Jul 26, 2014

Some progress

Today I am making some steps to get chevron quilt for my great-niece started.

I drew my "road map" up in EQ yesterday.  Actually that almost helped more than reading through the tutorial stuff in a way.  I have a clearer picture in my head just how it goes together now which made it a bit easier to put the sections up on the design wall.

The actual pieces are below.  Never mind that light green at the top though it is kind pretty, LOL.  That is just the other side of the table cloth I picked out.  I need the flannel side but paid for both.  There is one more row at the goes at the bottom but I was already skirting the baseboard a bit.  Since I don't need those pieces until the quilt is more than half sewn, I just set them aside for now.

The quilt top is sewn  "on point" or in diagonal rows.  You may be able to see that from my printout.  I find it easier for me to track what each row is supposed to look like if I fold the paper along the row lines I have marked  isolating each individual row as I work on it.  That way I can verify that I have not only the right color in the right order.  Also on this quilt I have to be concerned that I keep them going horizontal, vertical, horizontal, vertical.... and so on. Sew the first 7 or 8 rows and then start working from the opposite end, then join the two halves.

I have also decided that I am going to add quarter square triangles to three sides of the quilt as I believe it will make it easier to trim down the unneeded sections later.  The bottom won't need them but I really like the print for the top row and I don't want to cut it all away!!  I already have had the printout folded where I think it will need trimming.  This idea should also provide some stabilization of straight of grain.  Not entirely but some.  Still need to cut those out but that is no biggie.  However, the more I look at this, the more I think I want to extend the zig zag out a bit on the left hand side.  I have plenty of the fabric leftover so could easily cut those in the colors for that edge.   That would allow me to keep more of the fabric on the right hand side as well.  Yep, doing my own thing.  HMMMM

Since Skyler is a horrid string chewer, I have declared the design wall off limits.  Out of the master bedroom please!  I moved his litter box out of the master bath and back into its original position in the laundry room.  I already have told you that Skyler is constantly in the kitchen regardless of the dog's presence, in or out of his crate.  I think he will be able to get to the box when he needs it since he no longer gives the dog a wide berth.  Heck, he is on the attack, plunking the poor dog on the nose through the gate grate or going right after him.  Never mind that he has no front claws to inflict any real damage.  Oscar, more or less, turns around and walks away with a "whatever, man" attitude.

Oscar is outside most of the day unless it is raining or storming. When inside he roams around the kitchen and laundry room,  Now he gets in the living room with supervision for a few hours in the evening.  They are just a foot or two from each other vying for "most favored nation" status with me if we are all in the same locale.  Put a towel on the couch for the dog to get on and then Skyler wants to sleep on it to make it smell like cat.  Oscar just wants to sniff and track Skyler wherever he goes even if that means tunneling under the kitchen chairs.  Good thing he has short legs, LOL.  These two crack me up!

Okay, sewing decisions made.  Go pull the fabric bin and finish up that cutting that I didn't know that I needed to do.  Email or message Baby R's Nana to show her what I am up to as well.

Jul 24, 2014

Thursday check in

Time marches on.  It has been a busy week.  When am I not busy lately, huh?  I guess I should be reporting about the days when I just sit like a mugwump on the couch, LOL.

We had a good group at Bama Belles on  Tuesday. A few folk of the regulars were missing, one to vacation and one to illness but others that we don't see quite as often were there.  A few picture to share:

 Valera and Donna will working on the Fiddlesticks tops from the donation fabric.  It looks like we will definitely get two tops out of the deal and I know that there was more blocks left though I have not counted up how many towards another.   When I took the picture she had three rows to go.  Donna was well on her way with the 2nd one but she works 2nd shift so always has to leave around lunch time.   My version stayed essentially bagged up while I worked on strip sets for Baby R's Chevron Quilt though I shared how differently these look with the strip color choices, pulling up Lois' blue strip version for them to see as well.  (see the last meeting post)

Bridget had finished her embroidery roll project like mine using the directions I had written up some time back.  I love her fabric choices!  She was also working on one of those Red Hen Fabrics Thread Catcher though I think that the better instructions are posted on their etsy site, if I remember correctly.

