Cats of All Colors

Yesterday morning, I was off to a good start on the next block for the Gingerbread Square quilt. This is the Ribbon Candy House, and so I started in the lower left-hand corner where the ribbon candy is located. I'd taken it this far when I needed to stop for the morning and get on with my many errands.

One of yesterday's tasks was to pick up annuals for my flower pots. Mission accomplished, but the day wasn't as warm as I'd hoped. 

It was cloudy and on the coolish side, and so I decided to spend the afternoon sewing together the Cats of a Different Color quilt. I had in mind to fussy cut the cats from this fabric to use as cornerstones.

It was a bit of a trick cutting them to a size that was (a) not too large, and (b) contained the entire cat without getting portions of their lighter-colored cat neighbors. They ended up at 3.75 inches, and I needed 20 of them.

With that done, I used this paw fabric along with a strip of the background fabric from the blocks to make sashings. I'll need 31 of these.

I cut just enough for one block and then sewed it together to see if I liked it...And I think this is going to be just fine. 

With one block done, I decided to stop. Since I've been sewing almost non-stop for months, I'm really looking forward to a bit of a break from sewing. Today we're going to have some nice weather...75°F is predicted...and I'm ready to get out and plant my flower pots. Here's our forecast for the next week:

Not bad at all. Sue is back from her winter vacation, and we'll walk for the first time in about a month on Friday. Looks like good weather for it.

Yesterday I took a walk around the yard, stopping off first in the greenhouse. There's the picture of my sprouting butterhead lettuce, as promised. Also, I noticed one of the sunflowers has germinated. Nothing else seems to be growing, but I expect the warm weather of the next few days ought to get those seeds up and at 'em.

As for the rest of the garden, one of the hydrangeas has its first flowers.

Look at how pretty the cherry trees are now. The one toward the rear is the second one planted in that spot. The first one died, and even this one has had a rough go of it. Half the tree died off a couple of years ago, but it's doing better now.

When I'm out walking around the house, Smitty is my constant companion. He loves it when we come outside with him, and he displays his exuberance by zooming around as if jet propelled.

He loves to zoom up into the nearest tree...in this case, the cherry tree.

Next week he'll be four years old, and he's finally figured out how to get himself down from trees without sitting and whining for help from me.

The clematis should burst into bloom in the next day or two.

Maybe the lilac will too.

The azaleas are getting ready to bloom as well.

The plum tree is starting to bloom too...and at a good time. Last year it bloomed in the rain, and we ended up with no more than a half dozen plums on the whole tree. I'm hoping the sunshine and our neighbor's bees will give us a better plum harvest this fall.

The sundial wasn't out yet, and so I set that up and set the time. It's one of my favorite things in the garden. We left it out one winter and a heavy snowfall broke off the gnomon. Happily, the manufacturer was able to supply a replacement, but now we bring it in each winter.

After that, I made dinner, which happened to be a new recipe for this Creamy Piquillo Pepper and Chickpea Soup with Chicken. It was delicious and super simple.

You might be able to find piquillo peppers in a jar in your grocery store. If not, you can use the more commonly found roasted red peppers. It doesn't actually have whole chickpeas, but uses pureed hummus, piquillo peppers and chicken stock as a base. Then you add some cooked chicken, cooked rice, and parsley, heat it up, and you're done. This is something I can make in the RV. I used my homemade veggie stock and a roasted chicken from the deli, which made it a quick and easy dinner.

This morning I finished up the first hoop's worth of the Gingerbread Square block. Since this is the ribbon candy house and the ribbon candy is completely stitched, it's tempting to just fold it all up and call it finished. Alas, there is much to stitch still.

Before I end today I must address the multitude of concerns expressed after my blog post yesterday. First and foremost, and for obvious reasons, the lack of a cat in the blue Wheel Estate block pictured in the four-block collage...this one:

You all have very sharp eyes. Actually, I was just testing...to see if you were paying attention. In fact, I chose the wrong image for the collage. If memory serves, I didn't start adding cats until I made the second block, and so I added the cat to the first block later. Here it is:

Feel better? Also, some of you expressed concerned that I'd glued, rather than sewn on the buttons in the flower pot. Here was my thinking: The buttons are tiny, and will require a beading needle to thread through those tiny little holes. The problem is that the applique is four layers thick there, and so I'm quite certain that a flimsy beading needle will bend. 

My friend Sharon offered up the solution of making the hole with a larger needle and then sewing them on with the beading needle. In the middle of our cyber conversation, however, I remembered that I have some tiny little needles I purchased when I took a hand applique class. I'll give it a try with those. I believe you are right that the glue will not hold up over time, although this quilt is intended as a wall hanging.

So off I go to enjoy the sunny weather and my feline buddies. It's going to be a nice day, and I'm looking forward to digging in the dirt. I imagine my feline buddies will also be digging in the dirt, but I won't be doing what they're doing.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

I should have added picture of my garden stuff and lilac tree . . . all still dead and dormant. Oh well, it will warm eventually. I hope. I love that you add cats to your quilts and you're right, I got all anxious when I couldn't find them! :)

Quilting Babcia said...

At 3 degrees yesterday when we woke up, I'm thankful that nothing has progressed too far here. I'm worried about the iris th a t had sent out new leaves and the rhubarb that was looking so good a few days ago. That ribbon candy looks yummy. The kitty footprints make a perfect sashing for your cat blocks.

quiltzyx said...

It was 93 this afternoon but it had dropped to 80 by 5pm. It's supposed to be only 68 tomorrow & rainy. Sounds good to me!
Your annuals look wonderful, so bright & cheerful! I can just picture Smitty ripping around the yard too.
Ribbon candy always reminds me of my Grandma Dickie. She always had candy dish full of it at Christmas time.

CathieJ said...

Your lovely crafts and pictures brightened my evening. I love those mobile home blocks and of course the ribbon candy is beautiful.

Cath said...

hahaha....so glad the mystery of the missing cat was sorted! I glued some little wooden lady beetles onto a quilt using 'shoe' glue...it is an ugly brown colour but you only need the tiniest little bit. The quilt has been folded up, hung up but not washed and the beetles are still STUCK!

Dana Gaffney said...

It must be amazing to see everything coming back to life like that and I think the bees will have a wonderful time in your yard, tell Smitty to leave the tiny flying things alone.

Wendy Tuma said...

I'm enjoying the pictures of your flowers and garden while I wait for the "brown yuck" to disappear here. Your camper blocks are delightful, and I really like your cat block!

Julianne said...

Omg that's hilarious! I too was looking for the kitty in the blue block but I didn't mention it! Glad to see it there now! Ha!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

We are still in that 'new' cold/stormy period - hopefully that will fade over the next week (or so). My few Daffs that were out froze. My furkids weren't happy with the change in weather, either.

Brown Family said...

OK, I should have just waited on yesterdays (earlier today) questions! I have used a size 60 machine needle and sewn them on with the button sew on stitch. You have to be very careful, but it is do-able!

nellieduclos@yahoo.com said...

Cute cat fabric-I'm always a sucker for any fabric with cats! Love the cat block.

Kate said...

I really like your setting plan for Cats of a Different Color. It's going to be a very cute addition to your gallery. Hope you get in lots of walks with Smitty this week, looks like you'll have just about perfect weather for a few days.