Scinteallate #15: the inspector approves

The Quilt Inspector has been hard at work today.

With thanks to the Husband of Chiconia for holding-up services, and to the Quilt Inspector for encouragement and company

Thanks to his constant attention and encouragement, Scinteallate is all together, despite one decidedly hairy moment in the middle when I realised I’d sewn two medium-sized pieces together wrong way up. Much cursing and reverse stitching of three seams later the problem was rectified. The Inspector suggested a cup of tea and a bickie to calm things down, and he was right. He got a nice liver treat for his helpful idea. Good boy, Mouse.

In spite of, or maybe even because of, the increasingly silly deadline for this quilt, it has come together with remarkably little fuss.

I still have to cut and assemble the binding pieces and machine stitch them down tomorrow morning after my tai chi class.

After that, I have to make the label, and then hand stitch down the binding and attach the label. And then it’s done, and I can deliver it.

Just a couple more days to go, and I’ll make the deadline with the quilt complete 🙂


Scinteallate #14: coming together

I’m getting there.

Just over halfway, 15 of the 25 blocks joined together. I have another block of 6 and another block of 4 to assemble, and then three more seams and it’s done. It’s hanging a bit wonkily in this photo, but is nice and straight in real life. A couple of places where it doesn’t quite, quite line up, but in my view they can have it perfect, or they can have it fast, but not both. Since they’ve chosen fast, I’m getting it done, but it’s not so bad that it offends my eye, and I hope not yours either.

I’m really pleased with that sparkly teal front sashing; the slight glitter of the narrow bands adds to the overall sparkle of this scinteallating quilt! Even the backing supports the theme, with the tiny print of white stars on the cream background. I’ve selected a dark teal splashy batik for the binding, which will frame the whole nicely.

Looks as if I’m on track to get this finished in time to provide photos of the finished item by Friday. I credit my sleek black supervisor with keeping me hard at work! He’s taking his supervisory duties very seriously. So long as there are treats, of course.

Nearly there. Just a few seams to go…

Fallen angel

The Mouse has blotted his copybook.

Wuzzen me….

While I was faffing around in the kitchen yesterday cooking cumquats, it was quiet around the house. I thought Mouse was asleep on his bed on the other side of the counter. I was wrong.

The expression says it all. There were doggy protestations of innocence, nudges, wagging of tails. But it was clear that the old cushion insert left on the floor after his last decorative nap on the rug had not exploded by itself, nor had it viciously attacked him, requiring self-defence. The innocent plushie had the same treatment and now has a limp leg where all the stuffing has come out. But his other toys are fine, as indeed are all the cushions with covers on them. There is something about fibre-fill that arouses his instinct to grab and shake. He is now studiously ignoring the mess as if to imply that it has nothing to do with him.

On the other hand, his walkies behaviour is impeccable, and he now ignores small children on bikes, mobility scooters, traffic whizzing past fore and aft while he waits at traffic islands in the middle of the road, chickens, other dogs, ibis (aka bin chickens), and the whistles of the school crossing dragons. In all this, he is a Good Boy.

In other news, the coughing and wheezing continues and yesterday I was issued with this, among other medications.

I had to check that it was taken by mouth, yes? Hopefully it will do the trick, but quite how I’m going to swallow these babies twice a day I’m not sure.

Still, if it finally gets rid of the cough, the wheezing and the fatigue, I shall be very pleased.

Orange and black

No, I’m not planning a Halloween quilt. Bear with me.

First, the orange. I’ve been given a shopping bag full of beautiful cumquats (or kumquats, if you prefer). The neighbours have a tree full of these tiny orange jewels, and the smell of them is intoxicating. I’ve always loved cumquat marmalade, about the only marmalade I do love, and I’d like to make some. But oh, the labour of cutting up and de-pithing and -pipping these tiny things.

They really are very, very, very small. So my question is, does any-one have a recipe for cumquat marmalade that doesn’t involve picking all that stuff out? Can I just cut up the fruit, leave in the pips and skim them off at the end? I’ll do it ‘properly’ if I have to, but the idea of standing at the bench for what will probably be hours is not enticing.

And now for a bit of black. His Lordship the Mouse is settling in nicely. We have the routine established, and it involves me getting up sharpish at 6am to give him breakfast.

