Two Days of Sewing

Good Thursday morning, my friends. It's going to be a good day. Big Bertha is coming home today, and let me just tell you, She's going to be sorry she ever went on vacation. She has a lot of catching up to do. And you and me...we have some catching up to do too. 

Since yesterday's post was the reveal of my latest art quilt, I haven't updated you about what's been going on for the past two days. Backing up to Tuesday, I stayed in my pajamas until well past noon trying to finish off the Sewing Day stitchery. 

I'll be adding some borders and turning it into a little wall-hanging eventually. And you might wonder why I needed so urgently to finish it. Well, it's because the Stitched Inchies (my name for it) started on Wednesday. Here's the first one. 

We started small with just that blue fly stitch around the first inchy border.

Knowing I couldn't do any top-stitching while I awaited Big Bertha's return, it was easy to get distracted with anything other than applique. I decided to put off my start on Purrfectly Pieced in favor of the next block for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. February's color is pink. You might recall that my challenge quilt this year is the Homestead quilt, made from blocks listed in the Quilt Discovery Experience brochure we picked up at the Homestead Heritage National Historic Site last fall.

I won't be doing all the blocks in the book, but I will be taking them in order as much as possible. The next one listed was this one called the "Nebraska Pinwheel." Other names for this block include the "Nebraska Windmill" and the "Dempster Windmill." 

Here's what the brochure said about this block:
Wheels represent movement. The pioneers depended on wheels to carry them across the plains. For the homesteaders, wheels were vital to their lives. They were the basis of their transportation. Wheels were used in sawmills and in gristmills where grain was ground into flour or meal. In the early 1900’s windmills pumped water for livestock and made life on the homestead easier. Because of its importance to the homesteaders in their everyday lives, the wheel was often a favorite quilt pattern. 
When the USA entered WWI in 1917, quilt making took on a new significance. The government took all the wool produced for commercial use, and actively urged citizens to make quilts using the slogan, “Make Quilts—Save the Blankets for our Boys Over There.” As a result, many utilitarian quilts for home use were made. These quilts soon earned the nickname of “Liberty Quilts.”

Okay, so I had to do some searching for instructions to make this block. I finally found some on a site for a Nebraska quilt guild. I'd link to them, but they were written wrong on so many levels. It's almost as if several people took one line of the instructions, writing them without consulting the others, and then they put them into one sheet. Oh well. You get what you pay for, I guess. So anyway...after much fussing and swearing, I had a block that looked like this: 

Certainly, it could be worse. The blocks for this quilt are going to end up different sizes, and so I'll have to do some creative sashing to bring them all into a whole quilt. I'll cross that bridge when the time comes. For now, here are the two blocks I have for the Homestead quilt so far.

Tuesday was supposed to be a walking day for me, but see above, where I stayed in my pajamas until past noon. Instead, I got out for a walk yesterday. It was good that I waited a day because the weather was nicer. Usually, I walk up the hill from my house so that my homeward bound trek will be downhill. But I knew there would be a pretty view of Mt. Hood yesterday, and so I decided to be bold and walk downhill first. My efforts were rewarded.

When I reached the turnaround point of my walk, I could see three more mountains. From left to right they are Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams. We used to be able to see Mt. Adams from our house. The trees have grown up in the past twenty years until it is obscured. To see it, we have to do some walking.

If I'd kept walking down that hill, I could have seen all four mountains, but then...the farther I walked down the hill, the farther the trip back up the hill would be. And let me just tell you, that's quite a hike going in the other direction. 

One of our neighbors has a herd of goats. They are so funny and cute. I climbed a small embankment to get above their fence for this picture. They were about 50 yards away hanging out at the front porch. I didn't notice the cat in the window until I took this picture off my camera this morning.

This is their valiant llama protector.

I thought they were staying up next to the house because they were shy, but no. As I started to climb back down the embankment, I could hear them coming after me with their maa-aaa-ing. It was so funny. I should have made an audio recording so you could hear it. Another time, maybe. Anyway, this guy was so friendly and he shoved his nose through the fence for me to pet...or probably he was looking for a handout. 

Maybe they know me as the lady with the horse cookies. The horses are just across the road from them, and I often stop to feed them when I'm out for a walk. He seemed to be the ringleader, but everyone came along.

As I continued down the road, I came to an area where I didn't have to climb an embankment to get above the fence. There, we got better acquainted. Aren't their eyes weird?

Okay...so you know me. I had to inquire of my friend The Google about this. Here's what The Google told me:

Why Do Goats Have Rectangular Pupils?

