7/14/17

Duty Calls

Before I go on (and I do "go on" sometimes), I want to thank those of you who have visited my Blogiversary Celebration and Giveaway. You've left the sweetest comments. It's been wonderful hearing from some of you that read but don't often comment too. Blogging is important to me. I've said, jokingly, but also in all seriousness, that my brain gets full of words that must be written down; and so blogging keeps me sane...although sanity (especially mine) is always up to interpretation. And I bring this up because I would blog even if no one read; but man, knowing you're out there makes it so much more fun. Each one of you is a valued friend, and so it's always good to pause at least once per year and really connect to tell you how much I appreciate you.

I spent the day serving on a jury yesterday. At each break I was checking in to see who was at the party. I'll admit that some of your comments made me tear up a little. So thank you...really. And if you haven't been to the party, there's still time to get in on the giveaway. Just click on that link I've given you back there.

(image source: By M.O. Stevens - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8660330)

So yes...jury duty. I got on a jury at the very first opportunity. We listened all day, then deliberated for an hour or more and found the guy guilty of possession of methamphetamine. It was my first time serving on a jury, and I loved the experience. My county makes it a painless process, and for July, it's a one trial-one month special offer. That means that if a juror serves on one trial, that juror (in this case...me) is finished for the month. So, yay! I was able to fulfill my life-long ambition to serve on a jury and complete my obligation in just one day's time. Now, the summer is mine, all mine.

As for the usual Three Cats Ranch business, I need to back way up to Wednesday and tell you about the Wheel Estate quilt. I'm quilting it fairly simply. Originally, I was thinking this would be a wall-hanging, but Mike and I both decided against hanging it in the new camper. Instead, it'll be living in there as a snuggle quilt, and so I want it to stay fairly soft. I'm keeping the quilting open and loose. With those appliques, it's probably stiff enough as it is. Hopefully a good run through the washing machine will soften it a little. With that in mind, I've stabilized the quilt by stitching in the ditch on all the vertical and horizontal seams. Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt suggested that step. I don't know that I would do it on every quilt, but I did it on this one. With that finished, I outlined around the appliques and quilted clouds in the sky.


Now here's something maddening. Does this ever happen to you? I've learned to be careful about trimming the threads on the back, but sometimes I miss a few. Then I get something like this:


Enter the Soft Touch Thread Pic.


Someone else wrote about this on her blog. It's been a while, and I can't remember who it was. If it was you, then thank you. Here's how it works: It has the tiniest little hook at the end...practically microscopic. I have it there next to my little scissors, hoping to give you some scale. Take my word for it. You'll want to look through your bifocal to see it.


This next step is a little tricky because you poke it through your fabric and maneuver it around until you can get a hold of that thread. It's tricky because you need to be very careful not to get hold of the weave of your fabric. With persistence and patience, you can pull that sucker to the top.


From there, I like to use my tweezers to pull it the rest of the way. For one thing, it's just easier to do with tweezers, but also, it helps me to make sure I'm pulling just at the thread and not at the fabric.


And then...like a cat with a mouse...you are mine you little b@stard. I can't even begin to describe the gratification I get from snipping off the offending f*cker.


Ahhhhhhhhhh...just watching myself do it gives me a feeling of complete serenity. Sometimes I get lost in reverie just imagining it. When I was a teenager I'd get the same joy from looking at my face in the mirror and popping the biggest...oh, that's probably TMI. (Ahem.) We'll just leave it right there, okay?

So, anyway...where was I? Oh yes, I was showing you how it's looking from the front. These aren't very good pictures, but you'll get the idea.



Here's how it's looking from the back.




Smitty had an oppurrtunity to inspect, but he was more interested in the barking squirrel outside the window.


I tried to get him to turn around and show us his handsome face, but I think he's still made at me about that party hat yesterday.


A few kitty treats and an open door should help with that.

So, this morning I'm walking with Sue. Later on, I need to go with Mike to deliver our old truck to have its bedliner re-done. That'll be the last step we need to take before we're able to sell the old truck. It'll be good to get that pig out of the driveway...although it is a very nice truck. Hopefully someone will snap it up quickly. Then I'll get back to my quilting. (I can do that before we sell the truck...just to be clear.) Next up, I'll be quilting in the grass.

And now...breakfast.

22 comments from clever and witty friends:

Rosyquilter said...

Always strange that your blogpost arrives in my 'inbox' a day later than when you posted. I just came to the blog and see you have a new post today and I just read yesterday's? Strange...
You and I could be sisters. Since there are just two of us and no longer any four legged friends in our family, I have cut way back on a lot of what I did for preserving, baking, cooking, and gernerally being in my kitchen. My husband grows a garden much like yours but we now live in a 'regular' house and not on acreage.
Love living life through your eyes. Your perspective isrefreshing and sometimes your sense of humour has me smiling.
Can't wait to go on your adventure this fall.
And your quilting is also interesting and inspiring and I enjoy 'hearing' your thought processes. You have as many projects on the go at once as I do. Keeps life interesting.

Dorothy Finley said...

After watching you sew through the camper quilt, it's nice to watch the ending quilting. It's lovely. Thanks for the Soft Touch Thread Pick knowledge. I am assuming we can find in the biggest shopping mall in the world, i.e. Amazon ???

claudia said...

