A Little of This, A Little of That

Yesterday I ran around doing various things in town. Also, I went to Curves. Curves seems like a viable alternative as a fourth day of exercise, and so I'm sticking with that for now. I picked up some scratch grains for the ground feeding birds. Also, I picked up some medicine and did my grocery shopping. Despite all that running around, I forgot to go to the post office, and I forgot to return a couple of items to Goodwill. I'll do that today. Today is a swimming day. If nothing else, exercise gets me into town to run my other errands. Or maybe the errands get me into town to do whatever the exercise du jour is. Either way, sh*t gets done.

Also, I was very happy to prep and quilt the last block for We are the World yesterday. Phew! Thought I'd never finish with those!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about using Glad Press 'n Seal for marking quilt designs. I would do this again...maybe...but it does have a few disadvantages. Yesterday, I was having trouble with thread breakage, and it does tend to gum up your needle. I would use it sparingly in the future, I think, but it worked great for this purpose. 

I've quilted some of the sashings and cornerstones, but I still have the rows above and below the bottom row of quilt blocks. After that, I'll stipple the border and then it will be ready for binding. 

I'm happy to say that Big Bertha is working great. They replaced the "hook" in the bobbin area. It's always been a little bit tricky clicking the bobbin into place, and I think the hook should have been replaced a long time ago. Too bad I had to have five weeks of down time in order to get it accomplished, but water under the bridge as they say...you know, "Them". 

While I love my sewing machine, some folks have had some problems with the 750QE. Some of the machines have a terrible straight stitch (I've seen the pictures), and frankly, mine hasn't been perfect. It hasn't bothered me that much because, as a quilter, I can tolerate a little off stitch here and there. Someone doing a lot of top-stitching would be more picky about it. I'm bringing this up because as I've read the user's group comments, it seems replacing the hook has been the answer to the problem. When I brought Big Bertha home, I went straight to quilting, and so I haven't tried it out to check her straight stitch yet. I'm hoping it will have improved with this fix. Fortunately, everything was covered under warranty except the new bobbin case, and I needed the new one for the new hook. No problem. I just want the machine up and running again...and it is! Yay!

So today, I'm hoping to get all of the quilting finished on We are the World. Also, I want to get out and break up the soil in one of the flower beds for planting these poppy seeds I brought back from Ireland. I'm hoping I haven't waited too long and that the seeds are still good. Also, is it too late in the season? If I wait until next year, I'm afraid it really will be too late. (I kind of forgot about them.)

These are the dreaded opium poppies...banned in the USA...because goodness knows, we'll all be producing heroin from the poppies in our backyard gardens, don't you know? Anyway, they were growing them in Ireland at a shop I visited, and when I went to the register to make some purchases, she had seeds for sale. 

Somehow they ended up in my backpack...and then into my suitcase...someone must have paid me to take a little package on the plane with me. I can't remember. Anyway...it does make me feel a little bit naughty.

This morning I went out into the garden to take pictures of the daylilies that are blooming now. Being "DAY" lilies, they weren't opened up yet. Duh. So I'll have to get those later on. For now, you can be amused by the dew on their leaves. 

The lavender is in bloom, however. It's my favorite scent. I usually harvest a few of the flowers for making lavender tea, which in turn is used for making Bees Knees cocktails. Yum. It's our favorite cocktail for when we aren't trying to be responsible adults.

The hydrangeas have started blooming. We have five bushes now, and so far, this is the only one with open flowers. The others are loaded with buds, and so I'm anxious for them to open up and show off for us.

Speaking of weeds...(were we?)

He's mad at us. We gave him his Advantage flea treatment this morning. He didn't mind so much having the stuff dripped on the back of his neck, but he definitely minded being held down while we did it. 

I'm not speaking to you. You do not exist in my world.

Last but not least, it's time to link up to

Val's Quilting Studio

Today's categories are Dogs and Dots, and I have something for both.

For Dogs, I'm linking to one of my first and favorite quilts: A Kitten's Tale. Yes, it is a cat quilt, but there's a dog in the quilt too. Check out my post from the Blogger's Quilt Festival last year for more about the dog part of the quilt.