Capra aegagrus hircus eyes give them extraordinary vision and run away before a predator comes to attack them. So, the use of Capra aegagrus hircus eyes is to help them know the approaching of a predator so that they can escape before it attacks them. The vertical side-slanted eyes help herbivores judge the distance of their enemy and pounce as far as they can. Some people may find it odd even to have a better look at the goat's pupils.

Researchers found that goats have rectangular or horizontal eyes with a 360-degree panoramic sight. The eyes can rotate to maintain their uniformity with the ground. Goats eat with their head down to the ground, with its visual side prospect, which helps goats quickly see danger approaching from various directions and plenty of time to flee.

The shape goat's eyes are such that they can do two things simultaneously. One of those things that makes the goats unique is that it has a wide sight to detect the predators from a distance, and another is that they should have a clear forward vision for rapid movement over the rough terrain. Goats can make a good exit when it's time to run.
Have I said lately how much I 💓 the internet?

Continuing on, I got a chuckle out of this fence "repair" in the next image. You can see they got so far, and then took a break. Judging by the rusty roll of fencing there, it's been a year's long break.

Back home, I had some lunch and iced my knees. Finally, finally, finally it seemed like a good time to get started on the final section for the Purrfectly Pieced quilt. The next section is called "Quack."

Now can we make the Purrfectly Pieced quilt? 

Smitty likes this quilt since some of the cats look like him. There's a reason for that. He helps me choose the fabrics I'll use.

He helped me cut the background piece.

Sadie wanted to make sure we incorporated her purreferences too.

With their help, I fused all the pieces for the final section. With Big Bertha coming home today, I should be able to finish off the top-stitching today or tomorrow. 

I have some top-stitching to do on the last of the Vintage Linen blocks too.

That won't take long. And now that it's February, it's time to choose a goal for February's

My goal for February will be to sandwich these finished quilt tops for quilting. We'll be setting up the sawhorse tables in the garage for this, and it always ends up being a several days' long production.

So there you have it. We're all caught up. Mike and I are going out to lunch before we pick up Big Bertha. We'll also make a quick stop at the grocery store. If there's time for sewing today, I'll get on with the top-stitching. For sure and certain, I'll be doing the next inchy.


Barbara said...

The truth is that most of your Facebook friends are too busy counting their own 'likes' to pay attention to you for more than a few seconds anyway. Unless you happen to be a kitten who's in love with a baby goat, in which case you should hire a publicist immediately. ~ Meghan Daum

Christine said...

You have been busy whether dressed or in pyjamas....
Very pretty stitching
Hurrah for Big Bertha's return.

Sherrill said...

Those goats are too funny. I used to go to a farm not far from me and milk the goats once a week. The owner just needed help with the milking and let us take the milk home. I must admit I was very nervous trying it the first time (guess I had pre-conceived notions) but to me it tasted just like cows milk. The owner had probably 30 goats but we only milked 8-10 and their 'guardians' were 5 dogs. I stop by every once in awhile to bring treats to the dogs and bread to the goats (in the fall, lots of folks drop off their pumpkins after Halloween and the goats LOVE that). I always thought their eyes looked so weird but never thought to look it up! LOL Those mountain views are gorgeous!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Well, I can't say that I've ever gazed into a goat's eyes before and certainly had no idea that their pupils would be rectangular. And I had never stumbled upon the 'Nebraska Pinwheel design before either. Doesn't look like it would be fun to piece (hence, no doubt, your comment about swearing).
Lunch out was our thing today too but only because the powers that be decided that we had to remove our car from the parking lot so they could remove the snow.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I don't do jammy days any more as you never know who's coming knocking on the door. That's quite a pile of quilts, but I think I have you beat.

Astrid said...

You have been busy! Love the stitchery, so pretty. 'Nebraska Pinwheel' block looks a bit complicated without a proper pattern, glad you figured it out, it's pretty in pink. As an ex-farmer I love farm life, nice photos. Love the snowcapped mountains too, beautiful scenery.

Kate said...

I've never been up close with a goat so had no idea about their eyes. That was interesting. Purrfectly Pieced turned out really cute. Good luck with all the sandwiching. On the other hand that means you've got lots of finishes coming up after all that work.

Karrin Hurd said...

Wow, you have a lot of projects going. Purrfectly Pieces is adorable. Good luck with all that sandwiching! Lovely picture of Mt Hood.

Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

You are staying so busy with lots of fabulous projects. I visited the Homestead Museum this past October and got the same pamphlet. What a wonderful idea on creating a quilt from the blocks listed. I look forward to watching your progress.

The Joyful Quilter said...

You've been SEW busy, Barbara! Thank you for sharing the views from your walk with us. Gorgeous!