Sunday, February 26, 2017

Customer quilt -- change of plans...

The current customer king-size quilt on the frame is a bit slower-going than normal due to this cute creative orange border addition.

Typically, I'm an edge-to-edge pantograph quilter, however this little lip will create havoc in that plan.  Therefore, time is being taken to tie-off threads at the start and end of each pass in the center portion of the quilt in order to keep her border treatment to remain unique.  Once the center is quilted, the quilt will then be reinstalled length-wise in order to quilt her outer borders.

Pantograph of choice:  this edge-to-edge 7" pantograph from Cheryl Barnes.

In other news...

A few moments were taken this morning to transplant a few early Cherry Tomato seedlings that are destined to be potted plants, producing (hopefully) by mid April.  I'm waiting somewhat patiently for the end of March in order to plant all the rest of the Garden 2017 tomatoes; a couple new varieties being tested out this year.

Caitlyn has been joining me downstairs during my recent quilting endeavors in order to bring her quilt to completion.  Last weekend, she finished up piecing the blocks.  Today, she hopes to get all (most?) of the top's center pieced together.

And last weekend, after hours of standing behind the quilting machine, my back was given a rest when I pulled out the ongoing (FOREVER!) WIP monster king-size Manghan for the hubster.  The good news is it's over half completed ;)

Happy Sunday everyone!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Virto di Mare - Quilted

This past Saturday was my first Saturday open since December 31;  the reality of being a basketball mom to three girls has kept me in the bleachers rather than in front of my machines.
However, with a little discipline and LOTS of motivation, I set out to finish up the quilting on Vitro di Mare.

... good ol' Murphy seemed to have other plans in mind!  >:|
Thankfully, I was only sidelined for a few minutes.  Seeing as I was changing out the broken needle, the time was given to perform a quick machine cleaning, removing some lint from under the bobbin and needle area, and then... I was back up-n-runnin'!

The moment a quilt is unwound from the frame is truly always a super amazing moment!  I'm forever in love with this craft!

Being President's Day, we have a scheduled vacation day at school.  Therefore, shortly, I'll be heading downstairs to see if I can finish up a customer quilt that has already been loaded on the frame:  a 103" x 103" log cabin style.  That one will keep me busy for a bit.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Vitro di Mare (Bonnie's Allietare mystery) - top done

Finishing around 81" x 95", my version of Bonnie K. Hunter's Allietare quilt design has reached flimsy status.

I set out to put the finishing touches on the top a couple of Sundays ago;  the borders.  The inner border was an easy decision, as I had just enough of the darker brown fabric to pull off 2" strips, however, the final outer border required some fabric auditions.

Deciding on the green, a couple of hours later resulted in a complete 81" x 95" flimsy, ready for quilting.

Continuing the perseverance on the day, a backing was prepped, some batting sections were spliced, and all three layers were loaded on the quilting frame.  Setting up my go-to 7" feather pantograph, a few passes of quilting were completed using Aurifil thread for both the top and bobbin.

With two customer quilts coming my way this past week, today's downtime turned into some quilting work time in hopes to move this quilt off the frame and into the binding pile.

Happy Sunday everyone.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Winter's here; Whipped Lotions & Soap

Snow is finally falling in northern Wisconsin.  Despite have a gloriously warm pre-winter season these past few weeks, the furnace has been running, burning up the LP.  Yesterday, however, Paul made sure everything was ready to get the wood-furnace set for the season, considering temps are expected to plummet this week :(
Last night = our first wood heat of the year.
But DRY!!!

Therefore, this afternoon, the humidifier was set up.
Also, since my lotion containers are just about empty, the afternoon was whittled away whipping up a new batch of lotion.

I've made lotion bars in the past, but once I cooked up my first whipped lotion recipe last summer, the lotion bars were all but forgotten; although I still have one of my cocoa butter bars left (it is wonderful for my elbows, knees and heels).

As a reminder...
Simple recipe for whipped lotion
120g (~1/2 cup) coconut oil
120g (~1/2 cup) Shea butter
4g beeswax
1/2 tsp Vitamin E
Melt oil, butter and beeswax together.  

Mix, add vitamin E, and then chill in fridge for ~30 minutes.

Whip to desired consistency...
Within a few minutes, it takes on a frosting appearance.

After whipping for about 10 minutes, a thick and creamy texture is reached; ready to pour.
This small batch fills 3 of my larger and smaller containers;  each container receives some fragrance (the rough measurement:  5mL or 1/8 - 1/4 tsp).

Since I was in the kitchen and had my ingredients readily available, a 2lb batch of soap was cooked up as well.

This batch used my simple master-batch recipe:
240g Coconut Oil
280g Olive Oil
280g Canola Oil
240g Yogurt/Water half-n-half (frozen)
113g Lye

At the completion of cooking, 1/4 ground oatmeal and 1Tbsp honey were added.  Additionally, it was enhanced with some Hazelnut Cappuchino fragrance.  The light exfoliating nature of the oatmeal is my ALL-TIME favorite!!!

Switching gears...

My quilting and crocheting world has been quiet, but while cleaning up some photography files, this image of our rooster, Sunset, inspired me to make up a color-card.  I haven't jump on-board Bonnie's mystery En Provence (yet), however Andee seems to agree that these colors may just work out.

Happy Sunday!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Cassie turns 16

Our dear Cassie turns 16 today

Therefore, I spent the evening editing a seemingly 'nothing spectacular' photo of her from a few weeks ago...

Straight out of the camera...

A crafty crop performed...

And after a few photo enhancements via photoshop... a lovely print-worthy image

The side-by-side

Yah... I'm enjoying this new life-long-learning skill ;)