Monday, October 30, 2017


Although there were a ton of checkerboard squares to do (160), they assembled pretty quickly.  I had a big pile of them all chain stitched together.  They required less trimming everything else I've done so far.  I'm sick of trimming and still have a ways to go!

The most interesting thing for these pieces was the ironing.  Instructions were to snip (I just pulled apart) the middle of the four-way joined seam so that all seams could be pressed towards the right.  I liked how it turned out.

Birds of the Air mini-block is next - then I get to start assembling the quilt.  I can't wait!

Sharing with Linky Tuesday.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Past Pignics: Pig Piles

This oatmeal box is just so fascinating.
This is the second post in a series of past Boston Pignics.  Today's focus is the cuteness of pig piles.

Guinea pigs are herd animals, and we get to see the dynamics at pignics.  If one pig finds something interesting, then it must be good.  And if it's good, then everyone wants it.  I will often hear squeals of indignation or discomfort as too many pigs try to stuff themselves into a cozy or a pigloo.  As you can see, oatmeal boxes are popular - there's already two pigs in there.  The other four pigs look like they're awaiting their turn, or maybe taking bets who will get ousted first.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

I Like Thursday: Dancing and Day Off

This is what I looked like for most of Sunday,
which is why I took Monday off
I had an up and down week last week (and didn't get a chance to do my I Like post).  But this week has been going better.

I like having a day off, which I did this Monday.  Slept in late, had a leisurely breakfast, am writing this post.  I will get to putter and sew and write some more and walk.  I took the day off because I lost the weekend to my next like...

I like contra dancing (as I've said before).  I really like the Fall Ball, which is a 12 hour dance, running from noon to midnight.  Four bands and callers, each play most of a 3-hour set.  I made it until 9pm before calling it quits.  I think I missed only two dances out of the three sets I attended, and my fitbit says I did more than 17 miles.  I'd believe it!  My calves are still hurting.  And that's why a good portion of Sunday was spent on the couch.  Totally worth it.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


I only need 31 pinwheels in this quilt.  It's the smallest number of pieces I've had to make.

I tried another new method to create all of the half square triangles (HST).  I needed four 1½" HSTs to make each pinwheel.  So rather than cutting a bunch of small triangles or even squares, I started with a 4¾" square.  I layered the square of contrasting colors right-sides together,  then sewed four seams a quarter inch from the diagonals.  (It's hard to see in the photo below, but there's a pink X across the back of the blue piece.)  Once it's stitched, I cut the whole thing into eight pieces.  I now had eight HSTs to make two pinwheels.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Past Pignics: Several Pretty Pigs

<gasp> It's a pignic!
The Boston Pignics have been around since 2003.  (Gads - really has it been that long?)  Which is several years before I started blogging.  While digging through old photos, I thought it might be fun to post some from the early years.

These are some of my favorite pigs pictures prior to 2010.  A few photos had the pig's name on it - I've named those and any others I can remember.  It's funny how many pigs I can still match with their human (but don't ask me to remember their human's name!).

Guinea pigs come in so many colors and fur types.  I recall the Fabio orange pig (alas, no name) belonged to a large herd of pigs.  The short haired sleepy pig in the grass was Wheatie; she came to several pignics.  I love the colors of her coat.

The grey and white one is Simon.  He came for a few years, as did the pair in the next picture.  The creamsicle colored one's head tilt never slowed her down.  The handsome long-haired pig was named Wally.  What a face!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

I really like oatmeal cookies and bars - I think it's the texture.  I first made these bars late last year.  I was drawn to them because the chocolate layer wasn't made with sweetened condensed milk.  And yet, look at that fudgey center!  The original recipe had more chocolate than oatmeal and they were really thick.  So my version uses a different pan and <gasp!> reduces some of the chocolate layer.  I know!  How could I even contemplate doing that?!?!  So feel free to ignore my recipe and head right over to the original.

