Thursday, August 30, 2018

I Like Thursday: No Snow Ball and Fungi

Kicked off this weekend with No Snow Ball benefit dance on Friday.  Unlike normal contra dances, there was no band (more money for the benefit, since there's no band to pay).  Instead, music is supplied by the caller's iPod, carefully paired to specific dances.  It's amazing what you can contra dance to:  lots of greats from the '60s  and '80s, recent songs I don't recognize, and some truly ridiculous stuff).  It works.  And you laugh.  Like dancing wasn't fun enough by itself.

I like the cooler weather and walking.  Of course it warmed right up again.  But I did get a little hike on on Sunday and found these fungi.  The first had an iridescent quality - it looked like a miniature polished wood stump.  It was rather striking in person.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Change of Plans

I was all set to practice lots of free motion quilting on the zig-zag quilt.  I had picked a bunch of fun designs.  But when I tried quilting the first diamond, I struggled to move the quilt.  The area was too large for the pattern I chose and the presser foot caught on the bulky sandwich.  Looking over my drawing I could see I was going to run into the same problem with most of these designs.

Well, that was unexpected.

My last quilt I did a lot of planning for straight line quilting until I switched to free motion.  This quilt is going to be the opposite.  Back to the drawing board, quite literally. 

Straight line may be better in the long run:  the quilt is already so busy, most of these free motion designs would only be visible on the back.

Saturday, August 25, 2018


I've written before how exhausting cage cleaning day can be.  It's really strenuous work since Mabel has been here.  First you need to explore as much of the floor as you possibly can, including the nooks and crannies that Mama yells at you for getting into.  Then, if you run out of places to go, you start chewing the grids to get up the ramp.  Mabel learned quickly from Wedgwood how to do this and has become the worst offender.  Bang!  Bang!  I had to put put a brick next to the grids to keep them in place because Mabel is so strong and persistent.

This video is a little long, but you can see how they travel all over the place.  I love Wedgwood's bouncy trot. 

I never know where they'll show up.  To top it off, Mabel is completely unafraid of a human towering over her.  I have to be careful to look where I step, or I could easily trip over her.

They're entertaining to watch as they tool around.  I need to allow extra time as I get distracted by them (and occasionally pull them out of trouble) while cleaning the cage.  I enjoy the diversion and we all get a clean, dry cage at the end of it.  Win-win. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

I Like Thursday: Family Weekend

I like the change in the weather.  Whew!  And it changed just in time to make ice cream at Family weekend.

My little ice cream churn doesn't get as much love as it used to, but I was very happy to give it a turn on Sunday.

The rules are easy - everyone must crank to have ice cream.  Everyone who cranks gets one spoonful when the dashers come out (and possibly gets to clean off the dashers - yum).

Thursday, August 16, 2018

I Like Thursday: Rain, Humidity and Green

Good grief, we've had nothing but rain and humidity for days.  The rain has actually been quite nice.  I enjoy listening to it while working.  Plus I am amused at the amount of curl my hair with all this humidity.  But I'm done - I want cooler drier weather!

The rainy weekend kept me in, so I sewed like crazy.  Love this!  I have the zig-zag quilt all sandwiched up; baby Homebase is together with backing and binding ready to go.  I'll probably sandwich it tonight.

I like my clean headlights.  I knew they needed it, but wow!  What a difference.  I also like my mechanics.  They've done some great stuff to keep this old car going.  At this point, the car doesn't owe me anything - but please, just a bit longer?  She's a great little car and I will be very sad when she gives out.

I like that I finally, finally got to go dancing after a six week hiatus.  Note to self:  don't wait so long!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Baby Homebase and Backing Progress

I sewed all weekend.  Every time I took a break to do something else, I'd find myself tinkering with a quilt within an hour or two.  How nice to have the time to work on them.

I love the baby Homebase quilt.  I'm already dreaming of ways to quilt it.  Binding fabric is cut and ready.  I'm currently designing a scrappy backing.  The plan had been to use the brights that I previously cut, but there wasn't enough variety.  I ended up using only about a third of those triangles, then dug through my stash for other fabrics to go with them.  

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Wedgwood Roller Coaster

Well, heck.

