My seam ripper is my friend!

My friend the seam ripper (unfortunately)  has been used several times in the last few days. First it was the iron spitting brown stuff on one of the sashing strips.  I was able to sponge most of it off but after a good night sleep, I decided it really did need to be replaced.  First thing this morning that’s what I did.  I also started some clothes washing, washed the sheet that I am going to use for the backing, cut all the sashing strips for the rows and cut all of the binding strips. That is after I checked my measurements many times.  I’ve now started to sew all the rows together and guess what I discovered.  I sewed the nine patch square to the wrong side.  In other words upside down which meant that I ended up with two squares of the same fabric together.  I was going to start ripping off the sashing and flip it around when I realized that if I chose a different seam, I would only have to rip or unsew as some say, one seam rather than two.  So I’m sitting here ripping seams and ripping a book CD to my computer so I can put it on my iPod and listen to a story while I sew.  I do have a tv in my sewing room and do watch that but when I’m sewing it’s really more about listening rather than watching.  So hard to watch the seams and the TV.  Now I’ve finished the seam and ready to head back to the machine before I have to go and help my mother.  She’s then going to come here for dinner.  Ribs and corn on the cob.  Should be yummy!

Another WIP (work in progress)

I’m on to another project before I finish my own lap quilt.  I have another wedding gift to make.  I almost have the top pieced and then I can add the batting and quilt.  I think it will look fine once I have the sashing on and the binding but as with all projects… time will tell.

Freezer is getting full

Full of jam that is.  Last night I finally made a batch of raspberry jam.  In my humble opinion this is really the only kind of jam that a person needs.  I recognize however that if we have some variety it only makes the raspberry jam better.  I think this is the third time this season I’ve tried to make raspberry jam.  Mysteriously the berries keep disappearing.  I do have to admit however that my fingers are always the ones stained with raspberries!  No one else here to blame.  I did enjoy every bite however.  This time I was smart.  I bought two half flats and even after I had eaten most of the first I still had berries to make jam.  Success! The lucky jars are now residing in the freezer with the jars of strawberry-blueberry and mango jam.

 

A wedding gift.

The daughter of a good friend has just gotten married.  She and the gentleman have both had their own homes and also lived together for several years which always creates the dilemma of how to recognize this new union and give them something that they might have a use for.  I hate to spend money on something that’s just going to be clutter.  I know that they have outdoor activities that they enjoy and go to sporting events and such so maybe a “picnic sports blanket” would be a suitable addition to their household.  This pattern by Nancy Zieman of Sewing with Nancy fame was a project that turned out well.  As with any new pattern, when I’m in the middle I wonder if this is really going to work or if it’s going to be recycled into something else.  The biggest challenge was with the velcro closure strap that ended up being too short.  The pattern instructions said how far in to place the handle straps but they did not tell you how far from the top of the blanket they needed to be.  I must have put them lower than was intended because the closure strap was too short.  It did work ok but I was not pleased with the appearance so I removed the strap, recut a new one and sewed it into place.  I’m so pleased I made that decision because now it does look good and I will feel good about giving it as a gift.  I do have several other large pieces of fleece in my stash from projects that were planned but not executed so this one will probably get made again.  All in all, a success!

August already?

So hard to believe it’s the 6th of August.  If you live in the Pacific Northwest however you’re glad that it’s August and summer has arrived!  Finally.  We certainly have been patient for long enough.

I recently had a birthday.  Now for some this is not an extraordinary event however this was a significant birthday.  Usually birthdays are not a big deal to me but this bigger number really makes me stop and think.. Well that was enough thinking.

Last weekend we were invited to my brother and sister-in-laws place at Lakebay.  I was just looking at the pictures again and it has me longing to be back there and enjoy the beautiful views, the beach and the good company.  One of my brothers lives on San Juan Island and he even brought crab.  I’m still drooling thinking about the many good meals that I had.  The rest of my family made it a special weekend celebrating my birthday and the birthdays of my hubby and also brother Dave.  We don’t usually get to all celebrate together so that was a special day.  Even our kids were there. Jim, Dale and Jill, Larry and Joni, Dave, Amy, Kim and Aaron, thanks for the memories.

