Friday, June 30, 2017


After I lost Gracie in September of 2015, I thought I wouldn't have another kitty.  Gracie had burrowed her way into my heart in a way no other cat I ever owned had.

Down through the years I have had several.  I've always loved cats.  Had two when I was a young girl.  Tootsie who died.  Blackie who the neighbors poisoned because they didn't like cats.  After I returned home from the military there was Patches, Muffy (short for blueberry muffin which she looked like when I first saw her), Snowball, Snickers, Weazel (long, lanky, all black), Precious, Cuddles, Tigger, Tesha, Molly, Mitzi, another one named Precious, Gabe (short for Gabriel), Sophie.  Might have missed a couple.  Then there was Gracie who I had adopted from a no kill animal shelter.  She was a wonderful companion for the short time that I had her. Her passing left an empty hole in my heart.  Didn't want to own another kitty and all that goes with being a responsible pet owner. I was grieving and needed time.

A year passed and I started thinking about having a kitty again.  Even went so far as to volunteer at the local animal shelter.  Didn't continue that because I wasn't really for what I felt when I saw the kitties.  Wanted one, missed Gracie and knew that I wasn't able to have a kitty due to rental policies.  Well, I began looking online at the kitties at the shelter.  Found one I really wanted.  Trouble was I knew my landlord wouldn't be so keen about the idea.  Gathered up my courage, approached my landlord and was shocked to hear him say, "Abbie, you need someone over there with you.  You are by yourself and I am sure you would enjoy having another kitty.  You can have another one if you want."  Well, needless to say, I didn't waste time in driving to the animal shelter to fill out an application.  I waited for it to be processed and approved.  My landlord was called and gave his approval and I brought kitty home.  I had put one name of a kitty on the application and at the last minute pulled the clipboard back and put another one down.  When the door to her cage was opened when I was viewing the kitties, Leah had immediately jumped down from her perch and came up to me.  She started purring and burrowed into my neck.  I was a goner.  She had me. She was the kitty I changed my mind for.

I brought her home and let her out of the carrier.  Since I have a small house, I didn't confine her to one room for a time until she was settled in.  I let her explore the whole upstairs.  Did keep the door to the basement shut for a time.  Once she was comfortable upstairs I opened up the basement door and let her roam that area.  She did, mostly when I was working down there.

She was named Summer when I got her.  I didn't like that name.  Didn't fit her.  I wasn't sure what to call her.  Had a few names in mind. Was speaking a few of them out loud.  Got no responses from her.  I then started naming off names of women found in the bible and when I said, "Leah" her tail twitched.  I said, "Okay, Leah it is."

In observing her the first couple of weeks I had her, I noticed she wasn't a pick up and hold type of kitty.  She also is very touchy with her tummy.  She doesn't jump or attempt a jump if it "won't work."  She doesn't like the dark for some reason as in getting left under the covers when I make the bed.  She meows until there's light or shown a way out of whatever it is.  She had been declawed on all four paws prior to me adopting her.  Something I detest.  Claws are a way for a cat to protect itself.  I trained Gracie to sit in my lap like a small child while I trimmed her claws.  Leah is a talker.  She's got to know I'm nearby and waits for me to answer back.  I've fixed folding trays by two windows here in the house and put thick comfy blankets on top until I can get some cat beds made.  She loves to look out the windows and chirp to the birds and squirrels.

We have a routine in the evening.  The lights are turned off, I walk around, check the doors and windows and lower and close the blinds.  I turn down the covers, pull out my CPAP mask and lay down.  Leah has already gone to the bedroom and waits for me on the floor on the right side of the bed.  I make a clicking noise and she hops up on the bed, makes a circle and lays down by my hip.  I pet her from head to the tip of her tail.  I give her scratches under her chin and near her ears. She purrs.  I tell her, "Leah, I love you.  You're a good kitty.  I'm happy you're here. I love you, precious."  Petting her relaxes me, I fall asleep.  Surprisingly, if this little routine isn't done at night, I can't relax to fall asleep.

Have a funny to tell of Leah.  Well, when it happened, it wasn't so funny.  Scared us both.  The lights had been turned off and I was going from the living room into the bedroom.  At the time this happened I had two thick rugs on the floor by the bed.  Leah would sleep there before I was in bed.  Well it was dark, not seeing Leah on the floor, I literally stumbled over her, screaming as she went one way and I went the other.  I rushed to turn on the lights to see Leah's tail disappearing under the bed.  Needless to say, now when I get things ready for bed, I can see out of the corner of my eye, Leah crouching low and "slithering" under the bed.  I laugh or chuckle each time I see her doing it now.

