Monday, July 17, 2017

Cat Grass Fever

It is hot, it is humid, and the insects are out!

These common skippers are out looking for pollen.  And we've got it!

Another cool moth I've seen is the hummingbird moth.  Another great mimic, their rapidly beating wings and large size make them look like a hummingbird from a distance.  They even have an unusually long proboscis that mimics the hummingbird beak!

I love to see these unusual creatures.  Of course, we have the usual fellows, too.  Dragonflies...


...and bees.

See the little grains of pollen collecting on his back?  Another possibility for pollination!

The cicadas are loud here right now.  I'm finding their discarded shells everywhere!

Someone gave me a packet of cat grass (or wheatgrass) seeds last weekend.  I planted them on a Sunday afternoon.  By Monday, they'd sprouted.

Each day I'd see at least an inch of growth.

They are definitely cat-approved!

It seems to be conducive to lounging.

I finished my quilt top!  Phew, what a job!  I sped things up a little by doing what's known as chain piecing.  Half the quilt top is made up of blocks and half of stars.  For making the stars, I needed several sets of what's known as "half square triangles" and "flying geese."  The directions are basically the same for both...draw a diagonal line down the center and sew a line 1/4" on either side. To avoid wasting thread and time, you can continue sewing your line from piece to piece.  Then flip, and do the same on the other side.  See?  It's all chained together.  Now just cut those tiny threads holding the pieces together and cut each piece on the original diagonal line.

Those tiny squares become...ta da!...half square triangles.

The geese are similarly cut.  The top triangle pictured here is the uncut "goose" with another square sewn on top. Cut down the middle...

...and iron flat.  Flying geese!

I have to say, I didn't enjoy making these stars.  The margin of error on the geese pieces was almost nonexistent.  Each needed to be cut down to 3.5" x 6.5", but mine started out that way...or smaller. Although the directions seemed foolproof, and I was sure my measurements were correct, most of my geese ended up wonky, some off by as much as 1/4".  I really sweated over putting the stars together. I just wasn't as precise on my 1/4" margins as I needed to be (my old bugaboo) and there were a lot of mistakes.  I pressed on, though, sewing the rows together...

...and voila!  The top is complete!  Although I never thought I'd use fabric with big sprawling modern flowers and sprinkles, the end result is SO cheerful.

I never realized how big a queen-sized quilt was until now.  I had to lay it out in the driveway to get a picture (which is why it has random sun splotches)!  I'm pretty nervous about quilting this.  I need to make my quilt sandwich and decide on a quilting pattern.  This will be a slow process, but hopefully I'll learn to be more confident about larger quilts if I can pull this off!

Have a great week!

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