Wednesday, December 20, 2017

It's all about the animals...

Yes - I have a soft heart when it comes to animals. And I'm sure I'd bring stray puppies or dogs home should I happen upon one. That's never happened, but all my dogs have been rescued dogs. What I mean is that they've never been bought from a breeder although I strongly suspect that Lexi came from a breeder at one point. 

I've made pet mats for a feral cat program and still have loads of stuff to go through to see what can be made and what needs to be thrown out or repurposed for something else. In the donation pile, there were towels and sheets. That stack has all been washed and folded, although I know I have some of my own that I can add to that pile. Guess what else I found in the donation pile - one of those green jigsaw puzzle roll-up things. Oh - I have lots of puzzles I want to do - that may be my Christmas day activity!

So this is one of the things that I was doing this past week. When I was at Quilt Canada two years ago, at the end of the show as we were leaving - I'm usually one of the last to leave! I was there late as I helped to pack up all the quilts to be shipped back. Anyway, as I was walking out, there was a pile of fabric on the floor. Not one to leave that behind, I scooped it up. It was the "quilts" that one of the long arm companies had used for demo purposes over the course of the show. This could be cut up and made into pet mats!

It's been sitting in my basement for several years and this is the time to get it done! I cut all the pieces into manageable sizes for the pet mats. My dogs love the ones that I made them from my own quilting samples - it's one of their favorite spots to sleep and super easy to wash. 

Once the "quilts" were cut up into manageable sizes, I serged all the edges and then while watching a movie last weekend, I finished the corners off. I know - a lot of fuss for the animals, but it makes them neater and no danger of those threads becoming an issue. 

A pet mat from practice quilting pieces
Now there's a nice stack of pet mats that can go with the rest of the stuff. I have a huge pile of stuff in my office. I was hoping to get to the animal shelter before Christmas, but I don't think that is going to happen. So after the holidays. No big deal. 
Stack of pet mats
I figure they can be used in the cages/kennels or whatever and they can be washed very easily. The other thought I had about pet mats and I'm going to check with the shelter is to take those narrower pieces of batting and put them on a small piece of fabric (cat size). Quilt it up, serge the edges and done!  I do hate throwing stuff like those small batting pieces away. I'm talking 3 inches or larger. Any smaller than that and well - that would be too much even for me. 

Then when I was perusing some old magazine the other day, I had a pleasant surprise. Ah - someone was inspired by a trip to Costa Rica and made some patterns of which a portion of the proceeds went to the World Wildlife Fund. I clipped the page from QUILT Almanac - the year was 2010. Do you recognize the person in the picture?

Who is this quilter?

 Any ideas?  I'll tell you at the end of the post.

What else have I been working on? On the weekend, I decided to make a push to get more of those Halloween blocks done. I'm aiming for Halloween 2018!

More Halloween blocks are DONE!
 I managed to get two blocks done. I think they were the two with the most stitches - close to 60,000 per block.

Two more blocks are completed
 In the instructions, you get a list of what thread colors/applique fabric to use next. In all those 20 blocks I had never made a mistake. I did find a couple of mistakes which I was able to work around. You can also use the screen on the sewing machine to double check which thread goes where. Which I had successfully done in the past.

I'm working on the 20th block and checked the list of threads twice. And then realized that I had made a mistake. My pumpkin stems and the trim of the hat are the wrong color!  Oh, shoot - when I laid out the threads, I missed one of the numbers.  I could live with the green trim on the hat, but yellow pumpkin stems? I don't think so! I had no intention of ripping it out - that would be a nightmare and certainly not redoing it. So I went back several thread colors to the pumpkin stems and loaded the green and you'd never know I goofed!

Green pumpkin stems
Why do I tell you my mistake? For the sole reason that if ever you are doing embroidery and as long as you haven't unhooped your work, you can go back and carefully restitch over the offending color. In this case, I was lucky - dark on light, not light over dark.

There are five more blocks to go and all the blocks will be done. Then I need to decide if I'm going to do sashings and cornerstones. They are MUCH simpler and I'd be able to stitch several at a time in the same hoop. Haven't made up my mind about that yet.

OH - did you guess who that quilter was? He (yes - it's a HE) is a pretty famous quilter.  ROB APPELL (ManSewing) before he became famous!  Check out his other patterns on his website.

It's time to get the day started - I've already been to the gym - 28 K on the bike, nicely steamed up from the steam room and I'm ready to tackle the day, which I hope to complete all the paperwork for this particular job and then I can move on to the next job. I'm so focused, I'm in shock!

Have a super day!


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