Tuesday, July 16, 2024

More slow stitching - on a Tuesday

Sunday's organization of the DMC bins was SO enjoyable!  There's definitely something to be said about having everything one needs in a neat and tidy location, ready for whenever and whatever inspiration may strike.

Snort lol... and after perusing Pinterest and Etsy, inspiration definitely was hitting home, specially after seeing this photo in a FB cross stitching group of mine...

I never had THOUGHT about using cross stitch for a temperature project!  I have a few sites and projects bookmarked for crochet with this concept in mind, but... cross-stitch!?!  Brilliant idea.

Today, I was lazy.  I was productive with cross-stitch, but lazy everywhere else around here (although I DID make a point of emptying the dishwasher while warming up some left over Creamy Penne pasta).

Much of the morning was spent scribbling in a graph notebook, testing out sizing and puzzle piece shapes...

And then the super fun part of sifting through the organized bins for colors, and deciding at the same time what temperature ranges to use...

and then from mid-morning to late afternoon, the 18-count Rustico "natural" aida was prepped along with establishing the color key.  I would describe the color palette I was after as a muted rustic, rich colorway.

And this evening will be much of the same!  I haven't decided on a year, though!  2024?  Or... having recently celebrated our 26th Anniversary (7/11), maybe I'll look back to 1998 as a sentimental project...

Taking a day off from the garden and other harvests is not detrimental at all right now.
Sunday evening was spent pruning and tying up all of the tomato plants (~60)...

And Paul erected a simple make-shift A-frame style support for us to drape our repurposed softball cage netting over in order to protect our blueberry harvest from the birds.  A quick wander around the garden and yard tonight confirms that, although a bird here and there is still smart enough to make its way into (under) the netting, most birds have been deterred.  Berry picking is certainly on the agenda tomorrow morning.

And other than that, the garden is simply doing its thing right now.  No harvests needing my attention yet, so... I guess I'll keep rocking in my glider with my feet up and stitching away, allllmost guilt free.  I just feel like I should be doing something other than simply crafting at my leisure.

Last night marked the end to my coaching career. 
Seventeen years total, nine of which were as head coach.  I love it, and nights like last night really have me jokingly saying that I plan to take back my letter of resignation.  LOL.  I absolutely LOVE competitive ball and athletes who have the ability to overcome.  A double victory last night from this squad has me finishing a winner.  I'll be their biggest fan come fall ball season.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Slow Stitching Sunday - DMC organization and some Sky, Sand & Sea crochet

DMC floss organization day!
The boxes of DMC floss that daughter #1 dug out of her storage had been resting patiently in my cross-stitch bag all week with today in mind.  These boxes were actually given to me by MY mother when she was right around my age now; I reached out to her to get a true gauge of how old these are...

Her reply:

In all guesstimated accuracies, I have to believe she had these in her 20s... and she's now 74, so... "vintage" sounds pretty accurate.  Then, a few years ago, knowing I hadn't touched these in quite some time, they were handed over to Cass since she was showing interest.  She started a project, barely visible in lower right of the first photo, and she says she has since misplaced the pattern.  
I have a couple of projects partially complete that are soaking the sink in an attempt to remove some unknown stain...
Naturally I'm hopeful for a solution since I'm motivated to complete it AND quite possibly gift it in about 8 months.  My assistant coach is pregnant.... with TWINS!  No knowledge on the genders yet, but... prepping multiple in both pink and blue sound like a great lil' project for the next few months.

Cass musta picked up this lil' gadget... 

I had never seen one before.  No paperwork.  But I figured it was probably a DMC floss winder, and sure enough... Google is your friend (and youtube!) --> YouTube tutorial found.
So... some an eclectic mix of mindless youtube videos is underway as I settle in to organize the containers.

And directly following, some Sky, Sand & Sea crocheting is my plan.

... along with a full afternoon of laundry.   LOL
Child #3, Candace -- gotta love her, right!??!
She's pulling a double-shift today at one of her jobs, and after working full-time days all week long, I'm perfectly fine tackling these piles... um.... this PILE.

Happy Sunday.

