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.......


Oranges

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 yard.....here 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.


Thursday, April 30, 2020

Hexxies

The hexxie throw started months ago is taking shape. I pinned all the sections up on my design wall/drape so I could see how I wanted it to go together and how many more white pieces I'll be needing...... a lot. Once I get it all surrounded by white I'll figure out what I'm going to do around the edges - I'm at a loss at the moment.  Since there's a lot more handsewing to put all these sections together and then more white pieces I have plenty of time to think on what the edging/borders will end up being.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

A bit of wonky.....

 I've been working on the wonky stars, what fun they are to sew.....perfect for me, I don't have to be exact, I can just sew them however. I have many other colors in the works.  The purple card is the prototype as these will be our holiday cards this year...…...haven't decided if I'll put them together that way or not, will be thinking on it over the months to come. It will be great to have the piecing done ahead of time.

 Since I finished knitting the red shawl I needed something else to work on in the evenings while we watch tv. Since I'm not sure what new knitting project I want to do I pulled out my hexxies that I usually work on when riding in the car. I only have 3 more sections to stitch before I can start sewing them together.  I'll have more white hexxies to make but won't know how many until I start putting it all together.  I've still got to block the red shawl so pix will come once that happens.

A friend gave me a recipe for english muffin bread - it's really yummy, we had some this morning with butter and homemade strawberry jam.


Saturday, April 18, 2020

Wonky stars

Today was one of those days that I just couldn't focus on much so I decided to work on a variety of little projects and what fun it's ended up being. This is one of the projects - wonky stars. After stitching regular stars for the barn wall hanging I decided to try wonky stars using some bits and pieces of purple fabrics with a background of white. What fun these are!  This is the prototype for a holiday project......now all I need are the correct colors of fabric, might have to place an online order, UPS, FedEx and USPS have been delivering many boxes here lately.  Or maybe I could work with leftover bits and pieces in my stash.....might have to investigate the fabric cabinet tomorrow.

Once again, my picture was oriented correctly on the computer but when uploaded to blogger it turned, this only happens when I take photos from my phone but it's never consistent. Oh well, such is life.



Friday, April 17, 2020

Easter bread.........a bit late........

Today I made my Nani's Easter bread recipe.  Yes, I'm late but at least I made it this year, there's many a year I have plans for it but never do.  This is an anise bread that starts with 5 pounds of flour - yep, 5 pounds!  And is it ever tough to mix and knead that much bread dough.  But I've got 10 loaves of bread to put in the freezer.   Well, 9 loaves since I've already sampled and since this picture was taken, just minutes ago, Sam attacked the loaf I started.  It's great toasted for breakfast.

I used to help my grandmother make this bread each year.  For all us kids we would make smaller braids, form them in a circle, put a dyed hard boiled egg in the center and 2 thin strips of dough to hold the egg in place. They were so pretty and we each got our own little loaf.  I can't remember what that hard boiled egg was like but it was already cooked and then cooked again in the oven - must have been like a golf ball.

So, we're set for Easter bread for a while...….minus a couple that will be saved for family.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Before and after......

 I've finished the quilt top for the barn quilt wallhanging. It's now set aside until Jordan's opens so I can take it in for long arm quilting. I imagine they will be backlogged very quickly once open, lots of quilts being made while sheltering at home. I like the way this turned out but it was a challenge - my points are not perfect and there are many places they're even cut off. It won't be entered in any competition, just hung on the wall opposite the dining room and I'll love it whether it's perfect or not.

 We had The Grounds Guys come do a huge landscaping job for us - they were great. I couldn't find a before picture from when we bought this place a little less than 2 years ago so found this one on google maps. Look at all that gravel, ugly, ugly big gravel. It was a huge job for them to remove the gravel.

 Now look at it with five 800 pound boulders, over 50 new bushes/plants plus some trees we planted last year.

 They ran completely a completely new drip system connected to our automatic sprinkers.

 It's going to take a while for these plants to start growing but it's going to look nice. I'll be planting tulip and daffodil bulbs this fall - can't wait.

We switched up our shelter in place location last weekend for the one on the coast, we hadn't been over in 5 weeks and the grass was a foot tall. Misty knows now to relax over there...….


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Eureka.......I've found gold!

 I found this box in the guest bathroom cabinet - it's like finding gold.  We keep these in our vehicles but only have a handful in them at anytime.  And that's all the wipes we have since there have been none to be found at the store, no bleach either. I'm ecstatic. Funny how such a thing as Wet Ones could make me so happy. So now we can carry them with us in case they're needed...…..since we aren't going anywhere they should last us a while.

