Friday, January 31, 2020

Community Sew

At our local American Sewing Guild meeting on Tuesday I picked up fabrics for our community sew projects.  In an effort to not clutter up my sewing room I'm working on those now in-between other things on the calendar.

I've made 17 polar fleece caps for Head Start - these will go in the tote bags we fill for the kids next November. Nice to get more than my quota done so early in the year.

And yet, another sideways picture from my camera - don't get it, doesn't matter which way I take the photo sometimes they turn out sideways, even when showing up correctly on my desktop - I've given up. I should always use the camera but sometimes it's easier to grab my phone that's sitting right there on the table.  Anyhow, here are 10 pillowcases sewn for a care facility here in our town. There is no deadline on these but I will get them turned in this next month.  I'll probably end up sewing more of these throughout the year.

Next up are 13 tote bags (my quota) for the Head Start kids. Hoping to knock those out in this next week so I'll be done with them for the year. We get a small grant each year to fill them with coloring books, crayons, pencils, sharpener, toothpaste & toothbrushes, Kleenex and treats......and the polar fleece caps.

Another project waiting in the wings is putting the binding on the two afghan quilts.  I took them to Jordan Quilts to be long arm quilted, lead time was seven weeks, they were ready in two, picked them up yesterday. Would like to get the bindings sewn on tomorrow so then I can work on handstitching it to the back during the Superbowl on Sunday.

If you've never checked out Jordan Quilts online and you're a quilter you should go check it out.  They have lots of free patterns and great video tutorials......not to mention a huge selection of fabric. If you sign up for the newsletter you'll get a mailing almost every day.  I am so lucky to have this shop just five minutes from my house.

I had planned on getting a warp on the loom this week but got sidetracked with these projects. There's always next week............

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Birthday girl

 Today is Misty's 1st birthday.  We had a serious talk about the fact that she's now one and needs to stop acting like a 6 month old......

…...she didn't listen...…in one ear, out the other...….

Saturday, January 25, 2020

New towels......

There are finally new towels in my etsy shop.  I've had the pile of them sitting for a few weeks hoping for enough sun to have nice natural light coming in the window for photographs.  Well, that didn't happen so I took the photos anyhow.  It's already one of my dreaded jobs, no sun makes it even harder.  But here are the towels - there are two of each embroidered towel design in my shop.  There are two each of the handwoven towels.  I'm loving a few of the new embroidery designs - the lucky shamrock speaks to me as do the flowerpots and lavender wreath.....oh and that chicken on the yellow window pane towel.....I'm almost hoping it never sells o it ends up in my kitchen......

My shop is woefully low on handwoven towels. There eventually will be some more as I need some for gifts in the next couple of months and I always put on a long warp so there will be extras to sell. I am slowing down on selling.  There are so many arts/crafts on my very long to-do list and only so much time in one's life. So, I'll keep selling but it will be on my terms, most often when there are extras that come off a warp. So many projects, so little time...…….now it's time to start getting to them...…

Thursday, January 23, 2020


Yes, here I am again using my phone camera and pictures coming out askew and no matter how I fix them on the computer when I upload them here they're wrong.  Oh well...…

I've made accessories to match The Sampler Cowl knit earlier.  This upsidedown hat is called Sisters Hat  by JanKnit Designs - a free download on Ravelry. It's named after the Three Sisters mountains in central Oregon around 4-5 hours from here.  I started knitting it using one strand of my handspun but it looked too flimsy so I doubled my handspun and it turned out perfect on size 7 needles.

And I made the Welted Fingerless Gloves to go with the set. This pattern is by Kit Hutchins/Churchmouse Yarns.  I used size 6 needles and a single strand of my handspun, which is around a DK weight yarn. This pattern was a little confusing but I went with what I thought it meant and did just fine. I did 2 purl rows before binding off which wasn't in the pattern.

So, this set is destined to be in my spinning group's display at the county fair this coming summer. I came up with a theme for our display of drawing inspiration from flower seed packets. My seed packet was Penstemon. Hoping it turns out to be a fun display with seed packets hung with items they inspired.  I may do another project since I got this one done early - that one in purples & blues.

Friday, January 17, 2020


I decided to revive making inklings just for this last holiday season. These are numbers 25 and 26 in the series. For Outlander fans you may have figured out it's Jamie and Claire.  Is anyone else excited that next month the new season is out on Starz?  I'm ahead by 2 books than where the season is so I'll have to watch a few of last season's episodes to remember where the tv series is. 

I also made a few of these recently - covers for 5x7 notepads.  This was another case of taking the photo with my phone and it turning.  I have it saved correctly on my computer but when loaded to the blog it turns and I can't correct that. No one seems to know why this happens. I've decided I'm just going to have to use the camera rather than the phone for anything I want to post to the blog. I'm going to offer to teach my local American sewing guild how to make these sometime this year.

Monday, January 13, 2020


 In bits of time here and there I'm starting to work on an afghan quilt (a gift) using Kaffe Fawcett fabrics. I bought a 10" package so I could get many prints without buying too much.  As it turns out I may have enough of the 10" squares to either back the quilt or better yet make another. Will be giving this thought as I work on it. Tomorrow jury duty starts so I have no clue if I'll have much time this week or not. One nice thing is I only live a few minutes from the courthouse.

