Wednesday, September 30, 2020

I Like #183

 Hello again friends,  I didn't manage to take pictures of very many things this week but here are a few things to like and share!

The dahlias!  Always new pictures of the dahlias this time of year.  We had a big bad windstorm over the weekend though and everyone is looking a little battered, but I got out and staked them up again today and there were only a few stalks that were broken.

The pups!  I don't know why Blue has to stand right on top of Bentley, but apparently he does.  No body awareness at all.  Sigh.  Lots of wonderful snuggles from them both though.

Mike came down this week and took some new pictures of my old dinosaur quilt from 2012.  I decided to enter him (his name is Seymour) into a show and realized that all my pictures from way back then were really terrible.  And of course Mike takes good pictures so it works out well.  It's a back/front quilt and you can read all about him here or here for anyone who may not remember from way back then.

Also this week while on Needle N Thread  I read a post on a fantastic auction of 17th century beadwork and embroidery that's coming up.  If you click through to the Needle n Thread post, you can see lots of great information about the auction and pieces, and you can click here to see all the pieces.  It is so so cool to browse through art by people who loved fiber art as much as we do but many hundreds of years back!

I hope everyone is finding some things to like and that the skies are clearing some for our CO/AZ/CA/OR friends.  Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

I Like #182

Welcome to another week of things to like!

 This is a story of a farmer who was working on his land in Sweden when he found a giant stone.  He set it aside thinking he might use it for building and then a few years later needed it for something.  When he flipped it over, he found it was covered in what turned out to be 11th century runes!  When I flip over stones all I ever find are fossils.  So cool to come across something like that.  Read more about it here and here.

My flowers are going gangbusters right now, just the right balance of moisture and temperature, so that's been wonderful (except many nights it's dark before I get home from work so I can't enjoy them).

Giant Mushrooms popping up everywhere after the rain!

I wash my masks in a lingerie bag (I still call it a dunk bag from way back scout camp days), but even so they come out in a necklace knot!  That's about five masks desperately in love with one another and unwilling to be separated.

Blue and I walked at the lake again,  it was dryer this week (yay), but not we have a fair amount of haze from fire badness blowing east.  Absolutely nothing compared to the people in the west, but it led to a weird sun picture.

Blue stopping to scratch on the hike.  I let him off his leash for a little while since we have never seen a person out here.


At our online knitting meetup last week a friend shared a small needlepoint she made many years ago, and it reminded me of this one.  My mom (of wonderful busy book fame), made this needlepoint for me when I was born.  It still hangs in my bedroom.  It's a bit tricky to read,  the yellow thread has faded a bit and the background thread has yellowed a bit but it has my name a birthday and weight.  Love you mom!!

I hope everyone is hanging in there and finding some things to like this week!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

I Like #181

 I'm way late to the party this week, but better late than never I guess.  I had an unusual 8:00 am class this morning that threw off my Thursday routine.  It's a class on molecular genetics which I always enjoy, but lecturing for two hours through a mask is tough.

There are things to like:

We're in high early-fall flower season here now, the summer heat has broken (possibly temporarily but still yay!) and we've had a fair amount of rain lately, so the flowers are having fun.  

I loved this orange and pink blended zinnia.  In person it's even prettier.

Fall mums

The dahlias are doing well- this frilly one didn't produce many flowers in the summer but now is covered with buds and several are opening now.

These have shifted color, earlier in the year they were much paler, white with a touch of pink.  Now they're much darker and much purplier.

Blue and I went to hike around the lake again early Saturday morning, again no people so yay!  But very very muddy and it was strangely very foggy.  You can see Blue's head is wet from running through some wet grass.  I love the moisture, but I wish it were on the west coast, in colorado, in the northwest, everywhere they're so desperate for rain.

I did a bunch of baking this weekend, apple season is almost upon us and I realized I still have bags and bags of frozen apples, bananas, and zucchini to use up.  A friend from church does a Sunday-lunch outreach to the local homeless community, every week he packs 80 lunches to take around to people, so I figured I'd make some baked goods to send along this week. Banana and zucchini muffins and cookies for all. 

I made my embroidered mask this week.  I decided to try a new origami-pleated mask style after seeing it recommended by Elizabeth on Occasional Pieced Quilt.  The pattern is free on the Japanese Sewing book site here, and is easy to make and follow.   I did the embroidery before making it into a mask, using fairly heavy perle cotton for the stitching.  I really like the way it fits, and if I make any more masks for myself, I'll probably use this approach.

Here is Bentley just for fun.

I took this picture of the clear monofilament thread that decided to escape!  Apparently it was wound so thick and tightly on the bobbin that it broke the bobbin!  I came out to find the bobbin broken in half and this fun slinky springy coil of thread.  I'm kind of aggravated because good monofilament thread isn't cheap and that's a whole bobbin's worth that can't be untangled but it makes an interesting coil.