 An update on the barn quilt wall hanging project. I now have all 12 blocks done and am working on the corner stars - there are 4 of them up on the design wall so far.  There are 2 blocks I'm not thrilled with my workmanship so once the stars are all made, the sashing and borders cut, if I have enough fabric I'll remake those 2 squares. It really is fiddly working with these tiny pieces but I'm enjoying it. Now I wonder how do those that make the mini quilts, I mean really small, handle all those seams allowances on the back.

Friend Yvonne gave me a recipe for bread using quick rise yeast, which I have, so this afternoon I made these 2 loaves. This is the pic before Sam and I cut into one of the warm loaves and ate slices with butter. Dinner plans have totally changed to grilled cheese sandwiches on this yummy bread alongside tomato soup. 



Thursday, April 2, 2020

Onward to another project......

I had plans of putting another towel warp on the loom but that cone of 8/2 black cotton had other plans. I spent hours figuring out the color order for a draft, then started winding the warp making constant color changes. I got around 5" wound before I cried uncle.  The black, of which there were quite a few stripes, kept breaking - it would break if I looked at it wrong.  Sam found me sitting on the floor trying to repair a break at the bottom peg only to find it breaking over and over again as I tied a knot, I was ready to cry but just got myself up and walked away.  An hour later I went back, pulled everything off the warping board and sacrificed it to the weaving goddess, aka trash can.  At that point I decided I needed to do something different...….

…..and here it is - a quilt wallhanging kit I bought months ago. It has 12 different barn blocks which will be separated by sashing and star cornerstones. I'm loving the look of the blocks I've sewn so far up on my design wall.  And yes, I made the design wall too.  It's a big piece of felt that I hung using command hooks and office binder clips - it's in front of the sliding closet doors in my sewing room. Easy to move out of the way or remove and so much better to see the quilt in progress.  I can't wait to get to the sewing machine today to work on block #6. I'm getting better at matching my points, still not perfect but I'm learning, matching points and working with bias pieces is new to me. Although not perfect I'm happy with my blocks.

I'm still working on my shawl a bit in the evenings. it's slow but coming along. This is my handspun, merino and merino/tussah blends that I blended together on the blending board - a total of 8 different colorways.


Saturday, March 28, 2020

Hemming towels.....

I'm hemming the towels that came off the loom yesterday and were washed & dried.  I love using these clips rather than pins - they're sold with quilting sewing supplies. And I discovered just this last year after owning my Bernina for 13 years that I get a beautiful hem by using the walking foot on my machine - duh - only took me 13 years to figure that one out after using that foot while sewing a binding on a quilt.

I'd love to get the photography work done on these but the sun has disappeared so I'll wait for another day.  Three are for a gift so those will be set aside but the rest will go in my etsy shop after I do the much dreaded photography work.

I may put one more towel warp on the loom before moving on to a sewing/quilting project.

Everyone stay safe out there, if you must go out.......






Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Twill and basketweave.....

I got another towel warp on the loom. This one is cotlin.  It's a twill and basketweave draft.  Not sure but there may be one more towel warp in me before I move on to doing some sewing. I've got a quilt wallhanging kit to piece and also a twin (or maybe it's a full) quilt (block) kit of the month project to start - not to mention many other projects. The kit of the month quilt was from 2 years ago - I signed up for it right before we started house hunting so it got put on hold, all I did was pick up my kit each month and store it away.

This whole virus pandemic is horrendous but I sure am liking this sheltering in place, I wonder if I can keep it up after life gets back to normal...….it used to be my old normal but then life changed and there were too many commitments to deal with.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

New towels.....

 Newly woven towels are now in my etsy shop ready to find new homes.  

I love these bumbaret towels, so colorful. They are a pain to warp though with a warp color change every three ends..….but worth it, I'll weave these again in the near future, maybe more tropical bright colors next time.



Thursday, March 19, 2020

Just another day.....

..... in paradise.  Yes, for me sheltering at home is paradise. I can weave, sew, spin, knit, quilt, do whatever my creative heart wants without interference from the outside world.  I am happy here at home, I have plenty to keep me busy.  But my heart goes out to all those who will not be getting paychecks because businesses and restaurants have closed their doors until things get better, to those who may have contracted this virus, to those worried about loved ones far away.  It's tough out there at the moment.  But for me, yes I'll be sheltering in place playing with fiber - we're good until the toilet paper runs out which won't be for a while since I bought some right before the big run on it, which still baffles me, I mean why not just buy as one usually would.

So, back to the towel warp - 4 towels woven using a blue weft.....

....and 4 towels woven using a green weft.  

I'll be cutting these all off the loom shortly, will stitch the ends quickly and throw them in the washer and dryer, then hemming.  I'll be putting aside some for a gift and listing the rest for sale in my etsy shop. I will have to figure out a place to takes photos of them once finished as the dining room is a mess. We are taking out the two archways - arches now gone, a bit of a header needs to be built, then drywall, texture and paint. The house is a disaster once again.  Once that is cleaned up we'll move on to the kitchen backsplash.