Quilt Testers In Action

Quilt Testers In Action


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yeah, Storm, Whatever...

Just keep the treats coming, and everything will be OK.

And if its not OK, try taking a nap, and maybe it will all go away. 

(We came through the storm without any real issues. The oldest one's flight back to Pittsburgh was cancelled, of course. She ended up being the baton in a family relay race that eventually got her back to school. We are sending hugs, prayers, and generally good vibes to everyone struggling with the aftermath of Irene.)

Friday, August 26, 2011

To Have And To Hold

Made for a couple of my oldest daughters friends, who are getting hitched today. A little silly, I guess, but I think they will appreciate Mr. And Mrs. Monster.

I have never tried stitching black wool before. Its not easy. The color and texture just seem to suck the light out of the air! I kept bringing in more light, but it didn't help. It was worth it in the end, though, because they make an adorable couple. Almost as cute as the couple they are going to. I hope they are all very happy together, and that life only gets better and better from here on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So Many Pears

Its that time of year again, time for picking and processing everything in the garden. This week I froze beans, and made a couple batches of blackberry jam. And we were overrun with pears. We ate a bunch fresh, of course, because they are one of those garden things that taste best freshly picked from your own tree. But I also made pear cake,

Actually, I made a couple of cakes, one went into the freezer. I also made a batch of Pear-Apricot Chutney. This is great on pork in the winter. Its also pretty fine poured over cream cheese, and eaten on crackers.  

I dried a bunch of pears also. We like to toss them into granola or oatmeal, and Weasley likes the occasional piece, too.

We did make time for some fun stuff. Tonight we had the last of the summer S'Mores before the girls head off to school.

Isn't it fun to play with lights and the camera at night? 

And what has Weasley been doing all this time, you might ask? Well, he has been playing bunny pinball. This is when a blind bunny tries to find his way to his litterbox/blanket/sunny spot in a room that is rapidly filling up with gear that is being gathered for the new college kid. The geography of this room changes daily (maybe even hourly), as things are purchased, inspected, played with, packed, unpacked, repacked, etc. Its actually looking fairly contained in this picture. If you look way in the back, you can see that Weasley has reached his destination, after bouncing off most of the contents of the room.

He's actually managing pretty well, and in a few days, the room will be all his again. The day is coming way too fast.

As for sewing, well, there hasn't been much of that around here this week. I do have one fun project completed. I'll show you that on Friday, because its a gift, and I don't want to spoil the surprise for the recipients.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Good Old Dog

I'm a bit late, like usual, but I've still made it in under the wire with my quilt for the Pets On Quilts Show hosted by SewCalGal. I decided to go a different route, and not show you any rabbits on quilts this time. Instead, I have a little quilt featuring my parent's old dog Oreo, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge several years ago. Oreo was a very good dog, who liked to carry really big sticks, and who loved his people. My parent's rescued him when my kids were very young, and he is still the epitome of dogness for us. Here is a picture of the old guy on vacation with my Dad.

Now let me tell you about the quilt. One day last fall, I needed a take-along project, and had absolutely nothing ready. I grabbed a handful of scraps off the floor (really!), a nearby ring of floss, my traveling box of sewing tools, and ran out the door. I made one little quilt from this mess, and had so much fun that I started another one from the same bag of scraps. I'm now working on number 3, but this is the second quilt.  

Raw edge applique with embroidery floss, machine quilting, tea-dyed cheesecloth binding.

I know. Its very odd. And you are probably thinking that the dog has the wrong coloring (and that I am crazy). The crazy part my kids will confirm. As for the dog, I was definitely thinking Oreo when I put him on the quilt, but I knew that a mostly white dog with black spots wouldn't show up to well on the background I had created. I decided to invert his colors to allow him to stand out. Why the dinosaur followed him on to the quilt, I have no idea. I am sure that Oreo would have tried to befriend him if he had met him. He was that kind of dog.

OK, I can't actually pass up a chance to show you Weasley with the quilt. He was totally unimpressed. But, would you expect anything else from a rabbit?

"Hey! I remember this guy! He used to eat all my papaya treats. And he thought I was a gumball machine. He was a very weird rabbit."

I hope you enjoyed seeing my strange little creation. For more Pets On Quilts, check out the links here (there are prizes to win, too!).

Greetings From The Litterbox

Hi, Everybun! Yeah, its me. Don't come too close, I'm feeling a bit grumpy.

I don't care what Mom and the Vet say, I did NOT need to have that done to my teeth. Mom's happy, because I survived the process (me, too, actually). She says I don't do well with Anastasia. If this Anastasia is one of those girls at the Vet, then I agree. I don't like her. Or the Vet. Or Mom either.   

Mom says I'm starting to eat better, but there is still room for improvement. What's she expecting? Do you think she wants me to use a fork? Has she heard about the whole opposible thumb issue? I don't like Mom.

I do like this Pittsburgher who keeps bringing me treats. And I like my Maine squeeze. Mom says they are going away soon. I don't like Mom (did I mention that already?).

I like you too. I hope you aren't going away. If you do, I might bite Mom.

