A Finish and a Start

It was time to move the hoop on my embroidery yesterday morning. This piece was almost finished.

The last little bit fit nicely in the hoop.

A half hour later, it was all finished.

This is block #7 of nine blocks. I was a little worried about running out of that gold sparkle floss used in the garland for the larger of the two trees, and so I checked the next two. It seemed wise to order another skein. Now I'll have gold sparkle floss to spare. The next time I work on this one, I'll be doing the Ribbon Candy house.

My newest little sewing room buddy was keeping me company while I plotted my next embroidery project. 

The downstairs is still pretty much off limits to her as far as Smitty is concerned. He claims all of the downstairs and all of the upstairs as his territory. She can move about freely on the main floor...most of the time. Downstairs, he'll tolerate her for short periods of time while in the sewing room, but the family room and the fireplace are strictly off limits.

Interestingly, I tried to engage the two of them in play yesterday. The red dot made an appearance. Smitty was terribly excited to see it until Maggie joined in the game. Then, he sat back and pouted. Even when the dot landed on his white feet, he refused to play. Later on, he chased her around the house just to let her know she'd overstepped the bounds of good taste. Ok-kay. So we won't try that again for a while. It seems some games are not for the jealous type.

So anyway...usually the lightbox I use to trace out embroidery designs lives in my windowless sewing room. Yesterday, it was such a pretty day that I decided to take it upstairs where I could sit at the dining room table and look out. We were above the clouds while the valley was in fog, and that always makes me feel very superior.

So I traced out Kaelynn's block for the Live, Love, Teach quilt. This one has had me gnashing my teeth trying to decide how to do it. I happened to be talking with my friend Lisa while I was doing this and I shared with her that some of these blocks drawn by children, while precious, are the most difficult. Just what's going on in this one? I'm assuming the large figure in the middle is Lisa, but what's with the black around her heart? And how about those orange teeth? And is she having some orthodontia work done?

I considered doing it in applique, but then decided the two smaller figures were too tiny for applique to be practical...the figure on the right is only about an inch tall. Finally, I decided crayon was my best route, and so I traced the dark lines, and then colored in the rest. I'll do the name at the top in burnt orange floss, and the rest will be done in black.

That will only take a couple of sittings, and so I traced out the next Hocuspocusville block as well. This will be the 5th of 12 blocks.

It was such a pretty day I decided to get out for a walk. And when we're above the clouds like we were yesterday, nothing says the clouds won't roll right on up over the hill and cover us in fog as well. So, once I had those embroidery pieces finished, I wasted no time getting out into the sunshine.

Here's what I saw on my walk. For one thing, I didn't know that my neighbor had beehives. Cool! I've thought so many times about doing this, but I haven't yet worked up the nerve or the motivation. My dad and I used to keep bees together when I was a little girl. It's one of the few good memories that I have of him.

Also, lots of wild daffodils growing along the side of the road. How do they get there, I wonder? I'm thinking squirrels dig them up and plant them in places they find preferable.

This tree that was starting to bloom. The blooming trees are my favorite spring blossoms.

Wild holly.

And this green carpet. I don't know what it is, but it was pleasing to mine eye, and so I took its picture.

This is Tina's barn.

I know because there's a sign identifying it as such. I'm guessing this is Tina's art studio as well. The place just has that artsy look about it.

Some llamas...or maybe they're alpacas. I can never remember which is which.

These little wildflowers. Don't know what they are, but I'm betting somebody can identify them.

For about three seconds I hated on this jogger who ran past me...while singing...if you can imagine. The noyve of some people. I wanted to yell after her, "Someday you'll have bad knees too!" In a rare moment of self-discipline, I simply smiled and said, "Good morning! Nice day for it!" Grrrrrrrrrrr. Not that I'm competitive or anything. Or old. Or crabby.

This is a bloomed out head of Queen Anne's Lace.

As I headed down the home stretch toward my house, indeed, the clouds were rolling over the hill. My house is just on the other side of those brambles.

This is my neighbor's horse who politely stood still for her picture.

