Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer Rolls Along

We had a couple of 'warm' days here in Helena in June, but for the most part it has been pretty cool. Not really feeling the summer vibe. But of course, in true Montana fashion, if it's in the 40's, on goes the shorts. Go figure.

But today the temperatures are set to start going up for the next week or so. Which means watering the lawn and my tomatoes daily. 

Anyway, my June goals were...

  • Gym time - HAHAHAHAHA!
  • Writing - morning pages if nothing else and more extensive journaling - another HAHAHA!
  • Start the Almond Country BOW quilt (supplies and backing purchased) - staying on top of it and making a second quilt at the same time
  • Local Quilt Shop Hop and start the Row by Row hop - did the local hop and won from one of them and will collect more 'license plates' as we do day trips
  • Big Sky Fiber Festival - 
  • Swim lessons and t-ball start for Lady K  - which is one reason why no gym time!
  • Texter takes her written driver's test so she can start practicing driving
  • Crystal Park to dig for crystals - did!
  • Gulch Distillers for a class on making syrups - I have a jar of simple syrup, ginger syrup, and raw sugar syrup
  • Lots of knitting! - so-so, wrapping up the Mystery Wrap
  • Even more reading! - read enough to turn in a Book Bingo sheet at the library

So for July...

  • Texter has NaguCon and I am the babysitter (3 days)
  • Symphony in the Park with the 'gang'
  • Copper K Fiber Festival and a drop spindle class
  • Two hikes - one with Lady K and Texter and one without
  • Staying up on the Almond Country Quilt and the Batman Quilt
  • GYM!
  • Reading (or listening to audio books)
  • T-ball and second round of swim lessons
  • Phillipsburg (candy) and Gem Mountain day trip
  • Finish knitting Mystery Wrap, Trout Creek Shawl and one pair of socks (have one sock done!)
  • Start on (and hopefully complete the top for) the Queen of Ween and the Disney Villains quilts. I have one top designed and the other I am using a Moda pattern on.
  • Trip to Phillipsburg to the Sweet Shop 
  • Help/participate in a cleanse with Savvy while she is on vacation (of course, this is after the trip to the sweet shop
  • Couple of hikes with the hiking group
  • Taking a "Birds of a Feather" quilt block class
  • Texter taking her driving test for her learner's permit now that a replacement birth certificate has arrived

But for now...more coffee to go with some baked apple donuts.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Split Personality

These days I feel I am two different people.

One part of me is taking Lady K to swim lessons, T-ball, to the park...

Of course, I get to sit and knit or read while at most of these.

And while she doesn't mind going to practice and games...

Well, what can you say. Interest wanes. (Actually, this is how I feel about baseball in general.)

What is really fun is to watch Texter try and coach a dozen 4 and 5 year olds who would rather just be running amok (and they do!). 

Then my other half is sewing and knitting.

A pile of blocks for my Disney Villains quilt for Savvy. Of which I have no idea what happened when I read the instructions for the quilt and came up with a TON of extra 2.5 x 2.5 squares. I have no idea. I am sure it's me and not the designer's instructions.

And I am staying on top of the blocks for the Almond Country Beauty Quilt.

Today will be spent cutting out the fabrics needed for the Batman Beauty Quilt. It should be fun as points are split on this block and I have to make two. 

Oh, I guess I could be split three ways as cleaning and tidying seem to be a constant with Texter, Lady K and I at home all the time now.

Whatever 'part' of me is functioning currently needs to go get more coffee!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Fingers Crossed or Bay Window Love

The house we are renting until the move back to North Carolina has a bay window in the living room. It faces east, but since it 'bows' out, it also catches a southern exposure too. Rather than let it go to waste, or Lady K and the dogs taking over, it has become my indoor garden area.

Or rather, the Orchid Garden...

Missing is the pot of dirt with a piece of ginger and a piece of turmeric I am seeing if I can grow. Also, the succulent gardens (2) Texter brought home from a wedding she went to this past weekend.

