Tuesday, February 28, 2023

February Cornucopia


Some kissy fish for February, this is a picture from Hong Kong. February is done, such a short month. Here's a cornucopia of all the links to a bunch of things I've enjoyed on the internet during February. 
Note: I will not apologize for excessive use of cutesy emojis in this post.


I love this 365 days of stitching project from Jean Wells. Her take on the "why" of it is just wonderful. I'm going to start one of these!


This hilarious letter reading by Taika Waititi is not to be missed. This is a Letters Live performance from the Royal Albert Hall in London, a ongoing series where they have actors and other creatives read actual letters in a dramatic fashion.


A great idea for turning lone quilt blocks into something useful, a packing cube!


A very well-done tutorial on envelope pillow making.


There are of course about a zillion ways to make a basic tote bag, but here's a very cute HST charm pack version.


Could the Art of Sashiko Help to Mend Our Frayed World? Such an evocative title, and a great article.


Just the introduction essay for the upcoming edition of Selvedge magazine is worth a read about the difficulties of re-using materials in clothing production. Several good ideas are included for attempting this on one's own stash of used clothing. I might have to splurge on this issue.


I like this free bag pattern from Arabesque, it's similar to another one I've made, but I like the folding up part of it. And the illustrations are rather helpful.


Very interesting workshop offerings at Fibre Arts Take Two, if the preview videos are any sort of sample, they're very well filmed. I asked to be notified about Cas Holmes' course.


A very clear instruction video on making a padded printing board. Now to find some Homosote board.


Project Quilting, a takeoff on Project Runway is a 1 week prompted quilt challenge, looks like fun, and there are prizes.


I really love Alison Glass fabrics, and I'm excited to be participating in a sew-a-long that she's hosting for her quilt design, Trinket. It starts 3/28/23.


Cheesecloth word skins, what? Putting this on my try this out sometime list.


A free 3 session class in March from Latifah Saafir on 7 Ways to Use a Clammy.


I know I've probably used some of these Century Solids by Andover, but here are some great free patterns utilizing their 100 available colors.


Monday, February 27, 2023

To The End

 How is this month nearly over? To me, it feels like it's been a weird and short one. Travel to Arizona, another long power outage and then the snow excitement on top of it. 

I got the five Pantone Project blocks done and pressed. 
I like putting the finished blocks and fabric squares up with the postcards for a little group picture. Looking at it from a distance, it shows me how close to accurate I got in my colored fabric choice. It also highlights the possibilities of how these blocks can be put together. Look at that cool combo of the peach/beige and the green blocks it makes a super interesting almost star block. 

I've also been playing with the fussy-cut Tula Pink fabric table topper, Rock Candy that I posted about earlier this month. I thought that it might look better, or just show off the fussy-cut fabrics a bit more to have a less busy fabric as the "background". I chose a light blue print, one of the Minerals. And I think that second round really sets off the star well. I moved the busier print to be the outer ring and it looks better.

But maybe I should do the outer ring in the blue Mineral print as well. I stuck a couple in the upper section and I think it might work out better. Maybe I'll just do the borders and binding in the busier print.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

No Snow Day But Hand Sewing Anyway


It's raining and in the 40's now, so there's only a tiny patch of icy snow left on the deck. Looks like snow-ma-geddon '23 is over for now.

So that means it's time to tell you about this super-cool hand sewing aid that I recently bought for myself. It was advertised in Sue Spargo's newsletter but I bought it directly from the maker, Lap App. It's basically a rest for your hands as you do hand sewing. It's very well-made out of sturdy yet lightweight Birch wood.  
It has two adjustment knobs to get it into just the right tilted position as well as a good height. They come with a lightly-padded fabric cover, but I bought one made out of Tula Pink fabric in colors I really like. The original cover is fine too, it's in the first picture. It also comes with a pattern to make your own cover. The two pegs sticking up are for putting spools of thread on them. The little silver circle to the left of the pegs is a magnet for your needle. 

This is the secret to the fabric cover not budging once it's on, there's a sheet of fine sandpaper glued on the main surface which is very grippy. What a smart solution. I was a little worried about having the wood resting on my lap but it doesn't hurt me at all and all the corners are very nicely rounded. I love how soft the un-stained wood is, it is almost the feeling of fabric. 

As I was using it, I realized that I am surrounded by things in nearly that exact shade of lime green. So I had to do a still life arrangement. The little pocket on the fabric cover is lime green, it looks like a good place for my embroidery scissors. A very well designed tool, I'm really enjoying using it.
I also bought a gizmo called the Bobbin Boat from them (also in lime green), it's flexible grippy plastic (or silicone maybe?) just like the purple bobbin ring thing on the left. I think this'll be a good thing to have in my go-sew bag.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Snow Day #3


This is the snow person I made yesterday late morning, it had fallen over by late afternoon. 
Here's how it looks today. I had to pry up the remaining big chunk up off the deck as it was embedded in the ice on the deck boards (cold this morning 29F!).