Some of the many pictures I have taken of Leah since adopting her.  I have to be quick when taking her picture as she doesn't pose very well, nor is she tolerant of the click of the camera.

Taken shortly after getting her.  She would jump up and get comfy when I was sitting in my chair reading or stitching.  Her body heat felt so good.

Doing a no no.  First time this happened I had been in the kitchen and was filling the sink to wash dishes.  Couldn't find the sponge.  Looked for it everywhere.  Found it under the kitchen table.  I've since trained Leah that taking the sponge and being on the counter is a no-no.

One of three mice that she was gifted by another stitcher when I participated in a secret sister exchange.  I named the mice Moe, Joe and Poe.  I find these all over the house.  I sleep and she plays.  I've heard running, jumping, meowing as she gives these little guys the what for.  It's comical to hear.  Regarding the food outside her regular dishes, I sometimes make the mistake of kicking the bowls when I walk to the counter.  I don't do that as much now.  I also don't treat her with tuna or other goodies either.  She's on her kitty food only.

Saw this bunny and thought of Leah.  I got it for her and have found it all over the house like as with the little mice.  My mask is usually picked up and resting on the night stand.  This was a "get it now" type of picture  If I had moved over to move the mask and Leah would have seen the camera, I would not have gotten this picture.

One of my favorites of her.  I can find her about 90% of the time in this window.  We have a bird's nest to the right of the window and Leah keeps close tabs on what's happening with it.

Kitty cube that was gifted from her kitty "cousins" in Ohio.  More toys.  I have watched her carry these all over the house and then bring them back to the cube and place them inside.  I ask her, "Leah, you putting your babies to bed/"  I get a look, a switch of a tail and a meow in response.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Grime Guard Mailings

All promised grime guards have been mailed out and as of this updated post all have received theirs except for two.

One that was mailed to outside of the USA and the other one that was mailed to the west coast.

All of the grime guards were mailed in a padded envelope and once I heard from the person that they got theirs, their emails and mailing address was deleted.

Mailed out 07/18/17

Robin - heard from, has received
Cathy -
Val (corrected size) - heard from, has received
Karyn - heard from, has received

Mailed out 07/07/17...

Delene/Delene (South Africa) it's on its way to you via Teal. (will post picture once you've received it)

Mailed out 07/03/17...

Val - blog contact - heard from, has received
Tgrzes01/tgrzesiak - heard from, has received
Galeinnc/Gale - heard from, has received
Rosepetals/Christy - heard from, has received
Pinklady/Sue - heard from has received
Bonniec/Bonnie (Canada) - heard from, has received
Hilly/Hilly - heard from, has received
Katrina - blog contact - heard from, has received
MaryJo/MaryJoUT - heard from, has received
Sine - heard from, has received
Brenda - blog contact - heard from, has received

Mailed out 06/26/17...

Linda - blog contact - heard from, has received
Tweetyandtazzrock/Donna - heard from, has received
Laurawa/Laura - heard from, has received
Abbie B - blog contact - heard from, has received
Ladyirismom/Leah B. - heard from, has received
Azxserphx/Bette - heard from, has received
Faith - blog contact - heard from, has received
Born2stitch/Carol (Canada) - heard from, has received
Catlover/Pat - heard from, has received
Kmk711/Karen in MD - heard from, has received

Mailed out 06/23/17....

Lestitch/Laura - heard from, has received
Cjstitches/Cathy - heard from, has received
Twistedxsr/Linda#24 - heard from, has received
Gearyhome/Pat G. - heard from, has received
Msbless12/Kim in NY - heard from, has received
Kmb911/Karen - heard from, has received
Moonstar/Donna - heard from, has received
Mariposa00/Joni - heard from, has received
Aleida/Aleida - heard from, has received
Tnmimi/Carol - heard from, has received

Doing these taught me about my new machines and I enjoyed the process.

Leah stayed closed by on the carpet while I've sewed.  The weather was nice during the days I sewed these.  Was able to have the doors and blinds open, and there was a gentle cool breeze blowing throughout the house.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Winners of Grime Guard Giveaway

This contest is officially closed.

The winners are...

