Saturday, August 29, 2015

Baker's Dozen

I finished numbers 12 and 13 in the kennel quilt series this week, but before I get to that, you may be wondering when is it ever going to end? 

Rest assured the pile of scrubs is dwindling.  There are probably just a couple more that can be squeaked out of what's left, which isn't much, considering it started with all these one year ago. 

The little stack below is what remains.  Well, that and the pile of trimmings in the background at the far end of the cutting table. 

That's scrap purgatory back there, stuff a bit too substantial to put directly in the trash, and so it solemnly awaits judgment.  Will the bits and bobs end up in the bin, or might they find new life as crumb blocks?  It all depends how I'm feeling the day I decide to deal with them.  I'm fickle that way.

Kennel quilt number 12 got some loopy meander quilting, kind of like the flight pattern of the butterflies Bambi might be chasing right off the edge of the quilt.

Here's the back.

As for kennel quilt number 13, I'll start with the back first, because I love it so!

The black mod tree print was a fat quarter from a fellow quilt blogger's destashing a couple years ago.  

The teal above and below the black print was a Moda FQ that came to me via the thrift store.  There's a strip of hot pink scrub pants and then what was left of a vintage tropical print that I had used for the  backing on another kennel quilt.  The binding is pieced from binding scraps from the last few quilts.

The front started as 4-inch squares, then four-patches, then arranged once again in a streak of lightning kind of thing.  If it ain't broke...

I've been using no less than three machines on each of these quilts.  The Juki handles the quilting, the Brother (a/k/a Everett) is a stellar piecer with his 1/4-inch foot, and Ye Olde Golden Singer 603 does a good job with its walking foot in attaching bindings. 

Couldn't one machine just do it all?  Yeah, but where's the fun in that?  I kind of like having the right tool for the job all ready to go, although it makes for a bit of a crowd on the sewing table.

As the summer of making doggie quilts draws to a close, an infusion of new fabric brings with it fresh possibilities.  A birthday squishy from a friend included these beauties.  Ooh!  So sweet!

And Jo-Ann had a half-off sale on their Red Tag fabric recently, which seemed like a good opportunity to plump up the stash.

Linking to:  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Back to It

It's been a couple of weeks since I checked in here, so I guess I better blow the cobwebs off.  

Not this one, though.  Do you see it?  I spotted it glinting in the sun while I was having a glass of iced tea on the deck this afternoon.  Now if only a spiderweb could catch and hold onto these halcyon days of summer before they flitter away on translucent wings.

I've been cranking out the kennel quilts.  Actually, cranking is maybe not the right word.  It connotes a kind of drudgery, and making these little quilts is anything but.  I'm quite enjoying it.

I keep thinking the stack of scrubs should be dwindling down to nothing. But wait, there's more!

Still keeping it simple with either HSTs or squares, but I've been playing a little more with the quilting.

I did elongated loopy-loops on the solid chevrons and a smaller meander in the lighter parts on kennel quilt #10, above.

Quilt #11 had a shamrock print in one of the scrubs, which inspired some shamrock shaped quilting.

The backing continues the theme, a thrift store fabric find from a couple years ago that's been sitting on the shelf waiting for its time to shine.  Sometime other than the one day a year in March when I usually think of it, that is.

I've got kennel quilt #12, below, in the works.  I had some fun with this one.  
After I'd sliced up the purple scrub top into 5-inch squares, I noticed I had various iterations of Bambi among the pieces.  So I arranged them to look like s/he's scampering across the quilt top.
Yep, I'm easily entertained!

There's sure to be more quilty entertainment over at the linky party, Can I Get a Whoop-Whoop!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday Sundry 8-9-15

Welcome to Sunday Sundry, the almost-birthday edition!  That exclamation point is about as excited as I get about my birthday, although I do enjoy getting together with people to celebrate.  I'm looking forward to having lunch tomorrow with Dad and my sister, and I very much enjoyed visiting with my daughter over a meal at Outback yesterday.

As far as cake, that's been covered with the Chocolate Beet Cake I made this weekend.  Because when life (via the garden) hands you make cake!  Am I right?  Doesn't everyone?  ;)

Well, whether or not beets are involved, we do love our cake around here.

