Sunday, February 26, 2023

A little bit......

....a little bit of sewing happening here but not much. Did did come up with borders for 2 sides of the sample blocks to make them placemat size. They will have dark purple binding, it's already sewn, ironed and ready to go.  I now have 4 placemat tops set aside to quilt later on.  I've figured out my fabrics for the second part of the quilt workshop but now I'm questioning myself on what goes where.  For the immediate I'm back to making blocks for the teal quilt top for our guestroom bed.......I'm sure that will be set aside again soon to work on other projects. 

Snow off and on here the past couple of weeks, has been some on the valley floors but mostly a bit higher in elevation, enough to mess up driving on the passes to the north and south of our valley, and then many feet higher in the mountains, that is great thinking ahead to fire season. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Paper piecing......

 Last month I signed up for a 3 day paper piecing quilt class at Stitched on Second in Gold Hill. Friday was day 1 which was to learn the technique. Here is my block from that day, it's made up of 4 smaller blocks. The pattern is out of a Carol Doak book, the instructor provided it. It's fittingly called 'Cindi's Block'.  It was suggested that we should make 4 more big blocks and use them as the center of a baby quilt. I have no use for a baby quilt and I don't have a use for a wall hanging in these colors (I was working from bits of stash fabrics). I have decided to use them to make a set of placemats - I will add borders to 2 sides so I end up with a rectangle. They will be bright and cheery to use on the deck table once it's eating out weather. 

I'd love to be working on this over the weekend but the weather is nice and we need to get the plum and apple trees pruned - 2 plum trees done yesterday, will do the apple trees today. Did grapes last month. Roses still to come sometime in March. And it's getting time to think about the garden. There has been lettuce, spinach and chard growing under ground cover all winter.  It's amazing how much we have growing on a city lot - more than we ever had when we were on acreage. 

Day 2 & 3 of the workshop come in a couple weeks. We have homework to do - buy our fabrics, cut out paper patterns. I already bought my fabrics but need to decide what will go where.  The pattern we'll be doing for those 2 days is called Arizona Cactus - more complicated and includes curves.  

This month was a bad one for me to sign up for a class but I'm so glad I did - I love learning new!  I'm really enjoying the paper piecing. Of course I 'had' to buy a lightpad from the quilt shop halfway thru the day.  I have a tiny lightbox that I bought for who knows what over 25 years ago but it can't compare to a lightpad that has cutting mats that fit on top and it's big too. And I even got a carrying bag. Added benefit of being so flat to store, it won't take up much space. Every new technique comes with a new set of tools that must be added to the cupboard!  

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

This photo has been sitting on my desktop for quite a while now, since right after the last post when I was weaving it. I couldn't capture the iridescence in this scarf and the sequins don't sparkle as much as in real life. As I said in my last post this is my guild challenge - use gold to celebrate my guild's 50th anniversary. 

 I originally thought I'd weave a second scarf but then came to my senses and cut this one off to finish it. Since I'm no longer selling my handwovens what would I do with 2 scarves with sequins, even if I did use a different weft. I suppose I could have rethreaded to a different draft but still, I just don't need more scarf inventory, still have quite a bit from my selling years.  Instead I tied back on and am weaving using different variegated tencel wefts to create fabric to make notecard inserts. I will use notecards......I'll be using a dragonfly punch for the cardstock. 

It's snowing this morning - so nice to see some snow. It won't amount to a whole lot by the time it's over but it's covering the ground and is so pretty even though it's still dark out. 

Sunday, January 29, 2023


It's not evident in the photo but those are sparkly holographic sequins in this tencel scarf on the loom. The Saturday Handweaver's Guild will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and our challenge for the year to weave gold. Hopefully there will be an exhibit along with other celebrations. 

At first I was going to weave this with gold warp & weft but in my sampling it looks so flat so I started trying out different wefts. I really like this greyed teal weft. I put enough on for 2 scarves, still trying to decide between a few colors what color the weft will be for the next scarf. 

This is plain weave with double weave pockets that I slip each sequin in and then close them up on the next shot thrown. I made some scarves many years ago using this technique. This scarf will have a repeat of 5 rows of sequins on each end. For a conference exhibit (2001) on recycling I wove fabric with bigger pockets and slipped small circuit boards in them. This is a 6 harness weave. At some point I'll need to figure out how to weave a fancy twill with pockets........I'll add that to my very long to-do list. 

I tried out 3 different styles of gold sequins when sampling. They all happened to be from my way too large stash of specialty sequins. These are square and holographic gold. I buy my sequins from Cartwrights Sequins. I don't know if they still have these, haven't explored their website in quite a while since I have such a huge stash in a multitude of colors, sizes and shapes. 

This project is a nice break from working on quilt blocks. I've made 40 of the 72 needed - they are slow going. I'll get back to them sometime this week. 

