Sunday, May 8, 2016

Rocky Learns to Sew ....

First of all, I want to wish Happy Mother's Day to all my lovely followers!  

Lovely pot of hydrangeas from my son!

Even if you are not a mother in the typical sense of the word, it's more than likely that you have "mothered" others in your life - even guys can do that! - and that really is what we celebrate isn't it?  I've had a great day and hope that you have too =^..^=

Also, since this is Sunday, I'd like to join Kathy's Quilts Slow Sunday linkup by sharing some hand smocking that I've been stitching during the past month or so.

I've never done smocking before, so it's been kinda fun, even it if does take forever.  I remember my mother making smocked pillows when I was a child, and being fascinated at the folded designs.  This is how it is shaping up.  Not perfect, but it will look better after I have straightened some of the puckers out.  It will definitely be good enough for my first adventure in smocking.

I'm making the smocked piece to be used on a bag project I started in March.  I took this class called the Fifth Dimension Bag from Rami Kim at Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge TN.

I have to say, this was the most interesting and downright FUN class I've ever taken!  Quite a few of my friends were also in the class, and we all agreed that it was great.  Above in the orange grunge fabric you can see a segment I made in class (by machine) called Harlequin Tucks, and beside that are my Lined Prairie Points and Square Chopkeys.  Chopkey is the Korean form of fabric folding.

I believe someone else has also taken quite a liking to this project!  Rocky has become quite the little quilter's helper.  He loves being in the studio and "helping" me do anything and everything.

He's even learning to help me pick out fabrics ....

Gypsy and Sable never paid any attention at all to anything I did in the studio.  They often came in to sleep on a quilt while I sewed, but I never had to worry about them bothering any of my tools.  But for Rocky, this is a veritable treasure-trove of toys to play with!

I've actually had to cover this area over with fabric and hope he never figures out how to pull it off ...

He knows it's under there, but hasn't yet figured out how to get there ....

His favorite thing to do is pull the pins from my pincushions - and of course that's something that worries me half to death!  I've had to bring out the squirt bottle to teach him to leave the pins alone.  He's not at all happy about being deprived of his most exciting pastime in the studio, and often sneaks over there to grab one when I'm ironing or pulling fabric.  So I've had to start covering all the pincushions too!

He especially loves the ones with the big colorful butterfly heads!

And remember the quilt he claimed before I could get the binding on it (here)?  He actually sat on the quilt while I sewed the binding down!

When I shooed him away, he went over to sit in the back and watch what I was doing from there - as though he was making sure I didn't hurt his quilt :*)

Something tells me I'm going to have to learn to sew with him right there watching every stitch!  After a bit, sitting quietly in the back wasn't good enough and he walked back around to the front to get a better look at exactly what I was doing.  Before I could blink, he started trying to grab the light!

The next day, he was back on duty.  I was simply sewing up a backing for the top I need to quilt for my Guild UFO Challenge.  First, he refused to let me press the fabric.  He decided it would be great fun to play "grab the fabric away from Mom" - thankfully the iron had not heated up yet and I got him down from there quickly!

Then he had to examine what was making all that noise at the machine ...

Nothing is going to happen around here without him supervising, that's becoming quite clear!

I sat back for a bit and just let him explore all the parts until he got tired of it.  I've had to be pretty careful though, because he just loves to sit close and watch the sewing process.  His quick little paws have come close to getting hit with the needle.  I like that he is interested, but I'm going to have to find ways to let him watch without worrying about him getting hurt.

Before I close, I thought I'd share a recent fabric pull ....

These two fabrics are the background - I just love grunge! - and focus print ....

These pretties will be used to make a quilt for a very special little one-year-old, our youngest granddaughter, Jacqueline Monroe...

Well, what else would I be doing on Mother's Day than picking out fabrics to make a sweet quilt for a grandbaby?  Hope you are finding something equally fun and exciting to do this beautiful Sunday!!!

Hugs & Blessings!


  1. I'm so glad you have a replacement kitty, even if you have to do a little training. I'm with you on Grunge and love your fabrics for the new project.