Surprise. :)

All of you.

Each person (either from posting on the stitching message board or contacting me through the contact form on my blog) that entered my giveaway contest will be receiving a Q-snap frame grime guard or if you specified you would like for a set of scroll rods, you will be receiving one set of scroll rod grime covers.

Now here's what I am asking from those that entered.

I need you to email me with the following information.

1.  Your mailing address.  Where do you want me to send it?

2.  If you didn't specify a color, please do so and if you would like a certain theme such as Christmas, autumn, spring, dogs, cats, etc.  I will try my best to accommodate your request.  As I said in my giveaway, I will be using fabric that I already have in my inventory.

3.  I will make these in the order I receive the emails providing the mailing address information.  I bought small plastic yellow bubble mailers and will use them for mailing through the U.S. postal service.

4.  I will post whose have been sent as I mail them.  My goal is to have these all done and in the mail by July 1st.  I do have a few personal commitments prior to the 1st, but these don't take long to do and I should be able to meet my goal of  July 1st.

Now, ladies...please, again, I say please, let me know when your grime guard arrives.  I just want to know it got to where it was supposed to go and in one piece.  Unharmed.

In closing, please know once I've heard from you that you got your grime guard cover(s), I will be deleting your email.  I don't save or keep emails or addresses.  Just wanted to reassure you of that.

Have a great day.

Friday, June 16, 2017

GIVEAWAY - Grime Guard Covers

I've been blessed.

I've wanted an air-threaded serger since hearing about them.  I was able to purchase a used one in excellent condition.  It's a Babylock Imagine that uses four thread cones.  Nice machine!!

Wanted to upgrade my sewing machine and discovered that the local sewing business had a sale going on with their machines during the month of May.  Was able to purchase a Babylock Presto sewing machine.  Has wonderful features and nice attachments.

Wanted a new cabinet.  One that was all wood and had drawers.  Found one and liked it.  Has a lift for the sewing machine and drawers in a vertical column on the left side.  Wanted an acrylic insert that fit the opening of the cabinet and butted up against my sewing machine.  Was given that free with the purchase of the cabinet. My cabinet and insert will be delivered the first part of July.  .

I've received sewing/stitching goodies in addition to some very pretty cards in the mail from individuals.  It's summer time and the weather is so beautiful.  It has been wonderful to hear the cardinals sing and see the pretty flowers.  Leah, my kitty, whom I adopted November 2016, is turning out to be a wonderful companion.  Love her bunches.  I am starting to feel better physically.  Have a good medial team of health care providers.  It's a good day.  God has been good to me.

I want to pass on a blessing and spread a wee bit of sunshine.

I enjoy machine sewing.

I am going to give away seven (my favorite number) grime guards.  Can be either for a Q-snap frame or scroll rods.  You pick the color (will use what I have in my fabric inventory) and size.  One grime guard/scroll rod set per person whose name is drawn in the giveaway.  Open to any stitcher on this planet.  Will send anywhere.  UPDATE - please state if you would like to win a Q-snap frame grime guard or a set of scroll rod grime guards and what size.

Will draw seven names on Wednesday evening, June 21st.

Will work on getting them all sewn and mailed out by July 1st.  Will be mailed in a small bubble envelope.

WIP Stoney Creek POM Series 800

Did a little bit on my Stoney Creek piece.  Almost done with block five.  Only one left to do in this series.  Goal is to have this done by the end of the weekend.  Would like to have block six done by the end of June.  I plan to mount, lace and frame it myself.

Seems odd to work with smaller thread after using #5 pearl cotton thread on the Dutch Treat Design.  Such a difference.

Like what this square says.  Remember who you are.  I tend to view myself in the light of God's love.  I'm His child.  He's a good God.  So. Very. Good.

POM Series 11/14 to 04/15 Life is a Gift
Stoney Creek  
28ct Beige Jobelan, DMC, WDW, Classic Colorworks, ThreadWorx and 
Glissengloss Rainbow Blending Threads, Suggested Embellishments
Stitching 2 over 2
Started - 04/24/17
Progress as of 06/13/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Thus Far - 28

Blocks 1-4

These six charts (charts only) and the booklet of charts from the Dutch Treat Designs - They Followed the Star - will be offered up for a giveaway when I have completed them.  

For a smile...

Leah snoozing close by.  

