Entries in FWQAL (59)


Farmer's Wife Quilt - The Big Assembly

I wouldn't be surprised if you thought I was ignoring my FW quilt because you know how OCD I am with block placement and all my silly rules about colors and prints etc. not touching and all that.  Some of you even (rightfully) poked fun at me and how hard a time I was going to have with the layout process of my 98 blocks.  Remember the nightmare I had with only 12 blocks?!  LOL!

Lucky for me I still have a few brain cells that operate on common sense and they made me realize it was totally, utterly and completely IMPOSSIBLE for me to lay out this quilt AND follow all my rules ... AND keep my sanity.


I let all my silliness go ... (ok, maybe just most of it ...)

I really only made sure that:

  • the reds were evenly distributed (100% successful)
  • the blocks - which I sorted into "lights" and "darks" - weren't clumped anywhere (mostly successful ... found a few problems after the top was put together ... I just practice taking deep breaths when I notice them)
  • and of course I tried to avoid any obvious color/print touching (much leniency was required in this regard)

So now let me show you how it all came together. 

It's not often a quilt looks as good or better in real life than it did in my mind when I started.  It's always still a bit of a surprise to me.  Sometimes I'm close, others are total disappointments.

But never mind.  My Farmer's Wife quilt is an unmitigated success.  For me.

Remember my pink sashing disappointment ...

because I was trying to make my quilt look like this ... ?

Well, I officially forgive that pink fabric for not cooperating because I gotta say, I'm THRILLED with how the white turned out.  I especially love how the white background blocks "float". 

The red.  Ok.  I'm not much of a red girl ... unless it's for Christmas or Valentine's Day.

However, from the very start - before I even made my first block - I pictured this quilt with red ... sparkle ... you know?  I didn't want any bold or heavy redness so I carefully used it just as little bits here and there.

For the few red (& white) only blocks I used prints that weren't dark, but had lots of white or other colors in it, like these.

(There's a reason why this block is going on the back ... )

And the red posts?  They finish at a mere 3/4" and seem to hold everything together.

When I stand back and squint my eyes to look at this quilt, I'm fascinated by the pretty, "random" geometric pattern created by the red punctuations.  (I overexposed this photo to help you see what I mean.)

Oh, and one more thing about the posts.  I wasn't wild with the finish in the book and how the outside posts were cut in half. 

That would have driven me banana nuts crazy.  So I made mine full squares.

And I am so pleased with how the light blue side-setting triangles frame the blocks without being too .. chunky.  Subtle, but effective to my eye.

Also the book only has one large border.  I wanted something a little different.  So I added an inner border the same fabric & width as my sashing.

And then I went with this happy blue dot - mostly because I have limited "Flower Sugar" yardage in my stash. 

But I wonder if I had a choice of every print in my quilt that I would have picked this one anyways.  It's perfect.  Grounding, happy, love the personality of the dots ... it's strong enough to hold up as a frame, but not too busy as to take the focus away from the intricate piecing in the blocks.

No, it's not pink. 

And no, I don't care. ;)

For width, the outer border finishes the same width as a block (4 1/2").  It always seems logical to me to repeat a dominant measurement from the body of a quilt for the border. 

I'm also going to bind it with the same border fabric.  I was originally planning either red or scrappy, but now I think both those options would be too much.  I'm just gonna keep it simple.

Now.  I'm still not sure about these blocks being stuck in the bottom corners.

I don't know why, but I assumed the signature should go in the bottom right corner .... you know ... like where you sign a letter.  That is until someone suggested placing it in the middle.  Oh that would be so nice!

And I'm not happy with the other horizontal striped blocks so symmetrically placed.  Looks ... predicable?  And maybe boring.  Not sure what I mean.  So I'm thinking about moving at least one of them. 

But I haven't yet.  Cause doing stuff like that makes me cranky. 


I should probably just do it.  I think I'll be unhappy if I don't.

Oh WHO AM I KIDDING?!! They are staying put.  The end. ;)

And a quick mention about this "Flock of Birds" block ... I set it so the birds are flying east ...

... 'cause remember my crazy birding sister?  She lives east of us.  So the birds are flying in her direction.

But now to the quilting decision.  I have a habit of cheaping out on things sometimes - either with the border, or the backing ... or in this case, the top-stitching.  And then I live to regret it.

