Just my musings about life, quilting, my family and my dog.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Don't Only Quilt

On Saturday I bribed my DS1 to come home for the weekend and be my slave in exchange for paying his car registration.  #1 on the list was to help me replant the pots at my office.

It isn't nearly as impressive as the flower gardens I see on some of the Midwest blogs but I guess I'll put up with my puny flowers in exchange for our glorious weather here in Southern California.

I learned a really cool way to get rid of ants from one of my clients.  She adds a dose of Advantage Flea stuff to a small bottle of honey - you know, one of those Honey bears - then puts drops of it in places where pets can't get to.  Well, we've had quite an infestation this year.  They come in the house looking for water when it gets hot.  It's rather disconcerting to be in the bathroom, minding your own business when you notice ants crawling up your leg.  EWW!  I took a very small amount of honey and squeezed in a few drops of Advantage after we applied Izzy's monthly dose.  I put a few drops of the mixture here and there in the bathroom and by today NO ANTS.  If you use this trick be sure to label it POISON very clearly. 

Have a great day and keep those garden photos coming.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Design Wall Monday

So, I went with  the Blue border instead of one of the reds.

This photo makes the right side look a little pink.  It's not.  Must be the light.  Night time photo - AGAIN!!

I have no idea why I went with the blue, really.  Maybe I'm just being stingy with my reds and didn't want to use them on a charity quilt.  OH, what kind of a small person does that make me??  Perhaps, I just wanted to use something more unexpected to borrow McIrish Annie's words.  Thanks to everyone who commented.

I know there is a lot of deliciousness posted on Patchwork Times blog.  Go check out what other lovelies you can find there.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Izzy Report

Izzy got her bandages off on Monday.  She still has stitches but the vet thought they needed to "air out" for a while and we need to make sure she doesn't lick her leg.  She has been bandaged for three weeks.  In all that time she never once bothered her bandage.  The vets and all the techs were amazed.  Secretly, I think Great Danes are not bothered by things in their back half because they are so large that they need a second brain in their hind quarters.  Anyway, we no sooner got her back to our office than she settled in to give the injured leg a good licking.  ACK!!  Not good!  Not good at all!!! 

We are supposed to put that big ole cone collar on her but honestly, have you ever seen a Great Dane in a cone collar?  It is so large that she can barely get through a doorway.

Is this sad or what?  This is about as relaxed as she gets while wearing it, too.  POOOOR GIRRRRL.

Here is our inelegant but effective solution.

That's right!   An ordinary athletic sock held on by a thin velcro strap.  For some reason now she isn't bothered at all by the stitches.  Go figure.

Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? 
I think that's how dogs spend their lives.
                                                    Sue Murphy

You all have a great day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Spinning Plates

I can't possibly be the only one who has several projects going at once but I sometimes wonder if I have taken it to new and unproductive heights.  Here is what I worked on this weekend:
1.  Quilting my sister's quilt. She took a couple of quilting classes with me years ago.  She completed one quilt and one top.  The top has been sandwiched and hanging around my studio for YEARS waiting for her to quilt it.  I've known for a while that she felt overwhelmed and unequal to the task.  I moved it to hang in the doorway to my studio until it finally got to me and I started quilting it on my domestic sewing machine this week.

It's a very cool Underground Railroad quilt that our Teacher, Kathy Green, designed. I finished all the small stippling in the "pathways" and I've finished the quilting in about 6 blocks.  She's a VERY novice quilter and most of her applique is fused so I am struggling with how to quilt those blocks so they will not come off.  So far, I am stitching just inside the edges.  But that lame (not lame - lame as in type of fabric!) has me completely flummoxed.  Otherwise, I'm having a lot of fun with it.  It's really giving me a chance to improve my free-motion quilting skills.  She has walked in on me several times and has not seemed to recognize this as her quilt.  I'm really hoping she will be very surprised when I give it back to her.

Here is some more from the list of my quilters ADHD:

2. Made a backing for a quilt top that will be hanging in the San Diego Quilt Show in Sept.  YIKES!  I still have to quilt it.

3. Picked borders for the basket weave quilt

4. Worked on Leaders and Enders while piecing the backing in #2.

Hmm.  I guess it isn't as bad as I was thinking.

BTW.  I'm planning to sell my Go! Baby and several dies.  I find I am just not using it as I thought I would and I need the space in my studio.  I'm thinking to offer it here before I place it on Quilter's Flea Market, anyone interested in it?  I bought it for $100,  and 4 dies at about $30.00 each.  I have the 2" squares, 5" squares, 2.5" strips and the economy die.  I'll sell it all for $120.00 + shipping.

Gotta head out.  Have a great day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Someday I am going to remember to take photos for my blog during daylight hours.  These photos are of the same quilt.  I can't figure out how to make blogger rotate the lower one but there ya go!
I decided to go with a 1" black inner border and found these four potential fabrics for the wider outer border.  All the fabrics are the same in both photos, but they look very different.  I am leaning toward either of the fabrics on the left or right in the upper photo (top or bottom in the lower photo).  What do you think?

Hop over the Judy's blog and see the loveliness others have posted.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Vacation

 Since Izzy's adventure is preventing us from taking a vacation this summer, I decided to revisit one of my favorite vacations of all times.

In 2001, 2003, 2007, and 2009 our family had the wonderful fortune to stay for a week at Cherokee Park Ranch in Colorado.  Each time, it was a week of the most sublime relaxation and fun.

