Saturday, April 21, 2018

Telltale Signs

There are a variety of telltale signs when a guinea pig is in residence.  Granted, there's no hiding a cage or the loud wheeking.  But so many things you don't ever think about shout:  Guinea pigs live here!

Hay.  It's everywhere.  On the floor.  In every. single. room of the house.  On my clothes.  I've even found it in my suitcase once.  How did it get there?!?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

I Like Thursday: Mmmm....

Up this week:  food, dancing and sewing.

It's a treat when Charlie (aka the Cookie Man) brings cookies to the Rehoboth dance.  Everyone likes Charlie cookies.  I was excited to find bags of his cookies at last week's fundraiser.  I brought extra money just to procure these.  They are seriously yummy.

NEFFA!  It's coming!  I enjoy helping with setup, which is how I'm spending part of my morning today.  The festival kicks off Friday evening.  I plan to be dancing a lot all weekend!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Scrappy Stuff

I tied up three scrappy projects this weekend (and started the next quilt - yes I have!).

Wrapped up the pillow made from the triangle trimmings.  I ended up fusing some fabric to the quilted batting rather than letting it all hang out.  I made an envelope back for it.  It will fit a 14" form.  Next time, I need to make the opening a bit more off-center.  It's a bit of a struggle stuffing it (not that you'd be doing that all the time).  I like it.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Not the Nails!

As if I didn't get enough nail clipping at the Pig-a-Palooza last Sunday, I decided that Wedgwood was long overdue for a nail trim.  Saturday was a nice sunny (and warm!) day.  Perfect for nail clipping.  Out we went.

There was a lot of complaining but no wriggling, not even a nibble.  A well behaved pig - a welcome relief from last week.  Or, maybe it was all the practice I got?  I gave Wedgwood the impression of knowing what I was doing.

She was so adorable just hanging out and waving her nose around that I had to run in and get the camera.  Look at that face.  Then she went back in for a well deserved treat.

Good pig!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Pig-a-Palooza Treats Giveaway

I attended another wonderful Pig-a-Palooza and was unable to resist the goodies at When Guinea Pigs Fly and Salem Pet Photo.  I purchased a couple of cards I had to have - those I'm keeping.  But I'm willing (just barely) to part with the adorable stickers (from When Guinea Pigs Fly) and the LOVE-ly bookmark (from Salem Pet Photo).

The giveaway is for both the stickers and the bookmark.  To enter:  leave a comment telling me which sticker item your guinea pig would like best (if it was real).  I think Wedgwood would be hard pressed to choose between the hay cave and the carrot.  If you're a no-reply blogger, please include your email address in the comment.  If you can't comment (I am told occasionally that the comments don't work), email me (address is on my About Me tab).  I will pick a winner at random from the comments/emails.

The drawing closes on Friday, April 20th at 12pm EDT.  Congrats Diana! 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

I Like Thursday: Bags, Book and Bits

It's Thursday - time to like stuff, thanks to I Like Thursday over at Not Afraid of Color.

I'm frugal, and it's a pleasure eking out something useful from the last bit of scrap that would otherwise be tossed out.  I particularly like the black and blue shoe bag.

I'm really enjoying The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling).  I heard of it when it had first came out, but ignored it because of the hype and I'm not hugely into murder mysteries.  Recently it was recommended to me by an acquaintance, so I figured I'd give it a try.  Was chuckling before the end of the first chapter - always a good sign.  Now 100 pages into it and very much enjoying it.  Bonus - there's more books in the series (my reading list is ever-growing)!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Now What Do I Do?

I'm working on the last of my clean-up projects before setting my sights on the next quilt.  I'm down to the very last of my dreaded dress fabric.  The linen went wonderfully with some black and white fabric I have been hording, as well as leftovers from my summer bed quilt.  I've been wanting to try this Folded Star paper pieced pattern for a while, so I killed two birds with one stone.  It's a bit small for a mug rug.  I may throw on a border and call it done.  Maybe the black?  Maybe some more of the melon green?  Hmmm...

