19 April 2024

Friday Fascination

18 April 2024

Thursday Thrift

Another wedding in just two weeks, bridal shower last weekend, and no time for sewing. Good thing I have a stash of finished quilts. This beautiful young woman whom I taught a decade ago (and whose younger sister I taught six years ago and who now teaches with me) is the hopefully proud recipient of the quilt I crafted with my own Spoonflower rainbow lightning hexies panels and January 2021 digital temperature quilt panel.

16 April 2024

Tulip Tuesday

As we were packing to go to my mother-in-law's for a couple of days, the deer were hanging out across the street, munching on my neighbor's flowers and trees. I just knew they were waiting for us to get out of the way so they could devour my tulips. Tulips are like candy to deer.

All my tulips came with the house, with the exception of a pot of very deep maroon flowers Lizard gave me before we knew tulips are like candy to deer. I transplanted the bulbs into the garden after they spent their initial blossoms because I didn't know the deer would eat them. Every. Single. Year.

As I began building our miniature lavender farm in 2020, I dug up the tulips that came with the house and moved them to areas closer to the house, knowing they might still get eaten, but hoping I'd get to enjoy one or two every once in a while.

Every once in a while, I do get a photo of a tulip or two before the Deer Cafe opens. But I haven't seen many. I hoped the deer across the street would stay there and leave my tulips alone while we were gone last week until I could get back and shoot them. The tulips, not the deer. With a camera. Not a gun.

Imagine my surprise when I got to see a whole bunch of tulips when we returned! Now, if one of the deep maroon ones will just bloom!

15 April 2024

Snowflake Monday

I have been enjoying the northern lights so much this year. It would be so awesome to watch (and photograph!!!) in person (and maybe get some GREAT snowflake shots, too!!!), but how wonderful for technology that allows me to soak up such beauty on an almost nightly basis! I am SO grateful!

I'm getting SO close to creating a white version of almost every snowflake I've ever designed. My Northern Lights/Peacock Snowflakes were designed long before I was able to watch YouTube on a regular basis, much less reap the benefits of wifi. I hadn't really planned to make white versions because these two beauties just didn't need to be all one color. I still to this day marvel that I created these two lovely patterns. I wish I could come up with stuff like this every day!

Last week during the solar eclipse, I decided the basic flake pattern behind two of my favorite patterns does deserve its own platform. Its own day in the sun, so to speak. So here you go: a bleached version of a classic pattern! I'm even considering making another one with a dark center to symbolize the eclipse for my 2024 digital snowflake temperature quilts...

You may do whatever you'd like with snowflakes you make from this pattern, but you may not sell or republish the pattern. Thanks, and enjoy!

Finished Size: 6.75 inches from point to point
Materials: Size 10 crochet thread, size 7 crochet hook, empty pizza box, wax paper or plastic wrap, cellophane tape, water soluble school glue or desired stiffener, water, glitter, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Special Stitches

Popcorn Stitch (pc)

Work 5 dc in designated st, take loop off hook, insert hook through top loop of 1st dc and replace loop on hook, pull loop through top of 1st dc.

Whiteout Snowflake Instructions

Make magic ring.

Round 1: [Pc in ring, ch 3] 6 times, omitting last 2 ch of final repeat; 1 dc in top of starting pc to form 6th ch 3 sp of Round. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, [in next ch 3 sp work 5 dc] 5 times; in next ch 3 sp work 2 dc; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.

Round 3: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc in next dc, [ch 5, sk next 2 dc, 1 dc in each of next 3 dc] 5 times; ch 5, sk next 2 dc, 1 dc in next dc, sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2.
If you're not reading this pattern on Snowcatcher, you're not reading the designer's blog. Please go here to see the original.

Round 4: Ch 5 (counts as 1 dc and [ch 3, sk next dc and next ch, 1 sc in each of next 3 ch, ch 3, sk next ch and next dc, in next dc work (1 dc, ch 3, 1 dc)] 6 times, omitting last dc and last 2 ch of final repeat; 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 5 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 5: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 1 dc over post of dc directly below, [ch 5, 1 sc in middle sc of next 3/sc group, ch 5, in next ch 3 tip work (2 dc, ch 3, 2 dc)] 6 times, omitting last 2 dc and last 2 ch of final repeat; 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 6: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, [ch 6, 1 sc over next sc into middle sc of next 3/sc group, ch 6, in next ch 3 tip work (3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc)] 6 times, omitting last 3 dc and last 2 ch of final repeat; 1 dc in 2nd ch of starting ch 2 to form 6th ch 3 tip of Round.

