Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Falling Flakes

Last year I started making paper-pieced snowflakes from the Canuck Quilter's Snowalong.  I loved these.  I wanted to make them all.  I picked a blue from my stash that had been waiting just the right project and this was it.

There was only enough for four flakes.  <sigh>  Even with that, I ended up piecing the last block with scraps.  And unlike my usual projects, I had made these with no real purpose.  So they sat in a corner of my sewing room all year, until I started working on my summer quilt.  The light blues from that looked wonderfully icy against the snowflakes' dark blue.  As I worked on my summer quilt, I thought about a winter one.

I decided to make this into a hanging to go on the front door.  It could also work as a short table runner.  I didn't go off of a pattern and had a little difficulty making the new wonky blocks line up.  I kept wanting to straighten them!  But it looks pretty good on the wall!

I had debated about bordering it in white, then maybe binding in white.  In the end, I've picked a blue that's darker than the edges, but lighter than the snowflake blue and plan to bind it as is.  Next step, sandwich and quilt.  I'll be so happy to have it done!

Sharing with Freemotion by the River's Linky Tuesday.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Medicating Cannoli

The setup: scale, pig, weight journal, meds and reward
I have often told people that you do not want to give guinea pigs pills.  Liquid meds is the only way to go.  Cannoli has been getting medication for her thyroid for the last couple of months.  I went against my own advice and got pills, because I could get them immediately instead of waiting several days to pick up a suspension at the vet.  The pill she gets is so tiny, I thought I'd have no problem.  However, one of these days I'll have no choice but to drive to the vet.  Cannoli gets cagier every day in tablet avoidance.  (In fact last night she managed to secretly spit it out and I only found it this morning.) 

Back in August I started by hiding the pill in a bit of banana.  So easy!  One whiff of that and down the hatch.  Which was great, until Noli remembered that bananas aren't supposed to crunch.  She stopped eating banana.


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Return to Topsfield

My girlfriend and I headed to the Topsfield Fair on Sunday.

After running the midway gauntlet, we made it to the rabbit and cavy barn.  It was a chilly morning; most of the disapproving rabbits were huddled in corners.  So cute!  but I felt bad for them.  I guess it's better to be cool than to be too hot.

Our next stop was our true destination - Coolidge Hall.  Once again, my girlfriend placed first for her applesauce and I won a second place ribbon for my quilt.  Shattered Kites looked so tiny tucked in between some huge quilts.  I look forward to reading the comments on it when I get it back.  My living room wall looks bare without it.

The quilts were lovely.  I've learned so much in a couple of years - I could identify paper pieced and appliqued quilts much easier than in the past.  I appreciated the work that went into them (especially a huge quilt that had been hand quilted).

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Japanese Knot Bag

I used to have a little tote bag (more like an over-sized purse) that went through the wash one too many times.  It disintegrated.  It had been a nice size to dump in a couple of books and a snack.  It got a lot of use going to appointments that may keep me waiting or on short road trips.  I currently have a little drawstring backpack, but it's just not the same.  I want something that can sit on the floor, fall open so I can see inside it, and yet will cinch up when I carry it.  

While searching for a good replacement, I found a couple of patterns for a Japanese knot bag that caught my eye.  They're simple (no snaps or even drawstrings) and appeared to have all my requirements.  My favorite set of instructions were on The Chilly Dog.  I ended up free-handing my own pattern, based on some other patterns I found out there, but other than that, I followed these instructions for putting it together as well as how long to make the straps.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Labor Day Pig Wrangling

It's October and I'm posting about what we did during Labor Day.  Think I'm a bit backed up with posts?

Boadicea - watch out for The Hand!
During Labor Day weekend we rounded up Cannoli and Boadicea to take some photos for my blog.  Cannoli has never been cooperative for photo shoots.  We could always count on Pinniped or Willow to wave their nose around.  Noli is much harder to coach; she tends to hunch up in one spot and keeps her head down.  Boadicea has some potential for being a camera ham - she's a bit more relaxed and keeps an eye out for treats.

We snapped a few good "official" shots I hope to use here and there.  But honestly, the outtakes are always more fun (and as you can see, it's not always their fault).

Friday, October 2, 2015

On the Bed

Already the weather has started to turn cooler, but Summer Seashore made it onto the bed before it goes into winter storage.  Didn't it look huge hung up on the garage door?  Doesn't look as big on the bed, does it?

I can really feel the difference in it's weight from my other quilt.  It has a little warmth, but not too much.  It's what I was hoping for when I started this project.  It looks so cool and refreshing.  It will be so exciting next spring to put this on the bed at the first sign of warmer weather. 

This quilt had so many pitfalls, angst and redesigns.  It's not the color I originally imagined.  At one point I thought I'd hate it.  I wasn't sure that the flannel backing would work.  And I ripped out so much quilting!  Nearly ran out of the dark green!  (There's literally nothing more than a short stack of corner trimmings left.)  I had to piece together part of the binding from scraps.

It's perfect.  I love it.  Thank goodness I'm moving on to smaller projects.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Trip to Topsfield

I made the long drive to Topsfield to drop off Shattered Kites for the fair.  The women processing the entries oohed and ahhed over it, so I'm hoping for a ribbon.  We'll see.  They were saying they've got a real certified quilt judge this year.  I would be very excited if my quilt was up to snuff!

Hours driving in the car for a five minute hand-off seemed like the waste of a morning.  So I brought sunflower seeds and we made a second stop at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary.  We spent an hour or so wandering the grounds and feeding the birds.  Yes!  That made the trip worthwhile.