Monday, April 9, 2018

Pig-a-Palooza 2018

I'm writing this only hours after returning from the 2018 Pig-a-Palooza held at Nevins Farm in Methuen, MA.  Whew!  It was another crazy, well-attended, successful event.  Lots of happy people.  Lots of cute pigs, many of them are Nevins alumni.  I am wiped out after clipping nails for nearly two hours.

Not sure which way was up on that red piggie.  The texel pig was sooo laid back; the white and grey one so tiny!

Saturday, April 7, 2018


The first wedding quilt is done!  And delivered, so I can share.  Finally!  I'm thrilled I had enough fabric to do the cornerstones in blue instead of espresso (when complete, all I had was a 2x8" strip left over).  It's such a small change, but I think it makes a big difference in the overall look.

Added bonus - the snow melted and the wind died down long enough to photograph the quilt in my favorite spot.

Lots of photos - all the stuff I wanted to show off while making this quilt.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

I Like Thursday: Recovery

A quiet week.  My neck and shoulders still hurt from last Saturday.  What the heck did I do to myself?  I've been trying to take it easy - a little reboot and recovery.

I like eating my share of the Easter candy we made.  Serious sugar overload on Sunday, but I've paced myself since then.   

I like finding Wedgwood snuggled up. She doesn't use the tunnels as often as she used to, so it was a pleasant surprise to see her curled up in there.  She's been in there most of this week.

I enjoy sending little surprise packages to people.  Some paves to my sister, toffee to some others.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Manly Mug Rugs

I'm dragging my feet a little on my next big quilt in order to finish up some stuff I had been working on prior to Sunshine.  One project was a pair of mug rugs made from the last scraps from my charity shirt quilt.  These are fun!  I really like the colors and got a chance to practice some more free motion quilting.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Candy Making 2018

Happy Easter!

I was apprehensive about tackling candy making this year.  Work has kept me preoccupied the last couple of months; I feel like I'm always on the go and slightly behind.  I attended an experienced contra dance Friday night.  I stayed later than I intended (but not as late as I'd have liked).  It's hard to turn down good dancers and a great caller.  I awoke Saturday morning with stabbing pain in my neck/shoulders and a half-functioning brain.  Not an auspicious start!

But some ibuprofen, a large cup of tea and a chatty, lovely group of gals in the kitchen made all the difference.  The day flew by.  I plunked down on a chair after everyone had left and thought:  what a wonderfully satisfying day.  A lot of hard work, mind you, and a lot of standing in the kitchen.  I logged nearly 1.5 miles between 11am - 4pm going back and forth between the stove and the table.

Every year it's an adventure.  We've made most of these confections for a decade and yet, no matter how many notes I take, there's still gotchas.  You'd think as a crew we'd have it down pat.  But it's only once a year and little things change. Or I forget to record something that's obvious at the time, but not so much so a year later.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Not So Bright

Wedgwood enjoys a little floor time. However, she gets rather adamant about returning to the cage.  On cage-cleaning day, she often finds the way blocked and this is fully unacceptable.  She's been getting more insistent and persistent on this point.  Thursday night was no exception:  she chewed on the bars and rattled the grids.  I don't mind the racket she creates - I just don't want her to break her teeth.

I rushed to get the cage fleeced so she could return.  As soon as I was done, I folded back one of the grids blocking the ramp.  Wedgie had thoroughly checked all the grids for a way in earlier.  She then ignored all the grids except for the one directly at the bottom of the ramp.  So she spent several minutes working hard at moving that grid, oblivious to the opening 6" to her right.  Typical guinea pig.  I tried to shoo her around the corner, but she thought I was trying to stop the chewing, and would duck, running the other direction.

I finally swung out that grid, too, until she realized the ramp was open.  Zoom!  up she went.  What took you so long, Mama?

