Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Collars and Leashes!

I wrapped up the new collars and leashes for Cam and Zim the other day - yea!  It feels good to start and finish something.  They've been acting like crazed river otters lately, playing non-stop.  While I'm thrilled to see them playing so nicely with each other ... (1)  I'm always afraid one of them is going to get hurt (most likely the 13 1/2 year old with a bad back) and (2) it's made getting a photo of them holding still wearing the new collars a bit of a challenge.  Here's the best I've got:

Zim and Cam, looking sweet and innocent

I just love the "bone camouflage" print and think the pups look mighty adorable.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Break From Binding

I'm still working on sewing the binding on my table runner, but I needed a break from hand sewing.  I thought I'd get cracking on the new collars and leashes for Zim and Cammie.

I cut the lengths of webbing and gathered my other supplies:


Snap hooks, sliders, D-rings, webbing, leveling bars, a number 8 foot, a number 4 foot (shudder!), a #90 denim needle ... and I started going to work!

#8 foot and leveling bars in action

The leveling bars are a huge help!  Oh.  And masking tape, since I can't use pins on webbing.

You might be wondering why I use a #4 foot - the zipper foot!  (shudder!)  I like to put a line of stitching right up against the snap hooks (and right up against one of the D-rings on the collars).  You can do that using the zipper foot.

#4 foot in action

Since there is no "foot edge", you can get nice and close.  Using the denim foot (#8) works, too - you just can't get as close.  So the 4 is great.  JUST DON'T FORGET to move your needle all the way over to the right side before using the #4 AND to move it back to the center before switching back to the #8.  You can break needles and potentially do a number on your sewing machine otherwise.  (shudder!)  Trust me on that one.

I hope to finish these up today; if so, I'll get the pups to model them for you!  :)

Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 26, 2013


Yep.  Doing the hand-sewing of the binding.


See how the raw edges of that label just get sewn right in there? I love that!

Remember all the points from Wednesday, due to the pieced binding?  Check out where this one hit:


Ha!  I couldn't have lined that up better if I had tried.  I love it when a plan comes together.

No sewing today.  The plumber who was supposed to come Monday is here now.  Go figure.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Here's My Point

That post title will make sense shortly.

I did a quick label yesterday - remembering the method I had first tried out on the table runner I did for my friend Sue.


Why it took me so long to stumble onto that gem (fold a square of muslin in half, write your label, then sew it into a corner as you add your binding) is beyond me. Who gets paid to think of these things? It's right up there with no-stick foil. Thank you. Seriously.

Because my binding is super-scrappy, I needed to be very careful about where the seams hit. I don't want bulk at my corners, so I laid it all out and moved it around about 175 times before I thought I had it right.


Even with being careful, I hit a corner with one of my bias seams:

Yep.  Here's my point.

It actually matched up perfectly, so that when I turned the corner with it ...


Yeah! I planned that. OK, I didn't, but check out the next corner:


How does that happen twice in one quilt, after such careful planning? I do think it will turn under and miter well, though. As I do my hand stitching, I'll let you know. If you hear screams out of Kansas, you can safely assume it didn't go according to plan.

Thanks for reading! I really do appreciate all of you!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


We're all slowly adjusting to being back in the Studio.  It's been funny to see Cam's reactions to things down there and to watch her find her niche.  One of the things that seems to have baffled her is a ceramic cookie jar I have on the floor of the outer part of the Studio.

"How come he has a cookie and I don't?"

She doesn't seem to know what to make of it.

My closet, AKA Karen's House of Fabrics, got her attention, too.

"Oh, my stars!  ....and stripes!  ...and plaids, and polka dots, and swirls, and batiks, and..."

Time will tell if she has a penchant for colors; for right now, she's mighty fine company and that is a huge help to me.  She seems to like the outer room best.

"Seriously.  I'm watching you, Cookie Dog."

They seem to be having an on-going staring match.  Me?  I've finished the quilting on the runner!

Almost done quilting!

I loosened up and got a lot of the "feel" back as I went.

Speaking of staring matches, someone else thought I should be doing something other than quilting yesterday.

"Ha roo!"

When I have free time, he thinks it's time for us to head off on an adventure.  

