Saturday, January 25, 2014

Looking for rain

Patchwork, housework, yard work.  Typical week here.  My laundry room was such a disaster.  I haven't seen the counter in months.  Right after I finished cleaning, my dryer broke. At least it was clean when the repair man showed up.
I ordered some Dishie yarn from Knit Picks, to make some new dishcloths, and immediately set about NOT making dishcloths.  I don't know what that crochet piece is going to be.  I'll just keep making those little squares until an idea forms itself, or I get bored with them.  Then I saw a picture of a bedroom on this blog, and was inspired to make the quilt that was in it.  So now I have 3 quilts started, and 5 more in my head that want to be made.

It's now been over 50 days since we've had any measurable rain here.  Yesterday it was 79 degrees, warm  and sunny.  It felt just like spring and I feel cheated out of winter.  I have a closet full of scarves, shawls and quilts that I made, and I'm not using any of them.  I love a good storm, wind howling, rain beating the house, even if the power goes out, and we have to light candles and talk to each other in the dark.  There has been no cuddly, snuggling time under a blanket in front of the fire, or digging through the closet for the umbrellas and rain coats. Today I'm wearing yoga pants and a short sleeved t-shirt. Weird.  Our country feels lopsided, with too much winter weather on one side and not enough on the other.

 It needs to rain.  Soon.

 Our house is not hooked up to city water, we have our own well.  I'm worried about our water level, and what this lack of rain will mean for our water supply. The rivers and lakes are all low, and there is little to no snow in the mountains. I find myself checking the weather forecast almost daily.

So I made some granola to take my mind off of it.  It looks kind of dark in the picture because it's chocolate granola, not burnt granola.  I used this recipe as a springboard and changed up a few ingredients.  Instead of peanuts, I used almonds and some Chia seeds, honey in place of the maple syrup, and coconut sugar for the organic sugar.  I only made half a batch and cooked it for 30 minutes.  The aroma wafting from the oven was intoxicating, as only the smell of baking chocolate can be.  I highly recommend it for what ails you.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  We are gladly accepting your rain/snow donations.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

I heart quilts

 Notice the sneaky puppy in the background.  She is laying next to the cans where we keep the dog food.  I just bet she's hoping this photo shoot ends soon, so she can eat.

Pixelated heart quilt in red scraps and white Kona.  Inspiration here and all over the internet.
If you hurry, you can make one before Valentines Day.  Also, I now have full use of both thumbs, so I'm back to the crochet hook.  I just saw that Knit Picks is having 52 weeks of free dishcloth patterns on their site, both knitting and crocheting.  Looks like fun.
Have a great weekend.  We will be watching football.  Go 49ers!!!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Projects for the New Year

All of a sudden I have a lot of projects started.  Most of them are of the quilty variety because I jammed my thumb when I was walking the dog ( she yanked and tangled the leash and somehow my thumb got caught up in the action, and now I haven't been able to crochet for about 2 weeks.  She is quickly earning the nickname Luna-tic.)  Anyway here is what I have going on at the moment....

The Liberty patchwork quilt is all cut and laid out, ready to sew together.

I found some orphan blocks while going through my stash, and made a few more.

 Almost done sewing the binding on a Pixelated heart quilt.  I may just have this done by Valentines Day!

 I have jumped into the Economy block-along madness, using fat quarters of Mad Mend by Cloud 9. The measurements for my blocks are based on these (thank you ginger monkey), but you can make them any size you want.  This is turning out to be just as addictive as the scrappy trip-along and the low volume quilts.
All this crazy sewing requires extra snacking sustenance, so yesterday I made some currant scones, using a combination of spelt flour and white flour, and changed out the white sugar for coconut sugar.  The recipe is from this book.....

So this is the start of 2014 for me.  I think I like it!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Stove top potholders and a Barbie duvet

Last week I saw some potholders here from Alder and Co.  I liked the looks of them and the little leather hanging loop, but most of my potholders are of the cheap affordable Target variety, or I make them myself (even cheaper), but the Alder pot holders were $28.  Each.  That's a lot of fabricyarnbooks I could be buying, instead of one potholder.

