Monday, September 26, 2022

no quilts...

No quilts to share today.  I had big ideas last week, but nothing actually happened.


I did a second trial with the birds, trying to make the heads bigger.

I think I just succeeded in making his head pointier, so I'm going back to the original version.

But this guy I got creative with the fabrics and stitched his tail instead of stuffing it.  I like this way better.

Less stuffing, easier to close.  More or less.

Onward to mass-production!

Ten here ready for stuffing and closing, but one had a blow-out on his head (I guess I didn't catch the seam well enough!), so I have to decide if I want to try to turn him back inside out and fix that or just call it a learning experience.

(Definitely leaning towards learning experience - turning these once is enough!)

I also turned in a big bin of cat hammocks and toys.  I believe I mentioned the bin was 2x2 Finns and the box of toys was 1x2 Finns, but never did go take those photos!

While I was dropping them off, my volunteer asked me to work on a special project...

The group does adoption events frequently and they wanted some hammocks to put in the crates with the kitties just at the adoption events.  Something to help brand the group and make it look cohesive.

You know I agreed, right?

She gave me 2.5 yards each of the solid pink and the polka dotted fabrics and little did she know, but that amount is PERFECT for 3 large-ish hammocks each.  But I decided to get creative and do them reversible, which meant six exactly matching hammocks!

Part of my reasoning was a worry that the dots would show through and look bad.  But this also worked out nicely that they can choose how to coordinate.

I know these will be better taken care of, as they will be just used for show, but it didn't matter.  They got the same attention to detail as all the others.

I dropped them off Friday afternoon, hoping to get to see them in action on Saturday, as they often post from adoption events on Facebook, but that didn't happen.  I hope that means they were super busy finding forever homes for lots of lucky kitties!

I didn't mention to her that I was out of fabric, so I'm currently waiting on that.  She lives about 25 minutes from me, so until one of us is in the area of the other at a convenient time, I'll just work on other things.

Today I have a lot of chores planned, but I also have a yellow cake in the oven.  It will eventually become homemade Twinkies.  Or so I hope...  The hubby was watching Food Network yesterday and these looked pretty amazing.  And I have ALL the ingredients in my pantry!  I'll have to remember to let you know how they come out.

(They are going to work, so I'm sure no one there will complain.  But also they may not give me a fair assessment of my efforts.  Generally they just inhale the sweets and say thank you, but I'm not sure if they actually taste them!)

Maybe I'll get to quilting this week, but the birds aren't going to make themselves.  And I still have to research and figure out a better spray baste stuff for the tiger quilt.  (Maybe I'll remember to do that while the computer is on right now?!)

Not to worry.  I'm keeping busy.  Work.  Reading.  It's cooler here, so cooking heartier meals...which take longer...  Baking.  Kitties.

I did wake up inspired to quilt an older quilt, but we'll see how that turns out since I won't have a chance to actually get to it until Wednesday...

In the meantime...

Happy quilting!

Monday, September 19, 2022

a quilt top

My sewing room hasn't seen much of me this week, but when I was in there, oh boy!

I started on the baby quilt for my niece.  This fabric has been in my stash forever and I love it, but never seem to find the right reason to use it.  I'm not sure why I bought it in the first place, but it has never been cut into, so I had about two yards to work with.  Plenty for this pattern, but it was wrinkly as all get out, so I pressed it and then had to refold it before cutting.  Toby helped.

In fact, Toby supervised most of the process.

I spent two days cutting pieces and sewing units as I went - it was a path that seemed most economical to me, though in hindsight maybe wasn't?

After I had many units sewn, it was time for a layout.

What mom?  I'm HELPING!

Here.  Look at how BIG I am.  And look at my oh-so-white belly furs that I keep so tidy for you.

(He doesn't get in the way of the sewing machine or iron, but if it's on the floor...)

But once I got to this point, there was no turning back.  I had to get all the pieces sewn together or it would not be in such a nice, flat, organized way thanks to tornado cats.

He still needs eyeballs and my hubby said it's a raccoon (it's a bear...the pattern says so), but it's a top!

After this photo, I pieced a back (used up the turquoise in the first photo and added some of the grey that is in his eyebrow area), made binding AND sewed on the eyeballs!

I want to quilt this using a woodgrain-like motif, but the fabric does not allow me to load it in a direction that will make sense, so I need to reconsider.  The baby isn't due till February, so I have plenty of time to procrastinate.  (And you all know I'll do it!)

I debated about the quilt calling to me last week for DAYS and ended up not quilting it at all.  I'm still working figuring it otu.  Part of me says "just do an overall design - swirls are good!" but the other part says I need to do something custom.  It just isn't telling me WHAT that is.

Oh well.

We canned more tomatoes this weekend.  12 more quarts, bringing us up to 31 so far this year.  I might like to do more, but the hubby is telling me no.  (We have the jars and lids and time and his mom will donate her extra tomatoes (at 62 quarts she has declared herself DONE!), but he is my helper, so...?)

Otherwise it's been a bit of a lazier than average week.  But that's okay.  This week might be better.  (But really, so long as I'm meeting the needed deadlines - quilty and otherwise - it's all good.)

Time to go decide if I'm going to bake for work and maybe mend those pants I'll need/want if the weather ever decides we're REALLY going to have fall...

Happy quilting!

Monday, September 12, 2022

quick and short

I feel like I should have more to show for the last week...well, 5 days...but I don't.

I didn't sew much, though I did get the back pieced for the quilt that is calling to me, so that's progress, right?!

I also picked up an extra shift at work.  We're getting all the winter wear out and set up and that is a big job, so I spent an extra day unpacking countless boxes.  (A box holds maybe 6 winter coats, so boxes go fast, but that just means you do a lot more of them.)

