Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sunny and Cold

Our weather in south-central Kentucky has been cold this week--temperatures barely climbing above the freezing mark during the day and below that at night.
The sun has been bright but a sharp bite of wind has made it less than pleasant to linger outside.
I shivered taking the above photo as the sun came up on Monday morning, hastily aiming the camera toward the line of bare trees that line Big Creek.
I scuttled in to the fireside and wrapped my paws around a warm mug!

The warm spell [into the 60's F] the previous week brought buds out on some of the dooryard trees--not necessarily a good thing.

Another look at a chilly sunrise.

Hoarfrost glitters in the neighbor's pasture as the rising sun splashes gold on the farther fields.

The cats are obsessed with the activity of the moles in the dooryard.
Either there are hundreds of moles in residence just below the surface of the sod, or a lesser number of them stay very busy creating a network of tunnels.
This was a zoom shot which makes a neighbor's home appear much nearer than it is.

Pods of the trumpet vine rattle in the wind.

This tree, another of the maples, doesn't show signs of premature budding.

Pebbles, alert to the possibility of a handout.
Her winter coat is thick and rather scruffy.

I've taken advantage of the cold days to finish this quilt top. [Not the best photo with flash.]
I put together 5 of the double star blocks and decided that the effect of a whole quilt was going to be 'busier' than I wanted as a bed covering.
Gina pounced upon it as just the thing to embellish her 'rose room' aka 'guest bedroom', so I finished 
it to her liking.
I discovered a lady about a 20 minute drive away who offers machine quilting in several different stitching patterns at a very reasonable cost. 
It is what I consider neat 'everyday' quilting rather than the more artistic and creative quilting that the Wyoming shop featured.
G. and I enjoyed the time we spent prowling about in the little local shop.
There is a good selection of sewing supplies, quilting tools and notions as well as a small but nice quality selection of cotton fabrics.
The price for quilting includes the lining and batting!  Only one choice of batting--poly, which isn't my first preference, and a choice of a cream or white lining--but the pricing allows me to keep producing quilts that will be neatly finished.
G. is quite inspired to attempt some sewing/crafting projects.
She attacked the big downstairs room today, [which always alarms me] but she does have a knack for gathering up my supplies and stowing them more tidily than I manage.
I'm continuing with the double star blocks, but with more controlled placement of colors and a different 'setting.' I am definitely 'on a roll' of quilt making--and have been neglecting my blog and a certain amount of housework as I huddle over my cutting table and sewing machine.

J. meanwhile, builds a fire in his shop when he goes out to feed Pebbles.
By the time we have eaten breakfast his space is warm and he can continue with the restoration of his several current tractor projects.

The potted rosemarys have spent the winter on the front porch quite happily.
I didn't want to risk them there on these coldest nights of the season, so they are crowded in the dining area near the sliding glass doors.
I'm enjoying their scent whenever I--or the cats--brush by them.
There is noticeably longer daylight which is heartening during this time of cold.
There is plenty of firewood in the shed, shelves and freezers full of food.
A friend stopped in this afternoon to share a fat historical novel she had just finished.
We sipped tea and talked of families, pets and projects.
It has been a cozy sort of week.


  1. It's been a hibernation week here too, we're having similar sort of temps but without the blue skies. I enjoy puttering around working on various projects or reading. As you say the days are gradually getting longer now and soon the garden will be calling - meantime there's lots of lovely things to do indoors without feeling as though I should be working outside!.

    1. Rowan; I had a great spell of reading earlier in the month during the dark, mizzling weather. Gardening season comes in early spring here and I know I won't have energy to spare for needlework projects, so taking advantage of winter weather. Its a good feeling to see a few things completed.

  2. Sounds quite perfect.
    I enjoyed seeing the star quilt, I would not have thought to use 2 different colour sashing, I like the effect.
    How fortunate that you have found an inexpensive quilting service.

    1. Kath; You'll appreciate that the 2 colors of sashing came about as I didn't have sufficient of either fabric to do the whole quilt! I buy fabric that appeals to me with no specific project in mind. By the time I decide what to make, that line of fabric is usually unavailable. I have to sit down with a calculator and plot how to make use of certain pieces right down to the last inch!

  3. Glad you have been having a cozy sort of week, it sounds good to me. I think your quilt is really lovely. I can't imagine all the work that goes into making one, I would be 'tenser than tense'.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

    1. Lorraine; We are surely rather spoiled to feel that just below freezing is 'cold' weather! Its not a patch on winters we've known in Vermont and Wyoming.
      I think in crafting its all in what we get used to: your needlework is so dainty and fine that I would feel I was 'all thumbs'--I can imagine beads and bits dropped on the floor and cats poking at my fumbling efforts.

  4. I am just flipping over your stars quilt. Wouldn't you just love to see "me" flip. Wouldn't be a pretty sight.
    I love the busy, and I love your color choices. I love reds, and I can see this in a mix of reds and blacks and creams. Do you have the pattern, or did you mix templates? I can see a mix of stars. How big is your block? You are so lucky to have a reasonable shop around. Ours is priced beyond my pocketbook.
    The photo of the boy kittens shows them to be very big boys now. They are so handsome.
    Warm mugs and woodstove sounds good to me, its freezing here this morning. 6*F with a windchill of -9*F.
    Stay warm

  5. I wish I could sit and watch the cat antics ...I hope there are just a few very active moles.
    Love all the bare trees you captured ...and your quilt is gorgeous.

    1. Angie; Cats are so fascinating--even when they are being naughty! I fear the mole population is flourishing. I often feel the ground sink a bit as I walk over it and can follow the slight depression made by the tunnels.
      Supposedly cats are wise enough to not eat moles if they catch them--they are indigestible. Whenever I've known of a cat eating one, it comes back up almost immediately!

  6. I love the feeling of being immersed in a project. I had been wondering what you use inside your quilts, couldn't remember if you had mentioned that. If poly batting is not your first choice, what is it that you prefer? Seems I remember you put an old blanket inside one.

    1. Barbee; I can get so 'immersed' in a project that I forget to come up for air!
      I put an old blanket inside one or two of my first quilts, many years ago. Those were tied quilts, more like comforters.
      I prefer Hobbs Warm and Natural batting or a similar all cotton batting. When the quilt is washed the first time there is a tiny bit of shrinkage which gives a slightly puckered 'vintage' look to the quilt. My daughter likes poly batts, the thicker the better. The local quilt shop offers only a medium weight poly batt. Quilts with that kind of innards dry quickly, give warmth without a lot of weight.
      Since the price for quilting at the local shop is very affordable I'll accept the poly batt for what I consider 'everyday' quilts. For any that I feel are special I'll try to budget for the Hobbs batting and the more elaborate quilting of the shop in WY or one offering a similar service.

  7. Good morning! I hope you're staying warm there although the photos look frosty and cold. It has been so cold here - even -2 degrees one day. I stayed in where it was warm and cozy! Love the quilt you did - the colors are wonderful!