This was her bag exterior.  Bridget was also working on a lovely cross stitch piece but I didn't get a picture of it.

I had errands to fun on the way home from the meeting but while I was there, I got the first 6 strip colors sewn.  The other three I did this morning.  The last strip did not photograph well but it is there, a yellow and blue tattersall plaid.  I am using the tutorial Crazy Mom quilts but as I look at some of the pictures I can't help but wonder what it might look like if you filled in with quarter square triangles instead of trimming it all down at the end.  If I can get a handle on how to draw it up in EQ, I might try seeing if it would work.

I had a few errands to run today around lunch time and came home in a rain shower.  Oscar came in and then Skyler was getting a little aggressive and would not vacate the kitchen or if he did, it was not for long.  Turf war with these two, more on Skyler's part than Oscar's.  It was his house; now he has to share parts of it.  The other night, I was just tired of Skyler's insistence about getting in Oscar's space.  I moved the gate back to the hallway and said "you two work it out".    He took the high road, LOL.

Meanwhile, Oscar first grabbed up Skyler's catnip mouse.  I got that away from him only because he latched onto Mz Mouzie.  It sits on the fire place hearth and Skyler occasionally plays a bit with the tail.   No way does he drag it around like he once did because he never did like my making the tail bigger and thicker when he bit through the last two.

Oscar on the other hand tore into that little hat.  Off it came.  Then he was working on the apron strings that also has the arms.    He was flinging it about or dragging it by the tail.  Poor Mouzie doesn't stand a chance.  I took the apron off and also cut the ribbons away from the ears, not wanting him to swallow it. Once the stuffing starts coming out of the sock, I will have to take it away from him but for now he is having a ball with it.    To date, it has lost its beady nose and Oscar is working on the eyes.

AND of course, like all of his toys or wanna be toys, it ends up in his crate.  I toss it, he chases but it always up back in there.

Lately he has taken to running off with my yard work tennis shoes (or my slippers) if I happen to leave them by the laundry room door.    If you hear any clunking around in the laundry room it is him trying to carry off the shoe.  He was gnawing on the pull tab on tennis shoe but so far only one has made the trip in there.  I thought they outgrew that stuff when they were puppies??

And sew it goes.  No finishes, just barely started is more like it.  Little sewing but I'll take whatever time I can lately if the inclination is there.  Would that I could just do like Samantha on "Bewitched" wiggle my nose like a rabbit and have some of those household jobs one!

Jul 18, 2014

Checking in

Before I get the "are you okay?"  inquiry,  just busy, inside and outside the house.

Outside:  I have weeded, hoed, chopped, sprayed all along the edge of the bank in back.  It took me a few hours over two days to get down the row swear that kudzu is like a phoenix rising from the ashes.  You think the roots are dead and then when you start hacking it, you discover that the little sprouts that are coming up are springing off the stuff you thought was dead and gone.  Not only will it trail on top of the ground sometimes at close to a foot a day and attaching to whatever it can find to attach to, it also grows outward underground.   Some of the roots are about 1/2 or more in diameter and it is like hitting rocks with the hoe.  Also you have to be mindful that there are low spots, animal holes, fire ant mounds and where you see the kudzu is generally off the edge of the bank.  You can't get too close and I sure don't want the riding lawn mowers going anywhere that close to it either!

I've swept and I've raked attacking the dead leaves from around the bushes on the front.  Now that the stuff has dried out, I can see where the pieces were left behind when Robert pruned the bushes. The side by the a/c could still use some attention but that is not happening for a few days.

