Making Tracks

The snow let up yesterday, and the temperatures are on the rise now. There was even actually some brightness on the landscape yesterday. And the good news is that there is sunshine on the way:

Excuse me for just a moment while I stand up and jump for joy. The snow is fun, but man, oh, man has it ever been dark here...for weeks! That much darkness just wreaks havoc with my sleep. I've had trouble falling asleep, and even when I can fall asleep, I have trouble staying asleep. A day or two of that is bad enough. When you get several days running, the old mind starts to lag behind the old mouth, and other important body parts. I keep telling myself I need to sit in front of my light box, but do I do it? No. I vow every bleary-eyed morning to get it out and sit there while I do my embroidery. I have yet to do it. Maybe this morning when I get off the computer. 

I took advantage of the brightness yesterday morning to get out and fill the bird feeders. My goal is to fill them every other day, but sometimes the weather keeps me inside. When I approached the feeders, I noticed all these little birdie tracks in the snow.

Then, I noticed the tracks of some other critter. What do you think makes tracks like these? It isn't Smitty...he won't go out in the snow. Besides, wouldn't a cat or dog make alternating tracks, rather than side by side like this? It didn't seem large enough for the bobcat. Certainly it isn't a deer...whatever it is has paws, not hooves. A waskelly wabbit maybe? I noticed it circling around the other feeders as well. 

It looks like Big Foot was here....oh wait, never mind.

So while I was out, I noticed a package at the door. And it was around 11:00 a.m., mind you. The delivery man was out pretty early. I wasn't expecting anything before Wednesday. It was addressed to me, and so I opened it, and what to my wondering eyes should appear? Holy sh*t! It's the batting I ordered on Saturday!   

I couldn't have gotten it any faster if I'd driven to the store to get it myself. Like I said...Amazon Prime, baby. Love it. Mike and I have taken to hitting the button

and then walking directly to the front door to see if it's arrived yet. Amazing.

Poor Mr. Smitty seems positively bereft about Gracie's absence. I wish there was a way to explain it to him. Mike was home all last week, and so we did double-duty petting and entertaining him. Yesterday, Mike went back to work. Smitty followed me from room to room where he would lie watching me, all huddled up and looking small. If he lost track of me, I'd hear him crying in the other room. It's heartbreaking.

We're really quite surprised how hard he's taking it. Gracie never cared much for Smitty...she barely tolerated him. He loved her...probably a little too much because it meant he pestered her trying to get her to play with him. Now that she's gone, he seems lost and lonely.

Some of you have asked if we're getting another cat, and the answer is yes, we are. We were planning to wait until we return from our upcoming trip. Hopefully, Smitty will perk up soon, or we might reconsider. 

Once the birds were fed, I undecorated all the Christmas stuff and then got to work finishing the quilting for the Icy Blues. And remember how I was singing the praises of the Glitter thread? Well, ix-nay on the Itter-Glay. As I told one friend yesterday, I've lost all trust in it and we're getting a divorce.

Keep in mind that I'd already sewn half a dozen snowflakes with different colors of Glitter thread, including the one I'd done the day before, and they turned out perfectly.

That was the end of my love affair with Glitter thread. I had new songs going through my head while I was fighting with the thread yesterday:

When the truth is shown to be lies
And all the joy within you dies...

There I was, blissful in the ignorance of what was about to happen, sewing away, when I noticed this:

Hm. Then I looked up at the thread coming off the spool and noticed it was shredded

And let me tell you, I've been watching my tension like a hawk, but still...this.

Well, I tried everything. The shredding made me think that perhaps my needle was the problem, even though I'd just changed it for a new one. Maybe the new one had a burr or something? So I put in another one...no change. That thread broke every ten stitches. It was infuriating.

How can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?

And I wanted to at least finish up the six snowflakes for this block using the same thread, and so I limped along, cursing, at a good thread gone bad.

