I had a stressful day at work that ended late, so dinner was late, and so was our evening walk. But I put on my rain coat, reflective gloves, a cap and my head lamp, leashed up the dogs with their lighted collars and off we went.
That meant we didn’t get home until after 9 pm. And then I had a phone conversation with my friend who is also making this quilt pattern with similar fabrics.
By the time I sat down at the sewing machine it was 11 pm. I was able to sew the blocks on row three and four, but didn’t have the drive to assemble the rows. I’ll do that tomorrow night after our dog agility lesson.
The above photo gives you an idea of how I’ve laid out these pieces and assembled the blocks. I did it in a much more free form way than the pattern wanted me to. I just made sure that there was variation in how each block was laid out compared to the blocks next to it.
A friend today was asking how I went about starting a quilt and I explained to her the process I go through when I’ve selected my fabrics and am ready to start cutting.
I read the pattern to decide how much of it I want to follow or how I will alter it. And then I’ll calculate how many blocks I need and how many of each piece for a block. For this quilt, I need 30 blocks in two different layouts. One layout has five pieces, one has four pieces.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about what my notes mean because it will effectively give you the pattern. But I wanted to give you an idea of how I get prepared to start cutting. It’s a little peak into my brain.
This first sheet is my calculations on how many of each piece I need.
This next photo is the sheet that I used to keep track of pieces as I cut them. The number in the center with the square around it is how many of each piece I need. The hash marks are made as I cut those pieces.
Like I said at the top, we had our first evening walk in the rain and dark this evening. It really makes me sad to see the summer light leaving. It changes so fast this time of year. But I LOVE walking in the cooler weather.
I was surprised that we saw a coyote tonight on our first dark walk. You can see him in the middle of the street in this photo.
Rico smelled him before I saw him and that’s what made me look up the street. The coyote was very aware of us and paying a lot of attention. And we just kept on walking.
It’s not uncommon to see coyotes in my neighborhood. I live between two golf courses and there is lots of cover in the area for them to hide. I often hear them howling in chorus at night. I even had one in my back yard a few summers ago… inside a six foot fence. You see them all over Portland. I work with a woman who once tried to coax one into her car, thinking it was a stray dog.
We’ll be doing a lot of walking in the dark this winter, so we need the appropriate gear. And if you live in Portland, good rain gear is pretty much a necessity. I have many rain coats for different kinds of rain, several pair of rain pants, water proof hats with and without insulation, and a good selection of reflective or illuminated accessories. There are no sidewalks in my neighborhood so we have to walk on the street. It’s really important that people can see us! And you have to have really good water proof shoes.
I went on Amazon tonight and bought a new reflective vest for myself, a new red lighted collar for the dogs because this blue one on Bender isn’t bright enough, lots of AAA batteries for my head lamps, and a case of dog poop bags. We’re ready for a long season of dark and wet walks.
In the dead of winter here it’s totally dark at 4:00 in the afternoon. The rainy season typically starts in the first few weeks of October and continues through at least May. It often continues through June.
We’re ready for it logistically, but it makes me sad to see it coming. I just love the long summer evenings.