Most of the orchids I have received as gifts or are 'rescue' plants.

In March, the orchid club had a repotting where I divided and repotted a couple of my own plants. The one above was a 'rootless' division one of the members was going to trash, but I took to see what would happen.

Much to my delight (and my benign neglect), it is actually putting out a little shoot!

And one of my own divisions and repottings may make it yet as there is evidence of new growth!

There is also new leaves growing on a couple of plants which, fingers crossed, may mean flowers in the future. The one above I purchased locally and she wasn't sure what it was, so it's a bit of a mystery orchid.

And while Savvy likes avocado, I like the seeds. This one has about a 3 inch root on it now and the second one is getting ready to show it's root. I need to find a couple of pots to put them in soon.

This aloe is not only blooming, but has a 'pup'.

Now for more coffee and some misting. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Bagging It, Or At Least I'll Look Good

This was the state of my 'current' rotation of knitting projects. The pink box holds my needles and hooks and the polyfil is for a project not knitted yet. But it is a collection of paper bags and plastic sacks culled from purchases at yarn stores and the like.

And if you have ever carried around a paper sack, or even a plastic bag, you know after a while...

well, it looks tacky, torn and just sad.

They looked cute. I could use fat quarters I had purchased for some project yet to be named. And I bought the pattern.

A bit of procrastination in the middle of the endeavor and here they are!

I made two sizes. The Project Bag, which is a bit bigger than the Everything Bag. With the sheep fabric I bought, it was a no brainer to make these 'knitting' bags.

By the way, I was informed by Lady K she liked sheep. Let's see how long all six will be in my possession. 

And they have this cute gusset on the bottom so they will sit up all nice and straight. A clever touch to take it up a notch.

The smaller bag is going to be perfect for carrying around sock knitting. The larger bag will hold a shawl or bigger project.

So while my knitting bin is still full of 'stuff', it at least looks nicer.

For now, my Mystery Wrap is in my Moda bag and a pair of Vanilla socks is in my sheep bag. Carrying the sheep bag with my sock knitting to practice and games will look so much better, not to mention being stronger than the paper bag I had it in. Ditto for the other bag.

I have several more fat quarters I plan on turning into bags in the future. This pattern lends itself to assembly sewing. And I may look for some ribbon to use for the ties rather than making my own.

Now that this project is out of the way, I have started on my Disney Villains quilt. All the evil queens in purple, just right for Savvy. And I am throwing in some black cats, her favorite.

The top is all cut out and ready to assemble into blocks. This was done while rearranging Texter's room to put in the window air conditioner since it was suppose to be in the 90's yesterday. And her room has no circulation and gets hot on the coolest of days.

The only problem with this quilt will be when it's finished and Lady K takes a gander at it. As the heir apparent she might try and lay claim to it early. But Queen Savvy will take issue and render a royal decree to keep her hands off of it!

One set of 8 blocks ready to sew up...

And making the half square blocks will take place once I make the blocks and everyone wakes up. Hopefully, fingers crossed and errands are few, I can finish this up today or tomorrow and figure out the borders and backing.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Mandala Monday

'My life is part humor, part roses, part thorns.'

- Bret Michaels

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Week In Review - June 18 - 24

We reached a couple of milestones this week. Lady K graduated from being a "Pike" to an "Eel". Which means she passed her swim lessons! And this from a kid whose hair we can't wash because she doesn't like her face getting wet.

And T-ball started, which is a double huzzah! Texter is the coach. They were short on coaches and she volunteered so they could have enough coaches. It's basically herding kittens with a bat and ball.

Otherwise, while it has been a 'quiet' week - no day trips or anything - we have remained very busy.  The next couple of weeks will be quieter with just T-ball before the next swim class starts, but it will be busy too.

There is this puny little rose bush on the side of the house. And it has the most fragrant roses! I am going to explore taking cuttings of this rose.

