Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wedgwood Update

Wedgwood has been with us just over three months now.  She's really fitting in.  The little stinker still beats up on Boadicea from time to time, yet she hates being separated from Boadi.  Go figure.  It's like Wedgie feels the need to keep an eye on her.  It's pretty funny.

She's still very talkative - mostly whining, but occasionally there's some genuine wheeking in the morning.  Wedg is far more adventurous with food than Boadi ever was.  Boadi had to check with Cannoli every time I introduced new food.  She'd only eat it if Cannoli was eating it.  Wedgie has no such qualms.  If it's in reach, she'll eat it.  Her weight reflects that!  She is a meaty rodent.

Monday, August 29, 2016

It's Getting There

Progress, little by little.  I quilt four to five kites an evening.  They're not perfect, but when I step back and look at them, I say: hey, that's not bad!

It's been interesting.  Some thread that I thought would show up, doesn't. (I really thought orange creamsicle on light gold would show more.)  Colors that I thought would be overbearing, aren't (salmon pink on white).  I am so grateful I didn't try to quilting Key West Memories because I have fought with ever single screenprint kite.  They all have skipped stitches and shredded thread.  I had to rip the blue one out twice.  The last time I ran into problems like this, a smaller needle did the trick.  This time, as I quilted the very last Key West print, I discovered a larger needle prevented the skipping.  What a pain!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Puffy Pigs

After a week of running the air conditioning nearly non-stop, the cool evenings earlier this week were delightful.  We've put up the window fans overnight and have had a couple of mornings where the house was in the low 60s.  Wonderful.

The result is puffy pigs.  When I pull off the cover over their cage in the morning, I find round rodents instead of the flattened, stretched out pigs I've witnessed most of the summer.

Wedgwood proved difficult to photograph.  So Boadicea is my only hot-weather and cool-weather model.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Wacky Back

I had a few extra kites when I finished the front of the quilt.  I wasn't sure I wanted to make another quilt with the extra pieces, so I stitched them together for the backing.  Certainly a lot more complicated than a single piece of fabric.  It's a pretty odd composition, but it's backing!  Who cares.

Usually I stitch labels on after I'm done with the quilt, but I thought this would be fun to piece in.  Dated it before it's complete - now I have to have it done by the end of the month.  A week and a half would normally be plenty of time.  But I've been slowed down with fever and fatigue as well as some issues with the quilting.  It's progressing - I have a good chunk of time next weekend.  I should be able to wrap it up by then.

Sunday, August 21, 2016


I doodled in school.  I remember the edges of my notebook pages being covered with geometric patterns.  I don't do so much now.  It seems like a waste of paper and ink.

Doodling, however, is very useful with freemotion quilting.  It certainly helped with Parrot Plumes.  So I've been pilfering our recycle bin for any paper with blank space.  I went through a stack of it doodling what I want to quilt on the kites.  There are several designs I like; a few I might be able to do without too much trouble.

The quilt is sandwiched, ready for quilting.  The edges will be quilted with the walking foot, but the rest I hope to FMQ.  Time to try out some of these designs!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Kite Notes

I've learned all sorts of things piecing together my second kite quilt.  First, I am terrible at guessing yardage.  If I calculate it, I'm at least in the ballpark.  But if I'm just guessing - I need to add half a yard to a yard more than what I think it should take.  In this case, it was the background black I had bought specifically for this project.  Luckily, I had enough to do what I wanted.  But had I laid this out slightly different I would have been way short.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wellness Check

I don't take my guinea pigs to the vet for annual check-ups.  I keep pretty good track of their health.  I do take them for a baseline visit when they're healthy, sometime soon after I adopt them.  I made that mistake with Bertie - her first visit was after she wasn't feeling well.  Her illness was subtle in the beginning and I believe baseline records would have helped.

Boadicea needed a refill of arthritis medication, so I took the opportunity to bring them both and get Wedgwood on the books.

I'm so pleased that these two are good travelers; they don't fuss and are fairly calm.  It makes the trip go so much faster when pigs aren't screaming at each other because no one wants to share the cozy.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Messy Progress

I am so excited to be sewing this quilt after weeks of fussing with colors and layout.  I liked my initial design but it felt like it was missing something.  I was trying to make it easier to square than my first kite quilt.  In doing so, I lost some of the haphazard feel of the original, which is what I like about Shattered Kites.

I tried several radical changes and hated them all.  I liked my original design best.  Eventually I added some black across the middle and made one of the edges a bit more jagged.  Of course, moving one colored piece is never that simple.  Shifting or removing one kite cascaded into moving three or five kites to keep the colors balanced to my liking.

Working this quilt is a little like piecing a jigsaw puzzle.  I took a photo before I started.  Pin, sew some seams, then lay it all back on the floor to make sure it still matches the photo.  Pin some more and repeat.  It's a lot of up and down, but it seems to work.  Is there a better approach?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Few Days Away

Haven't been writing much because I was busy on vacation.  What fun!  First was a few days on the Cape for a family reunion.  Caught up on all the latest news with aunts and cousins.  The weather behaved and we had a dry, comfortable, bug-free cookout on the beach. 

I returned home to pack for a few days away with Rob.  I lined up a local guinea pig sitter so we didn't have to ship them off, too.  Joy!  That made things so much easier.  You can see how upset Boadicea was as we were leaving.  Bye, Mama, have fun.

Our destination was Northampton; we really like the area.  We met up for dinner with my sister and  brother-in-law.  That was a treat.

There was no real agenda - just kicking around the area, enjoying the beautiful vistas and terrific weather.  Do you love that oversized Adirondack chair?  I had to jump up to get into it.  I do not have a smart phone; I can't remember the last time I attempted a selfie with my camera.  So this one looks about as ridiculous as we felt doing it.  But hey, we're both smiling!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Yeah, my family knows me.  The pop-up birthday card is from my aunt.  I love the details on the hand-crank sewing machine.  And the mice are so cute.  The mug is from my mother.  It weighs a freaking ton, but will hold a wonderful amount of tea.  And llamas!  I love llamas.  The back of the mug proclaims: Think Happy Thoughts.  How can I not with that mug?

Yup - I just smile looking at it.