3/30/15

Wallful of Cats

This morning I hung the Sew Helpful quilt on the Wall of Cats. I think I might be able to fit one more quilt below this one, but then the first of my four stairwell walls will be filled.


If you're new to this blog, allow me to explain. There are two stairwells in our home...essentially narrow hallways with stairs. Since I've made bunches of small cat quilts, I decided to hang them on the walls of the stairwells. That gives me four walls to work with. I'm closing in on finishing the first full wall. When I hung up the "Love Me, Love My Cat" redwork, I thought I was finished with this wall. This morning, I realized that I can fit a couple more small quilts at the bottom. Since I'm not able to back away from this wall to show you a good picture of all of them, I wrote a blog post a while back with pictures of all the quilts. If you're interested, you can see them all right here.

It was a sewing-free weekend, except for some embroidery. It was nice to take a little break from it. We picked up a treadmill from Erik and Mae yesterday. With great effort the two of us managed to lug it up the stairs to our bedroom where it is now installed in the dormer.


Since I've been unsuccessful in forcing myself out the door to a regular exercise program, I have high hopes that this will be the answer to my deficient ambition. I've been inhaling audio books while I'm sewing, and so I think turning on an audio book and walking for a half hour most days will get me doing it more regularly. I wanted the treadmill in the dormer so that I can look out on the field while I'm walking. It's hard to see in this image below, but I can watch the birds from the window...and there's usually something going on out there no matter what. Usually there's some sort of wildlife (domestic or otherwise) wandering through. This is my view. On a clear day, I can see the mountains. 


After all that effort yesterday, we started early making this beer can chicken. If you've never had beer can chicken, then I'll tell you that it is a chicken with a beer can stuffed up its rear end and then barbecued. My recipe happens to include a rub both over and under the skin. The remainder of the rub goes into the beer can with the half can of beer. It takes a couple of hours to cook the chicken completely, but it is delicious.


Our chicken has a stand that holds it upright. The first time we did this, we did it with the beer can alone, which didn't work well at all. There are a number of stands on the market, and I recommend using one. In searching out that link, I also found this article that throws a wet blanket on this whole idea. Whatever. It's kind of fun, and it tastes good. Where's the harm? 

If you're interested in giving this a try, here's a link to the recipe I've used. I like the barbecue sauce that comes with my recipe. Besides, you gotta love a recipe that starts out with these words: "Open beer can; drink half." Also, I read a tip for an alcohol-free bird: Try lemonade, ginger-ale or even your favorite cola. 

This morning I finished stitching the overlapping sheets of Sticky-Fabri-Solvy on the latest Vintage Tin block. When I have to overlap the sheets, they tend to shift, and so I stitch those areas first.


You can see the faint lines that I've left unstitched in favor of the ones I decided were a better choice. The shift isn't enough to make a difference in the finished block, but I still think it's a good idea to start there and minimize the process. With that done, I'm hooped up and ready to start heading bottom to top and right to left across the piece. There's still lots of mileage to cover on this one.


There's also another area of overlap farther to the left, but I'll worry about that part when I get there.

It's the last nice day of weather for a while, and so I'm going to get outside and prune the dead stuff from one more hydrangea. We have five hydrangeas, and I've pruned all but one. When I did the others, the last one was still in too much shade to have put out any shoots. I needed to wait until I could see what is alive and what isn't. It's the largest of the hydrangeas, and so I expect that will take me about an hour. When that's finished I'm going to get a start on my latest door for the Doors of Ireland.

Next up: breakfast. Then I'll give that treadmill a workout. Please keep your fingers crossed that I don't hurt myself. What's on your agenda for this last Monday in March?

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

beaquilter said...

fun fun on your walls and get walking on that treadmill. I got one 2 weeks ago too- a HUGE one, didn't fit thru out bedroom door, barely thru the front door, so it's in front of the TV which is good, I walk in the morning and watch TV or netflix, just finished "the paradise"

quiltzyx said...

You do have a great view out the window & the Wall of Cats looks awesome!
Somewhere I have a "chicken stand" too, made to use in the oven, but I don't think it has room for a can of anything. it does have a little tray or bowl-ish bit on the bottom that collects the run-off fat from the chicken as it bakes. I haven't used it in a zillion years, but as I recall the chicken was good baked that way.
I'm at work today (hooray!) trying to figure out why it's so hard for the graduate students to tell me what college they want to talk to. Them: "Can I talk to Financial Aid please?" Me: "For which college?" (We answer for all 7 Claremont Colleges) Them: "Education." "But for which college?" "Education." "OK, Pomona College, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer, Scripps, Claremont Graduate or Keck Graduate Institute?" "Oh, CGU." I'm not kidding, nearly EVERY single time! Good thing Kay & I have lots of things to laugh about or we might make fun of them!

Diane Wild said...

Great Wall. And, get going on the treadmill. I'm on 6 days a week but I go to SNAP. It's my habit just like morning coffee. Nice weather for us today. Outside scratching around.

Quilter Kathy said...

In a perfect world, I'd be able to walk on a treadmill while I hand stitched :)

WoolenSails said...

I like how you displayed the quilts, up the stairway. I have the same type and lots of white space, so would like to use it to display quilts.

Debbie

Lyndsey said...

We had an exercise bike for a while but I found it boring and my knees hurt but since we got Scamp my walking has increased dramatically. I just need an extra couple of hours in the day to fit everything in. The cat wall of fame looks great.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

A great addition to your 'wall of cats' and there is space for one more. I fall off treadmills - I get that tunnel vision going and then my balance goes with it. But what a great view out that window - good luck.

Betty said...

The cat wall is looking good! Smitty must be sew excited to have the Sew Helpful quilt hanging there.
My treadmill has to be taken apart to fit through any of the doors in my house. Thank goodness we didn't have to haul it upstairs! I wish I had as nice a view as you do from your dormer. I usually just watch videos on my tablet while I walk.
My hubby cooks a wonderful beer can chicken. It is by far the best way we have found to cook a bird. I found the article about "Debunking" beer can chicken quite amusing. The author contradicts himself by first saying the beer doesn't get hot and then stating one of the dangers of the method is being burned by the hot beer. Each to his own I suppose.

liniecat said...

Love that wall!! I wondered what you did with all your quilts and to see them like that is great fun and they look great together. That chicken sounds tasty but am amazed the can doesn't taint the meat or explode!

Dana Gaffney said...

The view and the audio books should help with the treadmill, I think you just need to make it a habit and do it early before you get distracted. Good luck!

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

I wish I could have a treadmill ... well, technically I can, but I'd have to put it in the basement. I'd MUCH rather have your view! I've thought often about making a beer can chicken, but my hubby isn't a huge fan of chicken. He'll eat it when it's part of a recipe (as in chicken stroganoff), but roasted chicken on its own - he's not a fan. :-(

crazy quilter said...

I truly love your wall full of cats. It is so neat to see the otherwise empty stairwell filled with the cute kitties! I think you do have room for at least one more. Keep on sewing ! they look great!

Brown Family said...

Being able to look out at the mountains while walking would be great!