A Winner and A Flimsy Start

Before saying another word, I need to tell you how very much I loved reading the stories you all wrote about your start in quilting. Many of them were quite touching, and brought back memories of my own grandmother and her quilts. Thank you for sharing so freely. And now, I need to announce the winner of the book, Our Family Quilt. Thanks go to the book's author Rhonda Cratty for generously agreeing to sponsor this giveaway. Mr. Random number generator chose


as the lucky winner. Sarah, I've written you an email, so check your inbox. 

Yesterday was supposed to be an NBS day (Nothing But Sewing). Instead, I ended up typing endless recipes into my database. You might remember that I keep a database of the new recipes worth keeping. It's a pretty good program, and it's searchable. It's particularly helpful with the CSA veggies because I can search for a particular ingredient and come up with a list of recipes I've tried that include that ingredient. When I started with it, I was on the 7th version. Recently, I updated to Version 15.

Version 15 came with a year's subscription to their website, which means I can also find my recipes in my online account. It hasn't worked very well, and so I doubt I'll extend my membership beyond the free year, but I'm not ruling it out either. Once the Resident Engineer quits getting distracted with an actual job, I might hire him to fix my technical problems. I wonder if he'd take payment in bread.

So, anyway...I try so many recipes, and they start to stack up on my desk for entry. 

A few weeks ago, I had about 40 recipes stacked up. And since there's a new one tried nearly every day, they just keep stacking up. Finally, I decided I couldn't take the virtual pressure any more, and so I started typing. I'm down to the last four now. And all of that to say that I probably spent about two hours just typing recipes into my database before making it into the sewing room. Maybe today I'll get caught up on them. Possibly this message from the selvage edge is speaking to me in my quest to tame the recipes.

When I finally got into the sewing room, I went to work cutting out 167 little 2 1/2-inch squares for the sashings and cornerstones. When they were cut, I went to work sewing them onto the blocks. I like to work with each block individually and then sew the blocks together, rather than sewing a long line of little squares together first. Since I don't like pinning, I try to keep the mileage on any given piece short. Also, I kind of wanted to see how the fabrics were going to look framing the block. Here's the first one. It's only sashed on two sides.

And it looked okay to me, and so I sewed the first row together. Cute, huh?

What about me? Do you think I'm cute too?

Not too long after that, I had two rows sewn together, and that's where I left it for the day.

For this, I had plenty of help from my "Cat of Darkness." Even with fill flash, I couldn't get enough light on her little furry face to light her up. I can only think she absorbs the light. 

Speaking of the Cat of Darkness, I wanted to tell you a little story about our very first cat, Benjamin. Here's a picture of Benjamin when we were living in Phoenix. That's his sister cat, Peanut, there in the background. She was a stray who kept showing up at our glass door and looking adorable until we couldn't take it any more and let her inside. We're kind of soft-headed...er, soft-hearted that way.

When Benjamin was a kitten, his favorite game was a ping pong ball in the bathtub. He actually shredded our plastic shower curtain playing ping pong ball in the bathtub. We've had a lot of cats since Benjamin; namely, Peanut, Tom, Willy I, Willy II, Katie, Tabby, George, Gracie, Smitty, Maggie, and Sadie. In all those cats, not a single one would play ping pong ball in the bathtub, and this caused Mike no end of sadness. Until now. 

Sadie is the first cat who has discovered the joys of a ping pong ball in the bathtub. A ping pong ball has resided in our various bathtubs for decades. Finally, a cat will play with it. As you might guess, Mike is overcome with love and affection for this Cat of Darkness.

You can rest easy knowing that the Resident Engineer has dried his tears over the many years of ping-pong-ball-in-the-bathtub-of-neglect.

So today's agenda is to get the rest of those blocks sewn together. Also, I've got another sourdough starter going. The last loaf of bread was so good, that I need to bake another right away. Possibly, just possibly, I can use it to bribe the Resident Engineer to work on some of my technical woes.

16 comments from clever and witty friends:

liniecat said...