Thank you for the morning giggle with my coffee. I hate when a thread evades my clipping!
So nice to hear that you got to check off an item on your list AND got a meth-head off the streets at the same time. Very gratifying!
I went nuts and cleaned yesterday...my "little" truck, two bathrooms, the kitchen and got all my recycling sorted and out where it belongs and the compost pile was added to. I have no clue where THAT energy came from, but I guess I shouldn't question it and just go with the flow!
Today is grocery shopping, and taking the clean "little" truck in for a estimate on a thorough go through and repairs. That ought to take care of today. The kids are coming either this afternoon or tomorrow. Yeee!

Ioleen said...

Thanks for the tip on the soft touch thread pick. I have metal crochet hooks but not that small. Love, love the camper quilt. ❤️❤️❤️ Have never served on a jury but have been a witness in a trial.

quiltzyx said...

Wheel Estate looks FabOO! I love the clouds you quilted in. :)

Glad you had a good Jury Duty experience. Here, for Jury Duty, we only have to call in for 1 week - if we are called in, it's one trial & done. If we're not called in, we're done for 12 months.

Have a great weekend! I've been working 2 jobs this week, so 8am - 8pm. Working tomorrow 9-1, but am taking ALL of Sunday off. I may not even get out of bed. Well, except to turn the a/c on. Supposed to be HOT again. Next week is 8-8 all week again - working to pay off my hospital bill. Oy.

Ray and Jeanne said...

Glad you got to serve on a jury. Love your camper quilt. ~Jeanne

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

The camper quilt turned out great. I've only been called to jury duty once, when I was 8 months pregnant. The guy took a plea deal, and we were sent home.

Lana Ku said...

Such an adorable quilt. Trying to decide which camper I'd want to stay in. The orange one or maybe the classic one with the yard flamingo! What a fun quilt to use in your camper as you're traveling about the country. I'm sure the kitties will enjoy it too. Lol

Christine M said...

I love your caravan quilt Barbara. The backing is just perfect.

Brown Family said...

Love the clouds! And why is always a really dark thread under the lightest fabric! I have to remember to use my tiny little hook! I keep forgetting that I have one!

Lyndsey said...

The camper quilt is coming along very nicely. Now why haven't I come across that little hook, it would be a life saver. I'm off to find it on line as however careful I am there always seems to be one thread I've missed and always at the lightest part of the quilt!

Jenny - the lilac cat said...

Congratulations on your bloganniversary. I haven't posted on the proper post simply because it never seems fair given the postage costs for those living outside N America.

Yours is one of my favourite blogs - quilts, cats and great recipes all served up with the most delicious dry humour. (Btw I tried the slow cook pulled BBQ chicken last week. It went down very well. )

I love your camper van quilt especially the cats. I can see this being a great quilt for a future grandchild to play 'find the cat' with Grandma. Well we can all dream!!!

Kathy H said...

Glad you enjoyed your jury duty and are also now free to resume your quilting. I love the little campers. Great tip with the little hook. I was putting a quilt sandwich together yesterday and luckily discovered a dark thread in the light backing. I don't know where the dark thread came from since I had only used neutral thread! Probably because I carry a constant supply of loose threads with me all the time.😀

piecefulwendy said...

Y'know, I have all, I mean all, of my grandmother's crochet hooks, and I'll bet I can find one that matches that thread hook. Hmm. What a clever fix! Once again, you had me chuckling all the way through this post, even though I messed up the timing and my coffee was lukewarm to cold when I got here. (Your post gets saved until my coffee is juuust right.) Hahaha. Enjoy your day!

Susan said...

Glad you enjoyed your jury duty experience and can cross that off your bucket list. So, you are going to go quilt in the grass, huh? you know, that could be taken more than one way. Especially since your jury duty experience. :-) I enjoyed seeing each camper as you finished it and looking for the cat you added. The backing is perfect for this quilt.

Dana Gaffney said...

I love the campers, so cute and colorful! It was Pat who wrote about that handy little gadget, I use so much white I have those nasty threads happen all the time and I was amazed such a thing existed. You could be called for jury duty again after a month? that doesn't sound fair.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I just am tickled with this quilt! Love the design and your backing fabric is just the right finish. I have my gr.grans old very tiny crochet hooks and tatting needles - I use one of those (same theory) for catching those odd strays.

Auntiepatch said...

Living on a canyon in San Diego, when I have a barking squirrel in the backyard, it usually means that there is a rattlesnake there, too. They are my Early Snake Warning System. That is the reason why I put out food and water for the squirrels, and the birds, to enjoy. Most days I have a circus in the backyard with the quail families (the babies are sooo cute), the squirrels, lizards, rabbits, Hummers, and Blue Jays. Late afternoon they all climb out of the canyon to eat and play while the hummers swoop around like little helos. The rabbits run around and chase each other then leap into the air and dance just like Snoopy from Peanuts. And they know not to show up if the Early Snake Warning System is sounded by the squirrels. They know dinner will be late.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I have always enjoyed your writing and humor. You either make me laugh outright or always bring a smile. Sweet, fun quilt, and what a great tool.

Lou said...

Love your camper quilt!!!
I got to serve on a Grand Jury for 6 months this year. I went once a month and got to listen to about 40 cases in that day. We then got to decided if there was enough evidence to go to trial. Was VERY interesting and will miss it! I had already served on 2 trials before so it was neat to see the other side of it.

Kate said...

The camper quilt is coming along beautifully. It's such a fun quilt, glad that you'll be able to cuddle it with it soon. I've been called for jury duty, but have never served on one. Happy stitching today.

beaquilter said...

wow you really liked it? I have no desire for that, but might be called in once I become a citizen (soon)