October FMQ Challenge and a Bonus

Our Oregon gloom is back.  What would we Oregonians do if we couldn't complain about the weather?  It's been a long lovely complaintless summer, and we are dying for something to whine and moan about.  Here it is:

I'll tell you what.  Happy days are here again.  This is our weather forecast for the next five days:

Don't let that sunshine on Monday and Tuesday fool you.  I'm betting it will rain until June now.  We Oregonians hardly know what to do with ourselves in good weather, especially when the temperatures are mild.  At least when the mercury cracks 80°, we can whine about how hot it is.  But no.  It has been a perfectly lovely Indian summer, with a dearth of complaining.  Happily, we can get back to what we do best.

Sue and I walked this morning, and we got soaking wet.  We turned around halfway through our walk.  Sue was expecting the rain this afternoon, which is what the weatherman told us.  I figured it would rain, but I was only expecting mist.  We got a virtual downpour, which made walking rather unpleasant.  We'll try it again next week when we're dressed more appropriately.  Despite our rainy climate, Sue and I rarely get rained on.

It seemed like a good day to knock off the free motion quilting challenges I have on my to-do list.  This is what I did for the October challenge by Teri Lucas:

I can't say I'm very happy with this.  Once I got finished with my name, the rest of the block appeared as large as a football field, and I found myself at a loss as to what to fill it in with.  Ordinarily, I would let my fabric or pattern inform my decisions about how to quilt something.  A blank slate like this leaves me wondering what to do.  Also, I was supposed to use different colors of thread for the different sections, but all my thread is downstairs, and I didn't want to drag it all upstairs for this challenge.  All white is what I decided on.  Despite its shortcomings, I finished it and it was good practice.

I missed the September challenge because we were traveling.  In any case, the design was not to my personal taste, and so I decided to tackle the bonus challenge by Susan Brubaker Knapp.  Honestly, it was as difficult to pick out an image to work from as it was to complete the stitching, but I finally ended up with this image of a large leaf I took a while back..

My stitching didn't end up looking exactly the same.  I found myself needing more lines to fill in that seemingly football field-sized space I was working with.

This is Smitty's first experience with the rain.  He really doesn't like water, which makes a squirt gun an excellent training tool.  This afternoon I opened his kitty door.  He has mastered the going-out part of the door.  Today he stuck his head and shoulders out and then backed in again without going through it.  He decided this was the best way to spend the day.

He and Gracie are practicing getting on one another's nerves.  This is ordinarily the chair she claims as her own.  For today, however, she decided to take up residence in the little round cat bed on my desk.  That meant Smitty had to sleep on her chair.  

Gracie has been practicing her passive aggressiveness in various ways.  For example, she never sits on my lap in the morning when I'm reading my iPad.  But Smitty does.  And lately, that means Gracie is suddenly all about having morning lap time.  We are teaching him not to bother her because she is the Grandma cat of the house.  And she seems to relish this off-limits rule by sitting in the places he ordinarily claims.  Pretty funny.  It's like having two kids around.

A drywall man is here working on the downstairs again.  He says he will probably be ready to paint it on Monday, and that means the only thing left to do will be to deal with the carpeting.  It needs the pad replaced and the carpet restretched and cleaned.  Then I'll be able to move back into my sewing room.  I can hardly wait.


sophie said...

FWIW, I like your October FMQ piece. I'm just back from the Northern New Mexico quilt show and I noticed that I liked some quilt designs with fillers that flowed from one pattern to another like yours. (I'll have photos to share later on my blog, if you want to see them).

We have had storms off and on all day. If there's thunder, lightning and strong winds, Grace disappears under the quilt on my bed. Johnny's latest habit is to watch through the sliding door in the studio or one of the French doors in the living room.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

It looks great Barbara...I haven't tried mine for Oct. yet. I'll put it off as long as I can....lol
Taking a class next week; should be fun.

Junebug613 said...

We are finally getting a little bit of cool weather for a change here. We get rain all summer and I don't mind a bit, because I'm one of those weirdos who enjoys a good storm.
It's a good thing you didn't have to use my name for that quilting challenge. If you had a football sized area left over with your name imagine what would have been left after quilting around AMY!! LOL We too are experiencing the cat displacement in our home. Riley has decided that he has to take up all of Lilly's favorite spots. They are so silly!

Michelle said...

I've been trying not to look at the weather forecast, or out the window, because hubby hasn't replaced the missing shingles over my sewing room yet. Couldn't we have made it another week? :-)

Lucky Duck Dreams said...

Your outside photos always make me feel like you live in fairy land.

quilary said...

We thought we were in Spring in NSW and on Friday there were unexpected snow storms in many parts of the state - highly unusual- it didn't even snow in some of those places during winter!!
I like your FMQ and I am going to have to start from the beginning of challenge to see if I can get a bit better looking stitches.

Quilting Babcia said...

Smitty's towel looks an awful lot like the ones lining the chairs here too, lol! Great job on your challenge pieces - got to get back to my Susan Brubaker Knapp one and hopefully get the October one finished before the end of the month. I look at the Oregon rain as a guilt-free sewing/quilting day! Works for me!

Kate said...

Great challenge pieces. I really like the "leaf veins", very nice done.

I love your stories about Gracie and Smitty. I love cats, but with my allergies, I just can't live with one (or two).

Snoodles said...

Wow, your FMQ is awesome....I can barely manage a meander! LOL
I see on your chart that you've lost some! Congrats! The work is paying off! (I agree with Smitty on the perfect way to respond to a rainy morning...)

KatieQ said...

I really like the FMQ bonus design you stitched. I love the way the veins work across the surface.

quiltzyx said...

I'm so happy you have something to whine about again. I was thrilled when it rained here on Thursday, complete with some great lightning & thunder! But "they" say it will back into the mid-90s next week.

Your FMQ looks so good to me! I really should get to practicing mine.

Love the Gracie/Smitty conflict! They are wonderful. Pets all around from me!

Dana Gaffney said...

I love that mist, I would have been outside walking in it. So pretty, plus I like the silence. I think your FMQ looks great, but after reading about the football sized area, I may change my name. I'm sure you thought of this but just in case, make sure you put you're link in both linkys so you get credit. Smitty doesn't look too bothered by Gracie's wicked ways, go Gracie!

Rebecca Grace said...

First of all, I ENVY YOU that Oregon gloom. That picture reminds me of all kinds of romantic books and movies, and I'm sure a handsome young man on horseback who cannot live without your love is about to come riding into the clearing... :-). Here in the Carolinas we don't get the distinct seasons that I miss from NJ and MN. We go from summer to blah to spring in NC.

Your October piece looks fantastic, and I LOVE your bonus piece. I still have several months to make up, but that quilt from nature bonus tute intimidated me for some reason. Your leaf vane stitches look so organic and serene. Nicely done!