30 September 2022

Friday Funny

29 September 2022

Scratchie Patchy

I was hoping to have "Take Me to the Other Side" finished by the end of August, then September. Now, perhaps by the end of October... In the meantime, I am making progress, and I'm happy with the way it's turning out.

While I was digging through my stack of WIPs to see what I might be able to finish next, I discovered Lizard's May birthday present... unfinished. I'd hid the bandanas I'd cut out beneath my WIP pile so he wouldn't see them before his birthday. I'm so embarrassed then I mforgot about them. Even more embarrassing, I recently bought another yard of the very same lizard fabric when I discovered only one yard remained at a favorite quilt shop. I'd forgotten previously purchasing it as a birthday present and cutting out the bandana.

One can never have too much lizard fabric, though, right? Lizard now has three brand new bandanas. He used to wear bandanas beneath his cycling helmet to prevent sunburn through helmet vents. He'd also occassionally worn them when we hiked in the wilderness, too, probably because he didn't have as many Triple Bypass, Ride the Rockies and MS-150 baseball caps back then. Now he isn't able to ride or hike as much, so his bandana collection hasn't see the light of day much in the last three or so years. I was tickled lizard when Lizard opted to wear one of the new bandanas instead of a baseball hat during a walk this week!

Last November, I attempted to sashiko my way into finishing a long-standing quilt WIP by using some of my hand-stitched hexagons, along with batting and a second layer of denim, to patch a favorite pair of air-conditioned jeans. Punching a big needle and coordinating crochet thread through two layers of denim proved too formidable for my mettle. I machine zigzagged the patch into place and gave up because even that was more challenging than I had time and patience to squander.

After nearly a year of vacation from the project, I needed a hand-stitch project for a week away from my computer and sewing machine, and that favorite old pair of jeans was calling out to me. Hand-stitching the layers with a regular needle and jean-strength thread was relaxing and fast. Until I accidentally dragged the exposed section of my shorts-decked calf across the pinned patch. My leg looks as if I was attacked by a six-toed cat! But I'm not going to share photos of that.

Rest assured my wounded but now adequately scabbed leg will be adquately covered following the completion of just three more patches! This is one WIP I think I actually can finish by the end of September!

Linking up with Alycia Quilts.

27 September 2022

Hi, ya, Cinth!

People don't always believe me when I say I dug up "hundreds" of volunteer grape hyacinth and replanted them. (Or gifted them to admiring neighbors...) It's not really hundreds anymore; I've dug up all the forest-thick clumps while leveling and sloping the landscape around our house to prevent the errant window well from flooding the basement.

We literally had hundreds, if not thousands, of volunteer grape hyacinth growing in the rocks nearest the house. That is, until I pulled up all the rocks, dug up all the bulbs, put down leveling/sloping materials (all kinds of mowed, weed-whacked and dug-up unwanted plant/tree life from throughout the backyard, downed tree branches, unwanted landscaping bricks and logs, and fresh rocks and dirt from the landscaping company down the highway) one bucket at a time, put down cardboard, tarp and then returned the original rocks. I'm not completely done yet with the landscaping, but now that our roof and gutters have been replaced and downspouts diverted far from the house, no water is draining off the roof and making its way into the window well and no snowmelt is draining beneath the house foundation anymore. No more all-night bailing sessions!!! YEEHAW!!!

The bulbs I dug up went into the trapezoid-shaped landscaping bricks with which I've been lining the large rock garden along the house, as well as into pots and porch rail planters. A couple of years ago, I'd placed a bunch of volunteers in my beer barrel planters along the driveway. They now are making volunteers in the rocks along the driveway.

I spent half a lunch hour a week or so ago digging up volunteers along the driveway. I think I got 20 more mature bulbs! (I lost count.) Four of them are making pups, or baby bulbs! I had put down a layer of ground cloth and rocks when I redid that area back in about 2015. I didn't know then that ground cloth isn't going to stop the weeds. So I've been redoing small sections at a time when the weather is not too hot, and salvaging whatever bulbs and/or cosmos (which also voluntarily proliferate), before putting down a layer or two of cardboard, then tarp (often more than one layer), then returning the rocks to their place.

I really don't care for the rockwork; don't get me wrong. I'd love to do a fancy rock garden with round rocks placed in elaborate designs, and I still love using rocks with crocheted coverings as accents. But regular landscaping rocks don't really do anything for my creative process. Especially when covered with inches of icky, sticky clay that managed to work its way through the ground cloth. And yet, that very same clay is what seems to appeal to the volunteer grape hyacinth seeds that scatter in the wind, which also reigns supreme in these parts.

Volunteer grape hyacinths are worth all the yuckiness! I even brave earthworms and roly polies when digging up bulbs! Spiders and snakes will evoke screams, but I can work around some of the creepy crawlies without being too creeped out! I will never have to buy grape hyacinth bulbs as long as we live in this house. Never!

Next spring, hopefully I will be able to share the fruits of my labor once again. And if my new triple-layer weed protection doesn't discourage more weeds and volunteer bulbs, well, the weeds will still be put to death, and my little grape hyacinth kingdom will just continue to grow!

26 September 2022

Autumn Leaf Monday

I love autumn leaves! Holly leaves are rather fun because they can appear in so many colors!

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

Finished Size: 3 inches long
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, small container for glue/water mixture, paintbrush, stick pins that won't be used later for sewing, clear thread or fishing line

Holly Leaf Instructions

Ch 13.