Thursday, March 29, 2018

I Like Thursday: Turkey Tracks

I spent Saturday with my sister and some friends hiking, eating, playing games and talking.  I have lots to like from that day.  Most of these are from our hike.

I like that I discovered the first skunk cabbage of the season.  It's one of my friends' favorite plants.  I also like that I've learned what clubmoss is - I always just called them mini pine trees.  Now I know better.

I liked the turkey tracks we found in the woods.  They were all over the place.  Some of them looked huge because of the way the snow melted.  When I saw the first set I thought:  there's an emu in the woods?  Right.  Like emus live wild in central Massachusetts.  But the tracks looked too darned big to be turkeys.  (Now who's the turkey?)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Another Quilt I Can't Show You

Squares, background, diamonds and binding
This will be the second wedding quilt, and I still haven't been able to show off the first one (soon, I promise!).  I will show my initial work until it starts to take shape.  Right now all I have is fabric, anyway. 

I'm doing a pattern called Homebase.  There's not a ton of photos out there of finished quilts; I like this version with two colored squares.

When I requested color ideas for this quilt I received a bunch, including black, greys, greens, creams and some blue.  I brought a handful of them to Ryco to help chose the rest of the fabric.  Whenever I fabric shop, my quilts have their own ideas about color and design.  It's amazing how many plans go out the window once I lay out the colors together.  This quilt told me I'm making all grey squares on an oyster background.  Definitely not the two-toned squares on a pale green or putty background I had planned.  The diamonds - which were to be based on greens, a rusty orange and possibly a blue - have exploded and now include a red, a bright orange and lots more warm green.  Brighter than my original ideas.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

I Like Thursday: It's Spring!

Really?  Is it really Spring?  The snow on the ground makes me think otherwise.  This latest storm seems to be blowing out, but as I'm writing this they still can't decide if we'll get 3-5" or 5-8".  We'll see what it looks like in the morning (update: just a dusting!  Whew.).  Propane tank was filled yesterday, so we'll have heat if the power goes again.

My favorite fabric place, Ryco, had a St. Patrick's Day sale.  I like what I got!  And that it's washed and pressed and ready to use.  The top photo is the fabric for my next quilt.

The bottom fabrics were just for me.  Too pretty to pass up (and the two left-side fabrics were less than $3 a yard!).

I like that we celebrated my dad's 80th birthday - a nice dinner out with the whole family.  We managed to find a place midway for all of us.  Dad had a great time.  Yay!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Post Project Cleanup

As I hit the tail end of a project (bound, just needs a label), I straighten up the sewing room and continue work on my long-term projects.  The bag of selvedges yielded another dozen or so triangles (I’m less than ten away from having enough to piece that quilt).  I backed a few more crumb hexies; I've just cut fabric for another two dozen.  My crumb bag is pretty full, too.  I may piece together some more hexie fronts with lots of blue and brown.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I Like Thursday: Some Color

We were buried in snow again on Tuesday. Knocked out the power at 11am. Since the sump pump wasn't running non-stop, the neighbor was kind enough to lend us some of the generator power.  So we chose to run internet and the freezer.  Power came on at 5am the next day.

As much as the storm was a drag, I liked that I could do my work most of the day.  I liked that the fireplace kept us warm (although I need to order more propane soon!).  And I do really like the snow plastered to the trees.  I got out for a brief walk on Wednesday and it was so pretty on the heavily wooded road.  (I didn't think to grab my camera!)

I like spring flowers. I bought the daffodils over the weekend. The scent on these are so strong they’re giving us both headaches. Not fond of that. But the color! Yellow! Green! It was so nice to see them unfold.

And I like the tomatoes and tea, too.

Did you know yesterday was Pi Day?  I observed the day by having a little Table Talk apple pie for elevenses.  A celebration for having a warm house and hot tea.

