It was a cornucopia of sewing yesterday. I said I was going to give myself a sewing day, and I did. When I started off, I had certain things in mind, and while everything didn't happen the way I planned, it was a good day.

First, I committed the McTavishing to the FMQ sampler. As I've said to several people, I'm not sure my "McTavishing" turned out the way it's supposed to, but I like the design anyway. My friend Julie pointed out that only Karen McTavish can do actual McTavishing, and I think that's a good perspective. What is pleasing to the eye works no matter what you call it.

This is a design that really should be worked in one color thread since there is some unavoidable traveling. That works less well when you travel with a different thread color than the first line of stitching. No matter. I'm happy with how this sampler is turning out. Here's what I have so far.

Our next lesson will be with rulers. One can work the lessons as slowly or as quickly as desired. I'm sort of sticking with the new lesson every Wednesday rule.

While I was doing that, Mike was busy building a little deck for the cathouse on the catio. Our thinking is that with our rainy winters and blowing rain, the cathouse will eventually be sitting in water 24/7. It's waterproof, but probably not mold and mildew proof, and so we thought it would be a good idea to get it up off the ground. He had several cut off pieces of lumber left over and so he made it the size of the pieces he had. I'm telling you, the man has the chops of a quilter.

Remember when I showed you the inside and how my flannel FMQ practice piece fit perfectly?

And I said something like, "That means I'll have to bind it, and I hadn't intended to." Because obviously it's going to get all fuzzed up and eventually I'll want to wash it, which means it'll have to be bound or else it will come all apart. Right? And when I said, "That means I'll have to bind it," and what I really meant was..."I'll wait until it's all fuzzed up, and then I'll want to wash it, and then I'll have to figure out how to get the fuzz off of it or else sneeze to death in the process." And then I found myself strategizing about how to get the fuzz off so that I could bind it so that I could wash it. How many of you do that?

Well. Mike took care of all of that because he very helpfully removed it and handed it to me so that I could bind it. Sigh. Husbands. So helpful.

So, okay. I guess I'll bind it now instead of waiting for the fuzz to accumulate. Only, here is my helpful, er, hinderful cat here to hinder.

And, frankly, she makes sewing impossible. 

Remember her PET ME!!!! picture?

Yes. Well. Enough said, I think. She makes it impossible to accomplish even the simplest of tasks.

I decided she needed a little bed to mark her boundaries in the sewing room. When she gets in my face, I encouraged her back into the bed, and she is remarkably compliant. She likes her little bed.

Are you sure I can't help with that, Mommy?

I thought if I waited her out...

[you are getting sleepy, very very sleepy, sleepy, sleeeeeepeeeee...]

Yep. Let sleeping cats lie. The wisest words ever spoken.

And eventually, I did get that binding on. So how's this for quilter frugality...it's a FMQ practice piece, made from the cut off edges of the Live, Love, Teach quilt, bound with a scrap of leftover binding. Makes you tingly all over just thinking about it, doesn't it?

Usually, I would hand sew the backs of my bindings, but this was a good opportunity to practice machine sewing them, and it turned out very cute, if you ask me. You did ask me, didn't you?

So now it's back in the cathouse, and everything is grrrrooooovy.

Except for this. Seeing the expression on Smitty's face reminds me that I'm taking Sadie to the vet tomorrow. She's had stinky and runny poops as long as we've had her, and she lets off exhaust like a diesel truck. You wouldn't think something so foul could issue from something so adorable. Even Smitty is appalled. We think she might have a tapeworm. Sorry, that was probably more than you wanted to know.

Ya wanna see? Oh...let's just cover that up, shall we?

Anyway...that image above is just one more demonstration of what I hate about paper piecing. It makes the biggest mess ever. However, on a positive note, it is giving me an opportunity to use my smallest scraps. Also, it's giving me an opportunity to dig through them a discard all the ones I should have discarded long ago. And in all of that, I managed to get seven flowers paper-pieced yesterday.

As I went, they got faster until I could make one in about ten minutes. Today I'll be making seven more, only reversed this time.

While I was doing that, I was trying to decide what to work on when I had all seven done. The sewing room is such a mess, and since there's more paper piecing to do, it seemed like quilting the Seating for Two quilt was the best choice. I'm bumping this to the top of the list because I want to enter it in the Northwest Quilters Expo in September, and because there is a quilt show in Yachats (pronounced YAH-hots), Oregon, in March of 2017. Here's a little blurb about the Yachats show. The theme is "Gems of the Ocean" and I figure this quilt was made from a photograph taken at Rockaway Beach, so it counts, right?

To be clear, I have no expectation of even getting in, let alone winning anything, but it's still fun to try. What's the worst that can happen? I might not get in, but I won't get in if I don't enter. And I might not win. But again, I won't win if I don't enter. Odds of winning are significantly higher if I actually enter. So...nothing to lose, right? 

So I've been thinking about how to quilt this. I'm going to outline the chairs and quilt in their slats. Then, I want to quilt curving lines of sand about halfway up, and then rays of sunshine coming down from the top.

