Simple Things

It's been busy at the Three Cats Ranch ever since we got home. There's a lot to catch up on, and just plain plenty to do. Summer is always that way, and having Mike home has added things to the to-do list. It's all fun stuff, don't get me wrong. Still, we're both striving to establish some kind of new normal in our now both-retired lives, and it continues to be a work in progress.

Business aside, I found time to finish up the scrub jay pattern yesterday. I had yet to highlight the major sections and fill in the tick marks that will assist me in matching up seams when I start sewing it together.

Now the largest sections are cut apart, and it's pinned up to its foam board.

With animal quilts, the best approach is to start with the eyes and work outward. This is where I'll start.

I spent some time studying Ann Shaw's gallery of quilts. With one exception, she used some fun and wild eyes in all of her animals, and so I will too. Somewhere on this stretch of fabric I'll find an eye for my scrub jay.

There are some pretty fabrics in my stash to use for the background. This pretty pastel batik is a long-time resident. My philosophy with fabric is a sort of Field of Dreams philosophy. ("If you build it, he will come.") With regard to fabric, "If you buy it, a quilt will come." Sometimes I fall in love with a fabric, and I simply must have it in my stash, if only to take it out and stroke it from time to time...pour myself a cocktail...gaze into its eyes...ahem. Excuse me. You get the idea, I'm sure.

Also...this one would be pretty. There will be lots of blues in my quilt, and so the pastel orange might be nice too.

Time will tell...and time is really the deciding factor right now. There's a whole lot of dreaming going on in my sewing room, but scant sewing.

After that, I wondered if the echinacea was blooming yet, and so I strolled through the garden to see what's up. The echinacea has been maddeningly slow to do anything, but there are buds on all six plants. It's just another opportunity to be patient. One of the daylilies was opened, and looking so pretty.

So...not much going on aside from the daylily, but it was still good to get outside for a bit. There was some housework to do, and then I got to work making some more hearts for the I Found a Quilted Heart campaign. I'm calling it a "campaign," which is the only word I have for it. It's not really a campaign though. Let's just leave words associated with politics out of quilting, shall we? So anyway...here are the two hearts (front and back) from yesterday.

Mike and I are going grocery shopping today, but we're also going down to the little farmer's market in our town to see if we can score some more cherries. The market doesn't open until 1:30 and so we'll take a walk down Newberg Main Street before hand. I'll leave a heart somewhere along the way. Now I'm watching the website and Facebook page like a hawk, hoping someone will report one of the hearts found. I've linked to the website back there. If you check out the stories of hearts reported found, some of them are quite, um, heart-warming.

With those finished, I got to work catching up on the Marvelous Monday Minis. This first one gave me a bit of trouble. If you check out the page where this first one was posted, you'll see that the picture associated with the measurements is a nine-patch. So I read the measurements and made a nine-patch...and it was totally off! Then I realized I'd made my squares 1 1/2 inches instead of 1 1/4 inches, and so I took it all apart and remade it with the right cuts. But it was still off! WTF? Then I started looking more closely and realized that the center was supposed to be a four-patch. Geez. I can only think that random photo of a nine-patch was a mistake. Whatever. This took way longer than it should have.

I'm trying to decide whether to be mad about this. What do you think? I'm always willing to generate an appropriate amount of outrage if it's required...on the other hand...maybe I'll just get on with the next one.

So I had the cutting all done for the next one when Erik called.

Then I spent the remainder of my sewing time gabbing with him on the phone. A person could find worse ways to spend their day.

It was time to pick up the CSA share after that. Just look at this monster head of Romaine from yesterday's share. You're going to make a marvelous Chicken Caesar Salad, my darling.

When the veggies were all put away, I planned the next week's menu and made up my shopping list. That was pretty much all the was left of the day.

But here's something:

Kitties aren't the only ones who enjoy sunning themselves. The squirrels have been a constant source of amusement so far this summer. They're minding their manners a little better, and so we haven't taken any drastic measures to cull the herd. Yet. We're thinking they can stay for now. With the peanuts under lock and key, they're helping themselves to the volunteer pansies now. Since I haven't planted any annuals this year, I'm not bothered by them mowing the blossoms off the pansies. In a different year, I might generate more outrage. (See above.) For now, we'll just chuckle at their antics and enjoy the nice weather and save the outrage for something else.

Oh yes, and I almost forgot...The Emperor's mom sent me this photo of him with his pawtrait.

7 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sandra W said...

Do you know about the Booklyn Art Gallery sketch book project?
You buy a sketchbook from them ($30). They mail it to you to fill up however you like by March 31/18
and it gets catalogued in their sketchbook library. For eternity, more of less. You get you own bar code and you can look it up if you ever get to Brroklyn. Sort of like getting your name on a star.
It strikes me that you would be sort of person who would enjoy this sort of thing.
You can check it out at the website.

gpc said...

I love Sandra W's suggestion! I think that might make my list of things to give creative people for Christmas! How nice to see the Emperor with his pawtrait, both of them looking mahvelous. Your scrub jay just intimidates me, but I will enjoy watching your progress. :)

Doreen Auger said...

Interesting how the days fill up and pass so quickly, hmmm? Thought of you when DH booked an Amtack vacation pkg to Seattle for early Oct. I've never been there and a train ride has been on his bucket list for some time. The pkg comes with hotel accomodations, Space Needle and museum tickets and our location will be very central and walking distance to a lot. Trying to scope out additional info in the days ahead (also quilt shops, of course!). July is staring us in the face....eek!!! take care....hugs............

Brown Family said...

I can see several 'eyes' in that piece of fabric! Either batik will make a good background!
The Emperor and hos pawtrait look so much alike. Good job!

piecefulwendy said...

I enjoy seeing your process on the scrub jay quilt. I seriously think I need to try this process someday. I bought a kit at the quilt show that is a collage and it works just a bit like your process. I would think choosing the fabric is fun yet difficult. We won't talk about the fabric obsession thing. Ahem. I would have been a bit frustrated with that picture also. I read through it and wonder too if they put that photo in by mistake. I follow them, but missed this. I might go start and catch up, the blocks are so cute. The Emperor is a handsome dude, in real life and on your quilt. I'll be over for that Caesar salad, just let me know when it's ready :-)

Susan said...

I can see lots of eyes in that fabric, of course I don't know how big or small of an eye you will need. I get what you mean by buying fabric just to look at and feel. Cool picture of the Emporer with his pawtrait. Maybe the squirrel is learning how to chill from Sadie and Smitty.

quiltzyx said...

Congrats on your first "Heart drops"! I hope whoever finds them does report them on the website.
I clicked on the link for the mini-block & totally missed that the middle photo had a 9-patch center. Sheesh. The 1st & 3rd pics have the 4-patch. How frustrating. Glad you decided to just move on - but your little block is cute.
Wow! That is one, big, good-looking Romaine lettuce! Enough salad for all of us!!
Cute pic of Goldie the squirrel soakin' up the sun. AND a fun one of the Emperor with his pawtrait too!