Feline Friday is hosted every friday and HELP for Hexie-aholics is hosted on the 17th of each month. We hope you'll join us!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Road Warrior!!

My post has been really delayed today - it's been crazy busy and I missed a good share of my lunch, when I normally blog. Of course I don't get the comments emailed to me anyway (even with the trick that is working for some bloggers) so it's all very frustrating. Has anyone heard of a real fix by Blogger?

Last Friday I left work a whole 5 minutes early (after zero customers all day) to head to the city. REI was having a sale and I had coupons and gift cards. It's silly but I needed more hiking socks and ended up getting one of those chargers that will charge a phone lickety split. When I go hiking I've got the GPS on, fitbit is recording, I'm taking pictures and I'm playing an audiobook. A hike of any length chews up a fully charged battery pretty fast. Of course, what *just* dawned on me was that that was the case with my old phone - maybe the new phone with the better battery won't be such a problem. Oh well, never hurts to be prepared.

Next I went to JoAnns - more coupons for Memorial Day where I stocked up on 505 spray. I had plans to baste quilts over the weekend but that didn't happen.

On the way home I also picked up a new backpack and hydration pack. I've had a Camelback for years; purchased it when I was doing lighthouse tours in the Miami heat and sun. Unfortunately it doesn't have any storage for more than the water and a snack - I would like to carry extra items with me and I now have plenty of room for all kinds of things. In fact I worry it has too many pockets and I'll never find what I packed. LOL.

I didn't get home and to bed until 11:30 but I was crazy enough to get up at 5am to try to see the 6am launch for the balloon rally at Letchworth State Park. The last rally I attended was ran a bit different than this. In Miami when they said it was a 6am launch that meant the balloons were inflated and ready to launch at 6. Not so here. They decide at 6am if they will be launching and then inflate. Dang. I could have had another 30 minutes of sleep! Well, really I could have had hours more sleep because they cancelled the launch due to the weather. I was already up so I hiked in the park for an hour. Gotta break in those new hiking boots that I didn't get to use while Mr Cranky Ankle healed.

This is the new arched train bridge across the Genesee River. The old bridge was built in the 1800s and was quite the marvel for it's time but it was much too slow a crossing for modern trains so they have spent the last 2 years building this bridge and removing the old one. You can just barely see the last cement foundation in the water to the right. The park road and parking lot near the bridge are supposed to be completed in the fall so that the Genesee Falls park entrance can finally be reopened.

Next I drove to Arcade to buy the Grunge fabrics for my next temp quilt. While driving randomly, waiting on the store to open, I realized how close I was to Hawk Creek Wildlife Refuge. Close is relative as I was still 30 minutes away but it's an hour from home so why not. The Refuge is only open to the public for special events and they were having a plant sale to benefit the refuge along with a $5 entry fee.

Hawk Creek is home to owls, eagles, medium sized wild cats, porcupines and a few other mammals. Be sure to check out the link above for much better pictures of all the animals.

In the lobby I was greeted by Onxy, a 4 week old Verreaux Eagle. When he's full grown he will be black.

I had never been to the refuge but I've enjoyed watching the pictures on their facebook page. The cats are in cages that are in wedges around a central building.

The Geoffrey's Cat was my favorite. It's a horrible picture but she wouldn't get closer to pose, instead pacing around. They are a small cat, smaller even than my own cat, and she often jumped into her wheel. One of the volunteers told me she is probably trying to work off her baby belly. I didn't get to see the little ones as they are given to other refuges and zoos to expand the species.

It was a little creepy that every time a small child walked by most of the cats would perk up to say "hey look - dinner has arrived". Eek!!

This is an African Serval and has to be the strangest shape for a cat I've seen. It's head and body just seemed too small for it's large body.

My favorite owl is the Barred owl - and that's probably only because I can "talk" to them while camping. This owl wasn't chatty (it was daylight and HOT) but I did learn the difference between the male/female calls for future chats.

This is the Egyptian Vulture - again a bad photo through the fencing but the head and beak on this bird was quite interesting.

And with that it was time to head home and check on my own wild animal!

After 200+ miles in less than 24 hours, I was more than happy to be a homebody the rest of the weekend! Nap time!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wednesday Weather Report #54 - 5/30/18

I have to tell you ... I've been missing my daily temp hexie. It's been a hot week (the hottest May in a long time, according to the radio!) and it would have been a fabulous rosette. It's ok tho - I'll be starting in 2 days with the new quilt!!

My overall idea is to do columns of EPP shapes: 1 column for each month & 1 shape for each day. My original plan had been to use 3/4" hexies but 12 columns of 30 hexies would have resulted in a quilt about 40 x 20". Kinda awkward.

