Friday, October 13, 2017

Traveler, a (little) finished (whole cloth) quilt

When I finished Alicia's quilt,
but before I started quilting Sojourner,
I made a little whole-cloth quilt,
by drawing
a 'sample' of Sojourner 
onto an almost 1 yard cut of Riviera Kona cotton
using fine tipped Crayola washable markers
so I could practice my quilting.

I knew one of the things that my client loved 
was the quilting. 

And even though I had warned her
that my quilting would be nowhere near the level of Kathleen's,
I still wanted to do my very best.
(which is pretty much what I want to do with every quilt... ;-)

I'm really glad I made this little practice piece,
because firstly,
it really boosted my confidence

and secondly,
there were a few motifs that I ended up 
not being real crazy about,
so I knew not to use them in the real quilt.

I wish I could say it helped me figure out 
how to best work my way around the quilt,

but sadly, I still struggle a good bit with that.

(although - I recently took Judi's progressive quilting class,
and one of my take-a-ways was
is inevitable.
Still, I think I could eliminate *some* of it...)

And thirdly - it's pretty darn cute,
and delightfully soft!

I backed it with the same fabric that I used for Out of the Blue
and bound it with a yellow/gold zig zaggy fabric 
I bought on my birthday trip to the Rag Barn last year.

it's got wool batting,
so it's nice and light and soft and drapey
but warm,
and it breathes like Egyptian cotton.
(Points if you know what that line is from ;-)

After quilting and a tumble through the washer and dryer
it's approx 30x37 inches

and -  it's in the shop

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


There really isn't a whole lot going on here,
except for work on the house
and ordinary life.

We got to babysit Hadley over the weekend.

She was much grumpier than usual,
but we still had some fun times.

She loves her Mimi, Aunt Lily, and Uncle BranBran the most.

and bring home all sorts of trash and treasures.

meet Pepper. Our river cat...

I'm not sure what we'll do as it continues to get cooler.

It's been the highlight of our weeks,
and each time
feels a little more restful than the last.

Last week, 
we thought we were going to be rained out,
but I checked the weather around 11,
and it wasn't supposed to rain until 1:30

so we quickly got our things together 
and made it to the river before noon

and got to enjoy a peaceful hour and 10 minutes 
before it started sprinkling.

We stayed another 10 minutes or so,
but left before the sky opened up.

I've had very little time to quilt,
and my machine is getting increasingly belligerent,
making what time I do have not as productive as it could/should be
so it will need to go back to the shop,
but what I've managed to get done,
I'm very pleased with.

I'm especially happy with that heart motif, as that is my own design!
And - I didn't even test it first - I just quickly drew it out on paper
to make sure it would work like I thought it would.
and it did!

Our new porch has been seeing some use
as the temperature drops a bit.

We play backgammon out there with our weekend coffee
and it's Tyler's favorite place for Bible study.

We are sooo looking forward to being able to move in
and slow down just a bit 
(though there will still be quite a bit of work to do for a few years)

The kids worked together to make dinner last night
so Tyler and I could get a little more done on the floors.

People tell me often,
"I don't know how you do it all."
It's very simple.
I don't.

I so totally don't.

the bonus of our yard /property being overgrown:
lots more wildflowers - which means lots more bees and butterflies

p.s. just a reminder - I'm now on Instagram.
I tend to post a bit more often there, as it is much quicker than blogging,
and I never post exactly the same things as I do here,
so you might want to follow me there.....

Monday, October 9, 2017

flooring, still...

Brandon's bedroom, Saturday afternoon

It's still nothing but floors 
on the house building front.

When we left off 2 weeks ago,
and were moving into the dining/kitchen space.

This picture was taken when we called it quits on Sept 30th

We were a little nervous 
about meeting up properly
on the other side of the bar.

We ended up being almost 3/16 of an inch off,
but were able to fudge around a few boards
 that will be under cabinets,
and met up quite nicely.

