Monday, November 30, 2020

FINISHED AT LAST

After weeks of starts and stops I finally fished off this past week with three completed projects.  My quilter finished the quilting on two of them and I finished up the last one myself.  

Pumpkin Cat is finished and picked up by my daughter to submit for a future fundraiser.  I had such a great time doing this one I ran out to the quilt stop and bought three more patterns in this line, their Black Friday sale at 50% off help. 

The baby/child quilt is finished.  I decided to stitch the binding down by machine rather than by hand.  I have mastered a really good technique for doing this and for quilts that get washed and dried lots it seems a sturdier way of handling that job.

I really liked the quilting Hollie my quilter did on it.  She does a wonderful job.  I never choose thread or patterns with her.  I just let her go at it and she never fails to do a great job of it.

And the basket quilt is finished as well.  I matched the binding with the basket handles.  

My daughter's chicken Snowball is in sickbay.  Poor little thing was out free roaming on their property and was snatched up by a coyote.  My daughter heard her peacocks making a terrible commotion so she ran out and after the coyote and it dropped her and took off.  She did get a few good punctures.  My daughter works in the medical field so she cleaned up the wounds, disinfected them and treated them with some antibiotic paste they use at the hospital.  Hopefully she will recover from the ordeal and possible infection.  No more free roaming on the property for the chickens.  I guess the coyotes have decided chicken tastes better than ground squirrel. 

  
  
   
 
 

Monday, November 23, 2020

CAT RESCUE FUNDRAISERS & THE HERONS ARE BACK

 One of my daughters is involved in feral cat trapping, neutering, and returning them to their feral colonies.  Several vets in the area do the neutering for free or very low cost, but sometimes cats are not feral.  Usually they are kittens people dump, and often they are sick.  These babies the group fosters, seek vet treatment and neutering, and eventually are adopted out to good homes.  This takes funds to pay for these services.  Adoption fees do help, but the group often does fundraisers.  As a quilter, my daughter often asks me to do some sort of a pieces to auction off.  She says the runners and wall hangings I have made over the last several years have brought good funds for the group.  I am alway looking out for a good pattern.

On a recent trip to a local quilt store I saw this pattern.  Note this copy of the front page with my border notes.

I dug through my scrap bins and was able to pull out some fall fabrics that I thought worked well.  As you can see I had a plan for keeping myself straight.  
Things were going pretty well with the project, well minus the face.  I did end up at JoAnn's for the brown background and the two prints for the body and paws from Hobby Lobby.
I have finished off the appliqué pieces for the face.  The appliqués are held down with a small blanket stitch.  On to quilting it, which includes whiskers.  The little white highlights in the eyes were pearl beads.  Hope to have it done by next week's post.
The herons are back at my daughter's country home.  She spied them on a large tree in their back yard this week.  Earlier this year a breeding pair dropped by and enjoyed a romantic dinner at her fish pond.  They dined on every single one of the 50 or more feeder gold fish that had grown over about two years into 3 and 4 inches long.  Grandson Ben, age 12, along with older brother Noah had dug and constructed the pond and Ben became the keeper of the pond and he was not very happy about the situation.  His immediate reaction was to find his BB gun and take care of the matter for good.  Of course, mother was not going to allow that.  I imagine they have restocked the pond, but I am sure it has a net over it now.  I guess the herons will have to find a new dining establishment. 

 



 

Monday, November 16, 2020

FACES AND ROOSTERS

 I have been really lazy this week and somewhat in a creative slump.  I did finally just for a lark decided to participate in Alex Anderson's Face project.  She is available on Utube with a number of free projects and classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays.  I think I need to do some more work on this, but it was fun to do something really different.

The eyes still need a bit of work, and it was fun to use the broderie perse flowers I had cut out a while ago with no real purpose for them.
A slump requires a trip to the quilt store.  I saw this fabric and thought of a my daughter with all the chickens and a table runner seemed like a nice idea.  I decided to cut 2 1/2 inch strips to use the outside print for binding on the runner.  I have enough to also make placemats, but I think I need another trip back for border fabrics to go around each of the rooster prints.  
I have the runner cut out and think this week to get going on it.
Last week I showed a partial picture of my Sew Steady Grid Glider and had a couple of comments asking to see it on the machine.  I have an acrylic table on my Bernina 480 and it just sticks right on that table firmly.  It can be removed and leaves no residue.  You can also trim it to fit.  To change the needle plate I just slide the acrylic table off a ways and back on.  You line up the center line in front of the middle area of the needle position and you have quarter dashed lines 1/4 inch on each side.  That really helps when sewing seams that do not drift off at the ends.


 



Monday, November 9, 2020

THE MATHEMATICAL NIGHTMARE

 In the last couple of weeks I have been working on a small wall hanging project of approximately 36 by 36 inches.  Now we all know that when doing various sized blocks that one should follow the rule of making them in divisions of 2", 3" or 5".  this makes them easy to fit together.  Well, that did not happen with my project. 

This is the pattern I selected and if I had stuck to it there would not have been an issue.  But I didn't want it that big and I just thought it would be more fun to experiment a bit.  Following the pattern would have been way to easy!

