Saturday, September 30, 2017

Here's to bloggy pals!

I love bloggy pals!

The fabulous Chris of ChrisKnitsSews was cleaning out her fabric stash and generously offered up some of her bits and pieces
My quilting stash is still in its infancy, so these lovely pieces will help fill it out
 I'm thinking some of them would make a great kid's quilt!
And I have to find the purrrfect project for these pieces. I see fussy cutting in my future!

Thanks so much Chris!!!!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Friday Felines

Samantha has blogged about sweet Cecil's recovery, but I wanted to update you all here, as well.

Isn't he a beauty? He's out of his crate, cone-free and doing FANTASTIC!!!

And thanks to all of you, we've managed to cover about 1/3 of his vet costs. Your generosity has been amazing and we really can't thank you all enough.

The pattern sale continues into tomorrow, so if you're looking for savings on some great knits - take a peek
Every penny is going right to Samantha for Cecil's vet bill.

If you don't need patterns, you can donate directly through GoFundMe.

Again, from the bottom of our kitty-loving hearts...


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Back to normal

The heat wave has finally broke and we are now back to more  normal temps! That means I can finally get back in the garden, start my fall clean up (leaves EVERYWHERE!) and start prepping things for winter.
I noticed the other day that the Toad Lilies are getting ready to bloom. I'm kicking myself for not getting more of these this year. Last year, I only got one bloom REALLY late in the fall, so I figured they were a bit of a bust. They are really small, and I thought, what's the point? But I should know better, not that they are more established, each plant has several buds. They still won't be super showy, but they could be in the right number. I'll have to add it to next Spring's "to-do" list.
 The Sedum is fully bloomed and as turned a gorgeous dark pink. Such a fall beauty.
I didn't think we'd see blooms on the Strawberry Mango Smoothly coneflower this year... but look at that. It's suppose to be spindly flower with a mix of red and gold.... we'll have to wait and see just how it turns
I grabbed another pot of Mums for the front step. I just love them. We get them at Easter too, but they will always be a fall flower to me!
And I'm trying an experiment with this little mini rose. When I was a teen, I had a boyfriend who's grandmother's yard was full of mini roses. Like me, she could never keep them alive indoors, but she said she planted them in the garden and they thrived. This one was so pretty and only $5... I figured it's worth a try. There should be enough time before the first frost for it to establish decent roots.

Any fall additions in your gardens?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

One by one

The batik saw tooth stars are by far the most complex block I've attempted, so I'm taking my time with them to make as few mistakes as possible.

Since my home office is also my sewing room, it's much easier to be motivated. Each day when I work from home, and my work is done, I roll my chair over to the sewing machine and bang out another star.
Since I made all my HSTs ahead of time, I've got a fairly streamlined system for assembly. It takes about 10-15 minutes to complete one, but I feel like it's a huge accomplishment.
So far I have six of 16 done. If I can keep this pace up, I should have them all done by mid-October. It's not mandatory, but I'd love to have this quilt wrapped up by Christmas. It's not a Christmas present, but a long overdue wedding gift, and Christmas is the next time I'll see the recipients, so it would be ideal.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sticking to socks

Lest you think this has become a sewing blog...
I am still knitting. Admittedly, not as much as I could be. I've been trying to knit for an hour or so every night - and so far, it's all been dedicated to the Cascading Leaves socks for the I ❤ Fall KAL. The picture above would be further along, but a certain kitten I won't name decided to pull out all the needles and unravel a few days work. All because I decided to sleep in on Saturday morning!

I think I'm also suffering from a little knitting burnout since the push to get the fair stuff done. It was fun, and I was so pleased to get all those ribbons, but I think I pushed myself a little bit too much. That, coupled with the scorching weather we've got right now... there's just no drive to pick up the needles.

The weatherman says we'll be back to seasonal temps by the end of the week, so hopefully that will be a little more inspiring. I really hope so - cardigan season is around the corner and I've got two beauties that need finishing!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Instant quilt top!

... well not quite -  but it felt like it.

Here's what happened...

The other day, I finally got up the energy to tackle organizing fabric/craft shelves in the studio. While I was digging and sorting, I came across some ancient quilt squares I'd started when I still lived with Mom and Dad.. (so at least a decade ago)
I only have a vague remembrance of the plan I had for them. They were large, but weren't quite square - 15"x16". And some of the edges were really uneven. But there were 10 of them, and they had some potential still.

I set to trimming them up, then I cut each one in half, giving me 20 striped rectangles. I had a good sized chunk of a pale green fabric grabbed at some sale or other, so I cut that up into matching rectangles.

I don't have room for a fancy design wall in the studio but a stripped bed works just as well! I set to laying my squares down.
And I settled on a layout I liked. It's nothing fancy or complicated, but I think it's quite pleasing.

