This morning I finished the last of the embroidery for the Written in Thread wallhanging.
Then I trimmed the edges to 1 1/4 inch from the seam line. That was scary. I was careful to make sure there was still at least a quarter inch seam allowance around the outside of the stitching.
The last thing it needs is a pieced border around the outside, and then it will be ready for quilting and binding.
Yesterday I left early to pick up our CSA share and allowed time for a trip to JoAnn's. I wanted to pick up some floss for the next embroidery project to enter the line-up: Wine Country, a gift from my dear friend Marei. These are the colors of floss I'll be using. The one on the right there is a silvery gray, not the lavender that it appears to be. The red in the center is a brick red.
I thought I would use that piece of Kona solid in the background of the image above, but then remembered that I still have about a yard of some tea-dyed muslin left over from the Quilting Snowladies. I decided to go for the more rustic look and use that. The paper transfers are cut apart now and numbered (so that I can keep track of where I am). First up will be the Pinot Noir block since this is Oregon, and that's what we do best here. What a luxury to be able to iron on the transfers rather than tracing them! Stitching begins on this one tomorrow.
Also at JoAnn's I picked up a hand quilting hoop. Already I had the larger 15-inch one, but I wanted a smaller one as well.
I've decided to go out on a really long limb here and hand quilt the Mumm's the Word quilt. To my eyes, it seems to be begging for hand quilting.
The only other quilt I've ever hand quilted is this whole cloth doll quilt made when I took an online class from Quilt University (no longer operating). This one was done in the traditional way with hand quilting thread. "Traditional" if you're a stabber like me.
Recently I've become aware of another hand-quilting method known as "big stitch". It's done with #8 Perle cotton and a running stitch. Supposedly it goes quickly, and so I'm going to give it a try. I found a pretty good tutorial right here, if you're interested in learning more about this.
After my trip to JoAnn's I needed a few things at the grocery store and then headed over to pick up week 2 of our CSA share. Pretty veggies again. You can't see them well in this image, but on the right-hand side toward the back are some collard greens large enough to use for sailing the Pacific ocean. We'll probably eat ours instead of setting sail, but it's always good to dream big.
Experimentation is ongoing with these. In the image below is Monday's dinner. On the left is a mixed green salad, to which I added roasted beets and some quick pickled radishes. Six radishes were sliced thinly along with one shallot, then pickled in a combination of 1/4 cup of bottled lime juice, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of pickling salt. Then they were allowed to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes and then drained and added to the salad. You can wait an hour to serve them, but I'm told they'll start turning gray after that. Those were very nice added to the salad.
On the right is a dish of Pasta with Kale Pesto and Roasted Butternut Squash. The kale pesto was very nice on the pasta. I happen to like kale. Mike likes it better if it no longer looks like kale. The combination of the kale pesto, pasta, and roasted butternut squash was delicious.
So that's life at the Three Cats Ranch, now sadly down to just one cat. As I've already said, we've searched high and low, inside and out, and not seen any sign of Maggie whatsoever. Along the way I noticed that the rose is going to bloom despite repeated assaults from a rather friendly deer.
As the rhododendron blossoms fade in the background, the daylilies are heading up and should be blooming by next week. I always love seeing these bloom. They were a gift from Erik and Mae.
The two zucchini plants seemed to come to a complete standstill after I transplanted them into the ground. Now they're growing again and starting to form blossoms. Looks like I need to sprinkle some "candy" for the slugs.
The lavender is heading up and ready to bloom...my favorite fragrance.
Additionally, I wanted to say what we've been thinking about the future of kitties here at the Three Cats Ranch. There are differing schools of thought about whether cats should be allowed outside or kept inside exclusively. We happen to be in the camp that believes they have better lives if they are allowed outside with certain restrictions. The restrictions here have always been that they come in at night when predators roam the land. Also, they don't go outside when we take them in the RV except to use the catio or unless they are leashed...which they don't like, and thus, they don't go outside much. But thems are the rules.
Losing Maggie has hit us very hard. We haven't had her long, but we both grew attached to her very quickly. Her vulnerability made her easy to love, and she has some very endearing qualities to boot. Further, she has virtually no bad habits, which is unusual in any living thing. And so we're very saddened by her disappearance. It doesn't help that we lost Gracie just six months ago.
With that said, we've decided to amend our outside kitty rules to accommodate the use of an outdoor shelter. Yesterday I did some shopping and found a company in Seattle that will sell plans for a DIY version. We're planning to build their "Sanctuary" plan.
As pictured, its dimensions are 8 x 10, but Mike plans to make it 8 x 12 by adding one more vertical section. He also plans to put it on casters so that it can be moved in order to clean our deck which has a membrane surface. When it's in place, it will attach to the exterior wall of the house with eye bolts and hooks. Mike has purchased the plans, and he expects to have it completed within the next couple of weeks.
We continue to believe that cats live the best lives possible if they are allowed to be outside. Smitty, in particular, loves to run and hunt, and keeping him inside will make him unhappy. We still plan to allow him out when we can be outside with him. We can't bear to restrain him from his "galumphing" back and forth in pure kitty joy when he follows us around the yard. On the other hand, Mike and I are growing weary of this worry over predators. It's time to make a change, and it will no doubt evolve over time.
Today I have a day at home. Originally I thought I'd be making another trip the the grocery store today, but then remembered that we are eating dinner out tonight to celebrate our anniversary yesterday. (We would have gone yesterday, but the restaurant is closed on Tuesdays.) That means I'll have some time to get back to quilting the Yard Art quilt today. Also there's a little housework and some weeding to do.
We're keeping our fingers crossed about Maggie, but really not expecting to see her again. Keep your fingers crossed too, okay? If she returns, all greetings that begin with "I told you so" will be gladly accepted.