Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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

We had a great long weekend on the coast other than just running over to check on the cottage and mow the lawn - it was wonderful. We spent time with vaccinated friends who camped over there. We did something we had never done before - rented a polaris rzr to ride the Oregon Dunes. Our friends have done it before and loved it so after 29 years of living in Oregon we finally did it.  Very fun and a bit a lot scary as the dunes are tall and have drop offs that we sped straight down as that was the only choice at that point. There were roll bars, we were helmeted and belted in our 2 person rzr so other than possibly rolling the thing we were safe. 

Speaking of the coast after getting back I decided to make two small wall quilts out of cross stitches that will go perfectly at the beach cottage. I love these sandpipers. I usually frame cross stitch pieces and actually have several sitting here stretched over foam core waiting for me to feel safe enough (covid) to get them framed. 

And here are some funny otters for my otter wall in the hallway over there. I didn't take a picture of the backside but for hanging I did the corner triangles and cut a dowel to fit across the top back.

And a few roses in my yard - they have gone crazy, there are hundreds blooming with hundreds more buds on my 16 rose bushes.  The breeze kept coming up so most of my pix didn't turn out but here are a few. 

I can't remember the name of this one, isn't it interesting how the petals are so close together?  If I weren't so lazy at the moment I'd go outside and check my tag on it.  Many of the bushes were here when we bought this house three years ago so I don't know what they are but this is one I bought to fill in an empty spot. 

This one is interesting too with the white & dark pink but a bit of yellow in the center. 

I cut my rose bushes back quite a bit in February but they're already way taller than me and huge. They obviously love that side of the yard. 

 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Thinking ahead..........

I'm thinking ahead to autumn..........or I could look at it as being far behind from last year.  A friend bought me this pumpkin wallhanging pattern and ruler christmas 2019. I had good intentions of making it to hang up during the fall months but as far as I got was to buy fabric. Yesterday I sat down with the pattern and took out some scrap fabric to try my hand at making one block. I've never sewn curves like this before. I did ok. My pumpkin isn't perfect but it's pretty danged close. The pattern is for a 36" square size but I'm going to make mine around 52"x72". I guessed at how much fabric I need, now I see I need a few more different oranges, I'm good on the neutral pumpkins.  I did not buy enough gray for the background so need to pick up some gray. It's amazing that the pattern as shown is exactly the colors I would have chosen since we have gray in our decor. I may have to resort to ordering fabric online as not all quilt shops are open at this time. But I can start on cutting out the neutral pumpkins in the meantime, but can't sew them until I pick up more background gray fabric as I'm sure I can't match what I have so will need to buy new.........except I'm busy for the next 5 days. My goal is to get this done and hanging by the end of September but who knows.......it's a lot of pumpkin blocks to sew and the current lead time on machine quilting here is 8 weeks. At least I'm starting on it.  

This week I worked on my community sewing that our neighborhood group does as part of the American Sewing Guild. I made a total of 19 tote bags and 10 fleece hats.  For Christmas we fill the tote bags with coloring books, crayons, treats, toothbrushes, toothpaste and a fleece hat for the Head Start kids in our town. Last year we also made them fun masks.
 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Almost time to picnic...........

Last week in the middle of other things I finished sewing together the denim squares for our picnic blanket. It's a generous 76 x 76. Next up is to find a fun and very colorful backing fabric for it. It's so heavy that I won't be putting any batting in-between.  I'm pretty much set on tying it as machine quilting would be a challenge with the thick denim at the seams. I'm very pleased with it!  Soon we'll have to plan a picnic to try it out. As a reminder this is from a Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville Inn pattern - hers is for a throw size, I just added to it to make it bigger. 


Our back deck gets the hot sun until around 3pm so we splurged on a retractable awning. It was installed yesterday and we already love it. Now we can plan on eating breakfast and lunch out there sitting in the shade. 


Here's another view of it.  It does have a motor which is great but there is also a pole to do it by hand if the power happened to go out. There is a wind monitor so if the wind picks up and we don't notice it will automatically close it. (this pix was taken later in the afternoon so the deck was starting to get some natural shade on it by then)


 

Friday, April 23, 2021

Picnic blanket in progress

Yes, I haven't been posting and that was pointed out to me today.  My life has been crazy with family stuff so I really don't have much to say/show unless someone wants to hear me complain.........and I don't think anyone wants that. 

