Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Pink Fair Isle Shawl

This was more yarn from the Hobby Lobby 2019 clearance sale. I cast on eight-five stitches and knit it up in stockinette with a garter stitch border. Happily, that guess at the stitch count was enough to make the self-patterning yarn do its thing.

Yarn: Yarn Bee Fair Isle 

Despite a knot in one of my skeins, I kept the pattern more or less consistent. That required losing some yarn from middle of the skein so I didn't have two stripes of the grey and white pattern right next to each other.

It's a shawl.  Hopefully after a trip through the washer and dryer the edges won't curl quite so much.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

{I've Been Reading} A Whisker in the Dark

A Whisker in the Dark by Leighann Dobbs

This time it isn't one of Josie's guests who is found dead, it's the tycoon who built the mansion three hundred years ago. Repairs to the property reveal Jedediah Biddford's skeleton hidden in a wall at the same time as his descendants, a quarrelsome family of cheese sculptors, are staying at the guest house for the town's 250th anniversary celebration.

The local authorities aren't concerned about how Jedediah died or how he wound up in the wall, but everyone is searching for the treasure he supposedly left behind. They're digging up the property and tracking mud through the guesthouse...and then one of them winds up dead.

The second book in the Oyster Cove Guesthouse series is fast paced and fun, with quirky characters and an entertaining mystery. And did I mention that Josie isn't the only one trying to solve it? The two cats who came with the guesthouse, along with the other cats in town, are also working on the case and we get plenty of chapters from their point of view. I'll be watching for book number three.

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Splashing Fun Bookmark

I finished the bookmark and the point, while it isn't perfect, wasn't as tricky as I feared it might be. 

I just love the shading on her dress and hair! 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

My Hot Iron Transfer Haul

I have hot iron transfers beyond life expectancy, more than anyone could ever embroider...but then I found a big stack of them for a dollar...and an un-priced box...and now I've got even more. 

And I'm totally okay with that because I would've paid two bucks for just the poodles. Or the old-fashioned cars.

Has it really been almost three years since I stitched a block for the Garden Party Quilt? How did  that get set aside for so long?

Friday, July 26, 2019

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {7/26/19}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, July 25, 2019

{Estate Sale Temptations} In a Musty Basement

I don't think I've ever had the smell of a basement hit me as hard as the one at this sale did. It was just must and mold, but WOW it was strong.

There were tools and woodworking stuff and bottles and jars down there, probably nothing that couldn't be cleaned up and salvaged. And this hulking chest freezer with a sign warning not to open it if Polly wasn't there.

You can just see the logo at the far end. We didn't know the company that made those trucks my husband collects made chest freezers and we almost talked Polly into selling us this one. We also got a look inside -- I don't know exactly what it was, but I couldn't smell it from where I was standing a couple of feet away, so that was a plus.

The prices at this sale were high and the treasures were in rough shape. All of this wonderful vintage baby stuff was out in the rain.

Can you see the little pink metal ironing board? I kind of almost wanted to bring it home.

There's a snooty chicken crock pot. I wonder how many sizes and colors this thing came in.

Someone who collects old plastic Halloween costumes would probably love these, and I hope that person found them.

I was tempted by the dollhouse and the sewing machine, but they were up by the ceiling and impossible to get a closer look at.

If I wanted to frame those little crewel kits I've been collecting, I could've picked up a whole stack of new-in-box Jiffy frames. But I don't and I didn't.

A huge box of S&H green stamps and an equally huge box of cigarette stamps. That was one of two boxes of Raleigh Cigarette coupons I saw at different sales on Friday. Makes you wonder who saved all of that and what they could have redeemed them for back in the day...and why they didn't.

The big find of the day was this thing...

I'm told that it's a new-in-box carburetor and that they sell for hundreds of dollars. It probably fits that old truck my husband is rebuilding. At the sale with all of the treadle machines we found an air filter that probably fits for a dollar.

I guess the moral of this story is that even if the prices at a sale are completely and totally out of line they may have that one thing that you need and that they've completely and totally undervalued.

There was also this, being used as a doorstop on the rainy back porch.

I peeked behind the paper and it really did appear to be a homemade gravestone. I have so many questions about that.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Another Calendar Towel Project Bag

I made myself another zippered project bag from a calendar towel. This one was in a box of red cotton scraps from an estate sale  and the fabric isn't nearly as worn or faded as  the first one...which might not be a good thing because the colors are almost painfully bright. Would it be completely ridiculous to just throw a towel through the laundry every load until it fades? 

