Sunday, September 14, 2014

2014 Stash Report Week 37

Yards in: 0
Yards out:
Cumulative yards in: 30.4
Cumulative yards out: 23.35
Net gain/loss: 7.05 GAINED

Spending since last post: $2.11
Spending this year: $293.06

Scrappy girly quilt, 34 x 44. Not a UFO, just a yen to sew :) 2.35 yards busted, by my math.

I used a striped fabric that had been in my stash for a LONG time - I think it was inherited from my Memaw.

Prairie points - I'm still thinking about doing some straight-line quilting in that solid pink border.

Kitty pillow done - 0.3 yards busted.

I used a tone-on-tone cat print to make the box, since I was using biggish scraps of a black twill and didn't think I would be able to get a long strip out of the twill.

My only crafty spending [for me ~ I bought TMOTH a woodburner for his birthday] was some cream yarn from the thrift store [for Groot's pot at some point] - $2.11 total.

I also started working on a t-shirt quilt from my mom's nature t-shirts. That won't bust as much stash as you'd think - the t-shirts never got counted as "stash" - but I'll have a back and sashing to count.

I'd have more done if I hadn't worked outside today, but it was slap-dab gorgeous out, and the patio needed weeding :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Embroidery today

I saw a link to an embroidered cat pillow on Mark Lipinski's blog today.

First I printed out the pattern.

I sewed over the lines to transfer, then tore off the paper. WAY too reminiscent of paper piecing.

An hour or so of embroidery later, a cat face for a pillow:
I also found a tan-brown almost-pillow that will likely get a cat face as well.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Laundry List check-in

 It's been a little over a week since I posted the list, so time for a check-in...

1. Make ginger-peach jam and start basil vinegar this weekend. DONE! I need a funnel to get the vinegar back in its original bottle. And a local source for clear glass bottles.
2. Finish beret and start scarf to match. DONE! The scarf is about 6" long so far :)

3. Finish scrappy rose-pink quilt. PROGRESS! Prairie points are all done, I'm stitching the back down, and need to do a couple rounds of straight-line quilting after that.

4. Work on blue-yellow quilt. Nope.
5. Work on red-white-black quilt. Nope.
6. Start applique quilt. STARTED! About 5 blocks done, if I count the one that's more blue background than green background.

7. Make bib and burp cloths this weekend for upcoming baby shower. [The bib will be a test for a fair entry - I have the pattern drawn up but haven't made one yet.] Burp cloths are done! I still need to make the bibs.

8. Get back to menu planning. DONE. Even if I don't follow it all the time, it helps keep me on track.

9. Spend at least 5 minutes EVERY DAY going through crafty stuff. NOPE! Maybe a couple of days this got done.

10. Start t-shirt quilt. DONE
11. Keep working on hooked rug. DONE
12. Stay off computer games. I've managed this the past week, and have been able to get lots more done. YES! This is the biggest accomplishment by far.

I am Groot!

So, about a week ago, the Lovely Daughter posts this link to a baby Groot crochet tute on Facebook. She seemed to be completely gobsmacked that I would be willing to give it a try.

On Friday, I made it out to Michaels for tweedy brown yarn - Vanna's Choice in "Barley." I had some soft green crochet cotton from a thrift store trip for leaves already!

Although I've been crocheting for about 50 years, I have serious problems actually following patterns, so it was a crapshoot.

The hook I had was a size smaller than recommended, and when I counted up number of stitches I had for the head, it was about 4 more than I was supposed to have. And I crocheted a few extra rounds, but I still think his head could've been longer (and maybe thinner).

One upside of having a button obsession is that I was able to find buttons that made good eyes!

The body went really well, although I definitely made him taller than the tutorial.

The arms were a battle. No matter what I did, I could NOT get the pipe cleaner stuck into the arms if they were any longer than an inch or so. So I made the start of the arms bigger, then decreased a bit, and then stuck the pipe cleaner through and just crocheted AROUND the pipe cleaner to the end of the arms.

I crocheted a few leaves and embroidered some greenery down the front, after adding vines (or just trunk texture?) with chain crochet sewed on.
Now he just needs a more proportional pot!

2014 Stash Report Week 36

Yards in:6 [not counting the sheet ~ still up in the air about that one]
Yards out: 0
Cumulative yards in: 30.4
Cumulative yards out: 23.35
Net gain/loss: 7.05 GAINED

Spending since last post: $16.59
Spending this year: $290.95

Thrift store fabric: 5.57 - 2 yards batik + cat fabric marked as "curtain" when actually I think it's a sheet. A poly-cotton blend, but it has a nice hand, and it's stinkin' cute.