So I made some.
The gingham ones are made with Linen purchased at the Fabrics Store.  They have a lovely linen selection if you're into that sort of thing, and the fabric is beautiful. The dark blue one was from a piece of fabric in a Bits and Pieces Grab Bag I ordered from Pink Chalk fabrics.  You never know what you're going to get in those grab bags and it's always a nice surprise.  Only problem is, I really like the fabric but I don't know what it's called and I wouldn't mind getting more.  I think it's Robert Kaufman Indigo Chambray.  If you recognize it, let me know so I can go spend some more money.  Anyway, these potholders were super easy, and if you would like to make some, here's what I did.

Two 6.5"x8.5" pieces of fabric for the outside
Two 6.5"x8.5" pieces of muslin or other cotton for lining
Two 6"x8" pieces of batting (Yes they are cut smaller.)
water soluble marker, embroidery floss to decorate the front
Now layer your pieces in this order

outer fabric (right side up)
outer fabric (right side down facing the other outer fabric piece)
The batting is cut smaller than your fabric pieces on purpose.  Try and keep it centered on the muslin, so there is about 1/4" all the way around.  This way you are just sewing through the fabric thickness, and not all the batting. If you do run over onto the batting it's okay.  Later when you embroider, it will hold everything in place.
At this point, if you want to add a loop for hanging or just for general cuteness, get it in there now.
Pin and sew all the way around, ( I used my walking foot) leaving a 4" opening on one side for turning.  Clip corners, turn and sew the opening closed by hand.

 I marked the fabric at one inch intervals with a disappearing marker, then used 3 strands of embroidery floss and embroidered little X's on one side.  Don't fuss over getting all those little X's lined up or the same size.  This is a pot holder not a prom dress.  It's going to look great.
Aaaaand we are done.....

I guess you could top stitch all the way around, but I like the way they look just like this.  Kind of like a mini duvet cover.  For Barbie.
Yep she's all mine.  Sits on the bookshelf in my sewing room.  And it only took me 40 years to get her.  I know most of you probably played with Barbies at one point in your life, so maybe you can relate to this.
A few summers ago, my mom and two sisters were over here swimming.  We bobbed in the pool in a circle, just our heads and shoulders above the water, talking about when we were little kids.  I told my mom how disappointed I was the year I did NOT get a Barbie for Christmas.  You see, that year, my sister and I each asked Santa to bring us a Barbie. This was back in the days when there was only one kind of Barbie doll.  There was no such thing as Malibu Barbie, Holiday Barbie, or Astronaut Barbie.  You had one doll,(they all looked the same) and then bought extra clothes and accessories.
Well Santa brought my sister Jill a Barbie.  But I got a Midge.
 What. The. Hell.
 Jill's Barbie had long blond hair.  Midge (Barbie's friend) had short curly brown hair.  The dolls were identical from the neck down. Perky bosom, insanely skinny waist, mile long legs, and dainty high arched feet.  I always wondered about her feet.  Without any shoes, Barbie always had to walk around on her tip toes. (Secretly though, I wished for a new Barbie head, so I could pop off Midge's head and replace it.)  Every time I took that doll out to play with her it bugged me.  Every time.  And we played Barbies a lot.  I think my parents were probably trying to get us each something different anticipating arguments over the same doll (Jill and I are only 13 months apart. That says it all).  Anyway I said my Thank You's, sucked it up and made do, but I never told them how I felt. Until now.
 My mom apologized, saying she never realized, and why didn't I say something, blah blah. My sisters laughed, and said they would chip in so I could get some counseling (kidding).
Two months after the Barbie pool confession, my Mom gave me a Barbie for my birthday.  It was a complete surprise, and I actually got tears in my eyes.  I think I'm over it now. (ha ha Midge)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sphere Patchwork Pillow

When I ordered my Liberty fabric from Westwood Acres, they sent along a mini charm pack of Sphere by Moda.  What a nice surprise!  I set about piecing a pillow, along with some Kaufman Essex linen blend, which was just the kind of project I needed to break in my featherweight.
The front was a layer of patchwork, batting and muslin.  The back was envelope style.  I attached the front to the back with binding, just like a quilt.

Now back to the Liberty.....