I can do it myself with a cross-hatch - classic, acceptible ... but not necessarily the best option for taking this quilt to the next level of amazing, right?

I could free-motion quilt it, but my FMQ repertoire is limited at best and totally inappropriate for this quilt at worst.

So lucky for my I've let my BFF talk me into having it longarmed ... so now I'm saving my pennies.




I KNOW!!!!! 

I feel like a magician!

"Bonnie, you are my Fairy Godmother."  And to all you other oh so very lovely people who shared remedy ideas, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart."  You guys totally rock! :)

Bonnie was the first person to leave me a comment on my scorched block crisis post last week who not only suggested there was hope for removing scorch marks (I thought they were forEVER!) but recommended I Google peroxide as a remedy.  I found this link.  As per the instructions I used hydrogen peroxide and a clean cloth.  (I used an old flannel burp cloth from when my kids were babies.  They make THE best pressing cloths!)

And an hour later my block was cured!

Well, maybe not 100% ... but I'd say a good 90 to 95%. 

I think if you look closely you might detect the slightest hint of yellow.  (I did replace the sashing strips.)  But that doesn't bother me because I have a few other "whites" in the quilt that aren't "white white" either.

And in the interest of full discosure, the peroxide made the red bleed a little.  But I was warned about that.  And quite frankly I don't care ... I'm just so happy I don't need to remake the block!!!

And now I'm MOST happy knowing that A) I HAVE THE BEST INTERNET FRIENDS EVERRRRRR and B) I learned through this ordeal that scorch marks CAN be removed - or at least faded - from fabric.  There are other remedies involving things like OxyClean, vinegar, salt, lemon, sunlight, onions (?!) ... just Google "scorched fabric remedies" and you'll come up with something!

This is me raising my glass of champagne ... or rather cup of tea, as the case may be ... (I don't drink & blog) ... to happy endings.



PS:  Just how DID we survive as a species without Google?



Just channeling my inner Madonna with that title ... ;)

Thanks for all your sympathy yesterday.  It felt just as good as the cheesecake tasted. ;)  But as you'll see today, I chickened out and ran to the safety of white sashing ... not exactly the look I wanted, but at least I know it will look ... nice.

                           *                *               *               *

With lost motivation/inspiration, block reductions & that disappointing sashing failure my FQ quilt is really giving me a run for my money!

And my side-setting triangles for the border have proven just as difficult.  I'd always had it in my mind's eye - based on pink sashing, mind you - that the triangles would be white with flowers to make the blocks look like they were surrounded by a garden ... sorta.

Well, I think this print would have worked very well with pink sashing, but with white ... not so much.  I think it looks too ... I dunno ... bedroomy? ... I find it VERY Laura Ashley circa late 80s/early90s ... which I would normally be all over like white on rice, but it just isn't holding up here for some reason.

So I tried a few other fabrics and it was unanimous (with me and my daughters) this blue/white print was perfect. 

Not too heavy, but with enough definition to frame the blocks nicely.

But, of course, THE ONE BLOCK of NINETY EIGHT that has the EXACT fabric as the triangles is RIGHT IN THE CORNER!!! AAAGH! You can just imagine me and my OCD "Fabrics Can't Touch" thing EXPLODING ALL OVER this!

I'm starting to wonder if I should have my seam ripper surgically implanted because I've been using it WAY TOO MUCH LATELY!

(Sorry, I'll stop yelling now.)


Sashing Situation

Ok, ok, ok.  You were right.  I was wrong. 

Remember a few months ago when I showed you the fabrics I was contemplating for my FW sashing & posts?  All ya'll said the pink didn't look right.

In my defense, the color on my computer screen doesn't quite match the fabric in real life.

So stubborn me went ahead and cut like 100 sashing strips and sewed about 70 of them on ...

... because you guys I really, REALLY wanted my quilt to look like THIS!

This is the cover of one of my favorite Japanese craft books and was largely the inspiration for me choosing Flower Sugar fabric for my FW quilt in the first place.

Isn't it just the happiest quilt you've ever seen?  I mean come ON!

But then I laid my partly sashed blocks out on the floor.

And then I started to pout as my pink sashing dream faded before my very eyes.

