Thursday, December 29, 2011

Finished Scarf

Spent the day learning how to make a scarf with the rayon batik fabric that I got on Tuesday!  Mid-morning I went to a friends house and got the "lesson", I had the directions but I am a very visual learner and there were no pictures.......thanks to my friend I now have one completed scarf and two that are almost finished!
Here is a photo of the finished scarf......underneath is one that has been layered, sewn, and sliced, I just need to finish up the ends and put it through the wash a couple of times and it will look fabulous, like the one on top!!  I had enough left over from each fabric to make a third one, it has some of each fabric, can't wait to see what it looks like after it's been washed.

The photos really don't show the colors well, the one on top is made with the teal colored fabric from the last post.

I also promised photos of the quilt that I made for my husband, it's made using Trisha Cribbs' Turning Twenty Pattern and Wool and Needle Flannels by Primitive Gatherings.  These are  not the best photos, I will try to get another one in better light.

Planning on spending lots more time in the sewing room this winter, lots of unfinished projects and a few new ones that will start in January.  I'm also going to challenge myself to work more from my stash, not sign up for any more BOMs until I finish up a few of the large projects, hoping my friends can keep me in check! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oooo La La

A friend took me to a new fabric store yesterday, Portsmouth Fabric Company in Portsmouth, NH.  I will be making two scarves with the top two pieces of rayon batik, I promise I will share photos when I get them done!  The two bundles were just too pretty to leave at the store, they are both cotton, the batiks, will be for my stash and the other, the roll, will be a gift!

I finally shortened the curtains that I found at a yard sale a while back, they make my sewing room cozy for the winter.......but it is also a little darker than having just valences!  As you can see out the window there is no snow!

This is the next project that I will be stitching, I have traced the picture onto the fabric, now I can begin stitching. 
 Instead of blue.......... are the accent fabrics and the floss that I will use

Next post I will have a photo of the flannel quilt that I made for my husband.

Have a wonderful day! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wishing You a Peaceful Week Before Christmas!

I wanted to take a moment to drop in and wish everyone a peaceful week before Christmas........sometimes this week is so crazy that I don't get a chance to enjoy the season.  I still have to get some decorating done, thankfully most of my decorations are "winter" and not specifically Christmas!  I have gifts to wrap and just a few things to pick up and I plan to pace myself this week.  How do you expect your week to go? 

I have also been busy working on a few was for a birthday gift, I need to ask for it back so I can take a photo of it and I also realized that I forgot to add the buttons!  After Christmas I will be able to share a photo my favorite gift that I have been working on, spent most of the weekend off and on working on it! 

Hope you haven't given up on me........I have been reading blogs,  just haven't been posting much, I'll try to get better after the new year! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

What's Going On................

Finished up the Garden Basket quilt...................

Of course I HAD to start something new, this is another one that I plan to keep, my house is starting to look like someone that sews lives here, LOL.........................

I recently finished up several of the "20 Minute" Table Runners....................

I thought that it would be a good idea to get the Fall ones done before it became Winter!

I have been busy with the addition to the coop yard, finally it's finished and I think I'm on plan C or D of trying to intergrate the younger hens with the older ones........still not sure if Rudy will stay, he was NOT very nice to one of the younger hens.   Here's a photo of the coop yard with the addition, we just made a mirror image of the one we made this spring, if you look carefully you can see the separation between the two yards...........
I love that I have pulleys to open and close the coop doors, there is also a door between the two yards, that has been helpful with the intergration process, the plan is to someday keep the door open all the time.  I also kept the old coop as a back up, and that too is coming in handy, you can see it, it's behind the yard addition....................

I need to take a moment to thank my three son's and my husband, without them this would not be finished or look as nice as it does.  There was one day several weeks ago that we were ALL here finishing it up before dark, it was nice to be working together as a family (sorry I was too busy working to take photos)!

That's all the "excitement" on the mountain, now I have to get in my sewing room, I have a few projects I HOPE to get done.   I would rather give a completed Christmas gift than to ask for it back so I can complete it!  Hope you are having a wonderful November.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I've Been Up To this Fall.............

Since I last posted I've been to the Fryeburg Fair..................

Red & Rusty.......

 Rough day at the fair...............

I soaked in the sights, smells & flavors of the fair.  My favorite fair treat is fried dough with melted butter and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, of course I had some fair fries and a few other goodies too! 

I also worked on a few UFOs, here are some photos of them...................

The 1 1/4" squares for one of the borders of the Garden Basket wall quilt, I'm not quite finished cutting them.....
 Here are the blocks for the center of the GB quilt, while trimming these blocks I noticed that I forgot to stitch the stems on one of them, I'll get that done before I finish the top.......