And so I started on that yesterday. I quilted the outline of the red chair, and then the lines for the slats. While I was quilting along, I wondered how much detail to add. Do I also quilt all the seams in the arms of the chair? What about the seam lines for the back legs of the chair? So I started with the outline and the slats, and also the outline of the sandy area under the right arm. I'm using invisible thread on top, and so it barely shows, but it does give a nice texture.

When I'd gone that far, I stopped to check the back, and I think that's plenty of quilting. No need to get all caught up in the details.

I'm using this variegated thread for the bobbin, and I'll use that throughout.

When I start quilting the sand and the rays of sun, I'm going to switch to one of these on top. I like the bright yellow of the one on the right, but also, I like the variation in color provided by the variegated thread on the left. It's a hard choice. What do you think?

And since I stole Smitty's bed from my desk for the sewing room (he's outgrown it anyway), he claimed this quilt as his own.

This one is mine, Human. Get your own.

I've been puzzling over how to quilt the borders. Within the confines of my mind, I've come up with and discarded several designs. Suddenly yesterday, I knew what to do. Before it could drift away, I grabbed up a scrap piece of paper and a pen and quickly sketched out this little design. I hesitate to show it to you because it's very rough, but really...I think it's going to be perfect. Give me some time to practice stitching it, and then you'll see. It's kind of a sunrise/sunset sort of thing.

This morning, I did some more stitching on the Gingerbread Square block. This hooping is filled enough that I'm going to move to the next position.

Despite so many interruptions, it's nearly finished. Just the rooftops remain.

Now I've moved to the next position, and I can get the entire right side of the roof top into my hoop.

That's where I'll pick it up next time, but I'll set it aside for a few days because the next block for the Bee-utiful Quilt-A-Long is out. This one is called "Bee Simple".

I'll trace this one out today, and then stitch it up. It shouldn't take long, and Block 9 should be out tomorrow.

So that's a pretty good day of sewing. Mike and I are leaving fairly early this afternoon for dinner out. We liked the gazpacho at the restaurant last week so much that we're going back for a second helping.

We're going to order gazpacho and a couple of appetizers and call it dinner. Then, we're going to go see Free State of Jones. Matthew McConaughey. Did someone say "yummy"? Just talking about dinner, you understand.

So there you go...a day in the life.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Quiltdivajulie said...

You get SO much done!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

What a fancy little platform for the kitty house. Ah, poor Sadie - Bella was plaqued by them when she was young. Love the sunrise/set motif and I pick the varigated yellow.

Teresa in Music City said...

Oh you should definitely enter Barbara!!! That quilt is so wonderful, I can't imagine it not getting in to the show. And it is fun to enter I think, it sort of adds another layer to the whole quilting experience :*). Sadie looks like such a sweet girl. Rocky has pretty smelly #2's also, and he often passes gas that make me want to pass out! I figure it's just cuz he's a guy LOL!!! He's been given the all-clear by our vet, so I'm not too worried about it - except when we have company :*) It does get worse depending on what we feed him, and God alone knows what he managed to eat before we got him. Sadie may be the same way. Good luck on the quilting - I always enjoy seeing how you think through that process!

liniecat said...

The ultimate in Cat Houses : )
Sadies food intake is likely different to what shes had before so t may well take time for her tum to settle.
Finding a food for sensitive tums might help too?
Rescues who have lived rough can pick up Lung worm too, so may be worth treating for that as well, but vet will I'm sure suggest that too

Dana Gaffney said...

Now they need a raised pathway so they don't have to walk through puddles to get to that house.

Quilting Babcia said...

Your sunrise/sunset quilting design looks perfect for your project. Your catio will no doubt end up featured in a swanky cat-lovers magazine as a model for the perfect lounge area for our favorite felines!

Pam said...

The kitty platform looks good. I have a kitty house like that for my outdoor kitty. It is in the garage to keep him a bit warmer. The thing is-they make heating pads for these houses which burn about 7 watts, are just warm but not hot, very sturdy, and the cats love them when it is cold outside.
I am glad you are entering your beach chairs in the competition. Seems like a good fit and it is very cool! As to quilting (from an amateur) I would quilt only the edges of the chairs, the corners, and the slats to emphasize the chair itself rather than the pieces it is made of.

gpc said...

You are going like a house a'fire. Very impressive! Your comment about Yachats sent me down memory lane; I spent a couple of nights in an old motel there, right on the ocean, and in the morning the beach was littered with sand dollars, the first I'd ever seen. It was so beautiful that I seriously thought about abandoning everything and staying there forever. I wonder where I would have ended up then? Mike's deck skills are amazing! Man's got skills for sure.

Claire said...

I like the sunrise/sunset border quilting design!

Jenny - the lilac cat said...

As always such a fun read. And yes you do get so much done. Daily posts from me would be v v boring. I'd go with the varigated thread but on such a special quilt as this I'd probably do a trial with both. And of course I'm sure the cats need a spare quilt for their little house!

Jenny - the lilac cat said...

Such a fun read as always. Always love your photos of cats and creations! I'd go with the varigated thread but as this is such a special quilt which most definitely should be entered for the quilt show I'd probably do a small sample quilt. And after all surely the cats need a spare quilt for the new little house!

Kate said...

A very productive day even with your "helpers".