Tuesday, February 26, 2019

~ Happy Pup! ~ Unconventional use of quilts ~

So why are the quilts on the floor?  Well this is my answer to getting little Miss Muddy Paws to the bathroom for a bath.  I don't have enough rugs or dark colored towels to put on the floor.  The next best thing was some of my darker quilts.  Geesh, the things we do for our dogs.  She's worth a couple extra loads of laundry to wash the quilts.  Now I bet your wondering how this shy dog that wouldn't leave her cage yesterday became a muddy mess.

Today has been a full of surprises from the moment I rolled out of bed.  Super shy Khaleesi has decided to warm up to us and her new way of life.  She greeted me this morning with a playful spirit.  What a nice change from the frightened pup we saw yesterday.  This morning she bolted out of the cage ready to take on the new day with a wagging tail.  She frolicked around the living room chasing her tail and tossing her new toy around for about 30 minutes before whining to go outside.   

Keeping a dog on a lead/chain is cruel but for now it's the best we can do.  Being on a lead is better than the life she had 3 days ago.  We are working as fast as we can to get some type of fencing in place so she can run free.

Keeping her on a lead/chain is also dangerous out here in the middle of nowhere.  Should another dog or coyote come around she is at their mercy.  But who can deny her the freedom she wants and deserves.  So for now I'm sitting in the house watching her as if she were a child.  Then I had an the dandiest of ideas.  We have a fenced area, our garden!  I need to do cleaning out there before the planting season.  As you can see it's quite the mess.  Mr. Podunk has been dumping wood shavings here all winter.

And last fall I didn't clean out the old plants. This is the perfect spot for both of us.  Me working while she learns love life again.

Khaleesi is unsure how to behave at first.  Sniffing around and jumping out of fear with every move I make.  Dog like children sometimes need to be ignored.  This is the perfect time to let her figure things out on her own.

 I go about my cleaning as she explores her new space.  Let me tell you it didn't take long for her to realize she had some freedom.  She ran for about 30 minutes straight before taken a break and laying down.

Of course she chose the muddiest spot she could find to lay down and catch her breath.  

That's alright, I'm getting a little muddy also.  Seeing her having fun running is worth a little mud.  As soon as she is up and running again I covered her favorite mud hole with wood shavings. 

We stayed out in the garden for about an hour and a half.  I was tuckered out and thought she was too.....

However, this is the response she gave me when I called her to be put on her leash.(picture below)  Total defiance!  It became a game of chase the puppy. She loved her new space and freedom and had no intentions of leaving.  Can't say that I blame her but we can come back out here again.  A few stern "Khaleesi Blibe!" (blibe is stay in German) and she was leashed and headed back to the house.  She was SOOOO muddy.  Again, it was worth it to see her enjoying life.  I put her back on the lead out in front of the house while I went inside made a cup of coffee and began prepairing the house for her bath. To be honest I was leery about giving her a bath.  Some dogs don't like baths.  She's a big girl, making her mad could be dangerous.  But I charged forward with a stern voice and she did okay.  No she didn't like the bath, but she took it without biting or trying to get out of the tub.

  As I cleaned up the mess we made she calmed herself by going back into her safe place(the cage).  When I finally sat down on the couch she came out of the cage and laid at my feet and quickly dosed off to sleep.  That was a good feeling to know she felt as safe by my side as she does in the cage.  Our hope is to someday not need the cage.  But that is all up to her and whether or not SHE needs it.

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Monday, February 25, 2019

~ Gone to the Dogs ~

The last few days have been a whirl of excitement starting with a knock on my door last Thursday evening.  Who on earth could it be?  We don't get too many visitors out here in Podunk since we are a little off the beaten path.  If family or friends plan to stop by they generally call first to make sure we are going to be home.  A quick peek through the window revealed the neighbor from down the road.  Out here neighbors come by for two reasons.  
1.  One of your animals is on their property
2. They need help with something
My chickens are bedded down for the day and we don't have any other animals so number one is out of the question.  He must need help with something. Much to my surprise it was neither of the two.  He had come to ask if we would be interested in a dog.  Not just any dog but a Service trained German Shepard.  As some you know we took in my Gramp's GS, Lobo,  when Gramp's past away a few years ago.  After Lobo's passing we swore off having another dog.  It's like losing a child when they pass.   But once a dog lover always a dog lover.  It's taken some time to heal and we think we might give this dog a chance, well at least go and visit with her to see if we thought it would be a good match for us.  As you can guess we fell in love with this sweet girl.  Her name is Kahleesi.  She is a year old.  She has been abused and neglected.  Her first owner was a mean old man that abused her to the point of drawing blood.  Her rescuer trained her and tried to give her a good home but due to life she soon became neglected.  He realized Kahleesi deserved a good life of love and attention.

