5/8/13

Four Star Day

The marine layer has returned to our mornings in Portland.  This morning was gray and chilly, but there was no rain.  I noticed the sun finally broke through around 2:30 this afternoon, but it didn't matter one iota to me.  I was sewing almost all day.  The only interruption was the half hour or so I spent cleaning up after the robin Smitty brought into the house.

We have determined that he is getting the birds that are stunned from flying into the windows.  He hasn't brought anything inside for over a week, but previously, I noted that his feather piles were all confined to one area...in my sewing room.  Thank you, Smitty.  It occurred to me that the birds were already dead when he brought them inside.  So imagine how startled I was when I was sitting sewing and heard the unmistakable squawk of a bird behind me.  There was Smitty with a large robin in his mouth.  It was alive, and when it got away from Smitty, it flew all over the downstairs.  Smitty, for his part, made death-defying leaps into the air trying to catch it, knocking anything down that got in the way.  Oy.

Finally, I was able to get my hand around the bird and throw it outside, to Smitty's great consternation.  We had a consternation contest going on, Smitty and me.  Much to my consternation there were feathers and, um, guano everywhere.  Every time I thought I had all of the feathers cleaned up, I found more of them.  They were deposited floor to ceiling in every crook and crevice in the basement.  Sigh. I suppose we'll still be finding feathers when we sell the place and move out, but for now, they seem to be contained.

Eventually, I was able to get back to normal and return to my sewing.  On Monday evening, I finished the little embroidery block I'd neglected to do along with the others.  It was tiny:  only 2 1/2 inches square.


Then I was able to finish up the third section of the quilt.


So with that, I have sections A, B, and C completed.  D, E, F, G, H, and I still to go.  Obviously this is a long term project.  Here's what I have so far.


Also, I wanted to say that I may have given the mistaken impression that this pattern by Anni Downs was confusing.  


It is actually very well written, with clear instructions and excellent diagrams.  I only meant to imply that it is necessary to follow along carefully, step by step, with a minimum of distractions.  Any problems I am having are due to my old age and resulting dimwittedness.  And my cat.

So once I had those sections complete, I cleaned up the sewing room...this time from having thrown bits of pieces of fabric all around while cutting all those little pieces for the Gardener's Journal quilt.  I like a clean work space, but I seem unable to keep it that way once I get going on something.  Once things were cleaned up and organized again, I was able to do the remaining cutting for the Love Me, Love My Cat quilt.


All of the embroidery is finished for this quilt, and my next goal was to make the four stars for the corners.  They went together much faster than I thought they would.


So originally, I planned to put this aside and make it into a flimsy next time around, but I'm kind of excited to see it all finished now.  If I have time to sew tomorrow, I think I will get started on that.

For now, tomorrow's agenda includes going to the grocery store.  I'm cooking this weekend in order to celebrate Mike's birthday with his favorite birthday dinner.  The kids are planning to come up Sunday.  Yes, it is Mother's Day that day too, and so it will be nice to have the whole fam close at hand.  Also tomorrow, I simply must remove all the dead stuff from the refrigerator to make way for new science experiments to get under way.  You know what I'm talking about, don't you?  I've always said that the refrigerator is simply the first stop on the way to the trash at our house, and it continues thus.

19 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kate said...

Oh yuk! It's probably a good thing that Smitty is so cute or I'm sure he'd have even more consternation!

Love your star blocks. It's going to be a very cute quilt when you get it all done.

Colleen said...

Tell Mike Happy Birthday! Mine is on Saturday. I blame my Kalli-cat too. Last night while sewing a baby quilt she kept sitting on my peddle foot and I sewed the corner upside down!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Lol - sounds like Moe, but he actually catches them (Bella brings me mice). Love your Gardener's quilt - coming together so nicely.

WoolenSails said...

You have really made some beautiful stitcheries and I really love the kitties, that is so fun. I am still working on one, lol.

Debbie

SoozeM said...

I would rather birds than mice! The cat I had when I was still at school used to bring home baby snakes and leave them on the doorstep (usually dead but not always).

Brown Family said...

I feel lucky that Kirby seems to be afraid of the birds! I love the kitty quilt. I keep intending to order the pattern!

Nan

Dana Gaffney said...

