Serene Sunday

Last week was a busy week with lots of errands and appointments to keep. Next week will probably be just as busy. Going to physical therapy twice per week is taking quite a bite out of my afternoons. Next week, I add to that taking both kitties to the vet and my monthly guild meeting. Today is set aside for doing laundry and sewing. I'm excited to be sewing together my Vintage Miniature Sewing Machines quilt today.

These are all the loose blocks. This next image is off the designer's website at Ella and Skysie Designs.

Look carefully, and you can see that each block is outlined with an embroidered running stitch. I haven't yet done that on my blocks, figuring it made more sense to wait until the borders were sewn on. Since then, I've kind of decided to add a fancy stitch from my sewing machine to the top and bottom of each block. If you look at this next image, you can see a little sampler I made of some of the stitches when I took the classes at my dealer.

Look at the second row from the bottom, and you'll see the sewing machine. I think a row of those across the top and bottom of each block would be very cute. I need to look to see if there is a spool of thread or anything else sewing-related too because I can combine the stitches if I want to. I decided not to try to go around the perimeter of the block because the stitches become distorted at the corners. It's pure luck to finish one in just the right place, and so your only choice is to go too far, or not far enough, or turn the corner in the middle of the design. Obviously, none of those are acceptable.

The kids were over for lunch yesterday to celebrate Erik's birthday. Originally, they thought they might be moving into their new house yesterday. As it turns out, they had their wood floors refinished last week and they were advised to wait until Monday to set anything heavy on them. That meant a change of plans, and so we had lunch at our place. They were pretty excited about how their floors turned out too. I got a kick out of them accomplishing their first "home improvement" project.

I've already discussed the menu some, but I wanted to share the recipe for this Maple-Glazed Pumpkin-Cranberry Coffee Cake I made.

Erik is not a big fan of sweets, and so I chose a less-sweet coffee cake for dessert. It was so moist and yummy. I had it mixed up in about ten minutes, and then it bakes for an hour. When it's cool, the glaze made with confectioner's sugar and maple syrup is added. I'm learning that it is best to keep a glaze too thick rather than too thin. This one turned out just right.

My partner in the doll quilt swap let me know that she had received her quilt, and so I can show it to you now. Theme for the October swap was "Show Us Where you Live". My partner and I had decided just to surprise one another. Nevertheless, this quilt seemed to fit the theme well enough. I'm calling this quilt "Cat House". After all, I do live in a house ruled by cats.

I used up little bits and strips of bindings from other quilts to give this one a scrappy binding. Also, the fabrics seemed to cry out for texture, and so I let the fabrics guide my quilting. I quilted shingles onto the roof and outlined the bricks of the house. Also, I quilted window panes into the windows.

I used pebbling on the walkway to give the impression of cobblestones.

And I quilted some pseudo pine needles onto the tree.

I used a variegated black, gray, and white thread to quilt smoke coming from the chimney.

And I quilted some legs and whiskers onto the cat and used hot fix nailheads for the eyes.

Finally, I want to thank all of you who voted to help me choose a case for my new iPhone: 140 of you! I'd say that was some pretty good voter turnout! Tallying up the poll on my blog, along with the voters who voted on Facebook, the case you've chosen is the Cats in Love case.

Thanks ever so much for your help! So glad I didn't have to make that decision on my own.

So that's about all I have to tell you for today. But I'm continuing on with my NP4 protest. I didn't post to my blog yesterday, but I did post a protest image on Facebook with this message: This one was taken at Petroglyph National Monument in New Mexico in March, 2011. Congress, when you look at this image, you might imagine it's me standing with my hands on my hips, tapping my foot and saying, "Don't make me come over there," because you will live to regret it.  

For today's image, I'm going with this one from Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, which I understand is reopening despite the shutdown. This image was taken in June, 2003.

These guys want Congress to pass a CR and end the shutdown. Power to the people!!

And with that, I hear my washing machine finishing up. Time to get on with my day.


BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Another great post. I love that Smitty has his own border....grin.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Tee Hee, see Billie noticed, too - Yeah Smitty borders!. Great 'power to the people' photo today.

Dasha said...

Barbara, We don't get canned pumpkin over here, so do you think I could substitute boiled mashed pumpkin in the recipe?

Kate said...

Love your "Cat House" doll quilt. It's just right. The detailed quilting is wonderful. Looking forward to seeing your sewing machine quilt when it's all done.

Hope Erik had a very happy birthday.

WoolenSails said...

Always enjoy seeing your new creations, fun swap piece.


Kate said...

Your machine has a cat/heart/sewing stitch? Now I feel like the 100+ stitches on mine are completely inadequate!

quiltzyx said...

Your quilting is getting better & better & better! I love all the details you put into the doll quilt, it looks faaaaboooo!
So, did the coffee cake taste as good as it looks? It made my mouth water.
2 more wonderful NP4 photos. The pictograph (is that right?) is my favorite. I CAN totally imagine the toe tapping!

Tami C said...

I think your fancy stitches on your borders is going to be real nice. Your coffee cake looks really yummy! I love the quilting on the doll quilt you made for your partner. The variegated thread to quilt smoke coming from the chimney looks really nice! I like the case you ended you getting. More Power to the People!

Brown Family said...

The cake looks yummy. I love using the fancy stitches on my machine!

Dana Gaffney said...

I want your machine just for those fancy stitches, mine just does the usual, no Dino's. Don't you just love how opionated we all are? 140 votes, LOL.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Having a cat in the doorway was a nice touch! The pumpkin cake looks yummy too.

Michele said...

The coffee cake looks so yummy. I'm betting that it was. I'm saving that recipe for sure. The doll quilt is just adorable.

Snoodles said...

Wow! Love the quilting on the "Cat House" quilt....and those stitches on the sampler are so cute!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

The toy machine blocks all came out so cute!