Sunday Chat

This week was one of those kinds of weeks, where it seemed like I should have gotten more done with the time I had. I did have a couple of meetings, but those were short. The zoom class on Wednesday was fun, and I think all the participants enjoyed it. I did manage to get one small project pieced and quilted, and I’ll be working on the binding today while watching the playoff games. Outside, cold weather this week brought the birds to the feeder in large numbers, and I got a few good pictures of them, like this bluebird taking advantage of the homemade suet cake.

This red bellied woodpecker found the suet cake to his liking, too.

The smaller downy woodpecker got his share of the newer cake a few days later.

The cardinal pair stay through winter, and the male’s red feathers are vibrant against a winter drab background. It was a drizzly day, and water droplets are all over the feeder cage that keeps the doves out.

This past week I spent my gift certificate at my favorite local quilt shop, Beginnings. This absolutely adorable chicken print collection had to come home with me. I’ll have to report this as in on our Stashbusters Challenge, six yards total. Yes, I did have to have it, and yes I did have to have four prints plus the border stripe. It is called Home to Roost designed by Susan Winget for Wilmington Prints, available at Fat Quarter Shop.

I refolded it for washing, in the Brilliant Tip method. See that post for details on folding and pinning.

Through the washer and then the dryer, take out the pins and no ironing needed. There is very little raveling as well.

All folded and ready to use. I noodled around with paper and pencil to get a basic design, then went to EQ8 for design and fabric yardage. Unfortunately, this fabric line isn’t available in EQ8 files, so I just had to wing it with similar prints in the program. My plan is to work this up into a pattern and have it for you soon. I did get a little sewing on it done yesterday, and tomorrow will tackle the mitered borders I planned.

I finished another book this week, the prize winning novel Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell) – Not a book for everyone, this story is very different. The protagonist lives in a world comprised of an immense labyrinth of large vestibules to massive halls kilometers long filled with thousands of Greek style statues. There are three levels of halls with oceans in the lower levels. Their tides blast through the halls periodically and then recede. As Piranesi describes his life, his days and his journals, the reader gets an idea that something else is going on. For example, how does he know what ‘petrol’ is in a world with no cars? It takes the first 100 pages for Piranesi to realize it, but stick with it. Reading this book is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle without knowing what the picture looks like, and the secrets reveal themselves in this way. Don’t read any spoiler reviews, as the enjoyment of this book is in the solving of the puzzle. I get the feeling that there is much more to this story in references to other classic fantasy novels, but I am not well read enough in that genre to catch most of this. Recommend for those willing to stick with it.

On the cabinet in the kitchen, the orchid has begun growing again. It stayed with the one little flower spike going nowhere for four or five months. Now, it is putting a second spike coming off the first one. Crazy thing, but I am excited that it might actually bloom again.

In the meadow, a small flock of bachelor turkeys came by.

Oliver has stopped by a few times, but lately he’ll grab his sandwich and take off where I cannot get a photo of him enjoying his treat. On this day, I got him as he was rooting around for seeds near the base of the feeder.

Then, this morning, a winter wonderland! Whoopee, more sewing time this week! Since we are on the side of a mountain, and our driveway is long and steep with no county services to plow it, we are stuck at home until it melts off enough to get out safely. It was still too dark to get a picture of the snowy landscape early this morning, as the overcast skies are heavy with more snow yet to come later today, but I’ll take some later today. So, there are football games to watch today, with some handwork to do, and a bit more time in the sewing room this coming week.
What are your plans for this week?

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33 thoughts on “Sunday Chat

  1. Rita C.

    We get a glimpse into your fascinating mind at work with your quilting and, thus week, your reading material! That new fabric is great! Love the bird visits I’m not looking forward to this snow event which is about to begin here for us. We’re expecting anywhere from 8″ or more, a much wetter snow than last week’s. Take care.