The ranch is owned by the Prince Family who are the most wonderful hosts imaginable.
Each guest is given his/her own horse for the week.  This is great because you get a real chance to know your mount and learn how to handle it.  The first year I was given a feisty, recently tamed, wild-bred Mustang.  She tried to kill me at one point by trying to overtake another horse on a  narrow trail on the side of a steep mountain.  It was hairy but I just laid on her neck and held on.  We both survived but I requested a different horse the next year!!  They gave her to my younger son in 2003.  He loved that she tried to bite everyone.  I guess it's a generational thing.

Unless you stay in the lodge, you get an individual cabin.  This was ours in 2003.

They have long rides through some beautiful mountains
Overnight rides, meadow runs, a rodeo, and LOTS of photo opportunities

I think the best part of the whole week is that there is NO CELL reception, NO TELEVISION, and almost no decisions to make.  In fact, we think the only decisions we made all week were whether to take seconds at meals and whether to take a long or short ride (we always chose long rides).

Here is the whole gang: Grandparents, Parents, and Kids.  

If you ever get a chance to take a vacation like this DO IT!!

Have fun!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Quilters Run update

Someone asked what I bought on the Quilters Run I went on a few weeks ago.  I was stingy.  This is all I bought.

From top to bottom:
1 tin of flower-head pins.  I have fallen in love with these for paper-piecing.
1 small brush for applying starch to my applique pieces
4 yummy 1/2 yards of shirting for a reproduction quilt I want to make, if I ever stop making scrappy log cabin blocks!
Finally, the rest of a bolt of  some Moda muslin.  I am sure it will find its way into a few reproduction quilts.

I really did want to buy more but I am going to Long Beach in a few weeks and I plan to spend a LOT there!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More strips and strings

When we were going through my friend, Audrey's, quilting stash following her death a few months ago, we found a great tin full of 1-inch strips all bundled into various groupings by some plan known only to Audrey.

You know how I love a scrap challenge.

 Here are a few of them separated into two piles: lights and darks.  On the right are some of them after I cut them into 6-inch lengths.

Then I just started paring light with dark and got busy sewing strips together.  I repeated this step about a gazillion times.  Then I paired twosies with twosies and  sewed till everything was stitched into 4-strip patches.  Next I paired 4-patch to 4-patch until they were all sewn into 8-strip patches.  I trimmed all of these to 5.5" squares and went to the design wall.

Oh, how cute is this from a bunch of "scraps!"


Now I need to find a fabric for a narrow inner boarder and another for a wider outer border.  Any suggestions for colors?  I figure something that reads solid for the inner border - maybe black or red - and something with a small to medium size print for the final border.  Right now it measures about 30 X  40 and I'd like for it to be 40 X 50.  I think that would be a nice lap quilt size that I can donate to the VA Hospital for wheelchair-bound vets.

Every good act is charity. 
A [wo]man's true wealth hereafter is 
the good that [s]he does in this world to his [her] fellows.
                                             - Moliere
Who feels compelled to fix old-fashioned, sexist quotes.
Does that make me militant?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dog? or Vacation?

Of course we didn't trade Izzy for a vacation but it was tempting.

Two weeks ago, on a Friday, Izzy let herself out of the house and within 20 minutes was over two miles from home.  My son and I had left her home while we walked to a neighborhood restaurant for lunch.  Before we even got into the restaurant, I got a call on my cell from a man telling me he had my dog!  "She's hurt. I think she needs to go to the vet.  And bring towels, there's lots of blood."  Oh. My. Gosh!  I had to run 1/2 mile home in sandals so I could get the car and hightail it to where she was.   She was on the ground but got up when she saw us.  Whew, that was a good sign. 

We took her to our vet who said the wound on her leg was too severe for her to deal with.  She sent us to the Specialty Veterinary Hospital a few miles further up the highway.  They examined her and admitted her while they decided what to so.  They released her the next morning with a special "wet to dry" bandage on her wound because it was to the bone and couldn't be closed till a "granulation bed" of cells grew over the exposed bone.  We would need to bring her in daily for bandage changes.  SIGH.  Luckily (?) I had already scheduled myself for vacation that week so I could hang with  my son before he left for three months.  After one week they let us come in every two days.  Oh Boy.  FINALLY, they sutured the wound on Sunday.

Here's the breakdown and the explanation for why we are not taking a vacation this summer:

Vet #1                                             $700 ish
Vet #2 original exam                        $800ish
Vet #2 bandage changes 10 @$40   $400 ish
Surgery to close wound                   $ 2100 ish
 total                                               $ 4000 ish

And here is all I got for it:

We get to "keep her quiet" for TWO MORE WEEKS.

BTW 'Pill Pockets' are a sure-fire vehicle for getting icky pain pills down your dog's throat.

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; 
they give unconditional love. 
For me they are the role model for being alive."
- Gilda Radner

Monday, July 11, 2011

Design Wall Monday 7/12/11

I have been busy sewing and not blogging!  Obviously.

Here is what is on my wall today:

This is only 16 of the more than 50 blocks I've made in the last few days.

I went a little crazy.

Here was the impetus behind my frenzy:

This is just a small part of my strip stash.  Read that again: "A. Small. Part."  As in I must have at LEAST three times this amount of strips.
I started with the strips in the wire basket.  I separated them into lights and darks, putting aside most of the mediums because I like a high contrast in my scrap quilts.  I paired a red strip with a dark strip, sewed them together and sliced them in to various widths, most about 1.5 inches wide. Then I just continued adding lights and darks as in any traditional log cabin block.  I just couldn't stop.  Keep checking back, I'm sure I will be well over 100 soon.

Send help.

Be well.