I've been enjoying Half a King.  Not sure how this book got on my reading list.  Easy prose, underdog protagonist, twists and turns, Viking-like world.  I've just reserved the other two books in the series.  I hope the weather doesn't delay them arriving too much.  I can't wait to read more.

I like the stuff I've been working on!  Unfortunately lack of power has been upsetting my sewing and blogging.  I hope to share stuff soon.

I'm sure there's far more interesting likes over at Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday.  Be sure to check them out.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

I Like Thursday: Creature Comforts

I like electricity.  And heat.  And running water.  And internet.  The storm on Friday was more than I had anticipated.  I was surprised when the Friday night dance was canceled.  Then the electricity went out at 5pm.  We were very lucky to have lost power for a little less than a day.  I was unprepared.

I like that the tree that went SNAP in the middle of the afternoon was well away from the house.

I like that my neighbor on the other side of the duplex had a generator and kept the sump pump running... which it did all night.  Whew! There would have been a lot of water in our basement otherwise.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Quilting Progress

I don't know why I thought an all-over quilting pattern would magically take less thread to quilt than quilting in each area.  I knew how much thread went into Sunshine.  And yet I bought so much less thread for this quilt.  So silly.  I'm taking notes:  it takes lots of thread to quilt a throw quilt.

Of course I ran out of the thread the day before the storm (more on that on Thursday).  I knew it was wild weather when I picked my car up from the shop, but didn't realize how bad it was until after I picked up the thread.  It was a harrowing drive home, with skewed traffic lights, getting detoured from closed streets, downed wires with branches or whole trees across the road.  But one must have thread to quilt!  (Well, except when one loses power.)  May this be a lesson - buy the correct amount the first time!

This video is for curious non-quilting friends and my mother, who wanted to know how I free motion quilted Sunshine on my domestic machine.  First is a close up of the basic swirl and petals of the repeating design I'm doing.  You'll see me point or move my fingers around during this video - I'm doing the design free-hand, and I point to help visualize where I'm going next.  It also helps to ensure I don't quilt myself into a dead-end.  The second bit of the video you can see I stop and start quite a bit:  straightening the quilt, moving my hands so the needle stays between them, and clipping basting thread (because my foot tends to get tangled if I sew over it.  Hmm...I wonder if I'd have better luck basting from the back side so I'd have less exposed thread on the front?

Monday, March 5, 2018

So Much to Say

Two Wedgwood videos in two weeks!  Who would have expected that?

Wedgwood was in a strange mood last week.  Wednesday morning she kept begging and whining for food and attention.  I finally picked her up.  She chatted non-stop for about five minutes.

I put her on the floor.  She meandered back to the cage.  Ten minutes later she was back on the floor poking her nose all around and burbling away.  Then zoom!  back to the cage.  She must have yakked herself out - she was quiet most of the week. 

It was a chilly Friday and Saturday with no power (it came back Saturday afternoon).  I packed Wedgie's cage with extra cozies on Friday night.  Saturday morning she was up at the usual time, begging for breakfast.  A cold house wasn't going to slow her down!  I hope the rest of you East Coast piggies are warm and dry.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

I Like Thursday: Baking, Reading, Sewing

I had another bake-a-thon last weekend.  Some of it was my New Year's resolution:  trying out new recipes.  I bought some ricotta and the skillet lasagna only needed half of it.  So I made ricotta cheese cookies with the rest.  I liked them, although they were a little doughy.

I also tried a recipe for caramel brownies.  Years ago I'd make something called Death Bars (yes, I have a plethora of oddly named recipes).  They required cake mix and caramels, which I rarely have on hand.  I've been looking for a version from scratch.  This wasn't bad, although a little dense and the caramels need some work.  But they're delicious.  I will play with it and see if I can get close to the original bars.

Monday, February 26, 2018


Wedgwood has been doing well.  We have good days where she's happy to interact with me and other days when she seems a little lost.  I'm looking for an older sow for company, but haven't had any luck locating a good match.  I will tell you one thing - two guinea pigs are far more entertaining than one.  Wedgwood may be warming up to me more, but I miss watching and listening to guinea pigs interacting with each other. 