It was quiet in the house, a/c was running and the fans were on low osculating the air, was late in the evening and I was stitching.  Looked up between rethreading my needle and saw this on the floor by my chair.  

WIP Dutch Treat Designs They Followed The Star

Managed to get one side completely done.  Did turn the tablecloth and reserted it in the Q-snap frame.  Next up is a camel with two figures.

Liked how the trunk of the palm tree turned out with the second tree.  Am going to redo the trunk on the first tree.  Don't like the long stitches on this fabric.  Too loose.

They Followed the Star Tabletopper
Dutch Treat Designs
18ct Ivory Anne Cloth, DMC #5 Pearl Cotton Threads
Stitching 1 over 2
Started 10/21/16
Progress as of 06/11/17
Number of Days Spent Stitching on This Piece So Far - 9

Friday, June 9, 2017

How I Do It Scroll Rod Covers a.k.a. Grime Guards

For purposes of this How I Do It post, I borrowed a scroll rod frame from a fellow stitcher. I don't use scroll rods. I prefer wooden hoops or a Qsnap frame.

First thing I do is determine the size I need.  I measure the INside of the end bars.  This will be the length of the scroll rod cover.  The length is 20".   I add 1" to the 20".  The 1" will be for hemming the ends.

I use 5" as the size for the fabric that is wrapped around the scroll rod.  I will need to make casings to thread elastic through and have fabric left over to put on scroll rod.  I use 1/4" elastic.  5" + 1" allowance for two 1/2" casings = 6"

I will need two 21" x 6" pieces of fabric.

As when I make Q-snap frame covers, I start by trimming the one edge.

I made a cut at 21".  I have the length.  Now I need to cut the fabric for the width.

I turn my fabric to trim the edges.  I make sure the bottom edge is lined up and even with the marked line on my matte board.

I trim the left side to give a nice even edge

I cut the right side at the 6" mark.

I now have a piece of fabric 21" long by 6" wide.

Next I cut the elastic.  I will need two pieces - one for each rod of the scroll rod frame.

I cut a piece two times the width.  No more than that.  You need some tightness but yet some elasticity so you can could stretch it and get it up and over the ends of the scroll rod. Remember, with this scroll rod it was 20" wide so 20 + 20 = 40".  I need a piece 40" long. One continuous piece.  Not two pieces.  Just one.

My cutting matte is only 36" wide so I double the elastic, 20" + 20" to give me 40" and cut at the 20" mark. I now have one piece of elastic 40" long.

After I have cut the fabric pieces and the elastic, I serge the edges, all four sides of both pieces of fabric.  Helps to keep it from unraveling.  Also makes for a nice finish.  

All edges serged.

Next I turn and press the shorter sides 1/2". I do the shorter sides first,  If not, I will have problems later on in the construction of the grime guards.

I use my hem pressing guide for this step.

I hem both pressed edges.

I recheck to see if the length is okay. It is and now I prepare the long sides for the elastic by sewing casings.

I repeat the steps (fold and sew 1/2" hems) with the longer sides.

I sew the pressed hems, making sure to sew far enough from the pressed edge to accommodate for 1/4" elastic.  This sewn seam makes the casing for the elastic.

Once the casings are sewn, I prepare the elastic to feed through the casings. I put a straight pin in the elastic at one end and a safety pin on the other end.

I feed the elastic through the casing.   Being careful and making sure to not twist the elastic.

TIP:  If your elastic gets hung up in the casing, use a turning tool and gently work the safety pin through to the end of the casing.

I fold up the cover - like it would be if it was on the scroll rod - and insert the safety pin into the beginning of the second casing. This will help to prevent the elastic from being twisted or turned wrong as I feed it through the casing.

I work the elastic, gently but firmly through the second casing.  Again, I don't want the elastic to twist or turn.

Once the elastic has been thread through the casing I overlap the elastic, making sure it is not twisted or turned. I take the safety pin off the one end of the elastic and using the straight pin, pin the edges together.

I sew the two pieces together using a zig zag stitch running back and forth several times.

To hide where I have sewn the edges of the elastic together, I carefully work the elastic around inside the casing and take a few stitches back and forth along the casing, anchoring the elastic to the casing. Once that was done, I stretch the cover out making sure the elastic is evenly distributed.

I test it out on the scroll rod.

I repeat the process for the second grime guard cover.

For those of you that use both scroll rods and Q-snap frames with your stitching, I did a Qsnap frame cover How I Do I in this post. click here