Thursday, August 27, 2015

NIce Surprise

In the midst of all the busy time, I got an email from Natalie Barnes at Beyond the Reef Patterns.  She had written a blog post on Sew Mama Sew that included a book giveaway.    My luck seems to have returned lately.  I won!  I will be getting this book.
I love what it says above the title:  Create Quilts with a Colorful Spin.  
Yes, that is so "me."
The book, A Modern Twist,  is available from local quilt shops. But if you are like me and live where there is no local quilt shop you can get it on Amazon.  Amazon's look inside feature will let you see a few pages of this book.  It was enough to get me all excited.

Now, back to my busy life - and I thought retirement was a time to rest!

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Busy But not Much to Show

Life has continued to be busy - and I am sure it will be for the next month.  I am preparing for a three day weaving get away with some of my weaving friends.
I mentioned making (sewing) my loom bag and someone said I should post a photo of it. As I said, it is not much to look at, but it protects the loom for travel.
There are zippers on each side about 3/4's of the length of the bag.  And I used two big buttons with elastic hair bands to fasten the top. You can see one of them well in this (terrible) photo.
This is a rather heavy upholstery fabric for protective purposes.

I made a new warp for the retreat so I would have something different to weave on.
 I used black and white with one section of color.
Then I did some "test weaving" to test the basket weave  which is alternately called "log cabin" weave.   Here are a couple of photos of the results. First the entire piece.
Then the closeup of the "basket twill/log cabin"
The pattern is purposely interrupted and changed so that it is not too regular.  This is to make it more artistic and interesting when it is made into a garment or whatever it may become.

Meanwhile, I am working diligently to learn the music to Anything Goes.  We are rehearsing a good bit.  I also took mom to the eye doc yesterday.  She has cataracts which will be removed. Then today I had my appointment for a yearly eye check.  I am happy to report that my eyes while still nearsited and presbyopic*  are quite healthy.

Definition of PRESBYOPIA

:  a visual condition which becomes apparent especially in middle age and in which loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye causes defective accommodation and inability to focus sharply for near vision

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Check In - in case you missed me.

I was planning to be more active blogging, but something happened.
This past weekend, Mom had an adverse reaction to a medicine and for the time being doesn't need to be left alone. So, as the retired son,  I have been spending a lot of time with her. My brother (younger)  still works as does his wife.  So it is logical for me to be there more.  Mom doesn't have internet service so blogging only happens when I can get home.
I can answer email on my phone but I find it problematic.  Sometimes I get bitten by the autocorrect fail monster.
Yesterday, I got an email on my phone telling me that I had won a prize. Melissa Corry at Happy Quilting emailed to tell me that I had won a layer cake of  Hello Darling by Bonnie and Camille.(Moda fabrics)
I absolutely love the red print shown in the upper left corner of this photo.  Wouldn't it be a fun focus fabric for a red and white quilt? I may need to find this and buy at least a yard of it.

Last night i got to sleep in my own bed -and it felt wonderful.  Why is it that your own bed is always more comfortable?
if I don't answer your comment right away - I am sorry.  But right now, Mom is the priority. (And I am in the cast of a musical in the chorus so that is taking time also. It is a good thing I have a phone with my calendar and reminders set on it.

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Jackpot - Yes!

What a delight!  What a thrill. What a surprise! You see, I got a box via UPS from Moda.  You know, the United Notions Moda, the quilting fabric company. 

Why?  A couple of weeks ago, on the Moda Blog I answered a simple request.  "tell me what you’d like to find in your stocking this December." And I did.  My name was chosen and I got an email asking for my mailing address.  What did I expect?  Maybe a couple of charm packs or a layer cake - that would be nice.  What did I get? Well let's open the box!
There is a Moda tote bag (I love it already!) But there is something inside it.  Let's peek into the bag.
One peek and I sat right down in the floor and dumped the bag.  Then I started going through everything.  To say I was pleased would be an understatement.
So let me show you all the prizes.
Nice two charm packs of Prairie.    But wait - I turned it over to read the back of the label - because I am a label reader.
Surprise!  There were two Christmas charm packs too.

Then I picked up this little gem - 2 1/2 inch squares of Tucker Prairie.  There are two of them.....
No!  I turned it over and there are two more - I have FOUR of them. What fun.
Then I grabbed this package.
A Turnover pack of 80 half squares in Nocturne by Janet Clare.  (I need to open it and look at all the prints!)

Then I saw this:
A Layer Cake of Chic Neutrals by Amy Ellis!  I see a modern quilt in my future.
But wait....can there  be more?  Why yes indeed!
There is a copy of The Quilt Magazine - Quiltmania.
Oh yes....and just one more thing. I had mentioned Color Daze batiks in my Christmas stocking wish list.  And there it was - a Layer Cake of Color Daze batiks.   Y'all know how much I love batiks.
So folks, if you are a quilter and don't follow the Moda Cutting Table Blog - perhaps you should re-think that. 
And now, I wish I had asked for more hours in the day or more days in my week to do more creative stuff. 
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Very Vest

Life is still busy, but that is a good thing.  I have started getting up earlier and going to the walking track for a thirty minute walk.  I walk briskly so that is approx 1.5 to 2 miles. I am hoping to shed some of my extra weight which is all "belly fat."