And just for fun, another different grasshopper.

I hope everyone is staying safe and not suffering too much from fires and bad air quality in the west!  Click over to LeeAnna's for more things to like!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Summer Reading and Stitching Club

 I don't usually participate in stitch-a-longs or quilt-a-longs or blocks of the month because I typically have too many other projects going, but this year felt a bit different with more at home time and need for hand projects for zoom meetings than usual.  At the beginning of the summer Mollie Johanson  of Wild Olive announced a summer reading and stitching club, and since I'd recently finished my embroidered Prayer Book cover, small stitching projects sounded appealing!  Every week for 12 weeks Mollie sent out a new embroidery pattern designed to be stitched onto small book shaped English Paper Pieces blocks.  When finished, the blocks were designed to assemble into a book bag.  Each pattern was inspired by a childhood classic and I thought it would be a fun chance to revisit old favorites and maybe find new ones.

Of the twelve books selected, I'd previously read (and in some cases re-read and re-read) ten.  There were two that were new to me, The Borrowers and All of a Kind Family.  I checked out the All of a Kind Family books (it's a series of about 5) and read them all, they really are a ton of fun.  The library didn't have audiobooks of the Borrowers so I'm still waiting to read those.

All of a Kind Family

The Borrowers

There were also several from some of my personal favorites.  I tried to take pictures with the book when I could, but there are a few I don't own, and a few that I've lent to my sister.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Little House on the Prairie

Alice in Wonderland

Winnie The Pooh

Others included Charlotte's Web

The Secret Garden; not one of my favorite books, but actually one of my favorite embroideries in this project.

The Wind in the Willows

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  I really enjoyed this book as a kid.

The Wizard of Oz

And Peter Pan, again not a favorite book, but I thought the embroidery was really cute.

I didn't need another tote bag, so I decided to assemble these into a miniquilt.  I don't really need another miniquilt either (my walls are full) but I wound up finding a small chunk of wall in my bedroom to hang it.  

I hand pieced all the blocks together and then machine pieced in the sashing.  I decided to do some more hand embroidery on the sashing to keep with the vibe on the whole quilt.

I quilted vines and leaves in the borders to echo the embroidery in the sashing.  Can you also see in the picture below that I was less than one inch short on my binding?  I wound up having to cut an additional strip (lucky to have it) for that teeny bit which was aggravating.

I quilted the book names on each block, in some cases it's easier to see (and more nicely done) than in others, but I think it shows up fairly well on the Peter Pan book above and you can see it nicely on the Wind in the Willows block.  Unfortunately, the last two blocks to quilt names on were the Borrowers and Charlotte's Web, and as my brain was thinking oh you only have Charlotte's Web left, it quilted Charlotte's Web on the Borrowers block.  That was annoying to pick out as you might imagine.  Most of the background quilting is pretty plain, but I did quilt little white "pages" above each pieced block to reinforce the book-ness.

Here's the whole quilt,  it's about 32" square.  Very traditional for me, but I loved getting to use a bunch of bright quilting fabrics; that one I put between each box is a favorite rainbow print of mine and I've not gotten to use it much.  It was really wonderful to have a cute, low pressure, hand project to work on this summer, and I love how this turned out.  

It was also really fun to see everyone else's progress on IG (#summerreadingstitchingclub) so many thanks to Mollie for putting together such a fun time.  I think you can buy the PDF of the whole project (all 12 embroideries, pattern pieces, and instructions) on Mollie's Etsy page if you're interested in making one yourself.


Thursday, September 10, 2020

I Like #180

My sister, her kids, and my cousin Kelly who is living with them this semester to take care of the kids after they finish homeschool every day came up this weekend for a short visit.  We mostly stayed home, playing games, doing crafts, and playing with the dogs but we did go for an early morning hike on Saturday before it got too hot.  We went on a section of the lake trail I hadn't been on before and we didn't see a single other person which was great.  

Blue's friend Auto came up with Becky and they had a raucous good time rumpusing together which is fantastic.

I couldn't get Blue to sit nicely for a picture in front of the lake, so we have lake picture and Blue picture separately.

And of course whenever Alex is visiting, Bentley knows there will be extra placemat goodies.  He always licks backwards from underneath and it makes me giggle every time since usually all you see is his tongue wrapping around the table (second pic)

I saw this cool grasshopper in my dahlia this week, not as colorful as the one last week, but right in the center of the big pink flower.

I blogged this week about a wonderful busy book my mom made for Becky and me in the early 80s,  click here to see more about it.

I really enjoyed this short article about a beautiful Roman mosaic being discovered/uncovered at an Italian villa.  It's amazing how intact it is after so many years buried!

I hope you are all hanging in there and staying safe.  Click over to Lee Anna's for more things to like!