And then I managed to raid a friend's peony bush (with her standing there) and came home with an armload of peonies. Enough to make a lush vase for not only me, but for Savvy to take to work.

This is one plant I am going to have to learn how to grow in the southeast and fill the beds with fragrant peonies. Along with old roses.

I had ordered another Hello Fresh box because they were donating to a charity I like. I enjoy the convenience of the boxed dinners, all neatly packaged up, if only they weren't so expensive! 

But this box had a Peppercorn Steak with Creamed Kale, which I thought I would really enjoy the steak.

Steak was ok, but creamed!

And because Savvy was off work and not out playing D&D, we made two of the dinners at the same time and sampled off both. "Her" dinner was pork dumplings with a cabbage slaw.

This recipe will be repeated (they send you an ingredient card). I loved these! Simple and so yummy.

The other 'biggie' for the week was the block for week 3 of the Almond Country Beauty quilt.  I was behind on last week's Batman blocks and got them all caught up.

Let me just say the Batman quilt is going to be BRIGHT! So now I have a bit of time to relax for the next block rolls around.

Otherwise this week...

  • Finished 2 books
  • Have the 6 project bags sewn up. Need to finish up the ties.
  • Won a prize basket from the quilt store hop.
  • Received the rest of the fabric ordered for the Halloween quilt
  • Finished a bit more on the Mystery Wrap and my Vanilla Sock (still not done on either!)
  • Lots of Lady K sitting as Texter had a wedding party and wedding to attend
  • Wrote 8 posts

This coming week...

  • Texter takes the written part of her driver's test. One step closer to driving herself!
  • Monthly "What's New" at The Sewing Palace (focus on t-shirt quilts!)
  • Work on Halloween Quilt
  • Finish up project bags
  • Reorganize orchids (and take some pictures)
  • WRITE!
  • GYM!
  • Finish up the Mystery Wrap
  • Staying 'chill' for the next couple of days with high temperatures!

Well, off for more coffee and to think "Halloween"


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fabric Haul - Halloween

I have really resisted doing 'holiday' quilts. I never really desired any. Well, maybe my flannel Grinch quilt (which the top is done, I just need the backing).

Then I saw the "Queen of Ween" design line and fell for it.

And one of the shops on the hop carried some of the line.

There is one big panel with the witch in black. And a collage of different cards.

And then 4 smaller 'cards'.

I found them almost Alice in Wonderland-ish. And I love them!

There are a couple more panels with smaller cards and pictures and then I also purchased with them online a couple of yards of coordinating fabric in the line.  Black with skelton hands for one. 

But Texter fell in love with it too and we found some other fabric from different lines that I will probably incorporate along with them.

The top left I probably won't use with this quilt. Not sure yet. 

I have come up with a design for the quilt I think will work.

The large panel in the center, with the smaller queens around it. Then the 'cards', which are coming, set on point around them. Think it will work. This is going to be a fun one and hopefully I can get it all done by this Halloween.

However, we seem to have been in a Halloween mode during this road trip.

Another panel which I might use on the back of my 'Queen' quilt.

Yet another panel! What you don't see are the trees she is flying over. I am going to do this as a 'window' quilt where it will look like you are looking out an open window as she flies by. Not sure if this will be a lap quilt or just a wall hanging.

This will probably be incorporated into the witch quilt in some way. Not sure yet. Maybe just on the back. Pieced backs are more and more common these days.

As you can see, I have plenty of time at the sewing machine and the knitting needles to last me for awhile.

Did I mention the drop spindle class the end of July?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Fabric Haul - Savvy

So we go from foxes to cats and Asian fabrics.  And Disney Villains.

What's not to like about the Disney bad girls? In purple?

Haven't picked a design for this fabric, so it will probably be a design of my own making. With some fussy cutting to highlight the pictures of the bad girls of Disney.

