Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Heat Wave

Why yes, we did have a heat wave, which is somewhat but not completely gone. Over the weekend and extending into  Tuesday, the temperature was very close to the three-digit range, the wind was blowing hot and dry, and I spent more time outside moving sprinklers around than was comfortable.

 Of course the roses loved the heat, as long as I could keep their feet cool and satisfy their thirst.

I missed pruning this winter (one of those things that get lost when it's hard to stand up for more than a few minutes at a time without pain) and some of the bushes have gone positively feral. I've been trying to trim a little at a time, and so far have managed to cut back enough of the big orange bush so that I can reach the faucet turn-on without being bitten by the thorns.
This is one of my favorite bushes--it lives in the middle of the "flower bed" on the bank at the front of the yard. It's been pretty happy and is covered in blooms  right now.

 One of the things I can do when it gets really hot out is work on my quilts, so it was back to the cat quilt this"  week.

Naturally, my helper heard the machine and decided to come down and provide his own inimitable brand of technical assistance.

This is the "I can't see you!" attitude, also known as "It's better to pet the cat than to sew on those silly fabric cats."

Can't say I blame him, or disagree with him.
 However, he's amenable to moving.

I moved him over to this part of the cabinet, skritched him behind the ears, and told him this was a good place for him to sit.

So there he sat.

And fell asleep. The sound coming out of him was halfway between a snore and a purr...altogether charming.

He really is a good little buddy. As I'm typing this, he's stretched out about a foot or two behind the desk chair, eyes nearly shut and the rumble-purr going.

Anyway, the cat quilt is now ready to be quilted. I went around all the little appliques with a tiny machine buttonhole stitch with invisible thread.

I wish I could remember where the pattern for this quilt is. I keep trying to make it a block for each month, or assign holidays to all of them, which works fine for Pumpkin Kitty (Halloween), Fourth of July Cat, the angel could be for Christmas and the  cheerleader for football season. I even convinced myself that the couple in the upper right corner are Mother and Father celebrating their Days. But then there's Chef Meow and the ballerina and the turquoise cat...hmmm. And is the stargazer behind the fence another Halloweener? What about the cowboy? The one with mittens and a tail-warmer is a Mr. Winter...

Oh well. That's the kind of thing that my mind wanders and wonders about while I'm doing something that takes concentration but is otherwise rather repetitive.

So it's on to the next project. I've been cutting squares to make the  30's Pinwheel quilt, finally got all the colored ones marked with a line from corner to corner.

I have No Idea how many squares I have here. I hope that there are roughly half as many white ones as there are colored ones--ideally there'd be some extras, but that's asking a lot.

I'm making a stack on the side as I go--one colored one gets paired with a white one, and one goes into the "next round" stack.

The plan is that I'll make the first sets white/colored, cut them in half, and then pair them with another color--thus I'll get the pinwheel effect without having to cut and match up hundreds of little triangles.

Once I'm done, I'll square them up, and go on to the next step. 

See? I'm sewing down one side of the marked line; then I'll flip it over, sew down the other side, and cut on the line. A quick press and I'll have a nice BIG stack of white/colored half-square triangles.

Hopefully I measured and cut correctly. This is what happens why you're flying by the seat of your pants.

I'm copying a quilt I saw a couple of friends make, which I loved, but at the time I couldn't take the class with them, so it's been on the back burner for a while. A long while!

Guess it's time to update the sidebar. Uh oh, I'll be adding a new WIP... well, with any luck, I'll finish at least one binding tonight.

And there is sweater progress, too, but no pictures of mine yet.

These are the parts of a sweater my knitter friend Beth is making for her son Mac. The front is the multicolored panel, the sleeves are the yellow, and the back is olive green. It's all done in Koigu fingering yarn--pretty impressive! 

 Looking out my front window tonight--the Photo A Day prompt was "7 o'clock" and I thought this might work.

Not terrible, but not great either.

On to a small mystery.

When I got home last night, there was a red box on my front porch. It had my name on the front and a heart.
 Inside were these Double Wedding Ring blocks.

No idea who left them. Obviously, old fabrics, pattern is a 20s-30s standby, and yes, I have made a "few" of these in my time. Three queens and a king, plus a 4-ring white and gold piece for my parents' 50th anniversary.

So I did what any modern quilter would do--took their picture and put it up on Facebook! The giver quickly spoke up--my long-time friend, Holly, who now lives out in the desert, had her son drop it off for me.

Foundling quilt blocks are much easier to take in than kittens or puppies! I'll lay them out tomorrow and take more pictures--Holly doesn't really have any information about them, and I want to get a "feel" for the  quilter who painstakingly hand pieced them!

One last picture. Normally at this time of year, my jacaranda tree would be a cloud of purple blossoms. Thanks to the stiff wind, my driveway is carpeted in purple and my tree is looking a little sparse. Ah well, it is blooming at least!

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