(But we do, darn it...we really do.)
This was the first beet I pulled from Dad's garden—it's heart-shaped!  Two plants grew together and formed one.  Ah, now there's a lovely metaphor.

Not so lovely to behold were the first rutabagas (elsewhere known as swedes...which reminds me of Tess of the D'Urbervilles, slavishly digging swedes from the muck for winter cattle feed).

Certainly, they are not a glamorous veg, but I put them—washed, peeled, and cubed, of course—in the slow cooker today with carrots and a tenderloin tip roast.  They were delish!

On the Wall
I finished two more kennel quilts in the past week or so, and have another small one on the design wall.

This one uses parts of two scrub tops with butterflies and two scrub pants, in sort of a Charlie-Brown-shirt zigzag or chevron.

You can see the backing I pieced for it on the cutting table below.  I love being able to use up odds and ends from the stash for the quilt backs and bindings.

Here are the other two I finished during the week.  Just patchwork squares.  Soft and simple.
These particular quilts are 25 x 45 inches.  

The pink/butterfly chevron above will be 24.5 x 32.5.

Being Human
Season 1 of Poldark finished last Sunday, unfortunately, before I was finished admiring its star, Aidan Turner.  Thankfully, I found a new-to-me series on Netflix to tide me over.

Being Human, the UK version, is pretty awesome!  I'd never seen the American TV version (which some say sucked, and they weren't talking about the vampires).

The premise almost sounds like the setup to a joke:  A vampire, a werewolf, and a ghost move into a flat together.  Drama (and some hilarity) ensues!  The characters are interesting and funny and have great chemistry, and you end up caring about what happens to them.  I'm only on episode four, but I predict some serious binge-watching ahead.

Looks like I picked up a few new followers yesterday, and welcome to you all!  My Blogger stats tell me a whole bunch of people popped in from Facebook in the last day or two, but I don't know why.  Can anyone enlighten me?

I hope your week is off to a great start!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Lucky Number 7

If my math is correct, this little quilt that I finished this week is the seventh kennel quilt for the veterinary surgery clinic.

Again, using recycled scrubs, the top is a low volume kind of thing, just squares, sort of a streak of lightning setting.  

Lightning is low volume, right?  Or at least until its sound reaches our ears, and then the thunder makes us sit up a little straighter.

And that happens on the back of this quilt, or, in the words of the rocker in the movie Spinal Tap, "This goes to 11."  The fabric for the back is thrifted.  Gotta love Goodwill!

I did some free-motion flowers and loops in the quilting.  Totally on a whim.  I had the needle down in the intersection of a block and started to make the first curve of a stipple when I changed my mind and went for a petal shape instead, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Kind of fun how it looks on the back down the center.  And I didn't even plan that!

My daughter, a CVT at the surgery clinic, directed me to a photo on Facebook yesterday of one of my kennel quilts in use under a snoozing patient.  Aw, doesn't that just melt your heart?

I hope Roscoe had sweet dreams and a speedy recovery!

Linking to:  Can I Get a Whoop-Whoop.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mixed Media

What have you been reading, viewing, or listening to this summer? 
The HST kennel quilt, now finished!
I've been enjoying a few of the classics in books by Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens.  These are things I hadn't read in my youth.  I was motivated to read the book Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy after I saw the movie this spring, the one starring Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts.  Loved the movie, had never read the book.  I found a wonderful free audiobook version on Librivox.  That led to reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure, also by Hardy (all free audiobooks linked to the titles, should you wish to explore).  In between the latter two, I also read David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, which I adored.  Now I am making my way through Oliver Twist by Dickens, though I'm not enjoying it quite as much as Copperfield

I haven't been to see any summer blockbusters in the theater, but my peepers are getting their share of dramatic action thanks to Masterpiece's Poldark.  

And, oh my, Aidan Turner is enough to give a gal the vapors!  Or was that a hot flash?  Never mind, judge for yourselves:

Mm-hm, that's what I'm sayin'.  Who knew scything could be that kind of hot?

