My Clucking Quilt

Adam graduated from the Citadel in May. (Aren't these two guys so handsome?!? I swoon.)

Because of my new found interest in quilting, I asked this young man if I could make him one. He's such a sweetie, that he said an enthusiastic YES! I was so excited, I got on Pinterest and every quilt blog I knew of and saved quilts I thought a college graduate would like. I've done simple square block quilts and t-shirt quilts, but never one that required some thought. I really liked this one from Fons and Porter.And this one by Jenny's Doodling Needle caught my eye. It doesn't look difficult, but I'm sure lining up those triangles need some skill.
And yet this one from A Quilter's Table reminded me of Adam with the bright spots of color in it. Besides it definitely would be a quick one to sew up.

I asked Adam if he had any color preferences. He said he'd like to look with me online. He just graduated from the Citadel. He's a manly kind of man. I just knew he'd go for blues, greens and grays.

Well, he did, just not in the direction I thought he would go. Chickens?!?
He fell in love with this chicken fabric! To quote him "Mom, this is DOPE!" ( To translate for you, that means he really likes it.😊) Honestly, I never would have picked this out for him in a million years. I have a feeling he had his sweet girlfriend, Elizabeth, on his mind. She loves pigs, goats, donkeys and basically all things farm. So, if the boy wants chickens, he gets chickens. Then I showed him some of the patterns I was looking at. And he really liked the the top one from Fons and Porter, called "A New York State of Mind."After ordering this fabric online, I decided to drive 45 minutes up the road to hit up the mega-super-fabulous fabric store Mary Jo's. It is quite easy to be overwhelmed with the amount of fabric available at one time. Luckily I had a project in mind and was focused. I met a wonderful sales lady, Pat. She was so excited to see my chicken fabric and seemed to be right with my line of thinking. We had so much fun picking out fabric and auditioning each one with the main chickens. Pat and I agreed that the quilt HAD to have eggs, coops and chicken wire. Too Fun!We picked a few more to add interest and help settle the eye.I got to cutting lots of 5 inch squares. And then laying out the pattern on a idea wall, which is basically a large piece of felt hung on the wall, where small pieces of fabric will stick. Here you audition the placement of the colors and shapes. The difficulty I had with this quilt is that three of my fabrics needed to be facing up. So I couldn't just start sewing willy-nilly, or else my chickens would be on their heads and the coops on their side. No, no, no…this would not do. Wait. Did I tell you that I have no idea what I am doing and just flying by the seat of my pants? Yeah, that's how I roll.

So I fiddled and moved fabric squares around. Oh, do you see the blue stripe fabric? Yeah, well, I didn't have enough to do all of the half square triangles in the quilt. Typical of my projects. Ugh! I didn't want to drive 45 min again, so I went to my hometown Joann's and found a solid blue to work with the stripes.

Now I had to figure out how to not have any of the same fabrics or colors touch each other. No eggs or chicken wire could touch. Nor the solid blue or blue stripes. And all chickens and coops must be sitting upright. It was quite the puzzle to figure out. I finally poured myself some quilting juice, sat there sipping and figuring.After hours of trying to get it right, my head felt like it was going to explode. I went to bed. The next morning, I came downstairs to look at it again. It all becam crystal clear. I got it arranged to my liking, sewed this puppy up one row at a time and then "tried it out" on Adam. His only request was that it cover his toes. When we laid it on top of him, his toesies were just covered. So I decided to add a border with all of the little triangles I had cut off in the pattern.Now it was time to make my sandwich of top quilt, batting and backing. I laid it all out carefully on the floor….and then this happened. Slobber and dog hairIf she wasn't so sweet, I probably would've cried. But knowing that as soon it was finished and up on Adam's bed, Sam would be snuggled up too, so I wasn't upset at all.All pinned up and ready to be actually quilted. I watched lots of videos, so I felt confident I could do this with my home machine. OMG! I sweated, and grunted and wrestled this big ole clucking quilt through my home machine.Again I had no idea what I was doing. The other quilts I have made, I've tied little knots throughout the quilt to hold it together. Now I was trying freehand machine quilting. In the elongated areas I did a sort of fan shape and in the blue squares I pebbled. My lines were not straight. The stitches went ziggety when I repositioned my hands. I was starting to feel like I had totally messed this whole thing up. Then I remembered what one of my favorite quilters, Angela Walters, of Quilting Is My Therapy, said "Not so perfect is good enough." So when I sewed my glove onto the quilt, I only had to laugh. If you look closely, my stitches are not of even length and you can see where it went higgly piggly. Oh well. In the end no one, and I mean no one will be looking that closely to the stitches. Hopefully they will be snuggled up in this puppy and feel the love of a hand made quilt.

Thanks for dropping by!

The Coconut Chronicles

IMG_4346This handsome 2 year old fella is Coconut or One-Eyed Jack or Cokie or Coconutty. He belongs to Mary Claire and Tyler. They have their house up for sale and asked if we would take care of sweet orange kitty cat until they get their house sold.

Of course we would! What fun!IMG_3993Now this is Lilly. She is our 12 year old beautiful girl.

Any way, she is queen of the house. If you have this completely understood then things go just fine. First thing in the morning, her bowl must be filled. No really… don’t make coffee, don’t feed Sam, don’t even think about going to get the newspaper…immediately! Or else she will carry on and on until you do. Ask Superman.

