Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Good morning Wednesday Spinning and Welcoming a New Blog Friend

   Wow we finally got some good rain last nite-minus the bad storms-we have so needed some rain here.

   I planted a few seeds in my little garden and watered them in. A couple pole beans, soybeans, cucumbers and dwarf sunflowers and nasturiums so far; a couple days before the rain.
   My plastic jug greenhouses with the sweet peppers and my tomatoes are not doing as well as they did last year. We had a couple weeks of lows in the 20s and also many cloudy days too. I may have to break down and buy a couple of paste-canning tomato plants if I can catch a sale. I was going to plant more seeds but I think I will be running out of time to get them in the garden.

   Around the 15th of this month we saw two hummingbirds but no more until late yesterday when we saw 8 at the feeders. I have put three feeders out but only put a little nectar in them. I was beginning to wonder if our group got delayed on their way here. Hoping to see allot more soon.

(photo will enlarge just click on it)  as you can see I am still spinning singles but yesterday I did start to work out some little issues I was having. This bobbin of yarn is now on a niddy noddy and I am spinning more-and it is starting to look like I got it down so I can ply it-maybe lol

   I started spinning some long wool that I bought on ebay and loved it so much I went back and bought more-lol Here is a link to the seller-Christina's shop Meanders Mercantile whom I highly recommend if you are looking for lovely usa wool roving to spin. I also wanted to introduce you to her and her new blog :Ways, Means, and Meanderings. We got to chatting and I learned she is a "farmgirl" at heart. In her new blog she will be sharing recipes and more-do stop by and welcome her to blogging.

   The sun is starting to shine here so I need to get off of here and get something accomplished-spinning perhaps, or I made three pillows that need to be stitched up closed-they turned out really nice, or I bought some polyester flannel material to make a comfy blanket of my KC Royals baseball team. I don't think I want to tie it, I also saw a way to braid the edges which I don't think I want either-so I may just sew up the two pieces together-turn and then stitch down the edges-and perhaps quilt around in spots to keep it together more-not sure yet-lol

Have a good day everyone!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fun Weekend-and We All Ate Too Much

  April is when allot of our friends come down for a visit. Where they live for the most part no really warm spring weather yet, so it is a treat from winter for them. Our dogwoods and redbuds are both blooming too, so it makes a beautiful drive through Missouri.
   It turned out that this couple from Wisconsin is the only ones coming down for now. The other two needed to cancel out.

   We had the most perfect weather for their visit-mid 70s for highs and low 50s at night. Light winds and no rain. The guys went fishing for trout and then stripers in the early mornings. After lunch or brunch our friends went golfing and checked out a new golf course this trip.

   Evenings and brunch were filled with lots and lots of food. I am still sooo full lol we don't eat that much any more.

  Marie always brings down Larry homemade cheesecakes. The last couple of years she started bringing down two. This time she baked up chocolate and also a grasshopper with chocolate chips-both yummy of course lol

note all photos will enlarge

   For our Sunday evening meal I baked an apple pie in my Griswold cast iron pan over coals-

I have a small Weber grill that really rusted out-so I set it up as an "oven"  This works out so nice to bake pies, bread, cobblers etc in--I put coals around the edge in a circle-put a grate on top-put my cast iron pan on top in the middle-put coals on top of the lid which the foil there is for-then put the Weber lid on.
   This is an 8" cast iron pan, I put a trivet on the bottom of the pan and my pie in a pie pan just fits inside on top of the trivet. 


My friend and I had a BBQ ribs contest-lol  For Sunday evening. We both started our ribs around noon.

She used our smoker with a chunk of hickory, had used a dry rub on her ribs, and during the smoking process she had a mixture she put on every hour to keep it moist and then finished her ribs off with a maple syrup glaze

Larry loves Chicago style ribs which always turn out really moist and falling off the bone. I used a dry rub of spices first, then used a good barbecue sauce on the ribs. I place my ribs in a triple layer of foil and place in my Weber in the middle of the grate with coals all around. Half way through the time I open up the foil for about an hour-and then close up again
               First photo my  friend, second photo was mine

I was declared the winner as mine were tender, juicy, and falling off the bone. My friend lost since hers needed another 2 hours of cooking-lol  But it was all delicious hers were just more chewy.
   We also grilled fresh asparagus, and served with wild rice

Two Novembers ago these friends bought me a rustic barnwood frame for my bears piece.  I finished up my piece last year and then took it all to get framed. When I showed it to them, my friend offered to put the wire on the back for hanging and then hung it for me-so happy and thankful for that. 
     It hangs behind my weaving loom, and is in the perfect spot for me to enjoy at my desk or sitting on the sofa. I love it very much. I love the matting as it blends in with the frame and this pieces looks really nice on my new painted walls-with stenciled leaves

I am off to watch the Voice tonight have a good week everyone

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Busy Busy

It is that time of year when I am wanting to stay caught up on gardening and yard work-but the weather for the most part has not been cooperating

Most of my seeds have not sprouted as of yet in my plastic greenhouse bottles. I do have broccoli though ready to plant in the garden soon. We keep getting these really cold nights-20s and 30s.

I have been busy collecting and drying wild herbs to make into healing salves. Dandelion flowers, chickweed, plantain, heal all, violets, lemon balm.

This short table I had used in the past for sun dye projects but it is working out well for this too. This is a north facing window so no direct sun comes in.
   In the paper bags are jars of herbs soaking in olive oil, there are a couple bags of dried herbs and then the rest are laid out to dry. I like to gather these up in the spring as soon as they are up.

