More great advice for the Rattie Sisters in the comments. Christine, who has had a number of rats of her own, suggested a new trick for getting them to take the antibiotic – soak it into a little square of whole grain bread, then add honey. If we’re prescribed more antibiotic at the new vet tomorrow, I’ll be giving that a try. Thanks, Christine!
I suspect that Star won’t have a problem taking it if she needs it. At least once, after we went through the minor torture session that was squirting the liquid into Sable’s mouth, Star expressed great interest in licking Sable’s chin, like it was coated with the most lucious rat candy imaginable.
More on all that after the vet visit tomorrow, though!
Meanwhile, I mentioned yesterday that I’d be posting about a new quilting tool I’d ordered – assuming the Postal Service tracking was correct and it arrived. It did!
Of quilt types, I have been most seriously interested in making hexagon quilts like Grandmother’s Flower Garden. These are usually hand pieced, with pieces of paper used to form each unit of the quilt. You can buy pre-cut papers, but the fuss involved in the basting, removing the papers, taking out the basting stitches, put me off the idea.
Then at the end of March, I caught the last on-air episode of Simply Quilts on HGTV. (The show has since gone to a web-based format). It was a repeat from several years ago, and featured Pati Shambaugh and her innovation that makes hexagon piecing easy. She die-cuts flexible plastic pieces to use as the form, which simply pop out afterwards and can be re-used!
(I’ll give links to all the pertinent sites about the Quilt Patis at the end of this post, I promise!)
I was sold on the idea right away. And so, apparently, were hundreds of others. Every source I found online for Quilt Patis was already sold out. I located Pati’s home website, and found that she was severely backordered, and cranking out packages of Quilt Patis as fast as she could.
Meanwhile, I could only sit, and wait, and save up my pennies so I could purchase some. At last, everything came together, and I was able to place my order last week from Mama Sylvia’s Fat Quarters. Mama Sylvia seems to be one of the strongest promoters of Quilt Patis out there – she even started a Yahoo group after the episode aired, such was the increase in demand.
Of course, I joined the Yahoo group immediately. It’s worth it if you’re a fan of these gadgets – Mama Sylvia and Pati herself are both moderators, and so information is available straight from the source.
I won’t get into exactly how it happened, because the circumstances that brought it about were somewhat chaotic. I ordered Quilt Patis Friday, and joined the Yahoo group. I posted my first message to the group on Monday. My Quilt Patis were put in my hand via Postal Service delivery (and my husband picking up the mail) about 1:40 p.m. yesterday afternoon. During the day Tuesday, I had a couple of interesting exchanges with Mama Sylvia about the group and messages.
At 2:55 p.m., I had the e-mail from Yahoo telling me I’d been made one of the moderators of the group.
I shouldn’t be surprised. I tend to jump into the deep end when I get excited about something. Still, it happened so fast that my head is still spinning a little today.
Of course, what good is having Quilt Patis if you don’t actually start piecing something with them? I purchased two sizes – 1″ hexagons to use for a bed-size quilt, and 1/2″ hexagons to make table mats and miniature quilts.
Last night, I started working on a table mat with the 1/2″ hexagons and some jewel-toned fabrics from my stash. I’m doing a random arrangement of the hexes here, no specific pattern. The goal at this time is just to get the basic technique down.
I suppose I should have included something to show the scale. Each edge of those little hexagons measures 1/2 inch, and the hexes themselves are about the size of a quarter.
I won’t go into all the details of the how-to – other sources have done that quite well already, and Pati includes excellent instructions in the package. I did find the process quick, easy, and fun to do.
I think my favorite type of beadwork says a lot about why I like this. I’ve always been most fond of the seed bead techniques that have you stitching one tiny little bead at a time, attaching it to all the other tiny little beads to make an all-over pattern. Like peyote or brick stitch.
Hexagon quilts are the fabric equivalent. Any wonder I like this?
Here’s a closer look at the hexes, including a good view of the back of one:
You can see the basting stitches on the back of the pink hexagon there, holding the fabric in place around the plastic form. The plastic will come out after the hexagon has been stitched to every other hexagon it will ever be stitched to, and it will be re-used for another hexagon. The basting stitches will stay in place – because of the plastic, that stitching never comes through to the front side. So there is no need to spend time just picking out the basting – it can stay right where it is!
The hexes are attached to each other with simple whipstitch. The plastic holds them firm and stiff so they can be easily held together and sewn.
It’s that simple.
I’m looking forward to exploring this process. I have plans to make at least one queen-size and one full-size bed quilt with hexagons – not these tiny little 1/2″ ones! That’s what I got the 1″ hexes for. The technique lends itself to using tiny pieces of fabric, so there’s very little waste, and it’s a great way to recycle clothing that has worn beyond usefulness.
I will, of course, keep you all posted about Hexagon Progress as I go!
If you’re interested into looking into this more, here are some useful links:
Pati Shambaugh’s Quilt Pati Site: http://quiltpati.tripod.com/
Pati sells the Quilt Patis directly, and also has links to many video clips she’s filmed for www.quilterstv.com about using them.
An Excellent Retail Source:
Mama Sylvia’s Fat Quarters: http://www.steigerfamily.com/quilting/other.htm
Sylvia Steiger sells everything Quilt Pati-related, at a good price, with friendly service and very fast shipping.
Quilt Pati Tutorial:
Mama Sylvia’s “How I Use Quilt Patis”: http://www.steigerfamily.com/quilting/pati.htm
Good guide with text and pictures.
The Yahoo Group:
Quilt Patis Fans: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Quilt_Pati_Fans/
The one place where you know you’ll find the best information about Quilt Patis and how to use them. Pati Shambaugh herself is a moderator, along with Mama Sylvia.
Quilt Patis at Simply Quilts (HGTV):
Simply Quilts’ Instructions: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/cr_quilting_blocks/article/0,1789,HGTV_3299_1374019,00.html
Simply Quilts has gone to web-only airings of the program, and you can’t select shows from the archives to view. Sadly, the video for Pati’s Grandmother’s Flower Garden episode isn’t available at this time. The basic text how-to is here, but not any pictures that help make the instructions clear. Still, I considered this worth inclusion because it was, after all, Simply Quilts that introduced me to Quilt Patis to begin with.