Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ready to Roll - With Fabric

I can't describe how I've looked forward to this trip to Texas. All by myself. Driving all afternoon listening to my audio books and drinking tea. Stopping and spending the night at a hotel and having all that time for just me. And then getting to drive all day the next day with my books and tea and just me. Nothing self-centered about me!

I packed all the fabric that I thought Elise would be interested in for her quilt and am taking them for her to choose. The ones we can match, we will, and the ones we can't will give us a good excuse to visit Rachel's Fine Fabrics. I guess it's wrong to hope we won't find matches for all of them. I know Rachel has missed me since my last visit.

I went to the library downtown just for audio books and left Mama in the car while I went in. I locked her in and told her to call 911 if anything happened. The worst thing was a stare-down with this big girl dressed in purple in the car next to ours. I think Mama probably won.

These look like they might be interesting. Four of them in case 1 ends up being no good.

Mike has just read "Great Expectations," and it's always good to have good literature to discuss on our side trip to - somewhere - next week. I chose the Grand Canyon, but it's too far. He says Utah, but I think we'll compromise on Colorado. Anything mountains. Anything beautiful.

I have my Kindle with its spiffy new orange case - with light - that Mike sent me.
And lots of sewing projects for when I stop tonight. Maybe Shreveport. It's just according to when I get myself in the car.

Darby went for her annual shearing yesterday. She hates the process but loves the look. I swear I saw her admiring herself in the window glass as we left the vet's.

She doesn't mind that she got told she needed to lose weight. She just gets half a can of Alpo and a quarter cup of hard food a day, and I've been feeling bad about that. She must be stealing more cat food than I realize.

Maybe she needs to spend more time herding.

I love being able to see her cute little feet without all that hair.

She really wants to go. She probably remembers all those McNugget Happy Meals she got last time.

This was looking through the cat door as I packed the car. If she lost that weight, there's a chance, maybe, of getting through that door.

So I'm off. Nearly. In a bit.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Puppy Fetching

No, not new puppies. Certain people may want to breathe easier now. One is enough.

The dog who lives here, Darby, is a very smart dog, and I just don't have time to explore all that she is capable of. One thing she has learned is to clean up the yard when she comes inside. Every time she goes out, she has a toy (puppy) in her mouth, so by the end of the day she has 5 or 6 scattered over the yard.

It's become a game to us, and she is totally enthusiatic about it - at first. After bringing in about 3, she starts looking inside as if to say, "I BROUGHT you a puppy."

This is how it starts. She runs up initially with one puppy in her mouth, usually her favorite sheep.

I take it and then say, "Go get puppy."

Here comes another sheep.

And then a pig.

One one more, some kind of rodent-looking thing. The enthusiasm is fading.

It's funny how even though there may be a good many toys outside, I can always count on her having the 2 sheep and the pig.

I'm working on her handing them to me now instead of dropping them at my feet.

Mike sent me an article the other day about a dog who has thousands of words in her vocabulary. I wish I had time to work with Darby. She knows some things like "out" and "eat" and, of course "no".

When I ask where the kitty is, she'll run all over the yard looking for one of our cats. She has enough Border Collie in her genes to have tried to herd the 2 cats, but they put a stop to that from the start - with claws. Now when they try to snuggle up to her or wash her face, she keeps her eyes averted. Never trust a cat.

Elise's quilt is growing slowly. I'm happy with how fast it goes together. I do an assembly line thing with it and can turn out 4 or 5 pairs in a morning. Just finding those free mornings is the problem.

I'm having to work on my tendency to want to "match" or use a neutral with every dark. Elise wants it more scrappy, so I'm going to have to put some combinations together that go against that tendency.

I was going to take step-by-step pictures of the construction of the set of 2 blocks, and thought my Ott light would be a good light for it. Wrong. It looks like they were taken at the bottom of an aquarium.


It starts with two 5-1/2 by 20 strips.

These are cut into 2 wide and 4 narrow strips.

And sewn togther with opposite colors.
And pressed with seams going the opposite way on each one.

Then these 2 sets are cut into 6 more pieces.

And arranged into Block A and Block B.

Easy as it can be.

If the pressing is done right, it will lay flat and pay off later when they're all joined together. I need all the help I can get.

