Sunday, February 23, 2014

Quiet Weekend

It's been a very quiet weekend around here. The weather yesterday was just about perfect. Blue sky, a slight breeze and 60 degrees. Supposedly it's going to rain, sleet and snow today... I guess you take what you can get.  We did enjoy yesterday, got some yard work done, Alan got his bike ready for spring. We cleaned off the deck and put away the winter door mat. I even washed the floor mats in my car. Speaking of my car, I took it in for it's 10,000 mile check-up on Friday. My only complaint was that the low tire pressure light stays on all the time, even when all 4 tires are full. The Toyota guy just laughed at me when I told him that. He asked if I'd checked the pressure in the spare. Really? Who knew the spare tire had a sensor in it? I had this same problem with my first Rav 4 and no one ever bothered to mention it. I probably never asked either, but still. Anyway, Have you spent the last 2 weeks glued to your TV watching the Winter Olympics? We sure have enjoyed it. I'm not sorry that today's the last day though. It's stressful for me watching the American athletes get so close and then missing out by just a point, or a second, or a 100th of a second. So heartbreaking. One good thing about watching so much TV is all of the knitting I've been able to accomplish. I'm almost done with my snugly cardigan, all it needs is pockets and I plan to put them on today. Of course it will probably be too warm now to wear it, but there is always next winter, which I don't even want to think about right now. I also finished up a pair of socks, and a long scarf like shawl that I knit out of the rainbow yarn that I spun. I'm already to start on another pair of socks and another shawl/scarf/wrap. Hopefully with less TV to watch I'll be able to get back to my sewing machine. I've got a couple of quilts tops that need to be finished and maybe a new quilt to start...
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Loving Something I Thought I Hated

I mentioned last week that I was way far behind on a block of the month quilt that I'm working on. I'm still not sure what was going through my head when I signed up for this project. I guess I was just so smitten with the finished sample that I totally overlooked all of the applique I'd be having to do. Have I ever told you how much I hate machine applique? Well, I thought I did. I've tried it so many times in the past and I've NEVER been happy with the outcomes. That is until now. After watching several YouTube tutorials last weekend, I decided to just give it another try.. I'm still pretty shocked at how well it turned out. There was even a point where I was kind of enjoying the stitching. I know it's not perfect and to be honest that bothers me a little bit, but who's going to look that closely anyway. It's a quilt for heavens sake. There are 8 more applique sections to go.  Hopefully it'll keep getting easier. Keeping my fingers crossed

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day. We are usually celebrating Grace's Birthday, but she decided to spend it with good friends in Lexington. It was a little strange not having cake, but Alan and I made due with these yummy chocolate lava cakes from Trader Joe's. Last week Alan thought he smelled lava cakes baking,  which is pretty funny because I've never made them before and I'm not really sure I know how to. When I was picking up a few things at Trader Joe's yesterday I saw these right next to the vanilla ice cream. I figured it was meant to be. Thank goodness I just happened to have some Valentine sprinkles. My diet starts tomorrow....

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Trying Something New

You may remember me talking about how Alan's sister and brother in law bought Don's families farm in Louisiana a couple of years ago. Melinda absolutely loves to be outside digging in the dirt. This past summer she planted the most amazing gardens. She had all kinds of vegetables, flowers and cotton. That's right, COTTON. Did you know that it comes in a variety of colors? Who knew? Being the very kind and loving sister in law that she is, Melinda shared her cotton with Grace and me. She even pulled the seeds out of most of it. So nice. We have watched several videos and read numerous articles on exactly how to go about preparing this precious cotton for spinning. The pictures above show the process. The gist is that you put small amounts of cotton on a carder brush (dog brushes in our case) and then you "comb" the fiber with another brush several times to try and get the fibers all going in the same direction. Then you roll it up into what's call a rolag or puni and then you spin it from that. The cotton fibers are very short, so it's taking us a bit of practice to get the hang of it.  Hopefully when we are done we will have enough cotton yarn to make something special.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

About Time

Hello old friend! I have not quilted since before Thanksgiving. All I can say is that I sew in our guest room and we have had a lot of company. That's probably an excuse to explain away my procrastination.
Today was another snow/ice day for me and I decided to make the most of it. 
I cooked
I knit
I cleaned (a little) 
Finally, I pulled out all the necessities, the sewing machine, cutting board, ironing board etc...
Did I tell you that I killed another iron? That happened back in November. My wonderful red iron just quit working. Now I have a new blue one with a retractable cord.So fancy.

 I joined a Block of the Month club at my local quilt shop back in September.

 I did the blocks for September and October and obviously have not done the ones for 
November, December and January. 
 I just got the email saying that I can pick up the pattern and fabric for February. Yikes! I hate being so far behind. 
You are probably thinking that that's what I worked on today.
You would be wrong. 
I felt the need to ease back into sewing, so I started (and finished) something new. Crazy.
It's just a little 12 inch square, perfect for the center of my dining room table.

I've discovered 3 sewing tool that I can't imagine living without.
 This round cutting board on a lazy Susan also comes with a heat proof cover for ironing.
It's the perfect size and spins like a dream.
This super bright light that snaps on the back of my sewing machine. I really don't know how I sewed without it. Thanks Barb and Kandi for "making" me buy it.
 And finally this cool  binding tool from Fons & Porter. It has changed my life. Really.
I hope this sewing mojo is here to stay. There are so many things to finish and so many new projects to start.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hello February

I was soooo ready to be done with January. Things were looking up.February was gonna be great. Trader Joe's has tulips and daffodils. Kroger has Valentine's Day candy. It was 60 degrees here on Saturday. You heard me right, 60 degrees. Then, we woke up this morning to our biggest snowfall of the winter. 4-6 inches of heavy wet snow. School was cancelled again, which meant that all of my clients cancelled as well. Another lovely stay at home snow day for me. I heard that the groundhog saw his shadow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he is a poor predictor of more winter weather to come.
I hope you had a nice weekend, weather wise and Super Bowl wise. I had a lovely weekend. My friend Jacqueline came to visit from Iowa. She loved the 60 degree heat wave. We were very busy doing fun things all weekend. So busy that I forgot to take any pictures. One thing we did do was make Salted Bourbon Caramels. . They turned out so yummy. We may have used a touch more Bourbon than the recipe called for. I'm just saying. I'm thinking they will make tasty treats for Valentine's Day
Hope your February has gotten off to a great start. 
There's only 28 days, so you know you have to make the most of it.