But I have been grabbing fat quarters and yardage of cats for a bit now. The bottom right fabric was selected by Lady K, by the way. I also have the Cat quilt by Elizabeth Hartman in the works for her.

Managed to pick up a bit of fabric for her. Love the cats with the Oriental vibe going on. And the two prints on the right are to die for. In my to-do pile, is a HUGE art quilt I have the design sketched out and it's in the works, but it is going to need some space to spread it out at some point to accomplish. Hmmm....may have to recruit a quilting friend and some of her studio space where I can lay it out and do some cutting on one day.

So cats and Oriental, with a bit of Paris thrown in.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Fabric Haul - Texter

Dividing my haul up based on Texter, Savvy and Halloween.

I have been stashing fabric for Texter for awhile now. FOXES!

Nothing specific for these fabrics except for the two on the right. 

First off, we both fell in love with the brown animal print! Texter wants an apron out of this with pockets out of the pink on the far right. It should be cute. I think I am going to use the Purl Soho Adjustable Apron pattern. The body takes 1.25 yards and I only have 1 yard, but it is made for a guy, so may have to do some 'figuring' on this. I really think I want to find some fox fabric in a heavier fabric for the apron. Hmmmm.....

Another small fox panel.

This is all the fox prints/patterns I already had on hand for her. I have cut out come fabric for the Fancy Fox pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. And then the Hoffman digital print, I have the kit for a lap quilt/wall hanging.

Another panel with a fox on it. And a wall hanging of a fox. Lots of appliqué.

Lots of fussy cutting in my future to make a quilt out of all the fox fabric, but it should be fun.

Note: In case you think I have forgotten Lady K and CJ, not the case. Lady K has an owl quilt I bought fabric for when she was born I will be doing. Not to mention some other fabrics - which I may or may not do at this point in time.

And CJ - well, I have some blues and some old dress shirts I plan on using for a quilt for him!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

1648 Pictures and a Winner!

So I get a call on Tuesday from the Dysfunctional Quilter in Whitehall, Montana. I won!

From the local quilt shop hop, I won one of the two prizes she had. Mine was the Moda bundle of goodies. So between swim lessons and T-ball practice, I hopped in the car and drove over and picked up my winnings.

This morning I settle down to write about my 'lovelies' and discover, on my phone, are 1648 pictures to download!

It seems, Lady K, who had used it to listen to music yesterday before T-ball practice was recording her singing.

There are approximately 1632 pictures of various facial contortions as she sang along to the music from "Sing". And a couple of Texter in the front seat (of my very messy car!)

It use to be I could auto-remove pictures when I download to my computer, but not anymore. Or at least not a way I am aware of. So Texter will be my 'auto-remove' on my phone today!

Anyway, back to my winnings...

It was all contained in this cute tote. While I may use it to carry things to the monthly show-and-tell at The Sewing Palace, it will probably be repurposed as a knitting tote.

Tons of goodies!

What would a quilt shop win be without fabric? I have two charm packs and two mini-charm packs. Now I have to haunt the Moda Bakeshop site to decide what to do with them. The Juniper Berry charm packs are actually Christmas themed - subtle, but Christmas.  Maybe some kind of modified Irish Chain quilt?


And what is on the front? Foxes! 

This may come in handy when I get ready to quilt some of the tops I have ready and that are in the works. While the book is all pictures and no directions, there is a link to the tutorials for the blocks apparently. 

Meant for wine glasses, I have NEVER lost my glass in all my life. Try and make me set down my wine glass! 

Actually, like the tote, these may go over to the knitting side as progress markers.

And finally, the thing I am going to have to hide from Lady K because this will be right up her alley - a finger light!

I can see this being really handy for needlework (or shooting someone the finger!). Hmmm....wonder if I could strap it onto a knitting needle to knit in the dark with?

All-in-all what a great win! And the Dysfunctional Quilter is where the bulk of my fabric spending went on the shop hop, so a double win.

Now to figure out what quilt to make with the fabric.