This is one of the quilts from Lori Smith's Fat Quarter Quilting that I started working on last winter!  I have to finished a little more hand quilting and put the hanging sleeve on the back.

I "ripped" the boards for the chicken yard expansion, hoping to get it finished next week,  in case you haven't noticed it's taking me a long time to get this done, I'm not really excited to be working on this project.  The pullets are really in need of more area, we are also hoping this will help with "integrating" them with the older hens and didn't go so well the first time we tried :0(  Hoping it works next time or I may need two coops.  I also showed them what an egg looks like and told them to start thinking about laying soon or else, LOL!

I've also been cleaning up the gardens and getting the yard ready for winter.  Here are the last of the Hydrangea flowers that I cut today before the rains came........

I also harvested 3/4s of a bushel of grapes from my vines and made jelly from them.  Now I am waiting to see if it sets up after it cools, it's been over 6 years since I've made any jelly and can't remember how long it takes to "jell".  

The soap is curing nicely.......I can't wait for it to finish up so I can try it out!  I'm tempted to make more before this one is finished curing so I can use some as gifts.  If I wait, the second batch won't have time to cure before Christmas......something to ponder!  I also am hoping to make a few gifts for Christmas, but I'm NOT going to stress out if it doesn't work out. 

Hope you are having a wonderful Fall!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Quilting & Soapmaking

Finally caught up on the Tonga Rhapsody BOM, here are all seven blocks with the sashing.........
There is more sashing and other stuff that goes along with the blocks, you can see a photo of the finished quilt if you go here.

In the past few months I have been busy researching soap making......Rhonda at Down to Earth has a very informative post (just click on the blog name) the recipe that she posted is the one that I used, it's very simple, just what I needed for the first time.  The only thing that I added was Lavender Essential Oil.  I also read 'Soap Maker's Workshop' by Dr. Robert S. & Katherine J. McDaniel, it was very helpful and included a DVD that showed the process.  Here are some photos I took, the first one shows how I had everything set up and ready for each step................
The white "box" is an old Styrofoam cooler that is lined with a trash bag, I used this as my "mold".  The jar with the clear liquid in it is the water that I added the lye into, it is cooling while I heat the oils.  You can see the small bottle of essential oil that is ready to be added to the soap, you can also see off around the corner the hand blender ready to go, I just used newspaper to protect the counter top. 

Heating the olive oil and coconut oil (the white chunks).......

The soap just before it's ready to be poured into the "mold"...............

Today I took it out of the mold and cut it into bars, now I just need to wait approximately 6 weeks for them to "cure"!  Overall the process is very simple, that being said, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you do your homework before making your first  batch of soap, Lye is very caustic, so please do the research before trying this for the first time.  I was also able to speak to a friend of a friend that has been making soap for over 10 years she was able to give me some great tips, like the cooler as a mold, and using a tall jar to mix the water and lye, so be sure to check with friends they might be able to give you some great tips! 

See the "chicken" in the background, I picked up her up in the free bin at the quilt shop, rusted to perfection!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Finally A Post About Quilting!

I finished the Batik Vintage Nine Patch.........
 My incentive to get it done was to share it at the "Strut Your Stuff" at the local quilt shop last night.  It was a fun time enjoying a glass of wine and some chocolate while watching fellow quilters show off their talents.  NOTE:  This pattern is from Nine-Patch Gatherings by Lisa Bongean & Carole Charles.
Here is a close-up of the binding, I decided to make it a "scrappy" one using the leftovers from the block making, I think it looks pretty nice if I might say so myself.  I quilted around the leaves and just stippled in the center, a great chance to practice my quilting skills and I think I could use more practice!

Today I finished up the remaining three of four blocks for Month 3 of the Civil War Chronicles, they are the four corner blocks...........
I still have Months 4-9 (month 10 should be on its way to me as I type) to catch up, not to mention that I still have the last 3 months of the first quilt Civil War Tribute!  I must get moving on these as I plan on signing up for the third BOM in this series, Civil War Journals.  I probably sound crazy, especially since I haven't finished the first two yet, but I believe they are planning on doing a total of five and I would like to make all of them.

Here's month 4 waiting for me to get started, hopefully tomorrow, we are expecting another rainy day!

Time to call it a day!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Anyone?

Here is the only large pumpkin from the two plants that I got in June, that's one more than I thought would come from them.  I'm going to save some seeds and see what happens next year.