Embroidery book: 2.12

Yarn for Groot: 2.65

OTHER thrift store fabric + goodies: 6.25 for 4 yards pink Laura Ashley, aida cloth, 4 patterns: 6.25

Sunday, August 31, 2014

2014 Stash Report Week 35

Yards in: 1
Yards out: 0.5
Cumulative yards in: 24.4
Cumulative yards out: 23.35
Net gain/loss: 1.05 GAINED

Spending since last post: $64.21
Spending this year: $274.36

I got the center of a small scrappy quilt finished last night:
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Ralph had no interest in helping.
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But today I set up the ironing board and got it all pressed. That stripe in the middle isn't really a stripe - it's the length-wise borders cut to size.
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Hopefully I can get to quilting tomorrow - the reality at my house is that my quilting machine often looks like this:
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I also spent some time today shifting things around, so now it looks better:
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Most of the spending was on batting :) Labor day sale at Jo-Ann netted 5 yards of Warm & White and a queen-size Pellon batt.

I also bought two spools of thread, a new rotary cutter, and two half-yard cuts of CUTE flannel:
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I just don't remember fabric that cute being around when *my* kids were babies. I was able to make four burp cloths out of this so far, for the half-yard used ~ I used the tutorial here. The first ones I made were the pink owls, backed with a snow-died t-shirt I never wore because it was too tight for me, and I was cursing the advice to use the knit. The pink knit for the puppies worked much better for some reason.
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And now the bib pattern I worked up has disappeared! I can re-do it, but that's just annoying.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Strawberry Freezer Jam

This is by far the family's favorite jam.

We start with a big clump of frozen strawberries. I think these are from the July trip to Florida, but it could've been an earlier trip.
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Mash 'em up and measure out 4 cups. I only had about a cup left over. I'll probably mix with the leftover crushed peaches and make jam out of that as well.
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Add 4 cups (!) sugar.
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Heat the pectin with water, boil, add to berries, and stir until all your sugar dissolves. Ladle into jars.
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They set for 24 hours at room temperature, then into the freezer. At least until the karate kid eats it all up!

10 Quilty Little Secrets

Pointed to this via LeeAnna, so here are mine...

1. My seams don't always match up. Eh, so what?

2. I hate paper piecing. Yes, I know you can get really accurate, but it's just. not. worth. it.

3. I lose rotary cutters all the time. There must be 5 or 6 floating around the house now - but I just bought another one yesterday.

4. I've never sewed into a finger, and I've been sewing on machines since I was about 5. And now I'm desperately hoping this statement isn't a jinx.

5. My first quilt had half-inch seams.

6. I buy scraps, I love them so much.

7. I have a quilt my Memaw made out of...polyester double-knit! With a black-and-white cheetah print back!

8. I cannot use a thimble to save my life.

9. I hand-quilt without a frame or a hoop [or a thimble, see above]. I shove the quilt in a bag and drag it around to karate classes and quilt while waiting for boys.

10. If I get a tuck in the back, that's just a part that'll be extra warm.

Now, head over to the linky party at 13Spools to see everybody else's :)

Ginger-Peach Jam

Since I hope to be entering this into next year's fair, I had to use a "tested recipe" - this is the one I picked:

Toffee is still helping:
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First, dump all the canning lids and bands into the sink.
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Stick the recipe to the stove hood with a magnet:
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Start prepping peaches! First, an X cut in the top and bottom.
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Boiling water bath for a minute, then ice water bath, then rest on the counter. Cut into chunks. Chop with the immersion blender.

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Add lemon juice and 7 cups (!!) sugar:
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Dice up the crystallized ginger, stir it all up and start boiling!
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In the meantime, sterilize your jars and lay out canning tools.
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Once you've got them in the jars, process in the water bath.
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This was made more complicated by my big pot that I usually use for the water bath blowing a hole in the bottom in the middle of the process!
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All done! All but one had sealed already, plus a couple of extra in the fridge that didn't get processed.
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It's quite tasty - not overpowering ginger; I might add a bit more the next time.

Basil vinegar

First step in preservation day: Clean off the stove!

The Indoor Electric Grill lives full-time on our stove-top, so the first step was to take it off. Which meant cleaning it out! A job worthy of Mike Rowe.
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Toffee helps.
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The next step is to collect the basil. No photos of the garden - TOO scary. I naively went out with my Classico pasta jar to fill it. HA! I cut maybe three quarters of our basil flowers and that filled the jar and the rest was all I could hold.
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Washed and drying a bit.
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I'm using a balsamic white vinegar from Trader Joe's for steeping.
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Shockingly, I had just the right amount of basil flowers. Stripped stems and leaves are left over.
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It already tastes lovely ~ once it cools, it steeps in the pantry for a week before tasting again. I do need to find clear glass bottles I can seal it up in. I see plenty of other herb vinegars in my future.