I saw lots and lots of little green shoots.

And sword ferns. These grow like crazy in the Northwest. Sometimes it's hard to keep them from growing where you don't want them.

This is my neighbor's crocus...the first one to bloom.

And here we are...back at the Three Cats Ranch. It was a great walk, and it got me about 9k steps with no treadmill walking. With the weather improving, I'll be getting out a lot more.

When I got back, I did some housework, took a nap (because Smitty kept waking me up for loves and snuggles the night before), and then I got started on my project for the February

I'm making this "Be Mine" table runner. It's a pattern I printed off back in 2011 from Little Bits of This & That. I had in mind to have it on my table for Valentine's Day this year, but that obviously didn't happen. I'll have it next year though. Nothing like getting a head start on holiday projects, which is more optimistic than considering that you just totally missed the holiday.

It's a quilt as you go project, and I have all the fabrics I need right in my stash. I'm using this one for the back, which is more pink than it appears in this image. Those little heart circles are about the size of a dime.

There are twenty strips cut from four fabrics. The two on the left are from cut off edges of finished quilts. I love it when I can find a use for those.

I did purchase three yards of this gigantic rick rack to use along the edge.

Also, I made the heart appliques. Those will go on last.

Then, I was ready to get started. The first thing was to cut the back and batting and spray baste them together.

Then, I started sewing the strips on. I had the first four finished when it was time to stop for the day.

Today I have my monthly pedicure, and I need to do my grocery shopping. It's another pretty day, and so I'm hoping to get out for another walk when I get home. If not, I'll just pick up with my sewing right here. It shouldn't take long to have this one finished.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Lee said...

Lots of happenings in your world, from kitties, flora & a horse (oh I'd love to pet it - I miss being around horses!), to quilty stuff. Those pretty little white flowers bowing their heads are snow drops.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love all the photography, especially to see fresh flowers popping as that means we will see that some time down the timeline.

DeeDee said...

Those are alpacas! How cool! (I'm a knitter - yarn on the hoof excites me.) My two little shadows Olive and Henry have been following me everywhere the last two days. And so have the little kitten spats. I love my kitties, they bring me so much joy each day. Today they were even getting their own theme songs as I cleaned the house.

I'm enjoying all your pictures. How gorgeous!

Lyndsey said...

Great embroidery and a beautiful picture of Maggie. Scamp and picasso get miffy if you try to involve them both in a game. Casso's game is fetch but Scamp will annoy him by joining in, whilst Scamp likes a wrestling match but Casso will muscle in as well. Love the pics of your walk.

Quilter Kathy said...

I love this embroidery block... the sparkle on the tree is perfect!

Dana Gaffney said...

I see that DeeDee beat me to it, I love that you have alpacas as neighbors and the bee hives could be your connection to really local honey. Nice walk, keep it up.

gpc said...

You have such a lovely walk. I should photograph mine sometime, just to show you the difference! The little white flowers are called snowdrops, I think. I looked them up last year when they appeared at my son's new house -- not this early of course, but before other spring flowers. I love the heart runner, it looks like something that even I could make some version of! And of course all of your work continues to be fantastic.

Jackie said...

Thank you for taking us on your walk! The stitchery block you finished is gorgeous! I just purchased the pattern for Hocuspocusville. Can't wait to start working on it. Love your table runner.

quiltzyx said...

Are you friends with the neighbors who have the bees? Fresh honey??
The embroidery is wonderful - and you are, to me, so FAST!
The red dot story made me laugh - and remember when my friend Benny was using the red dot to play with his cat Mollie. When she "caught" the dot, she became quite disgusted that it wasn't real & gave him a very dirty look. She would NEVER chase the dot again after that!!
Such a beautiful walk - thank you so much for sharing with us.

Kate said...

Thanks for sharing your walk. I'm so ready for warmer weather and wild flowers.

Brown Family said...

I am ready to get outside and walk. We have been going to a local mall to walk but the weather is at it's best now for outside. It is funny to play with my three. They take turns playing. Two will sit back and watch the third and then they swap!