Linking up with:
Kathy's Quilt - Slow Stitching Sunday

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Currants & wine bottling day

As I said I would, although actually surprised myself I did so...
the currant picking began yesterday morning.

Our original two bushes of red currants were planted in 2013 and have now evolved into four full bushes after transplanting some new growth over the years.  Actually, a 5th additional baby plant has also been planted a handful of years ago, but that one hasn't quite hit any solid development yet.
Last summer, I was lazy!  
Yup.  Let 'em go completely.  
The birds were the only ones to enjoy the berries.  
They get to be DAUNTING!
THIS year, with wine in mind and a lil' self-talk, they are being picked.  Completely, is the goal.
This morning was overcast, but quite beautiful all the same for picking... until the storm hit.
Between yesterday and today, enough currants have been picked for 2 gallons of wine (3.5lb/gal); the end-goal is for six, and hubby is onboard with interest, so maybe between tonight and tomorrow, the rest of the bushes will be completed.
The day evolved into another one of those "as-things-happen" days.  Meaning, I had zero plans nor intentions to have today become a bottling day when I woke this morning.  But, after dashing inside just as the storm hit, after washing up the dishes on the counter, after processing the 3 lbs of currants picked, ... the "wine counter" held my attention.  
Yup.  Let's bottle it up today!

I remember really tackling the counter of carboys by bottling it all up last summer (there was probably on the upwards of 30 gals in a variety of flavors on the counter) with the mindset of backing-off from wine-making.  We have quite the loot in the root cellar, so much that I can't imagine ever drinking it all.  Bottles have been given to friends and family... but still, I distinctly remember I had full plans to back away from making wine.
So, surprise-surprise when I uncovered these babies to see that three of them were new starts last summer.
What?!  Goodness!  I truly don't remember starting anything.  ((Hence, another reason why I'm glad to get this blog going again.))  Therefore, only the Rhubarb-Strawberry was bottled, leaving the Plum, Cherry, and Honeyberry for some more settling after racking into clean carboys.

Wanting to stage a catchy, corny photo, but not having fresh strawberries available, and the rhubarb patch is in its midsummer "I-could-look-better" stage... 

We are left with...

Option A corny table view of the frugally collected mismatched set of bottles with 26-year-old wedding photos peering as a backdrop

Option B corny deck-rail resting prop with girls’ playset and cloudy post-rain backdrop.

Rhubarb-Strawberry (2:1) finished
Started: 6/16/23
Bottled: 7/13/24

Next up:  Crab-Apple

crabapple juice preserved from 2019 - received two HUGE burlap bags of crabapples from a friend that year

Although I attempted to keep this one on the lower ABV side of things...
dem apples were clearly a bit on the sugary side.

After this finishes at 0.99, the ABV will end right around 11%.

Yeast planned:  Red Star Premier Cote des Blancs

Friday, July 12, 2024

Patriotic Pineapple Blossom top - Finished Friday


Patriotic Pineapple Blossom
Bonnie K. Hunter designer of block
(block pattern)

T'was a bit toasty yesterday around these parts, and although piecing doesn't require a bunch of energy nor movement, spending some time in the cool basement (quilt layout prep area) seemed like a better idea than hanging out in the quilting loft.  Therefore, Dawn's Early Light was given a halting break, and...
... percolating since 2013, the Pineapple Blossom UFO was pulled out with the absolute goal in mind to give her some borders.  All of the pinwheels from the bonus HSTs had already been pieced back in 2013, so the main focus was on the white filler blocks and strips, all requiring just a lil' bit of math.

I am quite fond of this layout, having completed a similar one in my scrappy version.  With the red and blue radiating from the center, however, gives it a firecrackery look; quite patriotic.

With the blueberries already picked for the day, I suppose I should head out to the red currant patch for another annual bountiful harvest. 

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

A recurring theme today - Bailee at rest near me

Bailee tucked under a desk behind my chair as I was piecing some Dawn's Early Light units...

Bailee tucked under my second desk as I was pressing some fabrics to prep some leader-enders...

