9/30/16

Peace and Quiet

Mike and Matthew have taken off on their weekend ATV trip, and I have the weekend to myself. Bliss! They went off with a refrigerator full of food, and I baked their favorite cookies this morning. At the very least, they'll eat well.

After they left, I did a little organizing in the sewing room. My quilts from the show were still sitting around in bags. The Quilting Snowladies are hanging in the sewing room now, having replaced the Psycatdelic quilt. Here's what the judges had to say about the Quilting Snowladies:


The "very well done" on the embroidery stitches made me happy. I was a little confused with the "outside borders" comment. It's hard to tell from the picture below because it was lying on the floor with me standing on a barstool trying to take a picture from above. This requires that I hold the camera with one hand while simultaneously holding on to the ceiling with the other hand while leaning precariously forward and trying not to fall. (Stop laughing.) And all of that to say that the picture probably isn't a true measure of whether the "outside borders" are straight.


And besides...technically, there is no outside border since the blocks are sashed on all four sides and then bound. But now we're probably arguing semantics. In any case, I asked Mike what he thought they meant. He thought potentially the quilt had been trimmed unevenly (certainly possible) or that the sashings bowed a little because of the piecing (also a possibility). I'm only belaboring this because I want to understand the criticism so that I can improve next time. Anyway...I still love the Quilting Snowladies, not-straight borders and all.

As for Seating for Two, this is what they had to say:


So I like that, and I plead guilty to all "tension issues" comments. My tension issues are improving, and so that's something. 


And then this morning I was reminded via Facebook that the deadline for entering Road to California is Monday. Until then, I had no plans to enter Road to California, but then I thought, why not? If I get in, I'll be thrilled. If I don't get in, it's no big deal. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. On the other hand, I figure I can greatly improve my odds by entering, right? So I coughed up the $15 entry fee (for online entries) and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. They're supposed to notify entrants by November 28th.

After that, I went downstairs to continue with And On that Farm. The farm cat likes this because it's an excellent time to catch up on her beauty sleep.


The other cat is annoyed because he can't go outside when I'm downstairs. He was being extremely helpful throughout.


Is my tail in your way? Oh sorry. You could solve that purroblem by letting meowt. Just sayin'...


When I came upstairs to write this post, I'd finished Barn H and its associated field. This section won't be finished until I add a fence and some sheep. I'm hoping to do a little more today, and maybe this part will be finished. 


My weekend is my own, but tomorrow I'm going to can some more tomatoes. I have another 12 lbs. that are going to be turned into plain old diced tomatoes. 


There are still more coming, but they are small. If I decide to can them, I'll probably make another batch of tomato jam. It doesn't require seeding or peeling, and I think I can muster enough energy to do one more batch.

For now, I think I'll bask in the peace and quiet for a bit and then head back into the sewing room for a while. I'll be announcing a giveaway on the blog tomorrow. Be sure to check back.

9/29/16

Shut the Barn Door

Yeah, I'm not kidding about the barn because our neighbor's horses paid us a visit this morning. We heard the most horrible crashing and things falling down. It seemed like business as usual here at the Three Cats Ranch once the feline people come to life in the morning. Then, Mike was sitting at the desk in his office. There is a door that leads to the breezeway where we keep the bird seed. He opened the door expecting to see the squirrels having a party only to discover that the horses were out of the barn.

One had moved on when I took this picture, but you can see they were enjoying the bird seed and peanuts.
What a mess. When I went out walking later on this morning, I marveled at the gifts they left behind. It seems they enjoyed their snacks...a LOT...if you know what I mean.

So it seemed like a good day to make some barns for my newest project, And On that Farm. Today I made the "E" Barn with its attached shrubbery, 
 

and the "F" Barn with its attached shrubbery.


When you look at the picture from the pattern cover, you can see that these are the barns in the upper right and left corners. When I work on this again, I'll work on the red barn between those two.


So far, so good on these. It's a little hard to find all the pieces because they are grouped by color of fabric, rather than by design. Barn E had 11 pieces, and they were scattered all over both sides of four large sheets of newsprint. It took quite a while to hunt them all down. Barn F had 18 pieces. From doing Wind in the Whiskers, I learned that it's best to take these one step at a time and not look ahead or behind. By focusing on one small part at a time, I can keep from becoming overwhelmed at all the tiny little pieces.

Today I've been cooking for Mike and Matthew's ATV trip this weekend, and so that's all I've accomplished, except that I finished up Block #2 for the Wine Country quilt.


For my next hand work, I'll continue on with the big stitch hand quilting of Mumm's the Word. When I last worked on this, I was stitching near one of the fish.


My goal is to work on this for about two weeks or until I can't stand it any more, whichever comes first. So that's where I'll pick it up tomorrow.

9/28/16

Red Sky at Morning

This is the sky that greeted us when we got up this morning. I was hoping it wasn't a commentary on the day.


My day started early with a trip to the grocery store. I needed to get the grocery shopping done early because I had an appointment for a perm at noon with my new hairdresser. The perm is okay...it's always hard to tell on the first day. I'll say this about it though...the process of getting it was a lot less painful than with my previous hairdresser. I was happy about that.

When I got home, I finished the top-stitching on my block for September's Rainbow Scrap Challenge.


Since I've finished the blocks for Wind in the Whiskers, I'm ready to move on to my next McKenna Ryan project, "And on that Farm". Here's the picture of the whole quilt.

Yes, indeed. I am a glutton for punishment, but when I saw the quilt, I knew I had to make it. The first block for the quilt is the largest. It's called "With a Big Quilt Here, and a Small Quilt There." Here's the picture from the pattern cover.


In a day or two, I'm sure I'll be telling you how much I want to slit my throat for ever starting this project. Keep your fingers crossed for me, okay?

And now I'm posting the last of the quilts from the quilt show. There are an embarrassing number of pictures to follow, but I wanted to finish these off. Here you go:





This quilter is in the guild I was attending several months back.



Her trees are three dimensional.





I love how she captured the eyes.


Here's a quilt you've probably seen before.






Although I'm not a fan of the Grumpy Cat, I did like this quilt.



Here's an interesting technique. Wait til you see the detail.



These little squares of fabric appear to be either glued or fused down, and then caught just with the quilting. Tedious work. Yikes.




Pretty quilting here.








This next quilt won first place in the non-representational art quilts category.





June Jaegar is the quilter who got me started making pet pawtraits when I took her "A Cat is a Cat" class at last year's expo. My pawtraits are quite different from hers, but she taught me the basics. I like the use of brightly colored fabrics, and I'd like to try this sometime.




This next quilt won first place for "free-hand quilting".






Here's another interesting technique.







I love the story behind this next quilt.




This next quilt was a part of a special exhibit honoring Native Americans. There were quite a few of these, but this is the only picture I took. By the time I got to this exhibit, I was tired of taking pictures.




So there you go. You've seen all of my favorites. 

Tomorrow is going to be a cooking day, for at least part of the day. Mike and Matthew are taking off for the weekend to go ride ATV's in Central Oregon. I'm being a nice spouse and mom by providing the food. It's fun for them when they get to spend some time alone, and so I'm happy to make it easy for them to do just that.