Monday, April 23, 2018

Awww Rats Monday! and Design Board

This was supposed to be an Awww Monday post. I've been watching for a chance to take a picture of the neighbors' new calf. It's a cutie and would make a great Awww post. Yesterday, I looked out the window and saw my chance. The two calves (only one of them is still cute) were near my fence and the cows were a safe distance away. If you don't know much about cattle, the cows leave their calves napping in a group while they graze around the pasture. A cow's mother's day out.

I grabbed the good camera and jumped in the pickup and headed over to the fence. Before I could get out the door and around the pickup, the cute calf stood up and turned his back to me. Not an awww shot by any means. The hind end of a calf is just as unattractive as the hind end of a grown cow. Then, he turned his head and looked at me, and it was so cute, I nearly took a picture. But it would still be the hind end of a cow. So I waited for him to turn around.

By then, mama cow was getting concerned and headed our way. "Turn baby, turn," I crooned. He walked away and plopped back down in the grass. By then, mama cow was next to the fence giving me the evil eye. I call her Freckles.

I talked to her a minute and thought she might go over the calf and nurse him. That would be a cute picture, right? She did go over to him to see if he was okay, but he didn't get up. Then, a horse came over to see what was going on and he gave me the evil eye. I think I'll call him Nosy.

Right before I left, mama cow moved out of the way a little and I took a picture of the two calves. Not an awww picture, just a picture. Of cows. Cats can be cute doing nothing, but cows have to be doing something pretty special to get into the cute category. These animals were totally uncooperative and totally uncute. It's like they didn't care that the next day they could be featured on Awww Mondays. Maybe I'll get another chance before the calf grows into the not cute stage.

In other news, I did manage to get some sewing time in yesterday. I quilted two more Antique Tiles blocks and joined the last block on one row. I think if I complete a row today and tomorrow, and join the rows Wednesday, I can get the quilt finished by the April 30 deadline. I may have to buy fabric for the border. I thought I'd get the blocks together before trying out any of my stash fabric. And since this stage of the quilt isn't Awww some either, I just used my low quality iphone to take the picture.

The other thing occupying my time today is getting a closet finished. Even though we aren't ready for sheetrock, and don't plan on sheetrocking the whole house ourselves, we did decide to finish another closet (Hubby finished the storm room closet himself and put up some sheetrock in the guest bath for workmen privacy.  You see, in the trailer, we have two tiny closets. Really, they're fifteen inches wide and sixty inches tall. Big enough for several shirts and pants each. But a coat takes up half the closet so coats and most of our good clothes are still in a hanging closet moving box. So we decided that we needed a clean, finished space in the house for those clothes and quit fumbling with a box every day.  Well, Hubby has to fiddle with the box every day because he has to wear nice clothes to work.  I just wear jeans and a t-shirt and I don't care if they have fold wrinkles.   Yesterday, Hubby sheetrocked the little guest room closet and today, I taped and bedded.

And now, two cornish hens need to go in the oven, and they won't be cute enough for a photo either.

Linking to:
Design Wall Monday at Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sewing Room Sunday

I normally call this post Sewing Repot Sunday, but I have nothing to report today. I did absolutely no sewing this week and didn't add or subtract from my stash. I'm not sure what I did this week really. I know I spent a couple of days looking for a dishwasher and then decided not to buy one right now. But the rest of the week is a blur.

One thing I did was finish a couple of storage boxes. I have a few Creative Options plastic storage boxes but I needed more. I didn't want to buy more of those boxes for a couple of reasons, the main one being that they didn't fit in my wire cubes very well. I had some scrap quarter inch plywood from the closet project and wondered if I could make a box, similar to a cigar box. I made it out of the plywood, and then starched fabric onto it. I even printed a label on fabric and starched it to the side. The nice thing about starched fabric is that it is just as easy to get off as it is to put on.

I'm linking to these two linky parties, not because I have anything to show, but because one of my unwritten resolutions this year was to participate in them all year. And now I am off to do some sewing so next week's report will look better.
15 Minute Challenge at Life in Pieces
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sewing Report Sunday

This is just a driveby report today. I'm supposed to be insulating a closet right now. I would have skipped it but then I remembered that I both bought and used fabric this week. No sewing though. So how did I use fabric? That is a post for another day - if it is successful. The fabric I bought is for clothing, not quilting, so maybe it doesn't belong on this report either. But buying is buying, right?

