A View of My Quilt Life

Monday, November 6, 2017

9 Patch Blocks + Sashing = Progress!

Once the sashing fabric was decided, it was time to assemble the quadrants. 


The clear floor space was nice to have for laying things out. Odie has learned (for the most part) to keep his paws off the quilt in progress, but I need to be mindful of stray bits of fabric and threads with an inquisitive puppy about the studio space.

For the outside border, I used a wider piece of the sashing fabric rather than changing to something else. I think it frames it all quite well.

Now on to the quilting of this top and get it turned in to the LQS for the contest.  The winner will be chosen by popular vote from Nov. 9 to Dec. 9.  The prize is a gift basket of quilting goodies.  I hope it is well received but either way, I have a nice throw size quilt done before winter.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sashing Auditions Take Center Stage

The stitching on the Blue Square quilt has commenced!  It was really a breeze to get the blocks stitched up. 
The 'Light' Quadrant swapped and laid out
They are an asymmetrical nine patch, so they lent themselves to being webbed together and chain stitched. The card table helped keep everything in the proper order.

Once the blocks were stitched, I need to audition sashing fabric - this turned out to be a lot easier than I thought.  For the contest I am allowed to use up to three other fabrics in the top.  I had purchased two, thinking I would use both for sashing to emphasis the color progression. From the audition pictures below, you can see that the sashing could really only be one of the fabrics.
Bright quadrant on light sashing

Dark quadrant on light sashing
Bright quadrant on dark sashing

Dark quadrant on dark sashing
The light sashing was just as ghastly in person!  Interestingly, it is one of the fabrics in the collection that is in the quilt but it did nothing to enhance the other fabrics.  It will find a use in another project, I'm certain. Or maybe the binding of this one.  There's a ways to go before I get to that stage. 

I really like the dark blue sashing fabric and need to pick up a few more yards for the stash.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Back to (Blue) Square One

We last we were together, the blue squares were laid out on the floor, waiting to become something:

Each quadrant was picked up, piled up together for sub-cutting and laid back out.

And right about here, things got tricky! I have a confession - I don't do Sudoku puzzles. Yet here I was trying to use the basic tenets of them to make a quilt - everything needed to add up! And of course, my own need for logical color progression HAD to be achieved. The sub-cutting of the quadrant gave me 9 blocks, with 9 pieces in each.  After much swapping around of the pieces, and a little hard cider to boot, I finally had a plan to follow!

The problem I encountered in figuring out the swap order was that I was thinking in horizontal rows

instead of diagonal sections,

which was the way the colors are laid out.  Once I wrapped my head around that concept, it made much more sense.  Once I had the first quadrant pieces swapped around, I made a chart to follow for the rest of the quilt.

The stitching could finally get under way!  I have to admit it was weird to work backwards on this quilt - usually I have a layout plan before I cut pieces. It's good to shake things up a bit sometimes!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Serious Rainfall Saturday

Okay, so I can be oblivious at times.  I knew it was going to rain on Saturday. I watched the weather forecast. I saw the radar images.

But I failed to comprehend just how heavy this rain was going to be.  From Saturday morning to Sunday morning, we got 5 inches of rain! 

So, I'm sure you are thinking - So What? You were warm & dry, quilting away and sipping tea, right?

Yeah, not so much. Although, that was the original plan.

I got a text alert reminding me that it was time to leave (RIGHT NOW!) to go meet other dog people.  What?  A little fast digging revealed an AKC puppy match taking place about 75 miles away.  The problem was, I was not showered, dressed and ready to go at the time I needed to leave. ACK!!

I jumped up, dashed around, grabbed the puppy and headed out - into the rainstorm.  Destination - the middle of the area that ended up getting 7+ inches of rain. We arrived 30 minutes after they started but since they hadn't finished our group yet, we were allowed to enter.

I scribbled the info on the entry form, dashed back out into the rain, grabbed Odie and some dog treats and dashed back to into the community center and right into the show ring.

Odie was wild!  Not unexpected, given he had no time to absorb the surroundings or adjust to the sensory overload of over 25 other dogs.  He had the best time ever!!  He loved everyone there. He zoomed around the ring, showing absolutely no style and control.  I laughed, the judge laughed and the audience laughed!  I'm quite sure most of them thought I had never done this before. I have but usually with puppies more than 3 days over the minimum age requirement and some show ring training under their collar.
Looking good, standing in the yard on Sunday.
I just wanted it to be a positive experience for Odie, to meet other dogs and other dog people.  The key to a good Shar-Pei is socialization! Doesn't matter if it's a family pet, a therapy dog, or a show dog. This is a guardian breed that needs to be exposed to everything under the sun at an early age to be accepting of any perceived threat. Odie already knows the vet office as a place to get lots of yummy treats and special attention.

As a bonus, we brought home his first dog show ribbons. 
Group 3 (out of 3 puppies)!
It was a thoroughly long day, lots of driving - some with slow speeds and limited visibility, dashing in and out of rain, getting soaked, and finally getting home to a pile of dog treats and a cuppa. 

The stitching waited until Sunday.

Friday, October 13, 2017

New, Non-Painting Project!

Finally, I have something to post besides painting & driving!