I did choose a pattern for my niece's second baby quilt and decided to pull from my stash first.

There is a story behind the pattern, but I'll save that for another day.

Also, if this all came from my stash, I have a problem.  I'm not a stash quilter.  My stash is usually smaller pieces, left over from other projects.  That's what these all are, but...well...sometimes I overbought or I changed my mind.  I need to use up some stuff - this is a good start!

I've also been trying to figure out what kind of cat toys I'd like to make this year.  I debated doing them at all, but a coworker gave me some catnip he grew and dried for me, so I think I'd better.  I think that was a hint!

This is my second idea...a bird...

He was a free pattern online, but that was another whole debacle to get to.

I think his head is too small.  Otherwise, he's not bad.  Except you stuff him through his tail and since I reduced the pattern size, it's nearly impossible to get him stuffed.

So I'll be thinking about this and debating if I want to do a lot more of these.  I need to decide soon, though, because I want to spread out the effort and save my hands.  And sanity.

(The first idea was a fortune cookie and while it went pretty well and fast, it looks too homemade.  I know that sounds silly, but I'd like these to look a bit more polished when I hand them out.)

But that's about it.

I'm currently baking the first batch of cookies in my new oven.  Things are not as perfect as the old one, so I guess this means I'll be downloading the owner's manual.  (But they taste just fine.)

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

not much sewing, lots of random

After four weeks of vacation, the hubby finally went back to work last week.  Of course I was scheduled three of those days, but I finally felt like I could get back to my routine again.

I didn't get a lot done, what with three shifts at work in there (normally I would have one or maybe two and another on the weekend), but I did manage to get some things done.

The garden is producing like mad, this time it's tomatoes!

(Okay, and a few cucumbers still, too!)

This is a pretty large tub...part of the swag we get when attending quarterly meetings at work.  (We've also been given a lot of stuff no one wants, but I have a nice folding lawn chair and some t-shirts, too.)  It worked out nicely to collect a lot of tomatoes.

We filled it again about halfway a few days later when canning tomatoes.  I got 12 quarts, which isn't much, but it's also nice to do a few batches and then take a break for a week, rather than doing 84 quarts in one day like we did one year!

I'll be out collecting more again this week and plan to do another round later this week.  These will be delicious this winter in soups and stews, though we are eating a few with salads and burgers right now!

And my new stove worked great!

(You may remember we made pickles with an overabundance of cucumbers a few weeks back.  Both have been tested and are DELICIOUS!  Particularly the bread and butter variety.  The dill are a little on the salty side, but otherwise very good.)

This past weekend, we did some shopping.  The hubby needed some new shirts and, being not only tall, but also, well, um...well-fed...he needs tall big sizes.  A 3X isn't as easy to find in the first place, but when you add in his height, there aren't a lot of stores that carry his size.  But there is one - Penny's - and he always fights me to go there.  And we always find a lot of good, basic choices that he likes.  He got about 7 new shirts and some new pants.  Expensive, but needed.

While we were out, I purchased fabric for a new quilt!

Remember these?

The tiger was purchased for the hubby.  And he has decided he wants it made.

When we travel, we often take quilts with us and replace comforters on beds wherever we're staying with our own quilts.  This is what he wants with this quilt.  It will need to be bigger than the pattern, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.  First we need to see how big those dimension really are.  (And when I say "we" I mean him.)

The fabrics?

The fabric on the bottom will be the background and the rest...well, I'm pretty sure you can figure out where most of them will go!

I still have to photocopy the pattern, as this is like the horse, where it is printed on 11x17 papers and double-sided to boot.  The hubby can do that at work, but I need to remember to send it with him.  (He leaves by 5am, so I need to remember the night before and I'm not always that organized by 8pm!)

I haven't actually done any quilty sewing, but I was getting near the end of this pile of hammock fabric... I powered through the last few and now have this rather large bin of finished hammocks to turn in!

(For size reference here, Finn, a 14-pound cat, climbed in and had much room to roll around when it was empty.  So I'd say this is about 2x2 Finns, comfortably.)

I had also started a new batch of catnip toys using my mom's stash...

...and got about halfway through before I ran out of stuffing.  Even the donation from a quilty friend wasn't enough.  I got more stuffing, but then the hubby was home a lot and these are nice to do while just sitting on the couch in the evening, watching TV, but that just wasn't happening.

But I decided if I was going to turn in the hammocks, the toys needed to go, too.  So I started sewing.  I spent most of Monday stuffing and sewing these shut.  It was just after 8pm when I finished them ALL!

This is also a large box, but not quite as large as the tote.  I'd say 1x2 Finns, comfortably.

It is closed up and on a high shelf in the sewing room because there is a LOT of catnip in there!

With all that activity Monday, I didn't get a chance to blog, so I'm late this week, but it's just as well because I won some goodies from the Positivity Quilt Along and they were waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday!

Thank you so much Preeti and Bernie!  Thank you for coordinating and hosting the quilt along, but also thank you for the goodies!  This is honestly not why I do it, but it is nice to get a little something in return.  I look forward to next year!

And finally, my weather app on my phone was predicting a real heat wave today... I got up early and got my chores done.  You know, before it's too hot to do literally anything.  At 11am it's only 64 and it has been revised to a more reasonable 80 since this screenshot, but it made me giggle anyways.  I hope it's predicted to be cooler wherever you are!

Time to go do more of the odds-and-ends chores that got pushed aside when the hubby was home all day every day.  (He needs a hobby that is not just me before he retires!)

Eventually I'll get back to quilting, right?  (But there is one that is calling to me to be longarmed, so maybe sooner than later?)

Happy quilting,