A few days ago I decided to switch my fabric cabinet with the belongings of this one. The other cabinet is in the corner with less than 2 feet between it and my work table, really tough to search for fabrics. What was in this cabinet were things rarely used so I switched them. Marie Kondo would be impressed with how I folded all the fabric the exact same size to stack in the cubbies - I cut a piece of cardboard to aid in that chore. The top big shelf has fabric for clothing, the rest are quilting cottons.  The bottom two right cubbies hold ziplocs with bits and pieces for scrappy some point. There is another cabinet cubbie in the entertainment stand in this room that has all beachy fabrics and sheers for clothing. It took forever to fold and organize but I have a feeling of accomplishment for doing so...….my memory is now refreshed with what I have and other than if I need something for a specific project I better not be doing any fabric shopping.  I found some really cute sheep fabrics in my stash, lots of them, which may end up becoming baby quilts to donate locally.

Friday, January 10, 2020


Trying to fit in some fun stuff these days in-between the crap...….that word sounds funny because it's a not a part of my vocabulary but I guess it fits with my life these days.  So, a few days over the last week or so I worked on embroidering towels for my etsy shop.  They aren't listed yet as I need a day with good sunlight to get decent pictures, not sure when that will happen but I'll be ready to go with the new camera. I posted last year about a spot showing up in my photos - a speck of dust got on the inside of the lens of the old camera, it's just a point and shoot but I loved it. It would cost more to repair it than to buy new so I bought new with birthday money from late last year. I do still have the old camera and will carry it while hiking or walking on the beach, I can take photos if it's moved to the side so I can crop out the spot.

Speaking of things not being worth repairing - my printer (all in one machine) died two days ago. A problem with the print head and a new print head costs more than what the printer originally cost or what a new printer would cost.  So, we got a new printer yesterday. At least Staples gives a $30 recycling credit for the old printer...….when I say old printer, it's barely over 4 years old but that seems very old in printer land these days. I sure wish it was worth repairing appliances/electronics these days but they're made to be short lived and disposable, not cost effective to repair them.  Yes, I could have saved that old printer and replaced the printhead but I also have to look at dollars and cents I'm spending so buying new was best.

Here is one of the towels I embroidered, the photo was taken on a cloudy day and at the machine so color is off - the stripes on the towel are a light aqua - the design has poppies, trees and mountains. I love the way these turned out.

I recently bought this chicken pattern. It's stitched on a light yellow with white windowpane checked towel.  There are many others geared toward upcoming holidays, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day and Easter/Spring. They will be in the shop as soon as photography work is done.

I'm almost ready to start on a quilting project but trying to decide if I should weave something first.  So while I decide today may be spent re-organizing in the sewing room.  I need to switch 'stuff' in two different cabinets which entails re-folding and re-organizing all the fabric.

Monday, January 6, 2020

This and that......

I hope all had a safe and happy holiday.  Life has been challenging these days but I'll muddle through it, hopefully without totally losing my mind.

Once again photos taken using my phone have a mind of their own. I took the first picture with the phone held vertically but it turned anyhow, and even though I saved it on the computer and turned it the correct way and it shows that way on my computer screen once I uploaded it to blogger it turned again.  The second picture the phone was held horizontally. The two pictures below the phone held vertically, they turned out perfect when uploaded to blogger.  I don't understand it. I guess I'm going to just make sure I use the camera which I know will turn out correctly every time, before and after editing. Does anyone know why this happens with photos taken with a phone???

So, sorry that you have to turn your head to see this. Right before Christmas after I had finished all gifts I knit this cowl - it's called The Sampler Cowl and is by Heather Lynch. This was knit from my handspun which was spun from merino/tussah silk roving I had hand-dyed. I have enough yarn left for a pair of fingerless mitts which are on the needles and either a hat or headband.  This cowl pattern is free on Ravelry.

I saw this adorable fabric at Jordan's Quilts and had to buy it - this incredible fabric shop is just 5 minutes from the house!  I thought when I bought the fat quarter pack that I was only getting the prints but there was the big panels folded up along with them.  So I put the panel in the center, pieced the light colored prints for the first border and darker colored prints for the wider outer border.....and then piece 3 solids for the binding. This quilt is for Misty.  Sometimes I like to lay on the floor with her and she loves being under an afghan with me - so that's what this afghan quilt is for. It was quickly machine quilted, good thing you can't see it the details!

Here is a before picture of our gas fireplace at this house which we bought 1 1/2 years ago. We're slowly updating it room by room. Not only was this ugly with it's drywall mantel but it also put out zero heat.  And it was very scary to light the fireplace.

Here is our new and improved gas fireplace. Not only does it put out tons of heat but it will put out heat without the fan running, total radiant heat which is great if there's a power outage. It couldn't be easier to light with a little battery operated remote. After the new fireplace was installed we closed the wall back up with cement board and tiled it. Big black tiles on the hearth and small black tiles with white running through them on the wall which complements the kitchen granite. Then we hired the kitchen cabinet maker to make our mantel. That took a while as there were several measuring mistakes made but eventually it was installed (last week) and we love it.

The carpet is just cut in front of the hearth as it will all be coming out soon. We're still trying to decide what kind of flooring - laminate, real hardwood, whatever. Our past two houses had real hardwood floors that stood up to running dogs and one dog who drank water so it ended up all over the floor. So, we definitely need a floor here that will stand up to a crazy dog. While we research flooring we'll move on to the painting project - white ceilings, light gray walls and white trim and doors. It's an overwhelming job with the high ceilings what we may or may not do ourselves.

In-between house projects I hope to get more time to spend in the studio this year although the January calendar is already looking stinky.