Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Spinning

I am finally spinning a bit.  I'm not out of my funk but am working on it. Life can just be too much at times. This is 50/50 Yak/Silk. A little slippery to spin but oh so lovely.  I was gifted this lovely fiber. 

Here's what I've spun so far. It will be approximately fingering weight when plied. It's going to take a while since arthritis in my thumbs is acting up, but then I'm not running a race so I'll just enjoy my short stints at the wheel. 


 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

It's pumpkin time......

I'm very excited that my pumpkin wallhanging long arm quilting was done in time for pumpkin time. As soon as I picked it up I sewed the binding and hanging sleeve on. This will eventually look better once we paint the walls a light gray.  I get to enjoy this quilt until it's time for a christmas/holiday quilt which my husband's cousin made for us a few years ago. (This pattern is called Mini Pumpkins by Some Kind of Wonderful - I made mine much bigger than the original pattern)


And here's my pumpkin table runner finished.  This was a manageable size for me to quilt on my sewing machine. The pumpkin wallhanging is on the wall at the end of where this table is. (This pattern is Punkin' Patch Runner by Bonnie K Hunter of Quiltville) 

I have gotten a little more time at the sewing machine to work on some small holiday gifts for family and friends but I can't show those yet.  I'm almost finished with our holiday cards too. 




Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Pumpkin season

 

I am trying to make a little time each day for myself rather than be consumed by all that is happening in my life.  My mental health is at stake. 

Remember the pumpkin quilt wallhanging top I pieced?  Well, it's still at the long arm quilter who is swamped but she contacted me earlier this week to get my decision on a stitching design for the quilting so I think it will be ready in the near future. I decided I need to work on making a quilted pumpkin table runner. I still have the borders to add to this and then the quilting. I'll be doing the machine quilting myself since it's a small project - either stitch in the ditch or freeform, undecided at this point.  This pattern is by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville. I love her scrappy patterns and so enjoy reading her blog every day. 

I am more than ready for pumpkin season, hoping for an earlier than normal end to fire season this year. Sure wish the east coast could send those flooding rains out west.





Sunday, August 29, 2021

MIA no longer???

Yes, I've been MIA from this blog for quite a while. Life has been stress filled. I am still dealing with my cousin's estate and his falling down house, literally falling down.....I feel like there's no end in sight. Also dealing with an aging parent in and out of the hospital/rehab, now living in assisted living but still requiring much of my time. There's a horrible fire season here in the west, the smoke and extreme heat, all summer long, up until this last week......keeping my fingers crossed that we don't return to the 100+ temps but I won't be surprised if they come back.  And then there's covid. I find I can't focus on my art/craft so little has been created that I could share here and certainly no one wants to read about me complaining every single post. Oh......yet another issue, I tripped when out walking and tore my calf muscle, that stopped me from even considering weaving for a couple months. 

As many places in the country covid cases have skyrocketed here. The entire state is back to mandatory mask wearing inside and outside. We never stopped wearing our masks and still hadn't gone many places. Our governor is losing her patience with those of us living in SW Oregon - unfortunately the morons here (most of the population) refuse to get vaccinated or wear masks or social distance. The National Guard has been sent in to help our hospitals where ICU rooms are now doubled up and there's no room for those who have other health issues and have been responsible and been vaccinated. The governor has contracted with private firms to send in medical personnel to help in hospitals and care facilities in our region, hundreds are arriving. And just yesterday our county requested a refrigerated truck for a morgue. I'm not sure what it will take to get the locals to get vaccinated, wear masks and social distance........our county commissioners are certainly of no help in encouraging people to do so, they do just the opposite. So, in the meantime I'm scared and having anxiety attacks.  But enough of this.......

I have actually gotten some towels on the loom, off the loom, then washed and hemmed yesterday.  It's a set of 8 for a September wedding back east. I was inspired by their save the date card which was all in camo outfits/colors.  Above I've used brown weft...........

.....here I used olive weft...........

......here green...........

.....and here a black cotton flake weft. I hope they are loved and used. 

I would love to put on a holiday towel warp but that may not happen. Places where I buy my 8/2 coned yarn for towels are out of so many colors, it's just not available right now as many other things.  I do have some darker reds, greens and off white but am undecided.


 I also wove this yardage in 10/2 perle cotton for our holiday cards. What looked like white poinsettias on the loom no longer look like them after washing. Oh well.........

For over a year I've been thinking about no longer selling my handwovens and other items.  I did slow down on producing to sell, thus slowing down on selling, but it's time to stop completely.  This will happen between now and the end of the year.  There are too many other things I want to weave, sew, quilt, knit, draw, create and if I continue to sell I'll focus on that rather than everything else. Now if other things in my life would fall in line to give me the time to create! 

I don't know how often I'll post to this blog, but when I do have something to share, other than complaints, I will. Now I'm off to do something other than the mundane chores dealing with family issues - I'm going to make a couple batches of what I call my sunshine marmalade and maybe even a peach upside down cake as we were gifted some peaches. 



Monday, May 24, 2021

Pumpkins.......


 The pumpkin piecing is done. It turned out to be around 48" x 66".  Next up is to call the long arm quilter to get it to her for quilting. I'm happy to say it should be hanging on the 'quilt wall' this autumn. Before I start on any other projects at the sewing machine I really need to get my machine in to my  Bernina shop for maintenance, it's way overdue because of covid restrictions........guess they apply to sewing machines too. 



Monday, May 17, 2021

Sideways pumpkins


 Here's my new quilting project although one has to turn their head to see it correctly.  I have this problem when I upload pictures to blogger from my phone but never from my camera so this is a first........and it's irritating.  Anyhow, these are pieced white/gray pumpkins and orange pumpkins on a dark gray print background. I learned something new with this project, how to sew concave and convex shapes to get curves. I'm coming down the homestretch on making the blocks, then it will be time to sew them all together. My goal is to get it to a long arm quilter quickly as she has a 8 week backlog.  My other goal is to hang this on the big wall opposite the dining room table this fall. Right now the barn quilt is hanging there. Another goal is to eventually have 4-5 quilts to exchange out in that spot during the year......that will take a while and I'll be working on other projects before that happens.  


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.