Friday, then I saw this. The Marshmallow crew will be silent on Friday.

I can’t believe it’s been almost two weeks since I’ve blogged! It’s been go, go, go around here lately and everything is fantastic (feel free to want to kick me here, I’m bordering on annoying myself sounding like this, too)! Anyway, I got to see the elusive sister and fiance courtesy of their 18 hour round trip drive (we love you two!), my yoga mat bag is getting plenty of use, I’ve been to THREE hockey games (I love ’em even though my Canes need some SERIOUS work!) and I even busted out my Rainbow flip flops yesterday. SQUEE!! (That’s the noise of a VERY happy southern girl wiggling her freshly pedicured tootsies in my fave flips!) I was so excited I forgot to snap a picture! Oh well.

In other freaking awesome news, I got my mitts on a layer cake and two charm packs of the sweetest little Pips ya ever did see! I don’t have a plan for them at the moment (shock, gasp!) but I imagine someone will get pregnant soon and then I’ll formulate my strategy.

Seriously? How adorable are they? And again, forgive the picture...bad lighting in the sewing room strikes again.

You see, we’ve hit that time in our lives where the weddings are a-plenty (we’re averaging 4+ a summer) and the babies are just starting to appear. (I know they don’t just appear…but that’s what it feels like to me!) I imagine in the next couple of years I’ll have PLENTY of baby quilts to make and I’m PSYCHED that I’ll be ready with SUPER adorable fabric!

Now for the freaking-est, awesome-est (take that grammar!) news yet…my March Bee Blocks! Jen sent out some of Heather Ross’ Spoonflower fabric with the sweetest pink and green coordinates. I thought I’d be sick of pink and green after this but as it turns out, I still love it. Perhaps not to reside in my house forever and ever…but it IS super happy and very springy! She requested one block with the mushrooms and one with the gnomes and then let us go free! The mushroom block was easy. I imagined the zig-zags with the mushrooms growing out of seams every which way as soon as I saw the fabric. I even calculated it all out! I was wrong, of course, and consequently ended up needing two more rows and columns but the effort was there! (Damn that seam allowance-gets me every time!) Lots of seams and little triangles later, I’m very happy with the result.

Zig-y

The gnomes were a different story. I thought of doing a block like this and it would have been really cute. Or one like this, but it was a little small (she wanted 12.5″ and it is 8.5″) and we all know how I do with math. Then I had an epiphany. It was glorious! I LOVE the little “chompers” (actually they’re called “Gnome Be Gone“) at Uncommon Goods. I ADORE that shop and they save my tail every single holiday. (No, they don’t sponsor me…I REALLY do love them!) Great products, phenomenal customer service, you just can’t get any better than them! ANYWAY, as soon as I saw the gnomes, I thought of them being hauled off by some sweet little chomp-y guys.

Do you hear drums in the background too?

I was stoked. I told my husband (btw-he does NOT share my love of the chompers). I danced around the room and giggled like a little girl. I started thinking about how I’d do it AND THEN that little voice kicked in. “Wait a second…if she LIKES gnomes, chances are she doesn’t want them hauled off by maniacal looking, steel chomp-y things.” Shit. And then the other voice chimed in…”Who cares?” (I know, my other voice is very self-serving.)

The more friendly voice won out and I sent Jen an e-mail. Turns out I’d be a quilting goddess if I could figure out how to make that into a quilt block (her words, not mine).

Dude, I’m always up for a challenge and I may just have a little bit of a competitive streak.

Dum da dum dum DUUUUMMMMM!!

I win. Not like Charlie Sheen, mind you, but still, I win! See the fluffy clouds and sweet little kite meant to distract you from the obvious gnome-napping going on? Muah hah hah hah! (Can you tell I’m a little stuck on myself today?)

I. love. them.

Jen’s lucky I have a guilty conscience. I SERIOUSLY wanted to keep these and frame them and hang them on my wall. They were NOT easy to make and there was much cussing involved (really, what project of mine doesn’t have that?) but these were difficult on a whole different level. Appliqueing, satin-stitching around tiny stick limbs (STUPID JOANNA, TRULY STUPID), embroidering…for all that white space it took FOREVER to make this block. I’m in love though. And they’re winging their gnome-stealing little behinds up to Canada. ::sigh:: I hope you love them, Jen!

