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.

Shopping in the stash..

I’ve decided that I want to send a few things to my niece when I send the graduation card this week.  Now she is old enough that she probably doesn’t expect anything but I think she will be surprised and pleased.  The challenge is always what to send.  I think it should have some practical use as well as being fun and something I think she might like.  So off to the stash I went and made my selection.  I didn’t really plan things to be color coordinated but it looks like that’s what is going to happen and that is a plus.  When I try to color coordinate fabrics it always seems to be a challenge.  I grew up in an era where you matched and not just coordinated colors and patterns.  It really stretches my thinking when I go for coordinating so there is some interest and it’s not just monotone and ok.  I always want that WOW factor.  Sometimes I succeed in a spectacular fashion but usually it’s at least nice and I’m pleased.  Todays project is for some travel accessories as she and her fiance will be traveling to Italy to get married in about 6 weeks.  I’m going to make some shoe bags and I think a couple of zippered pouches.  I do have a couple other things in mind so we’ll see how fast it comes together this evening and tomorrow.  I cleaned and organized my sewing space, put away some fabric and now I’m ready to make dinner and then cut and sew. More to report soon.

Poulsbo

Yesterday I took the ferry across the water to meet a dear friend.  We met on our first day of college and our friendship has endured through all the years and all sorts of good times and hard times.  Nice to have a friend like that. We can always pick up where the last conversation ended even if it’s been months or sometimes it has been a year or two.  She lives about an hour and a half from me so although we share regular email we only get a real visit every few months.  Yesterday was the day!  She has a niece getting married next summer and that child has asked for a king sized quilt.  Now my DF is an accomplished seamstress but in recent years has found knitting to be more her calling.  It was with great pleasure that we met at Heirloom Quilts and Fabrics in Poulsbo.  With the a bit of time and some help from the sewing experts in the store we picked out some gorgeous batik fabric for the quilt.  She has a year to craft this lovely gift and is anxious to get it started.  She is going to piece the top and have it professionally quilted.  I’m excited to see the end result.

What would a trip to a quilt shop be however if I didn’t make a purchase as well.  I certainly need to support the local economy.  Actually, I was very restrained and only came home with three pieces of fabric.  I was a very good girl!  Now I’m anxious to get back to some sewing however.  I did manage to get a few blocks sewn yesterday but there will be no more time for several days.  For now I will just have to be content to stare at the new additions and dream the dream of projects yet to come.

The Shower

Oh it was a good day today in Seattle.  The weather was great and we were able to have the shower outside at my sister in laws house.  Happy Day!  The guests were in a good mood and the bride to be was pleased.  I made hot pads and cute plaid napkins to go with the placemats and towels.  I was pleased that they seemed to be well received.  Next event… well I think I’m going to see if I can finish the quilt top that I’ve started and then work on a couple of things for camp.  Busy busy busy.

Soap

The last f ew days I have been trying my hand at making soap.  I enjoy using glycerin soap and we’ve had a soap kit here that was used once and the owner lost interest so I decided it was my turn. It was fun and easy.  I know there are many ways to make soap but this was melt and pour so melt and pour I did.  The colors are bright and clear which I love and I had an opportunity to mix colors and see what they created.  I don’t remember much of 7th grade art when we were mixing colors but I do remember a few basics.  I bought molds and you could also buy rubber stamps to go in the bottom of the molds so now I have this stack lovely soap.  This batch is going to the bridal shower today but I think I’ll be making more.

Bridal shower

My niece is getting married soon.  We are having a shower here for her but she lives in California so will need to get all the gifts back home with her.  We will either pack an additional suitcase for her and pay the fee or ship the gifts to her.  When thinking about the weight and packing issues I decided that table/kitchen linens would be a fun and appropriate gift.  I bought some placemats and kitchen towels and will make napkins and hot pads.  The napkins are still in the works but I tried a different type of pot holder and am really pleased with the way they turned out.  I think they will be practical, they are colorful and they were fun to make.  I can see making more of this type soon!

Memorial Day 2011

It’s been a busy week.  Daughter #2 has been here for about 10 days and daughter #1 and one and only son have been in and out as well.  Add in some work some sewing and a holiday and tonight we’re sitting in the old rocker with the feet up and vegging out. This next week will be hectic as well with some Girl Scout commitments and getting ready for a bridal shower for my niece next weekend. Oh yes and there is always the work thing to consider too. Hmm, guess I’ll have to fit it all in. 

Today my mother came and had lunch and then we went to the grocery store and the cemetery.  We do have a nice cemetery here in our little town and my dad is resting there.  I think many of us “talk” to dad when we drive by.  It was nice to see all the flags and flowers.  Someone appears to have removed the flag from dads vase but we knew it should have been there to honor his service in the Navy and we remember and are thankful.  We did leave some flowers and a plant and we were all pleased.