My tail was dragging yesterday, even though I was able to get in an hour-long nap. Somehow getting up at 3:00 a.m. just isn't conducive to a productive day. And then, last night, I was awake at 2:30 a.m. After lying awake for an hour, I got up and finished stitching what was left of Block 13 for the Bee-utiful Quilt-A-Long. This one is "Bee Romantic".
The bicycle in the original stitchery was black, but I made my blue in honor of my very first bicycle received on my fifth birthday. It was a Murray. I couldn't ride it, and training wheels weren't an option in my Marine Corps green family. Sink or swim, that's how we rolled. Fortunately, my big brother Richard took me for a ride on it. He was always my hero. Sadly, he passed away in 2003. I still miss him.
Block 14, "Bee Good" has been released now, and I'll get that one traced out today. Gotta have something to stitch if I find myself burning the early morning oil again tonight.
Erik and I had breakfast together yesterday morning. I handed off various canned goods to him, and in exchange, I got two grocery sacks full of apples. Yay!
Aren't they beautiful? I'm going to make my first try at canning some applesauce, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. The recipe I'm using has me cook the apples with their skins on. Then I run them through a food mill to both puree them and to separate them from their skins. I'm not exactly sure how that works since I've never owned a food mill. Until now, it hasn't seemed as if I needed one when I already have a food processor and a good-quality blender. (I mention the "good-quality" of my blender because I've had plenty of bad ones that do nothing other than spin the food around in the bottom of the pitcher.) So, I ordered a food mill from my good friends at Amazon (I just know we're good friends because I order from them all the time...pretty much every day...and they deliver FAST!), and I'm expecting that to arrive this afternoon.
For today's happy apple capers, I'm making a Red Hot Cinnamon Apple Cake for two. I tried this once before, and it was delicious.
For the past couple of weeks I've been wanting to make another...pretty much since I saw Erik's tree loaded with apples. Also, I'm going to make some apple-pear chutney. We're fresh out, and it's so good spread on a slice of toasted baguette with some blue cheese.
So after I woke up from my nap yesterday, I had about an hour to kill before picking up our CSA share. I traced out the colors for Sadie's pawtrait. I'm working with this photograph:
I used Photoshop Elements 8 to edit the photo with posterized edges to try to make her colors a little easier to see. This one is going to be challenging. I tried messing with the "posterization" some, and this was the best I could do. Her colors are not very well defined at all.
And this is the tracing I came up with. I can see I need to finish up the lower right-hand corner there. The colors need to have a complete border, and this is what I use to trace the applique. By referring to the original unedited photograph, I can make my fabric choices.
I'm hoping to get a start on this today, and I always start with the eyes. The eyes are the most important part, and they are, fortunately, the easiest to do.
On Monday, I received my swap quilt from my swap partner (also named Barbara) in the UK. Isn't this adorable? It's perfect for our wet climate, which is similar to Barbara's in the UK. It's about 14 inches square and so colorful and pretty. It's hard to see in this image, but there is a hot fix crystal at each of the ends of the umbrella ribs. If you're reading, Barbara, thank you again.
It was a fun package to open. Barbara included a little pamphlet about her home town.
Also this little "coaster" which was her attempt at a wonky star.
In the mail on the same day, I received my latest Mass Drop shipment of these ten spools of Isacord thread. If you haven't heard of Mass Drop, then click right here. It's basically a way to join in with a group of people (unknown to you) to make purchases at bargain prices.
If you've been reading for a while, then you know that I love thread as much as I love fabric, and I was seriously in need of more thread. You can see in this picture that there are a few empty pegs at the top there. Never get between a quilter and her thread...just saying. (I can't remember when I took this picture, but it's been a while. And the sewing room is so neat! It doesn't look like that now.)
So that's all I have to yammer on about today. Fortunately I was able to go back to bed and catch a couple more hours of sleep. One more cup of coffee and I should be ready to roll.