That’s all I’ve got for now, Happy Friday y’all!!

Posted in Bee Blocks, Bees, embroidery, fabric | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

I have to tell you…

…it’s not that I don’t want to finish it. It isn’t that I’m perplexed or perturbed. The thing is, I kinda like this guy hanging over my landing. It adds color to my very large, very white walls. We’re going to paint (we even have a contractor now!) just not today.

Hangin'

So, instead of finishing my quilt top, I put together my yoga mat bag. I bought the fabric almost a month ago (You know those purchases, the ones at 2am when you just HAVE to make something!) and it has been calling my name ever since then. There are a variety of things that have stopped me but they aren’t interesting so I’ll spare you!

Anyway, I keep telling myself I need to do a serious post about yoga and yoga in my life and I keep putting it off because there is so much to say. In the interest of staying true to the fact that I have a lot to say, but no one to really listen, here’s a 2-second overview. I love yoga. I’m what most would call a noodle. I’ve been doing yoga for YEARS. I love my new studio. I’m learning about myself and it’s fantastic. Whew! Now I don’t have to do a whole yoga post. (If you do want to know more, leave me a comment and I’ll email you back!)

I used this pattern (scroll down to almost the end) from Amy Butler’s website and the Sandlewood fabric from her Love Home Dec collection. I do believe I will be the most stylish girl at yoga tomorrow morning!

Nigella Yoga Bag

I was surprised at how easy this was to put together! I’ve never sewn with her home dec fabric before and the “twill sateen” was really great to sew with. Check that. I broke a needle (in THREE pieces!), cussed, realized I needed a jeans needle and THEN it was great. On a semi-related note, has anyone ever WASHED any of the Love home dec fabric? Does it matter or am I going to kick myself for not pre-washing? Perhaps I just need to resign myself to the fact that my yoga mat bag may be dry clean only.

I also (re)confirmed that I hate circles. I did better than I usually do, but that may be due to an over abundance of pins…   Whatever works, right?

::steam:: circles.

I apologize in advance for my pictures. I may or my not be exceedingly lazy about that particular aspect of blogging. My new sewing room, for all its wonderful light and great workspace, is NOT good for pictures. Go figure. Consequently, the number of pretty, outside pictures you’re going to get is going to shrink. Whoops. AND my yoga mats (yes, there are multiples) are in my car and I wasn’t about to run downstairs and get them just to prove a point. (You get the point, right? A yoga mat goes in there!)

Pretty, pretty bag!

That’s it! Ta-daaaa!!! I’m psyched! I love my bag (it even has pockets!) and I can’t wait to use it. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can be finished just yet, though. I have my own eye pillow (handmade, of course) that I’ve been using a for a while and now I don’t think it is cute enough to hang with the new bag. I may have to remedy that situation before class tomorrow!

Posted in Finished Projects 2011, General Happiness, Other Sewing | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Messed it up and made it again…Monday.

A LOONNG LOOONNG time ago I saw this post on Penny’s blog. I fell deeply and immediately in love with her footstool pincushions. SERIOUSLY. How adorable are they?! I took no time in jumping over to Etsy and procuring myself one of these ADORABLE babies. I bought a machine pieced set because I’d never hand sewn hexagons (shock, gasp!) before and I thought it would be easier.

Little did I know that “machine pieced” is code for “y-seams.” I’m still learning. NOTHING I do should involve “Y” seams (I’ve tried and failed multiple times). *&! So I went hunting for the appropriate sized paper hexagons to hand sew because while I’m fairly confidant I can sew around a piece of paper, I KNOW I suck at y-seams.

I was wrong. My dear, beautiful hexies so carefully cut and packaged ended up looking something like this.

Oh the hidden horrors...