Speaking of Masterpieces, friends and I went to see the Dressing Downton exhibit at the Paine Art Center in Oshkosh, Wisconsin this past weekend.  Where photographs were not allowed, unfortunately.

On display were many of the costumes of the various Downton Abbey characters we've come to know and love.  The real deal, genuine article duds!  That I could not take pictures of! 

But, oh, they were exquisite.  Mary's riding costume, Matthew's army uniform, Lord Grantham's stunning red wartime uniform, and dresses, dresses, dresses!   The beading and stitching and other details were to swoon for.  The clothes were all posed elegantly on (headless but not creepy) mannequins throughout the rooms of the grand old mansion of the Paine Art Center.  What fun to see!

(Image Source)
Afterwards, we walked the impeccable gardens of the grounds outside the mansion and mooned over the flora and foliage.

Here we are below, ignoring the rules of photographic composition in posing the tallest member of our posse (that would be me on the left) next to the shortest (dearest friend Kathy).  But friends shouldn't let friends have to stare at your belly button.  This was not my idea, folks.  However, with a volunteer poised at the ready with my camera and my sister saying we should just "be bookends," I assumed my position on the end.  Do not do this at home.

Which brings me to a new show on TLC this summer that I have begun to watch, against my better judgment, but now I am sucked in:  My Giant Life.

I mean, as a woman nearly 6'3" myself, I basically live this show, so why do I need to watch it?  Well, because it's about people, dang it, and people interest me.

I watched Little People, Big World all those years, not because they were vertically challenged, but they were interesting.  The ladies of My Giant Life are no different.

But seriously?  Can they quit with the unflattering camera angles?  Here is Colleen, who is 6'6", and they are shooting her from the view of Lilliputians.  Get off the floor, camera crew—and find that woman a decent chair!

Here too is 6'9" Lindsay, who is apparently being shot by poodle-cam.


Anyway, here's me and my lovely sister Nita below.  Do not call me a giant or I'll step on you.  Kidding!  I'll just pick you up by the collar and give you a little shake.  ;)

Totally kidding, I don't have that kind of upper body strength.

I am strong enough, however, to hold my grandniece Cali on her first birthday, as she explored the heart-shaped chocolate muffin her Grandma Nita made.  

She is such a cutie!  Most of that muffin ended up on her clothes and mine and whoever else came into her magnetic little tractor beam.

Now this...

This kohlrabi is a true giant.  Dad grew a row of this giant hybrid variety in his garden, and they were delicious!  Big as a cabbage, where normally kohlrabi are the size of a tennis ball.  Not woody either, but tender all the way through.

How does your garden grow?  Mine is looking kind of raggedy about now, but the potted coleus out front is showing off.  I just moved it to the birdbath/plant stand on the front porch so that trailing stuff (that I can't remember the name of) that I planted with it has a place to flow.

As far as what I'm listening to this summer, other than audiobooks, I'm enjoying some of the music of Florence + The Machine, Ryn Weaver, this song by Twenty-One Pilots, and for the orchestral jazz fusion king of thing, this song by Snarky Puppy.  Yep, that's a pretty random smattering.

Oh, and I've been meaning to share a video.  Earlier in the summer, my brother Russ flew his drone camera over the area where my dad lives and captured some footage of the surrounding marsh wetlands and farms, which he then set to music.  You can see it HERE.  I find it very serene and relaxing.  Perhaps you will enjoy it too.

As far as sewing, what's that?  Nah, I'm working on a little of this and that, but altogether not much.  I made another little kennel quilt top yesterday, from more scrubs.  Went with a simple low volume version this time.

And up top of this post, you see that I got the last kennel quilt quilted and bound.  I used some wild 1980s or '90s tropical yardage I found on a shelf while putting the basement back in order after getting rid of the damp spot a couple weeks ago.  Serendipity!

How about you?  When you look back on the Summer of 2015, what images will come to mind?  Will there be an accompanying soundtrack?  Any particular smells conjured up in memory—a smoky barbecue, your rose garden, suntan lotion, mosquito repellant?  Feel free to share in the comments!