LOL a ping pong ball in the bath - never thought of that, must try it out with my two!
That selvedge wording would suit the cat and bee block too wouldn't it lol
Congrats to Sarah : )

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Congratulations to the winner and thank you for hosting. Love how your fabrics chosen are working with your 'Bee' quilt. You need to use that bit of Selvedge into your label - perfect. I have never tried the ping pong ball, but mine love a large jingle bell in the sink - for a while.

Brown Family said...

I spent hours entering data on various things, Quilt patterns, books, and recipes so I understand how time consuming it is! The Bee blocks are so sweet. I like doing one block at at time, too. That way if I do not like how it turns out, I can rethink the project. Tell Smitty that we do think he is cute, too. My mothers cats would catch mice and play with them. When they got tired but the mouse still had some life in him, they would put him in the bath tub so he could not get away. Then later they would go back and play some more! I think Ping pong ball would be much cuter!

Benjamin was a beautiful kitty !

claudia said...

Congratulations Sarah!!!
I am loving the quilt blocks and settings. The squares really bring out the colors in the embroidery.
I'm so happy for the resident engineer getting his ping pong bath tub playing kitty fix! I would try that with my boys, but I think they already have enough incentive to tear up the shower curtain without adding a pin pong ball!

Shirley Elliott said...

Your fabric for this new quilt is just perfect. I don't think you could have picked better fabric with unlimited selections. (Think you said this was all from your stash.) It is so beautiful at this stage. Really looking forward to seeing it progress. Years ago, I had a cat that loved to have any kind of rolling toy in the bathtub - including empty thread spools. It was sort of freaky to be awakened during the night to the sound of something clanging around in the bathtub.

Ray and Jeanne said...

I spend a fair bit of time being organized - my recipe database is one I wrote so it works like I want it too. Only problem is I still have to enter them into the computer. :( Love your new quilt! ~Jeanne

Vicki in MN said...

I think it has just the right amount of cuteness!!

Wendy Tuma said...

I've never thought of a ping pong ball in the tub either. Hmm. Wonder if mine would do anything with it. Your quilt is very cute; I love the cats! I think you've got the sourdough down -- yum! I can smell it here, I think! Enjoy!

Susan said...

I really like the way you are doing the blocks in this quilt. It looks good to me.

Tell the resident engineer that he need to fix your technical troubles or you won't be able to feed him because you can't find the recipe. :-)

Of course the bribe is a good idea too.

Auntiepatch said...

We have sliding glass doors on our bathtub. One of my cats played handball in there with a ping pong ball when he was young. I wish I had it on video! He had so much fun! We lost Einstein to throat cancer 2 years ago. His ping pong ball is still in the bathtub.

Melissa said...

We have a tuxedo cat who can be very hard to photograph. I've found that the camera on my phone has a light meter. I tap the frame where kitty is and it adjusts according to the light bouncing off of her dark fur. It makes a huge difference.

Lyndsey said...

Picasso just likes to knock anything into the bath tub that may be on the side, shampoo bottle, sponge and then play with it. A ping pong ball would be much quieter in the middle of the night. He also likes to sit on the side when you're having a bath.

Dar said...

Oh how funny, I have never heard of a ping pong ball in the bathtub,but wish I had known when our two were alive. I love your Bee-u-ti-ful bee quilt. Those squares are perfect and the two rows couldn't be prettier. I'm baking dill bread today with cottage cheese in it. I love watching you experiment with any bread recipe. Keep them coming.

quiltzyx said...

Truly love the way the Bee quilt is finishing up. The small blocks of goldy/yellow have just the right pop to them.

How fun that Sadie will play with the ping pong ball in the bathtub, so happy for Mike!! He's had to wait quite a while since Benjamin the ball player.

Scooquilt said...

To avoid all that data entry, I love using Evernote. When I find recipes (or quilt stuff) online, I share them to my Evernote, tagging them by ingredients so I can find them later. And the photo is there with it. If the recipe is in a magazine on my tablet, I screens hot it and put that into Evernote.

For Mike, our cat Lola loved the ping pong ball in the bathtub. She expanded it to mice, but the clean-up was easy. The year she caught butterflies was the problem. Not fun to have things flutter at you at eye-level when you're in the shower!

Kate said...

Love how your project is coming together, the sashing fabrics look great. Very fun story about the ping pong ball in the bath tub. Thank you for the smile this morning.