    1. Mary Ed Williams

      Love the snow since I no longer go to work, but I can definitely do without the ice. I will also start trying to eat everything in the house, waiting for the power to go out. Stay warm!
      Mary Ed

  2. Michele Bretz

    Like you, we have no main roads and I don’t want to chance my reinjuring my knee so I will let the snow melt. I went to C & M Shop and talked with Charlene Gentry as she was knitting more caps for customers. I got 48 more embroidery flosses so I have more variety for sashiko on my daughter’s upholstered chair. When I got home, my daughter started wrappings the floss onto card stock and will finish her new chore while I work on her chair and hopefully finish it today. Will send pics when done. Enjoy our white stuff!

  3. Thank you for the washing tip. I prewash everything but the threads are always a problem so I’ll try your method. For small pieces, I pin them to a towel which helps a lot. I still have to iron the fabric but at least it’s useable.

  4. Judy Ross

    I’m enjoying the snow and agree it’s the perfect reason to get some sewing done! Hoping the ice stays away and the power stays on — as we discuss (once again) getting a whole house generator since we tend to lose power every other month or so…..

  5. Julie

    Ha ha ha! You decided to wing it on your design using Susan Winget’s fabric! I love her fabrics, such beautiful nature designs. I promised a pet quilt to one of my friends and set aside the last of some woodland friends that she designed. I should get busy & finish the other quilt on my wall so I can start Charlie’s quilt & get it out the door. It’s a good day for sewing (as are they all) since we’re in a deep freeze, 1° outside & the big snow storm has us in its path as it travels north. It’s an upside down year, usually the snow here arrives from Canada.

  6. Rosemary B

    Oh Carole
    I read your blog and seldom comment.
    Just too busy, or lazy.
    I love your fabric procurement.
    The birdie pictures are superb. We are getting snow this afternoon, the weather forecast for Loudoun County Va is always unreliable, We have the Blue Ridge mountains right over there👈🏽 and the DC swamp right over there 👉🏼 so that snow rain line is always tricky. when there is something off of the coast to make things difficult.
    We are expecting only around 6 inches.
    I have been home all week. Lizzie developed covid and got a little bit sick, the day after she and the babies came over to play all day, and my older daughter with her kids in school came over too and it was soooo fun. Until 4:00 when 4 year old Lena announced she had a sore throat. We put the babies in the van and Lizzie went home.
    So anyway, hubbs and I never got sick, and my older daughter is also holding up. Hopefully we will not get sick, but I contacted my N.P. and she gave me instructions to maintain health
    I have been sewing, and sorting and cleaning house,
    Oh, I could write a novel here so I will end this. Your book sounds kind of like my dreams every night.

  7. Diane

    Love the Home to Roost fabric line. I don’t know how you made your choices on which of the fabric you wanted. I want it ALL. LOL

  8. Linda B

    I love the chicken fabrics! Maybe your idea will help me use some I have on hand! Glad to be back inside from venturing out to check my poor girls in this 15 degree weather this morning. Lets hope we have some sun to melt off the snow. But it was a pretty snow.

  9. You get lots of different birds visiting your feeders! We will be getting snow from the same storm on Monday…a good excuse to stay in and sew! Fun new chicken fabrics purchased with your gift certificate!

  10. Kim J LeMere

    I’m starting a quilt that uses lots of red fabrics and I’m going to give your washing tip a try, it sounds easy. We are getting sleet and snow in middle Tennessee and football is on the schedule along with some potato soup. Looking forward to seeing what you create with that great chicken fabric.

  11. Joan Sheppard

    Susan Winget has always been a favorite “go to” fabric line and I have most of her books. Family zoom this afternoon, cleaning up after the foster puppy I have for another week or so. A little walk in the snow with the puppers. Old school – no sewing on Sundays. But might be able to sneak in some cutting. The book looks wonderful. Just what we need for winter. Thanks

  12. We are feeding everone too. One of the kids gave Don bird seed for Christmas. It was much appreciated. It was so cold a couple of days ago the girls came out of the coop and want right back in.
    Yep, stay in and be safe and warm,enjoy your sewing.

