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.


Fabric Haul - Overview

The past week was a local shop hop of which I wanted to participate in. After all, I might win something!

It also happens as a lead in to the Row by Row Experience for 2017

And while I am not in love with actually doing the rows, I have picked up the preprinted license plates for some of the shops which already had them for sale.

Another reason why I am doing a series of posts on the fabric I over bought is that it is said if you actually put your plans/goals out into the world, then you have a better chance of completing them. So I am putting it all out there!

The above will be going into my Montana Memories quilt I will be making when we move back to North Carolina next year. It's a great reminder of some nice road trips and all the 'quilty' friends I have made. And what a great state for encouraging quilting Montana is.

I did manage to purchase a bit of fabric just for me.

Metallic and blues and purples I will be fussy cutting to use this as the center of a medallion for a quilt. I have this Noodle Box pattern by Patchwork Fun coming and will probably use these as the center of the quilt blocks. I had to reorder a couple of her patterns which didn't survive the fire and added the Noodle Box to it. 

And a lovely batik.

Then a panel of horoscope designs...

Right now I am torn between just putting on stretcher bars as a picture or using the signs for the family in a quilt. Since there are 4 signs for the 5 family members, I could use them as cornerstones for a quilt. Something with a kalidescope-ish design? Will have to think a bit more on this.

And then another panel 'we' bought (Texter and Lady K have been along on these trips are a terrible terrific enablers).

This is a Cosmos digital print and will be stretched as a picture once we get to North Carolina. I have two other panels in my stash from the past few years which I will stretch for pictures once we move and I can hang things on a wall again.

So for now, other than Almond Country Beauty, most of the things are going to be for the family as a whole, or individuals specifically. Stay tuned for more of my stitching plans.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

More Fiber In My Diet

Of course, I am still working on my Mystery Shawl which is no longer a mystery.  It's been retitled "Starting Point" and to see what it will look like, you can go here.

It will be a long shawl/wrap, which means I can really wrap up in it. I am through half of it and am on  clue 2 of the second half before I can join and do the center 'arrows'. But with Texter coaching Lady K's T-ball team starting today, I will have at least a couple of hours each week to dedicate to sitting and knitting while they are playing ball.

And while I have a whole slew of WIP, I couldn't resist adding a couple more.

The yarn on the left has some sparkles in it and I thought about a cabled hat from it. But that would use only about half the skein. And I picked up the Zauberball because it had greens in it and it turns out the greens are pretty close in color. So I might have to make the Kerchief by Kieran Foley with them. 

photo courtesy of Kieran Foley

But the 'biggie' I have in the planning process is the Color Affection by Veera Valimaki (I think this is what I am going to do). I have had it in my library of patterns for a while now and think I am going to make it with these yarns.

The yellow I have had for a while now. The light gray I added from the Big Sky Fiber Festival. The cream and dark gray I added from my stop at Joseph's Coat in Missoula.  

So I have actually finished ZERO knitting projects and now I am adding three! But hopefully, the balance will switch to the FO's in the near future. After all, Tour de France starts on July 1 and that's prime knitting time!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mandala Monday

'In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.'

- Deepak Chopra

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Week In Review - June 11 - 17

A bit overcast first thing this Sunday morning, but the sparrows are hitting on the bird feeder yet again. The babies are flying, so my front yard is like a scene from a horror movie with all the birds waiting to mob it. 

And if I don't buy some more bird feed soon (read today!) then it could get ugly.

But it's the kind of day I will be sewing and knitting and watching YouTube videos. 

Texter has started a YouTube channel and you need to check out her video on our trip to Crystal Park (here - and subscribe to her channel please!)

We bought a Go-Pro camera this past week (splitting the cost between us) and plan on making videos of our trips around Montana this coming year. And she has plans for other videos, like t-ball (where she is coaching Lady K's team) and NaguCon. She has suggested I use it to make knitting and quilting videos, but not sure about that. Will have to ponder on it a bit longer.

It was a BIG week of day trips with the first one going to Missoula to get the GoPro camera on Tuesday after swim lessons (which are going fantastic by the way).

Thursday was a circle around our 'local' Montana area for a quilt shop hop, buying way to much fabric and adding several projects to my list of to-do's.

Friday was the really fun day.

We are all rockhounds in this family. So Texter, Lady K and I loaded up and headed south to Crystal Park to dig for quartz crystals.

Lady K had her tools in hand for the expedition and was ready to go.

Even though the area looked like a giant gopher hangout (as it really, really large gophers!), the area was really nice.  There is a paved walking path around the area you can dig in and evidence a lot of the dead trees are being cleaned up and removed in one area.

Texter has more of our experience in her video. We didn't find anything great, but I could easily spend all day there digging away. Unfortunately, Lady K's attention doesn't last that long and soon we were moving on.

The whole area is OUT OF THIS WORLD beautiful!

Definitely a trip we are planning on retaking, mainly so we can go on a short hike to the Coolidge Ghost Town there. Curvy roads and switchbacks are not for the car-sick prone, but meds before we start and Savvy should be fine.

Otherwise this week...

  • Swim lessons started and Lady K loves them (we were holding on breath on this one)
  • Registered for a Drop Spindle class at the Copper K Fiber Festival in July 
  • Completed the local quilt store shop hop (and hopefully Texter will have a brief video up on that trip soon) and bought wwwaaaayyyyy to much fabric
  • Came up with the design for a Halloween quilt I will be making with some of the ton of fabric I purchased
  • Attended another class at Gulch Distillers - this time on making syrups - and sipping on the best Mojito on Saturday. I took my amaro I had made after the last class for them to sample and they said it was 'complex'. Not sure if 'complex good' or 'complex bad', but they seemed to like what I had come up with.
  • While is Missoula, stopped at Joseph's Coat yarn shop and picked up some additional yarn for a project (sigh)
  • Finished 2 books
  • An evening making peach desserts for Savvy's Diamond Event at work. Must have been good as she made her goal for the the event.
Also, picked up Week 2 blocks for the Almond Country Beauty quilt. 

Because we were so busy driving around I didn't get them completed all the way yet.

The colors we are getting can be divided into blue/green and yellow/orange, which I am doing rather than mixing them all up. Not sure if it's a good idea, but I'm running with it.

I also have the fabric ready for the Batman blocks, I just need to sit down and sew today. I also have the project bags about halfway finished. I need to sew those up, so hopefully today will be a sew-sew day.

The coming week will be a bit more 'stay-at-home'. We have another 4 days of swim lessons and T-ball will be starting. Texter is the coach of Lady K's team as they were needing 3 more coaches in order for T-ball to work this time around. Both of them are excited, but I think Texter is more excited than Lady K.

  • I will be the babysitter this week as there is a bachelorette party and a wedding Texter will be attending. 
  • Starting book 4 in the Robert Jordan series
  • Sewing Week 3 of the Almond Country Beauty blocks
  • Finishing up the Mystery Wrap knitting
  • Organizing the fabric purchased into design/start quilt and holding for future quilts. There might be a post on all the fabric purchased and the plans behind them.
  • Plan a trip in the next couple of weeks to drive the Beartooth Highway
  • A trip to Best Buy to exchange the extra batteries for the GoPro (we bought the wrong one!) and Lady K is demanding a mall trip
  • Recoloring my hair purple!

So for now, more coffee and deciding just how big a bag of bird seed I need!