So I sulked for a bit.

And then I did this ...

Which is why god created Tivo.

And Madmen.

And New York style cheesecake.


Farmer's Wife Favorites, Fussy Cuts & Failures

That's right.  I've got some of each.  Wanna see?


All time favorite:

Other all time favorite:

Honorable Mentions:

(reminds me of my wedding)

(has the most pieces ... at 64 ... )

(because I went all surreal and it.felt.GOOD!)

Fussy Cuts:

Best Fussy Cut:

I was gonna pick this one because it's SUPPOSED to be a tea cup sitting on a doily,

but my nine year old offered her opinion that this block "looks like a fancy apron worn by someone very rich who was cleaning her really big house".

(cricket chirps ...)

I know.  I don't get it either ... but I thought it was funny. 


This is my solution to being short one block ... remove another 12!  LOL!!! 

Ah geez, I crack myself up sometimes.

But seriously, I got to thinkin' ... just because I MADE these blocks doesn't mean I have to put then IN my quilt, right?  And I simply don't love - or even really like - these blocks.  Life is too short to live with a quilt with blocks that don't make your heart smile.  (It's interesting to me how all but one of them are "heavy".)

So they're going on the back ... 'cause I don't want to WASTE them.

All right.  That was quite enough farting around with mosaic making ... now it's on to sashing and posting and rowing and side-setting triangle ... ing ...


FWQAL Last 2 Blocks

Ok.  I admit it.  This Farmer's Wife is defeated.  By one block. 


I know. 

But I am nothing if not an excellent problem solver when it comes to quilting.  So I have a solution for my insufficient # of blocks.  If it works, I'll show you.  If not, I'll tell you about it and then show you Plan B ... or C ... however many it takes to get this quilt done!

So here are my last.two.blocks.  And like the last few weeks you won't find them in the book either.

I'd been thinking for a while it might be kinda cool to include a bit of "Flower Sugar" selvedge, since all the fabrics I used are from that line (except the white).

I made the stripes deliberately askew.  Just for fun.  I also threw in a few of the color legends ... which I love.

And now for the Grand Finale Block!

I've known right from the start I was going to embroider my name etc. on an album-type block.

But I couldn't find one I liked.  So I made this one up for myself.  (I did find it a little odd there wasn't a single album block in the entire book ... I can't be the ONLY person who wants to put my name on the front of the quilt rather than hiding it on the back!)

To keep the details fine I used only 1 ply of floss with a backstitch (even though the backstitch and I aren't exactly best friends 'cause my stitches aren't terribly uniform in length and that bugs me ... it just doesn't bug me enough to stitch slower for better accuracy ... ). 

A little part of me thinks it would have been more "authentic" to use my own handwriting.  But my penmanship was ruined by 5 years of University.  (Yes, I'm so old I remember the dark ages of laboriously taking notes in class BY HAND!)  But it's awful.  I did try doing my very best writing/printing, but it just looked ... I dunno ... goofy.  So I resorted to my favorite trick of typing out text on my computer, finding a nice font, resizing it and printing it out as my embroidery template. 

And I don't mind fooling anyone from the future who sees this quilt into thinking I had amazingly feminine & delicate penmanship.  Maybe they will also (erroneously) imagine I had a personality to match.

So this is them.  All 110 of them.  All nearly 6" of them! 

Can hardly wait to put 'em all together.

I guess the pressure is really on to finish now ... since I ambitiously EMBROIDERED the year!  LOL!


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 52

No, these are not actual FW blocks from the book.

I decided to showcase some of the larger prints in the Flower Sugar fabric collection I'm using.  So I thought it would be good idea to fussy cut a few larger motifs and simply frame them.

I know ... they're not all that creative.  But I think they'll look ok in the finished quilt.  At least I'm hoping! 


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 50

No color theme ... I think the rest of my blocks will be done all higgledy piggledy.

Block #96 - Tulip

There's a very good reason I haven't made this block sooner ... I just.don't.get.it.  I admit it.  Where, exactly, is the tulip?  I mean, yes the 2 parallelograms in the middle can be interpreted as the blossom, but I don't get the rest of it. 

And the asymmetrical fabric choices in the book?

I don't get it.

I always thought I'd find a way to assign order and balance ... but I'm as surprised as you are that I ended up going all PICASSO with my version too! 

