Friday, July 31, 2020

This and that.............

When I saw green/blue polka dot towels in the May/June 2019 Handwoven magazine I knew I eventually had to use that draft to weave my own version of the towels.  I call mine tutti fruiti, they could also be called clown towels. These are a turned taquete weave structure.  The design by Susan Poague.

Here I used a navy weft

Dark wine is the weft here

This one, currently in progress, I'm using a green weft.  I haven't decided what other weft colors I'll use on this warp, will figure that out after I weave 2 green ones.

A weaving friend helped me make driftwood looms to teach the kids across the street how to weave. I had encourage them to use found items of all kinds along with wool yarn but they both chose to only weave with wool in solid stripes. Theirs are still sitting on my front porch along with the yarn waiting for them to finish them - short attention spans.  Tapestry style weaving is not my thing but it got me enthused to give it a try. The driftwood is held on a frame of scrap wood while I'm weaving.  Once I'm done I'll take the screws off and it will just have the driftwood at the top and bottom of the weaving. I'm using yarn, some commercial, some handspun, fabric strips, shells and since this picture I've started adding sealife buttons. Don't know if my driftwood is too big, guess I'll find out once it's done. There are no rules.  I'll hang it out in the yard when I'm done.

On the house front more work has been finished up.  We took out the arches between the living and dining rooms. That's hubby covering up furniture before taking a saw to the arches. We actually took them out and built new stud walls, they had been that way for several months but we didn't want the drywall guy in the house due to covid.  Notice how I keep saying 'we' - well, it's the collective 'we' as I only watched.

We threw caution to the wind and had the drywall guy come. We could have done the drywall ourselves but could have never matched the texture on the walls so we let him do it all. I must have wiped down the knobs and anything else he may have touched 10 times while he was here - hopefully he left no virus germs in our house. Like this look so much better.  Next up, at some point, we will be painting - white ceilings, light gray walls, white trim, all new baseboards throughout the house. Once all that is done we'll tackle the new flooring. Long term projects. Notice the new black tv stand in the after pic?  Our oak entertainment center was overwhelming for that wall so it now sits in the garage waiting for us to sell it, we got a new wood console, painted black, distressed. Much happier with it, the other one fit much better in our old house.

In spite of our governor being very conservative in loosening up covid restrictions too many in my area still refuse to wear masks even though they are mandatory they seem to think it violates their civil rights. So we have increases in cases, not as bad as other areas of the country but still scary.  I took my mother to two medical appointments this week and have been having anxiety attacks since wondering if I could have possibly been exposed while sitting in little exam rooms with questionable ventilation. I hate feeling this vulnerable and paranoid but that's life these days.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Be kind

"We don't have to agree on anything to be kind to one another"

This is the quote today on Bonnie Hunter's blog - Quiltville. I follow her quilting blog, she's a quilter, author and designer. There is a new quote each and every day - some of her own, some from others. It's always a wonderful way to start the day seeing the quote at the end of her daily post.  If interested in quilting check out her blog and website.  So today take this quote with you - be kind to everyone, we could sure use that in our country rather than being divided and being exposed to so much hate.

On another note our new deck is almost finished, just one more 3 ft section to go in near the steps, waiting on extra brackets for the railing. We knew when we moved in this house 2 years ago we had to replace all the deck railing as it was rotted and we knew we wanted to make it a bit bigger as it could only hold 2 chairs and the grill. What we found was that the entire deck structure was not built with pressure treated wood so it all had to go.

 Here's a look out the sliding glass door at the new deck. We chose a composite decking from Fiberon, no staining or oiling in the future. Sam worked really hard building it and is thankful for 2 friends that helped at certain points where he needed a second set of hands.

Here's a view from the yard.  Still not a big deck but it's the perfect size for us. We also went with a no care/upkeep railing which is from Timbertech. Since I took this picture the stair riser has been painted to match. Next up is to work on the walkway that goes across the back of the house leading to the deck. I need to get back to looking for ideas. We get the hot sun on it until early afternoon but then the entire rest of the day it's in the shade and we get a lovely breeze coming down off Dollar Mountain that starts a block or so away. We're giving thought to a retractable sun shade but not this year. 

We have another small deck to replace off the master bedroom but that will wait until next year. We will never use that tiny deck as it's so close to the neighbor's house and it gets the hot sun all day long being on the side of the house. But it is also rotted so needs to eventually be replaced.  But the rest of this year we have the walkway to work on, interior house painting (argh) and replacing the flooring inside. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful day and remember to be kind to one another.  And do something creative today! I will be. 

Sunday, July 19, 2020


Peg asked that I post a picture of the artichoke once it went to flower so here it is...... 

…'s starting to open up here, I took this picture a couple weeks ago......

…….and here it was as of yesterday......