The past few days I've gotten a couple hours here and there to start sewing together the recycled blue jean squares for our picnic blanket. Here's what it looked like as of yesterday afternoon, today I've got 5 more rows sewn on. I've got 6 more to go. 

I really love this project - many thanks to Bonnie Hunter of the Quiltville Inn for making it recently and selling the pattern.  Yes, I could have figured it out without a pattern but I always want to support other fiber artists and this is what she does for a living. 

I've decided that I won't even ask a long arm quilter to quilt this for me, it's so thick at the corner seams, it's sure to break needles. I won't be using batting as it's so heavy already, just a backing fabric and binding. I'm going to tie this quilt. I think that will be perfect for a picnic blanket.  Soon the search will be on for the perfect backing fabric - it must be colorful to go with the colorful stripes. 

Hopefully in the not too distant future I will be able to spend more time creating, which means I will then have more to share. 

A housekeeping note - on my blogger dashboard there's a note that if followers use the FollowByEmail option to read my blog that it will be going away in July 2021. So, if you get an email when I post to my blog you will now have to bookmark my blog and be sure to check in on your own to see what I'm doing......there will no longer be those emails. 



 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Blue Jean Picnic Quilt

I've been able to sneak a little time to work on the blue jean picnic quilt. I so wish I had unlimited time right now to knock this project out because it's fun and easy - perfect for me at the moment since I'm having a hard time focusing with everything else going on in my life. I have 145 dark blue 5" squares cut and 144 light/medium blue 5" squares cut. And here are my accent stripe colors - purples, teals, greens, yellows, peach/oranges and reds. Here's a link to the pattern which was written for a throw size.

The light/medium jean squares get cut in half and a 1/2" stripe is added (starting with a 1" stripe of fabric). Here I was working on the purples. After this photo I sewed all the teal stripe squares and have just started on the greens. This will be a heavy quilt so I won't be using batting, just a backing fabric. I'm hoping the blue jeans aren't too thick in the seam areas so it can be long arm quilted by Jordan's but I won't know until I see how thick they are and let Jordan's see how thick they are.  I think it may be too big for me to handle on my own machine for just a simple stitch in the ditch quilting so I may have to resort to tying the quilt if it can't be long arm quilted........which is fine, especially for a picnic blanket. I'm hoping to get some time at the machine today because the next several days are booked so no sewing again for a while. 

 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

MIA once again

Life keeps throwing me curve balls, actually it would be better to call them stress balls. I'm not getting much done creatively as I'm spending most of my time dealing with family issues. I won't go into the stress in my life as there's no need to share with the world. I keep thinking things can't get worse but they do. 

I forgot to share these table runners I made for gifts this last year - cute little houses with wonky stars in the middle.  Very fun to make.  I bought the pattern from Missouri Star Quilts and even bought some 5", I think they're called charm packs in the blue/green colorway and the red/green colorway. I just needed to buy background, backing and something for binding. 

I can't seem to focus on much these days so whatever I do it can't take too many brain cells. After seeing Bonnie with the Quiltville Inn make a blue jean throw I decided I needed to buy her pattern to make a bigger version for a big picnic blanket........meaning we will be going on many picnics in the future.  I've been saving blue jeans for years, actually decades, thinking there would be fun projects ahead. I thought I would use a lot more of them than I did cutting out all my 5" squares........oh well, at least it's a start moving those things out of bins in the garage. I'm hoping to get time to work on it here and there over the next few weeks. I'll post pictures as that happens. 

I've had many cones of fun spring colored cotton yarns on my work table with plans of a towel warp except I can't get past the planning stage. Maybe I'll be able to focus soon........or not..........

Have been slowing down on weaving to sell.  There are so many other things in life I want to do that have been on my to-do list for years, actually some for decades. Thinking about it and where my weaving career goes from here is unsettling. I need a totally different mindset of not needing to production weave and weaving for myself and gifts.......it's hard. I'd love to eventually focus on weaving for some clothing but hard to move in that direction......maybe once life settles down I'll be able to do that...........