This picture is deceptive. I must have been attempting to show its good side and make myself look less inept when I took it. In reality, there were stitches showing through seams, seams were off, there were gaps in the seams, it was just…well…it would have been the ugly duckling on my sewing table and that made me sad.

So, I started over. I found scraps in my bin, I printed some hexagons and I got to working again. Some four months later…here it is!

Version 2.0

I DO have some more Flea Market Fancy in my scrap bin but I was really worried I was going to screw this one up to so I left the more coveted pieces in their safe little home. There’s some really cool fabric in this guy, though! Laura Gunn (Magnolia?), Amy Butler (Love and Daisy Chain), Kaffe (aww who’m I kidding, I don’t know which line it is), Tula Pink (Parisville), Anna Maria Horner (Good Folks) and a couple I can’t remember, but adore. Is Penny’s better? For sure. But I’m ok with that! I learned a new skill (paper piecing hexagons), I persevered, I made another and I think it turned out great!

Version 2.0 closeup

I didn’t see kits in Penny’s Shop when I wrote this, but there ARE patterns and I can fully recommend the pattern!! What are you waiting for? Go get one-they’re PRECIOUS! She’s also got a REALLY cute pattern for a quick bag that I’ve got my eye on 🙂

HAPPY MONDAY Y’ALL!!

Now, don’t you worry about those itty-bitty Flea Market Fancy scraps. They’re safe. I will be using them for covered buttons or something-you can’t just let something like that go to waste!

Posted in Finished Projects 2011, Other Crafts, Other Sewing | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Sneaky Peaky!

I’m not done yet but I’m WELL on my way! January was my month in my VQB, The Bee in My Bonnet. I asked for Dresden Plates out of Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow with Kaufman quilter’s linen for the circle (We used Elizabeth Hartman’s Tutorial). My hubby (honestly, the nicest, most understanding man on the planet) made plastic templates for everyone in the bee and I sent those along with the fabric.  I swear I did a happy dance at the mailbox every couple of days! The girls sent me back some BEAUTIFUL blocks!

Then I did nothing. Actually, I tried to sew a shirt with the MPB Negroni Sew Along and got creatively sidetracked but that’s a story for another day. H’anyways, I spent the last several weeks trying to decide on a layout and figure out numbers but nothing seemed right. I mean, I LOOOOVE Dresden Plates but I HHHHAAATTE the traditional layouts. I feel like that grid sucks all the cute out of the blocks (I mean, I’m sure the one YOU made is gorgeous…) and I just wasn’t feeling it. Why didn’t I think of this before? Because I’m Joanna, Queen of Hindsight!

Luckily, I had a fantastic afternoon with my local bee buddies and inspiration (and a BEAUTIFUL hardwood floor-thanks Kim!) struck!

Layout

But that’s not the best part…I decided on pieced sashing. 300 some-odd itty bitty blocks later…I’m a glutton for punishment. The funny thing is, I mentioned this idea to the Hubster (before I just went ahead and jumped right in) and he raised an eyebrow at me. The raised eyebrow must have meant “that’s going to be a LOT of work” but, unfortunately for me, I didn’t understand the ramifications of 10 blocks worth of 2 inch patchwork sashing. This, my friends, is why I have amazing projects. Not because I am super talented, but because I just do things without understanding. By the time I DO grasp the complexity I’m too far in the project to back out.

The picture speaks for itself. I'm an idiot.

I’ve got 10 blocks on the front and I’m going to put one on the back and one in a pillow. It still needs a couple more large white triangles at the top and bottom and a couple of borders. I think I’m going to keep it all white space…we’ll see.

So pretty!!

LOTS of white space. I’m a little bit massively worried about all the white mixing with my two doggies and the claypit we call a back yard (again, with the hindsight!) but I’m going for it. No guts, no glory…right?

I can't wait to finish!

OF COURSE I don’t have enough white fabric to finish the top (calculation, schmalculation!) so I’m waiting for more of the Kona White to come in and THEN I’ll get you some better pictures!

In the meantime-drool a little. I’m LOVING these!