I’d sleep in if I could, but a cold wet nose in the ear is a marvellous alarm clock. After he’s engulfed his breakfast, I let him out to, um, commune with nature for a minute or two, after which he comes screeching back up the back yard at greyhound slow gallop, and then he goes back to bed (his bed) for another hour or so while I catch up with emails and the blog. At 7am, I shower, dress, make the Husband’s sandwich with ‘help’ from Mouse, and around 8am I get a call to say the Husband is 20 minutes away, so it’s time to clip on Mouse’s harness and lead, pocket some treats and the zapper for the garage door, and off we go. Mouse is now used to Big Girl the truck, so we hand over the sandwich when the Husband pulls up at the bottom of the hill, and then go for a walk so he can check out all the smells and disdainfully ignore all the dogs stuck in houses and yards who bark at him as we pass.

And then he spends most of the rest of the day sleeping. And yes, he does ‘roach’, or sleep with all his legs in the air…

Scinteallate #12: one row to go

I actually managed to get a row quilted.

Pretty respectable when you consider I’m still very short of breath and coughing constantly and we have a new family member to settle in. One row still to be quilted, and then I can proceed to assembly. I should be able to hit my mid-August deadline. In case you can’t tell or haven’t seen this one before, it’s my old favourite, freehand wavy line quilting, which gives a nice rippled vintage texture, is close enough to make the quilt very robust, and is dead quick and easy because there’s no marking. Win-win.

In the Life & Times of Mouse, the Husband took him to the local Council Pet Registration Open Day, a jolly event which is held on the lawns of the council building. Hundreds of people bring their pets old and new, and despite being a very new member of the family, Mouse behaved impeccably. Not a bark, not a whine, not a misplaced dump or glare at a cat. He is now a fully paid-up member of the community. He was then introduced to the ladies in my Days for Girls sewing group and was patted and petted by all and sundry, putting up with this stranger-mobbing with good grace and only a little shyness. His final trial for the day was being left in the car for 25 minutes while we shopped for groceries. We parked in the shade, it’s a cool day and the windows were open a crack. He had a toy if he wanted it, but he was calmly lying down when we got back, and submitted to being surrounded by shopping bags on the short journey home without even feeling the need to investigate them.

He’s been keeping me company in the sewing room, the Husband company in the shed and both of us company in the living room. He doesn’t snuffle, sigh or snore. Just, every so often there’s a little jingle from his collar as he changes position. I will say, though, that he has laser-sharp hearing for a packet rustling or the fridge opening, and arrives as if by teleportation. The Husband’s back at work tomorrow, so Mouse and I will integrate his lunch-sandwich delivery into a decent morning walk. I hope he’s not too scared of Big Girl the truck…

Hopefully I’ll get the remaining blocks finished tomorrow.

There’s a Mouse in the house

Our sleek black boy is home.

I’ll have the green lead next time, thanks…

We went up last night to collect him, as our appointment was for 9.30am. We loved the look and sound of him, but were prepared for the possibility that he wouldn’t take to us. No danger of that. He trotted over and stuck his nose into our hands to say a polite hello. He’s gentle, quiet, has good manners, and despite some test exposures to birds and small fluffy dogs in Bowen on the way home, doesn’t seem to be at all interested in chasing things.

Birds and fluffy dogs ahoy…. nah, too much like hard work – I’m retired. Now, where are those liver treats again?

He slept most of the way home with a few comfort stops. One thing they don’t exactly advertise about greyhounds is what champion farters they are. We had an inkling, but the reality was another thing. The first time the silent-but-deadly crept insidiously through the car interior, the Husband and I hit the window buttons at light speed and then burst out laughing. It happened several more times on the way home, and I hope the frequency is a function of his tummy being a little disturbed by stress rather than an indicator of his normal contribution to global warming…

We got home and let him out in the back yard, where he immediately patrolled the boundaries, sniffed for intruders and had a good stare through all the fences to check for enemy action. Then back into the house to investigate all the rooms, check the beds we’d set up for him, give us a cute face in the hope of treats and then proceed to gnaw at the plushie greyhound given to us by the GAP with our adoption pack.

Don’t worry, Mum, I’ll have this dangerous fluffy toy killed for you in no time.

He clearly knows how decorative he is against my beautiful rug….