Tag Archives: parakeets

Missing Kiwi And A New Old Machine

This week was a bit rough around our home. Sadly, we said goodbye to our beloved green Kiwi.








We’ve had these two parakeets for about 5 years or more and like any pet owners, we fell in love with both Kiwi and Barney. A few years ago Kiwi developed a tumor that eventually went away but then developed another one that became problematic. On Tuesday, she underwent a risky surgery to remove the tumor and unfortunately didn’t make it through the operation. We are all missing her sweet face and Barney sure misses his right hand girl. They were always together even at the surgery. Barney was there for moral support at the request of our vet.

Yesterday I was watching an episode of The Quilt Show where they talked about a website called YouPatch where you can turn a photo into a pixelated quilt pattern. I decided to try it out with a cropped version of the above picture of Kiwi. I thought it would be so nice to make a pixelated quilt as a remembrance of her.

I went online and jumped right in to the very easy online ordering system. I designed the quilt based on their suggestions and had the options of how large, how many colors/fabrics and more. It was super easy. In 10 mins or less, I was ready to order. This is what the quilt will look like. The pictures are grainy cause they are right off my computer screen but you get the idea.









Here they are telling me how many patches and how long it will take to piece the top. I had options before this to choose the size and how many pieces I wanted, etc. I could also see how long it would take to piece with each change I made.









It also shows me what a sample quilt block will look like.









The pattern includes everything you need from yardage to fabric colors and instructions. It’s 18 pages long. The fabrics they suggest are all Kona and the manufacturer’s numbers are on there so I know exactly what to order.

You can design your own quilt, pay the to design it or make one of their already existing patterns. Check it out! It’s very cool.

Last year or perhaps the year before, my husband came upon this Singer Spartan machine at a yard sale.

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He called me to go have a look and it was in great condition so I bought it (sorry ladies, he’s taken! LOL). It’s been sitting under my cutting table waiting to be used. In the meanwhile, last summer I bought a toy Singer handcrank and had fun with it out at my pool.







I began to wonder what it would take to turn that Spartan into a full size handcrank. I researched it a bit on my own and decided I was probably better off leaving it to the experts. Last week I brought the Spartan over to the Singer store in Pembroke, MA and the nice man who owns it said he could do it for me. Of course first he wanted to know where I was going to sew that didn’t have electricity! LOL!!  I explained it was more of a novelty situation and he seemed to understand that. So I’ve left the machine with him to be serviced and renovated into a handcrank! I’m super excited about this and can’t wait for that phone call to pick it up!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Leaving The Orchard

I’ve left the orchard. The Apple iPhone orchard that is! I took the leap over to a new Galaxy…the Samsung Galaxy Note 4! And it’s quite different in many ways. The phone itself is really a phablet which is the larger style that is in between a cell phone size and a table size. I think I’m in love but having to look up how to accomplish the simplest of tasks like resizing photos for my blog is taking up a lot of time!! As did typing in 3 kids worth of appointments and school activities into the new calendar.  I’m almost there with setting the phone up they way I like and now I’m on to fun stuff such as figuring out the camera and where the settings are hiding out.  The camera is 16 megapixels and the main reason I made the jump. I’m hoping to only bring one camera on vacation this year and keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be really adept at using the Note 4’s camera by the time summer rolls around.

I haven’t done much quilting this week but I’ve though about it, does that count? I did attend my quilt guild meeting on Monday night and the speaker was the lovely and talented Judy Coates Perez. You can see her gorgeous art quilts HERE.  Judy paints on fabric with textile paints and inks and then quilts them. She’s won numerous awards and she had us all laughing. I think this was maybe the best quilt speaker we’ve had for one reason…we all learned a lot about her process and why she uses the products she does. Our guild speakers teach workshops on the Saturday and Sunday and then present a lecture on Monday night at the meeting. Often times the speakers don’t really “give up” their process in the lectures. We see a lot of photos of things that inspire them but we don’t often walk away like we learned a process and can go home and try it unless we were one of the lucky ones who got a spot in the workshops. It was a really good presentation and I’m glad I made the trip to see it.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been slowly working on two Hanukkah mini quilts. The first one is finished. I need to start the second one and then draft the pattern. Here is the first one….


