Finding inspiration…

I have been so very busy lately that I haven't had time to look at the blogs I normally visit. So this afternoon I stole a few minutes and looked at old Spidatter posts. That led me to Jillian Tmaki's embroidered book covers for Penguin. Oh my – they make me want to embroider!


So from there I went to Jillian Tmaki's actual blog post about these covers and I got to see more book covers. Now I really want to embroider! Then I went to the top of her blog and today's post is about a quilt. As I scrolled through her posts and read more about her I realized that I have seen her illustrations before and loved them.

All of this leads to inspiration. Just looking at her sketches makes me want to pick up my pencil which is good because I need to be working on the designs for our next book. I feel better! As I start scraping popcorns off of mom's ceilings tomorrow I will be thinking about what to draw.

In other news – Chuck is a boy. I took him to the vet today. He is about 7 weeks old, 1.5 lbs, definitely male, and they predict he will be a handful. He also has worms and parasites and protozoans – bad stuff that we caught at a good time. We'll be continuing to give him medicine for 9 days. And, for those of you who know we have 2 other cats, they are apparently not in real danger of getting anything from Chuck because they don't go near him or his litter box. So it's a good thing that they are best buddies yet!


Murphy, the bed…

I need more space in the spare bedroom for an office. The twin bed and armoire had to go and be replaced by a Murphy bed. Have you priced those things? Not inexpensive. So my trusty husband, Steve, said that he could build one.


We ordered the special hardware from Create-A-Bed and luckily the bed plans came with it. Instructions state clearly that you MUST NOT DEVIATE FROM THE PLANS!!! He didn't.


Every new project seems to require a great power tool. We bought a 30 gallon air compressor and a Husky Pro Paint Sprayer and I used it to paint the bed. More on that later. It was an interesting experience.

I bought a mattress that will be delivered this evening. Other than swooning over the price tag that wasn't a chore. Steve is going to build shelves for either side of the bed which will also require painting. We are having a seriously busy summer but by the fall our house should be back to normal and, God willing, my mom and sister's house will be perfect and they will be in it!




Chuckles, Charlie, or Chuck…

Whatever the name, the kitten is getting bigger! The kids are calling her Chuckles but I lean toward Chuck.


She (or he) is not big on posing. She won't be still unless she's asleep on the sofa.


I had to poke her to get her to open her eyes for this one.


But once awake, she played some before heading back to the sofa to sleep.

I've gotten the quilting done on the quilt for the magazine. Wish I could share but it's supposed to be a surprise. I did use hydrogen peroxide on the blood spot and it worked pretty well, even after I had heat-set it. Thank you to those who clued me in on this one.

I have been clearing out a closet. I found a #50 Bernina 3-sole walking foot and fifteen 9mm bobbins that don't fit any of my machines. The walking foot should fit the newer Berninas since it is the only one on their website right now. It would probably fit my new 220 but I got one to use with it when I bought it. The 9mm bobbins don't fit anything I have.

The #50 walking foot was $180 when I bought it which makes my head hurt now. If any of you want to make an offer on it, please leave a comment and I'll email you back. Someone could get a bargain :-).

Mom and Christy are doing fine. They close on the house down the street next Thursday. Steve and I have cleared our July calendars as much as possible so that we can do the remodeling. I'll take lots of before and after photos. It's going to be very cute!


It’s amazing!


Mr. Roboto* is cute, but not really amazing. What is amazing is the $25,386.00 donation that Moira and Adam Dewar of Island Batik, Inc. made to the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative! That is a huge and generous gift to such a worthy cause. I admit to being very impressed. Read more about it here.

Moira and Adam Dewar

*Elanor came over this afternoon to make another robot. Jack was not in on this session so Elanor got to use the tools. We were both surprised at how much faster it was to make this one – and it stands up better. I now need to gather some more good cans and other things for robot parts!

We’ve been invaded…

…by a bitty kitty. Chris and Lorna are in a local group of like-minded straight-from-the-cow raw milk drinkers. (Steve and I are still fans of pastuerization.) They were at the farm picking up milk when Christopher pointed out the free kittens sign to the kids. Lorna says she hoped that would fade from their memory and it almost did until Christopher wondered out loud where the kittens were. They found them and the runt of the litter made itself so cute that it ended up heading home with them.

They had to treat it for lots of fleas, got food, and all was going well until one of their two dogs tried to eat the kitten. We offered safe haven until she/he gets big enough to not look like a snack to the dogs.


Lorna's dad says she's a she, Steve says it's early yet but she's probably a she. But she has a mustache which makes some of the more feminine names feel wrong. Seriously, does she look like a "Susan" to you? Jack thinks Susan is a great name for her but he's not swaying the crowd. I lean toward Biscuit but since she's not our kitten that doesn't exactly matter. She's probably going to be Charlie, maybe Chuck.

Charile is happy with us but Emma and Dave, our cats, are not thrilled. There hasn't been any outright fighting but both big cats are trying to leave the house. It's way hot outside so that's not good. I got Emma in (she's hunkered down in the spare bedroom) but Dave is being scarce. I figure they'll come around because we provide them with a steady diet and they like to eat. I've tried to explain that this is not long-term but they are choosing to ignore me.


Charlie has tried to climb my legs and her little claws are sharp! It's cute now but will get old fast, this I know. It's been a while since I've trained a kitten but we've got her using the litter box. That's a big one.


Just when you think you know what you’re doing…

…you find out that you can make a rookie mistake. I've been working on a quilt for a magazine. It's all red and white prints, it's cute. I was about to start piecing the borders night before last when I noticed a little blood spot.

I know that your own spit is the best blood remover so I put it my mouth and tried to 'soak' it out. It barely worked so I mixed up a small bowl of water and Oxi-Clean and let it soak. That helped a lot. After soaking I rinsed the block, pinned it up on my design wall and forgot about it.

Yesterday I was about to trim the block to size when I realized that the red dots that were wet when I put the block back up on the wall had bled. Oh my. There was a lovely hot pink halo around them. What to do?

I put the block in my washer (it's big, 32 x 32 before trimming) in cold water with more Oxi-Clean. I let it soak a bit, I hand agitated it and luckily the hot pink halos went away. I pulled it out of that water and rinsed it in the sink and then washed it in the washer on the gentle cycle with Orvus Paste and two Color Catchers. I ironed the block dry because I darned sure didn't want the dye to run again.

Here's what I ended up with. The blood spot is still there, but not as bad as it was. The white in the background seems to have a very subtle pink caste to me, but there you go. I think I may be the only one who will see it when it's all done. At this point I'm just very thankful that I'm not going to have to remake the block.


As many of you know, I always wash and dry my fabric. I've used Oxi-Clean in this manner before. The rookie mistake was not checking the block as it was drying. I hope I don't do that again!