Friday, January 20, 2023


 I got back to spinning before the holidays......not spending a lot of time spinning but I am spinning.  I'm working on some merino/tussah silk/tencel blend dyed by my friend Whitney of Twisted & Dyed Fibers. I got the first 2 braids spun and finished plying a couple nights ago, last night I wound the first of it into a skein. Two more braids to spin. And no, I'm not sure what this will grow up and be, will start thinking about it once I'm done and see how many yards I have.  I'm spinning it between a lace and fingering weight. I tend to spin fairly thin, will have to concenrate on spinning a little thicker after I finish this because I find so many patterns I like that require DK or worsted weight yarn. 

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Sox on the needles

Last year I think I only knit one pair of sox, or maybe I finished a pair from the year before and then knit another pair - can't remember right now.  Recently I decided I need a pair of black handknit sox so went searching through my stash and found this fun black yarn with specks (will take the 2 skeins I have). I haven't gotten very far and they'll be a long term project to cart along with me places......although it would be nice to wear them this winter.........

Still working on quilt blocks - think I have 34 now, not sure how many I need, at least 60 but probably more. I'll figure that out shortly.  I've been listening to the audio version of Outlander's book 7, An Echo in the Bone while I stitch. I downloaded it from the library so only have so much free time to listen to 46 hours, I 'think' I'm going to finish before it disappears from my Kindle. 

I've signed up for a quilt class in Feb/March. It has points and curves so I'll be learning new stuff. It's been so long since I've ventured out for any kind of class or workshop - I'm so looking forward to it.  I have finally gone back to my weaving guild meetings as of this past Saturday - nice to see many who I haven't seen since the start of covid.  I did wear my mask though with illnesses on the rise in our area. 

Monday, January 9, 2023

Wall pouches

I made a few of these wall pouches for gifts this year. I'm pretty sure directions for this project were in an email from Bernina with a link to the Bernina site. 

These two are in my sewing room on the wall behind my machines.  The pouches are made using 4" embroidery hoops and pouches sewn to fit.  I've hung them using Command hooks. 

 Here are two that I hung next to the Macomber loom. I already had the little basket that I made years ago - it's job was to hold bobbins but it was always overflowing with empty bobbins, bobbins with bits and newly filled bobbins for the current project.  With the addition of the two pouches I've got them all covered now. 

I'm still working on the quilt blocks shown in my last post and will be for a while - it's slow sewing.  I've now got 15 blocks sewn. I'll probably be in need of a break soon so will think about what to put on the loom.........or get off the loom as there's still a 3 scarf warp on the AVL............

Sunday, January 1, 2023

A better year......

Yes, I've been a terrible blogger by not posting.  I just haven't done much that I feel like sharing, or am just not in the mood to post......such is life. 2018-2022 were struggles with family illness/death, moving my mother twice to more care within the last 1 1/2 years, several hospital visits for her, but I'm determined 2023 will better. Christmas week we got my mother settled into the memory care building of her retirement community - she likes the smaller community so it will be a good move for her. The last straw in assisted living was her brawling in the dining room - a little dramatic but pushing someone with her wheelchair was her demise. Have to laugh about it now. 

When I had time in the fall I was working on gifts but alas, I forgot to take pictures of them so I could share them here.  Oh well.....some sewing, some knitting, some cross stitch. I'm still working on cross stitch in the evenings - I've been shopping in my own cupboard for small kits, many Shepherd's Bush, that I bought years ago. 

The past 2 years or so I've been collecting small bits of fabric for a quilt for the guest room bed.  It's a trundle bed but I want the quilt to cover the entire bed when the lower bed is brought up.  I started on it 2 days ago. 

Here are strips of fabric cut at varying sizes from 1 14" to 2".   There are 38 different fabrics plus the dark charcoal gray background.  I'm afraid tables in the sewing room will look like this until the project is finished which means I won't be working on any other projects at the machine until it's done - basically the thought of packing it all away to work on something else is overwhelming.  I'm hoping I have plenty of fabric, I've only cut a very small amount of it so far. There were 3 other fabrics I had but they got culled for being too gray. 

Here is the first block.  It actually consists of 4 triangles.  It's around 13".   This is sewn on paper to keep the bias edges from stretching out of shape. I've pulled the paper out from behind the charcoal gray but the rest will wait until it's sewn to squares around it. 

And this is what it looks like when 4 blocks are finished (16 triangles) - it created a spider web of sorts, an octagon. I'm loving the look. I looked at 2 different patterns, one in a magazine, one a free pattern online, to come up with my final design.

I will try to do better posting and I actually may have some fun projects to share since I know 2023 is going to be a better year - I'm determined to have more time to spend being creative.

I wish you all a peaceful and safe new year.