Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Remembering Wedgwood

When we adopted Wedgwood her name was Storm.  It was a good name - she was certainly a stormy pig.  But I named her Wedgwood, which fit this wedgy, whiny, grey and white pig.  

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Highs and Lows

I spent the day yesterday with a couple of good friends.  It was a lovely day - everything I had anticipated.  We discussed the ups and downs of life over mugs of tea.  We went for a hike in the woods.  It was pretty.  No leaves on the trees yet, but plenty of green moss.  We searched for a wrecked boat at the top of a hill (and found it too!).  We enjoyed good food and each other's company.  They day flew by; I wish we had more time.  Uplifting!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

I Like Thursday: Goodies of All Sorts

I like that my mushrooms finally fruited!  It's a small batch of oyster mushrooms; I'm so happy it finally worked.  They were pretty; much different than the usual mushrooms I get at the store.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Easter Candy 2019

I kept busy on Saturday (and a bit on Monday) making lots of chocolates.  Saturday it was a group affair with my friends.  My sister even made a late appearance, which was very cool. 

We do a lot of dipping.  Aren't all the centers pretty?  There's Oreo truffles, pumpkin cheesecake truffles, two types of buttercreams, cookie dough truffles and peanut butter balls.  I forgot to get mint Oreos this year, so we added raspberry flavoring to the plain Oreos I got.  We made some mint buttercreams instead.

Along with the pretty truffles, we made black and white paves, butterscotch nests, ginger nut clusters and toffee.  Everything came out beautifully.  

Monday, April 22, 2019

Happy Birthday Mabel!

According to her documentation, Miss Mabel is six years old today.  She likes long afternoon naps, still expects treats to be delivered directly to her.  Wedgwood's attempts to teach her to beg has been largely ignored.  When she's really motivated, she'll come down to the floor and mooch at whoever is in the kitchen.

Mabel acts like a little old lady some of the time.  In between she acts like a queen or a much younger guinea pig.  This is a pig that knows she's landed the good life.

Happy birthday, Mabel.

So - is it time for cake? 

Saturday, April 20, 2019

NYB H&B Blocks

The NYB block patterns I've been using come in three sizes (which happen to be labeled as my A, B and C blocks).  Six of the patterns were size A, two size B and two size C.  I can tack on another ring to B and C to make them larger, but I'm still hoping to use them at the size they are.  It depends on the quilt's final layout.  Therefore, of the 16 blocks I have left to make, I'm only making a few of the B and C sizes.

I made two blocks with merged patterns:  B's outer ring with H's center.  The upper two in the photo are H&B, the bottom blocks are a B and an H for comparison.

When I put the first one together, I followed the original assembly order, which caused all the seams to be ironed the same direction.  I had to deal with bulky points.  So I made notes on the paper pattern pieces to assemble B in the opposite direction.  And what did I do?  I stitched H in the opposite order, too.  So I have one block with bulky seams to the right, the other with all the bulk to the left.  Maybe if I made a third block, I'd get it right that time?

Thursday, April 18, 2019

I Like Thursday: NEFFA, Cake

I'm going to start this post with my last like of the weekend:  a last bit of peanut butter cup cheesecake.  This was my reward for making it through NEFFA.  We had left the festival too late on Saturday night to stop at White's Bakery, so we made a detour to Gregg's to pick up a slice of toffee cake.  Turns out they had the cheesecake, too (it's a special, not on their usual menu).  I was so excited to bring home a slice.  I saved it for my Sunday night treat.  Yum!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

NYB J Blocks

This is the last of the NYB patterns I printed out.  I still need more blocks for my sister's quilt.  The next ones I make will be a blend of patterns.  Several of the pieces are interchangeable.  I could modify a few pieces with my own design, too.  Let's see what happens when I swap them about!

I'm making the quilt based on a couple of different designs.  I just realized the design I was using to count blocks is one row longer than my quilt.  D'oh!  So instead of 20-24 blocks remaining, I'm down to a mere 16.  Plus I found a layout that matches what I want.  Even better!

Wow - I may be done piecing in May, then quilting in June.  I've warned my sister that although it should be done this summer, I may want to submit it to the Topsfield Fair.  In which case, she may not really get it until mid-October.  I've already had a few people encouraging me to enter it in the fair.  We'll see.  First things first - I need to finish it!

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Saturday, April 13, 2019

NYB I Blocks - Halftime Adjustments

I seem to say "These are my favorite blocks!" each time I finish another set of NYBs.  So for now, these are my favorites.

Don't they look like rays of the sun?  I like how they appear to be tucked behind each other.  Neat!  I puzzled over piecing the first one for a while, because of the angles.  I got the hang of it somewhere in the second block.

After laying out the first half of the quilt, I decided I don't want a whole lot of the really light yellows and blues.  I liked the bright yellows and dark golds best.  The rust red, blacks and purple do well, so I'll be sure to make more blocks with them.  My sister and I had picked a brown and a lighter fabric that had some dull green, but I just can't get those to feel right in a block.  I've set them to the side but at this point, I doubt they'll get into the quilt.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

I Like Thursday: Birds, Toys, Dancing and Sewing

I glanced at the feeder on Tuesday and thought the goldfinch was looking a little green and grey.  I know their summer colors are still coming in, but this one didn't look right.  Then he sang.  Ha - not a goldfinch, but a pine warbler!  I discovered they're the only warbler that visits feeders.  I've never seen one here before.  He's been back several times every day.

A titmouse visiting last spring had one back feather that stuck straight up off his back.  Very odd.  Tuesday I caught glimpse of titmouse that had a feather shaft sticking out in the same spot.  Same bird, I'm guessing?  I had thought it was the bird equivalent of bed-head, but I guess it's really stuck like that?  (I wanted a photo, but he was too shy.)

Sunday, April 7, 2019

NYB H Blocks

Another set!  This is the halfway point. Well - I will probably need several extra blocks to finish this.  But as far as I'm concerned, I'm celebrating.

These blocks were a pain.  Points upon points!  Bulky seams.  Lots of matching.  I like how they look, though.

I cut some border fabric and tossed what I had on the floor.  This is roughly what the top half of the quilt will look like.  First of all:  neat!  Secondly, I can certainly see pieces I'd want to move around.  That upper left corner is crying for another circle up there, so that's three or four more blocks I need to do.  Some of the lighter blue jumps more than I thought it would.  A few of the solid blocks just aren't working for me.  It's interesting how different the big picture looks compared to the individual pieces.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

I Like Thursday: Chillin'

Back to a short-list of likes this week.  A relaxing weekend of lots of sewing and walking doesn't generate a whole lot of stuff to show-and-tell.

I caught this squirrel just hanging out on the back deck, sunning himself.  He was so totally relaxed.  Usually they're all wound up and raiding my feeders.  Not this guy.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

NYB G Blocks

Finished these blocks over the weekend.  So simple, yet this design is one of my favorites.  They all ended up with a dark band through the middle.  I tried lighter colors on two of the blocks and it just didn't look right.  So dark it was for all of them.

The H blocks are up next.  They have some similarities to these, but with long, skinny points.  I'd like to have them done by the weekend - they'll mark the halfway point.

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