Border Auditioning

I have completed the log cabin and uneven 9 patch border for this scrappy quilt and am now auditioning fabric from the stash for the next round of borders!

Here is the EQ7 file…

Arrowhead Scrap…and this was the original version I had in mind as a Christmas Quilt!  The applique is a skill set I have not mastered so doing the above quilt with my scraps has been very beneficial to work out this pattern.  Someday it would be nice to make the one below…Arrowhead Scrap Christmas

I am getting close to finishing this top!  Always such a great feeling to be at a finishing off phase.  This one I am going to send to a long-arm quilter.  I’ve met some really nice ladies in the guild so I hope to use their skills to complete several of my quilts!  Don’t worry, I still have many more tops to do on my own!

Happy Quilting!

~Cathy

Duck Mothers

 

We live near a pond and a creek and there is plenty of wildlife.  This year we are fortunate to see the Mallard ducks raising their young!  We’ve been watching this Momma and her babies for almost a week.  She had 11 but is now down to 7.

She must be an experienced Momma.  However, we think a young first timer is trying to figure it out on our doorstep!

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She has laid 1 egg in our flower pot and has returned to sit on it!  We thought she would return to lay another egg but so far we’ve only seen the one egg.  This is NOT the ideal spot for her but since she is a protected species we have to wait it out.  If she starts to sit on the nest an incubate then we could very well have some chicks!

Stay tuned.  This is day 2!

Other news in the yard…

The Lilacs are in full bloom and beautiful:

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…and the Oriole’s are back at the feeders!DSCF3914

We are hoping there’s an Oriole nest nearby!

Have a great day!

~Cathy

Making Progress and an Oriole!

I have been working on this scrap quilt daily.  I completed 2 border sides and now am working on the remaining 2 before I continue on with my planned solid border which will be next.  DSCF3874

Talk about LOTS OF SCRAP!!  Truthfully I had no idea how this design was going to come out and several times I said to myself “this is never going to work” but I’m trudging on.  I’m going to get this top finished and then when it is all over I’ll let the finished product speak for itself.

On Sunday Jim called from the living room window “Rose Breasted Grossbeak at the feader!”.   Me, in the family room ran to the window and watched but I did not have my camera, then as I went to get my camera Jim called out “Oriole!”.   Ahhh!!!  Finally!  I was wondering if we’d get an Oriole at the feaders!  I even bought a fancy Oriole feader, the kind you put grape jelly in but the little beauty chose the suet instead.  I don’t mind, just happy to see we still have Orioles in the area!

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~Cathy

So Many Changes

This morning while driving to work I listened to music radio.  For many years I would turn on talk radio to hear the latest news and grumblings about all things political and happenings going on in Chicago.  I guess today was time to make a change, to go back to what I used to love and sing along with the radio.

So, today I listened to music.  I wanted to hear some Prince songs, I knew there’d be one or two stations with a dedication and sure enough I had a few selections to choose from.  There were other songs too, many that I couldn’t even begin to tell you who the artist was but it was nice.  Just to drive and sing and think.

I guess first of all today is also a day I finally felt like posting a blog post.  I haven’t really known what to say — on the internet that is — sure I have all kinds of things to say but I knew you all would probably not want to hear a lot of drivel.  I guess the big news here is that our dog Holly lost her battle with cancer.

I took this photo of her a week or two before she passed.  I had brought her into the groomer and asked them to give her a cut that would make her comfortable.  You can see she is lifting her right leg and her coat is covering up a very nasty tumor.  Her tumor had returned so quickly and it started growing very very rapidly, I could hardly believe how quickly it was consuming her.

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I let her call the shots and took one day at a time.  Then one day she just couldn’t keep anything down and started to refuse to eat.  I had been through it before with my other animals that you’ll do anything to try and get them to eat, to not face what is coming.  Your head knows but your heart doesn’t want to believe.  She ate 6 peanut M&M’s on a Sunday (something I’d not normally give any animal but I was eating them and I let her try it…well she at it).  She ate some raw hamburger on Monday and some turkey on Tuesday and then just water.  She faded very quickly but would always look at me and never leave me out of her sight.  I think dogs are very optimistic and I waited for that moment when she knew.  Then on Thursday night she wanted to make sure both Jim and I were together and all 3 of us would be sleeping in the same place.  She herded us to bed.  Later, probably about 2am I got up and took her outside and then slept with her in the guest bedroom.  She stayed right there.

In the morning I took her in to have her put to sleep.  On this ride to the vet’s office she was very calm, she wasn’t shaking and while we waited she fell asleep in my lap.   The vet gave her the injections and she only looked up for a moment before she was gone.  I now have her ashes back in a lovely ceramic urn the clinic gave me and I placed her in the window for the time being.

I knew it was going to be weird for me.  She was the last of my pets.  I’ve had a pet for 26 years and coming home to an empty quite house is so strange.  I’m not going to get another pet until I’m ready.  Some experience has taught me that it takes time to go through all the mourning stages.   So today I listened to music.

I’ve also been starting my walking again.  I really want to get to 10,000 steps a day.  I’m almost there.  My average has been about 7,000 per day so hopefully in another week or so I’ll be there.  I keep joking that I need to get another dog so I’ll be forced to take it for a walk!  Ha!!!

I’ve also been pulling myself away from the TV and working on all those WIP’s!!!