This bag isn't lined with fusible interfacing because I've only got a yard left at the house and I have plans for using it up and no plans to drive into town soon. Compared to the first bag, it has much less structure...but does a pair of socks in progress really need a bag that isn't floppy?

The proportions are also a bit off, but someone had cut the bottom of the towel...maybe to remove the year? It's always interesting to wonder what happened to my things before I owned  them. I left it wide to keep the trees and to keep as much of the stream as possible I cropped off the top of the church steeple. It seems like there's always some give and take with projects like this one. But I'm not complaining -- this is made from a fat quarter I got for a quarter at the thrift shop, a tea towel I found in a bag of scraps, and a ten cent zipper from an estate sale haul.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

{I've Been Reading} When You Find My Body

Emotionally, When You Find My Body by D. Dauphinee was a tough read. I vaguely remember hearing something about Gerry Largay when her remains were discovered a few years ago and when I saw the book I jumped at the chance to learn more about what happened to her. The idea that she died in her tent so closes to the trail, so close to the hundreds of searchers, is absolutely haunting. The fact that she was a quilter makes it hit even closer to home. I did a Google search to see if I could turn up any pictures of her work and found her disappearance mentioned on several quilting blogs.

As interesting and haunting as Gerry's story is, the short book meanders in all sorts of different directions, from medieval books on good death (which do sound fascinating, but don't seem connected to this particular story) to a lost Arctic expedition. There's also a lot about the history and culture of the Appalachian Trail, which makes sense.

I do wish that there had been more about Gerry herself and less about the author's personal opinions.

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links.  

Monday, July 22, 2019

Dealing With the Edges

My sewing machine has been in its roller case for a ridiculously long time and I've been putting off projects because the thirty seconds or so that it would take to unzip the case and lift the machine onto my sewing table seemed daunting. (I've also been having a lot of fun with other things.) 

When Maynia started and I gridded fabric for those twenty new projects, I didn't bother zig-zag my edges.

It's not a necessary step but if you're stitching in hand or putting a piece in and out of Q-snaps repeatedly, the edges will start to fray and the dangling threads get annoying. So I usually run the edges through my machine and do a wide zig-zag stitch that's just enough to keep things tidy.

On Saturday I set up the machine and did the edges of the projects I've been working on.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Problems With Hedgehogs

The real ones are prickly and sometimes temperamental, leave sharp little quills for you to step on,  and require some specialized care (which is totally feasible, they're just not the same thing as hamsters or pet mice and don't believe anyone who tells you they're just as easy but cuter.)

My current problem is with the stitched variety...

I am SO ridiculously close to having this piece done. There's some foliage left to stitch along the bottom edge and some blue half stitches along the top that I skipped for some reason.

And there are all of  these little isolated stitches. I shouldn't have moved on to other areas without filling those in because they're going to be an absolute pain to figure out now. One spot in a sea of brown. Just trying finding that on the chart and then lining it up with the actual stitches.

We all know that most of those are going to be whatever shade of brown blends in with its surroundings...but for now I'm making the effort to get most of them right. or sort of right. Once I get that done, I can worry about back stitching the quills.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

A Year of Creativity A Craft Date Planner to Meet, Share, and Create

Do you craft with your friends? If you do, or if you think you might want to, take a look at A Year of Creativity A Craft Date Planner to Meet, Share, and Create by Petra Hoeksema, Lidy Nooij, Miriam Catshoek, and Bregje Konings.

The idea behind a craft date is that a group of friends gets together to spend an afternoon (or maybe a whole weekend) making something. One member of the group chooses the project and brings the supplies, all attractively packaged like gifts, and then the creativity begins.

The book is full of projects and ideas for snacks packaging the craft kits for the day. If I've got one doubt its that if more than one of the craft date participants reads the book in advance, the surprise might be spoiled. The authors assume that everyone can knit and crochet and sew, or at least knows the basics. 

I'm seriously loving this idea and wondering who I could round up to give it a try.

Disclosure -- The publisher provided me with an advance review copy. This post contains affiliate links. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Let's Make Baby Quilts! {7/19/19}

Let's Make Baby Quilts Linky Party Rules: 
Link directly to your post or specific Flickr photo. Your post can be about a baby quilt that's finished, or in progress, or you can be writing about what you have planned,  as long as it's about baby quilts. You're welcome to link to baby quilt posts that aren't brand new, but please don't submit the same post or picture more than once. I'd love it if you linked back to my site, either with a text link or the Let's Make Baby Quilts! button.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday, July 18, 2019

{Estate Sale Tempatations} Another Barn Sale

We went to another barn sale and my husband bought practical stuff. I bought these, dust and cobwebs and all...