Wedgwood has been doing okay since her trip to the vet last month.  No veggies has been harder on me than on her.  We've had two short episodes of bloat, but otherwise have been doing well.  Mabel has been winning us over with her sly demands of lettuce on the side.

We returned to the vet for a recheck last week.  It was a disappointing trip.  I had been hoping we could surgically correct her stomach torsion.  However, the vet said she unwilling to do so:  research showed the odds were not great for recovery.  Wedgwood had x-rays taken, and to add insult to injury, had some scabs on her nose scraped off.  Not a fun time, but she was a very good pig.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

I Like Thursday: Birthday

I had a nice long weekend.  Visited friends, did some sewing, did some cooking (did lots of eating).  It was hard to go back to work!

I like the two fawns that wandered into the yard on Friday.  Aren't they cute?  Mama wasn't far away, carefully watching her twins from the edge of the woods.

I like birthday treats.  Was it wrong to have ice cream for dinner one night?  I don't think so (it was perfect for a hot day).  We managed to enjoy this trio of pastries over a few days (though we were tempted to eat them all at once!).  We found ourselves near the pastry shop again on Monday morning, and wondered if we should stop in again.  There had been mini chocolate tart we didn't see until after our purchase....

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Backing Zig-Zag

The front is assembled!  It's turned out a bit skinnier and taller than I thought:  it's 46" wide, and 72" tall.  But I'm not sure how to make it wider without making it taller.  Another whole strip would make it wider than I want (plus I'd have to make more triangles).  I was thinking of making some kind of border.  Would it look funny on just two sides?  I guess I could pull some off the top and bottom if I wanted to add it all the way around.  Bah.  But I love how it looks.  So maybe someone would be happy with a skinny, tall quilt?

Pressing open all those seams may  have been the right thing to do, but it was a painful process.  I'm pleased with the results:  my points are fairly flat and pointer than I had hoped!  I guess it was worth the occasional steamed fingers.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Zig-Zag Wins

I posted a few layouts for my triangle strings and asked for feedback.  My Facebook friends largely voted for the zig-zag layout.  I tried one more layout with these hexagrams.  Nice, but I kept coming back to my original design.  That's what I'm going with.

What I had originally called braided rows (or zig-zags) looked more like fish scales when lined up next to each other without shashing.  So I decided to pair triangles by the color of their long edge.  Many matched color as well as the width of that particular fabric.  I like how it looks.

Once I paired up triangles, the layout came together fairly quickly.  I've started sewing it together and may have a completed top early in the week.  These are thick blocks.  I figured the seams were going to need pressing in different directions based on the placement, so I thought it would be faster and easier to press them all open.  Ugh.  I forgot how much I dislike pressing open quarter inch seams.

Looking pretty good so far!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

I Like Thursday: Ins and Outs

It's Thursday again?  The summer is just flying by.  Time for some likes.

I mentioned Art in the Park a few weeks ago.  It's a series of art installations at Bird Park, all done by kids.  I went back last weekend and got a few photos of my favorites.  Among them were George and Martha.  They did such a great job with it!

I liked the trippiness of Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter's tea party, but the photos didn't capture all the little details.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Strung Out

I started these string triangles over three years ago.  Each time I finished a project that left more than a handful or two of strings and selvedges, I'd make a few more.  Some of my early pieces have no selvedges, until I hit upon the thought this would be a great way to use them.  I have enough triangles now for a large throw quilt, or possibly a twin if I augment it a bit.  I had to laugh - I went from not having enough pieces to suddenly the possibility of having too many.

I planned to do the braided look after seeing this quilt on Kit & Cat Quilts.  Close up it seems to messy and I wasn't sure I liked it.  So I tried something different for the last column:  string diamonds (which will need some kind of sash).  I love how the camera gives a different perspective.  Now that I look at the photo, the braids aren't looking quite so overwhelming.  Maybe put them all together?  Maybe add the strips like in that Kit & Cat quilt?

With all these triangles ready to go, I thought all I needed to do was assemble the mess.  But I suspect I may need to leave this on the floor for a while while I ponder possibilities (queue the complains of needing to walk ALL the way around it).  Sorry.  Maybe.

Which layout do you like?  

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