Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lovely today

The architect's office with trees

Purple, pink, red, yellow and a touch of green

Blowing leaves along the driveway

Vibrant yellows and reds

Poor gladiolus bloomed late

Almost six rows 
I am working on F-4 and am hoping to have an F-5 also in the next few days.  In the meantime, my DIL is out of town and I get to pick up my two lovely grandsons at 4pm from Homework Club at their school.

Hope everyone has good weather and beautiful colors in their area right now.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Yay! Got more done!

In spite of more drama happening - dd trapped in a shed by wasps - I've managed to make two more pretty complicated (for me at least) blocks.
F-2  Fool's Puzzle

F-3  Bow Tie
These two blocks involved sewing curves so I learned a lot doing that for Fool's Puzzle.  Bow Tie required set-in seams - Y seams - and though I had done that before, it was good to do it again.  The more you do, the better you get is my motto.  So, the sixth row is well on it's way to being done since I have all of F-4 pieces cut out and ready to sew.  Yay!

My dd is okay after being trapped in a small shed with wasps.  She moved an old uphostered chair and they swarmed blocking the only door; she had no way to get away from them and had to cry for help.  After 5 minutes, someone heard her and threw her a blanket to wrap around herself and she ran outside stripping her clothes away as she ran.  When she called me, she was not able to breathe well and couldn't talk.  I'm glad she called me; I went right over with a nice bottle of white wine to calm her down and it did the trick.  Once she relaxed, she could tell me all about what happened.  She was very frightened and that's what caused the shortness of breath, I think.

Back to quilting today although I have guests coming to watch the final 3 parts of a movie series - a 3 hour funfest.  I better make a casserole and get some wine in here for nibbles etc..

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Difficult blocks

Busy, busy, busy... a few days ago, my dd's doggie went to the vet to be spayed.  She came through it all fine but it was a long day for me.  The vet's office was 45 minutes away and Sally (doggie) had to be there before 8am so that meant I had to be up by 6am in order to get from one end of the island, where I live, to the other end, where Sally and my dd live.  Yawn!  Then the long drive back and then the long drive back to pick up the doggie at 2pm.  We did go an hour early so we could wander around the local Goodwill in that town, which always has some nice buys - new things that are donated unused by local stores... so I got myself a nice $4 blue cardigan sweater that will come in handy when I'm visiting my son in San Francisco next month.  I also picked up a brand new Hilfiger brown and cream colored duvet cover with matching pillow covers for $10.  So, even though I lost some sleep, the day was a gainful one.

I've worked on a couple of new blocks off and on over the past 5 days so I feel like I've been getting something accomplished toward finishing my yellow quilt.
 Not sure I'm very good at picking out colors that compliment each other.  It's one of my major failings that I thought I might learn as I made more quilts but it doesn't seem to be happening.  I don't think that light blue fabric looks very good with the brighter blue and the green polka dot fabric.  Well, at least it's done.
 The colors in this block could have been more contrasting but since this is a scrappy quilt, it looks okay.
Crazy piecing!!

 I think this block was payment for me saying how good I was getting at doing pointy parts of these blocks.  Piecing this block was very difficult for me.... but I'm trying to think of all I've learned and I'm sure there will be more than one 'as challenging' block coming up.

And yes, the next block is one that I've never made before in my life so this is definitely a learning experience.  Look at this....
Fool's puzzle F-2
All those curvy seams are going to be very difficult... but I'm up for it.  lol

The upcoming week will include one more dog to get neutered so I'll be making the same long, long drive again next Thursday.  Cats are so much less trouble... even diabetic ones.  Jaik seems to be doing well on his diet but he's eating like a horse.  I don't think that's good but he looks and acts much better than when he got diagnosed.  My fingers are crossed.

Have a lovely week everyone.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Has Come to the Island

I'm not such a good photographer but I do like to take pictures to remind me of how pretty nature is.  This is a tree out front that has changed to it's Fall colors.  I really enjoy looking out my window and seeing those bright red leaves.

