Monday, April 28, 2014

Daisy baby blanket

The Daisy baby blanket is out of the work basket and into the gift basket.   I didn't expect to make such a bright blanket, but the daisies are fun and youthful, so the colors really play well with the pattern.
This time of year it's very pretty in our valley. Vegetation grows at an alarming rate, I swear the grass grew an inch before I could put the mower back in the garage.  The rose bush stems are bowed under the weight of their blooms, and combined with the honeysuckle, the scent is intoxicating.
We leave the back of the property wild and undisturbed at my house, and I like it that way.  I think about all the little critters who call that part of the yard home, and where they would go if we cut everything back.
Last week I heard a familiar bird call,  grabbed my binoculars and went out on the porch.  There in the bottom branches of the Scarlett Oak tree sat a quail.  Now I've seen a lot of quail, but never up in a tree, so I figured maybe he was trying to get away from a cat, or just needed to get up high and take a look around.  The quails need the tall grass and blackberry thickets for cover and nesting. I'd rather keep everything natural so they stay around here.

I made a little pond in my garden area, but it's not quite done yet.  It's going to be just deep enough for birds and butterflies and frogs.  We will probably need to add some of those mosquito eating fish and I want to plant nasturtiums around the perimeter. Once everything is in place I'll take some pictures.
 During the winter, I had cut the Meyer lemon tree back real hard.  It opened up the area around it, allowing more sunlight to reach in, and as a result, a peony bush that I never noticed before (planted by the previous owners) rewarded me for my efforts.

Daisy blanket pattern: Tillie Tulip
Yarn: cream and blue - Berocco Vintage
          green, yellow, pink and grey - Knitpicks Brava worsted
           purple and red - Wool ease
Hook: H
Size: 32 x 37

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Little bits of pieces

This past week I've been finishing some quilting, and sewing patchwork.  I'm talking about little one inch finished squares, hand quilted, and looking very Zakka, kind of patchwork.
I used to shy away from tiny squares.  The precision needed for the cutting and fitting of minuscule seams, the pressing and pinning (mostly of my fingers) never appealed to me. Why make something so small when you can cover more ground with a 9 or 12 inch block?  Big blocks are simple, forgiving, and fast.  Sew a few together and you've got a quilt top in less than 48 hours.
Bam, you're done.
But  I have to say, these cute little blocks are really fun.  Since joining the Pack Patch Mini QAL at 1/4" mark, I only need to make 2 blocks per week, and I'm finding I want to make more!   Every Friday, Chase gives you a new theme for choosing the colors of your patchwork (ten weeks in all) to make a 22 x 24 inch mini quilt.  Tomorrow is week three.  Here are my finishes for the first two weeks.
These little blocks certainly won't de-stash your cupboard in a big way, but it's fun to dig around for pieces that you may have thought were too small to be useful.
And just to prove sewing is not always gumdrops and rainbows for a seasoned old quilter like me......
My first attempt was very humbling.  When I flipped it over for pressing, the cockiness was slapped right out of me.  Whaaaat is up with those seams?  My "I got this "attitude left the room in shame.   This will never do!  It cannot be posted on Flickr with it's QAL friends, sewn into a quilt or even a pincushion (really, this is way too much drama over a 3x4 inch block).  But despite being challenged by sewing together little bits of pieces, I'm looking forward to the next set of block instructions.

 I also have two other quilts on the design wall.  One is a graduation present for a friend, and the other I'm very excited about because it's going to be a family gift.  Not just for my little circle of 5, but for everyone on both sides,  the in laws and outlaws. I'm hoping to complete it by Thanksgiving, so I have plenty of time to fuss with it.  The best part is that it's all made with scraps.
 So how do you share a quilt with that many people?
Stay tuned.........

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Hi everyone!  Hope you are enjoying a beautiful Easter week.  I didn't do much decorating besides the obligatory wreath on the front door, fresh roses from my yard and what you see here.
We are going to my SILs house for lunch on Sunday with my husbands family, then to dinner at my niece's with my family.  I bought a new dress from here, anticipating a long hot day with lots of food and driving.   Running around in skinny jeans sounds like torture doesn't it?  Ugh, I just can't do it anymore, even too much jewelry makes me feel hot.  So wearing a tent dress with sandals is a comfy alternative (surprisingly, this dress is actually flattering, and the linen fabric feels good).

