Regatta Quilt Progress


Prior to today, other than choosing my fabrics, nothing much had been accomplished on my Regatta quilt. I’m participating in Roseanne’s quilt along over at Home Sewn By Us. She started the quilt along at the first of this month. The quilt along is a go at your own pace kind of project. There’s no pressure to share updates and no etched-in-stone deadline.  Although I believe she may have given us a suggested deadline of December 31, 2018.

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The Regatta quilt, according to the instructions, measures 57″ x 74.” Not wanting to make another large quilt right now I decided to cut the size in half by only using strips that are 2 1/2″ x 21″. In the pattern the author used varying shades of blue for her color choice. While I thought her quilt was beautiful the blue just wasn’t something I was interested in. Instead, being the vibrant color lover that I am, I selected a rainbow of fabric strips for my project. I’m also swapping out the white filler strips and blocks with black fabric. White is also not on my top ten list of colors. By making these adjustments I have exercised my right to add my own flair. 🙂

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Regatta Quilt Fabrics Selected

Day two of my experience began with converting the patterns template to fit my strips. I am fortunate to have tubs of pre-cut 2 1/2″ fabric strips. Just about every time I purchase a piece of fabric I cut a 2 1/2″ strip from it and stash it away in my color coordinated strip bins. Then when I have a need for random strips of fabric I already have an inventory to draw from.

The first thing I did was to read through the instructions. I can’t tell you how many times I haven’t, only to find myself confused and making mistakes. Of course, even if I do this step, it doesn’t guarantee my project will go perfectly. Who never makes a mistake! LOL! Included in the instructions a page with a grid of the quilt diagraming the measurements per strip. I found this to be soooo helpful!

After reading through the pattern and seeing how they assembled the individual rows I decided to calculate how long each segment should be and cut them accordingly.

Regatta-Quilt-Template
Regatta Quilt Template

As you can see from the photo above I first calculated the measurements as prescribed by the pattern and then refigured them to fit the size I wanted to make. You can tell from my scribbling that I had to readjust my numbers several times. I’m so glad I did these calculations because I knew before hand exactly how long to cut each 2 1/2″ strip. Cutting them to size meant I would not have to trim them at the end. It also made for less fabric waste.

With my plan all mapped out it was time to cut my strips and begin sewing. Before calling it a day I had all of my colored strips cut and laid out on my table. I also cut the black filler strips and blocks. I was even able to stitch together eleven of the colored rows with their black filler blocks.

Regatta-Quilt-Yellow-Strips
Regatta Quilt Yellow Strips

Day three was the grand finale. After picking-up where I had left off I chained pieced the remaining rows.

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Regatta Quilt Chain Pieced Strips

The rows of colored strips were then joined together with the black filler strips. Thankfully I only made a few mistakes while stitching them together. A couple of the sections were sewn together in the wrong direction. With this pattern those kind of mistakes are easily spotted. No big-deal though. 🙂 All I had to do was remove the stitching and turn them around.

By the end of the day I had my Regatta quilt top assembled and pressed.

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Regatta Quilt Top

Here’s my finished quilt top.

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With my quilt top already to go it is time to cut the backing, batting and binding, then get busy and do the quilting.

Looking back over the process and the outcome I achieved I am pretty pleased with the quilt’s appearance. If I had it to do over again I would make a few changes in the arrangement of the colors. I probably also would either reduce the number of strips used or cut the strips narrower. If you remember my original goal was to make a smaller quilt. I did achieve a smaller quilt by cutting the width of my strips in half. However, I failed to consider the length of the quilt and therefore didn’t reduce that size at all.

So, that’s where my Regatta quilt top is at. The next time I share an update I will be finished with the quilting.

Thank you for sharing your time. I look forward to our next visit. 🙂

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Boomerang Cats!


About a month ago we sought out and found a new home for both our cats,

Mayor Tom
Mayor Tom

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Jerry Blueberry

Both my husband and myself have schedules packed with obligations. After seven years of living with us the lack of personal contact seemed like it was taking a toll on the boys so we felt it necessary to seek a home that could provide more companionship. Tom and Jerry came to us as a “bonded” pair which meant if you bought one of them you had to buy the other one as well. This also meant that where one went the other would go.

About four weeks ago we found what we thought was a suitable home. The couple that took them were excited to fill a void recently left by the death of their dog. So I packed up their kennels, litter boxes, rugs and food and transported them to the mutually agreed upon location. Tearfully I made the exchange saying goodbye to my buddies for one last time, or so I thought.

I received a message from Tom & Jerry’s new caretakers expressing the desire to return the cats to my possession. For various reasons the arrangement was not working as they had thought. After trading several messages back and forth a meeting time and place were once again chosen.

