I am cuteness II

At some point a witty saying will materialize here. Right here. Watch for it.

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October 2017
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October 18, 2017

Cat Bullet

Sheesh… nag, nag, nag

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 12:00 pm

(editor’s note:   *sigh*  Purrcy has already staked his claim to the Halloween quilt.  Photographic evidence follows…)

Moooooom, When is MY quilt going to be done?   I’ve been waiting for you to work on this.  I think I’ve been very patient…

You keep saying you’re going to work on it to have it done before Halloween.    I really need to have this quilt to snuggle in because it matches my fur.  And it is getting cold in the house.

I guess that you DID make some acceptable progress last weekend when you got it stretched out and pin-basted…

But I’m not sure that you are working fast enough.   Chop, chop, mama.  Chop chop.

But don’t forget to feed us and play with us and clean out our litter boxes.    Why do you have to go to that “work” place anyway?   You would be happier if you could just stay home all day.

 

 

 

 

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October 9, 2017

Cat Bullet

Basting quilt with SKEEERRRSSS!

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 12:02 pm

It is time to baste the Halloween quilt. I found an interesting video a while back and decided to try this technique.

How to Sandwich a Large Quilt on a Small Table

It is worth watching the video just to read the commentary from the offspring/video editor.   Very Funny!!

In short, the technique involves taping down Skewers (SKERRRRRSSS) in a cross to determine the “center” of the table.  You then fold your backing, batting and top in quarters, and press the quarter lines in the center of each layer.   Using the texture of the skewers, you line up the center lines of the layers and then clamp the edges to the table.  This ensures that all layers are centered with each other and perfectly flat so that you can pin the layers together.

First things first, finding the center of the table and taping down the skewers.   I decided to use my metal BBQ skewers, mainly because I never use them to BBQ with.

Pretty straightforward.  I was careful to tape over the points to protect my fabric.   They really do make a nice ridge that is easily felt through the fabric.

I took my back fabric (seamed together so that it was big enough) and folded it into quarters, then laid it out on the table.   It was easy enough to line the pressed “center lines” and line them up with the skewers, but then I hit a snag because none of the clips that I had were big enough to cover the edge of the table.   I have some large hardware type clamps, but my hands weren’t strong enough to open them.  Yeah, those got tossed into the thrift store donation box at the end of the evening…

Isn’t the fabric pretty???  I really love this print – it is even beautiful from the back side!!!  Side note, though… the pattern/design of the fabric will be running cross-ways across the back of the quilt.  I didn’t have enough to cut it lengthwise.   Note to self:  Don’t buy directional prints for quilt backs…   It isn’t going to bother me, and anyone who makes a comment about it won’t be allowed to snuggle under the quilt.

I decided to go ahead and press the batting and top in quarters while I thought about what to do with the clip situation.

In this case you can see the backing stretched out fully, and the folded batting and top on top of that (but not unfolded from the quarters).

My original plan was to go buy some bigger binder clips after work today.  However, it occurred to me last night (while I was in bed) that I can probably use spring-loaded hair clips to hold the edges of the quilt down.  That way I can use what I already have and not have to shop.  Given that it is snowing like mad outside, I’m very much in favor of not leaving the house after work today.

So, there you have it.  Progress, of a sorts, has been made.  Once I get the quilt pinned, then I get to quilt it.  My Mom came up with the best idea for quilting design, so you will just have to wait until the big reveal to see what that will be…

 

 

 

 

 

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September 22, 2017

Cat Bullet

Friday musings

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 12:38 pm

(picture from the Botanical Gardens a couple of Octobers ago…)

Nothing to report here. First day of fall and it is 80 degrees. *sigh*

Some of the leaves are starting to turn color, and the nights and mornings are cooler.   Guess that I just have to be patient.

Nothing to report from a creative nature;  last weekend I added strips to the top and bottom of the Halloween quilt, but I really don’t like them.  I need to cut them back by half, at least, because they completely affected the focal point of the quilt.   I was just getting ready to work on that part when I cut my finger with a kitchen knife and had to go get “glued” at the ER.       At first I was a fan of the gluing, because it didn’t hurt at all.  Apparently, however, I am too moist for the glue to stick very well.  When I got home from the gym last night and removed my bandaid, the whole thing peeled off.   EEEEWwwwwww.   It didn’t start to bleed so I thought that I was going to be OK until I bumped it on the kitchen faucet.

(side note, maybe I should stay out of the kitchen since all I seem to do lately is hurt myself there…)

Anyway, I washed it up again with soap and water, then added antibacterial ointment and bandaged it up securely.   It looked OK this morning but hurts a tiny bit.

I’m afraid to go near fabric lest I ooze…

So there we stand.  Fairly busy weekend planned, but I’m hoping to get home tonight with enough energy to work on the Halloween quilt at least a little bit.

And a few blood stains might just add to the atmosphere, right??

(Botanical Gardens table with an interesting shadow pattern…)

 

 

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September 14, 2017

Cat Bullet

What’s new?