This is not like me at all.  (Although I couldn't stop myself from at least putting green along the bottom for leaves.)

And I'm even more astonished that I like my tulip! 

Block # 84 - Spool


For such a simple block, it caused me a lot of anxiety. 

Until I noticed this print in my stash (that I've only used for the gingham and a few wreaths) ...

and got the idea to make my spool look like it had eyelet lace wrapped around it.

I'm really happy with how it turned out.


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 49

I was gonna try to make up for missing last week and post 4 blocks today ... that didn't happen.  I was lucky to get these done and photographed before the sun went down!  LOL!

And as you can see I wasn't in the mood to bother with a color theme.  I just picked whatever.

#52 Hovering Hawks

I had a bad feeling while I was cutting that these colors were too weak to go nicely together.  I was right.  At a distance, this block has virtually no definition - 'cept for the red splotches from the flowers.


But at this point in the FWQAL, I really don't give a (insert curse word of your choice here ... anything from mild to severe will work ... tee hee).

#94 Tall Pine Tree

You know me and my literality (is that even a word?)  This is supposed to be a tree.  I guess ... if you were on LSD or something ... (I got that reference from an episode of Mad Men a few weeks ago ... I've never actually tried it ... just sayin'.)

Can you tell I've hit that legendary mile 18 of a marathon and am having a hard time being excited about FW right now?  I think I have only 11 more blocks to make ... feels like a million to me ... (wheeze, cough, sputter)

Also, I hate math.  If this is Week 49 and I've made 2 blocks / week I should have 98 made with 13 to go.  But I counted my blocks twice and I have 100. 


Whatever.  I don't care.



Farmer's Wife Quilt Along - Oops

I'm so sorry you guys.  I haven't got any new FW blocks today.  I'm very sad.  This is the FIRST Monday I've missed since I started last July.  I'll try to get them done in a few days. 

Instead, I thought I'd show you what my FW project looks like behind the scenes.

Remember I showed you how I organize my FW fabrics,

this picture from my Sewing Room Makeover,

and my confession that my room farted after the pictures were taken?

Well, here is partial evidence of said wind-breaking.

And I had to remove an equal amount of mess that was sitting on top of my FW fabrics just to take this picture.



Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 48

Red, White & Pink

#13 Buckwheat

This block is gluten-free.


Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley & rye and a host of lesser known grains.  It is a virtual poison to those suffering from Celiac Disease and other "wheat" intolerances.  If you or someone you know is Celiac - like my daughter - you will know that despite the name, "buckwheat" is a grain which happily is absent of gluten. 

And buckwheat is not only gluten-free, it's delicious ... especially in the pancakes Daddy often makes for us on Saturday mornings.

So I love this block. 

Because it's gluten-free.

#74 Ribbons

I wanted to make this block look like a twisted ribbon with two prints in the same color but different textures for both sides of the ribbon.

I love it. 

Although I can't TELL you how many times I've tried to pick off this little strand of "thread" ...

which is actually part of the print!  It's driving me crazy.  I think I might find a red permanent marker to color it out.

In fact ...

Crap.  Can't find one. 

But I will! 

'Cause I'm a little neurotic quirky that way.


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 47

Red, Pink, Yellow & White

While reviewing my nerd sheet for this week's colors I was surprised this combination had escaped me!  Wohooo!!! Something new. :)

#44 - Gentleman's Fancy

I waffled sooo many times on the colors for this block.  I thought I'd do it in "boy" colors ... blue & gray. 

But as much as I like to invent SOME sort of meaning or purpose or story to my blocks, this one came out this way because a) it could handle 4 colors and b) I was in the mood for something easy after ...

#95 - Temperance Tree

... THIS 41-piece monster! 

Now, IF I were to make this block again ... and chances of that ever happening are slim-to-none ... and Slim just rode out of town on his horse ... I'd change the yellow triangles to white.  I like the tree-type blocks to look really graphic.  I threw the yellow in there out of necessity.

I'm ok with the results, just not over the moon happy with it.


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 46

Pink, Green, Gray & White

This color combination came about as a .. well ... like this:

#36 - Flower Garden Path

When I read the name of this block my poor brain went literal.  The main detail in the block is the big X - presumably the path made of grass.  Then I saw beautiful stone benches one sees in romantic, French, palatial gardens.  You know, like Versaille.  So my garden has 4 benches. 