My youngest daughter and granddaughter made the trip with me to retrieve Tom & Jerry. With very little fanfare the ownership of Tom and Jerry was once again transferred back into my hands. My daughter helped me load the boys and most of their belongings into the car and away we went. Before leaving the, now former owners, expressed their regret for the arrangement failing.

I had purged my home of everything related to the care of cats when Tom and Jerry had left so other than what they came home with I needed to fill in a few gaps. On our way back to my home I made a very brief stop at a local big box store to acquire the much-needed items. After returning to my car we drove the final leg of our journey.

Upon arriving at our destination I first carried each cat inside, then their belongings. After opening the doors to their carriers they both sauntered on out as if they had been gone for only a short time. Not even Sadie paid much attention to their return.

So…just as a boomerang returns back to the person that released it, so too have Tom and Jerry returned. I call them the boomerang cats!

 

Its Quiet Here


My sewing room has been very quiet this week. Why, you might ask? Well I’ll tell you. My hubby is on vacation. Now no grandiose destinations were planned. A simple stay-at-home vacation was on our agenda. We’ve been spending most of our time in a state of leisure. A few short trips were planned to run errands and a bit of shopping but not much else exciting has taken place. The highlight of our day today was a visit to Starbucks. Our plan was to pack up our iPads and a word search game along with two markers and head to the local Starbucks to relax, sip an endless cup of coffee and entertain ourselves with the items we had packed.

With anticipation we did as planned. My hubby, as is typically the case, drove us to the coffee shop. When we arrived is was darn near 1:00 p.m. One would think the lunch crowd would have dissipated leaving ample room for our planned adventure. Walking up to the door we could see inside a sea of patrons busily occupying the limited seating space. A decision had to be made. Do we order up our beverage with the hopes that somehow someone would pack up their belongings and vacate a suitable table, or do we turn around and reformulate our plans.

Option # 1 was the choice we made. After placing our order we lingered at the coffee bar awaiting our beverage as well as the ultimate answer to our question. Whom would leave? This was the one time we hoped our order would take too long. You know, just long enough for a table to open up. As the line ahead thinned out and it was at last our turn to receive our steaming hot cups of coffee, we turned one last time with that hopeful stare directed toward anyone that might happen to turn in our direction. Perhaps if they saw the longing in our eyes they would instantly pack up their belongings and graciously direct us to their table. Well all the wishful thinking in the world was not going to make that happen. Not one person received our subliminal sound waves. Nobody moved. There were a few spots where a table meant for four were occupied by just two souls. I suggested we occupy the two empty chairs but my hubby was not at all interested so we left.

The weather outside was not at all conducive to an outdoor excursion. It has been cold and rainy all week. If it had been warm and sunny we could have found one of the local parks and continued our little adventure there. The only option left was to carry our coffee to our car and head home.

When we arrived home my hubby announced he was going to set up our own coffee shop right here in our own home. While I tended to a few items he rearranged our living room furniture. When I returned he had moved the couch and coffee table in front of our gas fireplace. On the table he had placed our steaming hot cups of coffee as well as our iPads and the other items we had taken to Starbucks. I thought it cute that he had taken the effort to arrange a cozy and inviting area to relax and carry-on with our experience.

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To those that are new to my blog I must tell you we share our home with two cats and a dog. Anytime we slow down and relax all three of them find it necessary to join us. This little coffee sipping extravaganza was just as inviting to them as it was to us. On the couch to my left rested Mayor Tom, our Maine Coon cat, on the floor in front of us was our tabby cat Jerry and resting comfortably on a love-seat throw pillow was our little princess Sadie. Just as with Starbucks all of the available seats were taken.

Although our relaxing afternoon of coffee had not gone as originally planned, we had a quiet little coffee shop right here in our very own home. What more could we ask for?

It’s A Zoo In Here!


Well, technically not a zoo.  I have cats and a dog and you wouldn’t find cats and a dog in cages at a zoo.  But it feels like a zoo.

I’m busily creating Sandy Quilt Blocks in my sewing room and I’ve been joined by all three of our furry friends.  There’s Mayor Tom on his throne,

Mayor Tom

Jerry’s, of all places, in my woven wicker garbage can,

and Princess Sadie all curled up in her super comfy brown with white polka dots bed.

Now to me that’s a zoo, and a mighty fine one at that.

Since all three animals are sleeping in my sewing room, at the same time, in close proximity of each other, I would assume Sadie has been given Tom and Jerry’s seal of approval.  How cool is that!  Inch by inch, day by day Sadie’s becoming more a part of our family.

So what do you think?  Is it a zoo or isn’t it?

Look Who’s Sleeping On My Pillow


A while back I was surprised to discover that I was not the only one using my pillow. Much to my amazement I learned that my tabby cat, Jerry, has also found it very comfortable.

