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Well, sadly it appears that all of my writings have disappeared for good...  a great way to start the new year, huh?  Oh well.... another lesson to roll with whatever is thrown at you in life, right?

So, I'm going to repost my previous two January posts because I love the projects I shared and don't want to lose them completely.  Sorry if you've already taken a look at them... something new to follow shortly :-)

Bear with me... here I go again!

PROJECTS FOR SOPHIE (Jan 2, 2013)
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Sophie puss lounging on Charlie Dog's cuddle quilt.
     If any of you are like me, you'll understand what I mean when I say that I'm a   'fabric hoarder'.  Regardless of the amount of fabric in my stash, I always  have  room for more if it catches my eye... and that happens A LOT.  Sadly, I  not only  accumulate tons of pretty fabrics, but I have issues with throwing  away the  scraps.  I blame it on my childhood...  really.
     I spent my entire childhood in my Mum's fabric store.  Some of my fondest   childhood memories involve rainy afternoons in the fabric aisles, matching up   colors and patterns, or sitting on my Mum's lap to 'help' her while she was   sewing.  It was an innocent, happy time and there is something in that which   rubbed off on me and I now carry it with me as an adult. 

I've made quilts for Charlie Dog (see above) and Oliver Kitty (and actually   bought the fabric specifically for them), so when little Sophie came into the   household, I felt it only fair that she have something of her own too.  I  wanted  to make her something pretty and special, and went for a wander through  my  fabrics to decide what to use.  I found a whole bunch of scraps left over  from a  variety of projects--a dress, a skirt, a shirt for my husband--and  decided to  use them to make her something unique.

Here's the result:
I've always been a fan of  the  Log Cabin pattern, and I decided to create a modified version of the  classic  motif.  My Mum tells me that the fabric strips should be lighter in  color on one  side and darker on the opposite... but I did this my own way.   I've never been  particularly traditional.
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The quilt is great for a kitty, but would work beautifully as a table topper, or even a wall-hanging. Quoting my Mum: "That's way too nice for a cat--hang it up on the wall!"
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The colors are a bit off in this shot, but it gives a general idea of the piece--I machine quilted it by doing a 'stitch-in-the-ditch' at the seams between the strips. Overall, I think it turned out really well!
I didn't have any particular   order in mind, I just prepared the strips and started it, making it up as I  went  along.  I really love how it turned out--the colors and patterns are so   different when they're placed in strips as opposed to a whole larger piece, and   the overall look is happy and colorful in an understated way.  

The pale blue border is repurposed fabric from   one of my husband's old shirts--he was done with it and I loved the fabric, so   of course I claimed it!  It had embroidery on the back, so I worked that into   the overall look of the quilt and it is visible at two opposite   corners.

Sophie absolutely loves it, and is always cuddled   up on it, or burrowed under it for a snooze.*  

*Forgive the blurry cell phone shots--my   blackberry sucks... I really need to modernize and go for a Galaxy :-)
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Sophie loves her quilt--she burrows under it all on her own and gets comfy!
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Sophie lounging with her quilt.
I made the little quilt at the   beginning of November, and you guessed it--I had scraps left over.  

Scraps of   scraps....

So when it came time to make a   Christmas stocking for the newest member of the household, out came said scraps
  (of scraps) and I whipped up something pretty for my girl.
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Sophie's Christmas stocking--using left-over scraps from her little Log Cabin quilt!
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Christmas Sophie!
Totally off topic, but overall it was a great Christmas--and one of the best   gifts of all is that, after a long road to recovery for little Soph, she is   doing so well!  She just had her second set of vaccinations on Sunday, and is   going in for her spaying on the 20th.  She's come a long way from the  sick,  starving, emaciated little ball of fur that I found in mid-October, and I  am so  thankful to have her with us!

As I typed this post she was laying in my lap asleep, paws and tail twitching as   she dreamed of chasing mice and cackling at birdies...  such a sweet little  scrap  of life--I will always wonder where she came from, but regardless, I am  so glad  that she found me!  

Black kitties  never  photograph very well, but isn't she the cutest little thing?  The vet  estimates  her to be around 5 months old... and with so much personality and  love already!   She's going to be a beautiful girl!
One of my resolutions for the new year is that I plan to do a lot more  sewing--in fact, I have my eye on some left-over fabric (of course) that I plan   to make into some modified Log Cabin pattern pillow covers.  Our beautiful   modern sectional sofa came with the most hideous throw pillows I've ever seen,   and I've been meaning to get rid of them for almost two years now (there's the   procrastination I mentioned yesterday... ugh), so this is the year!  

Update to follow :-)

Francesca's Summer Quilt (Jan 3, 2013)

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There's nothing like the smell of line-dried fabric!
Last August we had the blessing  of  welcoming a new little niece into the family!  She had been long-awaited and   greatly anticipated, and her arrival was a joyous miracle for her happy   parents.  They named her Francesca, and it was instant   love.

Francesca is kind of special to me--she is not the   only niece in the family by any means, but she is the first little one to be   born after I became a part of my husband's family.  I am an only child myself,   so the only nieces and nephews I'll ever have are by way of my husband's   brothers and their wives.
What better way to welcome our new little sweetie than   making her a crib quilt?!   It's an unofficial tradition in my family that all   new little members receive a  quilt (hmm... maybe that's why the new furry   members also end up with cuddle  quilts?  I never made that correlation before...)  So, I found some adorable  lightweight cotton and got to   work...

First I washed the cotton and hung it   out in my Mum's back yard to dry...  As you can see, I had a couple of feline 
backyard helpers:
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Random neighborhood kitty helper...
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Baby Puss--the neighbor's kitty, and always a great helper!
I should mention that little   Francesca lives in South America, so the quilt is more for comfort than warmth.   I used a pink cotton with white dots as the backing and an adorable bee and   flower patterened cotton and matching pink and yellow solids for the front.  I   used a lightweight cotton batting so it would not hold the heat as much as a   synthetic material, and it was very basic and simple, something that could be washed frequently.
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I was in love with this fabric--such cute little birdies and bees!
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Mum's failproof pinning method... it really worked!
It went together quite quickly and my Mum helped me sandwich it...
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My Mum (the Fabric Master) lending a helping hand...
Sandwiching is the part of   quilt-making that I always find the most tedious... so luckily my Mum was on   hand to help.  We sat stitching and talking and spent quite an enjoyable few   hours together at her kitchen table.  Mum has been a fabric master for most of   her 70 years,  but sadly arthritis has taken its toll on her poor hands, and  she  finds it hard to do very much hand-sewing now.  You can see from the  opposite  photo the effects of rheumatoid arthritis.
 
Sadly, I never took any  photos  of my little corner of my Mum's front porch where I set up my old sewing  machine  and worked on the quilt.  It was sunny and warm with a gentle breeze  blowing  through the window at my back, and I spent many happy hours working  away in my  hidey hole.  I machine-quilted 'stitch-in'the-ditch' style between the squares,  and I like the clean appearance of the finished piece.
This is little Francesca Antonia enjoying her quilt--she  was pretty much brand new when this shot was taken back in August, but she's   growing quickly and we can't wait to spend more time with her soon! 
~Blankets wrap you in warmth, Quilts  wrap  you in love~
 
 
Sorry everyone... something happened today and my blog has disappeared.  I am heartbroken, and the site provider is working on the problem....  tune in soon in the hope they can recover it!

Leisa