Monday, August 15, 2022

mystery solved and not much else

Last week I left you on the edges of your seats regarding the mystery quilt my guild was doing later that day.

(You were on the edges of your seats, weren't you?)

Only three members, myself included, showed up to sew.  Add in the member "teaching" and another who came to visit for a bit and we had a whopping five people there the whole day.

No worries.  We had fun.

Wanna see what we made?

(Of course you do!)

It's a giant Carpenter's Star!  This is 48x48" and I'm pondering if I should make it larger.  I'll probably donate it, but depending on where it goes, size will matter.  I don't have a lot of extra fabric, but I know where to get more.  (And if I do it soon, it's likely to still be there, so think fast!)

Other than this, I didn't do much quilty sewing.  The hubby was out of town, but I really didn't have much time, what with work and chores and some extra stuff happening.

I did work on cat toys every night for a bit.  Finn flipped off the lid of the bin (it latches, but not super tight), burrowed his way into the completed toys, and went nuts.  I thought I'd gotten them all back in the bin (after getting him out), but I was wrong.

By the time I realized he had done it, this toy was sopping wet.  So he can keep this one.

I didn't see much of Toby...

...turns out he missed his dad and could be found here, on his bed, quite a bit of the time.  He even took a toy in there with him!

(But every time I went in to give him a little love, he seemed to think he was in trouble.  Silly boy.  If the door is open, you can go in there!)

The hubby returned home midday Friday and pig roast prep continued.  There are so many little details and we keep thinking of more.  That seems to take up a lot of time, but we did raid the garden.  Holy cow the cucumbers went crazy!

Time for pickles?

On one of our stops, we found some pickling mix.  Having not done this before, that seemed a prudent choice, so we came home and tackled the cucumbers.  (Thanks to my grandma, we have LOTS of canning jars - if you look close, you can see they're old.)

They are done, but no photos.  The mix said they'd be ready to eat in 24 hours, but we'll probably give them a bit longer.  We did both bread and butter (slices) as well as dill (spears).  

I did sew a few cat hammocks, though one fabric made 10 and it was NOT easy to handle, so that took longer than usual.  Oh well, progress is progress!

Today the hubby is home again (the last week of his 4-week use-it-or-lose-it vacation starts today) and pig roast prep still continues, though we are getting closer to ready.  Maybe I'll go sew?

Happy quilting!

Monday, August 8, 2022

whales and a mystery

Last week you saw the start of the whale baby quilt.

The hubby is up north fishing, so I've had lots of free time to sew.  I made whales!

Left-facing (with bonus right-facing to make it even).


Then a layout and some math that determined, even with sashings, this would be wider than it was long.

Back to the stash.

Three more left-facing.

That looks pretty good.  On to sashing and borders!

Toby was getting hungry, and much of the method of Emma (who he never knew), he got really pesky and plopped in the middle of what I was doing when his belly started needing help.

I did get the side borders on before I fed him (it didn't take long), and so I have a finished top - but no photo.  It stormed here yesterday and everything was wet, so no good for outdoor photos.  Soon, I hope, but storms are predicted today, too.

But no time for that today anyways - this is my guild's sewing day and we're doing a mystery!

I stopped a week ago to pick out fabrics at my local quilt shop!

Before washing - gotta make sure I don't have any issues there...

After washing, pressing and folding neatly.  Ready to cut!

And pieces cut.  You can see here it's just squares, but I prepped and made sure I knew what was what - all this is in a bin that will go with me shortly.

Just minutes after I took the photo of inside the bin, Finn climbed in.  He slept there for the better part of two days.  He wants to do the mystery, too!  (Sorry kitten, not a good idea!)

I have gathered my supplies and will be heading out shortly for a day of fun sewing.  At least I hope it will be fun...mysteries can sometimes turn out terribly.  Here's to hoping at least I have fun with quilty friends!

I also finished the binding on the Positivity quilt along quilt - no photos there yet, either.  Besides the rain, it's been about 4,000 degrees outside and about 87,000% humidity.  I'm enjoying my air conditioning and going out little.

I'm also working my way through the ridiculous pile of cat toys.  Finn and Freddie REALLY wanted to help with that last night, but they were more interested in the bin (with a top on tightly) of finished toys than what I was sewing.  I tried sprinkling a little catnip on the floor for them, and that went well for a while, but eventually they came back to the source.