  2. How stinkin' cute! I have to watch the pins too - Moe will eat the ends off them and Bella throws them on the floor for me to step on.

  3. How do you get any stitching done?????? Soooo cute.

    I love that dimensional work.

  4. Oh boy was I glad to read that I'm not the only one with a new kitty who loves exploring a sewing studio!! I am going to have to carry out some re-organisation with things like pins and such like.
    I love the fabrics you've gathered for a quilt for granddaughter, beautiful colours!!

  5. Your smocking project is absolutely wonderful, what with the lines of the fabric competing for attention with the smocking dimension - perfect! Wow, with help like that I can't see how your level of production won't just zoom off the chart, lol! Kitty and grandbaby are both adorable, and they both are needing those quilts!

  6. What a nice selection of fabrics for your granddaughter's quilt and that smocking...WOW!!

  7. What a nice selection of fabrics for your granddaughter's quilt and that smocking...WOW!!

  8. I had to laugh at all of Rocky's antics, but I am sure it isn't always funny when you are in the thick of it. Good thing he is absolutely adorable!
    A lovely selection of fabrics for that little sweetheart!

  9. Осторожно с иголками. Кошка может проглотить. Я всегда прячу. Очаровательный котик.

  10. What a sweet character your kitty is! My Siamese/Maine Coon, Brindle Blue, shares his fascination with pins! I, too have to hide my pin cushions!

  11. Love your Rocky and your blog!

  12. Happy Mother's Day to you, too! Your little Jacqueline Monroe is just precious. Maybe Rocky is becoming a quilt inspector! It sure looks like he is watching every move and stitch you make. :) Your new project looks like great fun. Love the pleats and folds you are creating.

  13. That Rocky is so cute and your little Granddaughter is just precious.
    You should smock her a dress.

  14. Rocky is one inquisitive little fellow and I can totally understand why you kept taking photos of him - he is SO photogenic! (does he respond to one word warnings like HOT for the iron or OUCH for the pins or the sewing machine needle?)

  15. What a precious, ornery critter you have as a (?) helper. How can you resist not squeezing him. He is gorgeous. Our OES swallowed one of my needles that I was using for counted cross stitch. I couldn't find it anywhere and the emergency hospital found it in an X-ray. Took him to the vet and when they got ready to operate on him, he "pooped" it out, thank goodness. I'll never forget that experience. Now I put my work away before he comes near.
    I bought a pattern to make my daughters a smocked dress but I just couldn't figure out how to do it; I'm left-handed so I have to sit across from someone (a teacher) to learn how to do it. And I can't imagine doing such intricate smocking as you've done. It is absolutely fabulous. I'd love to try it sometime. Do you think a leftie could learn how?

  16. Beautiful smocking. If course, every cat needs to have sewing skills. It's practically a requirement!

  17. Happy Mother's Day to you! I was laughing about Rocky's antics-he sounds like a character who has discovered that he likes being near you and "helping" you. I bet it's nice to have him close for the company, when he's not trying to eat your light....

  18. Awwww, what a sweet post! Rocky is just darling (though not as darling as Jacqueline Monroe!) and I'm sure he will keep you on your toes!! I've never seen smocking done that way ... I've got a pleater that I've used for clothes, but I like the effect of what you're doing!! :)

  19. That new cat of yours looks so much like our Mocha! You forgot to mention the cat hair on all the stuff, just to remind you of his presence when he's not actually supervising. Sounds like he'll keep you busy for a while at least!

  20. Love this post from start to end, you have some wonderful projects in the works, and such a helpful advisor too.

  21. I think Rocky wants to be a quilter! That level of interest is extraordinary!
    So sweet!
    Love the smocking texture!

  22. Rocky is adorable although quite mischievous. I am sure he will give you hours of fun and inspiration as well as some exasperation. I think your smocking looks great. I can't wait to see the quilt you make for your granddaughter. I love the fabric choices.

  23. First of all, that bag is going to be awesome! I can hardly wait to see it! Secondly, I thoroughly enjoyed all of your snapshots of Rocky! A cat lover, myself, like any other, I can relate, and last but not least, OMG! What a cute granddaughter you have! She's just precious! XO


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