It’s hard to see in the photo but that blue Star of David background fabric shimmers with a silver metallic look. I love the way it sparkles. Hopefully it won’t be too long before I finish and then the pattern will be available for holiday crafting in a few months…can you believe I just said that?

Today these cuties took a trip to the vet for some beak trimming. Barney is the blue parakeet, Kiwi is the green. The appointment was actually for Barney’s beak but Kiwi went along for moral support.
























The woman who checked us in at the vet asked if we’d like another bird for free. I hesitantly asked her what she had in mind. She said a woman had come in to hang a flyer for a free Sun Conure. She wanted the bird to have a good home and could no longer care for it. I read the flyer but it said the bird wasn’t good with kids (I have 3) and that the bird demanded a lot of attention and got really loud until it got the attention it desired. Ummmmmmm, no thank you. If it were another parakeet….maybe and that’s a big maybe. Barney and Kiwi have some chemistry together and I don’t think they’d care for another roommate. LOL!

The rest of the week and the days to come are a blur of dentist appointments, activities and errands/phone calls to get Amanda ready for prom and her Paris trip. The days are full and flying by. It’s easy to feel defeated that I haven’t been able to give ample time to Quilt Cabana but this is turning out to be a busy season in our lives. One must go with the flow!

Keep working on those mug rugs and potholders!


Kid Crafts, Keets, Impressions

Happy Monday! Hope you all got a chance to work on something crafty over the weekend. Leah asked me to take her to Michael’s craft store to pick up some Rainbow Looms. These are rubber bands that the kids are making jewelry out of. We picked up her supplies and she spent the weekend making bracelets and necklaces. This is the “fishtail” necklace she created…

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She made many bracelets but these are the ones I received. She made them in the colors of our parakeets….

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She is making similar ones for her sisters as well. Sadly, we did not receive good news at the vet about our parakeets, Kiwi and Barney. I was expecting the news about Kiwi where she had a tumor on her leg. The vet could feel other tumors starting on her chest which would render a leg surgery kind of useless. I wasn’t expecting her to take a look at Barney and say that he was ill with advanced liver disease. We can change the diet for both birds to prolong their lives but nothing is reversible. I asked the vet how long we could expect to have the birds and she said a few months. Needless to say, Friday afternoon was very sad around here once the girls got home and the news was broken to them. The weekend was tough as we would play with the birds, forget the prognosis for a few moments and then feel the sadness return when we realized that those moments would be short-lived. I never imagined how much two feathered friends could steal your heart.

The bright spot of the weekend was our fondue night with our wonderful friends across the street. We had a pub cheese fondue to start…

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Followed by a basic chocolate fondue and also a doughnut fondue! The doughnut fondue had chocolate and cinnamon chips and had a very nice taste to it with the added nutmeg.

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Yesterday I worked on the third Hawaiian Impression art quilt. The pieces are fused on to a hand dye (not one of my own) and the hula skirt/pom pom are actually raffia. I can’t wait to add quilting to this for depth and texture.

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Today I’m back to work on the table runner project. What are you working on?


Back From Vacation!

After a wonderful week in San Diego and then a short trip to visit my mom, I am back home!  The laundry is piled high and we are expecting bad weather from Hurricane Irene but that’s ok – I’m happy to  be home again getting ready for school to start and quilt work to begin!  Yesterday we went to get the girls their new parakeets as promised before vacation!  We have a green one named Kiwi and a blue one named Barney.  They seem to like their new home and are making the adjustment slowly but surely.









I did manage to get to a quilt shop in San Diego.  I went to the Quilt Coop in Old Town Temecula and it was a fabulous store!  They had loads of fabric and notions.  I could have spent all day in there but as luck would have it for my family, the store was closing shortly after I arrived!

Tuesday we took our 3rd annual trip to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH.  I drove my girls, mother, aunt, and cousin to Center Harbor.  The store was just as lovely as I remember.  They carry bolt after bolt of beautiful fabric.  They do have notions but they are primarily into the fabrics and kits.  I did notice that some of the fabrics were well over $11 per yard and I find it hard to believe they will be able to go much higher before the quilting world decides we can’t afford to shop at the specialty stores.  I purchased fabric for an apple core quilt that I’m dying to make and I also took home that watercolor nativity quilt that I mentioned a few posts ago.

So this week I’ll be getting my home back in order, next week the girls start school for a few days and I’ll get back to work!

Enjoy these last few days of summer!