For Dots, I'm linking to my contribution to the Dots on Dots Blog Hop from last year. I had a new little kitten with a spotted coat, so how could I resist a polka dot cat? You can see my blog post for the hop right here.

And that's about it from me today. I have miles to go before I sleep. How about you?

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Teresa in Music City said...

Your poppies will be gorgeous! I hope I don't read about a raid at your house in a few months LOL!!! Glad Big Bertha is happy again and humming along for you. I just love the pattern you used to quilt the dolls in that quilt - perfect!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Always love you flower photos. Hmm, looks like BB will be put to a good workout now. Oh, Smitty does have that glare going. Mine don't do well with the drops (Bella actually had seizure problems with it). So they get the pretty break away collars.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

Lovely photos, but then again Smitty stole the show.

What can I say. Your kitty makes me smile.

Beverly Wood said...

I very much enjoy your blog. I share your interests in quilting, cats, photography and gardening. You are the best at all of them. I gather that you use big Bertha for doing all your guilting. How do you manage large quilts. I only do baby quilts on my machine doing the free motion quilting. I tackled a large one once and let's just say it was well blessed. But..I really like fmq ing. Again, I love your blog. Keep it up.

Donna said...

Poor Smitty. His humans are just "terribles." lol

Love your poppies.

LynCC said...

oh!! So, the gorgeous patch of these poppies thriving outside my front door are banned here in the U.S.? lolol Good thing I'm in Colorado? They're right out in open sight where everyone can see them. Reseed themselves very nicely, so they're still thick as thieves from whenever the original home owners put them in.

beaquilter said...

I didn't know poppies are banned, funny my neighbor has them growing wild and said I could get seeds from them later to plant on this ugly hill we have near the road....I once smuggled in some liver pate from Denmark, only because it had a slice of bacon on top, did I get busted! pork is illegal but beef would be okay, couldn't lie my way out of that one!- note to self though!! - no bacon on top

Judy1522 said...

I didn't realize the orange poppies were also opium poppies. In Thailand the opium poppies are a beautiful pink and white flower. I don't think the ban on them is really enforced if you are growing them for ornamental or food purposes. Seriously, who is going to admit they are growing them to make opium.

liniecat said...

I have the same red poppies growing in my back garden, with the lovely black cross of sorts, within the petals. I sprinkled millions of seeds which idsaved and brought from my previous garden, and it looks like most of them have chosen to grow! Theres some double headed pink and purple icelandics in there somewhere too as I recall lol Let me know if youd like seeds later on for those too!
The UK countryside is awash at this time of year with wild poppies, blood red, snuggled in irregular patches in corn fields or speckled in our spectacular lush hedgerows.
Even without the connotation of lost lives in wars, they are always such a beautiful sight.
Cats do a 'huff' so well dont they lol

Doris Rice said...

Your flowers are georgeous! Surely it's not too late to plant the poppies. Go for it! Glad to hear Big Bertha is up and running again. Can't wait to see all your finished projects.

Dana Gaffney said...

The poppies are beautiful, I had a vision of helicopters and flame throwers descending on your garden though, be careful. I hope you share the recipe for the opium too.

Dar said...

Your We are the World quilt is so cute and thanks for the tips on using Glad n Press. Love all your beautiful flowers. Mine are sparse these days. Will be interested to see how your poppies grow. Hope the govt. isn't reading your blog or you might not get to see them in bloom.

quiltzyx said...

O happy day that Big Bertha is back to work!

Your poppy seeds look a lot like Iceland Poppies - that's my story & I'm sticking to it!! I'm amazed that the wild California poppies I see on my usual freeway onramp are still in bloom - as of this morning. We've had a couple runs of hot (90sF - 100+F) weather & usually that's the end of them. Yay for them hanging on!!
Smitty does look in high dudgeon. Sheesh dude, it's only once a month!

And yes, I was amused by the dew drops...

Brown Family said...

I got my machine back, again! Finished the embroidery that started all of the problems. I we told with the firmware update, I would never get thread wound around the bobbin case again! Yeah, right! I had to clear it twice tonight!