And then what color flowers?  "Pink", said Queen of the Obvious.

I love the light and airy feel of this garden ... no dirt, bugs or worms anywhere. :)

#98 - Waterwheel

I'm starting to feel a little restricted by my "two blocks with the same colors" approach.  With only about 20 blocks left my color format is becoming ... tedious.  I may have to let that go soon.

However, I managed to make a mate for the above with this block.

At first I was a little disappointed.  Didn't like the fussy cut flowers in the middle.  And didn't think the contrast between the gray & green was strong enough.

But then my feelings moved from disappointment to indifference to possibly a hint of like.  Whatever the reason, this block is growing on me. 


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 45

Gray & White

According to my nerdy chart, I'm still really behind with gray.  So in the event I never catch up, I decided to do the backgrounds of both blocks gray instead of white.

#76 - Sawtooth

I always thought I was going to use a larger print on that nice big triangle ... but I just couldn't resist those little posies.  Man are they ever cute!

#75 - Rosbud

Speaking of "Rosebud", have you seen the critically acclaimed movie "Citizen Kane"?  My husband & I finally watched it a few years ago.  We didn't get it ... you know, the whole "this is like one of the most totally awesomest movies ever made in the history of forever".

We much prefer watching things like "America's Funniest Home Videos".  I laugh hysterically during the clips where people get scared/surprised.  

Sorry.  I've tried to cure myself of finding that sort of thing funny, especially since I don't like it when people scare me.  I'm profoundly aware of my hypocracy. 

But I just can't help it.

What make you laugh?


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 44

Color Riot!

#32 - Farmer's Daughter

A few months ago I was smurfing the Interweb and came across this cutie little idea.  I only remember noting how much fun it would be to do and then forgot about it ...

... until I was looking thru my FW book and came across this block. 

I've been skipping over it A LOT - I just couldn't settle on color placement & value.  But then a lightbulb turned on in my head when I remembered the fabulous idea and this block was born!

I think it's super cute.

#70 - Prairie Queen

Flipping thru my book again looking for another design that would work all scrappy and found this one.

I completely ignored the original color/value placement and only paid attention to the cut pieces.  It looks TOTALLY different from the original, but I like it, despite the rather obnoxious volume.  I started by cutting one of each of the same squares for the other block and then added a few more favorites.

If you look carefully, you'll notice I made the 4-patches in color pairs and positioned them opposite each other.  I like how it brings just a little bit of order to the crazy bold scrappiness.

I have a feeling I'll be looking at these happy colors a lot today instead of out my window as 20 cm (8") of snow are expected to fall today ... life in Canada.


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 43

Yellow, Green & White

Top o' tha marnin' to ya!  That's my best - and yet still insultingly bad - Irish brogue.  St. Patrick's Day is tomorrow so you know me, always on the look out for a color theme.

I was just gonna go green & white, but I'm still a little behind on yellow, so I reasoned it could represent the pot o' gold.

#99 - W.C.T.U.

I thought this block could pass for a stylized lucky four leaf clover

I know ... it's a stretch.

#107 - Windblown

I dunno.  It works.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  (Please don't drink & drive.)

Interesting.  I guess when I don't have anything funny to say, I turn into Lecture Mom.  Sorry. ;)


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 42

Blue & White

I was just looking over my FW mosaics and I seem to be drawn to the blues.  I don't know what is UP with that!

#51 - Hovering Birds

I am really really liking these blocks that have little bits of white in the middle.  I like how they balance out my natural tendency to use white as the background ...

#53 - Jackknife

... like this one!  LOL!  Oh I am such a creature of habit.

But I love this blue print.  It just reads as lace to me.  And I love how the little blossoms remind me of embroidered lazy daisy flowers.


FWQAL Latest Mosaic

A lovely reader asked a few weeks ago if I would show a "group shot" of my Farmer's Wife blocks.  I realized it's been a few months since my last block mosaics so here's the latest collection ... with a few of my past favorites thrown in for good measure. :)

I've been thinking a lot about how to finish my quilt.  The one in the book is set "on point" (like diamonds).  I really like that layout. 