The one fun thing that Wedgwood has developed since being solo is floor-time sprints.  She doesn't do them often and never for long.  I'm thrilled when I can catch her going full-tilt across the floor.  Thumpa thumpa.

It's been difficult to capture her antics.  I swear she knows when I'm filming, because she does her best stuff when the camera is not at hand. 

Wedgwood has an uncanny ability to orient herself soon after she hits the floor, traverses hardwood as fearlessly as carpet and is happy to explore any nook and cranny.  I regularly pick her up and carry her into another room.  If I put her on the floor, she explores locally for a brief time, then gets her bearings and takes off for home.  If I haven't already opened the gate, I need to rush over to the cage to let her in before she arrives.  I've left the gate open all day sometimes, but she very rarely ventures out on her own.  She does her most exploring on cage-cleaning day, when I've blocked access back up the ramp.  It's too bad - I'd love for her to do more exploring on her own. 

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Fixing Grommets on Acoustical Drapes

My most recent Drapes of Doom™ repairs involved some guesswork.  I was frustrated I couldn't find any examples online.  So I'm documenting what I did (and will update with any success/failure).

Removing old headers and replace with new jute
The backstory:  I volunteered to repair a set of heavy velvet acoustical drapes that are used by several dance organizations in the New England area.  The drapes are roughly 6 to 8 feet wide, and 14 to 16 feet tall.  They are well used.  The first set of repairs included splitting three very large drapes (16' across) into two narrower drapes so they'd be easier to handle (six 25-pound drapes are easier to put up and take down than three 50-pound ones!).  I patched holes and restitched hems.

I received 10 drapes for my next set of repairs.  I was asked to patch holes and deal with grommets that were pulling out of the drape headers.  This was more of a challenge.  I didn't want to sew over the metal grommets, wasn't sure how to shore up the weakness.  In the end, I left many of the grommets as they were.  Three drapes had more torn grommets than intact ones and the fabric around the others was tired.  I sliced off the entire row of grommets for those drapes, ripped out the crumbling jute, and attached a brand new jute header.  This required a full set of grommets to be installed.  That seemed to be the safest route to fix the drape:  removing all of the weakened fabric and jute, then add new.  The drawback was that it removed three inches from the height of the drape and required a full set of grommets.  Even though I was given the green light to do the modification, I wasn't sure if there'd be issues with a shorter drape.  (Although I think they've been happy with the modification.)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

I Like Thursday: Accomplishments

I liked this recipe for Marakesh Carrots.  In the end only made a half batch, which is plenty, since they say it should be eaten within three days.  I would add more dates.  Otherwise, it has a nice zing.

I also like this recipe for Cashew Chicken.  Rob had forgotten I had made it once before and said it was good stuff.  I should make it again.  Good thing - because this was again.

I do not like cleaning the bathroom and dusting the house.  However, I really like having them done.  I get to enjoy clean surfaces for a little while.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Is It Random Enough?

The curious thing about random quilts is that they're not really random.  When I first arranged my disappearing nine patch blocks I had a lot like this one:  three of one fabric, two of another.  I really wanted to have no more than one repeat of any given fabric (even better if I could get no repeats at all).  It can be a lot of work to "randomize" a scrappy quilt.

I managed to get all the browns spread out to my liking, although one block snuck through very similar to this one.  I didn't even see it until I ironed the finished block:  three of the same light grey strips.  Right next to each other, too!  Oh, well.  Even knowing it's there, I have to hunt for it.  I was not about to rip it out then search for a swapable square.

This may be the last progress post for a while.  The recipient knows what I picked for a pattern and fabric, but I want there to be some surprise.  The top is complete.  I hope to sandwich it by the end of the week, intending to have it quilted by the end of the month.  Wouldn't that be nice?

