Thursday, January 27, 2011

A post with no pics

My posting habits have worn a bit thin, so when I discovered NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), I pretty much signed up on the spot. Well, about three days later, truth be told, but that's fairly fast for me to do anything spontaneous.

What is it? Well, if you've heard of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)(of which I have partaken in the past), then it's easy to understand. With NaNoWriMo (ugh, that's a mouthful to type!), you write a 50,000 word novel in the course of a month (November). The difference with NaBloPoMo (agh, that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it?), the idea is to write a blog post every day for a month. Any month. Any calendar month, I should say.

So I aim to do it in February. They have writing prompts available, should they be needed. And I may just use one, if I find myself running out of crafty-quilty things to write about.

We'll see.

And what did I learn today?


No, no, not the whole language! But I did figure out a few things, like how to write the code for a blog button. Not that I actually have a blog button; but at least now I understand (basically) how it works. And that, in itself, is a good thing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Butterflies and leaves

I know, it's been a while since my last post. The old pc was outta action for a while. Hubby spent the last few days of his summer holiday fixing and upgrading things. Hopefully all is well now.

The most recent border on my Patchwork Posse round robin quilt took rather longer than expected. I did enjoy doing it, however. There's something quite relaxing about hand-stitching, even if some days only saw me manage to get one leaf finished.

Holding down the quilt so it won't blow away
during the photo shoot.
Isn't she helpful?
In cat news, Tabitha has caught many more bumblebees. My bed is still the Chosen Place to bring them and play. But she has now discovered butterflies. I wasn't overly concerned when I first noticed her noticing the lovely flittering movement of a cabbage white. But a couple of days ago she brought inside a monarch butterfly. It managed to escape when she opened her mouth and let it out. Luckily I soon caught it, and let it out the window. Now I feel guilty for having swan plants, as they are a major attractant for the monarchs.

What I've learned from all this:
  1. Don't let the kids use my pc. They click on things they shouldn't. Grrr.
  2. Don't blame the kids for everything! It's not all their fault. Relax!
  3. Make more time for myself.
  4. Distract the cat.
  5. Relax.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bumblebees and bunting

For my latest effort in the Patchwork Posse round robin, I decided to challenge myself.

Bunting? No, just chain-piecing...
Apparently it wasn't enough of a challenge to sew 12 pinwheel blocks - a pattern which I'd not done before (hey, I'm still quite new at this, okay?). Instead of following the instructions and making each opposing arm of the pinwheel out of the same fabric, I decided to use a different fabric for each piece. That's 48 different fabrics. All out of colours that would tie in with the quilt's colour scheme, which is (I hope) country-ish. But all that wasn't so hard.

The tricky part was trying to match up each block to be colour-coordinated - because my orderly mind had decided that would be better than having a random scrappy look. Methinks my orderly mind needs to take a holiday once in a while, and let my lazy/creative mind take over, and things will get done a lot faster!

But not to worry; I'm happy with the end product. And my 11 y.o. enjoyed helping out by positioning the blocks for me. She has a good intuitive sense of colour.


Hubby decided to "help" too. Thank goodness I'd finished all the cutting by then, though!

... finished pinwheels, pre-trimming...
Perpetually fascinated by my rotary cutter, he decided (upon my mentioning that it was getting quite blunt) to sharpen it for me.
So he got out the knife-sharpening steel from the cutlery drawer.
He tried.
It looked sharp.
He cut paper with it.
He was pleased with himself.
I tried it on fabric. Just lightly, as I remembered how sharp it was when new. No good. Pressing harder, still no good. Firmer still, like when I last used it this afternoon.
"It's blunter than it was before!"
He was somewhat surprised. But not ready to be defeated, he got out his other blade sharpening thingy.
With the same result. But I was quick to reassure him:
"Don't worry, I'll buy a new blade tomorrow when I'm in town."
"Hmph. How much are they?"
"Ummm... aroud ten dollars I think."
... and blocks attached.
A bit later I came back into the room to find darling hubby with his knife sharpening stone. He must've gone hunting through the garage, because I don't remember having seen him use it lately.
And so he put the rotary cutter back together - which didn't take very long as he was getting pretty good at it by now - and tried it out on some more paper.
It's a good paper cutter.
But sadly, hopeless at cutting fabric.


In other news, my 11-month-old cat loves to chase bugs, flies and bees. Okay, she started out like a normal cat, by liking the look of birds. But she soon discovered that she couldn't catch them. She has much better luck with smaller critters. Like beetles, and moths. She just loves it if I have the porch light on at night; it's a veritable moth fest!

But Tabitha's favourite at the moment would have to be bumblebees. And as it's the height of summer here right now, there are a lot of bumblebees around. I can actually understand why she likes them. They have a cool deep buzzy noise, so she can hear them coming from a mile away; they sit and do their bumbly business in flowers which are usually around cat-height; and best of all, they buzz around s-l-o-w-l-y. Which gives poor Tabsy a very good chance of catching one.

Today, she caught one. She brought it inside, so she could have a proper play with it. She let it go just inside the door, but managed to re-catch it. Not willing to take the chance of losing it again, she trotted through the lounge, down the hallway, into my room and jumped up on the bed before opening her mouth and letting it out. I managed to catch it in a cup and take it outside; one whiff of the fresh air and it was off.

Within an hour, Tabitha was inside again with another victim in her mouth. Not wholly in her mouth; half of it was sticking out. Which is a really funny thing to see. A true Kodak moment. Now I had just been photographing my quilt-in-progress, so the camera was out; but by the time I'd turned it on and it was ready, she'd dropped the bee, which was now crawling around on the floor.

Long story short: it was soon safely out the door. And the cat had to find something else to do. Luckily for her, she hadn't had her fill of sleep for the day yet.


What I learned today was an efficient way to catch bumblebees. Get two cups/glasses/plastic containers, preferably see-through. Coax bee into one cup, using other cup to gently nudge it if necessary. When bee is safely ensconced in cup, put other cup over top, trapping bee, until you can safely give it its freedom in the open air.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Yeah, so I found the missing fabric. I went a-hunting through my Small Scraps Tub, and found some reasonably-sized scraps of said fabric.
UFO containing missing blue fabric

And then I remembered.

I had already used the two blue fat quarters, and the reasonably-sized scraps were all that were left. Aaaaggghhhh! I'm not upset that the fabric was used. I'm mad at myself for not even remembering!

What I learned today is that I need to keep my UFOs in plain sight, rather than hidden away in the Depths of Beyond in my sewing room.

Getting older is not all it's cracked up to be. With age comes wisdom? Not necessarily.