Some treats from a friends garden, I hope to plant some kind of squash next spring, not sure I will have room for potatoes??

Waiting on the vine to become grape jelly! 

A treasure found at a local estate sale $5, it is painted and needs a little TLC, but I couldn't pass it up!

In the sewing room....................
I am ready to add the batting and backing and complete this project.  I have also been working on a few of my know the ones that you keep hearing about! 

Had an appointment with hubby in MA and a few other busy things as well, not to mention that the weather has been rainy.  Today is a beautiful fall day, but more rain is expected in the coming week. 

We are also working on the chicken coop "yard addition" in stages.........
Not sure if you can see it.....but the wall that divided the older hens from the pullets has been changed out (we made the original one removable) so that there is now a door on a pulley so we can introduce the pullets......The introductions are not going as well as I had hoped, the older hens are real "bullies", the younger ones cower in the corner or run into the coop to get away from them, I'm hoping that gets better with time.  We have also made the "base/bottom for the addition and will continue to work on it between rain showers. 

As for the wood......well I may fall a little short on getting it in by the 30th of this month, but I will keep plugging along.

I still need to contact the blog owner where I got the laundry soap recipe then I can get the exact recipe and my other photos.  Next week I hope to make my first batch of soap........

Last and certainly not least, could you please keep my blog friend Lisa in your prayers.

Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September Days..............

Here's what I've been up to.

Raspberry picking at this beautiful farm....................

 Made jam after picking them........

In the sewing room, I finished this quilt top several weeks ago and have been cutting the squares for a pieced backing......................

I also went to a fabric yard sale at a local church and found these fabrics...................
I also found some books and a few sewing notions, I've already put them away. 

Started working on this penny rug for MYSELF, I've had the pattern and materials for over a year and decided it was time to work on it.

I've been sewing with friends several times recently, it's sooooo much fun when you get together with a group of friends and sew and chat, oh and eat! 

I have also made some laundry soap using these ingredients, I'll share the link and my "how to photos" in another post.

I have also gathered the supplies and the courage to make my own soap, I will try to share photos when I make it.......but since I will be working with caustic stuff I may be a little too involved to take many photos.  Not sure exactly which day I will make it but soon!

I've pulled the plants from the garden and have loaded 4 truckloads of wood, my sons have helped to bring some of it inside.  I have about 3 more loads and then we should be set for the winter, I am feeling like my goal of September 30 to have it all inside is looking good.

Hoping to be a little more consistent with my posts, but I'm making no promises, LOL!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It's Fall......Time to Organize and Purge!

Irene has come and gone, power was out for just a short time.....not a real hardship for us as we have a generator.  We really were not bothered by Irene much just a few extra branches and one small tree that family and home are intact, prayers answered.  Please keep those in Vermont in your prayers. 

Been busy getting started on the WOOD for winter, once that is in and out of the way we will be able to get the area where next year's larger garden will go!  We also had to get another area in the yard prepared to put the wood that still needs to be cut and split for next year. 
It doesn't look like I've done much in the above photo but I have already moved 2 truck loads out by the back door ready to come inside.  My goal this year is to have the wood in by October 1, I'll keep you posted on my progress. 

Earlier this summer I transplanted two very large pumpkin plants that were going to be thrown away, the seeds are from pumpkins that a local man uses to grow his HUGE pumpkins.  I really didn't think they would survive as the plants didn't seem to like being disturbed from their pots but as you can see in these photos the plants have taken over a corner and the loam pile.  I don't have many pumpkins, one of them was doing well but one day I noticed that the skin had cracked almost like it grew too fast. 

The next photo is the largest pumpkin........

All those pallets and the loam pile will be taken care of once the pumpkins are finished, that is all part of the "garden prep" plan. 

I haven't gotten much done in the sewing room as I have been busy doing some major organizing of draws, closets, etc........On Monday our next door neighbor was broken into (while they were gone) in the middle of the day.......that really got me to thinking about the important stuff (not necessarily the valuable stuff), two of their jewelry boxes were taken that contained mementos from their life, stuff that is know like the boy scout pin from a son, etc.  A perfect time to "clean house" for me, and that I did yesterday......I was up past 11pm working in one room, I did have to catch up on paperwork, too, that took quite a bit of time.  It's raining again today so I will continue in the other rooms, it will be a nice start to Fall having tidy spaces.

I'm also still working on perfecting my yogurt making.  I made fresh from scratch french bread recently, my own homemade deodorant, planning on making homemade soap and homemade laundry soap, and of course getting my butt back in the sewing room.  Definately enough to keep me out of trouble for the coming winter.

Enjoy your day!