How Do You Like Them Apples?

There was no time for the sewing room yesterday. I left home early to run some errands. First on my list was the post office, which was not crowded for a change. Then, I had my favorite breakfast of 
Egg McMuffin. It's a little treat I give myself for getting dressed before noon. Then it was a quick trip to the grocery store, and a mad dash home to put away the groceries before turning around and heading out again. I needed to drive into downtown Portland for an appointment with my dermatologist. I don't drive into downtown Portland often, but when I do, it gives me a bad case of road rage.

The best part of yesterday was stopping off at Oregon Heritage Farms where they grow lots of apples. I picked up nine pounds of Braeburns and Granny Smiths.

It seems I haven't had enough canning yet this year because I got a bee in my bonnet to make some apple pie filling after messaging with a friend about what she was doing. Her recipe uses butterscotch schnapps, and that sounded pretty good to me. I'll have to hold off on this until the weekend however because I have not been able to find a local source for Clear Gel, which seems to be the thickener of choice for pie fillings. I ordered some from Amazon, but it won't arrive until Friday.

In yesterday's mail was a package of thread and sewing machine needles I ordered last week. I'm gearing up to quilt the Cats of a Different Color.

While I'm not completely clear on what I'm going to do with all of the quilting yet, I have decided to try making some paw prints on the backgrounds of the cat blocks, and then microstipple around them to make them stand out. I've consulted the machine quilters on the Sit Down Free Motion Quilter's Facebook group and got some recommendations. I decided to order a small spool of this thread from Superior Threads.

These are the smallest needles I've been able to find for Eliza. It's the same size I use when I'm quilting on my domestic machine, so hopefully, they'll get the job done.

For the bobbin, I want to use a monofilament thread. The plan is to use clear, but I happen to have a smoky monofilament already wound on a bobbin, and that seemed good enough for practice.

My practice cat has arrived, and so let's give it a go.

The color choice is good, and so I guessed correctly on that. I pulled out a practice piece and tried microstippling around the stars. They seemed like good stand-ins for paw prints. Obviously, I need more practice, and I'd like to be able to make those little curves even smaller.

Things were going along pretty well. It's a little hard to tell on this fabric. Even though it has been washed, it still has a stiff feeling to it...almost like canvass.

The silk thread on top was breaking and so I tried rethreading the machine using only two holes of this insy-outsy thingamajig. (Technical sewing machine terms, so try to keep up.)

Then I tried flipping the excess fabric at the edge of the quilt over the batting and practicing there. I didn't give myself much room, but this is looking pretty good. Maybe just loosen that top thread tension a little.

I'm satisfied that this is going to be the right thread for the job, but I'm going to need a larger spool. I'm not ready to start quilting this yet, and so I'll order some more before I get started.

This is how Miss Sadie spends her mornings. The hummingbirds come to the feeder, and she watches them and chatters away. Sorry for that grainy iPad image. I knew if I moved, she'd jump down, and so I took it from across a dark room. You get the idea.

Today is Tuesday Archives over at Val's Quilting Studio.

Val's Quilting Studio

Today's theme is "Free Choice and a Giveaway." Sharon V. had a good suggestion to post a quilt you might have made before you started blogging. I wanted to post my first quilt, a nine patch and rail,

and then realized it was pictured with this post about The Perfect Quilt. It's an excellent essay from Teri Christopherson, and a reminder to all of us not to take ourselves too seriously. When I took my very first quilting class at our local community college, the instructor read it aloud to us as we cut our first strips using our rotary cutters. It set me on a path to quilting with joyful abandon, and I will always be grateful to my instructor for sharing it. Check it out at that link I've given you.

Today I'm tackling Mt. Laundry, which has grown taller than Mt. Everest this week. That will leave me plenty of time for working on the farm some more. Also, it's a CSA pick-up day. It's always fun to see what the farmers have grown for us this week.

Cat Patches

ICYMI: There's a giveaway going on, along with the launch of a stitch-along. Don't miss out. Giveaway ends on Friday. Click right here to enter.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

Can't wait to see how you quilt the kitty quilt.
I love fresh apples, wish we could get them all year. With the dry summer, some farms stopped, pick your own but you can get them from their store. I know when we went picking, there are hundreds of apples on the ground that get knocked down while picking, so that is a waste, even if they can use them for cider.


Roni said...

I think the grainy aspect of the picture of Sadie at the window looks like a great beginning of a quilt pattern. I would love to see that since you did such excellent work on the cat pawtraits of your kitties.

Marti M said...

I have found when machine stippling I need to increase the number of stitches per inch, this gave me a smoother curve.

Gretchen Weaver said...

Your cat quilt is so cute, she makes me smile! I haven't canned apple pie filling in years. I made 2 bushels of apples into applesauce 2 weeks ago. I'm waiting for the Michigan grapes to get here to make juice and, of course, some grape pies. Fall house cleaning has started and want to get the downstairs completed this week. I'll have to remop the kitchen floor after the grapes but I'll be so glad to have the cleaning completed. Have a lovely day! Blessings, Gretchen villacrestfarm@gmail.com

Kate said...

Looks like you've got the mechanics all worked out. Looking forward to seeing all your stitching on the Kitty quilt.

Wendy Tuma said...

Thanks for posting the essay. I think I need to re-read that often, since I'm also a self-critic. However, I'm learning to be a little easier on myself. Sadie is so cute, sitting there hummer watching. I love to hear the kitty chatter. Wendy at piecefulthoughtsATgmailDOTcom.

Deb said...

Oh the cat quilt is adorable, I have a short trip planned to go apple picking in a few weeks I hope I find some a nice as your.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Those apples look delish. Love a good apple pie - with vanilla ice cream of course. Looks like you have worked out your tension issues - every thread has a different 'work' to it.

Brown Family said...

I have not tried that brand of Mono-filament thread. I do like that it is Polyester rather than Nylon. THe apples look good.