…..I love the look, can't wait for the other one to open up...….

…...not sure what happens from here, maybe this is it, will find out soon...… year I'll eat what grows but this year I just want to enjoy the show...….

Friday, July 17, 2020

I am remiss......

…….or just don't have anything new to say, or just lazy......nah, not lazy - I have slowed down now that I have no commitments but I'm busy all day, so not lazy.  I just don't feel like posting but my friend Diane in Idaho called yesterday and she wants me to keep posting so she can see what I'm up to.  So, a bit of what's been going on......

On the rainbow towel warp I wove one with black cotton as the weft and have kept it for myself. I would have woven more with black weft but I just didn't have enough left on the cone.  I finally listed some of the others off that warp in my etsy shop today and one has already sold.

I've been working on some sewing projects but I can't show them as they're gifts but here's a sneak peek at one of them.  Having some fun with wonky stars again.  I am not a good machine quilter, you'd think I could keep in the ditch doing stitch in the ditch but I can't...…….but I can put on a mean perfect binding!

Two quilts are off being long arm quilted.  My barn quilt that will hang on the wall opposite the dining room and another quilt that is a house warming. I'm hoping to have them back within a week so I can get the bindings on them and ship the one off just in time for family moving into their new house. Will show pix of both when I get them back and bound.

In the evenings I'm working on my gift ornaments for the year, sorry no pix of those until the end of the year as to not spoil the surprise for those getting them.

I embroidered these golf towels for a neighbor/Sam's golf buddy, who loves vintage cars/trucks - he was so kind to help out on our deck project when Sam needed an extra set of hands. The embroidery pattern was a bit thick for towels but they turned out ok. Would have loved to have used the vintage truck patterns but my best sources for patterns is not making smaller ones that my machine can stitch - I have a 4"x4" limit. I wrote to both the companies and was told by each that I could buy myself some software and re-digitize them myself or split the designs into 2 using software I would have to buy and stitch half, then rehoop exactly to the tiny stitch where it should be and finish the embroidery - hah!

On the home front we've been putting in a new deck. Pictures and story of that to come when it's done...….which should be any day now as Sam is now putting up the railings.

Me???  Dig a hole to China in the backyard??? Did that dirt on my hose give me away???   If she's not digging holes to China she's pulling apples off the tree, pulling blackberry vines thru the fence to eat, thorns and all, or pulling the occasional branch off a rose bush. Thank goodness we have a fence on the side yard to keep her out of the garden, grape vines and plum trees. How can a dog that's perfect in the house be such a one dog destruction crew in the yard???   Someone should tell her it's not very flattering to be so close to the camera - it makes her nose look big...……..

Thursday, June 25, 2020


I finally got around to taking photos of the latest towels off the loom. These are woven in a 2 block twill. I loved the top one so much I kept one for myself, thought it would look good in the beach cottage kitchen.  And I gave one of the middle ones away the other day. These are now listed in my etsy shop for sale.

I'm plodding along on the rainbow towels getting weaving in here and there between other activities. A few of those will become a wedding gift.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

First artichokes

So excited - first artichokes ever. Planted an artichoke plant along with the new landscaping out front just 3 months ago (I think although time means nothing these days) and I'm rewarded with 2 artichokes already. I'm going to let them flower.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A rainbow......

I haven't been posting much these days, just not much to say...…….well, actually I could say a lot about the state of affairs in this country which mostly saddens me but I won't go there.

I am still being creative, not trying to win any races at finishing projects, just trying to enjoy the process.  I'm still working on that hexxie project, many hexxies are sewn together now, many more around the perimeter to be sewn on. Who would have thought I'd love all that hand sewing so much. I've been doing a lot of sewing/quilt piecing on runners and placemats. I finished another quilt top for a throw that now needs to be long arm quilted, can't post a picture of that yet as it's a gift.

Here's the latest towel warp - needed something bright and cheery on the loom.  This is a view from the back of the loom as I'm threading the heddles. 

Here's the first towel using the blue as weft, it sure tones it down. May use purple and red for other weft choices, maybe black which I can't decide if it would be striking or just too dark - will sample to see.

Roses in the garden after a big thunderstorm. This is a new rose bush I just planted in February in an empty spot along the fence where a neighborhood cat was using it as a litterbox......worked good putting a thorny bush there to keep it away. Of course it's still using the entire mulched front yard as a litter box....……..

Here's one of the red roses.  The storm dumped such rain that most of the roses were hanging to the ground pummeled. A few days ago I deadheaded them so not much of a show right now but there are new buds popping up so it will be lovely again soon.

And yellow - my favorite color of rose. 

Saturday, May 30, 2020

More citrus

A bit more weaving......

.....on the orange towel warp - here it is using a light turquoise for the weft - very tropical.......

