Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer shawl

I love making shawls.  It was one of the first patterns I tried when I was learning how to crochet.  I have three on the hook right now, including a half granny in Noro Silk Garden (so far I have a love/hate relationship with this yarn.  It comes off the ball a bit stiff, like kitchen twine, but then has a nice drape when it's made up.  I hope it softens up a little), and another Sweet November in a pretty yellow.  I will probably post about them when they are finished, but I just wanted to share the beautiful color on this one.
This is going to be the Dory Shawl found on Ravelry.  I'm using Berroco Pure Pima in #2225, cool blue, with a J hook.  I LOVE this color!  The yarn is lovely to work with and has a slight sheen to it. It's going to be great to wear on summer evenings!
The bird nest is real by the way. I found it on the ground years ago after a storm.  Just wanted you to know I don't go around stealing bird nests from trees just to decorate my house.  You never know if they are done with it or not.  I brought it in the house and put it in a plastic bag in the freezer for a few days to kill of any vermin that may have been living inside. Then I bought the little wooden egg to go with it, and have used it on table top displays for years now.  I never tire of looking at it.

I'm slowly working on my low-volume log cabin.  Iv'e decided to back it with voile, use wool batting and then tie it.  I'm going for poofy, smushy, quilty goodness.   I can't wait to get under this one!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer Table

I finished up a few more kitchen items this week and tried out a new quilting method too!  Here's a simple patchwork table runner made with stash scraps.
Do you like my chicken tea pot?  It was a gift from my daughter a few years ago.  You have to grab it by the neck to pour, which was a little weird at first, but I've gotten past that : )

I also made a couple of pot holders using the quilt as you go method.
I centered a small scrap of fabric on a piece of Insul-brite, and used my walking foot to quilt lines, about the width of my foot (the walking foot, not my foot), across the scrap.  Then I added another piece next to it, right sides together, sewed down with a 1/4 inch seem, flipped the top piece over, then quilted that piece down.  You just keep going, adding pieces, log cabin style, until you reach the ends of your insulation piece.  Then you square it up to the desired size.  For a tutorial you can go here (she made a whole quilt using this method) or here to check out tote bags and other projects.  It's really fun, and I'm loving this method for making pot holders.
Also a summer table is not complete without a recipe or two that can only be made this time of  year.    One of our most favorite party drinks comes from this book by Susan Branch ( I love all her books!).

 The drink is called "Skip and go Naked", and it's a party in a blender.  All you need is  frozen pink lemonade (I know, so girly and pink right?), beer, vodka, and ice.  Add some sun, music and a pool and you will be one happy camper.  I think the book might be out of print, but you can still find it used on Amazon.
I'll be linking up to Tuesday at the Summer Table.  Thanks for hosting Debbie!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Turn down the volume

I just saw something fun a few days ago.  It was a drop-everything-I- gotta-try-this moment. (Well anyway, it was new to me).  Have you ever heard of  Low Volume quilts?
The idea is to use fabrics that are neutral, with minimal color, white backgrounds etc.  Like this....
I pulled everything I had from my stash, which was really lacking in neutrals, and then ran off to my LQS, and bought some fat quarters. While there, I asked if anyone had heard of low volume quilts.  Nope. 
Pam was helping me, (she is so fun.  I always try to go in when she is working) and said that quilters usually don't have a lot of these types of fabrics in their stash.  I certainly didn't.

When I got home, I put some log cabin blocks together, and here is what it looks like so far.....
 There is something soft and pretty about all these lighter fabrics side by side. They almost blend. Rather than being in the background, they are the main event.  It's a different way of looking at neutrals, and I like that.  I even used the back side of some of my brighter fabrics to get a more muted affect. Go check out the beautiful quilt Karen is making over at Sew Peachey (send her some new blogger love).  She also has a link to a Low Volume QAL on flickr where you can see more of these types of quilts.
I'm going back to play some more.  Ssshhhh!  Keep it down : )

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer of the Granny

There is a granny square sampler CAL going on over at wise craft.  All summer we will be working on creating different granny blocks and then putting them together as a sampler blanket.  This is a great project, even for a beginner, because it starts out with the most basic granny, and then introduces a new version each week.  Here are a few of my squares so far.....
  I'm using up most of my acrylic stash, and learning some new patterns in the process.
All summer long...hanging with the gran.  Oh yeah.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Granny Quilt

I think summer is here.
It's going to be 100 degrees today, so I ran outside this morning to snap a few pictures before it got too hot.  The granny square quilt is done, finished off with a bright yellow binding.
I made it wall hanging size, about 40.5 x 40.5 inches.  The pattern is from Blue Elephant Stitches.
I pieced the back with the leftover fabric.
The oak tree was kind enough to assist me with the photo shoot.
So pieceful.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tarragon and Towels

The heat has been turned up here in California, and that means BBQ and pool weather (Sorry all you UK peeps.  I wish I could send you some sun!).  Also lighter and cooler meals from the kitchen.  I had some leftover BBQ chicken and made one of my favorite salads for lunch.
Here's what you need....
Chopped cooked chicken
red or green grapes, sliced in half
celery, chopped
salt and pepper

Mix all of the above to your taste.  Don't skip the tarragon!!  It really adds a lot to this dish.
 I sprinkled my salad with a few sliced almonds, and served on red leaf lettuce. 
I was first served this at a business luncheon years ago (seems another lifetime now), and remember thinking, chicken and grapes? Am I going to want fruit and chicken in my mouth together at the same time?
 It was really good!
Since then I have found a similar recipe in Barefoot Contessa at Home.  There are a lot of other delicious salads in this book as well.

Okay, onto the sewing.  Hexies that is.  Seems I can't stop making these cute little guys, but haven't really gathered enough for a quilt, because I keep sticking them onto things.   Like dishtowels.
These striped dishtowels have been hanging out in my stash for a couple of years now.  I bought them on sale thinking someday I would embellish them with applique or embroidery.  Well, finally!!!

Linking up with Debbie at Tuesday at the Summer Table.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Weekend shenanigans

Here comes the weekend!  Or maybe you're already smack in the middle of it.  I plan on hanging out by the pool and finishing a few projects both in the garden and at the sewing machine.
Here's what I'm working on.......

I just received some new Malabrigo in the color eggplant.  I'm thinking a new shawl for the fall.
Fabric for the ol' stasheroo.  There was a small opening in my closet, about the same size as this pile.  Had to fill it.
There is a great CAL going on at Wise craft.   I may be secretly going along with this, but am not sure how committed I am at the moment.  I should  be committed .... to a loony bin for starting another project.
I will be back on Tuesday with a finish for my kitchen.  That way I can link up with Debbie's Tuesday at the Summer Table.  She is offering great prizes for a link-up winner at the end of the month.  Go see!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fabric vs. Yarn. A race of craftiness.

First came the fabric.  I love the floral on the top of the stack.
Then the yarn....
Enter the sewing machine.....
And then the hook!......
Actually this is really about me avoiding the quilting that needs to be done on my Daisy cottage pink and grey quilt.  But we'll talk about that later.....
I think the Fabric is winning.

P.S. A note to my new followers....Welcome!  I try to always answer all comments left here, but some of you are set up as no-reply bloggers!  If you have left a comment and you haven't heard back from me, it's because your set up not to receive any emails.  Go to your profile page and click on EDIT.  Then mark the box that says Show Email.  Don't forget to save the changes at the bottom of the page. I love to chat with you, so if the feeling is mutual, then don't be shy.  Show that email !!!!
P.P.S  I had mine set up as no reply when I first started too.  It takes a while to get the hang of all this crap blogging stuff :D
Lynne xx