Time to go pack myself a lunch (no idea what the plans there might be, so I'm going prepared!) and pack the car and hope to beat the rain.

Happy quilting!

Monday, August 1, 2022

a new project

Last week was busy with all sorts of random things, as I mentioned in my last blog post.

This week looks to be equally nuts, but I'm determined to squeeze in some sewing time.  It seems like I haven't been doing much lately, so I'm going to be more stubborn about it this week.

(The hubby is still on vacation, so that is a definite distraction!)

In quilty news, last week I loaded up the Positivity Quilt Along top and got it quilted!

And then I went right up and sewed on the binding.

Okay, there was a little procrastination there, but I did it the same day.

A few days later, I had time to work on the hand-sewing side of the binding and Toby jumped right in to help.  Like, literally IN.

It's about half done, but I ran out of time and haven't made the time to sit down and finish it yet.

There has been time, but I used it otherwise.

I worked Saturday and found out a coworker adopted two kittens a few days before.  He had two kitties and got some toys at Christmas, but he and his girlfriend broke up and she took the kitties (and all the toys) when she left.  He was heartbroken, but waited a bit before adopting new babies.

So what do these new kitties need?

New fishies!

I rushed home after work and quickly sewed these and took them back before his shift was over.  He was surprised and happy.  I get the feeling kind things like this aren't a normal part of his life.

Yesterday I was determined to sew.

The hubby had the nephew coming over to help with heavy-duty yard stuff in preparation for the pig roast, so I decided I was gonna hide upstairs and sew.  That baby quilt with the whales isn't going to sew itself!

Testing the pattern:

I trust that the instructions are correct, but I wanted to be sure I could handle it.  Nothing like 4,000 pieces of a quilt you really don't want to make!

It went quite well, even though I had to break midway through to get lunch.

I am pleased and soldiered on to cut another 20 whales from my stash.  Also, the background, which you might be able to see the print here.  (I'm gonna have to be extra careful with this - it's hard to figure out the front from the back.  Which is kinda good, meaning it isn't printed heavily, so I'm happy.  It'll be fine.)

I cut another 20 green and 20 blue.  I THINK I'm going to make the pattern a little smaller (21 whales) from the original (27), but we'll see how it looks when I've got these done.  I have plenty of background and a lot more fabrics to choose from before I have to repeat any.

My plan is to sew some of these today.  I think I can chain-piece each step since each whale is just a single fabric.  So maybe I won't sew any whole whales, but I'll make progress.

I hope.

Because today I also want to make a stop at my local quilt shop for fabric!  My guild is doing a mystery quilt next Monday and while I have a lot of stash, this requires at least one-yard cuts and I don't have much in my stash, never mind stuff that coordinates.  (Also, with a mystery, stuff like directional or large prints are frowned upon.)  I'm hoping the shop owner (also our current guild president - crazy lady!) has seen the finished quilt and can help guide me in fabric choices.

Also today is round one of school shoe shopping.  As we do every year, we take all the nieces and nephews on the hubby's side for good school (gym) shoes.  Today the two youngest are on deck.  Tomorrow, after work, I have three more.  And next week three more.  School seems to be starting WAY early this year, but things have changed since I was a kid, so we roll with it.

Cat hammocks and toys continue to be worked on, but they, like everything else, haven't gotten as much attention recently.  I hope this week I can break out of this hubby-vacation mode and get back to some of my normal routine?

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

a top and an apology

Let's start with the apology.

Blogger decided I did not want to get an email about any comments.  I thought it odd I hadn't seen any on my last two posts.


You all did comment.

But now I can't reply to them.

At all.


So, I'm sorry for not responding to any of you.  I'm not always good about replying to comments (sometimes they just don't seem to need a reply, sometimes I'm just busy and forget), but sheesh.

I went in and gave them my email address AGAIN (because apparently it's not there any more), so here's to hoping I can get future comments and not ignore you all.

Thank you to all of you for your kind words, support and help with fist-shaking at my troubles of late.  It's nice to know friends out in cyberspace are cheering me on.  I appreciate all the positive vibes.  Perhaps they are helping to make things better?