Wednesday I decided to use some of my woven fabric to sew a new vest. I pulled out my "stash" of fabric and started looking at my choices.  I found a couple of "leftover" pieces from another project that I really wanted to use, but one of them was too short. Hmmmm....   Now what?  Oh I know, I will sew a piece onto it from yet another woven piece!
First I stay stitched the edges of that piece and then sewed it to the short piece. Then I started sewing.  The pattern is written in Japanese but pictures are universal.  Also the measurements are metric - centimeters - so I just turned my tape measure over to the metric side and carried on.  This is a Saori pattern that has a cut and hemmed neckline. It is a v neck. I probably cut it a bit too deep. But then I realized (after sewing it all together of course!) that my fabric was a bit wide. So I did the adjustments on the center front and center back - thus closing the neckline a bit.
So what does it look like?
Pretty good I think. At the time of the photos the adjustments were only basted in.  I almost forgot to go back and stitch them properly - but I did remember later that evening. It was a good thing too.  The basting was already starting to pull out.
Can you guess where I added the fabric? (You weavers out there - I am sure you can so just say yes, but I am a weaver!)
It has only been a little over half a day since my last post, so if you missed it - go here
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Busy busy busy!

Life has been interesting lately.  I have a lot going on - some of it good- some not so good.

So let's talk about the good stuff.  Although I have had very little creative play time, I have managed to sneak in some weaving and spinning.
This piece is actually off the loom, but I need to tie the ends and wet finish it so that it is "photo ready"  

I also had previously hand dyed some wool roving and I love the vivid colors. Here is part of it.
 I took the roving and started spinning it into some yarn.  I am not sure if I will make this into a two ply or a three ply yarn.  For now it is still being spun.

I also did some sewing yesterday and made a bag to cover my loom for travel.  I used a couple of upholstery fabrics for it.  I don't have a picture but I probably won't take one.  It was a pain in the patootie to sew because it was so heavy. But at least it will protect my loom. 

And finally, one of the good reasons I haven't had time to create much to show is really another creative endeavour.  I have joined the cast of the local Community Actors Studio Theater for the production of "Anything Goes."  I am in the Ensemble (aka chorus) singing baritone.  When I got the schedule I was a bit saddened that I have a LOT of conflicts with rehearsals.  I have sent them in and am hoping I still get to perform in the show. If  not, I will help behind the scenes a bit.  The wardrobe mistress has already asked if I could help with the sewing. She has known me most of her life so she knows I have a sewing machine or two - or more. Ha ha.  
Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Cleaning Product Review - and more

The first thing today,  I want to tell you about a prize I won in April.  I didn't actually get the prize until May, but that is another story.   When I got this prize in the mail I was excited to try it. It is The Optimist Co.  Make Your Own Cleaning Products kit. 
It included two reuseable pump spray bottles,  an 8 oz organic castile soap, and three 10 ml bottles of  pure grade essential oils in Lemon, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus.  I needed to add some flat club soda which meant I had to find club soda locally and that took some looking. Then I had to let it go flat. I also needed some white vinegar -but I always have that on hand anyway.

I mixed up both bottles using the recommended amounts.  Then I did a little cleaning but wasn't impressed.
Sunday and Today changed my impression greatly.  Sunday I noticed some places on my storm door that needed cleaning.  I grabbed the Bright Side glass cleaner I had made and used it. The glass was so shiny in those spots that I had to do the entire glass door. ha ha.
Today, I was making a hearty vegetable soup in the crockpot - (this is mostly for my mom since she loves soups and I need to get her to eat more. )  For some reason I moved something on the counter and noticed an ugly spot - water didn't get it off.  Hmmmm.... So I pulled out the Time to Shine cleaner and sprayed it. smells so nice!  I started moving more things on the counter and did a good bit of cleaning with the product.  Every spot came up and the counter really does shine.  I love that the ingredients are all natural and safe. The only thing in there I wouldn't want to put in my mouth is the castile soap. The essential oils in dilution are safe -in fact I use my cinnamon essential oil and my oregano essential oil in cooking.
You may want to check out The Optimist Co. 

I have spun some yarn and done a bit of weaving lately but not much sewing.  Here are some of my "results."
Yarn, spun and plied. It makes me think of spring, flowers and berries and limeade

The current warp I made and put on my loom.
A couple of friends have named it "Ribbon Candy"

A warp to go on my loom as soon as I finish the one above

Fabric I am weaving on the current warp on my loom. 

More of the above fabric
Now back to all the projects I have going - but which one should I be working on now?

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Of course if you are a "No Reply Blogger" - I can not reply.