Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pickle Progress

 
 
 
I have spent a few afternoons working on the Gypsy Kisses paper piecing, fan shapes. I'm not sure if I have enough fabric. I have a lot of fabric, but not these bright Kaffe Fassett style prints. Most of neutrals are not on white backgrounds either. They are mostly ecru backgrounds. I think this might require more shopping... 

 



 
 
The other good news (besides shopping), is that I have figured out the paper piecing. It really isn't difficult at all after a little practice. I did have to throw away one. After un-sewing one fan that I had done wrong, the paper fell apart and the fabric was trimmed to match the wrong shape. It's a little bit of a learning curve, but nothing difficult.
 
 
 
 
 
Now for the best news-- I won't be sewing for about a week. I'm off to Disneyland with my Son, Daughter-In-Law and Grandchildren. We will be staying in the Disneyland Hotel. One of my "bucket-list" items is going to be crossed out. Done. I love Disneyland with the kids, and staying in the Disneyland Hotel is the cherry on top.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Party Time

 
 


 
 
I belong to a great book group. We each take a turn once a year to be hostess. As hostess, we get our turn to select the book that we all read and discuss. We have one rule in our group, and that rule is this: the book must be paperback. Well, I broke the rule. I took my selection with me to the September meeting and was given permission to select a perfect book for me. A hard cover perfection of a book : A Fine Romance
by Susan Branch. I love, love, love this book. I sure hope my friends love it too.
 
 



 
 
We drink a little bit of wine while we chat, and for this special book we are also having pear cider. We absolutely must have pear cider as Susan and her Joe drink it throughout their trip to England. They had it on picnics and in pubs. We are having it in my little house in the woods.
 
I've also baked an orange cake, not Susan's orange and lavender polenta cake. I tried it, and mine just wouldn't do what it was supposed to. I tried and tried. So, we are having a very nice orange cake. Keep your fingers crossed that my friends like it, please. Cheese and crackers too. Oh, and chocolate shortbread.
 
 



 
Before my party, though I'm going to a cooking class. I'll be home in time to put on the finishing touches, so wish me luck.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Not My Kind Of Sewing

 
 


 
I love to sew, as you know. I have for as long as I can remember. Well, I love to sew everything, but sewing knit pieces together. This sweater has been knit for a few weeks, but I couldn't make myself start stitching.
 
 
 
 
 
I knit this striped sweater to be my "wear around the house sweater". As you can see, I have an issue with the yarn. It's knit with Cascade 220. One of my favorite go to yarns for everyday knits. I love the feel of it, and it's the perfect weight for me. I bought the Cascade 220 tweed yarn a few years ago, for another project. I changed my mind and decided that I needed an everyday sweater, so pulled the brown and off-white yarn from the stash. Well- I didn't have enough to knit the sleeves, and Cascade has discontinued my favorite. No more tweed. So, since I already had a large part of the body of the sweater knit, I had to order yarn that was similar in color.
 
 
 
 
The brown is very close to the tweed, and the off-white, not so much. The buttons are cute though, don't you think? Maybe they will distract anyone from noticing the difference in color. I hope.
I'm going to finish sewing it together this weekend. That's my story anyway...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pickle Dish

 
 
 
 
 
I spent a rainy, blustery day watching the Grammy Red Carpet, and starting the first pieced quilt I've done in years. I'm perfecting my rotary cutting techniques and seam ripper skills. I have an excuse for the un-sewing, however. This pattern is paper pieced, and I've never done that before. If the shape I'm piecing wasn't fan shaped, I think it would be a piece of cake. It's like trying to do something using a mirror. Upside down and backwards... Just wait until I try to sew everything together. Lots of curved piecing and "Y" seams. It will keep me out of trouble.
 
 
 
 
 
 

I realize that these photos are not the best. It's pretty dark outside because of the storm we're having. I had to resort to some bright lamps. They don't make for the best images.. In fact, one of the fabrics in the photo below looks white, and it has a green and blue print on the white background.




I'm using a lot of Kaffe Fasset fabrics. I'm really stretching myself by not using my safe, muted color palette. The background on the lights is white, and that's unusual for me as well. I sure hope I like it.


 
 
This whole thing could have turned out very badly, as I am trying to function on three hours of sleep and a dose of steroids. Maybe it explains the use of the seam ripper. That's what I'll go with.



Friday, February 6, 2015

Art-Like




I have loved color, and to color since always. I was very territorial with my coloring book and crayons as a child. I outlined everything and was oh-so-careful to stay inside the lines. I loved to put color together. You know what I mean. A little blue. A little red. Some green and some yellow... Most of my coloring now is done with fabric. Fabric, because I fell in love with the concept of sewing before I was old enough to pick up scissors or a needle. I can remember my Mama reading Raggedy Ann to me, and a story with Marcella mending one of the dolls. The dolls flopping in the breeze on the clothes line after a good bath... I still have the book. It was published in the 1920's. It's one of my favorite things. Probably for the memories of me and my Mama together as well as the love of sewing tucked away in the fragile pages.





A group of friends and I occasionally have "Art Day". The hostess provides lunch, and maybe just a little something sweet for dessert. A nice large table with space to spread out our art supplies. Usually we bring our own individual project to work on. Yesterday was my turn to be hostess. I love to set up fun little parties. Parties with cute cupcakes, and their own cute little plates. Drinks with straws. Cloth napkins and china tea cups. Nothing matching.






My friends and I all have very individual styles. Yesterday we were all working on our own idea of the same item. It was just so fun to see how we each interpreted a single item and individualized it. I didn't take pictures of the chaos and the projects, and I wish I had...



 




I hope that all of you include color in your lives. There are a lot of choices. A lot of different ideas you can use to inspire your own individual self. I have included photos from a magazine, interspersed with my photos. Just to inspire. To encourage.



I do have photos of the cupcakes.
 
 


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Why

 
 
 
 
Why do I not post? I want to, but I don't think I have anything exiting to write. Who wants to know about the mundane life of me. I feel like I'm busy, busy, busy, but with boring, boring, boring things. You know the list...
 
1. power walked
2. cleaned
3. took care of my dogs
4.made dinner
 
BUT
 
I did fun things this week too. I took a cooking class that I really liked. I made two of the dishes for my husband, and let's just say that he was not a fan. I think both things that I made went into the trash after only one bite. He had a hot dog. I liked both of them.
 
I've spent a lovely afternoon hand stitching the quilting on my Birdsong quilt. Loved it.
 
Yesterday I knit the button band (for the second time) on my brown and white striped sweater.
 
Of course, my Wednesday was spent with "Bee". I stitched some applique for the second version of Sugar Kisses
 
Had two-yes two pastries and one café mocha to neutralize all of that power walking.
 
Hugged my dogs.
 
Loved my family
 
Maybe it was all worthy of blog posts, but it just seemed like the same old thing. My some old thing, and I loved every second of it.
 
Oh, and I discovered the television show Parenthood, so started binge watching.