Because I long ago learned to sew in small sessions (as opposed to marathons where I make MAJOR mistakes), it took me the weekend to get it together...
But it felt like it came together in an instant. It's not perfect...
But the outdoor quilt inspector says it meets his quality standards.

Come payday, I'll get something for the binding and backing, as well as batting. I think I'll try to tackle this one all on my own instead of sending it up to Mom for finishing. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fair round-up

While Dave was at work Friday night, I hopped the bus and headed up to the fair to see what I had won. I am happy to say - I cleaned up.

Okay... I entered five jars of jam and won absolutely nothing there.... but in the knitting department... I entered 11 items and every single one got a ribbon - most of them 1st prize! I couldn't believe it!

First - let me apologize for the photos. Twenty-five years ago (the last time I was at the fair) they did a much better job of displaying the crafts and such. Now everything is crammed in one tiny corner behind a plexiglass guard. It was really hard to get decent pics... so to show what actually won - I'm including my pictures below...
My lovely Port Credit socks...
Came home with first place in Adult Socks! This made me so happy because I was really torn on which pair of socks to enter. Looks like I chose well.
My Fairies Wear Boots
Came away with first prize for Boot Cuffs.  There were quite a few pairs of boot cuffs entered, which surprised me.  I guess they are becoming more popular.
 My Hooter Hat and Mitts.
Also scored first for Adult Hat and Mitts. This really made me happy because I did not enjoy making those mitts!
 My Queen Mab design
Took first place for adult cardigan.
 Wren's Bethany Dress...
Snagged first for infant dresses.
Also got a pretty red ribbon for Shrugs.
My Loop Cowl, which I designed after visiting Chicago (and for some reason don't have a finished picture of)
Also claimed first for Cowls!
Old Shale was the one I was really betting on for First...
But she surprised me with a third. for infant cardigan
The Posey set
Grabbed third for Bonnets and booties.
Aeolian was another surprise
I thought she'd rank higher than third in the Shawl/Ponch category, but I'll take it.
My cute little Nessie
Only got fourth for child's toy. I guess not everyone loves a Loch Monster.

So I am pleased as punch with my winnings... time to get ready for next year!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Autumn in the wild

Yesterday was the first day of fall, but it certainly didn't feel like. While the beginning of September was beautifully autumnal - it looks like the last two weeks are set on feeling like high-summer. It's hot and humid with the a/c back on and no end in sight. Blech.

I haven't been spending too much time outside because of it but I do have to go out to feed and spend time with Relic, so I've been keeping tabs on my little wilderness.
The last of the Mammoth sunflowers are still shining. I've already cut two humongous heads and have seeds drying for the birds for winter.
The Iceland poppies are a really funny plant. The leaves are fairly compact, but the stems grow long and willy-nilly all over the place, so I often find poppies blooming in the other plants - like this lovely yellow bloom making friendly with the Lupins.
The Anemones have strong straight stems, but some how, this one managed to find herself cozied up with the double bloom Susans. I really hope this Anemone plant makes it through winter - I adore it!
The Pin Cushion plant is enjoying a little revival.
As is the blue Sage (salvia). It looks like the Lavender is going to pick up bit too. All three of these plants are together and this corner of the garden smells amazing!
The Candy Mountain foxglove still hasn't bloomed, but the Peach Dalmatian has been going all summer. I've never got a Foxglove to make it through winter - hopefully this year will be the year!
All of the roses are in bud or blooming - and of course, Chicago Peace is a show-off. If you're looking for a reliable rose bush this is the one! She blooms from June to October no matter the weather.
My Blue Girl isn't as robust or consistent, but she still gives me a thrill every time she blooms. She's hands-down, my favourite.
The Butterfly Mix seeds I planted in spring turned out to be mostly CatchFly and Allysum. When the Catch-Fly died off, I moved the Allysum to the Little Bee garden below Chicago Peace. It's absolutely exploded! It's hard to tell from the picture, but this is the tallest Allysum I've ever seen - easily 12 inches high.

And as I was out inspecting the wild, I realized something else...
I've got quite the menagerie of Snoopervisers now.
Every where I turned...
...someone was watching me.
And it looks like Relic is going to become a permanent member of the team.  We've got him on a wait list at the shelter Rupert came from. They have a low cost vet clinic, so we're going to get him snipped, tested, vaccinated and chipped. 

We're not sure how well he'll transition into being a house cat - he gets along with Burton well (as long as Burton is not jumping on him), but Rupert is still not convinced. But even if  he won't come inside, we're committing to his care. We'll get him a shelter for winter and make sure he's fed and vetted when needed.