Making Tracks

Yesterday was one of those days when I left home and then proceeded to pile up reasons why I should never leave home. Traffic. People. Road construction. Irritable drivers. Did I mention the traffic? Oy.

My pedicure was the only good part of the day, and it went downhill from there. When I tried to drop off my two quilt entried for the show, I was told they weren't ready to begin receiving them. "Come back next week," because you know I really don't mind the hour's drive in both directions. Besides, I worried and hurried trying to get those sleeves and labels sewn on. If I'd known I had another week, I wouldn't have felt so rushed.

The last insult of the day was having a woman push her cart inches away from my body and then demand I move along...even though she had plenty of room to go around me. In truth, I'll admit we were probably both behaving like this person:

Me: Is there some reason it's easier for me to move out of the way than it is for you to simply go around? Am I in a no parking zone? Because I don't see the sign.

Her: [Throws hands in the air and moves along, unsurprisingly, finding a way to push her cart a few inches to the left of my body.]

Sheesh. Later, we passed in the produce aisle and I ceremoniously gestured for her to go right ahead."After you, Your Majesty."

At that point she wanted to rehash the reason it hadn't been rude for her to behave so aggressively.

Me: I don't want to talk to you. Please remove yourself from my life immediately.

Okay, so enough ranting, but I needed to get that off my chest. Blissfully, I only needed a few things from the grocery store, and so the put-away when I got home was brief and I was able to do some sewing. I needed to sew for countless reasons.

While I was working on the free motion quilting sampler, I learned that creating a mantra is very helpful for keeping oneself on track with stitching. It's a little like creating a memory hook for spelling, and I've always loved those.

"I" before "e", except after "c" or when sounded as "a" like in neighbor and weigh.

So for my chicken feet, I created this mantra to keep me moving in the right direction, and so I could remember when to start stitching the actual feet: "Humpback, left, center, up, humpback left, center, down," and repeat. And look at these chicken tracks!

I've bumped up the contrast in that image, and so I'm hoping you can see it. Satisfied that I could do the tracks, I moved to a different part of the quilt and started filling in the background. First, I outlined the chick, and then I started in with some simple swirls. These cover a lot of ground, but they'll also allow the quilt to be flexible and soft.

It might be easier to see from the back.

I'm using a variegated yellow thread on top,

and a variegated purple on the bottom.

Even my thread tension is cooperating enough to accommodate both colors of thread, and so I'm feeling pretty confident about the quilting on this.

The 18th block for the Bee-utiful Quilt is out now. Isn't this cute? This one is called "Bee Bountiful".

Block #17 isn't finished yet, but I drew this one out this morning just to be sure I have plenty to stitch over the weekend.

As for the weekend, I'm signing off again. What a slacker! I know. Right? So what are we up to this time? Well...we're heading off to Eugene (about 2 hours south) this weekend for a fundraising event at the Cascades Raptor Center.

When we made our trip to the beach back in May, I spotted a poster about this place at a rest stop. Since then I've been scheming for a reason to visit. Enter this fundraiser called Talons, Tastings & Tidbits. Here's the description of the event:  Experience raptors up close while migrating from station to station tasting wine, appetizers and discovering more about the Cascades Raptor Center. Then feed your soul with fly overs and dessert. Wait...wine and food? And birds? And dessert? Count us in!

So that's what we're doing. And since we rarely spend much time in Eugene, I'm expecting to hunt down a fabric store while we're there. Sounds like fun, eh? And all of that to say that I've got plenty of packing and food preparation to do. We're taking the fifth wheel this time around, and that means the kitties will be going with us. It'll be Sadie's first time in the trailer. I just know she's going to love it!


Truthfully, she's not a kitty who likes to be held, although she does love sitting on our laps. Picking her up, however, is a big no-no, at least for now. She wiggles and wriggles until she's free, and she's not above using her claws if necessary. Just to be safe, we're crating her up just to move her the ten feet from door to trailer. Also, it's a darned hot day, and so we'll be running the generator and the A/C during the two-hour drive to Eugene. It can get very hot in the trailer, and so I'm glad we can keep it nice and cool for our two furry passengers.

Okay...enough yacking. Time to get packing.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

Cheryl said...

Have fun in Eugene! Hope the food and wine are delish! Hope the quilt shops have delightful Row by Row patterns if you are collecting them.

gpc said...

Wait, really, you had that conversation OUT LOUD and not just in your head like I always do? You really ARE my new hero. Your FMQing is amazing, another reason for my hero worship. I am still gearing up to dare to practice swirly things on paper without any thread. Nerve is a terrible thing to waste. And raptors plus wine and dessert -- good grief, I am about to swoon with envy and admiration. What a glorious world you live in!

Dorothy Finley said...

Good luck with Sadie's first road trip. Wine and Dessert--a definite yes, Raptors ??? I love them from a distance. Have fun

DeeDee said...

Have a great trip and good luck with Sadie while you travel. She reminds me of our sweet Olive girl. Olive is little and tiny like Sadie and doesn't like to be held but is a total lap cat. She's snuggling with me as I type. Olive isn't a tortie - she's grey and white - but she's definitely got a tortie personality. She wants you to know she's there! Looking forward to reading about your travels.

Quilting Babcia said...

Have fun in Eugene, and for goodness sake, stay out of the supermarkets - quilt shops are ever so much more civilized!

Dana Gaffney said...

Sounds like you already experienced a raptor in the grocery store, hopefully the weekend will be much better. Have fun!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I hate grocery stores (certain ones) because they bring out some odd (and oddities) characters you could do without. Your next trip sounds interesting and look forward to your sharing.

QuiltShopGal said...

Definitely sounds like a stressful day. I hope this coming week is much, much, much better for you and filled with smiles, friendly people, and smooth outings.


Lyndsey said...

Grocery shopping can be a pain due to the other customers. Lucy and I now do our shopping together and she totally cracks me up. If someone starts to get mouthy or pushy with us she just treats them like a two year old having a tantrum and speaks to them very clearly and slowly. They usually go bright red and move away very quickly.

Your trip sounds great fun and I'm looking forward to reading about it. I'm off to stay with an ex colleague of mine for a couple of days leaving John and Richard to fend for themselves. I must check for quilt shops near where she lives.

quiltzyx said...

Boy, I'm glad I don't shop where you do! Either that or I'm very lucky!! Glad you spoke up and didn't just kill her where she stood. That would have cost you some M&Ms.
Your weekend trip sounds fun. I'd love to see the raptors up close. We have quite a few hawks flying where I am, but the closest I see them is if they're at the top of a light pole.
Hope Sadie & Smitty enjoyed the weekend out too!

Teresa in Music City said...

Why didn't you just burst open your shirt and show her the huge "S" on your t-shirt? Some people - sheesh!!!!! Hope you had tons of fun on your trip and bring back lots of goodies from the quilt shops. Rocky is a lot like Sadie in that he loves to choose to sit on my lap and cuddle, but he hates to be picked up and always wiggles to be put down. His claws are kept clipped pretty close so my arms do not shred into little tiny slivers LOL!!! We kept him crated this past week as we traveled and moved him from car to house several times. It's just better to be safe than sorry!

Kate said...

It always amazes me how rude people can be. Sounds like it was an awful day, glad you were able to cap it off with some time in the sewing room. No better way to make yourself feel better

Brown Family said...

That is one reason why I hate shopping! I love the mantra! Whatever it takes to get great chicken feet!