....and here using rust for the weft - very late 60's - early 70's...…
.....I didn't expect to like this one that much but I do.......


Finally I've got a warp on the loom.  I had giant cones of 8/2 cotton in pale yellow, light orange and orange so I put on an 8 harness 2 block twill for towels. For the first towel I'm using a pinky red for the weft and love the look. I've also got rust and a turquoise picked out for other wefts.  These colors make me smile, so cheery and bright...…...makes me want to go eat one of those naval oranges sitting in a bowl on the counter.

Stay safe out there, wear your masks, protect those in your communities.

Friday, May 22, 2020

More time at the machine

 I made another quilted table runner and 4 placemats from two of the kits from Jordan's that I bought sometime early last year.  These are holiday themed.  I love them.  I'm wishing when I bought these kits and other ones in my last post that I bought matching fabric to make napkins. I don't know if they'd have any left in the shop but when they open back up I'll check, if not I can make solid color napkins.

Also on the shelf was a small wall quilt kit I bought at a quilt show last year. It was a very fast sew and fun, immediate gratification. I'm not sure where it will hang, beach cottage is small, can't think of a wall right now but I'm sure I'll find one.  The photo on the front of  the package showed the outer border in a blue fabric that looked like water ripples. I was dismayed to find this turtle fabric as it doesn't really go with the whales but in the end it's ok, not a choice I would have made but it's fine. The hanging is only around 16" by 22".

Now on to a new project.  Think I'll take a break from the sewing machine and move on to winding a towel warp.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

This and that.......

Been doing a bit of this and that lately. Haven't been setting any records, don't really care. Having a hard time getting motivated to start certain projects but I'm not idle...….

I bought a few runner kits from Jordan's Quilts - these kits are so fun, so easy, all fabric cut precisely. They also have directions online to take a kit and make placemats so I also made 4 placemats. This set looks like winter to me so it will be put away to be brought out next winter.

This is the shawl out of handspun that was recently finished - I finally blocked it.  It's the Pretty Basic shawl pattern although I kept going on the lace section on the bottom making it much longer than the original pattern. This pattern is no longer available on Ravelry from the designer.

Yesterday I sewed this sleeveless top from some rayon I had in my stash. A very comfy and crazy summer top. Our 90 degree weather has now gone back to the 60's but it will be hot again very soon.

In the grocery pick up last week I was given way too much of certain produce, bananas being one of them.  This is not a great picture but these are incredible banana crumb muffins. I mean really good, really really good...…...but don't expect healthy, they have their share of butter and sugar. The recipe says it makes 10. Muffin pans are for 12 so not sure why it makes only 10 but they ended up huge. If anyone else makes this recipe divide up to make 12 muffins. This is what I call a saver recipe - one I will be adding to my recipe collection. It's one of the best banana muffin recipes I've tried.  You can find the recipe HERE.

And now a few pix of what's going on in the is my little garden, it's already growing

One of the apple trees is loaded with 'baby' apples - we should have a bumper crop as long as we can keep Misty from eating them - she's already eaten 2 baby apples off the other tree pulling branches off along with them.........I was not happy.........

These are the red grapes, there are also green grapes

I didn't realize this was a lilac, it's not shaped like the ones I grew up with

And the rest of the pix are of the roses.  I have 15 rose bushes - here are 12 of them, two aren't blooming yet, the other one the picture was fuzzy.  These bushes are taller than me and are covered with hundreds of blooms. I'm thinking I should have cut them back further back in February, still learning about roses. 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

A quick project

 I started and finished a quick project yesterday afternoon.  It's a table runner kit I bought from Jordan's Fabrics. I knew there were precision cut pieces but I still thought they were long strips that I would cut for the 4 log cabin blocks as I went. Nope, they were all cut to size - all perfect. Matt at Jordan's does such an incredible job putting these kits together.

And here it is finished, even stitch in the ditch quilted. The kit comes with everything to make 4 blocks, the borders and the backing - all I needed to provide was the batting and thread.  What a deal these kits are - yes, I paid for someone else to cut the fabric but I didn't have to buy lots of extra fabric for all these small pieces...…..fabric that would have ended up in the cabinet for a someday project, taking up valuable space in the meantime.

This runner is for a gift but I have more kits to make runners for us and also have the instructions for taking the runner kit and making 4 placemats.  So, in the near future I'll be making a runner and placemats in grays/light tans and also a runner and placemats in holiday fabric. My only problem at the moment is that I have no more batting so it's either order some online or brave JoAnn's donning mask and gloves.

If you sew/quilt and haven't checked out Jordan's please make sure you do. I am lucky that they are located right here in town, 5 minutes from me, so I can go in to shop (well, not right now) but they have a huge internet ordering presence.  And they have great youtube tutorials and many free patterns.