This week was broken up by yet another round trip drive from Michigan to Wisconsin to take Odie to the vet, but it was a routine, planned visit for his 3rd set of puppy shots. No drama, no problems! He weighed in at just under 20 lbs. (9 kgs.).  We returned to the Michigan House late Wednesday night for what should be a week long stay! Very excited to have some time to not only finish the last of the painting (only the trim left to do on the house, garage & shed) but to have some stitching time, too.

I have a new challenge project to whip out this week, using a precut pack. I chose a 10 inch square pack of Wilmington Batiks named Jean Pool. It's the same collection I used on Odie's puppy blanket.

My first attempt at layout was altered by a curious puppy having puppy zoomies.

All part of his learning to be a studio dog - going to take some time to learn about fabric on the floor.  No harm done as that layout wasn't working anyway. After some contemplation and a long puppy walk, I rearranged the squares to this layout which (maybe) I will be going with. 
Odie photo bombing like a big dog!

The squares will all be sub-cut and pieces will be swapped about. I took a quick picture of the layout the minute I had the last square in place, just in case I had some more 'help'.  But I shouldn't have worried because by then someone had crashed on the couch.

He's so cute when he's asleep! The snoring cracks me up.

Monday, October 9, 2017

New Week = New Plan

Last Friday night, DH & I were out with friends for dinner (at a Fabulous Italian Restaurant) and we all were comparing notes on how it had been the longest week ever. There were a lot of ups & downs and back & forths.  

Thankfully, Odie is doing great, all better from his abscess, so while that started as a down - it's all an up now!

After spending last Tuesday at home, watching him like a hawk and letting the meds do their job, we packed up & headed back to Michigan on Wednesday.  Back to painting! Thursday was all about painting - or more accurately prepping & painting.  I swear the scrubbing and scraping takes longer than the actual painting.

On Friday, I packed up our laundry and necessities & headed back home.  The dinner out was in honor of P's birthday, followed by the Annual Pumpkin Hunting on Saturday.

Guess what I did on Sunday?  

Yes - headed back to Michigan to continue the painting project!  The weather forecast is for good weather Sunday, Monday & Tuesday of this week, with rain Tuesday night & Wednesday. That works well because Odie has a regularly scheduled vet appointment on Wednesday morning, so we'll be heading back late Tuesday.

So between last Monday and yesterday, I have driven over 675 miles - going in circles! Kind like quilting...

On Saturday morning, I did manage to FINALLY finish the quilting on the Construction Equipment quilt!! 
Here's the Construction Equipment quilt top
It was handed off on Saturday afternoon to make it's way to a little boy, who just got a new baby brother last week.  I need to get that baby quilt done ASAP!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Best of Intentions and Plans Go Awry

So last week's Painting Adventure got off to a great start! I arrived shortly after noon on Tuesday, using the remainder of the afternoon to get unpacked, settled in & introduce Odie to our Home away from Home.  There was scrubbing and scraping that happened.  Then the painting commenced!

My Mom was concerned about what I used to clean the 'green' off the north side of the garage.  Between having the pup with me and so as not to harm the environment, I didn't use the outdoor bleach she had there. I used Dawn dish soap, hot water & a long handled brush - came off quick as a wink!

Before long, I moved on to painting.  Here's the north side of the garage with racing stripes of new paint, applied by brush.

 I followed up with filling in the center using a painting pad.  Best thing ever invented - so much easier & faster than using a roller! 

Unfortunately, no quilting got done.  I was bummed about that but I figured it was no big deal as I was going to be back up there all of this week.

The best laid plans! As usual, the wheels came flying off that bus faster than lightening! 

The PLAN was to head back up to Michigan early Monday morning. Good Plan!  The weekend was great - had a riding clinic at the barn, did laundry, paid bills, hung out with the DH & friends, and even had a puppy play date.

Odie & I were up early on Monday. There wasn't much to load up as I only brought my clothes bag home & his travel bag.  Traffic wasn't horrible so it looked like all systems were good to go.
Dawn  - Monday, 2nd October 
Except when we arrived in Michigan, Odie wasn't himself.  Thinking he needed to be out of the car and rest awhile, I crated him in the cool living room, with his water bowl at hand, to rest while I went out to tackle some more scrubbing & scraping. 

An hour later, I chucked our bags back in the truck, called the vet & we embarked on a 3.5 hour trip back towards home, right to the animal hospital. Odie was definitely not well! He wasn't walking right, had a fever (104.4!), was achy, sore to the touch on some body parts and was lethargic. Crapith!  

While we could figure out the symptoms he was showing and how to treat them, it took three of us putting our heads together on the specifics of the Shar Pei breed, knowledge of the family lines, a careful examination and a bit of luck to uncover the root cause.  Odie had an abscess! Located on the left side of his face, just under the ear, it was bad enough to be causing a systemic / lymphatic reaction. No, it wasn't huge and it quickly ruptured & drained without any surgical intervention.  It was caused by a dog bite, most likely his sister's sharp little puppy teeth when they were playing.  Add into the mix, the fact Odie is growing and cutting molars, his little body was fairly well taxed.

He was feeling much better by yesterday. 
Tuesday - Playing with the fallen leaves
He is on 3 different meds, and getting some wound care, along with some special food and treats. We have the all clear from the vet to head back up to Michigan House.  Between all the back & forth driving (we covered 312 miles on Monday), the expected weather for the rest of the week & the plans for this weekend back at home, the painting project will definitely extend into next week.

Of course, there is still the urgent quilting, that has now become Very Urgent. Fingers crossed for getting The Plan back on track!