Flowers

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

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December 2018
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December 20, 2017

Cat Bullet

Sigh. Update?

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 2:37 pm

 

Oh, dear. I really have been working on crafty things, but I haven’t taken any photos. I get down to the basement and dig into a project and just forget that there are blog readers that might want to see things…   So, as I describe things, you will just have to use your imagination for now.   Enjoy the lovely picture of Taffy above…

So, what have I been working on?

1.  Organizing the quilting room

I might have accumulated a bit of stash fabric.    *cough*     OK, I might have accumulated a vast horde of quilting fabric.   I’m weak, what can I say?   I see pretty colors or bright patterns or fondle something in a store that just makes my hands sing and I completely succumb.   A big part of the problem is that I hadn’t taken the time to organize the bigger pieces, so I couldn’t look through them easily, nor could I really remember everything that I had.    So, at Thanksgiving, my wonderful sister-in-law Ginger visited (OK, the rest of her family visited also) and she helped me decide how to organize things.    I ordered magazine storage cards to wrap the bigger pieces around and now they stand up on the shelves in my two white cabinets.  In (rough) color order, so now it is easy to see what I have.      I found such lovely things while I was dealing with each individual piece of fabric.      All of the precuts, fabric bundles and kits were moved into the drawers where the folded fabric used to live.    I think that this is a real workable solution to the storage problem.  Fabric pieces that are too small to be wrapped around cards will continue to be stored in color-specific plastic bins.   That system has worked out really well so far.

2.  Reduction of Magazines

I have a bad habit of picking up quilting magazines. I really enjoy them, as it is fun to see what other people are working on, look at color trends, and look at the advertisements for nifty tools that I don’t own yet.     But magazines really accumulate, don’t they?    They were taking up two full shelves in my studio and I really didn’t think that I ever was going to look back through them.  So, I’ve been hauling them in to work to share with two other quilters.   I’ve ripped out a few articles/patterns/photos to save, but the most of them will eventually end up being recycled.    By getting all of the magazines out of the studio, I was able to solve another problem, that one being the storage of quilting books!!   The books are now on the shelves previously occupied by the magazines.  They look fantastic there, and are easily visible and accessible.   Win, Win!!

3.  New Sewing Machine Table

I love my new BabyLock Jazz sewing machine.  The only down side was that it was just too big and high to be comfortable while sewing with it on a regular table.    So, I researched and found a really nice sewing table.  It was designed to hold a long arm quilting machine, but the company was happy to cut an acrylic insert specific for my machine.

This was my Christmas present to myself and from Mom and Dad (THANKS!), but I ordered it in November so that I could have it to use during the holiday break.    It is extremely comfortable to sew on  and is a really good size for a big project.  Purrcy loves it because he can jump up and investigate what is going on. He has also been known to take a nap on the far side.  I should probably put a warm towel or cushion down for him (but then, being a cat, he would probably ignore it altogether…)

4.  Projects (UFOs…)

A friend of mine was really interested in participating in the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt for this year.   I told Pam that I would do it along with her.  We have really been enjoying the process.     Here is a link to the “On Ringo Lake” mystery.  I’ve chosen to use different colors than Bonnie calls for, but that is OK.   I’m using Red for the coral, Blue for the Aqua, Black for the Chocolate brown and White with black for the neutrals.

I’ve finished the sewing for Clue 1, the Blue/black/white 9 Patches and am about 3/4 of the way through clue 2, the red/white flying geese.

There are more 9 patches, but since they have been trimmed to exact size, they are stored in a different location.   There are a few more of those to trim up and all of the flying geese.   I’ve got 160 of the flying geese done and need about 220 (ish).    I’m really having problems with the flying geese – I have to unpick and resew about 3 out of every 10 that I get done.   Makes for slow progress.     Currently, I’m cutting the strips needed to finish clue 2, and to start clues 3 and 4.   I’m looking forward to the holiday break when I can get caught up.   Or not, no pressure.  This is a fun activity.

In addition to the Bonnie Hunter Mystery project, I’ve got a fair number of other unfinished projects.

  • Purrcy’s quilt (the Halloween quilt)
  • Enchanting Stars (the rainbow paper pieced project started in Maine last summer)
  • Day Dreams (the muted blue/orange paper pieced project)
  • Multiple tops that need to be quilted into quilts (I’m hoping that the new table will make that project much easier)
  • A “Block of the Month” project that Ginger and I are starting with each other in January (I really need to decide what color scheme that I want…)
  • Potential projects up the wazoo…

 

Gosh, that is a lot of things going on, right???   It has been a while since I wrote down a list of pending projects…   *gulp!!*

Several years ago, I ran into a casual friend at the grocery store during a winter break.    She told me that she came out to the store that day because she was “Just so bored” sitting at home while her office was closed.        I will never have that problem, because I am well stocked with fun things to do.

 

 

 

 

 

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November 18, 2017

Cat Bullet

Seven Days challenge, Day #3

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 5:36 am

Seven days. Seven B&W photos of my life. No people. No explanation. You know the drill… consider yourself challenged if you are interested!

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November 17, 2017

Cat Bullet

Seven Days challenge, Day #2

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 5:36 am

Seven days. Seven B&W photos of my life. No people. No explanation. You know the drill… consider yourself challenged if you are interested!

 

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November 16, 2017

Cat Bullet

Seven Days challenge, day #1

Filed under: It's a Cat's Life — Cat @ 10:34 am

There is a challenge floating around Facebook. I thought that I would share my contributions with blog readers as well…

 

Seven days. Seven B&W photos of my life. No people. No explanation. You know the drill… consider yourself challenged if you are interested!

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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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