I love that embroidered house. My visual of you and Smitty chasing that poor bird around the house is so funny, I will miss finding the gift rats on my front steps, the cat didn't know or care that they are protected.

Margaret said...

Ya know, I really envy you for your embroidery skills. I have none. I love all your projects. We had a cat once that used our doggie door and brought a large black bird in once. It was alive and I had a heck of a time chasing it out the door. That was maybe ten or more years ago and I still find feathers every now and then.

Diane Wild said...

Oy, live birds flying around the house. Minnie will find the feather pile left from the hawk's dinner under the bird feeder and sample those. I know what you mean about messy sewing spaces. Now that I've moved mine I have more room to clutter up.

Teresa in Music City said...

I love the way your fabrics are beginning to play so well together in your Gardener's Journal. Bright and cheerful! I hate it when Gypsy gets a bird! Especially baby ones. We have so many of them setting right now on nests in the Leyland Cypress trees that border our fences on the sides, and she is SO very interested. I try to keep an eye on her but every year she seems to manage to get at least one or two. I have to keep reminding myself that this is the way nature made her :*)

Dar said...

I love the way your Gardeners Journal is turning out. Some of those blocks are small for SURE - 2.5 inches. WOW.
I'm so glad that my kitties don't bring back live "things". I don't think my DH would handle a live bird in the house. The kitty would be looking for a new home, I'm afraid. Although if it was his "favorite" he might make an exception! :)

treadlemusic said...

Your embroideries are so sweet and the finish will be so cute! I guess I took your comment on the pattern construction the way you intended. There are many patterns falling in to that genre. Our outside kitty lies in wait under our bird feeder with minimal success....thankfully!!! Hugs, Doreen

kc said...

Funny, I had a bird-rescue day yesterday too! Neighbor calls over the fence, "hey Karin, got a minute?" He usually needs hubby's assistance, not mine, so I curiously replied, "for you, Roger, anytime." Turns out, he'd watered his potted geranium a little too vigorously, and out flew 4 little baby birdies! Of course, they didn't get far, just to the ground, where they promptly ran under his rose bushes. He has a dog & we have a "resident" hawk (not like we can claim him or anything, but he does like to fly over our homes), so we spent the next 20 minutes playing bird chase. I could trap them all, but each time I put the next one in back in the nest, the first one would get scared & fly back out. Eventually, they must have gotten tired of the game, 'cuz I got 3 to stay in the nest. The last one was determined to stay out, so we finally just left him out. When we walked away, both parent birds came down & checked him out, and apparently, talked him back up into the pot on the fence. All's well that ends well, and they all get to live another day. Very happy ending.

Your blocks are looking really good & I can't wait to see how your quilting brings them to life.

I guess I'd better go get started on my own sewing - I've got a couple trade quilts going (I piece for her & she will quilt for me), plus I snagged a cute feed bag from the zoo, with the promise I'd make 'em a tote bag they could sell. When we went in to work on Tuesday, they asked me if I had the bag ready. Sad to say, I had to get it out of the way & put it under the table. And then promptly forgot about it. oops.

KatieQ said...

I love the fabric of the Sawtooth Stars. That's going to be a great quilt.

Betty said...

Smitty is so cute, it would be hard to get too upset with him! My indoor/outdoor cat from a few years back liked to bring in little critters. We've had mice, birds and even a poor little chipmunk that stayed under our wood heater for at least three days before I could manage to set it free!

Newbie Jen said...

Oh my! I had a similar incident last week, but the feathers (and poo) were all over the kitchen, dining room and office. Nice! Thanks to our housecat, Tookie, catching a dove on the sun deck.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Poor Smitty! He really tried. My dogs leave toys in my sewing area. At least my dogs can't seem to catch the bunnies or squirrels they try for. I'm thankful that they are really slow.

quiltzyx said...

Times like this make me so happy that zzyzx was an indoor-only kitty for most of her life! She just left one dead bird one the front porch, and caught a lizard TAIL from under the security door once.
As usual you are getting lots of good work done. I love looking at all of it! Thanks for sharing with us.

Lynne said...

Ah, yes, wild birds in the house -- not a pleasant experience for anyone, even the poor bird!

I, too, like a tidy workspace but things have a habit of migrating! LOL