We had some rain (1 inch to be precise) with more due in tonight and tomorrow.  All the rain did is encourage the fire ants to start digging.  I treated a few of the mounds that were in my path to the brush pile and in the backyard where Oscar could get in them, once he was in for the night last night.  To be honest I do not know which of those two awful things I hate worse, fire ants or kudzu.  Maybe the ants as at least kudzu has a few useful purposes.  Very few, to my way of thinking but you can make baskets and wreaths, use it for silage, make jelly out of the blossoms which tastes faintly grape-like I am told.  Fire ants??  I know God made them for a reason but tell me what it might be.

Inside the house:  well, all that yard work makes for more laundry with sweaty clothes.  I am caught up now though, until I decide to out and do something silly like clean up the utility shed or vacuum out the car, LOL.   I've cleaned, cleared and shredded paper stuff from his filing cabinet but mostly I was looking for a misplaced paper that I need for the HHS paperwork I need to file.  Found it!

Tuesday I waited past the time the donation truck was supposed to come pick my stuff up.  They finally showed after a phone call an hour later.  Among the things I parted with was DJ recliner.  No one, including the cat, sat in it.  Remember how he always wanted in there with or without DJ??? It was like he knows that someone is missing.  No fun sitting there if you didn't have to fight with Kitty Daddy for squatters' rights??  Anyway, the handle was a bit hard to operate and it always took up so much room in the living room.  I didn't need to keep it as a shrine to my husband.  Anyway, I was up moving around the remaining pieces of furniture and vacuuming at 9:30 Tuesday evening.  Skyler just wanted to know where the love seat was headed and when the kitty eating machine was going to stop.  There is only so much you can do with a fire place and entertainment center stuck in place.  Still, it looks a bit more spacious in there.   I have since discovered that it must be a position in the room sort of deal rather than the love seat itself, as he has been sleeping on the coach now that I switched the two around.   He can see the kitchen and whatever Oscar is doing or he can see me coming up the hallway.

What else? No sewing this week though I have been thinking about it-----a lot, LOL.   The house is reasonably cleaned after that vacuuming and sweeping binge.  I didn't wait three days to unload the dishwasher.  Cooking has been more of a re-heat thing as I try to get the freezers emptied out a bit but I guess that is the beauty of leftovers.  I did make some spaghetti sauce in the crockpot the other night thinking I would make some lasagna when we  had a couple of cooler days.  Like do it in a couple of loaf pans, maybe??  Didn't happen but only because I had another bit of ground beef something thawed out.  It may morph into something else by the time I decide to use it.

I have made a decision about what I want to do for an upcoming hop and ordered what I need to make that happen---that took care of a few hours this morning but then I had already decided no outside stuff today.   I have a list going in my head of what I need to do sewing-wise.  I doubt that two of them will be completely done in time for my upcoming trip but there is truly no rush on either of the gifties, really. USPS works for me and buys some time.

 I did manage to cut out Lily's baby quilt though after hoeing the other day, it was a little hard on the hands to use that rotary cutter.

What am I doing with these?  Well, the strips should go pretty well with the wall hanging I made her with the aquas.  The #8 strip was one that I used in it while the others are mostly from the two 5 yard quilt packets that I got some Bolines of Indian Creek when I was in Pigeon Forge earlier this year.   AND I am going to make a chevron quilt with them using the tutorial from Crazy Mom quilts.  A white solid will go between the strips.

Would you like to see a few more adorable baby pictures?  Lily is home now with her folks as of Tuesday I think it was.  My sister is an OB nurse but not at the hospital where Lily was born.  Her hospital uses the Bella Baby Photography while the hospital they used is getting the service in August.  I think as a special favor to my sister they arranged to travel down and take some posed, professional pictures of our little peanut.  I put on my own watermark but they get all the credit for these wonderful pictures!  You should not be surprised to see her wrapped in the Pittsburgh towel as Daddy is a big anything Pittsburgh fan (family is from there originally, I believe).   I have Mommy's permission to share these.

AND then we have the critters to contend with:
Case in point, Skyler does not respect boundaries, at all.  Look at him!   I put that gate up to keep YOU out, Mister, when Oscar is IN.