I have started cleaning up the house-getting ready for lots of friends to drive in and spend long weekends or a week with us. The first come in this thursday-they leave and another friend comes in on monday he stays a week and then another friend comes in for 10 days. so this month we will be busy busy-fishing, turkey hunting, catching up with friends and eating lots of good food. This weekend especially we will be grilling and baking in dutch ovens outdoors.

Sir John and Izzy left a couple weeks ago to nest elsewhere-am hoping they bring the young ones back here to raise.

The hand quilting with embroidery threads is going well and is fun to do, still trying to work on the hexagons, and spinning too and my weaving loom has been calling me for too long now-.and I am ready for the hummingbirds to arrive. They usually arrive around the 15th of April but the Missouri callender is saying the 11th this year-I will hang out one feeder for them this morning and wait for their return-we love them so much-little friends returning home.

Have a good week everyone!!  Oh and I have been featured for my hand dyed fabrics over on friend Val's link party blog go here

Friday, April 8, 2016

I See I am Now Getting Closer to 200,000 Views--Update We Now Have a Winner!!

UPDATE:  Congratulations to my dear friend in Greece Ariadne. I will enjoy putting together a craft package surprise for her. And thanks so much for all of you that stopped by to get me to that magic 200,000th. 

Since I started blogging back in probably 2004 or something I wanted to hit that many views cause over time on Multiply I had seen several international friends that had that and many more

This is probably not totally accurate but pretty close, several times the counter just quit working and then I would get it going again-I have kept the counter on my blog since yahoo 360 to Multiply to here on Blogger.

Soooo anyone that stops by and sees that they are the 200,000th visitor please take a photo and send it to me. I will come up with a little surprise depending on your craft interests or where you live.

Question for Hand Quilters Using Embroidery Threads

   I decided to use up a bunch of embroidery threads that I have accumulated-from a young age, to my Mom's and Grandma's sewing, to garage sale finds. I figured I can match in colors to each block. Working on using long stitches which is hard for me as I am used to small stitches but so far not bad. 
    I thought I would go around each block and then using different stencils I have leaves etc put that in the middle of these large blocks.
   My question is, I am splitting 6 strand embroidery threads in half so using 3 strands-but a knot is too large to pop threw the fabric like quilt thread-so I am just going over a stitch three times beginning and end. Not sure if this will hold through use and washings.
   So any ideas on another way to secure the threads beginning and end? In this photo to the bottom left is what I did-not sure I like the look of the heavy thread at end (photo will enlarge)-thanks

After I wrote this I went online to see if I could find something and I did find techniques when doing embroidery work with no knot but those will not work for this. So I decided to work on making a smaller knot that would pop through the fabric-and that is working so far on the homespuns

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

ReDo Of Quilt Top Layout

   This ended up being more ripping apart then I thought would be necessary, but am more pleased with this now.
     Do to color placement of moving the blocks around in the bottom two rows-that messed up the border layout on the left and bottom. I had to end up taking all the two bottoms rows apart and the two borders-to manage to lay out the colors so they were not on top of each other. I can live with this better now-lol and I do like this placement of the embroidered blocks much better too. 
    Now to pin it up and sew all back together.

Here is the photo again of the original and it was just too off balance for me.

This original photo is sitting on top of the 4 patch backing too.

I am now contemplating getting out a bunch of embroidery threads that will match in with these colors and hand quilt together with long stitches to make it go fast will decide on that or to tie it once I get all together.

Monday, April 4, 2016

My Counrty Inspired Quilt Top is Now Finished

(photo will enlarge)

     I am quite happy with the results. I had cut out and sewn all the blocks together last year, and I also sewed together all those 4" pre cuts to make the backing. I had sewn those into four patches first with two darks and two lights. 
   Those pre cuts had been gifted to me by an online quilting friend when I first learned to quilt, so was happy to get those used up and into a quilt.
    I usually use up men's shirts when I make gift quilts with this Turning 20 pattern, but I had in my fabric stash stacks of homespuns and a few flannels so I used mostly those fabrics. I am finally going to make a few quilts just for us. Although I do have two more of these cut out for friends. The large fish prints were from fabric yardage with only the one with the flies print being a men's shirt. 
   When I was laying out the blocks to distribute the colors I hadn't realized til it was sewn in that the flies block is upside down now-don't think it will matter.
   I was unhappy that I couldn't use the two embroidery pieces with a log cabin and a man fishing because it was too large to go into the quilt without cutting off the borders so I have decided to make those two pieces into a pillow.
   I do like how I softened up the white on the four embroidered blocks. They are actually a little darker too than what the photos show. After those had gone through the final hand wash and rinse I discovered the ones my Mom and sewn were really pulled in on the sides-but there was just enough fabric to make the size block I needed. Mom was in early stages of dementia when she embroidered these so I think she did really well, and will remember her making these.
   I need to press the 4 patch backing before layering the pieces together with the batting, 
   I will be setting up my old vintage Sears hand quilting frame and knotting this. I am thinking of working from the backing side and tieing a knot inside each of the 4" patches. That will make the front show a long stitch and not the tie. Still thinking about that though.

Oh and instead of sewing up a binding I am going to use the left over fabric on the edges of the backing and bring that forward to the front and hand sewn down as the binding-an old country technique.

Late Afternoon Update: when I laid this out I did the blocks on our bed-so I was watching colors but couldn't see the entire quilt. Now that this has been on the floor-I don't like it-the Turning 20 quilt pattern has four odd blocks and that is where I put the four embroidery blocks-now that I have had a chance to walk around this and look at-it is way off balance-to the right is a whole row of blocks on the side to the left no blocks on the side except for the border blocks.  I really don't want to rip this apart but it is really going to bug me now. lol  so I will contemplate first what I want to change before I start ripping this apart ugh


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