We got to this point on Oct 3rd, but photo wasn't snapped til Thurs am

We are super glad we don't desire perfect, pristine floors,
because we've had plenty of minor screw-ups.

Each time, we say, "There's some more character!"
and move on.

I don't know if I've mentioned it,
but our theme/style for the house
Simply Gracious
Graciously Simple.

Every decision that we make
goes through that filter.

I think it's also helped us to be gracious with ourselves...

This is our first time doing so many of these things, after all!



Besides the work of actually installing the floors
(and the extra prep work we had - grrrr)
there's a lot that goes into creating a floor.

Board length is a major factor,
also the color of the board - is it more reddish? or white-ish?
gotta keep those spread out...
And of course each individual board's character,
or lack thereof,
comes into play.
As do potential traffic patterns
and 'furniture' areas;
I have to be careful that the character in a high traffic area
is strictly from grain patterns and coloring,
and save some of the really 'pretty' pieces
(read: distressed / damaged / knotty etc)
for low traffic areas
(that won't be covered by furniture)
and still keep everything balanced.

I've got a few years of quilt making under my belt to help with that part.

We finished the kitchen 

and dining room

and the pantry
(Tyler did this all by himself)

and the mudroom.

The hall closet is almost done

and we've got about 2 hours left in Brandon's room.

We're hoping to get that finished by week's end,
but we have a super busy week, so not sure that's going to happen.

After that,
we've got the office
and the hall on the other side of the living room,
going into the library.
(The library itself will wait until after we've moved the LEM)

(all pictures we just snapped with my phone 
at various times,
and I didn't bother with editing,
so coloring is what it is - based on lighting at the time.)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Grannies going in circles

I really don't know how I happened upon the picture.

Following  a link,
after following a link, I suppose....

But once I saw it,
there was no going back.

For days,
it was all I could think about.
When I wasn't installing hardwood floors, or quilting,
that is.

Maybe it wasn't days;
maybe it was only 2 days,
or 1 long day.

I really don't know.

All I know
I had to make make one.

Gorgeous! I need somebody to help me make sense of this pattern!!

Because I am very responsible
and not at all impulsive,
I pulled out one of the few skeins of yarn that we own
(you may remember that I quilt - but I am not so great with the yarn arts)
chose a properly sized hook from my extensive (not) collection,
(after watching portions of 3 different how to make granny squares
with circle center (aka sunburst) videos)
I sat down on the the couch
while we watched an episode of Hart of Dixie,
and Tyler kept glancing over and laughing at me,
I crocheted the center portion of a circle-centered granny square!

Oh. My.

That was not right at all!!
I thought it was a little ruffly as I was working on it,
but figured maybe it would smooth out?

The rest of the show,
I kept looking over at my granny square dollhouse lampshade
and laughing myself.
I obviously did something veeeeery wrong....

But I was determined to make one of these amazing blankets for myself,
I went back to the video
(I'd selected the shortest one.
because that meant a quicker project, right?)
and discovered that I had 'chained one'
36 times
where I wasn't supposed to.

That was all.... I could do this.....

After I tucked Tyler into bed,
I watched the video again,
this time, working right along with it
(ok. so maybe I had to keep pausing it....
and I made a real center
of a circle-centered granny square.

Thoroughly convinced that I could do this,
I went out the very next day
and  bought a bit of proper yarn
(after consulting with Ashlee
as to what, exactly I should buy...)

what??! You know I need all the fabrics yarns....

I'm thinking of adding an extra round
(making it a great granny square)
(Crocheters - is there any reason why that wouldn't work??)

because then my squares would be bigger,

so I'd need fewer of them,

and I could more quickly get this out of my system
and get back to quilting.

(This isn't actually taking away from quilting,
except for maybe my very long term EPP,
but I have already been avoiding that
 because of paper size/shape problems,
so having no binding or hand-quilting right now,
I've just been watching our somewhat nightly show

Oh! I remember!
One of my sweet nieces sent me a link on FB.
which ultimately led to the photo above,
which started this whole thing.