  13. Patricia Evans

    That snow is headed our way tonight and all day tomorrow. Forecast is for 8-18″ which seems to be an awfully wide range. Our snowfall this season is way below normal, so I guess this storm plans to make up for that. Got to go find the snow shovels while I can still get in the garage.

  14. I love this line of fabric and it is perfect for my kitchen–I had seen it on a couple fabric sites and every time I tried to order it–it said not in stock yet–and they would email me–no word yet–but–I just went and did my order on the Fat Quarter site–so hopefully it is on it’s way to me soon!!

    Love the bird photos–thanks for sharing them too–and did you see that Crabapple Hill studios February stitch along this year is bird houses???
    hugs, di

  15. Sue H

    Great bird pics and I wish you luck this time around with your orchid. My daughter read your book and LOVED IT too. Of course here in IL we got your storm earlier and we were grateful that we didn’t get much but BRRRRR! Is it cold now! Have fun sewing. I plan on working on Uptown BOM today. We’ll have to see about the rest of the week! Ha!

  16. That book sounds really different, I will look for it in the library. I love your chicken fabric!!!!!! Of course you needed every bit that you bought, probably more. 😆 I have done some work on the Exploding Box this morning and am feeling quite accomplished to have lots of pieces sewn into much bigger pieces. Still some work to go, but I am starting to think I might be able to work a quilt top out of these pieces without too much trouble.

  17. I am excited to try the washing tip- I used to wash but somehow fell away. Hope it works in a front loader machine. I’m a fan of the sports so will be doing that today as well.

  18. Your cardinal photos are always a fun sight – such beautiful birds! Not seeing anyone here today – I wonder where they all went. Love the chicken fabric, and pretty colors, too. It will be fun to see what you do with it. The book sounds really unusual, but since I often like books you’ve recommended, I’ll put it on my list. Right now I’m reading a psychological thriller called The Woman Outside My Window. One of those where you never quite know who to trust!

  19. Christine Binek

    Can you please tell me how you take care of your orchids. Mine has so many roots. Do they have to be buried or left on top??? I do have a new bloom coming . Thank you, Chris

  20. thedarlingdogwood

    Yesterday the winter weather sent all the birds to our two feeders,they were busy! We had constant birds all morning. There is a fair bit of action out there now as well. We got barely any snow, not enough enough to cover the grass, but there is a lot of ice!

  21. I would have caved for that fabric, too, and I don’t even sew! It’s very pretty and super happy! It’s fun seeing your world. I’m glad you’re well stocked with supplies with the snow. Back when the kids were younger, we went to his dad’s condo on Sugar Mountain near Banner Elk in NC. Now they are at the top of the mountain but then they were about three quarters up and the snow came! Getting down that mountain (when we could finally get out) was a scary ride! But a wonderful adventure for us all. Stay safe!

  22. I always enjoy seeing your bird captures and love the turkeys! January always zaps my energy, all I want to do is curl up with a book and a blanket. Enjoy your snow and being cozy at home!

  23. Patty Brenner

    I love that chicken fabric and some will probably have to come to my house 🙂 I intend to do the stash busting, but I’m afraid I may be a lost cause! I really enjoyed the zoom class, and look forward to putting the lessons to good use! I’m in Arizona a few more weeks and the quilts I want to repair are in Texas, so it’s going to be a bit of time before I get to them. I brought the American Glory BOM with me to Arizona to work on – it’s slow going because I’m a new quilter, but I love how the blocks look when put together I love your birds! I put out feed at our Texas house, and have many pairs of cardinals visit, as well as chickadees, tufted titmouse (titmice?), Carolina wrens, and painted buntings. Last year during our snowpocalypse in Texas, I had big flocks of robins hanging around. I got some fun pictures of them in the snow. Happy week to all!

  24. ANN D

    I got the book ‘Piranesi” from the library based on your review. I’ll have to say that I was drawn into the story and couldn’t stop reading. I enjoyed the book very much.

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