One weekend I was away and Superman was in charge. Lilly started in on him about her empty bowl. Well, Superman is NOT going to take orders from a cat, no way. So he proceeded to make coffee, put a bagel in the toaster and mill around a bit. Meanwhile Lilly is doing her best to let him know that this was not acceptable. Finally he had enough. He put some kibble in her bowl, then went to get the newspaper at the end of the driveway. (I’m sure he was calling my sweet girl some awful names as he shut the door.) He came back to…(hee hee…I’m sorry, but this ALWAYS cracks me up) to Lilly having pooped in her bowl!!! She has never missed her litter box. I mean NEVER! And here she aimed to show him who was boss. I got a call within a minute from him saying “YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT YOUR CAT DID!!!”

To this day, I get the biggest laugh remembering this story.IMG_1844So, now back to Coconut. He is pretty much opposite of Lilly. Where she will spend the majority of her day on Thomas’ bed sleeping, Coconut is exploring and getting into mischief.IMG_4422

For instance, he eats Sam, our dog’s, food.IMG_1850He eats Lilly’s food. Look at her. She’s like “Hey! What the heck!?! Why is my bowl empty?!”

Now maybe this wouldn’t be so bad for any other cat, but his mommy and daddy were very adamant about Cokie getting a quarter cup of food in the morning and a quarter of food in the evening. Superman and I want to show Mary Claire and Tyler that we can be trusted with their precious babies, both the 4 legged kind and 2 legged, whenever that time may come. (Now I’m not pushing the grandkid idea at all. NO way! Not me.) We want to follow the way they choose to raise their youngin’s. You say 1/4 cup, then by golly, he will get a 1/4 cup.IMG_4368Let’s just say that with this 1/4 cup situation this kitty gets very hungry at dinner time. One evening I was watching a movie in the basement. He came down meowing to let me know it was time to be fed. I told him he would have to wait until the movie finished. Unlike Lilly, he waited patiently. He climbed in my lap and we snuggled a bit.IMG_4369And he busied himself by exploring under the couch. (yes, that’s dust and an old kleenex).IMG_1846He likes to come down to my craft room and play around.

When the men came to install my cooktop, they asked me if I had a roof cat.

“Huh? A roof cat?”

“Yes, m’am. We hear a cat meowing up high, like on the roof… You know my cousin had a cat that would climb up top of his roof.”

“Hang on, let me see.”

I went upstairs to Thomas’ attic space and sure enough when I opened the door, out came an orange kitty.

After his belly is full of kibble and he’s had a good nap, his greatest game is to annoy Lilly. Now Queen L is not really keen on this idea. He will chase her up and down the stairs. Here he is practicing his hunting skills. Needless to say, there is a whole lot of hissing and fussing going on. Many times, one of us will have to put him in time out, which is in Mary Claire’s bedroom with the door shut. Poor old Lilly.IMG_1849Not only have we come home to an orange cat on the kitchen table, but he has the nerve to walk all over our counters too! I asked Mary Claire about this behavior and she says he most definitely is not allowed to do that. I told her what I say and do, and she said I needed to put in a higher octave in order to mimic her disciplinary actions. And say something like “KA-KA-KA!!!” and clap real loud…. Okie dokie, next time.

Here is Lilly trying to get away from the little pesky boy by sitting on top of book case in the den. But even there you see him messing with her through the bars. In the last picture, she is looking at me like “Do you see him? Do you see him bothering me?” As Coconut sits back cleaning his paws because he just got Lilly cooties.IMG_4388What I find funny is that everyone was so afraid that Sam was going to be the problem. People had the NERVE to call her the Black Beast. What!?!IMG_4389Sam loves kitties. She is quite misunderstood.IMG_4390All she wants is a good sniff!

Every day has been an adventure with him. He knocked some glass vase off the counter, shattering it to pieces; he’s hidden himself so well that it took me a couple of times around the house to find him. He was under Adam’s bed behind a box and some stinky socks. Coconutty is such a boy.IMG_1848

I was playing with him the other day on the bed with one of those fabric-on-a-stick kitty toys. He wrestled that thing into knots. Then all of a sudden he hopped off the bed. I looked for him and found him, completely inside the toilet! I didn’t realize that in the few weeks he has been with us, he’s been drinking out of there.  He was sitting in an empty toilet bowl. Forget that he has a bowl of water by his food or a bowl of water by Sam’s bowl or EVEN the bowl beside Lilly’s food! He likes toilet water. Lilly would never lower herself to such fraternity/pub style drinking. Bless it. I flushed for him. He now has a fresh clean bowl to quench his thirst.IMG_4428Finally, today I woke up and went upstairs to feed this boy his 1/4 cup of food, but he wasn’t around, which is surprising. As soon as he hears a bag rustling, he comes running. I shrugged and went downstairs to find him. I looked in every room, calling his name. I went outside and asked Superman if he had seen Coconut this morning, but he hadn’t. We came back inside to look again. All of a sudden Superman sees Lilly sitting at the kitchen window that reaches to the floor. She is cocking her head back and forth. You could almost read her mind: “Why are you out there?” Sure enough Superman looks and there is that rascal doing an army crawl with his ears laid back. Superman opened the door and in flew Coconut! The question is “How did he get out there?” He was inside when I went to bed. Superman saw him last night. Thomas was the last to come in and he for whatever reason kept going in and out the door when he got home. We think he was outside all night long. oops! He’s fine now. He’s been sleeping under this bed all day long.

I look forward to sharing more Coconut Adventures with you.

Well, thanks for dropping by!img_0403-32