I'm at the stupid worry stage:  Is it big enough for a throw quilt?   (I compared it to my favorite afghan - same size.)  Does the binding color work?  (That was a late night panic that I should have picked something dark to blend the espresso/blue squares.  Did a quick audition - hated it.  Original choice is still the best!)  Will they like it?  (Oh, I hope so, but people who have seen parts of it think it's pretty.)  And my stitch length changed from 15 to 10 stitches per inch at some point while piecing.  Hmph.  I'm sure that will be fine, too.  At least I noticed to flip it back.

I need to stop worrying.  And... that's easier said than done.  I trying a new all-over free motion pattern.  Eek!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

I Like Thursday: Chocolate Browns

I like pastries.  Give me any kind of chocolate, pastry cream (or whipped or sweet cream), ganache, mousse, caramel, buttercream and I am a happy camper.  I stopped by White's to pick up treats for me and my Valentine.  They were delicious (and gone long before Valentine's Day).

I like that I'm living in a drape-free house.  With the latest Drapes of Doom modifications complete, they were finally shipped out on Friday.  Bon voyage!  I hope they've been all re-grommeted and ready to hang by tomorrow at The Flurry.

I like that I'm working on a quilt.  This one is primarily browns, creams and greys.  Actually, it has a lot of similar colors to that box of pastries.

I like figs.  Something my ex-husband got me into.  I just bought a container of them from Trader Joe's.  Yum.  And speaking of Trader Joe's - I like them too.  Do you have one near you?

Hmm... food and sewing.  Good stuff.  But now I'm hungry again!  Need to go occupy myself reading the other posts at Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lots of Nine Patches

The first part of creating a disappearing nine patch quilt is stitching together a bunch of nine patch blocks.  After making a pair of test blocks, I got to work cutting and sewing 225 squares.  It made a nice little pile on the floor all chain-stitched together.

Then all those squares became a set of blocks. The two top corners are what the blocks will look like once they're sliced and put back together.  Pretty cool - so different than the original block. It's neat what you can do with a bunch of squares.

Sharing with:
Freemotion by the River: Linky Tuesday
Sew Fresh Quilts: Let's Bee Social
Confessions of a Fabric Addict: Can I get a Whoop Whoop?

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Two Test Blocks

You don't know how excited I am to finally start this project.  I'm a little nervous, too.  Now I'll find out if my vision will survive implementation.  I did a couple of test blocks this week:  block sizes are correct, color layout is good.  I used a couple of fabrics we weren't sure about - one if fine, the other jumps a bit (and if you can't guess which is which, even better).  I'll probably throw in a few squares of those, just to give the quilt a bit more diversity.  I have four medium-brown fabrics that passed inspection and I'll use a lot of them.

Espresso cornerstones vs. blue cornerstones

Thursday, February 8, 2018

I Like Thursday: Lovely

I can tell that life is encroaching on my free time by the number of blog posts I publish (not many) and ones I have partially written (a few).  It's not a bad thing - but I feel a little out of control.  Plenty of happy stuff going on.

I can't believe it's been three years since I did my first Blind Date with a Book.  This time I pulled a book of ghost stories, named The Small Hand and Dolly.  I haven't gotten too far - I had to finish up the other book I was reading (a great series called The Broken Earth).  I like the prose; We'll see how the story unfolds.  So far so good!

I like my mom doing a happy dance.  I wish I had taken photos.  I handed over Sunshine to her on Saturday and she was just. so. excited.  OMG, that was fun.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


I mentioned back in December that we went to the Ipswich River Sanctuary to feed the birds.  I finally culled through the photos and videos to share some of my favorites.

I love, love, LOVE, feeding the birds at Ipswich.  The flutter of feathers.  The chirps and calls.  The brandishing and displays.  The little bitty pricking when their feet hold on to my fingers.  The flurry of activity.  Happy birds.  Happy me!

