Thursday, June 25, 2020

Finally.......

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.......


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.