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Monday, November 14, 2011

Letting the Machine Do All the Work!

Hi all - thanks so much for popping in! As you may have noticed, I have really tried to come over and visit all of you, but I am still working myself into a zombie at work. In all honestly, I don't really think that all of it can be blamed at work, but the season doesn't help. It is definitely getting darker and cooler out there, but compared to Sweden, it is a breeze! :-) I can't really whine too much; today DH and I finally took a long walk, which I have been promised for about three weeks now. DH calls it "walking the Swede", LOL! The sun was not out and it was really windy for central Kentucky, but it was warm and the trees are just spectacular to look at. We saw hawks and a bluejay and a bunch of neighborhood dogs on the way - it was really nice. I always used to roll my eyes at all those "looking for a future spouse" ads in the papers where people claimed that "taking long walks" were among their hobbies. Guess what - I'll have to do a lot of eye-unrolling now, since that is probably one of the things I enjoy most nowadays...

Speaking of neighborhood animals, we got a new family member! Introducing Princess:
"Hi, I'm Princess. Look at me - am I not the cutest?" "Oh, you are not sure... - we-e-ell let me move closer so that you can see my big eyes and my long, dark eyelashes..."

Bubba is furious! He can not believe that we brought home a white rat!!! I think that he is secretly terrified of her... She is super-energetic and happy-go-lucky, which infuriates him even more. She has jumped over to sniff him a few times (while Bubba has been restrained by yours truly), and he is not at all amused. Back when we got Bubba, I bought him a cozy basket for him to snuggle up in. He simply looked at it, wrinkled his nose, and turned his back to it. In all honestly, it was a tad too small already in those days.... Since then, Bubba has grown quite a bit and DH got him a dog-basket that he loves to sit in. Princess got to inherit the tiny basket:
Princess says: "It takes so much energy to be this adorable. Time for a power-nap!"
Both bunnies are hanging up on top of the couch...
...when Bubba suddenly decides that he does like the tiny basket after all...
"Whaddaya mean I'm "being silly"? I have always loved hanging out in this thing!"

That reminds me of a funny story Littlest Sis told me about our niece, who is turning three in December. She got a baby-brother a while back and is having a hard time readjusting to not being the baby and having to share her parents and all that jazz. The other day, she came up with a pretty clever idea, which she shared with her parents. She thought that it would be great if her little brother could move in with mormor and morfar (my mom and dad) instead of living with her. After mulling things over a little bit longer, she suggested that maybe it would be even better if little brother moves in with farmor and farfar (dad's parents). What is so funny about this is that their paternal grandparents live pretty far away, so they only get to meet them 2-3 times a year, while they hang out with my parents several times a month. That is one clever young lady right there!

Since Princess' arrival on Saturday last weekend, a certain big black rabbit has been even more of a snuggle-bunny than normal. Bubba demands that consistent cuddling is kept up, which means that there has not been a whole lot of stitching going on in the house lately.
I did manage to finish one of my finds form Salty Yarns last weekend. This is Sow Kind Seeds by Bent Creek. It comes as a "Zipper Kit" containing pattern, 18 ct linen, button and WDW perle cotton. I decided to stitch it with tent-stitch over one to make it smaller and I finished it as a little planter sign. The stick was a broken bunny-toy that was finished up with a button tied to the top using a thin ribbon.
A super-quick stitch, easy finish, and now I feel a lot less guilty about picking up so much stuff at Salty Yarns...

Other than that, I have spent a lot of time with my sewing machine. One of DH's co-workers asked if I could help her finish a Christmas stocking that her mother stitched for her husband. Here are the before and after shots:

Since the machine was up and running, I decided to tackle that "scrappy star quilt" that I found in a BH&G magazine a few weeks back. Here are the fabrics I picked out:
Progress on Wednesday night:
The star in the front center is made from a couple of fabric cuts that L-bug gave me last year. It may be hard to tell from the photo, but the dark-blue fabric is star-spangled - how cute is that!? The "US star" will be the center star in the finished piece.
Finally, this afternoon:
I noticed pretty quickly that I enjoy the sewing and pressing steps so much more than cutting the pieces. That cutting process was really boring and I am thinking that this may be what will keep me from doing a lot of patchwork/quilting in the future. Now I only have to find backing, binding and some other assorted fabrics to finish this up with.
Here are a couple of blocks that ended up being left-overs. I am toying with the idea of making a narrow table-runner, but I am not sure that I feel like playing with the cutting mat again... Maybe I'll give it another go one of these days.