Because it's been a week (please all of you knock on wood for me!) since I've had any additional troubles with the stolen check business.  I mean, I'm still waiting for all the paperwork to work through the channels it has been sent, but at least I'm not getting additional problems.  (Knock on wood again, okay?!)

I haven't been sewing much lately.  Life just seems to be happening at a racing pace and I'm hanging on for dear life, trying to get the important things done before the sun sets 15 minutes after it has risen.  (Or so it seems.)

Oh dear, no photos yet.  Hang on.

The sewing I have been doing is mostly to close the cat toys after stuffing them with catnip and donated stuffing.  (My friends are awesome, even if they are just trying to offload "junk" from their craft stash!)

No photos of that, but I did finally get the stupid brown quilt together!

I decided the other day to just sew this together.  Get it done.  Out of the way.  Off the list.

I then spent 15 minutes trying to find the sashing.  I was SURE I'd cut it. I found the remaining background - enough for binding, though not yet cut - and couldn't figure out WHERE I would have put the sashing.  I mean, all the block parts were in a single box.  Why wouldn't the sashing be there, too?

And where are the cornerstones?  Was I planning to decide on those later?  Hmmm...that seems more plausible than not cutting any sashing.

But I probably would have cut the binding at the same time, so maybe I'd had yet another yardage miscalculation?

Finally I gave up and went back to the pattern to see how this goes together to recut the sashing.

Guess what?

Yeah, you see it.

No sashing.

Well.  Some days I'm blonder than others.

Shortly thereafter, sewing commenced.  A break to make a meal for the hubby, but this didn't take long.  20 blocks go together pretty fast when they're just 20 blocks.

But this quilt is a monster.

(Speaking of monsters...)

It is 80x100"!

I had planned to donate this for charity, but am worried this will be too big?

But it is a top.  I can set it aside for now and debate how to deal with the size later, right?  And I like it better now that it's a top and I can see it from a distance.  But I'm nowhere near in love with it or feeling the need to keep it.

Now I can start the baby quilt.

Not that this was stalling me.  It was actually the fabric I chose for the background of the quilt that was keeping me on pause.  I just wasn't feeling it.  I wasn't even sure when I bought it that it was right.

Today I bought something else.  Something better!  I took a photo, but it's a white-on-white (I know, I know, it's a BABY quilt, but trust me) so the photo looks like white.  So I guess I'll have to promise you photos when I start sewing?

I plan to use the Preppy the Whale pattern and I think the whales will be greens and blues.  (It's a boy.)  From my stash.

And yesterday I found out my niece is pregnant again.  She is due in February, so the search begins for her now.  (Remember she got this quilt for her first.)  You know I'll keep you posted.

Oh boy, more words need more photos...

Last weekend the hubby went up north for a cousins overnight at a cabin that one cousin's family own. And said cousin told him we needed to do our pig roast again.  We'd done them yearly for a while, but a number of things just made it too much work.  So we discontinued.  Well.

Sunday the hubby asked.

Monday we ordered a pig, rented a roaster, rented a port-a-potty (we have just one bathroom and that was one of the troubles in the past), made a flyer and invited everyone we know.  Well.  Almost everyone we know.  If you live 100+ miles away, you probably didn't get invited.  (But if you know us in person and are reading this and want to make the drive, you know how to get a hold of me to get an official invite!)

So that will happen in about a month.

The big things are taken care of for that already, so now we just have to get the yard cleaned up better and work out smaller details.

This week we also have a funeral.  The hubby's aunt (mom to the cousin who owns the cabin) passed away a week ago.  It was sudden but not unexpected.  Can THAT be my last bad thing?

But I'll be baking for the meal after the funeral this week.  No biggie.  I can make a Texas sheet cake and that sucker feeds half an army, it's so big!  (But also delicious.  And easy.  The hubby says I don't do "hard" when cooking or baking, but to him anything he doesn't have to do is easy...)

I think that's all my news.

The hubby is off work this week, so he is over there on the couch, probably rolling his eyes at my continued typing, so I guess I'd better go check on him.  See if he is hungry or whatever.

Happy quilting!

PS All the kitty photos are recycled, but they're some of the good ones!  (And the kitties continue to do funny, cute, wonderful things.  I just don't capture them with a camera lately.)