This is what our road looked like yesterday. Our neighbor couldn't make it past our driveway with his 2wd pickup truck. He had to use his wife's Subaru to go to work. The county had texted us and said to stay home, so we did. Today it's all clear, but most of the roads over the mountains are closed, they got more than a foot of snow!

Meg was not pleased about the ice/snow at first, but she got used to it pretty quickly.
I like this picture of the blooming rosemary. 

I did actually measure the snow with a Quilty ruler!
Our solar cells were finally snow free, just in time to get a little bit re-charged in the afternoon's partial sun. Our battery power was down at around 25% so we finally had to switch over everything to the generator. Our power came back on unexpectedly last night about 10pm. We'd been told it would be on by 6pm on Sunday, so it was a nice surprise. We all jumped into action and started the dishwasher, laundry, etc. And that brought back the internet along with it thankfully. Hopefully all is back to near normal now.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Snow Day #2

Well, apparently I live somewhere where it snows now. 

It's really beautiful of course, but also quite confusing visually. This isn't how it's supposed to look out my windows you know?

I think we have even more snow this morning than yesterday.

It's been alternating snow and rain, and it's staying around freezing temperatures, so it's an absolute slush-fest on the driveway.

Our poor palm tree. I've been apologizing. Also to all the succulents, and the South African and Australian plants that had been doing so well in our hotter climate. Sigh.

Our power is still out, and our power wall battery is under 30% now, and the solar panels are covered with snow and ice. DH tried to clear them, but the ice is just too heavy. We're going to have to wait for a thaw I guess. And we're going to have to get the generator going too. Hey, at least the internet is on, right?

I did work on some Pantone Project blocks yesterday. I have five cards that needed fabric matches. I was super surprised to have a fabric for that very dark purple (Black Iris).

This peach-y beige was very hard to match, but I think I found one that works.
HST's to be sewn together today.

Unfortunately I couldn't iron (because of conserving battery power) so the blocks aren't pressed except for a seam roller going over them.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Snow Day!


It's actually snowing! We got about 1/2", whoop whoop. It's already melting I think because the sun has come out. But here's a ton of pictures because it's so wild to see everything white outside. Meg did a very quick U-turn, she doesn't see what the big deal is.
About a 1/2" accumulated I guess, maybe a bit more? I should have taken a ruler outside with me.
Snow falling action shot.
It really was beautiful, and to see actual snow falling was such a treat.
Grandma Stark would have been surprised to see her patio chair snow-covered (and purple for that matter).
I got snow inside my slippers, brrr.
Oooh, Bonny Doon got a lot of snow, that's the mountains in the distance.
I'm so sorry to my tender plants, I hope they make it.
The junipers are just too vertical for this snow stuff.

The cherry tree is so beautiful with the branches limned with the sunlight caught in melting snow.

Our power has been out since February 21st at noon, it is maybe going back on February 23rd at 3pm. We're really glad we have a wood stove today! DH is out there clearing the snow off of the solar panels. Wild stuff.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Wandering Wednesday -


We had a surprise holiday on Monday, as my DH had forgotten he had President's Day off from work. New company, new rules I guess? I was feeling somewhat up for a hike so we tried a nearby place that looked fairly easy, Glenwood Open Space Preserve. It was a really gorgeous day, and the trail wasn't too messed up from the recent deluge. Some of the other parks have closed trails that got wrecked. But Scotts Valley didn't get quite as much rain, and the soil is very sandy, so it reacts very differently.
I was quite taken by the giant stalks of dried Fuller's Teasel, they make such an amazing noise.

The flower heads were used to card wool back before carding combs, that's how tough they are.
Except for the Teasel, I didn't spot any plants that were new to me, just old familiars like this Pacific Hound's Tongue, which we have a lot of on our own street. Such a cheery flower, and that vibrant blue-purple is always a welcome sight.
At the very end of the trail was what looked like an old water catchment, it had a concrete base and some old pipes. Who knows why it's still there? 
It was a 2.5 mile hike, mostly exposed, so not a good hot summer day hike for me, we'll be back to check out some of the other trails available here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Stitch Happened


Stitch Happens got assembled today.
Bit by bit it fit together.
I measured and trimmed as I went.
Here it is!
I’m happy to see it all done, it was a good pattern. Now to figure out if it needs borders or not.

Monday, February 20, 2023

Eyes Have It

I've gotten a lot further along on fussy cutting out diamonds for the Rock Candy table topper that's in process. Is it on my monthly to-do list? No, no it is not, ahem. I. think the opportunity came up after I had made the list or something like that.
As I was immersed in cutting out Tula Pink fabrics for the Stitch Happens quilt, I decided to do some picking and choosing of images with eyes and/or faces. Gosh, these are *fun* fabrics to work with.
There are two rounds of "solids" that I'm contemplating to separate the busy-ness of the fussy-cut diamonds. I want to be able to see them. I think the interior round will be lighter than the outer one.

I only have three spots left and four colors of eye fabric. Which ones will repeat? Stay tuned.