Saturday, August 18, 2012

Quilts, Mice and Bert

Minnesota Quilt Shop Hop

Many states have state wide quilt shop hops. Minnesota is no different. This weekend is the last couple days of a 2 week long hop (plus 3 weekends). I had no plans of doing it but ended up at a couple of the Central East shops a few weekends ago so I started the passport you get filled out at each shop and well - I got sucked into doing our entire area. This included a trip up north 35 to Rush City and then over to Wahkon, a small town I've never heard of before but is on the south end of Milles Lacs lake. That day I ended up putting on a ton of miles and getting some good booty.

Below is  much of the goodies I brought home with me over the last couple weeks. Each shop gave a 5" square of the Minnesota fabric created for this hop. Some shops also gave other gifts.

That little town of Wahkon - The Country Caboose Quilts gave little bags to store tools and a charm. The shop was small but, oh my, the amount of fabric they had in there was shocking! The shop was set up like a maze, little tiny aisles where only one person could hardly fit through. Every inch of the shop was filled to the brim.

Blue Bamboo surprised me again with lots of sale fabric. I found a yard of Christmas black and some Laurel Burch horses fat quarter. Not sure what I'll do with them but the horses and a couple other fat qtrs just had to come home with me!

At all the shops I was on the look out for batiks. I designed a wall hanging with a compass in the middle and a few rounds of other block designs. Here's the batik stash that is now ready for that project.

Some of the other things I got are below - a CD of quilting designs; an Add a Quarter rule; pattern for a long thin wall hanging for Christmas and something I've already used a lot- a 1/4" foot for my Pfaff. Somehow when moving my old 1/4" foot went missing and I really missed it.

Bert's Visit to the Kitty Doctor

So, in the middle of all this Quilt Shop Hop I noticed Bert was not doing so great. Last Friday night he presented me with a dead mouse. This little boy is a great hunter, since moving into this house he's gotten 4-5 mice and I have never found a trace of any of them. I swear he gets them before they even have a chance to pee! 

So, Bert got the mouse and Saturday morning he was having problems eating. He'd take a bite and rub at his cheek and gag (the "I've got a furball" kind). Nothing came up and I figured he had something caught in his teeth. To make a long story short, after things not getting better after a few days we went to the vet and discovered an abscess tooth that was actually sideways. The vet figured a bad tooth and a mouse skull - the mouse skull won that battle. This past week Bert had surgery to remove the tooth and my little boy is a happy camper.

Bert charmed everyone at the vet. My little boy who hides whenever anyone comes to the house was cuddly and such a sweetheart to everyone there. Since coming home he's been at my side whenever he's awake. He wants to be picked up and cuddled a lot. It's taking a bit of getting used to but - I like it!

Oh - I almost forgot to mention. The surgery was on Bert's 8th birthday. Not the best way to celebrate.

Let's Design a Quilt

A month ago or so I designed a few quilts on Electric Quilt 7. I love playing around with shapes and colors on that program. I took a basic block and divided it up not quite in half. Then added a few more lines and ended up with an interesting block.

So I ended up with an interesting block and played around with coloring.

First try at coloring I went with darker versions of the primary colors. I noticed I created a kaleidoscope effect with a couple designs coming out. If you follow the black points you get a flower. If you look at the yellow as the center and the green/blue as points you get a compass.

More playing around and I came up with a Christmas version of it I thought would be interesting. The black fabric from the shop is meant to be the border.

At the same time I designed another Compass quilt that I really want to make (all the batiks) but I don't know if I want to do that quilt paper piecing or regular piecing. I decided to make this one as paper piecing to see if I like it or not. I have mixed feelings about paper piecing so this is a good test before starting the million piece quilt.

All the Stories Come Together

Today I started working on the Christmas wall hanging. I am getting WAY more help than is good. Bert refused to leave me the whole time. Trying to trim up the extra bits without trimming up Bert requires a steady hand and slowness that lets me react to his sudden interest.

Every block that is finished needs to be inspected and rubbed down before I'm allowed to go on.

Even though I had all this extra help I did manage to get 4 of the blocks together to see how the top will look. Right now the red flower/star if the obvious design but, once I add more I'm pretty sure the compass will be the primary look. Time will tell.

Wondering what Chief has been doing though all this? He's OK today but the first day after Bert came home, Chief spent the day sniffing Bert and hissing. Vet stink does not make Chief happy and that made Bert sad. They're back to being buddy-buddy again so all's right with the world.

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