 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Loving twill......

Late last week I did the dreaded photography work on the latest towels off the loom. Some of them are now listed in my etsy shop for sale. Check them out in the handwoven towel section of my SHOP

I have really grown to love the simplicity of twills

These all are using a different weft but they are coordinating

I have set aside some for a future wedding gift

I have a table runner warp (for gifts) on the loom now but have only auditioned weft colors so far. Hoping to get back to it in the next few days but the nice weather is continuing this morning and the garden/yard clean up has been calling.  Grapes have been pruned, as well as 2 apple and 2 plum trees, perennials cut back, new growth can already be seen. Two new raised garden beds have been added to the other two - one is already filled with new strawberry plants. It's time to plant snap peas so I must get those in the ground, everything else will wait a bit, still a little too chilly. There is lettuce growing in the 'toy' greenhouse, it will most probably be ready to start picking this week. 


 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

More gifts.......


 Here are a handful of gifts I made for this past Christmas.  These are zippered pouches made from food packaging. I saw the idea on a couple of quilter blogs so went with it. I did several varieties of oreos, nutter butters, lorna doones, cheetos, sun chips, licorice, etc. They are the actual packaging layered with quilt batting and backing cotton and then quilted. They have zippers on the top.......didn't get a good picture of those. I found the small bags, those kisses, were very hard to turn right side out as the quilted fabric gets pretty stiff since the outside of the bag also has iron on vinyl to make it, hopefully, last longer. When I started sewing these I was still going to the grocery store in the wee hours of the morning set aside for seniors - I'm sure it was entertaining for others to see me in the cookie and chip aisle trying to decide what to buy based on the size of the bag it would make as many cookie packages were just too small after being cut apart. And yes, we did have to sacrifice and eat all the insides of the packages..........


Monday, March 1, 2021

Hexxies

 

I keep forgetting to post a few photos of gifts I made this year. I made some hexxie ornaments - handstitched hexxies. I then put them into 4" embroidery hoops to display/hang. Since I wanted the backs to look nice I used the same backing fabric on the backside. In hindsight I probably should have bought 3" hoops but I didn't so these are bit larger than I might have wanted. If used as an ornament they need a substantial tree to hang on, but myself I've got one hanging on the wall in a small spot that needed 'something' in my sewing room.  I'll post a couple other gifts on another day.......


Saturday, February 20, 2021

On the loom & needles.........

This week I got another towel warp on the loom - I've been weaving bright colors this last year so decided to go with more subdued colors this time and I love them.  Actually the reason why I chose these 3 warp colors was because I had mega cones of each of these 8/2 cottons. Of course I've hardly made a dent in those cones but at least I'm using some of it. The first towels I'm using a pale seafoam green weft and love it. Original plan was to use the 3 colors in the warp for wefts, I may still do that for some of the towels but right now I'm loving weaving this seafoam.  This is a two block twill.......seems I've been loving weaving two block twills this last year too.


And here's what's on the needles. A friend gifted me with this Malabrigo sock yarn over a year ago, I kept it right on my sewing table trying to decide what to use it for. My original thought was a knit shawlette but I just hadn't found the perfect pattern yet.......that I already hadn't knit. Then I decided on socks and I'm so glad I did - I love the way they're turning out. The pattern is called Tidal Wave Socks.  I have knit these before and love the pattern. Here's the link to the pattern on Ravelry.  Just enough to have something to think about while knitting the leg portion but not so much that I can enjoy watching tv in the evening. 

This morning I blocked the cowl I knit a few weeks ago, when it's dry I'll share a picture of that.  Now off to throw the shuttle on that towel warp.........


 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Towels ready for new homes.......

The towels are off the loom, washed, dried, hemmed, ironed, photographed and up in my etsy shop for sale. I love the thickness of them. These are all off the same warp. 



 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Color abounds

Yesterday afternoon I finally got some time at the loom. Here's the start of the towel warp - I'll weave with this navy weft until I run out, then I'll move to another color, maybe fushcia???  Unfortunately it was a cloudy day so this photo doesn't do the towel justice.