Yeah, like on THAT side looking at Oscar from afar, not right in his face.  I have considered just taking the gate down and letting him chase that nosy thing through the house.  Thing is, Oscar would head right for Sky's food bowl and you don't feed Skyler dry food on demand.   Treat bites, yes but not dry food.  Oscar still goes at the fence every once in awhile barking like crazy but other times they are both walking around the kitchen table sizing each other up.

Oscar meanwhile has the cute thing down to a science.  I still am not sure what his signal is for needing to go out  to do his business so periodically I open the back door and "come on, Oscar, let's go out".  He inevitably lays down on that throw rug, and shows his belly and almost dares me to make him go.  Of course, it almost always works making me one of the most indulgent mamas around.  One look at those big brown eyes even with me being on to him, LOL.

If it has quit sprinkling, I think I'll take my dog for a walk.  If I don't have to referee these two, I might even think about sewing.  Stranger things have happened, LOL.

Jul 13, 2014

before and after

Busy day today and I am afraid that Oscar is getting short shrift in the walking department today.  No trip into the park and he will have to settle for a couple of trips up and down our lane.  I'm tired!  LOL.  I did go out and toss his little tug of war toy around a bit in a semblance of "fetch" so maybe that will help?

That bush I showed the other day that needed some cleaning up around?  Here is "before",  the one dead center in the photo.

After I got the loppers and rake out and wore myself out!

Once I got showered and cooled off then I decided to box up some of my cookbooks for donation.  Center Hope's truck is coming on Tuesday to get some other stuff I had phoned about so I thought now was a good chance to weed them out.  There are two more small boxes in the car as well.  One is going to Friends of the Library and the other, a donation bin.

Essentially I was able to clear out most of this bookshelf but then some of it is shifted to the other one.

I can tell that there is a difference even if you cannot----downsizing.  One whole shelf and half of another were emptied out.  Yes, I shifted more back in.  A few more may be going as well as all those cooking magazines as they sell those at Friends of the Library too.  I just don't feel like sacking them up at the moment,  LOL.

Yesterday was guild day.  It was so neat to walk in and see all the quilts hanging, decorating those walls at the center.  Not that I had one to share but that was my choice.  There is another challenge for the second half of the year that has a Proverbs theme.  Jill passed out envelopes that contained a proverb, mine being "Don't judge a book by its cover".  So I make an object like a quilt, wall hanging, art piece that represents that in some way.  I forget now what the other 3 had but it should be interesting!

We also drew for the opportunity quilt and it went to someone from the Birmingham Quilt Guild.  A couple of our members knew her.  Only takes one ticket!  I am not sure if I had a picture of the quilt finished up but it used that Granny Square pattern from Blue Elephant Stitches' blog.  I have a few blocks made for what will probably be a donation quilt at some point using the same pattern.  It is a fun one to make really.

I stood in for the secretary Irene, returning the favor as she covered for me during my term at one point.  When she told me (because I needed her minutes for the newsletter inclusion) and the President that she would be unable to attend, I volunteered.  After two years in the job, I thought I might be the most logical choice.  

The girls and I had lunch out and then went on to Ashville since the three of them are all doing the quilt shops block of the month.   I elected not to go shopping.  Don't need anything at the moment except some Frixion pens and it can wait.  Still, nice to have a girlfriend day.


My sister told me today that it is okay with my niece if I share a picture of my little great niece.  She did have to have a surgical procedure On Thursday.  As of last night she is recuperating in a transitional room so her parents can tend to her but with staff near by.  Initially they said she might be discharged tomorrow but my sister will confirm that later.

So here is Lily with her daddy.  What a cutie pie, huh?  I'll get to meet her in person next month.  

About time to scare up something for supper.  The idea of cooking has little appeal (What? and I have all those cookbooks to help me do just that???) because it is so blamed hot or I just finally got cooled down, one or the other.  The appetite slacks off when it gets so warm and nothing really even sounds good.  HMMMMM