(Note from Karen: Yes, the Boy is doing better. I'm sorry that I haven't been able to thank everyone individually for all your warm thoughts and prayers, and good vibes that have helped him along. They were VERY much appreciated. Its really crazy here right now, trying to get the younger one set to go off to school in Maine, and get the older one everywhere she wants to go before heading  back to Pittsburgh. And we've had guests (wonderful guests). And don't even get me started on the garden. I'm dreaming pears and blackberries. Posting may be scarce over the next couple of weeks, but I will try to at least keep reading about all of your adventures when I crash in the evenings!)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

We Hit The Trifecta At The Vets

Hi, everybun! It's been a while! Blame it on the fact that everything is getting ripe in the garden (why do I forget every year that August is mostly about the harvest around here?), and the fact that the oldest one is home for a visit. My car time has ramped up considerably, and early this week Weasley decided to add to my driving totals.

The boy didn't seem right, but I wasn't sure what was up. He's never had GI stasis before, but this didn't seem exactly like what I had seen with other rabbits. A visit to the vet's and we found he has
  1. A touch of stasis, not full blown, but getting there,
  2. A severe infection in his nasal passages, caused or enhanced by his glaucoma/blocked tear duct situation,
  3. A tooth that needs correcting.

Yeah! He's an over-achiever!. We are treating the stasis, and he's getting Gentocyn eye drops, but nothing else for the infection until the stasis is fixed. And the tooth is also waiting until his digestive situation is more stable, although, yes, it may be contributing to the situation. We've had a couple of trips to the vet for hydration, which is causing another problem. He's not very stable on his feet these days, and the car trip is putting stress on his bad leg that he injured last November. As of this very moment, however, he is eating some Bunny Basics T, so hopefully we are headed in the right direction. Keep your fingers crossed for us, please!

Friday, August 5, 2011


I overbooked myself for the weekend, but when the Husband called and said "Do you want to go to the Museum of Fine Arts this evening?", what could I do but say yes. This will mean a late night tonight, and a very early morning tomorrow, but since he doesn't often leave home voluntarily, I'm not about to say no.

What he is interested in is the Chihuly exhibit. I know Mr. Chihuly has some controversy surrounding his work, but I'm excited to see it, too. Let me tell you why. Way back in 2006, I went on a business trip with the Husband to Florida. My interest in gardening was at its peak back then, and for something to do while he was working, I decided to visit the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. When I got there, I didn't look at the paperwork they handed me, or the signs, I just walked off down the path. When I saw this, I thought it was a beautiful sculpture. I still didn't look at the brochure.

When I came around a curve to see this, I had to stop while my brain tried to figure out what I was seeing. Finally, I consulted the brochure, and saw that there was a glass exhibit going on. I was pretty sure that these spiky red things were glass, but I was not 100% sure.

The next curve revealed these "creatures", and I was finally convinced. It was definitely glass.

I started paying more careful attention, and found a lot of pieces tucked away in the jungle-like plants that I had not noticed at first. Some were very organic, and could be easily mistaken for botanicals. Some, like a giant pink ice cube sculpture (not my favorite, so no picture), seemed quite alien to the environment. 

The work inside the greenhouses seemed much more static, and therefore was not as exciting. I hope this is not what we will see at the MFA.

This is one of the pieces that, while quite organic in nature,  seemed alien in this environment. Still, it worked much better than the pink ice cubes.

It was interesting that the adults seemed much more excited about the sculptures than the kids who were there did. I finally realized that only the adults were seeing the pieces as something special. The kids seemed to view them as just something normal in the environment. Do you think that this could be because kids are more used to seeing the magic in the world, the magic that adults generally overlook?

These onions were very magical. They had an interesting way of throwing light around as they floated here and there.

I did wonder what this guy thought of it all.

And, what do you think this bird made of its unseasonal iceberg?

If you ever have a chance to see a Chihuly exhibit in a garden setting, I highly reccommend it. I hope the show we see inside the MFA does not disappoint. But if it does, there is still the African textile exhibit. And the Embroideries of Colonial Boston. And the Jewels, Gems, and Treasures exhibit, and, and, and.... 

Have a great weekend, Everybun!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Weasley's Late For His Wednesday Appointment

But that's because he got lost in the couch while watching "Burn Notice" reruns. I think he's afraid of Fiona. Although he does think Sam Axe would make a good bunny.

He did stir when he heard a familiar sound. Could it possibly be the rustle of the bag of papaya treats?

It was, and Weasley came out to munch a few treats. Yum!

He stuck around briefly for some nose rubs.

And then slithered back down into the cushions with the lose change and stale cheerios. 

I'm willing to bet that your couch cushions aren't hiding anything half so fine....

Monday, August 1, 2011


While volunteering at the Leominster Art Center yesterday, I finished up a few new monsters. First, a roaring lion that was a special request.

And this motley crew. The red one looks seasick, the blue one reminds me of those Easter Island characters, and the one in the middle has me a little worried!

The scene from behind. 

I also got to meet a new artist who is exhibiting her paintings at the Center. Her name is Emily Darling, and she paints in oil with a palette knife, and very bright colors. She has hung some paintings of art supplies, and I am coveting the one of a pile of scissors. I think it would be a perfect accent for my studio ( if I had a studio, and not just a little space at the kitchen table). Maybe if I get the picture, a studio will magically appear around it?  It could work....