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Lots of Critters – wild and domestic

A report on all the critters we have found here at the new place. All the animals other than Goldie, the kittens (almost cats) and the 6 hens are all visitors.

The 1st Visitor

a tortoise
The tortoise in the garden

During the last few hot hot hot days of summer, I found this fellow under a severely neglected rose bush. It wasn’t there the next day. We have seen quite a few tortoises, and possibly one aquatic turtle that is living in the pond.

Other Wild Critters

Most of the late summer mornings we had these fellows. A bachelor flock of male turkeys visits the field across the road early in the mornings, although they have been rather scarce the last week or so. There is a flock of hens at the top of the road, but I haven’t seen it in several weeks either. It numbers in the range of about 40 birds. I wonder if the month of November has anything to do with the scarcity?

Wild Tom Turkeys
Our local Wild Tom Turkeys

Some new Baby Critters

The cows are brought back about every 3 weeks to live across the road. Most of the neighbors on the road have a cow or two. In the field at the top of the road are 2 new calves. One afternoon on my way home the little black one was jumping and cavorting about having some fun all on his own. It was so cute it made me smile.

cute calves
2 new calves

A Fishy Critter

One afternoon down at the pond I spotted fish! The sun was at just the right angle to see fish in the water. This was before the drought broke and the water was still low. This is a catfish, and I think they were spawning in the reeds. We are having a quick triple cold snap, so I doubt if there any hatchlings.

catfish n the pond
A catfish in the pond

Another Wild thing

On the downside of the pond dam, we cleared the field of goldenrod and weeds. And as the temperatures started to cool toward fall, we started to see this little lady. She spends quite a bit of time back there, and she is just visible from the kitchen window in the evenings. Now with the end of daylight savings time, I may not see her anymore. She is right in the center of the picture.

The doe on the dam
A doe visits

Backyard Critters

The chickens are a fun bunch of ‘girls’. They now recognize me and if the pen is open will run out to greet me in the yard and follow me around. They are not worried about Goldie or any of the cats. Earlier this week a few ventured outside the backyard but ducking under the gate. And one, guessing it is Ethel due to the comb, came all the way down to the pond and got a drink. We have had some cold nights so now the girls have a heat lamp to help keep the coop warm and a feed bucket, for the days when it is too icky outside for them… They are happy and are producing nearly a dozen eggs a week for us.

Ethel drinking from the pond
Ethel the Chicken drinking at the pond
An egg
The blue egg is from the chickens, the white is store-bought.

And the Feline Critters

And finally, we get to to the cats. All of them have names, although they may change… as they earn a new one. As of right now, 3 have been fixed. 2 were females and 3 males. Prudence has turned into my special friend. She follows me everywhere, except where Goldie is, as does The Prince. Patience went right back to being a loner, the minute she was sprung. #1 and Tommy are currently recuperating in the garage from their visit to the vet on Thursday. We managed to capture all 7 at breakfast. I added the names for you!

cats at breakfast
All 7 at breakfast

So that catches you up on the critters around here. I wish I had more time to tell you more… but suffice it to say… there isn’t enough time. That old adage about how time goes by faster the older you get is TRUE! More Later-Beth

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A Little Sticky, Some Blue and a TIP

the "chickens" on the longarm

Its been a little sticky and blue In the Creative Space. A picture of the ‘chickens’ loaded on the longarm was in the last post. So far that hasn’t changed, still no thread.

The Sticky

So what about the sticky and blue? I use a lot of fusible products and I try as many as I can find and afford. The favorite is paper backed, because I can draw my design and then transfer to fabric, with very little waste of either. I love Misty Fuse because it stays soft and retains a beautiful drape. Since Misty Fuse is just a web, getting the exact result is more difficult, because you need another way to transfer the marked lines/design to Misty Fuse, which can add another step to the process.

photo showing good stick with Barely There Fusible
Good Stick!

Last year I tried Barely There (the review) and in the store here. The few small things I tried it on worked out for the most part. Except for the occasion, where I forgot to use the correct heat setting on the iron. Oops! I used both Barely There and Misty Fuse on the ‘chicken’ quilt. Barely There for the construction of the chickens and egg flowers. While stitching down the chickens, I discovered some loose pieces. Not completely coming off, but enough that things could have shifted. So a bit more testing was in order.

I was afraid that I may have made an error when I decided that I liked Barely There! What could possibly make a fusible not stick well? The only thing, if all else was done correctly; the proper iron temperature and setting (made that mistake with the gecko) and/or the correct amount of pressing time would be the fabric. What could be wrong with the fabric? With fabric, the manufacturers finish or starch will keep a fusible from adhering well. So I prewashed the fabrics for this piece. Then I printed the pattern on to the Barely There, fused them to fabrics and proceeded. Verdict? Much better stick!

Stick was very important in this case because this piece is raw edge applique using regular quilting cotton, not batiks which have a finer thread and tighter weave. Regular ‘quilting’ cotton tend to have a thick thread and looser weave, making them susceptible to fraying. By prewashing the fabric good stick was achieved and with less fraying on all fabrics!

The Blue

the piece with the blue lines drawn

So what about the blue part of the sticky and blue? For the quilting, I drew a grid with a blue washout marker. Getting rid of the grid after quilting these days is the real problem, especially if you don’t always prewash your fabrics, (ask me how I know about this too). I have been sewing and quilting long enough that I remember the marks coming out fairly well with just a spritz if only one layer, and maybe a good wetting if more than one layer, (top, batting, backing). But here lately, you might actually have to submerge a project to get the blue out.

a corner with blue lines and lines erased with water

I have used just about every product made to remove the blue, and none of them seemed to work any better than water if they did anything at all. But while surfing, reading blogs and posts on the Internet, Facebook or Instagram, one day- I ran across a tip. Wish I could remember from where and give the kudos and credit and link directly to their page, but I can’t. (edit- I found it!) For the story from the tipper go to www.piecenquilt.blogspot.com I even tried a search and a look back through daily history. But no such luck. If you know who…please tell me, I’ll add it!

The Tip

Quilting done, blue lines gone

Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 cup cold water. Mix well and place in a spray bottle. And then proceed as normal. All the blue came out, no resprays or touch-ups. I left a corner and as you can see, it was a rather thickish line. I used the Mark-B-Gone from Dritz, it makes a thick line but marks fast and for a simple grid, it works great! Going to keep a spray bottle with soda water in it. I suppose a flat bottle , (as in no bubbles), of soda water would work too, now that I think about it!

Have you had difficulty getting the blue out? Do you have another method that works well? Please share in the comments if you do!!!

More later-Beth