Thursday, May 31, 2012's been a while!

I have not spent a lot of time sewing lately - I think I still have some bits of 'spring fever' running through my veins and I have been spending a little more time outside instead of inside. My pup is happy for it too because that means she is getting more walks and just general outside time with me while I putter around in the garden and yard.

One thing I did get done was a set of 8 nine patches for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I really didn't have a lot of yellow scraps so even after raiding my strip bins I had to cut some strips from fat quarters to make up the amount of 2.5" yellow squares needed to complete these blocks. Oh well, it just means that I will have them at the ready for the next time I want to use them. I do like the look of these blocks - they remind me of all the bees that are in my yard buzzing from flower to flower.

Monday, May 21, 2012

An Early Day

I had a great afternoon - I puttered around in my sewing room and I made this cute block for the Sow-Along hosted by Randy at Barrister's Block. This cute block is called Union Square and although there are a lot of 1.5" pieces it wasn't too difficult to put together. I also worked on my 9-patch pink Project Linus quilt. I have finally trimmed it and added the label and machine stitched the binding to the front. Tonight I think I will take it easy and hand stitch the binding to the back. I don't think I will get it all done but we will see how far I get with it. I really do need to get some quilts out of my sewing room!

This morning I woke up at 4 am and was out of bed by 4:30 - what up with that?? I got busy pretty quickly and started baking while it was still fairly cool in the house. Yesterday, I had prepared the dough to make buns today and I baked one batch of 8. I also made a dozen banana/oatmeal muffins while I was at it. Earlier this afternoon I noticed that there were only 3 buns and 4 muffins left - someone must have been hungry - so I started another batch of dough for more buns. I will bake them tomorrow morning before I go to work.

Dough fermenting

I also spent a lovely morning out in the garden and transplanted lettuce, bok choy and tomatoes and I also planted beans. I thought I would be doing that yesterday, but instead I weeded the front flower beds and started planting flowers. I didn't get that task quite finished yesterday so I finished planting the flowers today. Once I got all that done it was way to hot for me outside and I needed to get in the house to cool down. Yes...we already have our air conditioning running...I just cannot take the heat at all! There is still a lot of planting that needs to be done but I figure it will happen over the next week.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Work, work, work.....

Yesterday afternoon I managed to find my way into my sewing room husband came along with me! He finally had some time to take a look at my vintage Singer 301a. He took the cover off the top of the machine and greased the gears and then he took the bottom off and greased the required spots in the nether regions of the machine. He also showed me exactly where I was supposed to oil the machine on a regular basis. Once he reviewed all of the oiling spots with me I saw that I was doing a pretty good job on keeping the machine well oiled. I was such a fraidy cat to actually open the machine but once I saw that there wasn't a monster in it I realized how basic these machines really are. I know I can do all the internal oiling and greasing myself! Of course, once the machine was looked after I needed to test it out and I made 12 more Little House blocks. I have been wanting to work on these blocks but for some reason I only want to sew them on this machine. I plan on getting more sewing done today - before I went to bed last night I started pulling out bits of yellow fabric so that I can make some blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge that I hope to have ready to show on Saturday.

The garden is bigger than it looks - that boat is 16 ft long.
Even though I haven't been spending much time sewing or blogging, I am still visiting all of my favourite blogs and keeping up with what everyone is working on. One of the major themes that I find appearing in a lot of blogs is that a lot more time is being spent working/playing outside now that the wonderful warm weather has finally arrived and that is exactly what I have been doing as well. My husband recently had a birthday and my eldest son gave him the gift of time! Adam came home for a couple days and worked hard in the garden along with me and my other son Eric. We all weeded the vegetable patch - I think there were at least 10 weeds/cm - at least it felt and looked that way. The boys did a lot of the heavy work - they emptied the compost bin and dug it all into the garden and Adam helped his Dad take down a dying plum tree - they removed it stump and all. Today, my husband and I will start planting - I know I will be putting in the bean seeds and we have tomatoes, cukes, peppers, beets and zuccini plants ready to go too. At the back of the photo you can barely make out the raspberry bushes and the rhubarb patch. We already have some things growing - they planted themselves and we just left them to grow.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sewing & Knitting

Making progress!
I didn't work yesterday so I got to spend some time in my sewing room. I worked on a few more Engineer's Wife blocks and I now have 5 more done.

I thought I would sew some more this morning but I seemed to have got myself tangled up in some cotton yarn. I decided that I would make some knitted washcloths to give to my Mom for Mother's Day.

Truthfully, I am a beginner knitter and the first washcloth I made today definitely proves it. Almost every row I had to undo some stitches because I kept getting lost with the pattern, even though it is a very simple design. At some point, I did make a mistake and did one row completely out of pattern and I didn't notice it until I had gone quite a few rows past. Not only that, I also ran out of the yarn that I started the cloth with. I do have another ball of blue/neutral variegated but it is a different blue so I just finished it with a couple rows of plain neutral. I may have to keep this one for myself because there is just too much wrong with it.

I have started another one using yellow cotton and hopefully this one will go more smoothly. I do plan to make at least three washcloths and I will give them to her with some bath soap. Thankfully, I won't be seeing my Mom until Friday so I will have time to make them.

I want to go back into my sewing room and make a few more Engineer's Wife blocks this evening but I am feeling quite tired and just dragging myself around - I don't normally drink coffee but I think I will have one and see if it will perk me up enough to get going!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dear Jane - Cabin Fever (A-9)

I have another Dear Jane block to add to my little collection! I modified the pattern a little bit by taking out a couple sewing lines and just making my freezer paper templates to fit the required size. It certainly simplified the pattern by reducing the number of pieces to 41. I also changed the orientation of the white strips that surround the center square. The pattern shows to make those 4 pieces join with partial seams but I just cut my template pieces to fit the square - 2 longer strips and 2 smaller strips that would join and eliminate the partial seams in the corners.

When I laid out the pieces of fabric to sew together I was a little confounded! I just didn't know where to start because there were so many tiny pieces that when they were all laid out they didn't look like they would all fit together.

It's not as noticeable in this picture but the back of the block has a 3 dimensional quality to it because there was so much overlap - the seam allowances are basically as big as the little pieces.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sawtooth Star, Hooker's Hat Patch, Dutchman's Puzzle
It's been a while since I have posted, time sure does fly! I have not been spending very much time in my sewing room at all over the last couple weeks. I am still trying to get into the 'new' routine and making things work the way that I want them to. On the weekend, I had a sleepless night and I did get into my sewing room and I made 3 Engineer's Wife blocks. I have fallen woefully behind on all of my goals but....that is no problem....because I am not a hard task master! I have been working on hand quilting my green seven sisters quilt - spending bits of time here and there over the last couple weeks quilting it. It is just not that exciting to show the same quilt over and over!

Dear Jane & Engineer's Wife
My design walls have not changed much over the past two weeks other than the addition of the latest Engineer's Wife blocks. I do want to work on my Little Houses but I am sewing them on my vintage Singer 301 and it needs some TLC. My husband is going to have a look at it over the next few days and hopefully the problem is something that is easily remedied. I do have a few projects on the go and they are all lined up and ready for my attention but I think for now things will be moving at a little slower pace. I promised my husband that I would do most of the work in the vegetable garden this year and I just know that will take up a lot of time starting this weekend.

Even though I have been very busy lately and not quilting or blogging as much, I do have to say that I am actually quite happy with the way things are going with my life. In the mornings, before I go to work I have a look at all of my favourite blogs. While I am having my morning tea, I love to visit and see what is going on - a perfect start to a busy day!