Round 1: 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next ch, 1 hdc in each of next 2 ch, 1 dc in each of next 4 ch, 1 hdc in each of next 2 ch, 1 sc in next ch, turning around edge to work back up opposite side of ch, 5 sc in next ch, working up opposite side of ch, 1 sc in next ch, 1 hdc in each of next 2 ch, 1 dc in each of next 4 ch, 1 hdc in each of next 2 ch, 1 sc in each of next 2 ch, sl st loosely in staring ch. Pull magic circle tight.

Round 2: Ch 1, 1 sc in same sc and in each of next 12 st, 1 sc in next sc, ch 2, 1 sc in same sc, 1 sc in each of next 13 st, 1 sc in loose sl st, sl st tightly in starting sc.

Round 3: ch 1, 1 sc in same sc and in each of next 13 sc, in next ch 2 tip work (1 sc, ch 2, 1 sc), 1 sc in each of next 15 sc; sl st tightly in starting sc.
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 1, 1 sc in same sc and in each of next 3 sc, [ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc] 3 times, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, 1 sc in next ch 2 tip, ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in same ch 2 tip, 1 sc in each of next 2 sc, [ch 2, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc] 4 times, 1 sc in each of next 6 sc, ch 5, 1 hdc in 3rd ch from hook, 1 sc in next ch, sl st in next ch, sl st in starting sc; bind off. Weave in ends.

Finish: This project does not necessarily need to be stiffened, but shaping instructions are included for crocheters who plan to stiffen. Tape wax paper or plastic wrap to top of empty pizza box. Pin leaf 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. Wash paintbrush and container thoroughly. Allow leaf to dry at least 24 hours. Remove pins. Gently peel leaf from wax paper or plastic wrap. Attach 10-inch clear thread to stem, weaving in end. Wrap fishing line around tree branch (or tape to ceiling or any overhead surface) and watch leaf twirl freely whenever you walk by! Leaf also may be taped to window or tied to doorknob or cabinet handle.

22 September 2022

Pending Mending

(affiliate links to my fabric designs)

I was hoping to finish Take Me to the Other Side by the end of August. Now I'm not even sure I can finish it by the end of September. Nevertheless, I'm having fun re-learning all the precision piecing lessons Moda Blockheads taught me. I think I'm going to add another couple of rows of on-point blocks, one on the top and one between my Spoonflower panel and the completed blocks to make the finished quilt a bit bigger. And I'm trying to figure out what to do for the quilt back. I'd like to make more sampler-type blocks, but I'm torn between time constraints and the desire to really make this project sing...

One of the many time constraints is the slowly shrinking mending pile. I think I'm two-thirds through my mending! If I can keep up my current pace, I won't have a mending pile by the end of the year! Happy day!!!

Back in 2018, I bought a package of long-sleeved tees to dye. I hadn't been able to find turtlenecks in the colors I needed to coordinate with my wardrobe, so I decided to create my own. The cheap tees, however, didn't make it through the first wash before seams began deteriorating. Initially, I thought perhaps the dye might have chewed up the thread. But upon closer inspection, the third, still undyed, shirt was coming apart at the seams, too.

These tees have been on my mending pile since December 2018. Now, I'll finally get to wear them this winter!

I dyed some krinkly yarn to match the purple shirt but never even wound it into a ball after I discovered the shoddy workmanship of the long-sleeved tees. In 2020, I attempted to dye a skirt that would match the then still-unmended purple tee. I might finally get to wear this ensemble this winter!!!

Back in 2020, Lizard was forced to convert from button-fly Levis to elastic and tie wastebands because he no longer has the finger dexterity for buttons, some snaps and zippers. I found out really quick I needed to sew ties to the back of the waistbands to prevent the ties from finding their way out of their casings in the washing machine. That was a quick mending fix back then, but I'd forgotten Lizard had one brand new pair of drawstring flannel pants with a broken tie until I found the project in the mending pile last weekend.

I did everything I could to dig out the broken tie end so I could make it longer and even ended up cutting a couple of holes into the casing to try to access that broken tie end. In the end, I wound up removing the tie altogether and sewing a new elastic waistband onto the inside of the casing. This fix won't win any sewing awards, but the pants are wearable again, and cooler flannel weather MIGHT be just around the corner... Hopefully!

Next came one of my favorite pairs of cargo shorts. This one had been on the mending pile so long, I actually forgot I owned them.

I found a fabric scrap that is close to the same color as the shorts. I had no luck trying to pin the patch in place, so I ended up smoothly attaching it with masking tape, and it worked just fine!

Another pair of shorts had more recently made its way into the pile, and it wasn't the first time. I made these shorts from batik scraps from my leftovers back and 2018 and literally have worn them out more than once now! The lavender batik in particular is just really flimsy. I extended its life just a bit with more batik scraps.

One more pair of holy cargo shorts awaited. Another favorite pair for travels because of big, roomy pockets. The masking tape method had worked so well on the first pair of cargo shorts, I decided to use the technique once again. I pulled some fun autumn scraps from my leftover scraps, and after just a few minutes, I was yet another pair of shorts richer!

I wanted to finish a new quilt for this month's Project Linus, but there just wasn't enough time. So I donated a quilt I thought I'd never give away. Scrap Gobbler was really difficult to part with, but some little kid somewhere now has really beautiful warmth, and that makes me feel warm, fuzzy and all kinds of happy inside. This gives me a great excuse to make a Scrap Gobbler sequel one day soon, which will use up lots of scraps, which is always a bonus!

Linking up with Alycia Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict... Welcome back!!! We have so missed you!!!

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