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My step-dad, not-so-subtly, hinted that he got cold while sitting in the chair during dialysis, and that it would be nice to have a blanket.
I mulled over several possibilities for patterns, but none of them really moved me to make them. I was flipping through an older quilting magazine I had checked out from the library and found a paper-pieced pattern for a ship. The ship looked more like a vintage steamer, but close enough to a tug or side profile of a short-bodied freighter. I enlarged it from about 4 inches square and then had to figure out a setting for it.
I decided on the Storm at Sea setting. This meant I had to turn the pattern to rest ‘on-point’ to fit the pattern. So a bit more re-designing was necessary to keep the integrity of the final design motion.
Since I couldn’t leave well enough alone, I thought a couple of Coast Guard cutters (or my version of them) would be appropriate additions. Especially considering his service before his career as a longshoreman. They are as close as I could come to rendering them accurately in fabric. Just for fun I added some of the fabric with the octopi in it. I also named the two cutters the USCG Coleman & the USCG Emily M. I figured he could use the laugh at the octopi trying to get the ships and the mental hug from us when he sat under it.
This is a pretty bad photo of the top before it was quilted and bound. The finished piece is layered with Warm & White and backed with light blue flannel. It is considered a lap quilt, but for it’s size it’s pretty heavy. (This is what happens when you are trying to take photos at night when you are Night Owl quilting! Perhaps I’ll get a better shot of it one of these days when the sun is up and Dad is holding it.}
I do hope he liked it. His only comment I heard was, “I’d hate to get blood on it.” To which I replied “It is washable and I made it for you to use.” I haven’t heard any more about it. I did notice that it wasn’t laying on the rocking chair where it landed after we opened gifts on Christmas morning.
I hope he is using it and that it brings him warmth & comfort as we meant it to.
The buck barn has been finished for a few months. OK, almost 6 months. I obviously neglected to post the final installment in the saga.
The metal was all repurposed from either the shop or the barn builds. We had mostly grey siding to work with. We certainly tried to use that first, and on the sides that would be the most easily viewed from the house. Three of the four sides are indeed grey, and keep some continuity with the rest of the outbuildings. The half wall is made up of the tan colored pieces that the metal company used to protect the grey when strapping it down for shipping. It works great, and I seriously doubt that the neighbors are going to care that they get to look at the tan side, if they can even see it through the trees.
The inside was a bit of a design challenge when it came to the hay feeder. The feeders in the Retirement Home and the Milker Barn are the slatted jobs to reduce hay wastage. The buck necks are much thicker. The danger of having their heads stuck between the slats and their pen-mates deciding to take a cheap shot is pretty high. We modified the feeder to have horizontal slats to prevent the boys from just coming over the hay box. We installed a salt & mineral feeder on the inside edge of the hay box. The boys don’t seem to mess with it like they did the one mounted to the wall.
The front of the building can hold a dozen bales of hay. We did add the section of cattle panel to keep the goats from leaning over the half wall and helping themselves to the hay quite so easily. A grain bin and the dog food bin fill out the space. This set up makes it very easy for anyone to feed the boys no matter what time of the year that it is. Once the bucks are busy with the grain in the hay feeder you can slip in and feed the dog without getting funky. Eventually we will have a separate entrance to the chicken coop so we don’t have to access the coop only through the buck pen.
We will finish insulating the walls this spring/summer. I will say that the next one we build will have the roof insulation installed before the metal goes on. The condensation on the ceiling makes it rain inside when the wind blows. It ought to help with the heat in the summer too.
The guys installed an outlet for the electric fence charger and a light socket. The light has been very nice on the dark days of winter. We left the floor as dirt for better drainage. The one drawback with the dirt floor is the Anatolian Shepherd Livestock Guardian Dog. He likes to dig a nest. We’ve come in to feed him, and nearly fallen into the sleeping pit that he dug next to the gate!
The boys seem pretty happy with their new digs. Edvard, the Saanen buckling, will be reintroduced to the pen in a few weeks. He was a scraper, but with Wynton, Cute, and Otis in there, he was getting the short end of the hay feeder. Seeing as he was still a kid, we pulled him out and let him test the middle pen. It is where we transition the keeper kids from the indoor pen to being outside. Once they are tall enough to get their heads in and out of the big hay feeder on their own, we put them out with the big girls.
The timing of the construction of Buckingham was spot on. During one of our windstorms this fall, the old buck shack fell over! All but one of the posts had been destroyed by termites. I was so glad to not have to be out there trying to make some emergency repairs in nasty weather. (Been there. Done that!)