Here is my design wall…I’ve got 3 of the many items I’m working on up there.

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This is a little simple baby quilt pattern I’m working on for my shop…

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…and this is a border I’m working on for my Arrowhead Goose Chase scrap quilt….DSCF3839

…and this is a few tubs dumped out on the bed to sort through the savings….DSCF3840

…I think there’s a time where you just have to ask yourself if you are ever going to finish something and if not then make a decision on what to do with it.

Outside, Jim’s pansies have perked up and are looking pretty,

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I bought some succulents at a local educational greenhouse plant sale, with some pots in hopes to get those planted…

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Our Cherry and Peach trees are blooming so I’ll need to go out with my paint brushes and do some hand pollinating this weekend….

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…and our pine tree named ‘Stumpy’ guards Chloe’s flowers as they come up this Spring.

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Changes are happening ever so slowly but it is good to move along and start the slate clean with Spring…

~Cathy

Free Motion Quilting “Snow In October” Video 5 – The Continuous Feather Border and Finish!!!

Hi Friends,

Whoot, Whoot!!!  I am finished with “Snow In October”!!!

It feels so good to be finished with a quilt that took such a long time to complete.  I hate when I have to stop and start a project (like, just about everything I work on!) but especially when it is the quilting portion of the quilt because it really means my machine is occupied and I can’t use it for anything else!

My other Bernina is in the trailer (remind me to get that out of there for winter) and I do have those Featherweights I’ve been restoring but you know what I mean…it’s just not the same thing as sewing on your beloved workhorse machine.DSCF0566

So here it is!  This is the last video in this series.  It is a LONG one, so many apologies for the boringness factor, but that’s what that little arrow is for…to speed up the video and get to something you want to see.  Trust me, I won’t be offended if you skip around.  These videos were done strictly to document how I quilted this quilt.  Oh, I guess I do have one or two more videos but those can be done anytime.  I did sign the quilt and I made a short clip of my workspace set-up…no biggies, just keeping those in the clutch for now.

As always, enjoy!

~Cathy

Free Motion Quilting “Snow In October” Video 4 – Triangle Border

Hi Friends!

I can see the end!  I’m now on the 2nd border and the remaining free motion quilting on this quilt is going to be super super easy!

No more squashing the quilt into the bed of the machine, no more trying to think about oak leaves and acorns, just quilting!

So here we go!  This second border is made up of triangle points and the plan is to quilt these triangles in half circle or small arcs from point to point (or seam intersection to seam intersection).

I’ll do 2 passes around the quilt, the first pass on the left side of the triangles and then as I come around to the beginning I’ll continue on the right side and do the same thing with the 2nd pass, picking up the other half of the triangles.  Easy right?

Here’s the video!

 

Enjoy!

~Cathy

Free Motion Quilting “Snow In October” Video 3 – Oak Leaves!

Hi Friends!

I had a moment to go through my videos and get the next in this series up on the website!  I had hoped to be able to record all the leaves and the acorns but looks like the acorns dropped off the tree (so to speak)!

The inspiration came from these Oak trees across the street:

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I took lots and lots of pictures of these leaves…

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Then drew some samples…

 

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Then went to work on the border…

So, without further delay, here’s the quilting of the first border!

Enjoy!

~Cathy

Up-Cycling T-Shirts to help Our Dog Heal!

Hi Friends,

Me here.  It’s been a little crazy here lately and I haven’t been able to sit down and get a post in until just now.  Last week I took our dog Holly in to the Vet for her annual exam and asked them to figure out what a big lump was on her chest.

It turned out to be a real nasty cancerous tumor (I’ll save you the gross details) but she needed to have surgery to remove it and that happened this week Tuesday!

So yay!  Holly is doing just great but I’ve had to make these little body koozies to go over her so I thought I’d put a little TUTE together for you in case you ever get/need to do this!  They are super simple and since they’ll be tossed once they are not needed there’s no need for fancy styling!   Ha!

Here’s our little Holly, 2 and a half days post surgery.  She looks like a little slasher movie but it’s a lot better then it was and today she was back to her super spunky self…

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I found this old x-tra large t-shirt in the closet.  I have measured Holly and I need to make sure I have a circumference of 20″.  This will give about 2-3 inches of ease room around her body.  I don’t want her Koozie too tight… DSCF2999

I’m able to get 2 from this 1 shirt!!!  Perfect!  I cut just under the arm pit and the shirt in half…

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…so 2 of these…

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Now all I need to do is zig-zag the long edge closed…

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I measure down the length of her head to her shoulders (this was about 5-6 inches) and clip to locate a place to cut our an armhole.

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Then I cut out the armholes on both sides  (I folded the tube in half and cut the 4 layers as one) like so…

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Next, I slipped the Koozie over Holly’s head and put her legs through the armholes…

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Then I rolled back the head portion of the Koozie and pinned in place using a safety pin behind her head…

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Here is the pin behind the head holding the fold…

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Then fold up either side under her chin and pin those in place in the back.  By having these pins behind her she can’t mess with them!

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And here’s the end result…completely covers her stitches and is loose to give her room to breath.DSCF3018

The Koozie get’s changed daily or when it get’s dirty for 10 days until her stitches come out!

Hope you’ll never have to make one…but in case you do, I hope this is helpful!

Have a great day everyone!  Time to put some pills in some cheese, peanut butter, or some other tasty tidbit!

More soon!

~Cathy