I was reminded of his fascination with my foam pillow today while Gary and I lounged on our love seat. From the love seat we can see into our bedroom. Contained within that opening is a bird’s-eye view of our neatly made king size bed. Gary and I were watching a program on television. From the corner of my eye I could see Jerry heading in the direction of our bed.

Mr. Jerry

Both Tom and Jerry adore sleeping on our king size, pillow top mattress. With one swift jump Jerry was airborne and softly landing on top of our comforter. I turned my head in the direction of our bedroom to watch what I assumed would be Jerry snuggling in for a nap. As I watched his progression I could see that he had other intentions. He was headed toward my pillow. Carefully he put one paw in front of the other, occasionally stopping to turn and look in our direction. It was obvious that he was concerned about being discovered.

When he reached our pillows, which were tucked beneath the bedding, he began pawing at the comforter. Carefully, diligently he worked at trying to lift the comforter. Eventually he was able to first slide a paw, and then a leg beneath the comforter. With the comforter elevated he was able to wriggle his body underneath. We watched as first his head, then his upper torso, then his lower body and finally his tail disappeared.

While this disappearing stunt was taking place we were not the only ones watching. Tom, our Maine Coone, was enthralled with Jerry’s actions.

Mayor Tom

As he saw Jerry disappear beneath the covers, Tom decided that the mound beneath our blankets would be a neat place to pounce. Tom leaped into the air and landed smack-dab in the middle of Jerry. Surprisingly the weight of Tom on top of Jerry didn’t cause Jerry to emerge. Tom continued his assault on Jerry by frantically pawing at the blanket mound. Yet, still Jerry didn’t budge. By this time I was cycling between the hilarity of Jerry getting under the covers, to Tom’s desperate attempt to engage Jerry in his playful routine, to the absurdity that my cat is now laying on top of my pillow that I sleep on.

With Tom busily pawing at Jerry’s blanket covered mound I contemplated my options. The first was to yell at the cats to get them to move from the area and the second was to sneak up and catch Jerry in the act of laying on my pillow. I chose the second option. As quietly as I could I tip-toed into my bedroom and walked around to my side of the bed. Gently I raised the comforter to expose Mr. Mischief. There, all curled up, comfy and relaxed, in the hollowed out portion of my contour pillow, was Jerry. He seemed confused at the dilemma before him. It appeared that he wasn’t sure if he should stay or run? The answer to me was obvious, RUN!

Discovering that my pillow made a wonderful cat bed was a bit disgusting. I wondered how many times Jerry had slept in the hollowed out section of my pillow? I wondered how he learned to lift the comforter and crawl underneath? I wondered where he ever got the idea to begin with?

Since the first time we observed Jerry tunneling beneath our covers we have witnessed numerous repeat performances. Obviously being discovered has played no role in deterring him from the adventure. To attempt to distract him from his mission we have tried pulling the covers up and over the pillow and then tucking them beneath. We have also taken to piling our decorative throw pillows on top. Although these measures seem like they would put an end to our problem they have only provided a slight hinderance. Keeping Jerry from sleeping on my pillow is an ongoing battle.

Mayor Tom


As you might imagine, I spend a lot of time in my sewing room.  Since I am so often there my husband calls my sewing room “The Sweatshop.”  Seldom do I spend the whole time by myself.  Almost always at my side is Tom my Maine Coon cat.  How he knows I’m there I am not really sure.  Perhaps he hears the click of my rotary cutter as I prepare to slice a path.  No matter what attracts him my husband fondly calls him “The Mayor.”

Mayor Tom

Tom is very fond of selecting my cutting table as the most important place to be.  Maine Coons have long wispy hair.  That long fluffy hair becomes a nuisance when it sticks to my table.  To avoid encounters with deposits of hair I use a deterrent.  The deterrent is a soft and comfy, irresistible pillow.  Tom spends endless hours snoozing on his favorite throne.  In fact we often find him hiding away in my sewing room even when I am not there.

Aside from not wanting Tom’s hair all over my beautiful fabrics there is a second reason for rerouting Tom from my cutting area.  The second reason is my fear of accidentally lopping off portions of his body.  Let me explain.

Several years ago we had a female Tabby cat by the name of Lena.  Lena also had a magnetic attraction to my cutting board.  She just loved laying her head right where I wanted to zip my rotary cutter.  On one very unfortunate day Lena just happened to lay her ear smack dab in the path of my cutting blade.  As I’m sure you can guess a small portion of Lena’s ear was removed by my rotary cutter.  Lena and I were both horrified at what had just transpired.  Fortunately for her the ear healed very quickly and no damage was done to my fabric.  Since body parts do not grow back I was constantly reminded of Lena’s run-in with the rotary cutter because of the missing piece from her ear.

Ever since that episode I am insistent upon no cats laying directly on my cutting table.  If they must be there they must be on the pillow, which is safely tucked out of range.