"Look into my eyes.  Deeper ... deeper ... "
That's the back of the table runner, by the way

He's ... he's like the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula, pulling his victims in with this mesmerizing stare.  Here he is, getting serious:

"Yes ... that's it.  You want to go for a ride.  You must go for a ride.  Look deeper..."

 You have no idea how forceful that look is! 

Next shot on my iPhone:


Yeah, well, you would, too.

I got ready to fold and press my binding in half that I pieced together 10 million years ago.  You know. After we got back.


 It would have been a nice idea to go ahead and trim all those waste triangles off back in March of 2012, don't you think?

Before too long, I had it all trimmed, crisply pressed, and wound around my spool, ready to sew on!  (Check the last pic here for an explanation of that.)

All set to bind!

Before I do the binding, I need to write out a label, then I'm all set to sew.  Maybe later this afternoon.  Unless I need to go for a ride.
Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 22, 2013


Honestly, it's like I've never done any before.  Quill-ting?  What is quill-ting?  Oh, well.  I'm getting my "touch" back with the Bernina... slowly!  Remember the Chain Link Runner tutorial I wrote up in March of '12?  HA!  I know, but I had to ask.  I thought I'd re-start my inner quilting engines by working on that runner.


It's not bad, but I really need a lot more practice before it feels comfortable again.

I'm using a King Tut variegated thread.  I think it's "Red Sea", but I'm not sure.  I'll double-check and get back to you.

I do love the runner, and can't wait to send it to a special friend.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


I've never had such an easy time bringing a new "puppy" into our pack and our home as I have with Cam.  She's used to being around other Sibes, so maybe that's part of what made her so great with Dave and has her being such a great sister/playmate to Zim.  Part of it has to be her nature, too.  She brings a lot of joy into our hearts.  She's also very good about my requests to pose for photos -- a result of being a former show dog?  Maybe.  She can definitely work the camera.  So when I asked her to model her new collar yesterday ...


 She's a natural, isn't she? How about a close-up?


 Chin tilted up a little?


Thanks, Cammie.

She's a pro.  Gotta be the whole "being in the show ring" thing.  And salmon treats.

As per the title here, "Challenge" - my husband made a special request:  could I make him a watchband using Davy's collar?  I have to say, it was a very creative idea and quite the challenge!  I've never done anything like that!  And ... I don't use buckles on their collars.  Hmm.

I put on my thinking cap, some ideas came flowing, and before he could get home from his golf tournament, I had this:


I re-purposed a buckle from an old backpack.  It's a bit clunky - but it's for a guy!  As my sweet friend Shelli said, guys can do clunky!  :)

I made loops for the watch-pins to go through out of the ribbon found at the bottom of BDU pants - I zig-zagged 2 together to make it wide enough.  Thin loops wouldn't be stable enough to hold the watch in place.

The buckle is adjustable - I can even tighten it down to fit me:


I really love this.  So does my husband.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I'm Back

I know.  It's been over a year.  The best way for me to re-start this blog is to just jump in.  Many of you have been staying updated on everything over on the Ao4 Digest.  If you didn't catch the "big reveal" of the kitchen re-do, you can click here to see how it came out.  A year later and I'm still thrilled with it.

Over on the Ao4 Digest, I also posted about some webbing I purchased to make new collars and leashes.  If you didn't catch it, you can follow that link - or here's Cammie modeling the new goods:

IMG_4462c Cameron
Cameron - A dedicated follower of fashion!

Isn't she a doll?   I really prefer the limited slip collars, but had purchased a Martingale-style collar for her in that green and blue paisley print.  I LOVE the colors, but something about how the collar was constructed made it pull her neck fluffies out - so I haven't been using it.  Umm... nor has she.  You know what I mean!  In an effort to force myself to go downstairs to the Studio and start sewing (sadly, we had to say good-bye to my sweet Dave, my Guide Dog for the Color Blind) I decided it was time to put the new webbing to use and make my new little girl her very own collar by KZK.

I forgot to take the camera or iPhone downstairs, but took a couple shots with the iPad.

Those leveling bars and a demin (#8) foot sure do come in handy!

She's great company!

"For you, Cam!"

We saw a bunny on one of our first walks, so it's been strength-tested.  (Unlike Zim, Cameron DID indeed remember to stand in the Siberian high prey drive line.)  I triple-stitched the strong boxes and all the hardware is metal.  And no buckles.  I love these collars!

I'll get her to model it soon.  

Thanks for reading!