Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

Yesterday morning, I finished off the last of the half square triangles for the Quiltmaker's Garden quilt. Before I did that, however, I made the third block for the Solstice Challenge quilt from Pat Sloan. This block is called Tide Pool. Mine is to celebrate the New Year's holiday.

That went together pretty quickly, and so I was ready to work on those half square triangles. There were eight of these 2.5 inch blocks.

The rest were all 4.5 inches. Ten of these...

and seven of these.

There were just a few more to do when Smitty showed up to help.

Together, we polished off the final ten. He wanted me to remind you that he helped with these.

With that, I snapped the lid on the bin where I store all this crap and then jumped for joy...but not too high because it makes my knee hurt.

So then, I pulled out all the sections for Wind in the Whiskers...because I'm nothing if not a glutton for punishment. Actually, I've never laid these out together before. Ever helpful, Smitty assisted in holding down the largest section.

Momentarily, I panicked because I couldn't find Section 4 that goes in the upper right-hand corner there. Finally, I found it and then remembered that all the pieces were made for Section 4, but they can't be fused down until all the sections are sewn together. After Smitty moved on, I took another picture.

If you look at the whole quilt,

you can see that there's a large tree trunk that spans the center block and the one to its right. (I've only partially finished it in the center section.) This also forms the branches and trees for the section in the upper right. I'll need to sew the background for that section to the rest of the upper and middle sections, and then fuse the pieces for that section down. Then, I'll sew the bottom two sections to the bottom of the quilt. Clear as mud, right? That's how I feel about it too. As I've said all along with this quilt, it's best to take it one step at a time and not look backward or forward. Looking backward or forward will make you weird, nervous, and thirsty.

Depending on how long that takes, I'm hoping to get to work on a Small Quilt Challenge. I've been following Kathleen Tracy's Small Quilt Lovers group on Facebook. She issues a monthly small quilt challenge and I've never participated. This year, every other month will be a quilt from her newly published book, Small & Scrappy. I actually bought the book quite some time ago without realizing the challenges would be coming from there. Handy, huh?

The challenge for this month will be this "Be My Little Valentine" quilt. I figure I can find somebody with a granddaughter to take this off my hands when it's finished.

I decided to opt out of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge this year. I've participated the last four years, and I'd like to spend some time doing some other little quilt challenges, and hopefully, use up some scraps that way.

It's still so freaking cold outside. My only task outside yesterday (which required all of about 20 steps) was to trade the little hummingbird a thawed feeder for his frozen one. A little later on, I noticed he'd returned to the feeder. Poor thing...all fluffed up and looking so cold.

Recently I read that we didn't used to have hummingbirds year-round, but that backyard feeders like ours has made it possible. We get two different kinds of hummingbirds. This is one of the Anna's Hummingbirds. The other one we get are the smaller (if you can imagine) Rufus Hummingbirds. Those tiny little guys have the good sense to head for warmer climes at this time of the year. I'm keeping the feeders thawed as much as possible, but there's only so much one can do for these little birds.

Today I'll continue on in my quest to sew together the quilt top for Wind in the Whiskers. Keeping my fingers crossed it won't turn into another Nightmare on Quilt Street.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Debbie said...

lol, Smitty looked like he belonged in the quilt! Good luck with the assembly of which ever comes next.
P.S. My starter floated....think it is ready to use:)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Yes, Smitty looks very nice as a center piece - if the quilt gets 'wild' you can always add him as an embellishment just to teach it a lesson.

wheelinsticks said...

The quilt is so pretty.l It turned out great.

Quilting Babcia said...

The little quilt challenge looks like fun. I have one of her earlier books and have made a couple quilts from it. Her directions are spot-on and easy to navigate. Your Wind in the Whiskers project is looking great, despite the issues you've had. It'll be a wonderful finish.

Renee said...

You do beautiful work! Wind in the Whiskers is absolutely stunning!


You are buzzing right along in the new year!!! Good for you-can't wait to see the cat one done--and I love that little one you are going to do--I used to do her challenges and did them in the 1800's fabrics--but they don't go well with my new look here in Florida--but that little one you are doing now would look nice in those colors-sooo--might have to buy me a book!!
Enjoy the moment-di

Brown Family said...

That little bird forgot to pack his parka! You could not have finished with out Smitty. I may have to look up that little quilt challenge face book group! I do a lot of mini's

claudia said...

I love that Whiskers in the Wind quilt. It's going to be so cute when it's finished.
My only task outside today was to fix the horses' and goats' water situation! Argh!!! I just went and brought the big barrels close to the house so I can run a hose from the utility sink in the laundry room through the window to fill them up. The goats got my two five gallon buckets which are easier for me to chug around when they are full. I put luke warm water in them to give all my poor freezing outside critters a little heat! Then I had to do the chickens and rabbits waters...only three inches of ice in the chickens' water bowls!

Dana Gaffney said...

I thought Smitty was part of the quilt too, I was looking at that tail extending into the other block and thinking how careful you would have to be then realized I know that tail, LOL.

Wendy Tuma said...

Smitty is so darn cute; I love how he enjoys helping you. My cat, Max, helps by keeping my iron warm, sitting so close to it that if I don't notice, he singes his fur. We get the Rufus hummers here, but they head south in late fall. My daughter is a bird person, currently doing field research related to birds/raptors. She'd enjoy seeing the pic of this little hummer! Wendy at piecefulthoughts@gmail.com

Motherdragon's Musings said...

Your cat quilt is purr-fect.

Dawn said...

Love how your quilt is coming along. Think I'm glad you're putting it together instead of me. ;) Bless you for keeping your hummer feeders up through the winter. Some folks make the mistake of taking them down in the winter but that is when the little guys need them the most. Even here in Florence with this cold spell and snow we've got one of my feeders froze. Don't know why the other one didn't. Your kitty is very regal looking and gorgeous. We have five and it's a riot when I lay quilt blocks or rows out on the floor! Turns into a free-for-all!! lol My sewing studio is upstairs but there is no door so I have no way to keep them out during those times.

Kate said...

Congrats on being able to get a lid on the Quilters Garden quilt. Hopefully it will go together easier than it has so far. Looking forward to seeing Wind in the Whiskers go together.

quiltzyx said...

Wind in the Whiskers looks wonderful laid out together. Glad Smitty is helping you with it.
We've been having rain every other day here. It's a nice change for us.

Kate said...

Woohoo on finally finishing the pieces of the Garden! I'm with you on paper piecing - it's just not worth my effort. Though I have no idea how you manage all the little fiddly pieces in something like the McKenna Ryan stuff.