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Wednesday, May 31, 2006  

More on the quilt without a plan.

I've been plugging away at making more squares. I'm going to have to figure out a way to lay these out since my normal routine of laying out small squares isn't going to work so well for this thing.

The last batch of squares focused on dark colors since I think I'll need more of those in the long run. So without further ado:

Yeah... let's review. Too many small pieces.

Written at: 5/31/2006 12:40:00 AM

Monday, May 29, 2006  

Photos from my garden, today:

Written at: 5/29/2006 06:01:00 PM


Things that count or are counted...

Firstly, there is just nothing better than hot buttered rye bread toast, made from your own rye bread. Nothing better except said rye toast accompanied by good hot coffee.

Naomi will laugh but after making phase one of another batch of small squares, I crawled into bed with my notebook, pencil and calculator to figure out things which could be done with these... if only I had a certain number. How many do I need? Well, frankly that is the confluence of what I want to do with them and how long I'm willing to make them.

Last night, as I was saying, I made a batch more. I actually passed 70 through the sewing machine once and 40 of those through a second time.

The total process for each square is:

  • Pick up square.
  • Choose strip, cut roughly to size.
  • Sew one edge of strip to square (in reality repeat this a lot of times).
  • Press.
  • Cut along seam edge of strip.
  • Sew cut off piece of square to strip. (repeat this a lot of times)
  • Press.
Second verse, just like the first:
  • Pick up square.
  • Choose strip, cut roughly to size.
  • Sew one edge of strip to square (in reality repeat this a lot of times).
  • Press.
  • Cut along seam edge of strip.
  • Sew cut off piece of square to strip. (repeat this a lot of times)
  • Trim seam allowance to remove extra fabric
  • Press.
  • True up to size.

That's a lot of handling and sewing and pressing for a 1.5 inch finished square.

OK, I do need to have my head examined. But I am liking the results quite a bit, even as I worry that I need some more "background" fabrics to choose from and what if I start running out of silk?

As of curling up with my notebook last night I had 169 squares done and 40 more with one stripe and 30 more with a stripe half done. No matter what, that's just not enough. If I sewed together the 169 squares that would give me something about 20 inches square.


Written at: 5/29/2006 12:13:00 PM

Sunday, May 28, 2006  
Web cam devotees will note with pleasure that the spring season (aka windows UP) has arrived. Visitors will no doubt be seeing more of the cats and kittens as they guard the house from birds, insects and chipmunks that appear too close to their perch.

The kittens are moving right along - it will be awhile before they are anything other than dinky compared to the two grown cats. They were a hit at the vets - charming one and all and getting the Dr. Tom stamp of good-kitten approval. Archie had a tough night one night this week and had me worried. Very upset tum and worried face. My face was worried too. In the morning he looked a little more relaxed and by evening he was bouncing around with Raz - all better. Whew.

Socially, the little herd is pretty cohesive. The big cats are still in charge of drawing the line (stop! go away! slap-slap-slap! now do you understand? Let me nip your ear to be sure!) but the kittens keep sidling up to them and more often than not are treated to licks and rubs and sniffs. Even Gus will let them share a perch with him as long as they're pretty calm about it.

Now I just have to teach the kits about summer clothing and how more exposed skin means not clambering up legs with claws! ouch!

Written at: 5/28/2006 01:04:00 PM

Tuesday, May 23, 2006  
Ninety-three two-inch squares on the wall,
Ninety-three two-inch squares,
If one of those squares should happen to fall,
Ninety-two two-inch squares on the wall...

Written at: 5/23/2006 11:54:00 PM

Monday, May 22, 2006  
Here's what happens when you go to a getaway weekend, a long stretch of time to work on your own projects, without any idea of what to work on. There is no way to pack when you don't have plans or a goal or two. So you bring a lot of stuff and hope that something you bring will be usable. There's no starting point. You sit and wait for inspiration to strike... ha!

Yeah, you come home with 71 72 two inch squares that have silk strips through them. Yeah. I either need a whole lot more of these OR I need to have my head examined!

Written at: 5/22/2006 01:48:00 PM

Sunday, May 14, 2006  

The cats and the kits are all snoozing away this long rainy afternoon - seems like a good idea actually. But while they've been occupied, I've gotten my new quilt all sewn together. One little spot needs some fixing and the first seam needs a little un-doing where I changed feet and had to restitch to make the seam allowance the same size.

It's always exciting to see the top finished -- does it look like I thought? does it work? How will the next steps work? All I can say right now is that I like it - it sort of glows in an earthy kind of way. Just like spring!