I need a love, like any other; yeah. So go on and leave me, 
leave me for another! Good lovin' gone bad, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, 
Good lovin' gone bad, bad, bad, Good lovin' gone bad; yeah. 

Yep...it was a day of heartbreak for me and for Smitty. Anyway...I limped along until they were finished.

As I said in my earlier post, I was going to use one of the Glitter threads on the Quilting Snowladies, but I've nixed that plan. I did the second block on the Icy Blues in this more traditional silver metallic thread.

I have another spool like this that is a variegated silver. I'll use that on the Quilting Snowladies, but for this project, I'm going to use this one...just FYI.

Had I known the blue Glitter thread was going to act up the way it did, I would have done these the other way around because the silver doesn't show up as well on this fabric. Nevertheless, I stitched this one snowflake with my fingers crossed...and no breakage.

So I finished up the rest of the six.

And then...the quilting was finished.

Here's how it looks on the back. I laid it in front of my living room windows, where I get the best contrast for this kind of a picture.

It's ready for binding now, and I'm hoping to get that finished today. Also on today's agenda are my monthly pedicure and then grocery shopping. I should get home in plenty of time to get the binding sewn on by machine, and then I can finish the hand stitching tomorrow.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Vroomans' Quilts said...

This is why I seldom use glitter thread anymore - just not worth the aggrivation (and teeth grinding takes it's toll).

Lyndsey said...

Such a shame when the blue glitter looked so pretty but the silver metallic thread looks great. The quilting looks great.

Quilting Babcia said...

Is it possible to use a thread conditioner with glitter thread?, would be a royal pain but maybe worth trying for little motifs. Maybe humidity levels make a difference?

Dana Gaffney said...

The heartbreak of glitter thread, I think we all know it. I'm so glad you're getting another cat, I didn't want to ask but I do think it will be the answer to Smitty's sadness, should I send you one? :)

beaquilter said...

Oh don't like glittery threads at all.
We have mid 70s today!!

Ann said...

Pretty, pretty quilting. Looks gorgeous. Forget about that shredding thread and take pride in your finish.

Lou said...

The quilt looks great! You are SO brave to try specialty threads! I stay with the King Tut, Omni, nd Connecting threads, I have used Isacord emb thread and it worked very well... it was the only brand that had the color I needed.
I know a new friend would help Smitty! He has never been alone before so he is lonely! I also have extra's when you need one:) ha ha!!!

brenda j chesnut said...

Have you tried a larger eyed needle? Maybe a needle for metallic thread?

Dar said...

Yes, I've had the same problems with glittery threads. I did invest in a metallica needle and sometimes put a drop of thread lubricant when the going gets real rough. Another factor is the fabrics. Batiks are woven so tightly and tend to create problems when quilting them that the regular cottons don't. At least that is what I find on my long arm quilting machine. They dull the needles more quickly too. Your finished trees and snowflakes look beautiful even though your teeth are a bit ground down. lol

Sarah said...

Smitty does look pitiful doesnt he?! Phooey on the glitter thread. I've never bought a metallic after hearing everyone's sob stories but after your original sucess was going to try it...not now. I'll stick to my King Tut.

Sarah said...

Forgot to add I don't think those are rabbit tracks...front feet should be smaller than the back. I have no idea what they are from but they are not like NY rabbits...

Kate said...

I've not played much with the metallic threads, sorry the blue one broke your trust. Just be glad it was on a project that you wouldn't cry too much over. The Icy Blues looks great, even with the change in stitching plans.

Judy1522 said...

Sorry the metallic thread is not working out because it really is beautiful. The silver looks beautiful also and I think your snowflakes turned out great. I feel so bad that Smitty is missing Gracie so much. It is frustrating that there is no way of explaining to him where she went.

Sue Laughton said...

Poor Smitty and poor Barbara! Sorry that the blue glitter thread has let you down. :(

((((hugs to you both))))

Brown Family said...

I have had a problem with metallic thread shredding, too! It makes me want to cuss!