But I wasn't done with my tinkering.  Since I cut out some sugar, I wanted to boost the flavor.  I added some cinnamon and coffee to it.  I used salted butter, so I skipped adding any to the recipe and opted for sprinkling a little sea salt on top just before baking.  My bars ended up with a soft mocha center and a crisp crumbly cinnamon-y crust and topping.  Not bad.  I like it.  Maybe you will, too.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I Wasn't Ready

I knew with the diagnosis of kidney issues that Boadicea's days were numbered.  She had gained some weight last week, had been annoyingly cranky, and although she looked uncomfortable and ate slowly, she had mostly been herself.  On Saturday we refilled her pain medication and brought home a second one to keep her comfortable.  Sunday morning Boadi woke as her hungry cranky self, but after breakfast she started to fade.  By Sunday evening she was too weak to do anything.  We lost her on Monday morning.

I wasn't ready.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


Next part of Mom's quilt:  chevron pieces.  Yeah, these took a bit longer than I anticipated.  Once again I got the dimensions all mixed up.  Luckily I caught it before I cut my first piece.  But I was so confused I had to cut it out on paper pieces before I got it straightened out.  Whew!

I cut a few pieces, sewed them together and got a feel for the assembly before I started cutting fabric in bulk.  Even then, I only cut the blue and brown, sewed all them together before cutting the straw colored fabric.  Again, a few test pieces and viola!  Looked like good chevrons.  I went to town churning out the rest of the 124 pieces.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

I Like Thursday: Art

A busy weekend, not feeling well, dealing with Boadicea's ailments (she seemed a little better yesterday) and making more tomato sauce has pretty much sucked up all my free time.  I have stuff I want to blog about - just not enough time to sit down and write!

But it's Thursday - and I'm looking forward to joining Not Afraid of Color's I Like Thursday.  It's a bright spot of the week, focusing on some of the simple things that make life worthwhile.

I like my pumpkin lights.  Went to hang them up lights didn't work.  Sadness.  But Rob got a new string and they look good as new!

(I also like that I have birdies at my window feeders.)

I liked the Paradise City Art Festival.  This is where I lost a good chunk of my weekend.  I spent time with my mom and sister gawking at all the beautiful art.  I wanted to take so much of it home with me.  So much bling.  Crazy needle-felted clothing that was gorgeous (it was technically called "wearable art" - which it really was).  Lots of neat ceramics and outdoor art.  We managed to cover all the booths in three hours.  I'm sure if we'd gone back through it we'd have seen all sorts of stuff we missed.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

I Like Thursday: October Already?

I like the cooler weather.  Unfortunately I haven't been out walking much - work, cooking, errands have been getting in the way.

But the cool, dry weather means my Singer Graduate shouldn't lock up and jump the feed dog gears.  Yay.  So in between piecing Mom's quilt I'm making coil bowls from the leftover dress fabric.  It requires a machine that does zig-zag - thus pulling the Graduate out of mothballs.  Turns out the dress fabric is heavier than the rayon I've used on past bowls, so it's proving difficult to work with.  Why am I not surprised?  But this is the last of that fabric - so happy dance! 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Sluggish Start

It's only the third of October and my free time this month is rapidly dwindling.  How can that be?!?  I may need to take some time off from work just to do all I want.

I'm excited to have started Mom's quilt.  I have 128 blue and cream triangles.  Goodness.  Next weekend's objective is to have 128 chevron pieces done.  I need to stop getting distracted (cooking, dancing, other sewing projects) and start cutting the next pieces if I want to hit that goal!

Sharing with Freemotin by the River's Linky Tuesday.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Making Rounds

Boadicea continues not to feel well.  Her attitude remains fairly bright, but her weight is low.

Sometimes I put Boadi on the floor after giving her the morning medication.  Usually she heads straight home.  Lately she spends several minutes checking out the nooks and crannies of the living room, ranging far wider than usual.  This last time she spent several minutes checking out the door to the deck.  She's also been attracted to my desk.  I have to shoo her away from all the wiring in the area.  Too much temptation for her!

She also follows me around the room.  It's pretty charming.  This day I had to herd her back to the ramp - I needed to get back to work.

Boadicea was rechecked at the vet last week.  There was more sludge, which made everyone unhappy.  Wedgwood was inspected by the vet, too.  The silly pig took a flying leap off the couch; we suspected she landed badly.  Wedge had been randomly crying and I wanted to make sure we weren't overlooking something serious.  The vet determined Wedg's right shoulder was sore and was told no more high jumps for her.