Chickadee in motion and a nuthatch picking the best seed

Thursday, February 1, 2018

I Like Thursday: Game Day Additions

Oh, a successful weekend:  a dance on Friday, Game Day on Saturday and most of the drapes repaired on Sunday.  Definitely an "up" week with lots of likes.

I like that I arrived in time for the pre-gaming hike, which is becoming a tradition for Game Day.  There is a wooded area behind the house with trails, a beaver pond and a waterfall.  Or I should say, there was a beaver pond.  The dam broke during the last storm and cleared out the whole pond.  The difference was stunning (wish I had before and after photos - sorry).

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Bit Less Doomy

The most recent pile of acoustical drapes are migrating from behind the couch towards the front door.  This is a good thing, because each army-green duffel bag moved is one drape done.

I can now add grommet removal to my list of skills.  The bowl of little brass colored rings has filled steadily over the last week.  Once I removed the grommets, I patched the spot with denim, so they're ready to be re-grommeted.  I also added iron-on patches to any holes I found and fixed a couple of hems.  Two headers had more torn or weak grommets than good one.  I deemed them unpatchable, ripped out the headers to replace them.  The very last drape is prepped for a new header tonight.  Yay.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

I Like Thursday: Snow Ball

My head has kind of been all over the place lately.  However, last weekend I really went somewhere - to Peterborough for the Snow Ball dance.  Loved the place we stayed; it was a cheery place.  Danced my tootsies off with lots of wonderful people.  It was just what I needed.

We stayed at an Airbnb.  I liked the way the house was decorated.  Every corner had something interesting to see.  I really liked this set of paintings on the wall.  Oh, if I could only make a quilt like that.  Hmm... may have to add that to my project list.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Frankensteined Batting

Top:  cutting interfacing.  Bottom:  ironed together batting
Years ago, I learned how to piece scrap batting by hand:  cut the abutting scraps straight with a ruler, then whip-stitch them together.  Years later I found out I could replace the whip-stitch with a machine zig-zag stitch.  Much faster with a flatter, stronger seam.  When I trimmed Sunshine I had more batting to frankenstein, but really didn't want to pull out the Graduate to stitch it together.

The last time I was at Ryco, I commented that I didn't want to switch machines to zig-zag the batting.  I was told:  why do that?  You can use lightweight iron-on interfacing to bond them together.

Really?  How cool is that?!?

I have a bunch of iron-on interfacing that has been tucked in a drawer for decades.  Goodness, I think I lived in Dedham the last time I used it.  Couldn't throw it out; it just takes up space.  No longer!  I cut it into strips about 1½" wide, pieced together my batting, placed the interfacing over it and ironed it together.

I was told to iron the interfacing to both sides of the seam, which I tried first.  I'm not sure I like how it feels.  The batting is smooth where the interfacing is, instead of the soft fuzziness I'm accustomed to for batting.  These scraps are long and narrow, so the batting is mostly covered by the interfacing.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

I Like Thursday: Ups, Downs, Arounds

It's been a flaky week.  Work has been strenuous.  I've spent time straightening up the sewing room.  It's the thing I do as I move from one project to another.  Prepping for a busy weekend and another busy week.  Whew.  But for now, it's time to relax and enjoy the things I like.

Before and after patches on the Drapes of Doom
I like that my rogue missing order of tea finally arrived!  Yay!

I liked taking photographs at the library (in case you didn't see the final photos of Mom's quilt).

I like that I have a home for Lighthearted Love.  I decided to give it to the library for fundraising.

I like progress on the Drapes.  Work has left me wiped out each evening, so I haven't made as much headway as planned.  But one down, twelve to go.  First drape was a learning curve with a new way of patching, but I think I've got the hang of it.

I like trying out new things - like ironing together my batting scraps.  Doesn't require pulling out my other machine to do zig-zag (just need to finish writing the post).

I like that I've started walking again.  It's been a very blobby few weeks.  The weather hasn't helped.  But I need to get moving again!

I'm heading over to Not Afraid of Color to see what good things other's have seen/done this week.  Check it out!

