I have discovered that ducks and sewing don’t really mix, even though they may give equal pleasure. One makes you a whole lot wetter and muddier.
My life has been duck-full lately. I stopped sewing for a spell in the garden. When was that? April? I gardened happily until June when my cat brought in a duckling and deposited it, unhurt, on the living room floor. You may remember me mentioning this in passing in one of my earlier posts (EPP Loves the Hexagon).
My little duckling has turned into a beautiful female Mallard with all of her mature colouring. She is aptly named, Maple.
When she was five weeks old I decided to buy her a friend, a lovely Aylesbury duck which I was certain was a female. I called her Alba.
Then one day, a couple of weeks later, when I opened the shed door for a moment to put a tray outside, Maple flew out of the open pen, through the small space above my head and into the sky. After a couple of days and assurances from several people that she would not return, I bought another Aylesbury duck, a female friend for Alba, called Lilly. Maple, I decided, was a wild duck after all. I had simply taken care of her until she was ready to go out into the world.
In the meantime, I had been having doubts about Alba. If she was female she should have had a well developed quack by 9 weeks but all she had was a croak. I had Lily delivered by the seller, so that I could ask advice from someone more experienced. And Alba, it turned out, was a male. So now I had a mum and dad. Not really what I had in mind, originally. After Lily’s arrival, Alba began showing off , becoming quite skittish and bossy, so he has been renamed Bossy-Boy. And it suits him perfectly.
But that’s not the end of the story because, no sooner had my Aylesbury pair settled in together, Maple returned. I couldn’t believe it. She came sauntering down the garden path and led me a merry dance around the garden before she let me pick her up. She was very hungry and thirsty and seemed happy to be returned to the pen. She has become more and more tame over the weeks since and clearly loves being part of our duck community.
So that’s my duck story. But not the end of it, I’m sure.
Dismayed to find it was already August, I thought I had better get some sewing done. Usually I do one quilt and finish it and then think about starting another but I thought I would try a different approach this time.
Having got so behind I thought it would be a good plan to complete a series of mini quilt tops, all the same size, one after another and finish them later. I could do this more quickly which would make me feel as if I had made good progress. I decided to do three Scottish themed ones and a couple of fun ones. All of them are based on traditional, out-of-copyright blocks, re-imagined for my own purposes.
It was a good idea but didn’t really work. Too many of them needed small changes and when you have half a dozen quilt tops needing little changes, it doesn’t do much for motivation. I must say that I would recommend buying paper pieces if you can afford them. I make my own templates and because I am not a maths whizz, they are always slightly inaccurate. The bought ones are a breeze to put together and you don’t have to spend ages tweaking a block that is not quite square, or has a wonky triangle in it somewhere, and so on. I make my templates, not just to save money but because my ideas don’t always have standard shapes to fit them.
Followers of my Facebook ‘Forest Moor Designs’ Page, will have seen these five new mini quilts already, so apologies for that, and I am afraid that, even though I have lots more cut out and ready to go, I have done nothing since. I am hoping this blog post will motivate me to have something more to share soon. I have about twenty (all 8 inches square) to complete, before I move on to something new.
Just a couple more things: I framed one of my mini quilts to see how it would look in a frame. This is ‘The Wind in the West’:
Not too bad, but in future I will make the quilt to fit the frame and not the other way around. That will ensure that borders don’t show and triangles don’t get chopped off (lesson learned). Also, I have a new logo for my sometime-soon-to-be-opened-I-hope shop on Etsy. Someone said the font is not very clear, and I agree, so my daughter and I are working on that. I do love the way the crosshatching looks like little sticks in a forest, though.
So that was what I did in August but I am determined to have a few more mini quilts to show before the end of September. I have also been thinking how lovely it would be to have two Indian Runner ducks when my husband gets around to enlarging the pen…. ; )
Till next time……