Monday, January 27, 2014

Woodland Birds

When I first got settled here, I was surprised at how few birds there were. The trees and bushes seemed silent compared to what I was used to at our house in the valley. I put out feed in hopes of encouraging the locals.

It took more than two weeks, but finally Juncos came - by the dozens.

A few weeks after that I was startled by a flash of bright blue, a Steller Jay.

And recently a handful of these cocky fellows. I've never seen this bird before so I got the out the book and found they are a Varied Thrush. They're considered 'an uncommon year round resident, a migrant visitor from September to March in forested  areas.'



'70s Flashback

I found my husband's old chambray shirt from before we were married, circa 1978. I had lovingly embroidered the front and back as a gift. He wore it until it was too small.

The New Covenant
Too bad I didn't use an embroidery hoop.

The True Vine
Bound For Glory

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Postage Stamp Quilt

I have a good-sized box of 1 1/2" squares cut from scraps from friends and left-over projects. I wanted some mindless sewing so I started making little four-patch blocks. Once I had a stack I laid them out to see where I wanted to go next.

Creating a dark diagonal chain.

Sixteen-patch blocks...

On point...

Scrappy one-patch...

But I felt I've already done all of those in one form or another. I went to a file folder on my computer called Quilt source pix, sort of my personal Pintrest, which was my way of collecting images I liked long before Pinterest came along, and looked in there. I found half a dozen different pictures of the traditional postage stamp chain quilt popular in the 30's. My inner quilter must want to make this quilt.

I should probably start now... if I want to finish in this lifetime.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kitchen Vignette

Have You Seen the Cat?

More than once she wasn't in any of her usual favorite spots. I found her in the sewing room, tucked out of sight.

Out With the Old

As I move into the sewing room I'm sorting through the works in progress and the unfinished objects again. Some of these I know I'm never going to get back to, time to liberate them.

I had such high hopes for this project, but I'm just not fond of curved piecing and therefore not very good at it. My blog shows I started this in '07. I put it on the Freebee table at guild last week.

I feel so light. What else can I give away?

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Autumn Pullover

During all the weeks of packing, moving and settling in, I've been working on this year's sweater. So portable, such a comfort through it all. There's something very satisfying about the weight of a knitted sweater as it sits in your lap while you knit.

I spent most of November knitting and reknitting stripe sequences. Even though I drafted it in the sweater designer, I still needed to see it made up. I guess I don't mind ripping, 'cause I did a lot of it. 

I was concerned I might not have enough yarn, so I added a yellow gold called Straw and heather green. I traveled to near and distant yarn shops during Thanksgiving weekend looking for the right weight, color and texture. It was surprising to me how few LYSs carry Cascade 220 Sport. Everyone seems to want superwash. I bought superwash, but it was too soft, too nice, too... polished.

But one of the good things that came out of all that searching, was some wonderful advice. One of the shop owners suggested using a pencil to audition stripe sequences. "Like weavers do." Ah ha!


Once I figured out the order of the colors, it's been smooth knitting.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Memory Card Game

I knew moving in early December was going to mean the sewing room would be unavailable for awhile, so I worked ahead on gifts. Now that Christmas is passed I can share some of the things I made.

DGS1 has played with my Memory cards, but trying to match print fabrics was a little challenging for him at not quite two and a half. So I decided to make him his own set.

I had a lot of fun stash diving and finding fabrics with fruit, dogs, carrots, moons, candy, rainbows, honey bees and other shapes.

Then I laid them out on Wonder-under fusible web, covered it with a pressing sheet and fused the squares to the interfacing.

I rough-cut them apart, then trimmed the extra fusible web from each square.

Removed the paper backing.

Then I cut felt squares and marked each with a positioning dot.

Here they are fused to the felt.

I grouped them with the color thread I wanted to use to applique around each square for stability and accent.

After all these years, I finally got to use the buttonhole applique stitch on my Janome. I love it!

I put them in a 'safe' place so I could find them when we arrived at the new house. As luck would have it, I didn't find them in time to give them to our grandson at Christmas. But I found them a day later!