All three of my kids will be home and the pool is open for business. Fresh lemons from my sisters tree (mine all froze this year ) have been juiced for poolside lemon drops, the laundry is done, the groceries bought and put away. I have a manicure and pedicure scheduled for tomorrow(nothing says Spring like pretty painted toes!! ), so I'm ready for the Easter bunny.
Have a great weekend and I'll see you on the other side :)

Bunny embroidery pattern : free on Pinterest
Yo-yo puffs: rescued from a very old quilt bought at the flea market years ago
Roses: Alchemist climbing rose
Doily: Mandala from this pattern, and following final rounds from this blog

Saturday, April 12, 2014


I'm just stalling with crochet pictures because I have nothing done to share.  Here's another blanket I started last week, but it's only going to be a small one because I've already moved on.  The block is really fun, and I just thought I'd make a few to try it out, (at first I was thinking, soft muted colors) but the next thing you know I had a pile of primary colored daisy squares begging to be a blanket.  It's at that stage where you have enough blocks that you should commit to it and do something with them, but not enough finished that you actually can.  So, eight more to go and a baby blanket it is.

I started quilting on my shoo fly quilt all the while dreaming about  Clam shell quilts and
giant Log Cabins. Anything but half square triangles.  The block from my last post was full of them and I only ended up making a grand total of 4.  I'm going to add some linen and turn them into place mats.
I'm realizing that not everything I make needs to be a full size something or other.  I usually have a "go big or go home" attitude when I begin a project, and maybe that's why I don't finish everything I start.  From now on if my quilt/crochet becomes boring, overwhelming or stuck, maybe I should stop right there, and see if it can become a smaller version of itself.

Totally unrelated, as part of my ongoing spring cleaning, I did a mini make-over in one of the downstairs bathrooms today.  It's mostly cosmetic, changing out towels and accessories.  I had to re-paint the dresser because the paint was chipping off in places and I never really liked it's yellowish color anyway.  Besides, the dog chewed one of the rugs. Sigh.


I'm thinking of adding a small quilted wall hanging, so I might have a dig through my stash and see what I can find for coordinating fabric.  In the meantime, it's clean and fresh and the dog better not get any more bright ideas.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Quilting love

I think the things I dislike about sewing are also the reasons I love to quilt.  Sounds quite fickle doesn't it?

I don't much like the measuring, cutting, pressing, trimming and measuring again.  Tedious and fiddly.
Matching points, (or not matching points), ripping out and re-sewing.  I'd rather play with fabric and colors and blocks, styles and themes, the design process.  But I guess you can't have one without the other can you?
So when it all comes together and you create something you love, well, then it's worth all the little  fiddly, tedious parts.

Hope you're all doing something you love this week!

edited to add: Bock pattern and tutorial here

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Economy Quilt

We have just been getting soaked the last few days, so when the rain finally cleared off and the sun came out, I grabbed the camera and my economy block quilt.

I used a fat quarter bundle of Mad Mend fabric and the 12" economy block instructions from Ginger Monkey.  The binding was hand sewn while watching the first season of Game of Thrones on DVD,
(I could not get through those books) and eating this chocolate sheet cake from Pioneer Woman. 
You'd better have lots of butter on hand for this one.  The best part, besides eating it, was pouring the warmed icing over the cake, sooo goood!)

 I bought a new pan, enamel with a blue edging, from Crow Canyon Home, which I purchased at Amazon.  This pan has already roasted a chicken, baked a cake, roasted veggies, and baked some biscuits.  You can throw just about anything in it, and it cleans up easily.  I've heard you can even bake pies in them. Now I want a smaller one.
I started some Spring cleaning this week.  One room at a time.  I'm cleaning from baseboards to ceiling, moving furniture, washing windows and cleaning out closets.  I even bought two gallons of paint because all the doors and woodwork need to be touched up. It's going to take a few weeks to get through the whole house, but it will be clean and organized before summer and I can spend more time outside.