Then I started digging through my drawers of EPP papers (sorted by size: 1", 1.5", etc)  and came across a package of 1" elongated hexies. It was a brand new bag but I bet I bought it years ago. Using the elongated hexies will make a quilt of ~22 x 20". A little more realistic and I'm gonna run with it. And it's especially nice to use what's already in the stash. Well, at least paper wise...

I'm using the same temp scale as last year:
     >100      brown
     90-99     maroon
     80-89     red
     70-79     orange
     60-69     yellow
     50-59     bright green
     40-49     dark green
     30-39     dark blue
     20-29     dark purple
     10-19     light purple
     0-9         pink
     below 0  white

I did want to make the fabrics "different" this year and since they are going to be small pieces I decided that I would go with all grunge fabrics instead of scrappy. They have enough character that it won't appear to be all the same fabric but it's easy to just stock up on precut pieces. You may recall last year I picked up a coupon organizer at Walmart. I labeled each section with the temperatures so I can stock it with fabric and papers. It's easy to pull out what I need.

I started by buying summer colors: red - orange - yellow - light green. The way this week is going, maybe I should have bought a maroon but I can get that the next time I go shopping. I really wasn't sure how much to buy but now that I've switched to smaller shapes I am pretty sure I've got plenty.

So? Are you joining in this year? Feel free to join in anytime. Your project doesn't even have to be English Paper Piecing. You can crochet an afghan or stitch another favorite block. It's just fun to see how your weather compares to mine.

Last week's weather: 72 - 79 - 80 - 81 - 75 - 84 - 80 F

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


This weekend I was half road warrior and half homebody.

I'll share the homebody today...which really means that I was in the Quilt Lab :)

Recently I've been trying to "clean" my quilt lab by making progress on the various WIPs sitting on my table tops.

The first project I decided to "clean" was Bonnie's Leader Ender project which has been in various bins next to my sewing machine to make it easier to stitch. A few weeks ago I had decided it was time to sew the scrappy rails to the B&W rails. These piles then sat on the ironing board.

That meant I could start the weekend by pressing them all according to Bonnie's diagram. Except, when I went to start sewing them together they wouldn't nest together so I was going to have to re-press them. As if ironing them all wasn't bad enough the first time, I had to do it a second time. Ugh.

I laid out my re-pressed blocks on the design wall to make sewing the rows easier. It did get to be quite a jumble with 3 projects on the wall being covered and revealed as I sewed the rows together.

Better paint those tootsies, huh?
Soon enough, all the blocks were together!! I figure this is about half the quilt. I left it on the floor to consider if it needed borders and at some point I thought it might be interesting to use a different fabric on each of the four sides. I'll make a final decision when I get all the blocks together. What I am fairly certain of is that I need to go back to the LQS I went to Saturday to get the B&W gingham for the binding. Why I couldn't have made that decision 24 hours earlier when I was at the store is beyond me...

The second project is a long term UFO that was started back when I lived in Miami. While I love the fabrics I think the knowledge I have gained in the meantime would have taught me to pick fabrics with more contrast. Oh well. Maybe the quilting will add some pizzaz and contrast.

I started this Hunters Star based on a magazine pattern but then I found Deb Tucker's Rapid Fire Hunter's Star Ruler. The blocks went together much faster but I would stitch a few blocks and then let the pile sit waiting to press the center seam open. Then the pile sat to be trimmed down with the ruler. Finally this weekend I said I just need to trim them all and get that pile off my table. Once trimmed, the blocks fit together spectacularly and I was able to stitch up all the blocks in the pile. Now I just need to make 33 more blocks to have this baby done! In the meantime it's back in it's drawer and off my cutting table.

Peonies are one of my favorites - how could I resist?!

Last but not least, I've been sucked in to Bonnie's Diamond Tile block! I made the cardinal block according to the magazine directions but then wanted to make a quilt using the "Blushing Peonies" charm pack and matching fabrics I had assembled.

A little math got me to what you see here, where I needed to decide if I wanted the black/background smaller so the tile points would touch or if I wanted the tiles to "float". After consulting the owner of the LQS I was in Saturday, we went with float and that meant I could kit up some of the fabrics sitting around. Being in a sewing groove, tho, I couldn't just let those pieces sit there and stitched as far as I could before it was time to make dinner last night.

The black/green bits in the front were sewn together yesterday and you can kinda see in the back that I have 5 or 6 centers sewn together already.

I really need to get the lawn mowed tonight, if the heat isn't too bad, so I'll get back to the Lab when it rains again on Thursday...

