Since I don't think my niece reads my blog, I can share with you her finished baby quilt! It went out in the mail today, but with delays promised by the kind gentleman at the counter, I'm not sure if the package will arrive before Christmas or not. (Her Christmas present was also in the box...)
Let's review a bit, shall we?
It started out with quilt inspiration and a fabric purchase:
I added a few more grey prints from my stash and started cutting. And cut and cut and cut and cut. I think there are 400 pieces in this quilt.
Next up was sewing those curves. Curves aren't that difficult, now that I've got a handle on them, but these were gentle enough to go quite quickly.
All were trimmed as best as I could (this pattern specifies that it will not be perfect, much to my OCD's disappointment!) and a layout was determined.
Sewing them together took a bit, but they went together better than I anticipated with the non-perfect trimming that was needed. Pressing instructions that helped create nesting seams was much appreciated. And then to the longarm!
The binding took a bit to get sewn down, as I am an excellent procrastinator, but then I added to the length of time to finish with the label. Yesterday I decided the package needed to go in the mail today. While baby is not due till May, the remainder of the package is for Christmas, and time is getting short and why not kill two birds with one stone?
Toby helped. (He has figured out lap snuggles and boy does he love those...when he's not trying to attack the string from your hoodie because SQUIRREL!)
And then it was outside to get a photo. It was a grey, overcast day, but no snow and little wind, so a good day in general for taking pictures.
I've had to edit the photo a bit for colors (which still aren't quite right, but close), but I doubt I'll be getting any better days in the months to come. We do get sun some days in the bitter cold winter, but I'm not waiting for that...and I needed it finished!
You can probably click on the photo to see the quilting better. If blogger still works that way. *eyeroll*
Quilt pattern: Chic Country by Sew Kind of Wonderful
Size: about 45x45"
I've been sewing some, but it seems I've been very interested in sewing non-quilt things lately. I worked Saturday, picking up a shift for an ill coworker, and when I got home (frustrated - it's been a long few weeks), I decided to make some cat toys. That should make me happy. Or more frustrated...
I started out with Christmas fabrics, but obviously I got a little carried away...72 pieces in all were cut here. But I have a fair amount of catnip, a bag of stuffing that just keeps giving and I'm sure I can share these with friends, right?
Every time I make these, I try a new method of adding catnip. This went quite well, and an added bonus was that the cats licked the plastic tub clean afterwards. (Yes, I washed it, too...)
I had loads of help inspecting my work along the way. I removed all four cats at least once each from the area behind my sewing machine. Freddie hit it just right with my camera being out before he got the boot. I did put some loose catnip on the floor and that kept them busy for a while, but they also found swatting and stalking each other to be more fun when stoned.
I packed them all up into a bin that I could close and put on a high shelf. Of course, I kept a set of 12 (6 each of 12 fabrics!) for my kitties, but they have only been given four. When those disappear, they will earn more. But apparently the lure isn't as strong when there isn't an open container around...
Then I put out a call to facebook friends with cats. Three folks wanted some toys, so I packed them up in USPS flat-rate boxes and again had some help selecting who got what (about 8 will fit in a box)...
Finn jumped right in for the first shift...
...and by "in" I literally mean IN. He is obviously not shy about doing his job to the fullest extent possible. This kid has amazing work ethic. For this job. Freddie also helped with a later round, but there are no photos to prove that. (And nobody better get any ideas about putting security cameras in my sewing room to make sure I'm working either!)
There are gonna be a lot of happy kitties in the coming week!
There are also a few sets put aside for Christmas gifting...
I also, with the hubby's help, made a big batch of fudge and two batches of peanut brittle. More to come there, as the tins he distributes to his employees are not yet full. He wants to hand them out later this week, as holiday time off is starting next week and no one wants stale fudge. I mean, they'll eat it, but if you can have fresh... (I ate some cast-off edge pieces for breakfast. Not recommended...I was a little spacey at the post office for it... I mean, it was delicious, but probably not what the doctors would recommend. Party poopers that they are.)
The Christmas tree is up. And by "up" I mean this:
Actually, in the hunt in the attic for an empty box to send the quilt and such, I snagged the tree skirt, forgotten in the mad rush to get the tree down before the cats made it up there. So I stood it up, straightened the branches better than they've seen in years, and put the skirt around it. Finn is afraid of the tree skirt. Maybe if I put a bin of catnip toys under it?! It's currently still standing, but so far the record is 2.5 days upright.
Speaking of holiday decorating, I decided to see how Toby would tolerate the Santa hat I bought last year. Remember last year when Freddie and Finn tried it on?
Well, Toby didn't even let me get that far...
He was doing a lap snuggle, but went from zero to 1,000 when this came out. It was in the bin with the toys, so maybe there was a catnip aura to it, but he is also crazy.
I got it on him, but there was a glare in my camera lens. And he was not happy about sitting still. The hat didn't much phase him, but the behind held to get a photo was NOT the thing he was after...that pom-pom, however...
Later he forgave me...
(You may notice the differing clothing. I may or may not have been in my pajamas when I forced my cat to wear clothing...)
Despite all of this, I have dragged myself into the sewing room to work on the Snow Day quilt. I managed to sew six of these stars (all stacked up here) from 40 billion half square triangles.
This is the last design and these only need to be sewn together and then the top constructed, but this has stalled out. I pressed carefully so seams would nest for these blocks individually and, hopefully, when they attach to one another.
But the pattern...
...the top two diagrams insist that I make two identical sets. I looked at the pattern 100 times, trying to determine WHY they were separated like that. Instead of (like a smart person) turning the page, I just sewed merrily along. I assumed (you know what happens when you assume things, right?!) it was because there were two sections of the quilt that these will end up in that they were separating them for that.
Turn the page and lookie there - some stars spin right, some spin left. Guess what? All my stars spin the same direction. Guess what else? They're gonna stay that way.
(I made sure no important details were included in this photo - don't wanna steal the designer's livelihood, even if there is an error - a totally understandable error!)
So that is where I stand for now. I SHOULD go sew these together. Maybe I will. It's a better option than setting up a new printer. (My Christmas gift that I bought for myself for my hubby to give to me today...he carried it in and plopped it next to the computer desk...but at least I was able to find one like I wanted. It's been a while since they've been in stock a lot of places (for good reason) and I've been holding off for a less pricey one that still works the way the old one did...that works just fine unless you want it to actually PUT ink on the pages...)
Speaking of printers. My old one used these cartridges.
I have three of these double-packs and know putting a new one in does nothing. The new printer does not take these. Apparently no new HP printers take these. Then again, after searching for 47 hours to find out WHAT cartridges ANY printers take online, I gave up. Why is that not a feature listed? I could care less the quality of styrofoam you used to package it, nor do I have any interest in knowing about the cords that will be included (though those missing would be good to know about). I DO care about what I need to buy to go with it. But, you insist, it comes with ink. Yes, yes it does. But before I buy it, I'd like to know if I have to take out a second mortgage on my house and promise you my firstborn to pay for another cartridge. And yes, this is on the box, but if the store where one might buy a printer has an empty shelf and I am relying on ordering online, I DO NOT SEE THE BOX! Anyways, I found one (printer) in the store today. Obviously.
That leaves me with six unusable black ink cartridges.
Anybody out there use these? I'll send them to you - first reply gets 'em all! I got them free at my last job, as they were upgrading all the printers and no longer had any that took these cartridges, so I've invested nothing and would be happy to just not have to toss them out. (I did use about half of them before my printer started ghost printing.)
You know now that my old printer is gonna start working, though, right?
Okay, time to go do something more productive. Maybe eat more fudge?