 Since the cage life is all she knows we have some hurdles overcome.  She's very well behaved, but how bad can you be if you won't leave the cage.  She is free to roam but is afraid to leave her safe place.  Did anyone notice the old ugly quilt under the cage?  Hubby wanted to toss the old quilt but I knew it would come in handy someday.  Its the perfect sized to put under the cage so the cage won't scratch the hardwood floor.  

Slowly we are getting acquainted, learning about each other by spending time outside.  She does really well on a leash and follows basic commands well.

Today we went out the front door to go on our walk and then came in the back door.  As we came in the back door she became terrified and tried to go back outside.  We noticed yesterday when she came out of her cage she was avoiding the hard flooring in the dining room.  Taking one large step out of her cage and onto the living room carpet.   I need to work on her fear of floors without carpet.  Over half of our home is some type of hard flooring.  

When called she looks away as if I don't even exist.  But what his little gal doesn't know is I'm more determined than she is stubborn or scared.  The living life in fear and neglect is over.  Today she will learn to deal with this floor and love it.  I've googled the hardwood floor phobia and watched a YouTube video on the subject.  Now to help my girl.

Here's the video if  you have a dog with this phobia.  I'll let you know if it works for us.

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

~ Dust Off A Quilt Book Blog Hop ~ Day 4 ~

Yeah!  Today is my day to share in the Dust Off a Quilt Book blog hop hosted by Bea over at the BeaQuilter Blog.  In this blog hop we were asked to make a project from a book or magazine we've had in our personal quilt book libraries. What a task!  We purchase these books because we love them.  To pick one project was quite the chore.  Those of you that know me know why I chose this mini quilt....the CHERRIES!

The mini quilt was found in the book Happy Flower Quilts.  I won this book a couple of years ago during a blog hop.  It's packed full of so many great projects big and small.

As you can see in the picture from the book I change the project just a bit to suit my lazier style.  The pattern suggested tons of hand work that did not appeal to me.  Simplifying was a must.

 My tiny applique is raw edge applique using Heat N Bond Lite.  Even with the fusible webbing the small pieces were very challenging.

I considered not stitching the applique in place.  But after a little battle with Me, myself and I, WE decided the machine stitching could be done and would add a nice touch to the quilt. 

I had fun making this one due to all the challenges that pushed me out of my comfort zone.

This quilt was almost 100% made from scraps.  All except for the yellow cherry border is scraps.

You can read more about the making of this quilt 
here -machine stitches video
here - making the applique shapes
here - picking the fabrics

Be sure to stop by the other bloggers participating in the Dust Off a Quilt Book blog hop.
Today's bloggers is listed below.  You can find the full week list of the hop over at BeaQuilter.

Thursday Feb 21st
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Jennifer at Dizzyquilter
Lee Anne at Podunk Pretties - You are here!
Lyndsey at Sew Many Yarns

If your new to my blog thank you for stopping by my little spot in Podunk!  I love visitors and making new quilting friends.  Before you leave please take the time to get a free copy of my newest quilt pattern, Dancing Pinwheels(pictured below).  To receive the free pattern all you need to do is sign up for my newsletter and you will receive an email with the link to the free PDF Pattern.  I know newsletter subscriptions can be scary, but I promise not to fill your email with ton of newsletters.  At the most one a week.  But to be honest that's a lot of work, it maybe more like every other week.  So where can you sign up?  Just scroll back up to the top of this blog and find my picture. Under the picture and profile you will see the Newsletter signup.  Add your first name and email address, click subscribe and you will receive an email with the link to the free pattern.  Only you will be able to see the information you provide in the form.  Your information will be used by me and me alone for sending out newsletters.  I do not share my list with anyone.

 #dustoffaquiltbook #podunkpretties 

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

~ Imitating Hand Embroidery ~

This week I'll be participating in a blog hop called Dust Off a Quilt Book blog hop.  Tomorrow will be my day to share my book and project.  Today I'd like to share with you a few tips I used while making my project.  The project I chose called for hand stitched embroidery.  I love handwork, especially when I'm not the one doing it.  Not to mention my sewing machine does a much better job of keeping the stitches uniform.  That's why we pay those outrageous prices for machines with a gazillion different stitches.  This is a good time to put them to use.  The first thing to do is find a thread in my stash that matches my project.  Aurifil 1114 50 wt. for both top and bottom will be perfect.

The pattern calls for an outline stitch.  An outline stitch looks like a rope.