I once made a quilt that SHOULD have been on point, but I was too lazy to make all the side-setting triangles so I set the blocks square and regretted it ever since.  Didn't help that my Bestie Kate made the same quilt but DID do hers on point.  Now every time I'm at her house and I see her gorgeous quilt, I find myself scheming about how to switch our quilts without her noticing. 

So my jealously experience is COMPELLING me to go on point.

But what about sashing & posts?  I've got these fabrics in mind. 

The red is another Lecien print, but it's not Flower Sugar like all the fabrics in my blocks - it's from their Old/New 30's collection I picked up last summer.  And I'm really going out on a limb with the pink ... it's an older 3 Sisters from Moda.

I KNOW!  I'm daring to mix lines ... something I HARDLY EVER DO ... 'cause I'm a great big chicken.

(Maybe ... it ain't over 'til it's over.)

But do I go white sashing with pink posts or red?  Or pink sashing with white or posts or red?  I just know for sure the sashing will NOT be red ... that much red would be way too "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" for me.  I seem to be favoring pink sashing with red posts, but I need to test drive that first.

And then what fabric do I use for the side-setting triangles? 

And then what about the borders?  I usually wait until the top is all pieced before committing to a border.

For me, this the exciting/nerve-wracking part of quilt-making.  These decisions will make the difference between and quilt I love and a quilt I hate.  I've screwed up this part sooooo many times.  I'm not joking about the nerve-wracking part.

Any opinions?  Maybe even something I didn't mention?

No pressure.


Farmer's wife Quilt Along Week 41

Before I get to today's fun, I need to say a HUGE thank you to all of you who commented on my colonoscopy post last week.  I was a little apprehensive about your response.  I'm so happy & proud to say all feedback was 100% positive.

I mean, this blog's primary content is about making pretty things and fabrics and sewing.  I'm sure you weren't EXPECTING to read something like that.  And I never DREAMED I'd be sharing it either!  But writing about my experience really helped me look for the funny instead of stressing (especially when staring at "the closet!!!").

And if I've helped someone - just one person - find the courage to get one done too, that really is the best thank you of all.   

Ok.  Back to the pretty.

                    *                    *                    *                    *

Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue & White

The colors in this week's blocks make me soooo happy! 

#33 Farmer's Puzzle

I had the same problem here as I did with this block looking like a notorious WWII symbol ... only worse!

So I did played around and came up with this pretty alternative.

I really like how it turned out, even though it's practically unrecognizable from the original.  Sorta pinwheel-esque / Union Jack-ish / asterisk-ey.  Reminds me of THIS cutie little project ... which has been on my "to do list" ever since I first saw it.  Thanks, Pam. ;)

#63 Ozark Maple Leaves

The original block has 2 leaves.  I fooled around with this one too but instead of the 4 leaves I was going for ...

... I ended up with 4 arrows, according to my 8 year old.  I have to agree with her.  Oh well, still pretty.

And did you notice I used the SAME prints in the SAME colors for BOTH blocks?  Must be spring fever ... even though it's going to snow all day today ...


Farmer's Wife Quilt Along Week 40

Yellow, Gray & White

Ok.  How nerdy am I?  Omg, seriously nerdy.  I can't help it.  It's embarrassing.  Lemme 'splain.

I want my FW quilt to look balanced ... you know, not too much or too little of any color.  This is how I'm keeping track ...

I would TOTALLY not blame you right now for putting your finger & thumb in the shape of a "L" on your forehead ... I totally deserve it.

This week I looked for the 2 most lacking colors and they happen to be yellow & gray.

I know. 


And totally O.C.D. nerdy.

#109 - Windows

I thought of going red with the 2 inner triangles, but I've done that lots already ...

And since last week's fussy cutting turned out so well, I kept on going!

#28 - Duck & Ducklings

And the nerdiness continues ...

How on earth could I NOT make ducklings yellow?  I mean seriously people!  My ducklings HAD to be yellow.  I couldn't live with a quilt that had pink or blue ducklings. I just couldn't.

(Note to self - DUCKLING is my new favorite word.)

And in case you're wondering how I justified the gray, the ducklings are walking across a paved road.

Don't worry.  They get to the other side safely.  I made sure it was a quiet country road.