Three Bells and All's Well

It's nearly 5:00 a.m., and I've been awake since 3:00. Usually, I don't have trouble sleeping, but sometimes I wake up much too early, and then my mind starts spinning, and I have trouble getting back to sleep. After more than an hour awake, I decided I might as well get up and do something productive. This afternoon, I'll probably take a nap to catch up.

There's nothing earth-shattering going on. Yesterday was a pretty easy-going day. I went out walking several times trying to meet my step goal. A main dish salad was on our menu last night, and so I was harvesting some lettuce from the greenhouse when I spied this:

Yes! It's the first ripening tomato! So exciting! And given the number of tomatoes on the vine (possibly numbering in the thousands), it's a little frightening too. (Cue the shark music.) I have an idea I'm going to be up to my knees in tomatoes in a couple of weeks...and that'll be just fine. Nothing would make me happier than being up to my elbows in pasta sauce. But we'll just pretend I didn't say that because I don't want to jinx the harvest.

The other excitement for the day yesterday (beyond tomatoes) is that I received word that both of my quilts, the Quilting Snowladies

 and Seating for Two, were accepted for display into the Northwest Quilting Expo. 

This is the second year I've entered, and I'm three for three now. I'm not just being modest when I say I have absolutely no expectation of winning anything, but it's still thrilling to be accepted. The show will be later on in September. Now, I need to get busy sewing on sleeves and labels.

The only other sewing related thing for the day was to complete Lesson 8 for the free motion quilting sampler. This lesson was called "Thinking Inside the Box". I started with a practice piece, just to practice drawing the lines and then filling them in. The biggest challenge was coming right up to the grid line without stitching outside the line. My practice piece was done on a small edge of the practice sandwich. The area I was using was rectangular, and so my grid is a little wonky, but it served my practice purpose.

When I felt confident enough, I committed it to the sampler. I love how this design shows off that pretty thread, a gift from my friend Ila. Thank you, Ila.

Here's how my sampler looks now. Just a few more lessons and the whole thing will be filled in.

We spent some time outside with the kitties last night. Usually, Smitty gets to go outside with us in the evening, but we spied the bobcat when Mike came home, and so we thought it a bad idea. Given how he takes after Uno, I'd hate for him to get all rough and tough with the bobcat. 

They're pretty comfortable in their catio now. Smitty is the top-shelf cat, as you might imagine. We're using old towels to cover the shelves. Originally, we had in mind to use indoor/outdoor carpet and staple it to the shelves. Then we thought better of it with our wet winter climate and blowing rain. Towels can be brought inside, washed and dried, and then put out fresh and clean.

Sadie has been a little shy about using the shelves. With a little encouragement, she'll jump up...

and butt scratches are always welcome.

Smitty usually stakes his claim to the little bed, but he is willing to share it.

She won't stay long, however.

She does like the kitty grass garden, however. We've also seen Smitty chomping on the catnip.

In the morning, Sadie is a snuggle bug. She loves sitting on my lap while I do my embroidery, and she's getting better about scratching and biting. It's possible to pet her now without pulling back a bloody stump.

We'd been talking about the Perseid Meteor Shower earlier in the day and I asked Mike when the new moon was expected. Tonight, as it turns out. Well, that got us thinking all wrong about when will be the best time to see the Perseids. We started thinking last night would be good, and so we got our chairs all set up.

And that turned out to be a waste of time anyway because we were in bed and asleep before the sun even set completely. Yeah, we're old. (Besides, watching tomatoes turn red wears a person out considerably.)

The Perseids are left over debris from when the comet Swift-Tuttle last passed close to Earth in 1992. As it turns out, the "dustiest" part of the debris will be around August 12th, and that will be the best time to see meteors. It'll be a good time for us too because we're planning a weekend camping trip that weekend, and we'll be in a dark sky area...except for the moon, but you can only control so much. In our experience, these celestial events almost never live up to their hype, but we are ever optimistic.

This morning I'm having breakfast with Erik. I've been whining at him to harvest some apples from their tree, and he let me know that the apples were ready. Look at these beauties filling a five gallon bucket.

This will be my first time making applesauce and canning it, and I'll be making some apple-pear chutney as well. Also, I have some other apple-related foods on my agenda...possibly an apple pie, and I expect these will be keeping me busy for the rest of the week.

As for this afternoon, I suspect a nap will be involved, but I'm hoping to at least get a start on Sadie's pawtrait. Time's a wastin' and I don't expect the Pets on Quilts show will wait for latecomers.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

Congratulations on your quilt entries -- to think, I 'knew' you when you were just a beginner. Maybe someday I will start to act on your inspiration, which has been considerable. I love your sampler -- I joined the group just to have the instructions ready if I ever reach that point -- you are doing an amazing job. And yay on the tomato progress! I don't have a garden this year for the first time since I am gallivanting more than usual, so thank goodness for farmers' markets!

Brown Family said...

Congratulations on getting two quilts in the show. I have to get brave and enter one in next years small local show. Are the free motion classes online? it looks like a good way to learn. Sadie will get use to the catico soon and love it as much as Smitty!

Kate said...

Congrats on getting your quilts into the show. Both of them are beauties, so I expect they will do well. Looks like a very relaxing Monday. Enjoy the rest of the week (and your nap!)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Congratulations on your entries. Look at those apples! Love apple chutney - may have to go picking (nothing on our trees this year) just so I can do up chutney.

Quilting Babcia said...

Congrats on the quilt show acceptances! I had no doubt that Seating for Two would be a star. I sure hope you have a good apple peeler, you're going to need it, those apples looks wonderful by the way.

Robin in Portland Oregon said...

Congratulations on your quilts being accepted. I will look for them when I go in September. The summer chairs one always reminds me of summer seersucker fabric (which I just love when it's colorful). I think it's not just the colors but how it's quilted that gives it that look.

Dana Gaffney said...

Ahhh the 3 A.M. screaming meemies, mine usually come about then and full awake with lots to do and things to take care of, the brain wants what the brain wants. We usually have a great view of the meteor showers, I'll be in a city on the 12th so I'll need to check dates for when I'm home.

Teresa in Music City said...

Congrats on your quilts in the Expo!!!! That's so exciting! And pretty darn exciting to see that first ripening tomato too :*). Love seeing Sadie settling in and learning how to behave with her furrless family. Rocky still has to be reminded that his teeth and claws are not allowed to come out and play with us :*)

quiltzyx said...

What size are the sections of your quilting sampler? I'm thinking if it isn't too big, that would be a cool pillow. You're doing a great job of it!
A few times in the last week I've woken in the middle of the dark & looked stuff up on my phone or tablet, or read a bit, but luckily I could eventually go back to sleep & at least get a couple more hours in before work. My devices are starting to get along better with my Frontier internet service lately.
Glad the kittos are settling in more in the Catio. And that Sadie is keeping her pointy bits more to herself!
I think it's going to be an amazing sight when all those Poisonous Wolf Peaches are all pretty red!