Bailee tuckered out at the top of the loft stairs when I was piecing some borders for the RWB Pineapple Blossoms UFO...

Bailee tucked under our deck table with my evening crochet project: "Sky, Sand & Sea" seems a fitting name

She's usually never very far from me.
Happy Wednesday.

How big for a King?

 Ooooh, Alycia posted a GREAT thinkler this morning:  How big does a king size quilt really need to be?

And heaven knows I needed a little push to finish tidying "his side" of the bedroom (he'll forgive me later once I help him put everything back 😜), but truly... I've sometimes wondered how big/small is TOO big/small for a bed?

We have a California King; repurposed an old waterbed frame years ago for a GREAT deal since the lower drawers weren't salvagable.  Hubby's a tall guy at 6'6", so the extra length has been beneficial for his longer legs.  And he INSISTS on untucking the sheets on his side at the foot of the bed.  

Google gave me the following sizing:

and I'm thankful the Queen size is also included because a couple of the quilts I grabbed to test investigate this question currently rest on our queen in the guest bedroom (ie: formerly known as Caitlyn's room)

Now, interestingly enough, when I measured our mattress, it was closer to 70" x 82" and 12" deep.
So, here's some sizing for you...

Celtic Solstice - 110" x 110"
(Bonnie K. Hunter's 2013 mystery)
Celtic Solstice reside on our bed most of the time, however with the warmer summer months now, and after a deep clean of the bedroom a couple weeks ago, she's currently folded up and resting.  She fits our bed the best of all the quilts you'll see; a true king-size quilt.  She does sometimes begin falling off the end of the bed, but also that often happens due to the clothing that was lazily tossed at the close of a day.  Ya know, the clothing that isn't quite dirty, but no longer clean enough to be placed back in the closet.  Please tell me you do this too! And although he doesn't admit it, hubby kicks the sheets and quilt, and I'll often waken with the quilt draping over and off MY foot corner of the bed, dangerously threatening to slide free completely.

I digress...

Roll Roll Cottonboll - 95" x 110"
Bonnie K. Hunter's 2010 mystery
Currently, Roll Roll Cottonboll resides on the bed.  Length-wise, she's great.  Width-wise, she's certainly lacking.  And remember, when I measured my mattress width, it showed closer to 70" than the published 72", which is even more narrow that the standard king at a published 76".

Orca Bay - 84" x 93"
Bonnie K. Hunter's 2011 mystery
Wanting to see how some other quilts fit... Orca Bay was grabbed from the queen guest bed for a fitting.
Hmm... t'would defintely say "nope."  Much too small despite being 14" wider and about 11" longer than my measured mattress.  She fits lovely on the queen bed, however.

Candace's Stars (Granny's Stars) - 76" x 94"
appeared in July/August 2009 Love of Quilting
Awww, what a favorite.  I'm mean, c'mon!... what FUN to dig back through the blog to find when this one was completed:  July 2, 2009.  Candace was only THREE, and now... recently graduated and off on her way to a degree in Finance.
Again, I digress...
Most certainly too small for a king, and she sometimes rests on the queen.  Decently comfortable on the queen bed.

Smith Mountain Morning - 80" x 89"
Bonnie K. Hunter
This is one of my more recent finishes (2022!) ((Have I said how happy I am to be BACK in action now?  Back to blogging, back to quilting dedication, just.... back!)). 
I was shocked at how SMALL she looks on the king!  I thought for sure she'd be a better fit, but clearly... nopers.  However, she'd probably work well on the queen, however she was lovingly folded back up for... shrug!  I dunno.  But she's folded and ready for... whenever.

Those are the only larger quilts I grabbed for this little experimentation.  
So, Alycia...yeah.  I now can quite literally see why quilts are pushing the 100+" dimensions for king size.  I mean, even Roll Roll extending by ~25" beyond the measured width of the mattress still barely fits.
If I had to choose the perfect size for our bed/mattress... hmmm..... I wouldn't design it smaller than 100" square, nor larger than 110" square.

Meaningful morning, for sure!