It's not cold enough yet so there are still lots of sailboats in the marina and on sunny days, they go sailing.  Wish one of them was mine.

Jaik, my diabetic kitty, seems better on his new diet.  I hope his good health continues; it's nice not to have to worry about him constantly.  He's playing occasionally again and going for longer walks so I'm thinking positive thoughts about him.

There has been lots of torrential rain here overnight and then again mid-morning.  With the advent of Fall weather, I've peeled apples and cooked apple crisps
peeled and sliced apples
and then made cauliflower soup, which is one of my favorites.  
Simmering cauliflower; still to be blended and cream added
The problem I have is that there is always too much of everything and I can't eat it all so I enjoy what I can - a few meals - then it gets tossed.  My freezer is full.  My son and daughters cook also and send meals home with me too.  It's all good.

On Sunday morning, my oldest dd called and said her dog had escaped the night before when a guest accidentally left the door open.  So immediately I began posting on PetFinders and my younger dd and a co-worker saw a posting for a found dog.  Unfortunately the finder didn't check their email as often as an owner might have liked and it was late Sunday night before I got a call saying that her dog was penned up not far from where I am.  That dog was sure happy to see me when I got there... and was ecstatic to see my dd when I got him home.  Here's a picture of the escape artist:

I am so happy he's home safe.  He was found on a highway running between cars... probably smelled a female in heat.  He had been neutered a week before and still had stitches so wasn't even supposed to be outside.  Maybe we should have had his nose neutered.

I was able to complete another block for my yellow quilt this week:
I also finished the embroidered block albeit with the machine:
It's not perfect but it's done.  Some of it hand-done; some machine-done.  Oh well, I'm not perfect... and I really am not a perfect quilter.  I think it looks good though and in the context of a very busy quilt top, it doesn't stand out any more than one of the other blocks.
One more block to go and the fifth row will be done!  Life is good.  Hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful Fall weather.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Time Flies and it's Flown Right By Me

My cat, Jaik, has been getting more and more tired and sick.  I took him to his vet and they said he had diabetes.  I've decided that I didn't want to inject him with insulin so I've been trying to change his diet to see if I can stabilize him... reading lots of cat food tin labels and online information.  It's been time-consuming. 

Jaik is 18 lbs. 4 oz.  His brother is probably close to that too.  They're big-boned long cats so I don't know what weight they should get down to.  I think Jaik was 17 lbs. when he was 6 months old. Maybe a pound and a half will make a difference.Jaik is not yet 5 years old and he's my hunny-bunny so I'm watching him closely.

I've been working on my blocks and have almost completed the fifth row of my yellow quilt mostly before Jaik was diagnosed but I'm back to working on another block right now. So, these are the blocks I've been able to finish in the past month.

I finally got the four corners on this block and it looks really nice, I think.
 This block had to be appliquéd; I'm not good at that but I did do the green leaves by hand.  Then when it looked like it would never be finished by hand, I resorted to getting out my big ol' Janome to do a handkerchief stitch on the red flowers and blue center.  Even though I use the tiniest pins, I still find it difficult to do appliqué.  But I'm learning....

Not sure I like the colors in this one.  Lights are too light and darks are too dark... but it'll do.

These wonky 'stars' aren't my favorite but this one turned out better than I thought it would.  I usually cut off the corners of the half-square triangles. lol

This one gave me a lot more leeway since there were no corners to cut off.

This one was tricky... lots of little pointy ends that I had to keep a 1/4 inch from the side of this 6 1/2 inch block.  I think I did it!

I have two more blocks to make and I'll have finished five rows, BUT this is a 10-row quilt so 5 more to go.  I think I'll turn all of the blocks on point but I haven't researched that technique yet to see if it'll work.  I believe it will add many inches to the size of the quilt so in that case, maybe I shouldn't make all 10 rows???  OR, maybe someone in my family can use a double king size quilt??  Anyway, much more work to be done....