After that, I decided to swing right along into a table-runner project that I have been thinking about for a long time. I found some really neat tutorials for Disappearing Nine-Patch runners on-line (here is a link to one of a vast number of tutorials) and decided that I wanted to give it a try. I had always been attracted to the fabric line Authentic by Sweetwater for Moda so when I saw the D9P I finally knew what I would love to use the Authentic fabrics for. The problem is that Authentic sold out really quickly and very seldom pops up at Etsy or Ebay. After searching for the layer cake for weeks, I finally got lucky and here is the result:
Cut, Flip & Disappear!:
While I am at it, I really ought to get this tiny topper done too:
Oh, how I wish that I livd a lot closer to my quilting-buddy L-Bug!!!

Other than that, not a lot of crafting going on. I have been stitching a bit on a gift for Littlest Sister:
I spoiled myself with yet another Vera Bradley bag (from the Floral Nightingale collection):
An article was published in Sweden about my great-aunt Vera Frisen (and thanks an old blog-post, the self-portrait of Vera that my parents own was published!):
Yesterday, members from our SWE chapter (Society for Women Engineers) volunteered at a GEMS event (Girls Enjoy Math and Science) from 10AM to 4PM. I was pretty much beat after that, but it was fun and the girls seemed to learn a lot. We talked about chromatography, color science, and women inventors through US-history. Here are a couple of the slides that we showed:
Really makes one think, right? We are so ucky to be born in this day and age (and in free societies)!

Well, I had hoped to jump over to Stitching Bits & Bobs for some 20% off sale shopping, but I see that it is past 1AM, so off to bed with me.
Take care, Happy Stitching and talk with you in a bit!


  1. Hi Jenny,

    You have been busy - all of your stitching is beautiful!

    Hugs, Kaye xoxox

  2. awww she is gorgeous and think bubba is a wee bit jealous ..lol .. love the stitching and the quilting and way to go on those fab women ... :) and a sale ooo off to go and peek ..lol love mouse xxxx

  3. hello dear, you really a sweet busy bee..i love all your stitching..and quilting is so beautiful too...looking so lovely.
    love for you xx

  4. Wow, vad produktiv du varit! Riktigt fina lapptekniker, mycket inspirerande!
    En liten kaninflicka alltså, en riktig sötnos. Kan förstå att Bubba blir smått sotis :)
    Vad är det du har på G egentligen, det ser verkligen ut som något fiiint, men jag kan inte gissa vad det är.
    Vart skrevs artikeln om Vera? Den hade jag gärna velat läsa hela.
    Längtar efter dig? Ska vi Skypa snart?

    PS. Hihi mitt verifikationsord är minst, skulle varit littelest! :) DS.

  5. Wow Jenny! You have been busy!
    I love all the sewing and stitching that you have been doing. It was so nice of you to do the finishing on the stockings.
    Princess is beautiful, hopefully Bubba will stop sulking soon.
    Your niece is pretty sharp!
    Great to see the article on your aunt and the profile's you posted are very interesting.
    Have a great week!

  6. It was fun to read your blog post. How cute that Bubba is jealous of the new arrival! Princesss really is a beauty, isn't she? She's sort of like my Mia -- stately. lol! Funny too about your niece's idea for her new baby brother. My kids are about that distance apart in age. Tell your sister it's a good age separation.

    Love your quilts! I'm exactly the same way -- all the prep work, especially the cutting, is what always hangs me up. So I'm not much of a starter as a result. So yeah, I understand!

  7. Your quilting looks good from here. LOL! I do wish we lived closer. It would be fun to do another quilting day together. Hugs!

  8. Oh-- what to say first!

    Welcome Princess -- Bubba, you know you're still loved (but you do look ridiculous in that tiny bed).

    Love the SWE event! Go, EGFs!!!!(engineering girlfriends)

    And your stitch and sew progress -- well congratultions! The smoke I saw on the horizon mst have been your needles. (I especially love the disappearing 9 patch -- wonderful!)

  9. Dear Jenny,
    your work and your bag are beautiful.
    You are right your Princess is
    gorgeous and I am sure Bubba will
    get to love her too,

  10. Awww, Princess is ADORABLE!! ROFL at Bubba. ;)

    Stitching looks great, Jenny, as do the quilts. :)

  11. You are so talented. Is there nothing you can't do? I love princess. If you ever need a bunny sitter we are game. For either one!

  12. Oooo, Princess is adorable! What a sweet bun. Bubba will fall for her charms sooner or later - how could he not?? LOOK AT HER. lol

    I can see why that layer cake sold out - it's fab. Just a great collection, and I love what you did with it. :)

  13. All of your projects look great! Princess is adorable.