I decided I should take a hostess gift with me.  As I thought about it I decided that some new dish towels and hot pads were in order.  I just bought a new toy, a Slice Fabrique and had a die for it called under the sea so I wanted to do some applique on the towels.  There was a bit of learning curve to the process but I did make some appliques and for a fast project it was lots of fun and I like the way they turned out.  The towels are microfiber so they should dry lots of dishes and still be functional.  In a vacation house this is important.  Who wants to spend time doing laundry.

Girs Scouts Together.

Well, the last few weeks have certainly been busy.  I’ve just spent a week at Girl Scout camp.  It’s always a great time but this year the weather was not as cooperative as sometimes.  We did have a bit of blue skies but mostly it was cool and grey.  Not much rain until the end of the week which was nice however.  We usually have about 160 girls and 52 staff so it’s a busy place with lots of laughter, friends and great outdoor activities.  This picture is from a trip on the lake by some of the staff about 9 in the evening.  We raft the canoes together and travel around the lake and sing for about an hour or so.  For those of us “vintage” scouts we get to sing all the old songs that we love and have the pleasure of teaching these wonderful old traditions to the younger leaders who have not had an opportunity to sing them all for these years.  It was a terribly windy day this year until about 5 minutes before we were to make the decision to go or not.  The GS Gods were with us and we got to go and once again celebrate this wonderful tradition.

Jam

I did it and it was fun!  Made freezer jam that is.  Late on the 4th there was finally time to make one batch of jam.  In keeping with the 4th of July theme we had strawberries and blueberries on hand so I decided to make strawberry blueberry jam.  It looks great and tastes mighty fine as well.  I still have more jars and more fruit so if I can squeeze in a few more minutes today I think I might make a batch of strawberry and also a batch of honey mango.  Good eating for several months.

It’s been several days…

Been a while since I’ve updated this blog.  I’ve been busy with things like a trip to Portland, getting ready for camp, Father’s Day and trips to the ER with a sick kid upgrading a computer and oh yes, a bit of work, laundry and other assorted items..  All interesting in different ways! None of this however has kept me from investing in a bit of fabric and doing a bit of sewing.

I have almost all of the rows together for my x’s and o’s quilt and am anxious to get back to that.  This probably isn’t going to be the week for that however.  Probably not until the end of month.  I have also started another project.  It’s called The Farmers Wife Quilt Sampler Quilt. I’ve been watching as folks all over  blog land have been joining this quilt along and I decided that maybe I should do this at my own pace.  It’s based on letters from 1920 farm wives and it contains 111 blocks they inspired.  Bloggers I have noticed have talked about doing 2 blocks a week and so far I’ve had fun.  I’ve just finished my first 4. Here again, there will probably be no more until close to the end of the month but I look forward to the process.  I’ve enjoyed it for several reasons.  I think it’s been a bit more like fashion sewing because there is a specific pattern and template pieces.  It has been interesting to try to keep the accuracy up as I trace and cut the pieces with the scissors but I’ve enjoyed the very small projects and sense of accomplishment when they are done.

We are still waiting for summer to arrive but at least today there was sun.  We were out for a drive and bought some fresh fruit so I think tomorrow there will be strawberry jam.  I just unearthed the jam jars from the storage room and now have to go and read the directions on the pectin box.  I’ll make freezer jam and will probably need to go and buy some sugar and lemon juice before I start.

More fun to follow.

 

 

First row done..

Well, finally after a long time I’ve finished the first row of this quilt top.  I’m pleased with the way it’s coming together and the squares are all fairly even.  I decided I need to use the same foot with the same settings and then all the seams are the same width and much easier to line up.  When I was sewing clothing there didn’t seem to be so many decisions but I suppose the reality was that I had done that for so long I didn’t really think about the tools, only the process.  I really think the next quilt will go faster because there will not be so much decision making involved when I get to the actual sewing process.  Now I have to finish cutting the sashing strips for the rest of the quilt and I can finish this part and move on. I’ve done the math, ironed the fabric and look forward to the finish.

Another gift completed.

Well this round of gifts is done.  I’m just heading to the post office to mail the graduation card and gifts to my niece.  I’m actually quite pleased.  The little purse/bag is cute and I think she will find very functional and useful as she travels.  The shoe bags will help keep the wedding attire that she is also packing clean and who can’t use a cute little snap pouch.  This is one that you use the carpenter ruler in the top.  It was fast and easy to put together. It probably took more time to cut out the pieces and the interfacing and fleece that it did to sew it all together.  There are a couple of things I will do differently next time such as where I start the quilting and how I do the bottom but really for the first time,  it was a success.