Here is my top finished.  None of these baskets followed that rule.  The first one or two fairly closely followed the pattern, but after that I just went right off the deep end and made baskets, any size and measurement was just fine.  However, eventually one has to fill in the empty spots.  That's when things got dicey.  The sides of the baskets are cut at 60 degrees, which increases the math issues.  Do I love it, YES and it was a bit of a nightmare once or twice.    

The first Thursday of each month is the next installment of the Morewood Mystery Quilt.  So I have a nice start of this months instructions.  So finishing the 30 each of the two blocks should keep me out of trouble for a few days.
I recently purchased this Grid Glider for my Bernina 480.  It has an acrylic extension table and it sticks right on to it.  It is not a permanent stick and can be pulled off it one wanted to without damage to the table.  I really like it and found that it sure has helped when sewing seams and you drift off the quarter inch at the end of a seam.  The grid lines are lined up perfectly with the needle center on the machine and the quarter inch lines too.  


This is Colonel Sanders and his one and only lady hen.  My daughter thought that he seemed lonely as her other rooster Orby had a whole flock of ladies so she decided to do some matchmaking for him and purchase him a couple new friends at the feed store.  
And here they are.  They are getting along just fine and have moved right in with him and the other hen.

Monday, November 2, 2020

FINALLY DONE AND ON TO FALL PLACEMATS

 I finished the Mastiff table runner.  Yes, it was a bit of a challenge.  The eyes in particular.  I do appliqués all the time, but for some reason these were a bit of an issue.  Thank goodness I increased the appliqué pattern to 165%. I cannot imagine doing eyes smaller as it was.  

This is  Lisa my oldest daughter's adorable pup that put in motion this runner.

I moved on to some very simple placemats for our dinner table.  I have two done and two more to go, but these two are already on the table.  It had been a very long time since I made placemats for myself.  Super simple and fast.

My youngest daughter has a peeking Tom.  The peacocks keep wondering around the house and peeking in the windows.  I think they are looking for treats.


Monday, October 26, 2020

BABY QUILTS, RUNNERS, AND A CADILLAC

This has not been much of a productive week.  Husband and I got out in the garden and spent time getting the winter garden started.  We have mild winter months, rarely weather with temps in the 30's.  The soil needed some enrichment with compost and fertilizers.  So lettuce is a great crop for us, plus we got in some snap and snow peas and  even some Brussel sprouts.  All that activity cut into my sewing time.


I try to keep a couple completed baby quilts at all times stashed away for emergency gifts.  Every once and a while one of my daughters have a request for one.  I recently sent one off so needed to replace it for future gifting.  I had this cute fabric in the closet and it was quick to put together.  Now just to get it off to the quilter and then a binding on it.


I got the eyes on the Mastiff appliqué.  They were a challenge  stitching on those little eyes.  Now on to getting the second appliqué at the other end of the runner done.

I did get into some of my Fassett scraps over the last couple weeks.  I  had cut multiple 4 inch squares when I did my Fassett quilt and ended up with lots left over.  My guild will have, hopefully a quilt show in February or March of 2022 with a boutique.  Guild members get together and make all sorts of quilted items to sell.  So I figured to use up some of those scraps and make runners to sell.  I still have three more to finish off.  They were a nice relief from sewing Mastiff eyes. 

My 14 year old grandson Noah.  Yes, he is sitting in the engine compartment of a 1960 Cadillac that he and dad are rebuilding.  They have a large shop on their country property with several old cars in the process of being rebuilt.  This young man is particularly talented at auto rebuilding and carpentry.  He is the one that also constructs all my his mother's chicken and duck coops.  Keeps them busy and productive at home.      

 
 

 

   

Monday, October 19, 2020

MASTIFFS AND DUCKS

 I set aside most of my other tasks this week to make a runner for my oldest daughter.  She has a Mastiff pup that is just about a year old.  A dainty little thing of just around 100 pounds.  A week or so ago she sent me a picture of an appliqué pattern, ordered it and asked for a runner made with the appliqué on it.  


The pattern came from The Whole Country Caboodle.  Once it arrived I found I had to increase the appliqué pieces to 165% to make adequate sizing for a runner that was to be 34" by 15".  After that it was pretty straight forward.  

Then to select some fabric.


And I am on my way.  I plan to have an appliqué at each end of the runner.  This first one just needs eyes now.  The red Frixion pen markings are where I plan to quilt creases and wrinkles once I get the runner on batting and a backing.  It is a bit of a challenge and I only work on it for an hour or so then have to take a break.  I am happy with how it is coming along though.  


I have sandwiched in a quick charity quilt as a bit of a breather.  I got an SOS for some baby quilts for our local Pregnancy Center.  There is always a need for 36 " by 36" baby quilts.

My daughter on a trip into town discovered someone had dropped off 3 Muscovy drakes and a white domestic duck.  They were among the wild geese that frequent our canals in the summer months.  These guys are not wild breeds and do not do well under these circumstances.  When she stopped to check if they were OK all four of them ran up to her.  Someone had just dropped them off to fend for themselves.  Well she already has 14 Muscovy ducks at home so what is another 4 more.  She and grandson Noah just picked them up and popped them into the back of her SUV.  


And a nice new home for the 4 new ducks in a nice safe place to enjoy life.