Posted in Bee Blocks, quilts, WIP | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Wordless Wednesday-Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi. Richie Sambora. Sold out arena. ‘Nuff said.

::sigh::

SOLD OUT

Acoustic

Richie Sambora and Bon Jovi-Encore

WOW-just wow.

WOOOOO!!!

Quite possibly the youngest one there screaming my head off and loving EVERY second of it! They still put on one helluva concert!

Posted in General Happiness, Late Nights | Tagged | 2 Comments

Broken.

The washer is making funny noises (oddly enough, this started WHILE I was reading Terri’s post).

My husband stayed home sick Wednesday.

The microwave blew up that morning.

My computer ::sigh:: after, eight wonderful years of love, is giving me error messages saying my disk is full.

I managed to contract both the flu AND a sinus infection. For the last five days I have been on the couch with, [simultaneously] a fever over 100 and the need to be in STEAM to clear my sinuses. &*$!  (Despite this, I went to a concert last night because I’ve been dreaming, loving, wishing, waiting for FIVE months to go…more on that tomorrow.)

Layla‘s doing really well with her treatment, but well, you know.

Everything is BROKEN and I’m DONE.

ACTUALLY, since my fever is gone I’m teaching tonight. Wish me luck because it would seem that I am gratuitously lacking in that department!

Posted in Totally Random | 2 Comments

Handmade Happy…the process of my handmade Valentine’s present.

Valentine’s Day. I don’t know why, but this holiday always sneaks up on me. I don’t know how I forget, what with all the red and pink and cards and commercials and ridiculousness that precedes it…but I do. Once I get my act together, I’ve inevitably waited too long and there aren’t any good presents or cards in the stores and to make matters worse, I’m just not a lovey dove-y kinda gal. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I ADORE my hubby and I’ve been known to be more than a little sappy (embarrassingly so) in the name of my love for him, but in general, I’m not one that likes flowers (I’m allergic) or chocolate (mother is allergic and consequently I am not into regular chocolate–it has to be REALLY good for me to be tempted COUGHgodivatrufflesCOUGH) or 5 course meals by candlelight (the flickering triggers migraines). Don’t I just sound like a barrel-o-fun?

H’anyways, my husband, despite all that, still loves me and still tries to make Valentine’s Day special. This year we decided to go the handmade route because we had an unexpected vet bill. I made something last year but it was more of a card than a gift. So, off we went to make our no cost Valentine’s Day presents.

I can’t speak for his thought process, but mine went something like this. “UGH, what do I do?! Oh, I know! Nah, not that, he’d never use that. No, WAIT-that’d be PERFECT! No…it wouldn’t. SHIT. I give up. I can’t give up, I have to figure this out. OOOH The Office is on. I’ll think about this after The Office.”

Days go by and then, I’m (to quote many a great southerner) “shit-up a creek without a paddle.” I eventually came to the idea of a coozie with a Carolina Hurricane’s emblem. I admit, not the most original (or useful…he doesn’t drink all that much) but we’re both HUGE hockey fans (I converted him when he moved down here, I mean seriously, what guy wouldn’t love a girl who can’t talk because “the game is on!?”) and we’re smack in the middle of the season. Now, I’m not going to link to them on this post because I may or may not have absolutely ripped off a logo. In my defense, it is IMPOSSIBLE to find Carolina Hurricanes fabric.

I thought it would be a great project, I’d get to try some new paper piecing techniques, it’d be grand. It was not. I was not. Paper piecing did not work. So, I came up with a new plan. I tried tracing the emblem to do an iron on transfer so I could embroider it. STILL would be SUPER cool. But I traced the wrong side…and it came out backwards. Twice. ^%*&!

A swing and a miss.

Attempt 3 or 4

So, I thought, “maybe I could fuse it and make a ‘Giant Coaster.'” I won’t even tell you how many tracings, papers, and cuss words were involved. BUT I did it. I managed to make a template, lay out, trace and cut the different pieces, trace out enough of the CORRECT side of the emblem to line up my pieces, and fuse them down. BUT NOW I’ve got another problem. If he’s going to use this as a giant coaster, the pieces need to be appliqued so they won’t move or come up. Alright. I can do this…except I don’t know how to applique. *&%! I don’t even know how to make my zig-zag into a satin stitch (oh, I’ve tried, but never successfully) or how to make a decent curve.

