Sunny Morning Walk

Sue and I got together for our regular Friday morning walk. The last time we walked was back in April. We've both been off gallivanting the countryside, although I've been at home for ages, just waiting for her to get back. We had breakfast at the South Store Cafe, and then made our usual loop around Lower McCormick Hill Road. It was warm and sunny with a nice breeze.

The wheat fields are heading up.

There were plenty of blooming things along the way.

Sue brought me some blooming things from her garden. These were a belated birthday present. Thank you, m'dear!

When I got home, I had in mind to start processing another batch of barbecue sauce, but then I decided to give myself the afternoon off. I use the sanitize cycle on the dishwasher to wash the jars. Upon realizing that I was going to need to run a nearly-empty dishwasher, it was easy to talk myself into taking the afternoon off for sewing. It's been busy since we've been home, and I'll admit that an afternoon to relax sounds great. The barbecue sauce can wait until tomorrow.

Backing up to yesterday, I caught up on the quilt-along at the Inbox Jaunt. The first motif was pretty easy. I like this one, and I want to keep it in mind for future use.

As I sat looking at my quilt, something seemed a little off. I measured the aqua strips. The two on the middle and left side of the quilt were approximately 2-1/2 inches.

But look at the one on the right...just about 3 inches!

Then I flipped the quilt around and measured the other end...2 1/2 inches! WTF?

Well, I think it's pretty obvious that I got my ruler off kilter when I cut this strip and ended up with one that isn't precisely straight. Why I didn't notice it before this is a mystery to me...actually, there's no mystery. I'm claiming old age responsible for this one. As I've said before, I'm too old for math. Apparently I've lost the ability to measure correctly as well.

So anyway...no biggy. This is a learning project. Have I learned anything? Probably nothing I didn't already know: Measure twice, cut once, and then force that sucker to fit. On with the quilting. This next motif was more difficult than it looked. I had trouble getting the loops uniform in size and evenly spaced. Also, I realized as I went along that the curvy line was a little too close to the edge of the strip, which meant making the loops super tiny in spots.

The second strip went a little better, but it was still more difficult than it looks.

I was congratulating myself for doing a better job on the second try when I flipped the quilt to the back and realized I'd caught the quilt back in the stitching. Doh!

Fortunately, it was a small area, and easily fixed. Here's how it's looking from the back.

And now I'm caught up with everything. Yay! 

It was time to start the scrub jay quilt. (You thought I'd never get there, didn't you?) So here are all the fabrics I've accumulated for this quilt. That oughta do it, don't you think?

And then I cut apart the pieces for the head section of the bird. They are super tiny...really...they look a lot tinier now that I've cut them apart.

It's easy to lose these, and so I decided to cover them with a ruler to keep them from blowing away or getting knocked to the floor where four-legged critters roam.

Speaking of critters...Sadie showed up about that time to roll around in the fabric. Sadie loves fabric as much as I do.

And despite her help, I managed to get all the pieces cut for the head. It's quite a mess because of the many small pieces. In a class with Ann Shaw, she would want me to choose all the fabrics for the entire bird before sewing anything together. But now I'm in my own sewing room, and I'm going to sew each section together as I go. I can't really see anything in this mess.

It's easy enough to understand Ann's thinking. She wants us to stand back and look and be sure we're happy with all the pieces. Once sewn together, it's hard to take anything apart with so many seams coming together. Nevertheless, in my sewing room, I go by my own rules. I did change the one piece I've indicated above with the pink arrow. The piece seemed too blue and so I picked something more on the teal end of the spectrum. And, hard as it is to tell anything from this mess, I think that's a better choice.

So when I get into the sewing room today, I'm going to sew all these pieces together before moving on to the next section. If I get tired of working on it, I'll start quilting this Little Bunnies table runner from last spring.

I had in mind to do this while we were traveling, but just never got around to it. It's a small quilt, and I'm going to do a simple diagonal grid. It shouldn't take too long.

So there's my afternoon in a nutshell. Time to get at it.

11 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sandra W said...

Your bluejay is looking good. I like the choice you made for the eye. If you use a fabric that you later decide doesn't work--you can always applique on top. I agree that I would also have to go bit by bit.
You could iron your little pieces on to freezer paper to keep them corralled.

Received my sketchbook today. I'm calling it the world's smallest sketchbook. I knew the measurements but it sure does look small in real life.

Lyndsey said...

Phew those pieces are small. I'd probably lose most of them before I got them stitched down. Whilst sewing Beulah today I kept on losing my embroidery scissors and they are larger. I think your change of colour looks better but difficult to tell from a photograph. The first choice was very blue.

Quilting Babcia said...

Love that bunnies runner. The scrub Jay project looks like insanity revisited to me. All I can say is more power to you, and I know if anybody can pull this one off, you're the one!

Goofin' Off Around the Block said...

I must admit I've had a few mis-cuts in my sewing days. I usually take the time to consider whether or not it's worth the effort to correct it if I've already started sewing using it. That being said, I absolutely love the quilting you did. I am just beginning to learn to quilt using my little Brother machine...no room for a long-arm machine here. You've inspired me to try something similar trying out new quilt designs and pantographs in strips. You have some really beautiful projects. --Andrea

Brown Family said...

The Jay does have tiny pieces. Those make some of the mini blocks you made seem big. I am working on a Row by Row piece and am making bolts of fabric from pieces 1 1/8 by 1 1/4, and then folded. I will post a picture soon.

crazy quilter said...

The scrub jay is going to be fabulous! Keep on keeping on! Looks like you and Sue had a beautiful morning for your walk. Sue must have a wonderful garden from your pretty bouquet of flowers. As for the quilt, I say don't sweat the small stuff! It will be fine ...

piecefulwendy said...

You had a lovely walk with Sue, obviously! Always fun when friends get back home and you can get together again! I'm going to enjoy watching that scrub jay take shape; those pieces, though! Uffda. Sadie is a cat after my own heart, loving fabric and all. When you sanitize your jars in the dw, do you put any soap in? I've never thought of doing that. Duh.

Dana Gaffney said...

I always enjoy the walk pictures, you have so many pretty flowers along the way. You meant to make that one strip a touch wider to make the quilt more visually stimulating.

Kara Kwilts said...


I found the neatest trick for when I am cutting fabric from watching YouTube videos. The owners of Jordan Fabrics in Grants Pass have a channel and when they are cutting fabric they put a weight (5 lb or 8 lb) on one end. I went to WalMart and bought a 5 lb one (it was just less than $5-basically a buck a lb). It works sooo well - because I too have a tendency to cut wonky strips.

Hugs to your kitties!


Vroomans' Quilts said...

Smart move to cover the bits of paper when you have a 'roller' or they would be lost to the furs. And all the blooming things are gorgeous.

quiltzyx said...

I really like that first quilting motif you did - sort of scrolly-flowery. Makes me smile.

I like all those scrub jay fabric picks as much as Sadie. But I promise not to roll in the fabric *too much*. The bird's head is looking good!