03 June 2008

Yard work, other needle work, quilting again ;)

Things have been interesting to say the least. There's been a lot going on, but on the other hand .. there's not been much going on .. i know .. sounds rather ambivalent doesn't it?

Shortly after my last post, we got super busy with yard work - spring clean up outside and the like - just not here, but at my dad's too .. Reg, scalped a tree for my dad, and he and Kyle did a lot of weeding and whatnot there. Then the next day, my neighbour decided to scalp his lawn as he was putting in sod and needed to remove the grass. In previous posts, I've mentioned the lake / moat / swamp that my back yard becomes when it rains - well waiting for the landlord to get us some dirt was getting irksome .. my neighbour offered the top layer of dirt from his front yard and we gladly accepted. What followed was 3 days of Reg digging up our yard by hand and me leveling the dirt after that with a rake .. then rolling it and then laying seed and rolling it again. 2 months later, I'm about ready to cut the grass .. I've more seed on hand now for the patches that will need it .. there are a few spots that didn't take so well - but that's only because I didn't water those enough .. those spots got sun most of the day and needed more water .. course you don't see that immediately .. but after the fact.

I've since gone back to my dad's to weed out my mum's herb garden . (3 years of weeds there, but not to bad) and just last Sunday I did her rose bushes .. now THAT was bad .. the grass had taken such deep root that it was waist high on me and very very thick .. my hands STILL hurt from that - that was another 3 years of weeds. My mum was to sick to do anything with her gardens before she died. But it now looks a LOT better and it'll be easier work when I'm there to keep it up for him. I did some yard work here as well ... planting some cucumber, tomato plants and some seeds for flowers. Since I don't have an actual vegetable garden set up, it was mostly hauling bags of dirt to the box planters. But after doing 4+ hours of weeding at my dad's, my plantings might as well have been a whole bloody acre LOL

I've not done much (read any) quilting until a few days ago .. I was feeling rather disenchanted by my lack of success - altho the scrunchies did do okay considering the crowd at the last table I had - I had 8 hours notice to get ready and stayed up most of the night to prepare them .. I hadn't done the dishcloths yet (I have them now) or the mini coasters. While I working on them over several weeks, I kept having in my head, "why am I bothering .. it's not like i can get a table right now and even if I had one, how much of this would sell???" so I was pretty discouraged, but I did get a stack of knitted dishcloths done - bout 14 of them .. I'm thinking of selling these $3 each or 2 for $5 ... I'll have to let you know how that works out .. altho my aunt and cousin were here the other day and they both just raved about them .. i did take a few of my earlier ones and use them in the house as i hadn't knitted in over 8 years and my tension was a wee bit wonky at first .. but that worked out in short order. I even got adventurous and 'drafted' my own patterns .. They turned out quite nicely, but by that time, I had knitted about 18 cloths and had had enough .. I was more than willing and beyond ready to move onto the coasters.

My dad picked me up the Summer 2008 issue of Quilts and More, and here are a ton of cute projects in there that look like they make up super quick .. They have these english paper piecing coasters that I just had to try .. they made up super quick and are cute. Of course I made a few changes in the directions .. the sizes they offered the templates for were either to large or to small .. so I adjusted the templates for a size that is just right .. they also wanted you to blind stitch down the hex flower to the circle base; to me, that just seemed so unnecessary when you could appliquilt it down all the same time .. so I did that instead .. what is really nice about these is that it's very quick hand work .. I did one with batting and said no more for that(!) .. with all the seams, it was just to hard on my hands to quilt thru all those layers .. I really do like the affect that doing it this way has as well as the adjusted size.

Reg has been talking about how warm it is at nite and I'm kicking myself for not getting started on our summer bed quilt .. the one I had been plotting to do with the reproduction fabrics - I've designed my quilt and have made my notes for how many pieces to cut for it - My issue is that I don't have enough of one fabric to use as the whole background; so what I've done is created a 'ring' so to speak and looks like I'll have enough to do it with that .. I've several different types of fabric in minimal yard lengths so that while I do have enough fabric to do my quilt, I don't have enough to make it all of say 2 or 3 different fabrics .. but that's alright actually .. in civil war days, quilts were made with odd bits and pieces anyways, so this will be more true to the time .. I've picked out 5 blocks from that era that I'm going to use .. Ohio Star, Simple Star, Underground Railway, Basket and a version of the weathervane .. Reg saw that block and said he liked THAT one .. so after the railroad block, this one became the 'focus' of my layout. The colours that I used in my layout were more to create the pattern and the separation of the sections .. I have a lot of blues and greens - which is great .. our favourite colours and our room has dark blue trim in it .. I need to do my test blocks and then i should be ready to go.

I've almost got my sewing room set back to rights .. it had gotten to the point where a bomb going off would have been a great improvement .. with getting ready for the shows and not having an interest due to my sense of failure . .I've not done much in here but check email .. even then .. very little of that .. so once that's done . .in the next day or two, I'll be doing the test blocks .. the basket and the weathervane block ..

Next planned steps
  • finish cleaning sewing room

  • test blocks

  • baste kyle's quilt; kitty quilt

  • finish handquilting border on small wallhanging

  • binding on doll quilt

  • finish Michigan left

  • etc etc etc ...