"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Monday, January 30, 2012

Lollipop Quilt and Rogue Cows

About a year ago, my sister-in-law brought me some quilt tops that a co-worker's father had made before he died.  She asked me to quilt them and I am ashamed to say that I never got around to it.  I wrote about it in a post, last year.  The quilt tops are just amazing.  Pictures of the tops before they were quilted are at the link, just posted, and I also wrote about it with some "before" photos a few posts back. 

I finally got around to putting one up on the quilting machine a few days ago and finished up quilting it, today.  I used a very light polyester batting and wasn't sure I was going to like it but I think it works.  I am not usually fond of "flat" solids but think it turned out beautifully.  I may have to rethink my fabric prejudices:

I threw in a few Victorian Feathers among the meandering.  I didn't think they would show up but in the right light, they do:
Solids used to be very popular when quilting began regaining popularity around the time of the United States bicentennial but I personally don't think hand quilting usually sets them off to their best advantage.   Machine quilting, however, really gives them depth and texture. 
 I think the quilter had a fantastic sense of color:
 It reminds me of a big, traditional lollipop:
This was not a fancy quilting pattern but I'm really fond of how a meander gives texture to pretty piecing/colors.  I used a slightly looser meander and lighter colored thread in the bright blocks to help them pop a bit.  I'm well aware that I am not particularly talented at longarming and trying to do the type of fancy quilting that makes the quilting be the center of attention makes me feel really anxious. 
Plus, this was a quilt top that deserves to show off the workmanship of the quilter who pieced it.  He did an incredible job. 
At Mr. Wonderful's suggestion, I stayed with a solid colored binding (I'd been toying with a stripped one matching the colors in the blocks).  I went with red because I had enough of it and because I thought it would hide stitches better than some other colors.  I didn't take any pictures but am really happy with how the red pops against the black, framing the other blocks.  I am still in the process of stitching it on by machine and plan to give it back to my sister-in-law to stitch it down on the front, by hand.  I still haven't finished my daughters' quilts and it would just be wrong to push them back in line.

My beloved birdcam (not the trail cam) finally bit the dust and after trying everything I could think of to fix it, I gave up and started cruising Amazon to see if I could find a replacement.  Mr. Wonderful suggested I call Wingscapes, the maker, and ask them if they knew how to fix it.  I called on Sunday and left a voice mail with Melissa.  Who knew this company actually had a named person answering the phone!!  I left a message explaining the situation.  I didn't expect much help since it was no longer under warranty but thought maybe it was a common problem that had an easy fix.  While I was out in the studio, today, she called back and told Mr. Wonderful that they were sending me a brand new birdcam!!  I was so excited and impressed!  So, henceforth, I shall tell everyone and their brother what a great company they are.  If you have a chance to get something from Wingscapes, you really should do it. 

Yesterday, I went out to the property to check the trail cam and while there, I kept seeing HUGE deer tracks everywhere.  I wondered to myself if the big bucks had come back and deduced that perhaps the mud had somehow made the tracks look bigger than they were.  And then, I saw this:
Yes.  It is a cow patty.  And I don't HAVE cows!

Once I decided there had been cows trespassing, I kept a look out and, sure enough, saw where they had wandered all through the wooded area and muddied up the pond.  Once I realized it was cows, it is hard to imagine that I had been convincing myself that it was big deer.  Deer that size aren't deer.  They are moose or elk.  Or have been exposed to large doses of radiation.

The trail cam was still strapped to the tree but there were broken branches all around it and it was pointed in a different direction than how I'd left it.  Upon checking the videos, I saw where up to seven full grown cows (not heifers) tried to eat the camera.  They left the evidence on the video.  Two of them grabbed the strap and yanked on it for several minutes.  Fortunately, it doesn't look like they damaged it. 

I don't know what was going on with those cows but on several of the videos, they were running this way and that.  Perhaps they got into loco weed.  It was like seeing heavyset pixies spinning and dancing in the moonlight.  I can't imagine why they would have been in the area where I put the trail cam because it was on the trunk of a cedar in the densest part of the wooded area where there wasn't anything to graze on.  I put it there, hoping to get some videos of bobcats.  But no.  I got psychotic, rogue cows.  And you know what else?  They apparently don't sleep at night, either.  Some of the most enthusiastic camera attacks took place in the dark. 

I don't know where the cows are, now.  I didn't see them while I was out there and I looked.  Our property is right on the Chisholm Trail so maybe they hit the road.  More likely, someone came and got them. 

Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl


Florida Farm Girl said...

Hey, Penny. You did a great job on that quilt. It's beautiful. I don't think I would ever have chosen those colors and I don't use solids much, but the quilter did a great job, didn't he?

As for those cows, I'm sorry to say that I think cows are pretty unintelligent and will try to eat most anything.

Miriam said...

Great quilting!! I love the feathers.

Wonderful news about your birdcam!

I hope those rogue cows don't come back!

Nancy said...

The quilt is beautiful and your quilting elegant. Are you going to share the videos of the overweight pixies dancing? I'd love to see that! Had me laughing out loud!

bingo~bonnie said...

mouth watering are your photos that you shared of the Lollipop quilt!!! those solids against the black really sparkle! What color tread did you use?? I thought at first black but then didn't see any black in the colored part???

Love from Indiana! ~bonnie

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Stephanie D. said...

I seriously LOVE that quilt! Rogue Amish, maybe! I haven't worked a lot with solids, but I love the look.

How funny about the cows! I can't get the image of dancing psychotic pixie-cows out of my head! Darn you.