My machine doesn't have that one so I chose the triple stretch stitch on my machine.  Doing a test of the stitches before starting is a good idea.  Ascrap piece of stabilizer and fabric to was used mimic the exact sewing conditions.  Adjusting the stitch length, width and tension until I was satisfied with the look of the stitch.   Labeling each adjustment just in case the power goes out or any other of million things that could go wrong.  The check mark indicates the settings for this project.  Even with the triple stitch the stitches are too thin.  Easy solution is to stitch it twice, side by side.

Here's a sneak peak at the finished stitch.  Doubling up on the stitching gave it a somewhat hand stitched look.  It looks more like a hand embroidered back stitch, so in my book it's a winner!

Next I had to stitch the SUPER tiny applique pieces in place.  They are so small I considered not stitching them down.  I also considered using an invisible thread but my machine doesn't like it very much which means it would take longer to deal with the issues.  After bouncing around a few ideas I decided to finish the edge of the applique with Superior Threads, MicroQuilter, 100 wt., 7002.  Microquilter is my go to thread for quilting my quilts.  I love this thread!   It's light weight, strong and blends well with just about all fabric.

Again the stitches were tested on a piece of scrap.  Another good use for those tiny pieces of fabric, stabilizer and fusible webbing, that some would toss in the trash.

The video below shows the stitching around the applique with a few tips.  Notice how the Microquilter thread doesn't overwhelm the applique but still adds a finished edge.

Make sure you come back tomorrow to see the completed project.  It's a cutie!  Until then please take the time to show your quilty love by visiting the following blogs participating in the Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop.  I'm only listing today's bloggers you can find the full list over at BeaQuilter.

Wednesday Feb 20th
Sharon at Vrooman’s quilts
Suzy at Websterquilt
Nancy at patchworkbreeze
Karrin at karrinscrazyworld
Denise at craftraditions

#rawedgequiltapplique #superiorthread #aurifilthread #quilttips

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

~ This Old Quilt ~

This old quilt is not one of my creations.  Not to say that I haven't made some really bad quilts in my early days of quilting.  I think we all have a quilt or had a quilt that could have made the quilters hall of shame.  Even though they aren't perfect they still have a charm and a story tell.  Yes this quilt has charm.  Okay you may need to blur your eyes to see the charm but I promise you it's there. HA!

When my brother in law said he had found an old quilt in his home that was previously owned by his grandfather I became excited at the possibilities.  Then he said "The quilt is yours if you want it."   What glorious treasure had he found? In my mind I was picturing a Grandmothers Flower Garden or a Sun Bonnet Sue.

At first sight I will admit I was just a tad disappointed.  But then the quilter in me smacked me in the back of the head and reminded me that not all quilts are perfect works of art.  Art can be a little on the ugly side.  Picasso, need I say more?  I mean seriously my 9 yr old grandson can imitate a Picasso painting.  The imaginary smack to the head tilted my way of thinking just enough to see the glory she had to offer.  The quilt is obviously is old, due to the fabrics used in the patchwork.  So it's vintage, vintage is good.  Many of the squares are polyester.  The thick, old pant suit polyester from the 60's and 70's.

There's also T-shirt fabrics, 100% cotton and wool.  The gray fabric between the columns or patchwork is probably an old sheet. This is my kind of quilter!  If you can put a stitch in it, put it in a quilt.

Then I started to wonder about the maker.  Was he or she using what they had on hand?  Was this their fist quilt project?  Or was it someone elderly that at one time had been an amazing quilter but due to illness and age this was the best they could do?   Did they do the machine top stitching to help save this as it fell apart from daily use?  The quilt story in my mind made this wonky, poorly constructed quilt a masterpiece.

As you can see there's some hand stitching also.  But was it constructed by hand or machine?  After closer examination I found that it was machine pieced.  Most of the patches are 2 layers of fabric.  It looks like the quilter stitched together to fabrics with right sides together.  Then they were turned right side out and stitched together in columns..

Some of the fabrics gave me a chuckle and then others like this one made me wonder if this fabric was made during an Olympic year. 

The backing and the finishing edge told me that this quilter really had no clue how to make a quilt.
The wool backing edges are not turned under.  Neither is the ruffle.  Was the ruffle an attempt to make it look a little more girly?

This is probably the worst example of a quilt that I've ever seen.....but it has charm!

The large fold over at one end tells me this quilt was used.  The fold was probably a way to keep the wool from touching the face as they slept.

We'll never know the story or the quilter.  But we can admire that who ever made it did their best and for that we owe a little respect to them both.

Mr. Podunk thinks we should trash this little ugly treasure.  I have mixed emotions.  Let her live or put her out of her misery?  Right now I say she still has life left in her.  What's your thoughts on this quilt and others like it?  Would you keep it? 

#thisoldquilt #podunkpretties

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