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 10:25 am

Well, sorry to be so long. Not much excitement here (other than random citrus items being left on park benches).  The summer semester was busy, but relatively uneventful.   The fall semester has started, and this year’s theme seems to be “Every instrument breaks down at the worst possible time.”   *grumble grumble*

With approximately 5,683  unfinished projects in my studio, of course the logical thing to do was start a new project.   But I encountered a quilt kit during the Rocky Mountain Quilt Shop Hop (start of August) and just fell in love with the Victorian themed Halloween prints.   I’m a sucker for bats, and my favorite poem is “The Raven” so when I found a kit that had both of those things incorporated, I had to acquire it.

Of course, being the obstinate person that I am, I couldn’t just follow the directions and assemble the quilt the way it was… oh no.  I had to redesign it  and make it more complicated.

I really love it!

The background is parchment colored and has Edgar Allen Poe poems printed on it.   The big blocks have “halloween-ish” quotes with lots of skulls, ravens and scrollwork.

I’m thinking that it is mostly done.  I want it to be a little bit longer, so I’m envisioning another strip of the parchment colored “dictionary print” (the one with the vultures) on the top and bottom.   I’ve got a fantastic orange halloween print for the backing and the binding will be the solid black that I used for the strips between the blocks.

I’m going to enjoy napping under this and hope to have it done very soon.

 

 

 

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August 5, 2017

Cat Bullet

Summer Mystery

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 5:21 am

 

 

So… I was walking across campus and found a lone lemon, abandoned on a bench. There are so many questions here..

 

Why did someone have a whole lemon with them?

Why did someone abandon the lemon?

Was the lemon part of a “do it yourself lemonade stand” kit?

Did they expect the squirrels to eat it?

Did they expect the squirrels to cut it up and squeeze it into their tea?

Was it “art?”

Were they lurking there somewhere with a video camera to see how people would react to the sad, abandoned lemon?

Did they expect someone to stare at the lemon in confusion, go into their office to get a camera and then return to take a picture of the lemon in order to query the internet about the presence of said lemon?

 

If the last was their goal, then achievement unlocked!

 

I’d love anyone reading this to propose their lemon hypothesis.    Because I’m totally stumped.

 

 

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August 3, 2017

Cat Bullet

Summer update

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:35 am

Well. Hello again.

 

Sorry to be so quiet, so long.   My motivation seems to run inversely proportional to the ambient temperature (translation:  my brain shuts down when it is hot).

In June, I traveled to Maine for a Quilting Retreat taught by the designer of the Day Dreams quilt.    It took me a couple of months to get all of the fabric pieces cut and organized before I left.  Also, I’ve never flown with a sewing machine before.   That was an experience…

I found Jaqueline to be the best quilting instructor that I’ve ever experienced.  She was very patient and was full of great techniques that I had never seen demonstrated.    She was also a master at demanding (and getting) absolute perfection from her students.  It is astounding how effective the phrase “I think you can do better” and a slightly disappointed look from her was at getting me to be more willing to undo something that was OK, but not completely perfect.   I’m fairly convinced that she has never uttered the phrase “Oh, that will be hidden in the seam allowance” in her life!

At the retreat, I started a new project called “Enchanting Stars.”   I love all of the bright colors and the crisp contrast between the blacks and whites.    I’m really pleased with what I got accomplished.

Part A:

 

I’ve started on Part B, but haven’t really accomplished anything significant since I’ve been home.   Maybe things will pick up again as the summer disorganization winds down and I get back into a normal routine.

I’ve been working on decluttering my house, which is always fun.  Too much stuff jammed into closets and the garage and on bookshelves.   Lots of trips to the donation drop-off location, and some progress has been made.

But there is always more to be done.     Kind of like life, right?

 

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May 18, 2017

Cat Bullet

Thursday afternoon

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 2:17 pm

Whew… sorry for the long delay in posting. Lots going on.  Trip to Dallas, bronchitis (cough cough), overgrown yard, etc.

I have been working really hard on Day Dreams.   A couple of weekends ago, I got the main part roughly together on the design wall.  It isn’t completely straight because it is just stuck up on the wall, but for the first time, we can get a rough picture of what the final project will be like.

Frankly, once I saw it, I was tempted to change the name to “I can’t believe that I made this!!!”   Yes, with at least three exclamation points.

If you look closely, you can see that it isn’t completely straight, but that is because everything isn’t sewn.  The center square is one piece, and the aqua/greenish outside with the 3/4 corners and the half circles is the second piece.   Currently the half circles are sewn into the border but the 3/4 corners are not.  I’m hoping to hit that this weekend.   They have lots of registration marks on them, so it will be relatively easy (HA) to get them inserted.

I did take some fun pictures so that you can watch the progress of the center square being put together…

 

So, all of those months of making the individual sections have really paid off.

What do I have to do now.