Fused pieces

Did I mention that I did all this on the MORNING OF Valentine’s Day? No turning back now, I have no other present and he’ll be home in 5 hours and I KNOW he’s got a gift for me (I heard him working on it Sunday afternoon).

Back to reality. I’m often amazed how well things turn out for me in the world of sewing. I’ve talked about my sewing philosophy before. Basically, I try just about anything that I want to try, jump in with both feet, have low expectations and hope for the best. That’s how this happened. I looked up “satin stitch” in my machine manual and quickly realized that none of my machine’s “satin” stitches were what I needed. They’re all decorative and make leaves or diamonds or diagonal lines or curves or something. I need a REGULAR, straight line of stitches.

Enter my stroke of genius.

I know that a “satin stitch” is basically just a super-small, tight zig-zag but I have never been able to make one look right. BUT, let’s say, hypothetically, one were to record the settings of stitch size and length for one of the decorative satin stitches and apply THOSE to the regular zig-zag stitch, theoretically, one would end up with a BEAUTIFUL satin stitch!  I’ll let that sink in. For those of you who already sew and knew that, PFFF! Whatever and I’m happy for you and all your sewing knowledge. For the rest of you (especially those that know me and/or have firsthand knowledge of my lack of spatial and mathematical prowess) let’s all have a collective WHOOPPEEE!! I FIGURED IT OUT!!

So, I’ve got that figured out. But (and here’s the kicker) I still haven’t the foggiest idea how to machine applique…much less around those curves! Nevertheless, I grabbed a few scraps and went to town practicing and experimenting with stitch size and width combos. And just so ya know, the “money stitch” on my machine was 2.0, .3 respectively.

After a couple of practice curves, I went on to the actual appliqueing of the Hurricanes logo and I learned relatively quickly that I needed a stabilizer (which, of course, I don’t have) so I used another piece of fabric underneath and, again, hoped for the best. I only had to rip out a stitch or two (or 30, but who’s counting?) and I even figured out how to taper the size of the stitch down to get my perfect points! I think it turned out great, don’t you!? (If you don’t, you can just keep it to yourself.)

WOO HOO-SUCCESS!!

Enter my next dilemma. In order to finish the block, I have to find red, black and white fabrics that don’t look girly. Oh sure, I have those colors, but they have swirls, or polka dots or flowers. You CANNOT have those things on a HURRICANES project! I decided to improv piece (mainly because the fabrics I found were small and scrap-ish) and once I got started, I couldn’t stop! It looked SOO cool! I mean, the slash-y nature of the Hurricane logo, the crazy angles of the piecing…it was just looking AWESOME.

CAROLINA HURRICANES!!

Only, NOW it’s too big to be a giant coaster (funny, I know, because they are, by nature, giant). But, pfsh, whatever. It can be a wall hanging, right? AND that’s an opportunity to try, yet another thing I’ve never done: making wall hanging tabs. I’ll tell you, not as exciting as my satin stitching adventure, but a notch in my crafty belt is, after all, a notch in my belt.

All finished 🙂

I wanted to quilt it improvisationally (ya know, to match the piecing) but I have to tell you, that plain scares the bejeezes out of me. You can REALLY screw something up if you quilt it wrong and at this point, I have something on the order of 5 hours in this thing and the hubby is due home in 2 (OH! And I’m not showered, dinner is not made {or planned}, cake is not made). I settled on a straight line spiral at wonky angles and I’m really happy with it, it even looks cool from the back!

Still need to stitch down that heart and those tabs...I had a slight time crunch!

AND speaking of the back, my label is a cute little heart (for Valentine’s you know) that says “Rock YOU like a Hurricane!” heh heh.

HERE I AM!!