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wednesday Weather Report #53 - 5/23/18

In the beginning of the project it felt like sooooooo much orange
and now it really reads blue to me with just a smidge of orange.
Funny how colors "change"

At long last...here is my temperature quilt in one piece!! Woot!! Woot!!

You can see the 4 blank squares on the bottom right --- That's where I'm going to put the quilt label.

My original idea was to have a sample of each color with the coldest temp/white a circle at the bottom of the scale to make it look like a thermometer. That was all well and good until I realized the white wouldn't show against the very light background square I had already sewn in to place. Oh sure I could have switched out the background fabric but it was just as easy to change the white fabric into a rectangle like all the other fabrics.

Next I'll frame it with a dark, contrasting fabric. The frame will separate these colors from the background but I can also embroider details on it. And that means I need to decide specifically what I'm embroidering before I add the frame. At a minimum, I am marking the color scale with the temperature ranges. I am also considering putting the number of days in each temp/color. This would "help" when comparing one weather year to the next.

I'm not planning on putting a border on this quilt so once I finalize the thermometer it will be time to sandwich this baby! We have a three day holiday weekend coming up which is now calling for rain every day. I've got a trip to the city planned but that leaves me lotsa time to sandwich the quilt with this fun birdhouse fabric I picked up in Syracuse. Are the colors a perfect match? Nope but I like it just the same. I do believe the binding will be a mix of colors used in the hexies.

As far as quilting...I am planning on doing ruler quilting in each rosette and that means I need to pick a design pretty soon so I can order the ruler. Oh so many decisions...

It's been weird not making a hexie every day so I'm excited to start working on the next project starting 6/1. In the meantime, my weather for the last week was 71 - 76 - 73 - 65- -61 - 70 - 67F.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Feline Friday - 5/18/18

Momma's test was last night...

...I helped her study all week!!!

I'm such a good and thoughtful kittencat!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

HeLP for Hexie-aholics - 5/17/18

Hello my fellow hexie-ologists and welcome to our monthly Hexie Linky Party!!

With my EMT written exam tonight and some other deadlines and meetings in the past couple of weeks I haven't made any progress on Aslan. I guess no progress isn't really correct because I have been plodding along ... it's just that there are only 3 pieces left to baste and or attach and I'm positively dying to get him done. Tomorrow! I promise myself!!

And what's on deck when Aslan is done? Well the peacock of course!!!
Shall we call him Percy Peacock? Does anyone have a better name suggestion?

I forgot to put the gold fabric in for the feather centers.

My friend Lisa is making the peacock as well so she picked up the fabrics and we split them.
Gotta LOVE these brights!

Rumor is ... Violet Craft is releasing "something" at Spring Market this weekend and I'm hoping for another EPP pattern. Her facebook page says that 4 patterns will be revealed and at least one appears to be EPP!!! Woo Hoo!!

And now it's your turn... What EPP projects have you been working on? Remember, any paper shape is welcome as is any vintage project; meaning WIP, UFO or dream. We all need the inspiration!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wednesday Weather Report #52 - 5/16/18

Yes, my friends, this is the long awaited 52nd report! Where did the last year go? Didn't we just start this project last week?

This was the very final stitch!

75 - 67 - 55 - 55 - 66 - 75 - 59 F

And this is the final rosette!

In the beginning of this project I didn't record the actual temperatures so I used Weather Underground to look up the max temp for 5/17/17 when I started this project. It was literally a red letter day because it was 89F. That is quite the difference from our finishing 59F!

I had hoped to get the top into one piece for tomorrow's HeLP post but I just know that y'all will forgive me when I tell you that I am beginning to panic about tomorrow night's EMT written exam and my time is better spent studying than sewing. Instead I'll share an update on Aslan tomrrow.

As far as my next temperature quilt goes, I realized Saturday morning while driving to a shop hop that there was a bit of a glitch int he design. No need to explain all the details today - let's just say that I will be starting the next quilt on 6/1/18. I'll still be doing weather reports in the meantime where I'll be sharing the final steps of this quilt and explaining the new quilt.

I do hope you'll consider joining in the next weather quilt-along. I've even been approached about someone doing a non-EPP weather quilt. While this started as a hexie project I think the more the merrier in anyone's favorite medium would really be interesting and motivating. Please let me know if you need ideas for joining in, whether with hexies or any other type of project.

I've so enjoyed seeing the weather in different parts of the world: Vireya's was the opposite weather down under and Pam's was more similar than I expected in Japan while those here in the northeastern US/Canada were quite similar as well.

Something else to look to down the road is a showing of everyone's final quilt. Anyone is welcome to add their finished quilt to the weekly weather reports at any time but let's keep each other in the loop to do a "final" post someday soon.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Feline Friday - 5/11/18

Can you believe that Momma blames me for making her late to work today??!!??