Round 7: Ch 2 (counts as 1 dc), 2 dc over post of dc directly below, [ch 7, 1 sc over next sc into middle sc of next 3/sc group, ch 7, in next ch 3 tip work (3 dc, ch 6, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, 1 hdc in next ch, 1 dc in next ch, 3 dc)] 6 times, omitting last 3 dc of final repeat; sl st in 2nd ch of starting ch 2; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: I've been stiffening my flakes with undiluted, full-strength water soluble school glue for quite a while now, and I've been squishing the glue onto and throughout each flake with my fingers (yucky mess!!!) instead of gingerly painting the flakes with glue. Yes, it's a mess. But it's faster. And stiffer.

Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin snowflake to box on top of wax paper or plastic wrap.

If using glue, mix a few drops of water with a teaspoon of glue in small washable container. Paint snowflake with glue mixture or desired stiffener. Sprinkle lightly with glitter. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow snowflake to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel snowflake from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to one spoke, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch snowflake twirl freely whenever you walk by! Snowflake also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

11 April 2024


I didn't incorporate an eclipse block last year into any of my digital temperature quilts, and I didn't do anything special with the eclipse day motif in my 2023 crochet temperature project. We had less eclipse this year than we had last year, and I was working, to boot. But I got it in my head I needed to do an eclipse block, and I just couldn't let go of the idea. I'm pretty happy now I played with my projects. I like most of what I got!

My 2024 digital batik temperature quilt is sort of a mockup of how I plan to use up my stash of leftover charm squares in a real quilt one day when I have time to make a real quilt. After last year's digital rainbow temperature quilt, I wasn't sure I wanted to do another rainbow. I didn't like the red and orange in the project. The finished project is growing on me now. I had a Zazzle T-shirt printed with the design, and it's a real hit when I wear it in public.

a new T-shirt

I definitely love the 2024 digital batik temperature quilt a lot more now than I undoubtedly will like it once we hit orange and red temperatures this summer. But I'm hoping this project will slowly worm its way back into my heart once it's done, and then I'll know it's okay to make a real fabric quilt with a rainbow temperature scale.

I was certain I had created a snowflake to commemorate our 2017 eclipse adventure, but I apparently did not. I thought maybe I could substitute my 2022 event horizon-inspired snowflake, which I've now discovered I never actually worked up, even though I had a great idea when the singularity was first photographed. I searched my snowflake stash and decided my Seek Snowflake would suffice.

My 2024 digital batik snowflake temperature quilt uses the same color scheme from my 2023 crochet temperature project, and I still absolutely adore it. I have a collection of turquoise, green, rose and purple batiks I plan to use in a real quilt one day, and this digital project is sort of a mockup of what that might look like. I'm even tempted to appliqué real crocheted snowflakes to make the most fabulous real quilt ever. My digital project makes me yearn for the day I can get back to sewing on a regular basis.

I decided to try something a little different this year with a different color scheme for each season in one digital temperature quilt. I was so happy when the first day of spring fell on the first block of a new row.

2024 Digital Snowflake Seasonal Temperature Quilt eclipse block

I wasn't so sure I liked the idea after the first four or five spring blocks. Now I'm into my second row of spring, and I think the summer palette is going to knock this thing out of the park. I'm no fan of hot weather, but I can't wait to see what the next color scale will look like next to spring. And I'm a little anxious for warmer overnight temperatures right now, not only for my garden, but also to see how the spring rows will look when they begin getting a bit darker.

My favorite 2024 digital temperature quilt, of course, is the blue one. I really think this would be an outstanding real fabric quilt. Expecially with appliquéd snowflakes!

I'm working up a digital fat quarter, as well as a yard, to print via Spoonflower. The yard will be the whole year. The fat quarter segment will be finished faster. Perfect for the low-patience level I'm running right now drooling over this project. I estimate the fat quarter will be done in about three months, and I think I may have to make a dress or coat out of this fabric once printed!!!

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