I still have some tweaking to do - maybe or maybe not. One corner doesn't quite meet, but as long as the blocks measure 6-1/2" x 6-1/2", we're not worried if every corner matches. Maybe when I enter one in a quilt show one day. Yeah, right.

This is a better idea of those blues in the sunlight.

It's a beautiful day today, and I'm going to try to get outside a little bit and enjoy the sunshine.

Maybe not as much as Stella though.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Withdrawal pangs

Or is it pains?

I've been in a lovely pink and green fog for a couple of months now working on Isley's quilt, and it is totally finished now. Ready to go to Washington. I think Washington is ready for Isley too, at least 2 people I know are.

I guessed that the embroidered squares wouldn't handle washing as well as the other parts because they're not actually quilted down. The wrinkles will iron out, but who irons a quilt? So it will have to be wrinkled. These pictures are awful - all pale and anemic-looking. I'll do some more later.

The back is just the way it's supposed to be, bright and wild.

All in all, a really fun quilt to do. It'll be hard to give it up. Maybe I can visit it this summer.

To help my pain, I started in earnest on Elise's quilt. I'll do Emily's at the same time, but I have to keep my mind on this one until I get those measurements straight in my mind....3-1/2 x 5-1/2, 5-1/2 x 2. 83 pairs of Block A and Block B and 19 single Block A's.

Here's a pair sewed together. They're easy to do, but I'm a little haphazard with my 1/4" seams sometimes. Once they're trimmed, these will be fine. I think.

These are a few pairs I just cut and laid out. Good thing they're not sewed together since I see a couple of mistakes.

It was a good day to sew - a perfectly cold and gray day. We had to drive to Prattville this morning, and that wind was not fun. Winter is not fun to me.

While we were in the doctor's office, a couple came in that I didn't look at very closely, middle-aged with a little girl. On the way home, Mama said, "That woman sitting across from us was on TV last night, yelling about the schools." I guess I miss a lot by not watching the evening news. She misses very little, from the doctor's hair and wardrobe to her opinion on Alabama politics, SEC football, whether "Days of our Life" is going off the air, and how much she hates cold weather. We do agree on that. I won't give my opinion on having to wait 2 hours to see the doctor when we had an appointment. This is just a pain management doctor - not an ER doctor with emergencies - with 6 or 8 people sitting in his waiting room in pain with overdue appointments. But no opinions. He does help her.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Home Stretch

I took my final stitch on this little quilt just now. The binding went on really well, and I'm pleased with it.


I decided the embroidery squares need a little something to hold them down since they didn't get involved in the quilting of the rest of it. So I'm going to make a running stitch around every design to kind of tack it down - not all the way through but through the batting. That will be kind of fun.

I'm sure everyone was worried about that. So relax now.

It should be ready to mail to Issaquah by the end of the week.

I have 2 more quilts lined up to take its place, but I sure will miss the colors and the little critters.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rain on the Roof

Lots of it.

Wind too.

But we like it.
It's snowing in Littlefield. Maybe I'll have a picture of it tomorrow.

What's Behind Door #1

In my kitchen, that is.

The sellers of this house were very proud of the spice rack they had built on the side of a cabinet and behind a door. I have to admit it was a great idea. Unfortunately, I had just dumped anything small on it and really had no idea what was there.

Last week I put it on my organizing list but that's as far as it went until yesterday when I had the step-stool out for another reason and decided to go for it.

I didn't throw out half as much as I anticipated, but I did find out exactly what I had. I found new homes for some things and brought other things in.

Since I (sort of) alphabetized the spices, I can have a general idea of where they are and not end up with 3 bottles of cinnamon candies. I went to 3 stores looking for them this Christmas to use in cornflake wreaths, not realizing I already had 2 bottles. Naturally, I ended up not making them, so now I have all 3.

These pictures all seem blurry, but I don't have time to take more.

Hmmm. I see raspberry hot chocolate mix. That sounds good for a rainy day.

That's about all I have to show for my week except for an excellent pork tenderloin that I just took out of the oven. No picture. It tastes better than it looks.

And another row of the quilt sewed down. Enough pictures of the quilt until it's finished.

And having a daughter get another year old. Emily had a birthday yesterday. They keep adding those years and making me feel old.