crafts · Quilting · Quilts · sewing · Uncategorized

A Scrappy Patriotic Project & an Update

Several years ago my mom and I went on a Shop Hop around northern Michigan. At each shop we were given a free patriotic pattern.

Am I the only one who usually finds the free gifts on Shop Hops to be…well…not that great? I know I shouldn’t complain, but the last thing I want is patterns I don’t like, swatches of fabric I’ll never use (and no one else wanted either if you have them left over to give away), or a weird little sewn together tissue holder that makes getting a Kleenex out of my purse so much more difficult because I’ve now got to get through a flap and a piece of velcro to access what I need to wipe my nose. Trust me, that Kleenex holder that someone spent so much time putting together is just going to get taken apart so I can use the scrap of fabric it was made with for something more practical.

Wow. I probably sound like an ingrate.

Sorry. I just don’t like clutter. (Though the state of my sewing room right now tells a different story.)

But back to those patriotic patterns that were given away free, because that’s where we were before I went off on a tangent. Some of those patterns were actually pretty good. I chose the four best, dug out my patriotic scraps, and made a small wall-hanging.

I want to point out that I had originally used different colors for the bottom right block. Sometimes things just don’t turn out the way you think they’re going to. Which is fine, because you can always throw that ugly mess into a scrappy quilt like I did. (I only used a portion of the ugliness, because the entire block would have been too overwhelming!) I think what went wrong in this block was I reversed the darks and lights and the star part of the pattern just didn’t stand out.

Now for an update.

Maybe you recall how I made some guinea pig hay bags a few weeks ago. As it turns out, the openings for the hay were too large for our greedy little boys. They relished shoving their heads into the bags and yanking mounds of hay out, mounds that they would then leave uneaten on the floor of their cage. As the price of hay has risen astronomically, those potato-shaped monsters needed to be stopped. My daughter (the owner of the piggies and the purchaser of the hay) decided to sew a small strip of fabric across the middle of the openings in the hope that they would no longer be able to yank everything out as easily. We’ll see how this goes. (Look at Winston with hay on his face!) If they continue to waste hay, we may need to find them jobs so they can earn their keep. With their skills at munching, I think we may be able to hire them out to do lawn maintenance.

crafts · sewing · Uncategorized

These Little Piggies…

There are two tiny little tyrants who live in our house. (Plus one medium-sized tyrant, but this isn’t about her. She’ll have her own story next week. And it isn’t pleasant.)

Our tiny tyrants rumble strut around in a pair of cages that take up nearly a quarter of a room in our house. They stare at me with interest as I do my daily workout in front of their cage, their little jaws gnawing away at hay. I’m their entertainment and the hay is their popcorn. They demand their dinner every night at the exact moment I rise from my chair at the table with loud, shrill WHEEKS of bossiness. And anytime I peel anything while cooking, they loudly request a sampling of whatever it is.

But the funny thing is, these little bossy potato-shaped furballs aren’t even MY pets, nor do they belong to Hubby, though we provide at least 75% of their care.

Allow me to introduce you to the two little boys I call “Sirs,” as I greet them every morning when they run to the side of the cage in anticipation of the pellets I will measure out: Winston and Basil, the guinea pigs.

Photo credit to my daughter

How did Hubby and I come to be the caretakers of these two hooligans who flip pigloos around like they weigh nothing, making me wonder just what strength these creatures would have if they were human-sized?

It all began with two other guinea pigs. Once upon a time, our middle daughter begged us for a guinea pig. She would be the sole caretaker, she promised. Since she seems to have been born with a responsibility gene that some youth lack, we relented and Beatrice, a senior citizen rescue piggie, came to live with us. As our daughter lived up to her end of the deal, providing all care for her piggie, we allowed her to adopt another piggie. Mable joined the family. (I blame the picture book One Guinea Pig Is Not Enough that we read to her when she was younger for this guinea pig obsession.)

Sadly, Mable developed what the vet suspected was a heart condition, and she passed away. Not much later, our little senior citizen crossed the rainbow bridge, as well.

Our daughter was heartbroken. There were tears. Lots of tears. But we couldn’t get more piggies! She was a senior in high school at the time, about to launch into the world of college and dorm life where piggies wouldn’t be welcomed.

Let me just say that allowing her to adopt two little baby guinea pigs from the rescue was NOT my idea. But they were cute, our daughter promised to be home on weekends to care for them, and I relented.

And that’s how we came to be the nearly full-time caretakers of those two fellas who I will probably miss when they move out when our daughter graduates from college next spring.

Anyway…that was a long story to get to today’s sewing project.

The two little dudes with very sharp teeth had chewed through their hay bags. Thus, I whipped up some new ones. I thought this fabric, leftover from a pillowcase I made for my dad (he collects pigs) many years ago was just perfect since our little piggies are pretty hoggish.