Written at: 5/14/2006 03:47:00 PM

Heard in passing on TV:
"...the incredible ceiling was painted by faux artist, **name deleted**..."
OK, but given that it went with an "old tiffany pattern (china) but it's fun", I'm guessing he makes good money at being a faux artist!

Written at: 5/14/2006 12:08:00 PM

Saturday, May 13, 2006  
Life's pretty good at
  • the Louvre - 7.5 million visitors a year.
  • Disneyland, Anaheim -- 13,360,000 (2004)
  • Magic Kingdom -- 16.2 million visitors, making it the most visited theme park in the world.
In other news, more kitten butt-sniffing, this time from Gus! And from Deirdre, some ear sniffing and well, a few ear licks and maybe a head-butt or two. Gus and the two kittens and I played "lets catch that weird birdie thing that keeps whizzing around overhead". A little catnip, a new rotation of toys (old ones back into the catnip jar), some scritching.

Written at: 5/13/2006 09:43:00 PM

Thursday, May 11, 2006  

Almost the end of week one:

Well here we are on the eve of week two already and what progress I have to report. First off, in the quilting arena, I am very slowly and determinedly sewing together the rows of my new quilt. This is where the persistence pays off. I get rewarded each night with a little more of the coming quilt revealed, which is quite an incentive. But it is, as I like to call it: my life, an inch and a half at a time.

Then there's the whole cat v kitten thing. There has been a huge amount of progress here. Yesterday I observed a small amount of what we in the cat field call "butt-sniffing", specifically Deirdre (aka boss lady cat) sniffing the butts of the youngsters. Now this alone is good because earlier behavior was to hiss and puff at every near occurence of the youngsters. But socially, this is a significant sign.

This morning, yesterday's butt-sniffing had moved into sideways-body-rubbing with the occasional but very casual (I might not mean this yet) head butt. Voila! That's great. Deirdre now spends time sitting somewhere in the middle of a room watching all the tumble and jumble of two kittens whirling around.

Gus is still keeping his distance; not abnormally since male cats do tend to be more wary of young kits. I do notice that he doesn't exactly flee every scene containing a small furry bundle, but there's no physical contact yet. Yet.

For myself, other than the 5 am flying lessons I was giving kittens this morning. Off! Off! Off! I can honestly say I haven't laughed so hard or so often in a very long time. Kittens are r'][[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[+------------- really bad assistant typists. But they are really good at putting on acrobatic displays that defy physical laws. They do incredible feats of daring like leaping to the top of the very tall scratching post. Or walking up it and then flinging themselves off at the passing brother. They achieve amazing speeds while whirling dervishing themselves in an attempt to catch their tails. And then they collapse in a little kitten heap on my lap while serving up an apparently restorative purr. Deirdre looks like just watching them is exhausting! Now if there was just a reset button on that 5 AM wakeup call they seem to have.... Off! Off! Off! No snooze button either....

Written at: 5/11/2006 08:52:00 PM

Tuesday, May 09, 2006  
The naming of cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter
When I tell you a cat must have three different names.
-- TS Eliot
Many thanks to Julie O for this great quote. Sure explains a lot of my week so far, trying out names, trying out names for little nicknames etc. Looks like it's Archibald (Archie for short) for the little white-stocking fellow and probably Erasmus, (Raz for short? MusMus for short? Hey you! in a pinch...) for his brother.

Day four and we're getting way past the hugely puffed up, hissing, slinking away reaction from the big cats. That is always entertaining to watch.

This morning Deirdre was hurtling around like a total lunatic. I thought she was chasing the small kits but in fact she was hurtling around all on her own, banging into doors and whatever was in the way. The kits were hurtling around AFTER her, stopping when she was stopped by whatever and they'd just stare at each other in this sort of breathless, maniacal way. Looked like fun!

Tonight Gus seems to have gotten past the instant hissing thing too, so I think we're well on the way to being a big family again.

Written at: 5/09/2006 07:04:00 PM

Sunday, May 07, 2006  

Day two

Time really flies when you're hurtling around in a little fur suit. And then it's time for a nap.

Written at: 5/07/2006 07:18:00 PM

Saturday, May 06, 2006  

In the "what was that?" category:

Written at: 5/06/2006 03:10:00 PM

Friday, May 05, 2006  
well I guess you never know who's looking at your blog, eh? Check this out, and look, first off at the mix of the last 10 viewers, but then check out number five.....

Welcome new visitors coming to check out IMBB25 and hope you enjoy the soup!

In other news, I got a new watch today. really needed one, and I'm hard on watches so I need to spend enough but not too much. And I just have one question: Why do digital watches have to be so clunky? My new watch is analog.

Written at: 5/05/2006 11:18:00 PM

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