Friday, May 27, 2016

Different Dynamics

Boadicea eats unmolested upstairs, Wedgwood downstairs
Guinea pig introductions are never the same.  Cannoli and Boadicea's introduction was the roughest I had for a successful pairing.  Nerve-wracking stuff.  Given that Boadicea was the instigator of so much of it, I was bracing myself for a repeat when we got home on Saturday.

None of it went quite as expected.

The only thing that was par-for-the-course was that Wedgwood didn't budge for the first 40 minutes.  Boadicea got on the floor and was immediately like: Hey!  We're home!  Why do you have the floor blocked off from the cage?  She had no interest in the new pig.

Beyond that, the introductions picked up right where they left off at the shelter.  Boadicea was submissive, even on her home turf.  There was hardly any chasing.  Wedgwood spent her time ousting Boadi from whatever she wanted - the hay, the house, the cozy.  Boadi yelled until she gave up and moved on. 

Boadicea eventually tired of being picked on.  There's nothing quite like a pissed off guinea pig - because for them it's quite literal.  By late afternoon Boadi honed her aim, hitting Wedgie straight in the face at a 6-8" range.  I spent the afternoon alternating between cheering Boadicea on and laughing at her comeuppance for all the grief she had dished out to Cannoli.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Less is More

I started freemotion quilting the Key West quilt.  I disliked the thread color, picked out the stitches and pick new thread.  I switched gears and quilted the grey with the walking foot, planning on freemotion quilting the rest of it.  When I tried the new color I still hated it.  This seemed like a great quilt for freemotion practice, but the quilt does not agree. 

So I ripped out stitches a second time and moved onto binding it.  I'm still considering quilting the baby blue.  Maybe.  But I need this quilt to be done - it's lingered too long.  I have other projects I want to start working on.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Meet Wedgwood

Wedgwood, with my Wedgwood tea pot and some river stones
Say hello to Wedgwood.

We went through so many names of weather, comets, gemstones.  Her coloring, shape and smoothness reminded me of river stones, marble or pottery.  I thought howlite was a pretty stone, but a terrible name.  While looking through photos of fine china I came across some grey and white Wedgwood.  Hmm...  Wedgie for short.  She does have a very pointed nose.

She was terrified the first few days here, hiding in the far corner of the cage.  I think that's half the reason she lashes out at Boadi.  As fearful as she's been, she is very gentle when picked up and held.  She has made no attempt to bite me.  

Wedgie had been in the shelter twice since 2015.  They had her listed as 2.8 years old, but I suspect she's much younger.  Maybe not even 2?  Her records show she gained over 300g in the last year.  That tells me she was a youngster when she first came in.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Look What Blew In

Several times a day for the last month I checked Petfinder and craiglist for a companion for Boadicea.  I wanted an adult sow that wasn't currently bonded to another guinea pig.  I know shelters don't update Petfinder regularly, so I called several shelters on Friday evening (OMG, they all have infuriating phone systems).  As I was getting nowhere, Petfinder spat out exactly what I was looking for:  a single mature silver and white sow Boadicea's age, only a half hour away.  I have wanted a white and silver agouti pig for years.  (Ever since I saw one in a shelter when I adopted Willow and Pippin.)

I immediately called the Potter League for Animals (answered by a live person!).  They told me the sow came in alone, was a few months shy of 3 years old, and suggested I fill in an application to put me on the top of the list.

I got a call back on Saturday morning - they could hold her for me if I was interested and Boadicea could come to meet her.  I was elated and depressed.  This was just what I wanted for Boadicea.  I didn't want her to live alone; she needed some piggy company.  But how inconvenient - I had other plans for the day and wanted some time to relax.  Boadicea seemed happy by herself.  She was not pining for company, she'd run laps in the morning and generally hang out.  Besides, there'd be the stress of introductions and what if they didn't get along and I swore I'd never adopt a mature pig again and so many things could go wrong and... ugh.

Two hours later we were packed in the car heading to the shelter.  Sucker.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Fun Fabric

I won a gift certificate from sew me a song.  Coolness!  This Etsy shop has some interesting collections of fabric.  I was drawn to several series of newspaper and ledger prints.  I've admired quilts that have script in the fabric, but never had any in my stash.  This was my opportunity to try something new. 

The purple flower fabric called to me, so I had to get that.  The rest all have words on it - even the leafy fabric has little newsprint in the leaves.  Neat.  I have no idea what I'll make with them; I'm sure they'll work their way into something.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Nowhere Fast

See this?  This is the UDS 9D table, my current project at work (if you don't know what it is, count yourself lucky).  I'm obsessed with getting it to run correctly and it's burning me out.  After weeks of research the output is starting to come together - I got numbers now.  Yay!  But some calculations are off by over $100k.  Nice.  So I'm spending just about every waking hour thinking how to fix it (when I'm driving, doing housework, falling asleep).  I mean, I skipped an evening of quilting to research sliding fees.  Crazy, right?  Gotta love medical billing and government reporting.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Making QAYG Hexies

I was recently asked how I made my quilt-as-you-go hexies.  Each hexagon is a complete mini-quilt, with a top, batting and mock-bound with the backing.  Mine are roughly 4" across (finished), but they can be whatever size you want.  I use a 4" hexagon for the top and the batting; the backing is a little less than 6".  This allows for a skimpy 1/2" binding on the front of each hexagon.  I had some leftover flannel when I started this project, so my batting is two layers of flannel.  Now that I'm well into my project, I bet one layer of flannel would have worked great, too.

I layer each hexie:  backing wrong-side up, then batting, then the top right-side up.  The top and batting are centered in the middle of the backing.  I made my own templates for these, which aren't perfect.  I can see it in the layered photo.  But that's okay - it evens out once I get the binding rolled over.