So far I'm halfway through First Stop Honolulu and they've just barely decided to make the flight. I've also learned a lot of new words and phrases. Juveniles in 1927 must have been a vastly different target audience from middle aged women in 2019. Don't get me wrong, I can figure out what most of it means. But I'm not sure my kids would be able to tackle all of the obscure metaphors.

I resisted the temptation to buy a popcorn popper just like the one we had when I was growing up. 

And I resisted the old toys. If that kaleidoscope had been just a little bit cleaner....did I mention that this was a barn sale? It was one of the dustier, dirtier ones.

We went back on the second day and I didn't even think to look to see if this landscape was still hanging there.

Or these two, which are almost identical. I mean, they are identical but one is a lot more faded than the other.

And there was Tupperware. Honestly, I'd have thought this stuff was too far gone for a thrift shop donation, but they wanted top dollar for pieces with cracked lids.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

{I've Been Reading} Our House

Our House by Louise Candlish

Fiona Lawson is sure that she must be mistaken when she rounds the corner and sees a moving van parked in front of the house she shares with her husband and their two sons....but the van is in front of her house, all of her furnishings and belongings are gone, and strangers are moving their furniture in. She can't reach her husband and when she contacts the authorities she receives the news that her house is no longer hers.

I can't tell you much more than that without spoiling the plot. What I can tell you is that it takes a very long time to get an idea of what's actually happened and then it takes a lot longer to get to the resolution. Unlike Those People, I wasn't particularly intrigued by Fiona or the other characters. 

Monday, July 15, 2019

{Tutorial} Tea Towel Project Bag

I love vintage tea towels, especially when the illustrations on them are as gorgeous as this covered bridge and fall foliage. Over the years, I've found plenty at the thrift store and estate sales and most of those have been used in our kitchen. They're already old and worn, so they might as well continue that purpose in life, right?

This time, I upgraded my tea towel into a zippered project bag. 

The fabric is so soft and faded that I'm sure it was used in someone's kitchen for many years. Before I cut it into pieces, I used some mid-weight fusible interfacing to stabilize the weave of the fabric a bit.

One of the zippers from that estate sale haul a few years back was the perfect shade of orange to go with those autumn leaves.

And the 1971 calendar looks great on the back. I did have to choose between the year and months or a poem about covered bridges that ran along the very bottom. Working with vintage  fabric always involves tough choices, doesn't it?

I did forget a step when I was shortening my zipper so my lining doesn't have enclosed seams. I think my cross stitch and knitting will survive a few stray threads. I'll do it right next time....and there will be lots of next times because I'm loving the idea of making more tea towel bags.

If you want to see more details about how I made this one, check out the video below.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The 2019 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

It's quilt show weekend and I'm happily exhausted after three whole days of visiting quilt shops and walking the streets of Sisters and thrifting and planning future projects.

We were out the door and ready to look at quilts at 7:30 am.  The show doesn't officially start until nine, but there were already lots of quilts up and getting our start before many other people are on the streets and the day starts to get warm means we get to see more quilts.

This is the first one I saw and I was immediately in love.

It's called Foolish Mortals and the quilter, Val Livingston, says on Instagram that the pattern will be available later this month in her etsy shop.

Just around the corner was another of her quilts. The pattern for Jellies is already available.

Three versions of Gypsy Wife hanging in a row, and I know I saw others while we were wandering.

I took a picture of this one so that I could look up the designer, but managed to crop off her name. If anyone knows who it is, please leave me a comment. I'd love to see if she's got other quilts posted online.

Look at that dragon and those frogs. I swear I saw reversible sequins in all of that shiny fabric and my pictures don't even begin to capture the orange of the flames.

This narrow alley was, as far as I can tell, applique with amazing quilted texture.

And I can't tell you how much I love this rooster. One of our chickens always has that same dazed look on her face. I found the quilter, Soopermommy, on Instagram.

This scene is applique. Three of us balanced on uneven rocks for a closer look and that water is layers of fabric. Those little windows are fabric. And the sky has appliqued squares that make it look pieced.

Someone made Legendary with a fuzzy Sasquatch....

My feet are tired and my head is spinning with ideas and possibilities and now I'm going to start checking posts by my bloggy friends to see what they all saw that I missed.


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