The Hubs did well too. To be perfectly honest, he always does well. His creativity and talents are continually blowing me away. I mean, I think I know everything about him and then he goes and pulls out another amazing project or skill that I’ve never seen before. He took this picture from our engagement session and made a beautiful pen and ink line drawing to go in my new “studio.” It’ll be the FIRST thing I hang on the wall!

Beautiful.

AND just to show you how in sync we are with each other, I snapped a pic of our cards…both bearing the same theme. Shoutout to the very talented bloggess Lauren of My Aunt June (where mine came from)!

Sweet Birdies!

That’s all Folks! Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day to you!

P.S. The cake DID get made, albeit late, while the husband was picking up dinner (See, not planning pays off, we got yummy takeout from my fave local Italian place!). Red velvet (with chocolate fudge pudding to make it even more moist and delish) and Paula Deen’s cream cheese frosting. AND before you tell me that it shouldn’t be in a bundt shape, I know. That’s the only cake pan I have and it doesn’t make it taste ONE IOTA less scrumptious!

Also, inability to frost nicely has no effect on the taste, either.

Posted in Family, Finished Projects 2011, Holidays, Other Sewing | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

A plea.

S’cuse me while I step up on my soapbox because I have a little bit of a PSA. We will return you to your general happy blogginess tomorrow; today, I need to say something. This is for anyone who has ever loved a dog, owned a dog or wants a dog.

Do you give your dog heartworm preventative every month? Do you forget sometimes and think “ehh, they’ll be fine.” I’m here to tell you, that is NOT true.

Heartworms are NASTY and VERY dangerous and I am crazy about giving heartworm preventative. I mean, religiously, first of the month, EVERY month. I live in the south and, as we all know, the south has mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that carry heartworms. Now, until very recently, I didn’t know much about heartworms beyond the fact that they can kill your dog and it will be a slow, painful death. I didn’t know that the treatment is ALSO slow and painful. I didn’t know how common it is for people to be lax about giving heartworm preventative to their dogs. Unfortunately, I am learning very quickly about this horrible disease and how all too often it is something that gets overlooked.

When we got Layla last April (look at how skinny she was!) she tested heartworm negative (HW-) and we thought everything was good to go. We were wrong. Due to a quirk in heartworm growth, if by a crazy twist of fate, you test the dog at JUST the right time between when they are infected and when the antigens show up in their blood, they can test negative for heartworms and actually be positive.

That’s what happened to us. I took Hank (my other dog) in for his routine blood work (he’s my little miracle dog-one lung, a collapsing trachea and an auto immune disease and you’d never know it) and decided to bring Layla along for the ride. Nothing was wrong with her, but if you take one, you might as well bring the other. Since she was there, we went ahead and did her routine check up even though she wasn’t due for months. Everything looked wonderful. She’s put on about 12 pounds since we got her and her muscles are great. She’s intelligent and loving and is fitting into our lives wonderfully.

We were getting packed up to go and then the doc came back in. Layla’s heartworm screen came back positive. But she’s on preventative! She’s got heartworms. But I’ve never missed a dose! She has no signs of heartworms! She’s going to have to be treated…right now. But she’s JUST getting to the point where she’s really healthy! (Enter Joanna breakdown here.)

Now, it IS rare for a dog on preventative to get heartworms but it isn’t unheard of, ESPECIALLY rescues. It happens because they spend lots of time outside, around other dogs (Though they can’t get it FROM the dog, only a mosquito carrying the disease, infected dogs make infected mosquitoes), mosquitoes, without medicine, etc.

The staff DID make me feel SLIGHTLY better, assuring me they could tell she got the worms before I got her. (At least I can feel a LITTLE less guilty about that.) Anyway, they can tell because she only has adult worms. If she’d gotten it recently, she’d have babies. That means that sometime before she was picked up by animal control, she was bitten by an infected mosquito and she was tested before the worms were developed enough to show up in a screen. Then we got her and put her on preventative and that prevented babies from being formed. BUT in the meantime, the original worms were growing (to a size of 6-12″!) in her heart. I didn’t know they were so big! I didn’t know what they looked like. I didn’t know until I went home and Googled. I should not have Googled.