  • Insert the 3/4 corners into the outer (aqua) border. Time consuming and slow, but not hard.
  • Insert the inner square into the square hole in the outer (aqua) border.  Yikes.   Don’t want to think about it as it involves incomplete seams.    Practice makes perfect, right??
  • Add another small grey/white thin border with orange corner stones to the outside of the aqua border.  The pieces for this are cut already, so it won’t take too long.
  • Paper piece four more sawtooth borders for each edge of the square.   Fabric parts are not cut yet, nor are the papers ready to go.  Yikes…  If I don’t finish in time, it will be because of this step.
  • Another small grey/white thin border
  • One last solid border with the aqua fabric.  Not cut yet, but since it is just straight strips, it shouldn’t take too long to cut or sew.

At that point, the quilt top will be done.    I’m hoping to finish it before I start the next project for my summer seminar (next month).

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

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April 21, 2017

Cat Bullet

Weekend…

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:25 am

It is supposed to be chilly and rainy tomorrow (Saturday)… You know what that means:

QUILTING!!!!

 

 

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April 17, 2017

Cat Bullet

Monday report

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 9:19 am

Long weekend, lots of work.

I’m happy to report that the backyard reached a major milestone on Saturday. I got all of the garden tiers cleaned out!!! I’m very excited. There are still projects that need to be done, but as of Saturday, I’m no longer embarrassed by the condition of my yard. Happy Times.  :-D  :-D  :-D

Bonus, since I didn’t spend all day working on it, I wasn’t as sore for the rest of the weekend as I have been. That really helps with the mental state for sure…

In quilting news, progress was made on the Day Dreams quilt. Does anyone else get ridiculously proud of piles of trash? I use them to gauge progress.  This weekend’s pile was particularly pretty…

Fabric scraps from trimming edges, paper pieces pulled out from the finished arcs, etc.

I finished the four side arcs.  I think that they look really nice.

These will be set into the background which surrounds the center square.

I think the arcs went together pretty well, but I had problem when it came to joining the half-arcs.  I just couldn’t get them to line up perfectly, mainly due to too many layers to sew through at those points – the needle kept slipping off!!

You can see what I mean above the blue arrow that I added.  Those two triangle points should be perfectly nose to nose, but I couldn’t get it to happen.     I had to stop fiddling with it as the pieces were getting a little worn out from all of the sewing and unsewing and sewing and unsewing.      I’ll encounter this situation again on the 3/4 circles that are on each of the corners, so I have a few more things to try when I sit down for those.        I can live with what I have now for this piece, though, since it is just for practice.

Yes, haven’t I mentioned that this entire quilt is a practice piece???

Since I had a little bit of leftover time (OK, I was waiting for an episode of “Arrow” to finish that was playing in the quilting room), I went ahead and ironed the arcs for the 3/4 circle arcs and trimmed them to the edge of the pattern pieces.   They are all ready to go in my next quilting session.

Though I can see that I forgot to trim the ends off square with the paper, so I’ll have to do that first thing when I get started.

Happy Monday, everyone.  I hope that you had a productive weekend.

 

 

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April 10, 2017

Cat Bullet

Monday update

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 2:03 pm

Well, I didn’t get any quilting done this weekend. :-( Very sad. I’m being all responsible and everything and spending all of my time outside working on my maintenance-free yard. (grumble grumble).   Side note, it turns out that if you ignore a maintenance-free yard for several years, it will turn on you in a bad way…

Progress is being made, at least.  I got the big garden on the ground level cleaned out and mulched.  The roses are all pruned and fed (THANKS MOM!!) and I started cleaning out the next tier up.   I’m very sore today, as I have been for the past several Mondays.

No pictures of the yardwork, yet, because I keep forgetting to take them.   Maybe when I get all done.

I do have a quilting photo to share, left over from last week.  It occurred to me that some of my readers (HI MOM) might not actually know what process I’m using to make the pieces for the Day Dreams quilt.   It is called Foundation Paper piecing, and you literally sew the pieces of fabric to the paper pattern and then trim it to match the line.   Here is a photo to see the back of the piece, in the progress of picking out the paper after it is done.

I’ll be really honest, I kind of enjoy the process of picking out the paper.  It is relaxing.   You crease the paper pattern on the lines a couple of times before sewing and then you set your sewing machine to a really short stitch length.   By the time it comes to taking out the paper, they are willing to be removed easily.  I have a nice pair of tweezers that I use to get the remnants out without disturbing the threads/stitches.

There are lots of markings on the papers.  The arrows indicate the direction of sewing, the numbers in circles indicate the fabric choice and the numbers without circles indicate the order you attach the fabric.    Before you start sewing, you are given a list of what sizes of fabric pieces to pre-cut so that they can be attached to the paper with minimal waste.

Which leads me to a looming deadline… Before I leave for my fancy class this summer, I will need to have all of my fabric pieces cut and all of the paper patterns cut out and pre-creased.  Yikes… lots of work to do.   It will all get done at some point, but I will be very glad when the garden cleanup is finished so that I can just do “quick” maintenance projects outside for the rest of the spring and summer.

Oh well, I hope that everyone had a great weekend and got fun things done.  Happy Spring (or almost spring) depending on your local climate!!

 

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