Linking to:
15 Minute Challenge at Life in Pieces
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Rebuttal from Buddy T. Cat

The two leg species continues to confound me. First you take me out of my wild, scary, and exhilerating hood, civilize me, confine me, beg me to adapt to my new situation, and then squawk when I do adapt. Me-ow! Outside, I had mice, rabbits, and lizards to chase and catch. Inside, I have ... you.

Now to set the record straight, I do not sleep all day. Dad leaves his computer on and that is why I spend so much time up stairs. I just rush over to the window and fall into a deep, fake sleep when I hear you, Mom, clomping up the stairs. I have found my peeps kits online. There is a big online community of cat bloggers and we teach each other. Did you know there is a linky for the number of two legs you outwit every day? There is a point system too. 60 points for eldery, 40 points for senior citizens, 20 points for young adults, and 100 points for children. Bonus points for drawing blood or making one fall. I'm also learning French from my new bbfs at The Swiss Cats. They still get to go outside and come in when they want to. Did you catch that? When they want to. I don't think they have owls and coyotes at their house though. Je suis tellement envieux. Did I get that right Pixie?

That's my life in a nutshell. Eat, blog, sleep, chase my peeps. I'm not trying to kill you, just keep your reflexes quick and you should be okay. If not, c'est la vie. By the way, when are those grandchildren coming? There's a new linky next week.

I Think My Cat is Trying to Kill Me

For over a year, Buddy T. Cat has been a full time house cat. At first, he kept an eye on the door waiting for a chance to escape, and he did escape once at the dupulex we rented while our barndominium was being built. He ran outside and then stopped when he realized he didn't know where he was. I guess he thought he was going to be in his own backyard. While he was considering his options, I managed to scoop him up and get him back inside. Once we moved here, he got out a couple of times and evaded us by hiding under the cars. For the past few months though, he seems to have come to terms with his confinement. We can open the garage door, tell him no, and he sits where he is until the door is closed again. The perfect cat.

He is still sweet and cuddly and greets us at the door when we arrive home. We've never had a pet that loved me more than Hubby and I'm afraid it's gone to my head and I spoil him rotten, especially after all the dogs we have had who ignored me the minute they saw Hubby. Buddy follows me everywhere and watches me while I work. He meows when he wants up in my lap and goes to his bed when I say no. He spends most of his day sleeping in the window and keeping an alert ear for the sound of food being put in his dish. Until recently, when we worked late in the evening, he went to bed when we turned the light off. In fact, if we worked too late, he came over to us, sat down, meowed, and stared at us until we got up. Then he ran to the door hoping we would follow and turn off the light.

But recently he has become deviously playful. Or maybe just plain devious. He still sleeps in his window most of the day, but his nocturnal habits have changed. Several times I have turned off the light and in the quiet I can hear his collar bell as he runs around the garage. Then I started hearing things being knocked off shelves. Every time I heard that, I ran into the garage just in time to see him sauntering over like he just woke up. Just one time I caught him in the act. He had climbed the ladder we left propped against the upper shelves and settled into a spot he cleared among the stuff we had there. After that, we made sure the ladder was moved at night.

But still the night noises continued. Now it sounded like something was rolling across the floor until it hit the wall. It took a week, but I finally figured out that one too. Hubby's router table is on wheels and is normally kept under the windows in the garage. I have to move it out a couple of feet so I can open the window. It's when the window is open that I kept hearing that noise. One night after hearing the noise, I managed to open the door soundlessly and walk around the corner. There was Buddy on the window sill, looking out into the night, and the router table was tipped against the wall with a upturned wheel still turning. I don't know if he is pushing the table to the wall and jumping on it to get to the window sill or if he jumps on the table and rides it over to the wall. And this from a cat who used to freak out when something with wheels rolled near him.