Monday, January 15, 2018


Officially done; all photographed, too.  Huzzah!  Between the weather, the time of year (my favorite photo spot is shaded) and the size of the quilt, I could not photograph it at home.  I brought it to the library to take pictures.  Looks like the library may be a nice outdoor setting, too.  I need to remember that for future shoots.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Solo Wedgwood Dilemma

Trying to keep her busy with hay and toys
Losing Boadicea was hard.  I mean, losing every pig has been hard, but in Boadi's case, she screwed up The Plan.  I am allergic to hay; I suspect that allergy is contributing to some health issues.  If one has guinea pigs, one has hay (everywhere) and working at home increases my exposure.  Orchard grass seems to be causing the least trouble, but I'd really like to give my body a break.  Wedgwood is supposed to be my last guinea pig.

Both Boadicea and Wedgwood had been selected because they were close in age to the guinea pig they were being paired with.  The idea was that they'd age out together, leaving no pig alone for months on end.  However, I managed to lose Cannoli and Boadicea far too young, which leaves a somewhat socialized Wedgwood by herself.  She had been a solo pig for years when I had adopted her.  From her shelter notes and what I witnessed with Boadi, it was clear she hadn't lived in the same cage as other guinea pigs.  

Guinea pigs are a herd animal.  I advocate they are happiest when they live with other guinea pigs.  Keeping a lone pig does not sit well with me for all sorts of reasons.  Wedgwood is doing pretty well, keeping her weight up, acting normally.  There are times, though, that she seems bored.  She hides a bit more.  She gets needy and extra whiny (this from a guinea pig that does not like a lot of human contact).  She sometimes gets destructive (chews her cozy).  Wedg wasn't the nicest to Boadi, but life is more fun with another guinea pig to pick on.  She certainly can't pick on me.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

I Like Thursday: Snow

It's been a quiet week, therefore not a lot of likes for me.  But be sure to head to Not Afraid of Color - I'm sure others have longer lists of good stuff.

I am thankful that it stayed cold last Thursday as it snowed all day.  We got over a foot of snow, but it was not heavy, wet snow to dig out of.  Yay!  Added bonus:  the electricity stayed on.  Everyone I spoke to in town had been worried about losing power.  A storm a few months ago had knocked people out for days.  None of us wanted to face that in the cold.

I like that the snow brought out the birds.  They flocked to the feeders as the snow came down and the wind blew.  I had to refill the window feeders at least twice during the day.

I like that I tried to take pretty photos of Mom's quilt on the snow... right up until it attempted to take off like a magic carpet.  That killed the photo session pretty quick.  Still waiting for some good weather.  Soon!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


My living room was a minefield yesterday.  I finally unstacked the pile of drapes to assess what repairs I'm doing.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

I Like Thursday: A New Year

Happy New Year!

I had so much going on last week, I skipped I Like Thursday.  This week things are a little calmer.  I guess that's my first like!  Ha!

I like the annual Cookie Party.  At one point we were all packed in the kitchen, cousins all decorating gingerbread houses and the aunts all laughing.

It was mayhem.  Happy, loud mayhem.  A good way to spend the afternoon.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Gnashing of Teeth and the Uttering of Oaths

"What is that?!?" I exclaimed at 9pm last night.  Rob chuckled.

I am three-quarters done binding Mom's quilt.  I had taken a break from the binding to bury and snip the last six threads from my final rip-and-repair work on the quilting (skipped stitches and an empty bobbin).  As I threaded the needle I saw the spot next to it:  pristine fabric untouched by the quilting needle.  Obviously, I stopped quilting this block too early.  How the hell could I have missed that?!?

I know how it happened.  I developed a rhythm to quilt each star and a consistent point to start and stop the quilting.  This was an early block; it started in a different spot.  By the time I came back to fix it, I was on autopilot.  Regardless, I am amazed I totally missed the unquilted area.