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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Just Another Day With the Cats

The cats keep me entertained every day.  I wish I had a camera with me at all times.  And I wish I remembered I have a camera on my phone - which IS usually with me at all times.  Last month I did a home evaluation of a kitten that the owner thought was being aggressive.  The kitten was fine and was just being a 3-month-old kitten.  The lady's apartment faced a pond.  While I was watching the kitten, the lady told her granddaughter to get the crackers.  At the patio door stood two adult ducks and 10 little ducklings.  They come every afternoon for the crackers.  The lady opened the door, tossed some oyster crackers out and a dozen ducks went crazy trying to get them.  Half of the ducklings came inside the living room to get crackers thrown there.  I was totally enthralled and mesmerized by this.  It was the coolest thing I'd seen in years.  Darn, I wish I had my camera.  When I told my husband about it that evening, he said it was too bad I didn't get a picture with my phone.  Damn!  So, the past few days I've kept the camera close and took quite a few pictures.

FLUFFY  TOILET  PAPER.  I was greeted by this when I walked into the bathroom the other day.  I've found TP with holes, and quite a few rolls unrolled on the floor, but I've never, ever seen fluffy TP like this.  It was very interesting that they could shred it like this and have it still stay connected.  It looked like a bunch of feathers.  I have no idea who did this or how they did it.  The roll is now kept in the cabinet,  Just another day in the life of cat fostering.
I was downstairs and heard a loud bang upstairs.  Not unusual, but I always investigate.  Someone had evidently climbed up our fake tree in the foyer and knocked it over onto the sofa.  By the time I got there, three kittens and Alex were having a ball playing Jungle Cat.  Alex is the large adult on the seat. 

 Alex loves the kittens.  They follow him around like he's their daddy, and he licks and grooms them like they're his kids.

 Alex and the kittens get their canned food in the bathroom every evening.  Alex starts whining, I get a can, a plate, and a spoon, and he and all four kittens run to the bathroom.  It's called a conditioned response.  It means they have me well trained.

 This is Mia, a new foster kitten I have.  Nita, a very nice lady in west county, is rescuing a colony of cats living behind a grocery store.  She called Heartland for help with the first two she trapped, and I took a gray tortie adult and this black tortie kitten.  She is so, so sweet.  She naps on John's chest every night while he watches TV.  She cuddles and gives kisses.  The gray adult is very shy and hasn't come out from under the bed overhang yet.  She lets me pet her, but doesn't want to come out.

 This is the corner under the stairs in the atrium.  For some reason, it's a very popular spot for afternoon naps.  Usually it's Alex's, but today Ebony got there first.  You wouldn't think they'd want to sleep right next to the litter box, but they do, especially if they can lay on the blue plastic bag they like to play with.  Nothing but the best in cat toys at my house.  Daisy was sleeping on the other side of the litter box.  Go figure.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Two Baby Quilts

My friend, Julie, who doesn't sew, asked if I'd make her friend a baby quilt for her shower in August.  I said I'd love to.  Baby quilts are usually more fun to make because they're smaller and faster, for one thing.  Plus, they're usually cuter, with more fun fabrics.  We decided on a pattern and set a date to go fabric shopping.  We met at Jackman Fabrics, a very large store.  Needless to say, Julie had a case of overstimulation and too many fabrics and color choices.  Once we had the focus fabric, the rest fell into place.  I washed and dried the fabric and was ready to start.  However, cutting into someone else's fabric is a little more stressful than cutting into my own.  So, since the pattern was fairly simple, I decided to make a test sample first.  I'd gotten some coordinated fabrics in May that I was anxious to use and this seemed the perfect time.

This is the main part of the top.  I've auditioned several fabrics for borders and decided on dark blue, purple, and a stripe.  I'm trying to use stripes in every quilt I make. 

I don't usually wash incoming fabric unless I know it's by a designer or company known for fabric that shrinks.  Nancy Halvorsen is a designer who puts out beautiful fabrics, but they do shrink and I always wash those.  And I have another designer now to add to that list.  The yellow background fabric was designed by Sue Penn.  It was fine when I steam pressed the center with the green star.  It looked so nice, I decided to spray starch it and make it perfect.  As soon as the spray hit those yellow squares, they shrank a quart inch right before my eyes like shrink wrap and a heat gun.  I had to rip them out, shrink the rest of the yellow fabric, cut new squares and replace them and all the other yellow squares.  The triangles for the star points were somehow not as bad and I elected to keep them.  The original pattern was just the square with the three rounds of star points.  I added a top and bottom row of piano-key borders to make it rectangular.

This is with all the borders on.  I really like the way it turned out and was ready to cut out Julie's quilt.
My sister was in town last weekend and brought Mom over Monday.  We had a regular sweat shop going.  Sue was cutting, I was sewing, and Mom was pressing.  Most of the top was done in a day.  I put the last two borders and the name on today. Thanks a million, Sue.

I didn't think to take a photo before the borders were started. They make such a difference, it's fun to see the comparison. Julie asked if I could put the baby's name on the quilt.  It's a boy and will be named Chase.

Here's Chase's quilt with his name appliqued at the bottom.  The actual quilt is a little brighter than this.  The photos are always darker here than they are when I edit and crop them.  I lighten them, but sometimes not enough.

Quilting and binding shouldn't take too long, and it will be all done.

I hope you like it, Julie!

 A close up of the center.

Random Cute Cats

No theme today, just random picture I've taken of the cats around the house.  The first two are Trish, a foster.  I use empty cat food boxes as portable trash boxes when doing rounds.  I collect empty cans, paper towels, Q-tips, etc. room to room, dump the contents in the kitchen trash cans, and set the box on the counter to reuse next time.  Cats will make a bed out of anything, and Trish thought this box looked like the perfect size.  I know the feeling.  Like putting last year's spring slacks on in April.  
You got a problem?

Then, I had put a pile of clean laundry on the kitchen table to take downstairs the next time I went.  I knew better, I really did.  Five minutes later, fosters Zach and Fiona found their own bed.

 Speaking of barely fitting....this is Alex, another foster.  He's a year old and is one of my favorites.  He's 15 pounds of love.  Granted, the chair isn't all that wide, but if Alex was any larger, he'd have to curl up a little.  Yes, I still have pink chairs in the living room, but no new furniture as long as I'm fostering.  Probably not till John retires and we get that RV he talks about as our only home - NOT.  I'd need the whole thing for my sewing room.

Scotty likes to lay on the back of my recliner in the evenings
 Tonight he spent some time on the arm of John's sofa.  He was really sleeping like this.  When I took the picture, the flash or clicking woke him up.
He moved to a more comfortable position leaning against Daddy till Daddy got up to go to bed.  Scotty is such a sweet, sweet boy.  The only kittens I have running loose are Scotty, Fiona, Zach and Cody.  They've formed a gang and all run together - across the room, down the hall, up or down the stairs.  It's really funny to watch them when they're active during the evening.  One will run somewhere and the other three race after him - like a school of fish.  They're not so active during the afternoon.  Everybody is in, on, or under something for their naps.  Scotty seems to sleep a little more than the other kittens.  He certainly enjoys his naps.