But here is the kicker. Lately, he loves to lay in wait for me, crouched down low with hind legs ready to spring when I walk by. Then he takes off like a shot and does a couple of laps around the room. I used to fake scream to gratify him, but now he is better at it and really has startled me a couple of times. Most of the time, he is so obvious that only someone with worse vision wouldn't see him. So I started walking slowly when I saw him crouching near a corner, stop, and say, "I see you." Then, he would stand up and walk away. Maybe I should have let him continue with his fun. Because now, I think he is seeking revenge by trying to kill me.

When I walk down the attic stairs, he tears down the steps behind me, passes by me, and then swerves in front of me. And sometimes he stops right in front of me. Once when he stopped in front of me, I couldn't stop and caught his chin as he was turning to look at me. But it didn't stop him. Since we are still building and there are no counters or worktops, we tend to put whatever we are working with on the stairs instead of on the floor. At our age, it's easier to reach over to a stair step than bend down to the floor to pick up tools. His favorite place to attempt to kill me is in front of whatever is on the stairs.

I told Buddy if he killed me there wouldn't be anyone making sure he had food, water, and a clean litter box.   And Hubby would leave him out with the owls and coyotes.  He just looked at me and ran up the stairs to plan his next attack.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Sunday Sewing Reports

I thought I'd get a jump on the reports by posting tonight. I've spent time sewing 6 out of 7 days this week. Not perfect, but good. I don't know what is going on with the stash report. I am using more fabric lately than usual and not buying much, but it doesn't seem to be changing.

I've been working on my April UFO, Antique Tiles. When I made the blocks, umpteen years ago, I was going to join them the traditional way into a flimsy and then quilt it. But when I decided to make this my April UFO, I decided to make it easier on my shoulder by using the QAYO method. I've made a couple of QAYO quilts, using a method where you make the block, batting, and backing the same size and then quilt it. But I've always had some shrinkage in the size of the block after quilting, so began looking around for another method.

After hours online looking at website, blog, and youtube tutorials, I have become a fan of Leah Day. Her method is to make the blocks larger than needed and cut to size after quilting AND she recommends sewing a double row of stitches around the edge to make it easier to put on the sashing strips. And it IS so much easier. After quilting, my 12-1/2 inch block was just under 12-1/4 inch, so I just cut it down to 12 inch. Yes, the outer pieces won't be the same as the inner, but at least it will be square and there will be a full quarter inch seam allowance.

I quilted the first block with straight lines beside each seam and that was almost a disaster when the stitches crossed.  It puckered where the stitching crossed and stitching in both directions distorted the block.  I tried to straighten it before trimming but didn't feel like ripping out every stitch even though I probably should have.  So I just sewed a quarter inch inside each piece on the next block. The block as a whole was straighter and I didn't have a problem with fabric bunching at the stitching crosses.  For the rest of the blocks, I won't finish the quilting around the outer pieces.  It will be too hard to figure out where the stitching should be after I cut the block down.

As I've griped about before, there are a lot of disadvantages to finishing a quilt years after starting it: loss of interest in the project I once thought was great, improvement in skills since beginning makes finishing a chore, not having a written pattern in the package of blocks and bits of fabrics makes me wonder what I originally planned, and now, not having enough fabric to finish the quilt. I looked through my stash and there wasn't anything remotely complementary in any color. A trip to my local quilt store gave me a few choices and I bought a quarter yard of each to try out. I finally decided on a yellow with tiny orange and green stripes. It isn't great, but it has enough of the same colors that it will do. One of the other colors, a blue, will work for a border, and the other color, a light gold will work as a sashing with the backing fabric that I found in my stash.

Linking to:
15 Minute Challenge at Life in Pieces
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Public Service Announcement - for Women Only

If an unidentified someone (out of the two of you) leaves a yellow highlighter in his pocket, and it goes through the washer AND dryer, do you know what will happen?

It will make little yellow dots on your clothes. Not his. Only yours.

Life isn't fair and neither are highlighters.

Monday, April 2, 2018

April One Monthly Goal and Second Quarter Finish-a-Long

Number four on my twelve UFOs list is Christmas Among Friends. However, I haven't found that one yet. I have found number five, Antique Tiles, so I'm going to bump it up for April and hope I find Christmas Among Friends this month. My plan is to use the quilt-as-you-go method and have a complete finish by the end of the month.