Momma has yoga on the brain ...
she thinks this looks like child pose.

All I did was sit on her lap.

It's not MY fault she needed to be in the shower in 5 minutes but she didn't want to boot me off her cozy lap.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thursday Weather Report #51 - 5/10/18

It was a good conference yesterday - the last one for the season. Of course I had my hexies with me, completing 16 jewel hearts, in addition to the 17 completed at the last conference. I still need to make a bazillion more but it was nice to make some progress..

This is the view from my bed. LOL.

The weather has been amazing lately. I can only guess that the delayed spring weather is the reason for my pear tree to finally bloom 100%. I've probably had the tree 10 years and blooms have been spotty at best.

Just Sunday I was noticing the buds starting to form and yet 3 days later it was completely in bloom as are the pear trees lining Main Street. Not great for allergies but it's gorgeous.

An awful 10X photo for your viewing pleasure

And this morning I finally spotted the Baltimore Oriole!!! I've tried for years to get the Orioles to come to my yard and finally gave up a few years ago. After thinking I heard one on Sunday and seeing at least 2 this morning I stopped at the hardware store for an Oriole feeder and I'll get grape jelly on the way home. Please - oh Please - let them still be around when I get the feeder set up!!

80 - 75 - 75 - 71 - 69 - 59 - 69 F

And, finally, the penultimate weather rosette. It's hard to imagine that just a year ago, this project was just a twinkle in my eye and now I have friends around the world joining in. I do hope that some of you will be willing to continue for a second year. Everyone is also welcome to join in at any time.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Weather Delay

Wednesday Weather Report has been delayed until tomorrow while I attend a work conference today.

Just one week to go!! This is getting exciting!!

Friday, May 04, 2018

Feline Friday - 5/4/18

It's been a busy week here at Casa Grande!

I spied on the neighbors.

I tested out this quilt that Momma is finishing for GrandMomma's 70th birthday.

I won't even tell Momma what this is for - in fact, I've been on my bench several times this week. She'll find it eventually...

This morning I got chased by the neighbor dog but I was so fast there is no picture. I am pretty sure he got in trouble but Momma just loved on me. Life is good!!

May the Fourth be with you!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Wednesday Weather Report #50 - 5/2/18

If last week was the highest mountain peak of hexie production (thanks to 6 days of conferences) then this week was the very bottom of a tunnel dug towards China.

Last week I got the colored parts of the Lion done (pic is from last week, I've since finished the whip stitching) and made a dozen jewel hearts.

Sorry, the blue really darkened those dark greens.
54 - 49 - 61 - 47 - 42 - 56 - 75 F

This week I could barely finish my temperature rosette.  I feel like a slug. I suppose that's bound to happen.

Maybe life will get back to "normal" next week...

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Bibliophile Files - 5/1/18

Hello and Welcome to the latest edition of the Bibliophile Files - my monthly book report. I'm 15 books in to a 90 book goal for the year. The weather is nice and Mr Cranky Ankle was recently cleared for walking/hiking so I am looking forward to some serious time with my iPhone audiobooks.

If you are interested in free young adult (YA) audio books, feel free to head over to http://audiobooksync.com and sign up for their email list. Every Thursday, starting last week and for the next 13 weeks, 2 books will be available on their website to download. Once you download them they are yours to keep for as long as you like. These books are rarely in my normal genres but I have enjoyed quite a few of them the last 2 summers.

On a silly note, I couldn't resist sharing this website on creating your own ominious mystery title based on your birthday. My book would be The Stranger at the Abandoned Theme Park. What's your title????

Back to business...

     A dog's Purpose - a dog is reincarnated several times, learning new skills in each life until all the skills come together to save his owner's life. I understand that this is kind of a series so I might look more into some of the other books. Eventually. I need some of my normal police procedurals and blood & guts first.
     The Neighbor - kinda disappointing. I'll be honest, it was just 1 CD and it was so short, just a prequal really, that I spent the whole time lost. Maybe we were supposed to read the actual book before the prequal?
     They both die at the end - No idea where I heard of this book as it's also not my norm but it was a fun look into the future where you are called between midnight and 3 am on the day of your death to be warned. You then have many opportunities to live it up one last time, including making your last friend. It was a light hearted and enjoyable read.
     Read It & Weep
     The Rooster Bar - ok so I was mad at the predicament these "kids" were put in to but I think they made the best of a really bad situation. Was it really legal, not even close but they worked hard for/at it!

     on my iPhone: The Alphabet House
     on my home/car stereo: The promise Girls

And now it's your turn? What books have you read in the last month? Almost anything counts: novels, magazines, quilt patterns and even cereal boxes.