 And here is the colorful handspun all finished - looks like it's a coordinating yarn to the towel warp. It's a polwarth and silk blend.  I still need to wash this skein and count the yardage. Not sure what this will grow up to be yet. 

I'm going to try and get back to spinning in the evenings but I've also started knitting a pair of socks so might work on those for a couple nights. The leg portion of those requires me to pay attention so will have to be selective on knitting while we watch tv in the evenings as some shows/movies require more of my attention.



Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Need some color in my life..........

This week I find I need some color in my life.  My family lost my cousin in January, he was way too young but had many health issues..........and no, it was not to covid. So now I need to deal with his affairs so am just taking it one day at a time as the process will go on for months. I'm also feeling the need to get back to something that resembles normal in my life.........I mean the new normal in covid times which other than not being able to go to a fabric store to pick out fabrics in person for a quilt and eat out it really doesn't affect me much, I'm happy staying at home. 

I just put this towel warp on the loom. This is where I'm auditioning wefts just weaving an inch of a color to see what I like. Not sold on any of them so far so will come back to this project in a day or so.

Yesterday I decided I needed to get back to spinning while we watch tv in the evenings and I just found out season 12 & 13 of Heartland were up on Netflix streaming so we've started our binge watching in the evenings. In my stash was a small amount of this Dicentra Designs roving - what fun to spin these bright intense colors.  I have no clue what I'll do with the yarn, will have to think on it once I see how much I get. I'm spinning fingering weight. 

I'm going to make an effort to post more often and maybe I'll actually have something to share. Hmm, where are those pictures of some gifts I made this year..........



Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Inglenook Fibers 2021 12 Days of Christmas Spin-a-long

I am late to the party on the 12 Days of Christmas Spin-a-long from Inglenook Fibers. There has been and continues to be too much going on in my life to even think about spinning.  I was to start spinning the first packet on Christmas Day, hasn't happened, not sure when I'll get started on this project. 

The label shows the photo that was the inspiration for this years spinning fibers. I have now opened all the packets and took these pictures.  At the end of the 12 packets are two companion braids I bought to either use for plying or as companion spinning. I didn't know what direction I wanted to go so I bought two different colors. Maybe it's a good thing I haven't had time to even think about spinning because I have no clue what direction I want to go in, do I want to spin these continuous like I've done in the past going from one color to another, or do I want to spin them individually either plied on themselves or plied with a companion fiber.   I'm at a loss this year so they will sit in a basket until I'm ready.  I may end up deciding on a project first this time. So for the time being these fibers will be eye candy for when I need an emotional lift. 















 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Just when one thinks life can't get worse..........


 Just when we think life can't get worse or more stressful it does.  Dealing with a declining family member, younger than we, who is 4 hours away at a hospital in Portland, who we would like to get back down here to where he lives so he can be near family for his last days, weeks or months is stressful......and then there's covid on top of it all. Each day we think it can't get worse but it does.  

Getting anything done is almost impossible as it's hard to focus. I finally got 10 towels off the loom which were started a month ago - that must be a record length of time it's taken me to weave a warp. They were finished last week but then sat waiting to be hemmed.  Finally yesterday I decided I needed to do something for myself and get them hemmed. They are done awaiting photographs when we get some good natural light again. They are two block twill towels with 2 shades of green and natural in the warp - then coral, teal and lavender used as wefts. I love them all but the lavender really calls to me. These will eventually be in my etsy shop for sale.......after the photography work/dreaded chore. 

I still have hope that 2021 will end up being a better year for all of us but I'm beginning to wonder. Between family health/mental declines (more than one family member), covid and politics who knows what will come of the year. And I still fear the worse politically even after January 20th when Biden & Harris are sworn in, I think the unstable individual in the white house will continue to wreck havoc, for years, long after he's dragged kicking and screaming out the front door. I rarely say anything political on this blog but sometimes I just can't keep it to myself........this is all I'll say right now. 

My wish is that everyone have a safe and peaceful new year.........





Saturday, December 19, 2020

Life sucks at times.......