My Second Quarter Goals for 2018 Finish-A-Long are:

1. (also) Antique Tiles - completely finished. I don't have any fabric that will work as sashing so I will have to buy fabric this month.

2. Second Saturday Sampler - finish the last block and make the quilt top, and backing. I don't want to quilt it yet.

3. Finish the blocks for Sweet Sixteen. I probably should have said find the blocks, but I saw a couple of blocks and hope they are all together.

Linked to:
One Monthly Goal - April at Elm Street Quilts
2018 Finish-A-Long Second Quarter Goals at Marci Girl Designs

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter!

Sewing and Fabric Reports

Even though I didn't finish a quilt, I made a back for a quilt and cut strips for another UFO so used more fabric this week than I normally do in a month. That makes my stash report look pretty good.

I mananged to get my sewing space put back together and once again unpacked my fabric. Although I don't have finished walls there yet, at least there is framing now, so I screwed in a piece of foam board insulation and clipped my design wall flannel to it. It's nice to have that back in the same space instead of downstairs. I also got in a few days of sewing this week so that report looks better too.

Linking to:
15 Minute Challenge at Life in Pieces
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate

Friday, March 30, 2018

March UFO Finish

When I realized I didn't know enough to make this quilt in 2003, I stuffed it in a box and left it there for a few years. The next time I got it out, I looked at all the mistakes and thought of throwing it away. But I didn't, and now I'm glad I didn't because finishing it this month made me realize that my quilting has improved over the years and lately, I've wondered.

I have to laugh when I think about the start of this quilt. When I decided to start quilting, I couldn't afford to take any classes and checked out the only book on beginning quilting from our local library. I bought a twelve by eighteen inch mat, an eight inch ruler (that is still my favorite ruler btw), and a cheap rotary cutter. I remember folding larger pieces of fabric so they would fit on the mat and then wondered why they weren't straight after I unfolded them. lol

That book recommended this pattern for beginners and said to use a scant quarter inch but it didn't explain what size that was. I didn't have a quarter inch foot and my sewing machine didn't have different needle positions. I think the foot on that machine was a little over a quarter inch, so I marked a line on my machine for the quarter inch and tried to stay inside it. As a result, the seams vary in size from an eighth inch to over a quarter inch. It's pretty obvious on the quilt too. Even Hubby noticed. So here it is, in all it's pitiful glory, and a lesson to me that the more I do, the more I learn. And one thing I've learned is to NEVER EVER again leave a quilt unfinished.

This is my One Monthly Goal for March. I wanted to get the top and back finished and ready to quilt and I'm just happy to have made my goal. It is also second goal on my list for First Quarter FAL quilts.

Linking to:
One Monthly Goal March Finish Link-up
Finished or Not at Busy Hands Quilts
First Quarter FAL Finishes at Sew of Course

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Jacob's Ladder Progress and a Quandry

I know now why I stashed this UFO in a box fourteen years ago. Blocks aren't the same size, seams are too small, bias pieces are stretched - the list goes on. And to think that some people buy old quilt blocks at estate sales that are in worse shape and manage to make a decent looking quilt out of them.

I know this is a crummy picture and I'll try to take a better one if there is tomorrow is sunny.  Tonight I'm holding a flashlight on it to take a picture.  Not ideal.  The colors are green and white.

If you remember, I originally had a long narrow strip pieced together. I took the end off and split it into a couple of strips to add to the side. Now it is a throw size, and that's where the quandry comes in. It doesn't seem finished as it is now. I have the strip of four patches on the left, quite a few four inch green pieces, the green remnant on the right and a white piece the same size. The white is really a white on off-white which will make it really hard to match, and since these fabrics are fourteen years old, there is zero possibility of finding more of either fabric.

I've been tossing around some ideas. 1.) There might be enough of the green and of the white to make very narrow borders but I would still need a larger border and binding. 2.) I could make a border out of black or a very dark shade of green and then.... 3.) Totally no idea.

Any ideas?