Long story short (er) she’s got to be treated. Two to three months of treatment and that is if everything goes well! It starts with two weeks of antibiotics to kill the bacteria that live on the worms (because if they kill the worms without killing the bacteria, the worms die and the bacteria lose their home and they get pissed and move to the lungs and wreak havoc all over the place). Then she’s got to have three rounds (split into two treatments) of Immiticide (an ARSENIC based treatment) to kill the worms. This involves a huge needle to the lumbar muscle that makes the muscle die along with the worms. Then she’s got to have more antibiotics and after all of that we have to keep her “still and quiet” for two (or three) months. Still and quiet because the worms are going to die and break up and dissolve and they have to pass through the veins and arteries. Quiet because they could throw a clot and kill themselves. Still to save her life.

Yeah. Right. You tell that to my crazy coonhound. Two (maybe even three) months of this! Meanwhile, spring is coming back to NC and there are good smells everywhere. Sniffin’ heaven for dogs. I HAVE A SCENT HOUND that is now only allowed in our yard on a leash for less than 5 minutes at a time. A dog that has to be quiet all day. A dog that formerly went on hourlong walks (frequently twice a day), rollerblading sessions, dog park trips and loves to play wrestle with her Daddy. A dog that would spend HOURS in the yard sunbathing and chasin’ rabbits. THAT dog has to be quiet while her uninvited guests die and dissolve.

Still think heartworms are an ambiguous problem? I’m an informed dog owner. I’m an obsessive dog owner. I had no idea. The moral? MARK your calendar. Do your part. Protect your dog because this is NO fun.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. I needed to get that out. Layla’s going to be fine. She’s a month into treatment and we’ve got six to eight weeks (and two more rounds of Immiticide) left. Keep her in your thoughts and send her lots of CALM, PEACEFUL vibes.

Layla (left) and her buddy Sherlock a few months back

If you want more information on heartworms or heartworm prevention, go to this website. It is a wealth of information and real answers.

Posted in Family, Helping Out | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

A quilt for Lincoln.

I’m settling into my new sewing room nicely and it is only fitting that the first thing sewn in the new digs is a quilt for a friend! After a rough pregnancy, Jessica had her baby about two and a half months early. I won’t even go into all the heartache that comes with that, it goes without saying. She’s been amazing and she, her husband (everyone leaves the guy out!) and baby Lincoln are doing well now.

Lincoln is still in the hospital for a little while and I wanted to make sure she had something handmade to snuggle her new little man!

I used the rest of my Goodnight Monkey layer cake and it came together pretty quickly. Fun fact: my first quilt ever was out of Goodnight Monkey! I love this line and I wish I had more of it. The monkey flying away on the banana, the zzzz’s, the books ::sigh:: I just love it all.

Lincoln's Quilt

I used a superdark navy for the back and binding because I’ve been told that when it comes to NICU quilts and covering an isolette, the darker the better! I’ve gotten an update too, evidently I was right. One night under the navy quilt and there was an immediate difference in Lincoln’s sleeping! POINT for Joanna!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14293555@N00/5410774607/in/photostream/

The backing (prior to label).

I stressed about thread. I knew I didn’t want to quilt it heavily because again, with a preemie, you want something soft and snuggly. But what color? If I used red, it would look strange in the blue-only blocks, blue would look strange in the red-only blocks and then there was white. White. On NAVY. In perfectly straight, geometric patterns. @^*&%! I won’t tell you how many stitches I pulled out but it was more than one. SO worth it though! I LOVE the backing. I don’t know if I could do it on something big because the level of precision it took was more than a little frustrating but MAN does it look good! Go ahead, look and see if my 90 degree angles are perfect and feel free to check the boxes to see if the x’s line up. THEY ALL DO!

In the note I sent along with the quilt I told Jessica that I hope that this quilt goes from being a HUGE blanket to a TINY lovie as Lincoln grows and gets stronger. Keep them in your thoughts and hopefully I’ll be making him a quilt for his big boy bed in no time!

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