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Tiny Tuesday - the Return

A blast from the past!
The last 4.5" midget block post made was 11 and a half years ago! - December 12, 2012

Last night was spent perusing my own blog, rereading many of the very first posts made, and as I fast-forwarded, the #TinyTuesday posts -- wow -- they certainly took me back!   to a time of patience and dedication.  Is anyone still working on yours?  Or hibernating like mine?  Did anyone actually COMPLETE yours??? 

Well, not allowing the ol' me to be outdone, my surprisingly organized folder and stack of completed blocks were taken out with an absolute plan of gauging the progress.
I recall at one time hearing that Sentimental Stitches was going to retire the first 50 blocks, so all of those patterns that had been published were printed and placed in this folder.  And apparently, I actually saved the first 116 blocks SOMEWHERE back then, according to this post from 2010.  I still have my old laptops; I wonder if I can fire them up and dig around for them... T'would appear that the block patterns are now part of a monthly BOM deal.  

Anyway, so... I looked over the next couple of printed patterns with the whole OCD/Type-A in me needing to complete blocks in order.
If I'm gonna give this a true devotion again, I need to ease back in!
Therefore, the printouts were strewn about until two were selected as the final winners.

Amidst the stack of fabrics I had set aside with these blocks in mind, I was reminded of the sashing units I had brainstormed SOMETIME back then...

So before even starting on any blocks today, a section of the design wall was cleared away for some playing and admiring... and reminiscing of the 40 blocks completed so far.  All the while placing them on the wall, thoughts lingered on simply 'calling it good' and setting them into a 5 x 8 layout.
but, eh... not very pleasing... tall-n-skinny and not close enough to the 'golden-ratio.'
However the 6 x 7 layout has some promise here.  Specially considering I had chosen two of the patterns that would be a good easing back in!

Block #60 - French 4's
Although paper-piecing was the recommended method of piecing this block, the math-mind was given a workout during this summer break.  A little measuring and a little fraction scribbled-addition later, the 4.5" midget blocks are back in action.

...and it felt good to be back in the action of the volleyball gym last night too.  I was left with a skeleton crew of athletes after all of the basketball athletes departed for a 3-day multi-team tournament, and although MOST of my attackers are on the basketball team, this lil' team knows how to hustle and finished 1-1 on the evening.  Just a few more moments like this left for me as I elected to resign from coaching after completing 17 years on and off over the past twenty-six.

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Hoping you have an amazing circle too!

Monday, July 8, 2024

Design wall Monday - Dawn's Early Light sees some formation

My view from the pillow this AM didn't keep me slumbering much and was up to make some coffee by 5:30, awaiting the waking of DH before he needed to head to work.  Another beautiful morning which slowly evolved into a day of patchy rain clouds, and despite thinking that today was going to be reserved for cherry picking, I (guiltily) headed to the quilting loft after DH and child #3 left for work.

I dare say that Bella and Bailee both enjoy the summer schedule when I'm home to let them in/out as they please.  Bella was absolutely content by the door as I clambered the stairs to the loft.

My morning goal was to piece together the sub units in order to have at least one Dawn's Early Light block on the design wall before needing to close up shop for an evening of volleyball coaching.

Awaiting me on the ironing board were my organizers of DMC floss I had loaned to daughter #1 a year or so ago.  After mentioning my wish to organize my cross-stitch area and knowing that all of her belongings are stored downstairs for the time-being as she's between places, she found the box of her crafts yesterday afternoon when Paul and I were off together for his uncle's funeral.
Hmm... next up: to see what's in my cross-stitch area; perhaps a goal for Sunday's Slow-stitching day.

As for yesterday's Sunday slow-stitch, another 10 rows were added to the ongoing at-my-leisure ripple afghan using up some spare yarn from previous projects.  Generally, my stash is filled with Red Heart yarns, but hmmmmm, I was reminded yesterday how much I love working with Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn yarn.  It's truly rightfully named.

I don't foresee much else getting completed as the afternoon turns to evening since I'll be departing shortly for some summer league VB coaching; my last hurrah before the reins are completely handed over.

Happy Monday

Linking up with:
Small Quilts & Doll Quilts - Design Wall Monday