Life is uncertain right now, things change hour by hour. These days my life is centered around talking with nurses, doctors, social workers, case workers, palliative care teams, etc concerning a younger relative who is gravely ill. Tough times for my relative, us, and for the rest of the family out of the area who I'm drawing on for strength and support. 
 
I haven't been able to do much for myself but when I have a little block of time I've gotten back to the towel warp.  The first towels in my last post I used a teal as weft which I loved, here I'm using a rose color as weft. Only 2 towels left to go on the warp at this point. 

Here I've used a lavender weft - I love it. Eventually these towels will end up in my etsy shop but with life the way it is right now I have no clue when I'll get the final 2 towels woven, then all washed, all hemmed and photography done.....just can't worry about it at the moment, taking it one day at a time, when it happens it happens. 

Here are our holiday cards for this year. I chose a quilt theme rather than weaving this year - these are my wonky stars. And I decided I didn't need to use traditional christmas color either so they are all over the place. I like how they turned out. I am so glad I worked on these during the summer so they were ready to go. I also had 9 wonky stars made up in seaglass blue and 9 in apricot/peaches. I was on a roll when sewing so had way more than I needed.  The seaglass and the apricot will end up being miniature wall hangings at some point, maybe I'll hand quilt them.........that small size is about my limit for handquilting........


Monday, December 7, 2020

MIA.......

I have been MIA on this blog, just can't seem to post. Life is stressful dealing with family health and aging issues.  I'm not really motivated to compose a post, too much stress plus I don't really have much to say but I'm trying this morning. I am trying to get myself moving on boxing up some gifts that need to be mailed, today handmade holiday cards will go in the mail. I'm really not accomplishing much creatively.

Last week in-between other things going on in my life I did get a two block twill towel warp on the loom. I only had time to weave 3 towels so far but it's a start and it did my mental state good to sit at the loom threading heddles, sleying the reed and throwing the shuttle. I am trying to use what's in my stash rather than purchase more but I'm running out of my favorite colors of 8/2 unmercerized cotton in addition to white and black. This is not to say I don't have 8/2 - I've got shelves of it, just not all the colors I want.  But I've got loads of greens, I mean loads of it so this warp has 2 shades of green (and natural) and I'm using a teal weft right here, next up a dark green weft. 


 A couple weeks ago I plied this yarn that had been on bobbins for a year. It's bamboo, merino and nylon. I'm not sure what this will grow up to be yet, it's sitting on the shelf 'marinating' for the time being. I am thinking about starting to spin something fun and colorful - I think I said that in my last post but it hasn't happened yet. 

I'm hoping to post more often and have fun creative fiber projects to share in the near future. Everyone stay safe and wear your mask. 



Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Handspun


 I have been away from the spinning wheel for a long time, over a year.  I was missing it so this last week I plied what had been on bobbins sitting all this time.  The first is this Ashland Bay merino in the Rose Quartz colorway. I've got 3 big skeins in a worsted weight so am thinking a hat, cowl and fingerless mitts for a gift.  I've also plied some merino/bamboo/nylon but it's not been washed yet - picture to come once I do that. Now I feel like I can start spinning something that's been waiting in the wings, something fun, something colorful........I've short listed choices, just need to decide on which but first I'll knit this up. 



Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Pastel rainbow

I finished the pastel rainbow towels woven in a variation of the friendship towel draft from the Handwoven Treasury. I loved the other rainbow towels so much I just had to weave another warp off using pastels this time. I like these so much I've set aside 2 using the black weft for our guest bath.


And here they are using the gray weft, it was a hard decision to decide on which to keep but I went with the black weft.......but who knows, I may end up eventually putting aside 2 of these too.   All towels are now available for sale in my etsy shop.

It's hard to be motivated to do much these days, too much stress in life with an aging mother with memory issues (putting it mildly), a cousin, who lives locally, who is very ill, covid and politics. I think what's hard is that I have no control over any of these. The only thing I can do is try to limit my news watching to help with what gets thrown at me concerning politics. We did vote - dropped ballots off in a drop box right at the courthouse on Monday and since Oregon has been doing vote by mail for many years successfully I have no concerns about my vote being counted. I hope everyone else has voted or will be voting soon.