Linked to:
WIPs on Wednesday at Esther's Quilt Blog

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Sewing Room Sunday

I'm sorry to say that I have almost nothing to report this week. Nothing about fabric or stitching that is. I did some hand stitching last Sunday and that was it. So my stitching report shows a dismal percent and the stash report hasn't changed at all in the last two weeks.

I will report that my terraced garden beds are coming along and I hope to be finished with the back of the house this week. If it doesn't rain today, my plan is to keep digging and building. If it rains, I'm going to work on my fabric cabinet, and maybe, just maybe, get in a little stitching.

Linking to:
15 Minute Challenge at Life in Pieces
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate

Friday, March 23, 2018

More Than One Four-Leaf Clover is Not Necessarily a Good Thing

When I was a little girl walking home from grade school, I once found a four-leaf clover in someone's yard. The patch of clover was so big that it was growing over the curb and there it was, standing out from the rest of the clover leaves against the concrete background. I was so excited that I spent the next thirty minutes looking for another one, but didn't find one. Because I was late getting home, my worried mother was not pleased. Despite searching every bit of clover in our yard, I never found another one until the one on Wednesday, and it too was standing out from the others.

Imagine my surprise when I found another one yesterday when I bent over to pick up something.  It was on the edge of the plant and standing a little higher than the other leaves.  I left it there to show Hubby and resisted the urge to search for more. But you know what happens when I find two four-leaf clovers in the same patch? Every time I was near the patch, I glanced over and thought I saw another one. Part of it was my double vision. But I had to take a closer look each time. No, it was just a clover with a split leaf. Nope, it was two clovers entwined. No, it was a clover with a folded leaf. After wasting at least another thirty minutes, I told myself not to even look over there.

Later in the afternoon, I was getting ready to dig up the clover (it's in the way of my new garden and patio) and lo and behold, another four-leaf clover right where I was going to put my shovel. By then, I thought this clover must not be regular three-leaf clover, so I examined every clump I dug out, and didn't find another four-leaf. So the moral of this story is that you just waste time searching for luck. When it's time for you to have it, it will be right there in front of you.

I'm going out to work on my garden beds again now and clear out the rest of the clover and I. Will. Not. Stop. To. Search. It.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

This Must Be My Lucky Day!

We had absolutely beautiful weather today and I finally got to get outside and start working on my garden beds. After unloading all the 2x8s, I started measuring and putting in stakes for my string line and when I bent down to hammer in the stake, there was this four-leaf clover right in front of me! What are the odds? Well, the odds of finding a four-leaf clover in a patch of three-leaf clovers is about 1 in 10,000? I really should have washed my hands and put on some hand lotion before taking that picture, but I was working!

I don't have any pictures of my garden project. I didn't make as much progress today as I had hoped and boy am I sore. I hate digging and I especially hate digging in wet clay. Tomorrow is supposed to be warm and very windy, and being a big ol' wimp, and probably a sore wimp tomorrow, I may take the day off.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Tramp and the Turtle

Tramp was our first dog and probably the best dog we've ever had. He didn't know what to think about this turtle that wandered out of the yard.

Linking to:
Aw Mondays at Comedy Plus

Sunday, March 18, 2018

What an Unproductive Week!

Last Saturday, while Hubby was putting up his radio tower, I packed up all my fabric and my sewing tables and moved everything away from the area we would build a wall the next day. This week, while he has been working and doing some wiring in the evening, I've been doing, well, not much. I did get the taxes done after nagging him for a month. And I've been making plans for some badly needed landscaping. I'm going to make terraced raised beds on the slope around our barndominium. I've got the plans and the materials. All I need is dry land. There was a heavy rain yesterday and it is misty and drizzly today.

So my 15 Minute Report looks pretty dismal. I didn't sew a stitch this week and my yearly percentage is down to 83%.

The Stash Report doesn't look any better, but at least it doesn't have a yearly percentage taking a nose dive.

Linking to:
15 Minute Challenge at Life in Pieces
Sunday Stash at QuiltPaintCreate

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Just For Fun

Italy, Texas

Linking to:

Photo lineup at Image-in-ing. Check out her pretty garden (Japanese garden maybe?) photos
Wordless Wednesday at Wordless Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday at Comedy Plus